Wednesday, 14 November 2007

How to Become a Millionaire: The Story from Ex-Google Masseuse

Bonnie Brown was fresh from a nasty divorce in 1999, living with her sister and uncertain of her future. On a lark, she answered an ad for an in-house masseuse at Google , then a Silicon Valley start-up with 40 employees. She was offered the part-time job, which started out at $450 a week but included a pile of Google stock options that she figured might never be worth a penny.

After five years of kneading engineers’ backs, Ms. Brown retired, cashing in most of her stock options, which were worth millions of dollars. To her delight, the shares she held onto have continued to balloon in value.

“I’m happy I saved enough stock for a rainy day, and lately it’s been pouring,” said Ms. Brown, 52, who now lives in a 3,000-square-foot house in Nevada, gets her own massages at least once a week and has a private Pilates instructor. She has traveled the world to oversee a charitable foundation she started with her Google wealth and has written a book, still unpublished, “Giigle: How I Got Lucky Massaging Google.”

Saturday, 3 November 2007

How to figure out your next million dollar idea

You may ask yourself. I know I want to start a business. But I don’t really have any idea on what type of business I should start. How can I figure out the best idea for my next million dollar business? How do I begin? Here are 22 ways to research your next million dollar idea:

1. Ask yourself – what really bugs you? What are you looking for? What do you need? What is your biggest pain these days that you wish someone can help and solve?

2. Ask your friends – start with people who are around you. What do they care about? What are their pains? What do they need every day?

3. Ask your parents and families – start with people who love you. What do they care about? What are their pains? What do they need every day?

4. Ask your mentor – Do you have a mentor? Mentor doesn’t have to be your friend or family or parents. A mentor is someone you trust. Someone who can guide you on things that you don’t know. A mentor is someone who wants to help you. Ask this person who he/she would do.

5. Magazine / Newspaper – What is on the headline lately? What do people care about?

6. Send out Survey – Ask people that you don’t know. Ask your friend to forward your survey. What are their pains and what they are looking for?

7. Google / Internet – Research on what is the hottest website or blog lately?

8. Book – What is the hottest books these days? And why?

9. Movie – What is the hottest movie these days? And why?

10. News – what is on the news these days?

11. Your hobby – What do you love doing the most? What do you enjoy the most? Can you turn your hobby into money making businesses?

12. Volunteering – Is there any volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood that you enjoy?

13. Small Business Association / SCORE (Counselor to America Small Business) – Go check out these organizations. They will definitely give you good ideas.

14. Organization /Association – Join association that interest or inspire you. Hang out with people that you want to become one day. They will give you ideas.

15. Favorite TV – what is your favorite TV show? Why do you like it so much? Write it down. It will give you some ideas.

16. Idol – Do you have an idol? Why do you like this person so much? Write it down. It will give you some ideas.

17. Favorite book/comic – Do you have a favorite book or comic? Why do you like this book so much? Write it down. It will give you some ideas.

18. Favorite games – Do you have favorite video games? Why do you like it so much? Write it down. It will give you some ideas.

19. Dislikes – What activities or things that you dislike the most? Would other people also hate it? How can you solve this problem?

20. Travelling – if you are travelling somewhere, ask yourself – what kind of products or services would people over there want? Vice versa – what kind of products or services would people from home want from there?

21. Good Cause – What kind of good cause do you support? Why? Write it down!

22. Favorite leader – Do you have a favorite leader? Why do you like this leader so much? Write it down. It will give you some ideas.

Thx to Youngster Inc

Friday, 2 November 2007

Everyone searches for next Million Dollar Idea. Cisco and Microsoft seek them too.

Cisco has launched a contest that promises to make for some very happy winners.

The Cisco I-Prize is a global competition the company said is designed to help it find the next billion-dollar opportunity. The main requirement is that teams must use Cisco's collaboration technologies to develop their projects. The winning team will get an employment contract with a $250,000 signing bonus and up to $10 million in funding over three years to develop the business.

One aspect of the I-Prize venture that's not a surprise is Cisco's willingness to invest in new ideas; it's one of the most acquisitive tech companies around.

Still, at first glance it might seem odd that Cisco sees the need to make such a large, structured outreach effort for new ideas. After all, the tech industry is littered with venture capital events, startups and entrepreneurs constantly pitching new ideas. But Silicon Valley veteran analyst Tim Bajarin said it makes sense.

"I actually think it's a very smart move," Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, told "The key reason you do this as a contest is that it lets you (Cisco) create the rules that strategically meet the needs of the company and grow its business."

Indeed, the company said one of the premises of the I-Prize contest is that ideas "have the potential to bring in at least $1 billion revenue to Cisco over a five- to seven-year period, and submissions must use the IP network as a platform."

And though Silicon Valley and other tech hot spots across the U.S. are swimming with new ideas, Bajarin said he wouldn't be surprised if the winner comes from outside this country. "The probability of it coming from the U.S. might be less than 35 percent given the global reach of engineering innovation."

Marthin DeBeer, senior vice president of Cisco's emerging technologies group, said in a statement that inventors and entrepreneurs in various parts of the world don't have access to funding but have excellent ideas. "We want to give those innovators an outlet and a means to develop their dream."

Submissions are due between now and Jan. 15. Once chosen, up to a hundred semifinalists will present throughout February a more detailed report on the market opportunity and technology that define their proposed businesses. And between March 15 and April 30, the finalists will present their business plans to a judging panel of "industry luminaries" and Cisco senior executives using Cisco's TelePresence teleconferencing system.

Cisco isn't the only tech outfit extending beyond its boundaries. Microsoft last month announced the Startup Accelerator Program, which gives designated startups access to technical and marketing resources inside Microsoft.

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