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The Fearless Conference Uniting Entrepreneurs of Philadelphia

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Philadelphia Fearless Conference
Panel of Speakers at The Fearless Conference 2015

Alam Melissa Femme and Fortune

Melissa Alam, Creator of The Fearless Conference

The City of Brotherly Love is gathering this coming October for a weekend filled with fun and workshops to encourage women to be inspired by local entrepreneurs.  The founder, Melissa Alam, is the brains behind The Fearless Conference, and also the founder and editor-in-chief of Femme and Fortune, a digital platform focused on ambitious women. The creative energy in Philly is at an all time high, and The Fearless Conference will showcase some of the most influential individuals in their fields.

The conference is coming to Philadelphia for its second year on October 1st at
WeWork NoLibs and October 2nd at Power Plant Productions. You can expect to have an amazing time and hopefully learn something new. It caters to career driven women who are looking to network or motivation to drive them in their endeavors. What makes the event different from other women focused conferences is that it was created to be as easy and casual as possible. Conversations are encouraged, which will not be too difficult during their happy hour! There will be a photobooth, headshots, and many more activities to guarantee an amazing experience.

The conference will be a star studded event, featuring speakers like Jen Denis of Honeygrow and Rachel Smith of The Crafted Life. The creators of Lola, Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman, will be attending as keynote speakers to show their process on how they became a success. Lola is a brand for women, by women. The 100% Organic Cotton Tampon got the nation buzzing about periods, and the conversation is coming to Philadelphia. Jess Edelstein and Sarah Ribner of PiperWai will also be in attendance. The childhood friends created an effective all natural charcoal based deodorant that Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank could not get enough of. They are only a few of the most sought out entrepreneurs at The Fearless Conference, and there is much more to be excited for.

If you did not attend the conference last year, you’re in for a treat! Melissa has attended many conferences in her day and has some advice for you. “Do not be afraid to speak up! Be confident and scream questions!” She also suggests to bring a notebook to write anything down that you may find helpful. Social media is also a great way to engage during the event, such as live tweeting as much as you can, and posting photos on Instagram with their hashtags
#TheFearlessConference and #borntobefearless. If you are a student, there is a scholarship fund dedicated to support women who are interested in business.

The ultimate goal is for attendees and speakers to leave with an amazing start to their week. Because there are seldom events targeted towards women, The Fearless Conference is on a mission to help. Melissa’s idea of gender equality is to treat others the way you want to be treated, and she wants to give women in Philly and beyond a voice for their opinions. She describes her mother as “badass’ and thanks her for raising her into an independent woman who can stand up for herself. Creative energy inspires Melissa, whether they are female comedians or local artists. She loves producing something that started as an idea, and seeing the final outcome, whether it is successful or becomes a lesson for the future.

The Fearless Conference will be live tweeting as the event is happening both days. If you are not able to make it, watch them on Facebook Live. At the end of the day, the conference is successful when you leave with a bit of knowledge and a few new friends.

 

Update Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Fearless Conference was packed with motivated female entrepreneurs, eagerly awaiting the knowledge the speakers brought with them. Some of those include Amanda Steinberg of Daily Worth, Jordana Kier of LOLA, and Rebecca Garcia of Geek Girl Web. Invited to attend Sunday at Power Plant in Old City, Philadelphia, there was much to be admired. The decor was meticulously chosen and there was a wide array of food for those waiting patiently for the event to begin. A beauty bar and photo booth attracted many, and encouraged a relaxing atmosphere. Business cards were exchanged and friends were made for many. If you are looking to be inspired or maybe learn about others in business, The Fearless Conference is a great place to start.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

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Business

Adobe Drops Pantone Colors From Creative Cloud

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Print and pre-press professionals were worried about the information gap regarding Adobe’s decision to remove the Pantone color system from the upcoming versions of its Creative Cloud products. 

In November, Adobe released a technical bulletin about the changes to the Pantone Color Libraries. The company stated that: In March 2022, the Pantone Color Libraries pre-loaded in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign Color, and Adobe Captured will be deleted from future software updates. While Adobe drops Pantone, they said they are working on an alternative solution for the affected products. With that said, Adobe encourages its users to stay tuned for updates. 

Still, the news has caused dismay among influential users of Adobe in print and graphic arts.

Color management whiz Paul Sherfield, the founder, and owner of The Missing Horse consultancy, told Printweek that they have been talking to their customers about Adobe’s decision. For him, it is a disappointing example of big firms in the graphic arts supply chain not supporting the industry itself. He noted that there’s a need to pay for a subscription to download the latest library. Printers can afford that, but the thing is, how many graphic designers and publishers will. 

Adobe and Pantone’s Comments

Pantone official Marcie Foster responded and said Adobe and Pantone have been and will continue to be long-standing business partners. 

But, the current implementation of the Pantone color system with Adobe’s Creative Cloud products is outdated, with many missing colors and inaccurate information. The two companies have decided to remove the obsolete libraries and continue to work together on better in-app features. 

Similarly, Pantone will continue to explore new collaborations with other companies. It’s to ensure that Pantone users can easily access the latest color libraries depending on the design application they are using. 

Danaher owns Pantone, which also runs Esko, X-rite, Videojet, and Linx.

On the other hand, Adobe had not commented at the time of writing. 

Industry Reactions

From Simon Eccles, Printweek

As a long-time user of Adobe products, Simon Eccles said Pantone libraries were always an essential element of their usability for print across the whole industry, especially labels and packaging. 

Mr. Eccles expressed that the “Adobe drops Pantone” announcement is quite disrespectful to many designers and printers who dutifully pay Adobe’s subscription fees regularly.

Mr. Eccles wonders if Adobe consults any users before arriving at such a decision. 

From Bill Greenwood, high-end image manipulation and retouching specialist

Bill Greenwood told Printweek that Pantone creates an Adobe Extension known as Pantone Connect, allowing users to access the Pantone libraries. I hope that Adobe integrates the Pantone Connect extension automatically. Otherwise, users can download it from another site (exchange.adobe.com).

The software mainly operates on a rental basis, and Adobe minus the Pantone libraries in its suite is an exciting development. Sadly, the changes will force them to register for the Pantone monthly subscription plan.

If Pantone wants to retain its customers, it must offer more standard vital features accessible to designers and other users. Smaller companies and designers will choose not to pay a monthly subscription. After all, Pantone is just a guide – there are many different ways to specify color. Users may decide to select RGB values or HTML Hex color codes or just CMYK print color values in exchange for Pantone colors. 

Mr. Greenwood concluded that people might start to move away from Pantone if the cost is not worth it.

Simon Gambling, Zebra managing director

It would be somewhat scary and hard to imagine when Adobe drops Pantone. Also, it would be challenging for them to prove that an alternative solution to Pantone removal will be a hassle-free transition. Users could only await further updates from Adobe to be sure.

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Sony Stocks Plummet After Microsoft-Activision Deal

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Sony shares fell by more than after a Microsoft-Activision deal was announced. 

There is no doubt that this deal weakens Sony’s position in the market.

“Whether or not Activison Blizzard’s content is progressively made exclusive to Xbox platforms and services, inclusion of new releases into Xbox Game Pass for several major games franchises, including Call of Duty, will undermine Sony’s third-party business.” 

Piers Harding-Rolls, games research director at Ampere Analysis, explains the situation. 

Sony has benefitted from the ability to negotiate timed exclusive content for Call of Duty but this is now under threat.” 

Shots fired in the never-ending console war. 

Did The Market Overreact?

Serkan Toto, CEO of Kantan Games, thinks so:

I think the market has totally overreacted in Japan today.

See?

Sony will continue to push out blockbusters, there can be no doubt about that.

Those PlayStation exclusives are pretty sweet. Spider-Man, The Last Of Us, Ghost of Tsushima? Come on now. 

Sony can, of course, fight back: they still have their own top in-house studios spread around the world, PlayStation remains a powerful brand in gaming, and acquisitions are in the cards for Sony as well.” 

PlayStation isn’t going down without a fight. 

The Console Wars Continue

For some time, Sony has been ahead of Microsoft. But the $68.7 billion Microsoft-Activision deal raises the stakes the highest they’ve been since the Black Friday Battle of 2013. Franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft could become exclusive. 

How will Sony respond? We shall see what happens next in the seemingly never-ending console wars.

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Silicon Valley Blue-Collar Workers Hope To Return To Their Posts

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While big tech companies are delaying return to offices, Silicon Valley Blue-Collar workers anticipate full return in the coming months. 

Despite the economic disruption experienced due to the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses tried their best to ensure business continuity. Big tech companies were the first to allow their white-collar employees to work from home when the pandemic hit. However, not everyone can work remotely, like in the case of service workers.

Madeleine Rivera, 33, is a contractual food service worker at Google’s campus. Rivera is holding on to the slightest signs that workers will return to the company in the future. Recently, she handed out free peach ice pops to Google employees who have returned to work already. She’s trying not to overthink about the rising COVID cases in the country. According to her, being optimistic and happy matters. 

As the Delta variant enters a new troubling phase, more tech companies like Lyft and Facebook delay re-opening their workplaces early next year. Because of this, the companies’ contracted cafeteria workers, cleaners, and shuttle drivers are becoming more anxious. 

Most Silicon Valley blue-collar workers are not sure whether the Delta variant will delay their returns even longer or, worse, risk their jobs entirely if in-office work becomes less significant than it was before. As many white-collar employees have settled into work from home, blue-collar workers are struggling even more because of the unpredictable situation. 

“My kids don’t want me to go back to work, but I said I have to do it,” said Liliana Morales, 37, a food service staff at Facebook. Morales recently returned to work after having been on paid vacation since the pandemic started. Everyone needs to go back to their everyday routines, and it has been months that she has been out of work, Morales said.

Image Credit: SIPA USA via AP

Country-wide Concerns

While some Silicon Valley blue-collar workers are in better condition, they still have the same concerns as many fellow workers across the country. UCLA Labor Center director, Kent Wong, co-authored a book about the late Mike Garcia, a janitorial labor organizer who led strikes at Oracle and Apple. Wong said that because Morales and Rivera are members of a labor union, they are likely to be doing better than their non-union member counterparts. 

Previously, on a website Amazon created this year to convince workers in Alabama to vote against unionization, the company announced that they provided them with excellent hourly rates, attractive healthcare benefits, and career advancement. There is so much more than the workers can do with their career and family without paying premiums, Amazon said. 

But Wong said all blue-collar workers face problems, whether or not they have union membership. The bottom line is, they are still very vulnerable. 

Image Credit: SIPA USA via AP

Looking Ahead

In interviews, Silicon Valley blue-collar workers said that big tech companies primarily supported them throughout the pandemic. Others said the companies tried to find them other jobs when their original work was gone. Take, for example, the experience of Rivera, a former kitchen staff across Google’s campus in Mountain View, California. She was temporarily assigned to work as a receptionist in almost empty office buildings.

Some companies like Google are already starting to upgrade their headquarters. It’s to return to a sense of normalcy in Santa Clara County, the geographic heart of Silicon Valley.

Facebook is starting to recall their contractors. On the other hand, drivers are being asked to do training and practice driving empty buses, said Stacy Murphy, the representative for Teamsters Local 853 – the union of some Silicon Valley bus and shuttle drivers. 

Morales said that whatever her company orders, they will abide by it. If they say return to work, they will return to work.

Murphy believed that it had been a mixed bag for Silicon Valley firms needing shuttle drivers. Facebook continues to let its drivers make practice trips. While, Netflix and Amazon have been back to 100% capacity since June 2021. Tesla even expanded their service during the pandemic. On the contrary, Apple, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Salesforce never returned. 

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