Category: Random

disrupt: dis·rupt
verb 
1. interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem.

By definition, disrupting is going to upset some people who are committed to protecting the status quo. It’s one of the reasons it is such a popular term in the start-up culture. Those who don’t understand it or have never done it will never understand that it is more than a word, it’s the lifestyle of a founder / entrepreneur.  The spirit of an entrepreneur can’t be taught in a class and it’s a joke for those people who believe it can.  Ironically those who attempt to teach it, have never done it, only read about others great achievements.  The great thing is, it’s not about how many books you read or how many years experience you have, most of the greatest ideas of our generation came from students with no experience, a great vision and unwavering passion to make a difference.  Go ahead, change the world and upset a few people who are trying to hold you back along the way.  There’s room for everybody who wants to make a positive change.

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” 
– Steve Jobs

The Blank Stare
When I speak to corporate audiences, I encounter few professionals who understand cloud computing inside and out. They’re called information technology (IT) employees, and at the average company, they only represent a microcosm of the workforce. As for the remaining departments who sit in the meeting, it is fairly typical for me to be met with their blank stares when I delve into topics that address the business they work for shifting its data over to the cloud. Inevitably, someone near the back will timidly raise her hand after a few minutes and ask the question that is on the minds of 80% of the people in the room: “So…what is cloud computing, exactly?”

“I’m glad you asked,” is my standard response before I begin explaining – and, really, I am. For too long, companies have left employees in the dark about where their data goes. That is not helpful to anyone, for a number of reasons. More on those in a moment. For now, let’s just answer the question by addressing what the cloud is.

What is the Cloud?
First, let’s define what it isn’t. For the purposes of computing, the cloud is not a physical place in the sky – nor is cloud computing a singular method or service. Instead, cloud computing is a set of computing concepts, and the cloud is the informal expression we use to describe them. What are those concepts? I call them the “3 I’s of the Cloud.” Every company that is on the cloud receives services based on these three “I” concepts:

Interconnectivity – Many computers (a cloud’s “network”) are connected via the Internet. A cloud host, which is a third party cloud services provider with its own servers, manages the computers belonging to its network members from a remote data center. This data center is what facilitates cloud-based services, such as the offsite backup of data. For companies that use the cloud, backing up data offsite (away from their location) eliminates the worry of losing important company data in the event of a system failure, power outage or weather disaster.

If you have ever heard a television or radio advertisement for a cloud services provider, you know that the #1 selling point these providers emphasize is their ability to offer companies disaster recovery solutions. That isn’t mere hype; disaster recovery is a valuable service that the cloud makes possible.

In any event, the interconnectivity of the network is what keeps cloud services providers on their toes, maintaining the uptime of the network and allowing services like disaster recovery to happen. Because a cloud hosting service provider will work hard to make sure his network doesn’t go down, the interconnectivity of the cloud should be viewed as one of its strongest assets.

Infrastructure – In order to maintain a manageable IT budget, members of the host’s network rely on the cloud to provide the IT infrastructure for their respective companies. Rather than breaking the bank building an onsite data center, those companies can rely on the cloud for the raw computing capacity needed to create, store and share data internally.

On average, the cost of depending on a cloud services provider for infrastructure is 74% less than the cost of developing the infrastructure and operations force in-house.(1) That is one clear cost comparison that makes the cloud worth exploring.

Intangibles – In a word, software. The cloud can be used to deliver one or more software applications for companies to effectively manage their workforces: email, calendars, data and document sharing, spreadsheets, etc. Nearly any IT service a company needs to manage itself can be delivered in the cloud. When a cloud host provides these software-based intangibles, that is defined as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Cloud computing is all about delivering business offerings as a service; software is just one of three.

You can store your important documents in physical storage hardware or you can opt for online file storage. Online storage is quite popular due to the many benefits it has over other forms of storage. One of the reasons why online file storage is superior to other storage forms is because there is unlimited storage. Unlike other physical storage options which have a limit on the amount of files that can be stored in them, online storage is unlimited. You can store an infinite amount of information without worrying about running out of space after a while.

Another benefit of online file storage is that it is backed up on a remote device. When you store your files in a physical hard drive, if anything happens to it, then you lose all the documents. For example, if it is formatted by mistake or destroyed by fire, water or other physical factors, then you lose everything. However, with online storage, you have your files stored in back up devices. This means there is no risk of losing any of the important information you have stored. This makes online storage an excellent option for storing important files that you cannot afford to lose.

Cloud file service integrates easily with existing systems so that you can easily access your stored files. This means that you can access the files right from your computer whenever you need to use them. They have ease of access as well so you can access them from anywhere. So whether you are on your desktop computer, working on your laptop or on the move with your mobile phone, you can still access your important documents. Cloud file service providers ensure that you get free on boarding and technical support that you have access to for life.

The cloud file service also has an administrative console to ensure that only authorized persons have access to the files. This offers you an unparalleled level of privacy and security. In addition, you can always store your sensitive documents using cloud service since they are encrypted. The encryption used is high level to ensure that no one else can gain access to or read your private documents. Therefore, cloud file sharing is a useful tool for communication with your contacts without worrying about eavesdroppers. There is a clean dashboard interface which makes it easy to use even if you are not a computer expert.

Cloud file sharing is also superior since there is no downtime when you cannot access your files. The unmatched uptime offers you constant access to your important documents whenever you need them. In addition, you do not need any on-site hardware so you save a lot of money that you would have spent procuring this. It is essential that you get cloud file sharing serving from experts who give you value for your money. They should also have all the attractive features that have been mentioned above so that you can benefit from using the cloud system for your operations.

Originally posted on drive2go blog – How is Online File Storage Superior to other Options? 

As you embark on choosing Orange County computer support services, it is advisable to consider different vendors. This will assist you in making the best choice for your business. The most effective way of identifying the most suitable Orange County computer support for your business is by interviewing each provider individually. Note the use of the “most suitable” instead of the “best.” This is because businesses have different needs and what might constitute the best services for one company may not be relevant to another. The following are some things to consider when reviewing IT support companies to help you achieve your business objectives.

First, you need to inquire about the business hours of the IT support services that you are considering. It is imperative that you know what hours the IT support will be available to your business. While majority of computer support companies offer 24-hours a day services, their main offices may keep specific hours. This can be important information because you need to be confident that your business activities will not grind to a halt if a big problem occurs in your network. Some computer network support providers may troubleshoot your problems at any hour, but only provide maintenance and updates during given times. Obtain all this information upfront.

An important question that you should ask the computer technician representing the IT support service is, “How do we get support?” It is wise to ask the computer networking support provider about communication. Ask the computer technician how you will be getting in touch with the Managed Service Provider (MSP) he is representing. Do they have a single point of contact and will you be assigned a case manager? Also, inquire about the means of communication – Skype, email, phone, etc. Find out what hours your contact will be available. Having someone who works for the provider on your side can be a lifeline when things go awry.

Find out from what the Irvine computer support provider gives the highest priority to when hiring staff – customer service or technical knowledge. The response can tell you a lot about the potential vendor. However, you need to decide before hand what the acceptable answer may be i.e. which one of the two options is most important for your business. Note that there is no wrong answer. Excellent computer networking support includes technical support as well as soft skills.

In addition to that, you need to inquire about the process for adding new services. Majority of businesses plan to grow in the subsequent years and they need business IT services to grow with them. Discuss with the prospective providers how they plan on implementing additional IT support products and the parameters they use to warrant expansion of the IT department. Business IT services have become an integral part of modern businesses as IT systems are the platform on which majority of business activities rest. It is, therefore, important to factor them into your business’ short and long term strategies in order to ensure success.

 

Originally posted on d2 Business Solutions Blog – Procuring Computer Support Services

When it comes to launching a startup, where does the seed stage money go? It goes into funding resources: office space, programmers, developers, engineers, designers, and business plan writers. The trend that is emerging, which has worked for numerous successful startups, is for entrepreneurs to skip seed stage VCs and tap into collectives instead. A collective is a pool of resource providers that invests in startups – but instead of investing capital, they invest their services and the other resources they have access to.

seedhatcherySo instead of giving an entrepreneurial startup founder $100,000, the collective gives him office space. The programmer in the group writes code for him, and the designer helps with the layout. Another member works alongside the entrepreneur to write the business plan that will be presented to the multi-million dollar VCs in the growth (Series A) round. Everyone in the collective has something to contribute, somewhere.

Ultimately, the resources provided by the collective are used to create a minimum viable product (MVP) to present to the growth investors. In exchange, the collective owns a small percentage of the company; it collects that equity when the business turns a profit, or when the founder sells. For the collective, it’s a fairly low risk investment: If the company fails, each member only loses whatever time was devoted to providing resources. For the startup, it’s a win-win; there are fewer costly decisions to be made in the initial stages, because all the necessary services were provided at no cost.

There will always be a demand for cash, but let’s be honest: Cash is only a means to an end. What every startup really needs is resources. Collectives such as Cogent Collective can provide those resources that will impact a new business: services, space, software. If your startup is in need of resources, reach out to them.

Article originally written for BizHack.IT Investing More than Cash: The New Demand for Resources 

According to some experts, the traditional VC model is broken. In fact, it has gone the way of Palm Pilots and dial up. If that is true, then how are startups supposed to…well, start up? The answer is in the “sharing economy,” with models such as AirBnB, Lyft, Surf Air and BlackJet leading the way. These companies, which make money by helping consumers share their tangible assets with other consumers for profit, have the right idea. Thanks to the convenience of our digitized world, they create efficiencies from portable assets. How does that apply to raising capital? Because of another aspect of the sharing economy, crowdfunding.

CrowdfundingWhat is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding, wherein individuals each contribute small amounts of funding to a project in return for a tangible or non-tangible benefit, is an aspect of the sharing economy that has the potential to significantly diminish the need for small business loans. For that matter, it stands to wipe out the demand for VCs. Crowdfunding has many permutations, as it can be used in nearly any project that requires vast resources: movie production, scientific research, invention development.

How Crowdfunding Applies to Startups

Tech startups can benefit from crowdfunding as well. There are plenty of ways a new mobile app, video game or web-based service can compensate its crowdfunders. If film producers can give a producer’s credit to all the crowdfunders that send them a few hundred dollars, why can’t a tech startup do the same?

Thanks to the effectiveness of crowdfunding, the traditional venture capital model may be on its way to being replaced. According to well-known VC expert Fred Wilson, more VCs are waking up to the fact that they will have few assets to work with in the future. At one forum recently, Wilson was asked a question commonly attributed to Paypal’s Peter Thiel: “What do you believe that very few people agree with you about?” His answer was this: “In the venture capital market, there ultimately won’t be a need for VCs to ever have funds.” Huh?

Here’s one explanation. Today, VCs raise money from Limited Partners (LPs), who trust the VCs to invest in companies that will grow over the next 3-10 years and deliver a good ROI. Because their money is not their own, VCs may eventually become obsolete as LPs begin to take a more active role in identifying opportunities.

The Shift is Beginning

Although Wilson admitted the transition will happen years down the road, he believes this is already starting to happen for early-stage investing. “Expect to see more and more ‘out-there’ experiments,” he said, when it comes to the seed round for new startups. Crowdfunding is one of the tamer models of experimentation, but as more startups see its value (providing user validation is just one example), more experimental funding methods are bound to start sprouting up.

Established VCs have little to worry about now, but as any former Palm Pilot user will tell you: Things can change very quickly. That’s why we believe those with smart money need to smarten up about the traditional VC model, and look to crowdfunding as a new way to make ideas happen.

Article originally written for BizHack.IT blog Is the VC Model Broken? Smart Money Needs to Smarten Up 

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.
Jim Rohn

The first university in the US was opened in 1636, which means we haven't changed or updated how we measure employees worth in 377 years.

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Presence is a curious thing.
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What do bikini clad girls, explosives and cloud file sharing security have in common? Hint: 2 drive2go commercials coming very soon… 😉


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Updated August 2016 - Matt Dubois