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ArticleThe Challenges and Rewards of the Blended Workforce

The Challenges and Rewards of the Blended Workforce

The blended workforce is made up of people who work full-time and part-time, as well as temporary workers, freelancers, and contract workers.

The so-called “gig economy,” or the rise of popularity in freelance work, that took root with the recovery from the 2008 recession and expanded with the advent of the Affordable Care Act is making the blended workforce the workforce of the future and the workforce of today. Around 40 percent of today’s labor force is made up of non-traditionally working people, including freelancers (sometimes referred to as agile talent, 1099s, consultants, contractors, etc.), temporary workers, and self-employed workers.

As with any labor force, the blended workforce offers advantages and disadvant...



ArticleThe Day After: 11 Things to Do After You Publish a Post

The Day After: 11 Things to Do After You Publish a Post

Clicking the “Publish” button is one of the highlights of my day.

Working hard on a post and then putting it out there to help others is extremely rewarding. It’s one of the main reasons why I continue to write so much.

But it’s not the only reason….

Content marketing remains one of the most effective strategies to grow a blog – any blog.

Eighty-six percent of marketers in North America use content marketing, and 71% of marketers (overall) are planning to increase spending on content marketing.

Creating great content is an extremely important part of any successful content marketing strategy. But it’s just one part.

If all you do is hit “Publish” and then move on to the next article, your blog won’t grow as quickly as it should.

And if you...



ArticleMeet the Crowd2Shelf Winners: Now Available in Staples Store

Meet the Crowd2Shelf Winners: Now Available in Staples Store

They came, they crowdfunded, they conquered, and now it’s time to get to know them better. While the winners of the inaugural Crowd2Shelf contest come from different parts of the country and from different industries, they have one thing in common: they’ve created amazing products that are helping people do more.

We sat down with the winners and got some background into how they’ve grown into the incredible startup product companies they are today.

EVA
Wilmington, DE

Designed by LEDified, EVA™ is the world’s friendliest recessed light. They’ve combined the most efficient LED technology with an everyday practical element of a home: the remote control.

They’ve already pre-sold over 50,000 EVA™ units. Before EVA, LEDified’s founding team devel...



ArticleCompany Activities That Will Strengthen Any Culture

Company Activities That Will Strengthen Any Culture

These days, culture is paramount for having a strong team to execute your business’ vision. Ideas are worthless on their own; without a strong team, you won’t succeed. When building a business, you want employees who deeply about the company. A big piece of that is recognizing that, at the end of the day, they’re just people with normal daily stresses and worries.

My company TheSquareFoot is an unconventional business—we’re taking commercial real estate into the digital age—so we’re used to alternative practices. But like our business model, our unconventional ways have a purpose and rely on three major points: team building, nourishment and fun. Throughout our growth, I’ve recognized a few unconventional ways (that anyone could try) to pos...



ArticleBreaking down silos — no herding cats anymore

Breaking down silos — no herding cats anymore

In my last blog post, I spoke about siloed content caused by silos within an enterprise. Moreover, about the guy who is on the hook to drive the business, generate leads and protect the brand. In most organizations they call him the Chief Marketing Officer or CMO. He is focused on the connected, consistent customer journey.

Yeah, this feels like herding cats — an attempt to control or organize a class of entities which are uncontrollable or chaotic.

Because in a larger organizations, everyone creates content. Sometimes people do not even know that this content ends up being customer facing. Some folks in Support writing some messages in support systems — but is it necessarily on brand and on target?

Let’s break down the customer journey — ...



ArticleThe Age of Napoleons: Conquerers in Tech

The Age of Napoleons: Conquerers in Tech

It’s no secret that our time in history is unique. Our times are unique in a myriad of ways, but an area of some concern is the state of entrepreneurship in the world of technology.

In recent decades fund-raising has become not only much easier, but also more popular. Even businesses with seemingly little potential to truly become scalable, try to raise money, and they even sometimes succeed. While fund-raising is a decent way to scratch that entrepreneurial itch, it’s not end-game for aspiring entrepreneurial-Napoleons.

In some ways, the entrepreneurial scene hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years. For example, the average age of entrepreneurs today is not significantly younger than 100 years ago.

Steve Blank considers...



ArticleGood Enough Never Is (Or Is It?)

Good Enough Never Is (Or Is It?)

One of the sayings I hear from talented managers in product development is, “good enough never is.” It’s inspirational, always calling the team to try harder and do better. It works to undermine excuses for poor or shoddy work. And, most importantly, it helps team members develop the courage to stand up for these values in stressful situations. Especially in teams that are managing by objectives (or OKRs), the pressure to deliver is intense. Under such pressure, the temptation to cut corners, to quit prematurely, or to hand off shoddy work to another department is overwhelming. It requires courage to stand up and say: “this work is simply not good enough. Sure, we could get away with it, but that’s not how we work.” Good m...



ArticleWhy You’d Make A Terrible Angel Investor

Why You’d Make A Terrible Angel Investor

I started angel investing almost by accident, which sounds strange to say. Who “accidentally” invests tens of thousands of dollars into highly speculative ventures? Well, I did.

A friend introduced me to Clayton Christopher who was raising money for his new liquor company Deep Eddy. Their first product, a sweet tea vodka, was amazing and he was an experienced entrepreneur, so I went in.

Investing was an exciting, interesting process. Then the company took off, and I got to tell everyone I know that I invested in that new vodka that everyone in Austin was drinking. Winning is the ultimate intoxicant, and from there, I was hooked.

I started investing in companies left and right. I became a huge cheerleader for angel investing. I w...



ArticleHow to Create an Effective Product Strategy

How to Create an Effective Product Strategy

What is product strategy?

Product strategy is the combination of a high-level vision of what your company is going to accomplish and the steps you’re going to take to get there. Basically, you’re turning your product vision into your product roadmap. It’s something of a transitional step in the top-down process of transforming your grand vision for your startup into an actual, profitable product.

Most companies have more than one product strategy. In addition to an overarching product strategy that applies to the direction the whole company is headed, if your company has more than more product, then each one is going to need its own product strategy.

For many startups, the overarching product strategy and the specific product strategy over...



ArticleYour 10-Step Guide to Website Maintenance

Your 10-Step Guide to Website Maintenance

Your website is like a car: if you fail to get routine oil changes, the vehicle’s performance will continue to drop until the engine stalls. Don’t let this happen to your website after all the hard work you’ve invested in getting it up and running. You, your web developer and your hosting company should follow the website maintenance checklist below.

  1. Thoroughly review and test the entire website (annually or after any updates). Set aside time to methodically and thoroughly review all pages of the website. You may find broken links, features that don’t work or areas that can use improvement. Pay special attention to overall user experience, load time, missing or outdated content, missing page titles or meta tags (content descriptions), inco...


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