The take off of any business venture can be a herculean task and mind boggling, especially if one considers the inherent and attendant hiccups.
Since any business is usually capital intensive, it won’t be out of place to expect somebody venturing into it to have a second thought.
Some thoughts that’ll pass through the mind of such a person will include how to source for funds, the number of people to employ and how to pay their salaries, the office space needed, how the goods or services will be accepted in the market, and how to outsmart competitors.
If the business venture is aimed at the status of a startup, the problems become more burdening. As a startup, you are expected to be resolutely in charge of the business that was started, generating revenue below $20 million, and have less than 80 employees.
This by any standard is not a mean feat and can knock the Lilly-minded under. However, quite unlike a small or medium scale business, a startup does not need to run to the bank hat in hand.
Grants and loans are not used to run a startup. What you need is a venture capitalist.
Philip Kingston, founder of Trimantium Capital in the piece “4 Ways for Startups to Attract VCs,” gave an insight into how to resolve the problem of funding for a startup.
How then can you capitalize on venture capitalists to grow your startup?
If your company has promising technologies or products that will drive value in either the public market or the eyes of the acquirers, then the venture capitalists are the people for your startup.
There are however some basic requirements you must have before your startup can access the capitalization from any VC.
How do you get connected to a VC? Most VCs expect to be reached through emails or better still, through a relationship with a member of the team. In the instance of an email, they prefer it isn’t a cold email. There must be a referral to the connection.
The company’s founder/ CEO will then be invited to a formal pitch meeting. The outcome of the pitch meeting determines the fate of the company and most times it depends on the composure of the CEO and how questions put across are handled.
The company’s strong point
The company’s views and a strong point has a great deal of role to play in securing the funding. What you intend to go into must not be what every other Jick and Harry out there does.
Your view must be different, sound, interesting, and also challenging. It mustn’t be something for all comers. There should be a tinge of adventure as well as innovation in it. The company must have a kind of uniqueness and also a marketable feature that will easily distinguish it from imitators.
Non-reliance on assumption
Absolute effort must be made to ensure there is no reliance on assumption. Experiments and trials must have been conducted to arrive at foolproof ideas. Cocksure and tested results must be presented to the VC’s team.
Companies are picked for funding after considering their visions. A company that has a clearly marked out program for the future has better opportunities of being funded. The vision is expected to be bold.
“I think the first measure for a startup is: is it something new--a process, a product, a category, a business model, an ecosystem.” - Ayah Bdeir
Besides having a unique business idea like the case of Facebook, Microsoft, Apple or even Colorlib for WordPress theme platforms, a bold vision will help you build a great business blueprint that’ll guide you and potential VCs to take the right risks and make the right investments as the big picture and the expected turn-out is always in mind.
Get a lead partner
It will be hugely beneficial if the founder is able to get a lead partner among the VC’s team. The team is expectedly made up of human beings and nothing does the magic better than someone dropping a nice word here and there for you.
Individuals tend to have their strong and weak points. A team member may be more inclined in the tool's direction, while another may favor clinical materials, a kind word may bring about a more favorable consideration.
Set up a crack team
It is expected that the VC team will carry out a wholesome investigation about the founder, for this reason, a crack team of professionals must be on the ground. A beautiful idea will not execute itself.
No individual can single handedly transform an idea into a money spinning venture. The team will want to see a set of ambitious and credible men and women who will convince them of their ability to deliver before they can cough out the money.
Receptiveness to coaching
VCs don’t just drop the money and scram only to appear on pay day. Definitely, that’s not how they operate. They mostly take part in the processes of the company.
Some VCs even have team members as members of the Board of Directors, between 25 to 55 percent equity ownership of the company is usually required by VCs.
Since they are going to be part owners of the company, they expect that the founder must be amenable to coaching and receptive to instructions and innovative ideas.
One factor that seriously affects the outcome of the founder’s performance at the pitch meeting is the composure.
Lakshmi Balachandra, an assistant professor at Babson college in the piece: “How Venture Capitalists Really Assess a Pitch.” explained that passion should not be over-emphasized. She rather called for a calm demeanor, which would portray sound leadership strength.
The founder should not exhibit over enthusiasm and exaggerated sense of hardworking. It will be wrong to send the signal that you are dying to do this job to the VC team at the pitch meeting.
To conclude, it is rather obvious that a determined founder has now got a leeway of overcoming the bottlenecks that are encountered when setting up a business, especially as regards funding.
What the founder sets out to do is, to work tediously to meet up with the demands of the VCs. A thorough and painstaking work will afford the company the opportunity of capitalizing on VCs for the growth of its startup.
Having healthy and sparkling white teeth isn’t just good for personal hygiene but a great confidence booster. The whiter, the better! However, would you rather be anywhere else but the Dentists'? You aren’t alone. Dental phobia is real. There are a couple of reasons for dental phobia, but the pain from traditional dental procedures tops the list.
If you've ever suffered dental complications, you'll agree that dental patients could do with a pain-free procedure. When the mouth suffers, other parts of the body suffer too as it affects one’s performance. It’s a sigh of relief that technology has made maintaining good oral hygiene easier through advanced dental care facilities.
Here are 3 ways technology has improved the way patients get dental care.
1. Easier tooth cavity detection
Don’t we all dislike that awkward moment the dentist explores our mouths, poking at our teeth like a scavenger in search of a lost treasure? No matter how careful and gentle they try to be, all that movement can be a little disturbing.
Detecting tooth cavity is no longer an ultimate search. This can now be done with so much ease with the use of a high tech device called the diode laser. The laser tooth decay detector is programmed to ascertain the absence or presence of infection in the teeth. In the case of an infection, its advanced features detect the degree, giving the dentist adequate information about an effective treatment plan. Given that nearly all Americans have tooth decay, this will cater to a large number of people and improve treatment procedures.
2. Better bonding and filling
Ever chipped a tooth? Having a great fix to make it look like nothing happened would be a good idea to get over the experience. But traditional dental care makes bonding and filling chipped tooth far from perfection as they leave traces of an anomaly. With technology enhanced procedures, on the other hand, it’s a whole different game - bonding and filling can be done creating a natural looking tooth.
To achieve good results, Dentists make use of a plastic material called resin. Brighter and stronger than what was used in the past, adequate layers are filled in the tooth to create a smooth surface. Dr. Oscar Rivera Vazquez of Good Samaritan Dental explains that ‘‘resin comes in a variety of shades that enable dentists to blend it to the actual tooth color for an even appearance.’’
3. Stronger tooth implants
For most of us, losing a tooth especially in a visible area in the mouth is a nightmare as it could affect our self-esteem. Having a beautiful smile may not be so exciting anymore. We need another tooth as soon as possible without having to wait forever as is the case with the traditional dental procedure.
Getting a good replacement can be a tedious and painful process when done manually as it involves drilling, not even the anesthesia administered can take away all the pain. There’s also the risk of losing replaced tooth in minor accidents due to its fragility.
With the use of an ICAT machine, patients can get a new implant and 3D cut crown upon a single visit with very little pain during the procedure. A lot of successes have been recorded in this regard as over 95% of dental implants carried out by qualified professionals are successful.
The interior of our mouth may be hidden but it's just as important as the most visible parts of our body. A healthy mouth begets a healthy body; it’s the door into our system.
Nobody likes pain, not even adults. With advanced technology in dental care, people are motivated to pay more visits to the dentist’s as the pain they experience is reduced drastically.
They are young, cool and trendy. Also referred to as digital natives, Millennials grew up in a world of technologies: A time when the world became a global village and the most complex riddles could be solved by a few clicks on the computer. These experiences have great influence in their interests, ideologies, and perceptions about life.
Millennials may be fun minded, but make no mistake; they aren’t ignorant. These tech savvy people strike a balance between the fun and the “serious” things in life like health. In their books, being healthy is part of the total package of being cool.
Here are 3 health routines Millennials are crazy about:
Exercising isn’t a new thing. The older generations have always been aware of the benefits of exercise to a healthy life. However, Millennials have upped the ante, making exercising a fun sport. Sweating in the gym amidst tedious workout routines has become a thing of delight to stay in shape.
For these digital minds, exercising isn’t just about keeping healthy but also about having the perfect body to flaunt to their friends, peers and on the much acclaimed social media. They view the world as a film set and strive to be camera ready at all times to have the best picture body.
There are two groups of people: the participants and the admirers. The former is the “gym rats” who put in the work to have great bodies to the utmost admiration of the latter who aspire to be like them.
Eating the right food, in the right quantity and at the right time is the way to go for Millennials. They don't see eating as a survival instinct but a necessity which they indulge in only when it’s convenient for them. One would think that the variety of food available today would put a smile on their faces, but that’s not the case. They consider the effect any food will have on their bodies before it gets close to their mouths.
There has been an increase in anorexia amongst young people due to their little or no interest in food. These young adults strive to live up to the highly celebrated slim body type they see on TV and Social Media. They skip meals, staying hungry for long hours just to fit into that category and seek public validation.
Losing weight through dieting is great, but it’s important to diet the right way, and not to the detriment of one’s health.
3. Personal hygiene
Personal hygiene is an integral part of Millennials’ life; it has a direct effect on one aspect they don’t joke with – their social life. As a Millennial, being sociable is non-negotiable as they like to be where things are happening.
Good oral hygiene is key. Sparkling white teeth and fresh breath are confidence boosters. A 6-month routine dental examination by a dentist is necessary for a healthy mouth. In the event of an infection or decay in the tooth, the dentist may perform a root canal by doing an X-ray, and then proceed to remove the infected pulp and clean the canal.
Millennials are the most talked about generation at the moment due to their intriguing lifestyle. To get their attention, you need to speak the language they understand. They love to stay healthy but perhaps not for the same reasons as people of other generations. For this lot, it all boils down to how it relates to them and how they can benefit from it.
Always on the go, Millennials are spontaneous - going with the flow and making things happen. Keeping a healthy lifestyle, while at it, is icing on the cake.
There’s no treasure greater to a mother than her child. They are worth more than silver and gold combined together. Parenting patterns may differ from cultures, but one thing remains the same: every mother wants her child to be great.
In the fast-paced digital society of today, parenting has become more difficult as technology is changing the way of raising kids, exposing kids to strange things at an early age. How do you ensure that your kids are on the right path and are not distracted by what they see online?
With great care, attention and love you can build up kids that are not only going to grow up to contribute positively to themselves, but to the society as well. The following are habits mums should teach their children to exhibit as they grow up.
Love makes the world beautiful. The lesser we love, the uglier the world becomes. To love is to live. One is never too young or old to express love. “I love you” is thrown around loosely nowadays; teach your kids to mean it when they say it.
Investing in people emotionally and building strong relationships is a necessity for living a happy life. Kids need to learn that it’s not just okay to receive love but also to give love. Teach them to appreciate people who show them love, and to never take them for granted.
Express your love for your kids always. Don’t just tell them how much you adore them; show it to them through actions. Loving people requires some level of trust. Teach them that it's okay to be vulnerable, and to give those who care about them a chance in their life.
Honesty is an expression of truth. Remember the old saying: “the truth shall set you free?” It takes leading by example to show people, especially kids, that always being truthful is invaluable.
To be honest is to be true to oneself regardless of the situation. Let them know that it’s not okay to fly the flag of honesty only when people are watching but also when nobody's watching, because like truth, honesty sets you free.
Teach them to be honest with the smallest things. As they practice this, they’ll learn to be honest with the big things.
One of the greatest gifts a mother can give to her child is the power to dream. Too many people settle in life either because they didn't dream well enough or felt their dream was too big to achieve.
As kids grow up, their perception of the world is one of the impossibilities. In their little minds, they believe that they can be whatever they want to be. Don’t take that away from them with “realities” of life just so soon. Encourage them to always try, and to try again if it doesn’t work out -- for those who persist always win.
4. Personal Hygiene
Cultivating good personal hygiene is necessary for a number of reasons; it influences people’s perception of us. Kids may not realize this at an early age, but as they grow older, they get to appreciate it.
Children tend to lose interest in anything that requires work. The only language they understand is “play.”. Telling them to go bathe seems like punishment. Don’t just tell them it’s time to bathe, let them know that bathing is important so they won’t smell. Giving them reminders to wash their hands may not be so effective; let them see you wash your hands regularly.
Dental health is a huge aspect of personal hygiene. Having shiny white teeth and fresh breath are truly confidence boosters. “Bad breath may be as a result of tooth decay, gum infection or some other reason,” says Eva Guerrero, a Dentist from EGDental - a specialized dental clinic.
Raising great kids is no child’s play. It takes a lot of effort, time and commitment. As a mother, your child mirrors your values. As they go about their life, it’s important that they live to their full potentials, and of course, make you proud. When a child wins, the mother wins too.
You’ve probably ignored a health symptom one time or another in your life. It’s the way most people are preconditioned to live. It’s the adaptive self in us that jumps into survival mode quicker than we consider visiting a doctor.
And if you are likely to search home remedies to cure an itchy throat or an irritating cough, then you’ve probably misdiagnosed yourself without knowing. In fact, research shows that one in four people use Google to self-diagnose and treat symptoms at home.
So, before you overlook a serious disease in ignorance or misdiagnosis, here are symptoms to never ignore.
1. Losing Weight Unexpectedly
One of the popular searches on Google is “how to lose weight fast”. People no longer need to know how to lose weight; they want to know how they can do it fast. So when they, all of a sudden, lose weight they don’t see it as a reason to be alarmed.
While you may be happy for losing the weight, consider it a health issue. This is of course if you haven’t been working on losing weight or go on a diet. Unexplained loss of weight is linked to various health problems including cancer, diabetes, depression, Parkinson's disease, HIV and Aids, Hyperthyroidism and others.
2. Long Lasting Abdominal Pains
While stomach pain is associated with many common and bearable conditions, sometimes you are not just cramping, suffering from indigestion, or having a stomach upset. If you experience prolonged stomach pain over a long period of time, you should consider seeing a doctor.
Consult with a doctor if the pain is associated with vomiting, nausea, chest pain or becomes unbearably painful. Also, the inability to explain the pain should be a big warning sign. So don’t assume that you are suffering from a bad case of food poisoning. The situation may be worse than you think.
Severe and prolonged abdominal pains could be symptoms of H. Pylori, Gallstones, inflammatory bowel disease, appendicitis, kidney stones and lactose intolerance, among others.
3. Mouth ulcers that will not disappear
“Occasional ulcers (red or white patches in your mouth) will almost always disappear when you apply honey or a prescribed oral solution,” says Dr. Aylema Rodriguez from Sam Dental. “However, if the ulcers are persistent and do not go away after about 3 to 4 weeks, this could be a sign of a serious health problem.”
Also, watch out for swellings, lumps, difficulty in chewing and speaking, sores in the mouth and neck, numbness or pain in your mouth, as well as sore throats.
All these symptoms, especially when together, are a sign of developing oral cancer. As soon as you identify one of these signs, make an appointment with your doctor.
4. Persistent Coughing
Coughs are associated with different diseases, either as a standalone symptom or in combination with others. It could mean a mild condition such as allergies or viral infections like the common cold or bronchitis.
On a more serious note, a prolonged cough could be a signal for greater diseases such as pneumonia, lung clot and collapse, heart failure, chronic lung infections, asthma and lung cancer, among others. These diseases are also associated with shortness of breath so be vigilant.
Observe the duration of your coughs and any underlying symptoms to know when you should seek a doctor’s intervention. If you cough constantly for three weeks, it is time to visit the doc.
5. Changes in bowel movements
Experiencing chronic constipation or prolonged diarrhea? Experiencing a bloody or abnormal stool than you are used to? If this goes on for a longer time than you can handle, seek a consultation.
While constipation and its cousin, the painful and uncomfortable hemorrhoids, are in most cases considered normal and easily treated at home. Sometimes the swelling and discomfort could mean a growing tumor in your lower bowel that is causing the strain.
In other words, the changes in your bowel movement could be symptoms of viral, bacterial or parasitic infections, or the colon and rectum cancers, otherwise known as colorectal cancer.
6. Being constantly thirsty
Feeling thirsty or the need to drink water could be as a result of regular dehydration. With this, you take your water and are back to normal. But if you find yourself constantly thirsty and no amount of water seems to quench your thirst, you may be showing signs of serious health issues.
Extreme thirst is associated with diabetes, severe dehydration, Kidney failure, and sepsis. Other symptoms to look out for in conjunction with constant thirst include blurred vision, weight loss, nausea, severe hunger and frequent urination.
There are various symptoms that we human beings ignore to be mild problems, only for them to awaken and ruin our lives. Cancer that is identified in its late stages in one person can be diagnosed in early stages in someone else. So can a stroke, a deadly infection and other life-threatening diseases.
Instead of adopting a wait-and-see attitude where you sit on a symptom too long and a long-term illness develops, read between the lines and consult your doctor. As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
Modified by JeffreyRuhl
Whenever someone compliments your eyes, legs or nails, you probably say thank you and add “they are my mother’s/father’s”. You take pride in the fact that you inherited your mother’s legs and your father’s bone structure. But how about inheriting a disease?
Would you be as proud to learn that someone in your family passed on a disease to you? If you hardly get sick or have not witnessed a close family member fall gravely ill, you probably never go for a checkup.
Yet, continued research into the leading cause of death in the US (heart disease) advises people to learn more about their family health history to identify risks early in their life. By doing so, individuals can identify genetic markers associated with premature heart attacks and reduce the burden for people with heart disease.
While heart disease may not be directly hereditary, there are various diseases that are a result of inheritance from your parents.
This is a bleeding disorder that is common among the male gender and is inherited from mothers. When you have Hemophilia, it means that your blood has low levels of clotting factors and will be subjected to random bleeding.
If you have hemophilia, you can trace that disorder back to your mom. Females are usually the carriers of the hemophilia gene.
When your body does not make enough of hemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells, it becomes a medical disorder referred to as Thalassemia. The condition is passed on from parents through genes and means that you have fewer red blood cells than is normal.
Luckily, Thalassemia is considered a treatable disorder and is treated on the basis of how severe your condition is. Treatment is through blood transfusion and folic acid combined with regular therapies.
3. Enamel Hypoplasia
Alternatively referred to as Amelogenesis Imperfecta (AI), enamel hypoplasia is a dental disorder that affects both primary and permanent teeth. When you have this disorder, your teeth tend to be discolored, small, pitted and prone to breakage due to a decrease in mineral content.
This defect in tooth development leads to several forms of abnormalities and is one of the few inherited dental disorders. Depending on the type of defect you are dealing with, Enamel Hypoplasia can be treated through fluoride applications, tooth fillings, bonding and a strict routine of oral hygiene.
Dr. Elizabeth Orozco a dentist at Dr. Mexico - Tijuana Dentist Center, says “To avoid severe cases of tooth decay, it is highly advisable to get a regular dental check up and do it as early as you encounter symptoms.”
4. Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer
According to this report by CDC (Center for Disease Control), cancer ranks second in the leading causes of death in the US after heart disease. As the disease catches on, the news that you or someone you know closely has cancer is the most dreaded news of all.
You don’t want to hear it and don’t want to be part of it. But one question remains; are you doing enough to reduce your risk of getting cancer? For women, breast cancer and ovarian cancer has been proven to be hereditary.
If someone in your family has suffered these two cancers, you are more likely to get affected too. While you may not have any symptoms, it is advised to consult your doctor and consequently, work towards lowering your risk.
Have you experienced depression in your life? Do you fear you might get depressed at one time and not control it? You are not alone.
In the US alone, depression has been said to be the leading cause of disability in people between the ages of 15 and 44. While the exact causes of this mental illness are not known, genetic factors are listed as one of the components among environmental, psychological and biological factors.
In fact, having family members who have previously suffered depression increases your chances of getting depressed. So watch out closely for your family health history. You never know.
If someone in your family has suffered a stroke, you have a higher risk of getting stroke as well. The condition can be inherited and is ranked 5th in a list of the leading causes of death in the United States.
Stroke, associated with confusion, slurred speech, difficulty in walking and severe headache, is as a result of blood vessel blockage or bursting. This blood vessel carries oxygen to the brain and when it gets blocked or bursts, part of the brain dies as it no longer receives oxygen.
Alternatively referred to as a bad bite, this is a dental disorder that results into misaligned jaws or crowded, extra or missing teeth.
Like every other disease in this list, malocclusions are also genetically inherited and can lead to severe cases where one is unable to chew or talk. Based on how severe the condition, treatment includes both surgical and non-surgical procedures.
All the diseases listed above have one thing in common; genes. Your chances of getting sick from these diseases increase with every person in your family. Visit your dentist or doctor to identify potential risk and live healthily.
Transportation has changed enormously within the past few decades -- The experience has gotten even bigger and better. But the fact remains that as the numerous benefits are increasing, the challenges are also doubling.
However, a lot of vehicles are being bought and transported across the globe, both by sub standard and reliable auto transport service providers.
Yet, transportation challenges are still on the rise -- This shows evidently that just having too many company vehicles is not enough to optimize your company’s transportation experience, instead, but to discover and adopt recent technologies and trends to keep your company active and effective in terms of movement of products and services.
Below, are 5 tips you can use to optimize your company's transportation experience.
1. Embrace the Driverless Cars initiative for you company
More often than normal, road accidents occur -- In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), car accidents occur every minute of the day. Nevertheless, some 90 percent of these road accidents are caused by human error.
However, driverless car innovation has become a more concrete solution and way out of a high percentage of transportation problems any firm may encounter. As the self-driving car is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without any human input, it will undoubtedly help subdue the below challenges.
- Driver’s fatigue
- Driver’s distraction
- Driver’s over speeding
- Driver’s settlement
- Driver’s inability to see and interpret traffic signs
- Driver’s miscalculation; and much more.
Driverless cars would not only help enhance your company’s mobility, it would also help your firm save more money in terms of less labor, better traffic flow, and less fuel consumption.
Also, with the car doing most of the driving itself, your workers can sit back and focus on other things while in the vehicle -- Maybe balancing of orders and review of next destination, thereby getting more delivery work done in lesser time.
2. Optimize Your Company’s Schedules and Organise Your Itinerary
According to the statistic mentioned in point one above, driver’s fatigue is one major cause of road accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes each year are the direct result of the driver fatigue.
Your company can, however, be exempted from this unpleasant situation by simply optimizing your company’s schedule and organizing your journey -- Get the driver and the trip team informed about the journey beforehand. Also, schedule regular stops to allow the driver take a break; especially if it’s a long distance journey.
This, however, would improve your company’s efficiency, keep your drivers alive and active as well as make getting across to your consumers much easy.
3. Plan Your Routes
This is a bit technical but paramount to safety; especially when embarking on a long distance journey as well.
Poor routing results in wasted time and resources, the displeasure of customers as a result of late delivery. To tackle this, get the transportation sector of your department to sit and analyze and write out each spot where the driver would stop, then fetch details about the road and conditions.
In this digital age, it has become so much easy to get as many details, even about routes you’ve never gone through. For example, Satellite Navigation uses the satellite to provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning -- It reads the longitude, latitudes and altitude/elevation to provide drivers with safety results. Also, the Road Report Web-site provides up-to-date road condition information on all government controlled roads.
4. Adopt GPS Tracking System
GPS Tracking System is a principal development in the transportation industry. Today, with some car tracking apps and GPS system, you can locate, manage and measure your fleet.
The GPS tracking system, therefore, will help to get the precise location of your company goods and services as well as take charge of your company’s resources which is essential for moving inventory or conducting real customer service.
Good transportation is undeniably a fundamental practice for all firms and industries. And as it is an ever evolving scheme -- It’s a prerequisite to getting your transportation sector shaped to meet this present requirement.
It’s however, also recommended that you get connected to highly prominent auto transport services that’ll help your company generate the best quotes as well as help in transportation and delivery of your basic transportation needs.
As per Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors, “The auto industry is poised for more change in the next five to ten years than it’s seen in the past 50.”
IBM is a key player in providing efficient and secure automotive solutions. The car shipping industry which is worth billions of dollars in the US market has been growing steadily due to the intelligent software provided by giants like IBM.
The Returnable Container Management From IBM
As per a report, “IBM has launched a new product called Returnable Container Management, which uses the Internet of Things to track and measure the usage of shipping containers. These containers are a large, dull but essential part of the supply chain for manufacturers – they are used to hold automobile parts, meat, pharmaceuticals and anything else that needs to be shipped from one place to another”.
Such sensors are really useful for companies that offer car transport. As cars increasingly become connected, the potential of such digitally disruptive scenarios is not lost on the auto industry. In fact, auto executives not only anticipate the potential disruption ahead, but they are already thinking about what they need to do to take advantage of the opportunities and counter the threats.
Auto transport companies are booming. People have become smart enough to look for better deals on cars outside their state. Earlier, the only reason was a reliable car delivery provider who will help the car owner to get the car transported to the destination in a hassle free manner. But nowadays, auto transport companies powered by intelligent sensors have made it really easy for the car owners to get their cars shipped at any location of their choice in an easier and efficient manner.
As per IBM IoT, “Today's cars are moving data centers with onboard sensors and computers that capture information about the vehicle that can be accessed in real time. IBM IoT for Automotive extends the power of cognitive computing to connected cars, acquiring data from sensors and systems to improve the in-car experience.”
Similarly, as per Watson research, “IBM is focused on technologies which lead to increased adoption of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in developing countries. It solves complicated problems using investigated sensing techniques that work in the aggregate (using people, audio and Call-Data Record)”.
The car shipping industry is a huge business and is growing day by day. Smarter solutions from IBM is only helping the industry flourish.
Modified by jenniecampbell
Digital machines, right from your personal computer to your smart television, are surprisingly efficient collectors of dirt, dust, and grime. Ignore the cleanliness of your devices, and you've got yourself a little storehouse of bacteria and germs. Chances are you touch these machines multiple times daily; go ahead, estimate the number of times you touch these bacteria hotspots every day. And, we're not even started on the digital machine called the smartphone. We hate to break it to you; if you don't clean your smartphone properly regularly, know that it’s dirtier than your toilet seat! Publicly used machines and public gaming digital machines are just as dirty.
Machine cabinets and covers
Digital machines produce heat as a part of their basic operations. However, with a lot of dirt and bacteria entrapped inside and residing in the machine, the amount of heat retained in the machine increases. This can significantly bring down the functional health of the machine and reduce its lifetime. The first step towards clean and neat machines is to regularly clean the exterior surface with a microfiber lint cleaning cloth. Regular home cleaning fluids can damage the circuitry, so either give your device a dry swipe, or remove the plastic or metal cabinet and cover before cleaning it with a wet cloth.
Circuit Boards and Internal machinery
Keeping dirt out of the machine is just one part. Next up, think about all the grime living inside the machine’s seemingly clean cabinet. Remove the screws of the external cover, and carefully keep them together. Use a compressed air pump to blow the loosely stuck dirt off the internal circuitry. Use a cotton swab dipped in cleaning alcohol to gently remove the stuck grime on electronic circuit boards. The cleaning alcohol evaporates quickly and cleanly. For CPU cabinets, remove the cover and plug the CPU on to let the internal fan blow away dirt. If the fan's dead, immediately replace it.
Cables and Wires
Cables and wires attached to your digital devices are by far the most neglected items from a cleanliness point of view. Chances are that your computer table hides a jungle of cables and diet bunnies, apart from pet hair balls, cable shreds, peeled off plaster, and what not. Before you start sweating in disgust, let's tell you how you can clean the mess. Disconnect all cables, clean them using a cleaning cloth, blow into the connectors to remove dirt, use a soft brush or cotton swab to take out grime. Once done, visit your local office stationary store and ask for cable organizers like twist ties, clips, table stick on cable holders, and whatever you need to tie down the unnecessary length of those cords. Nearly organized cables reduce risks of snaps and breaks.
Smoker's Devices - Worse Sufferers
If you can't quit smoking, please take it somewhere away from your computers and smartphones. The odour of smoke is easily trapped inside the plastic and metal casing of these devices. Plus, the ash particles and tar like grime that builds on the circuit boards makes the device a disgusting piece of unclean machinery. If your machines are already suffering from the odours and tar grime caused by your or your workers' smoking, we suggest you consider dismantling components and cleaning them individually.
Keypads and keyboards
Digital machines with a lot of if crevices and cavities are the worse sufferers from dust, bacteria and germs, primarily because there's very little natural opportunity for the particles to leave the surface. QWERTY keypad styled phones and computer keyboards are perfect examples. The best way to clean them is to take the keypad to keyboard out, use a wet napkin edge to clean the pores. Grimy keys can be cleaned with cotton swabs dipped in cleaning alcohol.
Your workstation and your digital device say a lot about your personal hygiene choices don't ignore their cleanliness and keep yourself safe from germs and disease causing bacteria in the process.
Modified by jenniecampbell
By Michael Eckhardt
B2B tech firms that want to move from a customer base of Early Market “visionaries” to broader mainstream markets face several big challenges. Whether they’re involved in software, mobile, AI / Machine Learning, IoT, Big Data or related tech solutions, growth companies need to get to mainstream customers with their disruptive or breakthrough offerings, otherwise:
This need to move to the next stage in customer adoption is called, as many of you know -- “crossing the chasm”, based on the book title of my firm’s chairman, Geoffrey Moore.
Despite the best intentions and a skilled management team, both new ventures and established companies sometimes pursue the wrong paths. They might err in targeting the right market segment, whole product, pricing, and other errors that prevent them from making this trajectory across the chasm.
Here are seven best practices (and a few cautionary warnings) for executives and venture teams that want to accelerate a “chasm crossing”, in order to take their business to a scalable and more profitable future. These are based on our Chasm 3.0 work with more than 500 companies in Silicon Valley and worldwide.
Intelligently Develop Your Target Market
Early market companies strive for fast growth that will allow them to move past their current market. However, in planning for scalability they often talk to current customers to determine wants and needs, instead of looking at the broader possible market opportunities that sit to the right of the chasm. The key is to gain insights from “mainstream customers” who are NOT YET adopters of your technology. In the next year or two they will need to be your target, so you should proactively understand their pain points and problems now.
Validate Your Product's “Compelling Reason to Buy”
Driving adoption by a mainstream customer base requires you to develop a compelling business case for why pragmatists should switch to your solution. This needs to be an "outside-in" view from the market’s perspective - not your internally-driven myopia.
"Perfect" Is The Enemy of "MVWP"
Are you possibly waiting for your R&D, engineering, and marketing teams to configure the "completely perfect product" before you launch into the marketplace?
Perfection does not exist in tech. You need to focus instead on configuring MVWP (Minimum Viable Whole Product) -- the well-defined set of benefits / features / capabilities that give pragmatic customers in the main market an answer to their major business pain or workflow problem. Don’t adopt a “kitchen sink” mentality, but instead look for features to SUBTRACT out, in order to help simplify the usage, installation, integration, and purchase of the solution.
Follow Smart Pricing
Businesses that want to attract the broader customer base and immediately impact sales are often tempted to cut prices by 10 to 15%. However, price elasticity is rare in the transition from Early Market to Mainstream Customers. We have 500 real-world examples to prove this point. Your pricing needs to be reasonable, but cutting the price further is not likely to provide the unit sales boost that you might be dreaming about. Stay with your pricing to protect margins and instead look at strategies to accelerate adoption by pragmatists in the main market. For example, you could offer a performance guarantee, a migration service, or financing options that reduce customer risk in order to attract their attention and commitment.
Focus Your Sales Training on a “Tiger Team”
Both you and your product managers are excited about a soon-to-be-launched product that you deem a true industry disruptor. There might be the temptation to conduct sales training for this new innovation with EVERY member of the sales organization. Don't follow this path.
A small percentage of the team will likely account for a significant majority of first-year sales -- usually 85% or more of the sales of a breakthrough product are generated by 10-15% of the sales organization. The more powerful approach is therefore to identify this “Tiger Team” of sales pros who have top consultative skills and energy, and then provide them with intensive training and tools, as well as attractive incentives for selling this new product.
Develop Strong Messaging
A high-impact B2B message should be articulated in 75 words or less. If you cannot state it in 75 words, then you'll need to sharpen your understanding of the customer problem you are seeking to solve, and how your solution will deliver resolution. Tech firms often rely too much on buzzwords like "flexibility", “manageability, “agility” or “productivity” when describing their products, instead of specifying why it is tangibly superior versus the competition. Strong and clear messaging should make a case for why your solution stands out from the crowd, and why they should buy NOW instead of sometime in the future.
Establish a Vision for Today and Tomorrow
For success in B2B tech markets, you need a long-term vision that defines where the company and the market is headed in the next 12 to 36 months. You need to develop this vision, but not at the expense of actions taken today. Identify customer pain points and address them quickly so you can achieve the 30-40% growth rates in key market segments that allow you to confidently reach your longer-term vision, goals, and milestones.
None of these seven practices described above are easy. But what's the cost of not following these tips? Likely frustration, missed forecasts, and possible failure.
So we're on the side (just like you are) of seeing your future filled with momentum, market traction, and a profitable path to scale. And we hope these seven nuggets of wisdom can help you achieve those lofty goals.
Michael Eckhardt is a Managing Director and Senior Workshop Leader at Chasm Institute in Silicon Valley.
Blogging is no longer confined to the articles you post; it is far more complicated than that. It has to be eye-catching, for no matter how great your idea is, it does not guarantee a huge audience base unless you present it well. The trick lies in how well you execute it. The credibility and quality of the content play a significant role in the success of your website. Discussed below are five practical tips that will help you create a successful blog:
1- Plan The Structure
If you think blogs are simply places where you can rant, then think again. Creating a blog requires meticulous planning. The first and foremost thing that you have to keep in mind is the structure of your blog posts. From the content matter to the manner in which you present it- everything has to be impeccable.
Keep it simple, crisp and engaging; nothing intimidates a reader more than a long, complicated blog where one has to refer a dictionary every second line. Many tools and plugins assist you in keeping a regular record of your posts and track your progress. Asana is one such platform where record ideas, plan your content and store it systematically.
2- Build contacts
As a newbie in the industry, there are many things you have to catch up on. What better way to learn than ropes of blogging than from the masters themselves? Check out the established bloggers to find out more about the topics that are trending on the virtual platform. Draw some inspiration from their content ( and give them proper credit for it).
A professional blog is not just a goldmine for content creation but also a pretty smart way to establish your web presence. Being associated with an influential blogger or citing examples from these “popular” blogs expands your reader base considerably. Moreover, if your work is good enough they might just endorse it as well. Yes, the senpai does notice you after all.
3- Quote Credible Sources
Another smart way to gain followers is by offering content that is authentic and real. Everything that you post should be backed by proper evidence and reliable links. Budding bloggers have been known to cite examples from or quote the most famous websites of the day. More than half of the blogs that you find online are nothing but an amalgamation of 5-15 different posts all combined to form this one fantastic article. Linking your blog to other platforms also boosts your visibility online. Canva is one such competent content creation tool that allows users to create attractively engaging posts and share it on their social media accounts.
4- Update Or Republish An Old Article
Now, this is not something for the newbies; this is a trick for bloggers who have been in business for a while. If your blog is not garnering enough viewers, maybe it is time you “updated” your content. Browse through your old blog posts and republish them after you have tweaked the information a bit to suit the present scenario. It is an excellent idea for bloggers who are out of new topics or are facing a writer's block. Republishing your content not only enhances your web presence but also gives you a much-needed insight into the kind of content your subscribers would love to read.
5- Add The Extra Oomph
Your content is just not all information - pictures, videos, and other graphic content are an indispensable part of your blog posts. Moreover, thanks to technology you can now insert vibrant images even if you have no technical expertise in website designing. There are loads of platforms such as WordPress that allow users to create their blogs without any complicated coding. Just choose a suitable theme, insert your content then customize it to your requirement and your blog post is ready to be uploaded.
No one magically becomes a celebrity blogger overnight; it is a time taking process. Blogging, like a lot of other ventures, looks pretty easy on the outside- the devil, unfortunately, lies in the details. It is only with trial and errors that you can learn the intricacies of this business.
As per the Auto News, a large number of cars are being exported each year into the US. Also, there is a huge demand of vehicles overseas from countries like China and Saudi Arabia. This rise in car transportation is giving rise to auto transport services which is making use of technologies such as those provided by IBM to deliver the consignments in a timely fashion to both local and international customers.
As per the Ibis Report, “The Vehicle Shipping Services industry's strong performance largely reflects a rebound from a very low recessionary base in 2009. Over the five years to 2014, as pent-up demand was satisfied and interest rates began to increase, car sales slowed and vehicle freight volume growth declined. However, demand for industry services has begun to normalize, and industry revenue is expected to increase over the five years to 2019, boosted by increasing sales of new cars.”
Tablets, Servers and Smartphones
Not only the brokers are benefiting from new and improved technologies; auto transport carriers, more and more, are utilizing tablets and smartphones to find new loads or update the status of a current load. Most of the loads of the enclosed car shipping industry is now being handled by web-based servers. This ensures faster delivery and service for both brokers and customers. Tablets and smartphones allow the service providers to get access to load boards from virtually anywhere, and for team drivers (i.e. two drivers in one truck), it’s easy for the passenger to check up on new loads every time they stop. This keeps them on the road, as it were, which is where carriers want to be.
As per CFR Rinkens, “In 2011, we introduced a revolutionary new method for stacking cars in containers which makes it possible to load three, four, or even five cars safely into an ocean container. The traditional method of stacking cars in containers is to construct wooden ramps and load the cars onto those ramps, which is not only much more complicated and less safe, but also environmentally unfriendly. With our industry-leading R-Rak system, we’ve made loading vehicles into shipping containers safer and easier.”
IBM For Freight Logistics
IBM provides world class solutions for auto transport companies that enables them to carry out their work in a much easier and efficient manner.
Brands like Qantas Freight was able to cut terminal processing time and generated a deeper level of insight about customers by leveraging advanced analytics and industry-leading, self-service mobile technologies.
Modified by MicheleDelSordo
Digital data is flooding our society. Daily we are faced with a torrent of structured and unstructured data containing complex interrelationships and correlations. Merely keeping up with this flood, and storing the bits that might be useful, is difficult enough. Analyzing it, to spot patterns and extract useful information, is even more complex. However, the data deluge is already starting to transform business, government, science and everyday life. In parallel, data deluge is pushing IT organizations to reorganize their IT resources so to have some of them as nearest as possible to the data sources and consequently speed-up their analysis. Data center form the backbone of this change. In fact, the data center topology of the future needs to balance and optimize the movement, analysis and privacy of the processed data. A distributed data center configuration could represent a way to transform enterprise IT so to deal with the digitization phenomenon. A recent IBM Academy of Technology white paper launched the idea of a distributed data center topology named "Compound Data Center".AEB-1085_IT Infrastructure of Tomorrow.pdfView Details Contributions and comments are solicited related to:
- the proposed distributed data center configuration (compound data center) leveraging cloud computing capabilities;
- the information architecture to cope with the data deluge phenomenon and exploiting a distributed data center topology;
- analytics and cognitive solutions, in a distributed data center topology, for processing massive volumes of data to derive insights useful for business growth.