Work hard, play harder, work even harder - on Thisissamstown.com

Work Hard, Play Harder, Work Even Harder

Work hard, play harder, work even harder - on Thisissamstown.com

“Work hard, play hard” … and beyond. Some words I have made mine in a slightly updated way.

Work hard, play harder, work even harder!

No bullshit. Living and working in a personally organised way but being held accountable for everything. This does translate in working remotely but getting things done. Working without a 9 to 5 schedule but still delivering and more.

Being free. But free to work and deliver.

Startups perk picture on thisissamstown.com

The one perk startups do not offer

Startups perk picture on thisissamstown.com

(Image credit : Alleywatch)

Want a startup job ? Everybody does nowadays. The “cool” jobs, teams of ninjas, rockstars and co, the ping-pong tables, free food and crazy offices in the Valley or some cool startup district.

And with high levels of funding and attractiveness, startups still can afford to fight for the best of the best over money and perks.

But the one perk is missing … 

As much as a hipster working on his Mac at Cool Beans can be a usual sight in San Francisco, it does seem that this same hipster will not be found, working, at a terrace in Paris or the beach, at Bondi.

Pure geographical logic.

Not really when considering the hip and promises of the startup world where “remote” is a common word.

However, a closer look at this world, the jobs advertised and the everyday chatting does uncover a bit of truth. Startups, the cool kids, are old geezers in the end.

“Telecommuting” vs “remote” 

Remote seems to be the word for startups. Telecommuting the one for all these corporations with employees allowed to work from home.

Yet, beyond wording the reality of working unattached to an actual desk takes different turns when comparing startups and larger corporations.

Yahoo! and Marissa Mayer did sound very corporate and old-fashioned when calling for a termination of remote work in the company. The corporation did look like a corporation.

However, from personal experience and encounters, an observation has to be made. Corporations do allow a lot more true remote work than startups do.

A quick look at jobs advertised on AngelList for instance does show some “Remote OK” ads. Out of which, the remote is basically about living in San Francisco, New York, etc … and having the possibility to work from home.

Not everybody is Buffer 

Remote, by Buffer’s definition is the ability to sit in a country, whichever it is, and work from there. They are a social media darling, with a transparent culture but have also truly embraced what remote is about.

Sure everybody likes to get a free coffee in the morning, relax on bean bags and play some video games during breaks. But how does it translate to simply being able to work and live the dream ?

Being able to work and travel, live abroad and deliver is priceless. That is a perk that should top all others.

But it does seem, in the end, that the cool kids only innovate, disrupt markets and industries but … do not dream.

Freelance by @SPGroupLtd

Going Freelance

Freelance by @SPGroupLtd

After years of providing internal and external consulting, to colleagues, customers, business partners and startups, I am setting up shop and offering to assist with marketing, business development and digital management.

Needing to review your brand’s presence on social media, develop a strategy ? Or looking at additional resources for content creation, copywriting or just managing the tools and presence. Translation (English/French) is also available.

Wanting to get in touch with customers and have real discussion ?

Feel free to get in touch for a chat & a quote : @sampavin / @SPGroupLtd or via email samuelpavingroupltd [at] gmail [dot] com

Uber logo for "An Uber apology" on ThisIsSamsTown.com

An Über apology

Uber logo for "An Uber apology" on ThisIsSamsTown.com

A little before Christmas, the worst happened in Sydney. Martin Place suddenly became the center of attention when one man took hostages the customers of a café and the the whole started fearing about whatever was happening at that time.

In the wake of this event, Uber sent a communication that would trigger an immediate and angry response from the public. A tweet I came across, boasting surge pricing in order to draw drivers to the scene and “help” the people of Sydney get away from the danger zone.

More than a communication mistake. Just sheer stupidity from any point of view.

And on December 24th, an email came from Uber Sydney. A letter of apology. I copy the whole text below :

The events of last week in Sydney were upsetting for the whole community and we are truly sorry for any concern that our process may have added. 

Our priority was to help get as many people out of the CBD safely in the midst of a fast-moving event. The decisions we made were based only on helping to achieve this but we communicated this poorly, leading to a lot of misunderstanding about our motivations.

Surge pricing is algorithmic and kicks in automatically when demand for rides outstrips the supply of cars that are on the road. This encourages more drivers to the area where people are requesting rides. As an increasing number of people were requesting rides that morning in the CBD, surge pricing came into effect automatically and this is when you might have seen higher prices.

We didn’t stop surge pricing immediately. This was the wrong decision. We quickly reversed course and provided free rides to people needing to leave the CBD. In the end, no rider was charged to leave the CBD on Monday and all higher fares resulting from surge pricing earlier in the day were fully refunded.

It’s unfortunate that the perception is that Uber did something against the interests of the public. We certainly did not intend to. We will learn from this incident and improve as a result of this lesson. Uber is committed to ensuring users have a reliable ride when they need it most – including and especially during disasters and relevant states of emergency. We take our community commitment very seriously in the 250+ cities Uber serves around the globe.

Please know that we have listened to the feedback and we are working to standardise a global policy to ensure we’re serving communities in the most efficient, effective and helpful way possible at all times. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims’ families, those that were injured and the Sydney community of which we are so proud to be a part.

The “mistake” was more than a mistake as it led to misunderstanding and did seriously hurt the brand. Especially at a time when Uber should definitely not have to be handling more “shit” than it does already.

Let this serve as a lesson for every social media manager, for every brand representative out there. Whatever the situation, whatever the need for speed that social media push on people, just sit down, relax and … Think before acting stupidly!

Happy 2015!

Happy 2015! by ThisIsSamsTown.com

City at night - ThisIsSamsTown

ThisIsSamsTown 2014 in review

2015 is upon us. Time to reflect and prepare for the next year.

As it does seems that end-of-year reports are a thing at the moment, why not a WordPress one. Two takes from mine.

I need to write more.

And I need to write more.

Hence, for 2015, my good resolution to finally create an editorial calendar and schedule even for this personal blog so I take the time to sit down and write the posts for which I currently only have drafts.

For now, in the words of WordPress :

“The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.”

Let us have a look!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.