Could DreamCheaper Become The Hotel Booking Industry’s Most Hated Startup?

Berlin-based DreamCheaper, which has been operating fairly stealthily until now, could soon become the hotel booking industry’s most hated startup. It operates a service that aims to ensure you never overpay for a hotel room again, even if you (miraculously) get the best deal available at the time of booking but the price since goes down.

Specifically, DreamCheaper exploits the “flexible booking” option typically offered by hotels, by canceling your hotel booking on your behalf once its algorithms have located the same room type, at the same hotel, for a cheaper price and made a replacement booking. Meanwhile, the service continues working on your behalf, right up to the day before check-in, canceling and rebooking if and when a better deal comes along.

The hotel booking industry, dominated by aggregators such as Hotels.com, Booking.com and Trivago, is opaque to say the least.

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Learn Why Lazy People Are the Best Hire for Your Company

At first glance lazy employees seem to be the worst ones to look to if you want to get a job done, but that may not be the truth.

After all, it’s the lazy employees who know the shortcuts, the efficiencies, how to eliminate problems, keep things running smoothly, and save time.

Here’s how to get the most from them.

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To Help Your Startup Succeed, Invest in Your City

There’s something to be said for strength in numbers. If you’re looking for a location to build a startup, it’s tempting to pick a city with a thriving startup community.

Take Silicon Valley, for example. The area is doing an excellent job of fostering its startup community — one built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. From informal tech meetings through Meetup to formal startup accelerator programs such as Y Combinator, it’s constantly working to sustain its startup community and put the area on the entrepreneurial map.

Does this mean that you should relocate your new business to an existing startup hub?

Not necessarily. After all, there’s a reciprocal relationship between businesses and cities. As your business and others invest in your community, you develop its economic value. It begins to grow and thrive, building itself into a prime startup location. In turn, your business benefits from the community’s economic success. Trust me, I know.

My company is a member of Downtown San Diego Partnership, a nonprofit organization committed to revitalizing downtown San Diego. Our work with this committee doesn’t focus on our company, instead, it centers on important social issues, including combating homelessness, diversifying transportation options, activating open spaces and branding causes. Kris Michell, president and CEO of the organization, has seen firsthand just how much the community has benefited.

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Amazon Has Quietly Acquired 2lemetry To Build Out Its Internet Of Things Strategy

Amazon is taking another step into the Internet of Things. TechCrunch has learned, and confirmed, that the e-commerce and cloud services giant has acquired 2lemetry, a startup based out of Denver that has developed an enterprise-focused platform to track and manage IP-enabled machines and other connected devices.

Terms of the deal, which we heard was finalized earlier this week, were not disclosed. 2lemetry, founded in 2011, had raised $9 million, including a $4 million round in January of this year from investors that included Salesforce Ventures.

Reaching out to 2lemetry, our queries were forwarded to Amazon. A spokesperson confirmed the acquisition with a short statement that noted that the service will continue to operate for existing customers.

“I can confirm that Amazon has acquired 2lemetry and we look forward to continuing to support 2lemetry customers,” a spokesperson said. Those customers include Honeywell, the Demeter energy group and First Mile, an office recycling service.

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How the Apple Watch could reinvent fashion as we know it

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On one of the coldest days of the year, a smartly dressed woman, defying the elements, stands at one of the last remaining newsstands in Manhattan flipping through the voluminous bible of fashion that is the March issue of Vogue. Amid the pages of waifish models blissfully tossing aside $1,000 scarfs and tableaus of beauty products promising transformative powers she happens upon something completely different: another, mini-magazine, devoted to the Apple Watch.

The message contained therein, all visual, no text, is obvious: The illusion of luxury, of another, better life — one filled with glamour, the right look and the people and places that go along with such trimmings of success — now includes a smartwatch.

It’s an old message, aspirational luxury, but one made new by technology playing the starring role. But all stars aren’t created equal. And even the most brilliant sometimes fail to capture the public’s imagination.

So now, with companies like Apple, Nike, Under Armour and many others betting billions on the chance that the marriage of technology and fashion might produce a hit, there’s a key question that needs answering: Is wearable technology ready? And will the Apple Watch be the catalyst that takes it mainstream?

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7 Habits of Remarkably Successful Startup Entrepreneurs

On the surface, successful entrepreneurs seem to be the same as everyone else.

But look closely and you’ll see that in a few ways they are very, very different–and so is how they start and run their businesses.

1. They always prefer action to thinking.

A detailed plan is great, but stuff happens, and most entrepreneurs don’t make it past the first three action items before adapting to reality. (I started a company assuming I’d provide book-design services to publishers; I ended up ghostwriting those books instead.)

Spend some time planning and a lot more time doing. If you’re unsure, do something, and then react appropriately. It’s easy to ponder and evaluate and analyze yourself out of business.

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Mark Zuckerberg: I Would Only Hire Someone to Work For Me If I Would Work For Them

When it comes to onboarding new employees with whom he’ll work directly, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg bears in mind a single guiding principle that he says has never steered him wrong.

“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person,” Zuckerberg told an audience gathered in Barcelona yesterday for the fourth installment of ‘Q&A with Mark,’ an ongoing series of town hall-style discussions.

While employers generally have more work to do than staffers to get it done, Zuckerberg says business owners should resist the urge to settle for lesser candidates in the name of manpower. “Over the long term,” he said, “you’re only going to be better if you get someone really good.”

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