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Apple competes with its own ad agency – and loses #ads #business

 

It's been a little over a year since Apple Computer started creating its own, in-house advertising agency to compete with Media Arts Lab, the unit that award-winning advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day had created specifically to serve Apple. "Whilst the Californian tech giants have worked on expanding their 1000 person in-house ad team in an effort to have greater control on their advertising strategies," says UK blog Creativepool in a July 4 post, "it is still actively collaborating with TBWA, even though since April, reports have stated that Apple is trying to distance itself from the agency."

So how are Apple's do-it-yourself advertising efforts working out? According to Ace Metrix research data compiled by Bloomberg, not so hot.

Of eight Apple television commercials tested on consumers, the three that scored most effective came from TBWA/MAL. The lowest-scoring of these scored 611 on the Ace Metrix 900-point scale, while the highest scorer of the in-house spots failed to break 600 and the group as a whole averaged 533.

Don't try this at home

Rob Siltanen, who wrote the copy for Apple's 1997 "Here's to the crazy ones" campaign, quotes an old adage by way of explanation. "There's a truism out there that applies," he says, "'The lawyer who represents himself in court has an idiot for a client.' It's very hard to have the necessary perspective to do the job right."

And perspective is what makes the difference between the TBWA spots and the in-house ones. The former were created from the consumers' perspective, the latter from the perspective of manufacturers who have fallen so in love with their collection of no doubt self-evidently ingenious product features that they're convinced the rest of the world will become instantly and completely enamored too.

Read more: Apple competes with its own ad agency – and loses #ads #business

What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Financing Right Now #finance

Over the past few years, we have seen an explosion of startup activity as the traditional barriers to entry have come down. The ability to raise money no longer determines one’s fate. With lowered costs to build and run websites, acquire and retain users, virtually anybody can pick up coding and start a tech company.

At the same time, funding opportunities have expanded for early-stage startups. More money is flowing in from a new crop of angels, newly wealthy from a number of tech IPOs. AngelList makes it easier for founders to reach angels and there are hundreds of accelerators and incubators to choose from. On top of all this, crowdfunding has now become a viable funding option for many start-ups, particularly those hardware projects that have had a tough time getting funding from the VC circles.

But this boom landscape might change soon.

While the top of the funnel has grown with all the angel and early-stage activity, the bottom of the funnel is still roughly the same size (about 10-20 billion-dollar companies per year). We have all heard about the Series A crunch in the Valley (there might actually be up to 2,000 companies in the Series A pipeline right now), and perhaps there’s a Series B crunch now too.

Additionally, we need to watch out for two developments on the horizon. First, there will be a consolidation in the accelerator space, with the net effect of reducing the number of available spaces for start-ups. And, we should expect angel activity to drop as new angels discover that returns from their seed investments aren’t so easy to come by.

Any entrepreneur trying to navigate the financing landscape should be aware of the over-abundance of angel money compared with subsequent rounds. You need to assess early on if your business is venture-fundable. Is your opportunity at least $100 million? If not, revenue from your customers will be your best source of financing. That’s okay: many great companies have been built by bootstrapping.

There’s a lot of “easy” early-stage money floating around right now, but don’t get fooled into taking seed money if you don’t have a viable path for later rounds. It will just be leading you down the wrong track.

Source: http://www.techvibes.com/blog/what-every-entrepreneur-should-know-about-financing-right-now-2014-07-24

The One-Word Answer to Why Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Have Been So Successful #biz

 

When Bill Gates first met Warren Buffett, their host at dinner, Gates’ mother, asked everyone around the table to identify what they believed was the single most important factor in their success through life. Gates and Buffett gave the same one-word answer: “Focus.” (See more in The Snowball by Alice Schroeder).

I love the clarity of their answer but I am also concerned by how this can be, to quote Rudyard Kipling, “twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.” I am an advocate for focus in work, life and leadership. However, the subject has a nuance and depth that many people miss. For a start, most people think of there only being one kind of focus.

Read more: The One-Word Answer to Why Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Have Been So Successful #biz

Video: Seven Myths About The Brain That Most People Believe #science

“The bigger the brain, the smarter the animal.” “Humans only use 10% of their brain.” “I’m creative, so I’m right-brained. You’re analytical, so you’re left-brained.”

Sound familiar?

There’s a good chance that you’ve heard a lot of false information about the brain. Some of these ideas have been repeated so many times for so long, they become commonly accepted as fact, even after science has long since disproved it.

Check out this video from AsapSCIENCE that puts the top seven myths about the brain to rest:

Source:  http://www.iflscience.com/brain/seven-myths-about-brain-most-people-believe

Mars Rover Breaks Longest Off-World Driving Record #space #nasa

NASA’s Opportunity rover landed on Mars on January of 2004, and this week, it set a new off-Earth roving distance record, accruing just over 40 kilometers (25 miles) of driving.

“Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world," John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says in a news release. "This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance.”

Long before Curiosity arrived on the scene, the rover pair Spirit and Opportunity were cruising on the Red Planet. They were each designed to operate for just 90 sols (or Martian days, about 24 hours and 39.5 minutes long), Ars Technica explains, and they both exceeded that lifespan. Spirit’s solar power arrays stopped generating electricity in 2010, and Opportunity is still chugging along after celebrating its 10th anniversary. In this time, this plucky rover has been helping us understand the composition of Mars, even sending back clues of past water activity.

“No one in their wildest dreams thought the rover would last this long,” Callas tells the Los Angeles Times. “People made bets early on -- ‘Maybe we can get to the first Martian winter,’ ‘Maybe we can get two years out of it’ -- but no one thought that it would last this long.”

Driving just 48 meters (157 feet) on July 27, 2014 put Opportunity's total odometry at 40.25 kilometers (25.01 miles). Its route is mapped above. This month's driving brought the rover southward along the western rim of Endeavour Crater; it arrived at this 22-kilometer (14-mile) wide crater in 2011. These sites show evidence of ancient environments with less acidic water than those examined at the rover’s landing site, inside the Eagle Crater.

Read more: Mars Rover Breaks Longest Off-World Driving Record #space #nasa

Dead Man Sitting: Are Office Workers Really Doomed? #office #health

It is always troubling to see how many people are falling victim to unhealthy lifestyle choices (sigh, not me). At times a glimpse of the latest obesity statistics in the headlines has prompted me to send a forward to an afflicted family member, or shoot a quick message to a friend that I know has been slacking at the gym: “Time to step up the cardio or else you’re going to look like this, man.”

That’s why I was shocked to read that recent research confirms a sedentary lifestyle is correlated with higher incidences of not just obesity, but cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer—and basically anything and everything that can slowly kill you, regardless of whether you exercise on a regular basis. In short, compensating for sitting around all day with a one hour high intensity workout at the gym is no defence; all office workers are doomed. 

There is Hope: How to Avoid Death by Office Chair

Still in a state of shock, there was only one person I could bring myself to call, Occupational Therapist Matt Gereghty. 

Not only does Matt know a thing or two about workplace health and safety but since I had a sinking feeling that the news was going to be bad I needed someone who could give me the prognosis with a side of humor (If you’ve read Matt’s blog, i.e. “Your wrists are like baby squirrels” you’ll understand).

Confirmed: Sitting All Day is Killing Us

 “The trouble with prolonged sitting,” Matt tells me, “is that it puts the majority of our body into sleep mode and while seated, our largest muscles groups (our body's engine) are essentially turned off. This has a profound effect on our energy expenditure and metabolism."

"The fact that we are exposing ourselves to eight hours of low metabolism every day at the office, then one hour for the commute, two hours of television watching, etc. means that over time, our body is going to adapt to these horrible conditions - this is when we start to see health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer," he added.

Read more: Dead Man Sitting: Are Office Workers Really Doomed? #office #health

When Ph.D.s realize they won’t be professors #jobs

Jennifer Polk was a few years into her Ph.D. in history at the University of Toronto when she attended a departmental meeting and heard that 50 per cent of the school’s graduates were getting tenure-track professor jobs. “They were patting themselves on the back,” she says. “I was sitting there horrified.” She realized she needed another plan. Since that meeting several years ago, the number of jobs for academics has fallen further. The chance of becoming a professor is now estimated to be one in four.

Charmaine Grant began her Ph.D. three years ago partly because she couldn’t get a full-time job after finishing her M.A. in literature at Ryerson University. “I said to myself, there’s no way I can go through another year of this, just sending my CV into cyberspace,” she says. “I thought my time would be better spent in school.” She was thinking less about whether she would become a professor and more about how exciting it would be to continue her scholarship on black women’s hair. Today, still unable to see herself as a professor, she’s quit the doctorate and begun a job search.

Both women say that the culture of academia has made the transition from graduate school to work more difficult than it ought to be. “Everyone asks you, inside and outside the academy, ‘So are you going to be a professor?’ ” says Polk, “When you get to the point where you realize maybe this is not for me, you feel like a loser.”

A couple of recent studies, The 2013 Canadian Postdoc Survey and Beyond Labs and Libraries: Career Pathways for Doctoral Students, confirm that many graduate students aren’t getting the support they need to prepare for non-academic careers.

The Postdoc Survey, a partnership between the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars and Mitacs (an organization that coordinates industry-university research partnerships, including internships) consulted 1,830 of the estimated 9,000 Ph.D. graduates working as entry-level “postdoctoral researchers” in Canada. They found that their average age was 34 and roughly two-thirds earned less than $45,000 annually, many without benefits. Half reported no exposure to non-academic careers and 87 per cent said they either had no access to career counselling or were uncertain thereof. Nearly seven in 10 said their career goal was to become a professor—despite the odds. While large numbers agreed they wanted training in things like grant or proposal writing and project management, few were getting any. Some of their comments were revealing: one said non-academic careers were seen as “selling out or failing.”

Read more: When Ph.D.s realize they won’t be professors #jobs

The Art of Self-Awareness in Making Positive Change #selfawareness

We have all had those days. You know, those days where we glance back over our shoulders as it's ending and just sneer. Those days where we shake our heads and wonder to ourselves, "What am I doing?!?" Yes, we all have had these moments of clarity that move from an act of intimate introspection deep down to boiling just below the surface. It can be about anything really: our work, our families, our friends, our environment, our possessions, our habits, fill in the blank... And the sensation can get very uncomfortable as you reach a place that feels like you're going to either experience a personal meltdown or explosion. We have all been there and each of you reading this knows what I'm talking about.

Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. ~ Tony Robbins

It is a perfectly natural thing to happen. If these types of visceral moments of self-awareness weren't occasionally happening I would probably be worried, because to me that would indicate that we were either 1) in a perfectly balanced state of being (which I have yet to see in my own experiences of working with individuals), 2) in complete denial and ignoring the growing sense that something needs to be done (thus leading to what could be a pretty painful uncontrolled explosion with major collateral damage), or 3) that we had given up on the idea of growth or personal evolution in any meaningful way (which I find typically leads to an accelerated decline in just about every aspect of life including expectancy).

So, it happens to all of us and we need to be okay with that. Now comes the important point that ultimately is the most critical piece in this analysis: Once we start sensing that "feeling," how do we choose to deal with it? The answer to this question can really determine whether we pivot toward a new and healthy path that ultimately leads to additional learning and positive growth or whether we choose to ignore it and let the pressure build up in us like a package of Jiffy Pop on the stove-top (if you don't know what I'm talking about here, Google it or ask your parents about it...) leading to a spectacular explosion that can have some pretty damaging effects on us and those around who we are connected to and who care about us.

I am definitely not saying I have all of the answers or an ancient map that shows exactly where all of the treasure (or in this case answers) is hidden. I am just trying to point out that the act of being self-aware and listening to that little voice inside of ourselves is key when it comes to change and knowing when we might need to consider some shifts in any number of spaces in our lives.

I know that change isn't easy and that it isn't even something many of us are eager to embrace, but knowing that staying the same often leads to us sacrificing or entirely missing great opportunities in life will hopefully be the catalyst that allows us to be more self-aware and willing to acknowledge that change might be the necessary act to enable us to move on and to start writing the next chapter of our lives.

As always, these thoughts are based on my personal experiences and I would love to hear from anyone that has additional perspectives in the comments. It is our collective experiences and unique perspectives that combine together to make us who we are as a community and I for one am eager to seize that learning experience and capitalize on all that it has to offer.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140730203307-4280659-the-art-of-self-awareness-in-making-positive-change

Monsanto Marijuana Coming Soon #gmo #420 #monsanto

U.S. corporation Monsanto plans to launch production of genetically modified marijuana, and companies such as Drug Policy Alliance y Open Society Foundation are going to create our own brand, which will be produced under cannabis, information portal La Red 21.

Organization of Open Society Foundation is under the control of the shareholder Monsanto, billionaire George Soros. Company Drug Policy Alliance y Open Society Foundation, funded by Monsanto will be responsible for market development of transgenic seeds of marijuana, particularly in Uruguay.

Uruguay – the first country in the world to officially legalize the production and sale of marijuana. Initiator of the law was the leadership of the State, headed by President Jose Mujica. According to authorities, a guarantee of success in Uruguay marijuana legalization should be state regulation of prices for hemp.

Read more: Monsanto Marijuana Coming Soon #gmo #420 #monsanto

Older residents of long-term care facilities are denied sex. #sex

All of us get caught up in the grind of worrying about ourselves, worrying about our jobs, worrying about our money, worrying about our kids, and so forth. With all this attention focused on our own lives and affairs, it’s easy to forget that other people are suffering. Unfortunately, it’s probably easiest to forget that many people encamped in long-term care facilities are inconvenienced a lot more than we are. Without a doubt, many people who live in nursing homes are treated like chattel. They are deprived of some basic joys of being human—most notably sex.

I was shocked and saddened to read a short article authored by Rebecca Clay and published with the American Psychological Association titled “Sex in long-term care.” From this article, I learned that older residents aren’t allowed to have sex—and even ridiculed or chastised for asking--by staff. Such staff are particularly insensitive to the needs of LGBT residents who sometimes pretend to be siblings in order to remain in close contact with a lover!

Read more: Older residents of long-term care facilities are denied sex. #sex

What your boss thinks of you is none of your business. Or is it? #leadership

Recently I decided to treat a few of my team members (who report to me) to a dinner. It was a way of thanking them for a job well done on a recent project. Another one in the bag - on time and on budget. Nice work folks!

Due to a meeting running long, I was about fifteen minutes late to the dinner. Sending a text ahead, I asked them to enjoy themselves at the bar and I would be joining them shortly. Walking in, I noticed a couple of the team members standing at the bar with their backs to me. They did not know I was behind them. As I walked up to them, I heard one of them say "That's why I like working here!"

My curiosity was piqued, but I didn't want to appear like I was eavesdropping. I wasn't. It was simply serendipitous timing.

Read more: What your boss thinks of you is none of your business. Or is it? #leadership

9 Things Rich People Do Differently Every Day #success #entrepreneur


What you do today matters. In fact, your daily habits may be a major determinant of your wealth.

"The metaphor I like is the avalanche," says Thomas Corley, the author of "Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals." "These habits are like snowflakes — they build up, and then you have an avalanche of success."

Corley spent five years studying the lives of both rich people (defined as having an annual income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million or more) and poor people (defined as having an annual income of $35,000 or less and a liquid net worth of $5,000 or less).

He managed to segment out what he calls "rich habits" and "poverty habits," meaning the tendencies of those who fit in each group. But, Corley explains, everyone has some rich habits and some poverty habits. "The key is to get more than 50% to be rich habits," he says.

And what are those rich habits that are so influential? Here are a few:

Read more: 9 Things Rich People Do Differently Every Day #success #entrepreneur