User experience is the new differentiator. How will that affect the internet?

Dan 'Great Marketing Works' Sodergren:

So true now a days marketing has moved back and back and back – it’s now about product and user experience far more than campaigns and messages. It’s even pre product.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

The world of business is changing, as are the locations of the people who are driving that business. How companies reach new users and how they treat them once they do will be the defining business issue of the future. Those who deliver the best user experience to a global audience will win this race will change the internet as we know it.

Improvements to the customer experience come in many forms — it could be a new mobile app, it could be data-driven proactive outreach and troubleshooting, it could be cross-platform messaging. Whatever tactic you choose to improve the user experience, the bar will be set and the stakes will be raised for expectations.

How will this force change the internet?

An improved customer experience rapidly turns negative when it’s unavailable or slow. The internet was architected with reliability in mind. Speed and performance were second-class citizens to availability…

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Hands On With Facebook Nearby Friends [Video]: No More Checkins

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Facebook Nearby Friends is based around broadcasting how far you are from friends, not your exact coordinates, and that’s why it could succeed where other location apps have failed. But while we might be comfortable sharing proximity, that doesn’t mean we’re comfortable doing it on Facebook.

Functionally, Facebook struck upon a smart innovation with proximity. For a deep look at how Facebook Nearby Friends works, read my article on its launch from Thursday. The opt in feature is rolling out to Facebook for iOS and Android over the coming weeks. Essentially it lets you show a bunch of friends your approximate distance from them, see a feed of nearby friends, and send specific people your exact on-going location for a few hours.

This hands on video and article look at how it feels using Nearby Friends and the barriers to its adoption.

[tc_5min code="518202061"]

With services like Google…

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#Love: I’m Single, Therefore I Tinder

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

In the game of Tinder , you win or you get bored and give up. That is pretty much standard operating procedure for anyone with a smartphone and a libido.

But what if you’re bad at Tinder?

Naturally, I can’t solve all your problems. But experts from across the country, as well as Tinder’s own Sean Rad, have hooked us up with some solid advice.

Tinder represents a new phase in the era of online dating. At one point, the only real online dating options were eHarmony and, and their rich, divorced customers were usually looking for something more serious. Then came OkCupid, asking you to browse photos in the cold blue light of your computer.

Now, we’re in the age of Tinder. The Tinder Years. Not only is the app free, but it tries its best to mimic the experience of perusing hotties in a bar, as…

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Running a business is very simple

Originally posted on Om Malik:

“Companies don’t die because their business model is flawed. No, they die when they stop wanting to improve, or stop being aware of the needs of their customers. Running a business is actually very simple.”

Brunello Cucinelli, the king of cashmere on his company, business ethics and what makes it all tick. This is from an old interview (2003)and no web link to the original source.

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How To Protect Your Business From The Inevitable Decline

Originally posted on June Gil Marketing:


There is a problem I keep encountering with a lot of businesses that come to me for advice: they have very little money to spend on marketing so they want to focus on marketing techniques that are free and they want instant results.

Now, I know very well how difficult it is to start a business from scratch, and how little money you might have available during those initial moments. However, this is not the problem in 8 out of 10 cases. The problem is that they opened shop a while ago, enjoyed some mild success, and then things petered out leaving them wondering where the heck their customers went and what do about it. This is when they frantically try to find any free channel they can use to try and get back to where they were. What they don’t realise is that they might be fighting a losing…

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The Rise Of The Euro Mega-Round

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Slowly, quietly, but increasingly more noisily, startups originally hailing from Europe but going global have been raising larger and larger funding rounds. The linch-pin in the ecosystem has been financing from London (handily, that’s we’re holding out Disrupt conference there in October). You can be a startup from the most obscure village in Europe, your developers happily hacking away in some austerity-stricken part of town, but raising financing from VCs who like the combination of the UK’s legal jurisdiction, the English language, and the fact that US investors barely need to tick a box to invest when the startup’s founders come calling. The other city attracting VC attention is Berlin. According to Dow Jones VentureSource in the second quarter last year Germany received $375.8m in new VC for 67 deals, mainly in Berlin, while the UK won $290m for 77 deals.

But London is fighting back. Three funding rounds that…

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Testbirds gets $2.9M as its Birdflight ‘crowdtesting’ product takes off

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

A new startup is harnessing the power of the crowd to help entrepreneurs and tech companies do their jobs better.

Testbirds, a German crowdtesting company, just raised €2.1 million ($2.9 million) as its first institutional funding, with French venture capital firm Senventure Partners leading this round. It’s also releasing a new product, BirdFlight, which enables customers to distribute and test their apps with their own testers.

Testbirds takes a customer’s mobile app or website and puts it in the hands of the customer’s target market, then collects and analyzes various criteria as predetermined by the customer. The company offers its services for testing on mobile (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry) and browser and desktop platforms such as Windows, Mac, Chrome, and Opera.

The new portfolio product, BirdFlight, will enable customers to upload and distribute iOS and Android apps still in beta to their own testers and do this free…

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Artificial intelligence startup Vicarious collects $40 million from tech elites

Dan 'Great Marketing Works' Sodergren:

Worrying or amazing – hmmm all I will say is skynet

Originally posted on Gigaom:

It has been a big year for artificial intelligence. Google bought DeepMind in January for $400 million and, now, a group of tech elites and venture capital firms have awarded $40 million to Vicarious .

Venture capital firm Formation 8 led the round, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. It was joined by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and actor Ashton Kutcher. Re/code reports that Box CEO Aaron Levie, incoming Y Combinator president Sam Altman, Braintree founder Bryan Johnson, Khosla Ventures, Good Ventures Foundation, Felicis Ventures, Initialized Capital, Open Field Capital, Zarco Investment Group, Metaplanet Holdings and Founders Fund were also involved. Vicarious received $15 million in a first round in 2012.

Last year, Vicarious announced that it had developed software that could crack CAPTCHAs with at least 90 percent accuracy. But that is only the beginning of what the startup plans to do with its AI, which is based on…

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Data is the customer’s voice, so you need to pay attention to it in as many ways as possible

Originally posted on Gigaom:

The fact that data is important to the running of most businesses, particularly technological ones, is now taken for granted, but how do you integrate the collection and understanding of that data into your company so that it makes a difference? Three fast-growing web companies — Uber, Airbnb and LinkedIn(s LNKD) — talked about the different ways they do this at Gigaom’s Structure Data conference in New York on Thursday.

Riley Newman, the head of the data science group at Airbnb (which is rumored to be raising a new round of financing that could value the company at $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal) said that from his perspective “data is the lifeblood of our business — we think of it as the customer’s voice. It’s them telling us what works and what doesn’t work, so we always start with the data.”

Newman said that Airbnb approaches…

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