Author Archives: C. DAY

Opportunities Everywhere.

“When you think like an entrepreneur, you see everything around you differently.”

A few months ago, my wife and I were brainstorming ways to market our novel.  We spend three years writing it together -it’s called Mr. Nice Guy, and it  comes out October 16.  And as any author knows, publicizing and marketing a book is tough.  It’s a crowded space, few publications cover books in any meaningful way, and readers are hard to reach.

We stared into the air for a while.  Then, I thought, What would happen if I stopped looking at this like an author, and started doing it like an entrepreneur?  And with that, a new world opened up.  I don’t see entrepreneurship as a career  choice.  It’s a mindset.  That’s the thing I marvel at most when spending time with brilliant entrepreneurs,  and it’s the skill I think everyone should continually hone.  When you think like an entrepreneur, it like wearing augmented reality glasses.  You see the same things as everyone else, but you see them differently.  They appear as inactive opportunities, just waiting to be achieved.  All you need is to find a new way for something old to be useful.

There are ample famous examples of this, of course.  Airbnb realized that a house isn’t just a house;  it’s a rentable space.  Uber resized that a car isn’t just a car; it’s a taxi service.  But his happens on a smaller scale, too. Consider the inventor of a butter dish called Butteries, who told me she couldn’t afford $10,000 ini market research.  She realized the airport wasn’t just a place to travel;  it was actually a perfect polling place, filled with people who have nothing better to do than answer questions about butter dishes, and so she began showing up early for flights and surveying travelers.  Or take the man I interviewed whose camera equipment business was slowing.  He realized Amazon wasn’t just aside to sell products -it was really a giant R & D Lab, where he could scour reviews of other products to meet the commenters’ specific desires.  “I like this clock, but I wish the numbers were bigger”, someone might write.  Bingo.  Today his company, C+A Global, sells tens of thousands of products and has offices around the world.

So, I started thinking about what I’d overlooked.  What had I once thought of as just a part of my book, but that was really an inactive opportunity?  And then aha!  There’s a critical scene that features a remote-controlled vibrator.  (You weren’t expecting that, I bet.  Mr. Nice Guy is a romantic comedy about two people who each week sleep together and then critically review each other’s performance in a magazine.)  What if the vibrator wasn’t just any ol’ vibrator but was instead …some brand’s vibrator?  I called the adult product company Adam & Eve with a proposal:  I’d put them in the scene, in exchange for them emailing their entire list about our book. They said yes.  Interactive opportunity: activated.  This was exciting.  And, addictive!  I kept going.  Would Elliott Clark, a well-respected cocktail creator I met who goes by Apartment Bartender, make drinks inspired by the book?  Sounds fun, he said.  Most authors launch their books at bookstores, but…what if that’s actually an interactive opportunity?  I emailed a friend at WeWork; would they host our party and invite members?  Yes, they would!  Now, back to Elliott;  Would he come?  Yes!  Could he get us a liquor sponsor?  Yes!  Opportunities everywhere!

This thinking is equal parts thrill and anxiety.  There’s the thrill of finding opportunities and the anxiety of never possibly finding them all.  But at least there’s a solution:  Make the mindset a habit.  Do it until it become second nature, until you can’t remember what it was like to not see opportunity everywhere.  You’ll see more every day.  Why else do you think I wrote this month’s column the way I have?  This, right here, was an opportunity I needed to activate.  Now you can let me know if I was successful.

Jason Feifer is Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine jfeifer@entrepreneur.com, reprinted with his kind permission.

 

51 Countries Participate in Hive 2019

Your ‘Current in Entrepreneurship’ editor above had the pleasure of attending the Hive Global Leaders Summit August 15-18 in the Santa Cruz mountains, Scotts Valley, CA near Silicon Valley this year. Simply stated it is an event like no other. Hive members are changing the world, solving humanity’s greatest challenges, making a difference in their local communities, and are committed to personal transformation. Members are working together to create a world in which everyone has the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

This flagship annual event, the Hive Global Leaders Summit (GLS) was a 3.5-day immersive workshop on purpose, leadership, entrepreneurship, and wellness held in August. Hive also hosts major events in Germany, Mexico, Canada, Romania, Nigeria, Liberia, India, Pakistan, Australia, and The Philippines. Members become part of a lifelong community of purpose-driven leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and innovators working together on creating a better world while supporting each other in their personal and professional growth. Over 3,000 leaders from 130 countries are part of the Hive community globally. The organization helps leaders improve their lives through local gatherings and high-quality digital experiences.

It is a group of like-minded social entrepreneurs forming a powerful tribe to do better world work by taking on humanity’s problems and raising standards of living through synergy and diversity. As an example at this year’s gathering, there were panel discussions, renown speakers (Marianne Williamson, a democratic candidate for U. S. President, gave the keynote address suggesting dramatic political change), and self-improvement breakout sessions (public speaking, the “Da Vinci Within”, Authentic Relationships, and Evolve Venturing). By far the the most impactful session was given the last full day by host and Hive CEO Ryan Allis and Nadia Mufti on Designing Your Life Purpose.

This segment can be life-changing for participants. Ryan and Nadia guide cohorts through an experiential exercise called Designing Your life using the Hive purpose model, “What I love doing, What I am good at, What the world needs, and What I can paid for”. As these four wheels intersect, there is a creation of passion, mission, profession, and vocation to define each person’s purpose. These questions are broken down into meaning. For example, for “What do I love doing”, you are asked to answer “When am I most ‘in flow’, what excites me, what makes me come alive, and when am I the happiest”? Near the end people draw their purpose statement and, significantly, list 90-day, 1-year, 5-year and 10-year goals that deliberately include holistic actions like health, travel, work, family, relationships and habits.

At my stage of life I help others learn and grow through entrepreneurship. But, even here I was able to think through a major philanthropic decision using the Hive technique. Three characteristics of a great purpose statement are it is understandable, inspiring, and memorable. After some effort, I was able to reduce mine to fifteen words. I also zeroed in on health as an out-of-balance factor impacting my ‘flow’ and learned new methods of eating, exercise and de-stressing. The final piece of the Hive Global Summit are the people. They are fascinating, from all over the world, and share a common desire to improve both themselves and the larger world. Discussions are extraordinary, interesting, and illuminating.

One example was a fifteen year old invited guest Joshua Gao, inventor of a fire extinguisher that uses sound waves to put out a forest fire. It detects a fire using infrared sensors, and automatically emits a beam of sound waves to the fire source to extinguish it. He recently won the Conrad International Entrepreneurship Challenge. The challenge was created by Nancy Conrad, the widow of Astronaut Pete Conrad who commanded the Apollo 12 mission in 1969. A high school student from Nashua, New Hampshire, Joshua has founded the SAFE company to market the technology to governments and corporations.

If you would like a rich, impactful, and life enriching experience, I encourage you to consider application to the Hive Global Summit in 2020. It will be held again at the 1440 Multiversity in the beautiful redwoods of Scotts Valley. 1440 was built by Silicon Valley unicorn, Scott Kriens, who founded the Juniper Networks.

 

T R E A T U P C O M I N G, STAY TUNED.

STAY TUNED TO CLINTONEDAY.COM BLOG.  We have an extraordinary treat upcoming with coverage form the 2019 GLOBAL HIVE CONFERENCE IN SILCON VALLEY.  Hive is the community for leaders and entrepreneurs who are changing the world with 2,800 members in 130 countries.  This retreat is in the Santa Cruz mountains near Silicon Valley August 15-18th, and your editor will be in attendance.  We plan to highlight speakers, guests, and the stimulating innovation to come out of it.         HIVE GLS 2019 FLYER v13 (2).pdf =  on Hive.org

Some of the speakers include Presidential candidate Mary Ann Williamson,   Mind-boggling!

How To Recruit Customers For Your Minimum Viable Product

Let’s talk about how we turn an audience into a customer base. And let’s start with how we don’t.

To give some context, I’ll ask a hypothetical question. Once you’ve spent all the time it takes to ideate, build, and perfect your minimum viable product, would you then head out into your neighborhood, taking your MVP from door to door to hawk your wares like the vacuum cleaner salesmen of old?

Absolutely not. But oddly enough, this is how a lot of entrepreneurs target the audience that they hope to turn into their first customers, the digital equivalent of it anyway. Find a lot of like-minded people gathered in one place on the Internet, hit them with a singular pitch and price point, then sit back and wait for the money to roll in.

I know. I used to do the same exact thing. In over 20 years creating and launching dozens of products, I’ve had to learn the lessons of customer acquisition the hard way — a path littered with expensive and time-consuming rejection.

The goal isn’t how many customers we can hit at once, it’s how much can we learn from each customer we hit. The solution is to go after initial customers one at a time, then tailor the pitch as we move on from individuals to groups.

Here’s how we break down who they are and what they need, how we sell them our MVP, and what we can learn from each of them.

Don’t know they have a problem

When we throw our product out to the Internet — the advertising platforms, social media sites, LinkedIn groups, etc. — the vast majority of our audience doesn’t know they have the problem we’re trying to solve. This is why a lot of cheesy ads start with a question like, “Are you tired of…(insert problem here)?”

This is the worst MVP audience to go after, even though it seems like the easiest and cheapest to reach.

In reality, this is the most expensive audience, because even with all of the algorithms to filter demographics and psychographics and interests and browsing history, there’s probably not a checkbox to select the audience that suffers from the exact problem you’re trying to solve. And if there is, the problem you’ve chosen is probably too broad to begin with. Either way, we’re paying for a lot of misfires.

There’s really no good way to sell an MVP to this audience, other than to start with that cheesy question. From the response, we can learn how much of our prospective customer segment thinks that they’re impacted by our problem, but that’s going to be a noisily inaccurate statistic that’s expensive to obtain, and it doesn’t tell us much about the validity of our solution.

Know they have a problem and are willing to solve it

This is a great audience to have, but it can be a hard one to find. We basically have to look for complainers — those people who actually are tired of (insert problem here). Sometimes they’ll group together, but most of the time we have to work backwards, and go looking for them in the context of a similar problem.

An example: At my current startup Spiffy, we started out doing mobile car washes on-demand through an app. One of the discoveries we made from polling our customers was that they used us primarily because they enjoyed the convenience and time savings of not having to go to the car wash. So we asked them where else they hated to go, and they overwhelmingly told us they hated going to the oil change places. So we rolled out an MVP to change oil the same way we did car washes. Huge win.

Now, our MVP audience was already in our customer base, but we had to learn why they were there first. Had we assumed (mistakenly) they were using us because they just liked things really clean, we might have instead (mistakenly) rolled out an MVP for mobile house cleaning or pet grooming, and misfired completely.

Know they have a problem and are unwilling to solve it

This is a tough nut to crack, but super valuable if we can crack it, because this audience is going to be a big part of our sustained growth down the road. These are the folks who are living with the problem we’re trying to solve, and not willing to pay for a solution, either because the problem isn’t painful enough or because the existing solutions aren’t cost-effective or frictionless enough.

So this is where our competitive advantage will come from.

We usually find this audience virally, in the same places we find the audience willing to solve the problem. But we sell this audience by stressing our competitive edge and justifying why they don’t have to live with the problem any longer.

Again, I’ll use my current startup as an example: Anyone can live with a dirty car, some can live with a dirtier car than others. We made it so easy, so cost-effective, and the results so good that this audience realized they didn’t have to live with a dirty car anymore.

Furthermore, as their unwillingness to solve the problem melts, we’re learning all sorts of things from them: Scheduling, frequency, packaging, pricing, upgrades, messaging, and the list goes on and on.

Already using a free variant of the solution

This is an outlier audience in the real world, it happens with a lot more frequency in software as a service. There may already be a contingent audience using a low-feature version of our product for free. And it may even be a low-feature version of our own MVP.

Much like the audience that doesn’t know they have a problem, this one is tricky, because it seems like a gold mine of cheap-to-find and easy-to-land customers, but it’s really just a special subset of two other audiences: The ones that don’t know they have a problem and the ones that know but are unwilling to solve it.

The free version sets up a challenge. We have to sell the audience by both fortifying their desire to fix the problem while also offering a solution that is worth the time and money to transition from the free solution. This is complex, I mean, it took me a while just to write that last sentence, let alone execute on it.

But again, crazy important to learn from, because we’re learning where and how much value our MVP really has.

Already paying for a solution and unhappy with that solution

In the short term, this is a great audience to chase. It’s where we’re going to disrupt the market. These are people who know the problem, need a solution, and are unhappy with the solution they have.

These are our competitors customers, and they can be swayed on anything from price to innovation. Just know that if it’s the former, they’ll be difficult to keep, and if it’s the latter, we can’t rest on the MVP, we have to keep innovating.

My recommendation here would not be to sell them on price, because like I said, even if that gets them to switch, it won’t keep them around. And we need them around because we can learn more from this audience than any other, not only in terms of what our MVP’s strengths are, but where we should go next.

To put it another way, these customers didn’t become unhappy because the product became too expensive, they became unhappy because the product stopped being worth what they were paying. They can help us chase innovation and maintain that value proposition for all of our customers.

Already paying for a solution and happy with that solution

OK, this audience is the holy grail, if we can convert them, because landing these customers is the difference between being a market competitor and the market leader.

These are also our competitors’ customers, but they’re the ones who are totally satisfied with the solution they have, and the only way they’re becoming our customers is if we show them something they hadn’t thought of before.

If we can show that kind of value to that kind of audience, it means we’re reshaping the industry, changing the game, whatever you want to call inventing the next generation of our business. It’s what we set out to do when we first got the idea for our product, and it’s what drove us all the way through the MVP process. It only stands to reason that this is the primary audience to target when building our customer base.

By Joe Procopio.com from Daily Medium online. 

A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence

A WHARTON PROFESSOR AND TECH ENTREPRENEUR EXAMINES HOW ALGORITHMS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ARE STARTING TO RUN EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES, AND HOW WE CAN SHAPE THE WAY THEY IMPACT US

If you recently applied for a mortgage or a job, made a purchase on Amazon, or watched a movie on Netflix, you interacted with an algorithm. Some of them simply make suggestions, while others make decisions for us. Algorithms can drive cars, make investments, set insurance premiums, and offer doctors diagnostic guidance.

In his new book, Wharton professor Kartik Hosanagar says that while they can make our lives easier, “they are also adversely affecting us in ways that are currently beyond our control.”

Most of us are familiar with at least a few cautionary tales, since they tend to make headlines. Amazon’s gender-biased recruiting algorithm, Uber’s self-driving car that killed a pedestrian, and IBM’s Watson Health that gave potentially fatal cancer treatment recommendations are some of the best known. But, says Hosanagar, “AI-based algorithms are here to stay. To discard them now would be like Stone Age humans deciding to reject the use of fire because it can be tricky to control.”

In A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence (Viking, 2019), Hosanagar answers three related questions: (1) What causes algorithms to behave in unpredictable, biased, and potentially harmful ways? (2) If algorithms can be irrational and unpredictable, how do we decide when to use them? (3) How do we, as individuals who use algorithms in our personal or professional lives and as a society, shape the narrative of how algorithms impact us?

This important new book will deepen your understanding of algorithms and the risks associated with algorithmic decision making. Hosanagar explains how we can hold algorithms accountable: a user’s “bill of rights” clarifying the level of transparency, “explainability” (knowing why algorithms decide what they decide), and control we can and should expect from the algorithms we use. As he notes, having a “vague notion of how autonomous algorithms function is no longer sufficient for responsible citizens, consumers, and professionals.” We don’t need to become machine learning specialists, but to limit and control their power over our lives we do need a solid understanding of the big picture. A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence more than fills the bill.

Through the technology embedded in almost every major tech platform and every web-enabled device, algorithms and the artificial intelligence that underlies them make a staggering number of everyday decisions for us, from what products we buy, to where we decide to eat, to how we consume our news, to whom we date, and how we find a job. We’ve even delegated life-and-death decisions to algorithms–decisions once made by doctors, pilots, and judges.

In his book, Hosanagar surveys the brave new world of algorithmic decision-making and reveals the potentially dangerous biases they can give rise to as they increasingly run our lives. He makes the compelling case that we need to arm ourselves with a better, deeper, more nuanced understanding of the phenomenon of algorithmic thinking. And he gives us a route in, pointing out that algorithms often think a lot like their creators–that is, like you and me.

He draws on his experiences designing algorithms professionally–as well as on history, computer science, and psychology–to explore how algorithms work and why they occasionally go rogue, what drives our trust in them, and the many ramifications of algorithmic decision-making. He examines episodes like Microsoft’s chatbot Tay, which was designed to converse on social media like a teenage girl, but instead turned sexist and racist; the fatal accidents of self-driving cars; and even our own common, and often frustrating, experiences on services like Netflix and Amazon.

Every now and then, 87 million Spotify users receive a great new daily mixtape: 50 songs that feel like a gift from a music-loving friend, totally in synch with their musical proclivities. But these thoughtfully curated playlists, from Spotify, are cooked up by an algorithm.

Wharton School Professor Kartik Hosanagar’s timely new book A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence explores how algorithms and the artificial intelligence that underlies them have seeped into our lives. They have crept into areas of decision-making that were once the sole preserve of humans.

Since it’s so hard to spot, you might not even have noticed how much of your life is now influenced by algorithms which make everyday decisions for us, from what products we buy, to where we decide to eat, to how we consume our news.

Having a machine tell you how long your commute will be, what music you should listen to, are all relatively harmless examples. But while you’re scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, an algorithm somewhere is providing doctors with AI-based diagnostic guidance, helping recruiters shortlist job applicants, deciding university admissions, dispensing criminal justice and upending old ways of decision making.

“Chatbots like Siri and Alexa could ultimately be gateways through which we access information and transact online,” writes Hosanagar, who is the John C Hower Professor of Technology and Digital Business at Wharton, at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Companies are hoping to use chatbots to replace a large number of their customer service staff, employing them, for example as shopping assistants — gathering information about our taste in clothes, evaluating it, and making purchase decisions on our behalf,” he writes.

Hosanagar succeeds in making the case that we need to arm ourselves with a “better, deeper, more nuanced” understanding of the phenomenon of algorithmic thinking. To flag the lurking dangers, the author highlights how it took less than 24 hours for Twitter to corrupt an AI chatbot.

The book delves into how Microsoft famously unveiled Tay — a Twitter bot that the company described as an experiment in “conversational understanding.” The more you chat with Tay, said Microsoft, the smarter it gets, learning to engage people through “casual and playful conversation.”

Sadly, the conversations didn’t stay playful for long. Soon after Tay launched, people starting tweeting the bot with all sorts of crazy misogynistic and racist remarks. Tay — being essentially a robot parrot with an internet connection — started repeating these sentiments back to users.

The author says Microsoft didn’t anticipate that Tay would develop so “aggressive a personality” with such alarming speed.  “The algorithim that controlled the bot did something that no one who programmed it expected it to do: it took on a life of its own,” writes Hosanagar.  Ultimately, Microsoft shut down the project’s website and MIT included Tay in its annual Worst in Tech rankings.

Hosanagar’s big picture thinking on algorithms contains some profound analysis of the new technology we have built, which has now unwittingly come to constrain us. He channels powerful examples to show readers how we’ve even delegated life-and-death decisions to algorithms — decisions once made by doctors, pilots, and judges.

The book argues that the possibility of discrimination is complicated by algorithms’ mathematical complexity: the computation that turns input into output can be difficult to trace, which has led to the characterization of algorithms as inscrutable “black boxes.”

But with the right regulations in place, algorithms could be more transparent than human cognition, the author argues. And the transparency could make it easier to detect and prevent discrimination. The author proposes effectively a “bill of rights” that limits algorithims’ powers and how users can hold them accountable. It clarifies the level of transparency, “explainability,” and control we should expect from the algorithms we use. The book includes Hosanagar’s bold Algorithmic Bill of Rights, which would give enterprises a framework to help them guide their AI projects in ethically responsible ways.

Hosanagar’s big picture thinking on algorithms contains some profound analysis of the new technology we have built, which has now unwittingly come to constrain us. He channels powerful examples to show readers how we’ve even delegated life-and-death decisions to algorithms — decisions once made by doctors, pilots, and judges.

Algorithms, for all their promise, can also lead to biased outcomes. Researchers have long been concerned about algorithmic fairness. For instance, Amazon’s AI-based recruiting engine turned out to dismiss female candidates for software developer jobs and other technical posts. That is because Amazon’s computer models were trained to vet applicants by observing patterns in resumes submitted to the company over a 10-year period. Most came from men, a reflection of male dominance across the tech industry.

This gem of a book is a must-read for anyone wanting to grapple with how artificial intelligence is bringing sweeping new possibilities, while also raising seminal questions.

To Go to College or Not?

Dear Tom Tyron, (Letter to the Editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune)An editorial posted July 25th questioned the merits of a college education for “ROI” or return on investment value. State College of Florida President Carol Probstfeld rightly responded in a post on July 31st. Both articles have merit, but the real issue is not even addressed.

At the core of the need for higher education is the coming massive workforce job disruption caused by artificial intelligence (AI). Those of us in the entrepreneurship education field have privy to studies by the likes of McKinsey who forecast massive unemployment caused by the automation not only of repetitive manual labor but more significantly by cognitive thinking tasks done by white collar workers. If you think it is down the road, think again. State Farm has eliminated thousands of claims workers and gone to AI to replace their processing, and loan officers are losing jobs to automated applications every week.
Scorecards have nothing to do with a higher education. What counts is being able to make a living to support one’s family, and to do that work must become innovative and creative. We teach both skills in entrepreneurship as well as opportunity recognition, ideation, design thinking, and the lean, evidenced-based method to build a new small business. This newer planning method developed by Silicon Valley to utilize the internet has made learning entrepreneurship possible for all. It can now be taught and learned.
The future of higher education belongs to “hybrid”, half online and half face-to-face classes. The days of tenured $175,000 per year professors are gone. Community college are where education is at these days. NACCE, the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship, is adding partners, members, and creating new ways to reach those in need. Both SCF and HCC are members, and have just formed an alliance with the largest veterans entrepreneurship organization in the U. S. to expand entrepreneurship education three-fold using community colleges.
Only training for specific skill sets accomplishes employment. But, more important is empowering each student and every adult with entrepreneurship. We live in a Gig Economy where big employers have cut costs employing independent contractors who have to be self-employed to be contracted. They need training for entrepreneurship as a body. Further, as people loose jobs to automation, they need an option to put their passion or interests to small businesses of their own. Take the 3.5 million U. S. truck drivers who are on the verge of loosing their jobs to driverless trucks. If they had training and confidence in self-employed, they could iterate to their favorite hobby, open a small business using their entrepreneurship training, and increase their own salary with no limit on earnings.
Change is inevitable, but to write college is no longer necessary is poor journalism. It is more necessary than ever, but in a different direction and for specific skills in keeping with modern life and a changing economy.
Sincerely,  Clinton E. Day, MBA
Founder of Entrepreneurship at State College of Florida
Biography on Linked In – https://www.linkedin.com/in/clintday/
Current in Entrepreneurship Website – clintoneday.com

10 Ways Israel Changed the World

It’s no secret that Israel – the ‘start-up nation’ – is a global centre for technology. Culture Trip explores the country’s homegrown developments that are making an impact on a global scale.

In the world of technology, Israel is king. The country has more hi-tech start-ups per capita than anywhere else in the world and is second only to the US in venture capital funds. This is an impressive feat for any state, but more so for one that is only 70 years old and home to just under nine million people.
Despite its relatively small population, the ‘start-up nation’ has produced hundreds of tech developments, from everyday items like USB drives to futuristic medical devices that can offer diagnoses in an instant.

 The SniffPhone is a diagnostic tool that can literally sniff out disease. Currently undergoing field trials, this project is an evolution of the ‘NaNose’ technology developed by Professor Hossam Haick of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

NaNose is a breathalyser that can detect the symptomatic odour caused by some cancerous tumours, Parkinson’s dementia, multiple sclerosis and many more diseases to an 86% to 93% degree of accuracy. The SniffPhone aims to further simplify this diagnostic process by making the technology accessible via a plug-in that can be attached to smartphones.

It is estimated to become commercial within four to six years and will be “highly accurate, affordable, easy to use, comfortable and easy to repeat”, according to its developers.

After a tragic accident left him paralysed from the waist down, Dr Amit Goffer spent years developing a way for paraplegics to be less dependent on wheelchairs.

Enter the ReWalk by Argo Medical Technologies. Allowing the user to stand upright, walk and even climb stairs, this exoskeleton-esque robot receives movement signals from a wristwatch and is powered by a backpack battery. It’s been available for public use since 2014 and has made appearances at the London Marathon and the 2012 London Paralympics.

Inspired by a personal experience with chronic stomach pain, scientist Gavriel Iddan of Given Imaging (now Medtronic) came up with the idea of creating a digestible, disposable camera that transmits data to a receiver outside the body. FDA-approved, the PillCam is now used across the globe to diagnose infection, intestinal disorders and cancers in the digestive system. It’s also able to access areas of the digestive system that are typically out of range during a conventional procedure.

The PillCam has revolutionised modern medicine by allowing patients to avoid visits to the hospital. For his invention, Iddan received the European Inventor Award in 2011, 14 years after the prototype was first released.

14-year-old ‘Shark Tank’ success shares her best piece of advice for entrepreneurs

Mikaila Ulmer may be just 14 years old, but she knows a thing or two about business.  The young CEO founded her Me & the Bees Lemonade business when she was just four years old, and over the past decade has sold 1 million bottles across 1,000 stores in the U.S., including Whole Foods and, as of this month, Macy’s.

The “Shark Tank” success, who scored a $60,000 investment from Daymond John in 2015, has also established herself as a voice of guidance for others, regularly speaking at entrepreneurial summits and even introducing former U.S. president Barack Obama at The United State of Women Summit.

That’s no easy feat for a teen still completing her studies. Yet, according to the Gen Z influencer, it’s proof to others that age should not be a barrier.

“No matter how old you are, you always have something to learn. And no matter how old you are, you always have something to teach,” Ulmer told CNBC Make It.  “That’s something I always remember, whether I’m speaking to 15 or 15,000 people,” she said, before presenting a “Finance 101″ workshop to female founders at the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) in Singapore.

“When you have a big voice, make sure that you give others a voice behind you, and that you’re not only growing yourself but helping others grow and giving your expertise to others,” she said.Of course, that confidence didn’t always come easy to the young entrepreneur. Ulmer admitted to getting “nervous” when, at the age of eight, she starting leading workshops for older school kids.

But, it’s something she learned from the bees that have been so integral to her lemonade business.

“If you look into a beehive, they’re all working very closely together, it’s usually jam-packed, and they communicate, they’re always communicating, they’re always working together, they never put one bee to a job,” she said.

Ulmer started her lemonade business when, at the age of four, she was stung by two bees in one week. Rather than be scared, she was encouraged by her parents to learn more about the insects and their important role in the food cycle.

At the same time, Ulmer’s family received a cookbook from her great-grandmother, and discovered an old recipe for flaxseed lemonade. Ulmer decided that if she could make the lemonade with honey bought from local beekeepers, she could do her bit to help the bee population.

That fall, Ulmer’s mom and dad suggested she make the lemonade for a children’s business competition in her hometown of Austin, Texas. The product was a hit and, with that, Me & the Bees Lemonade was born.

Ulmer has since been expanding the business with the help of her parents, themselves business school graduates. Me & the Bees Lemonade recently launched a new line of beeswax-infused lip balms and, separately, in 2017, Ulmer launched her own non-profit — The Healthy Hive Foundation — to conduct research, education and protection projects for honey bees.

Me & the Bees Lemonade continues to donate 10% of all profits to bee conservation groups. But she isn’t stopping there. In between her studies, Ulmer spends her time managing her business, traveling for speaking engagements and thinking up new product ideas. She also recently signed a deal to co-write a book for young entrepreneurs.

“Even though I started with lemonade, I always wanted to expand to different products. My dream has always been to be the Hello Kitty of lemonade, and do my brand and my mission but spread over an array of products,” said Ulmer.

“I always say that it’s important to dream like a kid and that (as a kid) it’s the perfect age to start figuring out what you enjoy and trying new things and taking risks,” she added.

4 Things Every Business Leader Should Know About Artificial Intelligence and Automation

 In 2011, MIT economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee self-published an unassuming e-book titled Race Against The Machine. It quickly became a runaway hit. Before long, the two signed a contract with W. W. Norton & Company to publish a full-length version, The Second Machine Age that was an immediate bestseller.

The subject of both books was how “digital technologies are rapidly encroaching on skills that used to belong to humans alone.” Although the authors were careful to point out that automation is nothing new, they argued, essentially, that at some point a difference in scale becomes a difference in kind and forecasted we were close to hitting a tipping point.

In recent years, their vision has come to be seen as deterministic and apocalyptic, with humans struggling to stay relevant in the face of a future ruled by robot overlords. There’s no evidence that’s true. The future, in fact, will be driven by humans collaborating with other humans to design work for machines to create value for other humans.

1. Automation Doesn’t Replace Jobs, It Replaces Tasks

When a new technology appears, we always seem to assume that its primary value will be to replace human workers and reduce costs, but that’s rarely true. For example, when automatic teller machines first appeared in the early 1970s, most people thought it would lead to less branches and tellers, but actually just the opposite happened.

What really happens is that as a task is automated, it becomes commoditized and value shifts somewhere else. That’s why today, as artificial intelligence is ramping up, we increasingly find ourselves in a labor shortage. Most tellingly, the shortage is especially acute in manufacturing, where automation is most pervasive.

That’s why the objective of any viable cognitive strategy is not to cut costs, but to extend capabilities. For example, when simple consumer service tasks are automated, that can free up time for human agents to help with more thorny issues. In much the same way, when algorithms can do much of the analytical grunt work, human executives can focus on long-term strategy, which computers tend to not do so well.

The winners in the cognitive era will not be those who can reduce costs the fastest, but those who can unlock the most value over the long haul. That will take more than simply implementing projects. It will require serious thinking about what your organization’s mission is and how best to achieve it.

2. Value Never Disappears, It Just Shifts To Another Place 

In 1900, 30 million people in the United States were farmers, but by 1990 that number had fallen to under 3 million even as the population more than tripled. So, in a manner of speaking, 90% of American agriculture workers lost their jobs, mostly due to automation. Still, the twentieth century was seen as an era of unprecedented prosperity.

We’re in the midst of a similar transformation today. Just as our ancestors toiled in the fields, many of us today spend much of our time doing rote, routine tasks. Yet, as two economists from MIT explain in a paper, the jobs of the future are not white collar or blue collar, but those focused on non-routine tasks, especially those that involve other humans.

Far too often, however, managers fail to recognize value hidden in the work their employees do. They see a certain job description, such as taking an order in a restaurant or answering a customer’s call, and see how that task can be automated to save money. What they don’t see, however, is the hidden value of human interaction often embedded in many jobs.

When we go to a restaurant, we want somebody to take care of us (which is why we didn’t order takeout). When we have a problem with a product or service, we want to know somebody cares about solving it. So the most viable strategy is not to cut jobs, but to redesign them to leverage automation to empower humans to become more effective.

3. As Machines Learn To Think, Cognitive Skills Are Being Replaced By Social Skills

20 or 30 years ago, the world was very different. High value work generally involved the retaining information and manipulating numbers. Perhaps not surprisingly, education and corporate training programs were focused on building those skills and people would build their careers on performing well on knowledge and quantitative tasks.

Today, however, an average teenager has more access to information and computing power than even a large enterprise would a generation ago, so knowledge retention and quantitative ability have largely been automated and devalued, so high value work has shifted from cognitive skills to social skills.

To take just one example, the journal Nature has noted that the average scientific paper today has four times as many authors as one did in 1950 and the work they are doing is far more interdisciplinary and done at greater distances than in the past. So even in highly technical areas, the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively is becoming an important skill.

There are some things that a machine will never do. Machines will never strike out at a Little League game, have their hearts broken or see their children born. That makes it difficult, if not impossible, for machines to relate to humans as well as a human can.

4. AI Is A Force Multiplier, Not A Magic Box

The science fiction author Arthur C. Clark noted that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” and that’s largely true. So when we see a breakthrough technology for the first time, such as when IBM’s Watson system beat top human players at Jeopardy!, many immediately began imagining all the magical possibilities that could be unleashed.

Unfortunately, that always leads to trouble. Many firms raced to implement AI applications without understanding them and were immediately disappointed that the technology was just that — technology — and not actually magic. Besides wasting resources, these projects were also missed opportunities to implement something truly useful.

As Josh Sutton, CEO of Agorai, a platform that helps companies build AI applications for their business, put it, “What I tell business leaders is that AI is useful for tasks you understand well enough that you could do them if you had enough people and enough time, but not so useful if you couldn’t do it with more people and more time. It’s a force multiplier, not a magic box.”

So perhaps most importantly, what business leaders need to understand about artificial intelligence is that it is not inherently utopian or apocalyptic, but a business tool. Much like any other business tool its performance is largely dependent on context and it is a leader’s job to help create that context.

Courtesy Digital Tonto written by Greg Satell, https://www.digitaltonto.com/about/

The Power of Genuine Human Touch in Entrepreneurship

As the world spirals more and more towards being almost entirely dependent on technology, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the old-fashioned ‘human’ touch in things.

Right from everyday casual interactions to discourses to approaches towards entrepreneurship, the continued use of technology in every aspect of life has certainly managed to leave an impact.

And as the wheels of change keep on turning, the irony that people are once again actually looking for a less machine-like approach to life is making itself apparent. Here are three ‘why’s’ on bringing genuine back.

1. Stand Out From the Rest
As history has shown us, nothing quite remains exactly the same for too long. While just as a few decades ago, companies were scrambling to acquire new technologies in order to stay ahead of their times, in order to stand out and attract customers, today it has become rather the opposite.

This does not mean that we are trying to dispose of technology altogether, but rather find the fine line that separates the needful from the overdone.

With the increased use of machine in literally every field and added to it the new technological advancement that is Artificial Intelligence, it has come to be seen that there is awfully little for humans to actually do on an interactive scale in businesses.

The seamless automation and near-perfect task execution of technology is indeed admirable, but in the end it still comes off as lacking. Humans nowadays are missing the exact thing in entrepreneurship that they set out to eradicate — the human touch itself.

2. Increase Sales
The simple charm of actual human interaction — the genuineness of the physical (or in some cases, aural or virtual) presence of a person is what most entrepreneurships today are missing.

In the race to become the technological best, they often forget that the quiet emotions and connect that come with humans cannot be replaced by entities that function on the basis of logic and code.

Complete mechanization hurts industries greatly – as well as it does small entrepreneurships. One needs to remember the more jobs (specifically, well-paying jobs) available to the public, the more potential buyers there are for any product or service at any given moment

It may seem cost-effective to entirely replace human labour with technology and Artificial Intelligence bots, but in the long run it affects the industries as a whole.

Essentially, the point is that removing a number (however large or small) of people from salaried positions to replace them with robots is only cost-effective in a very myopic sense. First, it throws several people into a jobless pit, which disallows them from having any purchasing power, which, in turn, hurts any and all industries in the long run.

Secondly, it takes away from the business something that made it able to connect with its target audiences and customers – humanity itself.

3. Create Lasting Relationships
Apart from this, it is well advised that you employ an approachable and amiable mode of interaction in your consumer dealings. While the basis on which most businesses survive is indeed competition, it is always wise to make efforts to ensure that you do not alienate your audience or your competitors.
It is better to see your competition as your peers, rather than rivals in this sense. There is much to be learned from opposing businesses and entrepreneurs themselves. They might be able to offer insight into areas you did not think to examine in detail. And it never hurts to maintain an amicable relationship with them in order to gain access to such knowledge.
Think of it as a way to maximize your profits by gaining the opportunity to learn from your opponents.

This does not mean that you must only pretend. Being a generally well-mannered, generous, and humane individual pays off in all fields of life, and business is no exception. Kindness is always repaid in kindness, and making genuine friends in the right circles is just good business sense.

A machine, however well programmed, is after all no replacement for a human. Retaining a human touch in your entrepreneurial model will set you apart from the hundreds of businesses that are opting for full automation today. The sincere and reposed faith in humanity will never come at a more opportune time.

By Devika Majumder, Founder and CEO, Youngpreneurs India From Entrepreneur Magazine India.