Week 3 with the #AppleWatch

Wearing the #AppleWatch is now part of my daily routine.
After 3 weeks of wearing it, I am starting to have a better picture of its value.
Here is the change of behavior since my last post.

  • I wear it like an accessory:

I am now used to putting it on every morning, docking it every night.
Battery life is not an issue for me (unless I forget the charger when I go away)

Also, it is a great conversation starter.
If you are single and looking for a date on the  tech/ media scene. This motivation is enough to order your #AppleWatch right now.
Once everybody starts wearing them, this won’t last, so do what you have to do!

  • I waiting for more apps.

Being first might be a + on the dating front, it is not on the usage front.

There are not a lot of apps available yet and the ones that are, are 1st generation. They have been developed without real user experience.
According to Apple staff, the experience is only going to get better with the ecosystem growing.

Some new apps like trip it are coming out, but what will be really valuable for me are Spotify, Duolingo, google maps, translate… unfortunately, Google apps are likely to come last as they are supporting the growth of Android first.

I have also tried boarding a flight wit the delta app and this pretty cool. No more holding your phone to the scanner. Just swipe you wrist and you are done! Apple pay (yet to try it) is also great!

  • Remote control your phone.

In my last post, I was saying how frustrated I was that the watch doesn’t have a browser.
Although this remains the fundamental question: Does it bring enough value to fit in my current usage of connected devices?
I think I will only get the answer when a full echo system of app is available

For now, it helps me remote control my phone: When I get a notification, I quickly glance at it and decide if I want to take action on my phone (or laptop)

No more missed calls when your phone is on silent.

Control your camera (I have been shown how you can spy on what’s happening behind you. Put your phone in your back pocket. activate the camera on the phone and watch what’s happening behind you)

Same goes for your music if you use iTunes or Pandora and hopefully soon Spotify, Sonos, why not GoPro.

So, it is still not a clear cut on wether the benefits that the #AppleWatch brings to my life are worth its USD 395.
I am afraid it will only become clearer as more dedicated apps become available and more people start wearing it too!

Marie Sornin

Do you believe in magic?

Do you believe in magic?

I do. Actually, I believe in the magical power of technology.

Something quite extraordinary happened to me today.
As I was getting on the NYC subway, I hear this guy playing the saxophone. His music was really good. I mean real good!
Listen to him here:

Isn’t he great?

Since the launch of the Periscope app, I have been playing with it, looking for interesting stuff to broadcast (like my #travelroulette experiment).
So as I hear this guy’s tunes, I get my Iphone out and start Periscoping him.
I thought that good live music from NYC subway would surely get some some attention.

In a few seconds, over 150 people joined in from UAE, London, Belgium, Italy, Scotland, etc… They were complementing his music, requesting songs, and begging me to tip him (which I did, twice!).

Over150 people joined on Periscope

Over150 people joined on Periscope

I told him that he was playing for an audience an international through my Iphone. He couldn’t believe it. I showed him the app and explained how it worked.

In 4.50 min of footage attracted over 2,000 hearts (equivalent to favorites or likes) and generated apprx 2h30min viewing time!

What was supposed to be a simple subway ride magically turned into a wonderful shared experience.

I carried on with my commute with a smile on my face and an unexpected sense of lightness and gratitude.

If, you feel like creating some magic into your life, download the Periscope IOS app and share your best moments with the world!

Live music from NYC Subway on Periscope

Live music from NYC Subway on Periscope

Marie Sornin

A different type of chaos

As I enter my first winter in New York, Juno, the historic blizzard is bringing Chaos to the city. The irony is that I am looking at this dangerous mess on the TV screen of my air conditioned hotel room perched above “a different type of chaos”.

I spend half of my life in the most organized city in the world: NYC where everything runs on time, or should I say where time runs everything… and the rest in other urban amalgams such as Mexico city, Jakarta, where time doesn’t seem to matter.

I am on a business tip over the next 7 weeks. I will share my thoughts as I travel from Mexico City to Jakarta, Delhi Mumbai, Sydney, Tokyo and Singapore.

Here is the first philosophical thought that emerged in mind after a few days on the road,:
Is there a way out of the vicious circle of growth?

Might it be Sao Paulo, Jakarta, Mexico City… progress is creating mess and mess appears greater progress.

Everywhere you look you can see a construction site: roads are getting larger, buildings are getting taller, more electric cables are wired. So I wonder: is growth ever going to catch up with the chaos, or will chaos always be there as long as there is growth?

Illustration by example:
As crazy as it sounds: Jakarta a city that counts 10 million souls is only building its metro in 2014.

As a results, the roads which were already totally congested are getting even more clogged because of the roadwork.

Great, metro is super good news for the population and the environment, but…

As the metro is getting built, so are thousands of high-rise buildings crushing traditional housing.

Once these buildings are populated with homes and business, is going to cope. How about telecommunication infrastructure?

This will create need for more construction, throwing the vicious circle of growth into a spin!

Should I become an urban planner?

Next stop Sydney… don’t get me started about Military road

#JeSuisCharlie

A ecouter (apologies for my english speaking subscribers, this is speech is in french only)

Philippe Val, co-fondateur de l’hebdomadaire satirique ému aux larmes dit tres justement “On vient d’exterminer une façon de parler

#Jesuischarlie #Iamcharlie Yosoycharlie #Ichbincharlie

One way ticket

** For Australians citizens mostly **

I have already written a blog titled “How to make it in America”, this post is about the preparation you need before buying a one way ticket to the US.

I have been in New York for about 3 months, and apart from still not having any credit history (which is pretty much the key to unlock any type of service in America) everything is going pretty smoothly.
So here are some observations for Australians who want to relocate to the US.

They are based on my experience from contemplating the idea of moving to the US to living like a New Yorker.

1- Know what you want:

Knowing exactly what you want to do is a must before you start engaging with contacts in the States.

Until you clear what position you are looking for, what type of company you want to work for and why, you will get asked to figure it out before going any further.

2- Activate your contacts:

Once you have a plan, it is time to get in touch with your network: friends, ex colleagues, recruiters, inspiring people that can link you with opportunities and knowledge about the American market.

Don’t forget that they are likely to get people asking them for such tips all the time, so be creative in the way you approach them.

I once attended a presentation by Tim Ferriss (author of the four hour work week) one of his tips is to “trade” information.
This is how he managed to become an early investor in start-ups such as Linkedin and Evernote.

Before we decided to move, my husband went to Miami for a conference.
He made some great contacts there, and took one of the executives out for dinner.
A few months later, that same executive referred him for a role at Google. The next day, he got a call from Google’s recruiter.

3- Are you eligible to work in the US?

Sooner or later during this journey, you will get asked if are you eligible to work in the US.

That is when you need to pull secret card: The E-3 visa.
It is a unique status for Australian citizens part of a trade agreement between Australian and the US established in 2009.

All the details can be found here on the Australian US embassy site.

This status makes it very easy for companies to sponsor Australians on a 2-year working visa.

The main difficulty is that very few recruiters and HR departments know about it.

To be successful at lifting the “are you eligible to work in the US” barrier, you must be able to demonstrate how a company can sponsor you on an E3 in 3 weeks for less than $2,000 fees.

If you can’t do that, your other options are L1, H1, etc. visas. They are extremely complicated, costly and lengthy to obtain. 

When I started talking to my employer about transferring to New York, the E3 was one of the first things I mentioned. I repeated it in every single communication, only to find out that when my position was approved, HR was about to start the immigration process for a H1 visa (intra company transfer), which was not guaranteed.

I had to patiently go over the E3 status again, prepare a detailed summary of the requirements for the employer and employee.
That information allowed HR to get sponsorship approval from the immigration consultant working on my case.
3 weeks later, I landed in New York with my work permit in hand.

4- Make the trip:

You can do all the prep you want, it is not until you get yourself there that things will accelerate.

Organize your trip by lining up as many meetings and interviews as you can.

When you are there, don’t be lazy. As hard as it is to fight the jet lag and go from meeting to meeting, just do it.
If someone throws you a contact: call them and meet with them.
Adapt your schedule to make the most of it!

4 months before moving, I spent one week in New York.
I tried to book a quick meeting with my now boss before I arrived.
On my first day there I tweeted this: 

He noticed it and made time to catch up with me on my day before last.
When I left, I was in a position to follow up on a job offer.

5- Follow up:

After your trip, you will need to close on the opportunity that you want.
Follow up on the visa, contract, benefits, and relocation.

It is a very important phase. Once you leave, the excitement fades, people go back to their daily routine and your opportunity becomes another task.
Don’t let that task fall at the bottom of their to do list because you are far away.
This is a difficult exercise of applying pressure without become that annoying person.
Patience and positivity help a lot.
I listened to more reggae than usual during that time. 
What will be your way to stay on top if?

6- Get ready:

Once you have a job lined up or a moving date, you start a marathon of things to do. What you will need is just pure simple organization mastery!

When you review your financials, over estimate the savings that you will need.
As mentioned above, until you get credit history (6 months of having your Social Security Number) you will need cash!

When I think about life in the US, that quote attributed to Steve Jobs “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” comes to mind. I will also ad be vocal, move fast.

Marie Sornin

#AskHillary

There is a song saying that the only advise for the future is to wear sunscreen.
Hillary Clinton stopped by Twitter HQ for a Q&A yesterday.
Her advice is to put some moisturizer. And a lot of it!

I happened to be in San Francisco when Hillary did the rounds of the tech companies to promote her latest book “Hard Choices”.

When asked for a piece of advice for women or people considering a career in politics, she said: Find a good moisturizer!
In other words grow a thick skin.

Click on the link to watch:

She did deliver her advice with a touch of humor, which didn’t make it any less relevant.
Here are some of her wise words can be applied to any career.

  • Take criticism seriously but not personally.
    This is how you grow and build confidence.
  • When confronted with a difficult situation, make the decision you think is right. Ensure you feel totally comfortable about it. Then, negotiate and develop your influence about it.
  • If you are thinking about a career change: Try it first, make sure you like it.
    This is very similar to the advice given by Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman in his book “The Start Up of You”. Find your pivot and get involved.

I thought these little nuggets were totally worth sharing as they can be applied to any other context than politics.

I also wanted to give a shout out to my colleagues Katie Stanton who did an amazing job an interviewing Hillary and the SnappyTV crew who live tweeted the key moment of her talk on @Twittermedia

Marie Sornin

A year in the life of @TwitterAU

In July 2013, I was part of the start up team @TwitterAU. Just a year later I am heading @TwitterNY as the lead for international development for Twitter Amplify.

Here are the tweets of of the year @TwitterAU

Day one felt just like going back to school.
At the time, I had no idea that Twitter was going to come up with @dronie, the ultimate selfie machine

We kicked off with a week of intense training (anyone in my group at NHO would agree), followed by the Twitter global sales conference.

Although, I would have staid in San Francisco fro ever, we head back to Australia and set ourselves up in the first hone of @TwitterAU.
Apparently, the Aus team was the only team globally to not complain about being in corporate center… must have been the view…

Later, we had to trade the view over Sydney harbor for some awesome new team members

Plus, we do work from anywhere, so the view always changes
@Dannykeens probably remembers me doing IOs in his car between meetings.
With that in mind, I decided to take WFH one step further

Working through time zones, we had a few late nights throughout the year

And there was even some stressful times (private joke for those in the sales team)

Thankfully, the team (and the cat) was always been there!

 

Of course, all this we lead to some great work

And even some swooning with our clients

 

We felt the success,

Then @Maria started and life got a lot sweeter, with cupcakes and double birthdays !

 

Later that year, the opportunity of a trip to New York came up and one tweet changed everything…

Goodbye @TwitterAU

Thanks for an epic year

#BYEFRENCHIE