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Above the Code - TechStars Cloud - San Antonio - March 6, 2013


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Above the Code - TechStars Cloud - San Antonio - March 6, 2013

  1. 1. ABOVE THE CODE Story Telling / Branded Content TechStars Cloud - San Antonio - March 6, 2013
  2. 2. TODAY...• Presentation online @• Sharing principles, methods, approaches... each company is different• Practical tips, hints and actionable steps you can take
  3. 3. INTRO...• Who’s in the room?• Startups: Status / Funding / Distribution / Partnerships• Companies: Technology / Product / Markets• Media coverage? Impact?
  4. 4. I’M HERE....• To help you.... • think about the importance and role of branded content and story telling... • share your startup or company’s story • connect in a whole new way that a few years ago was left to the marketing department or an external ad agency or PR firm • discover and build the editorial fabric of your startup as Demo Day approaches
  5. 5. ABOUT• 30 years - yup, I am an old school PR guy.... and believe in the real power of PR• San Antonio & Tel Aviv• Involved with Israel’s traditional tech sector for the last 18 years
  6. 6. LAST TWO YEARS• Speaking / Writing ... Observing / Watching • Geekdom - San Antonio • TechLoft - Tel Aviv • TechStars Cloud - San Antonio • MexicanVC (500 Startups) - Mexico City • Microsoft Azure - Tel Aviv • The Leaders Palestine - Ramallah • Google - Tel Aviv
  7. 7. GOOD NEWS :)• Verylow cost / no cost to create a start-up• Big Idea• Core team• Strong will• Servers / hosting
  8. 8. BAD NEWS :(• Someone in New York, Madrid, San Francisco, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Mumbai is thinking the same thing as you are :(• Hard to have a defensible position• Hard to protect your IP• Getting traction is tough
  9. 9. QUALITIES THEN...• Strong Intellectual Property• Defensible technology• Strategic investors like Intel, AT&T, Cisco, Motorola• Traditionally, VC funded• 30 engineers / CEO / VP Marketing / VP Biz Dev
  10. 10. QUALITIES NOW• No Intellectual property• Nothing really defensible• Strategicinvestors & partners - Friends, Family, Angels, TechStars, 500 Startups, etc.• Up until recently....No funding, or angel, micro, friends & family funding• Easy to run a virtual company... no real address, presence from a co- working space and an IP phone number
  11. 11. THE WORLD AS WE KNEW IT• Hardware• Software Go to School• Telecom Internships Go to College / University• Security Summer Job• Bio Go to Work Sciences• Medical Devices
  12. 12. THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT High School Startup• Consumer Web Gap Year Startup• Mobile College / University - or not... Startup• SaaS Accelerator Startup• Subscription Work• eCommerce Startup Quit Day Job• Marketplace Startup
  13. 13. The rise of the startup economy is global
  14. 14. The rise of the multinational startup
  15. 15. THE MIND OF A CODER...• Focus on... • functionality • application • utilitarian value
  16. 16. 50 years
  17. 17. Every startup is arock and roll band
  18. 18. The Four Coders
  19. 19. Coders & Story Tellers
  20. 20. Music is the original code
  21. 21. Great songs have....
  22. 22. Greatnarratives
  23. 23. Great voice
  24. 24. Great stories
  25. 25. Great tone
  26. 26. Music is in all of us
  27. 27. Everything is getting coded
  28. 28. “The Internet of things...” needs stories...
  29. 29. We learn to “write”
  30. 30. WE WRITE FOR...• Marketing• Business• Technical• Legal• Medical• Social
  31. 31. ... but we never learn the art ofstory telling, or how to write insimple language to explain what we are doing and what we feel
  32. 32. What you say, how you speakand what you communicate are the new lyrics of the online world
  33. 33. The experience your deliver on the platforms we now interface and engage with, are enabling billions of people on the planetto create the new melodies of a socially connected world
  34. 34. WRITE FOR STORY TELLING• Why is what you are working on important?• How are you improving lives?• How are you helping people hack their own lives?• What are you seeing in the way people are taking responsibility for their own health
  35. 35. LOOK WHAT YOU DID!• Solved a problem• Figuredout a way to connect two or more things and do something special with it• Codified a process, expertise, method or a discovery• Deliveringof new type of experience on the devices & platforms we are using today - and in the future
  36. 36. GUIDES TO WRITING• Write like you speak...record yourself and transcribe what you say• Pretend you are speaking to an audience.... write in front of a mirror (seriously...)• Think of how you felt when you were read stories as a child
  37. 37. WHY THIS MATTERS TODAY...• Story telling, having a voice, and the on-going narrative is a reflection of your startup / company’s heart and soul• Itbecomes the body of work that helps you recruit talent, attract investors, customers, build partnerships, and be discovered by the media
  38. 38. THE MEDIA IS YOUR FIRST MARKETto share and tell your story
  39. 39. The Media is Your Customer.... bloggersyou analysts enterprise... & the institutions.. consumer media
  40. 40. WHAT I BELIEVE• Branded content & story telling is what’s next• It’s harder and harder to “get coverage” because of the volume of noise• Every company is a media company• Your startup is a rock band... you’re in the studio figuring out something new
  41. 41. WHAT I BELIEVE• Story is a defensible business strategy• Narrative is the supporting infrastructure for your brand• Tone is the voice of your brand
  42. 42. WHAT I BELIEVE• 12 Fundamental Belief Sets • Not everything I do always works •I do this for me... I do this for clients. • There’s always exceptions to the rules • Discussion is based on a combination of experience and principles
  43. 43. WHAT I SEE...• Great ideas• Cool technology• Understanding the role of UI / UX• Little, orno thinking through the role of the written word, language, tone, voice and “speaking through” the devices we are using in our daily lives
  44. 44. From > Code
  45. 45. To > Above The Code
  46. 46. Alan’s12 Fundamental Belief Sets
  47. 47. #1 - STOP PITCHING• Start story telling• Yourpitch helps clarify / define what you do, but really sucks as a way to get coverage
  48. 48. #2 - YOU’RE REALLY A MEDIA COMPANY THAT....•Creates and makes media • Pinterestso you’ll be discovered, • Instagramfound and shared • SoundCloud • YouTube • Google Plus • Twitter • LinkedIn • Facebook • UStream • Blog
  49. 49. #3 UNDERSTAND THEDIFFERENCES BETWEEN BEING...• Discovered - random being discovered and being found increases your chances• Found - search of sharing
  50. 50. #4 IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU• How do you help others do something in a compelling way you could not do before
  51. 51. #5 BE HUMAN• Get off your perch and write like you would speak• Conversewith your potential market wherever they are
  52. 52. #6 LIKE MINDED PEOPLE TEND TO FIND EACH OTHER• Givethem a place to connect and share their story• Consider aligning with other startups like yours to create a multinational startup
  53. 53. #7 HAVE A MISSION• We’re out to make __________ better• We want to help _____ do _______• We want to help others the opportunity to ________• We’re connecting _______ with ______ so they can ________• We make it easier to ____________• Have your voice be heard about _________
  54. 54. #8 THINK LIKE A SOCIAL DEMOGRAPHER• The potential to collect “Big Data” means you have something of incredible value to a potential partner, investor, or brand• Gives you a better chance of a lift when an exit may present itself• Bigdata lends itself to infographics, which contributes to your thought leadership and a great way to get media coverage
  55. 55. spark - what if? “some funding.”.. technology platform story... narrative toreal value engagement BIG DATA Lift towards an exit... (c) Alan Weinkrantz
  56. 56. #9 PUT IT OUT THERE• You never know who is going to find your content and engage• You don’t have to have high quality production values to do this• Hardware is cheap. Tools are free. Tons of creatives to help you.• Put your brand in play
  57. 57. #10 DRAW, PAINT, PHOTOGRAPH, ROCK OUT• Do something or learn to do something creative other than working on your startup• Itwill re-wire your brain in an unexpected way my drums circa 1968
  58. 58. #11 IT’S NOT ALWAYS REPLICABLE• Justbecause one strategy or tactic worked for one company does not mean it will work for another
  59. 59. #12 GET LUCKY• Go wide• Get lucky• Runwith it when you strike a chord
  60. 60. HACK YOUR OWN COMMUNICATIONS• Thinkof yourself as a reporter & story teller• Much of this you can do yourself• Leave digital bread crumbs
  61. 61. PLAN....• Postand write relevant content • Read and comment on relevant so you can be a source to media articles without being self on your field of expertise promotional.• Develop & publish infographics • Askend user / beta customers if you can share you can refer to them to media• Follow a wish list of 20 • Follow editorial calendars journalists you think should cover you • Createyour own editorial calender
  62. 62. Role. Tone. Voice.F1 CEO: Serious. Thought Leader.F2 CTO: Technical. Knowledge. What’s Next.F3 Biz Dev: Forward. Opportunity. Open.F4 Lead Dev: Innovator. Code. Team. “F” = founder
  63. 63. March April MayF1F2F3F4 90 Day Editorial Calendar Planner 2x topics per month from each - 24 posts per quarter
  64. 64. NOW....• Makea wish list of where you • track competitors or belong companies in your periphery on to see • business / tech / bloggers who covers and writes about them • media appropriate to your space • track competitors on • analysts / influencers appropriate to your space
  65. 65. PLAN FOR PR• Ifyou follow some of these basic • Get everyone on your team to principles, you’ll be further make this part of their regimen ahead. as it will make them aware of the opportunities that await you• This process takes at least six when you are ready. months to one year to really get on a journalist’s radar and be • Bring up PR in your team sticky - sometimes you can get meetings in a “what if...” scenario. lucky Be Ready For PR So You Can Succeed
  66. 66. RECOMMENDED READING• Why Branded Content is Beating Editorial• The Pressures of Content Creation• Brands Will Become Media• The Internet of Things
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  71. 71. As you approach Demo Day...reach out to me and I will give you an hour in helping you in thinking this through specific to your startup.
  72. 72. Rise...
  73. 73. ABOVE THE CODE™ please share:)
  74. 74. alan@weinkrantz.comTwitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. SlideShare. Scribd. Instagram. YouTube. all photos - except slides 18 & 21 - (c) Alan Weinkrantz 2013 © Alan Weinkrantz And Company 2012 Above The Code ™