Have three minutes to kill between meetings or project deadlines? If so, Audvisor, a startup that recently received $1.4 million in seed funding, wants you to put that time to good use with its free Android and iOS apps.
Audvisor interviewed more than 100 contributors, including notable Internet personalities such as Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Tom Peters, and Google Glass inventor Tom Chi, on a variety of business topics. Recordings of those interviews were sliced and diced into roughly 1,000 audio clips, each less than three minutes long.
The idea: Let time-starved businesspeople grab a few moments of inspiration while they're in the car, on the train or standing in a grocery store line. You stream the audio content rather than download it, however, so you can't access it without Internet connectivity. And a lot of listening could take a significant bite out of your data plan.
The app is well organized and easy to use. You browse content by topics, such as "Advance My Career," "Capitalize on Social Media," "Find a Great Job," "Innovate" and "Serve My Customers." Or you can browse by experts, and a tap of the "i" icon on a person's photo delivers a brief bio. The app also lets you view recordings by "Newest," "Top Rated," "Recommended" and "My Playlist," which consists of recordings you previously saved by tapping the "Thumbs Up" button. However, this last feature didn't work on my iPhone or Android smartphone.
Of course, only so much wisdom can be imparted in three minutes or less, but I did pick up a few good nuggets. Here are examples:
Heidi Roizen, a venture capitalist and Stanford professor, talked about the 20-40-60 rule. At 20, you're constantly worried what people think of you. At 40, you stop worrying. At 60, you realize no one's been thinking about you at all. While some may find this last realization disheartening, Roizen says it's "very liberating" and "a call to action" reminder that we must all be our own advocates.
Noted author Tom Peters explains why "the problem isn't the problem." The problem, in fact, is your response to the problem, he says, and it's usually what gets you in trouble. (Think: Nixon's response to Watergate, or Clinton's response to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.)
"The way you deal with a problem is so much more important than the problem itself," Peters says. So when faced with a problem of your own making, "come clean, and come clean fast."
Ted Rubin, who is described as the "most followed CMO on Twitter," says Instagram is the most efficient way to gain a social media following. Pictures are "accepted currency everywhere," he says, and Instagram photos can be easily shared on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr. You should take photos that are consistent with your brand or that say something about you personally, according to Rubin. (He says he regularly takes photos of his offbeat socks.)
As for Twitter, you should "favorite" your best posts, Rubin says. That gives you an easy way to find and retweet them — which, by the way, you shouldn't be afraid to do, because good marketing is about "reach and frequency."
Audvisor is off to a great start. I learned all this (and a few other things) in less than 10 minutes — that's good ROI, in my opinion.
There are plenty of podcasts available — perhaps too many — but Audvisor curates all this content for you, and that's a big time saver. At a minimum, it's worth a look during a few moments of downtime. You're bound to find something useful, insightful, and, yes, inspiring.