Eben Smith

47 Flips | 4 Magazines | 5 Following | 1 Follower | @eklynsmith | Keep up with Eben Smith on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Eben Smith”

Director Rian Johnson’s Full-Length Spoiler: A Downloadable “Looper” Commentary Track

Some movies benefit from repeat viewings. The time travel genre seems like an especially ripe candidate for double-dipping–since the ending of such movies often alters one’s perception of everything that came beforehand, it’s tempting to go back and see how the logic holds up. In the case of the …

Spectacular Day and Night Composite Shots of Major Cities

<i>Day to Night</i> is a spectacular ongoing series by fine art photographer Stephen Wilkes featuring urban landscapes that transcend the confines of time by presenting day and night shots of iconic cityscapes in one image. Using up to 1,500 images from a 15-hour shoot day (from sunrise to sunset), Wilkes …

Use Catalytic Questioning to Solve Significant Problems

For almost twenty years, I have refined a systematic approach to uncovering the right questions—those that start to unlock entirely different solutions and perspectives—with hundreds of teams around the world, from the C-suite to the shop floor. The method, which I now call Catalytic Questioning, …

Surprises Are the New Normal; Resilience Is the New Skill

The difference between winners and losers is how they handle losing.<p>That’s a key finding from my ongoing research on great companies and effective leaders: no one can completely avoid troubles and potential pitfalls are everywhere, so the real skill is the resilience to climb out of the hole and …

Avoiding the Soft “Yes”

It was undoubtedly a high-quality piece of work. The project team had spent the past six months designing a new strategy to accelerate growth in a critical emerging market for a multibillion-dollar multinational. The summary document had that rare combination: a compelling long-term vision and a …

The Right Way to Hire Your Customers

Suppose I told you that you have access to a resource that is more empathetic, more interesting, and more persuasive to potential buyers of your products and services than even your best sales or marketing people. A resource that can do a significant amount of the marketing work that you’re …

Good Companies Are Storytellers. Great Companies Are Storydoers

Discussions about story and storytelling are pretty fashionable in marketing circles. I have ambivalent feelings about this. On the one hand, as a lifelong advocate for the power of story in business, I find this very encouraging. For all companies, having a story and knowing that story are crucial …

The Uses (and Abuses) of Influence

Photography: Mark Peterman<p>Robert Cialdini, considered the leading social scientist in the field of influence, was initially drawn to the topic because he saw how easily people could step over an ethical line into manipulation or even abuse. His 2001 book Influence, which laid out six principles of …

Can Crowdfunding Solve the Startup Capital Gap?

No matter what industry it’s in or what product it’s selling, the absolute best way for a startup to obtain the capital it needs to grow is to generate revenue and reinvest profits.<p>Of course, it’s easy to say that and very hard to do it.<p>That’s why many entrepreneurs turn to friends and family for …

Use Customer Cash to Finance Your Start-Up

Airbnb is one of the most celebrated start-ups of the past decade, and its creation story is well-known: In 2007 two design school graduates dusted off some air mattresses and rented out space in their San Francisco apartment to conference attendees who couldn’t find hotel rooms, netting $1,000. A …

Three Qualities Every Leader Needs to Succeed on a Team

“I want your help developing my direct reports into stronger leaders,” John* the new CEO of Fasseni, a $350 million technology company, told me several years ago.<p>Initially, I approached the request like any consultant might.<p>First, I asked John why he wanted my help. He told me that Fasseni had …

Five Ways to Innovate Faster

One of the most common complaints senior executives have about disruptive innovation is its seemingly snail-like pace. How is it, they wonder, that it takes us forever to pursue ideas that promise to create new markets when the world seems to be innovating at a dizzying pace?<p>This frustration is …

Your Company Is Only as Good as Your Writing

Good writing: Businesses claim to practice it, support it, and value it. But more often than not, their money isn’t where their mouth is. Poor grammar and jargon-riddled writing are rampant. We’re great at inventing terms — the instruction manual for my toaster refers to the lever that pops up the …

Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders

A young manager accosted me the other day. “I’ve been reading all about leadership, have implemented several ideas, and think I’m doing a good job at leading my team. How will I know when I’ve crossed over from being a manager to a leader?” he wanted to know.<p>I didn’t have a ready answer and it’s a …

How to Reward Your Stellar Team

You’ve been told that getting the most from your team depends on rewarding and recognizing them collectively. But it’s tough to do that, especially when most management systems are so focused on individual performance, undermining the very teamwork you’re hoping to encourage. Luckily, you don’t …

If You Want to Raise Prices, Tell a Better Story

Ask a CEO if they want to spend a pile of money on an analysis of their company’s story, and they’ll probably throw you out of their office. But if you tell them that you have a powerful insight that can help them raise the prices on all of their products, they might ask you over to their house for …

A Trillion Dollar Source Of New Funding? The SEC's New 'Reg D'

In a move that should create a boom in deal flow and investment activity for early stage companies, the SEC amended its rules this week to permit general solicitation of private security offerings. Industry watchers believe the new criteria could open the gates for vast amounts of additional …

How To Network Successfully When You're Over 40

<b>By Robert L. Dilenschneider, Next Avenue Contributor</b><p>Networking is vital if you want to find a job, start a business or attract new clients or customers to a small company you’ve already established. So why do so many of us over 40 neglect to take advantage of this essential tool?<p>What holds us back …

10 Little-Known Apps That Entrepreneurs Can’t Live Without

Everybody knows Evernote and Dropbox. Here’s a sneak peek at the next wave of productivity apps that top entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, and Guy Kawasaki are working with daily.<p>Recently something terribly obvious–yet powerful–occurred to me: If you want to achieve things that no one …

Infographics

If You Want to Motivate Someone, Shut Up Already

<b>The finding:</b> Words of encouragement do not inspire people to perform better during a workout.<p><b>The research:</b> Brandon Irwin asked subjects in a lab to perform two sets of abdominal exercises called “planks.” Some people did both sets alone. Others did the first set alone and the second with a virtual …

Use Tension and Conflict to Create Breakthrough Products

I’ve written before about the science that helps explain why and how constraints and limits, often in the form of intelligent, well-set stretch goals, result in more creative solutions.<p>Too often, though, managers set what appears to be a good stretch goal, only to discover that it did not produce …

Make Your Organization Anti-Fragile

Many large, successful organizations are more fragile than they seem. They break under stress. Remember the travails of Kodak, Digital Equipment Corp., and Washington Mutual? In their heyday, they were dominant players in their sectors. All disappeared. Why do relatively few companies prove …

Obama’s Trip to Africa: Worth Every Penny

At the end of this month, President Obama will begin his trip to Africa, visiting South Africa, Senegal (in West Africa) and Tanzania (in East Africa). The trip will be expensive, and The Washington Post has highlighted the large cost at a time of budget tightening. However, even the myopia of the …

A Summer Reading List for Marketers

Spoiler alert: I dropped out of university.<p>It’s true. I entered university with the best of intentions. At the same time, I was already publishing a couple of music magazines that were becoming successful. As I ventured down the road of burnout by trying to be both a publisher and a full time …

Mobile Payments and the ‘Wow’ Factor: Q&A With Square CFO Sarah Friar

While marketers strategize heavily around how to help consumers decide what to buy, how much time do they spend thinking about how they will pay? This area of innovation is where mobile payment companies want to play, especially in markets where such technology is less than ubiquitous.<p>San …

Discover Your Personal Narrative

I recently had coffee with a senior partner at a large consulting firm. He’d just had a “milestone birthday” and now hoped to shift into roles that felt more meaningful to him — speaking, writing, teaching, and becoming a thought leader. He had great contacts; newspaper columns and teaching …

Should I Accept that LinkedIn Invitation?

That’s a question I am almost guaranteed to hear during any social media workshop, or indeed, in one-on-one conversations about social networking. Even committed LinkedIn users are often uncertain of which connection requests to accept, or which invitations to extend: Someone who regularly shares …