Viraj Mane and I wrote a popular Blog post for “Sci on the Fly”


I just found out the the blog post Viraj Mane and I wrote for Sci on the Fly, an AAAS-sponosored blog, was quite popular! Since Viraj was the scientific first author in every sense of the word and I was the senior author (i.e. my role was more of editor than author), I want to give him a huge Shout Out for putting his experiences and opening himself up in this blog post! Way to go, Viraj!!! We should continue this collaboration!

Our post discusses how your PhD can open doors unknown to you and frankly, most of Academia. Viraj told how he transitioned from Academia to Government work on new devices and finally to becoming an Entrepreneur with three start-up companies. His latest venture, PULSa8 is an online community where you can share and preserve your stories for future generations. Check it out!

Here is what the Sci on…

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MarketingBiteSize 101 – How to calculate CPA?


One of the most common topics that came up, especially for a start-up company drafting a financial model, is CPA (cost per acquisition), and CPL (cost per lead).

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is the cost of acquiring your user, that typically involved a user transaction, meaning the user making a purchase of your product or a service, a successful sale.

Cost Per Lead (CPL), on the other hand, is the cost acquiring a contact, an email address for example, a potential customer in the future.

Depending on the nature of your business, you might want to consider including cost per lead as an ROI variable. Your service or product might be a high-ticket item such as a camera. Typically a website browser will not buy a camera online at first browse. He might be browsing your camera website, along with multiple other websites, but he likes what your…

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Apple makes nearly eight times as much money as all Android vendors combined


A new report from Strategy Analytics sheds further light on the state of the smartphone business in the fourth quarter last year, confirming once again the profound effect the iPhone 6 had on the industry. The analytics company revealed that during Q4 2014, Android only managed to capture 11% of the global smartphone profit share, a record-low for Google’s ecosystem, while Apple took home a record-high 89% of all smartphone profits.

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I don’t know this guy from Adam, and I don’t care much for modern rap. But I will say this, many rappers (not all, but many) seem to have a good eye for business and turn out to be excellent entrepreneurs. So it is no surprise to me at all that they would turn their attention to or be involved in Capital Ventures and Start-Up operations.

So I say let the boy run as far as he can run, and Godspeed to his ventures.  Hope they are enormously successful.

And I fully and definitely agree with this sentiment on the part of the author of this article: No man should restrict himself to a single venture when he could master many.


Chamillionaire Is Now An Entrepreneur In Residence at a Venture Capital Firm

In a letter penned by VC Mark Suster explaining the head-turning week he’s had at Upfront Ventures in Los Angeles, he explains the presence of a new face around the office: Chamillionaire. The same Chamillionaire who was showing us how to get our respective shines on not a decade ago. But if Kanye has taught us anything, it’s that we can find success in multiple creative outlets. In the past five years or so, Cham has been quietly but actively involved in the tech startup scene, from speaking on social media engagement in the music industry to hanging out with Y Combinator associates.

He’s also been making some investments himself. He was one of the earliest investors in Maker Studios, an online video network founded in 2009 and sold to Disney for $500 million last year. The firm he’s currently hanging with and advising, Upfront Ventures, has a vast portfolio that includes some acquired startups such as Bill Me Later (Rick Ross may or may not have been referring to this method of monetary transaction on his verse for Nicki Minaj’s “I Am Your Leader”). Suffice it to say that Chamillionaire has transcended the days when he explained on YouTube how Michael Jordan sonned him, or maybe that was just an early example of his Internet savvy and ability to manipulate viral stories and plant social media engagement. At any rate, in a world in which Internet entrepreneurs like Ben Horowitz make business decisions through the inspiration of rap songs, it’s not surprising to see that we now have rappers getting their own piece of the pie.

We can all agree that Chamillionaire should be given a platform to speak at the next TechCrunch Disrupt conference.




All men are, and should be regarded as, equal in public consideration and general value, but not so in personal behavior, character, and nature.

Equality as a universal concept is psychological and sociological in origin; behavior and character are entirely individual properties and pursuits.

You can make a man equal under the law, but you can make no law that will yield equals, great or small. You can declare a man equal in potential, but not so in action, ambition, or achievement. What a man eventually becomes, high or low, is entirely his own enterprise.

If you understand that then you will attempt great personal enterprises, if you do not apprehend this then no great enterprise will ever yield a profitable you.


I thought about posting this to my literary blog, but… then I thought to myself, no, this story contains so many of the lessons I’ve learned in business and regarding corporate espionage that I’ll put it here, on Launch Port.

I’ll continue writing the story in sections and then serialize it here on Launch Port. Enjoy.



Chapter One: The Breeched Bureau

(First Draft)

End-Over placed his luggage at the foot of the bureau. The important thing about a bureau in his mind, if you were going to have one at all, was that it be tightly arranged and well ordered. Most people didn’t understand this, even those who made much use of bureaus. Then again, most people started at the over, and not at the end. He had been born breeched. The end as the logical starting place was natural to him.

It also struck many people as either odd, or humorous, or both, that he would bring so much luggage to a Nudist Camp. But to him, if you were going to camp, the important thing was to always be prepared. Being naked in the face of being nude was to him a very different thing than being both naked and nude. The nude part he had worked himself up to without much trouble. Truth was he had always preferred being nude. The being naked though, that was another matter. They didn’t mesh well in his mind with the other parts of himself. Nude was just another form of camouflage, and another form of gregarious sociability. Naked was, well, it was being naked. You either got that, or you didn’t. End-Over got it, and because of that, he avoided naked.

Everyone at the colony, for he preferred to call it a Colony rather than a Camp, called him John. Or Tule. Because he told everyone his real name was John Tuli. It wasn’t of course, and it wasn’t the only alias he employed. After all real names left one naked, and considering that he was a businessman and considering his business, he was satisfied to let everyone else see him nude rather than naked. His name didn’t interfere with his time at the Colony, it didn’t interfere with his fun, it didn’t make him any less likely to be what he was or to do what he’d do, it was just a name. A corporate structure. He wasn’t attached to it. He wasn’t even attached to his real name. It implied certain things about him, helped clarified aspects of his past. Like all names though it was self-limiting, wasn’t really descriptive at all, other than the meaning others attached to it. Public names, real, or imagined, or created, were like terms to him. Something you could hang an idea on, not something you could develop a solid, working description from. He had a secret name for himself, something no-one else knew. Well, no-one else except maybe God. But it wasn’t a naked name, and it wasn’t a nude name, and it wasn’t a public name, and it wasn’t even a private name. It was a name he used when he talked to himself. Which was often enough that he was respectful of it. So he never used it otherwise, and never spoke it in vain.

He turned from the bureau and examined the room he stood in. It was part of the same cabin he always stayed at when he visited the colony. The floors were stained hardwood, dusty and warm, it seemed to him, no matter what time of year he visited. The furniture was typically resort issue. Standing floor lamps, warm yellow bulbs that shed very little light. That was perfectly fine by him.

The bed was low slung, with no headboard. The mattress was new, and the sheets clean and well tended. On his pillow lay a single wrapped chocolate and with a white rose topping a crisp, bright, white envelop with gold, calligraphic insignia cut to conceal a card rather than a letter. The card was no doubt the typical greeting he always received whenever he visited.

The small kitchen would be clean, swept, dry, and sterile. The floor tiles black and white, the polished faux granite counters would gleam dully. The sinks would shine, the faucets would be scrubbed. Dishes would be neatly stacked and put away in their proper places. The silverware would look as if just purchased. The white-frosted, spherical, enclosed light fixtures would hang halfway between the roof and the floor of the vaulted kitchen ceiling. The refrigerator and freezer would be completely empty of anything but ice, which would be plentiful, and the cabinets would be entirely bare. This didn’t matter to him though; he would stock his own larder. He preferred it that way.

The single bathroom of his cabin would be spotless, the toilet almost pristine, a large shaving mirror would hang above a sink free of all traces it had ever been previously used, and a full length door mirror would decorate the inside door of the bathroom. The bath would be part programmable Jacuzzi, part rounded tub, and would conceal a detachable, multi-pulse showerhead. He liked the set up and looked forward to a few long, relaxing soaks at night while he listened to opera and dozed in the warm water. Which he would salt and pour white wine in for the smell, and because it would relax him all the more…


The IT guide to private PaaS


Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) enables developers to write applications in any language, in a consistent environment, and deploy to production themselves. But what about IT? Does PaaS help them or is it just another system to manage?

IT departments typically do not achieve the full potential of their cloud investments. Virtualization helps, but supporting software still needs to be manually installed and configured for each application deployment.

Private PaaS resolves this issue while giving IT control and oversight that is not possible with public/hosted PaaS.

Here is how one private PaaS technology, Stackato by ActiveState, helps IT:

Automatic configuration of web server environments: The platform automatically recognizes an application’s middleware dependencies and installs and configures all required software, supporting any stack.

Automatic application scaling: Applications scale instantly without requiring additional scripts or third-party services. IT still has control of scaling settings in order to effectively manage resources.

Cloud security:…

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Interest In Keystone Pipeline Mushrooms After Rail Cars Carrying Oil Explode

It might have exploded among the public, but Obama will still attempt to kill it.

Abogado Aly

When some rail cars carrying oil went astray this week, witnesses saw huge fire balls — mushroom clouds eerily similar to those of atomic blasts. That mammoth explosion is now being felt beyond the West Virginia borders where it occurred and among those who are asking about the safest way to move oil.

from Forbes – Business
via Abogado Aly Business Consulting

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The Solution to all such problems as this then is very simple: toss away your bad habits and your bad training and replace those immediately with good habits and good training.

The mind is its own place, and if you will not discipline your own mind and behavior, no one will.


Hate Your Job? It May Be Your Parents’ Fault

Last Updated Aug 26, 2011 7:55 AM EDT

If you aren’t happy in your job, and weren’t thrilled with your last job either, you may want to think about whether your parents loved or hated their work. A small body of research on twins has found that job satisfaction is at least partially inherited. It is part of the larger field that’s investigating genetic markers for all personality and psychological traits. Now, a new study from the National University of Singapore and published in the Journal of Applied Psychology has homed in on two genes that may play a role.

In the study, job satisfaction was significantly associated with two genetic markers, a dopamine receptor gene and a serotonin transporter gene. The dopamine receptor gene is associated with risk taking behavior, weak impulse control and ADHD. Those with this genetic variant had lower job satisfaction. Those with the serotonin variant, which has been linked to lower rates of depression and higher self esteem, had higher job satisfaction. In a yet unpublished study by the Singapore researchers, they found that those with the dopamine gene tend to take jobs with less decision making latitude, which further explains their lower job satisfaction.

The authors warn that the relationship, though significant was small, and that many genes are likely involved in the complicated process of what makes people love their job, including the genes of their boss.

A past study of twins estimated that genetic factors explained about 27% of the variance in the measurement of job satisfaction. If in fact job satisfaction does run in families, some of it could also be explained by attitudes that parents express about their jobs around the dinner table. If your parents constantly griped about their boss or complained about going to work, some of that is bound to rub off on you.

How can this help you?
Understanding deeper influences on your behavior may help change your perspective. “We have to understand and respect such innate tendencies and try to find ways to accommodate them instead of trying to change them completely,” says study author Zhaoli Song of the National University of Singapore. “Those with certain genetic profiles may be happier with jobs that fit their innate tendencies,” she says.

For employers, the authors write, “Managers should be mindful that situational factors such as working conditions and leadership style do not completely modify employee job satisfaction. Instead, very stable individual differences associated with genetics partially drive employees to be satisfied or dissatisfied with their jobs.”

Money Doesnt Change Character.

I concur.


“When you have great wealth, you will do more of what you did when you had little wealth. If your desire was to have a big house, you will simply build bigger houses, and more houses. If you liked cars, you will park more expensive cars. If you cared for one child, you will end up caring for many children. If you attended to the sick in your community, when you have money, you will build hospitals. If you were selfish when you had little, you will be selfish when you have much, it will simply be more apparent for all to see.
That is just how it is; money is an amplifier of character. It does not change or make character.”

– Strive Masiyiwa

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Career Girl How-To: Navigate a Major Work Transition

“As you gain momentum in your career and develop yourself professionally, it is inevitable that at some point you will find yourself navigating a major work transition.

Whether it’s becoming a boss, acquiring a new boss, undergoing department restructuring, or making a fresh start with a new company entirely- you will have to learn how to survive the transition period.

This is undoubtedly an extremely challenging time no matter the circumstances, but a savvy career woman has a few tricks up her sleeve in order to stay ahead of the game. Just remember to stay positive, remain engaged, and to keep the following 3 things in mind…”

read the rest over at MsCareerGirl!



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Types of IT Companies, Cultures & Processes, and Your Employability

Social. Political. Economic. Career| Seyed Ibrahim


The IT employees should keep an eye on what’s happening in the industry. If you have to the leave (either voluntarily or laid-off/fired from) your current company, you don’t want to be surprised to find that you don’t have experience in certain processes, or knowledge of some technology, to join other companies.

Types of IT Companies

1. Captive units are offshore IT units of large US/European non-IT companies, like Ford, RBS, Verizon etc. IT folks at captive serve just one company – one customer, though there may be multiple departments/portfolios

2. Service companies offer consulting, outsource/offshore & IT project development & maintenance. Examples are TCS, HCL, Cognizant, etc. Service folks, well, serve multiple clients/companies and oftentimes in multiple geographies.

3 & 4. There are IT product companies (e.g.: SAP, Oracle, etc.) and “internet” companies (i.e. they aren’t accessible if your internet access is down) like FB, Google etc.


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THE BUSINESS ODYSSEY – Operational Planning



 “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  “You can always change your plan, but only if you have one.”
Randy Pausch,  The Last Lecture

Operational planning differs from strategic planning. Strategic planning is the process that defines the business’s direction, overarching goals and competitive advantage. An effective strategic plan is the foundation executives use to make decisions allocating resources and choosing between alternatives. Operational plans on the other hand focus on specific outcomes and the initiatives necessary to advance the business’s goals and objectives (typically confined to a period of one year). The operating plan expresses accomplishments, action items, initiatives, budgets, scheduled milestones, and assignment of responsibilities expected over the coming year. Operational planning and the operating plan produced are most effective when delegated to individual revenue and cost centers. Plans prepared by individual operating units can be consolidated into a…

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Love it or hate it, that kill switch is reducing phone theft


Despite wide-ranging criticism last year, the state of California passed a law requiring phones to have a remote “kill switch” by July 2015 and the approach, as well as similar legislation in other areas, seems to be cutting down on the number of stolen handsets.

Reuters noted on Wednesday that reported iPhone theft was down by 40 percent in San Francisco between September 2013 and 2014, as [company]Apple[/company] added such a switch at the beginning of that time period. New York saw 25 percent fewer iPhones reported stolen during that same year while London had a 50 decrease in iPhone thefts. The switch deters thieves because it allows the owner to remotely wipe and disable the handset, making the resale value plummet.

The information from Reuters is specific to the iPhone but surely has some relevance to other phones as well. Samsung, for example, added a similar feature to its [company]Google[/company] Android…

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Finance and Risk converge in creating the “Everyday Bank”

Abogado Aly

Financial services institutions, notably banking, capital markets and insurance firms, are rapidly evolving in response to the explosive growth in digital technologies ? particularly those related to analytics, cloud computing, social media and mobility. These innovations can help firms establish a more strategic market position, one that responds to customers? expectations for online, always-available products and services.

from Forbes – Business
via Abogado Aly Business Consulting

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Is Europe anti-inovation?


I am currently on a plane, travelling to New York for a short trip to meet interesting and innovative startups. In order to prepare for this 8 hour flight from Amsterdam to New York I downloaded some videos with interesting discussions that took place in 2014 to watch. One of the videos I watched is the discussion that Fred Wilson (from and Loic Le Meur had during LeWeb 2014 in Paris. It is a very interesting  45 minute video that I highly recommend to every entrepreneur, (aspire) VC or tech enthusiast that you can find here.

In this discussion Fred Wilson is talking about his view on the biggest trends of our age. He discusses in detail the sharing economy, the latest valuations, the healthcare sector and wearables. Being one of the top VCs worldwide, he also openly discusses about his biggest mistakes, like passing on Uber…

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What Investors Need to Know About Deal Terms and Conditions

VC Experts Blog

Investors should be well aware of the terms and conditions when investing in private companies. What happens if there is a down round? What provisions can stop new investors from taking over a cap table? Understanding the economic impact of these terms can help protect your investment. ACE Portal’s Co-Founder and CFO, Carl Torrillo, interviewed Ross Barrett, Co-Founder of VC Experts, on what private investors need to know about terms and conditions. Take a moment and see why it may be “your deal, but my terms”.

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Report: Google Glass As We Know It Is Dead, New Leadership Will Redesign It From Scratch

Deepak verma

Google framed the recent end of the Glass Explorer program as Glass “graduating” from its experimental X labs. People wondered not so secretly if it was actually the end of the line for Glass. According to a new report from The New York Times, Glass as we’ve come to know it is dead, but the project
February 05, 2015 at 10:09PM
By Deepak verma

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Traditional Intellectual Property Lessons Learned

Over the past few months, we have been talking to many entrepreneurs about their knowledge-gap around intellectual property (IP) and other important startup matters that actually impact IP or intangibles (and therefore valuation and ultimately their success). This is the first in a three part series detailing the lessons learned by these early stage companies.

First, what do I mean by traditional IP? I often joke that if I had a dollar for every person who told me they didn’t have any IP in their business, and a second dollar for those who think IP is only patents, I would be rich. Traditional IP to me is the patent or trademark protection. That is not to say that copyrights, trade secrets, and so on are not IP—far from it—but the most common IP is patents and trademarks. Unfortunately there remain some big misconceptions around protecting traditional IP.

A few brave entrepreneurs have shared their stories to help others learn about the importance of IP identification early and often.

Timing is everything

Phillip Felice, Founder of Bridge Optix, described his recent brush with IP horror in a single sentence: “I realized I have underestimated intellectual property timing importance.” Phillip was weeks away from a public release of his product when he was grilled on his company’s IP protection and strategy. He realized that his patents needed to be filed before his public product release.

We have heard other horror stories where companies have spent thousands on branding for websites, signage, or product packaging without first securing rights to a name, including trademarks. Register and secure rights before spending too much of your limited startup capital.

Location, location, location

Patents filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) only cover the US. The same goes for trademarks and copyrights filed with the US Copyright office.

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Will A New Startup Make Startups More Diverse?

Abogado Aly

Diversity (or its absence) in Silicon Valley is a hot topic. Between high-profile sexual harassment cases and well-documented underrepresentation of women and minorities at startups, the problem is clear — but the solution is more elusive. Last week, I interviewed entrepreneur Joelle Emerson, CEO of Paradigm, a new company that advises startups on how to build more diverse workforces, who might just be an integral part of the fix. Learn about her approach to startup diversity and what it means for you and your company.

from Forbes – Business
via Abogado Aly Business Consulting

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As HoloLens’ looms, Atheer plans new augmented reality headset


Mountain View-based startup Atheer plans to announce today a second developer version of its augmented reality glasses, moving it closer to the long-promised headset it plans to sell to businesses.

The refreshed glasses are the first I’ve seen from Atheer that actually look like, well, glasses. They have a Snapdragon 800 processor and a lighter, more compact frame. Their Android-based operating system now looks much cleaner and is navigable with just a few gestures.

The four-year-old startup is now operating under a new CEO: Alberto Torres, who was formerly the senior vice president of mobility at HP. He replaced former Atheer CEO Soulaiman Itani in October.

Atheer CEO Alberto Torres demonstrates a medical application on the Atheer augmented reality headset. Atheer CEO Alberto Torres demonstrates a medical application on the Atheer augmented reality headset.

Under Itani, Atheer launched a crowdfunding campaign offering augmented reality glasses to consumers. It canceled the campaign after raising more than $200,000, citing deeper interest from the enterprise side.

Torres said Atheer will remain…

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Goodlatte revives Innovation Act to curb patent trolling


Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) has reintroduced a patent reform bill, known as the Innovation Act, that enjoyed bipartisan support last year, but was killed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt). The prospects for the bill, which would undercut the business model of so-called patent trolls, are bright since Republicans now control both House of Congress and President Obama has long opposed patent trolling. Once again, though, the real action is expected to take place in the Senate — where influential figures like Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Jon Cornyn (R-Tx) are likely to again offer their support. On the other side, trial lawyers and the patent trolls are expected to push to water it down, in part by warning that it will threaten “innovation.” (See “5 key questions for patent reform in 2015” to see how this might all play out.

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