An eclectically accomplished musician and studio virtuoso, Todd Rundgren is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter whose music career has spanned nearly five decades. His musical style has evolved over the years from the simple pop of his early solo albums to the more complex progressive rock of his band Utopia, which gained Rundgren a devoted cult following – and beyond. (more…)
Last week I was honored to join an invite-only gathering of my peers at the City Vineyard in NYC (owned and run by one of my colleagues, Michael Dorf and one of the hosts of this reunion event).
The gathering was meant to honor us crazy visionaries who saw the future of the convergence of music and tech over 20 years ago…and who lived in a crystal ball waiting for the world to catch up with our visions for what would be possible. In my case the future started at the beginning of 1988 when I was part of a small team who birthed the music and entertainment focus at Apple. (more…)
Many people in my world are aware that in addition to my years as an Apple employee (music & entertainment), I was also very fortunate to have been able to call Steve Jobs a personal mentor. The things we discussed and the insights he shared with me over time are an indelible part of my DNA.
Steve often crosses my mind, but even more so last week as we hit the 5 year anniversary mark of his passing. I can hardly believe it’s been that long! So I thought it would be fitting to share a few of the lessons and insights I cherish the most: (more…)
While women held 57% of all professional positions in the U.S. in 2014, they filled only 26 percent of tech jobs. Nonetheless, being a woman has never held me back — and it doesn’t have to hamper your career, either.
Mark Zuckerberg (along with many others) believes that virtual reality will change the way we live, work, and communicate in many ways. Zuck may be right about the long term, but the truth is, VR isn’t quite ready for mass-market adoption.
David Butler brings over 25 years of experience as an investor, advisor, designer and brand strategist to his current role as Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Coca-Cola. Joining the company as its first global head of design, David successfully led the design-driven turnaround of an $80M brand, prompting Fast Company to name him a “Master of Design” and Forbes to elect him to their “Executive Dream Team.” (more…)
Robert Tercek’s unique views on managing innovation are sought by organizations around the world. His motto is “Inventing the Future.” He is passionate about inspiring audiences to seize their own destiny by thinking creatively and taking decisive action.
We’ve been watching “wearable tech” come on like a force of nature over the last couple of years. It’s the convergence of ever shrinking technology that shows up in everyday lives everywhere – on our bodies, in our hands, in our cars – and information – and fashion. Yes, fashion.
Think of the obvious first, like fashion electronics. Whether it’s FitBit or the Apple Watch that just hit the scene, or Jawbone, or any of these things that are now considered fashion accessories – but they are primarily fitness accessories that give you information in real time about what’s happening with your body and your activity level. (more…)
When the iPod, iPhone, and iPad launched, they gave way to entirely new categories of MP3 players, smartphones, and portable computers. They were hardly necessities when they hit the market, and the prices seemed exorbitant at launch. In fact, people didn’t realize they wanted–let alone needed–these devices as part of their lifestyles when they first came out. That’s part of Apple’s magic.
Each of those devices proved its worth over time by offering consumers simple conveniences through innovative technology. Now, iPhones and iPads are ubiquitous and deemed essential items for businesspeople, students, and anyone with a desire to be connected.
The next frontier is wearable technology, and with the Apple Watch set to arrive this spring, Apple is preparing to blaze the trail in the marketplace, just as it did with its other iconic devices.
The Difference Is in the Details
Apple devices have gone mainstream because they’ve transformed people’s lives for the better. That was the primary goal. The products enabled users to become more productive and efficient, with the minimalist style and ease that Apple products are famous for. While its smartwatch might not be the first one in its class, Apple is determined to set it apart from the rest.
For starters, the company hired several established senior-level executives from the fashion industry to collaborate on the watch and invited fashion houses to weigh in. The result? A watch that offers unparalleled stylistic options and personalization. And once you get past the beauty of it, you can peel back the layers and discover the functionality that makes this wearable unique.
As expected, the Apple Watch will integrate seamlessly with other Apple devices and connect with Siri to enable quick reminders and real-time requests. The watch also supports Apple Pay, which is being accepted by a growing number of retailers.
Users will no longer have to fumble around to find their hotel keycards and boarding passes, either. The watch will unlock hotel rooms at select chains and speed users through the airport with boarding pass access in select airlines.
Like the iPhone, the Apple Watch will continue to simplify a number of daily tasks. Before long, you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without it.
The Future of the Apple Watch and Wearable Tech
The functionality of wearable tech makes these items true lifestyle partners. As they assist you with multiple routine tasks in personal and professional settings, they’ll quickly become must-haves due to how integrated they are in your life.
The Apple Watch will give you the power to optimize daily tasks, leverage apps for information and communication, and be more productive and efficient in general, just as smartphones do. But with the Apple Watch, you’ll be able to do it all hands-free rather than having to carry your phone around in your hand.
But as wearables become mainstream, the industry will become ripe for innovation in multiple directions. Although few consumers have gotten past Apple Watch’s sticker shock, more niche groups will inevitably be identified as potential customers, including those interested in tracking personal fitness (be it weekend warriors or professional athletes) and elite frequent flyers.
When Apple revolutionized smartphones with a more sophisticated (and expensive) option, some questioned the value in paying hundreds of dollars for a cell phone. Consumers also greeted the iPad with skepticism. But soon after, users uncovered the plethora of handy features and the immense value behind these products, and today, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s not clenching a smartphone at this very moment.
As the price of the Apple Watch comes down, the same will prove true with this new wearable tech. Instead of simply being a timekeeper, it will be a timesaver–and an indispensable part of your daily routine.
How can you use the Cloud to be more productive at work, to enjoy and share music and video, and to stay in touch with family and friends? Here are 5 ways the cloud will make both your business and personal life easier:
The cloud allows you to store data remotely, rather than on your home computer, giving you easy access to your files from anywhere. This can keep you productive when you’re either in or out of the office, and also allows you to collaborate with others on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The cloud really benefits small businesses because it allows for such great flexibility. You can access your data from anywhere, on any of your devices. Because you can update and share these documents on the go, cloud-based apps enable you to brainstorm with business colleagues as well as personal connections no matter where they are.
There are cloud services that offer easy ways to keep track of your appointments, schedule meetings, take notes and help you to organize your day. To-do lists can help ensure that daily tasks are not forgotten. This certainly ups your productivity in business, and can keep your personal schedule running smoothly. No more missed anniversaries!
You could say that web-based email was the original cloud. Instead of downloading electronic messages to your computer, cloud email lets you log in and view them from anywhere. As far as social media, when you like, retweet or pin something, and whenever you use a messaging app, you are doing it in the cloud.
For entertainment purposes, streaming music and video on demand from the cloud affords you access to millions of files, as opposed to relying on what you could store locally on a specific computer. Gone are the days of burning cd’s or placing large amounts of media on your hard drive. You can host your own files to share pictures or home movies with family and friends, no matter where they are.
Many data experts remotely recommend backing up those precious memories and important business documents and using a private cloud is a great way for individuals and businesses to securely store files. No more worrying that hard disk failure or computer theft will mean the loss of your important files. When you make use of online storage and syncing services like Dropbox, you have been involved with cloud computing. The cloud also offers a disaster recovery solution in the event of an outage.
The cloud is becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives. Use it to enhance your business and personal life, increase productivity, and to give you peace of mind when you store and back up your most important files.
Until next time, Kelli Richards
CEO of The All Access Group, LLC
PS: Always remember that your goals are possible to achieve. Believe in yourself and your ideas. Your intuition got you this far, so trust it. Don’t ignore your own excitement. Keep the passion burning and your vision front and center at all times. It’s the perfect fuel for your dreams. Visit: http://www.allaccessgroup.com
Formally known as “The Apple Watch,” Apple again forces us all to ask one existential question: What is it? Is it a bird? A plane? A watch, computer, bracelet, phone, or tablet? Now, you might be saying: Smart watches aren’t a new idea. But, in the end, Apple really does just do everything better. Jon Ivey, Senior VP of design at Apple declares, in the iWatch film, “It’s driven Apple from the beginning, this compulsion to take incredibly powerful technology and making it accessible, relevant and ultimately, deeplyl personal.”
In the iWatch, it seems like Apple has done just that; bringing recognizable Apple design and technology to a smaller, wearable, more personal scale. Whereas other smart watches look just like that; a smart watch. The “iWatch” is a completely different beast. To begin with, it’s a beautiful watch. It’s a classy analog, stainless steel time piece. It’s also a colorful, dynamic, fit exercise partner. Or, it’s a relaxed fit, leather bound daily personal assistant.
Imagine taking the iPad and shrinking it down. Or perhaps take the iPhone plus, shrink it down; now you have the iPad mini, shrink that down, shrink it down again, and again, and throw it on your wrist. It has your favorite application capabilities, from your music, to messages, to fitness monitor, and email. You know all the ways you can customize your iPad? With Apple smart cases and covers? Well, the iWatch offers over two million combinations of watch display from analog to digital and landscape mode, to varying selections regarding band.
Possibly the coolest feature of the iWatch, however, is its most subtle dynamic: a digital touch function. Basically, you can get a friend’s attention, who also has an iWatch, by just tapping, or writing on your iWatch. They sync and your written message appears on your friends display. Anything from, a quick reminder to pick up milk, to a simple, “Hello,” is easily captured with an easy, fast touch of the wrist. Now that’s cool.
So while Apple has been raving about their new release of the iPhone 6, basically joining Samsung in the phablet craze, (and when it comes to that particular product, they remind us that The Next Big Thing has actually been here for quite some time), I’ll just sit back and wait for the next LITTLE Thing, and it’s release in “early 2015.”
THIS is the ultimate in wearable computing – done in the ultimate best way. Steve Jobs would definitely be proud.
Of the 28 million small businesses in the United States, 52 percent of them are home-based. Maintaining and organizing your business from home is easier with the advancements in mobile technology. With the latest apps and services you can organize your business’ finances, organize your team, market your product, and provide your customers with top-notch customer service. These technologies have made it easy for home businesses to streamline processes and produce products that mimic larger organizations.
Managing your business finances can be challenging, to say the least. While you may want to consider contracting this job out to a savvy accountant, programs and apps can help you manage the task yourself. With a great business data plan from T-Mobile on a tablet like the iPad Air, you can even enter invoices and payment in the field or on the go. Quickbooks: The cloud-based platform from Intuit has been a stalwart in tracking expenses for businesses both large and small. The all-encompassing account software allows you to send invoices to customers and accept payment for any sales as well as track any expenses towards you make for your business. Also, if you have employees, it has a payroll feature to cut checks to your employees. Paypal: Paypal also allows you to receive or send payments through your mobile device. If you are on the go you can make sales on the spot. For an extra $30 a month you can customize the experience for your shoppers and even receive payments via phone, fax, and mail.
Organizing Your Team
If your team works remotely, the latest technology enables you to communicate with your team and track milestones: DropBox: Share files with team members seamlessly and securely through DropBox. Share large files with important data with your team members without the need to physically hand it to them. Skype: The leader in video conferencing software, Skype enables your team to communicate face to face and discuss anything related to the business. Omnifocus: This multi-faceted app allows you to organize your team and yourself, as well. Omnifocus let’s you create tasks for your team to complete and provide them with any material to complete any goals you place for them.
Marketing Your Business
The advent of social media has made marketing easier for all types of businesses, but there are plenty of tools home-based businesses can leverage: Buffer: Buffer allows you to manage all your social media accounts on one platform through your iPad. It enables you to schedule your content to publish when you think the most interaction will occur. TweetDeck: This is a great app for you to directly engage with the followers of your business and track what your customers and potential customers are chatting about. This allows you to engage swiftly and produce content towards your target audience.
Customer Support through Mobile Applications
These mobile technologies have allowed home businesses to provide top-notch customer service to their customers. Zoho CRM: Zoho gives you access to to your customer’s data through its mobile app. It saves and tracks all communication and transactions with the customer so you have all the data in one place wherever you are. Zendesk: Zendesk is used by companies worldwide, large and small, and creates a platform for addressing the issues your customers face.
Until next time,
Kelli Richards CEO of The All Access Group, LLC
PS, The right mentor should also have the right CONNECTIONS to move you forward.
Be sure to ask who they think they can bring to the table around advisorship, possible collaboration and even funding.
Great work will never die in today’s ever expanding online digital world. According to the IDC “The digital universe is growing 40% a year into the next decade. By 2020 it will contain nearly as many digital hits as there are stars in the universe.” In fact, according to Science Daily, 90% of all the world’s data has been written in the past 2 years. Wow. That is an incredibly daunting idea. Literally 90% of the information that is readily accessible to the world today was not available only 2 years ago.
While imagining the sheer magnitude of all this data is overwhelming, studying this information on a more local, individual level is far easier to wrap your head around.
Let’s take a look at the Beatles first Big Screen appearance in the film, A Hard Day’s Night, for example. In examining the 50th anniversary restoration process for the film, technicians needed to compensate for the original recordings (which had been lost) of what is now widely considered the most inspirational musical group ever. Imagine that, the original recordings were lost.
An incredibly foreign idea today in a day and age that with one quick internet search can find you thousands of Kids Pop covers of every song ever done. So how were these recordings lost in history? Well, despite Beatlemania, apparently some doubt still existed as to whether or not The Beatles would make a serious lasting impact; and who wants to track down and organize a possible “one hit wonders” second and third album? I’m 1960, the answer was no one; apparently not even for the Beatles. Today, this is routinely done for even small artists. It may have been a Hard Day’s Night to make a lasting footprint back then, but now, there’s almost no one left without an online footprint. The solid win for all of us is that great work never dies in today’s online digital world, and as a result, we are all, always building a digital legacy for lifetimes to come.
Let’s look at the Lennon legacy. Everyone is probably aware of John’s journey from Liverpool, his work with the Beatles, his marriage with Yoko Ono and his untimely death. But what about his children? Julian, John’s eldest son, has expanded his own musical career, fighting through adversity often faced by platinum artists children, attempting to get out of the shadow of their musical parents. (Luckily for humanity, in addition to his music, Julian has made great strides in his White Feather Foundation, raising funds for a more sustainable future for the planet.) And Sean, John’s youngest son is touring with bands like the Flaming Lips and Tame Impala while releasing his own albums and unique sound.
Our digital footprints go beyond music, of course, Paul McCartney’s daughter Stella need only be Googled to find pages and pages of images of her enormous impact on fashion. And of course, the remaining Beatles themselves continue to make great music and build their legacy, both online and off.
So while the early pieces of Beatles history have been lost, their legacy will not be forgotten and in fact, continues to grow and grow. Living on in their new accomplishments, their children, their fans, and in an online database for everyone to access, so no one will forget.
Until next time,
Kelli Richards, President, CEO of the All Access Group, LLC
Startup life is a hot topic in Hollywood right now. From Joshua Michael Stern’s “Jobs” to the Amazon original series “Betas” there’s an undeniable appeal to life in Silicon Valley for those both inside and outside the startup bubble.
Of course, Hollywood is famous for exaggerating or overlooking important aspects of reality for entertainment purposes, but so far, HBO’s “Silicon Valley” looks promising. Despite the dramatic plotline and startup stereotypes, the show provides a mostly accurate portrayal of entrepreneurial life and may even help demystify some aspects of startup culture.
Can ‘Silicon Valley’ Avoid Hollywood Startup Myths?
“Silicon Valley” follows the lives of near-genius, socially awkward computer programmer Richard Hendrix (played by Thomas Middleditch) and his friends as he attempts to launch his company in the star-studded world of Silicon Valley.
The show was inspired by the real-life experiences of director Mike Judge, who was a Silicon Valley engineer in the ’80s. Living up to his “Office Space” brilliance, Judge carries the mindset of the tech community to the small screen and introduces a number of well-cast (if stereotypical) characters we can all relate to: that bright but socially awkward programmer and the naïve entrepreneur with a lot to learn.
“Silicon Valley” seems like a winner so far, but the question is whether it can avoid falling prey to a lot of the common myths Hollywood likes to perpetuate about startup life.
Myth 1: A good idea automatically equals success.
When all you read about are the multibillion-dollar success stories, it’s easy to think that success is a sure thing if you have a good idea — or that good ideas are immediately rewarded with plentiful funding.
In reality, it’s not that simple. The venture capital world is complicated, and there’s a lot of competition to secure funding of any kind. A good idea needs a good plan, a good team, and a lot of luck. And even with all those things, failure is all too common.
Myth 2: Genius and social skills are mutually exclusive.
In shows like “The Big Bang Theory” bright, technology-obsessed characters are often stereotyped as socially awkward geeks. Or, as we saw in “The Social Network,” brilliance in Hollywood often translates to arrogance, self-importance, or standoffishness on-screen.
While there are plenty of antisocial geniuses, tech shows distort reality. Succeeding in Silicon Valley is not for wallflowers. By and large, entrepreneurs must be bright, motivated, and willing to listen and learn, as well as equipped with good social skills.
Myth 3: It’s easy to put together the perfect team.
Television shows often give the impression that it’s easy to pull together a highly skilled, highly compatible team right off the bat. But in the real world, there’s no casting call for the right skills and the right temperament. The perfect team isn’t just sitting around waiting for your breakthrough. The right people can be challenging to find and motivate to join the team. Your team’s chemistry relies on a combination of referrals, trial and error, and luck.
Shortly into its debut, “Silicon Valley” has done a good job of presenting a microcosm of the real Silicon Valley, especially for first-timers. And it’s popular for a reason: To those outside the startup bubble, it’s a fascinating world with a mysterious way of doing business. Anyone who has spent time in the tech industry will see where Judge gets it right, and anyone who hasn’t will find themselves more informed about the realities of Silicon Valley.
But the truth is that startup life is not particularly glamorous or mysterious. It’s not about fancy campuses or billion-dollar algorithms — it’s about bright, motivated people who work very hard every day to make an impact on the world.
Until next time,
CEO of The All Access Group, LLC
PS, The right mentor should also have the right CONNECTIONS to move you forward. Be sure to ask who they think they can bring to the table around advisorship, possible collaboration and even funding.