LinkedIn Premium vs. Girl Scout Cookies

The InterWebs are full of Top 10 this and thats, Celebrity Click Bait and countless manner of material that croon for all the eyes on screens. Last month there were 2 clear winners that were successful in separating funds from our wallet. The two could not be much more different in product — so how can we have any quantitatively or statistically relevant study. Well it couldn’t be simpler — we’re just going to have some fun with this.

There will be ground rules though — Agile will spend the same amount of time utilizing each product. This doesn’t mean that we’ll eat all the Girl Scout Cookies while making sales calls — but that should fall under fair game, and to the pleasure of our team. Instead we set aside 10 hours per week to each tactic — and we’ll review the results.



Both approaches will also be linked (as it were) to another campaign that we have been waiting to explore. Both LinkedIn Premium and Girl Scout Cookies are simply a foot in the door at best, so we have our Trojan Horse campaign ready. There should be enough data on this A|B test to show a clear winner.


Benefits breakdown


ranging from $29.99 to $47.99 per month for job seekers, $64.99 per month for sales professionals, and $99.95 per month for recruiters.

Agile has chosen the LinkedIn Premium’s Sales Navigator Professional version which gives a lead-builder tool, lead recommendations and real-time insights on existing accounts and leads, as well as 20 InMail messages for $80 per month. It can be purchased for $64.99 per month as a one-time annual payment. Sales Navigator Professional also comes in a multi-seat version, Sales Navigator Team, which includes Out-of-Network profile unlocks, PointDrive presentations and more for $99.99 per month.




Girl Scout Cookies are offered in 12 tiers of tasty.

Though most of them sell for $4 per box — the upstart S’mores think themselves Premium as well and sell for $5 — but we believe the box is 25% larger thus the increase.

Some of the benefits of Girl Scout Cookies is having coworkers sidle up to yor desk — sometimes even strangers will make multiple passes by you desk working up the courage to ask for a Thin Mint (or 5). Girl Scout Cookies do cause intra-brand loyalties that borders on cult-like followings (Somoas vs Caramel Delights).

The real killer part of Girl Scout cookies though is that if you have the willpower — you can stick them in the freezer an get the benefits for months and stretch the $4 box well into August.

In Early June we’ll post our results and stories that go along with each avenue of contact.

There's nothing wrong with being festive, but

...there's still work to do before New Years.



It's the holidays and folks are trying to both finish their end of year projects as well as get to the holiday parties.  With it finally snowing, Star Wars back in the theaters, all the outdoor markets, cards to be bought - signed and sent; there're so many distractions that firms miss a few critical things.

So here's your IT Holiday Shopping list

to stay on your Principals 'Nice List"

  • End of Year - Server Backup (some links to sites)
  • Software Licenses
    • Collect all software licenses and renewal dates for 2018
    • Discounts available for early renewal (if you have the budget)
  • Hardware
    • Add RAM, Video Card and/or SSD upgrades
    • Prepare Q1, Q2 Workstation swap or trickle down strategy
    • Replace Wi-Fi if older than 4 years 
  • Create and/or review an emergency policy
  • Have a great time off - you've done your job

Let the countdown to 2018 now commence without further interruption - 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2.....1 Last Thing!!!!!


No it's not to run out to get this awesome suit.



-  EVENT  - 

New Years IT Resolution Bootcamp

January 10th - 6pm-9pm @ Agile Networks

60 minute sessions to get your system in shape for 2018.  We're your IT Fiteness Trainer - and we'll show you our toolbox and practices to make your system nice - your Studio Manager won't even recognize it.

QA followup and mentorship provided (wine and snacks too).

Firm Office Managers, Technical Liaisons and Internal IT welcome.


We made a Freakin' Rocketship

We pared down the clients servers from 9 to 1.  That's right - they had 9 servers - yet only 10 staff.  They had been sold on having multiple redundant servers - and then backups for those servers.  So the first thing we did was turn off 6 immediately if only to save electricity.   

The ratio of servers to staff was no longer 1:1 but a more manageable 1:10, and we were hoping to combine the rest onto just 1.  A firm of 10 people should only have 1 server.  The normal staff to server ratio should be around 20/30 to 1, perhaps a little lower for Architecture firms.



we have no problems

We got the green light - and gave them a rough estimate based on a similar spec for another Architecture firm - so we should be fine.   But the prices dropped all over the place - so we went back with 3 options costing between $7k - $9k.

They decided to go with the more expensive option.  This took a little bit of convincing and some guarantees on our part.   As we're testing a new hybrid configuration, I wasn't sure if just how fast it would perform, so I promised that if they did not see a large performance increase - I would refund the difference in the hardware cost ($2,000). 

So the countdown of servers started - 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2..............1 server!!!!!
— Blast Off

The result -

1 physical server with 3 Virtual servers instances - that performs 3x faster than the previous system.   The way we setup the server makes it feel that the entire system in on SSD hard drives reading and writing at blazing speeds, with the added benefit of simplifying backups and management.

If you'd like our config and setup of this system we'll post it here - but it was just too technical to put in this post.   Thanks for reading - and thanks to our client for their trust in our solutions.

Thinking Fast and Slow - Workstations

Finally the new workstations have come in. These babies promise to increase the firms output exponentially, and they better for $4,500 per station. IT said that new computers were needed, evidenced by staff taking breaks during renders. The new machines took a month to get here due to spec’ing, budget negotiations and inventory limits, staff are past caring on IT promises.

But the workstations are finally here – aaaaaaaaaand then nothing. The Revit files actually appear to be running slower – even the laptops feels faster. So IT goes to work turning off layers and optimizing hardware performance, but it doesn’t feel any difference.

This is a black eye not only for the IT firm – but the Studio Managers reputation.

fast button.jpg
So what's going on?

Price tag does NOT correlate to performance.

 A workstation is not merely a box that does stuff, and Architecture software targets the system hardware differently. Examples below for software targets hardware

  • Revit – CPU speed and Ram
  • Adobe – Ram and Hard Drive speed
  • Rhino – Video card and Ram

The 2 companies with the greatest market share usage for Architects are HP and Dell. Both companies provide Architects with a decent machine. But they fail at understanding or conveying that a $1000 computer can perform better than a $5000 one based on what software will be used. The Architect through no fault of their own infers that “price correlates to performance” and sets an arbitrary price and hopes for the best.


If an Architecture firm has a great IT firm (or department) – they’ll understand where the money should be spent most effectively. But for the intro class here – get the second highest speed CPU with the most cores within budget. Everything else can be replaced or upgraded in 2 years to extend the life while prices come down.


For most Architecture firms an HP z440 configured correctly should last for 2 years without issues, then expect to spend $300 on upgrades to get another 2 years, finally being given to the Principal or Admin to last another 4 years. This rotation ensures efficient and practical use. Each trickle down additionally requires less IT involvement than providing new computers to users with simpler requirements.

The headline and impetus for this article comes from the book Thinking Fast and Slow: by Daniel Kaheman

Salient points from the book include:

  • When you can and cannot trust intuition
  • When experts are wrong - but everyone still believes them
  • Anchoring – setting a value on something before research


High Level bullet points

  • Price does not always correlate with performance
  • Focus on the CPU speed and cores – everything else can be upgraded
  • Explore the hardware needs and affinity of your software
  • Don’t extend the warranty. The cumulative cost is more than replacement or new computer
  • Workstation purchases are often non-refundable so benchmark before you buy


Want to race? Bring your files (happy to sign an NDA if needed) to our lab at 149 Madison Ave and we’ll show you how components affect software – schedule here. You can also join one of our free weekly AMA (Ask Me Anything – Tech Conference Calls ) to receive targeted expert advice regarding how to get your harddware and software to work well together.

VR Headset Demos

 Impress your Clients and delight your Project Managers (or vice versa).

Every new client receives an HTC Vive headset
– through September 2nd –
Including setup, training, and software (a $4,000 value).

Learn how to use virtual reality to give your customers a real life experience. Walk through a room before it’s built! Experience a space for better design and build. Works with Revit and Sketchup already – with zero render time.




How this benefits you?

  • Reduce 90% of cost by eliminating physical mockups
  • Showcase multiple designs
  • Clients experience designs before full-scale mockups
  • Minimize coordination issues
  • Integrates with your current software



Schedule a demo and walk-through
your Sketchup or Revit models right now.