It’s one for the history books this week, with the breaking news of Google’s restructuring of its corporate name and image. We’ve also included some smart advice for those startups who are ‘accelerator bound,’ and a wake-up call for the self-employed (who need to give serious thought as to how they will live comfortably in retirement).
This Monday, news flashed across the globe, announcing Alphabet as the new umbrella holding company – with Google now one of several separate divisions in a long list of new ventures being undertaken by entrepreneurs Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Some say, the reorganisation is to make sure the Google name is not adversely affected by other failed attempts (such as self-driving cars, drones and the Google+ social network). Others say it’s about time that Larry and Sergey drew some lines in the sand between their alternative niches and web techno-giant Google.
The Google unit will continue to handle related technology infrastructure such as YouTube, maps, ads, and such.
Well, just when you thought it was safe…a mere 24 hours after Google’s earth-shaking news hit the wires, the BMW service division’s site, alphabet.com, lit up. And then, it broke down from the onslaught (and it is still not back online as this goes to press). The twitter handle @alphabet was also owned, by a private party, and we can well imagine the thousands of tweets they’ve received as well.
Pretty unbelievable that the ‘ruler of the world wide web’ neglected to complete a simple search to see if anyone else was already using the domain ‘alphabet.com.’ Elementary, my dear Watson – everyone knows (don’t they?) that the first rule in Internet 101 is: the first thing you do when forming a company is to lock down the domain name. And yet, Google now finds itself in the position of having to use the domain abc.xyz instead – obviously not in line with their culture of simplicity.
Behnal Green Ventures shares some great advice on maximizing your accelerator experience. Their company is geared toward startups who ‘want to change the world using technology.’ Part of the new ‘tech for good’ movement, Behnal invests in companies that they feel have sustainable innovations which can build solutions to social and environmental problems.
With accelerators and incubators being all the rage, we thought it would be helpful to share their insider information with you. And, as for insight into what gives you better results, Behnal apparently knows whereof they speak. Their current group, in an intensive 3-month programme, consists of ten startup teams – seemingly a full plate for any firm to mentor and jump start.
A few of their subject matter points (we’ve added our own afterthoughts as well):
- Come into the office – this would appear to be a no-brainer, yet people in technology are fond of working from home. So, it’s great advice. Rubbing elbow with others gives you contacts and shareable experiences.
- Don’t be distracted by the small stuff – sometimes it’s a good thing say your problem out loud, let it sink in and cook awhile, instead of trying to force an instant solution.
- Divide and conquer – split up the tasks amongst the team members; everyone doesn’t need to know everything at all times (that’s what staff meetings are for).
This money advice site (set up by the government) offers tools and calculators as well as online and phone support. You may not know that the full basic State Pension is currently set at £115.95 a week. To get the full amount you need 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits (more if you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2010).
“On its own, the basic State Pension is unlikely to provide you with anything like your current standard of living.” The post includes helpful information on how to save enough to support yourself in retirement, and when to delay taking money from your pension pot. Retirement age – formerly 65 years – has been phased out, and many seniors are working well past what they once may have considered their golden age.
The mistake many Sole Traders make is not setting up appropriate retirement plans. With life expectancy in the UK due to rise to 80’s by 2030, and State Pension age between 61 and 68, this leaves quite a discrepancy between the savings (or lack thereof) that employees or sole traders may have put aside – versus what they will need to live comfortably.