Week in Review: Homeless Man Unveils App, Microsoft Acquisition, More

Week in Review: Homeless Man Unveils App, Microsoft Acquisition, More

If you missed any news this week pertinent to your business, don’t worry. The Small Business Trends editorial team has it here. Check out our week in review.

Startup Stories

Homeless man unveils a new car pooling app. After being taught going by a good samaritan, Leo Grand has gone from years of living on the streets and in shelters to launching his own app. It’s an exciting story about the potential of entrepreneurship.

Acquisitions & Mergers

Planned Microsoft acquisition of Nokia gets federal approval. The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission have given the go-ahead for one of the biggest tech acquisitions of the year. Business owners are waiting to see what Windows devices could result.

oDesk and Elance sign agreement to merge. It’s huge news for the freelancing community and for those who use their services. But the question remains whether the merger of the two giant communities will be good or bad … and for whom. Small Business Trends CEO, Anita Campbell, has the details.

Verizon plans to acquire EdgeCast. The communications giant is hoping to use this content delivery network’s technology to improve online business performance. EdgeCast says it gives companies of all sizes the ability to scale their digital presence.


WestJet creates a viral sensation by playing Santa to passengers. The Canadian airline found out what recent passengers on two of its flights wanted for Christmas. Then they fulfilled those holiday wishes while the planes were aloft. Talk about customer satisfaction!  And great marketing.

Japan could be the place to sell your app. If your app is a popular game, that is. Of course, the point here is to think about how different markets may receive your product, whatever it is. Don’t assume you know what markets will be most receptive.


eBay brings same day delivery to Dallas. The e-commerce site famous for online auctions has another card up its sleeve. Look out Amazon. eBay too is speeding up delivery of online orders. And small businesses could eventually benefit.


Developers of the Smarty Ring raised nearly $300,000. This device is the latest in wearable technology. Wearable technology is a catch-all phrase that includes items like smartwatches and Google Glass. This one supposedly helps you manage your smartphone.

Microsoft is considering free Windows Phone licensing. The software company is considering the new arrangement to convince more developers to install Windows Phone on their devices. The company is also reportedly considering free licensing for its Windows RT tablet operating system.


Vertical Measures welcomes new CEO, Chris Bird. Well-known speaker, author, podcaster and trainer Arnie Kuenn announces Bird’s new position as president of marketing firm Vertical Measures. Kuenn, the former president, will retain his position as CEO and evangelize for content marketing and the Vertical Measures brand.

Reading news image via Shutterstock

5 Reactions
  1. Thanks for linking to the story about the homeless man who created a carpooling app.

    I forgot to bookmark it this week for later reading!

    The Franchise King®

  2. How is ebay able to speed up their shipping in the Dallas area? The products still ship from all over the world and why is Dallas so special?

  3. I am especially touched by the story of the homeless man who made it big because of his knowledge in programming. That goes to show that there is no limit as to what one can attain. You set your own limits.

  4. The story about Leo Grand is one of my favourite posts on here this week. A very human story.

    And on that note, I’m gonna go watch the Westjet video as I haven’t yet. I really like what they did.

  5. I have said it before, but I will do it again: the weekly wrap-up is a nice feature! Have you listened to The Economist’s podcast, The Week Ahead?