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Chart Your Course: Which General Assembly Class Is Right for You?

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However you want to come at your next career or business idea, we at General Assembly have a class to help you do it. With on-campus courses in 12 cities—including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, London, Sydney, and Hong Kong—and online classes available everywhere, it’s just a matter of making your next move. Which will it be? Here are a few questions to help you find an educational opportunity that fits your goals and lifestyle.

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From Dorm Room to Silicon Valley: ‘Shout’ Founder Reveals How He Got Into Y Combinator

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Twice a year, Y Combinator, a seed funder named the top startup incubator and accelerator by Forbes, invests $120k in dozens of promising startups in exchange for 7% equity. As of 2013, Y Combinator has funded over 500 companies, and according to founder Paul Graham, the average valuation of Y Combinator-backed companies is $45.2 million. The infantile startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 intense months and are given the space, advice, and network to whip their businesses into the best possible shape before presenting their ideas to potential investors.

The hopes, dreams, and tireless work of these startup founders, web developers, and designers all culminate in one daylong event that has the power to change their lives, and perhaps our lives forever: That event is Demo Day.

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Looking for a New Career? Here Are The 3 Most Promising Careers of 2020

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Although bad news seems to be the order of the day, there is reason for optimism on many fronts–one of them being the future of employment in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that a projected 20.5 million new jobs will have been added between 2010 and 2020, a 14.3% growth in employment. And if you’re technologically inclined (like us!), there’s even more reason to rejoice. Read on to find out which careers are most promising. Continue reading

Learn From the Best: Most Inspiring CEOs To Follow on LinkedIn

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Richard Branson

Image via Wikimedia Commons

It’s Official: LinkedIn has emerged to claim its place as the better-dressed, networking-savvy big brother of all social media platforms. Although you may already appreciate the site for its infinite utility during a job search, there’s even more to be gleaned by following the influential and thought-provoking CEOs who come there to share their wisdom.

Although fewer than 1/3 of Top 500 CEOs use social media, according to Forbes, those that do are overwhelmingly active on LinkedIn. Even more telling, the site is actually more popular with CEOs than it is with the general public.

Here are a few picks to enlighten, inform, and entertain.  Continue reading

6 Essential Skills for a Successful Career in the 21st Century

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CC Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons User D-M Commons

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting the creation of a projected 20.5 million new jobs between 2010 and 2020, there’s never been a better time to brush up your skillset, dust off your resume, and find the perfect career. But the unique needs of technology-driven commerce dictate that certain skills will naturally have greater value than others. If you focus your effort on the areas that promise the greatest dividends, you’ll likely be rewarded with a handsome payout.  Continue reading

11 Top Entrepreneurs To Follow On Twitter

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The path to entrepreneurial success is a treacherous one; full of sharp turns, menacing boulders, and forks in the road. Once you arrive at your destination (which may not be the one you set out for), it’s likely you’ve acquired some scrapes and bruises; life lessons that you’re happy to share with other brave souls who have the intensity, passion, and grit to follow in your footsteps.

This is certainly true for many of the business leaders who made it onto our Twitter list of both established and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Each member takes to their Twitter to share their unique perspective and expert tips on a number of promising industries.

Let these entrepreneurs guide you as you trudge the road to startup success.

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Bright Ideas, Big Company: Encouraging Corporate Entrepreneurship

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CC Image Courtesy of Brian Talbot, Flickr Creative Commons

Companies are sort of like sharks. Just as sharks must keep moving to avoid death, companies must keep growing. But large, well-established corporations often find it difficult to grow organically under an existing business model. Corporations are less nimble than startups, and more averse to risk. Because of reputation and shareholder expectation, they lack the ability to “pivot” the business when a product or idea is not working out as planned.

How can large corporations focus on product innovation in the same way that startups do? Through corporate entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship.

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What It’s Worth: The Essentials of Product Pricing

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Intro to pricing strategy imagePricing a product is a highly important yet deceptively tricky task. Highly important because it can determine how well your product performs on the market, thus laying the foundation for your business’s success. Deceptively tricky because while you might think you have enough experience as a consumer to come up with an appropriate number, the truth is that pricing a product requires a lot more than market comparisons and a hunch.

So what does it take to figure out your product’s worth? Let’s take a look.

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Collaboration Meets Competition: The Power of the Hackathon

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Wikimedia Hackathon 2013, Amsterdam via Flickr

Wikimedia Hackathon 2013, Amsterdam via Flickr

Remember those all-night cramming sessions in college, when you would overcaffeinate, stay up for days, and muster all the focus you could to finish a paper or prepare for a test? Imagine a room full of computer programmers, developers, visionaries, and marketers doing the same thing for a day, a weekend, or even a full week. Instead of cramming, they are competing to create prototypes that innovate on a theme or improve upon an existing project. It’s called a hackathon, and it is has become a regular part of how technology companies do business. In fact, the power of the hackathon has extended beyond the tech industry into countless other sectors.

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5 Successful Businesses That Got Huge By Starting Small

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CC Image Courtesy of Ritesh Man Tamrakar on Flickr

Susan Feldman, cofounder of shopping site One Kings Lane, attributes the company’s success to not aiming to build the next big thing — she recommends “that if you have an idea and you want to do something, starting small is okay.”

Feldman’s advice mirrors the wisdom many companies follow when introducing their product or service to the market: begin by testing interest and enthusiasm with an MVP, or minimum viable product. This “barebones” product has just the necessary features to receive money and feedback from early adopters. Not only will this provide you with constructive criticism from your core audience, but a strong user reception validates moving forward with a product. Look to these five success stories to see how companies have used their MVPs to float their product to the marketplace.

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