May 27, 2011

Silent party: tune-in your music on your smartphone

When I was younger I was daydreaming about having a club where everybody listens to music in its the same music. Advantages?
- No neighborhood noise, nobody outside the party place to complain
- When you want to talk to somebody at the party, you can just turn down the need to scream
- You can have different rooms/ spots with different music type, to satisfy different tastes in music

Later on I noticed that some places organize silent parties by using wireless headphones. But now, in the app economy and mobile revolution, we got something better: location-based music streamer on smartphones.

Last week, at Next Conference 2011, the winner of the elevator pitch was and they will soon release their app.

Watch two interviews with from last week in Berlin:
TechCrunch post
TheNextWeb interview

There are lots of cool stuff you can do with this. Like having DJs to compete on listeners at the same party.
I am so going to throw a silent party this summer! :)

May 25, 2011

What do we actually want to earn?

We have assisted lately to the valuations of different social networks (and we are talking about billions here) and some argue that this value mainly belongs to the users, to the value they create and share. I have discovered last week at Next Conference in Berlin a new rising social network ( that promises very desirable founding principles, among which you can also find: monetization for the users in return of the value they create (more info in this article).

Apparently it sounds great for the users, but there is much more behind the obvious.

Beyond people appreciating the new "Robin Hood in town" that would like to share the wealth with all the people and beyond people always willing to earn some extra money, there is some interesting psychology behind it - and here is why I would call it a smart strategic move in the backstage of the business.

I believe that this strategy will reach and motivate three segments of users (contributors, socializers and gamers) in the same time, but for different reasons:

- Earning cubes (that can transform into real money) means that all this becomes a social game/ contest. A dynamic challenge in your circles of connections. And so many other social gaming platforms proved to be successful already (Foursquare, Zynga etc.)

- Earning cubes (that can transform into real money) means reaching a status that you can share into your network - hitting the top parts of Maslow's pyramid. You can see how much you are worth and brag to others too, you can get recognition. And we've already seen that people are more and more interested to measure their influence and make it public in their networks (e.g.: Klout)

- Earning cubes (that can transform into real money)  means that creators of content and socializers can receive incentives/ rewards for their work, knowledge, network. It is important as a user to feel like the time spent came up with a result. Just as good bloggers can monetize their blogs by displaying ads. 

And yes, having the cubes as a different currency than real money makes it even better. That is because it makes people think in a new points system, points that have the same value for everybody and that allows benchmark at international level, while competing and collaborating with your connections....or should I just say: playing together?

Bottom line, what we really want to earn is not money, but THE prize - be that social recognition, appreciation or just the top places in the competition...all in our relevant micro-world. And that's why I believe that this is a winning strategy, due to its behind-the-obvious reasons.

May 24, 2011

Reviewing Next Conference 2011, Berlin on Data Love

Last week I have attended a great conference in Berlin, dedicated to the upcoming trends in business and marketing following up from the huge amount of data that exists today. I am talking about Next Conference 2011, a two-day event on the topic Data Love, where I have been an Official Blogger.

How it felt to be there:

- The venue (Station Berlin) was awesome. Perfect fit and division for all the people there. 
- It was a great networking opportunity. About 2000 people from all over the world (well, most of them were Germans, but you could always run into an American, Swedish, French, Austrian etc.) I met lots of smart, open, creative people there. 
- I was the only Romanian there :)
- I liked the Press and Blogger lounge and all the special care of us, the Official Bloggers (and here you can see the list of all the Official Bloggers and their posts, in an aggregated post by Djure Meinen)
- The organisation of the event was awesome, as I already wrote in their post-meeting survey
- Berlin is a total different side of Germany: young, open, daring, entrepreneurial - loved it!

(here a short video I took, while mingling at the conference)

Key take-outs from the speeches:

- The future is all about bridging real and virtual, putting data into things.
- Not only big companies should analyze their data, but also small companies...and also each of us about ourselves.
- The challenge is now to make the best use of data by visualizing it.
- Privacy of data is still an issue. And also now the monetization - for individual, not just for companies.

#next11 on twitter meant over 10.000 tweets about the conference - see details here! And here are some of the most re-tweeted quotes from the event:
- The biggest barrier to innovation is making excuses (@sarahcuda)
- First of all I am French, therefore I make this in bad English (@rafigaro)
- If you came from Mars, you would think we're worshiping screens here (@undermanager)
- What gets measured, gets managed (@tferriss)
- Tracking is essential for success (@tferriss)
- Your body is an API (@irowan)
- Old thinking + new technology = fail (@jeremytai)
- Old scarcity = resources, new scarcity = attention (@jeremytai)
- It's the revenge of the nerds (@jeremytai)

Here you can watch the video registration of the speeches in the international track: (not all for the moment, but they will all follow soon)

And here some video interviews I took to some speakers and partners:

Mike Butcher, Editor at TechCrunch Europe
"Data is the new black"

Ralf Herbrich, Development Manager at Bing
"The social streams will help us search information about things in real life"

Wolf Allisat, Vice President at comScore
"Data is only loveable when is accurate"

Franziska von Lewinski, CEO at Interone
"I wish that we take many insights from all the data we have and we generate added-value for our consumers"
(and their study - The Retail Revolution)

Olivier Audouze, Global Marketing Director at Total Immersion
"M-commerce is ready for augmented reality"

Mike Arauz, Digital Communication Strategist at Undercurrent
"Visualization tools are becoming important. You need new people with new skills, people with backgrounds in mathematics, statistics, linguistics..."

Jorg Rensmann, CEO at infoMantis
"We take important information and give it to the users on different channels, others than emails and newsletters"

Very good live blogging by Adam Tinworth:
#next11: Boon and bare of analytics
#next11 - Socialising Search with Bing
#next11 #media - New metrics for a new media age
#next11 - Driven to Distraction
#next11 - Social Media for Good
#next11 - An API to your body's data

All in all, I would like to go to Next Conference 2012 and maybe this time with a few more Romanian people with me.

May 8, 2011

What type of leader are you?

I had the pleasure some days ago to attend an MBA class on Leadership, held by Stephanie Jones. For the first time, I meet somebody not trying to give answers on this debated topic, but trying to present all the facets of leadership, in its diversity.

Leadership exists in many forms and according to different contexts. And the most important is not to define if you are a leader or not, but to define what type of leader are you? And according to this, to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages, and also about the contexts where you are needed or not.

Based on extracts from her new book on Leadership, Stephanie presented eight questions that we need to reflect on to define our leadership style:

1. following a purpose/ being opportunistic?
2. in any field/ only in your field of expertize?
3. you do it in a visible way/ you stay behind and quiet?
4. focus on job/ work-life balance?
5. involving colleagues in decision-making/ authoritative?
6. leader/ manager?
7. inspirational/ ordinary?
8. thinking only of here and now/ thinking what you leave behind?

(the choices in bold reflect my style of leadership)

All the details can be found here:

May 3, 2011

Invited as official blogger at Next Conference in Berlin

"Today, data is what electricity has been for the industrial age." 

We do have easier access to information nowadays, but in the same time we are exposed daily to a huge amount of data. How do we capitalize on the data that surround us? How can marketers and business people use what their customers share online? Does the future belong to analytics?

More than 2000 international people will gather in Berlin on 17th and 18th May 2011 to discuss on this, during Next Conference...that is all about Data Love.

And I will be there! Moreover, as I will be an official blogger, I will happily share interesting debates and findings. So stay tuned for fresh insights from business developers, marketing experts and more.

May 2, 2011

Why move on?

Usually we go through our university years trying to develop ourselves for the world that comes after inside companies (employed or as entrepreneurs). But what if you actually prepare yourself to be a specialist on students and academia market?

I got my Bachelor degree two years ago. And I did not go for Masters. Even so, I am still a lot involved in the students world...and probably will still be for a while. My business is about internships for students, and I am still involved in JADE - an organization that fosters entrepreneurship through students.

Most of the people around me do not understand this phenomenon. For them is normal to move on, go out of the students world and enter the corporate world. Actually, if I think more about it, just the students were those who did not understand why I don't move on, as they are in the rush to leave "this world" and jump in the next. But experienced business people looked at me with admiration for what I am doing, seeing in it a normal evolution that most of them did not think to grasp when it was their time.

So if I got to know and understand well lots of aspects related to academia and students life, why not capitalize on it, and in the same time develop it for the wellbeing of future generations of students?!

So prepare to hear soon more about my current and near future projects:

- An innovative business incubator for students entrepreneurs in Bucharest

- A new Junior Enterprise in Bucharest that will act as a Marketing Agency that will operate for companies that target students

- Business lunches between entrepreneurs and Junior Entrepreneurs from Bucharest and Cluj

- A business developing the Romanian internships system as a bridge between education and business

...and maybe more! (all with the help of other great young people)