This Aerospace Company Is Ready to Blast Off

Twenty years ago, we arrived on the surface of another planet. This marked one of the most important moments in space exploration history. It was 1997: the first successful touchdown on Mars via the Pathfinder rover.

Now, space exploration has expanded beyond our own government program, NASA. It has become the passion of some of the most revered, forward-thinking minds in the world.

In 2000, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos began a side project called Blue Origin. Although most of its activities are kept somewhat secret, Bezos has stated that its near-term goals involve space tourism and satellite TV. Then, in 2002, Elon Musk began a company called SpaceX. This company was started with the sole purpose of colonizing Mars, even before Musk founded Tesla.

Right now, a main goal of NASA is to be the first to have a manned Mars mission. And now, there is increased competition from private companies, SpaceX in particular, as well as a multinational race, similar to that of the race to the moon.

It would be great to be able to invest in a company with such a unique and monopoly-like focus as SpaceX and Blue Horizon, but unfortunately that’s not an easy option; these companies are not publicly traded. However, I believe the next best option is investing in the systems that make these companies’ rockets “go.”

Rocketing Into History

About 98% of the material that’s launched into the sky during liftoff is related to propulsion. And it doesn’t just get the rocket off the ground. Complicated propulsion systems are also necessary to maneuver the ship once it’s in space.

With this being said, I believe I’ve found the best investment in the space industry right now.

It’s a relatively small aerospace and defense company here in the United States. Its specialty is propulsion systems, which comes in handy when working with rockets and other space-traveling vehicles. In fact, it’s the largest producer of space propulsion and power systems in the U.S.

The company also has a huge client for whom it does most of its business: NASA.

In the past, most of the business it has done for NASA involved the space shuttle. This includes 30 trips to and from the International Space Station; it also supplies the batteries used to keep the station running. In fact, the propulsion system that it designed and built guided the shuttle for 135 missions with a 100% success rate, making it the world’s most reliable rocket ever built.

But going forward, one of the major reasons for demand will be American-manned space launches. Although we have not had a manned space launch since 2011, this activity will be revitalized with the goal of making it to Mars.

This will be done via NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which is expected to take off for the first time in 2019. But the SLS is just the launching vehicle; the crew capsule that will carry the passengers is called Orion, and the company I’m recommending today is making the propulsion system for just about every component for both of these crafts.

It really is making history with this project, as no manned spacecraft has ever been designed to take humans into deep space, potentially to Mars and even the asteroid belt.

Another project this company has been selected to work on is the propulsion system for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Experimental Spaceplane. In this project, it is collaborating with Boeing to make a hybrid airplane/traditional launch vehicle that will be used to send military satellites into space.

The Defense Department’s goal is to have this vehicle fully functional and tested by 2020. So, while this is a smaller project, it is still something coming up within the next few years.

A Sudden Growth Phase

Of course, any company can sound like a great investment, but it still has to be financially stable to actually be a great investment.

That’s why I believe Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AJRD) is on the verge of newfound growth in revenue due to the revitalized space program.

This year, its first-half sales increased by 13% after just 4% growth over the previous two years combined. And over the past year, expectations for revenue have grown A year ago, Aerojet wasn’t supposed to make over a billion until 2020.

You know a company is in a sudden growth phase when its expected revenue is accelerated by three years.

Lastly, when a company enters a growth phase, it’s important to make sure it has enough cash to fund its future operations. Over the past two years, Aerojet has brought in millions in cash from operations, essentially doubling its cash position in anticipation of its projects ahead.

Looking at Aerojet’s stock price, it’s obvious that the market has discovered the company’s growth potential. The stock has gone up about 100% over the past year. But I still believe it has plenty of room to grow going forward.

As a company, Aerojet is still valued cheaply, which is less than 1.5 years’ worth of revenue. And soon enough it’ll be making more than its value in just one year.

Overall, in the aerospace and defense industry, it is the seventh-cheapest company in terms of valuation out of 28 companies, and that’s after its price went up 100% in the past year.

Clearly, as Aerojet continues to grow, more and more investors will realize its potential and buy into its stock.



Source by Ian Dyer

What Does ‘Smart’ Even Mean?

It seems like an obvious question.

If you’re technically minded, you might have a preferred definition of intelligence. ‘The ability to solve problems’ seems on the right track, until you remember 20 lines of Python can solve problems.

Maybe you could call it the ability to solve new problems. It takes way more code to make something that can adapt.

But is intelligence really the same thing as agility?

Maybe, maybe not.

But here’s where it gets interesting:

You might think that intelligence is something we can all agree on. Even if it’s a case of you know it when you see it, smart people are smart, no questions asked.

Except that’s not entirely the case.

What it means to be ‘smart’ varies from culture to culture.

And I reckon you can tell a lot by a society by how it defines it.

Consider:

Love him or hate him, Elon Musk is undeniably intelligent… by our standards.

But there are plenty of standards that would condemn him and his woeful brainpower.

A common example that shows up in history – from medieval China to imperialist Britain to certain religious sects – is that ‘intelligence’ is about discipline, obedience and rote memorisation.

These social systems wouldn’t just resent his creativity and rebelliousness – they’d see it as a sign of weak mental character.

Our genius, their idiot – all because he doesn’t adhere to their model of a smart person.

Plenty of societies saw conformity as genius. We in the modern West tend to praise entrepreneurial folks – bold, innovative disrupters. Take someone who can memorise textbooks and please their teachers – but not think for themselves – and what would most folks say about them?

“Sure, they score well on tests… but they’re not exactly smart.”

Something to ponder.

And something else to ponder is, what exactly is my point?

Is it a condemnation of the schooling system, with its emphasis on standardised testing, rote learning and creativity-annihilating atmosphere?

Maybe I’m subtly debunking the ‘we used to be smarter’ myth. You know the one – folks take a test from the 1800s aimed at 12 year olds, give it to adults today and watch them fail. “LOL we’re so dum now”. Until you realise those same kids would fail any modern test (and not just the recent history portion). Those old-school tests were entirely (not just mostly) rote learning, often something pointless like obscure rules of grammar. Something you could learn in a tedious day of study, should the urge ever strike you. But it would take years to bring one of those old-timey students up to speed in our subjects.

Perhaps it’s a message of hope.

If folks call/called you dumb for scoring low on tests, you now know a different way to interpret that.

Plenty of folks will tell you tests don’t measure intelligence well.

I might be here to tell you they’re one measure of one interpretation of intelligence.

It would defeat the purpose – in a wicked blaze of irony – if I said one and only one of these interpretations were correct.

But here’s what I was thinking as I wrote this:

Almost everything you think is objective is actually subjective. Smart and dumb, good and evil, hero and victim – they’re all open for renegotiation.

And that’s great news! We no longer see genocide and slavery as right, even though older societies saw them as obviously noble.

The barriers in your life are mostly smoke and mirrors, only it’s lucky to break these ones.

So if you’re too old, too ugly, too dumb, too inexperienced or too poor to build the life you want…

You’re wrong.

At least, you’re using the wrong standards.

Your labels are only fiction, so stop believing them whenever you want.



Source by William T Batten

Tesla Up 1,081%: The Big Bet to Make Now

“You’re insane.”

My friend Sasha scoffed as we sipped lattes for our Sunday morning ritual. Across the table, Brian just shrugged, confident in his claim. “You’ll see. Soon even your parents are going to want one. Top Gear is just lying.”

I watched the exchange between my two friends, familiar with this discussion by now.

See, this was in 2011, and we were debating electric cars. More specifically, the Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) Roadster – the first highway-legal electric car series you could purchase from a company. By then, the car had been on the market for about three years, and we had seen the Top Gear episode that implied the shiny-new vehicle was defective (the reason Tesla sued Top Gear).

We were fascinated by what this tech meant for our futures, so I ended up routinely discussing it with my 20-something friends over coffee.

After all, it was practically something out of a sci-fi novel – a peppy sports car that ran solely on lithium batteries. It was like some exciting science experiment you could test for yourself if you had $101,500 to spare.

Sasha was convinced the entire industry would crash and burn – she didn’t think people wanted to spend over $100,000 to own an unreliable car they had to charge “like an iPod.”

And she was right – at least about the Tesla Roadster’s brief lifespan.

It was on the market for about four years and fewer than 2,500 were sold. It was a failure for the most part. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk said so.

But, as is often the case, the failure helped pave the road for a success story of epic proportions.

See, the Roadster launched Tesla on a trajectory that has pushed its stock up 1,081% in the past five years. The Tesla brand is now routinely blared across the headlines of major news sites. And Tesla’s success is only just beginning, despite the bumpy road – it’s the most shorted stock on Wall Street right now due to the fears that have always surrounded innovative tech in its infancy.

That success is just one indicator of how this technology is set to utterly revolutionize the car market, despite what my pessimistic friend Sasha predicted.

See, electric cars are already capturing the imaginations of people around the globe.

In fact, the bank UBS forecasts that electric vehicles will make up 14% of global car sales by 2025, up from today’s 1%. Countries are wisely preparing for this shift in the car market: Australia is already gearing up to build the world’s longest “electric highway” – spanning 1,250 miles and sporting 18 stations. Better yet, France and the U.K. both recently announced that they’re banning gas-powered cars by 2040.

And brands and governments are increasingly working together to bring this piece of green energy into the mainstream by offering incentives: For example, BMW and Nissan just started offering discounts to San Diego residents that – when paired with a federal tax credit of as much as $7,500 and a state rebate of $2,500 – knock $20,000 off the cost of a new electric car.

To top it off, Volvo declared that starting in 2019, it will only make electric or hybrid cars.

Meanwhile, the technology continues to develop by leaps and bounds: Top Gear recently drove the highly anticipated Tesla Model S about 670 miles on a single charge – although I admit it was in unrealistic conditions considering it was driven in the summer with the AC off. Not something I could do in South Florida without dying of heat stroke.

But this powerful machinery is why many experts have reserved one of these bad boys for themselves. For comparison’s sake, the standard Tesla Model S 100D lasts about 300-odd miles. And that was already impressive.

As countries continue to diminish the burden of owning an electric car, the tech keeps evolving and institutions focus on making it miles more affordable – many of the hurdles for this innovative lithium-powered technology are falling by the wayside.

All of this goes to show how shortsighted electric-car (and Tesla) naysayers are.

So, as an investor, if you haven’t entered this market, now is absolutely the time to start researching the tech-based opportunities that will be sure to benefit. You don’t want to be left behind as the next great car revolution races ahead.



Source by Jessica Cohn-Kleinberg

Would A Solar Roof, Benefit You?: 4 Considerations

For how many years, have we heard about the need, to minimize our dependence on non – renewable, fossil fuels, and replace this, with emphasizing, greener, renewable energy sources? In the past, some alternatives, which were considered, included, using solar, geo – thermal, etc, but, in most cases, either, it was too expensive, and/ or, unpleasing, from a cosmetic, esthetic perspective! A few years ago, one of the companies founded by Elon Musk, created, and introduced, replaceable solar roof tiles, instead of, using units, which, sit, on top of the regular roof. He addressed the significant issue of costs, by marketing these tiles, at approximately, the same price, of conventional roofing. However, each person must discover, whether a solar roof, would make sense, for them, or be wiser, than a more conventional alternative. There are four primary considerations, to evaluate, and this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, these.

1. Examine total costs: Carefully, consider the total costs of changing to this alternative style. This includes the materials, labor, hooking these into the electric – grid, and, in some municipalities, government imposed, fees, etc.

2. Does the existing roof need replacement?: How old is your existing roof? What condition is it in? Obviously, if you would have to install a new roof, anyway, installing a solar roof, becomes even more affordable, etc. Are the installers and technicians, in your geographic area/ region, qualified, and trained, to properly install these newer solutions?

3. Exposure and obstructions: Traditional solar panels require a Southern exposure, in order to maximize, the return, on investment! These replaced tiles cover the entire area, but, one must examine, whether, sufficient sunlight, in an unobstructed manner, makes this approach, the logical decision! Examine, whether, the esthetics, and cosmetics, of this style, are consistent, with your house’s maximum appeal!

4. Local zoning issues, laws, and regulations: Some municipalities impose restrictions on solar panels, but, few, to date, have fully addressed, Elon Musk’s latest creation! Although, from, both, a longer – term, financial/ economic perspective, as well as from a renewable energy point – of – view, implementing this approach, is a relevant, responsive, sustainable approach.

After the hurricane devastated Puerto Rico, a couple of years ago, Musk’s company, brought in, these techniques, and, got, certain hospitals, and schools, up – and – running, quickly and effectively/ efficiently, well before the electrical grid was reinstated. We must begin to think ahead, and become more environmentally, responsible!



Source by Richard Brody

The Madness Chronicles – Episode 37

In our 37th episode of the Madness Chronicles, we’ll look at the madness of getting rich during a pandemic. Remember, madness is a state of being mentally ill, severely, extremely foolish behavior, and a form of frenzied or chaotic activity. Let’s take a look at the madness of pandemic profits.

As we begin this journey, keep in mind that businesses worldwide have been shuttered, restaurants closed, and millions of people out of work. With draconian lockdowns the norm, some creative people make gold lemonade from the sour lemons the rest of the world enjoy.

Take Elon Musk, for instance. A young entrepreneur, a billionaire creator of Tesla. You know that fancy electric car with the battery that costs more than most other vehicles. ZeroHedge reports that in the past year, think pandemic, lockdowns, and masks, Musks’ net worth quadrupled to over $100 billion. That’s a lot of money, no matter how you say it. Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say?

Well, just like everything in 2020, this seems a bit off. While Tesla proves, ‘profitable’ a peak under the covers shows a strange 2020 story. From 2010 to 2020, while reporting ‘profits,’ Tesla has accumulated a staggering debt of $5.6 billion. But wait, weren’t there profits at Tesla? Of course, but it seems they come in the form of selling’ regulatory credits’. Which netted them a cool $397 million last year. So their profits came from ‘regulatory credits’ not selling new Tesla’s.

Purely speculation on my part, but Musk is using the same accounting firm that Dr. Tony Fauci and the CDC use to calculate Wuhan virus deaths. I wonder how you get in on selling’ regulatory credits’? Nonetheless, Elon Musk is now the second richest man in the world to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Speaking of Bezos, Forbes reports that since the pandemic began, Bezos’ fortunes have increased to over $230 billion, rising over $90 billion in the year of the pandemic. Keep in mind that is billion with a B. Other billionaires weren’t as fortunate. Take Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist, and self-proclaimed vaccine guru, Bill Gates. Their wealth jumped a paltry 20%, putting his net worth at $118 billion since March. The deer in the headlights Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg did much better than Gates with an 85% gain to $101.2 billion.

Overall the United States is home to 644 billionaires. The market must be as fickle as the virus itself because these billionaires’ wealth rose nearly $1 trillion. That puts these 644 individuals now worth $3.88 trillion. That would be with a T. During the pandemic their fortunes rose by an astounding $934 billion. The $3.88 trillion wealth of these 644 ordinary folks is nearly double the $2.1 trillion worth of the bottom 50% of our country’s population, whose net worth wasn’t growing.

Pandemics, it turns out, are funny things. According to the CDC, this would be the third pandemic in my lifetime. I had no idea the first two happened, and here we have this one where you can catch it if you go to church but not if you go to Walmart. The damn thing must impact the financial fortunes the same way. The small sliver of unmeasurable billionaires gains a fortune. At the same time, 50% of the rest are left sitting at the traffic light. Strange times this 2020 has been.

May we wake from this madness before it’s too late. I wish you good health, and until next time, have fun, enjoy life, and watch out for the madness amongst us. It’s 2020, and it’s getting out of hand.



Source by Ed Kugler

The New Electric Supertruck Arrives

Well, after his recent shock announcement that such a thing even existed, Elon Musk and Tesla have announced and demonstrated their new electric “heavy rig” truck.

What does this mean for things like haulage and moving companies?

The original announcement

A few months back, Musk made one of his famous “oh, in passing… ” type announcements. This delivered the news, with all the razzmatazz and drama that might be expected of someone saying “oh, I think it’ll rain tomorrow“, that he would be shortly showing an all-electric and high-tech haulage rig.

Virtually all the industry pundits were shocked and excited. Some were hugely sceptical that this was possible in the few short months between Musk’s announcement and his target date for the truck being presented to the world.

As usual, Tesla proved those latter wrong – including what was pure theatrics when at the same time as unveiling the truck, a brand new Tesla electric supercar appeared from inside it – again to the shock of just about everyone.

However, let’s not talk about the car further here!

At the time of writing (Nov 2017) the truck in many respects has exceeded expectations.

Appearance

Externally, the tractor and trailer don’t look THAT different. Sure, there’s some streamlining and that not only improves the aerodynamics but also just makes it look a lot prettier than most.

It’s really in the cab that the huge visual differences are noticed. Of course, as you might expect, it’s packed with technology including cameras, computers and display screens – including radar. It also comes with armoured glass which apparently won’t shatter or crack.

The most obvious difference though is that the driver’s seat is in the middle of the cab, not to one side of it. It’s also unique in that both the driver and passenger can stand upright in the cab.

All things told, if you include internal cab appearance, this truck looks seriously different.

Performance

The figures quoted by Tesla have yet to be independently verified but they include some quite staggering claims:

  • 500 miles (805k) between recharges
  • Fast recharging technology
  • 0-60mph (96kph) in 5 seconds (without trailer). This goes to 20 seconds when pulling a loan of 80,000Lbs (about 36,000k).

Of course, all this comes with zero or next to zero emissions.

It looks an attractive proposition.

Practicality

As with all things Tesla, their innovation is second to none but sometimes the application and practicality can be challenges.

For example, Tesla admits that, to put it bluntly, it’s got into a mess with some of its car production. They’ve more than cracked the technology and marketing (people want their cars) but what they’re struggling with is the sordid and perhaps to them boring bit – i.e. mass production.

So, production delays and missing targets have become something they’re almost as famous for as their revolutionary approaches.

As some are pointing out, the truck is supposed to go into production in late 2019 but there’s little to hand so far on numbers or even prices. So, there’s a huge unknown there.

Others are pointing out that, perhaps a little like the original Nikola Tesla, they may be risking a dilution of their focus across too many radically different lines of R&D. The risk being that their overall commercial impact becomes degraded, as they’re basically trying to do too much at the one time.

Right now, Musk appears to be driving forward vast innovations in domestic electricity production, electric cars, electric road haulage, aviation, trans-continental high-speed tube transport schemes, orbital and even deep-space travel. There are clearly synergies between some of these endeavours but some people are questioning whether this is all too much for any one company or man to keep on top of.

Conclusion

The world is already a better place for Tesla and Elon Musk. This new truck seems to be part of that but it will need to make a real impact on the road and in numbers if the company and its concepts are to achieve credibility in this domain.



Source by Eby M

Why Tesla’s New Semi-Truck Pricing Is A Game Changer

Tesla just unveiled the pricing for its semi-truck and once again, it’s beating all expectations!

Initially, when this model was first announced, people were making disparate guesses as to pricing in relation to battery size. Some assumed that if the vehicle comes with a thousand kilowatt hour battery with a 500-mile range, the price tag would most likely fall within the $200,000 t0 $250,000 range.

Tesla Semi-Truck Priced Competitively

They’ve finally released the actual costs and frankly these numbers are mind-blowing. The starting price is at $150,000 for the 300-mile range model, $180,000 for the 500-mile range model, and $200,000 for the fully loaded Founders Series model, which should also be at the 500-mile range.

To put this in perspective, the entry-level price for a diesel-powered semi-truck is approximately one hundred thousand dollars. If you prefer something that’s more reliable or that has more features, you’ll have to look at the $110,000 to $120,000 range.

Interestingly enough, when you consider the difference between the two models (300-mile range and 500-mile range models), what were actually seeing is a bargain-priced upgrade.

Viewed from this angle, the announced pricing even becomes more cost-effective and attractive. We’re talking about an upgrade cost of only $15,000 for every additional 100-mile range (about 200-kilowatt more battery muscle)!

Of course, these calculations could be way off, these are based on initial numbers and observations and there will be corollary costs involved with every purchase. But, if the math proves right, this is indeed a game-changer!

The Elon Musk Factor

Of late, Tesla seems to be making inroads and getting a lot of mileage over the competition. They already have the clear technology edge, thanks to a forward-thinking decision to go big on R&D.

And, they have Elon Musk.

“Let’s face it, people purchase a Tesla EV because it’s a great car with a wonderful tech, they invest in Tesla because they believe in Elon Musk,” observed TColey 100, a keen observer in the EV space. “Elon Musk is Tesla’s most valuable asset and that is what the competition has to contend with.”

When it comes to Tesla, online discussions would often – naturally so – gravitate around the areas where the company excels in. EV technology, batteries, and their massive super charging network, those topics are par for the course.

But, if there’s one differentiator who’s making things happen for Tesla that could only be Elon Musk. Comparisons have been made and tons of pages have been written about the man. The closest tech visionary that comes to mind is, of course, Steve Jobs.

They’re both dream chasers who caused massive disruptions in their respective industries searching for breakthroughs. They do what they do best because they see that it can be done. It’s unfortunate that Jobs died early. The way things are shaping up, Musk is poised to achieve far greater things before he’s done.

This piece is not intended to glorify Tesla or Musk. Far from that, the company has its own set of shortcomings to deal with but its leadership and direction remain sound. Let’s give credit where credit is due.



Source by Emmanuel Gonot

Avoiding a False Start – Marketing Tips For the Successful Commercialization of Novel Medical Device

The successful launch of a novel medical device technology requires a coordinated effort between several functional groups within the company. The coalescence of these group’s activities in line with a predetermined project timeline are essential to timely and successful product commercialization. Marketing team members play a vital role in this process beginning with providing market insight during the initial concept development phase through conducting a post-commercialization assessment of launch planning activities and marketing tactics.

A failed product launch can be disastrous from a financial perspective and to the reputation of the product’s brand in the marketplace. Since companies only have one chance to launch a product, it is vital that launch planning and preparedness activities cover the entire scope of known and potentially unknown roadblocks which could affect successful product introduction into the marketplace. As a result of its integral role as a part of the commercialization process, marketing has the primary responsibility for many of these activities.

While providing insight on the full range of marketing activities required for a successful product launch is beyond the scope of this article, the following are four key areas, based on the author’s experience, where good marketing planning and execution can help get the product successfully out the blocks without stumbling.

Obtaining Customer Feedback

From initial concept development through post-launch assessment, customer input into the design and positioning of new medical devices is essential. Attempting to bring a product to market without adequate customer feedback, or even worse, disregarding customer feedback, will ultimately limit product acceptance in the marketplace.

Examples of customer feedback parameters which are commonly obtained as a part of this process include validating market assumptions, assessment of the competitive environment, input on product specifications, determining the product’s value proposition, developing and testing product positioning, and obtaining feedback on the product’s ease of use. It is important to develop a decision making process which can be followed when heeding customer feedback would results in an increase in product development or manufacturing costs, or if implementing changes based on the customer input significantly changes the timeline for product launch.

Developing a Targeting Strategy

Identifying and targeting market segments which will result in a steeper adoption curve is vital to getting a strong start out of the blocks with a new medical device technology. Assessing differing market segments should not only be solely based upon the market potential, but also on the potential barriers to entry which may exist within these segments.

Market segments with the highest number of patients or procedural volumes may not always represent the best “first” markets to approach. These segments are often associated with greater competitive pressures due to the market opportunities they represent, or may be associated with higher visibility within a hospital setting from either a product approval or cost-cutting perspective. Segmenting customers by technology adoption characteristics is also important. Focusing initial launch activities towards early adopters who are quick to understand the potential benefits of the technology and limiting efforts directed at late adopters who require substantial clinical experience and more scientific evidence will maximize resources and drive initial sales growth.

Creating Economic Value

Most hospitals now have policies and procedures in place which require the review of new products prior to their use or purchase by the hospital. This has resulted in an expanded number of individuals who are involved in the decision making process and a greater focus on the cost impact of the technology to the hospital. Having evidence that a new medical technology provides a clinical benefit to patients is often not sufficient to gain entry into the hospital and many hospitals are now requesting cost justification analyses which demonstrate the economic impact of the adoption of the technology at their institution.

In order to demonstrate the economic value associated with a new technology, marketing must provide both the background training and the appropriate tools to empower the sales organization to communicate this type of information to customers. A typical tool is a pro-forma economic model where variables can be inputted based on clinical results associated with the products use and either standardized or customer specific cost data.

Developing a Publication Strategy

A successful product launch necessitates a meticulous plan for effectively communicating the value of a new medical technology along with developing a strategy for addressing anticipated objections from the marketplace. A key component of this strategy is the development and execution of a comprehensive publication plan. The timely execution of an effective publication strategy can accelerate the adoption of a new medical technology.

The sequential development and submission of manuscripts to key journals which target specific customer segments is needed to insure they receive continuous and pertinent information about the product. The overall objective for a publication strategy should be to disseminate clinical and economic information which supports the benefits and the positioning of the Company’s technology.

Conclusion

The development and timely execution of a comprehensive strategic launch plan is a requirement for the successful commercialization of a new medical technology. Proactive marketing leadership as a part of a product development and commercialization team can help to insure that potential hurdles in the marketplace are identified and addressed in advance of a product launch resulting in a greater potential for initial market success.



Source by Larry Yost

Importance of Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM)

As far as robotics is concerned, that technology is pretty advanced. However, one major problem that experts face is mapping and localization as far as robotics are concerned. This is where SLAM comes to the rescue. In this article, we are going to take a look at the importance of simultaneous localization and mapping. Read on to find out more.

Introduction to SLAM

Basically, SLAM is a good alternative to GPS and works somewhat similarly. This technology guides robots so that they can be aware of the environment and move in the right direction while performing their functions. Although GPS is an effective mapping system, there are some hurdles in the way of its functionality.

Due to the limitations of GPS, experts now use simultaneous localization and mapping. This technology has proven to be a great alternative to GPS as it offers a lot of advantages.

Functionality

Since robots feature memory banks that have huge capacities, they can continue to map their location using SLAM. Apart from this, GPS does not guarantee an accurate position of the robot. However, as far as positioning is concerned, SLAM is the best choice. It aligns sensor data on multiple levels for creating a map.

If you think that this alignment is not a big deal, you need to think again. The sensor data goes through alignment on a number of levels. This multi-level process makes use of a lot of algorithms. Since this type of processing is quite complex, it requires the power of today’s GPUs.

SLAM can help solve a lot of problems in the world of navigation and mapping. For example, this technology can help drones and robots find their way in a closed environment. This is especially more useful where GPS technology cannot work properly.

Actually, SLAM figures out and determines position and orientation for robots with respect to the objects in close proximity.

Cameras, Sensors, and Data

As far as data collection is concerned, SLAM systems use multiple cameras. Based on this consolidated data, the system can create maps for easy navigation. Besides, with the help of sensors, it is possible for robots and drones to enjoy a greater level of accuracy and sturdiness. Therefore, these machines can perform well even in adverse conditions.

Technology

With the help of these technologies, cameras take up to 90 images per second. Besides, they also record a lot of LIDAR images. Therefore, robots and drones can be much better aware of their surroundings.

Different systems use these images for plotting and mapping efficiently. Since these calculations require supreme processing power, special graphic processing units are used for maximum performance. These units are known as GPUs, which are used in computers for rendering videos and playing games.

Long story short, this is a brief introduction to the importance of Simultaneous Localization and Mapping. Hopefully, now you have a much better understanding of these systems.



Source by Shalini M

Temporary Staffing Agency – How to Start

The temporary staffing industry continues to expand, with yearly double-digit growth being commonplace. Companies find it convenient and cost-effective to work with a temporary staffing agency to fulfill unforeseen demand, fill short-term vacancies, and assist with changing workloads due to restructuring or mergers. Additionally, employers are enticed by the idea of “test driving” new employees to minimize risk and ensure a good match for permanent positions.

Many a job seeker has reaped great rewards from temporary staffing. Skilled but yet-inexperienced workers are able to get a foot in the door at prestigious companies, where a weak resume would have made it very difficult to be considered. Similarly, “drifters” (those who tend to rapidly drift from job to job) may be plagued by an overly-long resume. Temporary staffing services can be ideal for drifters, as they have the opportunity to work on short-term projects and move on without the negative repercussions. Retirees and college students are also very common candidates. A retired nurse may find enjoyment and extra income from a temporary medical staffing firm. A computer science major can gain valuable experience working with a technical agency.

Only a small number of personnel is required to handle recruiting and clientele. Even the largest international firms tend to function with small, mostly-independent branch offices serving specific regions. This modular structure means it is quite possible for a one-office temporary staffing agency to compete effectively with established firms.

Overall, the triple-benefit to clients, associates, and entrepreneurs has contributed to the phenomenal growth of the temporary staffing industry. Because of these advantages, it will remain an integral part of the employment process through good times and bad.

Start Up Costs and Financing Sources:

$5,000 to $25,000

The startup and operating costs of a temporary staffing agency are much lower than many other businesses. The basic requirements are a small office with the typical supplies, a computer system with general accounting software and database software for organizing contracts, and the people skills to work with clientele and associates. It would not be impossible to start a temporary staffing agency on a shoestring budget of a few thousand dollars.

The largest business expense is payroll. It is common for associates to be paid by the agency before the agency is paid by the client. An account must be maintained with sufficient funds to cover payroll costs until bills are paid by the clients.

It is difficult – but not impossible – to get help from venture capitalists in covering part of the costs of setting up a temporary staffing agency. A well-researched, forward-looking business plan is essential.

Pricing Guidelines for Service:

Associates are paid by the hour, and the agency covers its costs by charging a premium to the amount billed to the client. The exact amount of the premium differs from case to case and can vary from 5% to 50% or more. Some associates are willing to work for less and some clients are willing to pay more, which when properly matched can result in very decent profits for the temporary staffing agency. The contract usually spells out a flat fee to be paid to the agency in the event that a client decides to permanently hire an associate.

Advertising and Marketing:

A competitive hurdle for small startups is that larger agencies already have established reputations and brand recognition. This is actually a minor obstacle because of the localized nature of the business. It is not necessary to wage a national marketing war to gain exposure for a new agency. An inexpensive and well-directed marketing campaign can quickly build a valuable reputation within the local operating region of the startup.

Essential Equipment:

An office (perhaps a home office) should be equipped with the standard office supplies and at least two telephone lines.

At least one computer system with accounting software and a database for keeping track of projects is mandatory. A printer is used for printing invoices and job listings, and a high-speed Internet connection connects the agency with online job search sites.

Many temporary staffing services have computers with tutorial software available to help associates to train their keyboarding and basic office software skills. These computers are also used to test the skills of applicants.

Income Potential:

Many billions of dollars are spent on temporary staffing services each year. A small, single-office agency can earn profits in the tens of thousands of dollars. The large, international firms rake in millions every year.

Target Market:

A temporary staffing agency is the middleman between two distinct markets: clients and associates.

It is usually not a difficult matter to reach hundreds of applicants with simple help wanted advertisements. More focus will probably be placed on connecting with client companies and convincing them that your services will help their businesses.

Certain industries seem more receptive to temporary staffing. Financial institutions and other office-centric companies are constantly seeking qualified office support staff. Factories frequently need labor for light industrial work, product assembly, and shipping and receiving tasks. Hospitals and clinics use temporary medical staffing to hire transcriptionists, certified nursing professionals, and other support staff. Increasingly, high-technology companies hire computer programmers, database specialists, and systems engineers on a temporary basis through agencies specializing in technical placements.

Tips for Success:

Develop a niche!

In larger markets, providers of temporary staffing services have found it useful to branch into niches such as temporary medical staffing, legal, financial, or technical fields. The focused nature of these agencies allows recruiters to build a pool of highly-educated, trained, and experienced associates who are able to provide the best service to clients within a particular industry.

A hospital executive would feel more comfortable contracting nurses from an agency dedicated to temporary medical staffing than from a one-stop-shop that also places welders, janitors, and filing clerks. This confidence also helps associates to command better wages than they might otherwise receive through a general-service temporary staffing agency.

Automate!

Much of the work of running a temporary staffing agency can be automated by computer software. Well-designed database software can ease the process of matching qualified associates with appropriate job openings. Accounting operations can be very heavily automated (but working closely with a good accountant is still advised). With these tools in place, just two major tasks remain: finding clients and finding associates.

Use your own services!

As the business grows, it will become necessary to add staff to handle the recruitment and marketing. That should never be difficult, since typically dozens or hundreds of qualified candidates are already in contact with the agency!

Training, Skills or Experience Needed:

Recruiters are at an advantage with a background in human resources, business management, and marketing. A degree is not essential for starting the business, but the knowledge gained through a business management program is immensely helpful. People skills are important, and can be learned through experience and self study. Numerous books have been published, specifically addressing temporary staffing as a business opportunity.



Source by Randy Wilson