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Archive for October, 2013

mickeys-brain-1How To Find Great Business Ideas From All Over The World by Julie Bort

YouTube/Mickey Hart

Do you want to start a company or come up with that genius idea for your current company?
Of course you do.

But if it was easy to come up with the Next Big Thing, we would all do it. So here’s a secret. There are two websites created by the same guy, Reinier Evers, that have some 17,000 thousand people worldwide scouring the world for the coolest, most creative business ideas and reporting on them for all to see and be inspired: Springwise and trendwatching.com.

For instance:

Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart is using a mind-reading EEG headset to create thought-controlled visuals and music for his Superorganism tour.
A smart scale and Kickstarter project called the Prep Pad is a chopping board and weighing scale that can determine the exact nutritional content of the meal being prepared, and tracking users’ eating habits.
Yahoo! Japan has created Hands On Search, a machine that allows users to search by voice and receive a result in 3D-printed form.
A new 3D printer called LumiFold is designed to be folded, so it can fit in a backpack.
A clothing designer Elizabeth Fraguada, founder of the Jorge & Esther studio, has created a collection of clothing that embeds LED lights into the fabric (like color or cuff) and these lights can change color via a smartphone app.
We recently caught up with Chris Kreinczes, managing director for the Springwise blog, to ask about the business of trend spotting.

Business Insider: Why have two sites that seem to do basically the same thing?

Chris Kreinczes: The companies are actually very different in what they do. Trendwatching.com focuses on trends, offering free monthly trend briefings and, as part of their Premium service, access to their Innovations Database, Industry Bulletins, Trend Reports and an Apply Toolkit.

Springwise differs in both its content and its delivery of that content. The site is designed as an online magazine for daily viewing, and we deliver free weekly and daily newsletters (170,000+ subscribers total). The content consists primarily of overviews of innovative startups (we feature three a day), and we offer an interview series with founders.

We also offer a service for professionals called Springwise Access, giving access to our database of over 4,000 innovative business ideas, a personalized homepage tailored to our clients interests, and bookmarking and folder sharing features.

BI: How many spotters/Trendwatchers do you have currently?

CK: There are now slightly over 15,000 Springspotters and 2,500 Happy Spotters (the trendwatching.com equivalent).

BI: Can anyone be a spotter/trendwatcher, or are these contract, trained, paid jobs?

CK: Anyone can sign up to be a Springspotter and they will be automatically accepted. To become a Happy Spotter, applicants must first meet certain criteria. Both sets of spotters can earn points for accepted spottings, redeemable in our gift galleries.

BI: In 2013, what would you say are the big tech trends that define the year so far?

CK: According to the trendwatching.com team, a tech trend we highlighted last December as being key for 2013 was “Mobile Moments,” how consumers would look to their mobile devices to maximize every single moment.

We’ve since seen an explosion of innovations that tap into micro pockets of time, from the boom in mini video sharing (including Vine and Instagram), to the high adoption of ephemeral messaging platforms such as SnapChat or Frankly.

Another trend that broke from the lab and into the consumer market was what we call “Emotive Tech,” technologies that read and respond to emotions. It is a strand of the larger trend of “Intuitive Interfaces” where devices are designed to be natural, and therefore more pleasant, to use.

An example of Emotive Tech would be the Japanese-developed Mico headset, a pair of headphones that measures the wearer’s brainwaves and selects music to fit their mood. Another is the recently funded Kickstarter project PIP, a stress detecting biosensor that helps users relax through gameplay.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/find-great-ideas-from-all-over-the-world-2013-9#ixzz2jJc4p9kA

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BOOK CLUB: Workin’ it in the workplace

October 30. 2013 1:42AM
By Teri Schlichenmeyer Weekender Corrspondent


‘Style Bible: What to Wear to Work’

Lauren A. Rothman

240 pages

$22.95

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This morning, you were stylin’.

You left for work, in fact, feeling like a million bucks in your favorite shirt, your most comfortable suit, and your lucky undies. Yessir, it would be a good day – and it might be even better if you didn’t have missing buttons, a stain on your suit, and undies that played peek-a-boo.

Nobody at work dresses like you do… for a reason. In the new book “Style Bible” by Lauren A. Rothman, you’ll learn how your workplace wardrobe may be holding your career hostage.

One of the first important decisions you faced this morning was made when you rifled through your closet and got dressed. But what do the clothes you wear to work say about you? Do they tell the world you’re put-together or slapped-together? Professional or probationary? Well-regarded or well-worn?

That’s important to know, since first impressions are “formed in less than five seconds,” says Rothman. That’s about how long it takes for “an eye roll,” which is not desirable when you’re trying to impress a prospective employer or client. The good news is, you can look great at any stage of your career without busting the budget.

To begin, identify your personal style. That’s the “most challenging” thing, says Rothman, but understanding is necessary so you know where to start. Also, know the dress code for your workplace, which may vary from industry to industry.

For the professional woman, there are seven “basics” you’ll need to have, whether you purchase them or shop your closet: “the third piece,” suits, pants, skirts, tops, dresses, and coats. Look for a good fit, some trendiness without faddishness, a good length and good coverage, and accessories that “make” the outfit.

Basics for men are a little easier: shirts, pants, suiting, and outerwear, including sweaters. Don’t be afraid to go with a little color here, advises Rothman. Do be aware of wearing the wrong item in any of these categories. And if you have a closet full of pleated pants, “run home and throw them out.”

Know office-fashion dos and don’ts. Watch how you accessorize. Don’t forget skin care and hygiene. Use a full-length mirror before you leave the house. Watch for “skin belts,” peek-a-boo underwear, and cleavage. And remember: “just because it zips doesn’t mean it fits.”

When I first picked up “Style Bible,” I figured it was just for college grads and workplace newbies. Otherwise, who doesn’t understand how to dress for success?

Then I started to think of all the Style Dont’s I know, and that made me a new convert to this book. Indeed, author Lauren A. Rothman makes it pretty simple to get your style on without making too many errors. She offers advice from the POV of an expert, but she keeps it light without beating readers over the head with mandates.

This book may not be the cure-all that some professionals could need, but it’s a great start. If you’re stymied by style or have no real feel for fashion, “Style Bible” will suit you just fine.

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One Year Ago Today, Tim Cook Made His Biggest Move As Apple CEO, And Truly Started The Post-Steve Jobs Era

tim cook scott forstall apple

REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Tim Cook on stage with Scott Forstall (on the right).

A year ago today, Apple fired Scott Forstall, the SVP of iOS software. iOS is the software that powers the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Together, those products make up 70% of the company’s revenue

Firing Forstall was the biggest decision Tim Cook made as CEO. It set a new direction for Apple, and truly started the post-Steve Jobs era. 

Ousting Forstall had to be a tough decision for Cook. Forstall created the iPhone’s software. On the patent for how the iPhone works, Forstall is the second name after Steve Jobs

Forstall was considered a mini-Steve Jobs. He was also dubbed the “CEO-in-waiting.” He was smart, hard-working, and abrasive. However, unlike Jobs’ abrasive personality which managed to win people over and command loyalty, Forstall’s abrasive personality was a turn-off to Apple’s top executives.

That is reportedly why Apple forced Forstall out of the company. 

jony ive apple

AP

Jony Ive, the new leader at Apple.

Jony Ive, the hardware designer who makes Apple’s industry defining device designs, reportedly couldn’t stand to be in the same room as Forstall. Bob Mansfield, who led Apple’s hardware engineering also disliked Forstall.Cook had a choice: Keep Forstall, who ran the most important business at Apple, and alienate Ive, and Mansfield. Or fire Forstall, and keep those guys happy.

Luckily for him, Forstall made the choice simple. Forstall led the development of Siri, and Apple Maps. Both were big flops, and embarrassments for Apple. Cook issued a public apology for Maps, and asked Forstall to sign his name to it. Forstall refused, and Cook decided enough was enough. He forced Forstall out.

At least, that’s the story that leaked in the press. It’s possible Cook was thinking about firing Forstall sooner.

We don’t know the full story because Forstall has disappeared. He hasn’t made a single peep as far as we can tell. At various points through the year, we’ve tried to ask around to see what he’s doing, but we’ve heard zip.

This is in contrast to Steven Sinofsky, who was at Microsoft. Sinofsky, much like Forstall, was considered the CEO-in-waiting at Microsoft. He led Windows, and was said to have a demanding, abrasive personality. He too was forced out of Microsoft.

Steven Sinofsky

AP

Steven Sinofsky

Unlike Forstall, who went silent, Sinofsky was commenting on blogs, writing his own long blog posts, working at Harvard, and eventually turned up at venture firm Andreessen Horowitz.Forstall, meanwhile, is nowhere to be found. It’s still early in the day, but thus far we haven’t even seen another story marking the occasion. Forstall has been forgotten.

Which is strange, because the day after he was booted, we noted he was the most valuable free agent in tech. Samsung, Microsoft, Google, and many other companies would love to have Forstall, with his expertise in mobile software.

He’s clearly bound by a contractual agreement to sit still. This too is surprising, though. How much money could Apple pay him to shut up? Is it worth being gagged for years? Especially when you consider what Apple has done to his work.

Since Forstall left, Apple has wiped out much of his legacy. The basics of how the iPhone works remain intact. However, the look and feel of the iPhone’s software are totally different.

Ive was promoted when Forstall was fired. Ive changed everything about how iOS looks. He “flattened” it. He took away the life-like animations, and life-like illustrations. He made things simple, less glitzy.

When Apple introduced its new software in June, it even took little potshots at Forstall’s design.

craig federighi calendar

Business Insider

Federighi on stage making fun of Apple’s old design.

On stage, Craig Federighi, who also got a promotion when Forstall was kicked out, introduced a redesigned Game Center saying, “We ran out of felt and wood.” The old version of Game Center had a felt and wood design on it. The new version was flat, with no textures.It was weird to see Apple making fun of… well, Apple. Federighi wasn’t just insulting Forstall’s design taste, but also the design taste of Steve Jobs, who reportedly loved digital textures that looked like real-life design. 

iOS6 vs. iOS7 Game Center

Screenshot

How Game Center changed. The Forstall/Jobs-approved version is on the left.

I’m not going to pretend to know Jobs’s taste — no one could, that’s what made Steve Jobs Steve Jobs — but I can certainly make a guess, and my guess is that he would not have supported this direction,” Apple authority John Gruber recently wrote, “Apple authority John Gruber recently wrote, “This is neither damning nor praising iOS 7. But I do think it’s a tangible sign that Tim Cook means it when he says that Jobs’s advice to him was never to ask ‘What would Steve have done?’ but instead to simply ask ‘What is best for Apple?’ and judge for himself.”This design change is the first truly post-Jobs product Apple released. 

By removing Forstall, Cook set the path for the company in the years to come. Ive will be the creative genius, the visionary that guides Apple. The company will be more collaborative, and less tied to one person as it was under Jobs. 

So far, the results look good. iOS 7 has some problems, but overall, it’s a solid product. It didn’t suffer from the glaring problems that plagued Siri and Maps. 

For now, firing Forstall, the biggest decision Cook made as CEO, seems to be the right one. 

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Bidding Process – Procedures for the Sale of Bell and Howell Patents

Further to Gerbsman Partners e-mail of September 30, 2013 regarding the sale of certain Patents of Bell and Howell, I have outlined below the Bidding Process for interested buyers.  I have also attached detailed Patent information.

The Bidding Process for Interested Buyers

Interested and qualified parties shall perform their own due diligence regarding the Bell and Howell Patents number 924 and 315 and shall be deemed to acknowledge and represent (i) that it is bound by the bidding procedures described herein;  (ii) that it is not relying upon any written or oral statements, representations, or warranties of Gerbsman Partners, or their respective staff, agents, or attorneys; and (iii) all such information documents and reports have been provided solely for the convenience of the interested party, and Gerbsman Partners (and their respective staff, agents, or attorneys) do not make any representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the same.

Interested parties will be invited to participate with a sealed bid, for the acquisition of one or both of the Bell and Howell Patents. Each sealed bid must be submitted so that it is received by Gerbsman Partners no later than Wednesday, November 12, 2013 at 3:00pm Eastern Time (the “Bid Deadline”) at Bell and Howell’s office, located at 3791 S. Alston Avenue, Durham, NC 27713-1803, attn Blake Eaddy, Esq..  Please also email steve@gerbsmanpartners.com with any bid.

Bids should identify one or both of the Patents  being offered by Bell and Howell.

Any person or other entity making a bid must be prepared to provide independent confirmation that they possess the financial resources to complete the purchase.  All bids must be accompanied by a refundable deposit in the amount of $200,000 (payable to Bell and Howell.).  Wiring instructions will be in a follow up email.  The winning bidder will be notified within 3 business days of the Bid Deadline. The deposit will be held in trust by Bell and Howell.  Unsuccessful bidders will have their deposit returned to them within 3 business days of notification that they are an unsuccessful bidder.

Bell and Howell. reserves the right to, in its sole discretion, accept or reject any bid, or withdraw any or all the Patnets from sale.  Interested parties should understand that it is expected that the highest and best bid submitted will be chosen as the winning bidder and bidders may not have the opportunity to improve their bids after submission.

Bell and Howell will require the successful bidder to close within a 7 day period. Any or all of the assets of the Bell and Howell Patents. will be sold based on a negotiated agreement.

All sales, transfer, and recording taxes, stamp taxes, or similar taxes, if any, relating to the sale of the Bell and Howell Patents shall be the sole responsibility of the successful bidder and shall be paid to Bell and Howell. at the closing of each transaction.

For additional information, please see below and/or contact:

Steven R. Gerbsman
steve@gerbsmanpartners.com

Kenneth Hardesty
ken@gerbsmanpartners.com

Delivering information in a preferred medium
Historically communications between businesses and customers have been “paper-based”, and delivered through one of the major postal carriers.  However, advances in web and mobile technologies and changes in consumer behaviors have pushed business to plan for multi-channel communication strategies where information can be delivered how and where each user wants.

These trends and changes will only accelerate – and consumers are now in the driver’s seat for defining the next technology and communication wave.   So companies who have information to share – whether it be a monthly bill, a quarterly statement, a notification regarding an account change, a marketing promotion, a location-based coupon, a real-time message about weather or travel changes – need to be thinking about how they are tracking individual preferences and managing data for delivery across these various channels.

The technology disclosed in the 6,157,924 and 6,701,315 patents present a preferred approach for addressing this critical business and technology issue.  The patents define how the message recipient can specify a preferred delivery medium for their communication delivery, which can include but are not limited to web, FAX, E-mail, printed document and mail, and any other current or future technology advancement, and how information can be sent.
If your business is managing information today or in the future across one or more channels, this patent may be of interest and great value.

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San Francisco, October, 2013
Successful “Date Certain M&A” of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider of digital marketing suites company, its Assets and Intellectual Property.
Steven R. Gerbsman, Principal of Gerbsman Partners, Kenneth Hardesty and James Skelton, members of Gerbsman Partners Board of Intellectual Capital, announced today their success in maximizing stakeholder value for a venture capital backed, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider of digital marketing suites company, its Assets and Intellectual Property.

Gerbsman Partners provided Crisis Management and Investment Banking leadership, facilitated the sale of the business unit’s assets and its associated Intellectual Property. Due to market conditions, the board of directors made the strategic decision to maximize the value of the business unit and Intellectual Property. Gerbsman Partners provided leadership to the company with:

1.  Crisis Management and technology/digital marketing domain expertise in developing the strategic action plans for maximizing value of the business unit, Intellectual Property and assets;
2.  Proven domain expertise in maximizing the value of the business unit and Intellectual Property through a Gerbsman Partners targeted and proprietary “Date Certain M&A Process”;
3.  The ability to “Manage the Process” among potential Acquirers, Lawyers, Creditors Management, Advisors and the Receiver;
4.  Communicate with the Board of Directors, senior management, senior lender, creditors, vendors and all stakeholders in interest.
About Gerbsman Partners

Gerbsman Partners focuses on maximizing enterprise value for stakeholders and shareholders in under-performing, under-capitalized and under-valued companies and their Intellectual Property. Since 2001, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in maximizing value for 79 Technology, Life Science, Medical Device, Solar and Digital Marketing companies and their Intellectual Property and has restructured/terminated over $810 million of real estate executory contracts and equipment lease/sub-debt obligations. Since inception in 1980, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in over $2.3 billion of financings, restructurings and M&A transactions.

Gerbsman Partners has offices and strategic alliances in San Francisco, Boston, New York, Washington, DC, McLean, VA, Europe and Israel.

GERBSMAN PARTNERS
Phone: +1.415.456.0628, Cell: +1 415 505 4991
Email: steve@gerbsmanpartners.com
Web: www.gerbsmanpartners.com
BLOG of Intellectual Capital: blog.gerbsmanpartners.com

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DC Stylist Lauren Rothman’s ‘Style Bible’ Fashion Advice Book Hits the Shelves Tomorrow

When it comes to fashion advice in Washington, you go to Styleauteur Lauren Rothman, the District’s top fashion stylist. She’s advised everyone from C-suite executives and attorneys to political candidates, from motivational speakers to the Redskins. Tomorrow, her book Style Bible hits the shelves, a guide for the masses on how to dress for success in the workplace. We spoke with Rothman to get her take on what it takes to be a stylist in this city.

Rothman is of Cuban descent and grew up in Florida. I was surprised to hear that her native tongue is Spanish, as she speaks perfect English and regularly makes public appearances on local and national television. She writes the political style Fashion Whip column for the Huffington Post, and of course, there’s her book: Style Bible.

Over the weekend, she hosted a book signing in Queens, N.Y., where she sold 100 books in 45 minutes. This Saturday, October 19, grab a book and meet her at the Barnes & Noble at Tysons Corner Mall.

After high school, Rothman headed north to Colby College, a small liberal arts school that was big on khaki pants and button-downs. “I was edgier than my classmates. I would dress up for parties, while my friends wore the same stuff out as they did to class.” This was a turning point for Rothman, as she realized she had a unique eye for fashion that others didn’t have. She took up internships at MTV Networks and the fashion closet at Elle Magazine (think the big Runway closet in Devil Wears Prada, without the devil).

At Elle Magazine, Rothman quickly grasped fashion trends and what was hot. What she wanted to learn was why. “I took jobs at trend forecasting firms like Faith Popcorn.” Her  work under Popcorn, a futurist and trend forecaster, was the big learning opportunity she needed to take her expertise to the next level.

Rothman’s advice to D.C. stylists? Get out of D.C. “Get hands-on experience in another city. I came to D.C. as a stylist from New York after getting valuable experience,” she said.

She also had a few remarks on the types of clients she gets in Washington, where the people she styles are not the glamorous types that first come to mind. “A good stylist can dress any body type on any budget. A size zero is easy, but a size 26 is more challenging, and I am not usually working with Hollywood budgets,” Rothman said. She stressed that Washington stylists must be willing to put in hours and do a lot of work to appeal to a wide variety of clients.

She likes to mix high-end with everyday pieces in her looks, for example, a pair of Louboutin heels with an outfit from Zara. Some of her favorite brands to wear are Black Halo, Rachel Zoe, Diane Von Furstenberg, Chanel and Gucci.

“I tend to ask clients: what is your messaging? How to you want to be perceived?” she said. “It’s not just about clothes. It’s personal.”  Like Lauren on FACEBOOK

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ANALYST: Apple Will Launch A Cheaper iMac Next Year

Alyson Shontell

imac-6.png

Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, believes Apple will release a cheaper iMac in 2014, Apple Insider’s Neil Hughes reports.
Apple set its latest iMac price too high and lowering the cost will help drive shipments abroad, Kuo said in a note released Saturday. The cheapest iMac out now costs $1,299.

In addition, Kuo believes Apple will launch its third iPad mini next year. The second-generation iPad mini hasn’t launched yet, but it’s expected to be announced on Oct. 22.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/analyst-apple-will-launch-a-cheaper-imac-next-year-2013-10#ixzz2hd4SIQvH

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