Wednesday, August 31, 2016

China To Push Ambitious Economic Agenda On Wary World Leaders

When leaders of 20 major nations and the European Union meet next week, their host China is likely to push far-reaching measures for world economic stimulus. But Beijing's agenda that covers consolidation of cross-border investment rules and the industrialization of Africa may get just a polite, diluted reaction from the other leaders, who include U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. China would have trouble pushing the Sept. 4-5 Group of Twenty (G20) nations summit toward bold action because of increasingly obvious weak spots in its own economy, the world's second largest, and hesitation in making domestic policy changes sought by other countries.

Musk Promises Major Upgrade In Tesla Autopilot's Ability To 'See'

Tesla's brash CEO touts imminent enhancements to its semi-automated driving feature on the same day the company confirms plan to raise funds by year end

What Does The Future Of Augmented Reality Look Like For Marketers?

One of the latest technologies driving marketers wild is augmented reality?but what does the future hold for this phenomenon?

Sixthman CEO Shares Lessons From Staging 94 Festivals At Sea

The past 15 years haven't been all smooth sailing.

Selling Sins, Part 1: Avoid these Dangerous Assumptions with Women Customers

There I was, standing in a sea of black suitcases at a local department store. My current wheelie bag was in dire need of replacement. As a long-time road warrior, I knew this bag would be my constant companion, so I approached the task with the same care and thought that other people might put into choosing a new SUV.

How to be a Speaker for Vistage

Would you like to speak to CEOs all over the nation? Vistage has one of the largest active speaker databases in the world, with more than 1,000 experts speaking on topics from strategic planning, to finance, sales, marketing, leadership, and work life balance.

This May Be The Best Free Business Resource For International Entrepreneurs

Global entrepreneurship is on the rise, but the road to success is notoriously lonely and isolating at times. The British Library in London is hoping to change this by providing mentorship and networking opportunties to its visitors, and is improving success rates for entrepreneurs who are starting up their own business ventures

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How IoT Refines What Sales Success Looks Like

IoT disintermediates B2B account management. What is sales' role when machines take care of and order for themselves? The findings of study into the characteristics of successful sales people are shared and their relevance in the era of IoT.

4 Ways Women Can Lead Fearlessly in Silicon Valley

You'd hope, in well-educated Silicon Valley workplaces, that gender wouldn't matter. But it does. Using these four steps, female CEOs can lead confidently in a man's world.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Asia's Quest For Google's Lunar X Prize

In Asia, where government has long held the reigns in outer space affairs, how does the private competition stack up? The lure of space entrepreneurship is certainly resonating in the region.

4 Simple Techniques to Increase Your Sales this Week

How did your bank account look when you woke up this morning?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

PR Trends That Will Help You Dominate 2017: Part I

PR used to be all about gaining exposure and generating buzz for your company through the media, but with content and influencer marketing affecting it, PR must continuously adapt. To prepare yourself and your team, here is the first installment of a series on trends you must keep on your radar if you want to dominate 2017.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

This Suburban Dad Positioned His One-Man Business To Break $2 Million This Year

Not many people break $1 million in a one-person business. Laszlo Nadler, whose startup appeared in this blog last year, blasted through that milestone in 2015. This year, the father-of-two, based in East Brunswick, N.J., is on track to break $2 million at his Amazon store Tools4Wisdom-and still has no employees. Tools4Wisdom sells planners that help customers focus on their big-picture goals, instead of simply plowing through a daily to-do list. “I've just passed the threshold where the business is significantly taking off,” says Nadler, who came up with the idea in 2012, while still working as a corporate project manager.

6 Predictions For How IoT Tech Will Affect Online Marketing And SEO

The "Internet of things" could be the next major tech revolution; what would such a development mean for the world of online marketing?

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Biggest Problem For Most Small Business Owners

Second and third generation owners often get stuck doing things the way their parents or grandparents did. Forbes contributor Louis Mosca explains.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Entrepreneurial Takeaways From The First Year Of An IPO

The CEO of Xactly provides advice on taking your company to the next level – even if you do not have plans to go public.

Gigster is the Craigslist For Top Developers

With tech jobs concentrated in the Bay Area and New York, it could be challenging for companies outside of America's coastal cities to find top-notch developers. That's where Gigster fills the void. The marketplace gives top developers from tech companies like Google opportunities to moonlight for non-tech firms.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Indian Startups Are Tapping Into New Sources Of Capital As Funding Dries Up

As 2016 progresses into its second half, a KPMG and CB report shows that Venture Capital Investments in India have fallen, with a drop sharper than anywhere else in the world.

Microsoft: No Single Organization Can Close Skills Gap

Microsoft reported doing over $1 billion of corporate giving, mostly in-kind, for fiscal year 2015. The software giant is making giving a more integral part of its strategy, as I explored here. One current initiative is a drive to encourage more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, a three-year, $75 million program called YouthSpark.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Want To Be A Great Leader? Encourage Lots Of Mistakes And Weird Career Moves

Here's how to be the kind of leader who makes people fearless, rather than fearful.

Diving Into All Things Food Aboard Summit At Sea

Imagine Burning Man meets TED Talks meets Davos at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival? on a Norwegian cruise line. That?s Summit at Sea. The purpose of SaS is to ?connect and inspire the thought leaders of our time,? co-founder Jeff Rosenthal summarizes. And they do so by ?offering opportunities to learn from people doing innovative work.?

Monday, August 22, 2016

14 Noteworthy Social Ventures Looking To Scale

The Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University conducts an annual accelerator program for social entrepreneurs from around the world. The 14 participants this year pitched at the annual demo day event. All have achieved some scale of look to grow dramatically in the future.

Chillin' It With Country Music's Fastest Rising Star Cole Swindell

Every up-and-coming, club-toiling singer-songwriter in Nashville will agree on one thing: there's no skipping the toll lane to country music stardom. For every Taylor Swift or Tim McGraw there are thousands of others who still namelessly grind it every night out on Nashville's honky-tonk bar circuit while working two day-jobs. Like aspiring actors in LA, they're all looking for that one big break that will change their lives forever.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

DFJ's Steve Jurvetson Talks About Investing, Innovation & Robots As Agents Of Change

What makes a company a good investment? Steve Jurvetson, one of today's savviest and most forwarding-thinking venture capitalists shares his thoughts on what real innovation requires and why he's invested in smart, collaborative robots to drive the transformation that manufacturers really need.

5 Suggestions for Leading An Intergenerational Workforce

As more people continue working past ?retirement age? and businesses are disrupted at war speed by young entrepreneurs, the workforce is becoming a multi-generational minefield. But it doesn?t have to hard to navigate.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Statutory Problem With IRS Firearms

image thumbnail - see full story for attributions
I never thought that there was any legal question about the authority of IRS criminal investigators to be armed. There are quite a few specialized federal law enforcement organizations.  Their officers have arrest powers, which, at least in this country, implies that they might be needing to pack heat. When

SmartBiz Helps SMB Entrepreneurs Lower Cost Of Capital With Faster SBA Loans

Have you tried to get an SBA loan? Solutions-those tied to traditional lenders-are emerging to provide faster, less risky finance options with a lower cost of capital.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Meet The Hacking Tribes Of The Tech World

Silicon Valley is home to some fantastic subcultures. These are the ones you need to know about.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Banks vs. Bots

Fintech is en vogue right now, and for good reason. Trim's digital assistant cuts unwanted recurring bills automagically. Mint tracks our expenses and helps us achieve our goals. Digit squirrels away bits and pieces into a savings account.  Venture capitalists, myself included, invested as much as $19B into financial technology startups like these in 2015 alone.

How To Overcome The Growing Visibility Problem On Social Media

It's becoming more and more difficult to get your content visibility on social media channels. Here are 3 ways to overcome this challenge.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What's So Sensational about Your Customer Experience?

Why Marketers Need to Include All Five Senses in Their Customer Experience Formula

Why Michael Phelps Can Make Faces But 'Crabby' Gabby Douglas Can't

“When they talk about my hair or me not putting my hand up on my heart or me being very salty in the stands, they're really criticizing me, and it doesn't really feel good,” a teary-eyed Douglas told reporters who felt the need to badger her about the attacks. “It was a little bit hurtful.” Cartoon by Rob Tornoe.

Monday, August 15, 2016

IRS Weapons And Ammunition Spending Is Unremarkable

Concern about IRS spending on weapons and ammunition has been a "thing" of late. I've been trying to take a closer look and my conclusion is that it really is not much of a thing.  Tracing back behind headlines like "IRS Sure Spends a Lot of Money On Guns and Ammunition" and "IRS Spent $10.71 Million on Guns and Ammo"  and "Why Does The IRS Need So Many Guns?" brings you to a report by a group called Open The Books titled The Militarization of America.

What China's US Buying Spree Means For The Future of Hospitality

The Chinese are on a US buying spree like no other.  Since the beginning of the year, Chinese investors have announced interest in, or closed on, several multi-billion-dollar deals on a variety of American enterprises, including GE's appliance division, Strategic Hotels & Resorts (owner of numerous luxury properties here and abroad), a construction manufacturer, the Chicago Stock Exchange, Carlson Hotels (owner of the Radisson brand), Hollywood's Legendary Entertainment Group, Google's smart phone hardware division (Motorola) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts (ultimately acquired by Marriott International after a heated bidding war).  According to CNBC, the average deal announced so far this year amounts to $1.5 billion, eight times greater than last year.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Client Attraction Lessons from the Ashton Eaton Olympic Decathlon Drama

American Ashton Eaton, the reigning decathlon champion from the 2012 London Olympics and world record holder, brought some drama to the sport at this year's Olympics in Rio.

A Recruiting Startup's Strategy For Acquiring Its First Customers

New recruiting platform UpScored has managed to land 13 pilot clients. Taking a niche approach and providing high-touch service have helped along the way.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Despite Global Economic Volatility, Small Business Borrowing Remains Strong

Loan approval rates at big banks ($10 billion+ in assets) declined slightly for the first time in six months in July 2016, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index™, the monthly analysis of more than 1,000 small business loan applications on Last month, big banks granted 23.1%, still a solid figure considering where we once were during the post-Great Recession credit crunch when approval percentages were in the single digits. Credit unions (41.5%) and alternative lenders (60%), providers of asset-based and cash advance loans also experienced a dip in their loan approval rates.

7 Startup Pitfalls Can Kill Your Business Growth

In my role as an advisory board member for several startups, I'm always excited to see that initial surge of revenue from a great rollout campaign. Unfortunately, many passionate entrepreneurs read this initial surge as success, and charge ahead with more of the same passion, leading to a series of potential pitfalls that can quickly jeopardize the health of the entire business.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Middle Market M&A: Making Money After Your Sale -- Part 2

The sale of the family firm might structured in a way that varies sale proceeds based on the post-deal success of the business. In such situations, sellers are keenly motivated to see that buyers are successful. In this installment, we talk about those things sellers might do pre-deal with an eye towards that post-deal success.

Filling Big Shoes With Square Feet: What Dollar General-Walmart Deal Means

While Walmart, Target and other chains test ways to maneuver into smaller footprints, other retailers benefit from their missteps. Most recently, Dollar General acquired the slightly larger Walmart Express stores. Still, the future of retail depends more on connections than size.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Why Mass Fish Kill In Vietnam Still Smells Fishy Despite A Solution

This stinky chapter in Vietnam's current affairs log was supposed to be over. After 80 tons of dead fish washed up on central coast beaches in April, citizens protested that the government moved too slowly in finding the cause. After weeks of sporadic demonstrations, some of them squelched, and another month of checking around for causes, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry named Taiwanese-invested Formosa Ha Tinh steel plant the culprit for releasing toxic chemicals into the ocean. The subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group paid $500 million to help fishing communities, apologized and agreed to clean up its waste system.

More Women Starting Companies From The Ground, Up. Literally.

The average farmer is a white male around 58 years of age. But there?s a new kind of farmer rapidly claiming a stake in the industry: women.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

India's Driving Myles In A Homegrown Car Rental

Car rental company Myles is proving that next gen India is thinking quite differently from their parents when it comes to cars and whether to own one or not.

FCC Loses Bid To Preempt Municipal Broadband Laws In Tennessee, N.C.

The Sixth Circuit rejects FCC power to preempt municipal broadband laws.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How Ro Kohli, The 'War Machine' Of Promo Items, Moved Into Custom Toys

Ro Kohli makes promo items for a living, but his latest are an unusual move into action figures.

8 Insights For Millennials To Excel As Entrepreneurs

As an advisor to startups and an angel investor, I encounter many Millennials as entrepreneurs who are leaders and great role-models for the rest of us in business. Unfortunately there are still others who have great ideas and passion, but seem to have a very naïve understanding or acceptance of what it takes to get ahead of the crowd and succeed in business.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Cutting Through Competitiveness-killing Red Tape: The Bureaucracy Measurement Index

by Eduardo Alvarez, Georges Chehade, Olaf Schirmer, Manish Mahajan

China Tech Innovation Goes Mainstream (Finally) As Facebook, Twitter Look East For Ideas

China tech innovation goes mainstream (finally) as Facebook and Twitter look to WeChat and Alipay for ideas.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

WikiLeaks Won't Hack Trump Taxes After All, But Would Trump Sell Them?

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks may disagree over going after Trump's tax returns, but many voters still crave them.

Growth Hacks On The Ultimate Power Relationship: PR, Lead Generation And Sales

PR is critical to web signups and customer uptake. But it is far from the end of the tale.

Friday, August 5, 2016

How To Move From An Entrepreneur To Manager Or Fail

As a business advisor, I have too often seen technical entrepreneurs get a product or service off the ground with ease, but then struggle mightily when their business reaches a couple of million in annual sales, or the employee count grows beyond a handful. It's at this stage that the job changes from creative and tactical to managerial and strategic. Many don't survive the change.

Accounting Manager Fights IRS For Deduction For MBA Courses

Thanks to a trip to Tax Court, Alex Kopaigora will be able to keep his deductions for MBA expenses for the year 2011, mostly. Mr. Kopaigora began working for Marriott International Corporation in 2002 and advanced to a position of significant responsibility.
In June 2006 petitioner accepted a position as senior assistant controller for the Marriott hotel in Los Angeles International Airport (Marriott LAX). In his role as senior assistant controller, petitioner was responsible for managing a team of employees, reviewing employee performances annually, participating in hiring activities, and training employees. Petitioner's duties included preparing financial reports, creating budgets, analyzing financial data, producing forecasts to enable reaction to business changes, and monitoring different departments' performances. Additionally, petitioner conducted audits, prepared an accounting of taxes, prepared financial reports according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), enforced internal controls, reconciled balance sheets, and ensured compliance with reporting requirements.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

5 SMS Marketing Tips Every Startup Owner Should Know

SMS marketing is one of those areas of marketing that many startups seem to avoid, at least in the beginning.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Art Of The PR Pivot--Fitness Titan Kathy Smith

How does an entrepreneur with a highly visible personal brand stay relevant over phases of industry or decades of time? Here's what fitness expert Kathy Smith has done to succeed.

The Amazing Life Of A 2016 Facebook Summer Intern

You won't believe how good Facebook interns have it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

World's Top 20 Countries Tighten Scrutiny Of Shaky Chinese Economy

China's quickly expanding economy helped inspire the Group of Twenty nations to start holding leadership summits in 2008. Heads of state from the world's most economically influential countries along with European Union officials met then to brainstorm ideas as markets, jobs and companies worldwide fell under the U.S.-driven Global Financial Crisis. China was still growing in 2008, extending already more than 20 years of industrialization padded by budgetary stimulus to head off spillover from the global crisis. Annual growth in China, the world No. 2 economy, was hitting double digits.

3 Types Of Meetings That Will Engage Your Team And Increase Team Performance

Are you sick of boring meetings that achieve very few results? Discover how to have meetings that are efficient, effective, and keep your team happy and executing with high accountability.

Monday, August 1, 2016

How Sindyanna of Galilee Sells Olive Oil And The Hope Of Arab-Israeli Peace

Certainly, that's the hope and conviction of social activist Hadas Lahav, the CEO of Sindyanna of Galilee, a woman-run, Arab-Israeli social enterprise in northern Israel. The nonprofit, founded in 1997 and run by a staff of 15, about equally divided between Arabs and Israelis, sells premium, extra-virgin fair-trade olive oil produced in the region, much of it organic and grown by local Arab farmers.

Last year, Sindyanna of Galilee, a nonprofit venture run by Arab and Israeli women in northern Israel, sold $1 million worth of olive oil and other products, to support their social and educational projects for Arab women and promote peace. Now, they're making their big push to expand in the U.S. market.

Why Leaders Fail, And Why The Fix May Be Simpler Than You Think

Successful leadership is all about relationships. It's about relationships between and among people. And it's about the leader's relationship with tried-and-true principles and practices.