Solve Agile Adoption Problems by Going Slower

first_imgAgile adoption issues can arise in any implementation. If your business is having trouble adapting the agile methodology, consider breaking down the transition process into smaller, gradual steps.Typical obstacles include:Lack of business responsibility and the inability to make meaningful decisionsA limited employee buy-in toward the concept of agileLack of team communication, individual skills and team fitBusiness may not have confidence in the teamTo overcome this, introduce each facet of agile at intervals. This will create more time to adopt the new methodology, in addition to breaking it down into easily manageable steps. Using this multi-stage process will increase likelihood of your endeavor into agile business being successful.Make sure to adjust expectations accordingly, too. Once the initial obstacles are conquered and the success of the new methodology is documented, trust in the new approach will be a byproduct.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Corporate Recruiting Dont Hate Me cos Your Company Sucks

first_imgI got called out the other day by a sales manager from another company for trying to recruit one of their employees.So the corporate recruiting story goes like this: I reached out to a junior sales rep who was working at a local software company. That candidate probably got a little too excited and told a close co-worker. Before he knew it, it became office gossip that little Jimmy was interviewing for another job. He never did make it past the first round phone screen and I’m not sure what happened to him after that.However, his manager did add me on Linkedin. It so happens that I was told to also be on the look-out for a Sales Team Lead so I thought Lady Luck was on my side. Not the case. This manager sent me a heated message about my audacity to reach out to her employees. Let’s take a step back though.How can she even be angry with me? The candidate, little Jimmy, told me just about everyone at that company  wants out. Poor benefits, weak product, awful corporate culture and an inside sales position with a frighteningly limited commission structure that de-motivates many. Is it my fault or yours that people are keeping their options open? Your employees are looking for jobs anyway and are probably going to be out the door in a month or two. So whether it’s me or another recruiter who contacts your team member, the end product is the same for you — a super high turnover.Since I joined OpenView Venture Partners last year, I’ve recruited almost 10 people to Intronis Technologies, an expansion stage technology start-up in which we invested. I pity the fool who tries to poach Intronis employees and lure them to “greener pastures”. Not only is Intronis currently the world’s leader in cloud backup and recovery solutions for the IT channel, but they’re also growing at least 50% year-over-year. Commissions are uncapped for sales employees and you can genuinely see (I pay them regular visits) that teams collaborate effectively and happily day in and day out.So how about it Ms. Upset Sales Manager? Wouldn’t it make more sense to fix the fixable rather than get worked up over the opportunists of the world? I’ll be on a cruise all of next week, but feel free to share your thoughts!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Want to Be a Better Leader in 2012

first_imgleadershipIn a post for Forbes, Mike Myatt lays out a few leadership tips for the New Year, with five key items to focus on if you’re serious about becoming a better leader in 2012.For example:FamilyMyatt says if you’re struggling with the family balance thing my advice is simple: don’t attempt to balance your family – make them your priority.“If your business is growing, but your spouse is crying and your children are neglected, it’s time to do a reality check on your priorities,” he writes.(See Leadership at the Expansion Stage)White Space“The problem with being present is that many leaders confuse this with having to do everything themselves,” he writes.Myatt says smart leaders strategically plan for white space allowing them to focus on highest and best use endeavors.He suggests pulling back and creating white space so that others can do.(See How Great Leaders Inspire Action)For more leadership tips to start the year off right, read Myatt’s full post here.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

3 Steps to Solidify Your Search Ranking

first_imgMaintain your search ranking with this three-step strategy.AJ Kumar, co-founder of Single Grain, warns that even “after months of content creation, customer outreach, and link building efforts,” your search ranking isn’t secure. He offers three steps “to help you retain those great website rankings you’ve worked so hard for.”First, Kumar recommends that you continue with SEO best practices, because “the best defense is a good offense.” Never stop building links and creating quality content. After that, look to capture multiple listings on the first page of search results by focusing on site links and optimizing additional internal or external pages for the same keyword. Also, be sure to stay vigilant about negative SEO attacks. These black hat tactics can include competitors buying spam backlinks to your pages to hurt your search ranking. “Monitor your backlink profile for evidence of low-quality links that you didn’t create,” Kumar says.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

The Transparent Company Culture at Square

first_imgLearn about the transparent company culture at Square and how it impacts their business.Looks like Square got a new office on fifth ave Emily Price of Mashable describes the uniquely transparent company culture at Square. Price writes that “every Friday at Square the company holds ‘Town Square’ meeting where the staff welcomes new members and gives updates on what’s been launched throughout the week.” Everyone is either present or dialed in, including founders Jack Dorsey and COO Keith Rabois. Employees can ask whatever they want, and the top three questions that receive the most votes are addressed by executives at the weekly meeting. What’s more, “every employee owns a piece of Square,” and that ownership in the company “helps build the company culture and promotes collaboration.” The open atmosphere in the company extends to office design, too, as “there are a number of stand up tables scattered throughout the office” where employees are encouraged to gather and talk about projects. Read Price’s full post to learn more about Square’s unique transparent culture.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

4 Ways Top Salespeople Are Transforming Their Lead Generation Campaigns with Social

first_imgAs the social media population continues to grow, opportunities to leverage social networks as prospecting tools are increasing, as well. But just how valuable is social prospecting, and will it ever make cold calling irrelevant? Can Social Prospecting Make Cold Calling Irrelevant? For years, social media was mostly viewed as a consumer forum. Brands like Coca-Cola, Red Bull, and Disney dominated the social space, while B2B businesses stuck to traditional lead generation tactics like e-mail marketing, cold calling, and direct mail. But that was then. Today’s B2B buyers are now Web and social savvy, and they’re much more willing to communicate and engage with vendors on social networks. In fact, according to sales intelligence software provider InsideView, 55 percent of B2B buyers now search for information on social media, and 75 percent of those buyers plan to use social media as part of their purchase process in the future. Not surprisingly, B2B marketers and salespeople have responded in kind by turning social networking into an effective prospecting tool. For many businesses, that social prospecting strategy seems to be paying dividends. According to data from a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, sales intelligence can make sales reps 79 percent more likely to attain their quota, while organizations that leverage social intelligence initiatives are 21 percent more likely to attain revenue growth. But that’s not to say that social media is a clear winner relative to prospecting and lead generation.Can Social Prospecting Really Replace Cold Calling?The consensus seems to be no — at least not yet. Here are two view points from two leading sales influencers:Facebook Like Button“No. I don’t believe social prospecting can replace cold calling,” says Kendra Lee, founder and CEO of KLA Group. “I believe they work together. With social prospecting you can become visible to more people and attract new, different prospects. You can do research to use when reaching out. You can even send messages to set appointments. However, as with the evolution of email, it will take more time for these strategies to take off. Right now there is still the need to pick up the phone at some point and actually attempt to talk with your prospects.”Well, eventually. According to social selling strategist David Steel, there are 3 Stages to Dominating Social Media that can help transform your selling process. While you are operating in the first two stages you are connecting with prospects, but through a synergistic mixture of social media and dials. At the final “Dominating” stage, however, your prospect is actually calling you for advice without you having to initiate the conversation — all thanks to the compelling content you have delivered via social media.What’s your take?[polldaddy poll=6926008]4 Ways to Use Social Media for ProspectingAs OpenView’s Jonathan Crowe discussed in a recent post, the conversion rates of leads generated through social channels are still quite low (0.77 percent according to marketing optimization provider Monetate, an OpenView portfolio company). That being said, social prospecting is still in its infancy. And if you use it for the right things, it can be a very effective supplement to your overall lead generation efforts. We asked four influential sales strategists to provide their top tips for utilizing social prospecting to help you build a better-informed sales organization.1) Building Stronger RelationshipsFor Kendra Lee, founder and CEO of sales consultancy The KLA Group, and author of The Sales Magnet: How to Get More Customers Without Cold Calling, choosing whether or not to be active in social media is no longer an option from a prospecting perspective. kendra lee.headshot “Ultimately, you want to integrate social media in your lead generation efforts because it’s a great way for people to hear and see you, and it’s not enough to rely on just one traditional prospect attraction strategy anymore,” Lee explains. “Social media allows you to have conversations and build relationships. In that way it’s a critical compliment to lead generation.” Lee suggests that LinkedIn in particular tends to be a highly effective medium for initiating — and then developing — prospect relationships. “If your e-mails aren’t getting through a prospect’s spam filters, it might be worth trying to contact him or her through LinkedIn,” Lee explains. “Because prospects view LinkedIn differently than traditional e-mail, they don’t typically screen those messages. So, a LinkedIn InMail may actually break through the delete barrier where your e-mails have not.”2) Conducting Prospect ResearchAt its core, social media is about people connecting and having a conversation. Which is why Brian Carroll, Executive Director of Applied Research at MECLABS, says that B2B companies can’t treat social media like a megaphone and hope to have success prospecting. brian carroll.headshot “If you turn the megaphone around and listen, social media can be an incredibly effective research tool,” Carroll says. “It can give you insight into what your customers are dealing with, what they care about, and what their thoughts are on your competition.” Ultimately, Carroll says, that will allow B2B companies engage their customers throughout the sales process in a much more meaningful, relevant way.3) Bypassing GatekeepersReaching out to a prospect was once as easy as picking up the phone. Today, however, it’s a struggle to get past a prospect’s voicemail or the gatekeeper they hire to keep prospectors at bay. david steel.headshot To get around this problem, sales expert David Steel says sales teams can turn to social media as a way to bypass those filters. Buyers — whether they’re the CEO of the company or someone on that person’s team — often manage their own social media profiles, meaning there are no gatekeepers or voicemail. Even still, prospects won’t read every social message you send to them if it’s not carefully crafted to address a specific need at a specific time. In other words, Steel says, the quality of your social messages matters every bit as much as the quality of your e-mail or cold call scripts. “Great social prospecting requires thought-provoking content every step of the way,” Steel says. “Which is why social salespeople and marketers need to work together so closely. With the right piece of content sent to a prospect looking for direction, your foot is in the door every time.” 4) Building Credibility by Turning Profiles into Value PropositionsWhen most B2B marketers and salespeople think about using social media to prospect, their first inclination, naturally, is to focus on their prospects’ social profiles. John KenneyBut as Sales Benchmark Index Senior Consultant John Kenney points out, it’s also important for sellers to turn a mirror on their own social image. For example, most salespeople’s personal LinkedIn profiles are typically nothing more than digital resumes. But by turning those profiles into value propositions for their brands, they can highlight their expertise on the issues that their prospects care about most and develop instant credibility. “Don’t waste this highly visible resource for your reps to sell themselves to their next employer,” Kenney argues. “Instead, provide potential buyers with insight into how your team can help them solve their business problems.” In a post on the Sales & Marketing Effectiveness Blog, Kenney shares the chart below that offers examples of how your reps can modify the language in their profiles. Resume Comparison2 With a few simple tweaks, Kenney says your reps’ LinkedIn profiles can give prospects confidence in them before they ever actually meet or talk. “In fact,” Kenney argues, “it might be the reason they are willing to meet at all.”What NOT to Do When Social ProspectingBecause social networking is still a bit untamed, there isn’t a textbook full of rules that dictate what sales reps should or shouldn’t do when interacting with prospects via social media. But as AG Salesworks’ Jonathan Catley points out in a post for Social Media Today, the one thing a salesperson or lead generator should never do is try to sell something before they’ve established a relationship with a prospect. “Social selling takes time and is not for the lazy or uninspired,” Catley writes. “There are times when you will find active opportunities within social communities, but a majority of your opportunities are going to come from nurturing the relationships you’ve established.” What other tips should salespeople keep in mind when attempting to incorporate social prospecting?  AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

B2B Market Research Recruitment Difficulty Try Zintrocom

first_imgB2B Market Research Tool Last week, I shared 6 tactics for recruiting interviewees, focus group participants, or survey respondents for B2B market research. This week, I will explain what is, how it works, and what factors will determine if you should be considering utilizing this tool for your B2B market research project.What It IsAs I explained last week, is an online platform for finding, identifying, and connecting with experts and vendors across a multitude of industries, functional areas, expertises, geographies, and research disciplines.Pros and is great for identifying harder to reach and higher profile interviewees for research in a very timely fashion, but it can be quite a bit more expensive than other means for recruiting experts and prospects. has over 60,000 experts and vendors that you can reach directly via its community with a single message. Experts join this panel with the intent of participating in research, finding new business opportunities, and/or consulting others, so the response rate to an inquiry posting or direct invitation is very high relative to other mediums. Consequently, the time you have to invest in recruiting interviewees is much less. provides several different means for connecting with or seeking out experts, which makes identifying potential targets relatively quick. Below are the current search criteria that the site offers:Industry SectorsProfessionsHot AreasResearch DisciplinesInvestment Asset ClassesGeographic RegionsOpen Keyword SearchesThe site does not offer a multi-criteria search at this point, which limits the system’s ability to deal with very targeted searches. The site also allows members to post inquiries to the community, so that experts can seek you out directly. This is a double-edged sword. You should respond to all the respondents to an invite, but unfortunately the site at this point does not do a very good job of restricting respondents to those who qualify, so you end up having to respond to several people who do not qualify for what you are looking for. However, it is still a great way to get proposals quickly, along with a sense of reasonable compensation prices for the target audience you are trying to reach. You can always put together a standardized decline message for those who do not interest you, but you have to send the message to each respondent one-by-one. This is because the platform does not allow members to mass respond to respondents with a decline message at this point.Membership FeesThe site has two membership levels:Basic Membership: Zintro Fees are 30% of the expert’s initial call fee with a minimum Zintro Fee of $99.95.Premium Membership: The monthly rates are currently:1 Month Premium ($149.95)6 Month Premium ($239.70)12 Month Premium ($359.40)Membership provides you with better access to the expert database for better vetting plus a reduced Zintro first time connection fee of 15% and no minimum.The can be a great resource for recruiting target interviewees in a pinch, but it is expensive and you have to keep in mind these people have made themselves available for the chance to make money or sell you business. This inherently can make them more inclined to act like they know more than they really do, so it is important to vet each individual well before setting up an interview with them. I highly recommend combining your outreach effort with a standard LinkedIn outreach effort to your network contacts and active industry experts who you can identify via blogs, conference speaker lists, targeted industry forums, or other communities like LinkedIn. For more on this, see my previous blog post. The key is that you want to make sure the individuals you are speaking with are going to give you well-rounded data. Getting data from various groups that have different perspectives and sources helps ensure this. Next week, I will explain sample purchasing and what factors will determine if you should be considering purchasing sample for your B2B market research project.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis1last_img read more

The Buyer Journey Its Not Just for Marketers Anymore

first_imgMarketers, analysts, thought leaders and academics have waxed poetically for years about the concept of the buyer journey and what it means for business … specifically marketers. An entire industry emerged in technology to help marketers like me transform unknown website visitors into known leads, qualify them and seamlessly pass them off to sales to close the deal. It was beautiful – an elegant solution to address an incredibly challenging environment of building and scaling demand generation.The reality, I’ve now learned, is that the idea of buyer journey is far more than marketing. In fact, it is the very essence of the most successful companies. From world-class consumer brands like Nordstrom and USAA to leading business-to-business brands like Salesforce and DocuSign, great companies are developing teams and deploying technologies to react and respond to the evolving buyer journey from the first visit to the website until long after the prospect becomes a customer.This new reality means it’s no longer enough to simply “nurture” prospects with marketing automation systems like Pardot, Eloqua, Marketo and others with data-informed messages that drive to a demo. Companies must extend that data-informed personalized experience and adopt a “sense-and-respond” urgency throughout the sales cycle. Today, there is not a company on the planet using marketing automation that wouldn’t reach out to a prospect immediately after she requests a demo online. However, too few sales teams have the tools and know-how to employ that same approach to sales.In my latest post on VentureBeat, I shared how this new reality requires a modern approach to go-to market. Rather than viewing teams and technologies as “marketing” or “sales,” it’s time we take a broader look and align tools, technologies and teams around the customer, not simply organizational charts and reporting lines. At its core, this seismic shift requires companies prioritize the buyer journey from lead to customer above all else and adopt an entirely new approach to the analytics, automation and technologies that can make this concept a reality.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

VCs Weigh In An Inside Look at Whats Fueling the Sales Marketing

first_imgThis past November, I had the great honor of participating in SiriusDecisions‘ Tech Exchange. Specifically, I was asked to share collective thoughts from OpenView on the ever-evolving sales and marketing technology landscape. Here, I’ve provided a sampling of the most insightful feedback gathered from across our firm.What are the biggest changes in the B2B sales / marketing tech market you’ve seen over the past few years?blake-bartlett-500-400x500“There is a lot of fragmentation in the market with players slicing off smaller and smaller pieces of the marketing tech stack. While this does create opportunity for best of breed solutions, increasing fragmentation is frustrating for marketers who need to bring the entire stack together. Essentially, sprawl is creating tool fatigue.”– Blake Bartlett, Partner, OpenViewariel-winton-500-400x500“The sales acceleration and enablement space went from non-existent to very crowded. VPs of Sales are gaining buying power, whereas VPs of Marketing used to be the main budget holders for both sales and marketing departments. We’re also seeing sales and marketing attempt to work together more closely, and technology is being built to support this new relationship. On the whole, go-to-market efforts are becoming more data-driven.”– Ariel Winton, Associate, OpenViewarsham-memarzadeh-500-400x500“Two key trends in marketing tech, mostly around email marketing, have emerged. First, we’ve transitioned from triggered content to personalization and automation. We’re now seeing a demand for more personalized and individualized content that doesn’t just follow a rules-based approach in terms of when to push content to whom. Rather, companies are beginning to leverage machine intelligence to automatically optimize for engagement based on behavioral customer data.Second, we’re moving away from standard email marketing to a new medium for customer interaction. Most vendors simply try to make the next best email marketing solution, but the next generation MarTech vendors have realized that consumer email engagement rates have been on a steady decline. The next channel, not surprisingly, is chat and messaging. Companies like and Digital Genius are harnessing this trend by enabling companies to speak to their customers through social apps like Messenger, Twitter, WeChat and the likes, as well as over texting. They have a chance to make marketing sexy again.”– Arsham Memarzadeh, Associate, OpenViewkyle-poyar-500-400x500“For buyers in the space, there’s a push-and-pull between whether to simplify into one main platform or go with multiple platforms and best of breed point solutions. Buyers are finding that, on the one hand, startups are becoming more niche and hyper-specialized, and on the other hand, the platform players are trying to round out their portfolios to be a one-stop-shop.Tech giants are taking advantage of opportunities for consolidation across sales and marketing. In the past year alone, Salesforce has made about $5B in acquisitions including Krux (data management) Demandware (digital commerce), Quip (word processing), BeyondCore (enterprise analytics), MetaMind (AI) and more. Adobe recently purchased Livefyre (community engagement) and TubeMogul (AdTech) and has Neolane (cross-channel campaign management) and Omniture (analytics) in their suite of product offerings.”– Kyle Poyar, Market Strategist, OpenViewWhat are your thoughts on the IPO market and its current / potential future dynamics?blake-bartlett-500-400x500“The IPO market ebbs and flows. We can’t let today’s dynamics inform early stage investment decisions that’ll look to access the public markets five to seven years from now. We don’t worry too much about fluctuations in the short-term.”– Blake Bartlett, Partner, OpenViewarsham-memarzadeh-500-400x500“The IPO market is always open for companies with fundamentally strong growth metrics, sound unit economics and a road to profitability.”– Arsham Memarzadeh, Associate, OpenViewWhat categories within the sales and marketing space do you find particularly interesting?blake-bartlett-500-400x500“Automation and intelligence leveraging categories like AI or machine learning are particularly interesting. Manual rules-based systems are last generation. New companies that will actually have staying power will optimize for you, rather than putting the impetus on the marketer to create yet another set of rules-based workflows.”– Blake Bartlett, Partner, OpenViewariel-winton-500-400x500“I find software that uses AI to increase CRM adoption (e.g., Heighten) interesting because collecting data on sales activity is crucial to giving leadership insight into what’s happening and where there’s room for improvement. Products that predict CLV to inform lead segmentation (e.g. Zodiac Metrics, Custora, Simon Data, Amplero) are also really intriguing because they allow marketers to spend their dollars more efficiently. Lastly, software that employs NLP to coach sales reps on their conversations (e.g., has the potential to be game changing.”– Ariel Winton, Associate, OpenViewkyle-poyar-500-400x500“API-first companies are really interesting because instead of creating yet another tool, they integrate seamlessly with whatever platforms companies are already using. One example is Clearbit, which builds data APIs to help companies understand their customers and prospects. Companies with a product led growth strategy, because they have very capital efficient growth, are also very relevant.”– Kyle Poyar, Market Strategist, OpenViewWhat do you look for in a tech company when you invest?blake-bartlett-500-400x500“I look for differentiated tech and large potential platforms rather than small, narrow applications or best of breed features, which is unfortunately what you see today with all the fragmentation.”– Blake Bartlett, Partner, OpenViewariel-winton-500-400x500“I look for a big vision that can turn into a large and enduring business, a passionate CEO who tells a compelling story, and a large market. Strong product market fit, often exhibited by a clear customer profile and examples of customers who are paying and fit that profile, and early signs of a repeatable go to market strategy are hugely important as well to prove that a company is at the expansion stage.– Ariel Winton, Associate, OpenViewarsham-memarzadeh-500-400x500“I look for thoughtfully crafted products that are solving deep and widely felt pain points. When a problem is so acute and common, achieving product market fit becomes that much easier, and scaling becomes that much cheaper. ”– Arsham Memarzadeh, Associate, OpenViewHow do you find new candidates for investment?blake-bartlett-500-400x500“I ask the best marketers in the world what problems they have and what tools they use to solve those problems – or ask them what a dream solution would look like.”– Blake Bartlett, Partner, OpenViewariel-winton-500-400x500“I spend time with people in the community and learn about what software they’re using and excited about. I keep up with news about software companies (through newsletters, online publications, conferences, etc.), and learn about interesting companies from other VCs. Once I identify an area of interest (typically sparked by a company that I’ve met), I try to learn about all of the companies that fit that theme and / or thesis.”– Ariel Winton, Associate, OpenViewAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Amazon Challenges Apple and Spotify With New Music Streaming Service

first_imgAmazon 4 min read Image credit: Reuters | Peter Hobson The new streaming service, called ‘Amazon Music Unlimited,’ lets users access a vast catalog of songs on demand, similar to Spotify and Apple Music. Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. The Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled virtual assistant. Amazon Challenges Apple and Spotify With New Music Streaming Service –shares This story originally appeared on Reuterscenter_img Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Reuters Add to Queue Next Article Inc. on Wednesday launched a full-fledged music streaming service with subscriptions as low as $3.99 per month for owners of its Amazon Echo speaker, accelerating the industry trend toward more flexible pricing after years of sticking to $9.99 subscriptions.The new streaming service, called “Amazon Music Unlimited,” lets users access a vast catalog of songs on demand, similar to Spotify and Apple Music. Subscriptions to play music on the Echo cost $3.99 per month; for access beyond that device, subscriptions cost $7.99 a month for members of Amazon’s Prime shipping and video service and $9.99 for non-members. Amazon will continue to offer Prime members a limited streaming service for free.As it plunges deeper into the crowded streaming field, Amazon is counting on the Echo, a smart speaker that responds to voice commands, to set it apart. Released broadly last year, the Echo has become a surprise hit, prompting many to predict that voice will become a key way users interact with technology — and music is central to the device’s appeal.Amazon has built an elaborate system of voice controls for listening on the Echo. The company believes such smart home devices will be a key source of growth for the music industry, said Steve Boom, vice president of Amazon Music.”The first phase of growth (in music streaming) was driven almost entirely by smartphones,” he said in an interview. “We believe pretty strongly that the next phase of growth in streaming is going to come from the home.”Reuters reported details of Amazon’s streaming plans in June.The low price for Amazon’s streaming service is consistent with the company’s reputation for undercutting the competition and signals the music industry is beginning to accommodate consumers who are unwilling to pay $9.99 per month. Having watched revenues plummet from the CD era, label executives have been reluctant to budge on price, but they have come under pressure as streaming accounts for more of the pie.Boom said he is optimistic that the new prices will expand the market.”We’re moving music away from a one-size-fits-all approach,” Boom said. “We are the ones who have been pushing this the hardest.”Streaming services must pay a majority of their revenues to rights holders, a business model that has left Pandora and Spotify struggling to turn a profit. But Amazon can afford to take a loss on music streaming, and the boost to Prime is well worth it, analysts say.The premium music service, following the release of a standalone video service, suggests Amazon will increasingly offer basic media options through Prime while selling additional subscriptions for consumers who want to go deeper, said analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research.”It’s just making Prime that much stickier,” he said.Amazon is also hopeful that artificial intelligence will keep users tuned in. Recommendations based on listening habits have become a staple of streaming services, and Amazon has also woven artificial intelligence into the system so users can request songs that fit a particular mood or search with lyrics.Data from the Echo has taught Amazon much about the language of music, said Kintan Brahmbhatt, director, Amazon Music.”You can ask for Michael Jackson by saying, ‘Play music by the King of Pop,'” he said. “It’s smart enough to know that’s what you meant.”Despite the low price for Echo-only subscriptions, Amazon and the labels are likely betting that consumers will be motivated to upgrade so they can listen on more devices, said Ted Cohen, managing partner of TAG Strategic.”At a certain point you’ll get frustrated and go, ‘Oh, what the heck,'” he said.(Reporting by Julia Love) October 12, 2016 Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Why Tesla Is Opening Showrooms Where Cars Cant Be Purchased

first_imgTesla Next Article The second row seats of the Tesla Motors Inc. Model X sport utility vehicle (SUV). Image credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images December 7, 2016 Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Register Now » The latest showroom is in Michigan, a state famously opposed to direct-to-consumer vehicle sales. Why Tesla Is Opening Showrooms Where Cars Can’t Be Purchased Entrepreneur Staff Elon Musk’s electric car maker Tesla is known for being on the vanguard of automobile technology. But sometimes even the most disruptive companies find themselves up against intractable boundaries — in this case, U.S. auto industry regulations.In several states, such as Connecticut, Michigan, Texas and Utah, Tesla hasn’t been able to shake a ban on direct-to-consumer sales of its vehicles. To get around it, the company has opened gallery showrooms in some states, where customers can view but not purchase Tesla vehicles. Last week, Tesla opened a new showroom inside a Nordstrom store at Somerset Collection, a shopping complex in Troy, Mich., The Detroit News reports.Related: Elon Musk Personally Cancels ‘Super Rude’ Customer’s Tesla Model X Order Located in the Motor City suburbs, the 700-square-foot Tesla gallery is the first of its kind in Michigan and will be open for six months. Gallery attendants are not allowed to discuss pricing information or schedule test drives. Customers have to either order online and schedule a home delivery or travel to a store in Cleveland, Ohio, more than 200 miles away.In 2014, Michigan passed an amendment which states that manufacturers may sell cars only through a “network of franchised dealers.” Still, there are reportedly already about 400 Tesla’s registered to owners in Michigan. Tesla is hoping to get more of its vehicles on the road by taking advantage of a legal loophole. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business 2 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Add to Queue Nina Zipkinlast_img read more

Tesla Voluntarily Recalls 53000 Cars

first_img 2 min read Automakers A small gear in the electric parking brakes can fail, meaning cars get stuck in park. Next Article Matthew Humphries Image credit: via PC Mag 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List 54shares Senior Editorcenter_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. This story originally appeared on PCMag April 21, 2017 Add to Queue Tesla Voluntarily Recalls 53,000 Cars If you’re going to have a recall, the best type to have is a voluntary one as it means the issue with your product isn’t super serious, just serious enough to need a quick fix. And so, Tesla is issuing a voluntary recall for 53,000 cars spread between the Model S and Model X crossover.The reason for the recall is a fault with the electric parking brakes, which Tesla sourced from a third-party supplier for use in the cars. These brakes ensure the car does not move once placed in park, however, the affected models contain a small gear in the brakes that is prone to fracturing.The broken gear can’t cause any harm to the driver or passengers (hence the voluntary recall), but if it happens then the car will not be drivable. It’s stuck in park, which I’m sure you can imagine would be very frustrating for the owner.According to CNET’s Road Show, the fix takes about 45 minutes once Tesla starts working on a car, as all it requires is both electric parking brakes be replaced with new units. Tesla believes only 2 percent of the cars being recalled contain the faulty gear as it occurred due to a manufacturing fault.The Model S and X crossovers containing the faulty brakes were built between February and October 2016, with 31,000 of the 53,000 total being sold in the US. If your Tesla is on the list, expect an email in the next few days and then mail asking you to bring the car in for the fix. Apply Now »last_img read more

What Is 5G Everything You Need to Know

first_img5g What Is 5G? Everything You Need to Know. AT&T, Verizon Wireless and other carriers will start to launch 5G networks this year. But what exactly is 5G? Here’s what we know so far. May 1, 2017 Image credit: via PC Mag Lead Mobile Analyst Add to Queue Sascha Segan Next Article center_img This story originally appeared on PCMag 7 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now » 5G is coming this year. Or maybe not. In the race to 5G, or fifth generation wireless, companies are starting to promise the impossible, which will result in a lot of confusion over the next few years.Because there isn’t any official definition of 5G yet, all the players in the wireless world, from chipset makers to carriers, are jockeying to define 5G and establish themselves as 5G leaders. So head with me down the rabbit hole that is 5G as I try to explain what the heck is going on.1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5GThe G in 5G means it’s a generation of wireless technology. While most generations have technically been defined by their data transmission speeds, each has also been marked by a break in encoding methods, or “air interfaces,” which make it incompatible with the previous generation.1G was analog cellular. 2G technologies, such as CDMA, GSM and TDMA, were the first generation of digital cellular technologies. 3G technologies, such as EVDO, HSPA and UMTS, brought speeds from 200kbps to a few megabits per second. 4G technologies, such as WiMAX and LTE, were the next incompatible leap forward, and they are now scaling up to hundreds of megabits and even gigabit-level speeds.AT&T’s ‘5G Evolution’ Is Not 5GAT&T recently announced its “5G Evolution” network, which isn’t 5G. It’s AT&T’s brand for gigabit LTE, the latest incremental advance in 4G LTE, which all major U.S. carriers plan to roll out this year.Gigabit LTE is backwards-compatible with existing phones and runs on existing spectrum. It uses more advanced versions of LTE’s existing encoding, along with more antennas and more efficiently consolidated spectrum, to deliver better speeds.But AT&T’s 5G lie also highlights that LTE isn’t going away any time soon. 5G, by and large, will operate on very high frequencies, requiring towers or antennas that are relatively close together. It will rely on 4G for broader overall coverage, especially in rural areas.4G will continue to improve with time, as well. Qualcomm has already announced a 4G modem, the X20, capable of 1.2 gigabit speeds. The real advantages of 5G will come in massive capacity and low latency, beyond the levels 4G technologies can achieve.AT&T and Verizon Launching Pre-5GAT&T and Verizon have both pledged to launch 5G home internet systems this year. At Mobile World Congress in February, Samsung and Verizon showed off the antennas and routers Verizon’s 5G service will use.The technologies used in 5G for the home will be closely related to millimeter wave fixed wireless ISPs such as Starry in Boston and Monkeybrains in San Francisco, but with bigger players such as Verizon and AT&T in the mix, they’ll be much more widely available. AT&T, for instance, has talked to me about potentially using 5G to replace its old DSL offerings, letting the company deliver a “quad play” of DirecTV TV service, 5G home internet, wireless phone and home phone.This isn’t quite 5G, because the 5G standard won’t be set until 2018. But Verizon intends to converge its 5G service with the actual standard, and it’s trying to use as many elements of upcoming 5G systems as possible.5G home internet shows one major advantage over 4G: huge capacity. Carriers can’t offer competitively priced 4G home internet because there just isn’t enough capacity on 4G cell sites for the 190GB of monthly usage most homes now expect. This could really increase home internet competition in the U.S., where, according to a 2016 FCC report, 51 percent of Americans only have one option for 25Mbps or higher home internet service.5G home internet is also much easier for carriers to roll out than house-by-house fiber optic lines. Rather than digging up every street, carriers just have to install fiber optics to a cell site every few blocks and then give customers wireless modems.Okay, So What’s ‘Real’ 5G?5G is a new network system that has much higher speeds and capacity, and much lower latency, than existing cellular systems. The technologies to be used in 5G are still being defined, but there are many details on which everyone agrees.5G networks will use a type of encoding called OFDM, which is similar to the encoding that LTE uses. The air interface will be designed for much lower latency and greater flexibility than LTE, though.The new networks will predominantly use very high frequencies that can transmit huge amounts of data, but only a few blocks at a time. The standard will work all the way from low frequencies to high, but it gets the most benefit over 4G at higher frequencies. 5G may also transmit data over the unlicensed frequencies currently used for Wi-Fi, without conflicting with existing Wi-Fi networks. That’s similar to a technology T-Mobile is launching this year called LTE-U.5G networks are much more likely to be networks of small cells, even down to the size of home routers, than to be huge towers radiating great distances. Some of that is because of the nature of the frequencies used, but a lot of that is to expand network capacity.So 5G networks need to be much smarter than previous systems, as they’re juggling many more, smaller cells that can change size and shape. But even with existing macro cells, Qualcomm says 5G will be able to boost capacity by four times over current systems by leveraging wider bandwidths and advanced antenna technologies.The goal is to have far higher speeds available, and far higher capacity per sector, at far lower latency than 4G. The standards bodies involved are aiming at 20Gbps speeds and 1ms latency, at which point very interesting things begin to happen.Is 5G for Phones, Cars or Homes?Driverless cars may need 5G to really kick into action. The first generation of driverless cars will be self-contained, but future generations will interact with other cars and smart roads to improve safety and manage traffic. Basically, everything on the road will be talkingTo do this, you need extremely low latencies. While the cars are all exchanging very small packets of information, they need to do so almost instantly. That’s where 5G’s sub-1 millisecond latency comes into play, when a packet of data shoots directly between two cars, or bounces from a car to a small cell on a lamppost to another car. (One light-millisecond is about 186 miles, so most of that 1ms latency is still processing time.)Another aspect of 5G is that it will connect many more devices. Right now, 4G modules are expensive, power-consuming and demand complicated service plans, so much of the Internet of Things has stuck with either Wi-Fi and other home technologies for consumers, or 2G for businesses. 5G networks will accept small, inexpensive, low-power devices, so they’ll connect a lot of smaller objects and different kinds of ambient sensors to the internet.So what about phones? The biggest change 5G may bring is in virtual and augmented reality. As phones transform into devices meant to be used with VR headsets, the very low latency and consistent speeds of 5G will give you an internet-augmented world, if and when you want it. The small cell aspects of 5G may also help with in-building coverage, as 5G encourages every home router to become a cell site.When Is 5G Happening?AT&T and Verizon’s pre-5G is coming this year, but the first official 5G launches will come in 2018, with broad deployment in 2019. The schedule was previously set for 2019-2020, but carriers and equipment manufacturers figured out an accelerated schedule earlier this year.This is in line with Qualcomm’s 5G modem family announcements. The big chipmaker said that its Snapdragon mobile platform will support 5G in 2019. Snapdragon chips are the most popular platform for U.S. smartphones, so you’re likely to see 5G, VR-capable smartphones in 2019. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shareslast_img read more

Mac or PC

first_img Magazine Contributor December 18, 2008 Mac on the job:Addiction, maybe, but Macs have been essential to the 30-person company–only four employees aren’t Mac users; Luttmann’s CFO is reluctant to switch. Because the company is based in New York City and Sao Paulo, Brazil, with reps spanning the globe, staff stay in touch via iChat. On the creative side, Leblon’s designing, advertising and marketing are done internally using Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. The team also uses iMovie, Final Cut and ProTools. “I’m a true believer that [the Mac] is what allows us our creative delivery,” says Luttmann, pointing to extensive visuals, layouts and video on as an example. “That speaks to the power of Macs.” –shares Lindsay Holloway Next Article Steve LuttmannLeblon CachaçaI’ve had my Mac since:2003, when a friend first introduced him; “I bought one immediately,” says Luttmann, 43, founder and CEO of Brazilian spirit company Leblon Cachaça. Mac or PC? Why I love my Mac:”On the functional side, I can do very cool things quickly and efficiently,” says Luttmann, who saw 2008 sales of $5 million. “On the emotional side, I feel cooler, cutting-edge. [Apple Inc.] makes you feel special, like part of this creative, extroverted, ‘zigs while everyone zags’ crowd.”Justin HamelMastaMinds Inc.I’ve had my PC since:1986; “I’m an ’80s baby and was born on a PC,” says Hamel, 28, founder and CEO of specialty e-tailer MastaMinds Inc. ( “I started playing around with a Commodore 64 and have been hooked ever since.”Tool of choice:Though Hamel, who founded the company in 2001, has been through 11 PCs in the past two years, he’s currently using a Hewlett-Packard laptop and a customized, high-powered desktop with five 27-inch monitors.PC on the job:Hamel’s extensive desktop setup lets him easily manage his 50-plus specialty web stores that sell rare and high-end products, such as after-market performance car parts and home theater seats. He and his 32 employees–who all use PCs–work on various projects using WordPress, build stores with open source software via OSCommerce and upload content to their platforms online with FlashFXP. Hamel, who saw 2008 sales of $12 million for the Howell, Michigan-based business, says he’s on his PC “up to 16 hours a day using up to 16 different software programs: I use it for checking on virtual employees, e-mailing, research, social networking and uploading marketing materials and products to the database.”Why I love my PC:Even though Hamel admits Macs are “sweet,” he’d never make the switch. “A PC is very flexible and easy to customize for my business and personal needs,” he says. “Windows XP and Firefox do everything and more for my business. The only Mac [for me] is in my diet: a Big Mac.”Are you a PC user who wants to make the switch? Check out Jason Rich’s new book, Mac Migration: The Small Business Guide to Switching to the Mac, now available at and all major booksellers. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Add to Queue This story appears in the January 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 3 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Tool of choice:At the moment, Luttmann, who founded his company in 2005, uses the Power Mac G4 and MacBook Air. Oh, and then there’s his MacBook Pro, iMac at home and new iPhone. He admits, “I have an addiction to practically anything Steve Jobs puts out.” Luttmann syncs all his calendars, e-mail, files and more using .mac and .me. Technology Register Now »last_img read more

Why Events are Going Virtual

first_img June 11, 2009 App of the Month As companies continue to costs, trade shows are becoming an expendable expense. Magazine Contributor –shares As companies continue to cut costs, tradeshows are becoming expendable. The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry found that nearly 70 percent of show organizers surveyed expected a more than 10 percent decrease in sales. Even Las Vegas’ popular Consumer Electronics Show had vacant floor space this year. Next Article Lindsay Holloway Ever attend a tradeshow and wish you could stream footage to your team back in the office, or sit in on a presentation that you thought your partner should see? For these reasons and more, the creators of Qik sought to be the go-to application on mobile phones for people who want to capture those moments and stream them live online with near-zero latency. Just download the application and start recording. Viewers can chat live, and the video is automatically archived on The application can also be embedded in profiles on social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. -L.H. 2 min read Virtual platforms, however, are fast becoming the way to host, exhibit at and attend a tradeshow. Sony held its first virtual tradeshow in January with much success–and savings. “It’s a cost-effective way to build brand awareness or establish yourself as a small business without having to put your schedule on hold, hop a cross-country flight or create and ship materials,” says Scott Steinberg, publisher of and a veteran of the digital media space.So if you’re considering giving tradeshows the axe, here are five reasons you may be better off going virtual. You’ll save money. Not only will you save significantly on flights, hotels and setup, but registration tends to be cheaper, too.It’s better for the environment. Virtual tradeshow host Unisfair has saved its clients more than 161,833 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions.You won’t lose as much employee productivity. Employees can be in the office and at a virtual tradeshow.Virtual tradeshows have everything a standard show does–and more: panel discussions, speeches, demos, real-time networking, and so on. Most hosts provide attendee metrics, too.There’s no tedious setup or breakdown. “Assemble” a virtual booth in less than an hour and save it for the next show. Growth Strategies App: Qik Price: Free Why Events are Going Virtual Add to Queue This story appears in the July 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Compatible with: 108 mobile deviceslast_img read more

A New Way to Pay Online Visa Launches Visa Checkout

first_img 2 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals –shares A New Way to Pay Online: Visa Launches ‘Visa Checkout’ Guest Writer Technology Writer Add to Queue Emily Price San Francisco — Shopping online with your Visa card is about to get a lot easier through a new product called “Visa Checkout.” Announced at an event here at Visa’s new office, Checkout saves your card and shipping information and allows you to make online purchases in just a few clicks using a username and password.Visa CEO Charles Scharf described the service as “your Visa card for the digital world.” The hope with Visa Checkout is to make shopping with your card online as easy as using it at physical stores, removing the hassle of typing in a ton of information each time you shop.Sam Shrauger, Visa’s senior vice president of digital solutions, described the service as a simplification of payments, not another more complicated way to pay. “This is not a wallet, it’s a digital form of the cards you love,” he said.Visa is launching the service today with several partners including Petco, Overstock, Lululemon, Teleflora and Staples. For merchants, the cost of implementing the service is zero. Merchants pay transaction fees on each purchase — identical to what they pay through their current checkout method.Related: Why Your Credit Card Company Wants to Replace Magnetic Strips With MicrochipsVisa Checkout will show up on a merchant’s site as a payment option, just like cash or credit. You can enter your credit card information manually just as you always have, but selecting the “Visa Checkout” option will launch a new window where you’ll be prompted to enter a username and password.If the idea sounds familiar, it’s because several other payment services are already doing it. Visa Checkout is similar to offerings by both Mastercard and PayPal. With Mastercard’s MasterPass and PayPal you’re able to complete transactions online using saved payment information.The difference between those companies and Visa is primarily reach. Visa currently has 2.2 billion cardholders. It issues cards for 14,000 financial institutions and is offered as a way to pay at over 36 million merchants.Anxious to give it a try? Visa Checkout is live now at a number of retailers. Check out the full list here.Related: The Crazy Things Your Future Credit Cards Will Do (Infographic) Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. July 16, 2014 Next Article Ecommerce Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more

Blockchain Raises 30 Million in BiggestEver Funding Round for a Bitcoin Company

first_img Next Article Blockchain just went from bootstrapped to big-time. The popular Britain-based global Bitcoin wallet and block explorer service announced today that it has locked in $30.5 million in Series A funding.The record round, which marks the company’s first-ever outside investment, was led by heavy-hitter Silicon Valley venture capital vehicles Wicklow Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other participants in the round, which The Wall Street Journal hailed as “the biggest single funding round yet for a digital-currency firm,” include Mosaic Ventures, Prudence Holdings, Amit Jhawar of Braintree and billionaire Richard Branson.Related: CEO: This Is Why You Shouldn’t Fear BitcoinLaunched in 2011, Blockchain — now 2.3 million consumer wallets and $26 billion in transaction volume strong — said it plans to use the massive growth capital infusion to beef up its product and engineering teams, to add “innovative new features” to its products and to expand to new international markets. Proud to announce our record Series A:— Blockchain (@blockchain) October 7, 2014“Blockchain is honored and excited to announce this historic round,” Blockchain CEO Nic Cary told “It represents the single largest capital commitment in a bitcoin company to date. As a bootstrapped company, we were able to accomplish a lot with a little. Now we’re more ambitious than ever.”Related: Accepting Bitcoin Payments Increasingly Looks Like Smart BusinessAs part of the groundbreaking capital injection, Lightspeed partner Jeremy Liew will join Blockchain’s board of directors. “Bitcoin is a long game and the wallet is the crucial strategic high ground in the Bitcoin ecosystem,” Liew said in Blockchain’s announcement. “We wanted to back the biggest player in the most important segment of the Bitcoin value chain, and that is Blockchain.”Meanwhile, the price of a single Bitcoin, as of 12 p.m. ET today was trading slightly lower at $327, according to CoinDesk. It plummeted last weekend to $286, its most dismal value this year. Last year, it rose to a high of about $1,150.Related: Bitcoin in 10 Years: 4 Predictions From SecondMarket’s Barry Silbert Blockchain Raises $30 Million in Biggest-Ever Funding Round for a Bitcoin Company –shares Kim Lachance Shandrow Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now » Add to Queue October 7, 2014 Bitcoin Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Former West Coast Editor 2 min readlast_img read more

Obama Classifies Sony Hack as Cyber Vandalism Not Act of War

first_img Reuters Obama Classifies Sony Hack as Cyber Vandalism, Not ‘Act of War’ Next Article Add to Queue Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Cybersecurity This story originally appeared on Reuters 5 min readcenter_img (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama moved to prevent U.S. anger at North Korea from spiraling out of control on Sunday by saying the massive hacking of Sony Pictures was not an act of war but instead was cyber vandalism.Washington’s longstanding dispute with North Korea, which for years has centered on its nuclear weapons program, has entered new territory with the accusation that Pyongyang carried out an assault on a major Hollywood entertainment company.Obama and his advisers are weighing how to punish North Koreaafter the FBI concluded on Friday that Pyongyang was responsible. North Korea has denied it was to blame.The U.S. president put the hack in the context of a crime. “No, I don’t think it was an act of war,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union” show that aired on Sunday. “I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive. We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionately.”Obama said one option was to return North Korea to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, from which Pyongyang was removed six years ago.North Korea vowed on Sunday to hit back against any U.S. retaliation.”Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism, by far surpassing the ‘symmetric counteraction’ declared by Obama,” according to North Korea state news agency KCNA.The hack attack and subsequent threats of violence against theaters showing the film prompted Sony to withdraw a comedy, “The Interview,” prepared for release to movie theaters during the holiday season. The movie depicts the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.Obama and free speech advocates criticized the studio’s decision, but Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton defended it, saying U.S. theaters did not want to show it.Sony lawyer David Boies said the Hollywood studio planned to release the movie at some point.”Sony only delayed this,” Boies said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “It will be distributed. How it’s going to be distributed, I don’t think anybody knows quite yet.”In the CNN interview, which was taped on Friday, Obama acknowledged that in a digitized world “both state and non-state actors are going to have the capacity to disrupt our lives in all sorts of ways.””We have to do a much better job of guarding against that. We have to treat it like we would treat, you know, the incidence of crime, you know, in our countries.” Republican Senator John McCain disagreed with Obama, telling CNN the attack was the manifestation of a new kind of warfare.Republican Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, would not call the hacking an act of war. But he did criticize Obama for embarking on a two-week vacation in Hawaii on Friday without responding to the attack.Rogers said on “Fox News Sunday” the United States had the capability to make it very hard for North Korea to launch another similar attack, but that Obama waited too long to act.”You’ve just limited your ability to do something,” Rogers said. “I would argue you’re going to have to ramp up sanctions. It needs to be very serious. Remember – a nation-state was threatening violence.”North Korea has been subject to U.S. sanctions for more than 50 years, but they have had little effect on its human rights policies or its development of nuclear weapons. Experts say the nation has become expert in hiding its often criminal money-raising activities, largely avoiding traditional banks.NORTH KOREA DENIES ATTACKIt was the first time the United States had directly accused another country of a cyberattack of such magnitude on American soil and set up the possibility of a new confrontation between Washington and Pyongyang.North Korea said on Saturday it was not involved in the Sony attack and could prove it. Pyongyang said it wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States.Obama says North Korea appeared to have acted alone. Washington began consultations with Japan, China, South Korea, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, seeking their assistance in reining in North Korea. U.S. experts say Obama’s options in punishing North Korea could include cyber-retaliation, financial sanctions, criminal indictments against individuals implicated in the attack or even a boost in U.S. military support to South Korea, which is still technically at war with the North.But the effect of any response would be limited, given North Korea’s isolation and the heavy sanctions already in place for its nuclear program.(Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Frances Kerry, Lisa Von Ahn and Diane Craft) December 22, 2014 –shares Image credit: Reuters | Kevork Djansezian Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Enroll Now for $5last_img read more