What an epic weekend of March Madness, if your bracket isn’t busted you need to go get checked out. Through all the ups and downs we’re looking at four from team mish into the Sweet Sixteen.
On the Snapchat front, one of the highlights we saw was Texas Tech getting fan centric with their Storytelling in the quest to find the farthest fan.
The Call to Action (CTA) was simple: send us a Snap from where you’re cheering on the Raiders — with a geo-filter to prove it (cuz, you know, nobody likes a cheater) — for a chance to be featured on the Story.
As you can see the outcome was pretty epic.
Texas Tech saw a 15% reply rate from their followers who were Snapping back #WreckEm, Guns Up and Go Raiders from all corners of the globe (seriously, Raiders are everywhere)
We’re looking forward to another big week ahead. In case you’re keeping track, here’s who we still got in our client bracket at Mish*:
Want to chat more about integrating your fans into your Storytelling? Let’s chat.
*we love all our clients equally
This year’s March Madness kicked off with additional excitement in the Mish Guru offices (this type of chat usually resides cleanly within the Slack channel properly titled #sports).
That is because nine institutions and/or departments lacing up for March Madness use Mish Guru to tell their campus story. And better yet, they’re actually having fans tell it for them (this is an example of Texas Tech pre-game today — Go Raiders!)
I remember when we didn’t even have nine SaaS clients (we’re not even talking about nine universities as clients… or nine in freaking March Madness!).
This is an example of why it’s important for startups to build predictable, scalable, sales processes aligned to solving the needs of an addressable and defined market — in this case, higher education — and doubling down.
Had Mish Guru spent all its scarce marketing and sales energies in its early days on the random lowest hanging fruits from all the trees in the orchard, rather than getting specific, there is no way 14% of March Madness institutions would be using Mish Guru on their campuses in 2018.
I’m super pumped to be cheering on the Blue Devils, Wildcats, Jayhawks, Spartans, Friars, Jackrabbits, Raiders, Racers, and being part of the Wolf Pack this March Madness… and even more excited to continue to build on these wins and learnings in higher ed as well as the new verticals we build out in 2018.
Cheers to the madness,
Roger Bannister passed away today at the age of 88. He’s best known as the first person to break four minutes for a mile, which — leading up breaking 4 minutes in 1954 — was sometimes viewed as impossible to do on foot.
The following half decade after Bannister’s feat, another 20+ others joined the “sub-4 club.” It became seemingly easier to accomplish after one man refused to except expert opinion and an invisible barrier placed on human performance.
Here’s a narration of the race by the man himself:
RIP Sir Bannister, thanks for changing the game.
In late 2016 — which in start up years, was approximately 100 years ago — I dropped into Chicago for a few days to chat-Snap at Social Media Week & grab a few slices of deep dish (can confirm, both are a great time).
Anna Russett was one of the SMW speakers, and was the most on to it when it came to Storytelling. Anna hosted a session about How Snapchat is Redefining Traditional Media. The thing that was super epic about this presentation was learning how she’d built an audience across several channels and used the platforms to educate her fans and followers to be cognizant when it comes to (social) media. Or more simply, she gives a shit about the world around us and is actually doing something about it.
Chatting briefly afterwards we hashed an informal plan to run a campaign through Mish, amplifying the voices of her followers through Storytelling & UGC. We didn’t know what (or when) until a few months later when I got an email saying she wanted to do a UGC Story with her community on the Muslim Ban & how quickly could we get Mish involved in supporting by curating content and tracking analytics.
That night Anna created one of the most powerful conversations on the topic. It was overwhelming see what was coming in from her followers — not just in the US, but all over the world 👇
(s/o to Clare Cheyne for casually whipping this up among her mountains of Mish Guru things to do! It captures the power of the campaign perfectly)
Traditional Media picked up on it too, with several stories on the campaign and on Anna.
Muslim Ban : Our Voice, outcomes:
The results were truly staggering, and showed not only the power of UGC on Snapchat, but also the willingness of Millennials and Gen Z to engage in conversations about politics and the world around them in a real and genuine way to drive social change. A community of over 11,000 on Snapchat made 40 minutes worth of video.
Soundbites that speak volumes:
“I want to thank Trump for bringing to light the racists in my high school,” said one Muslim young woman who said she’d lived through the recent civil war in Libya and emigrated to Canada with her family to escape from violence.
“No one in this world should be feeling less than other people because of their race or religion”, said another young girl with the caption ‘I’m so sad’
Many of the submission invited others to add them so they could continue the conversations. One group formed on that evening calls themselves “the potato gang” and has kept up a group conversation about their lives and politics. Anna met one of them in late 2017 who expressed their gratitude in person, and told her of their plans to meet up soon.
By the numbers:
Votes are open, so if you feel this Story helped shape a narrative in a positive and innovative way — we’d love a vote (or two 😉)
We all have those weird moments that cause you to stop for a second and think.
I had that this morning — 1 January 2018 — when my MetroCard was out of juice and wouldn’t reload. Much to my frustration after attempting to reload it on two machines I realized something… I’ve been in New York long enough now that my card expired.
It’s been a wild ride so far, looking forward to more wild stuff in 2018.
Happy New Year, let’s make it a big one.
Not going to lie, I felt a little naked waking up 1 of December this year after shaving off the Slug that had grown over the past 30 days. For those who aren’t familiar, Movember runs the month of November to raise funds and awareness for men’s health.
Thankfully to date I’ve grown this nasty lip rug on November to support those around me who have battled cancer or mental illness and won, rather than lost. This has come down to good self-awareness and vigilance — which is why awareness is a big part of the magical month of Movember!
Check out the quick vid on why we were participating (shout out to Mish’s own Clare Cheyne for this!)
Lastly, a huge thanks to the friends, fam, colleagues, ex-colleagues, investors, etc who chipped in on my efforts. Here’s a snapchat of my 30 days of Mo 17.
It's been a busy (& awesome) #Movember 🤵🏻 with the team at @mishguru. Thankfully, I've been participating this year for all the people I still see and love, rather than lost. There's still time to help a bro out and raise more than just likes 😜 📎LINK IN BIO📎 #mo #movember #moustache #menshealth #mensfashion #mobro
I laughed to myself this morning as I pulled on my kit to go for a run.
The last time I wore these spandex was when I was still running at UBC.
This followed on to the realization of how long ago that really was.
Then I noticed the shirt I had pulled on told another story. The all black with a silver fern swag took me back to the years I spent working at Athletics New Zealand.
Then the final ‘holy shit’ moment came when I locked the door of an apartment on loan from a great friend and fellow UBC Alumni this week while I’m in Toronto.
This is just a snapshot of how Athletics has molded my life, with UBC Track & Field playing a major part. The connections, times, and experiences (and mileage) has extended far beyond four years of eligibility.
Next week, Beyond the Finish Line will be hosting an evening to celebrate the coaches who positively impacted so many of us. I’m gutted I won’t be there and would be if the distance was closer.
The dinner will be held 12 January 6-9:30 on campus at the Cecil Green Park House.
If you haven’t bought a ticket I urge you to grab one and make it along to what will be such a great evening to catch up and relive the glory days — whether you were a sprinter dick, a distance freak or did that field stuff.
I was recently chatting with a colleague about how the impending New Year and its associated resolutions is both a great opportunity as well as a bit of a joke. Most resolutions set are unrealistic or hard to measure and therefore aren’t achieved.
At Mish we’re pretty big about SMART goals so I’ve decided to add some public accountability to specific personal goals of reading more meaningfully as well as writing more often (the article Stop Trying to Sound Smart When You’re Writing was a bit of catalyst to making an effort on the latter in 2017).
Don’t expect Dystopian Novel reports because virtually all books I’ve starting lining up center around personal/professional development and new ventures or entrepreneurship.
I have a running list of ‘to reads’ I keep on my Trello board. So I’ve used that to drop a card/checklist of around 20 books so far. (If you want to be super nosy, I’ve attached a screenshot of this list… and the list is very fluid so please feel free to hit me up with feedback on these and others).
I’m using Goodreads 2017 Book Challenge and Trello to track each book and this site to post write-ups.
I’ve set a goal of 26 books in 2017. Each book will be back-ended by a post on my feedback from the book. I’m thinking:
Here’s a first pass at some books for the challenge (note, I have read two of them before but they’re those type of books — can you guess which ones?) 👇
The road to Hardware success by Software-first companies is littered with the corpses of dead tech. After such an epic failure by Google Glass, Snap’s been under the microscope for launching Spectacles – but, surprisingly, they’re killing it. How has Snap, so far, succeeded where Google failed? It’s come down to exclusivity, making Specs all about fun, and being 100% consumer focused.
With upwards of 200 million DAUs on Snapchat, rolling out a mere few hundred pairs of Spectacles a day is pushing exclusivity to new extremes. On top of this, access has been restricted to fairly obscure spaces and places, meaning with a little luck anyone could own a pair. To date, Spectacles are either available from random locations by Bot (read: vending machine) or from a popup store off 5th Ave in NYC. The Bot’s fleeting James Bond style appearances have helped to maintain hype several weeks into the roll out.
For consumers and brands alike, Spectacles enable a fresh approach to content creation and storytelling. The circular video and (handsfree) point-of-view angle add another level of authenticity and intimacy to Snapchat content – seriously, it’s pretty cool stuff. As far as the actual hardware is concerned, Snap’s kept very quiet about the specifics. How long is the battery life? What’s the resolution? File type? How do Snaps get sent? Keeping the media hype around Spectacles away from the pesky technical bits has allowed the focus on fun and friends to overshadow any functional criticisms of the product.
The fastest way to spoil a hardware launch and make a product uncool is to give it to Tech Reporters. When someone mentions Google Glass the image that comes to my mind is tech reporter Robert Scoble’s now infamous shower selfie 🙈.
I wouldn’t be surprised if part of Snap Inc.’s launch mantra was:
“Don’t let Robert Scoble get anywhere near a pair of Spectacles.”
Sure, this pissed off bloggers and tech celebs who like getting shiny new toys and being the first to talk about stuff — it’s how they try and remain relevant in many instances. The problem is, they often focus on the limitations and what something can’t do, rather than what’s innovative and game changing. I definitely think the hype we’re seeing now wouldn’t exist had the first 500 pairs gone to this crew. I’m a big fan of Snap’s move.
Version One of Spectacles should be taken more as an indication of where Snap’s headed in the future. As they strengthen their product offering, dive deeper into the VR and AR space, and continue to innovate in social communications, Snap’s playing for keeps.
And — through Spectacles — the future of Snap Inc. looks pretty bright indeed.
Want to learn a bit more about Snapchat Spectacles from the (Mish) Gurus?
This post originated on Mish Guru’s blog, you can find the original here.
A few months removed from the 2016 Olympic Games I’ve finally put words to a page on my time in Rio.
Off the bat — and to keep things to the point if this is all you read — it’s hard to call 2016 anything short of successful.
From a performance perspective, we saw incredible results and in the case of Canadian and New Zealand OCs, near record medal hauls. Great Britain & Northern Ireland’s rise back to being a major player again at The Games wasn’t unnoticed and Russia’s dubious inclusion after damning evidence of state wide doping shouldn’t be swept under the rug.
From an event delivery standpoint, the LOC put on a pretty amazing Games. Anyone expecting London needed to realize: you’re in Brazil, we’re talking different worlds here. I’m sure it’s part of the reason why the IOC selected Rio and entered South America for the first time. That being said, there needs to be a serious review on IOC expectations of Host Cities when tasked with putting on the second biggest event on the planet after the World Cup.
Here’s my good, bad and ugly:
I remember getting decked out in my Dad’s Team Canada singlet from the 70s when I first got to Beijing in 2008. It was a really cool experience, but being at the track as a Canadian, I often felt like an outsider. With 33 athletes across a full program I had this feeling I was more about experiencing what the Olympics was all about rather than to being there to cheer for my country. I hate to say it, but I sensed our athletes felt that way too. Fast forward eight years and Team Canada is fielding twice as many athletes in Athletics and that 2008 feeling was non-existent. The athletes were there to compete, make finals and win medals — and they did. (This goes for New Zealand too!). These funding models are starting to work; it’s great to see fruition from years of hard work. Keep the gas pedal down.
I had two particular days different from the rest and both happened down in Pontal on the Race Walk course.
First was the Men’s 20km Race Walk. I woke up the morning of the race and I had this feeling that today was Iñaki’s day. As a two-time Olympian who was staring down the barrel of a transition to a new life as just a corporate lawyer this might be his last race ever for Canada (never say never, though). Iñaki was fit, training camp went well, his head was in the right place and I knew he was going to go for it. Being early in the Athletics calendar, this could be the part of the start of a record Games for AC. Iñaki went for a medal and as the race progressed I sensed this feeling shifting more towards reality. The thing about endurance events, particularly technical ones like Race Walk, is no matter how prepared you are it does come down to the day. It wasn’t his day but I am so proud of him and what he’s done as an athlete (and human). Iñaki you went for it and gave it your all, that’s all anyone asked and was your plan from the get-go.
Fast forward a week later and we had Evan taking on the 50km Race Walk… which for anyone who doesn’t know the sport it is just as insane as it sounds. You’re talking about a 3.5-hour race where a good chunk of the competitors, understandably, don’t make it to the finish line. Evan is one of the toughest and most fired up people I’ve ever met — the ultimate competitor. He has this drive to succeed coupled with an unwavering moral fiber most people
wouldn’t didn’t know about (unless you follow Race Walk closely, then you’d be aware he helped uncover Russia’s systematic cheating in Athletics all from a laptop at home — but that’s another story). After a huge performance a week before in the 20km we knew Evan was a medal shot.
What happened towards the end of his race was a tussle as the Japanese athlete, then in 4th place, went to pass Evan who was sitting 3rd. The final result was Japan three, Canada four. Team Canada appealed the contact and were successful, only to be overturned hours later (this almost never happens).
After a quick chat with his team Evan elected to hold off on challenging the flip-flop of that initial DQ. Many people would counter with why wouldn’t you challenge to receive that bronze medal, but Evan summarized it perfectly here:
I will sleep soundly tonight, and for the rest of my life, knowing I made the right decision. I will never allow myself to be defined by the accolades I receive, rather the integrity I carry through life.
If you want highs and lows, this was the day. The thing is, Evan has this eyes-straight-forward mentality. Most people think that the ultimate goal of Olympic athletes is to win a medal and be a champion, but Evan showed the most important thing at the end of the day is laying it all out there and being able to rest your head on the pillow completely at peace. Not many people would have acted the same as he did, then again, not many people have the long term vision and ethical drive he does (bring on Tokyo).
Read Evan’s full statement here.
Once you break down who you were spending your time with and where everyone started their journey from to get to Rio you realize how big this thing is. We came from all corners of the globe for the same common purpose. For many of us, we tossed aside other things going on in our lives (good and bad) and just had a moment. From immediate family (Charlie & Dave), to old teammates (TBirds!) and cross-town rivals (SFU still sucks) through to completely fresh new faces who all now have a lifelong connection. It’s pretty special.
People always ask me “Why do you always go to events like this?”… and it’s hard to give an honest answer because if you’re asking then you don’t get it. There is something indescribable about moments at Olympics and World Cups.
I felt it in Vancouver 2010, New Zealand 2011, Rio 2016, etc and I mentioned two moments above but there were 1,000. From chatting with the dude from Atlanta at his 7th Summer Olympic Games (Sydney was the best, if you were wondering), to watching Blizz get announced on to the court vs. Brazil (IN BRAZIL… @ THE F*cK@ng Olympics), to tracking down the same painter I bought art from a few years earlier when in Rio, to split shorts for Shawn night… we had a time.
This needs to a quick shout out: COH was unreal.
You know you’ve nailed it when your patrons are calling it “Home Base.” The COC and their volunteers and were absolute beauties. That place was a highlight and was great to have for friends and family to connect. Rio is not the easiest place for some people to be in and COH provided a necessary sanctuary and security for many. Also, having the CBC feed with a Molson in your hand when you’re in Rio was unreal!
Five gold stars team!
It’s impossible to get through an Olympic Games without the topic of empty seats being raised. Ticketing is tough and when you’re juggling the wants and needs of 206 NOCs you’re destined to fail.
Rio’s stadiums were a joke though.
The IOC and LOC will use a range of reasons like Zika or the economy as to why stadiums were half full (or not even). I believe it’s more systemic than that.
The bit that really gets me is when you can’t legally buy a ticket to an event to watch your friends compete and you later find out the stadium wasn’t half full.
Here’s how to fix this in my opinion (note: this solution relates to my point below around Host Cities and the IOC losing touch with reality):
Centralize selling and distribution by the IOC instead of using national travel partners:
I get it, trying to fairly distribute tickets to events years in advance to people who do not know if their national teams or athletes are going to be there is an impossible task. The current setup unfair to Hosts and the IOC taking ownership of this and building a custom fit solution that also cuts out resellers like CoSport is a necessary way forward. The transparency of these partnerships and their relationship with the IOC is dubious at best.
It’s 2016, we don’t need companies like CoSport or New Zealand Olympic Travel to exist in relation to the Olympic Games — all they do is add to the total cost of the Games for patrons, strip revenue away from event itself, and add an added level of archaic complexity into ticketing when instantaneous mobile solutions exist globally. I’m sure they pay the IOC to make their own fortunes, but it’s another example of the IOC taking more and giving the LOC less and it’s hurting everyone.
I’ll be first to admit that getting around was better than I thought. Instead of the nightmare I was expecting we mostly dealt with a constant mild-frustration. Nothing broke, things were just far and getting around was slow (Uber was a saviour in this though, I think without it the city would have had a few nightmares).
Rio is the exception, not the norm, when it comes to Host Cities. It has unmoveable geographic limitations complemented by terrible traffic in the developing city. There was no solution, only a best fit. Some days I would have spent six hours commuting and, since venues didn’t have amenities around them, if you were doubling down on sessions (i.e. morning and evening Athletics sessions) there wasn’t the option of only commuting once and sticking around the stadium for the afternoon. I don’t want to focus too much on this, it’s just a reality of the situation, and we did have a lot of fun going there and back but after however many trains and Ubers over three weeks I certainly was aware of the time we spent en route to X, Y or Z.
Athletics Canada was a huge success at The Games, but they had some interesting decisions around (not) selecting athletes. I know the cost of getting an athlete to the Games (it’s not cheap), and I understand Head Coaches and Administrators have many things to juggle with their National Teams. But, leaving people at home when they’ve hit standards, are fit, and have years left in their relationship with the sport has a far greater cost than their $10-15K OG price tag if you lose them over this. Selections moving forward need to be black and white — this is track and field after all! I hope Athletics Canada recognizes this as a flaw this year and addresses this during their review looking forward to 2020.
Russia has been systematically doping its athletes and cheating its way to podiums. Most recently when they hosted the Olympic Games in 2014, but based on the medal performances in Athletics 2013 (Moscow) v 2015 (Beijing) I would hazard a guess there was some state involvement there too. The fact that the majority of their athletes were cleared to compete is a joke, then watching the IOC sit on the sidelines by transferring governance to IFs was unbefitting of a leader. Russia should be gone until things are cleared up and cleaned up (maybe, 2020). But as we saw, money still rules all, and the IOC aren’t effective leaders.
Many call me naïve when I state that clean athletes win medals.
“Everyone at that level is cheating” is an easy statement — it’s not a true one though.
The best example of this is Nick Willis in Beijing which I think is the best truly clean performance I’ve ever seen in an event marred by the darkside for as long as I have been aware enough to comprehend cheating in sport.
The way forward for clean sport is a messy one because those cheating have resources far beyond those who are trying to police it. I don’t have the answer here, but having a tough stance from the highest authority down is a good place to start and I’m still shocked we didn’t see that happen in 2016.
2016 was always going to be a failure in the eyes of the media. Focusing on corruption, things breaking, safety issues and Zika fears the scene was set for the world (don’t get me wrong, they all need coverage they just shouldn’t be the only coverage). In the world of online today and with the way media outlets make their money (i.e. by generating click-throughs) it’s a big reason why instead of seeing positive messages and stories we’re blasted with click-bait articles by like “Aussie news crew attacked by transvestites at Rio’s Copacabana Beach” (TVNZ) and “With just days to go, Brazil still not ready for the Olympics” (ABC).
Anyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time in Brazil knows it’s different to anywhere on the planet, that’s part of what makes it such an incredible place. From my travles, the amount of love and passion that country possesses is second to none, but from what I was being fed via Twitter and Facebook we saw none of that. Instead, focusing on distractions like Lochtegate. I wish things weren’t this way, but it’s just a reality of the times with online journalism, ad-blockers, and officious IOC Broadcast Partners protecting ‘what’s their’s.’ Brazil deserved better.
At the end of the day, Brazil put on a great Games. It was distinctly theirs and Rio will go down for many years as the anomaly compared to the other early Games of 21st century — in a very positive way. What I mean by that is 20 years from now people will speak most fondly about Rio, it was just different (then again, Brazil is!).
My major issue is the city of Rio and the people of Brazil are going to be paying for these Games for a long time (like Montreal/Canada did after 1976). They were forced to build stadiums they likely won’t need, turn parkland into a golf course and uproot houses and families to get it all done. This can’t keep happening.
Anyone who follows mega-events bidding processes start to finish will have noticed the dwindling of cities and nations willing to sign on to the requirements put in place by the IOC & FIFA.
The 2022 Olympics will be in Beijing who beat out Kazakstan (the only other candidate city on the ballot after Norway’s citizens voted by referendum to withdraw from the process… you know something’s up when even Norway’s saying No to the Winter Olympics).
The IOC have claimed they’re reforming. Things need to come back down to earth and less needs to be pushed on to Host Cities. My challenge to the IOC is to begin to form more symbiotic relationships with your Hosts.
I don’t really know what to say here. The couple weeks which make up an Olympic Games is so surreal. It’s like time stops for a minute. I truly hope this never changes in my lifetime, but I’m scared it will.
The Olympic Movement isn’t broken, it’s just hurting right now,
The IOC needs to take some leadership and govern. They need to:
Final, final thoughts. I had such a blast down there — Brazil and the Olympics are two of my favourite things! I’m very lucky to have been able to not only get down there but also be supporting such amazing Canadians and Kiwis doing their thing for real. Congrats to everyone who left it all out there — see you in Tokyo.
I’m looking forward to an interesting next few years and no doubt I’ll be back with some more thoughts over this time