Tags:#start#StartUp 101 Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… sramana mitra On April 16, I was in Mumbai doing a live 1M/1M event with TiE Mumbai and Indian Angel Network (IAN). While in Mumbai, I also finalized a deeper partnership with IAN, which I will discuss later in this post.I presented my usual 1M/1M perspective on bootstrapping. After the event, I received an email from Aneesh Khanna saying, “The Saturday Mumbai TiE session was a very enriching experience. Even if there were fleeting thoughts of being bailed out by investors, they have now been banished and we are focusing on bootstrapping and making the model work with customer money.” It’s rewarding to hear from people who attended the session and found immediate and actionable value.The Mumbai roundtable was extremely interactive and fun. We did two sessions of five entrepreneurs each.LocoBuzzFirst up, Vishal Agarwal with Spatial Ideas presented LocoBuzz, a social media brand analytics platform coupled with location-specific insights. Vishal showed a terrific demo that was full of cool features but completely out of context. My key advice to him was to focus his pitch and demo on the brand analytics story, which has nothing to do with earthquakes and tsunamis – events he showed in the presentation, thoroughly confusing the audience and me before I was able to peel away the layers of the onion and determine what his real business was.Food ka MoodNext, Tanuj More pitched Food ka Mood, a waiters-on-wheels-type-concept for the Indian corporate market. Tanuj wants to offer sizable discounts to corporations for their employees to eat at various restaurants. Obvious questions about validation and core value proposition are still unanswered. My sense was that the discount could be interesting for HR organizations to offer to their employees as part of the benefits package, but this assumption needs validation.TravDe.comThen Sameer Patil discussed TravDe.com, which offers steep discounts on hotels. Sameer wants to work with hotels and create special deals for his audience and wanted to know if the Indian online travel market has room for a deal site. Well, it seems to me that all online travel agencies do have deal sites, so to compete with that Sameer needs a specific strategy – perhaps exclusive discounts of some sort. I think TraveDe’s core value proposition has yet to be sorted out. The idea of exclusive deals appeals to me, but whether Sameer can get enough hotels to play ball with him and offer such discounts is something he has not yet confirmed.Gomolo.inWe also had Pritam Roy present Gomolo.in, a social network and online hangout for movie lovers. Gomolo also has a good database of movies and related information that Pritam is trying to figure out how to create more traction for. I could not identify a good use case for the database utilization, but I learned that the company makes money by licensing content and providing mobile value-added service applications to carriers. This is good news: A revenue model is always good to have early on to sustain a venture while the bigger scaling points are still being sorted out. I advised Pritam to focus on identifying the use cases that his audience of 250,000 is interested in to start building a product strategy that is likely to monetize – whether that is through mobile VAS apps or through advertising. It would also help him figure out the audience engagement model of how to make the social network compelling.FragrochemLast up during the first roundtable session was Chetan Thakkar pitching Fragrochem. Chetan has expertise in fragrance development and the company is in a turnaround situation. The discussion centered on where in the Indian market could Fragochem sell its fragrances with less competition, reasonably good margins and adequate differentiation. I gave Chetan a framework for analysis, and if he comes back to me with the data framed accordingly, I can help him to answer the market penetration strategy questions.Stopwaitin.comAfter a coffee break, the second roundtable session began with Nimesh Khiara presenting Stopwaitin.com. Nimesh has pitched before, during the roundtable on March 10, 2011, and came back with additional competitive analysis on his OpenTable-like restaurant reservation system.IRTEXAnkur Tripathi then pitched IRTEX, the Indian Road Transportation EXchange, also a company that has pitched before during the roundtable on March 10, 2011. This is an excellent company, and although the business is extremely complex, it is solving a worthwhile problem. Ankur has a lot of issues with early adopters compared to late adopters, and I advised him to not waste time on those prospects that do not “get it” and are dragging their feet. Quoting Crossing the Chasm, I suggested Ankur and his team focus on identifying and recruiting early adopters. That’s the only way to build traction for now. We also discussed promotion and pricing strategy in some degree of detail.Out Of The BoxNext Nimit Shah discussed Out Of The Box, a consulting firm offering brand strategy, design services and interactive marketing services. The discussion centered on positioning and scalability and explored points such as strategic partnerships as a way to mitigate scalability challenges. Nimit has a difficult task ahead of him: Indian customers think consulting should be free. Convincing them to pay him for consulting will be an uphill battle.StratExcelThen Vishal Zinjuvadia presented StratExcel, a simulation technology for developing case studies. Vishal is looking at three different segments and use cases: management schools, corporate training and recruitment evaluation. I went over all three use cases with him and suggested he pick one for his go-to-market strategy. My sense is that he should focus on corporate training because that’s where there is both budget and awareness about the case-based training method. Management schools have awareness, but not enough budget. And HR departments typically are not used to applying case-based methods in recruitment, so Vishal would need to do a lot of concept selling, which is unnecessary.System-SeaOur last presenter of the day was Ashwini Otta pitching System-Sea, a company with core competency in the shipping sector that is bootstrapping a product company using its services revenues. What I liked about this company was its deep domain knowledge and niche nature. The product is already validated at a very high-end price point, and Ashwini is planning to offer it at a substantially lower price.Microsoft BizSpark India Startup Challenge grant applications will be open for all entrepreneurs to file. Please feel free to use the 1M/1M premium program to prepare for the grant. We have also finalized a partnership with the Indian Angel Network whereby we will offer deep discounts to IAN-recommended companies to avail of the 1M/1M premium program. To apply, please contact Apoorv Sharma at IAN.Pritam Roy’s Gomolo.in was chosen the best business of those presented by the audience through a poll on the 1M/1M Facebook page.The next online roundtable is on April 28, and will focus on entrepreneurs from the Mountain States region of the U.S. Recordings of previous online roundtables are all available here. You can register for the upcoming roundtables here.Sramana Mitra is the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative, an educational, business development and incubation program that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, she writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. From 2008 to 2010, Mitra was a columnist for Forbes. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. She has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Monday is Ada Lovelace’s 197th birthday. You can thank her for the idea of reprogrammable computers and for publishing the first algorithm. Two centuries later, there are massive, world-changing companies whose beating hearts are algorithms like the ones Lovelace described.The computer algorithm as we know it was invented by a woman. But due to a confluence of political, economic, social and religious forces, today’s algorithm companies are staffed disproportionately by men. So are the media outlets that cover them. That inevitably leads to a skewed history.“Diversity in the workforce is important for building a product that caters to the needs of everyone,” says Tamar Yehoshua, director of product management for search at Google. “That’s really important for building a product that everybody can use.” Suffice it to say, tech is not there yet. “When I was in college, I was one of two math majors in the whole school who are female, and I was very cognizant of it,” Yehoshua says. “But it didn’t deter me in any way because I loved what I was doing.”That’s the rub with institutionalized discrimination, though: It’s an extra cognitive load on people.As part of pondering this problem, I visited Google, arguably today’s most influential algorithm company, to ask three women, all engineers and managers, about their careers. I learned that Googlers are very lucky. Not everyone who works in technology has a support systems as robust as Google offers.Here are some lessons they shared about how to preserve social power for any outnumbered group in a tech company.Formal Support SystemsGoogle’s biggest asset is its ability to understand huge amounts of data. This is as important to Google’s human technologies as it is to its computer technologies.When Google looked at the data this year and realized that it could retain 50% more women employees by extending the length of maternity leave to five months, it did so. It wasn’t just a human decision that this was the right thing to do. Google looked objectively at the situation and decided it was good for the company. As I joked with the Googlers, it’s as though reality has a pro-motherhood bias.That doesn’t mean Google always knows how to apply its big data skills intelligently. When Susan Wojcicki, in whose garage Larry Page and Sergey Brin created Google itself, returned from maternity leave, the founders built a day care center on campus in order to help Googler parents. But later, Google ran the numbers on its day care program and its (male-dominated) leadership decided it had to raise rates by 75%. By treating this human resource as an economic experiment, Google freaked out many of its parent-employees.So data-driven programs are important, but they’re no substitute for human-driven ones. Fortunately for Googlers, Google pays attention to both sides of the equation.Groups Are Key For Payal Patel, a product manager at Google, organized groups for support and problem-solving are the key. Underrepresented people in a big-company culture need backup.“I grew up in small-town Iowa,” says Patel, who saw few options for getting out beyond studying math and physics. When she got to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to get her bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, she noticed the gender imbalance for the first time. “Less than 20% of the students were female.”She counteracted that force by joining mentorship groups and larger organizations like the Society of Women Engineers. “It is true that people tend to connect easier to people who are similar,” she says. “Creating a strong peer network through [college] with upperclassmen, as well as out in the industry, helped me a lot,” Patel says.After school, Patel went to work as an engineer at John Deere and Northrop Grumman “That was very different from Google,” she says today. “I was a software engineer for a little over four years. I did have the strong technical background, but I wanted to get into product management, more of the business side.” So she went to MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 2011, then started at Google as a product manager.Her friends in the business and finance world “know for a fact that they won’t last two or three years because of the lifestyle, but yet they want to have that challenge. What really attracted me to Google was, I love the technology, I love a challenge, I want to have an impact, yada yada yada. But when I’m a mother, I can dial in from my meeting, and it’s very normal.”Google offers and supports employee resource groups (ERGs) for women, Gayglers, Greyglers, different ability levels, and geographic, cultural and ethnic groups of all kinds. Patel has participated in the ERG for women, and she’s on an internal Google Group for expectant moms, a status she has recently attained for the first time. “My experience as an expectant mom is amazing at work,” she says. “I think this support network helps Google retain women a lot better. Both my husband and I love Google for that.”But what about people who don’t work at a place as supportive as Google? The strategy for finding support is similar, but it can take more effort to build informal groups yourself.Informal Support Systems “From a numbers perspective, I don’t think there’s any question” that men dominate tech, says Pavni Diwanji, an engineering director at Google running spam-fighting efforts as well as Profiles and Pages on Google+. “It’s just there. I don’t think it’s very interesting to keep thinking about the problem. I think what’s more interesting is to think about what I can do about it.”“I’m not part of a formal mentor program, though one does exist at Google,” Diwanji says. “I do what I call informal, need-be mentoring. I try to have at least a few women to help when they need help.”Diwanji was the only woman in computer science at her university in Western India, “which didn’t really surprise me,” she says. She didn’t have any preconceived notions about tech, so she attributed the imbalance to issues in Indian society.Then she went to Stanford for her master’s degree, “and now we’re talking about a few women.” It wasn’t much different. She started her career as a software engineer at Sun Microsystems, which was “slightly better again.” How did she climb through all that to get to such a great position at Google? Beyond her own talents and ambitions, she adds, “I’ve always been very lucky. I’ve had good mentors.”Her father was her first tech mentor, taking her to work with him at IBM twice a week and letting her play with the punch cards. While she was at Sun, she volunteered outside of work for legendary computer scientist Anita Borg, a huge role model. Groups can be a great help, says Diwanji, but “I think the large impact is one-on-one.”By sharing experiences with trusted figures, women (like any other minority group in tech) can compare notes on the way they handle challenging experiences day to day. “The place where women sometimes fall through is they’re not proactive about their problems,” Diwanji says. Having the support of a mentor helped her through crises, so now she helps others in turn.“You have to find someone who’s going to put a little bit of time into you,” she says. “If you can’t, then go outside of your workplace.”Yehoshua agrees. “Sometimes you need someone who is objective.” She participates in a mentorship program for younger project managers, and she also provides mentorship informally. “I’ve always, at every step of the way, had a mentor. They’re going to give you feedback, and they’re going to help you pursue your career goals.”Is Google A Utopia? HardlyEven Google has not been known as a friendly environment for women at its highest levels. In the CEO transition from Eric Schmidt to Larry Page, Google took heat for pushing women out of the inner circle, most famously employee number 20, Marissa Mayer, who left this year to become CEO of Yahoo.Google spokespeople explained that change as a coincidence. Schmidt’s operating committee was organized around functions: legal, HR, engineering, marketing and so forth. Page’s is organized around products. Mayer and others got caught outside of the product columns. There are other powerful female Googlers who don’t buy the simple gender explanation. “I think all tech companies are a meritocracy,” says Yehoshua, who is a product management director on Search, arguably Google’s most important product. Speaking specifically about Google, “I have never seen an issue bringing up in any way the fact that I’m a female, or that I’m a mother, or anything like that.”Patel thinks there are some cultural factors that make Google special in this regard. “It has to do with the company and their recruiting standards,” she says. “I feel like Google has a high standard from the beginning. I definitely think there’s less bias” among Google-caliber people. She believes a place with high standards will attract more women compared to “more traditional” companies.Diwanji says “Sun had a very different culture to it. It was a very aggressive culture. I wouldn’t call it a male-dominated culture, but you had to eat or be eaten, so to speak. Google doesn’t have that.”Cultures preserve and enforce biases. In a more hostile company culture, it’s critical for disempowered people to create informal networks to support each other. Even in the Googles of the world, formal structures are necessary to make sure that an idyllic perception of the place doesn’t give way to complacency.We’ll need these support systems until our whole society can get to the root of the problem: a formal and informal educational system that teaches children that their gender (or sexual orientation, or race, or religion) determines in any way the kinds of careers they can have.Lead image – of Madeleine Albright with women at Google – courtesy of Google. 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By Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhDUniversity of Kentucky [Military Family Programs, 2015 Kentucky Military Family Camps]Wilderness and adventure therapy programs are typically used with adolescents dealing with a range of mental health problems as well as behavioral issues. Faculty from the University of Kentucky, partnered with Perdue University, adapted an existing curriculum (Blue to You; altered and titled Campfire Curriculum) for use with military families, and used existing wilderness and adventure therapy models to design a program aimed at helping teenage children and their service member parents reconnect.In wilderness and adventure therapy programs, action-oriented activities are used to elicit emotion and provide immediate feedback. Programming is specifically designed to encourage self-disclosure. In this camp model, family activities were developed to reconnect military parents and their teenage children through team-building exercises, cooperative problem-solving, utilization of creative coping strategies, communication, and teamwork. Activity facilitators used were from outside the military and held at least a Bachelor’s level degree in areas related to outdoor and experiential education. Mental health professionals with a marriage and family therapy background facilitated group discussions each evening at the end of the day’s activities.A total of 25 military parents and 3 spouses of military parents participated in the study. Ages of parents ranged from 34 to 52 years, and they were predominately married males. The total time in service ranged from 2.5 years to 26.0 years. The total time deployed ranged from 0 to 96 months.Surveys were distributed on the last day of the camp and included 3 open-ended questions/statements related to skills and knowledge gained during the camp experience, and potential application of the camp experience at home. Conventional content analysis techniques were used to analyze the surveys. In the analysis, 4 topics became apparent: (1) The role of communication; (2) Quality time together; (3) Working as a team; and, (4) Parenting.Over 80% of the participants noted that their communication had improved. Participants noted that the time gathered as a group provided members an opportunity to share ideas on how to communicate with family members. Participants also commented that by removing themselves from an environment with daily responsibilities, they were able to spend more time developing these important relationships. Less prevalent themes emerged around team building and how the family functioned better working as a team, as well as how to work with their teenagers. Some participants commented on how they learned about sharing feelings with their children rather than giving orders. Experiencing the difference between family relationships and military command relationships is apparent when the themes of teams and parenting are considered in the context of military families, and has implications for clinical practice. Military members are accustomed to a role of leadership in combat – a situation that requires clear objectives, roles and responsibilities. Teenage children, as they evolve into adults may appreciate a more collaborative role or a role of shared responsibilities as they develop. In practice, it is important to consider the service member’s leadership style in the family, whether working with families that are reintegrating following deployment or not. Furthermore, the curriculum utilized in this study appears to have had a positive impact on family communication and bonding, and wilderness adventure camps may serve as a helpful adjunct to reintegration efforts.References Ashurst, K., Smith, L., Little, C., Frey, L., Werner-Wilson, T., Stephenson, L., & Werner-Wilson, R. (2014). Perceived outcomes of military-extension adventure camps for military personnel and their teenage children. American Journal of Family Therapy, 42(2), 175-189. doi:10.1080/01926187.2013.799975This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.
Jeff Horn. INQUIRER PHOTO/ROY LUARCABRISBANE, Australia—If trainer Glenn Rushton’s grand description of Jeff Horn turns out to be true, then Manny Pacquiao is in for a brutal tussle on July 2.A punishing 10-week training camp, according to Rushton, has turned Horn into a fighting machine. Somebody with “hands like steel, body like granite,” and with “the strength of an ox.”ADVERTISEMENT With both Pacquiao and Horn wielding a heavy hand, said there’s a good chance of a stoppage late in the fight.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Rushton said he’s hoping that Pacquiao will bring his A-game into the “Battle of Brisbane” at the 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium because Horn will definitely be at his best form ever.After studying hundreds of tapes of Pacquiao’s previous fights, especially against the likes of Ricky Hatton, Oscar dela Hoya and Juan Manuel Marquez, Rushton has meticulously crafted a secret 10-point plan against Pacquiao.Rushton said if Horn will be able to follow the plan to the letter, and be on his toes every second of the 12-round bout, the former school teacher will be able to hurdle Pacquiao and shock the world.Rushton liked Pacquiao-Horn to a collision between an unstoppable force (Pacquiao) and an immovable object (Horn).And with Horn in terrific shape, Horn promises a much better fight than Pacquiao versus Jessie Vargas, Pacquiao against Timothy Bradley and Pacquiao against Juan Manuel Marquez.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Horn to take leaf out of Marquez book vs Pacquiao WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken MOST READ What ‘missteps’? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rushton, a self-made millionaire and mixed martial arts expert, also said during Horn’s media workout at the gym inside his mansion, that he hasn’t seen anybody really hurt Horn in the ring.Not even during his amateur days where Horn represented Australia in both the World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAnd not in the pro ranks, where Horn holds a 16-0-1 record with 11 knockouts.In addition, Rushton swears that Horn has the will and the heart to give trouble to anybody, including Pacquiao. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments