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Here’s what we’re missing about the future of work

Here’s what we’re missing about the future of work

“Man is by nature a social animal … Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.”

-Aristotle, Politics

There are many predictions on the future of work. People have predicted the end of e-mail, but that seems to be hanging around. Time Magazine predicted, “By 2000, the machines will be producing so much that everyone in the US will, in effect, be independently wealthy.” Of course, one of my favorites is from Thomas Watson at IMB in 1943. He said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

Most of the discussion about how work is changing revolves around technology and culture, which is not wrong. These two dominant trends are driving massive upheaval for commercial real estate.

“Being successful in this industry means being on the front end of trends, thinking about what those trends mean for the long-term,” said Robert Bowman, chairman of the Urban Land Institute’s Residential Neighborhood Council. “Those who understand major demographic changes will have a competitive edge.”

Technology Is Changing the Way We Work

You’re likely aware of how technology is changing the way we work. Faster internet connections, wireless, cloud storage, cell phones, and software are making remote work more viable than ever before. It was not that long ago when all work had to take place within the walls of the office. The contribution of technology to a worker’s productivity is nearly five times greater today than it was in the 70s, according to a study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research. Today, a significant amount of work can happen more effectively and from anywhere.

Culturally, technology has created a generational shift. Millennials, as well as Generation Z, have grown up in a hyper-connected world. They have a completely different view of how the world connects and operates. Some of their close friends are people they play games with online but have never truly met in real life. Many have had smartphones since they were very young, and communication methods like text and social media have formed their views of social interactions. A recent McKinsey & Company study calls Gen Z a “hypercognitive generation very comfortable with collecting and cross-referencing many sources of information and with integrating virtual and offline experiences.”

Today, there are entire companies built on remote work. One of the original members at Populus is Jaya, a software development company. In just 18-months, Jaya has built a global team with employees in Omaha, NE, as well as Miami, Fl, New York, NY, Bogota, CO, and Medellin, CO. Connected via the internet and using software like Slack and Github, the can effectively work across multiple timezones and continents.

It can be easy to look at the trends in technology or culture and make predictions about the growing decentralization of work. Might all work soon be remote? Will every company provide total flexibility? Perhaps the whole idea of office space is dying.

There’s more to the future of office

Or, perhaps, cultural trends and technology are not the whole picture. Maybe we’re missing one critical factor in the future office space: humans.

Are virtual connections the same as a physical community? A recent Science Magazine article argues virtual and physical communities are quite different. “The answer,” writes Etzioni, “at least according to several leading students of virtual communities, is that human relations in computer-mediated communities cannot be as intimate, strong, and affect-laden as in social communities.” That’s probably no surprise to many of us, though we might wish it wasn’t the case. Humans are wired for physical community and social interaction. Research says that as much as 93% of our communication is via body language. Over thousands of years, humans have learned to notice small details about spacing, movement, and tone when it comes to communication and community. Details that can’t come across via technology.

Technology may allow us to be more flexible in the way we interact, but there is still no replacement for in-person interaction. Humans need a community to be happy, productive, healthy people. Without a physical community, we literally start to get sick and die.

“Being socially connected is our brain’s lifelong passion,” writes UCLA professor Matthew Lieberman, “it’s been baked into our operating system.” There is a lot of emerging research showing how much our brains are not just wired to connect with people, but built for in-person community. It’s the key driver behind things like accountability and empathy, which are critical pieces of business today. It’s because of this basic human need for physical connection that office space is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

The future of work is flexibility

The future of work is all about flexibility and community. It’s about creating a density of people, though not all of them may work for the same company. Workspaces must create places that allow people to interact and connect, as well as leveraging the best that technology has to offer. But these workspaces are becoming more diverse, hosting multiple companies instead of just a single tenant. This is why coworking has a very bright future. The human need for physical community is fundamental, and technology or culture will not eliminate that need – at least not anytime soon. While companies can employ the best talent from anywhere in the world, the distributed workforce will still require some form of human community to thrive.

“Someday, we will look back and wonder how we ever had lives, work, and schools that weren’t guided by the principles of the social brain,”

-Matthew Lieberman

A Real Guide on How to Find Your Passion

A Real Guide on How to Find Your Passion

An article from Populus Founder Micah Yost who also runs a creative firm called Method Mark.


Follow your passion. Do what you love and never work another day in your life. Sounds nice. Is it possible? Kind of.

I’ve always been fascinated by book titles like the “4 Hour Work Week” and the idea that you should pursue your passions in life. “Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you,” says Oprah. It’s not that I don’t want that power – it sounds exhilarating. But I’ve never felt I was doing it right. I’ve been doing things that I love for a long time. Things that I would call passions. But doing what I love wasn’t showing up with easy work weeks, simple days, and nerf gun wars. To be clear, I’ve had a lot of fun doing the things that I love. But it’s not easy, and it does feel like work. What gives? Is following your passion supposed to mean endless joy? And if so – what’s wrong with me?

The meaning of passion

Let’s go back a few years. Maybe a few thousand years. To understand this whole idea of following your passion, we have to reset our understanding of the very word itself. The root of the word passion is the Latin word pati, which means suffering. Passion is a word that initially meant enduring or undergoing a challenging experience. You may be familiar with the Passion of the Christ, which was a way of describing the sufferings of Christ on the cross. For centuries, the term was attributed to religious martyrs who died for their beliefs. It wasn’t until the late 16th century that it took on a meaning associated with love or anything too positive. For a long time, the idea of passion was associated much more with struggle than freedom and energy.

Today we speak of passion very differently, defined as intense love, emotion, or desire. In doing so, I believe the word has lost its depth. We idolize the positive emotions, stripping away what we all know is true of the things we love most. For the things we love most, we sacrifice. Like a martyr who gives his life for a cause he is passionate about, we are willing to struggle and endure for things that have our affection. We dedicate ourselves to those things naturally because of their meaning, not merely because of how they make us feel.

Success is…

James Clear has an excellent book called Atomic Habits. You should read it. He writes in that book, “the greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom.” Success isn’t as much about finding your zen as it is about focus, discipline, and a willingness to endure. This is not to say that work has to suck. It doesn’t. But when you work your passion – your true passion – the fun is in success and achievement. 

Have you ever studied any great athletes’ training program? Ther are incredible. There is little margin. It was the great Muhammad Ali who said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” At the peak of his career, Michael Phelps would train – hard training – 6 hours a day, six days a week. I guess that’s how you win 28 medals at the Olympics. “Even in high school, I’d tell my mom I was sick of swimming and wanted to try to play golf,” says Phelps. “She wasn’t too happy. She’d say, ‘Think about this.’ And I’d always end up getting back in the pool.”

If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.

Thomas Jefferson

Passion v hobbies

So passion isn’t merely about having fun and never working a day in your life. Those moments may happen, but that’s not the focus. Following your passion means suffering for the thing you love. Identifying your true passion in life is all about finding the stuff for which you’ll endure challenges and struggles. 

Don’t look for the fun thing – we call those hobbies. From time to time, your hobbies can make you money. Too often, though, we try to monetize our hobbies, and we end up hating them. It’s because we don’t want to suffer for our hobbies, we want to enjoy them. Your passions in life – those are the things for which you’ll endure the mundane and the low points. 

Build your endurance

Work on your endurance and the ability to stay committed when things get hard. Then find your true passion – the things you’re willing to fight for. Find the people, causes, and ideas for which you’re eager to put everything on the line.

The world needs your unwavering commitment.

How Profitable Should My Startup Be?

How Profitable Should My Startup Be?

Profitability. Burn rate. Runway. All these terms get floated around when building a company. Some may think there are two options for a company: either lose as little as possible or make as much as possible. But, like many things in life, there is more complexity to the issue.

There are companies like WeWork who lost nearly $2 billion of cash between 2018 and 2019. But there are others like Juul who have increased revenue from about $200 million to nearly $1 billion in just one year. They also attained about $12 million in profit during that run. 

For any startup, there is a balance between profitability and growth. This doesn’t mean, though, that the only two options are burning billions or making a few million. A third option is making just enough profit to cover the founder’s expenses. In doing so, your company sustainable. Many call this ramen profitability.

Ramen Profitability Defined

Ramen profitability is a term that was popularized by venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Paul Graham and since he is the man responsible for bringing this term into the lexicon of the business world, he is undoubtedly best equipped to define it.

In his words, ramen profitability “means a startup makes just enough to pay the founders’ living expenses.” This is a different form of profitability than startups have typically pursued. For entrepreneurs, profitability typically means a big bet is paying off in big ways. The main importance of ramen profitability is that you make just enough and it buys you time.

Related: List of Coworking Spaces in Omaha

Ramen Profitable Startups vs Typical Startups

guy writing on white board

During the early days of a startup, striving to achieve ramen profitability is an excellent way to ensure that a company will survive without raising a lot of capital. In Nebraska, it can be difficult to find venture capital even with a growing network of angel investors. Often, when operating in Lincoln or Omaha, founders struggle to find meaningful investment at early stages like they in larger markets on the coast.  A company that has attained enough profit to survive without growth capital can assure it will stick around long enough to find the right investors.

Traditionally, startups have sought out investors in an effort to raise capital that is then spent on building the company. This approach might mean that a business does not see profits for many, many years to come but, when profitability is reached, millions of dollars may be generated. In and around Nebraska, investors are more attracted to stability, profitability, and control. Because of this, ramen profitability is a great approach in the early days of new ventures.

With ramen profitability, a startup can achieve profitability much earlier since investment debts aren’t draining the company. With this approach, the goals are simply to eschew raising capital while focusing on achieving a high enough level of profitability to at least pay for the salary of any founders. Once that benchmark has been reached, the company is profitable.

Related: Guide to Finding Angel Investors in Omaha

Ramen Profitability Is an Excellent Indicator of Viability

money and calculator

For startups looking to delay raising capital, the time spent working with a goal of ramen profitability in mind can bring about a few benefits.

One very big advantage is the fact that reaching this goal perfectly indicates the viability of a startup. That’s because, once profitability is achieved, three things can be inferred:

  • People are happy to pay for the product, which means that the market exists;
  • The founders solved a pain point in the market;
  • The startup’s founders were able to control spending and successfully manage cash flow to achieve profitability.

All of these indicators are important benchmarks to achieve when the time does come to start talking with investors.

Related: Opportunity Zone Investment for Startups

Advantages Inherent to Ramen Profitability

Choosing to govern a startup with the goal of ramen profitability in mind can have many advantages with some being more obvious than others. 

  • One key advantage that comes from following this model is the fact that, when founders do need to approach investors, they won’t be desperate for cash and can negotiate better terms.
  • A startup’s profitability will also work to the advantage of its founders when approaching investors because profit, no matter how small, will prove the viability of the business.
  • Finally, because ramen profitability allows founders to delay the process of raising capital, they are better able to focus their time on the business instead of dealing with endless meetings and negotiations with investors.

Related: 10 Best Time Management Apps for Startup Founders

Ramen Profitability Is Not a One-Size Fits All Approach

While ramen profitability certainly has its advantages, it isn’t the perfect fit for all entrepreneurs. That’s because, for some startups, such a large infusion of cash is needed right from the beginning that raising capital is virtually unavoidable. It really depends on your end goal. If you’re more concerned with blitz scaling and are okay with burning through money quickly, then ramen profitability isn’t for you. On the contrary, if you’re more interested in long-term growth and becoming a profitable company, ramen profitability is the route for you and your business to take.

Ramen Profitability is the Solution Your Business Needs

stacks of coins

Once all of the advantages and disadvantages inherent to ramen profitably are considered, it’s easy to see why it’s such an attractive option for founder on the Silicon Prairie. In places like Nebraska, capital is difficult to find and often takes a much longer time to secure than it might in larger metro areas. Most investors in the Omaha and Lincoln area are more risk-averse, especially in the early stages of new businesses. Ramen profitability assures founders they can stay afloat while they work to secure funding. 

Office space can really chew up startup cash fast. That’s why we built Populus to be flexible and cost-effective office space for teams of 2-20. Check out our coworking spaces in Omaha and let us support you with an amazing and affordable workspace.

Related: LLC or Inc: What’s Better for a Startup?

Disclaimer: This article is intended to help business owners make more informed decisions in regards to the topic; however, please contact an attorney for legal advice and an accountant for tax advice. Populus makes no representation as a legal advisor or tax advisor.

 

10 Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read

10 Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read

Being an entrepreneur is a continuous journey of learning, applying, and iterating. Whether it’s trying to raise capital or finding the perfect coworking space, entrepreneurs have a lot on their plate – at all times. Plenty of entrepreneurs have been down the same path and, luckily for us, have jotted down their learnings and unique perspective on what makes an entrepreneur successful. 

Whether it’s inspiration or advice on how to be a better entrepreneur, we’ve compiled the ten best books worth reading. Check them out below:

Related: 10 Best Slack Apps for Your Team in 2019

1. Spin Selling

 By Neil Rackham

For anyone looking to learn how to improve an organization’s sales strategy when it comes to high-value accounts.

Spin Selling by Neil Rackham is a classic business book focused on sales. It’s all about practice makes perfect, and Neil after going through over 35,000 sales calls in his career decided to share his most key learnings in this book. 

The book dives into helping entrepreneurs develop a differentiated sales methodology that’s appropriate for their business known as the SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-payoff) strategy.

It elaborates on the right questions to ask when it comes to selling, and how this helps determine the right sales approach to take – all depending on the value of what is being sold. 

With deep expertise in sales, Rackham has advised organizations such as IBM and Honeywell when it comes to their sales approach and delivered dramatic increases in sales volume. All of which are explored in this book. This one’s a must-read for anyone looking into high volume sales strategies that require a differentiated approach vs. the one applied with small value consumer sales used by most businesses.

“Successful people ask a lot more questions during sales calls than do their less successful colleagues. We found that these less successful people tend to do most of the talking.” 

Neil Rackham, Major Account Sales Strategy

2. The Hard Thing About Hard Things

By Ben Horowitz

For anyone thinking of starting a business or currently running one. This book is packed with key real-life learnings on how to successfully build, manage, sell, and invest in businesses.

Serial entrepreneur and co-founder of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (which has an amazing blog), Ben lays out critical advice on building and running a startup in this book. Taking a unique angle, he skips the business school advice and dives into real-world practical learnings – all the while using his favorite rap song lyrics to reinforce his insights.

Throughout the book, Ben Horowitz addresses commonly held beliefs from seasoned business builders – that there is no perfect approach to launching a business, but being prepared for the screw-ups and quickly learning from them is key.

In this book, Ben shares the many mistakes that were made while leading large billion-dollar corporations and how his team acted to turn things around. He shares the difficult decisions he’s had to make, and all the while reveals his learnings using his trademark dry humor and no bullsh*t approach.

This book is on every successful entrepreneur’s shelf as it perfectly highlights the highs and lows of startup life, the resilience one builds, and the rewards at the finish line.

“’Life is struggle.’ I believe that within that quote lies the most important lesson in entrepreneurship: Embrace the struggle.” 

Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

    3. Daring Greatly

    By Brene Brown

    For anyone who fears the critics and the risk. Daring Greatly is a manifesto about stepping out into the unknown and trying something new, different, or hard.

    In this book, Brene Brown explores courage and vulnerability. She shows us that vulnerability is not weakness, but a key to innovation and leadership. It is by embracing our fears that we become more courageous to explore the unknown.

    Brene expertly identifies the feeling all entrepreneurs experience because of critics. She helps us understand how to deal with those that sit on the sidelines and are full opinions. There is no better book to understand the feelings of fear, uncertainty, and risk that come along with building something new.

    “Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.” 

    Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

    Related: 10 Best Time Management Apps for Startup Founders

      4. The High Growth Handbook

      By Elad Gil and Kevin Stilwell

      For anyone looking for advice in turning their thriving startup and navigating it’s high-growth towards becoming a unicorn.

      Tech executive and investor Elad Gil has worked with many startups that have now grown into large global organizations. With experience driving growth at Airbnb, Twitter, and the likes, Elad breaks down common growth strategies that have played out across these companies and shares a repeatable playbook.

      Focusing on providing advice for startups that have achieved product-market fit, Elad covers key topics required to successfully manage growth such as recruiting a stellar team, handling aboard, and setting up your business for a successful merger, acquisition, or IPO.

      Not only does Elad provide direct advice and insights, but he also shares interviews with successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley such as Reid Hoffman and Marc Andreessen to share their perspective on how to handle the high-growth startup phase.

      An insightful and highly recommended book focused on navigating the complexities of turning a startup into a thriving global brand. This one’s a must-read for anyone seeking strategies to blitz scale their business.

      “All startup advice is only useful in context, and I am a firm believer that the only good generic startup advice is that there is no good generic startup advice. So take what is written here with a grain of salt—it is very much one person’s experiences.” 

      Elad Gil, High Growth Handbook

      5. Zero to One

      By Peter Thiel

      For anyone looking to understand how to develop ideas that can change the world, and how to take those ideas from conception to real businesses. 

      Peter Thiel is considered a legend in the entrepreneurial tech space so it’s no surprise this book makes the cut on many startup founders’ bookshelves.

      In Zero to One, Thiel focuses on the tech industry and provides practical advice on tackling big challenges, and navigating the tricky road of turning an idea into a company.

      Although the book is from a tech veteran, Thiel talks about how innovation can be done in other industries, and how innovation isn’t building on other ideas but doing something entirely new that can have a huge impact on the world. Crafting new industries instead of starting businesses in existing ones. 

      Beyond sharing insights on what he deems as useful entrepreneurial ventures to take on. Thiel also reflects on American progress so far in innovation, and the questions leaders in the space asked to come up with the ideas that have changed the way we go about our lives.

      A fantastic book that opens up your perspective on what it means to be an entrepreneur and how to chase billion-dollar ideas that can make a lasting impact on the world. 

      “You’ve invented something new but you haven’t invented an effective way to sell it, you have a bad business—no matter how good the product.” 

      Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

      6. The Messy Middle

      By Scott Belsky

      For anyone who is somewhere between the beginning and the end of any project or startup. This is a masterpiece on what is required to work through the uncertainty of entrepreneurship.

      The Messy Middle is a book that reads more like a manual. It’s a book that you’ll likely reference over and over again, turning to a specific chapter on a unique topic. It’s written in very short pieces of content which makes it very easy for entrepreneurs to engage. The Messy Middle covers optimizing your team, self-awareness, competitive advantages, embracing the long game, and other crucial topics for startup leaders.

      There is a lot of discussion about how to start something new and the success that comes at the end. There isn’t nearly as much content about all the messy work that happens in the middle of building a startup. Entrepreneurship is volatile, risky, uncertain, and unpredictable. New ideas are a rollercoaster and this book is a manual on how to deal with all that comes with the ride.

      “If we have a good quarter, it is because of the work we did three, four, five years ago, not the work we did this quarter.” 

      “You can get the important stuff right and still lose by not enduring long enough.” 

      Scott Belsky, The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture

      Related: Guide to Finding Angel Investors in Omaha

      7. Rework

      By Jason Fried and David Hansson

      For anyone looking to start a business but is overwhelmed by the tasks involved. Rework dispels the notion that launching ideas require careful planning and lots of capital, and instead shows you how to launch ideas in a lean way.

      Rework is all about changing perspective and removing a lot of the biases in how ‘work’ should be done. Rework explains the new world we live in, where anyone can start a business over a weekend given the inexpensive tools at our disposable. It looks at the commonly held beliefs such as developing a business plan and researching the competition before beginning a business, and advocates to do the exact opposite. 

      That is, to act first, be lean, and analyze later.

      Jason shares a whole new framework and system for achieving your entrepreneurial dreams. With a strong emphasis on learning by doing, he helps guide one through the thinking to start a business on the side while working their day job. To achieve traction with very little upfront capital, and use that momentum to scale side hustles into fully-fledged businesses.

      With simple language and a clear playbook, this book is full of actionable steps that can help one take their ideas to execution.

      “Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is home because she figured out a faster way” 

      Jason Fried, Rework

      8. Die Empty

      By Todd Henry

      For those on the fence about whether or not to pursue their dreams and passions. This is a book about doing your most important work every day, because we only have so many days available. The world needs your creative work and fresh ideas. 

      Die Empty is a book by author and speaker Todd Henry. He is also the voice behind the popular creative podcast The Accidental Creative. This book is all about the importance of launching your best work right now. It urges creatives and innovators to resist the lull of comfort and familiarity to launch their ideas and build new things.

      This isn’t simply a book about following your passion. This is a book about identifying the unique value you bring to the world and then going all in on that opportunity. This book encourages you to be fiercely curious, step out of your comfort zone, wisely define goals. 

      There is no better author to help encourage you to step out and take the risk you know you must take. This world needs your best work today. You don’t know how many tomorrows there will be, so stop waiting for tomorrow.

      “Passion” has its roots in the Latin word pati, which means “to suffer or endure.” Therefore, at the root of passion is suffering. This is a far cry from the way we casually toss around the word in our day-to-day conversations. Instead of asking “What would bring me enjoyment?” which is how many people think about following their passion, we should instead ask “What work am I willing to suffer for today?”

      Todd Henry, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day

      Related: LLC or Inc: What’s Better for a Startup?

      9. The Lean Startup

      By Eric Ries

      For entrepreneurs looking to take ideas to launch rapidly, this book walks you through lean principles that can help you build companies that can adjust and adapt to achieve product-market fit, and beyond.

      The Lean Startup is usually the first book recommended by any startup founder to those looking to join the entrepreneurial world. In this book, Eric shares how one can apply ‘lean’ principles in rapidly testing and validating business ideas. 

      Eric shares techniques that allow companies to be flexible and pivot quickly to achieve product-market fit. With a focus on the notion of ‘adapting and adjusting’, this book teaches companies regardless of size how they can adjust to changing consumer and market needs, and as a result, adapt and thrive.

      Using lessons from ‘lean manufacturing’, the book emphasizes a scientific approach. It encourages rapid experimentation, to ignore vanity metrics and measure what matters, as well as various other counter-intuitive strategies. 

      This book is great at illustrating how to build dynamic companies that can adjust to market movements before it’s too late. 

      “Success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customer’s problem.” 

      Eric Ries, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

      10. Measure What Matters

      By John Doerr

      For leaders and entrepreneurs looking to learn how to define clear organizational goals, and measure progress in real-time. Measure What Matters lays out the playbook on how to implement OKRs in an organization, and shares various case studies on the benefits it delivers.

      Measure What Matters is a best-selling book about OKRs, objectives and key results. Company OKRs are metrics that have gone on to help countless brands such as Google define and focus on their goals. 

      John brought this technique of applying scientific measurement to management strategies to Google in the 1970s and has since shared how this can be developed for any organization through this book. 

      Using multiple case studies, the book walks one through how to define such goals, implement ways to track progress and translate the goals into clear actions that can be executed on by pre-set timelines. 

      The book shares the various benefits this achieves from boosting employee morale, improving retention, and has chapters narrated by Bill Gates and Bono on how OKRs have helped them in leading high performing teams. 

      “Leaders must get across the why as well as the what. Their people need more than milestones for motivation. They are thirsting for meaning, to understand how their goals relate to the mission.” 

      John Doerr, Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

      Conclusion

      These books are exactly what every entrepreneur needs in their library. They provide critical information and advice. Each one of these books mentioned will benefit you and your company. There are so many entrepreneurs that have come before you and don’t want you to make the same mistakes that they did, so take advantage of the knowledge they give and avoid unnecessary errors. If you’re a business in Omaha, Nebraska, be sure to check out our coworking spaces. Working alongside other entrepreneurs is another exceptional way to learn and grow.

      Related: Unique Benefits of Shared Office Space 

      10 Best Time Management Apps for Startup Founders

      10 Best Time Management Apps for Startup Founders

      Entrepreneurs are often creative and innovative individuals. With so many tasks on their daily to-do lists, it’s common for entrepreneurs to get distracted or become disorganized. When you’re just starting a business, you may not be able to afford to have an assistant to keep everything organized. Luckily, there are time management apps that can help you stay on track with all of your tasks.

      Keep in mind that for every startup founder, time is a precious resource. From scheduling meetings, fulfilling orders, and accomplishing a ton of other tasks, it just seems like there are never enough hours in the day.

      This is why it is important for startup founders to use their time effectively. There are a lot of time management apps that will help you manage your time better and ease any stress caused by disorganization.

      Related: Opportunity Zone Investment for Startups

      With these apps, you’ll be able to:

      • Free up your schedule
      • Find time for your personal life
      • Focus on getting your work done 
      • Multitask with little to no difficulty
      • Improve profitability 
      • Bill accurately
      • Calculate work rates
      • Capture tasks that often go unreported, like travel and meetings

      Here are the 10 best time management apps for startup founders:

      1. Evernote

      evernote

      Evernote allows users to create, organize, and attach notes, files, and images. The app is designed to ensure that the user can accomplish multiple tasks in a single app. Evernote can act as a digital notebook for almost anything and everything.

      It helps the user to:

      • Track their expenses
      • Manage their calendar 
      • Create slideshow presentations 
      • Plan their next trip

      Evernote also makes it easy for users to create, share, and discuss with others in the organization. Evernote also makes it possible for users to develop projects faster and allow multiple participants to work on different aspects of the project. Evernote is a necessary time management app for startup founders.

      2. Pocket

      pocket

      Pocket makes it easy for users to save interesting links and articles for later, as well as organize them however they deem fit.

      Pocket is a bookmarking app that ensures the user never loses an article they may need. Pocket allows the user to save everything in a single place ensuring they have quick and easy access to it.

      Pocket integrates with over 1,500 apps and allows offline viewing of websites and articles. Pocket is a must have time management app.

        3. Trello

        trello

        Trello is a team collaboration software. It allows users to interact through tasks and collaborate with colleagues and team members. 

        Trello is fun and easy to use, it allows the user to keep track of everything that goes on in their company. It also allows the user to assign, delegate, and monitor tasks. Users are allowed to manage a project, view the progress, build roadmaps, and much more. Another great feature of Trello is that it can be synchronized across the user’s devices and it allows third-party apps integration.

        Related: LLC or Inc: What’s Better for a Startup?

          4. RescueTime

          rescuetime

          RescueTime provides users with detailed reports about websites they spend most of their time on. The app comes with a promise to maintain the work-life balance of the user. It allows a user to monitor and analyze their daily activities in regard to the time spent on each website.

          The ability to know what fills up most of your time and what really distracts you from getting things done allows you to prioritize activities and save a lot of time. RescueTime is a necessary time management app for all startup founders.

          5. Hootsuite

          hootsuite

          Hootsuite lets the user manage all their social media accounts from one single place. For business owners, it’s necessary to maintain an online presence, not just on a company blog, but on various social networks. 

          Hootsuite makes it easy for users to schedule posts, track engagement, browse newsfeed, respond to messages, and see reports and analytics.

          6. Harvest

          harvest

          Harvest allows users to easily track time, log expenses, and manage invoices on the go. Harvest is a time and expense tracking app that can help a startup founder shift their mindset and start thinking about time as a finite resource. 

          The app integrates with tons of other tools like Trello, GitHub, and others. Harvest helps a user to track billable time to ensure that every minute is properly accounted for.

          Related: Omaha Startup Press for 2019

          7. Todoist

          todoist

          Todoist allows the user to create digital to-do lists and tasks. Items can be shared with colleagues, assigned specific due dates, and flagged for priority.

          Todoist integrates with hundreds of apps so that the user can stay on top of everything they’re doing. It allows users to add daily habits and recurring tasks and deadlines to prevent them from manually inputting repetitive tasks every time.

          8. Wunderlist

          Wunderlist

          Wunderlist lets users capture, share, and complete lists on their own or with colleagues. Users can track, complete, share their own goals, and assign tasks for their team members.

          It allows users to check off their personal and professional to-do list by getting everything in sync and making it easy to share their list.

          Wunderlist is a cloud-based task-management application, it makes sharing grocery lists, working collaboratively on projects, or planning household activities a lot easier. Wunderlist also syncs with the user’s phone, tablet, and computer to ensure they can access the list from anywhere.

          Related: Why People Hate Offices and Don’t Like Their Jobs

          9. Toggl

          Toggl

          Toggl is a time management app that users can use to track time spent on tasks and manually add entries.

          It helps users track their time to improve productivity. The app provides features that can be divided by tasks, projects, and clients to determine how efficiently time and money are spent.

          With Toggl, a user can:

          • Sync Toggl across devices and track everything 
          • Find ways to optimize time spent on tasks
          • Review their week, month, and yearly productivity

          10. Slack

           slack

          Slack is the most popular internal communication tool and has extensive functionality. It allows the user to communicate with the team, exchange documents and files, set reminders, arrange calls, manages to-do lists, and have many other issues under control.

          Slack is fun, secure, and sufficient enough to be used as the main communication tool. It is an essential time management app for startups.

          Related: 10 Best Slack Apps for Your Team in 2019

          Conclusion

          Time management apps make it a lot easier for startup founders and entrepreneurs to manage their time effectively and prevent distractions. These apps ensure that you maintain a proper work-life balance and never get off track. If you’re a startup founder, you should definitely check out some of these apps. And if you’re a startup in Omaha looking for office space, contact us.

          Disclaimer: This article is intended to help business owners make more informed decisions in regards to the topic; however, please contact an attorney for legal advice and an accountant for tax advice. Populus makes no representation as a legal advisor or tax advisor.

           

           

          10 Best Slack Apps for Your Team in 2019

          10 Best Slack Apps for Your Team in 2019

          Do you remember the classic game “Telephone”? The game where one person says a sentence to the person next to them and they keep it going down the line. Often times, the phrase is completely different by the time the last person hears it. The whole point of the game was to show how easily information gets misconstrued. It’s okay if it’s just high school gossip, but when it comes to your office space, you can lose millions of dollars because of falsely spread information.

          The last thing you want is miscommunication within your organization. With this in mind, you definitely should consider a mind-blowing app like “Slack”. This app has undoubtedly become a leading team collaboration tool. With its easy configuration and smooth learning curve, Slack is a favorite for 10 million+ users.

          As a top productivity app for corporations and startups, Slack helps teams to communicate better. Whether you want to get your team’s feedback, be notified for each new task, or just keep the conversation going within your team, chances are there’s already a Slack app that can do that for you.

          Here’s a list of the 10 best Slack apps for your team in 2019:

          1. Donut – Team Building in Slack 

          Donut

          Investing in team building activities helps to bring a lot of positivity to the overall organizational culture. Donut is a social communication platform designed for building better team relationships. It does so by developing connections between the team members and reminding them to meet for collaborations.

          The Donut app for Slack lets you send your new employees any information they may need to start their new job. Or you could connect them with a team member who can introduce them to the company, its policies, and a host of other things.

          If you integrate Donut with Slack, you can:

          • Connect with new team members via direct 
          • Get reminders for meetings with team members 
          • Create Slack pairing channels for multiple teams 
          • Easy new employee on-boarding by connecting them to other team members

          Related: Unique Benefits of Shared Office Space

          2. Time Doctor – Productivity Tool

          time doctor

          Every team needs Time Doctor to improve overall team productivity. It is one of the best slack apps out there. 

          Time Doctor is a real-time tracking tool that measures the time spent on a task, it takes screenshots of your employees screens to better monitor their overall time spending patterns.

          Time Doctor allows you to:

          • Track the websites and applications being accessed by your team during a task
          • Track the time an employee spends on a task and receive reports in Slack channels
          • Receive updates when tasks are completed 
          • Receive notifications whenever a resource starts working on a task

          3. Wonder – The Ultimate Reminder Tool

          wonder

          Wonder ensures that forgetting things is no longer a problem for your team. Wonder is a reminder tool that takes the form of a live chat, and by telling the app to remember something, you or your team members can retrieve that information anytime they want.

          Here’s what Wonder does for your team:

          • Saves important team information through memories
          • Brings up the information that it was told to remember in between Slack conversations
          • Dashboard to store, update and categorize information

          4. Tettra – Best Slack App for Knowledge Management

          tettra

           

          There’s a need to introduce a common knowledge hub when teams begin to grow in size. Tettra provides a central hub for teams to store and share collective knowledge. This helps the team to access the right information at the right time without it getting lost in a sea of information.

          The tool provides an easy, efficient, and ideal means for storing team information in one place. Doing so minimizes the hassle of having information stored in multiple locations.

          Related: Opportunity Zone Investment for Startups

          5. Monday – Team and Project Management

          monday

           

          Monday offers a collaborative workspace for you to plan and manage teams and tasks. 

          It allows you to sync conversations across the two platforms, get updates in your Slack channels based on a set of rules you establish, and monitor each change as soon as it happens in real time.

          6. Paymo – Task Management and Time Tracking

          paymo

           

          Paymo is a work and project management solution that brings everyone in your team on the same page. Besides the clean and modern interface, the app also offers a strong set of features for planning, scheduling, and invoicing your work.

          The Paymo for Slack app comes in handy when you want to track work time, create tasks, add files to your projects, or get notified about your Paymo tasks. 

          7. Asana – Manage and Track Your Team’s Work

          asana

           

          The Asana-Slack integration lets you turn conversations into tasks, change the status of an activity, receive notifications to a channel of your choice, link a project to a channel, or just create a new task with a simple asana create command.

          Related: Why People Hate Offices and Don’t Like Their Jobs 

          8. nTask – Best Slack Project Management Integration

          nTask

           

          This is one of the best slack apps for your team. nTask is an intuitive tool that lets you manage your projects through its intelligently designed feature set.

          nTask helps to create multiple workspaces for different teams, executing professional meetings, and facilitate project management from multiple dimensions, such as managing issues and risks.

          nTask allows you to:

          • Post project updates to channels in Slack
          • Create a meeting in nTask and your team members can review all the details through Slack messages

          Get this Slack add-on to make team collaboration even more effective while achieving streamlined project management.

          9. MeisterTask

          MeisterTask

          Creating shared project plans can be difficult and managing them across teams can be downright challenging. MeisterTask helps to keep things hyper-organized by allowing teams to create streamlined, automated workflows and get more work done together.

          The app lets users share work details with team members, upload files, set due dates and add checklist items in real time.

          10. InVision

          invision

          Many creative individuals do some of their best work when they can have real-time feedback at hand. InVision provides this and more right within Slack.

          InVision is dedicated to helping users deliver the best possible digital product experience. It provides intuitive tools for ideation, design, and prototyping all in one place. The platform gives you and your team everything that will be needed for digital product design.

          InVision also allows multiple project files to be stored, viewed, reviewed, and commented on simultaneously. Designed prototypes can be connected to channels, making changes visible to team members, and individual screens can be shared for instant collaboration.

          Conclusion

          We’ve discussed the ten best slack apps that your organization needs in 2019. Whether your company is a startup or a large corporation, these integrations will make communication between you and your team efficient. Even if your team is in a shared office space, communication will be better enhanced with these great apps, so check them out! You won’t regret it.

          Related: LLC or Inc: What’s Better for a Startup?

          Disclaimer: This article is intended to help business owners make more informed decisions in regards to the topic; however, please contact an attorney for legal advice and an accountant for tax advice. Populus makes no representation as a legal advisor or tax advisor.

           

           

           

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