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A New Model for Start-Up Fundraising

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As they prepared to make their funding pitch, Waze’s founders knew they had a valuable solution to a common problem. Their technology would present a map showing drivers which route to take to reach their destination. But by collating the driving speeds of all their users, the app would also pick the routes that avoided the worst traffic. Users would get where they wanted to go. They’d arrive in...

The Best Way to Boost Your Team

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Premier League soccer team Manchester United have had a slow start to the 2022 season, losing two of their first six games. But their position might have been even worse. In a pre-season game against Rayo Vallecano, the Spanish team faked a long pass, sending United’s defense scurrying back towards the goal. Rayo Vallecano then played a shorter through ball to Alvaro Garcia who forced a save out...

The Challenges of a Subscriber Business Model

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The Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants is a long way from a start-up. The organization was founded in 1904 and aims to bring together its 7,600 professional accounting members, organize networking opportunities and provide training courses. But in 2018, the society underwent a small revolution. Instead of mailing out invoices and waiting for its members to mail back their dues in...

The Ingredients of a Successful Meme

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When war came to Ukraine,Kate-Yeonjae Jeong found out the same way most young people discover what’s happening in the world. The 17-year-old high school student from Houston learned about the Russian invasion on TikTok. In an essay published by The New York Times, she explained that in late February she was going about her usual routine—“homework, short respite on TikTok, repeat”—when between...

B2B Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work for Everyone

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In December 2021, Plexus Holdings, a drilling technology firm based in Aberdeen, Scotland, signed a new contract. The deal, with Cameron, a supplier of wellheads, extended a license agreement for Plexus to provide special equipment that prevents gas leaks during drilling operations. The agreement was an expansion of a series of previous deals between the two firms. “Following our recent...

The Most Essential Elements of a Subscriber Business Model

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In April this year, Netflix delivered a twist that almost no one expected to a story that seemed destined for a happy ending. The story was its own and the twist was that the company had lost subscribers over the previous quarter. Wall Street had expected the streaming company to announce the addition of about 2.5 million new customers. Instead, Netflix declared that global subscriptions had...

The Complete Rules for Working from Home

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In April this year, as the pandemic faded and masks fell, Jacob Rees-Mogg, a British cabinet minister, took a tour of British government offices. At each desk left empty by a civil servant still working from home, he placed a note printed on headed stationery. “Sorry you were out when I visited,” he wrote. “I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon.” Dave Penman, General Secretary of...

The Real Costs of Cause Marketing

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Pepsi probably thought it had its timing exactly right. In 2010, the brand skipped its traditional Superbowl ad spot. Instead of spending millions for half-a-minute of audience time, and millions more for images of can-opening and lip-smacking, the brand decided to give money away. Its Pepsi Refresh campaign invited people to vote online for causes to which Pepsi would make financial donations...

How Brands Handle Hashtag Harassment

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It took Dollar General less than a week to fire Mary Gundel. A store manager in Tampa, Florida Gundel was earning $50,000 a year, according to the New York Times, and had received an award for her hard work and dedication just months earlier. What moved her from a “Top 5%” Dollar General employee to a Lyft and Uber driver was a series of posts that Gundel made on TikTok. At the end of March, she...

When Social Media Users Steal Your Marketing Campaign

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In May 2017, Walkers, a British potato chip brand, launched a social media campaign. Fronted by retired soccer player and television personality Gary Lineker, the company invited people to publish their selfies on Twitter with the hashtag #WalkersWave. The selfies would be automatically incorporated into a frame held up by Lineker in a video that also showed a Mexican wave in a soccer stadium. A...

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