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Instagram: The True Founding Story

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Instagram, the photo sharing app created by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom from Stanford University, spins the tale of success capitalized the right way. Launched way back in the year 2010, Instagram today boasts of 700 million registered users, with more than 400 million people visiting the site on a regular basis. Out of the 700 million users, around 17 million are from the United Kingdom alone!

When the two founders started talking about their idea, they quickly realised they had one goal in mind: to make the largest mobile photo sharing app. However, before Instagram, the two had worked together on a similar platform called Burbn. For Instagram to work, Krieger and Systrom decided to strip Burbn down to the bare necessities. Burbn was quite similar to Instagram and had features which allowed users to add filters to their pictures.

The pair looked at how users in Burbn’s beta gravitated toward photo sharing and then studied every single popular app in the photograph category. Mike and Kevin scrapped Burbn completely and decided to create a brand new platform. Very soon, they realised the photo sharing app had gotten a little saturated. During the multiple stages of development and modifications, a precursor to Instagram called Scotch was made. However, Scotch tanked because it didn’t have many filters, was slow and riddled with a few too many bugs.

With their UX skills, Krieger and Systrom refined Instagram to require as few actions as possible. Unlike the original version of Path, Instagram didn’t force users to add tags about people or places to their photos. A photo could be posted in as few as three clicks. Mirroring Twitter, they made Instagram public by default. After months and months of testing, Instagram was officially launched on 6 October, 2010.

Launched at just the right time, Instagram had 25,000 users on its very first day! For late 2010, with fewer I Phones in the market, that was quite a big number. Krieger and Systrom were not only minimalist in their approach to the app, but to the market as well. New financing gave Systrom and Krieger the opportunity to hire more people, but the founders kept the company very lean with barely a dozen employees. By March 2012, the app’s user base extended to more than 27 million.

Once Instagram was released for Android phones, the app was downloaded more than one million times a day. Interestingly, the online social media platform was all set to receive an investment of $ 500 million. Furthermore, Systrom and Zuckerberg were in talks for a Facebook poised takeover. In April 2012, Facebook made an offer to purchase Instagram for about $ 1 billion in cash and stock, with the key provision that the company would remain independently managed. Shortly thereafter and just prior to its initial public offering, Facebook acquired the company for the whopping sum of $ 1 billion in cash and stock.

After the Facebook acquisition, the Instagram founders have done little to change the user phase, sticking to the simplicity of the app. The astounding rise of Instagram’s popularity proves that people believe in real connections rather than those based on only words.

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Rupert Murdoch Unknown Facts

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Rupert Murdoch is an Australian born businessman and the founder of News Corp, who turned media into a lucrative business empire.  With holdings in The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins, Fox News and 20th Century Fox, Murdoch is one of the richest people in the world.  Here are some unknown facts about the media mogul who is considered the inventor of the modern tabloid.

 

Unknown facts about Rupert Murdoch

1. As an ambitious 7 year old, Rupert Murdoch would hunt water rats for their skin and manure, which he would then sell for sixpence in his town.  He would use his earnings to gamble in school.

 

2. Murdoch was an excellent cricket player and led his school’s cricket team to National junior finals.

 

3. His journalism career began with the Adelaide News, which he took over after the death of his father at the age of 22. Rupert Murdoch transformed the failing business into a successful newspaper.

 

4. He once counter bid for a New Zealand local newspaper, The Dominion, at the spur of the moment during a vacation and ended up winning the bid.

 

5. He was once declared dead by his own newspaper, The Sun, after digital vigilante groups Anonymous and LulzSec hacked into the newspaper website and published an article, claiming Murdoch died because of drug overdose.

 

6. He has appeared in two episodes of the hit series The Simpsons and his entrance line was “I’m Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire tyrant, and this is my skybox.

7. Murdoch has a bad intuition towards social media, which was proven when Myspace, which Murdoch bought for $ 580 million, had to be sold due to its poor performance.  He also passed a chance to buy Twitter and warned investors against investing in it. 

 

8. He was awarded a papal honour award, Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great, by John Paul II in January 1998.

 

9. He once launched world’s first iPad only daily newspaper app, named The Daily.  Murdoch invested $ 30 million in building the app. The app eventually shut down as the company started losing money after the launch.

 

10. He was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame in 2014 for launching Fox Broadcasting Company and changing the television landscape with shows like The Simpsons and The X-Files

With a career spanning almost 6 decades, Rupert Murdoch saw many failures and controversies, but overcame them all and is now worth $ 21.9 billion.

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Women Scientists Turned Entrepreneurs

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There are hundreds of innovations and discoveries born in the field of science and engineering every year in universities around the world.  However, only a few of them are able to make it into commercial ventures. Today, we will be looking into women who turned their groundbreaking research into successful businesses.

 

1) Nina Tandon

Nina Tandon is a biomedical engineer and co founded the company Epibone.  The main aim of the Company is to develop technology to develop bone reconstruction solution through stem cells.  The Company creates bone tissues from a patient’s stem cells and grows them in vitro for use in bone grafts. Tandon serves as the CEO of Epibone and is also an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at the Cooper Union in New York.  Tandon was named a TED Fellow in 2011 and a senior TED Fellow in 2012.  In 2013, she received an award at the Marie Claire’s Women on Top Awards.

 

2) Anuradha Acharya

Anuradha Acharya is the founder and CEO of Mapmygenome, a company which focuses on preventive healthcare options through genome sequencing.  She also founded another company called Ocimum Biosolutions, a genomics outsourcing company for discovery, development and diagnostics. In 2015, Mapmygenome made news for raising funds worth $ 1.1 million from a group of investors.  Acharya was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award by the magazine Biospectrum in 2008.  Her name was included in the 2018 W-power trailblazers by Forbes.

 

3) Sinead O’Sullivan

An aerospace engineer, Sinead O’Sullivan specialises in space technology and is currently  the CEO of Avioptix, a company which captures, stores and analyzes real time data from satellites, drones and ground robotics.  Her Company created the first ever platform to crowdsource drone data. Avioptix tailors their insights to the needs of their clients, supporting agriculture, oil and gas, insurance and NGOs.

4) Rana el Kaliouby

Rana el Kaliouby is a computer scientist and the co founder and CEO of Affectivia.  Affectivia is an emotion measurement technology company which develops software to recognize human emotions based on facial expressions and physiological responses.  As a research scientist at MIT, her initial focus was on ways to improve human-computer interaction, but she quickly realised the possibility of using the technology to improve human to human interaction, especially for those affected by autism.  She was inducted into the Women in Engineering Hall of Fame and was mentioned in Forbes America’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018.

These women serve as perfect examples and inspiration for women working in the STEM field to grow their research into a business empire.  If we missed mentioning any such women scientists who turned into entrepreneurs, comment and let us know.

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Panasonic Founding Story – Journey of Konosuke Matsushita

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From starting his journey with an electric light bulb idea to creating a multinational electronics corporation, the rags to riches story of Konosuke Matsushita is truly inspirational.  Known as the “God of Management,” the founder of Panasonic was involved in many other business ventures, which, together, gave him a net worth of $ 3 billion.

 

Matsushita had humble beginnings.  Being born to a gambling father, Konosuke Matsushita started working at the age of 9 to support his family.  Eventually, he started working for the Osaka Electric Light Company, where he climbed the ladder of success very quickly, without any prior school education.  This is the company where he came up with the design of an improved light socket, which was far superior than the bulbs available at the time. After getting rejected by an unenthusiastic boss, Matsushita took it upon himself to sell the light bulbs and started his own company.

 

At the age of 23, in 1918, he founded the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company and began making light bulbs in his garage, with the support of his wife and 3 assistants.  The business was unsuccessful in the early years, but the sales picked up with time. By 1922, his Company, which now had a new factory and 50 employees, started introducing new products every single month, which were far superior than the competitors’.  Matsushita’s business strategy was to launch products which were lower in price by 30 % and better in quality by 30 %. 

The battery powered bicycle lamp is considered one of Matsushita’s  best inventions. Candles and oil lamps were used as bicycle lamps in the 1920s and only lasted a few hours.  With a keen eye to identify markets with non serviceable goods, Matsushita quickly realised, developing efficient bicycle lamps would be profitable for the Company.  He created oval shaped lamps, which had light bulbs for illumination and ran on battery. 

 

In 1930, when the Company’s sales dropped, Matsushita truly proved his leadership and  management skills. He cut the production in half without laying off any employees. He said, “We’ll halve production not by laying off workers, but having them work only half days. We will continue to pay the same wages they are getting now, but there will be no holidays. All employees should do their best to sell inventory.”  According to Panasonic, this strategy worked and the company survived.

 

In 1935, the Company, bearing in mind its various businesses, was incorporated as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.  The Company suffered greatly during World War II as Japan lost the War, but was saved due to Matsushita’s amazing skills as a leader.  In the post War era, the Company came out with devices like washing machines, rice cookers, air conditioners and the product for which Panasonic is most famous—monochrome televisions (TVs.)  The Company also started expanding globally during the 1950s and introduced its first colored TV set in 1960.

 

After Konosuke Matsushita retired in 1961, his son in law, Masaharu Matsushita, became the president of the Company.  Post Konosuke Matsushita’s retirement, the Company was faced with the 1970s oil crisis, but managed to overcome it and only continued to expand its business.  Konosuke Matsushita passed away in 1989, but his legacy continues even today.

 

The 101 year old Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., which changed its name to Panasonic Corporation in 2008, is now one of the top electronics companies in the world. 

 

Panasonic now has over 272,000 employees and at the completion of its 100th year (2018,) it reported an annual revenue of $ 72.32 billion.  The Company has been climbing the ladder of success continuously. This was all made possible because of Konosuke Matsushita’s determination to succeed and excellent management skills.

 

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