Category Archives: Trending

Is this the world’s most connected man?

Say hello to “the most connected human on Earth”.

Chris Dancy - the most connected man in the world
Copyright: Chris Dancy

The name Chris Dancy probably doesn’t mean much to you now, but after watching this video you’ll find it hard to pass him in the street…

Here Chris talks to The Wall St Journal candidly about how tracking his life has helped him, and whether he envisions a day when everyone will do the same.

Chris Dancy has been tracking his life for the past five years and is now often connected to as many as 700 sensors, devices, apps, and services at a time.  With these he is able to monitor, analyse, and optimize every minutiae of his person to alter the way his body works.

Chris is a fascinating (if bizarre) half-man, half-machine. However we can’t help but wonder if he’s gone a step too far. After-all, it is a hell of a commitment, and you wouldn’t want to be stuck behind him in the queue for airport security…

4 of the best productivity apps and websites

No matter how motivated we think we are, we all experience that productivity-lull – and it doesn’t just happen on Friday’s…

Thankfully we’re dosed-up on caffeine, and have ploughed headlong into the world of productivity apps and useful websites so you don’t have too.

Here are a smattering of our current favourites:

Best productivity tools: Slack messaging app

Slack

We’ve crushed on Slack hard here at Procurious HQ… We’ve had to tell Jack (Product Manager) off for making googly eyes at his screen, and the idea was to boost productivity!

Tony Conrad (founder of About.me) says the following: “I am basically in love with Slack. It took us less than 24 hours to get everyone on board (as you know, people are resistant to change), and it is amazing.” But this could come from any number of fresh Slack converts…

Slack brings all of your communication together in one place. It takes all the best bits from your MSN Messenger’s, Skype’s, and Lync’s, while leaving all the needless bloat behind. Its clean and uncluttered interface means nothing gets in the way of the meat and potatoes of

The best bit? Slack is completely free to use (for as long as you want), and with an unlimited number of people too. Go team go!
Yo app gets new features

Yo

Today we’re revisiting Yo – the simplistic, throwaway app has graduated to big-boy pants and somewhat surprisingly has attracted even more funding…

Remind yourself what we said about it first-time round. 

The #firstmovers among you may still have Yo installed – and if so you might like to know that its just received its first considerable update. But with it comes an extra layer of complexity, one we’re not entirely sure is needed.

Yo Link adds the ability to chaperone your ‘Yo’ with a URL – Or Arbel (Yo Founder) says this of the functionality: “News websites can now offer not only getting instant Yo notifications when a story breaks, but also attach the story itself and readers can open it in a frictionless and convenient way.”

Hashtags are also now supported.

The beauty (or madness, depending on who you asked) of Yo, was its purposefully limited offering. Has Yo’s visionary over-egged the pudding?

Best productivity tools: Timeful app

Timeful

Are you an iPhone user, and suffer from poor time-management? As luck would have it, we have the very app for you…  Timeful aims to take the weight off your heavy shoulders by helping you to get things scheduled and completed more effectively.

Timeful arrives in an already crowded market, but because it syncs with your calendars (Google, Microsoft Exchange, Apple iCal, etc.) it can use its intelligent time management system to help you make the best use of your time by suggesting things for you. The app also allows the user to add specific to-do items and ’habits’ they would like to turn into recurring activities.

What’s more, the more you use it, the better it gets. Over time, our algorithms will learn what you like to do and when you like to do it, which will help generate more accurate suggestions.

Android users fear not – a version is reportedly in the works, as is a web-based edition. So soon you’ll all have so much free time you won’t know what to do with it… Spend it on Procurious yeah?

Best productivity tools: Buffer app for iOS and Android Buffer

While we’re not playing around with the excellent IFTTT or Friends+Me services – we’re turning our eye to the equally-awesome Buffer app. It’s definitely worth a go if you find yourself juggling posts across multiple social networks…

By making Buffer part of your daily routine you don’t need to worry about lumping all of your social media updates together in one period. Just bash some posts out, save and schedule them to be pushed out throughout the day (or week).

Buffer will play quite happily with your Internet browser (Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are all supported), just install one of the browser extensions, then click the Buffer icon whenever you spot something shareable.

There’s integration with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (and more) under the hood, plus it offers both web and mobile access so you can post and schedule updates even if away from the computer.

How far would you go for charity?

Since we published this story, the #IceBucketChallenge has spread to front pages the world over. To view an ever-updating list of participants visit this exhaustive Wikipedia page.

What’s the idea behind it? To raise awareness (and money) for the ALS Association, who research the motor neurone disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However in Britain this money instead goes to Macmillan Cancer Support.

From 29 July 2014 the challenge has generated a whopping $22.9 million in contributions.

Updated with Bill Gates Ice Bucket Challenge:

Question: Have you ever seen Mark Zuckerberg pour a bucket of ice-cold water on himself?

Answer: Yep, now you have.

Microsoft’s CEO – Satya Nadella, previously stepped-up to the ice-cold mantle. By completing the Ice Bucket Challenge, Zuck’s got to nominate three people of his choosing, namely: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Netflix CEO Read Hastings, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Not high-profile choices at all then…

Those nominated have just 24 hour to give themselves a dousing, or donate to the ALS Foundation. Of course they can always choose to do both.

Are you inspired by Zuckerberg’s show of charity, and would you do the same? 

Why your business card is a piece of crap…

What’s your business card like?

We don’t know about you, but we like to feel quality between our fingertips. You can keep your flimsy sub 350gsm paper, we won’t settle for anything but your finest paper stock…

The business card is an important part of your relationship-building arsenal, if you’re wanting to create a lasting impression your card better be up to the task. If your calling card is sub-standard, it doesn’t say much about the quality of the service or products you’re flogging.

However let’s not get bogged down in talk of gsm, this Kickstarter project has gone one better. The swivelCard fuses the traditional business card with cutting-edge technology to create a truly smart card.

Not only does it feature a USB interface, but it provides you with remote access to the card (so you make changes to the card’s content on the fly, view usage info etc.)

That’s not a business card

This is a business card… Here are some of our favourites (thank you Internet!):

Sommelier business card

Now that’s a business card that every sommelier would be proud of… *hic*

Folding chair business card

This folding model chair was used to promote a London business which specialised in vintage/modernist furniture. Swish.

Divorce lawyer tearable business card

What better way for a divorce lawyer to sell his/her services to those with broken hearts?

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook business card

Read the story behind Mark Zuckerberg’s infamous business card – here.

And finally: No-one knows whether the Chinese Tycoon Chen Guangbiao was being serious when he put in an order for 100+ of these beauties…

Chen Guangbiao business card
Image: Business Insider

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24 of the most mesmerising machines

Working in procurement you are closer than most to the thing that ultimately ends up rolling off the production line. But have you ever thought to yourself ‘how DID that come to be?’

Lucky for you then that the inquisitive minds over at How It’s Made, and those kings of the viral tap – Buzzfeed, have put together a little video that shows 24 examples of the world’s most awe-inspiring machinery.

We bet you can’t  identify what all 24 of them do…

Are apples and potatoes the sustainable energy source of the future?

Could you power your supply chain with apples and oranges?

Outside Westfield shopping centre in London’s Shepherd’s Bush, Microsoft and Carphone Warehouse have unveiled one of the world’s biggest science experiments…

Behold an enormous 20ft wide and 8ft high installation featuring a phenomenal amount of fruit and vegetables, which, amazingly, is able to wirelessly charge a Nokia Lumia smartphone.

Microsoft and Carphone Warehouse teamed up with Caleb Charland, a science enthusiast and artist, to create the magnificent charging art piece. Inspired by the school science project, where an electrical current is generated using a potato, Caleb created ‘Back To Light’ his latest body of work.

Caleb has now applied this method to create the Lumia organic charger using 800 apples and potatoes.

Bet you wish you’d paid more attention in your science class now?

The curse of Generation Y: Meet the Millennials

A great deal has been written about Millennials… A lot of it, not all that nice – so it’s with interest that we pored over the new infographic compiled from research Collegefeed conducted on a 5000-strong sample.

The results can be viewed below in full, but first some context for anyone not quite up to speed… You might already be familiar with the previous Generation X, well Millennials are members of the next wave – sometimes referred to as Generation Y. As for what makes up this demographic, the boundaries are loose at best – those born anywhere between the 1980s and 2000s have been included in commentary to date.

Collegefeed.com

Although 60 percent of those surveyed were female, the results show that the top 10 list was predominately made-up of male role-models (only 4 were women).

Alongside strong entrepreneurial-powerhouses such as Jobs, Gates, Musk, Zuckerberg, and Branson – there sits quite a selection of personalities from the world of showbiz and entertainment.

Other survey results included Pope Francis, Marissa Mayer, Jon Stewart, Beyonce Knowles, and Jennifer Lawrence. Bey’s done a lot for female empowerment, and we love The Hunger Games trilogy as much as the next person, but are such inclusions casting our young Millennials in an unflattering light?

Collegefeed.com

30 percent of those surveyed stated they are worried that their employers believe they are lazy and/or entitled. This could tie into a later line of questioning that asked if Millennials felt they had a harder time of finding jobs (compared to earlier generations). The result? A resounding 70 percent answered ‘Yes’.

This is in direct contrast to recent job reports and statistics that have shown a decrease in the overall unemployment rate for new graduates.

Collegefeed.com

The last of the survey’s findings focused on the Millennial’s motivation factors for choosing a role. The majority put ‘Salary’ as their top priority.

These days you read more and more about companies shying away from promoting, hiring, or training talented Millennial candidates. If you look at the survey note that both ‘Stability’ and ‘advancement opportunities’ came towards the bottom – could this be another black mark against the Millennial’s perceived reputation?

Various factors come into play, says Tony Sorenson, CEO of Versique Search (versique.com) and Consulting and McKinley Consulting (mckinleyconsulting.com). Millennials typically transition jobs more frequently than employees from the previous generation, which can cause hiring managers to assume they’ll lose younger employees quicker, making it harder to justify investing time and money in them. “Unfortunately, this trend can translate into the organization missing out on valuable talent and Millennials feeling undervalued,” says Sorenson.

Has any of this changed your outlook on the Millennial workforce, or are you a member of Generation Y and have a polarising opinion? Let us know in the comments below!

Sources: Collegefeed.com, Star Tribune

Why you want this man to buy you a car

Could this man make a living out of procurement?

Up until recently David Johns was just an ordinary Australian going about his life… But that changes when Johns decided to create the world’s slickest used car ad.

johns

The outcome was simple – Johns just wanted to get rid of his 1999 Holden Barina hatchback. A car which isn’t going to set the used car pages alight; sure it’s a capable-enough little runner, but its unassuming looks won’t make potential buyers go weak at the knees.

It also helps that Johns is a digital director of an Australian design agency, but who was he to know the Internet would warm to it like it did…

Such is the success of the viral hit (over 845k views and counting), Johns has agreed to donate the proceeds to a charity looking to fight cancer.

Of course, at the end of the day it’s all a bit of fun, but we can’t help think that through the video Johns has demonstrated some of the attributes of a procurement superstar. He seems to have made a pretty solid case for the car – that shows negotiations nous!

A solid professional also requires the ability to innovate – Johns video has confidently disrupted the typically-staid view of the used car market, while in the same breath inspiring others to follow his lead.

Discover more must-have attributes

But this isn’t the first time this approach has been used… Back in 2008 the American’s did it first! Here they are with their slick ad for a decidedly-dodgy 1988 Dodge Aries K Car.

The same dynamism and ambition is also present in this Swedish used car ad for a Volvo (1.6m YouTube views).

What do you make of the video; do you think you could do better, and more importantly – would you hire him?

Winning leadership lessons from the World Cup

How to be a real contender, improve your game and win. 

Pixabay

A lot has been written about Brazil’s spectacular fall from grace, but less on Germany’s titanic struggle in the climatic last game. Now the dust has settled and people go back to their normal lives, what has the World Cup actually taught us?

Let’s hear from a few experts:

Avoid creating mavericks so says S. Venkatesh, executive director, KEC International, RPG Group.

“It is something we grapple within organizations all the time on how to encourage teams while encouraging star performers. I believe in encouraging star performers. Only star performers bring in exponential change.”

Develop the next generation – Anurag Shrivastava, chief executive, HRNext.

A leader inspires confidence in his people and motivates them towards achieving a common goal… It is important that an organization should continuously work on developing its next generation of leaders and technical experts.”

Shrivastava continues: “They may not be the best, but they have the necessary know-how in their domains. An organization should encourage and recognize the next level of performers as well. Globally and in India, firms such as General Electric Co., Google Inc., Hindustan Unilever Ltd and ITC Ltd keep working on developing their leadership pipeline and conduct programmes for further enhancement of employee skill sets.”

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a contributor on Forbes.com who specializes in the psychology of leadership writes:

“Whether in sports, politics or business, major achievements are always the result of team rather than individual efforts. And teams can never emerge without the vision, guidance, and management of a leader.

Good leaders may seem bigger than their teams, but only when they are attention-seeking narcissists. Although we tend to attribute collective team achievements to specific individuals, individual talent only shines in the right context. That is, you can be the most talented person in the world but on your own you will achieve nothing.”

In summing up, he comments: “Although we tend to regard talent and personality as two unrelated things, there is a close connection between them. Talent without personality is less likely to succeed than personality without talent. And the bigger the stakes, the more success depends on personality.”

Can you add any more to our scorecard? If so, leave your World Cup leadership lessons in the comments below. No fouls please!

Has Amazon identified a niche market in wearable tech?

Where do you stand on wearable gadgets? Internet retailer Amazon is betting big on the niche wearable technology market.

Amazon has launched a specialist storefront dedicated to wearable technology and gadgets.

Google Glass - Amazon launches wearable technology store

Whether it’s activity trackers, smartwatches, heart rate monitors, wearable cameras, or Google Glass-like devices, Amazon has struck upon a particularly fashionable niche…

Amazon’s one-stop-shop for wearable technology has the potential to disrupt –it is after-all a first mover in this new retail space, and as such expect the copycats to follow in their droves…

Wearables on the rise

When it comes to both innovation and appeal, wearables have come a relatively long way in a short space of time. Originally viewed as a passing fad back in 2012, tech plaudits predicted that wearable tech would go the way of 3D. Sure, it’s an interesting space to be in, but could it fuel a sustainable ecosystem over time?

In that same year (2012) wearables accounted for a $2.7 billion spend, with the number expected to reach $8.3 billion by 2018. By that reckoning, wearables are going to be with us for a little longer yet…

Nike+ Fuel Band

At the time of writing, the Amazon store lists over 100 different products. But with wearables expanding into clothing and even skin, Deloitte predicts global sales of wearables will top 10 million during 2014.

In addition, a survey by Accenture indicated that smartwatches appealed to 46% of people polled, whereas Google Glass (or an alternative) attracted 42% of the vote. In total 6000 people were polled.