Uber Wants To Replace India’s Iconic Auto Rickshaws With Chauffeured Hatchbacks

Soumya:

Taxi business a booming !!!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Uber may be in the midst of a major PR crisis in the U.S., but it continues to ramp up its efforts in India — its second largest market — where it launched a low-cost service aimed at beating the country’s icon auto rickshaws.

The company said Uber Go, its new service that includes small vehicles like the Tata Indica Vista (image below) and Maruti Suzuki Swift, is now available in all ten cities that it services in the country. The company believes it is now in a position to challenge India’s near ubiquitous fleets of auto rickshaws for cheap travel.

Screenshot 2014-11-20 12.54.05

Uber is in a constant state of price reductions and offers across its markets in Asia as it aims to accelerate mainstream adoption of taxi booking services across the region. It’s no surprise, then, that it is giving all Uber Go passengers an immediate and ongoing 35 percent discount on their rides.

An Uber Go journey…

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How baby boomers ruined parenting forever

Soumya:

Helicopter Parenting and us !!

Originally posted on Quartz:

About 25 years ago, when the era of irrational exuberance allowed enough disposable income for irrational anxiety, the concept of “helicopter parenting” arose. A “helicopter parent” micromanages every aspect of his child’s routine and behavior. From educational products for infants to concerned calls to professors in adulthood, helicopter parents ensure their child is on a path to success by paving it for them.

The rise of the helicopter was the product of two social shifts. The first was the comparatively booming economy of the 1990s, with low unemployment and higher disposable income. The second was the public perception of increased child endangerment—a perception, as “Free Range Kids” guru Lenore Skenazy documented, rooted in paranoia. Despite media campaigns that began in the 1980s and continue today, children are safer from crime than in prior decades. What they are not safe from are the diminishing prospects of their parents.

In America, today’s parents have…

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Apple Cauterizing HealthKit At Launch Shows How High The Stakes Are 

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Last week, in the fevered cauldron of iPhone 6/6+ reviews, iOS 8 rolling out and shiny new iPhone hardware going on sale it was easy to miss the glitch in Apple’s oh-so-choreographed release matrix: a bug in its new HealthKit develop tool.

Apple introduced HealthKit to developers at its WWDC event in June, along with a Health app which acts as a repository for viewing all the health and fitness data collated via HealthKit.

The idea behind HealthKit is to make it easier for health and fitness data to flow between apps, with fine-grained user permissions built in, allowing the user to control and build up a more holistic — and therefore useful — overview of their personal wellness, using whatever combination of health and fitness iOS apps and devices they choose.

But such was the serious nature of the last minute HealthKit bug that Apple locked the tool down entirely — so…

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Online Shopping Isn’t as Profitable as You Think

Harvard Business Review:

online and off – sometimes maybe you need offline too ?!

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

When I argue that e-commerce isn’t likely to destroy innovative omnichannel retailers, I typically receive passionate responses. Am I really suggesting that the growth of e-commerce will slow before it annihilates most physical retailing? And how could I possibly argue that the economics of omnichannel retailers are as favorable as those of pure-play e-tailers?

Growth rates first. Several organizations track e-commerce sales, including the U.S. Census Bureau, ComScore, eMarketer, and Forrester. All show similar trends. For example, Forrester’s data on the top 30 product categories (which account for 97% of total e-commerce sales) indicates that e-commerce growth fluctuates with economic conditions but is clearly slowing overall:

U. S. E-commerce Growth chart

This is a familiar growth pattern: E-commerce as a percentage of total retail sales seems to be following a classic S-shaped logistic curve. If historical trends continue, e-commerce’s share of retail will rise from 11% today to about 18% in 2030, albeit with big…

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The Cost of Continuously Checking Email

Harvard Business Review:

Multi tasking is a myth !

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Suppose each time you ran low on an item in your kitchen—olive oil, bananas, napkins—your instinctive response was to drop everything and race to the store. How much time would you lose? How much money would you squander on gas? What would happen to your productivity?

We all recognize the inefficiency of this approach. And yet surprisingly, we often work in ways that are equally wasteful.

The reason we keep a shopping list and try to keep supermarket trips to a minimum is that it’s easy to see the cost of driving to the store every time we crave a bag of potato chips. What is less obvious to us, however, is the cognitive price we pay each time we drop everything and switch activities to satisfy a mental craving.

Shifting our attention from one task to another, as we do when we’re monitoring email while trying to read a…

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A Tale Of Two Patents: Why Facebook Can’t Clone Snapchat

Soumya:

Patents again but playing out interestingly with no one saying anything !!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Facebook released Slingshot, its second attempt at an impermanent sharing app, last Tuesday. The app borrows heavily, in concept and features, from Snapchat, as well as smaller startups like Frontback and Look.

Slingshot and Facebook Messenger feature the same photo and video recording interface–a very user friendly mechanism where you tap the main button to take a picture, and hold that button to record a video.

There’s just one problem: Facebook may be violating Snapchat’s patent, “Single mode visual media capture” that was approved over a year ago.

Representatives from both Facebook and Snapchat declined to comment for this story, but the patent appears to describe the way both companies’ apps record media:

“An electronic device includes digital image sensors to capture visual media, a display to present the visual media from the digital image sensors and a touch controller to identify haptic contact engagement, haptic contact persistence and haptic contact release on the…

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How to Negotiate with Someone More Powerful than You

Harvard Business Review:

negotiate with power !

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Going into a negotiation with someone who holds more power than you do can be a daunting prospect.  Whether you are asking your boss for a new assignment or attempting to land a major business deal with a client, your approach to the negotiation can dramatically affect your chances of success. How can you make the best case for what you want?

What the Experts Say
“There is often strength in weakness,” says Margaret Neale, the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Having power typically reduces a person’s ability to understand how others think, see, and feel, so being in the less powerful position actually gives you a better vantage to accurately assess what the other party wants and how you can best deliver it. And when you do your homework, you’ll often find you’ve “underestimated your own power, and overestimated theirs,” says Jeff Weiss…

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The Crazy Genius Behind Solar Roadways

Soumya:

Solar panels on the tarmac ….

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Here’s an idea crazy enough that it just might work: Pave the streets with solar-powered panels that have their own built-in heat and LED lights. That’s what Scott and Julie Brusaw hope to accomplish with their ongoing Solar Roadways project, which they just funded through a hugely popular crowdfunding campaign.

The husband-and-wife team has spent the better part of the last decade developing solar-powered modular panels that could be installed in roadways and parking lots, and would be able to collect power from the sun. Those panels could also keep streets clear of snow and ice, while illuminating them with LEDs.

Rather than paving streets and driveways with asphalt, the Solar Roadways panels would theoretically be able to decrease our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels by generating massive amounts of clean energy. Panels are made from ruggedized glass and connect to one another through a mesh network, so that even…

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Facebook Gets it. Google Doesn’t.

Soumya:

Facebook is addressing a strong desire for privacy by its users. This needs be known and understood!

Originally posted on Uncrunched:

Facebook announced a new way for people to log in to apps “anonymously” today. You still log into the (third party) app using your Facebook credentials, but Facebook sends absolutely no information about you at all to the app.

Read all the coverage about it on TechMeme. The tech press is impressed, even to to point of wondering if there’s a catch.

I don’t know the details, such as if this is something all apps have to implement if they want Facebook login, or if developers can opt not to offer it while still using the “normal” FB login.

But it doesn’t really matter. Facebook is addressing a strong desire for privacy by its users.

Distill that even further and it comes down to this – Facebook is treating its users, at least in this case, like its customers.

Then there’s Google. Today I read that they’re going to…

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4 Ways the Best Sales Teams Beat the Market

Harvard Business Review:

How the winners at sales keep winning !! It is not easy but it can be done and it is a frame of mind that makes it all come together !!

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Customers today use an average of six channels during the buying process, and the number of channels available to them is only increasing. Competition for those customers has also increased as margins have tightened. Digital channels have upended the well-trod ruts of sales and marketing organizations — already, nearly a third of all B2B purchases are done digitally. All of this increased complexity means sales leaders must rethink how they source leads, manage pipelines, and sell more effectively.

Rather than being overwhelmed, the best sales leaders have figured out how to overcome this complexity to drive above-market growth. Our analysis of 73 B2B technology companies shows that across sectors, the top 25% of companies achieve more than twice as much return on sales investment compared to the bottom 25%.

What do they do right? Based on our experience and analysis, they maintain a clear focus on four things:

1. They measure…

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