About 12 years ago, I decided to quit my job and start running my own company. I called myself Sales Power Provider and became media entrepreneur, independent sales guy, sole-trader, or whatever you want to call it. Most importantly, I freed myself from the suffocating business atmosphere I was in then and it made me agile to work on different sales projects at the same time.
But deep inside, I also noticed how important it is to live your life to the full. Not to sit still and wait untill storms are over but when you feel it’s time to go, cut the cord and don’t waste your precious time. Even when you don’t know the consequences it may bear.
And once independent, you get used to running risks, more than when being FTE. It’s like reffing a football game: you decide when to blow the whistle for kick-off, but you don’t know what may follow. Cards, subs and goals; you just write them down, shake hands, report them and move on to the next match.
Being invited to train people in an international school is a welcome deviation in the life of an ad sales man. Especially when it’s a school in an exotic location. Admission marketers working hard everyday getting the seats filled for next education season, only 3 months into the current school year. They were invited to join a 2-day training course to be initiated in the world of social media. Despite being inundated by work, they managed to keep their phones off and gave it their full attention. The national government demands a list by last day of November of all pupils attending next school year, so work was piling up in the meantime.
We talked about creating more virtual touchpoints with the help of social media tools like Twitter and YouTube where prospective parents would be able to get a good feeling about the school, the teachers and the USP’s of their teaching plan. Happening all before they visit the school website and schedule a (short) visit. How to become that ‘purple cow’ (Seth Godin) among the many international schools in their city – what makes them stand out of the crowd? Extra curriculum activities, mother tongue teaching, flexible child care before and after school hours. How to reach the new generation of parents, the millennials, who demand a mobile communication platform and look for multiple referrals before they decide on a purchase.
We set up some new online profiles, checked the competition and I helped them with first social media tool choices and suggested schedules to fill the tools with content. All in all, a heavy but satisfying training project with that neat extra touch of exotic destination to tick off the list of ‘been there, done that’.
Video games have been entertaining us for nearly 30 years, ever since Pong was introduced to arcades in the early 1970’s. Computer graphics have become much more sophisticated since then, and game graphics are pushing the barriers of photorealism. Now, researchers and engineers are pulling graphics out of your television screen or computer display and integrating them into real-world environments. This new technology, called augmented reality, blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell.
Augmented reality is changing the way we view the world – or at least the way its users see the world. Picture yourself walking or driving down the street. With augmented-reality displays, which will eventually look much like a normal pair of glasses, informative graphics will appear in your field of view, and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements will be refreshed continually to reflect the movements of your head. Similar devices and applications already exist, particularly on smartphones like the iPhone.