The Life and Success Story of Bill Gates

Bill GatesThe Co-Founder of Microsoft Corporation and one of the most influential people in the world, Bill Gates was born on October 28,1955 in Seattle, Washington. One of the most inspiring personalities in history, Bill Gates has had a life filled with successes. Here is everything that you ever wanted to know about the life and success of Bill Gates!

An American programmer, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft—the world’s premier software company. With an estimated net worth of $90.6 billion, Gates is the second richest man in the world. But, how did he build this wealth and what were the challenges he overcame to get there?

The Early Life of Bill Gates

While Bill Gates had to work hard to become what he is today, his story isn’t exactly a rags-to-riches one as he was born into a fairly wealthy family. His father was a successful attorney while his mother was a school teacher who went onto become a member of the Board of Directors of the First Interstate Bank. Gates was a bright student and performed well academically, especially in mathematics. And, this was exemplified by the 800 points that young Bill Gates scored in the mathematics part of an intelligence test.

Bill Gates developed a passion for computers and programming as early as 13. At the same age, Gates enrolled in the Lakeside School, a private preparatory school. While Gates was still at the school, the school administration decided to buy a computer from the General Electric Company. Seeing his flare in programming, the school administration excused Gates from classes to allow him to pursue his interest. On the GEC machine, Bill Gates built his first ever computer program.

At the school, Gates met Paul Allen and they worked together to find bugs in a system belonging to Computer Center Corporation. In exchange for computer time and royalties, Gates and Allen along with two other students wrote a payroll program for Information Sciences. This led to Gates’ school becoming fully aware of his talent and they had him a build a program that scheduled students in classes.

Gates and Allen continue to build softwares and at just the age of 15, Bill Gates sold a software to optimize traffic for $20,000. A few years later, he developed another software and earned $30,000 from it. And, this was the start of Bill Gates’ journey to a billion-dollar wealth.

The Establishment of Microsoft Corporation

In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen co-founded a software company and they named it Micro-Soft. Initially, the company delivered small software products to different firms. Since the company did not have enough finds to hire a sales manager, this function was performed by Mary Maxwell—mother of Bill Gates.

Not long after, Gates and Allen found that Microsoft had dropped to the lowest affordable point. The company was in financial crisis and this is mainly due to the use of some pirated software. However, the two owners did not lose hope and they launched MS-BASIC, which helped them to make a profit of $50,000.

In 1979, IBM—one of our American multinational tech companies, launched the world’s first personal computer and offered Microsoft to develop a program for it. However, at the time, the company did not have the resources to create an operating software (OS), and thus recommended another company Digital Research to IBM for building their OS.

A few months on, Microsoft bought an OS system called ’86-DOS’ and started to refine it on a large scale on a daily basis and this resulted in the launch of ‘MS-DOS’. Immediately after the launch, Microsoft offered IBM to use MS-DOS as the main operating software for their first ever personal computer that they were about to launch. The offer was promptly accepted by IBM and Microsoft was able to see-off competition from Digital Research—the company Gates and Allen had recommended to IBM for building their OS.

In 1980, Microsoft and IBM signed the contract and within a year Micro-Soft became Microsoft Corporation. At the same, IBM launched their first ever personal computer with MS-DOS and a few other Microsoft products such as MS-BASIC, MS-PASCAL, MS-COBOL and others. Accomplishments kept pouring in for the company founded by Bill Gates, with notable accomplishments including the invention of the first mouse for personal computer, and the development of Windows Operating System. In fact, the launch of Windows was what helped Gates to build the fortune he currently boasts.

Windows NT was the first Windows OS to be launched. This followed a series of Windows launches over the next few years including the launch of Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, XP, and Vista.

Bill Gates Now

For a few years now, Gates has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of Microsoft and he has dedicated most of his time towards philanthropy and community projects. Bill Gates provides perspective on a range of issues and has co-founded The Giving Pledge—a foundation that encourages wealthy people to contribute a majority of their wealth towards philanthropic causes. At least $365 billion of giving has been pledged by 139 individuals, with a combined 2016 net worth of $731 billion. Bill Gates has pledged more than 80% of his wealth to charity upon death.

There are many lessons to learn from the life of Bill Gates including being focused on your goals and pursuing them persistently, building a great team, building partnership and thinking beyond oneself for the greater good of people. If you are inspired by the life and success story of Bill Gates, then we’d love to hear what about him or his life inspires you.

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  Additionally providing a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.

Our Mission: “Creating innovative IT solutions for business leaders worldwide through cutting edge technologies.”

Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

3 Mobile Apps That Convert Voice to Text

3 Mobile Apps That Convert Voice to TextTechnology is advancing each day. An example of this is mobile apps that convert voice to text. This futuristic technology is changing how people communicate with their computer or devices. If you’re looking to benefit from this amazing piece of tech, then here are 3 mobile apps that convert voice to text!

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to type something on your mobile phone to someone you were talking to but didn’t have your hands-free with you? We all have.

There are many instances in our life where we want to create text but there are some hurdles that stops us from doing so. For example, you might want to compose a text message on your smart phone while you’re still working on a computer or send out an important SMS to your boos or colleague while your drive. While this wasn’t a few years ago, it is now.

What the Mobile Apps Make Possible

Instead of typing on the software of your smart phone, you can now use the voice dictation feature of mobile apps that allow you to convert voice to text. Today, there are many applications of speech recognition technology. About a decade ago, this technology was only used in robots. But, today you will find it in speech recognition systems in vehicles, airplanes, and so on. While speech recognition engines in vehicles are too complicated for most people to understand or buying a vehicle with this technology is not possible for most people, many of us do own a smart phone. And, this is what makes mobile apps that convert voice to text an amazing technology.

Today, it is possible to do things that you couldn’t even imagine when Nokia was the world’s leading phone brand. The phones of Nokia allowed to convert text to speech. Smart phones today allow you to do the opposite of that, which is converting voice to text. Some smart phones have this capability in-built but there are few and far between. But almost all smart phones allow you to download and access mobile apps that convert voice to text. These apps make it possible and easy to make calls, and send out text messages simultaneously.

The Best Apps for the Purpose

Today, you say something to your computer and it transforms into text by itself, text that you can use in notes, document and email etc. Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, this was one of the futuristic things, but today it is reality. Today, voice recognition has reached new levels of accuracy, with smart technology such as Google Now and Siri providing smartness and utility. While many people use the voice to text technology such as Siri for search or voice memos, only a few are making use of the apps that allow you to send a text or Whatsapp message by dictating it.

If you want perform tasks such as making calls and sending out texts simultaneously or want to give some rest to your fingers from typing text messages, then consider use apps that covert speech to text. Not only will this save you time and effort, it will also make your life a whole lot interesting. So, what are the best apps for the purpose? following are 3 mobile apps you should consider for converting voice to text.

The Evernote App

An app designed to keep track of ideas and inspirations, Evernote is an amazing android app which converts speech to text. An app that helps you to takes notes on the go and remember important information, the Evernote app can be used to record voice notes such as meeting or lectures, and then convert them into text.

By allowing you to take notes, create to-do-lists, record voice reminder, capture photos and save your ideas, the app enhances your productivity. An interesting application of this app is that it comes with a voice to text update. This means that when you take notes, you can shout it out to the app and it will create notes for you. This app is useful for many people including students and teachers who can use it to take important notes using just their voice. A latest version of this app is available today.

Google Voice Search

Want to search something online? you no longer need to type for it. With Google search, you can search for anything by simply using your voice as input. This amazing feature is available through Google Play and can be easily installed. After you download the app, you will notice a microphone when you open the Google search. Tap on it and you’ll find that a search dialog box opens with ‘Speak now’ prompt. Whatever speech you input, it will be automatically converted into text. So, whatever query you have, just say it to Google search and let the app do the rest.

Voice Assistant

This is a newly created app that not only allows you to convert voice to text, but also allows you to quickly post to email, Facebook or Twitter. You can convert your transcriptions to the proper format without additional clicks by switching on your preferred option. Additionally, you can send your transcriptions to apps such as YouTube, Google Search and Evernote by using the auto copy feature of this app. The app also comes with on-screen editing and grammar correction options.

Apps that convert voice to text are making life easier and this is no exaggeration. These apps for converting voice to text will allow you to accomplish a lot more than you do today. To know more about how these apps can help you, get in touch with us today!

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  Additionally providing a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.

Our Mission: “Creating innovative IT solutions for business leaders worldwide through cutting edge technologies.”

Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Website Theme

WebsiteFor most beginners, selecting a theme for their website is an overwhelming task. If you’re one of them then you need to know this: A theme is simply your website’s outfit. For this reason, you must choose a website theme that styles your images, pages and blog posts in a way that make them look good and easy on the eyes. Here are 5 things to consider when selecting a website theme!

Most people find it difficult to pick a website theme that fits the content of their site as they are literally thousands of themes to choose from, which can be overwhelming. Often, the problem stems from not knowing what the theme is for.  The basic purpose of a theme is styling your content by applying fonts, color and layout to transform it into something that captures attention and encourages visitors to stay on your website.

Since it helps to style your website content, keep it responsive across devices and load it in the blink of an eye, choosing the right theme for your website is crucial. However, with so many available options, choosing a website them can be a daunting task to say the least. Before you go shopping for a theme or invest money into one, find out how you can select the perfect website theme.

So, how can you choose the right website theme? To pick the perfect website them, following are 5 things to consider when selecting a website theme.

Simplicity

The first step in choosing the right website theme is embracing or striving for simplicity. While a website design service can provide you with a lot of flashy animations, complex layouts and a range of colors, you should simply look for a theme with a design layout that helps you support your objective. Your website needs to look good but you should not compromise simplicity and usability for an aesthetically pleasing website.

Contrary to popular belief, a good theme does not refer to a theme that looks good rather it refers to a theme that attracts subscribers or gets new business. Complicated themes take the user away from the desired call-to-action (CTA), and are a nuisance to navigate on smart phone or other mobile devices. So, make sure the theme you pick is easy to navigate, has an uncomplicated design and provides users with exactly what they’re looking for. Here, simple is brilliant!

Readability

A good website theme ensures high readability. To ensure high readability, choose a theme with a font that is consistent and easy on the eyes. Paragraphs are part of every website that has some content. Paragraphs are important whether they are written blocks of text spanning an entire page or just 1-sentence long. However, writing illegible blocks of text is a No-no.

If you desire well-structured paragraphs on your site, then ensure they’re formatted well. The style, spacing and position of typography is what generates this formatting.  Also, website designers and developers recommend using a theme that allows plenty of whitespace.

Desktop and Mobile Optimization

It is important for you to choose a website theme that is optimized for both desktop and mobile viewing.  Today, more than a billion people use their mobile phones to search the internet for the information and/or the products/services they need. And, this makes it essential to have a mobile-friendly website. Before choosing a theme, double check to ensure that it’s optimized for both desktop and mobile viewing.

If that isn’t already the case, optimizing website for mobile browsers will become essential in the coming future as all predictions and recommendations point towards it.No extensive analysis is required to comprehend the importance of doing this.

Instead, there are examples of this in our everyday life. Honestly, all it takes to realize the importance of optimizing website for mobile viewing or browsing is paying closer attention to the devices people commonly use in their daily communication, public places and transport.

Browser Compatibility

It is extremely important for you to choose a browse that is compatible with all browsers. Regardless of the browser it is accessed on, your website needs to be fully responsive as this will as this will ensure a good user experience and even help to increase your search engine rankings, along with many other benefits. Your theme will be of no good if it works perfectly on one browser but seems crooked on another. You can check the theme on different browsers by running some basic tests.

In addition to browser compatibility, ensure that the website them you choose is SEO-friendly. SEO-friendly themes will help you to get found online. For most beginners, diving into a code of a theme and then analyzing its SEO friendliness can be a real challenge.If you’re among them, then we would recommend that you take help from professional developers or design teams to fine a theme that is SEO-friendly and helps you get found online.

Plugins

It is important for you to ensure that the website theme you choose supports all major plugins. In fact, it is one of the most important steps in choosing the right website theme. Additionally, it allows you to have control over your website. In case you have a WordPress website, make sure to choose a theme that supports plugins such as WordPress SEO by Yoast and W3 Total Cache. This is in your own best interest.

There you have it—the 5 things to consider when selecting a website theme. In addition to the above, you can reach out to the experts such as us to choose the right theme for your website. www.percentotech.com/websites

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

Do These 3 Things to Wake Up Wildly and Happy to Go to Work

work happyFind it difficult to wake up in the morning? Don’t feel like getting out of your warm, cozy bed and going to work each day? Well, you no longer need to feel lethargic every morning and can get out of bed all happy and excited? Here’s How!

Are you one of those who don’t feel happy or excited waking up in the morning? If yes, then you’re not alone. There are millions of others like you. The good news is that there are a few simple you can do to break this habit and wake up wildly and happy to go to work each day.

The Key to Waking up Excited and Happy Each Day

What is the first thing you do after waking up in the morning? Unless it’s the weekend, you probably press the snooze button a couple of times, and then jump out of bed in panic, doing everything you need to do to get ready for work in a hurry. Sound familiar? It probably does.

However, it doesn’t need to be that way. Doing a few simple things each morning will help you relax and ground yourself for the day, which in turn will ensure that you don’t wake up each morning full of stress and with a racing mind.

Not only will these simple hacks help you to wakeup excited each day, they’ll will also ensure that you’re happy to go to work. For most people, work equates to just that, work. It’s a way to make ends meet, pay bills, support a family, and in the best-case scenario, pay for a vacation or car that you’ve been eyeing for some time.

Many of us sit at our desks, or in an office on autopilot, performing our daily duties which seem less like a stimulating routine and more like a daily grind. Work isn’t exactly something that excites us each day but it can be, you just need to alter your thinking.

Think about it: what’s stopping you from being happy at work? It’s a lack of inspiration or motivation that not only makes work feels like the last place you’d want to be, but also prevents you from shining at work and in life. So, what is that you do to change your daily habit? Do these 3 things to wake up wildly and happy to go to work.

Determine What Success Means to You

How is success defined? The truth of the matter is that there is no one, universal definition of success. The definition of success is very subjective and depends on the preferences and experiences of the person defining it. So, what does success mean to you? What motivates you to wake up each morning and do everything that you do in a day? Motivation varies from person to person and what motivates you may not motivate another person to take steps to change his or her life.

If you ask me, then I’ll define success as spending and focusing most of your time on work or tasks that are fulfilling, help you to maximize your potential, and add meaning to your life. If you want to wake up happy and excited each day, then the first thing that you need to do is define your version of success. Once you determined what success means to you, write it down and ensure that your job and career is geared can help you achieve the success that’s important to you.

Embrace Your Uniqueness and Identify Your Potential

Want to get up every morning feeling motivated and excited to go to work? Then embrace your uniqueness and identify your potential. The kind of thinking and problem solving that helps you tackle a problem or challenge is what makes up your potential or genius. When you’re in that zone, pay careful attention to what you’re doing to identify this type of thinking that will help you unlock your potential.

Be specific about what the type of thinking you have in that moment because that is your genius. You need to value and use your genius or potential as much as possible because it’s the great power you possess, the power that will allow you to face challenges head on and see work as an opportunity to grow and become everything that you ever wanted to be rather than a daily grind.

Leverage Your Purpose Completely

Every person in the world wants to feel that their work is contributing to something meaningful to them and the world. However, when people aren’t clear about their purpose, they start to seek thigs that can help them change the world outside of work to make up for what they’re lacking or are not experiencing in their everyday job.

If you want to wake up feeling happy and excited to go to work each day, then you not only need to have a purpose in life, you also need to leverage it fully at work.

Once you start to leverage your purpose at work, you will start to experience fulfillment each day, which will help to ensure your happiness at work.

In times when working on cruise control is a commonplace, don’t settle for anything that does not energize you or make you feel motivated at work. If you can ensure this, feeling challenged and fulfilled at work won’t be a pipe dream anymore.

And remember – to work somewhere awesome always helps with happiness and self satisfaction.

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Business for A Natural Disaster

Natural DisasterDisaster can strike any business and at any time. Natural disasters are unexpected and they catch most businesses off guard. Businesses that aren’t prepared for natural disasters incur massive losses and this makes it crucial to prepare your business for a natural disaster. Here are 5 ways you can do that!

It is often seen that when disaster strikes, businesses are simply not prepared for it.  And this results in huge losses. Even if your business is based in a state where natural disasters are not a commonplace, and the potential for a disaster is as good as zero, you should get your business ready to cope with the impact of a disaster.

Savvy business owners and managers know well that preparation is an essential ingredient for success and one that you need to pay careful attention to. So, preparing your business for a disaster is a necessity rather than an option.

While every business needs a disaster recovery plan, only a few have it. Why is that? There are several reasons for this but generally it is due to not knowing where to start. They are many variants to consider and you need to include almost all aspect of the business. While you can create the disaster plan on your own, it is best to get specialist help for it.

Nevertheless, they’re a few things that you can do on your own to get your business ready for a natural disaster. What are those things?

Following are 5 ways you can prepare your business for a natural disaster.

Create a Survival Kit

Whether you accept it or not, your employees or the people working for you are your biggest assets. So, the first thing you should think about when developing a disaster plan is protecting your employees. A great way to protect your employees/workers against natural disasters is creating a survival kit. In the aftermath of a disaster and all the chaos that surrounds it, finding and helping your employees would be difficult for anyone.

For the above reason, it is crucial that you gather food, plenty of water, first aid supplies, an emergency phone, a quality hand crank radio, and flashlights to prepare for the worst. Additionally, you can ensure that you will have enough food and water for even the longest of rescue missions by getting your employees/workers involved in the creation of the disaster plan.

Back Up All Your Data

Today, most business transactions are conducted electronically. For this reason, it is crucial to back up and save all your files and data stored on computers and/or servers. Without important financial and client databases, your business may not be able to reestablish itself.

Store your physical files in a waterproof container at the office or in an offsite facility while backing up your electronically stored data with a cloud/web service that can be accessed from any computer and at any time. Doing this is a necessity rather than an option.

Duplicate Your Physical Assets

While the companies who have their data stored in the cloud don’t have to worry about this, there are many small businesses that hold their data in local on-site servers. While duplicating your physical assets isn’t something that would be on top of your priority list, you will be wishing that you had invested in a redundant server when a natural disaster threatens your physical location.

The good news is that finding such a solution today is not that difficult. You will come across plenty of simple and affordable solutions that fulfill the above purpose. An example of this is server mirror—a network management process which enables you to continuously create an exact replica of a server. With this technique, businesses can ensure the restoration of data in case the primary server fails. This in turn ensures the duplication of the entire contents of a server, disaster recovery and backup, and most importantly, business continuity.

There are many different types of disasters that can strike your business. So, regardless of where you are based, having all your business data stored in a single location is an unnecessary risk and one that you can easily avoid.

Ensure you Have Adequate Insurance Coverage

Thinking about your insurance coverage is important when preparing a disaster plan. Sit down with your agent to discuss what risks you are covered for to determine if you have adequate insurance. Find out if you have business interruption insurance as this will compensate you for loss income in case your business is hit by a disaster.

Your business can be completely lost to a tornado, a hurricane of even a flood in the blink of an eye. This makes it crucial for you to get a quality insurance that covers you for all types of natural disaster and everything that they impact.

Create a Post-Disaster Plan

In addition to the plan for the disaster, you need to create a plan that guides you about how you’re going to move forward after the disaster. Know how you’re going to move things forward after the disaster is part of preparing for a natural disaster. Having a plan to keep your business operational after a disaster is crucial for its future survival and success.

Be ready to handle the obstacles that come your way as this will ensure that you not scrambling when a disaster strikes. There is huge value in planning ahead, and the biggest value lies in keeping up business operational after the disaster. By referring to the above information, you can get your business well-prepared for a natural disaster. Get in touch with us today to know more ways of preparing your business for a natural disaster.

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Best Employees

Best EmployeesIs ordering people around all that owners, managers or team leads are supposed to do? Not at all. In fact, ordering people around is the last thing that an owner, manager, or team lead should do. As someone in charge of things, you have a responsibility to make life easy for your employees and motivate them to be their best. To do that, you need to avoid saying these 5 things to your employees—especially to the best ones!

Managing people is the toughest part of a leader’s job. As a leader, you may not be as accountable as your employees and get away with most things, but bad behavior on your part will not just affect the morale of your employees, it will also have a negative impact on your company’s growth.

Just like employees, managers or leaders are human too and they can have bad days like anyone else. However, there are certain boundaries that leaders mustn’t cross. As the leader, you are the one in charge. You are responsible for steering the ship and your words carry the most weight so make sure you choose them wisely. Here are 5 things you should never say to your employees—especially to the best ones.

‘I’m in Charge. So, Do What I Tell You To’

If you say these words to your employees, then you’re being demeaning and disrespectful and people won’t work long for a boss who demeans and disrespects employees. Remember, everyone at work is an adult and has a certain degree of self-respect. If you say anything that hurts the self-respect of an employee, then don’t expect that employee to be motivated to work for you.

Even if you are the one paying your employees, you have no right to hurl abuses at them for not doing their job. Remember, you employees are not your slaves and they will be disheartened to work for you if you come down too hard on them. If an employee doesn’t understand the importance of a task, then provide more detail.

Show them how performing the task will benefit them, the team and the organization as a whole. Don’t abuse your authority. Instead, be respectful when dealing with employees by engaging them in conversation, ask questions in a polite manner and welcoming feedback from them.

Don’t Waste My Time. We’ve Already Tried This Before

By sharing their thoughts and ideas on processes they see or use each day, employees add value to the organization. However, often the idea and thoughts on processes shared by employees have been tried or thought of before. In such cases, the worst thing a manager or leader can say is ‘We already know that or we’ve already tried that’ without letting the employee complete what he/she has to say on the matter.

Not only does this demotivate employees, it also shuts down innovation and initiative within the company, which in turn prevents the company from growing. So, if you want your company to grow, encourage open dialogue and allow employees to share their ideas and thoughts on processes and other company matters they’re involved in.

It’s Your Problem. You Deal with It

Maintain an attitude of shared responsibilities with your employees if you want them to be their best. Think of their problems as your own problems and contribute equally to come up with a solution. Never let your employees feel isolated in a crisis.

For employees, nothing is more discomforting than a boss or leader who shuts them out and doesn’t help them when they raise an issue. As a leader/boss, it is your responsibility to be involved in the problems of your employees as this will put across to them that their work is valued and they’re part of a bigger effort.

While you may not have the solution to every problem your employees face, offering support, guidance and advice to employees will help them find the required solution.

The quality of good leaders is that they take responsibility for their actions. You do nothing but set a bad example for employees to follow in the future when your shrug away blame or shirk away responsibility.

You’re Doing Perfect

While validating the effort of your best employees is always good, telling them that they’re doing perfect can backfire. By telling your best employees they’re doing perfect, you stop them from improving.

Remember, your employees will always have room for improvement so if you want your employees to improve, then provide them corrective feedback rather than feedback that is ‘over the top’. Honest but encouraging feedback is what will motivate your best employees to improve further and this will pay you back in form of increased productivity and revenue.

Work till You Drop Dead

You don’t necessarily have to utter these words for them to leave an impact. Your actions are enough to do that. No one is asking you to let everyone with a cold have days off from work but you will be doing more harm than good to your company if you force employees to work with contagious conditions such as Influenza and other viral illnesses.

Not only will the sick employees turn in less than satisfactory work, they will also spread their germs and cause other employees to become sick. Surely, you wouldn’t want more than half of your employees to be sick when you have an important deadline coming up.

If you say these 5 things to your best employees, verbally or non-verbally, you will make it incredibly difficult for your company to grow or even survive. So, avoid these words/things like you would a plague!  Employees are your biggest asset.  Treat them right so they treat the clients well.

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

5 Ways to Create Disciplined Work Habits

Work HabitsYour achievements could be down to a lot of different things but one thing that always helps achieve sustainable, long-term success is self-discipline. Self-discipline is the primary trait required to accomplish goals, lead a healthy lifestyle, and achieve happiness. One place where this trait is crucial is your workplace. Here is how you can create disciplined work habits!

There are some people at work who always seem to get things done regardless of time constraints or the complexity of the task. Procrastination is a foreign word to these people and they do need any ‘productivity hacks’. Do you know what these people have that other don’t? a strong work ethic. What makes a strong work ethic?

It is a work ethic based on the ideals on discipline and hard work. Training oneself to follow these ideals is what is required to build a strong work ethic. With a strong work ethic, work—regardless of its complexity, is never a struggle. It is paramount not only to achieve your own targets but also help the company to achieve its goals.

From the entry-level workers to the CEO, every employee of the company must have a strong work ethic if the company desires to function at its peak and achieve the desired level of success. A strong work ethic is the coming together of certain factors. What are these factors? Following are 5 ways to create disciplined work habits.

Create an ‘Exciting’ Routine

If you aren’t excited about waking up each day to go to work then you can forget developing any habits that allow you to be productive and successful at work. So, how can you create an ‘exciting’ routine? Firstly, make a habit of waking up early.

To achieve this habit, you need to give yourself a reason to get excited about. There must be something that’d make you excited to get out of bed in the morning each day? It could be incredible breakfast or coffee, an early workout routine or someone at work that you always look forward to meeting? Whatever it is, it will have you 1-0 up.

Ensure Unwavering Commitment and Accountability

To do whatever is required to achieve a goal, you will need unwavering commitment. However, commitment rarely comes easy. Instead, it requires discipline, which is something most people are unable to achieve by themselves. One way to discipline yourself to ensure unwavering commitment is making yourself accountable for your actions. By ensuring accountability for your actionsor for your failures, you will have a new purpose, a new drive, and a little more excitement in your life.

Develop a Sense of Responsibility

How you work and the amount of work you accomplish each day depends on how strong your sense of responsibility is. You reach work on time, put in your best effort and complete tasks/projects to the best of your abilities only when you feel personally responsible for your work performance. Remember, no one will do your work for you and neither will anyone force you into action. You must do this yourself.

If you want to create a strong work ethic then avoid laziness or stagnation. Develop a sense of responsibility that encourages you to move, take action, change and grow. However, this will only happen when you make some choices and get going. Also, make sure not to confuse laziness with ease. Laziness will only yield difficulties and painful regret in the long run and you will be the one to blame for it because these problems would have been avoided had you developed a sense of responsibility and stepped up your game.  Make sure this does not happen to you.

Ensure Persistency

Persistence is one of the first things required to build a strong or disciplined work ethic. You lack this quality if you can’t stay focused on a task for long or quickly burn out after a short period of work. Just like it is important to build endurance for a race, building persistence is required to motivate yourself to work for longer periods of time. While ensuring persistency is important, you must balance persistence with periods of rest. This is for your own good. Even if you have a strong work ethic, working for eleven or twelve hours straight is never a good strategy. However, training yourself to work for such long work periods will ensure that these periods seem shorter to you than they actually are, which will make work easier and less stressful for you.

Act with Good Purpose

Working without an end result is a big NO. Avoid going in circles doing work that won’t lead you to the desired outcomes. Establish a purpose and then ensure your actions are aligned with it. Plan each work day in advance, ideally at the end of the previous workday. At the same time, check back with your purpose. Find out ways to develop a purpose or establish clear goals if you don’t have any clear purpose or goals.

Once you’ve established the purpose and goals, ensure that your workdays are aligned with these priorities. When you start to consider possible actions, contemplate which ones will matter a year or so. Dedicate most of your time or workday to actions that you expect will help you the most in achieving the set purpose and goals.

A strong work ethic is required to achieve productivity and be successful at work and this work ethic is a by-product of disciplined work habits practiced day in, day out. The ways to create these habits and build a strong work ethic are mentioned above.  By loving what you do makes these habits easy to obtain.

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

Apple Music and Spotify Compete for Subscribers

According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, the gap between Spotify—a music, podcast, and video streaming service developed by Spotify AB, and Apple Music—a music and video streaming service developed by Apple Inc, is starting to narrow. For a while, Spotify has been a favorite of music lovers in the U.S and around the world. But, it finally has competition as Apple Music and Spotify look set to compete for subscribers. I like them both, but here are the details:

In January this year, Spotify confirmed its seventy million subscribers, reaffirming its position as the world’s premier streaming service. While Apple music is starting to compete for subscribers with Spotify, it is still a distant second with about thirty million subscribers as of September 2017. However, latest reports in the Wall Street Journal and a few other publications show that Apple is gaining subscribers in the U.S at a higher rate than Spotify, with Apple Music’s subscribers growing by 5% each month compared to Spotify’s 2%.

While Apple Music is gaining an edge in the local market, Spotify continues to lead globally, with the Stockholm based streaming service having twice as many paid subscribers as the streaming service of Apple Inc. This is nothing less of an achievement when you consider that all iOS devices come preloaded with Apple Music’ services and that Apple Inc has presence in more markets than Spotify.

The Duel Pre-2018

In 2005, Martin Lorentzon and Daniel Ek co-founded Spotify—the music streaming service, in an apartment in Sweden. A year on, they launched the service in Europe. It took Ek and Lorentzon four more year to finally enter the U.S market but it didn’t take Spotify long to become popular in the country, with features such as New Music Fridays and Discover Weekly playlists helping the cause. In 2011—just a year after entering the U.S market, Spotify announced that it had reached a million paid subscribers.

In 2015, Apple Inc decided to launch its own streaming service called Apple Music. Considering Apple’s might and past successes, people and experts started to predict that doomsday was imminent for Spotify. And, this prediction came true to an extent. In a little over a year, the American multinational tech company claimed half of Spotify’s users. However, Spotify refused to give in to the might of Apple Inc. And, this paid dividend.  From the start of 2016 till the mid-2017, Spotify’s user base grew exponentially and in June 2016, the Swedish based streaming service announced that it had reached sixty million subscribers. This was 33 million more than Apple Music’s user base around the same time.

The above strengthened Spotify’s plans for a direct listing. In the summer of last year, a few leading publications reported that the listing would take place near the end of 2017 but nothing has materialized yet. However, the company’s plans for a direct listing are very much alive and the listing may occur sometime soon. In case you weren’t aware of it, a direct listing allows companies to go public without actually going public. Confused? Well, don’t be! In a direct listing, a company does not publicly sell its shares. Instead, the listing allows insiders and early stockholders to directly sell their shares on an exchange.

In 2015, Spotify was valued at $8.5 million. Considering that it had increased its user base exponentially since then, Spotify’s value is likely to be a lot more when its direct listing finally happens.

The Battle in 2018 and Beyond

As mentioned earlier, Apple Music—the streaming service developed by Apple Inc, is starting to close the gap on its Swedish counterpart Spotify in terms of paid subscribers. Since the end of 2017, Apple Music has been growing its user base at the growth rate of 5% and if this trend continues till the summer, then Apple’s streaming service will overtake Spotify in terms of user base or paid subscribers.

In September 2017, Apple Music had thirty million paid subscribers. Today, that number has increased to thirty-six million. While Spotify managed to hold its ground for a few years after the launch of Apple’s streaming service, it will have a tough time doing the same in 2018 and beyond. Spotify has already started to lose subscribers to Apple Music and Apple’s streaming service will only get better, which will increase its lure and make thing incredibly tough for the streaming service headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

While both Spotify and Apple Music have made the total number of subscribers they have public, they haven’t revealed where these subscribers are based, which means that the number of Spotify and Apple Music subscribers in the U.S are not known. However, the U.S subscribers of both these streaming services are likely to be in the millions when you consider the amount of people in the U.S subscribed to streaming services.

While Apple Music is expected to claim top spot at some point this year, the battle for subscribers will continue beyond 2018. Spotify won’t lay down its arms and surrender so easily. Instead, it will fight till its last breath or till it makes economic sense to do so.

Till 2018, Spotify enjoyed an edge over Apple music in terms of paid subscribers. However, this is expected to change in 2018 as Apple Music grows its user base at a rate of 5% compared to the 2% growth rate of Spotify. The paid subscribers count of Apple Music is expected to surpass the same of Spotify by summer this year. While Apple’s streaming service may overtake Spotify this year, expect the Stockholm based streaming service to make a comeback in 2019 and heat up the battle once again!  Makes me want to pull up some Coldplay and chill.  😉

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

The Life of Elon Musk

Elon MuskUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Elon Musk—the 46 year old South African-born engineer, investor and business magnate currently living in Bel Air, Los Angeles. The 53rd richest person on the world, Musk is CEO and product architect at Tesla Inc and the lead designer and founder of Space X. I did a little research and here is a little more on the extraordinary life of Elon Musk!

Ranked among the 25 most powerful people in the world by Forbes in 2016, Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. Elon’s father Errol Musk was a South African electrotechnical engineer, pilot and sailor while his mother Maye was a model and dietician from Regina in Canada. Elon Musk was an avid reader in this childhood and at the age of ten, he developed an interest in computing.

At just at the age of 12, Musk learned computer programming by himself and sold the code of Blastar—a BASIC-based video game, to PC and Office Technology—a local magazine, for $500. Elon Musk suffered bullying throughout his childhood but this did not affect the confidence of Musk and he continued to pursue everything that he wanted to achieve.

At the age of 17, he got into Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario for an undergraduate study but after spending two years there, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1997. In addition to the degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Elon Musk also completed a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Wharton School of Business.

In 1995, Musk enrolled into a PhD in applied physics and materials science program at Stanford University but left just two days later to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations in the areas of the internet, outer space and renewable technology.

The Successful Entrepreneurial Ventures of Elon Musk

After quitting the PHD program, Elon Musk along with his brother Kimbal launched an IT company by the name of Zip2. Working day and night, Elon Musk lived in the same warehouse where he used to work. This allowed him to save money and keep the company afloat during the initial difficult times. At that time, the Internet was going through a period of rapid growth and development but no one had made a fortune from it yet.

However, Musk and his company Zip2 was about to change that. Elon Musk created a platform where newspapers including leading publication such as the New York Time could offer additional commercial services to their customers. In 1999, AltaVista—the biggest search engine at the time, acquired Zip2 for $341 million, which included $307 million cash payment and $34 million securities. This set a record for selling a company for cash.

During the same time, electronic payment systems were starting to increase in popularity. Realizing this, Elon Musk launched his new business X.com.  A year later, X.com merged with Confinity—a rival company run by Max Levchin and Peter Thiel.  Confinity created the first digital wallet by allowing owners of PalmPilots and other PDAs to store encrypted information on their devices. After the merger, X.com was renamed PayPal, and Musk became its chairman and chief executive.

Over the next few years, Elon Musk remained involved in the development of new business models, including conducting a successful viral campaign to help increase the company’s customers. In 2002, PayPal was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion, with $180 million for his share. This was enough money for Elon Musk to pursue his other entrepreneurial aspirations which was developing the areas of alternative energy sources and space engineering.

Tesla Motors, Space X and More

Tesla Motors Tesla Motors—the company chaired by Elon Musk and currently known as Tesla Inc, was founded in 2003 by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Even before Musk joined the ranks, the company positioned itself as the manufacture of electric vehicles that did not rely on oil to function. To show his support for such aspirations, Elon Musk made a personal contribution of $70 million. Soon, Musk became the company’s chairman but he did not take over Tesla’s operational management. However, he was involved in the designing of Tesla Roadster Sports car—the first electric car manufactured by Tesla. By 2006, the project starting to make the headlines and the design of the Roadster won the Global Green product design award in the same year.

The company continued to grow and soon boasted investors such as Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Google, with investments exceeding $100 million. In 2008, the first Tesla Roadsters were sold for $109,000. Today, Tesla Motors is worth billions, all due to the efforts of Elon Musk.

In addition to running matters for Tesla Motors, Elon Musk started SpaceX—an Aerospace manufacturer and space transport service company, in June 2002. Elon Musk wanted to build his own rockets and in May 2006, he unsuccessfully launched the company’s first ever rocket. Musk and SpaceX tried launching the rocket again in 2007 but failed once more. After a successful launch in September 2008, SpaceX managed to win a NASA contract for 12 flights worth $1.6 billion.  In September 2011, Musk announced reusable rockets and in December 2015, SpaceX successfully sends reusable rocket into orbit for the very first time.

The Entrepreneurial ventures of Elon Musk are endless. In addition to the above, some other popular ventures of Musk include PowerWall, SolarCity and The Boring Company. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or are looking to make a career in the technology, outer space or energy sector, then Elon Musk’s life can be the perfect reference point for you to kick off things and keep the ball rolling!  🙂

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

Why This Woman’s iPhone X YouTube Video Got Her Dad Fired from Apple

YouTube Video Kids and teenagers often land their parents into trouble. But, only a few can acclaim getting their parents fired from their job. Brooke Amelia Peterson—a regular Vlogger on YouTube, is one of them. Apple reportedly dismissed Amelia’s father—an engineer at the company, from his job after they found him violating a company rule.

The American tech giant Apple reportedly fired an engineer working at the company after discovering that his daughter had leaked information about the unreleased iPhone X on her YouTube channel.Showing off her ‘dad’s’ new iPhone X, Brooke Amelia Peterson—a Youtuber, posted a video with the smart phone in October of last year. The video includes footage of Apple’s cafeteria and showcases many of the new iPhone’s features.

A few days after it was posted, the video managed to make it to YouTube’s top trending videos list and this resulted in Brooke Amelia’s father being fired from his job. Not long after, the video was removed from YouTube without any explanation. After her dad’s sacking, Brooke Amelia posted a video explaining why her dad was fired from Apple. Here is what she said in the follow-up video:

“I had no idea that this was a violation,”. “My father takes full responsibility for letting me film his iPhone X.” “Apple let him go. At the end of the day, when you work for Apple, it doesn’t matter how good of a person you are. If you break a rule, they just have no tolerance.”

She further added, “They had to do what they had to do’. ‘I’m not mad at Apple. I’m not going to stop buying Apple products…My dad had a really great run at Apple.’ ‘I don’t think he deserved this, but we’re okay,” “We’re good.”

How It All Transpired

Expect no leniency if you break an Apple Rule. These are not our words but those of people working at Apple. According to them, Apple’s first rule is that you do not talk about Apple and the second rule of the company is also the same, ‘You DO Not Talk About Apple’. And, what worse than talking about Apple? Displaying an unreleased product in public. This is a lesson an Apple engineer and his YouTuber daughter learned the hard way.

It all starts with Brooke Amelia Peterson—the daughter of the sacked Apple employee, recording a video in Silicon Valley. The video started like any other YouTube video posted by teenagers with footages of shopping for makeup and clothing and then a visit to Apple’s campus for what seemed like dinner with her father. The two head to the office cafeteria and start munching on pizzas and this is when the crime is committed. Brooke Amelia’s father hands her the iPhone X to test. And, this is when YouTube viewers get to see footage of the new iPhone X for a good forty-five seconds including the phone’s design and camera. Here is part of her Vlog video that started it all:

 

The man fired from his job and Brooke Amelia’s father is Ken Bauer—a now former engineer at Apple. Neither Bauer nor Apple commented on the former’s sacking from the company. Tim Cook—the chief executive of Apple could pardon Bauer and welcome him back into the company fold, but history reveals that Apple shows no mercy to leaks whether they are done on purpose or are accidental. Following are a few lessons to learn from Bauer’s firing from Apple.

Going Viral isn’t Necessarily a Good Thing

Ask any novice YouTuber about their biggest wish and they will tell you ‘going viral’. Contrary to popular belief, going viral on YouTube or any other video blogging/sharing site isn’t always a good thing. Brooke Amelia did not expect her YouTube video featuring the iPhone X to receive as many views as it did. While the views far exceeded her expectations, she wasn’t too happy about it. Why? because she received backlash rather than praise from her viewers. What’s the lesson? The Internet is a crazy place with all sorts of people so you need to be extremely carefully what you post there.

Mistakes You Make Online Can Affect People Other Than You

While the decision of what you post online lies with you, you need to keep in mind that what you choose to post to the internet can affect people other than you. This includes your near and dear ones. So, avoid getting caught up in the moment and doing something you’ll regret later. Instead, think long and hard before posting anything online. Ask yourself the following questions before posting to the internet:

  • How will I feel about this a week, month or even years from now?
  • How will this affect me or others now and in the future?

Train Your Children to Make the Right Choices Online

Kids and teenagers may be more tech-savvy than a middle-aged person or older but they lack the experience and level of judgement required to make sound decisions online. For this reason, training children to make the right choices online is imperative. You wouldn’t give your 16-year-old the car keys without first teaching them how to drive so how can you allow him complete access to social media without appropriate training. After all, teaching your children how to behave on social and online can be the difference between keeping your job or being fired from it.

Brooke Amelia Peterson and her father learned the hard way that misuse of the internet can result in dire consequences. If you don’t want to suffer the same fate, then always keep the above lessons in mind.

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.