For as long as there has been copyright law, rightsholders and users have engaged in a pitched battle over how content could be consumed. First, book publishers waged a pitched battle to prevent public libraries from lending books to patrons for free (replacing a fee-based system that had been the standard previously). Later, the Recording Industry Association of America and industry partners tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to stop people from recording music on cassette tapes.
Then, as the digital age dawned – the battle intensified to a whole new level.
On the internet, filesharing services like BitTorrent have turned the swapping of movies, television shows, music, and software into an everyday habit for millions of people around the world. Music fans have replaced cassette (and CD-R) recordings with their favorite mp3 YouTube converter. Publishers have turned their attention to preventing libraries from lending eBooks. It's the same old fights on a new, bigger digital stage.
Meanwhile, legitimate digital services like iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon have helped push digital piracy to record lows. As it turns out, however, the decline may not last too long. The announcement of a whole raft of new streaming services is sparking fears that we're about to see a major escalation in the ongoing war over digital copyright enforcement. It's going to feature new DRM standards and an aggressive attempt at changing copyright laws this time around. Here's an overview of what could be coming for digital consumers, and why it should matter to them.
The Possibility of Fragmentation
Right now, there are several services getting ready to launch that threaten to fragment the online streaming market that Netflix has dominated for some time. Repeated studies on the subject have found that it's quite likely that all of the new services could fuel a massive resurgence of digital piracy in the coming years. The issue is that average users simply aren't willing to spend money on subscriptions to multiple services just to access the content they used to find all in one place. So far, nobody's quite sure how the new services plan to handle the anticipated spike in piracy, but we may have just gotten a big hint from media giant Disney.
A Major Escalation of DRM
They've just confirmed that their new streaming platform, Disney+, is going to feature Google's Widevine DRM solution much like their rival platforms, with one major difference: they're using the highest-level encryption possible to protect their streams. In practice, this means a variety of devices won't work with the service, including most Linux-powered devices and Chromebooks. For consumers, this represents yet another hurdle to overcome if they want to stay on the right side of the law. If the other streaming competitors follow suit – it's about to get a whole lot harder for people to stream the content they want, even if they're willing to pay for it.
A Troubling Update of Copyright Law
At the same time, a new update to the existing copyright laws is making its way through Congress. The CASE act, among other things, would create a three-person panel within the US copyright office that would have the power to hear small copyright violation cases. It's billed as a way for individual content creators to prevent unauthorized digital use of their work – with penalties that can reach as high as $30,000 per infringement. The problem with that is the fact that the law says nothing about who can use the process, which means it's open season for copyright trolls or big rightsholders looking to intimidate vulnerable individual users.
The Bottom Line
Taken together, these two new developments could represent a major shift in digital rights that would change the landscape for digital media consumers everywhere. It would mean that media companies would be free to ignore the possibility that their own actions in the market are leading to a spike in piracy while using the updated law to extract penalties from as many people as their legal teams can identify as potential violators of their copyrights. It would be a system that would fundamentally alter the balance between creators and consumers in the digital space, which could squelch future technology development as well.
It's too soon to tell if that's how things will ultimately turn out, but for anyone concerned about users' digital rights, all signs point to an ominous future ahead – and another dark chapter in the digital war between rightsholders and the real-world users of their content.
When it comes to digital marketing, most SMEs don't go far beyond the basics: SEO, social media, and content creation. Most don't even do it themselves. They find a great agency, hand them the reins, and wait for the customers to roll in. While that does yield good results for most businesses, it also causes many of them to abdicate their primary role in the process, which is providing the customer insight one only gains through direct relationships.
The thing is, though, the movement towards digital platforms has made such direct relationships rarer. They've been replaced with things like emails, customer service chats, and online reviews. That has made it easier for businesses to handle a larger volume of customers with fewer resources. It's also made it harder for businesses to really get to know their customers.
As it turns out, lacking a personal understanding of customers can cripple digital marketing efforts just as much as it did in the age of cold calls and blanket mailers. To combat this modern problem, businesses have two choices: ramp up human, one to one contact, or turn to technology. IBM believes that the latter is the right way to go. That's why they've developed the Watson Personality Insights service. Here are some of the advantages it provides that should have digital businesses begging to make it a core part of their digital marketing efforts.
Supercharging Digital Advertising
Up until now, businesses have approached digital advertising much the same as they did for television and print. It's all about demographics, reach, and timing. The reality is, though, that AI-derived personality insights can enable a kind of ad targeting that nobody could have imagined a few years ago. Imagine delivering an advertisement to specific customers grouped by personality type. Now imagine doing it by allowing an AI solution to comb through text from that customer's social media posts, blog entries, and interactions with the company to figure out what kind of person they are to deliver an ad with the right tone for them. Research has shown that such targeting can double advertising ROI – and Watson can do it for you.
Zeroing in on Customer Behavior
One of the most elusive goals in digital marketing is delivering the right message at the right time to induce specific behavior from customers. That's because getting it right is less about what the company wants, and more about understanding what the customer is likely to do. For example, studies have linked people with neurotic personalities to impulse buying. Through personality insights, a business could detect customers with this likely trait and target them for promotions they won't be able to resist. Watson can tell you who to target, when, and with what kind of sale or promotion. It can also help you identify which customers aren't likely to respond to things like flash sales and limited-time offers so you can target them in other more effective ways.
Choosing the Right Influencers
Today, another critical component of any digital marketing strategy is using social media to spread your business message far and wide. Personality insights can help there, too. Analyzing customer text data can provide critical clues to what kinds of people they identify with and if they're likely to respond to influencers on social media. That can help your business choose influencers that are a good fit for your specific customers, instead of relying on things like follower counts and overall popularity. That's the idea behind Influential.co, which uses the Watson Personality Insights API to perform a detailed analysis of social media posts. The insights gleaned help their customers to identify which social media influencers to work with, and which customers they'll need to target in other ways. Again, it's another advantage that would be impossible without Watson.
Reinventing Customer Understanding
By now, it should be quite clear why Watson-powered personality insights can make such a valuable addition to a business's digital marketing arsenal. In ways large in small, it can provide detailed guidance on what to do to reach each individual customer or group. It also helps to eliminate wasteful marketing spend by preventing campaigns that won't be effective for targeted groups. In the new digital environment, it's reinventing the way businesses can understand their customers. Just like the salesman's instinct of old, Watson provides vital personality clues that can feed a business's bottom line and connect the right people with the right messaging. No modern business should do without it.
Ever since the Great Depression overwhelmed the global economy in the 1930s and forced most of the major democracies to reexamine their methods of providing a social safety net to their populations, various constituencies have been at war over just how to pay for it. Here in the US, that debate began with the New Deal programs of Franklin Roosevelt, ran through Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs in the 1960s, and continues to this day.
Today, however, as federal deficits grow and the national debt spirals into multiple trillions of dollars – it seems that those who argue in favor of cutting or eliminating such social programs are winning the argument. Projections of the federal budget reveal that social spending is on the decline as a share of GDP, which is a trend set to continue until at least the year 2029. That means that social welfare agencies at all levels, from federal to local, are going to have to start learning to do more with less.
One thing that they have going for them is a raft of new technologies that are helping to streamline social services operations, helping agencies to spend more of their budgets helping people and less on overhead. Here's an overview of some of the ways that's happening.
Social Success in an Unexpected Place
If you're familiar with Sonoma County in California, you likely know it to be a beautiful place dotted with vineyards and picturesque coastal views. It isn't without problems, however. Although going unseen by outsiders, the county does have one of the largest homeless populations of any county of its type nationwide. That problem was magnified by a series of wildfires beginning in 2017, which destroyed homes throughout the region and created even more vulnerable populations.
The county, for its part, knew that their existing siloed data approach to social services couldn't hope to cope with the scale of the problems, so they turned to IBM to build a unified data system based on its IBM Health and Human Services Connect 360 platform. It was intended to deliver Watson-powered insights to drive personalized services and support to the citizens that need it most. The initial version of the system produced insights into 90,000 individual case files, allowing workers to take a more proactive approach to provisioning services by reaching out to those in the most need.
Expanding Use of Existing Programs
It is an unfortunate reality that many locales that have comprehensive social services programs still have difficulty getting those eligible to participate in them. Sometimes, that's a matter of a perceived social stigma associated with the programs, and in other cases, it's a simple lack of awareness of what's available. In Illinois, however, one program faced a very different problem: an application backlog that rendered it ineffective.
The program, which extends tax credits to companies that hire individuals from certain populations, such as veterans, those receiving public assistance, and ex-felons, had no shortage of businesses willing to take advantage of it. With an application backlog that stretched to as long as several years, however, there was no way for them to do so. That's when the state government turned to B2B data firm Adeptia for help. Together, they built an automated system to accept and process tax credit applications using the firm's data integration suite – a system that eliminated the entire backlog in a few days and now processes most applications in under a minute. The automation has given the Illinois Department of Employment Security the ability to handle up to ten times the previous workload with no increase in staff.
Doing More Good
By overhauling the way that governments provide services and support for those in need, it should be possible to both minimize costs and increase participation rates. To those in the social services field, that's as close to finding a holy grail as one could hope. It's also becoming possible while budgetary constraints are making things considerably harder at all levels of government – so it couldn't be coming at a more opportune time. With any luck, technology should let us do more good for more people while meeting our fiscal goals – and we'll all be better off for that.
In today's business world, technology can make the ultimate difference between success and failure. That's one of the reasons that you'd be hard-pressed to find a business of any kind that isn't running or starting some kind of technology initiative, ranging from AI to big data and everything in between. That has had a profound effect on the labor markets in almost every developed economy – creating a well-known talent shortage across the technology spectrum.
That shortage is putting an increasing amount of pressure on businesses, and SMEs in particular, as they look for candidates with the skills they need to support their technology goals. Fortunately, there are several ways that SMEs can meet their talent needs, even within such a difficult environment. To elaborate, here are three vital tactics for SMEs to overcome the tech talent shortage and fill their ranks with the skilled employees they need.
Training From Within
The first thing that SMEs must realize when addressing their tech talent needs is that every company's in the same boat. That's because some of today's technology is so new, that there simply aren't very many qualified candidates to choose from. That's why it's a great idea for SMEs to train existing employees in the skills they require. First, this allows an SME to acquire the exact skill set they need, without having to hire a potentially overqualified candidate. Second, existing staff already have an intimate understanding of the business's inner workings, needs, and strategic goals, so they'll have a far easier time applying their new knowledge to the greatest effect. Some of today's biggest tech firms have already adopted a hire first, train later approach to filling their talent pools – and if it works for them, it will also work for the average SME.
Find Candidates Where They Are
Unlike the broader workforce, technology professionals tend to travel in tighter and more overlapping circles, which often makes them harder to find for SMEs hunting for the right candidate. To overcome this reality, SMEs must learn to look in places where top tech talent tends to congregate, like on a icrunchdata which is a tech job board, or sites like Github and Linkedin. By getting established within those kinds of online communities, an SME can build a reputation that will draw talented candidates in, especially if they're recruiting for interesting and challenging projects. It's important to remember that the best way for an SME to make this tactic effective is to get involved in tech communities before a specific need for talent arises. That way, they'll be regarded as a trusted community member, rather than a mere headhunter.
Be Open To Remote Workers
Even though it's still not common practice in the SME world, one of the best ways to find and acquire necessary tech talent is to expand the search to include remote workers. That simple shift in tactics can allow an SME to draw from a global talent pool, rather than just a local one. Many companies avoid doing this because they fear the management complications that come with offsite employees, or believe that the technology infrastructure necessary to support remote staff is going to cost too much or be too difficult to maintain. In truth, those are outdated notions. Today, an SME can conduct the majority of their technology initiatives completely in the cloud, which means even local employees will be using remote access to do their work. Even in cases where there's on-site infrastructure, the investment required to use an open-source solution like OpenVPN is minimal. In short, there's no real reason that SMEs shouldn't avail themselves of the widest talent pool possible – and those that don't are selling themselves short.
Staff Up For Success
By putting these three tactics into effect, any SME, and indeed any business, can keep their tech needs satisfied without resorting to a desperate bidding war for scarce talent. They'll also end up with a workforce that is better suited to their specific requirements, which is a pleasant and welcome side effect of these strategies. The bottom line is, it's more than possible for an SME to thrive even in today's difficult tech hiring environment – as long as they are willing to eschew the tried-and-true recruiting strategies of yesteryear and embrace a new, more modern skill acquisition paradigm.
Embedded software in its basic nature is a software used to control devices not fully regarded as computers, these types of devices are called embedded systems. Synonym for such software is sometimes referred to as firmware.
With such devices, there are specific challenges and issues in their function. And where are issues, there is an embedded software development company that is specialized in resolving those problems.
In the following lines, we will address some of the major challenges of ESD in short notes.
Challenge #1 Stability
Stability is of supreme and greatest importance in the proper functioning of embedded systems. Unexpected behavior of a system poses some serious risks. End users are expecting proper functioning of embedded systems and their uniform behavior in order to perform necessary tasks without disruption.
Challenge #2 Safety
Safety is a specific feature of ES (embedded systems) due to their use associated with functionality in condemnatory environments. Software Development Life cycle specialized for embedded software is described by strict needs and constraints regarding quality and engineering expertise.
Challenge #3 Security
Security a major paramount of the digital world is getting more attention with every security breach and scandal in an online world. Risks are growing increasingly, especially for IoT devices which are getting more and more popular worldwide. Modern home appliances like washing machines, refrigerators are having connectivity features built in by default.
Challenge #4 Launch Phase
Tough indicators in embedded system development are most definitely time-to-market and time-to-revenue specifically for IoT branches. For this reason, applications and platforms are expected to support billions of IoT systems which are expected to circulate by 2020. Extreme flexibility and integration are required for fabrication of hardware components that are housing embedded systems. Longer IoT device lifespan, future updates, and releases are becoming an issue for component designers.
Challenge #5 Design Limitations
Most of the challenges in designing embedded systems have almost always been in the identical limiting requirements:
- Small-scale form factor.
- Low energy.
- Prolonged stable performance without upkeep.
Expanding market is demanding from designers to create more processing power and prolong the battery lives into spaces that are more compact, which is most of the time a tradeoff. Ultimately, in comparison of applications in IoT, there is an increasing demand for creating very scalable processor units ranging from inexpensive and low power consumption to topmost performance that are highly configurable. There is an identical demand for performance of system buses and memory caches.
Challenge #6 Integrity and Compatibility
Estimations are showing that currently most of the applications on the market are created and published by businesses younger than 3 years old. With their expertise in developing software, a good number of them are lacking experience in implementing and pushing updates to their applications in IoT environment, especially in regard to security regulations.
Expansion of IoT devices on the background of connectivity creates more pressure on their adaptive capability. Users need to be capable of managing the application via a simple UI and all available channels including over the air software updates that need ultimate compatibility through the entire ecosystem.
Integrity becomes a function of safety. To protect the IoT from attacks or being compromised, security must be implemented inside each of the devices at every level.
Key Issues of Embedded Software Development
Whether we like it or not, by 2021 the number of wirelessly connected devices by certain estimations will grow to 25 billion across the globe. Embedded solution developers are being faced with many issues throughout this way. We will not be covering the entirety of them in detail. So let’s just have a look at a few of them.
Pre-engineered software stacks are resolving the complexity of connectivity but only partially, the issue still remains for programmers to have enough skill and knowledge to understand a problem if certain modifications are required.
With IoT devices, the updates have to be delivered and pushed on their own without any of the users’ intervention.
Many embedded software developers state that each embedded project incurs additional costs for debugging taking roughly 40% of devs’ time.
Embedded systems are getting increasingly more independent from the hardware which they are placed into. They will no longer be characterized by hardware obstructions, becoming capable of doing any operation to achieve a certain objective. Hopefully, points described in this article will help you to understand some of the key issues and challenges ESD has and possibly make you more aware of how to tackle them.
Ruby on Rails has common language and English-like syntax that makes it feel logical and native that some parts of the code are easy to understand. This turns Ruby into a self-documenting readability code. This also reduces the burden of writing help text or separate comments.
Both managers and programmers can read each other's code quickly and easily. This allows them to know the ongoings of a specific project. While it's not required to know Ruby on Rails, but it's important for you to understand Ruby as you learn about Rails. It's one of the easiest programming languages to learn.
However, the transition into the Ruby on Rails isn't going to be easy. That's why it's important to become a part of the Ruby on Rails community. The online community is open and welcoming to beginners and provides helpful information. This framework also has built-in solutions to common problems that most web developers face. If not, you can find an expert in the Ruby on Rails community who can help you out.
Faster Web Development
Ruby on Rails decreases the amount of time spent on web development by 25 to 50% compared ot other programming frameworks. Sometimes you're required to have a project online within hours. Web development with Ruby on Rails is made faster with a lean code base, modular design, and an open-source code helped developed by the Ruby on Rails community. It also provides a wide variety of features and plug-in solutions for future development.
Ruby on Rails requires fewer lines of code. One line of code can sometimes amount to six lines of Java code. One of the biggest advantages of Ruby on Rails is that the ability the develop a prototype is faster than other frameworks. This allows you to check the usability of a project and correct any errors early on, which helps with mitigating tasks.
Easy Code Maintenance & Updates
Ruby on Rails is also known for its predictability and stability, both of which are good things. Editing the existing code and adding new features have never been easier. This is valuable when working on a long-term project or a startup. If you have to make updates to an application or refractor its code, the Ruby on Rails conventions can help you learn everything in a timely manner. Since most startups have a low retention rate, it's good to know that the substitution of a team member isn't a concern when you choose Ruby on Rails web development.
Ruby on Rails is also known for its cost-effectiveness. If your business on a budget, you probably want to avoid the licensing costs for convention languages. Fortunately, Ruby on Rails is free for individuals and corporations to use. It can also run on the open-source Linux and can be used with many free databases and web servers.
There are a wide variety of libraries that help save you save time and effort, and many of these libraries are free to use. Your application can be deployed, developed, and maintained by various developers who have different rates. The ability of Ruby on Rails is to save time and money. And while the code updates and development process are performed quickly, you'll spend less money on the development of your website as well as its upgrades.
Ruby on Rails can help you save time and money while you ensure high quality. The maturity of your website will lead to fewer risks. This allows developers to create websites that follow the practices of good development. They don't have to boilerplate every type of code thanks to the use of high-quality libraries. All they have to do is focus on your business needs and help you develop a better product.
Ruby on Rails also comes with testing automation, which helps you create better software. In the end, it helps you make web applications and sites look more appealing. Potential uses are numerous, for example it’s great if you want to make a music app and maintain its features in the future - and also, with Ruby you’ll be able to develop a MVP (minimum viable product) much faster than with other frameworks. You can modify the application and add updates to improve its speed and performance.
Suitable for all Industries
Ruby on Rails was originally intended as a general-purpose solution. This full-stack framework includes front- and back-end design. The Ruby on Rails community has been focused on web development since its inception. The framework has grown more diverse in recent years.
The Ruby on Rails community is using this programming for a wide variety of purposes. Some of those purposes include advertising, back-end for mobile applications, content management systems, e-commerce, e-learning, FinTech, marketplaces, science, social networking, and more. Both startups and established businesses of all sizes have experienced the speed and agility of Ruby on Rails. While Ruby on Rails can be used for a wide variety of businesses, most of its products are web applications.
As you can see, Ruby on Rails is a development platform that's dedicated to building database back-end applications for businesses of all sizes and is suitable for many industries. The benefits of the Ruby programming language is that it provides easy to understand and quick web development. Its benefits reduces configuration code and allows Ruby developers to write code in less time. All of these benefits make Ruby on Rails an efficient and quick way to create websites and web applications.
Modified by PhilipP.
Small business owners know that there's always something to be done, and you often don't have the staff needed to take on important chores. Between putting together a sales plan and managing contracts, the IT department's to-do list can quickly get forgotten about. This means your firm could be missing out on needed improvements. In the worst case scenario, your company's custom apps and eCommerce tools might actually be insecure as a result of deferred updates.
Outsourcing your company's needs to a remote teams of software developers can help your personnel focus on these other pressing matters. A large number of larger enterprise-level businesses have recently started outsourcing IT support and code development chores to Eastern Europe because of the following benefits. There's no reason that smaller firms shouldn't be able to take advantage of these five following highlights as well.
1) Dramatic Cost Reduction
Almost every company that shops work out to another organization is looking to save money. This is true whether they're working with domestic coders or people located overseas. Firms often can't afford to hire a full staff of people, and they, therefore, have to look elsewhere. Training and maintaining in-house IT staff is prohibitively expensive, especially for firms that only need to write code once in a while.
Labor costs in Eastern European nations tend to be much lower than those in Western states, which makes it a particularly attractive region to find programmers in. In spite of the fact that these programmers are located in a geographical area that's thousands of miles away from the physical plant of the companies that they're working for, it's still easy to keep in touch with them.
Remote devs can use secure HTTPS and FTP servers to transfer files to and from the agencies that hired them, so you won't even have to worry about your code getting leaked in the process.
2) Consistency of Knowledge & Experience
When you put together your own IT team, you have to ensure that they're all familiar with the kind of software and hardware they're going to be working with. More than likely, your company manages a number of unrelated platforms that all have to be maintained.
By hiring teams of software developers, you take all of the guesswork out of this equation. Eastern European service agencies follow a strict procedure of documenting your IT environment. They make this knowledge visible across your organization and match you with specialists who have experience with the kind of technology you're working with. Since these agencies fulfill orders for so many different Western businesses, they're able to maintain massive teams that have the experience to support a wide variety of programming languages and libraries.
3) Guaranteed Levels of Service
When you sign a service contract, all of the relevant details are spelled out to you in great detail so you'll know exactly what you're getting. According to anecdotal evidence provided by technology experts at NCube, problems can occur at any time of the day. By having an IT service contract with a reputable Eastern European agency, you'll always have ready access to help even if it’s the middle of the night.
4) Access to Additional Resources
A majority of companies outsource their technical support and product development departments. This has made the marketplace more competitive than ever. In order to gain an edge in the international community, many Eastern European agencies have added cloud storage, cryptographic ledger auditing, and other services to their software development packages. This means your company might gain access to more products than you'd even originally hoped for.
5) A Renewed Focus on Business
Perhaps the most important service these organizations can provide is the ability for your personnel to focus on running your company. By taking care of all the behind the scenes details inherent in doing business in the digital age, an Eastern European agency can free your crews up to better serve your customers.
Academics in Eastern Europe have heavily emphasized computer literacy in recent decades, which has led to a large number of trained engineers willing to fulfill the terms of decent contracts. Regardless of why your company needs to look overseas to hire technical leaders, you may find what you're looking for in this region of the world.
If you run a small business, you know there's always something to do. Between finances, marketing, operations, and sales, IT security can quickly become an afterthought. As IT development prices out West increases and the in-house teams get busier, more small businesses are turning to the concept of outsourcing.
Outsourcing to a group of dedicated software developers can help you focus on these other tasks. What's the use of having the latest technology if your business isn't equipped to manage and use it? Here are some reasons why small businesses have been outsourcing their IT support and solutions to East Europe.
You know that training and maintaining your in-house IT team can get expensive. Even some of the most basic IT professionals from the West are costly. Labor costs aside, the costs for backup programs, network monitoring, security software, and software licensing can quickly amount. Implementing and maintaining your computers, firewalls, network, servers, storage, wireless connection, and more can exceed your business's capital. Outsourcing your IT team can turn those fixed capital costs into variable operating costs, which allows you to budget accordingly. You only pay for the services that you use.
Focus on Business
Outsourcing your IT team also allows you to focus on your business. It's difficult to wear many hats. The accounting department should be focused on A/R instead of trying to backup Quickbooks. Your marketing agency should focus on creating brand awareness, not trying to figure how to sync their calendars to their smartphones.
Distractions such as these decrease employee productivity and make it impossible to meet your bottom line. Outsourcing an IT team means they're accountable for their own tasks, not your employees. They handle all of the IT tasks so your employees don't have to worry about them.
When you hire an in-house IT tech team, you know how much money, time, and commitment it takes to hire and train them so they're up to speed on your IT systems. What happens if they happen to leave your company for a lucrative position? Outsourcing solves this problem by following the strict processes of documenting your IT environment and making this knowledge known across your organization.
This means no one person has control of your IT systems. An entire team of IT professionals know the ins and outs of your business, including its processes, systems, and requirements. If you ever have to part ways with your IT team, it's important for them to transfer that knowledge to another someone else within your organization.
Every business will carry a certain level of risk in their lives. The increasing concern over competitors, economic conditions, government regulations, and technologies make this the case. Companies that provide IT support know about this risk and work hard to reduce it. They have the industry knowledge and expertise on compliance and security issues. With their knowledge and skills, they can avoid potential risks.
Guaranteed Service Levels
Do you ever find yourself in the need of IT support after hours? Things can go wrong anytime of the day, including nights and weekends. An in-house IT team isn't going to be there all the time. Outsourcing provides you with the processes and staff to guarantee that your issues will be addressed and resolved in a timely manner. Outsourcing companies provide you with a staff that works around the clock to ensure these issues are handled as soon as they happen.
Access to Expanded Resources
While corporations have the resources required to maintain modern technologies and services themselves, smaller businesses aren't as lucky. Not only does outsourcing provide you with a diverse pool of technical talent, it allows you to develop relationships with IT vendors. Small businesses can establish a relationship with their outsourcing company to get access to additional services such as Cloud Hosted Servers, Desktops and Applications as a Service, and Mobile Device Management. Outsourcing your IT support to East Europe has too many advantages to ignore, especially for small businesses. Some businesses are never sure about outsourcing due to cost reasons. When determining your IT costs, don't forget to add in costs like data loss, employee productivity, and other risks involved with an in-house IT team. Outsourcing is more affordable than you think.
Planned obsolescence is also known as built-in obsolescence is an economic or industrial measure of designing a device or a product with timed in or designated lifespan to increase revenue for the company in the near future.
There is no doubt that car makers, appliance producers, software companies and other manufacturers knowingly design their products to last to a certain extent of time. One of the best ways to fight and curtail this practice is to repair and maintain your product, either by yourself or using professional services such as https://zeto.ua. And finally, if consumers and general public doesn’t push against this practice, it is likely to continue.
That is why it’s important to raise your voice about this, stop supporting companies that are the worst offenders, and demand durability. We had it before, and we can have it again. But for now, let’s dive deeper into what this trend is.
Simply put, contrived durability is a market strategy abbreviating the products lifetime prior to market release, by a quicker deterioration.
The strategy of abbreviated durability is mostly not approved by the law. On the other side, manufacturers have the freedom to determine the durability of their product.
This strategy is also known as stylistic obsolescence. In other words, it occurs when designers alter the stylistic perception of the product in order to lure customers in more stylish and fashionable products, thus making increased purchases.
An increasing amount of products are desired for their looks and aesthetic compared to their functional benefits making perceived obsolescence one of the top strategies in planned obsolescence.
Systematic obsolescence is the intentional disablement of a product to prevent its functionality, thus forcing the consumer to purchase a substitution. One of the popular examples is the situation when inkjet producers create a placement of smart chips in their ink cartridges for further prevention of operability after a designated threshold. This is labeled as “programmed systematic obsolescence” for there is no random component giving a contribution to a functional decline.
Planned obsolescence today
A perfect example of such practice is the popular “Apple performance scheme”. The company has acknowledged what the customers were getting aware of. They admitted of slowing down the performance of outdated iPhone devices.
Reason to justify this as it was stated is that performance curtailment was put in place to compensate for battery degradation. An obvious reason for this is to force consumers to upgrade to a newer model, just to face the same issue in the near future. Hence repeating the process in order to create an increasing amount of yearly profit for the company.
When the market becomes competitive field lifespans of the commodities are inclined to increase. A supreme example is when Japanese automobiles back in the 60s and 70s were imported to America with increased lifespan compared to the American. The American car industry was forced to put out a more durable product on the market.
In 2015, as large civil movements continue to fight companies and product makers in their goal to create an impermanent product across the European Union, different countries including France have passed law legislation obliging that appliance producers and distributors declare the considered product lifespan. In some cases, mandatory warranties of two years are applied.
Let us not forget the software
Software companies from time to time discontinue the practice of customer support in their older created software in an ever-increasing attempt to pressurize the users to update to more advanced systems. Software that is discontinued or cast aside is often referred to as abandonware.
Modified by PhilipP.
With a steady growth of its use, software is becoming one of the major contenders for market share and such requires specific regulations with licensing system applied by many tech companies.
It is indisputable that for a great number of sprouting StartUps and companies superior management of software licenses poses an important objective to work for since having a throughout process of the licensing system proved to be essential for the future.
Software licensing is a legal tool for authorizing consumers to operate or redistribute the software. Licensing may present itself as a complicated concept, consumers should undertake and learn the notions in order to improve software upheaval.
Besides practices that will be unveiled in this article to give you a broader perspective on the process best way to ensure that your software stays compliant with all the latest trends is to apply some of license key management software.
Collect your software licenses & pertinent data
Create a sheet of all your software licenses and deposit them in a general repository. Doing this you will gain an important insight into your license entitlement, giving you a better perspective which licenses you to have the legal means to assign to your members of the workforce. In this day and age this includes desktop applications and every cloud subscription so keep in mind you are cover in all areas. Adding to the previously gathered licenses collect all related data that will be of importance to have when you when the need occurs. Some of the data may be pieces of information about purchase expenditures, maintenance contracts, and various types of service fees.
Create a solid proof
After creating a repository with all the relevant data, it is of the highest importance that you are able to create a proof of your entitlement to them. As described in the paragraph above, this means keeping in reserve all your licenses but all related contracts and information. Should your company be examined, you are required to provide proof of every purchase, and this may be variable based on different vendors. You assuredly don’t want to have any touch with the issues of the law providing proof of your assets.
Track your costs and spending
A large number of companies find themselves that they are unintentionally misspending their capital on licenses for their lack of understanding in managing these costs. Doing a summarization of your software expenditure you will have a clearer perspective of all costs per user. Also create an accord to have a better awareness of future, current and past expenditure for future reference and planning.
These accords can prove a valuable reference in optimizing your budget in time to come.
Create a schedule
During the busy business days, it can certainly be strenuous to memorize all of the duties and tasks that are needed to be completed. Similar to creating an every day task list or a schedule on your mobile phone or desktop start practicing a process for license reminders.
Maintenance times, license subscription resumption and approvals need to be set as reminders through a service of your preferability. Without these daily reminders, crucial events may go slip unnoticed, which will unquestionably appear that you fall behind with the compliance and latest license management.
Make a software license management a crucial part of your business
Last but not least, making license management a top business priority is one of the highest markers in successful company administration. Essentially this represents informing all obligatory employees of necessary steps to be taken, and directly outlining the procedure to others, even if other departments are involved. The IT team is obliged to take the reins and create processes and procedures to be used by other teams.
Modified by PhilipP.
Unarguably, 2017 was a huge year for Blockchain - we have witnessed incredible growth with obscene ICO investments, alongside public regulations and security hacks. We are sure that many are trying to follow Blockchain news, since Bitcoins reached record-breaking exploits this year. But following such a phenomena may seem complicated, especially if you are new to the topic, since it is developing with a lightning-speed. That’s why we decided to list some of the latest Blockchain trends, for your better understanding of this profiting madness.
Bitcoins have broke every possible record
Let us start with an elephant in the room. For anyone living under a rock lately, we answer - yes, Bitcoins are a thing, and year 2017 will be remembered as a year, when it became a rising star. Its price has grown for more than 1700% during past year. Remember 2011, when Bitcoins were traded for $1 each? Well, in December 2017 the price has already passed $20K mark. And with financial giants like CME already starting Bitcoin futures trading, it is definitely not the end.
ICO makes money
Record number of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) with more than $5 billion funding since the start of the year. Companies like Bancor, Filecoin and Tenzos has become one of the best projects for the last year, raising hundreds of million dollars. Of course not every ICO can raise its minimal goal, but judging by the latest successful campaigns, we see no problem for future projects to sell all the available tokens quickly.
Decentralized Exchanges are the future
With the rise of the cryptocurrencies it was only a matter of time when people will start to think about exchanging coins without entrusting them to a third party service. This is basically the core of Decentralized Exchanges. You are always directly in control of your coins and can conduct transactions directly with someone you’re trading. This system is completely anonymous with excluded server downtime risks. Some examples of modern Decentralized Exchanges are Bitsquare and NXT.
Era of Hacks, Frauds and Regulations
We also cannot forget to raise all the risks and problems that became highlighted, as a result of Blockchain success, during the last year:
- Since ICO works similarly to crowdfunding but without its regulations it opened a window for some fraud companies that pushed ICO’s for the projects they never had interest in developing. As the result, companies like Confido and Moolah simply robbed their clients and disappeared with their money.
- Earlier this year, ICO did not hold any regulations whatsoever, but situation is changing rapidly. Countries like China, for example, already banned all cryptocurrency exchanges. We will see what regulations will be shaped in the majority of the Western countries.
While blockchain technology already enjoys undeniably advanced features by the end of 2017, Blockchain can go even further and be used to track supply chain movements. It is going to be a really big step towards a secure global network freedom. Already some banks, like IBM, starting to implement blockchain based payment technology to make their own transactions safer.
Blockchain can be implemented directly into any city infostructure, creating a “Smart City” of some sort. Commerce, energy, security - all can be tied together, operated and enabled by Blockchain. And don’t forget about real currencies - digital tokens for Dollars, Euros and Yuans are coming.
Also, we will probably see some massive improvements in terms of scaling transactions. Currently Bitcoin can only work with a certain transaction number in a given time. This can change with an increase of Bitcoin trade, since transaction fees will drop, giving new solutions an opportunity to make future transactions better.
Currently there are not many Blockchain experts on the market, but with a further increase of the technology we can safely predict that more and more specialists will be trained and hired by companies in a variety of industries.
Essentially, blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has potential not only of disrupting financial services, but also of solving issues of trust and reducing costs in various industries that highly depend on intermediaries. In fact, it can bring a paradigm shift in the way all digital transactions perform. As the blockchain fever has heated up in 2017, we can definitely expect a steady increase in application of blockchain-related processes in companies that continue to harness the concept, by linking their businesses to cryptocurrencies and blockchain. New potential applications of a technology are being explored every day, and all of us, the governments, consumers and businesses will feel the impact. Perhaps, we are at the brink of the next digital revolution, after the birth of the Internet.
Throughout 2018 the cryptocurrency world has been in something of a tailspin. Billions of dollars in investor capital have evaporated, with Bitcoin itself losing over 70% of its value. Within the industry, there's little consensus as to where the bottom of the market will ultimately be, and the uncertainty is calling the long term viability of cryptocurrencies into question.
The one bright spot, if there is one to be found, is the fact that the blockchain – which undergirds all cryptocurrencies – is continuing to garner plenty of interest as a revolutionary, adaptable tool by industries of all kinds. IBM, in particular, has helped lead the way in blockchain development over the past year. The company has approximately 1600 employees focused on developing new blockchain-powered platforms and use cases, many of which are already beginning to bear fruit. Here's a look at IBM's blockchain platform and two major projects, which could have broad and revolutionary implications for the industries they're meant to serve.
IBM Hyperledger Fabric
IBM's blockchain projects build upon an open-source implementation of blockchain known as Hyperledger, which is hosted by the Linux Foundation. The core of the code contributed by IBM is known as Hyperledger Fabric, which is a modular blockchain system aimed at enterprise-grade use as a secure data storage and authentication system. Unlike many other blockchain platforms, Hyperledger Fabric is permissioned, meaning that it supports multi-tiered access. That enables the use of conditional data access based upon permission level, making the system suitable for multi-company sharing. It's also built for speed and is capable of more than 1000 transactions per second, which compares quite favorably to other commercial blockchain platforms. All together, Hyperledger Fabric is a blockchain system built with business use cases in mind, and provides a solid foundation upon which to build customized applications – and that's just what IBM has been doing.
IBM Food Trust
One of the most visible blockchain projects IBM's been working on to date is their IBM Food Trust platform. It is a blockchain-based system that enables end-to-end tracing of food products in the global supply chain in real time. The idea behind the project is to provide a shared platform that all food supply chain participants can access to keep up-to-the-minute track of products – beginning on farms and in manufacturing facilities, all the way to the retail point of sale. In October of 2018, the platform emerged from testing and is now open to use all around the world for food industry businesses that choose to implement it. With big name players like Walmart in the fold, it seems that IBM's fledgling platform will be off to a great start in 2019 and beyond, and could go a long way towards assuring the safety and security of food products for sale in retail outlets.
ADNOC Energy Accounting
Another IBM blockchain project that looks to be a potential game changer is their collaboration with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). The recently implemented system will allow the state energy company to automate the transactions that occur between its subsidiary companies and streamline their internal accounting processes. In a commodity industry, that's no easy task, since the associated values for the products traversing the supply chain can change on a regular basis. That's why the system is expected to save the company untold millions in labor and related costs with no reduction in the quality or transparency of their asset accounting. The project is especially significant because it will represent a real-world accounting use case in a high-frequency environment, which could bode well for future blockchain implementations in everything from stock markets down to small business accounting systems.
All of the energy and resources that IBM has been devoting to blockchain development are helping Big Blue to establish itself as a technology leader in the space, at a time when other tech companies remain cautious about the future of blockchain. If the projects detailed here and the others that IBM has in the pipeline prove successful, IBM will be well positioned to lead yet another technology revolution, as it has so many times in its illustrious history. Altogether, it's a promising and forward-thinking initiative from one of tech's oldest companies that could have a transformative effect on a variety of markets that should make IBM's customers, investors, and fans very happy.
As with all flaws that lead to catastrophe, the spotlight on tech companies and government agencies skirting moral boundaries on the use of consumer data has only entered the public lexicon after a stories history of poor judgement, leaks and outright abuse. IBM is pivoting towards a near future with proper consumer protections in place, which may be the kind of push regulators need to get the ball rolling.
A measured response to privacy meltdowns
Describing what she saw as a "trust crisis" between tech companies and end users, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has joined Apple CEO Tim Cook in calling for tighter regulations for tech companies that routinely handle customer information. She described various companies as having taken advantage of consumer trust without directly naming any guilty parties while simultaneously calling for a more thorough set of restrictions for how data can be accrued, handled and possibly even sold.
Much of the backlash currently targeted at tech companies comes in the wake of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the harvesting and misuse of personal data became the new go-to example for data aggregation gone horribly awry. While Facebook has begun fighting the backlash in a wholly predictable move to save face, the wave of concern brought to light by just one company's data handling procedures may have opened the floodgates to regulation the industry isn't ready to adapt to.
Back in August, tech companies began pushing the notion of self-directed regulation in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal as a means of curbing damage before it became too great. In essence, the companies responsible for recent security breaches also wanted to be responsible for the legislation that would stop privacy breaches; To many, this served as little more than a red flag of concern regarding intentions and how effective those measures might actually be.
California passed its own data privacy laws that allow users to see just how a company is using its data, which helped prompt such a quick industry response.
Privacy pushes in an era of public paranoia
These concerns come from a very real place. As it stands, more Americans show concern for their privacy than they do for healthcare according to Harris Poll data. 65 percent of respondents cited data privacy as their most pressing concern, with health care and supporting military veterans close behind. With more eyes fixed squarely on these concerns, every leak and scandal both big and small is receiving attention it may not have received just five years ago.
Concerns regarding the efficacy of self-regulation have been running wild and the last outbreak of privacy breaches and data abuse have started to show the world why a lack of proper regulation regarding what is essentially the Wild West of the digital age can come back to haunt us as time goes on. When boundaries are soft and yielding, more companies are willing to ride that line until it breaks; After that point, finding individuals concerned about their data and its well-being is about as difficult as looking at an NBN availability map.
To try and combat public education issues regarding privacy as well as to help shape future policy, an IBM-affiliated security expert has been brought in to the UK's data protection watchdog group to provide insight. The Information Commissioner’s Office entered the public eye following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, necessitating an increase in both funding and available experts on the topics of security and regulation.
Yet there's a very real chance that this industry response is too late to properly curb the public's distrust for how data is being handled in the business landscape. Every mistake and breach whether well-intentioned or deliberate has chipped away at public trust and the reality is that the tech sector may not fully recover. Chasing after regulation to assuage fears may be too little, too late.
Modified by JeffreyRuhl
Businesses world over have been known to thrive on monopoly, where there is little or no competition. Such businesses usually dictate absolutely all aspects of inputs and outputs, ranging from labor, supply, price, quantity, and even the market.
Since the world became a global village, however, such undue advantages have been thrown overboard. Any business that actually wants to impact the world market must do a very serious behind the scene work.
A business that does not meet up with developmental trends in the world market will fizzle out or be swallowed up by the bigger, hungrier, and more tech savvy organizations.
Only the companies that have solid strategies on the ground, will not be rollercoastered and bulldozed into oblivion by the highly intensive competition that is currently playing out in the world market.
To be able to survive and impact the world market, there is every need to re-strategize with the aim of evolving innovative ideas that will firmly and effectively stamp your business outfit or organization on the world market.
Let’s look at some ways you can go about achieving this.
1. Create an efficient R&D section
What has virtually taken a lot of organizations to the doldrums is the failure and inability to carry out researches. Most setups don’t have the section and some that do, have completely underfunded them to the extent that they are practically impotent.
Some organizations view money spent on research and development as money sent down the drain. This view is pure balderdash.
Organizations that have become household names today have highly packed R&D sections that are very efficient. They make sure that the section gets a very good budget to be able to carry out its works without any hindrance,
Top riding organizations see the R&D section as the engine room of the establishment and accord their opinions and works all the respect that is due, they realize that they do not only enjoy competitive advantage but also survive as a result of R&D.
For a business setup to command respect and be among those that call the shots in the world market today, the R&D section must be very viable and capable to spew out innovations at regular intervals.
2. Make concerted effort at rebranding
Just as it will be completely wrong to put new wine in an old wine skin, it will be utterly unproductive to expect that the new ideas and innovations brought up by the R&D will impact the market with the old ads and commercials.
It is highly important that you give the organization a new look that translates to the trends in the globe. You can’t afford to be seen as antiquated. There must be the shine and glow in the outlook of the organization.
It won’t be a bad idea if seasoned and experienced members of the staff are made to handle the customer outreach position. The position is very vital as regards how customers view the organization.
The position must not be seen as lowly, that will be a very dangerous move and has the potency to make or mar the company.
3. Outsource for competent hands
Quite unlike before, the opportunity now abounds for you to engage competent hands from anywhere in the world. The social media has absolutely put anybody you want at your reach. Even with your smartphone, all it requires is just a click and you are right there.
Nicholas Dutko the CEO at Auto Transport Quotes and Car Shipping Carriers gave an insight into the power of the social media when he said “Having the ability to have all access at all time whether it be from a laptop, smartphone or smart watch has changed how companies do business and it has put businesses in a greater advantage than ever before.”
Overhead is one of the stumbling blocks any organization grapples with and every pro out there knows you can easily reach out to others in the field. This has created a healthy competition and vis-a-vis a relatively cheaper but highly efficient labor.
You need to understand that just because something is considered cheap doesn’t make it less of a service.
What has actually brought down the price of your service or product is the margin you have as a result of the better, quicker, and efficient manpower. You can easily afford this luxury because you waved the magic wand by outsourcing.
In conclusion, all the arsenal you need to re-strategize your business to meet up with the competitive market is easily at your disposal. By activating them, you will be building a very solid foundation for the organization.
It’s never an easy task to build a business past the start-up level; it requires exceptional skills and technical know-how, besides doggedness and hard work.
Also, to be taken into consideration are the dynamics involved especially as they pertain to liabilities and assets, but then a startup shouldn’t be seen as an innovation but rather as a deja vu.
To attain the status of a startup, all that is needed to be done is to be resolutely in charge of the business that was started, peg revenue to below $20 million, and have less than 80 employees.
For businesses aiming to leave the startup level and build multi-million dollar ventures, some certain approaches, actions, and inactions have to be exercised.
Below are 6 benefits that will help businesses take these crucial actions and be able to upgrade their startups to a start-up graduate in no time.
1. Availability of role models
A few years back a startup didn’t have a roll call of trailblazers, but today you can have your choices and pick from an array of them. As if that was not enough, the social media has put many of them at your reach.
An added advantage is that most of them are quite willing to talk about their achievement, so getting one to be your role model can’t be an uphill task. All you need do is to network with them.
Annie Lawless was very forthcoming on how she made multi millions before the age of 30.
2. A great opportunity for outsourcing
You can not bottle up yourself in a hole and expect to succeed. You must engage the services of a crack team made up of hardened professionals. Fortunately for you and your business, the world has gone tech-savvy; and as a global village, you can acquire the services you need from any part of the globe within seconds.
You now have the opportunity of delegating responsibility and authority; for instance, you don’t have to be web developer, graphics designer, or have exceptional coding knowledge to build yourself a good business website -- with easily-customizable theme platforms, plugins, widgets and so on, or with on-standby professionals to outsource to, you’ll have your site up and running in no time.
This means you can acquire free resources from all around the web, or easily create a team made up of professionals from different parts of the world. A lot of startups that are more than 20 years of age didn’t have such opportunity.
3. Opportunity for VC’s backing
You don’t need a loan for your startup, you are not into a grocery business. What you need is a venture capitalist (VC). Don’t attempt a cold email, it isn’t going to work. You rather need a referral through a sound connection.
Venture capitalists apart from funding the company, tend to play a more active role in whatever company they are backing, quite unlike banks.
Philip Kingston, founder of Trimantium Capital said, “Venture capitalists want to back people whose unique insights challenge the status quo.”
4. Accessibility to the world market
What you actually need to be a startup and eventually a start-up graduate is a vibrant market. The revolution in the social media has given a mammoth leap to businesses.
Apart from the “old generation” social media, the oldest among the newer ones is the Google, which came up on the 27th of September 1998, all the others like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Skype, and LinkedIn are relatively younger. Each of them is less than 20 years.
If people were able to acquire the status of startups without the enhancement created by the social media as far back as 30 or more years ago, what will stop you from being a startup graduate in a few years after you must have set up your company?
The world market you need is just a click away, from your kitchen, on your smartphone, you can access any information. People before now had to do a lot of crisscrossing, traversing continents but still became household names.
A case in point is Apple that came into limelight on the 1st of April 1976, while Microsoft is 42 years having come into the limelight on the 4th of April 1975.
5. Ability to grow
A lot of small and medium scale outfits are usually consumed and acquired by bigger corporations especially when they start doing well in business. This, however, can never be the case of a startup that is going mega.
The sole reason is that the VCs who invested their capital are usually on ground to monitor, advise and chaperone the company since they want to recoup their investment within a short time frame and also make the attendant profit.
For this sole reason, it will work against their interest if they allow the goose that lays the golden egg to be swallowed up by a shark. The ultimate is for them to work tirelessly to make sure their baby company grows quickly and blossoms into the status of a start-up graduate.
6. Opportunity to learn new tricks
The VCs usually see the founders as their proteges and apart from shepherding them off harm’s way resort to coaching them. This gives the founder a sort of insight into things and issues that were probably hidden.
It is not a hidden fact that most angel investors were seasoned entrepreneurs who had toed the line and emerged unscathed. They know the rules of the game and a willing founder can only get better at it.
They will be very ready to pour out all the experience they have stockpiled over the years since a lot is at stake here.
How are you poised to utilize the opportunities you have to make yourself a household name? The growth potential in the world market today is quite overwhelming, not with the world population hitting the 7.5 billion mark and still growing without any sign of relenting soon.
All you need is a crack team to take hard decisions and very fast for that matter, and you will be smiling to the bank.
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.