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.

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Posts tagged "SAI"

d wave quantum computing

It seems the physics education I slept through in college could now be used to build the next generation of super-powerful computers, machines that process problems so fast they’re going to make our current devices look like Casio wristwatches from the early 1980s.

Most people have no clue that quantum computing exists. Even fewer know how it works.

But once you understand it, and its vast processing power, you’ll understand that this new Digital Age we’re currently in has barely scratched the surface of the potential computers have.

Simply put, today’s computers rely electrons — electricity — flying around on circuits to deliver information in “bits,” or yes/no, 1/0 chunks.

Quantum computing relies on natural properties of the tiny subatomic particles that make up everything in the universe to do number-crunching at magnitudes far greater than a machine using bits ever could.

Here’s how quantum computing company D-Wave explains it:

The laws of quantum physics, which govern the microscopic world, allow bits of matter to be in two states simultaneously.

All modern-day computing relies on the ultra-fast manipulation of billions of bits of information.

Quantum computing combines these two ideas, allowing us to put bits of information into their 0 and 1 states at the same time. This process allows quantum computers to consider and manipulate all combinations of bits simultaneously, making quantum computation powerful and fast.

To condense it to a soundbite, a quantum computer has more “tools” to solve a problem. Conventional PCs speak the usual binary language, but quantum computers speak a much more richly detailed quantum language, understanding the world by interacting with qubits (quantum bits).

Qubits are more versatile than standard bits because they can exist in three states instead of two. Your computer can only represent things as a one or zero, but a quantum computer can render a qubit as representing a one, a zero, or every fraction between one and zero all at once. Quantum physics deals often with uncertainty, and this is how quantum computers mathematically interact with the idea.

Though it does so very quickly, your personal computer can only solve one problem at a time. But because quantum computers have access to this “superpositional” state, they’re more efficient, solving difficult problems very quickly and doing more than one calculation at a time.

A 30-qubit quantum computer is approximately as powerful as a 10 teraflop computer, solving 10 trillion problems every second. Most average home computers push about seven gigaflops, calculating seven billion problems per second. There’s no comparison.

So when do we get quantum computers in our living rooms? Not any time soon. This technology is still pretty new and the applications are pretty specific.

There are some real world applications already in use, however. They could make internet searches much quicker, so it’s no wonder that Google recently bought one. NASA will be using a quantum computer to further develop artificial intelligence technology. The previously-mentioned D-Wave just sold a 128-qubit computer to Lockheed-Martin.

So the technology clearly has people’s attention. Let’s see where it goes.

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4353148011_3581772615_bToday, an app headquartered in Israel called Waze was acquired by Google.

The price: $1 billion, plus $100 million in employee retention and incentives.

Waze is an iOS and Android app with more than 40 million registered users. It was founded in 2007 by Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar and Uri Levine. Noam Bardin is the company’s CEO. It previously raised $67 million from investors.

Now you know what it is. Here’s how it works.

Welcome to Waze!

Waze realizes you’re new. It helps you get started.

You can plug in your home and work addresses so you don’t have to constantly type them in.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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St Peter's Square 2005 and 2013

Look at this photo that shows Saint Peter’s Square in Rome when the last two Popes were announced.

In just eight years, mobile devices have become ubiquitous. Everyone now carries the Internet in their pockets.

That has lead to some amazing changes in the business world. Scrappy Internet upstarts have become bigger than the physical world competitors they replaced.

Mitch Joel, author of the business strategy book, "CTRL-ALT-Delete: Reboot your business. Reboot your life", has pulled together some mind-blowing facts that show the internet is so much bigger than you think it is.

There’s no question …

You need to understand just how much.

Print is nearly dead

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Phil Fernandez

Marketo had a big IPO last month and is gearing up to battle longtime partner Salesforce.com. 

And the trash talking has already begun. 

Marketo sells marketing software-as-a-service over the Internet.

On its website, Marketo says “Salesforce.com customers have consistently voted Marketo the #1 marketing automation platform.”

But now CEO Phil Fernandez is backpedaling. He told Chris Kanaracus of IDG News Service on Tuesday that his partnership with Salesforce.com hasn’t been that fruitful. 

"We have never been that good of friends," Fernandez said in the interview. "The number of leads that have come to us from Salesforce.com in our history is minimal."

Marketo makes marketing automation software, which companies use to manage email and social media campaigns and track sales leads. It’s integrated with Salesforce.com’s customer relationship management software (CRM), which is for serving existing clients and finding new ones. 

There was some talk that Salesforce.com might one day buy Marketo. Instead, Salesforce.com just spent $2.5 billion to acquire ExactTarget, a Marketo competitor. And Salesforce.com has invested a ton of money in its Social Marketing Cloud, which includes tech from its Buddy Media and Radian6 acquisitions. 

A lot of other enterprise tech vendors are trying to get in on the action. Oracle acquired Eloqua in December for $871 million, and Adobe is touting its Marketing Cloud.  

But this leaves the newly public Marketo in a bit of a bind, since it was previously so proud of its lead-generating relationship with Salesforce.com. Hence the trash talk.

Investors don’t seem too panicked yet. The stock is trading at about $21, down from its pop to $26, but well above its IPO price of $13.

A Salesforce.com representative declined comment.

SEE ALSO: When Windows XP Goes Away, HP Thinks Businesses Will Start Buying PCs Again

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Mark Zuckerberg

Silicon Valley has been lobbying for more leeway to hire non-citizen workers on temporary visas. And if the immigration reform bill that the Senate is considering passes, they will get it.

Tech companies say they need this flexiblity to recruit talented workers they can’t find in the United States.

Critics of the policy say there are plenty of Americans with technological skills, and that tech firms just want a bunch of cheap, mid- to high-skill laborers to replace more expensive Americans. 

Both of these factors are at play, though as we wrote last week, there is no overall shortage of workers with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees in the United States. But whether Silicon Valley’s goal is to recruit unavailable workers or to drive down wages, the policy is still a good thing.

At least, it’s a good thing for essentially everyone who isn’t an American working in the tech sector. If you’re not a provider of technology services, you’re a consumer of them — and lower wages in the sector mean cheaper technology products.

Several people involved in the technology industry contacted us after last month’s article and said things like this:

Tech companies do not need more H-1B visas to find and hire the top tech talent in the world. […] If each of the H-1B visas were going to the best and the brightest, then surely these employees would be among the highest paid tech workers in the US […] That is most definitely not the case - they are instead among the lowest paid. At my company, H-1B visas are used to hire cheap, low skilled engineers, not the next Alan Turing.

Dr. Ron Hira — a public policy professor at Rochester Institute of Technology — testified to a Senate committee about the tech industry’s reasoning to seek these workers:

The bulk of demand for H-1B visas is driven by the desire for lower cost workers, not by a race for specialized talent or a shortage of American talent. All of the top 10 H-1B employers in FY12 used the program principally to outsource American jobs to overseas locations.

However, here’s the good news. 

If Silicon Valley is really using foreign born talent in order to replace American-born workers because it’s cheaper, it’s awesome for essentially everyone who isn’t an American working in the tech sector. 

Think about it this way. Over the past several decades, jobs in many fields have flowed from Americans to non-Americans who work for lower wages. This can lead to declining wages and job opportunties for Americans who work in these fields. But it also leads to declines in prices and increases in standards of living for Americans who don’t work in those fields. And overall, it grows both the American economy and those of countries abroad.

But only some sectors are subject to this kind of competition. If your job function can physically be performed outside the United States, then you’re vulnerable to outsourcing. If you provide a service that actually has to be performed in the United States, your job can only shift to someone else who can be here, which means that immigration policy provides a barrier against wage competition.

In sectors where workers are insulated from foreign competition, costs keep rising. Think health care and education. Meanwhile, international wage competition has hit hard in sectors where workers tend to have low- or medium-skills and corresponding wages, like manufacturing and agriculture. This means some Americans have really lost out due to trade, even as it grows the economy and enriches Americans overall.

Allowing more high-skill immigration will switch this dynamic: the losers on the wage side will be affluent workers, while the winners on the price side will still be the overall population. That is, this is a kind of immigration that doesn’t just grow the economy but makes it more equitable.

And the broadly-shared benefits of high-skilled immigration are large. According to a recent Brookings Institution report, the typical college educated foreign-born worker adds $56,658 to the U.S. economy on top of his or her salary, which is four times the surplus created by the average non-college educated Mexican immigrant:

immigration surplus

Bringing more wage completion to the States in the form of H-1Bs has the potential to make technology, education and health care cheaper. Whether or not you consider that a bad thing depends on whether you’re at personal financial risk. 

Still, we’re not saying that the only reason that tech firms want more visas is that they want to recruit mediocre talent to replace Americans, because that’s extremely unfair to say to both the companies that participate and the often highly-qualified people who they recruit to fill crucial positions. 

All we’re saying is if this is a major part of the  H-1B motivation, how exactly is that a bad thing? 

Tech companies want more foreign born workers because they cannot find the talent they want who are willing to work for the price they want to pay.

From the perspective of a tech worker, in the best case the company is getting incredible talent from abroad. In the worst case the company is trying to replace them with a cheaper employee. 

From the perspective of the rest of the country, Americans should be rather pleased with both the best and the worst scenario. The best means the rest of us get great talent from the rest of the world. The worst means that technology gets cheaper. 

For people on the outside of the tech business, high-skill temporary work visas are pretty great. 

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al gore tim cookLately, Apple analysts have been kicking around the idea of Apple doing something in the payments space. 

Apparently, the reason they’re starting to kick this idea around is because Apple’s management has been planting the idea in their heads. 

At WWDC, Apple’s big conference, we heard from someone we trust that Apple’s executives are telling analysts who venture out to its headquarters that it has some ideas about payments. 

Apple isn’t coming out and saying, “Here’s what we we will do.” Instead, it’s suggesting that it has ideas about the market and how to unlock it. 

During WWDC, Tim Cook bragged that Apple has 575 million credit cards in its system, more than any other online retailer. 

Apple apparently thinks it has an idea about how to use these credit card accounts to unlock a new digital payment system. 

Apple recently filed for a patent on some sort of digital payment system that would involve tapping a phone to a pad. 

It would probably involve people using iPhones and retailers using iPads. Apple has been vague with analysts, it seems, but our understanding is that it’s hinting that it may have an idea. 

If Apple is going to start growing its earnings again, it’s going to need to enter new product categories. While most people are thinking Apple will do something with hardware. It’s entirely possible that it could be a service like payments. 

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elite daily teamEach day Elite Daily publishes between 120 and 150 posts. 

Today, the young publication is officially launching the 2.0 version of its website.

The eight-month-old blog is stuffed with content that attracts a younger audience. Elite Daily says it’s made for millennials by millennials and its content proves that.

In fact, the company’s CEO David Arabov is only 22 years old.

Gen Y, is where the our biggest source of traffic comes from. The average reader is between 18 to 26 years old and it’s split between male and female,” Arabov told Business Insider. 

Elite Daily’s articles resonate so well with youth because the headlines and content are a combination of Thought Catalog's realness and The Huffington Post's breadth. The majority of articles are short, funny, and informative. This combination keeps the site’s target audience coming back for more.

To supplement the opinion content there are newsier articles like, “The Most Shocking Revelations From The NSA and “10 Better Things Tim Tebow Could Be Doing With His Life.”

elite daily 2.0Arabov started Elite Daily along with friend Jonathon Francis in their dorm room at Pace University. After graduation, the duo teamed up with Gerard Adams, a serial entrepreneur, and self-made multi-millionaire who was willing to take a chance and privately invest in the publication.

The site hasn’t been around that long and it is already pulling in significant traffic. The company told Business Insider it now reaches 8 million monthly unique visitors. 

The editorial staff is now roughly 20 people. Almost all the writers are under 30 and represent different backgrounds. Arabov and Francis still write for the site in addition to their leadership duties. Elite Daily’s other content is supplemented by 200 contributors.

Just last month, the site had its biggest article ever, “Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Explains Why He Hates Fat Chicks.”

elite daily pic

Elite Daily’s content does extremely well on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, despite it not conforming to older publications themes or style. 

Version 2.0 of Elite Daily is “less complex,” Francis told Business Insider. “Our old site felt more magazine or newspaper based. The content wasn’t really surfaced on one page. Then other pages only had a certain amount of content on it, it was hard to navigate around.”

"We feel blessed to be in the position that we’re in, we didn’t ask for it, we just saw something that was needed out there and we just rolled up our sleeves and got to work,” Adams said. “We hope that we inspire and help a lot of people in our generation right now.”

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Apple announced at its big WWDC keynote yesterday that it has paid out $10 billion to developers since its App Store for the iPhone and iPad launched in 2008. 

That’s up from $7 billion in January and $5 billion a year ago. Needless to say, Apple’s App store revenues are accelerating.

Take a look:

chart of the day apple app store revenues

SEE ALSO: A complete screenshot tour of iOS 7

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Apple’s new iPhone software is being received with cautious optimism.

A lot of people think the redesign is pretty good, but they’re finding flaws. However, most people are withholding judgement until they get their hands on it. 

There is one exception to the cautious optimism: The new icon Apple made for Safari. That icon is getting bashed by just about everyone. 

Leo Drapeau, a young French designer, has come up with a new set of icons. His design is getting passed around by some influential mobile developers. 

Drapeau says, “I kept the same design direction, the overall look and fresh feel to it, but trying to make it look more detailed, coordinated and just cleaner.” He also shrank the size of the graphics in the icons. 

Below is a comparison of his work on the left, and Apple’s on the right. You can see more of his work here >


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India, China, And The Map To Two Billion Connected Devices (Flurry)
Flurry expects the number of active smartphones and tablets to top 2 billion globally by 2014, based on current growth rates. It found a 47% growth in the number of active U.S. smartphones and tablets in April compared to a year prior. Compare that to China, however, which saw a 149% increase. India, the market with the most potential upside, registered a 160% increase. The map below gives a nice visualization of the smartphone market’s evolution. Broadly speaking, the countries in orange have been driving the smartphone revolution to date, but are now experiencing slowdowns as penetration growth peaks. The countries in yellow are, generally speaking, the next stage for the smartphone story. Read >


Here’s Everything That Is About To Change On Your iPhone And iPad (SAI)
WWDC, Apple’s developer extravaganza, began today in San Francisco. Silicon Alley Insider has a nice summary of everything that will change on your iPhone, and all the new functionalities that iOS 7 will add. These features include multitasking on apps, automatic app updates, and a new control center that will put some of the phone’s more important controls, such as Wi-Fi settings, at your fingertips. Read >

More coverage of WWDC:

Why iTunes Radio Could Be A Hit For Apple (AllThingsD)
Peter Kafka argues that iTunes Radio could be a success for Apple, by helping it sell more iPhones or pulling iOS users off competing services, without necessarily being a monetary success. He’s doubtful it will make money directly. In particular, he thinks its plan to crack the radio ad market is basically a non-starter. Read >

Re-Imagining Digital Media And Advertising For A Cross-Screen World (Eric Franchi) 
There’s a wide-ranging debate underway over ad formats that will prosper across screens and devices. Undertone co-founder Eric Franchi weighs in here on why media sellers should move away from standard banners and focus on new, higher-value ad units that drive real engagement. It’s all part of re imagining the digital landscape to make it friendly for brand advertising budgets. These are some of the other changes underway, according to Franchi:

  • HTML5 versus flash to allow for creative to run across screens. 
  • Responsive design versus multiple site versions.
  • Site redesigns that are more conducive to viewable impressions.
  • Larger, brand-friendly ad formats. Read > 

34% of U.S. Adults Own Tablets (Pew)
Tablet ownership continues to surge in the U.S., up from 25% last August. Penetration is highest amongst individuals with a household income of at least $75,000 and among Americans aged between 35 and 44. Read >  

A Sneak Peek At The User Interface Of The Intel Phone, The Obsidian (Ars Technica)
The chip maker is working on a UI overlay that it will bring to Tizen, a mobile platform backed by the Linux Foundation, and possibly Android. Read >

Snapchat Is Reportedly Hiring A Sales Team (TechCrunch)
Presumably this means monetization via ad sales is just around the corner for the wildly popular photo-sharing app. It is reportedly raising a new round of funding that values the company between $500 million and $1 billion.Read > 

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my first website

Got a budding developer at home?

Want to get him or her on a career track that will almost certainly keep them employed for a while? Maybe even make them wealthy?

Maybe your little rascal should read “My First Website,” a children’s ebook aimed at getting kids interested in web development.

You can pick it up here or click below to check out the first four pages.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Amazon FreshAmazon is expanding grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh, to Los Angeles. 

The online retailer has offered the same-day service in its home city of Seattle since 2007 and is now breaking further into the historically difficult online grocery market, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The company officially started grocery delivery to select Los Angeles ZIP Codes on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Customers will be able to order more than 500,000 items, including those from specialty stores around Los Angeles. 

Amazon has reportedly told vendors that it could roll out to 40 U.S. markets by the end of 2014, Forbes reported in May.

The service is free for Amazon Prime members for 90 days. After that, customers must enroll in a new Prime membership that costs $299 per year. An additional delivery charge will be applied to orders less than $35.

Orders received before 10 a.m. will be delivered before 6 p.m. and those received after 10 p.m. will be delivered before 6 a.m. the next day, according to the LA Times.

SEE ALSO: 16 Small Businesses On The Verge Of A Breakthrough >

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rob platzer

Earlier today, the entire engineering team for AOL’s local news network of sites, Patch, was brought into a room and told that their leader, CTO Rob Platzer, is leaving the company.

We’re told Platzer is leaving on good terms.

He joined Patch three years ago when AOL bought his prior employer, Outside.in. He’s fully vested now, and onto new things.

Patch will make Andreas Turanski its new CTO.

Patch management sent employees a memo on the news.

Here’s the relevant excerpt:

- Rob Platzer has let me know that he will be leaving Patch in mid-July after more than two years at the helm of our technology team. Since 2011, when Patch acquired his prior company Outside.in, Rob has worked tirelessly to build and improve our product offerings to best serve our communities.   

- At this time, I am pleased to announce that Andreas Turanski will join Patch’s senior leadership team as Chief Technology Officer, effective immediately.

- Over the next six weeks, Rob, Andreas and I [Steve Kalin] will be working closely to ensure a seamless transition for the Engineering and Technology teams and the company.

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Marissa Mayer Lunch

Want to have an hour lunch with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer?

It’ll cost you $5,250.

Mayer is auctioning off an hour of her time for charity through a website called Charitybuzz.

The current bid is $5,000, and you have to bid a least $5,250 to top it.

Apple CEO Tim Cook auctioned off his lunch hour a couple weeks ago and raised $610,000.

Here’s the “lot description” for Mayer:

Find out what it’s like to lead one of the world’s most well-known tech companies, as you join Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer over lunch at the company’s Sunnyvale, CA headquarters.

Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo! as President and CEO in July 2012. Since then, she has focused Yahoo! on creating inspiring and delightful products and making Yahoo! the absolute best place to work. Under her leadership, the company has re-imagined a number of daily habits, including Yahoo! Mail, the homepage, Flickr, and Yahoo! Weather. Prior to Yahoo!, Marissa was at Google for 13 years and held numerous positions including engineer, designer, product manager, and executive. She played an instrumental role in Google Search, leading the product management effort for more than a decade. Marissa also led the development of some of Google’s most successful services including Google Maps, Street View, Google Local and Zagat, Google Toolbar and iGoogle, and she helped define such pivotal products as Google News, Gmail and Chrome. She holds a dozen patents across the areas of artificial intelligence and interface design.

Marissa serves on the board of directors of Walmart. She is also on the board of various non-profits, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Ballet, and the New York City Ballet.

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Cisco Robo boss 08

How many times have you made a Skype call where you picked up your computer and walked it around to show your caller something?

The problem is, your buddy is utterly dependent on you to move around.

Cisco and iRobot have solved that problem with a new robo-boss that will be available in 2014. It lets the person on the other end control their whereabouts and it uses some pretty cool autonomous and sensor tech to do it, Youssef Saleh, an iRobot VP, told us. 

Just outfit the robot with a schematic of the building in the robot’s iPad app. Tap the place you want to go and it rolls there on its own, avoiding objects and other people. No joystick steering required, Saleh says.

The companies wouldn’t announce pricing, but iRobot charges $4,000 to $6,000 for a similar Robo doctor unit designed for hospitals. We expect this unit to cost about the same.

Meet the iRobot Ava 500 for enterprises.

The robot uses iRobot’s autonomous navigation to drive and avoid people, objects.

It integrates with Cisco TelePresence and can post instant messages and presence info.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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