Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook gives up on making the world more open and connected, now wants to bring the world closer together

Facebook announced a massive change today. CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared the company with nearly 2 billion monthly active users has a new mission statement: Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. The old mission was “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

Facebook may have a tweaked, slightly different mission, but it still has a lot of work to do to address some of its failings. Last week, Facebook began publishing a series of posts to explore hard questions about the platform’s shortcomings when it comes to things like fake news or not doing enough to remove terrorist groups and hate speech content. Separately, a Buzzfeed News analysis also last week found that at least 45 instances of rape, child abuse, killings, and other criminal acts of violence were broadcast on Facebook Live since December 2015.

The topic of community has been a focus for Zuckerberg this year….

Maybe Huge Philanthropic Gifts Aren’t What the World Needs

Article Image

We tend to think that philanthropy is good in itself. Giving money to those in need is surely a laudable act, worthy of praise and by no means criticism. But what if the ways we choose to donate money are misguided? To paraphrase the catchy title of a rather controversial book, what if there were ways we could do good — better?

Philanthropy advisor and author Caroline Fiennes thinks the way we do philanthropy is deeply flawed. To prove her point, she takes none other than Mark Zuckerberg as a (bad) example.

What’s wrong?

In 2010, the Facebook CEO and co-founder announced in front of a live audience that he would donate no less than $100 million to fix the schools in Newark, New Jersey. The charitable act turned out to be a failure, as judged by one close observer, as most of the money was wasted and students did not get the support they needed.

Why did this happen? Simply put – because we do not know how to “donate well.”

Not enough research is being done. Fiennes cites the only few studies available on donor effectiveness, which have all pointed to “leaks” in the philanthropy system. Money is squandered on hiring consultants, drawing up proposals, and managing grants.

We look too much into how worthy the receivers are of the donation, but don’t investigate the effectiveness of the philanthropists. The negative consequences are suffered unilaterally. As Fiennes puts it:

“Funders are rarely punished for under-performing and usually don’t even know when they are: if the work that they fund helps one child but could have helped ten, that ‘opportunity cost’ is felt by the would-be beneficiaries, not by the funder.”

What can we do to fix it?

So what can we do to make a “successful” donation? And importantly, how do we define “success”?

In a long-term analysis of philanthropic practices that Fiennes conducted together with Dr. Helen Owen, the authors define success in relation to the question: “To what extent has the engagement met or exceeded the goals with which it began?” If the intervention exceeded or met most of the goals, then we are dealing with a…

Make Sure You Get Paid and 4 Other Great Tips From Famous Commencement Speakers

Graduation season brings with it a slew of commencement speeches, all of which tend to repeat the same old cliches about bright futures, following one’s dreams, and how graduation marks a beginning rather than an end. While great commencement speakers find ways to package these old chestnuts in humorous speeches and elegant words, most of these addresses do not offer graduates any actionable advice.

However, some graduation speakers do have excellent words of wisdom to offer new grads. In particular, the following five famous people offered some important money and career tips that graduates (and anyone else watching their speeches) can take to heart.

Lesson #1: Get paid!

Maria Bamford, University of Minnesota 2017

This spring, comedian Maria Bamford gave one of the most unusual — and helpful — commencement addresses of all time at her alma mater, the University of Minnesota. Bamford used her speech as an opportunity to detail the negotiation process she went through to receive a $10,000 paycheck from the school in exchange for her speech.

The University had originally offered her nothing for the gig, which made her wonder if the school was lowballing her. “Was the University of Minnesota suggesting that I couldn’t get paid for the exact job that I paid them to teach me how to do?” she asked the laughing crowd.

Bamford went on to say that she requested $20,000 before being offered the $10,000 she ultimately accepted. Her business adviser (an aluminum salesman and the father of a friend) wanted her to ask to split the difference at $15,000, but since Bamford is “still from Duluth, and still ashamed,” she accepted the $10,000 — which only netted her $5,000 after taxes and commissions were removed.

This lesson about the importance of getting paid what you are worth became even more concrete for one member of the graduating class. Bamford ended her address by asking graduates who owed money to Sallie Mae to raise their hands, and then asking if there were specifically any theater majors who owed money to Sallie Mae. One theater major in the front row was invited on stage, where Bamford handed over the $5,000 speaking fee check, already made out to Sallie Mae. She told the graduate that it would have been a larger amount, if Bamford had been a better negotiator.

Doubtless, every graduate in the audience came away from that speech with a much better sense of the importance of asking for what they are worth.

Lesson #2: If you worship money, then you will never have enough

David Foster Wallace, Kenyon College 2005

The writer David Foster Wallace gave this speech over a decade ago, and it has shown up on lists of best commencement addresses ever since. The overall message of the speech, which is entitled This Is Water, is about being aware of the world around you and the ways in which your thoughts shape your reality. However, in one portion of his address, Wallace talks about how we all worship something, and he cautions against worshipping the wrong thing, including money:

“And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship … is that…

Make Sure You Get Paid and 4 Other Great Tips From Famous Commencement Speakers

Graduation season brings with it a slew of commencement speeches, all of which tend to repeat the same old cliches about bright futures, following one’s dreams, and how graduation marks a beginning rather than an end. While great commencement speakers find ways to package these old chestnuts in humorous speeches and elegant words, most of these addresses do not offer graduates any actionable advice.

However, some graduation speakers do have excellent words of wisdom to offer new grads. In particular, the following five famous people offered some important money and career tips that graduates (and anyone else watching their speeches) can take to heart.

Lesson #1: Get paid!

Maria Bamford, University of Minnesota 2017

This spring, comedian Maria Bamford gave one of the most unusual — and helpful — commencement addresses of all time at her alma mater, the University of Minnesota. Bamford used her speech as an opportunity to detail the negotiation process she went through to receive a $10,000 paycheck from the school in exchange for her speech.

The University had originally offered her nothing for the gig, which made her wonder if the school was lowballing her. “Was the University of Minnesota suggesting that I couldn’t get paid for the exact job that I paid them to teach me how to do?” she asked the laughing crowd.

Bamford went on to say that she requested $20,000 before being offered the $10,000 she ultimately accepted. Her business adviser (an aluminum salesman and the father of a friend) wanted her to ask to split the difference at $15,000, but since Bamford is “still from Duluth, and still ashamed,” she accepted the $10,000 — which only netted her $5,000 after taxes and commissions were removed.

This lesson about the importance of getting paid what you are worth became even more concrete for one member of the graduating class. Bamford ended her address by asking graduates who owed money to Sallie Mae to raise their hands, and then asking if there were specifically any theater majors who owed money to Sallie Mae. One theater major in the front row was invited on stage, where Bamford handed over the $5,000 speaking fee check, already made out to Sallie Mae. She told the graduate that it would have been a larger amount, if Bamford had been a better negotiator.

Doubtless, every graduate in the audience came away from that speech with a much better sense of the importance of asking for what they are worth.

Lesson #2: If you worship money, then you will never have enough

David Foster Wallace, Kenyon College 2005

The writer David Foster Wallace gave this speech over a decade ago, and it has shown up on lists of best commencement addresses ever since. The overall message of the speech, which is entitled This Is Water, is about being aware of the world around you and the ways in which your thoughts shape your reality. However, in one portion of his address, Wallace talks about how we all worship something, and he cautions against worshipping the wrong thing, including money:

“And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship … is that…

What’s really happening right now with chatbots

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com/BlurryMe

One night in Corvallis, with the Oregon State basketball team heading to its 14th straight loss of its season, the talk around the hotel bar moved from the television screen to a far different form of communication — chatbots.

No one used that word, of course. But the technology took front and center in a conversation about Alexa, the voice-activated digital assistant from Amazon that can do everything from play music to order groceries. Give Amazon credit: it’s pushed hard to win the hearts and minds of U.S. consumers, teeing up more than 100 mini ads for just that purpose.

Software that can respond to voice or text commands is a high-growth investment sector about to explode in scope and penetration worldwide. Look no further than the announcement by Mark Zuckerberg last year that Facebook Messenger will be opened to bot development. With Messenger drawing 1.2 billion users per month, its corporate parent is now actively encouraging developers to plug in and more than 10,000 have already done so.

The rise of chatbots also signals a landscape-altering reality: the decline of standalone mobile apps. Alphabet, Facebook, Snap and others see a world where a spoken or typed word can trigger software that is intelligent enough to handle airline reservations, make clothing purchases, or a reorganize one’s calendar. It will be the difference between opening an airline app to get your flight information and simply typing or saying, “Grab my boarding pass.”

And it’s already happening. Onvoya, for example, can find a flight based on your travel preferences. Talklocal lets you request a plumber like you’re ordering pizza. And Dotin can use publicly available posts, photos, and other data to help companies pinpoint everything from buying behaviors to good employment matches.

In fact, you can argue the messaging layer of the software stack will be the de facto operating systems of the future, with bots handling most the chores of today’s phone-based apps.

For investors, the growth of chatbots has two important implications. First, it will fuel a rising demand for artificial-intelligence software (AI) to make businesses bot friendly. Second, it will create a standardized and low-data use approach to reach markets still challenged by high-speed connectivity.

In other words, bots will make it as easy to sell in India as Indiana.

Battle for the intelligence layer

For the next decade, the key business technology driver will be bots that can connect to both local and cloud-based data centers. That will put a premium on AI routines that can connect voice and text commands to everyday processes.

Already the battle is on among startups to become the go-to provider of affordable, AI-driven bot technology. One such example is Botworx. The California company provides businesses with bots that can…

The way forward with Facebook Messenger bots

Image Credit: Pixabay

From the moment Mark Zuckerberg got on stage at F8 in 2016 and announced the Messenger chatbot ecosystem, innovative brands, agencies, and developers jumped to start testing the waters with chatbots.

Dazzled by massive user numbers on messaging applications, the accessibility of chatbot authoring platforms and the perceived ease of bringing a product to market, it was too good to pass up. 30,000 bots were launched within six months and thousands more surfaced each month afterward.

Today, that number is up to 100,000. Scores of brands have developed bots for Messenger, all of them seeking an opportunity to drive quality one-to-one interactions with their customers at scale. Keeping in mind customer experience and the challenges brands face as app downloads decrease and ad blockers increase, there’s hardly a better opportunity available to brand marketers today.

The evolution of bots

In the first year, we learned many lessons about chatbots. Because of its one-on-one nature, people feel comfortable sharing their opinions and truthfully answering questions, making chatbots an effective tool to collect data and customize offerings.

But, it only works if users are engaging the bot in the first place. And when users do utilize bots, they expect the experience to feel natural and authentic as if they were speaking with a friend or an actual brand representative.

We also learned that not enough users were discovering bots. And those who were discovering and using bots weren’t necessarily having highly engaging experiences. Many of the so-called chatbots didn’t really chat. They just guided users through menu-based interactions in which inputs were limited to whatever buttons were presented to the…

16 Young And Successful Entrepreneurs Who Prove That Age Is Nothing but a Number

has been blossoming over the past decade. In this age of internet and technology, people are now more confident to try and sell their ideas and hit the road to success. With even the basic skills like knowing how to create a website1 or marketing products online, people can reach out to the world and showcase their talent.

A study conducted in the year 2015 revealed that about 14% of the total working population in the U.S. was into running a business of their own and we all know that the numbers have been growing since then.

Each day while we drive, when we shower or go through a boring lecture, our minds come up with some of the most intriguing ideas that can potentially become big business plans, but we tend to ignore them as we are never looking to make anything out of it. Our brains are idea machines, but only a few of us go ahead to make these ideas big.

One of the most common complaints of the people who bloom late and succeed in the later ages of their lives is that they didn’t dare enough to sell their ideas sooner. Ironically, one of the most common excuses among the youth is that they are not old enough to start their own business. It is never too early or late to become successful in your life. You can begin the journey to becoming an achiever at any age, and the young entrepreneurs in the list below will just prove this to you.

1. Mark Zuckerberg: Founder of Facebook

Of course, Mark Zuckerberg must be on the top of this list. Facebook speaks for all the success the man has achieved by launching it when he was only 19 years old. Within few years of its launch, Facebook became one of the most used social media platforms across the world. Today, Facebook continues to grow and employ thousands of people. An inspiration to a countless number of people, Zuckerberg 2 is estimated to be worth 61.7 billion USD today and continues to progress as an entrepreneur.

2. Matthew Mullenweg: Founder of the WordPress

In the year 2005, Matthew founded the company Automattic which later proved instrumental in the creation of the WordPress before he was even twenty. WordPress is one of the leading Content Management Systems out there in the market making it the most used platform for blogging. Who would have thought that a college dropout will take the world by the storm with a simple idea of hosting a blogging platform? The net worth of Matthew Mullenweg today is 40 Million USD.

3. Catherine Cook: Creator of MyYearBook.com

4. David Carp: Founder of Tumblr

The year 2007 saw the onset of Tumblr. The micro-blogging website which is now owned by Yahoo was founded by David Carp after he turned 21 years old, whose net worth now is $200 million. Even after all these years of its launch and facing some serious competition from other websites, Tumblr stands its position among the social media platforms.

5. Varun Agarwal: Author of How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company

The author of the book, ‘How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company,’ Varun Agarwal is also…

Mark Zuckerberg Is Making Good On His Wedding Promise To Priscilla Chan

On Friday, the Facebook CEO and his wife ― a philanthropist and pediatrician ― celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. Zuckerberg marked the occasion with a sweet Facebook post (naturally!) that also told the funny story of how their wedding ended up falling just one day after the social media company went public back in 2012.

“Priscilla and I wanted a low key wedding so we decided to make it a surprise and have it in our backyard. I sent our friends and family an email telling them I was throwing a surprise party for Priscilla to celebrate her graduation from medical school. Since they thought it was a surprise for Priscilla, they kept it quiet. When they showed up at our home, I told them we were getting married. It was a great day,” Zuckerberg wrote in…

Augmented Reality Is Coming To Banner Ads

Samsung May Split Itself In Two

Less than a month after Mark Zuckerberg told developers about Facebook’s renewed focus on augmented reality, Blippar says its bringing the technology to the humble banner ad. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Less than a month after Mark Zuckerberg told developers about Facebook’s renewed focus on augmented reality, Blippar says its bringing the technology to the humble banner ad. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Augmented reality has been in stasis for the last couple of years, with app developers and gadget-makers still figuring out a mainstream use-case to trump the Pokémon GO phenomenon. London-based startup Blippar thinks the answer lies in advertising.

It’s been working with several automotive brands to launch mobile banner ads with augmented reality built into them. In one demonstration seen by Forbes, a smartphone user taps a banner ad which then swaps their screen out for an image of the inside of the car. The user can then move their phone around to see different parts of the car’s interior. If they give it permission to access their camera, they can see their real-life surroundings through the virtual windshield and windows of the car too.

“This is the industry’s first augmented-reality digital ad unit,” says Danny Lopez, who heads up product at Blippar, and says this is about giving digital display advertising a “new lease of life.” Blippar says a major car manufacturer will start showing augmented reality ads using Blippar’s software this month.

It’s worth noting that the number of people who avoid banner ads vastly outweighs those who deliberately tap on them. But Lopez says that the right wording, like “Jump inside our car right now,” can be enough to entice people to change their minds.

Blippar won’t say what other brands it is working with, but Lopez suggests the tech could be used for ads displaying clothes, and offer a means to use your smartphone camera to see what a jacket might look like on you.

Augmented reality has been around for years, and so have…

Facebook First-Quarter Earnings: What To Watch

Robinhood Reinvents Stock Trading Without The Fees

Facebook reports its third quarterly earnings on Wednesday after markets close. (Courtesy of Facebook)

Facebook reports its first quarterly earnings on Wednesday after markets close.

Wall Street is expecting another strong quarter for Facebook FB +0.20%, as the social network continues to grow its massive mobile advertising business and sustain solid user growth across its suite of apps.

Analysts polled by Yahoo Finance expect adjusted earnings for the first quarter, ending March 31, of $1.12, up from 77 cents in the same period last year, and revenue of $7.8 billion, up 46% from the same period a year earlier when Facebook reported revenue of $5.4 billion. For the full year, the same analysts expect revenue of $27.6 billion, and earnings, excluding some items, of $6.25 per share.

Facebook shares closed on Tuesday at $152.78, and the stock is up about 33% since the beginning of this year as of Tuesday’s close. Facebook stock has risen about 15% since the company last reported earnings in February, compared to a 5% rise in the S&P over the same period. Facebook is set to report earnings after the markets close on Wednesday.

Facebook has recently come under scrutiny for its handling of violent and sensitive video content, especially live streamed footage. On a recurring basis, Facebook has enabled violent videos to be visible on the social network for hours before being removed or flagged with a warning label. At Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference in April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the issue, addressing the murder of Robert Godwin Sr. in Cleveland, Ohio, which had been broadcast in a video on Facebook for hours before the company took it down. “We have a lot of work and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” Zuckerberg said on stage.

Facebook has made some big product updates since it last reported earnings, in large part, taking aim at its competitor Snapchat. Facebook has launched a version of Snapchat’s pioneering “Stories” feature, chains of photo and video messages with special effects, across its suite of apps: Facebook’s flagship app, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. (The copycat strategy appears to be hampering Snapchat’s user growth. The app most recently reported 158 million daily active users. By contrast, Instagram has 700 million monthly users, while WhatsApp and Messenger have 1.2 billion monthly users.) Facebook also unveiled new effects for its cameras, such as falling snow and Picasso-like lenses. At F8, Zuckerberg’s biggest product news was Facebook making its camera an augmented reality (AR) platform. Facebook has started opening its AR platform to developers, a move which could be key to maintaining user engagement in the coming years.

Investors will be eager to hear any insights Facebook shares on its plans to invest in augmented reality and virtual reality (and sales of Facebook’s Oculus headset), updates on video monetization and viewership and plans to monetize messaging. Here are four areas investors will be closely watching:

1. User growth and engagement: Facebook has continued to see solid user growth and engagement, despite its mammoth size and reports that original sharing of posts and photos is declining somewhat on its main app. For the fourth quarter, Facebook reported 1.86 billion monthly active users, up 17% from a year…