ROI for IoT Part 1: Exploring the data generated by your connected product

The next big thing wouldn’t be the next big thing without some uncertainty about the value it brings to the world. Such is the case with the Internet of Things. If you’re reading this, by now you’ve most certainly heard some of the hype around the IoT and come across multiple predictions around the number of connected devices, positive economic impact, etc… There is no telling if/when these predictions will come to fruition, but I believe we can confidently say that the time is now to start to uncover how the IoT can apply to your business.

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Hackathon for Wildlife Generates Ten Innovative Concepts for Wildlife Conservation

After 36 hours of brainstorming, designing and coding, this Sunday night 10 teams presented concepts that harness the power of the latest technology to save our oldest heritage.           

From Saturday, November 14 through Sunday, November 15, more than 60 designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts designed up a storm in the Solstice headquarters in Chicago during the first Hackathon for Wildlife, a community event to utilize technology for wildlife conservation. Participants came in from places as far as Nairobi, Seattle, Boston and Washington, and committed their weekend to the cause.

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The magic behind Solstice's culture

Contributions to this blog were made by JJ Conoscenti, Product Analyst.

I started at Solstice about a year ago, and to be honest, the first week was a little overwhelming. After leaving a more traditional corporate culture, I was surprised by the complete difference I saw even in the first few days working here. There were no cubicles, everyone was in jeans, a Zumba class was being taught in the lunchroom, and people wore costumes to the office on Halloween. One of my coworkers was even dressed head-to-toe in a gorilla suit. It all seemed fun, but I really wondered how anything could get done here.

It didn’t take me long to realize though, that my new denim-clad coworkers were some of the smartest, most motivated, and happiest people I had ever met. Solstice is really special, and the more time I’ve spent here, the more I’ve been convinced of that. Read More

Member of the Solstice team wins Europe's largest Blockchain Hackathon

Solstice Mobile Enterprise Architect, Scott Hermes, was a member of a multi-national team which won 1st place entry in Europe's biggest Blockchain Hackathon in Dublin, Ireland November 6-8th! Organized by Chainsmiths, sponsors of the event included Fidelity, Deloitte, and Citi.

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Agile Lessons from PBS's Daniel Tiger

One lesson I’ve learned is that lessons are everywhere when I’m willing to look for them. An example is Daniel Tiger from PBS Kids, who has captured the attention of most small children under the age of 6. Daniel invites us to join him as he navigates school, explores the clock factory, learns how to play with friends and even welcomes a new sister. However, the four lessons below (and little ditties) are not just for little kids—these in particular have stuck with me as a Scrum Master on an agile team that is figuring out how to continually work well together.

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Employee Experience: The New HR

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Why "the compliment sandwich" tastes pretty bad

Contributions to this blog were made by David Pfeffer, UX Designer.

Feedback is crucial to the work we do at Solstice. Being designers, it’s all the more necessary to be able to express our thoughts. Why something is or isn’t working, what about it makes sense and what is a poor design decision. Through years of design training and business acumen we’ve all (read: not just designers) been taught that the best way to deliver feedback is through a method called "the compliment sandwich." The general idea of which is that you deliver positive feedback first, followed by negative, followed again by a positive. While this option may save some face, it typically fails to providing valuable, actionable comments.

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Are the 2015 Chicago Cubs the model organization for corporate culture?

The year was 2003 I was sitting in my dorm room watching the final game of the NLCS and the epic collapse of the Chicago Cubs after the infamous Bartman incident one game earlier. I was devastated, it felt like we had missed the only shot I would live to see at breaking the dreaded curse...there was no hope left. This feeling continued for the next 12 years. Yes we did have a few playoff seasons between then and now, but the team never felt the same. The Cubs became a revolving door for star players out of their prime and guys who didn’t want to play for their manager, the organization and most importantly for each other.

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A UX researcher's perspective on Lean UX

I got into an interesting discussion on LinkedIn the other day on the topic of statistically significant UX Research. If you’ve ever been in a pitch or kickoff meeting with me, you’ve doubtless heard me say that we don’t even attempt to conduct scientific, statistically significant research here at Solstice - we focus on Lean UX Research that allows us to understand general trends, user mental models, unmet needs, and opportunities so that we can apply empathy to our design work. But you’ve probably never heard me explain why statistically significant research is not appropriate for our work.

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4 ways FinTech is changing banking

It is no surprise that the banking industry is changing. The introduction of FinTech is definitely the biggest game changer the financial industry has seen in a long time. Banks are starting to close branches and embrace the digital/mobile world we live in today. Headlines have been highlighting the changes in the banking industry and some of the most thought-provoking quotes from articles include:

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