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Interview with Techweek100 Miami Member: Max Borges

  1. What is the most important leadership quality you rely on from your senior staff?
    Thoughtful decision making and execution.  As our organization grows I need to trust that the leaders I put in key positions have the insight and ability to make smart decisions.  They must share our vision for the future and have the ability to encounter problems, think about them strategicially and develop the appropriate course of action.  I’m very fortunate to have a team that does just that; enabling us to sustain growth percentages more than double industry standards.
  2. What separates Max Borges Agency from other tech PR agencies?
    Our business model is completely different. While most agencies say they are focused on results, their structure leads you to believe otherwise.  Our team members are all partners in the success of our clients.  They are financially incentivized to deliver great results; and, in fact have their paychecks tied to it.  This significant change in compensation structure has lead to the unparalleled creativity, thoughtfulness and execution our clients have come to love about us. With our organization, the individual truly does not succeed without the client first succeeding.
  3. When you look for new clients, what makes you particularly attracted to an account?
    We’ve got to believe.  This extends not only from the product or service, but to the management team, the branding and our day-to-day contacts.  If all of these pieces fit together, the business is in a sector we know well and we know we can do amazing work, we’re all in.  Sidenote – If you’re launching a ‘new and improved’ Snuggie, we’re going to have a tough time getting behind it.
  4. Why focus on technology? Is there an advantage to keeping your scope of work more specific?                
    I love this question.  For one, we stumbled across technology and more specifically consumer electronics.  We landed a headphone client, found it easy and fun to deliver great results, so we decided to do more of it.  A year or so later, we looked at our roster and separated them into two categories – good and bad.  We noticed the bulk of our challenges were coming from the clients that weren’t tech.  We got rid of those clients and grew 74% that year.  The message is that focus leads to efficiency.  We became the best at consumer electronics PR.  Best practices could be applied across our clients because they were all in the same category.  Plus, technology is fun!  Who doesn’t want to be on the cutting edge of product development and design?
  5. If you had to guess, what new technology could change public relations the way Twitter did a few short years ago? Have you seen anything new recently that you feel could work its way into the mainstream soon?
    1. I believe agencies will continue to utilize Big Data to deliver better, more impactful results for clients.  The ease of access to critical end user information will be driving our public relations decisions.  Users want to be communicated with, not talked at.  Our strategies now are focused on developing ways to bypass traditional media outlets and talking directly to our clients’ customers.
    2. We’re also developing a proprietary  software platform that allows bloggers, writers, editors, prodcuers, YouTube reviewers, etc. to easily locate information and products for their stories.  When it’s all said and done, the challenge that exists for media members looking for content for their stories could all but be eliminated.  Stay tuned!
    3. At the end of the day, our goals are to communicate to our client’s ‘public’.  Wherever those clients are, we’ll develop strategies to get in front of them in meaningful ways.

Content Conundrum

There are 458 movies in my Netflix DVD Queue and 127 in my Instant Streaming List. If each of these items are on average just over 2 hours, that would be almost 1,300 hours of content. If Hollywood made no more movies, and I sought to watch everything in my queue, it would take 54 days of non-stop screentime. Of course these movies are all in my queue because I want to watch them, but I will never watch all of them, or even half of them. This is very stressful realization.

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Seen it, seen it, seen it, seen it. We live in a world of constant available content. Whether it’s Hulu, Crackle, YouTube or Vine there is always something to be watched. When I grew up in Bells Flats, Alaska we had one channel, called RATNET (Rural Alaska Television Network). RATNET broadcasted a hodgepodge of programming to rural areas throughout the state. Monday was CBS, Tuesday was NBC, Wednesdays was ABC. Seinfeld was on every night at 10:30 then they’d switched over to a midnight movie on FOX. You’d think growing up in the wilderness one would be wanting to spend more time outside or something, but some of us are simply born to love television. It was in my nature to watch whatever would be shown.

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You can imagine my delight when almost every movie & television show ever made became available at the touch of a button on any device with a headphone jack. Like coming off of a diet, it’s hard not to gorge. The problem of course is that these movies are just one more to-do item on our bucket lists. And it’s hard to keep checking things off the list as more and more content is being hurled at us for every second of every day. I still need to listen to all of the NPR podcasts I’m subscribed to, read hundreds of snarky tweets, and watch that Upworthy video that will “Change the way I think about Chicken Burritos.” Somehow we manage to sleep and work in betwixt this constant content. Thank Jobs we have Facebook & SMS, otherwise we’d have no social interaction at all.

3

As society innovates, each generation is a test-case for new technology. We are currently in the age of overstressed senses. Sooner or later we will overload and healthcare professionals will step in. Our screentime will be measured like calories. People will begin bragging about how short the battery-life on their phone is. Friends will ask “Did you see that cat video” and you can proudly say “Oh, I don’t allow YouTube on my phone, rots the brain!” It’s important to be cultured and well-informed. Pandoras box has been opened and you can’t live in a cave and be a part of this world, but being so wrapped up in a digital life can take away from the world that’s truly in front of our eyes. So day by day I’m training myself that it’s okay not to watch every movie. It’s okay to not hear every word of ‘Fresh Air With Terry Gross’ Life will go one. Take time to turn off, tune out, and give your eyes a break. Or as Ferris Bueller might say…

4

 

charlie Written by Charlie Madsen

Tech-ed Tourists

Earlier this month I took an extended break from Techweek for a 9-day trip with some college pals. My plan: to trade the highly caffeinated world of Techweek for a week in the even more highly caffeinated and volatile world of South America, with the ultimate goal of climbing Machu Picchu.

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Cats on the Inca Trail taking Machu Picchu

  The trip was a whirlwind, slapdash adventure that only a group of 22-year-olds would consider feasible, much less desirable. A summary:
  • Extended layovers in four cities: NYC, Bogota, Lima, Cusco
  • Total traveling time (including said layovers): 81 hours and 40 minutes
  • Highlights: 4-day hike of Machu Picchu, ATV tour of Cusco, bike tour of Bogota, beach hopping in Lima
  • Lowlights: Lost debit card, temporarily misplaced passport, my Spanish accent, poor facial hair cultivation
 

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This Blogger recommends: ATV’ing around the snow-capped hills of Peru

  Despite a seemingly endless supply of potential pitfalls, our trip went off without any major hitch.   Aforementioned pitfalls: 1. The most complex flight itinerary Orbitz has ever spit out. 2. Our inexperience with Spanish, the Spanish-speaking world, and international traveling in general. 3. A shared group naïveté that had little patience for concepts like “planning ahead,” “arriving early,” or “keeping track of your debit card/passport”

That said, we arrived home safe, we spent a shockingly small amount of money, and we had the time of our lives.

As I reflect on how our group of unseasoned travelers managed to pull this one off, I realize the critical role technology played in helping us avoid (and climb out of) all the obstacles foreign travel can provide.

A recap of some of the more spectacular tech saves of the trip:

-Day 1: When Team Tech Tourists (TTT) needs to make a hotel reservation, they nimbly turn to the Hotel Tonight and Priceline apps, nabbing the finest 5-star hotel in Lima for $85.

-Day 2: TTT needs a cheap apartment to stay in for a few days in Cusco- they hit up their friends at Airbnb and nab a three bedroom apartment for $54 a night.

-Day 3: TTT needs a cab but has exhausted their supply of local currency. Being the tuned-in and tech-savvy group they are, they remember that Uber is on an inexorable march to global dominance and find it’s already invaded Bogota and Lima. The team takes cabs all day for pennies. Even in South America, Uber’s price war reigns.  

-Day 6: A TTT member loses his credit card. Never one to panic, he quickly cancels it using his bank’s app, fires up Venmo and transfers another team member a few hundred dollars. The TTT Bank is now open for business.

-Day 8: Google services rule the day: Maps helps out our confused (possibly stoned) cab driver get to the airport, Translate helps the team negotiate a price, and Search tells us that, despite persistent stomach queasiness shared by multiple team members, our symptoms do not indicate tapeworms. #phew.

Before we left, one of my friends updated his Facebook status: “Headed to South America and will be off the grid and only reachable by Sherpa.” This quickly became a joke amongst the group. Our four-day hike aside, technology was as omnipresent on our trip as coffee beans and coca leaves.

Although there’s a certain archaic romance in unplugging from the world for a while, after seeing how many times technology helped us out of tough situations, I’m thankful to be a tech-ed out tourist.

  Hasta luego,

  John

Win Passes to eMerge Americas Techweek!

Innovation Contest FB Highlight 843 x 403

 

Write 1 – 2 sentences on what “Innovation” means to you.

One winner with the best answer will win two (2) summit passes, a $990 value.

Rules:

  1. One Entry Per Applicant Only! Applicants with multiple entries will be disregarded from the contest.

  2. Be original! We want to hear your personalized answers, not pre-concocted answers from someone else.

  3. Be creative! Feel free to put your flairs and energy into the answers!

  4. All entries must be submitted by April 25th to be considered!

All entries will be tracked using #eMergeTechweek!

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For more information on eMerge Americas Techweek, click here.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

- eMerge Americas Techweek HQ

Announcing: Future Sound at Techweek Chicago, St. Lucia as 1st Headliner

 

Future Sound is a 3-day music festival focused on the intersection of music and technology.  As the Techweek Chicago Expo winds down, live electronic and tech-enhanced musical acts on the South Drive of the Merchandise Mart will heat up!
  • What: 18 hrs of live music at one of the most unique 3-day music festivals
  • When: June 26-28
  • Where: Nestled between the Chicago River and the Mart | South Drive Stage
  • Who: 4,000 Techweekers… PLUS…
BAND HEADLINER – ANNOUNCED TODAY ST. LUCIA!  This year we bring you a legend in the making!  Brooklyn-based St. Lucia makes shimmery, ’80s influenced, synth-driven pop. After two successful EPs, St. Lucia’s debut album “When the Night” has their 2014 tour selling out dates and being shifted to larger venues.  




SATURDAY HEADLINER – ANNOUNCED MAY 20 Another headliner to be revealed!  Stay tuned for this announcement on May 20!  You will not be disappointed. The Saturday headliner is known to have the crowd asking for an encore.






EDM HEADLINER – ANNOUNCED JUNE 20  Last year we surprised Chicago when Calvin Harris headlined our Techweek Chicago party.  Now in 2014, we have another top electronic dance music DJ for you!  Look for the EDM headliner announcement on June 20!
   





As we introduce the Future Sound Music Festival to Techweek Chicago we have created special passes that make it easy for you to curate your own experience with the Festival Pass, Festival + Pass, or experience everything that is Techweek by purchasing the Summit Pass. These passes will sell out!
  • Festival Pass ($80): Access to Expo Hall, LAUNCH Competition, Campfire Sessions, Gamers Lounge, Bar Techweek, The Knowledge Bar, Singlehop Stage, Food Truck Face Off, South Drive Stage, Future Sound Music Festival, Hiring Fair, Happy Hours, Hackfest, Future Home, TV & Film Festival, Food & Drink Festival
  • Festival + Pass ($150): Access to all of Festival Pass options AND all summits, the Summit Stage and Technical stage
  • Summit Pass ($199): Access to all of Festival + Pass options AND Partner Events, Parties, FashionTECH Runway Show, and TechweekGT

Recap of the Black Tie Rave!

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Oh, what a night!  This past Thursday, March 27th, we hosted the first annual Black Tie Rave to raise money for Endeavor Miami and Miami-Dade Public Schools, as well as build buzz for the upcoming eMerge Americas Techweek in Miami, coming up May 1-7 in Miami Beach.  It also gave us an opportunity to toast the first-ever Techweek100 Miami – an amazing group of entrepreneurs, investors, and enablers that are the core of Miami’s burgeoning innovation ecosystem. We kicked off the festivities with a private reception for the Techweek100 on the stunning rooftop of Techweek100 honoree and CEO of Open English – Andres Moreno.  It was a beautiful night (certainly much nicer than in Chicago!) and guests were treated to an open bar, delicious sushi, and great music from guitarist Mario Vuksanovic, DJ Nicademass, and Dutch singing sensation EliZe.  A few words were said by our chairman Iain, resplendent in his Scottish kilt, and Xavier Gonzalez, the Executive Director of eMerge Americas, who was most certainly not in a kilt. From there the party moved down the pool at Ocean House, one of the nicest private residences in South Beach.  Glamorous by day, this night it was completed transformed as we bathed it in purple light and converted the pool deck to a dance floor!  VIP guests lounged in private cabanas while other party-goers danced the night away as DJs Thiago Mansur and Paulo Velloso (collectively known as JetLag) teamed up with EliZe to produce some unique and extraordinary music together.  We had a few special surprises in store for the guests as they were greeted by a Living Carpet and a woman performing while floating in the water in a giant ball. After the festivities, team Techweek took the opportunity to check out Ultra Music Festival more great EDM at a few clubs and hotel pools across Miami Beach.  For better or worse, the conversion of this Seattle grunge / classic rock fan to an EDM fist-pumper may have hit the tipping point in Miami. Try as I might, some things can’t be expressed in words though – you should just check out the pictures for yourself.  Take a look on our Facebook page here. And, if you feel bad you missed out (which you should…) make sure to register for eMerge Americas Techweek in Miami here so you don’t miss any more Techweek festivities in Miami!


  a_siegelWritten by Alex Siegel

Ted & Technology: A Decade of Love and Loathe

My name is Ted, I wear many hats at Techweek, and I love each and every one of them. Here are four highlights of how technology has impacted my life in the past decade.

2004

Ten years ago I was 15 going on 16. Besides hormones, SAT prep, and the drive to get my license and hit the open road, there was one constant force in my teenage life. It was music.

Before I was introduced to Archive.org’s Live Music Archive, my only experience with music and the internet had been short lived affairs with Napster and Kazaa and constant frustration with Pandora.

At first I was introduced to the Live Music Archive, but I quickly realized what a goldmine the entire site was. The general audio archive is a collection of 1,924,961 items ranging from the Quran to netlabels available for download or stream. The Live Music Archive has 126,367 items from 6,124 bands, also known as musical Christmas.

This is my favorite Grateful Dead concert to date: Live at Hollywood Palladium on September 9, 1972.

It’s simply amazing what has been compiled by Archive.org’s team and community. Do yourself a favor and check it out.  

2009  

Twitter. Just kidding, I wish I could say I was an early adopter, but I was a senior in college, and at the time, there was no way to tweet a beer, so my interest in the new social network quickly subsided.

As some college students do, I studied abroad. I scraped and saved and bought myself a DSLR camera for my trip to Ireland. The reason I was able to do this because, while digital cameras had been out for a little bit, they were hideously expensive, and their quality was simply not worth it. Significant advances in memory compression and sensor technology made it possible for me to afford a DSLR camera body that was backwards compatible with my collection of lenses from the 80s. I was awestruck by how many high quality photos I could take, and how I could touch them up on my laptop. The b&w film purist certainly suffered a defeat with my conversion to digital color, but I still retain my aesthetic and keep shooting. 

Feb 2014:

The current state of the internet.

I am sometimes stunned by how information is broadcast: Gifs, memes, Funny or Die, Reddit, Huffpost, Buzzfeed.

By most rights I’m considered a manly man, I don’t think wool is too itchy, and I have not one but two types of beard oil. However, I love internet corgies. They melt my heart, and if someone was reading my thoughts they would hear nothing but d’awws. That said, I rarely take selfies not in jest, but I could not ignore this intimate dissection of the “selfie” and how technology has impacted and arguably transformed how people look at self-beauty. As a male, I cannot fully grasp this video, and I know it’s made by Dove to sell creams but I still thought it very powerful and worthy of sharing – http://unlooker.com/selfie/.

This is my interpretation of a current “article” – it rambles and shifts topics, but is mildly interesting and ends with a call to action and a hyperlink. Call it cynical, but it’s really just how it is.

Last Week

Last week while riding on the CTA Brown Line, I looked over to see a peer of mine reading, and it was strangely reassuring to see a young person embracing the tactile and visually stimulating wonders of a paperback.

While technology continues to improve and innovate, I firmly believe that there are some facets of life that are better left analog.

Hashtag   ted Written by Ted Cooke

A look into our SXSW trip!

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This past week Team Techweek made our 3rd annual trip down to Austin for a SXSW style adventure.  We met thousands of like-minded individuals and were ecstatic to continue to spread the Techweek love throughout the country. We spent our first hours in Texas setting up our tradeshow booth with longtime friends of Techweek Freeosk.  The expo hall was buzzing with pre-show excitement, people and boxes were scattered about as our neighboring booths came to life.  I even spotted Kevin Bacon in the loading dock before his session with Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon co-creator Brian Turtle. We were lucky enough to spend Saturday night sipping cocktails at Dell’s YEC event attended by some of the country’s most successful young entrepreneurs, including the bright minds behind Influence & Co. and Tucker Max. Sunday Funday kicked off and continued on with Techweek’s ALL DAY soiree celebrating tech and innovation, while highlighting the 5 cities Techweek is hosting events in 2014.  We got a jumpstart to our morning showcasing Techweek NYC (Sept 29- Oct 5) with party partner Unified Social enjoying some bagels & bloody’s.  After a great breakfast, we were joined by Rock Ventures and a number of innovators from Detroit to feast on hot dogs and entrepreneurial energy ramping up for Techweek Detroit (May 19-25).  Transitioning to tacos and a West Coast spirit, LOFTBPO helped set the mood for some tech talk around theCity of Angels including the burgeoning startup scene ready for Techweek LA (Nov 17-Nov 23).  Next up, we got down at the Techweek Chicago Party presented by Argyle Search Partners snapping pictures with Smilebooth preparing us for what is set up to be the biggest and best Techweek yet (June 23-29). Our grand finale brought out the heat of the night and immense excitement around our inaugural Techweek Miami event (May 1-7) with our primary accomplice eMerge Americas.  Other party partners to highlight: WyzAnt, Uber, DCEO, Built in, Radix Collective, Influence & Co., SceneTap, Mattr, OneFire, and Wanderu who brought their pet monkey! The next few days were a whirlwind of parties, meetings, and a packed expo hall.  A few highlights include The Onion, DOWN, Statefarm, and Chicago Made.  We also said hello to NASA and even got to try on a space suit! Can’t wait to continue to enable local innovation ecosystems across the country at Techweek in Chicago, NYC, LA, Miami and Detroit!


  MD Bio PicPosted by Michael Donnelly

Photos from our EAB Gathering

On March 13th we had an update with our EAB in Chicago.  It was filled with cocktails, amazing food and the top innovative thinkers in the Windy City.  For those who couldn’t attend, here are some pictures!  

Five Qualities You Must Possess to Work at a Startup

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1. Team Player : There are a ton of things to do everyday when working at a startup, nobody has just one job and there is no task too small for anyone.  You must be willing to get your hands dirty and do the things you never imagined to keep the company wheels going.  You have to be flexible.  If you aren’t flexible and well rounded, you will most definitely be seen as invaluable.  It’s not a job it’s a mission.

2.  Creativity: Startups don’t run on tradition.  Startups are still learning and growing.  You have to be creative and bring innovative ideas to the table.  Creativity is necessary to keep a startup fresh and ahead of the game.  A lot of companies can become duplicates of each other and creativity will help avoid that.

3.  Type A Personality: Startups usually begin with a small number of employees.  Usually, no more than twenty.  People with Type A personalities are driven and competitive.  Getting things done in a fast manner, but with great results is essential.

4.  Passionate: Startup environments can be tough.  They can be unpredictable and require you to work long hours.  You must have the passion to put in the work.  If you’re not passionate about the startup you work for, then you are more likely to abandon ship when things get tough.

5.  Reliable: Your team has to be able to rely on you to get things done.  If you can’t finish the task then it leaves the rest of your co-workers to pick up the slack.  Bandwidths run short in startups.  Be sure to do your part.