Welcome back to another Linkibuzz post.
We’ve got some big stories from around the world this week. The biggest story of all is the Panama Papers leak and what it reveals about companies and super-rich individuals seeking to avoid paying tax.
We’ve also got an interesting story about how AI could be used to improve and boost marketing and sales automation. This is one of those innovations in technology that could signal a big change in the industry so make sure you read that post.
Startups need funding to survive, this we all know. However, did you know that there are many Startups that receive major funding and still fail? One of our stories this week cover’s five Startups that received funding yet still failed, which you’ll see below.
Lastly, we’ve got some motivation and inspiration for you in the form of two engineers who built a hardware company in their spare time giving you a step by step blueprint to do the same.
So sit back, relax and enjoy this week’s post!
We’ve got an interesting story here about Artificial Intelligence and Startups.
We know that with more advancements in technology and innovation that AI will play a bigger role in business and society in general. We only need to look at the kinds of things that are now available that have replaced humans or are replacing the way things currently are.
Look at manufacturing, which replaced human components with automation and robotization to streamline factories and increase production.
Now it seems as if marketing and sales are in the firing line. The news comes as a Startup called MetaMind has been acquired by a sales company called Salesforce. Salesforce is now trying to get ahead before the great rush comes in by acquiring MetaMind and using the AI technology the company has created to improve their own marketing and sales.
The idea Salesforce has in mind is to use MetaMind’s technology to improve their customer support and automate various marketing and business processes. It will be interesting to see if it works but we think that AI being used in marketing and sales is a sign of things to come.
The conventional wisdom in Startups is that if you get funding you’ll succeed. However, this isn’t always true. In fact, research by CB Insights covered 92 Startups that raised over $100 million but still failed. Five of those 92 Startups are mentioned in this story being Quirky, Rdio, Webvan, Boo.com, and Aereo.
Despite receiving funding, these large Startups all failed and there are some important lessons for current Startup founders to take from these failed companies. For example, Quirky failed due to excessive expenses and profits just wouldn’t match expenses required to run the business.
Then we’ve got Rdio, which was killed by competitors. Rdio was a music streaming service but they failed to match the innovation of competitors like Spotify, which quickly killed the company even after it received $117.5 million from investors.
Each of the failed companies in this story can teach you a thing or two building and managing your own Startup.
This one is a bit of an inspirational story that should get the juices of every Startup founder flowing, or just anyone thinking of starting their own company.
What makes this so great is that the two guys who started their own company were so smart about how they approached it. For example, they bootstrapped everything in the beginning and went lean so they could test the market and see if the demand was there. Once they saw the demand was there, they increased their efforts and started growing their company.
They even lay out a step by step blueprint you can use for creating your own hardware Startup, in fact, any Startup. As usual, the first step always starts with research first and then it transitions into the building phase, testing, and refining. This same simple step by step blueprint can be applied to any type of Startup regardless of industry.
They should be thought of as timeless steps for building a successful company. This is a must read for a bit of motivation and inspiration.
Unless you’ve been hiding away in your basement in the last week or so, you would have heard about the Panama Papers, the name given to an external hack of a law firm that holds money for overseas investors, businesses, and individuals.
11.5 million documents were downloaded and examined, all showing that there has been a concerted effort by companies globally to hide their money in the offshore accounts of the law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The only reason any company or individual would put their money into an offshore account like those held at Mossack Fonseca is to avoid paying tax.
There is no doubt that the documents show a very concerted effort to hide money from tax collectors in various nations. For example, some of the documents reveal how the firm was setting up complex structures for their clients so it would be harder for authorities to track their flow of money.
They even reveal lengths the firm went to like creating fake charities, using phony invoices, and even registering private yachts and aircraft.
What it has done is put the spotlight back on paying taxes and paying them properly. This is one of the most important areas of your business you need to get right. Before you start your business, find out what taxes you need to pay to meet your legal requirements.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, and lastly, don’t try and hide your money. No doubt, many of these companies thought they’d be safe putting their money away in offshore accounts but now they are right under the magnifying glass.
It’s been a big week of stories. Without a doubt, the biggest story was the Panama Papers leak and how it reveals the lengths companies and super-rich individuals are going to, to avoid paying tax.
The acquisition of AI Startup MetaMind by Salesforce could be a sign of things to come in the future regarding marketing and sales automation so watch this space in the next few years.
The conventional wisdom is that if a Startup receives major funding then it will succeed. The second story we’ve featured demonstrates this is not the case at all and there are some important lessons you can learn from it.
We all need a little motivation and inspiration sometimes and you’re sure to find that in our story about the two engineers who built a hardware Startup in their spare time each day.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s Linkibuzz so stay tuned for next week’s post!