Fireballed: How Bad Advice Cost Apple Investors Millions

first_imgTags:#Apple#Finance#investing 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img brian s hall Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune ran a chilling story last week about Andy Zaky, an “Internet-trained” hedge fund manager who led naive investors over a cliff by investing in Apple. (The Rise and Fall of Andy Zaky.) As Apple’s stock has dropped over the last few months, they all took heavy losses. Forms filed with the SEC reveal that Zaky’s Bullish Cross hedge fund’s entire $10.6 million asset base is now gone. Worse, Zaky had 700 subscribers to his Bullish Cross newsletter, and they seem to have lost even more, as Elmer-DeWitt reports in a follow-up article (Losses of Apple guru’s clients could reach into the billions.)According to Elmer-DeWitt:I’ve heard directly from 37 former Bullish Cross members who tell me that they lost anywhere from $15,000 to $50 million apiece.Total losses for these 37 investors: $94.5 millionAverage loss: $2.5 millionGiven that at its peak Bullish Cross had 700 members, it’s quite likely that Andy Zaky’s followers — many of whom had put their savings and retirement accounts into Apple call spreads — lost hundreds of millions of dollars. If the members I haven’t heard from were large investors, total losses could reach into the billions.Zaky’s bio on Seeking Alpha lays bare his Apple-centric investment focus (emphasis added):We only care about the best in breed and nothing less. On the Apple research side of the offering, Bullish Cross will be putting out a mix of public and exclusive Apple content.  Members will also get to participate in an open forum for questions regarding Apple’s short and long-term direction. There will also be a lot of discussion regarding positioning and hedging ahead of major events. The Apple research will give the average Apple investor a distinct advantage over the market as we head into the future. There is a tremendous amount of money to be made on Apple, it’s a matter of how to properly capitalize on it.What Goes Up…Apple’s stock was on a tear over the past couple years, and briefly topped $700 a share. During the run-up, Zaky had no shortage of admirers. But as Business Insider pointed out, the people who subscribed to Zaky’s newsletter “were not sophisticated investors who understood the risk of listening to Zaky.”Among the loudest of Zaky’s fans was John Gruber, whose Daring Fireball tech blog has become hugely influential among Apple fans. (That’s Gruber pictured above.) Daring Fireball receives more than 4 million monthly page views and has over 400,000 RSS subscribers.Business Insider calls Daring Fireball “a must-read blog for Apple shareholders, employees, and the many, many `fans’ of the company.” Readers visit Gruber’s site to learn the latest about Apple products, speculate on the latest Apple rumors and get Gruber’s thoughts on all things Apple. Gruber, 40, has a BS in computer science from Drexel University. He has spent his career in tech. He makes no claims about giving investment advice. He does, however, claim to have sources close to Apple and frequently addresses rumors about the latest Apple products.For years, Gruber praised Zaky (pictured at right), holding him up as a wizard who understood Apple better than big-name Wall Street analysts.A Zaky FanIn a July 21, 2008, post (Apple Shares Fall in After Hours Trading) Gruber linked to a MarketWatch report noting that Apple shares had fallen short of Wall Street expectations, then added:Now’s a good time to re-read the piece I linked to over the weekend from Andy Zaky on Wall Street’s misguided obsession with Apple’s conservative guidance numbers.On Oct. 28, 2008, Gruber again linked to Zaky and his Bullish Cross newsletter, and included this quote from Zaky (emphasis again added):Right away, one ought to notice the staggering growth rate in both revenue and earnings that Apple displayed in 2008. Apple’s real revenue grew 54.5% from $24.637 billion in FYE 2007 to $38.041 billion in FYE 2008 — a full $13.4 billion growth in revenues. Even more impressive is Apple’s 81.2% growth rate in adjusted net income. For a company that is trading at 12 times 2008 earnings, it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that Apple is severely undervalued. Especially since Apple currently trades at about 3.37 times its cash position — which is objectively and significantly lower than every other large cap tech company.GOOG trades at 7.18 times its cash position, RIMM at 15.51 times cash, AMZN at 9.15 times cash, MSFT at 9.13 times cash, CSCO at 3.62 times cash, IBM at 10.96 times cash, INTC at 6.54 times cash, and HPQ at 5.15 times cash. What is more, only GOOG, AAPL and MSFT have no debt of the companies mentioned above. Apple has the largest net cash position than any of those companies and Apple has more net cash than RIMM, GOOG, AMZN and IBM combined.On Jan. 20, 2009, Gruber wrote the post Andy M. Zaky on Apple and Subscription-Based Accounting, in which he stated: “Zaky argues that Apple’s use of subscription-based accounting for iPhone revenue has significantly hurt its share price — casual investors who are only looking at Apple’s GAAP results don’t realize how much revenue they’ve deferred.”On April 19, 2011, Gruber posted Andy Zaky: ‘Why Apple Shares Are Dirt Cheap‘ and wrote, “Sharp piece by Andy Zaky on Apple’s finances and stock price. He expects a big move.”In a Nov. 30, 2011 piece titled Apple: The most undervalued large-cap stock in America, Gruber wrote that “Zaky makes a compelling, data-backed case that Apple’s stock price is severely undervalued.”On that same day, in a different post, Gruber wrote that, “A few readers have asked whether I personally own Apple stock. Good question. I do not. I don’t own stock in any companies that I cover regularly here on DF. I do own shares of an S&P 500 mutual fund.”A few weeks later, Gruber posted How to Properly Use Apple’s Guidance to Accurately Forecast Earnings, and linked to an article where Zaky “explains in painstaking detail how to do what almost no professional Wall Street analysts actually do: accurately predict Apple’s finances.” Gruber said Zaky’s piece was a “tremendously detailed article,” and that “Zaky continues to impress.” This was followed up three days later, on Dec. 16, 2011, with  Zaky on Apple’s Next Quarter: The Biggest Earnings Blowout in History, which contained nothing more than a short Zaky quote: “The largest company in America is about to grow its earnings by a whopping 84% this quarter, and Wall Street is asleep at the wheel.”On May 17, 2012, when Apple shares were trading at $530.12, Gruber wrote Bullish Cross initiates rare buy rating on Apple. He linked directly to the Bullish Cross newsletter, and also quoted Zaky:Now here are the reasons why we believe it’s time to buy Apple and why we feel the valuation is incredibly attractive today. At $533.52 a share, Apple trades at 13x last year’s earnings and at only 10.56x our expect October earnings. Those are incredibly low valuations even for Apple. At the November 25, 2011 lows, Apple traded at a 13.13 P/E ratio. So today, Apple is trading at a lower valuation than it was at the November lows. At the June 2011 lows, Apple was trading near a 15 P/E trailing P/E ratio.Gruber closed with: “This is only the fifth time Zaky has issued a buy on Apple. He’s four-for-four.”Zaky was right. By Sept. 17, Apple’s stock had climbed to $699.78. The Tide TurnsBut then Apple shares started to slide. By Oct. 17 the stock had fallen to $644.61. Instead of urging caution, Zaky issued a call to arms, declaring that Apple had hit bottom, and that “History has taught us that the best time to buy Apple is when the bearish sentiment in the stock has reached the pinnacle of extreme pessimism.”Gruber linked to that Zaky post and quoted that line about this being the time to buy. Gruber titled his post: Bullish Cross: ‘Apple $1000: Why It’s Time to Buy,’ and wrote:I don’t offer investment advice, but Andy Zaky does — and those who listen to him have done pretty well. But this time Zaky was wrong. Instead of rebounding, Apple stock went into a free fall. Shares are now at $432.Gruber’s RoleDid some of those Zaky fans find him through Gruber? Probably. Gruber himself proudly showcases those sites that have been “fireballed” — that is, sites that have been overwhelmed with traffic after Gruber links to them. No doubt each time Gruber linked to Bullish Cross, thousands clicked.This has happened a lot. In addition to the posts mentioned above, there are numerous others where Gruber directly mentions Andy Zaky and Bullish Cross in a generally positive light, including these:2010: The Year Apple Enters a New Golden Age (July 9, 2010)Zaky: Apple to Surpass Microsoft in Revenue This Quarter (July 22, 2010)Andy Zaky: Why Apple Shares are Dirt Cheap (April 19, 2011)Zaky: Apple’s Cash to Exceed $300 Billion by 2015 (May 31, 2011)A Brief Look at Apple’s Stock Seasonality (July 5, 2011)If Gruber touted Zaky, should he share some of the blame for the losses when Zaky led investors astray? That’s hard to say. But it seems that Gruber’s knowledge of Apple products didn’t give him special insight into Apple’s stock price.The real lesson? Be careful where you get your advice.Note: Gruber requested questions by email, but had not responded more than 72 hours later. Zaky did not respond to our requests for an interview.Top image of John Gruber from the Daring Fireball website. Image of Andy Zaky from his Seeking Alpha profile.last_img

Cable Companies Still Whistling Past The Cord-Cutting Graveyard

first_imgA collection of statistics released this month is creating doubts about the trend of “cord cutting” – when home viewers replace cable TV service with streaming video-over-Internet and over-the-air content. Cable companies are declaring victory, but when you dig deeper, there are signs that cable is still in trouble — and that what we’re hearing are the sounds of denial.In its Fourth-Quarter 2012 Cross-Platform Report, ratings service Nielsen reported that in the U.S., there were more than five million households in 2012 that fit its definition of “Zero TV” homes. Zero TV is Nielsen’s neutral, but still kind of inaccurate, description of cable-cutting households that get video entertainment via computer, smartphones and tablets.Five million homes seems like a lot, especially when you consider that this is up from two million homes in 2007. Indeed, there were a lot of headlines proclaiming “Cable Cutting Up 150%! Comcast in Flames! Time Warner Out of Time!”Well, actually, nothing like that. Because in reality, that’s just 5% of the total TV market. Hardly enough for the cable companies to get worked up about. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has repeatedly made public comments dismissing the impact of cable cutting, and for now it appears that he’s right. Cable’s dominance would seem to reflect that there is not much to worry about with these cable companies.Of course, that’s what the Empire said about the Rebel Alliance.Or, you know, what the telephone carriers once said about people who were giving up land-line phones in favor of wireless. The carriers used to insist the trend wasn’t real, until better cell coverage and services like E911 accelerated it to the point that no one could deny it any more. Telco companies now offer TV and Internet service. Cable and satellite TV company may face a similar shift.Pay TV Numbers Aren’t So Hot, EitherAnother set of statistics were released this month that point to a troubling sign for the cable and satellite companies: SNL Kagan reported that multichannel service providers (cable, satellite, and telco) managed to add just 46,000 customers in 2012, a lot of it in the fourth quarter, when 51,000 mew customers managed to reverse the shrinking number of subscribers in the second and third quarters of last year.Forty-six thousand new users, out of a total of around 100.4 million, isn’t even a statistical blip — 0.04% growth is by most definitions flatter than a pancake. The average year-over-year growth of Zero TV homes was pretty low, too – 0.59% since 2007 — but that’s still a a factor better than paid TV subscriptions last year. You have to wonder if the television providers’ claims that subscriptions were slow just because of the economic downturn were entirely accurate.The U.S. is still in a slow recovery, so we will have to see if the upward trend of pay TV subscriptions continues before making any determination about pay TV’s flatline growth being connected to the economy.For all of the hand-waving about cord-cutting “not existing” or being unimportant, a key fact is being blissfully ignored: those 600,000 new Zero TV users each year have to come from somewhere. They are either existing cable TV customers or incoming customers who have decided to go to the Internet/streaming model instead. Either way, that’s 5 million customers the pay TV providers don’t have.Last year, the NPD Group estimated that the average monthly cable bill would hit $100/month sometime this year or next. Using that estimate for some back-of-napkin math, that means $6 billion in annual revenue is not going to pay TV.Is it any wonder, then, that Comcast recently introduced a free sampling of its premium on-demand content in order to pull in more ongoing subscriptions to that content? Speculation about this promotion ranged from Comcast trying to better penetrate non-coastal markets that have a lower rate of on-demand video use to Comcast looking to juice up its margin.(See also: Comcast’s Awesome Watchathon Reminds You It’s Still the Boss)Given flat growth, why not both reasons?Watch Out For The Killer AppWhat the pay TV services need to watch out for is the killer app for cable cutters. In the transition from land lines to cell-only for my home phone, it was the E911 service that made the decision for us: making sure emergency services knew exactly where we were calling from was very important.I suspect that a similar killer app for cable-cutters will be a way to get access to live sports content. Yes, you can get content from MLB, NHL or the NBA – but special events or sports that are not covered by these media packages can be a hassle to watch.I myself am lamenting the ongoing coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament on the ESPN channels this month, because I can’t watch Notre Dame progress through the tournament. Unless one of the over-the-air networks broadcasts a game, I’m out of luck. Unless, I get cable again.Sports are perhaps the biggest reason (on the content side) holding people back from switching away from pay TV. If a network like ESPN or the new Fox Sports Channel were to take its oh-so-important broadcast rights and offer its content to Internet subscribers directly, that would probably be a nightmare scenario for pay TV companies.It’s hard to imagine a situation where that would happen today, but if sports networks see a chance to make more revenue without giving TV providers a cut, would they take the shot?Image courtesy of Shutterstock Tags:#cable#Internet TV Related Posts brian proffitt 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe Appcenter_img 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

IoT, AR and AI are Found Revolutionizing the World of Mobile Apps

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Rooney Reeves is a Technical Geek. She has expertise in cloud computing, data science, entrepreneurship and project management. Currently, she is working in web & mobile app development company – etatvasoft.com she likes to play chess and explore new places. Also, she’s a person with high spirit and fond of social activities. You can click here to know more about her company. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Follow the Puck What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Augmented Reality#Internet of Things#mobile apps Related Posts Rooney Reeves Used creatively in hitherto unheard of sectors, the Internet of Things (IoT) shows no sign of slowing down especially in the mobile app realm. As never before in time — it’s ubiquitous. You can explore the Android or Apple store all by yourself. Whether it’s about booking a cab or ordering some food, making a purchase — mobile apps are considered no less than a wallet.Speaking about the next big thing in town — sometimes we fail to think big enough with AI and IOT.Not thinking big enough is not due to lack of imagination; it’s because of the pure lack of observation. Determine in your life — to keep the future within sight — so that you don’t have to keep thinking upon what’s coming up next.The rare combination of the Internet of Things and Mobile Apps continues to be hot on our heels these days across the globe.IoT with Mobile App DevelopmentIoT app development is no longer a buzz-word; it means a subsequent demand for mobile apps for such type of devices seems to ride a wave day in day out. Right from energy to healthcare, retail manufacturing, agriculture — endless real-life IoT implementations can be found. In a nutshell, we all seem to be heading towards smart retail, connected cars, wearable devices, smart cities, etc.Physical devices connected to the internet and the usage of smartphones seems to gain popularity in no time. It may quite interest you to know that one can have complete control over their features that are offered by these gadgets.Here are some specific points that emphasize on why there is a need for AI and IoT.#1 Offers personalized experience to users.Have you wondered why mobile apps are found in widespread adoption? It’s because they work as dedicated digital assistants for the users. A variety of pieces of information is collected to give custom responses to the end users. This is the information that is generated during customer usage. Each usage has interactions or commands that are being used with the apps.  Because of the data, the apps are becoming smarter and their responses tend to become more accurate.In fact, it can leverage real-time data and location-based services to deliver an enhanced personalized experience.#2 Reduced app development time.Right from personal and professional lives, the roots of IoT and mobile apps have given its Midas touch like never before. IoT allows developers to complete building an app in much less time, saving them significantly on the efforts involved. It may quite interest you to know that with the help of IoT several innovative and more engaging features in the app.#3 Improved efficiency.As the point says IoT in mobile app development can lead to higher efficiency and better utilization of resources. This integration will automate several processes offering a unique way to smarter homes and smarter cities. Mobile strategies powered by IoT can ensure to free up a good part of employee bandwidth. This is indeed a win-win situation where more attention be given to core tasks. For example, the remarkable results of this collaboration can be witnessed in the manufacturing and supply chain operations.#4 Modified and more efficient apps.Future of mobile apps will always be revolving around connected devices. Like it or not but in case of absence of connectivity, apps will lose the interest of users and hit a dead end. As a result, mobile app developers are striving to come up with future-proof apps. Smart devices are no longer a luxury, so think of something different to increase user adoption.#5 Strengthening data security measures.Using an app means it keeps on collecting ample of information regularly. Moreover, this is how it provides personalized responses and recommendations. At the same time, it also raises concern about user privacy and security of data. Many of you have this misconception that mobile apps pose a high likelihood of data breach. Unfortunately, attacks cannot be denied, but as a professional, you can definitely work on your defense. With the help of IoT systems, you can come up with an additional active layer of safety. In the end, data continues to stay protected- all thanks to data encryption and multiple entry points.How Are Mobile Apps Leveraging IoT?1. Wearables — Bluetooth, Wifi used to connect devices like watches, eyeglasses and even bands to your mobile phones. With IoT any form of data, starting from information to videos, audios, images can be exchanged between two devices.2. Healthcare — The urge for Home-based medical devices is on the rise. Thanks to mobile apps powered by the Internet of Things this is becoming a reality. Technically speaking, medical devices are connected to servers where professionals can receive health data from the patient via a mobile app.Further, this crucial data can be moved remotely to the relevant doctor. As a result, the need to visit the hospital for minor issues is substantially reduced. Managing chronic diseases, monitoring clinical conditions, assisted living, wellness monitoring and preventive measures are some of the common IoT solutions in healthcare.3. Retail — RFID inventory tracking chips, Wi-Fi tracking system, and digital signage are all part of the tech systems now. In simple words, these sensors receive relevant data that are then transferred to mobile apps. Businesses can proactively into the customer’s needs depending on the time and place.A Few Pointers to Take Into Account While Embracing the IoT TechnologyIoT tech is about a decade into the digital revolution; businesses are still found struggling issues related to disruptive technologies. The extreme level of connectivity of devices creates concerns regarding security and privacy. Remember to put additional security measures and maximize response time and efficiency.A few factors to consider when it comes to IoT app development and security.#1 Adhere to license agreement — Make sure that each of your equipment is original or get it conformed to different license agreement strictly. Basically, businesses have to ensure that they are duly aware of these terms and adhere to them.#2 Connectivity — Of course, you are going to connect your devices to the internet, so don’t forget to consider the mode of connectivity. Whether it’s Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, traditional mobile network, make sure it’s safe to use. You’ll want to carve out a strategy to assign permissions.#3 Hardware Capabilities — Along with software, it is also essential to consider hardware capabilities with your enterprise. Large businesses these days can easily add different hardware capabilities, but the entire process can be quite pricey and complicated.#4 Follow all the programming protocols — Having different programming protocols in place is another crucial element when connecting different devices at the same time.In the case of iOS apps, the External Accessory framework allows the communication with external hardware which is connected to any iOS-based device via Apple Lightning, wirelessly using Bluetooth or 30-pin connector.The framework supports need to figure out which kinds of app that various IoT devices can access through its connected iOS devices.It’s a Wrap.Considering all the pointers above into account, we can assume that businesses regardless of their size bound to provide innovative ideas and launch IoT mobile apps to carry out long-lasting engagement with their valuable customers.IoT is a massive change seeping into the technology world. Most industries will find valuable customer helps in wearables. High on the list is the healthcare industry’s high adoption of this technology.Businesses will need to cope with the latest trends now to gain experience so that they can move forward with all of the innovations to come.last_img read more

Solar Panels Installation: 6 Unexpected Factors to Consider

first_img Costs In 1956, solar panels cost about $300 per watt. The 7.5 kW system could only be afforded by the very rich.Today, prices have fallen significantly. In most areas, solar panels operate at around $3-5 per watt. You will pay closer to $3 if you install it yourself, and closer to $5 if you have professionals to do so. For 7.5-kW or 7500 watts panels, you could pay from $22,500 to $37,500.If you need less electricity, of course, the number gets lower. If you only consume 600 kWh per month or 20 kWh per day, you could install a system with a capacity of up to 5 kW which would cost around $15,000.Of course, you could partially supply the house with solar energy. If you want to invest $10,000 in solar panels, you can add electricity from the grid with a 1.5-kW solar system.However, tens of thousands of dollars for solar panels are still quite exorbitant, especially since it can take decades before the money is redeemed.You can rent them (the panels), though. There are no advance payments. Homeowners pay a monthly rent for the use, and the rental company owns and supports them. Over the past 10 years, rooftop houses with solar panels have evolved from curiosity to a common phenomenon. This technology has been available for decades – astronauts have been using solar-powered satellites since 1960, and in the Second World War, passive solar heating systems, which convert solar energy into heat instead of electricity, have been used in U.S. homes.However, the introduction of active solar systems as a consumer good turned out to be an issue. Active solar energy uses photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into electricity, and this has traditionally been a prohibitively expensive technology.The advantages of solar-powered residential buildings are obvious: solar energy is infinite (at least for the next 5 billion years approximately), provides clean energy without emitting greenhouse gases, that may save people’s money on their electricity bills.But there are factors to consider when deciding on solar energy – and the cost is just one of them.In this article, I will consider 6 of the most important issues that need to be addressed when you think about investing in solar panel installation. The use of photovoltaic energy is a very “green” solution and a potentially useful step, but it is not as easy as getting energy from a conventional power grid.Solar Panels Installation. The first factor is the one that you, perhaps, weren’t even considering: Thanks to The Home Dweller for Image. Roy Emmerson Contrary to what most people think, the size of a solar power plant has nothing to do with the size of a house. Instead, only 2 parameters should be considered:insolation which we have just discussed;the amount of energy you need.To get a very rough estimate of how big the system you need should be, look at your electricity bill and find out how much kWh you use per day.The average house uses around 900 kWh per month or around 30 kWh per day. Multiply this by 0.25 and get 7.5, so we need a 7.5 kW system.A typical solar panel produces up to 120 watts or 0.12 kW per day. To provide 7.5-kW, you need about 62 panels. One panel can be about 142 x 64 cm, so that the 62 panels will occupy about 65 square meters.You should also consider the insolation and how many hours of sunshine peak-hours you get per day, make adjustments if you use rechargeable batteries with the panels as well. Therefore, it is best to contact a professional. Turning your home into a solar energy station requires more than using a conventional old power grid. But not much.Solar panels have no moving parts. They are a part of a complete stationary system. So, once they are installed, there aren’t many things that can go wrong. Almost the only one a house owner should do is to keep the panels clean. That’s important because too much snow, dust and bird droppings on the panels can reduce the amount of sunlight. Dust accumulation on the screen can reduce the amount of electricity produced by the system by as much as 7 %.There’s no need to do this once a week, though. It is sufficient to water the panels with a hose once to four times a year. You don’t have to climb on the roof to do this. The hose with a nozzle works perfectly from the ground. If there is construction work in your area, you need to clean the panels more often to avoid additional dust accumulation of building debris.Also, periodically check that all parts are in working order. You need to replace the batteries as well, but this is once a decade. Tags:#solar#solar energy Roy Emerson is a technology enthusiast, a loving father of twins, a programmer in a custom software company, editor in chief of TheHomeDweller blog, greedy reader, and a gardener. Sunlight is obviously the key when it comes to solar energy, and not all regions have equal conditions in this regard. It is important to know how much sunlight reaches the ground in the area where your potential solar home is located.What we are talking about here is called “insolation”, a measure of how much solar emission will fall to the ground in a given area over a given period of time. This is usually measured in kWh / m2 / days and it will show you how much sunlight will be available for your solar panels to turn into electricity. The higher the insolation value in your region, the more electricity each of your panels will be able to generate. A high insolation value means that you can get more energy from smaller panels. A low value means that you might end up spending more to achieve the same output power.So you have to build your solar home in the southwest, not the northwest? Far from it. This simply means that you will probably need more panels to achieve the same output power. Coverage Related Posts center_img Maintenance Surroundings Insolation Recycling The location of your house has a great impact on your solar energy efficiency. It’s an obvious problem – if your electrical power depends on sunlight, things like tall tree shadows and high building shadows will be a drawback.This is an even bigger issue than some people realize. Different types of panels differently react to shadows. While polycrystalline panels can significantly reduce the output of electricity, any part of shading on a mono-crystalline panel will stop electricity production completely.Thus, to build a solar-powered house, it is necessary to make sure that there is no shade on the roof panel during sunshine hours per day (usually from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and preferably during all solar hours. The more hours the panels are exposed to full sunlight, the more efficient the production of electricity will be.Achieving the greatest efficiency can mean trimming or completely removing trees on your site. If your home is surrounded by high-rise buildings that block the sun, you should pull them down too 🙂 If you can’t do that then that’s a big problem. Aramco, Holder of the Largest IPO in History is… How Battery Storage Is Revolutionizing the Sola… The Top 5 Issues Faced by Futurists Get Smarter About Enterprise Management with AI The service life of solar panels is 40-50 years, the controller and inverter – 15-20, batteries (depending on their type and usage) – 4-10 years.Although the issue of disposal of solar panels remains open, only 30% of all manufacturers take them back for recycling.  But nevertheless, the demand for spent solar panels is growing every year. As extraction of rare metals becomes more and more expensive, and processing of the panels will lead to their reuse.In addition, there is a secondary market for photovoltaic and wind-electric sets, where already used equipment can be further used. In countries in transition, former solar modules can be used. Due to the more intense solar emissions, these modules can produce more electricity. An example of this is the second solo project – an online platform for the purchase and sale of used modules.last_img read more

File Naming for Video Editors, Designers & Photographers

first_imgAvoid a media management meltdown by following these tips on file naming – especially applicable for video editors, graphic designers and photographers!When you’re naming your digital files, especially deliverables, there’s an easy way to save yourself headaches down the road:ALWAYS versionNEVER use the word “final”With video editing, photography and graphic design, its typical that a final version may not stay a final version for long.  Clients may request changes, weeks, months or even years down the road.  Worse, they have multiple rounds of changes after you’ve send them a “final” deliverable.  So, using the word “final” in your naming can quickly get you into hot water.Instead, use a version number so there will be no confusion as to what file is the latest version.A few more best practices for naming and working with digital files…HYPHENATE FILESAlways hyphenate file names to separate words instead of using underscores.  Aside from being easy to look at, file names with hypens are more web friendly (search engines can parse out the words).  For instance a good looking filename would be “project-name-client-name-v6.mov”ADD METADATAAdd metadata to the file to help jog your memory about changes that were made to the project.  On a Mac you can “get info” on a file (shortcut: CMD + I) and make notes on the file (for example date delivered, changes, distribution, etc).  Once you’ve added this metadata to your video, graphic or photo you can enable it to show up in the Finder window (View > Show View Options > Show Comments).CONSISTENT VERSIONINGAlways keep your file names consistent throughout your digital pipeline.  Once a version name is created in your project (be it Photoshop, Illustrator or a timeline in a video editing application) do not change it!  I’ve seen editors change version numbers on their final deliverable video, but not on the sequences in their video editing app.  What an organizational nightmare!  Make sure your source file or editing sequence has the same name as the flattened (delivered) video or graphic.Do you have any tricks you use for naming your digital files?How do you keep your versions organized?Share in the comments!last_img read more

20 Timesaving Shortcuts for Final Cut Pro

first_imgAction:Use this shortcut to quickly switch between list and icon views in the FCP Browser. Shortcut:Command + F10 Shortcut:X Action:Using this shortcut will keep sequences from nesting if you are editing a sequence into a sequence. Shortcut:Shift + Z Shortcut:Control + U Shortcut:Command + ~ Shortcut:Option + F Shortcut:Shift + Right or Left Arrow Action:Big tracks make it easier to make adjustments in the timeline, but having small tracks allows you to see more layers. 8. Overwrite/Insert Video 4. Move Playhead 1 Second 5. Change Track Height Action:Using this shortcut will clear the marker you are parked on. Add Control (Control + ~) and you can quickly clear all markers. Action:You can also trim a clip numerically, Type + 5 to trim 5 frames right or -5 for 5 frames left. Shortcut:Control + B 6. Reset to Default 11. Toggle Waveforms Action:Use when adding a clip to a project with a shortcut. 18. Clear Markers 17. Create Markers in FCP Action:Turns your in and out points into a selection in your canvas/timeline. Action:Adds a marker to your FCP timeline.  Double-click M and the Edit Marker will open. Action:Remember “I” for insert and “O” for override.  Used to target video in the timeline. 2. Fit to Window Action:Apply a filter to a clip in the viewer.  Then use this shortcut to make that filter a favorite. The favorite now appears in the Effects tab in the FCP Browser. Action:When you put the playhead over a clip in the timeline it marks the clip. Option + X clears in and out points. Shortcut:M 12. Overwrite Sequence Content Action:Fits the timeline (or canvas/viewer) to the width of the window. Shift + Option + Z zooms to a selected clip (or range of clips). 14. Disable a Clipcenter_img Shortcut:Command + Option+ W 9. Toggle Views Shortcut:Shift + H 16. Deselect or Lock Tracks Shortcut:F6 plus the track number (F7 & F8 for audio 1 & 2). 20. Markers to In and Out Shortcut:V: Will move your playhead to the nearest edit point. U: Will toggle between ripple and roll. < and > will trim a frame left or right. Action:Once you copy the attributes of a clip you can paste them onto another clip by using the Option + V shortcut (once used you’ll be able to select which attributes you’d like to paste). Adding Command to Option + V will remove the attributes of a selected clip. Shortcut:Option + Auto Select or Lock (on the left side of the timeline). Shift + F4: Locks All Video Tracks. F4 + number locks that track (F5 for audio) 15. Target a Video Track Shortcut:Option + V or Command + Option + V  Action:Puts Bin on it’s own Tab, so it doesn’t float and get lost. If you do lose a bin behind the other windows, go to the menu>Window to find it. If your windows are a mess, Control + U will reset them to the default layout. Shortcut:Control + I and  Control + O Action:Turn off clips if you’re not using them, but by doing so you will lose render files for that clip. Action:Got windows floating around haphazardly? This shortcut will quickly snap your project view back to it’s default state. 19. In and Out to Selection Action:Lock your tracks to prevent future changes. Action:Moves the playhead left or right one second. Good for slowly scanning through your timeline. 10. Paste/Remove Attributes 7. Make a Favorite Are you still using the legacy version of Final Cut Pro? Here are 20 must-know FCP shortcuts to speed up your video editing!I realize that a lot of editors are still using Final Cut Pro 7, so I thought I would revisit 20 of my favorite FCP shortcuts. Force yourself to start using shortcuts in your video editing work. They may seem cumbersome at first, but once committed to memory they’ll result in big time-savings and an overall more efficient video editing workflow.Do you have a favorite Final Cut Pro shortcut not listed here? Share it in the comments below!1. Mark a Clip 3. Bin to New Tab Shortcut:Shift + T Action:Seeing the waveforms will let you make more informed editing decisions about your audio but turning them off may result in better quality playback. Shortcut:Option + A Shortcut:Control + A 13. Trimming Shortcut:Option + Double-Click on a Bin Action:Turns two markers into an In and Out point.last_img read more

10 Questions to Ask When Buying A Filmmaking Camera

first_imgA filmmaking camera is a big investment. Make sure you’ve asked all the right questions before pulling the trigger.Choosing a great filmmaking camera is no easy task. With new cameras released almost weekly, it can be overwhelming to find the best option for your needs. So the next time you’re in the market for a new filmmaking camera ask yourself these ten questions:1. What Are the Lens Options?Unless you are buying an all-in-one camcorder style camera, you are going to be investing a lot of money in lenses. In fact, most filmmakers have more money invested in their lens arsenal than their camera bodies. So when you’re looking to purchase a filmmaking camera, you want to take a look at the available lenses and their corresponding prices. For example, lenses used on a Sony E mount lenses tend to be much more expensive then those found on Canon Cameras.Back in the good ol’ days (2 years ago) there was a huge discrepancy between lens options for Canon cameras and lens options for MFT cameras, but that’s simply not the case today. Sure, Canon has more lenses… but you probably won’t be limited as a filmmaker if you stick to MFT.2. What Is the Dynamic Range?More often than not, any cinematic footage you see was shot on a camera with a high-dynamic range. If you’re not already familiar with the term dynamic range, it’s essentially the camera’s ability to capture both light and dark areas at the same time. The higher the number, the better the camera’s ability to capture contrasted images. Good cameras will typically have a dynamic range of 12 stops or higher. For example, the ARRI Alexa (which is used in 90% of Hollywood films) has a dynamic range of 13.5.If you want the look of your footage to go from video to film, I highly recommend investing in dynamic range. If you’re looking for an affordable camera with a decent dynamic range, check out the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera which has a dynamic range of 13 for less than $1,000.3. How Is It in Low Light?Your camera’s ability to record well in low light is incredibly important, especially because cinematic footage tends to be darker than commercial footage. Just because the camera is capable of producing an image in low light doesn’t mean the footage will be usable. If you’re going to buy a camera because of its low light capabilities, download test footage before you commit… don’t simply watch YouTube videos. YouTube and Vimeo highly compress their videos, so there might be a lot of grain in the low-light image that you can’t see in online test footage.A decent low-light camera can also open up a lot of possibilities for you in the lens department, as you might be able to get by with a kit lens if your camera is capable of getting great low-light images at higher f-stops.4. What Is the Recording Format?Not all file formats are created equal. When it comes to recording footage, the file format will determine how much control you will have over your footage in post-production. Sure, great cinematographers can get fantastic footage on set, but the footage doesn’t become cinematic until it’s been graded in a post-production software. This is where codecs (or a lack of codecs) will come into play.File formats like H264 and AVC-HD are incredibly difficult to color correct and grade in post. However, formats like ProRes or even RAW (technically not a format) give editors much more control over color, which will lead to more cinematic images.5. What Is the Camera’s Longevity?Cameras are expensive. So when you’re looking for a new camera, you need to take longevity into consideration. For example, with 4K quickly becoming more and more popular, it would stand to reason that 4K footage will be the norm in just a few years. So instead of purchasing an HD camera that will quickly lose value, maybe it makes more sense to go for 4K.Cameras like the Blackmagic URSA have interchangeable sensors that can be easily replaced when a new sensor is released. This makes the URSA very future-proof and will subsequently save you a lot of money in the future now that you don’t have to buy a new camera body.6. What Type of Cards Does It Take?This may seem like a silly question to ask, but modern cards can get really expensive. Sure, SD cards and CF cards can be purchased for under $200, but cameras like the URSA mini take C-Fast cards (not to be confused with CF cards). C-Fast cards start at about $200 and can easily cost you more than $500 a card if you get at 256GB card. If you’re shooting on RAW, you could easily fill up three 256GB cards on a shoot — which is at least $1,500!7. Is It Practical for My Shooting Situations?There’s a lot to be said about ease of use when it comes to filmmaking cameras. If you’re shooting a narrative film, it’s usually not a big deal to set up a complex rig while on set. But if you plan to shoot something like a documentary, you may not have the time to put together a convoluted rig. Ask yourself:Do I need an external recorder?Does the camera have autofocus?How heavy is the camera?How long do the batteries last?Little annoyances will become incredible pain-points after a few shoots. Take time to really consider whether the camera is helpful for your individual needs.8. What Is the Audio Situation?Most filmmakers record audio separately from video when shooting a film. This is typically for quality and convenience sake. But any indie filmmaker who buys a camera that requires an off-camera mic to get great audio is instantly backing themselves into a corner.From now on, you will either need a second person with you at all times to record audio, or you must deal with two separate devices on a single rig. It’s going to be a pain if you shoot normal stuff like weddings and events in addition to films.9. Can It Output Footage?Having an external monitor on set is vital. If you don’t have an external monitor set up, you could very well miss something that you couldn’t see on your small camera screen. Plus, having an external monitor will help crew members visualize the finished shot when doing set design and lighting. There’s also the added flexibility of using external field recorders on set when you can output high-quality footage.10. What Is the Crop Factor?Crop factor is often overlooked by beginners when they’re looking for a filmmaking camera. Some people say that getting a full-frame camera is not that important, but I disagree. A camera with a bad crop factor like the Blackmagic Pocket Camera (2.88x) will make it nearly impossible to get wide-angle shots. You’re limited to either using super-wide angle lenses or Speed Boosters — and both options can cost a lot of money. If you decide to go the full-frame route, you won’t regret it.Have any other tips for choosing a great filmmaking camera? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Get Feedback Directly in Premiere With the New Wipster Add-On

first_imgWipster’s new integration seamlessly creates Premiere Pro markers from online client feedback.As a video professional, one of the biggest pain points that comes up during the editing process is getting feedback from clients. In the past, the best option was to upload a private video to Vimeo or YouTube and send your client a link. The client would then send their feedback and you’d have to repeat the process over and over.However, Wipster changed the game in 2014 by introducing editors to a new kind of review process. No longer would editors have to upload video versions to YouTube or Vimeo. Instead, users could use the Wipster interface to upload their videos and get client feedback with detailed instructions at certain points in the timeline. In a way, this was similar to adding markers in Premiere, except it took place entirely online.Outside of a few new players in the game and added workflow improvements, this review process has remained relatively similar over the last two years. However, Wipster just changed the game with a new feature that will certainly get Premiere Pro users excited: the Wipster Review PanelUsing this new Premiere Pro Add-On, you can now send videos directly from Premiere Pro to your clients for feedback. Once your clients review the video and add critiques online, their notes will automatically be placed into your Premiere Pro timeline as markers. This new feature will make it incredibly easy for you to get feedback without disrupting your workflow. In the words of Wipster CEO Rollo Wenlock:What used to be ten disconnected steps became just three with the arrival of Wipster, and is now down to one – the increased efficiencies will seriously help the bottom line of any company producing video.The Wipster Review Panel is available through the Add-On download page. Just navigate to Window>Browse Add-Ons to find it. Once installed, you will be prompted to input your Wipster account information. This helpful video explains how to use the new add-on. It’s a surprisingly simple process.This new service is currently only available to Wipster Video Pro users. You can create your own Wipster account for $15 a month, which is a great deal if you work a lot with video clients.What do you think of this new feature? How will it effect your workflow? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Gear Roundup: Finding the Best SD Cards for Your Camera

first_imgA good SD card is a tiny-but-essential part of your gear setup. We’ve rounded up four of our favorite options on the market today.128GB of storage that transfers data at 300mb/s sounds like the perfect SD card for anyone. SD cards are a vital part of any production, and not having a reliable one can cause major headaches. There are so many variables to consider when choosing the proper SD card, including storage, price, and compatibility. I’ll go through the pros and cons of each card so you can choose the one that works best for you and your camera.To start things off, the most reliable SD cards are going to be name brand — for example, SanDisk, Sony, PNY, and many more. Which option you choose should reflect your current skill level and how you use the card. If you consider yourself an amateur photographer or videographer, finding an SD card with more storage is best, while a professional will want one with a faster transfer speed.Here’s the list.SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-ISANDISK EXTREME PRO® SD UHS-IThe first card I recommend is the SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I. It can still record 4K footage, but it’s a fraction of the cost of its big brother, the UHS-II. Though it’s not the fastest card on the market, it still reads and writes at speeds up to 95mb/s. It offers a nice balance between storage, speed, and budget. At only $40, you can get 128GB of storage on a card that’s pretty quick. Although this SD card will work with any camera, it may limit a high-end unit. Overall, it’s a very versatile card that pairs well with most cameras. Along with its low price, it’s unbeatable for what you get.PNY Elite Performance Class 10PNY Elite Performance SDXC Class 10Up next is the PNY Elite Performance Class 10. Like the SanDisk, this card tops out its read speed at 95mb/s. There are faster cards out there, but at 95mb/s it’s going to get the job done for amateur and even some professional work. For only $33, you can get 128GB of storage.Speaking from personal experience, this card is awesome. As I’ve used it more and more, the once-zippy write speed has started to seem slow compared to the continuous shooting speed of 10 frames per second. The buffer time isn’t horrible, but it takes long enough that it can get annoying during a long shoot. The write speed from this card isn’t listed, but it’s rumored that it’s only 70mb/s. Overall, this is a good option to think about, as it’s affordable and has great storage options.Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-IILexar® Professional 2000xThe next two SD cards are high-end, professional-grade storage options.Ranking third on the list is the Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II. With blistering transferring speeds of up to 300mb/s and write speeds of 260mb/s, this is a high-performance card. With 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB options, this is a perfect card that comes with a hefty price tag. 128GB will run you $160, but unlike the first two cards, it won’t affect your workflow. Using this card with the Canon 5D Mark IV, 1DX, or the Panasonic GH5 would be flawless. It’s hard to not consider this card if you think of yourself as a pro.SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro UHS-II SDXCSANDISK EXTREME PRO® SD UHS-IIThe fourth and final card up is the SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro UHS-II SDXC. The read and write speeds are the same as the Lexar above. The SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II is a solid pick — and arguably the best card on this list. It’s a must-have if you find yourself shooting high-speed action or wildlife.On the flip side, since most of us are on a budget, this card is less appealing once you see the price. You’ll get 64GB of storage for $108, and 128GB for over $200 from B&H photo. This storage option is reliable, fast, and top of the line.If you’re a pro who works in fast, action-packed environments and your SD card could potentially be the reason why you miss a shot, I see no reason why you shouldn’t go with the Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II or the SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II. But if you don’t need the speed and you’re on a budget, I recommend you save some money and go with the first two options.Cover image via Jiradet Ponari.Looking for more gear tips? Check out these articles:Gear Roundup: The Top Three Audio Recorders Under $300The Cameras Behind Popular Netflix Originals: Films and SeriesThe New ARRI ALEXA Mini LF — Large Format, Little CameraHands-on Review: Is Syrp’s Genie the Lone Filmmaker’s Ultimate Tool?The Cameras and Lenses Behind the Scenes of HBO’s Original Serieslast_img read more

How to Deal with Sales Advice from Civilians

first_imgBusiness managers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs offer all kinds of advice to sales managers and salespeople as to how they might improve sales results. It can be difficult to listen to advice about selling from those who have never carried the bag. The recommendations are often naïve and often ignore the realities and constraints the sales force is forced to confront. If it were easy to sell more or sell faster, your life would be as easy as the non-salesperson’s advice makes it sound.You can react to advice from civilians by being defensive, insulted, or hostile. It’s easy to ignore the suggestions from civilians without the experience base from which to offer the advice they offer. Or you could make a healthier choice and spend the time educating the inexperienced as to your real challenges.Here’s how to deal with advice about sales from civilians.Help Them UnderstandThe primary reason non-salespeople so easily dole out sales advice is because they are unaware of the real challenges we face in sales.When non-salespeople suggest that sales should be closing faster, you need to spend time educating people on your sales process, your client’s buying cycle times, and the velocity of the deals in your pipeline. The business’s need for fast sales doesn’t allow you to violate the natural laws of the sales process or buying cycle. You have to educate non-salespeople on sales cycle times so they understand what options are available when it comes to increasing speed.When civilians suggest that sales people should be closing more business, you educate them the limitations of the sales force. Increasing quotas doesn’t do anything to improve territory coverage or the sales force’s effectiveness. You have to spend time working to help your non-salespeople team members understand what is possible and what isn’t possible.Probably the hardest advice to take from civilians is advice about deal strategy. It’s hard to accept advice about how to move a deal forward from people who have never met your dream client contacts, who weren’t there through the discovery process, who don’t really understand your competitive position, and who don’t have to actually do the work of winning of the deal. You have to help the civilians on your team to understand what it will really take to win your dream client.You help yourself and you help your team when you educate the non-salespeople on your team on the realities, the challenges, and the constraints. This sets you up to do what comes next.Ask for the Resources You NeedYou don’t do yourself or your company any favors by avoiding the battle for resources. Your job is to give the company what it needs in the way of sales results, and to do that you have to ask for the resources you need.You may need to make investments that reduce your sales cycle time. You may need to make investments in a larger sales force to produce the sales results that your company needs from you. You may also need changes or modifications to what you do to serve your dream clients in order to win deals.Asking for what you really need is likely to run smack into a discussion over resources. But often that is exactly the discussion that needs to be had.Sometimes producing results means that you have to put as much energy into selling inside as you do outside. You are more likely to get what you need from the organization if you have spent the time building their understanding of what is needed and why.Engage Them in the Sales ProcessKeeping the civilians away from the sales process is a mistake. The more deeply you engage the entire organization in the realities of selling, the better results you will produce. Selling is a team sport.Instead of keeping non-selling senior management away from the sale process, ask them to engage in the process. Let them join pipeline review and opportunity review meetings. Let them understand what is being done, the challenges, and the opportunities. If you want them to see the world from your viewpoint, invite them to sit on your side of the table and show it to them. Let them feel it.Instead of keeping them away from your dream clients, ask them to join you in sales calls with your dream clients so that they get to see and feel what it’s like to work on big deal. Do some relationship mapping and send the high-level civilians from your company to call on the high-level management team from your dream client. These is work that they can do that makes a difference, and they are normally happy to do it.It’s amazing how much more you can get done and how much faster you can get it done when your whole team is engaged in the deal. They look at your role and they look at deals very differently when they have skin in the game.As a final note, go into this endeavor knowing things aren’t any easier for non-salespeople. Respect their challenges like you want them to respect yours.QuestionsWhy is it so difficult to take sales advice from non-salespeople?Are you ever guilty of telling your non-selling peers how they should do their job?How can you educate your civilian peers on what you need to produce better results?How can you help them understand more about what you need?What actions can you engage management in to help you win your dream client? Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

On Social Value

first_imgOne of the primary challenges many companies face using social is a lack of understanding of social value.Because they misunderstand social value, these companies (and many individuals) fail to create enough value to be relevant and to create a connection. These organizations (and people) produce content that talks about their company instead of their client’s company. They produce content that pitches their product, instead of addressing their client’s challenges. They withhold anything actionable or valuable in the belief that the only way they will ever capture any value is by selling their product, service, or solution to the people with whom they hope to engage.This is why their social marketing efforts fail. Because they withhold value, there is no engagement. Because they create no social value, there is no social connection. This is a recipe for failure.The best remedy for this ailment is to separate social value from “the ask.” When you are creating social value, you don’t worry about “the ask.” Instead you worry about the value creation and the connection with the audience you serve. When you ask, ask directly and make it easy to say yes.Creating value and asking are two separate activities, and they are not seeking the same result. Worry about the value creation, and the ask is easier.last_img read more

Talent or Hard Work

first_imgAnonymous asks, “Which is more important to success, talent or hard work?”When Talent FailsCountless talented people fail. They are better equipped through some natural gift, some set of experiences, or through training. It is clear to everyone around them that they have greater competencies and greater abilities. Almost all of these talented people recognize that they are more talented than their peers.The reason these talented people fail has nothing to do with their lack of talent and everything to do with their unwillingness to put that talent to work. Talented people sometimes believe that talent alone is enough to succeed. But being unwilling to do the work, they fail.When Hard Work FailsSome people who work very hard fail, but not nearly as often as the talented person who is unwilling. A hard worker tends to produce results through the sheer force of will. They’re willing to just keep at something until they produce some result.When hard workers fail it is because they believe that working hard alone is enough. Because they don’t work at learning more and improving their effectiveness, they fail. I have seen many a hard-working salesperson fail because, despite their willingness to work, they wouldn’t work on developing their chops.Talent + Hard WorkThe question anonymous asks supposes that talent and hard work are mutually exclusive, that you can be one or the other. But the most successful people are the talented people who work hard putting those talents to good use. They are matched only by the hard worker who is thoughtful enough to learn quickly, make distinctions that produce better results, and hustle to grow their overall competencies.The only choice to made is whether you are going to work hard if you are gifted with some talent, or whether you are going to develop yourself and learn if you are a hard worker who lacks the natural talent.last_img read more

Sales Is a Profession

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now If sales isn’t a profession, what is it?People often refer to sales as a trade in an attempt to distinguish it from a profession. The definition of a trade is “a skilled job, typically requiring manual skills and special training.” Both a carpenter and a brain surgery would meet that definition.The definition of profession is “a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and formal qualification.” The “paid occupation” part of that definition covers a lot of work that one might do. So does the prolonged training. It’s the formal qualification part that a lot of people believe is missing in sales.Some people believe that the lack of a university degree, or some other certification, disqualifies certain work from being a profession.Becoming a lawyer takes three years of law school before you are eligible to take the bar exam and be formally qualified to practice. After doing so, law is your profession. But there are plenty of terrible lawyers who are trained and certified.Medicine is a profession. But there are plenty of terrible doctors to offset the many excellent doctors practicing. It’s interesting that both lawyers and doctors are “practicing” their “professions.”There are professional engineers and architects, too. In one building I visit regularly the architect and engineer who redesigned the building built walls over the existing carpet. They may be “professionals” but their work isn’t.Why are there “professional comedians” and “professional football players” and “professional writers” and “professional musicians,” none of whom have any formal certification. It’s because it’s difficult to teach what a comedian, writer, or athlete does.Like these human endeavors, a lot of what salespeople do is difficult to quantify. Like all the professions listed above, the training and formal certification says nothing about the skills or abilities of the individual practicing the profession.Whether you are a professional or not has nothing to do with your University education or your formal certification. It has everything to do with how you approach your work, your intentions, and your willingness to give yourself over to your craft.Sales is a profession if you treat it like it is. If you treat it like something less, it will be that for you too.last_img read more

Podcast: Closing Matters – Episode #114

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Podcast: Play in new window | Download (20.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSA few weeks ago, I posted my first video on LinkedIn. It was a response to a friend’s video where he suggested closing is not a skill, and that it is no longer important in sales. Both of these ideas as stated are inaccurate and will cause you to lose deals you might otherwise have won.Closing doesn’t require that you be smarmy, manipulative, self-oriented, or pushy. Now it means that you ask for the commitments your dream client needs to make to create change and produce a better result.This episode of the podcast is sponsored by b2bsalestraining.com and The Lost Art of Closing.last_img read more

WB govt engineering terror violence: J-K RSS chief

first_imgJammu and Kashmir RSS chief Suchait Singh on claimed the “footprints of terror elements” are increasing in West Bengal and accused the Mamata Banerjee government of “engineering terror violence” and “communal politics” in the State.“We express concern over the increasing presence of ‘Jihadist’ elements in West Bengal, the policy of vote-bank appeasement being followed by the state government there and the shrinking population of Hindus in the State,” he told reporters here.The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), at its Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) in Coimbatore, had discussed and passed a resolution expressing grave concern over the alleged rise in violence in West Bengal, Singh said.“The ABPS has strongly condemned the extremist violence and the appeasement policy of the Bengal government,” he said.The J-K RSS chief called upon the countrymen to create awareness against this “Jihadist violence and communal politics of the West Bengal government“.Referring to the attack on a police station, just 8 km from the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal’s Malda district, he said the “increasing attacks against security forces is a grave danger to national security“.Singh said, “Hardliner clerics have been issuing fatwas to incite violence, and Hindus have been attacked in several places in West Bengal.” In the border areas, the growing presence of hardliners is forcing Hindu families to flee and they are also behind the fake currency, cow smuggling and illegal migration rackets, he alleged.The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in its probe into the Burdwan Bomb Blast case had found evidence of terror groups being active in several parts of West Bengal, he claimed.Singh also said 57,185 ‘shakhas’ were currently being run at 36,729 places in India, besides 79,675 weekly meetings and monthly ‘sangh mandali’“People under 45 years age make up for 90% of the attendees at these meetings, of them 53%are students,” he said.Singh said in the last one year 1,04,256 Swayam Sevaks attended the seven-day ‘Prathamik Shiksha Varg’, the first step towards becoming an RSS volunteer.Prant Karywah Parshotam Dadiechi explained in brief the Sangh’s working in J-K and 279 ‘shakhas’ that were running at 180 places with 110 weekly meetings and 76 ‘mandali’Dadiechi claimed around 45 people join the RSS online every month. More than 1,600 people from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions have joined the organisation in the last three years, he said.last_img read more

Vegetable prices normalise as supplies improve in Maharashtra

first_imgA week after farmers started their agitation across Maharashtra, vegetable prices started normalising as supplies to wholesale markets improved on Wednesday amid heavy police security. But farmers continued their protest.The protesters scuffled with the police in Sangli district as they attempted to disrupt a vegetable market in the afternoon. The protesters accused the police of using force to transport eight activists belonging to the Kisan Sabha and the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana. The police said they were moved from Sangli to another place to prevent incitement to violence. The police have prohibited assembly of people in public places under Section 144 of the Cr.PC till June 19 in Nashik district, where the suicides of two farmers on Monday and Tuesday added fuel to the agitation. The police in Pune district have been asked to act against burning of effigies. Yet, effigies were burnt in parts of Latur district in Marathwada. Farmers staged a demonstration against the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government near the home of BJP leader and district guardian minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar. The police arrested 17 protesters.Demonstrations were more intense in Ahmednagar district where markets were shut in Sangamner. The cow market was suspended in Rahata. Vegetable supplies improved at the agricultural produce market committees in Mumbai, Kolhapur and Pune, as the produce arrived from other States.last_img read more

Bihar Board class 10 results 2017: 49.86% fail to pass

first_imgThe much-awaited Bihar class 10 Board exam results were declared on Thursday with 49.68% students failing to pass the exam.The pass percentage of the students was 50.12%.A total of 17,40,000 students had appeared in the class 10 board exam conduced by Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB). About 8,63,000 students were declared passed.Also readWhat ails education in Bihar?Amarnath Tewary  This year the pass percentage of students increased by 3.1% from the last year. Last year a total of 15,77,936 students had appeared in the exam in which 47.1% had passed.This year the BSEB, under its new regulations, had introduced the provision of grace marks to students but the BSEB chairman Anand Kishor refused to share more information on how many students were provided grace marking to cross the pass percentage.“Under the new regulations of BSEB the secrecy of grace marking cannot be shared with media”, said Mr Kishor.Prem Kumar of Lakhisarai district topped the exams with 93% marks while Bhavya Kumari of Simultala Residential government school, Jamui bagged second position with 92.8%.Most of the top ten students are from Simultala Residential School government, Jamui.This time, said the BSEB chairman Anand Kishor, physical verification of all top ten students were done before the publication of the results.“Besides, strict measures were taken, including bar coding on answer sheets to avoid any chance of unfairness in the conduct of the exam or the results”, added Mr Kishor.The Intermediate results published last month hit headlines as the pass percentage was just 35%. The topper in humanities stream failed to answer basic questions of his subjects music and Hindi. He was also hound fudging with his age and later sent to jail.Similarly, in 2015, the humanities topper Ruby Rai had pronounced her subject “Political Science” as “Prodikal Science which teaches about cooking” and had hogged headlines.Later, she too was arrested along with other topper students.last_img read more

NHRC team reaches Odisha to probe Kunduli rape-suicide

first_imgA five-member team of National Human Rights Commission reached Koraput district of Odisha on Monday to probe the alleged gang rape and suicide of a minor girl near Kunduli.The NHRC team, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police-rank officer Ravi Singh, will be in Odisha till February 9. On Monday, the team held discussions with Koraput Additional Superintendent of Police, District Child Protection Officer and officials of Human Rights Protection Cell of Odisha Police. It will visit Musaguda village in Kunduli on Tuesday to interact with the family members of the victim.On February 7, the team will visit SLNM Medical College and Hospital in Koraput where the victim had been admitted after the alleged gang rape. The NHRC officials will hold discussions with the doctors who examined, treated and counselled the victim. Speaking to media persons in Koraput, Mr. Singh said anyone who has any evidence or information about this incident can provide it to the team.The NHRC constituted this team for on-the-spot investigation following the petition filed by a social activist. The commission also directed the State authorities and the State HRPC Additional Director General to submit report about the alleged gang rape and suicide of the minor girl.The girl had allegedly committed suicide inside her house at Musaguda under Pottangi police station on January 22. On October 10, 2017, she had alleged that she had been gang-raped near Kunduli by four persons in combat attire, like security personnel. On November 7, the HRPC of Odisha Police had stated that as per the medical report the victim, she had not been raped.On November 8, the Odisha government ordered a judicial enquiry into the incident by a sitting district judge. A parallel enquiry by the State Crime Branch was also ordered.The culprits, however, are yet to be identified.last_img read more