Archive for the year 2011
Stage Two, Inc. is an integrated communications agency obsessed with creating innovative marketing strategies and engaging PR campaigns for consumer technology companies. We have helped clients such as EA, SONOS, NETGEAR, Boxee, Clicker, VUDU, D-Link, PogoPlug, Waze, and Orbotix connect with tech press, traditional journalists, digital influencers and consumers.
Stage Two is currently seeking a full time Business Development/Sales Representative to join our fast growing San Francisco-based boutique firm.
The primary role of this position is to close new business by generating meetings with target accounts, developing leads into opportunities and establishing long-term relationships with prospective clients. Candidates will start in a lead generation role or a lead generation / sales role based on qualifications and level of experience.
- Lead generation/outbound calling and warm lead follow up.
- Perform new business introductory calls and presentations to articulate S2 services, philosophies and methodologies.
- Manage deals from prospecting to close
- Meet or exceed monthly, quarterly and annual revenue targets.
- Work closely with prospective clients to understand their business objectives and create the most appropriate solution to meet their needs.
- Develop and maintain relationships with prospects and clients over the long term.
- Attend tech / networking events around the bay area as a representative of Stage Two
- 2-5 years proven B2B sales experience in a product or services environment.
- Proven track record of opening new accounts.
- Experience closing deals in the $25k-$100k range.
- Proven track record of meeting/exceeding quotas and goals.
- Experience selling services to marketing organizations within high-tech firms a plus.
- Exceptional written and oral presentation skills
- Ability to work independently on multiple tasks
- Strong attention to detail
- Experience negotiating legal contracts and/or agreements a plus
If you’re highly entrepreneurial, confident, passionate, eager to learn and have a proven track record of sales achievement, you might be just the person we’re looking for.
If you’re interested in this position, please email us some thoughts as to why you’d be a great addition to our rock star team (don’t do a cut/paste job, we’ll know) as well as your resume to email@example.com for immediate consideration.
After reading this article from Daring Fireball we got the idea that Windows 8 is like that guy who is always modifying his old car. Sure, he has custom rims, tinted windows and monogrammed upholstery. But at the end of the day, he is still cruising around in a ’99 Celica.
While Windows 8 does offer some pretty nifty features- you can view two apps side by side, among other enhancements – the esthetically pleasing demeanor doesn’t equal flawless functionality. Quoting from the page:
I think it’s a fundamentally flawed idea for Microsoft to build their next-generation OS and interface on top of the existing Windows. The idea is that you get the new stuff right alongside Windows as we know it. Microsoft is obviously trying to learn from Apple, but they clearly don’t understand why the iPad runs iOS, and not Mac OS X.
So while Microsoft has built a visually appealing mobile operating system (and it is pretty – see the video below), they tacked this new UI on top of Windows. The result is a potentially muddled experience that aims to power tablets, laptops and desktop PCs. Others have wondered if this new OS is capable of powering both desktops and slates.
Microsoft needs to understand that a great touch OS is defined by restraint and streamlined elegance, while a desktop OS is defined by thoroughness and depth. It is interesting to see how the UI has progressed, but in failing to differentiate mobile from desktop user needs, Microsoft may have just put new spinners on an old Toyota.
Stage Two is pleased to welcome our new summer intern, Elizabeth Novotny.
Elizabeth is a full time communication major at Saint Mary’s College of California, and also serves as the President of the American Marketing Association Collegiate Chapter at her school. She will be assisting our PR and Marketing teams for the next few months, and we are looking forward to her clever wit and team spirit.
Originally from Colorado by way of LA, Elizabeth has a background in entertainment and media technology, previously interning at NBC Universal Television Publicity. In an effort to escape the entertainment industry and try different hiking trails she relocated to the Bay Area, which she believes is the perfect mix between her two former cities.
In her spare time Elizabeth enjoys hiking, reading, and attending theater, music and comedy shows. She can also be found exploring the Bay Area- frequently on a bike. Elizabeth considers herself to be a bit of a foodie and loves to try new food and restaurants. She is a social media enthusiast and you can follow her @enovotny.
This week the Stage Two team embarked on a tour of the beautiful Russian River Valley for an off site team building experience for the ages.
The team got to bond, relax and detect subtle notes of oak and vanilla.
The weather was perfect – sunny and in the mid-70s – and good times were had by all.
Along the way we stopped at some amazing wineries, enjoyed a picnic lunch and sang some serious Bon Jovi tunes in the back of our limo.
Special thanks to our limo driver who returned the iPad Adam left in the back of the ride. You are a scholar and a gentleman.
The Stage Two team recently moved into our new offices on Townsend Street, right across from the ball park in San Francisco.
We are still in the process of settling in and unpacking, but we managed to get the coffee machine working, so are calling the entire process a win. As you might expect, a company that works with consumer technology collects quite a few gadgets over the years. During the move we uncovered 2 XBOXes, 1 3D0, several tablets, laptops and netbooks and an ergonomic mouse. It was interesting to see how far technology has come in the last few years.
We really enjoyed working on Montgomery Street and will miss our friends and neighbors in Jackson Square (specifically the breakfast at Bocadillos and the everything at Naked Lunch). But we also look forward to exploring the SOMA district in the coming weeks, making new friends and finding new places to hang out.
Our phone number and email are still the same, and we still have our “open door” policy. If you are in the neighborhood, come by and say hi – we’d love to show you around Stage Two and our new neighborhood.
Yesterday the news broke that Apple iOS devices have been secretly tracking and storing their movements for over a year. Privacy advocates, tech pundits and even politicians got involved almost immediately. We thought we would get in on the media maelstrom and offer a slightly different take on these revelations.
Here, then, are our top ten creepy stalker songs to play on your creepy stalker iOS device.
10. Every Breath You Take – The Police
9. I Will Posses Your Heart – Death Cab For Cutie
8. #1 Crush – Garbage
7. I Love You . . . I’ll Kill You – Enigma
6. You Belong To Me – Carly Simon
5. My Best Friend’s Girl – The Cars
4. Protect Ya Neck – Wu-Tang Clan
3. I Will Follow – U2
2. Sunglasses at Night – Corey Hart
1. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
Seriously, our clients are really good at what they do. And when they have good news to share we love shouting it from the rooftops! Anyway, what’s more exciting than getting money? Orbotix, the creators of the robotic ball Sphero, closed $5 million in a Series B funding by Foundry Group and Highway 12 Ventures.
Not only is Orbotix getting some new funds to further the production of Sphero, it’s gaining a new board member: Mark Solon, managing director of Highway 12 Ventures. He joins Brad Feld, managing director of Foundry Group, who has been working with Orbotix since the TechStar days last summer. Read more from Mark on the Highway 12 Blog.
Sphero will be ready to ship before the holidays this year, but you can reserve your own here, which is recommended because we know they’ll be selling like hot cakes (hot spherical cakes).
Check out some of the coverage Orbotix received today with the announcement:
TechCrunch posted a great article on new Stage Two client Evoz today. Robin Wauters, an expecting father himself, got a live demo of the Evoz baby monitoring service from Avishai Shoham, the founder of the firm. Robin’s thoughts?
“The verdict? It’s freaking amazing.”
Quoting from TechCrunch:
Imagine if you had an iPhone or iPod touch to spare, and that you’d simply install it in a charger in your young child’s room like you would any baby monitor.
Now imagine that an always-on application installed on the device would let you call in from anywhere in the world to hear how your baby is sleeping (or exactly how hard he or she is crying, or if you’re lucky, laughing or playing). Imagine that you could also opt to receive ‘quiet’ alerts by SMS or email whenever your kid cries for longer than, say, 5 minutes, so you can give the babysitter a quick call to see what’s up after e.g. a meeting or dinner . . . Evoz lets you do all that, and more.
As both Stage Two founders are recent parents themselves, they know the value of a state of the art baby monitoring service. “I have wanted digital baby monitoring since I had my first kid,” said Jeremy Toeman. “RF baby monitors have been outdated since the 70’s. I’m already using this in my house with my newborn.”
We are proud to work with Avishai and the entire Evoz team.
Parents with children under 18 months old and 2 iOS devices are encouraged to sign up for the Beta here.
Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese
Orbotix has been a client for six months now and we are thrilled to be working with their talented product team. They debuted Sphero at CES and – more recently – took the little sphere on the road at SXSW. We are excited that Sphero will ship this fall and can’t wait to share its special sense of play with the world.
The Sphero team is really cranking on all cylinders these days, and it never ceases to amaze us the speed at which they innovate in this growing space. They started with Sphero and now, with the introduction of Cubo, will bring two solutions to the market this fall.
Congrats to the entire Orbotix team! They are really thinking outside the box with this one.
Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese
Andrew Orlowski has a detailed article in The Register that looks at why Nokia’s mobile ecosystem failed. It wasn’t because their Symbian software was faulty (the article states that Symbian devices actually performed better than others in terms of signal strength and battery life). According to the article, Symbian died because it lacked usability. Quoting from the page:
Nokia’s phones were considered uncompetitive in the marketplace, because new products from Apple and Android had raised the bar for ease of use, particularly for new data applications, and Nokia’s user experience was awful.
The UX matters: it’s the first thing potential customers see when a friend passes them their new phone in the pub. A well-designed UX is consistent, forgiving and rewarding; Nokia’s user experience was inconsistent, unforgiving and hostile.
This last point is especially salient. Apple’s focus on usability and user experience is one of the reasons they have been so successful with devices like the iPad 2. In order to succeed, device makers must deliver well designed products with great UX.
GigaOm delivered their own Symbian autopsy in which ex-Nokia designer Adam Greenfield stated that the cause of death was lack of taste. “There’s nobody with any taste in the decision-making echelons at Nokia,” he writes. Steve Jobs has made similar comments about a lack of taste in the tech sector in the past. Tasteful design and desirable user experiences matter more to consumers than hardware specs and processing power.
While UX is certainly a critical component of successful product development, we see another key factor that led to Nokia abandoning their mobile ecosystem – the rise of 3G and constantly connected devices. In our opinion, Nokia (and Palm, for that matter) got into trouble early in the 3G adoption curve. The company built a bevy of brilliant feature phones up until the 3G paradigm shift, but once technologies like email and mobile web arrived, Nokia failed to adapt in the ways consumers wanted. Its operating system could not handle these newer features and the entire platform stagnated. Eventually, the OS fell too far behind the rest of the market to save it. When people examine the end of the Symbian ecosystem, usability issues will certainly come up.
Great usability must work in concert with a nimble, adaptive corporation that can respond to (and hopefully initiate) tech trends. And this – by the way – is how Apple could one day fail. If a paradigm shift occurs outside Cupertino and Apple fails to pay attention to it, they could move quickly from market leader to tech laggard. As a final aside, placing widgets on homescreens is not something we consider a paradigm shift (hint, hint, Android). When a real computing sea change happens, the winners will be the companies that recognize it and react swiftly.