Listen as Steve Sweitzer from Boomer TV interviews Beth about all the cool ways you can reminisce digitally. Write, save, and share your precious memories on the web using JamBios.
We'll keep you updated on the latest news and information about JamBios. You'll find news mentions, press releases, events and activities, investment information, announcements and an occasional photo, video or podcast with JamBios spokesperson Henry Ian Cusick.
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For Press Inquiries, contact us at: hello@JamBios.com.
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Annie Cusick Wood Introduces the JamBios Memory Gallery Exhibition for November 2017
Autumn Memories: Annie Cusick puts out a call for entries for the JamBios Memory Gallery. The online exhibition will include memory stories, poems, photographs and drawings with the topic of: Autumn Memories
Submit entries by registering a JamBio (free) at www.jambio.com.
Write or upload your original entry into a JamBios Chapter Section and select Reader: Memory Gallery email@example.com.
All entries should be submitted to the gallery no later than October 27th. Entries should be less than 1000 words, be original and be based on a real memory.
For more info follow us on twitter @jambiosinc and facebook www.facebook.com/jambiosinc.
JamBios — A Collaborative Place To Write
Andy Asher, the editor at Bloomer Boomer (www.bloomerboomer.com), talks to Beth Carvin, entrepreneur and co-founder of JamBios, a company that's focused on what's important to baby boomers and everyone else over 50 who crave a safe path for storing memories forever.
How Entrepreneurship Has Changed Since the Year 2000
The only constant in the startup world is change. Whether your company has changed products, offices, or even CEOs, the ability to adapt to shifting trends defines successful entrepreneurs. And in the last 17 years, things have changed pretty dramatically. Fortunately, there are people out there that have seen it all and can provide you with the insight you need to succeed in the ever-changing business realm.
Recently, I sat down with Beth N. Carvin, cofounder and CEO of JamBios and Nobscot, to talk about the difference between entrepreneurship now and in the year 2000. Her first company, Nobscot, was founded in 2000, while JamBios was launched earlier this year, so she has some unique insight into what it took to be successful back then, and how that differs from success in the modern age.
As Carvin put it, there are four factors that have relevant differences between entrepreneurship now and in 2000. Take a look at what she had to say below:
As entrepreneurs today know, capital is a necessity to surviving, let alone succeeding. And while it may seem impossible to acquire now due to stingy VCs and saturated markets, things weren’t always that complicated.
“Starting a business in 2000 didn’t require that much money. When we started Nobscot, (an HR tech company) we put a small amount of money in a bank account. We focused on generating revenue as quickly as possible. We broke even and became profitable in less than a year from launch.
Today, starting a business still requires having a swift and realistic path to revenue but it generally takes a longer time to get there. With JamBios, our digital platform for memories, we are starting with 100x as much money. We have to build up our user base. Even with a social site like JamBios that has virality built in it still requires a source of capital to fund operations and growth.”
Product development is and has never been a constant science. With shifting consumer preferences and the ever-evolving technology landscape, it can be hard to nail down exactly what people want. However, one notable change has occurred since 2000: we care about design now. Like a lot.
“Product development has also changed substantially. In 2000, it was all about function over form. It didn’t matter what your product looked like as long as it was useful. Our initial web site for Nobscot was ugly! It didn’t matter though. Our technology was intuitive and powerful and HR executives loved it. That’s all that counted back then.
Today, we don’t have that luxury. Design is paramount. We started JamBios working with an outstanding design firm in the UK to help us get the right look. Along with hiring our first coders we also hired an in-house Creative Director to drive design. That is something we never would have considered back in 2000.”
Unlike capital, resources were pretty scarce for budding entrepreneurs in 2000. Entrepreneurship was notably less popular and external support systems like corporate accelerators and local incubators were hardly at the avail of budding startups. That, however, is no longer the case.
“Back in 2000, there were not a lot of resources for tech startups outside of Silicon Valley. Today, most major cities have relatively vibrant tech communities, including Honolulu where we are based. We have tech accelerators that provide mentoring and access to funding. There are VCs looking to make local investments. We have coding boot camps to help train developers in the latest technologies. Most weekends are filled with coding challenges and tech networking events. It’s a very different start-up scene then back in 2000.”
Marketing is never going to stay the same. Consumers are getting wise to the practices employed by companies around the world, leading to a well-informed, hard-to-trick customer base. Plus, with the advent of social media, things have gotten decidedly more complicated for budding businesses.
“When we first started Nobscot, search engine rankings were the singular most important marketing initiative. It was imperative to show up high in the rankings and it was a wonderful way to get new business. The majority of our clients came to us from searching and finding us through search engines. We worked hard at making sure our website had relevant content, interesting information, and linked to and from appropriate sources. We became experts in our industry (employee exit interviews) and became the go-to source for that niche.
Today, in addition to search engines, we have to master social media and develop creative ways to stand out from the crowd. For example, at JamBios we have a celebrity spokesperson, Henry Ian Cusick of the ABC TV show “LOST” and “The 100.” We created a fun “Memory of the Week” activity to encourage new users to experience the pleasure of writing in their JamBios and learn how easy it is to invite others to read. We asked users write a favorite memory and invite Henry Ian Cusick to read their memory. He then selected his favorite memories and we placed them on our Facebook page. We encouraged people to invite their friends to read and “like” their favorites which helped us build up our Facebook followers. The campaign was integrated with Twitter as well.”
Read more interviews with entrepreneurs on TechCo
Henry Ian Cusick Discusses JamBios
Henry Ian Cusic, the star of Lost and The 100, explains JamBios, a new social platform that allows people to share their memories online. Ian is interviewed by Global News Morning and tells the story of how he got involved with JamBios.
How to Reconnect with Your Adult Children
If you have adult children, chances are, at some point in time you’ve experienced difficulties staying connected beyond trivial situations, like providing cooking tips or watching the game together.
We recently launched JamBios, a collaborative place to write and save the stories of your life. We’re quickly noticing how great of an impact sharing memories can have on developing deep and meaningful relationships. Geographic location, life circumstances and reticent personalities can make it difficult to express feelings and develop deep connections, but sharing memories can help foster more meaningful conversations and experiences with our grown children.
Here are four lessons about the parent and (adult) child relationship I’ve learned since launching JamBios, and a few ideas for forming a deeper connection through reminiscing.
Use stories as a mediator
Shared storytelling allows grown children to understand the experiences that shaped our life. When you share stories of your life, your children can start to see you as an individual, with all the beauty and all the warts. They are able to appreciate you not just as a parent but as a person and eventually as a friend. Whether you write out your story or memories using a site like JamBios, or grab a pen and paper, journaling and sharing your stories with your loved ones can go a long way in connecting the pieces of the past and strengthening your ties in the future.
Ask deep questions
Don’t assume deep conversation happens on its own. Sometimes, it takes a little prompting. Try keeping notes of questions you want to ask or meaningful topics to discuss the next time you get together with your children. A delightful afternoon can be spent asking and answering memory questions together with your grown kids. Questions can be light such as “how would you describe your childhood bedroom,” “Who was your favorite teacher” or “what was an embarrassing moment that happened at school,” or deep such as “what were you most afraid of growing up” or “were you ever bullied in school?” You might be surprised at how much each of you can relate to the other’s stories. Don’t be afraid to open up. Your kids are grown now. Be honest. You don’t have to worry about setting a bad example.
Leverage the artefacts
You likely have artefacts from your past that are fun to share and talk about, from a scrapbook you kept when you were younger to old love letters. Showing your adult children these artefacts can elicit an emotional connection. It’s a wonderful experience for grown children to visualize you as a child or teenager and to see how much a particular experience or moment in time meant to you. Using a collaborative memory-preserving space like JamBios can help you create written words about a memory, too, which preserves memories and emotions for the future.
Memories of moments or events you both remember, even if from decades ago, can also be explored. Emotional bonds are formed when you re-live experiences together. Topics don’t really matter; any shared memories will do. Recalling a trip to Disney or the first time you went camping together as a family, or that time your child came home with a very bad (or very good) report card each make a good memory conversation starter. Shared memories from the past come alive when you revisit them each from your own perspective. Expect lots of laughter and maybe a few tears.
Telling your story
You don’t have to tell your story in chronological order, from your ancestors to the present day. It shouldn’t feel like hard work or drudgery. Instead you can regularly explore and enjoy your memories by simply writing thoughts down as they come to you. If you hear a song on the radio that reminds you of your college dorm parties or a smell that makes you think of summer camp, jot down the stories that come to mind. When you get in the habit of regularly recording your memory stories you’ll find it becomes easier and more natural. And when you’re ready, sharing these memories with your children can be the key to maintaining a deep connection.
Have you found it hard to maintain a relationship with your adult children?
Things Have Changed Since the .COM Boom
In 2015, I decided to start a new entrepreneurial venture. The last time I had started a business was in 2000 when I co-founded Nobscot Corporation, a company that develops enterprise software for human resources. Nobscot continues today, with our team servicing medium and large companies globally. With that feather in our cap, my co-founder and I were ready to try again, this time on the consumer side. We created the idea for JamBios, an online platform to help people remember and write stories of their lives, together with friends and family. Except it was no longer 2000 and the startup world had changed significantly. We had to be ready to adapt as well.
Budgets are bigger.
The late 1990s were exciting times for technology startups. Everyone had ideas for “dot-coms” and wanted to become the next internet millionaire. (People thought in terms of millions, not billions, back then.) But, most people also wanted the stability of a traditional corporate job. Quitting a position to start an internet company was not something that most were willing to do. College grads had many opportunities from which to choose. Few people lived in their parents’ basements.
We started Nobscot on a shoestring, putting $10,000 in the bank. The startup tech community was at the very early stages in our area. Resources were minimal. There were no coding boot camps, no technology accelerators and very little venture capital investing. Women CEOs were rare. Access to capital was limited. On the plus side, it was 2000 and you didn't need much money to get started. These were the days of working out of your garage.
We converted a large room (not the garage) into a workable office space. We lived in a beach community and had what would now be called “scrum meetings” during morning walks on the beach. Conference Room A was a shade tree and the sand was our whiteboard. My co-founder and I did almost everything ourselves. You could build a tech business like that back then. It's not quite the same anymore.
For our new business, we have fancy “creativity inspiring” digs in the heart of downtown. The conference room has a table and chairs. It is a nice place for investors to visit.
Products are sleeker.
Back in the early days of online startups, product was all about function over form. Our technology had to be intuitive, easy-to-use and powerful. It didn't have to be pretty. Design thinking was not yet a part of the equation. I drew on a piece of paper what I wanted our flagship exit interview technology to do and my co-founder and software engineer built it to spec. We didn't have any outside or internal designers. It was ugly. But, it worked really well.
Today, great function with lousy form is not good enough. Entrepreneur evangelist Guy Kawasaki suggests that getting to market fast enough means that your early product is going to have elements that are cringeworthy. That is becoming less and less true. Your starting Minimal Viable Product (MVP) needs to look visually very, very good. Access to design talent either in-house or external is critical. In our new venture, we started working with a wonderful design firm in the U.K. called Big Fan Agency. Once we began putting together our team, we hired a very talented in-house creative director as employee number six. It was not something we expected to do, but was probably one of the wisest staffing decisions we have made so far.
Marketing is more complex.
Another drastic change between then and now has taken place in marketing. A decade and a half ago, Google was the only king in town. Marketing involved making sure your site would be easily found in the organic search engine listings. That meant creating useful content on the public website and strong PR outreach to trade publications. Cold calling was also a required sales tactic. I bought “yellow pages” directories for our initial target industries and made phones calls to HR executives. (Yes, it worked well. Our first mainland clients came from cold calls, including a large bank in the South and Campbell Soup Company.) Social media at the time consisted of online forums. I spent a lot of time on the Society for Human Resource Management bulletin board.
Today, getting to market requires a much stronger and more comprehensive plan. It requires going beyond the organic search engine placement and becoming an expert in paid search advertising. I was resistant to that for a long time. In addition to becoming an expert in all things Google, marketing efforts need to include social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat are where users are likely to spend a lot of time. Podcasts and videos are becoming important media to master. Influencers and influential publications need to be identified.
There's a lot more competition.
When starting Nobscot, competition was limited. It wasn't that hard to be seen. In 2015, 100 million business were launched globally, according to the GEM Global Report. We recognized that to be successful today we had to find creative ways to stand out from the crowd. That motivated us to invite Henry Ian Cusick, formerly a regular on ABC's Lost and currently on The 100, to join us as celebrity spokesperson when we serendipitously had an opportunity to meet him. His very creative wife, Annie Cusick Wood, a theater director and playwright, joined in as well.
While times have certainly changed from the late 1990s to today, amidst all these differences, there are some things that remain constant. Being an entrepreneur takes guts, fortitude and a whole lot of hard work. The top priority of building a business must always be on developing a topnotch team of people who care about the company and are passionate about the product or service. Creating a corporate culture of which you are proud, one that goes the extra mile for employees, customers and users, will always be the key to success whether in the past, the present or future.
Memory of the Week Starts Today
Henry Ian Cusick introduces the first exclusive activity for JamBios' users. In this video, users learn how they can participate and share a favorite memory with the star of ABC's "LOST" and "The 100." What's your story?
Register for free today