Will payments give Snapchat the next block of a mobile platform?

Gigaom

Today Snapchat rolled out a pay-your-friends feature called Snapcash, powered by Square. Using the ephemeral text chatting feature of the app, you can type in the amount you want to send with a dollar sign. The app recognizes it and transfers money to your friend (once you’ve authorized the Snapcash service in the app).

This is Snapchat’s first big experiment with becoming a full-fledged messaging platform, much like China’s WeChat or Korea’s KakaoTalk. These apps attracted their users with messaging first, and then introduced other features like e-commerce shopping, games, banking, celebrity communication, and brand promotions.

A fledgling peer-to-peer payment system like this is a big first test for Snapchat. It not only will help it to develop a payments process, it will also allow it to gage consumer comfort with sending money through the app. That’s a fundamental building block for other features, from product sales to gaming to banking, that Snapchat could want to…

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iPad cash register maker Revel raises $100M

Gigaom

Revel Systems had something to celebrate today. The maker of point-of-sale terminals announced on Tuesday it has raised $100 million in a Series C round from private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and other strategic investors.

San Francisco-based Revel makes an iPad-based point-of-sale that isn’t for the casual card swipe at a boutique store. Rathe, it’s turning the tablet into a replacement for the workhorse ordering and checkout systems used at high-transaction-volume grocery stores and restaurants. It targets both small business and larger chain business, and half of the 10,000 systems it’s sold so far are used by multiple location businesses like Smoothie King and Dairy Queen (fast food royalty really seems to like Revel’s technology).

The private equity investment includes an initial $65 million up front followed by a $25 million equity line. Revel co-founder Chris Ciabarra said the company plans to use the funds to move…

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Square starts pre-sales of its new chip-and-PIN readers at $29

Gigaom

Square on Wednesday started taking pre-orders for a new version of its Reader and an accessory for Square Stand that will allow its mobile payments service to accept new chip-embedded cards being issued in the U.S. next year.

The transition to EMV – named after its creators [company]EuroPay[/company], [company]MasterCard[/company] and [company]Visa[/company] – is a long time coming in the U.S. Many other countries have already adopted these more secure transactions that verify a card from a dynamic chip instead of pulling numbers from a static magnetic stripe. But starting next fall, merchants will either have to start accepting chip-and-PIN transactions or assume all liability for fraudulent purchases. Square merchants are no exception.

Square will start shipping the new gadgets in spring of 2015, well ahead of the looming EMV deadline, but there is a slight cost to upgrade. The new EMV Reader costs $29 instead of $10, and Square mentioned…

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10 innovation books that every manager should read

Blog de Inovação - Innoscience Blog

Weeks ago we were talking about the challenge of one of our clients and how to help him in a project. Often we use our library looking for models, tools and theories to support our analyzes and prescriptions, just as a doctor does when he needs to deal with a situation of one of his patients. As we searched the books to solve our challenge we began to discuss what are the innovation books that every manager should read. We chose our top 10 innovation books that we recommend for managers to help to put innovation in practice.

The Innovator’s Dillema. Clayton Christensen introduced the concepts of disruptive innovation and how a well-managed business can be disrupted by new entrants. Detailing his research on the hard disk drives and steel producers the author showed that breakthrough innovations are a distinct alternative that deserves attention from large companies. From this…

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Solving the IT skills gap

Gigaom

The unemployment rate for the IT industry is only 3 percent, compared with a 7 percent unemployment rate nationally. This is great for IT professionals, but it presents a problem for hiring managers, many of whom are struggling to staff their teams with the skills they need.

Some of these sought-after positions include:

  • Technicians
  • IT Support/Service
  • Application Developers
  • Cloud Engineers

This talent shortage is largely rooted in issues of salary and training. The rise in demand has pushed IT salaries for some positions higher (NoSQL specialists, for example, command an average of $114,000 a year). Meanwhile, training hasn’t kept up with this demand. Tech skills change so quickly and expire so rapidly, it’s hard to find new hires with the latest tech skills.

As a result, hiring cycles for some IT positions can be as long as six months.

Read the new blog post from Rackspace, Solving the IT Skills…

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