Category "Business"

7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

“Is there a problem and what is the problem?” a narrator asks his subjects, as they stare off into the distance against an ominous score. Some clear their throats, while others stumble with words or offer half-smiles in response.  

You get the sense that something both sinister and monumental is about to be revealed on the screen. 

Like everyone else, I began watching the recent docudrama film, The Social Dilemma with eager anticipation. Most of my friends and colleagues had recommended it to me over the past few weeks, and I finally set some time aside to view what had received so many mixed reviews.  

In the film, you see former employees of , Facebook, , and other similarly large platforms, speak about the negative impact of tech giants on our behaviors. It’s a darkly entertaining documentary that hooks you with its sensationalist play-acting — using dramatized segments and even a villainous algorithm to drive home its point.

Related: 9 Ways to Rewire Your Brain for Creativity

It’s meant as a cautionary tale about how social media is eating at the foundations of , yet halfway through, it felt like I was watching just another episode of Black Mirror, rather than a nuanced take about our modern condition. 

By the end, I felt both drained and demoralized. Not because I bought into the distorted view that these platforms are pure evil. But because despite all the hoopla surrounding the film, it ended up being a simplistic assessment used to stoke more fear and outrage.

While some loved it, many criticized the docudrama for showing technology as if it’s a completely bad thing. 

Here’s the thing: it’s not. 

The Social Dilemma discounts the notion of using social networks creatively or critically, sometimes to the point of condescension,” writes Adi Robertson in a story for The Verge. “But it’s easy to find people thoughtfully engaging with these apps, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has turned screens into some of the only safe public spaces.”

As CEO of a tech company, I feel a personal responsibility to clarify what in my opinion, the film gets wrong:

Technology doesn’t harm, but your uneducated relationship with tech does

Fourteen years ago when I launched my startup JotForm, I relied on the same idea most business owners hold — that execution is everything.

Today, it’s clear to me that while this remains true, as an entrepreneur, I also need to stay in the loop of what’s happening in my industry. But this level of learning doesn’t just happen by reading books. 

So much wisdom and useful knowledge are being created on Twitter, blogs, and newsletters. 

It’s easy to criticize social media platforms, but this misleading “tech is bad” approach misses the point, eventually destroying our ability to benefit from the useful knowledge to be gained. And this logic applies to benefiting from any network. 

Related: Ways in Which Technology is Affecting the Youth Today

Take Twitter. If you don’t get value from Twitter you’re using it wrong. The site has been an excellent resource for inspiration and for finding other entrepreneurs from around the world who share their insights, tools, and strategies. It also allows us to engage with customers in a way we couldn’t replicate offline.

Let me offer an alternative view to what The Social Dilemma poses.

Tech giants aren’t ruining society. But our untamed, unmitigated relationship to tech is. 

Allowing our every minute to get sucked into a never ending loop of distraction is simply unhealthy.

So, what am I advocating for?

Rather than spend our time blaming social media for all of society’s ills, it’s on us to disrupt this cycle and find a responsible way to reclaim our attention.

Here are three strategies for taking a healthier approach to social networks:

1. Become the master of your devices

According to Harvard Business Review contributor Steve Glaveski, push-notifications are sapping our ability to get into flow and do our best work, but “You can be more intentional about the way you design your technology environment,” he writes.

In other words: the ability to control our minds starts with us. 

We get to decide how we educate ourselves and restore our time. 

For instance, a free tool like Mailbrew helps you receive all the tweets or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time YOU decide. Similarly, you can also use the Freedom App to block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. “The more you notice and stop yourself from reaching for your smartphone, the more it will become second nature,” Glaveski notes.

So, instead of being a slave to push notifications, you can use these tools to empower yourself without missing the wise advantages of social platforms. 

2. Eliminate an “always on” company culture

Disrupting an unhealthy relationship to tech begins with us, but it doesn’t end there. Entrepreneurs should be setting this example for their team by promoting a balanced workplace. Meaning: the change starts at the level of .

We do this by clearly delineating the parameters between our “on” and “off” hours, and communicating that it’s okay to not respond to things immediately. At JotForm, this has become one of the core tenets of how I want to run my business. It’s important that I foster a culture where we have strict boundaries in place for screen time and prioritize mental well being.

3. An antidote to our social dilemma? Periodically unplug

My staff often poke fun of me for being the spokesperson for alone time. It’s an inside joke I’m proud to own up to and widely encourage.

I can’t stress enough how necessary periodically unplugging is. “Solitude is an essential way to replenish our energy,” says psychotherapist Arnie Kozak in an interview with NBC Better. “Without such solitude, we are bound to be more stressed by the unrelenting busyness of life, the massive amounts of information we wade through every day, and the energetic demands of being around other people.”

The answer then to The Social Dilemma’s question: “Is there a problem and what is the problem?” isn’t in breaking up with our social media (and consequently, all the beneficial wisdom).

If I’ve learned anything in over a decade of , it’s this: educating ourselves to spend more quality time alone without our devices is one of the most essential ways to maintain a healthy connection to tech.

But perhaps Glaveski puts it best: “By being more intentional about our relationship with technology, we can cultivate a work environment in which we are not only more productive, but also more fulfilled and actualized versions of ourselves.”

Related: As TikTok Teeters, These 3 Social Networks Are Ready to Pounce

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The OxyContin manufacturer will pay the government $225 million and own up to misleading the DEA and incentivizing doctors to write prescriptions.

1 min read

According to AP, OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma intends to plead guilty to three federal charges levied by the Department of Justice. The charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States — for misleading the Drug Enforcement Administration — and violation of federal anti-kickback laws vis a vis illegal incentivization programs with doctors. 

Purdue, which is owned by the controversial billionaire Sackler family, will immediately remit a $225 million fine to the government, AP reports. But that’s a small piece of billions in total criminal- and civil-liability damages Purdue may still be on the hook for, pending the outcome of a hotly contested bankruptcy hearing

Related: An Investment Opportunity for a Better Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical powerhouse, which has innovated numerous prescription painkillers, has become emblematic of the opiod crisis that’s enveloped American lives over the past decade-plus. Opiod-induced overdose deaths more than doubled between 2010-2017, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As of 2013, the Sackler family’s worth was estimated at more than $13 billion.

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Increasing brand awareness should be your top priority.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Ultimate Guide to , Fourth Edition by Perry Marshall, Bob Regnerus, and Thomas Meloche, with Mark Ingles. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Bookshop | Entrepreneur Press

When setting up your Facebook Advertising plan, increasing the of your brand is a top priority. The best way to do that is to create targeted Facebook Ad campaigns that target prospects at their various levels of brand awareness. Here are 10 Facebook Ad campaigns that should be on your radar:

Brand Awareness Campaigns

Brand Awareness Campaigns are for advertisers who want people to remember their brand. There will be little need for most advertisers to use this objective because you always want to allocate your ad dollars for actionable events. However, if it is used, it is most often targeted to , unaware traffic.

Reach Campaigns

Reach Campaigns are for advertisers who want to maximize the number of people who see their ads and how often they see them. You can strategically use this campaign type for retargeting purposes to effectively to reach audiences where the total number of people seeing the ad is more important than Facebook being selective about who sees it. The Reach Objective is most often used for audiences that are warm and aware of your business versus cold, unaware traffic.

Related: How to Choose the Best of the 3 Facebook Ad Campaign Objectives

Traffic Campaigns

Traffic Campaigns show ads to users with the intent of moving them away from Facebook to your website, app in the App store, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Typically, you are attracting cold, unaware traffic when utilizing a Traffic Campaign. These campaigns are best suited for situations where you want to maximize the number of people visiting your website at the lowest cost-per-visit. Most often you do not require this traffic to take any other action on your web page.

Post Engagement Campaigns

The Post Engagement Campaign objective will show your ad to people most likely to like, comment and share your ad. The only time you will use this objective is to give an ad social proof.  You can run Post Engagement Campaigns to both cold and warm traffic.

Page Likes Campaigns

A Page Likes Campaign optimizes ads for people that are most likely to like your page. The only reason you might run this type of campaign is that you have a new page on Facebook and you want to grow the page likes quickly. We typically tell clients that you’ll want to get 100 page likes to signal to people that you’re a real business. You’ll most often run this campaign to cold, unaware traffic. However, we’ve also run this campaign to people that are aware of a business to get them started liking a new page.

Event Responses Campaigns

Event Responses Campaigns are to get people to respond (by saying they are going or interested) to events created on Facebook. In order to create this campaign, your event must be active and tickets must be sold online. You will only run this campaign typically to warm, aware traffic for events that happen in a local or regional area.

App Installs Campaigns

The App Installs Campaign will be used to advertise your Apple or Android app on mobile devices. Facebook gives you the ability to drive users right from your ad to the or App Store and optimize for Install actions or Purchase actions. The great thing for advertisers is that you can allow Facebook to track everything in your app so you can track many user events and actions. When you set up your ad, you can specify not just what platform to advertise on, but also what versions of or Android as well as the type of device like iPads vs iPhones. App Install Campaigns are suitable for both cold and warm traffic depending on the marketing goals you have.

Video Views Campaigns

You can use Video Views Campaigns to sort and sift cold traffic and identify people who might be interested in what you’re selling without requiring them to leave Facebook. For instance, one of the most inexpensive ways to prospect is using a video ad and casting a wide net to a cold audience because video views are quite cheap in the Facebook universe. Facebook tracks the stats of every video played on its platform.

Lead Generation Campaigns

Lead Generation Campaigns are a unique way to collect leads for your business without having to build a form on a web page. In fact, this allows you to collect a great deal of information from a prospect without them ever having to leave the Facebook platform. This is a low-friction way to collect leads. You avoid disrupting the person’s user experience by keeping them on Facebook instead of switching to your website and back again. They usually don’t have to type their contact info because it’s prefilled. They also never have to check their email or spam folder for a confirmation. Especially on mobile devices, it’s a simple and elegant way to collect leads. You will typically use Lead Generation Campaigns for cold, unaware traffic.

Related: The 3-Step Formula for Successful Facebook Video Ads

Message Campaigns

Messages Campaigns allow you an opportunity to run an ad that will initiate a conversation with a Facebook user through Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. You can also show ads called Sponsored Messages inside existing Messenger conversations that users already have with your page. There are a number of creative ways to use this type of campaign. We’ve personally used this objective to connect with our most ready prospects by asking them a question and inviting them to a conversation. Many prospects often just need to get a simple question answered before they buy, making this a great solution to do that.



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8 min read

Sufferfest sounds like the name of a hardcore-punk festival, but it’s actually a common euphemism for extreme fitness challenges, which is exactly why Caitlin Landesberg chose it for her upstart beer brand. The -based marketing executive worked for companies including Strava and Mozilla before envisioning Sufferfest in 2015 as a relatively healthful and genuinely invigorating end-of-workout brew for avid runners and endurance addicts like herself. Think of it like Gatorade for grownups (ingredients in its line of pilsners, IPAs and even stouts include everything from bee polleen to black currant). 

By 2016, she had launched the company in earnest, and in 2019, West Coast craft stalwart Sierra Nevada acquired Sufferfest for an undisclosed amount — the first such deal in its 40-year history to that point — and took over the nascent operation’s production and distribution, helping it scale significantly. 

Image credit: Sufferfest Beer Co.

Landeserg remains hands-on in all areas of branding and marketing as CEO, and in a phone conversation earlier this month, she shared her thoughts on a woman’s work, the obstacles to entrepreneurialism and the reward of being able to mentor other up-and-coming innovators like herself. 

Related: Long Beach Beer Lab Could Have Closed; Instead, They Became Essential

Hit the Ground Running

“I was walking in [to stores] with my first beer samples that I created, labeled at home, with my leopard cooler, right after a run,” Landesberg recalls. “And I would find whoever was responsible for purchasing beer or specialty items and do a two-minute pitch right there without their permission and make them drink it on the spot. I don’t think they knew what do with me. [Laughs] And I didn’t know etiquette, so I thought that was normal. I was sweaty, with my hair up, going, ‘I’m going to bring a whole different audience to your store,’ and we were batting a thousand. We had preorders that first week of business, and within two months, we had the whole Northern California Whole Foods region locked down and mandated.”

Be the Outsider Breaking In

“I didn’t belong, and I think that’s exactly why we had succes,” says Landesberg flatly. “I didn’t ever identify myself as a beer drinker. It wasn’t until at the end of every race and someone said, ‘Drink this’ that I actually became discerning. We didn’t mean to disrupt, but we certainly were ourselves. As the business grew and I started hiring people, I didn’t hire anyone from the beverage space. I was bootstrapping and hired the people around me who were going, ‘Wow, this is a white space. I want to be a part of this.’ And lo and behold, my team became cyclists and swimmers and people who were competitive and loved the thrill of a kill.”

Tell Your Story Well 

“I think we won because we were able to tell stories better than the other,” Landesberg shares. “It became an exercise in letting someone know that this was the and occasion perfect for the beer that we were designing specifically for them. It became a very word-of-mouth product, and that was driven by other athletes or coaches or influencers that people aspire to be like. I didn’t mean to, but it was a page right out of the Strava playbook, and it translated perfectly to consumer packaged goods into a beverage category that we were defining in real time. I would say authenticity and real recognizing real led to being able to storytell better than the next.”

Practice the Art of Timeboxing

“I was at a place in my life when I desperately needed some change, and I realized I was going to have to change my lifestyle and sacrifice things that I loved and needed in my life in order to make this work,” Landesberg explains. “I was able to start a business because I didn’t have a family. I didn’t have financial responsibilities like I have today. I changed my living situation and stopped taking a paycheck. I sat down with my fiance [now husband], and we literally crunched the numbers of what we were going to give up and what we weren’t going to do. And I was going to timebox a six-month project; I was going to give myself six months and this budget, and if I can’t show traction, it’s not failure, but nothing attempted nothing gained. So I sort of pieced it out into chunks that felt less nerve-wracking to me.”

Recognize Your Privilege

“I was at a very specific time in my life,” Landesberg says of that six-month onset. “For people who might already have families and those types of responsibilities, for women in particular, the world isn’t fair, and I don’t think people are afforded the same privileges and exceptions and moments in time the way that I was at this moment in my life. Within those six months, I was lucky enough to have hit some milestones where we work, enough to support that proof of concept for me to do the scariest thing, which was ask my friends for money. And from an angel and a seed-investor perspective, because we were such early leaders defining that space, and I was working hard at it, I think those two things allowed for my first round of financing to come in as swiftly as it did. That laid the foundation for further growth and validation, where we brought in more credentialed money and backing. It’s such an alignment of stars when it does work, and I do think you have to be in a particular place of mind to say: I can step away from this type of life or routine and cut back to put my nest egg into a business I believe in.”

Related: These Beerpreneurs are Brewing a New Revolution

Beware Gendered Double Standards

“There are these unspoken pressures and this balancing act women always need to uphold in a professional setting,” says Landesberg. “We are the ones whose bodies are affected undergoing mass trauma, whose children respond to us and our bodily fluids for a huge period of time. And unfortunately, that weighs on people’s of your ability to be present over time. It’s so taboo to talk about, but it’s a fact of life that women are more risky. And I don’t think men are happy to say that or even feel that, but it’s something that I have observed and felt. And so has my husband. I think he tries to combat that as much as he can in his business and in his world. But I don’t think the same can go for men and women, and that’s just the simple fact of life.”

Look for a Co-Parent, Not a Partner

“We both really wanted what the other one had genuinely,” Landesberg says of first meeting with Sierra Nevada CEO Jeff White. “Those conversations were so energized about the potential that it was quickly decided we were going to do something together. I had other conversations that were so numbers driven and focused on, ‘Let’s grow you as big as we can, as fast’ versus, ‘Let’s build a lasting company, let’s build loyalty, let’s do something around quality and .’ I just sort of felt like this was the person I was supposed to meet right then and this was the home that Summerfest should have. As my first child, you know, I wanted to see it nurtured by the best parent possible. Jeff and I did look at it like a co-parenting relationship, and I really wanted to co-parent with him.”

Go Forth and Mentor

“I was telling this business site that I would never touch again,” Landesberg chuckles. “The scar tissue is so immense. I just want to see my kids who I’ve completely foregoed for the last three years. But obviously, the world’s changed, and we had a pandemic, and we’re living through that now. I’ve so valued my time at home getting back into a routine and being with a family that’s now grounded. I don’t think I would want to ever go back to the way life worked. But knowing myself, it may in fact be in my DNA, because I am so itching to build again. I want to pay it forward to other founders and founding member teams, working with brands that I’m really passionate about. Ones that are women-led or B Corp or mission-driven really excite me — helping other founders grow from one phase to the next. I don’t think I would ever be a full-fledged investor. I think I’m always going to be a builder. I just love the idea of creating something lasting and meaningful to my family, but that evolves with who I am as a person. That’s really all I could ask right now.”

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How leaders are recognizing this opportunity to open an entirely new trajectory in business.

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting March 11, 2020, when the was declared by the (WHO) as a global pandemic, we quickly experienced a flurry of events thereafter, witnessing drastic changes not only take place on a worldwide scale but also in our own personal lives at home and in business as we had to adapt quickly to the “new normal”.

As we conformed to the new rules and retreated to the safety of our homes, it gave entrepreneurs a chance to sit with their own stark reality of what they’d created up until that point – what was working, what wasn’t working, what our strengths are. Suddenly unable to escape the truth with nowhere to run, for some, this was a confronting yet powerful opportunity in opening up an entirely new trajectory in business and impact, in a much more future-focused way.

1. Greater levels of clarity and purpose

There are people who choose to react to situations around them, and those who seek to observe and understand. Those who chose to observe and understand in recent circumstances have found that they have unlocked greater levels of clarity, wisdom, and purpose. It is not uncommon to see business owners this year going through a complete rebrand and restructure as their belief and value systems go through a complete upgrade to realign with the new world.

Related: Soledad O’Brien on How to Get the Most Out of Your Team

It is also becoming increasingly clear as to what is no longer functioning in the world in ways that are beneficial to humanity. It has become clear which industries need to be reshaped and rewritten in a way that is going to serve humanity in this next shift. It has become clear how we can individually do our part in making the world and internet a more humane place with what we know. Our unique gifts have stood out more than ever, with many finding and tapping into their zone of genius. This happens when we remove ourselves from all the external noise that had us dazed and confused for so long.

2. Being future-focused with technological advancements in mind

It’s now important for us to pay attention to how we can fit within the advancements of so we can thrive instead of simply survive. 

There are certain things in the world we can resist and fight with all of our will, but technology is not one of them, especially considering how much we have fueled and used these advancements over the past decade. As long as we have a deep of who we are on an inner-being level, we can integrate technology with business and our personal lives in a way that doesn’t jeopardize our mental and emotional well-being.

Related: Test, build, accelerate and scale: Meet the 4 cycles of Jeff Bezos

According to the , we are now in our fourth industrial revolution. Technologies such as , electric cars, and the scope of the internet is merging with the physical bodies and lives of humanity. We have seen this take place over the last decade, with fingerprint sensors, face recognition, and voice-activated assistants, all of which is data used to bring about the next phase of advancements and upgrades.

3. Business owners are adopting fresh new tactics

Many business owners are now deciding to build their own platforms to hold their communities and for educational purposes. With text-messaging platforms on the rise, we’re now seeing a rise in and closer one-to-one connections and customer relationships rather than a one-to-many connection like we’ve seen with over the past decade and a half. 

With many people in recent times taking extended breaks from social platforms, we can expect to see new advancements in ways that will support the needs of both the consumers changing needs, as well as entrepreneurs. 

Related: 5 Management Keys for Effective Virtual Leadership

Given that the most important part in creating success in business is tapping further and further into your zone of genius, this period has been a huge chance for many entrepreneurs to awaken to their gifts and talents, in ways they had never been aware of before. What we are now witnessing is all of the pieces of the puzzle come into play, with different entrepreneurs doing their individual part in creating a more stable, healthier and robust world, in ways that are all different to each other, but together cohesively as part of the bigger picture.

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5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The pandemic has posed an array of challenges to virtually every industry, but the medical community especially has become exhausted by the overwhelming number of cases. To meet the burdening demands of the pandemic, thousands of medical startups and companies have refocused their attention to develop new products capable of tackling the most burdensome issues. Others have addressed the less emergent yet critical challenges standing in the way of the world’s fight to win back normalcy. 

Whether testing or protecting the medical staff fighting valiantly to save lives, public and private sectors are working together on the frontlines of the pandemic. Here are three companies to keep an eye on that are providing a boost in both areas overlooked and areas most regarded in med tech during Covid-19.

Hunting for Covid-19 infections

Testing for COVID-19 has proven to be an arduous task in many countries, especially those who lack the resources to keep up with growing numbers of potential infections. Conducting tests has become a greater imperative now as the coronavirus rapidly resurfaces across Europe, the and governments brace for new lockdown measures along with their contact, trace, and isolate practices.

Related: 4 Crisis-Proofing Lessons for Small Business Owners

Lockdowns, however, place the entertainment and hospitality industries in a situation they simply can’t accept for much longer, with many out of work and struggling to make ends meet under government-imposed shutdowns. Just days ago, Parisian restaurant and bar employees marched in a sort of mock funeral as a symbolic allusion to their lost livelihoods and frustrations. They’re not alone. Event hosts, organizers, and related business proprietors around the world have lost out on billions in revenue-not to mention the air travel revenues lost from the closure of borders and drop in demand for commercial flights. Two European companies might offer temporary remedies, though, for these economic ailments.

GeneMe, guided by the advisory firm Nex.D and based in Poland, developed its testing solution called “FRANKD,” which is said to give accurate results in 30 minutes. GeneMe recently partnered with Virgin Atlantic to test all of the airline’s staff pre-flight. The next logical step will likely be the passengers, as evidenced by the UK’s recent launch of a task force to determine how to reopen travel. 

The test only takes an estimated 90 seconds, compared with the standard PCR test that requires an hour and a half to analyze. GeneMe fuses DNA polymerase with the NeqSSB protein that helps the company’s labs produce enzymes, which in turn refines the testing process. In non-medical speak, the company’s process enables testing to be specific and scalable for the masses. 

Not far south from Poland’s borders, Vienna’s new hot testing kit testFRWD, founded by DJ and music-festival powerhouse Hennes Weiss and serial entrepreneur Veit-Ander Aichbichler, aims to reopen the tourism, culture, and events industries to customers by offering a hyper-accurate testing solution. The company’s do-it-yourself at home mouthwash test, which it claims is 99 percent accurate, makes it easy for individuals to test themselves for COVID at home with a simple gargle test. The method allows more tests to be conducted at once, reducing the local administrative burden of systems across the globe. 

Related: Why Business Owners Need to Show Employees It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

Ultimately, the goal is for event-goers, travelers, and other individuals to buy test kits at local retailers or receive one from the event organizers, self-test, and then send via a cooperating courier to a local lab. 

Protective measures

Healthcare professionals continue to ride out the storm at healthcare facilities around the world, awaiting relief. Many hospitals continue to struggle to manage a continuing limited supply of resources against the increasing volume of patients, as reported in the Harvard Business Review. Those in facilities with a shortage of resources suffered serious health risks, too. A UC Berkeley study estimated that “at least 35% of medical workers and other essential workers in California who tested positive for COVID-19 were infected at work, amid shortages.” In the midst of the crisis, saving waste has become critical.

Texas Medical Center Supply has taken the supply challenges and placed them on its shoulders by shifting attention to Covid-related PPE. At the center of Texas Medical’s campaign is an array of advanced tech and non-tech equipment to empower administrators to monitor potential medical crises and protect employees. These developments include its AI-driven resource-management solution that allows administrators to react earlier to medical staff infections, and PPE tech like the glove dispenser and SaniCart disinfection cabin, which control and monitor resources and protect staff. 

Related: Motivating Trends: Building Small-Business Resiliency in a Pandemic

Beyond the confines of medical care spaces, Texas Medical is working to sanitize public spaces. Its drone, dubbed the “SaniDrone,” is designed to spray public venues and other spaces. Similarly, the company’s UV disinfection vehicle, the “Germsrover Pro,” sanitizes a number of different confined indoor and outdoor spaces. Only time will tell how much some of the more advanced products come in demand as medical facilities struggle to manage more basic resources.

Whether fighting shortages or keeping up with increasing testing needs, the battle to defeat the coronavirus seems like it continues uphill. Yet with the help of from all over the world, the incline becomes a little more shallow. They say that a dog is man’s best friend. During the pandemic, though, medtech innovation may have temporarily taken the title away.

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Check will be in test from October 20 to 31 and can be downloaded at the beginning of November. It will have a monthly cost of 3,199 pesos.

1 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

The National Chamber of the Restaurant and Spiced Food Industry (Canirac) this week presented the Check application, a platform for sending dishes to home to further increase the profits of food establishments in the midst of the pandemic.

During the presentation, David Castillo, CEO of the company, indicated that the platform could represent a saving of up to 85% in shipments on digital platforms such as Uber Eats and Rappi, because restaurants would receive less commission charges.

As reported by Canirac, the app will be on trial from October 20 to 31 in Mexico City and Guadalajara, but it will be free for download in early November.

Check will have a cost of 3,199 pesos per month for each restaurant with which they can make shipments without commissions of between 20 to 35% of other delivery apps. Initially, the app will have 450 delivery drivers and expects to reach six states in the first half of 2021.

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6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The push to move from paper to digital business processes has accelerated over the last several years due in part to customer expectations. Companies also began to better understand the urgent need to lower costs and improve customer experiences. Yet many companies have also hesitated, unsure about how to undertake

According to a just-released annual business trends report by Salesforce, the events of 2020 sped up that transformation. CEOs and leadership teams made drastic shifts in everything from office sanitation and design to remote customer interaction.

Related: Keep These 7 Strategies in Mind as You Reopen Your Business

Perspective and priorities

The report surveyed more than 2,300 small and medium business leaders from around the world at two different times — March and August of 2020. It provides a kind of “before and after” picture of the effects of the current health crisis on businesses and their priorities. 

Some of the key findings include:

  • A roughly 30 percent increase in the number of small and medium business owners who said it had become a challenge to “plan for the long term” future of their business (21 percent in March and 28 percent in August).

  • 21 percent more business owners said they found it a greater challenge to “personalize customer engagements” (38 percent in March and 46 percent in August).

  • An 11 percent increase in the number of leaders who said they’re now “engaging customers on their preferred channels” more than they had been.

  • 1 in 5 small or medium business owners said they began implementing at least one of the following tools in the past six months: software, email platforms, ecommerce tools or collaboration software.

These trends sped up among businesses that had already prioritized innovation, says Enrique Ortegon, SVP of small and medium businesses North America for Salesforce. “Personalizing customer engagement and continuing to stay connected with their customers in a world where there is not the same level of physical access to customers is a big priority for now,” he says. “So, the question for them is how do they develop and provide a connected experience with their customers in a digital world?”

Related: Why You Should Speed Up Your Digital Transformation During the Crisis

Small businesses adapt due to the health crisis

Whether it’s HR, office design, customer experience , marketing or ecommerce, small businesses are pushing forward with digital transformation and other changes. Here are some of the key ways they’re doing that.

1. Responding to public health mandates

Worker and customer safety rose to the forefront in the last several months. In early 2020 these issues were barely relevant compared to how important they are now. Sanitation and social distancing in particular have become top areas of concern.

“It’s very important to small businesses that they understand the local public health mandates so they know how to respond to them,” Ortegon says. “This includes coming up with options to deliver their services in a contactless way. Many businesses are struggling to determine how to design their physical spaces to make sure they’re maintaining social distancing.”

2. Personalized customer experiences

Now more than ever, providing for a positive, personalized customer experience is vital to every ’ bottom line. Part of what encourages loyalty is the close-knit feeling customers have with your brand, your products or even just the staff in your store. During the health crisis, many small businesses discovered they need to rely on that goodwill in order to keep revenue stable.

3. Workforce management

One place companies started their digital transformation is in their HR departments. This area plays a key role in addressing remote work environments, including policies and procedures, people management, payment coordination with accounting, and onboarding and training. 

Introducing new workforce management software can be the first step toward a digital transformation that emphasizes connectivity and across digital channels. 

Related: How to Onboard Employees in the Midst of a Crisis

4. Identifying your company’s unique needs

Although bringing in new software can certainly help, every organization has different requirements. Rather than buy and use anything and everything, identify what you need and the that fits your situation. 

Several months back it might have been easy to talk across the aisle or over the desk in your office, but now businesses need to invest in technologies that let them communicate online. Moreover, ecommerce and online ordering is something more and more small and medium businesses are now required to offer if they want to stay afloat. 

“This can be [anything] from how you order your coffee or your food before you pick it up, to how you order things, to how you choose your favorite provider,” Ortegon says. “It involves the whole ordering placement and fulfillment process. We’ve seen CRM usage increase 24 percent since last year because now businesses that are not operating in a physical place need to have a digital record of customers.”

Related: 7 Ways Technology Is Working to Address a World in Crisis

5. Focus on a centralized platform

Taking a centralized approach to your digital transformation offers an integration strategy to help build out more digital processes over time. According to the Salesforce report, small and medium businesses have begun using fewer apps. Seventy-two percent said they believe that one centralized application to manage their business functions is more helpful. 

For example, as remote work increased, companies looked for collaborative platforms that offer a suite of tools. Two well-known platforms are Google’s G Suite, which includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Hangouts and Calendar, and Office 365 from Microsoft, with Word, Excel, Teams, Outlook and OneDrive. 

Both platforms show the potential for companies seeking to connect their team members and move work online. This centralized model can anchor the transformation to a digital workplace, including the ability to manage data and digitize critical business functions. From there, you can add tools that integrate with your central hub platform as you continue to evolve into a digital organization. 

True digital transformation

The world, the general business environment, and your customers’ expectations are changing even faster than before and in unexpected ways. For companies of all sizes across all industries, digital transformation isn’t a matter of if, but rather when — or more accurately, how soon. 

Despite the need for a rapid response to address legacy software and outdated processes, a complete digital transformation still requires a long-term operational commitment to change from leaders as well as the existing company culture. 

Related: 4 Key Steps to Motivate Employees to Finish Work Projects

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The predictable and preventable problems that plagued The Wing could happen to any fast-growing company.

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Just about the only story that seemed to get much splashy coverage in the pages over the past few weeks not tied to the current health crisis and chaos on Wall Street were several high-profile “hit pieces” about women-only coworking startup The Wing. From Fortune, to the , to a first-person mea culpa from founder Audrey Gelman published in Fast Company, the one-time media darling has stirred up conversation about feminism, race relations and startup working conditions.

Related: 4 Signs Your Workplace Environment is Toxic 

Underneath all the controversy, however lie a few key lessons for any entrepreneur with a fast-growing company about common workplace dynamics — specifically, in-group/out-group negativity and the problems that flow when you don’t have established norms and practices. Both of these unhealthy culture dynamics are at the heart of The Wing’s troubles. 

Lack of established norms and practices 

Let’s start with the most basic premise. When investors give a first-time founder more than $100 million to grow a business and influence hundreds of thousands of employees and customers overnight, there will be workplace culture problems, plain and simple. This happened at , Instacart, Slack and a host of other billion-dollar “unicorns.” 

These issues are unavoidable when a startup has a steep growth trajectory before processes and programs to ensure sound corporate governance and healthy workplace culture can be put into place. Founder Audrey Gelman acknowledges it in her Fast Company article: “Rather than creating a healthy feedback loop and addressing with urgency the issues that members and employees identified, we prioritized business growth over cultural growth.” 

Related: 6 Signs to Look for If You’re Worried Your Workplace Environment is Toxic – Infographic

In fact, according to 2.5 million employee responses in my company’s 2020 Workplace Culture Report, strong norms and established practices are fundamental to a healthy workplace culture. They operate as the rudder directing how people act with each other and as an immune system correcting inappropriate behavior. Even if people have different perspectives or expectations for behavior, organizational norms and practices create a shared common experience.

The Wing is an “out-group” startup having an “out-group” experience

The human brain is hardwired to categorize people as “us” or “them,” where the “us” are perceived as having higher value and the “them” are perceived as different and less trustworthy. We tend to judge “them” and their intentions and motivations more skeptically and hold them to a more difficult standard than we do people like us. In short, out-group members have a far worse experience than in-group members. 

As one of the few female-founded businesses in the tech startup world, The Wing is part of an out-group, and the media scrutiny it’s coming under is a typical experience for those in the out-group. Nearly 600 founders received $100 million or more in funding for their startups in either 2017 or 2018, according to a New York Times article, which said that mega-sized rounds had become “practically routine.” And yet, only a handful of women founders receive $100 million or more in funding and according to Crunchbase, woman-only founder teams receive the smallest amount by far of venture dollars. So The Wing’s founder and CEO, Audrey Gelman, is one of a handful of women who raised over $100 million in funding and represents less than half of 1 percent of the total founders during 2017 and 2018 who received that amount of funding.  

Related: 15 Success Secrets From Female Founders With $1 Billion Companies

Culture issues occur at all startups experiencing hyper-growth. All 600 of those founders referenced in the New York Times article likely experienced comparable culture issues. But for the most part, media outlets didn’t focus on those cultural situations or provide a platform for the employees and customers of those other 599 startups to give their feedback. Women founders have less power and influence in the startup ecosystem than their male peers; as founders in the out-group, women get less empathy and are held to a higher standard than their male peers. So while 599 other founders get to either ignore their culture issues or address them in private, The Wing’s Audrey Gelman must publicly fall on her sword and address them under the public microscope. 

We might not be able to significantly change the number of women founders who receive investment capital in the future, but we should at least acknowledge and understand that the startup ecosystem triggers a different, more challenging experience for founders who are in an out-group.

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During Prime Day, customers can visit the store dedicated to entrepreneurs in promoting SMEs, Amazon Handmade and local designers.

5 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Amazon Prime Day is here with two days of savings and exclusive offers for everyone. This year, due to COVID-19 , the summer event started at 12 a.m. on October 13 and will continue until the last minute of October 14 in 19 countries around the world, including Mexico.

What does this mean? Prime members will have exclusive access to more than one million deals on products they need, want or want, including select items from all categories from electronics, fashion, Amazon devices, toys, and more at

Amazon indicated in a press release that during Prime Day to make it easier to support local Mexican consumption, customers can visit the store dedicated to entrepreneurs in promoting SMEs , Amazon Handmade and local designers in Mexican Brands . This is due to the fact that more than half of the products sold in the Amazon store worldwide are from third parties, mostly small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, and on Prime Day 2019 these sellers exceeded $ 2 billion in sales. .

These are ALL the offers that Amazon announces on its Prime Day 2020:

Electronics, computers and video games

  • Promotions of up to 20% discount on cell phones of the brands: iPhone and Samsung renewed, Google Pixel, LG, Xiaomi.
  • Brands such as JBL, Bose, Panasonic and RedLemon with discounts from 10%, 30% and up to 40%.
  • Computing and vlogging accessories with up to 30% discount.
  • Discounts on video games for Nintendo Switch such as Minecraft, Splatoon 2, Mario Bros, Animal Crossing, Ring Fit and more.
  • Promotions on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite consoles.
  • Gaming Accessories with up to 30% discount.
  • Consoles with preloaded video games with up to 40% discount.
  • Up to 20% discount on PlayStatuion VR.
  • Up to 40% discount on accessories, monitors and memories Make, Seagate and Viewsonic.


  • Up to 40% discount on razors, epilators, straighteners, and more.
  • Promotions on brushes, makeup accessories in brands such as Professional PRO.
  • Discounts on brands like LBEL, Cetaphil, Bioderma, Clinique, Eucerin
  • Promotions in fragrances from Adidas, Antonio Banderas, Armani, Calvin Klein, Benetton, among others.
  • Personal hygiene items with 30% discount.
  • Lumea epilator with 43% discount.
  • Take advantage of the 3×2 in beauty products.

Amazon devices

  • Enjoy Kindle with 29% discount; 8GB Kindle Paperwhite with 28% and 27% in its 32GB version or take advantage to get a Kindle Oasis with 27% discount.
  • Eero devices, pack of one or three, with 30% discount.
  • Echo devices with Alexa will have discounts of 53% on Echo Dot (3rd generation), 33% on Echo Flex, 22% on Echo Studio, 40% on Echo Show 5, and 33% on Echo Show 8.

Amazon Fashion

  • Up to 50% on tennis from different brands such as Skechers, Puma, Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, Charly.
  • Up to 30% on clothing for children and babies.
  • Up to 50% on Smartwatches.
  • Up to 40% discount on Jeans Levis, T. Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Champion, and others.
  • Up to 40% on Nine West and Westies bags and shoes.
  • Up to 50% on Casio watches.
  • Up to 40% on men’s and women’s lenses, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Hawkers, Polaroid.
  • From 30% discount on TOUS jewelry and other brands.

Home and kitchen

  • Savings at Philips Hue of up to 30%.
  • Up to 30% discount on vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, vaporizers, among others.
  • From 30% discount on mattresses, pillows and bedding.
  • Desks, side tables, cabinets with 10% discount.
  • Memory foam mattresses and sheets with 20% discount.
  • Smart locks for your home with 30% discount.
  • Kitchen items with 30% discount.
  • Luxury Decorative Items for your home with 30% discount.
  • Air fryers with up to 30% discount.

Games and toys

  • Promotions on Bandai, Beast Kingdom, Batman, Barbie, and Harry Potter merchandise.
  • Save up to 20% on 1000 piece puzzles.
  • For the children in you, enjoy the ball pools with a 20% discount.
  • Up to 40% off Fisher Price, Hot Wheels.
  • Save up to 50% on Mattel toys and games.
  • Melissa & Doug Toy Promotions.

Additionally, Prime members can enjoy offers at:

  • Amazon Handmade. Up to 30% discount on handmade accessories, and discounts from 10% off on selected artisan products.
  • Books. Fans of #AmoLeer readings will be able to take advantage of discounts of up to 30% on children’s books, fiction, cooking, lifestyle and well-being, among others. Plus, on select copies like Suzzane Collins’s The Ballad of the Serpents and Birds , The Legend of Zelda , Ready Player One , and more.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited. Amazon Muisc Unlimited will cost $ 9 pesos for 4 months of music without advertising or commercials.
  • Products from the global store. Prime members can also take advantage of discounts available on imported products with free unlimited shipping. Also, paying in pesos and months without interest on eligible orders.


Additionally, Prime members can make purchases anytime, anywhere with the Amazon app, ensuring they don’t miss out on any Prime Day deals. Anyone can start shopping on Prime Day by joining Prime, or by starting a free 30-day trial at

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