Lessons on How to Be Leader of the Pack

From George Lucas. Maxim Magazine (yep, I read it, every once in awhile). June 2010.

Interviewer: "Have you mellowed over the years?"

Lucas: "Yeah but I'm old-school. I'm hands-on with everything from the screenplays and the music to the hair cuts and the shoelaces. I've learned to accept that it's a team effort, but somebody finally has to say, "No, we do it this way." If you're not the leader of the pack, then you should be doing something else."

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Enterprise Biz Dev Folks: Social Tech May Come a Knockin'

But Foursquare’s deal with Starbucks points to an inconvenient truth about scaling a check-in service: for check-ins to have real value, they need to be incentivised. And real incentives come through partnerships laboriously hashed out by a strong biz dev team.

That means it’s going to take more than snappy engineers, pretty badges, or even tons of users, for a company to win the war for check-ins. It’s going to take a strong salesforce that can offer users lots and lots of coupons and making checking-in worth their while.

From: "Foursquare keeps up the buzz | Tech Blog | FT.com."

The irony of a scalable, viral social app that requires an enterprise team to close revenue is thoroughly enjoyable to anyone who's lived/worked through a Valley startup and heard echoing down the corridors of Sand Hill Road: "Yeah, but will it scale?" or "Don't worry about revenue, just get users."

I'm looking forward to the day when startups (some, not all, the old early 2000's model of virality is still useful) focus more on maximizing VALUE per individual user rather than scaling a service that has less than 5% repeat, 'regular' users.

Thesis: With geolocation and check-ins, the 'quality' of your users (where they go, how often) will matter more than the quantity.

If you are Foursquare for example, consider this example of individual user value: a loyal user may check-in 7+ times weekly.

This user is more valuable than 5 other users who check-in, on average, 1x a week.

With check-ins and other real-time data capture services, all of a sudden recidivism matters (again).

After the novelty of checking in wears off, the company providing that service better be able to build in real-life perks (geopromotions, coupons for 1$ off my Frappuccino, etc) to keep you coming back.

Check-ins are essentially confirmations of life events (places we go, people we're with).

And this requires, gasp, a focus on individual user loyalty and utility over time, offered in the context of an intensely personal contextual data firehose.

Foursquare's badges, leaderboard, and mayor awards were a good early strategy to get users comfortable with the check-in behavioral pattern, but now they'll need to move past virtual incentives to real-world goodies.

Fortunately for Foursquare (and friends), most of us fill our days with an endless parade of comings and goings to lighten the tyranny of hours.

The brilliance of their platform is that it captures the underutilized asset of how we spend a portion of the 10,080 minutes we're each allotted weekly.

The question will increasingly be whether or not it's worth my while to burn 21 or so of those minutes checking in (3 mins/checkin, 7x weekly).

"Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once. " ~Lillian Dickson

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Today's #getupandmove

The road less traveled, off Ravensbury, high in the Los Altos hills. Have you moved today?

Sent from my iPhone

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Check-In's Will Become a Commodity - Does Your Health App Have 'Em?

Because as Lee explains, the "check-in" is going to be a commodity in a matter of months -- everyone will have a "check-in" feature, ranging from the likes of Foursquare to Facebook and Google. It's what happens after the check-in that is going to be valuable, Lee says, and he and Booyah plan to use location data specifically to make games.

From: "Booyah! Foursquare Rival Raises Huge $20 Million Round From Accel (AAPL)."

Geolocation and personal identification combined = 'here I am,' or a 'check in' format.

However, if you're a Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite, or MyTown user, you may have found that after the honeymoon period of seeing yourself show up on a map or leaderboard wears off, there's little incentive to continue broadcasting your location.

Also, constant check-ins, like constant micro-blog updates via Twitter, may serve to highlight for some of us the banality of our everyday routines.

How can the places we go become a game? An asset?

How can a list of the places we go, subjectively selected and entered - become both a personal experiential (n=1) asset and a clinically relevant population-health (n=

A note on the subjectivity/self-selection check in process and clinical utility...I've yet to see any friends check in at meth clinics or strip clubs, although both of these behaviors might be an important piece of evidence in the clinical record.

If you use these sites and services, what incentivizes you to 'check in?'

Are there any incentives you can imagine that would move you to 'check in' for healthcare related transmission of personal data to direct and unplugged to your health record?

Open question...

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How Long Before We Have a "Diabetes" Program Button?

Eating our own #getupandmove dog food, post-dinner at Cracker Barrel.

11:16pm. 15 mins down the hatch.

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I just checked into a flight using my iPhone

And an emailed link to a QR code.

AWESOME. Sent from my iPhone

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What's Old is New Again - Geolocation's Potential = Getting People Through the Door

People talk about location-based advertising, but location removes the need for advertising," said Seth Goldstein, co-founder of SocialMedia.com. "If you know where the consumer is, and that she is physically touching your brand, then you do not need to rely upon traditional mass-media channels to reach her.

From: "Facebook Poised to Take 
Geo-Networking Mainstream - Advertising Age - Digital."

Even better, what if the consumer is physically doing something *beneficial* with your brand? Walking? Running? Lifting? Dancing? :)

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Weirdest #getupandmove Yet...for @nostriluu

Check - "spend 15 minutes looking for a lost pet."

Unfortunately, Hallie was last seen in Blacksburg VA in December...

I didn't find her on my walk (which took 30 minutes - after I got into the spirit of the thing it was hard to give up).

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2 mins of #getupandmove crunches

In the hospital birthing center where my niece Ava was just born. Legs are hanging on the edge of the couch, held together tight, Pilates style.

For @busternoe ... Please to keep 'em coming? I'd love to get up to 6 mins/day and I need an "abs buddy" ;). Sent from my iPhone

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Dear Awesome Guammies - It's Been Awhile...Now You Can See Why!

Guammies -

Thank you *so much* for your patience as we fumbled through figuring out features that will make your user experience better.

You gave us plenty of suggestions on how to improve Get Up and Move (GUAM) via Twitter, Facebook, and our Uservoice Feedback Forum.

Our challenge was to digest and categorize all those comments and figure out how to combine them into 'best use' design.

We're ridiculously pleased to announce our next big version is LIVE!

Amazingly, the "birth" of Get Up and Move's latest version occurred on the same exact day as the birthday of my newest niece!!!

Last night, while I was walking around with my sister Kate, who was having contractions, my cofounder Andrey was readying your new platform for healthier microchoices. 

At about 2am, my niece Ava was born (7lbs 11 ounces!). At about 2:30 am, Andrey sent me an email. Here it is (with some commentology from moi):

Dear Awesomes:

The new getupandmove.me is live. You must all invite one new person or complete 50 pushups. :P

A non-exhaustive list of what's new:
  • NEW: Improved Facebook-ish design for challenge lists
  • NEW: Settings page! (Customize how you login and send challenges! Create a bio so people know what kinds of activities to ask you to do)
  • NEW: Your connected social networking services now link out of your public profile (one step closer to being able to get a date out of getupandmove) Um. A date?! From a #getupandmove challenge? I guess stranger things have happened on the web...
  • NEW: A snazzy "friends" grid based on your social graph (Facebook + Twitter - you'll see familiar avatar photos on the right side of your screen)
  • NEW: Improved tweet character counter to help you with those snarky challenge completion comments
  • NEW: Improved permalinks to challenges (now the permalinks are the same to all participants, which they weren't before)
  • NEW: Better links in tweets with bit.ly'fying (now permalinks to a challenge, rather than just to getupandmove.me)
  • NEW: Various image improvements courtesy of Tracy, our amazing designer (@limedaring)

Invisible changes that are enabling us to build even MORE exciting new features you've asked for to roll out next month:
  • COMING SOON: Completely rebuilt the challenge schema to support group stuff, the next "big thing" we're working on for June
  • COMING SOON: Commenting on someone else's challenge is almost ready, launch that next week
  • COMING SOON: Our first sponsored challenge community! 
Please to ignore:
  • Notable increase of profanity in source comments and commits
  • Jen's rants about QA

It's constantly amazing to me what we're doing with a tiny, time-strapped 2 person team (and one of us taking baby steps towards learning Python).

*Please* keep telling us what works for you - and what doesn't - folks; it may take us some time to get your dream GUAM built, but your contact, comments and criticisms keeps us going on the long, dark, cold lonely nights :). 

Your friendly neighborhood technical co-founder,
Andrey (@shazow)

Your friendly neighborhood non-tech co-founder,
Jen (@jensmccabe)

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Remember Playing in the Dirt as a Kid?

Tonight's #getupandmove...

Find a biiiiiig dirt pile. This one, in Blacksburg VA, weighs in at about 14 feet. Pretend there's a host of zombies (or 'social media consultants') at your heels... Scramble up said dirt mountain as fast as you can-like salvation is waiting on the other side. Don't just get UP and move this week. Get OUT and move, even if you live in an urban jungle. Sent from my iPhone

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How About Some TB?

Awwwe...I want some!

You can get TB, swine flu, or their buddies heartworm, sore throat, or rhinovirus at giantmicrobes.com. Spotted in th wild at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Now, where can I get the kissing disease?

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Stairway to Healthy


Sent from my iPhone

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Geeky Valley Saturday at Weirdstuff Warehouse

Great for startup chairs and other goodies!

Although I had to talk myself out of buying this Japanese typewriter... Sent from my iPhone

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