Entrepreneurship Requires Working Like the Future is Already Here (Watch)

If you’re a movie buff like me, you may have thrilled to the spectacle when movies like “Star Trek” and the latest “Star Wars” hit the screen.

The exciting possibilities of a future in which intelligent robots, speed of light space ships and travel to far flung planets have all become realities are inspiring to say the least.

But as entrepreneurs we don’t have the luxury of waiting for the future to realize our dreams. Instead, the challenge is to make the future a reality today.

Business is a Wild Adventure

But of course, business is more than all this lofty stuff too. Business is also an adventure.

It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, building a team, having fun and building something that will endure for your family.

First, remember that getting into business for yourself in the first place requires leaving your comfort zone behind. You’ll have to put yourself out there to promote your business.

Nervous about meeting new people? Tough! It’s now part of your job description.

But despite all of this, you’ll have to recognize that, in most cases, you still can’t go it alone. You’ll need to find others — people with skills, integrity and the willingness to pull together as a team — to make your vision a reality.

Here at Small Business Trends, for example, it would be impossible for us day in and day out to do the work we do without a dedicated team and a larger community of freelancers and contributors, everyone of which has played a part in our success.

You also need to remember to have fun, of course. Starting a business certainly has its ups and downs. And though it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day — and even to become discouraged during the hard times — remember that those triumphs will come around too. So don’t let the challenges get you down.

Finally, if you’ve launched your business with the hopes of providing something more permanent for your family — perhaps something that can even be passed on to future generations — take pride in that.

And try to make time for them no matter how busy you get.

Work Like the Future is Already Here

Remember, how we talked about making the future a reality? Well, there are a lot of tools and resources that might have once seemed like something out of the future

But they can now help you build your business like never before.

For example, running a business might once have required a lot of overhead in terms of office space and expensive equipment to do the job right.

But today you can often run — or at least start — a small business from the kitchen table or the den using just a laptop or perhaps even a smartphone.

Once upon a time only multi-nationals could gather global teams and compete to market their products and services all over the world. Today both are possible for small businesses with the right technology.

It should be obvious from all this that business really is a great adventure. The possibilities for small businesses seem endless. All you need to do is take that first step.

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What Is the Future Outlook for Small Business?

It’s that time of year when we begin looking ahead to the coming year. In fact, with 2010 drawing to a close (can you believe it?), it’s that time when business owners begin looking ahead to the coming decade. If you want to know what the next 10 years have in store, take a closer look at a new report from Intuit.

Intuit 2020 Report: 20 Trends That Will Shape the Next Decade builds on more than five years of research led by the Institute for the Future and Emergent Research. It is the first in a series of reports looking at key trends affecting consumers and businesses in the coming years. Subsequent reports will drill down into specific trends and industries, but the current report presents a broad overview.

What Is the Future Outlook for Small Business?

What’s the takeaway? “The coming decade will be complex, volatile and uncertain, but it will also provide many new opportunities for small businesses and their customers in the United States and abroad,” the report notes. Here are some points I found especially interesting and that have big implications for the future of innovation:

Small businesses will get ever more specialized. Customers will increasingly seek customized products and services. The rise of innovations such as cloud computing, a flexible workforce and lower-cost manufacturing options will make it easier for small businesses to seek out product and service niches.

Startup will get easier and cheaper. In response to growing niche market opportunities, lower equipment costs and better technology, it will be easier than ever to launch a business without a big investment. This means more innovation, as new ideas can be tested without much risk – and startup companies will proliferate.

Big and small firms will join forces. Collaborative partnerships with big companies will increase, as small companies bring to the table innovative practices, market agility and intimate customer knowledge. What will big firms offer small businesses? Marketing and distribution power so that they can take their innovations to broader markets.

One prediction I’m not so sure I agree with: “The Web and mobile technologies will become the great equalizer of big and small, with customers no longer knowing – or even caring – about the size of the firm that provides their goods and services.” In a niche economy where personalization is sought after, will being a small company actually be an advantage? I think consumers may, in many cases, prefer to do business with small firms provided their needs are being met.

And here’s one innovation I particularly hope to see – and I think most busy business owners wish for as well: “The hardware and software we use on a daily basis will get smarter, helping people make everyday decisions and streamline complex tasks,” the report contends. That’s especially good news given that data will become even more critical to competitiveness. Information overload isn’t going away – so smart machines to help us deal with it will be very welcome.

Be sure to check out the full report. You can also find related materials at the Intuit website.

Editor’s Note: This article was previously published at OPENForum.com under the title: “What Does the Future Hold for Small Business?” It is republished here with permission.


Is Minimalist Web Design Poised to Rule the Online Future?

minimalist web design

You are trying hard. You have created a website. You are posting contents on a regular basis. But that’s only a small part.

You’re also creating marketing content. Posting it on different blogs. You’re posting on different social media platforms as well. Yet somehow, you feel you’re not getting returns. And you’re frustrated, because you just can’t find a way out. So, what’s going wrong? Are you focusing enough on your website’s design?

As a business, you need to have an online presence these days. You need great content. But that’s not all. Would you read a book if the words were not printed properly and the design was clumsy? Probably not. Similarly, your target audience will not spend time on your website, even if you have a great content, if the design is not attractive. It will only increase your bounce rate and it won’t help one bit with profit.

So, What is it That You Need?

The answer is simple – attractive web design. But the question remains: Which of the latest website trends is the best for your site?

Gone are the days of complicated designs with a wide array of colors and shades, different fonts, etc. Your idea needs to be clear on what the essentials are. Minimalist web design has been around for quite some time now and remains as relevant as ever before.

Minimalist Web Design: The Basics

What is minimalist web design? The answer is in the name itself. If you’re looking for a minimalist design for your website, exclude everything that seems extraneous.

This might seem an easy task to perform, but in reality, it is one of the toughest things to do. So, what are the features that make minimalist web design so effective?

Follow the Minimalist Philosophy

Omit needless things – this is probably the heart of the minimalist philosophy. Keep features that are necessary and delete many of the others. This ensures that readers will be able to focus more on the primary elements in your website, without being distracted by unnecessary ones.

Light Design Loads Faster

Minimalist web designs have only necessary components. This ensures that the design is light. And a light design means it takes less time to load, which is a great way to ensure that readers remain longer. It helps reduce the bounce rate of your website significantly, which in turn, reflects positively.

User-Friendliness to Increase Website Footfalls

Does it feel easy to surf through a website that’s complicated? Probably not. The same is true with your target audience as well. They will always flock to websites that are easy to navigate.

Usability plays a major role in ensuring that a website is user friendly. This user-friendliness also plays a major role from an SEO perspective, thus increasing the number of footfalls to the website. Minimalism can be a great step forward toward SEO friendly web design.

Attention Remains Focused on the Content

Content is king. No matter what type of website you’re building, content is sure to play an important role. However, it’s hard for readers to concentrate on your content if your design distracts them. This is where minimalist web design comes in handy. It ensures that their complete focus is on your content.

Minimalist web design enhances chances of conversion and is also extremely user friendly. It can attract maximum visitors and help you garner maximum profit.


Future Group, Paytm Partner to Take Big Bazaar Online

Future Group, Paytm Partner to Take Big Bazaar Online

Retail company Future Group has tied up with mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm to enable Paytm users to shop for Big Bazaar merchandise on the online marketplace and get it delivered to their homes.

The tie-up will make Big Bazaar the anchor store on thePaytm marketplace. Further, customers of Big Bazaar can get a 15 per cent cashback on all purchases, both online and offline, using Paytm’s wallet facility.

“The unit economics of e-commerce has been the key bane for understanding the business, making a partnership the most viable format to take Big Bazaar online,” Kishore Biyani, Group CEO of Future Group said.

“In the last two years, we have been serious in understanding this business and how to engage with it… one has to make this business happen,” he added.

“The cost of acquiring a customer (in e-commerce) is more than 20 per cent, cost of fulfilment is more than 20 per cent, cost of running the operation is 8-10 per cent totalling almost 50 per cent as cost of operation. At this cost, you can’t sell any goods in this medium,” he said.

Big Bazaar is also targeting a Rs 1,000 crore sales during the Maha Bachat sale between August 13-17 this year and will be encouraged by the online partnership, Biyani said.


“Together (with Future Group), we see a fantastic opportunity to create a mobile first, omni-channel retail and payment solution for our wide consumer base,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm said in Mumbai.

“In addition to shopping for Big Bazaar merchandise on Paytm, users can also pay using the Paytm wallet in any of the Future Group retail outlets,” he added.

Future Group operates a range of popular stores, such as Big Bazaar, FBB, Foodhall, Central, Brand Factory, Ezone and EasyDay.

Disclosure: Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Apps, Big Bazaar, Future Group, India, Internet, Paytm



future: upward thrust of Iron release Date, Pre-Order DLC revealed

Destiny: Rise of Iron Release Date, Pre-Order DLC Revealed

The Xbox keep, which changed into chargeable for leaking the subsequent Lego famous person Warsgame early has now discovered whilst you can play the next expansion to shared world shooter future. Dubbed as destiny: upward thrust of Iron, you can play it on September 20 this year. This statisticsturned into revealed at the future subreddit.

the description at the Xbox store shows off what you could count on from the subsequent enlargementpercent for the sport.

destiny: upward thrust of Iron is the following fairly predicted enlargement to the destiny universe. The wall which stood for hundreds of years along the southern border of vintage Russia has collapsed. Fallen mutants now scavenge the tombs of the Golden Age, and the plague they have unearthed in the wastes ismore dangerous than even they understand. join Lord Saladin. adventure into the Plaguelands. learn thefate of the Iron Lords and forestall the growing hazard before it’s far too late.

consists of: • New story marketing campaign & Quests • New Armor and equipment • New guns • New Raid • most light growth • New Strike • New Plaguelands area & Social area • New Crucible Mode & Maps • New Enemy Faction and managers

aside from this, an advert doing the rounds on Snapchat corroborates this records similarly to teasing thatyou may get Gjallarhorn. it’s a rocket launcher that turned into exceptionally sought after by way of lots of destiny‘s gamers for being incredibly overpowered. With the remaining enlargement, future: The Taken King it did no longer acquire upgraded attributes and stats like different weapons did. there is a very goodrisk that the ad is probably taken down as become the case with Watch dogs 2’s trailer visible on Twitch hours earlier than its professional monitor so we’ve reproduced a number of the essential photographsright here.

Bungie ought to be making an reliable assertion on upward push of Iron later today at 10am PST (10:30pm IST) and extra details anticipated at E3 2016. With nearly each critical bit of statistics alreadyto be had we wonder what else is left to be found out.

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Tags: Activision, Bungie, destiny, destiny DLC, future expansion percent, destiny upward thrust of Iron,destiny upward thrust of Iron launch Date, destiny Taken King, E3 2016, Gjallarhorn, Iron Black Gjallarhorn, PS4, upward thrust of Iron, upward push of Iron launch Date, Xbox One, Xbox shop

Why future: rise of Iron isn’t always to be had for PS3 or Xbox 360

Why Destiny: Rise of Iron Isn't Available for PS3 or Xbox 360

an overwhelming majority” plays destiny on PS4/Xbox One.
Bungie could have needed to take away content material to suit rise of Iron.
the brand new growth releases September 20.
As we now recognize, destiny‘s first large growth in a yearrise of Iron – may not be releasing on psthree or Xbox 360. in case you‘ve been questioning why that is, Bungie has now provided more details.

around 90 percent of its participant base – an overwhelming majority says Bungie’s marketing director Eric Osborne – is already on ps 4 and Xbox One. The studio could not justify the additional funding for ownersof previous-gen consoles.

Secondly, there was additionally the hassle of performance, or rather the lack of it, according to the developer. “which will upload new content presently, and specifically on the dimensions and scope ofupward push of Iron, we would must cast off from the ones older consoles, you will need to lose some thing,” Osborne told VG247. “We still wanna make certain that humans gambling on legacy consolesnevertheless have all the content that they paid for to date.”

(additionally see: future: rise of Iron release Date, Pre-Order DLC found out)

truely, each PS3 and Xbox 360 can’t take care of walking the present destiny enjoy and the brand newexpansion on the equal time, which is why Bungie determined to no longer bring rise of Iron for older consoles.

but there does seem to be a sliver of hope. “we are exploring capability options for players to improvedestiny from closing-gen to next-gen and could have greater to say about that with our hardwarepartners soon,” an Activision spokesperson, writer for Bungie, stated in a statement.

that means Bungie ought to offer a unfastened PS4/ Xbox One copy of future to gamers on PS3 and Xbox 360, just because it did for some months after the sport‘s release in 2014.

For guardians already on PS4 and Xbox One, you could pick out up rise of Iron beginning September 20.

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Tags: Activision, Bungie, destiny, future DLC, destiny growth p.c., future upward thrust of Iron, PS3, riseof Iron, Xbox 360

future upward thrust of Iron growth Leaked

Destiny Rise of Iron Expansion Leaked

while Activision has stated that we might not be seeing a sequel to shared global shooter future anytimequickly, information on the following expansion to the sport has discovered its manner onto the net. Asconsistent with a thread posted on Reddit which suggests the growth‘s advertising materials, it’s milescalled rise of Iron. The poster depicts Lord Saladin from future‘s Iron Banner participant as opposed toparticipant mode.

in keeping with Kotaku the upward thrust of Iron expansion will feature a brand new raid and be largethan the 2 downloadable content (DLC) packs that have been released in its first yr – The darkish underand house of Wolves. Its raid will be based on one which changed into reduce from residence of Wolves.rise of Iron changed into to be released in April but then delayed.

With upward thrust of Iron taking future 2’s place this yr, Kotaku also claims that future 2 “was latelyrebooted, with Taken King director Luke Smith taking the reins of that task within the wake of a Bungiegroup of workers reorganization.”

that is probably related to the departure of former Bungie president, Harold Ryan who left on the cease of January. The closing big replace to destiny become lower back in September 2015 in destiny: The Taken King. With the subsequent huge enlargement nonetheless a while away, it remains to be visible ifdestiny gamers will stick round.

moreover, it is going to be interesting to look what else Bungie has in keep for us after upward thrust of Iron and earlier than future 2. with a bit of luck we might not must wait too lengthy to discover with E3 2016 a few weeks away.

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Microsoft Aims at Computing Platforms of the Future

Microsoft Aims at Computing Platforms of the Future

Microsoft made a pitch Wednesday to developers to stay with the US tech giant, saying it remains a force in future technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

Chief executive Satya Nadella highlighted Microsoft’s advances with its HoloLens augmented realitygoggles, its Cortana virtual assistant and its progress in cloud computing.

This means Microsoft is a force to be reckoned with even though it has lagged rivals like Apple andGoogle in powering mobile devices, according to Nadella.

“For us, mobile first is not about the mobility of any single device, it is the mobility of the human experience across all the devices and all the computing in our lives,” Nadella told the San Francisco gathering.

“Cloud is not a single destination, cloud is a new form of computing that in fact enables that mobility of experience across all our devices.”

The company said its Windows 10 operating system which can be tied together a range of devices including PCs, phones and tablets now has some 270 million users.

“Windows 10 is off to an amazing start,” said Nadella, calling it the “fastest ever” adoption of the Windows operating system.

The 270 million represents new computers and devices with Windows 10 installed as well as upgrades of existing gadgets.

Microsoft has set a goal of having the operating system in use in more than a billion devices by 2018, which would put it on a par with Apple, which said this year it has one billion active devices running iOS.

Microsoft said it would introduce an update of the operating system in the coming months that will make Windows 10 available for its Xbox One game console and enable various devices to use the Microsoft digital assistant known as Cortana, an artificial intelligence tool.

The Windows update will also step up use of biometrics for authentication, allowing users to log into computers and their applications with their fingerprints, improving security by moving away from passwords.

Looking ahead with HoloLens
Microsoft also Wednesday began its first shipments of its HoloLens augmented reality headgear, staking its place in what is expected to be an emerging computing platform.

HoloLens is being delivered to application developers, with Microsoft opting for augmented reality rather than virtual reality in devices such as the Oculus Rift from Facebook.

While virtual reality is fully immersive, the partly immersive augmented reality allows users to multitask via virtual images superimposed on their normal field of view.

At the conference, the US tech giant showed some of the possibilities for HoloLens such as giving users a view of Mars that up to now could only be seen by space vehicles, and an inside view of the brain by medical specialists aiming to deal with a brain tumor.

Aiming to encourage new applications for the device, Microsoft noted that developers can create a “new mixed reality” with holograms to enable users to see and experience things in new ways.

Microsoft unveiled the HoloLens goggles a year ago as rivals such as Oculus were moving into virtual reality.

The holographic capabilities in the Microsoft gear can open doors for developers to augment tasks from complex surgery to motorcycle design, according to the company.

The developer editions will be available for $3,000 for app makers and other Microsoft partners.

One of the partners is Nasa, which uses HoloLens to help users move about as if they are on Mars and figure out where they want the Rover to go.

Pamela Davis, dean of the Case Western Reserve University medical school, led a demonstration showing how holographic images of the body and its organs, including the brain, can be used in doctor training.

With the goggles and Windows 10, Microsoft said in a statement it was “extending the Windows experience to holograms and allowing developers to begin helping build the future of holographic computing.”

The move by Microsoft comes just two days after Oculus began deliveries of the first Rift devices to consumers.

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Tags: Apps, Build, Build 2016, Gaming, HoloLens, Internet, Laptops, Microsoft, Microsoft Build, Microsoft Build 2016, PC,Wearables

Indie Film ‘Creative Control’ Looks at the Near Future of Personal VR

Indie Film 'Creative Control' Looks at the Near Future of Personal VR

What does technology look like five minutes in the future?

It’s a question that’s on a lot of artists’ minds lately. Whether it’s the Siri-like companion in Spike Jonze’s ‘Her,’ a beautiful AI in Alex Garland’s ‘Ex Machina’ or the ability to instantly rewind and project memories in the “Black Mirror” episode of TV’s ‘The Entire History of You,’ on nearly every screen there seems to be someone’s vision of the not-so-distant future – and usually a warning about how the purportedly convenient technologies are damaging our realities.

The latest entry is the bold indie ‘Creative Control’ (out Friday in limited release and expanding on March 18), about an ad exec who gets lost in the possibilities of Augmenta – an augmented reality system in a pair of glasses. In this highly stylized, ‘Google-utopia’ world, Augmenta even looks cool. Think Warby Parker, not Google Glass or Microsoft HoloLens.

Director Ben Dickinson, who co-wrote and stars, didn’t have the VFX budget of some of his contemporaries, but what he did have was time to really hone in on an idea, and a few friends in the tech world to help – including Vimeo co-creator Jake Lodwick.

Together they designed Augmenta – from the retinal projection interface to a user’s guide. The French digital effects company Mathematic brought it to life. It looks familiar, but slightly askew. The screens and monitors are like the ones we have now, but in ‘Creative Control’ they’re sleek and completely clear. With Augmenta, the world becomes a screen, but video messages still skip in transmission and texts and emails still pop up incessantly in front of your face.

And then David discovers that he can also create a virtual version of a woman he loves with Augmenta too – putting ‘Creative Control’ somewhere between ‘Her’ and ‘Ex Machina.’

“There’s that little boy part of me that really enjoyed making a fake product,” Dickinson said.

Lodwick helped Dickinson understand details about tech design that he hadn’t considered otherwise. Big, theatrical swiping movements in the air might look great in something like ‘Minority Report,’ for instance, but it’s impractical.

“If you’re working all day it doesn’t make sense to be reaching out into space all the time. Sometimes you need to rest your hands,” Dickinson said. “The usual approach in science fiction is to expand something to its most exciting, but ours was to make it feel really realistic and familiar.”

So in ‘Creative Control,’ the movements are small and ergonomic. Legs can be used as typing surfaces, and texting can be done just by tapping your fingers together.

Like many others before him, Dickinson was interested in how technology affects our lives.

“It’s accelerating so much quicker than our bodies so I think there’s a trauma happening,” Dickinson said. “It’s difficult to not just be overwhelmed with the relationships you’re trying to manage through text messages increasingly and the ego roller coaster of social media and then on top of that trying to make a career.”

“It’s much easier to program a digital girlfriend who says exactly the right things at the right time and just fulfills your needs. I think there’s a part of all of us that is attracted to that. The way technology exists right now offers that false hope to people and we’re starting to get lost.”

Just recently, Dickinson was in San Francisco meeting with a company that’s developing Augmented Reality – and it’s coming a lot faster than he thought would be possible when he started making “Creative Control.”

“Basically I made a movie set in the modern day. It just has a little extra sauce,” he said. “You could have done this movie with smartphones – but it would have been less fun.”

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Tags: AI, Artificial Intelligence, Creative Control, Gaming, Google Glass, Her, Home Entertainment, Internet,Microsoft HoloLens, Samantha, Virtual Reality, VR, Wearables