Still scratching your head about blockchain? Wondering how to provide first-class support to your customers? Perplexed by the vocabulary of Uber's founder? Luckily for you, our latest edition of Business Bookmarks addresses all of these problems.
The startup making family meals more manageable
Most adults will agree that having a meal out is a very different experience once parenthood arrives. With little ones to look after, you can pretty much forget about unwinding over some good food and a bottle of fine wine, especially when other diners are throwing you evils every five seconds. It’s this very experience that inspired Melissa Elders to launch Nibble and Squeak, which hosts family-friendly dining events in ten cities around the world… and counting. Fast Company caught up with Elders to find out more about her innovative concept. (Via Fast Company)
Still don’t understand blockchain?
Despite the best efforts of almost every technology news website, many people still don’t understand what blockchain actually is, despite it now having widespread uses in fields such as healthcare, politics and sport. Thankfully, Australian cartoonist First Dog on the Moon (otherwise known as Andrew Marlton) has put pen to paper in a strip for The Guardian explaining, in simple terms, what blockchain is, how it differs to bitcoin, and how it could revolutionize many industries now and in the future. (Via The Guardian)
The “tech bro” slang of Travis Kalanick
Despite Uber’s phenomenal growth, it hasn’t been the best of years for the company. Claims of sexual harassment have seriously harmed the firm’s reputation, with the loss of its London licence serving a further blow to the embattled tech startup. Now, Uber finds itself in the midst of a legal battle with Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle arm, over allegations that it stole trade secrets. With the court case kicking off this week, much has been made of the “tech bro” slang used by ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Business Insider translates it in this handy guide. (Via Business Insider UK)
Our love of emoji? It’s in our DNA
To the casual internet citizen, the torrent of new and unfathomable online slang, idiomatic to younger generations, may seem never-ending. There are GIFs, memes, hashtags, snaps, tweets, and many (many) more. But one of the most well-known, emoji, may not actually be a new method of communication at all. As Wired explains, there’s a very good reason why so many of us feel comfortable using them – and it goes back to the inception of the human species. (Via Wired)
An out-of-the-blue adventure in Albania
Albania, a small and mountainous country nestled between Greece, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia, might not be the first place that comes to mind when looking for a picturesque and relaxing summer getaway. But it should be. Its capital city Tirana is a maze of amazing restaurants, historic architecture and vibrant nightlife, yet the real beauty of Albania lies not in its cities, but on its southern coastline, a short ferry hop from the easy-to-reach Corfu. (Via Rough Guides)
Five-year-olds mark 100 years of suffrage
This week marks 100 years since women (or at least some of them) gained the right to vote in the UK, and to mark it, Channel 4 has released a special, “girls only” episode of its ever-popular documentary The Secret Life of 5-Year-Olds. The episode explores themes around suffrage and gender equality, with the youngsters exploring how women have fought for equal rights and how the role of women has changed over the past century. (Via Channel 4)
Conquer customer service with Zendesk
As more businesses are making their mark in the digital world, there’s no better time to consider software dedicated to customer support. Enter Zendesk, whose features include a help-desk facility to solve customer support tickets, and cloud-based call centre software to provide phone support. However, where Zendesk really comes into its own is the ability to create a knowledge base of your customers’ most commonly asked queries. As a result, you can provide 24-hour support to any existing and potential customers without needing to invest in a dedicated customer support team. (Via Zendesk)
Are your past clients the key to acquisition success?
With client acquisition at the forefront of the majority of businesses, it’s no secret that repeat customers are easier to secure than new ones. This strategy, known as warm market prospecting, focuses on reengaging with people you’ve previously done business with. But how do you go about approaching clients without looking desperate? Brian Hilliard outlines his tried and tested approach to make it work for your business. (Via Entrepreneur)
Managing the impact of the card surcharge ban
Earlier this year, it became illegal for UK businesses to add a surcharge to most debit or credit card purchases. Of those that this new legislation affects, the impact is undoubtedly most significant for small businesses that often relied on the surcharge to cover card transaction fees. If you’re worried about the impact of this on your business, and you’re not sure what your next steps should be, NetPay’s Nicky Hirst offers up her suggestions. (Via The Knowledge Hub)
Why businesses have a duty to do good
“Doing good is good business.” This phrase – or a variation of – will undoubtedly be familiar to anyone who has an interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR), and even those who don’t. More than ever, businesses have a duty to look beyond profitability and consider their wider impact on society and the environment. In this thought-provoking TED talk, Wendy Woods cites the examples of Airbnb, Mars and South Africa’s Standard Bank to demonstrate how companies should now be looking past CSR towards “total societal impact”. (Via TED)