Is Your Startup Using the STUN Method? Think Twice Before You Do.

There is a theory of agriculture and farming called STUN. It means Sheer, Total, Utter Neglect. Essentially farmers spend less time cultivating the environment and finding good candidates for the surroundings and more time just throwing out a variety of seeds and seedlings and animals and reaping what does grow and what does survive. A fully operational STUN property includes an ecosystem of plants, dairy, fowl, pig and other animals and everyone works together to nurture what IS growing.

In Mark’s video below it looks like a dog, a couple cats, some cows and a few chickens. Then they plant some trees and let the grass grow, hoping it would take off.

Mark Shepard and STUN Management

Mark Shepard explains STUN farming and even wrote a management book based on this theory:

I have spent a lot of my career thinking about whether resources are right for their environment and if they will prosper. Happy Job = Happy Bob. Sometimes when we get caught up in a corporation, we forget that we still have options inside that organization, to improve our day-to-day lives, our direct income or our state of mind.

But, as readers, I bet you can relate to many of the experiences I have had where the Ready? Fire! Aim. orders are being given and optimizing your business processes is a challenge. If you’ve been in an organization when STUN tactics are being used, say, the boss is is desperate for new ideas and he asks you to complete something in 2 days. Your project will suffer in value because you won’t have time to validate your research and theories. And after a few cycles of this, your morale will begin to suffer too, and this is hard to recover.

Instead of this, I suggest:

Plow

Dig deep into old issues and be sure nothing remains in the soil you’re building your new company in. Chips on shoulders. Underlying resentment. Keep communications open. It’s your job as a manager of a leader of a company to remove obstacles whenever possible for your team, and some of those obstacles may be emotional or political in nature…

Seed 

My advice is to trust the employees you’ve hired. They see the holes in the organization at their level and they have a network of peers who have them tuned into the lastest and greatest tools and resources. Respect them and foster a relationship that encourages participation from your team. If after putting your existing team in their dream jobs, you will have skills that need filling, it’s time to hire. Fertilize with confidence building reassurance, a clear set of responsibilities and a performance review schedule.

Cultivate

People thrive and things grow best when they are in the most optimal environment surrounded by positivity and a bounty of resources. Individuals must cultivate their own learning and bosses must cultivate their rising stars to be stronger, happier, more adept and more valuable professionals. And a CEO must be sure that they are cultivating and that all three are happening.

The Meaning of Colors

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What’s in a color?

I’m about to launch a new company and we’re designing the logo. I’m here to tell you, don’t underestimate this part of the process.

Colors carry specific meaning. Colors push this meaning to you automatically, meaning you don’t need to calculate this upon seeing a color, your brain does this for you. So a color is very important to get right for your company, and a palette of colors is important too. The context of those colors holds meaning as well.

Colors are culture specific, they hold meaning based on what a person has learned or on a biological basis as well, the way all things mean something, or affect us. The company Glasglow researched and found that blue street lights were found to have a calming effect and installed them in certain neighborhoods to reduce crime.

Carl Jung is most prominently associated with the pioneering stages of color psychology. Jung was most interested in colors’ properties and meanings, as well as in art’s potential as a tool for psychotherapy. His studies in and writings on color symbolism cover a broad range of topics, from mandalas to the works of Picasso to the near-universal sovereignty of the color gold.

Colors also have an association with what we think food will taste like. They can enhance the effectiveness of placebos, for example, red and orange pills are generally used as stimulants for this reason.

In marketing, the effects of color on buying or product preference are proven and you must watch how different audience might assign color differently based on culture, age, religion, or gender, not to mention just one’s own personal experiences. For some reason I’m not fond of orange right now.

1. RED – anger, passion, rage, desire, excitement, energy, speed, strength, power, heat, love, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence

2. PINK – love, innocence, healthy, happy, content, romantic, charming, playfulness, soft, delicate, feminine

3. YELLOW – wisdom, knowledge, relaxation, joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, dishonesty, cowardice, betrayal, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard

4. ORANGE – humor, energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrant, expansive, flamboyant

5. GREEN – healing, soothing, perseverance, tenacity, self-awareness, proud, unchanging nature, environment, healthy, good luck, renewal, youth, vigour, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, inexperience, envy

6. BLUE – faith, spirituality, contentment, loyalty, fulfillment peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, sky, water, cold, technology, depression

7. PURPLE/VIOLET – erotic, royalty, nobility, spirituality, ceremony, mysterious, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, mourning, power, sensitive, intimacy

8. BROWN – materialistic, sensation, earth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, stability, simplicity

9. BLACK – No, power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, anonymity, unhappiness, depth, style, evil, sadness, remorse, anger

10. WHITE – Yes, protection, love, reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, sterility, marriage (Western cultures), death (Eastern cultures), cold, clinical, sterile

11. SILVER – riches, glamorous, distinguished, earthy, natural, sleek, elegant, high-tech

12. GOLD – precious, riches, extravagance. warm, wealth, prosperity, grandeur

Managing Television Choices (or “The 17 Things I Watch on TV”)

The Future of TV

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While it’s great to have many choices, we also need to be able to quickly hone in on those to exactly what you want, when you want it, and how.

Last I checked, the U.S. TV home received, on average, 189 TV channels. Despite this, the number of channels we actually watch each day is just about 17.

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So we’ve narrowed it down to 17 channels, that’s only 408 hours a day of programming to weed through. Some of that you have to pay for, some is free — a differentiation I think is pretty important. When you already pay a hefty fee for your cable bill, and you probably do, the incidentals of renting movies each month, and buying series and seasons and trilogy collections you must have are not insignificant. Some is on Apple TV, some in Amazon, some on your cable provider, don’t forget Google Play, Hulu, Netflix and so on…just to complicate things, searching those services is different depending on which one you use:

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Different search results for “Amy Schumer” depending on service

Is the future consolidation or more fragmentation? While there will continue to be buyouts there are still so many opportunities for content producers so I see more fragmentation. But the providers, the TV manufacturers and Netflix’s need to iron out the discovery process to optimize for customers.

Form Factor

In the not-too-distant future, stand-alone TVs will be a thing of the past and wall screens will be commonplace. I’m looking forward to this as my husband and I cannot agree on what color to paint the walls, so someday we’ll just have floor to ceiling screens that we switch as we like…blue….yellow….blue….yellow….blue. I’m starting to see a flaw in my plan, but anyway.

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(Photo credit: Imagination Technologies Blog)

Here is a flexible TV screen from LG, pretty crazy, huh?

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LG Display

Suddenly this doesn’t look so far off, does it?…

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TV All Around Us

What else happens with TV in the future? Netflix aired a series called Black Mirror and specifically Episode 2 called “Fifteen Million Merits” about a future world where media and attention are currency and TV is all around us.

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Black Mirror is a strange but thought-provoking show and Episode 2 shows us a scenario where media has taken hold like cement, binding us superficially and forcing us into ways from which we can’t effectively evolve, let alone remain sane within it all. What else do I watch?

“The 17 Things I Watch on TV”

Don’t give up your TV just yet. Some programming is pretty great. Plus there are some things I’ll always go back and watch again, and again. Here are 17 things (in no particular order) I suggest you watch on TV or streaming wherever you want.BaBlack Mirror

  1. Saturday Night Live
  2. House of Cards
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Family Guy
  5. Boardwalk Empire
  6. Person of Interest
  7. Breaking Bad
  8. Mr. Robot
  9. Orange is the New Black
  10. Mike & Molly
  11. The Colbert Report
  12. Silicon Valley
  13. The Big Bang Theory
  14. Battlestar Gallatica
  15. Louie
  16. I Love Lucy

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For more about the future TV, here’s a landscape snapshot from Venture Scanner and their recent post:

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Other big news from Nielsen was that music streaming was up 93% over last year. 93%!

There is No Steering Wheel on a Roller Coaster

coasterFor me, 2015 had the highest highs and the lowest lows on record. At times I felt like I was on a roller coaster, trying to steer it! Months of hard work into my second startup, NamePlace, we received funding from our first investor. Finally, I’ve joined the ranks of those entrepreneurs who have received funding for their startup. [fluffs feathers]

San Francisco’s Ruby Skye is a dark night club, non-conducive to meeting or pitching investors on a startup. Nonetheless, hundreds gather for an event called Shark Tank Showcase and Demo organized by Jose De Dios. The chances of finding an interested party in this crowded space with a dozen others aggressively pitching their companies is very low. But you go and you go with a smile, passion, and purpose. It was here in March that I met our angel investor, who turned out to believe in that purpose and present me with a check on stage a few days later.

The investment took our startup to the next level. We moved into Runway, a great San Francisco incubator space, with other interesting startups. No more working at Starbucks. A smiling office manager who never let the printer run out of paper. Regular meetings. A growing customer base. All of the hard work was paying off.

Oh, to share this success with my dad, who passed away in September, putting so much bitter into a sweet year. Losing him, as these things do, made me seriously evaluate my life. Am I following the right path? Am I spending my days the way I want? What would I change? Dad was a no BS kind of guy. He didn’t serve it and he didn’t have time for yours, okay? He was beautiful in this way and he would often point out, if I were to appear indecisive or victimized in any way, that I had control of the wheel. The statement could not be argued.

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Dad

My maiden name is “Schoolman”, my father’s name, Fred Schoolman. Inseparable, dad and I, they nicknamed me “school girl.” He fostered and fed my interest in technology and gadgets. My dad gave me great confidence in this area. He was a self-taught electrician and took me on jobs with him as a kid. It was common for him to give me tools and equipment to toy with and take apart. He was very technical, always reading electrical code or engineering books. By the time I got to high school I was programming BASIC and Pascal. A few years later I’m managing engineering teams, building businesses and ‘schooling’ the best of ’em. I know he’d be proud.

Next year, it’s about being intentional. Here’s to taking the wheel in 2016!

Robert Scoble interviews Lisa Padilla about NamePlace

If you’d like to learn more about NamePlace, you can watch this informative video with Robert Scoble.

We now have over 80 cities on board with millions of dollars in sponsorship inventory. This includes everything from playgrounds to baseball and skate parks, from city festivals and other events to community programs for low income children or road safety. Our sponsorships also help install safe lighting in neighborhoods that need themcould use some extra help (like, all of them.) Sponsorships and naming rights alike, are available on NamePlace. Naming rights begin at a duration of 5-years and some opportunities, like a city bridge (shown below) in New Orleans will hold a name for the life of the asset, aka forever. Naming rights might be for a corporate sponsor, a famous Jazz musician, a sports hall of famer or other individual. NamePlace aims to help communities by improving the places, programs and events we all love.

City Park Bridge New Orleans

Let me know if you’d like more information: lisa@nameplace.com.