Espree Devora is on the Cult/Tech Podcast

Espree Devora runs WeAreLATech, a job board and message center for the LA startup scene. She hosts and produces two popular podcasts, the We Are LA Tech Podcast, and the Women in Tech Podcast, which recently hit #1 on iTunes. Espree shares her thoughts about working in the LA startup scene, spending too much time looking at screens, burnout and how to avoid it, and her trip through Europe talking with startup founders.

Her memorable quote: “The only way you are going to get more market share is to understand that many more people” – her argument for diversity in startup companies.

This podcast is a little different from others in this series – more of a free-flowing conversation about the LA startup scene. You’ll learn how Lee met his wife, why he got tired of looking at screens, and Espree’s prescriptions to avoid burnout.

The interviewer is Lee Schneider. The podcast is produced by Red Cup.

Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud.  Also available on iTunes.

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Babyscripts CEO Anish Sebastian on the cult/tech Podcast

Today on the cult/tech Podcast we are talking about an iPhone app and a medical monitoring program called babyscripts.  Joining us on the podcast is Anish Sebastian, the CEO and co-founder of Babyscripts.

Babyscripts has raised more than $2million to “make pregnancy better,” as its founders would say. The startup is working with OB-GYN practices nationwide, distributing a “mommy kit” which contains WiFi- and Bluetooth-enabled monitoring devices to closely connect pregnant mothers with their health care practitioners.

Working with Florida Hospital’s Innovation Lab, Babyscripts is hosting a conference is December called the Future of Obstetrics Summit. The  cult/tech podcast is produced by Red Cup Agency.  Lee Schneider, communications director, is the interviewer.

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The Means of Production

There has never been a better time to start a blog, launch your podcast, or find your voice online. Powerful forces are driving this openness and freedom. Once dominant media outlets are being unbundled, barriers are being blasted away. There is an opening of the means of distribution.

It started in 1995, when Craigslist planted seeds that would grow like weeds to choke the classified advertising departments of nearly all newspapers. It has continued with YouTube throwing off the chains of network-controlled television production, offering a pop culture audience to just about anybody with a video camera and a Millennial sense of humor. More doors were opened by social channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat, and platforms like WordPress,Tumblr and Medium. Indie publishing is thriving with CreateSpace, Amazon and Lulu. The means of production and expression are wide open. There is even talk of NPR unbundling itself into a network of podcasts. Sound good to you?

Well, there is also chaos and evil.

YouTube is owned by Google, an organization questing after world domination online as much as Uber quests after …

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Will Crowdfunding Replace Angel Investing?

From dating to gambling to getting a degree, it seems there’s little that can’t be done online these days. But would you guess another thing you can now do online is fund early-stage businesses with your own money, and receive equity in return?

Startups must get their capital from somewhere, and two significant sources of it are angel investing and online crowdfunding. Angel investing – when affluent individuals invest their own money into startup companies in exchange for equity – has been in practice since the late 1970s, but saw a resurgence post-2007 when the recession ate up traditional capital. Online crowdfunding, on the other hand – when startups raise funding from a large number of people via an online platform – is a form of “alternative finance” that’s rapidly growing and evolving. So much so, in fact, that there’s talk it will surpass or even replace angel investing.

Is such a shift possible? Crowdfunding was valued at $34 billion in 2015, and is projected to surpass both angel investing and venture capital this year. In addition, …

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Wake Up Early – Learn This Simple Trick to Become More Productive and Have More Energy

Guest Post by Rafi Chowdhury

Waking up early seems like a difficult task and something truly unpleasant for most people. However, there are great advantages to waking up early in the morning. Not only will you feel better about yourself when you start your day actively while others are still sleeping. You will also get more done and have more time for your friends, family and yourself as a result.

Best of all, waking up early is not as difficult as many consider it to be. You just need to follow the right strategy. The biohacking trick you will have a chance to learn below is a real working life hack which helps you reduce your sleep time, enjoy more free time and greater productivity and reduce stress levels, also. The strategy allows you to start your day on the right foot by programming your biochemical functioning a certain way so that you keep your high energy levels throughout the day.

The Strategy

The strategy is quite straightforward and does not require you to be a genius to understand it …

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Trend Report: What Hiring in 2016 Will Look Like

As more millennials enter the workforce and companies loosen their belts, trade in suits for jeans, and hire more people they may never actually meet in person, the next few years should be interesting in terms of hiring.

Good News For Jobseekers

According to a recent report in CareerBuilder, companies are offering a bigger starting salary to attract the best possible candidates. Lowballing an attractive hire could be a bad move with so many successful startups and more people realizing the value of a smart and ambitious employee.

Startups Are Growing

Not only are employers offering more money up front, they’re hiring more people. The study showed that the “E” word is big in small business this year. That is – expansion. According to the report, 27% of businesses with less than 50 employees will hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 20% last year. While 33% of businesses with 250 or fewer employees plan to hire full-time, permanent workers, that’s 29% more than in 2015.

Here are some other trends to keep an eye on.

Figuring It Out

DIVERSIFYING: …

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LA is Mecca For The Creative Class

 

It’s a strange phenomenon that Los Angeles is not always pegged as a creative city – a flaky, tree-hugging, sometimes superficial, plastic-surgery obsessed city, sure. Creative? Not so much.

You’d think that with all of these movie studios and now original content studios (Maker, AwesomenessTV, Hulu), that people would make the connection between real companies and real talent. That is CREATIVE talent. Unfortunately, L.A. is often forgotten when people think of art and creativity. (Who do they think is writing, designing, building, scoring, etc. all of these films? Even the bad ones require creativity, Michael Bay.) So while New York is known for its art scene, Memphis for its focus on music and Chicago claims the architecture prize, it turns out Los Angeles trumps them all in the sheer number of creative industry jobs it supports.

Released earlier this month, the 2015 Otis Report on the Creative Economy by Otis College of Art and Design shows that L.A. outpaces Chicago more than three times in the amount of creative industry jobs and edging out San Francisco by more than …

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Focus and Flow in Startups

Working in startupland is a game of focus and flow. To accomplish morning tasks, focus is what you need. That means slipping headphones on in your coworking space to block out the startup team in the next office playing loud Neil Diamond because they don’t know any better, then flipping through an app like Asana, and then crunching down the list that you’ve broken down by tags and due dates. We run on apps. Each member of our team works independently, often in different spaces, connected by Uberconference, Slack, and Dialpad. Sometimes we use the dreaded Google Hangouts platform or the much-better Zoom. I’ve deployed this method effectively with Red Cup over the past five years, but it comes from earlier on, from my production days.

In film and TV production, each part of the process is handled by a different person or group. Camera people film. Audio people record sound. Lighting people light the scene. Even before they arrive on that scene, location scouts have discovered it, booking producers have set up guests and interviews, and writers or …

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How Startup Founders Make More Time

You’ve laid the groundwork for your startup, pulled in business and are seeing some success. But there is something that you’ve forgotten and it wakes you up at night: You need to get your dev team working on a time machine that creates 25 hour days and eight-day weeks.

You simply don’t have the time to accomplish everything.

Luckily, there are services out there to help you. Here are a few of the best.

Fancy Hands features a network of 24/7 assistants who will take care of the tasks associated with your business for a monthly fee. Renting vehicles, securing travel plans and updating your calendar are all tasks that Fancy Hands can handle.

Uassist.us locates US-based assistants who work remotely, sometimes in your time zone. They can help create social media feeds, arrange meetings, and send out email campaigns.

Wonder can dig deep. When you need …

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Developing Your Long Term Media Strategy

I have always been a fan of quick hacks and tricks that can get me moving faster. Ultimately what you truly want is loyalty, and hacks often will not help you achieve that over the long term. The only solution is to develop and sustain your media presence over a long period of time.

As mentioned in a previous post: strong writers should consider blogging, just as effective talkers should consider a podcast. “You must figure out the smoothest way for your company to continuously create media of the long term,” as Lee Schneider put it in his Amazon bestseller Be More Popular: Culture Building for Startups.  Perhaps your startup is in phase two. You’ve launched, gotten some users, and you are ready to roll out a few new social channels. How do you refine your process so it is sustainable and effective?

Building communities online is about being specific, really specific. You have to start small, with a community of committed fans and users and grow from there. In other words, you must become popular with only …

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