Tag Archives: news
You may have noticed that we've recently made all of SelfAssemblySites video training library and bonus downloads available to anyone who signs up for a free account.
Back in 2011 we launched the site with high hopes, but over the next 18 months we failed to achieve the traction we were looking for, and both Al and I eventually moved on to other projects.
Recently I was setting up a new server and decided to see if we could breath some new life into the old site. We had over 100 videos here and neither of us wanted to see them go to waste.
What we've done is remove some of the more powerful but complex systems we were using like our forum software and membership software - we've replaced them with simpler solutions like a private Facebook group and a free WordPress plugin respectively.
While making these changes it also highlighted for me just how much some technology has moved on.
Our 100+ videos were recorded 3-4 years ago and the appearance and functionality of some of the featured tools and websites has changed since then. Because of that we've done a content audit of our entire training library.
The content audit revealed that 39% of our video content is "evergreen", i.e. needs no update, 43% of the video content "appears dated but no major changes in functionality", and 18% we classified as "out of date, principle or visuals have changed". (Even for these out of date videos, for the most part the general principles involved have not changed, so they're still useful.)
Now that we've done the audit and marked content appropriately, for a limited time we're making everything available to anyone who registers a free account.
Over time we're planning to update the more crucial video content and then put everything behind a paywall for an amount tbd.
If you'd like to guarantee free lifetime access to the content, sign up for a free account now.
Thanks for checking out SelfAssemblySites, I hope you find it useful.
App Economy Creates Nearly 500k Jobs in US: Before the iPhone there was no app industry, but with the meteoric expansion of it and rival devices, the sector now employs in the region of half a million people in the United States alone.
Flexible Screens Have Arrived: C3Nano, a company that makes transparent, flexible screens has secured a round of funding worth $6.7, and is building relationships in Japan and Korea with giants such as Samsung. The technology boasts it's robust and cost effective. (Includes demo video)
StartUp May Save Businesses Fortunes in Legal Costs: Technology has limited, changed or destroyed many long established industries, now it might be the turn of the legal professions to take a battering, having to compete with technological solutions to some of its core business practices.
The World's Smallest 3D Printer (Video): What could you do with the world’s smallest 3D printer? At TEDxVienna Klaus Stadlmann demos his tiny, affordable printer that could someday make customized hearing aids or sculptures smaller than a human hair.
'Upstart Business' is a phrase that seems to be creeping into the journalistic language used on tech and entrepreneurial blogs in the US. The first time I heard it I thought the writer was simply playing with the normal term 'startup' to be witty and focus on a particularly ballsy and inspiring effort of a young entrepreneur. Then a week or two later I read it again elsewhere. This got me thinking: Was 'upstart' just a meme that one clever writer used once and then suddenly caught on with the blogging fraternity or is it now a well known and accepted term? More to the point does its origin matter and is it more important to ask which is better?
Googling the term, you get a myriad of results. Many are for business or consultancy related groups and services that use the 'upstart' interchangeably with 'startup'.
The online dictionary definitions which appear are all similar to this one:
n. A person of humble origin who attains sudden wealth, power, or importance, especially one made immodest or presumptuous by the change; a parvenu.
adj. 1. Suddenly raised to a position of consequence.
2. Self-important; presumptuous.
Reading between the lines in the tech blogs it appears that the difference is this; 'Startups' are entrepreneurial businesses that begin with external funding from venture capital from their inception. However, 'Upstart' businesses begin without significant external funding, just savings and personal loans from friends and family and usually the founders maintain all equity. This is in keeping with the upstart definition, springing from humble origins to wealth, rather than having lots of cash to play with before you have a customer.
A Big Upstart
Felix Dennis, author of the refreshingly direct, 'How to Get Rich', is very much in the upstart mould and believes a business owner should do everything in their power to hold on to the most equity possible. Each percentage of equity you manage to own, could be worth millions when you eventually sell your business. In one chapter he describes how two important employees at his magazine demanded a small share of the business or they'd start a rival publication.
He instantly called their bluff, fired them and wished them well in their new venture. Within a few years their business was bust and they were back working for him, no hard feelings. When he sold up and moved on, that tiny percentage they had demanded was worth millions; his baby, his millions. Dennis put it in uncompromising terms:
Talent is indispensable, although it is always replaceable.
Just remember the simple rules concerning talent:
Identify It, Hire It, Nurture It, Reward It, Protect It. And when the time comes, Fire It.
Facebook Files for $5bn IPO: Only eight years after creating the site from his Harvard dorm room, Mark Zuckerberg's stake in Facebook is $28bn, the full value of the company estimated to be £100bn.
What Will Facebook Do With All That Money?: The social giant will have raised an astounding $2.8 billion. What in the world will Facebook buy with all that cash?
Parking Sensors to Take Pain Out of Finding a Space: A "parking patch" could bring together wireless sensors and mobile apps to steer drivers towards vacant spots, and lead traffic wardens to parking offenders.
We Are All Cyborgs (TED Video): Technology is evolving us, says Amber Case, as we become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens. We now rely on "external brains" (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives. But will these machines ultimately connect or conquer us? Case offers surprising insight into our cyborg selves.
How to Become an Effective CEO, Chief Emotions Officer: Tim Ferriss introduces a guest post by "most innovative" award winning CEO and boutique hotel owner Chip Conley on his latest book 'Emotional Equations, Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success'. It may sound a little schmalzy, but there's some good constructive and positive stuff in there.
Why Facebook is Making People Sad: As Facebook becomes a more powerful influence in our daily existence, researchers are looking into how the social networking giant changes our perception of the lives of friends and family members.
Why Startups Succeed or Fail: 10 Fascinating Hardvard Findings: Key insights into what makes entrepreneurial success from a Harvard Business school working paper, some confirm what we know, some are quite counter-intuitive.
How to Make a Splash in Social Media: In this funny, rapid-fire 4 minutes, Alexis Ohanian of Reddit tells the real-life fable of one humpback whale's rise to Web stardom. The lesson of Mister Splashy Pants is a shoo-in classic for meme-makers and marketers in the Facebook age.
Anonymous Take Down the Websites of Dept of Justice, Universal Music, BMI & the FBI: Hacker Collective Anonymous attacked and took down dozens of websites yesterday in retaliation for the FBI shutting down several sites that they believed pirate media illegally.
Facebook Begins News Feed Ads Rollout: Facebook began a slow rollout of ads to the news feed today, but the units are not called Sponsored Stories as some anticipated.
HP Unveil Giant 11 ft x 7ft Touchscreen For Retailers and Businesses: The HP Vantage Point system is powered by two computers with one graphics card and six monitors, yet this touchscreen can simultaneously register input from 32 fingers. It extends the portfolio of "immersive displays" from HP Labs and is designed as a tool for showcasing retail goods or enterprise data.
The Best Definition for 'Entrepreneur'?: As an entrepreneur, you surely have an elevator pitch, the 15-second synopsis of what your company does and why, and you can all but repeat it in your sleep. But until recently, most of us have ever seen a good elevator pitch for entrepreneurship itself. What you do that all entrepreneurs do?
As always, your thoughts, opinions and comments are most welcome and appreciated
There's been a lot of buzz and backlash these last few months around the tech blogs, websites and forums regarding this controversial new bill which was due to go before the US Congress. SOPA or Stop Online Piracy Act and the parallel PIPA or Protect IP Act, both aim to protect the Intellectual Property market and industry, protect jobs and revenue and is said to be necessary to strengthen enforcement of copyright laws, especially against foreign websites.
In many ways that sounds quite reasonable. Intellectual Property and copyright owners must have some rights to protect their creations, don't they? They do and they should. That aspect is not the problem with the bill, what is the problem is the knock on effects and the potential for severely excessive use of the bill against freedom of speech as well as destabilising and making less secure the foundations and very structure of the internet.
The eminent Yoast of Yoast SEO fame, one of the foremost and respected WordPress SEO experts unusually ventured into political territory with a recent blog post strongly against SOPA entitled Stop SOPA Help the Internet. In it he directed attention to a video concisely explaining the the very real dangers the bill poses to the safety of the Internet as well as freedom of speech and entrepreneurial innovation. Watch this video as it's a concise summing up of the argument against SOPA:
So who supports SOPA and who's against it? Hollywood and the entertainment industries such as the big studios and tv networks, book publishers and music industry players support it which isn't a huge surprise. View the complete list of SOPA supporters here. More enlightening maybe, are the lists of those in strong opposition or express concern with SOPA. All the big tech and internet companies are there; Facebook, Google etc but also the usually non-political WordPress and somewhat subversive but pro-democracy organisations such as 4chan. The anti-SOPA list really is a who's who of the internet, tech and pro-free speech, first amendment world.
Maybe more interestingly again however, GoDaddy, Electronic Arts, Sony and Nintendo were on the pro-SOPA side and defected over, many believe due to the extraordinary public outcry against the bill and the bad PR for those who supported it.
There was a crucial turning point for the anti-SOPA camp when the White House stated that they will not support the bill.
"While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,"
Nicely put by the White House. Artists need to get paid otherwise they will struggle to make more art. But we're not really talking that much about 'artists' here, we're talking about cases being brought by large Hollywood studios, tv companies, and giant corporations, many that churn out repetitive low grade schlock. These are the companies that could afford to take advantage of the SOPA bill, even banning personal youtube videos and accounts that have their song in the background.
Still, they have a right to protect that schlock or indeed quality work, as any author does. Almost everyone, supporters and detractors of the SOPA bill, agree that it is well meaning in what it's trying to do in protecting Intellectual Property rights and the jobs of those who create works, it's just how it plans to do that and on the devastating tertiary impact it will have that people massively disagree.
A few hours following the White House opposition to the bill, Congress shelved SOPA putting off action on the it indefinitely. It's quite refreshing when democracy and the voice of the people is listened to, but it's equally terrifying how close we came to this madness becoming reality. Obama may have been the final nail in SOPA's coffin, in this guise. But how long before it's back with a different name but a similar danger to freedom of speech?