Thursday, January 29, 2015

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Coming to America for Entrepreneurs

It is no secret that some of Silicon Valley’s tech giants were founded by immigrants. Sergey Brin, a Russian emigrant, co-founded Google; Andrew Grove, originally from Hungary, co-founded Intel; both Steve Chen of YouTube and Jerry Yang of Yahoo came to the U.S. from Taiwan.
Immigrants continue to become some of the most successful founders in United States. Brazilian-born Mike Krieger moved to California in 2004 where he met future partner and fellow co-founder of Instagram. Danish co-founders Jon Froda and Anders Pollas created Podio in early 2009. Indonesian-born Malcolm Ong met his fellow co-founder, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, co founded Skillshare while they both working at other startups.
How did they get here? And, most importantly, how can we get you here? There are more than a couple of ways.
Coming To America Visas Infographic
Let’s start with the most optimal ways – the ways that ensure you get a green card.

Many Ways Of Coming to America

Option 1. Alien Investor – this is the EB-5 immigrant visa that asks you to invest $1 million in a U.S. business. If that business is in rural area, you only need to invest $500,000.
But what if you don’t have that kind of cash?
Option 2.  EB-2 (C) visa — this is considered an “employment visa,” but under the (C) variety does not require you to have an employer. What you need is an advanced degree (masters and higher) or an exceptional ability in your field. Also, you will have to should that brining you to the United Stated it is in the national interest of the United States.
What if you are so young that you don’t have exceptional abilities yet? You can still come in.
Option 3E-2 Treaty Investors – do not worry, this time they will not ask you to invest a million. All you need to do is open a business in the U.S., invest at least $100, 000 in it. You also need to be from a country that is on the list of treaty investors. A  lot of countries are.
If you main asset is your talent, you have another option.
Option 4O-1 visa is for people with exceptional abilities, including abilities in doing business. Say you wrote an app back home that got written up in magazines and someone famous reviewed it on YouTube? You can try for this type of visa. You will need a  U.S. employer to sponsor you. Hopefully that employer is an amazing startup you want to work for.
Option 5L1 visas. The first kind is the L1A – you need to be ab executive or a top manager of a company that has offices in your country and in the U.S. You need to have worked at that foreign office for at least a year during that last three years. And they need to be sending you to the U.S. If the company does not have a U.S. office yet, you can be the one who opens it. the L1B kind is where you are not an executive, but you have some specialized knowledge. if the company sending you to the United States is not the one you ultimately want to work for, you will want to jump ship sooner or late. Many people have.
Option 6H1B visa. This visa is for employees. There are a lot of requirements such as labor certifications, caps on the number of visas, etc. If you have i, but want to be an entrepreneur, use the time while you are on H1B to find the startup you actually want to work for.
Option 7B-1 visa. This is a business visa. It is short-term, only 3-6 months. You can extend it once by another 6 months, totaling 12 months in the U.S. The downside is that you cannot work on this visa. But you can negotiate and network, etc.
if no other solution is available, B-1 is your way to come to America and then figure out the better way.
There are of course other options coming to America like J1, F1 but they are less than a straightforward way for an entrepreneur.
Things are changing quickly for entrepreneurs in America, for the better.  We will be hosting the  “International Founders and Startup Immigration”  to discuss the best strategies and hear from the attorneys and investors.
Update:  Lastly, there is the Startup Visa, that is not an option yet, because it has not been passed as a law. As of December 1st, the current senate bill calls for a number of changes to immigration law. Among them, it would create a new type of visa allowing foreign-born entrepreneurs legally in the U.S. to stay if they can raise $100,000 in capital and hire at least two American workers during their first year holding the visa.
Anna Vital

Why Prolonged Sitting And Standing Is Unproductive

Sitting too much will probably shorten your life. Entrepreneurs sit a lot. No wonder recently this new smart cushion Darma became instantly popular on Kickstarter.
Why prolonged sitting and standing is unproductive infographic
The key to reversing the effects of sitting is not standing – it’s standing up regularly.
Switch up sitting and standing every 30 minutes, advises Cornell University ergonomics team. How would you remember to switch? And who will tell you to keep your back straight?

The Key To Sitting Is Moving

Every 20 minutes for just 2 minutes. And movement is free. The absolute time that you sit is not as important as breaking up sitting with short, even 2 minute breaks.  Checking your posture is key.
The science behind not moving is simple: when muscles don’t contract, they burn less fuel, and the surplus, in the form of blood sugar, accumulates in the bloodstream. Sugar turns into fat. The blood pools in legs and the heart. When this happens if you simply move your body, the blood starts circulating more vigorously. Better blood circulation to the muscles helps burn sugars.

Sitting Or Standing By Itself Is Harmless

That is what makes prolonged sitting and standing a surprise enemy of our health. Even more surprising though is the remedy – just getting up and walking around for 2 minutes. When the solution is so simple it is easy to discount. Until you see the actual effect on the body.
That probably explains Darma‘s popularity since it does show your blood pressure and other vital statistics in real time. If before this we knew that sitting was bad, it was easy to discount it since we didn’t immediately see measurable effects what what sitting is doing to us. Not any more.
In the future, I expect there will be technology to show exactly how far we are from developing a certain disease if we keep doing what we are doing. A kind of lifestyle projection tool. With a progress bar. Then there is no more mystery in whether that 2 minutes walk I just too really made me healthier. If the progress bar is half way towards heart disease, I might walk even more often, or change my job altogether.
What the world needed for a long time is a visual that connects sitting with what actually happens inside the body. If you could actually see your heart getting congested, there would be immediate motivation to move. Although you can see it in this infographic, to take action you also need to believe that it may happen to you.

How Steve Jobs Started – The Life Of Apple’s Founder

Apple just announced its first new product category since the iPad. And since Steve Jobs. Follow his life path to see how he learned to create and think like a genius, as told by Walter Isaacson.

How Steve Jobs started infographic

How Steve Jobs Started – The Winding Path

As people around the world wondered if innovation at Apple had stopped with Steve Jobs, we want to share with you a snapshot of the genius’s life. 
How did Steve Jobs start? His life story is not a straight line, but more like a winding path. From his early years it’s clear that Jobs had no grand plan in the beginning. His search for himself took Jobs through India, Buddhism, psychedelic use, attempts to become an astronaut and start a computer company in the Soviet Union.
However winding his path at time, Jobs did find inspiration and creativity in himself at certain periods of his life. If there is a pattern of creativity and genius that his life can reveal, here is his timeline.

Keep Looking, Don’t Settle

Steve Jobs summarized his guiding principle in life in 2005 at the commencement at Stanford in a talk titled “How to Live Before You Die.” He said, “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.

And One More Thing

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith,” said Steve Jobs.

How Einstein Started

Einstein’s start in life, if boiled down to a formula, would be something like this:
how Albert Einstein started infographic
Tinkering with a compass + contempt for school and authority + thought experiments + having an office next to a clock tower and a train station + a government job with a boss who turned a blind eye to what he did at work = genius.

Thinking Visually

There is more to it, according to Walter Isaacson, the biographer, Einstein was an obsessive reader. There was a school that practiced a new teaching method – a visual thinking method. There was a lover,  the only female physics student, who became a sounding board for Einstein’s early work. There was an uncle who was an electrical engineer, letting Einstein ticker with lights.  And another rich uncle in Belgium who was certain Albert was a prodigy ever since he was a kid.

How Einstein Really Started – A Thought Experiment

But what was at the beginning of it all? According to Walter Isaacson’s book, it was a compass. A five-year old Albert was lying in bed sick when his father brought him a compass to play with. Albert asked how it worked. No, just saying that compasses work because of Earth’s magnetic field was not enough. He wanted to know how it really worked.  He wanted to visualize it.
Since that encounter with a compass, and many books later, there was one book that especially stuck Albert’s imagination. So much that he started visualizing in his head everything he read in it. This book was People’s Book on Natural Science. The author specifically asked his reader to take an imaginary trip through space. And Einstein did. At 15, while walking around Italian countryside, he first imagined what it would be like to ride along a beam of light. That was his first thought experiment, one of many more that would later make him who he became.
About his thought experiments, Einstein famously said;
 The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

How Bill Gates Started – The Life of Microsoft’s Founder

Bill Gates started out in a highly-educated family. But they were not programmers, not even engineers. Or technical people at all. So how did he start to be a genius hacker?
How BIll Gates started infographic
His father was a lawyer. A very successful one. His mother a teacher. Reading magazines in middle school he first thought about how cool it would be to open a company. You could say that’s how he started – with a childish dream. Many kids have dreams though, so what happened next?

How Bill Gates  Started To Hack

Next, Bill Gates saw a computer at 13. The school he went to bought one machine and a teletype. He paid for the time to use it. When money ran out, he hacked into the computer to use it for free. Then he got banned by the school. Then the school realized he had a rare skill so they asked him to use the computer and help them find bugs. He started to be a hacker.

Started to Hustle

Next, Bill scored 1590 out of 1600 on SAT. He went to Harvard. Only to find himself unsure about where to start – as a pre-law major or as something else? Reading Popular Mechanicsone day in college he read an ad about a new computer. He called them to say that he wrote a programming language for it. (He hadn’t.) He asked if they might buy it. He hadn’t even started to write the language. But, he started to be a hustler. And, yes, the computer company was very interested in buying.

Being a Workaholic

Next Bill sat down with his friend Paul from high school, and the two wrote that programming language that he talked about on the phone. Bill wrote 50% of the code, using Harvard’s computers. Bill coded all day long, slept at the computer, woke up and picked up programming exactly where he left off. Bill started to be a workaholic.

Being a Copyright Guru

When they were done, Bill flew to New Mexico to show this new language he had written called BASIC. The computer company bought it for $3,000. But Bill kept the copyright. Did he somehow know it would be worth a lot in the future? So he started to be a copyright guru.

Started to Visualize the Future

Five years later IBM knocked on Bill’s door to see if he had written an operating system they could buy. Bill hadn’t. But he said, “Yes.” Real quick, he found an operating system from another person in Seattle and bought it. With the copyright. Then he sold it to IBM. For a lot more. This was DOS. And without copyright – they never asked for it. “Who would pay for software?” they reasoned. It’s the hardware that people are after. Bill saw the opportunity to make people pay for software. Bill started to see the future. He was now a visionary.

Bill Gates Started to Be a Perfectionist

Then Steve Jobs showed up. He wanted Bill to write new software that was visual. Programs like Excel and Words. Programs that looked human. Bill got down to work. Jobs thought Bill’s team’s product was tasteless, but Bill kept at it. He got better and better until he got really good. Bill started to be a perfectionist.

Being a Visual Thinker

But Bill was not going to spend his life working on Jobs’ brilliant ideas. Ideas, after all, are worthless until executed. Plus, Jobs’ ideas were stolen anyway. And so it was fair game to do the same. Bill remembered where he saw this idea of visual interfaces – it was Xerox. And now he wanted to create a visual operating system of his own. He called it Windows. He started to be a visual thinker.

Being a Tough Cookie

When Jobs heard about Windows, he went ballistic. He lashed our at Bill calling him down to Cupertino. In front of ten Apple employees Jobs accused Gates for robbing Apple. Bill listened calmly and replied that Jobs stole the idea just as he did himself. Bill started to be a tough cookie.
When Windows launched, Bill visualized a world where every home had a computer, and that computer was running Windows. Bill started to become very rich. And as his vision materialized, by 39 he became the richest man in the world.

9 Types Of Intelligence

That is what school beat into us by putting certain types of intelligence on a pedestal and ignoring other types. If you are not good at math or language, you might still be gifted at other things but it was not called intelligence. Why?
In 1983 Howard Gardener described 9 types of intelligence:
  • logical-Mathematical
  • linguistic
  • bodily
  • musical
  • naturalist
  • interpersonal
  • intra-personal
  • spacial
  • existential
What other scientists thought were just soft-skills, such as interpersonal skills, Gardener realized were types of intelligence. It makes sense. Just as being a math whiz gives you the ability to understand the world, so does being “people smart” give you the same ability, just from a different perspective. Not knowing math you may not calculate the rate at which the universe is expanding, but you are likely to have the skills to find the right person who will.
Even 20 years after Gardener’s book came out, there is still a debate whether talents other than math and language are indeed types of intelligence or just skills. What do you think?

What kind of a job do you prefer?

How to Keep a New Year Resolution

How to have a HNY.

Happy New Year.....

Happy New Year.....