Advancements in technology have allowed entrepreneurs to experiment with radical new ideas that wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago. However, often these innovations end up disrupting established businesses that have operated the same way for years. The latest example of this phenomenon can be seen with the new wave of “ridesharing” companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. Although these startups have made a splash with young, tech-enabled consumers, taxi companies and local governments don’t share the same Continue reading

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Most state laws designate marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic that is illegal to possess, sell or consume, barring medical reasons in some states. But last year voters in Colorado and Washington elected to legalize the drug following years of lax medical cannabis legislation. While Washington lawmakers are spending a year drafting regulations for retail sale, Colorado’s legal dispensaries opened to customers aged 21 and over on January 1, 2014. Nevertheless, the Rocky Mountain State’s marijuana growers have a Continue reading

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Over the last few years, brick and mortar retailers have come up with some ingenious ways to gather data about the customers who walk into their stores. We’ve taken a look at some of them in past posts on this blog, including one story about “smart” mannequins that observe consumer patterns using cameras in the dummies’ eyes. Although that may skew a bit on the creepy side, it’s important to keep in mind that physical retailers are merely trying to Continue reading

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April 30, 2014

In our increasingly connected world, people are constantly generating new data about themselves. While social networks collect a record of one’s feelings, sensors that measure sleep patterns and Wi-Fi-enabled scales can keep track of vital statistics. To tech experts, all this seemingly vain information may actually lead to the next great innovation: predictive computing. Soon enough our gadgets will know us so well that they won’t just store our to-do lists, they might actually write the lists themselves.

Many smartphone Continue reading

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April 16, 2014

If there’s one snack Americans love, it’s chips and dip. But more than a few snackers would be turned off if they found a big bowl of hummus next to their tortilla chips. That’s because 80 million people in the U.S. have no idea the popular Mediterranean chickpea dip even exists. Over the last few years the food company Sabra has been trying to change that fact by making hummus more accessible to American palettes. After all, with only 26 Continue reading

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April 13, 2014

In the days before the Internet, consumers had two choices if they wanted more information about a product: either ask a friend or consult the item’s marketing. And since people in those days weren’t able to stay in constant communication with everyone they knew, most had to opt for the latter. Nowadays, though, consumers have no shortage of options available when they want to shop around. Studies commissioned by Google show that consumers consult an average of 10.4 sources before Continue reading

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March 19, 2014

For many years, the famous phrase “location, location, location” served as one of the most unfailing maxims in the business lexicon. But as the digital age has broken down borders and streamlined commerce, the importance of physical locations has diminished. In fact, some intrepid entrepreneurs have given up permanent addresses entirely in order to cut down costs and increase mobility.

The types of business best suited for going off the physical grid are tech companies, service providers, media firms and Continue reading

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March 11, 2014

 

When Kevin Hartford lost his consulting job in the mid-1990s, the knowledge and expertise he gained after years of hard work should have been enough to land him another job quickly. However, potential employers became hung up on one particular item not included on Hartford’s resume: his stutter. While his speech impediment had never been a problem at his previous job, Hartford says that it put off recruiters as he went on countless interviews. “I applied for job after Continue reading

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March 3, 2014

 

Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have allowed thousands to receive the capital they need to realize their entrepreneurial dreams. However, these sites tend to work out best for people whose ideas play to an Internet audience, such as artists or video game designers. That’s why U.S. lawmakers passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in 2012. The legislation is meant to make crowdfunding more accessible to small businesses that may not have much of a web presence. Continue reading

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February 16, 2014

In the highly competitive world of Silicon Valley startups, entrepreneurs need more than just a great idea if they want to become the next Google. Since new tech companies require huge amounts of cash to get off the ground, many startups spend as much time fundraising as they do developing products. Fortunately for today’s tech entrepreneurs, attracting a first round of investment may becoming easier for some. Increasingly eager angel investors as well as crowdfunding services have allowed the number Continue reading

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