Glowstache With Amp Dashboard

Ridesharing service Lyft will ring in the new year with a new type of taxi light.

Come 2017, the company is shaving off its pink Glowstache, replacing it with a less hairy in-car connected device — Amp.

“With the introduction of Amp comes the retirement of Lyft’s beloved pink mustache, which has evolved from the fuzzy Carstache on car grilles, to the sleek Glowstache dashboard ornament,” Ethan Eyler, Lyft’s head of ride experience, said in a statement.

“Both paved the way for Amp, which will sit on dashboards, illuminating the streets with an iconic glow while better connecting drivers and passengers,” he added.

Starting Dec. 31, the in-car connected device will make drivers’ and passengers’ ride-sharing experience “smarter, safer and more fun.”

Rolling out first to folks in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York City, Amp is expected to hit the road in all of Lyft’s 200-plus markets by mid-2017.

The Beats Pill speaker-shaped accessory attaches to the vehicle’s dashboard, making it visible through the windshield; commuters can identify their ride by matching an individual Amp’s color to that displayed in their mobile app.

Messages, meanwhile, are pushed through a Bluetooth connection to the hidden screen on the back of the gadget.

Lyft also revealed its latest brand campaign: Ride on the Bright Side. Four 30-second TV spots (video above) and outdoor advertising are set to run through the end of 2016, highlighting the company’s experience, driver quality and safety.

That safety-first attitude is underscored by a recent partnership with Budweiser: Through Dec. 31, any passenger 21 years or older can get a free ride (valued up to $10) from Lyft on weekends and holidays.

The Uber competitor, however, landed in hot water early this month when researchers uncovered a “pattern of racial discrimination by drivers” using the ridesharing apps.

Most Admired Tech Found

What are the traits you respect most in a leader?

Whether it’s a composed demeanor, an understanding of human nature, integrity or a laser-focus on setting and achieving goals, there are many effective ways to lead and inspire trust and confidence.

Last month, CB Insights, a firm that analyzes tech trends, launched a March Madness-style bracket and asked people to vote for the tech founders and executives they admired most, describing it as “Wrestlemania for tech geeks.”

The results of the final vote came in, and Tesla and SpaceX CEO and co-founder Elon Musk is the victor.

He beat out runner up the late Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs, as well as a group of 62 big names such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, beauty guru Michelle Phan, Zappos founder Tony Hsieh and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

It seems that while Jobs’s tenure at Apple changed the way we think about the technology we carry around with us, almost as an extension of ourselves, people were apparently more inspired by the man who wants to colonize Mars.

In July of 2016, there were 930,000 daily active users (DAU) with paid accounts on the Slack network, and three million registered users worldwide. Approximately 77 percent of Fortune 500 companies use the program for data sharing and mobile collaboration, according to data provided by DMR Stats and Gadgets.

Users refer to themselves as “Slackers,” and that is part of the popularity and unique culture of the app, which carries the slogan “Be less busy.” The app was repurposed from a failed game design, and received a 64.5 percent approval rating on the 2016 Applause Mobile Sentiment Analysis.

Brings It in More Business

images-25If you have an inquiring mind and speak clearly, chances are, you would excel at podcasting. A podcast is like a radio show that you produce, but people can listen to it any time they like and you can record it any time you prefer. There’s no set schedule, and the equipment you need to get started is inexpensive. All you need is a theme for your show and some good ideas.

Have you ever listened to the radio and thought, “I wish I didn’t have to listen to all these ads”? If you’re like me, 99 percent of the time the ads on the radio are for things that don’t even apply to you, your interests or your needs. I often wonder about the advertisers — are they really taking the time to test and analyze whether their money spent on radio ads is actually converting? Or are radio ads just a strategy some marketing consultant told them to implement and no one is paying attention to see if there’s a return on investment?

Imagine the difference in experience when someone is listening to a high quality, informative, interesting podcast that’s ad-free. At the end of the podcast, perhaps the host (you) says, “If you’ve just heard this podcast, you earn a promotional code! Enter the code ‘WINNER’ on our website and get 10 percent off all our new…” Or “Get our free ebook on this topic at…” If you just gave 15 to 30 minutes of quality content, you’ve earned the right to pitch. And your audience is much more likely to trust you and follow your direction because you’ve earned the right to pitch to them respectfully and fairly.

According to an article, “The Rising Popularity of Podcasts,” there are six reasons a business owner should consider podcasting:

  1. It doesn’t take much to get started.
  2. Podcasts are perfect for storytelling.
  3. They’re extremely convenient to consume (most are only 15 to 30 minutes long).
  4. You can become known as an industry expert.
  5. Your listeners are in it for the long haul (because they subscribe).
  6. You can reach a new, targeted audience.

 

How to set up your podcast

There are three phases to setting up a podcast.

Phase One: Show format

Before you decide on your show’s format, answer the following questions:

1. Do you want to produce your show every week? Every other week? Monthly? Don’t do a daily show unless you have a clear strategy in place. Start weekly or twice a month. That’ll be plenty.

2. Will you have guests? (Most do!) Who are the top 100 people you’d like to interview? (Hint: Choose people who have big lists to promote your interview of them to, or who are exceptionally interesting, or whose friendship could really grow your business.)

3. What’s your one specific statement? My literary agency’s statement is “We sell good books to good publishers.” If I were doing a podcast for that company, that is the last thing I’d say at the end of every podcast, so people remember it. If you have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition — something your company does to make you unique or rare in your category), put it on an index card so you can use it at the end of your podcasts.

Executives Use Apps to Work Smart

No matter how hard you try, you really cannot create more time in your schedule. What you can do, however, as an in-demand executive, is control how finite and effective you are with the time you have. Fortunately, among the estimated 1.5 million apps they have available for iOS or Android, many developers have taken the time to design mobile apps exclusively for business professionals and busy executives.

Using the Applause APPS for Business Executives Index, my colleagues and I selected five apps that executives should evaluate. Each app received a high and favorable rating among C-level and corporate leadership respondents, and these apps represented some of the most efficient ones in terms of productivity available for mobile use.

As corporate leaders and executives become increasingly mobile, concerns regarding browsing and data safety are at the forefront. Do you know how to tell if the wi-fi network you are accessing is actually safe? Can you collaborate and share files with your team safely, or communicate seamlessly through a messenger app? We chose five essential mobile apps that executives shouldn’t be without.

1. Duolingo.

For many executives, business takes them into international territories, and having the ability to speak in more than one language (even at a basic functional level) is helpful. The Duolingo website and app received an 88.5 percent mobile sentiment approval rating for executives in a survey conducted by Applause, in 2016.

The software takes the hardship out of learning a second or third language, with a gamified interface that makes it easier for people with busy schedules to learn. Executives can break up linguistic sessions into five, 10- or 20-minute daily sessions, and click along to learn written, vocal and audio cues to help them rapidly learn the language of their choosing, anywhere and anytime.

Try Duolingo on mobile.

2. WhatsApp.

If you are not using WhatsApp, chances are that you have been introduced to it by a colleague, or business associate. In August of 2014, the messaging mobile application had 600 million active users. In January of 2015, WhatsApp grew to more than 700 million monthly active users, with approximately 30 billion instant messages sent between professionals every day.

Why the popularity? When you travel internationally, text messages and roaming charges can become costly. Getting into Facebook Messenger only recently became easy, with a separate advertisement free app that didn’t require logging into the social network. It was cumbersome, and in the game of real time messaging and VOIP calling, Facebook seemed to lose the race to the small, user friendly WhatsApp.

Try WhatsApp on mobile.

3. Slack.

Looking for something that functions similar to WhatsApp, but includes private chat spaces, drag and drop file functionality? Something that also has the ability to organize different departments into unique communication channels? Welcome to Slack, the most inaptly named productivity app on the planet.

In July of 2016, there were 930,000 daily active users (DAU) with paid accounts on the Slack network, and three million registered users worldwide. Approximately 77 percent of Fortune 500 companies use the program for data sharing and mobile collaboration, according to data provided by DMR Stats and Gadgets.

Users refer to themselves as “Slackers,” and that is part of the popularity and unique culture of the app, which carries the slogan “Be less busy.” The app was repurposed from a failed game design, and received a 64.5 percent approval rating on the 2016 Applause Mobile Sentiment Analysis.

Maximize Results Before

You and your long-suffering team have spent months, maybe years, locked away in your batcave developing your new product or service. You have consumed an unhealthy amount of coffee and invested your blood, sweat and tears into this project. And finally, you’ve reached the stage where you are ready to unveil your brainchild to the rest of the world.

But before you hastily compile an outreach list and send your pitch email to everyone who has ever written about tech, let’s take a minute to think. Company launches are notoriously hard to get picked up by the media, thanks to the millions of other companies shouting their news at the same time. It’s important that you take the extra time and effort to prepare yourself to maximize the results of all of your hard work.

Here are some techy tools and platforms to help you get the best results possible from your company launch.

Beta testing.

The problem with a launch is that you are, well, launching. You don’t have any traction to sell to customers, investors or the media. It’s hard to convince journalists that your product is going to change the world on your word alone. Journalists are, by nature, skeptical, and they like to work with hard facts, not speculation.

One way to get some early opinions and feedback — which can help you to fix early glitches and offer some ratings for the media –is by using a Beta testing service such as UserTesting.

For a fee, UserTesting will arrange beta testers to meticulously run through your beta. They’ll share a video with their feedback and comments. The service allows you to target your specific audience — there is little point in a college kid reviewing your over-sixties dating app — and offers detailed metrics based responses about the user experience (UX).

ProductHunt.

Once you are ready to launch your real product, one great way of maximizing exposure amongst people who really care about your industry is by announcing your launch on ProductHunt. The platform is becoming increasingly popular and offers a great way to place your product in front of and engage with people who really know what they are talking about.

However, to get the most out of your campaign, it takes some preparation beforehand. You should contact a moderator who has launched products similar to yours. You could also reach out to popular “hunters” via social media to let them know about your company and product and the date and time you will go live. Platforms like Hunter Data allow you to highlight active members who have a lot of followers. If they post about your campaign, this could win you a lot of upvotes, shares and potential clients.

Influencers.

As mentioned before, launching is a difficult stage because you are effectively trying to sell a dream with nothing to back up your claims. One way to boost the reputation of your product is by getting an endorsement from a well-known figure in your industry or from a social media influencer.

Endorsements by public figures don’t guarantee success. Business Insider recently reported that social discovery tool SUP shut down due to struggling to gain traction, despite endorsements from Virgin founder Richard Branson and Apple’s Steve Wozniak. But it is still worth the time and effort to get as many people on your side as possible before your big day.

If you work in bustling tech hubs like Silicon Valley, it is becoming increasingly easy to connect with people who can really push your business forward, thanks to tools like Lifograph. But if you are outside of the bay, then you will need to take a more active approach.

Tools like Buzzsumo, Little Bird and Klout allow you to search for influencers with huge online followings and who work in or cover your industry. It is then up to you to create an organized outreach list, and send personalized messages on social media to try and get them to back your product.

Funny Video for New Photo

Facebook is more than just the largest social-media platform on the planet. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based behemoth also uses its vast resources to help app developers make super-smart products.

If you haven’t already, say hello to Facebook Analytics for Apps. Since launching in 2015, more than 800,000 unique apps have used the service. And for good reason.

Facebook recently added web measurement and cross-platform analytics to the service’s growing stable of services. Leveraging demographics and rich audience insights from Facebook’s 1.7 billion users, the service offers developers a simple, streamlined way to understand the people who use their native mobile apps, desktop web and mobile web presences.

With that knowledge, developers can optimize the customer experience and reach them more effectively. Facebook Analytics for Apps goes beyond the usual stats like age and gender to provide anonymized and aggregated audience information including job titles, education level and even what Facebook Pages your customers like.

“Driving retention, engagement and conversion are important [for developers] and we wanted to lean on our expertise and infrastructure to help partners with the full set of growth tools,” says Facebook Product Manager Josh Twist.

“We have a saying to ‘think people, not devices,’” he continues. “If you’re not looking at a cross-platform picture to understand how individuals are using multiple devices then you’re not fully understanding user behavior.”

And it’s 100 percent free to use. You don’t need to use Facebook Login or any other of the company’s products to start developing smarter apps with Facebook Analytics for Apps.

Here, Twist talks about three tools within Facebook Analytics for Apps that highlight the service’s power to help developers create smarter apps and grow their businesses:

Cohorts: User retention is one of the most important parts of a developer’s growth strategy. As Twist says, “Without good retention you’re just pouring new customers into a leaky bath.”

The cohorts tool allows product teams to understand the retentive qualities of any event. For example, you can answer questions like “for a person who made a purchase in their first week as a user, how likely are they to return to the product in the following weeks?” Or, “how likely are they to make another purchase?”