TechSmart Podcast: Josef Holm, co-founder of Tubestart

Tubestart started early in 2013 when Josef Holm and his friend and business partner, comedian Claude Shires, created a YouTube channel for a library of standup comedy bits they’d acquired. The site received a million views, but Holm and Shires received only a small amount of revenue.

They saw an opportunity for YouTube creators to have their own channel where they could crowdfund their projects. They’ve adopted a model that allows video creators to crowdfund monthly subscription-based support for ongoing projects. Creators can also launch all-or-nothing Kickstarter-style campaigns on Tubestart and flexible funding campaigns are okay, too.

Most YouTube creators, says Josef, are not doing one-time projects. If they’re launching channels, they’re doing web series, and that means ongoing support. This is what Tubestart is built to deliver.

In the podcast, Josef describes how to succeed on Tubestart and in crowdfunding. “You need to run the campaign like it’s a presidential campaign. You need to want to win,” he says. He breaks down the planning and techniques to help video creators launch and maintain successful crowdfunding campaigns. He …

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TechSmart – Sebastian Marshall – Episode 28

Sebastian Marshall is Executive Director of Children’s Plaza Nonprofit Corp, which runs  GiveGetWin — a new approach to fundraising that helps raise funds for charity without emphasizing suffering or having anyone feel guilty. Marshall has lived, worked, and traveled through dozens of countries and currently divides his time between Asia, the US and Europe. Marshall’s main focus is the charity, which is a 100% volunteer operation.  He pays his bills with a small group of clients at his management consulting practice, focusing on executive development.

Sebastian and I cover a broad range of topics on the podcast today, centered around online trends. We talk about online collaboration using Skype, Google Docs, Trello, Asana and Teambox. We discuss the shift of leisure time from offline to online, and we discuss the way everyone is creating new media on the fly.  Sometime next month, look for me on Sebastian’s site, GiveGetWin, where I’ll be offering a special online learning session all about creating quality content online.  Sebastian will be back on TechSmart soon to …

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Social Gamification on the TechSmart Podcast

Social Gamification. Perhaps even more than ‘Big Data,’ gamification is the buzzword of the moment. What is gamification, really? It practice goes deeper than you think and its rise to prominence has been a lot faster than you can imagine.

Before 2010, the word gamification didn’t appear in Google Trends.  Now it has reached ‘peak interest‘ according to Google. Why has game theory, formerly the domain of mathematical professorial types, become something of interest to brands, corporations and application makers?

For some answers and perspective, I did a TechSmart Podcast with Gabe Zichermann, chair of GSummit, CEO of and dopamine, inc. He’s the co-author of The Gamification Revolution: How Leaders Leverage Game Mechanics to Crush the Competition. (Scroll down to hit play and listen.)

First, a disclosure. Before I read the book, I wasn’t all that impressed with social gamification. Apps that used it, like Foursquare and Klout, seemed silly. My wife always gets mad at me as I struggle to get my phone to check me in at …

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TechSmart – David Hughes – PlantVillage

David Hughes is an assistant professor of entomology and biology at Penn State.  Together with Marcel Salathé, a professor of biology at Penn State, they created and maintain PlantVillage, a website built to create a social network of people growing food plants.  As David describes himself on the site:

‘I am a behavioral ecologist working mostly on diseases in ant societies. I have a strong interest in how knowledge in human societies is spread, retained and used. PlantVillage  aims to spread knowledge of food plants. I am absolutely fascinated with the global challenge of feeding nine billion people in the coming decades.’

A thank you to our good friend Jim Orr for introducing us at TechSmart to David Hughes. TechSmart is on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher Radio. When on the Red Cup site, just hit the orange button to play. The interviewer is Lee Schneider. Follow him on Twitter.

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TechSmart Podcast with Kreigh Knerr, Creator of QuotEd

Kreigh Knerr is the director of Knerr Learning Center in Wisconsin, a boutique educational consulting company that specializes in standardized testing.  Kreigh has consulted with international boarding schools, individuals preparing for standardized tests across the US, and numerous media outlets on standardized testing and critical thinking.

In 2010, he started exploring going mobile – making a literacy training program accessible by smart phone.  The result is called QuotEd Reading Comprehension, which launched as a beta app in August 2012 and had its national launch this past January. Look for the application in the Google Play Store and iTunes. Even more recently, he’s released the second in the QuotEd app series, QuotEd ACT Science, was just released on iTunes and Android.

TechSmart is available on iTunes, Soundcloud. On the Red Cup site, just click the orange button to play. Interviews are conducted by Lee Schneider.

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TechSmart – DIY & Startups – Crowdfunding with Kevin Lawton

The Start Up Revolution and Crowdfunding

First there were solopreneurs, brave souls who moved away from corporate America, armed only with a laptop, a pair of pajamas to work in, and a cell phone to call prospects. Then, seemingly overnight, the solopreneur movement blossomed into an international Do It Yourself culture. The Do It Yourself (DIY) movement was given mojo by Makers who actually make things and display them at Maker’s Faires around the country. People who make things with their hands started to influence people who make things online. And, as they say, the revolution has begun. (It will not be televised.)

DIY culture infuses craft culture like Etsy, developer culture like Github, information culture like Quora. Start Up culture that has galvanized small businesses and now, even corporate America. Start Up culture is the next wave in business, marketing and cultural development. It is remaking the way we work, with virtual staffing and online collaboration. It is reshaping how businesses are started, with crowdfunding.

To get a taste of how the crowdfunding revolution is shaping the dreams of entrepreneurs and Start Up people, here’s a podcast I …

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TechSmart Podcast Episode 22 – Andrew Wicklander – Tula Software

Andrew Wicklander is the owner of Chicago-based Ideal Project Group, developing apps and projects for start-ups and small businesses.  One of the group’s newest creations is a cloud based application called Tula Software.  Tula allows yoga studios to manage their students, class attendances, schedules, and all other aspects of their business online from anywhere in the country.

Though Tula addresses a niche – yoga studio management – adoption of the software has grown by word of mouth. In the digital age, that means as much as ‘one person’s mouth to another’s ear’ as it does leveraging content marketing.

The TechSmart Podcast is on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher radio.  Its interviews are conducted by Lee Schneider. He is on Twitter. When on the Red Cup site, just click the orange button to listen.

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TechSmart Podcast 20 – Will Mitchell of StartupBros

In this episode, we’re focusing on entrepreneurs who left college to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. With us today is WIll Mitchell, director of marketing of and founder of StartupBros, an online portal for start up entrepreneurs to learn how business works in the digital age.

In the podcast, Will talks about the drive to start up a business as something deeper than a passing passion – being an entrepreneur means finding a mindset you want to hold for the rest of  your life. “You have to be an entrepreneur as a person,” Will told me in our interview. “‘Entrepreneur’ can’t be your job or profession.”   He found, for himself, that college did not provide enough of what he was willing to learn on his own.  “Business is a real world experience,” he said.

The TechSmart Podcast is on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher Radio. The interviews are by Lee Schneider.


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TechSmart Podcast 19 – Consumer Electronics Show Wrap Up with Jeff Haynes

Jeff Haynes, editor at, gives up a wrap up on CES – the Consumer Electronics Show – in this special edition of the TechSmart Podcast. We discuss tools for the road warrior – portable projectors the size of your cell phone, tablets and laptops that convert for presentations, and the growing usefulness of near field communication applications. Wave your phone around and you can unlock your car, pay for lunch, or start the washer. (Hopefully not all at the same time.) Can the personal jetpacks we’ve been  promised be far behind? TechSmart is available on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher Radio. When on the Red Cup site, just hit the orange button to listen. Lee Schneider conducts the TechSmart interviews.


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