Labstep Wants to Fix The Way Science Experiments are Recorded & Reproduced — TechCrunch

Labstep, an app and online platform to help scientists record and reproduce experiments, has raised £1 million in new funding, including from existing investors. The company, whose team has a background in commercial R&D and academic research, including at Oxford University, is backed by Seedcamp and says it plans to use the new capital to…

via Labstep wants to fix the way science experiments are recorded and reproduced — TechCrunch

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10 Steps To Achieve Any Goal – Roger Connors & Tom Smith

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Accountability powers you toward your goals, and these guidelines for unleashing its power will get you over the rainbow to what you want.

They’re all valuable traits, but they pale in comparison to what each of us needs most in the quest to total life success: Personal accountability is No. 1.

Related:  9 Ways to Achieve Your Biggest Goals—Quickly

We first introduced our powerful accountability philosophy to the world over two decades ago in a New York Times best-seller, The Oz Principle. Since then, millions of people have come to know us as “the Oz guys.”

Why Oz? As it turns out, the perfect metaphoric backdrop for our timeless principles is a timeless story, one that we both loved as kids.

Surely you will recall meeting Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, based on L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel. All of the main characters are thrust into despairing circumstances beyond their control. A tornado rips Dorothy from her Kansas farm and hurls her against her will to a strange fantasy world. The Scarecrow lives a stagnant life amid corn and crows because his creator skimped on brains. The Tin Man is rusted in place, unable to act because he lacks the heart to move. And the lovable Cowardly Lion? He lacks courage and nerve, and therefore lives a life well below his potential.

  Don’t let your circumstances define who you are and what you do.

Feeling victimized by shortcomings and circumstances, the characters believe they cannot possibly change things on their own, so they set off on the yellow brick road to the Land of Oz in hopes of finding an all-powerful wizard who will solve all of life’s problems for them.

At the heart of their message and ours lies this one simple principle: Don’t let your circumstances define who you are and what you do.

In other words, don’t place the hope of future success in the hands of some wizard’s wand. Relying on someone or something to save you only brings a sense of victimization that paralyzes your ability to think clearly, creatively and quickly. Instead, take charge of shaping your own circumstances, and good, positive, game-changing things will begin to happen.

Whether you’re looking to make wholesale changes in your life or just want to fine-tune it a little, here are 10 guidelines—highlights from our newest book, The Wisdom of Oz—that will help you unleash the power of personal accountability to take ownership for your actions, decisions, successes and failures.

1) Redefine accountability. 

Does the mere mention of the word accountability make you shudder? The negative (and uninspiring) view of accountability is reinforced in the common dictionary definition: “Subject to having to report, explain or justify; being answerable, responsible.”

Staying true to yourself and your goals should not be drudgery. You must view your accountability as a gift to yourself, a voluntary mindset to ensure success, not something you’re force-feeding yourself even though you hate it.

2) Think as if your life depended on it.

When you shift to a determined, creative mindset, you begin to discover solutions for challenges that you may have believed were out of your control. If your life depended on it, would you come up with a new idea or strategy to save yourself? Absolutely.

The goal you want to achieve or the problem you want to solve probably is not a life-or-death scenario, but many creative solutions come when you put everything on the line. While your life may not be at risk, your happiness and success are.

3) When you can’t control your circumstances, don’t let your circumstances control you. 

On March 22, 2012, the state army of Mali stormed the presidential palace, overthrowing the western African country’s 20-year-old democracy. In the turmoil, Islamic militants took control of two-thirds of the country and crushed the upcoming democratic elections.

It was a tragic moment when the coup happened, says Yeah Samake, mayor of the small town of Ouélessébougou, located approximately 40 miles from the chaos. “I came into my living room and completely collapsed on the couch. My wife came and kicked me. I couldn’t believe it. I told her, ‘I am looking for sympathy here. Why are you kicking me?’ She only said, ‘Get out there and go do something.’ ”

Whether you get off the couch on your own or require a little nudge from somewhere else, the point is to get out there and do something.

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4) You’ve got to want it more than you don’t want it.

 Everything will exact a certain price from you—energy, effort, patience, resources. It’s natural to want the good things in life without paying the price: You want to lose weight but don’t want to exercise or sacrifice your favorite foods. You want a promotion but don’t want to put in the extra hours. Success comes when you hit a tipping point and begin to desire your goal more than you dread the cost of reaching it.

5) Don’t let gravity pull you down. 

Just as massive planets produce gravity—drawing everything toward them—it seems that tough problems and challenging obstacles have enough mass to pull you away from getting what you want. This force gets bigger and stronger as the challenges get larger and tougher. Don’t give in

6) Every breakthrough requires a bold stroke.

Actor Jim Carrey grew up so poor that his family lived in a van after his father lost his job; at one point the Carreys slept in a tent on a relative’s lawn. But Carrey believed in his own future and in the things that he wanted to accomplish in his life.

As the story goes, one night early in Carrey’s struggling comic career, he drove his beat-up Toyota to the Hollywood Hills and, while overlooking Los Angeles, pulled out his checkbook and wrote himself a check for $10 million. He scribbled in the notation line “For acting services rendered” and stuck it in his wallet. In that moment, Carrey cemented his personal resolve. Over the next five years, Carrey’s promise to himself led to worldwide fame. At the peak of his career, his per-film paycheck reached $20 million.

When you discover your own internal power, you see that you have the right, the ability, even the obligation, to create your own best reality.

7) Ask for feedback. 

Soliciting advice and criticism from others creates accountability.

For this to work, you will need to convince the mentor, friend, colleague or significant other whom you’re appealing to that you want to know what he really thinks. The evaluator needs to know that he won’t suffer any blowback if he is totally honest. Feedback is key to overcoming blind spots and achieving better results.

8) Ask yourself, Am I a renter or an owner?

 We care more for the things we own than for the things we rent because we don’t have as much invested in things that are temporary; there’s not as much at stake. Have you ever washed a rental car? Of course not.

When you own something—whether it’s a car, a work assignment or a relationship—you make an investment, usually involving some degree of sacrifice. When you rent, you can walk away without losing anything. If you’re really committed to achieving your goal, go all in.

9) Prepare to move a lot of dirt.

 Finding solutions is just like digging for gold. Have you seen the Discovery Channel reality show Gold Rush? It follows the lives of modern-day miners as they compete against time, one another and nature in hopes of striking it rich. First the miners must remove a top layer of 6 to 12 feet of dirt and rocks before the real mining even starts. Below this seemingly worthless and painful 6 to 12 feet, they hit pay dirt. The more pay dirt the miners process, the more gold they potentially find. In the end, they must move several tons of dirt to find just 1 ounce of gold. It’s hard work, but it yields rich rewards.

Their bottom-line secret to success: Keep digging.

10) Make it happen! 

How do you do that? How do you really make personal accountability work for you? Wouldn’t it be easy if there were just some switch you could flip? An Easy Button you could push? Maybe an app you could use? Well, there really is a flipping magical switch-app-button. It’s called making a choice and acting on it.

You have the choice to fulfill your aspirations or wallow in the blame game and victim cycle.

True success doesn’t come from the outside but from within. There is no wizard. Taking greater personal accountability is the key to succeeding in everything you do.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

Feel More Valuable: 3 Ways to Raise Your Self-Worth – David Meltzer

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Whether in business or your personal life, feelings of unworthiness can hamper your ability to shine. When we don’t perceive ourselves as worthy, we tend to self-sabotage and avoid going for (or asking for) what we deserve.

My good friend, entrepreneur Ed Mylett, shared an idea with me that I thought was extremely powerful. He described different things in our lives that have a thermostat: our financial success, weight and especially our self-worth.

The premise is simple. Even if your self-worth increases or decreases a few degrees, or you experience a tremendous change over time, you will eventually revert back to whatever your internal success thermostat is set at. This begs the question: “What can I do to raise my internal thermostat?”

1. Provide value and feel valuable.

The first and best way to improve your feelings of worthiness is simply to provide value to others; be kind to others as well as to your future self. Be of service, which means providing value with no expectations of receiving anything in return. It contains the requirement that you give unconditionally. Giving with expectation, as my friend Bob Proctor says, is trading and not real giving.

It’s essential to have both focus and intention on what we want, in order to get it. And it’s difficult to manifest what you want without being of service to others. Providing value by being of service creates a void that the universe will fill for you.

Giving not only makes you feel good, but this altruistic act is contagious. Giving makes you happy, makes the person who receives happy, and even those who witness giving become happier.

A study tracking 2,000 people over a five-year period, found that those who described themselves as “very happy” were the ones who volunteered 5.8 hours per month, on average. Providing value for others made those individuals feel valuable themselves.

2. Keep your promises.

Part of being of service is keeping promises that you make to yourself, as well as what you promise to others. Living up to your promises builds trust from others, and confidence in yourself, which leads to a better perspective of your worth. When you set achievable goals and put plans in place to meet them, you’ll experience a higher rate of success and simultaneously turn up your worthiness thermostat. You need goal setting (and promise keeping) to be a consistent, persistent behavior, which will then allow you to enjoy the pursuit of your potential by creating objectives and meeting them.

One of my favorite examples to demonstrate this idea involves working out. Many people try to go “all in” immediately on new exercise regimes. I take an alternative approach. I set the bar very low at the start.

The first day that I started working out, I made a promise to myself that I’d put on my workout shoes. That was it. But, that first day, not only did I put all my gear on, but I actually ended up doing 30 minutes of cardio and stretching; I felt great afterward.

The next day, I wanted to increase my progress. I set a goal to put on all my workout clothes. But, once again, I made it to the gym and overachieved even more.

By keeping simple promises like these, and then going above and beyond, you not only build confidence in yourself but also your ability to follow through. You feel good that you are an achiever, and you feel worthy and capable of even greater achievements.

3. Accountability means knowing you’re worthy.

Living with accountability is yet another way to improve your feelings of self-worth. Accountability gives you the power or control over everything in your life. Accountability means that you don’t live in a world of blame, shame or justification. Rather, you take on all challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow.

People who are accountable ask themselves two questions when those challenges arise:

  • What did I do to attract it to myself?
  • What am I supposed to learn from it?

The tendency of people to go “below the line” stems from the impulse to defend their ego. But, in reality, they’re just avoiding accountability. Going below the line is a guaranteed way to lower your thermostat.

Whenever you can, invite others to help keep you accountable. Whether it’s a spouse, a coworker or a coach, ask them to make sure that you stay on track with achieving your goals.

If you cannot find a group or someone you trust to help keep you accountable, keep track of your words and actions yourself. Journaling is an effective way to do this. Just make sure to be honest with your evaluation of your performance.

4.Raise your thermostat.

If you want to make a lasting improvement to your self-image and raise your thermostat of worthiness, embrace the principles of service, keep promises you make to yourself (as well as to others), set realistic goals that you can achieve, but keep raising the bar. Finally, take charge of your life by being accountable and living above the line of blame, shame and justification.

These strategies are well worth your time if you want to build your self-worth, feel like you are deserving, and consistently, persistently, rapidly attract the great things that are coming your way.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

 

The 10 Largest Companies In the World Are Now Exploring Blockchain – Michael del Castillo

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In a patent filed with China’s State Intellectual Property Office, ICBC described an idea for using blockchain technology to verify digital certificates using a blockchain, instead of a trusted central authority, according to a CoinDesk report. While nothing else has been publicly revealed about the bank’s mysterious blockchain research, the plans are reminiscent of other blockchain efforts that seek to place stock certificates on a blockchain instead of in the safes of Central Securities Depositories around the world.

Following closely behind ICBC, with what appears to be slightly more advanced public work, is the China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB), which counts $143 billion in sales and total assets of $2.61 trillion. Last September, CCB revealed it was using the IBM Blockchain platform to streamline the way banks and insurance companies jointly sell some of their products.

In third place on the Global 2000 is JPMorgan, the largest company in the diversified financial category, with $118 billion in sales and assets valued at $2.7 trillion. In spite of company CEO Jamie Dimon’s vociferous railing against bitcoin itself, his company has emerged as one of the most visible, and committed enterprises to the underlying blockchain technology. After first contributing its own internally developed blockchain platform, Quorum, to the open-source community, JPMorgan has seen interest among users including pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (#44 on the list with $52 billion in sales) and information giant IHS Markit (#1,211 on the list with $3.6 billion in sales).

Switching places with JPMorgan for the fourth position on this year’s list was Berkshire Hathaway, with $235 billion in sales and  $702 billion in assets, also categorized in the diversified financial category. Similar to Dimon’s vocal doubt of bitcoin, Berkshire Hathaway’s founder and CEO, Warren Buffet is an outspoken cryptocurrency skeptic, comparing bitcoin to rat poison, and chiding those who consider purchasing it a form of legitimate investment. But that hasn’t kept his companies from exploring cryptocurrency’s underlying blockchain technology as a way to trace the provenance of diamonds and even freight delivered on Buffet’s railroads.

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Rounding out the top-five largest public companies this year is the Agricultural Bank of China Limited, with $3.4 trillion in assets, but a relatively small $129 billion in sales. Earlier this year the state-owned bank revealed it was working on a decentralized network to offer unsecured agricultural loans to e-commerce merchants, according to a CoinDesk report.

Bank of America, Wells Fargo and the Bank of China—at positions six, seven and nine respectively—rounded out the top banks, each undertaking their own blockchain projects to streamline a diverse set of financial workflows.

Sliding in the middle of those banks is U.S. tech giant Apple, the only company in the technology industry to make it into the top ten largest public companies, with $247 billion in sales and $367 billion in assets. Apple too had been largely silent about any potential blockchain projects, until CoinDesk reported on a patent filed by the company for using blockchain technology to timestamp data. While the company itself has been mostly mum on its blockchain work, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak is an increasingly vocal proponent of cryptocurrencies, though he left the firm years ago.

Rounding out the top-ten on the Global 2000 list is the largest insurance company in the world, China-based Ping An Insurance, with $141 billion in sales and $1.06 trillion in assets. Though Ping An’s blockchain efforts have been kept largely behind closed doors, the firm joined distributed ledger consortium R3 in 2016, and has reportedly been helping China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology research the technology.

Looking further down this year’s Global 2000 list, it appears the vast majority of the largest companies in the world are also exploring blockchain. Just to name a few of the most prominent, are Microsoft (#20), Alphabet (#23), and Walmart (#24), among notable U.S. firms, German auto manufacturer Daimler (#29) Japanese auto manufacturer Mitsubishi (#37) and Russian bank, Sberbank (#47).

What is perhaps most striking though, is the diversity of companies on the list that are also exploring blockchain. Having started as a financial technology tool with the creation of bitcoin as a faster, cheaper way to move monetary value across borders has evolved into a technology for moving all kinds of value—and data itself—with less reliance on central authorities. Each of the industry categories on the list—also including oil and gas, telecommunications, semiconductors, food, drink and tobacco, retail and more—include firms exploring blockchain.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

Was Starbucks’ Racial Bias Training Effective? Here’s What These Employees Thought

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One Northern California-based Starbucks barista said she contemplated leaving her job after the controversial arrest last month of two black men sitting at a Philadelphia location of the coffee chain for several minutes without having purchased anything.

That employee, an African-American woman who asked TIME to remain anonymous due to concerns of losing her job, was angry. And when Starbucks later announced more than 8,000 stores across the country would participate in racial bias education training, she didn’t understand why.

“I was angry we had to educate people on how to not be racist,” she recalled in an interview with TIME Tuesday night shortly after attending the hours-long training that shuttered nearly all of Starbucks’ U.S. locations.

But, after completing Starbucks’ racial bias training program Tuesday afternoon with her coworkers, the California-based barista felt her perspective had changed. “I’m a black woman; I’ve already known all of this,” she said, referring to one section of the program that detailed living day-to-day in public spaces as a person of color. “But the fact that it was a video all employees had to watch, it really warmed me.”

More than 175,000 Starbucks employees participated in the mandatory racial bias education program Tuesday afternoon at thousands of U.S.-based locations as part of an initiative spurred by the high-profile incident in Philadelphia last month. Gathered around a few iPads at locations around the nation, Starbucks employees watched nearly two dozen videos featuring the rapper Common, documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Starbucks executives and other prominent figures, while participating in wide-ranging discussions about race and identity with their colleagues.

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The curriculum, released in full by Starbucks online Tuesday night, placed an emphasis on encouraging some employees to become “color brave” instead of “color blind” and meditated on the Starbucks’ responsibility as the “third place” for some members of the community, akin to a home and workplace.

TIME spoke with five Starbucks employees on what it was like to attend Tuesday’s training sessions. These employees shared differing perspectives on the impact of the curriculum and detailed how effective they each thought it truly was.

Jason, the only African-American employee at his Hollywood-based Starbucks location who asked TIME to identify him by his first name out of concerns over job security, said the program reiterated common conversations surrounding race like inclusion, acceptance and understanding.

But he said the training failed to address how to end instances like what happened in Philadelphia from occurring in the future. While a number of the videos featured the perspectives of people of color — and particularly African-Americans — Jason wrote in a message to TIME that “there were times where I felt they missed the mark.”

“It seems like a lot of talking from the videos,” he added, “and not enough discussion from us.”Employees said they were also given workbooks that included prompts for them to discuss their first experiences with racial identity and discuss in pairs questions like, “What makes me, me? And you, you?” The company also gave employees personal journals to write in and keep for the months ahead. The curriculum as a whole, Jason said, could have used some improvement.

“Helpful? [I don’t know],” Jason wrote. “It kinda reaffirms things that I know already.”

Jason was not alone. Mohamed Abdi, an employee at a Starbucks location in Alexandria, Virginia, told TIME he wished the program featured more discussions between coworkers as well. “Honestly I think they should have more hands-on courses speaking to different people and customers to figure out where they’re coming from,” he said. “It’s easy sitting through something and saying you learned something than actually learning something from the course,” he added.

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His reception of the course, however, was generally positive. He particularly enjoyed the documentary produced by Stanley Nelson that displayed “the different things people of color go through just by leaving the house day by day.” That video featured an array of people of color who discussed how they access and experience public spaces than their white peers. (“When I go into stores, sometimes I get followed,” one woman said in the video. “Especially being a teen of color, they assume that you’re doing something bad.”)

The California-based, female employee told TIME that same video strongly resonated with her and — at one point — almost drove her to tears. “I often find myself even at other Starbucks locations where I don’t work at, and when I say I’m a partner, they look at me a certain kind of way,” she said in a phone interview after her store’s training session Tuesday night. “Just the fact that they really touched on that, it definitely made a lot of people in my job who work with me understand better.”

Ryan Curran, a white employee at a Sewell, New Jersey, location, said he and his coworkers learned a lot from the Starbucks training and wouldn’t change anything about the curriculum. “It would be helpful to continue the program when needed, for example, if a problem occurs in a certain store,” he said.

However, an Arkansas-based Starbucks employee who asked to remain anonymous out of concern over her employment, said she couldn’t imagine the curriculum would have much of an impact. “While this may be the most cost efficient way to handle the situation, I don’t feel like it will change much of anything,” the employee told TIME over text message before the training started.

She added that the store she works at initially didn’t plan on closing for Tuesday’s training, but eventually did once Starbucks’ higher ups stepped in. “Just driving an hour down the road takes you to towns where racism is alive and well,” she added.

According to estimates detailed by USA Today, Starbucks likely lost around $12 million by closing its U.S.-based stores on Tuesday afternoon. Since announcing it would close down the afternoon of May 29 for the training, Starbucks has emphasized the session was just the beginning of a long-term commitment to diversity and combating racial bias.

Researchers and social scientists recently told TIME that a one-time education program isn’t enough to combat racism and eradicate the use of racial biases. Hours before the programs began on Tuesday, Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz said the company plans to globalize these efforts and make similar initiatives part of the on-boarding process for new employees.

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Indeed, in the weeks after Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson were arrested at the Philadelphia location, Starbucks implemented new policies that allow people to sit in stores or use their bathrooms without purchasing anything. Hakeem Jefferson, a political science doctorate student at the University of Michigan who will join Stanford University’s faculty in the summer, told TIME ahead of Starbucks’ training day that structural and systematic changes like these policies could help prevent “negative outcomes” of unconscious biases manifest themselves

Starbucks’ curriculum, the company has said, is a launching pad for further initiatives as well as a tool for other companies to refer to and a program that may be used in the on-boarding of new employees in the future. But while movements within a company like Starbucks come as the result of a high-profile, racially charged incident, “I think we should worry that that doesn’t lead to the kind of change that we might want,” Jefferson, the social scientist, said.

“This has to be a core component of every company’s mission, particularly in an increasingly diverse world.”

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

Why An In-Car PC Is An Essential Tool For Your Business Success

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While vehicle-based electronic devices are hardly a new concept, only an in-car PC can match the function and performance of a full-fledge computer. You can easily browse the web, receive e-mail while on the go, and have real-time access to data and programs stored on your work PC.

You can also run any programs that run on the Windows platform. If you are looking for the perfect mobile IT solution, these are some reasons why getting car computers should be on top of your list.

Secure

You may be wondering about how secure is to have car computer installed on your vehicle. Fact of the matter is, the PC, where the data will reside, will be completely out of sight. Rest assured that onlookers will not be able to spot a huge desktop-like computer inside the vehicle. For added security, however, it can be bolted to the chassis of the vehicle using anti-theft bolts. This gives ample protection for both the hardware and the data. As for the screen, it will be heavily integrated to the interior – making it look like part of the vehicle. The screen, of course, can be easily removed when leaving the vehicle.

Robust

The PC part of car computer will not be handled directly by the user. This significantly reduces the risk of accidental damage. The only parts that the users will use are the screen and wireless keyboard. If somehow these fail to work, which is very unlikely, replacements will be provided swiftly.

Screen size

There are a wide range of display sizes to choose from. You can get the screen from 6.5-inches to 15-inches – and even beyond. It is recommended to get the screens that are designed specifically for the car computer, such that allows to be used even under sunlight. There are plenty of models to choose from and the screens can be easily upgraded as your company grows.

Screen Placement

As for the placement of the touch screens, they can actually be mounted anywhere within the vehicle. It is, however, recommended to get the in-dash model, which can be neatly integrated into the dashboard. This means you are not required to remove the screen while leaving the car for safety purposes. Some screen models can also be integrated to the sun-visor, the headrest or roof mounted. Whichever placement you choose for the screen, rest assured that it will be done to look as professional as possible, while taking into consideration the practicality.

Data Input and communication

The in-car PC can handle a range of data input methods depending on your need or circumstance. These include wireless QWERTY keyboards, touch screens and voice input and recognition systems. Data can also be communicated to the PC via Bluetooth or using a 3G modem which will allow internet connectivity.

Performance and customisation

You can expect top notch performance from the in-car computer. The standard specs include the use of Intel Core 2 Duo and hard drives with storage of up to 500 GB. If you need more power and storage, it is possible to build a more powerful system from scratch to meet your company’s needs.

Professional Installation

If required the in-car pc can be professionally installed thus proving you with a a full service from manufacture to end use.

By getting an in-car computer, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your staff, especially those who must spend a good amount of their time being on the road.

Rockflowerpaper Saved $200K Per Year Switching from Symphony Commerce

rockflowerpaper Saved $200K Per Year Switching from Symphony Commerce

It was 2017, and Katie Smith — then 58, a lifelong businesswoman, 35-year veteran of international trade, a company founder and owner — was stuck.

Nearly ten years had passed since she began her own business, rockflowerpaper, a California purveyor of bright, colorful clothing and accessories that had become a hit in the elite American coastal communities like Nantucket, near Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and Kiawah Island, off the shores of South Carolina.

rockflowerpaper products were available in 4,000 stores across the United States, mostly in high-net worth zip codes down each coast of the nation. Retail was winning.

But ecommerce was holding this company back.

In 2015, rockflowerpaper signed up with Symphony Commerce. It was no rushed decision.

Smith had labored over the choice, settling on Symphony because it could build her site quickly, but also because it offered what appeared as a competitive advantage. Symphony could handle the warehousing needed for her business, and it advertised competitive rates on freight, which was attractive to rockflowerpaper’s business.

It all seemed so good.

But as it scaled larger and larger, combined online revenue surging toward $2.5 million annually, its partnership was not built to last.

rockflowerpaper found itself looking elsewhere for help with its ecommerce experience.

‘There’s no metric that’s performing worse’

In 2017, Smith reached out to other companies like hers that were operating on Shopify Plus. Waiting for her there was a migration process Smith and Matteo Tunioli, rockflowerpaper’s ecommerce manager, would later lay superlatives upon. “Onboarding was absolutely incredible,” says Tunioli.

Smith was thrilled that, upon joining Shopify Plus, the platform was able to plug into her same warehousing operation, which she had grown to trust.

rockflowerpaper began to save $200,000 per year immediately on its ecommerce operations through Shopify Plus

These were all well and good – a smooth replatforming, the creature comforts of a strong warehousing relationship brought along with them. But Smith had not reached this point in more than three decades in business without knowing it all mattered little unless the bottom line was improved.

It happened, even to her eyes, faster than she might’ve thought.

The metrics were striking. On Shopify Plus, rockflowerpaper immediately enjoyed …

  • Savings of more than $200,000 per year
  • A conversion rate bump of more than half a percent
  • Average order value expanding by up to $10
  • An abandon cart rate that plummeted as much as 10%

“There’s no metric that is performing worse,” Smith says. “We keep acquiring customers, and we keep growing our ecommerce business. We’re just in a much healthier spot financially.”

Tunioli has relished the tech support he now has. “There’s support now 24/7, whether that’s on chat or you calling,” he says. “I can be active right then and there. I can talk to a developer. There’s support research. There’s a much bigger knowledge base online for me to learn myself. You’d be surprised with how important that is for ecommerce operations.”

A backend that better supports this scaling business has afforded it a new perspective. Savings of more than $200,000 per year is nothing to sneeze at, and rockflowerpaper has grown by giving itself the boost it needed.

“It allows us to invest in our business,” says Smith. “It allows us to grow our ecommerce business to another level.”

‘Faster, less expensive, easier’

Removed from its ecommerce headaches, rockflowerpaper isn’t one to look back. There is so much more to do in this market, a loyal customer base to appease, higher planes to take this brand toward.

But there is no mistaking relief. With Shopify Plus, Smith says rockflowerpaper’s ecommerce operations instantly became “faster, less expensive, easier.”

“We made the right decision,” says Tunioli. “We just wish we had made it sooner.”

By Jason Buckland, Case Study