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Archives for: May 2014

There were 3 posts published in May 2014.

3 Reasons Equity-Crowdfunding Should Be Forbidden

As the crowdfunding industry is looking forward to welcome equity-crowdfunding as a legislated form of startup funding, the impatience about the slow rate of its introduction is growing. There are some serious issues however that makes it worth considering whether or not every potential investor should be exposed to the possible dangers.


Startups fail

After 10 years, about 80% of the companies have went bankrupt. A big number has big consequences that most equity-crowdfunders might not always realize, especially when the entrepreneur is somebody you know. It’s hard to keep in mind the numbers and not be swept away by their persuading manners, well-developed business plan, and enthusiasm. Crowd-investors aren’t familiar with developing portfolios or spreading risk. Think, would you let your 10-year-old drive a car even though he knows where the steering wheel is?


Scams are rising

Companies might fail due to external developments (bankrupt customers, imploding industries, etc.) despite all the talent an entrepreneur has and the effort, time, and money invested. There are people out in the field however, who are actually looking to harm investors via scams, like the infamous Kobe Beef Jerky. The list with scams is growing and though the awareness is growing, there is no standard policy that protects crowdfunders. 


The crowd is uneducated

Though some claim that “the wisdom of the crowd” will filter out faulty projects, the “crowd” exists from uneducated individuals that simply aren’t as educated as most professional investors. The private investors are accredited for a reason. Crowd-investors don’t have a background in startup development, company organization, revenue models, or finance.


Many of them might expect a quick win, while investing in companies usually locks you in for 3-7 years. There is also no way to get rid of SME shares as a standards way that is implemented in every campaign. So how are you going to get your ROI? Dividends are easier to grasp, but most startups won’t make profits within the first few years, and when they do it might be better to reinvest instead of paying dividends.


Let’s work towards safer funding!

Let’s get real: equity-funding is not going to be forbidden. Though there are still some growing pains in the equity-crowdfunding industry, the potential is enormous. In order to create a healthy funding sector, policies and accreditation should protect the crowd-investors. The opportunities are to promising, and it’s unlikely anyone would want to stop a way to further develop our economy by democratizing capital streams and empowering the crowd.


Insert Coin To Continue: Using Games On Social Networks to Enhance Your Marketing

How much time do you spend each day checking in with your social networks? Odds are good you not only use social media extensively, but you spend more time on it than all other online activities. We spend more than three and a half hours per day on social media, reports Ipsos, which accounts for about one-fourth of the time we spend awake. Companies have long since realized the marketing value of social media but still struggle to make their brands stand out to consumers. Gamification—applying the typical elements of game playing (think scoring points, competition and rules of play) to nongame applications to encourage engagement with a product or service—helps bridge the gap between quality content and user interaction. What can gamification do for your social sites?

Demographics And Spending Power

Perhaps the strongest argument in favor of gamification lies within the purchasing power of those who use social games most frequently. Though millennials spend more time on social sites than any other age bracket, it’s their parents—who have much larger wallets and more discretionary income—who spend more time on social games. Go-Gulf reports that one in four adults over the age of 46 plays social games, a higher percentage than any other demographic. A company or brand offering gamification will be more likely to attract these coveted social users.

Phone Frenzy

When it comes to marketing your brand, what medium should you expect your customers to utilize? It’s a mobile world out there for social gamers, with nearly 70 percent of casual social gamers reporting they prefer to game on an iPhone rather than an iPad. There’s no need to program an iOS app to specifically run on one or the other, but it’s important to keep in mind that the majority of your users are accessing the Internet via their mobile devices. You will, however, have to create a platform that runs on both iOS and Android devices in order to reach a greater market. Develop a game that can be played on a lunch break or on a bus by a smartphone owner and you’ll be more likely to have smartphone and tablet users share the game among their friends than if you develop games better suited for a desktop computer.

Pay To Play?

It goes without saying that your company’s game should be free to play. This does not mean, however, that you cannot recoup some funds. Microtransactions have become the engine for successful game development, allowing users to directly purchase anything from extra lives, to character clothing, to cheats by dropping a dollar or two into the game. Users like it because it lets them game without paying $60 for a game station disc; developers love it because they pull some two billion dollars annually, according to With a microtransaction system within your company’s game, consumers become financially, as well as emotionally, invested in the product before they ever go to your site’s actual sales page.


The Internet of Things Has Arrived — Here’s How Your Company Can Succeed

 For success in a market that’s changing our everyday lives, you have to know how both sides of the Internet of Things must work together for users.

At its annual 2011 developer conference, Google announced it had developed Android@Home. The technology was designed to connect household appliances, making nearly everything in your home controllable by your smartphone. It made news — not because it was a new idea, but because it supported an old one: The Internet of Things was one step closer to becoming reality.

It turned out that Google’s initiative wasn’t quite ready for prime time, but it reinforced a desire people have had since the mid-20th century: smart devices that communicate with one another makes life easier.

This is the essence of the Internet of Things, and it’s quickly becoming reality. Just look at the success of Nest Labs and Amazon’s new shopping gadget, Dash. Some even say the future of machine-to-machine communication (M2M) is past due.

How to Succeed in the Internet of Things

The question then becomes how to ensure your company succeeds in this field. What does it take to become an integral part of a market that has the potential to change the way we live our day-to-day lives?

To even have a chance at success on the bleeding edge of connectivity, you need to know how M2M works and which components make up a successful consumer-facing product. There are essentially two sides to what we know as the Internet of Things: M2M and consumer.

M2M usually refers to the industrial side of machine communication, but it’s still essentially the term for machines — cars, washing machines, and refrigerators — that communicate with one another, usually on a network. The consumer side of the Internet of Things is what the everyday user will see and interact with.

For your product to be successful, these sides need to work together seamlessly to create a frictionless experience that users can adopt in their daily routines. Take Audi, for example. Rather than reinventing the wheel with its infotainment system, the car company chose to enhance the way people already live with technology, making it smarter, faster, and easier to use. As a result, Audi has won numerous awards and eased people into a new way of doing things.

The 5 Components of a Frictionless Connected Experience

To master this seamless experience, focus on these five components of a successful consumer-facing “smart” product.

1. The Hardware: The hardware you create must improve what’s already out there and make people’s lives easier. Before development, consider what type of data you’ll need to collect, how to communicate that data, and how to process it into usable information after it’s received. Whether your device will rely on Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or a cellular network, make sure the hardware will fulfill the requirements.

2. The Software: Once you have a good piece of hardware, the next step is making sure the consumer can use it. It doesn’t matter how great a device is; if it’s hard to use, it’s sure to fail. Consider how your software will integrate with remote devices and how users will interact with the front-end interface.

3. Connectivity: Good connectivity is essential for connecting to the Internet of Things. In the U.S., competing networks and standards can make it more difficult for a product to achieve success if it only supports one network. Creating a single portal with multiple options for connectivity can help ensure a painless and seamless user experience.

For consumer-facing devices, the faster, the better. LTE is winning out in America, but HSPA+ and even WiMAX have support in certain parts of the world. Depending on your needs, different network evolutions like LTE and technologies such as GSM and CDMA can be beneficial, but they aren’t necessarily required. The more you can do to support these various network possibilities, the more effective and accessible your solution can be.

4. Certification: This isn’t the sexiest part of product development, but whether it’s wireless certification from the PTCRB or a security certification, these procedures are essential when it comes to lending credibility to your product and ensuring that it’s standards-friendly.

5. The Business Model: This should be obvious, but developing the right business model is a critical step startups often neglect. Your product may be amazing, but if you can’t reach the price point you need or can’t figure out how to turn a profit, everything else becomes moot.

With each passing year, the Internet of Things inches closer to becoming reality. If you’re looking to break into this field or are struggling to find a profitable foothold, focusing on these key components can help you achieve success and contribute to a movement that could change the world.