Many businesses simply aren’t using search engine optimization… well, optimally! This seems to stem from a lack of understanding from how important search engines are when it comes to driving traffic to your website. Even some of the ones that do understand the importance don’t quite understand how exactly that traffic is going to be generated.
How a search engine doesn’t work
Many people think that search engines are a ubiquitous, ultra-dynamic technology. The likes of Google know exactly when a new website is created and adds it to some database. If a user enters the right term, that website will be among the search results, probably not too far from the front page.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite a simple as that. It’s true that companies like DuckDuckGo can return results from pretty much anywhere on the World Wide Web. But these companies don’t return comprehensive or neutral results.
The selectivity of search engines
Thousands of websites are being created every day. As a result, search engines have to show a degree of selectivity when it comes to the results of a searcher’s inquiry.
When you search for something, you’re not getting unfiltered results from a neutral source. Filters are in place that prevent business owners who are using unethical SEO tactics from appearing in search results.
There have been many times in which disputes between a website and a search engine have culminated in throttled search results. Remember the dispute between Genius and Google? This was the result of unhealthy SEO.
Understanding searcher psychology
When someone wants to find something, they’re going to use the search term they feel is most appropriate. Many companies assume that there can only be a limited number of obvious search terms that would lead to their company. But a user doesn’t always use the inquiries or search terms you might expect. Not everyone visits Google knowing exactly what they’re looking for!
You also need to understand that your average searcher is not going to look beyond the first two or three pages of search results. They’re likely to use one of the first few results or change their search term.
Getting to grips with the numbers
As you can see, the world of search engines is a complex one. It makes the workload of really good SEO absolutely tremendous. Understanding how the various algorithms of sites and psyches of users is no small task. It’s why many companies choose to use SEO consulting. It’s also why many companies simply don’t bother with SEO at all.
But when you see the numbers, your mind should be changed. The average number of Google searches per month hovers around the figure of six billion. And make no mistake: it’s search engines that are the most common gateway to any given business. It’s not television advertising or social media marketing. (Not that you should be ignoring the latter!) It’s organic search results.
You cannot afford to underestimate the power of search engines when it comes to your digital marketing. Don’t put your company at risk by ignoring it!
Have you ever browsed the website of a big company like Dell or Samsung? Were you impressed with how easily you found what you were looking for, despite the all the complexity of their product lines? I guess you probably were. These websites are built to the highest of professional standards. And as a result, the user experience is seamless.
But all too often, startups fail to emulate the seamlessness generated by the big companies. What seems like it should be straightforward and easy turns out to be a lot more complicated than they imagined. Here are some of the reasons why your website sucks and what you can do about it.
1. Boring headlines
In a world that’s full of low brow content and click-bait, it can be hard for your business to compete. People will click on titles that they find the most titillating, rather than the most informative. Titles which aren’t attractive aren’t going to attract much attention on the internet. They might interest specialists, but not the general public.
Making the titles on your website sexier is an easy first step to making your site more attractive. The next step is to include interesting images and perhaps infographics to reel in even more people. Often it’s just about keeping up with what others in your industry are doing, just to enable you to compete.
2. No blog
If you’ve spent any time browsing the sites of smaller companies, you’ll have noticed a trend over the last few years. They all have blogs. No longer is blogging reserved for foodies and disgruntled youth. It’s a tool that practically everybody is using to drive traffic to their websites. But why?
It all comes down to content. First off, search engines love new content. In fact, they take it into consideration every time they calculate your site’s ranking.
But also, the people looking for your product will probably want to read more about it. That’s why you’ll often find blogs on the sites of companies that sell complex products.
Legal firms, for example, make a point of running blogs that explain how their processes work in layman’s terms. It’s all designed to be helpful, accessible content for potential customers.
3. No website marketing plan
Your website is like the display window at the front of a department store. It’s the public facing part of your business. And it’s got to look good. But all too often, startup websites aren’t fronts for their brands. They’re generic templates that look as if they’ve been thrown together in five minutes.
Building brand identity through your website is an essential part of building a successful business. Because it’s your website that the public and other businesses see, this is what defines you. That’s why it’s so important that it’s good.
Take a couple of hours thinking about exactly what information you want to communicate through your website. What should it be saying about your business? And are there any graphics or logos that you should include to make it consistent?
4. Being too modest
The internet is full of people unashamedly screaming out for attention. Sometimes what they have to offer is good. But most of the time, the content itself is far from ideal.
The problem for the startup, however, is being heard above the noise. This is challenging enough in itself. But often startups will be further hamstrung because they are too modest to seek publicity.
The key to generating interest in your website is to tell your story. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, of course. It just has to be the story about why your company is unique.
Customers are most interested in your story than you realise. Stories are what draws them into your firm’s brand. It’s what gives customers an affinity with you do. And it’s what gives them something to believe in.
If your startup is an ethical company, you can build this ethical aspect into your brand by telling a story. Perhaps you wanted to set up a chain of healthy, fast-food restaurants because you objected to what the big corporates were doing. This is the type of story that people can really get on board with. And it’s the sort of thing that will align them with your brand.
5. Failing to list on established sites
Even if you do everything right, your website may still get lost in among the billions of pages on the internet. That’s why it’s worth using more established sites to get a leg up.
The first thing that you can do is make comments on other sites. The goal here isn’t necessarily to build links. It’s to create engaging, helpful and meaningful content that will build reputation. As your name floats around the internet, this will divert more traffic to your website and help improve its visibility.
The second thing that you can do is write articles and try to get them published on other websites. This will mean that more people will come into contact with your message. And more potential customers are likely to want to know more about you by going to your website. Guest blogging is an excellent way to get your site known to another site’s audience.
The third thing that you can do is connecting your site through popular social media channels. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all being used right now by businesses to promote their websites and their content.
6. Failing to use pay-per-click advertising
In the early days, very few people will visit your site, if any. The majority of your business will be done through word of mouth and recommendations. But there are limits to that kind of growth in a digital economy. And that’s why pay-per-click advertising is so important.
Essentially, PPC funnels interested customers to your website, dramatically increasing traffic. PPC is moderately expensive for a startup. But it’s something that can be tapered down once you build your reputation and traffic increases naturally. Often PPC advertising pays for itself. Most small businesses will use something like Google Adwords.
If there’s one topic that gets people fired up it’s web design. To succeed online, a smartly designed website is crucial. Something that brings in visitors and keeps them on your page, absorbing content.
Unfortunately, what constitutes a great site isn’t always agreed upon, and there’s constant debate of best practices, what’s hot, what’s not, and what is the cancer that is killing the industry. The argument still rages on, and recently it’s moved on to these commonly used web design elements:
“We’re not at the park, so why are we going around and around? Because people keep designing their sites with these blasted carousels” is just one of the commonly heard gripes about this supposedly interesting design choice.
Unfortunately, we have to keep clicking left or right to get another little morsel of information that the designers have deemed us worthy to handle. Are they afraid we can’t read full paragraphs? This one isn’t just a matter being annoyed personal preference, however, Carousel designs actually harm your websites performance.
You’ve seen this technique on graphics heavy sites in which the foreground and background scroll at different speeds. It creates a feeling of depth, helps tell a story through visuals, and looks pretty cool when properly implemented.
Unfortunately, it comes with some (resolvable) issues that may make it a waste of time. Like the Carousel, use of Parallax Scrolling is damaging to SEO. Since there’s usually just one page and a bunch of images, there’s no text content for search engines to crawl through and rank.
The abundance of images reduces performance (and completely kills performance on mobile devices). Most damaging of all though, is that the technique can just make it confusing to absorb any useful information, which will cut your number of repeat visitors down tremendously.
Think about it, would you stick around on a website where your only navigation option was to scroll downwards through hard-to read image/text combos? Of course, there are examples of Parallax Scrolling done right, so the argument is there that it’s all about how you choose to use it.
The Hamburger Menu
That three lined symbol in the corner on most websites that you click to access navigation options is commonly known as the hamburger menu.
While it does look cool, and you can see why one might be tempted to clean up their navigation by having it sleekly displayed in a drop-down menu, many say it kills a websites discoverability.
When your navigation options are out of sight, they are also out of mind, the thinking goes. There’s also the argument that it’s less efficient, since you’re forced to go to a separate menu just to see your options, but that’s more a matter of personal taste, it would seem.
We may never get definitive answers on whether these trends are good or bad, but it seems pretty clear that if you are going to try to incorporate any of these ideas into your design, you have to do it with care.
We’ve given you an overview of the tons of free web design options out there for building a pretty good site. When you have to move up to the big leagues though, it’d be prudent to hire some big league talent.
Professional web developers like Big Drop (out of New York), or Brown Box Branding (Dallas TX) offer great designs coupled with high level marketing strategies proven to keep the visitors coming back to your site for more.
It was the year 1995. The talented developer, Brendan Eich, creates this profound scripting language while three corporations predict its appearance: NetScape, ECMA International, and Mozilla.
The usage of terms “framework” and “library” might confuse you. Moreover, the developers use both of the terms interchangeably. You should know the difference between the two terms to make the best out of it.
Unlike in libraries or standard user applications, the overall program’s flow of control is not determined by the caller, but by the framework itself. Pre-defined rules help the developer improve a cross-platform performance of the application.
In its turn, the library typically is a collaboration of methods and tools that can be used by the programmers without any dictated rules or guidelines.
When Google released it in 2009, the expectations were quite unpretentious. However, Angular.js has become truly popular due to its possibility to rapidly build single-page web applications. So-called directives also enhance it.
They add reusable codes to the application and provide the application with necessary dynamic functionalities. Manipulating DOM is easy – that is why you can without troubles ass behavior and CSS to the HTML DOM elements.
You might have figured out the hint – this minimalistic framework provides the necessary backbone to web applications. It is available under the MIT license and claim to be open source.
Backbone’s significant feature is its ability to act as the base of a multilayer web project. You may find useful tools inside, for instance, model building using key-value binding, tons of enumerable objects with usable API etc.
You can use other frameworks on top of the web application set. Backbone.js can be used with other toolkits it massive projects. The appropriate mix of functionality and performance is accomplished by framework’s small size and lucidity.
This framework is considerably one of the most useful front-end frameworks – for a reason. It works as the V in MVS, which means that it can be used to create the UI constituent of your project.
With the help of the node.js, it can be rendered on the server side; its performance is also enhanced by involving a virtual DOM. If you need to recreate your front-end component into an interactive element, React.js will help you with it flawlessly.
This is proved by usage experience of such companies as Instagram and Facebook. React.js achieved the name of one of the best UI frameworks for creating high-performance and responsive web applications – and all this with only 2 years on the market!
If you need to create full-process end-to-end web applications, developers will recommend you to try Meteor.js – and this commendation will be quite veracious.
Since its appearance in 2012, this framework has proved that a platform can be truly multifunctional and cover all the tasks without additional libraries or frameworks.
Moreover, Meteor.js is being permanently improved – its community contributes to the core of the application regularly.
This framework allows developers to tackle through various sections of the framework – thanks to its modular design. It also covers virtually all the phases of development (frontend, backend etc.), which enables to swiftly create real-time applications.
The first is similar to the two-way binding that Angular.js uses; it helps synchronize all the processes – for instance, the change in model initiates an immediate adjustment of the model. The second mechanic is the fastboot.js module.
You are right if you compare this mechanic with react.js’s ability to render DOM on the server side. With these two features, even scalability is not quite an obstacle to getting the best of this framework. Likewise, tons and tons of learning material about Ember is available online.
Originating in 2013, this Google-powered framework has already gained popularity. This platform has much to offer including the ability to create and extend HTML or other web components. Even though Polymer.js has just released an alpha version, it already has numerous followers.
This ambitious project has been on the market less than a year. It is backed up by a team of skilled professionals, so we look forward to something special.
Using the hints from Angular 1 and 2, this framework helps create powerful and responsive applications. The architectural design is also customizable and offers limitless control over the framework.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is here to stay. The AI revolution is changing lives but scaring millions. AIs are already everywhere, supporting the human mind in the pursuit to make the world better and our way of life even easier.
They’re in your phones and favorite apps, helping you stay connected and do what you do best in the shortest possible time. And they’re doing a better job than anything else could.
The opportunities are endless and uncertain. Human development cannot be stopped. The future can only be better but with lots of questions.
I am no expert in artificial intelligence. But the rise of super intelligent machine and software is upon us and I am just as curious as you are about what AI can (and will ultimately) do. The future of AI is bright but frightening.
Technology giants are cashing in on the next big thing. Mark Zuckerberg made a $2 billion bet on Oculus Rift (a virtual-reality headset) in 2014. And Facebook has over 50-person AI lab. Google wants a breakthrough in AI that could change history, hence the acquisition of the DeepMind team last year. Google’s DeepMind defeated legendary Go (an ancient Chinese board game that has long been considered one of the great challenges faced by AI) player Lee Se-dol in historic victory earlier this month. IBM has bet billions on the success of Watson, its Jeopardy question-answering supercomputer.
Meanwhile, a russian millionaire is exploring ways to upload the human brain to a computer. “The ultimate goal of my plan is to transfer someone’s personality into a completely new body,” he says.
“Within the next 30 years,” promises Dmitry Itskov, “I am going to make sure that we can all live forever.”
Elsewhere, Elon Musk wants to start selling self-driving cars next year. His company, Tesla and other car manufacturers like Honda, Nissan, Ford and more are testing semi-autonomous cars. Even Uber is seeking to buy self-driving cars.
Musk’s Tesla Motors assembly plant is powered by lots of intelligent machines. Tesla is reinventing the American auto industry. And don’t forget Musk has been sending rockets to space for sometime now. His SpaceX company has partnered with NASA to explore reusable rockets.
Richard Branson has not given up on getting millionaires to other planets as tourists after that fatal accident. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is also exploring spaceflight technology. Billionaires are now counting on super machines to do things humans could only think of as of the seventeenth century.
It’s Musk, again. He wants to build Hyperloops that will make it possible to work at the far east of the US and still be able to live at the far west. He is already considering designs.
MIT student engineers won a competition to transform Musk’s idea into a design for a Hyperloop to move pods of people at high speed.
The Hyperloop is a high-speed ground transport concept proposed by Musk to transport “pods” of 20 to 30 people through a 12-foot diameter tube at speeds of roughly 700mph (1,127km/h). How cool is that?
In other news, Google has fallen out of love with robots. Alphabet, the parent company is trying to sell Boston Dynamics, the high-profile robotics startup it bought in late 2013.
With all the hype, AI is still in infancy. There is still a lot to explore and experiment. But the rate of technological impact in recent times means that humans are closer to getting machines to do our current jobs.
Employees in big companies don’t like that. Actually, nobody is secured about their jobs. Robots are eating jobs. But most businesses value profits more than anything. And they will do everything in their power to reduce their reliance on humans to do routine jobs.
Robots are now becoming supremely capable in medical diagnosis, manufacturing, assembly, packing and packaging, surgery, weaponry, research and more. Are we headed into a jobless future?
What AI apps are already doing
You are probably using a lot of AI apps. Facebook uses AI to make sure your newsfeed is exactly what you want. Apple’s Siri uses AI to learn your voice and to translate your vocal requests into search, search them, and provide you an answer.
Google’s search function enables you to find what you’re looking for. Microsoft’s Cortana helps you get things done by letting your PC and smartphone work together.
Apps like GetYana, Tempo, Microsoft Fetch, Blippar, Bernie, Virtual Talk, Snips, Alice and a lot more are using artificial intelligence in one way or the other to help people get the right information and service they want.
What will AI apps do in the future?
Smartphones are still not very helpful at getting us information or data based on what we are already doing. We still have to touch a lot of apps and buttons to access exactly what we want. With all the power in our hands, we should be doing better.
AI apps of the near future will practically blow your mind. Based on what innovators are experimenting and exploring, your smartphone promises to be the best mobile super computer you can ever own.
You will be able to download advanced AI apps like other apps int the future. And they will possibly spread out into other devices and computers you permit them to. Even your walls, clothes, office, car, luggage. Internet of Things (IoT) will be a lot more beneficial and interesting tomorrow or the next decade.
AI apps will be able to not only read your email and write responses but they could go through them, find you what matters and what doesn’t, monitor which ones were read and report back to you.They will log on to all your apps, using your passwords, check updates, respond to them.
They will even change your passwords if they are compromised without your knowledge. And if you are worried about big brother watching you, you AI apps will handle your encryptions and keep your data private.
Reading news and summarising them for you will be basic. You won’t even have to flip through all those news apps you have installed.
Investing will solely be done by intelligent apps that will be made public. You won’t have to study the stock market and trends. You will be able to assign research tasks to machines whiles your AI apps take care of where to invest your money.
AI investment apps will know when to exactly pull out of a deal and when to cash in. They will give you reasons why those stock options are best for you based on your age and interests. Technology-driven brokerage will operate with significantly less overhead.
AI apps will soon file your tax returns like humans. Your accountants will be very worried, but you will choose machines over them.
The combination of super intelligent computers, intelligent software, and APIs will open up new opportunities for even smarter apps that will be able to do a lot more than we will be able to imagine.
As impressive as the AI powered suggestions for replies to your emails are, they’re just not very useful yet. The likes of Siri, Google Voice, Cortana and Robin have a lot to learn.
What will you do with all the free time on your hands when machines are busy at work?
But there are downsides to a utopian world where machines and intelligent software rule and make lives better, faster and more efficient.
The big question is: why, then are humans interested in building machines whose intelligence will overwhelm us and even scare the hell out of us?
Humans evolve. That’s how we have come this far. The people of the fourteenth century will be amazed at what we have been able to accomplish today. It’s human nature to learn as much as we can and to build the best machines and tools we can.
And we will stop at nothing to do what we think it’s possible. Technologists, engineers and innovators are in business to build the most potent machines they can, not to worry about consequences, at the moment.
The basics of life like awesome cars, fast trains and aeroplanes, super computers, smartphones etc are all innovations that have changed how we work. But we want more than that. We are not impressed. Every generation expects more. We thrive on improved technology.
Are we there wet?
AI today is nowhere near understanding the human mind, yet. There is still a lot to do and comprehend. But the good and scary news is that corporate giants are investing billions of dollars into super computers, robotics, Internet of Things etc.
It’s a race of the giants. The more we learn, the more carefully, critically and intelligently we can observe what AI can do and the limits we need to overcome.
Geoffrey Hinton, an artificial intelligence (AI) expert and Google AI ‘godfather’ believes machines could match human abilities in five years.
On whether people should fear AI, he said in an interview with Macleans off the back of Google DeepMind’s victory against AlphaGo:
“Any new technology, if it’s used by evil people, bad things can happen,” said Hinton. “But that’s more a question of the politics of the technology.”
He continued: “The main thing shouldn’t be, how do we cripple this technology so it can’t be harmful, it should be, how do we improve our political system so people can’t use it for bad purposes?”
The risks of AI are real. Can we handle it?
Dr. Joscha Bach of the MIT Media Lab and Harvard Program for Evolutionary Dynamics says:
“The risks brought about by near-term AI may turn out to be the same risks that are already inherent in our society. Automation through AI will increase productivity, but won’t improve our living conditions if we don’t move away from a labor/wage based economy.
It may also speed up pollution and resource exhaustion, if we don’t manage to install meaningful regulations. Even in the long run, making AI safe for humanity may turn out to be the same as making our society safe for humanity.”
Technologists, innovators and engineers will continue to do everything they can to get machines as intelligent as possible. But no artificial mind will ever come close to the human mind. No computer will ever feel anything like we do. Software can only simulate feeling.
The human mind is no static, rational machine. Feeling and consciousness can only happen (so far as we know now) to organic beings and animals. It can’t be produced, no matter what, by mere software on a computer.
Our machines are here to serve us but will they take over our lives? Will our robots outthink us and even harm us?
Running a business in 2016 is a fascinating and complex endeavour. The truth is, the world of business is unlike it has ever been before. Not only is it more competitive than ever, but the rules seem to be getting looser and looser.
If you want to succeed in business today, you need to know how to adapt continually to a changing environment. As long as you remain fair, and consistent in your vision, you can do more or less whatever you please. And that is very good news indeed for anyone looking after a company.
Part of the process of keeping up-to-date with the world of business is taking on the latest technologies. This doesn’t mean that you have to religiously follow every new trend. Indeed, if you did, people would likely think less of you and your business as a result. But it does mean that you should be taking advantage of what technology is available.
At the end of the day, you should be using whatever is available to make your business a viable competitive force in the world today. But nor is it just about being competitive. It also makes little sense to ignore certain technological advances. If they are cost-effective, and they provide a means for you to do what you do quicker and easier – then that’s just good business.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the top technological must-haves for your business this year.
One of the most important aspects of running a business is ensuring that your time, and your staff’s time, is used effectively. After all, you are paying them their wage – you need to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth.
That’s why it’s important to keep their productivity high. This is just good business. Fortunately, there is technology available which enables you to make the most of the time spent in the office.
Programs such as OneNote allow you to keep a much more organised digital workspace. This is great news. Too much of our time at work is wasted on trying to find the right documents for any given task.
With OneNote, you have a user-friendly, easy way of keeping everything together which needs to be together. That way, you can spend more time working.
Even if you just make this change for your own computer, your business will see a dramatic improvement in its productivity levels. Not only that, but you can use that same software to keep tabs on the productivity of your employees. How’s that for a versatile piece of software?
Long gone are the days when you would have to copy over files from one computer to another. Thank goodness – we all remember the hassle of having to email files, or put them on a flash drive. And if the files were too big, then it could prove to be a real nightmare.
Flash drives have their place, of course. But for a sprawling business which is only set on growing bigger, they do not serve all that much purpose. Any growing business needs a method of transferring files which is fast and easy to use. It is also a huge benefit if location doesn’t matter at all.
Part of the reason for this is that growing businesses often need to have more than one location in which to do their business. If you have started kitting out a second office, then you might be worrying about data transference.
Don’t – with the cloud, it’s no problem at all. The cloud allows you to have all your files available on any connected device, immediately. There are not even any transfer times, because it is just waiting at your disposal for you to connect to.
This is the kind of technology that business has been waiting for for many years. A few years ago, this would have seemed like a dream. Now it’s a dream come true.
The main beauty of the cloud is that it is easy to use. But even if you – or any members of staff – are struggling with it, then don’t worry. There is always a helping hand available. Consider icloud sign in for all your cloud needs. Chances are, you will have your answer in moments.
Any business owner worth their weight in salt knows the overbearing importance of marketing. The way you put your business forward into the public view says a lot about your enterprise. It also dictates, to a large extent, how successful you are likely to be as a company.
Marketing should be considered as one of the primary arms of your business. Of course, the methods involved in marketing are varied. And with the advent of certain technological advances, marketing is now more effective than ever. Nowhere is this plainer than in the world of social media.
Social media is a real godsend for business owners in today’s world. With social media, you have a tool which enables you to get your message directly into people’s homes (and pockets). Not only that, but you don’t even have to pay a penny. Unless you want to, of course, in which case, it is even more effective.
Social media allow you to project your brand image however you like, day and night, to millions upon millions of people all around the globe. Never before has there been a marketing tool so immediately effective. Truly, any business would be insane not to consider social media a central part of their marketing strategy.
If you run a business, and you want it to be a competitive force in today’s world, then getting engaged in social media is an absolute must. Ensure that your business has accounts on all the main sites.
But more than that – use them! The key to successful social marketing is a lively, healthy interactivity with the general public. Take the opportunity to present your company in a bold and exciting manner. The people will find it hard to forget your brand in a hurry – and that is the name of the game.
Wearable technology keeps evolving. And it is transforming the way we experience the world. Watches, eyeglasses, rings, bracelets and even smart home devices like the thermostat are changing how we consumer information, monitor our health and use home products. Smart technology has a significant role to play in how people will live in the future.
NEOFECT wants to change how to aid rehabilitation and the provision of clinicial real-time patient data. In an interview with Scott Kim, Neofect’s co-founder and CEO of the US office, he spoke to us about how he started NEOFECT, the company’s success factors and challenges they have faced in their bid to change physical therapy using online gaming.
Brief summary about your startup
Established in 2010, NEOFECT is a mobile health startup with a vision to deliver an affordable and effective at-home system to aid neuro patients with central nervous system disorders such as a stroke.
Its first product, RAPAEL Smart Glove, combines a wearable device, virtual reality and gamification for rehab exercise, while its software analyzes the data from built-in sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level.
The device has been successfully employed by a number of major hospitals in South Korea since December of 2014, and approved for use in the US and Europe. NEOFECT has offices in S. Korea, San Francisco, and Poland.
Why and how it was started
The President of NEOFECT, Ho-Young Ban, experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by stroke patients and their families when his father and two uncles fell victims of stroke.
Although his uncles were fortunate to survive, they had to turn down the rehab therapy because of the costs involved. So, when his friend Young Choi came up with an idea of Rapael, Ban could not resist.
Soon after, their classmate from the University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program Scott Kim joined the team to launch the US operations.
Kim was born with spinal bifida and went through a surgery and a long rehabilitation process, so he immediately recognized the opportunity and became a co-founder and the CEO of the Neofect’s US office.
What has been the biggest success factors
Personal motivation of the founders combined with the latest, most advanced smart technologies have become the major engines behind the company’s success.
– Gamification, which motivates a patient throughout the rehab process. It helps to induce neuroplasticity for hand function of a patient with a brain damage.
Various rehab games are updated monthly and each game targets specific movements such as squeezing the orange for finger flexion/extension and pouring wine for forearm pronation/supination, for example.
– Artificial Intelligence: the software analyzes data from the glove’s sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level. The algorithm is designed to enhance learning multiple functions by offering an optimal task at a proper level of difficulty.
– Wearable Device: RAPAEL Smart Glove is a wearable bio-feedback training gadget. Lightweight and designed to fit different hand sizes, it uses the Bluetooth technology to collect the patient’s data.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?
The biggest challenge was the product’s concept itself. Many people believed that Rapael could be a threat to the therapists. Fortunately, after we launched the program in several hospitals, we’ve been able to prove that our device is designed with the doctors’ and patient’s needs in mind and helps them make the rehabilitation process more efficient.
Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?
This sounds like a cliché, but the right team is easily the answer to me. With the right people, you can make necessary adjustments based on new information to make sure there is a product-market fit.
My previous job was to lead a team to make mobile apps – without any exception, all great apps loved by users were made by great teams.
Final words for those chasing the startup dream
Never underestimate the importance of execution. Many people waste their time just to validate what they think or others think, or even just to finish the conceptualization.
However, you should “fail fast” in order concentrate your efforts on building a product which has a market demand, and of course, to save time and money as well.
Plus, you should fail while you are small rather than big, if you’re meant to face it. The earlier you do the reality check, the faster you can reach your goal, although it might cost you a couple of failures at the beginning.
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The much anticipated new version of the popular $35 mini-pc - The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is here. The board made appearance at the FCC website revealing all details a few days ago and is now officially released by the foundation for ordering. Major new features include a new 64-bit ARM 8 1.2GHz Quad-core Broadcom BCM2837 CPU with on-board WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy. Everything else remains the same, the maximum power draw has been upgraded to 2.5A@5V from 1.8A@5V to allow more power hungry USB devices without a need for a powered USB hub.
- Broadcom BCM2387 chipset, 1.2GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A53
- 1GB RAM
- Dual Core VideoCore IV® Multimedia Co-Processor. Provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode. Capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure
- 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN
- Bluetooth 4.1 (Bluetooth Classic and LE)
- 40 pin GPIO
- 4x USB 2.0 ports
- MicroSD card slot
- CSI camera port
- DSI display port
- 4 pole stereo and composite video port
- New Switched power source up to 2.5A
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Fast charging is the "buzz word" when it comes to new smartphone technology, Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0 is one such offering from the leading chip manufacturer which is now being advertised as a prominent feature in supporting smartphones. Oppo - the Chinese cellphone brand has now demoed a much faster charging technology offering a full-battery charge (2500mAh) from 0% to 100% in less than 15 minutes.
Oppo's claims it's "Super VOOC" technology to be "world's fastest and safest fast charging technology", unlike the competition which uses high-voltage for faster-charging which results in higher-temperatures making things hotter and riskier. Oppo makes use of the standard 5v low voltage which is within standard levels for smartphone charging, ensuring the utmost safety, stability and device sustainability. Usage of low-voltage is not only safer and efficient but also allows the user to use the smartphone while fast-charging which is not possible with rival technologies.
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