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03 апреля, 12:02

Democrats fund start-ups to leapfrog RNC technology

They want to be like the Koch Brothers and the Mercers for campaign tech, but much cheaper, faster and smarter — and for Democrats.Higher Ground Labs, the incubator fund that last year put $2.5 million behind 12 start-up companies specifically focused on pumping up Democratic campaigns, says its beta test worked, so it will unveil its second round of financing on Tuesday for 11 new companies. Each is getting $100,000 of seed capital, with the rest of the money on reserve for programming and follow-up funding for successes.The fund takes 6 to 8 percent equity in each company, and says profits will be reinvested in future expansion.“People who have given money before are craving a different way to participate and a different way to invest in the Democratic Party,” said Betsy Hoover, a Higher Ground Labs co-founder and the digital organizing director for the Obama 2012 campaign.The list of investors includes Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, SoulCycle founders Alan and Elizabeth Cutler, and big Silicon Valley investors Tamim Mourad, Ron Conway and Scott Mason.Of the new groups, one provides software to automate the process for fundraising calls. Another streamlines online polling for faster, more accurate online polls. Still another connects people to activism through analyzing their social media interests, while a fourth uses that public information to tailor ads and other voter appeals.The idea was simple when it started to come together last year: while groups like Indivisible and Swing Left emerged to channel the explosion of Democratic activity after President Donald Trump’s election, Higher Ground Labs would tackle the widespread recognition that Republicans in 2016 had smoked the Democrats in an area that for a decade had been their main electoral advantage.All of it comes as the Democratic National Committee has been racing to rebuild its own tech operation, left atrophied after years of mismanagement.“Where innovation is at its healthiest, there are a bunch of really smart people trying a bunch of cutting edge things. The party is not equipped to provide that space, either in resources or in speed and agility of strategy,” Hoover said. “What the party is equipped to do is take the things that are working well and quickly scale that.”Perhaps more important than the seed money has been the network and connections provided by Higher Ground Labs. It’s board is stocked with prominent alumni of the Obama campaign, offering a seal of approval to start-ups looking to attract clients and new investors.They’re looking to win races, but they’re also looking to turn a profit.“It’s not just that were investing in these companies, but able to provide them with the kinds of contacts and relationships and expertise that also helps them grow,” said Ron Klain, the former Al Gore, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton adviser who serves as Higher Ground Labs board chairman.Several of the companies originally financed and nurtured by the small fund were cited as providing crucial help in last year’s races in Virginia. Eight of the initial round of companies were active in the state’s elections, and claim to have been involved in reaching out three million times to voters.One of those, Mobilize America, provides an online platform to help connect campaigns with interested volunteers, to work both locally and remotely. For 11 Virginia House of Delegates candidates last year, they say they connected about 6,000 “shifts” of time — each two or three hours of knocking on doors or making phone calls. For Rep. Conor Lamb’s special election win in Pennsylvania last month, they tracked 4,000 shifts, including 1,300 just on the Friday before the election, which he went on to win by a very tight 670 votes.The start-up’s overhead is low, and so is the cost: depending on campaign size, the charge is between several hundred and several thousand dollars per month.“By virtue of connecting directly to the online community that wants to help candidates, we can win races. We can figure out how to mobilize the movement into an electoral force,” said Mobilize America co-founder and CEO Alfred Johnson.Johnson said that for 2018, the company is expecting to work with 10-20 campaigns, as well as some of the newer grassroots groups, coordinated campaigns at the state level and Democratic campaign committees out of Washington. None of it would be possible, he said, without the initial help from Higher Ground Labs and the continued advice they’re getting. Some of the incubator fund’s investors have since turned around and invested in the company directly.The rest of the companies in the first round have similar stories, like one that taps social networks to help people make more personal voting appeals in campaigns or another that has built an updated database of every candidate running for every office around the country to create custom voter guides.The goal is to add 10-15 companies each year, with about the same amount of investment in each to retain the boutique, hands-on approach to the accelerator. But the goal is also to keep making profitable companies.“HGL has become category-defining institutional capital for innovation in the progressive movement,” said Shomik Dutta, the fund’s other co-founder and a former Obama fundraiser.Once Higher Ground Labs invests, they bring in the companies for three days per month of training around understanding the world of contemporary political technology, then building products and marketing within it. Companies will head to Washington June 11-14 for a series of pitch meetings hosted by the DNC that all the major party committees will attend, and then to San Francisco July 16-19 for a demonstration day with investors.The DNC is happy to have the help, and the competition. They desperately need it.“If we had infinite funds and infinite resources, it would be great to build this all in-house. We have none of those,” said Raffi Krikorian, an alum of Twitter and Uber who was hired as the DNC’s chief technology officer last year to start getting the party headquarters back up to speed. “Let people do some of the R&D work with a different set of funds.”

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03 апреля, 10:10

Ежедневные собрания в Agile разработке: 15 минут, без которых не видать релиза

Большинство IT-компаний привыкли к ежедневным внутренним митингам, статусным собраниям или коротким stand up, которые призваны оптимизировать процессы и синхронизировать работу всех членов команды. Оптимально, если такие встречи не будут превышать 15-20 минут. Читать дальше →

02 апреля, 14:39

Pomeranians and Other Surprising Dog Breeds That Actually Make the Best Service Animals

You'll never believe which dog breeds were born to be service animals.

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02 апреля, 10:34

Как перейти на микросервисы и не разломать production

Сегодня расскажем, как переводили на микросервисы монолитное решение. Через наше приложение круглосуточно проходит от 20 до 120 тысяч транзакций в сутки. Пользователи работают в 12 часовых поясах. В то же время функционал добавлялся много и часто, что довольно сложно делать на монолите. Вот почему системе требовались устойчивая работа в режиме 24/7, то есть HighLoad, High Availability и Fault Tolerance. Мы развиваем этот продукт по модели MVP. Архитектура менялась в несколько этапов вслед за требованиями бизнеса. Первоначально не было возможности сделать всё и сразу, потому что никто не знал, как должно выглядеть решение. Мы двигались по модели Agile, итерациями добавляя и расширяя функциональность. Читать дальше →

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02 апреля, 10:09

Что нам стоит Scrum построить: интервью с Agile-коучем Василием Савуновым

Всем привет! Сегодня у нас на связи agile-коуч Василий Савунов. Немного поговорим об организации работы команды по системе Scrum, а также получим ценные рекомендации по обучению Scrum и Kanban. Читать дальше →

02 апреля, 06:00

Extra: Mark Zuckerberg Full Interview

Stephen Dubner's conversation with the Facebook founder and C.E.O., recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” The post Extra: Mark Zuckerberg Full Interview appeared first on Freakonomics.

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02 апреля, 00:58

Isner earns biggest win, beating Zverev in Miami Open final

John Isner punctuated his unexpected run to the Miami Open title with a surprising display of agility, dancing across the court while basking in a breakthrough. The 6-foot-10…

01 апреля, 11:41

Интуиция или цифры: кому доверять в жизни и бизнесе

Руководители иногда перестают прислушиваться к интуиции и игнорируют свой личный опыт. Может ли мозг одного человека обогнать команду аналитиков и выдать удачное решение

31 марта, 09:02

*The Away Game: The Epic Search for Soccer’s Next Superstars*

I found this book by Sebastian Abbot very stimulating, though I wished for a more social-scientific treatment.  The focus is on Africa, here is one bit on the more conceptual side: But focusing on a young player’s technique still tells a scout relatively little about whether the kid will reach the top level, even when […] The post *The Away Game: The Epic Search for Soccer’s Next Superstars* appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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29 марта, 15:21

Вам не нужны разработчики автотестов

В эпоху вселенского внедрения agile-методологий и Devops уже никто не сомневается в том, что регрессия должна быть автоматизирована. Особенно, если в компании идет речь о Continuous Delivery. Все кинулись хантить разработчиков автотестов, от чего рынок становится перегретым. В этой статье я расскажу о том, что на самом деле разработчик автотестов — не такая уж и важная роль в команде. Они не нужны, особенно если вы внедряете у себя scrum. И все эти agile-ы и devops-ы можно внедрять и без этих людей. Так что если кто-нибудь вам скажет, что у них в команде все тестируют руками — потому что у них по каким-либо причинам нет разработчика автотестов — не верьте им. Они тестируют руками, потому что по-другому им лень. Или не умеют. Читать дальше →

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28 марта, 15:35

These 7 Brands Are Adapting In A Highly Chaotic Retail Environment (and Winning)

These highly adaptive retailers are proving that continued, agile innovation is an absolute necessity in order to survive.

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28 марта, 15:17

Softer Meetup. Как правильно иметь дело с User Story?

В четверг, 29 марта (уже завтра!), в офисе сервиса путешествий Туту.ру пройдет очередной Softer Meetup. Обсудим, как на самом деле нужно записывать требования в виде (User) Story и работать с ними, оставаясь в согласии с принципами и ценностями Agile. Читать дальше →

28 марта, 15:00

15 Effective Ways To Remain An Agile Leader

Leaders who learn faster have the ability to lead further.

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28 марта, 12:46

ScrumTrek представил на AgileDays-18 рекомендации по применению agile-методов в госсекторе

Участники недавно прошедшей в Москве конференции познакомились с проектом рекомендаций по применению гибких подходов к реализации государственных проектов на федеральном и региональном уровнях

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28 марта, 00:37

The U.S. Army Needs Modernized Humvees

Dan Goure Security,  For a relatively modest expenditure, the Army can solve its Humvee recapitalization problem in the near-term. In future high-end conflicts, strategic mobility and tactical agility will be critical to U.S. Army operations. Based largely in the Continental United States, Army units will have to be moved by air and sea long distances to the theater of conflict. Once in theater, these units will have to be constantly on the move to avoid being subject to hostile fires. The Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, describes the challenge for operational and tactical maneuver this way: With sensors everywhere, the probability of being seen is very high. And as always, if you can be seen, you will be hit. And you’ll be hit fast, with precision or dumb munitions, but either way you’ll be dead. So that means just to survive, our formations, whatever the wire diagram looks like, will likely have to be small. They will have to move constantly. They will have to aggregate and disaggregate rapidly. They’ll have to employ every known technique of cover and concealment. The U.S. military is one of the few in the world capable of airlifting large, well-equipped ground formations over great distances and deploying them directly into combat. This capability is likely to be more important in future high-end fights given the vulnerability of fixed installations. By threatening peer competitors with attacks from multiple directions, even behind an enemy’s front lines, the U.S. military can create multiple dilemmas for an adversary. But to be truly effective in this role, once delivered by air onto a landing zone, ground units need to be mobile. While the Air Force can move even the heaviest armored combat vehicle by air, the number that can be carried on a single C-17 or C-5 is quite limited. Moreover, the Army’s fleets of combat and support vehicles have been getting heavier. Older systems such as the Abrams tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle have gained weight steadily as new capabilities such as active protection systems are added. Newer vehicles such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle are larger and heavier than their replacements. As a result, it will be increasingly difficult to move many units and their equipment by air. Read full article

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27 марта, 21:53

Reinventing And Humanizing Management: How Agile And Beyond Budgeting Have Converged

From different starting points, Agile and Beyond Budgeting have come to very similar conclusions

27 марта, 18:01

Veeva Systems' Vault QMS to Manage Shionogi Product Quality

Japan's Shionogi & Co. Ltd. adopts Veeva Systems' (VEEV) cloud-based Vault QMS to enhance product quality, both inside and outside Japan.

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27 марта, 16:00

The Future Of Marketing Isn't Changing, It's Agile

Marketers must adapt swiftly to satisfy consumer preferences for omnichannel, real-time, personalized campaigns.