How The Kids At Box Are Disrupting Software’s Most Lucrative Game

Twenty months ago Aaron Levie, all of 26 years old, did something arguably foolish, undeniably gutsy and entirely counter to the prevailing mood that startups should be “lean” in the Internet age. Forty-five minutes into a routine meeting with his board at Box, Levie blithely announced: “I want to make a small adjustment. We need to raise an extra $50 million.” An awkward pause followed. Box had previously raised $106 million, already a heady sum for a company with just $25 million in sales and no profits. Levie’s early investor and biggest booster, Josh Stein of venture firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, piped up: “I’m sorry, but you said $15 million, right?”

Nope. Five-oh. A month earlier Levie, with the board’s acquiescence, shot down a $600 million offer from virtual-computing giant Citrix. That would have given the guys in the room 3 to 50 times what they’d put into Box just a few years prior. Now Levie was asking them to dilute their stake by some 15%. He hadn’t even told his cofounder about it.

They should have seen it coming. Levie is on a mission, and it’s an expensive one: to be the Oracle ORCL +% of the next generation of enterprise applications. Box is an online storage and collaboration service that finished 2012 with about $70 million in revenue, up 160% from 2011. Levie figures he can double that this year, but that’s not interesting to him.

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The big-box game

SINCE the financial crisis, the tide of recovery has not lifted all boats equally. But in few industries is that more true than in shipping. Demand for oil tankers has boomed: a combination of weak spot prices and higher futures prices, driven by the assumption that supply and demand for crude will eventually rebalance, has encouraged traders to hire tankers to store oil at sea and cash in on the price gap. Meanwhile, bulk carriers, which carry such things as iron ore and coal, have been hit by massive overcapacity, as Chinese demand for such commodities has collapsed (see article).

Until the start of this year, the container-shipping business—which carries around 60% by value of all seaborne trade in goods—looked more like that for oil tankers. Rising global trade volumes, and firm steel prices that made it worthwhile for owners to scrap old ships, had kept capacity in check, and container-freight rates seemed to be steadying. As recently as August last year, demand for container shipping was so high that BIMCO, an industry association, was warning of a capacity shortage. And at the start of this year Drewry, a shipping consultant, forecast a bumper year: owners of boxships would rake in profits of up to $8 billion in 2015, they thought, helped by low fuel costs.

Video Games As Isolating Activities

Often people assume that playing computer games or video games is a very anti social activity, and is a solo activity which isolates an individual from the real world, cuts them off from other people and then allows them to sit on their own in a small dark room hitting keys over and over again in order to mindlessly destroy anything that moves on their screen. In fact, nothing could be very much further from the truth, and in fact those people who play computer games on their own, completely cut off from interaction with other people in any way are such a minority group it may prove hard to find anyone to actually put in to it.

Quite apart from not being a solo activity, recent research has found that over 66% of people who play computer or video games do so with their friends, either sat with them advising, or actually with a second handset competing in the same game. 30% of gamers play with their brothers or sisters and a quarter of all gamers play with either their parents or their partners. This completely goes against the argument that most people lay on their own, and shows that the majority of people play as a social game, in various combinations and ways.

Even taking in to account that there may be 20% to 30% of people who do play games without someone else being physically with them, it is still not possible to generalise isolation by suggesting that these people are cut off from any kind of social interaction. Many games these days are what is referred to as multi player, meaning that more than one person can play the game at the same time, and with a very wide number of the most popular video games being online too, this means that all players will be competing against and taking part with other real people, rather than the computer. In fact, many of these online multiplayer games have relatively little input from the computer, and far more input from the people playing the game against each other.

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Make Money Playing Games

You don’t need any formal education to be a video game tester. Video game testers can get paid $9 to $80 an hour and get to keep the games you test. Anyone can become a game tester, all that is required is that you are 15 or older to get paid to play games.

The number of game developers looking for testers is growing all the time. Your opinion on their video game is extremely important to them. You will be telling them what you like about the game, what you dislike about it, and let them know if there is anything wrong with the game. This information is crucial to them, to ensure the successful release of the game.

Testers can work on as many assignments as they are willing to accept. Testers need to be 15 or over to get a game tester job. Some assignments require testers to do the work at a local testing center, and other assignments are sent in the mail for completion at home. Usually the testers are permitted to keep games they test.

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A Plethora of Puzzling Puzzles

Mechanical puzzles have been around for well over two and a half thousand years, and many traditional formats have remained for a good length of time. Today, with more accurate design and manufacture, including the use of computers to design and model some of the more intriguing puzzles, there is a very wide range of puzzle types, which range from mildly intriguing to downright devastating.

Many of these puzzles are made from quality materials, such as wood or metal, which helps for a number of reasons. Firstly, the metal or wood is relatively inflexible, which means that the puzzle can’t be forced, which would be the case if it were made of plastic. Secondly, being strong, if the puzzle is forced, or simply used a great deal, it is unlikely to break or snap. Thirdly, many of these puzzles are very tactile, with beautiful wooden shapes or cold smooth metal objects that weigh a fair bit. The fourth reason is that these puzzles also look very beautiful, and many are used as decorations or ornaments on desks whilst they are not being worked on. Often they are used as conversation pieces, and everyone likes to have a go at a puzzle.

There are different categories of puzzle, and these are: sequential puzzles, take apart puzzles, put together puzzles, disentanglement puzzles, dexterity puzzles and impossible puzzles. Each of these categories has a different style and challenge, and generally people have their favorite types of puzzle, or find that one particular category which seems to suit them best.

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