Keep Walking

I had the time of my life at Adobe, especially the time spent as an evangelist. I still remember the day I met Ben Forta for the firs time and he offered me the chance to join Adobe’s Platform Evangelism team.

Right there I knew that it was a big opportunity. But even so I couldn’t imagine the impact will have on me not only from a professional point of view but from a citizen of this planet too. As developers we think that we know our clients and users. Some might actually know. But for the most of us it is always more about the ride then the summit. And for software products you have to make happy your clients otherwise there will be no trip anymore.

As an evangelist I got into a position where I had to understand not only the technical bits but also customers, marketing, sales and business, social media, public speaking, and politics to name just the obvious. I got to meet and learn from colleagues and bosses, customers, and fellow speakers. I got to travel around the world and make new friends. Some lessons were about technology and doing your job, some were more about being a better person and understanding the world we are all sharing.

For all of this I am incredibly thankful.

Red Pill

But every great chapter has an end and all we can hope is that the next chapter will be as good or maybe even better. For the past year I’ve been thinking what’s next for me after the evangelism. Out of all the things I could have tried, the product management was looking the most challenging and rewarding at the same time. Working and spending time with some great product managers (Andrew, Jacob, Adam, Thibault, Ryan) helped me to shake off any second thoughts.

Once again I was fortunate enough to have a choice: PM with Adobe or with Bitdefender . Bitdefender just felt right, the team, the products, the challenges ahead. I knew some of the people over there and had great respect for them. So I took the red pill. One month later I can already say that I have the time of my life.

We think a lot about products, technologies, and companies. But at the end of the day it is always about you. What does it make you tick and makes you to keep pushing forward, keep walking? Do you want to take the blue pill or red pill?

PS. I will continue to blog here. It will be less on technology and more on product management.

Tips & tricks for traveling like a pro

My travels in the pat 16 months

For the past 6-7 years I’ve been traveling a lot (about 90 days a year). So, it is only natural that I became better and better at coping with travel related stress. And when I say better I mean I discovered the tricks that minimize the stress associated with travel. Let’s face it: unless you work as pilot or something like this you are a lot more interested in what awaits you once you got off the plane than what you experienced during the flight.

So here are some tips in no particular orders.

1. Check-in online. Always!

Unless you always travel business or first class you should check-in online as soon as possible. Sometimes it is possible to choose the seats at booking time. But you should always be able to choose seats when checking-in online.

My personal preference is to get isle seats front of the plane. This way I can get in and out fast.

If you check-in online and you only have cabin luggage, than you can get to the airport as late as just 30 minutes before taking-off (at least here in Europe). This is handy when you have heavy traffic or you just over-slept.

2. Travel light

It takes lot of discipline and/or experience to pack only the things you really need. But once you start doing this you will get back precious time. The goal here is to not check in any luggage. This means that you don’t spend time waiting for your luggages nor being stressed out because your luggage didn’t make it to your final destination.

3. Tripit

Tripit has mobile apps for all smartphones. It helps you to keep the most important aspects of your travel neatly organized and literally at your finger tip: a quick glance tell you when is your next flight, what airport terminal, what hotel and address you have to get to.

What’s eve more cool is that you can forward the booking confirmation you got from your airline or hotel to “plans@tripit.com” and have the trip automatically added to your profile (you just have to send it from the email address you set for your Tripit account).

Personally, I set a rule in my email client to automatically forward all confirmations to Tripit.

4. Passbook

If you’re using an iPhone you should give Passbook a try (I am sure Android users have something similar). Passbook keeps a virtual boarding pass at your finger tip: even if your phone is locked, a quick swipe on the Passbook notification icon will display the boarding pass. In most European airports this is all you need to get through the security and to board the aircraft.

If you haven’t use it, you should know that in order to get a boarding pass into the app you actually have to use the air company mobile app to do the check in and once completed you should have the option to add the boarding pass to Passbook.

5. Best headset you can afford

Once you get onboard one of the biggest source of stress is the noise – engine and people. The only thing you can do to protect against this is to buy yourself a nice headset that has noise cancelation.

I’m using a Bose pair. It does an amazing job in keeping out the engine noise but the build quality is not the best. The fabric that covers the speakers can fall apart after less than two years.

6. Get on a frequent flyer program

If you fly frequently enough it makes sense to apply to a frequent flyer program. Do your research well and choose wise. You should know that not all programs are equal.

Once you accumulated enough miles to get status (silver, gold, platinum) you are going to enjoy benefits like: priority check-in, priority boarding, priority security check in, better seats & on-board service, free or miles-paid upgrades to the next class, free additional luggage allowance, improved customer service.

It might not look like much, but these things save you time (because you spend less time in line for example) and help minimize the stress. In case your flight gets canceled or delayed due to bad weather or some other unexpected incidents trust me when I say that if you have status the ground personnel will do their best to send you to your destination. When there are only 20 seats left in that other plane it’s really sweet to be on the VIP list. Most of the time they will not charge additional fees.

Another benefit of having status is that you get access to the airline’s airport lounges. If you are like most people thinking that this is great because of the free meals or drinks than you are wrong. It is about having a quiet environment for working or relaxing; it is about having cleaner rest rooms than the airport averages (including showers). The public restaurants or lounges are sometimes so noisy that you may regret you have ears; and don’t even get me started on rest rooms.

Conclusions

There are other things you can do but those are more a personal thing than general public advices. The last advice I have for you is that to be polite when you argue with the ground/airplane personnel. They have to deal with assholes every day; you have better chances to succeed with your request if you behave like a gentleman.

Of course this is true when you are not in a Ukrainian/Turkish airport :).

Three things I learned at Cannes Lions 2014

Cannes Young Lions Print Competition briefeing

This year I had the pleasure to brief and help the competitors from the Young Lions competition (Adobe was one of the event sponsors). These competitions are just one small part of this 7-day festival, the biggest in the world.

You can imagine that you have lots of things to learn and absorb and even more when it is your first visit to Lions festival.

Much to my surprise, what I loved the most were related to the work of the Cyber competition winners, the Print competition theme, and the team who supported the 5 competitions related to creative work. Let me explain why.

The Print Competition brief was pretty simple: drive social media awareness in USA for the WWF organization. This is the work of the winning team (Japan team):

GOLD_print-japan

The brief reminded me that even the most hardcore smartphone/tablet/PC user spends lots of time every day on other things than digital screens. So, when you or your company plans a campaign to get more Likes or tweets remember that sometime the best channel might not be digital at all.

The winners of the Cyber competition were just awesome! Trust me that I’m not saying this just because they are fellow Romanians :). The brief was to create an online campaign to raise awareness and funds for an organization helping blind people.

Their proposal was just brilliant: partner with large e-commerce companies and each year run a campaign where the customers are experiencing the same shopping experience as a blind people (it means they can’t use their eyes to shop). You have to give them credit for this crazy idea, very powerful with great potential to trigger strong emotions and in the end help the blind people. Well done guys!

Finally, the backstage team who offered competitors guidance and technical support was amazing – thank you Alain, Robert, Mark, and of course Liza. Alain has been running/helping the competitors for the past 15 years or more, Robert and Mark for the past 8 years or so. They offered me a great point of view on how technological changes (computers and software) transform the competition (Print, Logo Design, Cyber, and Film competitions).

 

Support for high pixel density screens in Adobe Muse CC 2014

The high pixel density screen proliferation introduced a new “requirement” for most web sites: providing two different resolutions for the images. If you decide on going just for the standard resolution, then those pictures will look fuzzy on devices such as iPhone 5 or 5s, iPad Air, or MacBook Pro with retina display.

In order to get around this problem the common solution is to have two versions for a given image: “normal” resolution (to be used for low pixel density screens) and twice the resolution (for high pixel density screens). Then with a little bit of JavaScript you can serve the right image.

Adobe Muse CC has now support for handling high-resolution screens. As because we are talking about Muse, it doesn’t involve any coding. You just have to enable an option and use 2X images.

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Support and Expert Services for Creative Cloud for enterprise

One of the benefits of being an Creative Cloud for enterprise customer is the access to world-class support services. In this blogpost you’ll learn about the different options you have when your organization needs support with Creative Cloud for enterprise.

What is Adobe Enterprise Support Program?

There are two types of support problems you can get help with:

  • IT related issues ­ claiming a domain name, configuring and deploying the software, managing users and entitlements, and so forth;
  • Adobe Creative Cloud workflows issues ­ getting advice on how best to take advantage of Creative Cloud Tools and Services.

Regardless of what type of problem you have, the help is only a phone call or few clicks away. Here is a list of options you have.

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