The Tech Gender Gap Has Only Gotten Worse, But Steve Jobs’ Contemporaries Think It Can Be Fixed

SteveJobsWomen When Apple released the original Macintosh in the mid-1980s, the percentage of women majoring computer science was on the rise: 37 percent of computer science graduates were women. But in 1984, the same year Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh, that trend reversed. In 2010 only 18 percent of computer science graduates were female. Onstage at an event in Palo Alto, the women who were closest… Read More

Why no one will fund your startup: A look behind the scenes of VC Q3 2015 (webinar)

VC meeting.shutterstock_276550979

Join us for this live webinar. Register here for free


For every startup that makes it, there are thousands that don’t. The accepted industry stat of 90 percent failure rate sees a lot of dreams shattered. If your business looks like a bad bet, no self-respecting investor is going to take a gamble on you and your so-called innovative product.

But don’t take rejection as a sign that the tech industry is unwilling to give startup companies a chance — the reality is actually quite the opposite. In Q3 of 2015 there were over $3.8 billion of fundings, acquisitions, and IPOs for marketing tech. Astonishing results for an industry already on fire. But if there’s plenty of money available for investing, why is my startup not seeing any of the green?

The answer, like it or not, is because you’re doing a poor job selling your business. Investors are picky; they need to be.  Millions of their hard earn money are on the line and they need to know it’s going to be spent wisely. So, if you come to an investor with a guaranteed money-making idea, but forget to bring any proof of financial gain, he or she is going to show you the door. Any signs of inexperience or lack of teamwork with your staff will also cast doubts on your management style. And don’t even bother putting on that tie to impress if you fail to present any marketing strategy to earn revenue for the years ahead.

These are merely some of the mistakes up-and-coming entrepreneurs make when seeking funds from investors. Little errors like these are all it takes from preventing that million-dollar making idea you had from becoming a reality. Sometimes, it’s not just bad presentation that kills an investment deal. Perhaps you’re being too eager. You may need more time to see the potential value in your product, or to find the right business partner to elevate its success. But it’s not always easy to know when the time is right to break free of bootstrapping and seek outside funds for your business.

Which is why if you attend this webinar, you’ll learn about successful startups that received funds and how they got there. By joining this webinar hosted by the industry’s best, you’ll discover what you and your business need to do to get a slice of that $3.8 billion pie.


Don’t miss out.

Register today!


This webinar will answer:

  • Which types of companies are gaining funding, and where in the marketing tech universe they fit.
  • Where we’re seeing the biggest areas of consolidation.
  • Who the most involved / most active VCs are.
  • Implications for investors, vendors, and most importantly marketing technology buyers and users.
  • What you need to do to get noticed by the top VC, straight from the VC themselves

Speakers:

Jon Cifuentes, VB Insight analyst, VentureBeat

Dustin Grosse, CEO, ClearSlide

Blake Patton, managing partner, Tech Square Ventures

Matt Blodgett, managing director, private equity, Vector Capital

Moderator:

Wendy Schuchart, analyst, VentureBeat


This webinar is sponsored by Avalara.

 

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CrunchWeek: Diversity, Candy, And Books Of Faces

crunchweek-4-3 Welcome to another episode of CrunchWeek, TechCrunch’s weekly roundup show where we talk the biggest things in tech. This week we’re chatting about Twitter’s issues with diversity, Activision paying a lot of billions for the maker of the addictive game Candy Crush (hear Megan talk about her recovery), and Facebook’s earnings. They crushed it. So: As our resident… Read More

CrunchWeek: Diversity, Candy, And Books Of Faces

crunchweek-4-3 Welcome to another episode of CrunchWeek, TechCrunch’s weekly roundup show where we talk the biggest things in tech. This week we’re chatting about Twitter’s issues with diversity, Activision paying a lot of billions for the maker of the addictive game Candy Crush (hear Megan talk about her recovery), and Facebook’s earnings. They crushed it. So: As our resident… Read More

Blizzard is willing to risk making a Warcraft movie because of director Duncan Jones

Warcraft movie panel BlizzCon

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Warcraft the movie, based on the massively multiplayer game World of Warcraft, captivated BlizzCon audiences today. Director Duncan Jones and the actors discussed the film at a press conference after the opening ceremonies.

“It’s huge for us to show it to the fans and to the people who have been waiting to see it,” Jones said, adding that he was grateful it was available to fans everywhere, not just at the show. “I’m glad that everyone’s getting the chance to see stuff.”

His vision for the film helped to win over Blizzard Entertainment, maker of the Warcraft games, because it didn’t vilify either of the games’ factions: the human-led Alliance or the orc-dominated Horde.

“I think Blizzard has been ready and willing to make a move in the Warcraft universe for a while now,” Jones said. “The project they were looking at before, felt a little like humans are good, everything else is bad. The thing I love about Warcraft is that you get to be the hero no matter what your origin happens to be. [The orc] Durotan gets just as much time as [Alliance king] Lothar.”

Blizzard senior vice president Chris Metzen said that making a film wasn’t an obvious choice.

“The truth is, it’s kind of risky,” he said. “Why would you risk doing a film? The game has been really loved for a very long time by the Warcraft player base. We at Blizzard still don’t quite get our heads around how sacred that is to our player base.”

But in the end, the ability to take the Warcraft story beyond the games’ borders was irresistible.

Talking Warcraft.

Above: Talking Warcraft.

Image Credit: Giancarlo Valdes/GamesBeat

“This was something that was super important to us,” Metzen said. “We sat down with Duncan and he showed us his vision, and we were like, he was pulling thoughts out of our head. This man has lived Warcraft. He gets the details. He appreciates the nuances.”

The director had played the Warcraft games, they note.

“It’s a chance to show people we love what has gripped us all this time,” Jones said.

One of the fun facets of the movie should be the Easter eggs that longtime fans of the universe will see on screen, he said. Some sites have already begun dissecting the trailer frame by frame for links to the Warcraft and World of Warcraft zones.

“That was the plan right from the start,” Jones said. “If we could do this right, we could put our audience right into a world that seems rich and lush. But for fans of Warcraft, you’ll know every detail.”

Toby Kebbell plays Durotan, orc chief of the Frostwolf Clan. All of the orcs are computer-generated, but based on motion and face capture of the actors. That added to the physical challenge, he said.

“You need such a strong direction to take you through motion capture,” Kebbell said. He compared it to showing a kid a magic trick: If things go well, it’s magic. If they don’t, the kid will point out that your hand is behind your back. “As soon as you fall out of the character, you’ve lost everything. And it was such a beautiful role.”

CG was unavoidable for this film and this role, he said.

“It needs the skin of Durotan. It needs every tooth, every hair, every bit of him to be seen on screen. Then he just needed to be given a soul.”

Dominic Cooper plays the human King Llane. The sets for the film were elaborately built — and huge, he said. Not being a Warcraft gaming vet, he was surprised by the size of the movie’s setting and props.

“I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into,” he said. “I had no idea what the scale was. I had a sword I had to train with, just to lift it.”

Ben Foster plays the human mage Medivh.

“Medivh is a guardian,” he said. “He’s been charged with taking care of a realm. He’s trying to protect his corner of the world. He no longer wants to participate, and he’s isolating.”

Daniel Wu plays Gul’dan, the perpetually hunched orc mage who in traditional Warcraft lore entices some of the orcs to drink demon blood in an attempt to gain power and save their clan — to disastrous effect.

“He’s trying to ensure the survival of his race, but he’s using methods others don’t agree with,” Wu said. “He thinks that’s going to be what saves all the orcs.”

Movie stars aren't allowed to touch their feet on the ground when they sit.

Above: Movie stars aren’t allowed to touch their feet on the ground when they sit.

Image Credit: Giancarlo Valdes/GamesBeat

Wu got his information about the character at home: His wife plays World of Warcraft.

“Every night for five or six years, I’d be looking over her shoulder. After I got this role, I started to dig into her for information,” he said. That doesn’t mean he was a fan. “I was the one who told her to stop playing the game, but then I realized that was detrimental to our marriage.”

The actors and stunt people went through an “orc camp” put on by motion coach Terry Notary, Jones said, creating a vocabulary of movement for the orcs to call on during motion capture.

“In some ways it’s like playing a game yourself, but instead of using a keyboard, you’re using your body and face to make a character come to life,” Wu said.

That was a particular challenge for Wu, whose character had a distinct look with bent legs and an almost hunchbacked pose.

“Gul’dan has the most unusual posture of anyone on film,” Jones said.

Wu said his pants size actually changed during filming.

“You’re in a squat hunched over throughout the whole entire shoot except for… well, we can’t reveal that,” he joked.

Paula Patton, who plays half-orc, half-human Garona, had the most to say about story.

“I was sent the script and I loved it — it read like a novel,” she said. “The game is really that complex and deep, that it feels that way, because there’s a history and a background to each character.”

As for Garona, “This is a really challenging character to play. Where do you do research? Find a half-orc, half-human? That was the fear. Anything that scares you is something you’re meant to do. I jumped in and put the tusks on.”

She used the parallels she saw in the real world, she said.

“The depth of human emotion that we all had to portray… it is entertainment, but it really mirrors the world that we’re in right now, that the idea of good vs evil doesn’t really exist. You have two people from two different worlds who want good for their country and their family — neither one of them you can judge. And then there are people who mismanage power and become corrupt by that.”

Jones said Patton’s character was key to the film.

“Garona is at the heart of our story, the heart of everything,” he said. “Garona is the bridging element between two cultures that have never met and are meeting for the first time. Garona is the eyes on that conflict. She is stuck in the middle as a keystone character.”

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How mobile is amping up personalization for bigger returns (webinar)

sitting texting

Missed it? Access this important webinar on-demand right here.


“I always wanted to be different. I always wanted to be first.” This quote from Miuccia Prada — Forbe’s 79th Most Powerful Woman — serves as great advice for mobile marketers. This year, over 3 million apps have been released online. That number is expected to skyrocket to 5.9 million in 2020. If you think it’s hard now to get your app recognized in today’s crowded market, it’s going to be nearly impossible five years from now, when it becomes even more bloated.

Which raises the question: How can I stand out among the millions of apps released every day? The answer is by making sure consumers know you have exactly what they want and when they need it. Personalization — the industry’s favorite buzzword — has proven to be an indispensable strategy in successfully reaching consumers. Just look at Amazon, the poster child for reaching its millions of users with the right product, at exactly the right time — or Facebook, serving up the right post based on user behavior and preferences.

And yet, despite the proven success of personalization, the majority of marketers continue to neglect the needs of their users. Not intentionally, of course, but by ignoring the perfect analytic tool available to them: mobile. After all,  what’s a more perfect way to track the essential habits of customers than through the device that’s used every day and taken everywhere? Unfortunately, most marketers are stuck in archaic ways — for example,  using email to deliver any type of personalized experience, which sometimes amounts to no more personal than spelling the recipient’s name correctly.

Meanwhile, the 87 percent of marketers who know how to take full advantage of mobile marketing automation are seeing significant lifts in their key metrics include increased revenue. Mobile marketing automation works; you just need to give it a go.

By ordering this webinar on-demand, you’ll learn how to take critical steps towards mobile marketing automation and finally start reaping its benefits.

VentureBeat’s John Koetsier and Jesse Grittner of Aimia will give you the rundown of some of the businesses that used mobile marketing automation to take their company to new heights. Stop being another face in the crowd and make your voice heard today.


Missed the webinar?

Access it on demand right here.


What you’ll learn:

  • How to use mobile devices to zero in on those tough customers
  • Get insight on VB Insight’s latest personalization research
  • Hear tips from the top experts in personalization and mobile presence

Speakers:

John Koetsier, Mobile Economist, VentureBeat

Jesse Grittner, Senior Director, Loyalty, Strategy and Analytics, Aimia

Wendy Schuchart, Moderator, VentureBeat


This post is sponsored by MoEngage.

More information:

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How mobile is amping up personalization for bigger returns (webinar)

sitting texting

Missed it? Access this important webinar on-demand right here.


“I always wanted to be different. I always wanted to be first.” This quote from Miuccia Prada — Forbe’s 79th Most Powerful Woman — serves as great advice for mobile marketers. This year, over 3 million apps have been released online. That number is expected to skyrocket to 5.9 million in 2020. If you think it’s hard now to get your app recognized in today’s crowded market, it’s going to be nearly impossible five years from now, when it becomes even more bloated.

Which raises the question: How can I stand out among the millions of apps released every day? The answer is by making sure consumers know you have exactly what they want and when they need it. Personalization — the industry’s favorite buzzword — has proven to be an indispensable strategy in successfully reaching consumers. Just look at Amazon, the poster child for reaching its millions of users with the right product, at exactly the right time — or Facebook, serving up the right post based on user behavior and preferences.

And yet, despite the proven success of personalization, the majority of marketers continue to neglect the needs of their users. Not intentionally, of course, but by ignoring the perfect analytic tool available to them: mobile. After all,  what’s a more perfect way to track the essential habits of customers than through the device that’s used every day and taken everywhere? Unfortunately, most marketers are stuck in archaic ways — for example,  using email to deliver any type of personalized experience, which sometimes amounts to no more personal than spelling the recipient’s name correctly.

Meanwhile, the 87 percent of marketers who know how to take full advantage of mobile marketing automation are seeing significant lifts in their key metrics include increased revenue. Mobile marketing automation works; you just need to give it a go.

By ordering this webinar on-demand, you’ll learn how to take critical steps towards mobile marketing automation and finally start reaping its benefits.

VentureBeat’s John Koetsier and Jesse Grittner of Aimia will give you the rundown of some of the businesses that used mobile marketing automation to take their company to new heights. Stop being another face in the crowd and make your voice heard today.


Missed the webinar?

Access it on demand right here.


What you’ll learn:

  • How to use mobile devices to zero in on those tough customers
  • Get insight on VB Insight’s latest personalization research
  • Hear tips from the top experts in personalization and mobile presence

Speakers:

John Koetsier, Mobile Economist, VentureBeat

Jesse Grittner, Senior Director, Loyalty, Strategy and Analytics, Aimia

Wendy Schuchart, Moderator, VentureBeat


This post is sponsored by MoEngage.

More information:

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Innovating In A World Of Patent Lawsuits

Wooden justice gavel and block with brass Apple seems to get caught in lots of patent fights. Since 2009, Nokia has sued Apple (they settled), Apple has sued HTC (they settled), Kodak sued Apple (Kodak is appealing), Motorola Mobility sued Apple (Apple is appealing) and Apple and Samsung filed more than 40 lawsuits against each other (still fighting it out in the U.S.). The list goes on. With so much energy spent in patent lawsuits… Read More

Google acquires video and photo editing startup Fly Labs

Fly Labs

Google has acquired Fly Labs in a move that will likely see the startup’s media editing technology be integrated into the Google Photos app. Fly Labs announced the move on its website saying that it’ll be “pouring the same passion into Google Photos that we poured into [its apps] Clips, Fly, Tempo, and Crop on the Fly.”

In honor of this announcement, Fly Labs’ revealed that all of its apps will now be “completely free with no in-app purchases” and will be available in the App Store for the next three months. However, after that, they’ll no longer be available for download (but you can still get them on Google Play).

The addition of Fly Labs’ technology will boost Google Photos, giving it a more robust media editing capability that will likely help in its rivalry against Instagram and other photo-sharing services currently offer. And in order to further entice its 100 million monthly active users to keep using the app, there has to be more features. In addition, in doing so will also help Google sell more storage space through its cloud offering.

More to come. Please refresh for updates.

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