WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll (Episode 95)

On today’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff shares insights from a recently released U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife Coronavirus Impact Poll. The survey shows that two thirds of small businesses are concerned about having to close again or stay closed if there is a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall.

Jeff shares more details from the survey, as well as three recommendations for small business owners and entrepreneurs who continue to battle for their businesses.

Tune in to the WJR Business Beat for more: 

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

Small business owners across America are confronting such uncertainty. We’re all so eager to return to some kind of normal and while that hope fuels us to keep pressing forward, it can also cause compromised decisions about when and how to reopen our businesses. And the price for being hasty is high as we are all now seeing the number of cases swell in many parts across the U.S.

And it begs the question about whether or not we are now dealing with this dreaded second wave of this crisis predicted to be worse than the first. Where is all of this going? When will it end? Will what we knew as normal now be changed, may be gone forever?

According to a survey released earlier this week by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife that focused on the ongoing impact of the coronavirus on small businesses and their owners, two thirds of small business owners indicate that they are now concerned about having to close again, possibly, or even worse, just simply close permanently if the current pace of cases keeps up or even worse, trends upwards, once the fall season begins.

But entrepreneurs are a hardy bunch and many are fighting hard to do all we can to hunker down and prepare to try to ride this out and get to the other side of it.

And here are some key things that I see entrepreneurs doing and recommend that all of us do as small business owners as we take on this fight.

Number one, don’t panic about the uncertainty. Put simply, we face an uncertain future. That’s a given. Don’t focus on the long view right now. We simply cannot know what life and business will be like a year or two from now. Rather, take it day by day. Focus on survival, steady as she goes.

Two, be flexible. Be nimble. Pivot as required. The business you were in six months ago will be different from the one going forward. This is a given. Those that survive will be the ones that adapt to the new circumstances we all face.

Lastly, know that you’re not alone. We’re all in this together. We’re all confronting tough challenges, confusion, uncertainty and fear over what the future will bring.

Hang in there, entrepreneurs. We’re a hardy bunch and we’re going to do our best to get through this. And if we take it day by day, take it slowly and methodically and don’t panic along the way, we’re going to get through this. We’re going to get through this together.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

The post WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll (Episode 95) appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

I want to start an architecture firm with some people from university who also study the same thing as I do. Is that a good idea?

I have read from other reddit posts that it's a bad idea to start businesses with friends because it will ruin your relationship and also because they are more prone to slack off leaving one person doing all the hard work but then demand the same contribution. There's more reasons but I can't be bothered to list.

I would not consider these people to be best friends or really close but they have a good work ethnic like me and are determined to become successful. We get along, share our own ideas and also take into consideration other ideas too. We have some knowledge on the buisness side of things but we still need to research a significant amount to have a good enough understanding to actually start a buisness. We also want some kind of mentor with experience because those online tutorials that large companies try to advertise saying they teach you how to have a successful buisness is BS.

I just want to know if I should go forward with this idea or not. I'm willing to risk the friendship and to ensure that everyone does their contribution we want to have some kind of legal document involved too. This is 3 other people btw. I also want to know if 4 people is too much and will cause too many problems in the future. Please give me detailed replies.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Datafold is solving the chaos of data engineering

It seemed so simple. A small schema issue in a database was wrecking a feature in the app, increasing latency and degrading the user experience. The resident data engineer pops in a fix to amend the schema, and everything seems fine — for now. Unbeknownst to them, that small fix completely clobbered all the dashboards used by the company’s leadership. Finance is down, ops is pissed, and the CEO — well, they don’t even know whether the company is online.

For data engineers, it’s not just a recurring nightmare — it’s a day-to-day reality. A decade plus into that whole “data is the new oil” claptrap, and we’re still managing data piecemeal and without proper systems and controls. Data lakes have become data oceans and data warehouses have become … well, whatever the massive version of a warehouse is called (a waremansion I guess). Data engineers bridge the gap between the messy world of real life and the precise nature of code, and they need much better tools to do their jobs.

As TechCrunch’s unofficial data engineer, I’ve personally struggled with many of these same problems. And so that’s what drew me into Datafold.

Datafold is a brand-new platform for managing the quality assurance of data. Much in the way that a software platform has QA and continuous integration tools to ensure that code functions as expected, Datafold integrates across data sources to ensure that changes in the schema of one table doesn’t knock out functionality somewhere else.

Founder Gleb Mezhanskiy knows these problems firsthand. He’s informed from his time at Lyft, where he was a data scientist and data engineer, and later transformed into a product manager “focused on the productivity of data professionals.” The idea was that as Lyft expanded, it needed much better pipelines and tooling around its data to remain competitive with Uber and others in its space.

His lessons from Lyft inform Datafold’s current focus. Mezhanskiy explained that the platform sits in the connections between all data sources and their outlets. There are two challenges to solve here. First, “data is changing, every day you get new data, and the shape of it can be very different either for business reasons or because your data sources can be broken.” And second, “the old code that is used by companies to transform this data is also changing very rapidly because companies are building new products, they are refactoring their features … a lot of errors can happen.”

In equation form: messy reality + chaos in data engineering = unhappy data end users.

With Datafold, changes made by data engineers in their extractions and transformations can be compared for unintentional changes. For instance, maybe a function that formerly returned an integer now returns a text string, an accidental mistake introduced by the engineer. Rather than wait until BI tools flop and a bunch of alerts come in from managers, Datafold will indicate that there is likely some sort of problem, and identify what happened.

The key efficiency here is that Datafold aggregates changes in datasets — even datasets with billions of entries — into summaries so that data engineers can understand even subtle flaws. The goal is that even if an error transpires in 0.1% of cases, Datafold will be able to identify that issue and also bring a summary of it to the data engineer for response.

Datafold is entering a market that is, quite frankly, as chaotic as the data being processed. It sits in the key middle layer of the data stack — it’s not the data lake or data warehouse for storing data, and it isn’t the end user BI tools like a Looker, Tableau or many others. Instead, it’s part of a number of tools available for data engineers to manage and monitor their data flows to ensure consistency and quality.

The startup is targeting companies with at least 20 people on their data team — that’s the sweet spot where a data team has enough scale and resources that they are going to be concerned with data quality.

Today Datafold is three people, and will be debuting officially at YC’s Demo Day later this month. Its ultimate dream is a world where data engineers never again have to get an overnight page to fix a data quality issue. If you’ve been there, you know precisely why such a product is valuable.

Startups – TechCrunch

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Local lawyer plays key role in effort to boost capital for minority startups  St Pete Catalyst
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Novartis and a string of high profile backers fund next-gen Treg cell therapy startup GentiBio – FierceBiotech

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Real Estate Startup Zibo Raises $ 10.5 Million, Unveils Banking And Rent Payment Platform For Small Landlords  Forbes
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