NAHB Annual Conference Wraps Up 2011 Event in Orlando

first_imgIt seems to me that most trade conferences have settled into a consistent rhythm—pre-conference classes and committee meetings, a trade show that lasts several days with a show floor and short seminars that attendees move between, and one or two big speeches that resemble tent revivals. I recently attended the International Builders Show, AKA IBS (which Leah Thayer pointed out also stands for irritable bowel syndrome), in Orlando, Florida. IBS used to be enormous—you could spend days walking the show floor and not see everything. Unfortunately for NAHB—but fortunately for attendees—the housing industry downturn has led to a much smaller and more manageable show.The good, the bad, the ugly, and a few just plain silly productsI spent a good portion of my three days in Orlando on the show floor, checking out both new and old products, and ran across a few that I think deserve mention. Just for fun, I’ll start with the silly stuff, some of which falls into the bad and ugly categories. Among the usual collection of windows, insulation, and other building products, I ran across a couple of very strange booths. My favorite goofy item was the plastic Tiki Hut structure on display. Close behind that was the booth full of enormous bronze sculptures. Other choice items were two different vinyl siding companies with “log” patterns, and plantation shutters with tiny little solar panels on each louver.On the good side, I ran across a product from Tech-Wood—a wood-polypropylene composite, available in lap siding and railing patterns, that looks promising. I was also impressed by the dedication to healthy housing shown by Push Design, a North Carolina company that specializes in natural building materials and techniques, including hemp insulation imported from England. I liked the Huber Engineered Woods booth, full of cool demonstrations of Zip System products’ performance. Zip System is apparently very well tested, although I still have some concerns about quality control in the field, as I do with most moisture management products. Ultra-Aire exhibited a line of whole house dehumidifiers with outside air intakes and MERV 8 filters. All units are ENERGY STAR rated and look promising, particularly for high-performance homes in humid climates. Cosella-Dorken continues to expand its Delta line of moisture management products, including new weather barriers and flashing tapes.Lightly attended seminarsI sat in on several seminars, most of which were sparsely attended. It may have been wishful thinking, but most of the sessions were held in rooms that were often more than 75% empty. Peter Pfeiffer and John Freer gave a solid talk on Effective Green Building and Design, providing both the architect’s and the contractor’s views on how to accomplish high-performance homes. Another presentation by Steve Bertasso about cost-effective green practices in affordable housing was basic, but mostly accurate. I appreciated the fact that he gave a pretty reasonable estimate of the cost of certification rather than throw out a lowball figure like many people do. Another good presentation about green scopes of work by Foster Lyons was eerily familiar to one I give about trade contractor management, but I guess great minds just think alike.The best presentations had the fewest presenters. One of the big problems I have with most conferences is the inconsistent quality of the seminars. There is too much beginner-level information, too much repetition, and—since few speakers are paid for their time, let alone their expenses—the quality is inconsistent.The verdictAs much as NAHB doesn’t like it, I think a smaller show is a better one. The show floor, while large, was still manageable, and people who came for a day had enough time to see just about everything. I think the seminar structure needs a major reworking to include fewer concurrent sessions and eliminate duplication. I would like to see more advanced sessions, and sets of sessions that combine into specific subject tracks that build on each other to provide a solid block of information. If I was in charge (and let’s be thankful I’m not), I would have fewer live seminars, have them all streaming live on the web as well as available for later viewing, keep the show floor size down, and move it to a better city—one that doesn’t require taxis and buses to get everywhere. It’s time for trade shows to rethink their structure and look for alternative ways to deliver their message, provide benefit for attendees, and make money.last_img read more

How to Seal Sheathing Boards

first_imgShould the windows be removed so that the rough openings can be flashed?Welch’s house has vinyl windows, which he assumes replaced the original windows.“Everything I’ve read says it’s best to remove them and completely re-flash the rough opening, but this seems like a massive addition of work, adding disruption to the interior of the home, and I wonder if there is some way around it,” Welch writes. “It seems that plenty of people re-side without removing their windows, but apparently none of them have decided to explain how it’s done on the internet.”The two most vulnerable spots in a window installation are the bottom corners of the rough opening, Holladay replies, and whether that is a problem in Welch’s house depends on a variety of factors, including how much rainfall the area gets, the size of the roof overhang, and how well the windows were installed in the first place.“First of all, you need to examine your walls for signs of water entry when you have the siding removed and are installing your foam,” Holladay says. “If you see signs of moisture, you know that you have to start from scratch with the window flashing.”If the walls are dry and Welch decides to leave them windows in place, he’ll have to install new exterior window sills, Holladay adds. Sills must be sloped so they direct water to the exterior.“Of course, these new sills must cover the new rigid foam,” he says. “The easiest material to use is painted aluminum flashing. Use a heavy gauge, and try to get the sloped flashing under the windows. Pay attention to water-sealing details at the corners, where the sill meets the jambs, because those are your most vulnerable areas.“Do a good job and keep your fingers crossed.” Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam SheathingHow to Install Rigid Foam SheathingGBA Encyclopedia: Air BarriersGBA Encyclopedia: Water-Resistive Barriers RELATED ARTICLES The use of plywood and OSB sheathing is a fairly recent phenomenon. Before these sheet goods became readily available, builders nailed wood boards to the frame of a house for sheathing, and it is a house with this type of sheathing that Nick Welch is trying to update.His 900-square-foot house in Climate Zone 4C is sheathed with 1×8 boards, apparently over a layer of asphalt felt. There is apparently no insulation in the wall cavities behind the sheathing. His plan of attack is to air-seal the house, then install foil-faced polyisocyanurate insulation over that. The question is how.“I’m having a hard time finding much information about how to air seal old horizontal 1×8 board sheathing,” Welch writes in a post at GreenBuildingAdvisor’s Q&A forum. “Housewrap seemed like the clear choice until I realized that you aren’t supposed to tape the bottom seam.”Should he use flashing tape to seal each every seam between boards? Could he skip the housewrap under the exterior foam and use polyethylene sheeting instead? And if he applies foam over the sheathing, will the layer of asphalt felt present a problem? Will water collect behind the housewrap?Welch still wrestles with a key detail: Is it a good idea to seal housewrap at the bottom of the wall?“It seems that it is commonly advised against, so that any errant water can drain out,” Welch says. “Should the foam be caulked to the housewrap at the bottom? This presents a similar concern. If neither are sealed at the bottom, then essentially I am relying on the “squish” of the foam against the house to reduce air leakage through this area. The drainage plane will be at the sheathing and the windows will be innie-style.”This confusion apparently originated with an article by Allison Bailes in The Journal of Light Construction in which Bailes says housewrap isn’t installed as an air barrier. As relayed by Rick Russell, Bailes writes that housewrap should never be sealed at the bottom edge because any water that gets behind the housewrap won’t be able to drain out.“This is contrary to your comments,” Russell tells Holladay. “Perhaps you and Dr. Bailes can sort this out for us. In doing so, it occurs to me that which approach to take (seal the bottom of the wrap or not) might depend on whether or not the siding is installed over a rainscreen gap and how carefully any tears in the wrap were taped prior to the application of siding.”It’s a non-issue, Holladay replies.“Housewrap is often taped at the bottom,” he says. “That’s what’s recommended in the Tyvek installation instructions. ““Can I imagine a failure mechanism or flashing error so egregious that it allows liquid water to pool behind housewrap at the bottom of a wall?” Holladay adds. “I guess. Is such an egregious flashing error likely? No.“Now, the situation anticipated by Allison Bailes requires a reverse flashing lap, an enormous quantity of water, and enough of an air gap between the housewrap and the sheathing to allow liquid water to reach the bottom of the wall,” he says. “Here’s my opinion: it’s not going to happen.”center_img Tape the polyiso seamsA layer of foil-faced polyiso will be the air barrier, GBA Senior Editor Martin Holladay tells Welch. “Caulk the perimeter of the wall when you install your polyiso,” he writes, “and tape the polyiso seams.”Welch is correct in assuming that the permeance of housewrap beneath the foam is irrelevant, Holladay says. “The key will be making sure there’s enough foam on the outside of the house to keep the stud cavities above the dew point so moisture from the interior of the house doesn’t condense inside the walls.” (Holladay has written an article with more information on this topic: “Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing.”)The asphalt felt won’t be a problem, Holladay adds, but it would be a good idea to fill the empty stud cavities with dense-packed cellulose insulation.“I don’t think you need to tape every sheathing seam,” adds Dan Kolbert. “You’re creating a new enclosure with the foam, and if you tape the seams in the field there you should have it well sealed in the middle.”What Kolbert would be more concerned with are the top and bottom of the walls and the areas around door and window openings. “They are tough to seal under the best of circumstances,” Kolbert says. “If you can arrange it, get a blower-door test done before you start siding to see if you’ve got any major leaks at the perimeter that you can seal with tape, gaskets, foam, caulk, etc.” Those issues are at the heart of this Q&A Spotlight. Our expert’s opinionWe asked GBA Technical Director Peter Yost for his thoughts. Here’s how he replied:By removing the existing exterior cladding and adding exterior rigid insulation, you have the opportunity for the rigid insulation to be your continuous air, thermal, and bulk water barrier (or weather-resistive barrier — WRB). For these barriers to be continuous, they must be sealed at all penetrations and margins. And then for the WRB, that continuity is further supported by a weatherlap at penetrations, like windows.Martin is right to advise checking to see if the existing assembly shows signs of repeated wetting, but remember, you are adding insulation which will significantly reduce drying potential, so I think it is imperative that you either re-install the windows or at least make sure that you have the proper weatherlap with a new sloped sill flashing.And now that you have added a Class I vapor barrier to the exterior of your wall assembly (that would be the foil facings of the rigid polyiso insulation), you should make sure that your wall assembly can dry to the interior. In an old building, vapor permeability of interior layers is certainly likely, but not a guarantee (and by the way, that existing building paper is vapor permeable, especially when or if it gets wet).If the only insulation you add to the wall assembly is the exterior rigid, then you won’t need to worry about wintertime interstitial condensation, but as Martin points out, you will need to have the right ratio of exterior to cavity R-value should you add cavity insulation, OR you should consider an interior vapor retarder (for example, vapor retarder paint or a smart retarder like MemBrain — not a vapor barrier like polyethylene). The former is much preferred because that added interior vapor retarder to control wintertime movement of vapor into the wall assembly will restrict inward drying during the rest of the year.I also strongly agree with an in-process blower-door test; make sure you have that continuous air barrier (in more than just your walls) before you complete the exterior and interior of the walls and rest of the building.Finally, I again agree with Martin regarding the taping of the bottom margin of the housewrap: if you have to worry about that much bulk water getting behind your new continuous WRB and collecting at this junction, you have bigger and more immediate problems than that taped bottom edge acting as a stopper.last_img read more

Major U.S. Builder Tests Net-Zero Market

first_imgA time of turmoil in the companyThe project comes at a time of unrest in the company. The Wall Street Journal reports that Pulte founder William J. Pulte and CEO Richard Dugas Jr. are battling over the direction the company is taking, and that Dugas had agreed to step down next year.Pulte’s grandson, also named Bill Pulte, has complained that the company’s share price, revenue, and housing deliveries have been “relatively stagnant over the last two or three years.” The two Pultes and director Jim Grosfield launched a surprise attack on Dugas in late March, demanding that he retire or “there would be war.”But the Pultes and Grosfield are apparently at odds with the rest of Pulte’s board. In a letter to shareholders, James Postl, an independent director, said that the trio had undertaken a “misguided” effort to boot Dugas and “influence our considered succession planning process and change the strategic direction of PulteGroup,” the newspaper said.The public dispute points to how volatile the politics at big, publicly traded companies can be, and how quickly company strategies can change. One of the country’s biggest residential developers is dipping its toes into the high-performance housing market with a prototype net-zero-energy house in California.PulteGroup announced earlier this month that it would wrap up work on its first net-zero home in a Brentwood, California, development called Botanica in May. The goal, PulteGroup President Ryan Marshall said in a press release, “is to help define the most efficient path to building zero-net-energy homes that effectively balance constructability, cost, and quality.”Net-zero houses are relatively rare, but California has more of them than any other state in the country, according to a survey published earlier this year by the Net-Zero Energy Coalition. They are likely to become much more common as the state approaches its 2020 goal that all new houses be net-zero, and the state’s zero net energy action plan for reaching that milestone lists a number of steps, including construction of single-family and multifamily demonstration projects.According to rankings by Professional Builder, Pulte is the third biggest home builder in the U.S. with a total of 17,196 closings in 2014 and sales of $5.5 billion. The company says that it’s the largest builder to date to take part in the net-zero demonstration program.In an email response to questions from GBA, Brian Jamison, PulteGroup national procurement director, said that the company has been “testing and implementing innovative energy solutions and sustainable practices” in new houses around the country. Some of the houses have been very efficient, but the Botanica house will the first one designed specifically to hit the net-zero mark.Other big builders also are working their way into the net-zero market. For example, KB Home, ranked at #8 in the country with 2014 sales of $2.4 billion, debuted a net-zero energy home in Los Angeles County in 2014. The 2,537-square-foot house in the city of Lancaster also uses no water for landscaping, making it what KB calls a “double zero house.” Features of the prototype houseThe part of California where Pulte’s demonstration house is being built, 55 miles east of San Francisco, is in Climate Zone 3. As described by Pulte, the slab-on-grade house will have two levels with three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and a total of 2,343 square feet.Botanica is a 297-unit subdivision, but the prototype will be the only one in the neighborhood to get the enhanced package of energy upgrades. Pulte has yet to set a sales price for the house, but the base prices of homes in Botanica range from the high $400,000s to the low $600,000s and vary in size from 2,343 square feet to 3,590 square feet.Asked what Pulte estimated to be the additional costs to bring the house to the net-zero level, Jamison sidestepped the question. He responded, “The energy performance of the home will be monitored for a year after it is sold, and overall energy performance and consumption will be evaluated. We are collaborating with many valued partners in building, tracking and evaluating the prototype and hope to get more insight into the cost and myriad of energy efficient offerings our homes in California and beyond will offer in the future.”Here are some of the home’s features:A building envelope with an air leakage rate of 3.5 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals (ach50). Accoding to Pulte, an air leakage rate of 5 ach50 is typical in new houses.A HERS Index target of zero.A whole-house ventilation system consisting of an exhaust fan that runs continuously and a duct that brings in fresh air.A conditioned attic with a sealed, insulated roof deck insulated to R-38. (The company didn’t answer questions about the type or amount of insulation in exterior walls or say whether any insulation would be placed beneath the slab.)Heating and cooling with a SEER 19 air-source heat pump made by Lennox.A tankless water heater made by Rinnai. The hot water system includes a dedicated, insulated loop that connected to a pump controlled by switches in the kitchen or the master bedroom. The system is designed to reduce water waste.A 4.34-kilowatt photovoltaic array installed by SolarCity.LED lighting.A Site Sage energy monitoring system that keeps track of plug loads, major appliances, and lighting.Low-e vinyl windows, Energy Star appliances, an induction cooktop, and a front-loading gas-fired dryer.last_img read more

City of Aspen Dumps Energy Rating Index

first_imgIf you’re building a new house in a place that’s on one of the recent versions of the IECC, you have a choice of how you show your building department that you comply with the code. The 2015 IECC has three compliance pathways, as a matter of fact. They’re listed right at the beginning of the residential section of the code. To pass, you have to choose one of the three options below and meet all the requirements therein:Sections R401 through R404.Section R405 and the provisions of Sections R401 through R404 labeled “Mandatory.”An energy rating index (ERI) approach in Section R406.The first one has a sub-choice for you to make, too. When deciding on the building enclosure specifications for insulation and fenestration (windows and doors), you can go with the prescriptive values in the tables or you can do some tradeoffs using the UA alternative. In addition, there are requirements for mechanical systems, lights, and other energy-using parts of the building.The second one is often referred to as the performance path. You have to model the home as it is built and compare the energy costs to the same home modeled with a set of design specifications given by the IECC in Tables R405.5.2(1) and R405.5.2(2).The third one is the ERI. The only way to get an ERI right now is to do a home energy rating.OK, now we’re ready to talk about what Aspen is doing.Meet the simplified alternativeThat heading is your clue to the second trend that Aspen is bucking. If you talk to enough builders, code officials, and other stakeholders, you’ll find that a lot of people think codes are too complicated. Now, I agree with Albert Einstein on this subject: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” The electrical code, naturally, has to have enough complexity to keep houses from burning down and people from getting electrocuted. Energy codes, however, certainly have room for simplification.And that’s what Aspen has done. The way they chose to do that is something I’ve written about before. Their list of compliance pathways looks like this:Sections R401 through R404.Section R405 and the provisions of Sections R401 through R404 labeled “Mandatory.”Simplified Equivalent Compliance Alternative in Section R406 [emphasis added]The only thing different is the last one. To the chagrin of HERS raters, Aspen dumped the ERI path. Don’t bring your HERS results to the Aspen building department because they won’t take them. Instead, they’ve created a truly simplified path. You don’t need a HERS rater. You don’t need to make sure you’ve got the proper R-values in the home. You just need to do three things. Make sure the building:has minimal heating and cooling loads;reduces hot water consumption; andcuts energy used for lighting.This compliance pathway in the code is so simple, in fact, I can put the whole thing right here. It’s only 189 words. Ready? Don’t blink.Section R406.1 Equivalent building option. Dwellings that meet both of the following criteria shall be deemed in compliance with this chapter.1. The ratio of the air conditioning capacity to conditioned space is less than or equal to 1 ton per 1000 square feet.2. The ratio of the space heating system capacity to floor area of conditioned space is less than or equal to 32,000 Btu/h per 1000 square feet.Section R406.2 Equivalent hot water.The distance from the hot water supply outlet to hot water pipe to the hot water entry to a room where hot water is used shall be no more than 10 ft. This shall apply to the kitchens, bathrooms with showers or tub, and rooms with a clothes washer.Section R406.3 Equivalent lighting.Dwellings in compliance with at least one of the following requirements shall be deemed in compliance with Section 404:1. Lamps over 15 watts shall be CFL, LED, or have an efficacy not less than 90 lumens per watt.2. At least 90% of the lamps or fixtures shall have an efficacy not less than 75 lumens per watt.That’s it. All you have to do is meet the requirements in those three little sections and you’re in.The part of most interest to me is the first one. (Hey, I’m more of an enclosure and mechanicals guy than a hot water or lighting guy.) That’s what I wrote about before when I posted the video of Chris Benedict and Henry Gifford and their one-act play on what they called the Perfect Energy Code.Now, the trick to doing this kind of code is choosing the correct numbers. Aspen has an insignificant cooling load (says this guy who was born in Houston) so the part about installing a cooling system with a capacity no more than one ton (12,000 BTU/hr) per 1,000 square feet isn’t real important… for Aspen.But the heating part is important. Their number is 32,000 BTU/hr for each 1,000 square feet of conditioned floor area. I asked Stephen Kanipe, head building official for the city of Aspen, how they arrived at that number. “We talked to mechanical engineers with a lot of experience in the area,” he said, “and this was the number they told us would be better than code but still achievable.”Here’s a little background for you, too. This simplified alternative was proposed for the IECC itself during the recent deliberations for the 2018 version. I spoke to someone involved in that proposal and was told that although it didn’t pass, it was well received. The main reason it didn’t pass was that they didn’t have the numbers fleshed out for the different climate zones. I think they’ll probably pick it up again for the 2021 code cycle.Where will this go?This is a big deal in the world of energy codes. It could change the direction things have been going and HERS raters don’t like it. Mark McLain, an architect and HERS rater in the Aspen area, protested the change as a relaxation of energy conservation codes. He wrote about it in his blog, where he also published the letter he sent to the Aspen city council.I think Aspen’s onto something with their new code. I don’t agree that this is a relaxation of the code. If they did get the right number for heating capacity, it should be better than the prescriptive path. I’m sure it’s not perfect, but this is a good way to keep things simple and enforceable.It’ll be interesting to see how many builders choose the Simplified Equivalent Compliance Alternative and what they do to meet it. They’ve got to get the enclosure right, though, to be able to heat their homes within that capacity limit of 32,000 BTU/hr per 1,000 square feet. And as a side benefit, they can save on the cost of strip heating to keep ice dams off the roof. If they truly get the enclosure right, they won’t need them. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESStates are Amending, then Adopting, the 2015 IECCICC Approves Changes to Energy CodeThe 2015 IECC Recognizes Home Energy RatingsMore Than You Ever Wanted to Know About the HERS Index Why Is the HERS Reference Home Based on an Outdated Energy Code?New Energy Code Helps Inform Home BuyersAre Energy Codes Working?Could a Bare-Bones Energy Code Work? The city of Aspen, Colorado has bucked the trend. Well, actually two trends, but first things first.The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) introduced another pathway for code compliance using what’s called the Energy Rating Index (ERI). Since the only thing that qualifies as an ERI right now is a HERS Index, RESNET and HERS raters have been pushing hard to get this into state and local codes. Several jurisdictions have already adopted it and some builders are using it.Aspen, however, just adopted the 2015 IECC but they threw out the ERI compliance pathway. That’s bucked trend number one. Bucked trend number two is the motivation for what they substituted in place of the ERI. Keep reading to find out what that motivation was.IECC compliance pathwaysBefore jumping into the details of the new Aspen energy code, let’s do a quick review of the different ways you can get a new home to comply with the IECC. Also, in case I don’t make it clear in every instance, I’m writing only about the residential energy code, not commercial.last_img read more

Health 2.0 Conference: Big Data Making A Big Impact

first_imgAt the end of the Health 2.0 Conference earlier this month, I sat down with the event’s co-founders Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya to discuss the big trends. I’d been impressed and excited by the innovation demonstrated at Health 2.0. It turns out much of it was driven by Big Data.Healthcare is a huge, important industry and it’s being transformed by technology all across the board: from the personal health apps that many of us use on our smartphones, to the electronic health records in doctor practices and hospitals, to the emerging revolution of digitized genomic data.What all of those things have in common is digital data, much of it on the Internet. Indeed there’s so much digital health data now that the term “Big Data” is commonly used to describe it. Another trend is that healthcare is moving beyond the doctor’s office and into the daily lives of consumers, via smartphone apps and new platforms that host health data.SurprisesI began by asking Matthew and Indu what, if anything, surprised them over the few days of the conference.Matthew noted the evolution of natural language processing tools, which combined with Big Data are leading to surprising innovations. An example is a startup called Treato, an impressive search engine for health data that I got an inside look at during the event. Treato effectively scans millions of pieces of unstructured health data on the Web and orders it – for example creating user reviews of medication.Matthew also noted the rise of “small data making vital connections.” He pointed to one of two winners of the DCtoVC Startup Showcase, Beyond Lucid Technologies. This company offers an electronic health record (EHR) for emergency response agencies (such as ambulances). It’s an example of a health solution that delivers the right piece of information at the right time and place, enabling better on-the-spot decision making. This service potentially saves lives.Indu commented that big data is also enabling a “new level of personalization and targeting.” She pointed to the winner of Health 2.0 Developers’ World Cup, New York City-based MedTurner. The service uses natural language processing to monitor tweets for health-related information. It then analyzes those tweets and “offers relevant advice and resources.” Use cases include monitoring for signs of depression or suicide, tracking CDC travelers’ health, rare disease clinical trial matching and Medline Plus drug safety and side effects alerting.Personalized MedicineOne of the most exciting areas of health technology currently is what’s been termed ‘personalized medicine.’ MedTurner is one example, but the most interest is in consumer genomics companies like 23AndMe. The hope is that genomic data will lead to hyper-personalization of disease prevention and treatment.As Indu remarked, the current era of personalized medicine is “the oppositie of patient social network PatientsLikeMe. There’s no one like me.”Once again, Big Data is a key ingredient. Indu explained that “in order to have hyper-personalization, you need to tap the crowd and look for the pattern. It’s a kind of closed loop.”If there is one major concern though, it’s that doctors aren’t adequately trained to use genomic data. Indu called this a “massive gap” in healthcare. However she mentioned there are a couple of apps that help physicians navigate genomics.The Danger Of Information OverloadOne of the challenges of Big Data is that it may lead to information overload for doctors. Particularly when genomics takes off (it’s still early in that era). I asked Indu and Matthew how doctors will cope.Indu agreed that it’s “a massive problem [and] there is a firehose coming.” But she sees a lot of potential in dashboard tools that help doctors interpret and manage the data inflow. An example for the consumer audience is TicTrac, the winner of the startup Launch! segment during the Health 2.0 conference. TicTrac, currently in private beta, lets you track a variety of health data in one place.What’s needed is a kind of advanced TicTrac for doctors. “The hope is in some of the organizational tools that are not going to make single dumps of data, but are going to send a pattern,” said Indu. “Or they’re going to allow somebody very quickly to look at millions of data points and visualize [that] this patient needs an intervention.”Dashboard tools that do this kind of pattern visualization will become “the doctor’s best friend,” according to Indu.Matthew agreed, adding that post-operative apps that enable healthcare organizations to monitor a patient’s condition after they leave the hospital will also help.Technology Down The StackWhich leads us to another trend in health technology: spreading the workload around. Indu noted that “putting technology all the way down the stack,” so that patients or nurses can actively monitor health data, allows doctors to “just deal with things that need [their] expertise.”In particular, “the prevention part [of healthcare] is moving more to self-management tools” for consumers.Matthew remarked that this will allow doctors to see fewer patients for longer time periods, because they will be focusing on the patients that need them the most. So for example, instead of a doctor seeing a lot of patients for 7 minutes each (which is the norm these days) they will be able to spend 45 minutes on 7–8 patients per day.In summary, the Health 2.0 Conference showcased a lot of innovative health technology that will soon be not only in your physician’s hands – but yours too. Big Data is driving much of this innovation. The more health data we have and the better it is analyzed and structured using technology, the more effective our healthcare system will be.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting richard macmanus Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#health last_img read more

Sensors, Sensors, Everywhere: Will They Keep Us From Seeing For Ourselves?

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#artificial intelligence#Internet of Things#Pause 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market sarah rotman epps Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Guest author Sarah Rotman Epps is a Senior Analyst at Forrester Research.Computing is permeating domains that were previously not connected. That theme was readily observable at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, where sensor-powered devices for your plants, pets, posture and dining utensils were all on display, not to mention the numerous devices for tracking your sleep and exercise.Enhance? Or Replace?These devices are undoubtedly useful, but do we really need devices to replace our basic powers of observation?For example, the Flower Power plant sensor by Parrot tells you when your plant needs more or less sunshine, water or fertilizer. Now, I am the first to admit failure in gardening – usually, my plants get eaten by critters before they can die of over- or under-watering – and if Flower Power brings success to more would-be gardeners, fine.However, it’s worth considering what we might be missing by outsourcing our powers of observation to a sensor and a smartphone.Will these tools, over time, enhance our powers of observation (i.e., would we eventually recognize the signs of a light-starved plant with our own eyes, and decrease our dependence on the device)? Or would looking at plants and understanding what they’re telling us become a skill we replace with another skill? (We don’t need to remember phone numbers anymore, for example, but we do need to discern spam emails from real ones. Evolution never ceases!)We should push sensor-laden devices – and our use of them – to enhance, not outsource, our cognitive experience.Spidey-Sense Superpowers!An example (also from CES) of a product that does this is the Lapka: an elegantly designed “personal environment monitor” that senses humidity, pesticides (via a small block you “plug in” to a fruit or vegetable via a headphone jack), electromagnetic fields and radiation, through a tactile interface of wooden and plastic blocks that tether to your smartphone for data display. I like this product because it makes accessible data about our physical environment that we previously could not get to unaided. That data lets us make better-informed decisions.Basically, I want superpowers: I want devices and applications to help us achieve more as humans than we could without them.Sometimes this might be about automating tasks, like the app EasilyDo does, that don’t add value to our lives, such as merging duplicate contacts in our address book.Other times it might be about giving us access to information about our circadian rhythm, like the larklife does, so we can optimize our energy for the things we care about most, like being creative at work or being with our families.As computing permeates more domains of our existence, we have the opportunity to demand more of our devices, and our use of them. As we plug in our plants and our forks, let’s just stop for a moment to evaluate the capabilities these new tools give us… and what jobs our old tools (and often our own senses) do just fine.last_img read more

Africa May Leapfrog The World In Big Data

first_imgAfrica is already well known for leapfrogging the rest of the world in use of mobile money, but African countries now have another big leapfrogging opportunity: big data analytics.Across the continent, there’s a tremendous potential for using data analytics in powerful new ways in a wide range of industries and domains, from telecommunications and banking to transportation and healthcare. The big data opportunity for Africa came into sharp focus this week when IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and key members of her executive team visited Africa to meet with clients and government leaders. “Going forward, data is going to be THE source of competitive advantage,” Rometty told a South African audience.IBM Chairman and CEO, Ginni Rometty at the IBM CIO Leadership Exchange in Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 5.Already, African companies are harnessing big data to transform their businesses. Take Santam Ltd., the leading short-term insurance company in South Africa. The company is using predictive analysts to streamline the processing of claims and to spot potentially fraudulent claims.When Anesh Govender reported for duty as Santam’s head of operations for finance, his boss told him that he wanted to do more with less. Govender quickly spotted data as his leverage point. “I was amazed how much data was available but how little of it was being used, ” he said. Govender was one of the presenters at IBM’s South African gathering.He decided to completely overhaul the claims processing system. In the past, every claim went through the same steps of being reviewed manually by staff members. Today, they’re all fed into a predictive analytics software program that channels routine claims into a queue for quick action. The others go through deeper analysis that takes into account not just the current claim but a lot more information about the customer and their past claim activities. Computer algorithms search for patterns that suggests the claims might be fraudulent. One example: Fraudsters typically start with small false claims and, if they’re successful, submit larger ones.Govender’s staff has tuned the algorithms so they identify the maximum amount of false claims without producing too many false positives—which require extra work by the claims processing staff. Today, they kick out only 1% of claims for deep fraud analysis, and about 30% of them are fraudulent.The system has indeed made it possible for Santam to do more with less. While the volume of claims has risen 8% since the new system was put in place, the staff level has stayed level. Before, it took at least three days to settle legitimate claims. Now Santam clears them within an hour of receiving them.Looking ahead, the most promising of the big data leapfrogging opportunities for Africa lie within the telecom industry. Mobile phones are now widespread, as are SMS based services such as mobile payments and money transfer. Next, observers expect rapid adoption of affordable smart phones capable of handling more sophisticated applications, such as social networking. It all adds up to a massive amount of data in the hands of the mobile carriers about what people are doing with their phones and where they are. “Businesses that find opportunities in data will do better,” says Michael Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM’s software solutions group. “These businesses will use the combination of data sourced from customer relationship management, operations and talent management.”What will the carriers do with all that data? For starters, they can look for patterns in customers’ behavior that suggests they’re about to drop their service. So-called “churn” is expensive for carriers. But, alerted that particular customers are dissatisfied, carriers can approach them with offers that might entice them to stay on. Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile carrier, which now has a foothold on the African continent, already does this kind of analysis on its home turf.As the mobile market continues to develop, the carriers will be in a strong position to offer their customers new applications and services. They’ll not only own the relationship with the customer, but they’ll see data patterns in customer behavior that helps them anticipate customer’s needs. Marketers have long dreamed of being able to address not just market segments but individual customers. Big data could finally turn this dream into a reality.And it could happen first in Africa.Article and Rometty image courtesy of A Smarter Planet. Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair steve hamm Related Posts Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…center_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#Africa#Big Data last_img read more

Why Samsung Could Be Heading For A Fall

first_imgRelated Posts michael kanellos Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#CES 2013#Google#mobile#Samsung center_img In January, I wrote a story for Forbes called Is Samsung Invincible, predicting that the South Korean manufacturer might just have carved itself a defensible Number One spot in electronics, achieving an ambition that has eluded Sony, Panasonic and many others.3 Reasons Samsung Is On TopSamsung has been one of the top three players in major markets like TV and cell phones for more than a decade. Forget those stories that claimed Samsung came into its own at CES 2013. Samsung achieved its dominance way back in 2003. $53 billion in revenue in 2012 is tough to argue with.It is one of the top manufacturers of the crucial components — flash memory, DRAM, LED screens and OLEDs — that everyone else has to buy. Even when Samsung loses market share, it still wins.Samsung doesn’t make mistakes. Sony stuck its neck out with Rolly. Panasonic tried to get into movies when it bought Universal. Microsoft tried to popularize the tablet in 2002 and something called SPOT that certainly resembles the fabled iWatch in 2003. Samsung makes interesting products, but it doesn’t make foolish bets. And it sells 500 Android phones a minute.Game over. And for the cherry on top, Samsung continues to crank out some pretty funny ads, showing it has a surprising flair for consumer outreach.This why a Wall Street Journal story claims that Google is now afraid of Samsung because of Samsung’s dominance in Android phones. The idea is that Samsung will leverage its share to gain concessions from Google.“There is a threat from Samsung to Google that is real,” Rajeev Chand, a managing director at boutique investment bank Rutberg & Co, told the Journal. “Over time, Samsung will be able to leverage market-share dominance to negotiate better terms from Google.”(See also How Samsung Ate The Smartphone Industry – And Now Threatens Google.)Second Thoughts On Samsung’s Dominance?So what could change all this?Petulance.Corporations take advantage of consumers all the time. You can feed them horsemeat burgers and lock them into credit card contracts that Sauron himself would admire. But if your success becomes too public, if it somehow looks like you’re bragging about it, they will walk.Your mission: To Serve Man — without any hint of irony.Dell was an invincible juggernaut in PCs until customer service and satisfaction ratings began to dip. Instagram recently risked a peasant revolt when it unveiled plans to use photos in ads. Consumers don’t have much power, but they’ve come to realize that many globe-spanning operations can be brought to their knees by collective hissy fits.Hanna Montana. MySpace. Australopithecus. Look upon my 2003 Motorola Razr, ye mighty, and despair.And So It Begins…So how will the Samsung decline begin? It won’t happen for a few years. In fact, expect to see the company enjoy a temporary surge of popularity. But then you’ll see the backlash begin to sink in: Buy a Samsung? Ewwww. Don’t know why, just ewwww. An investment bank will make a prediction about Samsung quarterly shipment declines. Others will pile on.And let’s be clear: The power in the Google-Samsung relationship all sits with Google. Google has the best information retrieval system in the world. It owns a global data center that is absorbing more functions — like shopping and advertising — by the day. To undercut Google, you’d have to engage in the equivalent of medieval warfare and invest billions in infrastructure just to come close. Samsung’s value in the relationship is that it’s a slightly more upscale partner than HTC or LG. That’s it.The company will also eventually find itself on the horns of the killer product dilemma. Samsung has always been a great fast follower. It aspires to have the most feature-rich or best designed products in the majority of the high-end price bands. But it doesn’t create truly new products. Comb the company’s product catalog and you won’t find a Walkman, or an iPhone, the first $1,000 PC or the first laptop. You’ll find the digital equivalent of John Kerry.To truly become the sort of company that rivals the best of Sony or Apple, Samsung does have to create a signature product. The flexible OLED phone comes close. It rolls up! OLEDs, however, remain difficult and expensive to make in volume, particularly large format OLEDs. Companies have been trying to bring them to market for more than 10 years.If Samsung can pull that one off, here’s to another ten years on top. If it even slightly misses the mark, let the dog pile begin.The big question is, how many companies can come up with a hit on demand? That is Samsung’s problem.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Samsung logo from Samsung Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Intel Names Brian Krzanich As New CEO

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#Intel#now center_img 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Intel has named a new chief executive officer. The chipmaker has dubbed former chief operating officer Brian Krzanich as its new leader, replacing Paul Otellini who announced that he would retire from the company last November. Krzanich has been at Intel for more than 30 years, starting in 1982. He was promoted to COO in January 2012 and has been operating as executive vice president since Nov. 2012. He started at Intel as an engineer and worked his way up through the ranks before becoming head of Intel’s worldwide manufacturing in 2010. In that position Krzanich was responsible for all of Intel’s factories and chip manufacturing worldwide.The move to promote Krzanich mirrors that of Otellini himself. Otellini had worked at Intel for 32 years before becoming CEO in 2005, replacing Craig Barret. At the time was seen as an odd choice for Intel as the company had historically promoted senior executives who had been trained as engineers. Otellini was trained as a businessman with a degree in economics and a Master’s in Business Administration. Krzanich comes from an engineering background and has served as an Intel plant manager before his ascension to the executive ranks. readwritelast_img read more

Why Path May Be The Ultimate App For Google Glass

first_imgI’m a devoted Pathhole—a hardcore user of mobile social network Path. For all that I make fun of Path’s twee, artisanal, and bespoke nature—on a recent visit to its lovely office in San Francisco, I was tempted to ask CEO Dave Morin if his software engineers were cruelty-free—I have a soft spot for the service that brings me updates from a small circle of friends, which I then festoon with emoticons.If anything might convert me into a Glasshole, the name I’ve adopted for the ostentatious neophiles who have started sporting Glass, Google’s Internet-enabled camera-and-display headset, it might well be Path.Path CTO Nathan Folkman demonstrates Google Glass.Morin and Path CTO Nathan Folkman recently showed me a version of Path for Google Glass. (Google recently signaled that Path would be one of the first Glass apps available.) It turns out that two key features of Path make it perfectly suited for Glass—in a way that larger social networks like Google+ and Facebook may never catch up to.I’ve formed this opinion based on brief experiences with both Glass and the Glass version of Path, so take them with a grain of salt. But even those glimpses suggest an uncanny fit between software and hardware.Small Screen, Meet Tight FriendsThe first advantage Path has is its insistence that you limit your friends to a tight list of 150. I find this kind of in-or-out listmaking agonizing. It reminds me of when my husband and I invited people to our wedding reception, which, now that I think about it, had a headcount of about 150. But now that I’ve put in the work, I find my Path friends really are the ones I like to hear from frequently throughout the day.Contrast that to Google’s built-in Glass sharing options, which require you to go to a website to set up a limited number of contacts in advance. This Android tablet is mirroring what Path CTO Nathan Folkman sees on his Google Glass heads-up display.The second is Path’s stripped-down simplicity. Originally designed for mobile, it’s actually even more effective on Glass. In my experience, people typically share short updates about where they are or what they’re doing—things that are too mundane for Twitter, too intimate for Facebook. In form, tone, and length, they’re just right for Glass’s screen, floating just above your right eye.Google+ updates, which you can of course get on Glass, are often too long for the Glass interface. And the thought of getting my Facebook News Feed—an option now that Facebook has a Glass app—through Glass seems overwhelming.But Where Is The Money?There are perpetual questions about how Path will find enough users and make money. Glass will not answer those. Folkman, Path’s CTO, estimates that some 300 Glass testers have downloaded the Glass version of Path. (Google hasn’t given out numbers, but that’s likely a large portion of the Glass population.)For what it’s worth, Morin tells me the company has been making progress on the business front. It has likely crossed 13 million registered users, and its main source of income—charging users for custom icons they can include in messages—has drawn both derision and dollars. Little-noticed deals with the likes of Sprint and Kyocera suggest that the company may find ways of making money from partnerships with wireless carriers and handset makers, too.An update from a friend’s check-in at Google I/O displays on Path CTO Nathan Folkman’s Glass display.Folkman says the Glass effort, on which he’s spent about 20 percent of his time recently, has helped him think about constructing an application programming interface for partners, and also designing Path notifications for smart watches and other lightweight, small-screen devices.So if we are at the brink of a revolution in mobile computing where we trade smartphones for wearable devices, Path’s experimentation may pay off—if not for the San Francisco-based startup, then for others who take careful note of its innovations.Photo by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite Tags:#Google#Google Glass#Google IO13#io13#Path#Wearable Computing#wearables What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement owen thomas The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

What You Can Watch on Chromecast, And How

first_imgHow Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud One of the most common questions I hear about Google’s new Chromecast gadget is, “What can I watch on it?” That’s a fair question, considering that Google only mentioned a few streaming resources—primarily YouTube and Netflix—at its press event last week.That’s because only four services (see below) currently support the Google Cast technology that lets you beam streaming video straight to your TV from the Web, using a phone or tablet as a remote control. But you don’t have to rely on streaming providers to adopt Google Cast. You can also stream to Chromecast from the Chrome browser on a PC or Mac, thanks to a process Google calls tab casting.That expands your immediate horizons quite a bit. And app developers big and small are also looking to jump on the Chromecast bandwagon, which would further open things up. Related Posts adriana lee Casting from a computer is a stop-gap measure—some fill-in functionality to keep you going until more streaming companies support Chromecast directly. By the looks of it, a lot of them are interested in doing just that.That’s to Google’s credit. When it unveiled Chromecast, it also debuted a Google Cast software developer kit. With this SDK, app makers can easily build in Chromecast support for new and existing mobile and Web apps, says the tech giant, in less than 200 lines of code. If Google isn’t exaggerating things, that’s pretty simple.To recap, Google managed to release cheap streaming devices that are in high demand, and it appears to have paved the way for developers to climb onto the Chromecast bandwagon. So even if you’re disappointed by what Chromecast offers at this moment, the odds seem good that more streams will be flowing your way before much longer.Images by Madeleine Weiss for ReadWrite Tags:#cloud#connected TV#media#streaming Your current options, however, vary depending on your tech setup and other factors, so read on to see the breakdown of what you can watch, and how, using Chromecast.Streaming Resources That Support ChromecastGoogle devised a creative method of streaming that, upon demand, enables Chromecast to pull in the requested media directly from the Web. For services that support this, the TV streaming action starts by tapping a “cast” button or link that sits directly in those websites and/or mobile apps.Out of the box, the Chromecast works with a small group of “starter” services:Netflix – mobile app and websiteYouTube – mobile app and websiteGoogle Play Movies & TV – mobile app (Android only)Google Play Music – mobile app (Android only)Since these streams flow in from the Internet, there’s no major battery or performance hit for the originating smartphone, tablet or laptop. And those devices can control the playback, pause and volume rather easily. (See also: 10 Things You Need To Know About Google’s New Chromecast)Google doesn’t offer iOS apps for its own Play services, and oddly enough I couldn’t find a “cast” option on their websites. I did, however, manage to stream them from my laptop via tab casting.Resources That Work Via Tab Castingcenter_img Tab casting, a beta feature, essentially lets the Chromecast mirror one of your Chrome browser tabs. This allows you to play local files, shared online playlists and other streaming media websites.Via tab casting, in fact, you can watch (or listen to) a whole bunch of stuff, including:Amazon Instant Video; ABC; AOL; CBSCrackle; Fox; Google Plus photos/slideshowsHBO Go;; NBCMLB.TV; Pandora; Plex; Post TVQello; Rdio; Revision 3; SlackerSongza; Spotify; Vimeo Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… See also: The Chromecast App Drought Breaks, Sort of, As Hulu Signs OnAnd much, much more. Coincidentally (or not), many of these streaming services are looking at Chromecast integration similar to what Netflix and YouTube offer. Google spotlighted Pandora, and HBO is looking into Chromecast support. Meanwhile, Plex, Redbox Instant and Vimeo, among others, are hinting (often broadly) at their interest as well. See also: 5 Cool Chromecast Hacks And WorkaroundsWhile all that Chromecast integration gets underway, what you need to know about tab casting is that it works on most streaming sites, excepting videos that use the Silverlight and Quicktime plugins. I tried Apple’s Quicktime-based online movie trailers, for instance, and the audio stubbornly stayed on the computer. It simply refused to pipe to the TV. [T]ab casting only works on tabs from Chrome’s desktop browser (for now); no mobile version on any platform can cast tabs.There are other catches as well. Tab casting works best if the source computer has decent processing power and works off a solid Wi-Fi network. Otherwise, lags and stutters will likely plague the stream. In addition, tab casting only works on tabs from Chrome’s desktop browser (for now); no mobile version on any platform can cast tabs.Tab-casted streams aren’t controllable via mobile devices either. You have to go back to the original computer to stop, pause or scrub the playback, and without benefit of a dedicated TV-oriented interface. File types can also make a big difference. Here’s what Google listed under “Supported Media Types”: All Google Cast devices at a minimum support the following media types:Video codecs: H.264 High Profile Level 4.1, 4.2 and 5, VP8 Audio decoding: HE-AAC, LC-AAC, CELT/OPUS, MP3 Containers: MP4/CENC, WebM, MPEG-DASH, SmoothStreaming Level 1 DRM support: Widevine, Playready Subtitles: TTML – Timed Text Markup Language WebVTT – Web Video Text TracksIf you’re not well-versed in audio or video codecs, here’s a general rule of thumb: In most cases, media that plays fine in a Chrome browser tab can be sent to and played by Chromecast. But also know that in some cases, audio playback could suffer somewhat. See also: Have Chromecast, Will Travel … Er, Maybe NotIf you have local files that Chrome won’t open, and can only play it in a separate standalone computer program, you could play it and cast your entire desktop to the TV. But this an act of desperation. Screen casting doesn’t pipe audio to Chromecast, and the stream can be buggy, especially if you don’t have a powerful computer. Still, if you’re so inclined, it’s something you can play around with. To try it, open the Chrome browser on your desktop, hit the “cast” extensions button, click the small arrow to release a drop-down menu, and choose “Cast entire screen (experimental).”More Will Come Streaming In Soon Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for …last_img read more

European Cloud Users Could Shun U.S. Cloud Services Altogether

first_imgCloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … European Union policy makers were already skeptical about the safety of their corporations’ data in the public cloud, and the existence of PRISM and other top-secret programs that monitor online services with the goal of deterring terrorist and criminal activity has done nothing but stoke that skepticism into a raging fire of near-paranoia.Ever since the revelations of apparently rampant United States government tapping of cloud-based data and online services from leaked material from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, cloud computing vendors in the U.S. have been holding their breath waiting on official reaction from the E.U.That day, it seems, is coming.See also: PRISM Fallout: U.S. Internet Companies Stained By Intelligence ActionsLawmakers in the E.U. are attaching broad amendments to a 2012 set of digital privacy regulations that could, if enacted, severely curtail and even outright block E.U. businesses and private citizens from using U.S.-based cloud services.There are several proposed amendments to the privacy regulations, including prohibiting the transfer of E.U. corporate data to U.S.-based clouds altogether, unless several conditions are met, such as making it very clear where the data is going and that there will be the risk of outside monitoring by intelligence services. New proposed regulations would also sanction European companies that ignored these rules and used U.S. services anyway.Up until now, the U.S. and the E.U. have managed to establish a fairly one-sided arrangement in the handling of E.U. corporate data: safe harbor rules have essentially let U.S. companies promise to abide by E.U. privacy rules, though without much oversight, thanks to the hard-line lobbying made by U.S. diplomatic services on behalf of U.S. technology interests.The actions taken by U.S. intelligence services, however, threaten to completely unravel that tenuous relationship. The E.U. is pushing back against U.S. policies, trying to ensure their citizens’ data security in light of programs that openly target anyone but U.S. citizens.Besides additional regulations, E.U. technology vendors are also pushing to have more cloud availability from native sources, which would ally E.U. member fears about U.S. spying, but would also have the effect of Balkanizing data on the Internet within geographic regions. That would make the usefulness of any commercial app or project that relied on the availability of such data a far more complicated process.U.S. vendors and policy makers are, naturally, alarmed by the notion of the E.U. going it their own way, because let’s face it, that’s a lot of money walking away from the table, both in direct business and the secondary effects of a walled-off data source.More than anything else, it probably won’t be the hue and cry of privacy activists that will get the NSA and its counterparts in the intelligence community to shape up, but rather the very real pressure technology companies will put on U.S. lawmakers to get this situation fixed. Of course, thanks to the government shutdown, the NSA can still play while the Congressional cat’s away.But it may already too late. Burned by the U.S., the E.U. may just end up going alone in cloud computing anyway.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Tags:#cloud computing#European Union#Prism#privacy How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud brian proffittlast_img read more

Check out our definitive IoT market participant landscape

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts Tags:#enterprise#featured#innovation#Internet of Things#IoT#startups#top Maya Rao Follow the Puckcenter_img The Internet of Things is a behemoth. IoT companies number nearly 3,000, employ 10 times that, and have created over $600 billion in value. But this behemoth is also mysterious, and, at times, confusing. So what exactly is IoT and who is involved?According John Koetsier, IoT analyst and advisor to ReadWrite Labs, IoT is a sort of blanket term for adding connectivity technology and artificial intelligence to everyday products and sensors. Don’t miss your chance to attend our IoT Revolution Symposium“Ultimately, we’re ‘smartifying’ and connecting everything and every thing — giving all things the ability to sense, to act, to control themselves, to be controlled by humans, and to impact their environment,” Koetsier said.There are countless products, some already commonplace, that fit into this definition — Fitbits, smart locks, connected refrigerators. In fact, about two-thirds of Americans today own at least one connected device.There is no denying that IoT will soon become a part of our day-to-day life, and in order to keep up with the ever-changing industry, we must understand the people and companies involved in growing the space.Unsurprisingly, nearly half the companies involved in IoT are headquartered in California, the Mecca of technology. But more interesting than where the companies are located is what their focuses are. More than 25 percent of IoT-related companies are concentrated in only five categories — AI and machine learning, connected home, healthcare (enterprise), facilitative reality and data security. “AI and machine learning are essential to not only processing but also accelerating decision-making on the flood of information that IoT appliances and sensors are creating,” Koetsier said. “The connected home is the low-hanging fruit of IoT — consumer IoT — that enables people to monitor and control their home and media. Healthcare is clearly a massive revenue opportunity, and ‘facilitative reality’ encompasses much of what both giants and startups are building augmented reality and virtual reality.”Security investment is the key?But the $7.1 billion investment in data security is perhaps the most telling clue of the direction in which IoT is heading. Recent attacks like the Mirai botnet and the Persirai malware have attacked public infrastructure and private data, triggering security concerns among many consumers and government officials. To ensure the development of the IoT industry, it must address these concerns in an effective manner. Despite the massive strides IoT is making in connected devices, the industry still feels like a bit of a let-down. Many people are disillusioned with the development of IoT, expecting flying cars but getting smart watches instead. “Given this long, slow build, some … [are] saying that IoT is hitting the slope of disillusionment — the phase in the hype cycle after over-hyping and before real value is generated,” Koetsier said. Still, Koetsier counsels patience, promising that the value of IoT is on the way — efficient smart technology is emerging; all we have to do is wait.ReadWrite’s IoT landscape will be revealed at its inaugural IoT Revolution Symposium on July 11. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…last_img read more

How to Pay Off Student Loans Quickly

first_imgBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.eduMany active and former service members have student loan debt, which is like a double-edged sword. While borrowing money for post-secondary education often helps improve someone’s future earning ability, it also can lead to emotional distress and/or financial strain and delay savings and independent living arrangements.Student loans impact students in many ways besides their actual dollar cost (i.e., repayment of money borrowed, plus interest). In the last decade, as the use of loans to attend college has increased, so-called “crowding out effects” have become noticeable. In other words, money required to make student loan payments is already “spoken for” and unavailable for other purposes such as homeownership, entrepreneurship, and retirement savings.Not surprisingly, many student loan borrowers want to “get on with their financial life.” When student loans are repaid, money is freed up for other expenses (e.g., car loan payment) and savings for future financial goals (e.g., buying a home). Thus, it is smart to pay off student loan debt as quickly as possible. Below are 10 ways to do this:Reduce Spending– Try to ‘find” $1 to $5 a day by cutting expenses (e.g., brown bagging lunch to work and avoiding vending machine snacks) and reallocate this money toward larger student loan payments.Earn Extra Income– Freelance skills and experience with “side jobs” that bring in extra money and use this money to make larger student loan payments.Make Bi-Weekly Payments– Like bi-weekly payments on a mortgage, splitting monthly student loan payments into half-payments every two weeks results in an extra monthly payment made every year.Apply a Cash Windfall– Use all or part of large sums of money (e.g., income tax refund, returned security deposit, retroactive pay, and end-of-year bonus) to repay student loan debt. Another good sum to apply toward debt is the amount taken as a student loan interest tax deduction on federal income taxes.Request Cash Gifts– Instead of receiving a holiday or birthday gift that you may not ever use or wear, tell potential gift givers that you would prefer to receive cash with which to repay student loan debt.Use PowerPay- If student loans are one of several outstanding debts that you have, prepare a Powerpay debt reduction calendar here. When a debt is repaid, apply its former payment to a remaining debt. Eventually more money will be applied to student loans and they will be paid off faster.Get Help from an Employer– Some employers are providing cash with which to make student loan payments as an employee benefit to recruit and retain young employees. Even if your job does not have a formal benefit policy to help with student loans, it may not hurt to ask.Get a Loan Discount- When you reduce loan interest rates, more of each payment goes toward principal and less toward interest, thereby paying debt down faster. Some lenders reduce loan interest (e.g., by a quarter to a half percent) when student loan payments are automatically deducted from a bank account.Consider Refinancing- There are private companies that refinance student loans. This strategy can simplify bill-paying, by incorporating separate loans into one, and may lower interest rates. Disadvantages include loan origination fees and inability to access federal loan forgiveness or income-based repayment programs after refinancing.Consider Consolidation– Like refinancing, grouping many smaller loans into one big one makes loan payment convenient. However consolidation could extend the payback period and increase the amount of interest paid. It may also not be available for private student loans. Consolidation should be used only if it makes economic sense (e.g., lower interest), perhaps combined with the first five strategies, noted above, to repay debt quickly.For more information about types of student loans and how to repay them, visit the Federal Student Aid web site at team presented a webinar on student loan issues in November 2015. Watch the recording of this session here.last_img read more

Final Cut Pro X Tutorial: Working with RED RAW Footage

first_imgLearn the tricks for a smooth RED RAW workflow in Final Cut Pro X.Over the last few years a RAW workflow has gone from being a feature used exclusively by the pros to a viable option for indie-filmmakers and film enthusiasts alike. With new cameras such as the Blackmagic Pocket Camera or the Panasonic GH4, getting RAW footage is a relatively easy process. However, due to the price point and complex setup, RED cameras are still used almost exclusively by the pros.Working with RAW footage has major advantages over using formats that have been compressed. Namely you can adjust parameters such as sharpness, saturation, and clarity, nondestructively in post. RAW files also give added bit-depth allowing you to have more control when color correcting.So if you happen to be given footage from a RED what is your workflow going to look like? In the following tutorial presented by MacBreak Studio, the guys demonstrate how to use RED RAW footage in FCPX. The tutorial covers:Importing RED RAW FootageFavoriting Import TargetsAdjusting RED RAW settingsCreating Proxy ClipsTo work with RED footage in FCPX you will need the RED plug-in. You can download the plug-in for free from RED’s website.The RED Rocket card that Mark brings up in this video retails for an astounding $4,800. You can read more about the RED Rocket Card on Red’s website. This video was first shared on the PixleCorps Youtube Channel. Thanks for sharing guys!Want more FCPX tutorials? Check out our previous posts here on the PremiumBeat blog.Do you use RED RAW in FCPX? Share your experience in the comments!last_img read more

A Quadcopter You Can Wear on Your Wrist?

first_imgThis photo enabled quadcopter might live next to your Apple watch.If you’re into quadcopters and drone photography than we may have just found the perfect accessory for you, the Nixie. The Nixie was an idea brought to life by Christoph Kohstall, as part of Intel’s “Make it Wearable Challenge“.In short, the Nixie is a wearable quadcopter that can be activated with a flip of the wrist. It is designed for people who want to take pictures from impossible angles in the moment. In the quadcopter is a built in camera that can take pictures and then return to your wrist. While the wearable quadcopter is definitely in it’s prototype stage it does show signs of being a viable product one day.The following video created by Intel gives us a behind the scenes look at the Nixie in action:What do you think of this technology? Useful or gimmick?Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

The Lowdown on the Short Form from Three Nominated Series

first_imgCreating content is more democratic than ever, but it also presents new challenges. So how do you get your project seen in such a crowded field?PremiumBeat gathered creatives from three successful web series to offer some insight into getting your projects in front of the right audiences and helping them go viral: Cameron Watson, creator of Break a Hip, whose star Christina Pickles is nominated for an Emmy; Tara Platt writer and star of Whatta Lark, 7 IAWTV nominations (winning best actor for Christopher Graham); and the dynamic duo of Roni Geva and Margaret Katch whose show, Ctl Alt Delete saw an Emmy nomination for Naomi Grossman as actress in a short form comedy or drama series.Image via Break a Hip.PremiumBeat: Given the enormous access filmmakers have to affordable equipment and rapidly growing distribution options, there is so much more competition for viewers. How have you all managed to get your shows seen? Did you have a marketing plan in place before you even went to production?Cameron Watson: We just made the decision to make a web series, and we set off to do it. None of us had done a short form show before, and we all just put our heads together and figured it out. Maggie Biggar, Steve Cubine, and I had made a pretty big independent feature together several years ago, so we know how to be scrappy and gutsy. And we had the incredible talent of Christina involved, so we were ahead of the game just coming out of the gate. We knew we would have to rely heavily on social media to promote our series, and we have done just that. It really is the “wild, wild west” out there with so much content, no rules, and tons of platforms. You get to make your own way. That is a good thing for creatives, but also overwhelming and sometimes [feels] like a cork in a giant ocean. But, like the cork, we keep floating along and never go under.Tara Platt: Wonderful question. Actually, I am sorry to say we didn’t head into things with a marketing plan in place, which meant we had to play catch up while we were in post. That isn’t to say it becomes [an] impossibility, just that having a clear plan for the distribution before even finishing production would have made things enormously easier and likely faster from shoot to screen. We were thrilled to get to partner with Revry and then later release on other platforms including Amazon. But I think that it is definitely a key feature in creating and producing a show — how to get it seen . . . and, realistically, who is watching it once it is out in the world. Are you hitting your demographic? Is there resonance? No one will go to bat harder and with more passion for your own projects than you will, so a large part of the job is getting other people excited about what you have created. It is your job, really! We have been working really hard to get viewers for our show. I, of course, wish we had even more eyeballs on it, as we are all immensely proud of it, but I’m thrilled with the response we have had, and humbled and honored by the festivals we have been official selections in (like the prestigious Bentonville Film Festival), and the seven current nominations from the IAWTV.Roni Geva/Margaret Katch: EPIC SHARING. We have shared it on our personal Facebook pages/Instagram/Twitter daily. We also joined a lot of relevant-to-our-show FB groups and shared it there. We have asked friends to share the video. We’ve learned as much as we can about the FB algorithms (which change weekly) and have tried to use that to our advantage.The truth is we did not have a marketing plan in place before we went into production, we just jumped in. Then, as we started releasing it, we realized we needed a plan. Our main plan was releasing the show on FB so that people could:1) Share it2) Boost it / advertise it3) Comment (which increases the post’s visibility on other people’s timelines)Then, we hired a PR company to help us get the word out on the show — and that’s how we got coverage on Bust/Ms./Buzzfeed/Tubefilter, etc. Then from that coverage, we get the WashPo article. All of that also increased our views.Image via Ctl Alt Delete.PB: With so much content out there, what do you feel are the most important elements for success when crafting a web series?CW A good story. Period. About a good relationship. Complicated, complex, and from the heart. All any of us want to watch is a relationship unfold and entwine. You can get bogged down checking out everyone else’s content and trying to navigate the terrain, but it is better and more freeing to focus on your own story and tell it from your heart.TP: I think that is really tricky, as many humans are in the world, there are that many potential options for taste, but I think you have to create something you care about first and worry about the response as a secondary element. If you simply set about to make something people will like/respond to, you have missed the opportunity to enjoy your creation. You have to be invested emotionally (whether that be purely the fun of it/entertainment creation or the necessity to tell a certain story/have your voice heard on a passion project). There are a million different reasons for making content, but you have to be clear with yourself why you are doing it, and make sure you accomplish that goal — do you feel you achieved what you set out to achieve? What have you learned? Numbers can be great from a metric standpoint, and of course there is always the end game of metrics/cost ratio, but you also want to have achieved your artistic vision while maintaining your creative soul.R/M: In our experience, it comes down to 3 things:– Make good work — well-written, well-acted (super important), and well-produced.– Pick a topic that you are wildly passionate about because you are going to be talking about it and promoting it nonstop.– Think beyond your first idea — the world has lots of web series about roommates or struggling actors . . . what stories are not being told?But above and beyond anything else — make good work.Image via Whatta Lark.PB: What is the end game for you?  Is a web series something complete, or are you hoping to move it to a network? There is only so long you can fuel the ship on your own and maintain this level of professionalism.CW: It is incredibly fun and exhilarating on this level, but also exhausting. We want to continue to tell the story of Biz and Wincy forever. And we will. But we would love “help” telling the story now. By that, I mean support both financially and creatively, whether that be a network or a platform that would support us.TP: I think it depends entirely on the project. Some titles are perfect creations as web series and should remain so, and we have a few of those in our catalog. Other times, it can be a great jumping-off point in spinning out into a film or even more of a television series. You have to know the best delivery device for the story you want to tell. Not every story warrants a feature, while others yearn to be explored in series form.With [Whatta Lark], I am not quite done with her yet. I don’t know if that means another season on the web or other digital platform to explore the storylines more thoroughly or a feature to get more of a meal of it at once and come to some resolution with her. I strive to achieve excellence in all of my projects and you are right, there are limits in trying to self sustain for infinite periods of time, but there are many options of how the next chapter can look. I am all in favor of taking some pitch meetings and seeing how we might be able to collaborate with a larger production company to continue with the world and characters. We still have so many ideas for these characters that I would love to be able to keep them alive in either a series or film.R/M:The end game is to move this show from web to full series, to have a half-hour show on a platform like Netlix or Hulu or Amazon — or even HBO or Showtime.And we will keep on keeping on until.We are using Broad City as a model (not for the content, but for the progress): a successful and well-received season 1, a more professional and more “namey” season 2, and then a sale to a bigger platform.Image via Cameron Watson.PB: Cameron, Break a Hip has been nominated for an Emmy for Best Short Form Series and Best Actor for the luminous Christina Pickles. That is pretty much the top of the mountain for artists — to have their material recognized by the Academy. What advice would you give to filmmakers to give them the best shot at that opportunity besides the obvious “cast Allison Janney in a supporting role?”CW: Just to be clear, Christina is nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. . . . It really is a dream come true for “our little show that could.” Christina is a beloved icon on TV, and this is her seventh nomination. She has never won. I want more than anything for this to be her time. She has had a career that spans decades, and to finally win for an innovative, new world, independent category would really be something. It would make Emmy history, really. Someone who made her mark in the heyday of TV dramas then legendary comedies now wins for a short form web series. That’s pretty special.PB: Clt Alt Delete deals with subject matter most won’t touch — but to me, it’s not the edgy shock of “abortion comedy” but the fact that the storytelling is so tight and clearly from Namoi’s nomination, the acting is stellar that makes the concept fly. What do you attribute to the success of the show?R/M: First of all, thank you.We think it’s a multitude of things:The fact that the stories are all based in truth is a huge part of our success. They are relatable human stories and the comedy comes from humanity rather than from bits being shoved into the story to try and make it funny. Obviously, we are wildly lucky to have the cast that we found — they are all profoundly talented and took our words and, again, made them so incredibly human and relatable.We also know that we had an extraordinary crew putting all of this together (both in production and in post). This is a labor of love with many brilliant minds coming together to very carefully tell this important story.Finally, we think the world is ready for this show in this particular and careful iteration of it. Only three out of every ten Americans want Roe v. Wade overturned. That means that 70 percent of Americans are okay with Roe v. Wade — maybe not for themselves, but for others. Media has always been at the forefront of changing hearts and minds — our show is simple, direct, and full of love. It’s earnest, and people respond to that.Image via Tara Platt.PB:Tara, It’s so cool that you use the way the web works to tell the story in vlogs — it’s an economical way that works well in the storytelling. How much of that was artistic choice, and how much was because of budget?TP: Thanks! It was very much a conscious choice, and both elements played a part. I knew the constraints that we would be working with financially in an effort to make a show that we could shoot affordably but still highly aesthetically. So I worked with our amazing writer Danielle Evenson to craft the story by working with the vlog aesthetic from the beginning.So it was always written with vlog in mind for season one, but with the hopes that if the show got its feet, we may be able to take the ladies off the webcam, so to speak. Then our stellar director America Young took the reins and helped the delightful and divine Christopher (Christopher Graham is Whatta Lark) and me tackle the work during the rehearsal process to keep the work you see on screen within the constraints of using the “to camera” approach while still feeling alive and real.Image via Break a Hip.PB: Anything you’ve learned on this journey that you wish you had known before you began production?CW: To just keep going. Like Biz. Just get up, and go outside, and do what you have to do. Raise money, write scripts, hire fabulous artists to surround you and great actors and a loving crew, and feed them all well!TP: I think it just solidified what I already knew. Work with great people, and it won’t be work at all. Each and every member of the team was so phenomenal, and delightful and creative and talented that it elevated the entire production to a whole other level. With something as collaborative as filmmaking I believe in the adage that a rising tide lifts all boats, and you definitely want to be elevated. So work with people who are the best at their job, and you will all shine! And of course to add to your initial question . . . do try to plan ahead for the end game before the game begins.PB:  Finally, Roni and Margaret, most marriages end in divorce and those include sex! How do you make a creative partnership work?R/M: We put the work ahead of our egos. It is more important to us that a joke lands, that the story is clear, that the shot gets done before the day is over, than that either of us gets a fancy credit. And we certainly lead our sets to work that way as well, which reduces conflict.We are wildly respectful of one another and over-communicate our feelings, our desires, our frustrations, and our needs to each other.We also have just slightly different artistic sensibilities. Roni is more broad and bright (think traditional sitcom) and Margaret is more subtle and subdued (think more modern shows like Catastrophe or Transparent). The complement of our two styles ends up creating something that we both get so excited about.And frankly, because we are so excited to make the work be the best that it can be, and because we trust each other, we always approach the other knowing that she has best intentions and then build from there.We truly believe that we make good work individually, but that each other’s particular touch on our collective work elevates it to a level we could not have found on our own.Cover image via Tara Platt.Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Screenwriter Norman Steinberg on Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, and Getting HeardActor Charlie Schlatter on Work, Health, and ComplacencyInterview: How Filmmaker Jessica Sanders Brought a Tiny Person into a Big WorldInterview: Women Texas Film Festival founder, Justina WalfordInterview: Filmmaker Bradley Olsen and His FCPX Documentary “Off the Tracks”Best F[r]iends: Greg Sestero on Making Movies With Tommy Wiseaulast_img read more

How to Live Through this Disruptive Age with Gerhard Gschwandtner – Episode 5

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 31:53 — 15.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSWe have now left the linear worldAs a publisher of a very successful magazine that has now lost much of its revenue to the digital shift that’s taken place, Gerhard Gschwandtner knows that things have changed. In his mind, it’s a change away from what is linear into what is multifaceted and diverse. In this conversation, Anthony chats with Gerhard about what it was like to see his company’s revenue leak away as the digital age was born and how he’s weathered the storm with such optimism. It’s a great conversation with a great guy.How to Live Through this #Disruptive Age with Gerhard Gschwandtner – Episode 5Click To TweetAdversity is the diamond dust nature used to polish its jewelsMany traditional publishers have done nothing but bemoan the changes that have happened in the publishing industry due to the advent of the digital age. But Gerhard Gschwandtner has taken a different approach. He believes that the changes are for the betterment of mankind and that publishers need to learn how to adapt what they do to the new methods of doing them. In this episode, you’ll hear Gerhard’s contagious optimism about where the publishing industry is headed and how he’s doing his part to continue the trends by adapting to them.Everybody is a publisher but some are better than others.Like any business vertical, publishing has its share of players. Now that the ease of self-publishing on the internet has made it possible for anyone to become a publisher, the marketplace is more crowded than ever. But not all publishers are created equal. Gerhard Gshwandtner is convinced that the game is still the same and that those who survive and even thrive are the publishers who do the best job at publishing. He’s proving that the switch can be made effectively through his own pivots, so be sure you listen to hear the lessons he’s learned.Everybody is a publisher but some are better than others. A chat with Gerhard GschwandtnerClick To TweetWhat tools can I use to align marketing with sales?Though his business is a publishing house his area of focus is sales. That’s one of the many things that makes Gerhard Gshwandtner such an interesting guest for the In The Arena podcast. With his  years at the helm of “Selling Power” magazine Gerhard has learned much about sales from thousands of people whose stories have been told within the pages of his magazine. On this episode of In The Arena, Anthony picks the brain of a man who has seen, learned, and taught more about sales than most people will learn in a lifetime. You’ll want to hear this one.Outline of this great episode Anthony’s introduction of Gerhard Gschwandtner. Why Gerhard decided to become a publisher of a sales magazine. How the electronic age has impacted Gerhard’s magazine. What is it about Gerhard that makes him willing to thrive in the digital age. Changing the format but not changing the message. Why Gerhard is happy to be part of the new type of publishing. The selling power conference and what’s on the horizon. The interview Gerhard is most proud of. What is Sales Op Shop?Resources & Links mentioned in this episodewww.SellingPower.comThe theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: Plus: you can use to share this episodeWhat tools can I use to align marketing with sales? A chat with Gerhard GschwandtnerClick To TweetWe have now left the linear world. A chat with Gerhard GschwandtnerClick To TweetAdversity is the diamond dust nature used to polish its jewels. A chat with Gerhard GschwandtnerClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address belowlast_img read more

The Hustler’s Playbook: How to Become a Hustler

first_imgIf you want to transform yourself from a non-hustler to a hustler, you are going to need to make some serious changes. These changes begin in your mind before they manifest in your results.You must reject the scarcity mindset and replace it with a belief in limitless abundance. You can’t see your opportunities or your potential while you believe there isn’t enough.You must reject fear and embrace unconditional love. You can’t make the transformation from non-hustler to hustler while you are consumed with fear. You fear things over which you have no control, while hustlers have a different set of fears.You will have to reject cynicism and skepticism and fill yourself with the belief that everything is possible. The transformation cannot occur until you believe in yourself completely. Your cynicism and skepticism is the defense mechanism you use to shroud your fear that you aren’t good enough.You must replace distrust with the belief that everyone is acting out of good intentions. Once your intentions and actions are strong enough, you will find that you have always been surrounded by people who will help you succeed, not people who are trying to hurt you.You must replace judgment with the compassion required to understand that when you recognize bad intentions you are witnessing someone who is sick, injured, or doesn’t believe they have real choices. Hustlers avoid negative people, but they work to pull up those who need a hand.You need to shift your focus from what you can’t do now to all the things you are empowered to do now. You see the great distance you must cross and decide it is too far. Hustlers take the first step, and then they keep moving. To you it looks like a grind. To a hustler it looks like work they love.You must eliminate your belief that you need to wait for permission or someone else to validate your gift  in order to share them. There is no one who is going to tap you on the shoulder and tell you that you are allowed to do something. Your transformation can only occur when you stop waiting and start sharing your gift.You must kill your inner critic and replace that voice with the voice of your strongest proponent, that voice that pushes you forward. There is only one voice that can stop you, and that voice it the one that speaks to you when you are alone with your thoughts. That is the same voice that can help you and propel you forward. You have to decide what that voice says to you, and you have to decide what you believe.You must replace your belief that what you do doesn’t make a difference with the belief that helping one person right now means you have made the ultimate difference. The hustler knows that they create value, that they make a difference. You need to take credit for the value that you create.If you would be a hustler, then you need to begin by making these changes. The sooner you make them, the sooner you find yourself in a different–and better–place.last_img read more

America Needs More Entrepreneurs

first_imgRead this article called How Capitalism Dies.There are a bunch of interesting statistics here, like how many people now receive aid from the federal government. But more interesting is the long trend of businesses closing without a greater number opening to replace these businesses.I do believe that business is more difficult than it has ever been. I also believe it is more competitive than ever. I also believe that in this Disruptive Age, there are tons of systemic challenges. But it isn’t so difficult that anyone with a good idea and the intestinal fortitude can’t start and run a business. How can it be that there are more classes on entrepreneurship and fewer entrepreneurs?We need more entrepreneurs.Why Entrepreneurs FailI haven’t seen too many serious entrepreneurs with really bad business ideas (with the exception of some technology entrepreneurs who get excited about counting things). Most of the time, the entrepreneurs I have seen have good, valuable ideas. Their hearts in the right place, and they really want to create something. But the one question I routinely ask tells me everything I need to know about whether or not they will succeed. That question is this:“What is your client acquisition strategy?”Entrepreneur after entrepreneur crumbles when faced with this question. They believe that success comes from acquiring investors. The worst belief they have is that they can take enough investor money and sell the company for some amount of money that stretches credulity. That isn’t entrepreneurship. Get rich quick schemes don’t make you an entrepreneur either.There is no successful entrepreneur anywhere that didn’t create customers.How Entrepreneurs SucceedIf you want to start and build your own business, you need a few things. You need a great way to create value for other people, value that they are willing to pay for. And then you need people who will agree to pay you for that value.I’ve seen entrepreneurs start multimillion dollar business with nothing more than a laptop and the gumption to offer their services (I mean literally. They had nothing else.). I’ve seen entrepreneurs fail after investors poured millions of dollars into their business. The invested money wasn’t as valuable to their survival as the ability to gain paying customers would have been.Capitalism isn’t going to die anytime soon. If you have it in your heart to start something, there is no better time than now. But only if you have the ability and the willingness to go and acquire customers. Without that, you’re a statistic. Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Nowlast_img read more