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Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook & The Internet


Envision individuals in creating nations thinking Facebook is the passage to the Internet. They might log into Facebook to gain access to email, Wikipedia pages, climate data, and sustenance costs. In the event that they needed extra administrations like the capability to stream motion picture, they can purchase it with a basic navigate Facebook.

That is Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for Internet.org.

At the Mobile World Congress on Monday, Zuckerberg outlined some of his arrangements for making headway with Internet.org, the activity headed by Facebook to carry Internet connectivity to poor nations around the globe.

While Zuckerberg touted the philanthropic vision of his organization’s objective to associate the following one billion individuals, its vital to note that the task isn’t right for the sole purpose of carrying fundamental administrations to those that don’t have it, but instead carrying a huge number of extra eyeballs to Facebook and its promoters.

“[we are] making it with the goal that we can build the measure of up-offers to memberships when they’re utilizing these fundamental administrations,” Zuckerberg said in his keynote. “They will go to a connection that isn’t incorporated in the essential administrations bundle; a popup that says, alright in the event that you need to expend this, you need to purchase this information plan.”

Facebook is making a long haul guarantee to both information bearers and promoters Zuckerberg said the following one billion individuals to accomplish Internet access won’t be as well-off as those as of recently on Facebook, in this way making it harder to adapt the organization’s administrations. Zuckerberg said the interpersonal organization will sponsor Facebook, Messenger, and different administrations like climate or fundamental news and data, and after that give up-offers in requisitions to convey the entire bundle like a door drug. Those up-offers are the place transporters and Facebook profit.

“The motivation behind why they’re not on [the Internet] is they don’t know why they might need to get access to it,” Zuckerberg said. “[we will show] individuals why its objective and bravo to use the restricted cash that they have on the Internet.”

How Whatsapp Fits Into Internet.org

Facebook as of late used $19 billion to get the versatile informing provision Whatsapp, a requisition Zuckerberg cases will be one of the few administrations to store up a billion clients later on. He guaranteed that, without anyone else present, Whatsapp is worth more than what the organization paid for it.

In creating nations like those Internet.org is focusing on, numerous individuals depend on SMS correspondences because of an absence of information administrations. Whatsapp is as of now prevalent in numerous developing markets, incorporating those in South America and Asia where Facebook’s development was stagnating.

While blasting in fame, Whatsapp was confronting weight to adapt. It as of recently had a membership based plan of action, yet keeping in mind the end goal to handle the onrushing of clients, Whatsapp would’ve required to keep tabs on building out a plan of action. With the Facebook obtaining, Whatsapp was given the chance to center only on development without stressing over income models, since Facebook is taking care of everything.

The Next One Billion

“Joining the world” is Facebook’s vision—one that can’t be attained without the backing of different associations, including the six telecom organizations it collaborated with for the Internet.org activity.

Zuckerberg said the association is searching for an extra three to five accomplices to carry ready for, that will wager huge that Facebook subsidies of social administrations will pay off by up-offering their information plans. In most immature nations, 2g and 3g information systems are as of now accessible; individuals simply don’t comprehend the quality of the Internet yet.

“One thing I think is not difficult to underestimate is that most individuals on the planet don’t have admittance to the Internet,” he said.

In place for Facebook’s technique to work, it will make Internet moderately competitive, and furnish motivating forces like free Facebook access—for individuals to utilize it. Less expensive base, simpler openness and up-offering extra information utilization will at last develop the organization into a worldwide Internet supplier.

A Facebook telephone may have fizzled in the U.s., however it may very well work in universal markets. By utilizing Facebook as an on-incline to the Internet, the following one billion individuals will utilize social logins to control different applications, as well as their whole Internet utilizat

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Internet.org Sealed The Deal On What’s App


More than a couple of individuals were shocked when Facebook said it might pay $19 billion for informing application startup Whatsapp, however today Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he accepted it was really worth more.

“Assuming that we can benefit work with Whatsapp [and] develop it, it will be a colossal business,” he said today throughout a keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

He additionally shed a touch of light on why Whatsapp, headed by prime supporter Jan Koum, got intrigued by a Facebook retreat — from every angle, a tie-up that Koum in 2012 guaranteed was not a way he might have needed to take: it was a result of Internet.org, the Facebook-headed activity to carry web connectivity to creating economies.

“Why were we eager to do this together? It was the Internet.org vision and how we can interface the world,” Zuckerberg said. While Koum and Whatsapp likewise appeared to have had the same humanitarian inspiration driving their reality correspondences mastery desire, it might have not been conceivable for them to execute on it as effectively as they will with Facebook.

“In the event that they finished this as a free organization they might have needed to keep tabs on how to construct the organization out, to scale it, yet now they can concentrate on how to join the one to two billion individuals.” He accentuated that Whatsapp might remain totally autonomous however have admittance to all of Facebook’s assets to develop.

Yet one thing that may not develop whenever soon is Facebook’s portfolio of obtained informing new businesses. Asked by somebody in the crowd if he might attempt again for Snapchat — an organization that Facebook evidently has attempted to obtain more than once — Zuckerberg at first totally blanked the inquiry. At that point, when questioner David Kirkpatrick carried it up a second time, he shed a touch a greater amount of a reply.

“Look, when you’ve barely purchased an organization for $16 billion (not checking the Rsus), chances are you are likely done with your acquisitions for some time,” Zuckerberg said.

“With you, I don’t have the foggiest idea,” Kirkpatrick replied.

Today Zuckerberg additionally laid out considerably more insight about how he sees the part of Internet.org.

The thought, he said, is to create an assembly of fundamental web benefits that might be for nothing out of pocket to utilize — “a 911 for the web.” These could be a long range interpersonal communication administration like Facebook, an informing administration, perhaps pursuit and different things like climate.

Furnishing a heap of these complimentary to clients will work like a passage pill of sorts — clients who may have the ability to manage the cost of information administrations and telephones nowadays simply don’t see the purpose of why they might pay for those information administrations. This might provide for them some setting for why they are essential, and that will lead them to paying for additional administrations like this — or thereabouts the trust goes.

“What they imagine for bearers is that it will be dependent upon them to choose what fundamental administrations could be free. Our model and what we’re attempting to raise is putting in an onramp is better for the web and their models. It’s something that we can work out and have a considerable measure of decision in,” he said.

Zuckerberg — who geeked out on particular references to how portable systems might be fabricated and the financials behind Internet.org (there are three zones here, he said: the generally speaking foundation, diminishing the measure of information that is, no doubt utilized, expanding provision productively) — was clear in conceding that Internet.org won’t be a lucrative try from the begin. At the same time he was likewise extremely hopeful.

“I can’t portray any model for the close term of how this might function for publicizing model…  I think we will lose cash on this for some time,” he noted. “Be that as it may we’ve been doing this for just a couple of months and individuals utilizing information within Philippines [where Internet.org has banded together with Globe Telecom] has multiplied from that point forward…  From what we’ve seen and rate of change we’re greatly certain this will be gainful.”

On the proficiency of information administrations alone, he utilized the illustration of Facebook itself. A year back individuals utilized 14 megabytes for every day on Facebook, he said. Right away, with enhancements in packing on their versatile applications, that is currently down to 2 megabytes. The point is to cut that down to 1 megabyte one year from now. (Onavo and its information clamping innovation additionally becomes possibly the most important factor here.)

Zuckerberg was identifying with a room loaded with bearers and he knew it. For somebody who expertly helped lead his organization through raising money and an open offering, now he’s turning his regard for getting purchase in from another class of speculators: he’s searching for between three and five more telcos to convey national activi

Why Facebook is Killing Silicon Valley


We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win…

— John F. Kennedy, September 1962

Innovation
I teach entrepreneurship for ~50 student teams a year from engineering schools at Stanford, Berkeley, and Columbia. For the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps this year I’ll also teach ~150 teams led by professors who want to commercialize their inventions. Our extended teaching team includes venture capitalists with decades of experience.

The irony is that as good as some of these nascent startups are in material science, sensors, robotics, medical devices, life sciences, etc., more and more frequently VCs whose firms would have looked at these deals or invested in these sectors, are now only interested in whether it runs on a smart phone or tablet. And who can blame them.

Facebook and Social Media
Facebook has adroitly capitalized on market forces on a scale never seen in the history of commerce. For the first time, startups can today think about a Total Available Market in the billions of users (smart phones, tablets, PC’s, etc.) and aim for hundreds of millions of customers. Second, social needs previously done face-to-face, (friends, entertainment, communication, dating, gambling, etc.) are now moving to a computing device. And those customers may be using their devices/apps continuously. This intersection of a customer base of billions of people with applications that are used/needed 24/7 never existed before.

The potential revenue and profits from these users (or advertisers who want to reach them) and the speed of scale of the winning companies can be breathtaking. The Facebook IPO has reinforced the new calculus for investors. In the past, if you were a great VC, you could make $100 million on an investment in 5-7 years. Today, social media startups can return 100’s of millions or even billions in less than 3 years. Software is truly eating the world.

If investors have a choice of investing in a blockbuster cancer drug that will pay them nothing for fifteen years or a social media application that can go big in a few years, which do you think they’re going to pick? If you’re a VC firm, you’re phasing out your life science division. As investors funding clean tech watch the Chinese dump cheap solar cells in the U.S. and put U.S. startups out of business, do you think they’re going to continue to fund solar? And as Clean Tech VC’s have painfully learned, trying to scale Clean Tech past demonstration plants to industrial scale takes capital and time past the resources of venture capital. A new car company? It takes at least a decade and needs at least a billion dollars. Compared to IOS/Android apps, all that other stuff is hard and the returns take forever.

Instead, the investor money is moving to social media. Because of the size of the market and the nature of the applications, the returns are quick – and huge. New VC’s, focused on both the early and late stage of social media have transformed the VC landscape. (I’m an investor in many of these venture firms.) But what’s great for making tons of money may not be the same as what’s great for innovation or for our country. Entrepreneurial clusters like Silicon Valley (or NY, Boston, Austin, Beijing, etc.) are not just smart people and smart universities working on interesting things. If that were true we’d all still be in our parents garage or lab. Centers of innovation require investors funding smart people working on interesting things — and they invest in those they believe will make their funds the most money. And for Silicon Valley the investor flight to social media marks the beginning of the end of the era of venture capital-backed big ideas in science and technology.

Don’t Worry We Always Bounce Back
The common wisdom is that Silicon Valley has always gone through waves of innovation and each time it bounces back by reinventing itself.

[Each of these waves of having a clean beginning and end is a simplification. But it makes the point that each wave was a new investment thesis with a new class of investors as well as startups.] The reality is that it took venture capital almost a decade to recover from the dot-com bubble. And when it did Super Angels and new late stage investors whose focus was social media had remade the landscape, and the investing thesis of the winners had changed. This time the pot of gold of social media may permanently change that story.

What Next
It’s sobering to realize that the disruptive startups in the last few years not in social media – Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Google driverless cars, Google Glasses – were the efforts of two individuals, Elon Musk, and Sebastian Thrun (with the backing of Google.) (The smartphone and tablet computer, the other two revolutionary products were created by one visionary in one extraordinary company.) We can hope that as the Social Media wave runs its course a new wave of innovation will follow. We can hope that some VC’s remain contrarian investors and avoid the herd. And that some of the newly monied social media entrepreneurs invest in their dreams. But if not, the long-term consequences for our national interests will be less than optimum.

For decades the unwritten manifesto for Silicon Valley VC’s has been: We choose to invest in ideas, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.

Here’s hoping that one day they will do it again.

Read more Steve Blank posts at www.steveblank.com.

Before You Build, Understand the Demand


I’m a huge fan of Lean Startup thinking and believe applying the scientific method to the design process is a profound and essential concept.

However, I have a minor beef with the popularization of the “Build > Measure > Learn” methodology, or at least its name:

Calling it “Build > Measure > Learn” leaves it open to the misinterpretation that something has to be built before you can measure or learn anything of value.

This is definitely not the case. Understanding the underlying demand a product exists to serve is crucial and much more important than understanding the effectiveness of the product itself.

Iteratively building out a product is just one of many, many ways to explore and define that underlying demand. If it’s the only one you’re using, you’re artificially limiting yourself to a single, lengthy and very expensive method of inquiry.

Building something is the most expensive way to validate your assumption that it should exist.


Lots of Ways to Understand Demand

Here’s just a small sampling of ways to quantify demand without having to actually build the thing to find out:

  • Pre-Sell It
    There’s no sound quite like a check being cut. If you can get someone to buy it before it’s even built, that’s a very strong indicator of demand.
  • Fake doors
    If the feature was built, where would they go to click through and use it? Add links in those locations as if it already existed and point them to “coming soon” screens. See how much engagement those links get.
  • AdWords Testing
    Run AdWords campaigns whose copy describes what your feature would do. Point them to landing pages designed to capture contact info. Measure demand in clickthroughs & signups.
  • In-App Surveys
    It is generally inadvisable to only pay attention to what customers say instead of what they do, but you can gather some great insights by asking people questions within the context of your app.

All of the above require either zero or minimal engineering hours to pull off. Some of them cost some money to carry out, but compared to the cost of actually developing something, it’s a paltry sum.

You may think taking these steps would slow your company down, but that would only be true if your definition of progress was something as limited as “building things”.

If you instead define progress as “delivering value to the customer”, you can see how these approaches actually speed things up by avoiding the time-suck of developing things that don’t have a demand.


Building is Investing

What these all have in common with iterative product development (the “build” in Build > Measure > Learn) is that they’re investments of time, money and effort applied to better understanding what it is that people want.

When “building” is thought of as an investment in understanding rather than an inevitable, necessary step, it becomes clear that it’s only one of many options, and not always the most desirable one at that.

To remind myself of this, I’ve stopped calling it “Build > Measure > Learn” and started calling it “Invest > Measure > Learn” instead.

This reframes the method to something that I feel is more accurate to its spirit, and serves as an ongoing reminder to always employ the most effective and efficient options to validate my ideas.

When I build, I’m placing a bet that I’ve accurately identified and understood a demand. Using all the tools in the “understanding demand” toolkit significantly increases the chances of that bet being a winning one.


Fin


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Microsoft’s Aggressive Platform Push


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Microsoft recently announced a number of changes to its Windows 8.x and Windows Phone platforms that underscore it is doubling down on Windows.

Breaking Friday was the news that Microsoft will lower the per-device cost to OEMs to ship Windows 8.x on less expensive devices. Bloomberg’s Dina Bass wrote that for devices that sell to consumers for $250 or less, Microsoft will charge $15 for use of Windows 8.1, a 70 percent decline on previous rates.

This allows OEMs to enjoy far stronger margins on low-cost Windows devices, making the Windows world more attractive to the ever margin-strapped device manufacturer world. Also, this brings the cost of Windows on cheap tablets more in line with the cost of Windows Phone on smartphones, an important change given the coming unification between the two core Windows platforms. Microsoft is still coy on the matter, but its executives have essentially laid the plan bare publicly.

This morning at Mobile World Congress Microsoft announced a sheaf of new product changes to both Windows 8.x and Windows Phone, including improvements to the core desktop experience of Windows proper, and aggressive moves to extend the capability of OEMs to build Windows Phone handsets.

In addition to a ready-to-go template, and work to allow Android handsets to run Windows Phone more simply, Microsoft listed off a grip of new OEMs that are on board to work on Windows Phone itself; if the platform is to live and die by partners, as it has thus far (both flavors of Windows), making the lives of those partners easier is simple calculus.

The announced Windows 8.x changes — detail remains light, expect more at Build in a few months — and the Windows Phone platform improvements continue the company’s bet on both Windows, and its ability to grow a platform of its own. This means Microsoft is wagering that it doesn’t need to retrench to lean on Android, for example, an idea that some externally have floated.

What you need to keep in mind is that work Microsoft does now to improve Windows Phone is work proper to its strategy to unify that platform, and experience with Windows RT. So, the work that the company is doing to better support keyboard and mouse users is almost separate; that work is in a different use-case silo.

Lowering the cost for Windows on low-cost devices could help the company foster a new cadre of devices that will eventually run whatever the Second Windows is; so the new OEM group supporting Windows Phone implies future hardware support for what comes next. That’s important.

All the above — and I’ll have more for you in the coming days — indicates so far as your humble servant can divine from lumpy tea sediment that Microsoft hasn’t changed its course in betting that a unified Windows experience across device classes with a firm shared application development environment is a strategy worth following.

Can Windows Phone take on Android or iOS in the short-term? No, at least not in terms of developer buy-in. But a unified Windows ecosystem that helps developers build once and deploy diversely to a growing set of devices could be something different altogether, in the medium and long-term.

Microsoft is not out of the arboreal subset, but it is wagering on building something big of its own, instead of depending on others. In the platforms wars, there likely isn’t another option. It remains a question of execution.

IMAGE BY FLICKR USER DELL INC. UNDER CC BY 2.0 LICENSE (IMAGE HAS BEEN CROPPED)

http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/23/microsofts-aggressive-platform-push/

Mexico’s Most-Wanted Drug Lord Captured


http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304914204579399022997608930

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Arrested in Northern Mexico Early Saturday

Mexican authorities captured Sinaloa drug boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who has not appeared in video or photos since he escaped from prison in 2001.

MEXICO CITY—Mexican Navy marines captured Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, the world’s most powerful drug lord, in a predawn raid Saturday on a modest condominium in the western resort of Mazatlan, officials said.

The capture likely ends the legendary career of the farmer who rose from poverty in the mountains of the state of Sinaloa and built an empire of cocaine and marijuana that made him a billionaire and caused much of the violence that has killed tens of thousands of Mexicans in the last decade.

The arrest of the capo, often described as today’s equivalent of the late 1980s Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, marks a victory for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and for his party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. The PRI ruled Mexico for seven decades until it lost power in 2000, returning with Mr. Peña Nieto in 2012 elections.

“It’s a major coup for the Peña Nieto administration and its allies,” said George Grayson, an expert on Mexico and the drug trade at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder hailed the capture as a “landmark achievement.”

Mr. Guzmán, believed to be 56 years old, was captured once before in 1993, but became a legend among drug traffickers by escaping, hidden in a laundry cart, from a maximum-security prison in Mexico in 2001.

He had been on the run ever since, a living symbol of the inability of the Mexican state to corral its powerful drug gangs or their corrupting influence on the country’s law-enforcement institutions. Most Mexicans believe the drug lord bribed his way out of jail.

It seems unlikely that the arrest will ease the violence. In the past, the capture or death of cartel bosses has often led to a short-term spike in violence as either a fight over succession breaks out within the cartel or other cartels try to take over turf from the deceased capo.

Cartels such as the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, which have been weakened in recent years by government strikes, could fight over the drug routes and regions left on the table by Mr. Guzmán, said Raul Benitez, an expert on security at National Autonomous University of Mexico.

“There will be a war to control his territories,” said Mr. Benitez.

Mr. Guzmán arrived on a government airplane to Mexico City’s airport, where a waiting helicopter took him to prison. Two marines in camouflage uniforms firmly grasped the captured drug lord, one of them pushing his head down with his hand.

In addition to one of Mr. Guzmán’s alleged accomplices, authorities confiscated 133 weapons, as well as two grenade launchers and a rocket launcher.

The capture was the final scene in a month-long drama that began when intelligence agents discovered one of Mr. Guzmán’s hide-outs, a house with reinforced steel doors, in Culiacán, Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam told a news conference.

Mexican military held Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Saturday. European Pressphoto Agency

The house had underground tunnels that connected it to seven other nearby houses and was also linked to the city’s drainage system, which offered the drug lord an easy means of escape.

Mexican authorities could have captured Mr. Guzmán in previous days, but waited to ensure no civilians might be caught in a potential crossfire, Mr. Murillo Karam said. “It was an impeccable operation achieved by navy personnel,” he said.

U.S. intelligence played a role in the operation, but U.S. officials described this as very much a Mexican operation.

“It was a Mexican operation in Mexican territory,” said a top-ranking U.S. official. “We played a supporting role.”

Mr. Guzmán will likely be replaced by his close associate Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, according to Mr. Grayson, the Mexico expert. He said it was unlikely the cartel would be torn apart by infighting.

“There was never a hint of hostility between El Mayo and El Chapo,” he said. “They worked together deftly.”

Mr. Guzmán’s power to corrupt security forces is the stuff of legend in U.S. and Mexican government circles. Four or five times, Mexican security forces arrived a day late to where Mr. Guzmán had just been. “There were more sightings of El Chapo than there were of Elvis,” said Mr. Grayson.

Many ordinary Mexicans had trouble believing the news.

Tracking Guzmán Across Mexico

“They finally got him? It would be good for the country, but I kind of doubt it. And if they have got him, they’ll let him go again. He’s untouchable,” said Jose Carcaño, a 35-year-old office worker.

Others said they were sure the peaceful arrest was the product of a secret deal between the drug lord and the Mexican government.

“These types of things are often arranged,” said Carlos Velasco, 53 years old, a small-business man in Mexico City.

Analysts said the capture should boost confidence among Mexicans and foreign governments in the Mexican government and in particular the PRI, which was widely seen as responsible for allowing drug gangs to become so entrenched in Mexican society during the party’s long rule from 1929 to 2000.

Many Mexicans worried that Mr. Peña Nieto’s administration would strike a bargain with drug lords to reduce violence in exchange for letting them ferry their illicit products.

“This eliminates any suspicion that Peña Nieto was going to negotiate with the cartels, and shows he is serious about fighting drug trafficking,” said Mr. Benitez.

Mr. Guzmán’s capture was also a triumph for Mexico’s navy. Far smaller than the army, the navy is seen by Washington as more efficient and trustworthy. It has played a role in the capture or death of several top drug lords.

For many in Mexico, Mr. Guzmán is the most daring and intelligent of the drug-gang leaders. His cartel, while brutal, often avoided kidnapping and extortion carried out by other gangs, crimes that angered many ordinary Mexicans. The effect was that Mexico’s army focused much of its attention on arresting leaders of other cartels, such as the bloodthirsty Zetas.

One of four brothers, Mr. Guzmán was born in poverty in a Sinaloa mountain hamlet in the county of Badiraguato, which has the dubious distinction of being the birthplace of most of Mexico’s famous drug lords. Badiraguato’s location has a lot to do with it: It is the gateway to Mexico’s “golden triangle,” a remote, mountainous intersection of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua states where opium and marijuana have been grown for generations.

As a young man, Mr. Guzmán rose through the ranks to become a top lieutenant for Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, another Badiraguato native and former police officer who had become Mexico’s top drug lord. Known as El Padrino, or the Godfather, Mr. Félix Gallardo cobbled together a super-cartel dominated by fellow Sinaloans called “The Federation.”

But the relative unity imposed by Mr. Félix Gallardo collapsed after his arrest in 1989. His empire, in particular the border crossings that were useful smuggling points, was divided up among his lieutenants. Mr. Guzmán and his close friend Héctor “El Guero” Palma got the border crossing at Mexicali, about 70 miles from Tijuana.

Mr. Guzmán began building an empire of his own. He pioneered the use of underground tunnels across the U.S.-Mexico border to ferry drugs. One such tunnel near San Diego had electricity, air vents and rails to transport the drugs, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Mr. Guzmán operated an assembly line, packing cocaine into chili pepper cans under the brand La Comadre, exporting the drugs to the U.S. by rail, his former top accountant, Miguel Angel Segoviano, testified in 1996 at the trial of one of Mr. Guzmán’s associates. In return for the drugs, Mr. Guzmán imported into Mexico millions of dollars packed into suitcases flown into the Mexico City airport, where bribed federal officials made sure there were no inspections.

Part Al Capone and part Jesse James, Mr. Guzmán became a folk hero, feted on YouTube videos and by musicians who penned ballads, known as corridos, in his honor. He is known throughout Mexico simply as “El Chapo,” Mexican slang for a short and stocky man.

Adding to his mystique, “El Chapo” survived several assassination attempts by rival gangs, including a 1993 attack that killed a Roman Catholic cardinal.

—Laurence Iliff and Amy Guthrie in Mexico City contributed to this article.

Write to José de Córdoba at jose.decordoba@wsj.com and David Luhnow at david.luhnow@wsj.com

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304914204579399022997608930

Journalism As A Career Is Tainting The Quality Of Journalism


 

There was a lot of good economic news this week. Amazing M&A transactions, rising stock markets and even Spain getting an upgrade from Moody’s. And yet when every weekend comes I know I will read another journalist telling me that while a lot seems to be going pretty well, that deep down, the world is falling apart.

Venezuela, Ukraine, will not be seen as minor pockets of violence in the most peaceful period humanity has ever lived in, but as signs of much worse to come. Or the Groupon share collapse will not be seen as Groupon under-performing but as an indication of the first air coming out of the economic bubble.

And again I will shake my head and think, where do media organizations find these apocalyptic writers? But today something dawned on me, something quite obvious but that I hadn’t realized before.

It is not the world that’s falling apart, it is journalism that is falling apart. It is the world as journalists know it, that is falling apart. Newspapers, magazines, laying off people, losing ad revs to Google and Facebook, closing down, disappearing. TV news networks losing audience to reality TV. It is people giving up paper for a tiny, mostly free little screen in the palm of their hands. It is people’s publishing in which so many volunteers do for free what journalists get paid to do that is destroying their livelihood, that is undermining the foundations of what used to be known as professional journalism. And the little professional journalism that is left is a winner takes all situation, all readers flock to a few sources like The New York Times and even those winners have barely managed to survive. With smaller staff. All professions have to adapt to changing times but few as much and as quickly as journalism. It’s like the world knows it needs journalists but has not found a way to fit them into the age of news as mobile snippets on Twitter.

So next time you read some surprisingly negative news think that the maxim of what goes up must come down is many times not true. It is not true in the stock market over decades, and it is not true of all the objects that humanity has already shot way into space and are not coming down, ever. But what is true is that many a writer who is forecasting decline has sadly met decline, personally. And that is permeating into what you are reading.

Photo: khawkins04/Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

Posted by:Martin V.

Journalism As A Career Is Tainting The Quality Of Journalism


 

There was a lot of good economic news this week. Amazing M&A transactions, rising stock markets and even Spain getting an upgrade from Moody’s. And yet when every weekend comes I know I will read another journalist telling me that while a lot seems to be going pretty well, that deep down, the world is falling apart.

Venezuela, Ukraine, will not be seen as minor pockets of violence in the most peaceful period humanity has ever lived in, but as signs of much worse to come. Or the Groupon share collapse will not be seen as Groupon under-performing but as an indication of the first air coming out of the economic bubble.

And again I will shake my head and think, where do media organizations find these apocalyptic writers? But today something dawned on me, something quite obvious but that I hadn’t realized before.

It is not the world that’s falling apart, it is journalism that is falling apart. It is the world as journalists know it, that is falling apart. Newspapers, magazines, laying off people, losing ad revs to Google and Facebook, closing down, disappearing. TV news networks losing audience to reality TV. It is people giving up paper for a tiny, mostly free little screen in the palm of their hands. It is people’s publishing in which so many volunteers do for free what journalists get paid to do that is destroying their livelihood, that is undermining the foundations of what used to be known as professional journalism. And the little professional journalism that is left is a winner takes all situation, all readers flock to a few sources like The New York Times and even those winners have barely managed to survive. With smaller staff. All professions have to adapt to changing times but few as much and as quickly as journalism. It’s like the world knows it needs journalists but has not found a way to fit them into the age of news as mobile snippets on Twitter.

So next time you read some surprisingly negative news think that the maxim of what goes up must come down is many times not true. It is not true in the stock market over decades, and it is not true of all the objects that humanity has already shot way into space and are not coming down, ever. But what is true is that many a writer who is forecasting decline has sadly met decline, personally. And that is permeating into what you are reading.

Photo: khawkins04/Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

Posted by:Martin V.

50 Social Media Habits You Can Stop Doing Now


“Google doesn’t really have an algorithm to degrade content when it’s no longer good advice,” says David Spark, the founder of Spark Media Solutions, a writer, and a podcaster.

That means lots of bad advice continues to rank on Google search results.

A few years ago, for example, I advocated following back everyone who followed you or your brand on Twitter. Given the growth of spambots and proliferation of robo-DMs and increasing decibel of noise on social media, I now take a more nuanced approach.

Similarly, three years ago David wrote a white paper, “How to #Trend on Twitter,” in which he suggested repeatedly asking followers for retweets. “This is now officially horrible advice,” he said recently in a Q&A. “While we want to help our friends out, doing so repeatedly, like asking your friends to help you move, becomes a nuisance and is in no way a form of engagement.”

The realization that bad advice continues to badly influence online behavior inspired David to publish the ebook Hazardous to Your Social Media Health: 50 Previously Condoned Behaviors We No Longer Recommend.” He surveyed 56 social media industry influencers (including me) and asked us one question:

What was once considered smart advice that now you no longer recommend?

David then curated 50 of the items into his ebook, released earlier this month.

Not all of the advice is intuitive. Some of it (like “#5 from Charlene Li: Stop Posting to Your Personal Blog“) is counterintuitive and a bit controversial. But, together, the 50 points are meant to increase meaning and allow you to shed useless social activities this spring the way a Golden Retriever sheds his winter coat.

Some of my favorites:
“Stop wasting your time and your followers’ time by posting images with pithy statements, pointless ‘discussion’ questions (e.g., “What’s your favorite salsa?”), and photos of adorable pets,” David writes.

“While cheap ‘Likes’ and comments will increase your Klout and Kred scores, they do nothing to build your brand or business.”

The implied reciprocity of LinkedIn testimonials can feel compulsory, devaluing their overall trustworthiness and usefulness, David writes, adding, “Implied reciprocity is not the backbone of trustworthy recommendations.”

I’m the first one to talk about the opportunity of social media to put a human face on a corporate edifice. But this is sane advice from Joe Chernov, who suggests things have gone a little too far:

“‘Humanize the brand’ was sound advice initially—when too many brands were too ‘corporate’ on social media—but today I see brands sharing absurdist memes or making politically charged statements, and I realize it’s time to reintroduce a measure of sobriety into our corporate feeds.”

Gamified “check-ins” with Foursquare, Facebook Places, and other “check-in” apps were fun at the beginning, but now they are tiresome manual chores with little inherent value for the one checking in.

This one is mine—since I’ve gone from being a Foursquare fiend to Foursquare foe in the last few years. (One of my colleagues actually messaged me at one point during the height of my Foursquare fervor to call BS: “Come on! You can’t legit be the mayor of an airport taxi line!”)

Download the full ebook here (note: registration required), and check out of 50 things you can stop doing to lighten your own social load.

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Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and the co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules: Wow to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. Want more? Take a stroll over to AnnHandley.com

Posted by:Ann Handley

The Essence of Wisdom2.0


Stay curious. Have a beginners mind. Know you always have a choice in how you feel or what you do. You are not your emotions, rather they are a part of you.

I was reminded of all of this as I returned to my third Wisdom2.0 conference. I wasn’t even going to go. I decided that after two years of attending, I didn’t need to attend. I’d save some money and time and focus on other things. When a ticket was gifted to me, I made the choice to go back. I was grateful for the opportunity and couldn’t believe I was going, even when I thought I didn’t need to go. I jumped at the chance and was one of the dozens of people there representing Google.

Wisdom2.0 is about connecting and learning more about how each of us, whether we work in or use technology, can make the world a little better, less stressed out, and can become more aware to give back or contribute to the world. Over 2000 of us huddled in the bowels of the Mariott Marquis in San Francisco over the course of four days. Greeting, learning, growing, listening, and teaching each other. We started as a conference, and after the three days, as Congressman Tim Ryan proposed, we ended as a movement.

Wisdom2.0 is about the people and their actions, their companies, or personal missions to give back or create. Each of us there was hungry to learn. I felt drawn to share and connect, like most of us. Others were curious, there for work or to check out what this scene was all about.

Wisdom2.0 is about learning and teaching others how to be less stressed, by staying in the moment and not freaking out about the future, or dwelling in the past. Some of the greatest teachers of our time were on hand to remind and reiterate the techniques to reduce stress, clear your mind, and feel good where you are, in whatever you do.

I continued to learn new things. I engaged with dozens of interesting and motivated like minded people. I felt re-energized to help create my vision of an authentic life where I share my mindfulness side with work and help influence others to take this on so they can live happier, fuller, less congested lives.

I was gently reminded that all of us everyday can choose to be authentic. We choose how we show up to work, to our families, or how we play and interact with others. We can buy products from companies that give back (Give-nesses as 10 year old founder of Make a Stand Lemonade Vivienne calls it) or support and build companies that aren’t serving our planet or ourselves other than to make money. The choice is yours.

Here’s my key takeaways:

Thoughts are distracting.

As speaker Loic Le Meur says in his own article on his Wisdom2.0 experience, “Mediation created a new space in my brain.” I feel the same way. I started meditating two and a half years ago, and it’s provided a way to instantly drop into stillness, and center myself. Don’t let the name intimidate, it just means to be aware. Even if it’s noticing how I walk down the street, feel the wind on my face, that counts.

We’re all in this together.

Ariana Huffington said this in her keynote speech. We are a collective consciousness. Our actions, non-actions, words, and how we chose to spend our money, time, and efforts all matter and effect many beyond just you and who you touch. It’s a ripple effect, and every single one of us has that power. If you don’t think you have it, you’re wrong. If you don’t believe it, try it. After all, what do you have to lose?

Wisdom is consciousness, the body, and authenticity.

What is wisdom? Is it passed down generation to generation? Is it what we innately know without reading a textbook or taking a class? Is it from taking a class? Is it how our body feels or reacts? Is it what we as a society have learned over time? It is all of this. It is yourself. It is everyone together. It is also your own authenticity — the ability to show up as your full self, without putting on a mask for your boss, your friend, your kids. It is feeling fear, sadness, hurt, anger, and joy, and being ok with all of it as part of yourself.

I leave the conference with ideas and courage in how I can contribute as an agent of change, my own self-declared purpose, for myself and others to lead a life filled with more engagement, happiness, and less stress. Stay curious, my friends.

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