This is the second half of our “Executive Perspectives” series. The first part of the series can be found here. Sometimes, as in our cover story this month, the empirical data tells the story. Other times, it’s valuable to understand what people are thinking about. Ultimately, a combination of the two — data plus insight — produces the most promising path forward. Here, we selected 17 executives from among publishers and the supplier companies that help them, and asked them to candidly share their points of view on pressing issues and emerging opportunities. COO / U.S. News & World Report Which types of new positions or skill sets are you currently hiring for? We are increasing our staff by 25 percent by 2017. We are focusing on technical developers, analysts, and ad sales. What will be the biggest challenge facing your business over the next 12 months? The biggest challenge — and also the biggest opportunity — is to diversify how we reach our audience while also increasing it. As recent news suggests, it does not serve publishers well to be too reliant on any one platform or source of web traffic. Prev1 of 7NextUse your ← → (arrow) keys to browse Prev1 of 7NextUse your ← → (arrow) keys to browse While the responses are widely divergent — touching on all aspects of a changing business — there’s nevertheless a core thread running through our Q&As: How to generate new revenue by serving the industry in contemporary ways, through innovation and fresh ways of looking at longstanding challenges. We were impressed by the insights these folks shared, and the relevance for all kinds of magazine-media companies. What does the term “21st century media company” mean, from your perspective? Media is changing rapidly. Today’s 21st century media company has to be committed to creating good content, and nimble in the way it presents and distributes that content. Understanding your audience, and their interests and behaviors, will be a key to most revenue models. Karen Chevalier
Holidaymakers are returning home after enjoying Eid vacation. Photo: UNBA crowded Dhaka looked somewhat deserted once people started leaving the capital city to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha at their village homes.The holidaymakers have already started returning to the capital after celebrating the Eid with their families in their hometowns, reports UNB.They are coming back as the weekday begins on Sunday.On Saturday, moderate crowds of people coming back to the city were found at Railway stations, bus and launch terminals.However, the pressure of the returnees is still low, said witnesses and authorities.Alamgir Hossain, ioint director at Naval Traffic, said 70 launches reached Sadarghat Launch terminal from 23 routes from around 7am to 11am on Saturday.He said the number of returning passengers is not that much high yet, but it will increase on Sunday.Trains were running about half an hour behind their schedules on average, causing delay to the departure of the outgoing ones, said Mizanur Rahman, a sub-inspector at Kamalapur Railway Station.Shahidul Islam, a banker who returned from Kushtia by train, told UNB that he along with his family members had to return today (Saturday) as his office and the schools of his kids reopen on Sunday.”There was a less crowd. So, we didn’t have to suffer much except the delayed train,” he added.Meanwhile, ferry services on Shimulia-Kathalbari route were disrupted for two hours from around 4am to 6am due to poor navigability in the Padma river causing immense sufferings to passengers.Ten small ferries are in operation while more than 300 vehicles waiting on both sides of the river, said Khandaker Shah Khaled Newaz, assistant general manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).The dredging worksare going on to solve the navigability problem and soon the ferry services will get back to normalcy, he added.He also said 87 launches and 400 speedboats are transporting passengers on this route.Farhana Dolly, a resident of Shahjahanpur who was returning from Feni, said, it took lesser time to reach Dhaka this time as the highway was relatively free of traffic.As the festive mood of Eid vacation has not lost its charm yet, those who did not leave the city for Eid celebrations enjoyed the city free from traffic jams, noise and crowd.Zarif Rafiul Haque Iraz, a Dhaka city dweller, said Dhaka remains free from traffic only during long vacations, especially during Eid holidays.”This is the reason I along with my friends decided to roam around the city to enjoy crowd-free and traffic-free Dhaka experience,” he added.This year, along with the three-day Eid holidays, most of the holiday makers got additional two days off — Friday and Saturday.Dhaka is expected to get back to its usual bustle on Sunday when people will be returning to the capital in their thousands from Saturday night.
At Austin’s SXSW today, PayPal announced an expansion to the Startup Blueprint Program it launched last October, the initiative that waives the first $50,000 in PayPal processing fees for selected U.S.-based startups.The expansion will add 14 new incubators and accelerators, including TechStars, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator and Kima Ventures, among others. Thanks to PayPal’s acquisition of payments gateway Braintree last fall, the program will also waive Braintree fees, such as those from credit cards, up to $100,000 in payment volume.Additionally, startups in the program will gain a group of advisors who will be at the ready to help new businesses best utilize the PayPal platform and get through the crucial ramp-up period. The assistance will go beyond how to integrate the API and delve into nuts-and-bolts issues that can create huge obstacles for new entrepreneurs. “If you’re struggling with what CRM to use, they’ll be able to say, ‘This is what we do,’” says John Lunn, head of developer relations.The short-term goal, according to Lunn, is to bring up to 2,000 startups to this program by the end of the year, up from the 100 currently signed on. The long-term objective, of course, is to capture the latest startups as they are hitting it big, ensuring they use the PayPal platform.Lunn said that as recently as 18 months ago, PayPal would reach out to new businesses only once they’d hit a certain amount of revenue. “That was a mistake because what’s happening with startups now is that they’re going from zero to the hottest thing around in 6 to 8 months,” Lunn says. He says unless you have a relationship with that startup, before they hit it big, it can be too late to capture them for your platform.The expansion highlights the intense competition to serve new companies in an ever-shifting landscape. “With this program, we’re able to spot the startups that are earning revenue very, very quickly and make sure we are looking after them at an early stage,” says Lunn. Those businesses will be comfortable with the PayPal platform, familiar with the service’s customer support and hopefully won’t go elsewhere, he says.Getting ahead of the latest thing is critical for businesses like PayPal, says Lunn. Without such moves, he says, “in a couple of years every hot startup that’s out there, every app on your phone isn’t using PayPal and we become irrelevant.” 3 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer March 8, 2014 Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Now