The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS - Mormon).

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Innovator Summit - RootsTech 2015

Today I attended the Innovator Summit day of RootsTech 2015.   There were many sessions today; as the after lunch sessions were 30 minute classes. Here are some of my thoughts about each session that I attended. 

Innovator Summit General Session
Bruce Brand of FamilySearch announced that sometime in 2015 there would be a Family History Start Up Weekend.  I am excited about this.  I have always wanted to participate in one of these events and now there will be one on a subject with which I am deeply familiar.  To see more about what a Start Up Weekend entails, see:  "Start Up Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups!"  This all happens over 3 days … with basically NO SLEEP.  Not too excited about that part.

Photo from
Scott Sorensen of Ancestry commented that large organizations tend to struggle with innovation.  They are so big that they hinder the process of rapid response that innovation requires or they have to deliberately concentrate on innovation. 

Nathan Furr, author and professor of innovation and entrepreneurship asked "How Do We Manage the Uncertainty of Innovation?"  He shared with us the Innovator's Method: Insight, Problem, Solution, Business Model, Scale It.  And that we often get caught in common traps of missing the surprises, leaping to solutions, building end stage products, and maintaining old business models.  His research is interesting to me.  Check out his website:

I met a nice lady in this session, her name is Nancy Daniels and she is from Tennessee. We attended many of today's sessions together.

Becoming Investment Ready
This was a panel discussion of angel investors with interactive audience participation.  The questions were:
  1. Do investors want audacious ideas of specific market?
  2. What is the importance of unique technology to investors?
  3. What factors most influence investors?
  4. What do investors most what their money spent on?
I have the audience statistical responses and if anyone is really interested in this topic I will email it to you. I found the discussion very intriguing and thought it would apply to an idea that I have in another of my interests.

Innovator Challenge Semi-Final Round
While the audience ate box lunches, the 8 finalists presented short  5 minute overviews of their products. They were asked questions by a panel of judges.  Here is a list of the semi-finalist companies: The group is now down to 4 and on Friday the winner of the challenge will be selected. I am really intrigued by this company: I think they have a great concept and I am very interested in watching their company grow.  Check them out when you get a moment.

Kickstarter: Create the Future
This session was presented by Jimmy Zimmerman of FamilySearch and Mike Davis of StoryPress. I have recently backed a project on Kickstarter and am intrigued by the concept of crowd funding.  Here is the project I backed, if you are interested: The session today discussed making sure you plan a great PR and SMM campaign to go with the Kickstarter campaign and that sometimes Kickstarter is just a great place to test an idea before putting it into future development.  Success is related to the product and the persona of the presentation of the product.

From 20 to 1.5 Million Downloads - Audience Building Lessons for All Businesses
This session was presented by Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems.  You can check out her website here:  She said that to build an audience, you have to have a voice about something that matters to your audience.  She discussed 3 key areas to building an audience:
  1. Email: Newsletter
  2. Online: Podcasting, Blogging, YouTube
  3. Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

From Innovation to Strategy to Execution
Tyler Norton of Hero Partners presented this session.  You can check out his company at:  He discussed the 5 steps in turning a good idea into a thriving business.  Here are the 5 steps:
  1. Focus on Core Competencies (Innovation)
  2. Leverage Cores Into Products (Innovation)
  3. One Page 3 Year Strategic Plan (Strategy)
  4. Annual Operating Priorities (Execution)
  5. Quarterly Operating Priorities/Drivers (Execution)
I love strategy and execution.  I really like the concept that "you are not your product".

Market Your Business While You Sleep
Darin Adams from Infusionsoft discussed lifecycle and automated marketing.  He discussed 3 main key points:
  1. Attract: Who is your audience? What attracts their interest? Collecting Leads.
  2. Sell: Education is KEY - people buy when they are ready, not when you are ready. Make sure the offer is clear and concise and close the deal.
  3. Wow: Deliver and WOW the customer. Offer more. Get Referrals.
You can check out Darin's company at

Mega Trends In Tech
Greg Collier of FamilySearch shared some of the trends technology is experiencing: Crowd Sourcing, Big Data, Machine Learning, Transparent Computing, Mobile and Social.  In the next 5 years the entire world will be connected.  What does this mean for family history?  The pace of innovation is growing at an unprecedented rate.

#RootsTech #InnovatorSummit


  1. Amy,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Hi! This is Growth update: we had a little over 230 jobs yesterday, just 35 hours after launch! We encourage you to post and fulfill some jobs yourself at

  3. Hey Amy! Great article. It sounds like it was a fantastic event.

    Thanks for mentioning my Kickstarter.