How the hunger for content created a booming digital media industry

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Every day, people consume different types of digital content, a combination of technology and content that have successfully delivered experiences to anyone in the world with just a click of a button. Just as how private individuals found a way to gain profit by creating their own digital content, many business, and digital startups have also found out how sharing, selling and providing content to a global consumer can offer generous returns – and this simple idea has created an unstoppable boom in this billion-dollar industry.

Nowadays, you are surrounded by different types and forms of digital content, and the unending appetite of consumers foresees a productive and profitable future for digital content providers. Social Media, for example, a significant player in the industry has not only generated more content than any digital platform in the world but has created interactive consumer-provider collaboration, providing a perfect avenue for advertisers and content marketers to subtly yet effectively promote their products and services.

Even with the simplest activities like reading a book, technology has found a way to answer to the modern reader’s need for a more mobile and smarter way of participating in this hobby: choosing electronic books over the physical and often bulky reading material.

Moreover, the public’s interest in e-book content gives equal opportunities even for private writers and artists to self-publish and promote their work or share their skills to a global reader, wherever they are in the world.  In fact, e-books are digital books have dominated the digital publishing industry, with an optimistic revenue forecast that could reach a revenue up to 20 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 alone.

Video and audio streaming is also one of the most popular products of the digital content industry that have successfully overthrown their traditional counterparts (television, radio, CD, and DVD). The popularity of different streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and even music streaming platform like Spotify, marked a new era of entertainment experience.

What is Social Capitalism and how will it benefit society as a whole?

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Trust, reciprocity, and cooperation: these three elements make social capitalism an ideal form of an emerging structure with the sole purpose of building networks and producing resources that contribute to the common good.

In definition, social capitalism is related but is structurally different from its classic counterpart. The term, in modern times, is a society-centered form of capitalism which primary goal is to contribute to the society. Here, the production of goods and services are not controlled as personal assets but a property produced to address the needs of the community.

As a practice, social capitalism revolves around the maintenance and development of social networks, a collective group of people helping each other to achieve common goals. These networks can be diverse and they usually pursue different causes.

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Social capitalism and social capital

In social capitalism, capital is defined as a factor of production where society agrees to the value of its origins and accounts for it. Unlike its classical counterpart in which land, labor, and capital are the primary factors to make the system work, a social capital in the modern sense cannot be traded and cannot be privately owned. Instead, ownership is rooted in social links, networks, and relationships among people. Furthermore, social capital is not created to satisfy productive economic outcomes.

With all its benefits and contribution to the community, social capitalism is not the same as philanthropy or a charitable cause. Instead, it’s a structure that is designed to endorse capital for the common benefit through the markets either directly by an individual or by a group, responding to social issues and at the same time, making a profit.

Beyond its somehow altruistic nature, social capitalism has also helped develop policing strategies among communities. This form of capital became an important catalyst for change and has been utilized by leaders to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

REPOST: 5 Entrepreneurs Who Started With Nothing – and 3 Lessons to Learn

How far you will go in life will largely depend on your drive, perseverance, ability to take calculated risks, and above all, patience. Let these five entrepreneurs–who had very humble beginnings–inspire you to become a better, more successful person:


It’s not uncommon to hear about entrepreneurs who used the wealth they made from a previous endeavor to build a thriving new startup, or about seasoned business owners who took over a decades-old franchise and transformed it into something new. These stories are inspiring in their own way; but to me, it’s even more inspiring to hear about people who started with nothing.


These are entrepreneurs who started their journey with no capital, no funding and sometimes no education or experience, yet despite the odds were still able to build massive successes.


How did these people accomplish such unlikely feats, and what can we, as entrepreneurs, learn from them?


1. John Paul DeJoria

John Paul DeJoria isn’t as much of a household name as Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, but he has accomplished feats of entrepreneurship and business management that rival theirs. Starting out as a newspaper courier, and working as a janitor and tow truck driver to make ends meet, DeJoria eventually started working at a hair care company, where he met Paul Mitchell.


2. Kevin Plank

Kevin Plank, the CEO of the fitness apparel company Under Armour, was pretty much broke when he started selling signature clothing under the Under Armour brand. He took all the cash he had saved, about $20,000, and racked up an additional $40,000 of credit card debt to fund the company.


Soon after, he made a landmark sale of $17,000 to Georgia Tech University, and in a wave of momentum, made sales to two dozen NFL teams. From there, he went on, in just a few years, to cultivate millions in sales and hire hundreds of employees. Today, Under Armour does nearly $2 billion in retail sales, and has 5,900 employees.


3. Jan Koum

Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, was born in a small village near Kiev in Ukraine. Coming from poverty, Koum’s family emigrated to California, and Koum started learning about computers in his spare time. By the time he was 18, he had developed impressive skills, and in 1997, he was hired by Yahoo! as an infrastructure engineer.


He spent a decade in that industry before realizing the huge potential of the app industry in 2009 and starting WhatsApp Inc. By 2014, WhatsApp had become enormously popular. Facebook bought the app for a staggering $19 billion.


4. Sam Walton

It’s almost ironic that Walmart is frequently criticized for underpaying its employees and using cutthroat tactics to maximize profits. Sam Walton, Walmart’s founder, had almost nothing to his name himself when he started his first general store back in 1945.


He relied on a $25,000 loan from his father-in-law to fund that initial purchase, and was an instant success in the retail industry. The first official Walmart was opened in 1962, in Rogers, Ark.; and by 1976, Walmart was worth more than $176 million. At one point, Walton was considered the wealthiest man in the United States.


5. George Soros

Though you could describe him as an investor more than an entrepreneur, there are few better rags-to-riches stories than that of George Soros. When Soros was a teenager in Hungary in 1947, he fled Nazi persecution to live in England. Despite having little money to fund his efforts, he attended the London School of Economics, working his way through university to obtain his degree. He then moved to the United States in the 1950s, and became an investment manager for a number of major firms, eventually starting his own hedge fund and building his own company.


His most famous move was shorting the British pound in the early 1990s — which made him $1 billion in a single day.


Key lessons to learn.
So what can we learn from these entrepreneurial stories?


Debt is a viable option. Debt is scary to take on, especially when your idea isn’t a sure bet, but almost everyone on this list got a loan at some point to establish early momentum. As long as you have a plan to pay it back, debt can be a valuable tool.


Invest in yourself. You need to invest in yourself before you invest in anything else, by focusing on improving your skills, education and experience. Without self-investment, you won’t be able to build a business, let alone sustain one.


Look to the future. These savvy entrepreneurs didn’t enter a market that already existed; they created new ones, or made bets on how current markets would evolve. Future-focused strategies always win out over present-focused ones.


Entrepreneurs can come from humble beginnings, so long as they’re willing to work hard, commit to their ideas and take the risks necessary to see those ideas become reality. Take inspiration from the massive successes who have come before you, and don’t let a lack of money or experience dissuade you from following your dreams.

20th Century big tech brands that no longer exist today

The 20th century was a period of rapid technological revolutions and many who have witnessed this era have seen the rise of big companies that dominated the industry. Unfortunately, most of these brand names failed to survive and keep up with the changing times – and some have just become shadows of what they were before.

Here are three of the major tech brands that rose during the twentieth century but no longer exist today.


Compaq Computers

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Compaq was known to be the first company to re-engineer IBM’s personal computers and made it available to the market. It was during the early 1990s when it topped the sales charts as the major corporation to successfully program IBM-compatible personal computers.

However, in 2001, Hewlett-Packard acquired the company for $25-million and it eventually led to losses in sales. It was only 12 years later when HP finally dropped the Compaq line.


MSN Messenger, IM

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This once popularly used instant messaging program was created in 1999 by tech giant, Microsoft. The brand’s effort to keep up with the forever changing user preferences has inspired it to evolve into Windows Live Messenger ten years after it was developed.

However, Microsoft decided to discontinue the messaging client in 2011. Later on, the corporation’s acquisition of another IM application, Skype, sealed the fate of MSN Messenger.


Circuit City

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Perhaps it was intense competition that led to the fall of this television and electronics company. During its golden years, it operated over 1,500 stores across the U.S. – until Best Buy came into the picture.

In addition, their decision to stop selling appliances made it worse and no matter how many stores and branches they opened to keep up, most of these new ventures failed.

It was in November of 2008 when Circuit City declared bankruptcy. However, several reports suggest that the company is attempting to start over and is hoping to attract the millennial market.

The age of IoT will render these business services obsolete

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Evolve or lose your relevance. Perhaps this accurately describes how business and services should respond to the changing times especially when technology is guiding the future into some exciting and unknown frontiers.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is leading the revolution and it is predicted to transform businesses and rewrite business models by 2020. While some products and services are now slowly and effectively adapting, others might not make the cut. Here are the business services and products that could go obsolete as IoT gains more ground:

  1. Portable Storage Devices

Soon, portable storage methods and products such as external hard drives and flash drives will become impractical, thanks to a safer, more convenient, and cheaper access to cloud storage. The IoT will highlight the primary role of the cloud in storing, managing and securing data not only for big companies and their operations but for private individuals in their day-to-day applications. With cloud systems, there will be easier access to one’s files wherever you are in the world.

  1. Human Service Workers

The food service worker of the future will come in the form of screens, more specifically touchscreens where you can easily place your order and pay via the same device without having to leave your table nor interact with an actual human server. Many restaurants are already embracing this technology and experts predict that in the near future, machines could also take over more complicated tasks from food preparation to bringing and delivering orders to the table.

  1. Physical Credit Cards

Plastic credit cards could be transformed into digital bits, and although credit card companies will be here to stay, the age of physical cards will be facing an end – and it’s a good thing.  Soon, you’ll be paying via mobile and wearable devices like smartphones or computers without having to carry around a physical card. This method will be more convenient and can protect users from fraud and card theft, thanks to these devices’ ability to recognize biometric data like face recognition or fingerprints.

REPOST: Millennials are shaking up these 7 industries

They may be young often misunderstood, but millennials are trully making significant impact in several key industries. Meet some of the world’s youngest innovators in the article below by CNN Money:


Millennials tend to be more entrepreneurial than previous generations, studies suggest. And some have already created businesses that are shaking up age-old industries.


According to Jason Dorsey, president and cofounder of research firm the Center for Generational Kinetics, Millennials have the confidence to take on bigger companies because they’ve grown up with easy access to information.


“Millennials have a different native relationship with technology by virtue of growing up with the internet and the mobile revolution,” Dorsey said. “[They] are at the right life stage to be able to see what’s not working and be courageous enough to challenge it.”


From online dating to recruiting and paying taxes, here are seven founders and CEOs who are freshening up industries in favor of something new.




Oskar Smolokowski is the 28-year-old CEO of Polaroid Originals, a new Polaroid brand focused on analog instant photography.


When the last remaining Polaroid factory went up for sale in 2008, a group of instant photography fans bought it. They called themselves the Impossible Project, a nod to the challenging task of making instant film and keeping it alive in the digital world. Smolokowski was the former CEO.


The new brand’s OneStep camera line is helping to help revitalize the 80-year-old parent company. The latest analog camera instantly prints photos as you take them and comes with built-in flash, self-timer and 60 days of battery life.


“The smartphone is really saturating everyone’s lives, but people are reaching out for other ways to experience photography,” said Smolokowski. “[Instant photography] is one of the things smartphones can’t [replicate] … it’s a physical artifact.”




Stephanie Lampkin, 32, is the founder of Blendoor, a software platform that aims to help eliminate bias in the early stage of job interviewing.


Blendoor takes an applicant’s name, age, gender, and photo out of the equation, so those details don’t take the focus away from an applicant’s skills, work history and education. It’s already being used by recruiters at big tech firms like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Airbnb.


Blendoor also integrates with a company’s HR systems to identify where bias may be happening in the interview process.


Lampkin, who has a Stanford engineering degree and an MBA from MIT, created Blendoor out of her own frustrations with the interviewing in the tech industry.


Office services


Dan Teran, the 28-year-old CEO and cofounder of Managed by Q, has re-envisioned office cleaning and other office services, like maintenance work.


Managed by Q, which employs cleaners and handyman, offers health benefits, 401(k)s, bonuses, paid time off and equity in the company. Staffers take care of the crucial but unglamorous office needs of businesses, such as keeping track of cleaning and office supplies, handymen needs and scheduled cleanings.


“We want to deliver the best service, [so] we need the best people for the job,” Teran said at an event last year. “In order to attract the best people for the job, we just need to be the best employer.”


The startup, which launched in 2013 and services over 3,000 offices across five cities, has already raised over $72 million from investors.


Continue reading HERE.

Fastest growing economies post-global financial crisis

The aftermath from the global financial crisis can still be felt today but thanks to a growing number of international response to establish recovery efforts through reviews of the fiscal, monetary, and policy measures, the world economy is slowly getting back on its feet. According to the World Bank’s 2017 edition of Global Economic Prospects, the answer to the recent financial crisis has given birth to the emerging and fastest growing economies, effectively accelerating growth especially among many developing countries across the globe. Based on this year’s edition, here are the fastest growing economies today:


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This East African country is number one on the list of the fastest growing economies today, thanks to the boost in the government spending primarily on infrastructure. According to the Global Economic Prospects, Ethiopia’s GDP is expect to increase by 8.3% this year while its global growth is projected to develop by 2.7%.


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With a projected growth of 7.6%, Uzbekistan is the second fastest-growing economy in the world. The credits go to the increasing oil prices and the overwhelming government policies in the region. According to experts, its stable global financial conditions as well as the healthy development in the Euro area will seal the country’s rank in 2017 and beyond.


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After the devastation of the 2015 earthquake, many have thought that it would take years before Nepal’s economy can recover. However, the Nepalese government accelerated its reconstruction efforts and the successful normalization of trade with India have helped with the country’s strong rebound. These efforts landed the Himalayan nation the third spot with a 7.5% projection.

REPOST: Five Signs You’re a Social Entrepreneur

How would you classify yourself as a business person? If you want to drive social change through your business or aim to earn profits while making a difference in others’ lives, then you are most probably be a social entrepreneur. For more insights, read this article on the HuffPost:

Services for companies who are making a social impact.

If you live in Silicon Valley, Seattle, DC, Chicago or LA, you may think that entrepreneurship is on the rise. However, the US has actually seen a steady decline in startups. In fact, CNN reported that the amount of startups per year are currently about 400,000. While that might sound like a lot, Americans were opening nearly 600,000 businesses per year in the 70s. That last fact really stuck out to me.


Really? Millennials aren’t opening more businesses than our parents? I thought we were the generation killing everything by opening new, more innovative programs. Apparently that isn’t true.


But maybe, just maybe, millennials are taking a different approach. While traditional entrepreneurship is declining, social entrepreneurship is on the rise. If you aren’t familiar with Social Entrepreneurship already, here’s a very quick overview – social entrepreneurs open businesses that give back while also growing a sustainable financial model. Classic examples are Tom’s Shoes, Lola Tampons, and Indiegogo. For more examples, see Forbes’ 2017 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs to see the young people making a strong social impact this year.


Whether you already own a business and want to ensure it is socially impactful, you are a known social entrepreneur already, or you are considering opening a business – it’s never too late to make a social impact.


Here are FIVE key traits that make you a Social Entrepreneur.


#1: You have a strategic plan for a robust bottom line.


“What? Socially impactful companies aren’t supposed to make money!” -A lot of people.


Nope. I’m going to start with the one that is the biggest myth when it comes to social entrepreneurship. When we think of social impact, many think of nonprofit companies (I’ll get more into that later) and assume that if there is an organization contributing something powerful to the world, no one should be profiting. Social Entrepreneurs do not agree with this sentiment for multiple reasons (most of which I will explore below). The most important reason is this: CEOs making a social impact, and the people who work for them, have just as much of a right to earn a living as anyone else.


#2: You do not rely on the government for social change.


Though we, the people, need to hold our representatives responsible for implementing social programs that actually make a difference, social entrepreneurs take it upon themselves to drive necessary change. The CEOs and leaders of companies that focus on social impact work take on the burden of progress. They are people who strategize and problem solve without including government officials. These leaders take on an extremely important responsibility to develop sustainable models that help people through services and programs.


#3: You are sick of Nonprofits


When most people think of social change, the first thing they might consider is the work that nonprofit organizations (501C3s) are doing. Now, I do not want to accuse nonprofits of having the wrong intentions. That being said nonprofits are often a way to shuffle money through the system without ever paying taxes and those nonprofits may not actually be contributing any legitimate products or services that help the community they claim to. Most nonprofits are established to raise awareness. I’m going to be honest with you, nonprofits, and it’s going to hurt – Awareness only goes so far. Once the public is aware, your organization has a responsibility to take the money you have earned and do something. You can provide a service, create a product, start a scholarship program, or anything else you might think of. It’s time to turn awareness into action.


Continue reading HERE.

REPOST: 6 Ways Service-Based Businesses Can Market on Instagram

With the rise of social media, businesses of all sizes have learned to adopt new and previously unconventional ways to market their products or services and rethink the way they design their operational strategies. Today, social media has become a universal marketing tool and the most convenient platform for brand promotion. Here is an article from Entrepreneur that can help marketers promote their brands through Instagram, one of the strongest social media and content-creation channels today:


Service-based businesses seem to have more trouble with leveraging some of the most powerful networks, such as Instagram, because they’re lacking ideas on what to post.


While it may seem like product-based businesses got an easier time promoting themselves on visual-first platforms, by the end of this article, you’ll have no issues with filling up your whole content calendar with exciting ideas.


1. Show your expertise.
People love to follow brands and accounts that they find valuable in some way. What’s a better way to provide value that sharing helpful advice?

To position yourself as an expert in the field, share tips, hacks and shortcuts. While you may think that what you know, everyone knows as well it is not true. Don’t dismiss any tips as “too obvious,” because again, while it may seem obvious to you, it may not seem obvious to your potential and current clients. Because you have a constant exposure to the same activity, skill, or industry, you’ve accumulated more knowledge than you know.

You can share tips as overlays on pretty images or as infographics. You may also record a 15-second video where you talk, or better yet, show the tip. If you’re not feeling creative, share a nice image and simply put your tip in the caption section.


2. Inspire with success stories.
As a business owner, you have to have at least a few success stories in your business. Share your clients’ stories. It may be as simple as a written or recorded testimonial; it may be a mini-case study where you talk about your strategies for achieving success.

It’s even better if you can share before and after image. Health and weight coaches, dermatologists, hair stylists, nail technicians, seamstresses can all post images that speak louder than words on their expertise in the field. Clearly, get a client’s permission first and run with it!


3. Inspire with quotes.
Quotes are some of the most engaging types of content. We all have our newsfeeds flooded with quotes, yet we always seem to engage with them. This is not to say you have to flood your clients with philosophical quotes, but once in a while, definitely take advantage of these engagement boosters.


4. Make them smile.
You can always brighten someone’s day with a funny image or a joke. Make sure it’s kind though, so you won’t land in hot water for your sense of humor. Also, make sure people outside of your industry will understand the joke. Think what all people will relate to. Is it getting out of bed on Monday or leaving work on Friday? We all have recurring themes in our lives.


5. Raise the curtain.
The same way a product-based business can show off their design meeting or production line, you can show the process behind your business. What do you do during onboarding period of a new client? What questions do you ask them? What kind of research you’re required to perform beforehand?

If you do have before and after photos, you could also tie it together with a quick video of “in between,” of the process that got your client from point A to point B. This is also a great opportunity to differentiate your business from competition by highlighting how your processes are better than industry standards.


6. Sell the solution to their problems.
People oftentimes flock to social media for aspirational content. Think of your brand not only as a list of services you perform, but as a lifestyle you enable your clients to have. Are they enjoying greater financial freedom? Having better health? Having more time to spend with their families? Feeling more confident in their own skin? All of these are great aspirational messages you can portray through images.


While you may not have a tangible product, you bring tangible results. Your business is solving real problems your clients are facing. Get a bit creative; and you’ll discover a million ways to let your business shine.

Every social entrepreneur should have these key qualities

Many business entrepreneurs have become successful in their chosen field not only because they had the resources to start their own business but also through the unique skills and characteristics that they have deployed and exhibited in the process. Anyone who has the same set of skills can be an entrepreneur but how about taking on its more socially responsible counterpart? Answering this question means understanding the difference between business and social entrepreneurship and pointing out the key qualities that make the latter more unique and more sustainable.

So what are the primary characteristics of a good social entrepreneur? First of all, they should be:


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While many people believe that passion in entrepreneurship is overrated, it’s actually one of the most important qualities that every social entrepreneur should have. Passion acts as a self-motivator not only to achieve greater heights in business but also to have the genuine willingness to make an impact to the community it serves. The lack of it, on the other hand, can weaken one’s interest in planning long-term efforts and aiming for sustainable goals.


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Social entrepreneurship is about building a business while making the world a better place. This is why it’s important to understand people not just by listening to what they need to say but by also seeing their reality from their perspective. Through empathy, you can get the necessary insight to create a better and more suitable strategy to further your cause.

Lastly, one should be:

A visionary

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Success in any field always starts with a vision, an optimistic and creative take on what’s ahead. Social entrepreneurs should be imaginative, innovative, and most importantly, should have the vision to value wisdom when planning for the future of their enterprise and how it can help its community for the better.