≡ Menu

The Greatest Show and (Tell) on Earth!

its not the circus.

Here is a list of MakerFaire events.

You go because you see whats new, whats gotten bigger, whats gotten smaller, old friends, new friends you didn't yet know were friends.

See which exhibitor has the biggest lines. Whats hot. How kids look at whats new. Really good food trucks. Great speakers. Can I say the epicenter of those who would rather be at the greatest show and tell rather then the ballgame.

Take your kids, take the kid in yourself. Maker Faire is one of those few events is a must attend. Only once a year in NYC.

Apologies for lack of earlier notice.

Axis Innovation Features Hot Startups at the NYSE

I enjoyed last year’s Axis Innovation NYSE event, which showcased hot Israeli startups and also included a visit to the floor at the opening bell (you can read more about it here). So when Axis CEO Ed Frank invited me back, I quickly said yes, and attended yesterday.

Axis connects investors and corporations with tech startups. The NYSE session was part of a two day event that includes “leading Israeli series A tech startups and US VCs, angels, and corporate investors… to develop business opportunities and ultimately make deals,” according to their site

The keynote was delivered by Uri Tamir of Mobileeye, a paragon of Israeli entrepreneurship, as they are being acquired by Intel for $15B. Below I share highlights of each presenting company.

WeavingThings: An IoT connectivity framework that enables the creation of IoT services from devices and sensors. According to Co-founder Asaf Ezra, WeavingThings simplifies IoT and dramatically reduces time to develop and deploy solutions.

SimpleOrder: A restaurant inventory management platform that optimizes and streamlines back office restaurant operations. It features online purchasing, automatic inventory, real-time food and menu costing, POS sales integration and more. CEO Guy Even Ezra framed the problem by describing an experience we can all relate to. You are at your favorite restaurant, and the waiter says they ran out of a menu item. “We solve a huge problem for food distribution by reversing the supply chain,” Guy said.

Rentigo: A property management solution that meets the needs of small and large property managers and landlords while addressing the growing demands of modern tenants with a simple and user-friendly solution. CEO Sivan Blasenheim said that Rentigo is bringing payment tech expertise and a free mobile CRM to real estate, where many still pay by paper check and manage businesses with spreadsheets.

Prifender: Uses artificial intelligence to discover and map personal information across networks and systems so organizations can better manage sensitive data and comply with laws and regulations.

Intervyo: The first and most advanced interview simulation engine. It leverages predictive analytics to screen candidates, and accurately assess their suitability for the job. Veronica (I did not get her last name) said that Intervyo replaces resume and first-round interview screening.

Focuus: Their vision is to automate the entire marketing analysis process, helping advertisers and agencies to scale easily and become market leaders. CEO Yotam Benattia said that most digital marketing systems are passive. Focuus shows campaign KPIs in real time. This helps you adjust course and boost results.

FirstPoint: They offer comprehensive and unique cellular cyber security solutions, protecting enterprise mobile and IoT devices.

Cinch: CEO Maya Komerov said that the app turns your phone into a money-saving wallet. It connects users with local businesses, supporting them while boosting the neighborhood economy.

Beam Networks: Develops active phased array wireless transceivers to support multi-gigabit per second data rates. CEO Stacy Joseph showed off the tiny chip, which replaces large parabolic dishes and is also an alternative to fiber optic buildouts.

Floyd Hayes
New York based Ideas Crafter



What do you tell your parents you do for a living?


What do you really do for a living?

Devise Marketing ideas and make them happen

Give an Example

FOR EXAMPLE: International hotel group “Yotel” approached me to devise an experience for their guests. The hotel were renovating their public area. A 30ft drywall had been placed between the construction work and the rest of the social area.

The brief was to use the wall to:

  • Create a fun experience for guests
  • Support the brand (playful)
  • Create some PR value (earned media and social content)
  • Be cost effective

My Idea:

  • My idea was to cover the wall with lego.
  • Invite guests to create lego pictures on the wall
  • Take a pic and post to the (then new) Instagram
  • Hashtag the pic and get a free weekend via a social media sweepstakes
  • I devised and brought in the production team.


  • Hundreds of guest entries 
  • Approx 3 million dollars of “earned media” including The TImes and CNN as well as trade coverage

Here’s a picture:

For more see http://www.floydhayes.com/#/yotel-installation/

Miles, this was pretty much my perfect gig – it plays in the space between real life and digital, it also provided utility “useful marketing” as I like to call it.

How has your work changed or not from non digital to digital to both?

I work in real world experiences and use digital to amplify those experiences

Define the perfect client?

A perfect client wants to create genuinely weird and wonderful experiences for the public. They love my thinking and allow me to “be myself”

A perfect client is a human being, someone I can break bread with. 

They are smart and honest

They make me push myself creatively

They are good humored 

They also pay within a reasonable time frame

How do your clients determine your value? Ex media exposure, what else?

Various ways, often:

  • Earned media coverage (which can have a equivalent ad space dollar value attributed)
  • Social media (views, likes, shares)
  • General brand elevation (they know if it is on brand and if it has helped their cause)
  • Positive word of mouth
  • Foot traffic – both at the physical experience and passing traffic “ambient views”
  • Web traffic
  • Last but certainly not least, sales.  

What’s your optimal situation?

I like to dip in and out of creative flow, both on my own and with small brainstorm groups. I also like to move about.  Desk for a bit, walk for a while, change up the environment, keep stimulated.

Freelance or staff?

I want to be on staff now but I love a juicy project too.

Initially, I wanted to prove that I could do what I do via my own tenacity and skill, I’ve now proved I can and would love to work in a full time role again, but for the right people.

This may be related to “perfect client” but…

Only two clients have ever asked me this, and it was a smart question and one I greatly appreciated as it should actual thought and respect re: The Creative Process. Is this how best to manage creativity?

“How do you like to work?”

Simple but important.

I’m talking about the big ad agencies here:

Often an Account person is charged with managing creative people. From an account point of view it makes sense to get all the creative people together in a “war room” and brainstorm all day until the “big idea” arrives.  

It’s a smart use of creative resources, space and time.

Expect it may be the very worst way to get the creative juice flowing.

Don’t get me wrong, when a big Co pays my day rate and insists on an all day brainstorm starting at 8 in the morning… I smile and get on with it. Try my best.

But it’s not how I want to work and it’s not the best method of generating the best thinking….


Reach Floyd Hayes
+1(917) 684 1870
Fun and Effective

Gil SadehGil Sadeh
Co-Founder & CEO Signals Analytics



Signals Analytics Logo

What problem does Signals Analytics solve?

There has been an explosion in both data and companies efforts to become more data-driven. However, 90% of the world’s data is unstructured, unconnected and unable to be analyzed by traditional analytics.

Our mission is to give companies a way forward to utilize and understand this data and how it impacts their business, so they can drive a richer more lasting experience and sustain growth.

I don’t like the taste of this pill. I can’t swallow this pill. I can’t open the packaging. I don’t have enough money to pay for my medication. I don’t feel good after taking this medication.

Consumers express concerns about a variety of products in the U.S. and around the world. Yet, how can companies identify, analyze and harness this unstructured data in meaningful ways that actually supports their product development and growth initiatives?

Signals’ technology applies the proven military principles of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) to machine learning and predictive analytics technologies, to create meaning from unstructured data designed to answer key commercial questions on product portfolio performance and forthcoming market trends and needs.

What’s special about you?

Prior to founding Signals I spent nearly 15 years as a commander of an elite special forces unit in the Israeli Defense Forces.

This is a role where your very survival depends on the quality of your intelligence, and it needs to be current, up-to- date: what are my conditions? How have they changed? Does this affect the time or point of entry? Is this bank transfer a true signal or just noise?

My expertise is truly in transforming random data into intelligence, and mapping it against go or no-go decisions.

Why are you doing this?

Kobi Gershoni and I co-founded Signals with the vision of applying the principles of military intelligence to product portfolio management and corporate innovation.

Together we had over 30 years of training, and we set out to develop a cloud-based platform that detects signals from the noise and provides a unified, always-on system-of- record for product decisions.

Historically, the military has been decades ahead of business in leveraging unconventional approaches that support real-time decision making and result in optimal outcomes.

We saw a unique opportunity with the explosion of unstructured data: there was a need for a new offering that empowers executives to respond to conditions of uncertainty and anticipate a constantly changing marketplace.”

What are some of your other pearls of wisdom?

  1. There is no magic 8 ball when it comes to analytics solutions and data science. Technologies are good, and advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to be transformative, but the man plus machine combination is what ultimately delivers value from any system. Think of it as “augmented intelligence.”Any successful data science strategy must start with a foundation in the topic domain, with knowledge of the business challenge that needs to be solved. Then, models and data schemes can be developed, and data collected, but one does not work without the other.
  2. Getting smarter about unstructured is as much about changing how we think about corporate intelligence and decision-making as it is the tools and data. Once we acknowledge that our world has changed – consumers have never been more fickle or empowered, the pace of the market has accelerated, disruption is global and coming from everywhere – decision-makers immediately welcome new ways and tools for thinking about decision-making.


Gil Sadeh — Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Prior to co-founding Signals, Gil served as a military intelligence and reconnaissance consultant for several defense-related governmental entities throughout the world, utilizing his vast experience honed as a commanding officer in an elite special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces. He is a frequent guest lecturer and editorial contributor on the application of open source and signals intelligence to drive innovation, delight customers and reduce the risk of commercial decision making. Gil holds an LLB and MA in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy from the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel.

ENGAGE: NYC Digital Storytelling Conference

I enjoyed last week’s ENGAGE: NYC Digital Storytelling Conference. Talk NYC founder Derek Smith and his team put on a great event, featuring thought leaders from agencies, startups, and major brands. They covered the state of storytelling and where it’s going.

Below I share some of the highlights:

Aki Spicer, Chief Digital Officer of TBWA/ChiatDay covered the evolutîon of the agency and a day in the life of their teams. The operation seemed more like a busy newsroom with a mix of roles and talents. They have trend spotters, mixed-media specialists, and former journalists on staff. It’s a much more diverse mix than the traditional creative and account director-led teams.

Rodney Williams, CMO of Moët Hennessy talked about old brands employing new storytelling tricks. They are in a regulated industry which prevents MH from selling direct to consumers (like the car business). The company employs experiential storytelling and won an award at the TriBeCa Film Festival for Moët Moments short films.

One of the most interesting things Rodney covered was about the cult of Cognac and the master distiller. It’s something I never knew about (kind of reminded me of the rigors of the master sommelier in the wine world). E.g. new recruits don’t even speak up in tasting meetings for the first 10 years – that’s how long it takes to get your Cognac “nose.” And Cognac master distillers come from long lines often stretching back eight generations.

An audience member suggested using VR to capture the experience of a tasting session – but Rodney demurred. Doing so would pierce the veil, transparency has its limits and it is important to pròtect the mystique – no watching the Cognac sausage getting made here.

It was great hearing from former Boxee CEO Avner Ronen. He is heading up a new company called Public that has an app of the same name. It uses text messaging to help teens collaborate and tell stories. The app is aimed at members of communities such as middle and high schools.

Navid Khonsari of INK Stories talked about storytelling through gaming. I am not really a gamer – and one might not instantly connect the medium with brand marketing. But Navid made a compelling case and spoke about cool titles they’ve produced like 1979, which brings you into the Iranian revolution.

Then it was time for the session “The Rise of the Storytelling Bots” and I thought: great, here comes the Trump communications team (ba dum). Seriously, Hakari Bee of Rapp NYC spoke about the topic. It’s fascinating. Who knew you could go to a site called ChatFuel.com and build a Facebook bot in 5-7 minutes, without coding? Hakari covered best practices and case studies, including Mr. Miles (a bot and fictional character who flies KLM and Air France), covered by DM News.

Joe Hyrkin, CEO of Issuu (pronounced “issue”) made a compelling case that basically says creators are inheriting the Earth – they are the real kings of storytelling. Joe cited examples ranging from the singer Solange to Sweet Paul. He said that storytellers are building new media companies, and going where they want to share; it’s a creator’s world.

There were other great sessions. Unfortunately, I missed the later ones, as I could not stay the entire afternoon. I look forward to attending the next ENGAGE DSC.

Interview: Andrew Weinreich, Startup Veteran

Andrew WeinreichAndrew Weinreich,
startup veteran

predictingourfuture.com (podcast)

What problem does Andrew’s Roadmaps solve?

The idea behind the program is that, in order to succeed, entrepreneurs need to have a minimum level of competency in every discipline that they will confront while building and scaling their startups. We provide best practices and plans in all the disciplines associated with the life cycle of a digital startup  (e.g. lessons and templates for a business plan, cash flow projections, marketing plan, sales plan, product plan, etc.).

What’s special about you?

I have over 20 years of experience building tech businesses and have gained an appreciation for how planning shortens the overall execution time and reduces risk. I also have a fairly good track record at predicting massive disruptions that are likely to occur in different verticals, whether it has been anticipating the social network, public WiFi hotspots, or mobile online dating.

Why are you doing this?

I throw the Roadmap boot camp because I love working with and helping startups. Often, when I work with entrepreneurs, I learn as much from them as they’re able to learn from me. The reason why I’m doing the podcast is that I’ve found that the best way to understand where the world is headed is to talk with lots of disrupters who have developed specialized knowledge about their particular spaces. Then I synthesize what I learn from them into my own coherent narrative about how I foresee a particular space developing over time. I’m also trying to share with aspiring entrepreneurs promising areas in which they might start a business.

You are the only entrepreneur who shared the concept of the alpha, someone who makes up his mind and who others follow. They put up 10% and nine of their friends follow with the other 90%.

I do believe that most people look to be inspired at work and to participate in teams that are building something of which they can be proud.  If you want to be a startup CEO, your first job is to paint a vision and then inspire others with skills you lack to make that vision a reality.

What are some of Andrew’s other pearls of wisdom?


  1. Great founders develop a macro thesis about a space. A macro thesis is a perspective about large trends that are dictating where an industry is headed. Their expertise on the space is more important than their initial implementation. Expertise, or the ability to develop a compelling macro thesis about a vertical, is what allows founders to pivot. One reason to pivot is when you realize your macro thesis needs adjustment.

  2. Great founders all seem to have the right combination of arrogance and humility.

Another topic is how you think and why it’s special. I don’t know what else you have done besides six degrees. How do you determine what to move forward with?

I’ve founded (or co-founded) 7 companies in spaces that I’ve tried to be a disrupter in:

  1. Social networking (sixdegrees)
  2. Bringing WiFi to public places (Joltage)
  3. Online fundraising for political campaigns and non-profits (I Stand For)
  4. Mobile dating (MeetMoi)
  5. Mobile CRM (Xtify)
  6. Business analytics (Indicative)
  7. Startup education (Andrew’s Roadmaps / Predicting Our Future)

The value of your podcast is your thinking, your success and how you are sharing it with others. Are you other future change topics relate around solving your problems. I.e. Manufactured housing vs stick build onsite housing?

No. It’s usually easier to start with your own problems, because you’re likely to have considered a problem for longer and be more intent on solving it.  

Internet Society Meetup Explores Fake News

I attended the Internet Society’s “Content Rules?!” session the other week. The panel drilled down on what we now call The Fake News problem (I couch it like this because, as you’ll see it’s not a new one), defining it and exploring causes and solutions.

There’s been a lot already written about fake news. It’s turned into a real meme and hot button, but there’s been lots of noise and confusion. That’s not surprising because it is a complex topic, one that only recently hit our radars in the wake of the election.

Giving it a name gave it legs, a thing to blame (in some cases just because someone doesn’t like an article), and evoked lots of teeth gnashing. The session gave me the opportunity to hear from some very smart people from different sides, better understand the issues and crystallize my thoughts about how we might address the problem.

Not a New Problem

Journalist and American University Professor Chuck Lewis started by explaining that fake news has been around for years in various forms, e.g. government disinformation and propaganda. Toni Muzi Falcone’s DigiDig wrap (in Italian) also discussed this.

“The irony of us feeling victimized by fake news is pretty thick,” he said. “We’ve gone from truth to truthiness to a post-truth society, and now it’s fake news,” said Chuck, “but it’s been going on for centuries.”

He blamed the number of people “spinning information” vs. reporting it, and the ratio of PR people to journalists (which has grown to 5:1), and said it is a crisis for journalism. The big questions are, who decides what is true, and how do you set standards for 200+ countries? We’ve traditionally relied on the press to be content mediation experts.

“We are at a critical, disturbing crossroad,” Lewis said, as “No one wants the government to be the mediators.”

A Systemic Problem

Compounding the problem are the changing ways we get info, and the growing influence of social networks. Gilad Lotan, head of data science at Buzzfeed, discussed this.

He’s studied political polarization in Israel. Gilad showed some fancy social graphs that tracked the spreading of stories in the wake of IDF’s bombing of a Palestinian school. Two different story lines emerged. Neither was “fake” Gilad explained; “They just chose to leave certain pieces of info out in order to drive home points of a narrative.”

Gilad further discussed how your network position defines the stories you see; this leads to polarization and homophily (a fancy way of saying echo chamber). He also explained the role of algorithmic ranking systems. “You’re much more likely to see content which aligns with your viewpoints,” he said. This spawns “personalized propaganda spaces.”

It gives bad actors a way to game the system. Gilad illustrated this via what had been the elephant in the room – the 2016 US presidential election. He shared images that showed phantom groups manipulating the spread of information.

“The awareness of how algorithms work gave them a huge advantage. To this day, if you search for ‘Hillary’s Health’ on YouTube or Google, you see conspiracy theories at the top.”

Moderator Aram Sinnreich, associate professor at American University added: “My impression as a media scholar and critic… is that there’s been a lot of finger-pointing… everyone feels that there’s been a hollowing out of the Democratic process… undermining of the traditional role that the media has played as the gatekeeper of the shared narrative and shared truths; people want to hold the platforms accountable.”

Flavors of Fake News

Andrew Bridges, a lawyer who represents tech platforms, said that it is important to define the problem before considering solutions. The knee-jerk reaction has been to try to turn social networks into enforcement agencies, but that would be a mistake, according to Bridges. That’s because there are seven things calling fake news that could have different solutions (I list them with the examples he cited):

  1. Research and reporting with a pretense of being objective (e.g., major newspapers)
  2. Research and reporting in service of a cause (National Review, Nation, New Republic)
  3. Pretend journalism – claim to be a news source but is a curator (Daily Kos)
  4. Lies – the ones that Politifact and others give Pinocchio noses or “pants on fire” awards
  5. Propaganda – the systematic pattern of lying for political gain
  6. Make-believe news, like Macedonian sites. They make up news from whole cloth.
  7. Counterfeit sites – they make you think you are at ABC News.com, for example

Then, he dramatically challenged the panel and audience to label certain big ticket topics as fake news or not: Evolution, global warming, the importance of low-fat diets, the importance of low carb diets.

Bridges said that there’s not necessarily a quick fix or tech solution to the problem. “These things have been out there in society, in front of our eyes for years.” He likened the problem to gerrymandering, gated communities and questions about Hillary’s health.

Some have proposed algorithmic transparency (not surprisingly, Bridges thinks it is an awful idea; “Opening them up just makes it easier to game the system”).

What could work, according to the lawyer? “I think we should look to algorithmic opacity, and brand values of the organizations applying the algorithm.” What about content moderation? He said “Do we turn it over to a third party, like a Politifact? Who moderates the moderator? We know what moderation is – it’s censorship.”

In Bridges view, education is important. We should teach the importance of research and fact checking, and keep each other honest: “Friends don’t let friends spread fake news.”

Other Challenges

Jessa Lingel, Ph.D. and assistant professor at Annenberg School of Communications, seemed to be the youngest on the panel and spoke up for millennials:

“You can’t promise a generation of Internet-loving people a sense of control and agency over content and not expect this breakdown in trust.” She talked about the growth of citizen-driven journalism and the shift from content generation to interpretation. Jessa bemoaned the digital natives’ loss of innocence:

“We were promised a Democratic web and got a populist one; a web that that connects us to different people, instead we got silos. Geography wasn’t supposed to matter… anyone with an Internet connection is the same… instead, geography matters a lot.”

Jessa siad that algorithmic transparency is important but said that it is not enough. “Opacity? I do want to pay attention to the man behind the curtain. We need more than that tiny little button that explains ‘why did I get this ad?’”

Up Next: More on Solutions

As you have hopefully seen from my post, there are many opinions on the situation, and it’s a complex topic.

What do you think? In my next post, I’ll share my thoughts on fake news problems and solutions.

Happy New Year: Let this be the year of solutions


I feel that a lot of last year was all about showing up. Sort of like when they started to give all members of a school sports teams a trophy. Did they win? No, they just showed up. Or when Mayor Guiliani called all those at the World Trade Center heros.

Life isn’t like that. Life is too scarce to have all who show up to be winners.

In this age of you don’t know who to believe the only thing you can control is your truth. And accompishment of your goals is your truth. Take responsibility.

Happy New Year.

AdTech 2016 Wrap


Cross-posted on Flack’s Revenge

I attended AdTech last week, which featured a great lineup of keynotes and panels and over 100 vendors.

It seems like there’s never enough time at big shows to check out everything (Fusion PR is one stop away on the 7 subway line, too close to keep me from work’s orbit). Some of the most interesting things are not in the program – they occur “interstitially”, during networking and conversations in-between sessions.

E.g. at the happy hour on Wednesday I chatted with a number of very compelling startups and established players. I list a few below, and also include some of the top tweets related to the event.

  • Ads on Top – An innovative solution for out-of-home ads that target consumers “in the wild” via digital signs.
  • Adaptive Campaigns – It’s a programmatic real-time engine that delivers the most relevant ad content for every impression; there’s some pretty interesting predictive tech behind Adaptive.
  • Algomizer – Interesting Israeli tech that helps improve online marketing results.
  • MediaStinct – A global, digital ad network providing search, video, mobile and display advertising solutions.
  • Sigmoid – Big data analytics, applied to advertising (and other markets).
  • Wynzyn – Incentivizes consumers to watch ads – they have some pretty incredible attention and conversion numbers.


Those who think, think, those who do go to AdTech


AdTech is next week at the Javits Convention Center to NYC.

You go because of who is there. Both the exhibitors and the other attendees. There is budget and an immedicaly to be a first mover. If you have an offering for the adtech community attending is a lot cheaper, faster, and more efficient, then making 20 or more sales calls.

Your customer is there, so should you.
Your compeditor is there, so should you.
Your next job is there, so should you.
Your company’s partner, customer or buyer is there, so should you.

New York is such a big place. The world comes to NYC. There is a cost to Ad-Tech. It removes those from attending who aren’t serious. For your business and your career its both time and money well spent.


Startup World Cup We’ll feature the US debut of the Startup World Cup U.S. regional competition. This is the first ever event of its type, organized by Fenox Venture Capital, a Silicon Valley-based multinational VC firm. You may have seen this release a couple weeks ago.

There will also be a new immersive content area called “Machina.” The folks developing the show for the community really believe brands, marketers, advertisers are only beginning to understand the potential of VR and AR, and MR, so as part of the new ad:tech, they will bring the best of the future of martech to the audience. Some amazing immersive content and presentations by a diverse mix of co’s will be happening here @Machina.

A few quick highlights.

Keynotes with Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategist and member of the Directoire+ of Publicis Groupe, Guy Primus, Co-founder and CEO of The Virtual Reality Company, and Laura Henderson, head of Global Content & Media Monetization at Mondelez International.

Heavy-hitting discussions

Advanced TV

Addressable Advertising


Future of Search and Social Good.

Take our survey You will receive a discount code in your email by monday.

Hope to see you there.