SNJ: T-1915 | “NASA’s unsung heroes: The Apollo coders who put men on the moon” | Author: Nick Heath | Publisher: TechRepublic | #SmitaNairJain

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Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 9.05.28 AMNASA’s unsung heroes: The Apollo coders who put men on the moon

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Learn how pioneering software engineers helped NASA launch astronauts into space, and bring them back again — pushing the boundaries of technology as they did it.

Homer Ahr had been asleep for 15 minutes when he got a call from his boss at Johnson Space Center.

“All he said was, ‘Homer, get into mission control as fast as you can.’ I didn’t have an idea of why I was going in there,” he said.

“Within 30 minutes at most I knew that they were truly in a life or death situation,” said Ahr.

Earlier that evening, Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert had brought NASA mission control to a standstill with the now famous statement, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

The Apollo 13 craft was more than 300,000 kilometers into its journey to the moon when an explosion ripped through the tiny capsule.

On that day in April 1970, with the vessel venting its precious supply of oxygen, NASA knew it had few options for getting the three Apollo astronauts on the stricken spacecraft home safely.

“From that realization on, all we did was do everything we could to get them back,” Ahr said.

“It’s sort of like being in the ER, you know? If you have to jam a needle into somebody’s chest to reactivate their heart, you just do it. You don’t think about what you’re doing. You just do it.”

One of the many pressing issues was how to mount a rescue without firing the engines on the damaged part of the craft. At Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, mission control narrowed the options to a maneuver never attempted before. The survival of the astronauts now hinged on using the descent engines on the lunar lander to put the craft on a homeward trajectory.

SEE: How a NASA team of black women ‘computers’ sent an astronaut into orbit in 1962

Mission control had limited time to work out how to pull off the maneuver. Luckily, just months before the crew blasted off from Cape Canaveral, two programmers had written the software for mission control to calculate just such a move.

One of those programmers was the 22-year-old Ahr, just a year out of college and working for IBM as a maneuver-planning expert supporting NASA flight officers in mission control.

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“If what had occurred on the Apollo 13 had occurred on Apollo 12, we would have had a real bear of a problem,” said Ahr, since the algorithms for calculating the maneuver had only just been added.

“Physically you could do it, but computationally and in the mission control center, it would have been extremely difficult to figure out when to do the maneuver and how to do it,” he said.

Mission control needed assurance that firing the descent engines would work, and Ahr and a colleague spent the night running what was called a dispersion analysis, checking every possible parameter to see if the move would put the craft on the right course.

“I couldn’t even tell you the number of times we ran computations,” said Ahr, “but we did the dispersion analysis, and the conclusion was, ‘Go ahead and do the maneuver.'”

The computers as heroes

The eventual safe return of the astronauts was due to far more than that series of calculations, but Ahr’s recollection illustrates just how crucial the early computers were to the lunar missions.

With its goal of putting a man on the moon, NASA’s Apollo program is perhaps the most ambitious technical endeavor ever undertaken. Throughout the 15 Apollo missions that included six moon landings, the precision needed—in terms of positioning and velocity—to put the craft on the correct trajectory on the journey to and from earth was exacting.

Every maneuver that would be carried out by the spacecraft was calculated in advance by IBM computers in the Real-Time Computer Complex (RTCC) at Johnson Space Center, and checked against the craft’s actual maneuvers throughout the mission.

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Just as important to the return of Apollo 13, and the success of the wider program, were the computer systems underpinning the numerous simulators at Johnson Space Center and Cape Canaveral. The simulators included working copies of the spacecraft’s command and lunar modules, and allowed NASA astronauts and the flight controllers on the ground to practice every part of the journey: from the launch, to the lunar landing, to earth re-entry, working in tandem as they would during the mission.

Simulators replicated not only the workings of the onboard computers, but also fed data into ground systems, recreating the experience of an actual mission as closely as possible, and preparing staff to deal with a host of potential problems.

Jack Winters, who managed simulators testing and started out writing software for simulators during the earlier Gemini missions, said the training for the flight controllers was invaluable for the Apollo Project.

“On Apollo 13, for example, they were much, much better able to spot the problem and develop workarounds because of the training,” he said.

During Apollo 13, these simulators would let engineers and astronauts on the ground—working alongside astronaut Ken Mattingly, who had been replaced on the Apollo 13 flight crew at the last moment—figure out how to bring the command module’s onboard systems back online with the limited power available, a crucial step ahead of re-entering earth’s atmosphere.

Merritt Jones was working at Johnson Space Center as a computer programmer and an astrodynamicist, calculating the mechanics of how a spacecraft moves in orbit.

Working out the correct order to restore the lander’s systems was incredibly important for the safe return of the Apollo 13 crew, he said.

“They had to reduce the power required for the startup sequence. The startup sequence was critical. If you didn’t start in the right sequence, the systems wouldn’t work well or wouldn’t work at all.”

Pushing boundaries

The computers used during the Apollo missions were impossibly crude by modern standards. Each of the RTCC’s five IBM System/360 Model J75 mainframes had about 1MB of main memory, not even enough to load a typical web page in 2017.

“The software that controls what happens when you move your mouse on your PC—the mouse driver for Windows—takes more memory than all the NASA supercomputers put together had for Apollo,” said Jones.

Despite filling an entire hall with electronics, the mainframes each topped out at about one million instructions per second (MIPs), some 30,000-times slower than the fastest processors used in today’s personal computers.

NASA was bumping up against the limits of what technology at the time could do, which often meant relying on cutting-edge, and sometimes unproven, hardware and software. And where the tech simply didn’t exist, NASA’s commercial partners had to invent it.

A case in point was the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC). While the ground systems might sound underpowered, the onboard computers were orders of magnitude more simple. The guidance computer for the Apollo spacecraft needed to be small enough to fit in a cramped capsule and light enough for the Saturn rocket to get it into space. The wardrobe-sized IBM mainframes that NASA used on the ground were out of the question.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Instrumentation Laboratory (MIT-IL), which had the contract to develop the AGC, turned to a new technology, integrated circuits, which had the potential to make computers faster and smaller by etching multiple transistors onto small chips. At that time in 1961, integrated circuits had only been invented two years earlier and were something of an unknown quantity, but by 1963 MIT-IL had ordered some 60 percent of the world’s available ICs.

“A lot had to do with power and weight,” said Bob Zagrodnick, an engineer who worked on the AGC at Raytheon, which built 43 of the computers during the course of the Apollo program.

“These are small units and they didn’t take up a lot of power. We’d constantly strive to minimize weight and power consumption.”

rtcc2.png

The Real-Time Computer Complex (RTCC) for the Apollo Program’s Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center. The RTCC was situated on the first floor in Building 30, below the Mission Operation Control Rooms. There were no windows to the outside world in any of these rooms.

Image: Homer Ahr/NASA

More unusual was the way the software running on the AGC was literally woven together. At Raytheon’s production line in Waltham, MA, weavers looped wire through circular magnets, creating a metallic tapestry whose pattern corresponded to digital zeros and ones, which in turn encoded the programs run on the computer.

“They actually threaded the flight program information into the core rope memories,” said Zagrodnick. “It was a very intense activity, so mostly women who were good at needle and thread were the ones who weaved or put together the core memories.”

Back in Johnson Space Center, IBM found itself facing an entirely different challenge. As the name suggests, the computers in the RTCC needed to be able to handle new jobs and data in real time, to fulfill their role monitoring spacecraft trajectories and driving complex simulations of the missions. The problem was that at that point in the early 1960s real-time operating systems didn’t exist.

According to Ahr: “We had to get a multi-tasking, multi-jobbing operating system in the 1960s — before IBM had ever built a multi-jobbing, multi-tasking operating system.”

So IBM invented one, modifying the existing OS on its System/360 mainframe, in addition to creating a real-time database called DataTables, “well before you had anything called a relational database,” said Ahr, with strict rules around which data could be updated and when, to ensure critical information relating to the spacecraft would be accurate and available when needed.

Working with a new OS added a fresh wrinkle to a task already fraught with challenges, with calculations throwing up unexpected results due not just to application errors, but also mistakes in the relatively untested operating system.

Download this article as a PDF (free registration required).

Shooting for the moon

The pressure on the young IBM programmers was intense, with individuals working as many as 80 hours in a week, in a bid to hit the hardest of deadlines.

Winters said: “NASA had a schedule. They were going to fly on certain dates. They announced that to the public and IBM surely did not want to be the one that caused the flight to be delayed.”

That drive to work round-the-clock was partly driven by the punishing timetable, but also by the thrill at working to put a man on a moon, and desire to beat the Russians in the space race.

“We were so excited,” said Winters. “We were young. I think I was 21 when I started. We didn’t know what we couldn’t do. We just thought we could do anything. Here I was working on software that was going to go into space and eventually to the moon. The adrenaline factor was tremendous.”

Being young enough to not fully appreciate what they couldn’t or shouldn’t do sometimes paid off handsomely, according to Harry Hulen, who primarily worked on the software used at the simulators in Houston before going on to oversee others’ code.

“You could kill a guy if you messed this up. You could kill a guy.”

TOM STEELE, NASA COMPUTER PROGRAMMER

 

 

 

Hulen recalls having difficulty simulating the propellant tanks on the Agena unmanned rocket during the Gemini missions, the US manned spaceflight project that preceded Apollo, when he took a trip down to his local Sakowitz department store.

“There on the shelf, along with the usual kinds of books that you see in a store, was a book called Rocket Propellant and Pressurization Systems,” he said.

“I bought it, and it turned out that that book was exactly telling me what to do with the requirements that I had. I just totally ignored the requirements that NASA had written and programmed out of this book that I bought at Sakowitz,” said Hulen. “It worked well. No one caught me, and the results of it worked just fine. They were able to simulate certain things to a higher degree of accuracy than was required.

“The important thing is I was, maybe, 22 years old, and I didn’t know I was doing the wrong thing. I just said: ‘This looks to me like what I ought to be doing.’ I suspect that there was quite a bit of that,” he said.

That’s not to say it was always easy to strike the right balance between personal and professional commitments. Many of the young programmers were starting families at the time, but often found themselves having to work late to test software, due to machines being in constant use during the day.

“A lot of our development time was in the middle of the night,” said Winters.

“I spent many a late hour in the computer room testing software and overseeing the testing of software. In fact, my first divorce was probably caused by all the hours I worked during that period,” he said.

SEE: Photos: The computer programmers behind NASA’s Apollo missions

At the back of every engineer’s mind wasn’t just the success of the mission, but also the lives of the astronauts that depended on software doing its job.

From the moment Tom Steele joined IBM in 1963, working out of Huntsville, AL on software for the guidance systems on the Saturn rockets used during Apollo, he said his team were made acutely aware of what was at stake.

“Every contractor had a program of manned-flight awareness. Those programs were designed to both make you do things better, but also to make you be able to handle the idea that you could kill a guy if you messed this up,” he said.

Ahr felt that responsibility particularly keenly during during Apollo 11, the 1969 mission that landed the first men on the moon.

apollo-coders-02.jpg

Engineers gathered in the Mission Evaluation Room during Apollo 11.

Image: NASA

His job at that time was to run software that computed maneuvers of the rocket and the spacecraft at each stage of the mission, and check the real-time position of the spacecraft against the projected results, working to support the flight officers in mission control.

The role was by no means straightforward, requiring Ahr to sit at a console listening to about eight different phone lines at once, as well as the audio feed from the astronauts. He remembers the fear he felt when those lines began echoing to the sound of an alarm as the Apollo 11 lunar module descended towards the moon’s surface.

“When those alarms were going off during the first descent, it was scary, to say the least,” said Ahr. “It was chaotic to listen to all of that at one time and try to stay calm, keep your head up and not panic.

“It was like you’re sitting at a football game, there’s tons of people yelling, and screaming, and hollering, plus at the same time there’s a fire. You know, fire trucks show up, ambulances show up, police show up, and they all have their sirens on,” he said. “That’s what you’re listening to as you’re trying to sit there and calmly watch the real-time data come in.”

Fortunately the descent to the lunar surface was near-on perfect: “As good a descent as we could have ever flown,” said Ahr, thanks to the many fail-safes built into the Apollo systems. In this instance, the rendezvous radar in the module had been switched on, overloading the Apollo Guidance Computer with jobs. However, the system was able to prioritize the tasks needed for the descent, and ignore those related to the radar.

Ahr credits his ability to stay calm and do his job to the extensive training ahead of the mission, where all manner of problems had been simulated, and an awareness of the important role he and other ground staff had.

“Every action you did on the console affected the success of the mission and could affect the lives of the astronauts,” he said. “You had to have sort of a characteristic where the more pressure there was and the more stress there was, the better you worked.”

There was mutual respect between the IBM engineers and their NASA colleagues, born out of their close working relationship and the high stakes involved in making manned spaceflight a reality.

“We were truly a band of brothers,” said Ahr. “We were always committed to the same goal: successful missions.”

Download this article as a PDF (free registration required).

“I’m kind of amazed we pulled it off”

Adding to the pressure were the profound limitations of the primitive technology at the time, whether it was the ease with which console operators like Ahr could make mistakes when typing data into a teletype machine during a mission or having to write programs for the IBM mainframes on punched cards.

“In retrospect I’m kind of amazed that we were able to pull it off,” said Winters.

Each stage of the programming process was incredibly cumbersome. Programs for the IBM mainframes at Houston were written on coding pads, which would then be given to keypunch operators who would punch them onto card decks.

With the main IBM Federal Systems Division office situated nearly a mile from the computers, it was often necessary for a courier to deliver the card trays to the Computing Center and return the results, limiting the number of times software could run to an average of 1.2 times per programmer per day.

“My monthly salary was the same as one hour on the mainframe.”

MERRITT JONES, NASA COMPUTER PROGRAMMER AND ASTRODYNAMICIST

 

 

 

Hulen said: “If you were lucky, you got a run back the next day. What you got back was paper, and quite often, it was a core dump,” a sign that the program had crashed. Debugging this code, mostly Assembly language with some Fortran, to identify the cause of the problem was nothing like today.

The core dump would be a stack of paper, “maybe eight or nine inches” high, without a word of human language on it.

“It would all be in hexadecimal, and you had to learn to read that and find key points that were within the dump. What you needed would probably have fit on one page, but there wasn’t any real means to know what you really needed, so you got these huge core dumps back,” said Hulen.

“You had to be very fluent in hexadecimal and be able to recognize your assembler language instructions literally in machine language,” he said. “You had to know a good many people to get help. On a bad day, it might take two or three days to work it out.”

Documentation was also minimal, particularly in early missions. Hulen recalls working on telemetry software related to the Agena rocket used in Project Gemini. Programmers kept a bit-by-bit breakdown of each of that software’s basic components, known as words, which was written on a piece of cardboard they called the bit board.

“The only documentation was this bit board that we had put together. It worked quite well until one night the cleaning crew threw it out,” said Hulen. “We had no backup for it. We had a real crisis there, where we had to figure out what each one of those bits was and try to recreate the bit board, which never was totally successful.”

Over time, however, the unprecedented scale of the programs being worked on required IBM to develop sophisticated project-management plans, techniques that would be used for decades to come.

“These were extremely large software programs. There were over a million lines of code of application software,” said Winters. “There were very few successful examples of developing that amount of software successfully.”

There were about 500 IBM programmers based around Johnson Space Center in the Clear Lake area of Houston, spread over about 10 different buildings. To effectively coordinate the workforce, IBM came up with an approach of breaking down the software into modules managed by different teams and setting dates for when design, coding, integration and testing of the code would be complete.

Winters said one of the early managers, Dick Hanrahan, “pioneered that kind of management technique,” adding that the approach would go on to be used for large projects across IBM’s Federal Systems Division.

The power of the processors and the amount of memory available was so constrained that programmers would spend an extraordinary amount of time trying to simplify code, particularly if an instruction was carried out repeatedly.

“I would spend months trying to put the equation into a form that would take less memory and execute faster and still get an acceptable correct answer. And I do mean months,” said Jones of his work calculating spacecraft trajectories on IBM mainframes.

“I would spend a month trying to remove one instruction from a loop,” Jones said. “If I took one instruction out, I could save, say, 10,000 instruction executions. I only had 1,000,000 available to me and the operating system took some of those.”

Another instance saw Jones writing code to directly manipulate the zeros and ones of the machine code, using “masking instructions” to derive a far more efficient way of checking if one number was bigger than the other.

apollo-coders-05.jpg

Mission Control celebrated when Apollo 13 made it safely back to earth.

Image: NASA

“If you looked at the code, it would look horrible, but it would be fast,” he said.

According to Jones, without these extreme optimizations, software that carried out real-time calculations, such as the spacecraft’s current position, simply wouldn’t have been able to run on the computers available.

Given the IBM mainframes used in mission control had thousands of times less memory than a machine today, software had to be loaded in sections, each of which related to a different phase of the journey to the moon. Each section would take seconds to load, further complicating the process of tracking a spacecraft that could be moving as fast as seven miles per second.

Systems onboard the spacecraft were massively more limited than those on the ground, with the Instrument Unit computer aboard the Saturn V rocket capable of just 15,000 operations per second and not supporting floating-point math. “You can’t even begin to compare that to today,” said Jones.

The scarcity of computing power meant the relative value of the programmer’s time to the computer’s time was the inverse of what it is in 2017, said Jones.

“Today, you can buy as much compute power as you need if you have the money to buy it, and the programmer’s time is worth more than the computer by far. In those days, one hour on an IBM mainframe was worth one month of someone with a Master’s degree in math doing this work. My monthly salary was the same as one hour on the mainframe.”

Surprisingly, Steele said most of the programming techniques used today were available in the 1960s: “You just didn’t have any computers that could take advantage of them,” he said.

The limitations of the technology were so numerous and the calculations so complex that the best that the engineers could hope for was getting as close to certainty as possible.

“There weren’t any absolute yes / nos. [But] you had to make the decision like there were,” said Steele.

Getting as close as possible to certainty meant testing for every conceivable outcome. However, certain things couldn’t be tested on the ground, like how the weightless environment of space would disturb air bubbles in the soldered joints on electronic circuits. So, equally important, was learning from every earlier mission.

“The one thing that is true: we never, ever flew a mission that didn’t have a failure. Ever,” said Steele.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges, the Apollo program not only achieved President John F. Kennedy’s massively ambitious goal of putting an American on the moon by the end of the 1960s, but followed it up with multiple return trips to earth’s rocky satellite.

Decades later, the Apollo programmers describe a feeling of pride, but even more of being incredibly lucky.

“I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to have been a part of that. I feel it’s probably one of the most fortunate things that has ever happened to me in my life,” said Winters.

Steele sums it up even more succinctly: “There was never a day, never a single day there wasn’t a problem to solve, and it was amazing. It was an amazing ride.”

Download this article as a PDF (free registration required).

Photo credit for hero image: NASA

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

nick-heath

Nick Heath

Chief reporter

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

 

Publisher: News, Tips, and Advice for Technology Professionals – TechRepublic

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SNJ: T-1914 | “Facebook teen-in-residence defects to Google and launches Lies” | Author: Zack Whittaker | Publisher: TechCrunch.com | #SmitaNairJain #CopyPaste

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Facebook teen-in-residence defects to Google and launches Lies

At age 17, Michael Sayman was Facebook’s youngest employee ever. Having already launched 5 apps, he wowed Mark Zuckerberg, earned a demo spot on stage at Facebook F8 conference, and scored a full-time engineering gig as the social network’s go-to teen. Over the past three years, he helped Facebook try to crack the middle school market with apps like the now defunct Lifestage.

But in August he switched sides, leaving to go work for Google. Yet his arrangement hasn’t stopped the now-21-year-old Sayman from tinkering with apps during his off-hours.

Today he launches his latest, a trivia game called Lies where you try to guess the one true fact about a friend amongst an array of fibs. It follows the social mechanics of his first hit, 4Snaps, which was like Pictionary but where you take four photos instead of drawing to get people to guess the right word.

Facebook is constantly accused of copying competitors like Snapchat, but with Lies, Sayman is returning the favor. Lies mimes the interface of tbh, the anonymous teen compliment sharing app Facebook recently acquired after it hit #1. “The idea came to me as an evolution of the past games I had created, as well as what I noticed was becoming popular on the App Store today.”

In Lies, you first upload your contacts, and then take a Tinder-style profile quiz where you swipe yes or no about questions about yourself. Then you’re given tbh-style four-choice questions about friends with the goal of correctly guessing which tribia tidbit about them is true. The statements range from “I’ve gone skinny dipping” to “I’m afraid of crowds” to “I’ve kissed someone on the first date”.

When friends answer questions about you, you get notified. “This game ends friendships” it declares, as you might learn who doesn’t really know you or thinks the worst about you.

That’s about it. Sayman proudly says he built the app over just two weekends before joining Google, so it’s thin and might still be a bit buggy. An Android version is in the works.

While a cute idea, Lies may succumb to impatience and vanity. It takes a few minutes of non-stop self-interviewing to answer enough questions to fill your profile and unlock the game. Some teens may flake before ever getting that far. And people might lie when answering some of the lewder or defamatory questions, like whether they’ve ever peed in the shower or stolen money from their grandparents. That breaks the game because friends’ guesses are irrelevant if the source of truth is fake news.

You could see Lies as the devil-on-your-shoulder counterpart to the tbh angel. The racier questions might draw people in, but the constant dealing in shameful topics could get exhausting. Still, Lies is another step towards Sayman cracking the code with a hit mobile app. He’s been building them since he was 13. And with Snapchat, Facebook, Houseparty, and other startups all chasing the teen market, Sayman’s combination of youth and experience make him a hot commodity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

fullsizeoutput_8edcJosh Constine is a technology journalist who specializes in deep analysis of social products. He is currently an Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch.

Previously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook, where he covered Facebook product changes, privacy, ads, ecommerce, games, and music technology.

Constine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.

Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.

Josh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has done on-stage inteviews with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, SoundCloud CEO Alex Ljung, and Senator Cory Booker. He’s been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on NBC and Fox News. Constine is available for speaking gigs.

[Disclosures: Josh Constine advised a college friend’s social location-sharing startup codenamed ‘Signal’ that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch’s editors. Constine’s cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of Niche, which connects social media stars to sponsorships from brands, and was acquired by Twitter. Constine has personal relationships stemming from college housing with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum cryptocurrency.]

Publisher: TechCrunch – The latest technology news and information on startups

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Why the ‘end of the startup era’ could be great for entrepreneurs

Three prominent tech thinkers recently declared the end of the startup era, questioned the future of tech innovation generally and heralded the rise of the “Frightful Five” — Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft — who will dominate the future of tech. All of the posts make credible arguments, but ignore how consolidation could be good, even great, for startups.

If we define startup success as building cornerstone companies that will go down in history and be worth hundreds of billions of dollars, we may, in fact, be entering a lean period. If we define success as building an ever wider assortment of products, shipping them to tens of millions of users and earning hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars in short time frames, the good times may just be getting started.

Just look at the case of tbh — Ben Thompson suggests that Facebook likely paid ~$80 million for the seed-funded, one-year-old company. Each founder probably made close to $15 million for a year of work, making them better paid than All-Star NBA Champion Stephen Curry. Entrepreneurs may have to settle for acquiring mere generational wealth, rather than becoming “pledge to cure all diseases” wealthy, but the death of startups has been greatly exaggerated.

How consolidation could be great for startups

The kind of industry consolidation we see with the “Frightful Five” isn’t new to tech, it’s the norm in most industries and can actually spur innovation. The pharmaceutical and packaged food industries are heavily consolidated, have thriving startup scenes, are hyperactive in M&A and provide a glimpse of how the future of tech may unfold.

Pharma

The pharma industry was one of the earliest tech businesses and is one where first-mover advantage is real. As many leading pharma companies were founded before 1780 as after 1980, and eight of the 10 biggest companies are more than 100 years old. This sounds like the makings of a moribund market, but, in fact, between 2014-2015 there were more than 100 biotech IPOs that generated $10 billion in proceeds. A hundred years after the “winners” were established in pharma, startups are still producing money-making miracle drugs and minting multi-millionaire startup founders with startling regularity.

Company

Year Founded

Market Cap

Johnson & Johnson

1886

$382B

Novartis

1758 (1)

$215B

Pfizer

1849

$215B

Roche

1896

$201B

Merck

1891

$170B

AbbVie

1888 (2)

$146B

Amgen

1980

$130B

Sanofi

1718 (3)

$121B

Bristol-Myers Squibb

1887

$105B

Gilead Sciences

1987

$104B

1) Originally founded as Geigy. 2) Originally founded as Abbott Laboratories. 3) Originally founded as Laboratoires Midy. Market Cap data via Google Finance.

How did this happen? The established companies have scaled their organizations to handle the drudge work of getting a drug through clinical trials, past FDA review (and its global counterparts) and, once cleared, into the hands of doctors and patients. This organizational structure and scale make them ill-suited to pursue novel R&D, which is where the startups shine. Startups can now orient themselves entirely toward finding breakthrough cures and not worry about commercialization. If a startup develops a novel cancer drug, or even a molecule that looks promising, Sanofi, Novartis or one of their peers will buy it.

Food

Critics of the pharma comparison will point out that intellectual property is critical in the biotech/life sciences industries and software-based tech startups don’t have the same negotiating leverage. This is a fair point. However, the pattern of large companies focused on marketing and distribution acquiring nimble innovators also plays out in the packaged food business, which, like software, has little in the way of IP, relies on commodities as inputs and thrives by surfing changing consumer tastes. Look at the top 10 packaged food companies by revenue and the years in which they were founded:

Company

Year Founded

Market Cap

Nestlé

1886 (1)

$90.2B

Pepsico

1898

$62.8B

Unilever

1872 (2)

$48.3B

Coca-Cola

1886

$41.9B

Mars

1911

$35.0B

Mondelez

1909 (3)

$25.9B

Danone

1919

$23.7B

Associated British Foods

1935

$16.8B

General Mills

1856

$16.6B

Kellogg’s

1906

$13.0B

1) Originally founded as the “Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company.” 2) Originally founded as “Margarine Unie.” 3) Originally founded as “Kraft Foods.” Market cap data via Business Insider.

Despite this consolidation, last year there were 614 food and drink company acquisitions.

The diversity of the startups is impressive, their simplicity of their offerings even more so.Krave Jerky served paleo enthusiasts, and Dave’s Bread was a godsend to gluten lovers, but both were rewarded with quarter-billion-dollar exits for improving on product categories that are approximately 10,000 years old.

Startups aren’t limited to acquisitions either. Chobani went from a niche product to owning20 percent of the yogurt market in a little over 10 years. In 2015, two dog food startupsdebuted on the public markets with a combined $6 billion in market cap.

It’s true that the founders of RX Bar will probably not go down in history the way W.K. Kellogg did, but they still managed to turn a $10,000 investment into a $600 million fortune in four years. That seems like the sign of a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem, not a weak one.

Not only could this pattern work in tech, in some sectors it’s already the norm. Google has acquired at least 211 startups since 2001. IAC has owned the online dating space from Match.com and has bought up many of the 45 sub-brands that make up its portfolio.

Tech is maturing

Some believe that the tech industry will be perpetually churning and creating new market leaders. As Friendster gave way to Myspace, and Myspace lost out to Facebook, so shalt Facebook be upstaged by the next great social network. Microsoft once looked unassailable and was ultimately brought low by changing technology and the Justice Department, and so will Google, they say.

That’s always a possibility, but the reality is these companies have benefited from capturing billions of users in the crossover from desktop to mobile computing and established business models that are native to the web. The founders of Facebook, Amazon and Google will likely be running their companies for decades to come.

How to navigate the post-startup landscape

Fortune favors efficient entrepreneurs…
In a world where new tech startups don’t have a clear path to Facebook-sized valuations, one way to thrive is to avoid raising so much VC funding where becoming the “next Google” is the only way to win. There’s no shame in a $100 million startup. Fred Wilson and USV have created a legendary firm on $1-3 billion dollar exits (with a couple of notable outliers).

If a startup isn’t building for the long haul, they should orient themselves to a world where more humble valuations are the norm. There are dozens of startups that got huge with almost no capital. It’s possible to make more money as an entrepreneur by raising very little capital and selling for a low price than raising huge sums and selling for a high price. Entrepreneurs shouldn’t aim small or plan their company around an acquisition, but they shouldn’t close the door on the option by overfunding.

…and audacious projects
Today, many equate startups and entrepreneurship with the lean, public development process that enabled Mark Zuckerberg to create in a dorm room the most powerful media company the world has ever known. This is not the historical norm. We may be due for a period where major capital expenditures are required to create the platforms of the future.

That process can look messy. Magic Leap has been able to easily conjure piles of cash, but thus far has been unwilling to perform even the simplest parlor trick for the press, leading many to speculate that its eventual release will result in a Juicero-like splat instead of a Jobsian reveal.

But is it that crazy for a startup to invest $1.9 billion to develop something, that if successful, will be a new kind of display technology with the potential to rival OLED? If this investment pays off, and the patents are strong, Magic Leap will be in a position to compete with Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft in the race for AR. Even if it ends up being “just” an awesome game platform, the amount invested isn’t crazy. Sony spent more than $3 billion in R&D developing their third-generation PlayStation console and Microsoft spent $100 million improving their Xbox game controller. If Magic Leap finally ships a functional product, founder Rony Abovitz will deserve plaudits for his capital efficiency.

Look to places other than San Francisco…
Consumer drones are an $8 billion tech industry that is thoroughly dominated by DJI, a Chinese startup. Perhaps WeChat will decide to take on Facebook in the U.S.? Or Alibaba could one day decide to challenge Amazon in the U.S.? The notion of a Japanese loom maker beating Ford and GM to become the leader in U.S. auto sales seemed crazy at one point as well, but Toyota did it all the same. And who knows what’s being developed in the dorms at Tsinghua University.

…including vape shops
In a world where Warby Parker, Casper and Juicero are considered tech companies, it’s worth taking a moment to recognize that the e-cigarette category has become an $8 billion market, and is projected to be worth $20 billion in the next five years. This is within striking distance of Ethereum’s market cap, but unlike cryptocurrencies, which have been obsessed over by the tech cognoscenti, e-cigarettes emerged from gas stations and bodegas seemingly overnight. Vape shops won’t spur the next great startup, but their rapid growth shows that tech has not drawn its last (root beer-scented) breath, and that huge opportunities for startups can come from anywhere.

The market is never truly settled

Nvidia was founded in 1993 with the goal of making better graphics cards for gamers. By its twentieth anniversary, it had attained a comfortable corporate middle age with a valuation in the single-digit billions. Then AI folks began to rely on Nvidia’s hardware, and the company enjoyed a 10X improvement in their stock price in the space of two years. What was once a company that served a niche segment of the tech industry is now a major player — Nvidia’s market cap is twice as large as Tesla’s! It may be the end of the startup world as we’ve known it, but students of business history should feel fine.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BPHHBD1S_400x400
Joseph Flaherty

Joe Flaherty is director of Content & Community at Founder Collective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: TechCrunch – The latest technology news and information on startups

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Do These 5 Things if You Want to Become a Public Speaker
Discover five actionable insights to help you become a public speaker within your industry.
CREDIT: Getty Images
 Public speaking can do wonders for one’s career in terms of positioning as a thought leader within your industry and having exposure to countless executives in the audience which is advantageous for anyone that’s looking to grow a business or advance in their career.

However, the journey to becoming a public speaker isn’t one that comes overnight. Like anything else, it requires years of hard work, mastery of a topic, and a lot of patience.

Sure, it’s easy to watch well-known speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk or Tony Robbins take a stage and think to yourself “Oh, I can do that!” But the reality is that these individuals have invested years in speaking on those stages.

Having spoken at over 30 industry events and conferences such as SXSW and Social Media Marketing World in the past two years, I am often asked by aspiring speakers in my social network how to get speaking engagements.

Below is a breakdown of what it takes to become a public speaker in 2017:

1. Able to Teach and Drive ROI

Conference and event organizers aren’t looking for just someone who can come in and recite a blog post that they read online or provide vague, general content (a “theory”).

Instead, they are looking for subject matter experts or thought leaders on a particular topic or platform (i.e. social media, SEO, email marketing, etc.) who have performed the work previously and are able to teach an audience how to do it themselves in order to drive ROI for their business.

Conference organizers are hypersensitive to the fact that attendees often pay upwards of $1,000 or more to hear from seasoned experts, which is why you should not bother applying to speak at an event if you haven’t performed the work that you intend on speaking about. Ask yourself, what makes you qualified to speak on a particular subject matter?

2. Gain Experience in Your Community

Before speaking in front of thousands, I spoke at events at technical colleges in my community to a dozen or fewer individuals. Sure, it’s not as sexy as headlining a stage at a major industry event but it’s where you realistically need to start to gain experience speaking in front of professionals who can easily spot the difference between someone who knows their subject matter and fluff.

My advice to anyone reading is to get started with your local Chamber of Commerce and industry events within your community or host a small meet-up where you can speak about a topic.

3. Volunteer at Industry Conferences

If you want to get on the radar of the decision makers who organize top-tier events in your industry, be sure to volunteer your time at these events. As a volunteer you will get a free conference badge which will give you access to everyone attending, including speakers, and may even present you with an opportunity to speak–sort of.

Almost every conference that I have spoken at in the last two years has track leaders who introduce every session and speaker. What better way than to get your name in front of conference attendees and time on the microphone than by being a track leader? Events like Social Media Marketing World often will have up-and-coming speakers start off by being a tracker leader at their event before moving onto panels or solo sessions.

4. Email Event Organizers

Anytime someone asks me how do I get speaking engagements I let them know, in short, I email conference organizers. You don’t need an agent or virtual assistant to do this for you. Simply identify a dozen or so industry events that you want to speak at over the next year and send an email to the committee or individual responsible for selecting speakers (which is often posted on their website) and make your pitch.

My advice is to write an email or submission which clearly states who you are, what you’d like to speak about, why you’re the best person to speak on this topic, and examples of where you’ve spoken before.

5. Gather Testimonials and Speaking Examples

Having testimonials and examples of your work on stage is a key to success for any speaker. Throughout 2016, as I applied to speak on bigger stages, I was often asked for speaking examples so I invested in having a freelance videographer record a couple of my talks. You can find help on the Thumbtack app or find out in advance if the event you’re speaking at is equipped to record your talk.

Most importantly, have a website which showcases your work including testimonials from prior speaking engagements where you can send prospective organizers to.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carlos Gil is a brand marketing executive, entrepreneur, and public speaker with over a decade of experience leading social media marketing strategy for global brands including LinkedIn. Carlos’s work has been featured by, or seen in, CNNMoney, Mashable, Inc., Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner. He is a recurring speaker at industry events such as SXSW and Social Media Marketing World. Carlos is a native of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida now living in San Francisco, California.

@carlosgil83

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author(s), publisher(s) and forum participant(s) on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the @SmitaNairJain or official policies of the #SmitaNairJain

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Intel and AMD team up: A future Core chip will have Radeon graphics inside

Absolutely incredible! Intel will ship a chip powered by AMD’s Radeon graphics next year to bring top-tier, triple-A games to the thin-and-light notebook market.

By

intel amd core radeon
Intel

 It sounds crazy, but it’s true: Arch-rivals AMD and Intel have teamed up to co-design an Intel Core microprocessor with a custom AMD Radeon graphics core inside the processor package, aimed at bringing top-tier gaming to thin-and-light notebook PCs.

Executives from both AMD and Intel told PCWorld that the combined AMD-Intel chip will be an “evolution” of Intel’s 8th-generation, H-series Core chips, with the ability to power-manage the entire module to preserve battery life. It’s scheduled to ship as early as the first quarter of 2018.

Though both companies helped engineer the new chip, this is Intel’s project—Intel first approached AMD, both companies confirmed. AMD, for its part, is treating the Radeon core as a single, semi-custom design, in the same vein as the chips it supplies to consoles like the Microsoft Xbox One X and Sony Playstation 4. Some specifics, though, remain undisclosed: Intel refers to it as a single product, though it seems possible that it could eventually be offered at a range of clock speeds.

The linchpin of the Intel-AMD agreement is a tiny piece of silicon that Intel began talking up over the past year: the Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge, or EMIB. Numerous EMIBs can connect silicon dies, routing the electrical traces through the substrate itself. The result is what Intel calls a System-in-Package module. In this case, EMIBs allowed Intel to construct the three-die module, which will tie together Intel’s Core chip, the Radeon core, and next-generation high-bandwidth memory, or HBM2.

Editor’s Note: Some people are beginning to refer to this chip as the Kaby Lake G, a name that Intel representatives said they will not confirm. A spokeswoman referred to it as “rumor and speculation.”

The story behind the story: You heard right: This is AMD and Intel, working together. Shaking hands on this partnership represents a rare moment of harmony in an often bitter rivalry that began when AMD reverse-engineered the Intel 8080 microchip in 1975. But in graphics, the two are much more cordial: Intel’s low-end, integrated cores own the majority of the notebook PC market, while AMD is pinched between Intel and Nvidia’s high-end chips. Intel, meanwhile, is no friend to Nvidia, having paid out $1.5 billion in licensing fees since 2011. The enemy of my enemy is my friend—that’s one explanation for how the deal came about.

Mark Hachman / IDG

<p>Intel showed a reference notebook of the sort that will be enhanced by the AMD-Intel partnership. The large, black blank space is designed to be used for drawing with the stylus and for other digital content creation.</p>
<p>” href=”https://images.idgesg.net/images/article/2017/11/dsc00953-100741142-orig.jpg&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>Intel AMD graphics reference design

Mark Hachman / IDG

Intel showed a reference notebook of the sort that will be enhanced by the AMD-Intel partnership. The large, black blank space is designed to be used for drawing with the stylus and for other digital content creation.

AMD and Intel: A win-win for all concerned

According to Chris Walker, vice president of Intel’s Client Computing Group, Intel had a problem: AAA gaming PCs were selling, customers were interested in VR, but notebooks with the graphics horsepower to run them were thick and heavy. Customers, though, were seeing growth in two-in-one PCs and even thinner thin-and-light PCs. This was what Walker called Intel’s “portability obstacle:” How could it bring top-tier performance to notebooks that didn’t weigh a ton?

The answer, as it turned out, was the EMIB, a small sliver of silicon to bridge discrete logic cores within a single chip package. Intel had originally developed the EMIB as an alternative to what’s known as a silicon interposer, the “floor” or “foundation” of a multichip module. The problem with an interposer is that, like a floor, it needs to cover the entire space underneath the module, making it expensive to manufacture. EMIBs are more like small connectors that dip into the substrate. Intel found that they worked for its Altera programmable logic line as well as its more mainstream PC microprocessor designs. In fact, this is the first consumer use of EMIB, executives said.

Intel
<p>This slide, taken from an Intel presentation, shows how Intel believes its Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge is more cost-effective for connecting chips than methods that use an interposer, and far higher in performance than Multi-Chip Package designs.</p>
<p>” href=”https://images.techhive.com/images/article/2017/03/intel_tech_manu_embedded_multi_die_interconnect_bridge-100715607-orig.jpg”>intel tech manu embedded multi die interconnect bridge

Intel

This slide, taken from an Intel presentation, shows how Intel believes its Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge is more cost-effective for connecting chips than methods that use an interposer, and far higher in performance than Multi-Chip Package designs.

Intel’s EMIBs, though, allowed another important advantage: modularity. Originally, Intel positioned EMIBs as a tool to mix and match chips using different process technologies. When designing a programmable chip, adding in third-party logic cores is somewhat common. Within integrated logic as complex as a microprocessor’s, though, it’s nearly unheard of. The EMIB allowed for a compromise, placing CPU, GPU, and memory in close proximity without being part of the same actual design.

That paid off almost immediately. Intel’s still being cagey on all the benefits of the Core-Radeon module that EMiB enabled, but the company revealed two. According to Walker, the module stripped out a whopping 1900 square millimeters (2.9 sq in.) from a more traditional motherboard, where the processor, discrete GPU, and memory were laid out next to one another. (Put another way, the EMIB layout consumes just half of the typical board space, Intel says.) Second, the module uses about half the memory power of a traditional design.

Intel
<p>An example of the space savings Intel achieved by moving the CPU, Radeon GPU, and HBM inside the processor package.</p>
<p>” href=”https://images.idgesg.net/images/article/2017/11/intel-new-8th-gen-processor-package-size-compare-100741119-orig.jpg” rel=”nofollow”>intel new 8th gen processor package size compare

Intel

An example of the space savings Intel achieved by moving the CPU, Radeon GPU, and HBM inside the processor package.

Software, drivers are critical for managing power

That’s important, because heat naturally becomes more of an issue as notebooks become thinner. Intel added what it calls a new power-sharing framework to the module, consisting of a new connection between the processor, GPU, and memory. Just as a system can manage the processing workload between the three components, the new power framework can do the same for power management.

Here, Intel’s software team plays a critical role, both in managing power as well as ensuring that the right drivers are in place for optimizing performance.

“If I look at this as one system with one driver package, with one Intel-delivered driver set, we’re able to apply things like our Dynamic Platform Framework,” Walker said, referring to a set of Intel-designed thermal management technologies that can manage the CPU, GPU, and memory simultaneously.

The Dynamic Platform Framework will allow the system to tweak and balance the three platform components dynamically, based on workload, system state, the temperature of the PC chassis, and more. Naturally, tasks like movie playback will still be routed to the Core chip’s existing, integrated graphics core, Walker said. The integrated 8th-gen Core chips already contain dedicated, optimized logic to play back 4K video using the HEVC or VP9 codecs chosen by streaming content companies like Netflix and Amazon, while using minimal power.

One interesting wrinkle: Intel will be responsible for supplying the drivers for the Radeon GPU, though company engineers won’t write the original code. An Intel representative said they’re working closely with AMD’s Radeon business to supply “day one” drivers for new games, when those drivers become available.

Here’s a video Intel authored, explaining how it all works:

Intel’s graphics business is alive and well

Speculation that Intel might license or outright buy AMD’s Radeon business has circulated for years, especially as AMD has struggled to achieve profitability. AMD, however, enjoyed a rare profit of $71 million on $1.64 billion revenue for the just-completed third quarter, helped by sales of its Ryzen processors and Vega graphics chips. AMD’s semi-custom business, which usually sells chips to game consoles, could use a boost: It reported flat sales year-over-year. (AMD also said it closed an unspecified patent licensing transaction “which positively impacted revenue,” though officials confirmed that the Intel deal wasn’t it.)

jon peddie graphics share largeJon Peddie Research
Intel has dominated the PC graphics market, thanks to the integrated graphics cores inside its Core processors.

It’s possible that the Core-Radeon (Core-R, perhaps?) deal may yield a longer-term relationship. But right now, AMD seems to be positioning it as a single contract with a customer, like any other.

“We’re constantly looking at different things inside AMD, but this is really Intel’s project,” said Scott Herkelman, the corporate vice president and general manager within the Radeon Gaming business unit within AMD. “It’s completely semicustom…I wouldn’t say that we’re going to take this and learn something from it. This is Intel’s project, and we’re helping them execute on it.”

Last January, speculation rose that Intel and AMD had signed a Radeon licensing deal, prompting talk that Intel might be preparing to lay off or otherwise get rid of its own integrated graphics development teams. Walker denied it. “Not at all,” he said.

“As we drive mainstream thin and light to 15mm and lower, the Intel UHD solution is still the market leader in terms of how graphics gets delivered on a PC platform,” Walker added. Nor has Intel licensed the EMIB technology to AMD, he said.

AMD representatives went further, stating that there is no patent or IP licensing in place between the two firms at all.

What’s next? Answering the questions

Unfortunately, we still don’t know the answers to several basic questions: How fast will these new cores run? How many variants of these new Core-Radeon chips will there be? What Intel Core architecture—Kaby Lake, or Kaby Lake-R—are they based upon? Does HBM2 memory confirm that the Radeon core is based upon the AMD “Vega” architecture, and how does it compare to existing chips? How much memory is inside the package? Will the new Core-Radeon modules incorporate AMD-specific features such as VSR, Eyefinity, and Async Compute? And, of course, how much will it all cost?

The latter two questions can be answered in broad strokes. The idea, according to an AMD representative, is that these notebooks won’t be priced in the value segment at all, but in the neighborhood of $1,200 to $1,400 apiece. Meanwhile, Intel executives say that notebook PCs based on the new H-series, Core-Radeon modules will move gaming-class graphics down from systems 26mm thick, to thin-and-light PCs at 16mm and even 11mm thick — that’s slimmer than the original 13-inch Apple MacBook Air, and priced accordingly. (To get a sense of just how thin this is, see our 2012 review of the Acer Aspire S5. A laptop based on the Core-Radeon module would be far, far more powerful, however.)

An AMD representative also said that there’s nothing prohibiting any AMD graphics technology like VSR from being included in the Core-Radeon chip—but that in terms of specifics, it’s up to Intel to decide.

According to Intel representatives, we’ll get more of those answers closer to launch. For now, however, there’s the simple surprise that the two sides came together to make this happen. For those who have watched the acrimonious AMD-Intel relationship play out in court, in the market, and behind closed doors for several decades, even a limited contract seemed out of the realm of possibility. But now, who knows what the future holds?

Updated to add a reference to Kaby Lake G.

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SNJ: T-1908 “How the Dark Web works ” | Author: Dan Patterson | Publisher: ZDNet | #SmitaNairJain #CopyPaste

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How the Dark Web works

Beneath our everyday internet lurks a murky network of encrypted sites known as the Dark Web. Is it all bad? No. But it does fuel a lucrative criminal subculture that could threaten businesses and consumers.

 

istocksitikka.jpg
Image: iStock / Sitikka

The Dark Web is an ominous network of shadowy hackers hellbent on stealing company data, overthrowing the country, and selling drugs to your kids with Bitcoin.

Or is it? The hidden and encrypted internet enables hackers and activists and criminals. It’s also a wonderful source for shocking headlines and salacious YouTube stories, and a communication and privacy-enhancing platform. Powered by a network of encrypted websites and accessible only by using a complex set of security tools, the Dark Web is as intriguing as it is beguiling. To understand the realities of the hidden internet, better grab a flashlight.

The Dark Web and the deep web are terms often confused and used interchangeably. The deep web is a term that refers to sites and pages unavailable to the general public and not indexed by traditional search engines, like corporate intranet sites, private social media posts, and pages with nofollow search tags.

SEE: Cybersecurity spotlight: The ransomware battle (Tech Pro Research) 

Cybersecurity spotlight: The ransomware battle

Originally Published: Aug 2016

Ransomware is an escalating, increasingly sophisticated threat—and no one seems to be immune. This ebook looks at how the malware works, who it’s affecting, steps to avoid it, and what to do if you’re attacked.

Although ransomware initially targeted home users, it is spreading quickly into the enterprise. Recent reports from security firms such as Kaspersky, Symantec, and FSecure offer a scary view of how ransomware attacks are evolving, spinning off new variants and upping the ante as hackers go after lucrative targets like universities and hospitals.

From the ebook:

Tips for IT leaders
To prevent a ransomware attack, experts say IT and information security leaders should do the following:

  • Keep clear inventories of all your digital assets and their locations so cybercriminals do not attack a system you are unaware of.
  • Keep all software up to date, including operating systems and applications.
  • Back up all information every day, including information on employee devices, so you can restore encrypted data if attacked.
  • Back up all information to a secure offsite location.
  • Segment your network: Don’t place all data on one file share accessed by everyone in the company.
  • Train staff on cybersecurity practices, emphasizing that they should not open attachments or links from unknown sources.
  • Develop a communication strategy to inform employees if a virus reaches the company network.
  • Before an attack happens, work with your board to determine whether your company will plan to pay a ransom or launch an investigation.
  • Perform a threat analysis in communication with vendors to go over cybersecurity throughout the lifecycle of a particular device or application.
  • Instruct information security teams to perform penetration testing to find any vulnerabilities.

Above the deep web hovers the clearnet, the traditional internet and mobile web used by billions of people around the world. The clearnet is secure, and encryption is used to move secure data from place to place all the time. SSL guards passwords and protects credit card information during e-commerce transactions. But the very nature of the clear internet is that anonymity is rare. Computer and mobile IP addresses are constantly logged and easily traced. Cookies help web marketers track online activity and analyze behavior.

What differentiates the so-called Dark Web is the method by which sites are accessed. The Dark Web, or darknet, is a network of sites with encrypted content, accessible only with a secure suite of secure-browsing tools, like Tor. Tor — an acronym for the onion router — is a package of open-source security tools written for a customized version of the Mozilla Firefox browser, compatible with Windows, OS X, and Linux. The software encrypts user traffic and passes the IP address through the complex of Tor nodes.

These ‘onion layers’ help protect the user’s anonymity and provide access to similarly protected websites. These sites range from forums to wiki pages to blogs and function much like clearnet sites. Dark Web domains frequently employ non-memorable, hashed URLs with the .onion top level domain. These sites block inbound traffic from all non-secure internet connections.

Personal and work computers often house mission-critical data, like sensitive files, passwords, and health records. Because Tor can be used and the Dark Web can be accessed on a traditional home PC, security professionals rely on additional security tools like the Tails operating system. Tails is a Linux distribution that can be installed on and run from a portable flash drive. By accessing the Dark Web via Tails, user behavior is never logged locally, and it is significantly more challenging for malicious software to harm the host PC.

The Dark Web is used frequently by good actors for legitimate reasons. Encryption, security, and privacy are championed by news organizations, tech companies, universities, and activists in repressive regimes. The U.S. State Department helps fund the Tor project, and according to the United Nations, encryption is a fundamental human right. Facebook operates a widely used secure Dark Web portal to the social network.

SEE: Down the Deep Dark Web is a movie every technologist should watch (TechRepublic) 

Review: ‘Down the Deep Dark Web’ is a movie every technologist should watch

A new documentary about cryptoanarchists, hackers, and security experts explains about why encryption and privacy are important. This movie will make you see the Dark Web in a new light.

f005400329darkweb.jpg
Image: Zygote Films

The Dark Web is a deep well of dastardly villains, anonymous hackers, hitmen, and drug traffickers. Myth or reality, the new documentary film Down the Deep Dark Web will do nothing to dispel the notion that the Deep Web, a network of private sites accessible only by using an encryption-friendly browser, is a dangerous place.

And that’s a good thing.

The film, which was co-produced by Duki Dror and Tzachi Schiff and debuts at the Jerusalem Film Festival on July 16th, is a flashlight of a documentary produced by Zygote Films that trails journalist Yuval Orr as he illuminates the people who occupy the hidden, encrypted internet. The film travels through scenic locations from Israel to Europe and, through a series of interviews with cryptoanarchists, traffickers, hackers, and security experts, explores the personalities that operate on the Dark Web.

SEE: Three ways encryption can safeguard your cloud files (Tech Pro Research report)

Orr’s documentary also explores ideas about security and privacy, and is at times deeply technical. Experts and activists alike are thoughtfully interviewed about both the mechanics and philosophy of how secure communication helps insure free thought. Sandwiched between banter about tech regulation and the potential of Bitcoin are quiet conversations about why the general public should care about how encryption works.

The Dark Web is important, the film argues, and hacker culture is important.The premise, presented with a Vice-style dramatic panache, is always entertaining. The movie is loaded with neo-Gonzo Journalism tropes and crafted to appeal to hacktivists, EFF-hardliners, Bitcoin evangelicals, and techno-pundits. For that market in particular, the movie’s aesthetic effectively communicates basic information about the Dark Web.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/169885334?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0Down the Deep, Dark Web (2016) Official Trailer from Zygote Films.

Filmmaker and journalist Yuval Orr is also a technologist and created a film that tech insiders will appreciate. He spoke to TechRepublic about his approach to making the documentary and his relationship with technology.

Explain your thoughts on creating a film about the Dark Web.

When we first started working on the film our focus was very much on the “dark” side of the Dark Web. [We were] looking at the online drug and gun markets, forums for stolen credit cards, malware, and much worse. Then at a certain point we realized that all of this had already been covered in a thousand different media, all of them drumming up a lot of noise about everything scary and evil that the average citizen has to fear about the dark web. Hell, the name itself was meant to conjure up this shadowy image of a place you and I would never want to venture into.

But when we started looking deeper, we realized there was much more to this hidden corner of the cloud than met the eye. The co-directors and I started by looking in one place, and by the end of the process we were going in the exact opposite direction, from believing that the Dark Web … is an embodiment of the worst of human society to the belief that it just might hold the promise for something better. In the end, I think the reality is that the technology holds both [good and bad] at once, and it’s up to those who are developing, maintaining, and using it to determine which way it will ultimately take us.

How was technology important to the creation of the film?

 More about IT Security

We wanted to give the viewer the sense that they were watching the film unfold on my computer. We created a visual language that felt very YouTubey, with a lot of jumping windows, quick cuts, and short syncs that are fast-paced and resemble the kind of thousand-tabs-open-at-once browsing that our generation is so accustomed to.I was also exposed to a lot of new technology over the course of making the film. There was, of course, Bitcoin, which I bought and used for the first time in my life. But also a sort of old school technology, like the private IRC chat rooms that I used to communicate with two of the film’s protagonists, Smuggler and Frank Braun.

Why should business and individuals care about the Dark Web?

The Dark Web has largely been portrayed as a challenge for businesses to overcome, rather than an opportunity for them to explore. The most ready example is the credit card companies that hire cybersecurity firms, many of them in Israel, to monitor carder forums in the Dark Web and track down the criminals behind them.

But I think there’s an opportunity on the privacy and free speech side of the debate that should be explored: why aren’t microblogging sites like WordPress and Tumblr developing services for the [Dark Web]?

SEE: How to safely access and navigate the Dark Web

What are the implications of the Dark Web for global cybersecurity?

The war against encryption—which has cropped up of late with claims that ISIS has used encryption to hide its communication, or the FBI vs Apple case—is a long game, and the Dark Web is just the latest iteration.

READ: Cybersecurity spotlight: The critical labor shortage (Tech Pro Research ebook) 

Cybersecurity spotlight: The critical labor shortage

Originally Published: Oct 2014

An escalating shortage of information security professionals is prompting industry experts to predict a grave outcome. Violet Blue explores the infosec labor shortage and its causes and consequences.

There’s never been a greater need to hire security professionals to protect and defend infrastructures from the onslaught of organized crime, industrial espionage, and nation-state attacks. See why a small talent pool, an inflated wage bubble, and the high tensions of a virulent attack landscape have made cybersecurity’s hiring crisis the “billion dollar problem.”

The cryptoanarchist crowd holds that they’ll win out in the end because encryption will always develop faster than any given government’s ability to crack it. So, sure the US government managed to shut down the original Silk Road, but it took a joint task force of the FBI, DEA, and Secret Service to do so. All that to shut down a single site, which has since been replaced by a 2.0 and 3.0 version. The same holds for Darkode, a site that sold various hacking tools, which was taken down by an international task force with the FBI at the head and some 20 countries.

What does that mean for us? It means we’re living in an increasingly uncertain online world. The cybersecurity industry is sure to balloon to keep up with new threats that seem to crop up every week. One hopes that the upside will be an increasing awareness, and use, of encryption by average users.

Can you help us understand the future of the Dark Web?

To hear the cryptoanarchist crowd tell it, we’ll soon be doing all our shopping on the Dark Web, avoiding government regulation, and taxation to buy goods and services we’d otherwise not have access to, or just buying them cheaper than we would elsewhere. I think that’s a real possibility, but it requires a level of comfort and familiarity with technology like Tor that simply doesn’t exist at the moment.

I suppose my biggest hope is that more people familiarize themselves with [encryption] and other tech, and that the Dark Web will stop being seen strictly as the last frontier of evil, and rather as a home to new ways of thinking about community and of accessing information.

Yet it is also true that the Dark Web is an opaque, sometimes twisted, reflection of the clearnet. Crime is profligate. Black markets enable the morally libertine to profit handsomely in Bitcoin. The most famous Dark Web market, the Silk Road, allowed vendors and buyers to conduct business anonymously and enabled the sale of drugs, guns, humans, identities, credit card numbers, zero-day exploits, and malicious software. The site was raided and shut down by the FBI in 2013, but the idea of an anonymous, encrypted black market spread rapidly. Today, the site Deep Dot Web lists dozens of Dark Web markets.

Special report: Cyberwar and future of cybersecurity

Special report: Cyberwar and future of cybersecurity

You can download our full special report as a PDF in magazine format. It’s free to registered ZDNet and TechRepublic members.

Read More

“The Dark Web operates a lot like the clear web,” said Emily Wilson, Director of Analysis at security firm Terbium Labs. “The same crime that happens off line, all the time, also happens on the Dark Web.” In many ways, she said, because it’s relatively easy to visit Dark Web markets, it’s sometimes easier to see criminal activity as it happens.

Although it’s not necessary for the layperson to visit the Dark Web often, if ever, every consumer is at risk of identity theft and should have a basic understanding of how the encrypted internet functions. Businesses should be aware that data from hacked companies and the government is easy to find and purchase on the encrypted internet. A number of companies, including Tripwire, ID Agent, and Massive, monitor the Dark Web and help businesses respond to Dark Web data leaks.

The Dark Web is not entirely malicious, but it’s also not a safe place to visit. Novices and experts alike should exercise care and caution when visiting the Dark Web. ZDNet does not condone illegal or unethical activity. Offensive material can sometimes be just a click away. Browse at your own risk. Never break the law. Use the Dark Web safely, and for legal purposes only.

SEE: Network Security Policy (Tech Pro Research report)

The Dark Web — like encryption — is a double-edged sword. The hidden internet enables both good and bad actors to work uninhibited anonymously. And like encryption, the Dark Web is a reality for both consumers and business. Companies need to know about the Dark Web, Wilson said, and they need to be prepared for incidents to occur.

But consumers and companies shouldn’t overreact to perceived threats. The Dark Web is not enormous. “Compared to the clearnet, the Dark Web is maybe a few thousand, or few hundred thousand [sites.],” Wilson explained. “Only a few thousand return useful content, and compared to the clearnet there’s tiny amount of regular Tor users.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author(s), publisher(s) and forum participant(s) on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the @SmitaNairJain or official policies of the #SmitaNairJain

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SNJ: T-1907 “100 Top Motivational Speakers” | Author: Jamie Turner | Publisher: JamieTurner.Live | #SmitaNairJain

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100 Top Motivational Speakers: An In-Depth Guide for Meeting Planners and Event Planners.

What is a motivational speaker? If you’re like most people, you think it’s someone who is a high-energy speaker who excels at getting salespeople fired up — but that’s not always the case.

As a professional speaker myself, I define a motivational speaker as someone who changes the state of the people in the audience.

Yes, sometimes that means a high-energy, inspirational speaker. But other times, it can mean someone who creates a sense of emotion and meaning for the audience. And still other times, it can mean someone who shares a business insight with an audience that gets them to change the way they lead their organization or their team.

When I first decided to do research on motivational speakers, I realized that the term “motivational speaker” was much broader than I originally thought. After re-framing the definition, I spent the next six months emailing several thousand meeting planners, event planners, and conference planners. I asked them to name the top speakers they had come across in their careers.

I also did in-depth research of my own and sorted through hundreds of different speaker websites.

Finally, I connected with other speakers and asked them for their input.

What follows are the results of the study, which is based on both qualitative and quantitative research as well as my own experience. I’m sure I’ve missed some really excellent speakers who deserve to be on the list. If you’re an event planner, meeting planner, or conference planner who knows someone who should be included, please feel free to email me – I’ll be more than happy to take them under consideration for future versions of the list.

With all that said, let’s dive in, shall we?

Here is a list of 100 top motivational speakers that you might consider for your next conference, trade show, or association meeting.

Ashley Rhodes-Courter has a very inspirational story that’s worth checking out. She was born to a single teen mother in 1985 and would spend the next decade of her life in foster care in 14 homes before being adopted at the age of twelve. Ashley excelled in school and realized early on that she was compelled to advocate for adoption. In 2003, the New York Times Magazine published her grand prize winning essay about her adoption day, which she has since expanded into a memoir, Three Little Words. This memoir is currently being made into a major motion picture.

Amy Jo Martin is a New York Times bestselling author of Renegades Write the Rules and podcast host of the Why Not Now? series. Amy Jo’s motto: “Humans connect with humans, not logos,” has allowed her to work closely with high level brands such as Hilton Worldwide and celebrities such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal. Martin currently has a social media following of more than 1.1 million, and was named the third more powerful woman on Twitter by Forbes.

Andrea Vahl is a Social Media Consultant and Speaker who helps business owners leverage social media and use it to grow their business. Vahl is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies as well was the Community Manager for the Social Media Examiner for 2 years. Vahl also co-founded the Social Media Manager School, a course that has taught over 1400 people the art of social media and how to start a business.

Andrew Davis is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker and bestselling author. Davis co-founded, built, and sold a digital marketing agency and in 2016, founded Monumental Shift, the world’s first talent agency for thought leaders in marketing. I’ve seen Andrew speak and he’s one of the best. If you’re looking for an upbeat, high-energy speaker to talk about business and marketing, be sure to include him on your list.

Ann Handley is best known for creating and managing digital content in an effort to build relationships or organizations and individuals. Handley is a Wall Street Journal bestseller of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content. She is a LinkedIn Influencer, keynote speaker, and Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs. I know Ann personally and can tell you that she has an excellent reputation as a top-notch professional who delivers the goods.

Anthony Bourke is a veteran F-16 fighter pilot with more than 2,700 hours of flight time. Following his military career, Bourke went on to become the top producing mortgage banker in the Western US for a lending institution. As Founder & CEO of Mach 2 Consulting, Bourke uses his tactical knowledge from the military and business expertise to help business owners in the management training world.

Apollo Robbins first made national news as the man who pick-pocketed the Secret Service while entertaining former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. Forbes has called him “an artful manipulator of awareness,” and Wired Magazine has written that “he could steal the wallet of a man who knew he was going to have his pocket picked.” Robbins uses his expertise to demonstrate perception management, diversion techniques, and self-deception. Robbins has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. And his appearance on The Today Show has more than 7 million views on YouTube.

Aron Ralston was an experienced outdoorsman when, in a remote area of Utah’s canyon country, he accidently dislodged a boulder that crushed and pinned his right hand in 2003. Ralston was trapped for six days before he freed himself with a multi-tool knife and hiked to his rescue. Since, Aron has written an internationally bestselling book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, spoken all around the world, and designed his own prosthetic arm.

Benjamin Zander is not someone who you would normally consider a top motivational speaker – his day job is as the conductor of The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a guest conductor around the world. But the maestro was mentioned in our research, so we’re adding him here. For 30 years, Zander worked as the Artistic Director of the joint program between The Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts and New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School. Additionally, Zander is one of the most sought after speakers in the world, giving the opening and closing Keynote address at the World Economic Forum.

Bo Eason started his career as a top pick for the Houston Oilers in the NFL. In 2001, Eason wrote and performed a one-man play, Runt of the Litter, that toured in over 50 cities. Since then, Eason has dedicated his career to helping others recognize the power of their personal story and become effective communicators.

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Bob Burg is best known for his books Endless Referrals and The Go-Giver. The Go-Giver is a Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestseller, and has sold more than 650,000 copies. Additionally, Burg has written a number of other books on the topics of sales, marketing and influence. I’ve interviewed Bob for my podcast and got to know him during the interview. I can personally tell you that Bob is smart, at the top of his game, and provides some terrific insights into business and life.

Brene Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston and has spent the past sixteen years extensively studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Brown is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers – Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and The Gifts of Imperfection. Her TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – has over 30 million views and remains one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world.

Brian Dodd is the author of The 10 Indispensable Practices of the 2-Minute Leader and the Director of New Ministry Relationships for Injoy Stewardship Solutions where, over the last 14 years, he has spent each day having one-on-one conversations with the greatest church leaders in America. Dodd teaches individuals to take everyday life experiences and process them in leadership.

Brian Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a business that specializes in training and developing individuals and organizations to help achieve their personal and business goals faster and easier than ever. Tracy has more than 30 years of extensive knowledge in the fields of economics, history, business, philosophy, and psychology. He has spoken to more than 5,000,000 people worldwide and addresses more than 250,000 people each year.

Cameron Russell has spent the past fifteen years working as a model for brands such as Calvin Klein, Prada, Vogue and Elle. Her TED talk on the power of image has over 18 million views and remains one of the top ten most popular talks of all time. Russell has dedicated much of her career to speaking on important topics such as climate change, race, and gender equality. She is one of the lead organizers for Model Mafia, a network of over 400 fashion models working towards a more equitable and sustainable industry.

Carmine Gallo is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, advisor, and bestselling author. Gallo is the author of eight books and has been named by The Huffington Post as one of the top ten influence experts. He has advised executives for some of the world’s largest brands including: Allstate, Berkshire Hathaway, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Disney, and others.

Carol Roth has more than 20 years experience as a business advisor, investor, speaker and New York Times bestselling author of The Entrepreneur Equation. Roth has worked with hundreds of companies and has helped her clients complete over $2 billion in deal transactions collectively. She also works for a number of companies and brands looking to reach a larger audience as a brand spokesperson, ambassador and influencer.

Chad Cooper is an author, a mentor, and a platinum coach for the Robbins Research International Organization. He coaches across several fields including leadership, finances, business, athletics, and energy. Cooper is a published author, missionary leader, business owner, and former United States Marine of the Year. I know Chad personally – in fact, he’s my executive coach – and I can tell you from personal experience that Chad provides more meaningful insights than just about any other coach I know.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born and raised in Nigeria and has since had her work translated into thirty languages. She is the author of Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and The Thing Around Your Neck, which collectively won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Orange Prize, and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her most recent novel Americanah won The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction and was named one the The New York Times ten best books of the year in 2013.

Chris Brogan is a New York Times bestselling author of nine books, as well as a professional speaker. He has worked with some of the worlds biggest brands including Disney, Google, GM, Humana Health, and many more. Brogan also appeared on Tony Robbins Internet Money Masters series, and was listed by Forbes as one of the Must Follow Marketing Minds of 2014. I’ve seen Chris speak, and know him as a good acquaintance, and can vouch for his natural, approachable persona on stage and in front of audiences.

Daniel Pink is a New York Times bestselling author of A Whole New Mind, Drive, and To Sell is Human. His books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide and been translated into 35 languages. Pink’s TED talk on the science of motivation has more than 19 million views and ranked as one of the 10 most-watched TED talks of all time.

Daniel Burrus is a highly recognized keynote speaker, business strategist and global futurist. Burrus has been referred to as one of the top three business gurus by The New York Times, and considered one of the World’s Leading Futurists on Global Trends and Innovation. He is the author of seven books, including Flash Foresight, a New York Times and Wall Street Journalbestseller.

Darren Shaw is a widely recognized SEO specialist and founder of Whitespark, a web design and development company. In 2010, the launch of the Local Citation Finder and the Local Rank Tracker led Whitespark to focus primarily on SEO. Darren has a passion for local SEO and has been working in the industry for over 17 years.

Dave Kerpen is the founder and CEO of Likeable Local, as well as the cofounder and chairman of Likeable Media. Likeable Local is a social media software company geared toward small businesses, whereas Likeable Media is a social media and content marketing agency. Kerpen has three New York Times bestselling books, Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook and Other Social Networks, Likeable Business and Likeable Leadership. Dave is a friend of mine and I’ve seen him speak. He’s engaging, transparent (not in a literal sense), and approachable – a top-notch speaker all the way around.

David Blaine is a globally recognized magician who was mentioned in our research. Normally, I wouldn’t include someone who is a pure magician on this list, but he was mentioned in the research, so we’ve included him here. David first aired his own series, Street Magic, on ABC at the age of twenty-three. He spent one week submerged in an aquarium at Lincoln Center and soon became one of the most widely searched names on Google.

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David Gallo is best known as a visual storyteller and award-winning scenic designer. His work is displayed in more than a dozen cities worldwide. Gallo was awarded a Tony for Best Scenic Design for The Drowsy Chaperone and also received the Obie for Sustained Excellence in Set Design, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, American Theater Wing, Hewes Design, Ovation and LA Critics Circle awards.

David Meerman Scott is a three-time bestselling author and internationally acclaimed strategist who helps people, products, and organizations stand out. Author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, now in its 6th edition, has been translated into 29 languages. Scott serves as an advisor to help emerging companies working to transform their industries by providing products and services to them. David and I have both spoken at Tony Robbins’ events and I know him personally – he’s smart, thoughtful, and provides great insights into business and marketing.

Daymond John is an entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, branding guru, and motivational speaker. John became a pioneer in the fashion industry after he turned a $40 budget into FUBU, a now $6 billion brand. Most recently, Barack Obama assigned John a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, which focuses on promoting the importance of global entrepreneurship. For the most part, we left celebrities off this list (since you know about them already) but Mr. John was mentioned several times in our research, so we added him to the list.

Douglas Contant is a New York Times bestselling author, business leader, keynote speaker, and social media influencer. Contant has over 40 years of experience in leadership with global companies and excelled in senior level leadership positions – first as the President of Nabisco Foods Company, then as CEO of Campbell Soup Company, and lastly as Chairman of Avon Products. In 2011, he founded ConantLeadership, a community of mission-driven leaders and learners.

Dov Baron is a speaker for global conferences and touches on a variety of topics such as leadership, influence, business, and more. Baron has been speaking for over 30 years internationally and was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the Top 100 Leadership Speakers to hire. He is a bestselling author of several books including Fiercely Loyal: How High Performing Companies Develop and Retain Top Talent.

Elizabeth Gilbert began her career as a journalist for publications such as Spin, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. Although, Gilbert is best known for her 2006 memoir, EAT PRAY LOVE, which followed her journey around the world after her divorce. EAT PRAY LOVE became an international bestseller, with over 10 million copies sold worldwide and, in 2010, was made into a film starring Julia Roberts.

Erik Qualman is a #1 bestselling author and motivational keynote speaker with a reach of more than 25 million people across 49 countries. His book Digital Leader made him the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the world. Qualman was named by Forbes as a Top 50 Digital Influencer. I know Erik and have seen him speak – he’s approachable, friendly, and provides some excellent insights about business and marketing. His presentations are very interactive and audiences always come away having learned important things that they can apply to their jobs the very next day.

Gary Guller discovered his passion for alpine climbing shortly before losing the use of his arm in a mountaineering accident. Since, Guller has become a leader of the largest cross-disability group to reach Mt Everest Base Camp, at 17,500 feet. Guller is best known as a record-setting mountaineer and professional keynote speaker. He speaks on topics such as effective teamwork and leadership, diversity, transformational leadership, and communication.

Gary Hamel is known as “the world’s leading expert in business strategy,” by Fortune Magazine. Hamel has worked with the top leading companies around the world and is one of the most influential business thinkers. Through his work, he has led efforts in some of the most notable companies to create billions of dollars in shareholder value.

Gary Vaynerchuk established one of the first ecommerce wine stores in the late 90’s, WineLibrary, growing the business from $4 million to $60 million in sales. Vaynerchuk is the CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency, 4-time New York Times bestselling author. He’s a bit controversial — lots of F-bombs on stage — but some audiences love that.

Ian Cleary is one of the more engaging, friendly, and inspiring marketing speakers you’ll ever see. He comes in prepared, and has a knack for taking his warm Irish-ness and translating it into a fun, thought provoking talk. I’ve seen Ian speak and he’s the real deal – fun, charming, and content rich.

Jack Canfield is an award-winning speaker and leader in personal development and strategy. Canfield specializes in teaching entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and educators how to create the life they desire. He is the author and co-author of more than 150 books, 66 of which are bestsellers. In 2014, SUCCESS magazine named Canfield One of the Most Influential Leaders in Personal Growth and Achievement.

Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author, speaker and TV news contributor who has helped The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, Holiday Inn, and others solve complex business problems. He is consistently ranked as the top speaker at the events, conferences, and trade shows he speaks at, and is the founder of a business blog that is read by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. Jamie is the author of How to Make Money with Social Media, which has been published in a variety of languages around the globe, and Go Mobile, which was the #1 bestselling book about mobile when it was first released. He has been profiled in one of the world’s best selling college textbooks and travels the globe speaking about business, leadership, and branding. (Side note: You’re on Jamie’s website right now. Have a look around!)

Jason Dorsey is best known as a Millennials and generations expert and has been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show, and many more. As the #1 generations speaker, Dorsey receives over 1,000 speaking requests each year. He wrote his first bestselling book at age 18, with his most recent bestselling book being Y-Size Your Business: How Gen Y Employees Can Save You Money and Grow Your Business.

Jay Baer has 23 years’ experience in digital marketing and customer experience for top level companies. His second book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype, ranked #3 on the New York Times business bestseller list. Baer speaks worldwide on how businesspeople can use the ever-changing technology landscape to their advantage.

Jeffery Hayzlett is a global businessman, speaker, bestselling author, and Chairman of C-Suite Network. Hayzlett is the author of three bestselling business books, Running the Gauntlet, The Mirror Test, and Think Big, Act Bigger.As a leading business expert, he has been recognized in Forbes, SUCCESS, Mashable, Marketing Week and Chief Executive. I was interviewed on the radio with Jeffery as the other guest and can say from firsthand experience that and he’s the real deal — smart, engaging, and firing on all cylinders.

Jeremie Kubicek trains leaders to become productive and effective businesspeople. Making Your Leadership Come Alive, Kubicek’s first book, became a Wall Street Journal bestseller. As the former CEO of Leadercast, Catalyst and the John Maxwell training companies, and current CEO of GiANT Worldwide, Kubicek speaks all across the US and Europe.

Jillian Michaels is author of eight New York Times bestselling books, host of an award-winning podcast, creator of a personal training app, and motivational speaker. Michaels has a following of over 100 million across her social media platforms and her personal website. Her passion for healthy living stems from a childhood of being overweight, and now Michaels wants to share her passion and advice with the world. She was mentioned several times by people who responded to our survey.

Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist who experienced a rare form of stroke in 1996 that left her unable to walk, talk, read, or write. Eight years later, Taylor made a complete recovery and author of the New York Times bestselling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. Her TED talk of her story became the first TED talk to go viral on the internet in 2008, landing her as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her TED talk, twice! If you haven’t seen it already, it’s 20 minutes worth investing. I highly recommend it.

Joe Calloway is a keynote speaker who provides workshops and presentations to help develop leaders, improve performance for businesses, and create more effective teams. Calloway has worked with top level companies including Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and Cadillac. He is an Executive In Residence at Belmont University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, a program featured in Fortune Magazine.

Jon Gordon is a bestselling author and keynote speaker whose work about positive leadership has inspired audiences around the world. His bestselling books include The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, Training Camp, You Win in the Locker Room First and The Power of Positive Leadership. Gordon has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, FOX, and more.

Josh Steimle is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. His some 300 articles have been featured in publications such as Fortune, Time, Forbes, Inc., TechCrunch and more. Steimle is the CEO of MWI, a digital marketing agency with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, the UK, and the US. He has been recognized by Forbes as one of the 25 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2017.

Julian Treasure is a sound and communication expert and author of How to be Heard and Sound Business. Treasure has given five TED talks which have over 40 million views collectively. He is the founder of The Sound Agency, an award-winning audio-branding company. Treasure has 30 years of experience in advertising and publishing prior to The Sound Agency.

Juliet Funt is the CEO of WhiteSpace at Work and has a dynamic, engaging, and thought-provoking style. Her primary topics include sessions on how to improve execution by reclaiming whitespace, and how to liberate talented teams from busywork and complexity. Juliet has a commanding stage presence and a clarity of thought that makes her a popular speaker wherever she goes.

Julie Winkle Giulioni is co-founder and principal of DesignArounds, an author, and a speaker on a variety of topics including leadership, sales, performance improvement, and more. Julie helps organizations deploy innovative training products to further enhance their business. She also provides businesses with out of the box solutions to deliver effective results.

Jurgen Appelo refers to himself as a creative networker. He helps creative organizations adapt to the 21st century by offering tools, practices, and even games to better manager your business. Appelo is CEO of Happy Melly, a business network, and co-founder of the Agile Lean Europe and Stoos Network. He was recognized by Inc.com as a Top 50 Leadership Expert, Top 50 Leadership Innovator, and a Top 100 Great Leadership Speaker.

Karim Rashid is an award-winning designer of luxury goods for companies such as Umbra, Bobble, 3M, Samsung, Citibank, Sony, Kenzo, and more. Rashid’s work can be seen in 20 permanent collections and his art is on exhibit in galleries worldwide. He speaks at universities and conferences globally on the importance of design in everyday life.

Keith Barry is a world-renowned performer, hypnotist, and mentalist. Barry has been featured in over 40 international TV shows and has appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel, and The Conan O’Brien Show. He was awarded the Merlin Award for Mentalist of the Year in 2009 and voted the Best Magician in Las Vegas in 2009 by the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Kelly McGonigal is a lecturer and health psychologist at Stanford University and author of several books. McGonigal hopes to make a connection between psychology and neuroscience into strategies that support well-being. Her TED talk, “How to Make Stress Your Friend,” has more than 10 million views and ranks as one of the 20 most viewed TED talks of all time.

Ken Blanchard is an author, speaker, and business consultant known for his groundbreaking research in leadership that transformed the day-to-day management of companies around the world. Blanchard has authored or coauthored 60 books and sold more than 21 million copes worldwide. His work includes Raving Fans, The Secret, and Leading at a Higher Level.

Ken Robinson works with companies of all shapes and sizes to unleash the creative energy of the people within them. He has led projects both nationally and internationally and is recognized as the most watched speaker in TED talk history. In 2003, Robinson received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his service to the arts.

Kevin Carroll is the founder of Kevin Carroll Katalyst/LLC and the author of three highly successful books published by ESPN, Disney Press and McGraw-Hill. As an author, speaker and agent for social change (a.k.a. the Katalyst), it is Kevin’s “job” to inspire businesses, organizations and individuals – from CEOs and employees of Fortune 500 companies to schoolchildren – to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth.

Kevin Plank was a special teams captain of the University of Maryland football team. Tired of repeatedly changing the cotton T-shirt under his jersey as it became wet and heavy during the course of a game, Mr. Plank set out to develop a next generation shirt that would remain drier and lighter. He created a new category of sporting apparel called performance apparel, and built Under Armour into a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear and accessories.

Kurt Warner was the NFL quarterback who made a big impact on both the Super Bowl-winning St. Louis Rams as well as the Arizona Cardinals. He started the First Things First foundation and is now an inspirational speaker at events and conferences around the globe.

Lolly Daskal is an executive leadership coach with expertise across 14 countries. Daskal is founder and CEO of Lead From Within, a program for leadership made for leaders looking to enhance performance and make improvements within their business. She was recognized by Inc.com as a Top 50 Leadership and Management Expert, 100 Great Leadership Speaker by Inc. Magazine, and The Most Inspiring Woman in the World by the Huffington Post.

Lon Safko is an innovator, inventor, bestselling author, speaker, trainer, consultant, and is the creator of the “First Computer To Save A Human Life” as coined by Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc. That computer, along with 18 of Lon’s inventions are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. along with 30,000 of Lon‘s personal papers. Lon also has 14 inventions in the collection of The Computer History Museum. Lon is a renowned international speaker, teaching the world’s largest companies how to harness innovative thinking, social media, and digital communications. I’ve seen Lon speak and he provides a depth of content that is hard to match.

Malcolm Gladwell is an author and speaker who has written numerous books, including The Tipping Point; Blink; Outliers; and David and Goliath. He is also host of the podcast Revisionist History. Gladwell’s books and articles often deal with unexpected implications of research in the social sciences and make frequent and extended use of academic work, particularly in the areas of sociology, psychology, and social psychology.

Mark Samuel is a Thought Leader and CEO of IMPAQ, an award-winning international consulting firm that guides organizations in achieving measurable breakthrough results within six months through a unique system that links Execution, Culture and Deliverables. Mark is the best selling author of the acclaimed Creating the Accountable Organization and the award-winning book, Making Yourself Indispensable: the Power of Personal Accountability.

Matthew E. May is an innovation strategist and speaker who works with executives and their teams to create new strategies for their business. May worked for eight years as an advisor to Toyota, which enabled him to publish The Elegant Solution, a 2006 bestselling book about their innovative methods. May is now author of five books and his work has been featured in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Rotman Magazine, Fast Company and more.

Michael Brenner is a bestselling author and widely recognized keynote speaker who covers topics ranging from leadership to culture and marketing. His book The Content Formula has been featured by The Economist, The Guardian, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, where he believes strong leaders are the key to unlimited growth. I’ve seen Michael speak and he’s a good acquaintance. He’s smart, engaging, and provides in-depth information in a warm and friendly fashion.

Michael Gelb is a pioneer in creative thinking, innovative leadership, and executive coaching. He offers more than 30 years of experience as a seminar leader, professional speaker, and coach to a variety of clientele. His clients include Emerson, Microsoft, Nike, and more. Gelb is the author of 14 books including the international bestseller, How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: 7 Steps to Genius Every Day.

Michael Hyatt runs the top leadership blog in the world with almost 500,000 visitors a month. His podcast gets 300,000 downloads each month and he has over 120,000 fans on Facebook. It’s safe to say that Michael is a busy guy. If you’re looking for a leadership speaker that’s built on a foundation of kindness and humility, Michael is your guy. A really top-notch speaker and human being.

Michael Port is an author, professional speaker, and entrepreneur. He has written six books, including Book Yourself Solid and Steal the Show. His books have been bestsellers on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Publishers Weekly. I have 3 friends who have taken Michael’s course for speaking and all of them have said it was a worthwhile investment, even though it costs, like, a gazillion dollars. (I believe Michael has courses that cost less than a gazillion dollars, but the main point is that I have 3 friends who made the investment and came away very happy, so it must be very, very good.)

Michael Solomon is an author, speaker, and leading expert on understanding consumers. His textbooks on consumer behavior, social media marketing, advertising, and marketing are required reading in business schools around the world. His book, Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being is the most widely-used textbook on consumer behavior in the world. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Michael via phone and email – he’s super smart, super nice, and an all around decent guy. He also has an excellent reputation as a class act.

Mike Abrashoff is a former commander, author, thought leader and co-owner of Aegis Performance Group. Abrashoff teaches people to think differently about how they lead and the organizational structure of their business. He inspires leaders to focus on what they can influence and not to dwell on what can’t be controlled.

Mike Michalowicz founded and sold two multi-million dollar companies by the time he was 35 and then proceeded to lose his fortune. Convinced that there must be a better way, he created the Profit First Formula, a way for businesses to ensure profitability from their very next deposit forward. Mike is a popular keynote speaker and is the author of several books on business.

Nina Godiwalla is CEO of Mindworks Leadership and bestselling author of Suits: A Woman on Wall Street. The NY Times coined Godiwalla as “The Devil Wears Prada” of investment banking. She is an internationally recognized leadership speaker often sought out by prominent institutions such as The White House, Harvard Business School, NASA, and TED Conference. In 2012, Godiwalla was invited to serve on the Leadership Roundtable by the White House.

Robert Kiyosaki is best known as the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad—the #1 personal finance book of all time. Mr. Kiyosaki has challenged and changed the way tens of millions of people around the world think about money. He is an entrepreneur, educator, and investor who believes that each of us has the power to makes changes in our lives, take control of our financial future, and live the rich life we deserve.

Robert Waldinger is a Harvard psychiatrist, Zen priest, and psychoanalyst. He direct the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which is possibly the longest study of adult life ever done. For 75 years, his team (and their predecessors) tracked the lives of 724 men. Year after year, they asked about their work, their home lives, and their health—trying to determine what makes for a meaningful and healthy life. Dr. Waldinger shares the answer on his website and in his speeches.

Sally Hogshead is a New York Times bestselling author and CEO of Fascinate. She started her career in advertising and created some of the nation’s best-known campaigns. Sally was inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame in 2012. Her style is both engaging and interactive and Sally is often ranked as one of the top speakers at events she speaks at.

Sam Glenn had one of the most negative and self defeating attitudes you would have ever encountered, but something happened that changed everything! It was a chance encounter at a buffet, where Sam accidentally knocked over the legendary Zig Ziglar nearly 23 years ago. This led to a positive friendship between the two and with Zig’s encouragement, Sam got on tract in a new direction for his life. Today Sam Glenn is known as The Authority on Attitude and highly recognized in the speaking industry as one of the most captivating kick off and wrap up general session speakers.

Sanjiv Chopra wants to inspire others to live healthier, balanced lives and to make a difference in this world by leading. In his book, Leadership by Example, he illustrates the ten core principles of effective leadership. According to Dr. Chopra, all of us have the potential to become exemplary leaders at many levels. To do so, we must have a sense of purpose, dare to dream big, and live a life of integrity so that others will be inspired to embark on their own leadership journey. Dr. Chopra was mentioned several times during our research.

Sarah Sladek is a best-selling author and CEO of XYZ University. She brings her expertise to 40+ events a year, presenting to audiences worldwide on how to drive stronger engagement with younger generations. Audiences rave about her ability to deliver information in entertaining and provocative ways, blending pop culture with best practices, trend forecasting, research, and strategy.

Scott Kelley is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy Captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station on three expedition and was a member of the year-long mission to the ISS. I’ve read his book, and he comes highly recommended from our research. If his speeches are half as good as his book, you’re going to be in excellent hands.

Scott Whitehair has been seen/heard on NPR, PBS, WGN Radio, FOX-TV, Sirius XM, and The Risk Podcast. He is a two-time Moth Slam winner and runner up at The 2012 Windy City All-City Story Slam Championship. In 2017, he made his debut with Exchange Place at The National Storytelling Festival. His work ranges from the heartbreaking to the hilarious, and he has personal stories for both an afternoon with a child in your lap and a late night with a cocktail in your hand.

Shawn Achor is one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. His research on mindset made the cover of Harvard Business Review, his TED talk is one of the most popular of all time with over 13 million views, and his lecture airing on PBS has been seen by millions. Shawn is the author of New York Times best-selling books The Happiness Advantage (2010) and Before Happiness (2013). He has now lectured in more than 50 countries speaking to CEOs in China, doctors in Dubai, schoolchildren in South Africa, and farmers in Zimbabwe.

Simon T. Bailey is a best-selling author, a Hall of Fame speaker, and the CEO of Simon T. Bailey International, Inc., a company specializing in creating learning and development opportunities for individuals and organizations. Several people in our research mentioned Simon, whose purpose is to teach 1 Billion people how to be brilliant in an average world. His latest creation is the Shift Your Brilliance System which instills the mindset needed to thrive in the 21st century. He is one of America’s Top Ten Most Booked Corporate and Association Speakers on the subjects of brilliance, leadership, and customer service.

Simon Sinek is a super popular speaker and thought leader right now. To find out why, just read one of his books or watch one of the numerous videos on YouTube. A trained ethnographer, Simon is fascinated by the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact within their organizations and in the world — those with the capacity to inspire. He has devoted his life to sharing his thinking in order to help other leaders and organizations inspire action.

Steve Farber is the president of Extreme Leadership and the founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute. Both organizations are devoted to the cultivation and development of Extreme Leaders in the business community, non-profits and education. His third book, Greater Than Yourself: The Ultimate Lesson In Leadership, was a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller. His second book, The Radical Edge: Stoke Your Business, Amp Your Life, and Change the World, was hailed as “a playbook for harnessing the power of the human spirit.”  And his first book, The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership, is already considered a classic in the leadership field.

Stuart Knight has written, produced and starred in live presentations that have been seen by over one million people and each year speaks internationally helping some of the world’s biggest companies reach new levels of success. When he is not on the road speaking, you may have seen or heard him on some of Canada’s biggest TV and Radio stations where he is often asked for his expert opinion on high level communication. He is the author of two profound books, You Should Have Asked – The Art of Powerful Conversation and The Madness of My Mind and writes a weekly blog that has over ten thousand followers.

Tamsen Webster is an acclaimed keynote speaker, “idea whisperer,” and message strategist. She combined 20 years in marketing with 13 years as a Weight Watchers leader into a simple structure for understanding, talking about, and creating lasting change. She’s the Executive Producer of the oldest and one of the largest locally organized TED talk events in the world, and an in-demand consultant on finding the ideas that move people to action. She was a reluctant marathoner…twice; is a winning ballroom dancer (in her mind); and everything she knows about people, speaking, and change, she learned at Weight Watchers. True story.

Tim David is best known for his wildly entertaining delivery style and mastery of presenting information in a way that is remembered and applied long after he leaves the building. His work has been featured in Harvard Business Review, PsychologyToday.com, Huffington Post, Forbes, the NY Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Today Show, Investor’s Business Daily, and hundreds of other news and media outlets around the world. He also hosts The Studies Show Podcast. I had the opportunity to watch Tim speak at an event not to long ago. Not only was his speech highly engaging, his message was thought provoking and meaningful, too. I’m reading one of his books right now and got to know him at the event — he’s a super smart and genuinely nice guy.

Terry Bradshaw is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He was the first player selected in the 1970 NFL draft and went on to great success with the Pittsburgh Steelers. During his 14-year career, Mr. Bradshaw helped take his team to the Super Bowl several times and earned four Super Bowl rings. For a variety of reasons, we left most celebrities off our list of top motivational speakers, but he was mentioned several times during in our research so we decided to include him.

Viveka von Rosen is one of the world’s leading LinkedIn experts. If you’re looking for someone to inspire your audience to use social media and LinkedIn to its fullest potential, you can’t go wrong with Viveka. Her engaging style and genuine warmth make her one of the more popular social media speakers on the planet. Audiences love her and her sense of humor and charm come across very well on stage.

Vince Poscente teaches others how to be more resilient and how to overcome obstacles. When you bounce back stronger than ever, confidence and fun goes up. Vince’s client list includes world class organizations dedicated to being bigger and better. When employees and entrepreneurs handle set-backs, supersede obstacles and are more focused – record setting results happen faster than expected.

A final note about this research: As mentioned, we used both qualitative and quantitative research to conduct this study. That’s not to say it’s the perfect list — there’s a top motivational speaker somewhere who was surely left off. Our apologies for that.

You’ll also notice that we left off some of the world’s best-known speakers — people like Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, and various politicians or celebrities. That was intentional since you already know about them.

The idea for this research was based on a blog post by my friend Michael Brenner, who created a list of his own based on the top marketing speakers. Thank you, Micheal, for letting me borrow your idea.

If you’re an event planner, conference planner or meeting planner who would like to suggest an additional name for this list, please feel free to email me at Jamie.Turner@SIXTY.Company.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie-Turner-200px Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and CEO who speaks about business, digital media, and leadership at events, conferences, and corporations around the globe. He has been profiled in one of the world’s best selling marketing textbooks, is the author of several business books, and can be seen regularly on CNN and HLN. He can be reached at +1-678-313-3472 or via email at Jamie.Turner@SIXTY.Company.

Publisher: Jamie Turner | Top Rated Motivational Speaker | Author | International TV News Contributor

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SNJ: T-1906 “The 2017 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” | Author: Caroline Howard | Publisher: Forbes | #SmitaNairJain

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fullsizeoutput_1f69Who runs the world? The 2017 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women identifies a new generation of icons, game-changers and gate crashers who are boldly scaling new heights and transforming the world. This year’s ranking, our 14th edition, is nearly one-quarter newcomers who are stepping into power in politics, technology, business, philanthropy and media. That should give everyone hope.

Rank Name Age Country Category
#1 Angela Merkel 63 Germany Politics
#2 Theresa May 61 United Kingdom Politics
#3 Melinda Gates 53 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#4 Sheryl Sandberg 48 United States Technology
#5 Mary Barra 55 United States Automotive
#6 Susan Wojcicki 49 United States Technology
#7 Abigail Johnson 55 United States Finance and Investments
#8 Christine Lagarde 61 France Economy
#9 Ana Patricia Botín 57 Spain Finance and Investments
#10 Ginni Rometty 60 United States Technology
#11 Indra Nooyi 62 United States Diversified
#12 Meg Whitman 61 United States Technology
#13 Angela Ahrendts 57 United States Technology
#14 Laurene Powell Jobs 53 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#15 Tsai Ing-wen 61 Taiwan Politics
#16 Michelle Bachelet 66 Chile Politics
#17 Federica Mogherini 44 Italy Politics
#18 Safra Catz 55 United States Technology
#19 Ivanka Trump 36 United States Politics
#20 Adena Friedman 48 United States Finance and Investments
#21 Oprah Winfrey 63 United States Media & Entertainment
#22 Marillyn Hewson 63 United States Manufacturing
#23 Isabelle Kocher 50 France Energy
#24 U.S. Supreme Court Justices United States Politics
#25 Ruth Porat 59 United States Technology
#26 Queen Elizabeth II 91 United Kingdom Politics
#27 Anna Wintour 68 United States Media & Entertainment
#28 Ho Ching 64 Singapore Diversified
#29 Emma Walmsley 48 United Kingdom
#30 Sheikh Hasina Wajed 70 Bangladesh Politics
#31 Beata Maria Szydlo 54 Poland Politics
#32 Chanda Kochhar 55 India Diversified
#33 Aung San Suu Kyi 72 Myanmar Politics
#34 Lucy Peng 44 China Technology
#35 Pollyanna Chu 59 Hong Kong Finance and Investments
#36 Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi 55 United Arab Emirates Politics
#37 Amy Hood 45 United States Technology
#38 Jacinda Ardern 37 Politics
#39 Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic 49 Croatia Politics
#40 Jean Liu 39 China Technology
#41 Bonnie Hammer 67 United States Media & Entertainment
#42 Nicola Sturgeon 47 United Kingdom Politics
#43 Nikki Haley 45 United States Politics
#44 Rosalind Brewer 54 United States Diversified
#45 Gina Rinehart 63 Australia Metals & Mining
#46 Erna Solberg 56 Norway Politics
#47 Stacey Snider 56 United States Media & Entertainment
#48 Phebe Novakovic 59 United States Diversified
#49 Elvira Nabiullina 54 Russia Finance and Investments
#50 Beyoncé Knowles 36 United States Media & Entertainment
#51 Peng Liyuan 54 China Politics
#52 Margarita Simonyan 37 Russia Media & Entertainment
#53 Mary Callahan Erdoes 50 United States Finance and Investments
#54 Qunfei Zhou 47 Hong Kong Technology
#55 Thi Phuong Thao Nguyen 47 Vietnam Diversified
#56 Lisa Davis 54 United States
#57 Roshni Nadar Malhotra 36 India Technology
#58 Güler Sabanci 62 Turkey Diversified
#59 Lubna S. Olayan 62 Saudi Arabia Diversified
#60 Dana Walden 53 United States Media & Entertainment
#61 Katharine Viner 45 United Kingdom Media & Entertainment
#62 Feng Ying Wang China Automotive
#63 Donna Langley 49 United Kingdom Media & Entertainment
#64 Marianne Lake 48 United Kingdom Finance and Investments
#65 Hillary Clinton 70 United States Politics
#66 Mingzhu Dong 63 Manufacturing
#67 Melanie Kreis 46 Germany
#68 Dalia Grybauskaite 61 Lithuania Politics
#69 Priscilla Chan 32 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#70 Gwynne Shotwell 53 United States Construction & Engineering
#71 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw 64 India Healthcare
#72 Zanny Minton Beddoes United Kingdom Media & Entertainment
#73 Miuccia Prada 68 Italy Fashion & Retail
#74 Isabel dos Santos 44 Angola Finance and Investments
#75 Solina Chau 55 Hong Kong Technology
#76 Lam Wai Ying Hong Kong Manufacturing
#77 Kathleen Kennedy United States Media & Entertainment
#78 Kersti Kaljulaid 47 Estonia Politics
#79 Arianna Huffington 67 United States Media & Entertainment
#80 Judy Faulkner 74 United States Technology
#81 Fabiola Gianotti 57 Italy Philanthropy/NGO
#82 Lynn Good United States Energy
#83 Geisha Williams United States
#84 Mary Meeker 58 United States Finance and Investments
#85 Taylor Swift 27 United States All Star Alumni
#86 Patricia Harris 61 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#87 Drew Gilpin Faust 70 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#88 J.K. Rowling 52 United Kingdom
#89 Eliza Manningham-Buller 69 United Kingdom Philanthropy/NGO
#90 Raja Easa Al Gurg United Arab Emirates Diversified
#91 Debra Cafaro United States Real Estate
#92 Shobhana Bhartia 60 India Media & Entertainment
#93 Lee Boo-Jin 47 South Korea Service
#94 Jenny Lee 45 Singapore Finance and Investments
#95 Kirsten Green 45 United States Finance and Investments
#96 Belinda Johnson 50 United States Technology
#97 Priyanka Chopra 35 India
#98 Kathryn Petralia 47 United States Finance and Investments
#99 Anne Finucane United States Finance and Investments
#100 Beth Brooke-Marciniak 58 United States Dive

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Covering education, enterprising women and special projects.FOLLOW ON FORBES

My stories highlight and explore the major stories of the day through the lens of education, power and innovation. A senior editor at Forbes, I edit the America’s Top Colleges, 30 Under 30, Most Powerful People and 100 Most Powerful Women packages. I didn’t start here. It’s been a winding road through the halls of People,The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, AP and Village Voice. Email: choward@forbes.com Twitter @CarolineLHoward

Edited by Dorothy Pomerantz & Samantha Shaddock with Caroline Howard

Publisher: Forbes

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author(s), publisher(s) and forum participant(s) on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the @SmitaNairJain or official policies of the #SmitaNairJain

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SNJ: T-1905: “How emerging technologies will affect your business in 2018” | Author: Tom Kuhr | Publisher: martechtoday.com | #SmitaNairJain

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How emerging technologies will affect your business in 2018

Contributor Tom Kuhr takes a look at how voice search, artificial intelligence and augmented reality are changing the marketing game.

future-network-business-ss-1920-800x450Remember just a decade ago when buzzwords like “mobile,” “social” and “the cloud” were still fairly new and exciting?

These innovations forced businesses to re-evaluate their priorities and rethink how to use technology to engage their audiences. Now, technology develops faster than business can implement it.

This rapid pace of innovation begs the question: What’s next?

In 2018, a few major trends are expected to reach their peak. Voice search is changing the way people find information online, with Siri and Alexa now able to understand conversational search patterns.

Artificial intelligence enables the transition from basic marketing to helpful information, anticipating user needs and offering recommendations on their behalf. And augmented reality now invites full brand immersion with interactive imagery and live content.

The most successful marketers will take advantage of these trends while they’re still in their infancy. Time and time again, those companies that are ahead of the curve come out on top.

The future of SEO is voice-activated

It’s no longer good enough to optimize SEO for websites and apps alone.

Voice search is the new SEO challenge. In 2016, voice searches made up 20 percent of all online queries, and that number is expected to hit 50 percent by 2020.

Along with personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, voice search is fundamentally changing the way people search for — and receive — information. Gone are the days when you had to translate a search string into something that a search engine could understand. Today, that transition no longer exists.

What’s more, almost a quarter of all voice searches are for local information. Voice-optimizing your business’s online assets, including websites, social media profiles and review pages, means making these relevant to a local audience. Strong voice-oriented SEO will increase the likelihood that your business ranks as the standout voice search result.

Here are a few ways to reinvent your SEO strategies for this conversational medium:

  • Complete your Google My Business listing. Since so many voice searches are local, this should be your first step to increase the chances of showing up in a local voice search query. Location info beyond just name, address and phone number will enable Google to crawl all the attributes that make your business unique.
  • Stay on top of reviews. Higher-ranking stores will show up in search results before those at the lower ranks. If your business is in a highly saturated environment (think sushi in LA), you need to be at a four-star or higher to have a chance at showing up in voice search.
  • FAQs are your friend. An excellent way to incorporate conversational-style keywords is to list these as frequently asked questions on the website for each location. Quick, succinct answers to these types of questions will be more likely to show up in voice search results.

Without a keyboard, computers can be of any size and exist anywhere, so computer-based interaction can happen any time, anywhere. Voice search means we’ve gone from communicating sometimes to communicating all the time, in our natural language. Make sure your business is worth talking about.

Artificial intelligence will make marketers of the masses

Artificial intelligence, together with voice search, is a huge untapped marketing opportunity.

More than three-quarters of marketers in a survey identified AI as “the next big thing.” Indeed, a better understanding of customer intent, patterns and preferences is key to delivering superior digital experiences.

AI and its partner, machine learning, can help marketers identify applicable and useful patterns that humans alone would never have enough time to find.

Artificial intelligence has become commonplace in society, but not as a marketing medium. Nevertheless, there are clear and far-reaching implications for marketing with AI.

Imagine the user journey: When a user asks Siri if it’s raining out, she’ll provide advice on the conditions and what steps you should take (like bring an umbrella, perhaps). This event, the query, can trigger an advertisement for a specific product relative to the situation.

Take advantage of AI for marketing with these tips:

  • Hack social media engagement. Artificial intelligence applications can parse all the data you have collected about your audience so you don’t have to. These AI technologies can tell you the most relevant information about your customers so that you can create meaningful engagement.
  • Marketing automation. AI can take the guesswork out of how to market to your audience. With AI, your marketing efforts, from personalization to segmentation, can be put on autopilot.
  • Campaign management. AI understands the similarities between demographics, campaigns and calls to action. This technology knows what could be successful in another one of your locations and will suggest you use similar, previously successful strategies.

With AI’s knowledge of the outside world mixed with digital marketing performance, marketing will be down to a science. As a result, anyone with a computer and access to this technology will be able to become a powerful marketer.

Augmented reality to enhance the real world

Marketers are no longer limited by the physical world to promote their brand.

Augmented reality is set to become a key component of marketing and consumer experiences. Seen as a highly innovative way to engage customers, the augmented reality market is expected to transform marketing within three to five years. The magic of AR is that anyone with a smartphone or tablet has access to this integration of the real and digital worlds.

Marketing with AR is being explored today by Facebook, Snapchat, Google and more. New smartphones offer the capability to enjoy augmented reality experiences anywhere, any time. This technology, paired with AR tools for developers, means AR will eventually hit mass adoption.

Here’s how to take advantage of augmented reality in marketing:

  • Tell a story. The immersive nature of AR means it’s an excellent medium to tell stories that bring customers deeper into your content and experiences. Using AR to connect to your brand story can create strong affinity and real engagement.
  • Take shopping to a new level. AR has particularly exciting applications in the retail industry. Virtual tours, virtual dressing rooms and proximity-targeted coupons (push notifications when customers pass by a product that could be of interest) bring in-store shopping into the 21st century.
  • Social media, virtually. Augmented reality also has permeated the world of social media. The addition of branded filters, animations and interactions with everyday objects can drastically improve brand experiences and loyalty.

Augmented reality means what you can tell consumers is unlimited. Marketers can now use the physical world to stimulate and expand customer understanding of your brand and what you offer.

As Robert Blatt, my company’s CEO, noted, “AR is taking your locations and enriching them. This creates a feeling of closeness with the locations of the companies that we buy from, to build a more personal relationship.”

Tech trends turn convenience into immersion

Voice search means keywords are turning into conversations. Artificial intelligence makes sense of customer intent. Augmented reality moves closer to complete immersion.

When you add up these three technologies, it’s no longer marketing; it’s helpful information in the form of an immersive conversation.

Technology innovations mean generic, one-size-fits-all marketing will transform into highly stimulating, personalized messaging. Take advantage of these trends, and you’ll be one step closer to perfecting the customer experience.


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily MarTech Today. Staff authors are listed here.


SNJ: T-1904: “SHC Speaks: Response to Wall Street Journal” | Author: SHC Staff | Publisher: http://blog.searsholdings.com| #SmitaNairJain

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“SHC Speaks: Response to Wall Street Journal”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Publisher: SHC Speaks | Sears Holdings Corporate Blog

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SNJ: T-1903: “SHC Speaks – From A Loyal Member: What Sears Means to Me” | Author: Leena Munjal | Publisher: Sears Holdings Corporate Blog | #SmitaNairJain

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SNJ: T-1903: “SHC Speaks – From A Loyal Member: What Sears Means to Me” | Author: Leena Munjal | Publisher: Sears Holdings Corporate Blog | #SmitaNairJain

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leena Munjal
Leena Munjal

Leena Munjal

Leena Munjal, Senior Vice President for Sears Holdings Corp., has led the company’s customer experience and integrated retail operations since September 2012. With Integrated Retail at the core of the company’s strategy, she is responsible for nearly 700 Sears and more than 700 Kmart stores, approximately 140,000 store associates, and an extensive Store Operations and Integrated Retail team. Leena and her team equipped hundreds of Sears and Kmart stores with Wi-Fi and technology infrastructure, provided thousands of member-focused associates with tablets and handhelds, and launched several apps such as SHOPSears used by associates to help customers make an informed purchase decision.

PublisherSHC Speaks | Sears Holdings Corporate Blog

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SNJ: T-1902: “SHC Speaks: Spotlight on 50 Years of Serving Kmart’s Customers” Author: Tim Preston Publisher: Journal-Times #SmitaNairJain

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SNJ: T-1902: “SHC Speaks: Spotlight on 50 Years of Serving Kmart’s Customers” Author: Tim Preston Publisher: Journal-Times #SmitaNairJain

 

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author(s), publisher(s) and forum participant(s) on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the @SmitaNairJain or official policies of the #SmitaNairJain

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SNJ: T-1901 “A former Googler who is now CEO of her own startup asks all her employees to cold email their idol — here’s why” Author: Jacquelyn Smith Publisher: Business Insider #SmitaNairJain

SNJ: T-1901 “A former Googler who is now CEO of her own startup asks all her employees to cold email their idol — here’s why” Author: Jacquelyn Smith Publisher: Business Insider #SmitaNairJain

jacquelyn-smith 

Liz Wessel, CEO and cofounder of WayUp. Courtesy of Liz Wessel
Liz Wessel, CEO and cofounder of WayUp. Courtesy of Liz Wessel

Liz Wessel says she has always been the type of person who has no shame in reaching out to someone, whether or not she knows the person.  

Wessel is the CEO and cofounder of WayUp, a site used by hundreds of thousands of college students to find jobs at places like Microsoft, Uber, The New York Times, Disney, and Google — where Wessel previously worked.

Part of the reason she started WayUp with cofounder JJ Fliegelman was to
combat nepotism, she says, “so it should make sense that I don’t really care about whether I have connections to a person.”

“In college, my best cold email was to Roelof Botha, one of the top venture capitalists in the world,” she recalls. “He was a role model of mine, and I emailed him asking what he thought that I should do after I graduate in order to best position myself to one day start my own company: take a job offer at Google, or take a job offer at a venture-capital fund.”

“He told me the former, and the rest was history,” she says. “It’s because of that first cold email that I have since always encouraged friends and colleagues to cold email people.”

Wessel says she and Fliegelman started their company when they were just 24 and 25 years old. “We had a combined four years of full-time work experience, so there were often times that employees would ask us questions that we couldn’t answer or would ask us for advice that we didn’t want to get wrong,” she says.

“So, we started encouraging the team to cold email people who would better know the answer. One of our company values is, ‘Be a master at your craft, but know you’re not the master.’ So, I always encourage my team to cold email the actual masters in their respective fields.”

Wessel and WayUp cofounder JJ Fliegelman. Courtest of WayUp
Wessel and WayUp cofounder JJ Fliegelman. Courtest of WayUp

During a trip to California in early 2015, Wessel says, she challenged her entire team to take advantage of the fact that they were surrounded by some of the greatest minds in tech.

“I told everyone to cold email one expert in Silicon Valley who they normally wouldn’t have the guts to email and who they wouldn’t be able to meet in New York City, where we’re based,” she says.

Wessel led by example. She emailed her biggest role model with a very personalized message, asking for 15 minutes of her time. “The email was sent at 2 a.m. on a Monday, and at 8 a.m. I got a response: She invited me to come to dinner at her house the next night,” Wessel says. “This is a woman who probably gets more cold emails than 99% of the executives in the world, yet here she was, responding to me.”

The rest of the team followed suit. And it worked.

Nikki Schlecker, the leader of WayUp’s Brand team, for example, cold emailed Guy Kawasaki. The marketing exec, who was one of Apple’s early employees, not only agreed to grab coffee with Schlecker — he also live-streamed the entire meeting.

The WayUp team (as of October). Courtesy of WayUp
The WayUp team (as of October). Courtesy of WayUp

“I ‘dare’ my employees to do this because, in the past year and a half, I have learned more than I ever thought possible, and I want to make sure my employees are learning just as much,” Wessel says. “As corny as it may sound, if you’re not learning, you’re not growing.”

Another reason she does this: She strongly believes everyone should have at least one mentor — and cold emailing someone you admire is a great way to develop that type of relationship.

“Having a good mentor can keep you humble and motivated,” she says. “Furthermore, it will help you learn more than reading a textbook or watching a how-to video. Nothing matters more to me than learning from great people, and when you’re having a conversation with someone whose opinion you trust and value, and whose work you admire, it can help outline what success means to you, and the goals that you are working towards.”

Wondering how to go about cold emailing your idol? Wessel shared a few tips:

  • Make the message personal. Do you have anything in common? Say what it is.
  • Keep the email short and sweet. If the person is busy, he or she won’t want (or have time) to read an essay.
  • Say what you want to get out of the meeting, and let it be something small. “I’d like to pick your brain,” or “I’d love to get your advice on something” are appropriate asks. Never, ever ask for a job in this first email!
  • Have an eye-catching subject line.
  • Make yourself sound interesting enough so that the person wants to meet with you.
  • Thank the person for his or her time and consideration.

“If you have someone in your field who inspires you to learn and understand how they got to where they are today,” Wessel says, “it helps you create that mountaintop of your own.”

SNJ T-1900: “TEDxOakridgeInternationalSchool #SmitaNairJain #TEDx

SNJ T-1900: “TEDxOakridgeInternationalSchool #SmitaNairJain #TEDx imageedit_3_5062898889

TEDx OIS

The theme of this year’s event in TEDx Oakridge International School 2017 was ‘Square Pegs in Round Holes’.

The topic of my talk was “Are you a square in a world of circles? Your uniqueness is a sabre that can cut fear and make you the magnificent person you were born to be.”

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SNJ: T-1899: “Stephen Hawking makes his doctoral thesis available online” | Author: Jon Fingas| Publisher: Engadget.com | #SmitaNairJain

Stephen Hawking makes his doctoral thesis available online

He’s taking advantage of modern technology to spark an interest in space.

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas

10.22.17 in Space
Stephen Hawking symposium

Ever wondered how Stephen Hawking saw the universe as a doctoral candidate, when his theories about black holes were just coming into fruition? You don’t have to hear about it second-hand — you can now go straight to the source. The legendary cosmologist has published his 1966 doctoral thesis online for anyone to read, making it available to the public for the first time. Hawking is posting his work in hopes that it’ll spark interests in both space itself and sharing research. “I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet,” he said.

Needless to say, it’s not light reading. Hawking used the expansion of the universe to challenge an existing gravitational theory (there’s no way galaxies could form as a result of early perturbations, he argued) and provide a model of gravitational radiation and expansion that shows space-time singularities are “inevitable.”

Whether or not you take a look, there was plenty of pent-up demand. Cambridge University said the paper was the “most-requested” work for its open repository, receiving “hundreds” of requests. It’ll also help open the floodgates. All Cambridge graduates will have to offer digital copies of their theses from now on, and they’re being encouraged to make them public. Hawking’s move might give them the confidence boost they need — they’ll know there’s nothing to fear by disclosing their work.

Via: The Guardian 

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Stephen Hawking’s 1966 doctoral thesis made available for first time

Cambridge University says Properties of Expanding Universes is already most-requested item in open access repository

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking hopes that giving free access to his early work will inspire others to think, learn and share research. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP 

Stephen Hawking hopes that giving free access to his early work will inspire others, not just to think and learn but to share research. He said: “By making my PhD thesis open access, I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet; to wonder about our place in the universe and to try and make sense of the cosmos.

“Anyone, anywhere in the world should have free, unhindered access to not just my research, but to the research of every great and inquiring mind across the spectrum of human understanding.”

Cambridge University, which calls the thesis “historic and compelling”, says it is already the most-requested item in its open access repository, Apollo. “In just the past few months, the university has received hundreds of requests from readers wishing to download Prof Hawking’s thesis in full.”

The work considers implications and consequences of the expansion of the universe, and its conclusions include that galaxies cannot be formed through the growth of perturbations that were initially small.

The thesis is now freely available to all, to mark Open Access Week 2017. Hawking said: “Each generation stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before them, just as I did as a young PhD student in Cambridge, inspired by the work of Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein. It’s wonderful to hear how many people have already shown an interest in downloading my thesis – hopefully they won’t be disappointed now that they finally have access to it.”

Hawking’s thesis, with a typed dedication to his supervisor, and a handwritten “this dissertation is my original work – SW Hawking”, set him on the path to becoming one of the most famous scientists in the world. He remains a commanding figure decades after a form of motor neurone disease – diagnosed soon after his 21st birthday – left him confined to a wheelchair and dependent on a computerised voice system for speech.

His 1988 A Brief History of Timebecame one of the most successful popular science books ever published, with more than 10m copies sold worldwide in more than 40 languages.

At Oxford he studied physics though his father wanted him to take medicine, because his own original choice of mathematics wasn’t available. According to his website, “after three years and not very much work” he was awarded a first-class honours degree – he now holds 12 honorary degrees – and then moved to Cambridge to undertake research in cosmology. From 1979 to 2009 he was the Lucasian professor of mathematics at the university – a post once held by Isaac Newton – and he retains an office in the department.

The university hopes that Hawking’s thesis may encourage other scholars to make their work freely available online. From this October all PhD graduates will be required to deposit a digital copy of their theses, and will be urged to make them open access. Cambridge will also be trying to persuade all its former academics, who include 98 Nobel prize winners, to follow Hawking’s example.

The treasures in the Apollo archive, which together have been downloaded a million times from all over the world in 2017, include 15,000 research articles, 10,000 images and 2,400 theses. However, the university says it is often a struggle to give free access to historic theses.

Arthur Smith, deputy head of scholarly communication, said more open-access research could lead to major breakthroughs. He said: “By eliminating the barriers between people and knowledge we can realise new breakthroughs in all areas of science, medicine and technology.

“It is especially important for disseminating the knowledge acquired during doctoral research studies. PhD theses contain a vast trove of untapped and unique information just waiting to be used, but which is often locked away from view and scrutiny.”

Hawking, whose original medical diagnosis more than half a century ago gave him two years to live, continues to work and and lecture internationally. Richard Branson has offered him a free place on his Virgin Galactic spacecraft, and his website says “he still hopes to make it into space one day”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

dims-2

Jon Fingas

Associate Editor

Jon has been hooked on tech ever since he tried a Compaq PC clone when he was five. He’s big on mobile and is one of those precious few people who wears his smartwatch with pride. He’s also an unapologetic Canadian: Don’t be surprised if you get an earful about poutine or the headaches with Canadian carriers.

Maev-Kennedy.jpgMaev Kennedy

Maev Kennedy is a special writer for the Guardian

 

Publisher: Engadget, The Guardian

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author(s), publisher(s) and forum participant(s) on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the @SmitaNairJain or official policies of the #SmitaNairJain

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SNJ: T-1898: “Looking for Inspiring #WomanAtWork?” | Author: Kunjal Kamdar | Publisher: Ramblingrecruiter’s Blog | #SmitaNairJain

Looking for inspiring #WomanAtWork?

 

There is no shortage of articles around #WomanAtWork and % of women at work. I too have published a few of those; #WomanAtWork as Chairman of $108 billion company!! & Join them only if you are SERIOUS about Empowering #WomenatWork !! But then I did ponder around this important question “So What”. Yes I agree we have all this data that tells us about the current situation around #WomanAtWork. But what are we doing about it? How do we bridge the gap?

Well, over the years I have been fortunate to have met many Inspiring Women Leaders via various conferences, Tweetchats and through blogging assignments.  I have been hearing this common line from many working women out there “Where and how can we connect with inspiring leaders” “Can we find an easy way to learn from their experience”

This is the exact reason why I was curious to work on a List that could help bridge the gap and help women find and connect with mentors and inspiring leaders. So coming straight to the point, following are the key points of the Twitter list that I am about to share:

  • This Twitter List has over 600 + inspiring leaders that we all can learn from
  • This list includes CEO’s, Doctors, Singers, HR Influencers, Dentist, Food Bloggers, Travel Bloggers, Founders, Musicians, Teachers, Vlogger, Youtuber, Zumba Expert, Filmmaker, Banker, Baker, Chef, RJ Psychologist, Coach, CMO, Comedian, Journalist, Editors, Venture Capitalist, Marine Biologist, Microbiologist …….. and many more champs in their respective fields.

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So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and make the most of this Twitter List 🙂 Oh, I guess I missed on sharing the link 🙂

Here you go, you are just one click away for connecting with over 600 + inspiring leaders in their respective fields : https://goo.gl/Gv9xjk

Would be great to know if you were able to find and connect with your inspiring leader in this list.

A big thank you to all these empowered women. Keep it going and keep inspiring.

Regards

Rambling Recruiter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AAIA_wDGAAAAAQAAAAAAAA0tAAAAJDI1M2M3OGU3LTI3OGItNGNhNC1iY2Y4LWMzZmM0OWNkMzdhNwKunjal Kamdar

 

 

 

 

Publisher: Ramblingrecruiter’s Blog

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author(s), publisher(s) and forum participant(s) on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the @SmitaNairJain or official policies of the #SmitaNairJain

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SNJ: T-1897: “5 Essential Insights on Influence and the Future of Customer Engagement” | Author: Lee Odden | Publisher: TopRankBlog.com | #SmitaNairJain

SNJ: T-1897: “5 Essential Insights on Influence and the Future of Customer Engagement” | Author: Lee Odden | Publisher: TopRankBlog.com | #SmitaNairJain

Author: Lee Odden fullsizeoutput_6ba

Influencer Marketing

future-engagement-influential.jpg

When planning for 2017 and into 2018, many marketers have placed a high priority on customer experience and the content that helps make the best customer engagement happen.

At the same time, companies are challenged to create a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis coupled by the fact that consumers are less trusting of brand communications and advertising.

There are many suggested solutions to the challenges of creating consistent, high quality experiences for customers that range from integrated technology platforms to cognitive marketing applications incorporating big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This is one of the key roles that a savvy agency can play for brands: to help develop a digital marketing strategy and corresponding technologies needed.

It’s tempting to focus singularly on technology for solving marketing problems, but the solution to better customer experience and engagement is more about being human than the latest martech solution. In particular, understanding how relationships, influence and content deliver more relevant and engaging customer experiences is essential for differentiation and driving better marketing ROI.

This is where the next evolution of influencer marketing comes in: Influence 2.0.

The field of influencer marketing has grown fast and while some approach the practice transactionally, not unlike advertising, an increasing number of brands are focusing on the long term value of relationships with influencers and the kind of content collaboration that inspires better engagement across the customer lifecycle.

A more human approach to marketing means attention to empathy and a focus on customer experience. Influencers are credible, trusted individuals with active networks and the value exchange of their engagement with the community is where influence originates. Brands can tap into that influence to expand brand reach, create better customer engagement and even improve specific marketing goals like lead generation and increased sales conversions.

According to Influence 2.0, a new research report by Brian Solis of Altimeter Group sponsored by Traackr and my agency TopRank Marketing, 63% of marketers want to improve customer satisfaction through the use of influencer marketing. “The opportunity for consumer engagement spans the entire journey and influencers can play an important role in each moment of truth”, says Solis.

Modern marketers understand that customers don’t move linearly through decisions anymore. Eloqua helped visualize the way to view this new customer journey as an infinity loop, illustrating important moments of truth and opportunities for customer engagement. By plotting the infinity loops across your own customer touch points during the customer journey, you can set the stage for a new model of customer experience management.

fullsizeoutput_69a.jpeg

To connect with customers in a more meaningful way, it is more important than ever for companies to identify, qualify and develop relationships with relevant influencers of all types to collaborate, co-create and instigate advocacy. I can think of no better focus for these collaborations than through content.

fullsizeoutput_69d

In order for marketers to maximize customer experience and business growth opportunities with a more modern approach to influence, here are 5 key insights from the Influence 2.0 report:

MATURITY

43% of marketers are experimenting with influencer marketing.1 It is still early for influencer marketing for many companies, but given the relationship focus on the best influencer marketing programs, there’s plenty of opportunity. Only 28% of marketers are focused on campaigns and just 24% are implementing ongoing programs. As brands mature their approach, skills and relationships with influencers, companies implementing always on, ongoing influencer marketing programs will increase substantially.

IMPACT

80% of marketers rate content marketing as most impacted by influencer marketing.1 In discussions about the ROI of brand relationships with influencers, there’s simply no better match than content collaboration for creating measurable, impactful business outcomes. Influence 2.0 supports this with content being rated highest in impact from influencer marketing along with social media marketing and media relations.

GOALS

67% of marketers want to drive lead generation through the use of influencer marketing.1 Beyond improving brand advocacy, awareness and reaching new audiences, the majority of marketers are also focused on improving leads and sales conversion (74%) through working with industry influencers. Influence plays a role throughout the customer lifecycle and in all relationship-driven brand communications.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

34% of marketers report that CMOs are leading marketing digital transformation initiatives. Companies are prioritizing investments in both customer and employee experience. With CMOs leading the way, it opens many doors for innovation in the humanization of technology. As Solis says in the report, “…the more human marketing becomes, the more digital transformation can also become human.”

INTEGRATION

57% of marketers say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities in the next 3 years. While only 5% of marketers currently rate the maturity of their influencer marketing program as integrated, the forward looking optimism for the next 3 years towards integration should be a strong signal for the direction that influencer marketing is going. 30% of marketers say Influencer marketing will become a primary area of digital marketing investment in the next 3 years.

Building relationships with influencers through content collaboration delivers mutual value for brands and participating influencers as well as the community that will consume the content. As it is tempting to use technology to solve marketing problems, it has also been tempting for brands to take a transactional and advertising focused approach to working with influencers.

Successful marketers at major brands do not agree with a transactional approach to influencer relationships:

Amanda-Duncan-Microsoft

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Focus on a long-term approach rooted in a two-way dialogue”, says Amanda Duncan of Microsoft, “It’s often the phases between campaigns and events that allow you to have in-depth conversations, get valuable feedback and really gain a deeper understanding around what matters to your influencers. Investing this time and valuable resources builds credibility. This credibility and trust with an influencer is key to ongoing success.”

konnie-brown-prediction

 

 

 

 

 

 

While a relationship based focus takes time, it’s a worthwhile investment according to Dr. Konstanze Alex-Brown of Dell, “Long-term, trust based relationships with shared value creation take time and effort to build and investment to sustain. While results will be measured digitally in reach, impressions, online engagement, there is no shortcut for getting there.”

Amisha-Gandhi

Moving beyond a singular focus on the brand, value creation can extend to all involved. “When you treat your influencers like clients, as SAP does, it leaves people with a positive feeling and they are going to want to engage with you time and time again”, says Amisha Gandhi of SAP. “When the relationship is mutually beneficial, both parties are going to get the best results out of the engagement with the brand.”

Too often, brands and agencies approach influencer marketing as a short term transaction without realizing there is much more to be gained for everyone involved. The concept of Influence 2.0 that influencer relationship platform, Traackr and our digital marketing agency, TopRank Marketing have adopted, is to help marketers understand an approach to influencer marketing that aligns with the objectives of business, influencers, and customers simultaneously. Influencer Marketing is a relationship business!

By understanding customers, designing programs that matter to them, and then using platforms to partner with trusted influencers, brands can steer buyer impressions, decisions, and behaviors in more useful, productive, and mutually beneficial ways. Make no mistake, the future of marketing and customer engagement involves technology, but to be successful in the short and long term, marketers need to understand the multiplying effect of relationships, influence and content.

A version of this post originally appeared in Brand Quarterly Magazine.

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To tap into the full array of research insights, trends, case studies, tactics and a framework for Influence 2.0, download the full report. Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing.  Connect with our agency influencer marketing services for help with strategy, influencer content programs and performance optimization.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

fullsizeoutput_6ba Lee Odden

Publisher: Top Rank Marketing Blog

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author(s), publisher(s) and forum participant(s) on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the @SmitaNairJain or official policies of the #SmitaNairJain

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SNJ: T-1896: “14 Books That Inspired Elon Musk” | Author: Drake Baer and Shana Lebowitz | Publisher: Business Insider | #SmitaNairJain

SNJ: T-1896: “14 Books That Inspired Elon Musk” | Author: Drake Baer and Shana Lebowitz | Publisher: Business Insider | #SmitaNairJain

elon-musk-121

Reuters 

Elon Musk is a lifelong reader, and books ranging from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” to “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” have shaped his outlook.

When people ask Elon Musk how he learned to build rockets, he has a simple answer.”I read books,” he reportedly likes to say .

Musk – who was smart enough to get into a physics Ph.D. program at Stanford University and then drop out because it didn’t seem that relevant to him – has always been hungry for the written word.

In its profile of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, the New Yorker observed that he was picked on a lot during his South African childhood, and he would retreat into fantasy (J.R.R. Tolkien) and science fiction (Isaac Asimov) to cope.

As we’ll see in below, books have always been important to Musk: inspiring him as a child, giving him heroes as a young adult, and helping him to learn rocket science while launching SpaceX.

View As: One PageSlides

‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R. Tolkien

Musk had a nickname when he was a shrimpy, smart-mouthed kid growing up in South Africa: Muskrat.The New Yorker reports that “in his loneliness, he read a lot of fantasy and science fiction.”

Those books — notably “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien — shaped his vision for his future self.

“The heroes of the books I read always felt a duty to save the world,” he told The New Yorker.

‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams

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Musk says he had an “existential crisis” when he was between the ages of 12 and 15, burrowing into Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, and other moody philosophers to find the meaning of life.
It didn’t help.

Then he came upon “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” a comic interstellar romp by Douglas Adams. In the book a supercomputer finds the “answer” to a meaningful life is the number 42 — but the question was never figured out.

This was instructive to a young Musk.

“If you can properly phrase the question, then the answer is the easy part,” Musk said in an interview. “So, to the degree that we can better understand the universe, then we can better know what questions to ask.”

‘Benjamin Franklin: An American Life’ by Walter Isaacson

Musk has said that Ben Franklin is one of his heroes.In Franklin’s biography, “you can see how [Franklin] was an entrepreneur,” Musk says in an interview with Foundation. “He was an entrepreneur. He started from nothing. He was just a runaway kid.”

Something about that is similar to Musk’s story — growing up in Pretoria, South Africa, going to school in Canada, transferring to the University of Pennsylvania, then using an invitation to Stanford University’s Ph.D. program to land in Silicon Valley.

Musk’s review: “Franklin’s pretty awesome,” he says.

‘Einstein: His Life and Universe’ by Walter Isaacson

In that same interview with Foundation, Musk says he learned a lot from another biography by Walter Isaacson — “Einstein.”As with “Franklin,” this books tells the story of a genius who transforms the world with his intelligence and ambition.

As the jacket copy breathlessly proclaims, the book “explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk — a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate — became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos.”

‘Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down’ by J.E. Gordon

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Musk is a committed autodidact, devouring the subjects he needs to know about.
When he decided to start SpaceX, he needed to learn the basics of rocket science.

One of the books that helped him was “Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down,” a popular take on structural engineering by J.E. Gordon, a British material scientist.

“It is really, really good if you want a primer on structural design,” Musk said in an interview with KCRW.

‘Ignition!: An informal history of liquid rocket propellants’ by John D. Clark

Ignition-An-informal-history-of-liquid-rocket-propellants-by-John-D-Clark

 

“Ignition!” is another hard-to-get-your-hands-on account of early rocket science.

“There is a good book on rocket stuff called ‘Ignition!’ by John Clark that’s a really fun one,” Musk said in an interview.

Clark was an American chemist active in the development of rocket fuels back in the 1960s and 1970s, and the book is both an account of the growth of the field and an explainer of how the science works.

Though the book is hard to track down, people love it. Consider this Amazon review:

This book has the right mix of technical details, descriptions of experiments with spectacular results, background info about the why’s and how’s, and about the politics involved. It is a very engaging and uplifting book because Clark captured a lot of the enthusiasm he had for rockets.

Fortunately for us, this rare text is available online here and here.

‘Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies’ by Nick Bostrom

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Given his leadership roles at SpaceX, SolarCity, and Tesla, Musk has a bird’s-eye view of the advance of technology.
It’s not all good news.

“We need to be super careful with AI,” he tweeted, because it’s “potentially more dangerous than nukes.”

To find out why, he says it’s “worth reading” Nick Bostrom’s “Superintelligence,” a book that makes the daring inquiry into what would happen if computational intelligence surpassed human intelligence.

‘Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future’ by Peter Thiel

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Back in the early 2000s, when Musk was running the payments startup X.com, he was in direct competition with PayPal, cofounded by Peter Thiel, a man who’s now a billionaire investor.
So when Thiel came out with his book of startup philosophy, Musk naturally endorsed it.

“Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and ‘Zero to One’ shows how,” he says.

The book is full of Thiel’s combative insights — like that Silicon Valley’s obsession with disruption is totally misguided.

‘Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness’ by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

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In an interview with CNN, Musk said that he had just finished Barlett and Steele’s “Howard Hughes,” a biography of the eccentric filmmaker and aviation tycoon, who famously got a little nutty at the end of his life.

“Definitely want to make sure I don’t grow my fingernails too long and start peeing in jars,” Musk says.

But it’s easy to see why Musk would be attracted to Hughes, who worked in multiple industries and pushed the boundaries of flying, breaking air speed records.

‘Merchants of Doubt’ by Naomi Orestes and Erik M. Conway

Merchants-of-Doubt-by-Naomi-Orestes-and-Erik-M-Conway

 

Now a documentary, “Merchants of Doubt” is written by two historians of science who make the case that scientists with political and industry connections have obscured the facts surrounding a series of public health issues.

Musk recommended the book back in 2013, at a D11 conference.

Around the same time, he summarized the book’s key takeaway in a tweet: “Same who tried to deny smoking deaths r denying climate change.”

The ‘Foundation’ trilogy by Isaac Asimov

The-Foundation-trilogy-by-Isaac-Asimov

It’s possible that Musk’s interest in space exploration technology stems from his days spent reading science fiction.

In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, Musk said he was influenced by Asimov’s “Foundation” series, which centers on the fall of the Galactic Empire.

Here’s what he said the book taught him:

The lessons of history would suggest that civilisations move in cycles. You can track that back quite far – the Babylonians, the Sumerians, followed by the Egyptians, the Romans, China. We’re obviously in a very upward cycle right now and hopefully that remains the case. But it may not. There could be some series of events that cause that technology level to decline. Given that this is the first time in 4.5bn years where it’s been possible for humanity to extend life beyond Earth, it seems like we’d be wise to act while the window was open and not count on the fact it will be open a long time.

‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ by Robert Heinlein

The-Moon-is-a-Harsh-Mistress-by-Robert-Heinlein

This award-winning science fiction novel, originally published in 1966, paints the picture of a dystopia not too far in the future. It’s exactly the kind of vivid fantasy world that would satisfy an active imagination like Musk’s.

In the book, a group of people have been exiled from earth to the moon, where they have created a libertarian society. In the year 2076, a group of rebels including a supercomputer named Mike and a one-armed computer technician leads the Lunar colony’s revolution against its earthbound rulers.

It is, Musk said in an interview at MIT’s Aero/Astro Centennial, Heinlein’s best work.

The ‘Culture’ series by Iain M. Banks

The-Culture-series-by-Iain-M-Banks

Musk has been plowing his way through this series since 2014.

The books tell the story of a semi-anarchist future society called the Culture, which includes humanoids, aliens, and artificial intelligences.

It’s a “[c]ompelling picture of a grand, semi-utopian galactic future,” Musk tweeted. “Hopefully not too optimistic about AI.”

‘Our Final Invention’ by James Barrat

Our-Final-Invention-by-James-Barrat

Musk has openly warned against the dangers of artificial intelligence.

In a 2014 interview at MIT’s AeroAstro Centennial Symposium, he called AI “our greatest existential threat.” He’s also invested in the AI firm DeepMind “just to keep an eye on what’s going on with artificial intelligence.”

So it’s no surprise that he labeled “Our Final Invention” “worth reading” in a tweet. Barrat takes a close look at the potential future of AI, weighing both the advantages and disadvantages.

As Barrat says on his website, the book is at least partly “about AI’s catastrophic downside, one you’ll never hear about from Google, Apple, IBM, and DARPA.”

Read the original article on Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-favorite-books-2015-10

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DRAKE BAER,SHANA LEBOWITZ

Publisher: Business Insider: Latest News on Tech, Careers & Jobs, Finance, Money, Politics, Life & Strategy

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SNJ: T-1895 “Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Say They’re Assuming a ‘Hard Brexit’” | Author: Stephen Morris | Publisher: Bloomberg | #SmitaNairJain

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WH5xLYnD_400x400By Stephen Morris

@sjhmorris


  • JPMorgan’s Pinto says he’s preparing for a ‘no deal’ scenario
  • Barclays CEO, more upbeat, says capital may keep banks in U.K.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are bracing for a “hard Brexit” as they seek to protect their access to the European Union once Britain leaves the bloc in 2019, according to top executives.

“We are now assuming a hard Brexit with additional conservative assumptions,” Faryar Shirzad, Goldman Sachs’s co-head of government affairs, said Saturday in Washington. “Until we are told otherwise through tangible, meaningful, reliable declarations of some sort then we just have to keep moving forwards” with the most pessimistic contingency plans.

Also speaking in the U.S. capital during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund was Daniel Pinto, head of JPMorgan’s investment bank. He too said he’s readying for a “no-deal” scenario that doesn’t allow banks to easily conduct business across the Continent from operations based in London.

“We need to continue servicing clients, and so that’s what we are going for,” Pinto said. “Two years is a very short period of time.”

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Brexit was a major topic as finance ministers, central bankers and executives from around the world gathered in recent days to discuss economic trends and risks. Global banking leaders are growing concerned that the U.K. will spin out of the EU without a long-term trade deal in place. New York-based Goldman Sachs has about 6,000 staff in the U.K., and JPMorgan has 16,000.

Read more: Banks’ Brexit moving costs are seen topping $500 million each
That’s prompting firms to explore alternate European locations, intensifying pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to secure a transitional arrangement with the EU to extend existing trading rules until a permanent trade pact is sealed.

“Talk of a standstill arrangement is encouraging,” but Goldman Sachs wants to see evidence it will happen, Shirzad said during a panel discussion.

Bundesbank Executive Board member Andreas Dombret, a fellow panelist, called a hard Brexit the most likely scenario, but said he doesn’t “see a financial-stability risk because that risk is materializing over a two-year period.”
Read more: No-deal Brexit would cost $15,000 per person, Rabobank says
Pinto said JPMorgan is already bolstering its use of offices in Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Dublin. “We have been working on this for over a year now so we have a good plan and we are not expecting any client disruption,” he said.

JPMorgan plans to move an additional 60 jobs to Paris, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said after meeting with the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, in Washington. France’s shift to more flexible labor laws and looser regulation were among reasons Paris was selected, according to the finance minister.

“We’re not doing all this for 60 jobs. The stakes are much bigger and the goal is to win much more business than that,” Le Maire said. “It’s not at all inevitable that London remains Europe’s largest financial center.”

Under one of the most drastic plans, Deutsche Bank AG may start moving roughly half its U.K. workforce to Frankfurt and Berlin as soon as next year, people familiar with the matter have said.
Read a QuickTake: Will Brexit trigger an exodus of banks from London?
Taking a more optimistic stance, Barclays Plc CEO Jes Staley reiterated he doesn’t view Brexit as “as much of a risk to the financial sector as some people have said.”

He recalled attending a recent conference of investors, where nobody raised a hand when he asked the audience how many were engaged in serious conversations with their employer to move abroad because of Brexit.

“The banks will go where the capital is,” Staley said. “And if the capital that drive financial markets stay in London, then the banks will stay in London.”

— With assistance by Svenja O’Donnell 

Find out more: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/snj-t-1895-goldman-sachs-jpmorgan-say-theyre-assuming-smita/

Author:  Stephen Morris @sjhmorris

Publisher: Bloomberg

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author(s), publisher(s) and forum participant(s) on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the @SmitaNairJain or official policies of the #SmitaNairJain

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SNJ: T-1894: “Inside The Black Box: Understanding AI Decision-Making” #SmitaNairJain

Inside the black box: Understanding AI decision-making

Artificial intelligence algorithms are increasingly influential in peoples’ lives, but their inner workings are often opaque. We examine why, and explore what’s being done about it.

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Neural networks, machine-learning systems, predictive analytics, speech recognition, natural-language understanding and other components of what’s broadly defined as ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI) are currently undergoing a boom: research is progressing apace, media attention is at an all-time high, and organisations are increasingly implementing AI solutions in pursuit of automation-driven efficiencies.

The first thing to establish is what we’re not talking about, which is human-level AI — often termed ‘strong AI’ or ‘artificial general intelligence’ (AGI). A survey conducted among four groups of experts in 2012/13 by AI researchers Vincent C. Müller and Nick Bostrom reported a 50 percent chance that AGI would be developed between 2040 and 2050, rising to 90 percent by 2075; so-called ‘superintelligence‘ — which Bostrom defines as “any intellect that greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains of interest” — was expected some 30 years after the achievement of AGI (Fundamental Issues of Artificial Intelligence, Chapter 33). This stuff will happen, and it certainly needs careful consideration, but it’s not happening right now.

What is happening right now, at an increasing pace, is the application of AI algorithms to all manner of processes that can significantly affect peoples’ lives — at work, at home and as they travel around. Although hype around these technologies is approaching the ‘peak of expectation’ (sensuGartner), there’s a potential fly in the AI ointment: the workings of many of these algorithms are not open to scrutiny — either because they are the proprietary assets of an organisation or because they are opaque by their very nature.

If not properly addressed, such concerns could help to turn overhyped expectations for AI into a backlash (Gartner’s ‘trough of disillusionment’).

ai-ml-gartner-hype-cycle
Many AI-related technologies are approaching, or have already reached, the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ in Gartner’s Hype Cycle, with the backlash-driven ‘trough of disillusionment’ lying in wait.
Image: Gartner / Annotations: ZDNet

Here’s an example: in May this year, COMPAS, a proprietary risk assessment algorithm that’s widely used to decide on the freedom or incarceration of defendants passing through the US criminal justice system was alleged by online investigative journalism site ProPublica to be systematically biased against African Americans compared to whites. Although Northpointe(the for-profit company behind COMPAS) disputed ProPublica’s statistical analysis, generating further controversy, the widespread use of closely-guarded proprietary algorithms in sensitive areas such as criminal justice is a cause for concern at the very least.

Sometimes, bias can be introduced via the data on which neural network-based algorithms are trained. In July this year, for example, Rachael Tatman, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the Linguistics Department at the University of Washington, found that Google’s speech recognition system performed better for male voices than female ones when auto-captioning a sample of YouTube videos, a result she ascribed to ‘unbalanced training sets’ with a preponderance of male speakers. As Tatman noted, a few incorrect YouTube captions aren’t going to cause any harm, but similar speech recognition biases in medical or connected-car applications, for example, would be another matter altogether.

ai-ml-ecosystem
Although AI is often equated with ‘deep learning’ neural networks, the artificial intelligence ecosystem encompasses many types of algorithm.Image: Narrative Science

Neural networks as ‘black boxes’

Neural networks are a particular concern not only because they are a key component of many AI applications — including image recognition, speech recognition, natural language understanding and machine translation — but also because they’re something of a ‘black box’ when it comes to elucidating exactly how their results are generated.

Neural networks are so-called because they mimic, to a degree, the way the human brain is structured: they’re built from layers of interconnected, neuron-like, nodes and comprise an input layer, an output layer and a variable number of intermediate ‘hidden’ layers — ‘deep’ neural nets merely have more than one hidden layer. The nodes themselves carry out relatively simple mathematical operations, but between them, after training, they can process previously unseen data and generate correct results based on what was learned from the training data.

ai-ml-neural-network
The structure and training of deep neural networks.Image: Nuance

Key to the training is a process called ‘back propagation‘, in which labelled examples are fed into the system and intermediate-layer settings are progressively modified until the output layer provides an optimal match to the input layer.

It’s one thing to create a model that gives accurate results with previously unseen data, but — as discussed earlier — in many real-world applications it will be desirable to examine the internal decision-making process in detail.

Nils Lenke, Senior Director, Corporate Research at Nuance, acknowledges the problem: “It’s a very interesting and relevant topic, because compared to, say, rule-based systems, neural networks or other machine-learning algorithms are not that transparent. It’s not always clear what happens inside — you let the network organise itself, but that really means it does organise itself: it doesn’t necessarily tell you how it did it.”

Peering inside the black box

This ‘black box’ problem was addressed in a recent paper from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), which examined neural networks trained on text-based data using a system comprising two modules — a ‘generator’ and an ‘encoder’. The generator extracts key segments of text from the training data, giving high scores to short, coherent strings; these are then passed to the extractor, which performs the classification task. The goal is to maximise both the generator scores and the accuracy of the extractor predictions.

To assess how well this system works, one of the training datasets the researchers used was a set of around 1,500 reviews from a website devoted to beer. A thousand or so of these reviews had been annotated by hand to indicate the correspondence between particular sentences and reviewer scores (from 1-5) for appearance, smell and palate. If the generator/extractor neural network managed to pinpoint the same sentences and correlate them with the same reviewer ratings, then it would be exercising human-like judgement.

The results were impressive, with the neural network showing high levels of agreement with the human annotators on appearance (96.3%) and smell (95.1%), although it was slightly less sure-footed on the tougher concept of palate (80.2%).

According to MIT the researchers have applied their rationale-extraction method to medical data, both text-based (pathology reports on breast biopsies) and image-based (mammograms), although no published report on this work is available yet.

A helping human hand

These are encouraging developments, but what to do if a current AI system can’t be trusted to make important decisions on its own?

Nuance’s Nils Lenke outlines the options: “The first thing you need for more specific cases is a confidence measure, so not only do you get a result from the neural network, but you also get an understanding of how confident it is that it has the right result. That can help you make decisions — do you need additional evidence, do you need a human being to look into the result, can you take it at face value?”

“Then you need to look at the tasks at hand,” Lenke continues. “For some, it’s not really critical if you don’t fully understand what happens, or even if the network is wrong. A system that suggests music, for example: all that can go wrong is, you listen to boring piece of music. But with applications like enterprise customer service, where transactions are involved, or computer-assisted clinical documentation improvement, what we typically do there is, we don’t put the AI in isolation, but we have it co-work with a human being.”

ai-ml-nuance-hava
A human-assisted virtual assistant (HAVA) deployed in an enterprise customer service application.Image: Nuance

“In the customer-care arena we call that HAVA, or the Human-Assisted Virtual Assistant,” explains Lenke. “The interesting thing here is, we have something called ‘passage retrieval’: say the customer asks a question, either via speech recognition or typed input from a chat or web interface; then the virtual assistant goes through its facts and data — which may be a collection of manuals and documents provided by the company — and finds relevant passages, which it presents to the human agent, who makes the final call. It’s more efficient, because the AI presents the relevant information to him or her.”

“I think you can see from Microsoft’s experience with its chat bot that putting the AI in a mode where it’s not supervised may bear risks,” Lenke adds. “That’s why we believe this curated way, where a human looks at the material and has the final call, is the right way to do it for critical applications.”

Ethics and AI

Many people — including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and leading AI researchers — have expressed concerns about how AI might develop, leading to the creation of organisations like Open AI and Partnership on AI aimed at avoiding potential pitfalls.

The goal of Open AI, founded in December 2015 and co-chaired by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, is “to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return.”

Partnership on AI — announced in September 2016 with founding members Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft — seeks to support research and recommend best practices, advance public understanding and awareness of AI, and create an open platform for discussion and engagement.

Most recently, Carnegie Mellon University announced a $10 million gift from a leading law firm (K&L Gates) to study ethical and policy issues surrounding artificial intelligence and other computing technologies.

A perfect example of why the ethics of AI need monitoring came in a recent paper entitled Automated Inference on Criminality using Face Images by two researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In a disturbing echo of long-discredited attempts to correlate physiognomy with the propensity for criminality, Xiaolin Wu and Xi Zhang built four classifiers — including a convolutional neural network — using “facial images of 1,856 real persons controlled for race, gender, age and facial expressions, nearly half of whom were convicted criminals”. The authors claim that “All four classifiers perform consistently well and produce evidence for the validity of automated face-induced inference on criminality, despite the historical controversy surrounding the topic”, adding that they found “some discriminating structural features for predicting criminality, such as lip curvature, eye inner corner distance, and the so-called nose-mouth angle.”

This paper is on the arXiv pre-print server and has not been peer-reviewed, but, speaking to the BBC, Susan McVie, Professor of Quantitative Criminology at the University of Edinburgh, noted that “What this research may be picking up on is stereotypes that lead to people being picked up by the criminal justice system, rather than the likelihood of somebody offending…There is no theoretical reason that the way somebody looks should make them a criminal.”

Any AI-driven resurgence of the idea that criminality can be inferred from facial images would be particularly unhelpful, given the current political climate on both sides of the Atlantic.

AI implementation in the enterprise

AI is clearly a developing field, but that hasn’t stopped organisations forging ahead and implementing it — even if they’re often not fully aware they have done so. In July this year, Narrative Science, which develops advanced natural-language-generation (NLG) systems, presented the results of a survey of 235 business executives covering the deployment of AI-powered applications within their organisations. Headline findings from Outlook on Artificial Intelligence in the Enterprise 2016 were:

AI adoption is imminent, despite marketplace confusion: although only 38 percent of the survey group confirmed they were using AI, 88 percent of the remainder actually did use AI technologies such as predictive analytics, automated written reporting and communications, and voice recognition/response.

Predictive analytics is dominating the enterprise: 58 percent of respondents used data mining, statistics, modelling and machine learning to analyse current data and make predictions; in second place, at about 25 percent, was automated written reporting and/or communications and voice recognition/response.

The shortage of data science talent continues to affect organisations: 59 percent of respondents named ‘shortage of data science talent’ as the primary barrier to realising value from their big data technologies. Almost all of the respondents (95%) who indicated they were skilled at using big data to solve business problems or generate insights also used AI technologies.

Companies that generate the most value from their technology investments make innovation a priority: 61 percent of respondents who had an innovation strategy used AI to identify opportunities in data that would be otherwise missed, compared to only 22 percent of respondents without such a strategy.

There are certainly more companies involved in AI than ever before, and also an emerging ‘technology stack’, as this recent landscape infographic from Bloomberg Beta makes clear:

ai-ml-landscape
Image: Bloomberg Beta

In their analysis, Bloomberg Beta’s Shivon Zilis and James Cham note that the version 3.0 landscape contains a third more companies than the first one two years ago, and that “it feels even more futile to try to be comprehensive, since this just scratches the surface of all of the activity out there.” This is to be expected in a technology area that’s racing to the peak of the hype cycle, and there will be plenty more startups and M&A activity as the market matures. But which AI startups will prosper? According to the Bloomberg Beta authors, “Companies we see successfully entering a long-term trajectory can package their technology as a new problem-specific application for enterprise or simply transform an industry themselves as a new entrant.”

Outlook

In the near term, how is AI likely to progress?

“There will be more variants of neural networks, and people will pay more attention to what actually happens during the processing,” says Nuance’s Nils Lenke. “You’ll want to visualise what happens on the layers and how they engage with the data, and make it more transparent which piece of the evidence led to which decision, so that the network not only produces a result, but also points out the evidence and the reasoning process.”

Lenke also emphasises that AI does not always mean neural networks: “We also do AI based on knowledge representation and rule-based systems, and for some critical things it may be better to go with rule-based systems where you’re in full control of which rules are there and which are not there. You can have that in your toolbox for things where it makes sense, where rules can easily be codified by a human.”

AI is becoming relatively straightforward to implement, with data, algorithms and computing resources all increasingly available. But there’s always the human factor to consider: humans can ask the wrong questions, use flawed training data, and accept output from algorithms without inquiring into its provenance.

Should we fear superintelligent AI? Maybe, in due course. But more pressingly, we should pay attention to what people might do with today’s AI technology. Or as Bloomberg Beta’s Zilis and Cham put it: “In the next few years, the danger here isn’t what we see in dystopian sci-fi movies. The real danger of machine intelligence is that executives will make bad decisions about what machine intelligence capabilities to build.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

charles-mclellanCharles McLellan

Reviews editor

Hello, I’m the Reviews Editor at ZDNet UK. My experience with computers started at London’s Imperial College, where I studied Zoology and then Environmental Technology. This was sufficiently long ago (mid-1970s) that Fortran, IBM punched-card machines and mainframes were involved, followed by green-screen terminals and eventually the personal computers we know and (mostly) love. After doing post-grad research at Imperial for a while, I got involved in helping to produce a weekly news magazine based in Amsterdam. This was in the mid-1980s, and one of my duties was to set up data communications links with technologically-challenged national newspaper journalists in a number of European cities via a 300-baud modem and an acoustic coupler. Tech support people have my sympathy! I’ve been in computer publishing since the late 1980s, starting with Reed Business Publishing’s Practical Computing, then joining Ziff Davis in 1991 to help launch PC Magazine UK as Production Editor. After a couple of years I switched to commissioning, editing and writing, becoming a Technical Editor and then First Looks Editor. When ZDNet came looking for a Reviews Editor in 2000, I was ready to make the move from print to online — just in time for the dot-com crash! It’s been a long road from punched cards to the cloud, but it’ll still be fun seeing where we go from here.

 

Publisher: Technology News, Analysis, Comments and Product Reviews for IT Professionals | ZDNet

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author(s), publisher(s) and forum participant(s) on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the @SmitaNairJain or official policies of the #SmitaNairJain

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SNJ: T-1892: “What Sephora Knows About Women in Tech That Silicon Valley Doesn’t” #SmitaNairJain

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/snj-t-1892-what-sephora-knows-women-tech-silicon-smita-1/

What Sephora Knows About Women in Tech That Silicon Valley Doesn’t

More than 60% of the retailer’s technology workers are female

SNJ: T-1891: “What Sephora Knows About Women in Tech That Silicon Valley Doesn’t” #SmitaNairJain
Sephora’s formula for women in tech includes urging them to take risks without fear of failure. (Photo Courtesy: JASON HENRY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

In a San Francisco office an hour’s drive from some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley, Sephora has managed a corporate feat that would make the leaders of Google Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. FB 0.67% envious: a majority of the cosmetics retailer’s technology workers—62%—are women.

At a time when technology companies are struggling mightily to attract and retain women with computing and engineering skills, the beauty retailer’s tech staffing is notable not only for the numbers but also for the relatively simple way it got there.

Women hold 23% of roles in the technical ranks at the top 75 Silicon Valley companies, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A report from the commission attributes the scarcity of women in those roles to inhospitable work cultures, isolation, a “firefighting” work style, long hours and a lack of advancement.

At Sephora, women make up the majority of its 350-person digital and engineering staff and hold all but one of the roles on its six-person digital executive leadership team. Women lead everything from digital marketing and customer experience in apps to back-end programming of the company’s e-commerce systems.

Though large tech companies employ several times as many engineers as Sephora, its share of female digital talent is worth noting. Managers say the retailer has managed to attract technical women by recruiting with an eye toward candidates’ potential rather than specific skills, encouraging hiring managers to take risks and ensuring that job performance is assessed fairly.

The key to Sephora’s success, says Mary Beth Laughton, the company’s senior vice president of digital, is a dedication to technology with a strong connection to the consumer. And, women at the company are encouraged to take risks without fear of failure, she adds.

While tech companies commonly urge workers to embrace failure, the message at Sephora is specifically tailored to help employees avoid common pitfalls that women encounter in tech careers, people at the company say.

Jenna Melendez worked in a number of digital roles at Sephora until she left the company last May. Before joining in 2012, she spent two years as a website merchandiser in Amazon’s Paris offices and observed few female colleagues. When she arrived at Sephora’s San Francisco headquarters, Ms. Melendez says, meetings were free-flowing and open. “Everyone spoke,” she says, “and felt comfortable offering opinions on anything from e-commerce to a shade of blush.”

How Does Your Work Life Stack Up?

How does your life at work compare with the experience of other men and women? Answer the following questions to find out.

SNJ: T-1891: “What Sephora Knows About Women in Tech That Silicon Valley Doesn’t” #SmitaNairJain

Note: The report does not include an ‘other’ category for gender.
WOMAN MAN

Ms. Melendez recalls one meeting about three years ago where she and other members of the digital-marketing team talked about spotting edgy fashion photos where models were using highlighter—a type of makeup that accentuates facial contours. In a matter of days, the team was working on a separate landing page for Sephora’s site to showcase the product.

“It’s easier to forecast what’s coming and what’s going to be needed because the line is so fine between you as an employee and you as a client,” says Ms. Melendez, now digital-marketing director at Aquis Inc., a San Francisco-based beauty company.

Terre Layton, an engineer by training, had worked in Silicon Valley for nearly two decades, for small startups and large companies such as HP Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc., before she joined Sephora in 2011. Recruited as a product manager to lead the retailer’s website redesign, Ms. Layton says she found being in the presence of so many women leaders empowering after years spent in male-dominated workplaces.

When it came time to brainstorm ideas, or even articulate concerns about a project’s direction, bosses made a point of asking team members for their opinions, she says.

“You knew you were being heard. You had a voice,” says Ms. Layton, who last worked for Sephora in 2015 and now advises early stage startups on product management and user experience.

Digital passage

Sephora’s owner, the French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, LVMUY 1.14%maintains a global workforce of 134,500 that is 74% female. Some 38% of key executive positions are filled by women, up from 26% in 2007. And LVMH has committed to a goal of having women in at least half of its key executive positions by 2020.

SNJ: T-1891: “What Sephora Knows About Women in Tech That Silicon Valley Doesn’t” #SmitaNairJain

Recruiters say those numbers, along with Sephora’s success—the company opened 100 stores in 2016 and recorded double-digit profit growth, according to LVMH filings—make it easy to attract talented women in tech.

Women are drawn to a company of “bright, intense and accomplished women,” says Asheley Linnenbach, an executive-search consultant who has helped the retailer fill a number of roles in recent years.

Ms. Linnenbach, who served as Sephora’s interim vice president of talent for six months in 2014, says the company makes a point of moving high-performing women into digital and tech roles that round out their skills and experience.

“They have that longer-range view of what would be better for the organization in terms of talent development,” Ms. Linnenbach says. “They are willing to put a person in a position where [the company is] willing to lose ground so this person gets exposure on the international side or experience with a P&L,” she says.

Industry Pipeline

Women’s share of total employment at each level, by industry

SNJ: T-1891: “What Sephora Knows About Women in Tech That Silicon Valley Doesn’t” #SmitaNairJain
Source: LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. Women in the Workplace 2017 study of 222 companies

A similar philosophy applies to staffing technology teams, where company recruiters encourage women to consider roles that might not fit precisely with their skills and experience.

“Even if a female candidate doesn’t have all the requirements for a technical job, we want that person to come in and show what they can do,” says Yvette Nichols, the company’s vice president of talent.

Sephora’s approach represents a departure from the way many large technology companies, especially those in Silicon Valley, handle recruitment, says Jane Hamner, a veteran recruiter with Harvey Nash Group PLC, whose clients include Amazon.com Inc.,Expedia Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.

“Most companies that we work with are looking at skills over all else,” she says. “They can be very picky about skill sets and go only for the top of the talent pool.”

Only in the past nine to 12 months, as the job market has tightened, have some companies begun to ease up on their skills requirements, Ms. Hamner says. “But they’re not doing it to expand gender diversity. It’s just more difficult to find talent.”

At Sephora, Nida Mitchell, 29, got her chance to grow into a new role when she was promoted from web developer to IT project manager after two years at the company. The new job put her in charge of 14 male engineers, most of whom were at least 10 years her senior. She encountered roadblocks on one of the team’s first big projects, updating Sephora’s computing infrastructure ahead of the chain’s expansion to Brazil.

“My first week, I had a one-on-one with my boss and said, ‘No one listens to me,’ ” Ms. Mitchell says. He advised her to get to know the team and show the men how she could help make them better at their jobs, she recalls. Things eventually turned around. She credits that manager for helping her grow more confident and comfortable, she says, “being the girl who’s telling everybody what to do.”

In August, Ms. Mitchell took a new role as a web producer at Workday, a human-resources services company.

By John Simons (Author)

John Simons is deputy bureau chief for management and careers at The Wall Street Journal. Prior to the Journal, he was business editor at International Business Times and technology and media at The Associated Press.

 

Simons was a staff writer at Fortune magazine from 2001 to 2009, where he covered science and technology-related industries. He wrote about a range of subjects for Fortune, including immigration reform and the insurance industry’s early embrace of climate change.

In 2000, he was a Markle Fellow at the New America Foundation, where he focused on technology policy and economic opportunity in the digital age.

Previously, Simons was an economic policy reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey with his wife and daughter.

Mr. Simons is a Wall Street Journal deputy bureau chief in New York. Email him at john.simons@wsj.com

Publisher: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

Disclaimer :The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors, publishers and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the @SmitaNairJain (https://www.smitanairjain.blog/) or official policies of the #SmitaNairJain (https://www.smitanairjain.org/).

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SNJ: T-1890: “23 Books Mark Zuckerberg Thinks Everyone Should Read” #SmitaNairJain

http://www.businessinsider.in/23-books-Mark-Zuckerberg-thinks-everyone-should-read/articleshow/51017162.cms

SNJ: T-1890: “23 Books Mark Zuckerberg Thinks Everyone Should Read” #SmitaNairJain

@SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his way through a thick stack of books in 2015.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a singular mission: to connect people around the world.

It’s one reason why he decided to launch a Facebook-based book club last year, with a reading list that focused on “different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies.”

Although the birth of his daughter Max kept him from hitting his goal of a book every two weeks, he ended the year with 23 selections in his “A Year of Books” reading group

We’ve put together a list of his picks and why he thinks everyone should read them.

‘The Muqaddimah’ by Ibn Khaldun

@SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History (Princeton Classics)” Paperback – Abridged, April 27, 2015
by Ibn Khaldûn (Author), N. J. Dawood (Editor), Franz Rosenthal (Translator), Bruce Lawrence (Introduction) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
“The Muqaddimah,” which translates to “The Introduction,” was written in 1377 by the Islamic historian Khaldun. It’s an attempt to strip away biases of historical records and find universal elements in the progression of humanity.
Khaldun’s revolutionary scientific approach to history established him as one of the fathers of modern sociology and historiography.

“While much of what was believed then is now disproven after 700 more years of progress, it’s still very interesting to see what was understood at this time and the overall worldview when it’s all considered together,” Zuckerberg writes.

‘The New Jim Crow’ by Michelle Alexander

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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” Paperback – January 16, 2012
by Michelle Alexander (Author), Cornel West (Introduction) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Alexander is a law professor at Ohio State University and a civil-rights advocate who argues in her book that the “war on drugs” has fostered a culture in which nonviolent black males are overrepresented in prison, and then are treated as second-class citizens once they are freed.
“I’ve been interested in learning about criminal justice reform for a while, and this book was highly recommended by several people I trust,” Zuckerberg writes.

‘Why Nations Fail’ by Daren Acemoglu and James Robinson

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Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty” Paperback – September 17, 2013
by Daron Acemoglu (Author), James Robinson (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
“Why Nations Fail” is an overview of 15 years of research by MIT economist Daren Acemoglu and Harvard political scientist James Robinson, and was first published in 2012.
The authors argue that “extractive governments” use controls to enforce the power of a select few, while “inclusive governments” create open markets that allow citizens to spend and invest money freely, and that economic growth does not always indicate the long-term health of a country.

Zuckerberg’s interest in philanthropy has grown alongside his wealth in recent years, and he writes that he chose this book to better understand the origins of global poverty.

‘The Rational Optimist’ by Matt Ridley

@SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (P.S.)” Paperback – June 7, 2011
by Matt Ridley (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
“The Rational Optimist,” first published in 2010, is the most popular and perhaps the most controversial of popular science writer Matt Ridley’s books.
In it, he argues that the concept of markets is the source of human progress, and that progress is accelerated when they are kept as free as possible. The resulting evolution of ideas will consistently allow humankind to improve its living conditions, despite the threats of climate change and overpopulation.

Zuckerberg says that he picked up this book because it posits the inverse theory of “Why Nations Fail,” which argues that social and political forces control economic forces. “I’m interested to see which idea resonates more after exploring both frameworks,” Zuckerberg writes.

‘Portfolios of the Poor’ by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven

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Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day” Paperback – December 19, 2010
by Daryl Collins (Author), Jonathan Morduch (Author), Stuart Rutherford (Author), Orlanda Ruthven (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Researchers Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven spent 10 years studying the financial lives of the lowest classes of Bangladesh, India, and South Africa.
A fundamental finding that they include in “Portfolios of the Poor” is that extreme poverty flourishes in areas not where people live dollar to dollar or where poor purchasing decisions are widespread, but instead arises where they lack access to financial institutions to store their money.

“It’s mind-blowing that almost half the world — almost 3 billion people — live on $2.50 a day or less. More than one billion people live on $1 a day or less,” Zuckerberg writes. “I hope reading this provides some insight into ways we can all work to support them better as well.”

‘World Order’ by Henry Kissinger

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World Order” Paperback – September 1, 2015
by Henry Kissinger (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
In former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s 2014 book “World Order,” the 91-year-old Kissinger analyzes the ways different parts of the world have understood the concept of empire and political power for centuries, and how the modern global economy has brought them together in often tense or violent ways.
“[It’s] about foreign relations and how we can build peaceful relationships throughout the world,” Zuckerberg writes. “This is important for creating the world we all want for our children, and that’s what I’m thinking about these days.”

‘The Varieties of Religious Experience’ by William James

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The Varieties Of Religious Experience: A Study In Human Nature” Paperback – November 9, 2009
by William James (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
William James (1849-1919) is “considered by many to be the most insightful and stimulating of American philosophers,” according to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy from the University of Tennessee.
“The Varieties of Religious Experience” is a collection of written lectures that explore the religious consciousness and the mechanics of how people use religion as a source of meaning, compelling them to move onward through life with energy and purpose.

“When I read ‘Sapiens,’ I found the chapter on the evolution of the role of religion in human life most interesting and something I wanted to go deeper on,” Zuckerberg writes.

‘Creativity, Inc.’ by Ed Catmull

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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” Hardcover – April 8, 2014
by Ed Catmull (Author), Amy Wallace (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
“Creativity, Inc.” is the story of Pixar, written by one of the computer-animation giant’s founders.
Catmull intersperses his narrative with valuable wisdom on management and entrepreneurialism, and argues that any company should consciously avoid hampering their employees’ natural creativity.
“I love reading first-hand accounts about how people build great companies like Pixar and nurture innovation and creativity,” Zuckerberg writes.

‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” Hardcover – February 10, 2015
by Yuval Noah Harari (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
First published in 2014, “Sapiens” is a critically acclaimed international best seller by Hebrew University of Jerusalem historian Harari. He uses his book to track the evolution of Homo sapiens from hunter-gatherers into self-empowered “gods” of the future.
“Following the Muqaddimah, which was a history from the perspective of an intellectual in the 1300s, ‘Sapiens’ is a contemporary exploration of many similar questions,” Zuckerberg writes.

‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ by Thomas S. Kuhn

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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition” 4th Edition
by Thomas S. Kuhn (Author), Ian Hacking (Introduction) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
If there was ever a philosophy book to read by a physicist, it’s probably “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”
Since its initial publication in 1962, this look at the evolution of science and the effect it has on the modern world has become “one of the most cited academic books of all time,” according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Zuckerberg thinks that being aware of how scientific breakthroughs are the catalysts for social progression can be a “force for social good.”

Kuhn’s book is best known for introducing the phrase “paradigm shift,” representing instances in scientific history when a perspective was fundamentally shifted, like when quantum physics replaced Newtonian mechanics.

‘Dealing with China’ by Henry M. Paulson Jr.

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Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower” Hardcover– April 14, 2015
by Henry M. Paulson (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Zuckerberg has been intensely fascinated with Chinese culture over the past several years. He’s been learning to speak Mandarin Chinese and has stated that one of his long-term goals is convincing the Chinese government to let its people use Facebook.
“Dealing with China” by the former US Treasury secretary explores China’s recent rise in global influence and how it affects the entire world.

“Over the last 35 years, China has experienced one of the greatest economic and social transformations in human history,” Zuckerberg writes. “Hundreds of millions of people have moved out of poverty. By many measures, China has done more to lift people out of poverty than the whole rest of the world combined.”

‘The Beginning of Infinity’ by David Deutsch

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“The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World” Reprint Edition by David Deutsch @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Zuckerberg’s final selection of the year was Oxford physicist David Deutsch’s “The Beginning of Infinity,” a sprawling look at the progress of humanity following the Scientific Revolution. It touches on everything from art to science, from politics to philosophy.
Deutsch concludes that human potential is infinite, perhaps the purest expression of the optimism regarding the fate of humanity that connects all of the selections in “A Year of Books.”

‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’ by Steven Pinker

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“The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” Paperback – September 25, 2012
by Steven Pinker (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Zuckerberg admits that this 800-page, data-rich book from a Harvard psychologist can seem intimidating.
But the writing is actually easy to get through, and he thinks that Pinker’s study of how violence has decreased over time despite being magnified by a 24-hour news cycle and social media is something that can offer a life-changing perspective.

It should be noted that Bill Gates also considers this one of the most important books he’s ever read.

‘Genome’ by Matt Ridley

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“Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters” 1 Reprint Edition by Matt Ridley (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Ridley is the only author to appear on Zuckerberg’s list twice.
His 1990 book “Genome” is an exploration of both the evolution of genes and the growing field of genetics.

“This book aims to tell a history of humanity from the perspective of genetics rather than sociology,” Zuckerberg writes. “This should complement the other broad histories I’ve read this year.”

‘The End of Power’ by Moisés Naím

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“The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be” Paperback – March 11, 2014 by Moises Naim (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Zuckerberg launched his book club with this lofty title from Naím, former executive director of the World Bank and senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
It’s a historical investigation of the shift of power from authoritative governments, militaries, and major corporations to individuals. This is clearly seen in what’s now become a Silicon Valley cliché: the disruptive startup.

“The trend towards giving people more power is one I believe in deeply,” Zuckerberg writes.

‘On Immunity’ by Eula Biss

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“On Immunity: An Inoculation” Hardcover – September 30, 2014 by Eula Biss (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Zuckerberg says that Biss’ investigation into the benefits of vaccination is necessary to read, considering the anti-vaccination movement in the US and parts of Europe.
“The science is completely clear: Vaccinations work and are important for the health of everyone in our community,” Zuckerberg writes, adding that this book was highly recommended to him by scientists and public-health workers.

“This book explores the reasons why some people question vaccines, and then logically explains why the doubts are unfounded and vaccines are in fact effective and safe,” he says.

‘The Idea Factory’ by Jon Gertner

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“The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation” Paperback – February 26, 2013 by Jon Gertner (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Fast Company editor Jon Gertner’s 2012 book “The Idea Factory” tells the history of Bell Labs from the 1920s through the 1980s, in which the invention of the transistor revolutionized the world of technology and the innovation-fostering management style that rules Silicon Valley was first developed.
Bell Labs’ research has won it the most Nobel Prizes of any laboratory in history, with seven in Physics and another in Chemistry.

Zuckerberg writes that he chose the book because he’s “very interested in what causes innovation — what kinds of people, questions, and environments.”

‘The Three-Body Problem’ by Liu Cixin

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“The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past)” Hardcover – November 11, 2014 by Cixin Liu (Author), Ken Liu (Translator) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
“The Three-Body Problem” was first published in China in 2008, and the English translation that came out last year won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel, an award for sci-fi book of the year.
It’s set during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, and kicks off when an alien race decides to invade Earth after the Chinese government covertly sends a signal into space. It’s notable because it’s been reported to be indicative of a cultural shift in China, where rapid modernization and progress have captured the public’s imagination.

Zuckerberg writes that it’s a fun break from some of the heavier material he’s been reading in his book club.

‘Gang Leader for a Day’ by Sudhir Venkatesh

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“Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets” Paperback – December 30, 2008 by Sudhir Venkatesh (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Venkatesh is a Columbia University sociology professor who, in a radical sociological experiment, embedded himself into a Chicago gang in the ’90s.
Zuckerberg says that Venkatesh’s story is an inspiring one of communication and understanding across economic and cultural barriers.

“The more we all have a voice to share our perspectives, the more empathy we have for each other and the more we respect each other’s rights,” Zuckerberg writes.

‘The Player of Games’ by Iain M. Banks

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“The Player of Games (Culture)” Paperback – March 26, 2008 by Iain M. Banks (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
“The Player of Games” was first published in 1988 and is the second in the “Culture” series. It explores what a civilization would look like if hyper-advanced technology were created to serve human needs and surpassed human capabilities.
Zuckerberg writes that he went with a sci-fi pick as a “change of pace.” The novel is also one of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s favorite books due to its entertaining way of exploring plausible advancements in technology.

‘Orwell’s Revenge’ by Peter Huber

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“Orwell’s Revenge. The 1984 Palimpsest Hardcover – November 15, 1994” by Peter Huber (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Huber, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, published this unofficial sequel to George Orwell’s “1984” in 1994, a time when internet and telecommunications technology was opening up new methods of communication. The novel imagines a world in which citizens use the technology that once enslaved them to liberate themselves.
“After seeing how history has actually played out, Huber’s fiction describes how tools like the internet benefit people and change society for the better,” Zuckerberg writes.

‘Energy: A Beginner’s Guide’ by Vaclav Smil

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“Energy: A Beginner’s Guide (Beginner’s Guides)” by Vaclav Smil (Author) @SmitaNairJain #SmitaNairJain Smita Nair Jain https://www.smitanairjain.org/
Originally published in 2006, “Energy” starts with a basic explanation of what energy is and then moves on to more complex subjects, including the quest to create mo