First Native Meerkat Event

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I have never actually met @jsneedles and that is completely irrelevant.  I have seen him in the morning, at work and lunch, on the way home from work and in the evening. I have met his mother, cousin, and friends.  All of this has all happened in 6 days.

During these 6 days Jeff, which is @jsneedles’ first name, has streamed around 50 hours of his life to the internet through Meerkat. A live streaming app that transforms yout  iphone in a mobile audio and video broadcasting station.



Over the last 6 days Jeff has moved from 0 followers to over 8000 on Meerkat App, and up to 2nd place on the Meerkat in App leaderboard. Along the way he has passed app engaged celebrities like @JimmyFallon, @Kevinrose and @Shaq. Jeff’s live stream has been watched over 40,000 times which is a rather large number for such an early app.


#24hourMeerkat Event

On Friday March 20th, Jeff will attempt the first native Meerkat event, a #24hourMeerkat marathon.  Starting at about 10AM Friday morning until 10AM Saturday Jeff will attempt to stay live on the air via Meerkat.

Jeff will start broadcasting from his home in Petaluma, CA.  Later in the day he will drive about 50 miles South to San Francisco for a party and celebration in his honor. Bottle’s Tonight App a company run by Dojoan @jmrushworth has set up a VIP party at @Slidesf  for Jeff, the Dojo and guests.

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The San Francisco home base for the event will be @Founder’sDojo. Following the party Jeff will broadcast out of the Founders Dojo conference room and end his #24hourMeerkat with a pancake breakfast in San Francisco.

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Business built live on Meerkat

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Today was the first day of, currently known as Trying concepts is nothing new at the Dojo. We are always thinking of better or new ways, creating hypotheses and running tests.  What is new about this one is that we are doing it live on Meerkat.

Live on Meerkat is not the same as live on TV.  Live on Meerkat is a interactive two way street.  We are already starting to see some of the unique opportunities that this creates.


What is the business concept

The business concept that we are testing right now is on demand iced coffee delivered in ten minutes or less. We partnered with Jittery Johns for a 72 single serving bottle test.


What is the MVP (Minimal Viable Product) to test.

Jittery John agreed to provide us with 3 flavors dark, premixed with organic milk and premixed with organic milk and cane sugar.  Our MVP e-commerce platform is an Eventbrite page, our CRM is an excel spreadsheet. To start we restricted all orders to 10 minute walk from @foundersdojo and allow a max of 15 orders per day.  All orders must be placed between 8am and 2pm the same day and all orders are delivered between 1pm and 3pm the same day.


Today @JMRushworth and I delivered about 15 drinks to 3 or 4 locations in the San Francisco over a few hours.  We Meeerkat’d the entire event.coffeedelivery2


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Several of our customers actually discovered us because they saw us on Meerkat.


At one point over 1000 people were watching us talk about our project while we delivered coffee throughout San Francisco.


There were hundreds of twitter comments and over 1800 people from around the world watched and contributed.



Hard to say if, currently known as has a bright future.  The first day was still pretty awesome.  Hundreds of people gave us encouragement, ideas, smiles and love. My daughter Sarah wants to thank you for reading this post.

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My first Last Call with Meerkat

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My son finally fell asleep about 11pm. I was still worked up from the day and needed a walk before retiring.  I didn’t really feel like walking alone so I fired up the old Meerkat with the Headline San Francisco Last Call.


We walked my Dogpatch neighborhood sizing up the available watering spots for a last call.   We choose The Sea Star because it was about the only one open and it had a pool table.  I turned off my phone before I walked into the bar, so I could size up the scene before going in video guns blazing.  It was pretty empty.  There were three guys playing pool and a few people at the bar and a younger girl by the door.  I got my beer and went towards the guys playing pool.  That did not go much deeper than a quick hello.  A few minutes later I walked back to the front and the jukebox.  For Five dollars I got to pick about 5 songs.  While ordering up some tunes I went live on Meerkat.

At first I was just pointing at the wall and commenting with the keyboard.  It felt too weird talking into my phone with people around.  It was cool though people watching engaged me with chat and we played name that tune.


As I finished the first beer the three guys in the back wrapped up their game and took off.  So why not play pool?  I grabbed another beer and headed to the table.  @Lylemckeany showed up just in time to see my bank shot and win on a game of 8 balls in 20 shots over/under.


After the second beer we headed out and we wandered the neighborhood for a few.  We joked about ordering flashlights on the spot from Postmates or instacart because the screen as so dark.  Even Carlo showed up.


We even did a run down of local times and locations.


After 2 beers a ton of talking (mostly by me) and a lot of walking.  We wrapped things up.


Little did I know that I just had last call with 392 people.


Nor was a really clear that we had walked about 2.5 miles together.


Its time for a nap.

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An Idea a Day

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Lesley wrote and posted this on her blog Innovation Mama.  I really love this idea.  Additionally, I typically let an idea cook for a few days, then start talking about it with people to see if it resonates with them.  If an idea gets some love and traction, I let it cook a bit longer and start to work out the easiest way to test it (often defined as Minimal Viable Product – MVP). I think of ideas like branches on a tree and never go too far out on a thin limb.


By Lesley Grossblatt
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you’re tired of working for the man, and you want to do your own thing, but … you don’t have any ideas.I’m going to go out on a limb and say that your problem isn’t that you don’t have any ideas. What’s really holding you back is your perception that you don’t have any good ideas.Where do good ideas come from? Do they only materialize when the skies open, and the angel choirs start singing? Are they only a matter of getting hit in the head by an apple falling from a tree, or some other total happenstance?Ideas aren’t magical creatures. They’re incredibly cheap. Finding a good idea is all about batting averages … the more times you’re at the plate, the more likely you are to get a hit. The more ideas you generate, the more likely you are to come up with a good idea.Last year, I felt the itch to start my own side project or business, but kept getting in my own way, thinking: “I don’t have any good ideas.” When I’d sit down to brainstorm an idea, I’d come up nothing that was particularly inspiring. I started to question my ability to even think of good ideas.To kick off the new year, I went through a goal-setting exercise with a group of folks led by one of my mentors, Craig Swanson. Craig got us all to start big: What’s on our bucket list? What are our big-picture goals for the long, medium and short-term?

But to actually make these big goals happen, Craig explained, we needed to break them down into small, do-able daily habits:

In my own case, I decided that writing was an important habit that I wanted to develop for my entrepreneurial work. My original target was writing 1,000 words a day. But when I tracked my results, I just wasn’t doing it. So I lowered the bar. I dropped my target to 500 words, and then when that didn’t work, I dropped it again to 250. Bam! I’ve been writing.

In many cases early goals should be written to just get you started. Don’t try to over-muscle yourself. Keep that bar on the ground. Figure out the lightest touch needed to keep you engaging on a repeating basis. And then once the habit starts to form in your life, you’ll be able to start ratcheting up the behavior over time.

This year, with Craig’s advice, I decided to not over-muscle myself; instead of beat myself up into finding a good idea, I’ve created a new daily habit of writing down an idea a day. It doesn’t have to be good or doable or realistic; it just has to be an idea. And I need to write it down.

Why write it down? I do that to keep myself honest. I also do it because when I’m stuck for an idea, reading through some of my (bad) ideas helps me think of new ones. But most of all, I do it to prove to myself that I can, and that there are nuggets in there if I’m willing to work for it.

Coming up with an idea a day hasn’t been easy, but I’ve come up with a few idea-generating exercises that help when I’m stuck:

  • Service/Product Mad Libs: the [successful service/product] of the [completely different subject matter]
  • Simplified Service/Product: take a successful service/product, remove a few elements so it better addresses a need in the market
  • Different Problem: take a service/product, figure out how it could solve a completely different problem than what it was designed for
  • Top News Story of the Day: look at the top news story of the day and identify any problems encountered by the people or organizations affected by the story; then think of services/products that could help solve these problems

If you work through these prompts, you’ll end up with a lot of stinkers for ideas. That’s totally fine; in fact, that’s your goal. The more crap you come up with, the more gems you’ll unearth. Keep going.

Photo Credit: +Linda via Compfight cc

Originally published on

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CMX Summit East 2015 – because David Spink’s Community community is the best community community

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CMXlogoOn May 19th, hundreds of the world’s leading community experts, professionals and organizations are going to come together for an unforgettable experience.

This will be the second CMX Summit in New York, and a lot has changed since the first event. CMX was still a baby then. Now CMX has grown to include the majority of community professionals in the world in our community. You can expect the same level of quality content on stage, but with more people and a bigger production.

This year’s event will be at a really unique venue. If you live in the NYC area, there’s a good chance you’ve been to the Music Hall of Williamsburg for a concert before. Well we’re taking it over for a whole day. Make sure to stay for the afterparty too (tickets are available to the after party only).


The format of this event will be different from the first event.

The main event is on May 19th and is one full day. The day before, Monday May 18th, will be filled with workshops, events and meetups hosted by the CMX team and by members of the CMX community. This way, attendees can get to know each other in smaller, more intimate groups, then all come together for the conference.

So far, we’ve announced two workshops that will happen on Monday, May 18th:

Workshop 1: Intro to Community Strategy taught by David Spinks (hey, that’s me!)

Workshop 2: Building a Gamification Strategy taught by Justin Isaf, Principal of The Communal Group

Learn more about the premium workshops here.

There will also be a number of meetups, free workshops and other events happening on Monday May 18th. Keep checking back on the event site or subscribe by email to stay up to date about everything that’s going on around CMX Summit.

CMX Summit East at Music Hall of Williamsburg on May 19th

On May 19th, 2015, the big event will go down. Today we’re announcing the first three speakers with many more to come. This year’s lineup is really taking things to the next level.

Joe Navarro, Nonverbal Communication Expert and Former FBI Special Agent

JN 2013AA HUGE name in the world of speakers, Joe Navarro isthe guy to follow when it comes to learning the art of nonverbal communication.

For 25 years, Joe Navarro worked as an FBI special agent in the area of counterintelligence and behavioral assessment. Today he is one of the world’s leading experts on nonverbal communications.

Joe has appeared on all major U.S. and International media outlets and is the author of eleven books, including the international bestsellers: LouderThan Words, which The Wall Street Journal acclaimed as “One of the six best business books to read for your career” and the #1 selling body-language book in the world, What Every BODY is Saying.

If you’re building community, you’re very likely spending time talking to people. People with emotions, with fears, joys and aspirations. Do you understand how the people in front of you are feeling? How much can you tell just from looking at them?

We’re beyond thrilled to have Joe taking the stage this year.

Kristine Michelsen-Correa, Head of Community, Duolingo

kmcKristine Michelsen-Correa is the Head of Community at Duolingo, the largest language learning platform in the world. In just over two years, they’ve grown from a community of 4 million to over 70 million learners across the globe. Previously, she was the Head of Community at bitly.

Kristine is fascinated by the power of word of mouth and how it can be harnessed for good. She most recently created, a tumblr that encouraged fellow New Yorkers to surrender their Blizzard Leftovers from storm Juno by donating to their local food pantry. Within 48 hours the project was picked up by local and international news outlets and across Twitter.

Kristine’s been a strategist, community builder, and copywriter for technology startups, international brands, and small businesses bringing new products to market and worked for global names like Pernod Ricard and Perrier. She’s taught third and fourth grade English in Bangkok, curated and developed an Indian textile pop up concept from start to finish, and worked on fast paced movie sets. Kristine believes some of her best education has been ‘learning by doing’.

Alexandra Dao, Senior Manager, Community Development at Vimeo

AlexDaoHeadShotAlex Dao has been in Community Management for over 7 years, with a focus on community engagement, usability, and product feedback. She has been a core part of Vimeo’s community team for the past 3 years, after holding community roles at companies such as HopStop and

She also co-founded We Support NYC, a resource for New York-based Community and Support Managers. Her proudest achievement was coining the term “dronie.”


Stay tuned for many more speaker announcements over the next couple months leading up to the big event. But don’t wait to get your tickets because prices go up in 48 hours!

Learn more about CMX Summit and register by clicking below…

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Effective Email Marketing from Hustlecon

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Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, is the keynote speaker for Hustle Con!I’ll tell you more about that next week, but right now I wanna teach you the greatest thing you’ll learn all week: how to write ridiculously effective cold emails.A well written cold email is how we convinced Tim, the other speakers, and sponsors to work with us (here’s the email we sent Tim)

Our cold emails work so well because we follow a simple, proven formula when writing them.

The formula is called AIDA and it stands for attention, interest, desire, action. It’s stupid easy to use. Here’s how you use it…

Here’s an example of a crappy cold email:
Subject: Hello from

Dear Sam, has been in business since 1996. We serve 1000’s of customers around the globe. Our business started because we care about our customers. I’d love to pick your brain over coffee and learn if this could be a good fit.

When are you free?
I bet you’ve written an email like this before. But it’s totally wrong. Here’s how to fix it:


Start the email by getting the reader’s attention. Popular folks get 100’s of emails a day, so you need to stick out. Don’t be too wacky. Make the first sentence sound different (and not about you). Write like you speak.

Subject: Hate Traffic? Drive OVER it.

What’s happening Sam? You know how that morning commute of yours is so painful that you end up cursing at everyone in front of you? Well that wouldn’t be an issue if you had a helicopter!


Once you’ve got their attention, grab their interest. Tell a story, list benefits, interesting facts, or make your message about their problem. Now’s the time to keep their attention and intrigue them.

With a helicopter, you would get to work in 20% of the time, save on gas since helicopter fuel is half the price of gasoline, and be able to fly 200+ mph.


Ok they’ve read this far, so they’re at least kinda interested. Now it’s time to prove that your offer will solve their problem. Make them want it! Switch from “I’m intrigued” to “I GOTTA have it.”

Your time is worth $200 per hour and you spend 300 hours in traffic. That means you’re losing $60,000 per year! Our helicopters only cost $120,000, so you’ll be saving money after only 2 years. Did I mention the helicopter a helicopter lasts 10 years?


BOOM! By this point your email is already 10,000x better than most. End it by explaining the exact next steps the reader should take if they’re interested. Be overly specific.

Look, I know a helicopter isn’t something you buy online without trying it out, so how about we meet this Saturday at 1:00 in Mountain View so you can check one out. If you’re interested, just say yes and I’ll send you a calendar invite with the address.

So that’s it. That’s the simple formula we use to send cold emails to get speakers and sponsors for Hustle Con. Go on and steal it!

At Hustle Con, Tim’s gonna talk all about how he built Pandora’s first prototype (even though he can’t code) and how he knew when he had to pivot his business.

Welp, talk ya ya next week!

Sam “Cold Email King” Parr

HustleconPS: Use the code “music” in the next 24 hours and get 10% off your ticket to Hustle Con.  

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