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The Doorman App

Have you ever ordered something offline and when it was delivered to your house you weren’t there? Instead of coming home to find the product you ordered you find a delivery notice. Well, there is a new and innovative app called Doorman that is aiming to solve this problem.

Doorman is trying to eradicate this problem by allowing customers to schedule their own delivery times. Even if it is as late as midnight seven days a week.

Doorman was created by a former Pixar Technical Director named Zander Adel. Zander came up with this idea by looking at the retailers that offer same day shipping. Places like Amazon or Postmates. He goes on to explain that all of the shipping and deliveries are done through companies like FedEx and UPS. As a result of this customers have less control over the time their product is delivered.

Doorman fixes this by allowing customers to give these retailers their “Doorman address” which is a location of the company’s warehouse. The customer will then be able to specify exactly when they want their order delivered.

Doorman has already delivered over 25,000 packages in its first market in San Francisco and is preparing to spread to the east coast.

When looking at how awesome the name of this app is and how cool of an idea it is, I wish I could have come up with it first.

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Squeeze

As a senior in college, I am getting closer and closer to the day I have to take responsibility for my own finances. Luckily we live in a world with effective and innovative tools that can help me do so. One of those tools is an app called Squeeze.

Squeeze is a personal finance app that is designed to help users manage their finances. Tasks it helps with are saving money, reducing debt, and growing wealth by giving you access to price comparison tools for all of your bills. As well as other tools. Such as a spending tracker, financial analytics, and coaching on how to do these things.

Squeeze will sync users’ online banking, credit cards, consumption habit, and evaluate pricing on the users’ recurring bills. The creators of Squeeze look at the app as being an all in one financial solution to managing their personal finances. Squeezes’ financial management app has often been compared to other sites like Expedia and Travelocity. This app also brings together the users mobile phone, the internet, and internet plans all into the app and compare their prices to others constantly.

I personally feel that this app would be a great tool for anyone to use in order to manage their finances effectively and in a new way.

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Mentor Box

 

“The more you learn, the more you earn.” ~ Warren Buffett

 

Today our modern landscape is changing faster than we can blink. Merely a decade ago Amazon.com was something to laugh at, now it is the single largest retailer in the U.S. Hiring practices used to be based on pedigree and risk minimization, now Zappos.com offers its new employees $3,000 after training to quit (a tactic to rule out employees who do not truly wish to be there). My point remains the world is changing faster than we leymen can reasonably keep up with.

Those who struggle most from this changing landscape are today’s CEOs: Tasked with leading a company into a future. Burdened with the mantle of financial security for their staff. Expected to perform a hundred hours worth of work in a mere sixty hour work week. It is difficult to say the least.

Astoundingly it is seen that the CEOs of some of the most successful companies share one common practice, they read. They don’t just read though, they consume information at an alarming rate. Refreshleadership.com summarized a plethora of surveys from these miracle workers discovering that the average book count for a single year among the upper echelon of business was a stunning one-hundred books per person. So how does someone so consumed by business and responsibility find the time to read so much? Frankly, I think the best of the best must have some sort of genetic abnormality which relieves them of the necessity of sleep.

What about the rest of the world? For them a new venture has appeared, Mentorbox.com. This site delivers three books per month with cheat sheets and quick memorization tools so that the CEO on the go can quickly gleam the useful ideas and move on in mere minutes a day. The price tag is slightly high for the average man, but not for the average CEO. Priced at $225 per month on a monthly subscription model this service is not aimed at the average employee. Still it has caught on in the right spheres and is already a cash positive venture due in part to the co-founder’s reputation as a knowledge guru.

Tai Lopez made a name for himself (and quite a few conspiracy theories) with his YouTube ad Here In My Garage, where he stood next to his Lamborghini and bragged instead about his books on the wall. It quickly went viral and earned him a name. He was later featured on a TedTalk where he claimed to read a book a day and branded himself in that manner. With this type of personal branding he took his following and launched Mentorbox.com which immediately sold out and went cash-positive.

  1. http://www.refreshleadership.com/index.php/2013/01/average-ceo-reads-45-books-month/
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Flow Hive: How Bees Went Viral

Flow Hive Beekeeping

Bees didn’t used to be a topic of conversation. These days, we’re hearing more and more about how the bee population is in danger, and the repercussions of the bee species dying off. For years, not much was done in the consumer world to combat this. We all worried about prices of honey rising, and maybe planted some wildflowers in our backyards, but that was about it. At least, until the Anderson family came along.

The Andersons have been beekeeping for three generations. Father and son duo Stuart and Cedar Anderson recognized a problem in the beekeeping industry – harvesting honey was disruptive to the bees, and often resulted in the beekeeper being stung. “There must be a better way,” Cedar remembers thinking at a very young age – he began beekeeping when he was only six years old. Stu and Cedar tinkered with designs for almost a decade before coming up with the Flow Hive.

Stu and Cedar launched an Indiegogo campaign in February 2015 that would quickly become one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns in history. Their humble goal of $70,000 was reached within minutes of going live. Flow Hive holds the title of the most successful campaign ever launched on Indiegogo. So, what’s their secret?

For starters, they had identified a problem and pain that seriously lacked a solution. Bees were already on the forefront of people’s minds – Flow Hive offered a way for people to be connected. Stu says, “I think people saw Flow as a sort of drawbridge to connect them with the natural world.” Nothing like this product had ever been offered before, and they had an already established niche market of beekeepers – but their market extended past that because of the usability of the product. With Flow Hive, anyone could be a beekeeper.

 

The Internet played a massive role in the success of Flow Hive. They started a social media campaign less than a month before their Indiegogo campaign began. The goal was to tap into their personal networks and gain a few beekeepers, but the videos Cedar had made for the campaign went viral – the Andersons attribute it to help from friends and family and a genuine interest in bees and the concept of beekeeping. Their campaign page was clear, descriptive, and showed the passion Stu and Cedar had for their project. By the end of the campaign, Flow Hive had raised over $13 million from 38,000 contributors.

Flow Hive is a perfect example of how the Internet can exponentially grow the success and reach of a start-up. Without it, there’s a slim chance we would have heard about a normal father-son duo from Australia and their groundbreaking idea to innovate beekeeping.

Check out the Andersons’ story of the Flow Hive invention process:

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Full-Time College Kid, Part-Time Millionaire

From CoenMayes.com

From CoenMayes.com

I love reading about any entrepreneur, but especially young ones, like 18-year-old Adam Horwitz. In just 3 days, his online course “Mobile Monopoly” made him $1.5 million.

In an interview with Income Diary, Adam explains that he first got interested in digital entrepreneurship when his father took him to a seminar about online marketing one day.  “That kind of opened the doors to me to see that there is potential out there for making money online,” he says.

Before “Mobile Monopoly”, Adam sold a few other online courses, such as his courses “Tycoon Cash Flow” and “Cell Phone Treasure.”  Each made him around $100,000.  “Mobile Monopoly” was his first million dollar program.

His success sounds unreal and unmatchable, but he lives by business principles that are actually pretty simple.  He says that his biggest tip to anyone in the online world is to take their business one step at a time.  “I think a lot of people’s struggle is they set up like eight different campaign [at once].”  Instead, he urges people to start with one and wait until it is successful before they spread their focus to other projects. “If you just do a bunch of different products… you’re not going to make a sale for any of them.”

His other big tip is just as simple — make content easy to consume.  People have short attention spans, especially when going through information-intensive courses like the ones Adam makes.  “The best way to do it is through video,” he says. “[People] don’t want to read a lot, they want to watch you talk.” I think this can be applied to anything.  I feel the same way about websites, social media posts, and anything else — I’d rather see a video or an infographic than lines and lines of dull words.  If it looks like an essay, I’m probably going to click out.  People are busy and they want to hear what they need quickly and easily.

The last point that stood out to me was how Adam views all of this.  When asked if he likes being his own boss, he said that he doesn’t even think about it like that.  “I don’t think of this as work. This is fun, this is what I’m doing.”

Adam is in college like all of us in Entrepreneurial Mind. His friends all have minimum wage jobs but because he had an idea and the drive to do something about it, he has made over a million dollars in his spare time.  I think Adam showcases the possibility and opportunity of  internet entrepreneurship.  He’s a reminder to me that being successful is possible, no matter what your age, other commitments, or circumstances. The internet is a platform that has made that more possible than ever before.

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Internet Schooling? 4 Things to Model

From Degrees4Moms.com

From Degrees4Moms.com

Working on Gary Glew’s “Life College” project got me thinking about people who are successfully coaching and teaching over the internet. Glew wants to create an instructional program for young adults who need help transitioning into fully independent life. This would include things like learning about asking for raises, filing taxes, and managing rent. It’s a pretty unique program. I haven’t stumbled upon any other that does that. But we can still learn a ton about best practice from others in the internet-teaching sphere.

I love looking at patterns, and I found 4 key ones to model while researching this area. We’ll talk about each of them, and how they might apply to Glew’s project as an example of finding ways to model established strategies in a new business.

1) Successful teaching sites openly feature their biggest customers. Almost every site I looked at had images of big customers’ logos on a banner somewhere. For Glew’s project, we could have a banner with the logos of the colleges who have bought or participated in the program.

2) Successful teaching sites are categorical. They clearly define what ‘courses’ or types of information they offer. Kahn Academy is a great example of this. They separate their subjects into math, science, the arts, economics, and computing, and then go into clear sub-topics within those.

3) They produce their content in multiple formats. The most successful teaching sites use a variety of platforms, from videos, to podcasts, to blog posts. This could be helpful for Glew’s project if we decide we want to create a ‘Freemium’ model, for example letting people read blog posts and listen to podcasts for free, but charging for video content.

4) They have a call to action on the first page of the website. This is usually an opt-in to subscribe for a mailing list with an incentive. For example, Glew could put up an opt-in with the incentive that if you subscribe, you get 2 free videos of your choice to start with.

I didn’t realize how huge and varied the online teaching space is, but there are definitely a lot of people doing it the right way. I can’t wait to see how this space expands in the future.

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