Category Archives: Business

YouTube to Offer Legal Protection for Creators

The number of take down notices that YouTube receives on a daily basis is very high. The reason for this is because content creators wants to protect their content in any form that they can so they look for ways to protect it by preventing other people from using it, especially if the goal is to make any kind of money from it. The challenge with that is Fair Use of content protects Creators from having to take down other people’s videos if all they are doing is talking about it and commenting on it. Fair Use protects the person who posted the video without the need for permission. But if the Creator only reposted the original video with no additional change or commentary added to it then they do break copyright law if the video was protected in the first place. If the video has a Creative Commons license and the original owner wants to take down the video then they are not able to do that since the video has a CC license on it.

Creating a Level Playing Field
YouTube gets its contents from all the amazing Creators who have taken the time and effort of editing their videos and posting them online to their website. Millions of channels exist on YouTube which means this increases the chance of people breaking the law. In the beginning YouTube would follow suit on any take down notice that came their way because it was a new medium at the time but now that it has had time to mature and grow they have had time to learn what all they can do to help keep content, that rightfully belongs online, there.

Imagine someone took a video you made of your family vacation and posted it on their channel without your permission and commented on all the crazy things your family likes to do. In an outrage you send a take-down notice to YouTube asking them to take down the video because they took it without your permission. This would affect the whole ecosystem of memes and viral videos out there that people have created from other people’s content. The original owner of a meme would prevent their meme from going viral if they required everyone to pay them first before reposting it. Where would the fun be in that.

In an effort to help keep content on YouTube that rightly belongs there YouTube is now offering legal services to YouTubers that have to deal with take-down notices or face legal action. Many creators online are just everyday posting about something silly or funny, or in many cases, useful to other people. In the case of the family who was sued by Universal Music Publishing Group alleging that her home video of her daughter dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” song violated copyright is a perfect example of companies overstepping their legal actions. I wrote an article about it when it came out. It was decided that the copyright holder should account for Fair-Use of the song and that it was intended for entertainment purposes only. The court ruled in favor of Lenz and that the actions of both Universal and Prince were unlawful.

Understanding Fair-Use and Creative Commons
Ask any middle school or high school kid who has done a research project recently where they got the images for their project from and they will tell you, “the internet.” They don’t realize that when you take an image online and put it into their project that they are claiming that they are the owners of those images. Many people also have this false assumption that anything taken from the internet is fair game, to a certain degree, but that with some content the use of copyright still stands.

Many people believe that the internet should still hold up for copyright law but that is not the case when the internet reaches all parts of the world. The laws in one country don’t hold up in another and for a regular person to try and challenge such a claim in court is literally just wasting their time and money. In any case though when you use wide-reaching audience website like YouTube, then you have to consider copyright laws, Fair-Use, and Creative Commons before posting anything.

Examples of Fair-Use
1. Commentary on someone’s video
2. A Parody on someone else’s work
3. News Reporting
4. Teaching
5. Criticism on someone’e work
6. Search Engine Results
7. Research

Purpose of Creative Commons Licenses
When an author wants to
1. Give the right to others to share their work
2. Allow others to use their work with their projects
3. encourage others to build upon their work and make it their own.

Many search engines have features built in that help you find CC content so you understand that you are not stealing work that is protected under law. In Google’s search engine under search tools you are given an option for Usage Rights, if you click that option then you can select from a list that allows you to pick what kind of content you are looking for. In many cases you are looking to reuse something someone has created. This option works for just images.

Posting Content on YouTube
It is important to consider how you want people to use your videos that you post online. YouTube currently offers Standard License and CC license. If you post a video with a Standard License then people need to get permission to use your video for anything outside of Fair-Use. If your video is CC then you are giving permission to people to use your video in anything they want.

This is important to think about before starting a YouTube channel that way you can consider how your content will be used by others. If you are starting a company then you might consider protecting your work in order to protect your brand. Many people create channels just to play around and talk about stuff they like so if that is the case then using a CC license will be best.

Just consider the long term for how you want people to view you YouTube channel and the content you create. This will help protect you from legal troubles down the road.


News Article

YouTube to Pay Fees for Some Video Makers to Fight Takedowns

9 Year-Old Girl Creates Business Helping the Homeless

muffins

In every kid’s life there comes a moment when they look outside of themselves and see what is going on around them. They discover how other people live and they compare it to how they live. That self-discovery can lead some kids to realize they are less fortunate and for others it can mean a discovery that shows they are luckier than most people. It is in those children that change starts to happen, with the help and support from understanding parents, that pushes the child to come up with ways to help other people.

That moment happened for Emily Meehan, a 9 year-old student, when she witnessed the homeless on the street begging for any kind of help. She would see them holding signs on corner streets and started to wonder what she could do to help. Children are exposed to these kinds of events happening everyday but very few understand the situation or care enough to take it any further than offering a dollar or some bottled water. Emily took it upon herself, after talking with her parents, about what she could do to help and came up with two great ideas.

Turning a Passion Project into a Business
The challenge with passion projects is that once the work starts to get demanding it no longer feels fun or exciting. That is when the feeling of “work” starts to set in and the challenge with meeting quotas and deadline starts to overwhelm the whole process. In order to ensure that Emily understood what she was getting herself into her parents made her aware that she had to find a way to make sure that she could earn money that supported her idea, which was to help cloth the homeless.

Identify Money Making Skills
The only skills that Emily had at her age were baking Muffins and knitting. The two skills would go hand-in-hand in supporting one for the other. In this case she decided that selling Muffins around her neighborhood would allow her to earn enough money to purchase fabric and materials to sew scarves and hats.

Creating a Brand Strategy
Emily and her mother, Leslie, knew they needed a name that people would recognize and connect with the mission of her company. That is when the idea for Muffins on a Mission came about. Emily designed the logo for all the packaging so that when people see it they know it was personally made by her. The church that Emily and her family attends along with some of the members have taken an interest in her project and want to help her expand the goal. Word-of-Mouth marketing is still the best form of marketing for any kind of business.

Setting Production Goals and Sales
Emily understands that in order to make the holidays she will need to sell a lot of muffins in order for her to have enough money to make what she wants for the homeless. This means that she will need to buy enough supplies, price at a certain number (which for her is $2 a package), and sell a certain amount in order to have enough scarves and hats to give away in December. In the beginning she was only baking twice a month but now that the holidays are around the corner she has increased production to every Saturday now.  Emily has all the time to sew so that means when she is not baking she is buying materials and sewing.

Keeping it Fun
The help she will get from community members selling her muffins is what will keep her passion project fun and a worth while learning experience. Her family members also help sell her muffins in order for her to meet her goals. If she takes this opportunity in stride she will learn all the basic lessons of what it takes to start a startup business, without any of the risk that comes with a regular startup. If things work out this holiday season then the look on the people’s faces when she hands out all her scarves and hats will be worth the effort put in. That is usually when an entrepreneur gets their next big idea on how to expand. If things work out she will move online and set up a website and maybe hire some local help.


The great thing about learning how to run a business at a young age is that you learn a lot of important skills that you will use for the rest of your life. Even if the business fails, it’s ok because you can start over and try another one and learn from your mistakes in the first one. In order to get the most out of it though, for any kid, is to have understanding parents who are supportive in every step of the process. Hopefully she will make the news again with her great idea to help the homeless.

News Article

Santa Fe girl creates project to help homeless

All-You-Can-Fly Buffet Options

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just pay a monthly subscription fee and hop on a plane as many times as you need or like? Just imagine all the places you could visit just for the day or the weekend? You would never stop traveling if you had a pass that let you board a plane as many times as you like. That would encourage so many more people to travel and increase their awareness of the world they live in. The idea would be the same as a monthly bus pass that gives you unlimited rides all month long but instead of a bus it would be a private jet. Fancy.

Rise in Travel Demands
Business travelers will tell you that hoping on a plane first thing Monday mornings is so routine that they know all the stewardess on the regular routes they fly that the crew also knows all their preferences for everything, both coming and going. The challenge with this model on commercial flights is that you have to get there early, check-in, wait in line for security check, and then wait some more before getting called onto the plane.

Many major airlines offer services now where you can cut some of that wait time by a quarter, which is still not much, if you undergo a deep background check, so you don’t have to go through security each time. The airlines even go so far as to offer VIP status where you can wait in a different lobby and get a faster security check done without waiting in line. The issue to all of this though is that you still have to get there at least two hours ahead of time, which is the recommended time given my airline companies, and you still might run into delays, so the question becomes, if you have money, or your company can afford it, why not get a subscription service to flying? It saves time and money in the long fun if you fly a lot.

Companies that are Fixing the Problem
Entrepreneurs look for problems that they can fix in order to help people. In this case, there are companies out there that are looking to make it easier to travel without all the hassle that airlines like to put people through today. Instead of having to buy your tickets way in advanced in order get a good deal, why not pay a subscription free that lets you book your flight whenever you need it.

Passengers still have to go through a security check but the time it takes is so short that it barely interferes with the 15 arrival time from when you park to when you take off. The advantage to this model is that it saves time for everyone because they don’t have to deal with ticket issues, waiting in lines for everything, and boarding. Most planes fit 6 to 12 people and so without any hassle of having to load any luggage underneath, everyone is able to get on in a quick amount of time and take off right away.

Beacon is one company that is like the Uber of private flight. It is interesting to learn how their business model works because they don’t exactly own any planes because they contract with another company to provide them and maintain them. This cuts down on a lot of overhead that most major airline companies have to deal with everyday. The rate is $2,250 a month for unlimited flights between New York and Boston. This company was started by the same founders as SurfAir.

Another company is, SurfAir, which services only cities in California, making it faster and easier to get around. They are like the Netflix in a sense that you can use their service an unlimited number of times and still enjoy the service. The company leases a few planes in order to meet the growing demand and with the membership numbers on the rise from 300 hundred just two years ago, this is a company that is capitalizing on a growing need for business people. The membership rate starts at $1,750 a month.

Rise is a company that is dominating the Texas market by offering unlimited flights between cities. Their company model allows them to contract with a carrier to provide the charter planes and outsource their maintenance. They have offer different levels of membership that can range from $1,650 to $2,650, with the top one offering the most perks for flying a month.

There is one company called, OneGo, that is looking to take advantage of the commercial airlines by offering unlimited travels with major carriers. All travelers will be able to determine the level of service they need with add-on fees. A traveler will be able to make as many changes to their reservations for an additional $750 on top oft heir regularly monthly fee, which can range from $1,500 to $1,950 and those prices depend on the region of travel within the US.

Challenges with All-You-Can-Fly Memberships
The awesome thing about being able to fly anytime you want is getting to travel all the time and not have to wait to hop on a plane and be in a new city. This way of traveling though is really for the higher end business people who have to travel all the time to get around so this model of flying would make sense. Right now the services are limited to geographical locations but once they open up to the whole US, more and more people will be signing up for this service than commercial flights and that right there is where the problems will start to happen.

The purpose of this article is to make people aware of the new services that are being made available to people, and once more people start using the service, which is still intended for the wealthy, these companies will start to face the same problem that major airline carriers have been facing for decades; long lines, customer complaints, terrible service, and long delays. The nytimes article mention this same problem but the issue is very valid unless the companies can figure out how to avoid that very problem. It will be nice to use it in the beginning but once more people start to use it, it will feel just like regular public transportation.

The idea of being able to fly unlimited is nothing new, infact, American Airlines used to offer AAirpass which were very expensive passes that granted users unlimited flights all over the world and for the wealthy people who signed up for them, they took complete advantage of them and why not? It grants unlimited flights anytime you want. To read more about the people who bought those tickets, read this story.


News Article

All You Can Fly, for a Monthly Subscription

Meet the Companies from Startup Week

 

ATX Startup Week Image

Austin startweek is a great way to get out and meet tons of new people and discover what new companies have just started. I met tons of new people, a lot from out of town and out of the country, who came just for that one week to find out what all is happening in Austin. This should tell you just how important this event was if you live in Austin. Startup week is like a mini SXSW, there are tons of events, lots of food, parties at night, and plenty of free swag and giveaways.

I thought I would share with all those that missed it what companies were there and a little about what they do. The program was able to fly out 10 people to join the program to learn more about other companies. So read up on some of these great companies and if you are interested in learning more about them, shoot me an email or tweet and ask for a tour.


Union Metrics
This companies delivers multi-channel social media analytics for companies and brands that need to know which social media channels work best and how to maximize their usage. They provide a deep look at to how certain channels work and where companies should be spending their efforts.
@Unionmetrics

Verzana
Sales commission tracking is what this company does in order to determine how to structure different commission tracking for each staff member. They can manage sales and commission in real-time in order to determine where to maximize their potential for clients.
@Verzana_io

Trunkist
This is a fashion tech company that helps fashion bloggers and new brands deliver their content to their customers by using a logistics system to fulfill orders online. They help make it easier to deliver items for pre-order items only.
@Trunkist

Thread
This photo sharing app helps people explore the world around them with the use of photos. People are able to connect through the use of shared interests in a unique way by groups or communities.
Get the App

Skip the Hire
Hiring can be a difficult and costly expense for companies, so they help reduce that by helping companies grow with the use of financial tools that many companies do not have to perform on their own.
@SkiptheHire

Riskpulse
This company helps traders determine the market outlook based on weather predictions. They also work with transportation companies to ensure that supply-chain operations run smoothly according to weather forecasts.
@_Riskpulse

Rent Rebate
This company will pay you for finding your apartment by using them as a reference. They will collect their fee from the apartment complex and split their sale with you. Many people are looking for apartments so why not get paid for it.
@Rent_Rebate

Real Massive
Commercial Real-estate is a competitive field so if you are looking for space then why not use real-time data when searching? This is what Real Massive does, they help you find the best place using the most current data available with charts and data maps.
@RealMassive

PostUp
Email is not going away anytime soon so this company capitalizes on the potential of email marketing for companies. They help build brands with customers through the use of email and mobile marketing. They use provide consultants to help create a personalized experience.
@PostupDigital

Pivot 3 Inc
They provide massive storage infrastructure for companies to ensure their businesses are able to perform their work and keep their customers happy knowing they can access their services 24/7.
@Pivot3inc

Pic Jam
This photo sharing app lets users share private moments with friends and family in a secure manner.
Get the App

Peeptrade
Trading is becoming a popular activity for many people and peeptrade lets people look at some of the top traders portfolios to learn about what they are doing on the market. This a good way to learn what other people are doing and improve your skills in the trading industry.
@Peeptrade

OnPrem Solution
They are a consulting and innovation technology company that helps Hollywood companies streamline their processes by using current technology in the process.
@OnPremSP

Paribus
Saving money is what this company is all about. They created an email program that monitors all your online purchases and if ever a price drops, or you missed a deal, from one of your past purchases then they will go and get the difference back for you.
@Paribusco

MassVenture
Crowdfunding is being used in different ways and this company has taken the concept and used it for real-estate funding. This company pools peoples funds together in order to invest and build infrastructure in Texas.
@MassVenture

MakeXYZ
The amazing thing about crowdsourcing is that it brings people together for all kinds of causes, including finding 3D printers in your neighborhood. This company helps connect people with 3D printers around them so if you have a plan and need it printed you can connect with them and they will help find you one.
@Makexyz

Jam On
This app works on iOS and helps you discover your music library and find new music that you would be interested in listening too. It’s a new way to discover the music you love.
@JamOnApp

Investor Sheets
This company will help you build a targeted list of investors and advisors so you make sure to spend your startup time wisely.
@InvestSheet

Help
The focus for this company is helping other companies improve their customer service with online chat support. They provide a variety of tools to use in order to improve the business relationship with customers online.
@TweetsfromHelp

Air Help
They take the hassle out of flying by making sure Airlines follow their rules if something goes wrong. Instead of contacting the airlines about your problems you can contact this company and they will take care of everything with majority of the time you getting your money back or some kind of compensation.
@TheAirHelper

Gazelles Growth Institute
Many company executives are not sure all the steps they should take to run their business and books only provide so much help. Gazelles has created videos for less experienced executives to learn directly from other experienced executives with their growing library of business education.
@GazellesGrowth

Eagle Eye Networks
They provide cloud based video surveillance in order to ensure that help data is lost if something were to happen to your business. They offer a secure solution for watching over your most important concerns.
@EagleEyeCloud

Datafiniti
There are billions of pieces of data online and not all of it useful in its present state. This company comes in and cleans up the data for companies to use with their systems in order to get the most out of all that information online.
@Datafiniti

Chimi Churri
Building an app can be difficult if you don’t know how to code but with Chimi, they can help you get a SaaS like business or marketplace business up and running with no problems. They provide the tools you need to get started and help you every step of the way.
@Chimiapp

Aiesec
This non-profit is designed to help bring international, US students, and volunteers to Austin Tech companies so they can take advantage of all the opportunities here. They are a global organization that also works with many other cities in providing opportunities to students.
@AIESEC

Your Trainer
This app provides you with personalized videos that help you improve your health and fitness level. It adapts to your workouts and changes as you start to improve or fall behind. A great way to improve your lifestyle and health with a trainer that works within your level.
@YourTrainercom

Quantcast
This company specializes in real-time advertising and audience measurement in order to provide companies with data that will help them connect better with their customers. They measure and record internet traffic in order to provide accurate analytics for companies.
@Quantcast

BuzzPoints
This company rewards people with points by using local banks and businesses in the area. Anytime you sign up with a company that is partnered with them you can earn points that can be redeemed for rewards or donated to a charity.
@BuzzPoints

Betts Recruiting
Betts is a recruiting firm that specializes in finding top talent for technology companies around the world. They world with many different departments, sales, marketing, technology, and more. They have many offices around the world to help pair great talent with startups and mature tech companies.
@BettsRecruiting

WP Engine
They help provide a more reliable and amazing experience with WordPress using their technology of specialized support. If you are looking to get more out of using wordpress with all their special add-ons then they are a great host provider for your website or blog.
@WPEngine

SilverCar
Car rental service that uses just an app to make the order. They only use luxury Audi cars so once you show up then you can use the app to make the payment and unlock your car. The features they offer are Wi-Fi in the car, satellite radio, GPS, and fair toll tracking.
@SilverCar

MagRabbit
They specialize in creating enterprise software for companies that range from apps to supply chain software. They look to provide an all encompassing solution to a variety of web-based solutions for any kind of business.
@MagRabbit

Lumeris
Healthcare online solutions is a growing field so they help health organizations manage their online problems. This company provides consulting services, technology support, and logistics for many health companies that are looking to improve their services and expand.
@Lumeris

Continuum Analytics
They provide data analytic tools built on python to companies in order for them to analyze, manage, and visualize big data online. They provide training, consulting, and data management for all kinds of businesses.
@ContinuumIO

Alcon DTS
This company compete business technology support. They can set up offices for IP phone, printers, computers, network, setup servers, and routers complete business support. They are the IT solution for small to mid-size companies.
@Alcon_DTS

 vThreat
Many companies do not know how to protect themselves against cyber attacks because they are not sure where they will strike. This company creates simulated attacks in order for the company to improve their systems and learn where their potential gaps are that attackers can use to get in.
@vThreat

Weeva
Collecting stories from family and friends online and putting them into a hardcover book is what this company does. You provide the content and material and they will help organize all your stories and events into one nice elegant book.
@Weeva

Rail Yard
They provide internet and phone connectivity for businesses in several major cities. They help provide the setup infrastructure for your businesses and make it easy to switch providers.
@Railyard

PopUp Play
Children are able to create their own fantasy playscape in an app and then this company will build what that child created and ship it to their house. The child is able to customize every part of their new environment, including putting art and characters on their design and even their name.
@PopUpPlayToy

Pingboard
This company provides a visual directory of employees in any size company. This helps to determine what person works in what department and who their manager is and the people the are connected with on projects. They take a regular company directory and make the whole system visual. A very important tool in understanding how companies are structured.
@pingboard

PenPal Schools
They have taken the old method of writing letters to students in other countries and updated the process for the digital world. Students can write letters but also email and collaborate with other classrooms through special curriculum and activities in order to learn about each other’s culture.
@PenpalSchools

md Portal
Streamlining the process of healthcare makes it easier for patients to get the help they need on their own time. This company provides a service where patients can send in videos and photos of their conditions and a doctor can review it and even prescribe medication to the patient, if needed. This helps reduce costs and increase access to healthcare.
@mdportalapp

Manager Complete
Their software helps franchise owners manager several different store location. Managers are able to manage schedules, employees, equipment, and sales all with this one-stop shop enterprise software. It handles a variety of issues that are common for administrative staff to deal with on a daily basis.
@Managercomplete

Ihiji
This company specializes in providing remote management software in order to keep track of certain devices but also to control any IP connected device with this software. This allows anyone, even companies, to control devices at their workplace or home that is connected and has an IP address.
@ihiji

Goodybag
This company works on a B2B model and provides catering to businesses for their office staff and special events. They work with a variety of restaurants so they make it easy to select from your favorite restaurant and deliver it right to your office on time.
@GoodybagATX

dimeSocial
They help companies grow by making it easy to provide perks and services to their employees in order to show appreciation. Their app provides a growing list of benefits that any employee can use where ever they are.
@dimeSocial

Demand Food
A food delivery company that provides healthy meals for just $10. This company will deliver meals as often as you like and the menu changes daily so you never have the same meal twice. The cost of each meal includes the delivery fee, tax, and tip.
@Demand_Food

Curb
This company provides the hardware and software for monitoring your homes energy usage so you can make sure that your electricity bill is correct. The software also gives you control over connected devices so you can make sure everything is running the way you want it to run. They provide apps on all your devices so you can keep track of everything.
@EnergyCurb

Chiron Health
They help provide secure video visits with doctors by also making sure they receive full reimbursement for their participation in the program. This helps patients receive faster healthcare service.
@ChironHealth

Assist 2 Develop
This company provides a connection between freelance engineers and designers with small businesses and startups. They act as a middleman between the two who are looking for work and companies that need to hire for short-term projects.
@Assist2Develop

Umbel
They provide a platform for marketers to access large amounts of consumer data in order to understand more about their online habits and behavior. They help clean up data and make it easier for marketing companies to work with what they offer.
@Umbel

Softlayer
They provide cloud infrastructure for data centers and network points of presence for global companies. Their services are offered for a variety of clients including startups and large corporations.
@Softlayer

Hired
They help people find a job with many leading companies online. Job finders can fill out a series of questions and then they will send out the information to companies looking to hire, if they find a match, companies will contact the job finder with offers.
@Hired_HQ

Booz Allen Hamilton
Management and Tech Consulting film for government departments, corporations, and non-profits. They work in a variety of fields to help companies meet their needs and find solutions.
@BoozAllen

OurCrowd
They help providing funding initiatives for startups in Israel and global companies. The company provides a platform for people to crowdfund selected projects.
@OurCrowd

Broadleaf Commerce
They offer open source Java platform with e-commerce services for companies that work with the spring framework. Their services are easily customizable for any kind of enterprise solution.
@Broadleaf

Trendkite
Their services make it easy to determine the how effective a PR campaign went online based on analytic results and data mining online. They provide accurate and real-time information for both marketing and PR firms in making sure their efforts pay off.
@TrendKite

Square Root
They help retailers understand all the data points of their business by giving them insight as to how everything is operating correctly, from inventory to point-of-sales and customer relations. Their SaaS model helps many multi-unit enterprises manage their day-to-day operations better.
@SquareRootATX

Outbound Engine
They help create email and content marketing campaigns for businesses. They also offer social media help by automating many of the regular processes so you can focus on your business management.
@OutboundEngine

Peddle
This company helps make the process of selling your car simple and easy. Their company will come out and inspect your car and provide you with a no-obligation quote. They even pick up your car and pay you if you are interested in their offer. All the paperwork is handled through their services.
@peddle


It was exciting to meet with all these companies last week and learn about all the new and exciting companies that are growing up around the Austin area and Texas. For anyone looking for a job many of these companies are hiring so now is a good time to take advantage of these successful startups that need more staff to help them run their day-to-day operations.

I always say that nothing will ever come to you if you just stay at home so these events show that you are serious about joining the startup culture and meeting the kind of people who follow through on their word. If anything you might connect with some up-and-coming star in their company that is looking for more connections in the startup world.

The Number of Friends you have can affect your future employment opportunities

It should come as no surprise that the number of friends and professional connections you have affects your health in life. The more social you are, the more people you have looking out for you. The more connections you have in life the more you are aware of what is happening around you. We all like to think that we don’t need anyone else in life to help us because we feel that we are bothering that person but the truth is that when you create a healthy relationship with someone where the give and take are roughly equal, in a sense, then you will see that we very much need people in our lives. The truth of the matter though is that our social circles also affects our career options in life.

Our social life is directly linked to our health which means the more events you attend and the more people you meet, the more energetic you are to get out and meet more people. Social fears and phobias develop in youth when a child is prevented from going out and exploring the world on their own. They never learn social skills by learning to strike up conversations with strangers. The problem with the age of 18 is that society somehow thinks its a magical number where someone just is expected to know how to deal with everything in life all of a sudden because they turned 18; not if they are not allowed to learn and do things on their own before then.

Many young adults, and people in general, feel they are socially awkward and rather than risk looking like a fool in front of other people they just stay home and watch on-demand entertainment (a habit that is destroying traditional TV watching). The reason Dale Carnegie made a huge success on his books was because he first tapped into the area of social-psychology by teaching people how to interact with one another and showing them how to make friends by using very simple techniques. Those same skills are still being taught today in seminars and workshops which can cost a lot of money. So why don’t schools focus on teaching students social skills that literally can make or break one’s whole life experiences? The reason? It’s too soft a skill to teach and many certain groups of people would feel that their children are being brain-washed by some left or right wing thinking. How sad.

Your Future Employment
It’s no surprise that people with the jobs they like the most are usually connected to a number of other people. For example, Bob in senior accounting will let his best friend know there is an opening coming soon and that if his friend wants to apply he should send his stuff right away to so and so. Study after study keeps confirming that the more people you know the easier it is to get a job. Infact, it has been proven that the more social people are in school the higher their success rate later in life. You can read here for some networking career tips here from Yale’s career center on how to get better at networking.

The great thing about school is that you are constantly surrounded by people so it is easier to make connections, find out what is happening in your community, and learn about job opportunities faster. Group projects enable people to make new connections and learn about people’s strengths and weaknesses. The schools that create the best creative people focus on group projects for all their work because it gets people to learn to work together and maximize their strengths but also connections. Teens and young adults are exposed to a number of new people daily because of their school life so the number of opportunities in life is dependent on the number of friends they have and the connections of their friend’s friends.

The interesting thing about social groups is that they get smaller as you get older because life switches from doing school daily for 12 years surrounded by a lot of people to going to college and learning more but in a less crowded manner. In school you have people around you all the time that you know, whereas, in college you are surrounded by a lot of people you don’t know so your social circle shrinks. This is why they say to join student organizations because it will help you make new friends with people who share your same interests. After college your social circle shrinks again because you are constantly working and have less time to spend with friends. Your friends social time also shrinks because they might be more focused on career goals and might be starting a family.

Social groups change from the teens to the 20s and  the 30s, from large groups of people to smaller groups to pairs. This kind of social shock for some can limit people’s social opportunities. The people who are not tied down enjoy more opportunities in their life and career because they do not have to discuss their decision with anyone else. They advance faster in their career and can travel more. The challenge with getting older though is that it does get harder to make new friends because there are less opportunities to join organizations and meet people if you are not social. This is why the website meetup.com is so huge because it allows people to find groups of people with similar interests but for many though it can still be a challenge just to show up to one because of social phobias. But if everyone has them why not make the first move by introducing yourself?

Social Skills Over Time
This is an area that most people do not think about because most people think their social skills are fine or that they do not need to make any new friends. The truth is that people need to always refine their people skills because those that know how to talk with others to get stuff done go farther in life than those that do not know how to start a conversation. Growing up in school it is easier to start conversations with other people because you are surrounded by so many people you grew up with so it is easier to just jump right in to any group of people and start talking

In college you have to be more forward in order to talk with other people otherwise you will be left by yourself most of the time. You cannot expect other people to approach you so you have to get out and do stuff and many times just go right up to people and say, “hi.” The last part is a huge challenge for majority of people because of fear. In the workspace it can get a litter easier to strike up a conversation with someone because everyone works for the same employer making it easier to have something to say in the beginning. It is not uncommon to develop work friendships because everyone is working on the same projects and have something to talk about afterwards. Then Ttere are those groups of people who just want to come in and impress the boss so they work longer hours, finish their work faster, and get more done at the expense of talking to people and making friends.

People who work in the same job for many years risk losing the understanding of what it takes to find a job. They expect that they will always have the same job. Those are the people who will have a culture shock when they are finally let go and have to find a new job again. The challenge with that is that they do not realize that after all those years they should have been making more friends and connections and updating their skills in order to stay marketable to other companies instead of working hard all the time and ignoring social outings with co-workers. The risk with getting too comfortable in your current job is that you can lose your job at anytime and have nothing to show for what you’ve done. The connections you make in your 30s and 40s have a huge impact on your employment in your 50s and 60s when it is harder to employ older individuals.

Social Evolution
Again this is an area that most people do not spend time thinking about because they are too focused on themselves for anything. The myth that if you just do your job really well and meet all your deadlines your company will reward you with a promotion, bonus, and job security. Job security isn’t real anymore and everyone is at risk for losing their job at any moment. In many cases the people who finish their assigned work the fastest might make it harder for the company to find them work to do and see a reason for demoting you to part-time instead of full-time or just hiring on a case-by-case basis. This can come as a shock to someone who believed that as long as they did what was asked of them, they would be rewarded. That is just not the case anymore.

Researchers, Connie Wanberg, Ruth Kanfer, Darla J. Hamann, and Zhen Zhang went through many studies across different disciplines to analyze social behavior on employment and what they found was that people who are younger tend to be unemployed for shorter periods of time than older individuals. This is all due to the fact that younger people are exposed to more social groups and interact with more people on a daily basis so they hear about more opportunities faster. Older individuals, on the other hand, are unemployed longer because of the nature of many things, including their social circles, which tend to be smaller because they value the quality of certain relationships more than maintaining larger groups of friendships. The other issue is that older individuals are out of touch with the ways of finding a job in today’s economy. If a person in their 50s and 60s, and maybe even 70s were to look for a job they would have to understand that they will not find it in any kind of newspaper or walking door-to-door to shops and businesses. They will have to learn how to perform certain actions that are common in the workplace now that were not taught when they were in school.

The number of social connections gets smaller as people get older and the only way to fix that is by maintaining the ones you have now and going out and meeting more people. The results of the researcher’s study found that if you want to make it easier on yourself for finding a job when you are older, you need to maintain the relationships you have at work and outside in your 30s and 40s so that you have connections to new job opportunities in your 50s and 60s. Those friendships from long ago will help you manage new job opportunities in the future. Infact, older people are realizing that with the new gig economy happening, they can find new sources of income that can help offset the growing costs of living. This is very important to learn because it can mean an improved way of living. For others who still want to continue working, it is helpful to understand the importance of always meeting new people in life.

In the movie, The Intern, a older man realizes that retirement is not all what he hoped it would be. He spends time with a few people but he knows his time could be better spent working again. The long days of having nothing to do got to him so he applied for a job. He found a flyer looking for older people who would like to work for a startup fashion company. He took the information and called them up. In the movie you see this man grow his social circle by ten-fold and make new friends. He quickly realized how outdated his technical skills were but not his executive skills. Many older people will enjoy this movie because for some it will strike a chord in their heart in knowing that they would like to work again like they used to when they were younger. The other part that is touching about the movie is that the older man watches how frantic all these young people are working knowing what is at the end for all of them. I thoroughly enjoyed the film because no matter where you work, there will always be someone there after you to fill in the spot so rather than focus on putting in the long hours, one should focus on the friends they will make everywhere they go because you never know when you might need to call on that person for a favor or a lead to a new job later on in life. Do yourself the favor of going and seeing this movie because it has so many interesting things to say about the workplace for older people who are can still provide value.

If you are stuck about how to improve your social circle, look back at some of my past articles on networking but start first with Never Eat Alone and The Fine Art of Small Talk. Those should help you get started. You can look in the book section of this website to find out other books to read on networking.


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The Sharing Economy Attracts Older Adults

Happy Birthday for All

Copyright laws are becoming a nuisance more and more these days. Hopefully it will become a thing of the past but for now people have to step gently around certain things except for one issue that has been debated now for well over 80 years. The claims by judge George H. King that Warner Music Group held the copyright after buying Birch Tree Group which supposedly held the rights to the Happy Birthday song are now considered to be invalid.

In a surprising twist of events that has gone on in the courts for decades this is great news for musicians, filmmakers, production companies, theater companies, and TV shows. The song is now considered public domain which means that anyone is free to use it in anything they want. The song can be played or sung in any production now without any consequences.

Warner/Chappell disputed this ruling but there is no sign that they will appeal the case, since they would have to get approval by the ruling judge. The plaintiff’s for the case said they will now move to file a class-action lawsuit against Warner/Chappell in an effort to get back all the money the group has been collecting from the past decades, which will amount in the millions.

The challenge for this song has a long drawn out history starting all the way back to 1893 when a school teacher, Patty Smith Hill, and her sister, Mildred J. Hill, wrote the song for her students. The title of the original song was, “Good Morning to All,” and later put into a song book that was published and copyrighted by the publisher, Clayton F. Summy Co.. Birch Tree Group was the successor to the publisher which held the copyright. That was all later challenged when the name of the song was changed and how the song actually came about.

The song brought in about $2 million for the Warner Group but that will all change now. If you look on YouTube chances are you will now find people using the song freely without any fear of a cease and desist letter and take-down notice. I, for one, am glad this issue has finally been resolved and the studios can stop going after people who sing the song in their home videos because of some stupid copyright issue. As I said in in an article a few posts back, companies need to consider fair use before going after someone for breaking copyright law. This is a great win indeed for a song that so many people know and sing every year in their life and now we will see it used more in movies once again.

News Article

All the ‘Happy Birthday’ song copyright claims are invalid, federal judge rules

Judge: ‘Happy Birthday To You’ in public domain

Music Company Does Not Own ‘Happy Birthday’ Song Copyright, Judge Rules

Documentarian wipes out Warner’s $2M “Happy Birthday” copyright

Happy Birthday ruled out of copyright

8 yr old Girl Runs Town’s only Newspaper

Most 8 year old girls are worrying about hanging out with their friends, having sleepovers, and doing well in school. There is one little girl in America who has taken on the job of providing the news for her local town. Why? Well, because her small town of 5,000 people do not have a local newspaper, if anything, they have radio and small media outlets to share the news with.

In the small town of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, Hilde Lysiak rides her bike everyday through her small town to find out the latest thing. She takes with her a press badge (that she made at home), a pen and writing pad and jots down anything news worthy. In the case of a tornado that swept through town one time she goes around to neighbor’s houses knocking on doors asking questions about what happened in order to find out how people are dealing with the aftermath. She will even ride out to crime scenes and poke around asking questions. The reason she does all these things is because she understands the importance of finding a good story people want to read about. She is responsible for coming up with all the story ideas, then writing the stories and taking the pictures to go along with those stories. Her dad, who used to work for the New York Daily News as a reporter, helps with the formatting, layout structure, typing, and printing. Together they produce 200 copies each month for the residents who have signed up for the subscription which costs about $2 dollars a year. Not bad for young entrepreneur.

The Roots of her Cause
Her dad worked for a major newspaper and she caught the bug of being a journalist. She loves the idea of being able to go around asking questions and butting into people’s lives to find out what is happening in order to tell other people with the articles she writes. Her father has taught her many of the terms that journalists need to know in order to write a good story, like the terms, nut graph and lede. She understands the importance of these two words when writing any kind of story.

Hilde knows that she has to go out everyday in order to find the most interesting story. She watched her dad do the same thing, he would have to run out to cover the story. She learned that you have to jump anytime something interesting happens otherwise you miss the opportunity to provide your readers with something newsworthy to read. She doesn’t run a blog but the fact that she runs her own newspaper is a perfect example of how she is learning business and what better way is there to learn business than by jumping head-first into the whole experience.

The Making of a Young Entrepreneur
There are many aspects of Hilde’s life that are worth looking at in order to understand how she came to do the things she does now. Young entrepreneurs are individuals who have an inner drive that is not restricted by anything. They are encouraged to follow through on their ideas and made to see that they complete what they are passionate about. Let’s look at a few important traits that make up a young budding entrepreneur.

Freedom to Explore
Hilde is allowed to ride her bike in order to find the best stories around which means she has to be observant and ready the moment she hears about anything in her town. This means she knows all the roads and how to get to places the quickest because all good reporters know that the first one to the scene gets the good stuff. Her passion and curiosity is what drives her to go out and find news events that people want to read about. Good stories happen when you poke around and she doesn’t mind asking questions, and for her sake also getting people to spell things out for her, but the fact that she doesn’t have a fear of doing this is what makes her fearless in an industry that is sinking everyday because of digital news.

The next great thing about her adventures is that her parents don’t restrict her from chasing a good story when she hears about it. If she lived in a home that forced her to only go as far as the front yard or backyard that would kill her creativity right there. Hilde has parents that let her explore on her bike the world around her. She works on her articles both at home and the local cafe when she has deadlines approaching, another tell-tale sign of the life she comes to expect living in this world. She is growing up thinking that all kids her age, 8 years old, get to go out and explore their world whenever they want. Unfortunately, more and more parents are killing their children’s curiosity of exploring because of their own paranoid feeling that something bad might happen to them. The truth is with all the technology kids have today, kids are actually a lot safer than decades ago when kids didn’t have smartphones that can be programmed to do all sorts of things. Hilde has a smartphone that she uses to take photos with, keep in contact with her parents but also to make notes and record video.

Creating Her Own Stage
The newspaper is Hilde’s idea so that means can she put whatever stories she thinks people want to read about, including her own creative-fiction stories she writes. Many people complain that they are not able to get their work out there for people to read or see because they keep getting rejected. Hilde didn’t want to work for some media space or newspaper so she created her own on her terms. She charges people a yearly subscription at a cost that is very affordable to everyone that signs up. This platform she created is her own outlet for expressing the views and stories that she feels are important to know.

Hilde is learning what it takes to run a newspaper because she gave herself the job plus the experience she gets from her dad helping her. Entrepreneurs don’t let setbacks like a little town get in their way of achieving their dreams. Instead they use that as motivation for creating something out of nothing so other people can enjoy the benefits too. Her town didn’t have a newspaper because it was too small to have one so it was filled by a girl who knew the importance of learning about what is happening around town. No doubt she watches and reads the news to learn how to improve what she does.

Entrepreneurs are always looking for a problem so they can provide a solution. Young entrepreneurs have it easier because they have the comfort of knowing that if something goes wrong they have mom and dad to help them. This is why young people need to be encouraged to go and take risks on their ideas while they are still young in order to learn from their mistakes. Being kept at home and sheltered does nothing for a young person, instead that is the recipe for killing creativity.

Hilde knows that she wants to turn this newspaper into something bigger but also is aware that she does not want to work for anyone. This passion project of her’s will teach her the ins and outs of running a business and the challenges that come with it. Most third graders are worried about multiplication whereas, Hilde is facing the challenge of getting more people to subscribe and make money.

Complete Encouragement
Hilde has the support of her family because it was the same kind of work that her father did. She is familiar with the conditions that go along with that job because she watched her dad do the same thing for years before being let go. Kids need to know that they have the support and attention from their parents and who ever else they look up to. That mental safety net is what keeps them going with their idea. Their passion is able to flourish because they know that what they are doing is supported by the people who love them and are looking out for them.

Hilde works on her paper knowing that her dad and mom will fix any mistakes she makes,  a process that she is learning from. She writes her stories because the people who read them encourage her to keep working at it.  That talent takes time to build so with every issue that comes out she gets feedback right away from people, which she can take and use the next time she sits down and writes. Now many writers get feedback in the beginning so this will help and teach her the process of story writing.

Implied Responsibilities
The pressures of running any kind of business are not apparent in the beginning because most are still in the honeymoon phase of their personal project. It is hard to see anything going wrong when you start any kind of enterprise, regardless the size and scope of it. The demands of running a simple newspaper might not seem like a lot but in finding stories to write about a good news reporter has to be where the action is at. Even if that means missing her favorite TV shows or dinner with the family.

In order to write about what is happening one has to be at the right spot at the right time and for a place with as little as 5000 people, it’s hard to find interesting things to write about so Hilde has taken it upon herself to be where the important people are in order to learn about what is happening within her community. She attends town meetings or any meeting that will let her attend. She will ask questions in order to learn more about an issue. This habit will carry her into a lot of areas in life because not everyone is comfortable asking questions. No doubt she attends other meetings around her town for her readers to know about so she really has to ask a lot of questions in order to find out what is happening. In addition to meetings she will show up at crime scenes, take photos, and interview people. This is all done without the permission or help from the police.

Always Learning
Entrepreneurs are people who love learning and they do not need any kind of carrot on a stick to get their attention. They go out and learn everything they can on a subject until they become an expert, or in the case of Hilde, enough to write a story. Her passion to know what is going on around her keeps her constantly learning and asking questions. This means that at home she is asking her parents questions all the time, reading up on stories, and prying into other people’s lives.

The prying part comes at a cost but her drive, determination, and support of her family all keep her going. She discovered that the local high school doesn’t have a printed paper because the costs are too high so she wrote a story about it. The superintendent informed her that people still had the option to get a printed version at home on their own computer and printer. Hilde is learning what it means to deal with people about situations and issues that come up. Sooner or later her cuteness will wean and eventually, like all people, she will be dealing with brick walls that people will put up in front of her because she is digging too deep but as any journalist or reporter knows, that is when you know you have found something worth reporting, when people start giving you trouble.

Chances are she will continue her paper and work on her highschool paper and even college paper to get more experience. That process of learning is what she looks forward too.

True Experience
The challenge that Hilde has for her age is finding the next big story. That is something that keeps her out there everyday asking questions because she knows that she has to give her readers something worth reading. Her family used to live in New York where something was happening every minute. Hilde says that she misses that life but the freedom she has to go out and explore in her small town allows her to learn more about her life and the world she lives in than if she lived in New York where she wouldn’t be allowed such freedom.

Her newspaper is creating a lot of attention and if she follows the direction right could start bringing in more money. People around town have mentioned advertising in her newspaper so with the help of her dad that could be a way to support her project and maybe pay for college later on.

In any case, the story of Hilde is just one of the many young entrepreneurs out there who are creating their own opportunities. They didn’t wait for someone to come and tell them it was ok, instead they took the reins and gave themselves their own speaking platform. In this day and age it is very easy to do such a thing now with zero cost. It takes passion, drive, risk-taking, and determination to make it all happen. If you have the support you need to make it happen then why not go out and do it? Hilde has all the right traits in place so it won’t be long before she starts writing guest articles for major newspapers. Her sister, Izzy, currently writes a guest column for a newspaper in another county where she gets to give advice, which she makes $25 dollars a week. It seems like advice giving, storytelling, and journalism all runs strong in her family.


You can learn more about Hilde and her family in the articles below. Her dad, Matt, wrote articles on the Sandy Hook shootings when he covered it for several months. He ended up writing a book on the whole situation entitled, Newtown: An American Tragedy.

News Articles

8-Year-Old Runs Her Town’s Monthly Newspaper

Is this 8-year-old’s newspaper better than yours?