Archive for Neal Leavitt

Women in Tech Industry Still Facing Career Challenges

Posted by Neal Leavitt on February 25th, 2015 at 7:39 pm

A few months ago a long-standing colleague of mine decided to leave her tech company after 14 years. The pay was good, benefits great, but she came to the realization that she couldn’t breach that proverbial ‘glass ceiling.’ Despite her stellar qualifications, she resigned.
She’s now getting her teaching credential and wants to teach computer programming to high school students. Any high school that hires her will immediately be that much better.
But her story isn’t an isolated one. Tracey Lien recently wrote in the Los Angeles Times that women are leaving the tech industry in droves. It’s becoming a significant issue for the tech economy.
“According to the industry group Code.org, computing jobs will more than double by 2020, to 1.4 million,” said Lien. “If women continue to leave the field, an already dire shortage of qualified tech workers will grow worse. Last summer, Google, Facebook, Apple and other big tech companies released figures showing that men outnumbered women 4 to 1 or more in their technical sectors.”
Vivek Wadhwa, a tech entrepreneur and fellow with Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, said that when women go to venture capitalists seeking financing for their new startups, they are sometimes treated differently... Read more

Maybe You Deserve This Match

Posted by Neal Leavitt on January 28th, 2015 at 8:27 pm

A number of years ago I was retained to provide marketing communications services for a San Diego-based dating site. Good concept, decent funding from private sources, number of stories generated across various media genres. Ultimately, however, it wasn’t enough. Competition was too fierce; site just wasn’t attracting enough eyeballs and the venture folded.
Fast forward to 2015. Buddy of mine asked if I knew of any good dating sites as he was, to quote him, ‘back in the game.’ Told him I hadn’t been following the space for awhile but was curious to see how the industry had evolved.
The dating industry has become huge - $2.2 billion in 2014 according to market research firm IBISWorld; $2.7 billion by 2019. And Pew Research says that of Americans in a committed relationship that have used an online dating site, one in three met online.
Decided to have a little fun so did a bit of research/searching for oddball, offbeat and in some cases, truly weird dating sites. All seem to be flourishing; many have attracted advertising. In short, your future significant other may just be a few clicks away, no matter your fetishes.
So here are a few:
Vampersonals... Read more

eSports Racking Up Billions of Viewer Hours – and Dollars

Posted by Neal Leavitt on December 27th, 2014 at 8:16 pm

So your 13-year old son is seemingly spending every waking moment hunched over his Xbox, PS Vita, phone, tablet or (doubtful but some pre-teens and teens still use ‘em) laptop playing one endless video game after another. You’ve morphed into an avatar from his perspective; the video games have become his real world.
What do you do?
Well, if he’s really good, let him play on. eSports has finally reached critical mass and has become a multi-billion dollar business, notes market research firm SuperData Research.
Note the following from a trends brief the company put out last April:
• More than 71 million worldwide watch competitive gaming. In fact, about 14.9 million people tuned in to the 2013 World Series; last year 32 million watched the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship – more than double the audience for our so-called ‘national pastime’!
• The average eSports viewer watches 19 times a month; average session is more than two hours;
• eSports is becoming a revenue driver and marketing vehicle for online game publishers and major brands; former like Riot Games, Wargaming and Valve; examples of latter include Coca-Cola and Intel;
• The International 2013: Dota 2 prize pool was more than $2.8 million; total prize money from... Read more

Technology Transforming the Fashion Industry

Posted by Neal Leavitt on November 27th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Last week after a nice lunch with my sister, niece, brother-in-law and cousin, I got corralled into following them into Nordstrom’s in downtown San Francisco. I quickly realized that with only two magazines, a book, and a smartphone, it would be a challenging afternoon.
And once my niece pulled about a half-dozen outfits off a rack and said “I just want to try on a few things,” the situation became untenable. Elevated heart rate. Accelerated pulse. Beads of sweat on forehead. If the store had started playing Slim Whitman songs, my head would have exploded, similar to what happened to the little green Martians in Tim Burton’s campy Mars Attacks.
Quickly gave everyone a hug and said I was dashing out to Ghirardelli’s for a sundae (dark chocolate hot fudge; medical studies have indicated dark chocolate’s good for you, ergo, Ghirardelli’s sundaes are healthy. Bit of twisted logic but effective for assuaging any guilt feelings).
But while scraping away the last nanometer of ice cream, it got me thinking about how technology has radically changed the fashion industry in just a few short years.
“Technology is now completely ingrained in our interaction and relationship with fashion retail,” said... Read more

2015 Just Around the Corner: So What’s the Skinny on Digital Marketing Trends?

Posted by Neal Leavitt on October 26th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Quality content. Content marketing. Mobile-friendly content. Ad retargeting.
Scores of pundits and prognosticators awake and arise this time of year from their marketing crypts to make predictions, outline scenarios on what they see as hot digital marketing trends for the upcoming year. And we see a lot of those aforementioned terms – and others – you know what some of them are - year-after-year, being bandied about and re-purposed.
To use some pirate vernacular, “arrrggggghhhhhh!”
All good-intentioned, most impart a lot of useful info-nuggets but it’s easy to get lost in the morass.
So is there anything really interesting that might help drive awareness of products/services, and ultimately sales next year?
Yup.
Internet Retailer recently did a search marketing survey (full results being published in November) from mid-September to mid-October encompassing responses from 95 participants; about two-thirds identified themselves as working for web-only retailers.
Some interesting survey snippets:
• 46.2% reported increased traffic to their e-commerce sites over the past year through natural, or organic search;
• 32.9% generated at least half of their online sales through their paid search and organic search programs combined;
• 40.3% said their search marketing budgets increased over the past year;
• 53.3% said they would increase their pay-per-click search spending... Read more