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Five simple inventions that blew up (and made bank)

Simple inventions that made millions

That wacky, kind of silly idea for an invention you’ve been keeping on the back burner? It might just be worth millions.

Now that we have your attention, if you’re an entrepreneur, an amateur inventor or interested in making some cash, check out these crazy invention success stories. From the Slanket to the Million Dollar Homepage, these simple inventions didn’t stretch the limits of possibility. Sometimes, the most successful ventures are the simplest.

How to green a ski slope (environmentally speaking)

Ting SIM

Learn how PistenBully uses Ting SIM cards to provide data and save

PistenBully snow groomers are bringing a new age of tech to fleet management, snow grooming and slope maintenance across North America. Integrated into PistenBully vehicles is their unique SNOWsat technology, a professional snow and fleet management system with snow depth measurement based on satellite-guided positioning and cellular data.

Ting SIM cards integrate into the SNOWsat’s system to provide integral location data. We love to tell stories about Ting IoT customers doing more with GPS locating services than ever before and using technology to create innovative products that help their customers save money, create safer working conditions and reduce their carbon footprint.

We caught up with Josh Nelson, SNOWsat Sales Manager, to talk about the exciting ways PistenBully and their customers are using Ting.

“The vast majority (90%+) of SNOWsat ski resort customers work on Ting SIM cards. They’re using the SNOWsat system that includes the Ting SIM to really reduce their operating cost for their snow management fleets and ultimately for their skiers. It’s trickle-down savings from the start.”

Small businesses can do more with fiber Internet

charlottesville small businesses
Soundwave Consulting is a digital marketing and advertising company located in the heart of Charlottesville, VA, on the Downtown Mall. Soundwave got its start in 2015 when President and Founder Justin Pietro decided it was time to open his own business.

“Before this, I played and produced music. After college, I was working in a warehouse and doing music on the side.”

Justin had an accident on the job which injured his ankle and required multiple surgeries to get him back on his feet. That meant a lot of downtime and time to spend online.

“I started marketing and advertising for myself and, over the course of time, there were a couple of bands I started to help out with. Eventually, I linked up with Eric Smith and Lem Oppenheimer, two of the founders of Easy Star Records, and things just snowballed from there.”

Small Business owners can protect net neutrality

small business

Run a small business? You can save the Internet

The first week of May is National Small Business Week. If you operate a small business or startup, we’d like to enlist your help.

You may already have already heard that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to repeal net neutrality laws. In fact, the FCC has already voted to do so. Repealing these regulations will directly impact small businesses by allowing ISPs to create fast lanes and data caps, block specific sites or apps, throttle Internet speeds and charge exorbitant tolls. It would give the biggest corporations an even greater advantage over new startups and small mom-and-pop businesses.

The Senate will soon vote on the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the FCC’s repeal. Small business owners and net neutrality supporters can pressure our Senators to do the right thing and pass the CRA.

What does a T-Mobile / Sprint merger mean to Ting customers?

After many false starts, it looks as though the long-rumored Sprint and T-Mobile merger will be going ahead. For customers of an MVNO that offers service on both carrier networks, there are some very reasonable questions that come up.

What does a T-Mobile / Sprint merger mean to Ting and to Ting customers? For the foreseeable future, it doesn’t mean anything at all. Looking a little further downfield, we see this as a positive thing for Ting and for customers of established MVNOs like Ting.

First, we have no reason to believe that the conjoined entity will value the wholesale part of the business (that is, MVNOs) any differently than either carrier does today. What a viable MVNO like Ting offers to a carrier partner is guaranteed revenue with a minimum of effort attached. Easy money in so many words. We don’t see either carrier walking away from that, not now while they’re operating quasi-independently or later when they’re one carrier.

Sascha Segan from PC Mag takes the argument a step further, making a strong case for why the new T-Mobile needs to keep MVNOs happy.

The soon-to-be megacarrier has already talked about roaming across the two networks. Taking a longer view, the two networks will necessarily become one. Both in the near and the longer term, that means broader coverage all across the US on what is, for all intents and purposes, one network. That’s a good thing for Ting customers overall, so we’re happy about that too.

All these positives aside, Ting has always been an advocate for more competition, not less. Three “major carriers” is obviously less than four. Were this merger approved even six or seven years ago, the outlook might have been very different. However, MVNOs are one-way competition has been effectively forced on an industry that’s, shall we say, change-averse.

We always have and will keep our options open when it comes to working with carrier partners. In short, though, it’s MVNO business as usual.

Ting business Arqball creates accessible photography tools

Arqball

Arqball’s game-changing photography tools

Do you ever stop and look around and ask yourself, how would the world change if there was no Internet? Sure you’d probably spend a lot less time looking at cat videos, but what about the big stuff? What about the game-changing innovations that have helped shape the economy, accessibility and the ability for small businesses to compete globally?

Without the Internet, there would be no Arqball or Arqspin, that’s for sure. And are we ever glad the Internet (not to mention, crazy fast fiber Internet) is around to help them do the kind of work they do.

We had the chance to catch up with Michael Holroyd, Director at Arqball and Nathan Blessing, Director of Business Development and Logistics for Arqspin. We talked about all things Arqball, their incredible Arqspin software and how Ting Internet powers their business all over the world.

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