WHERE TECH MEETS CULTURE
Editor: Kenna Craver Creative Design: Olha Pomazkova SPECIAL THANKS TO THIS EDITION’S INTERVIEWEE AND CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Scooter Taylor Jeet Banerjee Stefanie O’Connell culturedisruptor.com Letters to The Editor Mail@culturedisruptor.com Marketing Opportunities Marketing@culturedisruptor.com
TABLE OF CONTENTS
8 Principles Aspiring Entrepreneurs Must Follow for Accelerating Their Success
What Millennials Need To Know About Net Worth
A CEOâ€™s Guide To Being A Top-Notch Leader
Scooter Taylor: How Looklive is Pioneering the Future of Fashion Tech
Top 15 Business Books for Entrepreneurs
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Words cannot express how thrilled I am to be writing this letter. As the release date of our inaugural issue looms closer, the excitement of what we are building has grown immensely. In addition to being a natural progression as a growing digital media company, Culture Disruptor Magazine was created for, while also necessary, purely selfish reasons. An avid reader of business publications, I was disappointed that so many didn’t, or hadn’t yet, featured many of the entrepreneurs and creators that I admired and wanted to learn more about. The innovators, the game changers, the culture disruptors. The people who are paving the way for others like them by leading by example, thinking bigger than themselves, and changing the way we operate as a society. And not just what they’ve accomplished, but how they got there. What ideas, strategies, and methods were used along the way? I wanted to learn from proven experts what it takes to build a business, from idea to launch and afterward. I wanted to be on the forefront of trends and share that information with an engaged, hungry audience. I also wanted to do some good. Culture Disruptor is a publication that doesn’t just report on developments; it stands for something. We embrace the idea that business serves a purpose in our world that goes beyond dollars and cents, and that a responsible and sustainable enterprise can be a vehicle for progress. We believe these higher goals don’t contradict the quest for profitability. On the contrary, we’re convinced businesses that reflect and embody them will be tomorrow’s leaders. We are passionately interested in the aspects of what makes businesses really work and celebrate the creative people in all types of companies, at all levels, who inspire innovation. As a reader, it is my hope that you leave each monthly issue feeling informed, inspired, and empowered toward achieving your own goals and bringing your vision into fruition.
To Your Success, Kenna Craver Publisher + Editor
8 PRINCIPLES ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS MUST FOLLOW FOR ACCELERATING THEIR SUCCESS
8 PRINCIPLES ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS MUST FOLLOW FOR ACCELERATING THEIR SUCCESS
solely focus on your strengths. You can always find other solutions for your weaknesses such as partner, employees and even the use of technology. 2. Intelligence & Passion Are Not Enough Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. I’m sure you’ve heard this quote over and over again through-
Entrepreneurs who rely only on traditional
out the years. The reason why it’s spoken
learning vehicles (teachers, classrooms,
about so often is because of how true
and risk-free practices) have a lower
it is. You can be the smartest and most
chances of succeeding with their start-
passionate person in the world, but that’s
ups. With the resources available outside
not enough to help you find success if you
of traditional platforms, you can not only
don’t work your ass off for it.
increase your chances of success but also speed up the entire process.
3. Learning Means Understanding, Far Beyond Memorization
The startup lifestyle is known to be stress-
Great entrepreneurs strive to understand
ful and challenging, but it’s also meant to
the depth of a customer need, rather than
be satisfying and fulfilling. As an entrepre-
just the ability to recite a long list of fea-
neur who is in control of their own destiny,
tures. Technologies are not solutions, but
the sky is really the limit with what you
understanding a technology in the context
can achieve. However, every entrepreneur
of a customer need will result in more
needs to understand some important prin-
competitive and long-lasting solutions.
ciples to put themselves on the right path.
Forget about traditional schooling which requires you to memorize things for tests.
HERE ARE 8 PRINCIPLES ASPIRING
In the real world, you’re going to truly need
ENTREPRENEURS MUST FOLLOW
to understand to succeed.
FOR ACCELERATING THEIR SUCCESS: 4. Create Some Short-Term Mile-
1. Focus On Strengths Rather Than
stones On The Path To Your Dreams
Dreams alone won’t make you happy or
As an entrepreneur, you have to really
successful, so start early in defining and
hone in on your strengths and weakness-
executing against a set of milestones to
es. Instead of trying to fix your weakness-
celebrate progress along the way. Satis-
es and struggling through that process,
faction is not a one-time event at the end
of your career; it’s a series of good feelings
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
driven by results along the way. Don’t go
Professional athletes can easily spend
for home plate all at once, break it up into
3–5 hours or more each day practicing
smaller pieces that are easier to take in.
their craft. Their reward comes in the form of a 48 to 60 minute game a cou-
5. Business Success is Significantly
ple of times a week. The same principle
More Difficult to Achieve than
must be applied to your business goals.
If you’ve got client meetings, practice
In school, a student’s success is measured
your pitch and your approach to sell-
by things like GPA or test scores. These
ing them several times. Get feedback
are helpful measures, but not necessarily
from others and put yourself in the best
a sign of business aptitude. In business,
position when the real meeting comes
the end result is rarely spelled out ahead
of time. You may know the journey but not the destination and if you are accustomed
8. Deliver More Than Expected
to knowing the destination, you can quickly
Successful entrepreneurs are always
find yourself lost. In most academic situa-
delivering more than customers expect.
tions, you get some points just for show-
This is a great way to get noticed espe-
ing up. However, the business world is not
cially as a new company in your industry.
so kind. It’s your day to day actions and the
Not only that, but this is one of the best
results that are derived from those actions
ways to build a loyal following. Go the
that determine your success.
extra mile because it’s always worth it in the end.
6. Relationships Are A Test Of Your Learning Readiness
Building a new business today is all about
Being a successful entrepreneur takes
building relationships with your custom-
a lot of work, a ton of vision and a
ers and your team. As an entrepreneur
great amount of perseverance. No one
with a new startup, you are the brand and
is too old to learn new things as an
customers today expect a relationship. In
entrepreneur. In this post, I shared with
addition to that, you always need relation-
you the 8 principles aspiring entrepre-
ships with advisors, investors, influencers
neurs must follow for accelerating their
Jeet Banerjee is a serial entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, and digital marketing consultant.
WHAT MILLENNIALS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NET WORTH
WHAT MILLENNIALS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NET WORTH
ASSETS – DEBT = NET WORTH Your assets include money in the bank, investments and the current value of any big ticket items you own, like a car or house. (Sadly, your handbag collection probably doesn’t count.) Your debt is any money that you owe — student
There are only two things that really matter when it comes to worth – self-worth and net
loans, car payments, credit card debt, mortgages, etc.
worth. How you feel about yourself and the
I personally use Personal Capital’s free software to
value you place on your time are indicators of
aggregate all of my account information to track
my spending and net worth in real time.
Remember the time you finally stood up for yourself at work and demanded credit for the projects you completed? Or how about the night you dumped the jerk who rarely returned your calls yet always expected you to be available? Those were times you knew you deserved more.
Having a visual snapshot of where you stand financially at any given moment can be a powerful in the moment gut check when asking yourself questions like ‘Can I afford it?’ or ‘Is this purchase going to bringing me closer to or push me further from my goals?’ Click here to start your own free account!
YOU KNEW YOUR SELF-WORTH. But what about the day you decided to become a Lyft driver on weeknights to avoid
AVERAGE MILLENNIAL NET WORTH: HOW DO WE COMPARE?
taking on more debt? Or the nights you at-
When I first calculated my net worth, I looked at the
tempted to cook Pad Thai at home instead of
number and had one question, “How do I com-
having yet another night of takeout?
THOSE CHOICES WERE IN SERVICE OF
Depending on who you ask, your net worth at age
YOUR NET WORTH.
30 “should” range from$3,000 to $150,000+.
Feeling confident and killing it in all aspects
If you just read that sentence and scratched your
of your life is directly correlated to your
head, you’re not alone. $3k-150k is no small range.
understanding of money. And in many ways,
And whether the “experts” realize it or not, millen-
your net worth can be a useful way to gauge
nial net worth is different from that of previous
where you stand on your financial journey.
Unfortunately, 73% of millennials don’t know
Fourteen years ago, the Class of 2003 had an
their net worth. So here’s the breakdown of
average of $18,271 in student loans. For the class of
what you need to know to calculate yours…
2016, that average has skyrocketed to $37,172.
In the last fourteen years, the average student loan
need it is even harder. An emergency fund that is three
debt has risen by nearly $19,000.
to six months of your living expenses is ideal. If that
Meanwhile, average earnings are in decline.
number isn’t doable, start smaller. $500-1,000 is an
In 1970, 92% of U.S. 30-year-olds earned more
excellent starter buffer against emergencies.
than their parents earned at age 30. Today, that
3. Start investing (even if it’s small)
number is just ~50%, adjusted for inflation.
If there is one thing that millennials have that other
In other words, the financial landscape has completely changed. Making it hard to compare the average millennial net worth with the average baby boomer net worth at the same age. Today’s young people often need to pick up a side hustle to afford their rent, and their college degree no
generations don’t, it’s time. Regardless of whether you’re more comfortable with robo-investing, a traditional portfolio manager or index funds, the most important thing is that you start investing your money NOW. Compound interest is your best friend.
longer guarantees a full-time job with benefits.
4. Give your money meaning
The struggle is real.
If you don’t have a purpose for your money, it can feel
HOW MILLENNIALS CAN GROW THEIR NET WORTH
meaningless—just numbers that enter and leave your account. To avoid the pitfall of apathy, give your money a purpose. Whether it’s a downpayment to buy an
Here are a few to get you started…
apartment or a trip around the world, determine the
1. Create a plan for your debt
purpose before you start to save. When you’re work-
Even though it might be scary to look, it’s impor-
ing towards your dreams, money is no longer boring.
tant to know exactly how much you owe. Create time to sit down and look at all of your accounts. Once you know the numbers, create a plan to pay it off. Your plan might involve extra payments towards your loans, refinancing your balance, taking on an extra job or even income-based repayment for student loans. The most important thing is that you know the numbers and are ready to kick ass. You’ve got this!
5. Earn more Sometimes it’s not about saving more; it’s about earning more. Whether it’s through promotions at work or hustles on the side, earning more money can change everything. Even if you’ve never invested a penny, or even opened up a savings account, you can reach your net worth goals. Don’t throw in the towel because of where you land on a chart. You have the ability to re-write that chart,
2. Create an emergency fund
and to re-write your own financial story. And you’ll
Finding extra money in your budget can be hard,
probably find that as your net worth grows, so does
but not having the money when you absolutely
your self worth.
Stefanie O’Connell is a millennial money expert, speaker and author of the book, “The Broke and Beautiful Life.”
A CEOâ€™S GUIDE TO BEING A TOPNOTCH LEADER
A CEO’S GUIDE TO BEING A TOP-NOTCH LEADER
Having great leadership qualities is not about winning a popularity contest. Good leaders may not always be liked, but they are always respected. Most importantly, a leaders job is to create harmony in an environment where people want to work together. Learning how to become a leader is essential to your success. Whether you own a business, teach at a school, manage a small group, coach an athletic team or are working to advance a worthwhile cause, you need to get help from others to accomplish your goals. This not only requires you to hold a vision of what success is, but it also requires you to practice coaching and training skills that will inspire others to want to help you reach that goal. HERE IS A CEO’S GUIDE TO BEING A TOP-NOTCH LEADER: 1. Adaptability The best leaders adjust their management style to suit the needs and personalities of those on their teams. For instance, they might hold brainstorming sessions to generate new ideas on a business process, but also welcome suggestions in writing, which may encourage less vocal employees to participate. As a leader, you have to survey the team that you will be leading. Access all the individuals in the group and how you have to adjust yourself to best lead this group. Leaders who are stubborn or unwilling to change their ways will struggle to be good leaders.
2. Strong Communication Skills Top-notch CEO’s promote open, two-way communication with staff members. They’re able to convey complex information effectively, both verbally and in writing. They also listen intently to feedback from employees and follow through with appropriate action. As a leader, you have to constantly communicate. Whether you’re communicating to your team or to potential customers, you will always have to utilize your words to get what you want. Learning how to communicate properly is going to be crucial to your success. 3. Ability To Inspire Leaders set the example for their teams by arriving at work each day eager for the challenges and opportunities ahead. They work one-on-one with employees to identify career paths and provide the necessary support for people to be successful with their goals. As a leader, you have to serve as a role model. What time do you come into the office? What time do you leave the office? It’s tough for a leader to ask their employees to work hard if they don’t do the same. It’s one thing to talk the talk, but can you walk the walk as a leader? 4. Vision Respected CEO’s also stay one step ahead of the curve with business developments. For instance, when making purchasing decisions, they look for products that will suit their team’s needs many years down the road. They also explain to employees how their work ties into the firm’s goals and priorities so they feel connected to the company’s long-term success. CEO’s are also visionaries because they have a vision that they need to carry out. In order to carry out this vision, they have to convince others to buy in and help them execute on it. As a leader, you need
to know exactly what your vision is and how you want it carried out. 5. Trust When it comes to leading a team, you have to be willing to go out on a limb for your employees to show you have their back. Exhibiting a genuine interest in your team’s well-being shows you care and are willing to protect them when necessary. When you build trust, it demonstrates that your interests and actions will never supersede the goals of the organization or your employees. The best leaders also know they can’t handle all of the group’s key projects themselves. They delegate authority to employees, giving them the power to do what is needed to accomplish their assigned tasks without being micromanaged. 6. Decisiveness When you undertake the responsibilities of being a leader, you have to be comfortable making big decisions and sticking to them. You can’t be afraid to be decisive and make tough calls when circumstances require it. Ensure your choices are not just beneficial to you, but with the organization’s goal in mind. Strong decision-making abilities are also essential. You have to quickly review all the information pertaining to a decision and move forward. Respected leaders can make big decisions and they are also willing to live with the consequences down the road if things don’t work out. 7. Respect As a leader, how you treat people is everything. And while books and the internet may be filled with tons of advice on how to handle employees, it all boils down to one word – RESPECT. Leaders who respect their employees will never look/speak down to their employees, they will give their employees a voice, they won’t make assumptions about
anyone, they’ll respond with compassion and they are respectful towards everyone. Having these types of qualities as a leader will allow you to achieve massive goals on a large scale. 8. Self-Awareness Great leaders know that self-awareness is essential to their effectiveness. They weren’t born on a special planet. They haven’t always been models of self-discipline and productivity. They haven’t always been satisfied or proud of how they’ve handled every situation. They’ve made their share of mistakes. The one thing they have in common is their constant attention to their behaviors and its impact. Top-notch leaders study themselves and the people around them to see themselves through the eyes of others and learn why they do what they do. Not only that, but they are truly interested with what works and what doesn’t, how to control their least productive instincts and how to handle every situation better. 9. Take Accountability We’re all human. Mistakes will happen. But it’s not always easy to own up to mistakes and be receptive to feedback and change. Business growth involves taking risks that don’t always pan out. Be willing to stand up for your employees and their decisions when expectations aren’t met. This will motivate your employees to take risks knowing that the ownership team will have their back. A good leader has to support and assist the team through thick and thin. Give them the confidence to take risks and speak up without being punished. When the mistake is yours, take ownership. Be credible because people want to follow an honest leader. Be candid about why things didn’t work out, learn from the mistake and move on. People will trust someone who actively holds themselves accountable for their mistakes.
10. Have A Mentor No matter who you are, it’s always helpful when you have someone to look up to who is experienced with strong leadership capabilities. Rarely will someone offer to be your mentor, you’ll likely have to do the courting. It may be someone in your business area, but a great mentor relationship doesn’t necessarily need to be in your same industry. Identify potential mentors who have similar values. Be prepared to explain what you hope to learn, why you value their insight and expertise and what you bring to the relationship. When faced with a big decision or obstacle, imagine how your mentor would handle it. Think about what they’ve done to overcome similar situations. This can help point you in the right direction when you find yourself being challenged. CONCLUSION There is a thin line between a LEADER and a BOSS. For a CEO to become a top-notch leader, he needs to act more as a leader and learn leadership. In this post, I shared with you a CEO’s guide to being a top-notch leader. Jeet Banerjee is a serial entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, and digital marketing consultant.
SCOOTER TAYLOR: HOW LOOKLIVE IS PIONEERING THE FUTURE OF FASHION TECH
preneurs have been quick to respond with innovative products to help catapult the $2.4 trillion fashion sector further into the 21st century. Accordingly, Fashion Technology, or Fashion Tech, has become a rapidly growing and vibrant ecosystem. In 2009 total investments in Fashion Tech totaled $50 million; by 2014 the number had risen to $2.8 billion. I had the opportunity to interview Scooter Taylor, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of LookLive, to learn more about his views on the concept of social commerce, how influencers help drive purchasing decisions, and the future of Fashion Tech. CULTURE DISRUPTOR: HOW DID LOOKLIVE BEGIN? Technology’s impact on the retail sector has been palpable. The shift from brickand-mortar retail shopping to e-commerce has forced retailers to rethink business strategies and adapt to rapid changes in technology and consumer preferences. As in other sectors, new technologies have begun to revolutionize how enterprises in the fashion industry function. From supply chain modernization technology to streamline and make processes more efficient, to the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence to help guide business decisions, or to the incorporation of social media tools and platforms to impact purchasing decisions, new technologies are not only changing how the modern fashion enterprise operates, but also how its products interact with a consumer whose purchasing behavior is constantly being reshaped by new technologies. In consideration of growing industry demand for new solutions, tech entre-
SCOOTER TAYLOR: My Co-Founder [Chidiebere Kalu] and I met at Morehouse College. He was a CS major, I was a Marketing guy. When I first met Kalu, he was just joining the Curateurs team. He was telling me about the intersection of fashion and culture and what they were working on. At the time I was an intern. After my internship, the stars aligned and I was able to go join the team. So, we started off as Curateurs with that same thesis, that influencers drive purchasing decisions. When you place product next to the world’s biggest cultural moments, it becomes this magic moment where people are like, yes, this is what I want. I want that and I want it now. In the moment, I want to shop it. We were able to spend 4 ½ months in Y-Combinator in Summer 2016, sleeping on pull out beds, waking up at 8am, going to the garage to look over data and analytics – that was from May to September. We moved back to Atlanta last October, so we’ve been in Atlanta for a year now officially. During the time at Y-Combinator, we switched
from Curateurs to Looklive, which was a really cool transition where the thesis is still the same, but we’re able to expand more into that technology realm where we’re able to do some really cool things with this concept. Not to just bring it to the consumer, but really change up a lot of industries. There’s a lot under the surface. It’s taken off in the sense of, the early concept. We’ve gotten some good initial feedback. A million people hit our website a month, unique visitors, and then our iOS app just released to the [Apple] store earlier this week, which is a really big thing and we’re really excited to keep pushing that forward. We’re getting a lot of traction from all over. Germany, Italy, here in America, people are using Looklive. What’s really cool is if you google “Justin Bieber style” or “David Beckham fashion”, we’re coming up first or second in Google results. So, people are really coming to Looklive first. The idea is that, again, you witness something happen in the cultural moment, like the BET Awards, or 21 Savage just posted this awesome photo on Instagram of his kid and him with matching bags and joggers. You can go to Looklive and there it is. CD: YOU JUST RELEASED A REVAMPED IOS APP. WHERE ARE YOU TODAY AS A COMPANY AND WHAT ARE YOUR SHORT-TERM OBJECTIVES? ST: Funnily, I was just talking about this with a mentor, and they were telling me how to navigate the short-term. It’s this macro-patience with micro-urgency. So, on the grand scale, we’re patient and we know that two years from now this whole thing might look different. In the meantime, we’ve got to hustle hard. We
are still a very small company. Kalu and I divide responsibilities. He’s in charge of building, I’m in charge of selling. He has the CS background and relates to developers really well. He’ll go in and say, here is the timeline, here is how we’re getting things done, here are the priority levels. Then, bounce it off of me selling stuff. So, I’m looking at the end customer, how does marketing look? What are our B2B clients requesting out of the product? So, I’m in the room promising things, he’s in the back building things. As a small team, still under ten employees, that’s where we want to keep it for now. How can we push ourselves? How much can we get done and how fast? Another thing that’s cool that speaks to what we’re doing is that we’re really doing something for the culture. So what Kalu and I are trying to do is go grab the culture and get them involved. We went to Morehouse, we’re right down the street from the AUC. We know those schools are filled with talented students, who are creative and in their own way pushing the culture forward. That’s where we got our love for the culture, it’s where we met. We have a host of interns, and people who just wanted to help out, friends who work 9-5 but want to do something more creative after work so they’ll come to the office from 6-10 and work. It’s really cool to see it all gravitate. We try to think of it in quarterly goals, what can we get done in 3 months and make the plan very cohesive and understand that’s it’s going to take some grit. Last week, the goal was to knock out 100 emails to various partners to get them in the pipeline. Even when things are going well, you can’t rest. We’re focused on figuring out what makes people want to shop and convert and how do we best grow the platform. Looking at adoption, we’ve got the first big wave
of fans, those Justin Bieber and Rihanna fans. But, now, how do we get people who maybe aren’t fanboys and fangirls of those celebrities, but are really into fashion? We are looking at influencers, people who are stylish in different cities, like in New York or Spain. Those people want to get featured as well. CD: THE SOCIAL COMMERCE CONCEPT IS FAIRLY NEW AND GROWING FAST, WITH E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS LIKE SHOPIFY AND BIG COMMERCE NOW INTEGRATED WITH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM INSTAGRAM, ALLOWING CUSTOMERS TO SHOP DIRECTLY FROM THEIR FEED. HOW DO YOU SEE THIS TREND DEVELOPING IN THE COMING YEARS? ST: I think we’re at the forefront of something really awesome. We’re taking content, and making it shoppable. In our minds, there’s photos, videos that are being consumed and we want to make them shoppable. Another thing we want to make shoppable is the internet. Really putting it around the whole world. One of our other products that people may not know about is our commerce widget. You’ll be seeing it around very soon, this quarter. Basically, if you’re reading an article about Beyonce, you’ll get to shop her outfits right within the article. We think that’s the next wave. When you think about articles now, you see different advertising and they’re not contextual. We really believe that contextual advertising is key. CD: CELEBRITY FASHION IS A KEY COMPONENT OF LOOKLIVE’S CONTENT. HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHICH CELEBRITIES AND WHAT LOOKS TO FEATURE? ST: It comes from our team. We meet frequently and discuss what’s about to be popping and how do we cover it?
Whose birthday is coming up? It’s Travis Scott’s birthday on the 31st, we need to make sure we update his “closet”, his profile on Looklive, with more looks. Or, it’s festival season, let’s make sure we have a pulse on the festivals. Also, just talking to our users as the main source. One thing you learn in a startup is that your assumptions are just assumptions and they’re probably going to be wrong. People probably aren’t checking for David Beckham as much as we think, even though he is a stylish guy. I have a cousin who is Youtube-famous, she has 4 million subscribers with her boyfriend. We’re hearing from our users that they want to see them on Looklive. That’s why we started doing infuencers, we talked to our users and they said, Bieber’s cool, Kevin Hart’s cool, but I don’t have as much swag as Bieber, I don’t have the confidence of ASAP Rocky - I don’t know if I can pull off that style. But, I do like this person on Instagram. So we thought, there’s more people on IG that they like as well, let’s bring that community and energy to Looklive. It really starts with the users. CD: WHAT ROLE DOES USER-GENERATED CONTENT PLAY IN THE APP? ST: Users can actually upload photos of themselves and feature their looks and tell us what they’re wearing. Today, we’ve got around 2,000 entries. The feature is still in the first version. We do see a day where users get to upload and put themselves in the app or on the website. Right now, our users are really big when it comes to the fashion identification aspect. They’re the ones sending us the content, and identifying the jeans or the Gucci sweatshirt or Fendi slides. What we’re learning very quickly is that the sub-culture of fashion and fashion identification and art and
culture, is a very precious kind of culture. They have their own set of rules and standards. We’re trying to come in and make sure that we’re enhancing and pushing that forward as much as possible. With Looklive, we think we have a place where we get to solve two problems. Fashion heads are like, yeah, I really want this, where can I find it? Can anyone find something similar? We’ve become a destination for them. CD: THAT FEATURE ALSO ALLOWS USERS TO EXPAND THEIR OWN BRAND, IF THEY’RE FOCUSED ON FASHION AND GROWING A FASHION-RELATED BRAND, WHETHER IT’S A CLOTHING LINE OR JUST THEM AS A STYLIST. ST: That’s why we’re excited we’re in Atlanta. We run into stylists and designers. 2 Chainz and Fabolous have been wearing jeans that are really cool and people love, and the designers are in Atlanta right down the road from our office. So, we’re able to reach out to these types of people and give them a platform to expose their brand. People are able to say about YouTube, that it helped them get discovered and changed their life. We hope, 3-5 years from now, that they’re saying the same thing about Looklive. That it helped changed the trajectory of their career, or helped them steer in the direction of their passion. CD: ATLANTA IS SUCH A STYLISH CITY! ST: It’s a running joke in the AUC that you get dressed up to go to class. And it’s real. One thing that you can control is your presentation and clothes speak so much more than just how much they are, it speaks to the person’s creativity or the story behind
certain garments that you have. Like, I picked this piece up when I traveled abroad. Or, I wear shiny shoes because my grandfather used to. Clothes and their stories tell so much about a person. CD: WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT WORKING IN THE FASHION TECH SPACE? ST: Always learning. Fashion changes just as much as Tech changes. Tech changes super fast and you’ve got to move quickly and innovate. Fashion is the same way. Trends are happening all the time and you have to be constantly trying to learn and search for pockets of where those things are happening. You can’t just look to one style, you have to stay open-minded. Like, what’s happening here, where is this coming from? This is coming back around. It’s not the most popular people that are driving that. By the time it gets to them, the people that are really driving it are on to the next or third iteration of it. That’s the biggest thing for us, making sure that we stay as close to the source as possible because we want to be able to highlight and appreciate them. Yes, 2Chainz is wearing those jeans in Vegas or Italy in front of tens of thousands, but it’s really a guy in East Atlanta who created that trend and he did it out of just creativity or he had a lack of material which is why he did it this way. Which I think speaks to cultures over time, cultures have their own habits and styles and standards because it’s just the way we do things, this is who we are and how we do things. And we get to look into that. That’s probably the most challenging thing. And from a startup perspective, it’s continuing to build a team of people around you who are smarter
than you. As a leader, it can seem very vulnerable and scary, like you’re giving up so much perceived power, but it’s actually the source of your power. It’s the source of how big this thing can get. If everything comes from me, then it’s really going to be limited. You’ve got to make sure that there’s a team of people giving ideas and who can run the ball further than you could even imagine. That’s something I’ve had to learn over the last year and am constantly getting better with. CD: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? ST: What I love about Marketing is thinking about, how do we hit these complex emotions, how do we take an idea or thought and have someone resonate with it? That’s one of the coolest things about Marketing. You can watch commercials and think, man, that P&G ad just made me think about how my mom used to drop me off at sporting events and I want to go buy some detergent now. How do we get people behind this idea and make it click? We have this complex idea of technology that can take products and people, put it together, make it shoppable and make it simple. I also like seeing people use something that’s beautiful and that we’ve put into the world. We had so many people email us and ask for the app over the last year. So, we set a team goal to email all those people back personally with the link to let them know it was out. We wanted to be scrappy and send a heartfelt email. We got responses back from users surprised that we responded and said they were going to go download it and how they loved our site. People around the world are using the app right now. There’s someone in Germany using it, there’s someone in Dallas looking at the website. It’s cool to know people are using some-
thing that you put out into the world. CD: WHERE DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF FASHION TECH GOING? ST: I think the possibilities are endless. Tech has revolutionized lots of different industries, and obviously retail. You’re seeing it within the groceries space with Amazon, and the introduction of the mobile device. When you think of the next technology platforms or technologies that are emerging, you think of the internet coin, AR, VR, just those three alone can really change the e-commerce retail fashion space. Imagine now, you’re shopping for clothes in your room, but you’re able to hold garments and see how they feel. With internet coin, and how people are paying for things with digital currency changing what we think about value. A dollar isn’t a dollar anymore, I can just give you some internet coins and buy clothes. It’s all happening fast. We take it for granted that almost 10-12 years ago, the iPhone wasn’t a thing. Also, the innovations of how clothes are made and how people interact with clothes and fashion will change. What’s also interesting, is that it’s not the tech that drives the culture, it’s the people. I’m excited to see how, even though the ball is pushed far, the people preserve the fashion that’s happened already. I imagine that seven years from now we’ll be seeing the same trends all over again. Think about the Champion brand that you could get from Kohl’s for $5.99 and now they’re in Urban Outfitters for $70. CD: WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU? ST: Looklive.com, iOS app in Apple Store, and Android coming soon. Instagram @lookliveapp, Twitter @ looklive, @scootertaylor, @chidiekalu
Top 15 Business Books for Entrepreneurs
TOP 15 BUSINESS BOOKS FOR ENTREPRENEURS Often, we think of reading as a leisurely activity that people who have “free time” engage in when they’re lying on the beach or curled up by the fireplace. If you’re running a business, you’re probably not one of those people, but you still need to make time to read. Reading is a magnificent way to get out of the rut of merely running your business and to get on track to growing your business. We were inspired to put together a reading list of some of the best-selling business books of the year. Here’s a selection of 15 must-reads that we think have the potential to transform your business and take it to the next level.
1. THINK AND GROW RICH BY NAPOLEON HILL In Think and Grow Rich, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. This book will teach you the secrets that could bring you a fortune. It will show you not only what to do but how to do it. Once you learn and apply the simple, basic techniques revealed here, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success. 2. THE WAR OF ART BY STEVEN PRESSFIELD The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself. Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life. 3. HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE BY DALE CARNEGIE Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you:
-Six ways to make people like you -Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking -Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment 4. THE 4-HOUR WORKWEEK BY TIMOTHY FERRISS Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan– there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint. 5. THE E-MYTH REVISITED BY MICHAEL E. GERBER Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. 6. INFLUENCE: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION BY ROBERT B CIALDINI Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success. 7. ESSENTIALISM BY GREG MCKEOWN The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
8. THE ONE THING BY GARY KELLER In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to * cut through the clutter * achieve better results in less time * build momentum toward your goal* dial down the stress * overcome that overwhelmed feeling * revive your energy * stay on track * master what matters to you The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life--work, personal, family, and spiritual. 9. THE ALCHEMIST BY PAULO COELHO Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams. 10. THE COMPOUND EFFECT BY DARREN HARDY No gimmicks. No Hyperbole. No Magic Bullet. The Compound Effect is based on the principle that decisions shape your destiny. Little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or to disaster by default. This easy-to-use, step-by-step operating system allows you to multiply your success, chart your progress, and achieve any desire. If you’re serious about living an extraordinary life, use the power of The Compound Effect to create the success you want. 11. THE SLIGHT EDGE BY JEFF OLSON The Slight Edge is a way of thinking, a way of processing information that enables you to make the daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire. Learn why some people make dream after dream come true, while others just continue dreaming and spend their lives building dreams for someone else. It’s not just another self-help motivation tool of methods you must learn in order to travel the path to success. It shows you how to create powerful results from the simple daily activities of your life, by using tools that are already within you.
12. REWORK BY JASON FRIED What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. This book shows you the way. You’ll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you. 13. THE LEAN STARTUP BY ERIC RIES The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. 14. START WITH WHY BY SIMON SINEK START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY. 15. EGO IS THE ENEMY BY RYAN HOLIDAY In an era that glorifies social media, reality TV, and other forms of shameless self-promotion, the battle against ego must be fought on many fronts. Armed with the lessons in this book, as Holiday writes, “you will be less invested in the story you tell about your own specialness, and as a result, you will be liberated to accomplish the world-changing work you’ve set out to achieve.”
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Scooter Taylor: How Looklive is Pioneering the Future of Fashion Tech You'll Learn Things Like: - 8 Principals Aspiring Entrepreneurs Must...
Published on Nov 15, 2017
Scooter Taylor: How Looklive is Pioneering the Future of Fashion Tech You'll Learn Things Like: - 8 Principals Aspiring Entrepreneurs Must...