Occasional thoughts on product and process from the Mint team

Notes from Content Marketing World 2013 (I)

Posted in Reflections by Laura Grace

Content Marketing World 2013

Last week I attended the gigantic conference-a-palooza that is Content Marketing World, taking over downtown Cleveland for three days of rockstar keynotes and jam-packed break-out sessions. Oh, and a guest appearance by Captain Kirk. #nbd

Now in its third year, CM World is riding a wave of industry-wide enthusiasm for the benefits of a content-based marketing approach. For me, the overwhelming message of the event was: helping people beats selling to people . Both in terms of (long-tail) bottom-line results, and in feeling good about what you do.

This definitely struck a chord. At Mint, we’re shifting our focus from just making awesome stuff, to making awesome stuff that actually improves people’s lives (expect more on that in the near future.) And I have to confess, at CM World, I drank the Kool-Aid...

As usual, my conference notes are a hodge podge of the interesting and the illegible, but here’s an assortment of my favourite takeaways:

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BACON: The Speaker Q&A #6

Posted in Reflections by Kaye Symington

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the final edition of our BACON speaker series, before the event itself tomorrow, yes, tomorrow! Team Bacon are currently prepping the venue, getting the bacon sizzling, and getting psyched up for the big event.

Today's Q&A is brought to you by the wonderful Jake Archibald, who's aim is to make developers lives a bit easier, will be helping us render without any of those unnecessary lumpy bits at this weekend's conference.

Jake Archibald

Jake Archibald | http://jakearchibald.co.uk/ | @jaffathecake

Jake works in Google Chrome's developer relations team, working on specs, testing implementations, and ensuring developers have tools to make their jobs less painful. He's a big fan of time-to-render optimisations, progressive enhancement, and all of that responsive stuff. Prior to Google, Jake worked at Lanyrd on their mobile web site (http://lanyrd.com/mobile/), and for the BBC working on JavaScript libraries and standards. Outside of the web, Jake likes F1 and nice beer. 

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BACON: The Speaker Q&A #5

Posted in Reflections by Laura Grace

Today's edition of the BACON speaker series is an extra-large helping of delicious, bacony goodness, courtesy of the wonderfully loquacious Christian Heilmann.

In his Helping or Hurting? keynote, Christian will be exploring how we may be hurting the cause of the web by abstracting problems away, instead of learning by failing. Expect inspiration by the bucket load...

Christian Heilmann | http://christianheilmann.com/ | @codepo8

Christian Heilmann has dedicated a lot of his time making the web better. Originally coming from a radio journalism background, he built his first web site from scratch around 1997 and spent the following years working on lots of large, international web sites. He then spent a few years in Yahoo building products and explaining and training people and is now at Mozilla. Chris wrote and contributed to four books on web development and wrote many articles and hundreds of blog posts for Ajaxian, Smashing Magazine, Yahoo, Mozilla, ScriptJunkie and many more. 

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Do banks lend to small businesses?

Posted in Reflections by Andy Bell

Robert Peston recently discussed how to get businesses borrowing more. He says the problem for banks is:

“businesses they deem to be creditworthy simply don't want to borrow right now.”

The view from this small business is rather different.

Mint is small, fast-growing digital product development company. In eight years, we’ve gone from 2 people to 35. With access to a bank loan, we would have grown more quickly, hired more people and reduced the risk that a cashflow hiccup could capsize us.

At several points in our history we’ve gone round the banks, looking for a loan. We’ve tried them all: from the high street names to specialists like Coutts and Silicon Valley Bank.

We have always been turned down.

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BACON: The Speaker Q&A #4

Posted in Reflections by Laura Grace

We have an Easter treat for you today - a piping hot edition of our BACON speaker series, fresh from the griddle. (And what goes with eggs better than bacon...?)

Today's Q&A is with the scarily-talented Joel Scotkin, who will be geeking us out with his terrific-sounding talk on computer-controlled rockets. Joel's current projects include: "designing the landing approach for the next major Mars mission". We like this guy.

Joel Scotkin | http://www.masten.aero

Joel started his career in financial technology. As JP Morgan's first webmaster he helped launch the very first online presence for a major financial firm with their RiskMetrics offering in 1994. In 1995 Joel founded Random Walk Computing, which drove the acceptance of Java into the financial domain and grew to become Wall Street's leading capital markets technology consultancy. After selling Random Walk to Accenture in 2006, Joel decided to pursue his dream of building rockets, and joined Masten Space Systems as lead investor and eventually CEO. Masten won the NASA Centennial Lunar Lander Challenge X-Prize in 2009 and has pioneered fully autonomous hovering rocket vehicles via dramatic advances in on-board computation. Current projects include work with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory designing the landing approach for the next major Mars mission, angel investing in a variety of startups, and pondering the next big thing. 

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