Yes, we live in amazing times

If you are looking for some reason to be grateful, let me help you.

This morning within the span of about an hour, I did the following:

  • Listened to Spotify where I can stream nearly anything that was ever recorded
  • Placed and recorded a Skype call to England for my upcoming show **
  • Opened up a Google Hangout chat with programmers in India to work through some programming modifications
  • Placed and recorded another Skype call to Uganda for my upcoming show**
  • Watched a live stream of some dude walking the streets of Paris using the Periscope app
  • Phoned and recorded an interview with a gentleman driving through South Texas for Lone Star Gridiron

I don’t know about you, but this amazes me… and its my business!  We have more instant access to people throughout the world than world leaders did just a decade earlier.  We have technology at our fingertips more powerful what was used to launch the moon missions!

Yes, we actually had a phone like this

Yes, we actually had a phone like this

I can remember growing up our family had one telephone and it was on a party line.  For those of you too young to know about those, many families shared the same physical phone line but each had different numbers.  The phone would ring in every home but each number had a different ring.  (one long, two short etc.)  Depending on whose ring it was, they were supposed to be the one that picked up their receiver.  Often times the nosy neighbor would pick up all the rings and confusion would ensue.

I sit here typing on a desktop computer with thousands of times the power of the best mainframe super-computer just decades earlier – to my right is my iPad with Skype open as we continue to discuss the program we are developing – to my left is my cell phone with SMS texting open to my partner in the venture so we can discuss in private things before we question the programmers in Skype.  It is all surreal and very flippin’ cool!

“May you live in interesting times”

by Chris Doelle

** Look for my new show Lunch with Chris to come out soon.  It will feature people from all walks of life chatting with me about questions of interest to all.  They will be short shows that feature a different question each ‘season.”  The first season will ask, “If a teenager approached you for advice prior to stating his career, what advice with you give?”  I will ask a dozen or so people each season before changing the question.   The lineup of guests will run the gamut of famous people as well as unknowns.  It is going to be a blast.

If you have an idea for a good question or maybe know who would make a good guest – please share!

Periscope Trumps Meerkat?

Periscope_icon-100x100Just a few days after Meerkat made a ton of noise at SXSW with their new live streaming video app, twitter released their own version – Periscope.

I started my first live stream and within a few seconds I had a dozen people following the test.

I have uploaded all four test videos to Youtube (Test 1, Test 2, Test 3, Test 4)

I was immediately struck by how much better the video was in terms of lag.  It was super smooth.  I love the feedback method of tapping the screen to send a flurry of hearts fluttering on the lower-right portion of the screen.

A couple of things still have me confused a tad:

  • You are supposed to be able to alert your twitter followers when you start a live stream, but I tried it twice and it never appeared on my timeline.
  • The location sharing is downright creepy in its accuracy.  You can zoom into the little mini map to pinpoint the exact location you where are streaming. (A big thank you to @ericsalinas for pointing that one out)
  • The Periscope app gets access to your twitter account as read-only while Meerkat has read and write.  I would think that an app owned by twitter would have an API configured to post about your broadcast.
  • The chat function only publishes Periscope, making it less likely to draw in Twitter users
  • The streams are interrupted by a notifications overlay promoting other streams – that is a bit annoying.
  • The chats also do not show up in the recorded stream so the ‘conversation’ aspect ends up looking odd when you have someone responding to questions without seeing that side of teh conversation.  (This only applies to the saved stream viewed later.)

I can see some great uses for my clients:

  • I have a florist client (floralrenaustin.com) that is always at gorgeous galas/events/wedding.  He could add a live video stream to much better show his artistry that photos ever could.
  • When covering live sports events (www.lonestargridiron.com) you could stream a live feed to fans (Now if they just had a way to embed a player on a website hmmm…)
  • LIVE news coverage
  • Behind the scenes
  • Seminars
  • Trainings
  • Remote team communication

I think Periscope is the current leader in the live streaming twitter app battle and I can’t wait to see further developments.

Aside from the poor integration with Twitter, this is a wonderful app.  I expect the connection with Twitter will get better quickly.

by Chris Doelle

Ten minutes with anyone alive

If you could sit down for ten minutes with anyone alive today, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Give me your feedback. This is not just a random question. I have a plan and will give you details after I get some feedback from you!!  Please share this link with as many people as you can!

by Chris Doelle

Lame Jokes Rule and so does my book

BUY TODAY

BUY TODAY

After posting lame jokes online with the hashtag #lamejokesrule for the past few years, I found I had quite a collection of truly lame jokes.  It was only natural that I would dig through them and pick out the best ones to put into my first joke book – Lame Jokes Rule: 500 eye-rolling jokes, puns, guffaws, gut-busters and groaners

There are a couple of ways you can get your hands on one for yourself of a gift:

1 – Purchase at Amazon (PLEASE leave me a review if you do.)

2 – Purchase direct at lamejokesrule.com (Purchase through Paypal and a link to a .mobi file (Kindle format) will be emailed to you.

3 – Smashwords will eventually have the book (After the exclusivity on Amazon expires)

4 – iBooks will eventually have the book (After the exclusivity on Amazon expires)

5 – If there is enough interest, I will make the book available in a printed version

Be on the lookout for followup books as this series is just getting started.  In the works are more volumes of Lame Jokes Rule as well as a specific compilation of puns.

Thank you for laughing with me over the years and thank you for buying the book.

Cheerios does it again

cheerios-flavorsI never liked Cheerios as a kid because they were too plain, but over the past decade or so, they have started venturing out.   I have become a big fan.

Last I saw there were more than a dozen flavors.  Yes, I like the chocolate ones, but the Banana Nut were my favorite – until now.

The new Cheerios protein variety absolutely rock.  Not only because they taste great (Cinnamon Almond flavored) but they are packed with protein.  That is something you just don’t get from a tasty breakfast cereal.

Sure, we’re not talking about two eggs protein here – but for Cheerios this is health food.  Give it a try and tell me what you think.  (No, General Mills is not paying me for this post.)

by Chris Doelle

cheerios protein

 

Brand loyalty = almost 100%

Most of America is very brand loyal, but I would have to rate myself as one of the most loyal to my brands. When I saw that Converse was canceling production of their all-white leather high tops, I raced to as many stores as I could and literally stocked up on years worth of my favorite shoe.  I would probably still be wearing them if a) I could find them and b) my wife hadn’t taught me the value of the right shoe for the occasion.  (I am much more loyal to her than my consumer brands.)

I have had another occasion to switch brands recently – shaving cream.  I have been buying Edge Gel since I started shaving.  I think I chose it partly because of the cool factor and partly because my brother Tim used it and I couldn’t afford shaving cream of my own.

Gillette Foamy shaving creamThat changed on my recent trip to Los Angeles.  I didn’t pack my razor or shaving cream because I couldn’t remember if Homeland Security allowed razors on planes now.  Before a conference that Saturday morning, I headed down to the front desk at the Wyndham and they graciously handed me a razor and this little travel size can of Gillette Foamy.  I did not expect what happened.

First, I used waaay too much – not sure if that is because I thought it would take more or that Edge Gel has trained me to use more?  Second, and much more surprising, the scent immediately evoked images of my father.  I traveled back to a time, as a small child, that I would talk to my dad while he shaved in the morning.  I don’t know what shaving cream he used, but it was foamy and smelled the same.

The other thing that stood out to me was what a good shave it gave me.  And you know I brought the can and razor home (security didn’t care) and tested them in combination with my gel and Gillette Fusion razor.  The top combination appears to be the Gillette Foamy shaving cream and Gillette Fusion razor… who knew I was  Gillette man?

shaving cream

You may ask yourself why I do tests like this… I’ll tell you what I think:

  1. I’m wired that way – curiosity may have killed the cat, it made the Chris happier each time I learn something… no matter how seemingly menial or useless.
  2. As a marketer and student of psychology, I have always been fascinated by “why people do things.”  This helps me understand the people in my life worth understanding and assists in telling my client’s stories.
  3. It’s fun.  Some people do Words with Friends or Sudoku… I do learning experiments.  Color me odd.

What brands are you loyal to? Do you know why?  It may not be for the reasons you think.

by Chris Doelle

For only $10K I can get my listing in IMDB #conman

conman, con man, because convention man doesn't sound as cool,Going way back to my indie film days I’ve always had the goal of getting listed on IMDB (Internet Movie Database.)  However, none of the indie films I produced/directed/acted in had enough distribution to be listed.

Now, thanks to Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly, and a host of video games) and Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Serenity etc.) I can… well, if I fork over $10,000.

Their new project Con Man is a proposed series being promoted at Indie GoGo about former sci-fi actors making their way on the convention circuit.  I love the subtitle on the movie poster (right) Because Convention Man Doesn’t Sound As Cool. With Alan Tudyk doing the bulk of the writing, I am sure it will be witty, smart, warm and irreverent all at once.

As of this writing, the duo has raised nearly $50,000 (Expect that to rise quickly) of their $425,000 goal to fund the series.  While the Executive Producer donation level is a bit steep for me, I love their work, love the idea and hope to see Con Man become a reality.

by Chris Doelle

The Apple Watch – not on my wrist

Apple watchColor me a luddite when it comes to new tech, but I am going to pass on the Apple watch.  To friends, that may sound like the exact opposite of me… but to close friends, it is my MO. (modus operandi) It is exactly how I roll.

I am all about tech that proves useful in my business or personal life… I just don’t want to be the one on the bleeding edge in terms of purchasing.

  • iPhone introduced June 2007 – I got mine in June 2010  (4s)
  • iPad introduced April 2010 – I got mine Aug 2014

Yes, I love my connected gadgets – I have many great gizmos that add a lot to my life – here are just  a few:

  • heart rate monitor that sends data to my iphone and the internet
  • bathroom scale that sends data to my iphone and the internet
  • cycling computer that records time, distance, speed etc.
  • cycling app that records time, distance, speed, heart rate and sends same to internet
  • Chromecast that streams audio and video to various smart devices and televisions
  • Car that connects with my devices via bluetooth and/or USB

The one thing they all have in common is that I didn’t “buy into” the device until it had been out for quite some time (average four years) and had been proven to work well.

So no, I won’t rush out and get the Apple Watch even though it has a lot of cool gizmos built in (most of which are already being handle by my iPhone and/or iPad.)  Enjoy your watch – post cool pictures – write blog posts about what works and what frustrates you… I will watch, learn and likely buy version 4 or 5 when the bugs are worked out and the price has dropped significantly.

by Chris Doelle

 

In praise of vulnerability

“We're never so vulnerable  than when we trust someone -  but paradoxically, if we cannot  trust, neither can we find love  or joy.”    - Frank Crane

This is going to polarize people.  I have had this discussion with a lot of friends and there are two decidedly different camps when it comes to being vulnerable.  I have friends that say keeping to yourself is safe and opening up is dangerous.

It is my belief that EVERYTHING good in my life I owe to my vulnerability.  Yeah, its a pretty bold claim, but bear with me.

In all my successful relationships, I took the chance and opened up.  They work because I give without a guarantee of success… because I go out on that limb, and trust in people, I am rewarded with that trust re-payed.  That continues to strengthen and build those relationships.

I those relationships that didn’t work out – it normally comes down to someone being unable or unwilling to be vulnerable that leads to the breakdown.

It is no different in business.  The reason I have loyal clients is that I am a loyal vendor.  Actually, it is more than that – it is because I am a loyal friend first and foremost.  I simply do business with friends and distance myself from business relationships that do not afford that sort of growth.  I have (and will continue to) walked away from seemingly lucrative business arrangements if there was no sharing or friendship involved.

Those who have known me for years have called me “a good listener” and “someone you can tell anything to.”  I didn’t sit down one day and decide to become a good listener.  People open up to me and tell me things “they wouldn’t tell their closest friend” because I do the same.  I am an open book.

My wife has told me in the past that I am an “over sharer” and maybe it is more than most people feel comfortable sharing, but its me.  I am wired that way.  (at least I am now.)

As a brash young man (who knew everything and was quick to let you know) I kept my cards close to the vest lest someone use that information to get the better of me.  I matured and learned that this behavior limited my opportunities and growth.

When I stopped worrying about my “image” or what people thought of me and really settled in to loving who I am, it became easy to share.  From there it was a domino effect.

When you open up and share with people, there is a rush of oxytocin (and that feels excellent) that reinforces the behavior in you as well as the other person.   It then causes them to feel at ease sharing with you… it’s like some hippie drugfest of sharing, caring and getting wasted on oxy.

My signoff on my audio and video shows for more than a decade has been “until next time, I’m Chris Doelle reminding you… to keep it real!”    Vulnerability is real.  Sharing is real.  Honesty is real.

This is probably one of the biggest reasons for my general state of happiness – my connections to people.  If you are having a problem finding something to be happy about, try it.  Find someone and share something about yourself that you normally would keep inside.  Watch what happens.  (and then tell me about it.)

by Chris Doelle

some of my other posts about happiness ( I seem to write about this subject alot)

Don’t let lack stop you

I was talking with a friend yesterday about running his own business and the thing that he kept going back to was that he “doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”   It was my contention that it doesn’t matter.

It goes back to one of my pet peeves – the drive for perfection.  Perfection has cost more people success than any single thing.

He kept going back to things like:

  • I don’t know what to call my business
  • I don’t know what services to offer
  • I don’t know where to market my business
  • I don’t know what to charge

These all come down to fear of failure.  That’s it!  Fear of failure is at the base of everything.

A year from now, you will wish you had started today

A year from now, you will wish you had started today

Business is easy.  Create something that people want – offer it at a fair price – put it out there.  It doesn’t need to be perfect, it needs to begin… that’s it.

by Chris Doelle

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