After months of waiting, and proposals from 238 cities, Amazon has announced their short list of potential cities for its second headquarters (HQ2). The company had a few prerequisites: a metropolitan area with a population of greater than one million and the ability to attract and keep strong technical talent. The list of finalists surprised many, as it included locations that aren’t thought to be technology havens, such as Columbus and Indianapolis, and rejected applications from Detroit, Phoenix, and San Diego.

The bitcoin craze isn’t ending any time soon, with prices expected to rise to $18,600 over the weekend. Although there are many critics of the cryptocurrency, it has reached a record value of more than $1 billion. Currently, there are an estimated 4 million active bitcoin wallet users across the world, and analysts anticipate the number to reach 200 million by 2024.

After starting the year valued at $1,000, Bitcoin is aiming to end 2017 strong—on December 7th, the price per coin hit a record of $17,000, marking an increase of more than 1,700%. Bitcoin is the largest of the cryptocurrencies, which are virtual coins that are mined—the process through which new bitcoins are created and transactions are recorded and verified—by computers using complex algorithms.

Customer Focused Companies
Many companies that claim to offer good customer service, in reality, are grounded in an operations mentality with rules and policies that allow for little flexibility, preventing them from rising above anything more than average or satisfactory. The companies that really understand customer service have a different focus. Here are some areas that differ between customer-focused companies and operations-focused companies:
Empowerment: Employees in a customer-focused company are given the freedom to make decisions for the benefit of the customer….

As a trend watcher in the IT space, I have noticed a consistent drumbeat over the last few years. CIOs and their interest in analytics and business intelligence has been consistent if not increasing. This makes perfect sense as companies realize they need to leverage both internal and external data sources to better compete in rapidly changing markets….

In business, your customers are everything. And while it’s great to already have a solid set of returning clients that you know that you can rely on, every business owner knows that they need to get more clients if they truly want to maximize their efforts. The problem is, for those that have a limited marketing budget, it may be difficult to get the type of new clients that you are after….