Rami Alkarmi builds lean startup Ecosystems

Geek. Investor. Growth Strategist.

A proud geek, investor, and widely recognized advisor and expert in strategy, lean startup ecosystems, business models, growth & distribution through big data and viral marketing, and corporate venturing.

In 2013, he founded Arcoten Holdings as his advising/investing vehicle where he partners with corporates, accelerators, and incubators to build lean startup ecosystems, and helps companies through providing expertise in growth, hands-on mentorship, access to capital, and helps companies iterate product and grow fast. From time to time, he also likes to build companies with friends and partners inside Arcoten.

Recent Tweets @alkarmi

If you scored Beyonce as a client, you’d make sure she got A-list customer service. When her handlers called, they’d reach the right person at your company on the first ring. You’d train your team to bring the love. If Beyonce was unhappy, you’d fix the problem—stat.


It is no secret that AMD plans to release SoCs (system on a chip) featuring ARM processor cores and that AMD and ARM have been collaborating on various projects for quite some time. A few months ago, AMD even released its low-power Beema and Mullins processors, which included on-die ARM-based Platform Security Processors which leverage the industry standard ARM TrustZone system security framework. Just yesterday though, AMD announced that it had made available development kits featuring AMD’s first 64-bit ARM-based processor, formerly codenamed “Seattle.”


Amazon has joined the ranks of Staples, Home Depot, UPS, and a range of other big brands that are capitalizing on the 3D printing trend. Amazon, of course, has an approach that only they can pull off at this scale – giving you access to digital files, allowing you to customize them, and 3D print your own personal bobble head.


At just 19 years of age, Trevor Zablocki wants to spend the rest of his life working in the porn industry. So does his 23-year-old older brother, Justin, and close friend Harry Manno, 22, who has yet to tell his parents about this plan.


If you search the two terms, intellectual property and 3D printing, you will find a hefty debate on how the new world of 3d printing is attacking or liberating, depending on your perspective, the consuming public. After working through the Hasbro and Shapeways post earlier today, I decided to take a slightly deeper look at the intellectual property climate related to 3D printing.


Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has given away more than $28 billion, comfortably making him the world’s greatest living philanthropist.


eating food

Silicon Valley is a stressful place and few people know that better than Bastian Lehmann, CEO of Postmates, an online delivery service for food and other real-world items.

Lehmann spoke on a panel at Data Driven Conference in San Francisco Thursday and shared an insight about how taxing work in Silicon Valley can be. 

"The food people order on Postmates gets unhealthier each day of the week,” he said.

On Monday Lehmann sees users order the healthy stuff, like kale. But by the end of the week it’s fries and burritos.

"On the weekends, it’s crazy," said Lehmann.

While stress eating isn’t exclusive to the tech industry, it definitely seems commonplace.

Lehmann’s point says volumes about how stressful jobs in Silicon Valley can be, where everyone seems to crave a cheeseburger  not fruits and vegetables  by week’s end. 

SEE ALSO: Here’s why working at Apple is a dream job

Join the conversation about this story »

apple store employees cheer as people enter the cube in nyc

Apple can be a tough place to work.

Employees have to put up with excessive levels of secrecy, crazy hours, and nonstop pressure to perform at the top of their game.

But, working at Apple isn’t all hard work. We went through reviews from current and former Apple employees on the job site Glassdoor.com.

While there definitely seem to be more complaints than compliments about the company, we did find plenty of things that employees love about working for Apple.

Employees feel like their work has a big impact on the world.

The biggest perk of working at Apple, at least based on the number of reviews that mentioned it, is a feeling that your work really matters and has an impact on the world. We saw this point made in dozens of reviews from current and former Apple employees from departments throughout the company.

"Engineers at Apple get to make real contributions that will benefit tens or hundreds of millions of people everyday. That’s awesome," one software engineer wrote. Likewise, a store manager said, "I joined Apple because I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself."

Others described the thrill of being part of the cutting edge and the pride that comes with doing meaningful work. Apple, for its part, clearly tries to hammer this point home for employees starting on day one by handing out this inspirational quote about doing meaningful work.

Source: Glassdoor.com

You get to work with really, really smart people.

Steve Jobs was fond of saying he only wanted A-level people on his staff, and plenty of current and employees seemed to appreciate having the opportunity to be surrounded by really, really smart people.

As one employee based in Cupertino put it, there are “bright and talented people everywhere” at Apple. Others noted that this can make things competitive, but ultimately it brings out your best work.

Source: Glassdoor.com

Apple feels more like a startup than a giant corporation.

Apple may be the most valuable company in the world, but that doesn’t mean it functions like a big company. Several employees wrote that one of the best things about Apple is that it operates more like a cluster of startups under the umbrella of a larger company. As a result, you get the job security of a big company with the career flexibility that comes from working at a smaller operation.

"Apple is run like a bunch of small companies (work groups)," one senior software engineer wrote. "When your job gets old and boring — and they all eventually do — it is easy to move within the company to get a fresh outlook without having to change employers completely. Likewise, if you need to stretch or improve your skill set, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement."

Source: Glassdoor.com

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Kevin Chou

Mobile gaming company Kabam announced on Thursday that it is receiving an investment of $120 million from Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba. 

That brings Kabam’s valuation up to $1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

“Truly successful games companies have to be globally successful,” said Kabam CEO Kevin Chou in a statement. “This strategic collaboration with Alibaba provides Kabam the resources, infrastructure and distribution to help bring our current and future durable franchise games to China and elsewhere in Asia and make an immediate impact.”

The deal was announced at the ChinaJoy Expo in Shanghai, a digital entertainment expo, which brings in around 180,000 people. 

Kabam will publish its mobile games in China using Alibaba’s mobile applications.

The Asian game market has already played a big role in Kabam’s success. It opened an office in Beijing four years ago, where it developed some of its key titles, including “The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth” and “Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North.” Each of those games has generated more than $100 million in revenue. 

In May it announced a partnership with Lionsgate to produce a mobile game based on “The Hunger Games” films.

This isn’t the only recent billion-company Alibaba has been involved with. On Wednesday, several outlets reported that the Chinese ecommerce site was looking to invest in Snapchat at a $10 billion valuation. But according to several sources who spoke with Business Insider, that deal is “highly unlikely.” 

SEE ALSO: It’s ‘highly unlikely’ Snapchat will raise a boatload of money from Alibaba

Join the conversation about this story »

Larry Ellison Oracle

Thirty-year Oracle veteran Roger Bamford has left Oracle for database upstart MongoDB.

Bamford was a key engineer who helped Oracle build its flagship database software and then went on to create other key database products. For instance, he was the guy behind something called “Oracle’s Real Application Clusters.”

This is one of the technologies that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison keeps talking up, making the latest version of database work well for cloud computing.

MongoDB is a different kind of database, born and raised to cloud computing as well as web apps and “big data” apps. 

NoSQL began life as a supplement to a traditional “SQL” database like Oracle. NoSQL handles the kinds of things that Oracle (and other SQL databases) don’t do well. It can work with messy data like documents or tweets and can be used across clusters of low-cost computer servers.

Oracle’s database prefers the data to be neat and structured and all in one place. That’s why Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, to make bigger more powerful computer servers able to run bigger more powerful versions of its database.

Until recently, makers of noSQL databases said their tech didn’t really compete with Oracle’s because it fits different needs.

"Traditional relational databases are not going to go away," Dwight Merriman, cofounder of MongoDB told Business Insider back in 2012.

MongoDB Roger BamfordBut lately other noSQL competitors have been challenging that perception, saying they are increasingly competing with Oracle and winning customers.

We’ve heard from one Oracle salesperson, too, who said she had a hard time selling an expensive Oracle database to midsize companies because they are often choosing MongoDB instead.

Oracle has responded by offering its own noSQL database, with mixed success. Oracle’s flagship database is by far the most popular database out there, but MongoDB is by far the most popular noSQL. MongoDB is No. 5, and the only noSQL database in the top five most popular databases, according to DB-Engines, a site that tracks such things.

Clearly Bamford’s head was turned. “There is a brand-new generation of databases being built and deployed to address today’s data challenges. I’ve witnessed the explosive adoption of MongoDB over the past few years and I’m excited to be part of the team that is revolutionizing how organizations build, manage and run applications,” said Bamford in the press release announcing his move.

He’s not alone. MongoDB has raised over $230 million from a wide variety of investors, including Intel, EMC, Red Hat, and is thought to be marching toward an IPO.

Disclosure: Dwight Merriman and Kevin Ryan, the founders of MongoDB, are investors in Business Insider.

Join the conversation about this story »

Hasbro and Shapeways recently announced a joint website that will allow fans to adapt and modify Hasbro brands into new artwork that can be 3d printed and sold via Shapeways. The new site is called SuperFanArt that debuts with pop culture phenomenon My Little Pony, inviting fans around the globe to create and share their inspired designs.


mark zuckerberg, facebook

Earlier this week, Facebook crushed its second quarter earnings and its stock hit an all-time high — which really just means Mark Zuckerberg is one step closer to being the richest man in the world.

Zuckerberg’s current net worth is about $33.1 billion, putting him at No. 16 in Forbe’s ranking of the world’s billionaires. More impressively, he is one of just three people who currently have more billions under their belt than years lived.

The Harvard dropout has clearly made it big thanks to the 2.2 billion people on FacebookHe’s known for his charitable tendencies, but Zuckerberg also manages to lead a pretty extravagant life at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg Turns 30 Today — Here’s His Life In Pictures And Quotes

Mark Zuckerberg was born on May 14, 1984, in White Plains, NY. He grew up with his three siblings in the nearby town, Dobbs Ferry. At the age of 12, Zuckerberg used Atari BASIC to create a messaging program his dad used in his dental office.

Source: Bio.

Zuckerberg went to Phillips Exeter Academy, an exclusive preparatory school in New Hampshire. While still in high school, he created an early music streaming platform, which AOL and Microsoft showed interest in, but were rebuffed by young Zuck.

Source: Bio.

Zuckerberg enrolled in Harvard University in 2002, where he quickly became known for his developer skills. After his sophomore year, he decided to drop out and focus on “The Facebook,” which he had been running out of his dormroom.

Source: Bio.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Screen Shot 2014 07 31 at 9.29.32 AM

At least one crowdfunding site is willing to allow users to fund armed forces.

On Wednesday night, Valleywag’s Nitasha Tiku reported on a Crowdtilt campaign run by a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces that’s raising money for the 97th Battalion, which “is known for its speciality in urban warfare and counter terrorism.” The soldier sent Business Insider a photo of his IDF identification to prove his bonafides. It turns out that several other campaigns are also using the crowdfunding platform to raise money in support of IDF troops.

One campaign in particular sought $100,000 and ultimately raised just shy of $50,000. It is being run in partnership with an organization called Help Tzahal. Here’s that group’s Facebook page, and here’s how it describes what it does:

We provide soldiers with the equipment necessary for combat in/outside Gaza. Every dollar donated goes DIRECTLY to benefit the soldiers. [emphasis theirs]

According to Crowdtilt’s fee policies, the company collects a 2.5% fee of the total money raised from campaigns that tilt or otherwise successfully meet their goal.

A spokesperson for the company, which rebranded from “Crowdtilt” to the punchier “Tilt” on Thursday, told Business Insider the company is allowing campaigns that support the IDF. They said the company deals with campaigns that provide funding to armed groups on a “case-by-case basis.” 

"Tilt is permitting campaigns that fundraise for the IDF to purchase protective and safety equipment.  The IDF is a part of the armed forces of Israel. Israel is a foreign government recognized by the United States and not on any list of the United States government prohibiting us from processing transactions related to that country," the spokesperson said. "Furthermore the IDF is not a part of any list prohibiting us from processing transactions related to that organization or group, specifically. Tilt cannot comment on armed groups in general or their legality under the laws and regulations of the United States or the countries in which they operate, as other laws or restrictions may apply to them. Such situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis."

This begs the question about how other crowdfunding sites might approach the same issue. A Kickstarter spokesperson told us the site would not permit projects that provide money to militant groups. 

"Kickstarter’s mission to help fund creative projects wouldn’t encompass resources to armed forces," the spokesperson said. 

We requested comment from crowdfunding heavyweight IndieGogo as well and haven’t heard from them all day.

Join the conversation about this story »