83 percent of renters want to move away from the Bay Area

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

The San Francisco Bay area is arguably the world’s leading place for technology start-ups. Unfortunately, it’s also becoming one of the world’s most expensive places to live — which is impacting the ability of the companies located there to access what is their greatest resource: good people.

More evidence of this was revealed this week with the publication of a study by Apartment List, a research site for apartment seekers. As reported by Curbed, approximately 83 percent of the people renting apartments in the Bay Area plan on leaving the area for other parts of the country. Two-thirds of them blame the high cost of living. The ability to purchase a home is a close number two. As a complaint, long commute times also made the list of grievances. Most people there seemed pretty okay with the weather. Read More…

Some Apple employees may quit over new ‘open’ office floor plan

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Construction at Apple Park, the tech giant’s new “spaceship” headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., is projected to be completed by the end of this year. The $5 billion campus is to be a state-of-the-art facility, boasting the latest in energy efficiencies, green technologies, a 100,000 square foot fitness center,an orchard, a meadow and a pond. Some 12,000 Apple employees are moving into the 175-acre campus over the next six months. But unfortunately some of them aren’t as excited as you’d think they’d be.

Why? Blame the new open office floor plan design. Read More…

Thinking of Marketing Automation Software? Think Again.


(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Thinking of Marketing Automation Software? Think Again.

You better read this first before wasting your money.

Marketing automation software is a big business. Lead by great companies like MarketoPardotEloqua and HubSpot, the marketing automation industry is forecasted to be a $5.5 billion business by 2019 – and for good reason.

These (and other) best-of-breed marketing automation applications offer a slew of features that can have a dramatic effect not only the leads your company generates but how your organization nurtures its customers and its community. These technologies work stand-alone. But most companies choose to integrate them with their customer relationship management (CRM) applications like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle and others to fully leverage their customers and prospects and provide back and forth information that can be used by all teams outside of just the marketing department. Read More…

U.S. politics isn’t slowing down business travel from India

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Immigration reform. White supremacy rallies. Trade wars. Tariffs. Protectionism. Nationalist rhetoric. Has any of this deterred foreign entrepreneurs from doing business with the United States? Maybe. But for some, it’s just business as usual.

Take India. The giant democracy, according to the United States Trade Representative, is our ninth largest goods trading partner, encompassing a total of almost $68 billion in imports and exports in 2016 – and supporting an estimated 197,000 jobs here. With all the political turmoil here, you might think that some business travelers from India would be deterred. But not so. Read More…

How Google Will End Those Annoying Pop-Up Ads…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 — Google launches an initiative to tell websites they serve annoying ads.

Nobody likes pop-up ads, and Google has launched a new initiative that could reduce their numbers. In the next few weeks, it will begin telling websites whether they serve ads that people tend to find annoying. Those websites can then visit their Ad Experience Report for more info and screenshots of the advertisements in question. (Source: engadget)

Why this is important for your business: Read More…

Europe has got a butter problem

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Now is not a great time to be a baker or a restaurateur in Europe. The entire continent’s running out of butter and it’s a “major crisis,” says the Federation des Entrepreneurs de la Boulangerie, an industry group for French bakers, in this CNN report.

The shortage comes at a time when demand for butter is booming. For  years, margarine and other butter substitutes were the rage. But now consumption of the real thing around the world is on the rise. Both Europeans and Americans are consuming a half a pound of butter more than they were back in 2010 according to government reports, and the Chinese are thirsty for more milk products now more than ever. Overall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting a jump of about three percent in global butter consumption this year. Read More…

Google just made its Play Store apps a little better

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Just this past weekend I went to the Google Play Store to download a better clock and alarm app (don’t ask) and was overwhelmed by the options. Who knew there were so many different ways to view a clock on your smartphone? As a consumer, the Play Store is daunting. For an entrepreneur that develops apps, it must be frustrating too. Imagine that your product is truly better and more reliable than all the rest, but it’s so far down in the list that hardly anyone finds it.

There’s good news for both users and app developers. Google is changing that. Read More…