Blog

Updates from Paul Spain

Some people love LinkedIn and generate significant earnings from it – could you use it better?

A lot of people love Facebook because a great way of keeping in touch with family and friends and especially when you’re not in the same city all the time. It’s a great way of sharing those pictures and videos with extended family and grandparents and so on. Very handy. But where does LinkedIn fit in this picture?

My Thoughts

I think it’s got different benefits for different people. For me, I find LinkedIn as just a great way to keep in touch from time to time with people. Certainly, a great way for me to share some of my content, my videos with others that I know. But it’s also had some really good business benefits.

I looked back a few years ago and I had decided, I should be using LinkedIn more. It is a business-focused social network, I’m a business so I should be utilising it.

So, I went out and I thought, “Well, who are the people that I should be adding on LinkedIn?”, and I remembered an old colleague who I bumped into in a conference a few months before, so, I added him on LinkedIn.

Now, as far as I’m aware he’d never ever recommended any business to me or my company before. But just about two or three days, after that particular situation where I added him on LinkedIn, he took a phone call from somebody that needed some help.

Now, it wasn’t a fit for his business, but it was fit for me. And he immediately recommended me. I can only think that look, it had been years since I worked with this particular person, yes, we’d seen each other a few months ago at an event but it was because I just reconnected with him on LinkedIn that would’ve been in front of mine.

So, he recommended that business and it ended up being an account that over the next few months generated a few hundred thousand dollars. Pretty important piece of business for my firm at the time.

You’d never know what connecting in person or online will do, whether the timing could be fortuitous or not but if you’re not using a tool like LinkedIn, you’re not staying connected with those that you know particularly in the business world. Then look, you could be missing out an opportunity.

My recommendation to you is, get yourself a good profile that really describes you, the business that you do clearly and succinctly. Make sure you have a good, clear, profile picture. If you don’t have one, get a nice headshot taken or an image that you can put on LinkedIn.

Just go and fill in the key areas and then make sure you’re connected to the people you meet. And when you meet new people, business cards are pretty old school.

So, my approach is, when I meet somebody new in the business world is I immediately connect with them on LinkedIn.

That would be my recommendation for you and some people are more than happy to connect with people more broadly even if they haven’t met in person and that goes for me too.

So, if you’d like to connect with me on LinkedIn, and you’re not already connected directly, then feel free to do so.

I do appreciate it if you’re doing that to add a little note, let me know how you came across me.

Alright, thanks very much for listening. We’ll catch you next week in, of course, you can follow my email updates by going to paulspain.com/updates.

Apple’s New iPhone X, iPhone 8, Watch 3 and TV – are they innovative, or just ‘me too’ products?

Apple has just announced their latest, new, Apple TV 4K, the new Apple Watch Series 3, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and the big one, the iPhone X. Now, should you be excited about this or is Apple just playing catch-up with the competition?

 

My Thoughts

Let’s look through these announcements quickly. The Apple Watch, Series 3, an embedded sim card. Well, Apple isn’t the first to do that and to put that in a phone. But it looks like their approach is pretty slick. It’s going to work well.

Unfortunately, only available in a few markets. So, New Zealand, where I’m based, not available. It’s off the cards for now.

So, if I want to go out for a run or a walk, or I want to go out with my wife, leave the phone behind and have my phone just for those emergency communications, sorry, Paul Spain, doesn’t count for you. You live in the wrong country.

That would be the case for a lot of people around the world. What about this new Apple TV 4K? Well, Apple certainly isn’t the first to come to the market there with a Ultra-high definition but it’s good to see that coming through from Apple and interesting what they’re doing with the TV App.

Though again, that’s not available in all markets I think a positive move, they’re bringing that simplicity of their TV App to watching live sport and live news. Of course, over time that will become available more broadly as well.

So, the new phones, the iPhone 8 and the 8 Plus. Nice improvement and iterations there. Great to see Apple finally come to the party with wireless charging. Boy, we’ve had that for so many years in other devices and I’ve been wondering what’s happening here Apple? Well, they’ve got it, they’ve nailed it.

Looks like good improvements overall, but not super groundbreaking with the 8 and the 8 Plus. In fact, it almost seems cheeky for them not to call these the 7s, 7s Plus but certainly, there are some design changes there, glass back and so on, but not completely mind-blowing.

So, it really all rests on this new iPhone 10 or iPhone X as it’s written. This is a stunning looking device. Now, we’ve seen from Samsung and LG that’s the edge-to-edge screen. But Apple has taken that a step further and the screen looks glorious on this new iPhone 10, 5.8-inch screen, there will be just one size.

It’s going to have the dual camera’s facial recognition so the home button is gone. There’s no more touch ID fingerprint recognition. It’s all about facial recognition.

Of course, you’ve got the waterproof capability, again, and you’ve got that wireless charging. Superb cameras look like a really nice phone.

Now, is it worth paying an extra 50%? Nearly 50% to step up to the iPhone 10? Well, that will be up to you to decide. You’ve got to make that call. It is a big price increase but it’s a really nice phone.

Not out until November 3rd, but I’m certainly looking forward to having a play around with it and using the new iPhone 10.

Hey, that’s it for me. Thank you very much for joining me. I’ll catch up with you again, next week on my next weekly video.

Pay TV networks such as Sky TV are losing their way. What can we learn about staying on the right side of digital disruption?

Satellite and cable TV providers the world over are being impacted by the disruptive forces of an Internet-delivered video. This week in New Zealand, we saw Sky TV shares slump to rock bottom. What can we learn from the way that traditional TV providers are being disrupted in our field of work and employment?

 

My Thoughts

So first up, let’s have a little bit of a look at the film industry. Now, this has been around for what, hundred years or so?
When you look back, we didn’t have TVs, we didn’t have the many ways of accessing content as we have today.

And over the years, it’s always been this concern about the cinema being disrupted whether it was when VCR, video cassette recorders became available in the home whether it was broadcast TV, whether it was DVD, the internet but cinemas are surviving.

So, there are situations where the new technology doesn’t just completely wipe-out existing businesses and existing companies.

When we look now, there are Pay TV providers, though they have been taking a pretty big hit, and as we look forward over the next five to ten years, many of them will shut down or cease operation unless they really work out how to compete against the big global players.

The likes of Amazon, who are getting into not only making their own content in terms of film and TVs but also getting into the world of sport. Of course, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook and now LinkedIn, distributing video, all of these have some sort of an impact. So, the question I’m often asked as well, “how can our Pay TV providers, in New Zealand for instance, how can a company like Sky TV make sure that they’re still around for the years to come?”.

I think the key is to focus on delivering something for a customer, delivering that really great result. That means you do have to be up with the play with where technology is going, where the future of it is, and not just relying on business models of the past that may not be relevant in the future.
So, is there hope for Pay TV firms, for taxi companies, for providers of accommodation and all the other fields of business that are being impacted or really or will be impacted in the future by disruptive technology, disruptive forces? Well, the answer is, yes. The companies can survive and they can do well in this future.

It’s important to be really looking ahead and having that long-term strategy that considers the changes that consider the technologies that are going to deliver the best results. And that means, putting yourself in the shoes of your clients, your customers, and understanding what they want, what’s going to deliver the results from them and where technology is going, what does it enable?

And also, looking at the partnering opportunities. When you’re competing against global entities, they have a massive reach, huge amounts of capital. You can’t always compete with those as just a small, independent firm or even a big firm in your own country often it means partnering up the new ways that wouldn’t have been relevant in years gone by. So, there really are some important changes that businesses need to make to be on the front foot and not the back foot to be disrupting and being a part of that rather than being the company whose market share is dropping, never to rise again.

Now, I know individuals too, are concerned of around making sure that they have a livelihood in the future, whether it’s those students that are studying and trying to plan for their careers ahead or those that are well into their career as well. You know, I think here it’s important that we focus on making sure we do think ahead around where our fields are going. Make sure we position to succeed regardless of what happens in our organizations.

So, always be somebody that’s adding value, considering both the organization you work for and your organization’s clients. Don’t be someone that is as just focused on today and delivering a good result today, delivering outstanding result in the work that you do today but always be looking forward to the future.

And, another thing that I always recommend is, we should, today, be taking advantage of the phenomenon of continuous education. Once we studied, as young people, and then that sets us up for the most parts of our careers.

Today, we have this opportunity of continuous learning via online and other sources and that’s how we should be. You can’t just stop learning if you want to succeed.

If you’re not following me already then, you’re certainly welcome to do so and feel free to share this video if you think there are others you know who might get some benefit from it. And if you’re not following me already, well, that’s easy to do so here on Facebook and you can get my email updates by visiting – paulspain.com/updates.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – is this the World’s most advanced smartphone?

Have you heard about Samsung’s Galaxy note 8? This is arguably the most advanced smart phone in the world. I’d like to dive into that and see whether that statement is true. Is this the best smart phone ever released? Is this a smartphone that you should consider buying?

My Thoughts

Here it is, the newest smart phone to be announced globally and about to be made available publicly around the world. Samsung’s note 8 comes after a long string of releases from Samsung, and of course, their poor effort with the note 7 which was actually a very good phone other than the critical element the battery failed and some of these was catching fire, putting lives at risk.

Well, that all seems to be far behind Samsung. Now, the Galaxy S8 they launched earlier on this year has rave reviews and is sold in very big numbers. So, I’m curious to dive into the Galaxy Note 8 and see whether this is really the most advanced smart phone ever.

Well, let’s have a look through some of the features. So, you’ve got a phone that has wireless charging so you can just drop that straight onto your charger. Fantastic feature, still not something we’ve seen from Apple yet, so, that certainly helps keep Samsung ahead of the game.

What about the cameras? Because of course, Apple, with the iPhone 7 Plus had dual cameras on the rear that allowed for the very stylish Bokeh Effect and also had a zoom lens, the 2x optical zoom lens.

Samsung seems to have delivered something that is very much on par with what Apple offers today in that camera and you could arguably say that what’s in there is even better than what Apple is doing. So, in those regards, we can have to wait and see what the new iPhone delivers and whether the Samsung will still be ahead. But right now, I think Samsung is right at the forefront in that perspective. What else we got? Well, we’ve got the very fast USB-C charging as well, we’ve got a gorgeous 6.3-inch screen on the front of the Note 8 and this is a very wide format screen, something that certainly stands out in the industry.

Really, the only thing similar is what Samsung themselves and probably LG have done with their previous phones where we’ve got this sort of edge-to-edge image and an image that goes very close to the top of the phone as well as the bottom of the phone.

This stands out 6.3-inch screen, brighter than the previous Samsung phones as well. Other things, we’ve got a multi-window that allows the user to split the screen into two, be doing two things at once.

I found this very useful in my car when I was driving. I wanted to see my driving directions on my screen but I was also waiting for some communications from somebody, and I was able to see my incoming text messages as well. Very useful being able to see that and some incoming images.

And another thing that stands out is the DEX capability that we saw launched in Samsung’s Galaxy S8. That means you can dock the Note 8 and you can then use it almost like a full-sized computer so you can link it into a keyboard, a mouse, and a big full-size screen.

The one thing that has really been unique about the Galaxy products from Samsung is this little guy here, the stylus (shows the stylus pen). When you put the stylus together with the Note 8, that gives you a device you can do handwriting on, you can do drawing on, and that’s certainly is something that is very handy for those who choose to go down the track of the Galaxy Note 8.

That’s really all of the real major highlights for the Note 8. Of course, technical specifications, well, very, very strong there. Octa-core processors, 64gb of base memory. You can expand it too which is great. Micro SD expansion in there as well and 6gb of RAM. So, slouch on any of those regards at all.

What do I think overall? Well, I think this probably does tick the box as being the most advanced smartphone that we’ve ever seen in the market. But of course, Apple is very soon to be making their own announcements and we will see where Samsung stands after that.

For now, you can get online and actually they are available for ordering right now the Note 8. That will be available, depending on where in the world you are between mid and late September 2017.

Alright, that’s it for me. You can follow me – paulspain.com/updates for more about the Note and about the other things that are happening in the world of technology and business.

Artificial Intelligence: Assistants of the Future, Today

I’m not a robot, but I am interested in where robotics, technology, Artificial Intelligence, autonomous cars are going to take us into the future.

My Thoughts

When I look back at when I launched my first podcast, six or seven years ago, there were varying things that helped me get out to an audience but ultimately, it was Apple’s algorithm that really took me to Number 1 on the iTunes charts in New Zealand.

So, how is this technology going to impact us in the future and help our contents spread out to an audience? Well, AI is the key piece here. Right now, most of you will have a smart phone in your pocket that has an AI assistant on it.

Now, we can utilize that to help us play content, consume content to do a range of things. We might have that also, with earphones or the Apple earPods, some sort of in-home speaker system that we can talk to. And we can ask it to play us the news, we can ask it to answer simple questions. But where we’re at now is fairly rudimentary compared to the place that we’re going to.

We’re going to a place to where we will expect our AI assistants to do more than just answer questions and do specific things. Yes, we’re heading to an AI future where our Artificial Intelligence assistant will know where we are, what we want to do, and that AI assistant will look after us like a real assistant in some regards.

So, in the future, when I jump into my autonomous vehicle to commute to work or get from work to home. In that situation, my AI assistant will know me well enough to know what information I want to consume that might be a little video of the news highlights related to technology and podcasting for the last 24 hours.

It might be reminding me of appointments I have today, key emails, maybe some favorite podcast content. But also it would know that I want its smarts to figure out what is the best content available right now that’s pinpointed directly at me that it rates as really good and I want that slotted into the mix when I’m on that commute when I’m on that journey. So, when I get out of the car, I’m educated for the day, I’ve enjoyed some really great new content all because the AI had the smarts to figure that out.

Will AI replace you and me as content creators? Well, I don’t think so. The AI will help in various ways.

I think that the way that we as people communicate, the authenticity, the realness that we bring, there’s something special that individuals bring to the table, that’s not going to happen anytime soon by an AI.

So, when we jump into our autonomous vehicles, we will be mostly listening I think the human-created content. That’s the key there.

Don’t be fearful of the AI systems and of the autonomous cars that may allow us to watch more content when we’re on the go.

The ubiquitous internet that will let us watch content so we maybe will pivot towards a bit more video than audio but be aware of that.

So, my tips are, be aware of these changes that are coming through. Create the best content you’ve ever created. Make sure you think about, “can video be part of the mix?” Because video will get more and more ubiquitous, we’ve seen this. But focus on creating something that people want to listen to. Create the best content of your life and you will find that will find a place.

We are not having to compete with robots. I am not a robot. I am Paul Spain. Thank you very much for listening. Hope you enjoyed this. If you’d like to talk to me further, look forward to connecting with you here during Podcast Movement 2017.

Passwords and You: How to create and manage your credentials safely and securely

Hey, folks! Passwords for many people are the bane of their lives. What an annoyance! I don’t know how you do it remembering passwords, but I’m not so good. So, let’s talk about how you can make your life easier but also stay safe from cybersecurity and hacking issues that are becoming commonplace in our day to day lives.

My Thoughts

Wouldn’t it be good if we could just completely do away with passwords?

Well, we’re part-way there right now, certainly with a lot of the newest smartphones, you can use biometric authentication. Whether it’s a fingerprint reader, whether it’s something that does some sort of an eye scan. But these technologies are becoming more common on our laptops, who’ve certainly got fingerprint readers, facial recognition coming through on products like Microsoft Surface.

So, the technology is improving but passwords have gone away. So, what am I going to recommend?

Well, for your passwords, the old recommendations having jumbled letters and numbers and characters and maybe a password of about eight characters long, let’s leave that behind.

A better option for a password is one that you can remember. So, unless you can remember a jumbled-up password, then think of this.

Think of passphrase, so a phrase, a number of words you could join together. It’s quite a good approach for a password.

Now, there is no set-rule of what is the best technique for a password because as soon as somebody sets a rule, then people are looking to break that particular technique. But one type of thing that could work is to have a password of a number of words, ideally random words that aren’t sort of predictable, like the lyrics of a song.

Avoid that of words that would normally go together so they’re quite random, very hard for a computer to go in and to guess your password even if it tries a million times, it’s not going to do that if you’ve used a number of disassociated words.

For me, I would tend to add in some extra elements in addition to how many words I utilise. Whether it’s a mix of numbers or something else that I remember that can go together with that password.

For having different passwords on different sites, you’ve probably heard this advice: “Don’t use the same one password in multiple places that leaves you at risk.” And the reason being, is a lot of websites get hacked, there’s a lot of compromise and if somebody guesses one password, you don’t want them to have access to absolutely everything or if they get your password through a website that was hacked and linked to your password, you don’t want them to have that carte blanche access.

So, what do you do in that case? How do you keep all your passwords different? That’s where a password manager comes in that can remember all the passwords for you. They could be as complex as you like.

If you’re very paranoid about certain sites like your core account for business access, maybe it’s internet banking, all sorts of ones.

Well, a small number of passwords you probably can remember up there, particularly if you come up with a technique to remember them and there are a whole range of those.

On my website, you’ll see some more recommendations on passwords but I do recommend considering one of these tools for storing your common passwords.

If you want to sort of write both sides and not leave it all in your head but use a tool to remember it, what you can do is store maybe, half or portion of a password in repository that is safe, not in a bit of paper on your desk or stuck to your monitor or under your keyboard, those don’t work so well. But if you do want to do that, go ahead but leave part of it in your head.

So, if somebody does get that, they don’t have the whole up.

Hey, that’s it for me. If you want to see those password tips, go to www.gorillatechnology.com/password-tips and you can find some insights there. You can follow my updates, paulspain.com/updates. Hey, I’ll be back with my next video, next week. See you, then.