Posts tagged need
5 SEO Tools You Need to Use BEFORE Publishing a YouTube Video
Therefore, performing some basic keyword, and also competitor research, may boost your video views and channel visibility. Here are 5 Keyword, Trend Research, and SEO tools and techniques that will come in very handy for video SEO, YouTube marketing, …
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Guest author Scott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Council.
Some people may think it’s ludicrous to try to break into an industry where you have no specific expertise. But lack of experience doesn’t necessarily mean failure, as long as you work smart and align with the right resources—and people.
Curious about how other founders think, I asked 12 entrepreneurs from the YEC to weigh in on the debate: How important is it that your co-founder or first few hires have a lot of experience in an industry where you don’t? Their best advice is below.
You need to hire someone in the space that you’re entering in the beginning. They should be able to tell you what’s going on in the industry, what events you should be going to and have a lot of contacts to be able to push your business to the next level. Pay attention to the leaders in the space on LinkedIn, see if they have recently left their job or reach out to them to see if they are interested in leaving their current job.
Learn From Scratch
Neither of us knew anything about the hair business when we got into it, and unlike many other industries, our company is probably better for it. We learned all we could by talking to those who ran successful multi-unit enterprises and even dove deep into what a franchisee would need to know and do to open a chain outlet.
But coming from different backgrounds (marketing and finance), we wanted to put our own spin on the business, and we did it mostly by questioning the assumptions many associate with hair salons. Why close Mondays? Why all the mystery pricing? Why does drama have to come with the territory?
Since we empower our employees to manage the quality part of the haircut experience, we use our time to put butts in chairs. We work much more on our business than we do in it.
Look For Domain Expertise
Domain expertise is a must for any co-founder or startup. Starting a company is easy, it is the middle and end parts that are hard.
As a startup, time is one of your most valuable assets. Every company faces unforeseen challenges and events—how you and your company respond to these events will make the difference between success or failure. If you don’t have mastery over your industry, you will find yourself spending undue time and energy (which you don’t have) getting up to speed trying to learn the industry.
If you want to learn about an industry, don’t waste your investors’ money and time trying to start a company in an industry you know nothing about, just go back to school. It will be cheaper and much less painful.
Experience Isn’t Always Necessary, But It’s A Plus
If you happen to have a co-founder who has experience in that industry, great—if you don’t, nothing to fret over. Make sure you make connections with people from that industry that you can gain guidance from, try to establish mentor-like relationships (without forcing it) and get as much advice as you can. You don’t want to waste years on the wrong path because you were misguided or spitballing for whatever worked.
Also, in hiring people outside of your niche, it’s best to find a connector between yourself and that new hire—someone who can vouch for that person. Find someone you know in that industry and ask, “Do you know anyone who’s looking for a new position? Anyone good?,” and try to go from there.
Look for Employees With Complementary Skills
Depending on the industry, there’s a minimum amount of subject matter competence one might need (tech, for example). But in general, I’d put my money on the entrepreneur who has the passion and smarts over the experience any day. That said, a smart entrepreneur in this situation should look to recruit others who bring a diverse array of skills to help the company sustain and succeed.
Having Industry Expertise Is Critical
I’m a co-founder or board member in nine different companies. I don’t invest in companies, I invest in co-founders. My background is online advertising. I was intrigued by the idea of a personal media brand and knew I needed to consistently build mine. I met Clint Evans, whose writing experience and background with media made him a great co-founder to help me reach my goals.
You must be a true connector to recruit outside your space. You can’t fake it here. Join local or even virtual groups of lateral thinkers. Mastermind groups are also a fantastic resource. You’re exposed to divergent thinking and ideas you’d never have thought of. Synergies occur and even if none of the group members have the expertise you seek, many times somebody in the group can refer you to the expert you need.
Intellectual Curiosity Is Key
At some point in your career, you were a novice in your respective industry. Over time, you came to learn all there is to know and you can certainly do that again. While it is advantageous to recruit a co-founder who has domain expertise, it isn’t necessary.
The most important thing is having enough intellectual curiosity to quickly understand most of the ins-and-outs of the industry, so you can at least navigate your way through and develop initial traction. Otherwise, you may be paralyzed and unable to get anything done. Moving forward, as you grow your business and begin recruiting talent, your best bet is to search online communities dedicated to this niche and submit postings to job boards catering to applicant pools filled with candidates that have the skills you are looking for.
Hire Someone Eager To Learn
It could certainly be an advantage, because knowledge is key when entering new products or markets, but I think it’s even more important to hire or partner with people who are open to learning. The knowledge you need is out there, but if you surround yourself with efficient people committed and willing to learn, you can do wonders. If they don’t have the knowledge, they’ll find a way to get it.
You Need Someone With Domain Expertise
It’s very important because success is often about diving deep into that industry—this can often be an advisor as well, but make sure there is someone. For hiring, have an outside consultant (hired or friend) who is an expert in the space help you with the interview process. We had a wonderful acquaintance who helped us interview developers to make sure they had the right experience, for example.
Experts Really Help For Raising Capital
If you’re starting a business outside of your domain expertise, you absolutely have to surround yourself with people who have experience in that area. Investors typically want to see domain expertise, so that’s important for raising capital.
Even more important, as you build a business, you need to have a story behind the company that every partner, employee, investor, media contact, etc. will want to know. Why this? Why you? It’s incredibly important that the story and answers to those questions are compelling. Otherwise, you’re starting at a disadvantage.
Be A Facilitator
If you don’t know much about the space, the only thing you can be is the facilitator: the person that knows how to build the right team. At a minimum, you have to have a vision for what the product has to be and know who you need to bring on board in order to make that happen. Otherwise, you’re just a poser.
It’s very important that you find some co-founders that know the space, but you have to at least understand the space and the product you’re trying to complete at a high level. It takes a lot of intuition. However, if you’d like to bring in people from outside your realm of expertise, you should invest a lot of time in understanding their world, going to their events, figuring out what makes them tick. You have to understand anybody’s position and beliefs before you can earn their respect.
Build A Team Smarter Than You
It is essential to hire employees that are extremely experienced in your business’ industry. My theory has always been that you should build a team that is smarter than you and can be independent of you. It is equally as important, as entrepreneurs, to recognize our own weaknesses and fill those lacking areas with staff who can compensate.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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To further boost the appeal of its TV streaming stick this holiday season, Google is aiming to take some of the irritation out of sharing control of Chromecast video with its new Guest Mode.
This is the culmination of the ultrasonic pairing efforts Google first unveiled last summer. With ultrasound-enabled Guest Mode, friends sitting in your living room can easily and gleefully fling videos from their phones to your flat screen without having to join your Wi-Fi network. No hunting down the password, and no dealing with alphanumeric strings of nonsense.
Well, at least for some folks. Like many tech innovations, the Chromecast guest mode is a little involved.
How Guest Mode Works
To start, you launch the Chromecast app on your mobile device, choose the TV you want to cast to, and then switch on the “Guest Mode” setting.
Turning on Guest Mode prompts the Chromecast stick itself to activate a special Wi-Fi beacon, one that tells your friends’ phones that a Cast-ready TV is available. Their phones will then sense your Chromecast (under “Nearby Devices”) when they hit the cast button—say, on a YouTube video.
This is the point where things get a little tricky. The Chromecast will first try to link up to a guest phone using inaudible sounds to transmit a four-digit PIN code, using the ultrasound technology Google announced at its Google I/O developers conference last June.
If the ultrasonic pairing doesn’t work for some reason, your guest can type in that four-digit PIN. Chromecast tries to make that easy; it will display the code on your TV screen in your Chromecast backdrop, and will also pop it up on your phone in the Chromecast app. Once your guests are all paired, you’re off watching those insanely cute animal videos.
To recap, you first turn it on in the Chromecast app. Friends find a video, choose your TV stick to cast it to, and it either starts working right away, or they punch in a 4-digit code. Beats digging up and typing in a long hexadecimal string of characters.
6 Things You Need To Know About Guest Mode
Google provided a bit more detail about the new feature:
- It’s opt-in: If you don’t want Guest Mode, no problem. Just don’t turn it on. It’s also easy to turn off.
- It’s Android-only: If you want Guest Mode, but you and your friends have iPhones, then you’ve got a problem: It only works for Android devices with Android 4.3 or higher.
- You still need Wi-Fi, but you’re the only one who does: Guests don’t need even to have Wi-Fi turned on. But to manage Chromecast’s settings through the mobile app, you and the TV stick must be on the same Wi-Fi network.
- The PIN resets: Chromecast randomly generates the 4-digit code. The PIN resets every 24 hours, or whenever the Chromecast reboots, whichever comes first.
- It doesn’t work with all apps: Guest Mode won’t work with apps that stream videos or music stored on a phone or tablet, even if they’re using Google Cast, the technology that powers Chromecast.
- Teens might hear buzzing: Some younger users may hear brief buzz during Guest Mode use. Ultrasonic technology uses high frequency sounds that are largely inaudible to humans, but some teens are able to pick up on sounds in that range. Google claims the buzzing should be brief and cause no discomfort.
Since Google first announced ultrasonic pairing, some users have asked me if the high-frequency ultrasounds will drive their pets nuts. Google hasn’t officially addressed this concern, but insiders tell me that animals will be fine.
However, the real test of new features always comes when the public gets their hands on them and reports back in. So we’ll keep our ears perked for any canine or feline discomfort, now that Guest Mode is live.
Lead photo screencapped from Google video; all other photos by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite
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Since then, the future of Node.js has been brought into question as Node contributors and clients alike debated which version of the project they ought to use from now on.
This debate is possible because open-source licenses give developers the ability to copy and modify all of the software code for a given project. Most of the time, open-source communities try to sort out disagreements and keep one standardize version of the code. When they can’t agree, a fork results, with two or more versions of the code base developing separately.
And the debate matters, because big companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Uber use Node for applications used by hundreds of millions of people. Developers at those companies will want to know which version of Node they can rely on.
Some open-source forks have made life difficult for developers. In this case, while the Node.js/IO.js fork is real, it hasn’t yet developed into the kind of contentious situation that will force developers to pick sides.
ReadWrite spoke to two big names in the Node.js community: Scott Hammond, CEO of Joyent, Node’s corporate steward, and Isaac Schlueter, the former Node project lead at Joyent who’s now CEO of NPM, maker of a Node package manager, and the second most prolific contributor to Node.
What we learned is that even if the fork has left users understandably confused, Node community leaders are on the same page on the biggest issues.
Here are some facts gleaned from the interviews that Node developers ought to know.
It Was A Surprise To Everyone
Previous to the November fork, there were tensions in the Node.js community. Earlier that month, we predicted there could be a schism. Since October, Node contributors had been using Node Forward, a community effort to improve the open source project, to air their grievances about Joyent’s stewardship.
According to Schlueter, six of the most high-ranking Node contributors had hoped to create a fork of Node named Node Forward, which would be a “collaborative fork,” a supplement to the work going on at Node.js. However, the fork was quickly made private after Hammond told the contributors there would be a legal issue if they used the Node name, on which Joyent holds the trademark.
Issues over the trademark were slowing down work, so in the last week of November, Fedor Indutny, one of the top contributors, decided to give it a different name, IO.js, and continue with his work. Since it was Thanksgiving break in America, the other contributors didn’t see the new fork had become public until Hacker News picked it up. When that happened, even Indutny was surprised by the repercussions of the fork.
“The guy is allergic to politics,” Schlueter said. “When somebody pinged Fedor to tell him the fork was on Hacker News, he was like, ‘Oh, right, that’s what happens when you do something like this.’ He was surprised it was such a big deal.”
Hammond said that he doesn’t believe IO.js was intended as a bargaining chip for negotiations with Joyent about existing tensions.
“This was not premeditated, it was not some political coup,” he said. “It was a unilateral action by one individual to do some experiments with code.”
IO.js Wasn’t The First Name Choice
Schlueter noted sardonically that if they had kept the Node Forward name instead of choosing something unique, it would have been obvious that it was a collaborative fork. With the new name, however, even Joyent leaders were taken aback. Schlueter said that when the newly formed Node.js advisory board met after the fork, he fielded concern from Hammond.
“Scott was concerned and genuinely wanted to know, ‘Hey what is this? Are you giving up on this project?’” Schlueter said. “I reiterated that it is exactly the same as Node Forward, only we couldn’t use the name.”
Hammond said all the major IO.js contributors were invited to the advisory meeting, and after it was over, he felt that everyone was on the same page again.
“[Indutny] was just anxious to run some experiments with really early code,” said Hammond. “Fedor’s actions were interesting, but I think everybody has come back together unanimously that we’re still very committed.”
Interestingly, Ryan Dahl, the original creator of Node.js, wanted to call it IO.js. So Indutny’s name is a bit of a throwback to the project’s roots.
The Kernel Is Just A Small Part Of Node
It’s easy to see why people would assume a fork like IO.js is meant to replace Node.js. Yet that’s not the intent, according to Schlueter. In the Node community, there are two competing motivations that cause tension in the Node.js project that could be relieved by having two different yet collaborative forks.
“We have this really interesting structure with Node: a really small kernel that enables a really huge ecosystem,” said Schlueter. “Most people who use Node don’t know much about the core runtime is. They use Express.js or Grunt—services built on Node and distributed with NPM. What’s interesting about that is that it makes Node fragile—too drastic a change will make the entire ecosystem fall apart.”
Users need a consistent and stable Node.js in order for their dependencies to work. As a result, Node contributors complain that development is extremely slow and overly cautious. Since the Node kernel, which top contributors work on, is divorced from most people’s Node implementations, IO.js is supposed to be a place where contributors can work more quickly on the kernel and get things done without having to tiptoe over customer needs.
Because IO.js popped up in an unexpected manner, this wasn’t obvious to members of the Node community. to the aforementioned tensions in the Node community, news of IO.js wasn’t completely unwelcome in the community, even if nobody knew why the fork had occurred.
“Basically whatever [a community member’s] personal beef was, they decided to hang it on IO.js,” said Schlueter. “We didn’t have our stuff together to actually tell them what the motivations were.”
Schlueter wrote a blog post as a first step to correcting those misapprehensions.
Node’s Problem Is Communication, Not Collaboration
In short, Node.js has a communication problem. Node Forward—now IO.js—was never meant to be separate from or incompatible with Node.
Since Schlueter is a former Joyent employee and the former leader of the Node.js project, he said he sympathizes with Hammond, who joined the company as CEO this summer. He believes Node.js and IO.js will merge again—but that Joyent has to be on board with the idea that Node can no longer be controlled by any one single interest.
“There’s this interesting transition that happens with an open source project where it goes from just one person, to needing some kind of organization heading it, to truly being owned by the community,” said Schlueter. “Node is shifting from step two to three this year. It can be difficult for a coorporation to see the benefit of handing control to over to a community, but my hope is that Joyent is coming around to this.”
Hammond had similar sentiments about Node’s shift. Since 2009, the open source project has grown quickly. Today it has thousands of users, clients, and contributing developers.
“Node is a living project and it will continue to grow and evolve and mature,” said Hammond. “It blew past middle school without any structure to deal with these issues, so it’s not surprising there was discontent. Every project goes through growing pains.”
Hammond said that he still has trust in the Node community:
“Everyone wants a community-driven project, an environment with passionate, engaged software developers who can contribute to code and we have that. We can heal this fork.”
Photo by zeevveez
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5 SEO Trends You Need to Consider for 2015
I hope you're not buying into the latest hype that “Search Engine Optimization is dead,” and “social is the new search.” SEO is far from dead. In reality, SEO is evolving into an amalgamation of tried-and-true SEO techniques, content marketing, and …
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Your relational database is great. Really, it is. But it’s not going to help you with your Internet of Things project. Really, it isn’t.
At least, not according to a study by Machina Research, which looks at the management of data in the coming network of billions of smart devices. It finds that while relational databases will play a role for “processing structured, highly uniform data sets,” NoSQL databases are critical for the far bigger task of “managing more heterogeneous data generated by millions and millions of sensors, devices and gateways.”
If you’re a developer, in other words, you need to add a NoSQL database or two to your arsenal.
Why You Need NoSQL
Despite the common label, so-called “NoSQL” databases are more different than similar. Even so, in general NoSQL databases don’t enforce a strict schema and hence allow for highly flexible data modeling, not to mention dramatically better scalability than even the most hefty of relational database management systems (RDBMSes).
Both aspects are critical for Internet of Things applications, as Machina’s report makes clear. While RDBMSes will continue to play a part, the more disruptive aspect of the Internet of Things is all NoSQL:
The traditional relational database management systems will continue to have a role in the Internet of Things when processing structured, highly uniform data sets, generated from a vast number of enterprise IT systems and where this data is managed in a relatively isolated manner. When it comes to managing more heterogeneous data generated by millions and millions of sensors, devices and gateways, each with their own data structures and potentially becoming connected and integrated over the course of many years, databases will require new levels of flexibility, agility and scalability. In this environment, NoSQL databases are proving their value.
For the past 30 years enterprise data has been fairly predictable. Companies would store customer data in the rows and columns of a customer-relationship management system. Or they might track components for the widgets they manufacture and sell in the tables of their enterprise resource-planning system.
See also: What’s Holding Up The Internet Of Things
But data in the Internet of Things is different because it is almost by definition not completely known in advance. The market is moving so fast that its systems must be flexible, allowing the introduction of new sensors/devices and the data they emit:
Data generated from an exponentially growing number of diverse sensors, devices, applications, and things will be accompanied by a growing diversity in the structure and scale of that data—and more and more sources of additional data ranging from data sourced from corporate systems to crowdsourced data will need to be combined with this data.
But it’s not merely a matter of heterogenous, semi-structured data that creates the need for NoSQL. According to DataStax CTO Jonathan Ellis, “Relational databases like Oracle are great for dealing with data from a single company or department, but cannot provide the scale or availability that a database designed for the cloud like [NoSQL] Cassandra can.”
Raising A New Generation On NoSQL
Scale obviously matters in the Internet of Things. No article on the subject is complete without some mention of “50 billion devices” or some other heady forecast.
But the more interesting number, for me, is a matter of millions. As device counts balloon, the ranks of NoSQL-savvy developers must swell to accommodate the increasing demand for applications. According to VisionMobile estimates, there are just 300,000 Internet-of-Things developers today, but that number will explode by 2020:
Of the various things holding back IoT’s potential, including a lack of standards and connectivity issues, one of the biggest is finding enough NoSQL-savvy developers. Though 451 Research tracks tens of thousands of developers listing NoSQL on their LinkedIn profiles, the market needs hundreds of thousands.
Of course, not all Internet-of-Things data is necessarily NoSQL-ready, leaving plenty of room for developers versed in SQL syntax. For example, Revolv, a smart-home platform company acquired by Nest, turned from MongoDB (A NoSQL database and company for which I used to work) to DynamoDB (NoSQL) and ultimately to Postgres (RDMBS) because its “data is relational” in nature, according to Matt Butcher, a Revolv developer.
In that case, it would be silly to dabble in a non-relational database when the data is inherently relational.
Still, Butcher goes on to note that he’s “more inclined to choose the tool that naturally matches a data model. (This means, of course, that I do the data model before selecting the database.)”
Square Peg, Round Hole
And therein lies the problem that will likely drive more developers to eschew their comfortable RDBMS rut and try NoSQL for Internet of Things applications.
As the Machina report summarizes, “Responding to the Internet of Things with relational database management systems is an option but presents a limiting factor which in time will become a significant obstacle to realization of the full opportunities available from all types of data.”
Already, the RDBMS world is try to refashion itself for the Internet of Things world, with companies like DeepDB offering alternative storage engines for MySQL or other RDBMSes because “Traditional MySQL databases hit performance walls long before they are able to scale to meet this new demand.”
But ultimately the Internet of Things is more than a matter of scale. Its core challenge involves flexible data modeling, both for the devices and services available today and those that will be coming tomorrow. It is this need for flexibility that most challenges developers, and demands they embrace NoSQL.
Lead image of an automated home courtesy of Sony
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Search Engine Land
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Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools available to restaurant marketers today. It has the ability to dramatically increase website traffic, brand awareness, and sales. Unfortunately, restaurant marketers …
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What Mic Do I Need For a Professional Podcast? 10 of The Best Podcasting Microphones by @albertcostill
One of the most important decisions that you’ll make as a podcaster is the microphone that you’ll be using. After all, you want your podcast to come across to listeners as a credible and professional – which you can’t accomplish if you’re using a subpar microphone. Your podcast needs a professional sound. Yes, listeners know! That’s not to say that cheaper options, such as that generic headset microphone you’ve used for Skype, can’t handle the job if you’re in a pitch, it just means that you get what you pay for. So, what mics should you be using if you […]
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Business 2 Community
Will You Need to Change Your SEO Strategy for the “Internet Of Things"?
Business 2 Community
Will You Need to Change Your SEO Strategy for the “Internet Of Things? image From Google Glass to smartwatches, I'm awed and excited by all the new devices that provide access to information on the go. Welcome to the “Internet of Things.” In our push …
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