Building the Gigabit City: Brainstorming a Google Fiber Roadmap @smckc @kclibrary @brainzooming #gigabitcity #smckc

A little over a month ago, I was humbled to attend as a contributor Building the Gigabit City: Brainstorming a Google Fiber Roadmap, hosted by the Social Media Club of Kansas City.  There were about 80 of us invited from the global Kansas City business community, and our charge for the entire day was to brainstorm how the new Google Gigabit-speed Internet that will land in Kansas City in 2012 can have impact in the community.  Wow, I was amazed to spend so much time with these Kansas City thought leaders and explore the impact on my hometown.

I was asked to offer input in the Suburban Group – and it was incredible to offer my opinion as a life-long Suburbanite that recently moved Downtown KC and became a lover of all things Urban.  It was an interesting perspective and I sure did enjoy offering my thoughts on the matter.

We ended the day with a Press Conference where we shared the initial findings.

Then, strategy guru Mike Brown and his team with the Brainzooming Group went to work, compiling the hundreds of ideas into one streaming, flowing document, that was just released at a recent Press Conference back at the Kansas City Public Library Central Branch downtown.   Check out an awesome blog entry on the libraries take on the event.   (More on my thoughts on the library at another time, likely a Video Blog!)…

It was great to see the local media there last Thursday to soak up our thoughts of how to implement GigabitCity into something worthwhile, focused on the community and all things that mattered – the people of Kansas City.

If you’re interested in our results, click here to download the 120+ page document.  It’s an awesome read.  And, if you’d like to see my two pages in the document written from my perspective of the Suburban vs. Urban communization, check out pages 48 and 49, where I wrote a white paper titled, “The New Value of Community in Suburban Kansas City”.  Or, you can click below to read it here:

The New Value of Community in Suburban Kansas City

By Jason Cupp

As a life-long Kansas Citian, when I saw the news report some time ago that Google had awarded our community the first infrastructure for Gigabit speed internet, I was thoroughly excited.  Instantly, I thought, “We sure have come a long way since logging onto the internet via a telephone modem and using AOL as the interface” – and the fact that hometown KC was going to get this uber-speed internet connection was proof positive that it could have a monumental impact on our community.

And a monumental impact it can have on our community.

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TED Talk from Dan Ariely tells us a GREAT WAY to Differentiate Ourselves @TedTalks

I’m returning from PLANET’s Green Industry Conference a few weeks ago and honestly, still just trying to get caught up.  I met so many great people at the conference (there were only 20,000 of you there in attendance at GIE+EXPO!) and I’m looking forward to keeping the conversation alive via phone, email, Twitter, Facebook, Skype and this blog.

Several weeks ago, a good friend shared this Ted Talk with me that really did change my opinion on a few things that work within my business and my clients businesses daily – the simple way we phrase things in the sales and purchase process.  I had so many take-aways in just the way I put things down on paper, that I wanted to share them with you.  Although the entire video is nothing short of amazing (it’s only 17 minutes, so an EASY watch and learn experience), I think there are several points that EACH and EVERY person in business can do as a take-away.

You can watch the video here, led by Dan Ariely, and then read a few bullet points to my own observations of “do-differentlys” in your business starting NOW.  Check out this great Ted Talk video:

(If the flash version does not work, you can link to the video here)

I had a LOT of take-aways from the video, but most notably the things that jumped out at me were:

  • The appearance of things are not always as they seem.  Could we have a different “looking” contract or design that would affect the way a client feels about it?
  • The way we phrase things in words can absolutely have an impact that could determine success or not.  Are contracts phrased properly to influence success and execution?
  • We can create successes in sales, contracts and options based on the way the client opts-in to optional services and/or enhancements.
Wow, to me… this is monumental.  What will you do differently as a result of watching this amazing Dan Ariely TED Talk video?

Jason Cupp: Know Your Team – An Article Summary of a Recent Workshop

Last week, while at PLANET’s Green Industry Conference, I led a workshop that outlined elements of leadership, team building, hiring the right person, and creating company culture.  The next day, the workshop was featured in Lawn and Landscape’s “Show Daily” – a magazine that is delivered daily to Trade Show Attendees to their hotel room door, as well as available on the trade show floor.  I was honored to have a two-page feature of the workshop.  Thanks Lawn and Landscape!

(Click the image to be taken to the actual article…)

Jason Cupp: Know Your Team



VideoBlog: Transparency, Vulnerability and Networking – Thoughts about #GIC2011 and #GIEEXPO

Last week, I attended PLANET’s Green Industry Conference and GIE+EXPO. Having attended this amazing educational conference and trade show for many years, I was thinking earlier today about some observations – and changes that the attendees amplified – mostly related to being transparent and vulnerable in their networking opportunities that led to some amazing sharing best practices among non-competing companies.

What did you observe at this years trade show? What are you planning to “do differently” in your business as we head into the last stretch of 2011 and begin to prepare for 2012?

Think Different: Steve Jobs on Leadership, Hiring

If you’ve ever met me, or even read blog entires or Twitter posts from time to time, you know I call myself an “Apple Addict” – a lover of all things made by Apple.  Several weeks ago, I was visiting my aunt Dawn and uncle Daniel in Lawrence, I got the AP News pop up on my iPhone that innovation legend Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, had died.  My uncle is also a lover of Apple and we immediately ran to the television to turn on CNN and see if the news was true.  It was.  Honestly, I felt like I had lost a close friend.  In a sentence, Steve Jobs, and his vision for innovation, makes my life easier and more enjoyable.

This week, I’m attending PLANET’s Green Industry Conference in Louisville and was asked by PLANET to present and lead one of their ticketed workshops in Human Resources.  The workshop, Your Biggest Asset:  Your People and How to Create Maximum Efficiency with your Existing Team, was focused on team building, profitability, efficiency, leadership and how to hire the right person.  As I was flying to Louisville on Tuesday morning, I was thinking about Steve Jobs, and wondered if I could dig up any quotes or information on him that would be relevant to my audience.  I did, and I was amazed at what I found.

Let me say this – I believe that monumental things can happen in any business if you focus on your team.  It did in my company, it has in many of my clients companies, and I suspected the same to be true at Apple.  Now, recent reports show a more in-depth view of Steve Jobs leadership characteristics, but I found three things that I found to be incredibly relevant.

First, check out this video – which has its own Wikipedia entry.

Here is a link to the video in case the embedded version does not work.

The text from the video:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.  The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.  About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.  They push the human race forward.  While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

When I showed the video yesterday, I asked the audience what that made them “feel” – and a guy in the first few rows said, “It tells me I have to be out of the box in my business, Jason” – He was completely right.  The last slide of the video also said, “Think Different”…  In my opinion, not only do you need to think outside of the box, you have to be open to thinking differently as well.  Steve Jobs, in this Apple Commercial from 1997, hit the nail on the head, and the message is still overly relevant in todays market.

I found two other quotes from Jobs that I found compelling.  This one, touches on his global thought process about his team, culture and company:

“The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.”

And finally, Jobs thoughts on hiring:

“Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview.

So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? I ask everybody that: ‘Why are you here?’ The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.”

Now, Steve Jobs is not a saint, but his business was amazingly successful – and I’m to think it has to do a lot more about the people at Apple than about Steve Jobs.  With that, I’m confident the innovation and progressive nature of their products will continue.  (At least I’m hopeful!)

Steve Jobs, Godspeed.

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