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Jack: A Bluetooth Lifesaver

Apple is one of the most powerful high-tech companies in today’s world.  With the recent announcement of the iPhone 7, numerous Apple customers were left frustrated since this new phone does not have a headphone jack.  Although this may not seem like a big deal to some, this is a big deal for others who love their wired headphones or recently bought a very expensive pair of wired headsets.  This is where the entrepreneurs at Podo Labs saw a great opportunity.  Co founder Eddie Lee and his partners at Podo Labs saw the frustration that this lack of a headphone jack brought to consumers and decided to address the problem by developing a product called Jack.  Jack is a small Bluetooth transmitter and receiver that allows one to connect his wired headphones and speakers to his iPhone 7 or other mobile device.  Although there are already some other Bluetooth transmitters and receivers on the market, Podo Labs distinguishes their device by creating a product that is about the size of a tie clip and can be connected together with other Jacks.  According to one of the co founders, a user should theoretically be able connect an infinite number of Jacks together to create a sound system or sync headphones with a friend.

The product is not expected to ship until the summer of 2017, but preorders are already being taken through Kickstarter and the Podo Lab website.  Their Kickstarter campaign was so successful that they reached their fundraising goal within three hours and have now raised over $800,000 from over 16,000 backers.

After researching this startup and their latest endeavor, it is clear to me that this Internet-based business is likely to be a huge success.  By looking for problems and nuances that many people face and developing a simple and affordable solution, this startup has drawn a significant amount of attention and convinced many people to put money down on their product.  Although the startup does not have a solid social media presence, they have still managed to draw a significant amount of attention through other online resources such as Kickstarter and their website.  If the startup were to make a solid presence on social media, they would likely bring much more attention to themselves and increase their chances of success.  Jack is revolutionary product that is likely to solve one of largest problems that numerous people are facing with their latest Apple smartphones.

More information regarding Jack can be found on Podo Labs’ website here.

 

Sources:

Podo Labs

TechCrunch 

Indiegogo 

Kickstarter 

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Sean Parker

Sean Parker the co-founder of the music service Napster and the former founding president of Facebook started his internet entrepreneurial days a little bit differently than most. Parker showcased himself in the tech world by hacking into computer networks and companies around the world. This led to the FBI to his front door when he was only 15. Sean was forced to do community service with other trouble makers.

During his time doing community service, Parker would meet Shawn Fanning. Together they would start a small internet-security company that helped firms get rid of hackers. This business would ultimately be unsuccessful but would create a successful friendship.

Parker’s next project put him on the map for the CIA. It earned him an internship with them and a check for $80,000. Parker would use this to convince his parents to put college on hold while he pursued yet another internet project.

Parker along with Shawn Fanning would start a file sharing service called Napster in 1999. Napster quickly became popular with music lovers. The music sharing aspect of Napster attracted tens of millions of users. This made Napster a target of the music industry which led to its fall. This would leave him without a place to live and with very little money.

Parker was saved when he noticed the new online service called Facebook. Parker saw so much potential in Facebook that he met with the founder, Mark Zuckerberg. They instantly became friends and Parker was named the company’s founding president.

Some of you may have seen the movie The Social Network and know how this story ends. But if you haven’t seen it. It does not end well. At least the Facebook part of the story. Parker had a long history of partying, which led to him being arrested for suspicion of possessing cocaine. This would be what made him leave Facebook.

Although his time at Facebook was cut short. It didn’t completely end his career. He would later help bring Spotify to the U.S. Which we all know was a massive success and still is.

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3 Apps to Watch in 2017

With the digital age changing and evolving so quickly, it seems like every other day a new app is coming out promising to change our lives for the better. How can we possibly stay on top of them all? In this article, I am going to list some of the apps that popular sites like techbeard, moz.com, and hootsuite are saying to look out for come 2017.

  1. Slack
    1. So I actually just started using this program in my Interactive Design class with Nate Mucha. It is a great way to work together in a company or group setting. You can create different channels with different contacts for things like project 1, or business plan 1, or needs to get done, and then communicate with one another through that channel. You can send pdfs, photos, website urls, and so much more. Also, it is virtually impossible to run out of room in the chat so you can look back on the things you have slacked for all time. I definitely think this could be the future of class projects and more importantly collaborative business ideas.
    1. Now this app is only available for those 21 or older. This app allows you to keep track of the drinks you have ordered in the past and the drinks you might want to try in the future. You can search what a restaurant has for drinks, see what is in those drinks, and compare drink ideas with your friends. This could be a great idea for someone who has just turned 21 and is trying to figure out what is good to order, or trying to try a bunch of different drinks each time they go out.
  2. Think about Skype for businesses. This app allows you to have high quality video conferencing tools. It offers online meeting tools and cross-platform group chat tools. So it’s basically a more advanced business friendly version of Skype. But this tool promises quality connection, where sometimes Skype doesn’t keep connection well.

I hope that these apps have given you some taste of what to expect from the digital world in 2017!

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5 Tips for Keyword Research

The best way to drive traffic to your website is to have the proper keywords that consumers can type in to find you. Sites like GoogleAdWords and Bing can help you to search what terms your target market may be searching right now that you can use in your posts to help them find you business. So what are some ways to get started on keyword researching?

  1. Develop a primary list
    1. This could be as easy as asking yourself “how are people trying to find me?” or “what would I be searching for if I were in need of this?”
    2. From that list you can start to narrow down your focus.
  2. Evaluate your target user group
    1. Of course, you need to make sure that the people you are targeting with your keywords are the people who would be willing and able to buy your product or service.
    2. Think about the pains and goals of your target users. What makes them angry? What are they going to gain by using your product or service?
  3. Research the competition.
    1. It can be really helpful to look at sites similar to your own to see what they are doing right and what they could improve on.
    2. With the internet, there are so many available options for every little thing practically, make sure that yours is the best thing available on the market.
  4. Use some keyword research tools.
    1. I know there is no way I would be able to come up with a viable list of keywords without any help.
    2. Tools like Google Ad Words and SEObook are free and available to help you when you don’t know where to start.
  5. Finally, prioritize and rank your keywords.
    1. Make sure that you are using the best possible words that can drive the best possible traffic.

I hope that these tips can help you when you are thinking about starting to make the content for your website. Remember that any good keyword usage is natural and not spammy. Good luck!

 

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Waze

Recently a new app has been trending for drivers who are looking for a glorified google maps.  Sometimes you need more than just directions to a place and there are more factors to keep in mind.  Waze goes further to show things like road closes and the traffic flow.  It is similar to a social media app in that people can put updates in road conditions to help others in their travel.  In being a social app, it tells you how many “Wazers” are around you, meaning the people who can be a source of updates.

Waze can do things like find the cheapest gas stations, redirect to faster routes incase of a traffic jam, and speak out current road conditions if the driver can’t read while driving.  Waze can also track what roads you usually take, so when you need to use the app it can personalize directions to your route preferences. It furthermore allows you to set favorite places, planned drives and sync up your calendar or Facebook events to set reminders of when to leave home.  The app really personalizes to your specific schedule and helps the user feel like the app is specifically working for them.  The app has many other features that are easy to understand and follow.

Making another driving app could have been a fail in that there are so many already, but Waze found a way to make it different by having features that other apps do not.  Another successful app on the market!

 

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Blue Apron: Food At Your Doorstep

Blue Apron is an internet based company taking the subscription model to the next level. This business is based on the idea that people want to eat healthy, cook their own food, and know that the food they’re eating is organic and fresh. Customers pay on a per-week basis to have a box of fresh food and recipes delivered to their door. Shipping is free and you can skip a week any time. By effectively eliminating the middleman of fresh produce – grocery stores – they are able to deliver the exact portions needed for each recipe to help reduce food waste. This is especially helpful for couples or smaller families who don’t consume enough food to make it worth it to buy unique food for one recipe that may not get used up. Through this model, Blue Apron aims to target customers who want to save time and money on their weekly grocery shopping routines and reduce waste. With two pricing structures aimed at couples and families and free shipping, Blue Apron has made it easy to select a plan and easy to receive your order. Their website is friendly and inviting, and they offer a mobile app that lets you check on what recipes are coming in your next order.

Blue Apron has definitely captured a niche market. Healthy and organic eating has been a trend for the past few years, but harnessing that trend into a subscription model that removed very prevalent pain points from consumers’ lives was a genius move. Whether you are a young professional or a married parent, grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking are time consuming activities that many people dread. Usually to avoid these pains people resort to eating out or ordering takeaway food. Blue Apron’s model allows for an easier dinner making process – grocery shopping will take less time, cooking is easier because the portions are already provided and a detailed recipe is included, and meal planning is simply choosing from a list of that week’s options. At the same time, the experience encourages customers to learn new cooking skills, try out new flavors, and expand their palate. The subscription internet business model has proven to be successful time and time again, but Blue Apron truly has pushed it to a point that few people thought to take it.

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Google Wi-Fi: Expanding The Power of The Internet

Google is one of the most powerful high-tech companies in today’s world.  This company began as a research project in 1996 at Stanford University and quickly grew to become one of the most influential and powerful technology companies.  Google’s business model is unique because they provide searching capabilities to consumers for free.  One of their largest revenue streams is selling advertisement space for targeted customers to businesses.  This is one of the key ways that Google has provided free searching capabilities to consumers and become one of the most successful technology companies.  As the company has acquired large amounts of capital, they have also begun to expand into other areas of technology. 

One of their most recent expansions is into the Internet provider realm.  This company recently released a new product that they call Google Wi-Fi.  The product is designed to replace one’s traditional router and ensure that an individual receives the fastest Internet connection regardless of where he is in his home.  Although this device does not actually provide the Internet service, it does create a connected, reliable, and fast system within one’s home using “points.”  Each point connects to the other Wi-Fi points, which thereby creates a single Wi-Fi network in the form of a mesh topology.  This is unique because one does not have to switch between Wi-Fi networks as he moves throughout his home and can manage all of the devices connected to the network using a mobile app.  Google uses a technology that they call “Network Assist” in order to ensure that a user is always receiving the fastest Internet possible.  This is done by connecting to the closest point and using whichever band (2.4GHz or 5GHz) is faster based on the current network traffic.

Google has been a very successful Internet business and there is much that can be gleaned from their business model.    For example, their focus on building a large user base by providing a free service is an excellent example of how a successful company can be built using this business model strategy.  After researching the company and exploring some of their latest products, I am convinced that this company thrives because of its commitment to listening to customers every day and working to solve the problems and nuances that their users face.  By listening to target customers, working to solve their pains, and creating an online platform that works the way one would expect it to, Internet entrepreneurs and companies such as Google will likely succeed and solve problems in today’s world.

More information regarding Google Wi-Fi can be found on Google’s website here.

 

Sources:

https://madeby.google.com/wifi/how-it-works/?utm_source=ads-en-ha-na-sem

https://www.google.com/intl/en/about/

https://www.cnet.com/products/google-wifi/review/

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