What I learned from Africa

Now that I’ve had a few weeks to reflect on my trip to Central/Eastern Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda) and Ethiopia, I thought I’d share some of the lessons I learned. Here’s my top 10 list of the things that will always stay with me from Africa, indelibly etched in my memory: Don’t like coffee? Sorry, too bad. You will be required to consume at least 2 cups of coffee every day that you’re in Ethiopia at the request of your hosts, friendly strangers, and curious villagers (who invite you into their homes). You will learn to appreciate the intricate ritual of the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, performed carefully and respectfully with fresh cut grass, incense and a jebena. Don’t like being pulled into cultural dances? Sorry, this is also too bad. You will always become part of the exhibit with increasing likelihood the less you want to participate. It’s a combination of the locals laughing with you and at you, and sharing (or trying to share) the culture and tradition that’s steeped in them since birth. Of course the outcome is an utter spectacle. Alcohol helps with the shame. (I became part of this performance too a few minutes later. The more….

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Day 1 in Bujumbura

The day started over a nice breakfast on the beach. My favorite food items was sliced up avocado with stringy onions and carrots in lemon juice. I also enjoyed a bowl of granola with dried bananas and fresh yogurt atop. True to the Schaffer way (Schaffer is my mom’s side of the family’s last name, her maiden name), my grandfather brought a enormous plate of French breads back from the buffet line. We love the carbs….

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Now, for something completely different

Well I usually write a lot about airports and travel. But I thought I’d shake things up today and write about marketing. It’s something I do a lot of thinking about, especially this strange yet trendy thing called “growth hacking.” As if marketers were feeling left out of the developer nerd-circle, so we needed have a form of hacking associated with us too. OK, then. In any case, today I wanted to talk about building up a Twitter following, and how I’ve been going about it lately. There are really 3 ways: The old fashioned way. Use it. A lot. Oh yeah, and write useful content that people want to read and engage around. It’s harder than it sounds. It takes a lot of time to learn the rules of engagement, the syntax, and the tacit behaviors that your customer base expects. It also takes time to learn how to write succinct messages that are also engaging, how to stay relevant with things that are trending, and how to constantly uplift to new Twitter hashtags and conversations to continuously expand your audience. Be smarter than the average bear and employ a number of free Twitter management and analytics tools. Of….

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Infographic on Lost Luggage

When was the last time luggage got your on your trip? We thought you’d like this cool infographic on famous misplaces parcels (yes, it happens to celebrities too!), and what to do if this unfortunate situation happens to you. We’d love to hear about your craziest lost luggage experience, so be sure to leave a comment! Mine has to do with a trip to the Czech Republic, where I was studying for 6 weeks as part of my MBA. I arrived, but my luggage did not for nearly 5 days. Besides the essential stuff, I had packed an array of business suits because we had a series of professional visits planned, starting the day after I arrived. With only a day to spare, I had to rush in to town and buy a complete professional ensemble including shoes (as well as all the other necessities)–other than the timing of the whole matter, it was a great excuse to indulge in European fashion 🙂 I still have (and wear) the clothes I bought to this day. So at least something good came of it! unclaimed baggage….

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tripchi and SerpicoDev – a great partnership

Syndicated with permission from SerpicoDev tripchi, a leisure app for the business traveler, was recently featured in CNBC’sWorld’s Most Promising New Companies. SerpicoDEV serves as the software development partner for tripchi and would like to congratulate CEO Chandra Jacobs for this high distinction. tripchi is a mobile app that helps business travelers find actionable things to do during their down-time. It is explicitly designed for the business traveler–this means it focuses on usability and speed to get to relevant and actionable recommendations. In doing so tripchi removes the fluff that leisure travelers care about but business travelers don’t, and cuts right to the chase to get the business traveler onward to interesting activities. With tripchi, you can be on your way to something interesting to do in five minutes or less–whether it’s catching a concert, noshing at a local favorite, or getting your culture on, tripchi allows you to have instant gratification. It captures your personality in 3 steps, with adaptive/learning algorithms incorporating your interactions, and analysis of your social media profiles, to cut down the number of questions to answer. The recommendations served up include all the information needed to have you on your way, including pictures, a description,….

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