Who's walking around in Poppy Barley shoes? Here, we spend 5 minutes with our customers to find out who they are and what they do.Name: James A. Neufeld Occupation: CEO and founder of SAM (Social Asset Management) Home: Edmonton, Alberta I own: The Calgary Wingtip in grey calf Describe your typical work day. A typical work day for me is a 7 AM-5 PM day. We have a large customer base in London/Europe, including a growing team in London. My day usually starts with a video call to the London team and remote client meetings. Mid-morning focus shifts to product talk to catchup with the development team. My afternoon is typically filled with North American calls/meetings. Mid-late afternoon seems to be the unspoken time slot for corporate logistics and operations. This is a pretty typical office day when I’m not on the road—which tends to be one or two weeks a month. What is SAM? SAM is a social media search and collaborative curation platform. We power social media workflows at the Associated Press, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Guardian, and many other top newsrooms around the world. How does it help newsrooms/journalists? Journalists use our platform to find quality social media content during breaking news situations. If there’s a fire, crash, or any newsworthy event in the world, there’s a very high chance it’s being documented on social networks. Our users are often the first to find that content, curate it, and use it to power what we know as the news (across print, online, and broadcast). How can social media help with storytelling? The increasing quantity and quality of content being created on social networks is astounding. In our context, often times the story is entirely made of social media content from those eye-witnesses sharing and uploading content. People armed with smart phones are documenting everything from plane crashes and battle fronts to natural disasters and political announcements. In some way or another, social media is the raw content of nearly every major news story. How does one filter through all the noise in our always-connect social media-obsessed world? I think we’re fast approaching a tipping point. People are getting really sick of the constant noise. We think that good ol' journalism can play a very big role in curating, distilling, verifying, and packaging the overabundance of content into something much more palatable and informative. With the focus on London, do you visit often? How much time do you spend on the road? I try to spend at least a week in London every month or two. Overall, I find myself on the road at least a week or two per month visiting customers and conferences. Despite being a tech company, often times a face to face visit is the best way to work.
Is London your favourite city to visit? What are the top contenders on your frequent routes? London is one of the greatest cities on Earth and certainly one of my favourites. It’s always hard to nail down one specific favourite when it comes to cities—there are too many great cities all with their own characteristics. I would have to say the top contenders are Singapore and New York, both cities I really enjoy. Where do you envision your company in 5 years time? 10 years? I’d like to think that SAM will have solidified itself as a must-have tool for the newsroom. We certainly see the trends of social media and user-generated content increasing and with that the need of powerful and intelligent curation tools. We want to power those workflows and be the backend to great stories that need to be told. What do you do in your down-time? What is this “down-time" you speak of? If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? Clairvoyance. Seriously, anyone that says anything else doesn’t understand that would trump all other powers. By ability you mean superpower, right? I assumed so. In one sentence, describe your experience wearing Poppy Barley shoes. Extremely well fitted, supportive, and sharp.