It happens that here at the ilikeucoz HQ (which is virtual of course) we never stop thinking about how to develop the service and the corporate environment is something that fascinates us (can’t say more at the moment).
Yesterday 2 articles caught my eyes and they confirm what we’ve been hearing for quite some time now: in recession all that matters is engagement. Let me explain it better… Companies are struggling to attract and – most of all – retain talents and depite the economic doom and gloom there are shortages for staff and skills in some areas. In this scenario job insecurity isn’t and can’t be a sufficient strategy for smart companies. What is required to successful companies and their managers is to engage employees in order to have them motivated, productive and loyal. Not only, because engaged employees are empowered people, which are very likely to initiate ideas and make change happen quickly. With all the inertia typical of the big corporations, agility is and will be increasingly important (in fact it’s why small start ups can beat the Goliaths of business quite often – at least in niche segments) and it can make a difference between success and failure.
Patents are important, technology is important, but people after all are the beating heart of each organization and therefore must be regarded as the top priority at the moment. Some entrepreneurs already got it clear and are building their business around talent recruitment and retention, for example BraveNewTalent. I’m ready to bet this is going to be another victory of David against the Goliath of recruitment.
PS: there’s a very interesting article about “How David beats Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell – a bit long but worth the time.
It sounds like one of the typical “ilikeucoz” messages, but this time I dedicate it to a place I just discovered in its full glory and which really blew my mind. Actually, it’s more than a place – it’s a mentality, an attitude. It’s the coolest Italian start up incubator, named H-Farm. Where could a place with such name be located? Go figure, in a completely renewed farm in the middle of the fields between Venice and Treviso (this google earth image is quite old but gives the idea). A stunning and charming place, a smaller scale Googleplex, a place to fall in love with. In different circumstances I wished ilikeucoz was born there.
There are 160 people working there, the vast majority of whom from the numerous start ups incubated or participated by H-Farm. A real inspirational place, believe me. Not only Italy could use more places like that (not just for the place but for the mentality and the values it fosters), but UK too.
TechCrunch talked profusely about a London hub for start ups (here and here for example) and for sure there are areas where the concentration of start ups is higher (Old Street, Shoredicth, Soho, Bermondsey/London Bridge, etc) also thanks to start ups like Huddle, Moo and Last.fm which are hosting other starters. However, how cool would it be to have a place outside London where to group all these start ups and create even more synergies than those created by the buzzing networking events? After all H-Farm is 15 minutes away from 2 airports, 2 hours from Milan… a location around Brighton would be ideal. And the cost of living / office space would fall dramatically. I’m not saying that it must be done, but given my short experience at H-Farm I’m sure it’d be amazing and very productive. I was seriously impressed by each company I met there and I want to remind everyone that Italy is NOT the friendliest place on earth to start up an internet business.
Some pictures of the almost-surreal H-Farm HQ are here, but their site offers other shots and also a very nice video too.
After the recent and rather juicy panel about girls in tech during TechCrunch “GeeknRolla” and all the funny/grotesque aftermath it looks like the theme of girls/ladies/women (as you please) working in tech start ups is hot and I’ve been closely following what Girls’n’Gadgets is doing in that space to put great web ladies under the spotlight. [note to self: use punctuation every once in a while…]
It’s no secret that Leila – aka Miss Girls’n’Gadgets or @swannny for the most – is a great advocate of ILUC (and in fact she also carries uber-cute Moo mini cards saying “official ilikeucoz evengelist”) and today’s portrait of a kick-ass web girl is our own Diane! I really enjoyed the post (you don’t wanna miss it!) and I can’t repeat enough how valuable Diane has been to the development of ILUC so far and how big is the amount of energy and enthusiasm that she brings to the project. Let’s not talk about her network of contacts… looks like she knows everyone and I can easily see why – she is an outstanding person, from a working and personal perspective.
So, bottom line is that ILUC works with 2 of the best web girls in town, Diane in the trenches and Leila in the open field and they both deliver a terrific job while having a huge grin on their faces, which is always nice and contagious. As far as I’m concerned, women in tech rock – starting from the first one I got to know in London a while back, Suz… so now the mission is to bring her on board too! 🙂
PS: the original title was “Riding the wave of girls in tech” but then I realized that there must be something about the ‘n’ thing (GeeknRolla, Girls’n’Gadgets) so I joined the bandwagon with a more appropriate and ambivalent “girls’n’tech” 😀
ILIKEUCOZ is 3:55 minutes in 🙂
It’s hard to say what I enjoyed the most (and perhaps a bit unfair too) but I can’t help but saying how much I loved the pink bananas from Joanna Stanford! The rule was: either you take a picture of the bananas or you give one as a gift to someone, which is what I did. Next step is to eat the banana before it’s too late and take a picture of the peel (which the guys over at London Bananas should love!).
I never felt the urge to write a post like this morning when I read this article Gianluca pointed out to me and the rest of the ILUC team. And my way to thank him is here – warning: shameless promotion 🙂
So, why did I get so excited? Because it sounds like that article was written by one of us – one of the great guys joining me in this project – as it speaks precisely about things we’re working on at ILUC.
From the article:
Frode Heimen discovered the power of a Post-it pat on the back when he decided to write a short personal note to each of his employees, beginning with the words “I appreciate you because…” [note: sounds familiar, doesn’t it?]
“I thought this was a fun thing to do at the office and I hoped it would make them smile for a while. This evening I was walking around at the office and noticed that several notes were hanging at their partition wall. And I started to realize that this really meant a lot for some of them.”
Well, to me that sounds exactly like the kind of feelings and spontaneous expressions that ILUC is putting on the table and is trying to foster in our society. There’s a long way to go but we’re excited about the journey.
Through the BNet site I discovered another article, as juicy as the first (in spite of the abysmal ads displayed on the page) and the overview really caught my eye:
Don’t ever underestimate the power of positive feedback. We are quick to point out to someone when they make a mistake. Sometimes we forget to acknowledge them when they do something right. Giving positive feedback can be a powerful tool for employee motivation.
Wow! This is one the most important pillars on which the whole ILUC project is based and it’s always encouraging to read articles addressing this topic.
Last week I gave a presentation of ILUC and one of the points about why it’s unique was: “the web is rife with places to have a rant or give negative feedback – ilikeucoz puts positivity in the spotlight”. Now, could anyone possibly argue with this? I guess not.
Last but not least, this morning I was reading Michael Arrington’s post about Twitter’s possible acquisition by Google (link) and one of the reasons for Twitter to be so interesting caught my eye again:
More and more people are starting to use Twitter to talk about brands in real time as they interact with them. And those brands want to know all about it, whether to respond individually (The W Hotel pestered me until I told them to just leave me alone), or simply gather the information to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong.
In full honesty, I’m quite glad to see that Twitter isn’t only used to give negative feedback to brands, products, services, etc. but users often express positive feelings and feedback about these things. I’m glad because it’s so much easier to give negative feedback and Twitter could be vulnerable to this kind of behaviour because when you can write whatever you want and lots of people – depending on the cases – will get to see it… well, what a perfect occasion for a fool to show their foolishness! So let’s hope that the fools won’t stick around longer and that some more positivity of sentiments will spread among the web and our society overall. Like we say at ILUC, today, more than ever, everyone needs a bit of a boost. So go on, make someone’s day! ILUC is a good place to start doing it! 🙂
Yesterday a bunch of scary people were spotted around Covent Garden all geared up and ready to shoot.
Surprisingly the reaction of the crowd was only partially fear or fright, in fact most of them were smiling and laughing while being shot.
Let us show you the faces of these daring people… as Diane and I asked them: “why do you like the person you are with?”
After a few initial hiccups the ilikeucoz crew got into the game and shot as many people as possible while having lots of fun. Apparently the victims felt the same way and thanks to the fantastic weather (this is not a joke!) the whole shooting/vox pop experience has been a blast.
Click here to view the full slideshow. Or take a sneak peak down here…
A very special thank you goes to Laurel Parker (MobleyStreet.com) for shooting our video and to Chris Osburn (tikichris) for our great still photography. A massive thanks also goes to Tobias Tobbel of Anthillmedia who kindly edited the video (stay tuned to watch it…). These amazing guys helped us because they like our idea and wanted to help us spreading the love. Guess what, we like them coz they did it! 🙂
We knew we were onto something interesting here at illikeucoz – the importance of compliments (especially for women) was in fact recently highlighted by The Sun in an article about a study released by Dove UK in early February ’09, just about the time that ilikeucoz launched.
Dove says that some 15% of women NEVER receive a compliment and a further 19% rarely ever do – from friends, family, strangers… or even their partners. A bit shocking really!
Dove’s study goes on to say that while most of the few comments women DO receive are positive and complimentary, there is a darker side to the story, related to passing judgement on women’s appearance. In fact 6% of women only hear negative comments rather than positive ones from their mums (oh dear…). And since 92% of women admit they take comments they receive to heart, the impact such negative comments can have on women’s self-esteem is significant. Apparently, women have a deep seated need for affirmation, and the things that other people say has a huge impact on how women think and feel about themselves.
The Sun article goes on to quote a confidence coach – Dawn Breslin, who says, “Compliments are little gift packages of love and appreciation that help us build our self esteem and self confidence.”
What do you think girls… is this all true? If so – what is everyone waiting for? Get complimenting on ilikeucoz.com… and in general! And with mum’s day coming up later this month in the UK… why not show our mum’s how it’s done?
To read the full article on Dove’s findings, click here.
…so we love the new website ilikeucoz.com, designed to do just that.
Known as an ‘appreciation engine’, this free site allows you to make someone’s day by sharing what you like about them and what makes them special.
This is what the Daily Mail says about ilikeucoz in this article. Short, concise and spot on!