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).

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

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.

How I was hired via Skype

It may not come as a surprise to many of my tech and startup friends, but I was hired as PublicBeta‘s Editor & Chief Content Strategist during my first interview on Skype. I was literally hired overnight. [The bit where I was hired shouldn’t be the surprise though ;)]

PublicBeta is a learning platform for entrepreneurs by other (very) successful entrepreneurs.

This is what I love about working for entrepreneurs and startups. They spot an opportunity, hire fast and take risks (and sometimes fire fast too).

When I saw the advert for PublicBeta’s first employee, I actually didn’t know too much about the founder Adii Pienaar, (apart from some Google stalking) but I liked the way it was written and shared the company’s vision to ‘work with some incredible and successful entrepreneurs, and share their knowledge and experience to empower the next wave of entrepreneurs who aim to make a dent in the universe.’

I’ve been working in media, communications and startup land for over three years (running Hermione Way’s video production company Newspepper.com) but I’ve been looking for my next opportunity for months (I’ll still be freelancing as a video producer on the side).

I used all the usual routes; asking my friends if they knew of any roles going, scrolling the startup job boards and seeking out introductions via Linkedin, but I believe everything happens for a reason and this new adventure means I can sink my teeth into this role and bring something new to the edtech table.

When I did send my application to PublicBeta, I tailored my experience around the role and outlined the four areas I thought I could bring value to the team and the company.

Adii responded within a week or two, and suggested the Skype interview after he got back from his travels. What I did do is set a reminder in my calendar to chase and followed up with a short and sweet ‘Hope you had a nice break, look forward to chatting with you this week’ email. This worked and I had my Skype interview a couple of days later.

Now I have heard of people getting hired via Skype before, so this isn’t a revelation about ‘the wonders of technology’ but I do think it is a reflection of the growing trend of a dispersed workforce. Now this is what I think is exciting!

  • Addi, who is based in Cape Town, SA, built a team of over 30 people across the world to run WooThemes.
  • Hermione runs her business from her laptop and travels the globe supporting founders and entrepreneurs via Startup World.
  • Kate Kendall, the founder of TheFetch.com (I’ve been The Fetch London’s curator for the last 18 months) has a community of city curators, ambassadors and supporters helping her grow her business.

So this is post a celebrate the next chapter of my startup life. I have sponged so much information over the years, that I hope to share my experience and perhaps teach a few lessons or two.

But mostly learn from this process and ask ‘How can I help?’