Thursday, 25 January 2018

Startup Shortcuts That Can Kill Your Business

Creating a business is difficult and never for the faint of heart. It demands a lot of work and time.

Many entrepreneurs look for a quick fix for a number of problems they'll encounter as business owners. Unfortunately, many times these quick fixes will kill a business before it even gets off the ground. So on this note, here are some number of things startup experts and business owners said about mistakes that can kill a startup.
1. Hiring too many people too fast: One big thing here is, having the right team is critical for any business, but it's especially important for startups. Hiring managers should take the time to ensure they are making the right hiring decisions for their company.

"Many times, scale-ups grow so quickly that hiring managers forget to analyze what makes a successful teammate," said Patric Palm, CEO and co-founder of Favro. "Hiring managers at scale-ups must slow down and consider the attitudes, skills and values that make for a reliable and productive teammate in the long run."

It's also important to analyze whether you really need to make a hire. Ask yourself if it's necessary to bring someone in or if you could manage the work yourself.

"It's very easy to get tempted into hiring too many people too quickly," said Steven Pritchard, founder of Cuuver. "You might have a lot of work on your hands, but employees are a big drain on your resources."

2. Recruiting executives without startup experience: It's so important to have the right people leading the charge. Hiring the wrong executive could be detrimental to your business. A lot of startups make the mistake of hiring successful executives who have no experience leading a startup.

"Many startups look to recruit fierce executives from big companies to help get themselves off the ground," said Palm. "These executives are often eager to leave the enterprise scene and work for a hot new startup. Unfortunately, these execs have no experience inside an entrepreneurial environment."

Founders should be sure that the executives they hire have the right mindset and ability to adapt to the startup space, Palm told Business News Daily.

3. Failing to understand what customers want: Now...if you're selling something no one is interested in, you're not going to be successful. You should ensure you're providing something that people want or need.

"Chasing trends instead of solving real problems never ends well," said Lili Balfour, founder of Atelier Advisors. "Entrepreneurs who fail to fully understand exactly what their customers or users want will end up spinning their wheels and burning through cash."

Kerry Bannigan, co-founder of Nolcha Shows, suggests talking to your customers at each stage of your business. "Listen to what they want from your service/product and why they will pay for it," she said. "Ignoring this and following your own assumptions can be detrimental to your business."

4. Splurging on unnecessary solutions: Furthermore, palm said that when startups make money fast, it's easy to throw money at expensive tools or vanity purchases. While these tools sometimes provide a short fix, they typically aren't cost-effective in the long run.

"The problem is that many of these tools don't scale and will only solve short-term problems," he said. "The point is that, while it's important to grow fast, it's just as important to build a culture of frugal spending habits."

Kean Graham, CEO of MonetizeMore, agreed, saying startups typically leak cash through vanity purchases and initiatives.

"With success, founders tend to splurge on things that will make them look good that are not necessarily the best for the company," he said. "Some examples of these vanity purchases are expensive offices, flashy cars, famous PR firms or lavish company parties." Thanks for reading

Sunday, 21 January 2018

How you can take a screenshot on any Android phone

Every Android phone is different on it own, and so is taking screenshots with them. Even though Android 4 introduced simple screenshots for all with the handy power-and-volume-down-key combo, nailing it can still be tricky. That's why some phone makers have introduced new methods. We're here to help: Just find your Android phone on the list below to learn the various ways to snap, share, and save a screenshot.
Acer phones
Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
Pull down the notification panel to reach quick settings and tap the Screenshot icon.
Asus phones
Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
Pull down the notification panel to reach quick settings and tap the Screenshot icon.
Google phones
Nexus: Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
Pixels: Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
HTC phones
HTC U series: Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
HTC 10: Hold down the home and power buttons OR hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
All other HTC phones: Hold down power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.

Huawei and Honor phones
Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
Pull down the notification panel, switch to Shortcuts, and tap the Screenshot icon.
Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
Pull down the notification panel and tap the Screen Shot icon.
LG phones
Hold down the power (located on the back of the phone) and the volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
Pull down the notification panel and tap the Capture+ icon.
Motorola phones
Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
Samsung phones
Galaxy S8 and Note 8: Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
Galaxy S7 and earlier: Hold down the home and power buttons for a couple of seconds.

Sony phones
Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
Hold down the power key until a screen appears and tap Take screenshot.
ZTE phones
Hold down the power and volume-down buttons for a couple of seconds.
Google Assistant
On supported phones, you can also ask Google Assistant to take a screenshot for you. For you to get that done, when you're on the screen you want to snap, just say, "OK Google, take a screenshot," and it will oblige, saving a picture of the screen below the Assistant interface. So if you want to capture the Google Assistant screen itself, you'll have to use the hardware buttons.

Save and share
Once you've snapped your screenshot you can create a shortcut to it in the notification panel. Tap it and you'll be able to edit or share it.

Finally here, if you want to back up your screenshots to Google Photos, you might need to tell your phone to do so. Open the sidebar in Google Photos, then Device Folder. Tap Screenshots, and flip the Back up & sync toggle. From there on out, all of your screenshots will be backed up to your camera roll in Google Photos.

The Five Big Regulatory Changes That Could Affect Your Business in 2018

Before anything is said here, new year means new regulatory policies and debates to keep an eye on. While these proposed shifts are moving targets that may or may not come to pass, it's important to remain informed of ongoing developments that could ultimately impact your business in 2018 and beyond.

Staying apprised of policy changes could be the difference between gaining a competitive edge or falling behind due to compliance issues or strategic missteps. With all these being in note, here are five policies we're keeping an eye on this year, and how they might affect small businesses.
1. Tax policy changes:Federal tax policy reform, which narrowly passed in both chambers of Congress, carries huge implications for businesses of all sizes. Not only does the law revamp the U.S. tax code, but many states could potentially change their regulations to better conform with federal policy as well. While many have rushed to judgment either in favor of or against the legislation, the tax code is labyrinthian in nature, and the full effects won't be recognized until implementation is already well underway. Entrepreneurs should keep an eye on developments as the new policy takes effect, and consult with professionals about new opportunities or strategies to pursue. "The Tax Cut & Jobs Act passed in 2017, but we have a long way to go before we can identify all the effects it will have on the small business owner," said Jen Gibbs Swets, partner of DWC – The 401(k) Experts. "In 2018, all eyes are focused on the impact of the act, with financial consultants and accountants pouring through the complex details … With time to digest this mammoth new law, there will likely be opportunities uncovered by the assiduous consultant to the benefit of clients, particularly the small business owner demographic."

2. Portable benefits rules:Each year the gig economy continues to grow, including independent contractors, freelancers and temporary workers. As a result, popular support for portable benefits, those that move with gig workers from job to job, has also grown. Portable benefits are still in the early stages of policy formation, but bills have already been introduced in several states and on Capitol Hill. For example, Virginia Senator Mark Warner introduced portable benefits legislation in May 2017, and the New York Senate is considering the creation of a task force to examine measures like portable benefits for gig economy workers.

"Over one-third of Americans today identify as gig workers or independent contractors, and this segment is growing exponentially. As more Americans choose this type of work, they lose the securities provided by traditional work, such as health insurance, 401(k)s, training and development," said Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tilr. "This creates an unsustainable ecosystem with uncared-for workers. Left unattended, it would drive down U.S. productivity rates, health levels and skill acumen. The impact is too severe to ignore, and I anticipate we'll see heightened attention on portable benefits policy, followed by widespread expansion."

3. General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the European Union:While these cybersecurity regulations are happening overseas, their implementation is a sort of bellwether for the U.S., which could soon follow up with similar regulation in a bid to tighten up American networks and boost data security for individuals and businesses alike. Entrepreneurs should keep an eye on the developments, said E.J. McGowan, vice president and managing director of Campaigner.

"While GDPR is EU-focused, we are looking at this global change to result in stricter data policies in the U.S.," McGowan said. "With breaches like Equifax occurring more frequently, small businesses should focus on improving security protocols this year to protect consumer data, like email addresses, passwords and other personally identifiable data. While terms of how the U.S. will respond to GDPR are not yet clear, business owners should ensure this policy is on their radar and take steps now to keep ahead of these regulations."

4. The Affordable Care Act:While the health reform efforts failed multiple times in Congress last year, changes to the Affordable Care Act aren't off the table yet. The newly proposed tax policy changes include a provision that reduces the ACA's individual mandate penalty to $0, effectively repealing the provision through tax policy rather than congressional action. However, according to Paychex, the reporting provisions will not change, and employers and other self-insured individuals should be prepared to comply with existing requirements.

"It should be noted that this does not change the filing requirement for the individual mandate; the IRS requires employers and insurers to report individuals covered by their plan or face penalties," the payroll and HR company noted on its website.

5. Paid sick leave and minimum wage policies at local and state levels:Measures raising the minimum wage or mandating paid sick leave have been gaining popularity throughout the country in municipalities and statehouses. As was the case in 2017, paid leave policies will likely be implemented in a patchwork fashion by localities and states. Paid leave bills were also introduced in Congress, but any that surface this session are unlikely to gain traction in either Republican-led chamber. As for the case entrepreneurs, choosing to offer paid leave benefits represents an attractive incentive when courting talent, but mandatory paid leave policies would likely require additional considerations in planning and budgeting.

"No matter how large or small the organization, most employers want to create a workplace culture that supports employees in times of need," said Martin Mucci, president and CEO of Paychex. "However, for small businesses, mandatory paid leave may present challenges. Whether it's having a key member of a small team out of the office for an extended period of time or the back-end administration of such a program, mandatory paid leave will introduce new dynamics small business owners will have to navigate.

If you bought a OnePlus 5T, your credit card info probably might have been stolen

After the launching of an investigation into reports of a credit card breach on its website, OnePlus has announced some grim findings: Up to 40,000 customers may have had their credit card data stolen. That includes card numbers, expirations dates, and CVV codes entered at

The culprit for the breach, according to OnePlus, is a rogue script that was injected into the payment page code and able to capture unencrypted credit card info from customers’ browser windows. The company says the exploit has been running since the OnePlus 5T launched in November, though it affected all sales made through the website. Right now, it’s unclear whether the attack was triggered remotely or internally. Incidentally, the breach only seems to have affected customers using a new credit card on the site. OnePlus says those who used a previously saved card or PayPal to check out shouldn’t be impacted. The company shut down its credit card processing system on January 16 after reports surfaced of fraudulent charges popping up on customers’ credit card statements. But as the case maybe customers are still able to purchase phones via PayPal.

OnePlus is continuing to investigate the issue with the help of a third-party cybersecurity firm but has offered no window for when credit card purchasing will be restored on its website. It says it will be reinforcing its system with tougher security measures and is looking into offering a free one-year subscription to a credit-monitoring firm to all affected users.
In a form post OnePlus said, “We cannot apologize enough for letting something like this happen. We are eternally grateful to have such a vigilant and informed community, and it pains us to let you down.”

Finally on this note, if you purchased a OnePlus 5T or any other phone through the OnePlus website, you should call the issuer of the credit card you used to see about getting a replacement card with a new number.

Why this matters well: Any credit card breach is a big deal, but this one hits especially hard for OnePlus. Since OnePlus sells unlocked phones and doesn’t have a presence in U.S. carrier stores, a large portion of its sales are conducted directly through its website. Shutting down its credit card processing system will undoubtedly affect sales, as will the public fallout from this breach. Thanks.....

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Is Microlearning Able to Help Your Business With Career Development?

Today's employees crave career growth and leadership development opportunities. If they feel they aren't progressing in their careers, they'll head for the door to find a company where they can grow.

Now, according to a 2016 Gallup poll, 87 percent of millennials believe "professional or career growth and development opportunities" is important when choosing a job.

"Organizations that make leadership development a top priority outperform their competitors on key financial metrics, such as revenues," said Dora Gao, product owner at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning. "What's more, they excel at other crucial forms of business performance, such as attracting great employees and keeping them on board."

Therefore, companies should make learning programs and development a priority. One program option is microlearning – an approach that provides learning opportunities in short bursts during a regular workday.

"The beauty of microlearning is that it can be consumed even when the learner only has a small amount of time to work on it, whether that is a 10-minute online video or a one-page online article," Gao said.

What is microlearning?
According to Summer Salomonsen, chief learning officer at Grovo, microlearning is a modern and effective approach to workplace learning. It leverages the impact of small learning moments to help employees perform their best.

Traditionally, learning and development is separate from an employee's day-to-day work.

"For example, a manager might take time away from their job for a lecture, workshop or seminar that promises better management skills," Salomonsen said. "Unfortunately, research shows that while this type of learning might feel inspirational or rewarding, it's not very effective."

That's where microlearning comes in. Instead of it disrupting a workday, employees get digestible, focused and compelling lessons right within their workflows, Salomonsen said. Microlearning lessons are typically online and designed to be consumed and applied during a workday.

"With microlearning, [a] manager can instantly find an engaging five-minute lesson ... and immediately put that knowledge into action," she said.

The next time the manager is faced with the same situation, they can access the same lesson for a fast refresher. This repetition is critical for long-term retention.

Benefits of microlearning: Companies spend a lot of money on training every year, but the truth is that it's a waste of resources if your employees aren't retaining the information. Salomonsen says microlearning is an effective learning method that matches the pace of work while aligning with your business strategy.

"Embracing a microlearning approach is an easy way for any company – large or small – to create a culture of everyday learning," she said.

Gao said microlearning is most effective when the information is relevant and flexible. Employees want to learn things that are relevant to their positions and careers, and they want to be able to access more and different types of resources.

"Learners are willing to spend a considerable time learning and engaging with content, lessons and other learning resources if they know that what they are learning will help them in their current jobs as well as their career development," said Gao. Thanks for reading......

Monday, 8 January 2018

Honor's View 10 flagship phone is coming to the U.S., but we are not sure of when

If in your own case, you're anxiously waiting for the Huawei Mate 10 Pro to land in the U.S., there's another phone you might want to put on your radar as well. Huawei offshoot Honor announced at CES 2018 that its View 10 flagship is due to arrive in the U.S., and it could give the Mate 10 a run for its money.
Display: 5.9-inch LCD, 18:9, 2160x1080 FHD+, 403 ppi
Dimensions: 157mm x 74.98mm x 6.97mm
Weight: 172g
OS: Huawei EMUI 8.0 (Android Oreo)
Chip: Kirin 970
Battery: 3,750mAh battery
Storage: 128GB
Camera: 16MP + 20MP, f/1.8, phase detection auto focus

In reality, the View 10 looks a lot like the non-Pro Mate 10, with a front-facing home button and skinny bezels all around. Like Huawei's flagship, it will ship with EMUI 8.0, based on Android Oreo, and its Kirin 970 chip comes with the same AI-powered neural processing unit that learns from your behavior and keeps the phone running faster for longer.

The same NPU powers the camera, offering up a suite of shooting modes that automatically switch when an object comes into view. There’s also a new facial unlock that includes an iPhone X-like feature that hides notifications until it scans your face.

Mobile gaming has also been enhanced in the View 10, using the NPU to seamlessly switch to high performance mode when needed. There’s also a gaming mode that disables notifications while playing, and a set of shortcut tools that let gamers screenshot and record their play without needing to stop the action.

For now, we don't know how much the View 10 costs, but extrapolating from overseas pricing suggests it'll come in at around $500. That's OnePlus 5T territory but the Mate 10 Pro has a decidedly better camera and more advanced chip. So it's definitely a phone to keep an eye on when it hits shelves later this year, likely in the spring.

The other end of the spectrum: Meanwhile, the U.S. version of the Honor 7X that has been on sale for a few weeks is getting a limited-edition color just in time for Valentine's Day. The $199 phone comes with a slim-bezel, 18:9 design and an impressive set of specs for the price:

Display: 5.93-inch LCD, 18:9, 2160p x 1080p FHD+, 407ppi
Dimensions: 156.5mm x 75.3mm x 7.6mm
Weight: 165g
OS: Huawei EMUI 5.1 (Nougat 7.1)
Chip: Kirin 659, Octa-Core
Battery: 3,340mAh
Storage: 32GB/64GB
Camera: 16MP + 2MP, wide aperture range, phase detection auto focus

Like the 6X that came before, the Honor 7X doesn’t have a front-facing home button, and its skinnier bezels go a long way toward giving it a real premium look. The FullView screen is impressive for a budget phone, with a resolution that matches the OnePlus 5T but for a fraction of the price. It does, however, still use a micro USB port for charging.

The Honor 7X is once again using one of parent company Huawei’s Kirin processors, the same chip that powers the Huawei Mate 10 Lite. The 3,340mAh battery is the same capacity as the 6X, but Honor says it’ll get you further, up to 12 hours of video or 91 hours of music.

Right now the Honor 7X is available for order at but a limited edition "nova red" color is due to be released on Valentine's Day. Honor says 20,000 red 7X's will ship worldwide.

Why this matters: Huawei surpassed Apple earlier this year as No. 2 smartphone maker in the world, but it has yet to break into the U.S. market in a meaningful way. The Honor 7X and View10 could be the phones to do that. While the upper end of Android is dominated by the likes of Samsung and Google, which will make it tough for the V10 to make much headway once it lands in the states, the $199 Honor 7X will be hard to overlook for bargain hunters. And if the View10 is priced right, it could be lure some Android enthusiasts away from OnePlus.

This story, was originally published by PCWorld.