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Stories by John Brandon

How Terapeak grew from 0 to 300,000 customers in 18 months

Since it's inception in 1995, eBay has always attracted a flurry of activity. Just recently, the company has seen an uptick in user counts and their stock price. For the analytics company Terapeak, which provides the official sales-tracking dashboard, that rise in popularity could have been a challenge as more and more seller tools joined the fray. Fortunately, they figured out how to ride the wave of success, make smart business decisions, and almost single-handedly prove the freemium model does work by attracting 300,000 non-paying customers in 18 months.

Written by John Brandon02 July 15 23:51

Traction Watch: When I Work sees 3X customer growth in 3 Years

Something is working at When I Work. The scheduling app for use with hourly employees has tripled its customer counts in just three years. Chad Halvorson was a grocery store clerk when, at just age 15, he realized how many employees came in on Sunday to check their schedules. By 16, he bought the wheniwork.com domain. Flash forward to 2010, and he built the app and launched the company that year.

Written by John Brandon26 June 15 05:16

Traction Watch: How NightSwapping uses Facebook to grow customers

Enough about AirBnB already! A competing service in France called NightSwapping has a different twist on sharing rooms with strangers, and it is beginning to fire on all cylinders. The company uses a different business model from AirBnB -- it's all about hosting other travelers for free as a way to earn free accommodations all over the world. There's a social aspect, since you "meet" online first and discuss arrangements.

Written by John Brandon23 June 15 00:00

How to collect and analyze data from 100,000 weather stations

If you want to understand what it takes to collect, track and analyze reams of data, just check the weather. There are constant fluctuations, scores of data points and intense interest from all over the planet. Analyze the data correctly and someone in the state of Washington knows whether or not to wear a raincoat. Do it poorly and there might be a massive traffic pileup from people driving too fast on slick roads.

Written by John Brandon16 June 15 23:14

5 ways to handle comment trolls on social media

Social media has become a new way to find new customers, provide support, market products, share news and even develop customer relationships. Because of the free-form nature of services like Twitter and Facebook, large companies can enjoy the benefits of frequent personal interaction. Dell can "like" a comment from a happy laptop owner on Facebook, Bristol-Myers can share corporate news directly with their 67,000 followers on Twitter.

Written by John Brandon15 June 15 23:16

Traction Watch: Okta grows by embracing its frenemies

Editor's note: Traction Watch is a new column focused obsessively on growth, and is a companion to the DEMO Traction conference series, which brings together high-growth startups with high-potential customers. The next DEMO Traction will take place in Boston on September 16, 2015. Growth companies can apply to present, or those similarly obsessed can register here to attend.

Written by John Brandon13 June 15 05:22

Slack in the wild: Is the collaboration app a hit or a myth?

Slack is one of those rare business tools that comes along once in a while that shifts the technology landscape. In a nutshell, Slack is a team collaboration app that essentially turns email into a group effort, allowing users to create channels where discussions take place in public so everyone can participate. While Slack has some serious competition from apps like Convo and Circuit, it seems to be gaining the most momentum.

Written by John Brandon09 June 15 01:16

4 must-read IT leadership books

You have your pick of hundreds of books on business, leadership and creative thinking in business. But which ones are really worth your time? These hand-picked books from 2015 address some of the most important IT leadership issues of our time, including how to analyze data more effectively, how to hire in our current "everyone is an expert" culture and what it really means to lead in the face of widespread adversity and economic upheaval.

Written by John Brandon08 May 15 02:47

Traction Watch: Grovo Is Growing 20 Percent Per Month

With a name like Grovo, you'd expect some serious growth numbers.The micro-training platform uses 60-second videos to help large corporations teach employees new skills. For the past 17 months, the company has grown 20% in revenues month-on-month. That comes to nearly 800% annualized growth!

Written by John Brandon19 March 15 05:01

Traction Watch: BetterWorks Is ramping up to get your ducks in a row

Looks like the quantified workplace is paying off in spades. Known as FitBit for employee-related goals, Palo Alto-based BetterWorks has doubled their workforce in the last six months. They're on a hiring spree, shopping for technical writers, product managers, support techs, and everything in between. A year ago, they had only six employees. When the app debuted in September, 2014, they had 27 employees. Since acquiring funding from Kleiner that same month to the tune of $15.5 million, they have jumped up to 40 employees.

Written by John Brandon19 March 15 05:00

How to Pick the Best Browser for Your Enterprise

Knowing which browser to deploy in a large company is no easy task. The default option is Internet Explorer, but many users balk at this older, more cumbersome browser that seems to attract the most malware. Google Chrome gets most of the attention these days (as proven by a growing market share) and Mozilla Firefox offers good compatibility and speed. To determine which browser is the best for business, it's important to keep tabs of the latest improvements. Here's a look at the Big 3 with an eye on the enterprise.

Written by John Brandon09 Dec. 14 03:16

What CIOs Can Learn From the Biggest Data Breaches

We keep hearing about them in the news. The tallies are astounding: 145 million user accounts compromised here, 40 million credit cards stolen there. What isn't always as clear with the most high-profile data breaches is how they occurred in the first place and what you can do to prevent seeing your organization in a similar headline.

Written by John Brandon13 Nov. 14 02:07

7 Enterprise-Grade Gadgets Built for Business

For business users, having the right gadget can make the difference between a successful trip to a remote office or wasting time with tech snafus. CIO.com tested these seven new business devices -- ranging from PCs to routers to, yes, tables -- to make sure they can withstand the rigors of a hectic workday.

Written by John Brandon06 Nov. 14 03:41

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