10 Industry Giants Who Launched in a Recession

TechGenies
Posted at 12/8/2020

As coronavirus tears across the country, predictions are bleak.

The US – and possibly the world –  is bracing for a recession. 

Some startups, among them Hipmunk and Service, have closed shop after the crippling impact to many businesses with a sudden halt in travel. 

One-third of firms say they’ve frozen hiring.

As we individually take shelter, it may seem prudent to also put entrepreneurship on hold during this tumultuous season.

But for entrepreneurs ready – and willing – to take on an undoubtedly tough time, this may actually be the perfect moment to rise to the occasion with new software solutions, to harness new technology to address emerging problems, or to otherwise provide meaningful value to the world.

This isn’t a rose-colored perspective – in fact, it’s one rooted in history, and we have 10 different cases that remind us that sometimes, the worst of times can launch some of the very best solutions.

General Electric ($95.2 Billion Revenue in 2019)
Just as the Panic of 1893 kicked off, dropping business activity by 40% across the nation, Thomas Edison and company launched General Electric, a company that becomes one of just 12 original companies on the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896, and remaining there for more than a century.
General Motors (GM) ($137.2 Billion Revenue in 2019)
Although he officially moved his horse-drawn carriage manufacturing business into the emerging automobile industry in 1904 when he purchased The Buick Motor Company, GM Founder William Durant launched GM as a holding company for more automobile manufactures in 1908 – amidst the 12-month Panic of 1907, which saw 30% business declines. And today, GM is at the forefront of mobilizing its supply chain to manufacture lifesaving masks to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
IBM $77.1 Billion (Revenue in 2019)
IBM (then Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company CTR) started selling a business and commercial machines amidst a two-year panic that sent most industries into double-digit decreases. Eventually, CTR would lead the digital revolution, and of course, change its name.
Disney ($69.6 Billion Revenue in 2019)
Mickey Mouse made his debut in Walt and Roy Disney’s Steamboat Willie just a year before the Great Depression began. Also in 1929, the Disney brothers incorporated Walt Disney Productions, determined to keep the country smiling. The award-winning, timeliness Snow ...more

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Mastering Product Development to Increase and Expand Value

TechGenies
Posted at 12/7/2020

Every year, businesses push out new products to willing consumers. Industry titans like Apple even manage to conjure up so much hype they’re generally swarmed with lines of eager customers anticipating the next launch. 

But, people would line up around the block anticipating a new iPod release. (Remember those?) In order to stay competitive and keep demand high, organizations must continue a commitment to savvy product development.

Behind all those slick tech releases is a commitment to product development – and your business should make the same commitment: savvy product development that yields a value-adding product.

 

What is product development?

Product development is the entire process in the creation of the product, from its inception as an idea into its release into the market. This includes several stages:

1. Identify a need
2. Develop a concept and design a product to address that need
3. Outline the product roadmap
4. Develop a minimum viable product (MVP)
5. Launch the MVP with a subset of users
6. Adapt the product based on user feedback

Product development itself can leverage several methodologies, among them the increasingly popular agile project management methodology, which breaks down development into short sprints, allowing for rapid iteration based on user feedback.

IT project management: Overseeing product development

Managing your product development requires significant planning, beginning in the concept phase and into the product roadmap. Ideally, a roadmap is just that: a clear, easy to follow route for getting to your product.

This should include timelines, what will be included with each release, and which features have priority.

Product development isn’t as simple as just making something new. Instead, is requires several important steps along the way (Forbes outlines 7). Three key values to hold along the way for the best product development include:

1. Listen – before you leap. You’ll want to learn exactly what potential customers want from this product before you start developing. For example, just because you know your organization needs a new software to manage your people analytics doesn’t mean you know exactly how to approach your software development plan. Which features are critical?

2. Vet the landscape. Even if you’re developing for internal use, you’ll still want to take the time to conduct a thorough SWOT analysis...more

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Web and Portal Development To Meet Your Customers Where They Are

TechGenies
Posted at 12/2/2020

If you’re looking for your customers, they’re probably online. 

More than half the world’s population is an internet user, totaling about 7.7 billion people across the globe hopping online, according to Internet World Stats. And in some areas, like Europe and North America, Internet penetration is almost total (87% and 89% penetration, respectively).

From startups to enterprises, this burgeoning internet adoption means potential customers and current customers are likely looking to the internet regularly for entertainment, education, information and communication.

And if your business isn’t refining your web development to meet customers where they already are, it’s likely your competition is.

 

In today’s digital era, just slapping up a webpage isn’t going to cut it. Instead, organizations need to be thoughtful about what they present, on mobile devices and on laptops or desktops, and how they personalize (or don’t) the web content.

Here, we examine a few key areas business leaders should understand to drive effective web or portal development, including differences in mobile vs. desktop design, web pages vs. web portals and how to approach web design partnerships to optimize your website development.

Mobile Web Development vs. Desktop Web Application Development

We’ve all been there: comfortable on the couch, unwilling to head into the other room to fill out a form on a website. You might even be willing to do a little pesky “screening pinching” to get the sizing to work. But sometimes, poorly considered mobile development (or no mobile development at all) renders so terribly on a small screen it either ousts would-be users off the couch to hunt down a bigger screen or irritates them enough to abandon their task altogether.

Potential customers shouldn’t be frustrated like that, which is why mobile web development is so critical, because it’s different from desktop web application development. Some key differences include:

• Content organization. A striking layout on a desktop might be a crummy one on a mobile device, and vice versa. Developers need to consider the layout and screen size of both.

• Form compatibility. Remember that frustrated couch surfer? Form fills can be a pivotal design area, as this is how users communicate with website owners. Form alignment and how it is navigated are key considerations.

• Menu formatting. While selecting c...more

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Tags:
  • Software Development
  • Web Development
  • IT Outsourcing
  • Business Leaders
  • Project Development
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Innovation in the era of COVID series: Alejandro Peña, CEO of Consensus

Susan Community Support Susan Community Support
Posted at 12/1/2020

An Interview with Alejandro Peña, CEO of Consensus (HQ: Argentina)

Let's start with some personal questions. How are you and your family doing in the COVID era?

The family is fine, taking care of us and still in quarantine waiting for the vaccine!!!

Can you tell us about how you founded or joined this company?

I was a Commercial & Marketing Manager for one of the biggest LATAM IT Company for 20 years. In 2007, I created from scratch my own company and I had being very lucky after 13 years having a company with very talent’s people around several business unit. We have offices in Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, London, in few months we are opening in Montevideo, and next years, after Covid, we will be open an office in the USA

What makes your company unique from others in the field?

I have the firm conviction that an IT software and services company is 100% based on people, not the smartest, but the most passionate. I was lucky to have a team with all these passionate people, and if you have the right people, all our clients' problems (which are people's problems) can be solved and I firmly believe that in this way we become a unique company for each of them.    

Has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business and if so, how are you adjusting?

We had to go from all people sitting in the offices to 100% home office. Our business is growing, but we are adjusting new ways to find and communicate our capabilities to new prospects and customers and but also we need to improve our internal communication procedures, ie when new fellows are coming in to the company, how to transmit our company DNA?, it is a continues work to discover new ways to talk each other, to listen & understand each other.

What do you think are the major trends in your field?

What was supposed to happen in the next 5 years is happening now thanks to COVID. From the small business to the largest corporation regardless of their industry, a great digital transformation is going through them, so the main trends will be the large-scale use of software and / or business applications. The global market will need all kinds of software and services that strengthen relationships between people.

What are the keys to customer success and satisfaction and has that changed in the era of COVID?

All relationships have an emotional component — and that hold...more

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Tags:
  • LATAM
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Innovation in the era of COVID: An interview with Eduardo E. Campos, CEO of ScreenIT

Susan Community Support Susan Community Support
Posted at 11/17/2020

Interview with Eduardo E. Campos, CEO of ScreenIT

Let's start with some personal questions. How are you and your family doing in the COVID era?

My family and I have been doing fine so far... my oldest son tested positive but without symptoms, so we're good. We are definitely not enjoying social distancing since we love to meet with friends and family... but the flip side is that me, my wife and my two sons have gotten closer during this time, playing games, paddle and golf together. But again, I truly look forward to see how this pandemic become a learning story to tell...

Can you tell us about how you founded or joined this company?

ScreenIT's birth occurred somehow as an accident, or better, as a need to provide recruiting services to my first startup which was an Information Security company. We needed security engineers, auditors, testers, and so we needed someone to get that talent for us; so instead of looking for an agency I created ScreenIT as the talent acquisition arm. We evolved to provide more than recruiting, to become a Virtual Captive Center provider to US and Canadian companies seeking to expand their engineering teams to nearshore locations such as mexico, without the need to understand the local regulation and therefore not incorporating (at least not from day one), and leveraging a local player to make the landing in the country as softer as possible.

What makes your company unique from others in the field?

We are not the typical IT Outsourcing company, a Virtual Captive Center optimizes operations and mitigates the risks of going solo on a traditional captive center model which requires: time, big finances and enduring dedication. Thus involving some legal and financial risks. A Virtual Captive Center is a low cost, high value, nor risk model for foreign companies wanting to undertake development work in Mexico. Our full transparent model makes us unique... our customers know, even before starting the engagement, the associated cost breakdown that includes the disclosure not only of the direct costs, but our margin. Our Customer Journey goes beyond signing an SOW, being a remote partner our clients rely on us to make sure things really happen in terms of communication, promises are kept, etc. all this through our Head of Remote work.

Has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business and if so, how are you adjusting?

COVID-19 aff...more

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  • Mexico Nearshoring
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Is there an upside in an economic downturn? Warren Buffet says there is.

TechGenies
Posted at 11/11/2020

We’re living in an era of grim news: the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the globe, forcing many businesses to close doors and make challenging decisions about staffing, assets, and strategies. We’re bracing for an economic downturn, with some estimates expecting 34 percent fewer goods and services from April to June in the US this year compared to last, according to recent predictions from Goldman Sachs.  But even with all the dire predictions, with the right mindset and strategy, your business could actually boom in the midst of this gloom. Look at Warren Buffet, the business magnate, investor, and chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway who hardly needs his credentials noted.  Buffet advises, “Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy. Profit from folly rather than participate in it.”  He also acts. In 2008, Buffet’s confident investment in Goldman Sachs rewarded him to the tune of $3.7 billion, according to Fast Company. Although no other business has the funds Buffet does, you can take a page from his playbook and take his advice to find the upside for your business in the downturn. Here are a few things to consider: Now is the perfect time to streamline your operations. Are your teams working with the most efficient technology stack, or are they bouncing around between a plethora of tools that hardly talk to one another? A small investment in a better software solution can mean a large gain in operational efficiency in the long term. 


Focus on innovative, proactive steps instead of restrictive, defensive steps. When it comes to the bottom line in a recession, your business has two options: cut back, or find new revenue streams. While many will hunker down to make it through the tough time, your innovation solutions could propel your business forward so you come out ahead. 
Lean into your marketing efforts. Surprisingly, even while people tighten up personal and business budgets in a recession, research shows advertising in a downturn can lead to growth. As early as the Great Depression, General Motors outpaced market leader Ford by 1931, thanks in part to its innovative use of outdoor billboards and radio advertising that lauded the company’s budget brand, Chevy. Looking at the 1985 Recession, McGraw-Hill’s Research noted companies that kept or increased advertising budgets saw a 256% increase in sal...more

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Nearshoring in the Age of a Pandemic: An Interview with South Geeks CEO, Julia Duran

Susan Community Support Susan Community Support
Posted at 11/5/2020

An Interview with South Geeks CEO, Julia Duran

Let's start with some personal questions. How are you and your family doing in the COVID era?

I live in Argentina where we’ve had the longest lockdown in human history followed by a million COVID cases, so we’ve been in coping mode for 7 months now. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for everyone and we are trying to keep ourselves busy, to use the time to reflect, and to lend hands whenever possible. 

Can you tell us about how you founded or joined this company?

I have a technical background in Software Development and for years I was one of the nearshore team members working for blue chip corporations and providing services to clients in North America and Europe. After some time in the business we identified some aspects that could be improved in the nearshoring business. For some months before launching we identified a set of ideas that laid the foundations of South Geeks’ strong culture.

We wanted to create a company that would build long-term relationships with clients and team members and that would focus on high quality, professionalism and community. Followed by some of the professionals we worked with in the past, and counting on the trust of some of my former clients, we started this very fulfilling journey.

What makes your company unique from others in the field?

There are many ways in which we are unique, but if I had to name 3 I would go with:  we care for our clients deeply, we are very selective with the people we bring on board, and we run our business consciously.

Has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business and if so, how are you adjusting?

Of course! We are lucky enough to be in an industry that has not been as severely affected as others, but we have been impacted nonetheless.

Some of the areas that were more affected are:

-        Teams and clients morale: people were touched in many ways by this pandemic, and it is now more important than ever to be sensible to our counterparts’ situations.

-        We were already used to working remotely, so that hasn’t changed, but everyone accommodating having their families around (try coding with a 5 year old on your lap), struggling with connectivity and dealing with isolation has been particularly challenging. Our performance coach has been f...more

Categories: Featured
Tags:
  • Nearshoring
  • Argentina
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TechGenies Named One of the Fastest Growing, Privately Held Companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area

TechGenies
Posted at 11/5/2020

Dallas, Texas, November 02, 2020, The SMU Cox Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship has named Richardson, TX technology services firm, TechGenies to the coveted Dallas 100 list of the most dynamic companies in the DFW Metroplex.

The Dallas 100 competition annually gauges the ascension of privately held companies in Dallas and surrounding cities. The release of the top 100 company names is a precursor to an awards celebration that will culminate in the unveiling of this year’s No. 1 fastest-growing, privately held Company.

Inclusion in the Dallas 100 is based on percentage growth and absolute dollar growth over the previous three years (2017-2019), as determined by The Caruth Institute, in conjunction with the accounting firm BKD LLP CPAs & Advisors. The winners represent a broad spectrum of businesses located in Dallas and 14 surrounding cities.

“To be recognized as one of the most exciting ventures in the vibrant DFW business environment, is both exciting and humbling,” said TechGenies cofounder Ahmad Al-Amine. “But more than anything else, I’m proud of the heroic efforts that our teams from across the globe put forth on behalf of our clients every day.”

“Of course, everything is contingent upon the pandemic, but we are hopeful that we can hold two safe, in-person events: a reception in late January or early February and our traditional Dallas 100 awards gala in early March,” said Caruth Institute Executive Director Simon Mak. “While we’ll remain flexible, we’re hopeful that we can gather in person, masks notwithstanding, to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that is so vital to our economy.”

About TechGenies
Founded by serial entrepreneur Maan Hamdan, and led by a seasoned team of Dallas-based IT, operations, sales, and marketing executives, TechGenies relies on years of experience to provide technology enablement, project delivery, and IT staff augmentation solutions that fit the precise business needs of a wide array of organizations. With operations in nine countries spanning the globe, TechGenies offers the quality, flexibility, affordability, and continuity demanded by today’s most dynamic organizations.

About the Dallas 100
For 30 years, the Dallas 100 has honored the ingenuity, commitment, and perseverance of entrepreneurial businesses, placing the spotlight on their economic contributions. For a complete list of this year’s honorees, contact: A...more

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