Mozilla names Chris Beard its new CEO after Brendan Eich disaster

7:38AM | Tuesday, 29 July

Mozilla has finally named a new chief executive nearly four months after a firestorm of controversy engulfed the leadership of Brendan Eich within days of him taking the position.   In a statement, Mozilla co-founder and chairwoman Mitchell Baker announced interim chief executive Chris Beard will take on the position following a review examining “many internal and external candidates”.   “Chris first joined Mozilla in 2004, just before we shipped Firefox 1.0 – and he’s been deeply involved in every aspect of Mozilla ever since,” said Baker.   “During his many years here, he at various times has had responsibility for almost every part of the business, including product, marketing, innovation, communications, community and user engagement,” she said.   In late March, following the resignation of former chief executive Jay Sullivan, Mozilla co-founder Eich was named as its new chief executive.   However, just days later, it was revealed by the LA Times that Eich had made a donation in 2008 to a campaign seeking to outlaw same-sex marriage in California. By early April, amid the controversy that followed, Eich resigned as chief executive of the Firefox developer.   Last month, Mozilla announced a major push into the Asia-Pacific region for its low-end Firefox OS smartphone platform, as it develops a ChromeCast-like streaming video device set for release “later this year”. It also announced Firefox OS/Mozilla Marketplace apps will now work natively on Android devices running Firefox for Android.   This article first appeared on SmartCompany.   Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

What data retention is, and why it’s bad

7:15AM | Tuesday, 29 July

With the Australian government “actively considering” data retention, and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation chief David Irvine telling a Senate committee that it is crucial to intelligence-gathering and that Australians have nothing to fear from it, it’s time for a clarifier on exactly what data retention is and the concerns it raises.   What is data retention?   The compulsory retention of information about a citizen’s telecommunications and online usage, either by telcos and internet service providers themselves, or by a government agency, so that law enforcement and intelligence agencies can use it to investigate crime and national security threats.   What sort of data?   Depends. The European Union scheme (now ruled illegal) was limited to telecommunications metadata — whom you called and when, duration of call, location, and the account linked to a particular IP address. The previous Australian government cited the EU model as what it had in mind when it invited a parliamentary inquiry into the idea in 2012. However, some individual countries (like Denmark) went further than the Eu directive and included web browsing history. Most Australian agencies officially only want metadata, not content data (like browsing history and email contents), but some agencies and police forces want the lot. Some things, like email subject lines, could arguably be either metadata or content data. The definition of what data will be subject to a data retention regime is thus crucial.   What would it cost?   In evidence to the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security that considered the issue in 2012, iiNet said it might cost them $5 a month for every customer to store data. That, in effect, is a $60 a year surveillance tax on every household. iiNet has recently significantly increased its estimate of the likely cost. Remember, both companies and government agencies will not merely need to store this data, but ensure it is stored safely — the vast trove of personal data that data retention will produce will be immensely attractive to criminals (and online activists looking to demonstrate how unsafe it is — in 2012, Anonymous hackers released customer data obtained from AAPT to protest the then-government’s data retention proposal).   What happens currently?   Traditionally, telcos have retained phone records because that was how they billed you. But there is decreasing need for specific call-based billing as consumers move to data-based plans. Moreover, companies have no need for metadata beyond the billing cycle, and given there’s a cost to storing such data, they are keeping less of it for the sort of periods agencies prefer — usually two years. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies call this “going dark” — losing access to phone information of the kind they’ve had for decades.   So what’s the problem - isn’t this just maintaining the status quo?   No. Let’s just focus on phone data. Your mobile phone data includes your location as your phone interacts with nearby phone towers, so in effect it can be used as a tracking device. But more importantly, forget that “it’s just metadata” (or “just billing data” as the Prime Minister said). A single phone call time and duration won’t tell anyone much about you. But in aggregate, metadata will reveal far more about you than content data.   With automated data-sifting software, agencies can accumulate a record of everyone you have called, everyone they have called, how long you spoke for, the order of the calls, and where you were when you made the call, to build a profile that says far more about you than any solitary overheard phone call or email. It can reveal not just straightforward details such as your friends and acquaintances, but also if you have medical issues, your financial interests, what you’re buying, if you’re having an affair or ended a relationship. Combined with other publicly available information, having a full set of metadata on an individual will tell you far more than much of their content data ever will.   And if you don’t believe us, ask the people who know: the General Counsel for the United States National Security Agency has publicly stated, “metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content”. According to the former head of the NSA, Michael Hayden, the US government kills people based on metadata it has accumulated on them. As Edward Snowden says: “You can’t trust what you’re hearing, but you can trust the metadata.”   OK, but we’ve already given away our privacy to Facebook etc, haven’t we? Why shouldn’t agencies that want to protect us get the same data?   This is an argument routinely used by data retention advocates, and by Irvine himself. But going on Facebook isn’t compulsory. Citizens choose to use social media or other online platforms and voluntarily engage in the swap of privacy for services that so many applications are built on. Maybe they don’t understand the full nature of what they’re losing in that transaction, but it’s still voluntary. There is nothing voluntary about data retention — not unless you want to withdraw from the 21st century and not use telecommunications and online services.   But agencies say they need it to help prevent and solve crimes.   Let’s look at what happened in Europe. A German parliament study concluded data retention in Germany had led to an increase in the crime clearance rate of 0.006%. (The German scheme was later ruled unconstitutional.) Danish police, who have a much wider metadata and content data retention scheme, said the sheer amount of information was too unwieldy to use.   But such-and-such a high-profile crime was solved with metadata.   Maybe. But that metadata was available without a data retention regime. As the German study demonstrates, the number of crimes solved because of old metadata that would not otherwise have been available is negligible. And anyway, in western societies, we have long accepted that there is a trade-off between the rights of the individual, including a right to privacy, and the state’s power to protect its citizens. We understand that our civil liberties make it harder for the state to prevent, detect and punish crime, but value them enough to keep them anyway. Data retention alters this balance in favour of the state.   But we can trust our agencies to do the right thing.   Australia’s agencies generally have a better record of behaviour than foreign agencies. For example, repeated abuses such as stalking women, sharing intimate photos and listening in to intimate conversations, have been revealed to have occurred in the NSA; the CIA recently spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee while it was preparing a report exposing the agency’s use of torture; MI6 abducted and rendered Libyan dissidents to the Gaddafi regime for torture in exchange for help in the War on Terror.   However, ASIO, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service are by no means perfect and serious questions remain, for example, about both ASIS’s bugging of the East Timorese cabinet in 2004 and ASIO’s efforts to intimidate and gag the whistleblower who revealed it late in 2013. We also know from Edward Snowden that Australians intelligence agencies use electronic surveillance not for protecting us from terrorists, but for economic espionage.   The problem is that, unlike normal government bureaucracies, intelligence agencies have minimal public oversight or accountability, and can use national security as a justification to resist media scrutiny. The lack of oversight means incompetence, corruption, mission creep and criminal activity are far less likely to come to light than in normal government agencies. Public transparency is one of the key motivations for public servants to behave appropriately, and it doesn’t exist for agencies engaged in surveillance. And the more personal data they have access to, the greater the temptation.   But if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide.   Wear clothes in warm weather and have blinds in your windows? What are you hiding?   Are you happy for everyone to know where you are all the time, who your friends are, whom you’re having a relationship with, everyone you call, whether you have a medical or financial problem? It is not up to privacy advocates to “prove” the right to or importance of privacy. All governments acknowledge it is a fundamental right. If you support breaching that right, it is up to you to make the case, not demand privacy advocates defend it.   And law enforcement and intelligence agencies don’t merely target people “with something to hide.” People as diverse as whistleblowers, journalists, politicians, non-government groups and activists are subject to surveillance by such agencies, despite not having “done anything” other than reveal wrongdoing by governments and companies and protest against it. Data retention thus indirectly threatens core processes of democracy like whistleblowing, political organisation and scrutiny of governments. And once information is collected, agencies will press for its permanent retention. Some already argue that information should be retained forever. That means all future governments will have access to it. You may be comfortable with the current government having access to your data - but what about all future governments?   And law enforcement and intelligence agencies aren’t the only groups who have access to metadata. In Australia, bodies as diverse as local councils, the RSPCA and health bodies can obtain telephone metadata on citizens without a warrant.   But this is about stopping terrorism – the ends justify the means.   Terrorism is a wildly overhyped threat in western countries. About three times more Australians have died falling out of bed since 2001 than have died at the hands of terrorists; more Australians die from diseases like shingles and chickenpox than from terrorism. More women and children die at the hands of the partners and parents in Australia every year than the total number of Australian victims of terrorism. More Americans die from causes like malnutrition, falls, swimming accidents and work accidents each year than the entire death toll from 9/11. The level of spending we direct toward national security is completely unjustified in terms of the harms it prevents.   As a threat to the health and lives of western citizens, terrorism is negligible compared to deaths caused by poor infrastructure, bad health policies, unsafe workplaces or poverty. Data retention would be yet another expensive, intrusive national security policy that has no objective justification. Doing things in the name of stopping terrorism relies on our emotional fear of attacks, rather than making the case for taking away our rights.   Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This story first appeared on

Video-on-demand search engine has sights set on underserved market

7:05AM | Tuesday, 29 July

With the proliferation of online video streaming services (everywhere, but here in Australia that is) Australian startup Gyde is offering users a new way to find video on the internet.   Gyde’s smartphone app is much like Popcorn Time, the controversial app which sources torrented movies and TV shows and allows its users to stream them. Popcorn Time is designed to make using torrents as easy as possible, helping individuals to find video content from its providers.   Product lead Andrew Julian says ultimately Gyde is a search engine and aggregator for video-on-demand platforms like Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, rather than torrents, and has been created with a similar ideal in mind.   “We’re excited for people to try the product, we think it will resonate with most of them, when we talk to people out and about, something people commonly identify with is it’s too difficult to find a movie online,” he says.   Gyde is based in Melbourne and Los Angeles, a decision the team made in order to give them easy access to the more developed video streaming market in the US and more opportunities to raise capital.   The company has received seed investment from an angel investor based in Los Angeles, although Julian could not say who or how much was invested.   While piracy tends to dominate discussions on making money in this space, Julian says “without excusing it” piracy in Australia is a product of an underserved market.   “From a consumer perspective, there’s not a lot of options,” he says.   At the moment Gyde supports iTunes, Netflix and Hulu Plus platforms and has built the system in a way that allows it to easily expand to support more.   The company plans to monetize Gyde through affiliate commissions, pointing people in the direction of subscription services, and through data insights about its users.   “We can provide a rich guide of user intentions, a core feature of the app is users can shortlist content they might be interested in watching, and things they want to watch now,” he says.   Those shortlists also give the app a social element. It enables users to connect with friends and do things like merge shortlists to make deciding what movie to watch an easy task.   Data taken by the app can also help video users find content that they might be interested in, but is difficult to find, buried deep within the catalogues of those subscription providers, which, Julian says, creates additional value in their catalogues.   The app will launch in both Australia and the US in September.   Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

INCUBATE announces its eight new startups

7:54AM | Tuesday, 29 July

Jay Boolkin, founder of Promise or Pay, is on a mission to keep people true to their word and get them to deliver on a commitment they keep making and breaking – or pay up to charity.   He has an active user base who are accountable for meeting goals they have set themselves: anything from ‘drink a litre of water a day’, to ‘complete a half marathon’ to ‘switch off my smart phone every night’.   His startup is one of eight selected to take part in the University of Sydney Union’s startup accelerator program, INCUBATE.   Other startups include Meerkat, designing a solution to prevent “flat-head syndrome” in children.   Meerkat are a collaborative team of talented medical practitioners, public health officials and industrial engineers developing the first-ever stroller designed with the combined safety, health and development of the child as its top priority.   They are working with the University of Sydney’s Commercial Development and Industry Partnerships team.   "The dynamic energy of working alongside fellow startups in INCUBATE, as well as the focused direction of the program provided by the mentors, creates an atmosphere directed towards success on a myriad of levels for our budding ideas to take flight" says Michelle Lee, product development coordinator for Meerkat.   PicPac, also taking part in INCUBATE, is the highest-rated stop motion animation app for Android.   It has packed more than five million pictures into 60,000+ videos so far, and has more than a thousand daily active users says Founder, Ron Genliang Guan.   “A successful startup comes from a good idea plus a good team plus INCUBATE, where I’m finding the help from mentors and other entrepreneurs is tremendous.”   Mahesh Muralidhar, founder of UReferJobs, also made it into the program and aims to shake up the recruitment market.   Using individuals’ networks and rewarding them for referring is what UReferJobs is all about.   “We have 10+ companies using our recruitment solution. On average we have saved organisations 80% on their costs, delivering top quality candidates,” Muralidhar says.   “Our platform will be a free, easy to setup, internal referral system. We have beta customers on board and are looking for others – this is an opportunity for organisations to significantly reduce their recruitment costs. We are also in conversations with investors.”   James Alexander, INCUBATE’s program manager, says they considered 40 applications for this intake.   “It is always a competitive process, we look for diversity and early-stage companies with scalable innovations that are able to offer real solutions to acute problems,” Alexander says.   In a snapshot:   More women: 50% of the startups have women co-founders More entrepreneurial researchers: two of the eight startups involve researchers – bringing their solutions to the real world More traction: three of the eight startups have revenue and first customers, and PicPac has had over 20,000 downloads on the Android store   Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Winning BattleHack not as easy as (Raspberry) Pi

7:48AM | Tuesday, 29 July

A late night hunt for a replacement Raspberry Pi and a sleepless night led to victory for a team of developers known as Gearbox in PayPal and Braintree’s Sydney BattleHack.   The team won the 24-hour hackathon with an Internet of Things solution that allows users to open a secure box, which would be placed in public parks and enable access to sports equipment that could be paid for using PayPal.   The team cooked the Raspberry Pi they were using during the hack, which sparked a frantic online search for a replacement.   A shout out on social media found an eBay seller willing to meet them late on Saturday night and the project was saved.   #GearBox just blew a @Raspberry_Pi at the @PayPalDev #battlehack in Sydney. Can anyone locally sell us one?— Tom Frauenfelder (@tomfrauenfelder) July 26, 2014   The senior global director of the PayPal and Braintree Developer Network, John Lunn, who was also one of the competition judges, chuckles when recalling the team’s frantic search, but says it’s all part and parcel of a hackathon.   “We had some dramas, but we had a fun time,” he says with a laugh.   BattleHack Sydney is one of 14 BattleHacks around the globe and the Gearbox team will now be flown to San Francisco to compete in the BattleHack World Finals in November with a $US100,000 prize up for grabs.   It’s the second year BattleHack has been running, but the first time it’s visited Australia, and Lunn says the Gearbox team should have a good chance in the world finals.   “We didn’t know what to expect, but were happy to get the a variety of different people, from young university students to more senior people from university, people that worked corporate jobs at large companies in Sydney and people who were working on their own startups,” he says.   “The quality was fine. We had a nice mixture of hardware and software and a good completion rate, the hacks we saw were finished.”   Midnight is here and so are many of the hackers #BattleHack #Sydney 13hrs to go.— Jason Cartwright (@techAU) July 26, 2014   BattleHack teams were tasked with coming up with a solution to a local problem that would make their city a better place to live, using a mobile application that incorporates PayPal or Braintree.   Lunn says there was a great mix of ideas, including a number of which aimed to help the homeless, one of which looked at how homeless people could take donations once the world moves away from physical money, while others dealt with street art and crowdfunding.   “I am so pleased we could bring BattleHack to Australia this year to give Aussie developers a chance to show off their skills,” he says.   “The creativity and quality of code we saw proved that Australia has world-class developer talent.”   Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Local Measure secures ex-Twitter executive as COO

7:43AM | Tuesday, 29 July

Australian location-based social platform Local Measure has announced the appointment of former Twitter executive Sara Axelrod as its first chief operating officer.   Following Local Measure’s recent expansion supported into Singapore, Manila and Miami, Axelrod joins the Australian startup to further grow the business, oversee the day-to-day operations and ensure operational excellence across the company in all markets.   Axelrod will be responsible for driving all customer-facing departments, including professional services, customer services and support, and sales. Having driven growth strategies globally within several business units at Twitter, Axelrod will also focus on fuelling Local Measure’s continued expansion across the US, Asia and other regions.   Prior to Local Measure, Axelrod spent three years at Twitter during which she successfully grew Twitter’s mid-market sales team to over 130 employees globally.  As the head of Technology, Telecom, and Mobile sector for Twitter, Axelrod’s role involved overseeing the company’s first efforts to develop and market mobile products.   “What I find most compelling about Local Measure is its undisputed uniqueness in the way it extracts valuable insights from location-based data in real time, helping businesses delve into any social media interactions relevant to their brand,” says Axelrod.   “Working with international brands like Fusion, Singtel and Qantas, and three new offices in Manila, Singapore and Miami, Local Measure is poised for even greater success. I’m looking forward to take the company to the next level in its global dominance.”   Jonathan Barouch, founder and CEO of Local Measure, says that hiring a COO became vital to maintain and further mature the company’s global expansion.   “Sara is a stellar hire and we are thrilled to have her on-board. This new hire marks a great milestone for Local Measure,” says Barouch.   Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

C'mon girls, let’s program a better tech industry

7:56AM | Tuesday, 29 July

Twitter is the latest tech company to reveal figures showing women are still underrepresented in the information and communication technology (ICT) workforce.   Men make up 70% of the overall staff and women just 30%, according to a blog post by Janet Van Huysse, the company’s vice president for diversity and inclusion.   But within technical jobs at the social media giant only one in ten of employees are women, she also revealed.   Lately everyone seems to be talking about attracting women to ICT. Last year, Stanford University released the She++ documentary about recruiting women to study computing that was screened in 11 countries.   Google made a big splash last month with its new venture, Made with Code, aimed at inspiring girls to try coding.   {qtube vid:=Bo11JJgj1cU}   Other ventures include TechGirls, Digital Divas and RoboGals.   Why the focus on girls and women?   Twitter isn’t the only ICT company in which women are vastly underrepresented.   Pinterest has also revealed that only 40% of its overall staff are women and that figure drops to just 21% of the technical workforce.   Google said in May that 30% of its overall workforce is female, although only 17% of its technical workforce. LinkedIn and Facebook have similar numbers.   Australia’s gender numbers look much the same. A 2013 survey by the Australian Computer Society found that women made up 28% of all ICT workers across a range of industries, and about 18% of the technical and professional workforce within the ICT industry itself.   Why does this matter?   The ICT sector is doing well, regardless of this gender imbalance. Technology is one of the primary drivers of the modern economy and a sector where productivity is rapidly increasing.   Salaries are good and rising. Job growth has remained consistent, despite the current economic crisis. But Europe projects a deficit of at least 700,000 skilled ICT workers by 2015, and the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency projects shortfalls in most ICT occupations by 2025.   An ICT workforce without women is bad for women. Women will be left behind economically. Women will be shut out of some of the most influential positions in industry and government due to lack of relevant skills and experience. Women’s interests will not be adequately represented in the products and services produced by the ICT industry.   An ICT workforce without women is bad for the ICT industry and more broadly for the economy. If women do not enter the industry, it will be difficult to meet projected demand for ICT skills.   Perhaps more importantly, diversity is good for business. According to the US National Center for Women in Technology:   Groups with greater diversity solve complex problems better and faster than do homogenous groups, and the presence of women in a group is more likely to increase the collective intelligence of the group.   Why is this happening?   University enrolments in ICT tell a clear story: women are not choosing to study courses that lead (directly) to ICT careers. Completions of ICT degrees are down across the board, approximately 30% since 2003.   The relative proportion of women has decreased as well. Only 19% of ICT enrolments in Australia in 2013 were of women, down from 25% in 2001.   This then begs the question of why women aren’t studying ICT. The Victorian ICT Development Plan cites research that confirmed negative and stereotypical attitudes to ICT careers among high school students.   A Victorian study suggests that lack of early exposure to software tools impacts female students' interest in ICT.   Is there a solution?   There are general programs aimed at stimulating interest in ICT among young people, such as the Digital Careers program and the National Computer Science School.   But such programs typically attract students who are already interested in technology, rather than providing a venue to discover a new interest. As a case in point, when I offered a term-long Computer Science Unplugged enrichment class at my daughter’s primary school, the students who signed up were all boys who were avid gamers (plus my daughter).   Career expos can go some way to highlighting career paths and identifying the tremendous opportunities available in technology, possibly also correcting misconceptions about the impact of off-shoring on ICT jobs.   Capturing girls' interest   So, if we can agree that we want more women in tech, how do we draw them in? Here are my suggestions, based on my personal experience as a woman and a computer scientist.   DO start early   We must engage girls in ICT long before tertiary education, preferably starting in primary school. While our young students gain basic computer literacy, the focus is too much on using computers, and not enough on innovating through them.   DO provide opportunities for girls to experience the creative side of ICT   With visual programming tools such as MIT’s Scratch and Carnegie Mellon’s Alice (used in New Zealand’s Programming Challenge 4 girls), it’s easier than ever to jump right in to building things with code. Similarly fun, hands-on projects are available for other areas of ICT.   DO highlight role models and diverse career paths   It’s not easy to aspire to be part of an industry where you can’t see yourself in the people already there. One of the more inspiring experiences of my career was attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, simply because it was a convention centre full of females excited about technology. Who knew there were so many of us? We’ll be trying to do that here in Victoria next month, with the Go Girl, Go for IT event aimed at female high school students.   DON’T overly stereotype girls   In an attempt to target ICT activities specifically at girls, it is important not to go overboard in making those activities too “girly”. US high school student Abby Wheat wrote eloquently:   Do people really think that the only way you will ever get a girl to write coding for innovative software is to stick a butterfly somewhere in there?   Google’s Made with Code has been criticised for starting with a project that creates jewellery with code.   Jewelry, pink and sparkles don’t appeal to all girls. More importantly, it reinforces the message that girls in ICT are outsiders and need their own special (separate) space to do ICT. Women should be drawn into the common space, not a pink-walled zone.   Now, about those stereotypes …   When young people think of ICT, they apparently imagine a nerdy hacker working in solitude in a dark room (or so my teenager tells me). This simply does not reflect the reality of the many collaborative and creative ICT workplaces.   Misconception #1: ICT requires mathematical skills   There are many aspects of ICT that don’t use mathematics at all. Web programming and software engineering are much more about algorithms – a sequence of instructions that a computer must follow to solve a problem or to respond appropriately to a request.   Misconception #2: Programming is logical and sterile   Programming does require translating an idea into a logical breakdown of that idea that a computer can understand. In my experience the process of working out that logic often requires tremendous creativity. Solutions to problems are not always obvious, and there may be many different ways to solve the same problem.   Misconception #3: People who work in ICT aren’t social   As technology becomes more complex, diverse project teams must work together to design and build solutions. Teams might involve a user experience expert, a graphic designer, a database expert, a domain expert and programmers with various areas of focus.   Many of these suggestions apply equally to boys and girls. But girls do seem to be disproportionately disinterested in ICT.   Targeted action is needed to help girls find rewarding career paths in ICT, and to support them to stay on those paths. The effort will pay off in innovation benefiting us all.   C'mon girls, ICT is fun!   Karin Verspoor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at University of Melbourne.   This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.   Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

THE NEWS WRAP: Secret raises $25 million

7:14PM | Monday, 14 July

Anonymous messaging app Secret has raised $25 million from a group of investors led by Index Ventures.   Sources tell the Wall Street Journal investors now value the company at $100 million.   It follows a valuation of $40 million just four months ago.   Secret was founded just nine months ago in San Francisco and it is likely among the fastest of any startup to reach a nine-figure valuation.   LinkedIn acquires Newsle   LinkedIn has announced it has acquired Newsle, a service that lets users important their contacts from Facebook or LinkedIn and scans the web to alert them whether anyone in their network has been mentioned on the web.   In a post on LinkedIn’s blog, the company says LinkedIn and Newsle share a common goal.   “We both want to provide professional insights that make you better at what you do,” it says.   “For example, knowing more about the people in your network – like when they’re mentioned in the news – can surface relevant insights that help you hit your next meeting with them out of the park.”   Google X director joins Amazon   Babak Parviz, Google X director and founder of the Google Glass and contact lens projects at the tech giant has left the company to join Amazon.

When it comes to generating revenue, Twitter is the most valuable social channel in Australia

7:08PM | Sunday, 6 July

Events e-commerce platform Eventbrite, which officially launched in Australia in March, has released data to quantify the return on investment (ROI) social media is having on those who use it to promote and market their events.   By analysing all sales across its marketplace in 2013, Eventbrite found that a single share on social media generates nine visits to an event page and $4.80 in additional revenue back to Australian organizers. This compares with a return of $3.70 (AUD) globally.   Twitter shares are the most effective generating two to four times more revenue and pageviews than other social channels.   The findings from Eventbrite’s data analysis, which have not included Australia before, offer a great insight into the monetary and promotional value of a customer sharing through social channels – namely Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.   Eventbrite’s International Expansion Manager, Elsita Meyer-Brandt told StartupSmart that the findings could be extrapolated to other marketing activities though for their purposes they were purely focussed on events.   “The bottom line is that social media is an effective way for people to promote and generate revenue for those in the event space,” Meyer-Brandt says. “This is especially important for startups trying to build a community around their brand.”   The value of customers sharing on social media   Eventbrite’s data reveals that a share on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn drives an average of $4.80 in additional revenue back to the organizer.   Twitter drives the most value at $10.90 per share, followed by Facebook at $4.10 and then LinkedIn at $3.20.   “If you think about it, every share is essentially ‘free revenue’,” Meyer-Brandt says.   Social media is also proven to drive traffic, with a single share resulting in nine additional visits, on average. Again, Twitter leads this trend with one share generating 38 additional visits, while LinkedIn drives 11 visits per share and Facebook drives seven visits per share.   For additional sales, on average it takes four shares, with Twitter again being the most effective channel, with only two shares resulting in an additional sale, followed by Facebook and LinkedIn both at five.     Twitter is the most valuable social channel   Compared to Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter is by far the most effective driver of revenue and traffic in Australia. Over the last two years, Eventbrite has seen Twitter’s influence increase while Facebook’s has decreased.   Meyer-Brandt believes this is because Facebook feeds have become cluttered and news feeds are potentially becoming less relevant.   On the other hand, she says Twitter is less saturated, meaning less distraction for users.   “The 140 character limit means users often need to click on links to see more information,” Meyer-Brandt says.   Events that have the most social shares   The types of events that see the most value from social media sharing are food events and performances, followed by seminars and music events.   In comparison, conventions and participatory sports events slightly lower value. In terms of traffic, social and food events see the highest number of visits from social media posts, followed by seminars, conferences and then entertainment events.   Eventbrite has processed nearly $3 billion in ticket sales in 187 countries worldwide. Since launching in Australia in 2012, it has hosted over 75,000 local events and recently opened an APAC office in Melbourne.

Tinder founders in sexual harassment case: Having a female co-founder “makes the company feel like a joke”

7:09AM | Thursday, 3 July

One of the co-founders of online dating app Tinder is suing the company for sexual harassment and discrimination, in a case that is drawing attention to the treatment of women in the technology industry.   Former Tinder marketing vice-president Whitney Wolfe filed the explosive suit against Tinder, its majority owner IAC and sister company in the California Superior Court on Monday.   According to the lawsuit, Wolfe alleges she was subject to ongoing sexual harassment and discrimination during a period of 18 months, beginning in late 2012, and leading up to her resignation in April.   She says co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen (pictured above) removed her title as co-founder of the company because of her gender, with Rad telling Wolfe having a young, female co-founder “makes the company seem like a joke” and “devalues” the company.   Wolfe claims Mateen, the company’s chief marketing officer who she briefly dated, repeatedly insulted her in public, including calling her a “whore” at a company party, while also harassing her via private text messages.   To make matters worse, Wolfe says Rad, who is the chief executive of Tinder, ignored her complaints about Mateen’s behaviour and at one point said in response to her complaints that her “employment continuing is not likely an option at this point”.   SmartCompany attempted to contact Tinder and IAC but did not receive a response from either company prior to publication.   IAC has released a statement saying Mateen has been suspended while an internal investigation is completed. The spokesperson said the company “unequivocally” condemns the private message sent by Mateen to Wolfe.   But IAC says it “believe[s] that Ms Wolfe’s allegations with respect to Tinder and its management are unfounded”.   Wolfe said in a statement published in USA Today she had hoped to resolve the dispute confidentially, “but after months of failed attempts, I have decided to pursue this suit”.   The allegations have drawn more attention to how women are treated in the technology industry, following the release of damning diversity statistics by some of the world’s largest corporations, including Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn.   This article first appeared on SmartCompany.

Tasmanian entrepreneurs aim to re-invigorate state’s economy with launch of three projects

5:51AM | Monday, 26 May

Hot on the heels of the federal budget’s call for innovators to swing into action, Tasmanian entrepreneurs are embarking on commercialising three major innovative projects over the next month.   From a groundswell of energy in the Tasmanian business community largely being played out in social media, the entrepreneurs and others passionate about Tasmania’s future economy came together recently, after an intense round of responses and discussion on a LinkedIn post about the Tasmanian economy.   After several weeks of wide-ranging thought sharing and debate online, they resolved to press ahead to create real change in Tasmania, and committed to meet in person to brainstorm how to boost Tasmanian innovation and new business.   In their first meeting held in Hobart, they agreed that projects put forward could be further developed by champions who would take it to their connections to support and make the projects a reality.   “We wanted to be an action-oriented collective, not just another talk fest,” says spokesperson David Wells.   “It was critical to us that we had a practical way for passionate people to pursue actual projects to fruition completely.”   Three projects out of the discussion are now poised for commercial launch:   Get Funding Pty Ltd – a crowdfunding platform to provide research and development funds for start-ups and innovation, led by David & Jenelle Wells from Millpark Corporation Pty Ltd; The Tasmanian Innovations Exchange – a new media platform to shine the spotlight on Tasmanian innovation news in the state and beyond, led by Jess Tyler from SciBiz Media & Communications; The ‘1000 jobs for Tasmania’ initiative – a series of workshops and one-on-one sessions led by Cameron Johns form Cameron J Consulting to ignite the spark in the Tasmanian economy through working with high growth potential businesses to create 1000 new jobs.   “The key to the fast results we’re achieving is being able to get people together to share their experience, resources and connections, and in some cases this leveraging has been the tipping point in getting the project off the ground,” Wells says.   Wells hopes to generate interest from more entrepreneurial thinkers and ‘go getters’ so that new projects can be developed that will be imaginative, resourceful and supremely beneficial for Tasmania.   For more information, contact David Wells 0433 442820 or   *Reposted with permission from Startup Tasmania.

Tinder-meets-LinkedIn app gets risque with business

5:14AM | Friday, 2 May

So much for not mixing business and pleasure, newly launched dating app LinkedUp! is using business networking site LinkedIn to hook up dates.   LinkedUp! is like a mixture of LinkedIn and dating site Tinder and pulls information from LinkedIn user profiles, like their industry, schools and job.   The app allows users to chat after they have a mutual match. Like Tinder, LinkedUp! users can swipe right or swipe left to allow users to like and dislike profiles.   LinkedUp! allows users to connect with anyone on the LinkedUp! platform and similar to other Facebook-based mobile dating apps is not based on your immediate network or connections.   LinkedUp! chief executive Max Fischer is based in Los Angeles in the United States but spent some time studying at University of New South Wales in Australia.   He told SmartCompany he got the idea for LinkedUp! after noticing people, including himself, using the business networking site to find dates.   “LinkedUp! users get a very true sense of who someone is, where they are from, where they went to school and what they do, giving users a sense of comfort and trust,” he says.   “These are also the first questions people ask in terms of gaining rapport in first date interactions!”   Fischer says there is no indication on a user’s LinkedIn profile that they are on LinkedUp! and the app never posts anything to LinkedIn.   “What's great about our application is that a user has to opt-in and download our app to be part of our platform, which helps keep LinkedIn professional,” he says.   “So only people who want to be a part of our LinkedUp! app are using it.”   The app is in no way affiliated with LinkedIn but uses the networking sites API key.   Fischer declined to reveal how LinkedUp! is making money and how many users it has so far.   “The current traction and metrics are very encouraging since the app went live,” he says.   This article first appeared on SmartCompany.

What makes a good accountant for a start-up?

4:50AM | Tuesday, 8 April

What makes a good accountant for a start-up? A lot of them seem to be very focused on the corporate end of town.

Meet the finalists for the Best Startup Idea award at the 2014 StartupSmart Awards

3:29AM | Wednesday, 26 March

All startups begin as ideas and, sadly, the vast majority stay that way. This award celebrates those who have started to turn their idea into something.   With over 400 applications for this round, judges were seeking innovative and promising ideas.   The winner will be announced at the StartupSmart awards night. You can follow the awards night with the hashtag #susawards.   JobAdvisor   JobAdvisor is a marketplace seeking to stop companies from being deluged with applications after posting a job ad and aspiring employees from lurking about the recruitment boards of their dream company.   Employers still pay, but rather than listing jobs, they create a profile about what it’s like to work with them, including anonymous employee reviews. Clients include Telstra and Westpac.   Founded by Justin Babet, they’ve recently raised funds and grown the team to five people. They launched version three of their product two months ago.   StartupSmart covered JobAdvisor when it first launched here.   Musio   This platform connecting amateur musicians to professional reviewers burst onto the startup scene late last year after winning Startup Weekend Adelaide.   With more music being produced than ever before, accessing expert mentoring or even one-off feedback is challenging. Promos and demos are usually sent via email with attachments and download links or CD mailers, all of which become unwieldy to manage.   Musio co-founders Mal Chia and Oli Young describe the platform as a hybrid of LinkedIn and Gmail applied to the music industry.   Chia shared his plans for the app with StartupSmart the day after they won Startup Weekend.   CareMonkey   CareMonkey is a software for schools, clubs and businesses that enables these groups to access parent-controlled emergency and medical forms. From permission slips to serious medical information, the app is designed to ensure carers have access to the information they need to make the right decision for children.   The app was part of a Startup Leadership Program and has rolled out into 21 schools in 2013.   Launched by Troy Westley and Martin Howell, they’ve been building their sales team and are looking to expand into the UK and US later this year.   Epark   While this idea is still only that, it’s a promising one to solve the constant clutter of cars trying to get out of car parks.   Epark will be a software, possibly deployed as a mobile app, that scans sensors as vehicles enter and exit car parks to calculate the right fee. The amount is then deducted from the credit card or pre-paid account linked to the scanned vehicle.   Alphatise   This online marketplace aims to help sellers assess actual market demand for their product through a series of wish lists with a twist. For each item listed, the buyer also indicates how much they would be willing to pay.   Sellers on Alphatise can then use the data shared and offer deals to pre-qualified buyers, or target new buyers with push advertising. The app also allows time-based deals, geo-targeting and competitor targeting.   Co-founded by Paul Pearson and Richard Frey, the team has now grown to four including chief technical officer Linus Yong and chief operations officer Kent Hume.   They recently raised $1.5 million and spoke to StartupSmart about their plans.

Three funny startup Twitter accounts you should follow for the LOLs

11:00AM | Wednesday, 30 November

Even the most ardent startup advocates have to admit there is lot of scope for humour in the heady realm of tech, big goals and new businesses.   So perhaps it’s unsurprising that there are a host of satiric startup Twitter accounts out there, making light of serious issues or sending up the stereotypes.   Here are our top three to follow:   PHP_CEO   A send-up of a chief executive at a fictional programming company, this account taps into the crazy expectations of startups as well as the perennial tension and misunderstandings between developers and non-technical team members.   YOU DEVELOPERS MIGHT CALL IT "REINVENTING THE WHEEL", BUT I CALL IT "CREATING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY"— PHP CEO (@PHP_CEO) February 24, 2014   With every tweet delivered in all-caps, following this account is a good way to jolt your day with a friendly reminder of startup angst.   OK THIS BUSINESS UNIT IS GOING TO OPERATE LIKE A STARTUP. HAHA NO IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU GET EQUITY YOU JUST WORK EVENINGS AND WEEKENDS NOW— PHP CEO (@PHP_CEO) February 28, 2014   PanderDaily   Part startup satire and part startup media satire, @NextTechBlog makes fun off the way startups get covered and the themes often explored by startup publications.   The account pokes fun at overused headlines:   SCOOP-SCLUSIVE: I Checked Up On A Start-Up No One Else Cares About Anymore— Pander Daily (@NextTechBlog) February 25, 2014 Why The Most Predictable Tech Headline Of 2013 Arrived In February 2014— Pander Daily (@NextTechBlog) February 25, 2014   And people who inspire these stories:  LinkedIn Notifications From Q3 2014: Congratulate your bro on his promotion from social guru to brand prophet.— Pander Daily (@NextTechBlog) February 7, 2014   Startup L. Jackson   Back on the rougher end of the humour spectrum, Startup L Jackson sends out edgy tweets and occasionally profanity laden missives about startups and technology.   For example, this was his contribution to the leading startup conference South by South West’s hashtag.   Crowds, like drunk people, are very rarely wise. This is why drunk crowds make such great customers. #protip #sxsw— Startup L. Jackson (@StartupLJackson) March 12, 2014   With a sense of humour built around the ‘everyone is thinking it’ style, he also offers fashion advice for founders dithering between looks and the thought process thousands must go through when a startup makes it big:   Dear sportcoat and t-shirt guy, pick a fucking side.— Startup L. Jackson (@StartupLJackson) March 13, 2014 #1 That idea is stupid. #2 It's $1bn a year in digital kittens, dude. #1 They're making how much money? Doing what? #1 I'm old.— Startup L. Jackson (@StartupLJackson) March 11, 2014

Making lazy millions and are you happy or just app-y?: Best of the Web reads

2:25AM | Friday, 28 February

How laziness can drive you to millions: Lazy doesn’t have to be a dirty word. In fact, laziness can be a driver to success and early retirement, argues CEO Brenton Hayden in this article for Entrepreneur.   The doctor is in – online: The internet has made just about everything and anything available at the click of a mouse or tap of a finger. Even something like therapy you might have thought impossible to provide online is now on offer. This article in Fast Co explains how.   Outsourcing our lives to apps: While apps that automate our lives with reminders and encouragements may appear helpful at first glance, what will their impact be on our relationships with others? This piece in Wired argues that the more we outsource to technology, the more of ourselves we lose.   Healthy advice for the brain: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? For holistic health guru Deepak Chopra it was what makes a healthy brain. In this post on LinkedIn he explains the seven dishes that make up a “healthy mind platter”.

Five top lead generating tips for 2014

2:50AM | Tuesday, 18 February

Generating leads is an all-important task for businesses and especially so for solo traders, start-ups and smaller businesses.   Too many businesses end up taking a haphazard approach to lead generation, so here are five simple strategies you can use to find quality leads for your business this year.   1. Start with a strategy   So many people in business take a scattergun approach to lead generation, going for mass marketing to spread their message, without really knowing if the message is getting through to their target market.   Start at the very beginning, and decide who you want to target, advises Peter Griffith, the Asia-Pacific director of training and consultancy firm for businesses, rogenSi.   “Determine the look and feel of your ideal customer. Who are they, where do they live, work and play? Also, consider their habits and lifestyle, and think about what they buy and from which companies, how they shop, how they access information and how they make decisions. Also, think about their business and personal needs, and how you help fix these,” he says.   The best lead generation technique depends on the company, their industry, the products/services they sell, who they want to sell them to, how they differentiate from competitors and the brand they want to promote, he says.   Ask anyone even moderately tech savvy and they’ll tell you there are only two options – search engine optimisation and Google AdWords, he says.   2. Make your website work harder   Your company website should be working hard to generate leads for your business, so make sure it’s up to date and has all the bells and whistles.   This should be the central hub for all your marketing and lead generation, says Marnie Ashe, head of consulting for Reload Consulting.   “Not only will this allow for greater tracking of where your leads come from, what makes them inquire and ultimately what makes them become a customer, but also provides a central point for inquiry, allowing your potential customers’ details to be fed into a marketing database for future use,” Ashe says.   Increasing enquiries on your website can be easily achieved by making sure it’s easy to find your contact details, with a phone number on every page a good idea, and your contact page easily accessible from your navigation, she says.   “Also, have an enquiry form on every page. The easier it is to enquire, the more chance you have of a prospect inquiring. But keep the enquiry form short and sweet, you can collect more information when you follow up.”   Also, consider adding a live chat service to your website, which is like having a friendly sales consultant greet people and offer them live assistance about your service, and can cost around $10 a day. Check out Web Reception or Live Chat Monitoring, which both offer this service.   3. Get social   One of the best things you can do for your personal brand and business is to take social media seriously. When done well, building and communicating with your network of followers will build loyalty and trust in your business, and ultimately build sales.   A compelling and active LinkedIn profile can also work well to generate new leads, according to Joe Fox, marketing director of web development and digital marketing agency, Studio Culture.   “There are so many opportunities that people are missing by simply not updating their LinkedIn profiles and networking with other business owners or potential customers on the platform,” he says.   Catriona Pollard, director of Sydney’s CP Communications agrees, saying LinkedIn is without a doubt the best place for b2b lead generation.   “A basic account on LinkedIn will allow you to build relationships and maintain contacts, as well as give you a lot of transparency into your extended professional network. You can generally contact your first degree and second degree connections using LinkedIn InMail, even if you don’t have their email address,” Pollard says.   By upgrading to LinkedIn Premium, you can contact people outside of your network and gain further insights into who is viewing your profile, she says.   “You can also directly target new leads using LinkedIn’s advanced search, which allows you to drill down and filter people by role type, company or industry, leading to high quality leads.”   Facebook is another great tool. Melbourne business coach Maureen Pound suggests offering a free report on your Facebook business page to get people into your sales funnel.   “Make sure that whatever you are offering is really useful and alleviates some sort of pain for your target market, such as ‘5 biggest mistakes people make when starting out in business’, or ‘how to get your baby sleeping through the night’, for example. There’s lots of software out there to help you do this, such as lead pages,” Pollard says.   4. Do the little things   Understanding why and how you help people, and focusing on what problems you’re solving for them and how you solve them is paramount, says Frances Pratt, who explains sales to non-sales people.   “Use this information to get your message out there. This should be the central thing you talk about in your advertising and promotions. Use this information to tell them about what you do and to ask questions when you’re meeting people,” Pratt, of Metisan says.   Also, always ask for repeat business, she says. Once you’ve got something great for someone, ask if there’s something else you can help with.   “It’s amazing once you have achieved something, how people will open up with more problems that they need help with.”   Also, make sure you’re talking to the right people, who have the budget and power to spend with you.   “So many business owners spent time on people who aren’t the decision maker, or aren’t willing to pay, which is a huge waste of time and energy,” she says.   Businesses should shake their approach up a bit. Replicate what works 80% of the time using lead generation sources that have previously proven to lead sales. But 20% of the time, be inventive and try new lead sources, recommends Susanne Mather, executive director of Employment Office.   “One example in the recruitment sales business is that 80% of the time, we source leads from recruitment advertising, calling businesses that are advertising for staff themselves.   “But 20% of the time, we do things like take photos of the tent lists in the foyer of CBD high rise buildings and cold call them all. Or take photos of the logos on the sides of buildings and trucks when we’re out and about, and cold call these,” Mather says.   5. Get serious about content management   It’s crucial to have a robust content management system as a place to conveniently store, manage and access both new leads and leads you’re revisiting, says Mather.   Every team member at Employment Office starts the day with exactly 20 new leads entered in the CMS, which are sourced from a variety of channels, no excuses, she says.   “It’s important for lead generation to be a carefully thought out part of the sales process, and it needs to be executed with consistency.   “Investing in a program that really works for your business is something you will thank yourself for again and again, and has the capacity to repay the initial expense many times over.”   Once you’ve got a great way to manage your leads, adopt the ‘find, wash, enter’ process, This refers to finding leads strategically and consistently, washing leads to make sure they’re not being approached by colleagues and entering those leads into a content management system so they are easily accessible and manageable, she says.

How to attract and retain top talent to a company with no track record

1:44AM | Tuesday, 28 January

Talent is one of the most important, and heftiest, investments for start-ups. But start-ups often struggle to attract top talent to their team because of their lack of demonstrated success.   Recruitment specialist Julie Seletto says founders need to think outside the obvious channels to bring the best people to their team.   “For your first few hires, you need to take the time to find the best possible people. Don’t necessarily go through Seek or the standard options,” Seletto says.   “Go through your own networks, on LinkedIn and via recruiters to find strong, entrepreneurial sales people at the top of their game, as these people are rarely looking for jobs.”   She shares her top three tips with StartupSmart.   Have a clear vision and sell the story   Seletto says the most compelling and important thing start-ups can do to attract the kind of talent they need is excite people by having a clear vision.   “You’ve got to sell a story to your employees because if you’re building from nothing it’s all you’ve got. You don’t have the brand or turnover, so you need to excited them with a vision,” Seletto says.   She adds being able to articulate the vision for the next few months as well as up to five years or beyond will enable your potential employees to see themselves in your story.   Build your own brand   Another way to overcome the new business equals no credibility issue is to develop your own reputation and brand.   “Because the business is new, you’re selling and attracting people to yourselves rather than the business,” Seletto says.   Attending and hosting industry events, speaking at conferences, obtaining strong recommendations on LinkedIn and developing your social media followings are all tactics start-up founders can use to create a personal track record that’s discoverable online.   “Anyone worth hiring will use Google and social media to check you and your credibility out, so get out there and start developing your online presence so you’re able to show you’re worth joining and likely to be successful,” Seletto says.   Leverage your small size and fresh approach As a capital constrained start-up, you probably won’t be able to offer top rates so founders need to get creative about what they can offer instead.   Seletto says as a small business, you have the capacity to individualise your employment offer around each new team member.   “You can partly overcome the challenge of attracting leading talent by having flexible offerings and structures of salaries,” Seletto says. “Look into offering additional leave, the opportunity to work from home, as well as incentives such as equity, profit share or vouchers.”

New year, fresh start

1:19AM | Tuesday, 21 January

There’s something about the new year that feels … well, new.   It’s as if all the errors of action and inaction and the unexpected and unwanted events of the past year have been wiped away. Here is a chance to start again.   Harnessing the power of the number that must now be written on everything for the next 12 months, I have made some Decisions, (but note, not resolutions). These are:   1. Me before media   I will do what is precious and meaningful for me, before I check my email, look at a screen or slip down the rabbit hole of lost time that is LinkedIn. I would like to do at least three chunks (see point 2) before I head to the Black Mirror and check my emails.   I have tried this for a week or so and I notice that because I have been for a walk (15 minutes) read a section of an inspirational book (15 minutes) and written my own stuff (15 minutes) before I check my email, it seems to have less power to draw me in, set me off, or otherwise frazzle me. Interesting …   2. Chunking   Chunking big tasks down into small ones helps me attack, grapple, get on with overwhelmingly large projects. I realised that if I had been culling, tidying and updating my contact database for 15 minutes every day last year it would have all been done by now. And it’s not.   Since I know that 15 minutes of filing is about all I can do anyway before my attention falters, (well actually it is more like six minutes but I can contemplate doing 15) I have chunked all my tasks and aspirations into these bite sized time squares.   Not a new idea, (how do you eat an elephant?) but I have never really put the effort into setting the timer and having a go.   Astonishing what I can get done in such a small space of time, for example a blog post. And there are four of them in an hour. Wow.   3. Layering   Layering sounds a bit like multitasking, but enables me to focus mindfully on how two things can be achieved at the same time, minimising effort.   Once again, not a new idea, it’s in every self-help book since Think Big, but I am now consciously looking for ways this can work more effectively for me. For instance, I want to write my own stuff about what I am thinking and reading, and the course of study I am currently finishing asks me to write what I am thinking about what I am reading.   So, all this writing and thinking effort, which belongs to me, can be used for my own publishing as well as a course requirement. Gosh - that means I have practically written a book already! Yes, soloists can create duets with themselves. How about that?   So what Decisions are you making about how to get the most out of your days this year?

Apps I can’t live without: Five entrepreneurs reveal their top three

1:59PM | Monday, 20 January

With so many apps available and created every day, how do you know which ones are the best for your purposes?   We asked five entrepreneurs to tell us which apps they can’t live without and why.   There are some that were common – nearly everyone listed Dropbox – and others a little more for the times when they aren’t working.   Are there any other apps you can’t live without?     Mark McDonald – co-founder and managing director of app developer Appster   EverNote – The perfect app for capturing ideas and concepts between meetings and while travelling. I love that it syncs up to my Macbook Pro as well, so wherever I am I can find important ideas.   ZombieRun – Staying fit sucks. But when you are running from zombies it's more fun, I really love how this app gamified the process of jogging.   Things 2 – I'm a workaholic but also have the attention span of a small child, that's why using Things 2 as a way to manage my daily activities, projects and responsibilities in a really simple interface has doubled my productivity.     James Wakefield – co-founder and managing director of online tailoring firm InStitchu   Asana – Asana is an excellent app that helps our entire team manage and organise tasks and projects across all areas of the business. Before we used Asana, we had so many unnecessary emails going back and forth across members. Now, each individual project has a to-do list, saved in the cloud, enabling each of us to view updates and changes as they’re made. Asana is also fully integrated with our CRM, which is an additional bonus!   Evernote – Evernote is the perfect note-taking app for every entrepreneur. Because it syndicates across all of your devices, I’m able to make notes and save attachments on the go, using my iPhone and I’ll later revisit these on my laptop or iPad. It's saved me many times when I have been travelling and haven’t had access to the internet. There was an instance where I had saved my hotel reservation form to Evernote, and was able to access it from the back of a taxi in Shanghai on a sourcing trip. Without it, I wouldn’t have had a clue where I was heading!   Dropbox – We back up everything on Dropbox, again because the cloud is such an integral part of our business. Dropbox provides us the storage that we need to save large files too, like high-resolution images of suits and shirts. Every single program we use at InStitchu is cloud based and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have the freedom to jump on any computer, anywhere in the world to access all of my programs and via Dropbox, all of my files!   Story continues on page 2. Please click below. Tim Fung – co-founder and chief executive of online tasks outsourcer Airtasker   Dropbox – An oldie but a goodie. I use DB across all the companies that I work in and love the fact that I can access my files from anywhere, including from my iPhone. The app can be a little bit pervasive (trying to get you to store and sync all of your personal photos, etc) but it does make life pretty easy and is good risk management in case you lose your device.   GoCatch – A really good taxi hailing app. I use these guys to grab taxis between meetings and the office to make sure I'm not waiting outside on busy days. It's a super simple app and also lets me keep track of my taxi receipts, which is a plus.   Pocketbook – An easy to use app for tracking your personal budget. You just link up your bank accounts and credit cards and then PB sends you an update each week to let you know if you're overspending or within budget. They also have a bunch of features to monitor and analyse where you're spending and where you could save.     Andrew Ward – managing director of online investment community SelfWealth   LinkedIn app – As an entrepreneur, LinkedIn on your iPhone/on the move is invaluable. Each time you read a media story about other entrepreneurs, or a story related to your target market, connecting to these related parties ASAP is a must.   Ingogo – The taxi booking app. This is a must for an entrepreneur getting around in the boondocks and racing to get to that next meeting.   Cricket Australia’s "Live" app – I'm a cricket tragic; enough said.     Ben Cohn – co-founder of mobile self-storage firm TAXIBOX   Swann View – Swann View gives us live, streaming access to our surveillance systems through an iPhone. It’s an incredible feeling waking up every morning and seeing the entire company running smoothly – without us!   Dropbox – The Dropbox app seamlessly integrates with Dropbox Desktop and allows us to run a large portion of TAXIBOX’s operational processes without having to be near a computer.   Face Swap – Because there’s nothing quite like seeing your parents swap genders!