Tag Archives: Marcus Samuelsson

Resistance is futile. Confessions of an Apple Watch owner.

Stephen's Apple Watch

A few days ago, I got the email I’d been waiting for months to receive.

It said, “your apple watch has arrived.”

I was in Bermuda at the time, installing a music library in Marcus Samuelsson’s eponymous restaurant, Marcus‘ at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, so my glee was tempered by distance.

But over the next few days, I fantasized non-stop about how amazing my life was about to become.

My watch and I were about to become the best of friends.

I knew, I just knew, that my Apple Watch was a game changer and my life was going to be infinitely richer as a result.

But as I headed into Manhattan on a dreary Monday morning, I started to have misgivings.

Would I become one of those people constantly checking their wrist, desperate to see the source of the latest ping or buzz?

Was I trading up to yet another useless gadget full of sound and fury, yet signifying nothing?

My Shakespeare folks will appreciate that.

I digress.

We’re already a tethered society.

We can’t seem to put our phones down.

Every ten seconds we’re reading our emails, responding to texts, checking Facebook or engaged in some other inane activity involving a mobile device.

And that’s with a device we can put down.

What happens with that device is inextricably tied to our person?

What then?

I can’t help but think of the Borg.

The cybernetic beings from the Delta Quadrant that assimilated their victims, making them part of a collective or hive mind.

You know, the big cube thing from Star Trek, The Next Generation.

the-borg

Each cyborg (hence “Borg”) was a undifferentiated part of the whole, sharing their thoughts and sensory input with them.

When you were captured by the Borg, they didn’t kill you.

Mechanical components were added to your anatomy, stripping you of your humanity and making you a part of the collective.

Hence “assimilated.”

I know I’m probably being dramatic, but this thought keeps popping into my head: “Resistance is futile.You will be assimilated.”

I mean, sure, the Apple Watch can collect data on its wearer.

And it can share that data with Apple or the app developer, which then knows information about the wearer, but that’s not so bad. Is it?

Wait a minute…

Am I being assimilated?

Is resistance futile?

Once I put on the watch, is there no turning back?

Only time will tell.

Four days in, and I’m fighting the good fight.

I do not automatically look at my wrist whenever a haptic alert beckons.

I shall not fall prey to your Siren song Apple Watch! Damn you to hell!

But resist as I may, I can already feel the endorphin rush whenever my wrist buzzes.

Each vibration draws me further down the rabbit hole.

And once I glance at her, even for a moment, I’m infatuated.

“Her?” It’s a fucking watch! WTF is the matter with me?!!

I mean really. I’ve only really checked out a few functions.

Like the activity monitor, which I clowned, is actually quite useful.

activity monitor

After plugging in your gender, age, height and weight, you can set daily fitness goals, and the watch will prompt you to stand, or exercise in order to keep you on track.

Yesterday, I hit my fitness goal of burning 720 calories. I actually burned 932 by walking 7.5 miles, exercising for 75 minutes and standing for sixty seconds once every hour for twelve hours.

I’m pretty awesome, says my watch.

Or the Remote app, which lets you control your other iOS devices when you’re on the same wi-fi network.

Last night, I got in four episodes of Game of Thrones on HBO Go on Apple TV, all controlled through my handy dandy Apple Watch.

game-of-thrones-hbo-go

Or Chat, which lets you read and respond to text messages right from your wrist.

I’ve had numerous chat conversations without typing a single character.

I just speak into my watch, Dick Tracy style, and my words magically appear on the screen.

And I can choose to send my voice memo or the text equivalent.

dick-tracy

I can even send emojis to spice things up a bit.

Wait…have I already been assimilated?

Nah!

Just taking it for a test drive so that I can tell all of you.

Yeah. That’s the ticket!

Anywho, I have not (yet) been assimilated, although I suspect it’s not far off….

Damn Apple!

Haven’t had enough of my ramblings? Check out my video review of the Apple Watch below!

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Ginny’s Supper Club. Red Rooster, Part Deux

A few nights ago, I took a meeting with one of the owners of the Red Rooster and GTM Central, an Atlanta-based creative agency, in the recently opened Ginny’s Supper Club.

We were meeting to talk about the programming for the latest entrant to the New York night life scene.

For those of you not in the know, Ginny’s is located in the recently renovated downstairs of the Red Rooster, the posh restaurant of celebrity chef, Marcus Samuelsson.

If you missed the announcement about it’s opening, that’s okay. It was quite low-key.

Sure, it was mentioned in a bunch of online publications.

But unless your a foodie or aficionado, Ginny’s formal opening probably flew under your radar.

Red Rooster has become the de facto go-to destination uptown, and celebrity-spotting – as well as fine dining – is the order of the day.

Can you say swanky?

While Red Rooster has become known for it’s exceptional menu, high fine art and extensive music catalogue, Ginny’s is looking to brand itself as the spot for great food and exceptional live entertainment.

Think of Ginny’s as a juke joint or a speakeasy, and you’ve got the picture.

They’ve got a separate dinner and drink menu – I had the roasted duck. It was delicious!

And the mixologists at the bar are on par with any in the city.

There was a Brazilian band playing bossa nova the night I was there, and the place was packed – literally standing room only.

Roberta Flack is performing at Ginny’s on April 14th as part of their Jazz Masters Series, and the line up for the spring and summer is equally outstanding.

If you’ve only been upstairs, then I strongly encourage you to head downstairs and experience Ginny’s yourself.

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Brands, Bands, Fans and Mobile (updated)

I’ve been on one of my extended working hiatuses, so this will be one of my catch-all posts.

KiwiTech. Think Global. Act Mobile.

As a few of you may know, I’ve recently accepted a position with KiwiTech, a mobile application development company, as their Director, Strategic Partnerships.

I’m charged with identifying and forming partnerships with brands and businesses interested in implementing a mobile app strategy.

So far, I’ve roped a few brands in my web, including Morgan 4 Congress, Bang! Boxing, and MyBrownBaby.com. I’ve got a few more in my sights, including Marcus Samuelsson, Rodney Jerkins, and the Red Hot Boyz (out of St. Louis).

A few weeks ago, I was a panelist at Winter Music Conference at a session titled, Get Synched: Alternative Revenue. The panel, which was moderated by Jed Carlson, co-founder of ReverbNation, included Alan Jurivstovski, CEO and Co-Founder of MetroLeap, Angela Rose White, of David Rose Publishing, Dusko Justic, Director of Global Marketing of Sony Music, J. Read Fasse, founder of Honor Roll Music, Timothy Lincoln, Senior Catalogue Director at Music Dealers, Shane German, artist manager at SoundExchange, and Ivan Alvarez, co-founder of CdA Group.

During my part of the session, I talked about the increasing importance of a mobile strategy to help artists promote, monetize and distribute their content. Artists need to take advantage of the growing number of mobile devices capable of interacting with rich media applications, such as music videos, movies, HD audio and video, games and social media games.  The one piece of advice, that resonated most deeply with the audience, was the long term utility artists could derive from mobile apps, which, once they’re on a user’s device, can be used repeatedly to drive future messaging, content, updates and alerts.

Last month, I attended Social Media Week, where I spoke on Personal and Professional Branding to the Linkedin Group, Network 4 Net Worth. If you caught my post, I offered the attendees some practical branding advice, as well as extolled the virtues of mobile, which this generation is abundantly more familiar and conversant with. Their adoption and use of technology is virtually second nature, and brands need to prepared themselves to interact with a buying demographic that in inherently more technologically savvy and discerning than they have previously encountered.

I also attended a few sessions, including Bands & Fans: How Indie Artists and Baby Bands Can Use Social Media To Get Noticed, Get Gigs and Build a Fan Base, hosted by CMJ. The session included panelists Ariel Hyatt, President, CYBER PR and Ariel Publicity,  Robbie Mackey, Senior Manager, The Orchard, J Slider, Founder/CEO, Root Music, and Marni Wandner, President, Sneak Attack Media.

One of the takeaways from  the session was the growing relevance of mobile and social media for bands looking to attract and grow their audience base. Significant attention was devoted to the concept of the mobile device as the ‘first screen,’ and the importance of developing marketing and promotional strategies that factor mobile as an integral (as opposed to ancillary) part of the overall plan. Artists, like Lady Gaga, T Pain and Soldier Boy, who have effectively leverage the power of mobile apps to enhance their brands were discussed, alongside new and emerging artists, who were using mobile as an entry point into the music marketplace.

In May, I’ll be attending the Cannes Film Festival, hoping the convert the attendees, producers, directors and production companies to mobile disciples.  My primary goal is to convince them that, in addition to selling their films in multiple language markets, mobile as the next platform to promote, monetize and deliver their content.

With major motion picture studios developing ancillary channels for their content, such as all the bonus features found on DVDs, mobile represents a very real way to engage with consumers, beyond movie trailers and clips. Mobile represents a very real way of identifying and targeting audiences, in unprecedented geo-, device- and content-specific ways.

Cannes is just one of many destinations for 2011, that will have your’s truly evangelizing the virtues of mobile (and technology) to all who will listen.

And somewhere in there, I’m going to try to schedule more time to blog, so I can keep you updated as to my progress in real-time.

Dare to dream.

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