In fall 2012, Women in Mining had a fundraiser for their flagship event of the year: the CIBC Run for the Cure. The fundraiser was a foosball tournament at Subeez Café where the winner got to literally keep the table. After several rounds of competition, Visual Capitalist emerged the winner of a brand new foosball table.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Women in Mining tweeted me to let me know that there was an air hockey tournament fundraiser and we would have the opportunity to “defend our title”. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it so we had to send some depth players from our roster.
Rob Fuhrman and James Fraser, our two analysts, searched all around Vancouver for an air hockey table to practice on the night before. After sprawling through Chinatown and Gastown, they finally came across a shoddy, poor-excuse-for-a-table in the wee hours of the morning. They rocked the dive bar table for an hour or two – but that was enough practice. They were ready for the big show.
At Joe’s Apartment, our team went through some early adversity. James struggled in his opening round with a tough 4-3 loss.
Shortly after, Rob summoned all his experience from the old university days to soar past the competition with a 4-0 shutout. Confidence riding high, Rob continued his streak to a perfect record and cemented a place in VC folklore.
We would like to thank Women in Mining for giving us such great opportunities to participate. We congratulate them on raising money for breast cancer research and wish them the best. We’ll be at all future fundraisers for sure!
With VC winning two straight “championships” – we challenge other teams in the mining and finance scene to take us on. Whether it is air hockey, foosball, or any other bar sport, we promise some stiff competition. (For “actual sports” like hockey and golf, we make no such guarantees!)
As one of Vancouver’s most unique and successful startups, we take great pride in our competitive spirit and youthfulness. That is a big part of our culture and I think it makes us one of a kind in the mining scene.
It’s something that is necessary. That’s because, at Visual Capitalist, we are about innovation and challenging the “status quo” of how information is presented to investors. Over the next month I think you’ll agree – we have several big announcements and surprises leading up to the Cambridge World Resource Investment Conference at the end of May.
For the third year in a row, Visual Capitalist will be attending the PDAC Tweetup in Toronto on March 4th from 3:00pm – 4:30pm at Jack Astors.
Here are our Top 5 Reasons to go!
5. When the Tweetup started in 2011, social media was relatively new to the PDAC scene. Now, there are 1.1 billion active Facebook users and more than 200 million active Twitter users. Over this time, social media has become an integral part of how investors find information.
4. Meet great people that you socialize with every day through social media. Twitter can be the great start to personal relationships.
3. Strengthen relationships. People that know you personally will be better advocates for you and your brands.
2. Gaining knowledge. Some of the best people in the industry will be at this event, and they can help you learn about building your social media following!
1. There’s no agenda. It’s not about making a sale or telling people about your new discovery – it’s about putting a face on people and having fun.
Hashtags: #PDAC2013 for conference, #PDACTweetup for the specific event.
Last week, Visual Capitalist had its first ever hackathon to conceptualize and complete an investing related infographic in one day. In this post, we’ll quickly sum up the day and also interview Nick Routley, the Creative Director.
In the early morning, each team member came to the meeting with at least one idea we could use. We combined these with the ideas from social media and engaged in an in-depth discussion. After discussing at least 15 ideas, we shortlisted the top five:
- -Summarizing the biggest three factors that prevented risk capital from entering the market
- -Comparing and contrasting gold, silver, and platinum and their properties
- -The rising costs of mining
- -The debate on Keystone XL (we know Obama would be making decision soon)
- -North American dependency on foreign resources
In the end, we chose none of the above. Late in the game we had the idea of combining some of our other concepts together into the Top 5 ways that we are unconventionally getting minerals. Those include: moon mining, asteroid mining, deep sea mining, nuclear waste re-processing, and raiding shipwrecks.
The Starting Point
The research and design teams broke off. The research team started by narrowing down the information and copy. Meanwhile, knowing that there were going to be certain graphic assets that we needed, the design team went to work.
Here, Nick Routley, outlines the concept after the first hour of work.
Leading up to the hackathan, we got many ideas and thoughts from people via social media. During the day, we also used it to do some due diligence with some of our followers who know much about geology and investing.
Here’s some of the ideas leading up to the event:
The Finish Line
After just over 14 hours of collaboration, we completed an entire infographic from idea to final product. To see the final product, click here.
The next day, our newest intern Lea interviewed Nick Routley about the process:
Lea: What were your expectations about the first Visual Capitalist hackathon?
Nick: I was hoping that we could put together an infographic that was good in its own right. We didn’t want to rely on the novelty of creating it in such a short timeframe.
Lea: Were those expectations achieved?
Nick: Yes. We’re all proud of the results. We ended up coming up with some surprisingly good stats.
Lea: You didn’t have a lot of time to create the structure and the design of the infographic. Did you have “creative pressure” because of the immediate timeframe?
Nick: Absolutely. It was especially tricky toward the end when we were getting fatigued. Luckily, we chose a structure that was fairly easy to plan out from the beginning, so there were no curve balls at the end.
Lea: What was the most difficult thing about the creation of this particular infographic?
Nick: Ensuring that we had solid sources for the information going into the infographic. It doesn’t matter how good the illustrations are – weak or incorrect information would sink the project.
Lea: What was the best thing about the whole project?
Nick: Throwing routine out the window. Often, we fall into established patterns at work, and that’s an innovation killer. I learned some valuable lessons about collaboration and workflow from doing the hackathon.
Lea: What’s the message behind the first hackathon infographic?
Nick: This piece is another way to place mining into the mainstream conversation while highlighting human ingenuity. The average person doesn’t know a whole lot about the industry. We find this a little disconcerting considering natural resources are literally what all our possessions are made of. The fact that we have people planning to mine asteroids or go miles under the sea to get tomorrow’s resources is simply amazing.
The live blog feed for the day of the Hackathon.
Some of the images our designers used for inspiration on Pinterest.
Sometimes you just need a design break. Here’s our two designers foosballin’.
Posts are sorted chronologically. The latest post will always be at the top.
10:27 PM The project is now finished, and now it is time to hit the hay. After over 14 hours of straight work by team, we researched, designed, and completed an infographic in a day. We’re going to do one more fact check tomorrow and touch up a couple things, and it should be good to release. We’ll follow up on everything with a blog post later this week.
6:12 PM It’s been a long day, but things are starting to come together. Here’s a photo of a section starting to look complete.
We’ve completed 90% of research and are currently revising copy so that it flows and is easy-to-understand. Also, the beers have been starting to crack open so hopefully that doesn’t hurt our productivity too much.
2:43 PM We’ve completed initial research on almost every topic except the deep sea mining. Because it is at the bottom of the graphic, it is the least priority for now. We’re trying to think of a system to unify the information so they can all be judged on the same scales for cost, riskiness, etc. The graphics team is well underway and doing most of the illustrations from scratch. As of now, they’ve been working on all the things they know will be in the infographic, such as shipwrecks, asteroids, the moon, and a nuclear power plant.
12:17 PM: The infographic is under progress. Here is Nick Routley, Visual Capitalist’s creative director, with an update:
We’ve also started a Pinterest board for those interested, where the graphics team is documenting their inspiration.
9:56 AM: After an intense hour and a half long discussion, we’ve finally decided on a topic to do for the hackathon. Here were our ideas that we chose from. Some were from social media and some were our own suggestions.
In the end, we decided to combine a few ideas into something really fun. Our topic is officially: ”The Next Frontier of Mining”, and we will cover the Top 5 Unconventional Sources for Minerals. Initially, we suspect they are: asteroid mining, moon mining, PGM recovery from nuclear waste, deep sea mining, and diving for precious metals at shipwrecks. We chose this topic because the visuals will be stunning, it is relatively straightforward, and it should be an interesting topic for people. What do you think? Are there sources of minerals that are more unconventional that we are missing? Let us know at @VisualCap on Twitter or post here in the blog.
On Tuesday, February 19th, Visual Capitalist is completing its first ever hackathon. We will have live updates on the blog as well as updates via Facebook and Twitter (#VCHack). What is a “hackathon” you ask? See below for more information on what it is and how to join in on the fun.
What is a hackathon?
A “hackathon” was popularized by Facebook programmers in 2007. It was during this time that they had so many Facebook feature ideas, but not enough time to program and implement them. As a result, programmers started getting together and having marathon sessions where they focused on a single concept and worked through the day and night to complete the project. These projects would often be fun or exploratory – for example the “Like” button was developed via hackathon.
Why is Visual Capitalist doing one?
Like Facebook, we often find that we have many ideas relevant to global commodities and investing that we want to explore. Most of the time, however, we are so pre-occupied with our regular work, that we don’t often get to explore these concepts. A hackathon will help us focus on one idea and put the pressure on to follow through with execution.
How does it work?
1. On hackathon day, all Visual Capitalist employees meet early in the morning. Each employee pitches an idea for an infographic.
2. We pick an idea, and execute it. In this case, we will be trying to complete an entire infographic by the end of the day/night.
3. Most importantly – no one can work on projects that are a part of our routine work flow. This means everyone is focusing on the SAME project – the hackathon infographic.
4. For our hackathon, we will be providing updates throughout the entire day via social media, live blog feed, photos, and videos. This gives our community behind-the-scenes coverage of how we go from idea to execution with a project.
How do I get involved?
We want your feedback in real-time! We will be posting live updates of the event on our blog as well as keeping people posted via social media. We want to show off our ideas, post photos of our sketches, give you opportunities to meet our team, and give you the feeling of being behind the scenes.
We will be using the Twitter hashtag: #VCHack – join in on the discussion!
To see what we’re up to, here are some relevant links to our social media:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/VisualCap (@VisualCap)
Visual Capitalist, a leading online investor resource, is looking to add a lead research analyst to its Vancouver team. The Lead Research Analyst’s chief responsibility will be in providing in-depth, insightful, proprietary research on mining markets with a focus on precious metals.
The successful candidate is well-rounded and experienced with an excellent understanding of precious metals markets, economics, commodities, and junior and mid-cap equities. Our ideal candidate is a curious self-starter that can help orientate our research to provide original, actionable, and insightful precious metals content for investors.
- Fundamental analysis
- Ability to identify trends
- Quantitative analysis
- Financial analysis
- Company valuation
- Written and verbal communication
- Problem solving
- Foosball (Preferred – can you teach us a thing or two?)
- Attention to detail
- A post-secondary degree in finance, economics, or financial designation is preferred.
- At least 5 years of experience in capital markets
- Comprehensive experience and understanding of mining and exploration markets
About Visual Capitalist:
Visual Capitalist believes that exceptional visual media has the power to transform how investors learn and share information. By using groundbreaking data visualizations and infographics, Visual Capitalist creates educational and insightful content on commodities and investing.
Send an e-mail outlining your experience and qualifications to info (at) visualcapitalist.com. In the e-mail, please outline your research philosophy and provide an example of your past work and/or publications.
Visual Capitalist, a leading online investor content provider, is looking to add a budding communications and research specialist to its Vancouver team.
The successful candidate will be responsible for contributing to the company’s growth by helping to research, organize, publish, and distribute our content. This encompasses many marketing roles such as managing our social media, e-mail distribution, and media network. It also means ground-level research on resource investing topics and working with our graphics team to ensure that the messaging is on track.
- A quick learner
- Written and oral communication
- Compiling and sourcing research
- Mailchimp and e-mail list management
- Social media management
- Publishing with WordPress
- Foosball (High preference to those who can teach us a thing or two…)
- A post-secondary degree in marketing or communications is preferred
- Open to learning more about commodities, financial markets, and mining exploration.
About Visual Capitalist:
Visual Capitalist believes that exceptional visuals have the power to transform how investors learn and share information. By using groundbreaking data visualizations and infographics, Visual Capitalist creates educational and insightful content on commodities and investing.
While this position starts as relatively entry level, we are hoping the successful candidate can grow with our company. Let’s do beautiful things together. E-mail us your CV and a cover letter – and don’t be afraid to get creative and impress us. info (at) visualcapitalist.com
One week ago today, Visual Capitalist perpetrated the largest heist a Cambridge House Investment Conference has ever seen. At the VRIC 2013, we hid over $2000 of silver bullion – that’s 70 ounces – and stole the show. Thanks again to Endeavour Silver for providing the loot! If you’d like to learn more about silver, check out the VC Silver Series.
More than half (40 ounces) of the silver was hidden in individual ounces, wrapped in black paper adorned with a VC Sticker. We used adhesives to literally ‘stick’ these little packages around the show.
Some were hidden out in the open:
Others though were downright devious:
If you found any of these hidden silver ounces, congratulations! You are one of a select few.
The other 30 ounces, or the Motherlode, were a lot harder to get your hands on – during the week leading up to the show, we put together a scavenger hunt. The fastest conference goer to complete it would win the entire 30 ounce prize – worth almost $1000.
The conference goers that were hunting for the Motherlode arrived at our booth at 11:30 Monday morning and received their list of clues. To win the silver, they would have to solve four riddles of increasing difficulty.
Here they are:
Here are the answers:
Clue One: 8 consecutive years – here’s the relevant news release on Endeavour Silver’s site.
Clue Two: N – Visual Capitalist sponsored Workshop 5, and if you had walked by you surely would have noticed the giant VC logo on the Workshop 5 banner. SeaN Brodrick spoke at 11:00 AM on Monday in Workshop 5.
Clue Three: B – You either found this clue very difficult, or surprisingly easy. At the conference, VC was handing out “infographic pens”. Don’t believe us? Check out them out:
How does all this relate to Clue 3? Well if you look closely at the picture of the pen above, you can see the mystery man sitting right there in the infographic. His name in is “Investor Brimley”. Check out the web version too!
Funnily enough, we handed out these infographic pens out with EACH and EVERY clue sheet. If you didn’t manage to solve this clue, get ready to kick yourself, because the answer was literally in the palm of your hand.
Once you had the code 8 – N – B, you needed the answer key to decrypt it. To find the key, you had to solve one last clue, which was:
The last two lines are easy. Anybody who has read our infographic The History of Silver knows that it’s the most reflective metal on the planet.
The first two lines are what really stumped people. Hiding in plain sight? And what’s with the hat?
Unbeknownst to the participants, VC’s own graphic designer Mike Cheal was wandering around the conference wearing a white fedora and flipping a large silver ounce. If any of you had spotted him and put two and two together, he would have provided you with the decryption key.
With this key, the code 8 – N – B becomes the phrase that pays: “Stack My Silver”.
At approximately 12:00 PM, half an hour after the hunt began, Chris Huot from Tourism BC cracked the key and won himself 30 ounces of silver. Not too bad for a Monday!
We had originally planned on raising helium-filled balloons into the air above our booth to let everyone know that the Motherlode had been won – unfortunately, the Vancouver Convention Centre had other ideas. Before we would be allowed to do this, we would have to sign a “Balloon Retrieval Waiver Form.”
If one of the balloons had gotten loose and risen to the ceiling, we would have pay up to $1500 for the cost of retrieval. This made us think twice…
We had a great time and fantastic conference – we really hope you all enjoyed searching for silver, and if you have any suggestions on how we can “up the ante” next year, let us know!
The market works in beautiful and strange ways. Every time we find resource stocks down, we come up with a new reason as to why things won’t recover. And every time we’re wrong.
This graphic, borrowed from Trustable Gold, reminds me that today the smart people are likely buying proven assets that are battered down to half price. Even though it seems like there may not be an imminent recovery – that’s how these things tend to work. If it were obvious that global growth was imminent, everyone would be buying.
I figure we are between the “Disinterest” and “Uncertainty” phases. Any other opinions?
I was celebrating my birthday in late October with friends from the Vancouver resource investing community at the St. Regis Bar & Grill on Dunsmuir. Among the friendly drinks and shenanigans, a potentially life-changing experience surfaced: the chance to visit a remote community in Northern Argentina developed by legendary investor and best-selling author Doug Casey.
Paul Gill, CEO of Lomiko Metals, mentioned to me that he turned down the trip to visit Casey’s community in order to attend a show in Munich. I immediately jumped on the opportunity – a couple of e-mails later with the event team, and I was in.
La Estancia de Cafayate (pronounced “kaf-a-ja-tae”) is a 550 hectare wine and sporting estate located in the Salta province in Northern Argentina. The community has 360 home sites, an 18 hole golf course, about 200 hectares of wineries, an athletic club and spa, a polo field, and much more under development. La Estancia is next to the town of Cafayate– a small wine hub with 10,000 residents.
The event, called “Cafayate Adventure”, was intended to showcase the lifestyle of the community to interested outsiders. There were roughly 80 attendees to the event from around the world. They had professions ranging from doctor to Gary Busey doppelganger – but I’ll get to that later. One thing they all had in common was that they follow Casey Research, a prominent investing and geo-political publication. Naturally, such talk was a recurring theme of the event especially with the US Election going on. Let’s just say that I learned and argued my fair share.
In this post, I want to tell you about the highlights of the event as well as share some pictures I took.
It all starts with the food and wine. In Argentina, as you imagine, this means asado (traditional Argentine barbecue of a multitude of meats) and malbec. While I did have my fill of malbec in Buenos Aires, the wine that really stood out in Cafayate was torrentés. In fact, the area is the most prolific torrentés producer in the world. With vines all throughout La Estancia, there was definitely no shortage of wine to be poured in my glass at every venue.
On the first day of the conference, we had an asado lunch with Doug Casey at a gorgeous estate just outside the town. As they brought along an array of meats and grilled vegetables, most of the conversation was focused on the results of the US Election that would be coming in later that day. Even though most of the people at the event were libertarian (of some form), it seemed people were generally Romney-leaning. On that note, I took very much pleasure in my Nate Silver copycat prediction that Obama would win the election by a “decisive (but not landslide) victory”. While I received much flak at the table, later that night I was easily vindicated.
The next day following the election, I took advantage of the amazing spa facilities and then made my way down to the al fresco lunch in the middle of a beautiful vineyard. The winemaker paired torrents, malbec (rose), and malbec with three different plates. Later, we went on a tour of some of the homes already built on the estate.
The third day was probably the most interesting. The morning featured a “Living in Argentina” workshop where all questions on La Estancia, Cafayate, and Argentina were answered. Probably the most entertaining talk was on the Argentina Peso. One interesting workaround: by setting up a brokerage account and buying Pesos indirectly (through bonds), you could get about a 40% better exchange rate than the official rate. Also interesting talk: how Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is likely to blow up the country’s currency again similar to what happened in 2001. If this happened, these expats living in Cafayate would likely get even better value for their US and Canadian Dollars.
I made it onto the golf course that afternoon and got destroyed by treacherous afternoon winds. After cleaning the dust out of my eyes at the spa, I made it to the most anticipated event of the week: The Casey Research Conference. There we were delighted to hear Doug Casey, Frank Trotter (President of Everbank Direct), Dominick Graziano (Technical analyst), Terry Coxon (Passport Financial), and David Galland (Managing Director of Casey Research) up close and personal.
Frank Trotter covered the global economic situation and highlighted what he thought were the safest currencies to store wealth in. Dominick Graziano focused on using technical, visual analysis for stocks. Terry Coxon showed how offshore International Trusts could preserve wealth, and the Casey team took a broad approach touching on politics, philosophy, wealth, and economics. Afterwards, I ran into Doug at a cocktail reception and had the chance to talk to him extensively. It turns out that he is, in fact, a fan of Visual Capitalist! We also talked about the golf course even though he claims that he is not “old enough to take up golfing yet.”
On the last day, I squeezed in a final round of golf with two Dutch guys, Theo and Henk.
Then, I hit the Farewell Fiesta in the evening and got to eat llama for the first time. Very lean and dry, in case you’re wondering. At this party, the Gary Busey jokes were flying around – mainly because one of the attendees, Jeff Swanson, looks exactly like him. The kicker is, someone told me to Google both of their names, and here is what I found. It turns out that Busey is actually suing this guy because he keeps on claiming to be him!
All in all, it was an unforgettable experience and I will definitely be back. The community is filled with some outstanding people and it is truly a unique place. Special thanks to: Paul Gill, Jeremy Salsburg (great friend I met on the trip), Doug Casey, and Olivier Garret (for giving me some great ideas for VC).