Amazing interview. Apple is in good hands. Sit back and enjoy!
My dad is on a roll. He recently suggested a few apps and articles for me to take a look at. Usually the suggestions are good but this time he hit a grand slam. I can’t put down Flipboard. Think of a personal magazine on your iPad or iPhone. You can “flip” through the pages and even set the sites you want to gather articles from.
Why am I addicted? I use to spend time monotenously checking multiple websites for news and information. First I would go to TechCrunch, then Mashable, then the local paper, and maybe end with Forbes or Inc. Pretty tiring ritual when you are merely browsing. Flipboard comes to the rescue with a user friendly experience that makes browsing exciting and relevant again.
After opening the app, I can select which industry/category I want to focus on (examples: technology, science, design, gaming, business, etc) and begin reading. Flipboard does all the work of finding relevant articles that it thinks I will enjoy. Usually algorithms struggle to find prevelant content but this has not been the case with this app.
I highly recommend downloading the app to your iPad (I was so addicted I put it on my iPhone as well). Use it for a few days and let me know what you think! Knowledge is power and Flipboard is just working to make that journey fun again!
The future is coming. Whether we like it or not, humans are being replaced by technology. The Port Authority of New York City will be implementing these in the near future at select airports:
This makes sense in the areas of lower operating costs (not paying employees), ensured professionalism, and less stress on employers (they don’t have to listen to everyday employee issues). The possibilities for advertising are endless as well. Pretty exciting stuff.
Here is a “holographic avatar” in action:
Now it gets interesting. These psudeo-people sounded good in theory but can this really work? In a 45 second clip I felt like I was merely seeing the person who usually annoys me on the phone while I sit through automated telephone trees. What happens when the avatar deals with a disgruntled customer? She said “to the left” but is that her left or mine?
You can see where the technology could run into some obstacles. Overall I think that the possibilities far outweigh the negatives. Can’t wait to see what other industries can utilize these avatars (sporting events, concerts, corporate office greeters, etc). What do you think about the possibility of interacting with “robots” rather than humans? Where would you like to see these holographic avatars next?
It is well documented that I am a military veteran. At the age of 17, while my country was fighting two wars, I volunteered. Call it being naive or immature but I wasn’t content with just joining. I wanted to fight. Within months I was a trained combat engineer and eventually an infantryman.
After 3 years I had experienced everything I had dreamed about plus more. With a 13 month deployment to the heart of Iraq over with, I had seen more than most my age. Immaturity was no longer an issue. The stress, daily grind, and formidable enemy took care of all that.
Looking back I am most thankful for the men I have been blessed to serve alongside. Many of them were old enough to be my father. They took care of me even though they didn’t have to. If it weren’t for many of them I probably wouldn’t have made it home safely. (A 21 year old kid can find a lot of trouble while at war if he’s looking for it!)
This Memorial Day Weekend I spent a lot of time alone. I was reminiscing. Thinking about each and every man I served with. Even letting my mind wander to the men and women I didn’t have the opportunity to meet. Each of us sharing a bond over sacrifice and service to others.
Many Americans spent this weekend enjoying friends, family, good food, and great times. Too many of our soldiers didn’t get to enjoy those moments. For those that are currently overseas, Thank You. I know what you are going through and it is all worth it. I wouldn’t give back that experience for anything. When you come home capitalize on the opportunities presented you.
For those that have served, Thank You. You are the reason I grew up in a free country. You are the ones who laid the foundation for what I have been able to accomplish. We need more individuals like you.
For those that will serve in the future, Thank You. You don’t know it yet but you are the bedrock on which America will continue to prosper. You will provide freedom and a country where I can feel comfortable raising my children. Learn from those that came before you but create a legacy of your own.
I proudly display my military service. I don’t do it because it makes me feel good or because I am bragging. I do it because I know too many people who have been injured or killed and can’t show their pride. I continue to raise awareness for Wounded Warriors and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. I will never stop fighting that fight.
Now that MDW is over, I ask each one of you reading this for a favor. Do not let the celebration of our nation’s true Heroes only be one weekend a year. Do not let their stories and memories fade away. Keep their spirits alive. Do your part to show your appreciation. If you answer this challenge with the tenacity that our soldiers answered our nations call, we will succeed. Join me on this mission and let’s ensure that no one is forgotten. Thank you and God Bless!
I was approached by a good friend with the request that I write about what was happening at Monroe-Woodbury High School in his hometown. My initial reaction was “I don’t write based on solicitations.” Then I read the story and got the facts. Every so often I run across stories or causes that I think need to be shared with others. Each one of us will face trials and tribulations in our lifetime. The more people that can rally around us, the easier the fight. Vinny Vespa is that person right now.
Vinny is a 14 year old kid from New York who had the world at his feet two weeks ago. A 9th grader, wrestling on Varsity, on his way to represent the state of New York at the National Championships in North Dakota this July. For a kid who had been wrestling his entire life he wanted nothing but to be a champion.
After clinching his spot on the state team, Vinny went to the doctor to find out why he had been getting short of breath all season. The answer was the worst case scenario. Vinny is believed to have Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma. Think about that….a kid who dominated all season on the wrestling mat (31-8 record) did it with stage 4 cancer and only 50% of his normal breathing capacity.
Usually stories like this end with an athlete who moves out of the limelight and begins the battle to merely survive. Vinny appears to have a different idea in mind. According to his supporters Vinny is “cancer’s worst nightmare.” Everything said about him speaks to his character and determination. This kid isn’t worried about surviving, he still wants that national championship.
Think he is going to battle alone? Forget it, that’s where Team VinnyV comes in. Within 48 hours of creating a Twitter account (@teamVinnyV) he had over 1,220 followers. He should break 2,000 today. His family and friends have gotten T-shirts made and organized fundraising events. This 14 year old has served as an inspiration to his community due to his persistence and never die attitude. While both Section IX Wrestling and New York Wrestling News have covered the story, TeamVinnyV would like to get national coverage. We can help them do that.
Please tweet at or about TeamVinnyV. Share this blog post or the other stories. Tell people about Vinny. Buy a t-shirt. Hound ESPN and Sportscenter until they can’t ignore TeamVinnyV anymore. These stories need to be shared. Vinny needs any help you can give him….are you game?
Mobile games have become very popular recently. From Draw Something to Words With Friends to Angry Birds, more and more users are adopting mobile game entertainment. Most people play the game and never think about how the gaming companies make money. There are a few common options:
-The company can make the user pay for the downloaded app
-The company doesn’t monetize the game at all (think Instagram for games)
-The company allows users to make in-app purchases (most common form of monetization)
Most apps are free so there is no barrier to adoption and allows users to flock to popular games. The smart companies realize that they have to create revenue so they seek to monetize the game in some form. That leaves us with in-app purchases (or upgrades) as the main source of revenue for gaming companies. Do enough people really make these purchases to keep the gaming company afloat though?
ABI just released a report that shows most people are unwilling to pay. According to TechCrunch approximately 70% of consumers pay “either nothing or very little.” They love free games but don’t love the applications enough to spend their hard earned money. So where does the revenue come from?
Gaming companies have become increasingly reliant on “whales.” These are individual users that spend large amounts of money on in-app purchases. “The highest-spending three percent of all app users account for nearly 20 percent of the total spend in the market” according to ABI and reported by Colleen Taylor. There have been reports of people spending over $100,000 on a single game. Yes….six figures to improve their performance in a mobile game. Simply amazing.
All these statistics tell us one thing: The gaming company is in trouble if it can not figure out how to get more users to spend money! Every business owner knows that it takes revenue and profit to run a business. Some companies are content with continually seeking venture funding but the good ones will create organic revenue streams. The obvious approach is to limit the free content of games or place more ads on the already cluttered mobile platform. Whether these attempts will be effective or not remains to be seen.
I am a huge child at heart so I admit I play different mobile games. I love the free content but have personally never spent a dime on this form of entertainment. Keep an eye on this industry over the next 6-12 months as I expect to see major innovations. What would you be willing to pay for? Have you ever spent money on any form of mobile game? Share your thoughts and insights below!
Big news over the last two weeks has been Scott Thompson and Yahoo!. Information recently surfaced that Mr. Thompson (now former CEO of Yahoo!) had lied about his past experiences and accomplishments. While these resume falsehoods were largely unimportant in the grand scheme of things, it appears that Yahoo! decided that a change was in order.
Yesterday the news broke that Thompson was out as CEO along with Roy Bostock, the former Chairman of the Board. We have seen this story play out time and again. A successful individual is found to have lied on their resume or in their bio. Why? Did they really need to say that they had TWO college degrees in order to become CEO? Would having only one degree disqualify them? I doubt it.
This issue is something that I see prevalent even in college graduates today. While they may not lie on their resume, they stretch the truth so far that you can’t tell a difference. Guess what? It’s unnecessary and the risk is hardly worth the reward. Write a resume that showcases pride in your accomplishments and allows a potential employer to see the measurable success you have achieved. This is usually good enough to get you where you want to go.
Bottom line: Scott Thompson lied on his resume and it cost him his job. Don’t become the next victim of this preventable problem. Dream big and accomplish a lot but never try to be someone you are not.
For hundreds of years dogs have been considered man’s best friend. These creatures can’t talk or participate in most activities that humans enjoy so why are they the perfect friend? Loyalty. Dogs don’t care if you had a bad day at work, if you embarrassed yourself at the family barbecue, or even if you got arrested on Friday night. These dogs have blind loyalty to their owners and always excited to see them walk through the door.
I cherish the dog-loyalty quality in people more than anything else. I want to be surrounded by people I can count on and that trust me. No matter how smart, rich, or likeable someone is, if they are not loyal then they do not have a place in my inner circle. I don’t mean that I want a bunch of “yes” men around. Dis-agreeing and having a difference of opinion is welcomed but when push comes to shove we stick together. My mother use to tell me “You can argue with your brothers in our house but when you walk outside no one should be able to separate you.”
This is a great lesson for all of us, particularly entrepreneurs. Everyone needs a few friends and close confidants with dog-loyalty. A true support system would be flawed without these people. They are always there to pick you up when you are down, help you when you need it, or provide a set of ears when you want to talk. While most of us already have a few friends like this, it is important to identify them. First you should thank them for always being there, but also make a mental note of who you can turn to in times of need. (Can help save time and energy during a desperate situation)
Not only do we need to understand who these people are but we should also learn from them. We should try to emulate what they do. Pay it forward in a sense. The most successful people are the ones who give out more then they take in; produce more than they consume. Identify 2 or 3 people that you know, love, and trust. People that you can stand beside in the good times and bad. Some of these people may be the same people you identified as those that are always there for you. Make an effort to always be available and show your loyalty.
Everyone loves their dog. You probably love the people that are loyal to you too. Thank them and seek to reciprocate it. In life and in business, those that stick together are usually so powerful that they have no choice but to succeed. Do you have friends that you can count on? I know I do!
Watch this man stand in front of a national audience and pour his heart out. He is loved by many and he is hated by even more. The way he handled his departure from Cleveland has been criticized but Lebron made a statement today.
His journey has been amazing already but he isn’t satisfied. He thanked those who are currently helping him along with also thanking those who have helped him in the past. He explained why he has become the person he is. It is refreshing to hear a professional athlete show such humility. The part that stood out most to me is that he wants a championship. He wants to have team success. Great leaders make it happen. I wish him the best of luck and can’t wait to watch him entertain us!
As an entrepreneur I am always thinking about the future. What will come next, what can I do to improve our product, or what is the next market trend? One industry is on the verge of disruption: Education. This industry disruption has the potential to be the most important to date. While Apple has changed the way we interact with technology and Square or Dwolla are changing the way we conduct monetary transactions, a disruption in education could fundamentally change learning and how we interact.
The education industry covers a wide range of areas which makes this trend even more interesting. Although most people immediately think of books, classroom supplies, and teacher development, we can not forget about public/private sector financing for education (Kindergarten – College), collaborative learning vs independent learning, or even early childhood education that occurs before children reach “school age.”
Here are the 5 areas that I am most excited to see progress over the next 10 years in the world of education:
1. How we pay – As I already mentioned, this concerns both the public and private sector. Many local and state government budgets are overwhelmed with expenses for education. Most people will spend whatever is needed since this issue is important but look for startups to begin attempting to lower the costs to public organizations, ultimately lowering government spending. The private sector, particularly college, is even worse. Since when should a student pay $55,000 a year to learn? A few companies are already addressing this through online education (ex: Khan Academy) but I expect crowd-funding student scholarships to be an emerging market while other startups simultaneously attack the tuition side of the equation.
2. When we learn – In our global economy children are being taught more information at an earlier age. I expect the US to try to keep pace with this trend. Special preschools are beginning to pop up that introduce children to that global economy but look for more software and technology to be devoted to young children (2-5 years old). Scary to think that the standard may be that a student knows how to read, along with do addition and subtraction before they enter kindergarten.
3. How we learn – This space is quickly becoming crowded. Technology has already made its way into the classroom and many people are racing to find the most effective way to utilize it. From very creative approaches to completely flipping the classroom, teachers are having their eyes opened to the possibilities of the future. No longer will school be boring and useless. Imagine a world where our children go to school, play games all day and learn? Get ready because it is coming.
4. How we measure learning – In the current model a student receives arbitrary grades based on a number of factors that do not pertain to their knowledge. The smartest kid in the classroom could receive a ‘C’ after they got a 100% on the homework but turned it in 2 days late. I am a huge proponent of discipline and accountability but I suspect that this grading system will get revamped. This same model also leads to the idea of a college degree being essential in the job market. The focus is currently on the piece of paper more than on the knowledge obtained while chasing the piece of paper. I expect a shift in this thinking to a system that measures and analyzes the actual knowledge a student holds.
5. How we interact with others – Today in classrooms it is against the rules to share ideas. Don’t even think about working together on a big test… but once you get out in the ‘real world’ you will be eaten alive if you try to make it alone. More and more schools are beginning to adopt project-based learning that allows students to work together and collaborate. Watch for an integration with presentations/public speaking to have a profound impact on the creativity, audacity, and confidence in our students as well. Everyone knows teamwork is essential and I expect the classroom to figure it out soon too.
These trends are just the beginning. The education industry is attractive to so many entrepreneurs because of the large market and the social impact that can be made. Some people are driven by profits but others are driven by improving financial literacy. My hope in writing this post is that more people begin to see this opportunity and attack it. If we can innovate the way we teach and learn than we can begin to solve existing problems, prepare for future ones, and maybe even have a little bit of fun along the way.
Have you seen innovation in education that you are impressed by? What areas do you hope will change in the next 5-10 years? Share your thoughts and ideas below!