Top Startup and Tech News Today – 7 Things You Missed Today

Top Startup and Tech News Today – 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Microsoft to Buy Nokia Units and Acquire Executive


Microsoft and Nokia have both reached an agreement where Microsoft will acquire the Nokia handset and services business for $7.2 million. What are the ramifications of this deal for both sides?


Nokia used to be a powerhouse in the mobile phone industry, but those days have since passed. In 2010, they held 64% share of China’s cell phone market—that value has dropped down to 1% in the first two quarters of 2013. Microsoft, on the other hand, needs to evolve its business to adapt to the mobile era.


Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner says that “Microsoft cannot walk away from smartphones, and the hope that other vendors will support Windows Phone is fading fast. So buying Nokia comes at the right time,” and also that the deal between the two could help them to “respond more quickly to the dynamism of the mobile market.”


2. How Much It’s Worth to Be #1 on Hacker News For a Day


Arshad Chowdhury runs a blog that averages 500 visitors per month, profiting through affiliate links with amazon (8% commission), sales of an app called “Power 20” ($2.99 ad-free), and sales of a diet and exercise program known as “One Month Madness” ($39.00). Recently, a blog post of his made it to the number 1 spot on Hacker News for 10 hours, resulting in a boom in traffic and revenue.


Being on Hacker News opens up big doors as it provides a surge of publicity—their stories are usually picked up by other news outlets. In this case, Chowdhury gained exposure as he was asked to appear on Fox Business, written about in Huffington Post France, and featured on Yahoo’s homepage. From days 1 to 3, his blog received 73,398, 52,169, and 12,910 visitors, respectively. The Power 20 app page had 3,999, 5,334, and 959 visitors.  The One Month Madness app also received 562, 1,295, and 369 visitors for the first three days after making it to Hacker news. This traffic wave boosted his revenue by $3,880.84, increased subscribers, brought in new customers.


“[While] having a popular post on HackerNews leads to a nice, fleeting bump in traffic…it’s not a business strategy and won’t necessarily make one rich,” Chowdhury finishes.


3. Hackathons Harness Data for Sustainability, Fun and Maybe Profit


GreenBiz Group’s “VERGE” conferences attempts to use data and intersect technology and sustainability in the hopes of increasing the efficiency of both society and individuals. They are harvesting and harnessing data to “improve cities’ infrastructures,eliminate landfills, improve street lighting, accelerate energy-efficient buildings, reduce water leaks and boost innovation.”


GreenBiz Group also hosts a set of weekend long hackathon events called Hack City. While there are varying subject matters for hackathons, Hack City focuses on finding a means for cities, businesses, and households to withstand and recover from extreme weather or disasters. In addition to Hack City, Data Jam is an event that consists of executives, entrepreneurs, technologists, investors and policy experts working together to design solutions based on a list of challenges and given data sets with the goal of sustainable retrofits.


Krys Freeman, GreenBiz’s director of technology and head of Hack City, says, “If we use the data, we can do something really compelling that wouldn’t have been able to be done otherwise.”


4. Facebook Awards Hacker for Reporting Photo Security Flaw


The internet is rife with security flaws; recently, Arul Kumar, and Indian engineer, found and reported a hole with Facebook security. Now fixed, the exploit consisted of a two-step process that allowed one to delete the photos of others. By modifying the URL of a photo removal request, it could be directed into the user’s account where the user could then delete it as if it were his own. As per Facebook’s white hat program, Kumar was awarded $12,500 for his findings.


5. Fantasy Football With Startups – Let’s Make it Happen


The time for starting Fantasy Football has just ended, but what if one isn’t interested in such matters and are more inclined towards technology and the likes? Martin Bryant toys with the idea of having a Fantasy Football analogue in the form of tech startup companies. While the rules, or the game really, Bryant makes a few proposals.


First and foremost, pick and name a co-founding team consisting of a CEO, CTO, and CFO. Points will be given or penalized based on performance, e.g. have they been acquired, did an app get launched, did they go out of business?


While these are musings, it’s a viable concept that only needs the answer to one main, important question: “How do we sort out scoring for a game like this?


6. Bitcoin in India: Drivers and Barriers to Adoption


Bitcoin, a digital currency may be poised to help with financial problems in countries with high inflation rates or capital regulation. Essentially, bitcoin allows for individuals anywhere in the world to send money directly to each other without going through banks of government, bypassing regulations between borders.


India is in a prime position to take advantage of bitcoins with the value of their currency has fallen against the dollar and the restrictions placed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on overseas investment. Users of bitcoins can invest overseas without having to go through an intermediary, removing the monetary cap placed by the RBI. To further pave the way for bitcoin, the RBI stated that it “does not immediately intend to regulate bitcoin.”


Other countries like Argentina, China, and Cyprus have successfully taken advantage of bitcoin; will India and other financially situation countries?


7. How Facebook, Twitter and Other Startups Got Big


There’s a saying that goes like this “it takes money to make money,” but how much does it take? startups like Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga were able to achieve an incredible about of users while spending less money on advertising than other companies. “Growth Hacking” is the term used to describe the model resulting in their high-growth trajectories.


startup advisor, Andrew Chen, describes growth hackers as a “hybrid of marketer and coder,  one who looks at the traditional question of ‘How do I get customers for my product?’ and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph.” Growth hackers basically focus on company growth rather than visibility—instead, companies that take advantage of growth hacking have implemented referral systems, performed publicity stunts, or more to grab users.


Growth hacking is the marketing future, maximizing gains through eschewing wasteful marketing.

Dat Mai


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