Competitive Edge
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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand

Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The long read: How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific.

 

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Via Enzo Calamo
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This 'long read' article describes a world beyond ours: what some billionaires are doing with their money, and why. Must-read.

It's about Apocalypse, survival, Lord of the Rings, and more...

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50 startups that will boom in 2018, according to VCs

50 startups that will boom in 2018, according to VCs | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

2018 is almost upon us and so it is once again time to predict which startups will take the tech industry by storm next year.

Who better to ask than the startup experts, the VCs that watch the industry, guide the startups, hear their pitches, and invest in them?

We reached out to a number of top VCs and asked them which startups will boom in 2018. We invited participation from investors from a variety of backgrounds and investing philosophies. This includes some of the top VCs in the Valley (Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Bessemer, Greylock Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia). Read more: click image or title.

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Very interesting to see what is coming and becoming successful.

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3 Founders With Booming Businesses Share Stories About Their Difficult Early Days

3 Founders With Booming Businesses Share Stories About Their Difficult Early Days | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Everyone struggles. You're not alone.

Three entrepreneurs look back on the early days of their now-booming businesses.

Moblize:

“I almost pulled the plug on my business.”

Growth hacker status: Growing despite its customer base in the oil and gas industry cratering by 26 percent.

Read more: click image or title.

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Three great stories of #entrepreneurship and #innovation.

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34 Most Disruptive Technologies of the Next Decade

34 Most Disruptive Technologies of the Next Decade | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Smart dust? 4-D printing? Gartner's annual hype cycle report offers insight into new directions in technology.

 

Research firm Gartner released its annual report this week on hype in technology, sharing which technologies are up-and-coming, which are at peak hype, and which have moved well into mainstream territory.

You probably won't be surprised to learn that machine learning is riding the highest crest of the "peak of inflated expectations" wave. You might be surprised, though, by the technologies coming up behind it. Read more: click image or title.

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Mind boggling...

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Seven Tips For Starting A Tech Company Without Venture Capital

Seven Tips For Starting A Tech Company Without Venture Capital | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Just because you haven't raised a round doesn't mean you can't bootstrap a thriving business.

When starting a tech company, it can be tempting to make venture capital a priority, but finding it shouldn’t be what drives your business decisions. I knew I wanted to bootstrap my business, BuySellAds, so that I could follow my own goals. By following these next few tips, I was able to achieve success for my business without raising VC money. Here’s how you can too. Read more: click image or title.

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Making the right choices when creating your #tech #startup.

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Technology will change where we live

Technology will change where we live | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Governor Jerry Brown recently proposed legislation that would streamline the path for large-scale development across California. It could have a huge impact on growing housing supply in San Francisco, specifically, which suffers from NIMBYism and a lengthy, local review process for building developers.

The additional supply spurred by the legislation will help abate the rising housing costs — and is a good thing. But in the end, it may not matter much. Within about five years a new technology revolution will create a massive shift in where people choose to live and, as a pleasant byproduct, will solve San Francisco’s real estate crisis, independent of any legislation. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Technology is quickly changing how we live. This article illustrates where we're going. Some amazing insights.

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Startup Success: Why Everything Must Work Out In Your Favor - Techstars

Startup Success: Why Everything Must Work Out In Your Favor - Techstars | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Last week I talked to a young, first time founder. Before we even talked about Techstars, he said, “You know what, we have raised a little bit of cash, we have a good advisor, we are probably okay, we don’t need an accelerator.”

You cannot imagine how much I cringe when I hear that kind of statement.

It is very difficult for me to convey to first time founders what lies ahead of them. Indeed, if they knew, they wouldn’t do it. “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Via Pantelis Chiotellis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Every aspect of your #startup must be world-class, says this Techstars director. #Founders need to realize what they are up against. From the TechStars blog.

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What Are The Five Main Markets of IoT?

What Are The Five Main Markets of IoT? | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
In a new publication, Bain & Company cut the IoT pie into five slices, which it calls the “major emerging battlegrounds” that will define the industry.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is accelerating at an impressive speed, forecasters predict 25 billion devices will be online by 2020, creating over $300 billion in opportunities for companies involved.

Even with this considerable growth coming in the next five years, most enterprise folks still don’t understand or aren’t invested in the IoT revolution. Management consulting firm Bain & Company believe that’s due to misrepresentation on the definition of IoT.

Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The integration of #devices and the unlimited scope of applications is growing exponentially. #IoT is happening...

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We're Turning Into a Freelance Nation. Here's What That Looks Like.

We're Turning Into a Freelance Nation. Here's What That Looks Like. | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Technology has facilitated a global market shift that provides more options for freelance employees.

With more than 53.7 million freelancers working the United States, the group now makes up about one third of the nation’s labor force. It’s a number which signals just how much the U.S. job market has changed in the years following the Global Financial Crisis.

Researcher Bill Tancer said recently: “We believe there has been a fundamental shift in the U.S. job market. Incomes have stagnated and the size of the total labor pool has contracted.” Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#JobSecurity is going down and people are looking for new ways to market their skills. Working from home has many advantages, and so does working for yourself.

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From Entry To Exit: What It Takes To Create A Viable Startup

From Entry To Exit: What It Takes To Create A Viable Startup | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

At a recent event in Puerto Rico, I was asked to speak about best practices in technology marketing. From my perspective — after close to two decades advising, and learning from, some of the best tech startups — it’s quite simple: the ability to stay true to yourself despite whatever comes at you.  And the principle toolset to staying true?  Imagine yourself as the protagonist (hero) in a story where you will need to allow three things to happen: (1) your personal and professional transformation, for you will indeed need to change by growing (evolving) because of the challenges you will face, while remaining true to yourself; (2) the strategic use of your unique gifts as an entrepreneur; and (3) the use of people in your network who understand those gifts and are more than willing to help, but only if you can find the courage to ask.

The challenges/gifts/help triad is, in my opinion, common to all stories, whether the outcomes are good or bad.

Let’s start with the bad:  ignore any of these elements in the triad and the story is known as tragedy.  But understanding and accepting the challenges of your own hero’s journey could be the best thing you can do for your fledgling company.  In Puerto Rico — at the launch of a new technology accelerator called Parallel 18  (where I am an advisor) – I took extra time to explain the importance of asking for help because, as I have learned in my travels, this may in fact be the greatest challenge in Hispanic business culture.  But I am more impressed with the exceptions, like the story of Pilar Manchón, a Spanish-born entrepreneur who launched and sold a company to Intel where she is now a general manager. The exceptions to the rule are instructional, like all great stories. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A great story about what it takes to succeed on the road to #success. A #startup is quite a challenge, and that is what this is about.

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Guy Kawasaki on the art of innovation: Ten steps

Guy Kawasaki on the art of innovation: Ten steps | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Guy Kawasaki presents 10 steps on the art of innovation at the Gartner Business Intelligence and Analytics Summit.

As the top executive in charge of information technology, CIOs are feeling a lot of pressure to innovate. Or they should be.

According to Gartner, CEOs expect business revenue from digital offerings to increase more than 80% by 2020. For companies to keep up with the push to digital, IT departments must function not only as IT service providers but also as innovation partners to the business. But how exactly does innovation happen? And how do CIOs sell the idea that IT -- the organization that keeps the proverbial lights on -- is prepared to drive business strategy?


At the recent Gartner Business Intelligence and Analytics Summit, marketing guru Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist at Apple and chief evangelist at online graphic design tool company Canva, offered a 10-step manifesto for fostering the art of innovation. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

 Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more: www.Business-Funding-Insider.com


Via Pantelis Chiotellis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Innovation is at the heart of every #startup now. #Technology keeps on driving major #disruptions. Inredible Guy #Kawasaki has 10 steps on the art of innovation. Here is one: Let 100 flowers blossom. Go take a look at this article, great stuff.

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Why Tech Leaders Are Following Google to Portland

Why Tech Leaders Are Following Google to Portland | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Silicon Valley's burdensome housing costs and chronic traffic congestion make Portland's thriving tech sector a powerful draw.

I never truly experienced the great Portland-Seattle tech migration first hand. Oh, sure, I always heard about it in the background. People couldn’t afford the Bay Area, so periodically various acquaintances might disappear to the rainy north.

Skilled American tech workers are leaving the Bay Area faster than they are arriving, so I haven't been all that surprised.

Read more: click image or title.

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

There is an #exodus happening away from #SiliconValley. #Tech engineers are spreading out to other areas where they can either work or #workfromhome. This trend seems to be accelerating right now.

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13 Practices of the World’s Most Innovative Organizations | Innovation Management

13 Practices of the World’s Most Innovative Organizations | Innovation Management | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Successful organizations know the significance of innovation in business.

Apple is a good example of how effective innovation management can improve yourproducts and scale up your business. After reaching on the brink of collapse, it achieved new heights of success by implementing effective innovation management policy. The success of its innovative management strategies once again brought it in the league of leading organizations. If you are an entrepreneur who wants to learn from innovative management strategies of successful organizations, consider the following thirteen strategies.

In non-technical language, innovative management is any process that involves changes in planning, ideation, technical execution and production of resources in a way that can make a system more functional for people. In context of business, it focuses on two major objectives: Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Via Ken Cooper
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Innovation drives the success of #startups and #corporations. Absolutely essential. Great article by InnovationManagement.

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A top venture capital firm predicts these 8 trends will take over cloud computing in 2018

A top venture capital firm predicts these 8 trends will take over cloud computing in 2018 | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Bessemer Venture Partners knows the cloud.

The Silicon Valley venture capital firm meets with over a thousand cloud companies each year and keeps close tabs on its dozens of investments in the cloud market. Just to round things out, Bessemer also researches 78 cloud companies that have already gone public, keeping tabs on their performance so as to better advise their still-private investments.

All of this data comes together in the firm's annual State of the Cloud report, which Bessemer published Thursday. 

In the report, Bessemer investors Byron Deeter, Kristina Shen and Anna Khan share what they see in the year ahead for companies on the cloud. 

Here's what they expect to see in 2018. Read more: click image or title.

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It's very important to know new trends in technology to stay ahead of the game, no matter what you do.

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How to Get a Job at a Crypto Startup – AngelList Blog

How to Get a Job at a Crypto Startup – AngelList Blog | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

From startups like Coinbase to protocol creators like Filecoin, cryptocurrency companies are seeing unparalleled investment and growth in recent months. And while many new technologies (e.g. AI, self-driving cars, VR) are being worked on by the largest tech companies, cryptocurrency remains one of the largest non-corporate startup opportunities. Read more: click image or title.

 

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How These Founders Built a $273 Million Company From Junk Computers

How These Founders Built a $273 Million Company From Junk Computers | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
With some secondhand machines, ThousandEyes became a startup tech firm with a story refreshingly different than the rest.

ThousandEyes is one of those hot, successful startups you probably never heard of with an unusual and not-very Silicon-Valley-like history.

Founded in 2010 by CEO Mohit Lad and CTO Ricardo Oliveira from their grad school work at UCLA, ThousandEyes helps ensure that when bits of the internet go down, companies can avoid being taken down too -; even if the problem is on the internet and out of their control.

"We worked together at UCLA doing our PhDs understanding how things break the internet, and how that impacts the rest of the internet," Lad told Business Insider.

ThousandEye's customers include Twitter, Equinix, ServiceNow, eBay, DocuSign, six of the top US banks, and many of the top software-as-a-service cloud companies.

The company currently employs over 130 employees and is doubling revenue annually, with good enough cash flow that it never needed to raise venture funding just to survive, Lad told us.

And that means that VCs have been tripping over themselves to invest. ThousandEyes has taken $60.5 million of investment over three rounds, at a valuation of $273 million after the last round in February, according to PitchBook.

And it all began with a bunch of computer servers that the founders scrounged out of big corporate electronics recycling bins and from a second-hand computer store in Sunnyvale known as Weird Stuff. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Dave...I downloaded your business plan template...It is great!!!...My tax consultants say your plan is amazing. Thanks Dave!!!


Via Jonathon Shore
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

What's the best way to get funded? Create a #startup with a working model.

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6 Unexpected Techniques to Increase Your Focus

6 Unexpected Techniques to Increase Your Focus | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Unusual but effective ways to fight back if tech has destroyed your capacity to concentrate.

It's the quintessential problem of the modern world -- too much information has fried our brains. With constant pings and push notifications coming at us day and night, it's hard not only to decide what to concentrate on, but even to sustain focus once you decide where to turn your attention.

And because pretty much everyone living in the modern world suffers from this problem, there's no shortage of solutions on offer. Meditation is one extremely popular prescription. Others suggest various forms of "digital detox" or "digital sabbath" to refresh your brain.

But you've already heard of these solutions. If they were going to work for you, you'd probably already have implemented them. Maybe you need something different. If so, a handful of recent posts on boosting concentration are for you. They offer a handful of offbeat (if not sometimes outright wacky-sounding) suggestions for improving focus that you can try if the usual prescriptions haven't yet cured you. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Via Jean-Pierre Blanger
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Focus is of prime importance for many reasons: the health and optimal functioning of your brain, success in business, winning in sports and much more.

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An open letter from technology sector leaders on Donald Trump’s candidacy for President — NewCo Shift

An open letter from technology sector leaders on Donald Trump’s candidacy for President — NewCo Shift | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

We are inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, investors, researchers, and business leaders working in the technology sector. We are proud that American innovation is the envy of the world, a source of widely-shared prosperity, and a hallmark of our global leadership.

We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not. He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline. We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation. His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy — and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth.

Let’s start with the human talent that drives innovation forward. We believe that America’s diversity is our strength. Great ideas come from all parts of society, and we should champion that broad-based creative potential. We also believe that progressive immigration policies help us attract and retain some of the brightest minds on earth — scientists, entrepreneurs, and creators. In fact, 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. Donald Trump, meanwhile, traffics in ethnic and racial stereotypes, repeatedly insults women, and is openly hostile to immigration. He has promised a wall, mass deportations, and profiling.

We also believe in the free and open exchange of ideas, including over the Internet, as a seed from which innovation springs. Donald Trump proposes “shutting down” parts of the Internet as a security strategy — demonstrating both poor judgment and ignorance about how technology works. His penchant to censor extends to revoking press credentials and threatening to punish media platforms that criticize him.

Finally, we believe that government plays an important role in the technology economy by investing in infrastructure, education and scientific research. Donald Trump articulates few policies beyond erratic and contradictory pronouncements. His reckless disregard for our legal and political institutions threatens to upend what attracts companies to start and scale in America. He risks distorting markets, reducing exports, and slowing job creation.

We stand against Donald Trump’s divisive candidacy and want a candidate who embraces the ideals that built America’s technology industry: freedom of expression, openness to newcomers, equality of opportunity , public investments in research and infrastructure, and respect for the rule of law.We embrace an optimistic vision for a more inclusive country, where American innovation continues to fuel opportunity, prosperity and leadership.

To see the names of the people who signed this letter, click image or title.

 

 

 

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Dave...I downloaded your business plan template...It is great!!!...My tax consultants say your plan is amazing. Thanks Dave!!!

 

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Totally agree.

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7 Rock Star Female Founders Share Their Best Startup Advice

7 Rock Star Female Founders Share Their Best Startup Advice | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Seven successful women share hard-won advice for staying the course.

There's proof in the data. According to Bloomberg and research by Lesa Mitchell and Professor Vivek Wadhwa, women-led high-tech startups are more capital efficient, achieve 35 percent higher return on investment, and generate 12 percent higher revenue than male-owned companies when venture-backed. Despite these facts, women receive less venture funding and hold fewer C-level positions and fewer partner seats at VCs than men.

This is changing for the better. From Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) to Sophia Amarosa (Founder of NastyGal), women are leading and inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs and leaders. My grandmother was a ceiling-buster at GE and became one of the first women managers at the iconic company. My mother blazed a trail for women during her career in technology and telecommunication. They've inspired me to follow in their footsteps and contribute to the voice for gender equality by celebrating and highlighting highly successful female founders, CEOs and investors.

I have interviewed six all-star female entrepreneurs to learn how they achieved their success and share valuable advice. The key takeaways are as follows. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

There is power in #data. #Women led startups perform better.

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How smart cities (will) work | ExtremeTech

How smart cities (will) work | ExtremeTech | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

These days, the word “smart” is being applied to anything with a processor or a sensor and a connection to a network of some sort. You can argue that having some processing power for information and the ability to communicate with something makes a device “smart” – or at least a lot smarter than it was before.

The word smart is also being applied to cities now – so what does it mean to be a smart city, or at least a smarter one? Broadly speaking, it means an information and communication infrastructure (sometimes acronymed as ICT) that allows smart devices (like smartphones, automobiles, thermostats, water meters) to connect to smart infrastructure (problem reporting, traffic signals and information, parking systems, the electric grid, billing systems) to improve quality of life and productivity in cities.

Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Via Mário Carmo
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The combination of #devices, #technology, #internet, #bigData and #AI is creating totally new entities, such as #SmartCities. What exactly makes a city 'smart?

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, May 23, 2016 3:04 PM

#SmartCities explained.

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Your on-demand startup won't be around in five years without these three things

Your on-demand startup won't be around in five years without these three things | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The supposed startup “bubble” and the on-demand economy are two of Silicon Valley’s most common discussion topics right now. VCs, media, and executives are all talking about them, and one of the most popular arguments is that the on-demand economy will be the first casualty of a bubble that is allegedly starting to burst.

The good news is that plenty of on-demand companies are thriving, innovating and doing exceptional things for the world. However, a slew of these businesses are fundamentally built on a model—on-demand delivery—that had no chance to begin with.

So-called “on-demand” companies can be divided into two categories: (1) those using technology as leverage for a new way of providing a service, and (2) those that classified a mobile app as “technology” and simply added “delivery." For many companies, on-demand is unnecessary. For example, I am a massage addict, and while it is nice to have a therapist come to my house, I don’t need my massage therapist “on-demand." I can keep to my regularly scheduled appointments. By contrast, companies like Uber/Lyft, Airbnb, and even Amazon have found ways to make an on-demand business that is both necessary and sustainable. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Via Pantelis Chiotellis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

What does it take to make your #on-demand #startup succeed?

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Instagram hacked by 10-year-old boy - BBC News

Instagram hacked by 10-year-old boy - BBC News | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Facebook gives Finnish child $10,000 (£7,000) after he finds security flaw in image-sharing social network Instagram.

The boy, who technically is not allowed to even join the site for another three years, discovered a bug that allowed him to delete comments made by other users.

The issue was "quickly" fixed after being discovered, said Facebook, which owns Instagram.

Jani was paid soon after - making him the youngest ever recipient of the firm's "bug bounty" prize.

After discovering the flaw in February, he emailed Facebook.

Security engineers at the company set up a test account for Jani to prove his theory - which he did.

The boy, from Helsinki, told Finnish newspaper Iltalehti he planned to use the money to buy a new bike, football equipment and computers for his brothers.

Facebook told the BBC it had paid $4.3m to bug bounty recipients since 2011.

Many companies offer a financial incentive for security professionals - and young children, evidently - to share flaws with the company, rather than selling them on the black market.

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Cyber #Security has become such a big deal that companies such as Facebook are willing to pay real cash to unveil flaws in their systems. This 10-year old boy did just that.

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A First-Hand Account Of What Really Goes In A Startup — ‘One-Year Journey From Start To Startup’

A First-Hand Account Of What Really Goes In A Startup — ‘One-Year Journey From Start To Startup’ | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

24th Apr, 2016, marks one complete year since we started out with Quifers (a technology logistics firm that provides a comprehensive solution comprising of Technology, Analytics & Operations for businesses to manage their logistics). We are already clocking in revenue close to INR 1 Cr per month (powering about 9300 deliveries on daily basis) and are on our way to breaking even within a span of 7 months. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more:

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com


Via Pantelis Chiotellis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Some #success stories only come after a lot of hard work, behind the scene...

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Why Tesla Will Destroy the Automobile Industry

Why Tesla Will Destroy the Automobile Industry | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Traditional car manufacturers are clueless when it comes to the effective use of digital technology.

If there's an example of a company about to disruptively innovate an entire industry, it's Tesla.

Partly, this is because of raw technology--Tesla's is clearly superior to that of its competitors. 

Partly, it's because Tesla has a more efficient business model. As Slate recently pointed out, Tesla bypasses value-subtracting dealer franchises and universally disliked car salespeople.

More important, though, Tesla will kill traditional car companies because companies like GM, Ford, and Honda simply do not understand digital technology and are unlikely to understand it any time soon.

Tesla is a high-tech company that happens to be making automobiles. They understand technology because without technology a Tesla is just a huge, expensive paperweight. Read more: click image or title.

 

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

We have seen some industry #disruptions already. Big ones like the #auto industry is still to come. It's happening right now.

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Successful Employees Never Do These 4 Things When Starting a New Job

Successful Employees Never Do These 4 Things When Starting a New Job | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Get onboard and productive faster while not annoying your new team

The search for a new job can be brutal. For some, weeks of looking, applying, and interviewing can turn into months or even longer. Once you finally land the job and have a start date on the calendar, a sense of relief, optimism, excitement, and a little (or a lot) of anxiety often come next.

Onboarding new employees is critically important to both hiring organizations because there is a relatively short period of time to get the acclimated and productive--or risk losing them to another company. 50 percent of all voluntary turn-over happens within the first year and many of this moves are prompted by employees feeling like there is a better fit for them elsewhere.

However, getting new employees up-to-speed fast isn't just the employer's responsibility. Newly hired employees need to do their part to make the relationship with their leadership and team work. Too often, new employees make avoidable, irritating mistakes that can make it difficult to become "on of team." Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This should be common sense, but still, a good read and excellent advice. If you're a new #hire take a peek.

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