Sunday, August 24, 2014

Who could forget this technology Shared via Keynected (

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2m raised at big pitch funding 
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Coca-Cola and Monster deal turns founders into billionaires

article extracted from  my favourite keynected feed

Rodney Sacks and Hilton Schlosberg purchased a debt-laden soda maker in 1992 for $2m and took over debt for $12m

Over 20 years later, they are now billionaires as their company, Monster Beverage, agreed to sell a 17 per cent stake to Coca-Cola for $US2.15 billion ($2.3 billion), sending its shares as high as $US97.48 in New York trading.

The deal gives Coca-Cola greater exposure to the energy drinks market, one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry having doubled in sales since 2007.
Its main product, Monster Energy, has sold more than 10 billion units since its introduction in 1997. It has almost four times the amount of caffeine as Coke.

The Monster Story

Seeing the success of Red Bull, they introduced Hansen-branded energy drinks in 1997, the company languised for 5 years.
"They played with a bunch of different formulations. The first Hansen energy drink offering wasn't well received."

Fortunes shifted for the better in April 2002, when the pair launched Monster, an energy drink priced the same as Red Bull in cans twice the size. The Monster brand was so successful that the company changed its name to Monster Beverage in January 2012.

Monster has 34.3 per cent share of the energy drink market to Red Bull's 33.9 per cent, according to a Monster presentation to investors in January. Last year, Monster started a protein drink, Muscle Monster. In a nod to its natural soda roots, it introduced a kale flavored Hansen-brand soda earlier this year.
Coca-Cola explored buying Monster in 2012 and found the price too high, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named.

Caffeine concerns
Monster's caffeine levels have sparked ongoing investigations by state and federal officials into any connection energy drinks may have with unusual deaths. Countering the allegations has drawn Sacks more into the spotlight, including testifying before a US Congressional panel on energy drinks last summer.
In a meeting in February this year, Sacks opened the meeting  by confirming that  energy drinks are safe. A 473 ml cup of coffee served by Starbucks has more than double the caffeine of a Monster the same size!

The difference between a startup and a small business

An article inspired by smart company - (which is in my Spark collection on #keynected )

Download keynected - it's like a flipboard on steroids! 

“Startups have two important defining characteristics: Potential for high growth and disruptive innovation. Small businesses, on the other hand, lack those defining characteristics.”

– Alan Noble, head of engineering Google

“A startup isn't a business yet. It's a guess that if you build X product that Y customer will value it. When that changes from a guess to a reality, you're a business. For a new business, they already know the product is valued by customers, it's just a question of whether they can find enough of them and deliver it efficiently.”

 Mick Liubinskas, entrepreneur in residence Muru-D

“A startup is a temporary organisation that is still discovering its purpose and intends to grow very large when it finds it. A small business knows what it is and will probably stay comfortably small forever.

“For example, YouTube was a dating site in its days as a startup but discovered it needed to be a video-sharing product. When it knew this, and understood how to make money, it ceased to be a startup and began scaling. In contrast, a web development agency has a well-understood business model that can immediately be executed. But it is unlikely to be a massive business.”

– Phil Morle, CEO Pollenizer

“Startups are high-growth, high-risk ventures that set out to find a scalable business model in a large market. They almost always have a strong technology component in order to facilitate the ambitions of rapid growth. At the very beginning of a startup, it is usually unclear who the customer is and how they will obtain value from the product.

“Over time, startups have the capacity to make economic and cultural contributions that are disproportionate to their modest beginnings.”

– Scott Handsaker, co-founder Startup Victoria

Airbnb - How it started

Nathan Blecharczyk - 30 yr old Harvard graduate cofounder of Airbnb - launched in 2008 -  online accommodation portal 15m stays in 190 countries .

Idea :- Joe Gebbia, a designer , Brian Chesky leased out a room to help pay the rent - pumped up an air mattress and called it air bed and breakfast!
Joe , Brian, Nathan and a couple of developers then launched airbnb.

2 key points from article :- 

'Twas Cool because it impacted so many people around the world in a positive way! 

Think Big - see the big picture - and how you can change the world 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Keynected launched today - need your help!!

We are delighted to announce the birth of keynected ... (Launched on App Store today).


I have been challenged to get a sample of 1000 users to download the app within the next 5 days -
So...please download keynected, play with it, and if you love it share it with your friends.

At the moment you need to have an I-phone or IPAD and have Facebook (Android is coming soon)

It would be fantastic if you could give us feedback and suggestions.

What is it
Keynected is an aggregation of all your Facebook and Social Media LIKES and their POSTS.

Now you can find your favourite magazines, brands, celebs, teams and causes ALL IN ONE PLACE, and share the content that you like with your friends via email, message or social media.

IT IS SUPER EASY TO USE (and I find it a bit addictive!!)

If you have an iPhone and are on Facebook, please download Keynected from the Appstore or from (and soon to come for Android devices and phones.)

Download from App Store:

Check out the Website

View the Demo Video

have a great weekend

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Who do you know that became successful before going to University?

Ten people who found success without finishing a degree before going to work in Australia

There’s an old adage in university circles that ‘Ps’ (a passing grade) get degrees. Yet it would seem that degrees don’t necessarily get you jobs.

Australia’s unemployment rate hit a staggering 12-year high this week. Youth unemployment is faring even worse, plumbing to depths not seen since 2001. These figures have fuelled an ongoing debate in business circles about whether we have an oversupply of university graduates and an undersupply of particular skill sets.

There's a perception that a university qualification is a gateway to a long and successful career. And while there’s no denying that particular degrees can open doors, it’s worth remembering that university isn’t the be-all and end-all, particularly in business.
Indeed, Australia has its share of business mavericks who chose not to further their formal education, but have nevertheless achieved immense financial success.   

Clive Palmer

Palmer United Party leader, multi-billionaire and law-school dropout Clive Palmer has made a fortune from property development and the resource sector. He was ranked 28th on this year’sBRW Rich List after earning $1.22 billion last year. He says he is worth over $2bn. Palmer has made some erratic purchases in his lifetime, including the Gold Coast United FC, and has built a dinosaur amusement park. He is also building a replica of Titanic, which will set sail in 2016.  

Lindsay Fox

Lindsay Fox dropped out of school when he was 16 and became the founder of the country’s largest privately-owned transport and logistics company. His company, Linfox, employs over 22,000 people, has more than 5,000 vehicles, and owns the Armaguard cash security business. He is reportedly worth over $2bn.

Janine Allis

Like Fox, Janine Allis dropped out of school at 16. She was a stewardess on David Bowie’s yacht in the Mediterranean before opening her first juice franchise in Adelaide in 2000. Boost now saturates the juice market with hundreds of stores in 11 countries. On the tailwind of Boost’s success, Allis created Retail Zoo as an umbrella company, which owns Boost and other retail companies such as Cibo Espresso and Salsas Fresh Mex Grill. Last year Retail Zoo had a total turnover of $223 million. Allis maintains a 25 per cent stake in the business.

Solomon Lew

A key figure in Australia’s retail scene, Solomon Lew is perhaps best known as the chairman of retail conglomerate Premier Brands, and before that as the director of Coles Myer. Lew hailed from humble beginnings. At 18, he assumed control of his Dad’s retail business and built his empire up from there. Lew was thrust into the spotlight when he helped bail out Myer in 1983, taking a 10 per cent stake in the company. He helped manage the company through its merger with Coles and then pocketed a cool $1.1bn when Wesfarmers assumed control of the supermarket giant in 2006. Lew remains active in the retail M&A space. He pocketed $210m earlier this year in dealings surrounding South African retail giant Woolworths' takeover of David Jones. 

Grant O'Brien

From sparkie to shelf stacker to chief executive, Woolworths CEO Grant O'Brien is an example of just how high an individual can climb up the career ladder without a university degree.
After dropping out of high school in year 10, O’Brien originally trained as an electrician. Poached by the Glenelg Football club for his for his prowess as a ruckman, O’Brien left his home in Penguin, Tasmania and undertook a diploma in business and accounting to help manage his work as a contractor sparkie. This saw O’Brien change his career plans and move into number-crunching.
Four years later, O’Brien moved back to Tasmania and took on a role as an accounting assistant at Woolworths' Tasmanian supermarket arm, Purity. He stacked shelves after work to earn some extra pocket money for his family. He eventually became chief executive in 2011. Obrien did attempt to attain a MBA at Monash University but did not complete the course. Like most executives, he attended a short business course at Harvard in the US before being appointed chief executive.

Kirsty Dunphey

The 2002 Telstra Young Australian Business Woman of the Year was a broke university dropout before establishing her own real-estate agency in 2001 at the age of 21. M&M Real Estate was the 24th fastest growing company on BRW’s Fast 100 list in 2004, after making $2.4m in revenue. She was a self-made millionaire by 23, multi-millionaire by 25, and then sold her agency in 2007 for an amount that would have allowed her to retire if she wanted. She is now a co-director at Elephant Property, a Tasmanian property-management consultancy firm she established in 2008. Since becoming a multi-millionaire, she has studied a Master of Business at the University of Tasmania.

James Packer

When not caught in a bit of biffo, James Packer enjoys business success as owner of gaming conglomerate Crown Resorts. Packer inherited billions of dollars from his late father Kerry, who built a media empire. Kerry Packer felt that sending James to university would only teach him left-wing ideas and how to smoke dope, so instead he shipped him off to the Northern Territory to become a jackaroo. After a couple of years herding cattle, Kerry sent James to London to learn business from American business turn-around specialist Al Dunlap. BRWestimates James Packer to be worth over $7bn.

John Winning

After finishing high school and working a few odd jobs, John Winning went on to revolutionise his Dad’s business, the Winning Group, by founding Appliances Online in 2004. The web business is now Australia’s largest online appliance retailer and has helped keep his Dad’s business competitive. It was started by Winning with just a laptop, a rented car and by diverting a 1300 number to his mobile. The Winning Group’s 2012-2013 sales totalled over $350m.

Frank Lowy

Eight years after immigrating to Australia from Palestine, Frank Lowy listed the world’s biggest shopping-centre empire on the ASX in 1960. Today there are nearly 100 Westfield shopping malls. Westfield’s retail portfolio is worth over $40bn. The company now trades Scentre Group on the ASX since June this year following a shambolic corporate restructure that somewhat tarnished his reputation as one of Australia’s greatest business heroes. Lowy learned his business acumen not from school, but from living off the streets in Hungary during the Second World War. 

Shannon Bennett

 Shannon Bennett is a restaurateur who has established a successful restaurant empire. He dropped out of school at 15 and became an apprentice chef after a stint at McDonald's. Bennett spent time in Europe under the tutelage of the best chefs before opening his first Vue du Monde restaurant, aged 24, in Carlton, Melbourne. The restaurant has since moved to level 55 of the Rialto building on Collins Street, with Vue cafes dotted around the city. Last year he purchased a $5m property in South Yarra, which is probably easy to do when the bill for two at the restaurant can cost as much as $1000.
Read  in an email from a mate who got this  from UBS

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Digital Disruption is the key

Republished from

The giant dotcoms like Google, Facebook and Yahoo have made the transition successfully through the most disruptive moment of their short histories. And they have emerged more powerful than ever before.

Disruption is not a death sentence.

The desktop web as we came to understand it emerged in the mid 90's and changed the world dramatically in just a decade. The mobile web emerged during the last decade with the arrival of iPhones and then Google's Android. Its impact was even more disruptive, dramatic and far reaching, and it is still only getting started.

Only three years ago Facebook made no money from mobility and in its stock market prospectus said it didn't really know how it would. Google was a search engine seven years ago, and there were no Android phones in the world. Yahoo was the old man of the club, poorly run and trading on reputation, until Marissa Mayer laid down her "mobility first" dictate.

Today those three companies clearly lead mobile web traffic in the US, each garnering over 85 per cent reach amongst US mobile web consumers in the most recent month according to comScore. And the story doesn't stop at the top three. Run your finger down the top ten list and the story is the same all the way down. Giant tech brands with an internet provenance anchored on the desktop now dominating the smartphone economy.

How were these techs leaders able to survive the wave of digital disruption and emerge so powerful when so many other companies in other sectors withered.

Three characteristics stand out;

  • An obsessive focus on customer service, epitomized by companies like Amazon
  • An extraordinary pursuit of digital capability and design excellence as represented by companies like Apple
  • And a brutal facility to execute disruptive strategy at scale and speed as demonstrated by companies like Google and Facebook.

Capgemini rang the bell on this trend in a report into digital leadership last year where it measured the maturity of business models based on digital capability and capacity to execute. Not surprisingly tech companies own the leadership quandrant as the chart below describes.

As Statista noted earlier this year , "In the end it appears as if the same companies that dominated the internet for years smartly used their size and scale to reach dominance in the mobile space as well."

When you start to drill down into individual company performances the impact of mobility becomes even more stark. Apple for instance will likely derive almost 70 per cent of its gross profits from iPhones this year as the chart below from Statista outlines.

With a higher priced and bigger screened iPhone apparently on the way, Apple is replying on smart mobility to defend its margins. As Statista says, "Given the fact that the iPhone is already Apple's biggest cash cow (see the chart for a breakdown of Apple's estimated 2014 profit), the prospect of improved margins on a top-selling new iPhone will bode well with Apple's shareholders which are waiting for positive news from Cupertino."

Source: Statista

Andrew Birmingham is the editor and publisher of Which-50. For smart insights and analysis around digital disruption and subscribe to our Irregular Insights newsletter.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Have retailers embraced mobility? Great opportunity for them

Australia’s shoppers have embraced mobility, but retailers are barely getting started: study -By Stanislas Nouveau
Despite the rise of smartphone usage in retail by Australia’s shoppers, most Australian retailers have yet to adopt sophisticated mobile strategies. A joint mobile commerce study from NetSuite and the Australian Retailers Association, conducted by Frost & Sullivan, has revealed that local retailers remain largely unprepared for mobile commerce. 

 “There is a reasonable disconnect between the retailer and customer expectations, and this creates a lot of opportunity for retailers to rise to the occasion and take on market share.” Read more