Buzzworthy Wednesday: Inspired Bicycles – Danny MacAskill

This is a pretty amazing video featuring daredevil Danny MacAskill jumping fences and off of roofs…on a bicycle. It’s a pretty awe inspiring video to watch just to marvel at his sheer skills which is why I chose it as the Buzzworthy Wednesday for this week. The video was originally published in April and has steadily chugged along since then to almost 10 million views.  It’s lightly branded by Inspired Bicycles which is what makes it so effective.

Danny MacAskill reminds me of Hans “No Way” Rey who pioneered the sport of Mountain bike trialing in the 80’s when I was growing up. I would try to “emulate” Hans while going over “jumps” on my Schwinn Varsity 10 speed in my neighborhood. Bikes are one of the first methods of transportation a kid gets to their own freedom. You can go places on a bike you couldn’t by foot and jump over things just to test yourself. I remember lusting after certain brands of bikes because that was what Hans Rey or Greg Lemond were riding on.

If this was just a video about the bike brand with their message slapped all over it no one would watch it, but to watch a master of trialing perform while set to the perfect soundtrack of “The Funeral” by Band of Horses makes you watch with your jaw dropped open at what this guy can do on a bike. If I were into trialing or if I were a kid today after watching this video…this is the bike I’d want because every kid on a bike dreams of doing the stuff Danny does in this video.

Entrepreneurship is not an "employment gap"

Recruiter: “This is a pretty long employment gap.”

Me: “What employment gap?”

Recruiter: “Well you haven’t been employed since 2002.”

Me: “I have been employed, as you can see on my resume I’ve been running my own business since then.”

So went the conversation between myself and an HR recruiter while he was reading my resume. I’m not sure why this view is held but I’ve had similar conversations with several other HR recruiters. Now I’m not writing this to speak poorly of any HR recruiter but to shed light on the positive aspects of hiring an entrepreneur.

Let me explain how I came to be an entrepreneur. While working at EMC Corporation as the Internal Marketing Communications Coordinator…I loved my job. If the dot com bust and 9/11 hadn’t happened, I might still be working for them. Immediately after I was laid off, EMC started sub-contracting projects to me. Initially I wasn’t inclined to start my own business…I was used to the comfortable umbrella that working for someone else provided. However given the economy in early 2002, my employment options as a creative marketing director were limited.

Running my own business was something I’d never considered. It was a great unknown but I jumped in.

Entrepreneurs are willing to take risks.

I found it a challenge to run my own business; I needed to learn stuff like bookkeeping, come up with a business plan and spend endless hours doing “non-paying” work to lay the foundation for the future of my business. I loved it and spent endless hours working well beyond the traditional 40 hour work week to make my business succeed.

Entrepreneurs are persistent workers who enjoy a challenge.

I also continued to learn, adapt and change as the needs and requirements of my clients evolved. When I originally started out I was doing predominantly graphic design for traditional marketing. After about a year I saw my clients needed more help integrating their offline with their online marketing so I took classes and educated myself about web design and online marketing. Now the focus of my business is more about providing online marketing solutions to clients through educating them about social media and providing creative content like online video production to work seamlessly with their social media efforts.

Entrepreneurs are committed to adapting and improvement.

While I know this is just my experience and every entrepreneur is different, I don’t see how potentially hiring someone with these skills could be a bad thing for any company.

Entrepreneurs bring a prudent sense of risk taking to the job. That doesn’t mean they’re running around like Yosemite Sam firing their guns in the air. They just know how to balance risk with reward. Entrepreneurs are also relentless and aren’t easily disheartened. They are willing to work very hard if the rewards are right.

I understand that some employers may be hesitant because they may feel an entrepreneur could jump ship at the next big opportunity. That’s understandable and each individual with an entrepreneurial background is different. But would you rather hire a mediocre employee who’s just punching the clock or an employee with an entrepreneurial background who given the right working environment could reap results for your company far beyond your expectations? What are your thoughts?

Buzzworthy Wednesday: 8-bit trip

Everyone who knows me, knows I’m a big fan of stop motion animation. This week’s Buzzworthy Wednesday is a video tribute to some classic 80’s video games including Tetris, Mario, PacMan and they’re all made of LEGOs using stop motion animation. The music in the video is by Daniel Larsson and the animation was done by Tomas Redigh, the two members of Rumdreglage, who spend 1,500 hours in creating this amazing video.

Tomas Redigh spent over 7 months creating this video in his studio moving LEGO bricks around and taking pictures. In it’s first 5 days online it racked up over 1.7 million views and a month later is over 3.5 million views.

While its hard to say what exactly caused this music video to be such a huge success I think part is due to the pain-staking process of stop motion video and even the casual viewer can appreciate the effort that goes in. I also think the use of LEGOs was brilliant not only to visualize that 8-bit video look but also because  of the huge online community of passionate fans that LEGOs has. I hope LEGO as a corporation gives these guys and other independent stop motion artists an opportunity to work with them and produce animations for future LEGO online video marketing projects…if the guys from Rymdreglage are interested.

Buzzworthy Wednesday: Nokia Booklet 3G first video

In honor of everyone returning back to school there were a number of laptop videos released in the past couple of weeks. Nokia released a video for a brand new breed of portable devices, called the Booklet 3G. What does it take to make a netbook sexy? While it’s a pretty straight forward product demo – it’s done elegantly, with a great soundtrack, branded color scheme throughout and takes advantage of YouTube’s HD which really shows it’s stuff in this video when you watch it in full screen mode. All that combined makes it this week’s Buzzworthy Wednesday selection.

As a mobile market industry leader, Nokia has been expected by the mobile market to release a product in the world of netbooks. With the fierce competition in the mobile market raging on, Nokia chose to widen their product range with the Nokia Booklet 3G and step into the netbook arena with authority.

The video was picked up worldwide immediately after it’s release on August 24th by some influential blogs which already has resulted in over 660,000 views and over 20 duplicate videos.

Buzzworthy Wednesday: PSA Texting while Driving, Gwent, UK

This was a tough week because there were a ton of contenders for Buzzworthy Wednesday, but I made my choice by what hit me the hardest. One of my pet peeves is people who text and generally cause a nuisance on the road trying to use their phones while they are driving. It’s no better than drunk driving and people need to figure this out. This was a PSA put together by the Gwent Police Department in the UK to show the dangers of texting while driving.

It’s been viewed over 5 million times since it’s upload at the end of June with the views split between about 20 duplicate videos.

Chief Inspector John Pavett from Gwent Police Roads Policing Unit hopes the serious message in this film will hit home to viewers: “I hope that after watching this film motorists will think twice before picking up their mobile phone when behind the wheel and realize that a quick reply to a text message or answering a phone call is never worth putting theirs and other people’s lives at risk.”

Warning: it is graphic but with good reason. Seriously…no phone call or text is that important.