Viks, from Velonia.

Looks fantastic propped up against the wall. But I would like to meet the designer who designs these saddles. He must have a fantastic sense of humour.

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Bicycles come and go, and for the most part the design remains fairly constant. Occasionally though, a bike design pops up on the radar that is different enough it really gets my attention. Viks is one of those designs. Designed and built by Estonian bike maker Velonia, Viks features a Stainless steel frame without seat tube. The frame consists of two identical tubes that form the head tube, seat tube and bottom bracket. Still in prototype phase Velonia is shooting for a small production release later in the April, with full production runs starting later in the year. If you are interested in getting on Viks send an email to info@velonia.com to join the waiting list.

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Dazzle, 3D Printed Lamps

Quite incredible possibilities opened up by this technology. It will impact all of us at some time.

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Technology and art continue to grow closer together as designers, artists, programmers, and engineers merge skill sets to create wonderful new things. A great example of this is the Dazzle Lamp created by Corneel Cannaerts a designer with some serious programming skills. Cannaerts wrote the program used to create the 3D models and print the lamp using a color 3D printer from Z-Corp.

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Cannaerts software allows him to import image palettes from photographs and apply them to the lamps. The lamps are created using a gray resin with color applied during the printing process to the interior of the lamp. When illuminated, the color pattern glows from the inside.

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I am often asked “What is the difference between Training and coaching?”

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During the 80’s I worked as a sales exec for the computer software giant Oracle. I was diligent at my job and enjoyed a great deal of success in selling software and hardware solutions to Finance Directors of large multi national organisations. As part of the company’s “marketing mix” they had signed up to corporate membership at the fabulous golf club Wentworth.  An interesting byproduct of this was the ability for the likes of me to take customers and prospects for a round of golf. A tough job but someone had to do it. 

I met with the then head pro at the club David Rennie. I was so impressed with him that I booked a series of one to one lessons with him. My expectation, understandably naive on reflection, was that he would teach me to hit a golf ball straighter and farther than I had ever done before. I couldn’t wait.

We had the first couple of lessons on the driving range. And sure enough by careful tweaking and re designing everything from the way I held the club, my stance, swing and follow through my striking became much better. He had taught me how to hit a straight long golf shot. But whilst my scores did improve, putting what I had learnt into practice was not enjoying a step change in the scores that I shot. (That was the effect of training.)

So following a rather robust conversation with Ian I agreed to pay for him to accompany me whilst I played a few holes on the East course. As I remember it was quite nerve racking at the time. 

The third hole on the East course has a dogleg to the right. There is even a handy little map showing you the layout. For some reason I ignored these tell tale signs cunningly left by the course designer and my ball ploughed it’s own furrow into the trees on the left. Somewhat disgruntled I picked up my golf bag and walked off to find my ball. As we were walking towards the forest Ian stopped me and asked a simple enough question but one that was to have a profound effect on both my golf game and my life in general;

“As we walk towards the ball Neville what are you thinking about?”

“Why I played such a bad shot of course,” I retorted looking for inspiration.

“I can see that Neville but what else should you be thinking about?”

Clearly the game of golf dictates that you should try and take as few swings and puts as possible. The Eureka moment hit me. I couldn’t alter the errant shot that I had made, but with careful course management I could see a way to recover the hole. And that is exactly what I did. My scores from that day on started to improve dramatically and I congratulated myself for having made such a step change improvement in my game.

Now that’s coaching.

 

 

The Social Media Life Cycle.

If it is true that a company is 60% of the way through their buying cycle before many vendors get engaged, then this graphic might help shed some light on the types of activity your Marketing, Lead gen and Inside Sales teams need to be teeing up.

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The image below from the Social Media Center provides an insight into the process of converting content and conversations – via transactions – into recommendations. The graphic shows that the real power is found in earned media. With 92 percent of trust recommendations coming from friends and relatives. In addition to that 92 percent, another 70 percent of social media content viewers trust online reviews by other consumers according to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report 2012. If you do anything with social media in the world of marketing and advertising, the image below is worth taking a look at.

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