JanRezab / Blog

Founder & Executive Chairman of Socialbakers.com


Next Stage For Socialbakers

Published: September 2, 2015

In two months, Socialbakers will be seven years old — which, interestingly enough, is the same age to the month as my son Mikulas. This week, Mikulas had his first day of school. It was a new moment for me seeing him off at the school gate — an experience I never had before, but one I knew was coming.

Today, we’re having a similar moment at Socialbakers, the company I co-founded in 2008 with Jiri Voves, Martin Homolka, and Lukas Maixner. It’s not our first day of school, but it is our first day with Robert Lang, who we’re welcoming to the Socialbakers family to run the business as our new CEO.

As a founder, I think it’s important to recognize what areas you’re strong in, and what areas you need help in. When you bring people together with skills that complement each other, it’s a really amazing thing.

We’ve been searching for the perfect person to lead Socialbakers for just about a year now. Along the way, I met a bunch of brilliant folks. But the first time I met Robert, I knew he was the right person for the job.

We’ve had our eyes on Robert for a while now. Robert comes to us from Criteo, where he did an awesome job scaling the company globally. Criteo went public not too long ago, and Robert had a huge hand in the company’s growth. He has an unbeatable track record of scaling sales and marketing teams at a number of unique tech companies. He’s exactly the person we need to take Socialbakers to new heights.

In an interview with Business Insider about the news, Jim Edwards asked if this was an emotional moment for me. Of course it is! It’s an emotional moment for any founder to hand over the reigns of their company to a new CEO. But amidst the nerves over the specifics of exactly what will happen, I know this is the right move for our Socialbakers family.

As for me, I’m not going anywhere — I’ll be taking on the role of Executive Chairman here at Socialbakers. I’ll be focused on our vision, developing our product, supporting our amazing clients, continuing to put on world-class events, and sharing our research and thought leadership with the industry. We have a lot of work to do to educate marketers in the years to come.

Thanks for being with us along this journey. We’re excited to start our next chapter with Robert on board, and we hope you are too.

Jan


John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, the smartest humor on the planet

Published: July 29, 2014

I don’t remember calling anything yet the smartest X, so if you haven’t seen John Oliver’s new show Last Week Tonight, you are missing out big time. Its the best combination of information, data, and hard facts mixed to expose the worlds big topics in a lovely new format.

Inspired by last weeks top events, John Oliver doesn’t seem to stop at any controversial topic. Having covered topics such as Nuclear Weapons, the Death Penalty, and even things like FIFA, CIA on Twitter, and others.

Here are a few clips that you just have to watch:

Wealth Gap

Nuclear Weapons

Net Neutrality

FIFA

And many others you can find on his YouTube channel.
Note to John Oliver and folks at HBO: Keep going with this guys, its amazing!

P.S.: Please make it so I can purchase your full show from Europe on Apple or wherever.

Second note to John Oliver: Please tweet more.


How to for Prague / Tour guide from Czech person

Published: July 29, 2014

This is the “short on Prague”. Small guide on places, tours, restaurants, and recommendations that friends have asked me to share.

Don’t miss (you cannot leave Prague without seeing the top 3):

  • Charles Bridge – a true icon
  • Prague Castle incl. the church visit (must-see, thats the thing to see)
  • Old Town Square and walk the surroundings
  • Wenceslas Square – and the most favorite locals meeting point “by the horse”
  • National Museum
  • Zizkov TV Tower

 

Note: Don’t forget ENGAGE 2015 (April 2015) will be in Prague.

My favorite Restaurants (most need a reservation maybe except Lokal):

  • SaSaZu (Asian Fusion) – awesome trendy place, very international feel. Very good place.
  • Čestr (Czech steak)
  • Lokál – chain (Czech food)
  • Cafe Savoy (European mix, incl. Czech) – very lovely place
  • Bistro La Bottega
  • Hergetova Cihelna
  • Aromi

Cool bars and look-outs

  • Oblaca in Tower Prague (even though this is
  • Cloud9 in Hilton – Beautiful view of Prague, great cocktails
  • 360 bar in Fusion Hotel –
  • Cross Club (underground for the brave, a bit of a design thing, a bit outside the center)
  • Bar and Books Manesova – the only thing I dont like is the cigar smoke
  • Hotel Aria – great view of castle roof top

I will add to this list over time.

—-

Recommendations:

  • Airport – Prague airport is one of the fastest / easiest airports in the world. To get through it will be amazingly simple. Gate close always 15 mins prior (careful for small planes, they close sometimes 20 mins), Boarding always 25 mins, boarding process is fast. Always take a cab from the airport. Taxi should cost 450 – 650 CZK depending on where you are going (plus minus wait time in traffic).
  • Currency – 1 USD is about 24 CZK, 1 EUR is about 27,50 (always Google USD to CZK)
  • Credit cards – not accepted everywhere, its good to have 2000 – 3000 CZK on you for smaller spends
  • Tipping – 5 – 10% in restaurants, no tips in bars, no tips on “behind the counter” usual, no tips to taxis (but be nice)
  • Traffic – Prague gets a decent amount of traffic in the week. Traffic slows after 7 pm and is light before 7:15 – 7:30 am. Weekends no problem unless there is an event.
  • Subway – Prague has a great subway and train system. I feel safer in it than in subways in cities like NYC or LA (dont use subway after 10 pm in LA! – no problem in PRG). They run very steadily, almost all the time.

Czech warnings:

  • Taxis – some taxis in Prague, the unmarked ones on stands in touristy places will cheat you. This is a case only of those stands and street taxis. They are not dangerous in any way, they’ll just rip you off (but you will end up paying less than most countries, might not even notice it) Recommendation: Call taxis, if you are near a hotel, their conciarge will always assist you – they understand and know about it
    • CZ taxis have super sophisticated systems. If you call them they will be at your place in 5 – 15 minutes, 24 hours per day.
    • Authorized companies: Modry Andel (have Uber like app), Speedcars (have Uber like app), Tick Tack (all nice white Audis), Sedop (ask for better cars), AAA Auto, and others.
    • Airport taxis are OK, there are only specific taxis that are authorized there

Hottest social media topics for CEOs and CMOs

Published: June 18, 2014

Social media is a hot topic for the top management of every company, but the biggest problem is identifying top opportunities to focus on. I recently spoke at the Corporate Social Media Summit in NYC and, listening to other speakers, it was interesting to hear their views, and to couple it with my current beliefs on social media.

The 3 key topics were:

1) Internal Social Media – How do I use social to get it into every part of the organization

Using social media internally, cases included things like: Using social media to better detect employee engagement (and disengagement), deploying internal social networks (like Podio, Yammer, Chatter, IBM Connections, and others) to boost employee collaboration and engagement, and embed social at the heart of the organizations. It also means having social at the heart of doing things right in the middle – not using it only for marketing, but using it for PR, internal marketing, HR, Sales, and of course having your leadership involved in social media (Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia is a great example; Richard Branson another obvious one).

The best companies have internal social networks fully deployed into their company and are using data at the heart of all social operations.

2) Customer Relations – How do I build relationship with my customers, influencers, and help change the business?

Customer care is a huge topic for leadership. It can have both great downside (everything is public) and huge upside (creating loyal users, ambassadors, etc.). Clearly, everyone wanted to learn more about how to do this effectively. Different companies try – and do – social customer care in different ways, but it’s clear today that social customer care is a must, and users will find a way to reach you even if you close your wall on Facebook. Hiding is not a solution – openness, transparency, and speed is the way to go forward.

Another way is to make sure you take the value from this feedback and try to organize it into groups and fix any fundamental business issues you might have.

Best companies: Companies like KLM that have 150+ people in social care, do it 24/7 in 11 different languages – it’s the only way to go.

3) Social Marketing – How do I utilize social as a marketing channel? 

Social media today is primarily used as a marketing channel. We can all cry about the fact that things aren’t like they were in the early stages of social media, or wake up and know to consider it a real business opportunity.

Other top take-aways from the topics presented

  1. Integrate social into every dept. of your organization
  2. Use internal social networks to enhance collaboration & communication
  3. Social customer care is a must
  4. Fast social response builds brand advocates
  5. Engagement/Reach directly correlates with brand loyalty & awareness
  6. Integrating customer feedback is a must-have in a social strategy
  7. Content is (still) king
  8. Invest in brand ambassadors
  9. Get into the feed by any means necessary
  10. Data driven businesses perform better


Future of Calendars – Google, Apple, and Microsoft – Please connect

Published: June 16, 2014

Tags: efficiency

Time, hours, days, weeks – time represents a key dimension in our lives, and I am extremely passionate about planning it right. My average week looks something like this (see screenshot below), and when it looks like it, I am probably a key power-user of the calendar in general. A calendar is at the center of our lives, yet for the last decade (possibly 2), the calendars are all the same. If only Microsoft, Apple, and Google, who ultimately own this space, came together and worked on a new standard, it would be my dream come true. Many of these are basic things.

So what features are missing in todays calendars, and a suggestions for this “standards” meeting at Apple, Google, and Microsoft?

1) Integrations in general –  with apps / notes / better URL integration, cross-application links

2) Contact links (several) included straight in the calendar note – I can’t believe this is not possible today, you have to copy paste the phone numbers inside the calendar link. Small one, but helpful.

2) Perfect mapping – not only mapping the location. A location can be a phone number (click to call), but also a location can be a Map (+ delivers map) + a special field on instructions (or a possibility to add a comment that does not “map” on the map). Often a meeting is at an address + telephone, so that is also the “Location”, or a certain app with login credentials (that shared calendars can or cannot see depending on settings).

3) Reminders – perfectly linked with reminders and meeting notes that are immediately sharable.

4) Type of meeting with separate actions
– Call (+ who is calling who or if its a dial-in) – your phone would ask 30 seconds before – Dial number, automatically dialing the designated extension or entering the code
– Online Video Call – your phone would alert you, depending on the app, and would click to the app and dial the “extension” and simply activate the meeting
– Personal meeting – with address and specific actions (building actions, who to contact, how to get through the front-desk, estimates from other people that have had meetings in that destination on that floor on how fast the security process can take)
– Movement (From / To / By [Car, Train, Foot]) – Google could dynamically alert you

These would be differently marked possibly by different icons.

5) Categorization – Types of reminders, and I don’t mean just personal or closed, I mean literally a category that you would put things in.

6) Letting them know you are late – by phone GPS, if its a personal meeting, your phone could ask you 15 minutes before the meeting if it should alert the person that you are late, where you are, and how fast you are getting there, or the option to cancel or move the meeting to later.

Guys, get together and figure this out, please!

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