Google paid rival Apple $1 billion in 2014 to keep its search function the default option on iOS devices, Bloomberg reports.
The alleged agreement involves Google paying Apple a percentage of revenue – as much as 34% – gained through iOS devices.
Bloomberg added that the referenced document has since been removed from the web. “The transcript vanished without a trace from electronic court records at about 15:00,” the report noted.
The court proceedings in question regard a lawsuit by Oracle Corp. in which the firm claims that Google used its Java software to develop Android but failed to pay for it.
Analyst firms, such as Morgan Stanley, have quoted the $1 billion figure in the past, but this appears to be the first time that a reference has been found in court documents.
Other details about how Google manages its services emerged this week – including the fact that the firm removed 780 million “bad” advertisements from its sites last year.
By bad, Google said it was referring to ads which linked to malware, promoted fake goods or covered up website content.
In a blog post, the company said it had more than 1,000 people within its organisation responsible for weeding out these ads and that the number that had to be removed was increasing.
Some figures published by Google on advertisements include:
- More than 17 million ads designed to trick or mislead people into clicking them removed
- 12.5 million ads blocked which violated Google’s healthcare and medicine policy – such as ads for unapproved drugs
- More than 30,000 sites suspended for carrying misleading claims about weight loss programmes
- More than 10,000 sites and 18,000 accounts suspended for attempting to sell counterfeit goods
- More than 10,000 sites disabled for offering unwanted software
April 13, 2016 Tags: Business Win, Global Businesses, search engines, Technological businesses, winning businesses Posted in: Business Sales, Business Win, Global Businesses, Search Engines, Technological Businesses, Uncategorized, Winning Businesses No Comments
Mostafa Hemdan is making a good living turning rubbish into gold- founding Recyclobekia, one of the first businesses in the Middle East to recycle electronic waste.
He set up the firm five years ago in the garage of his parents’ house in Tanta, a city 56 miles north of capital Cairo.
At the time, Mr Hemdan was an engineering student, and together with 19 other people from his university he had entered an entrepreneurship competition called Injaz Egypt. Up for grabs for the winner was Â£7,000 to help develop their start up idea.
“I was watching a documentary about electronic recycling, and I realised there was a lot of potential in extracting metals from mother boards – gold, silver, copper, and platinum,” he says. “It was a booming industry in Europe and the US, but no one in the Middle East was doing it.”
It was at that moment that the idea for Recyclobekia was born, and Mr Hemdan went on to win the competition.
The company’s name comes from the Egyptian Arabic words “roba bekya”, which means “old stuff”, and is commonly heard on the streets of Cairo as rag-and-bone men call out for unwanted household items.
Today, the Egyptian businessman employs 20 people across four warehouses, and sells Â£1.65 million of electronic waste per year.
Along the way Mr Hemdan has overcome challenges including not being able to fulfil orders, overextending himself, and the backdrop of political upheaval and social unrest in Egypt since the Arab Spring.
Starting the business back in 2011, around the time the Arab Spring began, Mr Hemdan first touted for trade by putting an advert in a business-to-business section of global ecommerce website Alibaba.
Recyclobekia’s first order soon followed when a buyer in Hong Kong ordered 10 tonnes of hard disks.
“At that moment, I didn’t even know where I would collect such an amount, but I accepted,” says Mr Hemdan.
Seeking recyclable material, he moved to Cairo, whose 17 million inhabitants produce 15,000 tonnes of garbage per day.
Most of the city’s waste management is run through an informal system that relies on the Zabbaleen, a Christian community of rag pickers who collect rubbish door-to-door, and meticulously hand sort its components to resell plastic, paper and metal.
However, the Zabbaleen do not collect electronic waste, such as old computers or printers. So instead, Recyclobekia collects such products from companies.
To fulfil the first order from Hong Kong, Mr Hemdan realised that he need to raise Â£10,000, but this was before he won the Injaz Egypt competition.
Instead, to secure the money he needed Mr Hemdan managed to persuade a university professor to give him a loan, in exchange for 40% of the profit from the first sale.
Winning the entrepreneurship competition helped Recyclobekia to secure investment to expand the business, including Â£85,000 from two Egyptian private investors, Khaled Ismail and Hussein el Sheikh, who both now sit on the company’s board.
“Here’s where the problems began,” says Mr Hemdan looking back. He stresses that “working with a huge capital while you don’t know how to run a company” can lead to mistakes.
Mr Hemdan’s error was to quickly expand the business, and overestimate how much waste he could collect.
Despite partnering with companies to buy their waste, the amount they discarded was much lower than Recyclobekia expected, and in six months it had only managed to gather six tonnes, a lot less than expected.
In order to rectify the situation, Mr Hemdan realised he need to quickly improve his knowledge of an industry that was still very much in its infancy in Egypt. So he flew to Hong Kong to study the work of recycling firms in the Chinese region.
The trip made Mr Hemdan realise that he had to change Recyclobekia’s business model.
At the time it was simply collecting the old electronic items and sending them off to its buyer in Hong Kong. The Chinese firm would then break them apart, separate the materials, and sell them on to other companies which melted down and extracted the individual metals.
Mr Hemdan realised Recyclobekia could be more profitable if it cut out the middle man, and instead did all the dismantling work itself – it could get a better price for waste that had already been broken up and sorted.
So he ended the Hong Kong deal, and instead signed up with a German extraction company. This also reduced Recyclobekia’s shipping costs.
March 25, 2016 Tags: Business Win, Green Businesses, Growing Businesses, Growing Sales, winning business Posted in: Business Growth, Business Win, Green Businesses, Growing Business, Uncategorized, Winning Business No Comments
The richest 1% now has as much wealth as the rest of the world combined according to Oxfam.
Oxfam also calculated that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.
It criticised the work of lobbyists and the amount of money kept in tax havens.
Oxfam predicted that the 1% would overtake the rest of the world this time last year.
It takes cash and assets worth Â£48,300 to get into the top 10%, and Â£533,000 to be in the 1%.
That means that if you own an average house in London without a mortgage, you are probably in the 1%.
The figures carry various caveats, for example, information about the wealth of the super rich is hard to come by, which Credit Suisse says means its estimates of the proportion of wealth held by the 10% and the 1% is “likely to err on the low side”.
As a global report, the figures also necessarily include some estimates of levels of wealth in countries from which accurate statistics are not available.
Some free market think tanks questioned the credibility of the figures.
Oxfam said that the 62 richest people having as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the population is a remarkable concentration of wealth, given that it would have taken 388 individuals to have the same wealth as the bottom 50% in 2010.
“Instead of an economy that works for the prosperity of all, for future generations, and for the planet, we have instead created an economy for the 1%,” Oxfam’s report says.
The trend over the period that Credit Suisse has been carrying out this research has been that the proportion of wealth held by the top 1% fell gradually from 2000 to 2009 and has risen every year since then.
In fact, it is only in the 2015 figures that the proportion held by the top 1% overtakes the share taken by them in the first report in 2000.
Oxfam calls on governments to take action to reverse this trend. It wants workers paid a living wage and the gap with executive rewards to be narrowed.
It calls for an end to the gender pay gap, compensation for unpaid care and the promotion of equal land and inheritance rights for women.
And it wants governments to take action on lobbying, reducing the price of medicines, taxing wealth rather than consumption and using progressive public spending to tackle inequality.
The UK is the world leader in ecommerce according to the former Google boss Eric Schmidt.
He said UK entrepreneurs tended to sell up earlier than their US counterparts.
But he said the lesson from the US was that when tech companies run, they can become “very, very big”.
“If you have a strong franchise that’s growing quickly, you’re probably better off waiting a while before selling,” he said.Â This lesson could “easily be learned in Britain”.
Mr Schmidt said that “Britain is the leader in ecommerce in the world, far ahead of the United States. Britain has every aspect to build billion pound, ten billion pound, hundred billion pound companies.”
“You have the right regulatory environment. You’ve got the right role within the European continent. Just look at the ecommerce plays and service plays that are now happening in London.”
“Europe is pushing on a European digital single market and in the timeframe of you building a small start-up, the Europeans will figure out a way of building a single digital market for your products.”
He added there were no barriers to launching “a European-scale corporation that is larger than a US-scale corporation”.
Mr Schmidt said the key to any successful start up was the product. “The only thing that matters is the product quality,” he said.
And in the age of social media, “lean distribution models are replacing big marketing and advertising budgets”. This means start ups can compete more easily with more established, big companies, he argued.
“If you have three people and a vision, you should be able to raise funds from friends and family, crowd-funding and early venture groups,” he said.
The key, however, was having a “strong engineering lead”. Without someone with a vested interest in the company to build the app or technology product, start-ups tend to struggle, he said.
Having someone in-house, rather than going to a third party developer, is vitally important, Mr Schmidt said.
February 23, 2016 Tags: Business Growth, Business Win, Global Business, growing business, Growing Sales, Technological businesses, winning business Posted in: Building Businesses, Business Development, Business Growth, Business Win, Ecommerce Business, Exporting Businesses, Google, Growing Business, Growing Sales, Technological Businesses, Uncategorized, Winning Business No Comments
Nike, the world’s leading maker of sporting goods, reported a 20% year on year rise in net profit for the three months ending in November.
Future orders for deliveries from December to April 2016 – which is a key measure for Nike – also beat expectations, boosted by strong demand from China, Japan and North America.
Sales revenue was up to Â£5.31 billion.
The firm said by the end of November its future worldwide orders for footwear and clothing were up 20%, excluding currency changes.
Greater China made up 34% of that growth, while Japan made up 32% and North America 14%.
“Our powerful global portfolio of businesses, combined with strong financial discipline, continue to drive significant shareholder value,” said chief executive Mark Parker.
“We see tremendous opportunity ahead as we enter an Olympic and European Championships year with a full pipeline of inspiring innovation for athletes everywhere.”
Earlier this year, Nike signed a lifetime deal with American basketball star LeBron James. Mr James has been with Nike since 2003 when he signed a Â£59.7 million contract with the firm. The sports star’s latest deal is believed to be the first lifetime contract ever signed by Nike.
Nike, Inc. is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area.
It is one of the world’s largest suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment,Â In 2014 the brand alone was valued at Â£13 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses.
The company was founded on January 25, 1964, as Blue Ribbon Sports, by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971. The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding, and subsidiaries including Brand Jordan, Hurley International and Converse.
Nike also owned Bauer Hockey (later renamed Nike Bauer) between 1995 and 2008, and previously owned Cole Haan and Umbro. In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of “Just Do It” and the Swoosh logo.
February 13, 2016 Tags: Business Win, Global Business, Growing Profits, Growing Sales, Sporting Success, winning business Posted in: Business Growth, Business Profits, Business Sales, Business Win, Growing Profits, Growing Sales, Uncategorized, Winning Business No Comments
Blackberry has reported revenues of Â£377 million for the three months to November – 12% higher than the previous quarter.
The better than expected results give the Canadian company some hope that its turnaround plan is working.
Revenue was 31% lower than for the same period last year, but losses narrowed to Â£61 million compared with a Â£102 million deficit a year ago.
Chief executive John Chen said he was pleased with progress, as growth in enterprise software gained momentum and revenue rose across its “areas of focus”.
“Blackberry has a solid financial foundation, and we are executing well,” he said.
Revenue from software – a figure being closely watched by analysts – more than doubled to Â£111 million compared with the same quarter last year.
Total software revenue for the first three quarters reached about Â£249 million – within striking range of the Â£350 million forecast for the full financial year to February.
Last month, the company launched a new smartphone called the Priv, the first to run on the Android platform rather than its own operating system.
The majority of the world’s smartphones run on the Google developed Android.
Blackberry said the Priv combined Blackberry-level security with access to the 1.6 million apps in the Google Play app store.
Mr Chen said the device had been well received and would be available on more mobile networks globally next year.
Blackberry aims to sell five million of the handsets a year. The Priv costs about Â£580 without a contract, putting it in line with the iPhone and premium Android devices.
The company sold 700,000 devices in the third quarter, down 100,000 from the previous quarter, but average selling prices rose from Â£165 to Â£220.
Shares in Blackberry closed up 10.4% in New York at $8.61, but the stock is still down more than a fifth this year.
The company is valued at just Â£2.83 billion in comparison to Apple who is worth more than Â£415 billion.
January 18, 2016 Tags: Business Growth, Business Sales, Business Win, Growing Sales, Technological businesses, winning business Posted in: Business Communications, Business Sales, Business Services, Business Survival, Business Win, Connected Business, Digital Business, Global Business, Growing Business, Growing Sales, Technological Businesses, Uncategorized, Winning Business No Comments
Attendances at professional sports events in the UK topped 70 million in 2015- up 5%, according to Deloitte’s.
Rugby union attendances, boosted by the 2.5 million fans at the Rugby World Cup, climbed to 7.5 million.
This year’s total was less than the 75 million at UK sports events in 2012.
However, that year was boosted by 11 million visitors to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.
Excluding the Rugby World Cup, the 10 most popular individual sporting events of 2015 had a combined attendance of 2.5 million, with Wimbledon topping the list again.
The tennis tournament attracted just under half a million spectators during the fortnight.
In terms of attendees per event day, Formula 1’s British Grand Prix was the winner, averaging more than 100,000 per day.
Referring to the popularity of horseracing events, Alan Switzer, director in Deloitte’s sports business group, said: “British racecourses are on track for record attendances of 6.2 million in 2015.
“Flagship events such as Royal Ascot, the Cheltenham Festival and the Epsom Derby are firmly established in the top tier of best attended annual UK sporting events, whilst the breadth and depth of other meetings throughout the year ensure horseracing remains one of the UK’s most popular spectator sports.”
Two new individual events entered the top 10 best-attended sporting events in 2015: MotoGP’s British Grand Prix (154,000) and the Badminton Horse Trials (147,000).
These events replaced the Ryder Cup and Aintree Grand National from 2014.
Deloitte said that although overall attendances for the year fell short of the record of 75 million set in 2012, taking away the one off effects of the Olympic and Paralympic Games that year, and the Rugby World Cup in 2015, attendances rose by 6% across the period.
Major sporting events in the UK for 2016 include the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, the European Aquatics Championships and the FIH Women’s Champions Trophy in hockey.
January 8, 2016 Tags: Business Growth, Business Win, Growing Businesses, Growing Sales, Sporting Success, winning businesses Posted in: Business Growth, Business Win, Growing Businesses, Growing Economy, Sporting Success, Uncategorized, Winning Businesses No Comments
Many Brexit champions suggest a Commonwealth is perfectly possible as an EU alternative.
They point out that the UK’s links with the 53 nation Commonwealth, composed mainly of territories that belonged to the former British Empire, predate its membership of the EU.
And the Commonwealth itself is eager to stress the trade advantages that its members enjoy by virtue of belonging to the association.
But even while continuing to be an EU member, the UK is already making great efforts to trade with the Commonwealth’s most dynamic economies.
With the eurozone currently beset by economic troubles, some commentators feel that the UK should turn away from its stagnating neighbours in favour of broader global trade pacts.
They are assisted in this view by statistics such as those produced by the organisation World Economics, which has a growth tracker showing that the Commonwealth has already overtaken the eurozone in its share of world economic output.
“The Commonwealth accounts for 2.6% more than the eurozone in terms of world GDP share,” states World Economics. “Economic growth in the Commonwealth has accelerated over the post-1973 period in sharp contrast to the EU.”
As the Commonwealth’s own website says, “Our countries span Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries.
In fact, just six Commonwealth countries account for more than four fifths of all trade conducted by the organisation’s members. Apart from the UK, they are Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia and Singapore.
Earlier this month, the UK and India signed commercial deals worth Â£9 billion during a visit to London by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi – a visit seen as giving an important boost to the UK’s relations with the world’s fastest growing large economy.
Other big Commonwealth economies are not badly placed either. Some Conservative MPs, including Boris Johnson, feel that the UK “betrayed” countries such as Australia when it joined the EU in 1973.
“We share an extensive economic, trade and investment relationship,” says the Australian government website’s country brief on UK relations, before going on to list the evidence.
Investment is particularly strong: the UK is “the second largest source of total and direct foreign investment in Australia”, while Australia returns the favour, with the UK also being “Australia’s second most important foreign investment destination”.
For its part, the Commonwealth stresses that countries benefit economically from belonging to the club. According to its Trade Review 2015, members’ combined exports of goods and services amounted to $3.4 trillion in 2013, “which is about 15% of the world’s total exports”.
“When both bilateral partners are Commonwealth members, they tend to trade 20% more, and generate 10% more foreign direct investment inflows than otherwise,” says the review.
“This ‘Commonwealth effect’ implies bilateral trade costs between Commonwealth partners are on average 19% lower compared with those for other country peers.”
December 22, 2015 Tags: Business Growth, Business Win, Exporting Businesses, Growing Businesses, Growing Sales, winning businesses Posted in: Business Development, Business Exports, Business Growth, Business Survival, Business Win, Exporting Businesses, Global Business, Global Businesses, Growing Economy, Uncategorized, Winning Businesses No Comments
A group of British universities has been rated the best in the world at helping scientists turn their creativity into cash.
The SETsquared Partnership – a collaboration between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey – was ranked “Number One” by respected independent research group, University Business Incubators (UBI).
UBI analysed more than 1,200 incubators, based in 64 countries, measuring their performance in 60 different areas, including total investment, the number of jobs created and the number of successful firms born out of the incubator.
‘SETsquared’ came top, beating Ryerson University in Canada and the Chaoyang University of Technology, Taiwan.
Dhruv Bhatli, one of UBI’s founders, explained the centre’s success. “SETsquared is the top performing business incubator globally as it consistently outperforms on our three assessment categories; value for ecosystem, value for client and attractiveness,” he said.
That is the dry business analysis. For Bristol PhD student Tom Carter, SETsquared has turned an idea into a Â£10 million business in a year. Working in a university lab, Mr Carter created “feeling without touching”.
He demonstrated how to control a computer game simply by moving a hand in mid-air, the gestures controlling what happened on screen.
Mr Carter calls his device “Ultrahaptics”, a fusion of haptics – the science of touch – and ultrasound technology. An array of small ultrasound emitters are responsible for creating the feeling in the user’s fingers, linked by software to a camera which sees how the hand is moving.
The device has caught the world’s attention. Car manufacturers are developing controls that would adjust the volume of a car stereo, or the temperature of the heating, all by mid-air gestures.
Kitchen appliance firms are creating a hob with no buttons, the heat turned up simply by a wave of your hand.
But when he made his discoveries, Mr Carter was doing his PhD at Bristol University, and knew nothing about building a business.
SETsquared introduced him to lawyers, to protect and patent his invention; to accountants and HR experts to create a company; and most importantly of all, to a man who has become his business partner.
Now, Ultrahaptics chief executive, Mr Cliffe said: “The response from customers is amazing; we have a piece of technology they want. This is going to be huge.”
Interest is so strong that Ultrahaptics has recently received Â£10 million of investment from City backers. There are serious applications for touchless controls.
Mr Cliffe added: “The dirtiest place in a hospital are the buttons on the lift. Lift manufacturers are very interested.
“We can allow people to choose the floor they want to go to, simply by waving their hand. That way, we cut down germs and infection.”
In all, SETsquared firms have attracted Â£26 million of investment in the past year, creating 100 jobs. Since the centres were set up, it is estimated they have contributed Â£3.8 billion to the UK economy. But the impact is wider than that.
Simon Bond, SETsquared’s director of innovation, put it like this: “Bristol and Bath is a leading tech hub outside of London.
“The region has produced an incredible wealth of technology companies and products, and SETsquared is very proud to have played our part in putting it on the map as one of the most innovative areas in the UK.”
December 11, 2015 Tags: building businesses, business development, Business Win, Growing Businesses, Growing Jobs, Growing Profits, Growing Sales, Professional Services, Technological businesses, winning businesses Posted in: Building Businesses, Business Growth, Business Win, Digital Business, Global Businesses, Growing Businesses, Growing Jobs, Growing Profits, Growing Sales, Technological Businesses, Uncategorized, Winning Businesses No Comments
What does it take to be a winning internet entrepreneur?
Jimmy Wales, cofounder of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, really believes it. “The first version of Wikipedia was called Nupedia,” recalls Mr Wales. “It was very top-down, very structured,” he admits.
“I beat my head against the wall for two years, I knew the system was too complicated, but I didn’t want to fail.”
Don’t invest all your money in one thing, he now advises. “Give yourself a chance to reboot.” In fact Jimmy Wales was involved in several unsuccessful internet ventures before Wikipedia took off.
If Jimmy Wales wishes he’d listened to feedback earlier on, another chief executive encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to defy the critics.
“You’ll find lots of investors telling you, ‘you need to think of the market’,” says Nicolas Brusson of BlaBlaCar, one of France’s most successful web companies.
“But if you do something truly new, your market does not exist, you are going to create your own market.”
BlaBlaCar allows users to pay to take up unused seats on private car journeys. It defied its early critics by creating a new market for digital hitch-hiking, in the emerging sharing economy.
“Creativity and integrity are everything,” advises Yancey Strickler, chief execuive and cofounder of the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, an online platform which allows anyone to give financial backing to novel business ideas.
“Pursue a solution that you feel proud of, that you know feels right and morally correct.”
“It’s a passion thing,” he explains. “You’re standing up and saying I can do this better, it needs a level of passion you don’t have in normal business.”
But Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger cautions against obsessing about work to the detriment of your health.
“We came close to burning ourselves out in the early days,” he recalls. “Your incremental extra two hours between the 12th and 14th hour of work, you are getting diminishing returns,” he now realises.
“Take time for yourself, for exercise, it sounds trivial but actually can make a big difference.” He also recommends the camaraderie of well-chosen cofounders.
“If there’s somebody you can turn to who is your cofounder,” says Mr Krieger, “who you’ll look at and say ‘alright, we’ve got this’, it really, really helps.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Tinder founder Sean Rad didn’t dwell on the importance of cofounders, since the dating app’s early history is mired in personal animosity.
“Work can sometimes get overwhelming,” he admits. So he has developed a numerical coping strategy.
“It’s very important to identify the three most important things you need to accomplish, to get 80% of the results.”
Are these pioneers of the internet goldrush really a different breed of entrepreneur?
Shellye Archambeau, of MetricStream, a software company based in Silicon Valley, told us there is one important factor to consider.
“As soon as you start your company now, you can be global,” she says.
Not only does the reach of the internet allow you to think on a vast scale from the outset, but it also affects how you find your customers.
“In the old days if a customer found a great product, they might tell five people,” says Jimmy Wales. “But these days someone might tell 300 people on Facebook. So telling the story is key.”
The chief executive of a modern internet company needs to be an adept storyteller, it would seem, as well as a passionate leader. Someone who can engage social media users around the world.
December 7, 2015 Tags: building businesses, business development, Business Win, New Business Development, Online Sales Growth, Technological businesses, winning businesses, Winning Websites Posted in: Building Businesses, Business Survival, Business Win, Digital Business, Ecommerce Business, New Business Development, Online Business Growth, Technological Businesses, Uncategorized, Winning Businesses, Winning Websites No Comments