Get up Stand up Meeting; start ups and the new ways of work

By: David Kalt.

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Small team stand up meetings, have become very common in the technology-centric workplaces and new enterprises around digital world, mostly of them with young people as part of their teams.

These quick meetings, 1that force all team members to look each other in the eye and share their priorities and goals, have proven to be extremely beneficent. It promotes accountability, collaboration and quick problem solving.

The challenge arises when the team grows, and the stand-up starts to look like an uprising. Reverb is a marketplace where musicians can buy and sell instruments and gear in a fun and friendly environment. We have grown from 3 people to 100 people in 3 years. The stand-up meeting has proven an invaluable tool to keep the team motivated, informed and inspired.

Here’s how we do it at Reverb. We leave our plush workspaces, for our unfinished basement where the distractions are minimal. Each week, managers select three team members to make a 5-minute presentation on topic of their choice. The goal is to get comfortable speaking publicly, share some of your passion (usually work-related), and get your peers to smile and applaud. By leaving the nature of discussions open, we’ve encouraged real soul searching which creates inspiring and motivating story-telling for the entire company. We save some time to share company milestones, financial goals, and opportunities.

2Reverb Team applauding a presenter at stand up meeting.

When team members are encouraged to speak up, and management is open and visible about goals, and objectives true transparency exists. Transparency is an often discussed theme in many of today’s leading companies, yet practicing transparency is a two way street that takes real commitment.

Reverb’s weekly stand-up has become a ritual that defines our culture of open communication, collaboration and kicking ass each day. So, let’s all follow the lead of the legendary Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and ‘Get Up Stand Up’.

David Kalt / entrepreneur. creator of and Chicago music exchanges. @davidskalt

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#StrangerThings and a strange succes on line

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via On Barbs and Demogorgons: A Stranger Things Reading List — Longreads Blog

In a summer marked by record levels of political angst, Netflix show Stranger Thingsaccomplished an impressive feat. It tells a story of such murky ideological leanings that everyone — from the tinfoil hatters to the vegan socialists — just had to surrender to its expertly executed ’80s pastiche and satisfying emotional pull. (And, sure, all those adorable kid actors.)

Whether you’re still high on the show’s well-calculated nostalgia or already experiencing symptoms of Upside Down withdrawal, here’s a two-part selection of stories to keep you going: from deep dives into the design of the show’s title sequence to a sprawling interview with its creators. See you on the other side!

Nostalgia and Cultural References

1. “Where Stranger Things Loses Its Magic.” (Lenika Cruz, The Atlantic, July 26, 2016)

Amid the universal praise, one main line of critique against the show has been its use of nostalgia as an alibi for underdeveloped women characters, a hallmark of boys-centered ’80s flicks. Here Cruz writes about one of the show’s most interesting characters (and most impressive performances, by Millie Bobby Brown): the laconic, telekinetic Eleven.

For a parallel reading of the show, focusing on everybody’s favorite new fashion icon, Barb, read Genevieve Valentine’s piece at Vox.

2. “From Game of Thrones to Michael Gove — the Legacy of Dungeons & Dragons.” (Steve Rose, The Guardian, July 13, 2016)

Is D&D having a moment? It certainly seems so, and it will only get bigger as the show (and the prominent role it gives the fantasy game) continues to fireball its way to cultural dominance. Here, Rose gives a brief cultural history of the game and its influence on popular culture.

3. “Inside the Mind of Steven Spielberg, Hollywood’s Big, Friendly Giant.” (Jon Mooallem, Wired, July 2016)

In a show full of knowing nods and loving homages, nobody gets a more deferential treatment than Spielberg, with references both big and small to JawsClose Encounters of the Third Kind, and, especially, E.T. the Extraterrestrial. This profile offers a useful synthesis of the director’s career, and focuses on the relation of his more recent work to the iconic movies Stranger Things regularly evokes.

4. “Freddy Lives: An Oral History of A Nightmare on Elm Street.” (Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, Vulture, October 20, 2014)

A terrifying dream-world you can’t escape? Check. A peaceful Midwestern town thrown into chaos by unspeakable horror? Check. Wes Craven’s classic is another major reference for the Duffer Brothers — and here Craven, along with Robert Englund, Rob Zombie, and others, give the movie the loving oral history it deserves.

Interviews and Deep Cuts

1. “Inside Stranger Things: The Duffer Brothers on How They Made the TV Hit of the Summer.” (Melissa Leon, The Daily Beast, August 6, 2016)

Confession: when I watched Stranger Things‘ first episode I was sure that “The Duffer Brothers” was a pseudonym, an invention meant to spark social-media buzz. It turns out they exist, they’re ’80s-born identical twins, and they have interesting things to say — as they do in this wide-ranging interview on nostalgia, their approach to casting, and what it feels like to have Stephen King tweet about your show.

2. “Stranger Things: Meet the Band Behind Show’s Creepy, Nostalgic Score.” (Christopher R. Winegarten, Rolling Stone, August 1, 2016)

“I could have savings … but I could also have a synthesizer.” Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, the Austin, Texas-based synth tinkerers behind the show’s spot-on soundtrack, discuss their love of old gear and the challenges of telling stories and evoking emotions through music.

3. “Winona Uninterrupted.” (Heather Havrilesky, New York Magazine, August 8, 2016)

Just like the Moby track (“When it’s cold I’d like to die”) that accompanies the finale’s climactic action sequence, there’s something both jarring and extremely satisfying in seeing a ’90s icon leaving a mark on an ’80s nostalgia-fest. It’s always fascinating to hear Ryder speak about her rollercoaster ride of a career, and even more so when she’s in Comeback Kid mode, as she clearly is this summer.

4. “The Stranger Things Title Sequence: A Conversation with Michelle Dougherty.” (Lola Landekic and Will Perkins, Art of the Title, August 9, 2016)

The designer behind the show’s masterful title sequence — which I haven’t skipped once during my two-night sprint through the season’s eight episodes — talks about retro fonts, ’80s aesthetics, and the process of creating the sequence before the show’s script was even finalized. (Bonus: Dougherty also shares some alternate versions of the title sequence that ended up not being used.)


#Emojis and @TacoBell, a winning strategy…

Building a unique and funny image throughout Twitter, was one of the most impactful trends that occurred in 2015. It started when the Mexican food chain, Taco Bell, started an online petition to get the taco emoji onto everyone’s keyboard. After generating over 32,000 online signatures, their wish was granted, and the taco emoji was created. To celebrate this special event Taco Bell created a campaign which interacted and included it’s followers in their social media conversation.

By mentioning the brand, @TacoBell, and tweeting two different emojis (one of which must be the #TacoEmoji)  the user receives a personalized brand experience (Taco Bell created 600 diferent images)


tacoemoji  +  blowemoji  =   tacoblow

Using this action on Twitter there was a long marketing campaign to boost interactions. The idea was to make the people felt they were important to the brand through interactions. This was well received by the fans and the most they shared the funny answers they got, the more others started to join in. This created a lot of likes and shares all due to the crazy things Taco Bell was tweet, all about tacos obviously.


Social media is a forum to express how you are feeling. Sometimes words aren’t enough, and people feel it’s necessary to use images to strengthen their emotions. Taco Bell allowed people to show their love for tacos, not just with words, but with 600 animated gifs or pictures, which they created, and taco lovers everywhere loved joining in on the taco-loving fun.

By @JuanSeGG & @Adrian_Levitt

How I discovered the powers of Social Media

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By @Adrian_Levitt

For the past three summers I have been working at a small high end, female
fashion retailer called “Sophy Curson”. The store was founded in 1929 and has been in
my family since day one. The best word to describe the store is unique, as it´s original
store has never changed locations and there exists only one other Sophy Curson store in
the world.

Sophy Curson operates in a particular fashion, as both of the locations are
owned and run by the same two people (a mother-son combination). The unique store
prides itself on its’ tradition: a tradition of family and excellence. It’s tradition is headlined by keeping the operations the same since it´s  inception in 1929. One must ‘buzz’ in at the door to enter, and upon entrance you are greeted by someone who will act as your helper. This personalized shopping experience is another way that brand differs from an average store. As far as advertisement goes, the store always had two main places: its’ street-facing window, and another display in a nearby apartment building.

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Sophy Curson relied on its wonderful reputation, the two exhibits and the occasional postcard sent to their mailing list for business. No other advertisement was used, as store had little to no social media presence before I arrived 3 summers ago.

My primary goal when working for the store was to give them a big presence on
social media. Right away I created a Twitter, Instagram, and Pintrest account for them
along with working to better their already existing Facebook page. Every day I would
take pictures of different items, or ongoing promotions, that the store had to offer and
would strategically post them on the different forms of social media. The general strategy was to spread out, what types of posts were being made each day. To maximize functionality we found it best to diversify the types of pictures we post on a given day.

We made sure that no one day would be posting too many pictures of one type of item
(lets say shirts). We were also conscious to make sure no patterns occurred in posting
between days, to keep each day unique (the distribution of items being posted would
change daily). Lastly, around once a month I would send an email ‘blast’ to all of their
previous customers or people who had expressed interest to let them know what was
going on at the store. The combination of these three things helped keep the social media
content fresh, and useful.

The impact that social media can have on a company is undeniable. Almost instantly, the store saw the results come trickling in. The beauty of the newfound social media was twofold. It grasped the attention of the people that already knew about the store, and it allowed them to share the images, deals, or news with not only those who
they thought would enjoy it, but all of their friends and followers. The extra exposure
paid dividends for the store immediately.

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During the weeks that followed the launch of the social media pages, customers would come into the store and say “I saw this shirt on twitter, I would like to buy it,” or “I read that there are many items on sale, can I see some of them?” Those experiences were amazing to me and were my favorite part of working. Seeing the actual difference that you make at a company is something incredibly special.

Flimper brings a combination of everything that I loved about what I did previous
summers, in a field that I am admittedly more interested in. The small size of the
company means that the work I will be doing is important, and hopefully I can once again
use creativity to deliver an impact to a company. I am looking forward to working at Flimper this summer so that I can continue to see companies benefit from maximizing their social media presence, and efficiency.