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tv   Your Business  MSNBC  January 14, 2018 4:30am-5:00am PST

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these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. good morning, everyone. coming up on a special edition of "your business" from the consumer electronics show in las vegas, the owners of two tech companies show how to build distribution through networking and industry events like this one. the man behind language learning app duolingo and why you should always be looking forward, not backwards. and everyone here is trying to sell their products. so what better place to have an elevator pitch? the owner of a gadget company that helps you go to sleep will be in the hot seat today. let's grow fast and work smart, that's all coming up next on "your business." "your business" is sponsored
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by american express open, helping you get business done. >> hi there, everyone. and welcome to the future. i'm j.j. ramberg, and we have a special edition of "your business" for you this week. i'm here in las vegas, at the consumer electronics show. for 50 years, ces has been the place for tech entrepreneurs to show off their new innovations. the show attracts more than 170,000 attendees from more than 150 countries. people are coming here to find out what's coming next. we've come to ces a bunch of times now, and i have to admit, it is still a bit hard to navigate, because there is so much amazing stuff going on here. but, if you are a business owner and you play your cards right this show can be incredibly meaningful to you. we met up with two founders. one who's been coming here for 30 years to exhibit. and the second one, who has learned the ropes after just a few shows. ♪
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so you have one of the most fun groups here that i've seen so far at ces. these are great. you have this beautiful booth that you spent a lot of money on. what do you hope to get out of the next few days? >> well, for the most part, this is a great opportunity for us to hear from the consumer, twhat they like, what they don't like about it. do they understand what we're actually building. a great platform to get that kind of feedback where it will take us months and months if we don't have an opportunity like this here. >> the founder of ozobot's company developed a golf ball sized robot that kids can program themselves, using very simple forms of computer codes. >> oh, wow. >> no we're not telling you guys what we're doing. >> the secret >> ozobot is a small, smart robot that teaches kids coding through game applications.
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we want coding to be fun so everything that we did was focused around gameification, making it a more fun experience. >> reporter: the idea for these robots came to nader while he was watching his own young children passively gaze into their electronic tablets for hours at a time. >> they were unaware of their surroundings when they were engaged with the tablet. that was annoying to me. they were consuming whatever the tablet was giving them, but they were not actually creating anything. >> reporter: the challenge he saw was to develop a product that would get kids to create tech, not just consume it. and five years ago, he assembled a team of tech engineers who developed these tiny robots that could be programmed by kids to do different tricks. >> we launched the first product at ces in 2014. >> reporter: he chose ces as a key platform to test the market, because of the enormous number of attendees, representing the full spectrum of interests in electronics.
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>> in five days, we get to see so many different demographic groups. you don't get to do that in any other opportunity. >> reporter: what nader does at ces is listen. he says you can learn how to improve your product, and more importantly, you can also find which markets are the best fit. >> we found that the loudest, most vocal, most passionate group looking to us to develop something a little more customized to the classroom. >> we're seeing an uptick on that. >> reporter: the ozobot team jumped on the extra high interest from educators. and revised their development plans to make the classroom a priority. and he says, it worked. >> where we are today, we have a very robust, active community in the education space. we've developed north of 75 to 100 lessons ourselves. >> this year he's back with a brand-new line of robots much more tailored to the educational market. but he's not finished listening.
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nader says this year he's still hungry for the next round of ces feedback. >> this year we're excited once again to get the feedback and to get either the so whats, or the, that's really cool. >> we're here at the venetian hotel where a bunch of high end audio companies have taken over these suites so that they can meet with customers while they're here. i'm going to go meet with william lowe from audio quest to see how he does it. bill, i'm j.j. >> nice to meet you. >> what a nice cushy place to get to show. i feel like the sound is coming from everywhere right now. >> that's what stereo is supposed to be. >> 40 years ago william lowe started his own business selling audio equipment out of his college dorm room. all because he didn't want to get a job. >> i did not intend to start a business. i just wanted to do something fun. and then that business got to where i now work for and i couldn't be happier. >> in irvine, california, his
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headquarters are here, in this 60,000 square food industrial building. he's turned his company audioquest, into an industry leader manufacturing specialized audio cable known for reducing sound distortion. >> wow. that's good. >> he credits much of the growth of his business to the exposure he's received at ces. >> in january 1981, i exhibited my first consumer electronics show, and over the next few weeks i had dealers in something like 35 states and 19 countries as a result of consumer electronics show. >> back in the early '80s, bill says hi-fi audio dominated ces and audio innovations like his were in the spot lights. >> it was the closest thing to playing in a rock 'n' roll band. everybody wanted to be your friend and get some advice from you. >> today william says the electronics ecosystem is changing. as consumer attention focuses on virtual reality, robotics, and the internet of things, audio engineering products are no longer the main attraction.
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>> ces itself has, of course, didn't used to include iphones, didn't used to include computers, didn't used to include car stereo. if anything audio was the number one definition of ces when i first went in 1973. >> william acknowledges his community is shrinking. while his customers may get extra pampering up here in this private suites, he also finds himself somewhat sidelined from the main show and he openly wonders how much longer ces will remain relevant to his business. >> it's just that it's not the tent that our community is using to the. and it is possible this will be our last year exhibiting at ces. that's an unknown. >> but whether or not he can continues to come to this show, there's one thing about the future of his business that is absolutely not unknown. >> this is the recreation business. if it's not about fun, then forget it. >> self-driving cars, robots with personality, at one time
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these were just things that we saw on the jetsons cartoon. but here, it is in the present. it is all here at ces. and to parse through all of the new trends for 2018, we have our next guest, rohit bhargava who is the founder of the nonobvious company and a trend curator and it's so good to see you. i'm glad we found this one quiet spot in the conference that we could talk to each other. >> i know after walking around all this way. >> let's talk about what's coming in 2018. we're seeing it here at the conference. and i want to start with one that i just think is fascinating, which is the idea of a human mode at a technology conference you're talking about human mode. what is that? >> human mode is us as people wanting a version of technology where we can interact with real people. and that being an option for us, so you think about like the 800 number. and the idea that sometimes we just want the person. right? what number do i have to press to get someone. that's an option that we want. and so you think about so much
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technology, that we still want humanity. >> so this is fascinating, right? because we talk a lot about bots taking over chats on facebook and what have you. so now people are talking about having a button that says let me talk to a human? >> not only a button, let me talk to a human, but also technology mimicking humans. so now you're going to see all these robots at the show that have personalities. >> right. >> that are quirky. that are sarcastic. >> right. >> it's just an interesting technology. >> which means they're sort of the range like real human mode. you know, robot -- >> maybe you can have a volume dial to turn down the humanity of these robots. >> okay. let's talk about distribution. because there -- there's all kinds of technology that's just disrupting distribution right now. >> yeah, so disruption in distribution is ultimately the idea that we get our products and services to consumers in very new and different ways. so last year one of the biggest hits at the ces show was the mercedes autonomous van, and it was a van that had no driver. it was a self-driven van.
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and it had drones on the roof. and the idea was it would drive up to your home, the robot would take the package out of the back. it would give it to the drone. the drone would fly it to your front doorstep and leave it on your door. and so now, you're thinking about that as a business owner saying well what sort of packaging do i need to have if a drone is going to take this and maybe drop it, and maybe have to pick it up from elevation. >> and what size? if i have a choice of what size to make my product, what size -- >> maybe there's a maximum size. so all these things are unknowns, which is really interesting, because it's an opportunity to experiment. >> right. and you've got to know about it or else you're going to be blindsided while the people with the correct packaging are going to get their products to people. >> nobody knows exactly what's going to happen. it's a choice about whether you're early to experiment or put your blinders on and decide that it doesn't exist. >> all right. let's talk about virtual empathy. i think this is fascinating. i had put on some virtual reality goggles last year at an event, and got to be in the middle of a refugee camp. >> yes. >> which was a, you know,
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incredible experience, you get to really feel it, not just have someone speak to me about it. but as a business owner how can you use this? >> well, what's new this year, and this is how fast technology moves, people are saying virtual reality was so 2017. >> right. >> and what's new is glasses that you wear that don't block you off from the world. so if you've ever had virtual reality experience, you're in that world kind of like you're in a movie theater and you don't see anything else. >> yep. >> where augmented reality is you wear the glasses but you're still seeing the real world. you're just see information so if you're looking at the washington monument, you can see details about when it was built and everything through the glasses. >> it is so fascinating. everything that we saw in movies is happening in real life. let's get to another one touch worthy. >> touch worthy is not just about touch screens, which is what you might think when you hear that trend. but a lot of our research, what it told us was people want physical objects. they want to feel physical objects. you know, i mean, when i write
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books people still want the print book and people thought awhile ago that print books would be dead, everybody wants the e book. you talk to my 10-year-old and he still wants what he calls the real book. >> that's interesting because i was going to say is that just for old people like me and you or young people want real things too? >> it really isn't. it's a human thing. because you think about photos for example. how many thousands of photos do we take now on our phones. and if a photo ever gets printed out, like if you ever printed out a photo it would be a precious photo. >> yep. >> and that's why you would print it. so the things you print now matter even more because so fewer. >> we should think even as we're making things that may be virtual, may be apps and what have you, to have some sort of attachment, right? something that goes with it that is real. might be worthwhile. >> yes. >> well there is so much more here. i'm glad i got to hear you. we found this spot. thank you so much for stopping by. and have a great rest of your show. >> thank you. thank you. many of the products and apps launched here at ces are entrepreneurial attempts to
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solve the world's biggest problems. today's disruptor is no stranger to solutions. luis von ahn was one of the co-founders of capcha. now he's trying to tackle the world's education divide one language at a time with his free language learning ap duolingo. we met up with him at his headquarters in pittsburgh to talk to him about why transparency is so important to growth and how he's gotten everyone from students in columbia to tom hangs using the app. >> education always thought of this thing that creates a huge gap between social classes. most of the ways to learn a language before duolingo was very expensive. the irony was most people were trying to get out of poverty. we decided to launch duolingo in the year 2012. everybody that came here came because of the mission, or most everybody. they had offers from other companies that five years ago had much bigger names than us. somebody who doesn't have a bank account should be able to have
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access to all of our learning. we know if we charge people for our app we could be making more money. but we've decided no the to do that. instead we put an ad at the end of every lesson. we also allow people to really, really don't like ads you can pay to remove ads. the main thing we think about is how can we provide a better service to our users. so that's the conversations we have here every day is how can we teach better? we do look at other apps, for inspiration. but they're not direct competitors. for example we look at games for inspiration. we try to look up but not down. one of the big turning points for the company was when we hired our first manager. somebody who had actual management experience. we only had like 25 people or something. and it was almost a revolt. people were like we're going to have managers? that is so corporate. but it made a huge difference. we were able to hire somebody who was a director of engineering at google and she came. i've learned a lot about management from somebody who has basically managed many more people than me. so hiring people who are better
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than you, and that you can learn from, that's a big thing. a lot of the way in which decisions were made, particularly when we were a smaller company, were just add hok. it was like sometimes we would be eating dinner between some random set of people in the company we'd just make a decision. because i'm the ceo, i can just make that decision. when that happened people would get upset if they weren't there. i wasn't there and you guys just made a decision. and we made a big change so that decisions are kind of have to be made with a process. you know, in the office. and also, we do this thing every week, it's a q&a, friday q & a, anybody can ask any question they want. the rule is i'll answer it if i know the answer. a lot of people feel a lot better. they really increased commitment and trust of the leadership. we talk to our users sometimes. we just randomly contact some of our users and are able to talk to them. another way is most everybody in the company uses the app to try to learn a language so we know.
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i use it to try to learn some languages. i know what the limitations are. look, this kind of sucks. the mobile market has matured a lot. users are a lot sevier. the apps that are winning are ones that are really fulfilled their promise and really fulfilling a promise to our users or are we just doing for a quick buck. our goal is to really be everywhere where people are trying to learn a language, we want to be there. technology is essential to almost every business, but electronics take energy. and that can get expensive. so here are five ways to save on your electricity bill. one, get a professional energy audit. your auditor will be able to check for leaks, inspect your insulation and uncover hidden money wasters where you least suspect them. two, get a smart programmable thermostat. and discourage employees from playing with the temperature. set your thermometer between 78 and 80 degrees in the summer, and 65 and 68 degrees in the winter.
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three, invest in wind and solar power. while renewables can be pricey to install, they're eligible for some tax breaks, and can protect your company from sudden regulatory changes, or cost increases. four, pay attention to your lighting. wherever possible, use natural light. and switch to l.e.d. lights, which last langer, or fluorescent lights. and five, look for the energy star logo. electronics that are certified by the energy star arm of the epa are more efficient, and can often power themselves down when they're not in use. entrepreneurs from around the world come here to ces to get investors, and other companies, interested in their products. so we thought, what better place to have an elevator pitch? jim come on in here. >> hi. >> so jim poole, good to see you. i feel like i should hug you because i slept in your booth yesterday. >> yes, yes, you did. >> all right. and we cheated a little this time because we got the judges
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to check out your product first. >> don't tell them that. yes, we did. >> we felt like we had to. i don't want to give away what it is. you have all the stuff here. >> i do, yes. >> you have two people you're going to be pitching to today. nisa amoils and suzy willow. let's go see how you do. >> wonderful. >> hi, my name is jim poole. i'm president ceo of a neuroscience company that makes nucalm and i'm here to introduce to you a disruptive technology. we win in a culture far too stressed and plugged in. wouldn't it be nice if there was a technology that allowed us to unplug, relax and restore? nucalm is the first and only patented technology clinically proven to lower dress and help people recover from poor sleep without drugs. 20 minutes of nucalm is equivalent to two hours of restorative sleep. it sells for $4,295 medical device. we've sold over $11 million. but we're here to launch renu by nucalm, simpler, easier to use
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cheaper model so we can change the energy of the planet to calm, cool and confident. we're seeking $5 million of investment capital for 15% equity in the company so we can launch renu and grow this business. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> nice job, jim. >> thank you very much. >> so how long does somebody need to sit with this? >> 20 to 30 minutes. >> a day, a week? >> depends on your stress level. if you're highly stressed 20 to 30 minutes. >> you both tried it. what did you think? >> i thought it was great. i felt much more relaxed. i did not fall asleep. but, hopefully if i used it at home, then i would use it regularly. >> i didn't fall asleep, either. it put me in a state of sort of in between sleep and awake, right? >> it levitates you just above deep sleep in this healing zone. >> i've been trying to do daily meditation practice even if it's five minutes a day using an app as soon as i wake up. i think i was primed to go down like a brick. it felt really good. >> all right so you tried the product both of you.
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you heard the pitch. on a scale of one to ten let me know what you thought of the pitch and then the product. >> sure, i thought you did a great job on the pitch. you got all the relevant points in. i'm going to give you a nine. >> thank you. >> and i would be to know how it compares clinically to regular meditation. like how the results. it's hard to get it in all on one time. on the product, i also give you an eight. i think the product sounds great. it's just a four step process asking consumer to do that every day might be a little much. >> yes. okay. >> on the pitch, i thought it was clear, concise, told the back story of the company, having sold $11 million as a medical grade device and the pivot or expansion to a consumer grade platform. i would give you awe nine on the pitch. i didn't find out what the price point was for the consumer product was. >> $799. >> so that's quite expensive. on the product, i think i would give you an eight and i would want to see what the packaging looks like and if this is the
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finish or the industrial design. >> yes. >> and, you know, what the consumer is really buying into from an aesthetic position. >> prototype, cream, but what you're buying is $3 million of psychics that comes through an app. >> so i'm very excited to see continuous it rags and next year and the year after, getting that price down from $799 to $499, $200. you can dream. >> $29.99. >> there you go. but wait, there's more. >> thank you both so much for. this congratulations. you did a great job which is perfect way for you to kick off the rest of the show here. >> thank you. >> we will take you to friend for a demo. >> please do. >> good luck with everything. thank you. >> whether we come back, business owners share with us what technology they're using to run their companies and advice on how to bridge the gap between millennials and babyboomers at work.
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thank you so much. thank you! so we're a go? yes! we got a yes! what does that mean for purchasing? purchase. let's do this. got it. book the flights! hai! si! si! ya! ya! ya! what does that mean for us? we can get stuff. what's it mean for shipping? ship the goods. you're a go! you got the green light. that means go! oh, yeah. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we're gonna hit our launch date! (scream) thank you! goodbye! we help all types of businesses with money, tools and know-how to get business done. american express open. so as a young budding company, we're really looking for the techniques that can you recommend that will really bridge the gap between millennials and the babyboomers.
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>> great question. thank you. i think that a lot of people are really focused on how do you bridge this gap between millennials and the babyboomers. the question is, are they really so different? i think the voice, the tone, the channels where you're used to acquire the customers can be slightly different. for millennials, we use more of a humorous tone, lighthearted tone. but for babyboomers, you might want to go more serious route. but in general, with niche digital marketing, you can really hone down to the right customer and be able to market them with the right voice, right tone, and the right channel. >> it is now time for our brain trust. we get to pick the brains of some of our smartest people in business. today we're talking about personal branding. not your personal brand but the personal brand of your employees. we have two great guests, the founder of mogul. the largest women's site. how do you explain it?
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>> the largest female millennial platform worldwide right now. >> i knew you could do it better than i. >> and the founder of kayak. >> the new company is lola, the travel company for business travel. >> got it. great. so you both have experience in taking small ideas and turning them into very big companies. why is it important to help your employees build their personal brands? >> i think it's about making them more effective and also confidence in their skills. a lot of times managers focus on the weaknesses and improve the weaknesses. but i tend to ignore the weakness and focus on highlighting strengths. i think that plays a great role in establishing the personal brand. >> how do we do that? >> we do a team exercise. what we did this week is we had all employees open up the computers and played musical chairs whereby every single employee went to a different computer and examined everyone's
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linkedin and provided recommendations for how it can be that much better. >> that's smart. >> really enhance the personal branding and ensure that they were being perceived as a thought meter. >> you are thinking about the personal brand to the external world or internally so that i know what to go to you for, paul? >> i'm thinking externally. and also although i would like all my plays to be with me the next ten years, i'm thinking about their next job and what do i need to do to strengthen them at lola to position them best for their role beyond lola. >> which is such a nice thing to have in a boss, right? someone who is thinking about you as a person not you as a cog in this wheel. and why do you focus on it so much? >> definitely for enhancement of confidence and becoming a better manager, being a thought leader is part of that. and also it helps in the organization's growth to have each member of the team be developing themselves, sharing ideas, sharing their insights and our latest innovations to
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the world as they do that. obviously helps in the marketing of the organization as well. >> do you call it personal brand? so hey team, now we're going to -- it sounds like do you with your linked in. but do you say we're going to focus on your personal brand now? >> no. i don't use that phrase. it's more about using someone's strengths. it's finding someone you hire for one thing. so a the love times, one thing i love as a manager is finding a job that is not the job you find you are coming for. >> sos it's the young people. i imagine that in general young person who works at a company would really, really enjoy that leadership team is thinking here is my personal development as well. do you see that? >> absolutely. it's one of the reasons why famously mogul never had anyone resign in 3 1/2 years. we really regularly assess, monthly basis, how they can be personally fulfilled. part of that is developing thought leadership and status. >> right. you find the same?
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>> yeah. i think as long as people feel like they're developing, they're -- it's one of the main things about keeping them happy at a job. >> tiffany and paul, thank you so much. >> thank you. i use the read it small business community frequently. i find there are a lot of experts that can help you with different aspects of your questions and they can redirect you to smaller subgroups that would be easier to answer your questions. >> the app we use the most is probably going to be drop box. and a lot of people are familiar with it. i don't think a lot of people use it to the full potential. you can take and open up a segment for your customers to access your drop box and be able to access large files without having to trans mimit them via e-mail. and also it's a good way for all of us to be able to share documents in our business. >> one tool i like is it is great when getting started. it was simple and easy to learn. so if you're a small business like we were, it was quick way
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to get started but look professional. >> the app we use the most in our company is called foreflight. we use private aircraft to visit our customers, visit our location. and we find it even when we're driving a car we use the foreflight app to check the weather and conditions of where we're going. this week's your business selfie is a perfect one for ces. it comes from charles kelly. he owns computer exchange in augusta, georgia. they do repairs on site and online support and recycling. now why don't you pick up your smart phone and take a picture of you and your business and send it to us or tweet it to us. include your name, name of your business, location, and don't forget to use #yourbizselfie. thank you so much for joining us it at the floor of the consumer electronics show. i hope you learned a lot.
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i know i certainly did. we love hearing from you. if you have any questions or comments or just want to say hi, drop us an e-mail. you can also go to our website. it is open forum. we put all of the segments from today's show plus a whole lot more from ces up there and if you want even more, connect with us on all of our social and dig digital media platforms as well. we make your business our business. so that's the idea. what do you think? i don't like it. oh. nuh uh. yeah. ahhhhh. mm-mm. oh. yeah. ah. agh. d-d-d... no. hmmm. uh... huh. yeah.
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uh... huh. in business, there are a lot of ways to say no. thank you so much. thank you. so we're doing it. yes. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we help all types of businesses with money, tools and know-how to get business done. american express open. good morning and welcome to "politics nation." 50 years ago this april the life of reverend dr. martin luther king jr. was extinguished by an assassin's bullet. his death is one of this nation's pivotal moments of reckonning, posing a tragic question as to whether the social, political, and economic reconciliation he dedicated his life to would or could ever come


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