Do This, See This, Buy This: Modsy

Do This See This Buy This is a feature about great products and services for marketersI dislike furniture shopping. I really, really dislike furniture shopping.

Every time I have to buy furniture, I feel like I’m stepping into a bad David Mamet play. Pushy salespeople are trying to pass off knotty oak as mahogany and then sell me extended warranties. Ordering online is an option, but there’s no good way to know if a piece will “fit” with the space. Shipments arrive weeks late. It’s a frustrating consumer experience – and with a move coming up I was dreading my next shopping trip.

Then I saw a launch announcement from Modsy in my LinkedIn feed and discovered a promising solution.

ModsyModsy is taking the pain out of room design using the mobile tools you already have. Simply use Modsy’s design engine to locate your style preferences, then take pictures of the room you want to furnish. Modsy enables you to digitally arrange pieces you’ll like right on the screen. You’ll know what the finished room looks like before buying a thing, all without a trip to the mall.

Modsy’s blog has some great examples of how its tool is working for some of its first users. The blog also introduces the founders, who include CMU leading light Shanna Tellerman.

Right now the product is in beta. I signed up, and if you are like me and also think interior design can be better, you should too.

Logo courtesy of Modsy

Do This, See This, Buy This: Anki OVERDRIVE

Do This See This Buy This is a feature about great products and services for marketers

Some marketing phrases become so overused they lose all meaning. Yet when I say that Anki OVERDRIVE is “the future of entertainment”, it’s no exaggeration. OVERDRIVE is the future made real.

Anki OverdriveAnki uses the kind of technology that might drive full-size cars in 2050 to make, simply, the best toy you’ll see this year. And it goes on sale today.

OVERDRIVE is the culmination of years of research in robotics and artificial intelligence. It combines the best elements of slot car racing and video games into one package. I’ve seen 5-year-olds and 50-year-olds enjoy Anki’s first product, Anki Drive, so I have no doubt this toy will appeal to everyone in the family.

There are a lot of reviews already that include gameplay details and visuals. My favorite so far comes from Forbes.

Anki Overdrive Thermo racecarOVERDRIVE is being compared to other physical-to-virtual concepts like Skylanders, but in reality there’s no comparison. Most other toys use the physical element as a gimmick. At Anki, the real and the onscreen are intimately and seamlessly connected. You’re not just plugging in a hunk of plastic. With OVERDRIVE, you are battle racing with real robots.

Like last year, when Anki Drive was widely sold out in December, I expect OVERDRIVE will be the hit toy of the holiday season. If you want to make sure you have one under the tree, you’d best buy it now. But good luck keeping it under wraps for three months.

This is the year of the future, so take the money you were saving for a hoverboard and get Anki OVERDRIVE instead.


Anki Overdrive action

Product images courtesy of Anki.

Disclaimer: I used to work at Anki.

Do This, See This, Buy This: Dreamforce

Do This See This Buy This is a feature about great products and services for marketers

San Franciscans always know when Dreamforce is coming. Streets start to close. Hotels and flights fill up. And there’s a buzz in the air beyond anything else the tech world brings to our little peninsula on the Pacific.

Dreamforce, salesforce, B2B marketingI’m excited to be at Dreamforce again after a 2-year hiatus. As Salesforce’s user conference and trade show, Dreamforce has turned into a massive combination of product demonstrations, user education, philanthropy, and parties. It’s now the world’s biggest software conference. Last year 135,000 people registered, 400 companies exhibited, and five million people watched online. There were 1,450 sessions and 20 music concerts.[1]

So you owe it to yourself to experience Dreamforce at least once, even if you don’t have a business interest in Salesforce or its constellation of partners. If nothing else, you’ll see the realized vision of one of today’s great B2B marketing geniuses, Marc Benioff.

Best of all, you can go to Dreamforce for free. Your free pass gets you into the expo hall and many of the keynotes.

So what are you waiting for? A better party? Get your pass and get to Dreamforce. I’ll see you there!


Dreamforce logo courtesy of

[1] Dreamforce by the Numbers – Salesforce Blog