“We romanticize…

“We romanticize entrepreneurship so much that people don’t do the work…It’s not just a dream, not just a goal; it’s a lot of hard work. A lot of people are wantrepreneurs, not entrepreneurs.” ~Mark Cuban

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You know you gotta have this physical Facebook fan counter for your office

Magnetic Consulting Group:

Where do I get one!

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

Sometimes an item comes along that is just simply too awesome for words.

So watch:

Fliike by Smiirl from Smiirl on Vimeo.

Facebook and local business love each other, apparently. Local businesses get over 645 million weekly views and 13 million weekly comments on Facebook, and Facebook says there are over two billion connections — likes — between consumers and local businesses. It’s precisely because of local businesses that Facebook boasts over one million active advertisers.

It's the new must-have gadget for every social media manager ...

It’s the new must-have gadget for every social media manager. …

So why not take all the online love and give it a little bricks and mortar?

That’s Fliike, the “first connected object that displays the number of Facebook fans” a business has. Simply plug it in, connect Fliike to your Wi-Fi, and watch your Facebook likes grow in real time in real life.

The device is not cheap, at $390…

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Google Glass may get its own app and media store quite soon

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

Still in developer preview, Google Glass has very few applications and no centralized way to find or buy them. That could be changing very soon.

As part of a recent update that includes web browsing features and an expanded set of voice commands, Google has made allusions to “Google Boutique.” This could mean a few things. Less obvious: a store for Google merch. More likely: an app store for Glass apps and media.

We are also expecting a media player app to come down the chute based on code in the new update.

Right now, developers are being asked to write Glass apps of all kinds, and investors are all too eager to fund their development.

But finding apps happens through online word-of-mouth, and installing them on your device. Here are the download and installation instructions for a third-party YouTube viewer app:

You can download the .zip file (you’ll…

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6 Ways to Talk Like a Leader

Effective leadership requires verbal discipline.

Leaders need to care about and practice the quality, specificity, and power of their language.  Not enough of them do.
Communication is particularly crucial to entrepreneurs. A founder’s individual vision and presence is vital to his or her organization’s sense of itself and its direction.  There are several ways a leader can immediately improve his or her language and communication.

Understand that leadership language is different

Leadership language serves a specific purpose that is different from the language used in a non-leadership role.  Your communication is responsible for providing meaning about the present and the future, explaining complex tradeoffs, demonstrating resolve in the face of adversity, articulating matters others do not see, calling on the organization to uphold commitments and standards, and infusing purpose and inspiration. This does not happen with bland, casual, or vague language.

Before your next leadership event, think carefully about the words you choose. Be specific, concrete, and evocative. Rehearse out loud with people you trust: How did it sound to them? Leadership language, by its very nature, must be heightened and bold. You must be comfortable with these requirements.

Know what you want

Too many leaders don’t know what to say because they don’t know what they want. Before speaking (formally or informally) ask yourself, “What’s going on here, and what do I want?”

If the answer is grounded in the organization’s shared purpose and not your personal desires, you have a better opportunity to speak to these broader needs and goals. If you don’t know what you want (or worse, want to pursue self-centered goals), you should remain silent until you are prepared to articulate the wider view of the organization.
Use “but” very carefully

“But” is a contradictory conjunction, and should not be used after a positive phrase if your intention is to be positive. Often, “but” signals that whatever came before is not wholly valid. The common statement, “I liked your project, but…,” questions the sincerity of what was “liked” and emphasizes what the speaker wants to change.

When a leader says, “Thanks for the feedback, but I think…” it often comes across as, “I don’t appreciate what you said, and we will do it my way.”  Better to say, “I’ve considered your feedback and still believe in my decision.”  Similarly, a leader will address a team, “This group did great work last quarter, but now we have to focus.”  Better to say, “Your great work last quarter is just the momentum we need, because this quarter will be a bigger challenge.”  Instead of “but,” use “and,” “however,” “yet,” “except,” or “that said.”

Go easy with the superlatives

When too much is described as “amazing,” “awesome,” “unbelievable,” “epic,” or “incredible,” very little actually is.

Overused superlatives wash out true meaning.  When a leader routinely declares commonplace events to be extraordinary, he or she contributes to a pattern of making everything sound the same. Instead of making rote declarations, explain the action and reaction in simple language.

Rather than call the sales presentation “amazing” (did it fill you with wonder?), talk about it being clear, compelling, well-researched, full of the right data, and so forth.  And resist praising the team with a generic “awesome” (did they inspire awe?)  Try, “Very good work.”

Stop the “uptalk”

At some point (especially in the United States), the rising vocal inflection at the end of a statement–what linguists call “uptalk”–morphed from an object of satire seen in Valley girls and surfer dudes to acceptable and everyday speech.  A staggering number of adults are now afflicted with this jarring sing-song pattern of ending statements with the rising inflection of a question.  Just as troubling, many people seem unaware of or unconcerned about this bad habit. A leader is always aware of and concerned about language and speech.

The practice of uptalk conveys a lack of conviction, discipline, and mindfulness.  The most useful advice about this condition: Stop!

Don’t pull back

It can be easy to equivocate when speaking about an important or difficult topic.  It is understandable (and not useful) to shy away from making the clearest, strongest point because full verbal commitment requires full personal courage.

Leaders sometimes “pull back” by qualifying their speech: “It’s sort of up to this team,” or “This is kind of a tough situation.”  Resist the temptation of this lazy language.  Using clear language will increase your courage by more fully connecting you to what you need and want to say.

Call an object by its proper name, and a situation as it is.  Deliberately use concrete and accurate language, and clarity will follow.  Practice your speaking, alone and with others.  Seize the moments, because it is up to you to use the best possible leadership language.  Speak up and speak well.

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Sunrun secures $630M to put solar panels on every house in America

Magnetic Consulting Group:

One of our clients, this is exciting!

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

Sunrun wants to put solar panels on every home in America. Today, the company announced that it has secured financing for more than $630 million in residential solar projects, led by JP Morgan.

Sunrun claims to have invented “solar power service.” Its approach to solar financing has people leasing solar panels from third-party providers so they can go solar without the actually buying and installing panels. Sunrun owns, insures, monitors, and maintains all the equipment. This model works for consumers, who can lower their energy costs, as well as solar companies that need help adding customers.

“This is an important announcement for the entire industry and for homeowners looking for an affordable way to make the switch to solar,” said a company spokesperson. “The investment by J.P. Morgan is its first in the residential solar space, a significant landmark and a major capital increase in our industry. It provides stability…

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Great article for young professionals

25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25. Great article, our favorite is #16

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Yahoo holding N.Y. event to reveal ‘something special’

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

Marissa Mayer

Yahoo invited press today to a product event in New York saying only that it will “share something special” soon after reports that the company is going to buy blog platform Tumblr.

It seems Yahoo has been very product-focused in the months since Marissa Mayer both took the chief executive corner office and demanded that critical employees not work from home. It has done a lot on the mobile front, releasing apps for the weather as well as Yahoo mail, which VentureBeat’s Jolie O’Dell called gorgeous.

The company also recently integrated Summly, a content summarizing technology, to its mobile homepage, providing a summary of a story to help people decide if they want to read it.

In the past month Yahoo has also acquired a number a companies including GoPollGo and Milewise, a polling app and frequent flyer app respectively.

Yesterday, rumors broke out about what would be…

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