Posts tagged Next

8 Ways to Prepare for Your Startup’s Next Board Meeting

Board meetings can be incredibly stressful, but you can alleviate some of that stress by preparing ahead, familiarizing yourself with key talking points and of course, anticipating important questions about your company’s progress.

Since it’s an activity we all have to face at some point, I asked 8 founders from YEC about the most important thing they do to prepare for upcoming board meetings:

Test Your Equipment

A lot of people know to do your homework on the guests you have attending the meeting and to prepare any and all documents, but you should also think about tech snags. I’ve often waited for intercoms to work, projectors to fire up, etc.

Just taking 10 minutes before a meeting to test things out could save your entire company! You want to seem as polished and prepared as possible, so there should be no detail, no matter how big or small, that works against you in this situation. Don’t assume that you’ve “got this” even though you’ve done it before; arrive early and get prepared.

Rob Fulton, Exponential Black

Make Board Preparation Part of Ongoing Activities

After hearing someone remark that they spent three days preparing for a board presentation but ran out of time in the meeting, I completely changed my approach to preparation. The company just lost three entire days of productivity from one guy, and probably weeks of productivity across the organization for each quarterly meeting.

Instead, change your process. The board presentation should be one output or use of information, but others in the company should get value from the work done. Some things are board only (e.g. key talent reviews), but most things—from forecasts to sales updates—can be used at all levels of the organization.

—JT Allen, myFootpath

Prepare Discussion Items Regarding Company Strategy

While you certainly need to be prepared to answer all questions—your board members will be presenting the status of your company—you should also be ready with high level strategic questions you want to put forward for discussion. This is your chance to get advice and input from a room full of very experienced individuals who are highly invested in seeing your company succeed.

Not only will their advice be useful, but you can also make sure that your vision remains aligned with your investors, and that their expectations have not diverged from what is practicable.

Peter Minton, Minton Law Group

Prepare With Your Team

Make sure that the entire company is aligned and everyone knows what’s going on. We run a series of mock board meetings with the management team to expose any potential weaknesses in the business or refine answers that might need additional clarity.

Not only is this communication extremely beneficial to the management team, but it helps us better maintain focus. When it comes time for the board meeting, we take a deep dive with various parts of the business. It’s amazing how in sync everyone has consecutively been.

George Bousis, Raise Marketplace

Review the Minutes From Previous Meetings

Before board meetings, I make sure to review the minutes and presentation from the previous meeting. It’s important each time to showcase the progress that your company is making toward the business’s milestones, and being able to quantify the progress you’ve made since the previous meeting is a key part of showing that trajectory and traction.

Reading through the previous meeting minutes also ensures that you will be reminded of any follow-up materials or items you may have needed to prepare or follow up on, too.

Doreen Bloch, Poshly

Send Materials in Advance

Have an agenda and communicate it in advance. Pull your numbers together into a professional and easy to read format (recent performance, milestones achieved, upcoming hurdles) and send them out in advance. Use the meeting to discuss financial and strategic topics, as well as as an opportunity to update investors on recent wins.

David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

Know Your Numbers

Know your numbers cold. When presenting to the board you will be peppered with all sorts of questions. If you have your facts and numbers straight, and are able to deliver on command, all should be well.

Joseph DiTomaso, AllTheRooms

Identify your Biggest Challenges

Board meetings are a place to step away from daily operations at your company and think strategically. They’re an opportunity to decide the long-term direction of the company and what you need to get there. Identify your biggest challenges before the meeting, and use your board to ask for advice and resources. By aligning your needs regarding funding and execution, you’ll make your life much easier down the road. 

Pablo Villalba, 8fit

Photo by Simon Blackley

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Penguin – What Happens Next? 10 Data-Led Predictions

What will the latest update of Penguin bring and how can webmasters prepare?

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

Microsoft Chief Nadella Will Be Back For More Next Year At Women’s Tech Conference

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told thousands of women at the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women In Computing that people should rely on the corporate system and karma for raises and promotions, the audience was understandably confused. 

See also: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella To Women: Don’t Ask For A Raise, Trust Karma

Nadella now finds himself in hot water over the remarks, but despite the criticisms, he is planning to attend the conference for at least the next four years. After yesterday’s keynote and subsequent outpouring of criticism, Maria Klawe—president of Harvey Mudd College, Microsoft board member and Nadella’s on-stage interviewer—asked him if he would return. He said yes.

“It has changed him, he’s learned something,” Klawe said in an interview. “He’s going to keep on learning. He will be much more knowledgable about women’s issues by the time he comes back here next year.”

After The Firestorm

Nadella’s statements sparked a firestorm of criticism, considering his advice was contradictory to what women have been told for years—if you want to move forward in your career, you need to be assertive and ask for what you want. The gender pay gap still exists, and on average, women earn only 78% percent of what men do.

See also: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Eats Humble Pie Over Remarks To Women

Shortly after we published a story on the incident, Nadella issued a tweet saying his remarks were “inarticulate,” and followed up with a statement to employees that evening in which he described his earlier remarks as “completely wrong.” Though according to one former Microsoft employee, Nadella’s advice is apparently the standard response at Microsoft to anyone, male or female, who asks for a higher salary. 

At Microsoft, that strategy might work. But for the vast majority of women in technology, it was spectacularly bad advice. 

Thankfully Klawe was quick to disagree during Nadella’s presentation. She provided the audience with helpful advice—know how much you deserve to be paid, and if you’re nervous about asking for a raise, practice with people you trust first. 

See also: Microsoft CEO Explains Why He Said Women Shouldn’t Ask For Raises

“I thought it was important to say I disagreed,” Klawe said. “It was important to very explicitly point out that even someone who is thought of to be as successful as I am is uncomfortable doing it.”

After an experience like Nadella’s, some technology leaders would be tempted to avoid conferences like this one. But Nadella, who spoke sincerely on Thursday about improving the gender balance and the importance of bringing more women into the technical workforce, will step into the breach once more.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t overcompensate by preparing his script well in advance and sticking to it no matter what.

Lead photo by The Anita Borg Institute, Steve Maller Photography

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Google: Penguin Refresh May Come As Early As Next Week

Google’s Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst and Search Quality Engineer, said at Search Marketing Expo East that Google may be launching a Penguin algorithm refresh sometime next week. This is not just a refresh, but a large re-write of the algorithm that took Google almost a full year to…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Research The “Big 3″ Before You Write Your Next Blog Post by @DylanThomasAU

Despite the picture, I’m not talking about Allies of World War II. Nor am I talking about anything to do with the Heat or Celtics. I’m talking about a Big 3 that is way more common for most bloggers or writers. Let’s put it in context. Here’s what used to be my method for writing a blog post: Come up with an idea (hardest part) or find a nice keyword niche to target Furiously write the first draft Proofread, laugh at spelling errors, edit, and get confused over what point I was trying to make in paragraph three Cull and cut […]

The post Research The “Big 3″ Before You Write Your Next Blog Post by @DylanThomasAU appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Last Call – SMX East Starts Next Tuesday in NYC; All Access Conference and Free Expo+ Passes Available

Search Engine Land’s – SMX East conference begins next Tuesday in New York City. Register now to reserve your spot! The search marketing landscape changes almost daily, but your goals don’t. You strive to increase traffic, improve conversions and maximize your ROI. Invest in attending…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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SMX East Starts Next Tuesday – Here’s How to Attend

Search Engine Land’s – SMX East kicks off next Tuesday – September 30 – in New York City. With over 60 educational sessions and keynotes, networking activities and presentations from leading providers, you’ll get the SEO, SEM and internet marketing tactics and solutions you need…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Microsoft Will Show Us The Next Version Of Windows In Two Weeks

The word is official: Microsoft will host an event in San Francisco on September 30 with news on “what’s next for Windows”—a presentation all but certain to involve a good look at the long-awaited replacement for Windows 8, currently codenamed “Threshold.”

Microsoft likewise appears likely to release a beta version of the operating system either at the event or shortly thereafter. That “technical preview” of Threshold will let developers and big organizations start planning for the major changes in the operating system. It’s not yet clear whether the technical preview will be available to the general public or only to registered developers.

See also: A Replacement For Windows 8 May Be Nearing The “Threshold”

The event appears to be aimed primarily at large “enterprise” organizations; Microsoft’s invitation card reads, “Join us to hear about what’s next for Windows and the enterprise.” That focus, however, may have more to do with the fact that the Windows PC is, once again, primarily a business tool now that tablets and phones have largely obviated the need to boot up a PC to play games or keep up with email and social networks at home.

Desktop, Desktop, Desktop

What that means is that Microsoft will most likely focus on changes to the traditional Windows “desktop” mode in Threshold. Windows 8, for instance, relegated the desktop to an afterthought in favor of the touch-enabled “Metro” mode, characterized by tiles in bright primary colors. The move alienated many Windows users, who have only been somewhat mollified by Microsoft’s incremental efforts to restore features to the Windows 8 desktop.

The Threshold desktop will likely return in a front-and-center role for PC users. Like the latest version of Windows 8, Threshold will default to different modes depending on the device—for instance, booting to Metro mode on a tablet and to the desktop on a laptop or desktop.

Leaked screenshots and videos suggest that the Threshold desktop will revive the Start menu, which Windows 8 dispensed with entirely, albeit in a colorful design that incorporates Metro-like tiles. The new Windows will also apparently let users create multiple desktops—say, to group programs and files needed for specific tasks—and will feature a notification center similar to those in smartphones, tablets and Mac OS X.

It’ll also apparently be possible to run tablet-style Metro apps in windows on the desktop; in Windows 8, those apps insist on taking over the entire screen. There’s also a possibility that Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana will make an appearance.

See also: How Microsoft’s Cortana Stacks Up Against Siri And Google Now

We’ll have full coverage on September 30; join us then to see which features make the cut in Threshold and how soon you’ll be able to get your hands on it.

Lead photo by Joe deSousa

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6 Ways to Use Internal Links (The Next Key SEO Tactic?) – Search Engine People (blog)

6 Ways to Use Internal Links (The Next Key SEO Tactic?)
Search Engine People (blog)
As Google clamps down on link building techniques and SEO shifts towards content marketing, another interesting phenomenon is happening: on-site optimisation has become a lot more important. It has always been essential though – and nothing is more …

View full post on SEO – Google News

Here’s An Insider View Of The Next Operating System For The Cloud

The future of enterprise computing looks a lot like a cloud, and that cloud will increasingly run datacenter-level operating systems. Apache Mesos, born at UC Berkeley and embraced by Twitter, eBay and Airbnb, is coming soon to an enterprise near you.

Christos Kozyrakis, an associate professor at Stanford, is a rock star in academia research around datacenter scaling, security and quality of service. We’re talking Google scale. His research drew a lot of attention earlier this year, including a feature in the New York Times. So a lot of heads turned on Wednesday when he jumped from the Farm to the San Francisco-based startup Mesosphere.

See also: How To Make Data Services Scale Like Google

I wrote about Mesosphere earlier this summer after it closed a $10 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Mesosphere is a major contributor to Apache Mesos. The conceit is that Mesos is like the open source kernel of an enterprise-class scaleout platform that Mesosphere is building; one that functions much like an operating system for the modern datacenter. 

I caught up with Christos to ask about his plans at Mesosphere.

ReadWriteYou’ve worked closely with a number of cool cloud startups as well as giants like Google. Surely you’ve been wooed by some of them. Why did you finally go to Mesosphere?

Christos Kozyrakis: Large-scale datacenters running private or public cloud services are the future of enterprise computing. This creates the need for an operating system that operates at the level of the datacenter, so that developers and operations teams can largely forget about individual servers. 

Source: Mesosphere

Mesosphere is building this datacenter operating system. It’s a great opportunity for any systems researcher..

RW: How does your research fit into the Apache Mesos project and where Mesosphere is going?

CK: My research over the past seven years has focused more and more on management and scheduling algorithms that make datacenters faster, greener, and cheaper. Integrating these algorithms in Mesos is a great way to get them widely deployed and find the next set of opportunities for further advances.

See also: How And Why Google Is Open-Sourcing Its Data Centers

RWYour Quasar scheduling algorithm seems to have many parallels to what Mesosphere is doing with Mesos and what Google does with Borg/Omega/Kubernetes.

CK: There is great synergy. Mesos and Omega are datacenter operating systems that can benefit from a scheduler like Quasar that brings a big data approach to large-scale resource management. Kubernetes defines APIs that makes it easy to write service-based applications. I am excited to see the benefits from coupling these technologies.

RW: It’s the hot topic on cloud panels now, containers vs VMs. Some argue that VMs solved a problem a decade ago in datacenters, especially around server consolidation, but containers can do even more for modern datacenters being built today.

CK: Containers and VMs each have advantages for application deployment mechanisms, and one of the great things about Mesos is that it supports both. The issues I am most excited about – scaling applications to thousands of servers, raising utilization in datacenters, security and reliability at scale – can be brought to container- and VM-based environments using Mesos. Customers can make choices based on their specific use cases.

Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock

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