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1. Passion. A startup founder is often driven by the quest for deeper purpose beyond the sheer mechanics of operating a business. My mission for my startup, Yes Man Watches, is to empower people to consider the most valuable asset in their lives: time. I rise early every morning because I don’t want to waste my day. If you have passion for your startup, this will drive you to turn your idea into a reality. Without that missing spark, you’ll lack the necessary motivation to put in all the early mornings and late nights to get your business off the ground.
2. Perseverance. Entrepreneurs need to be able to deal with obstacles. A business does not get built overnight, and turning your idea into a reality will take time. You’ll have to become accustomed to people saying no to you. What makes entrepreneurs great is having the perseverance to grow regardless of how many times they are shut down. When creating the supply chain for my startup, we screened two dozen watch manufacturers. After approaching through about 10, I became quite frustrated at hearing that my company’s patent-pending buckle couldn’t be made. Without perseverance, I would have given up.
Follow-up is key. People might present plenty of excuses for not getting back in touch with you. Yet if you show persist in trying to make things happen, you’ll probably succeed. For a Kickstarter campaign, I contacted dozens of writers at a single media outlet in the hopes of reaching one who might write about my company. Even though the conversion rate may be minuscule, it only takes one person to make a difference.
3. Resourcefulness. A vital ability for an entrepreneur is knowing how to make the most of what you have. Your assets as an entrepreneur will be limited, so use them to the fullest. Tapping into a network is key. When looking for a photographer, I reached out to the photography department at my university and the staff sent an email blast to students looking to build their portfolio. Within a week, I had professional-looking photos.
4. Open-Mindedness. As an entrepreneur, you may think you’ve zeroed in on a business plan, but you’ll need to learn to take in the opinions of others. Then if it appears that your plan won’t work, then adjust. As Mark Cuban once said, “Follow the green, not the dream.” If your dream startup won’t make you any money, you may need to change your focus. When my friend Morgan Schwanke started OnMyBlock, he originally wanted to focus solely on a social platform for college students to find off-campus housing. He now concentrates his startup on every aspect of renting an off-campus space; it provides tenant listings to landlords and facilitates the making of rent payments.
5. Spongelike nature. Being an entrepreneur involves a learning process. If you’re not willing to learn, think about leaving the startup world. You need to be able to soak in everything and anything you can, just like a sponge. The more you learn, the better. A saying I’m fond of is “One who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.” When starting Yes Man Watches, I honestly didn’t know anything about watchmaking. I looked up everything I could and soaked in all the information. Now I know quite a bit about watches, from the types of stainless steel used to make the watch case and the variety of battery powering the watch movements.
Entrepreneurship is much more than a 9-to-5 job. I don’t breathe without thinking about progressing my business aspirations. If you have an idea you’d like to turn into a reality, go for it. You’ll never know the outcome if you don’t try.
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Wireless charging isn’t a brand new phenomenon, but what exists today largely requires a device to be within close proximity to the charger. And that’s where Ossia’s patented technology, called “Cota,” is different.
There are two parts to Cota: A small, embeddable charger and a large, stationary charging station.
The tiny charger can be installed inside devices and sends out a low-power beacon signal to the transmitter, a charging station that mimics a large PC tower and contains thousands of smart antennas. The transmitter then can return focused streams of targeted signals to power multiple devices — from smartphones to cameras to wearables — simultaneously at a radius of 40 feet and through obstructions like walls or human bodies.
Even when a device moves around the room, Cota is able to instantly redirect those signals and send power from the charging station. It’s a solution that uses the law of physics and a little bit of imagination to work successfully.
“I’ve always been fascinated by what you can do with physics,” Zeine said. “If you know your physics, you know that spooky things can happen — if it’s common sense, it’s not science.”
Cota’s transmitter can send about 1 watt of power, or one-third of what today’s phone chargers provide. The energy is sent over the same bands used by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so Cota can take advantage of existing antennas already embedded inside our devices, with some slight modifications.
The technology also has software, so it can tell which devices have lower power and direct signals accordingly. People will also be able to use an app to control which devices receive charging power.
Cota’s tracking beacons only use about 1/10,000th of the signal power of Wi-Fi, making the technology safe to use based on regulations set for the energy that mobile phones already emit today. Safety has always been Zeine’s number one concern with Cota, which is now in advanced stages with the FCC for regulatory approval.
“This is inherently safe,” he said.
Ossia, founded in 2008, spent five years in super stealth mode before demonstrating its wireless charging technology for the first time at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference last fall. Since then, the company has reduced the size of the Cota charging station and improved Cota’s non-line-of-site capability by up to 40 feet.
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Apple just released a new promotional video.
On the surface, it’s about how the company is going to take care of the environment. But, digging just a little deeper reveals that this is a mission statement by CEO Tim Cook.
Since Steve Jobs died in October 2011, people have wondered what kind of company Apple would become under Cook. This video, which leads Apple.com right now, is the answer.
It is narrated by Tim Cook:
Here’s what he says:
“‘Better.’ It’s a powerful word, and a powerful ideal. It makes us look at the world and want more than anything to change it for the better. To innovate. Improve. To reinvent. To make it … better. It’s in our DNA. And better can’t be better if it doesn’t consider everything. Our products, our values, and an even stronger commitment to the environment for the future. To use greener materials, less packaging. To do everything we can to keep our products out of landfills, Changes that will benefit people as well as the planet. To us, better is a force of nature. It drives us to build things we never imagined. New data centers powered by the sun and wind. A new manufacturing facility that runs on 100% clean energy. And new product designs that make use of recycled materials. All ways to reduce our impact on the environment. We have a long way to go and a lot to learn. But now more than ever we will work to leave the world better than we found and make the tools that inspire others to do the same.”
While Cook mentions the environment, the big picture here is that he wants Apple to produce world-changing products that leave the planet in better condition. This can be in a literal sense like pollution, but also in a more figurative sense, like the iPhone has made millions of lives better.
This video feels like it’s Cook’s version of “The Crazy Ones” ad from Apple. When Steve Jobs took over Apple, he helped develop an advertisement that showed creative geniuses throughout history. (Full story on it here.)
Interestingly, Jobs did a voice-over for the video, but chose actor Richard Dreyfuss for the final cut. We’re not sure why he didn’t use his voice. You can see the video with Jobs’ voice here, and it feels like a statement about Apple, which at the time was in trouble.
Apple isn’t in the same trouble, but it’s clearly in a transition. Cook’s video, with his voice, feels like a big statement.
Here’s “The Crazy Ones”:
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Apple executive Jennifer Bailey, who previously ran the company’s online stores, is said to have been meeting with “senior payments industry executives” about joining the iPhone maker to lead the initiative. Word of the talks was first reported by Re/code.
Apple’s “ambitions are very, very serious,” one source told the publication, though they likely will not come to a head in the near future. Both positions that Apple is attempting to fill — heads of product and business development — are usually foundational roles that are filled early in a product development process.
Whispers of an Apple-built mobile payment system designed to leverage the hundreds of millions of credit card-backed accounts in iTunes have been circulating for years, but took on a new urgency earlier this year with a report that Apple was “laying groundwork” for such a move. At the time, it was said that Bailey had been tabbed to spearhead the project and that Apple was in talks with payments giant PayPal as a partner.
According to Monday’s report, those talks have been ongoing and conversations were held as recently as last month. PayPal was previously thought to be willing to white label large swaths of its infrastructure for Apple, including logistically challenging areas like fraud prevention.
Earlier this year, AppleInsider discovered an Apple patent filing detailing a touchless secure e-wallet system. Apple CEO Tim Cook has also said that mobile payments were “one of the thoughts behind Touch ID,” adding weight to the rumors.