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Posts Tagged ‘start ups’

Rise of the Online Code Schools

November 26th, 2012 11:40 admin View Comments

Education

Barence writes “When it comes to programming, the classroom is moving online. A new wave of start-ups has burst onto the scene over the last year, bringing interactive lessons and gamification techniques to the subject to make coding trendy again. From Codecademy — and its incredibly successful Code Year initiative — to Khan Academy, Code School and Udacity, online learning is now sophisticated and high-tech — but is it good enough to replace the classroom? ‘We are the first five or six chapters in a book,’ says Code School’s Gregg Pollack in this exploration of online code classes, but with the number of sites and lessons growing by the week that might not be the case for long.”

Source: Rise of the Online Code Schools

Seaweed is Good for You and Can Be Tasty, Too (Video)

September 19th, 2012 09:43 admin View Comments
When you think of garage-based tech start-ups, hardware makers like Apple or data-manipulators like Google probably spring to mind before biotech, and way before farming. Lewis Weil, though, has for the last several years been perfecting the art of growing seaweed in central Texas, and his Austin Sea Veggies have garnered interest from gourmets and restaurants across the U.S. In large part, that’s because seaweed is so useful for industrial purposes, it’s getting harder to find eating seaweed these days. Lewis says there’s nothing stopping anyone with an interest in aquaculture in emulating his success as an inland ocean farmer, but has some cautions, too — when small things go wrong, or a record heatwave overcomes humans’ puny air conditioning systems, your seaweed harvest can fail just like any other crop.

Source: Seaweed is Good for You and Can Be Tasty, Too (Video)

Seaweed is Good for You and Can Be Tasty, Too (Video)

September 19th, 2012 09:43 admin View Comments

Biotech

When you think of garage-based tech start-ups, hardware makers like Apple or data-manipulators like Google probably spring to mind before biotech, and way before farming. Lewis Weil, though, has for the last several years been perfecting the art of growing seaweed in central Texas, and his Austin Sea Veggies have garnered interest from gourmets and restaurants across the U.S. In large part, that’s because seaweed is so useful for industrial purposes, it’s getting harder to find eating seaweed these days. Lewis says there’s nothing stopping anyone with an interest in aquaculture in emulating his success as an inland ocean farmer, but has some cautions, too — when small things go wrong, or a record heatwave overcomes humans’ puny air conditioning systems, your seaweed harvest can fail just like any other crop.

Source: Seaweed is Good for You and Can Be Tasty, Too (Video)

Do Tech Entrepreneurs Need To Know How To Code?

September 6th, 2012 09:37 admin View Comments

Businesses

An anonymous reader writes “Learning to write code has become something of a trendy thing to do. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he intends to learn code this year. Estonia has recently announced a scheme with the aim of getting every 6-year-old in the Baltic state to learn programming skills. The demand has spawned a number of start-ups offering coding lessons. General Assembly, which teaches off-line courses, has recently opened up in London and is recruiting ahead of a launch in Berlin. On-line education site Codecademy landed $10 million to expand from its home base in New York. Zach Simms, the 22-year-old co-founder, said in an earlier interview with The Wall Street Journal that not everyone has to learn to code, but everybody ‘needs to learn the notions of algorithms, realizing what you can use code for.’ But do they?”

Source: Do Tech Entrepreneurs Need To Know How To Code?

Finding the Downside In San Francisco’s Tech Boom

June 5th, 2012 06:50 admin View Comments

Businesses

snydeq writes “The NYTimes reports on the San Francisco’s shifting socio-economic landscape thanks to a massive influx of tech workers and tax and regulation breaks to big-name startups. ‘In a city often regarded as unfriendly to business, Mayor Edwin M. Lee, elected last year with the tech industry’s strong backing, has aggressively courted start-ups. But this boom has also raised fears about the tech industry’s growing political clout and its spillover economic effects. Apartment rents have soared to record highs as affordable housing advocates warn that a new wave of gentrification will price middle-class residents out of the city. At risk, many say, are the very qualities that have drawn generations of outsiders here, like the city’s diversity and creativity. Families, black residents, artists and others will increasingly be forced across the bridge to Oakland, they warn.’”

Source: Finding the Downside In San Francisco’s Tech Boom

Why the Middle East Is a Good Place For Women Tech Entrepreneurs

April 12th, 2012 04:36 admin View Comments

Businesses

pbahra writes “Conferences for start-ups and entrepreneurs often feature ‘pitch contests,’ slots in which aspiring entrepreneurs take to the stage to sell their ideas to the audience. Last month’s ArabNet conference, held in the Lebanese capital, was no different. What was different, however, was the number of pitches from female entrepreneurs. The stereotype has it that women in the Middle East are subjugated, oppressed and barely let out of their houses. But if that is the case, how come 40% of the pitches were from women—a higher percentage than is typical in equivalent conferences held in Europe? Nor was this closer-to-equal representation of women unique to ArabNet–other conferences in the region boast similar ratios.”

Source: Why the Middle East Is a Good Place For Women Tech Entrepreneurs

Instagram Debuts On Android

April 3rd, 2012 04:14 admin View Comments

Android

redletterdave writes “Popular photo-sharing app Instagram, which has been one of the most popular social start-ups despite only being housed on a single platform (iOS), was finally released onto the Android ecosystem on Tuesday. The app, which boasts more than 10 million users and plenty of ways to stylize and share photos, is available as a free download from Google Play.”

Source: Instagram Debuts On Android

Think Wall Street Executives Make Too Much Money? Check Out Facebook

February 17th, 2012 02:00 admin View Comments

Thumbnail image for shutterstock_ipo.jpgWhere did Facebook’s profits go last year?

Fortune is pointing out that, according to the company’s initial public offering, 8% went to its top five executives. That’s more than most Wall Street firms, including JP Morgan Chase, which only shelled out $79 million to its top five executives.

That is even more remarkable when you consider that the investment bank has 239,831 employees, compared to Facebook’s 3,200.

Facebook isn’t commenting as it waits out a quiet period ahead of its shares hitting the market. But the scrutiny is something the company should get used to: excessive executive compensation is a surefire way to tick off shareholders and would-be shareholders.

As Fortune senior editor Stephen Gandel points out:

“You can make the case that start-ups have to pay out a higher ratio of their bottom line in pay than a big bank would because they don’t make a lot of money. But Facebook isn’t your typical start-up. It’s bottom line is already $1 billion. What’s more, in the year before Google (GOOG) went public back in 2004, the search firm top executives collectively received just $2.2 million in pay. Of course, those guys were set to get a huge payday from IPO, but so is Zuckerberg and Co.”

chart-facebook-pay-top2.gif

The chart above was compile by Fortune shows Facebook’s executive compensation as a percentage of profits when compared with similarly-sized companies.

Photo courtesy of ShutterStock.

Source: Think Wall Street Executives Make Too Much Money? Check Out Facebook

How To Get My Attention

February 7th, 2012 02:57 admin View Comments

totemapp150.jpgIt’s an attention economy, and the good people at Jones-Dilworth have built a tool that will help you get some. Totem launches today, a free app that helps anyone build a great press page. Whether you’re a giant company, a start-up, or even a solo act, you shouldn’t have to think too hard about a press page. For that matter, neither should I.

A press page is a place for you to put all the info a reporter needs about you, your company, your product and your news. It’s not the whole story; it’s just the colorful details. But you’d be amazed at how hard it is to find that stuff sometimes. Jones-Dilworth has a wealth of experience, it has worked with reporters, and Totem reflects all the right priorities. If you want to make a good impression on the press, this is the way to go.

Free Totem users can build unlimited press pages with all the right info, bios, articles and image resources in all the right places. The pro version costs $99 – a one-time upgrade – and it lets you host Totem at your own domain (press.YourNameHere.com) or embed it as an iframe on your site. Pro users can customize the color and background and remove the Totem branding.

Here’s an example. This is the press page for Totem itself.

totemapp.jpg

The front page includes the basic gist, links to social feeds, and all the video and image resources a reporter will need to grab. There’s a separate page for full team bios. The press contact is always in the upper right corner, because that’s the person a reporter needs to get to quickly if something is wrong or missing.

totemappsidebar.jpgThe right side also features a few feeds to keep things fresh, such as company press releases and featured blog posts. It also has a ticker of recent articles, which can be viewed in full on the articles page.

The back end of Totem lets moderators input stories there, but there’s also a browser bookmarklet that lets you add new articles with one click as you find them online.

Have you noticed those nice rows of publication logos at the bottom of start-ups’ websites highlighting good coverage? Totem lets you easily create one of those and embed it on your site, linking to these articles.

totemappWidgets.jpg

Business depends upon good storytelling. The press (yours truly) is the filter through which the stories get to the public. If you want to tell the public your story, you have to get through us. But lest this sound self-important, let me tell you, we’re lazy, frantic people. If you can make that story easier for us, we’re much more likely to tell it.

I saw the Totem-built press page for Parse.ly before I knew what it was, and believe me, I noticed it. I spend so much time in Google Image Search looking for the least-crappy logo I can find. This time, there was just one link, and there I found everything I needed laid out exactly where I wanted it. If your boss needs more evidence that this is really worth doing for reporters, this is me saying, “Yes.”

Check out Totem at totemapp.com.

Source: How To Get My Attention

Google Launching Goofy Game to Promote Location Products in Google+

January 16th, 2012 01:00 admin View Comments

google_hotpot_150x150.jpgGoogle has resorted to gamification to drive interest in its location services. It posted a YouTube video last week promoting a Google Maps-powered game coming to Google+ Games in February. It involves rolling a ball around a cube covered with 3D Google maps. Players apparently get extra points for hitting Zagat-rated businesses, promoting Google’s acquisition of the review publisher last year.

“Play your world, like never before,” is the promotion’s slogan. It ends with a link to Google’s new Start Here page for Google Maps, which offers a detailed walkthrough of the service. This gives Google a chance to show off all the new features of Maps, such as interior mapping and crowd-sourced map-making. If Facebook’s history is any indication, one surefire way to drive social network eyeballs to something is to turn it into a game.

Google’s first integration of Maps into Google+ came last September with the sharing of live maps and directions on G+. The game is more of an obvious promotional effort. The intersection of mobile, social and location services is Google’s next big thing, and dedicated competitors like Foursquare are iterating quickly.

As an ad company, Google wants to control the end-to-end search for local places and businesses. That’s why it’s pushing its Google Places recommendations into Maps despite formidable, focused competitors in the space like Foursquare and Yelp. The next frontier is mapping inside locations, which Bing has worked on, as well as other single-minded start-ups.

googlezagat-1.png

The acquisition of Zagat gave Google a wealth of premium content to complement user-generated Google Places reviews. Google+ and personalized search are becoming Google’s key signals for generating recommendations to users, but it won’t hold a candle to Foursquare‘s recommendation power until it’s widely adopted. Zagat reviews will give Google Places a bit of a boost, and they’re prominently displayed in this game-based promotion.

Do you play games on your social networks?

Source: Google Launching Goofy Game to Promote Location Products in Google+

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