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Benjamin Moffat – Viking Prince


Ben is a Viking prince of Norwegian lore. He’s straddled tidal waves and ridden their foamy backs over his enemies in a never-ending cascade of victory and glory.

After crushing his opponents Ben turned his attention to a new passion, sales and client advocacy at a hotshot creative/technology shop.

He joined the Vérité team in January of 2009 and has been making great things happen ever since. He started as a receptionist where he captured the hearts of everyone who entered the building or happened to call in. He quickly proved his skill set reached beyond inhumanly prompt phone answering and a ridiculously friendly tone of voice and was moved into a sales position. Since then Ben has brought in heavy hitting clients like Merit Medical, ATK, and Verizon, for dozens of projects in as many different areas of technology. Ben may seem like a hardened sales battle droid, but spending time with his wife and 1-year-old daughter softens his robot heart.

Being really tall and good looking aren’t the only talents Ben has cultivated over the years, he is also a solid decent musician! 10+ years in the trenches of Salt Lake City’s local music scene have cemented Ben as a sort of Gandalf figure. Kids run up to him on the street demanding he conjure a flying beast made purely of fireworks using only his guitar. He’s always happy to oblige.

When not shredding licks or holding power meetings at the office Ben enjoys some of the finer things normal people like. His favorite movies are Big Trouble in Little China and Revenge of the Nerds. Supposedly he can do the whole rap at the end of Nerds and he says he beat up Kurt Russell once, but only once.

Ben isn’t really scared of anything, but if he were, unemployment would be at the top of the list. Followed closely by Android devices and Milo Welch. He threw earthquakes in there as well, but it was more out of fear that an earthquake would harm his impressively complete Looney Toons pepsi glass collection. Up until now there has been a tiny itty-bitty bit of aggrandizement in this blog, but it doesn’t getting any realer than pepsi glasses. http://www.ebay.com/bhp/looney-tunes-glasses

 

 

Designed For A Change

On any given day someone on social media is trying to raise money for a good cause. Most likely, if you’ve clicked on an embedded link to help said person you’ve been directed to a website that, at best, can be described as confusing. Non-profit websites have a different purpose than most other sites, but have many similarities. They both need to be user friendly, have intuitive UI/UX, be easily navigable and use appropriate fonts, colors and other design elements. To get and keep a potential donor’s attention, your website needs to be more.

Here is a quick list of some things to think about when creating a non-profit website, followed by a few examples of sites that get it right.

1. Make donating and volunteering easy and obvious.
Whether using a form on the page or a third party handling the donations, placing these elements in multiple places throughout the page guarantees that visitors will see it.

2. Help donors understand how much to donate and what that donation will do to help the cause.
Most people that want to donate have no idea how much to donate or what their donation goes to. Suggesting what to donate coupled with a brief explanation of what their hard earned cash does, can help. Having photos of those affected by donations also helps.

3. Leave some words for your email blasts.
Many charity sites want to keep you informed on a more personal level. It’s what they should be doing, but in doing so websites get busy and overwhelming. Keep your mission statement in the foreground, with case studies and blogs to the sides.

4. Make sure everything works as well or better on mobile platforms.
What you see on your desktop computer does not always translate to mobile. Giving on mobile has been growing increasingly in importance over the last few years. Source: npEngage – http://npengage.com/nonprofit-fundraising/5-myths-of-mobile-fundraising-debunked-infographic/

We’ve had a little experience designing websites for non-profit organizations, one of which is The Road Home. Our number one priority: make the donation process simple. http://www.theroadhome.org/

Here are a few other site examples using Non-profit best practices:

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Commencement Speech

Speech given by Kim Jones, CEO of Vérité, on June 25 , 2015.

Recently I was asked to speak at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Cohort graduation ceremony. This program is an investment by Goldman Sachs to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. Here’s my speech.

Good evening, thank you very much for inviting me to speak at this prestigious graduation ceremony. I wish I had a program like this when I started Vérité. The program truly gives the entrepreneurs the ability to cultivate inspiration and the insight required to forge ahead knowing what best steps to take and which to avoid. Another huge value is that the cohorts are building a platform for relationships and growth. It got me thinking……

What was my inspiration?
What inspired me to start Vérité? It’s not like I’m your typical entrepreneur. I don’t like risk and I didn’t grow up dreaming to be a business owner. I was a law enforcement major in college.

What’s worse, I didn’t have any funding and was limited on the amount of personal funds I could spend. All I had when I started was a vision, a desktop computer, and a Laser Jet printer. So what inspired me?

I was inspired by a vision of changing the way communications were produced and delivered. I wanted to produce and deliver differently, not how it was done at that time. The power of technology and bringing the idea to life is what inspired me.

That said, I went ahead and started Vérité in 1993. In the beginning, we were taking video, brochures and other collateral and putting them on CD-ROM, the hot technology at the time.

This was monumental for marketing and advertising industries because it allowed corporations to easily reach international channels with CD. This created brand awareness on an international scale that had traditionally been out of reach.

From there, we ventured into DVD and animation. This was the trend that paved the way for us to be a truly digital agency and one of the first of its kind. We were asked to animate disk drive products and to make them look and sound like motorcycles racing along the screen.

We realized then, that the better we understood the creative objectives of our customers, the better we understood the technology needed to deliver and implement campaigns.

Ultimately we moved into web design, web tools, and also mobile applications. We’ve lost a lot of color along the way, but it’s made us a better digital agency at the forefront of creative and technology trends.

My Knowledge
Goldman Sachs offers cohorts a path to inspiration, greater knowledge and a platform for relationships. They say you don’t know what you don’t know. I’ve learned many tough lessons along the way, that’s where knowledge comes in. What were the most important lessons for me?

Money
I started with a Dell computer and an HP Laser Printer. I gave myself a year of runway with minimal credit card debt. I decided I would be bootstrapped and not take investor dollars. The idea was so new, the market was emerging, and I felt the best way to get out there was self-funded.

It wasn’t easy, I had no portfolio, and I had to talk customers into working with me without any work under my belt. I had to invest in the potential liability my company may have endured if we didn’t pull the project off. It was very difficult persuading our first customer to work with us, but we did it. We convinced a customer to do a worldwide channel marketing campaign on CD. It worked and we went on to do many others.

Here are some tips that I recommend when it comes to money:

  • VC funding has a potential upside, but I wanted to control my company and grow the board the way I saw fit. Bootstrapping requires strong financial discipline, but it’s worth it.
  • Always stay in the black. Don’t let your company live beyond its means. Your ability to manage financials will make you or break you so keep your debt low.
  • Position yourself financially for the many roads ahead. At some point you will need equipment, employees and other resources. Know and plan for this. The dollars and how you handle them will speak volumes.
  • Know your strategy. Do you want to be acquired or reach certain growth goals? How you manage money will greatly affect the outcome of your goals.

Agreements
I was so naïve, I thought most people just agreed on things and sealed the deal with a handshake. I was wrong; most handshakes need a back up agreement.

Get clear agreements, set terms that everyone understands on the front end. Work with a professional to ensure your agreements are best practice.

Have Your Own Business Be Your Own Boss
I don’t think so. The banker, employee, partner, and customer are all your boss. I’m not saying that being a business owner isn’t rewarding, I’m just saying that if you’re thinking that you can make all the decisions all the time, you’re wrong.

Other factors can affect your decision-making, other employees, etc. There have been many times when I have not made the final decision on something at Vérité. Circumstance, employee opinion and other factors often shape final decisions.

Stick to Your Values in Business
I know that “values” is a highly overused word. It makes me cringe when I hear it sometimes, but it is really fitting when it comes to fair and honest business. Here are my core business values:

  • Do what you say you will do
  • Stand by the customer in bad times and good
  • When you purchase something, make sure you pay for it
  • Never sacrifice your integrity for a business deal
  • Be honest in your business dealings

Your Platform for Relationships and Growth
Great relationships can be the biggest contributor to your success. Customers, partners and advocates can bring the real deals to the party.

Giving back is equally important. Over the years of your success, make sure you’ve helped out a cause related non-profit or had your employees help out with a fund drive. This not only gives you a great reputation, but inspires great karma too.

Don’t ignore your platform for relationships and growth. Apply them to your business:

  1. Understand your relationships. Listen to them, how can you fit into a potential solution and bring a positive outcome to the table.
  2. Help others out. Whether it’s a job search or a recommendation to a client, remember what comes around goes around.
  3. Always return a call or email from a networked associate. I know people in high and low places that don’t return calls or emails. It’s unprofessional and tacky. Unless it’s blatant spam or solicitation, be courteous and answer the inquiry.
  4. To create the best business relationships, know your own objectives, network where it makes the most sense, and start the conversation with a win-win topic. The best relationships are win-win.

Congratulations Graduates. I admire your willingness to explore all the best practices knowledge and resources that will give you the tools to be successful. I admire your tenacity to be a business owner and create jobs.

It’s very lonely at the top, it can be a tough place to be. Your experiences, vision, knowledge, and relationships will help you during the tough times and keep you on top of your game.

 

The Road Home – 2015 One by One Video

What an honor to play a small part in helping our community install radical changes in the lives of others.

This is the third year Vérité has donated their services to create a video for this event. “We tell the stories and try to capture the experience of not only being homeless, but also the emotion around finding a way out of the shelter and back to self sufficiency,” says Kimberley Jones, CEO of Vérité. The video was shown during the annual One by One Breakfast where people come to learn more about The Road Home.

We invite you to watch.

We love The Road Home.

You too can show the love by making a donation.

That’s Stupid

Milo Jonathan Welch is our resident sassy redhead and front end web developer. He sits in the darkest corner of the office building awesome websites and dreaming of the next black button-up that he will buy. When asked what got him into his job Milo had to say, “A series of unfortunate events. I messed around a little with web development in high school and got a horrible job making terrible websites before moving to Vérité and making better websites.” Our gingery hero has been involved in the creation of some pretty awesome sites here, including LANDESK’s Shadow IT site and Neumont University’s interactive campus tour. Milo’s favorite part of the job (besides going to Taco Bell with the dudes) is that he gets to learn and experiment with code, finding new cool ways to do something that will produce better results.

He’s hands down the best front end developer I’ve ever known. He can also string together the best combinations of whisper swears when code is being stupid. And code is stupid a lot of the time.”
- Jared Anderton, Senior Developer

He thinks everything is Stupid. Outside of all the stupidness, he’s an extremely intelligent guy who is always in the know when it comes to trends on the web frontier. I always enjoy the opportunities I have to brainstorm with him on ideas for projects where we can take it to the next level regarding design and technology and not make the project stupid.”
- Jenny Jessop, Technical Project Manager

Milo helped me move once!
- Ben Moffat, Business Development

Outside of work Milo is a father to one sweet cat named Eos and one ferocious kitty named Dany. He is also a very talented photographer, beautifully capturing all types of subjects including landscapes, people, and things.

Another favorite hobby of his is driving his black Mustang around town, pretending to be a race car driver with his crash test dummies pleading for him to slow down in the back. Milo was once asked to take a Cosmo quiz to find out which Sex & The City character he identified most with and got Carrie, the quiz results saying, “You’re confident, fun, and not afraid to put yourself out there and see what you find. Your firm sense of who you are is something people totally envy and flock to. Be true to it against the jerks who come along.”. I think everyone in the office would agree that Milo is our favorite Carrie Bradshaw.

Shine On Andrew, Shine On

Since March 2014, Senior Motion Designer, Andrew Schummer, brought his expertise to Vérité.

When not glued to the computer he can be found in the kitchen, powering-up with obscene amounts of coffee or walking his puggle, Kita.

His co-workers can attest to his love of caffeine and lumberjack-inspired wardrobe.

“Why do I like working with Andrew? The flannel and aroma of coffee, of course. Oh, and the boy has talent. An enormous amount of talent,” commented Graphic Designer, Courtney Schow.

Fellow Graphic Designer Nikki Hancock added, “Sometimes Andrew dresses like Clark Kent, it brings an air of mystery to the office.”

The introverted and shy Scorpio hails from Western New York, but found himself in Utah for snowboarding and school. He studied Film at the University of Utah with a Business Marketing Minor.

Having studied film and having a desire to work on various art and graphic design projects, it came naturally for him to move into motion design and animation.

“With motion design beginning to move away from interpolated key frames and back towards traditional hand drawn and stop motion animations, there have been several projects recently that I’ve found truly inspiring,” Andrew said.

The One by One video for The Road Home; the promotional video donated every year to help support the non-profit organization, is one of his favorite Vérité projects to date.

Graphic Designer, Trevail Campbell, believes that Andrew’s 3D skills are second to none, giving Vérité an added edge in a competitive field.

Those who work closest with Andrew, joke about his caffeine addiction aside, respect the passion and skills he harnesses. But he’s not just all business, even though the majority of his free time is spent trying to learn new techniques and styles to improve his craft. He kicks back by snowboarding, skateboarding, watching comedies or listening to a wide variety of music.

Check out some work that is currently on Andrew’s radar.

Vérité Wins Stevie Gold for the Best Marketing Campaign in the Software Industry

SANDY, UT–(Marketwired – Oct 22, 2014) –  Vérité, a digital communications agency, was presented with the Gold Stevie® Award in the Best Marketing Campaign for Software category. The acclaimed Gold award signifies outstanding achievement in marketing campaigns involving web, mobile and mixed media.

Vérité created an innovative global campaign for LANDESK Software promoting their latest device management products. The campaign’s unique theme focused on the people using the devices rather than the devices themselves. Strategic web, email and banner content was created for global partners and integrated with LANDESK Software’s marketing automation tools.

“To be recognized for this prestigious award alongside some of the largest companies in the world is truly an honor,” says Kimberley Jones, CEO of Vérité. ”This campaign reflects a new approach to software marketing taking personification to the next level. The cohesive theme hits hard on how the product relates to each individual and their different needs.”

More than 3,300 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories. Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 240 executives nationwide who participated in the judging process.

“We’re delighted to recognize so many innovative companies, new products, technical achievements, and technology executives this year,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards. “We congratulate all of the Stevie Award winners, and thank them for the inspiration their achievements have stimulated.”

Visit http://www.verite.com/work/detail/?project_id=2660 to view the campaign.

About Vérité
Vérité is an experienced and innovative digital communications agency committed to delivering creative and technology solutions to sales, marketing and training organizations worldwide. We specialize in cutting edge creative, technology tools, mobile applications and motion design production. We have applied our creativity, vision, experience and technology to strengthen brands, reach audiences and get results. Clients include Adobe, CooperVision, Intel, Merit Medical, Symantec, VSP Vision Care and Verizon Wireless.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in six programs: The American Business Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, and the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.

To Scroll or Not to Scroll

Scrolling Website Design

So much has changed in the world wide web when it comes to web design. Today’s new sites are visually appealing to the site visitor and capture their attention with beautiful design and concise copy. We’ve noticed there are a lot of options to a site redesign and want to focus on whether to scroll or not to scroll. The goal and size of your site may determine which way you go.

Traditional Site

A traditional website generally contains multiple pages and provides a clear hierarchy and structure that is easy to navigate. It often adheres to the “above the fold” mantra with links to sections to allow a visitor to dig deeper. Traditional sites are the best if tracking analytics and SEO are most important for your business as each page can be tracked and dedicated to specific key terms.  Companies that have a lot to offer can benefit the most from a traditional site where organization is key.

  • Best for SEO and Analytics Tracking
  • Site organization visually understood

Scrolling Site

A true scrolling website is a well designed single page that takes the user on a journey. While scrolling, the page will take the user down a path of telling them a story by use of engaging graphical elements that support quick and meaningful copy. A scrolling site is great for campaigns and promotions as they draw your audiences’ attention and can really get them engaged. Companies that have  small offerings could also benefit from this design.

  • Engaging to the site visitor
  • Wonderful for scrolling devices

A huge pitfall of the scrolling site is analytics and SEO due to it being a single page. There are ways to break the page up into sections that can be tracked, but due to scrolling it may not be acknowledged as a click and therefore not counted.

Often times a scrolling site will be referred to as a Parallax Scrolling site or Infinite Scrolling. These terms talk specifically to the design and functionality.

  • Parallax talks to the design aspect of movement where graphics move on different layers at different scroll speeds.
  • Infinite scroll continually builds the page as the user is scrolling.

The Best of Both

We find you can have the best of both worlds. You can have a homepage that scrolls to tell a big picture story where sections would offer links to learn more. This approach brings together engagement, organization, analytics and SEO.

When building a site that incorporates scrolling pages, it’s always wise to start with an outline of your site that meets your business and SEO needs. It’s critical in the beginning to identify the key terms so additional pages can be built and the homepage can be designed to support. Once you have your site mapped out you can begin creating the optimum site that meets your business goals while capturing the attention of your site visitors.

Finding a Balance: Can we ever be too tech savvy?

When was the last time you viewed a mobile website on your phone? My point exactly! We have evolved into technological creatures; even the older generations have progressed, no longer attached to the stigma of cluelessness.

Grandparents are Snap Chatting and the rest of us are posting way too many food photos on Instagram. And don’t forget all the outlets it has opened for businesses to make their websites more viewable on hand-held devices.

According to Business Insider, one in every five people in the world owns a smartphone. Pretty good odds that your site should be streamlined and compatible with these devices to make an impact.

Ignoring humanity

These advancements have made some of us inept to the non-virtual world around us. We can’t go five minutes without checking the bells and buzzes alerting our brains that we are missing something. This is one of the major flaws to the evolved information superhighway. Maybe we just need a slight detour or more focus.

Technology is still king

Not being connected is scary, but being half-heartedly connected is even worse. We’ve all visited the websites that don’t seem to cooperate with our phones. They load at a snail’s pace and don’t showcase the images as intended. But a mobile website done right can help us bank easily and pay bills online, not to mention the fun stuff that makes us forget we are adults for awhile.

And to think you doubted the Information Age. That brilliant idea for a mobile website that will grow your brand or business is a viable reality. Can you imagine someone turning down a way to streamline the usability of their website, having the user fumbling to make the text smaller or larger to fit in the screen? Us either!

Why should your company have a mobile website created?

It’s important as ever to give your customers the same experience on their phone as they would expect on the desktop. Take a moment to read up what the differences are between responsive design and a mobile site.

http://www.verite.com/responsive

Value of working with established developers/designers

Working with a company with proven success, such as Vérité, ensures you will get the greatest bang for your buck.  With 20 years of experience we’ve teetered upon the technology wave without wiping out. We’ve changed with the times, priding ourselves on cutting-edge practices, technology, and design expertise.

You can leave all the hard work to us, because after all at Vérité we don’t believe there is such a thing as being too tech savvy.

Check out some inventive responsive design sites that Vérité has created!

CallTower – http://www.calltower.com
Martin Garage Door – http://www.martindoor.com
ask4UFE – http://www.ask4UFE.com
The Road Home – http://www.theroadhome.org
Merit Medical OEM – http://www.meritoem.com
Utah Aids Foundation – http://www.utahaids.org
Vérité, Inc. – http://www.verite.com

CryptoCoins Junk Coins

If you haven’t read the last two blogs on this topic, please review those now.

What makes a junk coin and why would a developer want to make a junk coin?

Initially developers were creating new coins hoping it will be the next bitcoin, but some where along the line the thought process changed from creating something new and liberating to “how can I make a quick buck off of this?”

The idea is they generate a coin, mine it when it the release it and the difficulty is low to accumulate a ridiculous amount, then when the coin reaches any level of popularity they unload the coins they have into the market at a lower than asking price.  This ensures the coins will disappear quickly and the creator has so many that they aren’t worried about asking for a slightly lower amount.   Let’s create a coin; we’ll call our hypothetical coin SUPERMEGACOIN, or SMC(If there already is a SUPERMEGACOIN, you’re welcome for the free press).

Since we’re developing SMC, we set the block rewards.  Block rewards are coins that are given to the miner for generating the transaction that lives in the block.  We have another advantage as we get to choose when this first SMC block is mined.  Let’s say we set our total coins at 100M, there will be 200K blocks in total and now we decide how much SMC each block will generate!  This is where we set ourselves up for success.

We can set the rewards to be pretty much anything we want; every block could give an even amount of 500, or the first 100 blocks could give 1000 while the remainder only give 250, whatever.  We decide to set the first 5 blocks to give out a RIDUCLOUS amount of coins.  Let’s say 2M each.  We mine them and score a cool 10M SMC.  The remainder of the coins are spread out evenly at 461 SMC per block.  So it will take 20000 blocks before another 10M coins are released.  When this coin is added to an exchange where it can be traded for bitcoins a value is placed on it based partially on how hard the coin is to acquire, partially on what someone is willing to trade for it, and partially what someone would trade it for.

2 weeks after launch SMC is placed on the exchange, it’s valued at .00001 bitcoins per SMC(that’s about half a penny if you’re keeping track!).  Seems fair since each block is worth 461 coins, that’s about .004 bitcoins per SMC block.  With a block creation time of 2-3 minutes that’s a good chunk of bitcoins per day! This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, let’s dump our 10M coins into the market, selling them at .000005, half of what SMC is worth, so they trade quickly!  We stand to make 500 bitcoins if we sell them all!

However, we won’t sell them all.  The price will be stuck at .000005 bitcoins because it’s not worth it to trade them for less and it’s going to be a while before all 10M of our coins are traded.  This kills SMC because nobody wants to mine it and nobody wants to use it because the price is fixed much lower than it should be.  This causes people to unload the coins they were holding on to in hopes of it becoming more valuable, which drives the value even lower. We don’t care though; if we trade even 100K of our 10M SMCs we stand to make 5 bitcoins!  Not bad for 2 or 3 days worth of programming.  Now you know what a junk coin is and how it gets that status.