thinkspace Community and EveryMove @Work

Mockup Womens Back 313x300 thinkspace Community and EveryMove @Work

thinkspace is teaming up with EveryMove @Work to encourage our entrepreneurial community to get moving! EveryMove is a free application you can download on your phone or computer in order to log your activity and movement throughout the day. The more activity you do, the more points you will receive! And if you receive enough points, or meet a challenge, you can win neat prizes.

thinkspace will be launching different challenges throughout the year with prizes and incentives for participants. We will be posting leaderboards throughout the halls of thinkspace so that the most active people will be spotlighted. So, whether you want to use EveryMove for motivation, to join the competition, or to track your physical progress, make sure to download the app and participate! Let’s make this holiday season an active one.

Who can join? Members of the thinkspace community and employees of thinkspace.

How to join? Create an account and join page. http://everymove.org/thinkspace. Space is limited to 25 people.

Also, come join team thinkspacers in the 30th annual 5k Jingle Bell Run/Walk! This is a great way to kick off the holiday season while raising money to fight arthritis.

The event takes place on Sunday, December 14th at the Westlake Center in Seattle. It is a 5k (about 3.1 mile) loop and you can choose to travel the course at whatever pace you like!

You can register online before December 5th and make sure to join team thinkspacers. Let’s make this a great turn out for the thinkspace community!

Here is the link to join our team. If you have any other questions feel free to contact Katie Walvatne: katie@thinkspace.com

 

LinkedIn’s #RockYourProfile Event in Seattle Showcases How to Stand Out in the Crowd

On LinkedIn there are millions of users but not all profiles are created equally. Many are a direct reflection of their resumes, but at a recent pilot event held in Capitol Hill, LinkedIn instructed the crowd  to think of their profile as a “living, breathing” way to get a new job, customer, or even volunteer opportunity. That can be accomplished by adding rich media, from pictures to videos to links of your work.

To help those in attendance achieve those goals LinkedIn brought together a panel of experts to speak about how LinkedIn has helped them grow their brand. It included: Peter Chee, CEO and chief pot stirrer at thinkspace; Carol Vecchio, founder of Centerpoint Institute for Life and Career Renewal; and Alexis Baird, Product Manager for Profile at LinkedIn. It’s the first time the San Francisco-based company held an event like this one. They chose Seattle because of the large number of startups here and the diversity of the city.

Personality Prevails – “Talk about what you are passionate about.”

LinkedPanel 400x224 LinkedIn’s #RockYourProfile Event in Seattle Showcases How to Stand Out in the Crowd

“People do business with people, not businesses,” Peter told the crowd. “Find ways to connect on a personal level.”

That wasn’t the only time the eager group of nearly 200 entrepreneurs, small businesses, and students were encouraged to show their personality especially on a professional website. Alexis explained the importance of sharing what you are passionate about. Adding your hobbies could lead to a professional ice breaker.

When talking about how LinkedIn has worked for him, Peter described what he called his “Alex from Target moment” a few months ago. It began with posting a long form blog on his LinkedIn page late one night titled “Questions To Ask Before Quitting Your Job To Work At A Startup.” It was part of an event promotion aimed at helping those wrestling with the same decision. Several hours later the post had 3,000 views and eventually ballooned to more than 92,000 views worldwide, hundreds of comments on LinkedIn, and it helped sell out the event. Peter said the post “created value” for the event, making it a bigger success than he initially anticipated. It’s the perfect example of using personal experience to connect with your audience.

Actionable Tips

So maybe you’re not an established business owner with an expansive network and more like me. I’m in the midst of changing the course of my career and need help with the transition. Peter provided other actionable tips.

For example, after meeting someone at a networking he suggests including “why you enjoyed the conversation” in your LinkedIn message. And don’t procrastinate.

Experts suggest:

1) Tailor your profile around what you want to be doing. It’s not necessary to list every job you’ve held.

2) Avoid job titles and use statements instead.

3) Show examples of your work whenever possible e.g. pictures, links, and presentations

The LinkedIn team also offered profile makeovers. I found this one-on-one time to be invaluable. Crystal Braswell offered me tailored tips that I utilized as soon as I got home. They included changing my profile picture because she said I looked younger in person. (Yikes!) The changes instantly made my page look better. I’ve already received positive feedback which let me know I was on the right track.

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Whether or not you think of yourself as being photogenic the experts say don’t ignore your profile picture. The LinkedIn team converted a small area into a professional photo shoot complete with make-up artist. All night this booth had a continuous line. Your profile picture is one of the first things people see and taking the time to ensure it’s representative of who you are is important.

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By the end of the event I felt rejuvenated. Receiving usable tips and being in the company of others who are working on improving their digital footprint helped recharge my career batteries. Change isn’t always easy but events like #RockYourProfile showed me that improvement isn’t an insurmountable task.

Here are more Growth hacking with LinkedIn tips from Peter Chee.

Seattle Startup Week | Angel investor Andy Liu illustrates the importance of building rhythms

Andy 2 72res 686x1030 Seattle Startup Week | Angel investor Andy Liu illustrates the importance of building rhythmsBy 1:00 pm on October 23, the day of his Seattle Startup Week presentation, Andy Liu, local dream investor and CEO of BuddyTV, had already been in contact with four prospective customers. According to Andy, his number one job is to sell.

“You know what? As CEO, sales is actually my number one job. Sales to customers, sales to employees, sales to investors…Sales to everybody else that may eventually come into contact with the company…I need to constantly be doing that.”

Getting in front of the customer is one of the best ways to learn about a business.

Andy also explained that businesses are built on rhythms. Therefore, it’s crucial that a company reevaluate the rhythms that are in place to be more effective on a day-to-day basis. To do this, Andy has implemented a number of rhythm-boosting practices. For example, every Monday morning he sends out an email to the entire team with BuddyTV’s latest happenings, team recognition, and any other relevant information for the upcoming week. Another tool he uses is a refined system of key performance indicators.

“It’s not 30 numbers that you need to track, it’s one or two.”

Andy wrapped up by highlighting the importance of celebrating.

“Even in the darkest days, there’s always something to celebrate…There’s always some reason to ring the bell.”

Andy follows his own advice quite literally. In BuddyTV’s office, one of the developers has a cash register linked up his computer speakers. Each time a sale comes in, the cash register dings.

What does your startup do to celebrate?

You can hear more about Andy’s rythmatic practices here:

Check out Andy’s SlideShare deck from his Seattle Startup Week presentation:

Or see the entirety of Andy’s talk here:

Check out our recaps of our other Startup Week events:

Kicking off with Aviel Ginzburg of Simply Measured
Matt Heinz explains why you have to fail in order to succeed
Russell Benaroya talks night runs and how to ease the loneliness of entrepreneurship

Thursday 3 72res 400x266 Seattle Startup Week | Angel investor Andy Liu illustrates the importance of building rhythms

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Hospitality with legs.

people walk wall 300x300 Hospitality with legs.With Halloween behind us, you know what that means…yes, the holidays are upon us. And with them come parties, entertaining, and expectations. Some expectations will be met: “The prime rib was succulent” and “This is the best pumpkin spice latte. Ever.” While other expectations will fall short: “The turkey was too dry” and “The pumpkin pie was store bought.” But despite food-driven expectations (of which mine are always high), I think what people truly long for during the holidays is hospitality. Being welcomed. Just as they are.

I recently heard an entrepreneur give a talk on hospitality. And it’s her perspective that I’ll try to remember and adopt during this holiday season. Most of us limit the definition of hospitality as being kind and generous towards those you welcome within your home. But this clever entrepreneur widened the scope of hospitality to include not just being hospitable to those that come to you, but also exiting the comfort zone of your home and going to others.

Think about it. Isn’t the person who brings a home cooked meal to someone just as hospitable as the person that prepares a meal at home and has people over to enjoy it?

Or that candy bowl on your desk, that is most welcoming indeed. But how much more welcoming is it when you stand up from your desk and walk over to a coworker to ask how their weekend was?

Okay, one more example. You’re alone at home after a fight with your boyfriend. Your friend calls to see how you are and invites you over to their house (hospitable). But then that friend decides to come over to your house to make sure you’re really, truly okay (also hospitable).

Some of the most hospitable acts are when we check our agenda and comfort zone at the door and meet people where they are at. On their terms.

So this holiday season, adopt some hospitality. And give your hospitality some legs. Let it travel around a bit.

 

 

 

Seattle Startup Week | Russell Benaroya talks night runs and how to ease the loneliness of entrepreneurship

russell presenting 400x266 Seattle Startup Week | Russell Benaroya talks night runs and how to ease the loneliness of entrepreneurshipLast week, thinkspace and Seattle Startup Week, with help from Russell Benaroya (co-founder and CEO of EveryMove) and Andy Liu (angel investor and CEO of BuddyTV), took over the incredible space that Graham & Dunn occupies on the Seattle downtown waterfront. For twenty three minutes, we had the opportunity to bounce around inside Russell’s mind.

Russell opened his presentation with a wonderfully vivid and intensely personal description of the 75 mile journey that he took on the Pacific Crest Trail, from Steven’s Pass to Snoqualmie Pass, called Section J. According to the Washington Trails Association, Section J “is not for the beginning backpacker. There is considerable elevation gain and loss—about 16,000 feet! Some places are impassable until well into August when the snow melts out.”

Russell did it in 24 hours. Yes, 75 miles of rough terrain in just 24 hours. Bearing in mind that this was a Herculean task, it was not surprising, then, when Russell said:

“We ran through the night, entirely self supported, and when I finished that run, I was…Broken.”

This story of course came full circle when Russell explained how this run, this fantastic personal accomplishment, translated into so many areas of his life, specifically entrepreneurship:

“This is the road of entrepreneurship, right? This very lonely road, in many ways, where we are.. Where it’s broken on so many levels, and it’s so painful, and it’s so emotional, but at the same time, we’re so alive, right? We’re stretching ourselves to do more than we thought possible and it’s emotional. And this rollercoaster of emotion is something that we can’t do alone.”

There’s a reason why shared offices and coworking spaces and organizations like the Entrepreneurs’ Organization exist—and not just exist, but thrive. Sure, you can start a business out of your basement, or your spare bedroom, or Starbucks. But the benefit of surrounding yourself with a support system, with like-minded people? Invaluable. Entrepreneurship may be a lonely road, but that doesn’t mean we actually have to walk it alone.

Like Russell said, “We’re all in this together.”

For those who were unable to attend the event, watch the full video here:

Check out our recaps of our other Startup Week events:

Kicking off with Aviel Ginzburg of Simply Measured
Matt Heinz explains why you have to fail in order to succeed
Angel investor Andy Liu illustrates the importance of building rhythms

 

jamie Seattle Startup Week | Russell Benaroya talks night runs and how to ease the loneliness of entrepreneurship

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Seattle Startup Week | Matt Heinz explains why you have to fail in order to succeed

matt and audience 400x267 Seattle Startup Week | Matt Heinz explains why you have to fail in order to succeedThe dust surrounding Seattle Startup Week is settling, but on Wednesday morning, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, we hosted a Startup Week event in our Redmond location. Matt Heinz, president of Heinz Marketing, joined us for breakfast and told us how we could scale our sales and marketing without breaking the bank. One of the ways to do this is to assess what you’re doing on a regular basis. Regular as in weekly, or—better yet—daily. Another way is to fire a lot of bullets. As Matt said, “You will not get it right right away.” Because what works for one company may not work for you.

Matt explained:

“Even if you do the math of what you need to achieve, even if you define your customer in a really crisp way, you will still fail a lot. If you’re doing it right. The path to innovation and success is paved with failure.”

Matt described the following scenario: A company thinks they have a great idea and they just go for it, guns blazing. But what if it doesn’t work? Or what if parts of it don’t work? You have an entire program or organization built around something that’s broken. They just built a cannon that doesn’t fire. They just wasted a lot of resources.

“What if you fired a couple of bullets instead? That’s faster, easier, cheaper. Some of those bullets will hit the mark, some of them won’t. But if it hits the mark, and you validate it a couple more times? Put down the gun and pick up a cannon.”

“We all need cannons in our business,” Matt explains, “But we can’t figure out which cannon to build until you do some testing and actually validate that.”

Check out Matt’s SlideShare deck from Wednesday’s presentation:

And for those who were unable to attend the event, you can see the full video here:

Check out our recaps of our other Startup Week events:

Kicking off with Aviel Ginzburg of Simply Measured
Russell Benaroya talks night runs and how to ease the loneliness of entrepreneurship
Angel investor Andy Liu illustrates the importance of building rhythms

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Seattle Startup Week | Kicking off with Aviel Ginzburg of Simply Measured

aviel ginzburg what is a high growth startup Seattle Startup Week | Kicking off with Aviel Ginzburg of Simply MeasuredYesterday, we spent the afternoon kicking off Seattle Startup Week with Aviel Ginzburg of Simply Measured, which recently raised $20M in venture capital funding. Aviel joined us in our Fremont location to talk about what a high growth startup really means. During his presentation, he mentioned Simply Measured’s first incarnation, Untitled Startup, Inc., which, as Aviel described it, was pretty much two guys with $150K in funding from Founders’ Co-Op “throwing ideas at the wall.”

Which begged the question:

“Why would they put money into you when you didn’t even have an idea or specific plan?”

Aviel smiled and quickly responded, “That is a phenomenal question. You should ask Andy Sack that question.”

But then he explained what investors are really investing in: people. Aviel had a proven track record as a software engineer at Appature, and, during a Startup Weekend, he and Simply Measured co-founder Damon Cortesi built an application called TweetSum. This app utilized something called the DBI, which, no joke, stood for Douche Bag Index. (Now, keep in mind that this was before social media analytics like Klout existed.) The DBI would score your followers from 1-100, letting you know how big of a douchebag they were. The catch?  The only way to see your own score was to tweet it. TweetSum ended up trending on Twitter for four straight days, and Aviel and Damon ended up being approached by Madrona Venture Group.

So why did a company without an idea or a specific plan get funded? According to Aviel:

“We had this track record of being people who could execute and who had interesting ideas…For an investor, it’s like, these guys are going to do something. I want a piece of this.”

For those who were unable to attend the event, watch the full video here:

Seattle Startup Week is in full swing! Join us for one of our upcoming events. Each will focus on scaling up and will feature a speaker sponsored by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization:

Wednesday, October 22 @ 8am | Scaling Sales & Marketing on a Shoestring Budget with Matt Heinz
Thursday, October 23 @ 1pm | Everything I Screwed Up While Scaling up with Andy Liu + Russell Benaroya
Friday, October 24 @ 1pm | Random Acts of Cupcakes with Jody Hall

Seattle Startup Week may be over, but we’re still basking in the event afterglow. Check out these recaps of our other events:

Matt Heinz explains why you have to fail in order to succeed
Russell Benaroya talks night runs and how to ease the loneliness of entrepreneurship
Angel investor Andy Liu illustrates the importance of building rhythms

aviel at thinkspace seattle Seattle Startup Week | Kicking off with Aviel Ginzburg of Simply Measured

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Seattle Startup Week | Scaling, and funding, and cupcakes! Oh my!

StartupWeek EmailHeader 1 wide 1 Seattle Startup Week | Scaling, and funding, and cupcakes! Oh my! We are excited to be sponsors for Seattle Startup Week!  With over 40 events hosted over five days, this is a celebration of entrepreneurship in Seattle.  thinkspace is hosting the “Scale Up” track, which will feature four events with EO-sponsored speakers, each with a focus on scaling up.  Check out our events below, and see the full line up of Seattle Startup Week events here.

eo 40x40 Seattle Startup Week | Scaling, and funding, and cupcakes! Oh my!

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is the only global network exclusively for entrepreneurs.  EO helps leading entrepreneurs learn and grow through peer-to-peer learning, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and connections to experts.  EO also has an Accelerator program.  The EO Accelerator program is the catalyst that enables first-stage entrepreneurs to catapult your business to the next level.  Our mission is to empower you with the tools you need to grow your business to more than US$1 million in sales and provide you with the skills to make yourself a better entrepreneur and leader.

 

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Matt 260x620 Seattle Startup Week | Scaling, and funding, and cupcakes! Oh my!

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What is a High Growth Startup?

Monday, October 20th 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm // thinkspace Seattle

[Who] Aviel Ginzburg, co-founder of Simply Measured

[What] What a high growth startup really means.  The mentality, the expectations, the challenges and the fundraising.

[Why you should go] When it comes to raising venture funding, Aviel is a pro.  His company recently raised $20M in VC funding.

Refreshments provided.

Register for “What is a High Growth Startup?” here:

Scaling Sales & Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Wednesday, October 22nd 8:00 am – 9:30 am // thinkspace Redmond

[Who] Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

[What] A fast-paced, action-oriented framework for building, managing and executing a scalable, predictable sales and marketing engine without breaking the bank.

[Why you should go] Matt brings more than 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations, vertical industries and company sizes.

Refreshments provided.

Register for “Scaling Sales & Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” here:

Everything I Screwed Up While Scaling Up

Thursday, October 23rd 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm // Graham & Dunn

[Who] Andy Liu, angel investor, CEO of BuddyTV + Russell Benaroya, co-founder & CEO of EveryMove

[What] Both Andy and Russell have built and sold companies.  They will share how they screwed up along the way but still managed to succeed.

[Why you should go] Andy is an entrepreneur and angel investor who has invested in over 40 startups.  A former private equity investor and investment banker, Russell also appeared on Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list and is on a mission to improve the health of 10 million people in 10 years.

Refreshments provided.

Register for “Everything I Screwed Up While Scaling Up” here:

Random Acts of Cupcakes

Friday, October 24th 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm // thinkspace Redmond

[Who] Jody Hall, founder of Cupcake Royale

[What] It’s not about the cupcakes. How to build a foundational culture of trust, collaboration and fun for a sustainable business.

[Why you should go] Not only is Seattle’s first cupcake bakery and café celebrating 11 years in business and soon-to-be seven locations, Jody was also former marketing lead for Starbucks, helping scale the company’s growth in early years.  (If that doesn’t convince you, come for the cupcakes.)

Cupcakes provided.

Register for “Random Acts of Cupcakes” here:

Frontier: Outage or Outrage?

 Frontier: Outage or Outrage?If you live in downtown Redmond, this week you’re all-too-familiar with “closed” or “cash only signs.”

Saturday, September 20th, was the first day of what has been a massive Internet, Phone, and TV outage.  How did this happen?  Frontier Communications has reported the following initial cause: IMCO Construction ripped up 1000’s of feet of fiber and copper cable near the street at Bear Creek Parkway and Redmond Way.

Now, on day 7 of this outage, many are still experiencing outages.

My own family household experienced a mere 2-day outage, which meant having to pay cash for our traditional weekend Zaw pizza and relocating to watch the Husky and Seahawks game last weekend.  Annoying at most, but nowhere near the level of frustration others in downtown Redmond are facing.  Redmond businesses are facing an impact on an entirely different scale.  Businesses have lost phone services, directly affecting their computer and credit card access.  Because of this, many businesses have closed or scaled down their work hours.  On top of that, some businesses continue to pay employees despite closures.  Which boils down to businesses losing money.

This outage has had a negative impact at thinkspace, as well.  As a company that provides professional phone answering services, Peter Chee (CEO of thinkspace) posted earlier:

“My company has 200 DID’s (phone numbers) and we are answering phones for many small businesses and startups. It’s impacting our ability to take phone calls from prospective customers and provide customer support for our existing customers. It’s very disturbing that Frontier’s engineering team is unable to temporarily move us off a PRI (copper) onto fiber (FIOS).”

Chee and Sami Dyer (Customer Experience Manager) have been providing the community at thinkspace with multiple daily updates on their outage.  Unlike Frontier Communications.  Many customers have tweeted, posted, and commented how the outage is causing an outrage because of Frontier Communications’ unnecessary lack of communication.

On day 5 of the outage, Chee and Dyer both attended a community meeting run by Frontier at the Redmond Community Center.  During the meeting, Chee challenged Frontier by asking the following question on behalf of small business in Redmond: “What will be done to take care of businesses that have lost money?” To which the Frontier representative replied: “I don’t understand what you all mean by losing business but I don’t have an answer for you.”  What an OUTRAGEous response.

The last word from Frontier – which like local business revenue has been severely limited – was that they expect another 72 hours until all is repaired.  Which would tally 10 days for this outage.

One Facebook user brings up an interesting perspective and comments: “The City as a whole has bitten off way more than they could handle by allowing all the construction to go this way. It’s ridiculous. Too many apartment boxes at once and too many streets torn up. And who monitored the construction companies with the utilities locates? Grade F goes everywhere on this goat rodeo.”

What are your thoughts on this “goat rodeo?”  Is this an outage or an outrage?  How have you been affected?

 

 

 

Status Update from Massive Frontier FIOS Outage: Day 5

Day 5: Earlier Frontier held a community meeting at the Redmond Community Center for residents and businesses impacted by the massive Internet, Phone, and TV outage that has been going on since Saturday, September 20.

Frontier made it clear that IMCO Construction was the company that ripped up 1000’s of feet of fiber and copper cable in the street at Bear Creek Parkway and Redmond Way. Frontier representatives said that while 99% of customers are back up except for copper wire customers.

I stood up and asked a question on behalf of small businesses in Redmond that have been impacted — what will be done to take care of businesses that have lost money? I explained to the audience that we have people dropping by my company who are not even sure we are open. It’s impacting our businesses. Banner Bank and Chase Bank on our street have been closed for days. Businesses are paying their employees who don’t have as much work to do. The representative from Frontier had a response of:
“I don’t understand what you all mean by losing business but I don’t have an answer for you.”
Here’s the schedule for when they plan to fix things:
  • Education Hill – Next 48 hours
  • West of Avondale Rd – Next 72 hours
  • NE 83rd & 161st Ave NE – Next 72 hours
  • 168th Ave NE (Downtown apartments) – Next 96 hours
  • Businesses in Redmond Town Center may not get service until the first of October.

While I’m glad that they held this meeting at the Redmond Community Center, it seems like they should focus on over communicating with residents and businesses until this is all fixed.