Don Draper wouldnt be happy smoking banned in Gears of War

first_imgUS$79.99 Gears of War 5, the next installment in the Gears of War franchise has been declared a non-smoking title after the director of the games strong opposition to addiction. My dad smoked. He died of a heart attack at age 38. I was 4.— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) July 13, 2019  Rod Fergusson, the Gears of War 5 studio director at The Coalition took to Twitter on Saturday about his approach to smoking in Gears of War 5. The games director openly admitted to his long standing approach against smoking and how he has actively gone out of his way to not include it in-game.  Fergusson says: “To be fair, this isn’t entirely accurate. I’ve been against smoking from the beginning and have worked hard to not make it a part of our franchise. Ever notice that the Dizzy concept art for Gears 2 has a cigarette but the actual character in the game doesn’t? I stopped it.” Following up on that tweet is another which is his emotional attachment towards his opposition of smoking, he says “My dad smoked. He died of a heart attack at age 38. I was 4.” A recent Variety report also gave another point of view on the decision. Seth Ladetsky, the head of Turner Sports Digital whose ELeague esports division has broadcasting writes to the title told Variety that “As you remove these images, it does have an impact.” This decision was also after reasearch presented the idea that there is a correlation between the rates of smoking and the amount they are seen throughout popular culture.  Gears of War 5 will be released on the PC, Xbox One on September 10th. $79.99 – $79.99 center_img TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago Gears 5 – Xbox One Ultimate Edition Buylast_img read more

Greece to hold snap elections after EU polls

first_imgIn this April 3, 2018 file photo, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attends a cabinet meeting at the parliament in Athens, Greece. (Reuters) Greece’s president accepted a request from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to dissolve parliament Monday. The request from Tsipras and approval from President Prokopis Pavlopoulos were considered formalities. Tsipras has said this will avoid a protracted pre-election period before the end of his term in October, which might have hurt economic progress made in recent years.The prime minister’s Syriza party finished the European Parliament election well behind the conservative opposition party, New Democracy. The leader of a former partner party in the current coalition government, former defense minister Panos Kammenos, said Sunday that his Independent Greeks would not participate in an early parliamentary election. Kammenos resigned from Tsipras’ Cabinet and ended the coalition with Syriza in January over a deal to resolve a long-running dispute over the name of the neighboring Republic of Macedonia, but five of his party’s other nine lawmakers in parliament abandoned him instead.Tsipras, 44, stormed the Greek political stage six years ago, promising to fight austerity prescribed by Greece’s lenders in return for financial bailouts after years of economic crisis. His Syriza party was forced to backpedal and accept another bailout soon after its election in 2015 or risk Greece being thrown out of the eurozone. Greece is facing a snap general election scheduled on June 7 after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his ruling Syriza party suffered a heavy defeat in the European Parliament elections last month. Tsipras called the snap election four months before the end of his term.center_img London best pest control last_img read more

When is it Where can you watch it

first_img HealthFormer GE CEO Jeff Immelt: To Combat Costs, CEOs Should Run Health Care Like a BusinessHealthFor Edie Falco, an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ After Surviving Breast CancerLeadershipGhosn Back, Tesla Drop, Boeing Report: CEO Daily for April 4, 2019AutosElon Musk’s Plan to Boost Tesla Sales Is Dealt a SetbackMPWJoe Biden, Netflix Pregnancy Lawsuit, Lesley McSpadden: Broadsheet April 4 You May Like Sponsored Content Achieving Globalizationcenter_img by Xiaomi ShareVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 4:14Loaded: 0.00%0:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -4:14 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedEnglishAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenApple’s traditional fall press conferences, where it usually rolls out new iPhone models, are must-watch events for the tech world, but they can’t hold a candle to the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference.The annual event is Apple’s showcase for new software and technologies—a preview, if you will, of what’s to come. And this year’s conference could be a doozie.If you’re thinking about following along at home, we’ve put together this primer for you to answer all of your pressing questions.What time does Apple’s WWDC 2019 keynote start? They keynote address will begin at 10am PT/1pm ET on Monday, June 3.How can I watch or stream Apple’s WWDC 2019 keynote?Apple is streaming the event on its Website, letting anyone on a PC or mobile device follow along.Apple TV owners can also watch the livestream via the Apple Events app.(Apple doesn’t stream its events on YouTube or other third-party platforms.)What is Apple expected to announce at WWDC 2019?Apple, of course, doesn’t pre-announce much. But the WWDC 2019 invitation had a few Easter Eggs. And the company has more leaks now that Steve Jobs is no longer around. Among the expected announcements are the unveiling of iOS 13 and an Apple Watch-only App Store.Will Apple reveal more details about Apple TV+ at WWDC 2019?It’s possible, but we wouldn’t hold your breath. Apple spent a lot of time discussing its streaming video on demand system in March and it’s not scheduled to launch until later this year. While there are still a lot of unanswered questions (including price, launch titles and the size of its distribution footprint at launch), those are more likely to be revealed closer to the go-live date of Apple TV+.Will Apple discuss its interest in healthcare at WWDC 2019?This seems more likely. Apple faces growing competition from wearable health devices and would like to build on the momentum Apple Watch got when it added an FDA-cleared ECG measuring feature last year. Among the expected announcements at WWDC 2019 is the sixth generation of the Apple Watch’s software, which would be an ideal time to announce new health-focused features.Can we expect Apple to announce new hardware at WWDC 2019? Probably not. WWDC is more developer-centric. Apple did, however, roll out a new version of the iPod Touch last week, ahead of the conference. That might be name checked as rumors are increasing the company is thinking about doing away with iTunes in favor of a more streamlined software solution.More must-read stories from Fortune:—5 questions Apple should answer at WWDC 2019—How Tim Cook plans to keep Apple Watch healthy for business and consumers—Apple Powerbeats Pro vs. AirPods: Everything you need to know—Inside the innovation labs at Levi’s, Ford, and FacebookWATCH: Yes, Apple’s Released a New iPod Touchlast_img read more

Why the Resume Isnt Dead Yet

first_imgEarlier this week, my colleague, Nick Petri, wrote about the death of the print newspaper.  His post got me thinking about resumes.  There is no denying the fact that the paper version of the resume has long been laid to rest.  But has the traditional resume died all together? With the emergence of social networks, companies and job seekers are being forced to evolve how they interact with each other.  Social media has empowered candidates to design creative “Hire ME!” campaigns in the hopes of standing-out from a crowd of qualified applicants, particularly in today’s competitive job market.  Candidates (and employers) have realized that simply hitting “Submit Resume” on a corporate careers page isn’t enough.Bianca Cadloni gets that.  Bianca, a 2010 University of North Colorado grad, really wants to work for burrito-giant Chipotle. Last week, she launched her Hire Me Chipotle campaign and has already garnered more than 111 followers on Twitter.  She’s even had a few direct exchanges with “Joe” from Chipotle corporate via @ChipotleTweets.  As of Wednesday morning, she still hadn’t gotten an interview, but I guarantee you that while her resume may have gotten lost in the mix, her candidacy has not gone unnoticed. Believe it or not, Bianca’s campaign is just one of several targeted campaigns that have gone viral in the last year. Take Matthew Epstein’s Google Please Hire.Me campaign, which also included a professionally produced video explaining exactly why he should be Google’s next product marketing manager.  Okay, so Google didn’t hire him, but in the span of three weeks he received more than 700,000 visitors to his site, 80 invitations from other companies that wanted him to interview, and three job offers.    There’s also Braden Young of @HireMeKrspyKrme fame who used Twitter and Facebook to get his dream job.  He also designed the most interesting cover letter I’ve ever seen.  And guess what?  In a matter of just a few weeks, Braden was the newest sales and marketing manager of the Krispy Kreme in Philadelphia.Not convinced?  What about Eric Romer from HeadBlade or Sam Mallikarjunan at HubSpot?  They also both got their dream jobs with the companies they targeted.  Admittedly, I’m not sure if any of these companies actually asked the candidates for a copy of their resume after seeing their blogs, Twitter feeds, or Facebook pages.  And yet, on their respective sites, each candidate provided a fairly obvious link to their resume.  The resume is our safety net.  It’s how companies and candidates know how to engage and, at least initially, test one another’s interest and commitment.So yes, the resume is here to stay, in one manner, shape or form.  RezScore, an online tool that will decode and grade your resume, recently created a timeline detailing the modern history of the resume.  Over the last 500 years, the resume has reinvented itself over a dozen a times .  Skeptics have predicted its death at numerous moments throughout the course of history, but every so-often, the resume finds a new way to keep it’s hold throughout the employer/job seeker courtship.  As candidates continue to develop as savvy competitors in a difficult job market, we can expect to see more creative ways of displaying their skills (er, resume) to prospective employers. And while, online profiles, targeted blogs, and video resumes may soon replace what we have always known as the resume, they will be, in reality, a more pleasant form of its cumbersome predecessor.So is the resume dead?   I don’t think so.  At least, not yet.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Checklist How to Prepare for a VC Fund Raise

first_imgI recently wrote a post with some tips on avoiding a busted VC deal.  One of my tips was to be ready for diligence before you sign the LOI.  Here’s some more thoughts on getting ready.The key to a successful and pain-free venture capital raise is to be informed, prepared, and engaged. To be informed, you need to regularly speak with bankers, VCs and lawyers that cover your space.Start fund raising 12-18 months before you need the money. You will need that time to sift through and qualify various VCs. Also, spend a year qualifying VCs by building relationships and getting to know them well enough to qualify the ones you like from the ones you don’t.  Picking a VC is not about the money (yes, all VC money is green).  It should be all about picking the right firm with the culture and expertise that fit your company’s culture and aspirations.During that courtship period, don’t shut out VCs. Take their calls and give them an overview of the business. You are probably getting calls from VC analysts already (if not, then you’re not promoting yourself enough). When you do, take the call and ask for a call with a partner.  Keep that dialogue open on a quarterly basis.  You can’t be too busy for that, as all it takes is setting a pace and scheduling a call or two a week (maximum).Next, hire a VP of Finance (if you don’t already have one). I’m a huge fan of hiring a senior finance executive sooner than later. A solid operating CFO is a blessing to an early stage CEO. (For more details, check out this post titled “The DNA of the CFO.”)Six months before you’re ready to begin a fund raise process, start putting together the investment package. This should include:Company presentation:  You don’t have to write a business plan, although it can be helpful.  Build a PowerPoint presentation and make sure it’s no more than 20 slides long. Avoid high-level fluff. Let each page be insightful and meaningful. Don’t worry about making each slide pretty. The more detail the better.  Don’t make your product the focus on the presentation!  Tell a story. Start with the company and its aspirations — the WHY (check out this talk (and book) by Simon Sinek). Then talk about the customer pain that you solve and how. Then discuss the market and competition (don’t you dare say you don’t have competitors. If you do, you’re either foolish or lying).  Then go into the product and how it differentiates. Then talk about the team. Then your plans and where you need help.Company financials:  You don’t need an audit by an accounting firm to raise a round. But you do need to have a full set of financials (they don’t need to be GAAP compliant). At a minimum, have full set of financials per year since inception that include the P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow. In the P&L, make sure to breakout bookings from revenue. And for each, breakout the types (e.g. SaaS bookings vs. perpetual bookings vs. services).  Make sure to show your gross margin. Breakout expenses by function (R&D, Sales, Marketing, Services and Admin).Company economics: this is where you highlight key metrics that are critical to running the business. Pre-funding, startups tend focus on cash flow. Post-funding, you will be tracking the economics of the business. Think about the three or four key metrics that are critical to scaling your business. For SaaS companies, we look for metrics like new customer booking growth, the economics of new customer acquisition, and existing customer growth and churn.  For more on this, check out a couple of posts I wrote in the past: “Build a Profitable SaaS Business” and “The CEO Imperative – Build your Operational Control Panel“.Prepare for legal diligence: at this point, you should retain a lawyer that specializes in VC deals. Don’t shy away from high-tier law firms. Ask around to other companies that have raised capital about what lawyer they used.  Having a good lawyer is much more important than having an investment banker (in fact, I don’t recommend using a banker to raise money, but you should have one for consultation.)  Have your lawyer prepare you by pulling together what is typically required in deal legal diligence. This would include your current option plan, employee confidentiality agreements, IP documents, incorporation docs, board resolutions, customer agreements and contracts, software licensing agreements, etc.  Have all the material ready and saved in an online deal room.Here’s OpenView’s pre-term sheet due diligence template. It should give you a good start on items 2 and 3 above. OpenView Venture PartnersPre-Term Sheet Due DiligenceCompany FinancialsCompany’s definition of BookingCompany’s definition of RevenueMonthly, for two (2) fiscal years back and one projected forward: Profit and Loss statements.  Including quarterly revenue in bookings and recognized revenue (e.g. US GAAP). Costs on P&L to be broken out by key operation functions (e.g. Marketing, R&D, etc.) . If you are not accounting using GAAP standards, please specify and provide accounting assumptions.  Please provide in Excel format.Monthly, for two (2) fiscal years back and one projected forward:  Cash Flow Statement  . Please provide in Excel format.Most Recent Balance Sheet. Please provide in Excel format.Company Sales Performance Monthly, for two (2) fiscal years back and one projected forward: Recognized revenue broken out by type: e. g. License, Subscription, Maintenance, Service, Other . Please provide in Excel format.Monthly, for two (2) fiscal years back and one projected forward:  GAAP Revenue broken out by Product . If you are not accounting using GAAP standards, please specify and provide accounting assumptions.  Please provide in Excel format.Monthly, for two (2) fiscal years back: Bookings by customer, broken out by product, by type of revenue (license, subscription, maintenance, service, Other) – customer names are not important at this stage, if sensitive . Please provide in Excel format.EXAMPLE (Please provide in Excel)Account IDContract SignedBooking TotalContract TermDate of Contract Cancellation11/25/2006$500MonthlyJul-0624/4/2006$350MonthlyJul-0734/10/2006$4,200AnnualMay-0646/20/2006$3,000AnnualJun-0756/30/2006$495MonthlyJul-0667/19/2006$3,000AnnualActive77/27/2006$3,000AnnualActive88/10/2006$500MonthlyActiveTotal cost to acquire a single customer: trend by month with associated sales and marketing expense broken out . Please provide in Excel format.Average one year value of a single customer (Average Annual Booking) and estimated total lifetime value (=Average Gross Profit x Estimated Number of Times Customer Renews/Reorders) . Please provide in Excel format.Monthly or quarterly, for two (2) fiscal years back:  Bookings by sales person/unit, broken out by revenue type, against quota. Please provide in Excel format.Monthly or quarterly, for two (2) fiscal years back:  Channel Sales, booked revenue by channel partner, by customer – broken out by revenue type, against plan . Please provide in Excel format.Number of deals completed and average deal size by month for past 12 months . Please provide in Excel format.For next two quarters or next fiscal year: qualified sales pipeline . Please provide in Excel format.Breakout of each individual customer revenue by month . Please provide in Excel format. Billing options (e.g. upfront , monthly, quarterly, annually, transaction based, etc…)Corporate StructureFull-diluted Capitalization Table, with details/terms of previous financing rounds . Please provide in Excel format.Key management current compensation and projected compensation changes post-investment . Please provide in Excel format.Current BoardCorporate entity and legal structureAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis2last_img read more

Bigger Isnt Always Better in Raising Venture Capital

first_imgIn the right situation and proper context, venture capital can help fuel a startup or expansion stage company’s growth. But, as Dace Ventures associate Jon O’Shaughnessy explains in an article for Venture Fizz, it’s not the size of the investment that matters. Yet, all too often companies become enamored with the dollar value of venture capital rounds, failing to realize that a bigger round doesn’t necessarily correlate to long-term success.In his full post, O’Shaughnessy provides theoretical examples (drawn from personal experience) of two startups – one that accepted venture capital and one that bootstrapped the business and eventually sold it. In both scenarios, he provides details on what the founders eventually cashed out with and the results may surprise you.The bottom line is that being backed by a VC is a nice stamp of approval and proof that you’re probably doing something right. But, as O’Shaughnessy points out, startup and expansion stage founders’ focus should be on their teams, customers, margins, and market share – not their funding lifecycle.To read his full post, click here.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Quite Contrary 5 Surprising But Successful Entrepreneur Lessons

first_imgThese five contrarian habits are perfect examples of how entrepreneurs sometimes need to go against the grain to succeed.Perhaps it’s not surprising there’s a bit of a contraian in the majority of successful entrepreneurs — after all, there’s something contrary about the entire notion of striking out to start something new. While researching her new book,  Breakthrough Branding: How Smart Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Transform a Small Idea Into a Big Brand, Catherine Kaputa discovered there were several successful entrepreneur lessons to glean from their insistence on doing things differently.“Contrary to everything we’ve heard about finding a ‘big idea,’ there’s a fundamental paradox in business,” Kaputa writes in this guest post for Fast Company. “Big ideas are small–simple, focused and different so they can occupy a specific niche and dominate their category.” Successful startup founders realize that “if you can’t write your business idea on the back of your business card or explain it to a ten-year old, you probably have a big, bad idea.” They also throw caution to the wind to experiment and take risks at their most vulnerable moments, forge ahead into uncharted territory, and would rather create a new trend or category than simply fit into the market.Sometimes the best ideas and advice is counterintuitive.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

OpenViews Portfolio Takes On Viral Fundraising

first_imgAs I’m sure you’ve noticed, we are in the throws of a viral fundraising phenomenon called the #IceBucketChallenge to help raise awareness and funds for ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).Ice Bucket Challenge 2 Over the past two weeks, the months-old challenge has exploded across social media outlets and particularly in the Boston area, thanks in large part to former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates and his family, who have used the challenge to raise awareness and funds for the disease. Frates, 29, was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease in 2012. To learn more about the Pete Frates #3 fund, visit his page. For those who don’t know, the Ice Bucket Challenge is a lot like it sounds. Essentially, you get nominated by one of your peers online to pour a bucket of ice water on your head or donate $100 to ALS. Then, you pay it forward by nominating others to do the same (capturing it on video, of course). The beautiful thing about this challenge is that while thousands of people have accepted the challenge to dump ice water on their heads, they’re also donating to the cause.Last Thursday, OpenView formally accepted the challenge and we passed it on to all of our portfolio companies. But, why stop there? Our Charitable Giving Committee (which I’m a part of) felt compelled to make a difference and add a little more fuel to this icy challenge. So in addition to our own firm donation, we’re donating $100 to the ALS Association for every portfolio company who joined in.Typically, viral campaigns like this come and go without leaving a true impact on anything. And while it’s great to see everyone in your Facebook feed dumping ice on their heads with good intentions, it’s easy to feel like the challenge is becoming more about them and their creativity than about the cause itself. However, the ALS Association released some data  on Friday that revealed it raised more than $168,000 last week. By comparison, the ALS foundation raised about $14,000 during the same time period last year.Now that, my friends, is impact.For those reasons and more (we have a few strong personal connections to the cause here at the firm), I’m proud to say that OpenView and our portfolio companies have joined together to make a difference for this tragic disease.Check out our #IceBucketChallenge videos below — both from here at OpenView and from within our portfolio — and, again, please visit the ALS Association website to learn more or contribute to this cause.  OpenView Venture PartnersuSampExindaFieldLensCentral DesktopSkytapInstructure sincere thank you to each and every person who participated in this challenge with us, whether by dousing yourself or making a donation or both.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Increase Customer Referrals In One MindBlowingly Simple Step

first_imgIt’s true that your current best customers beget the next generation of your best customers. While you’re plenty happy with all the new users you gain from customer referrals, it sure would be nice if the offspring were produced at a rabbit-like pace. Well, the process doesn’t have to be as organic as you might think, as David Mitzenmacher explains in this post at Gainsight. There’s really on one thing you’ve got to do in order to get your existing customers to recruit their friends, says Mitzenmacher. And oddly, almost no one out there is doing it. Discover the key to customer referrals by clicking through. Image by Bryan BurkeAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img

Thank You Central Desktop

first_imgCentral-Desktop-PGI-acquisition Two weeks ago, PGi, a global leader in collaboration software and services, officially acquired our portfolio company Central Desktop. The acquisition is a great milestone for Central Desktop, and it is now able to leverage the ample resources of a publicly traded corporation that shares its vision and will support it to realize that. For more context, PGi’s CEO, Boland Jones, wrote a great article about the strategic fit between PGi’s product portfolio and CD’s unique online collaboration platform. In the venture capital and startup industry, discussions about venture capital investments too often are fixated on the end results — the big exits, the IPOs, or the big, bad blowouts and self-critical, no-holds-barred post mortem. But making venture capital investments is really about building a partnership between the VC and the entrepreneur during a long, sometimes arduous and always uncertain journey together. Entrepreneurship is both extremely rewarding and extremely hard, and if the VC is truly aligned with the entrepreneurs on their journey, they will genuinely help shoulder the challenges and share the successes or failures of the company. That’s why, for me, this announcement is a time for congratulatory messages and well wishes for the next phase for Central Desktop, but it is also a time for reflection and recollection.Looking Back on Our JourneyI feel lucky to have joined OpenView early enough to be a part of the team that made the investment in Central Desktop, which was one of the investments we made in our very first Fund. I feel even more grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the team there on several projects, and to have been a part of their journey up to today. Even before we considered Central Desktop as an investment, many of us on the OpenView team had already fallen in love with the platform. I was one of the most ardent believers. I was doing an overall research project on the rising wave of team collaboration platforms in late 2007 — it was one of my very first projects at OpenView — when my colleague Vlad Djuric came upon Central Desktop and brought it to our team’s attention. Scott Maxwell, our founder and Senior Managing Director, asked me to evaluate the platform to understand its features and see whether it was a suitable solution for a young and fast growing firm like OpenView, where we thrived on intense knowledge exchange and 24/7 communication and collaboration. Needless to say, Central Desktop checked all the boxes and more. As I was putting this post together I looked back and found that I still had the original email I wrote to the team sharing my enthusiasm for finding such a gem of a software platform. That feeling never went away for me.Isaac and ArnulfWhen we started to consider investing in Central Desktop, I got to meet the co-founders, Isaac Garcia and Arnulf Hsu, whom I liked immediately. Then, as now, they were extremely down to earth, honest, and open. They have always been transparent, responsive in everything they did with us, and impressively consistent and persistent in their mission for the company. They have built a very strong, cohesive team that has shared a great culture and worked hard towards their vision. I enjoyed working with Isaac and Arnulf and getting to know others like Mark, Steve, Linda, Chris and others among the team there. I have always respected the vision of the co-founders to make online collaboration seamless, easy, and affordable. I admire how they have stayed true to that vision, and have made Central Desktop a platform that is extensible and flexible for many different use cases, but at the same time fully integrated and featured with all the collaboration tools and communication channels that a small to medium sized team would need. Features that Central Desktop introduced such as built-in screen sharing, database functionality, forms, etc. were years ahead of the market. As one of Central Desktop’s early adopters, I will personally miss having access to Arnulf and Isaac to give them feedback on the platform, suggest new features, and hear about their vision for the product.Growing and EvolvingThat is not to say that they remained static. I also admire how the CD team has continued to develop on their original platform, adding features and optimizing performance. Over the years, they have transformed it from a general purpose, Swiss-army-knife collaboration platform that was extremely flexible but best suitable for early adopters, to an even more powerful and targeted platform fully adapted to the hectic, project-driven worlds of marketing agencies and marketing departments all around the world. Over the years, as the company weathered the Great Recession, when tombstones were erected for many startups at the same stage, and then refocused to targeting marketing agencies market afterwards, another thing I’ve admired is that it has always been capital efficient and disciplined in its financial strategies. The investment by OpenView was Central Desktop’s only institutional equity investment until PGi acquired them, at a size several times larger than when we first invested.Resilient and DedicatedOne more thing to love about CentralDesktop: In all of our seven years of usage — from the very first time we signed up with CentralDesktop in October 2007 up to today — I can only recall encountering one single unscheduled outage. That really is an impressive stat that speaks to both the resilience of the technology stack and also the dedication of the company to literally keeping the lights on for their customers, many of whom base their entire operations on Central Desktop. Congratulations to the Central Desktop team on taking the company so far, and here’s wishing them all the best as they join PGi to continue building on their vision. Thank you for letting us be part of your journey, and for helping us learn so much along the way.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Top 10 Startup Sales Posts of 2014

first_imgBefore you close the book on 2014 take a quick look back at some of the best B2B sales lessons, tips, and insights you can use to close more deals in 2015.Top 10 Startup Sales Posts of 2014The end of the year is often a frantic dash to the finish line for B2B sales teams. Deals need to be closed, annual goals need to be met, and pipelines must be built to start 2015 strong. What often gets lost in that blitz, unfortunately, is the opportunity to pause and reflect on the previous year. What went well? Which trends emerged? And what do you need to improve to crush your goals next year? We’re here to give you that opportunity. Below are the top 10 posts from our site in 2014 runing the gamut from tactical best practices (how to hire and prospect better) to helpful tools to optimize the sales process. Enjoy — and happy selling in 2015!10) Choosing the Best Sales Compensation Plan for Your BusinessThe Color of Money Sales strategy consultant Michael Hanna breaks down the keys to designing an effective sales compensation plan that keeps your team motivated and focused on the right results. photo by: StockMonkeys.com9) Death of the Average Sales Repbusiness man beach Are sales professionals doomed to become irrelevant? Sales trainer John Barrows highlights three disturbing trends and shares what sets apart the select few reps who will survive and thrive. photo by: Patrik Jones8) 3 Fatal Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a VP Salesʎɐʍ ƃuoɹʍ If there’s one hire you can’t afford to get wrong, it’s VP of Sales. Yet that’s exactly what many startups do. SaaS sales experts Jason Lemkin and Aaron Ross share three of the worst mistakes to avoid. photo by: colink.7) The Sooner You Lose the Sale, the BetterClock The industry-wide closing average is one or two out of 10 prospects. That’s more than enough reason to stop clogging your sales pipeline with shaky leads. Sales training expert Mike Brooks shares his favorite lead qualifying questions to disqualifying weak opportunities sooner — before you end up wasting precious time, effort, and resources. photo by: ddqhu6) The Ultimate Guide to Startup Sales ToolsSales Tools Image Looking for a leg up to fuel your company’s early-stage customer acquisition? Sometimes you need the right tools to win. Bowery Capital is sharing the very best sales tools their founders are using to grow their businesses and transform their results. See the list. photo by: Lachlan Donald5) 7 Steps HubSpot Used to Scale Its Channel Sales Programchannel sales playbook As of June 2014, HubSpot’s reseller program has produced over 40% of its customers. VP of Sales Pete Caputa shares the company’s playbook for making that happen.4) 3 Things You Should Never Say During a Sales CallSales Call It can take weeks and even months to warm up a sales lead — and unfortunately only one bad phrase to lose them. Sales training expert Mike Brooks shares three unproductive statements you should avoid, and what to say instead. photo by: Steven Mileham3) Secret Behind the Perfect 15-Second Sales Pitchstopwatch Having trouble capturing your prospects’ attention or getting your foot in the door? Sales expert Jeff Hoffman says the solution is to take a less-is-more approach with your cold call sales pitch. Learn the secret now. photo by: William Warby2) Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2014Top 25 Sales_2014 image2 See who made our 3rd annual list of the most influential B2B thought leaders in sales. Whether you’re looking for help with hiring, training, and managing a hyper-productive sales team, or boosting your own performance by closing more deals faster and working smarter, not harder, these industry experts represent the best of the best.1) 20 of the Best Interview Questions for Sales HiresSales Interview Questions We asked 20 top B2B sales leaders and experts for their favorite interview question to ask new sales hires. Find out what they said. photo by: Drriss & MarrionnBonus GiftSample Sales Hiring Questions and Free Candidate Scorecards Get a jump-start on 2015 by downloading our free sales interview benchmark guide. Inside you’ll find the necessary questions to ask to really dig into a candidate’s experience and assess them on the three key components — Drive, Selling Skills, and Personal Attributes — that ultimately separate the best sales reps from the rest. Feature image courtesy of Markus Spiske AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Magnet Marketing A Proven Way to Increase High Value B2B Prospect Meetings

first_imgEditor’s Note: This article was first published on LinkedIn here.As I work with CMOs & CROs on their demand generation plans for 2019, I hear concerns that traditional inbound marketing supported by BDRs may not be sufficient to meet revenue growth plans for 2019.The reasons are the following:There are north of 120,000 BDRs in the U.S. market and B2B buyers are proactively disengaging with them.Most content marketing is really vendor-centric content trying to mask as customer-centric content. B2B buyers are getting smart about vendor-centric content – they are refusing to provide company-specific contact information for fear of becoming sales targets for these 120,000 BDRs.B2B buyers are overwhelmed with the volume of B2B content marketing clutter. Even the best content is not getting through – this will get worse in 2019 as marketers produce & distribute more content.Sales approaches to corporate buyers tend to be basic and unsophisticated. Buyers want a high- level, value-add and insight-driven discussion focused on solving their problems before listening to vendor pitches.B2B marketers still fail to fully understand what B2B buyers really want from early-stage vendor engagement. It comes down to two things:“Help me be a better B2B buyer and make the best decisions for my company.”“Help me understand how my best-in-class peers are solving my most pressing problems.”Vendors who do this will be invited to the table and asked to pitch. In addition, they will establish critical buyer credibility and trust.Magnet MarketingMagnet marketing is a proven methodology to attract prospects to a best practices study focused on solving a problem of interest to prospects. It’s all about attracting prospects who want to solve the same problem your company is solving. If a prospect is not interested in this specific problem, they’re unlikely to buy from you. You’re better off focusing on prospects who are actually interested. This is effectively prospect-reported intent data delivered in real time.This methodology identifies key people at each prospect who are interested in solving this problem. The essence is a prospect-informed identification of the actual buying team. No B2B MarTech or database solution does this today. Here’s how it works:Prospects self-identify as valid in-market buyers by expressing an interest in the best practices study.Contacts who take the study are typically key influencers or members of a buying team for related technology.Contacts who take the study are asked who else in the company should take this survey or who else is interested in solving this problem. This identifies additional & often unknown influencers of the buying team – most of these contacts are unknown to B2B marketers and are typically not obvious by title. I often see B2B marketers over-market to members of the executive team and under-market to members of the buying team.Some contacts do not take the study but ask to see the report out.The study participants typically attend the report out, inviting colleagues and sharing the study with their peers. This type of prospect-centric sharing and endorsed marketing is highly effective in terms of prospecting.Study participants often use the best practices study report out to justify technology investments,  giving excellent exposure to the technology solutions providers who sponsor the study.I have personally conducted hundreds of prospect interviews for my clients. One client closed their largest retail deal in history from this program. Sales professionals who participate in prospect interviews also learn consultative peer-relating selling skills. Sales can leverage their findings in subsequent sales calls to add value and move up the sales sophistication curve.Finally and importantly, prospects are more interested in the best practices of their best-in-class peer companies than they are in vendor pitches. However, when you deliver this type of content to them, they will always ask: “What do you do and how can you help?” This is exactly the question that technology vendors need to hear and is often the start of a more positive and trusting relationship.This is where magnet marketing comes into play. This is basically inbound marketing in reverse – here’s how it works:The process starts with an externally moderated best practices interview with high-value prospects. It’s focused on solving critical buyer problems and sales is always involved.Best practice data is collected during each call, aggregated and published back to the market via authentic customer-centric content.When buyers ask, “Where did this come from?” You say, “From respected peer companies who participated directly in the study.” They will immediately take notice.This program attracts prospects who are interested in solving the problems your company is focused on. They’re often folks you have not spoken to or did not consider reaching out to, but are playing a hidden role in solving the problem.Sales loves this process because they just need to show up at prearranged prospect meetings and marketing gets fresh customer-centric best practices that prospects actually care about.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Are You One of Americas Most Entrepreneurial Companies Apply for the 2016

first_img For the second year, the Entrepreneur360™ will name the most entrepreneurial companies in America, based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of the verified information submitted. This 360-degree approach spotlights top entrepreneurial performers in leadership, innovation, culture, impact and growth—and the fascinating stories behind them.Apply NowLast year, notable companies from a range of industries were celebrated, including:iCrackedThis smart-phone repair and reselling company exemplifies best practices by instilling a company culture of problem-solving and independence instead of enforcing hierarchies.Enlisted DesignEnlisted Design is a creative agency specializing in planning and birthing new products that is taking a highly unique approach to learning about each client.ZoziZozi, a startup providing online booking software for travel outfitters, is benefitting from taking a safe approach to seeking venture capital to help speed growth.UpCounselTwo lawyers have taken a pragmatic approach to building a company that matches small and midsize businesses with experienced attorneys and enjoyed a 20-percent month-over- month revenue growth in 2015.AvantAvant is an online lending firm on a mission to lower the barriers and costs of borrowing. Since launching in 2012, they’ve grown from three to over 800 employees, operate in three countries and manage a loan portfolio of more than $3 billion.DashedWhether it’s by bicycle, scooter or smart car, Dashed has one primary goal: to be the fastest restaurant-delivery service in the industry. Remaining focused on this singular mission continues to translate to their success.To qualify, companies must be privately owned (no franchises) with at least one of the original founders involved in current day-to- day business operations. Honorees will be featured in Entrepreneur magazine, on, and at the annual E360 Conference, which will be held on November 16 in Long Beach, Calif.To nominate your company or find more information about the Entrepreneur360™ list, visit:’re leaving your mark. Let’s create your legacy.Apply Now Are You One of America’s Most Entrepreneurial Companies? Apply for the 2016 Entrepreneur360™ Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. 2 min read Enroll Now for $5 Next Article Entrepreneur Staff Add to Queuecenter_img June 2, 2016 Entrepreneur360 –shares Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Entrepreneur Staff Image credit: Marketinglast_img read more

With HomePod Apple Just Wants to Shake Things Up for Now

first_img This story originally appeared on PCMag With HomePod, Apple Just Wants to Shake Things Up (for Now) June 7, 2017 Apple’s HomePod speaker is a depth charge dropped into the ocean where Google Home and Amazon Echo sail. At $349, it’s not going to dominate the voice assistant world. But for Apple to achieve its goals, the HomePod just needs to keep the waters rough enough to make its competitors seasick.There are a bunch of weird things about Apple’s HomePod announcement. First, Apple doesn’t like to announce products six months in advance. And while the iPhone and iPad are expensive, they’re not double the prices of rivals. The HomePod is also being sold as a music device above all else rather than virtual assistant. One interpretation is that Apple isn’t going after competing voice assistants but the midrange, wireless multi-room speaker market; the domain of companies like Sonos, Bose and Logitech. Yes, those companies have $200 options, but the Sonos Play:3 costs $299, and the Bose SoundTouch 20 costs $350. Those companies have been slow to adopt the kinds of flexible voice capabilities we’ve seen on Echo and Google Home, and they tend to appeal to a higher-end consumer who thinks the Amazon and Google products look and sound cheap.But I think Apple’s strategy is a little trickier than that. The midrange speaker market is in fact ripe for disruption, and I think Apple’s correct to assume that people who have expensive speakers probably have an iPhone. But by announcing the HomePod six months in advance, Apple’s also trying to draw developer attention away from Alexa and Google Home, making sure that it’s in second, not third place in the eventual war of the voice assistants.Second place is a very comfortable place for Apple, because it’s focused on profit share rather than market share. In a battle between Apple and Amazon, it’s easy enough to see a repeat of the iOS/Android war, where Echo speakers eat up the bottom end of the market while Apple reaps profits at the top. Amazon actually wouldn’t mind this, as (like Google with Android, but not like Android phone makers) its business isn’t dependent on making a profit from hardware.Developers can only handle two platforms.Platforms need developers, and we’ve seen over and over that the tech world is capable of supporting two — not three — platforms in most areas.On the desktop, it’s Mac and Windows, not Linux. On phones, it’s Apple and Android, not BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone. On high-end tablets, increasingly, it’s Windows and iOS, with Android shunted down to the low end. Sure, the third platform often manages to hang on as a niche, but the two major ones dominate the market. Developers just don’t seem to have the resources to split their attention more broadly.Right now there are three players in voice assistants: Apple, Google and Amazon. Apple is coming late to the game, but it understands the value of not being third. And as it implied by focusing on music in its presentation, SiriKit is way behind the competition in attracting developers right now.Apple needs to get SiriKit into the conversation and to make sure Google and Amazon don’t lock down voice-assistant developers, which could definitely happen in the next six months. By announcing the HomePod now, Apple throws a bit of confusion into that community; should developers keep their powder dry?Google is likely to suffer more than Amazon from this, because Amazon has a lot of third-party partners and an already vibrant developer community. Look at our list of Alexa skills vs. our list of Google Home voice actions: Google is just getting started here. Google’s speaker also sounds better, and costs more, than Amazon’s hot-selling Echo Dot, putting it in a little more danger from Apple’s higher-end product.This doesn’t mean that Apple’s HomePod is going to be a best-seller. Sure, it could be the next Apple Hi-Fi, an expensive audio accessory that ends up being overlooked for better third-party products. But it keeps the waters roiled, and keeps the Google/Amazon duopoly from fixing in place. When developers can only focus on two platforms, that means at least Apple has a chance. Add to Queue 4 min read Image credit: Apple via PC Mag Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Businesscenter_img 35shares Apple There’s room for two smart voice platforms; Apple just wants HomePod to be in second place. Next Article Sascha Segan Lead Mobile Analyst Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.last_img read more

Russias US Election Hacks Are Worse Than We Thought

first_imgRussia Russian hackers compromised voting software in 39 states during the 2016 presidential election, far more than originally thought, according to Bloomberg. Tom Brant This story originally appeared on PCMag –shares Add to Queue Voting systems across the U.S. were far more susceptible to Russian hacking efforts during last year’s presidential election than was previously known, according to evidence uncovered during the federal government’s investigation and a leaked classified intelligence report.A wave of attacks in the summer and fall of 2016 targeted and accessed a campaign finance database and software that poll workers were supposed to use on Election Day, Bloomberg reports, citing people with knowledge of the government’s investigation into the hacking. The FBI previously confirmed that hackers breached voter registration databases in Illinois and Arizona, but the investigation has since determined that voting systems in 39 states were compromised, according to Bloomberg. The Obama administration complained about the hacking to Russian officials via rarely used diplomatic channels, including a “red phone,” before ultimately sanctioning Russia in December for its involvement in the hacks.A classified report from the National Security Agency that The Intercept published last week provides some insight into the investigation. “Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards,” the NSA wrote, although “the types of systems we observed Russian actors targeting or compromising are not involved in vote tallying.”Russian president Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied the hacking accusations, although he recently appeared to suggest that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may have prompted private Russian hackers to attempt to compromise the U.S. election of their own accord.”If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions — which are right, from their point of view — to the fight against those who say bad things about Russia,” Putin said of the hackers during a TV interview earlier this month. 2 min read News reportercenter_img June 14, 2017 Next Article Image credit: via PC Mag Russia’s U.S. Election Hacks Are Worse Than We Thought Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Elon Musks Boring Company Has Made 35 Million on Flamethrowers in 2

first_img –shares 3 min read Elon Musk’s Boring Company Has Made $3.5 Million on Flamethrowers in 2 Days January 29, 2018 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Elon Musk Musk wasn’t kidding when he said flamethrowers would follow hats in the Boring Company merch line. Lydia Belangercenter_img By now, we all should have learned that when Elon Musk says he’s going to do something, he does it. Even when it seems like a joke at first.After the successful sale of 50,000 $20 hats (a cool $1 million) through his latest venture, The Boring Company, Musk has released a new product: a flamethrower. And in less than two days, he’s already sold more than 7,000 units at $500 each — $3.5 million in total sales (and counting).On Dec. 10, Musk had tweeted that he’d start selling the Boring Company flamethrower once hat sales topped 50,000 units. He made good on his promise when he unveiled the device (weapon?) Jan. 27 on Instagram with the caption, “Say hello to my little friend…”After 50k hats, we will start selling The Boring Company flamethrower— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2017Related: Elon Musk Has Found a Creative Way to Fundraise for His Newest CompanyMusk, who splits his time as the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has been updating a Twitter thread with the number of flamethrowers sold throughout the past two days.The flamethrower is available for pre-order for $500 (plus tax) on the Boring Company’s website.For the uninitiated, Elon Musk founded The Boring Company (as in tunnel boring) in 2017 after becoming frustrated by heavy traffic in Los Angeles. He’s announced plans to construct a traffic 6.5-mile traffic tunnel in L.A. as the company’s first project. (That is, after drumming up buzz with merch sales.)Over the weekend, Musk also tweeted about the potential utility of the Boring Company flamethrower, with sales pitches such as, “guaranteed to liven up any party!” and “great for roasting nuts.”But wait, there’s more: the flamethrower is sentient, its safe word is “cryptocurrency” and it comes with a free blockchain— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2018Ever-engaging with his fans and followers, he’s also debunked rumors that he’s creating a zombie apocalypse to generate demand for flamethrowers.You’d need millions of zombies for a so-called “apocalypse” anyway. Where would I even get a factory big enough to make so many!?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2018As of this morning (Jan. 29), Musk’s Twitter bio reads “Zombie Defender.” Image credit: The Boring Company Add to Queue Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now »last_img read more

Five major trends for the nonalcoholic beverage industry in 2019

first_imgFive major trends for the non-alcoholic beverage industry in 2019Posted By: Heather Burrellon: July 04, 2019In: Awards, Beverage, Blog, Industries, Opinion, Soft drinksPrintEmailConsumer awareness for both the environment and their own health and wellness are two important factors dictating the future of the beverage industry in 2019.Millennials are also set to be a key driver of these trends. According to a survey by UCL, 36% of 16-24-year-olds in full-time education are now abstaining from alcohol. Beverage companies must now keep up with this cultural shift by innovating new products, not only in the form of non-alcoholic options, but that also align with health, wellness and sustainability trends.With this in mind, let’s take a look at what the top 5 non-alcoholic beverage trends might be this year.FunctionalityThe beverage industry has recently seen a rise in the number of new products with functional benefits. From stress-relievers to immune system health to beauty, consumers are now seeking more from their drinks than simply hydration. Collagen, which is important for skin, hair and nail health, has been a popular ingredient for many new ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, such as Protein Water Co and Vital Proteins. Major beverage brands, such as the Coca-Cola Company, have also jumped on this trend, releasing additions to its VitaminWater range and a new energy drink combining caffeine, guarana extracts and B vitamins.This year has also seen an abundance of CBD-infused beverages being introduced and their functionality as pain reducers and stress relievers have made them one of the most popular forms of functional beverages. In August, we will be taking a more in-depth look at the trends, acceptance and legislation around the world regarding CBD drinks. Fermented drinksFermented drinks are probiotic-rich and have been found to contain a profusion of benefits, particularly when it comes to gut health. The sheer growth in popularity of this category over the past year shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. According to BCC Research, the international fermented ingredients market could grow to be worth $28.4 billion in 2020 (an annual growth of 3.4 percent).Kombucha, a fermented tea filled with live bacteria to aid in healthy digestion, stands out as having a big part in this growth. Research by Adroit Market Research predicts that the kombucha market will grow at 13% CAGR in North America and hit $3.5bn by 2025. Kombucha tends to come in RTD form, such as Revive Kombucha’s new sparkling canned kombucha, which allows kombucha to be more accessible to consumers.Fermented kefir drinks are rich in probiotics and can be used to treat digestive problems and help boost immunity. From Bio-tiful Dairy releasing new flavours of their kefir smoothies to Captain Kombucha launching a line of sparkling water kefir drinks, new kefir product releases are rife in the market. PersonalisationThere is a growing demand for brands to cater to the increasingly-complex desires of consumers by creating personal experiences for their audiences with ‘drinks on demand’. Millennials are one of the major drivers of this trend as they lead the path with health, wellness and convenience needs. They want unique experiences that go beyond the product itself, so beverage brands have needed to step up their game with their innovations. Many companies have responded by offering plant-based beverage options, for instance. Stok Cold Brew’s new plant-based cold brew coffees are an example of a brand reacting to both the vegan and cold brew trends this year. In April, PepsiCo responded to consumer demand for choice and personalisation by releasing a hydration platform that is completely customisable for users to create their own drink and set hydration goals via a smartphone app. Alcohol-free alternativesIn 2018, alcohol consumption fell by 1.5% around the world, according to IWSR. Consumers are making an active choice to reduce alcohol consumption, which opens the market for drinks that appeal to both teetotal and consumers reducing their intake of alcohol.This category has hence evolved beyond soft drinks or orange juice as an alternative for these consumers during social occasions with friends. Earlier this year, Sparklingly Sober launched an alcohol-free fizzy wine alternative and Coca-Cola launched a range of alcohol-free sparkling drinks aimed at adults. From Peroni to Heineken, 0.0% beers are appearing everywhere, some even infused with cannabis instead, going hand-in-hand with wellness-centric non-alcoholic beverage trends.Health conscious consumers are one of the main targets within this category and many brands are looking to capitalise on this prominent trend of healthy living.SustainabilitySustainability is currently one of the key issues of importance impacting the wider food and beverage industry and beyond, and it is set to stay that way. Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact they have on the environment and are seeking ways to actively make a difference.In September 2018, various leading bottled water and soft drinks manufacturers announced goals to ensure water and soft drinks packaging is made from 100% recyclable or reusable material by 2030, and an aim to achieve at least 70% recycled material by 2025.Other leading beverage brands have since set out similar sustainability visions. For instance, PepsiCo announced its plans to use 25% recycled content in its plastic packaging by 2025.Reducing plastic waste has been a major part of beverage company’s sustainability goals, with Coca-Cola Amatil recently producing carbonated soft drink bottles made from 100% recycled plastic. With consumers growing cautious about the number of plastic bottles they are buying, the market for canned beverages has increased and it has been estimated that the beverage cans market will grow at a CAGR of 3.19% from 2018-2022. Are you a trendsetter? Many non-alcoholic beverages hitting the shelves in the past year have been tailored for consumers aligning with the wider key trends of health, wellness and sustainability. If you think you have an award-worthy beverage innovation, be sure to enter the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2019.  Share with your network: Tags: beverageWBIA19World Beverage Innovation Awardslast_img read more

Celebrities and activists on Times Up at Tribeca festival this moment is

first_imgTribeca film festival From left to right: Mira Sorvino, Mariska Hargitay and Cynthia Erivo pose for a portrait at ‘Time’s Up’ during the Tribeca film festival in New York City.Photograph: Monica Schipper/(Credit too long, see caption) Since you’re here… Activists, media-makers and celebrities including Lupita Nyong’o and Julianne Moore convened at the Tribeca film festival on Saturday, to discuss the work of Time’s Up, the group formed to counter systemic sexual harassment in the entertainment business and US workplaces.“I am still trying to catch my breath that this moment is here and that is what we’re talking about,” said the actor Mariska Hargitay. In a series of panels, moderators pushed their guests to suggest things anyone watching could immediately do. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder of, encouraged people to share articles on social media that tell the story of marginalized people. Nina Shaw, founding partner at the law firm Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein and Lezcano, said women should push men to call out sexist behavior in other men. Jetmire Gjini, a hotel room attendant in New York, advocated for workplace unions. “When women are part of a strong union like men,” Gjini said, “they have the power to stand up and protect themselves without fear of retaliation”.Time’s Up announced its own new initiative, +1/3x, which encourages women to help other women at their workplace. Desiree Gruber, chief executive of the multi-media company Full Picture and executive producer of Project Runway, explained that “+1” stood for bringing another woman to any work meeting or event and “3x” stood for at least three other meaningful connections that woman could be helped to make. “Even if you are at the beginning of your career, there is something you could demystify for someone else in this office,” she said. Share on Facebook Last modified on Mon 30 Apr 2018 09.51 EDT Time’s Up also celebrated its own success with a panel on its Legal Defense Fund, which provides resources to people fighting sexual harassment in the workplace. The fund is managed with the help of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and has raised more than $21m.Fatima Goss Graves, NWLC president and chief executive, said the fund had helped 2,500 people since 1 January, 67% of who identified as low-income. Another trend the NWLC has spotted, she said, was that the men and women who approach it are often seeking legal help because they are being retaliated against with lawsuits or threatened legal action for reporting, or even just mentioning, sexual harassment. “The retaliation people face is real,” Graves said.As attorney Robbie Kaplan, of Kaplan & Company, explained, the fund was meant to create an army of lawyers that would fight to show such behavior would no longer be ignored. Kaplan, who argued before the US supreme court in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, said the fund was filling a gap.For decades, she said, people who were able to find attorneys to fight sexual harassment cases tended to be either high income or were “embarrassment cases”, making accusations against high-profile and powerful people. “Almost everyone else in the middle were having a very, very hard time finding representation,” Kaplan said. Time’s Up, she said, has heard from women in nearly every industry including food, construction and the military. Kaplan said the action she was seeing was reminiscent of the activism that helped make same-sex marriage legal.“It’s just like gay rights,” Kaplan said. “How did we get them? One person said, ‘I am gay,’ and then another, and another and another. It’s exactly the same here.”The only man on stage was a former NFL player, Wade Davis, who is gay. He works with corporations, sports teams and universities to improve the understanding of sexuality. To do this, he said, he has to educate men about feminist theory. “The root of homophobia is sexism,” he said.Asked what women in the audience could do to help promote feminism, Davis said it was men who needed to step up. “Women don’t have to do anything,” he said. “They’ve done everything. Anything smart I said today I learned from a woman.” Celebrities and activists on Time’s Up at Tribeca festival: ‘this moment is here’ Read more Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Tribeca film festival Topics Shares2121 Sign up to our Film Today email Share on LinkedIn news Share on Pinterest Sun 29 Apr 2018 11.57 EDT … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Celebrities including Lupita Nyong’o and Julianne Moore discussed the work of the group that was formed to counter sexual harassment This article is more than 1 year old @holpuch Share via Email Share on Facebook Share on Messenger Amanda Holpuch in New York Share via Email Reuse this content Share on WhatsApp This article is more than 1 year old Sexual harassmentlast_img read more

Georgia voter suppression claims ramp up in governors race as lawsuits are

first_imgnews Share on Twitter Abrams accused her opponent on Sunday of creating a “miasma of fear” around voting, after civil rights groups filed a lawsuit charging that Kemp sought to disenfranchise more than 50,000 voters, up to 80% of them minorities, by removing them from registration rolls if there is any discrepancy in the spelling, hyphenation, or spacing of their names.Two more lawsuits came this week, targeting Gwinnett county for its rejection of absentee ballots, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.The county, which covers suburbs of Atlanta and in which a majority of voters are black, Latino and Asian, rejected 8.5% of the absentee ballots it had received by Sunday, the Journal-Constitution found. That’s far more than any other county in the state, with an average of just 2% of ballots rejected statewide.The county alone accounts for about 37% of all rejected absentee ballots in Georgia.Two separate suits were filed in US district court in Atlanta against Kemp and the Gwinnett county elections board. This article is more than 8 months old Erin Durkin Share on Twitter “The penalty for even the smallest clerical error or a question about the voter’s signature is disenfranchisement, with no meaningful opportunity to cure any perceived discrepancy,” the Coalition for Good Governance said in its suit, asking for the rejected ballots to be counted.The county has denied any wrongdoing, saying it rejected the ballots according to regulations if they were missing required information such as signatures, birth dates or addresses, and had no explanation for the discrepancy with other counties.Some observers have pointed to the fact that the county is the only one in the state required to provide election materials in English and in Spanish, leading to a ballot envelope design that may be confusing to voters.Meanwhile, at a senior center in Jefferson county, 40 seniors had eagerly boarded a bus outside their senior center to go cast their votes after early voting kicked off, only to be told by the center’s director to get off.The bus was organized by the group Black Voters Matter, but a county clerk called the county-run senior center to object, the Journal-Constitution reported.The county deemed the event impermissible “political activity” at a government-run center. Black Voters Matter is a non-partisan organization, but the Jefferson county Democratic party chairwoman helped organize the event.“We knew it was an intimidation tactic,” LaTosha Brown, a co-founder of Black Voters Matter, told the paper.“The seniors were so resolved. They said: ‘We’re going to vote. Nobody’s going to stop us,’” she said. “It wasn’t the first time someone has denied them or tried to prevent them from voting.”The county administrator says no one was denied their right to vote and the residents are free to vote at another time. Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook US midterms 2018 Share on Messenger Read more … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Issue has been a flashpoint in the race, which pits Democrat Stacey Abrams against Republican secretary of state, Brian Kemp Wed 17 Oct 2018 14.47 EDT Facebook Since you’re here…center_img Allegations of voter suppression in the Georgia governor’s election are ramping up – with lawsuits filed after the state’s most diverse county rejected an unusually large share of absentee ballots.Also this week, dozens of African American senior citizens were ordered off a bus they were planning to ride to the polls from their senior center, a move advocates called an “intimidation tactic”.Voter suppression has been a flashpoint in the race, which pits Democrat Stacey Abrams, who if elected would become the first African American woman governor of any state, against Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brian Kemp. Twitter US politics This article is more than 8 months old Georgia: voter suppression claims ramp up in governor’s race as lawsuits are filed Georgia Republicans A supporter waits for the arrival of Democratic Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams during a rally in Morrow, Georgia, on 9 October.Photograph: John Amis/EPA Georgia’s secretary of state Brian Kemp. Stacey Abrams has accused her Republican opponent of creating a ‘miasma of fear’ around voting. Photograph: John Amis/AP Support The Guardian Georgia Topics Shares7171 Democrats Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Last modified on Tue 12 Feb 2019 10.51 EST Stacey Abrams: GOP opponent creating ‘miasma of fear’ over voting in Georgia Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Kim Jongnam halfbrother of North Korean leader was a CIA informant

first_imgNorth Korea This article is more than 1 month old The Journal’s claims could not be independently confirmed. But Anna Fifield, the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Beijing, said in her book The Great Successor: “King Jong-nam became an informant for the CIA … His brother would have considered talking to American spies a treacherous act. But Kim Jong-nam provided information to them, usually meeting his handlers in Singapore or Malaysia.”The book said security camera footage from Kim’s last trip to Malaysia showed him in a hotel lift with an Asian-looking man who was reported to be a US intelligence agent. It said Kim’s backpack contained $120,000 in cash, which could have been payment for intelligence-related activities, or earnings from his casino businesses. July 2018 Trained assassins claimAs the women’s trial continues, the Malaysian prosecution argues that the pair must have been trained as assassins, alleging that footage showing them heading to the bathrooms shortly after the attack indicates that they knew they had to remove the lethal nerve agent from their skin. Share on LinkedIn 18 February 2017 More arrestsAfter Siti Aisyah’s boyfriend, Muhammad Farid bin Jalaluddin, is also arrested, Ri Jong-chol becomes the fourth person to be picked up by investigators, and the only suspect from North Korea. 13 February 2017 Kim Jong-nam diesKim Jong-nam dies on his way to hospital after seeking help at an information desk in Kuala Lumpur airport because he felt dizzy. CCTV footage emerges which appears to show him being attacked as a woman approaches him and places something over his face from behind. Was this helpful? Share on WhatsApp 1 December 2017 Missed opportunityThe court is told that Kim Jong-nam was carrying an antidote to the nerve agent that killed him in his bag at the time of his death. Before his death he was said to be paranoid that the North Korean regime would strike against him. Asia Pacific 10 May 1971 Kim Jong-nam bornThe eldest son of Kim Jong-il when his father takes control of North Korea in 1994, Kim Jong-nam is assumed to be the designated successor. Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korea’s leader, met CIA operatives, the Wall Street Journal has claimed.Photograph: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images ‘Nexus’ between US intelligence agency and Kim before 2017 assassination, WSJ reports Show How North Korea got away with the assassination of Kim Jong-nam Share on Facebook Kim Jong-un Share via Email 11 March 2019 Aisyah freedTwo years after her initial arrest, and 17 months after her trial began, charges are unexpectedly dropped against Siti Aisyah, and she is released. 2 October 2017 Not guilty pleasSiti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong plead not guilty at the start of their trial. Three days later the court hears how traces of the banned VX nerve agent were found on both women. May 2001 Deported from JapanKim Jong-nam is deported from Japan after trying to enter the country on a fake passport. He is subsequently removed from the succession in favour of his younger half-brother Kim Jong-il. He goes into exile, occasionally criticising the North Korean regime. North Korea First published on Mon 10 Jun 2019 21.12 EDT 25 February 2017 ‘Prank’ mysterySiti Aisyah says she was paid $90 to take part in what she believed was a prank. South Korean and US officials have said North Korean authorities ordered Kim’s assassination in retaliation for his criticism of the family’s dynastic rule. Pyongyang has denied the allegation.Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have met twice, in Hanoi in February and Singapore in June last year. Early optimism that the leaders’ personal rapport would lead to a deal on denuclearisation weakened after their most recent talks ended without an agreement and competing accounts of why the summit ended in disarray.The CIA declined to comment on the Journal’s claims.Reuters contributed to this story Share via Email 15 February 2017 First arrestsA 28-year-old woman, Doan Thi Huong, who holds a Vietnamese passport, is arrested by authorities in connection with the death. Images from the airport show that she had been wearing a white jumper with ‘LOL’ emblazoned upon it at the time of Kim’s death. An Indonesian, Siti Aisyah, 25, is arrested the following day. Twitter Share on Twitter 23 February 2017 North Korea outragedNorth Korea demands that Malaysia stop investigating the death, with the state news agency insisting Kim died of a heart attack, not poisoning, and blaming South Korea for a ‘conspiratorial racket’.center_img Facebook This article is more than 1 month old Thank you for your feedback. 6 March 2017 Travel ban The diplomatic row over the death escalates to tit-for-tat travel bans being enforced between Malaysia and North Korea. Previously Malaysia had been one of very few countries to allow easy travel to North Korea. Timeline The death of Kim Jong-nam Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, was a CIA informant before he was assassinated in Malaysia in 2017, a report has claimed.Citing an unnamed “person knowledgeable about the matter”, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday “there was a nexus” between Kim Jong-nam and the CIA, adding that many details of his relationship with the agency remained unclear.According to the Journal’s source, Kim travelled to Malaysia in February 2017 to meet his CIA contact, although that may not have been the sole purpose of his trip.But the newspaper said Kim, who was once considered the favourite to succeed his father, Kim Jong-il, as leader but fell out of favour, was probably unable to shed much light on the regime’s internal politics.“Several former US officials said the half brother, who had lived outside of North Korea for many years and had no known power base in Pyongyang, was unlikely to be able to provide details of the secretive country’s inner workings,” it said.The officials told the newspaper Kim had almost certainly been in contact with the security services of other countries, including China.Two women were charged with poisoning Kim Jong-nam by smearing his face with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017. Malaysia released Indonesian Siti Aisyah in March and Doan Thi Huong, who is Vietnamese, in May. Read more news Hide Pinterest Topics Share on Pinterest Reuse this content … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Since you’re here… Shares917917 Tue 11 Jun 2019 03.44 EDT Share on Facebook 24 February 2017 Nerve agent confirmedMalaysian police announce that Kim was killed with the banned VX nerve agent, classified by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction. Malaysia’s health minister later says the dose was so high it killed him ‘within 15 to 20 minutes’. 31 March 2017 Body returnedKim Jong-nam’s body is repatriated. The same plane carries three North Korean men initially named by Malaysian police as suspects in his murder. 23 October 2017 Re-enactment chaosThere are chaotic scenes at Kuala Lumpur airport as suspects Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong, handcuffed and wearing bulletproof vests, are walked around the alleged crime scene in a re-enactment. Halfway through the visit, the distressed women cannot continue on their own, and are then pushed around in wheelchairs.  CIA Justin McCurry in Tokyo Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korean leader, ‘was a CIA informant’ The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. Photograph: EPA Share on Twitter 31 March 2019 Doan Thi Huong welcomes ‘fair sentence’After accepting a lesser charge of ‘causing hurt by a dangerous weapon’, she is sentenced to three years and four months in prison, and was released on 3 May 2019. Share on Messenger Support The Guardianlast_img read more