Will the New iPhone Make The Laptop Obsolete?…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week


(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

 1 — The new iPhone and its competitors hope to make the laptop obsolete.

Apple’s latest iPhone can do a lot more than the last version. Among the new features are an edge-to-edge OLED screen, augmented reality and virtual reality capabilities, more storage, and faster processing—meaning users can now do just about everything they’ve been doing with their desktop PCs since the early 90s but in a smaller format. (Source: LA Times)

Why this is important for your business: Read More…


This start-up claims it can prevent 90 percent of roadkill accidents

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Scientific American reports that one to two million animals are killed by motorists every year in the United States — the equivalent of one collision every 26 seconds. That doesn’t include all the raccoons, skunks and other smaller animals that usually go unreported when hit.

These accidents have far-ranging consequences. They threaten endangered species like wolves, tortoises, crocodiles and panthers. They also threaten another potentially endangered species: humans. The Federal Highway Administration says that 90 percent of deer collisions and nearly 100 percent of collisions with elk and moose result in vehicle damage, human injuries and deaths at a cost — according to the Insurance Information Institute — of nearly $3.6 billion a year. Read More…

Small businesses in Sweden try to adapt to a world without cash

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Sweden is serious about becoming a cashless society. How serious? Even the Abba Museum no longer accepts cash. Now that is serious.

Some researchers are predicting that cash there will be a “very marginal payment form” by 2020. Things are definitely trending in that direction. According to this BBC report, less than 20 percent of retailers now use cash. That’s half what it was just five years ago. Everywhere from public transit to tourist attractions — yes, even the Abba Museum — have also gone cashless. Since the government and banking officials announced their plans to reduce bank notes and coins in 2010, the circulation of Swedish krona has fallen by 40 percent. Read More…

President Trump’s Chief of Staff Has an Unpopular Top Deputy


(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

It seems that Kirstjen Nielsen is not very popular at the White House. Good for her.

Nielsen (pictured above) is the deputy to John Kelly, who is the Chief of Staff to the president. Kelly, if you recall, was recently brought in to restore order to what has been a very chaotic administration. A four-star Marine general and military commander, the 67-year-old Kelly recently ran the Department of Homeland Security and came to the White House with the reputation of being a tough, no-nonsense leader.

So far, he has demonstrated those capabilities by toning down the president’s behavior, better organizing his schedule, focusing him on more important issues and (thank goodness) restraining his Twitter activities. Of course, Kelly has a lot more to do and plenty of challenges dealing with the oftentimes unpredictable behavior of the president. But he’s certainly made progress. Read More…

How Did Mister Rogers Raise $140 Million for PBS in Just 7 Minutes?

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(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

Back in May, 1969, the Public Broadcasting Service was facing serious cuts in its budget.  Executives from the organization went to Capitol Hill to plead their case in front of a subcommittee of the Senate’s Committee on Commerce. The chairman of the committee, John Pastore, was a self-described “tough guy” and not known for being a spender. PBS needed $20 million at the time to keep functioning – an amount equal to about $140 million in today’s dollars. With their backs to the wall, the corporation’s executives called upon their very best salesman to save the day. That person was none other than Fred Rogers.

Who doesn’t know Fred Rogers?  Well, at the time, quite a few people didn’t. For one, Pastore had never heard of him or his show (“Are you the narrator?” he asked. “How long is it?”). Although the 41-year-old Rogers had been on the air in a few local markets for the almost 15 years he had only begun specializing with children during the past six. Rogers had yet to gain the national prominence that would one day establish him as arguably one of the nation’s greatest communicators to children. His Mister Rogers Neighborhood show on PBS would eventually run for decades, and Rogers would ultimately win countless awards and change the lives of millions of young children to this very day. Read More…

Survey: Small business revenue, investments and profits looking sunny

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

I believe that the business of America is small business. And small business is doing well.

survey released this week by insurance company Hiscox underscores this fact. Seventy-two percent of the 1,000 small and medium-sized companies in the United States that participated said their top-line revenue were up during the past year over prior years. Thirty-one percent reported double-digit profit increases.

Most importantly, a quarter of firms have increased investment in their companies this year and the same number plan to invest more in the year ahead. This is a marked increase from the same period last year. U.S. companies are adding jobs at a significantly higher rate than last year too with a third of those surveyed planning to hire 10 or more people in the next year. Read More…

How the Equifax breach could hurt Google, Amazon … and my small firm


(This post originally appeared on Fox Business)

My firm provides information technology services to more than 600 small and medium-sized businesses. Most of the work we do is implementing cloud based customer relationship management, sales and marketing systems. We are a Microsoft partner. We also partner with many other great information technology firms that help our clients host, back up and secure our systems using Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon’s Web Services and Google’s cloud services, among others.

I once thought my client base would resist migrating their in-house systems to cloud based systems. But it’s happening…in a big way. According to many research reports, including this one from technology firm IDC in 2016 Opens a New Window., SMBs have been adopting the cloud at a record clip, with almost two-thirds using cloud based applications for sales growth and productivity and 78 percent planning to use software-as-a-service applications within the next three years. It makes sense. A company using cloud based applications and services can be more productive, flexible, data-driven, mobile and secure than the old way of managing our internal networks. Or so I have been preaching. Read More…