🚪 If you open, will they come ? 🚶 🚪

NY State on PAUSE is scheduled to end next week, May 15th and businesses all across the Empire state are going through the guidelines to re-open when their region is ready and move NY Forward. The tweet below links to the much discussed, draft CDC Guidelines, which may or may not be the outline on which NY’s are based.

A neighbor shared a nice write up on how the virus spreads. Whether you agree with this course of action of re-opening or believe it is happening too quickly, make sure to take precautions. Staying safe is the best way to get us back to a pre-COVID state or as close to it as possible. For individuals, that means:

  • practice social distancing, six feet minimum, and consider wearing a mask or some type of facial covering when/where that is not practical
  • frequently disinfect your hands: sanitizer or soap and water
  • limit time spent at social gatherings, large or small

More importantly, business owners should take every measure to secure their workplace. One of the top priorities should be reducing worker density. Food packaging businesses are seeing the most new cases, due to the proximity of workers to one another, lack of protective measures, and noisy environments requiring projecting one’s voice and, by extension, droplet transmission. Precautions include

  • continuing work from home, staggering shifts where applicable
  • making sure all employees are clear on safety and hygiene protocols
  • limiting unnecessary travel and visitors

With NY State on PAUSE scheduled to end, business owners need to get creative and employ new technology where available. Below is another video on using streaming technology for schools, but this certainly can apply across industries. For those businesses that rely on face to face interactions or have been impacted by the scarcity in delivery mechanisms begin implementing Appointment Retail.

Stay healthy and keep streaming!

🌼 May Day,💐 May Day… 🌻 May Day is here 🌼

A new month is right around the corner and by all accounts that means we are one month closer to re-opening.  As we prepare for what that means, many are recommending using this time to reflect on what can be improved and rebuilt better than it was.

I take that to mean helping each other to improve their situation, not only with respect to the current status, but going back to when this all started.  I have no doubt we all know someone who’s career or livelihood has been completely disrupted.  Just this week, I had a colleague reach out because he had lost his job due to COVID-19.  What struck me was his optimism given the situation.  His expectation and career goals were not disrupted and he will continue to work hard towards those outcomes.  That said, if anyone is in need of a smart, hard working BDR in the B2B SaaS space, hit me up.

🏦 Small Business 👔 💼 Got Every Reason to Live 📈

The White House Guidelines for Opening Up America have been released. Also out of Washington, D.C. this week were several statements from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pertaining to small businesses.  Let’s dive into what was published.

Every business owner, and employees as well, should carefully read the gating and phased guidelines presented to state officials for Opening Again published on April 16th, 2020.   There are specific types of employers, such as bars, gyms, and restaurants, that have stricter criteria, but in general the phases unroll similar to how some states recommended increasing workplace density, albeit in reverse.  The reality for most reading this email, however, is that we are at least 14 days, if not more, away from entering Phase I here in the Northeast Corridor.  We need to prepare, but also manage until business reopens and begins to pick up.

This is where the U.S. Chamber of Commerce comes in.  Many of us applied for the Paycheck Protection Program only to see it run dry, leaving many on the sidelines with no chance to get into the game.  Immediately after that news broke, the CoC issued its third plea asking Congress to replenish CARES Act funds designated to small business, freelancers, and independent contractors.  Keep your application up to date or submit one if you have not already, anticipating new funds becoming available.  While we wait for Congress, CoC had already sought help from the private sector and secured contributions from a number of corporate entities.  From the “Save Small Business” Initiative press release:

Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the Foundation will provide $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities

U.S. Chamber website

Now, before you flood the Save Small Business website, applications can be submitted starting on April 20th,2020 at noon PT.  Requirements include:

  • employ more than 3 people
  • employ less than 20 people
  • operate in an economically vulnerable community

Best of luck with your application! In the meantime, here’s Mark Cuban’s take on opening up the economy and other topics. Stay healthy and keep streaming!

P.S. It may not be clear to all, but this post’s title is to be sung to Randy Newman’s “Short People”

With Time on Hand 🕙, Will SaaS Sink ⚓ or Swim 🏊

I recently attended an online bookkeeping seminar. The instructor pointed out how this is the time to dust off the books and take a closer look at how your business is structured from the financial perspective. “People put it off, but now they have the time.” I’m sure you have no shortage of suggestions on how to best use your “new found free time.” Don’t worry, this post isn’t whether there actually is additional time or how to spend it. What was more interesting to me was when he went on to say, “It’s great we have this technology. Not only to run this class, but great, online tools allowing small businesses to handle all their books electronically.” Here was a brick and mortar, paper and pencil business owner promoting tech tools that could be viewed as eliminating his job.

Working from home is forcing business transformation, not just in communications as I wrote about in the last post, but in the way a business operates and manages overhead. This takes the form in general tools such as:

  • productivity (i.e. word processing, spreadsheets, etc.)
  • file sharing
  • project management

This transformation applies to companies of any size and organizational structure. Online vendors have pricing, access tiers, and packages that will accommodate you. You may be familiar with the free-mium model, where an entire app is free and advanced, or premium, features require payment. General productivity tools, web publishing, and email are great examples of this model.

Once you start looking at industry or job specific tools, such as bookkeeping or photo editing, there are more tiers, usually in the good-better-best model. Perhaps you can start with a free 30 day trial with one login and a core set of features. For an additional fee, you unlock more storage, inter-connectivity with other apps, or a full set of built-in capabilities. At the higher end, there could be a team access version that allows for collaboration among peers, each with their own login. Of course there are always additional plugin-ins or add-ons. Online providers are always happy to take your money.

While many indicators point to reduced spending during (as well as some time after) this 30 days of #StayAtHome to Slow the Spread period, this has led to some declaring the end of a great run by SaaS companies. Yes, there will certainly be consolidation, acquisitions of talent shops on the cheap, and copycat services will fade away. I prefer the optimism Louis Colombus outlines in the conclusions of his Forbes article on COVID-19’s impact, where he predicts a “potential increases in spending on specialized software.”  My brick and mortar, pencil pushing instructor sees it.  He can’t be the only one.

Stay healthy and keep streaming!

Virtual Networking in a Social Distancing Environment

As we witness guidance for #stayAtHome, meaning reduced workplace density, working remote, and the possibility of our municipalities mandating curfews, the conversation around social gatherings has noticeably shifted to web-based conferencing, distance learning classrooms, and virtual event spaces.

Below are a few links to collections of recommendations in case you are new to hosting online events

After TP, I think the next concern on some minds will be internet access. In the past week, service providers have offered free 60 day access to wireless connectivity and mobile carriers lifted surcharges for unlimited data. More importantly, on the infrastructure side there is messaging assuring customers that, despite notable and expected increase in usage, service and customer support will be available, around the clock, regardless of your time zone.

The take away should be to put your customers, partners, and even neighbors at ease. If you or your business offers a service or access to a product that others are depending on, make sure they know you will be up and running for them. Whether it takes the form of delivery, call center, or supply chain find a way to keep those people you impact as worry free as possible.

Stay healthy and keep streaming!

After past Friday the 13th, “Superstition ain’t the way”

Hello friends,

The impact of COVID-19 is rippling through the worlds of business, sports, personal lives, and certainly this week’s newsletter.  Here in NYC, congregations over 500 people are now prohibited, but events large and small, urban and suburban are being postponed, suspended, and cancelled.

I am happy to see local municipalities banding together in the effort to keep businesses, small, medium, and large, running.  For example, the Queens Chamber of Commerce will be continuing outreach with a daily email and are actively seeking businesses in distress that they may support in one form or another.

Last Friday I received my first invitation to an online event, to subsidize the lack of in person gatherings.  I fully expect more of these type of events to pop up in the coming weeks.  As they reach a critical mass, I will return to curating networking opportunities for us all and sharing across this medium.

I’m sure you have no shortage of emails stating CDC and WHO guidelines, so I will not regurgitate them here.  What I can’t stress enough is to surround yourself with information from reputable sources.  To paraphrase NY Gov Cuomo from his daily update, the anxiety surrounding the calamity can at times be worse than the calamity.  There is no need to spread false facts or worse: fear monger, let alone give into it.  And as Stevie Wonder wrote:

“When you believe in things
That you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,”

Keep yourselves knowledgeable on the situation and how to take proper action when the time calls for it.  Thank you for reading and I’ll see you out there networking, soon!

Henry

New Video Assist Records to USB -C media

BlackMagic Design announced Video Assist 12G, a feature packed update to its professional level family of combination video camera monitor and recorders, at IBC 2019

There are two models, with each model including an innovative touch screen user interface with deck controls, as well as a large screen to view recordings. 

Blackmagic Design Announces New Blackmagic Video Assist 12G

In addition to state of the art 12G-SDI inputs and a brighter, high dynamic range (HDR) screen, some key features to allowing for uninterrupted, long form recording include:

  • Dual, hot-swap capable Sony L- series battery slots
  • Dual, hot-swap capable SD card slots
  • USB‑C external disk recording

While it’s not on our gear list (yet), if you are considering shooting in RAW or archiving a live event and need help setting up monitors, video, or audio recorders, contact us about getting one up and running on your production.

Below is a studio produced IBC lead-in video. It’s queued up to jump ahead and begins at the 9:50 mark, right as they dive into to listen to all the new Video Assist highlight. Stream On

VideoMicPro, one of Rode 's many on camera microphones

Select best on camera Mic < Video Gear | RØDE Microphones

If you want to step up the audio recording in your video or aren’t sure where to begin, RØDE Microphones  just published two new entries in their Audio For Film 101 video series.

The team covers the whole product line, from plug-powered to micro XLR stereo, and recording situations where each one shines. Highlights include, overviews of all their popular mono models:

  • VideoMic
  • VideoMicro
  • VideoMic Pro

In an earlier episode they detail stereo versus mono.  All three are informative and worth watching.  After watching, whether you are ready to roll or still have questions, contact us to get recording your next with with great audio!  The VIdeoMic Pro is on our gear list, but we can accommodate any of your audio requirements.

Check out the playlist below and View On:

Atlantic Broadband Adds MLB.TV App to TiVo Platform < OTT | Multichannel

This is a great move, not only adding value to its platform, but also improving customer UX.

Ahead of the 2017 MLB playoffs, Atlantic Broadband also plans to launch the MLB Network on September 28 across its service area. Atlantic Broadband, a subsidiary of Canada-based Cogeco Communications, serves about 246,000 video subs in western Pennsylvania; Miami Beach; parts of Maryland/Delaware; Aiken, S.C.; and eastern Connecticut.

Source: Atlantic Broadband Adds MLB.TV App to TiVo Platform | Multichannel

Atlantic Broadband already offers:

  • TiVo
  • Netflix
  • YouTube

making it clear that this is not a “one off,” rather continuing to build a very attractive suite of value added offerings as opposed to the traditional MSO triple plays.  Let’s hope the trend continues at Atlantic and their competition/counterparts take notice.

Watch the playlist below to learn more about MLB.TV and see Atlantic Broadband detail their TiVo platform.  View on: