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Sharing secrets: Venture capitalist Charlie O’Donnell

I love finding people who are so successful in business that I learn great deals and become inspired just by reading their blogs and following them on social media. A few years ago when I was getting up-to-speed for a new client based in Brooklyn, I learned about venture capitalist Charlie O’Donnell, who founded the seed-stage investment firm Brooklyn Bridge Ventures in 2012. I’ve been doing my best to keep up with Charlie ever since! Here’s an introduction to his background from his personal This Is Going to be Big blog, where he’s been writing about sales, hiring, the venture business, startup communities and New York in his very straightforward, no-BS style for over 10 years.

Charlie is a partner at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures working on very early stage investments in the Greater Brooklyn area, which also includes Manhattan and the other boroughs of New York City. He was previously with First Round Capital, where he sourced the firm’s investments in GroupMe (sold to Skype), Backupify, chloe + isabel, Refinery29, Docracy, Singleplatform, and Salescrunch. Read more

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“Off Camera” enters year three of the best conversations

It’s been a year since I last spoke with the acclaimed photographer and director Sam Jones, who is the publisher, host and editor-in-chief of the Off Camera website, magazine, TV show and podcast. Sam launched his on-camera interview series in 2013 with these words: “…as much as I have tried to create a multi-platform technologically relevant episodic blogpodzine, I am really just using new tools to do the same thing I have always done; which is follow my interests, and try to get in the room with some really interesting people.” Last February, I published a story about Off Camera’s first anniversary, and Sam surprised me with a call to touch-base. That connection with such a respected and accomplished artist inspires me every day.

Over the past 12 months, new print/iPod issues and episodes of Off Camera have appeared with these fascinating guests… all sharing insights from in-depth conversations with Sam, who is their trusted friend: Michael B. Jordan, Sarah Silverman, Matt Damon, Ed Helms, Jackson Browne, Judy Greer, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Goldsmith, Laird Hamilton and Jon Brion. Sam’s thoughtful Off Camera theme builds on his experiences working with high-profile luminaries… where they would regularly discuss various subjects, including their work. The best conversations were happening off-camera, Sam observed… and this passion project is the result. Read more

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Sharing secrets: Know your audience!

When trying to communicate with someone, it is normally of vital importance to understand who that person is, whether or not they speak your language, their age, where they live… and also, factors like what’s on their mind right now, and where they are physically at this moment in time. The point of this article is just to emphasize that communication – and marketing – is often a waste of time if the particulars of the human beings comprising one’s audience are not being taken into account. Personally, I’m shocked at how often people fail to address this mission-critical first step.

Effective communicators do typically begin their programs by assessing their target audiences, exploring the relevant demographics and/or psychographics… and nowadays, there is a great deal of data that’s becoming more and more readily available. The results Read more

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Sharing secrets: Smart planning and production for marketing content

Ever since hearing that failing to plan is a sure plan for failure, I have been a firm believer in taking the time necessary to diligently and intelligently lay out plans for anything I’m seriously aiming to accomplish. When I attended the ReCourses New Business Summit (NBS) back in 2012 thanks to David C. Baker and Blair Enns, I witnessed a new approach for how creative businesses and professionals can change the way they handle sales. My understanding on the secret is this: The key is to think and operate like a publisher. Along those lines, naturally, the business model requires successful handling of content. The NBS lessons were very timely for me, as you have seen here; I have deep admiration for innovative publishers of all sizes, and as time moves forward, I hope to follow the best of them and achieve my own version of greatness.


Over the past two years, this idea of content marketing has really caught fire, so for anyone beginning the planning process of fathoming these types of practices and putting them to work in new ways, you are in luck. It’s my pleasure to share five different highly qualified paths toward brilliant content marketing – each of which is focused on helping to facilitate solid thinking and planning. Read more

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Sharing secrets: Google Glass


The exclusive video report above from TheVerge shows how Joshua Topolsky recently spent a memorable day with the Google Glass creators getting close and personal with the company’s highly anticipated new product. According to last week’s Forbes story from Joe Lazauskas, “No one yet knows what the full impact of Google Glass will be after the futuristic headsets go on sale next year,” and yet, I am very happy to offer an additional angle on this subject. Earlier this year – specifically, April 1, “April Fool’s Day” – Jeff Domansky, the publisher, editor-in-chief and head coach of www.ThePRCoach.com, published a rather masterful article exploring these ideas. Here’s an excerpt from his “Eight Super Secret Features of Google GlassRead more

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Style Frames Buenos Aires May 2012

Join Stash Media principals and a stellar group of design, advertising and media professionals at STYLE FRAMES, a new series of design conferences dedicated to the art of the pitch. The first event will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 10 and 11. EARLY BIRD tickets are now available.

Presented by Stash Media and produced by FITC, STYLE FRAMES will showcase outstanding pitch art and the talent behind it, while demystifying the pitch process, Read more

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Sharing secrets: CJ Olivares

Back in April, after eight years of spectacular, groundbreaking leadership as EVP and ultimately General Manager of FUEL TV, CJ Olivares announced his departure from the network he helped to launch. Several months earlier, CJ had provided the keynote address to The Action Sports Conference 2010, and around the same time, he was interviewed in detail by TransWorld Business. Both of these events occurred just as FUEL TV was revamping its programming and ambitiously reaching out to a wider audience. Read more

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Sharing secrets: Kinect hacking

The fascinating video featured with this story was just released in May, and it’s already aging. It ran with the Wired story “Six Months Later, Kinect Hacks Flourish” to coincide with a presentation by computer scientist Johnny Chung Lee at Wired’s Disruptive by Design business conference, and since then, the phenomenon has literally taken the tech and creative worlds by storm. The author of that article is Dave Mosher, who also interviewed Mr. Lee at Disruptive by Design — and has a new feature in this month’s Wired entitled “Kinect Hackers Are Changing the Future of Robotics.” This subject is quickly making headway in many industries. For example, at the recent Creativity and Technology (CaT) business conference, Sam Travis Ewen pointed to it as one of three areas of technology that are impacting the art of engagement. Don’t miss Alexandra Bruell’s detailed Ad Age story on Mr. Ewen here: “How Kinect Hacking, Augmented Reality Is Changing Marketing.” In case you’re wondering, the two other developments he put the spotlight on were augmented reality and projection mapping.

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Marketing Imperatives: Effectiveness

The Effie Awards were founded in 1968 by the American Marketing Association, New York Chapter, as an awards program to recognize the most effective advertising efforts in the United States each year. Over the years, Effie has become a source of learning through global conferences, judging discussion and access to in depth case studies providing opportunities for insight into effective marketing communications. In 2008, the New York AMA assigned its rights to the Effie brand over to a new entity named Effie Worldwide, Inc, with the goal of strengthening its educational component and its value to the industry. Deadlines for the 2011 North American and Global Effie Awards are at hand — please visit www.Effie.org today to learn more.

Effie Worldwide and YouTube have now teamed up to present a webinar series that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the most effective marketing ideas and strategies of the year. Below, I’m presenting my raw notes from “2010 Effies Case Studies: Ideas That Worked, Part I.” The video above is the Jack in the Box case study from agency Secret Weapon Marketing, which was presented in that webinar. Please subscribe to the EffieWorldwide YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/EffieWorldwide to view the webinar presentations in their entirety, and to find more fascinating case studies like the one above. Read more

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Sharing secrets: Ford’s Scott Monty

Back in September, new media industry thought leader and author Brian Solis launched (R)evolution, a new series of video interviews presenting the people, trends, and ideas defining the future of business, marketing, and media. Last week, he released this very informative video where he interviewed Scott Monty, Ford’s head of social media. To learn more about Brian and check out more of his growing treasury, please visit www.BrianSolis.com.

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