The feel-good guide to diversity in tech

Why startups should embrace diversity for a happier, more successful business.

After an autumn of #metoo and strings of sexual harassment stories from across industries, the discussion around diversity and inclusion is back in our news feeds once again. On the one hand, I’m fully behind the discussions that are going on, and I agree we need to talk about the depressing recent stats around diversity in tech, and stand behind the people who’ve bravely brought to light their own stories. On the other - and I know I’m not alone in this - I’m finishing up my last week of work for 2017 and preparing for the holidays. So my two cents on #TechTalksDiversity are here to make you smile.

Your data is your data

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Here's what the vyn team are excited about this month:

  • GDPR assessment from IASME: We take our customers' private and personal data very seriously!
  • Dreamforce happened, and we're riding the 4th industrial revolution wave.
  • More customers are starting to use the front-facing camera to create their vyns.

Thoughtful vs. Big Data - Insights from the experts

For this year's Perspectives evening, we invited three of the world's most innovative data experts (more on each of them here) to share their views on the debate between big data and what we like to call thoughtful data - human data turned into actionable insights. This was the 4th of our biannual Perspectives events, but the first in the US - specifically Mountain View in the heart of Silicon Valley. I know you're probably busy, so in case you don't have 50 minutes to watch the entire evening's debate unfold, feel free to pick the one(s) you're interested in:

Top 3 sales hacks

At this year’s Sales Hacker conference in London, over 40 sales professionals provided their top tips as a vyn™ - a smart video note*.  

We got a beautiful collection of video insights, along with a simple word cloud showing key points. It was great to see such a variety of tips.

I have been passionate about putting the customer at the heart of the conversation in my entire career spanning different industries and countries. And, many of the Sales Hacker “vynners” agree with this sentiment.

There were lots of great tips on how to put the customer in the spotlight, with a focus on listening, asking the right questions, and being relevant.

Perspectives this fall - what to expect

Our Perspectives evening is coming to the US!

Perspectives is vyn’s biannual evening of inspiration. Later this month, thought leaders from a variety of industries will share their views around the theme of "Thoughtful vs. Big Data". This is a great opportunity to connect with a number of leaders in companies such as Cognizant, Nokia, Facebook, P&G and Google, in an intimate and informal setting.

Here’s Kapil, co-founder and Kunal, Head of US Business sharing a moment of excitement at our previous event in London this March.

Camera shy? Here’s why

Speaking in front of a camera can feel a lot like public speaking, or, to some, even more nerve-racking. All attention is on you, and you’re feeling the pressure of making every word you say come out eloquent, informative, entertaining, or all of the above.

In this quick vyn (a structured video note), I explore why we feel so vulnerable on camera, and explain that there’s much more to gain than lose from using video as a business communication tool.

What Salesforce's Trailhead courses aren't telling you

I’ve never considered a career in sales. 9 months ago, Salesforce was only a vague notion as a sales force.

The Notorious B.I.G.* Data

*Bigger Isn’t Greater

Remember when Big Data was going to save the world? It was going to improve health, transport, education – pretty much anything was going to be revolutionized by the application of AI to every scrap of information that could be dragged together. And in a nutshell this is the problem.

Why we’re happy our engineers go surfing...

A good business is a happy business. I feel blessed to be part of a dynamic work culture with varied colleagues from many corners of the world and all walks of life.

Albert vs. Einstein - big picture or big data?

With the premiere of the National Geographic TV series ‘Genius’ about Einstein, the famed Professor has been back in the news. And as we get ready for the London leg of the Salesforce World Tour I was reflecting on their AI offering named after the great man himself. I’ve recently written on some of the limitations of big data in the enterprise space, but one thing struck me about how Einstein reached his breakthroughs in relation to big data.

It is well documented that Einstein thought in pictures rather than words. He didn’t achieve his great breakthroughs in the lab, but by performing visual experiments in his head. Einstein’s genius was to realise that language wasn’t enough to help him understand the wonders of nature. And whilst he knew that maths was the language of nature, the best way to grasp the true essence of nature was to visualise the maths in the real world. This started him on a journey of a series of Gedankenexperimenten – “thought experiments” to help him articulate his famous theory of relativity.

I want to believe - Fake News and Big Data

Stories about fake news continue to make the headlines. Facebook is currently struggling to avoid a barrage of criticism and questions over whether it is actually a media owner, and therefore should be regulated as a media company. As I read these stories I was struck by the relationship between the controversies over fake news in the consumer world and debates around big data in the business world.

In the age of big data, we look to algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to supplement human abilities. According to Stephen Hawking, amongst others, AI may actually supplant humans altogether.

How we solved the biggest problem in sales

I’ll be clear about this from the beginning: This article’s purpose is to make a solid case for our new product. I hope you’ll be inspired to join me on this journey into the future of improving sales productivity!

We launched our new sales productivity solution to the world last month. After narrowing our focus on a new product early last year, the team worked ceaselessly (with a few yoga breaks!) to build a super simple interface for the user and a world-class intelligence platform on the backend. I’m incredibly proud and grateful for the amazing people, our clients, advisors and our team who have made vyn possible.
The conception of vyn – the moment I recognised the problem – began around 17 years ago:

How to ride the wave of the 4th industrial revolution

Times are a-changin'… better start swimmin'!

At our previous business innovation event in September last year, we encouraged guest speakers to “rethink the box”: making a play on the expression “thinking outside the box”. In one of the talks, David Issott – Director at HG Capital – shared Marc Andreessen's statement that “software is eating the world”. It's true; Morgan Stanley predicts the digitalised US economy will expand from 27% to 43% in the next 5-10 years.

No system for sales people

As a young advertising account manager I distinctly remember my excitement when I first encountered databases, hey I’ve been around a while! Suddenly I could answer the question of what was working and what wasn’t. I could track and record things, I could segment and target, I was in marketing heaven.

These were followed by the heady days of Rogers & Pepper’s 1-2-1 marketing and suddenly all we were talking about was Customer Relationship Marketing and CRM systems. We now had increasingly powerful tools at our disposal to help us market, all before many of us had been troubled by this internet thing.

Some human learning on becoming and staying a digital leader