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Robert Safuto
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How many corners do I have to turn?
How many corners do I have to turn?

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The Strange Descent Of SoundCloud

It seems to me that it was only a couple of years ago when I (and many others) thought that the audio sharing website and app SoundCloud was incredibly useful and perhaps even the future of audio distribution via the internet. After all SoundCloud had…

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A veteran marketing executive with stints at P&G and GoPro has had a tough time (to say the least) responding to criticism (which includes an online editorial and satirical YouTube video) from students at a high school where he recently gave a speech promoting his startup #BeSomebody. This is a local Austin story that is picking up steam as I see that now the BBC has reported it on their website.

Some students at Austin High School criticized Kash Shaikh's message, which includes encouraging people to suffer for their passions and go all in without a plan B. Shaikh responded in a blog post on the company website in which he claimed to truly understand passion while claiming that most people evidently do not. Of course there was some silliness on Twitter where Shaikh posted a few responses meant to belittle students expressing their opinion. One of #BeSomebody's social media manager's also got into it with a teacher on Twitter, call the teacher "a dork."

Seems like a kerfuffle worthy of discussion here and perhaps on the show. My take is that Shaikh made some very basic mistakes in this situation including not altering his content to suit the high school audience. Evidently the TEDx crowd loves him but that's a far cry from a high school assembly. Then in response, instead of respecting the point of view in the students' criticisms Shaikh basically asserted that the kids were wrong and he was right. I think that in this case a little class and humility would have gone a long way to prevent the issue from blowing up.

I give credit to Shaikh for gaining $1million in funding for #BeSomebody with only a passionate speech about (ironically enough) passion. Given his past with P&G and GoPro he's obviously a very competent guy. But even the most competent executives start to get high on their own supply (to use a favorite phrase of mine) from time to time and fail to realize that they don't know everything about communicating with the public. 

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I consider Google search trends to be a reasonable barometer for interest in any given topic and if you look at the trend for the term "podcast" you'll see that its popularity has risen recently after previously peaking in January 2006. While I think that podcasts are still a niche form of media they are a strong niche that will continue to grow in popularity over time.

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In case you haven’t heard it’s 2015 and a new year means new themes (or re-emphasis on old old themes) for the internet industry. The three themes that I see taking shape in 2015 revolve around health, home and payments. I give my quick take on each of…

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Is An Audible Membership Worth The Money?

Recently a friend asked me a question about my Audible membership that gave me pause. the question was simple enough, “Is your Audible membership worth the money?” The truth is that I couldn’t honestly answer in the moment but I did take some time to…

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http://wp.me/p3jW27-ay

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last 24 hours you know that Tim Cook (with U2 by his side) announced yesterday that U2’s brand new album Songs Of Innocence has been given to every single iTunes user. Apple says that this means the album is…

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Talk about a corporate communications nightmare. I suppose this was a safer approach than launching a trademark claim. 
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