Radon Testing

first_imgThe University of Georgia Radon Education Program recommends testing your home for radon in recognition of National Radon Action Month in January.Testing is easy and affordable. Radon test kits can be purchased from some UGA Cooperative Extension offices for $10 or online for $13. For more information, or to order a test kit, go to www.ugaradon.org.Radon, a naturally-occurring, odorless gas, is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in America, claiming 21,000 lives annually.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates one out of every 15 homes in the country has high radon levels. According to the EPA, the northern third of Georgia has a moderate to high radon potential, but radon also may be found in other parts of the state.Radon occurs naturally when uranium breaks down to radium, which then breaks down to form radon. Radon is released into the soil and can easily enter homes through the foundation and well water.The UGA Radon Education Program, sponsored by the UGA Cooperative Extension and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences, educates communities throughout the state to increase radon awareness and promote testing. The Georgia Radon Symposium will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at the UGA Gwinnett Campus from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The cost of the symposium is $20, which includes lunch. Register online at www.ugaradon.org. Officials from the UGA Radon Education Program, EPA, Department of Community Affairs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Georgia State University will discuss topics such as radon testing and mitigation.Write to [email protected] for information.last_img read more

Nils Bolmstrand named as head of Nordea Asset Management

first_imgNils Bolmstrand “He has the competencies and experience within the asset management business, and he has strong leadership and personal skills.”Ahead of appointing a permanent replacement for Bolmstrand at Nordea Life & Pensions, the subsidiary’s head of its Swedish Life & Pensions organisation Johan Nystedt has been appointed as its acting head.Nystedt will keep his position at the Swedish business while he is in the temporary role, Nordea said.Since Hyldahl left Nordea at the end of October, Christophe Girondel – the firm’s head of institutional and wholesale distribution – has been acting head of the subsidiary.Nordea Asset Management is the largest asset manager in the Nordic countries, and number 43 in IPE’s 2016 ranking of European institutional managers. Nordic banking group Nordea has found a replacement for Christian Hyldahl, the former head of Nordea Asset Management, who left in October to become the next chief executive of Danish pensions giant ATP, by shifting the head of its life and pensions subsidiary Nils Bolmstrand into the vacant post.Bolmstrand, who has previously had managerial jobs at Nordea Asset Management before starting his current job as head of Nordea Life & Pensions, will take up his new position as head of the asset management unit on 1 January 2017.Snorre Storset, head of Nordea Wealth Management – one of Nordea’s four business units, which encompasses the life and pensions and asset management subsidiaries – said: “Nils Bolmstrand is the right person to maintain the very strong momentum and development of Nordea Asset Management.last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgNASCAR-POCONOLate scratch: Harvick knocks off Pocono from winless listLONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Kevin Harvick snapped an 0-for-38 drought at Pocono Raceway, taking the checkered flag Saturday at one of two tracks where victory had eluded him.Harvick won the first of two NASCAR Cup races in front of no fans this weekend at Pocono and will start 20th on Sunday with the field set by inverting the lead-lap finishers.The 44-year-old California driver has won at every active track except Kentucky Speedway (nine tries) and the 2014 series champion has three wins overall for Stewart-Haas Racing this season.Harvick held off a hard-charging Denny Hamlin for his 52nd career Cup victory. He had 12 top-five finishes in his other 38 starts at Pocono. NEW YORK (AP) — A barn at Belmont Park has been placed under a precautionary quarantine because of a suspected case of equine herpesvirus Type 1.New York Racing Association officials say a 4-year-old colt trained by Chris Englehart exhibited fever and neurological symptoms associated with EHV-1 on Saturday and is being treated by a private veterinarian. The colt named Freudnme last raced at Finger Lakes in upstate New York in June 2019.EHV-1 can cause upper respiratory infection in young horses. If a number of horses are housed together, they can become sick and then recover uneventfully. However, equine herpesvirus-1 can also cause a severe neurological disease that affects a horse’s brain and spinal cord, and may result in paralysis and death.NYRA says all 37 horses stabled in Barn 37 will be monitored daily for fever and other signs of illness. They won’t be allowed to enter races or train among the general horse population. The length of the quarantine will depend on the results of tests.Belmont’s current meet ends July 12. It is racing without spectators because of the coronavirus Phil Mickelson, who celebrated his 50th birthday last week, began the day with a one-stroke lead, but struggled to a 71, finishing tied for seventh in a group six shots back. SPORTS-VIRUS OUTBREAKTexas Rangers: Several positive testsUNDATED (AP) — The Texas Rangers say several of their employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few days. The team said anyone who had direct contact with those affected was sent home from Globe Life Field. The Rangers said no one will be allowed back inside without receiving a negative test for the coronavirus. The club is set to begin another round of training at the ballpark next week.The team said pandemic protocols are in place for front office employees at the new ballpark that’s set to open when the season begins. Associated Press A person familiar with the game told The Associated Press on Saturday that the Yankees and Nationals are set meet when the virus-delayed season begins next month. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there hasn’t been an official announcement.The New York Post first reported the matchup.MLB will start a 60-game season on July 23 or 24. The schedule is still being worked out — there could be a game or two on the first day of play, or a full slate.Cole started the previous game played at Nationals Park. He pitched the Houston Astros past the Nationals 7-1 last October for a 3-2 edge in the World Series. Cole signed a $324 million, nine-year contract with the Yankees as a free agent. Rendon got a $245 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.PGA-TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP NHL-DRAFT LOTTERYPlay-in round team wins draft lottery, shot at LafreniereUNDATED (AP) — Presumptive top selection Alexis Lafreniere will have to wait a little bit longer to find out his NHL destination. Chaos reigned at the NHL draft lottery, with the No. 1 pick still up for grabs in a second lottery drawing. The eight teams that lose in the qualifying round of the playoffs have an equal chance of drafting first. The Kings got the second pick, the Senators the third thanks to 2018 trade with San Jose and the league-worst Red Wings dropped to fourth. Ottawa has the third and fifth picks and is the first team since 2000 with two selections in the top five.As part of the NHL’s 24-team playoff format if it resumes, 16 teams will play each other in best-of-five series to move on — and the losers of those matchups now have a major consolation prize looming: equal 12.5% odds of landing Lafreniere. Todd matches Johnson’s 61 to take the lead; Mickelson drops to 7thCROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Brendon Todd and Dustin Johnson each shot career-low 61s at the Travelers Championship on Saturday, leaving Todd with a two-stroke lead over the 2016 U.S. Open champion. The 34-year-old Georgian, playing a couple holes behind Johnson, had a chance at the tournament’s second 60 of the week but missed a 10-foot putt to the left on the 18th hole. He finished with a 54-hole score of 192 after shooting 66-65 the first two rounds. Johnson, who is looking for his 21st win on tour, also has improved each day, opening with a 69-64. Both golfers shot bogey-free rounds, with Todd making five birdies on the front nine and Johnson five on the back. Kevin Streelman fired a 63 after two straight rounds of 66 and was just three shots back. Mackenzie Hughes, who led after a 60 on Thursday, shot his second straight 68 for sole possession of fourth place. Hamilton, a six-time world champion and the only Black driver in F1, was dismayed by Ecclestone’s claim during an interview with broadcaster CNN on Friday that “in lots of cases, Black people are more racist” than white people.On Instagram, Hamilton called the comments “sad and disappointing” and said they “show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen.”Ecclestone made his assertion when he was asked his opinion on Hamilton setting up a commission to increase diversity in motorsport.OLYMPIC PROTESTS-CARLOS LETTERCarlos, US athletes take stand to end Olympic protest rule Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditYANKEES-NATIONALS OPENERAP source: Yankees vs champ Nationals in DC on opening dayNEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole could make his New York Yankees debut in a tasty opening-day treat for fans, facing Juan Soto and World Series champion Washington at Nationals Park. pandemic.Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes at the track a week ago. NWSL players kneel during the national anthemPlayers for the Portland Thorns and the North Carolina Courage knelt during the national anthem Saturday when the National Women’s Soccer League opened the Challenge Cup tournament in Utah. The players wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts in warmups before the game, which was nationally televised on CBS. In addition to the anthem, the players knelt for a moment of silence before kickoff. The NWSL is the first professional team sport in the United States to return amid the coronavirus outbreak. The monthlong Challenge Cup opened Saturday with a pair of games at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. Megan Rapinoe, who plays for OL Reign but opted out of the Challenge Cup, was criticized when she knelt at a NWSL game and a pair of national team games in 2016. She said she wanted to express solidarity with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the anthem to bring attention to racial inequality. The Truck Series was scheduled for Saturday and the second-tier Xfinity Series was scheduled for Sunday. The rainout forced the Truck Series to run at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by 225 miles of Xfinity racing and a 350-mile Cup race.NASCAR says it’s the first time three NASCAR National Series races will be raced on the same day at the same track. It will be the fifth time three NASCAR National Series races will be run on the same day but those were at different tracks. Sunday’s Cup race comes with a twist. The field will be set by inverting the lead-lap finishers from race No. 1.SPEEDWAY OWNER-ROPE ADSpeedway loses partnerships after ‘Bubba rope’ post WOMEN’S SOCCER-THORNS COURAGEWilliams’ stoppage time goal lifts Courage over Thorns 2-1HERRIMAN, Utah (AP) — Lynn Williams scored in stoppage time and the North Carolina Courage defeated the Portland Thorns 2-1 in the opening game of the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup tournament. The NWSL is the first professional team sport in the United States to return amid the coronavirus pandemic. The teams had opened preseason training camps when the league shut down on March 12.Players from both teams collectively took a knee during the national anthem and wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts in pre-game warmups to protest racial inequity Players for both teams took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality. June 27, 2020 He held off on the celebratory burnout — Harvick needs the same car for Sunday’s race. The race was scheduled as the second Saturday, but rain washed out the Truck Series race. .”NASCAR-TRIPLEHEADERNASCAR set for Truck, Xfinity, Cup tripleheader SundayLONG POND, Pa. (AP) — NASCAR is set for a tripleheader of racing at Pocono Raceway from three national series on Sunday.Rain has washed out the Truck Series race on Saturday in what was already a packed schedule. Pocono is the site of a Cup Series twin bill, with one race on Saturday and one on Sunday. MLB-TOLES ARRESTEDDodgers’ Andrew Toles jailed in Florida on trespass chargeKEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles was in jail Saturday, charged with trespassing.The 28-year-old player was detained this week at the airport in Key West, Florida, by a Monroe County sheriff deputy. The Miami Herald reported he was found sleeping behind a Federal Express building at the airport and refused to move.Jail records show Toles appeared to be homeless when arrested Monday on the misdemeanor charge. His bond was set at $500 but he remained jailed and is scheduled for arraignment Thursday. NFL-OBIT-KRUEGERFormer NFL, college coach Krueger dies at 90; Bucs’ 1st GMPEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) — Former NFL and college coach Phil Krueger has died. Krueger helped build a dominant defense as an assistant for 1967 national champion Southern California and later became part of the first coaching staff in Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ history. Krueger coached offense, defense and special teams during more than three decades in the NFL and college. He was the head coach at Fresno State and Utah State and an assistant at Illinois. Krueger was an assistant coach with the expansion Buccaneers in 1976 and later became their general manager.His family says Krueger died Monday at his home in Pembroke Pines, Florida. He was 90. DENVER (AP) — John Carlos wants to abolish the rule that bans protests at the Olympics. The renowned Olympic protester has written a letter with an influential group of American athletes, calling on the IOC to put in place a new policy done in collaboration with athletes from across the globe. Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists on the medals stand at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics to protest racial inequality in the United States. They were sent home for violating rules that ban such protests. Those rules remain in place today, though in the wake of global demonstrations against racial injustice, the IOC has recently expressed willingness to rethink them. Referring to the actions of Carlos and Smith, the letter says “It is time for the Olympic and Paralympic movement to honor their bravery rather than denounce their actions.”Carlos joined the leadership of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s athlete advisory council in sending the open letter to the International Olympic and Paralympic committees on Saturday. The letter said the AAC had discussed the issue with the IOC’s athlete commission. SOCCER-NWSL-ANTHEM PROTEST PINE HALL, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina racetrack has lost some partnerships after its owner advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale. The online ad was posted days after a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top series.The racetrack owner’s post on Facebook Marketplace sparked a backlash on social media and condemnation from the North Carolina governor’s office. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that a concrete company and a driver series have ended their partnerships with the half-mile, dirt track 311 Speedway in Stokes County.F1-HAMILTON-ECCLESTONEHamilton saddened and hurt by Ecclestone’s racism commentsPARIS (AP) — Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has criticized what he called “ignorant and uneducated” comments by former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone (EH-kuhl-stuhn). Toles rose from the low minors to the majors in just months and became a postseason star for the Dodgers in 2016. He was the starting left fielder in the second half of 2016 and early in 2017. In May of that year, he tore a knee ligament and spent most of 2018 at Triple-A Oklahoma City. The team said Toles never reported to spring training camp in 2019 because of a personal matter. He did not play that year.Toles struggled with anxiety issues even before the Dodgers signed him to a minor league contract. He was Tampa Bay’s minor league player of the year in 2013 but was released in 2015. He was working the early-morning shift in the frozen-food section of a grocery store before the Dodgers recruited him. HORSE RACING-BELMONT-BARN QUARANTINEBelmont Park barn under precautionary quarantine Update on the latest sportslast_img read more

Syracuse announces home-and-home with Wisconsin for 2020, 2021

first_imgSyracuse will play a home-and-home series with Wisconsin in 2020 and 2021, SU Athletics announced in a press release on Thursday afternoon.The Orange will visit Camp Randall Stadium on Sept. 12, 2020 and then host the Badgers on Sept. 11, 2021.“To add another chapter to the history between these teams and bring a program like Wisconsin to the Carrier Dome is important as we strive to give our student-athletes the opportunity to compete at the highest level,” recently hired athletic director Mark Coyle said in the release.Syracuse is 3-1-1 all-time against Wisconsin and the last time these teams met was in 1997 when SU won 34-0.The Orange will now face a nonconference opponent from one of the other four power-five conferences, or Notre Dame, every year through 2022.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 13, 2015 at 1:17 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschwedslast_img read more

Swine summer camp brings “All-Stars” to Ohio

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Young people from across the country involved in the show pig world converged on Columbus in mid-July to take part in a unique learning sure to make an impression for years to come.“The Showpig.com All-Stars was a camp that we started a couple of years ago. The first two years we were in Romney, West Virginia,” said Kevin Wendt, auctioneer and CEO of the Wendt Group. “We were on a campus of a local high school that had an awesome animal department and we could do some really cool things obviously being in Appalachia to tie in the service part of it, but we decided this year to come to the Ohio State University, do some things here on campus, do some things in town, and still tie in to showing pigs and teaching them about leadership and those kinds of things.”While the focus of the event may seem to be on showing hogs, Wendt says the goals of the program excel far beyond the show ring.“It really was my wife Megan’s idea,” Wendt said. “She comes from a youth ministry background and so being involved in the show pig industry ourselves and being out there at the shows, we wanted to try and give something back and try to do it in a different way and impact young people. We’ve been very fortunate to have our staff get behind it. Lots of volunteers get behind it and really take this thing to a whole new level. We’ve really got young people here from coast to coast and the intent down the road is to build this into something where they can go back home regionally and then get other young people involved in the hog industry, but then also move up the line through service and projects and helping your community. That was our goal and it has worked very well.”The learning experience, while heavily focused on swine production, is truly centered on development of the participants.“One of the real neat activities they did yesterday is we broke them up into pods or different groups, and each group was given $20 and had the opportunity to go out to a grocery store to try and provide for $20, a meal for a family of four — so kind of a tough thing to do. We want to get them to think outside of the box, plus we can give back to the community,” Wendt said. “The food that was bought is going to be donated to the local food bank and then we’ve had some folks from Ohio State teach them about the importance of nutrition and then trying to fit within your budget. Budgeting, nutrition, trying to do something for the community — that’s just part of what we’re trying to do here.”Taylor Miller, employee of the Wendt Group and one of the lead organizers of the camp, noted the busy schedule the students had in the program.“So these kids are here to learn all about leadership in the industry and how they can be an advocate in all kinds of things — from commercial barns to a vet clinic, farm to fork — just anything swine related. That’s what we’re touching on,” she said. “We were at a veterinary clinic and a commercial hog farm. We were at Ohio State with Dr. Zerby and Dr. Moeller — they’re learning our Farm to Fork project, so they judge live animals and then get to see a harvest. We go to the meat lab and then we eat all that meat towards the end of the week so that’s one of our biggest projects. We’re actually going to be hitting Real McCoy Genetics. They’re going to get some fun downtime — we’re doing a canoe trip on Sunday and then Saturday we heard from Jesse Heimer of Heimer Hampshires. He told the kids just how he grew his business, how he got started and his love for our industry. We’re hitting a lot of big industry leaders but also giving them time to learn from each other.“For me personally, I have had great experiences meeting kids from across the country growing up showing. So seeing these kids getting to develop relationships with the kids they’re going to know for a long time, that’s my favorite part. It’s fun to see everybody that’s kind of making and developing their relationships and they’re going to be people that we’re going to see in our industry in years to come.”The camp participants were a high-energy group of over 30 students eager to learn from leaders of the swine industry. And for many of the students, the experience was their first time traveling so far from home.“I think camp has been an amazing experience,” said Sage Wilbanks of Texas. “I’ve gotten to meet so many new people from so many different areas. I don’t get to leave Texas a whole lot and so I think one of the greatest things is getting to meet people from all over the United States and getting to learn some of the slang.”Brody Morrison from Arkansas reflected on his positive impressions from the friends and experiences he received.“We’ve learned a lot. It’s been a good time,” he said. “I’ll be able to have more connections and get to experience more than they will back home.”The camp, while still young, has clearly made its impression. Wendt shared one of many such examples.“One of the young people that was at our first camp three years ago actually is now currently doing what I would call mini show pig camps, teaching about fitting and nutrition — he and his family. They’re going all over the country doing this, so they’ve made their own little entrepreneurial business off of the model of having small camps working with young people,” Wendt said. “It’s that network of people that can work together, regardless if they’re in Texas or California or Oregon, they can still make that connection obviously with technology today to help each other.”Showpig.com is a segment of the Wendt Group’s many dealings and is known as one of the top destinations for online pig sales.last_img read more

{GHQ} Heidelberg Redux (GC2GA9Y) – Geocache of the Week

first_imgShare with your Friends:More The “Dotty-Wotty” house in Detroit, MI. Part of the Heidelberg Project.Photo Credit paulhitzGeocache Name:{GHQ} Heidelberg Redux (GC2GA9Y)Difficulty/Terrain Rating:1.5/1.5Why this is the Geocache of the Week:Discovering new places is one of the best parts of geocaching. For example, almost every city has hidden pockets of art—even Detroit. This geocache will take you to the Heidelberg Project. Wikipedia describes this neighborhood of art as, “an outdoor art project in Detroit, Michigan. It was created in 1986 by artist Tyree Guyton and his grandfather Sam Mackey (“Grandpa Sam”) as an outdoor art environment in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood on the city’s east side, just north of the city’s historically African-American Black Bottom area.” Many people wouldn’t even know about this amazing area had it not been for this geocache.What geocachers have to say:“This location is just another reason why I love geocaching. Without this cache being here, I would never have known this unique area existed in Detroit. Thanks for putting a cache here for me to find, and for seeing this local street art. Amazing spot.” – LucyLee“So glad that we made it down here. I figured my niece would like the area and I was correct. We had fun trying to retrieve the cache but we got it. What an interesting place. As the CO said when I mentioned coming to get this one….take the time to explore. Thanks for placing this cache and bringing us down to the area.” – ShihTzumommy“AWESOME! Anybody that enjoys art in any form should check this area out. very unique and creative, i’m sure the pictures speak for themselves. adding as a fav for the overall location. thanks” – RE4isNumber1Photos:Polka dots are so hot right now. Photo by ShihTzumommyWhat do you think happen next? Photo by mlanielThree happy geocachers in front of some of the art. Photo by MI ChickenlegsWhat interesting art have you seen while geocaching? Post your photos in the comments.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks! SharePrint Related[Chrismod75] US Army base (GC3J2M4) — Geocache of the WeekJuly 23, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”History and beauty in one spot — SS: Lusitania (GC2D9WC) — Geocache of the WeekApril 30, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”This parking lot is weird. — Cadillac Ranch Cars (GC4K7Y3) — Geocache of the WeekSeptember 3, 2014In “Community”last_img read more

Do Startup Benchmarks Really Make A Difference?

first_imgBy necessity, running a startup is like flying by the seat of your pants. Because the company is new, founders often have to make up things as they go along – with little opportunity to check and see how they’re doing. That’s starting to change, though, as new startup benchmarking services promise insight on how well your startup stacks up against peers and competitors. But are these benchmarks relevant to all tech startups, and do they really help new companies succeed? How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… We’re about to find out. According The Wall Street Journal, several new companies are providing benchmarking measurements, based on various algorithms, for startups. The Journal claimed that thousands of startup entrepreneurs have turned to companies such as Startup Compass, G-Score, and BOSI, to “assess their young companies, based on an analysis of comparable data from their peers.” (In May, ReadWriteWeb’s Tim Devaney and Tom Stein wrote about Startup Compass in Stop Flying Blind: Use Big Data To Benchmark Your Startup.) rieva lesonsky Related Posts Tags:#Big Data#start#StartUp 101 Several entrepreneurs told The Journal they thought the services were helpful by pointing out potential danger spots. But the Journal also quoted Patricia Greene, a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College(which often ranks as the nation’s top entrepreneurial college) warning that benchmarking could actually discourage companies from using innovative business models. “You could go into analysis paralysis,” she explained.Good Points, Bad Points Of Startup BenchmarkingGail Goodman, the Chairman, president and CEO of Constant Contactsees both advantages and disadvantages to benchmarking your startup. “Tools and models are helpful because they can force you to step back, especially when it’s easy to get lost in the weeds of the day to day [operations. But] no two companies are the same,” she warns, “and benchmarking is no substitute for building a great mentor team to advise you.” The number one thing startups need to do, Goodman says, is “to build a team, and not necessarily a paid one.” Goodman believes startups particularly need people they can count on, whether it’s an informal board of advisors, peers, a formal board or a mentor.Don’t Benchmark In A VacuumKen Yancey, the CEO of SCORE, a nonprofit organization that provides mentors and counseling to startups and business owners, believes business algorithms can “potentially be a good tool, but shouldn’t be used in a vacuum. You need other metrics about what drives your business to make smart decisions.” Yancey adds that it’s always a good idea to seek as much data as possible: “Entrepreneurs who seek knowledge will always outperform those that don’t.” But sometimes all that knowledge can be overwhelming – there’s just so much data to keep track of. One tool that might help early-stage entrepreneurs stay on top of all this information is this startup dashboard from InfoCaptor. It’s simple, and best of all it’s free.Don’t Be A Slave To The BenchmarksAre there dangers in benchmarking? Yancey and Goodman both warn that startups shouldn’t be a “slave to benchmarking.” Information is useful, but success is about taking action. Business consultant Brian Moran, CEO of Brian Moran & Associates, says that while it makes sense to incorporate the “critical data” a benchmarking service can provide into your strategic plan, “there is a time for planning and a time for execution.” Too many startups fail,” Moran says, “because they constantly look at their plan, but don’t execute it.”Everyone agrees you can’t factor “gut reactions” out of the process. “Benchmarking,” says Yancey, “can take the guess work out, but it can’t take away the ‘gut work.’ By itself benchmarking is not as valuable as your knowledge and your gut feelings. But if the benchmarking doesn’t support your gut, you need to ask more questions, and possibly amend your startup plans.”Anti-Entrepreneurial?To me, though, relying on algorithms is almost anti-entrepreneurial. Babson’s Greene warned that “Abnormality might be [a startup’s] competitive advantage.” But a benchmarking tool might not see it that way.Goodman agrees. “Constant Contact overinvests in customer care. But it’s my differentiator. Of course I’m not going to match the benchmarks, but I do it on purpose.”The decision of how much to rely on benchmarks and algorithms is obviously up to every startup. Yancey says benchmarking can be “immensely valuable for fast-growth” startups, looking to avoid big mistakes as they scale up. On the other hand, some entrepreneurs succeed precisely because they follow the path less traveled. China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … How to Get Started in China and Have Successlast_img read more