Startups, product and marketing - understanding and using value.

Here at SWARM we work with a lot of startups.It’s the world we came from, one where we understand product idiosyncrasies and company needs. Relying on both data and experience, we are able to deliver strategy, design, and marketing solutions quickly and efficiently. Sometimes, working with these startups is a complete breeze – the company provides us with fundamental marketing, we [...]

URLs for Open Street Maps and Stamen Designs Tilesets in XYZ.png/jpg format

If you've ever had the misfortune of having to look for Stamen or Open Street Map {z}/{x}/{y} (xyz.png/jpg) tile sets to use in Leaflet.js or the CartoDB dashboard you'll know just how frustrating it can be to find them. In any case, here they are. These, in addition to the standard faire tiles from Nokia, Google and Mapbox round out the Leaflet or CartoDB selection [...]

A Quick Morsel from the SWARM Strategy Curmudgeon: Excel Shortcuts

Last year, I was approached by the sterling folks over at General Assembly, asking whether I would be interested in teaching a series of courses on Microsoft Excel. I happily obliged and have been overwhelmed with the demand for these classes; I've now taught live-stream and in-person sessions, and a series of  quick-nibble Excel courses will soon appear on the Google for Entrepreneurs [...]

How Agencies are Missing the Point on Sexism Altogether.

  "And he's not surprised when I know how to use a saw" is the line that the new Woodford Reserve ad should have used, and all would have been good and well.  However, as a recent article in AdAge pointed out, a simple sentence can turn an entire campaign into a feminist barrage of outcries. Replacing the original phrase "and he doesn't think it's cute when I don't [...]

Foursquare and The Unbearable Lightness of Being

  Though it has millions of users, the reasons people often cite for using it are rather badly represented in the application itself. The most common reason I hear about why people use Foursquare is that it creates a log for where they’ve been. Perhaps a bar looks familiar and brings back memories- with Foursquare, we can look back and see if we’ve been there before, and who we [...]

PHP - Dynamically adding an active state class to a nav when using includes with JS

As I prefer to use PHP includes to visually clean up my sites, I tend to run into a problem where an active state for buttons or icons is not set. This means that if the header is in an include, and a user lands on the contact page, they're unable to tell whether a menu option is the one they selected. Problematic.But, here's a couple of code snippets that worked for me, both in [...]

Bug Fix: CSS transition effect has a 1 pixel move, or jump.

This one pixel error was causing an unnerving issue with a web page and google failed to help me find the result. Once I knew what to search for, it seemed that a lot of folks were having this issue. Hope this snippet helps.Problem: Images or elements that have an opacity transition on them jump 1 pixel on hover if there is a transformation applied as well. This is true for 3d [...]

CSS Tip: Even columns of text with wrapped content in columns

  In order to have responsive multi column layouts I would use the typical float:left property on all my column classes and size them by percept of screen width. Well, there's a cleaner and simpler way. Especially if you want your text to automatically flow and maintain even column height! I feel pretty late to the game on this - how did i miss it?Apply to the parent [...]

Buying twitter followers with Fiverr, and other marketing tricks

  A while back I heard about this interesting startup called "Fiverr".  The concept is simple - people post services they are willing to accomplish in return for $5. Some are silly -"I'll write your company name on my hand!" - and others seem to be more practical, "I'll write a 500 word blogpost on your topic of choice." As we like to test things out here, I thought it a good [...]

The art of Serendipity or: How to make your own luck by being smart about it.

  In business, like in history, no one writes about the losers, they write about the leaders, the winners, those lucky enough to have been at the right place at the right time, met the right person, and then managed to build the next greatest company, built a great product, or did something that changed the world. They often cite these people as being lucky, or having been in the right [...]

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