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So I love this story of Persistence: in 1956, 8 scientists decided they wanted to start their own company. They worked with an investment banker named Author Rock to try to get funding.

Rock went to 41 companies, among them Motorola, General Mills, Chrysler and Westinghouse. He told them they would get the option to buy the new company, and the eight scientists would each get a share. But in those days no company would invest.

Rock was almost ready to give up when he finally found an investor willing to take a chance on a group of scientists. The investor was Sherman Fairchild, owner of Fairchild Camera and Instrument in New York, and an inventor himself. And Fairchild was not averse to risk.

The company they founded was Fairchild Semiconductor and they went on to develop the first commercially successful integrated circuit, or microchip. The company’s product soon became the industry standard. NASA used Fairchild chips in computers for its Apollo space program.

So remember, even if you are told no 41 times, that 42nd time you ask could make all the difference. 

The list of more than 40 firms Arthur Rock asked to invest in the Traitorous 8. He was asking for $1.5 million and a share in the business for each of the founders. "None of the companies would do it," Rock says.

The list of more than 40 firms Arthur Rock asked to invest in the Traitorous 8. He was asking for $1.5 million and a share in the business for each of the founders. “None of the companies would do it,” Rock says.


A Story to Remember When You Want to Give Up

Christopher Johannessen list for Data Storytelling

This is taken from the Analytics Discussions from the DAA: DIGITAL ANALYTICS ASSOCIATION Open Forum.  I thought the resources he posted were amazing and worth sharing.


Q: I am looking for a source such as a blog, forum, or a course to learn more about presenting data with story telling techniques. I appreciate any help.


1) Edward Tufte books

Edward Tufte has been cited by many as the “dean of data visualization” – his books are a great resource (a simple bit of advice he gives – read the sports pages to see how to tell a story quickly + concisely with data)

2) Michael Babwasingh’s data visualization blog

3) The Tableau (software vendor) blog has some periodic posts about data story telling:

– as well as good on-demand webinars such as this one:

– and Robert Kosara’s website \ blog (a lot of good publications + a few downloadables here):

– and on Twitter, Tapestry Conference (Tableau organized conference around data story telling) has periodic tweets in this area:

4) Stephen Few’s blog is good (his book “Information Dashboard Design” is a good resource for, well, dashboards)

5) The Harvard Business Review blog, over the past 6 months or so, has had a lot of good story telling and data visualization posts, notably from Nancy Duarte: (there are other people blogging here as well)

6) For Presentations – the Prezi blog is fun (Prezi is a relatively new, more fluid alternative to PowerPoint):

– for books about PowerPoint, I usually recommend “Beyond Bullet Points” as well as “Presentation Zen” (I prefer Beyond Bullet Points personally)

7) For some great video examples (to watch and learn how to present your stories, live):

TED talks are always great: look for talks by Hans Rosling, David McCandless, and others on story telling in general

There are also a host of great digital analytics videos at Online-Behavior +

and YouTube has a lot more (just search for “data storytelling” or “web analytics storytelling” or “analytics storytelling” or “eMetrics”)

I hope all this helps – cheers!

Christopher Johannessen
Director, Digital Analytics
TPG Direct \ Omnicom


Additional Resources:

This was also the subject of my recent SXSW presentation: “Scientist to Storyteller: How to Narrate Data”, which also used Prezi! Hope there’s some resources there that can help you.

Eric Swayne
Director, Product & Marketing
Addison TX



I recently did a session on this topic at the Adobe Summit back in March with Dieter Davis of Nike. The session was recorded and you can watch it at this Adobe TV link: Data Storytelling: Turning Insights into Action

Brent Dykes
Evangelist, Analytics
Adobe Systems (Corporate Account)
Lehi, UT


Spincam Rotating Images

I have always been a big fan of Spincam though I haven’t used it much recently. I feel like it would be the perfect app to create dynamic product images that users could manipulate and control.

Today instructables had a cool rotating platform that I thought would work well for building product images. Also I noticed that Spincam added embed features. Below is a test I am running to see how the Spincam embed feature looks.

I pitched Cinemagraphs in emails at Wolverine World Wide in 2012 and now you see them in a lot of retail emails (subscribe to Urban Outfitters and make sure you are using an email browser that supports these images). I wonder when rotating product images will take off.  The technology is there.

(This is an old video, ignore my shirt….)