Archive for August, 2016

Wozniak and Kawasaki Set to Keynote at NextCon16 – Look for ‘Ah-Ha Moments’

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
Steve Wozniak - NextCon speaker

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, will keynote at NextCon16 in November

If you attend just one business conference before the end of 2016, put NextCon at the top of your shortlist.

You’ll get to see high-octane speakers like Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, and tech superstar Guy Kawasaki — not to mention executives from LinkedIn and Google.

NextCon16 is a conference for entrepreneurs, small business owners, tech professionals and more.  It’s all about building a business, managing it well, marketing it and, of course, profiting from it.

NextCon, which takes place November 14-16, 2016, is being hosted by Nextiva, a cloud-based unified communications service.

Nextiva itself has grown rapidly over the past few years. So the company executives understand well the challenges of growth.  That experience is part of what motivated this conference.

According to Yaniv Masjedi, Nextiva vice-president of marketing, who spoke with Small Business Trends in a telephone interview, the company didn’t want it to be the typical brand conference focused on products and services.

Instead, Nextiva executives wanted the attention to be on helping all businesses grow and prosper — regardless of whether they are Nextiva customers.

By holding the conference in Arizona, Nextiva also wants to spotlight the thriving tech and business scene there. As Masjedi says, Arizona’s business environment has been instrumental in Nextiva’s own growth.

NextCon keynote speaker lineup

‘Ah-ha’ Moments

Nextiva promises that attendees will experience some genuine “ah-ha” moments. In other words, go with the idea of getting breakthrough ideas.  Look for Ah-ha opportunities like these:

1. Professional Growth Insights

One ah-ha moment opportunity will likely occur on day one. It consists of a “fireside chat” with Darin Brown, CTO of Angie’s List; Neill Feather, president of Sitelock; and Carol Roth, TV host and CNBC contributor.

These entrepreneurs and business leaders will share how they overcame challenges and drove growth.

2. Real-world Marketing That Works

Speakers get down to brass tacks on day two. You’ll hear real-world advice about paid search, brand building, SEO, social media, customer service and more. Other topics include raising capital, women in business, sales and data analytics.

3. Real Life Business Success Stories

Day three is where local business owners talk candidly about how they started and grew their businesses.

Another “bonus” ah-ha moment will likely occur when Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak takes the stage for his keynote.

According to Masjedi, Wozniak will share what it took to create Apple’s culture of innovation, and what other businesses can do to emulate it.

NextCon16 — an ‘Everyone’ Conference

NextCon16 is an “everyone” conference. It’s designed for anyone to get value regardless of role, industry or company size. Students are welcome, too, said Masjedi.

At $499, the price is right for small business, particularly considering NextCon16 spans three full days. Plus, it’s being held in Scottsdale, Arizona, which, in November should be pleasant  just as the weather starts to turn bad elsewhere.

Most sessions will be non-product specific.

“There are tracks for Nextiva partners and customers but that’s not the goal,” Masjedi said. “The bulk of the sessions will apply to any business professional.”

Sessions are divided into four tracks:  building, managing, promoting and profiting in business.

Co-hosted along with the event will be the Rule Breaker Awards ceremony.

NextCon16 takes place at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 14-16, 2016. Learn more at:


Steve Wozniak image credit: Nichollas Harrison [GFDL CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

This article, “Wozniak and Kawasaki Set to Keynote at NextCon16 – Look for ‘Ah-Ha Moments’” was first published on Small Business Trends


Twitter Will Pay You to Post Video, Up to 70 Percent of Ad Revenue Going to Creators (Watch)

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Twitter is going to start splitting ad revenue with content creators who post videos on its platform. The company hopes that this move will make it more competitive with other social platforms like Facebook and YouTube. And actually, Twitter is giving about 70 percent of ad revenue to content creators, making it an even better deal than YouTube.

However, YouTube is already a more established platform for those looking to raise some money through their content. So influencers and content creators already know they can make money there, whereas Twitter could be seen as more of a risk at this point.

Even so, there’s no rule stating that everyone has to choose only one platform for their online videos. And a lot of influencers and online content creators already use more than one social platform to reach their audience.

So Twitter doesn’t have to convince people to leave YouTube or any other platform. It just has to convince them to use Twitter in addition to those platforms.

The Takeaway on Financial Incentives

Small content creators who are already producing video for YouTube may see this an additional opportunity for revenue. All they need to do is post video they are already sharing on other platforms on Twitter as well. Twitter’s strategy could also inspire small businesses. Giving your community financial incentives to engage can often boost the visibility of your brand. Look for ways to reward members of your community for visiting your website or sharing your social media posts. You may be surprised by the results.

Image: Newsy/Twitter

This article, “Twitter Will Pay You to Post Video, Up to 70 Percent of Ad Revenue Going to Creators (Watch)” was first published on Small Business Trends


EDF board members sue to block Hinkley

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Five directors, who voted against going ahead, say CEO withheld information on delay

‘Massive demand’ greets Saudi bond sale

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Intense interest in first international debt issuance drives planning beyond $15bn October auction

Will New Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch Be Business Friendly?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Will New Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch Be Business Friendly?

The smartwatch market is picking up traction as manufacturers reassess the design and functionality of their first generation watches with much better versions. Samsung (KRX:005930) is one of the companies that has dramatically improved from the first Gear S to the Gear S2, which has placed some great expectation for the upcoming Gear S3 to be unveiled this week. When the company made a not so subtle hint a watch will be unveiled on the invitations it sent for the 2016 IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany, the speculation started in full earnest.

If history does set a precedent, then the fact Samsung announced the Gear S2 at last year’s IFA show may be a good enough reason it will do so again this year. So what will the Gear S3 have, and will it be able to compete with the Apple Watch 2, which will be unveiled on September 7 along with the new iPhone 7.

Gear S3

The S2 was a success by all accounts, with many reviewers labeling it the best smartwatch in the market. And the company will be keeping two of the physical features that went well with most people on the S3: the round form factor and rotating bezel.

The watch will come in three different versions: the Classic, Explorer and Frontier. As reported by Sammobile, the Explorer and Frontier have been designed for users with an active life style. They will feature an altimeter, a barometer, a speedometer as well as an integrated GPS. As for the Classic, there isn’t much information about any new features it will have.

With such limited information, there is not much that can be said about the potential application for business users with the the Gear S3. However, if it builds on the S2, users will be able to view SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email and IM. They will also be able to use voice with natural language commands for dictation, memo and to dial numbers. Samsung Pay should also be available to make payments on the go without taking out your wallet or your smartphone.

Gear S3 and Apple Watch 2

The comparison between the Gear S3 and Apple Watch 2 has already begun, even without the specs for the watches readily available. The fact they will be released so close to each other only adds fuel to the fire.

As with the smartphones these companies make, there are diehard fans of both brands and this extends to the watches. The form factor is still a big issue for many users, with a round watch now becoming the preferred shape by most consumers and manufacturers. But having a square design gives those who like the shape only Apple as an option.

The Bluetooth + 3G/4G options on the Gear S2, which should be available on the S3, built-in speaker for standalone phone calls, and GPS navigation are all features the Samsung excels in.

According to Macworld, the new Apple Watch may have a front-facing camera, Micro LED display, built-in GPS. It will be thinner with better battery life, Cortex-A32 processor, new health sensors, and less reliance on the iPhone. The iOS will also be upgraded, which will make it much easier to integrate with other Apple products and new generation apps.

If all these features become part of the Apple Watch 2, there is no doubt it will continue to hold the number one position in the smartwatch segment, but this remains to be seen.

The Future of Smartwatches

The smartwatch market is still being figured out by the players in the segment, and the recent International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker report will do very little to make it easier. According to IDC, the market saw a year-over-year decline of 32 percent, with only 3.5 million units sold in Q2 of 2016. The leader in the segment is still the Apple Watch, selling 1.6 million units, followed by Samsung with 0.6M, Lenovo with 0.3M, LG with 0.1M, Garmin with 0.1M, and all other brands selling 0.6M units.

A decline of one third is substantial, which begs the question, are smartwatches going to always be a niche product that will never see mass adoption? Either way, are the added productivity features they off attractive to small business owners and entrepreneurs?

Samsung Gear S2 Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Will New Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch Be Business Friendly?” was first published on Small Business Trends


Tepco: have life

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

The worst may be over for the Japanese power group

Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff Impeached

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

The Senate of Brazil has voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, local and world media report.

A majority of 61, out of 81, senators have backed the move.

Michel Temer is now confirmed as the country’s new President.

The Senate’s move to strip Rousseff of her presidency put an end of the 13-year rule of her Workers’ Party. 

She maintains the charges against her – of using public funds unsanctioned before reelection – are only political. 



New FAA Rules for Commercial Drone Use Now In Effect: Here’s What You Need to Know

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

New FAA Regulations for Drones Used Commercially are Now In Effect: Here’s What You Need to Know

Heads up: if you are looking to fly a drone for business purposes, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put into effect new rules for commercial drone use.

The announcement came Monday, Aug. 29 at a press conference held by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx. Now you can legally use drones for business purposes, whether that’s aerial photography or videography, scientific research, real estate inspection, surveying of land or other uses. However, clearly some envisioned uses won’t be possible given the current guidelines.

“The United States has been a pioneer in aviation since the Wright Brothers first took to the skies more than 100 years ago. Today we’ve reached another significant milestone. With the small UAS [Unmanned Aircraft Systems] rule now in effect, the commercial drone industry is cleared for takeoff,” said President and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the industry trade group, Brian Wynne in an official release. Mr. Wynne was also present at the press conference announcing the implementation of the new FAA rules that were first made public back in June 2016.

The New FAA Regulations for Drones Used Commercially

According to the FAA’s new rules, formally known as Part 107 (PDF), which govern commercial flights of small unmanned aircraft, all drones being used for business purposes in the U.S. must be registered with the FAA and weigh up to 55 pounds (25 kilograms).

The drones must be operated during daylight hours only, 30 minutes before sunrise or 30 minutes after sunset local time. And the unmanned aircraft must remain within the visual line-of-sight (VLOS) of the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS. Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the visual observer, FAA states.

Other Part 107 regulations that must be adhered when operating a commercial drone include:

  • Flying at a maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if higher than 400 feet, remain within 400 feet of a structure.
  • Flying at a maximum ground speed of 100 mph (87 knots).
  • Avoiding flying over any persons not directly participating in the operation, or under a covered structure or inside a covered stationary vehicle.
  • Yielding the right of way to other aircraft, like planes and helicopters
  • No person may act as a remote pilot in command for more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.
  • No carriage of hazardous materials.
  • External load operations are allowed if the object being carried by the unmanned aircraft is securely attached and does not adversely affect the flight characteristics or control-ability of the aircraft.

Other rules would forbid a single remote pilot operating multiple drones at once, the use of drones for the carrying of hazardous materials and the use of drones to carry any load that is not securely attached or adversely affects the controllability or “flight aspects” of the vehicle. (This last is something to think about before strapping a couple of pizzas on your drone and sending it on deliveries, although there may be other restrictions that would also negate such a use.)

If your proposed operation doesn’t quite comply with Part 107 regulations, you may apply for a waiver of some restrictions but you’ll have to prove the proposed flight will be conducted safely under a waiver.

Training and Certification of Remote Pilots

The FAA adds that the person operating a small unmanned aircraft must either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of a person who does hold a remote pilot certificate.

To qualify for a remote pilot certificate, the FAA says you must be at least 16 years old and demonstrate aeronautical knowledge by either:

  1. Passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center; or
  2. Hold a part 61 pilot certificate other than student pilot, complete a flight review within the previous 24 months, and complete a small UAS online training course provided by the FAA.

What these Regulations Mean for Small Businesses

Part 107 rules at the moment would seem to make drones usable for commercial photography, videography, very localized transport and similar simpler tasks, but certainly not long-range delivery as envisioned by companies like eCommerce giant Amazon. Amazon envisions flying drones to customers up to 10 miles from an Amazon warehouse and delivering orders within just 30 minutes of an order placement.

Foxx and Huerta, however, revealed in the press conference that government agencies are waiting to attain more data on the privacy, security and safety risks of drones in the national airspace before rolling out more rules and allowances that could help the nascent industry flourish.

The FAA anticipates as many as 600,000 unmanned aircraft will be operating in the national airspace within a year of Part 107 rules coming into effect. An estimated 100,000 new jobs will reportedly be created and at least $82 billion in revenue generated in the first decade following the implementation of Part 107, according to an AUVSI economic report (PDF).

“Drones are helping to create a whole new means of realizing the American dream,” Huerta said.

This article, “New FAA Rules for Commercial Drone Use Now In Effect: Here’s What You Need to Know” was first published on Small Business Trends


Discarded airline bosses are walking away with eye-watering payouts

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

AS PRESIDENT of US Airways, Scott Kirby (pictured) cut costs by eliminating free non-alcoholic drinks for coach passengers. This week, he was probably popping the cork on something fizzy. On Tuesday, American Airlines, which took over US Airways in 2013, announced that Mr Kirby is out of his job—and filings show that he is walking away with $13m and lifetime flying privileges.

For passengers who have felt the pinch of every airline cost-saving manoeuvre, the discrepancy will feel cruel. So-called golden parachutes are standard practice in the corporate world, and Mr Kirby’s is peanuts compared with, say, Steve Wynn, a casino mogul who negotiated a $358m exit deal. But at least he got peanuts. Airline passengers have found themselves denied even salty snacks in recent years. Employees, meanwhile, have complained of a lack of investment in basic infrastructure.

So they would be forgiven for asking where, exactly, all this money came from. Mr Kirby will receive $3.85m in cash, accelerated vesting of more than 250,000 stock shares (worth nearly $10m),…Continue reading

Ireland’s forbidden fruit

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

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