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Alibaba Needs To “Globalize,” Says Its New CEO

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

The bulk of Alibaba’s revenue still comes from China, but the e-commerce giant will focus aggressively on growing its global business this year. Daniel Zhang, who took over as chief executive officer last week, told employees in in a recent speech that not only will Alibaba pour money into its global businesses, but also transform its company culture.

“We need to have global talent. We will have employees from all over the world that look different from each other,” said Zhang. “We have to take the time to understand them, to understand their habits, cultural differences, and way of thinking. This is how we become a truly international company.”

He added that “globalization” is essential to making sure that Alibaba lasts for 100 years, one of founder Jack Ma’s lofty goals.

Getting its core e-commerce business into gear is essential to Alibaba’s global strategy, even though its overseas…

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Hackers have been using the Starbucks app to steal money from latte drinkers

Originally posted on Quartz:

Any time you link an app to your bank account or credit card, you better use a good password. That seems to be the takeaway from a recent spate of thefts suffered by people using the Starbucks app, which lets you pay for coffee using your smartphone.

As reported by journalist Bill Sullivan and CNN, victims noticed that their accounts had illicitly been used to buy Starbucks gift cards worth hundreds of dollars, which can then be sold on the black market.

An Orlando woman named Maria Nistri told Sullivan that someone accessed her Starbucks app account and changed the username and password. The thief used the existing $34 balance to buy a gift card, waited for the app’s “auto-fill” function to withdraw more money from her bank account, and then stole another $100 within a few minutes.

Jean Obando of Sugar Land, Texas had $550 stolen via his Starbucks app…

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Doctors find a way to deliver drugs straight to your brain

Originally posted on AIVAnet:

Epilepsy, Mri

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a marvelous piece of evolutionary engineering designed to keep the inside of your skull pristinely clean by segregating the nervous and circulatory systems. The downside to this nearly impermeable membrane is that it is as adept at blocking therapeutic molecules as it is against harmful chemicals and microbes. However, a team from Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) believe they’ve finally found the key that unlocks the body’s Fort Knox. They’re called “single domain antibodies” (SDA) — molecular fragments capable of binding to larger molecules — and they reportedly trick the BBB into thinking that most any molecule they’re attached to is copacetic. So instead of having to wrap disease fighting medicines in carrier molecules like microscopic Trojan Horses, as has been the preferred method for the past two decades, these single domain antibodies act more like molecular security badges instead.

Astrocytes; neuroglial cells, 250X at 35mm. Shows: processes (perivascular feet) of neuroglial cells in contact with a brain cap

Developed as part of…

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Be a rainmaker @ your workplace !

become a rainmaker

I just taught an online master class for Ivy Exec on “Break Free of the Mid-Career Slump”.

Not only was it great fun (that’s what happens when you’ve got over 200 super engaged people online!), there were some interesting insights into what people are experiencing at that tricky middle point in their careers.

One particular item stood out and I thought you might find it interesting as well.

We did a poll during the session and asked people to identify their strongest and weakest capability from a list of five, each of which are important to develop and demonstrate, no matter where you work.

  1. Create new business – are you a “rainmaker?”
  2. See new opportunities – are you a strategic thinker?
  3. Drive change and get different results – can you lead and deliver change?
  4. Build and maintain a team – can you lead people and create high performing teams?
  5. Manage key stakeholders – can you build collaborative relationships and coalitions?

What’s your guess as to the area that people found most challenging?

Drum roll please…

The Capability That People Find Most Challenging

As it turns out, “Creating new business” was rated the most challenging for the group by far – only 10% listed it as their strongest capability, and 40% said it is their weakest one.

Coming from a highly commercial sector (investment banking), I found this fascinating. Even from an early career stage, it was clear that bringing in business, or making money for the firm (in the best possible way, of course) was the key success factor for all of us. And you were expected to at least show strong indications that you could deliver commercially if you wanted to progress.

As J.P. Morgan himself said back in the day, we were supposed to do, “First class business in a first class way.”

For most of my career, the primary way was to build great client relationships and expand the footprint of the firm, from which new business could flow. In my staff roles, it was about helping others to serve clients and win new business.

Since most people on the call were not investment bankers, upon reflection I can understand why this capability might be challenging for those in mid-career. Frankly, it was a challenge for those of us who made it a priority! As the saying goes, business doesn’t “grow on trees.”

The reality is that no matter where you work, creating new business is important to your advancement, including in non-profit, higher education and government sectors. You might need to frame the definition of new business differently, but the organization is still counting on you to create the “good stuff” that sustains it.

Think of creating new business as bringing in the blood supply that feeds the whole body, or figuring out how to bring water to the crops so they can thrive. You can bet that the organization will value you more if they know you can bring home the proverbial bacon.

If you learn to master this art of creating new business, you can pretty much write your own ticket.

3 Questions to Help You Create New Business

So, here are three questions to help you figure out a way to create new business and make a commercial contribution. Are you ready to activate your creative juices?

1.  What’s the lifeblood of your organization? What’s truly valued by the top decision-makers and how do they measure the “bottom line”?

For most organizations, it’s money. When I left investment banking and spent time working with non-profits and higher education, I was surprised to find that they were even more focused on money than the commercial enterprises.

That’s because without money, it’s hard to sustainably “do good.” Everyone needs to be able to support themselves – even Mother Theresa.

If you can figure out a way to bring new money into the organization in the service of good deeds and hopefully even great deeds, then you will be adding great value.

But money isn’t the only thing, and there are plenty of other dimensions that are important to every organization as well: for example, delivering on the promise to clients, building brand and reputation, creating employee and client success, providing the most innovative product or service. It’s up to you to figure out what matters.

Whatever dimension(s) you focus on, remember that the closer you stay to the “lifeblood” of the organization, the more impact you will be able to make.

2.  What are the strengths that you bring to your market and how can you use that to contribute to the “bottom line”?

The strengths that you, your group and your firm possess are the “assets” you have at your disposal. Think about how you can leverage these for the benefit of you, your group, your firm and your clients.

When you focus on your strengths – the things that you uniquely bring – you are able to make greater impact while enjoying the process as well.

So how could you apply these to generate new business? Here are a few categories of contribution to consider:

  • Revenue – how could you add to the “top line” of the organization?
  • Costs – how could you reduce costs, and therefore help the “bottom line” profitability?
  • Volume – is there a way to increase the amount of business you do, which can drive both revenue and cost?
  • Market share – are you in a lower margin business but one where you can substantially improve penetration and therefore the share you enjoy of the business?
  • Ideas/Content – how could you help the organization become recognized as a thought leader in the field?

3.  Who could you help or serve, whether existing customers/clients or new ones, and how can you do this more effectively?

When you help expand the footprint of clients and bring new relationships into the organization, it allows you to serve more people and expand your influence while also contributing to the bottom line.

Think about new markets, whether geographic or demographic. And new ways to serve your customers, such as digitally, or through affiliates and partners.

What do the latest trends and themes mean for the way you and your competitors can reach and help your end users?

In the end, it’s all about finding your unique competitive advantage. If you can find the blend between your strengths, the major trends and your clients’ needs, then you likely will have found a way to create new business.

So, what does it take to create new business in your sector and how could you go out and do that?

And what other advice or questions would you add?

This article appears originally on MayBusch.com

Samsung reveals a few facts about its round Gear smartwatch

Originally posted on AIVAnet:

Samsung hasn’t exactly been coy about its new Gear watch having a round screen — it confirmed as much in an SDK announcement the day the Apple Watch launched — but we’re finally getting a better sense of what it brings to the table. The company released development tools for its new Gear watches to a small pool of early adopters today, and with it came a few details about the so-called “Project Orbis” (or Gear A, if you prefer) watch. Before we go any further, though, it’s worth pointing out again that this particular Gear watch isn’t going to run Android Wear. It’s a Tizen device through and through, and what’s been unearthed today corroborates plenty of stuff we’ve heard before.

A rotating bezel for selecting apps and options? That’s a thing. Right off the cuff it seems like one of the more inspired interface decisions we’ve seen grace…

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HTC One M7 Google Play Edition finally receives Android 5.1

Originally posted on Pacosite's Blog:

The update to Android 5.1 Lollipop is finally arriving for the original HTC One Google Play Edition. This is happening more than a month after the same OS version rolled out to the newer HTC One (M8) GPE.

The update is making its way to One GPE devices out there over-the-air, which means it’s going to take at least a few days until it reaches every single phone. If you’re feeling impatient, you can hit the Source link below for a manual download of the OTA, but keep in mind that in order to flash it you’ll need to have S-OFF on the bootloader. If you don’t know what that is, perhaps it’s best to just wait for that notification to pop up.

The update file is around 280MB in size, and it takes the One GPE from Android 5.0.1 to Android 5.1 and build LMY47O.

You may have noticed…

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Google, Nestlé come together again to stamp YouTube’s name on 600,000 KitKat packages

Originally posted on AIVAnet:

Nestlegfgl_c30m9y80 [Converted]

The relationship between Google and Nestlé remains as strong as its ever been. Google released Android 4.4 in 2013 and applied the KitKat name, a product that Nestlé owns and licenses to Hershey in the United States. Now the two are back together to replace the KitKat name with YouTube?s on more than 600,000 packages in the United Kingdom. It is all part of Nestlé?s ?Celebreate the Breakers Break? campaign. Also, searching ?YouTube my break? on a mobile device will return results with the top four videos trending from around the world. Google and Nestlé want people to make the most of their unused time.

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Sidecar is starting a weed delivery service in San Francisco

Originally posted on AIVAnet:

Controversial FDA Report Says No Medical Benefit From Marijuana

Your next Sidecar ride could be carrying more than passengers and parcels. The ride-sharing company announced that it is teaming with local cannabis service Meadow to bring same-day weed deliveries to medical marijuana patients in San Francisco. The new service will reportedly fulfill orders through the Apothecarium dispensary. Package deliveries already constitute about 10 percent of Sidecar?s ride volume in San Francisco. However, carrying cannabis poses a number of unique challenges ? such as ensuring that the person taking delivery is the same person that placed the order.

?There are a lot of reasons we wanted to partner with Sidecar,? Meadow CEO David Hua told BuzzFeed. ?Mainly, they?re willing to work within necessary compliance regulations, both San Francisco law and California state laws. [And] they have a delivery network out there that?s already processing orders both on [the] delivery side and passenger side.? Sidecar isn?t saying how many of…

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The Ultimate Interface Is Your Brain

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note: Ramez Naam is the author of five books, including the Nexus trilogy of sci-fi novels.

The final frontier of the digital technology is integrating into your own brain. DARPA wants to go there. Scientists want to go there. Entrepreneurs want to go there. And increasingly, it looks like it’s possible. You’ve probably read bits and pieces about brain implants and prosthesis. Let me give you the big picture.

Arkady flicked the virtual layer back on. Lightning sparkled around the dancers on stage again, electricity flashed from the DJ booth, silver waves crashed onto the beach. A wind that wasn’t real blew against his neck. [Adapted from Crux, book 2 of the Nexus Trilogy.]

Neural implants could accomplish things no external interface could: Virtual and augmented reality with all five senses; augmentation of human memory, attention, and learning speed; even multi-sense telepathy – sharing what we…

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Facebook Starts Hosting Publishers’ “Instant Articles”

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

[tc_aol_on code=”518823507″]

[tc_dropcap]After months of rumors, Facebook today unveiled “Instant Articles”, a program that natively hosts publishers’ content in its app’s News Feed so users don’t have to click out and wait for websites to load. Instant Articles debuts today with rich-media stories from The New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic, and six other outlets that will be globally visible from Facebook’s iPhone app.[/tc_dropcap]

Assuaging publishers’ fears that Facebook would keep all the data, the social network will share analytics, and Instant Articles is compatible with audience measurement and attribution tools like comScore, Omniture, and Google Analytics. Ads can appear inside Instant Articles, with publishers keeping 100% of revenue if they sell them, and Facebook keeps its standard 30% if it sells the ads, as the Wall Street Journal previously reported.

Instant Articles won’t receive preferential treatment from Facebook’s News Feed sorting algorithm just because of their format…

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