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February 25 2014

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February 11 2014

Why Klout Had to Change — and Why You Shouldn't Count It Out

When was the last time you checked your Klout score? And more importantly, did you really care about it?

The answer to that question could help explain why, late last week, Klout gave itself a whole new business model. Now it won't just measure your score and offer dubious perks, it will also provide you with a stream of content you'll most likely to want to share, actively boosting your score. It went from playing the referee to playing the coach

During a conversation with Mashable, Klout founder and CEO Joe Fernandez insisted that the new service change is "not a pivot" — rather, it is a response to the most common question he had been asked by users for five years: How can I boost my Klout score? "We always knew the Klout score was the foundation," Fernandez says. "We think of this as extending our value proposition." Read more...

More about Startup, Marketing, Software, Social Media, and Klout

February 04 2014

Weight-Loss App Uses Tough Love to Get You Fit

Working out has never been so sadistic.

Carrot Fit is a new app that will reward you if you meet your weight-loss goals, but seriously chew you out if you slip up

The brainchild of iOS developer Grailr, Carrot Fit knows more than 2,000 phrases — some kind and some cruel — thanks to iOS 7's new text-to-speech capabilities. Users enter their current weight when they download the app, and are given rewards such as workout tips and cat facts if they shed pounds. If users gain weight back, however, the app gives them a tongue-lashing

"Meatbags," as the app refers to users, can set reminders to avoid missing a weigh-in, share their progress with friends and check their body mass index, among other features. Future updates of Carrot Fit will include features such as a six-minute workout and the ominous-sounding Deathmarch 5K, according to the product's description in the iTunes store. Read more...

More about Startup, Iphone, Itunes, Weight, and Lose Weight

January 06 2014

Pinterest Acquires Image Recognition Startup VisualGraph

Pinterest on Monday acquired VisualGraph, an image recognition and visual search technology startup from San Francisco.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Pinterest did acquire both VisualGraph's employees and technology. The two-man team behind the startup began working at Pinterest Monday, and VisualGraph CEO Kevin Jing will lead a new "visual discovery team," according to a Pinterest spokesperson

"Our mission at Pinterest is to help people discover the things they love and do these things in their real lives," a Pinterest spokesperson wrote in an email to Mashable. "We hope to build better image recognition technology that helps us understand what people are Pinning so we can help people find more things they love." Read more...

More about Acquisition, Startup, Pinterest, Business, and Startups

December 28 2013

7 Design Tips for a More Productive Office

The right workspace can greatly increase employee peace of mind and productivity. But before you panic and install a Google-style indoor go-cart track in your accounting firm's headquarters, relax. All you really need to do to boost your employees productivity is make a few small design tweaks

It may seem trivial, but a few simple design fixes in your office environment can make you and your employees happier, healthier and much more productive.

Whether it's as big as painting the walls or as small as adjusting your desk chair, here's how you can tailor your office's design for maximum effectiveness: Read more...

More about Startup, Productivity, Office, Features, and Business

December 16 2013

Quebee Camera Lets You Put Yourself in the Shot

With the advent of smartphone cameras and other handheld video recorders, putting yourself in the shot has become an increasingly complicated process. But Quebee, a wireless camera that shoots wide-angle HD video or time-lapse video, wants to change that

Featuring a water-resistant covering and wireless capabilities, Quebee can shoot up to five hours of standard footage and 48 hours of time-lapse video, according to its website.

The camera is housed within a tiny cube with a single-touch button on top to start the recording process. It also comes with a handy tripod mount allowing for even more innovative shots Read more...

More about Startup, Smartphone, Photography, Tech, and Camera

December 09 2013

AskMD Is a Health Dashboard For Your iPhone

The concept of a symptom checker is familiar — we've been self-diagnosing on WebMD for more than a decade, and the plethora of Q&A sites and blogs puts more health information at our fingertips than we could ever need. Meanwhile, the medical industry is characterized as being slow to innovate

That's changing with startup accelerators focused on health that include Rock Health, Healthbox and Blueprint Health.

On Monday, AskMD launched on iOS7 to bridge the gap between self-directed health management and the in-person care we get from a doctor's visit. The app comes from Sharecare, a health Q&A site. Read more...

More about Startup, Health, Lifestyle, Health Fitness, and Sharecare

December 08 2013

'World's First' All-in-One Coffee Machine Roasts, Grinds and Brews

Serious coffee drinkers can spend a lot of time roasting, grinding and brewing a morning cup of joe, but a new gadget takes all of those processes and rolls it into one machine.

Bonaverde, which claims to be the world's first all-in-one coffee machine that roasts, grinds and brews, turns raw green coffee beans into fresh black coffee with a push of a button. One cycle can make as many as 12 cups of coffee, and can be customized based on roast intensities and personal preferences. From start to finish, it takes about about 12 to 14 minutes to turn raw, unroasted beans into a cup of coffee

More about Startup, Tech, Coffee, Kickstarter, and Dev Design

November 20 2013

Israeli Startup Is Finding a Way to Speed Up Crop Growth by Thousands of Years

Doron Gal has an ambitious goal: to help feed the world and to make money in the process.

Located in Moshav Sharona in Israel's Galilee, his startup Kaiima Bio-Agritech's goal is to use genome multiplication to increase yield potential, improve water-use efficiency and fortify plants against harsh environments.

Gal, Kaiima's CEO, described the company's grand vision in an interview recently while strolling through a rice field the company owns. (He said it's the only place in Israel where rice is grown.) Kaiima, which means "sustainability" in Hebrew, is also developing technology to help enhance corn and wheat farming. Current implementations have yielded a 15 to 50% increase in production of the crops, Gal said. Read more...

More about Startup, Israel, Business, Tech, and Farming

October 29 2013

If You Want to Talk Like a Silicon Valley CEO, Learn This Phrase

TNR-Logo-MainExample: “Dude, they should have spent more time dogfooding that app! It barely works.”
Who uses it: Stanford students/hackers/generations of Microsoft employees

When tech behemoths like Apple and Google need to work the bugs out of their latest miracle creation, they want eyes on it, pronto. And that means everyone from the CEO to the lowliest intern is going to be eating a lot of dogfood.

“Eating your own dogfood,” or “dogfooding,” as it’s more commonly phrased, means using the software you make, often in beta form, to work out the kinks. The first recorded usage was in 1988, when Microsoft executive Paul Maritz was desperate for customers to try a new product and e-mailed a colleague, “We are going to have to eat our own dogfood and test the product ourselves.” They created an internal server called “\\dogfood” and sent it out to staff. Read more...

More about Google, Startup, Microsoft, Apple, and Tech
Wonderloop Could Totally Change the Way You Meet New Friends

The Launchpad is a series that introduces Mashable readers to compelling startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: Wonderloop

One-Liner Pitch: Wonderloop helps you find interesting people by interest or location.

Why It's Taking Off: It's the first social network with video profiles and thus allows you to make the same type of first impression you would make in real life. The interactions are also open-ended — you might find friends, business partners or customers.

As a social media consultant in Norway, Hanna Aase kept on the pulse of new technologies. But her location didn't allow her to access others with shared interests — a common practice for those living in places like New York City or London. Aase predicted social media would change that and decided to take action herself. Read more...

More about Mobile, Video, Startup, Social Network, and Lifestyle

October 25 2013

Why Hire an MBA When You Can Rent One?

Linio, an e-commerce startup based in Mexico City, couldn’t afford Bain or McKinsey when it needed help pricing new products ranging from vintage wines to billiard tables. So this summer it farmed the work out to Anya Rasulova, a 2013 Wharton School MBA who was looking to make some money before starting a full-time job at EBay. “We had so many things to develop in a short period of time,” says Bernardo Cordero, Linio’s managing director. “It was too complicated to do it all internally.” Cordero paid Rasulova, who worked in management consulting for three years prior to business school, $1,500 for an assignment that took about 35 hours. Read more...

More about Startup, Small Business, Employment, Business, and Freelance Work

October 23 2013

Advice for Startups Dreaming of an IPO

Question: What can CEOs who contemplate going public in the future do during the startup phase to prepare for an eventual IPO?

Answer: An IPO may be “the closest business geeks get to winning the Super Bowl,” says Jeff Tangney. The medical app startup he cofounded from his Stanford University dorm room in 1999, Epocrates, went public in 2010.

Tangney, who is now the chief executive officer of Doximity, a company he describes as a “LinkedIn for physicians,” has some advice for entrepreneurs hoping to strike it rich through an IPO: The “bankers and lawyers are the only ones who get rich on the day your company goes public.” In 2012, Epocrates was acquired by another public company, Athenahealth, for about half of what it was valued at immediately post-IPO, he says. Read more...

More about Startup, Business Plans, Ipo, Initial Public Offerings, and Business

October 03 2013

10 Startups Making Travel More Affordable

Ask any seasoned traveler about the merits of globetrotting and you’re likely to hear a litany of enthusiastic responses: personal growth, cultural exploration, catharsis.

Ask about the obstacles, however, and one resounding theme emerges: Jetsetting can cost a pretty penny. If your bank account is holding you back from your dream vacation, or if you're planning a trip and trying to adhere to a budget, these 10 startups can help turn your travel dreams into realities.

1DealScoopr — Personalized Travel for Less

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 11.12.32 AMImage: DealScoopr

"Think of DealScoopr as the lovechild of Amazon and Expedia," says Nitesh Goyal, ex-Amazon.com engineer and co-founder of the travel deals discovery engine. DealScoopr promises travelers a simple way to save time and money on travel bookings. Users log in through Facebook for access to the hottest deals on flights, hotels and getaways in a variety of cities. Read more...

More about Travel, Startup, Startups, Lifestyle, and Travel Leisure

September 30 2013

Would You Ever Walk Away From Your Startup?

You worked long, sometimes fruitless hours to make your startup a reality. Endless meetings, pitches and late-night work sessions later, it's hard to imagine walking away. Or is it?

We asked nine successful entrepreneurs from YEC what exactly it would take for them to walk away from their startups. Here's what they said:

1. Realizing Someone Else Could Do It Better

I am always cognizant of the fact that good founders don't naturally make good managers, executives or leaders. We have to work at it and try our best to evolve with our companies as they grow from startups into small- and medium-sized businesses. Responsible founders owe it to their stakeholders to always check themselves by asking, "Am I the right person for this job?" If the answer to that is no and the gap can't be closed, then it is time to consider moving on and begin succession planning.

Christopher Kelly, Convene

2. Losing the Passion Completely

To walk away from my business, I would need to have reached a space where the passion I once felt was gone completely. I'm not talking about those moments in business where you're burnt out, tired and don't feel like producing a single other thing, but rather those moments where you stop and ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?"

If I reached that stage, I'd begin looking at how I could exit the business in such a way that would still preserve the essence of the business and the passion and power that it currently has driving it forward. If I couldn't do that well, my team and clients would suffer, and I couldn't deal with that. For me, it all boils down to that: the business has to feel good and do good in order for me to stand strong behind it.

Erin Blaskie, Erin Blaskie, Digital Strategist

3. Learning Much More About Myself and Business

Besides an income, the most important thing for me in continuing to work on my company is the constant challenge and learning it provides. I have no idea what I don't know, but every week I discover something new. I can't imagine walking away unless I was presented with an opportunity that would stretch me more than I'm being stretched now—along with the tools to help me understand it through mentorship, training, and an amazing team to work with.

Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent

4. Walking Away Would Be the Last Resort

I couldn't imagine completely walking away from admitted.ly. I absolute love what our team is building and, most importantly, love my team. I can't imagine not wanting to work with them. That being said, I also know when to let go. If an idea isn't working out, I'd never stick with the idea just because it somehow works in my head. Instead of totally walking away, I'd just walk down a different path with my team. I know that we're flexible enough to abandon our initial idea, but also creative enough to dream up another amazing idea to work on together.

Jessica Brondo, Admitted.ly

5. Having the Chance to Start Something New

We almost sold our business a while back because we got carried away with the idea of someone writing us a big check. The more we thought about it, the more we realized that selling to (and working for) the other company would force us to give up the lifestyles we had built for ourselves along with years of potential revenue, growth, control and excitement from owning our own company. If I were going to walk away today, I would want to know that I have the resources (both financial resources and the right team members) to start something new and equally exciting.

Allie Siarto, Loudpixel

6. Being Unable to Pay Employees

Although every startup business will have a lean period when it is hard to pay the bills, it is not morally or ethically acceptable to avoid paying employees. If I were unable to pay the workers who are giving me their support and offering their skills to help my company grow, then I would give up on the business.

Even if I am still working on paying loans and other debts to creditors, I feel it is my responsibility to ensure that my employees have a safe home environment, food on the table and a way to care for their children. If I ever discover that I will not be able to pay my employees in the future, then I would give them the appropriate recommendations and fair warning that the business will come to a close so that they could find another position.

—Jay Wu, A Forever Recovery

7. Being Given a Significant Payout

If I am looking for an excuse to walk away from my startup, then I’m in the wrong business. I absolutely love what I do; that’s why I do it. Sure, if someone offered me a significant payout, it might be time to move on, but until then, I’m not going anywhere!

David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

8. Lacking the Ability to Do Well

If I ever became physically incapacitated and could no longer do a great job operating my company, I would hand over the reins to someone else. Short of that, I don't see anything convincing me to give up control.

Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

9. Having an Opportunity to Do More

I really love my business and lifestyle, so it's hard to imagine walking away from it. But if I were to do so, it would be for an opportunity where I believed that I could make a bigger positive impact than I do now. We only have one life to live, and I want to be a good steward of the gifts I've been given.

Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E

Tags: startup

August 25 2013

4 Startup Lessons From 'Breaking Bad'

Walter White will soon cook his last meth. The end has begun for Breaking Bad, the critically lauded AMC drama which has netted multiple awards for its star, Bryan Cranston. The giant ratings spike for the season premiere proves fans are more eager than ever to learn the ultimate fate of good-guy-turned-bad Walt.

The show, about a mild-mannered chemistry teacher who turns to a life of drug dealing when he’s diagnosed with cancer, has continued to pull in audience members with its mix of dark humor and pathos. In fact, the season five premiere was the most watched episode in the show’s history, until the premiere of the last stretch of episodes shattered all former records. Read more...

More about Startup, Business, Small Business, Startups, and Jobs

August 24 2013

Erase Yourself From the Internet With JustDelete.me

Deleting yourself from the Internet is hard work. First, you have to decide where exactly you want to disappear — from social media sites to retailer databases — and then you have to figure out how you're going to do all that

So attention, web users. This is something you'll want to bookmark.

A new site called JustDelete.me makes vanishing from the web much, much easier. Created by U.K.-based developer Robb Lewis, JustDelete.me is a directory of urls that highlights links to pages you may want to remove yourself from, so you don't have to jump through hoops to do so. This includes sites like Facebook, Foursquare, Dropbox and Feedly. Read more...

More about Startup, Internet, Privacy, Startups, and Tech
7 TaskRabbit Jobs to Outsource Your Dirty Work

TaskRabbit, the 5-year-old odd jobs website, is a great way to make or save a few extra bucks — depending which side of the transaction you're on.

The site works like an Ebay for chores. Users post jobs they need completed and a price limit they're willing to pay, and TaskRabbits will offer up their services. Mostly, they're hired to build IKEA furniture and pick up groceries, but the site's only restriction is the creativity of the Internet.

We went beyond furniture building and dog-walking and found some unique tasks that are worth your money. Read more...

More about Startup, Job Search, Features, Taskrabbit, and Business

August 23 2013

App Aims to Seriously Spice Up Your Sex Life

A new online dating app is looking to cut the talk and get you between the sheets. But it may be too forward for most tastes.

Pure is a no-strings-attached iOS service resembling Craigslist's casual encounter channel; a hook-up tool that lets you browse who's around and what they want.

The app, currently awaiting App Store approval, let's you request like-minded partners based on location. You designate your gender and your desired partner's and whether you're willing to host or travel. Nearby potentials pop up and if you both click and say you're interested, you're shown geo-coordinates and can chat. There are no profiles to flip through like Tinder. If your match is unrequited, it disappears. Read more...

More about Startup, Apps, Sex, Online Sex, and Mobile Apps
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