Award-Winning Secrets to Success from Previous Best Manager Recipients

For the past few years, Tech in Motion Events has encouraged local tech communities to nominate top tech managers from all over North America and celebrated those leaders at the annual Timmy Awards. Thus far, 16 have claimed the trophy as their region’s Best Tech Manager with another 11 looking to hoist the hardware later this year. From bridging the gap between employee and employer to keeping energy levels high, the secrets that these managers shared aren’t just the keys to their success, but also to keeping their teams engaged, eager to constantly improve, and excited to come into work every single day.

Do you have a manager like this? Nominate him or her as a 2017 Timmy Award Best Tech Manager.

Strong management in the workplace impacts every employee within the company. For instance, in a 2015 survey on Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement from The Society for Human Resource Management, 55% of employees surveyed rated the trust between employees and senior management as “very important,” the fifth-highest rated of any aspect considered. For Andrew Santorelli, Senior Development Manager at KANETIX SaaS in Toronto, giving feedback is one thing he has always valued, even from his days as a junior employee. “I always felt like I was doing a good job, but I never knew my manager saw the same thing. It’s hard to know where to put your energy or how to meet expectations when you are not given any feedback.” With the goal of providing more transparency and thus, more trust, Santorelli has implemented various checkpoints throughout the year specifically for giving employees feedback: how they’re doing in the workplace, what areas they’re excelling in, and where they need to improve.

CTA2Of course, there needs to be a balance between work and play. In the survey mentioned above, 53% of employees also rated work/life balance as “very important” to their job satisfaction. However, it’s not just change that has to come from the top: “they always make fun of me because I want to play games or take them to the park,” reflects Eva Pagneux, Product Manager of Hexo+ by Squadrone Systems, based out of San Francisco. She knows that her energy keeps her team motivated even if they do poke fun at her for it.

One of the most important points stressed by multiple managers was finding a style of management that works not just for you, but for the team as well. “Leadership is about responsibility, not authority” says Seth Dobbs, VP of Engineering at HS2 Solutions. Coming from a previous role that included a servant-master relationship with a previous manager, Seth adopted a style of giving responsibility to his employees, so he could lead as a mentor rather than a boss. Empowering rather than directing your employees will help them develop in the long-run.

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And finally, for the advice they’d give all other managers? It’s simple: Venkat Rangasamy, Principal Software Architect at Equinix in San Jose, sums it up best when he says his managing style follows the mantra Do stuff, no bluff.” He suggests to be transparent and a part of the team rather than managing and directing from behind a closed office door. Understand your team members and their concerns, and focus on making others successful, because ultimately, their successes are your successes.

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Ultimately, 2017 will allow 10 regions to crown a new “Best Tech Manager,” one that promotes career growth, ensures a great team culture, inspires innovation, and has a clear and communicated vision to produce a great product. The managers quoted above have embodied what it means to be a great manager by leading their teams to success through their many projects and initiatives and continue to do so year-after-year. To learn more about what it takes to become a Timmy Award-winning manager or to nominate a certain special manager in your life, visit the Timmy Awards’ website here.

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What Your Tech Experience Says About How Much You Earn

Tech Salaries by Experience

Tech in Motion’s proud supporter, Workbridge Associates, recently published a report predicting the tech salaries for 2017. In this report, it is forecasted that in 2017, the average salary for a software engineer will increase by approximately 3%, compared to 2016, and reach a total of $107,745 a year. One of the biggest contributing factors of salary growth is experience, and the way that engineers can leverage their experience to get the best possible pay will make the up-most difference. After analyzing thousands of job placements across the US and Canada, we built a graph that demonstrates the growth of annual salaries by experience level in the tech industry.

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Looking for a job in the tech industry? Click here to check out our Online Job Board!

College Grads and Those Who Have Few Years of Experience in the Tech Industry.

You’re probably wondering why the above graph illustrates that having “0 years” or no years of experience in the tech industry can get you a higher paying salary than someone who has one or two years. Surprisingly, entry-level university or college graduates with little to no experience can actually negotiate a 4% higher salary than their peers who already have some experience in the industry. The reasons behind this are: (1) with a shortage of tech talent, there is fierce competition amongst big companies to attract engineers and tech graduates right out of school. (2) If the candidate has little experience, but is already searching for a new job, it’s a big indicator that something went wrong, such as termination of employment. It could also indicate that a person is looking for some type of career change (industry, company, technology, location, etc.) and would be willing to settle for a lower salary. (3) Once graduated, many young people try to find success as entrepreneurs. If that fails, a lot of them will then resort back to the job market, where their experience as entrepreneurs partially counts but their earnings at the time were little to none. Therefore, there is more leverage for an employer to offer less.

Want to get your foot in the door working for a big company? Join us at a Tech in Motion event to meet and network with other tech professionals and enthusiasts in your city! View our calendar here.

Tech Salary Growth Virtually Stops After 15 Years of Experience.

Based on the data we’ve found, below is a breakdown of salary growth after 5, 10, 15, and 30 years of work experience in the tech industry:

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As illustrated, someone with five to ten years of experience will see the biggest increase in salary. This is because there is a vast and apparent difference between, for example, a Java Developer with five years of experience and one with nine years of experience. Also, for many tech professionals, this period could be characterized by a big career move or change, such as relocating to a more pricey area, acquiring a senior or executive level role, learning a new technology, receiving an advanced degree, or switching from a small company to a big one or vice versa.

However, based on the data we’ve found, the growth in salary virtually disappears for tech professionals after 15 years of experience, and there are many reasons why it happens. One reason is that many experienced technologists are moving into higher level roles on the corporate ladder, turning into stakeholders or executives, or becoming independent business owners. Therefore, they are not considered “tech professionals” anymore and are no longer in the same salary bracket.

Another reason why salary growth diminishes for tech professionals after 15 years of experience or more is because it may be hard to keep up with new trends in technology and compete with new tech talent entering the workforce.

Also, it’s hard to convince your employer that your degree from 1990 and your 27 years of experience is better and deserves a higher pay than a person who graduated in 1996. In order to continue growing your salary in the long run, you need to continuously develop your skills and experience.

Contact a local Jobspring Partners or Workbridge Associates to help you in your job search!

Ensuring Steady Growth in Salary after 15 Years of Experience (Or Less):

We recently published an article titled “How to Earn $200K+ as a Software Engineer”, which provides some tips on how to increase your salary in the tech industry. This advice could also be applied to developing your skills and negotiating a higher pay. Here’s a brief overview of what this article has to say:

Want to read the entire article? Check it out here.

  • Consider relocating if you feel that higher paying jobs are limited in your country, region, or city. For example, based on our data, over 60% of tech professionals who make $200K or more live in the San Francisco / San Jose area; another 10% of professionals with salaries over $200K live in New York City.
  • Learn new technologies to be highly demanded or a “hot commodity”. Those who learn cloud computing, data engineering, iOS, Android, C++, DevOps, Java, Perl or UI/UX can expect anywhere from a 7% to 26% increase in salary.
  • Demonstrate that you are not only a developer who knows how to code, but also a leader who can make decisions, train, mentor, supervise, manage, and lead a team. It’s all about how big your impact is on an organization, which is why it is recommended to take additional classes in management and leadership, or even pursue a Master’s degree in engineering, computer science, management, finance, or business administration (MBA). A Master’s degree will help your negotiating power when pursuing a top level position.
  • Consider moving to a bigger or smaller company. For the most part, large companies have more resources and can provide higher salaries and growth opportunities. On the contrary, if you already work for a big organization, try to look around for a small startup, as your experience could be valued as a “treasure” and this company may be willing to pay you more for what you can offer.

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How to Earn $200K+ as a Software Engineer

Over the last two years, Tech in Motion’s proud supporters, Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates, have worked with hundreds of thousands of engineers across the United States and Canada to find these tech professionals exciting positions. While the vast majority end up in positions that pay between $50,000 and $140,000, these agencies have also placed many engineers at the $200K-$300K+ range.

Many candidates wonder: “What qualifies an engineer for a $200K+ salary? And how can I get there?” Given the 27 years of experience that Jobspring and Workbridge have working within the technology industry, it is clear that there are some key factors that you should keep in mind before you go shooting for the stars. Here are the top four determinants that can help you map out your career as well as help you dream and achieve bigger:

Want to earn $200K working as a Software Engineer or check out other tech opportunities? Click here to view our Tech Job Board!

1. Location, Location, Location

You can be the greatest developer with a Ph.D. in Engineering, but a $200K position may not exist in the geographic region you live in. Are you willing to relocate? Most of the job openings in the $200K range that Jobspring and Workbridge often deal with are located in San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles. If you’re not open to relocating to a place where the pay is higher, you may be limiting yourself.

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*Based on Jobspring and Workbridge Placements.

Check out what tech jobs are available in these US locations – click here!

 

2. Experience

Experience plays a critical role when it comes to salary negotiation. Over the last four years, there was only one person that these agencies placed at a just-under-$200K salary who had only two years of experience. (This person had some exceptional accomplishments and specialized in Front-End Development.) Most companies want to see at least seven years of experience before they even consider higher six-figure salaries. In fact, the majority of the agencies’ $200K placements were with candidates that had 11-28 years of experience.

 

3. Technology and Skills

Technology and skills are critical components to gaining a higher salary. Do you have the right skills? Do you need to learn a new programming language or move to a different field or niche? Your skills, and how you can sell yourself, are essential parts of getting the highest salary possible. Based on all of the placements done by Jobspring and Workbridge from 2013-2016, Java Developers were the leaders of the $200K club. Mobile, Network Security, Front End, Ruby on Rails, Product Management, and UI/UX were all among the top technologies when it came to highest salaries.

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*Comparing Jobspring and Workbridge salaries by technology and experience with the average for Software Engineers.

 

4. Seniority and Leadership

The majority of people placed with a $200K+ salary are generally at a Senior Management or C-Level position working for a startup or Fortune 500 company. Often times, these people are placed with companies who were looking to hire “on the street” to fill their VP or C-Level positions. So if you think that a Ph.D. in Engineering and decades of experience will eventually guarantee you a big promotion to a Senior Executive level, think again. A lot of employers feel comfortable hiring experienced engineers working for other companies and don’t see the need to promote within the company.

As an engineer, you must prove that you are not only a talented coder, but also an effective manager who can lead others, take ownership, and make critical decisions. At the Senior Executive level, you need to demonstrate leadership acumen. An MBA (full-time, executive, online, or part-time) with a Master’s Degree in Engineering and a focus on Management, as well as courses and a certificate on Leadership, are all important aspects of becoming a candidate who can qualify for a higher six-figure compensation.

 

Start Your Future Today

Map out what experiences, technologies, stretch assignments, and leadership abilities you need to embody as you journey toward higher paying positions. An investment in yourself now is an investment in your future. Begin today and set yourself upon a course to earning your full potential.

Let us help you find your dream job! Contact a Jobspring Partners or Workbridge Associates in your city to kickstart the process.

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find a 200k tech job

The Revolution: the Cloud & Multi-Channel Communication

Article written by Nick Newsom, Ytel CEO

As the world around us changes, we must adapt. The revolution of the Cloud has already changed the way companies do business, but it also applies to the most basic of human interactions for businesses: communication.

The way we communicate is enhanced and modified consistently through the technology, tools and resources made available to us. To satisfy the demands of consumers and new trends, businesses have to not only find their audience, but also communicate with them wherever they actively listen. Those using a multi-channel approach supported by cloud communications will be the front-runner of this exciting revolution.

Interested in finding a new role where you work with Cloud technologies? Apply now.

Let’s start with the Cloud.

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Cloud communications are Internet-based voice and data communications, hosted by third party service providers, accessible over the internet. Because you only pay for the services you use, it’s a much more cost-effective choice for businesses. It’s a more reliable and secure communication environment, with the cost-savings appealing to many businesses in the market today.

Take my business, for example. Ytel specializes in cloud-based communications solutions that service businesses worldwide. My team of engineers, developers, support staff, marketers and sales know all about the power of communication on a granular level… they live it on a daily basis.

Personally, I found the power of communication as a middle schooler when I received my ham radio license (KE6CZD) and discovered the world of Bulletin Board Systems (old, I know…). All that led to a career in communications that I am incredibly passionate about. I’m also a member of several organizations and executive boards in Orange County that fuel innovation and communication through technology and discovery.

While my team at Ytel builds, maintains, and distributes the software our customers want, we also enhance the experience by adding features and add-ons for their unique business models. In order to provide this level of satisfaction, there has to be a strong sense of understanding about what our customers need. This comes from a deep knowledge of the industries we work in, from lead generation to marketing and sales, to solar and call centers; we are fortunate in that the Ytel team is made up of individuals who come from these different verticals, so they know what pieces are missing from the way those businesses communicate with their customers.

You’ve got the cloud infrastructure on your side, and you need a strategy to attract and keep those valuable customers.

 

Let’s talk multi-channel communication.

A strategy that businesses (the smart ones, at least) use to engage with their customers in a modern, efficient way. The multi-channel approach is simple; you exist where your customer exists, and the communication channels used are based solely on their preferences. Multi-channel is all about giving customers a choice.

What better way to align yourself with prospects and customers than through the communication channels they already use? The goal behind multi-channel is to actively listen and engage with your customers, prospects, and leads, and to turn that listening into a productive interaction with clear steps forward. You’re taking all the noise of marketing and sales and turning it into action, and action into customer loyalty.

Encourage active listening by practicing what you preach. Maybe your customer wants to be contacted via email. Maybe they love the chat feature on your website. Or perhaps they crave human interaction over the phone. Knowing these preferences, and being able to segment them appropriately, is multi-channel done right. Active listening packs a huge punch for your business; all you have to do is listen and take action.

Multi-channel communication can:

  1. Increase brand recognition
  2. Build customer loyalty
  3. Grow and scale your business

Introducing message360°

It can be difficult and stressful for businesses to keep their communication channels organized, updated, and cohesive with their brand. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all those channels housed in one central location?

With the new message360° API, we’ve removed the need for multiple communication platforms by offering the four core communication channels in one API. Voice, text, email and direct mail, easily accessible in one API. message360° integrates with any web application, and removes the complexity of building.

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Check out Drips.com, a current user of message360° and discover how they successfully interact with thousands of customers through voice, text, and email drip campaigns.

With cloud infrastructure on your side, your business can function at a lower cost with more efficiency and scalability. A multi-channel communication strategy is just the cherry on top; you’ve laid the foundation with technology and you’re simply polishing the customer experience and improving your bottom line. With message360°, you get the power and security of the cloud and the channels your customers prefer, under one roof. It’s communication done right.

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Transportation Startups Talk UI/UX and Core Design

Last month, Tech in Motion San Francisco members got an exclusive insight into the world of UI/UX design from the perspective of transportation startups.

The discussion featured up and coming companies such as Metromile, Scoop and HONK. Metromile generously opened its doors for the night and welcomed more than one hundred attendees into their new spacious and trendy office. The transportation industry, coupled with technology, is a hot topic and among the top most disruptive in the world, according to Tech Crunch.

Want to host a Tech in Motion event in your space? Contact us now!

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The panel of design experts consisted of Matt Stein, Director of Design at Metromile, Cassy Rowe, Head of Design and User Experience at Scoop, and Jake Honig, Vice President of Product Marketing at HONK. Shira Abel, who is the CEO and Lead Strategist at Hunter and Bard, asked the group of panelists to discuss what their core design principles were for their respective companies.

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Stein, representing the pay-per-mile insurance startup Metromile said, “We focus on making things ‘glanceable’, very clear, and the last would be an acronym we refer to as D.E.A.F. – delightful, engaging and fun.” Read more about these 3 UI/UX principles you need to know at a startup here.

For startup Scoop – an automated carpooling service – their main principles revolved around safety, user feedback regarding experiences using the service, and context, according to Rowe.

See more photos of the UI/UX event on Tech in Motion’s Facebook page.

HONK, the towing and roadside service company, focuses on delivery. Honig explained that HONK’s goal is ensuring that the process for its users will be fast, easy and deliverable since customers using their services are typically facing crises.

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Kam Wong of Hong Kong, China was attending his first ever Tech in Motion event that night and said it was definitely “worth the drive.”

“It was interesting,” said Tiago Varandas from Amsterdam. “I liked when they explored the area of automated vehicles.”

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Overall, the tech talk was educational and insightful, and our Tech in Motion members certainly did not leave empty handed thanks to Metromile! Upon arrival, each attendee received a Metromile ‘swag bag’ filled with amazing and useful branded trinkets, including a Tech in Motion card holder for phones.

Attend an event on UI/UX design or other tech topics in a city near you.

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6 Apps to Help You Maintain Your Health & Fitness Goals

If you’re like the better half of America, last month you made the resolution to get fit and stay healthy. With January coming to an end and 2016 beginning to feel like old news, chances are you’ve conveniently forgotten or have given up completely on said resolutions. With the help of the following mobile apps fittingly compiled below, you don’t have to look any further than the palm of your hands to find the guidance you need to help stick to your health and fitness goals.

Want to work with mobile apps, not just workout with them? Check out these jobs.

  1. VitFitvitfit, $19.99/month (HQ in Philadelphia, PA) – VitFit aims to take the “work” out of your workout by helping you stay inspired and committed to your goals. If you don’t have the time, money, or confidence to head to the gym or use a personal trainer – but still want to get fit – VitFit may be the app you’re looking for. Based on your individual fitness goals, VitFit creates a personalized program and allows you to download an MP3 with your own trainer motivating you in real time. Cool fact: all workouts are created by certified personal trainers, so you’re sure to work up a sweat.
  2. Vea Fitness, Free (HQ in Philadelphia, PA) – Sometimes you need a little motivation to get off the couch and out for a run. Lucky for you, the folks behind VeaFitness agree! While it’s still in beta, when released you can complete runs to unlock rewards through the mobile app. Run 2 miles? Receive 20% off of your next purchase at Nike. Added bonus: Vea Fitness has its own built-in GPS tracking system and logs all of your runs, so no need for multiple tracking apps. Hit the pavement…then the mall.
  3. Fooducate, Free + in App Purchases (HQ in Bay Area, CA) – Fooducate takes theguesswork out of eating healthy. It doesn’t just track the quantity of calories you take in, but also the quality of your caloric intake. Navigate confusing product nutrition labels by scanning a barcode and receiving an easy to decipher A, B, C, or D letter grade. You’ll even get offered healthier alternatives.  If that’s not enough, Fooducate has its own community for feedback and support.foodcuate
  4. FitBliss Free (HQ in Bay Area, CA) – What better way to achieve your fitness goals
    than to promote some healthy competition? FitBliss brings fitness into the workplace with team competitions and challenges while promoting a happier, healthier work environment.
  5. yogaYogatailor, Free in app store and 15 day trial (HQ in Mountain View, CA) – Yogatailor is your custom yoga workout designed to tailor to your health needs. Do you want to sleep better? Do you want to get rid of that back pain? Just put your preferences in the app and let your custom yoga workout magically appear.
  6. DietSensor, $249 handheld molecule scanner + free app (HQ in Boston, MA) – DietSensor is a handheld scanner that can read the molecules in your donut and tell you how many calories are in that bad boy! The sensor sends information directly to an app on your phone. The mobile app not only tells you your pending calorie intake but also offers real-time coaching, a DietSensor community, and an optional scale. The only downside to this phenomenon? It only reads individual food items – so don’t try scanning your chimichanga.

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Want to see companies like this in person? Find a demo event at a city near you.

Your quest for a healthy life is a little more fun when you have a handy gadget or new technology to guide you. Whether it be a customizable fitness app or a calorie scanner, there is something technical out there to try this year. Maybe if you revisit your health and fitness goals with the aid of these helpful technologies, you’ll get the motivation you needed all along.

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4 Mobile Ways to Give to Charity This Holiday

4 mobile apps to give back with ‘Tis the season for generosity. Whether it’s that perfect gift for your special someone or the joke gift you buy for White Elephant, it’s the time of the year for giving.

With all the gifts, parties and shopping it’s easy to forget that there are people around the world who can’t celebrate in the same way. However, thanks these new groundbreaking companies you can help those less fortunate, from all over the world,  right on your cell phone.

One Today

one today mobile charity app

One Today is Google’s creation that connects with small charities that match your interests. These are groups you may never have found on your own, but through the app you can easily locate them and learn about their mission. All the charities are specifically catered to your interests and grow to become very specific. You could choose to donate specifically to restoring an endangered habitat, focus on health and wellness charities, or education in struggling communities. The best part is, 100% of your donation goes directly to the non-profit. One Today doesn’t take any overheads costs, so you know that when you support someone, they are directly receiving your gift. Available on ITunes and Google Play.

Goodshop

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Goodshop connects you to major brands that are teaming up with major charities. When you shop on the site, partnered retailers will automatically donate a percentage to charity. The site also shares coupon codes that you can redeem for free shipping and discounts. Every time you search, they donate to charity! Now you can splurge and still give back.

Freerice.com

free rice trivia charity

Freerice.com makes a game out of raising money for charity. Take quizzes in a variety of subject topics like Famous Quotations, different languages and more. There’s even a section of SAT prep to grow college-level skills. The site is completely free to the player, and all donation costs are covered by the ads hosted on the bottom of the page. All you have to do is flex your trivia skills, and you could feed a family in need. That’s what they call a win-win.

Charity Miles

Charity Miles doesn’t just help the world but is also great for your health! Register to be a walker, or cyclist, and every mile you travel you earn money for charity. Bikers earn 10 cents a mile and joggers/walkers earn 25 cents per mile. These fees are connected to corporate donors, so all you need to focus on is racking up those miles. Charity Miles works with dozens of organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the Wounded Warrior Project, Stand Up to Cancer and many more. What more motivation do you need to kick start that New Year’s resolution?

So get out there! Together with some of the most life changing organizations from all over the planet, there’s nothing stopping you from giving back this holiday season and all through 2016. If everyone just donates a bit of time, energy or money, the season of giving can inspire a season of change.

On behalf of our creators, Jobspring and Workbridge, as well of the entire Tech in Motion team, may you have a wonderful holiday season followed by a happy and healthy New Year filled with success.

Want to launch an app? Buckle up, it can be a wild ride!

Toronto food and fitness apps

This fall, Tech in Motion: Toronto hosted Food + Fitness Demos & Drinks, packing coworking space Acme Works with more than 100 local enthusiasts for a night of networking, drinks and demos from 8 food and fitness app companies that are revolutionizing the wellness industry. Check out some of the latest products and ideas from these hot companies: Gymnut, MealSurfers, Baron Biosystems, Ritual, MenuSnap, Trainer+, MizPiz, and Carrot Pass.

Join a Tech in Motion chapter nearby to attend events like this in the future.

Tony Merlo, Sales Manager of the app Carrot Pass, impressed attendees with his demo display and shared his thoughts on launching a new app. Here is what he had to say…

Smartphones have taken over the world. Almost anywhere you go you’ll see people with their eyes locked deep into the warm glow of the screen on their hand. The modern day gold rushers have long envied the ability of this relatively new technology to capture people’s attention. The business potential is almost unlimited. Perhaps the best part is that it gives developers an almost unlimited playground to bring their idea to life. It seems like life will be a bed of roses until some of the realities of creating an app show up.

The first question to ask is: What is the specific goal that you are trying to accomplish?

Are you looking to boost sales for your company? Create a new way for people to connect? New games or other forms of entertainment? Once you have an answer to that, research what is currently available that is close to what you want to do and try them out. Ask your friends/colleagues to test them also. Pay close attention to the feedback, and especially whether or not it is something they would use frequently enough to want to keep. If you think you have a unique idea, start to proceed… cautiously. Besides the reality that it is costly to create an app, especially since it can cost extra to build for both Android and Apple, the real challenge begins once your app is approved and officially launched. The million dollar question then becomes: How are people going to find out about you?

One of the most important financial numbers for a company is the Cost Per Download.

This number determines how much advertising money is spent per person that downloads the app. The number in the beginning can be a lot higher than what many people anticipate. Before launching your app, you need to have a marketing strategy in place. Every few months there are stories about a creative app designer who strikes gold by having the latest viral hit and tech world watches as their download numbers skyrocket. This is a terrific example of hard work paying off, and it definitely can for you too, but it is important to prepare for the challenges that you will face in reaching that level of success.

The first challenge you need to understand is that it can be very difficult to get people to download your app. Why?

There are many roadblocks that can prevent this from happening. It can be surprising to those who work in the tech community, but many people have not ever downloaded an app because they do not know their iTunes password, nor how to reset it. Memory storage is also frequently an issue as many phones get loaded up with photos/videos, etc. to the point that they have zero space available. It is crazy to think, but some people still have the iPhone 3G or one of the original Droids, and have an old version of the iOS or Android firmware that does not support what you need to run your new app.

The reason these factors are important to consider is because many times it makes more sense to build your idea into a website that has an excellent interface from a mobile device. It can be much easier to engage with new users by having a link to your site that you can email, text, tweet, post or link to on a blog, etc. that people can easily access than it is to convince them it is worth the effort to find and download an app. It is also much easier and quicker to update and add new features on a website than an app. There is always the opportunity to build an app after you already have an established customer base. However, sometimes you do need to build an app to fully control the user experience and provide unique levels of service that are not available elsewhere.

Once you have decided on the best path to proceed, it can be of vital importance to connect with the local tech community in your area and promote your new product.

Many times great new ideas or partnering opportunities can come from attendees of networking events like those created by Tech In Motion that can take your business to the next level. Carrot Pass is a new app that uses beacon technology and encourages people to be more active by providing financial incentives for them to do so. We were fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to present at one of their recent events and the exposure and contacts we made will be incredibly valuable once we are able to expand into the Greater Toronto Area. Whatever your vision is, you can be successful doing it as long as you prepare and plan for the challenges. The potential market is HUGE. People love using their smartphones and are always excited to find a new reason to turn it on.

Become a demo company or speaker at a Tech in Motion event in 2016 to get exposure like Carrot Pass! Contact a city organizer near you. 

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How to Win Big with (I)IoT, Industrial Analytics & Big Data

Written By Rick O’Brien, President of SemperCon.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is on track to change the way businesses work. Enterprises are already going digital—employees are using mobile devices to access information, communicate and collaborate. Just as mobile devices and applications have become ubiquitous, cloud connected sensors, industrial devices, machinery and equipment are also being developed at a rapid rate.

sempercon cloud iot Companies that depend on durable, physical goods to conduct business—from manufacturing, mining and agriculture to healthcare organizations, transportation and logistics—are already realizing the opportunity of the Industrial Internet of Things. In a recent survey of 450 businesses across the world, 30 percent indicated that they already adopted IoT technology. In another, half of the interviewed business leaders indicated IoT as a key priority in their strategic use of technology to win, serve and retain customers.

Want to get into a career with Internet of Things? Here are some IoT-involved openings.

Whether a business serves consumers or other businesses, IIoT can help with more fully engaging customers, increasing productivity and simplifying internal processes. The productivity gains associated with IIoT enabled business models can be significant. Recent studies have estimated that manufacturers, for instance, can boost productivity as much as 30 percent and reduce maintenance costs by as much as 30 percent with IIoT. Businesses more interested in boosting customer value leverage IIoT solutions in order to commercialize industrial analytics and business intelligence. By taking a ‘big data’ approach and launching product-service hybrid offerings, significant value is extracted from IIoT.

cloud imageSuch solutions produce a large volume and variety of data that IT departments must be prepared to manage. The sheer volume and structure of data collected from hardware devices challenge conventional data storage methods. Businesses that require real-time business process support from IIoT systems will need to scale fast enough to transfer the entire collection of raw data being generated to and from a location.

Industrial IoT solutions’ administrative and user dashboards differ to some extent based on whether they are designed to drive new revenue or promote internal cost savings. Generally, system administrators should be able to control features, manage users, and access real time system diagnostics and reporting via a cloud-based dashboard.  Alerts and notifications also play an integral role for IIoT solutions. Well configured user monitoring and alert functions allow business leaders and administrators to keep their fingers on the pulse of their business—supporting user adoption and customer utilization. When developing customer-facing solutions, convenience will be especially critical. Tech buyers value mobility and thus prefer IIoT solutions with mobile accessible user dashboards.

Did you miss the IoT Drinks & Demos in Philadelphia? Check out the List of Upcoming Events at Tech in Motion so  you don’t miss the next one.

The user interfaces of IIoT apps must present data so that it’s both useful and immediately actionable. Data filtering, predictive and visual analytics can all be used to simplify IIoT data and enable smarter business decision making. Industrial IoT solutions must also grow smarter as users think of innovative ways to apply its business intelligence. Data service exchanges allow IT leaders to extract critical data points from a wider pool of devices and partner with third party data service providers to continuously evolve their IIoT offering.

iot system change

We are still at a stage where few IT leaders understand the process of developing an Industrial IoT solution. The properties encapsulated above only brush the surface of meaningfully applying IIoT to businesses. This IIoT strategic planning checklist covers 50+ practical and technical IT requirements that should be evaluated when determining how IIoT can evolve your business processes and customer offering.

Sempercon was a demo company at Philadelphia’s Drinks & Demos: IoT Editionrick o brien this summer. Check out the past event and join the Tech in Motion chapter here.

About the Author

Rick O’Brien is a serial entrepreneur with 20 years experience leading product development, marketing and sales for mobile, hardware and software technology startups and enterprises. Nearly eight years ago he launched Sempercon, a software development firm that specializes in building Internet of Things, mobile and web app solutions for enterprises and startups.

Four Big Tips to Up the Quality of the Videos You Make

Guest Post Written By: Lawrence He of Polygon Visuals

4 Big Tips to up the quality of the (1)

Video is getting very popular these days as a form of content that can quickly captivate audiences. While doing digital marketing for your tech company you may have already started to produce instructional or explanatory videos for your product or its features. When creating video content, it’s important to first and foremost make sure that the video you make is in-line with with your content strategy. Once you have that, you’re ready to begin making videos that really engage your viewers.

Hiring a local video production firm is great if you need your brand to be perceived at a certain level – but if you don’t have the budget or your business is in its beginning stages, you can still get great results filming and producing your own content. Below are a four easy changes to make your videos better.

mic and lighting

1. Lighting is important but sound is even more important.

Clear sound is necessary in order for people to follow what you’re saying; if you have poor sound viewers will switch off right away. To get good sound, make sure you’re not using the on camera microphone. Its beneficial to invest in a lapel microphone, which is one of those small microphones you can clip to your shirt that you see talk show hosts wear, and are relatively cheap. This helps to eliminate the background noise, static and random clattering sounds that muddle what you have to say.

lighting afternoon

2. Tune into your environment.

Notice where your light source is coming from, and how harsh or bright the light source is. If your subject is sitting in an office, you may not notice the harsh shadows under their eyes, but this becomes very evident behind a video screen. Its important to make the person in the video look flattering because you want the viewer to be engaged with what the speaker is saying rather than be distracted. You can soften light by waiting until the late afternoon when the sun begins to set, moving toward a shaded area, or if indoors, near a big window.640px-3_point_lighting.svg

3. Use three-point lighting.

A standard lighting setup is to have a light 45 degrees off to the right, another light 45 degrees off to the left and another light behind the subject just out of frame. This helps balance the shadows across the subjects face as well as bring the subject out from the background. If you don’t have lighting equipment, position your subject so that the light source, (whether it is a window, the sun, a lamp, or actual led lights) 45 degrees to the right or left of the subject. Then use another light source, whether its a lamp, the flashlight on your phone, or a reflector (like a windshield reflector if you don’t have a real photography reflector) and position this 45 degrees from your subject on the other side.

camera

4. Consider where you are framing your subject.

A lot of people frame their subjects in the middle of the frame, and this leaves too much headroom. Headroom is the space between the top of your head and the top of the frame. You don’t want to frame your subject’s head in the middle of the shot because this psychologically lowers the authority of your subject. Ideally, you can frame it so that the eyes of the person you are film are at the top third level of the frame.

Another tip to create better storytelling is whether your subject’s face is zoomed in or whether you’re shooting a wider shot to show the background. If the speaker is making a very compelling point, you might want to film closer. This captures more emotion and the viewer can really notice the expression on the speaker’s face. If you show the background, stepping out to a wider shot can be a subtle way to showing context and hinting your point. For example, if you want to emphasize the importance of metrics. Having a poster about analytics in the background can further drive the point of what you’re saying.  If you’re company is international, having a colorful map in the background can hint at multiple locations. The background gives the viewer insight into your business culture, design, and personality.

As you head to off, motivated to shoot your next video, I want you to keep in mind that video is highly visual. Try to make full use of the fact that its visual, and there’s a reason why you’re using this medium. If you’re simply speaking, why not keep it purely audio? Naturally, there are ways to get your message across in a more compelling way if you by showing your viewer. If you’re shooting a tech product demonstration, think about clearer ways to demonstrate usage. Maybe consider the lifestyle of the customer who uses your product. Could you shoot it in a different angle or location so the viewer can better understand how the product helps them? Because in the end, the entire point of making videos is to help your followers engage and connect with your brand.

LawrenceAbout the Author:

Lawrence He is creative director of Polygon Visuals, a video production agency in The Bay Area. He also writes about marketing and project management at lawrencehe.com. It is a tragedy for those who feel that it is their calling to create, but don’t. Thus, Lawrence takes every fleeting moment of inspiration to be a creator. Motivated by the works of his heroes, Lawrence constantly seeks for ways to put life into his imagination. For him, living in San Francisco gives him a great opportunity to film for tech companies, and tell the stories behind their innovative products.