People who know me best often wonder how I never spent my entire career in tech. It's a deep passion of mine. I love all things tech from conception to gadgets and finding out how things work and that is what led me to becoming a Production Manager. I actually started in the trenches on the mechanics of things. So of course as the tech revolution has grown it has become a great hobby to follow along and the growth of social media is fascinating to me as I launch my handmade business. When the app Meerkat launched I was super stoked. Not just because I was elated and ready for the next level of streaming products & apps, but because what I do is so visual, I have been searching for new ways to interact with customers and other designers using social media. Because let's face it, we live in a visual instant kind of world now. Things move fast. We want to connect and be interactive and need to stand out in the noise.
Of course I jumped on the Meerkat train early. I was already a fan and watching the app when they headed down to SXSW where they basically became THE topic and THE sensation. (Every year there is a new rave "IT" product - but this year I was on board for it). This made me very happy - because well, first of all I was right about this one (patting self on back now) but also because I see potential for brands and people like me as live streaming comes to the forefront.
I immediately started planning and strategizing on how to incorporate Meerkat into my social media plan for customer contact, interaction and growth. And, that was the initial topic for this post: How to Stand Out
But as in life, unexpected twists happen. And a twist was about to happen here.
So I will do a full on apps / tools / social media post later. Right now I want to talk about something magical that happened courtesy of Meerkat and because I am not yet even sure if Meerkat CAN be a tool for my biz as it is still too early.
Last week, I was alerted to a Meerkat sesh with Mark Suster and Chamillionaire. Now, of course I followed Mark on the twitter because… well… um yeah, no explanation needed, but I was excited to hear / stream / see this chat with Chamillionaire or (Cham). If you don't know who he is, bust out the google and let your mind be blown.
Throughout this session they were talking about Cham being an EIR (Entrepreneur In Residence) over at Upfront Ventures and the various tools and process of selecting companies to invest in, etc. It was a really good look at the kind of discussions and things that go on behind closed doors and in the bullpens at VC firms and tech start-ups. I learned a LOT. And as I was about to bring my StartUp to the next level, the timing kind of felt serendipitous.
Then they took questions - and the first one was from me (true story).
I asked: Cham: "what drew you to go deep into tech?". The answer was so inspirational that it has been feeding me for the whole week.
I have to paraphrase because I was unprepared to be so blown away and didn't get quotes. Cham talked about how coming up as a rapper he knew he had to do more than "just rap". He made it a point to learn the ins and outs of producing the tracks and creating a sound and using new equipment. He went behind the scenes of what it takes on a marketing level, product and brand level, all the things you think "other people do once you're discovered"… Cham went deep and learned how to do it himself.
So when he wanted to start investing and getting into tech companies, starts up and work with VC firms he started from scratch again. He went to where the tech people were and started meeting them and talking to them and learning from them. He talked about how he began to feed that area of knowledge. The more he learned, the more he wanted to learn.
That answer struck a cord with me. It's at the core of being successful isn't it?
If we want to really succeed and be the best version of ourselves and whatever we are doing, then we must go deeper and not just take what's on the surface. All those tools Cham learned, they were part of it but what he really learned was to NEVER STOP LEARNING! Never stop going to the next level by starting at the level below.
Deep thought right? It's true.
It's what I did when I first started in concert lighting. I had to start at the bottom and take apart lights and learn operating systems. I had to constantly learn what was coming up, how to improve things and how to fix things and how to solve problems.
Then, when I switched to television production years ago, I had to get educated and go deep again. Gear was constantly changing and my crews were always on the hunt for the best look and best tools available. I had to learn the best and the worst. Lots of trial and error. But ALWAYS LEARNING.
So it makes perfect sense now, as I launch this new venture and build my crochet dreams, (and yes, you knew this would somehow land back to me hooking right?), that it is time to get my hands dirty and go deep once again.
I am so inspired by what Cham said. I have re-committed to going next level on this new business venture. My brain has literally been ON FIRE since that sesh.
I busted out the white boards, got my groove on and got to work! I booked a few conferences to attend to learn more than just the design which is my passion, but on the fashion and textiles and branding end. Learn and negotiate platforms to best drive this ship to smooth sailing and success. All the things I was going to "hire" someone to do… oh no grasshopper. Do NOT hire anyone. Time for me to dig in, find a few more hours in the day and learn the ins and outs of the fashion world. I may be scared but I am not afraid!
And it lit that spark inside me that started it all. So there is another new project in the works that I am excited about and will share when I can. The point is that my passion for tech was reignited by Meerkat and that led me to being fired up for my crochet adventure. I am excited for the world in front of us and how we can all be part of making it awesome.
So while I may have started out excited about seeing how I can integrate Meerkat into what I am building and as a branding tool to reach & interact with customers, it has already proved to be a tool to feed my soul and mind. It is also reviving that love for tech in me like in the early days.
You can't beat that!
and thank you Cham & Mark for feeding my soul and setting my brain ON FIRE!
Also…. side note on what is also awesome about Meerkat is the random fun that it brings to your day. Like while I was working in my studio on how to put these plans and dreams into action, the most epic thing happened: I got a Meerkat Alert that Quest was streaming. So boom, I hit the link and while I am working there are the Roots rehearsing for Carnegie Hall with special behind the scenes stuff. QUEST WAS IN MY FACE!!! It was so epic I had to take a pic.
And check out Meerkat - see if it works for you.
And don't be afraid to go deep and be awesome in whatever you're doing.