Community Belonging

We pay tribute to community in our recent newsletter; the community we’ve found in our workplace, with our clients, with Indy’s entrepreneurs, and in Indianapolis at-large. It seems now, more than ever there’s a rise to solidarity. We are searching to build meaningful relationships and make meaningful contributions to those around us.

Ben captures this spirit best in his recent IndySpectator:

We have dozens of neighborhood & community groups that are altering our city’s cultural, economic, and environmental landscape (and, remarkably, most of them are working in concert with each other instead of competing for the same, finite pool of resources). From our swelling number of ardently independent restauranteurs to inventive gallery spaces, from the founding of slow food gardens and CSA’s to the constant buzz

Startup Remix

We all know music sampling. Like the song “Take Care”, which began with Gil Scott-Heron, then passed through Jamie XX and ultimately on to Drake, who sampled it and pulled in Rhianna for vocals.

Listening to all of its permutations the other day, inspiration struck — sampling occurs in startups, too! Like Fancy, which I blogged about the other day; it feels a little bit like Pinterest, Svpply and Fab all rolled into one. And Pinterest – isn’t that a little bit Tumblr and Polyvore? Obviously/ironically/interestingly enough, I’m not the first one to have this idea : ). After a quick search, I found Everything is

The Fancy : Pinterest for Men

If you’re one of those guys thinking Pinterest is just for girls, and can’t bring yourself to adopt it despite its stunning growth, you might check out The Fancy – part store, part magazine, part bookmarking – a tool to curate the things that define you. It’s a bit like Pinterest, but sleeker, cooler, more minimal, and more provocative. It’s luxury. And women, don’t be shy; you can Fancy as well (the break down is about 60:40, male:female). Backed by the likes of Kanye, Jack Dorsey, Andreessen Horowitz, and PPR, Fancy is certainly not lacking street cred or style.

Aside from demographics, monetization is another characteristic that separates Fancy from Pinterest…

Facebook & Instagram : Buying Cool

It’s been days now since Facebook erupted the tech world with their $1B purchase of Instagram. Since then, bloggers and reporters alike have been trying to determine the causes and ramifications of the deal. Popular theories include:

  • Defense/Offense: Facebook bought a potential competitor and prevented other competitors from doing the same. As David Carr said in the New York Times, “Good for Facebook for buying a bandwagon before they got ran over by it.”
  • Mobile UX: Facebook’s mobile app is perhaps its weakest link and has been “publicly labeled as a risk to its bottom line” as reported on Instagram has mastered the platform with its simple, well-designed

SXSW 2012 : Empathy Building Tools for Better Collaboration

I enjoyed the better part of an hour, attending the bite-sized Future 15 panels at SXSW 2012. At just 15 minutes a pop, these talks were focused, direct, and spanned a variety of topics that kept my interest. One that I enjoyed in particular, was by Kyra Edeker of Project202: Empathy Building Tools for Better Collaboration.

Kyra prescribed three tools, to help teams work better:

  • Deep Listening
  • Non-attachment
  • Generosity

Deep Listening
Deep listening is all about being present and communicating it through body language. So put away those phones during meetings! Also, practice simply listening to what people are saying, rather than for when you can say something next. And don’t worry about silence – just let it sit…

SXSW 2012 : Storytelling : How To Build Entrepreneurship Communities

SXSW has long been advising on how to build startup communities, as you can see from Kristian’s post back in 2009. This year’s “How to Build Entrepreneurship Communities” panel was no different. Successful startup communities still need capital, mentors and support systems to thrive.

Perhaps new to this year’s conversation, though, was the need for storytelling. The startup epicenters on the coasts have media bulwarks in their neighborhoods – Fast Company, Mashable, TechCrunch, The New York Times – lapping up their frenzy and pushing it out into the world. But what is the official news source for activity happening more inland? What publication would you turn to if…

SXSW 2012 : Homeless Hotspots: Pro vs Con

Fresh off the plane from this year’s South By Southwest Interactive conference I’ve been lining up all the blog posts I want to write. Rather than kicking things off by sharing one of the incredible panels or awesome events I attended, I wanted to dive into one of the most buzzed about issues that happened this year: Homeless Hotspots.

As you can imagine, when thousands of techies congregate within in a 5-mile radius for the hottest interactive event of the year, wireless network capacity is an issue. In an effort to help bring more network capacity to Austin and help out a few individuals along the way Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s BBH Labs launched…

SXSW 2012 : The Fashion Fog : Redefining Content & Commerce

The intersection of fashion and tech has long been an interest of mine, as you can see here, here and here (and here). Much to my delight there’s an entire mini-section of fashion-techie panels at this year’s SXSW.

Kicking it off yesterday were: Alisa Gould-Simon, Pose; Allison Kellman, Ideeli; Claire Mazur & Erica Cerulo, Of a Kind; and Lauren Sherman, Lucky Magazine. During their panel titled, The Fashion Fog, they discussed how commerce and content could coexist.

Ecommerce and brick and mortar fashion brands alike, are leveraging popular social content platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook

Culture : These are Our Beliefs

“Culture is the beating heart of your business – it’s your purpose and values practices over time.”
Walter Robb, Co-CEO, Whole Foods

Culture is king. Today’s talent migrates to the companies that offer a lifestyle and a team that they can identify with. Culture – it emanates from the design of the physical workspace (open space, light, color, sleek design), to the policies (flexible schedules, equipment provisions), to the interactions of the team (engaging dialogue, constructive critique, Friday afternoon drinks).

What does the culture look like here at KA+A? Well aside from loving good craft beer, biking to work (including motorcycles!), and making it awesome, we’ve adopted a more formal ethos. Here’s a peek at the KA+A culture, when we recently put pixels to paper.…

Launch of the Speak Easy

Over the past year, we’ve had the opportunity to participate in the development and launch of the Speak Easy, a place for entrepreneurs, startups, and the folks who support them to work, play, and collaborate. Crafting a brand, web presence, and influencing the structure itself, we couldn’t have been happier to launch the Speak Easy on January 18th.

Taking a cue from coastal co-work spaces like Grind in New York, a group of 8 investors and entrepreneurs (including our own Kristian Andersen) set out to create a gathering place for those active in the startup community. The resulting space is a combination of a 17th century salon, coffee shop, and…