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How conversational commerce will change the shopping experience

Personal shoppers are only for the elite, right?

Imagine the VIP service a well-off customer gets in a luxury store. They get a personal shopper; let’s call him Pierre. Pierre helps find the perfect product for them. He lets them know when new items come in stock or when there’s a sale. Pierre calls when the item they ordered is shipped out. Pierre is there for everything that customer needs.

But let’s be honest. Most of us don’t get Pierre. Most of us can’t afford Pierre. To be more accurate, the stores can’t afford to give us such personalized service based on how much we’re spending.


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The Octane AI team on our retreat in Utah

How We Changed Our Team Forever By Flying To The Mountains

Team retreats are an incredible way to bring a company together. If you are an all-remote company, like we are at Octane AI, I would say they are even essential. I’m going to share why it’s important and some tips to having a great team retreat.

Why Have a Team Retreat?


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The secret to increasing productivity, work–life balance, and team happiness

This is a guide for people on remote teams or those considering it. Why go remote? What are the benefits and how do you overcome the downsides? Learn how remote life can make employees happier and more productive if done right. Avoid the common mistakes and learn best practices.

What Does It Mean to Work at an All-Remote Company?

Work-from-home policies and remote workers are becoming more and more common in tech. The next wave of workplace flexibility is all-remote companies where there is no headquarters or home office. If all we need is a laptop and internet, why should it matter if we are physically in an office?

“Last year, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely” — New York…


Your bot is live! Now it’s time to connect with people

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Don’t have an Octane AI bot for Messenger? Sign up free to start now!

You’ve got a bot! Now it’s time to get people to connect, and keep them engaged. Facebook Messenger already has 1.2 billion active users so your bot is a chance to engage with them. We see much higher click-through rates on Messenger than email or other marketing channels.

Share Your Bot — Everywhere

Most people won’t find your bot unless you tell them about it. Share it regularly everywhere your customers can be found — social media, Web pages, email, ads, everywhere.

  • Use Messenger codes. These are scannable circular images Facebook creates for you, which people can point their phone at to jump into a conversation with your bot. …


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Today I’m 30. Young enough to still talk with friends about how well we’re “adulting.” Old enough to have a real career and opinions about “kids these days,” including my own nieces and nephews, who use lip-syncing social networks I don’t understand.

Possibly as just a self-indulgence (so millennial of me, right?), but hopefully because it will be helpful or interesting to others, I am going to share 30 things I have learned to be true over the past 30 years.

On Startups

  1. Equity in an early-stage startup is always a gamble.


In November, I joined Octane AI to help build the future of bots. Four months have sped by and I believe now more than ever that bots are an incredibly powerful way to reach your audience. There are more people on Facebook Messenger than Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram combined, yet it’s amazing how few businesses are engaging them.

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A good open rate (i.e. how many people read your email) in an email newsletter is 30%. A good click rate (i.e. how many people clicked to see the thing you wanted them to see) is 5%. In Octane AI bots we’re seeing click rates of 40–70%. We’re seeing engagement rates (clicks or replies) of 50–90%. The numbers do the talking for us. …


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I‘m excited to share that today is my first day at General Catalyst-backed Octane AI as Head of Product.

Octane AI launched on November 2nd (CNN, TechCrunch, VentureBeat) with the mission of making bots (aka chatbots) easy to build and accessible for everyone. Their early launch partners include 50 Cent, Aerosmith, KISS, Magic Mike, and SPiN with Facebook Messenger bots. From the moment I tried the beta of the platform, I felt the potential of this idea and this business and I knew I had to be a part of it.

If you don’t know what a bot is, read The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Chatbots by Octane AI’s CEO Matt Schlicht or watch the video at the end of this article.


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Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned leading product at Octane AI and RebelMouse:

1. Start With Why

This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it’s amazing how often the “why” gets left behind in the quest for “we need to get this live now.” Even though it’s such a core component of how we think about product, there are still times where in our rush we don’t share it well enough.

If you hire smart engineers and you just ask them to do things without explaining why you:

  1. Risk demotivation because they don’t understand the value of the feature they’re working on. …


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I first did magic when I was eleven. I made a lemon dance across a screen. It looked effortless but it took me countless hours. I debated the lemon’s smile; I finagled the dancing animation; I almost quit, but I did it. I put it on my site and watched it dance.


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Credit: gratisography

Dear Men in Tech,

If you want to truly go above and beyond to become an advocate for women in tech, there are so many things you could do, such incredible differences you could make, but that is a different essay. Here I’m talking about easy things. Here are 5 ways you can help drive towards equality in tech, with barely any effort. Basically, as the advantaged majority, it’s really the least you can do. But I promise to still give you huge props for doing it.

“I’ll get it”. It’s all too common for the woman in the room to be asked to get coffee or water or pick up lunch. It’s usually done casually, even unintentionally, but all too often. Here’s a thank you to the guys who interrupt the ask to the only woman in the woman and say “I’ll get it.” It’s the easiest thing imaginable, yet it is little by little that change happens. …

About

Megan Berry

VP of Product @OctaneAI. Previously VP Product @RebelMouse, Community @Klout. Stanford grad.

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