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Apps That Are Making An Impact On The World

Smruthi Kishore

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From ordering food to booking rooms to getting travel plans organised, technology has evolved with every new app to help make the world a better place. For every small thing one does in life, there is an app that exists to make that task all the more easier. One of the positive sides of this is that now, apart from just the social angle of things, there are apps which help make the world a better place. Here are our pick of apps that not only contribute to the social betterment of the world, but help make an impact as well.

1. GlobalGiving

At its very essence, GlobalGiving is an organisation that helps in the growth of those foundations which are at the grassroot level. From raising money for building wells in Nigeria and to helping raise money for earthquake victims in Nepal, GlobalGiving works as the perfect facilitator. People who sign up on the site get connected to the cause they want to support and give money to, with regular updates on further donations as and when required. Since the time of its inception in 2002, this organisation raised almost $ 200 million from people around the world. Supporting close to 13,000 causes across the world, GlobalGiving helped improve the conditions of people all over the world.

2. LeftoverSwap 

Leftover food is always an issue and when you do not know what to do with the excess food, it more often than not goes to waste. To prevent wastage like this and to harness the power of smartphones to good, the LeftoverSwap app was created. Using the swipe and connect principle, LeftoverSwap lets people take pictures of leftover food and share it on their app. Once that is done, volunteers who are already registered on the app collect the food and give it to either individuals who need the food or to charities who work with the poor and hungry groups of people in the world.

3. One Today 

While donating to organizations is well and good, finding a legitimate cause can be quite tricky. One Today came to be as an attempt to resolve this issue and to remove middlemen from the picture altogether. Once you register on the website, One Today matches users to charities based on the users’ interests. Once you register and match with the charity of your choice, the app lets you donate $ 1 a day to these causes. Further, the app also allows users to increase the donations made by their friends, in an attempt to make a larger impact.

4. MindMate 

At a time when dementia is an increasingly common disease, MindMate comes as a blessing in disguise. With over 350,000 regular users, this app helps people stay connected to their memory with regular exercises. With interactive games created using the latest scientific research in the fields of dementia and mental health, MindMate helps improve one’s memory. What makes this app so much more interesting is it also offers a wide range of information on how to stay active, fit and healthy by giving users information on regular health and exercise.

5. Tree Planet  

What if you could lend a hand in increasing the number of trees by playing a game on your phone? Tree Planet, an app that does just that, recognised the growing addiction people have when it comes to their phones and helped plant over 500,000 trees in a period of four years. In the latest version of the game, every time the users save a tree from dying, Tree Planet plants a sapling/tree. Converting virtual trees into real trees, Tree Planet is making the world a cleaner and greener place, one game at a time!

Websites and apps like these have been specifically designed to make the world one cause and one issue at a time. If you think there are other apps like these that we missed mentioning, comment and let us know!

 

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Wild Startup Ideas Which Are Now Successes

Smruthi Kishore

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What are the most crazy startup ideas which turned into successes? First asked on Quora and now turned into a global phenomenon, this question sparked a lot of interesting discussions on this topic. While a lot of ideas seem ridiculous in the beginning, they turned into massive successes later on because of the hard work the founders put into making their dreams come true. Here’s taking a look at ideas that seemed impossible to even be true and how they are one of the biggest success stories of today.

1. Quora

Founded by Alex D’ Angelo and Charlie Cheever, former Facebook employees, Quora took off from where Yahoo answers stopped growing. When something like this already existed, not many thought Quora would become a success. Founded in 2009, the website took off immediately and became so successful, it had 500,000 registered users by 2011. Now, 7 years later, Quora has a valuation of 900 million dollars and is one of the most successful startups in the world! Who would have thought piggy backing off an existing startup would quite literally squash the old one, right?

2. Facebook 

When Mark Zuckerberg created a social media platform in his bedroom during a dull day at Harvard, little did he know he was sitting on an idea that would become the first ever trillion dollar company. While there were other social media networks already present (MySpace) what made Facebook stand apart from its competition was that Zuckerberg and his friends gave the world a service they did not think they needed. Furthermore, another unique selling point for Facebook was it was through invite only and this created an exclusive factor for the excited users. Now, so many years later, Facebook became the first company to enter the trillion dollar valuation.

3. Vitality Air 

Fresh clean air is a luxury not many can afford, right? Apparently, Vitality Air, a startup of Canadian origin, thought the same. The founders (Moses and Troy) of this very bizarre startup realised a lot of people did not have access to clean, fresh air and the best way to counter this need was by bottling up the air they had in excess. Launched in the year 2014, Vitality Air grew so quickly, it shipped over 4,000 bottles to China in a week!

4. Holy Ink 

How many times have you looked at your printer  and realised you couldn’t use it because you ran out of ink? Father Bernard McCoy had the same difficulty and when he found out he ran out of ink, he decided the only solution to the problem was to start his own ink refilling business. Taking this idea forward, the eight brothers of Cistercian Abbey in Monroe put aside their singing for a while and got down to good old labour. From earning only $ 2000 as revenue in 2002, the brothers of this enterprising business ended up earning a whopping $ 2.5 million by the year 2005.

5. “I Do, Now I Don’t” 

Every time you watch a man in the West buying a diamond ring for his fiance, you think, oh, this is so cute. Ever thought of what happens to the ring when the engagement is broken? Josh Opperman, the founder of I Do, Now I Don’t, was in the same predicament. His fiance of three months broke up with him and left behind a very expensive wedding ring. Instead of fretting about the problem of not being able to sell the ring, Josh Opperman came up with the idea of a website meant just for this purpose. Essentially, Josh created website based on selling rings and other jewellery with the same formula Craigslist uses! You know where to go when the jewelers refuse to give you a good price for your ring.

6. AirBnb 

The idea for AirBnB came about when one of its founders realised couchsurfing could turn into a very lucrative business. What initially started off as a model where the owners rented out their homes to people, now has a valuation standing at $ 1.3 billion. When the idea initially came to be, a lot of investors were extremely skeptical and refused to invest in this idea. However, the founders believed in it so much that they started selling their own brands of cereal and breakfast foods to raise money! Based on political figures (Obama O’s, Cap’n McCain and Breakfast of Change,) and branded as limited edition products, these breakfast foods sold like crazy and within two months, they sold 800 cereal boxes, valued at $ 40 each. Earning a grand total exceeding $ 30,000, AirBnB hit the ground running and is now a revolution!

Ideas make the world turn and when you believe in something, you have to make it happen. If you think we missed out on any other really cool ideas, comment and let us know!

 

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Companies Which Became Successes Despite Almost Failing

Smruthi Kishore

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A major chunk of the companies who are successful today have faced their fair share of breakdowns and failures, giving the world the impression they may not recover from the blow. However, with all the effort the CEOs put into bringing these companies back on track, it is noteworthy to see the way these companies have turned out. Here’s a list of companies which bounced back from almost ceasing to exist to becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world.

1. Apple (Steve Jobs) 

Probably one of the most successful stories of a startup bouncing back from destruction, Apple had a tough time coming back from the dead. When Apple hired Steve Jobs back as the interim CEO, he turned out to be the man who made the impossible possible. Steve Jobs realised one of the major things going against Apple was they were not thinking of doing something great with the company and were just stuck in the production phase for a long time. The moment he got back as the CEO, the first thing Jobs did was reduce the number of projects from 350 to 50 and then, to 10. A move that made him instantly famous with Apple’s Board of Directors, Jobs joined back as a full time CEO in 1997. Post this, he launched a series of new inventions like the iPod, the first ever iMac, iTunes and the iPhone! Increasing Apple’s stock by more than 9,000 %, Jobs was instrumental in bringing back Apple from near destruction. Today, Apple stands at a valuation of a trillion dollars. Unfortunately, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer and breathed his last in 2011, before he could see Apple become the revolution it is today.

2.Hewlett Packard (Mark Hurd)

When Mark Hurd took over for Carly Forina as the CEO of HP in 2005, he realised the company was in bad shape. At the time, HP had more people on their roster than they knew what to do. Further, this was also the point where HP was recovering from the extremely infamous Compaq acquisition of 2002. Hurd’s first move at ensuring the stability of HP was by decentralizing the staff and increasing the emphasis on field training, improving efficiency and increasing customer support. This move proved to be extremely favorable and from the years 2006 to 2009, HP’s profits increased to $ 80 billion, with the value of the shares doubling from its rate at the point. On a side note, despite ensuring the success of HP, Hurd was forced to step down as the CEO in 2010 post several allegations of sexual harassment.

3. Yahoo! (Terry Semel)

With companies plummeting into sure fire destruction, Yahoo! was one of the websites which suffered the most during the dot com bubble burst. Despite launching to a stupendous fan base before the burst, the mail platform just could not take off the right way. Terry Semel joined the board of Yahoo! as a CEO in the year 2001, with a wealth of experience as the Chairman of Warner Bros. When Semel came on board as the CEO, the company morale was at an all time low and the previous year had ended with a loss of $ 93 million. Semel realised one of the ways to bring back the company was by shifting focus. He changed Yahoo’s business plan and made it a platform which distributed news and user based content through channels like Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance and Flickr. Within a year of Semel becoming Yahoo’s CEO, not only was there a massive turn around with an eradication of all the losses, Yahoo! recorded an impressive profit of $ 43 million. With a successful reign of 6 years, Semel stepped down as the CEO in 2007.

4.McDonald’s (James. R Cantalupo)

When James Cantalupo retired as the CEO of McDonald’s in the year 2001, the company realised they needed him far more than they thought. A short year after Cantalupo stepped down as CEO, stocks started plummeting, with customers across the world complaining about McDonald’s unhealthy menu. When Cantalupo joined back as the CEO in 2002, the first thing he did was to introduce a low on carbs menu in select countries. With a focus on consumers who wanted to eat healthier, the menu changed completely and the results of Cantalupo’s efforts were clearly showing. Within a year, the profits increased massively and in the year 2003, McDonald’s recorded a whopping profit of $ 327.4 million, almost a $ 100 million more than the previous year. Unfortunately, before Cantalupo could use his Midas’s touch for good, the highly effective CEO passed away in 2004 as a result of a massive heart attack.

5. Dan Hesse (Sprint)

Dan Hesse came on board as the CEO of Sprint in 2007, a period when the company was majorly free falling into destruction. It didn’t take long for Hesse to realise that the biggest problem Sprint was facing was the fact that consumers thought the prices were extremely high. One of Hesse’s first moves as the CEO was to introduce the Simply Everything plan, a strategy which redefined the way Sprint functioned. However, unlike other turnarounds, it took Hesse quite a while to restructure the profits of this particular company. It wasn’t till 2010, after a series of takeovers by Sprint and the introduction of new plans, that the company saw its first profit. By the year 2012, Sprint had recorded a massive profit of $ 35.3 billion, as opposed to the previous year’s profits of $ 33.7 billion. Hesse still continues to serve as the CEO of the company.

These CEOS have turned the world around and given their contemporaries a new milestone to achieve. Who’s your favourite CEO? Comment and let us know.

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LinkedIn Random And Unknown Facts

Smruthi Kishore

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LinkedIn, founded in the year 2002 and launched in 2003, has grown from being a place where you can just upload your resumes online to the largest professional networking platform! With more than 500 million users all over the world to having an extremely active presence in over 200 countries, LinkedIn has progressively grown through the years. Despite being acquired by Microsoft, LinkedIn has still managed to stick to its root, with a strong focus on its future. While this particular company keeps growing and reaching new heights, here’s taking a look at some fun and interesting facts about LinkedIn!

1. U.S. professionals have a large presence on LinkedIn

Out of the 500 million plus users on LinkedIn, it is interesting to note that one third of the population (approximately 146 million) are from the United States. With a large user base coming from a place with a massive population, it is extremely interesting to see how the U.S. constitutes for such a massive population base. Incidentally, 41% of the millionaires in the U.S. also have a very active LinkedIn profile.

2. 80% of LinkedIn users want to be or are mentors 

When you are trying to launch yourself into the professional world, LinkedIn always has your back. Through the Career Advice Feature, mentors and mentees are connected to each other, giving users the chance to either give advice or take advice from people who made it big in life. On the other hand, if one really wants to mentor and train people, one just has to produce and monitor content with the aim of connecting to a growing audience!

3. The more skills you have, the higher chances of being recruited 

Skills are important, everybody knows this. However, it is important to add a large list of facts about yourself so recruiters know what you have to offer. For a higher chance of being recruited, make sure you follow the golden rule of having more than five skills on your profile.

4. The most searched words 

There are certain words recruiters search for when looking for relevant profiles on LinkedIn. These words help you get noticed and put you on the map for people who are looking at hiring motivated thinkers. When you’re writing your about section, make sure to include the following words:

  • Specialize
  • Experienced
  • Skilled
  • Passionate
  • Expert
  • Motivated
  • Creative
  • Strategic
  • Focused.

Words like these help in putting your profile on the top of the search list, giving you the much needed edge over other users!

5. The most looked for skills 

While LinkedIn does have a vast pool of jobs available, there are certain jobs which are searched for more than others. Here is a list of jobs which people look for on a regular basis.

  • Cloud and Distributed Computing
  • Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
  • Middleware and Integration Software
  • Web Architecture and Development Framework
  • User Interface Design
  • Software Revision Control Systems
  • Data Presentation
  • SEO/SEM Marketing
  • Mobile Development
  • Network and Information Security

If you’re an expert in any of these fields, you can most definitely find a job on LinkedIn!

Despite LinkedIn being such a massively and regularly used platform, not a lot of people know most of these things about this particular networking site. If you think we missed out on any other facts about this network connector, comment and let us know!

 

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