Interview with Bruce Bixler

Please introduce yourself to the readers of this blog and update us on your latest business endeavors

Hi Stathis, My name is Bruce Bixler, seven years ago I lost my job. Everyone told me to get on LinkedIn. I got on LinkedIn and nothing happened. Went to several LinkedIn workshops and the only thing the speakers told us was how to set up a profile. I wanted to know HOW to use it.

So I started doing my own presentations to show others how to use LinkedIn. I did land a job but kept on learning everything I could about LinkedIn. I started to get paid for my presentations and workshop. Now that I’m at retirement age I want to transition into doing LinkedIn full time and quit my regular retail job.

Why have you focused specifically on Linkedin compared to other social media platforms available?

I focused on LinkedIn because it was the most professional digital platform and it intrigued me the most. LinkedIn does not broadcast all it’s changes so you have to either find it and learn about it from others.

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From your experience, do companies leverage the intelligence obtained through Linkedin or they don’t rip the benefits yet? This relates to the digital age which should be embraced by modern corporations in order to survive.
Large companies know how to use LinkedIn but the 80 – 90 percent of small to mid sized companies don’t know, don’t know all the tools, don’t have someone knowledgeable, or don’t have the time to reap the benefits of LinkedIn.
Your forecast on social media in the future. How they will evolve?
A peek into the future of digital will be companies will need to embrace visual or video like Tumblr, Meerkat, Periscope, or Snapchat and other future digital platforms. Businesses can no longer avoid social, digital, or visual media and keep up.
Please close this interview the way you see fit.

Two things people have to know: LinkedIn is not a place for your resume it is NOW your digital reputation and it’s not a matter of which social or digital media you use, it is how WELL you use the media.
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My predictions for 2016. Trends in a globally connected world.

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Dear readers,

Time flies. It’s this time of the year again that I would like to share with you my predictions & trends for 2016.

– The sharing economy platforms like Uber, Airbnb, Lyft, etc. are not only disrupting current business models, they are also creating jobs and generating income for unemployed or even low paid people. These platforms establish a new type of professional life away from the norms of current & old labor laws and traditional employment. See this research for referenece: http://mercatus.org/publication/evaluating-growth-1099-workforce

Internet of Things: we hear & read more and more about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how our lifes will be transformed hopefully for the better. All electronic devices that we use daily will be connected to each other and with the world wide web, collecting and exchanging huge amounts of data that have to make sense and offer practical advantages. The IoT is predicted to have a $13 trillion impact on the global economy. Imagine vehicles, house devices, company offices, factories & work sites, all riding the connectivity wave and creating smarter and more efficient products & services. See this article by McKinsey: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/preparing_it_systems_and_organizations_for_the_internet_of_things

Social media & education: these global online networks will play a pivotal role in how people present themselves online. The networks people will be creating matter for the information they share thus education will also be networked online. Maybe we get to see more social networks popping up as with over 3 billion users globally using laptops, smartphones, tablets, more networks will be created to serve these people’s needs. Think poor countries for example where a smartphone connected to the internet, will be a great way to be educated, communicate personally & professionally, gain knowledge of the world outside of the local boundaries that sometimes corrupted governments impose.

Artificial Intelligence: Machines are getting smarter with all the big data we feed them. Will machines help us in the future or take over our lives and destroy millions of jobs in the various industries and sectors of the economy? http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2015/11/features/wired-world-2016-alain-de-botton-artificial-emotional-intelligence

Intelligence: due to the fast pace of digital connectivity, a vast amount of information and data becomes available to public organizations, research centers, private companies. As we are building the Everest of data, we carefully have to monitor the intelligence spurring from the top of the mountain which will benefit humanity, eliminate the ”noise” (bad data that don’t make sense) and reduce risks that would appear if sensitive data becomes available to the wrong hands. Organizations and companies will have to protect their data through strong cybersecurity measures and proactive implementation of advanced system security & architecture.

3D Printers: 3D printing will lead the very essence of technological & manufacturing disruption across all kinds of industries, using new materials to construct or replicate products in pharmaceuticals, bio-industry, industrial design, space exploration, house building, etc.

Global growth: according to IMF (International Monetary Fund) the global economy is expected to grow in 2016 by 3.6, expecting a calm growth for Europe, the same growth as last year’s for USA and a bit slower for Canada. The riddle of growth will go to China as nobody can actually predict what is happening in this giant economy due to the lack of trust in their statistics. India will continue to grow strong while Japan returned to recession. Recurring global currency wars and the domestic currencies of Latin American countries will create problems in their development.

Greece’s Debt continues to increase, probably in a non-sustainable way. Much has been discussed in global news & media for ways to make it more sustainable and decrease the burden of imposing more austerity measures. The co-founder of Hellene.gr, Sheridan Tatsuno, has published an article on ways for Greece to develop its economy beyond its debt through tourism, exports, technology outsourcing: http://hellene.gr/news/beyond-greeces-debt-trap/

Balkan countries have started providing important business incentives by setting zero taxes for new companies as a way to invite entrepreneurs from other countries. This is what I call long term strategic thinking and planning. See the example of Albania: http://digjitale.com/2015/11/zero-taxes-for-startups-in-albania/

Geopolitical risks: Independent of the exciting news coming from technology, the political problems in countries like Syria, the general turbulence in the Middle East, the involvement of different powers with different interests, will remain a threat for the global markets (refer to the EU stock market indexes when Turkey shot down a Russian jet). The world will also be watching the US presidential election campaign because of the different policies the elected leader will follow on terrorism, homeland security and foreign policy matters.

Because of the interconnectedness of the global economy, national problems become international (see the Chinese stock market crash & repercussions), altering capital flows & investors sentiment. The monetary policy of FED & ECB on interest rates will also play an important role for global growth and development.

My personal wishes to you for health, wealth and happiness in 2016!

Stathis Kassios
Hellene.gr Co-founder
Moovit Operations Consultant Greece
Web Consultant & Economist

 

Assorted Links by Cyber Consultant

Sound Ventures, Ashton Kutcher & Guy Oseary’s VC firm announce investment in world’s #1 local transit app – https://blog.websummit.net/sound-ventures-ashton-kutcher-guy-osearys-vc-firm-announce-investment-in-worlds-1-local-transit-app/

I’m an iOS developer, and there are two main reasons I’m giving up my Apple Watch – http://qz.com/533215/why-im-giving-up-my-apple-watch/

Premium Organic Greek Food Products from selective producers. Discover an ancient culture of wellbeing! – http://hellene.gr/product/ella/

10 Most Important Functions of WordPress SEO by Yoast – http://www.wpexplorer.com/wordpress-seo-yoast-functions/

Professional Diploma Digital & Social Media – http://digitaldiploma.knowcrunch.com/

Hellene.gr Newsletter – http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/?u=5a01bbe49a6942d83ae8637b4&id=d8b4dd812e

A free report by Cisco on Cybersecurity latest trends & issues –http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/UK/offers/lp/2015-midyear-security-report/index.html?000938898

Six Totally Free CRM For Your Business –http://uncommonbusiness.blogspot.gr/2015/09/six-totally-free-crm-for-your-business.html

Apple Expands Music Streaming Service Into China for First Time – http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-30/apple-expands-music-streaming-service-into-china-for-first-time

Alumni from Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University appointed as new CEO of Ralph Lauren Corp. –http://wwd.com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/ralph-lauren-corp-appoints-stefan-larsson-ceo-10246354/

Find more links @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/stathiskassios.blog/

Feel welcome to add your friends!

-Stathis

Hellene.gr at London Greek Film Festival!

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Very proud to announce that our startup Hellene.gr stars in the screenplay ‘Helen of Joy‘ written by my business partner Sheridan Tatsuno.

‘Helen of Joy’ made it to the final list of London Greek Film Festival!

Read the brief synopsis here:
http://www.londongreekfilmfestival.com/lgff2014filminfo/HelenofJoy.htm

Vote for our screenplay here:
http://www.greekfilmlovers.com/

Spread the word!

Stathis

Hellene.gr creates export jobs & helps orphans in Greece! Join us in revitalizing Greece!

Interview with Hanna Asse. The story of a tech entrepreneur from Norway !

Please introduce yourself to the readers of this blog and update us on your latest endeavors.
 I started my company in social media when I was 24. I had then gone from studying entrepreneurship to working at the University in Kristiansand with Entrepreneurship that I thought it was time that I actually started a company myself. Having lived alone since I was 14 you could say that I in some ways always has been an entrepreneur but I hadn´t yet formed a company. I could see the future of communication being social media. And this was at a time where companies would not have anything to do with Facebook or did not believe it would have anything to do with them at all. And of course they just thought I was stupid when I told them that it would be their prime communication tool with users. I started approaching companies with my new formed social media company and sold services that at that time made them stand very much out from the crowd in social media. I also did public speaking to companies and government on the subject. Public speaking pays ridiculously well in Norway that it was what I made a living from working 3 days a week for a couple of years. This made me think that I didn´t do enough and I had always wanted to create the technology myself. So when I year after year was good at hitting the mark on “what´s next in social media” I thought I would try to create what I actually thought was going to be what´s next. And that´s what I have been working on for the last 1,5 years that´s now Wonderloop.me. 
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 You have been an entrepreneur for more than 10 years. Based on your personal experience,  is entrepreneurship something that you learned the hard way by actually doing it or something which has to be officialy studied in universities and business schools?
I think it´s hard to learn because it´s not so much a skill or about being smart as it is about being relentless, stubborn to not give up and combine it with extreme risk sometimes to get results out of it. Sometimes being willing to sacrifice everything for building a product that you think will mean something to many people is what will at least make the product happen and maybe even getting people to know about the product. Personally it´s the part about team work and being a CEO that I probably have learned and value the most of going to University and studying business as well as entrepreneurship. I´m not a natural leader or have a very big wish of being one but here I actually learned a lot from school, at least how to do it in theory that helps someone like me to adapt it since it´s not something that comes natural like I feel being an entrepreneur is. All students should have a class of entrepreneurship only because learning how a company goes from an idea to a business is something everyone should know when they are employed somewhere. You get a different respect for the responsibility of having salaries, expenses and you just all of a sudden understand why the restaurant food is expensive and that it´s just not “but the fish can´t be that expensive”, you then know it´s the rent of the place, the legal fees, salaries, equipment your paying for. The food itself might just be 30% of it ! So for real life as well, one small class of entrepreneurship might just make life a bit more logical as well.  
 
Would you like to talk us about your start-up, Wonderloop? How has your personal meetings and contacts with famous entrepreneurs like the founders of Instagram, Napster, Facebook, Airtime, and many others, have affected your way of thinking, scheduling and implementing business in general? 

I have always been focused on what can be done to meet more people in a persons life that could mean something valuable. We all meet people and some are more life changing to us than others. I want with Wonderloop to create technology where it does not matter where you live in the world. You can meet the people you find interesting. Not only the people you have acces to depending on where you live, work or what social circles you’re in. Taking up a huge lone financially and travelling to Silicon Valley is one of the hardest things I have done. I knew I would not be able to have a salary while I was over there learning how to build the product and I knew it would take months to find team members who would do the coding, if finding them at all. To be there and not have any idea how you are going to pay the money back and that you have taken this huge risk just because you have an idea and a vision to change the world was mentally a big challenge. To be there alone and to be away from my grandmother in Norway who is personally my closest at 87 years old did of course not help! So while I was having awesome interactions with some high profile people and founders I was there on a mission to also have results that I could bring to start the company with. This is of course something they can sense and probably why they liked me. I think being too affected or focused on it will take away the energy where it should be: on building your own company and visions. That said, being with other entrepreneurs who truly understand what it is to sacrifice your normal life and that also has crazy visions and maybe even done it successfully is a big inspiration. I had some moments in Silicon Valley that where aha moments for purpose of life and entrepreneurship that I only fantasized about in my head in Norway and all of a sudden I was in my own fantasy. That´s always a cool moment.

 
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Your personal advice to young Greeks seeking ways to create something new out of the crisis which has been troubling our economy for years, sending highly educated human capital abroad while keeping a dynamic part of our society stagnated due to high unemployment?

It´s hard to give advise as to not having lived in the situation myself, only in some ways the last 1,5 years with not having an income. The stress factor is so big that sometimes at least for me helps to think how short life is as then it´s easier to really focus and pick what´s important. After finding that out I would if possible do shorter trips to where the people are that can make it happen. I would never have been able to do Wonderloop had it not been for me leaving Norway. It´s the richest country in the world in many sense but it didn´t matter. If the right type of resources of people isn´t there then all the money in the world does not matter. As for wishing to work in a start-up or wishing to work in a specific company, I would not care about titles or what I would do in the beginning. Just get in. Once you know the leadership and you have a good relationship with them, then you can always ask to do the work later that you really want to do. Putting up the good energy up front before there might be a reason to have it is very hard but it makes a huge difference in getting to the next step what ever the next step is. Since I´m half Greek by DNA I do think a lot about the situation that Greece is in and I have friends who are effected by the situation in the economy pretty badly. Sometimes I think it´s a lost case to try to change the now, but to just focus on changing the future. There are some extremely good business people in Greece, especially on getting deals done, doing sales as you just are so much more charming and good looking than most average people. Use it !

So, what’s next?

I hope Wonderloop can make a difference in all people´s lives when it comes to the people we meet. I have met some the last years that have changed mine so I know it can happen and to think there can be a technology that can do it for us is maybe a hairy goal but I will do everything I can to at least test it out in the market. That´s what entrepreneurs do, success or failure. But of people I would like to meet it´s actually more Greek people since I´m half Greek by blood I should get more in touch with that side of the world and what better way to do it than thru new friendships? So if there is one user-base I personally would love to see in Wonderloop it´s you guys. I might even do a Greek version before some other languages. Sometimes the founder should be allowed personal preferences in his own product development.

Thank you very much for this interview Hanna !

Links:

http://www.wonderloop.me/

http://hannaaase.com/

Various short interviews conducted by Cyber Consultant

to be continued…