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The Twitter 7 Star Worker Conference (#SMW7Star) Recap 2

Yes! A lot of things can become business. @taradurotoye’s story @ #SMW7Star. Very good.

Jimi Tewe

Yesterday I posted the transcript of Tonye Cole’s session during “The 7 Start Workers Conference” held on Twitter last week. Today’s post is on Tara Durotoye’s session on day 2 where she share a lot about her experience starting up and “7 Star Worker”. If you missed the conference, you can re-live it right  here on my blog.

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Facebook to Buy WhatsApp in a $16 Billion Deal

For all the techies (of which I am one) Facebook is really going crazy with its acquisitions lately. Read this report by deal book on Facebook’s acquisition of Whatsapp.

The frenzy to acquire fast-growing technology start-ups reached new heights on Wednesday as Facebook announced its largest acquisition ever, saying it would pay at least $16 billion for WhatsApp, a text messaging application with 450 million users around the world who pay little or no money for it.

The eye-popping price signals the lengths to which Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, will go to protect his company’s turf as the dominant social network on the web, and is sure to fuel the debate on whether consumer Internet companies are overvalued.

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, Calif., will pay $4 billion in cash and $12 billion worth of shares for WhatsApp. But the ultimate cost of the deal could rise to $19 billion, with WhatsApp employees and founders receiving an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units, which would vest over the next four years.

By any measure, Facebook is paying a steep price for a service that is widely used internationally but is less known in the United States. WhatsApp does not sell advertising and has very little revenue. It charges users a flat fee of $1 a year to use the service, and the first year is free.

The purchase price dwarfs the $1 billion Facebook paid for Instagram, the photo-sharing service. At the time of that deal in 2012, critics assailed Facebook for overpaying, and this megadeal is sure to attract similar scrutiny. And the price is also much higher than the $3 billion Facebook unsuccessfully offered to acquire Snapchat, another messaging service, late last year.

Created by two former Yahoo engineers in 2009, WhatsApp is consistently ranked highly in various app stores.Created by two former Yahoo engineers in 2009, WhatsApp is consistently ranked highly in various app stores.

But Mr. Zuckerberg is clearly willing to spend big to acquire hot messaging technologies, which typically attract younger people than Facebook does.

“Facebook is constantly working to not lose anybody,” said Nate Elliott, an analyst with Forrester Research. “Sometimes that is them innovating on their own, sometimes that’s them mimicking competitors, and sometimes that’s them buying competitors.”

The acquisition also reflects a new strategy at Facebook: The company intends to acquire or build a family of applications instead of simply buttressing its core social network.

Now a 10-year-old social network with 1.2 billion users globally, Facebook has become so ubiquitous in many countries that it risks losing some of the attention of users.

In buying WhatsApp, which is growing faster than its rival Twitterand other social services, Facebook gains access to customers who prefer communicating one-on-one or with very small groups rather than sharing information more widely.

Facebook also has struggled to gain traction in the message space in recent years, a big motivation for its failed offer for Snapchat. While Facebook Messenger, the company’s chat platform, is popular with users, recent attempts to create its own direct messaging service have failed.

Facebook is justifying the price of this deal by citing WhatsApp’s startling growth, which has been even faster than Facebook’s own in its early years. On a conference call with analysts, David Ebersman, Facebook’s chief financial officer, compared WhatsApp to companies with the potential to grow to 1 billion users.

“The primary thing we focused on was how healthy this network is and the pace at which it was growing,” he said. “We looked at other networks that have achieved those kinds of scale” and that helped provide a framework, Mr. Ebersman said.

In the announcement on Facebook’s website, the company said that WhatsApp’s messaging volume is now approaching the entire volume of all text messages sent globally. Based on global estimates, that number could be as high as seven trillion messages sent on WhatsApp a year.

In the conference call, Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s co-founder and chief executive, played down the idea of putting ads on WhatsApp and said he was satisfied with its current subscription model.

“Monetization is not going to be a priority for us,” Mr. Koum said.

The two companies have held informal talks for two years, but the deal came together quickly. In the spring of 2012, Mr. Zuckerberg first reached out to Mr. Koum. The two met at a coffee shop in Los Altos, Calif., and spoke for an hour, then took a walk for another hour and a half. Later that year, they began a series of dinners, and continued to discuss messaging and communication services during meals and walks in the hills above Silicon Valley.

Mr. Zuckerberg asked Mr. Koum to dinner at his home on Feb. 9, where he formally proposed a deal and invited Mr. Koum to join the Facebook board. Mr. Koum thought about it for a few days, and the two men met again on Valentine’s Day. Mr. Koum came over to Mr. Zuckerberg’s home, crashing the dinner Mr. Zuckerberg was sharing with his wife, Priscilla Chan. They negotiated over a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries intended for Ms. Chan.

By the end of the weekend, they had struck a deal.

Corporate advisers played some role as well. Michael Grimes, theMorgan Stanley banker who orchestrated Facebook’s flawed initial public offering in 2012, was this time on the other side of the table, advising WhatsApp on its sale. A big winner is Sequoia Capital, the venture capital firm with a long track record of success that provided WhatsApp’s principal funding.

By some metrics, the cash and stock being paid for WhatsApp make it among the richest deals of all time. With 55 employees, WhatsApp is commanding a price equivalent to $344 million an employee, or about $28 a user. And it is the largest acquisition ever of a venture capital-backed start-up, according to Dow JonesVentureSource.

Facebook had $7.9 billion in revenue last year, most of it from advertising. Mr. Zuckerberg said that money would help give WhatsApp the breathing room to focus on growth without needing to come up with an immediate plan for making money.

In that sense, Mr. Zuckerberg is following the successful strategy he used for Instagram, allowing the service to grow quickly before gradually adding in revenue — in Instagram’s case, from advertising.

WhatsApp, which is based in a small office in Mountain View, Calif., was founded by Mr. Koum and Brian Acton, two formerYahoo executives, in 2009.

Mr. Acton and Mr. Koum have enjoyed portraying WhatsApp as the antithesis of Silicon Valley. Unlike many young start-ups that clamor for attention, the WhatsApp founders often turn down interviews with the press.

They have denounced the model of relying on ads for revenue. And in an interview last year, they made clear they were not quickly adding users with the goal of selling their business.

“Selling the company is easy,” Mr. Koum said last year. “It happens in Silicon Valley all the time. Anybody can build a company and sell the company the next day. That doesn’t make you special, it doesn’t make you unique, it doesn’t make you all that great.”

 

Finally started writing again and its something very interesting on the menu- Human meat in burgers in Anambra Hotel???

Reuters

A man lifts a roasted goat on his shoulder in an abattoir in Swali, in Yenagoa, the capital city of Nigeria’s oil state of Bayelsa- Reuters

Unimaginable right? But yes, anything is possible in Nigeria these days. According to a report by The Osun Defender and New york daily news, two human heads were found at an unnamed hotel restaurant and wrapped in cellophane,  in which police were tipped off to the restaurant allegedly serving human meat in burgers.

The grim discovery was made after police officers  found two human heads wrapped in cellophane at a hotel restaurant. They had raided the hotel in Anambra in southeastern Nigeria after receiving a tip-off.

The hotel owner and 10 others have been arrested, reported the Osun Defender.

Police also recovered two AK-47 rifles, 40 rounds of live ammunition and cellphones from the unnamed hotel.

A certain pastor who begged anonymity told newsmen “I went to the hotel early this year, after eating, I was told that a lump of meat was being sold at N700 ($4), I was surprised. So, I did not know it was human meat that I ate at such an expensive price.”

God help you pastor!

Lillie/Nicole McCloud just wants a comeback. Will she get it?

nicoleWell, she actually did blow me and even the world away with her amazing performace of Cece Winan’s Alabaster box, but the stunning 54 year old mother of three and grandmother of 7, Lillie McLoud, is an old R&B singer and a dance floor diva. Lillie’s daughter actually gave up her mother’s identity on twitter in her reaction to her performance at the X-factor audition.

 

 

 

@Nevergiveup ‏@DjRayneLives……..My Mother Nicole McCloud the biggest inspiration for my creating #TNM Nonprofit #MusicFAM has just performed on #XFactor and I am in tears!

Well, how about that.

A google search on Nicole McCloud turns up a wealth of information on the singer, which explains her beautiful rendition. She was a dance floor diva in the 80′s and 90′s charting a slew of hits, and performing alongside some of the greats. She was signed to Epic records.  Via Wiki

Nicole J. McCloud (born in 1960 in Rochester, New York) is an international singer who has performed with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, the group Kool & The Gang, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Timmy Thomas and other artists. She has lived in the United States most of her life where she has recorded four albums. She now lives in Košice, Slovakia.

In the mid 2000s, Nicole moved to Košice, a small village in Slovakia, to live together with her partner, the football trainer Günter Kronsteiner. Her first Slovakian performance took place at the prestigious Košice International Jazz Festival 2006, where she unexpectedly performed with jazz legend Peter Lipa.

In 2010, Nicole provided the title song for the Slovakian version of Britain’s Got Talent, ‘?esko Slovensko má talent’.

Really?

There’s more.

Nicole first appeared on the US Billboard charts in 1985 with “Always and Forever,” which ultimately peaked at No. 66. Her breakthrough single “Don’t You Want My Love” reached Top 10 in the US, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden. Ten of Nicole’s singles landed the US Billboard charts. So far, her biggest hit has been the 1994 single “Runnin’ Away” which peaked at #3. In 2002, Nicole returned to the Top 10 with “Search’n” (#5). That same year she received a nomination for the International Dance Music Awards, along Craig David and Shakira.

“Don’t You Want My Love” reached number 10 on the DANCE chart in 1986. Still. That’s pretty good. It also charted in several European countries. (US R&B #66 Belgium #7 France #18 Germany #20 Netherlands #9 Sweden #8)

Lillie spoke to Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks the day after her “X Factor” audition aired to set the record straight.

“I do want to let the public know that I am for sure not hiding who I am,” she insisted. As for why “X Factor” producers didn’t mention anything about her past singing career, she replied, “I really don’t know the answer to that. When I would ask that question, I would be told, ‘This is what’s important, this is how we want to do it.’

“I personally embrace my past, and hopefully with all the controversy, I’ll get a chance to speak out, because people — I would say ‘haters,’ is what I call them — don’t know my story. When you have children, it’s a no-brainer: You can’t go for everything you want to go for, and you let opportunities pass you by. I’m sure that had I not had children, maybe I would have reached my goal. But I’ve got three kids and seven grandkids, so I missed so many opportunities that I could have said yes to, that would have helped launch my career. ‘The X Factor,’ I mean, they know everything about my life, so they made a decision on how they wanted to put me out there. Was it a wrong decision? I don’t think so. I think they wanted to catch on the more intimate side of me, and let me do the talking as far as my career. And you know, if someone’s really interested and they search my name, they can find out anything they want to find out, anyways.”

As for that name, Lillie is in fact the name on her birth certificate, although she never billed herself as such until Simon Cowell (whom Lillie says she never met before, despite the aforementioned “Got Talent” connection) started doing so. “He just started calling me Lillie [the legal name on her documents], and I said, ‘Okay, I guess I’m Lillie, then,'” she recalls. “I didn’t intend to use my real name; the only people who know my real name are the bill collectors! But Simon went on ‘Chelsea Handler,’ and he mentioned ‘Lillie,’ and it just kind of took off from there.”

As for her earlier accomplishments in the dance world, Lillie said, “Yes, I had some success, and it was a great market to be in, but it was just not for my heart. I never could get any of the record labels to take me seriously or let me do what I wanted to do. They were always pushing me in the dance market, and although I appreciate that and I had a really good time doing that, it was never where I wanted to get to in my career. I had some records out and they charted okay, and I had my fanbase and did the little nightclubs in New York or the big cities, and that was about as far as I went. But a long time ago because of one [hit] song, ‘Don’t You Want My Love,’ it allowed me to go overseas and get more corporate on a high scale with dates in Europe and that kind of thing. So the name allowed me to keep working, here and abroad.”

Lillie quit music in 2004 and soon after permanently relocated to Europe (to Slovakia, where she lived with her boyfriend at the time), after years of frustration in the business. “I just walked away from it because it just wasn’t going well. You know, you have a record out there, and to some people it’s like, ‘Oh my God, she’s a superstar!’ But when you look in your bank account, you’re not.”

But Lillie eventually caught the performance bug again and starting gigging around Europe. “When I couldn’t make it in the recording industry, I told myself, ‘I’m going try to become one of the best live performers around,'” she recalled. And all that practice paid off when Lillie moved back to the States (she now resides in Orlando) and decided to pursue a real recording career again…by trying out for “The X Factor.”

“I was following [the show] for the last couple years. It seemed to be the one place that would really reach out and give someone like me an opportunity. It just seemed like it was the place to go. I was so happy that such a show would allow someone my age a chance to be noticed, to really branch into this career properly. My sister was pushing me, and I finally said, ‘Okay, I’ll try it; I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.”

Lillie, who found God in recent years and auditioned for “The X Factor” singing CeCe Winans’s “Alabaster Box,” now wants to pursue a less dancey type of gospel-crossover music that she describes as “Mary Mary vs. Bruno Mars….Although I’m in the secular world singing secular music, my objective is to go into gospel, but gospel as it’s never been known before. I’m not going take off my catsuit if I feel like wearing it. I want to show the young kids that you can have a party and really get down with gospel. So the type of music I’m hearing in my head is something that hasn’t been released before. Hopefully I’ll find a producer that can get in and unravel my thoughts, and get it onto tape.”

As for the public debate regarding whether someone as seasoned as Lillie deserves another chance in a forum like “The X Factor,” Lillie points out that there are plenty of singing-show contestants with similar pasts. “There’s so many of us who have had careers before, from ‘American Idol’ to ‘The Voice’ to ‘The X Factor.’ If you search the background on every contestant, you’re going to find quite a few that have experience in this industry. But we’re here on these shows because we didn’t make it.”

Perhaps Lillie will finally “make it” after all, if “X Factor” fans give her a chance — and “X Factor” editors tell her entire story.

At the moment, the producers of X-factor are yet to react on the sudden revelations about Lillie but I think she does deserve another chance at her career, age notwithstanding.

Check out some of her songs on YouTube.

Nigeria should host the next Super Bowl????

When I saw this post on CNN I couldn’t help but re-blog it. Guess Amanpour really wants President Jonathan to understand that the international community is aware that the situation in the power sector hasn’t improved like he boasted in his last interview on CNN.

The questions on my mind are, is this really true about us? How long are we going to condone this and more? Can we host the Super Bowl?

I can’t help laughing at the last question…..

Check this out!

http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/

While American waited 35 minutes for the Super Bowl’s lights to come on, Nigerians just chuckled.

They know all too well the problem of power outages: Nigeria has been plagued by rolling blackouts that last hours, sometimes even days.

So as the television audience worldwide waited for the power to come back on, Nigerians took to social media with wit.

“Power outage at the Super Bowl on Sunday. Suddenly, Nigeria doesn’t look as dark anymore,” tweeted one Nigerian.

“If they had the Super Bowl in Nigeria, the power coming back on would be the real surprise,” another tweeted.

Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, recently told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that his country’s electrical woes have been improving.

“That is one area that Nigerians are quite pleased with the government, that commitment to improve power. It’s working,” President Jonathan told the president.

Many Nigerian viewers tweeted messages to Christiane Amanpour to express their continued frustrations about having to rely on back-up generators for power.

In the video above, you can watch an “Open Mic” series CNN conducted after Amanpour’s interview with President Jonathan. We left a microphone in a public place and recorded Nigerians expressing their frustrations with their notoriously unreliable power supply.

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