For the True Harvard Tech Geeks: The History of Amateur Radio

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The use of DX radio stations began several years ago. DX radio stations are used for many different purposes, including as a past-time. The DX radio gained a great deal of popularity prior to the commencement if the first World War and has seen a great deal of development since that time. The United States showed particular interest in this new form of communication.

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Over time, the use of DX radio began to spread to other countries. It’s use as a past-time became very popular. However, the United States developed the technology further and were the first country to establish contact over a long distance through the use if short wave bands and different signal types.

Ham Radio

With time comes technological developments, and such was the case with DX radio. The advent of several new tools and introduction of several modifications took place during the 1920’s and 1930’s. These developments allowed many operators to make customise the new tools as part of their operation of existing DX radio stations.

Evolution of DX after the World War

The end of the second World War saw the most recent revival of the use of ham radios. Many of the previous restrictions associated with ham radios were overcome, allowing uninhibited ham radio operation. The government also reduced the regulation regarding the use of ham radios after the inherent risks posed by the existence of the war had diminished. The use of hams became an important part of the emergency and rescue party process.

Today, the ham radio is predominantly used for leisure, with several million dedicated operators around the world. Ham radio users are willing to provide potentially new users with as much information and guidance as is required. Experienced ham radio operators are often guests presenters for a variety of fairs, conventions and professional classes. Anyone who is interested in becoming an operator has a better opportunity to do so, than ever before.

When is the Best Time for Harvard Student Startups to Raise Capital?

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Hey Tech@Harvard – when is the best time to raise capital for my startup? Should I go straight to investors or should I try and generate some traction first? How do I do it? What should I say? These are some of the most common questions we get asked by Harvard Student and Alumni Startups.

There are many different ways you can raise capital for your start-up, but they are primarily split into 2 categories. You are either investing your own money, or someone else’s. We’re going to be focusing mostly on the latter, however if you are funding your startup with your own cash, continue to read on, there may be some useful information here for you.

 

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The Business Plan

The first thing you did when the idea for your startup popped into your head was write it down, right? This was your first draft at your business plan. As you continued to work through the idea, you added more and more detail each time. This is key to, not only raising capital, but also to setting the foundations for a strong and successful future business venture.

Know What You’re Selling

I have encountered numerous entrepreneurs that have great ideas, but it takes them hours to explain it. ‘The idea is this, but it also does this…no wait, it does this’. How many times do you think investors hear that? It’s a definite turn off. If you don’t know exactly what you’re selling, then how is anyone else supposed to? It’s simple, highlight the problem and provide the solution.

Know Your Market

It’s great to have ambition, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. You cannot enter the market wanting to sell to everyone, it’s impossible. Clearly identify who you want to sell to. Who will benefit from your product the most? Who is going to be the easiest type of person to sell to? This is your avatar. This is who you’ll be aiming all your initial efforts towards.

An example of an avatar for a wedding shop could be; professional women, aged 25-35, engaged, with a household income slightly above the national average, no children, works 9-5, attends gym classes with friends, spends a lot of time on Facebook, reads bridal magazines & blogs and enjoys socializing and going out for food.

With that avatar you know how, where and what to market to your ideal customer. If you’re unable to create this then go back to your business plan, ensure you have 100% clarity on what you’re offering and the rest should fall into place.

Another important consideration is how you’re going to market – are you going via traditional marketing tactic, or more modern methods like SEO and growth hacking? Which one you choose really depends on your product and your target market.

Know Your Industry

You need to know at least, the latest trends and what your competitors are providing in order to stand a fighting chance. If your customer knows more about what’s going on than you, then you’re in trouble. When you last bought yourself a car, who had all the product knowledge? And this helped you trust the salesman right? The same goes for whatever industry your startup may fall into. Become an expert in your field. It’ll also help you when it comes to selling.

Which brings us nicely onto the next point. Competitors. In order to be successful, you need to sell. Sell as much as you can. The more you sell, the more success you will see. Your competitors also know this, so they’re going to try and get as many sales as possible. Look at what they’re doing to attract customers, where are they marketing? What are the costs involved? The great thing about having successful competitors, is you have a mentor. You have proof that your startup can be successful.

Secure Your Financials

 When approaching investors, they only want to know one thing. Will I make money? That’s all. They want to know their investment is in safe hands. The best way to show them this is by taking care of your own money as if it were theirs. You wouldn’t want your money in the hands of someone irresponsible, so why would they?

Show off your projections. A realistic projection is far more attractive than crazy huge numbers. Whilst you might think six zeros looks great on your first 12 month projection, potential investors may see it as overreaching and unrealistic, which will have them turning their backs.

Perfect The Pitch

Once you have all the information above clearly outlined, write it down into an easily manageable script. Be sure to put it into your own words, no one is interested in talking to a robot. This pitch is going to be the difference between yes and no. Be sure to include all the vital information, but keep it to just that. Avoid cheesy ice breakers and jokes, you’re there to do business, let the jokes come after the yes. Too long and they’ll lose interest, too short and they’ll think you’re missing something.

Practice the pitch to friends, family, co-workers or just anyone that will listen. This will give you a good feel for how your startup is going to be received by your potential customers.

Should Harvard IT Students Apply for ITIL Certification?

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The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) provides the minimum quality benchmarks for IT service management. It is a set of best practices for all IT services. With the ever changing requirements of IT companies, ITIL set the standard for all process management.

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The majority of organisations use information technology. ITIL provides the standards to which processes, procedures and tasks, of which are non-organisation specific, must be implemented. It allows all organisations to establish a baseline and also measure for improvement. Basically, ITIL ensures users a consistent experience.

Organisations can benefit hugely from ITIL through a number of ways. These include

  • Increased productivity
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • More efficient utilization of resources
  • Increased staff retention
  • Clearer visibility to IT costs

 What Can An ITIL Certification Do For Me?

As there are currently few ITIL certified professionals, there are many benefits to completing an ITIL foundation certification course. These include

  • Better pay
  • Better skills
  • Increased credentials
  • Better job prospects

Due to the increasing demand of ITIL certified professionals, not only will you benefit from having a better skill set, with a stronger foundation, you will also be give the upper hand in an extremely competitive job market. Having an ITIL certification gives you a far better chance at the higher paid jobs, with ITIL certified professionals earning on average $119,248 a year. This makes ITIL experts amongst the highest paid professionals in the IT industry.

Should I Become Certified?

 The IT industry is possibly one of the quickest developing industries in the world. There are constant changes and advancement in equipment used and set standards. Becoming ITIL certified shows that you are a true professional, an expert in your field. Not only can it provide you with better paid job opportunities, it also provides your organisation with the confidence and knowledge that you are a highly certified professional, with a comprehensive understanding of the best practices and benchmarks provided for services.

What Next?

 Once you have decided to complete an ITIL foundation certification course, which covers key elements, concepts and terminology used in ITIL. You can then progress onto intermediate, expert and master levels to further show your expert knowledge. Anyone can take the course, as there are no requirements for any previous certifications. All you need is the ability to learn and the drive to become one of the best professionals within the IT industry.

In summary, ITIL sets the benchmark standards for all IT service management. It allows you to earn more money, increase your skills and progress onto more favourable job offers. Not only that, it provides the organisation with a certain level of confidence that only a professional certification can provide. If you want to stay ahead, and distinguish yourself above the rest, then an ITIL certification is the way to go.

Remote Work: The Future of Work and Digital Nomadism

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Over the last decade the world of work has been slowly evolving into something quite fascinating. As globalisation comes banging on our doors, with it comes new opportunities for us to reflect on the old fashioned work-life model.

A true renaissance is on the way and I am happy to be in the middle of this exciting period, where we will see a change in the way we work and approach life itself.

Prediction of Change to Work

Arthur C. Clarke predicted this almost 40 years ago at the dawn of home computing. A true visionary, he could already see the impact this would have on the life of the average businessman.

“They [computers] will make it possible to live really anywhere we like. Any businessman, any executive, could live almost anywhere on Earth and still do his business through a device like this … It means we won’t be stuck in cities. We’ll live out in the country or wherever we please.”

 

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International Collaborations

This is exactly what we are finally seeing happen on a truly global level. In South East Asia, for example, we can now see many spaces and communities opening their doors to the world of international collaboration.

We are starting to see reactions from governments as well, working out how they can benefit from this wealth of information and wisdom. The idea of remote visas is a common theme and one that, once formulated, will be instantly replicated. There are also many government-funded accelerators (for example in Malaysia & South Korea) that are actively seeking collaborations from around the world to strengthen and inspire the future of their startup industry.

Co-working and Digital Nomadism

Three years ago KoHub was created, a community and space for remote workers on a small tropical island in Thailand. Over the years it has blossomed in to a thriving community from all over the Southeast Asian region and the world.

These spaces have walked in parallel with a new movement tagged “digital nomadism”. The idea is that people who have established businesses or remote workers no longer need to operate everyday from their office or even their home country and can seek work-holidays on far away shores to help achieve a better work-life balance or period of productivity.

Remote Teams

We have also seen the rise of truly remote teams, like Buffer and Human Made that operate with a globally distributed team. The benefits of this model seems to be happier employees, a more productive team and a more profitable company. It’s a true win-win.

I have spoken with the Founders of these companies and other similar remote businesses and the overriding benefits are the same in every conversation.

There are also new tribes of remote workers travelling the world together, like Hackers Paradise and Remote Year and many new starting every day. There is a whole support community forming to aid in the sustainability of this new exciting movement.

 

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The Future

The future is hard to predict, but what is certain, is that this movement is not waiting to happen and it is tied directly with the ever increasing interconnectivity of the world as we know it.

Opportunities will be created that allow easier movement and business establishment in foreign countries and regions.

We will see many old concepts challenged. For instance, with globalisation opportunities will not fall on those by chance based on the territory where they were born. Rather, it will become increasingly based on who you are and what you can offer. Hopefully a new concept, a truly fair one, where we are all equal and one that even dreamers like John Lennon himself would have been proud of.

The future of work is here!

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About the author

James is the Founder at KoHub – a tropical co-working space and community on the island on Koh Lanta in Thailand.

4 Management Processes That Can Be Automated With Technology

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With the continual advancement of technology, many industries are now replacing human employees for computers, robots and software. The accuracy, efficiency and speed of which a computer can process information is far superior to that of a human being, so there’s no surprise that company owners are deciding to take their business to the next level using these automated processes. But when is it suitable to swap the old for the new? Here are 4 management processes that you can automate with technology.

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1. Human Resources

For some it means nightmare, for others, it’s the office guardian angel, but here’s one thing for certain, aside from dealing with complaints and in-office altercations, this is one huge chunk of business that could be replaced with a computer. Producing time sheets, granting or rejecting time away from work, checking adherence and monitoring progress. All of these processes, and more could be performed by workforce management software. It’s not uncommon in call centres and other office based roles for the computer to have an ‘availability’ setting, allowing for the monitoring of productivity and time away from the workstation.

2. Finances

Currently automated accounting software has a huge presence all over social media and the internet. Wherever you look, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and even the App Store, automated book-keeping is everywhere. Whilst there is some initial data input required by a human, this could be done by anyone with the figures, and puts aside the costly requirement for an accountant.

3. Recruitment

There’s a saying that teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success. You could have the best business in the world, providing the best service for free, but without the right team behind it, you will still have absolutely nothing. Application tracking software (ATS) allows you to post many job offers, across as many recruitment boards as you like in minimal time. Once the advert is up, the software scans all applications for keywords and then sends the suitable applications, in numerical ranking order based on suitability, up to whoever has the lead on the recruitment campaign. This saves hours of reading endless CV’s just to find out that 16-year-old Jimmy, who has just left school is applying for the MD’s position. Sorry Jimmy, not today.

4. Lead Generation

The most important part of any business is to deliver the product or service to the customer. Without this, there’s no money, without money, you’re going under. Automated lead generation combines CRM with aspects of marketing such as email campaigns to drive up the number of warm leads, resulting in a more productive sales team through introducing higher quality leads.

The point of business is to make money. The only way to do this is to increase income and decrease expenditure. People buy people, so there will always be a need for human presence in any organization. However, through the correct application of automated systems, not only can you save time and money, but you can also actually make more time and money through a more efficient and higher performing team, supplemented by these automated systems.

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Want to read more about how technology is killing jobs? See https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/26/technology-is-killing-jobs-and-only-technology-can-save-them/

From Rags to Riches: How Nick Bell Turned His Last $400 into $45million

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At the age of 24, Melbournian Nick Bell decided to quit his recruitment job and launch his own skincare business, SkinB5. But, after three years selling the product designed to control acne, Nick had just $400 in his bank account. The business wasn’t going well.

But, always an optimist, he saw a silver lining – since his business was online-only, he’d picked up plenty of knowledge about search engine optimisation over the years. In what he described as his ‘last crack’, Nick turned his bedroom into an office and invested $250 into a website to start his own SEO company, Web Marketing Expert.

Today, WME turns over at least $45 million globally, with offices in seven different countries around the world. So, how did he do it?

Reinvesting Every Dollar

Just five days after his new business launched, Nick’s perseverance had already begun to pay off and soon he had his first cheque from a paying client, whose SEO he had worked on all by himself. Soon, Nick would receive a large payment of $10,000 from one of his early clients; he decided to invest this money back into the company and was able to significantly expand, finally renting an office space and even hiring his first full-time team member.  

Giving Up Home Comforts

Although Nick may be known as a Smart50 finalist today, things weren’t always going so great for him. In fact, during the early stages of his SEO business, he describes finding himself in a situation that felt like he was back at university, except for that he was in his late twenties by now. Looking back, he says that to save money, he furnished his room with items that he’d found dumped in rubbish heaps; his concerned mother even advised him to go back to the corporate life and ‘get a real job’.

Employing the Right People

Neither the hardships he faced nor his mum’s worries could deter Nick. With his experience in recruitment, he knew that hiring the right people would take his company to the top. Today, he says that he ‘has to like’ the people he works with; developing strong relationships with his team members has certainly paid off. On picking the right people, Nick says that it’s important to surround yourself with passionate employees who care about your company.

Constantly Evolving

On working in the SEO industry, Nick’s advice is that ‘a sense of urgency is absolutely critical’. With 4,500 competitors trying to beat him in Australia alone, Nick says that without a sense of urgency, he would have undoubtedly been beaten.

Delivering the Best Results

With four years working in the hospitality industry behind him, Nick knows a thing or two about delivering great customer services. His advice to fellow entrepreneurs is to always be on your game; when it comes to service, it’s crucial to always deliver on what you say to improve your reputation and relationships with your customers or clients.

The main secret? Nick always wants to do better. No matter which milestone he reaches, there’s always another one ready for him to go for.

Related Information:

Nick Bell | Sammway

Web marketing expert: How serial entrepreneur Nick Bell is taking his $45 million digital agency WME to the world | Smart Company

Beware bosses bearing ‘workplace happiness’ jargon | SMH

How WME’s Nick Bell perfected the art of the cold call | AFR

 

Why Everyone’s Moving Their Personal Files to the Cloud

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If you’ve been around computers at any point during the last few years then you have probably heard about ‘the Cloud’. This refers to a network of servers which each have a different, specific function. The first thing to understand about the Cloud is that it’s not physical – hence the name!

Chances are, you encounter the Cloud daily without even realising it. If you’ve ever used an online service such as Google Drive or iCloud, then you’re probably thinking ‘Ahhh! I know what that is!’

Moving your file and document storage online has become more and more popular as the available services have begun to take off. If you’re wondering why it’s worth moving all your physical files from your hard drive and into Cloud storage, there are many good reasons. Let’s look at some of the main ones!

Reason #1. Easier Access:

If you’ve ever left your laptop behind at home and then realised that you can’t access an important file you needed because it’s saved on there, you’ll love moving to the Cloud.

When you store your files and documents in Google Drive, for example, you can access them from any device with an internet connection simply by logging into your Google account. The same is true for other popular internet storage services; for example, iCloud, DropBox or OneDrive. Whichever you use, the idea is the same – all you need to do to access your stuff is enter your username and password.

Reason #2. Improved Security:

Secondly, another hugely popular reason for shifting all your files into Cloud storage is that it improves their security. For example, if you have important work documents stored on your business laptop that could do some serious damage in the wrong hands, there’s always the risk that your computer is going to be lost, damaged or stolen and those documents could end up with anyone.

Even worse, if you don’t have your files backed up, you may never see them again unless you find a good data recovery service such as Technetics Data.

Reason #3. Peace of Mind:

Today, we store all sorts of important things on our gadgets and many of them are highly personal and precious to us. For example, if you have hundreds of photos of your children growing up stored on your iPhone, you’re going to be broken-hearted if it is lost, damaged or stolen taking all your wonderful family snaps along with it.

So, it makes sense to upload those photos, along with any other important documents and files that you might have, into a storage area where you can be sure they’ll remain safe regardless of what happens to your device. Our gadgets aren’t infallible; you never know if it will suddenly break or worse; what happens if you were to accidentally drop your smartphone in the bath? On the other hand, since the internet isn’t physical, documents stored on the web are mostly safe forever.

Lastly…

Don’t forget; the Cloud also makes it easier to share your files with others. Using Google Drive, for example, you can create a spreadsheet, slideshow or document and instantly send it to anyone you like, who can then view and edit it straight away. If you’re working on a project, this allows multiple people to work on the same thing at once!

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