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Performance of Inno Garage's Mukta Event Managers: A Report

Inno Garage has invested into hyper-local event management company in Hyderabad called Mukta Event Managers in 2011. The company concentrated primarily on innovating new ways of celebrating in India. Focusing on birthdays and wedding the company is now regarded as the thought leader in South Indian Event Management Circuit. 

The company focused on bringing technology with human touch into the traditional marriages. This helped the company in developing itself into a new age wedding planner in Hyderabad. 

The innovations done by Mukta Event Managers in Hyderabad include: 
  • Fist 3D Echo Marriage in Hyderabad: Rishikesh and Aparna
  • Holographic Marriage in Hyderabad: For Akruthi and Ankit Bhatia
  • First Augmented Reality Birthday Party: Baby Hansika 
  • Mid Air Wedding: Praful and Ridhima 

In the terms of investment, the company has paid off very well to Inno Garage both in the terms of finance and PR. 

Secure That First Investor, and the Rest Will Come

The $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook fascinated me not just for its sheer size but because the primary investor, Sequoia Capital, went it mostly alone. This is highly uncommon in the "me, too" world of venture capital, where everyone appears to invest as part of a syndicate. Indeed, the typical first question out of a VC's mouth when talking to a startup about investing is, "Who's leading this?"

Chinese Companies Target Power Investments

The new targets of China are power investments. China Beixin, Chen Qijin Roads, Xinjiand Beixin and Bridges Company Limited are one of the few Chinese firms that are showing interest in taking part in the construction of the Peshawar mass transit and express ways and hydel power generation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Uber is Now the Highest Valued Startup in the World

Co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick announced today that investors are pouring another $1.2 billion into Uber in a funding round that values the five-year-old company at $17 billion. Though nine and 10-figure deals have become common enough in Silicon Valley to seem almost normal, the news may leave many people out in the real world scratching their heads. Does Uber–an app-ified version of the cab business–really need that much money?

The Best Advice About Social Media

Every so-called “social media expert” has her own two cents about the absolute best way to get more followers, traffic, and customers through social media. The problem is, there’s a lot of bad advice floating around out there.

Why Your Employees Do Not Trust You and How You Can Change It !

Trust is often touted as the cornerstone to a successful relationship--business or personal. The results from the American Psychological Association (APA)’s 2014 Work and Well-Being survey, aren’t encouraging. Nearly a quarter of employees don’t trust their employers, a tough pill to swallow when you consider a good chunk of your day is spent at work.

A Landslide Election Brings Hope to India

For the first time in 30 years, India has avoided electing a divided government, giving the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a decisive victory in the parliamentary elections. The landslide results enable the BJP, under the leadership of incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to form a national government on its own without the need to form any coalition. This means that the party can avoid the legacy problem of political paralysis on various policy approvals, which is conducive to carrying out reforms. 

No, Google did Not Rig Indian Elections

"Did Google fix Lok Sabha elections?" asks the India Times. Computer Business Review appeared more certain with the "How Google search results are influencing elections" headline for its version of the story.

Even the Daily Mail joined in, asking "Could Google fix an election?"

Only one thing: Google is not "fixing" the Lok Sabha elections. The company is absolute in its denial. "Providing relevant answers has been the cornerstone of Google's approach to search from the very beginning," a spokesman told the Guardian. "Our results reflect what's on the web, and we rigorously protect the integrity of our algorithms. It would undermine people's trust in our results and company if we were to change course."

Indeed, Google has no intention of doing so; and its search results have not influenced the Indian elections beyond providing links to information that is on the web.

So why the furore? The stories all lead back to a press release put out on 13 May by the "American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology", an independent – that is, unaffiliated with any major university – research organisation based in California. That release was headlined "Could Google have fixed the Lok Sabha elections? A landmark new study in India shows it's possible".

It's a pretty bold and arresting claim. Even a more detailed publication of the research had a similarly dramatic headline: "Democracy at risk: how voters in the 2014 elections in India were manipulated by biased search rankings." Again, this seemed to imply that this manipulation had actually occurred.

But it hadn't. On closer examination, both the media release and the longer publication explain that what the study actually looked at wasn't whether Google is actively conspiring to overthrow democracy, but what would happen if it did. And those are very different things.

"In the new study, participants were randomly assigned to groups in which search rankings favored either [Indian prime ministerial candidates] Mr Kejriwal, Mr Gandhi, or Mr Modi," the press release (PDF) explains. "Real search rankings and web pages were used, and people were asked to research all the candidates just as they would on Google. The only difference between the groups was the order in which the search results were displayed."

Even then, the nature of the research remains unclear. It's only once you read the actual paper that the actual basis for the claims falls into place. (The paper is not yet published in any academic journal, and is only online in draft form. Some would consider it rather premature to issue a press release.)

The original study involved creating fake search results for the Australian premiership, and artificially biasing them towards Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott. This was literally done by just making the first page very pro-Gillard for one set of viewers, and shoving Abbott to the back; and vice-versa for the other half.

Sure enough, if you massively weight the information people receive in favour of one candidate, they go on to like that candidate more.

Except, oddly, the original academic paper contains no mention of the Indian elections at all.

So how has India come into it? The authors appear to have repeated their experiment online – as India went to the polls – by recruiting people living in various Indian states through Amazon's Mechanical Turk (which finds volunteers who will carry out tasks for small payments). They performed the same test with 2,000 paid volunteers, and found much the same results: by taking undecided voters and presenting them with mocked-up search results pages, they showed that people were influenced by how the results seemed to portray the candidates – to the extent of shifting their allegiance towards or away from one or the other.

However, this is not the same at all as saying that Google has done any such thing, nor even that someone who tried to manipulate its search results could achieve the same. So no, Google did not, and isn't going to, fix or influence the Indian elections beyond linking to what's out there.

In a coda to the press release, Robert Epstein, one of the researchers (who has had his own, quite separate, run-in with Google in the past over a malware warning relating to his personal site), says: "Of particular concern is the fact that 99% of the people in our study seemed to be unaware that the search rankings they saw were biased. That means Google has the power to manipulate elections without anyone suspecting they’re doing so. To prevent undue influence, election-related search rankings need to be regulated and monitored, as well as subjected to equal-time rules.” It's a remarkable suggestion – but highly unlikely ever to be adopted in any country.

Why Brainstorming Does Not Work and What You Should Do Instead

There's a popular myth that getting people together and sharing ideas will boost productivity and lead to innovative solutions. But this old-fashioned way of thinking about groupwork isn't true. Brainstorming doesn't work.

Cognitive psychologist Tony McCaffrey writes in the Harvard Business Review that brainstorming actually makes people less creative than when they work alone, according to studies.

So why is this brainstorming so popular? The collaborative strategy's popularity has been steadily rising since the late 1950s, when the adman Alex Osborn wrote about its supposed ability to maximize ideas per minute in his book Your Creative Power.

How Middle East Tech Circle is Beating Gender Bias

There might be ongoing discord in the Middle East, but the startup scene in this area of the world is much closer to solving the tech gender gap than the one in Silicon Valley.

Only 10% of all Internet entrepreneurs are women. However, experts estimate that the percentage of women Internet entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa region is at 23% and in the Gulf it's 35%.

Huge Shift Needed In the Way Companies Think About Accountability

The way people work is fundamentally changing, and it's affecting how companies operate. This change is sparking a major shift in the economy itself. Aaron Hurst, founder of The Taproot Organization, argues that we're moving away from the "Information Economy" and into a new era, the "Purpose Economy," which is also the title of his new book.

Article: Stanford Is No Longer the Feeder School Into Big Companies

If you're a new graduate, there is much to worry about: you have to face a mountain of student debt, a sluggish job market and a workforce that is increasingly giving up hope on finding employment.

But not all hope is lost. The tech sector — that shiny citadel of Silicon Valley — is still the fastest growing sector of American economy, and there are increasing opportunities for young, tech-savvy people with a head for business. And if you happen to have graduated from one of these institutions — well, you may have a head start.

For those interested in a career in tech, Wired combed through countless LinkedIn accounts and put together this handy chart to illustrate where top American tech companies' recruits graduate from. Stanford seems like an obvious feeder school for the Valley, but you'd be surprised to learn that it's not the number one school on this list; in fact, it's the University of Washington, which is the biggest recruiting ground for Microsoft.