was successfully added to your cart.
Category

Personal

Ceasing Development Work on Curatiant as a SMMS

By | Personal | No Comments

The sea change in social business engagement presses forward; however, development on Curatiant, the product I built to help guide companies in this transformation, will cease.

It all began in November 2010 with a simple vision – to help companies leverage social networks to usher in a new era of social engagement for employees via managed and secured communications. I wrote at the time that “anyone in the company should be able to create and curate content! No longer should companies have to invest in additional headcount to manage their social networks. Using the installed base of employee experts anyone with a license [to the product] can create content that can be pushed into an approval queue for review and publishing”. This idea and vision later became Curatiant.

Feeling quite strong about this shift in social engagement I moved in February 2011 to complete the drafting of the full details of project ‘MediaForce’ – later ‘Inteliant’, the codename for the product that would become Curatiant, and began the process of building the business justification to build and launch it. At the time, two rogue tweets had just been produced, the tweet by the American Red Cross and Kenneth Cole’s tweet. I knew I was on to something at the time and thought to myself “why has no one put safeguards into place to prevent these needless rogue tweets?” and aggressively built out the ideation deck for the product and began shopping the idea to my friends and family.

That original idea, in all its hand-drawn glory, can be viewed here (as you can see, I LOVE stick figures!):

*NOTE: MediaForce / Inteliant was originally focused on Healthcare as this was the industry vertical I found myself in at the time and an industry that I felt was ripe for innovation (and still do… more on that later). What you see in Curatiant now originated from this initial idea and concept after it was opened to all verticals and channels.

Just one month later in March of 2011 I accepted a leadership opportunity with Deloitte and ceased work on moving Inteliant forward; however, I never quite let the idea go that social content creation should be open to all employees. Even as I was challenged time and time again with industry players entering the space I was defining (HootSuite launched its own protected tweet solution in March of the same year) I kept thinking to myself that no one was doing it right… no one was really opening the keys to a company’s social business kingdom and handing it over to the rightful heirs, its employees.

Based on this belief, in November of 2012 I left Deloitte to launch Curatiant, my first startup as an entrepreneur with the goal of transforming the face of social business engagement. Based on the initial principles from almost two years earlier I formed a company, hired a development team, and set sail on the ambitious task of getting to market quickly to validate the idea, product, and need. In February of 2013 I launched launched Curatiant as a MVP (minimum viable product) to test the waters and received a warm welcome from several friends, colleagues and business partners; however, the market demand was not as strong as the initial reception.

The final ideation and pitch deck for Curatiant (I miss the stick figures!):

Bottom line: it was quite ambitious to build a product two years after initial ideation when established companies had then entered the space and captured market share… yet I still pushed the limits and launched. Today those limits have pushed back and with weak market demand and the inability to stand against established market players without much further investment and development, I have made the decision to shutter development on Curatiant. To those of you who supported me strongly and fervently in my launch, strategy, and marketing efforts: I owe you a huge debt of gratitude.

Curatiant, the company behind the product of the same name, will continue (though a name change is certainly in the future) and I will provide Salesforce.com consulting services under that company which is already a registered Salesforce partner. I will also continue my entrepreneurial streak with much more ideation and innovation to come! In fact, I have learned much in this venture as a first-time entrepreneur that I am excited to move forward and tackle one or more of the many large ideas I have floating in my head at the moment. Hint: I love to ideate and innovate in areas where the timing and opportunity is right… and I continue to believe that healthcare just might be that space.

With that being said, the ideation behind the product Curatiant is strong and thus I have already begun to write a book (two chapters completed!) on the tenets of the product and what it means to solve the social business engagement equation. I expect to have the book finished within the next several months and hope to offer it here, on my site, as a downloadable e-book shortly thereafter. For more information you can comment here or send me a tweet

Watch this space.

Corey Rawdon

Lessons from the Dalai Lama

By | Personal | No Comments

Recently I had the opportunity to hear His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama speak in Dallas as part of the Hart Global Leaders Forum at SMU. The Dalai Lama, renowned spiritual leader of Tibet and a Nobel laureate, received an honorary degree and delivered a special lecture to an auditorium full of school children, college students and local business leaders. The Dalai Lama overall was a funny yet poignant man who truly embodied the spirit of humility for which he is most well known.

The Dalai Lama’s lecture was well-received by the audience and focused on the tenants of his service and his thoughts/perceptions of some of the most pressing human rights issues facing our society today. He was quick to point to the younger children in the auditorium and tell them that they will soon have to get serious to face the issues that our generation has left them with after which he pointed to the college students and advised them to not make the issues worse. He truly believes that democracy is the pathway forward and he applauds the US for sustaining our democratic way of government and defending it so fervently.

What was most interesting to me was the last few questions His Holiness took from the young school children at the end of his lecture. The first student asked the Dalai Lama what is favourite place in the world is seeing as he has been to so many places. Instead of picking an exact location His Holiness explained to the child that while he has traveled the world many times and has seen so many interesting places (some hot, some cold, some windy, some wet, some friendly, some not-so-much) he truly feels most at home wherever he is at that very moment in time and has no connection, physical or otherwise, to a specific location. He further explained that he feels love and warmth from the people around him and the receptions he receives and as such he does not view a place by its geography but rather by its people. He told the student that simply being in the same place as him made him feel special and blessed and hoped that his message would carry forward with the student throughout the rest of their life.

The last question came from another student who asked how he became the Dalai Lama and if he truly felt he was. The Dalai Lama replied with a story around how the Dalai Lama is selected and the vetting criteria and ended by saying “you know, I think overall I was just lucky to have picked the right toys!” With cheers and laughs from the audience the Dalai Lama took his bows, presented his gifts and headed off stage back to the airport.

I think the lessons from the Dalai Lama are spot-on: (1) be happy where you are (2) find happiness in the people, not places or things and (3) pick the right toys (with a little bit of luck to guide you along). I’m so happy I got the opportunity to meet The Dalai Lama and hear an incredible lecture from a very special man.

Corey Rawdon

Cliffhangers Killed the Modern Commercial

By | Personal, Strategy | No Comments

Commercials are funny little things aren’t they? Sometimes hated, sometimes loved, sometimes searched for but mostly just ignored; commercials have become at times the bane of our existence. Outside of the Super Bowl, when the world purposefully uses services like TiVo to record commercials or social media to find commercials, I find for the most part that commercials are ignored. With commercial viewership numbers decreasing over the past several years some services, like Hulu, have turned to force feeding commercials to us while broadcast networks now build in commercials to newscasts or special interest stories viewed from the web.

Cliffhangers killed the modern commercial
While it is true that people rarely love commercials there are some pretty catchy ones (thanks to clever jingles, great mini-story lines or just downright good advertising) that are often missed as we skip them to fast forward to see the resolve of the cliffhanger that appeared in the show right before the adverts were displayed. While these cliffhangers were useful in the days before TiVo and other DVR services I believe the continued practice is now killing the modern day commercial. Cliffhangers were useful pre-DVRs as they were needed to keep us tuned to CBS for Big Brother (which I am aware has only been on post-DVR) [or insert your favourite show here] so that we would not leave during the commercial break; however, this is no longer a threat since we rarely watch TV live anymore. We simply sit down, open up our playlist, and start watching.

To enforce my theory take the following scenario: what happens when you need to take a break (get water, food, talk, etc) and a cliffhanger comes on your favourite show? I’m willing to bet you skip right through the commercials, see the cliffhanger resolve, then pause the show when it gets to a slow part or before the next plot line begins and take care of your side activity before returning to the TV and pressing ‘play’. Go ahead, think about it, do you this? I know that I, and many others, have this same practice. So what happened to those (hopefully great) commercials? Well, you never saw them and the money spent to buy the impression of that advert on you has been wasted.

It is not the commercials’ fault; however, they do not help
It is easy to blame the commercials themselves for why we fast-forward right through them; we see them as interruptions to our shows and boring marketing ploys that we see right through. But why do we skip them? I challenge the thought that it is not the fault of the commercial but that of the broadcast network and their program directors (and writers by association). Since they purposefully write in a cliffhanger, purposefully place a commercial right before the cliffhanger resolves I (and probably you) purposefully skip right over them to get back to the show. It’s a cycle that used to work; however, this new media generation calls for new commercial adverts, new show writing and new network programming sequences.

Bring back the jingle!
So what is the solution? Think back to the super bowl (or any other sporting event on TV) for the answer. Do they give you a cliffhanger (the 3-point shot with 2 seconds to go) and then switch to a commercial break? No they do not and quite frankly I think the world would revolt if they did! Instead they play the commercials during downtime, when something not-so-important is happening to give us a break. We let the commercials play in the background while we get up, walk around, get drinks/food or whatever we need to do. When we return just enough time has passed to where we catch maybe a commercial or two and the event is back on.

Do we resent these commercials? No, I do not think so. In fact, oftentimes we find ourselves watching them and sometimes if the commercial is clever enough we tell our friends about it or search for it on YouTube to watch it again and share with our social networks! Clever jingles and good graphics make commercials engaging and these tactics work so well during sporting events like the super bowl that I am surprised these tactics have not been adopted for the wider distribution of adverts during TV shows.

Change the sequence, save the commercial
While I acknowledge that most of the commercials during normal TV programming are not quite as entertaining as those during the super bowl I would argue that they do not need to be. We just need a catchy jingle or a fun graphic to give us a reason not to skip over it in order for the company to receive the impression on us it paid for. The solution to me to save the modern day commercial is very simple; quit programming them to display right after a cliffhanger and before the cliffhanger resolves. Doing so would allow us to simply continue to watch our show as normal and instead of skipping the commercials we might be more inclined to just let them play out. After all, what would we be in such a hurry to get back to? I understand that this is a complete mentality shirt for writers, TV programmers and more. So how do we get them to change?

The bottom line
If you take away nothing else from this article take away this and share it with every marketing manager, director, VP and CMO that you can. Why are you paying so much money to run adverts on these TV stations that by their own programming design are influencing the behaviour that causes consumers to skip right over your adverts?

Change the programming, make a jingle, save the commercial. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Corey Rawdon

Glow worms and Black Water Rafting!

By | Personal | 2 Comments

Arriving at the launch spot for our tour it all began to sink in for what we were about to do… we were about to take a tour in the caves of new zealand doing a combination of jumping, tubing, swimming and more all in an effort to see maggot secretions that glow in the dark while it was about 6 degrees centigrade outside (50 F) and with the water nearly freezing!

Read More

Zorbing and Shweebing

By | Personal | One Comment

Upon arrival to Rotorua we drove out to the Agrodome to begin out adventure sports. First up? The zorb! For those not familiar with zorbing you are essentially placed into a huge plastic ball with a pseudo womb inside that is filled with some water (so you can fly around inside) and buffeted with air to cushion the ride down the hill. So, in 4 degree centigrade weather (thats about 40 degrees fahrenheit using a quick conversion) we changed into outré swimsuits and were driven to the top of the mountain to fall down it in our zorb balls!

Read More