Drive Engagement and Interaction Voluntarily via Team Collaboration Chat Apps| By |Rafi Chowdhury

Emails are almost extinct. The need to stay glued to your office desk is no more a necessity to stay connected with teams. Chat applications are here and are changing the way teams collaborate and communicate with each other with increased mobility.

Chats have gone a long way from being reserved only for socializing purposes to hosting important team discussions and meetings where ideas are born and rolled out. Team chat apps built for iOS and Android devices are the new collaborative tools that business people thrive on.

Chat apps solutions are seeing technical teams in technology companies, be it startups or an enterprise-grade companies as early adopters as they have started realizing the benefits of flexible and frictionless communication that these chat solutions power.

Advantages that Pose Real-time Chat Apps as Convenient Alternatives for Team Communication Over Conventional emailing Systems

Ad-hoc Conversations

Apart from bringing employees together chat apps pave way for grouping teams for ad-hoc conversations where technical people can discuss over tasks, brainstorm and come up with ideas.

Epicenter of Tasks

Through an array of integrations that chat applications offer, teams, especially those involved in product development, can centralize their accounts on other collaborative platforms like GitHub, Jira into the chat application itself creating an ecosystem that caters to all collaboration purposes.

Record Keeping and Easy Search

Key developments that happen over a verbal discussion need to be noted down else chances are more likely for losing a crucial breakthrough achieved over a brainstorming session. Team collaboration chat apps record every improvement and contents that dates back to any time can be fully searched.

Switch Over Devices Based on Convenience

Multi-device compatibility ensures that your employees are connected with teams no matter what devices they are using. If on-the-go connectivity is your preference, get things done on smartphone. If convenience matters the most, switch over to your desktop and continue from where you left.

Multiple Communication Medium

Text messages, voice calls, video calls, VOIP calls, direct messages, group chats on iOS and Android extend the modes and medium through which you can get to communicate with your peers, teams and entire organization for that matter.

Everything Else that Count

Adding to these, features like file sharing (multiple file types), video conferencing, opinion generation through polls, task delegation, followups, update, personalized notification settings, reminders, to-do list creation and much more can be done through real-time team chat applications.

However, the limitations of team collaboration chat apps end here only if you think so. With every other team, apart from development teams, like those that operational level, management level, marketing level etc can also get to reap the benefits of chat apps. Read on to know the

Instances Which Chat Apps Prove Useful for All Teams in an Organization

Why restrict the benefit of real-time instant messaging chat app to only technology teams into development and designing. Every other team in your office or organization can get a fair share of its advantages.

Here are some of the instances where chat apps can be useful for other teams.

Human Resource team can build employee engagement programs. HRs can get quick feedback from employees, build a quality relationship with them, conduct opinion poll for decision making. The hardly-used suggestion box in office premises can be replaced by a chat app for a more effective and instant feedback.

An organization’s system administration team can stay connected with employees on the go and be there on time to resolve issues. Moreover, notifications on breakdowns and other technical issues can help in saving the downtime. Alerts and reminders on chat apps can contribute towards proactive care.

For marketing professionals and sales executives, chat apps on multiple platforms like iOS, Android can reduce series of mail threads into chat logs that are easily searchable. Live video calls and voice calls can help them build better client relationship and both pre and post sales support can get more livelier and personalized with chat apps.

At operational level, chat apps can connect an organization’s representative with many third party vendors to keep up on timely delivery, maintenance, bill payments and more.

Team collaboration apps are the new age communication tools that can contribute for effective communication between employees of an organization in multiple angles. From initiating an idea to getting works done, chat apps have started helping organization at many instances which are tough to handle when done conventionally.

If you are into an organization but still have not got a chat app on board, it is high time that your build a chat app on iOS and Android.

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6 Signs We’re Living in an Exponential Age| By |Paul Keijzer

The year 2017 is deep in the midst of the Exponential Age. Some thought leaders have dubbed the era as the 4th Industrial Revolution and there are no signs that the rapid growth we’re currently experiencing is going to slow down. There’s no artificial bubble that’s ballooning here. There’s no speculative growth. It’s real and it’s happening now. We’re at the core of a revolution that’s going to alter our lifestyle, the way we commute and communicate, and how we get work done. We’re living in an Exponential Age! An age where technology is being leveraged for rapid growth in every industry and sector.

Just to get an idea of where the impact of the exponential growth has been experienced and seen, here’s a peek into some of the growth that’s happening around us.

1. Wearable Tech

We’ve seen plenty of Virtual Reality and Fitness gear that has helped enhance our entertainment and lifestyle, but wearable tech isn’t stopping just there. Recently, Levi’s launched its $350 smart jacket created in partnership with Google. The “x Jacquard” let’s you control your music and calls by swiping over its sleeves, among other features. Then you have SnapChat glasses which allows you to share your experiences on the go. There’s much research going on in the world of Wearable Technology and consumers are anxiously waiting to see how their lifestyles and experiences can be further enhanced.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Home are swiftly being welcomed into homes across Europe and North America. With such intelligence at home our ability to offload mundane tasks and stay organized has enhanced much more than what Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) of the mid 90’s and early 2000’s could ever dream was possible. In the corporate world, IBM Watson has developed a tool that provides legal advice within seconds and with 90% accuracy, compared to the 70% accuracy performed by humans. In healthcare, Watson has been helping diagnose cancer 4 times more accurately than humans. We can expect to see many other industries and consumer goods being impacted by the development of AI that’ll help us become more efficient and productive.

3. Healthcare

In the medical industry there’s presently a race to develop the “Tricorder” (made famous in Star Trek) that can take retina scans, blood samples and breath analysis to study over 54 biomarkers and identify a whole range of diseases. This device alone will revolutionize the medical industry by providing health care that’s cheaper and world class to millions across the globe.

4. Automotive

We’ve all been hearing about self-driving vehicles and how Google, Apple, and Tesla have been heavily investing in its research and development. Last week, Intel made a $15bn leap in the same direction with its purchase of Mobileye. It’s clear that while traditional players and leaders in the automotive industry are still developing traditional vehicles (though some are pushing more research into electric cars), the way forward in the exponential age are self-driving vehicles. Next year the first of such vehicles will appear in public and it’s predicted that by 2020 this disruption will rock the automotive industry. The impact of this disruption translates to:

  1. the children of the present generation will never have to learn to drive,
  2. road safety will drastically increase, and
  3. the insurance industry will dramatically be hit with decreasing premiums and the need to reinvent their business model.

5. 3D Printing

In just 10 years the price of the cheapest 3D printer has gone from $18,000 to $400, while its speed enhanced 100 times! The technology is now easily assessable to just about anyone. What’s so significant about this technology? Well shoe manufacturers have been using it to manufacture their products. In the airline industry, 3D printed spare parts have made remote maintenance and repair work efficient. A Chinese construction company has 3D printed a 2-storey house while a startup in San Francisco claims to make your 3D printed house in just 24 hours. These are just some of the revolutionary impacts of 3D printers and it’s fast gaining more use.

6. Agriculture

Globally, we have huge dependencies on our agriculture industry and it’s no surprise that this too is being impacted by the technological advances of the exponential age. There’s much research being currently done to develop robots that can significantly minimize the extensive physical work carried out by farmers, enhance produce yield and minimize wastage. The best part is, efforts are being made to develop this technology at prices under $100 to cater to developing nations.

There are some powerful disruptions that are occurring in the world today and at its core is technology as the main driving force. The exponential age is significantly altering human behavior and lifestyles. Thought leaders predict that 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. That means university graduates in the next 5-10 years will be unemployable unless they have the ability to create their own jobs! Advances in medicine and healthcare has impacted the average lifespan of humans which is increasing by 3 months every year.

All of these 6 signs and the many others out there add up to one key conclusion – living in an exponential age will expose us to rapidly evolving products and services. Whether we read the signs and jump on the bandwagon of technology or not is a choice that companies and leaders must make today otherwise there’s an imminent threat of being irrelevant fast. Traditional companies need to embrace the rapid growth by looking forward to what they should be doing and not behind at what they had been doing. And that’s because disruptive companies – those who’ve built themselves on the platform of technology – are moving forward with massive momentum and purpose to alter the entire human experience. The key for every leader of every company out there is to realize what contributions they’ll be making to the world and how they plan on executing their massive purposes.

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How to Prepare Your Company Culture for Its First Security Hire| By |Chris Gervais

We often think of security as a technology problem. But at its core, security is and always has been a people problem. You can have the fanciest security tools up and running, but if your organization is full of happy clickers, you still have a problem on your hands.

For this reason, the more that security is a part of your company culture, the better off you will be when it comes to standing up to today’s threats. Many companies don’t dedicate someone who specializes solely in security until they have reached a certain level of scale. When the time comes, companies may either hire someone from outside the organization, or — as is often the case these days — move someone in an operations role into a full-time security role.

Whatever your approach, you can’t just ignore security until the day security becomes someone’s full-time job. In fact, if you wait to address this key issue until the first full-timer is in place, you will make that person’s job a whole lot harder. In an era when security talent is tough to come by and tougher to retain, you can’t afford to hand over the Sisyphean task of “creating a security culture” on day one.

Instead, it’s much smarter to lay the groundwork for making security a broad and deep part of your company’s culture early on. If you’re already planning to hire or internally promote a security pro, now’s a good time to start laying this foundation. But even if you are months or years away from this transition, it’s never too early to get started building your security culture — and you’ll make measurable and observable improvements to your security posture as you do.

Start the Conversation

To get started, upper management needs to open up the conversation around security. It’s key to have executive buy-in and to demonstrate how much of a priority security is if you want to build a security-friendly culture. It’s a good idea to hold an all-hands meeting in which the CEO, COO, or someone in the C-suite explains to the organization that you will be taking a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to security going forward and why it’s critical for the business.

This sends a message to the whole company that security is a necessary part of running the business. It’s also an opportunity to emphasize that security isn’t just a way to prevent bad things from happening, but can also be an important business booster — helping to close deals faster, increase market share, drive revenue, and strengthen brand.

This doesn’t need to be delivered via a long PowerPoint deck that your employees will sleep through. In fact, it’s to your benefit to make the conversation as interactive and engaging as possible. You might focus on some recent security breaches that have affected others in your industry, show examples of phishing emails that have been flagged at your company, or introduce some new tools that will help everyone stay more secure (more on that in a moment.) The exact content you cover will depend on your current level of security maturity, and the purpose of the talk should be to get everyone on the same page about what is expected and how the company will treat security moving forward.

Consider Hiring a Consulting Security Expert

You may want to consider bringing in a consulting security expert who can evaluate where you stand today from a security perspective and offer recommendations for how to further button up your posture. You might not have the time or expertise to frame a security roadmap, and this is where outside collaborators can be invaluable. Depending on your organization’s unique needs, this could be a pretty quick project, or it might mean bringing this person in on a monthly retainer basis to help you roll out new security protocols. Either way, hiring someone on a consulting basis before you bring in the first full-time security person can help bridge the gap. Security has a lot of moving parts and there’s a reason that many professionals spend their entire careers focused on just this one area. There’s a lot to learn, and things change quickly. Having an expert on your side for even a little while can help you establish a better baseline, which will make your first full-time security pro’s job much less overwhelming and far more rewarding.

Provide Employee Security Training

Next, you should develop a training program that can be rolled out to all current members of your organization. This should focus on key topics that will help them do their jobs in a more secure manner, knowing that this will mature over time with your roadmap. Many items to go over (email hygiene, phishing awareness, two-factor authentication, workstation security, etc.) will apply to every single employee, but don’t forget to focus on any specific role-based security precautions. For example, developers should understand how to produce and deploy code securely (a massive topic that requires investment and iteration), and HR should be well-versed in how to transmit and store sensitive employment data securely. All current employees should receive this training, and from there you can create a regular onboarding process for new hires.

Open Up the Conversation (and Remove the Blame)

For security to be an ongoing part of your organization’s culture, you need to make sure that the conversation remains positive. It’s important to refrain from blame when someone makes a security mistake. For example, odds are, from time to time, you’re going to learn that someone clicked on a phishing link in an email. Instead of making this a personal issue, use it as an opportunity to remind everyone about red flags to look out for and the best steps to take if they suspect that something’s not right. (For more on this, take a look at our blameless postmortem blog post.)

We also recommend setting up a chat channel dedicated to security and tasking someone on your IT team (or someone with an interest in security) to monitor it. Then, employees have a forum where they can ask questions, submit requests, and call attention to anything they feel might pose a security risk — and receive timely responses from your in-house security experts.

Make Security Everyone’s Responsibility

Hopefully, the steps above will help create an environment in your organization where security is seen as everyone’s responsibility. We’ve written before about why all employees need to be deputized as security ambassadors. Accomplishing this comes down to communicating where an employee’s responsibility toward security lies and arming them with the right tools and techniques to stay safe (whether that’s two-factor authentication, a Slack security channel, or identity management software). If you establish an organization-wide sense of responsibility early on, it will make a full-time security person’s job a whole lot easier, because that person won’t be fighting an uphill battle against your company culture.

Focus on Continuous Improvement

Security is not a “set it and forget it” proposition. It requires ongoing dedication to be successful. Even before you select that first security pro, it’s a good idea to understand your security baseline and identify a series of next steps you can take to ensure continuous improvement. If you can pick off a few items that are doable each month, you will be able to make yourself an unappealing attack target (which, after all, is the goal.)

Final Words . . .

While security can seem overwhelming at the outset, if you focus on increasing awareness and knowledge, instilling responsibility, empowering employees, and continually improving your security posture, you’ll be totally prepared to welcome that first security hire with open arms — and he or she will be thrilled to come on board.

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://ift.tt/2n2zwhR

How to Prepare Your Company Culture for Its First Security Hire| By |Chris Gervais

We often think of security as a technology problem. But at its core, security is and always has been a people problem. You can have the fanciest security tools up and running, but if your organization is full of happy clickers, you still have a problem on your hands.

For this reason, the more that security is a part of your company culture, the better off you will be when it comes to standing up to today’s threats. Many companies don’t dedicate someone who specializes solely in security until they have reached a certain level of scale. When the time comes, companies may either hire someone from outside the organization, or — as is often the case these days — move someone in an operations role into a full-time security role.

Whatever your approach, you can’t just ignore security until the day security becomes someone’s full-time job. In fact, if you wait to address this key issue until the first full-timer is in place, you will make that person’s job a whole lot harder. In an era when security talent is tough to come by and tougher to retain, you can’t afford to hand over the Sisyphean task of “creating a security culture” on day one.

Instead, it’s much smarter to lay the groundwork for making security a broad and deep part of your company’s culture early on. If you’re already planning to hire or internally promote a security pro, now’s a good time to start laying this foundation. But even if you are months or years away from this transition, it’s never too early to get started building your security culture — and you’ll make measurable and observable improvements to your security posture as you do.

Start the Conversation

To get started, upper management needs to open up the conversation around security. It’s key to have executive buy-in and to demonstrate how much of a priority security is if you want to build a security-friendly culture. It’s a good idea to hold an all-hands meeting in which the CEO, COO, or someone in the C-suite explains to the organization that you will be taking a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to security going forward and why it’s critical for the business.

This sends a message to the whole company that security is a necessary part of running the business. It’s also an opportunity to emphasize that security isn’t just a way to prevent bad things from happening, but can also be an important business booster — helping to close deals faster, increase market share, drive revenue, and strengthen brand.

This doesn’t need to be delivered via a long PowerPoint deck that your employees will sleep through. In fact, it’s to your benefit to make the conversation as interactive and engaging as possible. You might focus on some recent security breaches that have affected others in your industry, show examples of phishing emails that have been flagged at your company, or introduce some new tools that will help everyone stay more secure (more on that in a moment.) The exact content you cover will depend on your current level of security maturity, and the purpose of the talk should be to get everyone on the same page about what is expected and how the company will treat security moving forward.

Consider Hiring a Consulting Security Expert

You may want to consider bringing in a consulting security expert who can evaluate where you stand today from a security perspective and offer recommendations for how to further button up your posture. You might not have the time or expertise to frame a security roadmap, and this is where outside collaborators can be invaluable. Depending on your organization’s unique needs, this could be a pretty quick project, or it might mean bringing this person in on a monthly retainer basis to help you roll out new security protocols. Either way, hiring someone on a consulting basis before you bring in the first full-time security person can help bridge the gap. Security has a lot of moving parts and there’s a reason that many professionals spend their entire careers focused on just this one area. There’s a lot to learn, and things change quickly. Having an expert on your side for even a little while can help you establish a better baseline, which will make your first full-time security pro’s job much less overwhelming and far more rewarding.

Provide Employee Security Training

Next, you should develop a training program that can be rolled out to all current members of your organization. This should focus on key topics that will help them do their jobs in a more secure manner, knowing that this will mature over time with your roadmap. Many items to go over (email hygiene, phishing awareness, two-factor authentication, workstation security, etc.) will apply to every single employee, but don’t forget to focus on any specific role-based security precautions. For example, developers should understand how to produce and deploy code securely (a massive topic that requires investment and iteration), and HR should be well-versed in how to transmit and store sensitive employment data securely. All current employees should receive this training, and from there you can create a regular onboarding process for new hires.

Open Up the Conversation (and Remove the Blame)

For security to be an ongoing part of your organization’s culture, you need to make sure that the conversation remains positive. It’s important to refrain from blame when someone makes a security mistake. For example, odds are, from time to time, you’re going to learn that someone clicked on a phishing link in an email. Instead of making this a personal issue, use it as an opportunity to remind everyone about red flags to look out for and the best steps to take if they suspect that something’s not right. (For more on this, take a look at our blameless postmortem blog post.)

We also recommend setting up a chat channel dedicated to security and tasking someone on your IT team (or someone with an interest in security) to monitor it. Then, employees have a forum where they can ask questions, submit requests, and call attention to anything they feel might pose a security risk — and receive timely responses from your in-house security experts.

Make Security Everyone’s Responsibility

Hopefully, the steps above will help create an environment in your organization where security is seen as everyone’s responsibility. We’ve written before about why all employees need to be deputized as security ambassadors. Accomplishing this comes down to communicating where an employee’s responsibility toward security lies and arming them with the right tools and techniques to stay safe (whether that’s two-factor authentication, a Slack security channel, or identity management software). If you establish an organization-wide sense of responsibility early on, it will make a full-time security person’s job a whole lot easier, because that person won’t be fighting an uphill battle against your company culture.

Focus on Continuous Improvement

Security is not a “set it and forget it” proposition. It requires ongoing dedication to be successful. Even before you select that first security pro, it’s a good idea to understand your security baseline and identify a series of next steps you can take to ensure continuous improvement. If you can pick off a few items that are doable each month, you will be able to make yourself an unappealing attack target (which, after all, is the goal.)

Final Words . . .

While security can seem overwhelming at the outset, if you focus on increasing awareness and knowledge, instilling responsibility, empowering employees, and continually improving your security posture, you’ll be totally prepared to welcome that first security hire with open arms — and he or she will be thrilled to come on board.

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://ift.tt/2n2zwhR

How to Prepare Your Company Culture for Its First Security Hire| By |Chris Gervais

We often think of security as a technology problem. But at its core, security is and always has been a people problem. You can have the fanciest security tools up and running, but if your organization is full of happy clickers, you still have a problem on your hands.

For this reason, the more that security is a part of your company culture, the better off you will be when it comes to standing up to today’s threats. Many companies don’t dedicate someone who specializes solely in security until they have reached a certain level of scale. When the time comes, companies may either hire someone from outside the organization, or — as is often the case these days — move someone in an operations role into a full-time security role.

Whatever your approach, you can’t just ignore security until the day security becomes someone’s full-time job. In fact, if you wait to address this key issue until the first full-timer is in place, you will make that person’s job a whole lot harder. In an era when security talent is tough to come by and tougher to retain, you can’t afford to hand over the Sisyphean task of “creating a security culture” on day one.

Instead, it’s much smarter to lay the groundwork for making security a broad and deep part of your company’s culture early on. If you’re already planning to hire or internally promote a security pro, now’s a good time to start laying this foundation. But even if you are months or years away from this transition, it’s never too early to get started building your security culture — and you’ll make measurable and observable improvements to your security posture as you do.

Start the Conversation

To get started, upper management needs to open up the conversation around security. It’s key to have executive buy-in and to demonstrate how much of a priority security is if you want to build a security-friendly culture. It’s a good idea to hold an all-hands meeting in which the CEO, COO, or someone in the C-suite explains to the organization that you will be taking a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to security going forward and why it’s critical for the business.

This sends a message to the whole company that security is a necessary part of running the business. It’s also an opportunity to emphasize that security isn’t just a way to prevent bad things from happening, but can also be an important business booster — helping to close deals faster, increase market share, drive revenue, and strengthen brand.

This doesn’t need to be delivered via a long PowerPoint deck that your employees will sleep through. In fact, it’s to your benefit to make the conversation as interactive and engaging as possible. You might focus on some recent security breaches that have affected others in your industry, show examples of phishing emails that have been flagged at your company, or introduce some new tools that will help everyone stay more secure (more on that in a moment.) The exact content you cover will depend on your current level of security maturity, and the purpose of the talk should be to get everyone on the same page about what is expected and how the company will treat security moving forward.

Consider Hiring a Consulting Security Expert

You may want to consider bringing in a consulting security expert who can evaluate where you stand today from a security perspective and offer recommendations for how to further button up your posture. You might not have the time or expertise to frame a security roadmap, and this is where outside collaborators can be invaluable. Depending on your organization’s unique needs, this could be a pretty quick project, or it might mean bringing this person in on a monthly retainer basis to help you roll out new security protocols. Either way, hiring someone on a consulting basis before you bring in the first full-time security person can help bridge the gap. Security has a lot of moving parts and there’s a reason that many professionals spend their entire careers focused on just this one area. There’s a lot to learn, and things change quickly. Having an expert on your side for even a little while can help you establish a better baseline, which will make your first full-time security pro’s job much less overwhelming and far more rewarding.

Provide Employee Security Training

Next, you should develop a training program that can be rolled out to all current members of your organization. This should focus on key topics that will help them do their jobs in a more secure manner, knowing that this will mature over time with your roadmap. Many items to go over (email hygiene, phishing awareness, two-factor authentication, workstation security, etc.) will apply to every single employee, but don’t forget to focus on any specific role-based security precautions. For example, developers should understand how to produce and deploy code securely (a massive topic that requires investment and iteration), and HR should be well-versed in how to transmit and store sensitive employment data securely. All current employees should receive this training, and from there you can create a regular onboarding process for new hires.

Open Up the Conversation (and Remove the Blame)

For security to be an ongoing part of your organization’s culture, you need to make sure that the conversation remains positive. It’s important to refrain from blame when someone makes a security mistake. For example, odds are, from time to time, you’re going to learn that someone clicked on a phishing link in an email. Instead of making this a personal issue, use it as an opportunity to remind everyone about red flags to look out for and the best steps to take if they suspect that something’s not right. (For more on this, take a look at our blameless postmortem blog post.)

We also recommend setting up a chat channel dedicated to security and tasking someone on your IT team (or someone with an interest in security) to monitor it. Then, employees have a forum where they can ask questions, submit requests, and call attention to anything they feel might pose a security risk — and receive timely responses from your in-house security experts.

Make Security Everyone’s Responsibility

Hopefully, the steps above will help create an environment in your organization where security is seen as everyone’s responsibility. We’ve written before about why all employees need to be deputized as security ambassadors. Accomplishing this comes down to communicating where an employee’s responsibility toward security lies and arming them with the right tools and techniques to stay safe (whether that’s two-factor authentication, a Slack security channel, or identity management software). If you establish an organization-wide sense of responsibility early on, it will make a full-time security person’s job a whole lot easier, because that person won’t be fighting an uphill battle against your company culture.

Focus on Continuous Improvement

Security is not a “set it and forget it” proposition. It requires ongoing dedication to be successful. Even before you select that first security pro, it’s a good idea to understand your security baseline and identify a series of next steps you can take to ensure continuous improvement. If you can pick off a few items that are doable each month, you will be able to make yourself an unappealing attack target (which, after all, is the goal.)

Final Words . . .

While security can seem overwhelming at the outset, if you focus on increasing awareness and knowledge, instilling responsibility, empowering employees, and continually improving your security posture, you’ll be totally prepared to welcome that first security hire with open arms — and he or she will be thrilled to come on board.

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://ift.tt/2n2zwhR

Shark Tank Update: Line Cutterz| By |Erica Abbott

ODU Magazine

Company: Line Cutterz

Founder: Vance Zahorski

Season: Appeared on season 8 in the week nine episode

Line Cutterz is a ring that makes it easy and safe to cut fishing line. The ring, which costs $12, is equipped with a double-sided blade and adjustable Velcro strap, and can cut mono-filament and braided fishing line.

Other products include lunker tamers, hook puller rings, glow-in-the-dark bandit worms and cutting arm band. Zahorski was inspired to create the Line Cutterz ring out of a need for “a safer and more convenient way to perform such a simple task,” according to their website. It offers a quick and convenient cut and is an “ultimate fishing essential.”

When Zahorski originally appeared on “Shark Tank,” he came in asking for $120,000 for 20 percent equity. Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec saw red flags and most worried that he could easily get knocked off. Despite thinking the product was “genius,” Lori Greiner also went out, as did Kevin O’Leary—leaving only Daymond John, who had offered $120,000 for 40 percent equity. Ultimately, after countering, Zahorski accepted a deal with John for $120,000 for 33 percent equity.

Zahorski spoke with Business 2 Community about Line Cutterz’s experience on the show and what their next steps are. Take a look at the Q&A below:

Q&A with Line Cutterz’s Founder Vance Zahorski

What was your strategy for navigating “Shark Tank”?

My strategy was to let the sharks know what I sacrificed to get the product off the ground (sold house, walked away from a six-figure job, sold gun collection and sold smoker) so they knew this company wasn’t just a hobby and that I was dead serious about Line Cutterz making big money. Next, I wanted them to understand this product is a “unicorn”. This one simple (now patented) idea can be used in two multi-billion dollar industries, Line Cutterz for fishing and DBA Thread Cutterz for sewing, cross-stitching, knitting and quilting.

Next, I wanted the sharks to see first hand how amazingly safe and powerful the Line Cutterz ring is by demonstrating its cutting ability (cutting 100lb test braided line) and then rubbing the ring against my skin to show it won’t cut skin. If I could accomplish this then I knew I would have the Sharks’ interest. My last strategy was to be polite, respectful and professional, yet also be firm and stand up for myself during negotiation. This way, I knew I would not have any regrets.

How has Line Cutterz changed since the episode was first recorded? Since it aired?

Our sales in the three weeks following our “Shark Tank” episode surpassed our entire 2016 sales. The Line Cutterz ring is now sold in 50 California Walmart test stores, plus we picked up hundreds of new independent dealers across the country. Line Cutterz has released several new products and is currently working on two partnerships with celebrity anglers who are both currently featured on TV.

Is there anything you would have changed about your time spent in the tank, including your pitch and valuation?

When I was asked how much it costs me to make one unit I gave them my raw product cost, before adding in shipping, import tax and packaging. Mark, Lori and Kevin were concerned that my margins were too high because of the product cost I gave them. If I would have given them my landed cost rather than raw product cost I think they wouldn’t have had such a concern with my margins.

Who’s your favorite shark?

Daymond John, Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban.

Do you think “Shark Tank” was the right move for your business?

“Shark Tank” is the right move for any business. Ten to 12 minutes on primetime television (Shark Tank) has an estimated advertising value of $5 million. On top of that, you have the opportunity to work with some of the most powerful and connected venture capitalists in the world. Definitely the right move.

What are Line Cutterz’s next steps?

Take advantage of the Shark Tank Effect and scale as quickly as possible. Introduce more versions of the Line Cutterz ring and expand into flat mount cutting tools. We are currently looking for warehouse space to handle our current and future growth.

Where do you see your business in 5-10 years?

The Line Cutterz ring is now being used in a diverse group of industries that range from fishing, to scuba diving, cutting guitar strings, bagpipe strings, cutting butcher’s string, balloon tying, crafting, sewing and the list goes on. We are expanding our product line, using the issued utility patent, and predict the Line Cutterz ring will be a household item. It cuts better than scissors, it’s safer than knives and scissors, it can be worn on a finger or mounted and it’s extremely portable and convenient for traveling.

What would you say to people who want to start their own business?

Do not start a business in a field that you are not passionate about. There is a reason Mark Cuban goes out when he believes entrepreneurs are not passionate about their business. Passion plays a critical role in success from social media, to working long hours, to product development and the list goes on. In most cases, entrepreneurs will not have the endurance it requires to be successful if their startup is in a field that they are not head over heels in love with.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to make it on “Shark Tank”?

Have a story. At the end of the day, this is a TV show so a good story will get you through the first cuts. Every entrepreneur has a story so figure out what your story is and what the producers will connect to, what America will connect to.

When you get there, be confident—don’t be overconfident—practice your pitch thousands of times. If you spend enough time preparing then you will have an answer for every possible question. Life is short and this is your golden opportunity so don’t blow it!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have been blown away how many schools use “Shark Tank” in their curriculum. I have attended several “Shark Tank” school events and I have spoken to two schools and have plans to speak at another high school in April. The teachers are using “Shark Tank” to teach students about math (evaluation, product cost, sales, projections, graphs etc.), science (product development, experiments, proof of concept, materials etc), language arts (reading, writing, researching, presentations) and social studies – (economy, customer base, geographic location of customers, etc.) Working with schools and seeing how passionate and involved these young future entrepreneurs are has been extremely motivating. Giving back and being involved with such amazing teachers and students has been a reward that I could have never predicted.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://ift.tt/2nMZOZ3

Shark Tank Update: Line Cutterz| By |Erica Abbott

ODU Magazine

Company: Line Cutterz

Founder: Vance Zahorski

Season: Appeared on season 8 in the week nine episode

Line Cutterz is a ring that makes it easy and safe to cut fishing line. The ring, which costs $12, is equipped with a double-sided blade and adjustable Velcro strap, and can cut mono-filament and braided fishing line.

Other products include lunker tamers, hook puller rings, glow-in-the-dark bandit worms and cutting arm band. Zahorski was inspired to create the Line Cutterz ring out of a need for “a safer and more convenient way to perform such a simple task,” according to their website. It offers a quick and convenient cut and is an “ultimate fishing essential.”

When Zahorski originally appeared on “Shark Tank,” he came in asking for $120,000 for 20 percent equity. Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec saw red flags and most worried that he could easily get knocked off. Despite thinking the product was “genius,” Lori Greiner also went out, as did Kevin O’Leary—leaving only Daymond John, who had offered $120,000 for 40 percent equity. Ultimately, after countering, Zahorski accepted a deal with John for $120,000 for 33 percent equity.

Zahorski spoke with Business 2 Community about Line Cutterz’s experience on the show and what their next steps are. Take a look at the Q&A below:

Q&A with Line Cutterz’s Founder Vance Zahorski

What was your strategy for navigating “Shark Tank”?

My strategy was to let the sharks know what I sacrificed to get the product off the ground (sold house, walked away from a six-figure job, sold gun collection and sold smoker) so they knew this company wasn’t just a hobby and that I was dead serious about Line Cutterz making big money. Next, I wanted them to understand this product is a “unicorn”. This one simple (now patented) idea can be used in two multi-billion dollar industries, Line Cutterz for fishing and DBA Thread Cutterz for sewing, cross-stitching, knitting and quilting.

Next, I wanted the sharks to see first hand how amazingly safe and powerful the Line Cutterz ring is by demonstrating its cutting ability (cutting 100lb test braided line) and then rubbing the ring against my skin to show it won’t cut skin. If I could accomplish this then I knew I would have the Sharks’ interest. My last strategy was to be polite, respectful and professional, yet also be firm and stand up for myself during negotiation. This way, I knew I would not have any regrets.

How has Line Cutterz changed since the episode was first recorded? Since it aired?

Our sales in the three weeks following our “Shark Tank” episode surpassed our entire 2016 sales. The Line Cutterz ring is now sold in 50 California Walmart test stores, plus we picked up hundreds of new independent dealers across the country. Line Cutterz has released several new products and is currently working on two partnerships with celebrity anglers who are both currently featured on TV.

Is there anything you would have changed about your time spent in the tank, including your pitch and valuation?

When I was asked how much it costs me to make one unit I gave them my raw product cost, before adding in shipping, import tax and packaging. Mark, Lori and Kevin were concerned that my margins were too high because of the product cost I gave them. If I would have given them my landed cost rather than raw product cost I think they wouldn’t have had such a concern with my margins.

Who’s your favorite shark?

Daymond John, Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban.

Do you think “Shark Tank” was the right move for your business?

“Shark Tank” is the right move for any business. Ten to 12 minutes on primetime television (Shark Tank) has an estimated advertising value of $5 million. On top of that, you have the opportunity to work with some of the most powerful and connected venture capitalists in the world. Definitely the right move.

What are Line Cutterz’s next steps?

Take advantage of the Shark Tank Effect and scale as quickly as possible. Introduce more versions of the Line Cutterz ring and expand into flat mount cutting tools. We are currently looking for warehouse space to handle our current and future growth.

Where do you see your business in 5-10 years?

The Line Cutterz ring is now being used in a diverse group of industries that range from fishing, to scuba diving, cutting guitar strings, bagpipe strings, cutting butcher’s string, balloon tying, crafting, sewing and the list goes on. We are expanding our product line, using the issued utility patent, and predict the Line Cutterz ring will be a household item. It cuts better than scissors, it’s safer than knives and scissors, it can be worn on a finger or mounted and it’s extremely portable and convenient for traveling.

What would you say to people who want to start their own business?

Do not start a business in a field that you are not passionate about. There is a reason Mark Cuban goes out when he believes entrepreneurs are not passionate about their business. Passion plays a critical role in success from social media, to working long hours, to product development and the list goes on. In most cases, entrepreneurs will not have the endurance it requires to be successful if their startup is in a field that they are not head over heels in love with.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to make it on “Shark Tank”?

Have a story. At the end of the day, this is a TV show so a good story will get you through the first cuts. Every entrepreneur has a story so figure out what your story is and what the producers will connect to, what America will connect to.

When you get there, be confident—don’t be overconfident—practice your pitch thousands of times. If you spend enough time preparing then you will have an answer for every possible question. Life is short and this is your golden opportunity so don’t blow it!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have been blown away how many schools use “Shark Tank” in their curriculum. I have attended several “Shark Tank” school events and I have spoken to two schools and have plans to speak at another high school in April. The teachers are using “Shark Tank” to teach students about math (evaluation, product cost, sales, projections, graphs etc.), science (product development, experiments, proof of concept, materials etc), language arts (reading, writing, researching, presentations) and social studies – (economy, customer base, geographic location of customers, etc.) Working with schools and seeing how passionate and involved these young future entrepreneurs are has been extremely motivating. Giving back and being involved with such amazing teachers and students has been a reward that I could have never predicted.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length

via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://ift.tt/2nMZOZ3