A Guide To Pharmacy Spam and Email from Legitimate

Covid-19 update Monday 27th April

Good afternoon from the UK. It’s Monday 27th April.

It was an up and down weekend in the Fwoggie2 household. I went and did a major grocery shop at a Tesco Extra supermarket near me (Tesco = major supermarket chain in the UK) on Friday night. The store has a one way system to navigate round the store and you’re supposed to keep 2m away from anyone else. This is almost impossible I found as I constantly had to back the hell up as people barged in to grab what they wanted and to hell with any one way system. The older they were it seemed (I’m in my 40’s), the less they cared about social distancing. It took me 2.5 hours to finally complete the shop (I had to go back for a few more things on the Saturday morning).
As for Sunday, my wife was well enough to join me and the dog on a hour long walk (we never got within 10 metres of anyone else because we have lots of open countryside outside our front door so social distancing on walks is very easy to do) and the allotment got a major update; it now has 20 more white onions, over 50 red onion seeds, about 60 parsnips (which are notoriously hard to germinate especially in heavy soil like ours but it's worth a try), 7 rosemary plants and about 50 radishes. By the end of this week I hope to plant 75 carrots, 60 spring onions, 45 beetroot. The more we can grow the better; squash, courgettes/zucchini are on the agenda soon too with sweetcorn and brassicas a week or two further down the line.
Life though can twist and turn in an instant; #RIPMark has been trending on UK Twitter todayas Covid-19 takes another victim here in the UK with the death count now well over 21k (if you believe the government stats) or over 41k (if you want to believe the Financial Times instead). To see an example of the British Covid-19 story in three brief tweets, click here. Failing that, please continue to stay at home if at all possible.

Virus news







Supply chain news in depth


While passenger flights stay on ground freight rates are flying high - Stat Times reports that while passengers are going nowhere, there’s considerable demand for airfreight. Airfreight is the most expensive mode of transporting goods, but also the fastest, reliable and secure style of moving it. Roughly, airlines handle just one percent of all the global trade volumes but at the same time enjoy 35 percent of its value. In that sense, the pre-Covid-19 world was pretty sure about what sort of goods must move in the ocean and what in the air. But in the world hit by Covid-19 pandemic, air cargo has moved from the premium mode to the super-premium with freight rates climbing new heights each day it says. Demand for airfreight capacity from the West to China is limited, but large quantities of PPE are coming out of China resulting in rapidly growing rates.
(Cont’d) According to TAC Index, on April 13, 2020, the airlines reportedly charged a new record price of $9.64 per kg to move cargo from Shanghai to Frankfurt compared to $2.46 on March 9, a jump of 291 percent in just one month. Meanwhile, on the Frankfurt-Shanghai route, it fell around normal rates of $1.17per kg as of April 13 compared to $2.78 on February 17, when the rates were at its peak. The average air freight rate to transport goods from Shanghai to Europe is around $8.65 per kg, while from Frankfurt to China is $1.41. The same for Hong Kong to Europe is $4.66 compared to $5.11 on April 6 and $2.58 on March 9. The falling rates from Hong Kong are reportedly due to the new regulations introduced by the Chinese government in April to clamp down the low-quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) exported from the country. The government made it mandatory for PPEs to have customs clearance which pushed the companies to ship them from mainland airports instead of trans-shipping through Hong Kong.
(Cont’d) Airfreight rates on Shanghai-Dallas/Fort Worth route rose to $8.72 per kg on April 13 compared to $4.91 on March 9, while Hong Kong-Dallas is at $4.88 compared to $5.79 on April 6 and $3.53 on March 9. On average, air cargo from Shanghai to the US is now available at $6.92 compared to $3.36 on March 9, an increase of 105 percent in one month. Meanwhile the same from Hong Kong is available at $5.55 per kg compared to $3.35 on March 9. Rates from London to the US stood at $4.04 per kg compared to $1.12 on March 9, an increase of 260 percent, while Frankfurt to the US reported $4.12 compared to $5.31 on March 30, when it witnessed a steady increase of 223 percent, from $1.64 on March 9. While on the other side, from Chicago to European destinations, rates reported an increase of 173 percent. From $0.96 on March 9, it went up to $2.63 per kg on April 13.
(Con’td) It’s not all good news however, with some people priced out of airfreight moving to rail - and liking it. In the meantime, a large section of cargo that used to travel in the air is moving to more predictable rail route between Europe and China. Stakeholders of air cargo fear that a significant amount of cargo will move to rail, permanently. On April 3, 2020, the freight forwarding company, Davies Turner announced that its weekly rail import service from China to the UK has broken previous records in transit times amid demand spike. Philip Stephenson, chairman, Davies Turner said “The impact of Covid-19 will push many shippers to rethink their supply chains, and that could see a lot more Asia-Europe air and ocean freight traffic moving permanently to the rail.”

Coronavirus chokes the drug trade from Wuhan, through Mexico and onto U.S. streets - The LA Times explains Wuhan is known for its production of chemicals, including the ingredients needed to cook fentanyl and other powerful synthetic opioids. Vendors there shipped huge quantities around the world. The biggest customers were Mexican drug cartels, which have embraced fentanyl in recent years because it is cheaper and easier to produce than heroin. But the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan late last year before spreading across the planet has disrupted the fentanyl supply chain, causing a ripple effect that has cut into the profits of Mexican traffickers and driven up street drug prices across the United States. The narcotics trade, which relies on the constant movement of goods and people, has been stymied by lockdowns, travel bans and other efforts to contain the virus, according to government officials, academic researchers and drug traffickers.
(Cont’d) Logan Pauley, a researcher at C4ADS, a Washington-based think tank focused on transnational security, noticed a decrease in advertisements for fentanyl precursors. He said vendors switched to selling other products, including face masks and anti-malarial drugs that some doctors and politicians initially hoped would help treat the coronavirus. The drop in exports has left some Mexican drug producers with less access to needed chemicals. Simultaneously, cartels have encountered another colossal challenge: new restrictions on entry to the United States — the world’s biggest market for illegal drugs. Kameron Korte, a spokeswoman for the San Diego field division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, said fentanyl pills in her region now sell for $7 each, up from $5 a few months ago. The average cost of methamphetamine has risen from $1,000 per pound to $1,400 per pound, she said. Similar price hikes have been seen in other parts of the country. Drug users have grumbled about rising prices on online forums. On a message board on the website Reddit, one person complained that prices of fentanyl pills in Phoenix had nearly doubled. “Border shut = less trafficking,” it said.

Supply chain news in brief













Donations


Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but as you may have read above, food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
UK: https://www.trusselltrust.org/
France: https://www.banquealimentaire.org/
Germany: https://www.tafel.de/
Netherlands: https://www.voedselbankennederland.nl/steun-ons/steun-voedselbank-donatie/
Italy: https://www.bancoalimentare.it/it/node/1
Spain: https://www.fesbal.org/
Australia: https://www.foodbank.org.au/
Canada: https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/
USA: https://www.feedingamerica.org/
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.
submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]

LiveAgent: Making +$250K/month with a Spin-Off Project

Hey! It’s Rich, maker of Failory, a site where we weekly publish startup-related content.
A few days ago I published an interview with David Cacik, the Head of Growth of LiveAgent, a help desk software for customer service. This started as a spin-off project for their main business, but it is now generating 75% of their company’s revenue. PPCs, content marketing, and SEO were some of the strategies that grew the business into revenue of +$250,000 per month.
 
Hi David! What's your background, and what are you currently working on?
Ahoy! I'm David Cacik and I'm the Head of Growth at LiveAgent. I started my first company in high school and then another one in college. I failed the first one and sold the second one and later took an exciting role at LiveAgent. I was the first growth guru to join the company, and helped it grow from $20k to $250k MRR.
LiveAgent helps improve interactions between customers and companies. We are a bootstrapped SaaS, based out of Bratislava, Slovakia (Central Europe). Our competitors are venture funded companies like Zendesk and Freshdesk which makes my job super challenging and attractive.
 
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
When I was 15, me and 2 of my high school buddies started a game hosting company. We were kids and we were selling virtual server space for games like
Counter Strike or World of Warcraft to other kids. We failed and discontinued the project when we all went our separate ways to different universities.
During my studies, I started a new eCommerce project, an online pharmacy with automated delivery of commonly used products like toothbrush, razors, toilet paper etc. Even though I made it to the final of the Student Entrepreneur Awards, I decided to sell the project and move on.
I joined LiveAgent in 2013, and I was employee #10, the 1st and only marketing guy. I was 21 years old, not knowing what I was getting into but I experimented a lot and over the course of 4 years, I’ve helped the company grow from $20k to $250k in Monthly Recurring Revenue.
‍ 
How did you build LiveAgent?
LiveAgent was built as a spin-off project. Our first product was Post Affiliate Pro, an affiliate management platform, which popularity was growing rapidly. We were in the market for a new customer service solution when we realized none of the tools were sufficient. That’s when we started to build LiveAgent. It took 3 years for it to become a multichannel help desk software, like it is today but is still improved daily by new updates pushed by our devs.
We didn’t plan on selling LiveAgent in the early days, we only wanted to use it internally. Some of our customers, mainly B2Bs, were asking us about the support tool we used. That’s how we sold the first license.
Today, LiveAgent makes up 75% of the company’s MRR, overcoming Post Affiliate Pro in both revenue and number of customers.
Both PAP and LiveAgent are built with similar technologies, utilizing PHP & Java as the main programming languages and using MySQL, Kibana, Elastic and also Grafana for performance monitoring.
Our servers run in multiple locations (EU, US, Asia) with multiple providers starting with Linode where most of our accounts run on the fast SSD nodes, AWS where the bigger files are stored. Recently, we started building our own “in-house” server farm in EU to ensure the highest performance possible and increase uptime. We will be migrating our EU customers there soon.
 
Which were your marketing strategies to grow your business?
The initial traction was achieved by upselling former customers. It wasn’t sufficient enough though. In order to be ROI positive, we needed more customers and better growth.
We started experimenting with PPC, content marketing, improving onboarding experience, SEO outbound sales and many more. At first, we didn’t have much success but we were still growing continuously.
We’ve tried Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, Twitter and all kinds of other minor PPC networks. The fact that the average customer value was lower than most of our competitors’ and also that they were literally burning investors’ money with PPCs made it especially hard to compete in the Pay Per Click space. We had to find long tail keywords, and competitor keywords which worked out pretty well (be careful to obey Google’s rules). Generic terms like “customer service software” were super expensive and we’ve burned a lot of cash trying to compete the big players. I would not recommend going down this way for other startups. Eventually, we figured out the keywords that were performing well and we’ve been bidding on them until today.
Do content, they said. So we did - we pushed out valuable, fact-based, well-formatted blog posts supported by infographics and images. 99% of the blog posts didn’t get much traction. In fact, there are only 2-3 articles that rank well on relevant keywords. Doing content right is hard and we have yet to figure it out.
On the other hand, one of the growth strategies, that helped boost growth particularly well, was including LiveAgent in software directories and boosting our presence there. Ever since the beginning, we’ve been a customer-centric company so we had a pretty solid base of satisfied customers. After listing LiveAgent on websites like G2Crowd, Capterra, GetApp or FinancesOnline, we’ve reached out to our audience and invited them to leave a review, good or bad, on one of these websites. We even incentivized their efforts by providing $20 Amazon coupons to everyone who shares their experience. We received hundreds of positive reviews which helped us rank high in comparisons and gained a lot of traffic.
‍ 
What were the biggest challenges you faced and obstacles you overcame?
When we started actively promoting LiveAgent, we quickly realized the big players like Zendesk and Freshdesk dominated the market. We were struggling with positioning ourselves and setting the right USP to stand out. Also, we are a bootstrapped company and we had to compete with companies with more than 300M+ in funding, which didn’t make acquiring customer easy.
Another struggle was finding the right talent. We’ve always had a hard time to find good sales reps and developers.
Recently, we also encountered quite a few problems with our datacenter provider which caused downtimes and we had to restructure our infrastructure completely. Thousands of companies rely on LiveAgent when supporting their end users, including fintech and telco companies, where even seconds matter. We had to invest a lot and act quickly because the consequences could have been fatal.
Last but not least, new competitors are popping up like a mushroom, offering free plans with no viable business model. With that comes a higher demand for better functionality, improved UI and customer experience.
It’s a constant game which is changing and maybe that’s what intrigues me about my work the most, it wouldn’t be so much fun it was that easy, right?
 
Which are your greatest disadvantages?
I think that my biggest disadvantage is that I want to know about everything that’s happening, what our customers are saying, what’s the quality of their interaction with our team, how is our marketing performing on a daily basis and sometimes I get lost in all the information and lack the general image.
At LiveAgent, we try to be disruptive and push out new features very often which sometimes brings complications like bugs or functionality not working 100%. On the other hand, no software is perfect and if somebody says, their software is bug-free, they are lying. Recently, we hired a new software tester so I’m confident this move will help us to deliver more stable releases.
‍ 
During the process of building & growing LiveAgent, which were the worst mistakes you committed?
We should’ve optimized our onboarding process earlier, instead, we focused on adding more features. When we introduced a new getting started guide (which didn’t take much time to implement), we immediately saw a spike in conversions. We definitely should’ve done this earlier.
We hired an agency to help us with our marketing initiatives and failed. They didn’t know the product well enough, they’ve focused on redesigning our pricing plans and website instead of finding new leads which cost us money and work time of our internal team.
We also hired an external team which didn’t work out as well. They knew even less about the product and did not close a single deal. From that moment, we decided to minimize our outsourcing efforts and focused on hiring internally instead.
‍ 
Apart from mistakes, what are other sources for learning you would recommend for entrepreneurs who are just starting?
I recently stumbled upon a group on Facebook called Saas Growth Hacks. It’s a free to join community of entrepreneurs and growth hackers so make sure to check it out. Also, there’s a similar community on Slack, which is paid and called The10xFactory.
As any other growth hacker, I regularly check GrowthHackers. IndieHackers posts a lot of interesting interviews with startup founders which is a great resource.
If you are a bootstrapped company, I also recommend Bootsrapped.fm. You can discuss your ideas and questions on their forum, for free.
Quora offers a ton of valuable content, just search tags like SaaS, eCommerce and you will find a plenty of relevant questions answered by experienced professionals.
‍ 
Where can we go to learn more?
On LiveAgent’s blog, we post lessons on growth, marketing and customer service in B2B so make sure to check it out.
Recently, I started blogging about SaaS Growth Hacking on my personal blog. In my latest post, I wrote about how boosting our presence on software directories brought a 300% spike in MRR.
 
This interview was originally published in Failory.
submitted by richclominson to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Lydia's Master Frugal Obsession List

Hi ladies,
I've become obsessed with frugality and a mentality of "every penny counts" over the past two years. And now as my family begins on the sudden rollercoaster of DINK to One Tenuous Remote Job, 3 Adults, 1 Child, I'm really relying on these methods to make ends meet. It all started with an app that gives you rebates on certain products, but then snowballed into a fairly consuming hobby that has helped me pay off nearly 12K in credit card debt and stockpile my baby goods for next to nothing. I made a spreadsheet for my friends and now... now I share it with you:
Level 1: Rebate Apps I have an iPhone, and these are what work on my device. All are free to download and use from the App Store
Level 2: Store Discount Apps
Level 3: Receipt Apps These apps just want to collect juicy consumer info to sell to marketers on what people in certain areas are buying. But whatever, I just would have thrown the receipt away, and with these I get about $50 each in Amazon credit for basically nothing.
Level 4: Couponing This is the true hobby area. I subscribe to 2 copies of the Sunday paper (the paper often has deals for this, I pay $20 a YEAR for the papers), and follow a few blogs that spoon-feed me the deals. :) If you are really ambitious, you can make a little money back, but I use it mainly for household goods and cheap beauty supplies. I haven't paid for toothpaste, tooth brushes, floss, shampoo, lotion, or nail polish for two years. :)
You can also stack discounts with basic couponing. Like, Target will accept one Target coupon, one manufacturer coupon and a cartwheel for the same item. THEN you can get a rebate from your apps for it, AND scan your receipt for points.
The Krazy Coupon Lady Blog is the best place to start. You can also google "Couponing insert your city" and you'll see some local matchup blogs.
Level 5: Making money! When the pound cake is sleeping, I sometimes take a few minutes to do a survey here or there and sloooowly make some extra cash for Amazon stuff or to chip away at stupid debt.
Level 6: Honorable Mentions
submitted by LydiaDrew to breakingmom [link] [comments]

LiveAgent: Making +$250K in MRR with a Spin-Off Project

Hey! It’s Rich, maker of Failory, a site where we weekly publish startup-related content.
A few days ago I published an interview with David Cacik, the Head of Growth of LiveAgent, a help desk software for customer service. This started as a spin-off project for their main business, but it is now generating 75% of their company’s revenue. PPCs, content marketing, and SEO were some of the strategies that grew the business into revenue of +$250,000 per month.
 
Hi David! What's your background, and what are you currently working on?
Ahoy! I'm David Cacik and I'm the Head of Growth at LiveAgent. I started my first company in high school and then another one in college. I failed the first one and sold the second one and later took an exciting role at LiveAgent. I was the first growth guru to join the company, and helped it grow from $20k to $250k MRR.
LiveAgent helps improve interactions between customers and companies. We are a bootstrapped SaaS, based out of Bratislava, Slovakia (Central Europe). Our competitors are venture funded companies like Zendesk and Freshdesk which makes my job super challenging and attractive.
 
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
When I was 15, me and 2 of my high school buddies started a game hosting company. We were kids and we were selling virtual server space for games like
Counter Strike or World of Warcraft to other kids. We failed and discontinued the project when we all went our separate ways to different universities.
During my studies, I started a new eCommerce project, an online pharmacy with automated delivery of commonly used products like toothbrush, razors, toilet paper etc. Even though I made it to the final of the Student Entrepreneur Awards, I decided to sell the project and move on.
I joined LiveAgent in 2013, and I was employee #10, the 1st and only marketing guy. I was 21 years old, not knowing what I was getting into but I experimented a lot and over the course of 4 years, I’ve helped the company grow from $20k to $250k in Monthly Recurring Revenue.
‍ 
How did you build LiveAgent?
LiveAgent was built as a spin-off project. Our first product was Post Affiliate Pro, an affiliate management platform, which popularity was growing rapidly. We were in the market for a new customer service solution when we realized none of the tools were sufficient. That’s when we started to build LiveAgent. It took 3 years for it to become a multichannel help desk software, like it is today but is still improved daily by new updates pushed by our devs.
We didn’t plan on selling LiveAgent in the early days, we only wanted to use it internally. Some of our customers, mainly B2Bs, were asking us about the support tool we used. That’s how we sold the first license.
Today, LiveAgent makes up 75% of the company’s MRR, overcoming Post Affiliate Pro in both revenue and number of customers.
Both PAP and LiveAgent are built with similar technologies, utilizing PHP & Java as the main programming languages and using MySQL, Kibana, Elastic and also Grafana for performance monitoring.
Our servers run in multiple locations (EU, US, Asia) with multiple providers starting with Linode where most of our accounts run on the fast SSD nodes, AWS where the bigger files are stored. Recently, we started building our own “in-house” server farm in EU to ensure the highest performance possible and increase uptime. We will be migrating our EU customers there soon.
 
Which were your marketing strategies to grow your business?
The initial traction was achieved by upselling former customers. It wasn’t sufficient enough though. In order to be ROI positive, we needed more customers and better growth.
We started experimenting with PPC, content marketing, improving onboarding experience, SEO outbound sales and many more. At first, we didn’t have much success but we were still growing continuously.
We’ve tried Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, Twitter and all kinds of other minor PPC networks. The fact that the average customer value was lower than most of our competitors’ and also that they were literally burning investors’ money with PPCs made it especially hard to compete in the Pay Per Click space. We had to find long tail keywords, and competitor keywords which worked out pretty well (be careful to obey Google’s rules). Generic terms like “customer service software” were super expensive and we’ve burned a lot of cash trying to compete the big players. I would not recommend going down this way for other startups. Eventually, we figured out the keywords that were performing well and we’ve been bidding on them until today.
Do content, they said. So we did - we pushed out valuable, fact-based, well-formatted blog posts supported by infographics and images. 99% of the blog posts didn’t get much traction. In fact, there are only 2-3 articles that rank well on relevant keywords. Doing content right is hard and we have yet to figure it out.
On the other hand, one of the growth strategies, that helped boost growth particularly well, was including LiveAgent in software directories and boosting our presence there. Ever since the beginning, we’ve been a customer-centric company so we had a pretty solid base of satisfied customers. After listing LiveAgent on websites like G2Crowd, Capterra, GetApp or FinancesOnline, we’ve reached out to our audience and invited them to leave a review, good or bad, on one of these websites. We even incentivized their efforts by providing $20 Amazon coupons to everyone who shares their experience. We received hundreds of positive reviews which helped us rank high in comparisons and gained a lot of traffic.
‍ 
What were the biggest challenges you faced and obstacles you overcame?
When we started actively promoting LiveAgent, we quickly realized the big players like Zendesk and Freshdesk dominated the market. We were struggling with positioning ourselves and setting the right USP to stand out. Also, we are a bootstrapped company and we had to compete with companies with more than 300M+ in funding, which didn’t make acquiring customer easy.
Another struggle was finding the right talent. We’ve always had a hard time to find good sales reps and developers.
Recently, we also encountered quite a few problems with our datacenter provider which caused downtimes and we had to restructure our infrastructure completely. Thousands of companies rely on LiveAgent when supporting their end users, including fintech and telco companies, where even seconds matter. We had to invest a lot and act quickly because the consequences could have been fatal.
Last but not least, new competitors are popping up like a mushroom, offering free plans with no viable business model. With that comes a higher demand for better functionality, improved UI and customer experience.
It’s a constant game which is changing and maybe that’s what intrigues me about my work the most, it wouldn’t be so much fun it was that easy, right?
 
Which are your greatest disadvantages?
I think that my biggest disadvantage is that I want to know about everything that’s happening, what our customers are saying, what’s the quality of their interaction with our team, how is our marketing performing on a daily basis and sometimes I get lost in all the information and lack the general image.
At LiveAgent, we try to be disruptive and push out new features very often which sometimes brings complications like bugs or functionality not working 100%. On the other hand, no software is perfect and if somebody says, their software is bug-free, they are lying. Recently, we hired a new software tester so I’m confident this move will help us to deliver more stable releases.
‍ 
During the process of building & growing LiveAgent, which were the worst mistakes you committed?
We should’ve optimized our onboarding process earlier, instead, we focused on adding more features. When we introduced a new getting started guide (which didn’t take much time to implement), we immediately saw a spike in conversions. We definitely should’ve done this earlier.
We hired an agency to help us with our marketing initiatives and failed. They didn’t know the product well enough, they’ve focused on redesigning our pricing plans and website instead of finding new leads which cost us money and work time of our internal team.
We also hired an external team which didn’t work out as well. They knew even less about the product and did not close a single deal. From that moment, we decided to minimize our outsourcing efforts and focused on hiring internally instead.
‍ 
Apart from mistakes, what are other sources for learning you would recommend for entrepreneurs who are just starting?
I recently stumbled upon a group on Facebook called Saas Growth Hacks. It’s a free to join community of entrepreneurs and growth hackers so make sure to check it out. Also, there’s a similar community on Slack, which is paid and called The10xFactory.
As any other growth hacker, I regularly check GrowthHackers. IndieHackers posts a lot of interesting interviews with startup founders which is a great resource.
If you are a bootstrapped company, I also recommend Bootsrapped.fm. You can discuss your ideas and questions on their forum, for free.
Quora offers a ton of valuable content, just search tags like SaaS, eCommerce and you will find a plenty of relevant questions answered by experienced professionals.
‍ 
Where can we go to learn more?
On LiveAgent’s blog, we post lessons on growth, marketing and customer service in B2B so make sure to check it out.
Recently, I started blogging about SaaS Growth Hacking on my personal blog. In my latest post, I wrote about how boosting our presence on software directories brought a 300% spike in MRR.
 
This interview was originally published in Failory.
submitted by richclominson to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Making +$250K in MRR with a Spin-Off Project

Hey /EntrepreneurialRideAlong! It's Rich, maker of [Failory](failory.com), the site where we weekly publish content for entrepreneurs and startup founders.
A few weeks ago we published a really interesting interview with David Cacik, Head of Growth at LiveAgent, a SaaS that improves interactions between customers and companies and makes +$250,000/month.
Learn about their successes and mistakes!
 
Hi David! What's your background, and what are you currently working on?
Ahoy! I'm David Cacik and I'm the Head of Growth at LiveAgent. I started my first company in high school and then another one in college. I failed the first one and sold the second one and later took an exciting role at LiveAgent. I was the first growth guru to join the company, and helped it grow from $20k to $250k MRR.
LiveAgent helps improve interactions between customers and companies. We are a bootstrapped SaaS, based out of Bratislava, Slovakia (Central Europe). Our competitors are venture funded companies like Zendesk and Freshdesk which makes my job super challenging and attractive.
 
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
When I was 15, me and 2 of my high school buddies started a game hosting company. We were kids and we were selling virtual server space for games like
Counter Strike or World of Warcraft to other kids. We failed and discontinued the project when we all went our separate ways to different universities.
During my studies, I started a new eCommerce project, an online pharmacy with automated delivery of commonly used products like toothbrush, razors, toilet paper etc. Even though I made it to the final of the Student Entrepreneur Awards, I decided to sell the project and move on.
I joined LiveAgent in 2013, and I was employee #10, the 1st and only marketing guy. I was 21 years old, not knowing what I was getting into but I experimented a lot and over the course of 4 years, I’ve helped the company grow from $20k to $250k in Monthly Recurring Revenue.
‍ 
How did you build LiveAgent?
LiveAgent was built as a spin-off project. Our first product was Post Affiliate Pro, an affiliate management platform, which popularity was growing rapidly. We were in the market for a new customer service solution when we realized none of the tools were sufficient. That’s when we started to build LiveAgent. It took 3 years for it to become a multichannel help desk software, like it is today but is still improved daily by new updates pushed by our devs.
We didn’t plan on selling LiveAgent in the early days, we only wanted to use it internally. Some of our customers, mainly B2Bs, were asking us about the support tool we used. That’s how we sold the first license.
Today, LiveAgent makes up 75% of the company’s MRR, overcoming Post Affiliate Pro in both revenue and number of customers.
Both PAP and LiveAgent are built with similar technologies, utilizing PHP & Java as the main programming languages and using MySQL, Kibana, Elastic and also Grafana for performance monitoring.
Our servers run in multiple locations (EU, US, Asia) with multiple providers starting with Linode where most of our accounts run on the fast SSD nodes, AWS where the bigger files are stored. Recently, we started building our own “in-house” server farm in EU to ensure the highest performance possible and increase uptime. We will be migrating our EU customers there soon.
 
Which were your marketing strategies to grow your business?
The initial traction was achieved by upselling former customers. It wasn’t sufficient enough though. In order to be ROI positive, we needed more customers and better growth.
We started experimenting with PPC, content marketing, improving onboarding experience, SEO outbound sales and many more. At first, we didn’t have much success but we were still growing continuously.
We’ve tried Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, Twitter and all kinds of other minor PPC networks. The fact that the average customer value was lower than most of our competitors’ and also that they were literally burning investors’ money with PPCs made it especially hard to compete in the Pay Per Click space. We had to find long tail keywords, and competitor keywords which worked out pretty well (be careful to obey Google’s rules). Generic terms like “customer service software” were super expensive and we’ve burned a lot of cash trying to compete the big players. I would not recommend going down this way for other startups. Eventually, we figured out the keywords that were performing well and we’ve been bidding on them until today.
Do content, they said. So we did - we pushed out valuable, fact-based, well-formatted blog posts supported by infographics and images. 99% of the blog posts didn’t get much traction. In fact, there are only 2-3 articles that rank well on relevant keywords. Doing content right is hard and we have yet to figure it out.
On the other hand, one of the growth strategies, that helped boost growth particularly well, was including LiveAgent in software directories and boosting our presence there. Ever since the beginning, we’ve been a customer-centric company so we had a pretty solid base of satisfied customers. After listing LiveAgent on websites like G2Crowd, Capterra, GetApp or FinancesOnline, we’ve reached out to our audience and invited them to leave a review, good or bad, on one of these websites. We even incentivized their efforts by providing $20 Amazon coupons to everyone who shares their experience. We received hundreds of positive reviews which helped us rank high in comparisons and gained a lot of traffic.
‍ 
What were the biggest challenges you faced and obstacles you overcame?
When we started actively promoting LiveAgent, we quickly realized the big players like Zendesk and Freshdesk dominated the market. We were struggling with positioning ourselves and setting the right USP to stand out. Also, we are a bootstrapped company and we had to compete with companies with more than 300M+ in funding, which didn’t make acquiring customer easy.
Another struggle was finding the right talent. We’ve always had a hard time to find good sales reps and developers.
Recently, we also encountered quite a few problems with our datacenter provider which caused downtimes and we had to restructure our infrastructure completely. Thousands of companies rely on LiveAgent when supporting their end users, including fintech and telco companies, where even seconds matter. We had to invest a lot and act quickly because the consequences could have been fatal.
Last but not least, new competitors are popping up like a mushroom, offering free plans with no viable business model. With that comes a higher demand for better functionality, improved UI and customer experience.
It’s a constant game which is changing and maybe that’s what intrigues me about my work the most, it wouldn’t be so much fun it was that easy, right?
 
Which are your greatest disadvantages?
I think that my biggest disadvantage is that I want to know about everything that’s happening, what our customers are saying, what’s the quality of their interaction with our team, how is our marketing performing on a daily basis and sometimes I get lost in all the information and lack the general image.
At LiveAgent, we try to be disruptive and push out new features very often which sometimes brings complications like bugs or functionality not working 100%. On the other hand, no software is perfect and if somebody says, their software is bug-free, they are lying. Recently, we hired a new software tester so I’m confident this move will help us to deliver more stable releases.
‍ 
During the process of building & growing LiveAgent, which were the worst mistakes you committed?
We should’ve optimized our onboarding process earlier, instead, we focused on adding more features. When we introduced a new getting started guide (which didn’t take much time to implement), we immediately saw a spike in conversions. We definitely should’ve done this earlier.
We hired an agency to help us with our marketing initiatives and failed. They didn’t know the product well enough, they’ve focused on redesigning our pricing plans and website instead of finding new leads which cost us money and work time of our internal team.
We also hired an external team which didn’t work out as well. They knew even less about the product and did not close a single deal. From that moment, we decided to minimize our outsourcing efforts and focused on hiring internally instead.
‍ 
Apart from mistakes, what are other sources for learning you would recommend for entrepreneurs who are just starting?
I recently stumbled upon a group on Facebook called Saas Growth Hacks. It’s a free to join community of entrepreneurs and growth hackers so make sure to check it out. Also, there’s a similar community on Slack, which is paid and called The10xFactory.
As any other growth hacker, I regularly check GrowthHackers. IndieHackers posts a lot of interesting interviews with startup founders which is a great resource.
If you are a bootstrapped company, I also recommend Bootsrapped.fm. You can discuss your ideas and questions on their forum, for free.
Quora offers a ton of valuable content, just search tags like SaaS, eCommerce and you will find a plenty of relevant questions answered by experienced professionals.
‍ 
Where can we go to learn more?
On LiveAgent’s blog, we post lessons on growth, marketing and customer service in B2B so make sure to check it out.
Recently, I started blogging about SaaS Growth Hacking on my personal blog. In my latest post, I wrote about how boosting our presence on software directories brought a 300% spike in MRR.
 
This interview was originally published in Failory.
submitted by richclominson to EntrepreneurRideAlong [link] [comments]

Orange County Ballots Local issues explained

I couldn't find any website that had all the information. So while I was filling out my ballot I put all the information I could find in one place. Some of the format is off, but I couldn't upload the word document.
United State Senator
• Patrick Murphy (D) o Education: Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami with a double major in Accounting and Finance. o Top Priority: Florida’s Economy  Florida needs to adapt and grow its economy by becoming a center for green energy innovation. We need to invest in infrastructure shore up our bridges and roads and provide the foundation for the high-tech economy of the future. Finally, we need to protect the industries that have always been vital to Florida’s economy. In the U.S. Senate, I will promote small business, protect our environment to keep our beaches and water beautiful for our tourism industry, stand with Florida’s farmers, and fight for fair trade.” o Other important issues: Healthcare, Climate Change, Gun violence, Womens Rights  “Protecting Social Security and Medicare for our Seniors: After a lifetime of paying into Social Security and Medicare, our seniors have a right to these vital programs and I will always fight to strengthen and protect them. I will oppose all benefit cuts to Social Security, including privatization, raising the retirement age, means testing, and cutting cost-of-living adjustments. On Medicare, I will preserve seniors’ freedom to choose their own doctor, their own health plan, and their own pharmacy.  Combating Climate Change: Climate change is a serious threat to our way of life and Florida is directly impacted. In the U.S. Senate, I will fight to protect our environment and push for investment in green energy. I will oppose offshore oil drilling along Florida's coast, fracking in the Everglades, and seismic testing in our waters.  Preventing Gun Violence: We need commonsense measures to gun violence. Along with most Floridians, I support background checks for online, gun show, and private gun purchases. I am also strongly in favor of closing the terrorist gun loophole and preventing suspected terrorists from purchasing guns.  Defending a Woman’s Right to Choose: Women should have full control over their own health care decisions. I am strongly pro-choice and will always fight to defend a woman’s access to essential health care services. I also support family planning services like Planned Parenthood.”
• Marco Rubio (R) o Education: University of Miami Law (J.D.) University of Florida (B.A.) o Top priority: War  Keeping our country safe from threats at home and abroad will remain my top priority if re-elected. I will work to undo the disastrous policies put in place by President Obama, including the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, his accommodation of Vladimir Putin's efforts to expand Russian influence, the weakening of critical intelligence programs, and massive defense cuts that have handicapped every branch of our military. o Other important issues: Repealing Obamacare, Nuclear Deal, Radical Islam  “I am committed to repealing Obama’s harmful policies, including the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, the weakening of critical intelligence programs, and massive defense cuts that have handicapped every branch of our military.  I am the only candidate that understands that national security is the number one issue we face as Americans and I understand that the threat of radical Islam is real and will only continue to grow. I am committed to ensuring that the people of Florida are safe and secure.” • Paul Stanton (L) o Education: High School o Top priority: Peace  I will work towards peace by introducing legislation to end presidential war powers without an immediate threat and congressional consent. o I’m just going to stop there
Representative in Congress District 10
• Thuy Lowe (R) o Not much information on her o Lost her last election in 2014 o Lowe, a longtime school volunteer in Lake County who operated a medical transportation company, argued her experience and community connections will help her overcome Demings' advantages.
• Val Demings (D) o Education: B.S. in Criminology from FSU; M.A. Public Administration from Webster University o Top Priority: Safety  The security of our nation and the safety of our neighborhoods is my number one priority in Congress. I am committed to improving the criminal justice system. We need stronger laws to prevent gun-violence, that will keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, and prevent mass shootings.
Clerk of Courts
• Tiffany Moore Russell (D) o Education  Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law (1999); Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of South Florida (1996)  Top Priority: Expand access to court system • “My top priority is to 1: Continue to increase access to the Court system by self-litigants; 2. Enhance the customer's experience and 3. Expand on services through the use of technology.”
• Daisy Arus (No party affiliation) o Education:  University of Phoenix Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management - 2003  Valencia CollegeA.A. Degree in General Studies o Top Priority: Change?  “As the newly elected Orange County Clerk of the Courts my goal, duty, and responsibility will be to implement a new mission statement that clearly states the expectations for everyone, raising the standards across the board. The focus would be to promote efficiency, accuracy, and integrity, while embracing diversity to build the trust of every citizen. My expectation will be to service all equally and respectfully, to strive continuously to give exemplary customer service and I would start by evaluating unnecessary surcharges, create an internal auditing team for the accuracy of documentations, streamline processes for efficiency and cost effective services, and create methods that will have less wait or turnaround times. Address typical complaints such as the need of interpreters, operating hours, response time and user friendly online services. Keep focus on creating a positive respected organization while providing service to our diverse community.”  “I would rework the structure of the organization to better serve the needs of all our customers and diligently build all the necessary relationships and alliances to create unity in our community. Focus on being proactive and create solutions in all our efforts.”
Sheriff
• Spike Hopkins (R) o Top priority: Change  Permanent police in neighborhoods  Transparency: body cameras  App that will tell you what’s going on
• Jerry Demings (D) o Education  Master of Business Administration, Orlando College (Everest University)  B.S. Finance, Florida State University  AA, Florida State University  Certificate of Completion - Harvard University JFK School of Government  FBI National Academy graduate o Top Priority: Balance Budget, pay raise for deputies, 200 new hires  “My first priority upon being re-elected will be to continue fighting crime and begin negotiations for the 2017-18 fiscal year budget to include pay increases for my deputies. I anticipate hiring 200 new deputies within the next year.” o Other Priorities: community policing initiatives, counter terrorism, federal funding
Property Appraiser
• Edward DeAguilera (R) o Education  graduated from Bishop Moore High School. He went on to study political science and public relations at the University of Central Florida and earned his B.S. in political studies from Columbia College in 2010 o Top Priority: Economy  reduce the burden of taxes on Florida’s business and families and improving Florida’s business climate to promote economic development. Small business owners spend countless of hours on over burdensome government bureaucracy and regulations. The entrepreneur is the key to the success, the small business is the backbone of our economy. We must make sure that government does not obstruct the entrepreneur spirit but rather nurture – the Small business of today are the Fortune 500 companies of tomorrow.
• Rick Singh (D) o Very limited information online o Overturned a county charter that made the office and other elected positions non partisan o 20 years ago, he joined the Orange County Property Appraiser’s office, and became a State-Certified Residential Appraiser. He left the office in 1996 to pursue his entrepreneurial interests in real estate. o Since taking office, Rick has returned more than $550 million to the Orange County Tax Roll by vigorously pursuing fraudulent exemption claims, and has done all this while reducing his office budget and returning over $5 million to the county. o Has two questionable legal issues  One involving denial of theft charges when he was younger and lying on an official application  The second involves routing money through his state seminars to his daughter’s charities
Supervisor of Elections
• Bill Cowles (D) o Education:  Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from UCF – 1976  CERA – Certified Election Registration Administrator from Auburn University – 2014 o Top Priority: Keeping the office non partisan  “As the current Supervisor of Elections, I will continue to ensure that this office continues to be run in a fair, balanced, professional, and non-partisan manner. As demonstrated, we will continue to look for the best practices around the country to make the process more efficient, keep current and evaluate changes to our procedures, and explore new technology; i.e. we will be preparing for the new on-line voter registration process coming in the fall of 2017.”
• Della Davis (NPA) o Education  B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida  Master of Public Administration degree specializing in Local Government Management from Walden University  Graduate Certificate in Project Management  Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management (Oct 2016) o Top Priority: Online Voter Registration  Online voter registration begins in October, and I will be working to make sure that the organization is prepared for the internal changes that come with it, as well as disseminating information about this new feature to Orange County citizens. o Has no current occupation o experience is volunteerism.
State Supreme Court- should they stay?
The Florida Bar also asked members personally familiar with these judges whether they should be retained.
• Charles T Canady o recommended by 84 percent of lawyers personally familiar with those justices' performance.
• Jorge Labarga o Labarga was recommended for retention by 91 percent of respondents with considerable or at least limited knowledge of the justice.
• Ricky Polston o recommended by 84 percent of lawyers personally familiar with those justices' performance.
• Jay Cohen o recommended for retention by 86 percent of respondents
• James Edwards o was endorsed by 86 percent.
• Brian Lambert o got the nod from 83 percent
• Vincent Torpy o scored highest at 87 percent
Circuit Judge 9 Group 4
• Luis Calderon o Education  BSBA with Highest Honors, University of Florida; Juris Doctor, Georgetown University Law Center o Top Priority: Service  To serve the community, uphold the U.S. Constitution, the Florida Constitution and the laws of this State. o I have handled thousand of cases and represented countless clients and have conducted numerous trials in Criminal and Civil cases in both State and Federal Courts. I have also demonstrated through over ten years of legal practice, exemplary skills and ethics in my profession earning the recognition of my peers and clients by being named one of the top 100 Lawyers in the Nation since 2013 and by maintaining a perfect '10' rating with online Attorney rating service, AVVO.
• Joseph Haynes Davis o Education  J.D. Rutgers Law School, Camden, NJ, 1996  M.S.W. University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work, Philadelphia, PA, 1992  B.S (Communications/Journalism) Illinois State University, Normal, IL, 1981 o Top Priority: Public Trust  To continue to uphold the “public’s trust” which is what is expected from a circuit court judge. o I have the qualifications, and the needed temperament and the experience and understanding of the “public’s trust”, all of which are important for a competent, well balanced, and successful judicial candidate. If elected, I am committed to giving the public sound and well-reasoned decisions from the bench in a timely manner, and running the courtroom efficiently, thereby demonstrating an understanding of the “public’s trust”, and acting professionally at all times by demonstrating the necessary temperament and understanding of the law as set forth and passed by the legislature of the state of Florida. o I have practice experience Commercial and Residential Real Property Closings, Mortgage Law, Title Insurance, Probate and Guardianship and Mental Health law, Business Formation and Consulting, Civil and Criminal Litigation and all trial matters both criminal and civil, Real Estate, Personal Injury, Estate Planning, Bankruptcy, and Family Law. Like the rotating circuit court judicial seat that I seek in the August 30, 2016 election, I have developed the requisite skills and knowledge base for a circuit court judge by having legal experience in multiple areas in my law practice. I have been court-appointed by Orange and Osceola Counties in probate and mental health and criminal. I have also been appointed as a Value Adjustment Board Attorney-Special Magistrate since 2008 by 16 of the 67 counties in the state of Florida by those counties’ Value Adjustment Boards and have conducted hundreds of hearings as an impartial attorney magistrate when the citizen-property owners of Florida have matters against those counties and their property appraisers. As a result of the aforementioned, I am the most qualified candidate in this race. •
County Judge Group 1
• Eric Dubois o Education  B.A. International Studies- University of South Florida  Juris Doctor- Barry University 2004 o Top Priority: Equality  My priority is to treat every person that comes before me in my Courtroom with dignity, respect and civility. To treat all persons equally regardless of why they are in court or if they have an attorney with them or not. To ensure everyone has their day in Court and leaves with a sense of having their case heard in a fair and timely fashion. o “I am the only candidate in Group 1 who manages both civil and criminal cases on a regular basis and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified mediator. I believe I have the demeanor and temperament to treat all persons fairly and equally. I am proud to have been endorsed by over 200 lawyers and 18 Past Presidents of the Orange County Bar Association.”
• Michael Gibson o “has most experience” o “Never counted but nearly 200 jury trials” o “Teach young attorneys” o http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/orl-orange-county-judge-group-1-michael-gibson-20160726-story.html
County Judge Group 4
• David Johnson o http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/orl-orange-county-judge-group-4-david-johnson-20160726-story.html o Gets along with daughter who goes to Florida State
• Tom Young o Education  McMurry College, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with emphasis in Government and English (Magna Cum Laude 1987)  Texas Tech University School of Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence (Cum Laude and Order of the Coif 1990) o Top Priority: Efficiency  I will work to improve the efficiency and service in the Orange County Court. My record over the course of 26 years illustrates better than words the substance of my character and the work ethic, care, and respect that will characterize my service as Orange County Judge. o I have actively practiced law for 26 years. I have broad and complex litigation and trial experience, having tried cases in several different areas of law: contracts, professional negligence, personal injury, products liability, and estates and trusts, among others. I also have broad experience in appellate practice, which involves recognizing and dealing with error committed by lower courts and presenting argument concerning the presence or absence of such error. As an appellate lawyer, I not only handle appeals but also consult with other lawyers about issues pending in the trial court that may end up on appeal. The remainder of my practice consists of civil litigation, employment law, general business, professional conduct, and pro bono representation of abused and neglected children. •
County Judge Group 5
• Frank George o Education  B.A. Flagler College, 1987; J.D. Thomas M. Cooley Law, Lansing, MI, 1991 o Top Priority  My top priority will be to be fully prepared, treat everyone with equal respect and bring trust to those that come into my court that justice will be done; For many that come to County Court, it is their first interaction with the Court system; thus, it is vitally important that people feel the administration of justice ran smoothly and fairly and that everyone felt that they had the opportunity to be heard. o With expereince in criminal defense, civil law, dependency law and criminal prosecution, I have had a well-rounded career that I will bring to the County bench. My expereince in trying over twenty murder trials as well as sex crimes and child abuse cases gives me the ability to put all cases in proper persepctive. I have earned the respect and support of the majoity of the criminal defense bar, the civil bar, as well as the endorsement of two retired Circuit Court judges.
• Evellen Jewett o Education  University of Florida B.A. political science/journalism  University of Florida J.D. o Top Priority  My top priority if elected is to set the tone running a fair, respectful and efficient courtroom where the judicial system will serve the public by providing a forum to resolve disputes in a manner where people, defendants and victims alike, will feel they were heard and treated fairly. I would also have an open door policy so that the new attorneys who tend to be assigned to County Court could get feedback after their trials to help improve their skills. Skilled lawyers better serve their community. o County Court is not about power, it’s about service. It deals in a high volume of smaller matters that are very important to those directly involved. I have spent 27 years fighting for and protecting the rights of individuals and families and have represented thousands of clients in all manner of cases. In 2015 I was certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Family Law Mediator. Mediation training emphasizes good problem solving skills and the ability to listen. Being a good listener is the key to being a good County Court Judge. A judge should have legal knowledge, consistency, respect for all people AND their time, a patient temperament, and a measured sense of justice. I have all of these attributes and am ready to work for you. •
County Commissioners
• Robert Olszewski o Education  Dr. Phillips High School  University of Central Florida, Double Major in Radio/Television (B.A.) and Organizational Communication (B.A).  Rollins College, Corporate Communication & Technology (M.A.)  Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Management (M.S.)  Northcentral University, Ph.D. in Business Administration o Top Priority  My top priority when elected is putting “Residents and Community First” back in Orange County. o I have been elected twice by West Orange County residents to serve as a Winter Garden Commissioner. The city of Winter Garden has enjoyed the highest property value growth in all of Orange County the past two years with smart, planned, and balanced growth, becoming the third largest city in Orange County with almost 40,000 residents. o My family does not own any land in the district that needs to be developed, nor does my employer make a dime off of any vote that I make, as I truly will put "Residents and Community First." It is critical that we maintain the unique feel and charm of our neighborhoods which makes our communities our home.
• Betsy VanderLey o Boone High School grad, then Valencia Community College (now Valencia College) o Top Priority: Growth  District 1 is one of the fastest growing areas in Orange County, priority number 1 is managing that growth. That will include using school impact fees in the area they are collected so we can get schools built faster, dealing with the traffic and infrastructure impacts created, and protect our historic areas and rural settlements so those residents can enjoy the quality of life they expected when they purchased their homes. o I have been a small business owner and have experienced firsthand government overreach. I have volunteered my time for many worthy not for profits and also for Orange County on Planning and Zoning and Affordable Housing boards. I have a demonstrated track record of getting involved to make my community a better place. I am not a career politician. This is the first time I have ever run for office. I am doing so because I believe we need to be represented by someone who wants to serve the community and has the knowledge, history and skills to do so, not by a career politician. o
Soil and Water Conservation Group 1
• Michael D. Barber o Education  Winter Park High School 2004; University of Central Florida, Bachelors, 2008; University of Florida, Juris Doctorate, 2011. o Top Priority: Lobby federal funding  To lobby our local, state, and federal leaders to allocate funds and resources to the cause of establishing long-term, and sustainable, management and conservation practices for our fresh water supplies in the State of Florida.  Believes that right to clean water will be won not behind a podium, but in the court rooms.
• Maria Bolton-Joubert o in order to ensure the long-term clean water needs for Orange County, to advocate that Orange County become a state leader in renewable energy for increased job growth, to highlight financial savings by converting to low maintenance native plants, and to promote additional community gardens.
• Stary Grayson o Alan Grayson‘s 17-year-old daughter o will turn 18 in November, before the Nov. 8 election. o member last year of the Olympia High School National Honor Society •
Soil and Water Conservation Group 3
• Cynthia Ellenburg o Education  attended both Evans and Colonial High School graduating in 1976 then received my Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene at Valencia Community College. o Top Priority:  As Supervisor of the Orange Soil and Water Conservation, I plan to work with legislators to find a middle ground that allows the county and state to utilize resources while protect our environment, resolve and manage issues of concern with water quality and the environment, and most importantly use my platform to be a voice for the citizens of our community.
• Nicole Victoria McLaren o Education  Nicole Victoria McLaren is a native Orlando and a graduate of West Orange High School, Florida A&M University, and Levin College of Law. o In 2012, the voters of Orange County overwhelmingly elected Nicole Victoria McLaren to serve as an Orange Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. with over 196,000 votes.
• Jimm Middleton o Education  Degrees in Information Technology and Applied Behavioral Science o Top Priority: No Flint Here  “"NO FLINT HERE!" We cannot permit the breakdown in government oversight, and activities considered criminal, that occurred in Flint, Michigan causing a crisis and contamination to their water to happen here. Keeping our water safe and embarking upon a mission to include routine maintenance of existing systems are my primary goals.”
Soil and Water Conservation Group 5
• Steven Laune Beurner o Education  Graduated Wayne State University, School of Labor and Industrial Relations o Top Priority: Pollution  I view three issues as key to my efforts if re-elected. The first is the issue of water. Florida is in the midst of a real water crisis. The state is allowing more toxic chemicals in our water, our water supply is definitely limited, not enough conservation efforts are being done and pollution in many of our fresh water is creating huge problems on our coastal areas. Second is promotion of community gardens. This is an opportunity for people to have access to healthy fruits and vegetables. It is also a great way to make an impact on stemming climate change, as every new plant begins to take CO2 out of the atmosphere. And third is to continue to advocate for greater education about the environment so that people understand their interaction and their impact—both positive and negative.
• Dustin Bowersett o University of Central Florida, Bachelors, 2012 o 26 o Top Priority: 2014 Amendment 1 issues  Instead of using the Amendment 1 funds for new projects, the Legislature is using the funds to plug holes in underfunded conservation programs. The misuse of Amendment 1 funds has caused the Florida Wildlife Federation, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida and the Sierra Club to file a joint lawsuit accusing lawmakers of violating the constitution by misspending $237 million in money in Amendment 1 funds intended for water and land conservation. At best, 80% of the Amendment 1 funds are going to conservation related expenses.
• Richard-Paul Danner o No real information other than an empty facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/richardpaul.danner
• Tiffany S. Dziekan o Education  Bachelors degree from University of South Florida o Top Priority: Community Outreach  My top priority would be to increase community outreach and fundraising. That will provide funds for the board to implement various projects that will benefit Orange County soil and water. Due to lack of state and county funding, the board needs to increase its fundraising if it wants to have money to bring its ideas to life.
Amendments:
What is Amendment 1?
Vote no on 1!
Amendment 1 "establishes a right under Florida's constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use," per the amendment's own summary language. "State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do."
That would have meant fewer utility customers, and so Amendment 1 was born, backed by the utility companies that stood to lose ratepayers. This amendment caused confusion during the petition-gathering process, eventually leading to it getting enough signatures to get on the ballot while the energy-leasing amendment failed to do so.
So, Amendment 1 is backed by utility companies?
Consumers for Smart Solar, the committee behind Amendment 1, has received more than $21 million in contributions, making this the second-most expensive amendment drive in state history. (The first was a medical malpractice amendment in 2004 that had both doctors and attorneys contributing millions, eventually coming to a $23 million record.)
Almost all of the $21 million for Amendment 1 has come from energy companies and their industry allies. Florida Power and Light contributed $5.5 million, good for second-largest contributor to the committee. The largest is Duke Energy with $5.7 million. Gulf Power and the Tampa Electric Company contributed seven-figure sums as well.
Wasn't Amendment 4 in the primary election about solar energy?
Yes. That was an entirely different amendment that, now that it passed, will allow property owners to install renewable energy devices on their property and not have those additions count toward the property's taxable value.
What's Amendment 2?
Amendment 2 would legalize medical marijuana in Florida for people with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, ALS or "other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated," according to the ballot.
Don't we already have medical marijuana in Florida?
To an extent. In 2014, the Legislature legalized some strains of marijuana low in THC, the chemical in cannabis that produces a high, for epilepsy and cancer. Last year, it legalized full-scale medical marijuana, but only for people who had a year or less to live. And only six vendors in the state are allowed to grow and dispense the marijuana in either case.
Didn't we vote on this before?
Yes. A similar but less restrictive medical marijuana amendment was on the ballot in 2014 but got only 58 percent of the vote. Constitutional amendments need 60 percent of the vote to pass.
Would Amendment 2 allow legalized pot for everyone?
No. Opponents of the amendment have drawn comparisons to medical marijuana laws in California, but the law there is far broader than the proposed constitutional amendment in Florida.
Will there be marijuana dispensaries on every corner?
That depends. Under the amendment, there are no regulations about how many dispensaries can operate in an area. But the state Legislature, local governments and the state Department of Health will all weigh in on this. It's unlikely any municipality will let this go entirely unregulated, and some could ban dispensaries within certain areas.
What about Amendment 3?
This amendment adds first responders who are permanently and completely disabled in the line of duty to the list of people who qualify for an exemption from property taxes. That would be in addition to the $50,000 homestead exemption. Florida voters have previously given such an exemption to surviving spouses of veterans and first responders killed in the line of duty. It's unknown how much tax money this would cost the state. The amendment requires the Legislature to separately pass a bill granting the tax exemption, and estimates of revenue losses will come once the Legislature has such a bill on the table.
Finally, what's Amendment 5?
Iin 2012, voters approved a property tax exemption for Floridians age 65 and older living in a home worth less than $250,000 who have lived in that home for at least 25 years and make less than $20,000 a year. This amendment clarifies that the home value that counts toward the property exemption is the value when the resident first applies for the exemption. There have been issues since the passage of the amendment in which home value rises and suddenly these elderly folks who had been counting on not paying property taxes are assessed taxes on a home that is now worth more than $250,000. If passed, this amendment would change the constitution so that rising and falling property values would not catch poor, elderly Floridians unaware.
Charter Amendments
Orange County voters prefer to choose their sheriff, tax collector and other constitutional officers in elections where party affiliations are less important, they must revise their charter. The charter is essentially the county's constitution and can only be changed by a majority vote for a proposed amendment. Voters will have three such amendments to consider Nov. 8. Amendments Two and Three deal with the same issue: changing elections for constitutional offices to nonpartisan contests in which candidates are not identified on the ballot as a Democrat, a Republican or other party affiliation. Those ballot questions also would impose term limits. Q: But didn't voters already decide these issue? A: Yes, in 2014. But Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh, Sheriff Jerry Demings and Tax Collector Scott Randolph sued to overturn the controversial measure, which got 71 percent of the vote. They argued the amendment confused and misled voters by mixing the issues of term limits and nonpartisan races in one ballot question. A judge decided in May the change clashed with state law. That decision is being appealed. The Charter Review Commission, a group of citizens appointed by county commissioners to examine issues and recommend changes, drafted a pair of amendments that they say will protect the "will of the people" who voted in 2014. Amendment Two also would turn constitutional officers into charter officers, a change that those six elected officials say would threaten the independence of their offices. Q: Are nonpartisan elections better for the constitutional offices of clerk of courts, comptroller, property appraiser, sheriff, supervisor of elections and tax collector? A: Not if you're a Democrat candidate. Orange County has tilted sharply to the left in the past decade, a fact that gives Democrats an edge in a partisan race where a candidate's party affiliation is listed on the ballot, too. Supporters of nonpartisan elections argue that politics should not matter to voters choosing the best candidate to evaluate property, maintain court records or enforce the law. If the measures pass, the sheriff and other constitutional officers would be limited to four consecutive four-year terms. Q: But why two ballot issues on the same topic? A: Kevin Shaughnessy, chairman of the Charter Review Commission, described the two measures as "belt and suspenders," saying they accomplish the same thing differently. Both amendments seek to preserve the 2014 vote on nonpartisan races and term limits in case an appellate ruling goes against the county and in case the Legislature intervenes. The charter commission hopes voters approve both while the League of Women Voters has urged the electorate to turn down both. Q: What's the issue with Amendment One? A: It would make it much harder for private citizens to put a proposed charter change on the ballot for fellow voters to consider. That's usually done by collecting thousands of signatures. Though it's only been done twice in the 30 years since Orange County adopted its charter, some of those who drafted the change say the process lacks transparency and can be hijacked by special interests who pay to round up signatures. Opponents argue that the changes are not about fairness or transparency, but designed to prevent citizens from changing rules. They say the proposal grew out of a citizen-initiative to require employers to provide paid sick leave to workers, a measure opposed by the theme parks and other business interests. The proposed measure would add new rules. For instance, if the charter group's proposal passes, a citizen-initiated amendment would be subject to a legal review, require a Comptroller-prepared financial impact statement, and force petitioners to collect thousands more signatures. Those collecting signatures would have to wear an identification badge and sign an affidavit disclosing whether they were volunteers or getting paid to circulate the petition.
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5.5.16 Thursday Pre-Market News Movers

{Source}
Good morning traders of the stocks sub! Here are your pre-market news movers on this Thursday morning-
Merck — The drugmaker earned an adjusted 89 cents per share for the first quarter, 4 cents a share above estimates, although revenue was short of forecasts. Merck did see a negative impact from currency fluctuations, as well as a drop in sales of rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade.
TICKER SYMBOL: MRK
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Alibaba — The China-based online retail giant saw earnings miss forecasts, but revenue did beat analyst projections and Alibaba also saw increases in the key metric of gross merchandise volume.
TICKER SYMBOL: BABA
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Limited Brands — The Victoria's Secret parent reported a 1 percent rise in comparable store sales for April, below the consensus estimate of a 4.8 percent increase.
TICKER SYMBOL: LB
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Time Inc. — The publisher lost an adjusted 11 cents per share for its latest quarter, 3 cents a share less than expected. Its revenue exceeded Street forecasts. Time's results were helped by increases in digital advertising and by contributions from acquisitions.
TICKER SYMBOL: TIME
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Becton Dickinson — The medical products maker beat estimates by 16 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of $2.18 per share. Revenue was essentially in line with expectations. The company also raised its full-year forecast.
TICKER SYMBOL: BDX
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Avon Products — The cosmetics company posted a surprise loss of seven cents per share; analysts expected a 2 cents a share profit. Revenue was very slightly above forecasts, but the company struggled to boost growth in some key overseas markets like Brazil and China.
TICKER SYMBOL: AVP
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Discovery Communications — The media company beat estimates by 2 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 42 cents per share. Revenue was in line with forecasts. The company cited strong viewership on a variety of platforms as factors contributing to its latest results.
TICKER SYMBOL: DISCA
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
AmerisourceBergen — The drug distributor earned an adjusted $1.68 per share for its latest quarter, 9 cents a share above estimates. Revenue was just below forecasts. AmerisourceBergen also cut its full-year forecast, with generic drug pricing pressure a key factor. The company did announce an extension of its distribution contract with Walgreens Boots, its biggest retail pharmacy customer.
TICKER SYMBOL: ABC
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Tesla — The automaker reported a quarterly loss of 57 cents per share, 1 cent smaller than expected, with revenue matching estimates. Tesla also said it was accelerating its production targets, now aiming to deliver 500,000 vehicles annually by 2018. The company had long said it would achieve that goal by 2020.
TICKER SYMBOL: TSLA
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Whole Foods Market — Whole Foods beat estimates by 3 cents a share, with quarterly profit of 44 cents per share. Revenue came in marginally below forecasts. The organic grocery chain did cut its full-year profit and sales forecast, amid increasing competition and promotional activity.
TICKER SYMBOL: WFM
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Fitbit — Fitbit came in 7 cents a share above estimates, with adjusted quarterly earnings of 10 cents per share. The maker of wearable fitness devices also saw revenue beat forecasts. However, its current-quarter forecast is weaker than expected, as it spends money to promote new offerings like its Blaze smartwatch and Alta wrist band.
TICKER SYMBOL: FIT
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
21st Century Fox — Fox matched estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 47 cents per share, and the media company's revenue beat Street forecasts. Fox's results were helped by a rise in ad sales and affiliate fees.
TICKER SYMBOL: FOXA
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Zynga — Zynga broke even on an adjusted basis for its latest quarter, compared to forecasts of a 1-cent-per-share loss. The online game maker saw revenue beat estimates on increased ad sales, although its customer base did decline.
TICKER SYMBOL: ZNGA
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
TripAdvisor — TripAdvisor earned an adjusted 32 cents per share for its latest quarter, 14 cents a share below estimates. Its revenue also missed estimates. The travel website did see more hotel bookings on its website, but that impacted revenue from referrals to other travel sites.
TICKER SYMBOL: TRIP
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Kraft Heinz — The company reported quarterly profit of 73 cents per share, 11 cents a share above estimates. The food maker's revenue also came in above analysts' forecasts. The company saw costs fall during the quarter, as well as seeing increased sales for its condiment and sauce products.
TICKER SYMBOL: KHC
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
MetLife — MetLife missed estimates by 18 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.20 per share. The insurer's revenue fell short of Street estimates, as well. MetLife saw lower returns on its various investments, as well as higher expenses.
TICKER SYMBOL: MET
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Weight Watchers — Weight Watchers lost 1-cent-per- share less than expected at 17 cents per share, although revenue for its latest quarter was below forecasts. The weight management company did raise its full-year forecast on a boost in subscriber numbers, as well as meeting attendance.
TICKER SYMBOL: WTW
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Caterpillar — Caterpillar shares are under pressure after Greenlight's David Einhorn revealed a short position in the heavy equipment maker at the Sohn Conference.
TICKER SYMBOL: CAT
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
CDK Global — CDK is being pushed to streamline operations or sell itself by activist investor Elliott Management. Elliott first invested in the software company — a 2014 spinoff from ADP — last year.
TICKER SYMBOL: CDK
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Anheuser Busch Inbev — The company's $100 billion deal to buy SABMiller was cleared by Australian antitrust regulators. The beer brewer still needs clearance in Europe to proceed with the transaction.
TICKER SYMBOL: BUD
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Yahoo — Yahoo lost a 15-year partnership with AT&T, which awarded its web and mobile portal hosting contract to Synacor. Yahoo will retain hosting services for AT&T's email service.
TICKER SYMBOL: YHOO
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Tribune Publishing — Tribune rejected Gannett's unsolicited takeover bid, saying it undervalues the company.
TICKER SYMBOL: TPUB
(LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Good trading day to everyone in here on this Thursday! :)
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The Elevator Speech (date unkown)

Translated into English by C. K. Fairview
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submitted by zombiecake to LibraryofBabel [link] [comments]

Accepted to both LECOM's and Creighton's distance/online programs -- which to attend?

The title of the thread basically says it all. I have been accepted to both Creighton's and LECOM's distance (I.e., online) pharmacy programs, and I'm having a hard time deciding on which school to attend. LECOM's program is only ~$110k, but LECOM seems to have a somewhat negative reputation on online pharmacy forums (I'm not sure if this negative reputation carries over into the real-life pharmacy profession as well). On the other hand, Creighton's program is around $161k total, but Creighton's program is more well-known and has a positive reputation.
Neither school has clinical affiliations with the hospitals in my area, so I would have to work with the school to establish new rotations, regardless of which program I attend. I'm not sure if I'd be more likely to be successful in establishing these new clinical relationships as a Creighton student than I would as a LECOM student. What if it's just as hard/easy to establish these new clinical connections as a student of either program? From what I've heard, students at both programs are eligible to receive various merit-based scholarships, although Creighton might be a bit more generous with handing them out. During one of the presentations on my Creighton interview day, I believe a faculty member said that merit-based scholarships range from $2k - $6k per semester and are renewable based on GPA. So over the course of all 8 semesters of the program, a student whose $2k/semester scholarship is perpetually re-awarded every semester would be relieved of $2,000 * 8 semesters = $16,000 of tuition, whereas a student who qualifies every semester for the maximum scholarship award would be awarded $6k * 8 semesters = $48,000 relieved. However, I'm not sure if it's next to impossible to actually receive the $6k scholarship award.
So which program would you guys suggest attending? It seems like the smarter option is to attend the program with a more well-known, better reputation (Creighton), but another voice in my head is telling me that in 2 or 3 semesters, I might be kicking myself over not saving $60k to get basically the same education and degree at LECOM. If there's a chance that I might want to apply to a residency program in the future (e.g., nuclear), would that make Creighton a no-brainer, especially if I manage to excel academically and qualify for scholarships every semester?
submitted by DistancePharmDecisio to PrePharmacy [link] [comments]

Home Forums > Business & Marketing > Affiliate Programs > RxCash.biz or other pharmacy affiliate program. Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by hate90, Jan 27, So if you are looking for a great online pharmacy affiliate program I suggest looking them up. I hope this helps and good luck on your search UltraPayRX, Feb 21, 2014. Crak Finding a reputable online pharmacy is tricky as illegal online pharmacies are made to mimic legal ones. Finding one with an affiliate program makes the process all the more difficult. You will need to visit forums on health and wellness to see which ones are being recommended, then find out if the online pharmacy is running an affiliate Inside an affiliate spam program for pharmaceuticals some of the program's managers have exatly the opposite attitude across multiple forums - they don't mind. "Here is an example of one You’ve probably read about the advantages of using an online pharmacy, but you’d still... READ MORE. Online Pharmacies Save You Money, See How Be careful when visiting forums, message boards, and other chat sites. Pharmacy affiliate program View shopping cart Check out Products Online prescription drugs Anybody use? Or can refer me to a rx pharmacy savings card affiliate program. I see some plans on line that will supposedly pay you every time that someone uses your discount card. I found a post about something similar to this a few months back. But the ones I found seem kind of sketchy. They...

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