How To Build Distributed Teams

Elroy Mariano

Co-Founder and CEO of LumApps, leading digital workplace communications solution for the enterprise.

The year 2020 has ushered in many changes not only within our own homes and communities, but also across the world.

In a post-Covid-19 environment, companies can look far beyond the physical borders of their headquarters. Today, a company may need to conduct global searches to find the most diverse and qualified talent for new and expanding positions. At LumApps, we have offices across the globe, so we know firsthand the importance of building distributed teams.

A shift to remote work and work from home has happened at a faster rate than ever before. For example, of Nationwide employees, 98% were working from home in May 2020. Many businesses are following suit. Mondelez, Morgan Stanley, Google and other leading companies are also embracing a digital model and allowing or considering allowing their teams to work

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6 Can’t-Miss Virtual Houston Food Events to Try in Your Own Home

Elroy Mariano

Now that most people are staying at home as much as possible, virtual events are taking up more and more time on the calendar. Everyone’s using Zoom for both work and play, and Houston restaurants are no exception.



a plate of food with a slice of pizza on a table: DIY pizza kits from the Union Kitchen are perfect for date night at home


© Kirsten Gilliam
DIY pizza kits from the Union Kitchen are perfect for date night at home

Even though dining rooms are fraught spaces right now, with limited capacities and a vibe that’s decidedly different than pre-pandemic, virtual dinners and cooking classes are the new norm in connecting over a plate of really great food. . For those who are not yet comfortable with dining out and who have grown blasé of take out, virtual dining is a festive way for Houston restaurant enthusiasts to support their favorite establishments while staying safe.

From heaping plates of pasta paired with a full-bodied Barolo via a virtual wine dinner or cooking classes helmed by

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Li-Cycle Selects Rochester, NY as Site for Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling “Hub”

Elroy Mariano

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Sept. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Li-Cycle Corp. (Li-Cycle), a leading lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, today announced the company will invest over US$ 175 million in its first commercial lithium-ion battery recycling Hub at Eastman Business Park (EBP) in Rochester, New York. The Hub is a wet chemistry/hydrometallurgical facility that will refine battery-grade materials from ‘black mass’ generated from pre-processing spent lithium-ion batteries and will have the capability of processing material from an equivalent of 60,000 metric tonnes of spent lithium-ion batteries, roughly equating to 120,000 electric vehicle battery packs. This comes in addition to its Spoke facility, set to be operational at the park by late 2020, that will produce ‘black mass’ from spent lithium-ion batteries.

Once fully operational, the Hub will be a major producer of battery-grade materials in North America, specifically cobalt, nickel and lithium. This will be the only source of

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Send Web Push Notifications That Help You Make More Sales

Elroy Mariano

There are over 1.72 billion websites on the world wide web as of October 2019.

Did your jaw just hit the floor?

That’s a staggering amount of competition for web traffic.

Driving web traffic is hard enough. But when you consider returning website visitors converted more than 73% more than first time visitors, it can feel even more overwhelming.

How on earth can you convince people to visit your website twice?

With a tool like web push notifications, you increase your chances of driving visitors back to your site. Simply offer visitors the chance to opt-in to receive updates from you with little effort.

Want to make web push notifications a part of your marketing strategy? Read on to learn how to create push notifications that make it easy to drive traffic back to your website and make more sales.

Why web push notifications enhance your marketing strategy

Web push

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8th Wall brings web-ready AR experiences to curved surfaces for bottles and cans

Elroy Mariano

Augmented reality platform solution developer 8th Wall Inc. today announced the launch of Curved Image Targets, the first development platform with tools to create web-based AR experiences that are activated by and can interact with cylindrical and conical-shaped objects.

8th Wall teamed up with Siduri Wines, which has become the first brand to showcase the commercialization of this technology. Its bottles will now display wine bottle-activated AR experiences created by the agency Rock Paper Reality.

“8th Wall is on a mission to make augmented reality for everyone and to do that we need to be able to augment everything,” says Erik Murphy-Chutorian, founder and chief executive of 8th Wall.

The Curved Image Targets technology expands on 8th Wall’s existing image target capability which was originally designed for flat shapes. With this update to the company’s AR engine, developers may now target bottles, cans, cups, wine bottles and more.

This new

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Gatsby and Contentstack Announce Partnership to Help Modern Enterprises Build Lightning Fast, MACH-Enabled Websites

Elroy Mariano

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Contentstack, the leading Content Experience Platform (CXP), and Gatsby, a modern web framework for creating high-performance websites and applications, today announced a strategic partnership. This alliance will allow enterprises to accelerate digital experience innovation by creating modern high-performance websites that are optimized for speed, security and scalability. Combining Contentstack’s headless CMS with Gatsby’s web framework enables businesses to deliver the digital content, sites and apps to bring new personalized, omnichannel experiences to life.

“In today’s digital world speed matters — losing customers to a slow, low-performing website is not acceptable,” said Peter Fogelsanger, Global Head of Partnerships at Contentstack. “Ensuring that the storytelling from the content creators is delivered to customers quickly and seamlessly is critical to every company’s success. This partnership with Gatsby makes it possible. Businesses can bring together their marketing and development teams to deliver blazing

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A UX designer breaks down the intentionally malicious design of Trump’s campaign website

Elroy Mariano

Beyond a mere source of entertainment, the video-sharing social media app TikTok has become a hub for quick educational videos, as users turn its 60-second video format into an opportunity to share interesting and informative lessons. User experience (UX) designer Mary Formanek (@UXWithMary) has become a viral TikTok influencer in this regard, in particular for her series of TikTok explainer videos breaking down politicians’ campaign websites for laypersons who may not know a lot about design. 

One recent series of Formanek’s videos that blew up featured her explaining the design principles behind Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign website. In these TikTok videos, Formanek describes how Trump’s campaign uses design principles in a shady way, to manipulate users into getting trapped on donation pages and accidentally donating more money than they might intend. As Formanek explains, this practice — of using design psychology to obfuscate and manipulate rather than illuminate — is

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Will Your Social Security Benefits Be Taxed? Here’s How to Know

Elroy Mariano

Millions of seniors depend on Social Security to pay their bills and enjoy the retirement they’ve always dreamed of. But many are also shocked to learn that those benefits are, in fact, taxable in some situations.

But will you have to pay taxes on your benefits? These two questions will give you the answer.

1. What will your annual retirement income amount to?

If Social Security constitutes your only form of retirement income, then there’s a good chance you won’t have to lose some of your benefits to taxes. But the more income sources you have, the greater your likelihood of paying some taxes on your benefits.

Four Social Security cards in a loose stack

Image source: Getty Images.

To see if your benefits will be taxed at the federal level, you’ll need to calculate your provisional income, which is your non-Social Security income (including all tax-free income you collect, such as municipal bond interest, but not including

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Corporate giants court climate startups in race to net-zero future

Elroy Mariano

BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Chile’s climate action champion Gonzalo Muñoz has the tough task of teaming businesses with governments to help meet the global warming limits set in the 2015 Paris accord. As an entrepreneur who runs a winery and a recycling firm, he knows the challenge.

Muñoz co-founded circular economy company TriCiclos in 2009 after a decade of managing food businesses, where he noticed “how much garbage I was putting into the market” with unsustainable packaging.

Unable to convince executives to shift to a greener model, he and his partners started producing mobile recycling stations, which can handle 90% of household solid waste and are now deployed in about 10 Latin American countries.

“We identified the problem (of) waste as an error of design,” he said. And to deal with that environmental problem, “we have to correct every single design”, including how a product is disposed of and

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How to Apply to College for Free | Best Colleges

Elroy Mariano

Applying to college for free can offer students a chance to explore their options while also possibly saving hundreds of dollars.

The benefits of applying to multiple colleges are plentiful. Students can aim for their dream schools, assure entry into colleges where acceptance is likely, find the right fit and compare financial aid packages to see which institution is the most affordable for their family.

And most first-time freshmen do just that, with more than 80% applying to at least three colleges, according to data from the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Some experts even suggest shooting for a far higher number. Allen Koh, CEO of Cardinal Education, a California-based educational consulting company, encourages the students he works with to apply to 14 colleges.

“The entire probability and risk distribution spectrum will be represented with 14 schools,” Koh says.

Cardinal Education breaks that spectrum of 14 schools down into

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