While many new Android flagships sport hardware specifications that appear competitive with recent iPhones, top rated iPhone games remain conspicuously missing from Google Play, a problem that Apple’s new Metal API and 64-bit Application Processors threaten to only make worse going forward, despite Android’s lead in unit shipments overall.
Major Apple accessory maker Belkin on Tuesday announced the Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD, a Thunderbolt 2-equipped successor to the company’s original Thunderbolt Express Dock that allows users to connect up to eight additional devices to their Mac with a single cable.
Apple design chief Jony Ive provided a rare glimpse into Apple’s product development process on Wednesday as part of an even-rarer interview, revealing that Apple’s new smart watch was in the works for some three years before its unveiling in Cupertino.
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to August 2014, show that Apple’s share of British smartphone sales defied convention by holding steady ahead of the iPhone 6 launch. Apple was boosted by the iPhone 5c, which was Britain’s best-selling smartphone during August.
A priceless bit of free advertising that illustrates nicely Apple’s advantage — as long as it lasts — in being first to market with profitable mobile app ecosystem. Thanks to The Loop’s Dave Mark for the link.
For eight months, eBay CEO John Donovan resisted Carl Icahn’s repeated calls to spin off its PayPal subsidiary — telling Fortune‘s JP Mangalindan that the two companies were more valuable together than they would be apart.
What made him change his mind? Bank Innovation’s Ian Kar has a plausible backstory.
According to Kar, Donovan’s mistake was throwing in with Samsung on a fingerprint scanning system that would compete with Apple’s TouchID. Talks between Apple and PayPal broke down (Apple “kicked them out the door,” says one of Kay’s sources), and when Apple Pay was unveiled last month — with wide financial industry support — Pay Pal had been cut of the deal.
When you put it in a timeline, it almost makes sense.
- Jan. 30: PayPal reported to be in talks with Apple about partnering in what became Apple Pay (Re/Code’s Jason Del Ray)
- Jan. 23: Carl Icahn buys a large stake in EBay, urges PayPal spinoff (Market Folly)
- Feb. 25: PayPal’s deal with Samsung on a fingerprint scanner is revealed. (SlashGear)
- March 10: Under growing pressure from Icahn, eBay’s Donovan tells Fortune that PayPal and eBay are more valuable together than apart (Fortune )
- June 9: PayPal president David Marcus, who had opposed the Samsung collaboration, leaves for Facebook. (Re/Code)
- Sept. 9: Apple unveils Apple Pay. Analysts zero in on PayPal’s absence. (Fortune)
- Sept. 30: eBay announces that it will spin off PayPal in 2015. Donovan will step down after it’s done. (eBay)
- Sept. 30: Donovan tells Fortune’s Mangalindan why he changed his mind. He doesn’t mention Apple Pay. (Fortune)
The Apple A8 is a 64-bit system on a chip (SoC) designed by Apple that first appeared in the iPhone 6 which launched in September. Apple stated that it has 25% more CPU performance and 50% more graphics performance while drawing only 50% of the power compared to its predecessor, the Apple A7. The A8 …
Earlier today we posted a report titled "Apple’s iPhone 6 goes on Sale in China October 17 after Ensuring China’s Ministry that there’s no Secret Backdoors." Apple’s iPhone 6 was originally to have debuted in China on September 19 when the news struck that Apple didn’t have the right license. Yet we now know there was also some backroom politicking going on. Now that Apple has ensured …
When word got out that the Apple Watch would make its continental debut at the Colette “brick and click” boutique on Rue Saint-Honor Tuesday, Apple aficionados queued up just like they would outside an Apple Store.
Several videos have turned up on YouTube. I’m partial to the French one.
With the world buzzing over Apples reveal this month of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, its hard to believe that this multi-trillion-dollar tech giant was once a small computer startup.
But that doesnt always hold true. By foregoing the potentials of selling to business (as opposed to consumers), entrepreneurs are missing out on a world of opportunities and lucrative ones at that.
As a board member at 1871, Chicagos entrepreneurial hub for startups, I see a lot of startups and know what B2C companies can learn from B2B startups, including Fieldglass, MarkITx and Eved.
The B2B space is rife with potential; by integrating new technologies into traditional businesses, entrepreneurs can dramatically improve efficiencies, uncover new markets, solve longstanding problems and, in some cases, disrupt entire industries. Indeed, an increasing number of B2B startups are experiencing rapid growth while achieving enviable profit margins.
Take Fieldglass, for example. Once a small startup, the Chicago-based software company is now the biggest vendor management system (VMS) provider in the world. In May, it was reportedly acquired by SAP for more than $1 billion, one of the largest sales of a privately held tech company in recent years.
Or consider MarkITx, an online marketplace to trade enterprise IT hardware, which earned a $12 million valuation after only eight months of operations. After speaking with its co-founder Frank Muscarello, the companys revenues are up 300 percent this year compared to last.
To launch the next great startup, here are six lessons that entrepreneurs can learn from B2B companies about how to launch the next great startup:
Target your first customers wisely
Many B2B businesses design their products and services around their initial clients, making it critically important to take a strategic approach to recruiting those first customers. Talia Maschiach, founder and CEO of Eved, went after large firms like Dell when her company was still in its early stages. She then designed Eveds platform and online marketplace to address those customers needs and provide visibility into their meeting and the total amount spent on an event. That set the stage for the recruitment of other large-scale firms and helped her stock her online marketplace with more than 5,000 companies.
Long-term value of customers is critical
Generally speaking, B2B companies have longer sales cycles than B2C firms. However, most B2B customers are long-term customers and, in the end, companies can extract greater value from them. After Jai Shekhawat founded Fieldglass in 1999, it took him more than a year to land his first customers, which included Verizon
and Johnson & Johnson
. But he held on to them, and now each spend billions on contract labor annually. To date, Fieldglass boasts a customer retention rate of more than 99%.
To generate steady revenue, focus on opportunities to generate reoccurring revenue
Prioritize customers that are most likely to use your product or service repeatedly.
Muscarello knew that financial companies would serve as ideal suppliers for his online exchange because they invest heavily in IT and frequently purge their inventory to make room for the latest technology. MarkITxs first customer, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, is now on its 22nd trade since August 2013.
Build something that sticks
To develop a long-term relationship with your customers, you need to create products or services that are inherently sticky and provide several levels of integration within a company. MarkITxs dashboard plugs into companies via API and provides real-time data about the mark-to-market value of their assets and the optimal time to refresh their IT infrastructure. As a result, these companies regularly check the dashboard and are more apt to use MarkITx when it comes time to sell their assets. Fieldglass takes integration a step further by staying enmeshed in its customers problems. It monitors, for example, changes in labor laws (in Europe alone, Shekhawat estimates that there are 25-30 changes per month) and ensures that its software immediately reflect those shifts. In turn, customers grow more dependent on Fieldglass to manage their problem for them.
Look for a business idea on your desk
Think about the problems your company is facing or how you might address issues in your industry. There are business ideas there maybe not sexy ones, but solid, profitable ones. Shekhawat came up with the idea for Fieldglass after serving as a contract developer, working for a technology vendor and consulting for buyers and customers, where he witnessed the challenges of managing contract labor. That insider knowledge also enabled him to build a company that easily overshadowed the five preceding competitors (all have since gone out of business).
Know when to venture further
Consider whether the work youre doing now could parlay into something bigger. Before Eved went global in 2010, it was a local service company that grew to $10 million in four years and landed on the Inc. 500. But Maschiach knew that there was a bigger opportunity out there. So she sold Eveds service side, took its R&D and re-launched it as a global company, with her sights set on a billion-dollar goal.
Linda Darragh is a clinical professor of entrepreneurial practice and executive director of the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI) at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Darragh knows the companies mentioned above as a board member of 1871, Chicagos entrepreneurial hub for digital startups.