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February 21 2014

January 30 2014

Startup Success By the Numbers

The statistics surrounding startup success are pretty daunting — in fact, of the 500,000+ businesses owners that launched companies in 2012, only a handful will ever achieve a fraction of the notoriety of famed CEOs like Zuckerberg, Dorsey or Karp.

But the formidable numbers don't dissuade thousands of startup founders from taking the leap year after year, and it's certainly true that running a successful startup has its perks; particularly for the brands that beat the odds and blossom into household names such as Twitter, Spotify or Airbnb

The motivators are powerful ones. After all, even tech giants such as Google have their humble roots. The inspiring success stories continue to seduce dreamers, innovators and creatives to the drawing board in efforts to create "the next big thing." Read more...

More about Startups, Mashable Infographics, Business, and Supported

December 29 2013

10 Hiring Tips for Your Small Business

Hiring is one of the most important things an entrepreneur will do to grow her company. For a small business, each new hire has a tremendous impact and influences the company's culture far more than a new hire at a 200- or 500-person company. The stakes are high, so you need to ensure that each of your new hires is a passionate, engaged and committed team player

"Great people versus okay people is the difference between success and mediocrity," says Brett Lewis of Skillbridge, who says hiring is something founders spend too little time on in the early days, and believes your sixth hire should be a recruiter. Read more...

More about Business, Hiring, Small Business, Startups, and Supported

December 27 2013

Should You Expand Your Business to a New Market?

Diversify or die. Pivot or persevere. These are the adages that accompany expanding into new markets. And they are harrowing to entrepreneurs, to say the least.

"Don't do it and you'll fail" — that's what they mean. But in the startup world, expanding is a double-edged sword. If you diversify too soon, you will also fail.

New markets are alluring. They shine with possibility. They glisten with a go-getter attitude. But, like the an oasis in the Sahara, they are often optical illusions.

So what's the secret to seeing past the intangible lush greenery: Ensuring you have an unfair market advantage. We spoke with three executives to learn more about "diversify or die" and how to diversify smartly (or not at all). Read more...

More about Expansion, Business Plans, Business, Startups, and Supported

December 21 2013

Work Off Holiday Weight Gain Without Dieting

Product name: Eat Fit Dumb-Bell Cutlery
Price: $145 for set of three on TheCheeky
Who would like this?: Fitness gurus

When it comes to working out, millennials are experts. Whether it is taking part in the Color Run and Tough Mudder or cycling classes and CrossFit, fitness is a lifestyle. Unfortunately, the concurrent rise in food trucks and the popularity of brunch or any other calorie-consuming activity makes staying in shape fall to the wayside. But, it doesn't have to.

Enter the dumbbell cutlery set — the silverware that helps you build muscle while you eat. It is the ultimate gift, making all your gluttonous activities a little less sinful, especially considering that the dessert spoon included with the set weighs double that of the fork and knife: 4.4 and 2.2 pounds, respectively. Now you can eat your steak and your cake, too, without regretting a thing. Read more...

More about Gifts, Fitness, Lifestyle, Health Fitness, and Supported

December 19 2013

Busy? Have Someone Else Run Your Errands

It's time to stop sending the interns to pick up your dry cleaning.

In 2008, after running out of dog food on a winter evening, a lightbulb went off in Leah Busque's headOne of my neighbors is probably at the store right now — wouldn't it be great if I could connect with them online?

Cut to five years later, and that lightbulb of an idea has evolved into TaskRabbit, the popular online and mobile marketplace that connects the not-enough-hours-in-the-day professional, family or small business with background-checked "TaskRabbits" that receive payment for running errands like grocery shopping, house cleaning — even birthday gift deliveries. Read more...

More about Taskrabbit, Tech Innovators Series, Tech Innovators, and Supported

December 18 2013

How ESPN Found the Biggest Sports Fans on the Internet

No matter how you run the numbers, most of the players, teams and leagues in pro, semi-pro and college sports owe the glory of their jobs — in large part — to their fans. The fans watch, the fans approve — and the fans buy the tickets, subscriptions and merch that allow everyone to keep it all going.

When it comes to recognizing the fans who do the most for the sports they love, ESPN is selecting inductees to the Fan Hall of Fame for a second year in a row. The recognition provides a hat tip to the voices that help lift the lovers of these teams to whole new levels.

"We try to speak with the voice of the world's biggest sports fan," says Timothy Hubbell, associate director of social media and brand marketing for ESPN. "Knowing the indelible contributions that fans make to sports, we always felt like there was room for a permanent institution that celebrates and rewards excellence in fandom. It was kind of astounding to us that it didn't previously exist." Read more...

More about Espn, Sports, Supported, and Metrics That Matter
Build Westeros From the Ground Up With This 4D Puzzle Map

Product Name: Game of Thrones 4D Puzzle Map
Price: $59.99
Who would like this?: Puzzle enthusiasts, Game of Thrones fans

The opening title sequence to the Game of Thrones is perfect. It showcases the important areas of George R. R. Martin's fictional world of Westeros being built from the ground up in wood, leather and metal, all set to that oh-so-catchy (and oh-so-epic) theme song

And you'd hardly be able to tell the difference from the original and the show's 4D puzzle's opening credits.

Now, you can build the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros from the ground up, and even make your own opening credits, if you so choose, with this 4D puzzle map based on the series. This map is the perfect gift for those who eagerly await Sunday nights, or have sped through the books so quickly that they need something to fill the void where GoT belongs. How about a 1000+ piece jigsaw puzzle to take up some of that time? Read more...

More about Gift, Game Of Thrones, Lifestyle, Work Play, and Supported

December 17 2013

3 Tips for Pricing Your Product

Settling on a price for your products can be an absolute nightmare. Between monitoring competitors to make sure you stay competitive, managing production costs, keeping up with fluctuating prices of materials and — on top of all that — making sure customers will actually purchase your product, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unsettled during the process

Below, we outline some tips from industry experts who have found the pricing sweet spot, both for ecommerce sites and brick-and-mortar shops.

1. Crowdsource Your Price

One of the best ways to find out how much your customers will pay for your product is to ask them directly. Crowdsourcing the price for your product via surveys and user feedback is an easy way to gauge interest and ensure that you're setting up your business for success. We chatted with Shannon Malone, director of product strategy at Warby Parker about how the company settled on its price point and how it stays competitive Read more...

More about Business, Price, Small Business, Startups, and Supported
Throw an Eco-Friendly Party With Sustainable Supplies

The concept of a carbon footprint is simple — our lifestyles affect the planet on which we live. The sustainability movement simply asks that we leave the world a better place than we found it — and it seems like the right thing to do, because it's hard. Convenience is king, and we don't like to give up our plastic bags and water bottles.

But the heart of the sustainability movement is not about being dry, boring and self-righteousEmily Doubilet, founder of Susty Party, considers creativity to be at the center

In making sustainability fun, Susty Party most notably has made it colorfulMashable spoke with Doubilet to learn more about launching a product line in the ecommerce era and the ins and outs of how social media can drive brand awareness. Read more...

More about Eco Friendly, Sustainability, Tech Innovators Series, Tech Innovators, and Supported
The Universal Translator Is Real and Its Name Is Sigmo

Product Name: Sigmo
Price: $50
Who would like this? Travelers, Star Trek fans, ex-pats and people trying to learn a new language

Ever since Star Trek explained away how all alien races could speak English through a piece of future tech called the Universal Translator, technology companies have worked to create just such a device. One may have succeeded in developing a 1.0 version with the Sigmo.

The Sigmo is a small, pillbox-sized device equipped with a microphone and speaker, but with a cloud-connected twist. Select the language you'd like to translate into, then hold the Sigmo up and speak to it. The Sigmo records your voice, then sends the recording to the cloud for translation via Bluetooth connection with your smartphone. Read more...

More about Tech, Gadgets, Supported, 30 Days Of Gifts, and Sigmo

December 15 2013

Blue Nile Goes Responsive, Pop-Up to Sell More Bling

If you get married, you're taking part in an ancient tradition that's been around for more than 4,000 years, historians say.

If you're buying the bling that goes with it these days, you could be using a technologically sophisticated, of-the-moment process that just joined the love-struck party in 2013, says online jewelry retailer Blue Nile.

Seattle-based Blue Nile, a low-overhead business known for undercutting traditional bricks-and-mortar jewelry stores founded in 1999, knew it needed to update its digital shopping experience. Executives at the retailer had noticed a trend among the target Millennial audience: Most of these men, between 25 and 35 years old, were browsing Blue Nile on their mobile phones, iPads and other gadgets. Read more...

More about Marketing, Ecommerce, Business, Responsive Design, and Supported

December 13 2013

Can You Use Risk Analysis to Predict Startup Success?

Rameet Chawla had a career in finance, in which he primarily analyzed risk. He was ready to leave finance and wanted to do something new in the tech world. But one thing stood in his way.

"Starting a technology startup was fairly high-risk," he says. "It was questionable whether I wanted to do my own startup because I knew the chances of success were really slim."

He analyzed the ways in which a business could be more successful, and noted that a service company traditionally had a higher probability for success than a typical product startup. He developed the idea for Fueled, a mobile app development firm that would take a brand's idea and bring it to life, typically on mobile platforms. He applied the agency model, in which his team would create multiple projects for multiple people. But he didn't have a team (until he found freelancers on Craigslist), and he didn't have clients. So he hustled. Read more...

More about Business, Startups, Mashable Videos, Supported, and Inflection Points

December 12 2013

How Geico Came to Own Wednesday

Unless you're a follower of the Germanic god Woden, for which it is named, you probably don't give Wednesdays much thought. Falling smack in the middle of the workday, Wednesday is often a day more endured than enjoyed. Even the folk rhyme "Monday's Child" noted that "Wednesday's child is full of woe."

It is for such reasons that Wednesday is known as "Hump Day." According to Google Ngram, the term was obscure until 1990 or so and then really shot up in popularity in the early 2000s. No one's sure exactly what caused the surgeOne theory is that Parliament's 1977 hit "Bop Gun," with its refrain "We got to get over the hump" became an earworm for many during the middle of the week Read more...

More about Advertising, Geico, Business, Marketing, and Supported
You'll Make More Money If You Can Code

Being able to learn marketable digital skills is sluggish and difficult — or so they say.

Adda Birnir noticed a gender divide between a media company's business and technical side (read: men) versus the editorial side (read: women). She created online tech education platform Skillcrush to give women a way to learn marketable skills that could lead to steady, high-paying jobs and relevant, satisfying work.

The five-year-old company teaches digital skills: We're talking about technical jargon, coding, building a website and understanding user experience. You do so by signing up for classes that are designed to be fun and done on your own time. But that wasn't always the format for Skillcrush. Read more...

More about Coding, Business, Mashable Videos, Supported, and Inflection Points

December 11 2013

13 Tech Companies That Set Up Shop in Latin America

Companies focused on tech and mobile know the value of the Latin American audience — or at least they should. In 2013, consumers in Latin America spent an average of 10 hours per month on social networking sites, and five of the world's top 10 most socially engaged online markets are now located in LatAm.

Overall Internet usage is also exploding in the region, as well as the prevalence of smartphones — estimates from earlier this year gauge that there are 140 to 200 million smartphones in Latin America.

And brands are sitting up and taking notice. Over the past couple of years, huge tech companies, social networking sites and mobile apps, such as Pinterest, Shazam, Waze and Airbnb, have announced expansion efforts, targeted ad campaigns, Spanish-language services and more, specifically appealing to the Latin American market. Read more...

More about Latin America, Tech, Business, Brandspeak, and Supported

December 09 2013

These Earphones Are Guaranteed Not to Fall Out

After a 6-hour workout one Saturday back in 2007, Ironman triathlete Seth Burgett had an epiphany — his ears hurt more than his legs.

Burgett and his partner, 24-time marathoner Richard Daniels, set out to create a new kind of earbud. Sure, headphones had come a long way since they were first developed in 1910. But even though they had gotten to be small, earbuds never quite fit right and often fell out. Sometimes, as Burgett learned firsthand, they were painful. But studies have shown that music can increase the intensity and duration of a workout by as much as 15% — music is a big component of athletic performance. Read more...

More about Business, Small Business, Gadgets, Health Fitness, and Supported

December 08 2013

How to Optimize Your Marketing in Real Time

Attention is the currency of the Internet, and the brands that can capture and capitalize on it stand to gain a great deal. Their conversions increase, their acquisition rate will improve and their bounce rate will lower. Perhaps just as importantly for businesses, marketers will be able to know if the time and money they invested in creating a campaign was well spent.

“You have to be obsessed, diligent, genuine and personal to win over your customers at every turn. To keep customers happy and engaged across every channel, you have to be customer-obsessed first and foremost,” says Michael Blumenfeld, consultant for U.S. financial/insurance services at Maxymiser. Read more...

More about Marketing, Online Marketing, A B Testing, Business, and Supported

December 07 2013

Is Your Website a One-Hit Wonder?

Few businesses strive for a website that's the equivalent of a one-hit wonder.

If visitors are coming to your site and engaging — possibly even converting — and then leaving, never to return again, you're probably wondering why this happens (and if it matters, particularly if overall pageviews or conversion numbers are solid).

We're talking to marketers as a part of our Metrics That Matter series, and asking them about the importance of visitor retention as well as the extent they pay attention to recency and frequency of visits. Below are a few suggestions for analyzing this particular metric, as well as insight into why it's worth taking a look at these traffic trends. Read more...

More about Marketing, Business, Supported, Metrics That Matter, and Visitor Retention

December 06 2013

How to Turn Your Next Event Into a Branding Blockbuster

Events are excellent for building your brand and connecting with your customers. But for all the time, effort and money you put into planning and executing an event, wouldn't it be nice if the buzz started well before and continued well beyond the actual event time?

This is something Ben Hindman discovered when he ran events for Thrillist — he had to reinvent the wheel every time he planned an event. He knew there was room in the marketplace for a better events tool, so he and co-founder Brett Boskoff designed and developed the tool that Hindman needed.

"As we started using Splash more and more, it just became clear that the world needed this," says Hindman. Read more...

More about Mashable Videos, Supported, Inflection Points, and Splash
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