No one in the entire world is as good at summarizing the state of the technology business through slideshow presentations as Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker.
She did it again at the All Things D conference.
Mary Meeker, a former Morgan Stanley analyst now at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, is known for her periodic “state of the Web” presentations. On May 30th, she delivered her latest one at the D10 conference, and made it available on the Web at the same time.
The entire deck is long — 112 slides. It covers a ton of topics, including mobile stats, advertising, macroeconomic trends, and a long section on “reimagination” of various analog forms in the digital world.
Mary Meeker’s whole ‘2012 State of the Web’ presentation »
Freelancers used to rely on exchanging business cards at networking events, putting up flyers at local shops and sending out postcards to nearby businesses. “Freelancers 1.0” marketed themselves locally and their reach was limited to how far they could drive in a day. Workflow could be inconsistent, and billing was a constant nightmare. The risk/reward profile of leaving steady employment kept all but the most intrepid workers from striking out on their own.
Today, the opportunities for independent workers have exploded. With a few keystrokes, freelancers can build a professional online presence and connect with business opportunities anywhere, at any time. Contractors can set up virtual storefronts and “offices” that impress potential clients with project portfolios and enthusiastic reviews from satisfied customers, even if their real office is a spare bedroom or local coffee shop. And all the paperwork and red tape that used to give freelancers fits is now handled automatically by many online services, freeing contractors up to focus on growing their businesses.
But as with new companies of all sizes, building a successful “business of one” takes time and careful planning. Relying on the Internet for business leads opens contractors up to a world of opportunity, but also a world of competition. The most successful freelancers are the ones who stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips if you’re looking to get started.
Wal-Mart made headlines recently for all the wrong reasons. The New York Times exposed the international retail giant’s history of bribing Mexican government officials in order to dominate that market. Top executives systematically swept the company’s misdeeds under the rug despite stern advice from its general counsel and internal investigator. And new evidence shows that Wal-Mart lobbied to dilute the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which prohibits payment of anything of value to foreign officials to obtain or retain business. Wal-Mart’s actions violated Mexican anti-bribery laws, the FCPA, and the U.K. Bribery Act (by virtue of certain corporate holdings).
What Every Executive Should Learn from Wal-Mart’s Mistakes »