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Skills That Entrepreneurs Need

14 Mar

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It requires creativity, patience, a willingness to take risks, expertise, endurance, and a whole lot more.

According to Growth Hackers’ co-founder and CEO Jonathan Aufray:

“An entrepreneur must be audacious, calculating, enthusiastic, and passionate. Creativity and managerial capabilities are also important to the success of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur needs to be a talented multi-disciplinary individual, a bit like the growth hacker job description, which is very complex, the entrepreneur job description is even more complicated.”

“Contrary to popular opinion, entrepreneurial skills and qualities can be learned, practiced, and developed. You must, however, make a conscious decision to nurture these qualities and skills. Once you begin to make a conscious effort to acquire these skills, particularly skills in the area where you are deficient, you would have repositioned yourself for tremendous accomplishments as an entrepreneur in the business world.”

Aufray has identified 29 skills as important for successful entrepreneurship. Here are ten of them:

  1. Personal capabilities
  2. Image building
  3. Effective communication
  4. Ability to negotiate
  5. Ability to lead
  6. Ability to sell
  7. Ability to concentrate (focus)
  8. Customer relations
  9. Preparedness to learn
  10. Inquisitiveness

 
Click the image for a full discussion of the above 10 skills and to see Aufray’s whole list of 29 entrepreneurial skills.
 

 

It Was Only a Matter of Time!

10 Mar

For several years now, Americans have been consuming more bottled water and less soda. Now, for the first time, the sales of bottled water exceed those of soda in the United States.

As reported by SCMP:

“Bottled water has been enjoying growth for years, while sales of traditional sodas have declined. Research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp. (BMC) says Americans drank an average of 39.3 gallons of bottled water in 2016, and 38.5 gallons of carbonated soft drinks. In 2015, bottled water was at 36.5 gallons while soda was at 39 gallons.”

“Other industry trackers define drink categories differently, so may see the cross at different times. Beverage Marketing includes sparkling waters in bottled waters and excludes energy drinks in sodas. The reverse is true for another tracker, Beverage Digest, which projects bottled water will surpass soda this year [2017].”

The Shelby Report notes:

“’Bottled water effectively reshaped the beverage marketplace,’ said BMC Chairman and CEO Michael C. Bellas. ‘When Perrier first entered the country in the 1970s, few would have predicted the heights to which bottled water would eventually climb. Where once it would have been unimaginable to see Americans walking down the street carrying plastic bottles of water, or driving around with them in their cars’ cup holders, now that’s the norm. With the exception of two relatively small declines in 2008 and 2009 — when most beverage categories contracted — bottled water volume grew every year from 1977 to 2016. This period included 17 double-digit annual volume growth spurts. Since resuming growth in 2010, bottled water volume has consistently enlarged at solid single-digit percentage rates.’”

 

Fortunately for both Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo, they both have popular brands of non-carbonated bottled water, including Dasani, Vitaminwater, and Smartwater from Coca-Cola and Aquafina, Lifewater, and LIFEWTR.

A case of Dasani bottled water. Photo by AFP

 

What Type of Autonomous Car Is for YOU?

6 Mar

As we get closer and closer to the commercial launch of autonomous (self-driving) cars, one key factor has not been addressed enough: What is an autonomous car — because one type of car does not fit all? The answer is not simply “a car that takes over all/most driving functions for you.” The possible configurations of cars complicates things for both manufacturers and potential customers!

Here is a very good list of the types of autonomous driving experiences, from Lauren Flanigan (writing for The American Genius) that are ahead. Which type is best for YOU?

“From self-parking to collision avoidance, there are an array of different features that will be made available to consumers. But before you start saving for your next dream, take a look at which kind is best for you and your futuristic needs.”

Level 0 (zero automation) — “Your car is most likely a zero automation car. A human driver is required to operate and fully control the vehicle.”

Level 1 (driver assisted/function specific) — “These cars are for those who don’t trust automobiles with their lives. They still require a driver to operate the vehicle, but act as an aid to the driver, providing [specific] intelligent features.”

Level 2 (partial automation/combined autonomous functions) — “At this level, a self-driving automobile can perform two or more simultaneous tasks like steering, lane keeping, and speed maintenance while in cruise control mode.”

Level 3 (conditional automation/limited self-driving) — “The car assumes more than just partial control, and acts instead as a co-pilot. Although the driver can relinquish a lot of tasks to the car, the driver must to be ready at all times to resume control.”

Level 4 (high automation) — “These cars can perform all safety-critical driving functions while monitoring environments in defined-use cases without human intervention. Drivers enter the destination and navigation details and the car does the rest.”

Level 5 (fully autonomous) — “This car does not require any effort or driving on behalf of the human owner. There is no driving equipment in the car, which is designed to resemble comfortable environments like lounges and offices. The vehicle is in full control.”

 
Click the image to read more.


 

Is the Stock Market Over-Exuberant for Snap?

3 Mar

Snap Inc. is a U.S.-based technology and social media company that was started in 2011 .Products include the popular Snapchat app and Spectacles eye wear; it also owns the Bitmoji app.

Yesterday (March 2, 2017) was a big day for Snap Inc. and the tech industry overall because of Snap’s highly anticipated IPO (initial public offering) on the New York Stock Exchange. Some analysts are excited at the popularity of this IPO; others wonder whether investors are being overly exuberant. What do YOU think?

As reported by CNBC:

“Snap soared as much as 45% when it opened for trading at $24 a share on Thursday. Market makers at the New York Stock Exchange indicated the stock was set to open from $23.50 to $24.50 a share. At 200 million shares, Snap raised $3.4 billion and was valued at nearly $24 billion as of its pricing. Sources had told CNBC earlier this week that investors were expecting a pricing of $17 to $18 per share, above the $14 to $16 per share range originally given by the company. The IPO is 12 times oversubscribed, sources said Thursday morning, meaning that there were 12 times more orders for than there were shares offered. Some managers told CNBC they got as little as 2 percent of what they were asking for.”

 

Yet, Felix Richter commented thusly for Statista:

“Snap’s IPO valuation of $24 billion is quite a tall order for a company that has never turned a profit and warned investors that it never might. The company is now valued at 59 times its total revenue for 2016. Even for a fast-growing tech company that is a lot. Facebook in comparison has a price-to-sales ratio of around 14. As our chart illustrates, Snap is valued considerably higher than many American household names. That includes companies such as Ralph Lauren and Harley-Davidson that have been around for decades and probably will be for decades to come.”

Infographic: Snap Is More Valuable Than These Household Names | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

 

Looking for Marketing Salary Information?

1 Mar

We’ve talked before about salary information sites such as PayScale. Today, we’re highlighting another valuable salary guide — Good Calculators.

At  the salary calculator section of the site, you can learn salaries by state, occupation, and career, and all occupations by region.

Here are several marketing career salary examples from Good Calculators. [PLEASE NOTE: In reviewing these numbers, please keep in mind that they refer to specific careers. In each state, all of the careers illustrated below are available!]

  • Arizona, management occupations, food service managers — average annual salary = $55,010; average hourly salary = $26.45; no. of employees: 3,360
  • California, management occupations, marketing managers — average annual salary = $161,640; average hourly salary = $77.71; no. of employees: 32,800
  • Florida, management occupations, lodging managers — average annual salary = $64,980; average hourly salary = $31.24; no. of employees: 3,430
  • Illinois, management occupations, public relations and fundraising managers — average annual salary = $107,060; average hourly salary = $51.47; no. of employees: 3,210
  • Maryland, sales and related occupations, advertising sales agents — average annual salary = $61,760; average hourly salary = $29.69; no. of employees: 1,260
  • New York, management occupations, marketing managers — average annual salary = $186,940; average hourly salary = $89.88; no. of employees: 14,860
  • North Carolina, sales and related occupations, real-estate brokers — average annual salary = $60,010; average hourly salary = $28.85; no. of employees: 6,020
  • Ohio, management occupations, sales managers — average annual salary = $124,960; average hourly salary = $60.08; no. of employees: 12,140
  • Pennsylvania, management occupations, purchasing managers — average annual salary = $117,960; average hourly salary = $56.71; no. of employees: 1,820
  • South Carolina, sales and related occupations, securities/financial services brokers — average annual salary = $92,940; average hourly salary = $44.68; no. of employees: 1,410
  • Texas, sales and related occupations, first-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers — average annual salary = $84,730; average hourly salary = $40.74; no. of employees: 25,630

 
To learn A LOT MORE about salary possibilities by state, occupation, and career, click the image.


 

How Big a Hurdle Is Ad Blocking in 2017?

17 Feb

Ad blocking is becoming an enormous problem for online marketers, going from a nuisance a couple of years ago to a major threat today. ARE YOU PREPARED TO HANDLE IT?

Technopedia describes ad blockers as follows:

“An ad blocker is a program that will remove different kinds of advertising from a Web user’s experience online. These programs target certain kinds of ads, such as pop-ups, banner ads ,and other common forms of online ad blockers work in many different ways. Some are standalone programs, while others are features of more comprehensive customizing services, or add-ons for a particular browser or operating system. Some browser-specific programs, like PithHelmet for Safari, or other programs for browsers, like Opera, are designed to work well in a particular environment. Others work with Windows or another operating system to block pop-ups or other kinds of ads.”

“Users have a wide range of options for blocking out different kinds of ads. Some programs delete cookies and other Web markers to effectively limit ads. Web proxy programs like Privoxy can be effective ad blockers. Some users will choose to block Adobe Flash in order to block annoying video ads, which are now common on some websites. There are also freeware programs that may use simple principles to block out advertising.”

So, how much of a threat is ad blocking in 2017? Even though eMarketer has scaled back its estimates slightly; ad blocking is still growing significantly. As eMarketer notes:

“eMarketer has scaled back its estimates of ad blocking users in the U.S., reducing the number to 75.1 million. At that level, more than one-quarter (27.5%) of US internet users will use ad blockers this year. While the estimate has been reduced, growth is still significant, at 16.2% in 2017.”

“Ad blocking is much more common among desktop/laptop users than smartphone users. For smartphones, the incidence of ad blocking is less than 8%. That’s partly because mobile ad blockers are often not as effective — especially within apps — as they are on desktops and laptops. Ad blocking continues to be far more prevalent among younger people. This year, 41.1% of millennials will use ad blockers, r estimates. The use is lower among Gen X internet users at 26.9%, and for baby boomers, ad blocking is at 13.9%.”

 
Click the image to read more.

US Ad Blocking User Penetration, Desktop/Laptop vs. Smartphone, 2014-2018 (% of population)

 

Ransomware: A NOT So Humorous Look

15 Feb

As we’ve reported before, the ransomware threat has many negative effects. Ransomware “is malware. The hackers demand payment, often via Bitcoin or prepaid credit card, from victims in order to regain access to an infected device and the data stored on it.” [Ransomware: The Smart Person’s Guide, by James Sanders]

How pervasive is the threat of ransomware in our everyday lives? Check out this rather scary cartoon from Joy of Tech. It was inspired by the recently published Ransomware: Defending Against Digital Extortion by Allan Liska and Timothy Gallo! [Click the image for a larger version of the cartoon.]
 

 

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