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Candor - Genuine bias-free Idea Generation for the Digital Age

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 23 2014 - Brainstorming is one of the best ways of collaborating with a team and unleashing creativity, spotting flaws and driving through improvements. At least it would be if you had a perfectly balanced team. When you have some powerful or charismatic personalities in a group then idea bias creeps in and people will defer to these people subconsciously or publicly, regardless of the quality of their ideas.

Groupthink and other elements of unconscious bias can sabotage even the most mindful brainstorming session meaning many great ideas don’t make it to the table for discussion at all. This has been the way for decades, but a new app can cut through the bias and unleash the unfulfilled potential of unheard ideas.

Enter Candor - the iTunes and cloud-based app that is revolutionizing how people brainstorm. Most simply, Candor allows you to quickly collect and organize the independent ideas generated by your team, before discussing them in a group.

Available to download now from the iTunes store for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, Candor is the key to unlocking true, unbiased creativity.

Candor takes the received wisdom behind brainstorming and flips it on its head. For over fifty years, managers have been told that group synergy is the best way to work on problems, that individuals working together produce more ideas than working by themselves.  Candor challenges this assumption based on research and evidence that groups who brainstorm produce fewer and less diverse ideas than people who work alone and later pool their ideas.

Humans are social animals and this is why brainstorming fails. People are likely to spend more time thinking about group dynamics than generating new ideas. Psychology identifies this negative function as groupthink. One of the best ways of overcoming this is through private data collection which Candor facilitates to make bias-free brainstorming easy.

Candor operates through four stages:

  • Send the questions or problems to members of the brainstorming team
  • Let them submit their ideas to the session organizer
  • Meet as a group and have the session organizer reveal all the ideas the team has generated independently
  • Organize the ideas by theme and debate the merits of each one.  

Candor let’s people create unlimited brainstorms with simple share codes for inviting others to submit ideas. Submissions can be made anonymous or open to others to view and members can also be notified when new ideas have been submitted.

The research of Professor Loran Nordgren of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University underpins Candor and his ideas captivated the programming team at Eight Bit Studios.

Co-Founder and Design Principal Steve Polacek said: “My beliefs toward brainstorms started shifting the day Loran Nordgren came in to discuss his vision for better idea generation. Loran started telling us about Groupthink and Idea Bias. I knew he was right and the years of missed opportunities formed a pit in my stomach. This is a big problem, which is why we were so excited to work with Loran to bring his ideas to life.”

Candor will change the way you think about brainstorms and creative collaboration so why not try it today and let the best ideas flourish and fly!

 

Notes to Editors

Candor was created by Loran Nordgren and produced by Eight Bit Studios.
For more information contact info@usecandor.com  or visit http://usecandor.com/ 
A copy of this press release can be downloaded here: https//eightbitstudios.squarespace.com/s/candor_press_release.pdf

 

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UX collaboration is a terrible user experience - let's fix it

How many have you sat through a User Experience meeting? If you haven't, it goes a little something like this: 

A talented and educated individual with a design or technical background (and glasses), spends weeks splitting their brains open to work out all the ins and outs of an application. Their intellectual investment in research, gap analysis, hierarchy of needs, and the user journey manifests itself into a 15-50 page pdf document, expertly and thoroughly organized and annotated. [America! Fist pump.]

This isn't just how the newsfeed is going to be reinvented or how the interface is going to fold up like a paper airplane. It represents the answers to questions like: What happens when a user loses their internet connection during a post request and then decides to restart the app? It's the things your users won't reward you for giving them, but sure as hell will let you know the minute they don't

It sounds wonderful, doesn't it? A role that helps design and development do their job. A roadmap for the team and the product owners on what is being built! I mean, how could you possibly do ANYTHING in digital without great UX?! 

THERE IS JUST ONE PROBLEM!

It's broken. It won't take you long to realize that almost no one likes looking at 20-50 page PDFs with annotations, regardless of how valuable that information is!! 

Why?

  1. (Good) Designers need the freedom to reinvent UX patterns, and no matter how good the documentation, not starting with a blank slate can kill creativity.
  2. Engineers and developers now have incredible volumes of tools that increase their efficiency and productivity at their disposal. They need to have conversations about UX, not have it dictated to them.
  3. Project Managers and producers can't keep teams engaged in meetings or a document where they are constantly referencing different page numbers and having to remember points of flow.
  4. User Experience designers, (as in the people who are making the documents) even hate them because any time someone on the product team has an idea or major change, it requires a significant investment to get everything in the document to line back up.

    IF THAT, wasn't bad enough... (which it is)
     
  5. Clients and business units don't like them because it's too hard to track a user journey across multiple pages, while paying attention to the technical details. They either don't understand it, don't care, or let it take place until they see the app functioning so that they can later decide everything needs to change. :) It's not your fault.

Crap. So now what?

Well readers, when we started Eight Bit Studios it gave us a chance to think differently about everything it meant to collaborate with clients. One MASSIVE pain point was watching UX professionals cracking their heads open, only to have their work dismantled as it entered design, then again in development, and one last time for good measure by the product owner. 

We knew UX was important. Really important. Most people (and you) agree! But something had to be done to put it back into the heart of the project and give it the life it deserved. It needed to evolve.

Presenting the Wireflow Document

Why we and our clients love it and why it works.

1. It's easy to follow.

Regardless of your technical expertise, there are some documents that most people "just get". You can explain a sitemap and story board to an 8 year old. When explaining architecture, it turns out these can be amazing foundations for other documents. No spheres and shapes representing decision trees. Instead, this is a layout of screens with arrows that take users from screen to screen in a logical order the way a user would when they use your app.

2. It increases engagement.

Imagine a meeting where you roll out a document the same size as the conference room table. Our wire flow documents are a minimum of 36" x 60". Instead of sitting back in your chairs half asleep, you have to stand up just to get a full picture of it! That's huge, because when people stand up they begin to engage! That's how everyone starts paying attention. It's big. It's awesome. You want to hang it on the wall in front of your office. You want to put it next to the executional team. It's a work of UX art, but better, it's THE roadmap for all good ideas and thoughts about the project.

3. It's extremely agile.

Popular programs for wireframes like Balsamiq are rapid, but are still limited by their always tempting-to-use "this is what's popular in ui now" patterns (if I see coverflow used one more time...). We use blank documents that start in Adobe Illustrator and in many cases our Designers can work directly with the files we create. If someone on the team comes up with a new interaction pattern for navigation, we can copy and paste it directly into the document. If a developer needs to enter an error use case, pop open the doc and add it. It's that easy! 

4. It encourages collaboration.

It's better than the back of a napkin, it's a giant napkin! The form factor encourages people to draw, take notes, and ideate on it. Unlike a PDF, having it right in front of you in paper encourages notations and doodling in a collaborative setting. Whether you're a designer, engineer or product owner, you can now feel the comfort to ideate within the flow and wires live with the team! (and we encourage it) 

5. It puts UX back at the heart of the project.

Dammit, if this wasn't the thing we were after. One of the things that always bothered us at bigger Chicago agencies is the need for "Stage Gates". Basically, as a project passes between teams, there are cutoffs and handoff points that define when Strategy, UX, Design, Development, etc begins and ends. Often times, even the best firms perform exceptionally in each stage, but because of these gates the work has to pass ownership. This process hurts the collaborative nature of digital work because it introduces a bias by each team. Having this document puts the producing and directing back in the entire executional and business team's hands. It's the centerpiece of the project and it constantly evolves with the project as you iterate across domains.

I hope you'll reconsider your UX process after reading this. Think about the role of UX. Even with great research and mental models and gap analysis and user journey flows, are you helping facilitate the right communication between your clients, your executional team, and your business units? 

To us, UX isn't about architecture and patterns and great research (although those are super important). GREAT UX is about facilitating communication. We're probably not the first ones to propose combining these docs or using them in this way, but I think we're quickly becoming the most effective collaborative digital teams in Chicago because of it. It's time your team does too!

Written by John W Ostler
Principal and Co-Founder of Eight Bit Studios

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Designers: Read this before you look for your next job.

If your portfolio speaks for itself, then opportunities find you. But the vast majority of designers suffer from obscurity and are trying to figure out how to build their brand, promote their work, and catch a break.

At Eight Bit, we’re fortunate to receive a steady stream of designers asking about job openings. We've seen the good, bad, and ugly of portfolio submissions. Here are some things to consider, before you start contacting companies.

Know Yourself.

The more specific you are about what you want, the better chance you’ll have at finding it. Otherwise, you’re leaving everything to chance.

  • Be a laser. Having clarity gives you a huge advantage over people without focus. People who know who they are and what they want convey confidence.
  • But what if I don’t know what I want? You’re in trouble and you’ve gotta do some self discovery. The good news is there are a ton of resources online to help you get clear on your interests, skills and talents. You should always be checking in with yourself and paying special attention to what energized you vs what drains you. These could be people, places, activities, etc.
  • Shouldn't I be open to any opportunity to get experience? Not all opportunities are created equal and some will align more with your goals than others.

Present who you want to be.

As humans, we like to organize and categorize things in our head, including people. Our natural tendency is to file people away into tidy boxes in our brain. You can't stop people from doing this. You have to work with it. If we don’t know what to do with somebody, they stay in limbo in our brains and in our lives. Or worse, they put you in the wrong place. Do you want someone creating a neural pathway for you based on a project you did 3 years ago that doesn’t represent you at anymore?

  • Showcase the kind of work you want to do in the future. If you want to be a mobile app designer, but you don’t have any examples in your portfolio, that’s a problem. The easiest fix is to create a fictional project for yourself that allows you to learn and shine as a mobile app designer.
  • Remove irrelevant work. If you don’t enjoy or want to do banner ads, don’t put examples of them in your portfolio. People are more likely to hire you based on what they see, than anything else.

Seek out your heroes.

  • Who do you admire? These are the people and companies you want to work with.
  • Don’t wait for job postings. Start conversations and form relationships as though these people will be in your life permanently.
  • Get interested. Check out their work. Get in their head. Jot down the things that spark your interest and why they matter.
  • Start a conversation. Make it about them. People love feedback. Listen. Don’t ask for anything. Be genuine.

Avoid Generic

  • Don't send messages in mass. Sending a generic, copy & paste message is a quick way to get ignored.
  • Writing to people, not companies. You’re better off communicating with an individual in mind, rather than writing to a company as a whole. Ideally, you can identify someone at a company that you could start a rapport with on a more personal level. Look for ways to strike up a conversation that goes beyond a formal, transactional exchange. Look for common ground. Let's say the Creative Director is a drummer and you are a drummer. Boonski. Just knowing that could help you break the ice.
  • Read your words out loud. If your email doesn’t sound like the way you talk, write it over. Be more casual and conversational. You’re not a robot! You’re a human being for cryin’ out loud. Act like it!
  • Don't do what everyone else does. Everyone sends emails these days. If you want to stand out, send a written letter. Better yet, send a pizza or something physical. It sounds like a gimmick, but if the gimmick gets you noticed, then it’s worth it.
  • Be interesting. One young designer applied to us and mentioned he spent over a year teaching English in South Korea. That alone made me want to know more about him and his experience overseas. 

More Great Advice

Here's a rundown of the best advice I've found out there for young designers.

  • Learn the Secret Handshake is an amazing resource where industry veterans can drop insider wisdom, honest advice and solid ideas to help you go pro. I tell every designer I know about it. Thank you to the talented folks at Bright Bright Great for putting it together.
  • David Airey helped inspire me to start sharing more of my process and experiences. He's a prolific writer who has been sharing his design insights for years. He's built a strong readership who enjoy his articles and books.
  • Paul Jarvis makes freelancing and self-publishing look easy. But we all know it's not. Thankfully, he shares everything he knows.
  • Mike Monteiro tells it like it is. I really love the style and content of his article for recent graduates, where he gives aspiring young designers the straight dope about what to expect when they enter the real world. 
  • Some of us just needs a slap in the face. Here it is
  • Watch this talk by Austin Kleon, who is an artist and writer I only recently discovered. His keynote, which opened the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival, is an amazing compass for how to put yourself out there the right way. He breaks the “Lone Genius” myth and explains why you should find your “Scenius”, a concept he borrows from Brian Eno. Kleon reminds us that to be accepted into a community, you first must become a good citizen. “If you want get, you want to give. If you wanted to be interesting, you have to be interested. If you want to be noticed, you have to notice first."


“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People  

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Internet Explorer 6.0 died today: Chicago frontend developer remembers

Today, Microsoft officially stopped support for IE6.
...and the frontend developers around Chicago rejoiced.

When I started in web design the internet was not a place for artists who cared about their pixels. You didn't start your mockups in Adobe programs. You created layouts and added graphics to them. By the time Netscape 4 and Internet Explorer 5 for Mac was released you could create 20-30 nested tables and get your graphics and layouts to match on just about every browser during that time. PROBLEM SOLVED! right? Then some smart people got together and decided the web needed standards and that content should be seperate from layout. Dammit.

After Microsoft started brushing their shoulders off from creating a little known thing called AJAX, they said to themselves, "Hey CSS is the future, let's support the crap out of... kinda." The problem was that the box-model had yet to be formalized. Do borders on divs count as part of a width of a div? As more and more things entered the web design ecosystem, the support got funkier and funkier. After 10 years (50-100 earth years), what was to become the future started looking and functioning a lot like Mom's basement.

Dev 1: "Hey, when we scroll in IE6, why do the bullets disappear?"
Dev 2: "Oh did you declare a position:relative on the ul or ol?"
Dev 1: "[expletive]"

or

Dev 1: "How do I get transparent pngs to work?"
Dev 2: "ActiveX plugin, or gif x2 and make sure you don't have links in there as IE6 has a problem with active anchor tags on top of transparency."

As late as 2009, places like Blast Radius(formerly DesignKitchen), Razorfish, Manifest Digital, Arc, Critical Mass, Accenture, etc couldn't close a single SOW without including the IE6 support requirement. In many cases, Chicago companies that were in all-ie6 environments like Motorola and Sears, were having to add $10,000's to all their project budgets to account for the additional browser support. I was lucky enough to help grow DesignKitchen's frontend team from 4 to 20 between 2007-2009 and one of the deal breaker questions to candidates was, how much IE6 experience do you have? Crazy.

When we started Eight Bit Studios in 2008, we immediately told all our clients that we have no current or future plans to support that browser. We even went as far to use our lack of support for the browser as a marketing tool to find frontend developers. We saved a lot of entrepreneurs a LOT of money and it doubled as an amazing recruiting tool. 

I'm not sure there will ever be a day when I forget all the hoops and trickery it took to protect great design across browsers. When those who endured it are old and gray, my hope is that we start frontend development schools. Maybe to weed out the weak students, we have a history of frontend development that includes 2 months of IE6 support curricula... Maybe followed by a month of IE5 for Mac and Netscape 4 hacks. ;)

RIP, IE 6.0. I hope you fit in your casket. Afterall, you're the one that drew it with those thick borders. Too subtle for ya?


John W Ostler (@seahostler) is Co-Founder and Principal of UX & UI at Eight Bit Studios (@eightbitstudios) a mobile and website design and development studio in Chicago. He has helped lead and produce technical and interaction design engagements with brands such as Cadbury Adams, Burger King, Motorola, Career Builder, Groupon, Exelon, Sidley Austin, and HSBC. His work has been featured in the USA Today, Brandweek, The Daily Beast, NewYork Times Tech blog, Mashable.com, homepage of Drupal.org, and featured on multiple CSS design blogs. He is also Co-Host and Executive Producer of Bytes Over Bagels, Chicago's favorite tech morning show.

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Stop adding and start shipping: how we did it creating Bytes Over Bagels

Last February, we decided to create a weekly podcast called Bytes Over Bagels.

We did it to help promote and talk about all the amazing Chicago startups we were learning about, meeting, and working with in design and development projects.  Last week, we published our 25th consecutive episode.  

So, how'd we get there?  The same way we create software.  By going about it thru agile methodologies using small iterative cycles to continually test and get feedback on the product. 

Once you're done skimming, there is a point to this at the bottom of the blog.

Version 1

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  • Name it
  • Make a logo
  • 8 minute show
  • Recorded on iPhone using iTalk recorder
  • Static website with HTML5 single audio file player for just one episode


Verion 2

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  • Increase show to 20 minutes
  • 1 Featured band from Chicago each show
  • 2 Shure mics with stands
  • 1 Audio Compressor
  • Started taking semi-pro photos
  • Static website with HTML5 audio player for multiple episodes
  • Implement new UX pattern for handling more than 1 episode
  • ITunes Podcast setup
  • Added show sponsors


Version 3

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  • 4 Shure mics
  • 8-channel mixing board
  • Increase show to 30 minutes
  • Implement new UX pattern for scanning larger inventory of episodes
  • Static mobile friendly layout
  • Weekly Email newsletter add with template


Version 4

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  • Increase show to 35 minutes
  • Add show time scrubber to HTML5 audio player
  • Added Vine videos of guests
  • Hosted the Moxie Awards :)


Version 5

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  • Pitch 32 tech startups (four per show): (#ChicagoTechStartupMadness)
  • Add static bracket to homepage and vote via Twitter
  • Added Instagram
  • Added featured tweaks/quote from guests thru Twitter/Facebook


Version 6

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  • UX to better skiimming of guests and guest names
  • Built squarespace site for dynamic control over content by all team members
  • Creating landing pages for all guests for better sharing
  • Creating landing pages for Bracket, Newsletter, Sponsors
  • Fully responsive layout
  • Incorporated Social stream from twitter/facebook
  • Created Youtube channel
  • Transribing all interviews
  • Incentivize newsletter signup


Like most entrepreneurs and startups, we had a grand vision for what this could be in the beginning.  We could see the product as a whole and wanted to make it huge! That's still very important and speaks to having a shared focus for the product with the whole team.  

That all said, their is a big takeaway from the most successful startups we've worked with and interviewed. Vision is still very important, but doesn't amount to anything without the will to stick your neck out and test it with minimal investment. Call it failing fast, or focus, or test-driven development, or agile.  But I think it's common sense.

If people didn't listen to our first episode, why put the site on a CMS?  Or why design a bunch of backstories on the guests?  Why bother making the player more sophisticated or sending out emails to people who want to learn more?  Or why bother investing in nice audio equipment?  Or better designed pages and UX patterns?  

So, what's the one thing your users need to love about your product?  Can you test it with less investment?  Can you GO to your customers in person?  Does it really have to be fully baked for people to get excited and to begin supporting your vision? 

We grew Bytes Over Bagels from seeds and were disciplined enough to not overwater it with features. This allowed us to better focus, ask the right questions and continue down the right path for our product. The next person coming along who wants to get into our space may come across our website and say, "Crap, we need all that!! I can see it!"  

We are taught by the media to make the most of our BIG PRODUCT REVEAL. I'll bet you evaluate your competitors all the time or refer to the feature set of your favorite websites to help drive your product development. It's really really easy to think you need this baseline set of features to be successful.  I'm here to tell you, you could never be more wrong and we have 25 interviews with Chicago's most successful entreprenaurs to prove it. 

Bytes Over Bagels is just one example and I thought it was important to show what iterating 6 times in 6 months looks like for a product that was created to take over the world. :)  Would you have started so small? Try shipping one great thing and continue to improve it until you run out of ways to improve it.  Then add another feature. 

There's one other important thing to mention here.  It's not just about the feedback loops, or mitigating the risk in your time/monetary investment.  It's about teaching you and your team about the value in shipping and how that will change the way you look at your product.  The results can be eye opening that first moment you get user feedback.  Or the first time your social reach doubles. The conversation changes from, "I think we should do this", to, "Based on what we've learned, we know we need to do this."  

From Paper prototypes to WordPress sites, those who ship know:
Teaching yourself and your team simply how to ship, may be the most critical step to reaching the full potential of your grander vision.  

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Remember Tamagotchi? Well then, how about Santa Gotchi? New free iOS game released today!

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Do you guys remember those little keychain Tamagotchi characters? The ones you had to feed and give medicine to and take care of to grow? YES! Awesome!

I'm happy to tell you that today, Eight Bit Studios is helping bing it back with our new free game, "8bit Santa Gotchi". That's right. This is the first time you'll get a chance to take care of Santa in preparation for his big night on December 25th! Check out the screen shots and more on iTunes.

The bonus is, the app is flippin' free.
Download 8bit Santa Gotchi on the iTunes App Store

Official App Description:

Help 8bit Santa Claus Gotchi deliver as many packages as possible by Christmas Day! Check his list twice to see who's been nice or not nice. Give the children a present or coal based on their good or bad behavior. Correct answers help Santa deliver more gifts on Christmas! Take good care of Santa by giving him milk and cookies along the way, but NOT TOO MUCH! 

The game starts when you start the app. It ends on Christmas Day, December 25th, 2013!

Happy Holiday's and a Happy New Year to all you Chicago tech-a-roos -from all of us at Eight Bit Studios!

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What? It's our 5 Year Anniversary?

It's with immense gratitude, I thank the Chicago tech and entrepreneurial community for 5 incredible years of allowing us to help build what has become Tech Startup City. Tonight, Eight Bit Studios marks it's 5th year in business, UX'ing, Designing, and Developing it's future mobile and web applications!!

We started from humble beginnings. 10 individuals from design, project management, marketing, backend development, frontend development, user experience, and mobile development backgrounds. All working from home offices, gathering in garages and dining rooms on the weekends, sending basecamp posts thru the night. 

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We were there when ThePoint.com and Andrew Mason needed some help doing design and UX on their new WordPress site called "Groupon.com".  We made national headlines when we launched JoeBidensTeeth.com. We made headlines again when we launch the App Stores firstFart Lighter App. :)  From "New and Noteworthy" nods from Apple to all the writeups and press our work has received, we've had the pleasure of being able to carefully grow our company to find the right people and the right projects to make all our work rewarding and successful.

In order, all the startups and brands we've had the pleasure of working with over the past 5 years:

  • Skyline Furniture Mtg
  • ThePoint.com/Groupon.com
  • Ortanic
  • BadgerGroup
  • Insight Consulting Group
  • WisePatient
  • SusansMaps
  • ZineCube
  • Chicago Children's Advocacy Center
  • BradsDeals - BlackFriday App
  • SurveyWriter - SplashSurveys
  • DealsGoRound
  • Threadless
  • KoalaDeal
  • Weave The People
  • Finom
  • New Balance
  • Hasbro
  • Navta
  • The Field Museum
  • Mamma.com
  • The Hive Learning Network
  • Octane Rich Media
  • NeverMissGift
  • PixelDom - Quizixl
  • BetterWeekdays
  • Enova
  • BenchPrep
  • Fooda
  • HighGround
  • Douglas Foster
  • Dabble
  • MyCabbage.com
  • Sasser Family Holdings
  • Pasta Palazzo
  • Chicago Fire - Mobile App
  • SupplyVision
  • The Field Museum - Ornithology Dept
  • GlossRE
  • Yesterday's Zoo
  • RTC
  • Wowzers.com
  • Advenshares
  • MyCouponDoc
  • PicTricks
  • DavidsTea
  • RogueNotion
  • Synchology
  • The Cara Program
  • Guaranteed Rate
  • WellU
  • JellyVision
  • GiveForward
  • Plumwise
  • Blitsy
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If that weren't enough, we also had the opportunity to bring 'Bytes Over Bagels' into the world. Just the other week, we launched our 40th consecutive episode. It's given us a chance to share interviews with the biggest movers and shakers in the Chicago Tech Community.

Needless to say, it's been an amazing ride and we could not have done it without your support. To the team at BuiltIn, Technori, TechCocktail, 1871, the meetups and the community: WE LOVE YOU GUYS! Thank you for bringing all the creativity and energy to your projects and making this the best damn tech community in the world!

Finally, a huge thanks to our extended family of those who worked with us and for us over the past 5 years. We're so blessed to have you in our lives and so excited to see what will come next!  Cheers to making what we create next in Chicago, world class!

Thanks, Chicago! You Rock! 

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Shiftgig - Eddie Lou, Co-Founder & CEO, Good Dude

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Today's interview is with Eddie Lou, CEO and Co-Founder, Shiftgig.  Shiftgig is the (yeah we italicized "the")  online community for the service and hospitality industries.  Eddie started out slanging burgers at a Jack-in-the-Box, so he knows about workin' the shifts.  He and his co-founder wanted to create a proactive platform for potential employees and hiring managers to court each other.  The result is a database of over 100K jobs  and workers nationwide. And while Eddie knows the service and hospitality industry, he's also crazy versed in VC and fundraising, having spent some time working at OCA Ventures before blowing out Shiftgig.

Listen to Episode 40 at http://bytesoverbagels.com or thru iTunes Podcast

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Still Need Help With The FOIL Method - Meet Wowzers - Pioneers of Personalized Learning

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Today's interview is with Andrew Howard, Co-Founder and Sara Trice, Lead Developer, Wowzers.

Wowzers is a complete cloud-based solution for 3-8th grade math studies.  The Wowzers platform gives teachers a platform to help them curate learning for a student and spend less time grading papers and creating worksheets.  The platform provides students with creative and immersive ways to understand math concepts at a level customized to the students abilities.

Listen to Episode 39 at http://bytesoverbagels.com or thru iTunes Podcast

 

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Carve a Pumpkin with Your Neighbors Electric Carving Knife - w/Spare to Share - a Hyper-Local Sharing Network

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This week's featured interview is with Greg Jaros, Founder and Gint Rudis, Co-Founder of Spare to Share.

Spare to Share is a hyper local-sharing platform on web and mobile for things you own or things you need.

When they say "hyper local" sharing they mean building a sharing community in your condo building or office building to allow you to share and borrow things you need occasionally but wouldn't necessarily buy - like a chainsaw.

Greg and Gint built this platform to solve their own problem of buying too many one-time use products. They quickly realized that the best way to scale the platform was using hyper-local networks to leverage the pre-existing trust of those people that live and work in your building.

They are continuously iterating on the product and recently released a feature that lets you send in a photo of a shelf of products and their Spare to Share "elves" will identify and add your products to your personal inventory to share out to your neighbors. Their goal is to make it easy and not let the technology get in the way of the sharing.

Listen to Episode 37 at http://bytesoverbagels.com or thru iTunes Podcast

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Building a Lifestyle Brand - Custom Bikes, Good Coffee, & Tasty Eats with Mike Salvatore, Owner, Heritage Bicycles

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This week's featured interview is with Michael Anthony Salvatore, Owner Heritage Bicycles.

Mike knows bikes - he's been building them for years in NYC and now at his shop here in Chicago. He also knows a thing or two about tech and building a Lifestyle Brand. The latter has provided him with a platform to dominate across numerous streams of media in the social web space, physical retail, and online commerce. 

Listen to Episode 36 at http://bytesoverbagels.com or thru iTunes Podcast

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