Story In A Bottle Podcast

One of the biggest, and often overlooked, challenges in product and brand building is that of identifying your audience, but beyond that, is reaching that audience. As technology advances and “touch points” are exponentially increasing, as consumers become more savvy, and as companies are being held accountable for their communications, the ecosystem only becomes more and more complex. This week we had the great pleasure of meeting with media strategy extraordinaire, Connections Associate Director at MediaVest, Chris O’Leary, who broke it down for us; how to derive the best value for your advertising budget, the difficulty of measuring against new technologies (::cough cough:: mobile) and the benefit of new platforms, and how we’re poised, more than ever, to actually fulfill those “personas” of advertising yore.

Over beer selections from Westbrook (One Claw and White Thai), Chris explained his path to media expertise; how studies at Ithaca College in Television-Radio/Media Management and his early desire to become a journalist (met with a harsh job market) turned to a career in media. With experiences spanning from a 40 person agency in Burlington, Vermont to 9-figure budgets in New York City, he has sharpened his mind to determine the best way to communicate a brand’s message to the right audience in the right place at the right time. And, of course, marrying that experience to his love of craft beer, leading to the establishment of Brew York (bringing all things craft beer to the masses of New York). But, truly, what chops would he have if he didn’t seize the perfect moment at the intersection of media and technology to have the ultimate viral selfie.

For all things beer and media (not necessarily in order of importance), see @ohhleary.

Direct download: SIAB_COleary_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:04am EST

Caroline Waxler

It’s our opinion that the best entrepreneurs, very simply, are greater than the sum of their experiences, and have found the best ways to extract value from each. Case in point: Caroline Waxler. In her career, Caroline has spanned many industries and roles, starting in the mailroom at Newsweek and using it as a springboard, she ultimately rose through the ranks of the publishing world, working for titles like Forbes and Cosmo. However, she didn’t stop there, and expanded her horizons, both physically and professionally, by moving across the country, she ultimately established herself as a “name” in the freelance writing world. Since then, her writing has transcended the traditional publishing route and has manifested in the form of several highly acclaimed books (see: “Stocking up on Sin”) and successful comedy shows (see: Best Week Ever). But when that wasn’t enough, Caroline joined LearnVest at the ground floor, which is where a spark ignited and she was inspired to create something of her own.

So when Caroline joined us for a custom, Story in a Bottle concoction of Sauvingon Blanc, bitters, soda, and fresh orange juice, (henceforth, the Waxler), she shared with us how creative callings rarely follow direct paths. It’s this pursuit and culmination of experiences which has lead Caroline to be the very capable Founder of Harkness Hall, a conference programming and digital strategy company based in NYC and has helped companies including Google, Forbes, Condé Nast, and Advertising Age program their brilliant live events. (And we couldn’t think of someone with a more qualified background to do it -- no joke.)

For more from her, holler at @cwaxler.

Direct download: SIAB_CWaxler_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:49am EST

In the ecosystem of the startup and tech world, VCs play a vital role to keep the community vital and flourishing; with the ability to coach along the best and brightest into the future, they help to cultivate innovation in many ways. Amongst them, Steve Schlafman is a natural leader. Steve is a Principal at RRE Ventures, focusing on early stage companies in mobile services, hardware, and marketplaces and what he brings to the table is a level of experience and business savvy that is truly impressive.


Steve joined us for a trio of tripels** and helped us dissect this often elusive piece of the business. From his seemingly accidental path into the investing world by way of a love of Nintendo as a kid, to Northeastern University (with an amazing co op program which encourages students to have real world experience while studying), to a stint with Microsoft and the New England Patriots, and eventually getting his foot in the door at Lerer Ventures, he has been able to refine his knack for successful business ventures and worthy founders. He explained to us why sometimes even the best ideas get passed over for 2 rounds of funding only to ultimately receive his support and what makes a standout founder in this day and age. If you are in any stage of raising, consulting, or pursuing a portfolio of your own, his is a perspective worth investing in.


For more from Steve, consult @schlaf on Twitter and check out his Guide to NYC Tech and Raising a Seed Capital.

**Allagash, St. Bernardus, and Westmalle Trappist

Direct download: SIAB_SSchlafman_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34pm EST

Christina Wallace is a tried-and-true “jack of all trades.” A self-prescribed generalist, she’s made the successful leap through many different industries and roles; from degrees in mathematics and theater from Emory, to “diva management” at the opera, to Harvard Business School and founding her first company, Quincy. And while her path was winding, it’s very much by design. Refusing to focus, she’s set out to “do” all of the things she loves, drawing parallels where they exist, which have ultimately culminated as her dream job as the Founding Director of BridgeUp: STEM, a new educational initiative at the American Museum of Natural History focused on introducing girls and minorities to computer science.


But no great story is without its challenges. Over whiskey gingers, Christina gave her candid account of how to make it work and what she did when it didn’t (like at a $1MM company that was failing, for example). She reminds us to be resilient, what REAL networking is, and proof of the power of the Violence of Articulation. And through her efforts, she continues to inspire us that the future of tech is a bright one.


For more on BridgeUp: STEM, which has it’s first cohort of new after-schoolers starting this month, see:

And, of course, hit up @cmwalla. Tell her we sent you.

Direct download: SIAB_CWallace_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10pm EST