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5 Ways to Validate a Business Idea, Right Now

Don't let your day job or lack of capital stop you from finding and testing a business idea. Here's how.
Last year, I embarked upon a personal challenge to validate a business idea in 30 days. To make it even more difficult, it was a random idea chosen by my readers. They asked me to do it without using my existing website, traffic and business connections and without spending more than 20 hours per week on the project. On top of that, I limited myself to spending no more than $500 validating this idea. The experiment was a success.In just two weeks, I built an email list of 565 subscribers without having an actual website. Then, I reached out to a handful of those subscribers and pre-sold 12 copies of a book that didn't even exist yet, all in less than 30 days. I wrote about the experiment in real-time with in-depth weekly updates, successes, failures and lessons learned along the way, right here in my validation challenge. Today, I want to share with you the five most effect…

Google and Microsoft have totally different approaches to computing than Apple

Tim Cook
In about two years, Android will look completely different.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google plans to merge Android with Chrome OS, its operating system for laptops called Chromebooks. When that happens, Android will be Google's unified operating system that runs on just about any device.
Right now, Android runs on phones, tablets, smartwatches, TVs, smart appliances, and infotainment systems in cars, to name a few.
Computers are the missing link.
If that approach sounds familiar, that's because it's the same one Microsoft introduced this year with the launch of Windows 10. Windows 10 is designed to run on practically anything with a screen. (Phones, computers, TVs, and even the Xbox One.)
But the unified operating system idea isn't an option at Apple - at least not yet.
Apple still has two major separate operating systems, iOS (for iPhones and iPads) and Mac OS X (for laptops and desktop computers). And Apple wants to keep it that way.
Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at a conference for the enterprise cloud company Box and said Apple plans to keep its two operating systems separate. Here's what Cook said according to ZDNet:
We don't believe in having one operating system for PC and mobile. We think it subtracts from both, and you don't get the best experience from either. We're very much focused on two.
It's clear that two of the most powerful forces in tech see the future of computing powered by a single operating system designed to run on just about anything powered by electricity.
Apple sees things differently. It designs different operating systems for different products because it thinks developers should tailor their apps for the hardware in mind. And that has worked out really well so far. For example, developers still tend to make the best apps and new app updates for iOS first before moving to Android or Windows.
At the same time, OS X has been slowly adding more iOS-like features over the years. It now has a notification center similar to the one you see on iOS. It also has many of the same apps like Notes, Apple Maps, and FaceTime.
Which approach is better? It is way too early to tell. Windows 10 only launched a few months ago. Developers haven't had a lot of time to work with it and adapt their apps to the various platforms it runs on. And Google's new vision for Android probably won't be here for another two years. Meanwhile, Apple is humming along nicely on both desktop and mobile with two very different operating systems.

Microsoft's first laptop looks like a MacBook killer
Microsoft just shocked everyone at its event today by announcing the Surface Book — the company's first ever laptop. Take a look at what Microsoft claims to be the "fastest 13-inch laptop ever made."