Lightspeed PR CEO Talks Email Signatures With Chicago Tribune

In Lightspeed PR by Ethan Rasiel

Sincerely. Best Wishes. Warmest Regards. The list of archaic email signatures goes on and on. So, what’s the best way to sign-off on an email in 2017?

The Chicago Tribune explored this topic of great debate, and asked Lightspeed PR CEO Ethan Rasiel to weigh in.

Ethan says you should never close an email with “old-fashioned valediction like ‘Sincerely’ and ‘Best regards.'” Cliches, he says, are “left over from the era of writing letters,” a practice that could make the writer seem older. “Just like putting two spaces after a period does,” he explains.

Ethan told the Chicago Tribune he suggests closing with a simple “Thank you,” “Have a good afternoon” or, if applicable, “Talk soon.”

Like a few others in the Tribune’s recent Facebook poll on this topic, Ethan is a fan of “Cheers” especially when he wants to close on an upbeat note. “Cheers is the British way of saying thanks, so you’ll sound a bit more worldly, but it’s also on the casual side so it’s best to use with someone you already know,” he says.

And what about one of the more popular email sign-offs, ‘warmly’? Ethan says, no. “We are doing business, not starting a campfire.”

For more email sign-off ideas, read the full story from the Chicago Tribune.

Predictive Analytics in Ed-Tech Create New Questions

In Uncategorized by Ethan Rasiel

Predictive analytics in educational technology is leading to a whole new set of questions about how the data it generates is being used to help students, what happens with that data, and what assumptions are built into the algorithms used to make decisions based on it. There is now increased pressure for transparency.

That’s why this was a  major topic of discussion during a recent panel at the Education Impact Symposium.

Among the panelists, our client D2L’s VP of product management David Koehn. As a former high school English teacher, he used an adaptive-content system that established a student’s level of ability based on how he or she responded to an initial set of questions.

Koehn explained that algorithms are everywhere and they’re not going away.

“From the medicine you’re prescribed by your doctor to your insurance premium and the the actuary predictor, the music you listen to on Pandora or Spotify,” Koehn said. “From a provider’s standpoint, the way data is manufactured, the way it’s treated—we want to have the highest goals in mind.”

To learn more about the importance of predictive analytics, read the full story from EdWeek Market Brief.

And, to learn how we help our clients secure speaking opportunities and placements, click here to email Lightspeed PR.



D2L Partners With LearnZillion

In Uncategorized by Ethan Rasiel

Our client D2L is partnering with LearnZillion, a Washington, D.C.-based K–12 curriculum-as-a-service (CaaS) company to integrate LearnZillion’s standards-aligned curricula into D2L’s Brightspace Lessons learning management system (LMS).

LearnZillion offers a dynamic, easy-to-use cloud-based software service complete with content to support high quality instruction.

THE Journal reports that the partnership between the two companies will make it easier for school systems using Brightspace Lessons to take full advantage of LearnZillion’s offerings. And, it will allow teachers can now provide students with a more personalized blended learning experience.

To learn more about how Lightspeed PR helps secure placements for clients, contact us here.

Can Google Glass Still Compete?

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

Two years after halting sales of Glass, Google has resurrected its augmented reality headset. DesignNews reported that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has announced it will be re-releasing the headset, this time with a target toward enterprise over consumer.

But, now that Glass has pivoted into enterprise, it will also face some stiff competition from AR suppliers that have already entered the field in its absence like our client Kopin. The big question, was Glass was too slow getting out of the gate for enterprise AR at this point?

“Enterprise has been suffering a compressed need for such devices for a long time — seeking usable (e.g. durable, safe, and cost efficient) devices without luck. Until now products haven’t been ‘relevant,’ therefore they have not been scalable,” Jeff Jacobsen, Senior Advisor to CEO and Golden-i Chief Architect and Program Manager at Kopin Corporation told DesignNews. “Of all the companies out there, Google is one that has the resources to do what needs to be done to succeed in this space. They have the resources — and have also shown the persistence — to deliver an AR enterprise solution that companies can actually use and scale now.”

To learn more about Google Glass’ re-launch and the stiff competition, read the full story from DesignNews.

And, to learn more about how Lightspeed PR connects clients with reporters to discuss the latest tech news, email us here.

D2L Brightspace Summer17 Offers Efficiency, Data Access

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

THE Journal reports that D2L is introducing a number of enhancements to its Brightspace learning management system with a new Summer17 release. The new release offers time-saving features that streamline common tasks and help instructors reach every learner.

“Our D2L teams have been working closely with instructors and learners of all ages in hundreds of design sessions. They made it clear they want to spend more time personalizing learning,” John Baker, CEO of D2L, said.”We’ve listened to our customers and the new abilities in Brightspace make it easier for instructors ⎯ in schools, on campuses and in workplaces ⎯ to connect with all of their learners and help them reach their potential.”

New features include the Brightspace Activity Feed, Brightspace Lessons and Brightspace Quizzing. To learn more about these and other new features, read the full story from THE Journal.

And, to learn more about how we help clients leverage their major announcements, click here to email us!

Futurism Shares Analysis of D2L Entrepreneur Column

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

Jeremy Auger, Chief Strategy Officer at our client D2L, had his recent Entrepreneur column picked up by Futurism. In the column, he explained that the way for humans to maintain their relevance in the labor force in the face of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation developments is through ongoing, career-long retraining. Futurism said that “his voice is added to a choir of individuals who are preaching the same message.”

In the column, Auger says that AI represents an unprecedented challenge to the work force on account of its cerebral capabilities, which could see it replacing the human workforce in the cognitive space as well as the physical one. He argues that, “learning can’t end with graduation. To be competitive, companies will need to step up and provide education opportunities themselves, while encouraging self-directed learning so they can ensure that their workers are continually acquiring new skills.”

To read Futurism’s full analysis of Auger’s article, click here.

And to learn more about how Lightspeed secures guest columns for clients, click here to email us.

Why Storm Invested In Workato

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

As enterprises continue to migrate applications and workflows to the cloud, Storm has been interested in investing in companies that make that process even more compelling and easier. Recently, Storm added our client Workato to their portfolio. Why?

Ryan Floyd, the Founder of Storm Ventures, says Workato was different. He thinks the team at Workato had the vision to build a company with enterprise requirements and at the same time reduce complexity to enable business users to build and operate. Workato, Floyd says, achieves results by having an incredible focus in UX and by being cloud native in its architecture and deployment. Floyd believes Workato has clearly demonstrated a growing market for the need to connect and integrate custom workflows into applications.

To read Floyd’s full blog on the Storm Ventures site, click here.

Robot-Proofing The Labor Force With Lifelong Learning

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

In his Entrepreneur column, Jeremy Auger – Chief Strategy Officer for our client D2L – explained why lifelong learning is critical as AI is taking over the cognitive functions of many jobs.

“We’re seeing AI technology companies targeting the replacement of what’s estimated to be up to 50 percent of current employees in the finance sector over the next 10 years. We would have considered these types of jobs “safe” from automation only a few years ago,” Auger writes. “According to University of Oxford researchers, 47 percent of workers may be at risk of losing their jobs to automation, in particular those in mid-skilled retail jobs, and office workers like cashiers and telemarketers. A recent McKinsey report predicted that a smaller percentage of jobs would be at risk of being completely replaced by machines, but pointed out that the majority of jobs would see some of their tasks replaced by automation.”

Auger says that, by keeping up their skills, employees can create more job security.

To learn more about Auger’s vision for “robot-proofing” the workforce, read his full column in Entrepreneur.

And, if you want to discuss how we help clients secure guest columns, click here to email us.

NextCapital: Regulation Doesn’t Have to Mean Restriction

In Client News, Uncategorized by Ethan Rasiel

At the recent SourceMedia InVest conference in New York, industry experts explained why regulation can be just as much a friend of the advisory industry as an enemy as long as  firms can keep an open dialogue with regulators and a steady eye on the future.

Among those industry experts, the cofounder of our client NextCapital — Rob Foregger. Foregger toldattendees that while technology may stand out as an obvious disruptor to business models, regulation’s potential role in upending an industry is often overlooked.

“Regulation can usurp market forces at times, or can accelerate market forces that are already in place,” Foregger explained. “It can rapidly reorient the competitive landscape.”

Foregger went on to explain that, if the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule continues along its planned trajectory, “product manufacturers” — Foregger’s term for traditional firms that create securities such as mutual funds and sell them to consumers — are the likely losers.

But, Foregger said there is also an upside — the more your business model is aligned with the interests of the client, the better off you may be down the road.

To learn more about the upside of regulation in the advisory industry, read the full story from Financial Planning.

And, if you want to learn how we connect our clients with great speaking opportunities, email us here.

Kopin: Why Making AR Glasses Is So Hard

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

Depending who you ask, AR is either the future or the present. Regardless, there’s still a long road ahead when it comes to developing technology like AR glasses.

As part of Wareable’s AR Week, they asked the biggest names in the industry to explain the challenges they face in advancing the technology. What’s the hold up? When will we arrive? Is this it?

Our client Kopin weighed in. Ernesto Martiez, Ph.D. at Kopin Corporation, says the big problem is that everything is working against each other.

“Smartglasses present one of the most difficult design challenges as the blend of ergonomics, intuitive human interfaces and fashion all work heavily against each other.” Martiez said. “The head and face are the most sacred fashion centers of the body and have to inspire the passion and desire of the user to want to wear them.”

To hear more of Martiez’s insight and takeaways from other AR leaders, check out the full story from Wareable.

And, if you want to learn more about how Lightspeed helps clients like Kopin, contact us here.