So the time has come where I’ve begun getting rid of some of my ‘heavier’ possessions before packing and leaving Hyper Island in a few weeks, as official school time ends, and internship periods begin.
Yesterday, it was time for my sweet bike to go. I’ve had it for 7 months, and I bought off a previous IAD11 student, and happily enough I managed to sell it on to a current student, in DM13. Happy to know it’ll be in the ‘family’ for a bit longer!
H&M Pop-up Beach Store in the Netherlands to benefit WaterAid
A great innovative idea showing that this big fashion brand never ceases to look for new ways to be different, and collaborate with charities in new ways, such as this pop-store on a beach.
This year H&M took its support a step further by opening a pop-up beach store for two days in The Hague’s popular Scheveningen seaside resort. A variety of essentials for men, women and kids from H&M’s “Beachwear in Shades of Blue” line were available at the shipping container-style shop on the beach, and a full 25 percent of the sales proceeds went directly to WaterAid, according to a report on the Superfuture blog.
ONE of a TEE is a sophisticated streetwear company from Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 2010. The unique online store lets the customers decide in which geographical area they want to be the only one wearing these tees. Claim an area for any lenght of time by subscribing, or purchase just one t-shirt. Every six weeks five new t-shirt styles are released. They share a new theme, but are separated by geographical levels.
WEDDAR - The first people powered weather report service in the world.
Made by two Portuguese: Ricardo Fonseca with co-founder Gonçalo Catarino, Weddar launched last month, and has already seen it’s app downloaded in 86 countries by over 26,000 users. Found this today on Springwise website, which held an interview with Ricardo.
In the words of Weddar: “And because it doesn’t make sense that we still depend on old, machine-based, general area location and innacurate Public Weather Report Services. Weddar is People Powered Weather Service.”
// Download the App only available for Iphone on the Apple Store. (They say they are working on the Android customers out there)
I tweeted about this blog post today, that made the headlines of many internet blogs. I came across it on Business Insider, and so came to discover that Ben has a Tumblr too, where he posted this famous blog post. His post is an interesting and honest reflection on his feelings about starting a company for the very first time, and what he feels he HAS to learn for Svpply not to fail.
Svpply helps you find the products you love, from the people and stores you find interesting:
I am the CEO of Svpply, Inc., a social shopping S-Corp operating out of New York City. My company has been the recipient of over half-a-million in investor dollars, for the stated purpose of building an unknown, 3,000-member web service into a cultural phenomenon, and I truly have very little understanding of what I am doing.
I went to school for Graphic Design. I was supposed to graduate in 2004, though I didn’t complete the necessary Algebra class until 2009. Put me in front of Illustrator and give me something to design and I’ll execute the hell out of it. I’ve spent years of hard work developing systems in my brain for tackling visual solutions to communication problems. I’ve designed some nice logos and some nice websites. I enjoy naming products and I think I have a talent for it. I have an understanding of design that extends well past the aesthetic. I am proud of all this because I have worked for it.
But I have zero experience or expertise in building a company. I’ve never worked at a web or product startup, I’ve never worked in a healthy team environment. The design studio I co-owned was flawed to its core, and the companies I’ve worked at have had mediocre management.
So I’m learning on the fly.
Things I don’t know how to do that I have to learn soon or Svpply will fail:
- How to find and recruit talent - Recruiting the appropriate kind of talent - Managing people and keeping them fulfilled in their work - How to develop and design a work schedule - How to communicate a vision
Thankfully I have Mo on my board. Thankfully I have Zach on my team. Thankfully I have investors who believe in my potential and have provided me with the opportunity to educate myself. My situation is blessed and I rarely let a day go by that I don’t say a silent prayer in thanks for the position in which I’ve found myself, but good gracious is this hard.
The most frustrating part is that it is difficult to get into a rhythm in your work when you have no real understanding of the next steps you need to take. There’s no opportunity for flow if both outcome and process are foreign experiences. There’s just a lot of poking around and mystery and inadvertent negligence.
Svpply has been open to the public for six months now. Our progress has been slow for a variety of reasons. We have not launched as many new features as I would expect, or even drastically improved the ones we launched with. I own these problems, they can be traced directly back to my inabilities and inexperience, sometimes directly, other times in the form of my not having anticipated or recognized situations for what they were as soon as I could have.
But my understanding of the product and the market has leapfrogged the vision that I pitched. Our traffic has quadrupled and our product database has quintupled. We’re starting two awesome junior hires on Monday and I’m courting three incredible candidates who do me an honor by considering a position with us. Many of our deep technical problems are in the process of being solved by our only non-founder employee, whose presence on our team is a deep compliment to our product and to me personally.
So my level of personal confidence is appropriate. Skeptically hopeful. The bouts of depression and self-doubt are reasonable and inevitable. The market and its masses will be the judge of the degree to which I am able to build my expertise. A jury of peers so large it gives immediate, impartial feedback on my performance any time I think to ask for it. I couldn’t ask for better. I am thankful for the opportunity. It is an amazing challenge.
For the first time the UN has attempted to look as far ahead as 2100, using various assumptions about how fertility and mortality rates might change over the years. The average of these estimates suggests that the global population will cross 10 billion by 2085.
This very interesting article talks about how childhood experiences influence the way we respond to power.
Being a careful people and behavior observer, I believe we are a product of our environments, meaning we can be shaped by what happens to us and the people we meet throughout life, remaining true to how we group, always. Yes, obvious you might say. In this article the author outlines the different types of power styles we may have such as: The Pleaser, The Charmer, The Commander and The Inspirer.
A great ready by author Maggie Craddock, check it out if you’re into leadership and management, whatever your particular field really.
Whether you are trying to get ahead at your existing firm or land a job in a new organization, it’s helpful to understand that many of your instincts for giving and taking power stem from ways you were conditioned in the first system you experienced in life — your family system. Through my research for my upcoming book Power Genes, I discovered that the building blocks of anyone’s signature power style are rooted in the ways they have been conditioned to respond emotionally and behaviorally to the first authority figures they encountered in life, namely, their caregivers.
A very interesting article on Harvard Business Review Blog about how FAILURE happens to huge companies too, making them learn from their mistakes, and become even better. A great insight especially for us Hyper Island students who hear about ‘learn by failing’ almost on a daily basis, as one of the Hyper Island ‘ways’, and see it happen to a large corporation like Google. We can all learn by failures. That I have certainly experienced & learnt whilst here at Hyper Island Stockholm. Read the article !
Here are some of Google’s nominated failures in this article:
Google Wave (May 2009 to August 2010)
The product was announced with formidable press and very high expectations amidst the belief that it would revolutionize e-mail and other forms of communication. It failed to revolutionize much.
Google SearchWiki (November 2008 to March 2010)
This offering allowed people to tailor search results to their own liking — the unfortunate thing was that, once selected, there was no way to opt out and people found it cluttered up the basic search result.
Google Audio Ads (January 2006 to February 2009)
This hugely expensive venture (which I actually mention in the article) attempted to import Google’s technology to the world of radio advertising and make money the same way the company does on the Internet. Problem? Radically different business model with assumptions that didn’t apply.
Google Video (January 2005 to January 2009)
This venture ended up not being competitive with YouTube, which Google ended up buying for over $1 billion.
Dodgeball (May 2005 to January 2009)
This was a location-based service that foreshadowed FourSquare. One of its founders, citing incredible frustration after Google purchased the firm, went on to found FourSquare, leaving Google behind in the social mobile networking space.
Jaiku (October 2007 to January 2009)
This was a microblogging site (think Twitter) that Google acquired and then did little with. Ironically, one of the co-founders of Twitter was Ev Williams, who had earlier sold Google Pyra Labs, which became the foundation for its successful Blogger.com platform.
Google Notebook (May 2006 - January 2009)
This product allowed people to clip information from the web and store it in digital ‘notebooks.’ Apparently, not enough people felt the service was all that useful and it, too, was closed.
Google Catalogs (December 2001 to January 2009)
This was a way to search catalogs, which limped along for many years before Google shut it down.
Google Print Ads (November 2006 to January 2009)
As with radio, Google thought it could bring its business model to the world of newspaper advertising. That didn’t work out so well.
Google Page Creator (April 2006 to August 2008)
Another way to build web sites, eventually shut down in favor of Google sites.
Google Answers (April 2002 to November 2006)
This was a service that used paid researchers to answer questions. Ironically, the year Google shut it down other answer-based products were increasing in popularity at sites such as Yahoo.
Which brings us back to the basic point: If you want to find the big successes, failure comes with the territory.
In highly uncertain environments, failures are both useful and unavoidable. It was interesting, therefore, to run across an analysis of Google’s failed projects over time, together with a quote issued by the company regarding each failed venture. What is interesting is Google’s philosophy of launching early and quickly, and their perhaps too-quick closure of some products.
Harvard Business Reviews’ April 2011 features a large “Failure Chronicles" section in the magazine.
I'm Ana Cecilia, Born & raised in beautiful Porto, Portugal. Currently I'm working at Made by Many as a Service Designer, with many talented people. In June 2012 I graduated from the Digital Media program at Hyper Island in Stockholm.
This blog started as a way to document my journey as a Hyper Island student and my learnings & experiences. I've continued to use it as a means to explore and document my surroundings and things that inspire me.