Posts tagged Dave blogs
Posts tagged Dave blogs
Here at Vsnap, we have an amazing new partner – and we’re very excited about it! We’ve reached an agreement with Dr. Johnny Walker (www.healthfounders.com), a Dublin-based interventional radiologist and healthcare entrepreneur, whereby Dr. Walker will use a version of Vsnap’s code base to launch a new, independent company to pursue cutting-edge uses of video messaging in engaging and empowering patients.
The new company, called HealthSnap, will be headquartered in Ireland.
Here’s what Dr. Walker has to say about this:
“Vsnap has made video messaging simple, accessible and measurable. Now HealthSnap will customize a version of this powerful tool to help healthcare providers bring more human warmth and empathy into their patient interactions as a complement to the face-to-face consultation. This is important because we all know that better engagement drives better care and better, safer outcomes.”
Dr. Ronan Kavanagh, a prominent Irish rheumatologist and leading voice on the intersection of medicine and social media, affirmed Dr. Walker’s perspective. “I’m very excited about what HealthSnap will be doing,” Dr. Kavanagh said. “This kind of tool gives us the ability to humanise our interactions with patients, and that matters greatly to engagement levels and outcomes.”
For Dr. Walker, this will not be the first time he has broken new ground in patient care. In 1995, Dr. Walker launched a fully digital, personalized, mobile ultrasound scan service to small aboriginal communities in Western Australia literally out of the back of a truck. That effort grew into the highly disruptive and successful international teleradiology enterprise Global Diagnostics Ltd (www.globaldiagnostics.co.uk), a company that Dr. Walker exited last year. What does the HealthSnap agreement mean for Vsnap and the people using our application?
First, it won’t affect businesspeople using Vsnap at all. HealthSnap will be a separate company with a separate product, separate development team, etc. The Vsnap product will continue to have a laser focus on meeting the needs and requirements of folks in Sales, Support, Account Management and Employee Engagement.
Second, since this partnership represents a new royalty-based revenue stream for Vsnap, it means we’re going to have more resources to invest in our product. We are committed to making Vsnap an essential resource for customer-centric companies in today’s multi-media, multi-device business environment.
Third, HealthSnap’s investment represents an important validation. It’s an example of the fact that, as the number of personal video screens skyrockets worldwide, more industries are exploring new ways to use video to solve persistent problems well beyond the Marketing department.
We are thrilled to have found such a passionate, mission-driven partner in Dr. Walker, and we look forward to working with him and his team as they move forward. For more information, you can reach out to myself, Dr. Walker or Jim Joyce, Vsnap’s Dublin-based Co-Founder and CEO of Point of Care, a clinical healthcare company.
Note: for press and bloggers working on deadlines in European time zones, Dr. Walker and Jim Joyce are both based in Dublin. For American journalists working on deadline, Dave McLaughlin is based in Boston.
Vsnap’s customer base includes many business leaders who do not come from an engineering background, but who are eager to unleash the power of technology to help them grow. This post is intended as a resource for those folks, who often struggle to effectively scope technical tasks and engage engineers.
Myself, I was an English major in college. Most of my career was spent in creative/business roles, not in engineering. I believe I draw great advantages from my prior experiences, but that doesn’t mean I can be complacent regarding my capabilities as a technical leader. In fact, I believe that improving my capability as a technical leader is the most critical action I can take to accelerate Vsnap’s growth.
The first reason that being conversant in technical language, framework concepts and best practices in process is so critical is because it impacts your confidence in setting direction and in how you guide your development team. This is about you being able to dive into the details and ask the right questions – and doing that with conviction. Leaders need conviction, and you can’t let a lack of knowledge undermine that.
Model a Culture of Learning
The world is changing pretty darn fast. We better be building learning cultures in our companies, or we’re destined to be left in the dust. Well there’s no better way to create that culture than having the company leaders model it. Be the Chief Learner in your company. Make the necessary investment to understand the language of technology. That sends a clear signal top to bottom that this is a place where learning is valued, where curiosity is supported, and where questions are welcomed.
Oh and by the way, if you don’t do this then you’ll send an equally clear signal, just a different one.
Get away from the idea that from time-to-time you will make a foray into the world of technology. That’s the wrong mental model. Whether you grow avocados or write APIs, your company exists in a constant context of technology. So it’s time to start thinking about each technology-related task that you take on as an opportunity to establish a replicable process. So, for instance, when you go looking for an email marketing tool, codify a little process for doing this. This will give you better results, and it will make it easier to take on the next technology task, because your process can be re-used and refined. Think of this as building little pieces of infrastructure for your business.
Make a list of all the features you need.
Assign a number to each one reflecting how important it is. (Maybe “low cost” is a 10 for essential and “customizable templates” is a 6, or a nice-to-have).
Look at at least three vendors and assign a number to how well each of them meets the features you need.
Compare the vendor ratings at a feature level in order to see who really satisfies your most essential needs. If there’s a tie, then you can make the decision based on your nice-to-haves.
Take Time for Your Tech Plan
This stuff is complex and fast-moving, so make sure you write down what decisions you’ve made and why. Make sure you keep an accessible document with this information. Remember, it’s never a good practice to have all of your key information in only one person’s hands.
I’ve made it my mission to be a great technology leader. For me, that mission is informed by my experience as a filmmaker and in business. But that’s not enough. It also means understanding the language and the framework concepts. I’m using that understanding to enhance my ability to brainstorm solutions to customer problems, and to better support our developers.
I believe I owe that to them. In fact, I believe I owe that to everybody in or around Vsnap – our team, our investors, our customers. And myself.
I totally recommend TechSpeak as an amazing resource (and fyi I do not benefit in any way from that recommendation) – and I’d like to hear what resources other people suggest. I hope you’ll add your thoughts in the comments.
This morning we released v 1.4.0, which introduces the ability to bring individual Vsnap user accounts into a common corporate or organizational account. Up until now, each individual Vsnap account has been its own silo.
Today’s release represents a key step toward providing shared billing and premium features, such as greater customization of branding and richer reporting on user activity and recipient behavior. Thanks to all of you who helped us understand your companies’ needs here!
How This Works
In the near future this will be self-serve, but for now companies that want the benefits of an organization account can just email Trish Fontanilla or me. You let us know who on your team you want to serve as the Admin Member, and we’ll give that person the ability to invite individual user accounts into your team’s Organization.
Once you do this, your Admin Member will notice the following specific features:
Organization Data Dashboard
The Admin Member now sees a simple snapshot of aggregate Vsnap activity from all members of the organization. This includes total vsnaps recorded, view rate, type of share, and an overview of recipient feeling indicators (Helpful, Thoughtful, Amazing).
The designated Admin Member now has access to all vsnaps created by individual Organization members and has the power to delete vsnaps from any member. This provides an important safeguard for the Organization.
If you are an individual Vsnapper and you accept an invitation to have your account become part of an Organization, then the vsnaps you create from this point forward will belong to the Organization. This means that individual members cannot delete any vsnaps they record once they become part of an Organization.
A few more things worth noting…
This Will Become a Paid Feature
The ability to link accounts in an Organization is intended to be a paid feature. We are absolutely going to continue to offer a killer free account, but it will be for individuals and not for organizations. Having said that, we’re happy to let you use it for free for the next month or so while we complete some other important premium features for businesses.
Discount Pricing this Month
If you’d like to take advantage of special pre-launch pricing, let me know or sign up for our premium mailing list to be updated. This month we’re offering 40% off pricing on annual subscriptions for early Organization subscribers. This will give the upcoming premium features to all members of your Organization, and it will allow us to “turn on” new features for your whole team as soon as those features become available.
Although these Organization features are currently visible only in Vsnap’s web interface, they do affect vsnaps created on the mobile apps. For example, a vsnap created on the mobile app of an Organization Member now can be deleted by the Admin Member and not by the individual who created it.
Nothing Changes for Non-Organization Accounts
If you have a free individual Vsnap account and don’t create or become part of an Organization, then nothing will change for you. You will still have free use of business features for the time-being, like the logo feature and the SMTP feature. And you’ll still own your own vsnaps.
Actually there is one change that affects everybody – we improved how we handle the video file to ensure that your vsnaps play perfectly behind enterprise firewalls. This is good news for anyone using our application inside a large corporation, or to engage clients at large corporations. We’re now seeing a perfect performance on playing vsnaps in those environments.
That’s it for now. There will be much more in the coming weeks for the companies that are using Vsnap to make customers feel appreciated. Stay tuned!
As the leader of a company that calls Boston home, I have felt a desire to comment on what has happened in our city over the last few days. But I wanted to take a few days to think about all of this. I wanted to be sure that I wouldn’t just add noise. I hope that others who are struggling with what to feel and what to do will find these thoughts helpful.
First, on behalf of the Vsnap team, we were very moved by the concern for us and for our city from members of our community far and wide. Thank you for checking on us, and for expressing your support. Our team is safe, as are our loved ones. Many of us go to the Marathon every year, and a number of friends and family members were indeed near the bomb blasts. But thankfully all are okay.
We are heartened to know that you share our sadness. Since Monday I’ve felt as though somebody is standing on my chest. The deaths and the injuries are so tragic. The apparent implications are so grim. The act itself, so senseless.
So what to make of it all? And what should we do, those of us who, like me, feel eager to help but are unsure of how.
I’ve been thinking about that all week, and I keep coming back to this simple idea:
The right response to a senseless act is an act of meaning.
I feel like we saw the truth of this statement over and over this week, starting in the moments after Monday’s explosions. People rushed in to remove the wounded. They opened their apartments for the stranded. They offered warm clothes and food for the exhausted.
Those are acts of meaning. They were the right responses to an act of senselessness.
For those of us who are not sure how to help going forward, I want to suggest that we can apply the same idea in our lives. In the business community, we all have a role to play in strengthening our city and our country, from the smallest startups to the most powerful institutions. We are creating jobs, nurturing the skills of our team members and pioneering products that help people. I believe that these can be acts of meaning.
I am a lifelong Bostonian, and it’s my experience that this small city with its narrow roads and narrower sidewalks has a way of pushing people together. I know that there is warmth in that, and that there is also friction. For me, that combination of camaraderie and confrontation is what home feels like. Here we hold one another to the common belief that who we are as individuals is defined by what we do – especially in the face of adversity. We do this, I think, because we believe in each other, and because we know that our futures are entwined.
The world saw that this week: the great heart of Bostonians on display. I think this is what people mean by this new phrase “Boston Strong”.
Like everyone else, I am grateful to all those who helped. We are all in their debt. And I commit my company to live these same simple beliefs. That we will act with a sense of meaning and responsibility, and that what we do is who we are. And in this humble way, we will help to make our city and our country stronger and better. And we will honor the victims of this tragedy and express our common cause with the heroes whose simple acts of meaning have reclaimed the Boston Marathon as the world’s greatest celebration of the human spirit.
I am very pleased to share with the Vsnap community that Trish Fontanilla is stepping into a new role as Vice President of Community & Customer Experience.
I can practically hear the cheers already!
As Vsnap’s first ever Vice President, Trish now has an expanded level of input and authority in every single customer-facing activity at our company, from customer engagement and support to product development and strategy. Creating this new role is a recognition of Trish’s incredible work and her great contributions to Vsnap’s success so far, and it is also an expression of the company’s commitment to keeping the customer at the center of everything we do, especially as we prepare to introduce premium features and paid accounts a little later this quarter. Because, whether you know it or not, Trish is first and foremost a fierce advocate for you.
I hired Trish as our Community Manager in the summer of 2011 when Jim Joyce and I founded the company. She is an incredible force for good. She lives the five simple beliefs that Vsnap is built on, and she personifies the character and commitment that defines our whole team, and indeed our whole community. Internally, Trish keeps us all honest. She is like true north when it comes to making sure that every decision is contemplated and debated with the average Vsnapper in mind. Externally, she is a powerful champion of the Vsnap vision for how businesses can bring warmth to the web.
The fact that we created a Community Manager role before we even had a product should tell you something about the value we place on understanding our users’ needs, capturing your feedback, and supporting your success as you experiment with vsnapping. I hope you will welcome the fact that we are doubling down on all of that.
Because Vsnap is about you. Our mission is simply to meet your need for an easy tool that you can use to make your customers feel special. Feel valued.
We are fortunate to have Trish on our team, and so is everybody who uses Vsnap. In that spirit, I want to give you a little nudge to vsnap her today and give her a pat on the back. You can do that via Twitter to @Vsnap or @Trishofthetrade. Or, if your message feels a little more private, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
(Picture originally from http://www.the-red-kitchen.com)