Who Ever Thought? The Lean Educators Summit

It’s been almost a decade since we first started teaching the Lean Methodology. It’s remade entrepreneurship education, startup practice and innovation in companies and the government. But in all that time, we haven’t gotten a large group of educators together to talk about what it’s been like to teach Lean or the impact it’s had in their classrooms and beyond. It dawned on us that with 10 years of Lessons Learned to explore, now would be a good time.

So, for the first time ever, we’re getting all educators from all these groups together for a “share best practices” summit at my ranch – December 4th – 5th.

100,000 students, one class at a time
A few months ago with the folks at VentureWell, the non-profit that puts on the Lean LaunchPad Educator classes  mentioned, “You know we’ve trained over 800 educators at hundreds of colleges and universities around the world to teach your class…” Say what???

It still seems like yesterday that Ann Miura-Ko and I were creating a new class – the Lean LaunchPad at Stanford to teach students an alternative to how to write a business plan.

If you can’t see the video click here

I quickly did the math. 800 educators – times 15 or so students per year – times almost ten years. Wow. It’s possible that 100,000 students have gone through some form of the class.

Add that to the 5,000 or more of our nation’s best science researchers who’ve gotten out the building (in this case their labs) who’ve gone through the National Science Foundation I-Corps program, (designed to help turn our country’s best academic research into companies), or the I-Corps @ the National Institute of Health or I-Corps @ the Department of Energy. And then add another 5,000 more who’ve gone through a version of I-Corps inside the Department of Defense.

It made me think about the variants of the class we’ve created. We started Hacking for Defense and Diplomacy almost four years ago. Hacking for Defense is now supported by the National Security Innovation Network and has put hundreds of students in 24 universities through the program. Hacking for Cities and Hacking for Non-profits have followed at U.C. Berkeley. Hacking for Oceans is coming next.

Yet none of these instructors across these disciplines have met. Or shared what they’ve learned.

So lets’ do it.

Educators Sharing Best Practices
On December 4th-5th, Jerry Engel, Pete Newell and I are hosting an event at the ranch for a select group of educators that have lead the Lean Innovation movement.

We’re going to cover:

  • The effectiveness of our programs [including I-Corps and Hacking for Defense]: What we have learned so far from the data and how to make it better
  • Customer Discovery and Lean Innovation in Academic Settings vs Non-Academic Settings such as incubators and accelerators
  • Tech Commercialization: innovators vs. entrepreneurs –  motivating scientists and engineers
  • Lean Innovation in the Enterprise, Not-for-Profit and Government – what’s different
  • International: Success and Challenges of Lean Innovation and Customer Discovery in  Europe and Asia [and South America? Australia?]
  • What’s next for Lean and entrepreneurial education
  • and much more…

Lessons Learned:

  • I’m hosting the Summit of Lean Innovation Educators at my ranch in December.
  • We’re bringing together a group to capture best practices and define a vision for what lies ahead.
  • Stay tuned for what we learn
  • And if you think you should be here, click here and let us know why

Steve Blank

7 Key Culture Elements That Drive Value In A Startup

office-business-drive-valueAs an entrepreneur, it’s never too early to set the culture you need for a thriving business, as well as thriving employees, customers, partners, and vendors. In fact, in my experience, cultures are very hard to change, so if you don’t get it right the first time, the road ahead will forever be difficult. “The Art of War” culture as an analogy for business doesn’t always work anymore.

I’m seeing more and more business success stories like the one in the classic book “Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives” by Kip Tindell. He is the Founder of the very successful Container Store, while still making Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for seventeen consecutive years.

He offers a set of seven principles and values for his ultimate win-win philosophy and harmonic balance among all stakeholders, as a roadmap for any company to develop a profitable, sustainable, and fun way of doing business. I recommend that every aspiring entrepreneur and serious business professional take each one of these to heart from day-one of their startup:

  1. Talent is the whole ball game. When you surround yourself with hugely talented, passionate, dedicated, and genuinely kind people, you will succeed in whatever you do. Tindell’s mantra is that one great person is equal to three good people. Start with only the very best people, demand excellence, and train them to stay ahead of the pack.
  1. Craft mutually beneficial relationships. This requires spending the extra time needed to really get to know your employees, vendors, and customers, and letting them get to know you. Know the issues they face, and search for ways to help them, make them happier, more productive, and more profitable. The result is more win-win than win-lose.
  1. Reframe selling as an activity that improves customer’s lives. If you get to know your customers well enough, you can provide solutions that make selling and service the same thing. It’s a win-win deal that keeps customers coming back, helps your company, and incents customers to bring in their friends through word-of-mouth and social media.

  1. Great communication is the best leadership. How can people trust their leaders if they’re not being fully informed about what’s at stake? The objective is to communicate everything to every person. It starts with daily ongoing communication between team members, and extends to the top with executive updates and informal listening sessions.
  1. Simultaneously deliver the best selection, service, and price. Stick with what you know and do it better than anyone else. Keep is simple, and think solution rather than item-based, for the proper perspective. The best relationships with vendors give you price and selection leverage, and the best service relationships bring customers back.
  1. Team members must act intuitively, based on training and motivation. Intuition is nothing more than the outcome of previous training and experience. More training on your solutions and customer needs means better intuition and anticipation of how to help customers. Happy and motivated employees won’t be afraid to use their intuition.
  1. Build and maintain an air of excitement in your company. Faithfully following the first six principles will build that sense of excitement where everyone wants to be there and feels the sense of energy, customers and employees alike. You can’t force that feeling of warmth and caring, it has to be authentic and come from the hearts of talented people.

The great management guru Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Today company culture is more important than ever in driving strategy and value, not the other way around. A great culture in an entire business infrastructure of executives, employees, vendors, and customers working together to achieve a common goal of everyone thriving.

No leader can “create culture,” but they must create the environment where the desired culture can emerge and flourish. Leaders do this by driving values, values drive behavior, behavior drives culture, and culture drives performance. High performance makes new leaders. This is the self-reinforcing circle of excellence every business needs to succeed. Are you driving the right values in your business?

Marty Zwilling
Startup Professionals Musings

College student who worked her ass off and worried she’ll get nothing

I’m graduating this spring and worked the past few years on a beauty product startup. We are attracting angels and beginning to scale, so it looks like we are getting to the good stuff. I am the LLC’s 1st C-suite executive and have been working without comp b/c I’m passionate about beauty products and my friend started it.

I have never asked about equity or comp, and I am graduating into a full-time job (fingers crossed) and won’t be retaining my executive position. But I’m seeing investors say it might be big one day, and I can’t help but feel I deserve something. My friend, the founder, has said on numerous occasions to me that she views me as a founding member and that I’ve been instrumental to getting us to where we are. She also said verbally she wants to grant me equity if it becomes big. And yet she legally retains 100% equity (was the sole owner when I joined), and when I hinted at being involved after graduation in an advisory role, she brushed even that idea off. It should be noted she has never put any of her own money into the company yet (all donation money and debt from family and alumni so far).

I’ve learned many lessons for the next time I attempt entrepreneurship. I know I misplayed my cards. But I’ve also been misled, important for our growth, and was never given the opportunity to get stake or comp. Anyway, given the current reality, how can I attempt a dialogue so that I don’t leave with literally nothing (not even title recognition)? This person is my good friend (even if her actions sometimes make me feel otherwise), so I have hope that if I bring a good argument I can get something. Please don’t be too mean, I already feel awful

submitted by /u/bantusonic
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Startups, VCs in India request ‘relief package’ from the government to fight coronavirus disruption

More than six dozen startup founders, venture capitalists and lobby groups in India have requested the government to grant them a “robust relief package” to help combat severe disruptions their businesses face due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a joint letter to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, startups requested the government to bankroll 50% of their workforce’s salaries for six months, provide interest-free loans from banks, waive rent for three months and offer tax benefits among other things.

“Unfortunately, our startup companies across the nation are inherently young, less resilient and most vulnerable. Many of them face likely devastation during this extraordinary economic downturn. At this dire moment, Indian startups need a robust relief package from the government, lest all our collective efforts of the past few years are in vain,” they wrote.

Among those who have signed the letter include Mohit Bhatnagar, a managing director at Sequoia Capital, which is in advanced stages to close a fresh $ 1.3 billion fund for India and Southeast Asia, Gaurav Agarwal of online medicine store 1mg, Debjani Ghosh of industry body Nasscom, Karthik Reddy of Blume Ventures, Anand Lunia of India Quotient, Deepinder Goyal of Zomato, and Sriharsha Majety of Swiggy.

Some prominent startup founders and VCs including Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm, and Ritesh Agarwal of Oyo, have also held a meeting with Piyush Goyal, the commerce minister in India, for a similar relief.

“We seek your urgent intervention to help ensure India’s startup ecosystem survives this crisis to emerge as a pillar of growth, employment and innovation to help drive India’s recovery. We need the startup ecosystem to survive in order to help the economy bounce back. We have enclosed herewith our submission for your kind consideration and we look forward to your support in this regard,” the joint letter reads.

The request for bailout comes amid a national lockdown in India that has disrupted countless businesses. New Delhi ordered a 21-day lockdown last month in a bid to curtail the spread of Covid-19.

Earlier this month, ten prominent VC and PE funds in India cautioned startups to brace for the “worst” months ahead.

“Assumptions from bull market financings or even from a few weeks ago do not apply. Many investors will move away from thinking about ‘growth at all costs’ to ‘reasonable growth with a path to profitability.’ Adjust your business plan and messaging accordingly,” they said.

As India, where the economy growth has been slowing for several quarters, scrambles to provide for its 1.3 billion citizens, the letter has drawn some criticism from industry figures.

“I can’t fathom how such a list gets made in a country of more than a billion people who are facing a crisis unlike any they’ve seen before. A significant majority of them daily wage earners who have no financial cushion or any idea where their next meal is going to come from. Let’s not even stray into health and the need for medical emergencies; just putting three square meals on the table a day is proving to be impossible for so many,” wrote Ashish K. Mishra in a column on The Morning Context.

“At this very moment, it is they who need the government’s support. Not fat cats with bloated, middling business models and venture capital funds whose begging bowls are now seemingly larger than their risk appetite,” he added.

Companies asking for a bailout is not limited to India. Oil giants have sought similar help from the U.S. President Donald Trump — and VCs and startups are beginning to explore their option. Brent Hoberman, chairman and co-founder of Founders Factory and Firstminute Capital, urged the UK government to provide some relief to startups last month. But the government has yet to do much about it, just ask Deliveroo, Graphcore and other big UK startups.

Startups – TechCrunch

Online cosmetics store script – the key success factor for your cosmetics business

As a young woman with a lot of interest in makeup, one of my all-time favorite things is to make a lot of searches in cosmetics platform. Because, I like to know about different brands, collections, and offers. And then to make my purchase swiftly and conveniently.

Especially, when it comes to beauty products, many questions will cross my mind before purchasing.

Are the cosmetic products that I am going to purchase will be really safe and good to use.

Or, they contain any toxic ingredients.

Whether the product will be a good fit for me and many more.

This is because I had personally suffered by using a face cream some years before. It led to rashes on my face. I was not aware at that time that the cream contained toxic ingredients. So, it was really not safe to use.

I discussed the problem with my friends and colleagues. Then only I came to know that many of them also suffered by using this particular cream. Unaware of other people’s skin issues, I purchased that product.

Because of this incident, I will be even more cautious. I will not compromise with the quality of cosmetic items before purchasing it. Not only me, every consumer will have several doubts before they make their purchase.

This made me to do a research on how to overcome the shopper’s problems while purchasing cosmetics. Then, i clearly understood a thing. These cosmetic consumer’s key requirements can be satisfied with an e-commerce platform.

In this blog, I am going to discuss how a cosmetics ecommerce platform can meet the shopper’s requirements. I will share about the counterfeits in online shopping and the way to overcome that. We will also see the need to develop a scalable and reliable online cosmetics store script.

Engagement of consumers in online cosmetics platform

In today’s digital era, shoppers across the globe are moving to the web to purchase things. On the other hand, people’s habits are changing constantly with the ecommerce culture. This steady rise in online shopping is clearly evident in cosmetics.

Survey showing increase in number of online cosmetic consumers

Beauty consumers being the stylish division of shoppers, embrace this shift to online shopping. Millennials are clearly outpacing older consumers in purchasing beauty products online. According to a recent survey, nearly 45 % of consumers purchase beauty products online.

This percentage still rises to 60% among the consumers with the age group 18 to 35. Also, 50% of cosmetic products are purchased online by nearly half of the millennial age group.

There are some key reasons for the growth of cosmetic ecommerce.

  • It will be more convenient to shop online.
  • Also, there is a steady increase in the number of picky customers. They are more concerned about transparency in the products, etc.

How the cosmetic consumer’s key requirements are met with a cosmetics ecommerce platform

Let us see how the cosmetic consumer’s requirements can be achieved with an ecommerce platform.

Well-organized online forums

When a consumer really likes a product, then they love to talk about it more. So, a cosmetic ecommerce site paves the way for their consumers to do this by creating online forums.

Creating an online forum will enhance customer engagement. It serves as a place for the staff and consumers to gather and discuss the products. This activity will definitely be a smart idea for an online platform to gain customer loyalty. Because, it creates positive impression on customer’s mind.

Cosmetics e-commerce platform with the forum

A well-organized forum allows customers to share their ideas and to ask questions. Those queries will be solved by other enthusiasts. Customers can also share recommendations, give advice about the product and so on.

The community members can upload videos. With this, they can show how they use a specific cosmetic product. They can also share their past experience with that product.

This user-generated content by ecommerce customers will definitely be a game-changer. They will boost the popularity of a cosmetic brand and will meet the customer’s need for social proof. Because, it shows the customers how well a product works. It also shows how other people use those products.

Video upload by community members

So, the key requirement for a cosmetic shopper to clarify doubts regarding a product will be achieved easily. Thereby, users will gain confidence and step forward to purchase that product. This, in turn, will definitely drive the sales up.

In addition to the above benefits, online forums are also a great source of customer feedback. You can ask your customers what they want. Then, they will feel happy that you care about them and will say their requirements.

Proof by showing unfiltered reviews of all customers

Customers can gain confidence with a cosmetic brand by seeing the unfiltered reviews from the existing consumers. There are many cosmetic ecommerce sites that allow customers to rate products based on various criteria.

These reviews will build trust among those customers who are at the point of purchasing products. Customers can also learn more about a product from the shoppers who already purchased it. This significant move towards transparency will greatly attract customers.

Cosmetics e-commerce platform with unfiltered customer reviews

So, ecommerce space is constantly proving to be a powerful strategy for beauty brands to meet the customer’s requirements.

The new face of cosmetic ecommerce

Let us now see some of the striking features that can attract more beauty consumers in an ecommerce site.

Free and fast shipping, pricing strategies

According to a recent survey, one of the top priorities of online cosmetic shoppers is free shipping. So, it is essential for an online cosmetic platform to offer free shipping options. But, a cosmetic brand must follow an effective strategy to offer free shipping. Because, there must be no impact on their profit margins.

Online shoppers also look for a fast shipping platform. So, the delivery needs to be very fast to avoid customers waiting for so long.

Cosmetics e-commerce platform with free and fast shipping options

An impressive pricing strategy is also a key factor for an online cosmetics site. It can retain existing consumers and attract potential customers. Because, people search for good pricing before making their purchase online.

Also, online shoppers nowadays are also continuously looking for many offers. Some are flat discounts, free deals, buy one get one offers, etc. So, it is essential for cosmetic brands to provide attractive offers to astonish customers.

Dazzling surprise gifts

Cosmetic brands can make use of consumer’s personal choices mentioned in their profiles. Then, they can deliver a monthly surprise pack to them. These monthly beauty samples will contain a personalized selection of cosmetic products. The products can include hair care, skincare, makeup, fragrance categories, etc.

Surprise gift pack of cosmetic products

These samples are then delivered to consumers along with some useful tips. These surprise gifts with personalized products will act as precious things to consumers. They will also enhance brand affinity.

Ample brand collections

Selecting the right product and brand is a very big decision for customers. Customers will not enjoy online shopping when the product they are looking for is not available on the ecommerce platform.

Cosmetics e-commerce platform with a broad range of brands and products

So, an online cosmetic platform must offer a wide collection of products. Thereby, making it easy for customers to choose from the collections. There must be also top-notch brand collections  to suit customer’s requirements.

Rewarding customer loyalty

It is harder to get a customer’s trust these days. It will add more value to an ecommerce site. For an online cosmetics store, loyal customers are more profitable than other existing customers.

So, beauty brands can boost customer loyalty with some programs and rewards. Because, existing customers will be retained. Some will be more likely to return to your online store with certain customer loyalty programs.

Sharing knowledge and expertise

The online cosmetic platforms can attain popularity by showing their expertise to their target audience. Cosmetic brands can do this instead of advertising their products 24/7. They can show their expertise by sharing blogs. Or, by creating valuable content that will be useful for customers.

Blog shared by a beauty brand in cosmetics e-commerce platform

At the same time, this activity will automatically popularize their brand. Because, it activates people’s desire to visit their online store to get valuable information.

Mobile commerce

According to a report, by 2021, 58.9 % of the total ecommerce sales will be from mobile ecommerce. So, there is no doubt that developing a mobile app will be a smart move for a cosmetics site. This is because, it offers an improved in-store shopping experience to the customers.

Mobile app for cosmetics e-commerce site

The cosmetics site app must be completely developed by keeping the target customers in mind. So, loyal customers of that cosmetics brand will love it. The mobile app must also be convenient, fast, and exclusive. So that it can get good conversion rates and revenue.

Future of cosmetic ecommerce

You should know about some interesting features that are going to shape the future of cosmetic ecommerce. Here, I have listed one by one.

Digital try-on capabilities

The digital try-on capabilities allow customers to get in-person experience with the products. Cosmetic ecommerce with AR technology will provide an amazing shopping experience to the customers. Because, it allows them to try products from their phones or personal space.

Online cosmetics store script with AR technology

These advancements greatly help in boosting product sales. Customers can also view how the product really looks on them. So, this will automatically drive the customers to purchase products. Online shoppers are now in search of these innovative techniques. Because, these are more attention-grabbing and also change the way of shopping.

Social media marketing and shopping

There is a very smart idea for a cosmetic ecommerce platform to increase customer engagement and conversions. It is the creation of a YouTube account and using the existing audience group.

With social media marketing, you can introduce your cosmetic products. You can build new customers and engage with them. Automatically there will an increase in conversion rates. So, it is of no surprise that YouTube marketing is an effective marketing tool for a cosmetics site.

YouTube marketing by an online cosmetics store

Beauty brands can give expert advice to their consumers with Facebook Live. Using Instagram stories, brands can include some interesting visual stories. Shoppable Instagram posts can also be used to drive the sales up.

Shoppable Instagram posts for a cosmetics e-commerce site

In the near future, social media will emerge as a popular sales tool in the ecommerce market.

Voice search

According to a survey, by 2020, 50 % of all searches would be voice searches. Most of the online shoppers prefer voice technology during purchase. So, voice-empowered shopping feature will make a cosmetic ecommerce site to stand out from the crowd.

Online cosmetics store script with voice search feature

It becomes significant for online cosmetic sites to optimize the voice search feature to impress customers. The inclusion of voice search feature will add uniqueness, ease the accessibility, etc. So, the site can be integrated with the stabilized version of voice command APIs and voice assistant software.


One of the most attractive features beauty shoppers look for is a personalized shopping experience. So, online cosmetic sites can personalize product results depending on the customer’s preferences and features. They can consider customer’s skin tone, skin type, place of application, etc. With this, customers can buy cosmetic products that really suit them.

online cosmetics platform with personalization feature

Face detection techniques can be incorporated in the site. Or, customers can be asked to describe their traits to suggest cosmetic products. With these customized cosmetics, online shoppers will be more likely to purchase those specific products. Thereby, automatically enhancing the conversion rates. This personalized cosmetic product service is definitely a cutting-edge technology for cosmetic industries.

You should also know about counterfeiting in cosmetic ecommerce

The counterfeit (fake) products that are sold on ecommerce sites are increasing day-by-day. This also includes cosmetics ecommerce sites with an increase in the number of counterfeiters. Nearly 86 percent of counterfeit goods globally are from Hong Kong and China.

The counterfeit cosmetics will be even more dangerous to the consumers. According to a report, the counterfeit cosmetics contain harmful ingredients such as carcinogens, arsenic, etc.

So, the cosmetic ecommerce companies must avoid the sales of fake cosmetic products. Or else, their brand reputation will be at stake. This is because, counterfeit cosmetic products will affect consumers. Thereby, will show their brand in a negative light.

With an effective action, the counterfeit product sales on cosmetics e-commerce sites can be avoided. A neat product packaging is essential to differentiate the product from a fake counterpart.

An advanced, top-notch logo detection technology can be used to detect counterfeit logos. It is crucial for the cosmetic companies to follow a robust brand protection strategy. A fully automated solution can detect and eradicate any such counterfeits on the e-commerce platform. And, thereby minimizing issues arising due to counterfeiters.

Cosmetic ecommerce, undoubtedly a boon to business owners

Cosmetic companies can reach their target customers through strong digital strategies. In the current market trend, online cosmetics business has become a successful sector. This is because, cosmetic consumers are seeking for amazing digital experiences during their purchase.

The digital technologies also transformed the consumer’s buying behavior. They provide a convenient shopping atmosphere. Cosmetic consumers of all age groups are also attracted more towards an e-commerce platform. This is due to the following reasons.

  • Influencers creating posts, presentations, and stories.
  • Cosmetic videos showing make-up instructions and tips.
  • Collection of valuable product information and many more.

survey showing online sales growth of beauty brands

It is clear that there is rapid growth of online cosmetics ecommerce sites. Due to this, many beauty brands are now moving towards developing an effective ecommerce platform.

This is because these beauty brands might face disruption with traditional way of running a business. So, there is an exciting opportunity for beauty brands to reach their customers instantly with ecommerce sites. They can also drive their sales up with effective ecommerce technologies.

Multivendor cosmetics store are also emerging as undoubted winners with better ROI generation. So, with a multivendor cosmetic marketplace, many vendors can sell their beauty products to customers.

Multi-vendor cosmetics e-commerce platform built with an online cosmetics store script

This will lead to enormous sales transactions on the platform. The multivendor platform owners can also motivate more sellers to sell the products in their platform. Thereby maximizing the commission charges on each and every transaction. This multivendor marketplace is also beneficial to customers as they are open to plenty of choices.

Now, as a business owner what you must do

You will now have the idea that beauty products have become a big thing in the ecommerce world. Consumers are more comfortable with purchasing cosmetics online. But, the same cosmetic product from your site can also be purchased from hundreds of other ecommerce platforms.

So, it is a must for the owners to go for an effective online cosmetics store script. Because, it will activate consumer’s wish to buy from your online cosmetics platform.

It is no longer enough to build a site that allows consumers to find beauty tips and filter products. Thousands of inclusions should be done in a cosmetics ecommerce platform. Some of them are optimizing the checkout process, enhancing the user experience, etc.

Make use of a powerful readymade ecommerce script to build your online cosmetics platform.  Also, know more about the essential features of a multivendor script and its benefits to attract your target audience.

An online cosmetics platform built with Fantacy

Appkodes Fantacy, our multivendor ecommerce script is ready to use and the most suitable ecommerce solution, developed with modern technologies and top-notch features that are required to build your online cosmetics marketplace. But, based on your varying business requirements, our ecommerce script can also be customized completely and quickly to incorporate required features and functionalities.

So, our readymade ecommerce script is quickly adaptable to future enhancements like the above-mentioned
impressive features that are required to boost your cosmetics business.

Final word

With the rise of beauty ecommerce industries, the competition is getting even tougher among cosmetics brands. People must really enjoy shopping in your platform. Only then, your ecommerce platform can gain immense popularity and fame. So, avoid being the one among other average cosmetic ecommerce platforms. Be the one with a unique cosmetics shopping platform and stand out from the crowd.

Reach us Today..

Do you want to uplift your cosmetics business?

The post Online cosmetics store script – the key success factor for your cosmetics business appeared first on Appkodes.


[Appdome in Yahoo Finance] Appdome Joins Check Point Technology Partner Program, Introduces Appdome for SandBlast App Protect

SAN FRANCISCO, April 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Appdome, the industry defining, no-code mobile integration and solutions platform, today announced that it has joined Check Point Software Technologies’ (NASDAQ: CHKP) OPSEC Technology Partner Program.

Read more here.

The post [Appdome in Yahoo Finance] Appdome Joins Check Point Technology Partner Program, Introduces Appdome for SandBlast App Protect appeared first on OurCrowd.


What are Your Top Productivity Strategies?

When you think about it, most things in life are subjective. Your favorite color, food, band, or movie? They are your personal favorites — no matter what anyone else says. In other words, there’s no right or wrong answer. In a way, the same is true of productivity strategies. What makes a top productivity strategy for me may not fly with you. And, what works for Elon Musk, Oprah, or your best friend may not be a useful technique for you.

Like your favorite food or music — you want to share your favorites with others. Who knows? Maybe all the famous ones would agree with you? That’s why we’ve collected some of the top productivity strategies for you to implement. Hopefully, you can use them to boost your productivity.

But, if one way to productivity doesn’t work for you, then try out the next suggestion you hear about. Or, even better, make some adjustments and make it your own. You will find a strategy that will work for you. Just keep trying.

Stack your habits.

“You probably have powerful habits and connections that you take for granted each day,” James Clear writes in “Atomic Habits.” “For example, your brain is probably very efficient at remembering to take a shower each morning or to brew your morning cup of coffee or to open the blinds when the sun rises — or thousands of other daily habits.”

But, did you know that you can “take advantage of these strong connections to build new habits?” It’s possible with something called habit stacking.

Basically, this is where you “identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top.” And, you’ll use the following formula to achieve this: After/Before [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].

Here’s an example from Clear; “After I pour my cup of coffee each morning, I will meditate for one minute.” After meditating, you would write your to-do-list for the day. And, after that, you would begin working on your first task.

The key is to make sure that “the cue is highly specific and immediately actionable.” When it is, you’ll have clear goals that will add-up to small wins over time.

Stand on your (Eisenhower) soapbox.

A priority matrix is one of the most effective ways to prioritize your lists. In turn, this will make you more productive since it encourages you to focus only on what you need to get done. And, even better, it keeps distractions at bay by ensuring that you don’t fall into the urgency trap.

One of the most popular priority matrixes around is the Eisenhower Matix. I’ve written and spoken about this before. Named after Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States and first supreme commander of NATO, this principle is extremely simple to do.

“Create a four-quadrant box and place all of the items on your list into one of the following quadrants,” explains Calendar’s Angela Ruth:

  • Urgent and important. Tasks that you will do immediately.
  • Important, but not urgent. Tasks that you’ll schedule for later.
  • Urgent, but not important. Anything that can be delegated to someone else.
  • Neither urgent or important. These should be eliminated from your list and schedule.

“If you have multiple items in the urgent and important box, assign each item a number,” says Angela. “For example, if you have a task that’s due to today, then that would be assigned the number one since that’s your main priority for the day.”

Get magically whisked away to 1918 with the Ivy Lee Method.

For over a century, this has been a popular productivity technique that’s helped people regain control of their schedules.

Named after Ivy Lee, a productivity consultant hired by leaders like Charles M. Schwab, this is a night routine that only takes 15-minutes. When your home is quiet, “jot down the five or six most important things you want to accomplish the next day.” Next, you’ll put them in order, “starting with the most important task first thing in the morning.”

“The Ivy Lee Method is so effective because by planning your day the night before, you reduce decision fatigue and reserve your energy for your most meaningful work. You wake up knowing exactly what you’ll be working all day instead of wasting valuable time and energy making decisions in the morning.”

Write over 40-books using this 15-minute morning routine.

Anthony Trollope is a fascinating historical figure. From 1843 to 1883, he wrote 47 novels, 17 non-fiction books, two plays, and over 20 articles and letters. What makes this even more impressive? He did this while holding down a full-time job as a post office inspector.

So, how was he able to achieve such a feat?

Well, he had a dedicated morning routine that supercharged his productivity.

“It was my practice to be at my table every morning at 5.30 A.M., and it was also my practice to allow myself no mercy,” Trollope noted his Autobiography. “It had at this time become my custom, and is still my custom, though of late I have become a little lenient of myself, to write with my watch before me, and to require of myself 250 words every quarter of an hour.”

“This division of time allowed me to produce over ten pages of an ordinary novel volume a day, and if kept up through ten months, would have given as its results, three novels of three volumes each in the year.”

So, let’s break this down.

Because he already had a packed schedule, Trollope had to get creative by finding any possible free time. That meant waking up early and writing before going to work.

Next, he had to make sure that he didn’t waste any of this valuable time. He accomplished this through timed writing sessions. It’s similar to the Pomodoro Technique, where he only concentrated on writing for specific amounts of time — aka, no multitasking.

Finally, Trollope also tracked his progress. He was known for keeping track of how many pages he wrote each day to keep the momentum going.

As Trollope himself discovered, “A small daily task — if it be really daily, — will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules.”

Adhere to the Five Project Rule.

Throughout my life, I’ve known so many people who are always jumping from one thing to the next. The problem isn’t that they aren’t motivated or driven. It’s just that they never finish what they started.

“If you’re always starting interesting projects and not finishing, then no matter how hard you work, you’re just busy, not productive.”

It’s true. You may have learned some things along the way. But, you don’t get that release of dopamine when you finish something. That may not sound like much, but when you feel good and proud of your finished result, you want to keep repeating that behavior.

Additionally, there’s the Zeigarnik Effect. In a nutshell, this refers to “the tendency to better remember unfinished tasks than completed ones.” As such, this creates cognitive tension where uncompleted tasks stay on the top of your mind until finished.

While that can be used to your advantage, like overcoming procrastination, it can also be a distraction. Besides, at some point, you may have to circle back to this unfinished project. And that can be a waste of time and energy. It’s pretty great always to finish what you start.

A simple way to start finishing what matters is to use the “Five Project Rule.” It’s a concept described by Charlie Gilkey in “Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done.”

“You will never be able to do all the things you think you might want to do,” Gilkey told John Lee Dumas. “And that’s just part of being human. But when you accept that fact, you can get down to three to five active projects.

“Active projects are the ones that you’re pushing for,” says Gilkey. “You’re working them. They’re on your virtual or physical desktop. You’re touching them daily.”

Adopt an A/B schedule.

As Andee Love explains in a Fast Company article, this is where you divide your “schedule between ‘A’ and ‘B’ weeks for different types of work.” The reason why this is effective is that it keeps you energized since it lowers the cost of context switching.

If that’s something you would be interested in, then here’s how to get started:

  • Examine your current schedule. “Look closely at how many hours you’re spending on each task, or the role your work demands,” writes Love. “Then imagine what it would look and feel like if you put each into its own block, day or week.” For example, could you schedule all of your meetings in one or two days per week?
  • Communicate. Once you’ve blocked out your time, let others know. Personally, the easiest way to do this is by sharing your calendar. Remember, if someone wants to meet with you, for example, they’ll see this is only an option on select days.
  • Tinker. Play around with your new schedule until it works for you.
  • Keep your health in mind. Don’t forget to “build adequate rest breaks, movement, and time for healthy eating into your schedule.”

Pop from location to location.

Here we have a productivity hack from Joel Runyon on Impossible HQ. It’s called ‘Workplace Popcorn,” and it goes like this:

  • List everything that you need to do today. Be as specific as possible.
  • Break that list into three equal sections. “These sections should be equal in terms of how much time they’re likely to take to complete,” writes Runyon. “If you’re not sure how long a task will take, guess.”
  • Here’s where the popcorn fits in — find three different places to work. So, for your first list of tasks, you would work from home. You would “pop” over to a coworking space for the second list. And, for the third list, you could work from a cafe.

Follow the Law of Least Effort.

Are you sitting down for this? Long hours don’t make you more productive. According to a Stanford study, productivity declines after someone has worked for more than 50 hours. It’s such a dropoff that putting in more hours would be pointless.

“Busyness is not a means to accomplishment, but an obstacle to it,” writes Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, a Stanford scholar and author of “Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less.” That’s because we often define ourselves by our “work, dedication, effectiveness, and willingness to go the extra mile,” so working less is often viewed as a barrier to success.

I know. Getting more done by doing less may sound like a pipe dream. But it’s possible. One such way to achieve this is adopting a spiritual law of success known as the Law of Least Effort.

Kabir Sehgal and Deepak Chopra explain in a CNBC article that this “law is based on the idea that nature’s intelligence functions with the effortless ease of action and without resistance.” And, it’s easy to incorporate into your life:

  • Accept your current situation. It’s a simple way to stop “reacting to the events around you and instead encourages you to simply acknowledge them” and stay in the present.
  • Take accountability for your current situation. Don’t point fingers or let negativity drag you down. Admit your mistakes, learn from them, and grow.
  • Detach yourself from ‘who gets the credit.’ Stop getting caught up in nonsense that throws you off track. Instead, “focus on the items that truly matter and give meaning.”

Tap into the power of solitude.

“It’s important to spend time around people,” writes Amy Morin. “You can improve your habits and learn new things when you’re surrounded by interesting people.” And, as found in the popular 80-year Harvard study, relationships help us live longer and make us happier.

However, spending too much time around people “might also be a bad thing,” states Morin. “Our digital devices often make us feel like we need to be connected 24/7.” And, even worse, “all of the noise, activity, and hustle can wear you out (and ironically can leave you feeling lonelier than ever).”

That’s why despite getting a bad rap, we should occasionally embrace solitude. In addition to being “an essential component to your health and well-being,” spending time alone can make you more successful by:

  • Helping you get to know yourself better.
  • Breaking down “we vs. them” mentality, which can improve relationships.
  • Being alone fosters creativity.
  • Improving your psychological well-being.
  • Allows you to plan your life.

Additionally, in “Time Management,” written by Fabien Weisberg, solitude, can “help you become better at managing your time effectively.” The reason? “Being alone is when you need to figure out what you need and want to do.”

Does this mean that you have to go off the grid and disappear for an extended period? Nope. “Just 10 minutes of alone time each day could be enough to help you rejuvenate from the daily grind,” writes Morin. Too bust for this simple activity? Then block out some alone time in your calendar in advance like you would with an appointment or meeting.

During this time you could go for a walk, meditate, or sit quietly in your office. Just remember to “silence your electronics and allow yourself to be alone with your thoughts.”

Do you have a favorite productivity strategy? Let us know all about it!

What are Your Top Productivity Strategies? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

The post What are Your Top Productivity Strategies? appeared first on KillerStartups.


The Best EMR Systems

Managing patient medical records safely and efficiently continues to grow in importance, regardless of the size of the practice.

Having digital, searchable, and constantly accessible information about each patient in the practice helps medical professionals make the best healthcare decisions for their patients in the shortest amount of time possible.

Protecting this sensitive data is important too, and the best EMR systems will keep data safe, while making it easily accessible to the people who need it. Proper documentation leads to a more efficient billing system and reduced time spent on paperwork as well.

Here is our collection of the best EMR systems currently on the market, as we aim to help you find the right system for the needs of your particular practice.

The 10 Best Electronic Medical Record Systems

1. AdvancedMD

• For any size practice
• Detailed scheduling interface
• Prescription tracking
• Many customizable features
Get Started Now

Regardless of whether you need basic or advanced features in your EMR, AdvancedMD has you covered. It is versatile enough to fit the needs of many different practices. The primary dashboard available through AdvancedMD does require some work to learn to use well, but once you figure this system out, you’ll be able to do some impressive things to help your practice operate more efficiently.


  • Detailed scheduling interface
  • Versatile EMR for multiple sizes of practices
  • Plenty of customizable features
  • Excellent prescription tracking capability


  • Requires some time to learn to use it efficiently
  • Price is a little higher than some others

2. Athena Health

• Web-based EMR
• Easy to learn and use
• Best for small practices
• Wide range of features
Get Started Now

Small and average sized practices often need an easy-to-use EMR system, as they may not have the time or personnel required to do a deep drill down into a complex piece of software. The AthenaHealth EMR fits this need. It’s fully web-based, so it will work for the practice where personnel use a variety of types of input devices.


  • Extremely easy to learn to use
  • Scheduling features are easy to sort and customize
  • Web-based EMR is compatible with many kinds of devices
  • Good customer service


  • Not made for large sized practices
  • Because it’s web-based, you’ll need strict access security measures in place

3. CareCloud

• Easy to use
• Up-to-date interface
• Track your patient flow
• Very competitive pricing
Get Started Now

The CareCloud EMR interface gives you the ability to clearly determine how the patient flows through your practice, helping you spot potential bottlenecks. It is a web-based service, so you can use it with any input devices. This system does a good job keeping up with changes in healthcare laws and rules, providing adaptability within the interface.


  • Up-to-date interface is easy to use
  • Strong at tracking patient flow
  • Very competitive pricing
  • Regularly tweaked to match new healthcare regulations


  • May be too simplistic for larger practices
  • Small practices must subscribe to Concierge service

4. Greenway Health Intergy

• Reasonably priced
• Highly flexible
• Outstanding customer service
• Multiple training options
Get Started Now

Some medical practices tackle a large number of different types of cases and patients, and they may need a highly customizable EMR to fit their needs. The Intergy EMR from Greenway Health is the answer, as its system is highly flexible. It may take you awhile to figure out all of the different aspects of Intergy, but it’s definitely worth the time spent.


  • Highly flexible EMR system
  • Nice collection of shortcuts to streamline work
  • Outstanding customer service and training options
  • Reasonable pricing tiers


  • Interface could use an update
  • Will take some time to learn all of the custom options

5. Kareo

• Made for smaller practices
• Good support & training
• Reasonably priced plans
• Very easy to use
Get Started Now

For those practices that need ease of use above all else, the Kareo EMR is a smart choice. This system’s interface is a little older than some others, but it still will work nicely for small and average sized practices. Those working at your practice will be able to pick up the basics of the EMR quickly, allowing for you to be up and running with very little time spent.


  • Made especially for smaller sized practices
  • Very easy to use
  • Pricing is reasonable
  • Good support for implementation and training


  • Interface seems a little dated
  • Not really made for large or complex practices

6. NextGen Healthcare

• Easy to start using quickly
• Multiple customization options
• Excellent staff training
• Excellent customer service
Get Started Now

For average and smaller sized practices, NextGen has the kind of customer support that these practices often need. A practice of this size may not have the tech staff required to run training and other services, but the NextGen customer service and training capabilities are extremely strong. Should your practice need to customize a certain aspect of the EMR, this is relatively easy with the NextGen EMR.


  • Excellent customer service and training
  • System is easy to start using quickly
  • Offers multiple customization options
  • Has some very low priced tiers


  • Not powerful enough for large practices
  • Takes a bit of time to learn the system’s nuances

7. Sevocity

• Best for smaller practices
• Extremely easy to use
• Basic customization features
• 24/7 customer service
Get Started Now

The Sevocity EMR has quite a few good features for small and mid-sized practices, but it likely will not be powerful enough to meet the needs of larger practices. The interface in this EMR is extremely easy to use, and you can perform basic customization features. The customer service people are available 24 hours a day.


  • Very good customer service features
  • Offered at a desirable price point
  • Features are easy to use
  • Especially good for smaller practices


  • May not have enough customization for large practices
  • Some training features are lacking

8. TheraNest

• 100% web-based
• Mobile app option
• Client access portal
• Minimal learning curve
Get Started Now

For practices that need to be able to access the EMR interface using multiple types of devices, TheraNest is a smart choice. You can use a traditional computing system to run TheraNest, or you can access it with smartphone apps. It even has a client portal to allow clients to schedule their own appointments or to submit forms.


  • Includes a mobile app option
  • All information is web-based
  • Includes a client access portal
  • Learning curve is less than some other EMRs


  • Some pricing tiers seem a bit high
  • Security measures needed for fully web-based system will be off-putting for some practices

9. Virence Health Centricity

• Easy to use & navigate
• Multiple tracking features
• Well-designed mobile app
• Good all-around EMR
Get Started Now

For small to medium sized practices, Centricity from Virence Health is an ideal option. It has multiple features that give smaller practices the ability to track data in a similar manner to what a larger practice traditionally has been able to do. Centricity has a mobile app, so personnel at a medical practice can use it in the manner that makes the most sense to them.


  • Good all-around EMR
  • Software is easy to navigate
  • Works especially well for small and average sized practices
  • Includes a well-designed mobile app


  • Its customization features may not be good enough for large practices
  • Pricing is a little high

10. WebPT

• Made for outpatient practices
• Easy to use interface
• Access through mobile devices
• Extremely reasonably priced
Get Started Now

For practices that specialize in outpatient services, including occupational, speech, and physical therapy, WebPT has a platform that’s ready to use. This is a web-based solution, so personnel at the practice can access it using a multitude of devices. It has a strong customer service reputation, offering access to support at any time.


  • Extremely reasonably priced
  • Made specifically for outpatient practices
  • Includes access through mobile devices, if needed
  • Interface makes it easy to spot the information you need


  • Some aspects of the software are restrictive in how you must enter data
  • Not going to work as well for inpatient types of practices

How to Choose The Best EMR System For You

Finding the best electronic medical records system for your particular practice becomes easier when you focus on the specific needs of your practice. Figure out which areas of your practice need the most help, and focus on an EMR system that excels in those areas.

Here are 10 of the areas we weighed when creating our list of the best EMR systems.

1. Automatic Reminders

A big part of managing a patient’s care is maintaining a regular schedule of appointments. With certain EMR systems, you can set up an automatic reminder system that alerts the patient about upcoming appointments or about reminders to set an appointment. The EMR system could send a text message, make an automated call, or send an email to the patient, depending on the patient’s preference.

Automatic reminders will save time for the staff at the practice, freeing them up for other tasks. These reminders also reduce the number of appointments that patients forget about and miss, which makes your practice more efficient.

2. Scanning Documents

By selecting an EMR system that allows for document scanning, you will be able to match whatever needs your billing system requires for supporting documentation for claims.

Rather than submitting these documents via fax, printout, or email, you can simply digitize them and add them to the patient’s EMR. Should the billing service need these documents for an insurance claim, they will be readily available, eliminating wasted time and the potential for lost documents.

3. Sending Prescriptions

Within the majority of EMR systems, you will have the option of submitting patient prescription drug orders electronically to the pharmacy, using an e-prescription system.

Sending prescriptions electronically is safe and efficient, ensuring that the order for controlled substances travels only to the patient’s pharmacy of choice, eliminating the chance of the patient losing a handwritten prescription.

With an e-prescription, you also eliminate the chance of an error at the pharmacy because of unreadable handwriting on the part of a doctor.

4. Specialty Practices

If your practice has a specific area in which it operates, you may need to track atypical data about patients.

You may need an EMR system that gives you the ability to customize data fields and to adjust how the system stores the data. A vendor may need to help you customize the system after installation, so if you have special needs for tracking data, always ask the vendor about how it handles this type of situation.

In other cases, the vendor may have a specialty specific EMR system or add-on service that will perfectly meet your needs. Tracking this type of information can be a significant hindrance to your practice when you must do it by hand, so having an EMR system that can match your specific needs is incredibly important.

5. Systems Integration

If your EMR system has the ability to integrate with multiple systems already in use at your practice, this streamlines record keeping.

This feature is especially important for meshing the EMR system with the billing system you have in place, for example. Whether your practice sends its billing information to an outside service or does billing in-house, having integration between the EMR system and the billing system saves quite a bit of time and reduces coding errors.

Should your practice have an affiliation with a larger network, such as a hospital, integrating your EMR with the hospital’s system simplifies the patient care process. The EMR vendor can help you figure out how its system may be able to integrate with other systems you already have in place.

6. Task Reminders

Every medical practice has hundreds, if not thousands, of mundane tasks to perform on a daily basis. Whether you’re awaiting results from tests sent to an off-site lab or you need reminders to check with other colleagues about a patient’s status, certain EMR systems make this process far easier than others.

With timestamp deadlines attached to the various reminders, a doctor can be certain to have all of the required tasks finished regarding a certain patient’s case before it’s time for the patient’s appointment. With the tasks finished ahead of time, the doctor will not waste time searching for information or making calls while the patient sits idle in the exam room.

7. Template Creation

Say your practice sees a certain type of disease or condition on a regular basis in the community. With the right EMR system, the medical team could create a template that contains information about treating the particular condition, ensuring that all of the doctors and nurses follow the same steps.

This saves time in treating this common condition, while also reducing the possibility of mistakes.

8. Tracking Patient Flow

Something that you may not think about when comparing EMR systems is the way they can track patients flowing through your office.

For example, you don’t want patients occupying exam rooms waiting for a certain doctor, when that doctor cannot see the patient for at least 45 minutes, leaving other patients stuck in the waiting room, rather than being in an exam room, receiving treatment from other doctors.

Your EMR system may be able show exactly where bottlenecks are occurring in the patient flow in your office, helping you become more efficient. However, this is not a feature that all EMRs will provide in an easy-to-understand manner.

9. Tracking Prescriptions

When you have patients who take multiple prescription drugs, keeping on top of potential side effects and drug interactions is a time consuming process. Before the advent of EMR systems, the patient may have given a hand-printed list of drugs to the doctor for inclusion in the patient file. The list may or may not have been accurate or up to date.

By selecting an EMR system that allows prescription drug tracking within the patient’s records, spotting drug interactions will be easier and will occur in a timely manner. Doctors also can see any drugs the patient has tried in the past that did not work or that created unwanted side effects, avoiding trying those drugs again in the future.

Additionally, should a patient show an allergy to a certain class of drug, this information is readily available to the doctor in the digitized patient record. No longer will the doctor need to rely on a patient’s memory regarding drug allergies, which may lead to errors.

10. Vendor Responsiveness

Picking the right vendor is an extremely important part of choosing the EMR system as well. Even if the EMR system is great, it will be nothing but a headache for your practice if the vendor support is not up to par.

Some practices need more responsiveness from the vendor than others. Some practices want to be able to access help or to ask questions of the vendor any day of the week and any time of the day. Others may be able to live with a vendor that’s only accessible during normal working hours.

If your practice does not have a person or department that handles IT, you may be able to hire a vendor that can deliver these features for you.

Summary: Finding the Best EMR Systems

Although you will find some vendors attempting to use the terms EMR and EHR (electronic health records) interchangeably, they technically have a few differences that you should understand.

  • EMR systems: With an EMR system, a single practice will digitize the patient’s chart. This includes all of the information about the patient’s medical history from doctors at the practice only.
  • EHR systems: With an EHR system, you’ll have the digitized patient chart found in EMR, but you’ll find records from all doctors who have treated the patient. Multiple practices may share the patient’s EHR with each other.

The EMR system simplifies the ability of a single practice to care for the patient, helping the practice send out reminders to the patient for upcoming tests or health screenings. Finding just the right EMR system will produce significant benefits for patients and for those working in your practice, making the process of caring for patients more streamlined and more successful in the long run.

Quick Sprout