Latest Business news 5/17/19

How Will Elon Musk’s Starlink Actually Work?

Elon Musk doesn’t set the bar low. As of late, it seems as if his sights have been set only on space travel, especially considering the progress his rocket company, SpaceX, is making. But, it isn’t all rockets and stars for SpaceX. Recently, Musk announced that he’s focusing on launching an internet revolution.

Armed with sixty ready-to-launch satellites designed to provide internet services, SpaceX’s latest venture is known as Starlink. And while sixty earth-orbiting satellites might seem like quite the adventure, Starlink’s plan is to create a network of some 12,000 internet satellites, all orbiting in the name of moving internet data “50% faster than existing fiber-optic cables”.

The goal of Starlink, says Musk, is to provide the world with internet services that are cheap and fast. But, more importantly, to make sure even the most remote areas can access the internet, changing the world for international teleconferencing, financial institutions, and relentless gamers.

While the completion of Starlink is projected to happen in 2027, the next several years will undoubtedly have their obstacles. In order to “blanket the Earth with high-speed, low-latency, and affordable internet access”, Musk and his team will need to spend upward of $10 billion, with some projections reaching far beyond - a staggering $50 billion each year until completion.

Because of the new technology required to make Starlink happen, Musk admits that “it's possible that some of these satellites may not work”. When pressed, he admitted that there's a "small possibility that all of the satellites will not work."

Only time - and a whole lot of resources - will tell.


What the Future of Marketing Really Looks Like

The world of technology is constantly being disrupted with new innovations. And, as exciting as they might be, for marketers, these changes leave them feeling like they’re constantly behind. In order to stay ahead, marketing strategies need to innovate almost as rapidly as the technology itself, which means traditional marketing tactics aren’t just outdated - they’re ineffective.

Today, even the term digital marketing is no longer as relevant as it used to be, with more modern terms like “multichannel” and “omnichannel” quickly rising to the top. But what do these changes really mean for marketing? And, more importantly, where should marketers be focusing in order to stay relevant (and effective) in the years to come?

For starters, marketers who leverage SEO to gain results need to focus in even more by dialing in on what’s now being called on-SERP SEO. Rather than just “optimizing” for search engines, marketers need to focus on getting results that are on page one of the search engine results page (on-SERP). Still a rather mysterious formula, whichever company can figure out how to repeatedly create content that is featured as the snippet on page one will have a huge advantage.

Another big shift in marketing? The need to appear on smart speakers by optimizing for voice search. More and more people are bringing smart speakers into their home and, as such, are using them to do more than just “Ask Alexa to turn up the volume”. By creating opportunities to market and advertise on these platforms, companies can create a new niche - and gain another valuable advantage.

Of course, that’s just the beginning. But, like any good idea, it’s a great place for marketers to start.

A Closer Look at the Chinese Import Tax Hike

President Trump has taken strong action against China by raising duties on “$200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%”. This import tax hike has left Beijing already vowing to retaliate, although they haven’t yet explained exactly what that means for the United States and the rest of the world.

Despite negotiations taking place between the United States and China, the tax increase still went through, which could mean trouble for current and future trade talks. According to one investing expert, “The risk of complete breakdown in trade talks has certainly increased” since the tax increase took effect.

Why did the hike happen?

While it’s complicated of course, it stems from the fact that American officials are accusing Beijing of “backtracking on commitments” that were made earlier during trade negotiations.

And, if the hike wasn't already enough, President Trump recently added that more penalties could be put in place, which could impact all Chinese goods shipped to the United States.

Latest Business News 5/10/19

Is Uber Going Public a Big Deal?

Uber will start trading officially on Friday, May 10th, making it one of the “largest ever tech I.P.O.s”.

But how big is Uber really going to get?

Yes, Uber is a highly-recognized, highly-valued tech company and its decision to go public seems to be following a trend started by companies like Lyft and Pinterest (Slack and WeWork are expected to be joining in next). But when a company has grown so quickly and so big in the private sector for so long, is it safe to assume that it’s full potential has already been tapped?

Like other successful tech start-ups, Uber has managed to do a lot in a short amount of time - and all of it happening away from the scrutiny of the public eye. This private vs. public separation is the ecosystem they’ve learned to thrive in. So, now that they’re “crossing borders”, what happens to that carefully crafted habitat?

While many shareholders are still banking on getting in early and reaping big gains (a la Facebook’s first three years public), it’s a decidedly new quest for Uber and its other privately-funded tech start-up pals, one with a questionable return.


How Good Does Auto Pilot Need to Be Until You Can Trust It Completely?

 Imagine, your car cruising down the freeway, weaving in and out of traffic safely and smoothly on your way home from work, all while you relax in the driver’s seat, hands off the wheel and a great read in your lap. Sound too good (or too scary) to be true?

Get used to it because the latest versions of auto pilot are here - and they’re better than ever.

Tesla, a well-known innovator in the auto industry, recently released its Navigate on Autopilot technology, offering an intricate system of perfectly orchestrated cameras, sensors and computer brains that are promising to transform the way we all drive in the future. Impressively good, Tesla’s new auto pilot software handles (almost) all of the driving tasks we’re used to, like changing lanes completely on its own and navigating highway interchange ramps. While a driver’s hands is sometimes required on the steering wheel in order for the car to perform certain tasks, it’s surprising how little actually needs to be done.

But, then again, that’s when you’re not expecting the car to drive itself.

Yes, cars with advanced auto pilot systems like Tesla’s Model 3 can hold its lane on the highway, change lanes, take exits, and navigate onto entrance ramps on their own - and with your feet completely off the pedals and hands (occasionally) off the wheel - but it’s still not a self-driving car. And, remembering that, is the only way to make sure that you, along with everyone else on the road, stays safe.


How One High-End Cannabis Brand Is Changing the Way They Sell

California is a great place for a lot of new ideas, especially if those ideas mirror the laid-back, beach-vibes most inhabitants possess. Chill and easy-going, the popular cannabis brand dosist is fitting right in from the top of the Golden State to the bottom, and not just because of what they’re selling.

Known for their critically-acclaimed accurate dosing pens, dosist provides a world-class experience for its customers by transforming its vibe into more of a wellness center than a standard weed shop. Focusing more on the customer experience than the product, the dosist shop features dedicated concierges that help guide you from the street entrance down a trellised walkway and into the surprisingly tranquil store.

Anything but pushy, dosist’s CEO Gunner Winston says that the brand is refocusing on customer service, pulling out of many of the dispensaries their products were once sold in so that they can regain the reins. Wanting to remove itself from the world of mass consumption, Winston says that dosist is putting all of its energy in focusing on three main things: “inspiration, education and engagement”. Sales, according to Winston, “are a distant fourth”.

Rather than having the staff at dosist stores trying to convert everyone who walks in into a sale, the brand is focusing on making sure everyone has a wonderful experience. By removing commission goals and team targets, the entire vibe of the store is completely customer-centric. And, because the staff is a great cross-section of diverse professional backgrounds, there’s someone on the floor you can relate to.

Known as “guides”, dosist employees are knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful - everything you would want when exploring the potentially new (and sometimes misunderstood) world of THC and CBD. By changing the way they interact with customers, the brand is proving that sometimes the best marketing really is as simple as making a real, honest connection with your audience - and then letting them make the final decision.

Latest Business News 4/26/19

Latest Business News 4/26/19

An Argument for Not Falling in Love with Your Business

Many entrepreneurs are compelled to start their business because they want to “do what they love”. So much so, it’s almost a guaranteed assumption that, if you opt out of the security and protection of a traditional career, you “must” be in love and passionate about what you do.

But, is turning what you love into a business a smart move?