This is everything I've written here or elsewhere over the last few years. You can search, filter by publication, or choose from some highlights below.
HIGHLIGHTS

Automating Digital Video

We're On The Cusp of a Video Data Revolution, and We Need to Tell Those Data Stories

4.13.17


"It is estimated that media companies and user-generated content creates over 2 billion digital images and over 1 billion hours of video watch time every day." -- Justin Pang, head of publishing partnerships at Google.

I don't have to tell you that a digital video revolution is underway. That you know. But what I do want to get across in this article is that we're quickly approaching a critical point at which the explosion of unstructured data generated by digital video content will make it next to impossible to understand, utilize, or even recall most of the information contained in all of that video.

Automation can fix that.

Natural Language Generation (NLG) should be telling the stories behind all that video using all that unstructured data. This is the message I'm bringing to NABShow, the annual gathering of the National Association of Broadcasters, when I speak there on April 23rd. If you're in broadcasting and working with digital video, I want to talk to you. Get in touch.

I've been automating content for seven years, from the very inception of our company, Automated Insights, and have produced billions of unique and insightful human-sounding narratives from raw data for companies like the Associated Press and Yahoo. All along, I've been fighting a battle for acceptance of automated content in the universe of traditional journalism.

Last week, the Associated Press published a report that neatly summarized that battle and declared it all but over. Augmented journalism, the term they use for the integration of human and machine in the creation of news stories, is not meant to take journalism jobs away from humans, it said. Augmented journalism should be standing side-by-side with traditional journalism to incorporate the data science required in contemporary journalism while complementing the investigative process and conclusive reasoning inherent in the job of the journalist.

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Chasing Money, Trading On Your Name

Episode 3.4 of THE SHOW, the Last One With Thad Lewis

4.10.17






So this is the last episode with NFL Quarterback, entrepreneur, and all-around great dude Thad Lewis. We find a comfort level and a common theme here, and get into a great discussion about funding and sales.

Colgan does this exercise in which he pretends to be Thad and dreams up his cold email marketing campaign. There's a lot there for any entrepreneur to take away. The initial marketing boost, or lack thereof, is something that kills companies quickly, and Colgan is brilliant at it.

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Athletes and Entrepreneurs, Confidence is Everything

Episode 3.3 of THE SHOW with Thad Lewis

4.3.17






The Teaching Startup crew definitely got rolling with this episode and it produced some of our most entertaining and interesting content. Discussing confidence and strategy, we get into the similarities between high-level athlete performance and high-level founder performance. The common theme is confidence.

You can have all the talent in the world and still fail. Every athlete knows this. What you put around you is important, but feeling like you can win, against all odds, that's critical. There will be times in startup when you're tested, when you have to survive, and being able to make the right decisions is rooted in your strength of character.

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10 Minutes on NPR to Understand Automated News

The Future of Journalism

3.30.17


So I gave a radio interview to NPR last week on the future of news and automated journalism. Like most good NPR radio, the host turned our casual conversation into an audio story, and when this happens to your own words, it's like 100x more cool.

Listen to it here or scroll down to listen to it on KSFR's site.



Dylan Syverson at KSFR happened to read an interview I gave for MediaShift while I was out at SXSW. We exchanged a few brief emails, and I discovered he's a guitar guy and a poker guy, so right away we had something in common. The actual interview conversation started with that -- guitar stuff and hold 'em stuff -- and then we naturally pivoted into automated news.

What he turned that conversation into was a concise 10-minutes encapsulating everything I want journalists, broadcasters, and all other media people to know about automated content and Natural Language Generation.

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Learn or Hire - Episode 3.2 of THE SHOW with Thad Lewis

Just Because You Have Resources Doesn't Mean Startup Is Easy

3.28.17






In this 2nd episode of THE SHOW with 49ers QB Thad Lewis, we talk about learn vs. hire. In other words, you can't do all of startup by yourself, and you shouldn't -- so when does it make sense to learn the skills you don't have, like coding, as opposed to hiring in those skills.

Thanks to a lifetime of hard work and some good fortune, Thad Lewis has the means and the connections to start whatever business he wants and get it off the ground in a way that most people can't. But that in no way guarantees his success, and he knows this.

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48 Hours at SXSW

I Went To 1 Session and 1 Party, and It Was Awesome

3.23.17


Last week, I spoke on The Future of Automated Journalism at SXSW, on a panel that included folks from the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Norwegian News Agency NTB. The panel was amazing, and I'll be following up from the inbound avalanche for at least another week.

I've been to SXSW several times. In fact, just last year I spoke there about the future of sports. I was there for four days, I went to a ton of sessions. I went to bunch of parties, I even went to a handful of VIP events. It was fun, but it was kind of empty.

So this year I approached SXSW a little differently, because this year, I'm on a mission. Actually it's several missions, but it all rolls up into one greater mission: Democratize the way we communicate to an audience.

The mission started with a number of meetings I had set up around the panel before I had even left for Austin. My flight arrived an hour and a half late, so I was already a half-hour late for my first meeting. But that person was forgiving and that meeting and the rest of the meetings were excellent.

I'm no longer talking about how automated content isn't a threat to news, I'm talking about how automated content can expand, fortify, and even save news. Newsrooms and journalists and broadcast media outlets are finally coming to an understanding about automated content. They're no longer seeing it as a threat, but as a tool. Now, they just want to get started, even if they're not 100% sure how.

That's where I come in.

And then there was the panel.

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NFL QB Thad Lewis Joins Teaching Startup

Four Episodes on the Link Between Sports and Startup

3.21.17






We were actually going to stop having guests on the show.

The episodes with Justin Miller had gone really well, but I came away from them thinking we could make The Show even better if we spent some time refining it. No guests for a while, get into a rhythm and tune our chemistry.

Because Andy was in California last month at 500 Startups and because we all have, you know, day jobs, I was meeting with each of the guys individually and laying out my no-guest plan. Andy agreed immediately and offered to start playing host, which he does here. He's great at it. Colgan was also down, as he and I are starting to find our own chemistry, and you can see that starting to develop.

Chop agreed too, thought it was a great idea, but also wondered out loud if we'd like to have Thad Lewis do a guest stint.

I remember Thad Lewis from his time at Duke. He's that good. And when Chop told me what he was doing as an entrepreneur with his TL9 label, it was just way too good to pass up.

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Teaching Startup: The Show - Episode 2.4

How To Build Relationships With Investors

3.12.17






The final episode with WedPics cofounder Justin Miller. We squeezed a lot of relevant information out of these four episodes, covering everything from the brand of the entrepreneur to selling product to raising money to what to do when it all goes sideways.

For a first attempt with a guest, it went pretty well.

As liked and respected as Justin is, and that comes out in this episode, he's had his doubters. I was there at the beginning, when the take on him was for his looks. I was there when he raised his first round, when the take was his company was all customer acquisition and not revenue (something else he discusses in this episode).

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South By Southwest: Talking About The Future of Media and Journalism

If You're In Journalism Or Broadcast Media, Let's Chat

3.7.17


On Tuesday, March 14th, one week from the date of I'm posting this, I'll be speaking at South by Southwest, where I'll join folks from the Washington Post, the New York Times, and a European News Agency called NTB, to discuss The Automated Future of Journalism.

If you're in media, specifically news, television, and/or radio. I want to talk to you about two things:

1. The future of the newsroom and how automated content will change and improve it.

2. The impact of a growing boom in startup on the future of traditional broadcast media.

Hit me up here if you're in Austin and available on March 14th. My schedule is super-tight and filling up quickly, so I'll need to be selective. If we can't talk in Austin, we can make plans to hop on the phone afterwards.

I think about the future a lot.

With robots.

It's my job.

I mean, I think about the daily life future things, too. Are my financial plans on the right track? Are the Yankees going to compete this season? Do I have clean pants to wear to work tomorrow?

But I also get paid to figure out how we're going to communicate with one another five-to-ten years down the road. And I don't mean emojis and six-second videos and disappearing selfies. I'm trying to figure out how you're going to get the information you need to answer your daily life future questions -- everything from the news you care about to the sports you follow to the financial info you can take action on.

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Teaching Startup: The Show - Episode 2.3

How To Get Noticed

3.6.17






I'm going to admit something to you. When we were shooting this series of episodes with Justin, I was uncomfortable the entire time. It doesn't show and I had no reason to feel it, and the more these episodes roll to final product, the stupider I feel for being so sketchy during the shoot.

I mean, there were legit reasons. We'd never had a guest before. And Justin is great and I've known him forever and he's perfect on camera, but I was worried it would become an interview show instead of a conversation, which it did. But it kept its honesty, even in that interview style format, so I'm happy with that.

There are a lot of good lessons in these episodes.

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Teaching Startup: The Show - Episode 2.2

What Does Success Look Like?

2.27.17






This is the second episode in the series we're doing with WedPics co-founder Justin Miller. Doing the show with Justin, whom I've known for about 10 years through a total of six startups between the two of us, was a bunch of awesome. But it went by fast. Real fast. And we didn't get to talk about a lot of the topics I wanted to hit.

One thing we did get to was the concept of what an entrepreneur is supposed to look like. We didn't get as deep as I'd like, again, it went real quick, but we did talk about the most universal concept -- That what an entrepreneur looks like doesn't, and in most cases, shouldn't, matter.

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Teaching Startup: The Show Featuring WedPics Founder Justin Miller

The 2-block will be about marketing, perception, and pivot

2.20.17






So this is the first set of episodes we attempted with a special guest star, and for this first run-through, I went with a friend, WedPics co-founder Justin Miller, whom I've known since he left IBM to start his first company, DejaMi.

Justin is the kind of entrepreneur I want to highlight, not someone you'd likely find in an MBA program, and someone who can talk to the "startup for everyone" vibe I'm building Teaching Startup around.

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Teaching Startup: The Final Post in the Final Series for Startup Foundation Concepts

That's It. That's the Whole Startup Universe. You're Welcome.

2.16.17


A few months ago, I came up with The Grid, a five by five layout or map of what all my research and experience tells my what startup looks like. Then I started writing about each topic for Teaching Startup, with five concepts in each post.

It's so nerdy, but that 5x5x5 is a cube, and it's a perfect 3D map of everything you need to know about startup before you begin or when you're in the thick of it.

Today, I posted the final piece -- Five Reasons for Startup: Elimination. And it's kind of a catch-all, but the universe needed a catch-all, because it's inclusive and awesome and I didn't want to leave anyone out.

A book is forthcoming, but right now we're just working on making the show the best in can be. So while you're over at Teaching Startup reading this, check out a couple episodes of The Show is well.

Even if you're not an entrepreneur and you never will be, this stuff is good for your soul.

read the rest at: http://teachingstartup.com/five-reasons-for-startup-elimination.asp


Survive Or Die! Teaching Startup: The Show -Episode 1.6

2.14.17






You hear this all the time as a cautionary tale in startup -- Survive or Die! There will be times when you have to make the decision to power through all of your mistakes or give up under the weight of them. Unlike a corporate job, in startup, there's no structure to blend into, nothing to hide behind, and no one is going to swoop in and save you.

That's part of the growth process of becoming an entrepreneur. It's hard to do and not always fun to talk about, but we found a way.

Do startups fail because the idea isn't any good? Not likely. Bad ideas rarely evolve into startups in the first place, because it's hard to rally people around a bad idea. But even good people executing on a good idea can make mistakes. If you aren't self aware enough to see those mistakes as they're happening, or if you aren't a leader enough to fix those mistakes quickly, that's usually when a startup goes off a cliff.

It's so much easier to just ride the failure train off the tracks than it is to self-analyze and self-adjust, but it's something every entrepreneur has to learn and do.

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Teaching Startup: The Show: What's Your Biggest Weakness?

It's Not HOW You Fail, It's WHY You Fail

2.6.17


In this episode we focus on our weaknesses. Not necessarily our failures, but those pieces of us that we're bad at. Startup doesn't talk about weakness much. Failure stories are great, but 90% of the time they're humblebrags -- "We flew too close to the sun like Icarus!"

Honestly, that's not helpful. What we do is talk about what makes us fail, and succeed, in terms that everybody here can easily understand.





read the rest at: http://teachingstartup.com/whats-your-biggest-weakness.asp


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