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Companies Which Became Successes Despite Almost Failing

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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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CES 2019: The Best Innovations Announced

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The Consumer Electronics Show (CES,) one of the largest tech shows held at Las Vegas every January, hosts over 180,000 people with ideas, innovations and new creations fit for a future world! With artificial intelligence (AI) playing the central theme at the show, different startups and tech establishments told us where technology is heading toward in the coming years. From self driving suitcases to flying taxis, here’s taking a look all the inventions which were on display at the CES this year!

1. Ovis Luggage

Developed by a Chinese company called Forward X Robotics, the idea behind Ovis Luggage is to help carry your luggage around without having to put in any physical effort. By using facial recognition and movement tracking algorithms, the bags come fully equipped with cameras which track the surroundings perfectly. To amp up the excitement level, the bags have also been designed to stick to their owners at the speed of 6 miles per hour and through the movement tracking algorithms, they can also avoid colliding into people beyond a certain radius! If by chance the bag does go missing, you can track the suitcase by using the inbuilt GPS system! Priced at $ 799, the bags are expected to go on sale within the next few months.

2. Lenovo Smart Clock

A little over a year after announcing their first invention together, Google and Lenovo came back with another cutting edge invention called the Lenovo Smart Clock. The AI enabled smart clock comes with touch sensors and is designed to map your schedule from sunrise to sunset. Starting half an hour before your alarm is scheduled to ring, the smart clock also functions as a Google smart speaker, which means the clock can send music and podcasts (among other things) to your phone through Chromecast. Priced at $ 80, the smart clock will go on sale this spring!

3. Obsbot Tail AI Camera

While the last major innovative improvement (when it came to cameras,) was in the form of the 360 degrees video, the CES summit saw a new breakthrough in this field. China based startup Obsbot built a camera which uses artificial intelligence in the best way possible. Called the Tail, not only can this camera take extremely smooth pictures and videos, it identifies subjects in the shoot and tracks them using AI. With the ability to switch without friction between different models, this camera is perfect for people looking at making videos without the requirement of someone operating the camera manually. Equipped with the ability to shoot up to 4K/60 fps videos and to support HDR 10, the Tail is going to be priced at $ 500 and will be available at Kickstarter.

4. Riding High

At a time when ride sharing cabs like Ola, Uber and Lyft are at the peak of their performance levels, it comes as no surprise, people are looking at creating new ways of sharing rides. A partner of Uber, Bell Helicopters, launched a brand new flying taxi called Nexus Air Taxi. AI empowered, the taxi will seat four passengers and a pilot and will have a range of 150 miles, with the highest speed being 150 mph. Expected to launch next year, the Nexus is looking at being available in major cities by mid 2020.

5. Magic Mirror

Looking at yourself in the mirror and checking yourself out can never be boring! Developed by Electric Mirror Inc., in Everett, Washington, the Savvy Smart Mirror is perhaps the most interesting development in this mix. Designed to resemble a massive touchscreen, the Savvy Smart Mirror is not only a looking glass, but also can be used to show weather reports, play music and connect to your social media accounts as well. Apart from the other features available, the Savvy Smart Mirror also lets you control and adjust the thermostat controls in your room. Initially designed for hotels, the mirror is also going to be designed for homes. Priced at a whopping $ 2,500, the mirror is expected to go on the market soon.

With so many exciting innovations being introduced, the year is definitely dedicated to innovation and creations. What invention are you looking forward to owning the most? Comment and let us know!

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How AI Is Influencing Digital Marketing

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The year 2018 saw new beginnings in a lot of areas, especially in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital marketing. Put the two together and the only thing one can expect from it is something truly phenomenal. Here’s looking at how AI is influencing digital marketing in 2019!

1. Specific targeting of audience

At the time and age we are in, it has become imperative to understand consumer behaviour and what drives people toward buying specific products. By integrating AI into these practices, understanding consumer preferences and what makes people buy certain products. Knowing how your customers react can help craft a marketing strategy which is specific to the brand and which helps in improving the kind of results expected. For example, e commerce giant Amazon uses AI powered recommendation engines which help in providing specific consumer research, which not only increases the kind of outreach there is with the brands, but also helps in engaging the audience and improving consumer behaviour.

2. Content curation and generation

With the help of artificial intelligence, one can now curate and create content which improves the way people connect with particular brands and products. By narrowing down the kind of interests your users have and by understanding their timelines to a certain point, artificial intelligence improves the amount of time people spend on your website as well. Furthermore, by using AI to understand the way the consumer works, AI helps in collecting, analyzing and providing data which is extremely user friendly. Tools like Wordsmith, Articolo and Quill are being used by existing websites like Forbes and Associated Press to create news which improves the number of clicks on their websites. By using specific templates and fill in the blank creatives, these websites are able to generate content which is immediate and appealing to the audience.

3. Email marketing

By using AI in almost every field of digital marketing, email marketing hasn’t been left too far behind either. By understanding the behaviour of existing clients, AI helps in improving relationships with them. Not just that, AI also helps in creating connections with prospective clients and improves the chances of turning them into new clients! Some of the email marketing tools which use AI are websites like Boomtrain, Phrasee and Persado! Incidentally, while there may have been chances of errors earlier, right now, by using AI in email marketing, all forms of error are reduced to a bare minimum.

4. Digital advertising

While digital advertising is the center of marketing, the field has been taken to an all new level with the growing presence of artificial intelligence. From analysing the way the consumer works and to understanding the way people think, by using AI powered Google AdWords, everything about digital advertising is changing for the good! Adext, an Audience Management As a Service, uses machine learning to automate the handlings of all the ads (essentially Google Ads and Facebook Ads) placed on your website and how many clicks and how much revenue can be generated from these ads.

5. Helps improve search rates

One of the major advantages of artificial intelligence in the field of digital advertising is that it improves the results based on the things one searches. Keeping this in mind, there are two major improvements in this field: voice search and a Google created algorithm, RankBrain! With devices like Echo Dot and Alexa being used on a regular basis, artificial intelligence has definitely changed the way people search for things as well! By specifically using Google Ads and Facebook Ads in places which generate the most revenue, the search results rates improve drastically, a move which increases the visibility of your brand.

2019 is improving by leaps and bounds, with artificial intelligence penetrating every field of life. If you think we missed out on any other advantages of artificial intelligence in digital marketing, comment and let us know!

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Wild Startup Ideas Which Are Now Successes

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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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