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All Those E-mails From Pinterest Are Very Good For This Guy

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/all-those-e-mails-from-pinterest-are-very-good-for-this-guy-2012-3


SendGrid CEO Jim Franklin

SendGrid has sent 30 billion e-mails in the three years it’s been in business — and none of them are spam.

SendGrid is an e-mail cloud service hired by Pinterest, Foursquare, Hootsuite, Spotify, job sites, daily deal sites and many other companies.

About 40,000 Web applications use SendGrid, says its CEO  — and Boulder startup icon — Jim Franklin. And none of it is spam because users sign up these e-mails, such as job openings, friend requests and the like.

Franklin says it even coaches its customers on how to do e-mail so people don’t report it as spam.

“One person sending e-mail to another is easy. But an app sending out e-mail is hard. E-mail is a problem for developers,” explains Franklin.

So it’s no surprise that SendGrid is growing at 10% annually — it now sends out more than 3 billion emails per month — and it recently landed Microsoft Azure as a partner. SendGrid will now be the default e-mail service for any app using Microsoft’s cloud, Franklin says. New Azure developers qualify for 25,000 free e-mails a month.

The company is one of the shining stars of the blossoming Boulder startup scene. It began in Boulder’s TechStars accelerator program in 2009 and has boomed from there. It recently landed raised $21 million in Series B funding in January — for a total of $27 million raised so far

As SendGrid uses Rackspace, Web apps that also use Rackspace qualify for 40,000 free e-mails per month.

All who know SendGrid are expecting an IPO in as little three years. One of its VCs, Bessemer Venture Partners, has done over 100 IPOs, notes Franklin. That’s if the company doesn’t accept an acquisition offer before then, says Franklin. 

And if you’re interested in one of the 30 job openings at the company, you might also want to know that the company motto is the 4H’s: Honest, hungry, humble, happy.

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 news No Comments

This New California Mobile Privacy Deal Is Absolutely BRILLIANT (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-new-california-mobile-privacy-deal-is-absolutely-brilliant-2012-2


California Attorney General Kamala Harris

If you live in California, you’re soon going to have a chance to read a privacy policy for every single app you download onto your mobile phone.

That’s thanks to a “Global Agreement” signed by California Attorney General Kamala Harris and six big companies in the mobile space: Google, Apple, RIM, Microsoft, Palm, and Amazon.

Just one question.

Who reads privacy policies?

You probably don’t. Just like you don’t read the terms and conditions when you download and install software, or sign up for an online email account, or rip the tag off a new mattress.

But!

The 1% of you who do read privacy policies are probably the exact same 1% who are losing sleep because information from your iPhone address book was secretly being uploaded to the servers of Path and some other app makers.

So the Attorney General and the six companies win for looking aware and concerned about online privacy, and the privacy zealots get to rest a little easier before going off on their next crusade. (Probably against Google.)

Plus, apps makers now all have to hire lawyers to write up these privacy policies and interns to put the policies online and build links to them in their apps. Which increases employment!

Wins all around. Well done.

See also: THE TRUTH ABOUT ONLINE PRIVACY: Who Cares?

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

Samsung / Blockbuster reportedly sign streaming deal in Oz, US and Europe next?

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/21/samsung-blockbuster-video-streaming-deal/

We know Samsung’s been ramping up its home entertainment arsenal. Now, recent intel acquired by the folks at SmartHouse suggests that the Korean outfit’s about to dive into deeper waters, after reportedly striking a deal in Australia. The pact, that’s yet to become official, would give the manufacturer access to the plethora of films available from your favorite blue-and-yellow video store, which could then be streamed to your beloved Galaxy handset or Tab, as well as Sammy-branded Smart TVs, Blu-ray players and laptops. Furthermore, the report claims Samsung’s got a friendly billing system in the works that’d allow easy access to the content on your devices. It’s expected to hit US and Euro shores “as early as September.” Until then you’ll have to stick with the good ol’ Redbox kiosks.

Samsung / Blockbuster reportedly sign streaming deal in Oz, US and Europe next? originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 21 Feb 2012 18:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 news No Comments

This ‘SHCOOL X-ING’ Sign Has Been Posted Outside A New York School For Months

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-shcool-x-ing-sign-has-been-posted-outside-a-new-york-school-for-months-2012-1


School Crossing

There are many signs that America’s schools are crappy — and now, thanks to a spelling gaffe outside a Lower East Side high school, we are seeing that trend physically manifest itself on the sidewalks of New York City.

Yesterday, The Lo-Down’s Erin Rodriguez spotted a crossing sign outside Marta Valle High School incorrectly spelled “SHCOOL X-NG.”

Jennifer Bain and Jeane Macintosh of The New York Post picked up the story about the embarrassing spelling error, which has apparently gone unnoticed by school officials for months. 

The Post says Marte Valle officials could not be reached, but a spokesman from the Department of Transportation told the publication that the error was made by a utility provider—not the city—after construction was done on the street over the summer.  

The DOT says it is now working on correcting the mistake. 

Don’t miss: What’s Wrong With Education In America?

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

This Is The Only Reason Album Sales Were Up Last Year

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-may-be-the-only-reason-the-music-industry-survived-last-year-2012-1


adele

For the first time since 2004, album sales are up, and nearly all the credit goes to Adele. Her sophomore album 21 sold nearly 6 million copies, completely dominating the industry and cheering music execs (for once). But given how dependent the industry was on one artist in 2011, is this news really that promising? Here, a guide:

Album sales were up?
Yes, though only slightly. Sales of complete albums in 2011 reached 330.6 million in the U.S., an increase of 1.3 percent over 2010, according to Nielsen. It’s the first uptick in sales since 2004 and Adele deserves much of the credit: Her 21 moved 5.82 million copies — the best one-year sales count since Usher’s Confessions sold 7.98 million in 2004. Her 2009 debut, 19, enjoyed a corresponding bump, selling nearly a million units in 2011 as well.

How significant is this for the music industry?
A one percent increase isn’t exactly something to write home about, says Ben Sisario at at The New York Times.  “Some businesses might call that level of growth flat.” But considering the past decade’s steady downward slide — revenue from recorded music fell 52 percent over the last 10 years — this is a relief. “For the beleaguered music industry, any positive news about sales is cause for celebration.”

How much did Adele dominate?
She sold 3.3 million more albums the year’s second-hi! ghest se ller, Michael Buble’s Christmas, and 3.7 million more than Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. Adele spent 14 weeks atop the Billboard album charts in 2011, says Devon Maloney at Billboard, and 21 is the first album since 2005 to log 30 weeks of 100,000-plus sales. Her song “Rolling in the Deep” was the year’s best-selling single and the most-played song on the radio. Furthermore, 21 is the best-selling digital album of all time. Taken together, her two albums amounted to 2 percent of total record sales, a nearly unprecedented total for one artist. Without her efforts, says Daniel Kreps at SPIN, record sales would actually be down. So while Adele is being hailed as “the savior of music,” says Tyler Coates at Black Book, “the industry is still tanking.”

What about the digital sales?
Digital music sales rose 8.5 percent, says Coates, while sales of complete digital albums rose 20 percent. Though such boosts seem like a good sign for the industry, digital sales offer the lowest profit margin of all music sales. CD sales, which deliver the greatest profit margin, were, unsurprisingly, down six percent.

This post originally appeared at The Week.

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Sunday, January 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Moo.com makes business cards from your Facebook Timeline, strangely offers no Like button on its site

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/05/moo-business-cards-from-your-facebook-timeline/

It’s a new year, which probably means that you’re due for new business cards. And look, your card design from last year is precisely that — so last year. Moo has announced a clever new design, which allows you to “take your Facebook Timeline offline, and hand it out to new friends, contacts and potential clients.” Wildly enough, creating ’em is as easy as tweaking your Timeline. Once you’re ready to roll, just sign in and allow Moo to access your data (cue privacy advocate yelling), check that you spelled your name right and hand over $15 for a stack of 50 cards. Once you receive ’em, you can navigate back to the site and Like its page as a reward… oh, wait.

Moo.com makes business cards from your Facebook Timeline, strangely offers no Like button on its site originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 05 Jan 2012 17:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Moo.com makes business cards from your Facebook Timeline, strangely offers no Like button on its site

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/05/moo-business-cards-from-your-facebook-timeline/

It’s a new year, which probably means that you’re due for new business cards. And look, your card design from last year is precisely that — so last year. Moo has announced a clever new design, which allows you to “take your Facebook Timeline offline, and hand it out to new friends, contacts and potential clients.” Wildly enough, creating ’em is as easy as tweaking your Timeline. Once you’re ready to roll, just sign in and allow Moo to access your data (cue privacy advocate yelling), check that you spelled your name right and hand over $15 for a stack of 50 cards. Once you receive ’em, you can navigate back to the site and Like its page as a reward… oh, wait.

Moo.com makes business cards from your Facebook Timeline, strangely offers no Like button on its site originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 05 Jan 2012 17:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Barnes & Noble looks to sell publishing arm, keeps the other to hold a Nook Tablet

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/04/barnes-and-noble-looks-to-sell-publishing-arm-keeps-the-other-to/

In a sign of ever shifting priorities in the ole book business, Nook’s papa is reportedly looking to sell its publishing unit, Sterling Publishing. According to the Wall Street Journal, B&N acquired Sterling in 2003, ramping up its publishing efforts after more than 30 years in the business. News of a possible sale follows last month’s Q2 earnings report that saw a $6.6 million net loss for the bookseller. That same quarter, the company’s Nook business took an 85 percent leap forward, landing it a $220 million value. Barnes & Noble has yet to comment.

Barnes & Noble looks to sell publishing arm, keeps the other to hold a Nook Tablet originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 04 Jan 2012 19:59:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 news No Comments

On your mark, get set, GOMC!

Source: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/on-your-mark-get-set-gomc.html

Professor registration for the 2012 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC) is now open.
GOMC is a global online marketing competition open to professors and their students in any higher education institution. Professors sign up for the contest and then serve as guides and mentors to their student participants throughout the competition. Over the course of three weeks, student teams are tasked with developing and running a successful online advertising campaign for real businesses or nonprofit organizations using Google AdWords. In the process, they sharpen their advertising, consulting and data analysis skills. (Note: student registration will open on January 31, 2012 and students can only enter if their professors have signed up already and must sign up under their own professors).

After running their online advertising campaign for three weeks, students summarize their experiences in campaign reports, which they submit online. Based on the performance of the campaigns and the quality of the reports, Googlers on the GOMC team and a panel of independent academics select the winning teams.

The global winners and their professor will receive a trip to Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. The regional winners (and their professor) will win a trip to local Google offices, and the social impact award winners will be able to make donations to nonprofit organizations that were part of the GOMC competition.

Last year’s challenge had 50,000 participants representing 100 countries, and this year we expect even more. For more information, visit www.google.com/onlinechallenge. Professors, here is a chance to help your students sharpen their marketing skills and make a global impact!

Posted by AJ Pascua, GOMC Team


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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 news No Comments

Why Loyalty Credit Cards May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/credit-suisse-retailers-loyalty-programs-2011-12


loyalty credit card

Credit cards have been a staple for retail rewards programs for decades (you know, like that Visa card they try to make you sign up for every time you go to Gap). They’ve been an effective way to reward customers, and for retailers to get additional funding.

But a new report by analysts Michael Exstein, Chrisopher Su and Trey Schorgi at Credit Suisse says that it’s time for retailers to abandon the credit card. Why are credit-based rewards programs not the right way to go anymore?

1. The cost of rewards programs keeps rising for banks. As rewards competition ramps up, issuer margins are pressured.

2. As the programs get more expensive, banks will offset costs in other areas. This will result in either less beneficial terms for retailers, or higher fees for consumers. Retailers may have to increase their own rewards programs to remain competitive

3. Retailers’ relationships with their customers could be hurt, because banks (who are now in control of many retailers’ credit businesses) could squeeze consumers. Since the programs are branded for retailers, not the banks, consumers would deem them responsible.

Credit Suisse instead suggests that the answer to these woes is simple. Switch over to programs based around membership fees or other upfront investments. “Going forward, we think the emerging trend will be the need for consumers to “invest” in loyalty programs, thereby creating a “vested interest,” says the report.

So what brands are doing it right so far?

Amazon — The Amazon Prime membership program has been vastly successful. Consumers pay an annual membership fee of $79, and get shipping benefits, free use of Amazon Instant Video and perks for their Kindle.

Costco — The largest membership warehouse club in the world has three levels of membership. There’s a $55 annual fee for businesses, a $55 ‘Gold’ card for individuals and a $55 executive member upgrade, which gives folks a 2% discount on most purchases.

Sam’s Club — Walmart’s warehouse subsidiary has a similar system, with a $40 per year Advantage card for individuals ($100 for Advantage Plus which offers extra savings) and a $35 per year Business membership ($100 for Business Plus).

Macy’s — “Thanks for Sharing” is a program that’s working for Macy’s to generate loyalty. It requires a $25 upfront investment (which is actually a donation to charity), in exchange for rewards.

Target — The REDcard is a ‘hybrid’ method which has been working well since the retailer started it up in 2010. It offers 5% savings on everything and includes shipping benefits.

These programs all capitalize on the concept of creating that “vested interest.” Customers, having already paid a set of promised benefits, will be more likely to keep spending to use those benefits that they’ve already paid for. They’ll keep coming back.

NOW SEE: The 20 Brands With The Most Loyal Customers >

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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