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Small Business Briefing

Indian media mogul invests in product placement 2.0 Add to ...

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Product placement in the post-production era

When we think about product placement in films and television, a few iconic scenes may come to mind: Wayne, of Wayne's World, smiling knowingly into the camera as he opens a Pizza Hut box, eats Doritos and drinks Pepsi; E.T. and the iconic Reese's Pieces; and of course The Italian Job and the fast, furious Mini Coopers.

For the most part, these products were included in the scenes at the time of production. But what if it was possible to digitally insert these brands after filming has taken place?

Well, it is possible. And according The Financial Times, Subhash Chandra - India's media mogul - is investing 3-million pounds in MirriAd, a London company that can overlay multiple brands onto video content in the post-production stage. .

Why is this potentially so disruptive to the advertising industry? The technology would allow advertisers to insert different brands into the same content, enabling product placement initiatives to be tailored by market, according to the stories. So depending on the broadcast region, different brands - like Coke and Pepsi, or Lays and Old Dutch, for example - could appear in the same TV show.

Free developer school to focus on France's future

In an effort to attack 'dwindling innovation' in France - the world's fifth-richest country - mobile maverick Xavier Niel is opening a tech school in Paris called 42, according to Wired.

The founder of Iliad SA and self-made billionaire -- who, by the way, never went to college himself --says the school will be tuition-free and aim to spur young entrepreneurs to stimulate the market for software developers.

His ultimate goal is to reverse the trend of job losses in France by the end of the year.

So how do you make money, exactly...?

At Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's most celebrated incubator, founders are becoming more concerned than ever with revenue, even if it means building more traditional (or 'boring') companies, according to a Wall Street Journal blog by Amir Efrati.

This week in Mountain View, Calif., 47 startups presented their ideas to 500 investors in an all-day event. Mr. Efrati distilled three significant trends from the day-long event:

  • the value investors are putting on startups has fallen dramatically (even the 'buzziest' companies aren't getting the kind of valuations they once did)
  • the infatuation with social-networking startups has ended as the focus shifts to revenue, rather than the number of users engaging with the product or service;
  • the vast number of startups launching each day - many based on 'marginal' ideas - has made it a lot hard to find those true product visionaries;

New book searches for the next Steve Jobs

It's been nearly two years since the death of Steve Jobs, and people in the Silicon Valley are still wondering who will take up the torch.

Nolan Bushnell, the co-founder of Atari and former Jobs employer, poses the same question in his new book out today called: Finding the Next Steve Jobs - How to Find, Hire, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent.

In a Q&A with AllThingsD, he explains his relationship with Jobs, his excitement for Google Glass and its effect on the gaming industry and the critical importance of skunkworks projects.


Disrupt NY 2013

From April 27th to April 28th, TechCrunch will host a Hackathon and from April 29th to May 1st, they will be bringing Disrupt back to New York to reveal an all new slate of outstanding startups, influential speakers, guests, and more to the stage. For tickets, click here.

Entrepreneurship 101: Building and managing a team

On April 3, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., MaRS is hosting a free session that will cover the skills and capabilities a startup founder must have to grow.

Startup Weekend in Waterloo

Startup Weekend Kitchener-Waterloo runs from April 5 to 7. The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, but organizers can be found in more than 200 cities. Anyone is welcome to pitch a startup idea. Teams organically form around the top ideas (determined by popular vote) and then it’s 54 hours of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. It ends with presentations for local entrepreneurial leaders to get critical feedback.


A key to expansion in China: Come across as more 'Chinese'

In this week's The Challenge, we look at Clevest Solutions Inc., a company that signed a $6-million working agreement with a Chinese company but is worried that cultural differences will pose a threat to the relatively small company.


Reverse mentoring sees the young teach the old

Even in smaller organizations, giving younger workers one-on-one time with their seniors, can be a mutually beneficial arrangement

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