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Leadership

Ruth Umoh | @ruthumohnews
Kevork Djansezian | Getty

For the second consecutive year, Apple and Google topped the list of the 50 most innovative companies, according to the Boston Consulting Group .

The companies at the top of the list shifted just slightly from last year . Microsoft jumped up by one spot to take third place, while electric-car company Tesla fell from No. 3 to sixth place. Retail giant Amazon climbed from fifth place to fourth place, and Netflix , which made the top 10 in 2017, fell to No. 13.

In the most recent report, two new companies managed to push their way into the top 10: ride-hailing app Uber and e-commerce site Alibaba .

Geographically, North America produced the most innovative companies, with 27 featured on the list. Europe produced 16 entrants, up from 10 last year.

The travel and transportation sector also expanded its showing on the 2018 list, with companies such as Uber, Tesla , SpaceX and Airbnb included.

The firm found that the most innovative companies have been fueled by digital technologies. For example, they prioritize mobile products, digital design, big data and also quickly adapt to technological advances. They also tend to develop and test new products faster and more cheaply than other companies.

According to the research, the biggest difference between the most innovative companies and the companies that appear much lower on the list is how heavily they have incorporated these digital processes into their businesses.

"While 79 percent of strong innovators reported that they had properly digitized innovation processes, only 29 percent of weak innovators make the same claim," the study reports.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Last year, the most innovative companies were those that brought in new ideas from outside sources such as social media and had open and collaborative work environments.

Finally, the research notes that business leaders at the most innovative companies do five key things that set them apart from their competition:

1. Leaders dedicate resources: They realize the importance of digital and invest accordingly.

2. Leaders invest in speed: They test ideas earlier and launch products quickly.

3. Leaders take smart risks: They make big bets that are high-risk but also high-reward.

4. Leaders invest in data: They mine and analyze data to glean insight for their products.

5. Leaders secure top talent: They acquire and develop talent across the company.

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As you can see 2 years on the site has continued to grow and is now delivering just shy of £1,000,000 / 1.3 million dollars of sales per month.

Our t-shirt e-commerce client was already established in the industry but was losing organic traffic and rankings for over a year before we got started.

Their main problem was the site had a low-quality link profile due to bad work done years before the main algorithm changes.

Their main problem

After conducting a full audit we found the site also needed a huge amount of on-site optimisation.

So we-

Then in the first 6 months, we built a over 100 links from high-authority sites related to the fashion/t-shirt industry.

We created a link profile with branded anchors to help dilute the over optimised historical link profile.

The rewards were glorious-

Organic search traffic nearly doubled to the site within 6 months!

You can see the effect this had on sales boosting monthly revenue to the $50,000 USD range (shown as AUD below)-

boosting monthly revenue to the $50,000 USD

They have sold nearly $1,270,319.75 AUD of Tshirts so far.

Which works out to be just shy of $1,000,000 USD in total!

Crazy right?

Learn more about the campaign and what we did with the full case study that was published in early 2015.

One of our clients uses Shopify , but were not doing their housekeeping.

We found that they had created around 300 collection pages with thousands of pages in duplicate content.

My resident Shopify expert went in and cleaned out the old collections and removed them from Google’s index to improve Googlebots efficiency.

This is what happened:

Their rankings increased steadily month by month as Google recrawled the website. A simple on site audit allowed them to jump into the top positions for a whole bunch of keywords.

The financial results?

Their revenue jumped to over $160,000 per month (£116,000 GBP)

Their revenue jumped to over $160,000 per month

Since launch the site has now generated over 2 million dollars in sales (£1,444,342 GBP)

site has now generated over 2 million dollars

And given that March was their best month of revenue ever – I suspect that is going to continue to grow.

Hats off to my team for that one !

When you approach ecommerce SEO in the right way – it will change your business forever.

Make sure that you start out with a full site audit before doing anything else. It’s important that you build a solid SEO foundation first.

If you need help feel free to reach out to us at any time or sign up for my free email course that will teach you how to take your ecommerce SEO to the next level .

Help the Krita Foundation! July 2018 donations €596 collected 88 awesome people

The culmination of over eight months of work, Krita 2.9, is the biggest Krita release until now! It’s so big, we can’t just do the release announcement in only one page, we’ve had to split it up into separate pages! Last year, 2014, was a huge year for Krita. We published Krita on Steam, we showed off Krita at SIGGRAPH, we got Krita reviewed in ImagineFX, gaining the Artist’s choice accolade — and we got our first Kickstarter campaign more than funded, too! This meant that more work has gone into Krita than ever before.

And it shows: here are the results. Dozens of new features, improved functions, fixed bugs, spit and polish all over the place. The initial port to OSX. Some of the new features took more than two years to implement, and others are a direct result of your support!

Without that support, whether through direct donations, Steam sales, the Kickstarter campaign, the work of testers and bug reporters and documentation, tutorial, translation and code contributors, Krita would never have gotten this far! So, thanks and hugs all around!

And now, stay with us for a whirlwind tour of Krita 2.9’s new major features:

Speedpaint landscape by Raghavendra Kamath

Pirate by Comhorse(http://www.comhorse.com)

“Between Worlds” by Mira-Maia Kyyrö (http://neko-maya.fi/)

“Fairies” by Elias Silveira (http://www.flickr.com/photos/elias_ilustracao_design)

View your images in a new perspective with multiple documents!

You can now open multiple documents in Krita.There are two ways you can display documents now: and . The tabbed mode is the default, but can be changed in the settings. If using subwindows, the windows can be automatically arranged with cascading and tiling. You can also have several views of the same document. This can be helpful when looking at images at different zoom levels or while mirrored.

Finally, you can customize Krita’s background by adding an image or color. This can be configured in the general settings area under

The new transformation modes and masks will allow you greater flexibility and control when editing and manipulating your artwork. The new transformation masks give you the freedom to work non-destructively – enabling you to make creative choices.
Perspective Liquify Warp Improvements Transform Masks

The color selectors got some love in the form of HDR color selection . This is useful for any kind of scene-referred image painting, such as making environments for 3d scenes, or vfx work.

HDR painting is still in need of some further support and workflow polish, but you can use ‘Y’ to quickly turn the exposure up or down. Furthermore, you can use the LUT management docker to control OCIO, allowing you to quickly switch between colour renderings of all kinds.

The improved advanced colour selector now allows you to work in HSI (where intensity is measured by summing the values of R, G and B) and HSY’ (where Luma is calculated using the configurable luma coefficients). These allow you to keep the relative lightness more similar while changing hue and saturation. This is also an option for the MyPaint shade selector, and the new experimental Color Slider docker.

The Experimental Color Slider docker was a heeded request for HSV sliders in Krita. Set by default to HSL, you can configure it to have any combination of HSV/HSL/HSI/HSY’ sliders.

Better blending — The mix brush is a little slower, but the blending is artefact-less now.

Anti-aliased brush-tips – You can now make the brush-mask extra smooth, useful for line work and fine details. Furthermore, the new auto-spacing really allows you to speed up your bigger brushes.

Improved Pop-up palette – Use tags to quickly switch your pop-up palette brushes. You can also change the amount of slices that are available in your pop-up palette (available in the preferences).

Overview Docker – Navigate and zoom the canvas quickly.

Auto Brush-tip – Smoothen Line and Autospacing to help you make more beautiful sharp lines.

Separate eraser size – Choose to have a separate brush size from an eraser size. (in the brush editor)

Smudge radius – A request for a feature also found in MyPaint, the smudge radius allows you sample the underlying colour from a larger range. The colour picker too, has had it’s range increased to 900px.

Opacity Flow separation – Now you can finally separate opacity and flow, which leads to finer control over both.

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Dirty Presets -> Read more.

Direct painting and transforming on the global selection mask . The Brush selection tool was removed because painting on the Global Selection Mask is much more versatile. -> Read more

Colored overlay display option . -> Read more . .

Transparency Mask Improvements – You can now separate out alpha channels into transparency masks.

Save and load masks – For re-using later, or for importing seperately into a different program, like a game engine.

Line Tool Improvements – Now accepts stylus sensors. You can also hold down ‘v’ to activate while on the freehand brush tool.

New assistants – Parallel, infinite and vanishing point lines. Improve your perspective drawings. Assistants also have toggle-able previews.

Stabilizer Smoothing — This allows you to pull lines that will definitely end at the cursor. Unless you have delay active of course. Then a dead-zone, similar to lazy-mouse smoothing, appears around the cursor, which is good for controlling sharp corners.

Fill Tool Improvements – The algorithm is improved, and for even faster filled there’s the new Fast Mode

Ruler Assistant Improvements – You can now temporarily deactivate an assistant.

Grid Tool Improvements – Krita will now ask you whether to toggle the grid with enter, instead of doing so automatically.

G’MIC Improvements Updated version. Previews and access to Colorize[Interactive] .

Split Layer – Separate all flat colours on a layer to new layers. Pressing ‘R’ will let you pick the layer you want to paint on.

Posterize filter – This filter allows you to reduce the amount of colours per channel

Index Colors Filter – Helpful with HD pixel painting

Auto Levels – Let Krita determine what the best settings should be for adjusting levels.

Split Layer – Allows you to separate out all individual colors into different layers.

Improved Vector Object Resolution – Now the vector pixel values are actual pixels instead of reliant on the DPI being 72.

Shaped Gradients – simplify making bumpmaps.

PSD Compatibility Improvements – Resource blocks are round-tripped. All, but four, PSD blending modes are now supported. Krita can load some CS6 PSD files. PSD Layer groups load. Support for 16 bit multi-layer files improved. Krita vector layers are saved (as raster layers) to PSD.

Random Texture Offset – For even stronger wilder textured effects, this allows you to randomise the offset.

Save Merged Images – allows you to speed up your work flow.

OpenEXR Improvements – The OpenEXR filter can now load and save a single-channel grayscale EXR files. Loading images with very small alpha values has been fixed as well as images with zero alpha but non-zero color values.

RAW Support – You can now import RAW files.

Export Fixes and Additions – Save 16-bit grayscale images to tiff, jpeg and ppm. r16 and r8 heightmaps are supported.

by Tou Omiya

by Oksana Kharitionova

Wasteland Magic by Kateryna Herasymenko

by Wolthera(http://wolthera.info)

Dockers

Advanced Color Selector – Now with HSI and HSY’ selectors in the main shape as well as the MyPaint shade selector. A cleaned up UI, and HDR functionality! Compositions docker – Polished to include updating and renaming compositions. Layer Docker – You can now select multiple layers with CTRL or SHIFT, or isolate a layer with ALT+left mouse click. Palette Docker – You can now add palettes and change the swatch size with CTRL+scroll. Undo history docker – Cumulative undo was one of the fruits from Mohit’s Google Summer of Code. -> Read more.

Miscellaneous

Image – Change the image background color. Resource Manager – Allow quick importing and handling of large amounts of resources. new ‘bundle’ format to help keep everything together. View – There’s fancy new canvas rulers added! Resource subtab has been moved to settings. Oceania – Eurasia is our ally. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia. Gradients – Editing has been improved.

Preferences

Display – You can now turn off layer hover preview, and change the colour of the selection overlay. Color Management – You can now have unique icc profiles PER display on Linux. Krita supports using colord directly. Canvas-input settings – Line Tool, as well as Exposure and Gamma controls have been added.

by Daniel Pinheiro Lima (http://prenudos.com/)

by Sioni Lopez

by Andrei Rudenko

by Marty Kulma (http://kynlo.deviantart.com/gallery/51532782/Krita)

So, what’s next? Well, lots of awesome art made with Krita 2.9, of course. Monthly bug-fix releases. We’ll also be finishing the Photoshop-like layer styles feature and push it in one of those releases. Work has started, and the preliminary results are promising, but we needed more time to finish it up properly. Then there’ll be an update of platform, from Qt4 to Qt5, followed by… Our next crowdfunding campaign. We’re going to try and make Krita even better, make it work smoother, faster and slicker, and we want to add great animation support, too!

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