Friday, 3 November 2017

Mark Zuckerberg 'Dead Serious' About Stopping Russian Facebook Abuse

Facebook will 'invest so much in security' that the costs will cut into the company's profitability, Zuckerberg said in an earnings call.
Mark Zuckerberg 'Dead Serious' About Stopping Russian Facebook Abuse
Image credit: catwalker | Shutterstock
This story originally appeared on PCMag
Mark Zuckerberg was conspicuously absent at this week's congressional hearings on how Russia exploited U.S. social media to sow discord during the 2016 election. But the Facebook CEO says he's "dead serious" about fixing the problem.
To prove it, Facebook will "invest so much in security" that the costs will cut into the company's profitability, Zuckerberg said in an earnings call.
"I've expressed how upset I am that the Russians tried to use our tools to sow mistrust," he said on Wednesday. "They used them to try to undermine our values. What they did is wrong and we're not going to stand for it."
Zuckberg made the remarks after some U.S. senators slammed the company for failing to stop Facebook from becoming a propaganda tool of the Russian government. At Wednesday's hearing, U.S. senators showed examples of how the Kremlin allegedly used Facebook ads and posts to influence last year's presidential election and divide American society. Among them was a successful attempt to trick pro-Texas Facebook users and Muslims to clash outside an Islamic Center in Houston last year.
However, only legal counsel from Facebook, Google and Twitter attended the three hearings that took place on Capitol Hill this week, which disappointed some of the lawmakers present.
"You have a huge problem on your hands," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. "And you have to be the ones to do something about it -- or we will."
A year ago, Zuckerberg said it was "crazy" that fake news on Facebook influenced the presidential election, but he has since changed his tone. "We're bringing the same intensity to these security issues that we've brought to any adversary or challenge we've faced," he said on Wednesday.
Facebook already has 10,000 staffers working on "safety and security," but plans on doubling that figure by next year, Zuckerberg added. "We're also building new AI to detect bad content and bad actors -- just like we've done with terrorist propaganda," he said.
Facebook has also announced plans to make political ads on the platform more transparent by showing users who sponsored them. But whether any of these efforts will be enough to placate U.S. lawmakers remains to be seen.

#3 Ways Shepreneurs Can Inspire Entrepreneurs of the Future

We have to agree with the sciences that women are wired very differently from men, which already creates an edge in their role in society
#3 Ways Shepreneurs Can Inspire Entrepreneurs of the Future
Image credit: Shutterstock
“Who runs the world? Girls!”
How far have we progressed on gender equality?
Do we value and trust our girls to an extent that they can actually rule the world by running businesses and working for professions that they were meant for?
Gender inequality still exists globally despite international measures to gap it. Gender inequality prevails in basic education, life expectancy, economic, social and political empowerment and opportunity. Usually cultures, conservative morals and shallow mentality leads to further inequality for women.
To think on a positive note, women, along with men can strive to build a better future. This is exactly what some exceptional women are doing, the present-day female entrepreneurs, who are ruling and empowering businesses and sustaining the economy. They are constantly proving society wrong. It emphasizes on the fact that gender and cultural barriers don’t matter: Sheer hard work, skills and talents polished and acquired from education and experience are what matters.
So what can be done to inspire more skeptical women to follow in the footsteps of such powerhouses of global entrepreneurship?
1. Educate Women to be Entrepreneurs
Education is necessary and essential for entrepreneurship. It builds character and personality, boosts self-esteem and confidence in an individual. More women should be highly encouraged in STEM, management and entrepreneurship courses because as history shows business along with science create wonders together. The gender bias on how certain courses are designed for a specific gender needs to be eliminated. Confidence through higher education not only molds and prepares women to face the tough world, but is also a requirement in entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur’s confidence is crucial for executing and making important business decisions.
2. Be Edgy and Innovative
We have to agree with the sciences that women are wired very differently from men, which already creates an edge in their role in society. This is what sets them apart. So ladies, use this as your strength to innovate ideas to help shape the world. Based on research and experiences, women entrepreneurs see the world through a different perspective and have a record of maintaining commitment better, which means they will help sustain the company, business and economy longer.
Since most women in several households shop for the family and maintain expenses, they are more likely to better understand the need for a market along with customer care. They clearly understand psychology behind marketing policies and how to implement plans as it comes. As said earlier, no matter the amount of hurdles and bias they face while seeking entrepreneurship, women create an edge in business which makes it even more essential when pitching for investments. Having an edge to business ideas and policies plays a big role in investments because investors need a reason to understand and justify your conviction.
3. Do Not Take Female Entrepreneurship as a Passing Fa├žade, Embrace it
Entrepreneurs need the valor, optimism and confidence for making valid decisions in tough situations when it comes to work. They need to be critical thinkers when managing a company that entirely relies on them and should have a strategic and progressive mindset for developing and executing business plans. No entrepreneur was born with this mindset but had to mold and shape it into their life. Another tip would be to train early on their own privacy which gives them ample time to learn and prepare to know when they are fully ready to plunge into business. Personal growth while taking risks and learning from accepted failures not only catapults an entrepreneur to success but makes them far sharper and knowledgeable than their competitors.

 Steps to Building a Successful Team

Your team isn't just the people who work directly for you.
4 Steps to Building a Successful Team
Image credit: graphicstock
My business partner David Parnes and I have sold over $600 million in real estate this year, however our path toward success wasn't easy, and it was a team effort. We started by knocking on doors to find listings and have learned many lessons along the way. After David and I landed starring roles on the television series Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles,entrepreneurs from all over the world started emailing us to ask for advice on how to succeed in business. Their questions inspired me to write this series for Entrepreneur.com.
This article answers a question that David and I often receive: "How do you build a successful team?" We have an immediate team of four people, however we collaborate with many more in our network and consider all of those people team members. Think of your network as your army.
Here are the four steps to building a successful team.

Step 1: Staff up.

David and I started out with just the two of us. As soon as we had a few sales under our belts and started building our listing inventory, we hired an assistant to help us with marketing and scheduling so we had more time to handle showings and networking. As we got busier, one assistant grew to two assistants. With our increased media exposure, we saw our business really take off and realized that in order to manage the incredible amount of leads that were coming our way, we needed to effectively manage our growing listing inventory, and oversee our escrows. We needed someone with experience who could fully manage our team. We hired the right person, and she has become the backbone of our business. She is able to manage operations so that we can focus our energies on obtaining listings, handling showings, networking and marketing.
We also decided to keep our immediate team very small and focused. There are only four of us, and we are in constant communication on everything -- we copy each other on all emails and texts. We operate like a well-oiled machine. We each have our strengths and instinctively know what we need to do. Our motto is "divide and conquer." It is also important to incentivize and reward people; when we close a deal, everyone gets paid.
Our strategy for building a team applies to anyone from a tech startup to a small ecommerce business. It is important to find team members that can focus on different segments of the business, administration, business development, sales and customer service. Administrative staff can help executives at tech startups stay organized and prioritize to-do lists. Customer service associates for ecommerce businesses are imperative for ensuring customer satisfaction. Business development and sales associates can focus on helping you grow your business while you are focused on your next innovation. Building the right team, and delegating responsibilities to them, will help your business thrive.

Step 2: Find the right freelancers or contractors.

In addition to your internal team, you'll want to find a great team of freelancers and contractors. We have an amazing internal creative agency, The Agency Creates, with a staff of graphic designers, and branding experts for our collateral needs. That said, most startups and small businesses don't have the luxury of having an internal creative agency to help develop marketing and advertising materials. There are many freelance graphic designers that you can find that do incredible work. Research online to view portfolios and interview with several freelancers to ensure that they can work within your deadlines. Start with one small job and if all goes well, continue to work with the same person. You can find freelancers in almost any area to service your needs. Once you find the right freelancers to do the job, continue to work closely with them because they are important team members.

Step 3: Collaborate locally.

The real estate firm that we are partnered with, The Agency, prides itself on collaboration, and we always welcome agents to co-list with us. Our media presence allows us to provide extra exposure for our co-listing partners and we are always open to collaborations. Likewise, we also co-list with other agents at the firm. There have been occasions where we have had an opportunity in a certain area that may be covered by another agent, and we will bring that agent in with us. It works both ways. Find partners that you can collaborate with for mutually beneficial relationships. We have found that being inclusive to collaborators helps us build our business because it opens the door to opportunities that we may not have otherwise been considered for.

Step 4: Collaborate globally.

We receive many inquiries from clients and agents all over the world from our exposure on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles. We also have relationships with many international agents and brokers through our affiliation with Savills. Building an alliance of international agents and brokers allows us to have a thriving referral business. Sometimes we are also involved in marketing international properties to our client base in Los Angeles.
I encourage everyone to build an alliance of team members all over the world so you can offer your clients a global reach, and profit from a wide reaching referral business. We now live in a global society and every business can benefit from exploring international markets. Research global markets to find where your business might thrive and start networking with people who can help you in those markets. Once you've identified potential collaborators, develop a pitch package that outlines how you can help those contacts in your domestic market. People are more likely to help you in their market if you can return the favor in your market. If you build a team of partners and collaborators in international markets, you can build a global business that takes advantage of global opportunities and extend your reach globally.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Women: How Your Biggest Struggle Can Be Your Greatest Business Asset

 
October 30, 2017
Let’s debunk, once and for all, the myth that to be successful as a woman entrepreneur, you have to hide the very qualities that make you an individual—including your struggles. In fact, it’s the opposite. These things can become your greatest business assets, and tapping into them is exactly how women can unlock their uniquely feminine entrepreneurial potential.
Take my friend and client Susan Peirce Thompson, for example. To say that Susan has been on a painful journey with food would be an understatement. Susan was overweight as a teenager and obese in her 20s. In adolescence, she used drugs like crystal meth and crack cocaine to manage her eating and weight. When she hit bottom on drugs at the age of 20 and got clean and sober, her food addiction exploded in full force. She was diagnosed with binge eating disorder at the age of 23 and spent nearly every spare moment bingeing, recovering from bingeing or throwing her heart into some new attempt to lose weight.
Susan spent decades struggling with her weight, swinging from her ideal size 4 to a size 24. When she was lost in that battle with food, little did Susan know that her shero’s journey was beginning and would culminate in her discovering the secret to losing her own weight. This discovery led Susan to earn a Ph.D. in brain and cognitive sciences, become a tenured psychology professor and, ultimately, mentor hundreds of thousands of people around the world to free themselves from food issues. Ultimately, she founded a business that grew to become wildly successful: Bright Line Eating, LLC.
Susan’s struggles and subsequent transformation allowed her to understand what women in similar situations would need to heal and to experience transformations themselves. Her story is a powerful example of the miracle of allowing your deepest struggles to become the springboard for your business and its message.
Our struggles make us who we are. In business done the woman’s way, we do not have to hide them. In fact, these very wounds and vulnerabilities prepare us to make a greater contribution. In what I call the “Life Ph.D.,” life rolls out a curriculum of challenges through which we grow and transform. Our business message, core promise and brand—the thing we most want to bring to the world―more often than not lies somewhere deep within that painful transformation we’ve experienced. It’s the thing that—when we do bring it to the world—will turn heads, win faithful followers and attract loyal, paying clients.

What is StartingBloc?

A Fellowship of leaders committed to making a world that works for everyone.
The Fellowship begins by attending the Institute. Over 5 days, Fellows will learn hard skills, ask big questions, and create community with 75-100 of their peers. And the Institute is just the entry-point into a lifelong Fellowship. StartingBloc Fellows participate in regional chapters and topical affinity groups, put on Fellows-only events, and access our pro-bono coaching program.
Over the past 14 years, our programs have impacted over 2,500 change leaders in 56 countries

Monday, 30 October 2017

Respect fear.

When you respect your fear you are recognizing that fear is a factor in your decision-making process about putting your message out there. As I said previously, you have two choices.
 There are those who let fear paralyze them and use it as a reason why they cannot take action. Then there are those who recognize they have the fear and act in spite of it.
Just remember this. Fear is not, I repeat, not real. It only exists in your mind. It is merely a cluster of negative thoughts of future events, which by definition have not even occurred yet and therefore aren't real.
 As the old saying goes, You don't know until you try. So remember to take action despite what you think can go wrong. A lot more could go right.

Take action.

There needs to be less time between you having a thought and your taking action. Obviously, don't act on every single thought or idea you have, but if there is one that keeps coming up over and over again, that’s the one you need to listen to.
Don't hesitate. Think less. Act more. The ability to take quick action will bring you more success than over analyzing and trying to make everything perfect before you act. Nothing will be perfect the first time around. A process of trial and error is necessary.

Duty versus fear.

When you find your voice, it is your responsibility and your duty to use it. When you are having a mental battle whether to publish a certain blog post, email or article, many fears may arise.
Questions may plague your mind: Should I publish what I really think? Will my thoughts or message rub some people the wrong way? Is everyone going to think I'm sitting on my high horse preaching to them?
Well, guess what? That is exactly how some people are going to think of you. But, there will be people who will think your message is amazing. You have two choices. You can either let the fear stop you. Or, you can do it anyway.