Archive for the ‘CEO’ Category

How Entrepreneurs are Building Successful and More Efficient Companies


Every good entrepreneur knows it’s true: besides having a brilliant business idea, employees are any firm’s most valuable asset. But once a business takes off, the romantic idea of founding a successful business in the proverbial garage quickly fades and reality settles in. Fact is, day-to-day issues of HR management can distract you from another key to success: growing your business.

Saving Hours by Outsourcing
The average small business owner spends more than 25 percent of his or her day handling employee-related paperwork. With additional tasks added for recruitment, hiring and training of new employees, this number quickly grows to 35 to 45 percent. In other words, rather than innovating and expanding the business, they spend almost half of any workday on administrative tasks that are a necessary evil.

While 401(k) plans or a premium benefits package keep current employees happy and attract high-caliber candidates, most entrepreneurs prefer to focus on their passion for the business, rather than on HR. They have very limited interest in federal and state regulations regarding everything from workers’ compensation to workplace health and safety, not to mention additional complexities related to employee benefits with the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act. HR outsourcing firms like TriNet, provide small, growing companies a proven way to scale, protect and streamline their business. What’s more — this approach allows entrepreneurs to focus on what matters most to them.

Power and Efficiency Through Integrated Technology Solution
Employees have come to expect anytime access to their HR information. But the cost of implementing and maintaining a state-of-the-art HR information system (HRIS) is simply out of reach for the average small and medium firm. But that’s precisely what TriNet has done — creating an affordable, cloud-based solution and mobile app to enable employees, managers and executives to access the information they need, when they need it.

Risk Mitigation: Share the Liability, Focus on Your Business
In this litigious climate, there is little room for administrative error. HR companies, like TriNet, stay on top of all employment laws and regulations so they can help their clients remain compliant.

With TriNet as your partner, you’ll have the expertise, capabilities and scalable infrastructure to grow. Our core HR services and cloud-based technology streamline the HR process for managers and employees alike. Learn more by calling 888.874.6388 or go to TriNet.com/incredible. It’s time to start achieving some incredible results of your own.

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The Disrupters 2013: The Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing Their Industries


Disruption isn’t cool. Historically, disruptive ideas and companies haven’t been those behind the groundbreaking technologies or products–i.e., the cool stuff. Disrupters aren’t usually first to market with a new invention. They are, however, visionaries who grasp how an existing idea can be made better or cheaper or accessible to millions.

History is littered with examples: Ford’s assembly line and stripped-down Model T brought cars to the everyman. Steve Jobs took the computer mouse, at the time a custom-built and expensive gadget, and had someone figure out how to make it for less than a quarter of the cost. Amazon.com didn’t create online shopping, but it did bring millions of products to one storefront and deliver a better price.

The same goes for our disrupters here. They saw opportunities, ignored by existing players in their fields, to get in, grow big, change the game–and get rich along the way.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227205#ixzz2YBP3VyAP

24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Jiuzhaigou Valley

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Biggest Mushroom

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Opera House Sydney, Australia

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Panchoran Retreat Bali

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Patagonia Argentina The Smoking Mountain

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Pisa Italy

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

Pool Resorts Step outside and take a dip Bali Indonesia

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Predjama Castle a renaissance castle built within a cave mouth in Southwestern Slovenia

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Romantic canalside cafe Trattoria Sempione Venice Italy Photo by La Citta Vita

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

Ronda Spain

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Sanphet Prasat Palace at Ancient Museum in Samutprakran Thailand

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

Sydney Australia

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Thailand

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

The Appennine Colossus just north of Florence Italy

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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The old red grist mill near Eminence Missouri

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Tropea Province of Vibo Valentia Italy

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

Tübingen Germany

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Tyrol Austria

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Victoria falls as seen from Zambia

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Zakynthos Island Ionian Sea Greece.Looks like the boat is floating in the air

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Lunch at Waterfalls Restaurant (Villa Escudero)

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

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Aescher Hotel In Appenzellerland, Switzerland

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

 

 

Google introduces natural language search and machine recognition for photos


You know what photos we're searching for, right? (Image credit: Photographer / Shutterstock)

You know what photos we’re searching for, right? (Image credit: Photographer / Shutterstock)

Search is increasingly becoming human. While users from my generation have been used to search operators like “and”, “or” and the plus and minus signs, search queries are becoming more and more natural language like. Take for instance Facebook‘s Open Graph search, which launched earlier this year with mixed reception. You can use natural language like “photos of my friends taken in Tokyo,” for instance.

Google has announced a better way to find photos, which uses natural language, as well as photo recognition. This new feature lets you search for photos within your Google+ network using simple queries. To make search even better, Google is now employing “computer vision and machine learning,” which will recognize even generic images based on their characteristics.

With this update, you can simply do a search for “my photos of flowers” and Google will come up with images of flowers from your Google+ photos. You can then add qualifiers to focus your search: “my photos of flowers in New York,” for instance. This has a few implications, of course. First, Google is moving toward doing away with tags and captions. With the new update, Google’s algorithms (neural networks?) will attempt to identify the image based on image recognition.

Photos of flowers from Google search

Product manager Matthew Kulick says this is limited to English searches within Google.com (no support for other country domains, yet), and when you are logged in via Google+.

Going beyond photo search, of course, the bigger implication that comes to mind is that this improvement will tie in well with Google Glass. With Google improving its image recognition technologyand having an improved ability in recognizing faces and objects, tying this in with persistent photo and video captured through wearable computers will become a rich source of data and analytics for the search giant.

 

HSPA+ vs LTE: Which one is better?


We have all marveled at the revolution in mobile communications technology. The 1980′s saw the introduction of the “brick” style wireless mobile phone accessible to a privileged few. Since then, we have seen a lot of shifting trends in designs and capabilities, but an exponential increase in availability and popularity. We now live in a world boasting over 6 billion mobile phone users, with most high-end devices mimicking the capabilities of a computer, featuring dual-core or even quad-core processing capability.

Ah, the Zach Morris brick.

I still recall a time when the primary purpose of a mobile phone was voice communication. Now, with smartphones bursting onto the scene in ever growing numbers, the mobile landscape is changing rapidly. With devices now featuring messaging, social networking connectivity, email and browsing capabilities, and the ability to stream or download high-quality music and videos, making and receiving calls has almost become a secondary feature.

Of course, none of this would be possible without an equally impressive evolution in mobile networking technology. From first generation communication networks to the current 4G craze, these advances have made it incredibly easy for any user to always be connected. Today we will compare the latest networking technologies, namely HSPA+ and LTE, and take a look at what the future holds.

History

Courtesy of Ofcom

First generation mobile networks were basic analog systems designed purely for voice calls. Mobile devices and call rates were very expensive and therefore not available to everybody. The early nineties saw the introduction of the first digital cellular networks. 2G brought with it improved sound quality and a higher capacity, allowing for data services, albeit at very low speeds up to 14.4 kbps. Further advances in this technology introduced GPRS and EDGE features with quicker data speeds between 40kpbs to 100kbps.

This was followed by the 3G revolution. Apart from wide-area voice telephony, it introduced high-speed internet access, far improved audio and video streaming capabilities, support for video calls and conferences, and internet TV. With effective speeds ranging from 128kbps to 384kbps, the advent of 3G completely changed the way people use their mobile phones.

The effective entry of the tablet and increasing dependency on handheld mobile devices led to demand for even faster speeds and connectivity options, leading to a new standard, HSPA+, followed by 4G LTE.

What is HSPA+ and LTE?

HSPA+

HSPA+ or Evolved High Speed Packet Access, is a souped-up version of HSUPA and HSDPA 3G standards with speeds comparable to the newer LTE networks. Theoretical speeds are said to feature download speeds up to 168Mbps and uplink of 22Mbps. These are of course theoretical speeds, with the actual speed available to users being much lower. While most HSPA+ networks around the world boast a theoretical 21Mbps(download) speed, T-Mobile(USA) and Deutsche Telekom(Germany) feature 42Mbps networks. A hotly debated issue is the 4G tag offered by cellular network companies to advertise their HSPA+ networks(T-mobile and AT&T), while most accept that it should be considered, at most, a 3.75G network.

LTE

On the other hand, LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is considered a “true” 4G network. Theoretical speeds boast downlink speeds of 300Mbps and uploads of 75Mbps. LTE, which is an IP-based system, is a complete redesign and simplication of 3G network architecture resulting in a marked reduction in transfer latency. Because of this, LTE is not compatible with 2G and 3G networks and thus, functions on an entirely different wireless spectrum. Unfortunately, this means that erecting an LTE network requires it to be built from the ground up. This is one of the main factors behind the delayed launch of  complete 4G LTE networks.

Bottom Line

HSPA+ is the tip of the mountain with 3G technology, and LTE is simply the foundation for a new mountain. LTE, also known as 4G, is the most advanced telecommunications technology currently available, and is one that defines a clear path toward future developments, making it the most attractive choice for carriers these days.

Speed Comparison

Neil Shah

The biggest question consumers have is whether the additional cost of buying an LTE-enabled device and the higher data charges are worth it, compared to the “slower” but relatively cheaper 3G and HSPA+ networks. Let’s take a look.

Under consideration are speed comparisons based on the recently conducted wireless speed tests byPCWorld, of the major network carriers in the US (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint). For our purposes, we are going to compare the LTE-based AT&T and Verizon 4G networks, against the 42 Mbps HSPA+ based T-Mobile “4G” network. While Sprint and T-Mobile both aim towards launching their LTE networks soon, as of now, they are based on Wi-Max technology and HSPA+ respectively.

PCWorld, along with their testing partners Novarum, conducted the tests using Ookla’s speed test app in 13 cities across the US including San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Washington D.C., and Boston.

There are a few key points to note from the chart above:

  • T-Mobile’s HSPA+42 network performs admirably against, what is supposed to be, far superior LTE networks. The high speeds offered by this network should be more than enough for most users.
  • LTE is fast! While HSPA+ is definitely good enough, the LTE networks(in their current state) are 20-30% faster. A big plus for all the speed demons out there.
  • Unrelated to the topic, but is anyone as surprised as I am at how poorly Sprint’s Wi-Max network performed?

Granted these results for HSPA+ aren’t standard the world over, with most networks featuring 21Mbps download capabilities. But all these network carriers are planning to upgrade to 42Mbps and even 84 Mbps networks, so HSPA+ still has a lot of potential, and is certainly “good enough” for now.

Coverage

Courtesy of GSA

As you can see from the map above, 4G LTE is certainly the network of the future. With the much faster speeds, higher efficiency, and increased reliability, it is the next logical step in network technology development. There are some key points to note about the map though, which shows that LTE coverage isn’t as “colorful” as it seems:

  • While a lot of countries are marked “red” indicating countries with commercial LTE services, it is slightly misleading. For example, while India as a whole is marked, only one carrier(Airtel) offers 4G LTE services in only one city(Kolkata) thus far. Of course, plans are in the works to rollout the network eventually, it will take quite a lot of time before complete coverage is achieved.
  • The above point is true for most countries, with none boasting a full coverage LTE network. Full coverage in some regions will be achieved at the earliest by late-2013 to early-2014, with most others much later.

On the other hand, HSPA+ is more along the lines of a software enhancement that elevates 3G data network performance. Of course, the process isn’t as simple as it sounds, but it is definitely easier than building a completely new LTE supported network. As such, any carrier that has an established 3G network, have upgraded to an HSPA+ network. With over 100 network carriers worldwide featuring HSPA+ networks with most boasting over 80% coverage. To keep up with current LTE speeds, carrier networks are also upgrading the their “slower” 21Mbps networks to 42Mbps or even 84Mbps (theoretical) download speeds.

Cost

As mentioned earlier, the biggest issue with taking advantage of the faster speeds of a 4G LTE network is coverage. Availability is still quite limited but that will of course, get better. What surprised me is the lack of a difference in cost between a carrier’s HSPA+ and LTE networks.

  • AT&T and Verizon have standard data rates of $50 for 5GB regardless of whether you have access to 3G, HSPA+, or 4G LTE networks.
  •  T-Mobile, which currently features a 42Mbps HSPA+ networks, also features the same data rates.
  • In India, while available only in Kolkata so far, 4G LTE costs Rs 1399(~$28) for 9GB, with HSPA+ being Rs 1250(~$25) for 10GB.

Of course, I’ve only used the information from two places I’m most familiar with, so there might be other networks worldwide where there is a more evident price difference (or not), so if there are, do let us know in the comments section.

Device availability

HSPA+ and LTE variations of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Device availability is another area where I consider LTE to be at a disadvantage. Here’s why:

  • Most smartphones and tablets (3G versions) released in the last 2 years or so can access the faster speeds offered by HSPA+ networks.
  • On the other hand, accessing a LTE network requires a significant hardware change, i.e. the need for an LTE radio.
  • Options for LTE capable devices are comparatively limited and generally range towards the higher end of the price spectrum.
  • There has been an incompatibility issue with latest Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3 processor and LTE radios, as seen with the HTC One X where the international version features the quad-core processor, and the US releases with LTE radios “falling back” on Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors. Whether this issue will be prevalent in other quad-core processors such as the Samsung Exynos 4412, is yet to be seen.
  • LTE radios are also infamous for being a huge drain on battery life.

The Future

HSPA+

Evolution of HSPA

HSPA+, with its theoretical 168Mbps downlink speeds, still wasn’t the pinnacle of HSPA technology. Back in 2010 began talk of LTHE or Long Term HSPA Evolution. LTHE brought with a lot of advantages including:

  • Backward compatibility with existing WCDMA and HSPA networks. This provided the possibility of an easy transition to LTHE as opposed to a network upgrade to LTE.
  • Theoretical download speeds up to a whopping 672 Mbps.
  • Carriers and hardware companies claimed that LTHE could have been ready for deployment by 2013.

Unfortunately, almost every network around the world has decided to move onto LTE as their network for the future. HSPA+ networks will likely be upgraded to the 42Mbps or even 84Mbps download capability, but now, it seems like that is as far as this evolutionary technology will be pushed.

LTE

Courtesy of Teliasonera

While HSPA+ was the peak of 3G technology, the current variation of 4G LTE is only the first step in this next stage, opening up numerous possibilities for much further advancement in this field. It is somewhat strange that advances in LTE technology are already being spoken about when the “original” standard networks aren’t even close to being fully established. Yet, that is the rapid speed in which the tech world progresses. Let’s take a look at some of these developments:

  •  TD-LTE:  TD-LTE or Time-Division LTE was developed by China Mobile over the last few years. Unlike LTE networks which carries two separate signals for data traveling in either direction, TD-LTE features a single channel and allocated upload and download bandwidth depending on your usage. This accounts for higher data speeds. TD-LTE is also compatible 4G WiMax and it will easier to upgrade from WiMax to TD-LTE than to LTE.
  • LTE Advanced: LTE Advanced is a further evolution of current LTE networks which brings with it theoretical peaks of 1GBps download speeds, increased spectrum efficiency(upto 3 times more bandwidth), and reduced latency. Like the upgrade from HSPA to HSPA+, a move from LTE to LTE-Advanced is also a software deployment upgrade.
  • TD-LTE will also see a shift to TD-LTE advanced in the future.

Conclusion

Advantages of LTE over HSPA+

  • The most obvious advantage is the higher data speeds
  • Much better spectrum efficiency
  • Far lower latency
  • LTE has a simpler architecture compared to an HSPA+ network

Advantages of HSPA+ over LTE

  • HSPA+ is an already established network, whereas complete LTE coverage still has a while to go
  • HSPA to HSPA+ evolution required much less investment in infrastructure and was less costly to upgrade as opposed to LTE which needs a completely new network built from the ground up.
  • LTE requires specific LTE radio featured devices, whereas HSPA+ is available to any user with a 3G enabled phone.

As you can see, LTE is definitely the way of the future, and the potential with this technology is incredible. But I still think there are a lot of factors that lead me to conclude that HSPA+ networks are certainly more than enough for now.

What are your thoughts? Is HSPA+ good enough for now? Is LTE not here fast enough? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to know what you think!

 

Vineet Nayar on 13 leadership ideas that will transform your life


You are reading this article you are like me, trapped in this quick fix world that seeks quick answers, quick cures, quick results and unfortunately even quick romances. Thus we get attracted to all these headlines that make tall claims about subjects which are complex and need deep thought.

For the past two decades I have been in the business of collecting airline miles and yet I found myself reading a blog post on 7 ideas that will help you travel better, written by a person who had made trips between New York and Atlanta. Our mind works in mysterious ways and saying no to all these temptations is the first step in any transformation.

 

So why 13? I have always wondered why it is always five, seven or ten-what is wrong with 13? I actually have only nine and I hope you will add four more to this list and make it 13, so that it becomes “our” list and not just my list.

Ideas! That is in interesting word. I always carry with me a small note book where I take down action points in the front half and new ideas back to front. When finished, I store these note books away never to open them again. If the idea is good, it grows on you and you experiment with it before the notebook is over. If you did not, then the idea does not have legs and is best left behind.

Over the years many such small ideas have grown into nine beliefs that define a leader. Like my notebook of ideas you should let them grow on you. If they do – it is for you to play and experiment with; if not – they are best forgotten.

It is my belief that a true leader is someone who is an explorer, sees an opportunity in challenges, has an irrationality in his/her expectation, is inspirational and emotional, is driven by a higher purpose, is trustworthy, walks the talk , and above all has earned the right to lead. So let’s get started.

1) An explorer for whom the unknown is a lot more exciting than the known. A true leader is not afraid to stand apart from the crowd, to be different, to step out of the comfort zone and risk all for what he/she believes in. If you are not willing to give up the safety of the status quo and live or die by your ideas you cannot expect others to follow.

2) Sees an opportunity in challenges. In moments of crisis, leaders are neither distracted nor depressed. They are excited instead, because they see an opportunity in the imperfection and uncertainty. When a diamond-cutter looks at the rough diamond, he gets excited because he sees an opportunity in that imperfection as does a potter when he sees dirty clay.

3) Has irrationality in his expectation from himself, his team, his idea, his company, and even the world at large. People who are irrational get a lot done because you cannot go as far as your belief may want you to go.

4) Inspires people by pursuing a vision that gets people to jump out of their beds every day and go to work for an idea which is bold and unique. People feel inspired only when you can help them discover what they want to do and not what you want them to do.

5) Is emotional. A good leader is not afraid to display emotions at work – he/she rejoices in the team’s successes, and shows concern about the setbacks, he/she laughs and cries with the highs and lows in the lives of his colleagues. We are human beings, and knowing that our leader cares for us is a fundamental human need.

 

6) Has a higher purpose. A leader is not simply obsessed with getting to the top but also about what he/she would do after he gets there. The ultimate test of leadership is to have a purpose aligned to the greater good of society and not just economic gains. Leaders with a higher purpose have an inner strength and a unique moral compass which guides them to effectively lead their teams through hopeless situations.

7) Is trustworthy. Trust is the cornerstone of leadership. A manager whose team knows that he/she will, without doubt, stand up for them whatever the situation, truly feel empowered at all times. That kind of trust gives people the courage to innovate, take risks, and to push themselves beyond their comfort zones to find success.

8) Walks the talk. Megaphone managers have thrived for too long; people now want their leaders to be the change they advocate. They’re looking for role models. ‘Walk the talk and set me an example’ is the writing on the wall. A good leader therefore displays no incongruity between his actions and words.

9) Earns the right to lead. Leadership is not an entitlement but a right one earns through one’s actions every year, every day and yes every minute. The simplest definition of leadership therefore is someone who draws energy, inspiration and the right to lead from those he/she leads. Period.

Every person has a leader within who is just waiting to be discovered. You will discover that magical leader within you, the day you stop pretending to be someone else and feel secure in the knowledge that you are who you always wanted to be.

By-(Vineet Nayar, Vice Chairman, HCL Technologies and author of ‘Employees First, Customers Second’)

 

Celebrate your people


Image representing Virgin Mobile USA as depict...

Image via CrunchBase

 

  • Richard Branson

 

What is a business? It is simply a group of people coming together to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

Every company should celebrate their people. If you don’t have great people, you won’t have a great business. Thankfully at Virgin we attract the kind of people who really get the brand and want to help us make business a force for good. This week I have met so many of our team across our Australian businesses, and never cease to be amazed about their dedication, enthusiasm and sense of fun.

From crowdsurfing as Virgin Australia staff erformed a song they had written, to breakfast with Virgin Active, chats in the canteen with Virgin Money and parties with Virgin Mobile, it has been a rollercoaster ride around the country.

As well as sharing lots of laughs and posing for plenty of photos, it is always interesting to have conversations with our staff, hear their suggestions for improvements and plans for the future. There is a wonderful team spirit that binds us all together and that is what makes the difference – especially here in Australia.

It’s important to be flexible with staff, give them options and let them know their voices will be heard. Then you’ll find people will be more likely to stay and be loyal to the brand. We have people still working at Virgin who have been with us for decades, because of the culture and sense of fun we try to instil.

A great advantage of having a team who will do anything for each other is you can get through difficult moments as well as enjoying the good times. Virgin has almost faced oblivion many times in the past and we have always came out the other side by sticking together.

Too often companies forget that invigorated, motivated, happy staff having fun are the key to a business successful. Every company should celebrate their staff. If that involves a party or two, the more the better!

 

 

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