factor1

iPad accounts for 97 percent of US tablet web browsing

by Matt Adams

So we all know I am a geek, and love all things apple. I still give a lot of respect to the others out there. When chatting about tablets, it’s hard NOT to talk about the ipad, but there are plenty of others. A few great android tablets and the HP & Blackberry are pretty solid competitors as well.

So I assumed that the iPad would lose some market share. But per comScore’s May 2011 report, the apple iPad is 97% of tablet web traffic. 97%!!!!! Thats great. I love my ipad, and i know i love surfing on it. But I was really shocked to see the numbers where they are.

So as we push forward with sites we develop, more and more are 100% iPad friendly. Of course we still want to make the others can play nice too, but for sure reaching 97% of the tablet web surfers is our goal.

Is your website tablet friendly? Anyone out there use a non ipad tablet?

The Process Of Mastery Isn’t Just Learning

by Ryan Russel

Learn then try.
Learn then try.
Learn then try. try. try.
Enjoy the returns.
Try something new.
 

My sons, 9 and 11, took instruction this year at a very good skateboarding center. It was once a week for an hour. The coaches were old enough to have experience, young enough to be cool and sharp enough to be good with kids. (Who ever is doing the hiring has their pulse on the ideal type of candidates for staffing.) Each session consisted of 3-5 kids in their group and a coach. The group rotated through 4 different sections of the skate park working on specific skills in each rotation. The coach demonstrated, explained and then asked the kids to go for it. Sometime the coach employed the use safety matts for their protection, be inevitably, the kids had to fall, get up and try again. It’s the process of mastery. Especially important to the process is practice. If the kids only worked out 1x each week when they came to class, they wouldn’t progress very quickly at all. Always apparent is which kids were skating on their own at home or at the local parks in between training sessions.

 

Why the little story?
Because we are starting to get it backwards. With the internet, the growth process for business has somehow become:
Learn.
Learn.
Learn.
Try a bit.
Learn.
Learn.
Learn.
Only try when I am certain I won’t fail.
Take no risks.
Reap no great returns.
Ask where the learning has failed.

This new process for “mastery” will doom us to failure.
 

Simple Search-ability Reminders

by Ryan Russel

I was reminded again yesterday of some key ‘search-ability’ items while doing some research for rafting adventures. When I started my search I didn’t pre-think my criteria but they were there just waiting to be connected with each website I visited.

My Criteria

  • Family oriented
  • Ages for the participants (I have kids)
  • Price
  • Overall experience
  • Time & days
  • Pictures
  • Safety

 

What I learned & remembered about what web searches

  • The quality of presentation (right or wrong) gave me an overall impression of the reliability and professional nature of what I anticipated experiencing on our outing.
  • Not so startlingly what helped me realize my criteria was the absence of the right kind of information or experiences.
  • Typos on main pages & critical information really gave me an impression that a company wasn’t serious about their business. The same was true with websites, there was an direct correlation between the quality of the website and the experience I thought I might enjoy.
  • An added feature that most failed on was mobile readiness of the site. While on vacation or traveling, I lean heavily on my phone searches. If you are in the tourist industry and your website isn’t mobile ready then you are ready to fail on the web related business.
  • Also because I was on my phone I was only willing to click on 5 sites even though I am sure that there were more. Call me lazy or call my time important, but if you are good at your business that you should pay attention to SEO. Being less than 3rd in your specific market should be unacceptable.
  • The last little quirk that jumped out at me on this specific search was if the CITY and RAFTING were in the website title some how I reasoned that the company was more dialed in on what I wanted over rafting companies that covered 3-6 different areas.

 

The medium is changing

by Matt Adams

Do you remember when news was only in print and on the TV? Then came the internet. CNN.com would have all the latest news on demand, a simple click or two away. Things are changing faster than ever. This week I have been really thinking about blogs and RSS feed readers. For a few years I was really big into google reader, and I subscribed to 200 or so RSS feeds. Designers, Firms, Gallery sites, Businesses, Authors, etc. Anything I found useful or insightful consistently, I would subscribe.

In the last year or so, my RSS readership loyalty has dropped like a rock. I went from checking in to google reader a few times a day, to a few times a week, to now maybe 2 – 3 times per month, usually out of some odd self obligation. What’s interesting, is that the content hasn’t become less interesting, I’m just overwhelmed with information. The mediums have changed. Twitter and facebook feeds now dominate the landscape. I don’t think I’m alone either.

So what does this have to do with design, the web and small businesses or non profits? Everything. So as I was analyzing this over the week, I was thinking about the content. The content is still there, just the method changed. First I used to visit sites for updates, then RSS, now its twitter and facebook. Here is there interesting fact, with each change, the content headline, the call to action gets less visually stimulating.

Back when you manually checked a site for news, you had photos, graphics, buttons, etc. Then in RSS you still had some of that, but only what was IN the post. No pretty site frame, logo or nav bar. Now, you hve the headline and maybe a small intro in 140 characters or less. That’s a big change to entice your dedicated traffic to actually reading your content.

So what about my site? Well I am still a firm believer in a well designed, well planned and well constructed site that meets your needs and goals. But more importantly these days your content matters more than ever. The headline, the sub headline, the first few sentences all matter 10x more.

So as you have us make your awesome website, remember we can’t write killer content for you. We can work with a copywriter to help shape it, but ultimitly the source of info is you. Want people to read your stuff? Well, think about the headline, in 140 characters or less, and what the call to action is to get the user to read on. Your users attention span is smaller than ever.

The Future Killed Blockbuster

by Ryan Russel

The Blockbuster on the busy corner near my house just closed. As my kids and I rifled through their used videos I was struck by the how high the slashed prices seemed and by how little I am willing to pay to own a DVD these days, let alone rent one. (In fact, I don’t want the DVDs taking up any space in my house… a whole different topic.) Certainly we all know that Netflix, OnDemand and Redbox have dramatically changed the movie watching landscape. But, the most fascinating question to me is how did Blockbuster, the once undisputed heavy weight champion of DVDs, get so far behind the progress curve?

So many analogies and principles can be built off of this observation, but ask yourself this simple question, could this happen to you in your own industry? Are you so busy doing the work of selling DVDs through a corner retail store that you don’t take the time to look up and look out into the future to develop the next, new, more inventive line of business? And will this lack of attention to the future (which could really just be a few weeks away) end up being the obvious blind spot that knocks you out of the competitive business and into the new dinosaur age.

Matt and I ask ourselves this question often when we think about Factor1Studios. What does the future hold for us in business? What does the web look like as it continues to evolve? What trends are momentary fads and what changes are permanent, representing the new way things will work? And most importantly, what current and future realities most impact our clients when it comes to communicating with your markets about your organization or business? Seeing the future isn’t a magic trick or a hoax, it’s a necessary skill if you plan to move beyond survival.

 

Train for the finish line

by Matt Adams

In recent months both Ryan (business development here at factor1) and I have been training hard. Ryan is training for an ironman and I have been training for a century road race. And as we talk about the process, the weekly plans and the pain, I see a lot of parallels in business as a owner, manager or leader of any organization.

You have to have a plan.

Training for a big event without a plan may realistically kill you. You cant go from the couch to the finish line without some sort of plan. Set some goals and milestones to reach for. They dont have to be money or sales related. Personally, my goal is to be the most efficient i can be, maximizing time, so I can possible spend more time with my family. I have a goal of a 4 day work week by the end of July.

Your plan needs rhythm and growth.

My plan is pretty easy. I ride some easy days, i ride some sprints and high intensity days, and i have pace days. This is true at the office too. Some days are nuts, with way too many things on the to do list, and too many fires to put out. Other days are normal, good, but not chaos, and some days are easy, like fridays after all the hard work is done. You must enjoy, plan and put in the effort to make them all work.

If you want all easy days, you probably need a new plan. One without a big a finish. All high intensity and you will burn out fast.

You need to grow with the plan.

Start small. A few miles at a time, gradually increasing the distance. Same at the office. Push your self to be faster, more efficient and better at your job. As they say, Rome was not built in a day.

Rest.

All training plans have rest days. Take days off. At least the weekend. Vacations would be great. I’ll let you know what they are like when I get to take one for real someday. One without a laptop and a few hours of working a day. Not sure when that will be.

 

What did I miss?

Welcome to the new site

by Matt Adams

This has been in the works for a while now. We went all wordpress, all html5 with it. Its also super mobile friendly. Try it now! Go ahead, drag the lower right tab of your browser and make your screen smaller. All the content re-wraps with ease and grace. Ipad, android tablet, iphone, blackberry, windows mobile phone (yes, we even care about the 5 people that own one of those), etc, it all fits.

Working out some bugs, adding in some new portfolio projects, etc. We are focusing on some of our best work, so it will be a small portfolio. 9 – 15 projects. We have a full client list for our added credibility.

 

So we’ll be adding more stuff to the site over the next few days and weeks. Sit tight and enjoy the new site.

Woah, its 2011?

by Matt Adams

Wow, we have been crazy busy. Our last blog post was in december 2010. Lots going on around here at factor1. Very exciting start to the year. Thought I should share some tid bits so you know we are still alive.

What have we been up to you ask?

First, lots of site launches. Like tcsdelivers.net,  discoverrevo.com,  calvaryhartford.com,NoahMunck.com,  TheHPchurch.comNewhopedurango.com,  HopeFarminc.comsisterssosevents.com,  blog.azpolicy.orgstonepointchurch.com and more we cant talk about here (stuff for agencies). I’m pretty sure we have actually launched almost 20 sites so far this year.

We also moved offices a few weeks ago. Our lease was up on our last place and we wanted to be in a different part of town. This is very nice space for us. Quiet, professional, comfortable, and easier to find. And more room for bike parking.

Whats coming?

Some huge site launches. I’m talking massive projects(crazy custom wordpress driven, html5, ipad specific stuff) that we are super excited about. More in a few weeks. Also, be on the look out for a new factor1 site coming soon. The code is written, the content is being fine tuned, and we are adding in portfolio pieces. Maybe in may you will see the fruits of our labor. Inside geek info: its all HTML5, CSS3, WordPress powered, scalable from big screens to iphones, and crazy fancy in the code. We are pretty excited.

Now, back to work!

 

Santa Photos Site launch

by Matt Adams

See, We told you we have been busy around here. Lots of new projects launching this season. SantaPhotos.com was a very cool project to be working on. Mall Santas are a big deal. Many families want to find the same santa year after year, to provide great tradition, and consistency to their family photos. We needed to build a great site to make managing and finding locations and santas easy.

In a partnership with Mindbogl Design, this was the final result. (click for larger view, or just visit the site: santaphotos.com)

About the build of this site.

Using WordPress, we wrote about a dozen custom functions to make some magic happen. Custom home slider tools using jquery were built out, custom content types for santas, locations, and home banners were all part of the plan. So now when SantaPhotos admins need to add a location, they simply log in, add a new location, fill in the name, address, url, map link, etc, and we do the heavy lifting. All without any wordpress plugins.

It really turned out amazing. With all the santas, locations, pages and blog posts, managing specific content types is a breeze.

So far traffic is up (300 – 600 unique visitors per day), and SEO key words are already helping the new site showing up in google. The staff at SantaPhotos.com was very excited to see the new site live.

Waters Edge Church Site launch

by Matt Adams

Waters Edge Church came to us several times over the course of the last year. Spending lots of time researching their options, talking with multiple firms and designers. After they weighed their options, they went with factor1. We spent a lot of time talking about their culture, personality, staff, and where they were heading. We came up with the design to meet those goals and needs.

We think it turned out great and so do they!

Melissa Horton, WEC communications director had this to say:

From my first conversation with Matt, I knew our website re-design was going to be awesome.  Matt listened to all our ideas, asked great questions, guided us with recommendations and delivered (on time!) an end-product that exceeded our expectations.  Not only would we use Factor1 again for web design, we are now using them for all of our marketing and branding projects.

c3 site launch & another great testimonial

by Matt Adams

Okay so we have been slammed around here and forget to update our blog. This site launched a few months ago, but we still wanted to feature it.

c3church.tv uses one of our new products for small / new start up organizations – website awesome. This is Gary Lambs 4th site with us, and wanted something small and affordable. This was a great fit.

Gary left us a great testimonial

I have personally used Factor1Studios for 3 or 4 different websites and custom blogs. When it came time to start our new church start-up funds were very limited, yet we were committed to finding the funding to have Factor1Studios do our site.

Working with the team at Factor1 to make our website have the look, feel, and vibe we were looking for could not have been any easier. I am not web savvy at all so an easy to use website was a must for us. We need the ability to upload information daily, change pictures, text, and add pages in a very easy manner. Factor1 delivered with their Admin Panel that lets me make all the necessary change with a few easy clicks. It has been a breeze to make our website look great and stay updated.

If you are looking for a great looking, easy to use website at an affordable price, look no further than the team at factor1! I can’t recommend then enough.

thanks Gary!

Business is like riding a bike

by Matt Adams

I’m an avid mountain biker, road biker, and cyclist. I ride my bike to the office every day, to church on a regular basis, and anywhere I can. I have been riding a lot for the better part of 7 years. Even spent most of my childhood on a bike. Riding for recreation, exercise, fun, friendship, even racing, I love it all.

Over the years I have been riding with some new riders, and giving a lot of tutorials, tips, tricks, and explaining concepts to better help them as riders on the road or on the trails.

In thinking about these conversations, the ideas and concepts can really be applied to almost anything — Business, ministry, life, and maybe even marriage.
(more…)

Placing value on quality

by Matt Adams

Where do you stand where quality counts?

Oxford suits is the only company left in america today that still makes its suits by hand. Seriously by hand. No machines. Can you imagine the hours to sew a single suit?

Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlX9pcBOqT0

Quality, attention to detail, pride in your work. they all matter.

Drive to Compete

by Ryan Russel

This morning I went to the high school track closest to where I live to put in some speed work as I train for my first marathon. I arrived very early only to find that the track was in complete lock down. Every gate closed, every opening shut, chained and padlocked. Not one soul running. It was frustrating and more so, it was very confusing… I began to ask myself questions like, “Why aren’t any of the school’s athletes out there? Why aren’t other area runners training? What is going on?” So I drove a few more miles down the road to check the next high school. The track was wide open, and sure enough it was packed. There were 50-100 student athletes getting in their before-school training. Area runners were doing speed work. The track was even humming along with a few house moms getting in some circuit training.

So who sets the tone for your desire and drive? Is it the security guard who unlocks the gates? Is it head of the athletic department? Is it the conditioning coach? Or is it the athlete who gets up early to train? You know the answer… each of them do, but the driven athlete will always find a way to train, just like the driven leader will over come obstacles to achieve his goals.

* It shouldn’t surprise you to know that the high school with the closed track was only has a few state titles in it’s history. However, the high school with the open track has many and is considered by some to be the premier academic AND athletic school in the entire state.

Personal Vibe

by Ryan Russel

All media is not easy, clear, crisp, straight to the point, on message and delivered with a ‘next step’ in mind… some of it is geared for the soul and meant to be enjoyed in a specific moment and place. It is ‘right now’ sort of stuff. Connect or Disconnect. There isn’t room for a middle ground.

I am sitting in an independent cliche beach-side coffee shop. The speakers have been just been cranked up a little by the dj waitress… some sort of reggae hip-hop with a powerful, catchy, smooth beat. It is the brand of tune that clicks my positive personal energy up a notch or two… The kind that gets me working with a happy hum. It is begging me to get excited to do the next cool, great thing. The dj waitress is loving it. I am enjoying it. Others are walking out. It’s too loud and not their style.

Message. Vibe. Ambiance. Presentation. Environment. Web. People.

Be daring. Unashamedly, strike a distinct style of communication and media. Quite trying so hard to do what everyone else is doing. Present yourself well. Have some fun. Enjoy the process. Bring others on the journey. Think it through, but don’t over think it. Don’t fake yourself into being something that you are not. And don’t worry so much about those who aren’t coming along with your pursuit… focus on who is coming with you because you have staked your claim on a unique position in the market.

cheap hosting

by Matt Adams

Everyone wants the biggest bang for their buck. Im as frugal as I possibly can be, and find ways to be more frugal each year.

On a pretty regular basis, we find customers who refuse to pay real money for hosting. Sure they just spent thousands on a nice website, but $3 a month hosting is in their sights.

We have a customer, who I wont name, who uses one of the “best rated” hosts for cheap. Unlimited storage for $6 a month. Guess what. in 2 years we have had to fix their site at least 2 times because of massive server failures. Most recently, because the entire server security was compromised, and a hacker fiddled with almost every account and file they could. Nothing too terrible, but hours of work to undo.

On top of the issues and time needed to fix the issue, this client spent hours on hold trying to have tech support reset the password, and a request to secure the server.

Lets do the math. In this clients case, they save about $10 a month in hosting vs what we would charge for dedicated server space. one year =$120. Our bill for fixing this latest issue. $350. their 1 – 2 hours of time on the phone with their host support: $100 – $200 (guessing what their time is worth). Ohh and the site was down for 3 days. Lost sales: $500 – $1000.

So to save $120, they spent $450 – $1550.

Cheap hosts fail. its not if, but when.

Cheap cars, shoes, couches, plumbing, brochures, laptops, cell phones, etc. they all fail. And the bigger picture here, those failures all come at a price.

Suck it up, and buy the best service level you can afford. It may cost you a bit more each month, but when your site runs smoothly you wont regret it.

yes, factor1 hosting has rock solid dedicated servers with great support, backups and uptime. But we wont host just anyone. Interested in hosting with us. Call or email, and we’ll think about letting you in. We have strict rules about what you can do, for the sake of our other customers.

using html5 for video

by Matt Adams

HTML5 is going to be the new norm here soon. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, dont worry about it too much. Its the background structure / protocol running web pages. Firefox, Safari, Opera & Google Chrome are all HTML5 ready on some level. IE 6, 7, 8 are not. Rumor is the IE 9 will be. But I’m not holding my breath.

One of the big new laws in html 5 is the way a website can interact with video. We can now use a more native video format, that streams better on browsers and mobile devices. YES ipad & iphone (and other mobiles) can use the new HTML5 video.

HTML5 video will eliminate the need for flash on most devices.

So lets create a smooth video splash page for a product or service promotion. We’ll start with a simple design, and then move onto the video part.

Design

Sticking with a simple design. We want to center our video, and give it a nice frame.

The Base Html:





  
  

  




          

Video Demo

Enter site

and our basic css:


body {
	margin: 0; 
	padding: 0; 
	font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Sans-serif; 
	background: url(bg_body.jpg) repeat-x #111; 
	color: #ccc;}
	
#wrapper {
	width:680px; 
	margin: 0 auto; 
	padding: 20px;
	text-align: center;}
	
#video {
	width: 640px;
	height: 300px;
	}
	
a, a:visited {
	color: #22daff;}
	
a:hover {
	color: #d1d1d1;}
	
	h1 {text-shadow: 1px 2px 1px #111; color: #eee; font-size: 4em;}
	



Video conversion

Here is my biggest gripe against html5 video. Each browser has their own video type. Safari: mp4, Firefox, OGV, and Chrome: WebM. Kind of a pain to convert your video to 3 formats, but in general it is a better experience for the end user right? so we’ll suck it up and deal with it.

So whats the easiest way to convert to these file types? I have tried a few ways, and thus far has been Miro Video Converter. Works on both mac and PC. mirovideoconverter.com. And best of all, its free. I used this to convert all of my videos.

Video player options

Sure html5 can take the new video symantic tag. But it doesnt leave the most consistent user experience. Then what about those lowly IE users? we can’t ignore them. We may want to, but we can’t.

There are a handful of opensource javascript and css players. They players make it nice and easy to auto detect the browser type, and deliver the best video possible. Some even offer a flash drop out for the worst case IE users.

Some options include:
Video for everybody: http://camendesign.com/code/video_for_everybody
Video JS: http://videojs.com
Sublime: http://jilion.com/sublime/video
Projekktor: http://www.projekktor.com/

Each essentially adds a layer of functionality and style to the html5 video tag. I liked Video JS for this use.

Prepping you server for the video

This is a super important step. Not all servers will recognize the mime types of videos. Using a simple htaccess file, we can add these three simple lines to indicate the file mime types.

AddType video/ogg .ogv
AddType video/mp4 .mp4
AddType video/webm .webm

Pulling it together

1. Download the Video JS codes, and upload the files to your server.
2. Insert the necessary codes for the CSS and JS into your files head tag.
3. insert their player codes into your video div
4. Modify the file paths to your videos for each file type.
5. update the flash var source for the back up video, making sure you use a absolute full url.

Save and test!

Here is my final result, http://proofs.factor1studios.com/mediasalt/video/ with the videos playing in native formats for Firefox, Safari, and Chrome, with IE dropping to a flash swf fall back.

So now you don’t have an excuse to not be producing great video splash pages or video on your site, with full support for all browsers, and mobile devises.

the premium product

by Matt Adams

In almost every industry you will find a premium product, and several tiers of brands or services falling in rank there after. Their order doesn’t matter. What matters is the premium, and the non premium.

Here is what I like. Premium sets the bar, the gold standard, and the price. The market and industry of that premium product depends on these factors, for the smaller fish to survive.

But here is the catch. You can’t expect to compete with the big dogs, yet offer value on one of the key factors (quality, price, service, etc). An amazing car, but at sacrifice on service wont work. Ask the 1996 Car and Driver best luxury car of the year Mazda Millennia. Rated better than the lexus, mercedes and BMW in the class, but failed to deliver the customer service. And it did poor in sales. Mazda stunk at pampering its customers.

There are other similar stories I’m sure, but here is my point. If you cant compete on all levels, and win at the expectations placed on the premium, then dont. Find a way to better compete with the smaller fish.

Nothing wrong with being the biggest medium fish possible. Let the big fish pay for infrastructure, R&D, market research, and so on. You keep up, push the limits where you can, and focus on the ways you are different. There are a lot of cars sold in the middle to low range. Far more volume than the top cars.

the future of music sales

by Matt Adams

Most artists make their money on concert sales and add ons. T-shirts, stickers, collectibles, etc. Not CD sales. But is this the future of music in a world of digital delivery?

http://modlife.com/angelsandairwaves/love

A free CD, with the request of ANY payment? Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead have also tried their hand at the same thing. The Radiohead CD In Rainbows pulled an average of $2.12 per download. 3/5ths of 1.2 million users downloaded the CD for free. The remaining 2/5th paid an average of $6.

So is this the future of music sales? Will this be the future for other industries? books? magazines? Video games? I doubt it, but its worth thinking outside the box on.

How can you do what you enjoy, provide it to as many people as possible, and make up for it on the items that make you the most money?

5 Fatal Mistakes That Hold Back businesses

by Matt Adams

A great article from Small biz trends on the 5 fatal mistakes that will hold back your business from its true potential. Have a great idea, product, or service? This article is for you.

5 Fatal Mistakes That Hold Back Start-up Business Owners

The 5 key things:

  1. Not Appreciating Social Intelligence
  2. Have a Professional Business Website
  3. Make Sure Your Email Address is Branded With Your Company Name and That the Email Address Works
  4. Not Investing in Your Brand
  5. Have a Real Phone Number for Your Business

Do go read the article. its a short, yet vital read.

Did you know factor1 can help help you navigate all 5 of these? We’ll we dont sell or manage number 5, we do have some links we can share to sweet services to make getting a real phone easier.

Lay It Down

by Ryan Russel

Seth Godin call’s it the Dip. Others call it “knowing when to lay down your bet”. However, it shouldn’t take just a losing proposition to stop doing something that is ‘good’ in pursuit of doing something that is great.

In meeting with a successful leader the other day, I was challenged to not always think in terms of “life long time lines”. What if projects had shorter life spans? What if we had clear, short-term, small budget, in-n-out approaches to some of our objectives? What if new products, established teams, marketing budgets, fund-raising efforts, et-al didn’t always go on forever?

In WWII the U.S. Marines spent over a year preparing to take just one key island – Iwo Jima. It was a hotly contested conflict with thousands of lives laid at the alter of freedom, but they knew when and what victory looked like and it wasn’t about being in the marines forever or engaged in war in perpetuity.

The challenge before us for the greatest gains does not always have to include “doing this forever”. Don’t be afraid to cancel things that aren’t meeting you goals or your values or your stated outcomes. Just because you started something does not mean that you should always finish. See more of what you do as “experimental” and don’t get down when it doesn’t work out. Just try something else.

Same Old Song

by Ryan Russel

When we encounter change or challenge in our everyday life, it can be so easy to refer to the past and use it as the primary tool for decision making. But is it always the best tool?

We use tradition as our guide. “It worked then, why shouldn’t it work now?” “We always do things this way.” “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We use tradition as a source of pride. “like those before us who began this great movement/business/organization/family/church…” “… the RICH traditions of our past…”

BUT, we also use tradition as a crutch. “I know it’s an antiquated system, but we don’t have time to reinvent the wheel, just keep doing what you’re doing.” Instead of making decisions based on tradition, why not make them on intention? our intentions grow and change with the current needs of whatever movement we’re a part of. every day has an intention, a goal, a step towards the grander intention or goal. traditions are the oposite. they stay put. they are the result of achieving an old goal. although this is something worth celebrating and considering when encountering the future, it isn’t necessarily the best decision making tool, and yet it seems to be used in a disproportionate way.

When we come to the point of making a decision, our mindset shouldn’t be “what has worked in the past?” but “what will propel us into the future?” or “What will help us best fulfill our intentions/goals?”

[guest blog: Jason Shafer]

No Connection Productivity

by Ryan Russel

You want to be extremely productive with your day?
Turn off your phone.
Turn off your internet connection.

* You can still use your computer, it does still function very well without being connected to the web.
NOW, go to work and focus on your 2 biggest projects.
Try this for 2 whole hours… straight!

EXTREMELY PRODUCTIVE time can be found in dis-connectivity.

Ask any working person who flies regularly. They will tell you how great their time on an airplane is for getting caught up and also getting way ahead. The world continues to function. Earth and all of it’s joys and heartaches will still be here when you plug back in. There was an era where we were highly functional human beings without the drugs of facebook, twitter, email, text and calls… there really was.

It’s as simple as it sounds OR you become addicted to the internet.

Another great testimonial

by Matt Adams

We have been working with Jim on a few various projects of his, and his clients. Here is what he thinks about factor1.

Matt Adams and Factor 1 Studios has been our “go to” partner from the beginning of our firm and has significantly made the difference in our impact and growth.  Matt has the successful combination of listening deeply while guiding the conversation to realize better ways of communicating our vision and services.  The results has created an offer that has the “wow” factor to draw in the client and engage them in our services.  We have been pleasantly surprised at the added reach of our services through the media that Matt created.  Clients from coast-to-coast contact us purely from what they read and see on our web site.

I highly recommend Matt Adams and Factor 1 Studios for their cutting edge understanding of global communication, the timely delivery of quality designs, professional guidance to keep the edge on our offer, and the integrity of their entire operations.

Matt’s work and care are so highly valued that I recently entrusted to him the presentation of Technology for Small Business to a group of entrepreneurs that I was leading through a ten week session.  His presentation and valuable offer was the highlight of the entire ten week series!

Jim Rives
President & CEO
Executive Leadership Institute Inc.

Connect the dots

by Matt Adams

This is a simple concept, yet I see so many companies fail at this.

Make it easy for customers to move around in your company.

What do I mean by that? When navigating from one part of your site to another, don’t make them log back in. If you ask callers to enter their phone number, find a way for the operator to NOT need to ask for the number again.

There may be more frustrating things in life—sure, but this is such a simple issue that can be fixed. Log in once, and they are in. Ask for their account number once, and they are in.

Connect the dots. Streamline your systems for your customers, and they will thank you for it.