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The newest technology that is quickly becoming the next major disruption is blockchain technology. The blockchain is a digital ledger system used to securely record transactions. It is poised to impact the way business is done across the globe.

Here are nine prominent industries that are slated to be overhauled by blockchain technology in the near future.

1. The Banking Industry
Blockchain technology has the potential to solve several significant problems faced by the banking industry today. Right now banks store money for their customers, and they also handle the transfer of that money.
Blockchain inherently has a secure system that would provide permanent records of the millions of transactions that take place in the banking industry each day. This ledger system could significantly lower the risk by providing secure records. Furthermore, money could be transferred cheaper and faster by the decentralization provided by blockchain.

2. The Real Estate Industry
Anyone who has ever purchased or sold a home knows just how much paperwork is involved in a real estate transaction. Blockchain technology can completely change the current headache that all of these documents cause.
By using blockchain, all of the documents and transaction records can be stored securely with measurably less work and less cost.
According to Piper Moretti, CEO of the Crypto Realty Group and licensed realtor, the use of blockchain can also potentially eliminate the escrow process.
The technology can create smart contracts that release funding only when the conditions are met.
Additionally, many people in the process of working with a real estate agent know how frustrating the commission rates can be, with many charging up to 6 percent.
Deedcoin is looking to change that with its cryptocurrency-powered platform. Through using Deedcoin's platform and proprietary tokens, those rates decrease to just 1%.
Deedcoin's distributed architecture gives power back to homeowners and buyers by tokenizing the process and eliminating any middlemen, barring direct interactions between agents and customers.

3. The Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry has been in need of a significant disruption when it comes to sharing and storing medical data and records.
The potential for error, fraud, and lost records has created distrust between consumers and healthcare providers.
Blockchain technology can revamp the trust by securely storing medical records that can be accurately and safely transferred to and accessed by the doctors and people who are authorized.
Blockchain will aid in the authorization and identification of people. In fact, one startup called Ontology is already working to make positive, multi-source identification a reality across all industries using the blockchain technology.

4. The Legal Industry
Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt some areas of the legal industry by being able to store and verify documents and data. For example, litigation dealing with resolving concerns over wills of the deceased or any other documentation can be eliminated.
Records (including wills) stored on the blockchain will be quickly and securely verified. Any changes to the documents will be authenticated and stored.
Blockchain technology can also eliminate legal issues dealing with inheritance, even including cryptocurrency assets.
Safe Haven, for example, gives users the opportunity to secure digital assets so that the investor's legacy can be passed down to his children or designee safely and securely.
This technology eliminates lengthy court battles arguing over digital inheritance.

5. The Cryptocurrency Exchange Industry
Digital money is the way of the future, and it is thanks to blockchain that it can be securely transferred and recorded.
However, the "mining" required to verify and authenticate every transaction of digital money requires an enormous amount of computing power.
In recent years, this has created a lot of issues on several platforms when certain transactions "ran out of gas" or fizzled out due to the sheer amount of computation required.
This issue was costing users valuable time and money.
New developments in blockchain technology are changing the way the cryptocurrency exchange industry operates. Zen Protocol has developed an alternative to other platforms, which has solved the most significant issues in the cryptocurrency space.
Unlike other platforms, Zen Protocol utilizes smart contracts that know in advance how much computation each contract requires. That means that unless there is enough "gas" to support that contract, it won't run.

6. Politics
In the recent past, government parties here in the U.S. and around the world have been accused of rigging election results.
But that won't be possible if blockchain is used because it would take care of voter registration and verification of identity, and it would count the votes to ensure only legitimate votes were counted.
Gone are the days of recounting votes and voting day drama.

7. The Startup Industry
With thousands of startups looking for investors, there is no current way for them to get in front of the right investors without jeopardizing the security of their ideas. Likewise, there is no right way for investors to find the companies they are interested in backing.
Blockchain technology can change all of that. In fact, it has already started.
Companies such as Pitch Ventures are creating a way for startups to pitch investors live in a secure manner.
Entrepreneurs create summaries of their product or service and investors can quickly sort and find potential opportunities. Ethereum's Smart Contract address allows a secure medium for the pitches, so privacy is maintained.

8. The Video Industry
Video is predicted to form 82% of all Internet traffic by 2021, and blockchain may play a significant role by decentralizing the video infrastructure.
Decentralizing video encoding, storage, and content distribution will dramatically reduce the cost of video traffic by tapping into $30 billion in wasted Internet computing services.
Startups like VideoCoin are already making good on the promise of freeing up this capital, which will allow entirely new and innovative ecosystems of video apps to emerge on the market.

9. The Education Industry

The education industry is poised to see some significant breakthroughs utilizing an emerging version of the Internet that combines blockchain, cryptocurrency, and virtual reality.
This new Internet will be known as "3DInternet," and it has the power to create a global classroom like never before. SocratesCoin is making big moves to make this a reality.
The company will create a global community of faculty, students, campuses, and curriculum. The students will encompass all ages, cultures, and locations.
SocratesCoin has secured Nauka University, which will utilize 3DInternet to unite science, thought leadership and science through education.                                                               
Blockchain-distributed ledger technology provides a safe and auditable way to record and transfer data. It can transform the way we live our everyday lives and disrupt any industry that uses data or transactions at all
Whether or not you like to introduce new tech into your life, I think we can all agree that added security to our financial data would give everyone more peace of mind.

As a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist investor, I have witnessed the inception of hundreds of businesses and enjoy analyzing what leads to their success or failure. Through this leisurely study, I have found that a business's fate often depends on whether the entrepreneur has asked themselves these questions:

Am I solving a real need or just a perceived need? And if it's real, does the value of solving the problem outweigh the behavior changes required by the customer?

Entrepreneurs, by definition, all have at least two distinguishing qualities: A passion for starting businesses and a passion for solving problems. Unfortunately, sometimes the former usurps the latter, and businesses are formed under the wrong pre-tense.

Especially in tech, it can be much too tempting to effectively take any service and "digitize" it. These endeavors usually start with a thought like, "Wouldn't it be cool if..." and then months later--there's an app for that.

The problem is, while the sheer utility of something could be interesting or cool, a lot of entrepreneurs never put in the work to identify if they're addressing a real user need or simply a perceived need crafted by an imaginative entrepreneur.

Real User Need vs. Perceived User Need
Real user needs are pain points or difficulties that can be qualitatively and quantitatively defined and proven by a large sample of users. They can be something obvious, like how much of a hassle it was to rent and return movies at a store, or something non-obvious that a user only retroactively defines as a need once there is already a solution. A good example of the latter is the iPhone--we didn't realize how much we would need it until we had it.

In both cases, research can be done to define these as distinguishable, significant pain points that currently do not have acceptable solutions. But more importantly, the solution must have a value that grossly outweighs any disadvantages and behavior changes from the user--this evaluation is what is so often skipped and leads to a company's peril. Here is an example.

To Evolve or Not to Evolve
I lived in downtown Chicago for almost a decade where there was at least one dry cleaner in every three block radius. Some were marginally better than others, but they were all easily accessible, consistent and similarly priced.

Could service have been improved? Sure. Sped up? Fine. But at the end of the day, I did not have a burning need to change my experience with my chosen cleaner. I had built a pattern to drop off my shirts on the walk to work, and then pick them up two days later on the way home.

While I was perfectly content with my service as it was, I watched no less than five "on-demand dry cleaning" apps launch around me. Some raised tens of millions in venture funding, and they were all the same: Download this app, enter your credit card details, tell us when to come pick up your clothes, and we'll tell you when we are coming to drop them back off.

The problem was, they hadn't really thought through whether this was a real user need or, more importantly, if customers would make the behavior changes it would require.

Was it marginally more convenient to order cleaning service while wearing pajamas? Why not. Would it be nice if my clothes would just magically return? Sure--but then I would have had to arrange a time to be home, which is tough when you're busy. For me, it was easier to grab my clothes on my walk.

And then there were all the potential predicaments: What if I had a unique request? What if there was a problem with the service? What if I enjoyed that brief early morning human interaction on my walk to work? What if I misplaced the generic bag they gave me to leave my clothing in?

The "need" these companies were built upon was arguable at best, and the behavior changes it required of me didn't nearly make up for the benefits.

All five of those dry cleaning services went out of business as quickly as they opened. Doing a quick search, it looks like a few have taken their place since I left. They have either figured out how to tackle these two questions, or they will be right behind their predecessors on the way to the startup graveyard.

Validate Before You Venture
When considering a new venture--tech or otherwise--it is critical to take the time to dig into the substance of the real user need and validate through user research that there is outsized value compared to any disadvantages and required behavior changes. This is the recipe to success.


 Here are seven common examples of such risks and how great entrepreneurs keep them in check.

1. Failure to find unsolved customer pain

Too many founders think that their idea is so brilliant that their best course of action is to build the product, show it to the world, and wait for the money to roll in. However, that common delusion is a major startup killer. In reality, people are reluctant to try a startup's product, because most of them fail. So they will only try the product if it promises to solve a painful problem that nobody is trying to solve.

To avoid this problem, don't start your company until many people are willing to pay now to get your product sooner.

2. Reluctance to get feedback on prototypes
Plenty of founders refuse to let anyone see their product until it is perfect. There are plenty of reasons they make this mistake - they are afraid someone else will steal their idea so they want to get a big head start, they want to impress their peers, or they are afraid that unless it's perfect nobody will want to buy it. Failing to get feedback from potential customers is usually fatal to a startup.

Avoid this problem by building an inexpensive prototype of your product, getting feedback on it, and use that input to build a new one. You should repeat this learning loop until potential customers demand your product.

3. No passion for the market

Don't start a company if your primary motivation is to make money. The reason is simple - to be successful you will need to spend about 80 hours a week with very little pay to make your startup successful. It is not possible to work that hard and be effective unless you believe that your life's mission is to make potential customers better off by providing them your company's product.

So direct your startup at solving a problem that you care about deeply. People start companies most often because the founder had a problem that nobody else had solved. If many other people have that same problem, you are off to a good start.

4. Lack of skills needed to win
If you think the job of the entrepreneur is to think big thoughts and hire other people to do the actual work, think again. One big reason that startups fail is that the founders can't do the thing that it needs most to get off the ground. I have seen many tech startups flounder and fail because the CEO can't code when coding better than almost anyone else is the thing that must happen to build the product and get customers.

If you are such a person - your odds of success will increase if you bring world-beating sales skills and knowledge of the market need you are addressing. But you can only achieve success if you have already developed a strong relationship with a world-class coder. More generally, entrepreneurs boost their odds of success if they pick industries that value the skills at which they excel and love to practice.

5. Ignoring cash burn
If you don't like watching the pennies, don't start a company. Many entrepreneurs are engineers at heart. They want to build a perfect product and then dazzle the world with their brilliance. They eagerly read about how easy it has been for other startups to raise millions of dollars and think that they will be able to do the same. So they ignore the rate at which they are burning through cash, and assume that when the day comes to replenish their cash coffers, investors will break down the doors to write checks.

The best entrepreneurs spend only on essentials and are always networking to meet investors and they view fund raising as a full-time job starting at least six months before their companies run out of cash..

6. Inability to raise capital
If you have never raised capital for a startup before, chances are you will be surprised by the time and number of rejections required before you succeed. Even if an entrepreneur realizes that cash will run out, too often he starts the process too late, goes after the wrong group of potential investors, and does not present them information about the company that leads them to want to invest.

As I explained in chapter three of my book, entrepreneurs can avoid these problems by matching their capital raising approach to the stage in their company's development. One CEO I spoke with said that raising capital is generally a full-time six month job that should be started well before the money runs out.

7. Weak team, poor leadership
A final startup-killer is a leader who cannot recruit and motivate the most talented people for the jobs on which the company's success depends. The simple reality is that if you are not a great leader, it is hard to learn to become one. Moreover, the leadership skills you need to get a company to 10 employees are different than what a 100-person or 1,000-person company requires.

At the startup stage, a great leader has the charisma and track record to conjure up a compelling vision for the company and recruit top talent to come along for the ride of realizing that vision.

Starting up is hard to do and if you can't navigate your venture around these problems, yours will surely perish.


Starting from plumbing, electrical and IT services to managing chefs, chauffeurs and security personnel, has it all! We caught up with the ever enthusiastic CEO of, Adnan Imtiaz Halim, who shared his experiences on the promising startup.

What prompted you to consider starting a service platform such as

It all started from my personal frustrations. After a tiring week at work, we all want a relaxing Friday to get the stress out of our systems. In my case though, Friday was reserved as the special day where I go out and hunt for someone who can properly fix the leaking pipe or repair the broken window at home, without charging a crazy amount. I soon realised that most of my colleagues faced a similar fate. In the context of Bangladesh, the service industry severely lacks professionalism, particularly when it comes to everyday household services—a problem that no one is solving. This is one niche market that we wanted to capitalise on and remove everyday hassle once and for all.

The name itself is quite unique. What does '.xyz' in the name signify?

While conveying our core message was definitely the first priority, we also wanted to add something different that keeps everyone guessing. 'Sheba' refers to 'service for you' while '.xyz' signifies that this startup is a complete solution, one that is ready to solve all the problems and inconvenience that you face when it comes to service.

There are quite a few similar startups that have been in the market for a while now. How does stand out?

I believe that this industry is still in a very premature stage. While we have grown used to ordering products from e-commerce sites, we still cannot imagine placing an order for service in a similar way. A lot of doubt and misconceptions creep in mostly due to the lack of professionalism and safety that we are used to from the conventional mode of accessing everyday services. is the first platform that identifies this core problem. We want more ventures to enter the market because changing social behaviors is a herculean task which alone cannot complete. The market is huge and we still have a long way to go before the real competition arrives.

In the commercial launch, you mentioned that is more than just a business. How does this startup contribute to societal development?

Our vision was always more than just profit. We wanted to leave a positive mark and improve lives in Bangladesh. Through free skills development training, is helping individuals upgrade their skills so that they can take up better jobs in the future. Someone who came in as a maid can now work as a full-time nanny after our grooming program. We are also creating entrepreneurs in the society who are, in turn, crafting jobs for others in the market. By 2018, our aim is to create 10,000 new jobs in Bangladesh.

As an entrepreneur, you must have overcome a lot of hurdles to make it this far. What is the biggest challenge that you are facing right now?

The biggest challenge for me is time. 24 hours a day is never enough when you are vested into doing something as difficult as managing a startup. Work-life balance (Does this even exist?) is going out the window and when you finally manage a few minutes to spare, another challenge pops up in no time. But when you are blessed with a supportive family, managing a startup immediately becomes more exciting!

Where do you see in five years?

If we continue working with the same level of dedication and resilience, I see being the first name that comes to mind whenever we need any form of service. And by 'we', I am not just referring to the citizens of Bangladesh. By 2021, will develop into a global company with operations in at least four countries.

What are your views on the tech-based startup circuit in Bangladesh right now?

As an industry, we still have a long way to go. A lot of technical resources need to be invested if we are to pave a smoother path for future ventures. We also need to develop a knowledge sharing culture if we are to reach international standards.  However, the market is gradually heating up and the future looks very promising indeed.

Adnan's top 3 tips to all aspiring entrepreneurs:

1. Be disciplined

2. Never give up, always stay determined

3. Cliched, but the most important one: follow your passion

Entrepreneurship Development / Entrepreneurship to the rescue!
« on: March 06, 2018, 07:15:09 PM »
In 2016, OXFAM released a report that categorically stated that the wealth of the richest 1 percent of individuals was equal to that of 99 percent of the global population. The report further portrayed how eight men owned the same wealth as half of the global population. Even though OXFAM's report was branded as misleading and inaccurate by some, it sheds light on the stark reality of global inequality in wealth and income. Debates surrounding inequality have often focused on creation of job opportunities and a human-capital based approach towards recruitment. Many scholars, however, are promoting a slightly different, and some may say, a more sustainable mechanism to bring about change.

In Bangladesh, despite there being commendable progress in eradicating extreme poverty, wealth inequality remains a major challenge, a condition sustained through a system fashioned to the advantage of the powerful elite. The solution, therefore, lies in refashioning, or restructuring, that system, not its total obliteration, as some Marxists may like to propose.

During a lecture at the University of Toronto in Canada on February 3, Nobel Prize-winning social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus shared his thoughts on the current state of global political economy, the future of microfinance, and the prospects of sustainable development. Whatever maybe one's views about his role in empowering rural populations in Bangladesh, one cannot question the inspiring, almost common-man approach the economist has taken towards reducing inequality. Yunus emphasised the role of entrepreneurship to reduce the stark differences in wealth inequality between rural and urban populations, as opposed to simply providing platforms for job creation.

Debunking the traditional economic thought that human beings are inherently selfish when it comes to making decisions, he vociferously called for the recognition of “selflessness” as a core component of human behaviour, and its prospects in entrepreneurship. Human actions, according to Yunus, is an amalgamation of self-interest and selflessness, and it can be turned into a positive force through avenues of social business.

To encourage sustainable entrepreneurship across societies, one needs to first recognise that it is rational for a human being to be both self-seeking and selfless. To imply that business in general will have profit maximisation ingrained in its nature, without consideration for people's empowerment and sustainability, is not necessarily true. Yunus suggested the introduction of social business as an alternative to traditional business degrees in academia across universities and schools. If social business is seen as a lucrative proposition for the graduates, it will, like most ideological movements, slowly get internalised within the society. Critical avenues in human history, such as the Industrial revolution, created the market for work across societies. But it is important to remember that we are job-makers, not simply job-seekers, as Yunus had suggested. Therefore, the role of academics to promote sustainable social business is fundamental to shaping entrepreneurship as a solution to reducing poverty.

Job creation is an integral part of public policy. But boosting rural entrepreneurship through tangible support, either in the form of finance, as is the case with the Grameen Bank model, or through state subsidisation of individual entrepreneurial initiatives, needs to take a front seat. The welfare schemes within our governance structure are expected to support healthcare and education, but in certain scenarios, it may result in inactive human resources. This does not mean that human beings are lazy—in fact, inequality does not exist because of human kind, but because the system entraps human innovation. So a welfare state giving handouts without encouraging innovation will lead to a more unequal society. For a country of 160 million people, it is impossible for Bangladesh to ensure full employment. Therefore, to encourage growth in wealth potential in rural Bangladesh, the state and the private sector have a responsibility of spurring innovation amongst the population, rather than simply making them dependent on the job market.

A classic example of entrepreneurship in rural Bangladesh is the jamdani sari business, a once-promising sector in the region. But jamdani producers and entrepreneurs are being increasingly side-lined in the national economy. People's changing fashion sense and taste may be a contributing factor here, but adequate support, planning and infrastructural structure may help boost the sector. From local food businesses to furniture production, the potential for rural entrepreneurship remains untapped and un-invested-upon.

That social business can be lucrative can be internalised through education and awareness. Social business is not an idea owned by any one man. Its prospects and benefits are for everyone. To make social business mainstream, we need to make sustainable businesses lucrative to the investors, job-seekers and job-makers, and further promote the public-private partnership. Bangladesh is on a path to development like never before, but if international statistics on inequality are any indication, we are still following a dangerous, unsustainable model for economic emancipation. Recognising the potential of citizens to create, diversify and innovate must take a front seat in determining what kind of society we want to be in the long-run.


They Give Up These 11 Things

The promise of entrepreneurship is enormous. Create something you love, with people you love being around, and make millions in a few years? It's no wonder 63 percent of Millennials want to start their own business. Of course, it rarely plays out that way, as Silicon Valley unicorns are celebrated disproportionately. The reality for most entrepreneurs is a lot of hard work, peaks, troughs, and dizzying levels of tenacity. To make it as an entrepreneur, these are the critical things you'll need to give up.

1. Let Go of Perfectionist Tendencies: Agonizing over something until it's perfect and ready to launch not only slows down progress, it also means you can be blind or resistant to necessary changes once you've launched. It's easy to become welded to your "perfect" version. Launch in beta. And live there too.

2. Let Go of Your Bubble: Seeking outside feedback is critical, and good entrepreneurs make a habit of it. Ask for outside input early and often. And make sure it's from a wide array of people. Building a product or service because you and your friends like it are not a good enough reason. Your Lyft driver, your hairdresser, or your babysitter is all market research waiting to happen.

3. Let Go of Your Ego: You are not your work. If it fails, it doesn't mean you are a failure. Some things you thought would not work well will work tremendously well. Others you thought would skyrocket will inexplicably flop. These are valuable lessons. Not an indictment of your character.

4. Let Go of Playing It Safe: People aren't standing around waiting for your product to launch. They already have too much on their plate and are bombarded by a myriad of messages every minute. To stand out, you can't play it safe. Swing big and think about what it would take to wake people up from their sleepwalking.

5. Let Go of Pleasing Everybody: Polarity is a good thing. If you isolate and offend some people, you will have an equally emboldened group of loyal supporters who love what you're doing. The worst possible outcome is vanilla. Don't be vanilla.

6. Let Go of Rigid Expectations: Successful entrepreneurs must be open to alternatives they may never have envisaged. This is all part of pivoting and involves swallowing your pride around things you might have been determined to stick with that don't end up serving you well. Let go of what it "should" look like, or you'll risk not seeing opportunities right there in front of you.

7. Let Go of Reactionary Thinking: Peaks and troughs are part of startup life. You have to learn to roll with the punches and not overreact to every hurdle or hiccup that comes your way. Be clear on your bigger vision, and commit to that unwaveringly. Let that be your guide when times get tough.

8. Let Go of Benchmarking: If you try to benchmark yourself to other founders and their successes, or your friends with regular jobs, you will very quickly come undone. There is no set path for startups: Some rise quickly, some rise slowly, and most of them fail. Keep focused on why you do what you do.

9. Let Go of Seriousness: Adding a little lightness, play, and adventure to your everyday work will make the time spent toiling away more pleasant. But, most important, it will also give you a competitive edge by making you fresh, energized, and open to more pointed insights and unusual ideas.

10. Let Go of Going It Alone: Ask for help when you need it, not once the moment has passed. Keep good friends and trusted founders from outside the office close to you, so you have an outlet to truly tell it like it is. Turn to them openly, honestly, and frequently and invite them to do the same to you. No one has all the answers and those who come together solve their problems faster.

11. Let Go of Working Insane Hours: Yes, there's a lot to get done, but you are no good to anybody if you burn yourself into the ground. Make taking care of yourself a priority. Fuel up on good food, solid sleep, and great people. Entrepreneurs have to be prepared for the long game.


It’s been said that entrepreneurs aren’t born, they’re made.

Said another way, all of us have the skills we need to become successful founders, but it’s the training -- the education, the mentorship, the guidance -- and application of those skills that make the real difference between success and failure in the world of entrepreneurship.

And the numbers back this up.

According to a 2009 study sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and authored by Vivek Wadhwa, the director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University, the majority of the 549 successful entrepreneurs surveyed did not come from entrepreneurial parents, did not have entrepreneurial drive early in life and, in most cases, did not even have entrepreneurial aspirations while in college.

If these entrepreneurs were “born,” then they got a pretty late start at it.

The fact is, entrepreneurs, can be -- and often are -- taught. They are extraordinarily observant, they are visionary thinkers that try to understand what could go right (vs. what could go wrong), and they are exceptional learners. The key is that entrepreneurs need practical, actionable skills, not the abstract knowledge that is often taught in business schools.

Hian Goh, as a founding partner of NSI Ventures, has met with hundreds of new entrepreneurs over the years and has learned some basic truths about them. In short: Successful entrepreneurs all share some basic, non-negotiable traits -- like energy, commitment, persistence, etc. -- but it is the soft skills that really make the difference. In the above clip, he explains why emotional intelligence and self-learning is so critical for entrepreneurs.


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