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Proven Strategies to Make Money in the Digital World

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Proven Strategies to Make Money in the Digital World

Affiliate Marketing: This is a performance-based marketing strategy where you promote other people’s products or services and earn a…Continue reading …

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How Keeping Things Simple Helps Your Company Innovate and Grow

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How Keeping Things Simple Helps Your Company Innovate and Grow

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

According to Steve Jobs, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” It seems obvious that keeping things simple will help your business succeed. And yet, it’s surprisingly difficult to do it.

If simplicity is this challenging, you need to be intentional to make it happen. That’s why many successful companies actively prioritize it as a value. Ikea’s focus on simplicity comes across in its designs, catalog, store experience and more. One of Nike’s 11 management maxims is “simplify and go,” focusing teams on moving fast to adapt to new technologies and fashions.

I believe that simplicity is a driver for genius innovation. In fact, my journey as an entrepreneur began with an idea to simplify a complex and bureaucratic process. Today, the success of that idea has created new challenges. We serve millions of customers across over 100 countries, with many different needs — to meet them all, we’d need a ton of different features. So, we have to find the simplest ideas that will improve the experience for the largest number of users.

Related: Here’s Why You Should Embrace Simplicity as a Strategy (and 3 Ways to Do It)

Simplifying innovation is a recipe for success

Some people think that to be an entrepreneur, you have to bring groundbreaking technological innovation to the world. But actually, there’s a lot of room to innovate on top of new technologies, simplifying them and packaging them for specific use cases.

If you think of two of the technology giants of our times, Google and Apple, neither of them invented their core technologies. Apple wasn’t the first company to create a home computer or cellphone, Google wasn’t the first company to develop a search engine. They made existing innovations simpler and more user-friendly, and it was a recipe for success.

This is particularly relevant right now in the middle of a revolution fueled by generative AI. There are definitely huge opportunities in creating new AI-driven technologies, but there are even more opportunities in finding ways to package these technologies into user-friendly software for specific use cases.

To do this, first master the tech, and then put yourself in the shoes of your potential user. Try to understand what is really useful about the innovation and what barriers people might face when trying to use it.

The key is to find a way to simplify the technology, making it easier for your target users to understand and adopt it. Do this, and you’re onto a winner.

Work smarter by simplifying communication

Another part of any business where simplification is super important is communications and processes. As companies grow, it becomes harder to get people on the same page or ensure continuity between departments. Poor communication creates misunderstandings, which can lead to mistakes. The more people involved in a project, the more likely it is that workflows will become complicated. This all slows things down, wastes time and restricts your ability to make an impact on the business.

Let’s start with communication. Using a single, simple language across the company is crucial for people to be able to understand each other. For example, try to use less jargon and fewer three-letter acronyms, or make sure to explain them if you do. By creating organized archives of historical documents and plans, you help onboard new people and anyone can find important information fast when they need it.

Create a culture of transparency where different departments share their plans with each other. Create frameworks to facilitate this, like quarterly reviews or roadmap deployments. It’s not possible for employees to be actively involved in everything going on in the company, but by helping everyone take part passively, you’re making sure they’re on the same page and can facilitate ideas and collaborations across teams.

When you do have to communicate, encourage your teams to do it in the most straightforward way possible. By simplifying communication and making it easy to understand, discussions are more focused and decisions are made faster.

Related: The Key to Effectively Communicating Important Messages Is All About Simplicity

Put simplicity at the heart of your product

A simplification mindset can also be applied to product development. By making small incremental changes, sometimes with test groups of users, you can use the inspect and adapt methodology to understand their adoption, as well as any issues, and innovate further accordingly. Every so often, you can combine all these small changes into a large product update that you roll out for everyone.

For example: A company added a lot of extra value to its product with new features and releases. In theory, this was great for the users, but some found the UI overwhelming and new pricing options confusing. To use a metaphor, some people are happy to be given ingredients to make their own meal, but most would prefer the chef do the cooking so they can enjoy the final result.

Having understood this through their feedback, the company introduced a change to its UI that helped users get the end result they wanted, without having to work hard to achieve it themselves. By simplifying, the company maximized the impact of the value of all the new additions to the product.

Related: Keep It Simple: Why Simplicity Is Key To Making Your Brand Win

Richard Branson once said: “Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple.” Simplicity won’t come about by accident — you need to be intentional. You have to call it out and make it a focus for the whole company. You need to put it at the heart of everything. And when you succeed, the impact will be huge.

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How to Claim Money in Disney’s $9.5M ‘Dream Key’ Settlement

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How to Claim Money in Disney's $9.5M 'Dream Key' Settlement

If you bought a Disney Dream Key pass from August 25 to October 25, 2021, you could receive part of a $9.5 million settlement.

Disney has settled a class action lawsuit filed in November 2021 in California district court over how it marketed its $1,400 Dream Key pass, a program that allows customers to pay a flat rate to go to Disneyland and California Adventures theme parks whenever they want throughout the year.

The settlement website shows that payments to qualified class members were sent either by check or through a digital payment on June 14.

Related: Parents With Young Children Are Taking on ‘Disney-Related’ Debt for Trips to Theme Parks, According to a New Report

Unless a class member excludes themselves from the settlement payout, they give up any right to sue Disney over the same claims in the lawsuit.

Disneyland. Photo by Barry King/WireImage

According to the plaintiff, Jenale Nielsen, Disney advertised the Dream Key Pass as a way to enter Disneyland without any restrictions. When she bought the pass and tried to make a reservation, however, she found that Disney had blocked out many days, including all weekends in November 2021.

“Given that Disney had advertised and promised that there would be no ‘blockouts’ for Dream Key holders, Ms. Nielsen was surprised,” the filing stated.

Nielsen looked at Disney’s website and found that it still had passes available for sale on the days it had barred Dream Pass holders, so the blocks weren’t caused by tickets being sold out.

Related: A Fifth Walt Disney World Theme Park Could Be Coming Soon — Here’s What We Know

The filing called the Dream Key a “second class ticket” to Disney’s parks and said that Nielsen “was deceived by and relied upon” Disney’s “false and deceptive advertising.”

1718664962 482 How to Claim Money in Disneys 95M Dream Key SettlementLocked Disneyland during the pandemic. Photo by Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Disney denied all of Nielsen’s claims as well as any wrongdoing or liability.

Nielsen received $5,000 as part of the settlement and 100,000 others affected will receive around $67.41 from Disney.

Related: Disney World Concession Prices Have Gone Up 60% Over the Past Decade — Including Two Fan Favorite Sweet Treats That Have Skyrocketed in Price

For reference, a standard Disneyland theme park ticket starts at $96 to $194 per day.

Disney has now made changes to its Magic Key Pass advertising. The Dream Key is no longer available to purchase. In its place, the highest tier is now the Inspire Key, priced at $1,649 and labeled as subject to “applicable pass blockout dates.”

The Magic Key calendar at the time of writing had availability open for almost all days in July, August, and September for Inspire Key holders.

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Stay Focused with These JBL Headphones for $25

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Stay Focused with These JBL Headphones for $25

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

With so many calls and meetings taking place remotely these days, serious entrepreneurs and business leaders need reliable headphone options for blocking out distractions and zoning in on work. For those who are on the hunt for a highly capable piece of tech that’s also affordable, this deal is worth checking out.

For a limited time only, these new, open-box JBL Tune 510BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones are on sale for only $24.99 (reg. $49). An open-box deal typically means the product was excess inventory from store shelves, and it also means that these headphones have been inspected and verified to work like new.

So, with impressive savings on a fully capable pair of 2021 headphones, you can count on powerful and deep bass when listening to music. It also features quick switches to make switching from listening to a tune while you get through busy work to taking an unexpected and important call from a prospective client seamless.

These on-ear headphones also support Siri and Hey Google. With these tools, you can activate hands-free calling with a simple request and control sound settings and other functions with voice commands. They also offer a quick five-minute recharge feature that gives you two additional hours of music, which is great when you’re in a bind.

Busy entrepreneurs need the freedom to take calls while keeping their hands on their keyboards. Make your access to calls and meetings a lot better with these JBL Tune on-ear headphones.

During a special limited-time sale, these open-box JBL Tune 510BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones are on sale for only $24.99 (reg. $49).

StackSocial prices subject to change.

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