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Apple Gadgets & Tech Misc. Products

My Favorite Work from Home Products for 2020

2020 is the year of “Work from Home” and has propelled the conversation around the “Future of Work” to the forefront. In February 2019, I did a short video about my favorite productivity apps. In 2020, a lot changed for me, personally and professionally. For all of us, it has meant adapting schedules, tools and figuring out different ways of working. I thought it would be a good opportunity to share a list of my favorite work from home products in 2020.

Productivity Tools

1. Airtable – Airtable is one of my favorite work from home apps! It has been a cornerstone of my work from home toolkit for a long time. In 2020, I started using Airtable a lot more. I’ve been using it for managing and tracking Invest Streamrelated things like possible speakers, artwork, bios, etc. as well as using it to get startup pitches. Airtable is a great cross between a spreadsheet and lightweight SQL database. If you’re working with any sort of structured data or want to structure your data, Airtable is a great tool.

2. Notion – I started dabbling with Notion in late 2018 but I really started using it more heavily at the end of 2019. I love the flexibility of Notion and it’s definitely one of my favorite WFH products. I love that they added “Scribble” support to their iPad app. In 2020, it’s been my de facto tool for all kinds of notes, information and data. I haven’t been using the web-clipping extension but I have been using the iOS/iPadOS/macOS apps on a daily basis for scribbling on the iPad, writing up a document to be shared as a PDF with clients, collaborating on the Workomo content calendar and working with others on all kinds of content.

Notion helps me structure my thoughts a little better. It is a little complex to get started but once you commit to using it, you realize you have your own personal wiki for pretty much everything. The one thing I don’t like about Notion is the import and export functionality. 

3. Workomo – Everyone who used Rapportive years ago, will know how useful it was to have a tool that gave you a summary of people that you were connecting with. However, the problem has become quite acute with the move to online meetings / webinars / networking events / etc. I’ve been an active Workomo user since the early betas and I also do meetings with a lot of people I don’t already know. Workomo has been an invaluable tool in helping me get quick summaries about these people as well as learn a few new things about people I already know.

Conversations (audio, video, podcasting)

1. Clubhouse – I got on Clubhouse in September and, now, I use it all the time while working from home. Clubhouse is my watercooler / coffee machine at the office. If you need to take a break, chat with someone during lunch or join a discussion about almost anything, Clubhouse is the place to be. Most rooms are well moderated and people are polite and friendly. If you need an invite, I *may* be able to help so try DM’ing me and if I have any invites left, I will send you one.

2. StreamYard – 2020 might just be the year where podcasting and online video tipped. I started Invest Stream at the end of 2018 but 2020 is when I started live streaming. StreamYard is a really awesome product for doing livestreams. My friend, Gregarious Narain, found it when we were doing The Raise. It made it so simple to start streaming on multiple platforms. I’ve been using StreamYard a lot in 2020 and I love the simplicity. It’s super easy to join a livestream off your phone or iPad. Hosting a livestream is still Chrome specific, however. The free version is good enough for most people who want to get started.

Entertainment / Relaxation

1. Digital Assistants / Smart Speakers – Listen to a podcast, check the weather, play some music or talk to someone all over a smart speaker. I’ve ditched Alexa and Google Home Mini in 2020 and gone all in with the HomePod and HomePod Mini. However, whatever your choice is, I’ve found the smart speaker to be an invaluable accessory to use as a speaker phone, a stereo system, listening to the news (I like to keep Bloomberg Radio going in the background), etc. 

2. Streaming – We can all use a break after a long day of working from home. What better way to spend some of that free time than with loved ones watching Netflix, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video or Disney+ and YouTube? It’s definitely the golden age of content with fabulous shows like The Queens Gambit or The Expanse available at our fingertips along with blockbuster movies like Wonder Woman 1984! BTW, pairing the HomePod with an AppleTV 4K gives you amazing Dolby Atmos sound. There are many videos on YouTube discussing this.

As much as we’re all suffering Zoom fatigue, without Zoom, Google Meet or FaceTime, working from home over an extended period of time would have been almost impossible. They aren’t my favorite apps but they are most definitely necessary.

This post first appeared on the Workomo Blog.

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Categories
India Mobile Startups Venture Capital

Why India is the Next Frontier for Mobile

Girl Talking by Ramesh LalwaniUnmodified picture by Ramesh Lalwani under Creative Commons 2.0

All over the world, opportunities are flourishing for mobile development (and investment). In some countries, like the U.S.,64% of adults owned a smartphone in 2015. In China, 68% of adults have a smartphone. Yes, these countries still offer room for growth. But not like India.

Indian use of smartphones is rapidly growing. Google-sized companies will be created over the next decade to satisfy user demand, which is significantly more than in the U.S. and China over the same time period. Here’s why India is primed for massive mobile growth. This is why we are getting more aggressive in India.

Mobile Growth All Over the World

It’s hard to believe that just 20 years ago, the world had about only 80 million mobile phone users, representing 1% of the world’s total population.

By 2014, the world’s mobile phone user base had grown to 5.2 billion, or 73% of the population. 40% of that user base had a smartphone.

Based on these stats, it’s hard to argue against mobile development as a lucrative business endeavor all over the world. Even so, growth in countries like China and the U.S. is slowing. Based on what I’m seeing as I invest and work with Indian companies, India offers the greatest opportunity for mobile investment. According to a report by IAMAI and KPMG, the number of mobile Internet users is set to double by 2017 to 300 million!

India already has over 900 million mobile phones, representing 79.39% of the population, and it’s on the path to having more smartphones than the entire U.S. population. It has the second highest number of mobile phones in use, after China and before the U.S.

In 2014, the number of smartphones in India grew 54%, and is expected to reach 651 million by 2019.  In 2013,  only 6.2% of Indian people owned a smartphone. India’s smartphone usage is growing faster than any other country. It’s currently the third largest smartphone market in the world.  

Indian internet penetration is also rapidly increasing. India currently has an internet userbase of at least 232 MM users. This is only 19% of the population, which leaves quite a bit of room for growth.

Scalability

Having a population that is four times bigger than that of the U.S at 1.27 billion people, offers a massive opportunity to scale a business. Though, margins in India are typically pretty low, the numbers are massive. There are hundreds of millions of people across India  who will access new technology for the first time via their mobile phones. They will want entertainment, content, services, and communication. Startups that can figure out how to meet the demands of mobile-first urban and rural Indians will create multibillion dollar companies. Even now, most people use a mobile phone to access the Internet vs a computer or desktop – “According to Meeker’s report 65% of people accessing the internet in India do so from a mobile device and 41% of e-commerce in India takes place on mobile.”

Growth in India

According to the App Annie Index, “Emerging markets grew as low-cost smartphones continue to penetrate India and Southeast Asia. First-time smartphone owner numbers are on the rise.”

I also think that people are inspirational at their core. If you provide the best hardware, QoS, content, and services, they will pay for it as long as their payment options become easier and ubiquitous.”

Takeaways

Indian use of smartphones is growing rapidly. The cost of smartphones continue to decline. “In 2015, the number of mobile internet users from rural area doubled from 2014, and in 2016 the growth percentage is estimated to surpass all the previous figures.

  • India is a market that can’t be ignored by corporations, investors, and startups
  • Growth in mobile usage and GDP is surpassing the US and China
  • Internet penetration is second to China and there’s still a tremendous amount of growth left with less than 25% of the population online
  • India is one of the youngest countries on the planet with a massive workforce

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Business India Startups Technology

Qualifying Startup Events in India

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Categories
Apple Gadgets & Tech Mac Mini OS X Server

Setting Up a Mac Mini Snow Leopard Server Without a Display

The Mac Mini has always been a great little workgroup or home server. The low power consumption combined with the form factor have convinced me to pick up my second mac mini since 2005. The first one was a PowerPC based 1st gen Mini and served as a primary desktop for many many years. This new Mac Mini Server with a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 1TB HD will be used as file, database, web and media server.

I’m not going to get into setting up all those things right now. I’m going to get into how to go thru the basic setup of the Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server if you don’t have a display to connect it to. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t ship the Mac Mini Server with an HDMI adapter so I had to dig around on getting the Mini setup. The instructions that come with the Mini aren’t very helpful.

What you need:

  • Mac Mini Server – called “minisrv” from here on.
  • Another Mac that will be used as your desktop/admin machine – called “mac1” from here on. A PC with Windows may be ok but I haven’t tested that config.
  • An (wired) ethernet switch, a WiFi Router that has room to plug in at least 2 ethernet connections or an ethernet hub
  1. Install the “Admin Tools” cd that came with the minisrv.
  2. Ensure that you have DHCP enabled on your network so minisrv can get an IP address.
  3. Make sure both computers are connected to the switch, router or hub. mac1 doesn’t have to be connected via ethernet if you’re connecting both machines to a WiFi router, though, minisrv should be connected using ethernet.
  4. If you can’t go wired, you should disable any sort of encryption or passwords on your WifI and also ensure that the SSID broadcast is turned on.

  5. Turn the Mac Mini on and about a minute or two after you hear the chime, you should SSH into the box. Now this will be tricky. You need to know what the IP address of the Mac Mini is. On mac1, go to Applications -> Server and launch “Server Admin”. You should see an IP address listed there. Unless you have multiple Mac servers running, this IP will be the one you should ssh into.
  6. Launch Terminal
  7. ssh from mac1 to minisrv
    mac1# ssh root@
    The password to use here is the first eight digits of minisrv’s serial number.
  8. Type the following into your terminal:

    localhost:~ root# cd /Library/Preferences
    localhost:~ root# echo -n enabled > com.apple.ScreenSharing.launchd
  9. Go to Finder -> Connect to Server and click on Browse. You should see minisrv showing in the list on the left. Click on it and then click on “Share Screen”.
  10. Go ahead and follow the directions to finish setting up your new Mac Mini Server.

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Categories
Apple iPhone

At&t Starts Selling iPhone 4 to Walk-ins

AT&T has started selling the iPhone 4 to walk-on customers today and lines have formed again. No idea yet on what kind of volumes the stores are doing but it doesn’t look light in Queens, N.Y.

Update 9:45am: Many AT&T stores have sold their inventory within an hour of opening and are taking in-store fulfillment orders or handing out tickets based on their estimated next shipment. Good luck if you’re trying AT&T.

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