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Think of a number but don't tell me.


Welcome to the Super Puzzle II, a fun and interactive way to learn more about me. Why about me? Actually it's not about me, but I'm the guinea pig here. The Super Puzzle II is an example of how you can use magic and a little creativity to get people to explore the nooks and crannies of your social business platform. For the sake of this experiment you will explore some of my digital properties, and in the process both learn more about me and help me guess that number that you just thought of.


So are you ready? You may want a piece of paper to jot some things down. Do you remember the number that you thought of? Any number will do but if you are not a fan of math perhaps keep it between zero and ten.


Please write down the number that you thought of.

Clue #1 - Vine

Vine is a handy little social tool that allows you to create and post very short looping videos. Everyone recognizes the value of refining your elevator pitch to something that is concise and effective, but can you get your pitch across within the six seconds of a Vine video? Click here to watch my Vine on innovation. To discover this clue subtract the numeral of the day I posted this Vine from the number of seconds I suggest for my innovation pitch.


Number of pitch seconds - Date of posting = Clue #1

Clue #2 - YouTube

I have created a number of apps, web apps and so forth but one of the coolest ones was my augmented reality hardware scanner. YouTube is a handy way to get your message across to audiences. Click here to watch my teaser clip about the Mobile Scan Book AR on youTube. Make a note of how long the movie says it takes to recognize a screw or a bolt.


Clue # 2 = # of seconds MSB AR takes to recognize an item

Clue # 3 -

A brand specific webpage is of course a great way to promote your product brand or service, or even yourself. Click here to visit my web page at Once there please find the download menu then open up my single page resume.

  • Add up the single digits in my cell phone number. The equation for my phone number aaa-bbb-cccc looks like this a+a+a+b+b+b+c+c+c+c ( __+__+__ )+ __+__+__ +__+__+__+__ = ____
  • Next add up the single digits of my house number ___ +___+___ = ____
  • Make a note of how many solutions appear in the management circle in the left hand graphical part of my resume.


To discover Clue # 3, divide the sum of my cell phone numerals by the sum of my house number numerals and then add the number of apps in the management circle to the result.

(sum of cell phone numerals ÷ sum of house number numerals) + # of solutions in management circle = Clue #3


Clue #4 - LinkedIN

I love publishing on LinkedIN. Click here to see all of my posts on LinkedIN, but for this clue click here for a specific article called Use yah blinka - A Massachusetts drivers guide to social business Please, read through the article and make a note of the route number mentioned in the section subtitled, The Boston Effect.


Route # mentioned in the Boston Effect section of Use ya blinka = Clue #4


Clue #5 -

In the video section of my webpage, there is a video about the time saving value of using social business instead of a traditional meeting. Click here to jump to the video section of my webpage, then choose the "Why use social business" video link in the green box on the right. Make a note of how many people Josh is trying to schedule a meeting with. (This clue does not include Josh, just the people he is trying to meet with )

# of people Josh is trying to schedule a meeting with = Clue #5

Clue #6 - is a nice casual networking and personal branding site. It's low key and less intense than LinkedIN and less overworked than Facebook. Click here to see my page. Look around as much as you would like but take note of how many linked social networks are indicated by icons on my page. They are all together and the should stand out. The first one is Twitter and the last one is FourSquare followed by a follow button.

# of social network icons on Josh's page = Clue #6


The magic

Take that number that you thought of earlier and subtract clue #1 from it.

Secret number - Clue #1

Multiply the result from above times clue #2

(Secret number - Clue #1) X Clue #2

Add clue #3 to the result from above.

((Secret number - Clue #1) X Clue #2) + Clue #3

Divide the result from above by clue #4

(((Secret number - Clue #1) X Clue #2) + Clue #3) ÷ Clue #4

Add clue #5 to the result from the equation above

((((Secret number - Clue #1) X Clue #2) + Clue #3) ÷ Clue #4) + Clue #5

Lastly divide the result from the previous equation by clue #6

(((((Secret number - Clue #1) X Clue #2) + Clue #3) ÷ Clue #4) + Clue #5) ÷ Clue #6

The number that you were thinking of is the result of this last step.

(((((Secret number - Clue #1) X Clue #2) + Clue #3) ÷ Clue #4) + Clue #5) ÷ Clue #6) = Your Number

(if you came up with a different number click here to check your work)


By magic I guessed the number that you were thinking of, and yet along the way you explored

  • my Vine account
  • my YouTube account
  • my personal webpage
  • my LinkedIN account plus my published articles
  • my personal web page videos section
  • my account

You were exposed to six parts of my personal brand in a fun and unobtrusive way. In the original version, the SuperPuzzle exposed explorers to 18 parts of a social business platform. By applying this same type of learning vehicle to your social business platform, you can make it easy and enjoyable for both new users and super users to dig into your solution. With the scariness of trying something new removed from the equation, transforming these visitors to active participants will be immeasurably easier.


Please let me know if you enjoyed this way of helping folks explore their social business and collaborative platforms below in the comments.


If you missed part one of this discussion, please click here to review the original article.


It's a new year and whether you have a new social business platform right out of the box or something established that is struggling with widespread engagement, using a little magic might help bring more of your audience on board.


Social business can be a tough sell to some audiences, and while I firmly believe that it is the future of work I can understand some skepticism.  Traditionally we try to present the features and benefits of social business to our teams which can sometimes backfire, turning people off to our platforms before they let it work for them.  Easing our teams into a new platform and a new business model at the same time can be tricky because it's different and unknown.


Everyone loves magic.  The best magic is enjoyable by skeptics and believers alike. Unbelievers spend their time trying to figure out the trick while others just take it all in, either way a magic show can be enticing. Integrating magic and illusion into your business related storytelling can be very effective.  Great examples include any presentation by Marco Tempest on or this presentation in Stockholm


A couple of years ago I used magic to encourage community members, both new visitors and experienced super users, to explore our social business platform inside and out.  Each visitor was invited to pick a number at random which we would run through an equation.  At the end I promised that I would be able to guess the answer.


It's a simple yet amazing model.  Community members were invited to participate in the SuperPuzzle via email. Visitors were linked to a worksheet, which they needed before proceeding. Another link in the email brought users to the first page in the process where they were asked to think of a number.  They wrote that number down on their worksheet and continued to follow the directions.  Visitors traveled via links throughout blogs, wikis, files, forums and profiles.  Some spots included mini puzzles that yielded clues while others included some informational text about that piece of the social business platform. On the last page of the puzzle, we did some math with the numbers on the worksheet then I asked them to click to the answer page.  On the answer page I would present users with the result of their previous equations which you will remember included a random number that they added to the equation.



The answer is formed by a seemingly unrelated set of equations and a little algebra.  You can see different version of this trick here, here and here.

The fun part was that all users got to explore our social platform without any expectations and they each left with experiences of the nooks and crannies of our collaborative environment.  Going forward, the obstacle of trying something new had been broken down and each player was at least a little comfortable with parts of their new social toolbox.



Because seeing is believing, I will present the #SuperPuzzle2 out here in the wild so each of you can play around with the playful way to invite folks to explore, different social tools and platforms, on Tuesday February 17th 2015.  A link to the start page will be presented here on my blog, via Twitter (@XstGardens), LinkedIN, Facebook and so forth.  I look forward to your participation, please be sure to share your thoughts about this idea and the actual #SuperPuzzle2 in the comments below.


The Super Puzzle II is now posted here ----> Magical social exploration via the Super Puzzle II

Every year around Valentines Day you want to find a way to reach out to your peers and make them smile but not in a creepy or HR inappropriate sort of way.

Problem solved.

Use the links below to bring send any of seven different Valentines Day ecards to your friends and peers.  Make them smile and realize that you appreciate your friendship and great work, at work. You can't add any messaging, only to and from info will appear to ensure content remains acceptable.

(I don't track anything with these web apps so there is no disclaimer.  We will delete any and all entered data by the end of February.  Just enjoy these tools and have some fun)

Click here for my Valentines Day web app.

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Save this web app to your mobile desktop and the icon above will appear and you can send some eValentines while on the train, not paying attention in a meeting or where ever.


You can also embed these cards in your favorite social business platform including IBM Connections, JIVE, and Salesforce.


Click here to send the Calvin & Hobbes style Valentine.

Embed code for Calvin & Hobbes eValentine



Click here to send the GR8 Job Valentine.

Embed code for GR8 Job eValentine


Click here to send the Heart Work Valentine.

Embed code for Heart Work eValentine

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Click here to send the Roses Are Red Valentine.

Embed code for Roses are Red eValentine

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Click here to send the Star Wars Valentine.

Embed code for Star Wars eValentine


Click here to send the Star Trek Valentine.

Embed code for Star Trek eValentine


Click here to send the Boston Valentine.

Embed code for Boston Style eValentine


Contact Josh for more info, thoughts and ideas for future stuff.

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Hi all


Please join me for another #socbiz experiment with #DitchMyEmail 2015. In this social experiment try to use only social business to communicate with your peers for an entire month.  Log your experiences with a little web app that I made. has details, links to a paper log, and images to help promote this experiment.


Please share this around with your social peers, friends and neighbors.


Happy 2015




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(as originally posted here)


After an amazing Christmas in 2014, North Pole Industries International Holding Corp dba Santa Claus, seeks to raise our operational and collaborative level of excellence for 2015. Please find below our Request for Proposal for social business solutions for our enterprise.

Organization Overview
Our multinational organization served about 1.9 billion children in 2014. We partner with approximately 3.8 billion independent contractors in the field. Our manufacturing facilities employ roughly 1 billion specialists, artisans and managers many of whom are over a century old. We operate a single delivery vehicle operated annually by our CEO and a stable of 19 front line reindeer. We look forward to modernizing operations to leverage technology efficiencies without losing Christmas spirit

Project Goals

  • Streamline communications between customers, contractors and staff. Reduce paper mail and email
  • Replace antiquated “naughty or nice” list with integrated CRM system (badges?)
  • Mobile management of product pipeline
  • Cross generational knowledge management system
  • Operational tools to support and enhance elf engagement beyond unlimited hot chocolate and candy canes.
  • Delivery routing system enhancements (integrated)

Project Requirements

  • Our teams reflect a broad range of ages cultures and languages, for this reason any proposed solution must be easier to figure out than setting the digital clock on a VCR.
  • All proposed systems must be able to operate in a networked environment, in the cloud and or in stand alone mode as global weather changes often challenge connectivity in our primary operational area.
  • Solutions must be accessible by desktop, mobile, tablet and sleigh environments

Proposal Contacts

Please complete the form below to submit your initial RFP overview and contact information.  Once submitted we will link you to our official RFP portal for further follow up by your organization.  Click here for the RFP initial submission form

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