The Very First Question …

Many companies embark on their innovation journey by creating an Innovation department, hire a new chief / geek to lead the team, renovate the office to make it cozy and colourful, employ a new design methodology etc. etc.

What we really shall do first however is to abandon things … aged old mindset, archaic thinking, obsoleted KPIs, and organizational red tape.

What’s your take ?

Fail Fast ?

“Fail fast and learn fast” may be true, but it’s a bit too cliche, isn’t it ?

Every product team says they shall ship quickly with a MVP, and it shall be a team culture where people have the freedom to fail, such that with each failure the team can learn something that enables success.

However, to encourage product team to try and learn, the key is not about failing fast but to fail (if you have to) with a minimal cost. So how can we lower the cost of failure ?

The answer is a combination of cloud based infrastructure, API / microservices technology, data sandbox, UI / UX prototyping tool, agile development, group of targeted beta testers, robust security framework and relevant KPIs.

Let’s fail fast, and learn faster.

Better Audio For Your WFH Video Conferencing – Part 2

As a follow up to the post about enhancing your video conferencing audio quality with 3.5 mm plug microphone, this post is about USB microphone.

The USB microphone used in this post is Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone. It’s compact, quality made and mount to the top of your laptop computer. Since it’s USB based, so this post will share what you need for your laptop (in this post, Macbook Pro) and mobile phone (iPhone), but not camera.

As both Macbook Pro and iPhone don’t have the full size USB port, so you need convertors to make it work.

For Macbook Pro, you need Apple USB-C to USB Adapter such that you can connect the cable comes with Samson Go Mic to your computer. However, for iPhone, you need another cable – Apple Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter. You can use this adapter to connect to iPhone, iPad in one end, and USB devices in the other end (For example, microphone, camera, electric organ etc.).

Here are some pictures of this set up.

Better Audio For Your WFH Video Conferencing – Part 1

Nowadays we do video conferencing all the time during Coronavirus lockdown with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex, Google Meet. You may wonder if it is possible to improve the audio quality during the conference meeting, if you’re not happy with your computer built-in microphone.

You can of course attach an external microphone to your computer, mobile phone and camera. This post shares how you can do it with your laptop computer (in this post, Macbook Pro), iPhone, DSLR camera (Olympus E-M1 Mark III) with an 3.5 mm external microphone. The next post will share with you how to do it with an USB based external microphone with your computer and mobile phone.

There are many good external microphone that makes use of the 3.5 mm plug. The one I show here is the BOYA BY-MM1 Shotgun Video Microphone. The BY-MM1 is compact, light weight and housed in aluminium. It also includes an anti-shock mount,which can effectively reduce unwanted vibration, cable and handling noise. Lastly, it includes a furry windproof shield, which specially used for minimizing the wind and environmental noise for outdoor recording.

To make it work with your computer, iPhone and Camera, there are some tricks however:

  1. For laptop, just plug in the cable comes with BOYA to the 3.5 mm plug of the computer. For some reasons, I tried both the TRS and TRRS cables with the microphone, both work perfectly.
  2. For iPhone, you however need Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter.
  3. One point to note for this computer and mobile phone set up if you want to use it to record audio, make sure you unplug the microphone then you can replay the audio clip with the built-in speaker. You can of course plug in your preferred headphone / earphone for that as well.
  4. For camera, also just plug in the cable to the 3.5 mm jack with the camera. However, since there is no battery with the microphone, you need to set up your camera to provide power to the microphone.

Here are some pictures of the microphone and setup !!

It’s Not Easy

Digital transformation is hard.

Even though one of the most popular answers in recent months to the question “Who led the digital transformation of your company ?” is “COVID-19”, the fact is it only moves the needle a little bit for most companies. Reasons being that they are still struggling with traditional KPIs, poor data, legacy processes, hiring freezes, budget cut, multi-level governance models etc. etc.

However, the hardest part is still the fact that most teams think or decide beforehand that transformation can’t be done.

No, with right people and right mindset, it can be done.

Give #digitaltransformation a chance.