3rd July 2016

Richard Lucas

“Bring the boys back home” is the cry of those who want war to end and troops to return to safety. In the context of Brexit, those forced to return to Britain is a group who will be repatriated against their will, but the larger group will be those who never get to leave in the first place because it is too difficult to get a visa.

The world of visa restrictions is one that British people only face now when they go outside Europe.  I go to the US and Canada on the “visa waiver” programme. I still have to fill in a form, answer questions about what I am doing, and leave within three months. Pretty much like the Non EU channel at airports. That is where the Brits will be lining up soon.

The consequences are not just economic, as companies relocate out of Britain. It is much more serious. In the short term the pain of lost opportunity, the long run a much more insular and isolated island.

It is going to be much, much harder for British people to marry foreigners and vice versa when Britain leaves the European Union.

“My girl/boyfriend is a an EU national foreign”  is certain not to generate a visa for a Brit to live in France, Italy, Poland  or other EU countries  for more than three months under the points based visa/immigration system advocated by the Brexit-ers.

As Dr. Helen Fisher – the author of bestselling “Anatomy of Love” – argued at the TED Summit in Banff Canada last week,  young people are delaying their commitment to marry until they are absolutely sure about their partners. Extreme caution is shown. Living together before marriage is the norm in  Europe.   Brits will not be allowed to do this in EU countries, and EU citizens won’t be allowed to do this in the UK.

The idea of a “Year Off/Gap Year/Sabbatical” drifting around Europe, with occasional jobs when the money runs out, is also going to be removed. We British will have to  plan our visits to “the Continent ” as carefully as the Americans or Australians do when they come to Britain/Europe. Spending un-structured time in Europe will no longer be an option.

Tech Entrepreneurs will also have tough choices to make. Most will re locate to more “foreigner friendly” places be it cool friendly and expensive Dublin or cheaper cool and friendly Kraków or Berlin.  If Scotland manages not to be forced out, then Edinburgh and Glasgow have a chance to receive Tech Refugees from England.

The Brexit-ers are deliberately and intentionally proposing policies that will remove freedoms that  British people of all ages have enjoyed in Europe for two generations. What a pathetic achievement. I feel miserable every time I think of all the young people whose life chances have been so much restricted

Banff, Canada 27th June
At the TED Summit yesterday a group of TEDsters and TEDx-ers gathered to discuss the profound shock we feel about Brexit.

One idea suggested by a participant was to lobby our MPs as they will have to face their electorate with the terrible consequences of this fateful move.

If you are reading this and you care about the freedoms, peace and stability of Britain and Europe, and you have a vote in Britain, please write your version of this to your MP. You can find out who it is here

If you know any British person who thinks like me, send them a link to this post

I will never forget you helped me if you do

please

 

Richard

 

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard Lucas
Date: 27 June 2016 at 07:43
Subject: please stop us leaving the EU
To: david.warburton.mp@parliament.uk

Dear David
I know you have been reported as being one of the MPs  who was in favour of leaving the European Union.

I implore you to change your mind.

 If there is a vote in the House of Commons in which you are given the opportunity to do anything that could possibly stop it happening – please do so,
If there is a general election and you are a candidate for a party that wants to stay in I will vote for you
You have an  opportunity to stop a national disaster and have a historic responsibility to your country, its people and those of Europe too.  The freedoms of trade and movement that so almost all Britons treasure are at stake. The integrity of the United Kingdom and our security are in the balance.
The rising tide of racism and intolerance in the UK will only get worse as our economic plight worsens.
I realise it is a big political risk to be seen to be defying the will of the majority, but
the majority was tiny,

many people did not vote
and Britain’s and Europe’s liberty, prosperity and security are at stake
Many of those who voted to leave are angry with our and the EU’s political systems. Leaving the EU will not do anything to fix these problems.
I have lived out of Britain for many years, and didn’t get  a vote, but have invested in Britain creating jobs,   I have children whose freedoms are about to be lost and I care about the freedoms that the EU gives all Britons, and Europeans too.
This decision will change the course of history.
Please do the right thing and do what you can to keep us in, as we stand on the precipice of catastrophe.
Yours sincerely.

Richard Lucas

 

 

June 2106
I posted this on the OMGKRK group on Facebook, and thought it was worth sharing.

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If you care about making University Education more entrepreneurial please listen to this interview with Richard Miller of  Olin.
I am re thinking my approach –  Olin is to Universities what the School in the Cloud is to schools. – maybe benchmarking against San Francisco and/or Cambridge is not ambitious enough. …

here is the post I made 20 minutes ago.
Listen to the head of Google Campus Warsawhttp://projectkazimierz.com/rafal-plutecki/ in the latest episode

Several points to note
1  Focus not about brand Warsaw, or Poland instead of Brand Kraków but brand Central Eastern Europe,

2. Also note how Professional Service providers (lawyers, and esp bankers) in Warsaw are way ahead our our Kraków community. minute 19:00 in his response to my observation that we never see bankers and seldom lawyers, or accountants at startup community events. In Warsaw they have been showing up at Google Campus events.

With the honorable exception of Jan Marczyński Legal advisor and partner at JWMS law firm (jwms.pl) who is a regular at Open Coffee Krakówockrk.co/faq and is doing things the western way, offering pro bono advice to startup and Katarzyna Orzeł – who I met at an X Massive event  (companies I am involved in are a client of both law firms ) we are not visited by many professional support services at events like Startup Stage, Hive, Krakspot, and Open Coffee…  (If anyone reading this feels left out and offended, please post a link below, and apologies in advance) come tomorrow (this was posted on Wednesday 15th June) to Open Coffee Krakow and prove me wrong..

3. Rafal Plutecki was a successful entrepreneur, as Brad Feld says here and elsewhere https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXD5vt0xhyI the Start up Eco system must be led by entrepreneurs so it was a great hire by Google.

4 Hat tip the UMK (City) and UM (county) authorities and KPT – county and town and technology park officials do show up and are very welcome… The fact they join our meetings, rather than expect us to show up in their offices is fundamental to developing soft linkages, (other officials reading this please note)

An example of the government being ahead of the business community. 🙂

5. It’s great for Poland that we have Google Campus in our country. Of course it’s a bit sad for Krakow that we no longer have more events than everyone else put together, but a thriving startup scene in Warsaw and Central Europe is good for us. Capitalism is not a zero sum game.

http://crossweb.pl/wydarzenia/?miasto=warszawa

http://crossweb.pl/wydarzenia/?miasto=krakow
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6. I’m leading on AGH but if there are members of our community who can take responsibility for making sure we reach the new students in other disciplines, (teachers, music, actors, artists, geographers doctors sociologists linguists, farmers etc ) who will arrive in Krakow in Q4) get in touch, It’s criminal that there is so little pro active outreach to promote startups and entrepreneurship in these communities, (and again if I am wrong post a link).

 

Call for action – essentially we need people who can clone what we are going to do in AGH, which is a series of regular networking events similar to Cambridge’s Enterprise Tuesdays where current students interested in enterprise, meet alumni who have gone into business in an informal setting.
http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/entrepreneur…/…/enterprise-tuesday/
This is a leadership oppportunity – I can’t organise events in every dept of the UJ & PK, but if anyone reading this wants to take responsibilty, let me know and I’ll invite you to a meeting in September where you can find out what you need to do in your depts If you want to help with the AGH project, you are equally welcome. First and Foremost introductions to AGH Alumni who have started businesses of any description and who would be able and willing to join and contribute (time + energy –  not money) to participant focussed events with students)

Richard Lucas 4th June 2016

Until yesterday I haven’t been to a  concentration camp site since I went to the Dachau site in Bavaria in 1984.  That terrible and profound experience cemented my commitment to tolerance and freedom that has stayed with me to this day.

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Ride for the Living 2014-16

Yesterday 3rd June 2016 I was honoured and humbled to have been part of the JCC’s Ride for the Living. See the route here  
and media coverage here  . I went because Jonathan Ornstein asked me a few weeks ago “Why don’t you come on the ride?” (I knew about it from last year’s TEDxKazimierz, and had not thought it was my type of thing)  but found myself saying. “yes – why not” and now I’ve done it. It’s been an very profound and moving experience.    

Before the gates of the Auschwitz museum  at the Opening Ceremony – Jonathan Ornstein stated – calmly and clearly

“My grandparents were murdered here …”

His  message reached seldom touched parts of my soul.  Jonathan and the Jewish Community Centre in Krakow are spearheading a movement to focus on rebuilding Jewish life in Poland.  The realisation that many of the 150 people making the 84 kilometre (55 mile) ride yesterday – were not only making a commitment to life and the future  – but also honouring the memory of murdered relatives hit me at different moments in the day.

An old man, Haim (Chaim?)  participating in the ride  – born in during the war – told me how his  baby brother had died in the forests during his parent’s escape  from a Ghetto in Nazi occupied Poland –  for lack of food and medicine.  His name “Haim” means “life”. His life a testimony that the Nazis failed and lost.

Another participant read out a long list of his relatives who had been murdered. Totally heart-breaking to listen to.

Robert Desmond – whose ride started the whole project off (if you don’t know what the Ride for the Living is watch his TEDxKazimierz talk) told me how he had not lost a single relative to his knowledge in the Holocaust.  For him (and all of us, I think) – the Ride shows that we are defiant and public in our  opposition to intolerance, racism and oppression. He called for those on the Ride to do something positive during the day. I thought “at least I’ll write blog post”. I will also interview him for the ProjectKazimierz.com podcast –  not just to spread the word about this project – but also his tech startup.

During the incredibly well organised day, a heroic team of volunteers and leaders from the JCC: Sebastian Rudol,  Agnieszka Giś and dozens of others supported us.  (apologies for anyone omitted). The well equipped, organised, and professional police kept us safe (Polish style) on the public roads. Many of those spectating as we cycled by smiled or waved (inevitably once in a while an angry driver sped by, dangerously close and fast. Bad driving is a disgrace every day of the year .

Any time I thought of my sore backside, aching knees or sunburned skin, I just reminded myself of the torture, murder and misery of the war,  the broken hearts and minds, left behind afterwards. Even though my pain was real it was also nothing.

I’m neither Jewish nor Polish, though I’ve lived in Kraków, Poland for more than half my life. The Ride for the Living feels  important because it is so aligned with my core values, namely:
1. No matter what has gone before – we are alive now –   What we do now is under our control and is our responsibility. We are going to be remembered for the things that we say and do.
2. We should know the past. I don’t recommend clicking the following links  if you want a happy day, yet it is important to remember the countless lesser know places of terror like Ivano-Frankivsk  here  in Ukraine, That people like SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans Krueger  really existed  and that their crimes against Poles, Jews and others were almost beyond comprehension.  Individual people were responsible for what they did, The millions of deaths were made up of disgusting crimes like these. The Dachau I saw in 1984 was just one hell hole of so many.

3. That it is possible to change the world for the better .  That those in favour of tolerance and freedom, and living a better life now can take action. In the words of 91 year old Professor Wojciech Narębski – here on the TEDxKazimierz stage in 2015 –  “if you are lucky enough to be alive and free, and to have a family – you should appreciate your family, your life and your freedom, and do something worth doing with your life.”  The Ride for the Living raises money for good causes and awareness – both  “never forget” and “celebrate life”.

4. There were smiles and laughter and talk about plans for the future. It is hard to make sense of the atmosphere. At a deeper level, whatever we do  – can be done in a more or less positive way. The Ride for the Living is a terrific example of how to do things right and at scale.

Thank you and respect.

Richard Lucas
I don’t feel I have done full justice to my feelings about yesterday  – This is a start, in the words of my father J R Lucas   “the best is often the enemy of the good”. I hope this is good enough for today.

If you want to know about Jewish life in Poland watch this TEDxWarsaw talk by Rabbi Michael Schudrich (note the subtitles… which I am proud to have contributed as part of the TED Open Translation Project -meaning the talk is available in Hebrew and Korean as well as English). Watch this video to understand why I was inspired to work on Rabbi Michael Schudrich’s talk.    If you  want to know about the JCC watch Jonathan Ornstein‘s TEDxWarsaw talk here

 

As Curator of TEDxKazimierz I know that the process by which we allocate tickets is a source of many questions, much special pleading and miscomprehension. This post explains What we do and why we do it, and gives tips for those who are keen to improve their chances of getting a ticket.
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2015 TEDxKazimierz Team on Stage

I regret the fact that not everyone who wants to attend can come. In an ideal world we would have unlimited capacity but our wonderful venue has limited capacity (about 230 seats in all).

We will have a  live stream, and we upload talks onto the TEDx Channel on Youtube.

The idea of audience curation in general is explained in the TEDx Organiser guidelines.
Because we cannot give tickets to everyone we  allocate tickets according to some rules and on the basis of information provided in the application form.   The form is the vital part of our audience curation process – before filling in the form please read these instructions. here is our FAQ
1. Why do I need to apply ?
The TEDxKazimierz team and our speakers have invested a huge amount of time for free to make a wonderful event. We want precious places at the event to go to people who we believe will contribute the most on the day – and do the most with the experience and ideas we give them.  We want people who commit to being positive and making a contribution, who will spread the word about what we do, use the talks and inspiration in their work and community, and who can persuade us that if they make a promise in their application they will keep it.
2. What are the components of a good TEDxKazimierz application.
– A sentence describing yourself, what you do and where you are from. We welcome diversity of age, nationality, background.  There are places for normal people too – for 20-25 year old Polish students – but if (for example) you are a Grandmother from Panama, running workshops in prisons –  you will bring diversity to our event – and it will be an honour to have you at our event.

– A sentence or two about why you want to come and how you will use the experience both to benefit yourself and more importantly other people.  Think about how you we can verify that what your saying is true. (for example if you say, I will write an article for my School Newsletter about the event, and send you a link, and post it on my Facebook wall, it suggests you are serious. (and we can check up on you 🙂
 –  information about your past activities and current position which shows you are “for real” (if you are) and suggests you are likely to be able to deliver your commitments. If you were active in a  student body, or run a training programme, or write a popular blog let us know.  Give us links, let us check you out.

– anything else that you think should encourage us to give you a ticket.    For example one TEDx applicant wrote “I’m raising two small children with little support. TED and  TEDx stops me from going crazy  – and I talk to my children about what I am learning even though they are a bit young to understand, I’ll do everything and anything I can to be positive and make a contribution on the day”. She got her ticket.

3 Doesn’t this make TEDxKazimierz elitist?

No. We are anti-elitist.  We don’t give tickets to people with important job titles, but to people who have a sparkle in their eyes, and who have a positive “can do” attitude.  We disciminate positively towards the characteristics all applicants have some influence over: To people who want to make the world a better place –  who will come to our event determined to contribute and make the day special, not just “sit there” expecting to be impressed.

Furthermore, you are trusting us with a day of your life. We don’t take you for granted. The success of our event is measure by the way attendees/participants feel about their experience. We don’t just aim to make sure you feel it was a great way to spend your day – we want you to tell people it was one of the best days in your year (or even your life)..

 4 What you shouldn’t write on your form. Don’t be arrogant, rude or hostile. Every year there are people who don’t take the process seriously. We are serious about giving you a wonderful day, so don’t be surprised if assuming you deserve a ticket doesn’t work.

5. Who decides? Several members of the TEDxKazimierz team review all the applications and vote.

6. Why do I have pay ? The price of 29 zloty is very low for an all day event with foreign speakers.  We are pre selling low priced lunches, and the ticket money goes on this. We also believe that paid tickets will reduce the horrible experience of “no shows” where people who were lucky enough to get  a ticket didn’t show up thus depriving others of a chance to experience a wonderful day.   

7 Who pays for TEDxKazimierz ?
We cover our costs with generous financial support from Urząd Marszałkowski Województwa Małopolskiego and one other sponsor. other sponsors give “in kind” support, free badges T shirts etc, .  Our biggest cost is the venue, (which we get at cost,  and speaker travel costs)  We are not allowed to pay them, and because they know we all work for free, they are ready to giving their time for free.
     
8. Why are you not releasing all the tickets at once?  We don’t want to have a situation where people who are out of town for a few days miss the chance to apply.

9. If I don’t get a ticket will I be able to watch on line or with other people?
Yes we will have a live stream, details will be posted on the website and social media, and if there is demand we may organise viewing parties. If you don’t get a ticket we will tell you about the viewing party option.

10. where can I find out more about TED, TEDx-s and TEDxKazimierz   

Our main flagship web page tedxkazimierz.com
TEDxKazimierz blog http://blog.tedxkazimierz.com
TEDxKazimierz Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/315044671995229/
TED and TEDx Fans in Poland group, www.facebook.com/groups/TEDxFansPoland
Follow the/TEDxKazimierz page www.facebook.com/TEDxKazimierz page
Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/TEDxKazimierz
Watch talks from our 2015 event 
Sign up for our newsletter
Other ways to engage with TED
What is TEDx all about http://www.ted.com/tedx/events

Make a profile on TED.com https://auth.ted.com/users/new

Other TEDx-s 
special respect to the 1st  TEDx in town  www.tedxkrakow.com

 

May 2016

“Hi Richard, can we grab a coffee – I love to get your feedback on my business idea to do X in Y –  and show you my product.
We  urgently need small investment of $100K due to our first customers being late in deciding to buy/ to keep us going as we get close to going global. It’s a billion dollar market. Don’t miss out.
Joe Doe –
Interplanetary Awesomeness Officer and Founder
Creepaability-aka-dontknowthefuckwhatthisisallabout.com ”


I get a version of this  kind of note  from time to time.  I have taken the worst bits from different messages to make a truly awful message. I hope this post encourages those who write to investors to reflect on their approach. 
This is what I think and feel, what I write back, and some reflections.

What I think and feel
0. not again.. 🙁
1. Coffees are for drinking – not grabbing. Grabbing is rude. and you might spill it.
2. I don’t care what I or you think about the product. I care about the problem it solves and what customers and potential customers/users think.
3. If you urgently need money, you are bad at planning (of course businesses, people, and startups can and will run out of cash,  but if you don’t realise this sounds terrible, you are probably not smart enough to be my partner)
4. $100K is not a small amount of money. I was well paid when I earned $1500 month net in my best paid job (25 years ago) before I went into business on my own account.. It would have taken me 20 years to save $100K. If you think this is a small amount, I don’t really trust you to spend it carefully.
5. Blaming customers for being late sounds like a stupid attitude.  If they haven’t bought anything they are not customers anyway
6. Money should be for specific actions, not “keeping us going”.
7. Going global makes sense once we have a proven product that clients love. There is no evidence of that so far.
8. What is a billion dollar market?
9.  Don’t rush me.
10. Silly job titles repel me.
11. If I invite him/her to Open Coffee they will probably tell me it’s too early in the morning and I’ll never hear from them again.:-)
12. I respect and admire entrepreneurs and hustle so I will try (hard) to be nice.

What I write 

Dear Chief Awesomeness Officer,

Thanks very much for approaching me.

Best is to come to Open Coffee Krakow ockrk.co/faq and we can chat after that.

I trust that you are OK with open feedback and if there are things about your idea I don’t like you’ll want me to tell you.do send me a Linkedin invite so you can see more about me and vice versa

Please answer the questions in this blog post I wrote a few years ago so that I can be more helpful to you during the meeting.  Tell me how you are going to make money, what you would spend my investment money on, and what I get in return.  It doesn’t matter much what I think  about your idea. What really matters is:
what clients and potential clients think about your idea
what pressing problem you think you are solving.
what your costs will be
how many months you can survive before you run out of money in the worst case scenario.Good luck and see you next Open Coffee Krakow

Richard

Reflections

A lot of inexperienced entrepreneurs have read an article somewhere full of “fake it till you make it” type BS and imagine that a stupid angel can be duped into handing over money. It’s not a great way to approach me. I’ve made lots of mistakes and am not that smart but I don’t like being patronised.

It’s important to think and reflect before sharing my feelings. I really want to help entrepreneurs

Getting Linkedin details enables me to figure out what sort of history they have.  Past actions (and inactions) give a great insights into someone’s potential.. )

Maybe there are people out there who respond well to the intro above?  If anyone reading this found an investor this way. I stand corrected. The beauty of a free society is that there is more than one way of operating.

May 2016

Mateusz Paszkiewicz lecture at Social Media Thursday in Białystok photo Paweł Tadejko-2

Mateusz Paszkiewicz lecture at Social Media Thursday in Białystok

I tracked down Mateusz as a result of my search for Snapchat experts. He made clear that Snapchat is not his “only thing” but this interview is focussed on Snapchat. My questions in bold

Please describe what Snapchat is and is becoming to someone who has not really got the concept yet

Snapchat is a 100% mobile application which is very specific. Content which we publish disappears after it was watched, read or published on MyStory (in 24 h) It’s a place where people communicate mostly by photos and videos, in a very creative ways (filters, special effects, drawings).

You can communicate directly with people (personal message, chat, video/audio call), show your stuff to everybody by publishing content on stories, watching Live Stories from events or different places or consuming high quality content made by Publishers on Discovery (Mashable, BBC, MTV, National Geographic and more).

Snapchat is very innovative, constantly growing and reaching more adults. Bigger players like Facebook are copying some of it features (QR Codes, Slingshot, poke, self-destructing messages in Messenger)

Why do you think it is experiencing such growth, to start with people said it’s for teenagers who want to be somewhere their parents are not. but is this still true?

Most of new platforms have started from youngsters (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, MySpace). Somewhat it’s a natural cycle, young people have time and want to experiment, check new places build their own world far away from parents, teachers and other relatives.

I think that youngsters feel very comfortable with “disappearing content”.

Snapchat also provides very creative tools: you can draw, put emojis and stickers, put some filters, make face change with your buddy or with a person from the photo – isn’t that cool?

If you look on youngsters world it is very dominated by smartphones and this is 100% mobile app, which take whole screen of your mobile device.

And why Snapchat is experiencing such a growth? It’s a hard question because I believe that there are no simple answers. For me Snapchat has put some innovation on the market in terms of mobile (photo/video) app world, go 100% in vertical, experiment with new stuff, 100% mobile. I think it fits well to new generation.

On the other hand demography of Snapchat user is growing so it’s only a matter of time when more and more adults wills start using this app.

The “wake up call” is often discovering that a major rival or competitor is establishing a following on Snapchat. How easy is it to find your competitors and business partners on Snapchat ? What are the simplest rules and tools?

You have to see it outside Snapchat on other social channels because if you don’t know account name of the brand, you won’t find it.

Now is a very good time to bring your brand to Snapchat.. Figure out your communication on that channel, think if your target audience is there. Do you know what kind of stories you want to tell people via Snapchat and would they be valuable for your audience.

If your answer is “yes” then get stuck in: there is a lot to win. Many brands are waiting for “perfect moment” where they will have advanced analytics and some gurus will tell you – okay it’s safe now, you should go there, it’s working! But then you will miss a lot of opportunity to steal a march on your competitors, user engagement and interaction.

Actually people really care about stuff that you are posting, they are looking at stories, adding new accounts, checking it out. But nothing lasts forever, especially user attention. I remember some years ago how many people in Poland liked everything on Facebook, you wrote “I need 300 people to reach 10 000 likes on my page, please help” or how many new people we add to our friends – people use to do that.

If you try do it now, it’s very different. The platform changed, we changed, our level of excitement went down, and we are much more selective. That’s why watching the market for attention, and knowing when to go with something new is important.

What kind of benefits do companies and individuals derive from establishing a good Snapchat presence. What are the challenges when analyzing competitors’ Snapchat presence. How do you go about it?

Snapchat is a platform where you can bond much more deeply with your community than on other channels.

Second, people are spending a lot of their time there. It’s fresh, new, there is still a big field to do something as a first or create your own way/style. The two biggest assets of Snapchat are user engagement and attention – things that marketers are struggling for every day.

I don’t think that Snapchat will dominate other communication channels, but it will be a great one to provide a different way of communication, Closer & more creative and authentic (even if you use mask filters, you can’t prepare your content before).

I think that biggest challenge is to know how many people saw the stories of your competitors. Some big brands making the mistake of chasing numbers by hiring influencers to make stories for them. This makes a spike in interest, but after that nothing happens on their Snapchat channel or it is simply weak, because the marketing team behind it doesn’t have any idea for consistent communication. It’s a huge waste of money unless part of an integrated plan.

Making an impressive Snapchat video is a bit of a challenge for a Snapchat “newbie”. If he or she is not there in a professional capacity, it doesn’t matter so much as it temporary. but if you are a personal brand, or a company, then it’s a stress, a little like Periscope. What are the options ?

Yes, you are right. A lot of marketers or people who are celebrities are afraid of new things, don’t have too much time or are just romantic about their old channels and don’t see need to be at the front.

For a serious brand or personal brand it is good to contact person who is a specialist (like me ) Should they be on Snapchat at all (is their target audience there, or will they be soon), if yes, They should learn the mechanism the DNA of the platform or find someone to teach them.

A lot of people are stressed with live content (Periscope, Facebook Live) and I respect that, it’s not for everybody. With Snapchat you always decide if you want to publish photo, video or drawing after you made it. A disaster does not have to on line.

There are few tips for personal brands:

– contact with somebody who has practical knowledge about Snapchat

– check the most famous Snapchat users, see how they are using this channel

– experiment, see what works for you the most, how you feel with it, do you want to do it

– set your goals and discuss with experienced professionals

Brands:

– contact with somebody who have practical knowledge about Snapchat

– is your target audience on Snapchat ?

– what value you want to provide – fun, education, ‘behind the scenes’ stories. Other…?

– think and decide how Snapchat can be part of your communication strategy

– set your goals and discuss with experienced professionals

– review what resources do you have. Can you sustain regular content?

What are the dangers of an unprofessional Snapchat presence., it is better to have a fewer and higher quality or doing them daily even if not so well ?

That depends if you are a brand or a person. I mean from user perspective Snapchat is a platform which gave you a lot of flexibility, it’s not about perfection (that’s why probably a lot of people like it). It’s about moment in time, people use it to communicate with their friends.

From marketing perspective (brand). It’s not about perfection too, but about value. What interesting content you have for your existing and possibly new audiences. Why somebody should give you 30 seconds of their time to watch your stuff. For example if you are and operator for Formula1 Snapchat be where the action is: on the F1 Championship, make takeovers by top drivers, go to Pit Stop – just create your little show around it. Have a concept, but left a lot of space for flow and creativity.

The biggest mistake for brands is just – being boring, don’t have any concept or leaving your whole communication for few big and expensive shots with influencers. You put them on, make an impact– get many new followers – but then what? Consistent planned communication matters.

You just have to know how to use the energy of an influencer for your brand, not only for stats and numbers of followers. Think about building community around your consistent activity – not just around one show.

Mateusz at Marketing & Technology event in Poznan

How often does someone need to post a Story if they are going to be effective, and how much time does someone needs to devote to making a good Snapchat story?

It depends on what kind of brand are you, what is your target, how much resource you have. Ideally it is every day. For some brands it’s much easier to create content, others need to think more about the concept.

A good Snapchat story is not the most complicated or the one which takes most time.

Is the one that is most interesting for your community. It’s different for each branch, because it’s easier to create a good story from event, backstage, makeover then create a concept for specific day with specific content.

What are the key features of a good Snapchat story, and what mistakes do you see most often.

Good practice:

– idea

– be authentic

– creative – use different tools

– provide value – think about your community and their time

– be consistent

Mistakes

– publishing everything around you without thinking “ I’m going to work…. “ I’m making a coffee . here is my office..” might be interesting once if the theme is … my working day

– making snaps horizontal (if there is no need or idea around it)

– no idea/concept for your activity

Once someone has committed to Snapchat and the content is live, should they start promoting it right away, or wait until they it is achieving their objectives? Once they are ready for promotion, where should they do it?

That depends on the story. If the story will have sense from first or second snap I prefer to start it promoting right away. If you are creating stuff which need a one third, half of full story to make a sense I will create it ASAP and then start promoting it on different channels. It’s all about context for people who will join you and have the first impression.

If someone objects to making Snapchat content at considerable expense and seeing it disappear, what can they do to keep it alive on other channels.

Download it to your mobile as soon it will be ready or make print screens to put it on different channels. It all depends how you want to use it. After that you can upload it on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram or in other places.

How do you expect Snapchat marketing to evolve as Snapchat starts to monetize its traffic.

That depends what kind of features they will make live. But I think that next big steps will be opening advertisement panel for more countries (ads, Discover, more local Live Stories) sponsored filters, graphic effects and creating some cool features for brands to tell stories.

I think that Discover and Live Stories have much more power when they are put in context of specific country (geolocation). More people will care about Discover if they could check information close to where they are or are from. The same with Live Stories. So I see some interesting points in that.

One thing I’m sure of and I think the Snapchat team agree about is that you have to implement advertisement in the smart and not too commercial way. People don’t like attacked with advertising. It’s business of course, so that you have to balance it somehow and be smart.

Check out Mateusz’s web page here 

or his Linkedin Group for Snapchat Business

matpaszkiewicz.com

matpaszkiewicz.com

 

Richard Lucas April 2016

When I was approached by Toptal, a blue chip and highly successful outsourcing firm backed by top VCs to host a post from their blog, I speculated about how Kraków might look through the eyes of their community,

I know about Toptal from listening the the awesome Mixergy.com – a podcast by Andrew Warner where he does insightful interviews with successful entrepreneurs.. Toptal are a regular sponsor of his show. They provide top class developers to entrepreneurs, and solve the recruitment problem. From what I can tell Toptal  competes on quality rather than price.

So talented Toptal Developers and entrepreneurs, what can I tell you about Kraków Poland?  

It’s more than the top outsourcing destination in Europe.

Many global companies have put RnD centres here. If you want to know about investment opportunities, and potential sources of clients, check Krakow Silicon Valley – Why not talk by Ramon Tancinco of Cisco , the OMGKRK portal and its group on Facebook Aspire and Open Coffee Krakow

OMGKRK Facebook April 2016

Although Google for Entrepreneurs has moved a couple of hours north to Warsaw, T-Mobile’s Hub.raum and other co-working centres lead a very dynamic Startup scene, and every startup needs a CTO and development team.

“We did not come here for cheap labour”  said Wojtek Burkot – when Head of Engineering at Google Krakow, “we came for Talent”. With EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition winner, Codewise, Estimote – world leader in iBeacon tech, Brainly – a leader in social learning, and Base leader in Mobile CRM, Kraków is bursting with high profile startups. Azimo – valued in 2015 at US$100 million – is here too. Innovation Nest, led by Piotr Wilam – founder of Onet.pl Poland’s Google/Yahoo hybrid supports the startup community

There area plenty of opportunities, plus Krakow is reckoned to be one of the top places in Europe to live – and visit for tourists which dynamic nightlight, numerous restaurants, lovely old town as well as the booming economy.

Come on over – Toptal visitors. If you are an entrepreneur – it’s a serious place for business as well as a great place to live and work. If you are a freelance developer and want to be somewhere cool, relatively inexpensive and fun while working for global clients, Krakow is awesome from April-October. If you are looking for “cheap developers” it’s the wrong city.
Krakow is great value for money, a good place to find clients, investors, business partners,people and technology, but not cheap.
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by Richard Lucas March 2016

Most of the information in this article comes from an interview with Jenny Chen of WalktheChat  (details below). Thanks to her for sharing her time.

 

WeChat

WeChat is a leading mobile Chinese Social Media platform which combines the features of many of the most popular global social media and e-commerce platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Skype.  As the name suggests –  the basic function is Chat but  users can also have a website, pay a bill, book a taxi, make a phone call (from January 2016 to landlines and mobiles), buy and sell, and play games. The mobile aspect is very important. For many users it is their gateway to the internet. Companies have official Wechat  accounts. Games are big in China, and a lot of their users are gamers. The last time WeChat published figures they had 650 million active monthly users.

WeChat is relevant for both B2C and  B2B businesses. Although it is primarily for the Chinese market, a lot of Chinese users living in other countries use it.  Users can use WeChat Wallet to transfer money among friends without transaction fees.  WeChat charges 0.6% transaction fee for businesses collecting money using WeChat payment.  For more detailed and impressive information about Wechat read here

A Wechat store can be set up for free, and as many users never leave WeChat this is pretty obvious move if you want to reach clients in China.

Five free and popular stores are  YouShop (微店)www.weidian.com/ Youzan (有赞/口袋通) http://youzan.com/ JD.COM (京东微店) Lewaimai 乐外卖 www.lewaimai.com/ and  VD (V店) http://www.vd.cn/ for full analysis of the features of each read an  excellent review here

Foreign brands can struggle to market on WeChat.  Great content is important.  Applying the same marketing strategy as on Facebook and Twitter accounts isn’t going to work.  Promotional content can easily leads users to unfollowing the WeChat account. Content has to be of direct benefit to users to be effective.  There are tremendous challenges to keep content relevant, brands should identify the main influencers among their readers, and give them access to VIP groups,  providing services like package tracking,  loyalty cards, and ordering systems to keep followers engaged and using the site. They should  target readers by gender,  geography and their reading preferences, they should  work on article design, using surveys to make sites more interactive and to better engage users. Sometimes it is better to build a presence on less competitive platforms and then migrate to WeChat later. more detail about this topic here

The Chinese market is one of the biggest in the world and highly competitive. As with other countries consumers appreciate value for money, high quality and keen prices. At the same time expensive wine in top venues in major cities can be over 10K Euro for a bottle. Big spenders still exist, even after the crisis.  For companies whose products are suitable for the Chinese market, a store on WeChat may well be part of their market entry strategy.

WalktheChat helps foreign companies establish their presence on Wechat.  It was was established Thomas Graziani,   a Frenchman living in Beijing, Jenny Chen joined the board shortly after.  WalktheChat has been effective in finding its own clients through content marketing, a high quality blog, a good website, and get found through SEO and Google searches. They also ran viral marketing campaigns on Wechat account which are highly effective. Their services are viewable here www.walkthechat.com

Check out Bohan.pl for more information about doing business in China

 

 

Richard Lucas March 2016

Introduction

Michal Kalina — former Social Media specialist at one of Krakow’s most dynamic seed funds Innovation Nest has been Snapchatting for a while during his travels. Now he’s showing backstage of creating his web&mobile development company Kolektiv.

The growth of Snapchat has been likened to that of Facebook in 2007/8. Gary Vaynerchuk has been really pushing Snapchat as being at a breakthrough moment., and high profile figures like podcaster Johnny Lee Dumas are paying attention as in this 26th February Gary V Show. 

For early adopters of emerging social media platforms, and marketing professionals who believe that there are land grab possibilities to get the best seats before the majority arrive, Snapchat is high on the agenda.  However, a developing a professional and coherent presence on Snapchat without spending a fortune is a challenge. I took the time to talk to Michał about his perspectives

Please describe what Snapchat is and is becoming to someone who has not really got the concept yet

Snapchat is a new wave social media platform for sharing videos and photos via smartphone. In previous years becomes popular among youngsters. Now used by celebrities, newspapers, brands & normal people to tell their everyday story –  often known as vlogging. According to Wikipedia, Snapchat has gone through 7 Billion daily video views in February this year  

Content is given in a more convenient way,  and is richer in emotions, than a tweet or post. It is a place where professionals can show the backstage to their work & brands expand their social engagement on a daily basis.

Why do you think it is experiencing such growth?  To start with people said it’s for teenagers who want to be somewhere their parents are not.. but is this still true?

Well, I think it was an important factor but just in a beginning. Most importantly Snapchat is the first platform that fixed the problem of mobile videos. Facebook, YouTube, not even Instagram have solved this problem. If you have seen a funny YouTube film called ‘Vertical Video Syndrome’ where the main character says ‘Say No to Vertical Videos’, now it’s out-of-date mostly because Snapchat existence. Snapchat means I say ‘Yes’ to vertical videos!

Another reason is that Snapchat democratized video editing. You don’t need to learn any special tool. Just record a video, add text or emoji & upload it. If you do it few times in a row, your film is done & already uploaded, it makes you feel brilliant. It’s fast, live & real. That’s how social media works nowadays – it catches the spirit of the times.

The “wake up call” to getting interested for professionals is discovering that a major rival or competitor is establishing a following on Snapchat. How easy is it to find your competitors and business partners on Snapchat ? What are the simplest rules and tools?

It’s for pioneers right now – that’s why it is the best time to get into this platform. Once it will be easy, that’s already too late. There are some agencies but we’re in early days. Check out:

http://vaynermedia.com/  https://naritiv.com/ http://www.grapestory.co/  It’s not 

What kind of benefits do companies and individuals derive from establishing a good Snapchat presence. What are the challenges when analysing competitors’ Snapchat presence. How do you go about it?

Attention –  In today’s world is extremely hard to get attention. We’re bombarded with content. Even if something is interesting for us, we put it aside to ‘watch later’… which of course we don’t get round to. One thing that’s unique for Snapchat is that users really consume content and give attention to what they’re watching because it expires after 24h. They won’t have a chance to watch it later.

There is no set standard in Snapchat strategies yet. Remember that your competitors are experimenting. If you start to copy their behaviour,  you’ll miss better format ideas that fit  your customers and brand. So follow them, be aware of what they do,  try to learn from  their mistakes, apply the best of their formats, but also experiment a lot with your own style.

Making an impressive Snapchat video is a bit of a challenge for a Snapchat “newbie”. If someone is experimenting as a private individuals it doesn’t matter if they make a bit of a fool of themselves.   It doesn’t matter that much, it is temporary. But …. if you are a personal brand, or a company, then it’s a stress, a little like Periscope. What are the options ?

If you don’t take a risk in this medium, you risk even more, because you are losing a chance. Don’t worry about making impressive videos, make real ones. It’s not Vimeo or YouTube. Snapchat is all about short, somewhat messy content. That is its beauty. Show your audience a real you/your brand and people will like you more and forgive you all mistakes.  If you want to outsource to professionals, we (Richard, Michał and our network of super talented Central European specialists) can probably help.  

For example: During my recent 4 months trip to India I showed the backstage of my trip by making short Snapchat videos. I used them to show the people I met, the challenges and adventures I had along the way etc. People who love  traveling got involved in my Snapchat stories because they could feel with me how it was to be a lonely traveller in exotic country. It’s was a compelling alternative to a travel blog.

For example: If you’re running a gym. Make a daily video with short exercises for today. Give your audience some tips how to make a good workout. Bring them value & you’ll attract your target group.

What are the dangers of an unprofessional Snapchat presence. Is it better to have a fewer and higher quality or be doing them daily? Here’s my warning of  what might  happen in your don’t know what you are doing

Snapchat users are much likely to watch amateur videos than a professional campaign but I don’t mean that as a CEO you should start Snapchatting from tomorrow, making yourself look fooling in front of staff, clients and competitors may not match your brand image.  It takes time to learn.  It’s good to get training before you post your first videos if you have a brand that might be damaged by something unprofessional. If you don’t want to do it yourself,  hire someone who understands the medium and has some demonstrated experience. Otherwise you may well fail, making unnatural, over long content.

How often does someone need to post a Story if they are going to be effective, and how much time does someone needs to devote to making a good Snapchat story?

You don’t necessarily need to do it daily. But at least 3 times a week is recommended. Otherwise your audience won’t get used to the idea that your stories are out there. If viewers like your stories, you’ll want to keep them nurtured, and in the habit of coming back.

There is no good answer for how much time you should spend on making stories. Some of my snaps took me 10 minutes to shoot, others hours of preparation –  2 hours of shooting – like this video I made about murals in Krakow. If your time is valuable it may be cheaper to work with someone so your involvement is minimized.

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Another example this: 10 minutes of shooting, 9 months of preparations

Dangerous_Sneezing

or here

What are the key features of a good Snapchat story, and what mistakes do you see most often.

Be bold. Be short. Be simple. Play with text & visual effects. Use colors.

Don’t talk a lot. I made this mistake many times. I really wanted to explain everything & I recorded 5 videos with my face. That’s boring 🙁 .

Once someone has committed to Snapchat and the content is live, should they start promoting it right away, or wait until they are are it is achieving their objectives? Once they are ready for promotion, where should they do it?

I was experimenting with Snapchat since June 2015 & didn’t promote my content. I think my opinion is clear. I learnt how to use it & now I’m ready to promote my stories. If you have a professional social media team they will have multiple channles across which to promote your Snapchat. (Instagram, mailing list, Facebook, Twitter etc etc)

If someone objects to making Snapchat content at considerable expense and seeing it disappear, what can they do to keep it alive on other channels.

Well. You can make a collage with other materials. It is possible to upload your Snapchat content onto Youtube and Facebook if you know what you are doing.  Adidas did this with Karlie Kloss.

Or you can just simply upload your Snaps on YouTube & promote them. Here are some of mine.

Crazy pilgrims in India

https://youtu.be/POr5NiRAiow

The Highest Building on Earth & Me

https://youtu.be/CNw_AdXdCvM

The Best Drummer & Me On Stage

https://youtu.be/StWAZD-GhzM

How do you expect Snapchat marketing to evolve as Snapchat starts to monetize its traffic.

As a brand there will be even more ways to get attention but it will cost you money & effort Evan Spiegel(Snapchat CEO) told Bloomberg  They will put a lot of effort to make their ads as good as regular content if not  better. So don’t expect to put a low quality banner on Snapchat in the near future. It won’t work.

Remember. Be simple & authenic. That’s what matters on Snapchat.

You can reach me on Snapchat @MichalKalina or add here

Take photo with your Snapchat profile & see what happens.

Thanks a lot Michał

snapcode-blog

From my point of view – I’m 100% convinced of the value, and am assembling a team of people who know about Snapchat

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I am a Newbie. Do follow me but don’t expect Michał’s level of professionalism.