Tag Archives: Love

'Will You Marry Me?' (A Story of Love and Entrepreneurship)
February 14, 2019 6:00 am|Comments (0)

I heard some great stories, including one from Jacques Bastien, who was then running a social media and creative agency with his girlfriend, Dahcia Lyons. And he came up with an idea.

“We’ve been building for the past few years,” Bastien explained, and added that he wanted to take this opportunity to make a non-business proposal. So, let me turn it over to him: 

“Dahcia, from the day that I met you, I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. I am sick and tired of calling you my girlfriend. Will you marry me?”

Luckily for everyone involved, she said yes. 

This week, realizing the milestone, I checked in with them. They’re happily married, no kids yet (but they were clear they’d love to be parents).

They’ve also cycled through a few businesses since then, but they’re still working together: now running a talent agency called SHADE, and a photo booth rental company called Snappy.

Oh, and they’ve also been around the world together, most recently spending four months in Southeast Asia.

“When we got married … we were broke,” Dahcia told me yesterday. “After the wedding, we just rented a hotel for the night. And we promised ourselves that if when were in a better place, we’d start taking honeymoons once a month.”

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve likely traveled a hard road. But if you’re the significant other of an entrepreneur, my hat’s off. And thanks for putting up with all of us. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Here’s what else I’m reading today:

A guy in New Jersey made a mistake

Finally, a mea culpa. Yesterday, I linked to an article about biking to work in the winter, and said it had been “written by a guy in Calgary.” Only problem: the author, Cailynn Klingbeil, is a woman.

Besides “sorry,” I want to say thanks to two people: Inc. This Morning reader Joyce Byrne, who is group publisher at RedPoint Media in (you guessed it) Calgary, for spotting the error, and Klingbeil herself, with whom I had a nice chat over email, and who sent me a link to this photo of her most recent bike commute.


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Yoko Taro Expresses His Love For 'Ikaruga' In New Interview
July 1, 2018 6:27 pm|Comments (0)

The ceaselessly wonderful Yoko Taro recently expressed his love for the classic Treasure developed shoot-em-up Ikaruga in a new interview and how it has influenced his work in making games.

Following the recent release of Ikaruga on the Switch, it seems that Yoko Taro cannot contain his enthusiasm for the cult shmup.

In a new interview with Famitsu and kindly translated by those nice people at Siliconera, Yoko Taro talks at length about how much Ikaruga influenced his work on games such as Nier: Automata.

Famitsu: What do you like about Ikaruga?

Yoko Taro, superfan: First, I’d like to talk about how the music synchronizes with what is happening on the screen. Iuchi-san, the planner and director of Ikaruga, was also in charge of making the music. Thanks to this, the stage progress matches the music as well. That is one part of what makes Ikaruga amazing. Stage 2’s music starts off with a sense of speed to go along with the opening scene, but as the screen starts scrolling slower, the song goes slower as well. How they mixed music and the sequences together was really groundbreaking, and it left such an impact on me that I stole it for the Nier series.

Famitsu: Has Ikaruga influenced your work in any way?

Yoko Taro: It doesn’t stop at just an influence! In Drakengard, you have magic and non-magic missiles that couldn’t shoot each other down. That is basically Ikaruga. Also, the enemy bullets in the Nier series was also very much influenced by the game. Actually, please write that I stole it, okay? In bold.

Famitsu: Let’s leave it at a homage.

Yoko Taro: Leaving aside my joke… Speaking seriously, Ikaruga influenced how I synchronize the game sequences with the music. Combining the two in a way that appeals to people’s hearts is a task that’s quite difficult. This sort of technique has been a hurdle for developers to overcome since the early days of gaming history, and I think Ikaruga is the first game to actually do it. Because, up until then, BGMs were only split by different scenes in each stage. In that regard, I believe Ikaruga was a game-changer in gaming history.

Famitsu: And you’re saying that’s how the sequences in Nier: Automata came to be.

Yoko Taro: Hmm, I don’t think so. It did have an influence, but I don’t think it was as successful as in Ikaruga. You see, we forced in transformation gimmicks to bosses, and while music rises to fit the moment, that’s just a scripted event, as the developers don’t know when the player will beat the enemy.

In another scene in Nier: Automata, the boss movements match the rhythm of the music, but that was just forcing it so that the movements would follow the length of the music, and not something the players could control in an interactive manner. If it were done properly, the music would increase in fervor when you do massive damage, or something like that where you feel the game via the music. That’s incredibly hard for the creator to control, and something that’s always troubling. But it’s because it’s done so well in Ikaruga that it shines so brightly.

Yoko Taro is known to be rather irreverent, but a lot of these responses are actually quite interesting and shed new light on how much games like Ikaruga have had an impact on his work.

Anyway, now that we have Ikaruga on the Switch it seems that this particular superfan of the game is very happy to play the game again.


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A Labor of Love: How to Craft Your Company's Core Values
June 22, 2018 6:12 pm|Comments (0)

When you’re interviewing applicants to join your company, you want to make sure they’re the right fit. It’s not just about whether or not they have certain skills–it’s also about whether they reflect your organization’s mission and values. One of my go-to interview questions is: “Describe an experience in your last role where you took initiative and created or implemented a process.”

I like that question because it provides insights that resonate with our company’s core value of taking initiative. This has the dual benefit of giving us the opportunity to share our values while determining whether the applicant personifies them or has the potential to do so. We’re a proactive group, so in every interview, we tie questions back to our core values. And it goes even further than that: In our company, we tie our core values to pretty much everything.

Delineate what distinguishes your company

Core values guide how an organization thinks and behaves; they’re the bedrock on which business decisions are made and successful relationships are formed. Once defined, core values should be visible in every aspect of company operations: from sales and marketing to internal reviews to employee check-ins. At our quarterly offsite meetings, we review each core value and give shout-outs to individuals who’ve exemplified them.

As a nod to their esteemed place in our company culture, our core values are painted prominently on one of our office walls:

Take Initiative: Be proactive, challenge each other, take risks and adapt.
Be Passionate: Care about your work and take pride in what you do.
Have Fun: Create a positive work space and build strong relationships.
Value Teamwork: Approach problems with a “we over me” mentality.
Ensure Growth: Learn and evolve personally, professionally, as a team and as a firm.

These values are such a huge part of our company that we can’t fathom a time before they existed. But they’re not inherent to any organization. You have to create them–we had to do it, too–and it can take a lot of work. But it’s a labor of love: Your core values already exist, you just have to identify, define and delineate them.

But don’t rush it. The process of developing our core values was neither quick nor easy. Once we realized the need for organizational values, we knew we wanted to develop them together, as a team. This bottom-up approach made sense because we wanted all team members and our existing culture to guide and inform what’s important to us.

We found that the best time to brainstorm core values was during our weekly company meetings. We’d split up into small groups, and each would list the qualities that they believed we embodied. Once we had each team’s list, we noticed overlap and patterns–which was reassuring. The qualities of “taking initiative” and “being proactive” were so similar that it made sense to combine them.

We also didn’t want too many or too few. Our team decided that five was a reasonable number that’s easy to remember, while thorough enough to cover all the bases. Then we narrowed the full list, chose the most important values, and workshopped them into concise statements. That’s how the core values list above was born.

However, that doesn’t mean the list is static. In fact, a few months later we decided to combine “have passion” and “have pride” into one core value and add “have fun” as its own standalone value. It more accurately represented our team and our overall purpose.

For nearly two years we’ve worked under the guidance of these five core values; I believe they still accurately reflect our team. We also recently realized that these values embody our account service team as well. Because of this, we now promote our core values in sales and marketing materials as a differentiator for our agency. We’re proud to share the values that drive our organizational decisions and direction.

Ready to define your core values?

Our core values are more than just words. They are our way of life. If your business is creating or updating its core values, here are some lessons we’ve learned:

Companies with strong cultures are known to perform better than those without. Although creating and leveraging core values may seem daunting, the impact to your company culture can be tremendous. So, gather your team and get ready to brainstorm!


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Justin Trudeau Sends an HQ2 Love Letter to Amazon
October 20, 2017 12:02 am|Comments (0)

No tax breaks, but Canada offers a valuable perk: Universal healthcare.

Canadian cities are going all out to woo Amazon’s second headquarters, including a “Dear Jeff” letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the company’s CEO Jeff Bezos.

In his letter, which comes on the final day of a competition for cities to make their case to Amazon, Trudeau reminds Bezos that “it is in one other that Canada and the United States have found their closest friend and ally.”

If that’s not enough to tell Bezos where Amazon’s loyalties should lie, Trudeau adds “[W]e enjoy the longest, most peaceful and mutually beneficial relationship of any two countries in the world.”

The Prime Minister did not, however, specify exactly where in Canada that Amazon should set up shop, though most of the country’s major cities—including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary—have put their hat in the ring.

Amazon set off a frenzy among city governments this summer when it announced it was seeking to open a second headquarters outside of Seattle, and could create as many as 50,000 high paying jobs in coming years.

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As the competition came to a close on Thursday for cities to make their case, one research firm cited Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, and Washington D.C.—but not one of the Canadian ones—as the leading candidates.

Nonetheless, Trudeau’s letter makes some strong economic arguments, along with the sentimental ones, for Amazon to make its second home north of the border.

“Canadians enjoy a universal health care system and a robust public pension plan which help support our excellent quality of life and lower costs for employers,” he states, while also talking up the country’s universities and policies to attract high-skilled immigrants.

Trudeau’s letter also appeared to include a subtle swipe at the nativist policies of the Trump Administration:

“As the first country in the world to adopt a policy of multiculturalism, we have shown time and again that a country can be stronger not in spite of its differences but because of them. Diversity is a fact but inclusion is a choice.”

One other notable feature of the Canadian cities’ pitch is they don’t offer tax breaks, which have been a controversial feature of the bids of a number of U.S. cities. Instead, the suitors have Canadian have emphasized the savings Amazon would incur from Canada’s public health system.

You can read Trudeau’s letter in full here.


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The Mathematician Who Will Make You Fall in Love With Numbers
February 5, 2017 1:20 pm|Comments (0)

The Mathematician Who Will Make You Fall in Love With Numbers

The ancient Greeks argued that the best life was filled with beauty, truth, justice, play, and love. The mathematician Francis Su knows just where to find them. The post The Mathematician Who Will Make You Fall in Love With Numbers appeared first on WIRED.

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