By Sandy Carter
Once upon a time, Silicon Valley was the only place in the world where entrepreneurship seemed to happen through spontaneous combustion. So cities and countries all over tried to copy it–with only modest success.
Well, something strange is happening in the early years of the 21st century. Startup fever is on the move, both within the United States and globally.
The spirit of global entrepreneurship will be on display Feb. 6 in San Francisco, where the IBM SmartCamp program will present its fourth annual Entrepreneur of the Year award. The contestants, boiled down from 1200 applicants, qualified for the finals via a series of regional contests last year. They hail from Brazil, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Australia and Malaysia—as well as a couple of unlikely spots in the United States, Camden, N.J., and Fresno, Calif.
By Haydn Masters
Rugby is a tough, physically demanding sport. In one game each player makes 20-40 high-impact tackles. Typically one in four players is injured during the season. That is twenty-five percent of the NSW Waratahs thirty-five player squad not available to play. Last season players missed a total of 73 games.
As Athletic Development Coach, it’s my mission to protect and get the most from the club’s most vital assets – our players. It also is my job to improve their athletic performance, increase injury resilience, ensure we field the best team each game – giving the club the best chance at victory. With the 2014 Australian Rugby season fast approaching, what are we doing to manage this risk to the our business? Continue Reading »
By Wendy Lung
If you ask people what they see as challenges in the venture capital environment in Africa, you will hear a few common themes: the lack of seed and early stage capital, the need for mentoring and knowledge transfer, the need for greater global networking, and the lack of exit opportunities.
While these genuine challenges exist, there is much to be excited about in the growth of venture in Africa and how VCs are addressing these challenges.
I had the chance to catch up with Mbwana Alliy when he was visiting San Francisco last month. Mbwana is the Managing Director of Savannah Fund, a seed capital fund specializing in early stage high growth technology startups in sub-Saharan Africa. Based in Nairobi, Savannah Fund has a unique model of combining venture capital with mentor networks both in the region and from Silicon Valley via an accelerator program. Continue Reading »
By Steve Hamm
Back in 1999, when Mike McCue and Angus Davis left Internet pioneer Netscape Communications to start their own company, they adopted a simple motto: Only consider ideas that are big enough to make your head hurt. Ultimately, they founded TellMe Networks with the goal of making the Internet available to people everywhere via voice interactions. It was a precursor of Siri. They later sold the company to Microsoft.
A number of the suggestions we received in response to our What Should We Do With Watson? contest followed the same directive. They’re big, they’re bold, and some of them make your head hurt. For example, this comment from Hemant Shah, an M.D. and medical informatics researcher at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit: “Watson should be deployed to answer: ‘What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?” he wrote, quoting from the science fiction classic, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “I’m being funny, but I’m also serious. You have to take on the big challenges,” he says. Continue Reading »
By Eric Lesser
You might think that the key to selling popcorn at a movie theater concession stand is adeptness at operating the cash register. And since the vast majority of concession stand workers are high school and college students, you might think that high employee turnover would be part of the normal cost of doing business.
More on this in a bit, but beliefs such as these highlight the difference between managing talent and employee engagement through intuition versus analytics.
A soon-to-be-released IBM study based on interviews with 342 chief human resource officers (CHROs) across six continents finds that many businesses are not taking full advantage of the insights delivered by workforce analytics. As a result, companies are missing out on an opportunity to manage talent and enhance customer value. Continue Reading »
By Glen Thomas
If you are lucky enough to attend the Australian Open in Melbourne – or simply are enjoying the tennis tournament from the comfort of your armchair – you can’t fail to be impressed by the rich, engaging experience the international Grand Slam provides for fans.
As marketers, we know that creating an engaging customer experience isn’t always easy. That’s why we’re embracing analytics, cloud computing and mobile technologies to help tap into Big Data and drive new experiences for customers. However, more than 80 per cent[i] of CMOs feel underprepared for Big Data – a figure that has actually increased by 11 percent in two years. Continue Reading »
By Sander Dolder and Devin McIntire
During a recent World Environment Center roundtable in New York City, it became clear that modern challenges including urbanization, climate change and economic woes are forcing the public and private sectors to revamp their thinking about infrastructure.
Opportunities abound for successful and sustainable infrastructure projects. For example, designing an enduring vision, establishing an effective communication plan, and embracing data that will measure real value, are all things that can influence behavior and drive better decision making. But to do it right, businesses of all sizes must consider three key issues: resiliency, behavior and Big Data.
Resiliency is the ability for a system to recover, adapt, and grow in the face of unforeseen changes. Companies can use the concept of resilience to help grow or transform their business, including things like where to locate, where to source materials, or what energy systems to invest in that would optimize their adaptability to climate change. Continue Reading »
By Erich Clementi
When Thomas J. Watson Sr. renamed a small New York manufacturing firm International Business Machines in 1924, it was both a reflection of his outsized ambitions and a projection of his belief that business would go global in the 20th century. He was right on both counts. Since then, IBM has led the way in enabling companies to become multinational organizations even while it has emerged as a globally integrated enterprise–with more than 430,000 employees doing business in 170 countries.
Today, IBM is taking steps to lead yet another wave of change in business and technology—one that promises to transform organizations, business models and the way work is done. We’re taking cloud computing global. Continue Reading »