Is anti-digital going to be the next big trend? We’re already seeing a slew of startups taking on the task of battling email inbox overload. We have cover-story authors unplugging from tech for short spurts and brands pushing digital detox messaging in their promotional plans. And this video, which has over 15 million views, highlighting the every day absurdity of our phone-tethered activities. I think it’s a good trend, building services that aim to tame the digital beast. At the same time, we have a long way to go. What I’d really love to experience is a redefined “airplane mode” – a singular button on my phone that results in all non-phone-call activity being muted instantaneously. The catch would be some sort of language processing system that alerts me to emergency-level messages (text, email, etc.).
Building diverse communities is getting more and more complex. And I absolutely love it. Offline to online, online to offline, everything-all-at-once. WeWork, a co-working space founded in NYC but present on the Left Coast, recently announced a new foray into digital magazine publishing. “Today WeWork has launched a Web publication called FullStart, which is ‘dedicated to helping startups and small businesses.’ The idea is to take WeWork’s community magic and port it to the Web, so that small businesses around the country can learn from and contribute to WeWork’s community without being physically present in the co-working space. This is how a real estate company tries its hand at scale.” Nowadays, this move doesn’t seem so odd. But think about the strikingly different skill sets involved in these two disciplines: coordinating / overseeing physical office space versus creating / publishing content online. Yet, it all makes sense. You can’t survive in a silo any longer, regardless of your specific industry. Certainly, Warby Parker didn’t need brick-and-mortars, but that didn’t stop the wildly successful brand from extending its e-commerce roots into the physical retail world.
Not to sound like Startup Douche, but the entrepreneurial community is fucking awesome. I’m just beginning to get involved and the willingness of noobs and vets alike to take precious time out of their days to listen to my pestering has been nothing short of inspiring. Hell, we even had a competitor who replied to our inquiry email (briefly, but a response at all was more than we expected). There is tremendous power in simply asking your friends, colleagues, and contacts if they know anyone willing to talk to you, and your network is integral in your success. Also, put yourself out there.
Native advertising / corporate sponsorship / what the frig, Instagram?! In this week’s Weird Ass Partnership news, Google’s next Android version roll out will be named KitKat, in honor of the crunchy candy bar. Then GE jumps into bed with Dots. C’mon, Instagram, get with the damn picture! Take my advice and offer branded brand-built filters!