Archive for the ‘Jason Korman’ Category
January 1, 2013
Tilt helps you improve how you deal with people to get you to your absolute best
O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us, to see oursels as others see us.”
[Oh would some power have the gift to give us, to see ourselves as others see us.”]
–Robert Burns, Scots poet
The most enjoyable part of what we to do is getting to work with great companies. They range from multinationals, to newly minted billion dollar businesses and many startups.
When we were approached by a young startup, Tilt 365, last year we were intrigued by their service. Founder, Pam Boney, has the following Carl Jung quote on the bottom of her emails, “The world will ask you who you are, and if you do not know, the world will tell you.”, and in a simplistic way, this also sums up their service: The idea that we can cultivate our talents through constant feedback from our colleagues and the people around us.
We all know that once a year annual reviews & 360’s that become dated within a month, kinda suck. What is their true purpose? Can a person really be expected to make behavioral changes just from a meeting every year, or quarter, for that matter?
The folks at Tilt have created this nifty little web app that allows colleagues to assess personality patterns that are affecting others. The truth is that HR usually does a good job at hiring competent people, but what makes them effective, is all about personality and people skills - a person’s negative or positive influence on the climate around them. Pam’s tool shows us how we Tilt in and out of certain behaviors and how it impacts the people around us.
It’s all done real time and in what looks like a pretty darn perfect feedback loop. It reminded me of this piece in Wired a couple of years ago.
We’ve done quite a bit of creative for Tilt, helping them to visually communicate the behavioral changes and movement through the process– and we’ll be talking more about how this service can help affect change in businesses, especially enterprise.
Here’s to Tilting the right way in 2013
December 3, 2012
[Link to Gape Into The Void on iTunes]
[Direct Link to the MP3 of Episode 7 with Gary Vaynerchuk]
In this episode of the Gape Into The Void Podcast Hugh and Jason have a chance to catch up with Internet phenomenon, Gary Vaynerchuk, a long-time friend of gapingvoid. If you don’t know Gary, you should. He’s an incredibly smart, dynamic and outgoing personality, and most of all he’s an incredible salesman.
WineLibrary — Store
Hugh does “live drawing” at events.
Gary’s brother AJ
Plurk and Jaiku
Microsoft Blue Monster
Robert Parker’s Wine Ratings
$3 wine from Whole Foods
Buying the NY Jets
$15 Super Premium Gum
Thanks again for listening. If you are enjoying Gape Into The Void, please tell your friends and leave us a review on iTunes. If you have any questions or topics you want us to cover on the show email us at podcast at gapingvoid.com.
Thanks again for gaping into the void. Rock on.
March 20, 2012
Like gapingvoid CEO, Jason Korman wrote in today’s newsletter:
Hugh drew today’s cartoon in connection with a talk earlier this year for the members of socialmedia.org, Andy Sernovitz’s great cabal of social media heavy weights.
It’s a cute little reminder that no matter how big your business is, your business is not really all you want to be talking about on social channels. It’s the idea of brand as platform. Finding interesting aligned ideas to talk about. The challenge is to create lots of cool stuff to launch into your social networks through your brand.
Take a look at the logo on the bottom right of the image. It’s the logo of Social Object Factory, our new little startup, still in beta, which is in the business of making those cannon balls. Little morsels of powerful content that will explode out of your social channels spreading mojo everywhere. YAY!!!
Yes, now you can have gapingvoid cool to deliver to all your peeps
gapingvoid has been creating and evangelizing social objects for years, for ourselves, for our friends and for our clients. Now we’re turning it into an official business.
Social Object Factory. We help businesses kick ass.
Feel free to click on the link to find out more. Read the manifesto. Apply for a job. Hire us. We’re looking forward to kicking ass with you. Rock on.
March 19, 2012
[This went out in the newsletter at the weekend, written by my business partner, gapingvoid CEO Jason Korman.]
To those who don’t know us well, gapingvoid just appears to be in the business of selling Hugh’s cool illustrations. Over the years, Hugh and I have gone through the often-tortuous self examination required in the journey of finding our true purpose. Nearly every day asking ourselves: “What can one do with a cartoon?”
Thanks to our friend, Mark Earls, we think a lot about the notion of Purpose Idea, and spend a lot of time helping clients wrestle with the beast as well.
So, we have come up with our purpose, and much of it is around the idea of inspiring others.
Here is an excerpt of what we consider our Purpose – note that it is a work in progress, and always subject to change as we grow, morph and reinvent ourselves.
*We live in incredible times.
*Every single person on this earth has the capacity to make a difference… the ability to lead, and leave their mark.
*Every business is driven by forces far more powerful and profound than money.
*We help businesses discover and articulate their purpose
*We help people make a difference,
*We help leaders lead
*We help businesses kick butt.
*We create social objects that transform organizations, start conversations, and spread ideas at lightning speed.
*We live in incredible times, and as long as there is one person on this earth who does not agree, there is still work to be done.
February 13, 2012
Daily Email Promo
.Hola, Jason here (CEO of gapingvoid etc etc)… For all you gapingvoid newbies, you may not know that we publish a daily email
every Tuesday – Saturday. It always contains one of Hugh’s cartoons with a little narrative and sometimes an exclusive deal on gapingvoid goodies.
We’ve been playing around with animation and the one above is a little eight-second promo that we want to use to call attention to the daily email. Although it works great as is, we’d like to add some copy to it, and so, Fearless Readers, we are going to have a little competition for the best copy as judged by us.
Here is how we are going to do it:
Simply suggest the copy to go with it, in twelve words or less.
In other words, we need 12 words to go with the video, to explain what the story is.
The winner will get a free framed cube grenade of her choosing, signed and inscribed by Hugh (a $200 value) and if you have a blog or site, we’ll link back to it AND give you a mention on the actual video, etc.
Normally, this is the kind of things we’d do ourselves, but what the heck, sometimes “open source” is more fun for everybody.
Thanks, and looking forward!
November 14, 2011
[Babson President Len Schlesinger making the intro…]
Last Saturday my business parter, Jason Korman and I gave a wee Q&A talk up at Babson College entitled, “How To Make The Internet Squeal Like A Pig”, as part of their tenth annual Babson Enterprise Forum. Below are the rough notes/transcription, with Jason asking the questions and me doing the answering. Thanks Again to Len for the great opportunity, we had a blast!
[Further Reading: “Why Social Objects are the Future of Marketing…”]
HOW TO MAKE THE INTERNET SQUEAL LIKE A PIG
Q. So, Make the Internet Squeal like a pig, what you mean by that?
If you’re going to be an entrepreneur these days, you’re going to have to figure out the Internet.
From the entrepreneur’s perspective, what makes the Internet tick? From an entrepreneurial perspective, what actually works?
We’ve built a tidy internet based business over the last ten years, b just obeying a few rules and they’re not easy to execute, but they are easy to understand.
Q. If you were going to generalize about these rules, what could you say?
The Internet is just like anywhere else– offline is just like online. Basically, the ideas that spread, win. The ideas that go no where, lose.
Q. So what spreads, how do you create stuff that goes viral?
Viral is a figment of people’s imagination.
The thing that spreads online, of course, is “great content”. This great content can either be your product itself (Huffington Post), or content about or somehow connected to your product (37 Signals).
September 28, 2010
[NB: This post was written by my business partner, Jason Korman. Expect to hear more of him round here in future etc. –Hugh]
Back in the Spring, we were approached by Troy Janisch, Digital Marketing Manager at American Family Insurance about creating a Cube Grenade that encouraged their 8,000+ employees to participate in their social media program.
Troy said that they wanted their 3,800+ agents to build stronger ties with their communities and also engage other employees who the company want to have a voice and share in the new vision for the business.
AmFam has a very particular market: Local communities in eighteen states in the West and Midwest, selling home and life policies to middle income families. For their local insurance agents, community is everything and the stronger their ties, the better their business– it’s that simple.
With this in mind, the goal was to have 50% of all agents online, using at least Facebook, but hopefully some other tools by year’s end.
If you think about it, its hard to imagine a more elegant use of tools like Facebook for building business.
On our side, Hugh’s goal was to create a ‘conversation starter’ – something that would, on the face of it, explain to the digitally uninitiated (a) why they should make developing online connections, a top priority, and b) remind the reps what building THEIR business is really all about. The solution ultimately was two drawings: “Business is Connectivity” above, and “We’re not in the insurance business, We’re in the Connection Business”, below.
A few weeks ago, I checked back in with Troy to see how things were going. For Troy, he wanted to nudge along a Smarter Conversation on a number of fronts and had a plan that not only called for the organic spread of the Cube Grenades through the business, but also, one that was an overt, front and center challenge to the culture of the business. As Troy said, his goal was to ‘Nudge the culture Forward’ i.e. “To Change the culture from Sales Orientation to one of Customer Orientation,”
After commissioning the Cube Grenade, AmFam, put up an exhibit of about a dozen of Hugh’s more inspiring works. They included: Intoxicated, X,Y,Z and the clean version of “Quality”. The exhibition was put up in a “bold location” in their headquarters in Madison, where it would be seen by all the employees over the period it was up.
While the spread of the Cube Grenades is happening. People are printing them out, and putting them on their email signatures, the art exhibition really got people’s attention, and not in the way that was originally planned.
A lot of attention was focused on the “Quality” image, one of Hugh’s most popular cartoons, and one that was redrawn in a Safe for Work mode for software giant, SAP, earlier this year. It seems that in Madison, Wisconsin, “Fricking”, is not yet quite Safe for Work, so it provoked a lot of ‘discussion’ about the appropriateness of the piece. However, this was the opening that Troy wanted. He turned the conversation into what the idea of “Frickin’ Amazing” means to a company like American Family, and ultimately, he had is objective in the crosshairs: “Customer Service”.
As Troy says “ Nobody starts the day thinking that they will give bad customer service, but it’s the culture that makes the difference as to whether it gets delivered,” he continued, “Everyone says that they have Customer Service, and many do, but Customer Service is not simply top down, it is how everyone actually acts, as opposed to aspires to act.”
And therein lied the rub, and the notion of having a “Smarter Conversation” internally about Customer Service, what’s wrong with it, and how to make it “Totally Frickin’ Amaxing”, and more importantly, how do you create a culture that supports people taking the risks necessary to deliver ‘Totally Fricking Amazing Service”. Creating that internal dialogue is not something that happens by itself, but if the goal is to nudge along the culture of an 8,000 person business, disruption is the order of the day.
We’ll be checking back in with Troy to see how things are progressing. But as Troy says, “The Connectivity Cube Grenade is about reminding people at HQ that the business is out in small communities, which is the heart of their business’ and whether the folks are on the front line, or in the call center in Madison, every voice is part of the brand, and everyone makes a difference.”