New Year’s Resolutions 2014

New Year’s Resolutions 2014

I’m going to keep this brief. There’s this concept of “No more zero days” and I plan to put that to use in 2014. Here are the resolutions I’d like to accomplish before the year ends. It’s focused on (1) health & fitness since I need to get this in order, (2) creative development to continue to creative juices flowing, and (3) professional development to keep my pulse in the Seattle community. This will be a great post to look back on when 2015 comes around.

There are no more zero days. What’s a zero day? A zero day is when you don’t do a single fucking thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros.

- ryans01 on reddit.com/r/getdisciplined

Health & Fitness

  • Exercise for at least 120 days: This is a measurable goal and when it comes to exercising, those are the types of goals I have been able to accomplish. Being able to say I have exercised 120 days of the year means that, at an average, I would have exercised 10 days each month which is a couple of days per week. When you break it down that way, it’s not too difficult.
  • Take care of my skin: I have a skin disease. It needs to clear up and despite having all the necessary items in 2013, I haven’t been able to do it. It’s been part laziness and forgetfulness. The habit needs to just be built and maybe some of the vacations I’ll be taking this year will be motivation to do so.

Creative Development

  • Draw one drawing a day: I used to draw a lot when I was in high school and in college. Ever since I graduated from the UW, I haven’t been able to pick it back up. I’ll be following prompts somewhere on the web will be drawing it on my iPad. If you happen to have something you’d like for me to draw, please let me know.
  • Write at least 3 paragraphs a day: I need to get in the habit of putting my thoughts on paper each day. It can be about anything, but ideally it would steer towards the following subjects: sports, technology, and things I’ve learned. In the past, I’ve always had issues with writing because I felt I needed to make them public. Now, I just want to write, whether I publish onto this blog is another question.

Professional Development

  • Email an article and/or website to someone each day: There’s a trait several people I admire have and it’s the ability to understand what people are interested in and help them by sharing articles and/or websites that may help them or their business. I want to build up that trait to (1) help folks in my community and (2) reach out to folks who I may have not have in the past.
  • Coffee with someone to learn from a week: When I was at TeachStreet, I used to have a good amount of coffees with folks in the start-up community to learn what they were doing right and I want to get back into the habit of that again. Not necessarily only in the start-up community, but within the Seattle community in general. There’s so many people out there to learn from and I’ll be reaching out to folks learn from them.

That’s my list. Happy New Years!

 

Ronda Rousey Officially Launches Women’s MMA

If Women’s MMA was a startup, it would be getting ready for it’s official launch on Saturday, February 23, 2013. All those years of being in beta with the smaller promotions and iterating with the likes of Gina Carano, Cris Cyborg, Marloes Coenen, and Meisha Tate have all culminated to the historical event of UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche. Just think about this real quick. The first Women’s MMA match in the UFC, the biggest MMA promotion in the world,  will be a main event by the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey against an openly gay fighter in Liz Carmouche. You can’t have more of a exciting unique product to launch the division like that.

With this launch, the UFC isn’t holding back in getting as much press as possible. The difference is the press is coming to them, not vice versa. Dana White, President of the UFC, has said “This is without a doubt, the most media attention we’ve ever had leading up to a fight. And when I talk about media attention, I’m talking about big time media.” We’re talking about media outlets like ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, Sports Illustrated/CNN, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, HBO, NBC News, The Rolling Stone and that’s not even including the traditional MMA media outlets it’s flooding already. That’s really due to the star Ronda Rousey has become. She’s a rare breed, a stunning beauty with a real fighter’s mentality coupled with a killer instinct. I’d even go as far as calling her the Mike Tyson of Women’s MMA, but instead of a first round knockout — she delivers first round armbars, which she has done in each of her last 6 fights.


This new division in the UFC, this new product, is ready to launch this Saturday. It’s not totally complete yet, there’s probably a good amount of bugs to iron out — but it’s 80% there. It’s taken a while to get here, but the structure has been laid. The UFC has started it’s first division with a group of the best women fighters around the world and now it’s time to get it in front of customers and see what happens. I for one will be tuning in to see an armbar, but I know others are looking to see a huge upset. Either way, you have to tune in — this is history in the making.

Learn more about UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche:

Maker’s Mark Uses Their Community To Perfection

A little over a year ago I joined Amazon.com by way of TeachStreet.com, and was lucky enough to join a newly minted team at AmazonLocal. There’s a great tradition in my group where every new member of the team gets their favorite choice of drink, and you guessed it — as a Maker’s Mark fan, I liked my bourbon. So on the first day, I was excited to find a beautiful bottle of bourbon with the trademark red wax sealing the goodness in. Neat.

Though I was a big fan, I wished I knew more about the Maker’s Mark Ambassadors earlier on. It’s great in a lot of ways — you get a ton of perks and most importantly you get exclusive news. Some news that include new exclusive bottles Ambassadors get first dibs on or sad news like what they delivered on 2/9/13, letting all of the Ambassadors know about diluting their bourbon to meet the increase demand around the world. When I re-read the email, I started to become more skeptical whether this was really true or not. Let’s be real here, this statement alone in the email made me wonder: “We’ve also done extensive testing with Maker’s Mark drinkers, and they couldn’t tell a difference.” Are you kidding me?

This was clearly simple economics — a supply and demand issue here. In order to meet the demand, they needed the supply but since there’s only a finite amount of bourbon barrels due to the aging process — their proposed solution was to dilute the bourbon to fulfill the demand they were seeing. The other choice, which is the choice I believe they were going to go with from the start, is to increase the price of a bottle of Maker’s Mark and not dilute the bourbon. But how could you increase the price of your product without anything changing with the product? Easy, have your customers want you to increase the price. Brilliant.

Just think about the chain of events here:

  • 02/09/13: Maker’s Mark emails Ambassadors about diluting their bourbon to meet high demand with their low supply.
  • 02/09/13 to 02/17/13: Ambassadors use social media and take it to the web. Pleas from the community to stop them from diluting the product.
  • 02/18/13: Maker’s Mark listens to the community and reverses their decision and communicates this to the Ambassadors first.
  • 02/18/13 to beyond: Ambasssadors and the community feel responsible for the reversal from Maker’s Mark.
  • 02/18/13 to beyond: Maker’s Mark continues with business as usual.

After all of this, Maker’s Mark comes out on top because they were able to do the following:

  • Galvanized their whole community with their Ambassadors leading the charge.
  • Garnered a lot of press around this fiasco. Sometimes any press is good press.
  • Got unsolicited permission from the community to increase prices due to demand.
  • Gain praise in the end from the press and fans about how they handled the situation.
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You can’t get any better than that. This was an absolutely brilliant chain of events, which I believe was all planned. They were able to literally make a huge splash out of a non-event. Don’t be surprised if you see your next bottle of Maker’s Mark a couple bucks more than you’re used to.

Kudos to you Maker’s Mark, job well done.

Don’t Stop Fans From Talking About Your Product

Yesterday was Seahawks Sunday here in Seattle, and it started as any one of these would. Woke up at 6am to get the tailgating party started. Checked the weather and checked for directions on my iPhone. Scootered over to Utah St. right behind Macrina Bakery on 1st Avenue since it wasn’t raining. My dad and I setup shop and used my iPhone to notify folks of our location and coordinated by messaging missing items. When the tailgate started, we were able to post  photos onto Facebook and Twitter easily and even comment on status for folks to come on by before the game. From 6am to 1pm, using the internet was as smooth as being at home — but when you hit CenturyLink Field, you can kiss that goodbye.

It’s funny with a stadium named after “high-speed internet” company like CenturyLink, it exactly lacks what it sells. It was the same feeling when it was called Qwest Field. This isn’t anything new. As a season ticket holder for the last several years, I’ve always found myself doing the patented “lift your hand up high with your phone to get reception” move with no avail. I know it may be my AT&T coverage, but fellow season ticket holders with Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile have had the same problem. This is an issue.

CenturyLink Field hosts over 67,000+ fans each Seattle Seahawk game and even with the Seattle Sounders FC, they’re able to hold 33,000+ fans each game. That’s selling out the stadium each game, and the majority of those rabid fans use smartphones — so why are they making it hard for fans to talk about their product on the field. They’re not leveraging them to spread the word about the players, the teams, the game, and more importantly the experience. The teams are missing out on people posting their thoughts, photos, and location on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. What better idea would it be to provide the fans who are struggling to send out tweets, statuses, and photos with the ability to do so?

For this NFL season, five stadiums have already been outfitted as a pilot for in-stadium wifi: MetLife Stadium (Jets/Giants), Gillette Stadium (Patriots), Bank of America (Panthers), Lucas Oil Stadium (Colts), and the Superdome (Saints). This isn’t a new idea with teams from both the MLB and NFL exploring wifi opportunities. I’m just surprised for a tech hub like Seattle, why don’t we have wifi in CenturyLink Field? As a huge fan, the product is the experience. I’d rather share my experiences in the moment rather than waiting after the game or when I’m home to do so and I believe the majority of the 67,000+ fans feel the same way.

Automated articles adds life into Fantasy Football

For the last 9 years, I’ve been playing fantasy football religiously while managing 25 different teams. Of those 25 teams, only two of those teams were managed through the ESPN Fantasy Football and there’s a reason for that. The other 23 teams have gone through Yahoo! Fantasy Football which has consistantly impressed me each of those 9 years. Whether it’s providing the StatTracker, which feeds you real-time stats for your team, or just improving the drafting experience over the years — each year they’ve always provided something new and this year isn’t any different.

This year, Yahoo is having automated articles written for each of the matchups in every fantasy football league every week. Just think about that for a second. Do you know the recaps written after the Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals game? They’re doing that for your fantasy league, excepts it’s for matchups like Capitol Hill Bastos vs. Issaquah. Granted, you may not get the editorial finesse of a writer, but Yahoo just turned your little ‘ole fantasy football legit and breathed more life into it.

The company behind all of this is Automated Insights, who is the leading provider of automated sports content for the web and mobile. They are powering all of Yahoo! Fantasy Football around the world by just looking at the statistics. “In four hours we will produce more sports articles than ESPN, CBS, and FOX produce in an entire year, combined” CEO Robbie Allen says. They say they can create these game recaps at a rate of more than 500 per second. With that speed, you would never think they would churn out articles are so in-depth. Here’s just a snippet:

Renton Hodor Rallies to Beat Capitol Hill Bastos
Week 1: Renton Hodor (83.28) vs. Capitol Hill Bastos (77.02) 

Renton Hodor (1-0) beat Capitol Hill Bastos (0-1) 83.28 – 77.02 with Tony Romo picking up the second-highest point total in the league this week. Heading into Sunday, Renton Hodor was in front 29.48 – 23.52. That lead faded away by the end of the early Sunday games and they trailed 65.32 – 47.58. However, Renton Hodor pulled out the victory with a comeback on Monday night.

With this one step, Yahoo and Automated Insights has tapped into the heart of why fantasy football commissioners and owners play the game: to feel more like they are owning a real league/team and more importantly, bragging rights. We may never be Roger Goddell or Paul Allen, but we can always play out your dream through fantasy football and have automated articles narrating your whole fantasy football experience. That’s all you can ask for.