Ever wondered how we got our start here at Cutline? You’re in luck! We’re back with another post that showcases the stories of how Cutliners turned into PR rockstars. Check out how Rachel become a master PR pro. Read more
A few of us Cutliners recently had the opportunity to hear Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker & Company Brands, speak at an event put on by The Commonwealth Club. The session, Redefining Design, was moderated by John Maeda, global head of computational design and inclusion at Automattic, and provided a fun and lively discussion around how brands are making products that are both visually appealing and highly effective available to all.
As always, The Commonwealth Club delivered! Tristan and John’s discussion was not only incredibly inspiring, but provided a number of valuable, actionable takeaways. Here is a snapshot of what we learned.
This was one of the best talks I’ve attended in recent months -- thank you, Cutline! I think, above all else, my biggest takeaway was related to empathy. More specifically, how critical it is to design empathetic products and hire or partner with truly empathetic people. It’s what makes us human after all. I’m also certain it’s one of the many reasons both Tristan and Walker & Company’s brand are so beloved. It underlines everything they do and stand for -- talk about inspiring! -- Rachel
Tristan said something during his talk that has honestly changed my perspective. He was discussing when he first started Walker & Company, and how he had these ideas for the products he would sell. First, if you’re not familiar with Bevel razors, you NEED to check them out. Life changer. Although his ideas were truly innovative within the beauty market, particularly for people of color, many investors were hesitant to back his vision. Tristan said, “It was at that time that I realized, folks on the other side of the table might not be smarter than me, they just might not have the context I have.” This has made me really believe in myself, and given me a deeper understanding for others’ viewpoints. -- Shaq
What really stuck with me was Tristan’s philosophy around the phrase “culture fit” and the role a company’s core values can play in reducing individual bias. One of the first things he did when he started Walker & Company Brands was determine the six values he wanted to guide his company: courage, inspiration, respect, judgement, wellness and loyalty. During interviews, candidates are measured against each value; the same goes for performance reviews. In fact, everything Walker & Company does centers back to the values they have at the company. I love this philosophy and it’s an interesting approach to building and maintaining an inclusive company culture. I also am inspired to create my own list of personal guiding values to live my life by. -- Esther
Missed the event? You can check out the full conversation on YouTube. Enjoy!
Yes, you read that right. Podcasts are making a comeback, thanks to Serial. Or maybe podcasts are finally becoming mainstream, thanks to Serial. I’m not sure. All I know is that I’ve never opened the default podcast app on my iPhone until last night, and I’ve already listened to well over three hours of content. All because of Serial.
If you’re unfamiliar, Serial is the story of a real-life murder of a Maryland high school student that happened over 15 years ago. It’s told week by week by reporter Sarah Koenig and it’s utterly fascinating. Not convinced? Just check out what journalists at The New York Times or Rolling Stone or The New Yorker are saying.
Join the bandwagon! If you like what you hear, you can donate to help make Season Two happen here
Music that helps increase attention span up to 400%? Yes please.
Feb 24, 2014
Did you know that most adults can only stay focused for about 20 minutes at a time? And for those of us who live on the Internet, it’s an entirely different game. I mean...I just checked Twitter and my inbox before typing this sentence.
That’s why I’m so excited to have recently discovered focus@will, a neuroscience-based music streaming service ($4 per month after 100 free minutes) that’s designed to help you concentrate and effortlessly zone out distractions.
What’s so amazing in my opinion is the science behind the technology. Focus@will delivers various "Attention Amplifying" music channels that engage with your brain's limbic system and “soothe the easily distracted fight or flight mechanism” increasing attention span and general focus. AMAZING!
Learnings from The Holmes Report’s In2 Innovation Summit
Jan 29, 2014
Last week, two of us Cutliners were lucky enough to attend The Holmes Report’s In2 Innovation Summit, which focused on “The Future of Engagement.” Most of the speakers were senior executives from PR agencies or in-house PR teams and journalists. The conversations were fun and insightful and below are a few of the things we learned and wanted to share.
On the first day of the conference, Gabriel Stricker, VP of Marketing and Communications at Twitter, shared rules PR pros should follow to adapt to and succeed in the “modern age of communications.” Highlights and major takeaways include:
Love thy reporter: If you don’t love reporters and journalism, you’re in the wrong profession. Pretty simple.
It’s about the voters, not the election: You need to have a thorough understanding of your users and customers. That’s imperative and the only way you can make informed decisions…about anything.
Get the picture: Images are often more powerful than words. Make sure you have good visual assets. Really think through how they reflect your brand. FUN FACT: We learned that Gabriel and his team were behind this iconic Twitter IPO photo. It was one of the first times, if not the first time, an IPO photo didn’t feature execs or investors, but real people who use the company’s services in real life.
The second day kicked off with a keynote from Kelly McKinnis, SVP and Chief Communications Officer for Levi’s. Before joining Levi’s, Kelly led communications at Dell for several years. She drew from her experience at Dell to present her “care tag for transformation,” featuring her five lessons for transforming a company:
The right team: Combine optimism, pragmatism, and courage. Layer with resilience and expertise. Add a splash of fun.
Message matters: Align your narrative with the big picture. Select the words. Don’t waver.
Be agile: Sands will shift. Be ready to jump, tumble, and roll. Hang in there (it’s okay to arrive early).
Bring the outside in: Know your audience. Own insights. Build credibility. Drive strategy.
Embrace the new: Innovate. Take risks. Lead.
If you liked what you’ve read and are eager to learn more, feel free check out additional recaps from the event here!
If you’re a consumer tech loving geek like me (or frankly, the entire Cutline Crew), you probably agree that it’s really hard to disconnect. The constant checking of email, Twitter, Facebook, the list goes on, is simply ingrained in us. So sadly, it’s no surprise that FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out - swept the world in epidemic fashion last year. Mashable reported that 56% of social media users suffer from FOMO. And that story hit last July!
So what does 2014 have in store for us? Well, apparently FOMO is out and JOMO - Joy Of Missing Out - is in! Woohoo! Check out this Huffington Post article about “why this year will be the year of JOMO.” While I’m not totally sold, it’s an interesting read with some good reminders.
Want to Waterproof your iPhone? There’s a Magical Spray for that
Aug 12, 2013
I first heard of NeverWet, the “revolutionary superhydrophobic spray-on coating that repels water, mud, ice and other liquids on a variety of surfaces,” a few months ago when this demo video dominated my Facebook newsfeed. If you haven’t already seen it, it’s pretty unbelievable and shows how a basecoat and topcoat spray of NeverWet can save an iPhone submerged in a toilet and ensure anything, from yellow mustard to homestyle gravy, rolls right off a white tee-shirt.
I recently learned that NeverWet, what began as an industrial product, is now available to consumers for $20 at Home Depot. As a chronic coffee spiller and generally clumsy person, I haven’t been this excited since OxiClean hit the scene!!
Thanks to Mashable, I just discovered my favorite new Tumblr collection: Deep Fried Gadgets.
I haven’t the slightest clue how he does it, but Henry Hargreaves, still life art and fashion photographer based in Brooklyn, takes some of our favorite tech accessories (including earbuds, tablets, laptops, and more) and makes you believe they were dumped into a deep fryer with curly fries or chicken fingers.
The collection is too rad for words. Check it out for yourself here.
Earlier this month, I virtually attended GigaOM RoadMap 2012(woohoo for livestream!) to watch interviews/candid discussions with an impressive line-up of speakers (see below.) The underlying focus of all the talks (and the event) was the importance of design in the age of connectedness.There were many interesting high-level topics covered throughout the event -- from how the power of design can define the tone of a product at a startup, to discussions of ways championing design thinking, at an organizational level, can drive big corporations to innovate.But what really stuck with me were the unexpected insights I learned about some of today’s startup darlings. For example:
Pinterest made an early decision not to timestamp pins. (An interesting contrast to other streams like Twitter and Instagram that are measured by immediacy.) Founder Ben Silbermann said “a pin is meant to be an object. It’s not defined by time.”
Tumblr intentionally does not have a comment function. And there is no thumbs down, only a “like” and a “reblog” option. The idea behind it is to foster positivity, but leave room for negative commentary if a person is motivated enough to express themselves from their own Tumblr.
Warby Parker founders created the company because they asked themselves two crucial questions: “Why do glasses cost more than an iPhone?,” and “Why isn’t anyone selling them online?.” They also spent a year and a half debating every element of design and user experience before launching.
Birchbox does not have a mobile app and and co-founder, Katia Beauchamp, doesn’t see a need for one right now. The founders have non-technical backgrounds and they will focus on a mobile app only when they are convinced it’s important to their users.
If you missed this year’s RoadMap, you can still check out all the interviews here. In addition to the above, other speakers include:
Yves Behar, CEO, fuseproject and CCO, Jawbone
Perry Chen, CEO, Kickstarter
Kevin Systrom, Founder and CEO, Instagram
Tony Fadell, Founder, CEO of Nest
George Blankenship, VP, Worldwide Sales and Ownership Experience, Tesla Motors
John Maeda, President, Rhode Island School of Design