Unstruc Thinking

Delivering thoughts since 2005

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Enter the Zebra

Yesterday's trip to the San Francisco Zoo, reminded me of the beauty of the Zebra and got me thinking why the Zebra is not as celebrated as other animals. Perhaps it is because it is not the most graceful of all equines, but to me they are certainly the most interesting.
Keeping with the Zebra theme, this morning's tweet by Esther Dyson, gave me some hope that some founders in Silicon Valley are still working on "companies that create a more just and responsible society" that will "hear, help, and heal the customers and communities they serve".

Why zebras?

  • To state the obvious: unlike unicorns, zebras are real.
  • Zebra companies are both black and white: they are profitable and improve society. They won’t sacrifice one for the other. 
  • Zebras are also mutualistic: by banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another. Their individual input results in stronger collective output. 
  • Zebra companies are built with peerless stamina and capital efficiency, as long as conditions allow them to survive.

Did you know that a group of Zebras is called a Dazzle?

Enter the Zebra, time to dazzle.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Awards Banquet - Watch these Videos!

Last month I was lucky enough to get an invite to the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Awards Banquet, thanks to my boss Penny Herscher who is on the Anita Borg board. Wow. What a great evening, great attendees and inspiring speakers.

I have been sending around the links to the video to many of my friends (especially those with daughters! - highly recommend taking the time to watch these inspiring videos:

Keynote: Diane M. Bryant, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group (DCSG) for Intel Corporation:

Women of Vision Award Winner for Leadership:Genevieve BellDirector, Interaction and Experience Research, Intel Labs at Intel Corporation

Women of Vision Award Winner for Innovation: Maja MatarićProfessor and Chan Soon-Shiong Chair in Computer Science, Neuroscience and Pediatrics, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California
Women of Vision Award Winner for Social Impact:Vicki Hanson, Professor of Inclusive Technologies at the University of Dundee, and Research Staff Member Emeritus from IBM Research

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wow Touching in The Enterprise IS OK

At last year's Dreamforce the FirstRain team had a blast filming a "Sh**T Dreamforcers Say" video, and my favorite bit was the opening clip that had me asking: "Touch the Enterprise? I thought touching was NOT work appropriate?".  It took me a couple of takes to get that one right because we kept cracking up (watch the video through the end to see some of the out-takes).

We lead with that clip in the video because, not only was it funny, but we knew that salesforce.com was going to be aggressively pushing their Touch Platform at Dreamforce.  After Dreamforce, I diligently read the book they were readily passing out to developers "Salesforce Touch Platform – Mobile Development Guide" (here's the free download). I totally got what they were working on, and since I had been tracking Enterprise Mobile App development in the marketplace for a while—and seeing it myself with our customers—I knew we wanted to package something up alongside their Touch Platform.

In addition to our well-loved, FirstRain enterprise iPad App, FirstRain had already delivered some pretty strategic mobile applications using standard technologies that salesforce.com was smartly pushing within their Touch Platform.

Now fast-forward to today, and we are pleased to announce that we have released FirstRain for Touch, an Enterprise Customer Intelligence Solution for the Salesforce Touch Platform. Go over to our blog MarketMine to read our blog post with the details on why this is so exciting for enterprise customers who want to quickly build and deploy enterprise-grade mobile apps.

Oh yeah, and "touching" in the enterprise—it's obviously not only acceptable, but is now expected from your employees ...

Photo| Flickr | lulutoo

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A Drawer Full of Good Fortune and Harmony

Every culture has their own traditions and New Year's (Eve or Day) tends to be one of those celebration days that many of them come out in full force as everyone looks forward to the new year ahead of them.

Me? Well there are many Portuguese New Year's traditions that my family has celebrated all my life. What have I carried on?

Wear brand new blue underwear to attract good fortune and harmony.

Every year, usually on the 31st of December, i run around checking stores for blue underwear for the three of us- not only wearing them on the 1st but shopping for single pairs of blue underwear (not an easy task since many blue ones are typically in packages) the day or two before has become a tradition for me.
And with that i hope for good fortune and harmony for all. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

Girly Geeks in Force at Dreamforce

Note: This post was orginally published on the FirstRain MarketMine Blog 

I can't think of a better way to start a major conference then attending a conference sponsored networking event. From day one you are able to network and make connections with others, who can heavily influence the value you ultimately get from the conference.

On the eve of Dreamforce, Monday September 17th there will be a 'Women in Tech' event hosted by GirlyGeeks and the Salesforce.com's Women's Network (open to all Dreamforce attendees and Salesforce.com employees). This networking event is sure to rally in many passionate, energetic and career driven women and certainly all the Girly Geeks at FirstRain are looking forward to meeting them all, as we kick off Dreamforce 2012. Events like these are great opportunities to come together to network, share your own personal experiences, and hear some of the challenges and experiences women have faced in order to build their careers. In addition to networking and 'cocktailing' time, attendees will hear from:
  • Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, President, Commercial/SMB Business Unit, Salesforce.com
  • Geraldine Gray, Senior Consultant, Appirio & Founder of the GirlyGeeks
Plus a special panel session moderated by Jill Rowley, Director of Key Accounts, Eloqua. The panelists will share their career stories and take questions from the audience. Panelists include:
  • Rachel Thornton, Vice President, Dreamforce, Salesforce.com
  • Penny Herscher, CEO, FirstRain
  • Sarah Friar, CFO, Square
  • Deepa Patel, President, Halak Consulting
We are very happy that Penny was invited to be part of the panel, because as a FirstRain Girly Geek, I know the benefit of her daily dose of inspiration, guidance and fortitude, that I am sure will come across in the panel. As many of you know, Penny is very passionate about the opportunities and challenges that women in technology encounter on a daily basis. She actively shares her thoughts on her personal blog as well as on the Huffington Post. Earlier this year Penny participated on a panel at Yahoo! on the myth of the work-life balance and spoke at TEDx Gunn High School on how coding is the new literacy.

Want to learn more or attend the Women In Tech Event? If you are a Dreamforce attendee or Salesforce.com employee, visit the Girly Geeks Dreamforce Chatter Group and then RSVP here (email me if you need a code: dbarbosa@firstrain.com).

And don't forget, Dreamforce is only 10 days away and all of FirstRain is working hard to get #DF12ready! Most of the team will be present, whether they are at our booth (#1626!), wandering the expo and hosting meetups (interested in meeting up with us? Email us at DF@firstrain.com) or checking out the GE Capital Session--we are gearing up for a fun week!

Image|Flickr| Elizabeth Thomsen

Monday, August 27, 2012

You Had Me At Hello. Smiling That Is.

Note: This post was orginally posted on the FirstRain MarketMine Blog.

Dreamforce season is upon us! Attendees and Salesforce.com employees are talking about what they are wearing and not wearing (I really hope not!) to the event, the Dreamforce party app is hopping, SaaSy videos are going viral, animated gifs are turning up everywhere,  sessions are filling up fast and rumors are flying around. So what are we doing in preparation? Well, some hard work of course as we coordinate our booth (#1626), our customer session [360° of Excellence: How GE Capital Drives ROI Through Customer Intelligence], our team schedules and our client appointments---but also some fun, because that is how we roll here @FirstRain ... If you've been following @FirstRain or PennyRyan or myself on Twitter, you may have noticed we've been tweeting out about our new customer intelligence Tumblr:  "You Had Me At Hello, Letters to Marc Benioff", with a couple new posts a day. So what exactly is it? You Had Me At Hello are letters directly from Penny to Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com's CEO. They are 'penned' in Penny's own voice—no marketing content editor behind the scenes—and are what our COO, YY Lee, recently called "like passing hallway notes between two CEOs". We have had a lot of positive feedback from our customers (including many who are mutual customers with Salesforce.com), along with many "thanks for making me smile." This ticks off our #1 objective as we all continue to be manically busy trying to prep for Dreamforce, deliver our updated AppExchange offering, work on a couple of new client SFDC implementations and continue to drive value to our customers rolling out tools like Sales Cloud. Here are some highlighted posts from the Tumblr in the last week that might also make you smile:
To read the rest of the posts go to  #UHadMeAtHello! Read it, Tweet it, and Submit Your own Letter to Marc if you are so inclined. View the full archive here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Harvesting Big Data for Social Business

Note: This post was orginally posted on the FirstRain MarketMine Blog

Have you ever thought about how, when you are in a specific situation or have something very important on your mind, you begin to see it all around you? For example if you have ever been pregnant—ALL you see around you are other pregnant women, as if it were a global pregnancy epidemic! Last week Steven Feinberg visited our office and I learned about our brain's reticular activating system (RAS), the part of the brain that recognizes patterns and "makes sense" of your experience. Your brain does this by looking for evidence to prove your beliefs—yes, the part of your brain that spots all those other pregnant women, or all the Mini Coopers on the road! 

So maybe it is my reticular activating system acting up because it was another BIG Monday morning for Social Business Big Data in my content streams. Here are some highlights: 

"Why Big Data Will Deliver ROI For Social Business" If you are at all interested or affected by social business, then you have probably heard of Dion Hinchcliffe, whose focus has been social business and next-gen enterprises working with some of the biggest companies out there. In this post in InformationWeek, he talks about driving forward very real business outcomes by harvesting the missing social business intelligence capability within most organizations. You can follow @dhinchcliffe for daily knowledge of social business.

"Business Intelligence (BI) Trends Go Beyond Analytics" on Forbes.com by SiliconANGLE’s Editor Kristen Nicole. This popped up on my radar because it mentioned what we are doing at FirstRain, by adding context to the data FirstRain finds and packaging it up for business use so a sales professional can immediately understand their customers.

"Why Context Matters—Forget Real-Time, Achieve  Right-Time" this one goes back a couple of weeks but I just found it and, although it is B2C focused, had a key point that addresses the B2B Social Business harvesting of Big Data:
"Customers and employees only want engagement aligned with self interest. Relevancy of information is required for customers and employees to respond. Real-time interactions quickly evolve into noise. Signal to noise ratios must be improved as garbage in will lead to massive garbage out. In some cases, customers don’t want engagement. They just want the experience."
"Can Data Science Save the US Economy?" Saroj Kar, takes a slightly different take on the importance of Big Data by focusing in on the data scientists:
"In recent months in the U.S. alone, large organizations, from staffing companies to universities, have seen a growing interest in a new professional class around data. A curious mix of business expertise, analysis and information technology, this new title is underway in various vertical markets such as energy, commerce, healthcare and financial services. And if experts are right, this is just the beginning."
I found this article because it mentioned our CEO Penny Herscher's recent TEDx talk on how "Coding is the New Literacy ". It not only highlights what we see in the marketplace as a real need for business skills but how FirstRain delivers (in doing the  'heavy-lifting' of data analysis for business users) such value to our customers—of course we have a team full of data scientists ourselves! 

Have you seen more articles on the subject that we should highlight? Tweet them to me @danielabarbosa 

Image| Flickr| adopted raebrune