Former Deputy House Speaker BAIC Boss in police custody

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, May 18th 2017: Police are currently questioning former BAIC Chairman and Former Deputy Speaker of the HOA, Dion Smith.   Reports say Smith was arrested after his return into the country.   His arrest comes after investigations commenced into alleged theft at the corporation and arrests of some nine employees earlier this week.Police say CCTV footage showed the employees removing computers and documents from BAIC offices the day after elections.  BAIC, Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation, oversees business development in farming and creative industries in The Bahamas, while offering funding for projects within the sector and expertise guidance.#DionSmitharrested#BAICemployeesarrested Related Items:#BAICemployeesarrested, #DionSmitharrestedlast_img read more

HAPPENING NOW No Domestic Fire Unit in Grand Turk Familys home in

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, Grand Turk, July 13th 2017: A fire at a residence right now in Grand Turk, and the family is reportedly losing everything.The fire in North Backsalina has been burning about 45 minutes now and the owners are just watching as all goes up in flames.The Capital Island still has no domestic fire unit.  The airport fire team, we are told is unable to come to the rescue as there are flights on the ground.The fire is devouring the Missick family house; which is just across the street from the home of the area’s MP and the country’s Health Minister,  Edwin Astwood. Everyone is safe.#MagneticMediaNews#NoFireUnitInGrandTurkToBlameForFamilyHomeGone Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Hamsik thanks Napoli fans after China move

first_imgMarek Hamsik has penned down an emotional open letter to Napoli fans after joining Dalian Yifang stating “I’ll love this city forever.”Napoli confirmed on Thursday that Hamsik was on his way to Dalian Yifang, and the midfielder did not hold his emotions back in a long Instagram post cited on Football Italia.Hamsik joined the Naples side in 2017, where scored 121 goals in 520 games for the Serie A side. He went on to win the Coppa Italia twice.He is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer and record appearance holder.“I have to apologize to you” Azzurri fans, “began the departing Partenopei captain.“I wanted, hoped and dreamed of saying goodbye to you. A big lap around the field, embraced by your applause.“You’re always supported and loved me unconditionally, in both I’ll always be grateful.“I’ve tattooed Naples on my skin, as well as our first victory in the Italian Cup after 25 years. It’s impossible to forget that game.“It’s impossible to forget that moment when I beat Bruscolotti’s record or when I broke the Azzurri’s record goal, Diego Armando Maradona.Top 5 Serie A players to watch for next weekend’s activity Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Top 5 players to watch in Serie A next…“That makes me extremely proud. Here in Naples, my three children were born, Neapolitans in every way.“I’d like to thank everyone: the President who gave me the possibility of staying here for 12 years and accepting my willingness to try a new experience; all the Coaches who trained me, to whom I owe my growth as a player and as a man; all the medical and technical staff and everyone else at SSC Naples; my friends who I’ll miss, but I know they’ll never leave me because they’re part of my family.“As soon as it’s possible, I hope you’ll be one of the best at the San Paolo.“I love you all and I’ll love this city forever. THANK YOU FROM MY HEART to the rest of the season: I hope you can win the Europa League! “last_img read more

Triple Crown winner Justify gallops his way to Del Mar

first_img Posted: July 16, 2018 KUSI Sports, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsThe stars will be out and about at Del Mar on Wednesday as the 79th Opening Day promises to bring some of the best horses in the country to the track.But as Rick Willis shows us, none will be bigger than 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. Categories: All Sports Report, Local San Diego News, Sports Tags: DMTC 2018 FacebookTwitter July 16, 2018center_img Triple Crown winner Justify gallops his way to Del Mar KUSI Sports Updated: 7:11 PMlast_img read more

Obama Reiterates Threat to Veto Defense Bill

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR During a rare visit to the Pentagon, President Obama on Monday reiterated his threat to veto the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill because it relies on a budget framework that would shortchange the nation’s future by restraining spending on non-military aspects of national security such as education and research.“We’re not going to eat our seed corn,” Obama said, reported CQ.The military has the best troops in the world in part because “we’ve got a strong economy and we’ve got a well-educated population and we’ve got an incredible research operation and universities,” the president said. “We shortchange those, we’re going to be less secure,” he said.The defense authorization bill adopts the GOP budget framework, which adds $38 billion to DOD’s war account to sidestep the statutory spending caps. The GOP budget, however, forces non-defense spending to stick to the caps. “Part of our national security is making sure that we have a strong economy and that we continue to make investments in things we need like education and research,” Obama said.Separately, staff for the House and Senate Armed Services committees are continuing to work out differences in the two versions of the authorization bill. Committee leaders soon will tackle major areas of disagreement, including acquisition reform.  Defense budget expert Mackenzie Eaglen told the Hill that acquisition reform is the “biggest sticking point” between the two bills. One key difference is language in the Senate version shifting more decision-making authority from the defense secretary to the military services, a change opposed by the administration that could draw a veto from the president, according to Eaglen, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.“This is the only provision that could sway a decision by the president to veto it if he were not planning to do so already. If it stays, it is a near certainty it will garner a veto,” she said.last_img read more

NASA drops insane map of 4000 planets outside our solar system

first_imgOriginally published July 10, 12 p.m. PT.  Tags That’s a big leap in a single lifetime, and to mark just how far we’ve come in refining our view of the universe, NASA shared the above video visualization created with its data by science outreach project System Sounds. It shows when and where in the night sky all the known exoplanets were discovered. Note how quickly the pace of the finds picks up once Kepler starts making its contribution in 2010.  Kepler went to sleep permanently in 2018, but its legacy has been picked up by other observatories like the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which has already found over 700 new planet candidates in its first year in space.Next up, the European Characterizing Exoplanets Satellite (CHEOPS) is set to launch by the end of the year and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is set to blast off in 2021. Both space telescopes will be able to do more than just spot exoplanets — they could help determine if conditions exist to support life upon their surfaces.  Share your voice Requiem for Kepler? NASA’s pioneering planet-finder (pictures) 3 26 Photos Best places in space to search for alien life Comments NASA Space Sci-Tech It seems crazy now, but it wasn’t long ago we had no hard evidence of planets existing outside our solar system. Known as “exoplanets,” the first definitive discovery of one didn’t come until 1992. For many years after that, a trickle of distant worlds were added to the known exoplanet catalog. Only in the last decade, with the help of the recently retired Kepler Space Telescope, has the pace of discovery really increased exponentially. In June, the 4,000th exoplanet was confirmed.  30 Photoslast_img read more

Is Losliya Mariyanesan a divorcee Here is the truth about Bigg Boss

first_imgLosliya in Bigg Boss Tamil 3.PR HandoutLosliya Mariyanesan has become the sweetheart of youths in Tamil Nadu after entering the Bigg Boss Tamil 3 house. With her charming smile and humble behaviour, the Sri Lankan TV anchor has impressed the audience.Indeed, in a matter of weeks, Losliya has got an army of fans and dedicated fan pages on social media sites. Every single aspect of her life has drawn the attention of the viewers, but a strange rumour, which is doing rounds online from the last few days, about her marriage has come as a big shock to the fans.Speculations claim that Losliya had hidden the truth and entered the Tamil reality show. An apparent wedding snap gave credence to the rumours and it was said that her relationship ended with a divorce.However, her friends have now cleared the rumours about Losliya’s wedding. Speaking to a website, her friends have lambasted the speculations. “We have been doing since her childhood and we are not aware of her wedding,” a friend of her told the website while adding that they laughed it off upon hearing it.They claim that she has not changed a bit in the show and not faking her character to win the hearts of the audience in Bigg Boss Tamil. According to them, she is a jovial person and a clean-person at heart.Losliya Mariyanesan is a Tamilian from Sri Lanka. She is a TV anchor by profession.last_img read more

BNPs Zahidur Rahman to be sworn in

first_imgZahidur Rahman. File photoBNP MP-elect from Thakurgaon-3 constituency, Zahidur Rahman is to be sworn in on Thursday.He sent a letter to Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, speaker of Jatiya Sangsad, expressing his interest to take the oath as a member of parliament.The personal secretary of the speaker, MA Kamal Billah, confirmed the matter to Prothom Alo. The parliament secretariat has scheduled the oath ceremony at noon.last_img

Amoeba finds approximate solutions to NPhard problem in linear time

first_imgTSP solutions obtained by the amoeba-based computing system for 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 cities. Credit: Zhu et al. ©2018 Royal Society Open Science Researchers have demonstrated that an amoeba—a single-celled organism consisting mostly of gelatinous protoplasm—has unique computing abilities that may one day offer a competitive alternative to the methods used by conventional computers. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Royal Society Open Science More information: Liping Zhu, Song-Ju Kim, Masahiko Hara, and Masashi Aono. “Remarkable problem-solving ability of unicellular amoeboid organism and its mechanism.” Royal Society Open Science. royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.180396 Citation: Amoeba finds approximate solutions to NP-hard problem in linear time (2018, December 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-amoeba-approximate-solutions-np-hard-problem.html Health department says amoeba kills swimmer in Oklahoma lakecenter_img In order to guide the amoeba toward an optimal or nearly optimal solution, the key lies in controlling the light. To do this, the researchers use a neural network model in which every six seconds the system updates which channels are illuminated. The model incorporates information about the distance between each pair of cities, as well as feedback from the amoeba’s current position in the channels. The model ensures that the amoeba finds a valid solution to the TSP in a few ways. For example, once the amoeba has occupied a certain fraction of a particular channel, say A3, then channels A1, A2, and all other “A” channels are illuminated in order to prohibit city A from being visited twice. Also, B3, C3, D3, and all other “3” channels are illuminated to prohibit simultaneous visits to multiple cities. The model accounts for the distances between cities by making it easier to illuminate channels that represent cities with longer distances than with shorter distances. For instance, say the amoeba occupies channel B2, and has begun to encroach into channels C3 and D3 in equal amounts, and the distance between cities B and C is 100 while the distance between cities B and D is 50. The longer distance between B and C eventually causes the system to illuminate channel C3, causing the amoeba to retreat from that channel but allowing it to continue moving into D3. Overall, modeling the TSP with an amoeba harnesses the amoeba’s natural tendency to seek out a stable equilibrium. As channels representing shorter routes are less likely to be illuminated, the amoeba may spread out in those channels and continue to explore other non-illuminated channels in order to maximize its surface area on the agar plate.The researchers also developed a computer simulation called AmoebaTSP that mimics some of the main features of how the amoeba addresses the problem, including the continuous movement of gel as it is supplied at a constant rate and withdrawn from various channels. “In our stellate chip for solving the n-city TSP, the total area of the body of the amoeba becomes n when the amoeba finally finds an approximate solution,” Aono told Phys.org. “There seems to be a ‘law’ that the amoeba supplies its gelatinous resource to expand in the non-illuminated channels at a constant rate, say, x. This law would be kept even when some resources bounce back from illuminated channels. Then the time required to expand the body area n to represent the solution becomes n/x. This mechanism would be the origin of the linear time, and it was reproduced by our computer simulation model. “But still, the mechanism by which how the amoeba maintains the quality of the approximate solution, that is, the short route length, remains a mystery. It seems that spatially and temporally correlated movements of the branched parts of the amoeba located at distant channels are the key. Each of these branches is oscillating its volume with some temporal ‘memory’ on illuminated experiences. Groups of the branches perform synchronization and desynchronization for sharing information even though they are spatially distant.”In the future, the researchers plan to further improve the amoeba’s computing abilities.”We will investigate further how these complex spatiotemporal oscillatory dynamics enhance the computational performance in finding higher-quality solutions in shorter time,” said coauthor Song-Ju Kim at Keio University. “If it could be clarified, the knowledge will contribute to create novel analogue computers that exploit the spatiotemporal dynamics of electric current in its circuit.”Of course, running some other algorithms on traditional digital computers for linear time, we can derive approximate solutions to TSP. On the other hand, when running our simulation models (AmoebaTSP or its developed versions) on the traditional computers as we did in this study, the analogue and parallel spatiotemporal dynamics require nonlinear time for simulating them as digital and serial processes. So we are trying to obtain much higher-quality solutions than those derived from the traditional ones by running our models on the analogue computers for linear time or shorter.”The researchers also expect that, by fabricating a larger chip, the amoeba will be able to solve TSP problems with hundreds of cities, although this would require tens of thousands of channels. In order to maximize its nutrient absorption, the amoeba tries to expand inside the chip to come in contact with as much agar as possible. However, the amoeba does not like light. Since each channel can be selectively illuminated by light, it’s possible to force the amoeba to retreat from the illuminated channels. In order to model the TSP, each channel in the stellate chip represents an ordered city in the salesman’s route. For example, in the case with four cities labeled A-D, if the amoeba occupies channels A4, B2, C1, and D3, then the corresponding solution to the TSP is C, B, D, A, C. Explore further © 2018 Science X Network The researchers, led by Masashi Aono at Keio University, assigned an amoeba to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). The TSP is an optimization problem in which the goal is to find the shortest route between several cities, so that each city is visited exactly once, and the start and end points are the same. The problem is NP-hard, meaning that as the number of cities increases, the time needed for a computer to solve it grows exponentially. The complexity is due to the large number of possible solutions. For example, for four cities, there are only three possible routes. But for eight cities, the number of possible routes increases to 2520.In the new study, the researchers found that an amoeba can find reasonable (nearly optimal) solutions to the TSP in an amount of time that grows only linearly as the number of cities increases from four to eight. Although conventional computers can also find approximate solutions in linear time, the amoeba’s approach is completely different than traditional algorithms. As the scientists explain, the amoeba explores the solution space by continuously redistributing the gel in its amorphous body at a constant rate, as well as by processing optical feedback in parallel instead of serially.Although a conventional computer can still solve the TSP much faster than an amoeba, especially for small problem sizes, the new results are intriguing and may lead to the development of novel analogue computers that derive approximate solutions of computationally complex problems of much larger sizes in linear time. How it worksThe particular type of amoeba that the scientists used was a plasmodium or “true slime mold,” which weighs about 12 mg and consumes oat flakes. This amoeba continually deforms its amorphous body by repeatedly supplying and withdrawing gel at a velocity of about 1 mm/second to create pseudopod-like appendages. In their experiments, the researchers placed the amoeba in the center of a stellate chip, which is a round plate with 64 narrow channels projecting outwards, and then placed the chip on top of an agar plate. The amoeba is confined within the chip, but can still move into the 64 channels. last_img read more

Explosive Love

first_imgRecently the capital was gripped by, 3 Sakina Manzil, showcased as a part of Desires Unlimited’s first vintage theatre festival – Epoch.Power-packed performances by Puneet Sikka and Tarun Singhal who essayed the role of Shashi and Comrade Shashi left the audience spellbound. The 100-minute play revolves the love story of these two characters set in the back drop of  the Bombay dock explosion. Each of them alternately remembers the time they spent together and the fateful day – 14 April 1944- that drew them apart and tore the city they lived in. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The play – 3, Sakina Manzil – has been written by Ramu Ramanathan, and was directed by Deepak Dhamija is set in pre-independence juxtaposed with the world being ravaged by World War II, and gradual establishment of the Hindi film industry. There are references to how Dev Anand had come as a fresher in the industry and by the end of the play , Comrade Shashi tells the audience how he had emerged as a successful hero. Amidst all this turmoil begins a beautiful love story between the protagonists. As Comrade Shashi walks in for a job at 3 Sakina Manzil, he immediately falls in love with his namesake. It is love-at-first-sight for her as well. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTarun’s performance as Comrade Shashi is etched well. He is able to bring about the transition in the character beautifully as the older Comrade Shashi reminisces his interaction as a young man with his love – Shashi (also his employers daughter). His co-actor Puneet too justifies her role as she transforms from the young Shashi expressing her love moving to the older one as she recalls the tragedy of the explosion and losing her love.The plot is subtly designed to take you back in time and revisit the tale of these lover’s lives simultaneously revealing the horrendous explosion. On the fateful day of their expected meeting 14 April 1944, Bombay habour is ripped by a huge explosion. The Bombay Dock Explosion left the citizens in shock and created chaos and devastation, simultaneously being responsible for separation of the two silent lovers. Separated by destiny, the two lead different lives as they set forth in life after the accident, only to meet again after five decades and recount their versions of the love story.last_img read more

Maa flyover ramp to be inaugurated on Feb 6

first_imgKolkata: The flank linking Maa flyover with AJC Bose Road flyover is expected to be inaugurated on Wednesday. State Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim along with senior officials of Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) and traffic department of Kolkata Police visited the site on Saturday and the minister gave the necessary nod for the inauguration of the flank.”Vehicles travelling from Kolkata airport or New Town-Rajarhat will now be able to take the Maa flyover from Mathpukur area and then take the AJC Bose Road flyover near Beckbagan to alight near Police Training School. Travel time will be reduced considerably as the congestion at Park Circus can be avoided,” said a senior KMDA official. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe construction of the entire flank has been completed and the painting on the side walls of the bridge in blue and white will be finished by Tuesday night. The Kolkata Police are preparing the blue print of the traffic movement using the flyover route. “It will take us a few days to have an idea of the movement of vehicles over the flyover following which we will be able to finalise the movement of traffic,” a senior official of Kolkata Police’s traffic department said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to a senior KMDA official, the construction of the new flank on Congress Exhibition Road took time as there was encroachment and other utility services that needed to be cleared. At present, KMDA plans to have a twin branching of Maa and AJC Bose Road flyover towards Gariahat. The proposed south-bound ramp will come up at the crossing near Zeeshan restaurant on Syed Amir Ali Avenue and end in front of Kalyan Jewellers, opposite the Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan School. Engineering consultancy firm Rites is carrying out a study and will come up with a Detailed Project Report soon. A traffic feasibility survey has shown that the proposed ramp could reduce the time one takes to travel towards Jadavpur from the Bypass by more than 30 minutes. The length of the ramp will be 2.2km and it will help the commuters to avoid snarl points such as Quest Mall, Modern High School for Girls and Ballygunge Phari. On weekdays, sometimes it takes about 25 minutes to cross the stretch between the crossing in front of Zeeshan and Pantaloons on the Gariahat side. The traffic snarls get worse when Modern High School opens in the morning and classes get over in the afternoon.last_img read more

7 Companies Reinventing Old Fields With New Tech

first_img Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. One pizza craving — and a lack of motivation to search for Pizza Hut discount codes — led to the creation of Honey, an automated take on coupon clipping that has saved customers over $750 million to date. Frustration with the inefficiency of forms led one paralegal to start SeamlessDocs, which has raised $20 million so far in its quest to modernize and digitize the forms of hundreds of governments. And one founder’s own girl problems were the foundation for Relationship Hero, an instant relationship coaching service that’s yielded $1 million in one year.As for what pizza, forms and girl problems have in common? Each served as the inspiration for a new company — one with the goal to overhaul an industry that, in the founders’ eyes, hadn’t yet been modernized.Here’s an in-depth look at some companies aiming to reinvent their fields with new technology.1. Relationship HeroAims to reinvent: Relationship AdviceHow it started: Girl problems. That’s what led co-founders Liron Shapira and Lior Gotesman to launch Relationship Hero, a relationship coaching startup that’s yielded $1 million in just 12 months. Shapira describes himself as a “stereotypical nerd” in high school, viewing dating as an overarching mystery. He assumed he’d figure it out later and focused on his studies and computer programming. But after graduating from college, he didn’t find dating any less mysterious. Gotesman, on the other hand, was naturally good at relationships. He moonlighted as the go-to friend for relationship advice in college, but he couldn’t figure out computer programming. The two friends coached each other, and the results were better than they could have imagined: Gotesman learned to code, Shapira got married and together, they launched a service that combined their strengths.How it works: Relationship Hero specializes in instant relationship coaching, which can be done via phone calls, emails, texting or Facebook Messenger. The company aims to help with any issue related to dating or relationships — from “How should I word my Tinder profile?” to “Why isn’t he or she texting me back?” to “I’m thinking about getting a divorce.” The service aims to identify problems in your dating life via an objective external lens, much like taking your car to the mechanic or visiting the doctor for an X-ray. The company offers both subscription plans and a la carte hours of coaching, and although prices differ, you can expect to pay about $100 for an hour of coaching.How it scaled: Shapira and Gotesman knew success was possible due to the sheer number of people they saw firsthand who sought out relationship advice — and the fact that, in a time when attention is such a valuable resource, the service in its early stages held consumer focus. Plus, no one else had yet cornered the market. The two friends launched the company in July 2017 through the Y Combinator accelerator program, bringing in just $200 a week at first. As the company grew, they trained more coaches via books, example exercises and hands-on shadowing. Now, the company says it helps more than 100 people every day.2. HustleAims to reinvent: Direct-to-consumer marketingHow it started: Before co-founding Hustle, Roddy Lindsay spent more than six years at Facebook as one of the company’s first data scientists, then left to start volunteering at FWD.us, a group focused on immigration reform. While there, Lindsay realized most of the group’s communication involved talking “at” people — like Facebook posts and blast emails — rather than with them. He wanted to fix that. Since many millennials don’t have landlines and feel their email inboxes are flooded, Lindsay viewed text messaging as the best channel for building real relationships, and the idea for Hustle was born. He tested the idea first at FWD.us and found that audience response rates increased from 10 percent or less to over 80 percent. That’s when Lindsay decided he had something special.How it works: Hustle aims to “humanize” the way organizations communicate — moving away from direct mail campaigns, robocalls and social media posts and towards text message conversations to build relationships and community. The company facilitates texts from real people instead of bots making big asks on an organization’s behalf — usually for some action on the consumer’s part, like giving time or money — and pairs it with a system that can manage millions of individual conversations, says Lindsay. Their clients are public figures, companies or organizations that want to increase audience engagement — think Live Nation, Planned Parenthood, Michelle Obama’s Better Make Room Initiative and politician Bernie Sanders. One example: Last year when the Affordable Care Act repeal was on the table, Planned Parenthood used Hustle to kick off the “Defenders” program — recruiting people from across the country to do things like organize events in their home, host community gatherings, write letters, alert their networks and call their senators.How it scaled: The company incorporated in December 2014, but over the last 18 months, it’s ballooned from 12 employees and less than $500,000 in annual revenue to a staff of 120 employees bringing in more than $12 million per year. Lindsay attributes the success in part to reaching people where they are — in today’s day and age, he says that means having “authentic dialogues” by way of text message. Another key point? He suggests making team diversity a priority from day one so that diverse voices help shape the long-term product and culture.  3. HoneyAims to reinvent:  Coupon clippingHow it started: It all began with a pizza craving. One October night in 2012, Ryan Hudson sat at his kitchen table, ordering online from Pizza Hut. He noticed the coupon code box at checkout, but he didn’t like the idea of wasting time searching for a discount code that may not even work. Later that night, the self-taught computer programmer decided to try to automate the coupon-searching process. By the end of the night, he had a prototype for Honey. After Hudson showed it to his co-founder the following morning, they decided it was worth the gamble, and a mad dash ensued to get the product launch-ready before Black Friday. Almost six years later, the company says it’s saved customers $750 million and counting.How it works: Honey’s goal is to make it easy for mass-market consumers to save money with discounts. Some coupon websites list anywhere between 20 and 50 discount codes for consumers to try, but there’s no real way to guarantee one will work. Honey automatically tests codes for you on the checkout page, then applies the best one or alerts you that the current price is the best available deal. And the company’s newer feature, DropList, allows consumers to set price alerts when a lower price is listed for products on sites like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Macy’s and more.How it scaled: The night Hudson built Honey’s prototype, he figured the service would be worth the effort even if he were the only one to make use of it. Close to six years later, Honey has about 10 million users. Hudson attributes the success to removing friction from people’s lives — and the strength of word of mouth.4. ArtificialAims to reinvent:  InsuranceHow it started: Johnny Bridges’s first job out of college was at an insurance company in Lloyd’s of London, an insurance market offering specialty insurance — think Bruce Springsteen’s voice, which is reportedly insured there for $6 million — in over 200 countries and territories. It’s a physical building where insurance brokers approach underwriters and try to negotiate risk, which can take many hours. “The whole thing couldn’t be more inefficient if it tried,” says Bridges.He and his co-founder decided to do something about it by starting Artificial. But besides just specialty insurance, they wanted to transform the insurance industry as a whole. Their inspiration? Customers’ distrust of insurance companies. People pay premiums, usually only have contact with insurance companies after a negative event and then, in terms of claim payout, “It’s like trying to get blood out of a stone,” says Bridges. Insurance companies’ antiquated backend systems don’t help, either. Bridges says it takes nine to 12 months on average to take a new insurance product to market, and those long innovation lead times can mean big losses in potential revenue.How it works: “Think of us like Stripe, but for insurance,” says Bridges. Stripe provides infrastructure for individuals and businesses to receive payments over the internet, and Artificial allows insurance companies to sell, manage and price their insurance in a streamlined way. It cuts down on paper and on middlemen — plus, through the company’s software, Bridges says insurance companies can bring new products to market in a matter of weeks. As for how the company affects consumers directly? Artificial’s software allows insurance to be purchased outside of regular business hours, and its algorithms can lead to better risk estimates for insurance companies — thereby leading to more accurate or lower premiums for consumers. For example, when it comes to car insurance, Artificial’s machine learning algorithm can track driving practices like average speed through a telematic sensor customers place in their cars.How it scaled: “Many of the strategies we used to get to our current position I wouldn’t recommend to anyone,” says Bridges. “We’ve learned huge amounts in the past five years and made plenty of mistakes along the way.” He and his co-founder started out fearful of paying large salaries for certain engineering positions, so they gravitated towards junior-level hires that had less experience and needed more training, resulting in stunted growth for the company. They switched gears and started hiring at a senior level, which translated to no training, better quality and a better return on investment. In software engineering, Bridges learned the “KISS” principle — “Keep it simple, stupid” — which he applies to everything he does in both business and life.5. ZolaAims to reinvent: Wedding registriesHow it started: As the old adage states, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” And in 2013, Shan-Lyn Ma needed a better wedding registry service. That year, it seemed like all her friends were getting married, and she felt she was constantly buying wedding gifts. “It was the worst e-commerce shopping experience I had ever seen,” says Ma. She says that at the time, many registries were dominated by traditional department stores. Sure, they had online product lists and checkout, but Ma says the checkout process was difficult — and her friends’ registries wouldn’t even load properly on a mobile phone. “I was frustrated,” says Ma. “If my closest friend is getting married, I [want] to do something meaningful and beautiful, and it felt the exact opposite.” Brides told Ma that one of the worst parts of wedding planning was creating their registries, and they wished they could register for products, experiences and cash funds in one place — and personalize it somehow. That sparked the idea for Zola.How it works: Zola acts as a one-stop shop for wedding registries and planning, offering 60,000 gift options like products, experiences and cash funds. Couples can create personalized registry pages with photos and notes about why they’re registering for certain products (e.g., “We love to make smoothies together. That’s why we’ve got our eye on this blender”). They’re notified when a product on their list is purchased, and to avoid “box overload,” they can decide whether it’s shipped right away or held for a later date. If they changed their minds about a product before its ship date, they can exchange it virtually. To help with thank-you notes, Zola offers an exportable list of who sent which gift when, plus their addresses.How it scaled: The company attributes most of its growth to focus — and waiting until the wedding registry was up to high standards before expanding into other areas (wedding websites, thank-you note managers and more). They believe the best way to scale is in a sustainable way — in other words, slow and capital-efficient wins the race.6. SeamlessDocsAims to reinvent: Government formsHow it started: Filling out forms can be a headache, and when he worked in paralegal outsourcing, Jonathon Ende experienced that every day. He couldn’t believe that people were shelling out thousands of dollars to figure out how to interact with the U.S. government, and he resolved to build a “turbohack” to make forms simpler and more efficient. He created the initial version of SeamlessDocs using Excel — taking screenshots of forms and manually setting them as the backgrounds of each spreadsheet so users could input data digitally and would show up in the right sections. After taking the company through an accelerator program, he resolved to focus solely on bringing government forms online. But soon, he says, his mission evolved into making interacting with government a “beautiful experience.” SeamlessDocs has raised close to $20 million to date, and clients include hundreds of governments in 40 states — making the service available to about 50 million constituents total, says Ende.How it works: SeamlessDocs aims to save both government workers and constituents time and money on forms — everything from noise complaints to information requests to pet permits. Ende expanded his original view from bringing forms online to simplifying the way constituents find those forms online — plus adding features to forms like the ability to add attachments, submit payments, create a virtual signature and set up form status alerts. The company also helps governments cut down on the number of questions on forms by creating “conditionals.” For example, if you answer “no” on one question and the next 20 questions are related follow-ups, they could disappear from the form since they’re not relevant. On the government side, SeamlessDocs offers tools to manage the incoming forms. Ende says the company saves governments about 1.8 hours of time per form, while it’s about 20 to 30 minutes per form for constituents.How it scaled: Ende says many governments used to think modernizing the form process would be too expensive and time-consuming, so they stuck with Microsoft Outlook and Excel. To reframe his business, he billed it as a “comprehensive form and processing solution.” As for the most important scaling lesson he learned? Don’t try to be everything to everyone; you’re ready to scale once you narrow your focus. “As soon as we set the conviction that we were not going to be the best at forms — we were going to be the best at government forms — we were then ready to scale,” says Ende.7. EthosAims to reinvent: Life insuranceHow it started: There’s no shortage of business ideas born in college dorm rooms, but at Stanford University’s business school, Peter Colis and his engineer roommate were working on something a little different: overhauling the life insurance industry. Colis’s roommate, Lingke Wang, had fallen for a classic consumer pitfall: buying unnecessary insurance. In Wang’s case, he was 20 years old and single with no dependents — but a life insurance agent on commission managed to sell him a pricey permanent life insurance policy. Wang realized his mistake too late, and he ended up losing most of what he paid. He and Colis formulated their idea for Ethos, a life insurance company that would cater to consumers instead of commissions. Now, company investors include the likes of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, Robert Downey Jr.’s Downey Ventures, Kevin Durant’s Durant Company and Will Smith’s Smith Family Circle.How it works: Colis bills Ethos as a life insurance company for “people who don’t have time for fine print or extra doctor appointments or hidden fees.” That’s a tall order, but the company seems to deliver on the efficiency front: Its software and predictive analytics boil a typically 10- to 15-week underwriting process down to about 10 minutes. How? Consumers fill out an online life insurance application, answering questions about behavior (e.g. “Do you rock climb?”) and health (e.g. “When was the last time you stayed overnight in the hospital?”). Ethos then makes a life-expectancy prediction using big data. Some aspects of the process are relatively run-of-the-mill (application information, pharmaceutical records, credit-related financial modeling), while others are more counterintuitive (for example, someone’s history of speeding tickets could correlate to their likelihood of contracting a serious illness). Policies are either approved on the spot or within a few days. As for commissions? There aren’t any. “No one makes money when a policy is sold,” says Colis.How it scaled: The roommates’ first business decision was hiring the “smartest guy from [their] class” at Stanford Business School, who also happened to be the head of Instagram’s advertising product, says Colis. From there, they hired friends of friends, then told them to bring in the smartest people they knew. When the co-founders sought out funding, they walked into Sequoia Capital — and were lucky enough to snag a meeting with a partner who was also a trained insurance actuary. He understood the business model via firsthand experience and helped them raise $11.5 million in funding. Another key scaling strategy? The average life insurance agent is a 60-year-old man, says Colis, so they usually end up selling to older men — but in the hopes of cornering a relatively untapped market, Ethos partnered with “mommy bloggers” to create promotional content. How Success Happens 15+ min readcenter_img June 21, 2018 Listen Nowlast_img read more