Lunchtime learning? 10 video resources to get inspired & learn something new!

Need a break from emails, reports and spreadsheets over lunchtime? I believe it’s important to ‘switch off’ from work, stretch your legs and step away from your desk. When I’m taking a break (and eating lunch), I like to watch a video, perhaps learn something new or be inspired. If you do too, then check out my curated list of video resources to get you learning over lunchtime.

This isn’t a complete list – and I’ll be adding new finds, but here are a few of my recommendations for lunchtime learning.

Enjoy!

1. Google Ventures Library

Google Ventures have released a great resource for startups and founders, including interviews, case studies and How-To tutorials.

2. How to Start a Startup

Last year, Sam Altman, from YCombinator, partnered with Stanford University to share ‘everything we know about how to start a startup, for free, from some of the world experts.’ Lectures include  Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal & Investor, on Competition is For Losers,  Aaron Levie, Founder of Box, Building for the Enterprise and Reid Hoffman, Partner, Greylock Ventures and Founder, LinkedIn on How To Be A Great Founder. Bookmark and watch this series now!

3. What’s it like to work at…

Have you often wondered what it’s like to work at a high-growth startup? This series features ‘interviews with engineers, entrepreneurs and leaders in different high-tech companies such as Facebook, Factual, AirBnb, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Palantir.’

4. Silicon Reel

I’ve mentioned Silicon Reel before, who also produce a great podcast. This is the vodcast version of interviews with London tech entrepreneurs, investors and influencers. You can watch highlights and full interviews on the website.

5. The Day Before Tomorrow

With technology rapidly changing, what does the future hold? The Drum Studios takes a look at ‘the technology that’s changing the world today. And about how different areas of business are dealing with it.’ Each episode focuses on a different area of innovation including health, education, entertainment, retail, finance and smart cities.

6. Hot Topics

Hot Topics brings together senior executives and industry influencers, to share the experiences of the world’s tech leaders and inspire the next generation. The channel is part of the 360 Leaders group, which ‘is transforming the global tech industry through a community approach that combines executive search, development, investing and media.’

7. LaunchPress

LaunchPress is ‘the first interactive mobile app dedicated to help people navigate their way through the London tech scene.’ The online channel features interviews with founders and entrepreneurs based in London.

8. Creative Mornings

CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community. On their YouTube, you can watch ‘our entire archive of talks from founders, makers, photographers, designers, and artists around the world.’

9. giffgaff Happenings

giffgaff Happenings also focuses on the creative community and shares key learnings from TV producers, designers, illustrators and musicians.

10. How It Started

How It Started is an online resource which features ‘stories of how people turned their visions into reality.’ Perfect for some lunchtime inspiration!

Share your favourites in the comment section below, and I’ll them check them out! (TIP: I’ve been using Dragdis as my favourite drag’n’drop bookmarking tool).

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The Death of Your Inbox?

Since the rise of social media and online collaboration tools such as Yammer and Huddle, there have been cries that email will eventually become extinct! But there are several reasons why transactional emails and promotional newsletters will remain part of your marketing campaign and become key drivers of your inbound and outbound sales funnel.

Email is not dead!

Firstly, email isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, the number of email accounts created every year are continually rising. According to research conducted by Radicati in 2010, there were there were at least 2.9 billion email accounts. This figure is predicted to reach 3.8 billion by 2014.

Secondly, in a study ExactTarget, 77% of us want to get marketing messages via email instead of SMS texts, Facebook or Twitter messages. Consumers prefer to receive company promotions via direct mail and newsletters rather than social media channels and notifications.

Email communication can sometimes be consider as an archaic disruption to your workflow, but it’s also an effective way to speak directly to your customers and collect valuable feedback about your product or service. With email, it gets personal.

3 Reasons Why Email Won’t Die

1. Maintaining a direct relationship with your customer

This should be the number one reason you should be sending emails to your customers. Whether it’s a transactional email i.e. a Welcome Email, Survey, Password Request form or a company newsletter and community update, this direct communication with your customers can set the tone for the rest of your company. Using Twitter as a customer service tool is great! And an excellent way to respond quickly to incoming requests. However having their email address means you can move this conversation away your social media platform and speak to your customer direct.

2. Starting your business with just a mailing list

Building your mailing list is a great way to secure potential leads and customers. Before launch, many startups have a landing page, with a call to action for visitors to leave their email address. Not their social media profile account. There have been many successful startups who initially started as an email first up such as Timehop, iDoneThis, Thrillist, AngelList, Sunrise and The Fetch. Using email marketing is a simple yet effective way to spread your message and by signing up for your weekly newsletter, your customers essentially giving you permission to get in contact and hear news from you.

3. Write an email courses to share your expertise (and up-sell your product and services)

Another way to use engage your users is to write a short email course and share this content exclusively with your subscribers. By sharing your knowledge, you will be positioning yourself as an expert in your field and building an audience of potential customers. You could post your course to your blog and share this content via your social media channels, however using a mailing list is great way to distribute your course and earn your customer’s trust.

The future of email?

Although social media is also a great way to engage with your fans and source potential sales leads, transactional emails and newsletters can often seal the deal. Therefore it’s worth spending time developing your email marketing strategy and how this fits in with the overall tone of your company and how your staff deals with customer service inquires.

In the next few years, we’ll see a continued trend of email integrating with social media channels, such as Rapportive. For example innovative startups such as Paperfold are changing the way we use our inbox. Paperfold is an email client for iPad that brings your inbox to life and allows advertisers to play videos within the app. Secondly, the co-founder of Product Hunt, Ryan Hoover, has used Twitter Cards to directly engage with his readers via social media and invite them to sign up to his newsletter via the platform. These are just a couple of examples of how social media and email marketing can work together and ultimately build your audience and drive sales.

To recap:

  • Signups for email accounts are continually rising and most consumers prefer to hear about promotions via email newsletters rather than social media notifications

  • Using email is a great way to build a direct relationship with your customer

  • When starting your business, creating a mailing list is the quickest and simplest way to capture potential leads

  • Newsletters are an effective tactic to exclusively share your knowledge i.e. distributing a short email course to engage and educate your readers

  • In the future, we’ll see a continued trend of email marketing integrating with social media channels to consolidate marketing messages and increase sales and drive growth

Listen to London’s Hottest Tech Podcasts!

Recently I’ve noticed that podcasts are getting ‘cool’ again and few of London’s tech movers and shakers have kickstarted their own online shows inviting founders and startup folk to share their stories.  So I thought I would round up my favourites and post their most recent interviews. In no particular order:

1. SiliconReal

Silicon Real is the video podcast dedicated to the people of the London technology startup scene. Hosted by Brian Rose & Colin Pyle, guests have included Gary Jackson Founder of Hailo, Jon Bradford of TechStars, Roxanne Varza from Microsoft Paris and Jeff Lynn of Seedrs. Hear about new episodes here and send your feedback via @SiliconReal

2. Founder Magazine

Andy Hart interviews founders from awesome businesses and startups. Specifically, they ‘salute the ones who ship!’ They even operate a Jiu-Jitsu belt grading system for those who are invited onto the show. Are you a White belt or Blue belt? You can find out here 🙂 Listen to a recent interview with Deepak Tailor from latestfreestuff.com (Purple Belt) below. Find out more via @FounderUK

3. The Art of Biz

The Art of Biz podcast explores the intersection between business, people and technology in the UK. Hosts, Matt Stafford and Nick Levine, invite a variety guests onto their show, including Stefano Marrone of Nucco Brain and they talk about events and best practice for networking, recruitment and creating opportunities through changes in regulation. Follow along via @artofbizpodcast

4. The Shedcast

Hear all the latest news from Makeshift via their very own podcast studio called The Shedscaper! The first episode, featured Stef Lewandowski, Co-Founder of Makeshift, interviewed by @CBM. They have even been so kind to offer the podcasting studio to other startups who want to try producing their own show & content. If you are interested, hit them up on twitter @shedscaper.

5. Philip’s Polymathic Podcart

Hosted by Philip Su, the site director of the Facebook engineering office in London, ‘Philip’s Polymathic Podcart’ is dedicated to software engineers on design, careers and life. Philip moved from the US to London last year, and has interviewed Laurence Holloway, CTO and cofounder of Lovestruck and has even captured Slawek Biel, an engineer in the Facebook London office who was brave enough to demo the Hövding, an auto-inflating bicycle helmet that deploys only when needed, much like an airbag. Watch the fun below!

Listen to Philip’s advice on how to be a great mentor here!

I’m curious to know, are there any London tech podcasts missing from my list? Send me a note in the comments section below or via @ThatGirl_Chloe

How to keep up-to-date with the London tech scene

It’s hard to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the London tech scene every week, so see below my top 7 newsletters that should be in your inbox!

1. The Fetch London ~ A city guide for professionals.

2 Google Campus Newsletter ~ News straight from London’s tech hub at Google Campus.

3 3460 Miles ~ Where the New York and London tech, design, and social good communities meet.

4 TechCityNews ~ Dates for Your Diary includes a carefully handpicked list of recommended things to do, including networking, pitching and learning events.

5 3beards ~ A weekly dose of news, jobs, blog posts, and info on our upcoming events in London.

6. Startup Digest London ~ Weekly events digest for London.

7. PickEvent ~ A free weekly email digest with the best events in London.

This list was originally part of a post I wrote for PublicBeta which you can view here.

Are there any newsletters I am missing? Let me know via @ThatGirl_Chloe or in the comments section below!

Making friends over good food, wine and conversation!

FetchLondonDinner

Photo credit: Taken at The Fetch London Dinner, courtesy of Kate Kendall.

I attend a lot of events. In London there are usually two – three events, workshops and launches going on each night. If you wanted to, you could spend your entire week at a different event each night, Monday through to Sunday.

I love meeting new people, hearing about their ideas, and what makes them tick. However at busy events, sometimes these interactions can become fleeting moments. Recently I have been attending dinners which allows for deeper discussions, usually moderated by the organiser or a community member and wanted to share a few of my favourites with you.

1. The Fetch Dinner Conversations

Recently I stepped back from my role as the London curator for The Fetch, and passed the baton to Louise Potter. However, not before the inaugural The Fetch London Dinner Conversation happened, to celebrate The Fetch’s founder and CEO, Kate Kendall’s brief return and to meet other members of the community. The theme was based around the state of global startups, and the evening included an informal discussion over dinner. I’m obviously going to keep my eye out on the next one!

2. 9Others

I love the concept of 9Others dinners, and although I’ve only attending a couple, I’ve enjoyed the dinners organised by Matt Stafford and Katie Lewis. The format involves introducing your ‘problem of the week’ and everyone around the table discusses how these challenges can be solved. After the dinner, contact details are shared as well as detailed notes – which is really helpful!

3. TableCrowd Startup Engine Dinner

TableCrowd is run by, Kate Jackson, and I was lucky enough to be invited to their recent Women in Tech Dinner which included a mix of women working in technology sector plus invited guests from the media. It was a great mix of attendees and format for the evening.  Apart from hosting your own dinner via TableCrowd, Kate also organises regular Startup Engine dinners usually including an invited guest and other TableCrowd members.

4. Ladies in Tech London

Co-Organisers Courtney Boyd Myers and Amanda Foley have kickstarted a new group called Ladies in Tech London and are hosting their first lunch on Sunday 22 September 2013. It’s worth checking out and meeting other ladies for tech talk and everything in between.

5. The Hub Supper Club

Organised by freelance journalist, Rachel Hills, The Hub Supper Club is a new bi-monthly extravaganza of good food and meaningful networking. Take a peek!

6. Ben Southworth’s Supper Club For Stressed Startup Souls

If the description below is anything to go by, Ben’s event sounds great! I’m definitely interested in hearing about the next one…

So, there’s loads of stuff for “People interested in Startups” ( I know because I helped set em up) and loads for “People who may have a startup/idea/no clue”. (I know because I go to them/set them up). But, there’s very few for “I am a funded startup, with investors, employees and stress”, so why don’t we set up a night that helps everyone by talking about the pressures, problems and solutions of being a CEO over a glass of something?

In permanent beta: PublicBeta Dinners 

Also, as I have just joined PublicBeta I’ll be organising upcoming dinners for founders, entrepreneurs and investors in the near future.

As I am yet to organise these dinners, I wanted to throw it out to my followers and find out what their expectations would be of such an event plus what price they would be willing to pay? I had £35 + VAT per person price point which would include two or three course meal plus half a bottle of house wine. What do you all think, too much or too little? I would love to know in the poll below. I’m also interested in any ideas around the format…

Are there any regular networking dinners that you attend with a startup/founder/tech focus? I would love to add them to my list! Please let me know in the comments below or tweet me @ThatGirl_Chloe.

Two more additions 

Wok + Wine  40 people, 40 pounds of jumbo shrimp and 40 bottles of delicious wine!

Design & Wine 8 people round a table, 90 minutes of design discussion, 3 glasses of great wine (added by @lewisflude )

London is one of the loneliest cities in the world

friends

When you grow up, life tends to runaway with you. You move out, get a job, chase a career or do what I am doing, run a startup.

In a city of over 10 million people, London can feel lonely sometimes. Have you ever felt that too?

It’s not that I don’t have amazing friends around me, but it’s hard to keep up. To stay connected. Which is ironic because it’s not like there is a lack of social networking sites these days.

I feel guilty. There are a handful of friends that I have lost touch with. There are people I’ve had real connections with, but we’ve just lost touch. Not because we intended to. It’s just that life got in the way. My focus is elsewhere.

But I know, deep down, if I send them this post, just as a link in their Facebook inbox, they would know the reasons why and wouldn’t hold a grudge…and neither would I.

You see I have this theory:

friendship

And as the saying goes:

If you can count on one hand five true friends, then you are very lucky indeed.

Can you email in five sentences?

I have a problem.

In all my years being a professional ‘Logistics Queen’ I’ve rarely been able to email anyone without telling them my life story first.

Well that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but one of my biggest communication fails is that I do tend to over explain myself.

However, since I am starting from a clean slate I’m currently analysing my work flow (using tools such as Draft, Trello,  Buffer) to stream line these processes and take away from the ‘noise’ in my inbox. Even updating my Trello boards feels like a ‘to do’ task but I will try and get better at writing shorter and snappier emails.

I’ve heard of many founders using five.sentenc.es as ‘a personal policy that all email responses regardless of recipient or subject will be five sentences or less.’ In all my emails, I have never seen the ‘five sentence rule’ written at the bottom of anyone’s signature.

The inventor of five.sentenc.es, Mike Davidson, VP of design at Twitter, was inspired to follow this rule because:

‘When faced with an inbox of 100-400 messages, I usually find myself replying to the messages which are quickest to reply to, rather than which are most important to reply to. The end result is a continual paring down of my inbox until I have 50 really important messages to reply to which are then too old to take care of.’

But I was curious to know how other people have used this rule and to what degree it has been a success.

‘Less than five sentences is often abrupt and rude, more than five sentences wastes time,’ says Guy Kawasaki, Author of APE, and serial entrepreneur (via Entrepreneur.com).

Have you managed to use the Five Sentence rule?