How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… How to Get Started in China and Have Success Need funding for your startup? Don’t load up your PowerPoint with nifty charts showing all the users your online service has grabbed. Venture capitalists are no longer impressed. These days, investors want to hear about the revenue you’re generating, not the traffic.“There have been a lot of companies that had a lot of users and didn’t make as much money as they should have, so investors are reevaluating,” explains Naval Ravikant, founder of the startup advice site Venture Hacks and the investor-entrepreneur matchmaking site AngelList. “This became most apparent in the Facebook app craze, when lot of top-ranked Facebook apps showed 60 million or 100 million users but ended up being worth almost nothing. Even Facebook hasn’t been able to monetize as well as Wall Street was expecting.”Revenue RulesThe new generation of billion-dollar internet companies is built on revenue. Businesses like Airbnb, GitHub and Dropbox all have plenty of users. But much more important, those users generate serious cash flow.The flipside is that even companies without massive traffic can now attract intense investor interest – if they have real revenue. “A company like Uber doesn’t have a ton of users but they’re making gobs and gobs of money with their high-ticket mobile car service,” Ravikant says. “They have huge margins and high-frequency repeat business.”You Now Need 20 Million EyeballsUsers do still figure into the equation when VCs evaluate an Internet startup. But the bar keeps rising. The new thinking, as outlined in a recent blog post by Chris Dixon: 10 million is the new 1 million. And a few years from now the benchmark for consumer Iinternet startups could be 100 million.“Think about it,” Ravikant said. “Instagram reached 80 million users with only six employees. User stats can get blown out very quickly. But VCs are starting to adjust. There are a number of companies that have come along recently that have generated huge user-number spikes – but either those numbers are not sustainable or they’re not reflective of engagement underneath or they’re not monetizable.”Take Socialcam, for example. It has a lot of users but can those folks be monetized? Autodesk, which paid $60 million for the video sharing app, will have to figure out the answer. “Eyeballs will always be a proxy stat to get to valuation,” predicts Ravikant, who founded Epinions and [Vast](http://www.vast.com/. “But if you give it a long enough timeline, people will learn to game proxy stats. But they can’t game profits.”Turns out that many of the highest-usage consumer Internet companies also have the thinnest and least monetizable engagement, which is a big disincentive for investors.Early Revenue Matters MostSo a lot of Internet startup founders now emphasize early revenue when they pitch VCs.“That’s for two reasons,” Ravikant says. “First, you can move the needle more on early revenue than you can on early users. If you have a product that’s not getting picked up by the marketplace, getting to 5 million users can seem like an impossible problem. But if, say, you need $20,000 a month in revenue, you can do that just by picking up four or five big customers. Second, a lot of companies have such a low burn rate that if you can get revenue quickly you can get to break-even and sustain yourself much longer. You can do $10,000 in revenue with just four or five really impassioned customers.”Customers… what a concept!Eyeball image courtesy of Shutterstock. tim devaney and tom stein Tags:#start#Venture Funding China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Related Posts
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What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … In a sign that Apple may be ready to drop its insane jihad against Android handset makers, Apple and HTC have announced they are dropping all legal claims against one another, ending a bitter two-year court battle that has involved numerous lawsuits in courts around the world.Apple and HTC have struck a 10-year global licensing agreement that “extends to current and future patents held by both parties,” an HTC press release said.Could this mean Apple is sick of being the world’s biggest (and least successful) patent troll? Let’s hope so.The two companies did not release terms of the settlement. The press release contained canned statements from Peter Chou, CEO of HTC and Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. Chou said HTC “can focus on innovation instead of litigation,” and Cook said Apple “will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”Apple sued HTC in 2010 as part of a wider legal assault on Android phone makers. Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs had vowed to wage “thermonuclear war” against Android, which he considered to be a knock-off of Apple’s mobile operating system.An End To Apple’s Legal War?Does Apple’s settlement with HTC indicate that Cook doesn’t share Jobs’s hunger for vengeance? It certainly looks that way. Certainly Cook is more pragmatic and less emotional than Jobs was. And the truth is, Apple’s lawsuits are mostly ridiculous, and have mostly failed. In one case against HTC, all of Apple’s claims but one were tossed out, and the one that survived was so trivial that HTC created a work-around in a week.In other words, Apple has been wasting money and energy (not to mention harming consumers) by pursuing a quixotic crusade launched by its late founder and CEO.Cook seems to realize this. He might also realize that he is fighting the tide when it comes to Android. It’s worth noting that this settlement occurred not long after the latest damning IDC numbers came out showing that Android is now outselling Apple five-to-one in the smartphone market, and that Android is also surging in tablets.All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A ChanceThe biggest question is whether this settlement with HTC signals more settlements to come with rivals like Motorola and Samsung. Those fights, particularly the one with Samsung, have been more bitterly fought than the one with HTC.So in those cases it may be more difficult to bury the hatchet. But for the sake of customers, let’s hope Apple can drop the pointless warfare and do the right thing.Image coutesy of Reuters. dan lyons The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#Android#Apple#HTC#iOS#mobile Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts
brian proffitt Related Posts You could also use programs like Evernote or Remember the Milk in the same way.Otherwise, I followed Rarick’s system as recommended.The Inbox Zero ResultsAfter a solid month of using this system, I have to say I was impressed. I almost achieve Inbox Zero on a daily basis. Typically, there’s five or six messages sitting there at the end of each day that I would rather not make a task for – I’ll get to them in the morning.The process did not take a huge amount of discipline, which was nice, and I did find that I was compelled to check my Inbox less and less, because I knew there wouldn’t be 100+ messages waiting to haunt me. That was even better, because it noticably lowered my stress levels. There were some bumps. Occasionally I got a little overzealous with the (e) key and archived something on which I should have taken action. Eventually I learned to slow down a bit, and those hiccups soon faded.Traveling – or any disruption in my routine – seemed to throw me off a bit. Every time my daily schedule was interrupted, my Inbox would fill up and it would me a little more time to clear it out.Overall, I am very happy I achieved Inbox Zero, and it still seems to be working. I am even content with the occasional Inbox Five or Inbox Six, which are both a lot better than Inbox 10,534.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#email#Pause#productivity Once I finished the mass culling, I followed Rarick’s system to mute messages (press m), read and archive (press e), answer or take action in less than 30 seconds and archive (e) or star and archive (se) any messages that need more than half a minute’s work. Actually, I varied that a bit. Rarick suggests turning off the Priority Inbox in Gmail (which I recommend) and using the Starred list as a functional to-do list. Since I already use Omnifocus as a task manager, I decided to change this up a bit. Instead of starring and archiving, I press (option-l) to select the URL of the Gmail message, then open the New Action dialog in Omnifocus to start a new task and drop the URL for the message in the task’s Notes field. It’s a little extra work, but it keeps my tasks in Omnifocus and still gets my Inbox clear. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting I get email. A lot of email. Between my teaching and contract work, notifications from social media services, messages from friends and family, and all of the pitches I get from public relations and marketing people from around the planet, I average 5,500 incoming emails per month: which is something like 183 per day. My goal, to clear out every one of those emails from my Inbox. That’s right, Inbox Zero: an empty-and-stays-empty folder of incoming email.Some 95% of my email is handled with Gmail. I know I have expressed concerns about Google‘s commitment to its free services, but the fact is that I have not found another universal, multi-platform email service that gives me all the features and level of access I need on my phone, tablet and computers. The addition of two-factor authorization pretty much sealed the deal for me.Like many people, I have multiple email accounts. I have a ReadWrite address, a school address, my old Linux.com email, the user ID address from my Internet provider, my personal Google Apps account and my very first Gmail account, which I use to access the various new services that Google for some reason doesn’t let Google Apps users access.All of those accounts are shunted into one Gmail interface, which makes things pretty simple. I can reply from any one of these accounts, archive into helpful folders and (my favorite) use canned responses to politely inform PR people that no, I am not interested in following up on their pitch at this time. (This is important, as I learned from former ReadWrite colleague Jon Mitchell, because if you don’t answer, they’ll keep pinging you, thus increasing your inbox traffic.)For a long time I’ve had every intention of keeping my Inbox clear as possible, and have gone on massive delete and archive sprees to cull my Inbox down to 50 or so messages that must be dealt with. But then, invariably, things get away from me, and suddenly I have hundreds of emails – read and unread – sitting in my Inbox, demanding attention. Then, when they don’t get any, I’m forced to stare at their mocking reminders of my failures as a productive member of society.The Inbox Zero TheoryAbout a month ago, though, I stumbled on Kevin Rarick’s Inbox Zero for Life approach. It didn’t seem like that much extra work, so I thought I’d give it a shot. It should be noted that Rarick did not coin the term Inbox Zero – that honor apparently goes to Merlin Mann, creator of the 43 Folders productivity blog. In 2007, Mann gave an hour-long video presentation on Inbox Zero for a Google TechTalk.Mann’s basic idea is to go into your email system fewer times per day and once in there, to touch each message as few times as possible. Kill it, answer it right away or shunt it into a to-do system where it’s filed as a task. What Rarick added is a nuts-and-bolts guide to applying these ideas to Gmail.The overlap between Mann’s concepts and the Getting Things Done productivity system that I already like to use – plus the fact that Rarick has fashioned this system focused on Gmail – made it very attractive to me. So off I went.The Inbox Zero PlanThe first thing that you should know is that you don’t have to use Gmail. Any mail client will do, but it helps to be as familiar with it as possible. The less time you spend futzing around with menus and mouse gestures, the sooner you can clean out your Inbox.For Gmail, Rarick recommends turning on keyboard shortcuts for the user interface, which I initially thought was nuts. Not that I have a problem with keyboard shortcuts; I cut my teeth on emacs, so the keyboard is my friend. But using shortcuts on a Web-based service? Weird. But it’s actually a good idea, and if your email client has similar tools, use them.Another thing to try before you start the process: implement weapons of mass deletion. You can easily search for all email older than a certain date and archive it, but there could leave a lot of cruft taking up space in your Inbox file. Better to go in and kill it.Some friends recommended using the free beta service Mailstrom.co. Once you grant it access, Mailstrom will process your Inbox by sender, date, subject… nearly any way you can think of. Even though it took a week for my turn on Mailstrom’s waiting list to come up, it was well worth it.Using Mailstrom’s nicely laid out interface, I quickly highlighted messages from shopping or social media sites. With two clicks, I highlighted them all and archived or deleted them as needed. It was, frankly, beautiful. (The only issue is with Mailstrom is that once you move to Inbox Zero, you almost don’t need it anymore. At that point, Mailstrom’s daily reminder messages become a thing of irony, indeed.) Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… lauren orsini Tags:#business#Pinterest#Transparency Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Pinterest is poised to dip an extremely cautious toe into the water of promoted pins. According to an announcement by Founder and CEO Ben Silbermann, the company plans to experiment with promoting pins from select businesses.This move will be very different from last year’s Skimlinks debacle, in which Pinterest came under fire for not coming clean about monetizing pinners through affiliate links. “Nobody’s paying for anything yet,” wrote Silbermann. “We want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think.” He also added that the pins will be “tasteful,” “transparent,” “relevant,” and influenced by users’ own feedback. Given that last brush with monetization, it makes sense that Silbermann would be more careful this time. And more transparent. In 2012, Pinterest users discovered on their own that the service had been manipulating their pins to make money through its partnership with Skimlinks, an automatic affiliate linking service.Pinner and tech blogger Josh Davis first put two and two together: “I, like many people, don’t have a problem with Pinterest making money off of user content,” he wrote. “[But] Pinterest likely should disclose this practice to users even if they aren’t required to do so by law, if only to maintain trust with their users.” The scandal drew criticism from the blogs and media outlets. Going straight to the source, Silbermann eventually called Davis in order to clear up, above all, that Pinterest had stopped using Skimlinks altogether. See also: How Pinterest Added 70M Users Without Overhauling Its Original CodebaseIn an interview with ReadWrite earlier this year, Jon Jenkins, Pinterest’s head of engineering, said the company wasn’t in any hurry to make money. “We’re extremely fortunate to be well funded right now,” he said. “It gives us to time to do this correctly. We don’t feel the pressure to monetize unnaturally.” In fact, with Pinterest currently working through $200 million round in funding from February 2013, there’s no reason to believe this new announcement will be anything like a quick grab for profit. And this time around, Pinterest is taking pains not to make the mistakes of last year. The process seems to be slow, and above all, transparent with users.Illustration courtesy of Pinterest. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
WordPress for Enterprise – How This Open-… Tags:#Trending How to Make the Most of Your Software Developer… Related Posts Keith Krach is chairman and former CEO of DocuSign. A Silicon Valley veteran, Krach has led the creation of several new categories, including DTM at DocuSign, Mechanical Design Synthesis at Rasna and B2B ecommerce during his role as chairman, CEO and co-founder of Ariba. He once was the youngest vice president at General Motors, where he was an early pioneer in robotics and oversaw a joint venture with Japanese-based Fujitsu Fanuc. What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… Keith Krach Kickstarting a Stagnant Company What Matters Most is Luck. Not!During my battle-tested career, I have always heard, “Krach, you are just so lucky.” I look down at the ground and shrug my shoulders and say, “Yah, I guess I’m just lucky” or, “I was just at right place, right time.”I am certainly blessed. Born into a loving family, growing up in the heartland of this great country in a simpler time and humble manner. I learned to appreciate the value of hard work and I grew up with an earnest desire to make a difference in the world. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life thinking about the concept of luck and what that word really means. Is it flipping a coin at a fork in the road or being dealt the right card at the right moment? Whether you choose to believe it’s karma or a blessing, there are divine moments that protect and shape us. But most of the time, I believe that we make our own luck. Luck is self-propelling and a magic that we can generate and magnify. I believe the definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity. The harder you work, the luckier you get. I call it the Frank Wilson Theory.When Frank Wilson joined our basketball team in 7th grade, I thought he was the luckiest guy I had ever met. He immediately emerged as the star of our squad, scoring on average a sparkling 18 points a game. I was baffled though. He could barely jump, let alone dribble, and his jump shot was extremely ugly (sorry, Frank). He was a lefty and he would awkwardly short-arm the ball toward the hoop. I just couldn’t understand how this guy could score so many points. I figured he was just lucky.Then one day, the father of one of our teammates brought a 16-millimeter video camera to shoot one of our games. We played well and won the game, thanks to another game-winning shot from Frank. The next day at practice, the coach invited us all to watch the tape of the game. While everyone else followed the action of the game, I kept my eyes focused on Frank the entire time. As the tape played, it hit me like lightning. What Frank could do better than all of us was what he did when he didn’t have the ball. The act of getting in the right position at the right time was what mattered most. He would use his smallish frame to duck around picks and slide into open positions just under the hoop and in the corners where, when someone passed the ball, he could hit his little duck-shot with perfect accuracy.I began to see Frank in a new light. I also began to watch him at practice. While the rest of the team was lobbing up half-court trick shots and goofing around, there was Frank running drills, by himself. What I realized, it wasn’t that Frank wasn’t lucky when it came to playing basketball—he was prepared. When the opportunity presented itself, Frank was right there, ready to make his own “luck.” That was how Frank taught me a profound lesson:What matters most in life is what you do when nobody is looking.Thanks to Frank, I now have a deep conviction of the importance of preparation and constantly sharpening the saw. One of the most tangible examples I can share relates to how I approach public speaking. Whether it’s for a commencement address or a quick TV appearance that will generate a mere sound bite, I will spend hours preparing for a delivery that will take just a few minutes. There have been times when my team has witnessed me spend an entire 90-minute car ride getting ready for a short 3-minute after-dinner speech. I prepare for any question that could come my way. People might applaud me for my great improvisational speaking skills without realizing how much work actually went into making it look casual and spontaneous. So if it looks like I put my foot in my mouth, there is a chance that I meant to put it there.Similarly, anytime I go to a conference or attend an event, I take the time to memorize the LinkedIn profile of the attendees. There is no better way to meaningfully connect than jumping to the heart of finding something in common with people you “just happened” to meet. I’m fairly confident that if Dale Carnegie were still around to write an update to his classic book How To Win Friends And Influence People, he would have certainly included a chapter on memorizing not just names, but LinkedIn profiles as well (you’re welcome, LinkedIn.)As Thomas Edison so aptly put it: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” So, Frank, if you are reading this, I’m sorry I ever thought you were lucky. Your example taught me one of the greatest lessons in life—what matters most is what you do when nobody is looking—and that is a wisdom that I have shared with many. So Frank, wherever you are in this world, I thank you. And I wish you all the luck in the world, knowing full well you don’t need it.
CEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from… Here are some of the features of a CRM software: Also, managing those leads and converting them into the ones favourable for your business is what a lead management tool in a CRM software exactly does. This is not to be considered lighter. As it is a no lighter job. Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacy Contact managementContact management is a feature in the CRM software which is software driven. It helps in obtaining the details of a Customer with just a click or two. The Contact Management feature of a CRM module will enable you to get the name, address, phone, email etc… Related Posts Contact ManagementLead ManagementDeals & Task ManagementEmail TrackingSocial Media ManagementMobile MarketingReporting & Dashboard ManagementCampaign Management You will find it genuine if you rely upon a CRM software. It will undoubtedly grow your business to unimaginable heights. Generating Leads and converting them into business has been the top-notch feature of a CRM software. CRM software simply deals with the customer behaviour and helps in converting leads into a strong customer for your business.What is a CRM software?A CRM software is the abbreviated form of Customer Relationship Management software. As the name suggests it helps you in building a strong relationship with your customers. Also, it provides the best customers and you don’t need to worry about the customer satisfaction. This saves your time and moreover gives you a correct analysis of your daily/monthly reports from the dashboard itself.Campaign managementAn efficient CRM software will manage the campaign that you conduct to grow the sales of your business. Conducting campaigns to drive the attention of the people and opening a door of opportunity to uplift the business. There are a lot of possibilities for you to grow your sales in the modern world. Know those possible ways to get your business on top or you could easily derail your business from success track. An efficient CRM software will never lose out a customer. Whereas it creates new opportunities in turning the customer’s buyers of even more quantity they tend to purchase.Social-media managementIn today’s modern world it is inevitable for a business to stay compliant across the competitors. An efficient CRM software does this for you single-handedly. It will help with your social media updates and posts which result in large visibility across the globe. Tags:#CRM A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas Why don’t you get a CRM software for your Business Today? You can track the contact and place a good deal in front of them with a CRM software. The chances of converting them into your customers are much greater than you think.Lead managementLeads are managed efficiently through a CRM software. A lead can be managed in different ways. Also, a lead can be generated through different policies. But in this modern world just conducting the campaigns won’t do the trick. A CRM software is a must where you can track all the leads through a campaign.ConclusionAnyhow it is important for a business to have a CRM software. In short, Indeed it is inevitable for a business to have an efficient CRM software to sustain in this competitive world. A CRM software generates customers from wherever it can. It takes a special consideration for social media knowing its power of getting a customer into the business. While a dashboard management enables you to manage your dashboard. Also, there is various kind of dashboard a CRM software provides. In which you get the advantage of viewing sales report, KPIs from the dashboard itself. Tracking out those Emails and letting the people out there know about the deals & offers you are providing. And attract customers with a CRM software in the most advanced ways This will open up a wide set of opportunity in front of you. This opens the door to a completely well-maintained Customer relationship. Through the long-run, it will be a great profit builder for your business. CRM software is a true Customer Relationship Management software which will eventually grow the number of customers. But also, it retains the existing customers and gives you a relaxed business throughout.Reporting & dashboard managementReporting management is the feature in a CRM software which enables you to get reports of almost every things that come across your business organization. Hredanth K Babu 4 Ways You Can Make Your Workplace an Engine of… These leads can be perfectly tracked and assured they become your customer by generating new tactics delivered through a CRM software.Deals & Task ManagementThe deals & task feature in a CRM software which is capable of managing the deals & tasks of your business. It assigns special offers, discount, happy hours, deal of the day and more are with the deal management functionality. Some of the tasks which lie completion immediately for customer growth also figures out of an efficient CRM solution for your business.Email trackingEmail tracking is another efficient method to get customers clicking into your business. Don’t ever think Emails are an old-fashion marketing tool which already has out-dated. Emails prove to be a good marketing strategy followed by business now and then. A CRM software is an opportunity development software. It always enables you with new opportunities which can be converted into a new customer for your business. There are many features which deal with different ways of handling your customers. Finally, ensure exploring and make sure all of the CRM software for your business find the greatest of benefits out of it. Therefore, explore every benefit it can give you to increase the sales.
The best way to learn from famous filmmakers is to listen to them – DVD commentaries are your film school on demand.DVD filmmaker commentaries offer you an incredible opportunity to learn from some of the best filmmakers who have ever lived, and even ones who are now dead, about the art and craft of great filmmaking. Personally I’m a big fan of DVD extras (here’s my best suggestions for film editors) and thanks to dedicated curators like Filmschool Thru Commentaries and Film School Reject’s Commentary-Commentary you can digest all the best filmmaking wisdom a filmmaker may have poured forth across all their DVD commentaries in one or two succinct video lessons. Here’s a quick round up of some of the best.Filmschool The Paul Thomas Anderson WayIf Paul Thomas Anderson is telling the truth then checking out these two videos might save you two decades of filmschool education as you listen in to what director John Sturges has to say about great filmmaking: If you’re one for learning about the references that Paul Thomas Anderson (and other directors like Stanley Kubrick) riff off-of then check out this great video from PTA on Max Ophuls – master of the tracking shot.Action Film MasterclassesIf you’re a fan of Jan De Bont, John McTiernan or Kathryn Bigelow’s many fantastic action movies then these are the commentaries for you:33 Things We Learned from the Hurt Locker Commentary – #8Bigelow used the Phantom camera to give “a sense of the roiling mass of air preceding any kind of detonation and hence the rocks lifting off the ground.” She says the camera can shoot ten to twenty thousand frames per second and “kind of unpack those events in a sort of granular way.” She’s such a nerd. Saving The Best Till Last – SchwarzeneggerIf you’ve not seen this compilation of the best of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s DVD commentary for Total Recall then you’re in for a treat. Not so much filmmaking wisdom, more filmmaking say-what-you-see. Funny stuff!
Use color deliberately to reinforce the overall mood or feeling of your film or video. In this video tutorial you’ll learn the basics of color temperature, including lighting sources and white balance.Check out this quick study on the ‘science and psychology of color temperature by John Hess for FilmmakerIQ.com. As part of a recent FilmmakerIQ course on color temperature, this video provides a quick look at how the temperature can set the tone for a scene or reinforce a project’s themes. Contrasting Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” (as an example of a hot film), with the chilly cool look of the Cohen Brothers’ “Fargo” you get a quick look at how both directors use color temperature to successfully reinforce the mood of both films.You’ll get a little background on the history of color temperature research, as well as the science behind why certain light gives off certain colors (daylight vs tungsten light for instance). Finally, you’ll see how to apply this info practically, by applying it to video and film production. He covers common on-set lighting issues including white balance, mixing color temperatures and modifying artificial light temperature.Check out the redesigned Filmmaker IQ for a ton of practical and inspirational content on filmmaking, video production & digital content creation.Thanks for sharing this informative tutorial, John!
Despite modern innovations, a dedicated light meter is still the best way to ensure consistent and high-quality results on your video projects.Top image via ShutterstockWhen exposing your scene, you have countless options — from simply eyeballing the visuals on your monitor to using your camera’s histogram or zebra stripes. But there is no denying that light meters are far and away the most accurate — and specific — way to measure exposure.Unfortunately, many in-camera exposure options will not always give you specific enough information to make exposure adjustments with. For instance, your histogram may show that you have a hot spot in your image, but you won’t necessarily know where that hotspot is coming from. It essentially gives you an average readout from your sensor (which can be helpful and is certainly better than using nothing), but doesn’t give you the full picture of what’s really going on in your shot.Image via ShutterstockA light meter, on the other hand, can be used to gain exposure information on various points within your frame quickly and easily. While you can use a light meter in spot mode (which works in a similar way to your camera’s built-in light meter), many DPs like to shoot in incident mode. When shooting with an incident light meter, you can simply hold the meter in front of your talent’s face and point it at camera.It will effectively gather the amount of light hitting your talent and let you know what your exposure settings should be based on the amount of light. If you were to use a light meter in spot mode, you would point it at your subject from the camera POV, and it would be taking a reading based on the amount of reflected light from your subject.Both incident and spot metering can be useful in different scenarios, but for the purpose of this post, we will focus on incident metering.Using Incident MeteringTo properly meter your subjects using an incident meter, you’ll first want to input the exposure information that you already have. Assuming you are shooting at 24p, you can set your shutter speed on the meter to 1/50 and your ISO level to whatever the native ISO of your camera is — let’s say, 800.When you take a reading of your subject, since you’ve already locked in your shutter speed and ISO value, the meter will give you an f-stop reading that represents the aperture value you need to hit in order to achieve perfect exposure. If you’re shooting on a bright day, the reading might be something high — like f16, which can be problematic if you want to shoot wide open and achieve shallow DOF.In a situation like this, you might choose to use your light meter in a different way. For example, you might choose to also lock in an f-stop value of f/2.8 and let your meter tell you how many stops you will overexpose your talent when using those settings. If you’re five stops over, you can simply use ND filters to cut the five stops of light without having to adjust exposure settings in camera.Image via stillmotionThis is just one basic example of how a light meter can be used, but there really are countless uses for one on any set. Many DPs like to use meters to understand contrast ratios, or they’ll meter their lights directly in order to understand exactly how much light is being generated by each individual source.Regardless of how you choose to use it, there’s no question that the light meter is a fundamental tool that can not be replaced with any of your in-camera exposure tools. You may not need to use one, but you will inevitably get better quality — and more consistent — results when you do.The following video from stillmotion explains some of the fundamentals of metering, and is a great watch for those interested in purchasing a light meter.Do you use a light meter on your film set? Share in the comments below.
A good pitch requires more than a short description and price quote — and it goes beyond what’s put down on paper. Here are some points to keep in mind when pitching your next corporate video.Top image via ShutterstockWorking in video production can be a tough gig. Whether you’re with a company, freelance or a weekend warrior, there’s a lot more to the job than clicking record on your camera. A big part of the life is the time spent trying to find new (and better) projects to work on. Putting together bids, pitches and proposals is a necessary part of video production that is crucial but very often neglected.1. Show a Clear Value PropositionImage via ShutterstockThis includes (but goes beyond) giving a thoughtful and detailed project description in your proposal. If you can connect with your client and understand their company and how it works (i.e. how it makes money), you’ll be in a better place to propose how your video will help.When pitching your services, you’ll need to draw a clear line between your work and an increase in your client’s revenue. Sometimes that line can be hard to find (or it may not exist at all). It’s up to you to get creative to make connections that will resonate and aid your pitch.Keep up with current and old clients to find examples of how your work has helped them grow and increase revenue. There’s nothing closer to a slam-dunk than citing directly influencing success with a similar client.2. Be a Subject-Matter ExpertImage via ShutterstockIn your pitch, as well as your personal brand or company, you’ll want to show a subject-matter expertise and share how you’re uniquely capable of creating the video specific for your client.Ideally, your brand will extend beyond the paper and the client will have already seen your digital presence and some past work to have an understanding of your capabilities. If not, you’ll want to work hard to direct him or her to watch your reel and look through your work.You can also show expertise in conversation. Even if your client isn’t video savvy, don’t shy away from giving technical details on how you propose to shoot. They’re paying you for your knowledge base as much as they are your time and equipment.3. Build a Clear and Detailed ProposalImage via ShutterstockIf at all possible, try to give your pitch in person. If not a formal presentation pitch, at least meet to shake hands or have a coffee to discuss the project in person. Whatever you can do to connect your face and brand to your proposal will make it that much harder to ignore or throw it away.That being said, your proposal should be thorough and detailed enough to give your whole pitch for you. Here’s a checklist of what to include.Project Name — Give the project a short but precise name to distinguish it clearly for both ends.Intro — Give a clear overview (as best you understand) of the project, which hits on its solid value proposition and how you are uniquely qualified to shoot it.Portfolio/Resume — Share your history, reel(s) and any specific projects that are similar to the proposed videoScope of Work — It’s important to be upfront and as clear as possible about what you perceive the scope of work to be. This will save you down the line from being asked to do more than you were expecting. If the project is open-ended in nature, give specifics on how additional work will be handled and is expected to be requested.Timeline — Build out a production timeline based on any discussed dates and what you know to be doable and ideal. If it has yet to be discussed, this is a great way to get the ball rolling on scheduling shoot dates and deliverables.Deliverables — Same as with the scope, clearly define exactly what will be delivered and when. Include options for additional deliverables if needed and define what they will add to the overall cost.Line Item — If possible, give a line-item breakdown for all aspects of production. Be sure to include your time in pre-production and in post.Travel/Accommodations/Per Diem — If the shoot requires travel, be sure to include projected travel and accommodation costs.Agreement Signatures — If you’re looking to close (and you should always be closing), include lines for both parties to sign and date. Include any caveats about how you expect payment(s) and when. Have any other tips for pitching corporate videos? Share them below!
If you’re in the world of video production, you’ll likely shoot a few product videos at some point. Here are a few DIY tips and tricks for getting them right.Top image via ShutterstockShooting a product demonstration video is a must for a company of any size. You can easily make a good-looking product demo — you just need to be aware of some of their pitfalls and keep a few DIY tools handy.1. CameraImage via BlackmagicAdmittedly, this first tip isn’t very DIY. But it’s important to find a camera that works well in most lighting and gives you flexibility over its settings (manual control over the shutter, aperture, etc.). HDMI out with live monitoring is a must if you’re working by yourself. Without it, you’re going to have a hard time judging exposure, focus, and framing while you or your hands are in the shot.Remember, HDMI out does not always mean live monitoring, so do your homework. Also, unless you want to take long breaks to recharge your battery, make sure the camera can record while charging. You might want multiple batteries ready to go as well.While the URSA Mini pictured above is a little more costly, here’s a great post from Caleb Ward featuring cameras under $1000 that offer flexibility on a budget. Okay, now onto the DIY stuff!2. TripodImage via ShutterstockHave you ever tried to do an overhead shot with a normal tripod? Overhead shots can be a complete nightmare without the proper equipment. If you don’t want to splurge on a tripod arm attachment, you can rig up a monopod on a boom stand with gaff tape. It helps if the monopod has a ball head to get the angle just right.Of course, this technique also depends on the weight of your camera. You can always get a few sandbags to stabilize the stand or find some other counter weight for the boom. This is a simple DIY solution, but there are some folks that have gone the extra mile, as demonstrated in this video from PetaPixel. 3. LightingImage via ShutterstockContinuous LED lighting that can change between tungsten and daylight AND has variable power is ideal, but can get expensive quickly. There are plenty of kits out there — but if you’re running low on funds, there is an easy DIY fix.Head over to your local hardware store and gather a variety of bulbs in different wattages and different color temperatures (incandescent to daylight) to make sure you have enough power and the right type of light for each shoot. You’ll also need to purchase at least two to four inexpensive clamp lights (size is up to you) and it never hurts to have extra clamps on hand. You can find a few more DIY lighting tips here.I also highly recommend using a soft box. Making your own is pretty simple and cheap, as seen below via Dustin McLeanJust make sure to test your lighting while you’re in the shot. There’s nothing worse than meticulously lighting your shot, then realizing you are casting a shadow.4. ReflectorsImage via ShutterstockReflectors are not that expensive, but if you need flexibility in size, there is an easy solution. White foam core reflects and diffuses well, can be cut to size, and can be clamped onto just about anything. Need silver or gold? I’ve seen some people use foil paper, but that gets wrinkled easily. Just buy up some plain silver and plain gold wrapping paper and tape it onto the cut-out foam board. Easy enough!5. Tabletops or DesktopsImage via Shutterstock It’s important to use a tabletop with a color that generally contrasts your product. Black on black is rough. We don’t all have the luxury of having different desktops or tabletops. In a pinch, you can buy an appropriate size poster board (black or white) that contrasts in color to your product (assuming you’re doing tight shots). You could also get a few pieces of plywood and stain them to get the look that you want.Every DIY solution will have some quirks. Once you figure them out, you can make great product videos on a budget easily!What are some quirks that you’ve had to work around during a shoot? Share your stories in the comments below.
If you work in video production long enough, negative feedback from clients is inevitable. Here are a few ways to handle the situation.Top image via ShutterstockIt should go without saying, but sometimes a reminder is helpful: Clients are not bad people. They just don’t always know as much as you do about video production and editing. It can be exceptionally frustrating to get feedback that’s critical of your work for seemingly unfounded reasons. Before you get into a fight that could damage your relationship, try some of these tips to get through the pain.1) Don’t Respond Right AwayTake a deep breath. Walk away from your computer and take a moment to yourself. If you have enough time, do an activity to take your mind away from the project. Go for a run. Play a game. Talk to a friend. Find some perspective that will help you disconnect your feelings toward the criticism from the job you need to do.2) Consolidate and Clean Up the CriticismsBefore you begin to respond, consolidate and clean up the criticisms as best you can. Once you have everything listed out, you can evaluate each criticism point by point. You may find that many of the criticisms are connected or based on the same point. You can also clean up the language to be more constructive than critical. It will help you moving forward.3) Make a PlanDon’t respond defensively. Respond proactively and propose a plan to make any necessary changes towards finishing the project. Cleary go over the consolidated criticisms, point by point, and what you can do to alleviate their concerns. Try not to be combative in your responses, and keep your points concise. If you find that hard to do, try this next step.4) Write an Angry Email (and Delete It)This is a historically tried-and-true method for working through frustration. Open a blank Word doc and write out how you really feel. How did the criticism make you feel? What would you really like to say about it? Get it all out. Once you’re satiated; delete it.5) Kill Them With PositivityWhen you finally do respond, put your energy into positivity. It may feel insincere, but it’s better than the alternative. Don’t let even the slightest hint of negativity creep in unless you’re looking for an argument. It will also have an effect on you. At the end of the day, all you can do is put your best foot forward. If someone is unwilling to work with you professionally on a project, you may need to reconsider working with them again.Here’s a sample template to use: Hope the above advice helps! Every client and every project will be different — as will be your relationships with them. If it’s work you care about, critical feedback will always be difficult to hear. But at the end of the day, it’s just part of the process of making things better.Have any other advice or techniques for handling criticism? Let us know in the comments!
NLEs generally operate similarly, but when it comes to captions, things change. Here’s what you need to know about creating subtitles in DaVinci Resolve.When it comes to working with captions, Adobe Premiere has a great built-in caption and subtitle feature, which we have already covered in depth (with a video tutorial) here. Resolve, on the other hand, well, I’ve already expressed my dismay about working with text in this article. For all the strides Resolve has been making, when it comes to using any form of text, the program lacks the finesse of Adobe’s applications.Unfortunately, at this moment in time, there’s no caption feature like we find in Premiere. However, with all the consistent updates and fixes we’re seeing, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw this feature sometime over the next year or two. But, using only what’s available now, let’s have a look at how you can create, import, and export subtitles in Resolve.Importing SubtitlesYou can import subtitles into Resolve; however, they must be in an FCPXML file format. To do this, select File > Import AAF, EDL, XML > select FCPXML File. The FCPXML file will import with the appropriate time code in and out points and text formatting. The problem is that many use the SRT format for subtitles, and unlike Premiere, which allows you to import an SRT subtitle file, Resolve doesn’t accept it. Therefore, if you are working with an SRT file, we have to jump ship and use a different tool.SubSimple, is an online tool from Resolver.tools that allows you to convert an SRT subtitle file into an FCPXML. The online tool is incredibly simple to use. You just input your timeline’s FPS and upload the SRT file for conversion. There is also a downloadable software version of SubSimple, which costs $29. It offers a batch-run function and, of course, runs offline.Creating SubtitlesCreating subtitles in Resolve is similar to creating a text title. In fact, it’s actually the same process. You drag a Text Title/Generator from the effects library onto an empty track and customize the text in the inspector. There are, of course, guidelines for creating subtitles for broadcast, so it’s always best to check with the client for the intended output before you begin working.When you need to change the text of the subtitle layer, instead of implementing a new text layer, simply use the blade tool (B) to splice the text layer and adjust as needed. When you use the blade tool on a text layer, like any media file, Resolve sees it as a new clip separate from the original clip. To simplify the alignment of the text, make sure you have the audio waveform ticked in the timeline options and the audio track height set to its highest. It’s easier to arrange the subtitles to the audio’s waveform than the video itself.ExportingThere’s no “one-click export subtitle” button. Instead, to export, first, create a copy of your working timeline and rename it to avoid confusion.Delete all the media except for the subtitle track, and then go to file > export AAF, XML, and then select the appropriate FCPXML type. If you need to convert the FCPXML file to an SRT file, SubSimple can do it for you.Lewis McGregor is a certified BlackMagic Design DaVinci Resolve trainer.Looking for more information on Resolve? Check out these articles.A Look At Resolve’s New Node Graph FeatureCheck Out the Latest Developments in Resolve 14.1 and 14.2How To Create A Sub Mix In DaVinci Resolve 14 – Video TutorialResolve 14’s Best Editing Features For The Online Content CreatorHow to Create a Realistic Lens Flare in DaVinci Resolve
Thinking of making a feature film? Here are 5 things every filmmaker should know before diving in to a big film or video project.Back in 2015 I buckled down and created the most significant project I’ve ever made, Dead Rush. Dead Rush is a first-person (POV) zombie apocalypse feature entirely from the perspective of the main character. It’s sort of like a cinematic video game, only I did it on a shoestring budget. To say this process was overwhelming is an understatement. I was in way over my head, with little to no experience. On top of that, I didn’t have any advice from other filmmakers who’d already gone done this path.So for those of you, who are about to take on a heavyweight project — be it a feature, a short, or a music video — here are some words of advice I wish another experienced filmmaker had passed on to me. 1. Should It Be a Feature?Far too many filmmakers make a feature when it could have been a short. My best advice here is to determine the value of a feature vs. a short. Features are very taxing, and they’re large projects to tackle. They are fantastic calling cards, but be aware they can take over a year to make. Be prepared to put everything on the back burner and only focus on this one project.2. You Have Less Money Than You ThinkJust because the budget seems large in your bank account doesn’t mean you have a large budget to film with. The cash will break down faster than the process of making the film. Trust me. It would help if you designated dollars for pre-production, dollars for production, dollars for post-production, and (most importantly) dollars for promotion and distribution. Remember, what’s the point of putting in all the time and effort if no one is going to see your film? Having, money near the end of a project is just as important as having money at the beginning.3. Time Is the Most Important Tool on a Film SetTime is a priceless asset, and there’s never enough of it on a film set. You’re always rushing, and you’re limited and confined by available time. The best thing you can do to buy more time is plan. Pre-production is your best friend — spend lots of time with it. Rehearse, prep, storyboard, and know the ins and outs of your story before taking a step onto a set. This is a lifesaver.4. Favors Are Better than FortuneAs soon as you pay someone, you’re qualifying their skill with a dollar amount. If you don’t have any money, sometimes it’s better to ask the person for a favor than it is to pay them. If you can surround yourself with a team that is just as passionate about a project as you are, then they will prefer to put in the effort over getting a paycheck at the end.Essential tip: always value the effort a crew member goes to. If someone is doing it for free, appreciate their dedication and never take advantage of them. Their time is more valuable to them than it is to you.5. Be Ready for What Comes NextWhen I completed Dead Rush, the biggest mistake I made was not having another film ready. When it premiered at Canadian Film Fest, multiple companies approached me with a variety of offers to make another movie. The problem was that I didn’t have one. I had spent so much time in the clouds of my first feature that I didn’t even think about the potential for its success. My best advice is to be ready for what comes after — no matter what. If your film is a disaster, be ready; if it’s a success, be ready!All images via Zach Ramelan and Dead Rush.Interested in the music we used to make this video?“Inspiring Victory” by CymatixLooking for more video tutorials? Check these out.Video Tutorial: Using Audio to Drive Your Motion Graphics Video Tutorial: Create a Callout Graphic in Adobe After EffectsVideo Tutorial: How to Add Image Overlays to Premiere Pro ExportsVideo Tutorial: Which Frame Rate Should You Be Using?Video Editing 101: Using The J, K, and L Key Editing Shortcuts
From podcaster to videomaker — how can you use video in podcasts, what are some different video styles, and how can you stay ahead of the growing trend?The world of podcasting is nothing new to most content creators and industry professionals. Yet, heading into 2020, the numbers continue to trend upwards in about every distinction. According to research, in 2019, nearly twenty-two percent of Americans admit to listening to podcasts weekly, a number up from seventeen percent just the year before. That’s almost sixty-two million people in the U.S. streaming every week!For those in the film and video profession, these are numbers we simply can’t ignore. Traditionally, podcasts don’t feature video. Instead, they’re usually thought of as something you listen to. However, it might surprise you to learn that forty-nine percent (so just about half) of all podcast-listening happens at home, compared to only twenty-two percent in the car.As more and more podcasts spring up and find success, more and more of these podcasters are looking to video as both a way to stand out and as a way to increase revenue and followers, and expand their digital brands.The Different Video Podcast StylesImage by Branislav Nenin.Let’s start by taking a look at the different approaches you can take for video podcasts. These’ll vary for every podcast based on your audience and how you’d like to present yourself and your information. The goal with video is to provide relevant, helpful video information that simple audio lacks.PowerPoint StyleThis is probably the best option for the most traditional podcasters. If you already have a production workflow (or a backlog of recorded material), adding a straightforward PowerPoint video element is about as simple an approach as you can take. And, it’s not difficult.Think of approaching it as if you were giving a PowerPoint or pitch deck presentation, and you needed slides to go along with your script or speech. Whether you’re using simple images or text on screen, creating a podcast with visual elements to help illustrate your talking points can actually be quite powerful. Especially if you use some basic editing tips and tricks to add some animation and simple motion graphics.Livestream StyleAnother style, which many podcasters are quick to adapt for adding video, is the straightforward livestream approach. It can be as simple as setting up an affordable action camera — like a GoPro — in your recording space and capturing the entire podcast as a livestream. And, of course, you can livestream it!From Facebook to Vimeo to Twitch, livestreaming can be a great way to connect with your fans. And, in many instances, it gives you that video element you can upload after the fact for people to watch and listen to later.YouTube Vlog StyleAnd, if you want to go on the higher-production quality end, making those YouTube and vlog-style videos might be your best bet. I only say YouTube because there are so many famous YouTubers who are often basically doing a podcast setup — but focused on the video elements and on-camera performance.This style employs much more production time and editing, since you’ll often be setting multiple shots and splicing things together more tightly. But, it can also be much more lucrative, and the true next step in the video podcast game.What You Need to Record Video PodcastsIf you’ve already been working with podcasting, you should know a bit about audio recording and what types of microphones you need. For video (depending on your style), you can get away with anything from recording directly to a smartphone, laptop, or action camera, upwards to shooting on any level of digital camera.For those not too familiar with video, though, lighting is a chief concern. It’s important also to recognize that podcasts are generally long-form, stretching anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours.As outlined in this article, recording for long periods can be tricky for some cameras and setups. So, do your research before investing in a good camera for recording your podcasts.Editing Video PodcastsImage by spaxiax.The same is true with editing. As I mentioned above, even when working with the simplest PowerPoint styles, you’re still often going to be creating long videos. Long videos mean long uploading, rendering, and exporting times — as well as large files.You’ll quickly learn that in the world of video production, the editing process can last upwards of ten times longer than the actual filming. I’d suggest you start with shorter video podcasts at first, with basic edits. You can make things more sophisticated as you go on, but be prepared for a lot of lost time while waiting for exports. (And here’s a good article on staying productive during downtime.)Cover image by Dean Drobot.For more tips and tricks on audio and video recording, check out these articles.9 Things You Should Check Before Recording AudioThe Indie Filmmaker’s Guide to Recording AudioTutorial: Removing Audio Pops and Recording Audio DifferentlyGear Roundup: The Top Three Audio Recorders Under $300Recording Audio into Premiere Pro
You are never going to find your voice until you start exercising it.If you want to find your voice, you need to start talking. You need to start sharing what you know, what you believe, and what your experience has taught you. Until you start talking, until you start hear what comes out of your mouth, your heart, and your mind, you won’t know what’s really in there.I have seen dozens of people find their voice through Toastmasters. It awesome to see someone transform from quivering, fear-racked mortal to master and commander in the course of ten speeches. You can easily do the same.You will find your voice when you start writing. You have no idea how much you have buried deep in the crevices of your mind and even deeper in your gut. If you don’t write, you don’t really even know what you think. The act of writing sets your voice free. And it frees all the ideas, beliefs, and values you have trapped inside.You can start writing now. You don’t even have to write for someone; you can just write for yourself. Sit down with a blank screen and blinking cursor and tap on the keys. Write whatever comes into your mind. Don’t censor yourself. Write, and write, and write and you will find something inside you.If you want to find your voice, go looking for it by speaking and writing. I promise it’s in there, and it will reveal itself to you when you do the work. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
An MoU was signed between the State government and tribal representatives in Churachandpur district of Manipur on Wednesday, ending the impasse over the eight bodies that have been awaiting burial since September 2015. The bodies of the eight men, killed in police firing during a protest in 2015 against three anti-migrant Bills introduced by the State government, have been lying in the morgue for over 500 days. As per the new MoU, the government shall pay ₹10 lakh each to the nine bereaved families — one body had been claimed earlier. Government jobs will be provided to a member of each family while the injured persons would be given financial assistance. The eight bodies shall be claimed within May 25.The Manipur government was represented by Chief Secretary O. Nabakishore. Also present were representatives of the Joint Action Committee, formed by several tribal organisations. The organisations have been spearheading agitations demanding the scrapping of the three “anti-migrant” bills that had been introduced by the State government. The Congress government had passed the three Bills after a long agitation in Manipur during which one student was gunned down and many others sustained injuries. Tribals in Churachandpur district had launched agitations shortly after the three Bills were passed in the Assembly on August 31, 2015 terming them as “anti-tribal”. Nine persons had died during the protracted agitations. Houses and properties of the elected members were also burned down over accusations of being “silent spectators and doing nothing to protect the tribal rights”.Former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, the main architect of the anti-migrant Bills, had maintained that there is no word or clause which is against the tribals.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday met senior BJP leader L. K. Advani who is here to appear before a special CBI court in connection with a case relating to the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.The Chief Minister welcomed Mr. Advani with a bouquet of flowers as the former deputy prime minister stopped at the VVIP guest house before leaving for the special court. Mr. Adityanath was waiting at the guest house for Mr. Advani along with other state leaders.Later, the Chief Minister held a meeting with Mr. Advani and other senior leaders. Mr. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, and Union Minister Uma Bharti, are expected to appear before a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court later on Tuesday in the Babri Masjid demolition case.On May 25, the court summoned the leaders to appear before it in person on May 30 for the framing of charges against them. The BJP leaders had moved court seeking exemption from appearance but the court said they would be allowed no such relaxation.
The Zilla Mahila Chikithsalai (the district women’s health centre) in Saharanpur allegedly denied ambulance services on Wednesday to a pregnant woman undergoing severe labour pain, on the pretext that there was no fuel in the ambulance.The incident comes a day after a man in Kaushambi district was forced to carry the body of his niece on a bicycle for about 10 kilometres, after he was allegedly denied an ambulance by a government hospital.According to Monu Kumar, the husband of the pregnant woman, Rupa, there were four ambulances in the premises of the health centre but he was told that none of them would be available to him due to “lack of fuel”.“I admitted my wife here on Tuesday night when she began experiencing extreme labour pains. After a few hours, the doctor asked us to shift her to another hospital as they did not have an adequate stock of blood here. I kept calling 108, which is the number to get an ambulance, but there was no response. The hospital authorities told us that none of the four ambulances parked in their premises were fit for use due to lack of fuel,” Kumar told the media on Wednesday.Desperate to get an ambulance, Kumar even suggested to the driver of one of the ambulances that he would pay for fuel. “The driver said that it doesn’t work like that in a government establishment. Finally, after almost two hours, I managed to get a private vehicle to take my wife to another hospital,” Kumar said.The chief medical officer of Saharanpur, B.S. Sodi, has ordered a probe into the incident. “This is condemnable. I have ordered a probe to investigate why ambulances were not available, and how such a fuel crisis came about,” he told mediapersons on Wednesday.He added that when he enquired about the incident from the concerned officials, he was told that there were technical issues, such as fuel blockage and dysfunctional battery, due to which two of the four ambulances couldn’t function. The other two ambulances had already been booked for other patients.Terming the incident “unacceptable”, the Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh Siddharth Narayan Singh said, “The service providers of 108 need to understand the gravity of the issue. We will not tolerate any more carelessness by them. If the situation doesn’t improve soon, we will have to use the penal provisions in our contract with the ambulance service providers.”