Select Page

Month: November 2012

CourseTalk Launches A Yelp For Open Online Courses And What This Means For Higher Education

One of the most popular topics in education technology these days is the subject of MOOCs, otherwise known as “Massive Open Online Courses.” Thanks to the buzz around MOOC platforms like Coursera, Udacity and edX, there are few universities and colleges that aren’t currently struggling with whether or not they should hop on the bandwagon. Whether or not you’re long or short on MOOCs, it’s clear that, in the near term at least, they’re here to stay. However, as colleges, universities and more begin toying with open online courses and an increasing number of students and learners take to...

Read More

Peter Thiel And Existing Investors Put Another $49 Million In Accounting Software Company Xero

Paypal co-fouder Peter Thiel, along with existing investors, has invested $49 million in Xero, the online accounting software for small businesses. It is Thiel’s third investment in Xero. Earlier this year, Thiel and existing investors put $16.6 million into the company. Thiel invested $3 million in New Zealand-founded Xero back in 2010. Thiel invested in this round through Valar Ventures, the firm he backs. Matrix Capital also participated. The two investors also purchased $18 million from Xero’s three-largest shareholders. To date, Xero has raised $67 million. Matrix Capital Management has invested $47 million and Valar Ventures $20 million. Xero bills itself as the easiest accounting software to use. It’s one of those classic new style of business apps that has a beautiful UI, making it appealing to use even if it is accounting. Xero claims that since entering the U.S. market last year, the company has doubled its revenue and customer base, integrated with ADP’s online payroll platform, and acquired practice management suite WorkflowMax. Xero seeks to challenge incumbents such as Intuit’s Quickbooks. Other companies that compete in the space include Freshbooks and Kashoo. XERO Xero provides online accounting software and services for small and medium businesses. It includes a full accrual accounting system with a cashbook, automated daily bank feeds, invoicing, debtors, creditors, sales tax and reporting. Xero is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange with over 100,000 users and paying customers in...

Read More

Plyfe Brings Its Brand-Promoting Games To Mobile, Raises $750K

Plyfe, a startup that allows brands to promote themselves through games and rewards, is moving onto mobile today — Plyfe games can now be played on the company mobile website, as well as embedded in smartphone apps. The company is also announcing that it has raised $750,000 in bridge funding The basic idea: Games are a much more engaging way than traditional advertising for brands to reach consumers and fans. Each game consists of a set of challenges, some of those challenges involving basic promotional stuff like sharing content on social networks, and some of them being more, well,...

Read More

Bob Sheard on Brand Authority and Substance – Part 1

Bob Sheard posted a profoundly engaging piece on creative agency FreshBritain’s blog, that which details his thoughts on brand authority and the notion of ‘substance.’ Sheard insists that it’s the ‘substance,’ the material and feeling on which a brand was originally founded, that makes for a company’s lasting success. He further asserts that when a brand loses this, they also lose their ability to communicate with their consumer and ultimately, sell their product or idea. In essence, Sheard points out the importance of a brand sticking to its roots, as well as being immersed in their niche market. While this may seem obvious, he gives an example of several successful companies that lost this along the way, and how FreshBritain sought to alleviate this. An interesting read for brand managers and consumers alike, this brief article serves as a great reminder to always stay on point. Beneath all of the best brands is a substance, which makes their authority in their field almost unshakeable. The thing, which gives brands substance and authority, is closely related to its truths. UVU is a great example of a brand that has a strong strand of truth, which buoys its authority and substance. Of course there is a good name, nice imagery but what underpins that is the fact that UVU has been tested to extremes previously unheard of. It has been product...

Read More

Hot Pursuits in Alfa Romeo’s Classic Giula

If you ever looked back to see those flashing lights in your rear view mirror then it’s safe to say you may have contemplated dipping on the fuzz. It just seems so easy. The drivers of Italy however prefer to obey traffic laws at all cost thanks to the national military police that governs the country’s roads. Also known as the Carabinieri and renowned for their assistance in bringing down Benito Mussolini, this grouping of heroes ended a great deal of their car chases in the state’s favor thanks to their vehicle of choice, the Alfa Romeo Giula. Purveyors of beautifully shot car videos, Petrolicious brings together two veteran Carabinieri and a collection of immaculately preserved Giulas to examine the sports sedan’s timeless performance and storied history. Article source:...

Read More