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January 2015

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 jan 2015

Nonprofits are always in need of support through funds, volunteers, materials etc. But if the nonprofit is a small one than the required help is even more. Jacqueline Wilson, founder of, provides her opinion on why smaller nonprofits should be the focus of support of individuals and families - (1) Small nonprofits have little or no staff at all. (2) Salaries are super small (or non-existent) at smaller nonprofits. (3) Smaller nonprofits would go out of work without your help. (4) Small nonprofits rely on the kindness of strangers, i.e. anyone who can pitch in for support. (5) Smaller nonprofits aren't on the radar of big company donations. (6) Smaller nonprofits have even smaller marketing budgets. Read on...

Huffington Post: 6 Reasons Small Non-Profits Need Your Family's Help More Than the Bigger Non-Profits
Author: Jacqueline Wilson

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 jan 2015

Apple Inc. is associated with the best designed world-class products. It's a result of extraordinary design process that they apply before their products reach the hands of their customers. Here are few product design lessons from Apple - (1) Quality counts at every stage of product development and customer experience. (2) Embrace change and continuously iterate, evolve and develop new products. (3) Stay ahead and provide new to market technologies within compelling new products people need. (4) Whole widget, meaning owns the primary software technology giving it the flexibility to introduce new solutions and add new features over time. (5) Riding without wheels, meaning the robust, inventive and long design process that takes time to launch new to market product categories. (6) Take risks, embrace failures and learn. Apple understands the value of process innovation in order to maintain its design lead. (7) Thoroughly understand the various elements of the innovations process like use of advanced new materials and technologies etc. (8) Deeply complex but simple to users. Develop products so that they work intuitively. (9) Customers count at every stage. (10) Consistency across every strand of the user experience. Read on...

Computerworld: Apple's top 10 tips for great product design
Author: Jonny Evans

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 jan 2015

Although pharmaceutical industry comprises of well entrenched big corporations with strong R&D investments and there hardly seem to be any room for entrepreneurs with the 'fail fast, fail often' philosophy of startup culture. But Kevin Xu, CEO of MEBO International & Skingenics, argues otherwise and suggests entrepreneurs to still seek opportunities in the drug development industry by looking at right places within the various components of the pharma ecosystem. They should observe and anticipate innovations and emerging technologies. Mr. Xu provides following four specific suggestions for entrepreneurs to find their niche in the drug development world by understanding & developing a relationship within R&D - (1) Look at the supply chain and search for gaps in what's available and what's needed for maximum accuracy and efficiency. (2) Figure out what's in demand and develop the right expertise to develop a niche as an expert consultant. (3) Go to trade shows as they are invaluable resources for both networking and information-gathering. (4) Look at the periphery and find out what is needed in the inside. They can develop specialized tools outside the industry which can be utilized by those working in drug development. Read on...

Entrepreneur: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Break Into the Drug Industry
Author: Kevin Xu

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 jan 2015

Over the years it is observed that there is no change in the success rate of around 30% for major corporate change programs. Ron Ashkenas, managing partner of Schaffer Consulting, suggests that although enough investments are being made in education, research, consulting and training to understand and implement change management, the results had been disappointing mainly due to an underlying symantic problem that stems from the confusion between what constitutes 'change' versus 'transformation'. Most managers can't differentiate between the two. Organizations have even though learned to manage change but they generally struggle with transformation. According to Mr. Ashkenas, 'change management' means implementing finite initiatives, which may or may not cut across the organization. The focus is on executing a well-defined shift in the way things work. While 'transformation', unlike change management, doesn't focus on a few discrete, well-defined shifts, but rather on a portfolio of initiatives, which are interdependent or intersecting. More importantly, the overall goal of transformation is not just to execute a defined change - but to reinvent the organization and discover a new or revised business model based on a vision for the future. It's much more unpredictable, iterative, and experimental. Read on...

Harvard Business Review: We Still Don't Know the Difference Between Change and Transformation
Author: Ron Ashkenas

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 jan 2015

Change management and project management are two important and different aspects of business management. Change management provides a structured framework to transition individuals and organizations from one state to the next. Project management is concerned with accomplishing a clearly defined goal and outcome with a specific budget, scope and quality standards. Christopher Smith, Change Management Director at WalkMe, provides critical differences between change management and project management - (1) Project management has a specific measurable goal while change management typically involves less tangible and measurable ideas about what is being achieved. (2) Project management necessitates a timeline while change management involves input from stakeholders in the business throughout the process, meaning that as the idea is being developed it will be implemented over an undefined period of time. (3) Milestones are integral to project management while change management is an open and consultative process where course correction can happen based on suggestions and needs. (4) Project management has limited scope while in change management the scope can be very broad or not defined at all. (5) Change management involves input of multiple ideas while in contrast project management only requires a single idea from which it can be developed. Read on...

LinkedIn Pulse: The Key Differences Between Change Management and Project Management
Author: Christopher Smith

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 16 jan 2015

Since small businesses have budget constraints and can't spend too much on marketing, branding & advertising, they have to try to do less with more. Moreover they have to develop a solid marketing plan to attract and retain their customers. Christine St.Vil and Julian Kiganda, authors and entrepreneurs, provide tips on branding and marketing for small business owners. On Branding - (1) Have total clarity on your WHY (2) Know who you are (3) Deliver on your promise. On Marketing - (1) Focuse on relationship building (2) Focus on creating and sharing great content that your audience wants/needs/will benefit from (3) Tell your story (4) When your business grows, make sure your head stays the same size. Read on...

Author: Kara Stevens

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 15 jan 2015

In the ever changing and evolving world of technology, it is challenging to predict with certainty what will succeed and fail in the coming times. But researchers and experts apply variety of methods to analyze and understand what technologies will become trends and survive, and keeping businesses and public aware of their usefulness and impact. Amy Webb, founder and CEO of Webbmedia Group, at the end of each year applies a framework to bring out the most important emerging trends in digital media and emerging technology for the year ahead. The framework analyzes consumer behavior, microeconomic trends, government policies, market forces, and emerging research within the context of our continually-evolving tech and digital media ecosystem. Her team uses a core set of five attributes to look for emerging patterns: contradictions, inflections, oddities, coincidences, and inversions. These attributes help to identify a set of likely trends on horizon. Each trend is then put through five questions - (1) Where/how are people wasting their time? (2) Where/how are people having difficulty with technology? (3) Where/how are people looking for information? (4) Where/how are people stuck? (5) How do people want to be perceived? These five questions help in qualitatively and quantitatively assess whether or not that pattern is actually a trend that will stick in the future. Based on this methodology Ms. Webb suggests six tech trends of importance for managers in all industries - (1) Deep learning (2) Smart virtual personal assistants (3) More Uber-type businesses in other industries (4) Oversight for algorithms (5) Data privacy (6) Block chain technology. Read on...

Harvard Business Review: The Tech Trends You Can't Ignore in 2015
Author: Amy Webb

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 jan 2015

Technology plays an important role in bringing efficiency to the financial markets. Emerging technologies, public's desire for financial transparency and government regulations that started to favor financial market alternatives after the financial crisis, provided the necessary momentum for the FinTech sector which saw billions of dollars invested and couple of successful IPOs (LendingClub, OnDeck) in 2014. Following are important FinTech trends to keep an eye on in 2015 as they provide both opportunities and risks - (1) Service-based Investing: Term for 'low-cost service-based investing', the upcoming sector of paid services around low cost investing. Example is RobinHood, mobile based commission-free trading brokerage. The combination of paid apps with commission-free investing could result in a combination of sophisticated trading products in an environment that costs less than what one or two trades would cost at a competing online broker. The downside of this business model can be learned from forex industry, where most services are free and getting clients to pay for premium services is challenging. (2) Robo Investing: It is anti-social trading, an opposite of social trading which tends to be democratization of trading where anybody can develop a track record and become trade leaders. With robo investing, users enter information such as their age, risk tolerance, years until retirement and expected savings amount. The platforms then automatically invest funds in ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) that track indexes. This is all done for fees at a fraction of those charged at actively managed mutual funds and professional financial advisors. The fear here is that incumbents like Charles Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard will enter the market and commoditize robo investing. If this happens smaller players and new firms may find it too tough to scale large enough to become profitable. (3) Digital-based Equity Investing: Combining blockchain technology and equity crowdfunding, decentralized exchanges are being used to create digital stock offerings. Equity crowdfunding itself is an emerging market. The appeal of digital-based equity crowdfunding is that it is easier to create an aftermarket once a sale takes place, as well as marketing the offering around the globe. Regulation is one of the biggest challenge for this model. Another issue is the bitcoin-based buying process for digital shares which presents a stumbling block for someone that doesn't have bitcoins. Read on...

Forex Magnates: Fintech Trends for 2015: Investing Services, Anti-Social Trading, and Digital Crowdfunding
Author: Ron Finberg

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 10 jan 2015

There are billions of dollars that are being invested in financial technologies (FinTech). 2014 has been one of the biggest year for FinTech and the sector is expected to grow further in future. According to StrategyEye, US$ 2.8 billion were raised in 2014 via venture capital investments in FinTech. While Crunchbase and MarketsMedia calculated that in the first quarter of 2014 alone US$ 1.7 billion was invested in 167 deals. At Money2020 this year a venture capital panel predicted that venture capital deployment in FinTech will top US$ 20 billion in 2015, whereas Accenture recently predicted FinTech investments would reach at least US$ 8 billion by 2018 in New York alone. Brett King, CEO of Moven, provides list of top 10 major happenings in 2014 that made FinTech stand out - (1) Spanish banking giant BBVA acquires Simple for US$ 117 million. (2) Apple launches Apple Pay for NFC-enabled mobile payments (NFC = Near Field Communication). (3) Lending Club became the biggest FinTech IPO in 2014 with a US$ 1 billion IPO. (4) AliPay, the online payment platform of Alibaba Group, raises US$ 94 billion in mobile deposits. (5) London becomes the top city for FinTech job creation with 44,000 FinTech specialists employed. (6) Visa launches Host Card Emulation and Tokenization. (7) Second Market launches the first US regulated Bitcoin Exchange. (8) 5 FinTech giants (Lending Club, Square, Credit Karma, Stripe, and China's RenRenDai) join the US$ 1 billion "Unicorn Club". (9) Four Major global banks (Sberbank, BBVA, Santander and HSBC) joined the US$ 100 million club. (10) Robo Advisors like Betterment, Wealthfront, LearnVest and others, take US$ 16 billion in Assets under Management. Read on...

Huffington Post: The Top 10 FinTech Milestones of 2014
Author: Brett King

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 jan 2015

In 2014, technology became an important consideration for investment banks as they launched incubators and multi-million dollar funds to attract financial technology talent. As technology has pervaded every aspect of banking and financial sector, there is essential need for fintech skills. Capital market technology experts suggest following technology trends that will affect finance careers in 2015 - (1) The rise of the 'offensive' data scientist. (2) The size and scope of fintech start-up investments will accelerate. (3) Automation will be substituted for revenue growth. (4) Cyber security professionals will be very hot indeed. (5) Investment banks' secret sauce is unlikely to be developed entirely in-house. (6) Banks will embrace Agile working methods more enthusiastically. (7) Fund managers will join the tech hiring party. (8) Foreign exchange and rates automation will eliminate more trading jobs. (9) Aggressive use of risk and compliance technology. (10) The rise of the chief digital officer. (11) Could banks finally convert to the cloud? Presently it's on a slow curve. Read on...

eFinancialCareers: 11 tech trends that will shape your finance career in 2015
Author: Paul Clarke

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