Google Pixel Phone Users Report Screenshots From iPhone 7 Plus Devices Are Being Distorted

Google Pixel Phone Users Report Screenshots From iPhone 7 Plus Devices Are Being Distorted

Photo Credit: Android Police
Only screenshots received from iPhone 7 Plus are distorted
The issue does not crop up when screenshot is shared by Pixel with iPhone
Home screen screenshots are not distorted
After being plagued by Bluetooth pairing and LTE connectivity issues, Pixel phone users are now reporting another bug. According to user reports, screenshots sent from an iPhone 7 Plus to a Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL phone are getting distorted automatically.

The distorted screenshot issue is being discussed on a Google Product forums page extensively, and users are reporting that only a screenshot received from an iPhone 7 Plus is affected. The iPhone 7 Plus is Apple’s latest most expensive iPhone offering in the market. The issue appears when a screenshot is sent via hangouts or any other SMS/MMS app. Furthermore, sending a screenshot of the home screen does not cause any distortion, but a screenshot from within any app – be it first-party or third-party – gets distorted.

(Also see:Google Pixel Phones Make Android’s Fragmentation Problem Worse)

The issue is said to only occur when a screenshot is shared by an iPhone 7 Plus user with a Pixel phone user, and not vice versa. This means screenshots sent through a Pixel phone to an iPhone 7 Plus user are received without any hiccups. Apart from Pixel phone users, some Nexus 6 users running on Android 7.1 Nougat have also taken to the forum to report the same issue. As Nexus 6 has not got the Android 7.1 Developer Preview yet, these phones might have presumably installed it via a custom ROM. However, this hints that there is some issue in how image processing is handled on Android 7.1 Nougat. There is no word on if Google intends to roll out a fix for this or not.

Just to recap, Pixel phones were earlier plagued with a connectivity issue particularly on the LTE band 4 frequency, which seems to have been fixed with the latest security patch rolled out last week. However, some users are still reporting that Bluetooth pairing issues with their cars through their Pixel phones.

Tags: iPhone 7 Plus Screenshot, Google Pixel Glitch, Google Pixel XL Screenshot, Mobiles, Android, Google


41 Percent of Your Competitors Are Going Mobile – Here’s Why You Should Join the Crowd

41 Percent of Your Competitors Are Going Mobile - Here's Why Mobile Apps May Become the Next Source of Competitive Advantage

As more and more consumers begin to rely on their mobile devices for personal and business use, instead of a more traditional means like a desktop computer, the need for a mobile app is rapidly growing. With 2015 being dubbed the Year of the Mobile, small businesses without a mobile app planned for the future will continue to fall farther and farther behind.

There’s typically only one reason that is causing these businesses to continue to hold out: money.

The Cost of a Mobile App

About a year and a half ago, a survey of a number of leading mobile app developers was conducted to determine the average overall cost of building an iPhone/Android app, including the factors or variables that affect cost the most. This data collected by Clutch reported that the average cost of mobile app development was between $37,913 and $171,450. For a small business, even the lower end of this price range is a hefty price to swallow, especially without an immediate return on investment.

Lucky for these small businesses, this price range has drastically decreased. While the numbers may be out of date, the data is still helpful for identifying the features that carry the highest cost when developing a mobile app. Most often these factors were typically the infrastructure, features, and design of the app, while less expensive aspects were things like planning, deployment, and even testing.

Why Mobile Development is More Accessible Now

What many business owners fail to understand is the average price range for a mobile app is vastly out of date. Remember technology changes so fast that as soon as data is distributed, newer technology makes development more accessible — thus lowering cost. This is the case when it comes to developing an app for your business.

As mobile development has become more and more popular and important in today’s business world, the number of app builders and development teams has also grown. More app builders means more competitive pricing; there are more options to choose from, and some of these options are remarkably cheap compared to the prices we were seeing just a year or more ago.

Also on the rise is app development software. Some of these software or app development services are designed for a small business to make their own mobile app(s) at a very, very low process. As long as a business owner is willing to take the time and effort required, these hyper user-friendly tools can drastically reduce price.

It is almost identical to the trends we’ve already seen surrounding web development through its infancy and beyond. In the early stages of the internet, having a website became an undisputed necessity for businesses. Yet, this new development was costly. Web development was a costly investment because there were only a small number of developers and designers available. Now, there are a number of inexpensive services that allow anyone to make their own functioning website, with relative ease.

Future of Small Businesses and Mobile Development

With a mobile app becoming a much more reasonable investment for a small business to swallow, the future looks very positive. Recent data reported by Clutch, an independent research firm,  shows that roughly a quarter of small businesses already have a mobile app and another 27 percent of them have plans to enter the mobile world in the next year or so.

There is still a large percentage of companies that are unsure or even feel it is unlikely that they will have a mobile app in the future. Yet, as prices go down and accessibility goes up, the detractors of mobile development could quickly find themselves convinced that it is now a viable option.

Part of this conversion from uncertainty to convinced and planning is simple education. Some of these detractors may have been quoted for a mobile app a year ago or more and still believe it is out of their price range. Others do not believe mobile is for them because they fail to see how it will impact their business or what a mobile app could be used for, within their specific industry or business.

What Mobile Development Can be Used For

When you look at the wide range of mobile apps on the market, you can quickly see the number of different applications of mobile development. At the core of all business apps, there is one of a number of key drivers. These factors include accessibility/visibility, improving internal processes and productivity and enhancing the customer experience.

Accessibility and Visibility. As mobile search volumes continue to grow, adopting a mobile platform is more and more important to remain accessible and visible to your audiences. If they cannot find you or interact with your brand in the mobile environment, they may defect to a competitor that they can see on their device. Alternatively, attracting new customers without a mobile app could become harder and harder, as you are not only harder to find, but also without a key tool to keep you up to date and stay competitive in your industry.

Internal Processes and Productivity. While we often think of apps in terms of creating a new platform for our customers to engage with, mobile development is also worth exploring to improve internal processes and productivity. Many companies utilize desktop software to facilitate certain day-to-day business processes. A mobile-centric version of this software could further enhance these processes, in some companies. After all, mobile is, well, mobile, which means you can perform these processes on the go, instead of having the interruption of needing to sit down and use a desktop module.

Customer Experience. Without mobile, a customer’s relationship with your brand or company is interrupted the moment they walk out the door. By providing a mobile app experience, that relationship does not have to end. Your brand is more accessible, appears more personable and can stimulate more communication. Improving the customer experience ultimately drives increased brand loyalty and reduces churn.

All of these factors and others have direct relationships with profits. The more visible you are, the more likely that new and existing customers can find your business and make new and future purchasing decisions. Internal mobile apps to help processes boosts productivity and, perhaps more than ever, time is money. Lastly, a mobile app is key to enhancing the customer experience, which is becoming more and more important to audiences. It is no longer about offering the best product and quality, you also need to provide the best experience and mobile is one of the most important facets of that experience.


The mobile world took off like a rocket. In only a few short years it developed from a trend and a business luxury, to an accessible and vital dimension of the modern business. In the past, small businesses could not afford to invest in this rapidly growing, mobile world. However, as mobile has grown, so has the number of app developers and services available, which has thereby caused mobile adoption to become much less expensive.

Mobile Apps May Become the Next Source of Competitive Advantage

Even though only about a quarter of small businesses have entered the mobile app world, more expect to join in the next year plus. The remaining small businesses that believe it is unlikely for them to join the mobile game anytime soon, may be convinced otherwise as prices go down and accessibility goes up. Some may just require a little bit of education towards understanding how a mobile app can increase profits through improving visibility, productivity and the customer experience.

Smartphone Photo via Shutterstock


Do You Have a Blog For Your Ecommerce Site? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should

Do You Have an Ecommerce Blog? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should

The internet is so highly saturated with blogs that starting one now can be intimidating and feel pointless. After all, what’s another blog when thousands of similar blogs exist? Who would even read it? Is it worth it? If you’ve ever been curious about starting a blog but have found yourself stumped by questions like these, it may be time to take the next step on creating a blog for your business.

Adding a blog to your business/e-commerce site can impact your brand in ways that paid advertising can’t and that consumers are eager to respond to. In fact, choosing not to participate in the blogosphere could be putting you at a disadvantage and stunting your business growth. If you’re not sold on the idea just yet, here are 5 compelling reasons your ecommerce site needs a blog.

Why You Need an Ecommerce Blog

1. Blogs Build Trust

Ever been to a website that’s selling products or services but has no trace of real people anywhere? An impersonal presence can be particularly detrimental to e-commerce websites, because it strips the buyer experience down to bare bones. Blogs are a great way to restore that consumer trust and interest, because it gives you a place to add a personal, relatable flair on your website. Take, for example, Birchbox.

An Ecommerce Blog Builds Trust

Birchbox is a popular brand among my fellow twenty-somethings that sends a box of beauty products to try with a monthly subscription. What attracts women to this brand over going to the mall and buying their own beauty products is not just the appeal of getting a monthly package in the mail, but rather a trust in the authority Birchbox has. Their blog is a carefully curated display of tutorials, beauty tips, brands to watch and more that asserts a powerful message: you can trust Birchbox to send you your beauty products, because they know what they’re talking about. The blog is relatable, fun, and enforces the message of their products.

You can do the same for your brand by populating a blog with tips, tricks, and news relevant to your products or services. In doing so you’ll demonstrate to users that you’re an authority worth trusting and investing in.

2.  A Blog Can Grow Your Following/Consumer Base

Not everyone who sees your blog will be instantly inspired to purchase something from your e-commerce site. But in keeping with the build-up of trust, you could amass an enormous following through your blog that will gain you the recognition of other industry authorities as well as consumers who are more interested in making purchases.

It can also lead to beneficial relationships, if not with consumers then with other professionals of similar disciplines. After developing your blog and letting it grow a bit, you can start seeking out guest blogging opportunities to get noticed and feature other useful bloggers on your website. For example, pretend you have a business website that sells subscriptions, gifts, and cases of wine. You could invite a popular sommelier to write a guest post on your blog about pairing wines with certain foods, cooking with wine, etc. Your users would gain the tips and advice from your blog and come back to reference you for more helpful information. Even further, the sommelier may share the guest post across his or her personal network, giving your brand exposure, and even feature your business on their own blog. It may be a hypothetical situation, but real opportunities like this are opened up when you have a blog.

3. Blogs Attract New Leads

Adding a blog component to your website opens up new pathways for customers to reach you that might otherwise not exist. By having a blog that consumers can interact with, you can better understand their preferences, styles, concerns, habits, trends, etc. There could be an entire niche you’re unaware of or insights you’re missing due to a lack of customer interaction.

Blogs open up a portal to not only communicate with your client base, but also create share-worthy content that attracts attention from leads you might have previously failed to target or overlook.

4. Blog Content Will Boost Your Site Rank and Grow Links

Long form content doesn’t always have an appropriate place to reside on ecommerce websites, which is why having a blog component is so helpful. You can populate the blog with keywords, phrases, and internal links that search engines can easily crawl and respond to.

Strictly from an SEO standpoint, having a blog for your business site is definitely considered a best practice and is one of the surest ways to out-perform your competitors. The sheer quantity of links produced from a blog shows search engines that your site is active and is getting significant user traffic.

5. It’s a Built-in Content Marketing Tool

Channeling your content marketing efforts towards your blog is a great way to cut your time spent strategizing in half. You can focus on promoting high quality, utility-based information that will sustain publicity across social media and professional platforms. The content generated by and for your blog can be shared across the internet and used as a catalyst for getting your brand the attention it needs to be successful.

Blog Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Publisher Channel Content


These Mistakes are Hurting Your Small Business Communications

Avoiding these small business communications mistakes will enable customers to have a positive buying experience and will affect when they will come back.

How companies communicate with their customers is the key factor in determining if they will have a positive buying experience and when they will come back to purchase again.

The single biggest competitive weapon that small businesses have over large competitors in this area is the use of technology. Big companies are slow to switch since they have invested millions of dollars in their systems. Alternately, small business owners can invest a fraction of the cost with cloud solutions to create a solid and growing infrastructure. It is actually easier now than it was years ago to provide an excellent customer experience with a small technology investment.

Small Business Communications Mistakes

Here are the areas that must be addressed:

1. Phone Communication System

Don’t get stuck with old PBX switches or just using cell phones for company business. Selecting a robust “Voice Over IP” (VOIP) system with a company like Nextiva will make a business seem large and professional even when they are small. I remember in one of the companies I started, we had alot extensions for different staff members that didn’t even exist (yet!) to make us seem like a more established company. By getting a central business number and an automated receptionist with an auto attendant menu, customers will become more comfortable buying from the start. Most importantly, Nextiva solutions will simplify a small business with a single, seamless source for all its email, voice, instant messaging, and conferencing communication.

2. Team Collaboration

The single most important factor in a company’s productivity is how easily they can collaborate together even when they are not physically in the same place. Nextiva Drive allows team members (and customers) to collaborate on documents in a secured environment.  It becomes easy to access, edit, share, and back up company data from any device.

3. Call Data

Data analytics is critical if a small business is going to understand their customers. With Nextiva, a company can know who is calling, how often, and how long they are on the line. It can also track the staff’s activities of inbound and outbound calls on a scoreboard to measure their productivity and results.

4. Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)

Knowledge about the customer used to be based on the collective knowledge of a company’s team. Unfortunately, when those people would leave, the information would go with them. Now, it is very simple to keep track of thousands of prospects and customers with an effective CRM system. This should be the repository of all information including their last conversation or interaction, how they responded to various marketing campaigns, and where they are in the selling process.

5. Social Media Management System

Managing a company’s social media presence needs to have a strategy and process to it. Customers need to be responded on social media. There are various tools to help you manage this, like Zendesk. Instead of being only reactive on social media, content can be scheduled strategically weeks in advance using Meet Edgar or Hootsuite on Twitter and Facebook.

What business communications tools do you use with your customers?

Handmade Soap Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Nextiva


Can’t Get a Loan from a Bank? Here are Alternative Funding Options

Can't Get a Loan from a Bank? Here are Alternative Funding Options

Securing funds to either start or grow business was once every entrepreneur’s worst nightmare. In the past, big banks and credit unions often rejected loan applications, leaving business owners with the only option of borrowing from friends and family or borrowing against receivables.

A lot has, of course, changed mainly because business owners today have more options than before. Alternative lenders and institutional investors have made it easier for entrepreneurs to access funds and grow.

For a small business owner, it pays to understand how institutional lenders and alternative lenders differ and the best options available to get funds.

Small Business Funding Options

Alternative Lenders

Alternative lending took off during the 2008 financial crisis when big banks backed out of small business funding. At that time, online lenders stepped in to fill the vacuum and assist small businesses. They created web-based lending platforms that facilitated a faster loan application process and provided the much-needed respite to small businesses.

Today, alternative lenders are the new normal for small businesses looking for funds to meet their financing needs. Some of the well-known alternative lenders include Kabbage, OnDeck and CAN Capital.

There are four main types of alternative lending options available to small businesses. These are:

  • A line of credit that provides access to a set amount of cash that’s mostly used to meet short-term financing needs.
  • A term loan that allows business owners to borrow and repay the loan amount in about four or five years.
  • Invoice factoring that helps businesses deal with unpaid invoices.
  • Merchant cash advances that help businesses get an advance on future credit card or debit card sales.

Pros and Cons of Alternative Lending

Alternative lending is a good option when you are looking for funds to address an urgent business need. To give an example, if there is a plumbing issue that needs to be fixed immediately, you can use alternative lending options to secure funds in no time.

Another big advantage of alternative sources of financing for small business is simplicity. Unlike big banks, alternative lenders require fewer documents to process loan requests. That’s because for the alternative lenders, the main focus is whether you have the cash flow to repay the loan.

Alternative lenders also offer longer-term loans to invest in your growth. For example, if you want to recruit more workers or open a new store, you can opt for alternative lending options.

For all the benefits associated with alternative lending options, it’s important for businesses to know that the interest rates are extremely high. Most alternative lenders offer business loans with double-digit, sometimes even triple-digit, rates. For a small business owner, such steep rates are not always the best option.

Institutional Lenders

Institutional lenders refer to hedge funds, family funds, insurance companies and other non-bank institutions. These lenders have slowly but steadily emerged as important players in the small business credit marketplace. Some of the well-known institutional lenders include StreetShares, Funding Circle and Kickfurther.

An increasing number of small businesses are opting for institutional lending options because approval rates are high. Institutional lenders are, in fact, surpassing alternative lenders, including merchant cash advance companies and other non-bank finance companies.

In July last year, institutional lenders approved 61.7 percent of small business loans, up from 61.4 percent in June.

Pros and Cons of Institutional Lending

Because institutional lenders invest heavily in technology, they act promptly and approve loans faster than alternative lenders and big banks.

“These pools of money have never been available for small businesses,” Biz2Credit CEO and co-founder Rohit Arora tells

For new entrepreneurs, institutional lending is a feasible option because the interest rates are considerably low. That’s because institutional lenders usually have access to a comprehensive profile of businesses that approach them for loans.

Moreover, institutional lenders don’t ask for any specific collateral to approve loans. They mostly require a personal guarantee and may place a lien on your business assets.

On the flip side however, institutional lenders place some very specific requirements to qualify for loan approvals. Further, these loans have typical terms of 1-5 years or even a shorter span. This means they are not ideal for businesses looking for big investments.

How to Seek Small Business Loans from Alternative and Institutional Lenders

To qualify for a loan or small business line of credit, it’s always advisable to know the right way to go about it.

While it is true that your chances of getting approved by an institutional or alternative lender are greater than big banks, it’s important to make note of a few things to ensure you qualify.

To begin with, you should know that unlike traditional lenders, alternative and institutional lenders depend on technology to determine whether or not you can repay the loan amount. They use sophisticated software tools and data metrics, including social media interactions to assess businesses.

If you have just started out, you probably won’t qualify for a big loan. Conversely, if your business is up and running and you can show a good track record of revenue performance, you will find it easier to secure funds.

What’s worth noting is that you need a good business plan in place to increase your chances of qualifying for a loan. It’s also advisable to know which lender is your best option before you approach them. For example, Kickfurther is ideal for small businesses looking for inventory financing. There are similar lenders who specialize in real estate business, purchase order financing and other kinds of small business loans.

It’s important to maintain a good credit score because most alternative and institutional lenders carry out credit checks to ascertain a customer’s credit worthiness.

Another good option for small businesses is to consider collaborative lending opportunities. Banks like JP Morgan Chase are partnering with alternative lenders to offer loans customized to the needs of business owners. In certain instances, such options would make more business sense.

Armed with enough information and insight, you can easily secure funds without borrowing from your IRA or approaching big banks and community banks.

Loans Photo via Shutterstock


What LeEco, Lenovo and OnePlus are offering this Diwali

Lenovo Z2 Plus. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Chinese phone makers are turning the heat on their Indian and South Korean counterparts by offering heavy discounts, attractive trade-offs and a chance to win a free smartphone through online contests. Here are the top deals offered by LeEco, Lenovo and OnePlus on their online stores or on and

LeEco Le Max 2

LeEco Le Max 2LeEco

Chinese phone maker LeEco which has been creating quite a buzz in the Indian market with just three phones under the belt is offering a major price cut on its mid-range phone the LeMax 2.

The Le Max 2 is a big screen phone that poses serious competition to the high flagships as well as the mid range smartphones. It is selling at Rs.17,999, down from Rs.22,999. Its prime attraction is the 5.7-inch AMOLED display and the screen resolution of 2,560×1,440m, which is unheard of in a sub Rs.20,000 smartphone. This is a sharp and bright looking display and is ideal for movie buffs and fans of graphic intensive games. The audio output in the CDLA ready headphones that comes with the smartphone is one of the best we have heard in any smartphone so far. Powering the phone is Qualcomm’s 2.1GHz Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor which has been paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The phone’s metallic finish gives it the aura of a premium flagship device. You can get this phone on or LeEco’s official online store.

OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3OnePlus

OnePlus is not offering any direct discount on its new phone. The OnePlus 3 is still selling at Rs. 27,999, but if you are willing to part away with your older phone, you may get a price reduction of up to Rs.16,000 on it, depending on the condition and the model of the phone that you are planning to give away.

The company is giving buyers a chance to get the gold variant of the OnePlus 3 for free under its Diwali Dash sale. It commences on 24 October on OnePlus’ official online store. You can get the details for the contest here .

There is a direct discount on the 64GB variant of the OnePlus 2, though.

Barring the heating issues that we noticed in some of its handsets, the phone is a pretty powerful big screen option for users who fancy the clean Oxygen OS more than the custom User interface based smartphones from Xiaomi or LeEco. It runs on Qualcomm’s 1.8GHz Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with 4GB RAM. The phone is selling at Rs.19,999, down from Rs.22,999 on


Lenovo is offering an attractive discount on its budget smartphone Zuk Z1. Earlier priced at Rs.13,499, right now you can get it for Rs.10,999. This is the most affordable Cyanogen phone the market right now. It runs Android 5.1 and offers plenty of cool customisations without feeling overwhelming as phones with custom UIs tend to get. It runs on Qualcomm’s 32-bit Snapdragon 801quad-core processor with 3GB RAM, has a 5.5-inch full HD display and offers 64GB of internal storage. The phone’s other talking point is its classy looks and the 4,100mAh battery that can clock a day and half of backup easily. You can get this device on

The other phone in the Zuk series is the recently launched Z2 Plus. It doesn’t run the Cyanogen OS but retains the plain Android interface. Lenovo is offering exchange offers which can help you save up to Rs. 13,600. Again the amount of discount you get will depend on the handset you are putting up for exchange. Z2 Plus is a small screen phone with a display size of 5-inches. It is powered by Qualcomm’s 2.1GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor with 3GB RAM in the 32GB variant (Rs.17,999) and 4GB RAM in the 64GB variant ( Rs.19,999). The phone is available on


Are Startup Failure Rates as Bad as They Used to Be?

Are Startup Failure Rates as Bad as They Used to Be?

The chances of your business surviving past the five-year mark are somewhat better than they used to be, says one economics expert.

Are Startup Failure Rates as Bad as They Used to Be? Dr. Scott Shane Weighs InAccording to research and commentary from Dr. Scott Shane, professor of economics and entrepreneurial studies at Case Western Reserve University (and long-time SBT contributor), startup failure rates have declined slightly for employer firms in recent years.

“In 2010, the odds that a business would fail were lower than in 1980,” Shane confirmed in an email to Small Business Trends,.

Shane stated that three factors govern a small business’s survival rate: age, size and industry, in that order.

“Failure rates drop dramatically as firms age,” Shane said. “This is true across all sectors of the economy, all geographic locations and all time periods.”

As to business longevity, size matters, he said. The bigger the company, the less likely it is to fail.

Finally, industry plays a significant role. Data from Shane’s reports (see below) testify that sectors such as education, healthcare, mining and manufacturing fare better than others — information technology and construction, in particular.

Small Business Survival Report Summaries

The following seven reports, the first by Small Business Trends CEO and publisher Anita Campbell, the next six by Shane all published over an 11-year period, dating from July 2005 to January 2016 paint a more complete picture of the situation. But Campbell’s initial report deals with at what age most small businesses fail.

July 2005: Business Failure Rates Highest in First Two Years

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that most businesses that fail do so within the first two years.

“Across sectors, 66 percent of new establishments were still in existence two years after their birth, and 44 percent were still in existence four years after,” the Bureau’s statistics showed (PDF).

These findings square with Shane’s reports, which follow — survival rates vary by industry. In this case, the education and health services sector showed the highest survival rate while the information technology sector had the lowest.

It should be noted that the report covered the period from March of 1998 to March of 2002 — the height of the dot-com boom.

April 2008: Startup Failure Rates — The REAL Numbers

In his inaugural report, which used Bureau of the Census data produced for the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 1992 to 2002, Shane found that the survival rate for startups dropped precipitously the first year (25 percent) and then fell another 11 percent the second year. Even though it began to level off after that, each year showed further decline. After ten years, only 29 percent of businesses remained.

Shane alluded to the fact that there are “considerable differences” across industry sectors in business failure rates but did not elaborate, saying that he would do so in a later article.

May 2008: Startup Failure Rates Vary — Choosing the Right Industry Matters

Shane followed up his initial report a month later sharing data from an article by Amy Knaup in Monthly Labor Review, published by the Bureau of Labor Statisics, which looked at the 1998 cohort of new businesses.

As Shane suggested in his first report, survival rates varied based on industry. For example, the four-year survival rate in the information sector was only 38 percent while survival rate for startups in the education and health services sectors were 55 percent. (Those are the same industries that Campbell found in her report as being at the bottom and top of the scale.)

“[T]he average start-up in education and health sector is 50 percent more likely than the average start-up in the information industry to live four years,” Shane said.

He added that the industries that have lower initial survival rates tend to continue with those rates every year.

May 2012: Businesses Face High Rates of Infant Mortality

After a several year hiatus, Shane returned in May of 2012 with another report. This time, he used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 1994 cohort, which showed the percentage of businesses alive in a given year that failed during the subsequent year.

Shane found, for example, that the proportion of businesses started in 1994 that failed in 1995 was 20.2 percent while the percentage of those still alive in 2010 but which failed by 2011 was a mere 4.3 percent.

Shane also found that the new business failure rate for companies started in 1994 steadily declined until 2006 and then flattened out.

“While the odds of going under never disappear, they pretty much hold steady at 5 percent once the businesses reach age 12,” he said.

Sept. 2012: Small Business Failure Rates by Industry: The Real Numbers

Shane reported again in September of 2012 on data drawn from the Census Bureau Business Dynamics Statistics for the year 2005, which reinforced his assertion that survival rates vary by industry.

He compiled the data into a graph that compared survival rates among the following eight industry sectors:

  • Mining (51.3 percent)
  • Manufacturing (48.4 percent)
  • Services (47.6 percent)
  • Wholesaling and agriculture (47.4 percent)
  • Retailing (41.1 percent)
  • Finance, insurance and real estate (39.6 percent)
  • Transportation, communications and utilities (39.4 percent)
  • Construction (36.4 percent)

As you can see, mining companies had a 15-point higher rate of survival than construction firms.

Dec. 2012: Startup Failure Rates: The Definitive Numbers

At the end of 2012, Shane came back with a report that said business startup failure rates had not changed much since his inaugural assessment in 2008.

Citing data from the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Shane stated that both data sets revealed that the “typical new business started in the United States is no longer in operation five years after being founded.”

Jan. 2016: Business Failure Rates Are Declining

Shane’s most recent report — published in January of this year — brought good news: business survival rates are on the rise following the “bust” of the 2008 Great Recession, which brought a spike in business failures.

Referencing Census Bureau statistics, Shane said that business failure rates and the fraction of American employers that go under each year are in long-term decline.

He found that in 1977, 12.9 percent of U.S. companies with employees went out of business, but in 2013, that fraction was down to 9 percent.

“While recessions cause spikes in business failure rates, the long-term tendency is toward more, not fewer, small businesses surviving,” Shane said.


These startup failure rates reports conclude that the chances of your business surviving beyond five years depends on its age, size and industry sector.

While, historically, only half to less than half of companies are still in business after five years, survival rates are slightly better now than in years past, so there is a  reason for hope.

Of course, the data is empirical. It fails to take into account intangible qualities such as the entrepreneur’s passion, grit and determination to succeed. While those can’t be measured, they play a critical role nonetheless.


YouTubers Are Accusing the Site of Rampant ‘Censorship’

YouTubers Are Accusing the Site of Rampant 'Censorship'

YouTubers Are Accusing the Site of Rampant ‘Censorship’
YouTubers posted videos and tweets accusing YouTube of “censoring” them
Part of YouTube’s efforts to be transparent in its dealing with creators
It demonetizes videos that concern controversial or sensitive subjects
YouTube is the third-largest website on Earth, a behemoth viewed by millions each day. It’s also “over” — or on the brink of it — according to a group of outraged creators who claim the company has begun censoring them.

The controversy springs from confusion over YouTube’s long-standing policy of disabling ads on videos that could draw advertiser complaints. Those include videos that are violent, sexually suggestive, or that contain drug use or bad language.

But whereas YouTube has historically hidden demonetization notifications in its video analytics dashboard – meaning that some creators never saw them – the company recently began sending notices by email and alerting them directly on video pages.

In the process, it has caught several YouTubers by surprise: Luke Cutforth, Melanie Murphy, Rob Dyke, MrRepzion and Philip DeFranco, among many others, have all posted videos and tweets accusing YouTube of “censoring” them and threatening their livelihoods. On Thursday, DeFranco’s video on the subject – which has thus far been viewed more than 1.7 million times – sparked the trending Twitter hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty, a vote of protest by creators and fans alike.

“Without us,” tweeted the beauty vlogger Samantha Ravndahl, “you would have no content to advertise over top of.”
Ironically, the change is part of YouTube’s ongoing efforts to be more transparent in its dealings with creators, and was actually designed to make it easier for YouTubers to appeal bad blacklistings. That process was previously difficult to both find and navigate; now it’s as easy as checking a box that says “Review my video again. I believe it’s advertiser-friendly.”

Still, many YouTubers have raised valid concerns about what YouTube considers “advertiser-friendly” in the first place. It’s hard to quibble with an advertiser who doesn’t want his product placed next to, say, a vaguely rape-y Sam Pepper “prank.” (This isn’t terribly different from conventional media, where companies cherry-pick the shows they advertise with very strategically, and pull those ads posthaste if the show gets mixed up in anything dicey.)

But YouTube also demonetizes videos that concern “controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.” That could prove a major disincentive for news coverage on the platform, particularly among small creators.

Aaron Wysocki, director of content distribution for the Web news network Young Turks, tweeted Thursday morning that YouTube had disabled ads on nearly 1,000 of the network’s videos over the past three years – including recent news items about Syrian refugees, pharmaceutical research and the Colombian ceasefire.

Meanwhile, DeFranco said YouTube docked a video he posted August 30, which contained some fleeting PG-13 language but otherwise stuck to discussing news stories such as the release of Brock Turner and the Annaliese Nielsen/Lyft incident.

“How the hell am I supposed to talk about news?” he asked.

Will YouTube revise its ad policy in light of all the outrage? Only time will tell.

© 2016 The Washington Post

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Tags: YouTube, Social, Apps, Video, Home Entertainment, Google, Internet


Nearly Half of Smartphone Gamers Are Women: Facebook Study

Nearly Half of Smartphone Gamers Are Women: Facebook Study

Smartphones are the most used gaming device for people globally – and across 12 countries, 47 percent of all smartphone players are now women, a Facebook study has revealed, adding that gaming on mobile devices is increasingly becoming popular among women.

Facebook’s data analysis and storytelling team FacebookIQ commissioned market research company TNS to survey people ages 18-plus spanning 12 countries representing North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle-East and Asia on their use of mobile as a gaming device.

The survey found that on average, smartphones are the top gaming device for users – at 71 percent – followed by computers at 64 percent, tablets at 34 percent and video game consoles at 26 percent, reported on Tuesday.

The survey also analysed the habits of mobile game spenders – users who play games on mobile and pay for games on at least a monthly basis – and found that these spending players were 2.7 times more likely to stay in-game for a “sense of community and belonging” than mobile non-spenders.

These spenders were also found to be 2.3 times more likely to stop playing games than non-spenders if community members stop playing.

“On average across the 12 markets, 68 percent of mobile game spenders said they discover games via social networking platforms. Other popular discovery sources were photo and video services at 57 percent and chat apps at 54 percent,” the report said.

Thirty-four percent of mobile game spenders said they discover games by word of mouth.

Tags: Apps, Facebook, Games, Gaming, Internet



Parallel Revolution Creates Shirts that are Green and Stylish


A new brand has its sights set on a better way to make clothing. But, for a change, the focus seems to be as much on the way the clothes look and feel as on the environment.

Parallel Revolution is the brainchild of Jake Wade, a recent graduate of California State University, Chico’s entrepreneurship program. During his freshman year he co-founded the company. After half a dozen modifications and pivots, the brand finally found itself in the ‘Eco-USA-Craftsmanship’ niche.

Wade told Business Opportunities in a recent interview:

“We’ve completed a production run of what we believe to be the most sustainable shirt in the world, made in America. An ‘old’ tagline of ours is ‘Planet Earth’s Preferred Outfitter,’ which stems from our commitment in making things Earth can be proud of (or would ‘approve [of]’).”

Parallel Revolution markets eco-friendly hemp clothing sans the tie-dye hippie feel. Even the company’s packaging and tags are recyclable and reusable. Heck, the tags can even be planted to grow wildflowers.

All of the woven products are produced in the U.S. with some smaller items being produced overseas. The company says its approach supports the farmers who grow the materials for its textiles and their families. Parallel Revolution also says it invests two percent of each sale to benefit charity and nonprofit organizations.

Parallel Revolution’s products focus on letting the materials speak for themselves, Wade explains.  When it comes to his goals, he plans to “let handsome design do the selling and hemp’s natural properties deliver lasting satisfaction for the customer.”

In this video, Wade talks more about the benefits he hopes customers will see in the clothing line.

There are many reasons hemp makes great clothing, Wade says. The material is breathable, comfortable and durable. Wade even claims it contains natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties keeping you cleaner and fresher for longer. But Hemp is also stronger than cotton, polyester, and blends of the two thanks to its rugged fibers.

Even Parallel Revolution’s buttons are created from strong, eco-friendly materials. Each is crafted from a Tagua palm nut from the rain forests of Ecuador, Columbia, Peru and Southern Panama. Local workers collect the fallen nuts, which are later sold to a button manufacturer. There they are carved, finished, and sometimes dyed to meet specifications.

The idea is not only to use sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable materials, but also to take advantage of the crack and fade resistant properties the Tagua nuts offer.