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Industry watch: What I have learned from Acer founder Stan Shih

Acer founder Stan Shih founder has been engaged in the IT industry for 50 years. That's not easy. He deserves our respect not because he is a senior industrial leader but because he has been always optimistic and enthusiastic. I often ask for his advice which always tends to be positive thinking. Rarely have I heard him say, "No chance"!.....»»

Category: topSource: digitimesDec 4th, 2021

The year workers said "no"

In the thick of the pandemic, workers were left to fend for themselves. Now they've learned how to demand more from their employers. People marching on East Pine Street during the "Fight Starbucks' Union Busting" rally and march in Seattle on April 23.Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images In April 2021, a record-breaking number of workers quit their jobs — a trend that hasn't let up. At the same time, an organizing wave has spread across retailers, such as Starbucks and Amazon. And some workers are coming together to protest low pay or poor conditions without unionizing. A year ago, if you'd asked Hope Liepe if she'd be working at a unionized Starbucks, she "would've probably said that was, like, insane and would never happen — especially at Starbucks."But last month, the store in Ithaca, New York, where the 18-year-old works as a barista joined a wave of Starbucks stores officially voting to unionize. "I remember that day. We all came together in this big watch party," Liepe said. "Just the excitement and just the joy that you could feel from all of us of having completed something together, and being able to move together to form a better workplace for all of us."Since then, all three locations in Ithaca have voted to unionize, along with over 50 Starbucks stores nationwide. Apple workers in Atlanta and New York are looking to follow their lead. And the Amazon Labor Union pulled off an upset victory, marking the retail giant's first-ever unionized warehouse. "We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country," Starbucks said in a comment to Insider. "From the beginning, we've been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed." Liz Shuler, the president of the AFL-CIO, the country's largest labor federation, said the past year has shown "workers in motion.""Coming out of the pandemic, working people have not only shown their resilience, but they've shown that they are ready to draw a line and demand more," she said.From left: David Woods, the secretary treasurer of international BCTGM; Liz Shuler, the president of the AFL-CIO; Dan Osborn, a worker; and Sue Martin, the president of Nebraska's AFL-CIO.Dan OsbornIt's hard to say unionization is at a tipping point. While Gallup found 68% of Americans approve of unions, a high unseen since 1965, actual membership fell yet again in 2021.But one thing is clear: The culture of work in America changed drastically in the past year. Demand for higher wages, a rise in so-called anti-work attitudes, "slowing up," and a thirst for organizing are just some of the tools workers wielded with mighty force. The year workers said "no" to what they viewed as low wages and poor conditions began last April when Americans walked off the job in an unorganized fashion to the tune of a record 4 million resignations — and it hasn't let up since."I think the pace of the change has surprised me," Shuler said. "We always knew the potential was there." "It's a time where people are finding their voice and ready to stand up and say, 'We're not gonna take it anymore,'" Shuler added. "So whether you're in a union or not, I think workers have been pretty dissatisfied with their jobs — and they're taking action."Saying 'no' means quitting, unionizing, slowing up, or protesting for moreApril 2021 kickstarted a wave of quitting felt around the country.It was around that time that vaccines started to become widely available, and people who held off on quitting during the thick of the pandemic took the leap. There was also pure discontent: Entering a new wave of the pandemic, workers began to reflect on how they were treated — and for many, it didn't measure up."Listen, we can try to come up with a fancy answer on why are people resigning," Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh told Insider. "The bottom line is the pandemic really gave people time to think about where they are in their own personal life, where they are financially with their families and putting food on the table."A lot of these workers haven't really stopped working. Many seem to be reshuffling, moving into roles that pay better or fit their lifestyle or aspirations."Why are people leaving work? People are leaving their jobs because they're not satisfied," Walsh said. They probably want more money, and many workers have succeeded in getting it — but with a whole lot of inflation tacked on.It turns out, there's an organized way to fight for more money, better benefits, and job security without leaving your job: unionizing. "I think a lot of people are looking at organizing as an opportunity to collectively support increasing wages, increasing benefits, increasing worker protections and job safety on the job site," Walsh said. Unionized workers in the US make $1,169 in median weekly earnings, while nonunion workers make $975, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.But despite Americans signaling that they want higher pay and better working conditions, union membership has been on the decline since a high in 1954, and 2021 was no exception. "It's a complicated battle because in America, there's this resistance toward labor movements," said Andres Felipe Almeida Gomez, a restaurant worker in New York who's part of the worker advocacy group One Fair Wage. "It's almost considered evil, but now people are kind of waking up."Signs of "waking up" don't always involve unionizing. Some workers are purposefully decreasing their productivity, known as a "slow up" in pursuit of better work-life balance.And, there's the third of work stoppages in 2021 that were by nonunionized workers, according to researchers at Cornell University's ILR School — like the nine Burger King workers who all left over understaffing and high temperatures, putting up a sign that said, "We all quit — sorry for the inconvenience."One such worker hitting the streets sans union is Goma Yonjan Gurung, a nail-salon worker who's involved in a push to pass the Nail Salon Minimum Standards Council Act. She, her nail salon "sisters," and local politicians rallied in Manhattan's Zucotti Park to advocate that employers introduce higher wages and standards and give workers more of a say. "They have worked very hard in this industry, and they know the struggle," she said through a translator.Nail-salon workers rallying in New York.NY Healthy Nail Salons CoalitionGurung said they were asking for "a very bare minimum," and that nail salon workers were entitled to paid leave and pensions, just like any other worker."I've spent half of my life working in this industry, over 25 years. After working that many years, I have nothing when I look back at it," Gurung told Insider. But she was hopeful that nail-salon workers would have "something" in the future. "And not end up like me — like pension, holiday, vacation, and paid sick leave," she added. The 'Forever Resignation' is hereEmployers still hold the power — they're the ones hiring and firing, after all — but with what could be a "Forever Resignation" on their hands, they'll need to step it up to attract workers.Some white-collar workers would rather quit than return to the office — or won't even entertain a job interview for an in-person job. A November survey from the ADP Research Institute found that 71% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they'd consider looking for another job if they had to return full time. Service workers are turning their backs on the low-paid industry altogether for better pay, benefits, and conditions. In Wisconsin, where nurses at UW Health have been trying to unionize since 2019, getting a union back would "go a long way toward both recruitment and retention," said Zach Sielaff, a 38-year-old registered nurse in the children's operating room.UW nurses on an informational picket.UW nursesOn top of all of that, the perception of organized labor has "changed dramatically" over the past year, Shuler said, driven in no small part by a court of public opinion watching the workers organizing.So what's happened since April 2021? Workers, especially low-wage ones, emerged from a pandemic where, for the most part, they had to fend for themselves when it came to safety and financial stability. When economic recovery came, workers remembered the position they'd been left in — and the sacrifices they'd been forced to make. Now, they had more options.For some, that was quitting. For others, it was realizing that the people who'd been standing next to them as they struggled to find masks and dealt with abusive customers were fending for themselves, too — and realizing that they could change that together."Personally, I think that the labor movement is long overdue for a movement like this," said Laura Garza, a Starbucks partner and union organizer who traveled to the White House. "I think the pandemic really opened everybody's eyes that, 'Hey, we should be working with better conditions, not the conditions that we had been working under, and we deserve a dignity to organize.'"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 15th, 2022

Is Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) Suddenly A Safe Haven?

Video game maker Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) reported their fiscal Q4 earnings this week, and they more than justified the stubbornness seen in their shares in recent weeks. While equity markets have sold off relentlessly during what is turning out to be one of the worst starts to a year in living memory, shares of EA […] Video game maker Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) reported their fiscal Q4 earnings this week, and they more than justified the stubbornness seen in their shares in recent weeks. While equity markets have sold off relentlessly during what is turning out to be one of the worst starts to a year in living memory, shares of EA are ‘only’ down about 20% from last year’s high. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more If this was last year, such performance would be catastrophic, but in the context of 2022 it’s quite attractive really. The S&P 500 index is down about the same, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ index is down close to 30% from its all time high. Looking at individual names, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares are down 75%, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are down 50%, and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are down more than 40%. You’d be forgiven for thinking that maybe, just maybe, video game stocks are replacing gold as the traditional safe haven for equity investors. Let’s take a look at their numbers and see what’s behind the bull’s stubbornness. Solid Report For starters, the company’s EPS was a healthy $0.80 and well ahead of what analysts were expecting. Revenue for the quarter was a little soft on the consensus, but still up more than 17% on the year. Investors also learned that the EA player network grew 16% year on year to more than 580 million unique active accounts. These are admirable growth numbers, particularly as industry numbers haven’t been great this year so far. While video game sales boomed during COVID, thanks to more people than ever before being locked up at home, they’ve been trending down since late last year. Fresh numbers this week showed that consumer videogame spending fell 8% in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2021, an “indicator of the comedown from mid-pandemic highs as some consumer dollars found their way back to alternative experiences, and the industry continued to struggle to get new consoles into buyers' hands.” So when EA is still able to push out a report like this, it’s easy to see why Wall Street still very much likes the cut of their jib. Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, spoke bullishly to the future, saying that “FY22 was a record year, with hundreds of millions of players around the world joining in our games to play, watch, and create with one another. With amazing games, built around powerful IP, made by incredibly talented teams, and outstanding engagement in our live services, FY23 is set to be a year of innovation and growth for Electronic Arts.” The company’s CFO, Chris Suh, echoed the sentiment when he remarked that “we finished the year with another strong quarter of revenue and profit growth, driven by our live services business which was 85% of our net bookings in Q4. We have a strong foundation of deeply engaged players, rich IP, and a resilient business model, which we will continue to invest in to deliver growth in FY23 and beyond.” Getting Involved In addition to all of this, management gave a bullish signal to investors this week when they upped the company’s dividend by 12%. This is one of the most bullish signals investors can get, and tells us that management is very confident about the company’s prospects in the months ahead. The strong report and dividend hike didn’t go unnoticed either. MoffettNathanson upgraded their rating on EA stock to Buy from Neutral, and set its price target to $141. From the $120 that shares closed at on Thursday, this still suggests an upside of some 16% to be had. The team over at Jefferies reiterated their Buy rating, while noting their surprise at an increase in full-year guidance amid the sector pressures right now. Wedbush kept its Outperform rating as well, but trimmed its target to $164. The quarter was in line with his expectations, analyst Michael Pachter says, but "we expect growth in the foreseeable future driven by cost discipline, digital sales growth, several key franchises, and multiple recent acquisitions." Credit Suisse made a similar move, trimming its price target to $162, suggesting there’s 30% upside to be had from current levels. It’s a tough time to be an equity investor right now, but EA could just be one of the better places to park your cash right now. Should you invest $1,000 in Electronic Arts right now? Before you consider Electronic Arts, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Electronic Arts wasn't on the list. While Electronic Arts currently has a "Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. Article by Sam Quirke, MarketBeat Updated on May 13, 2022, 3:09 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkMay 13th, 2022

CCP Calls Meeting Of Chinese Tech Giants As Investors Hope For End To Crackdown

CCP Calls Meeting Of Chinese Tech Giants As Investors Hope For End To Crackdown As far as we know, President Xi has suspended his "common prosperity" crackdown on China's biggest tech companies. And now, investors will be watching closely to see how the CCP reconciles collapsing domestic markets (hammered by its brutal lockdowns in Shanghai and other cities, and also by the weakening yuan which has revived fears about inflation and a domestic debt death-spiral) with its hopes to promote stability. Bloomberg reports that China's top tech-sector regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, will join the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and business executives including Baidu founder Robin Li, as they plan to host a forum next week with some of the nation's largest private-sector firms (including, as we mentioned, Baidu) in an event that will be closely scrutinized by investors as they look for indications about whether Beijing is planning to dial back its stimulus. Although officially the conference is focused on the broader theme of developing China's digital economy, investors will likely watch for signs of whether Beijing intends to wind down its year-long crackdown on the tech sector. Shares in Chinese heavyweights Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba Group pared earlier losses on Thursday morning in Hong Kong. Sentiment toward the industry has swung wildly in recent weeks, with companies from Tencent to Jack Ma’s Alibaba surging April 29 after China’s top leaders issued a sweeping set of pledges to boost economic stimulus. To be sure, it's unclear whether next week's forum will trigger policy changes or easing, the people said. The timing could also shift, given the difficulty of organizing a major conference while cities from Beijing to Shanghai grapple with shifting COVID lockdowns. Delegates will attend virtually as well as in person, depending on role and location. Representatives for Baidu didn’t respond to requests for comment, while calls to the CPPCC’s news office weren’t returned. As we noted last year, this would be welcome news after a brutal 2021 that saw Beijing curb gaming time for minors, outlawed profits in swaths of the online education sector, forced companies from Alibaba and Meituan to - most infamously - Didi to make serious changes to their business or face serious punishments in a sector that had enjoyed mostly unfettered freedoms for years. Tyler Durden Thu, 05/12/2022 - 18:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 12th, 2022

The financial startups bubble is bursting. Here are the fintechs that have announced cuts so far, from Robinhood to Better.

Robinhood cut 300 jobs in April, citing a slowdown in retail trading. Other financial tech companies to slash headcount include Better and Blend. Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev.Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Robinhood Rising interest rates are hurting mortage lenders and some stock trading platforms.  Fintech companies like Robinhood and Better are reacting to the slowdown by cutting staff. Here's the list of financial technology company layoffs so far. America's tech industry enjoyed an unprecedented boom during the pandemic when Americans turned to their phones like never before to do everything from shopping to online banking. Financial technology startups that help consumers bank, trade or shop online were among the winners. But business is slowing as people increasingly return to their pre-pandemic lives.Compounding the slowdown for fintechs are rising interest rates, which hurt demand for services like mortgage lending and stock trading. Signs of distress are showing up in the form of layoffs, which have been popping up all over Silicon Valley businesses in the last few months, from no-fee trading app Robinhood to mortgae software provider Blend.Here are some of the most notable examples so far: Robinhood: More than 300 peopleRobinhood cofounders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt were "visibly shaken" in announcing jobs cuts in April.Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for RobinhoodDuring the pandemic, so-called "meme stocks" from GameStop and AMC exploded as stuck-at-home investors armed with no-fee trading platforms looked for ways to spend their pandemic stimulus checks.As new users piled in, Robinhood hired rapidly. Between 2020 and 2021, the trading app's staff grew dramatically: from 700 people to around 3,800, according to CEO Vlad Tenev. But that growth ended up proving too much, too fast. In April, Robinhood was forced to slash headcount by 9% — more than 300 people altogether."This rapid headcount growth has led to some duplicate roles and job functions, and more layers and complexity than are optimal," Tenev said in April. "After carefully considering all these factors, we determined that making these reductions to Robinhood's staff is the right decision to improve efficiency, increase our velocity, and ensure that we are responsive to the changing needs of our customers."Laid off staff have told Insider that the founders were "visbly shaken" in announcing the April layoffs. Better: About 4,000 peopleBetter.com CEO Vishal Garg laid off 900 employees on a video call in December.BetterStarting in late 2021 and continuing through the first several months of 2022, mortgage startup Better.com laid off approximately 4,000 people.The first wave started right before the holiday season in 2021, when CEO Vishal Garg laid off "hundreds" of people in a video call.Garg told employees via Zoom that the company, "lost $100 million last quarter," which he said, "was my mistake." He then said the layoffs shouldn't have happened right before the holiday, but, "three months ago."Former employees told Insider they were shocked and angry by the first round of cuts, in part because execs had painted a rosy picture.Better followed up with another 3,000 layoffs in March, and is now accepting voluntary layoffs in some departments.Blend: About 200 employeesNima Ghamsari, founder and CEO of BlendBlendAlthough Blend doesn't write home loans, its technology is used by major US lenders from Wells Fargo to US Bank, so its fortunes are tied closely to theirs. Blend's layoffs this spring affected roughly 200 people, many concentrated within Blend's title insurance business. Ahead of its IPO last July, Blend bought Title365, which has been particularly exposed to swings in refinance volumes, for more than $400 million.The size and pace of rate increases "is unprecedented, certainly in modern history," Tim Mayopoulos, the president of Blend, told Insider. Prior to joining Blend, Mayopoulos spent nearly 10 years at Fannie Mae, where he ultimately served as president and CEO of the mortgage giant."These are big movements in a very, very big market," Mayopoulos added. "It shouldn't be surprising to any of us that everybody who's touching this market is having to think about how to bring their cost structure in line with market realities."Mainstreet: About 50 employeesMainStreet's homepage as of May 4, 2022.MainStreetIn January 2022, B2B financial-services startup MainStreet flew the entire company out for a week-long working vacation in Maui. About 150 employees stayed at the luxurious Grand Wailea Hotel, attended meetings, and enjoyed free buffets at the beachfront Hawaiian resort. Workers who questioned the expense were told the startup was aiming to land a significant Series B funding round that would ensure significant runway.But the funding that ultimately materialized was smaller than originally planned, Insider has learned, and in early May the company cut around 50 employees — roughly a third of its workforce.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 10th, 2022

These are the 100 best early-stage investors in America

In Insider Weekly: The 100 best early-stage investors in the US, Meta's hiring freeze, and JPMorgan employees discuss return to office. Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Happy Mother's Day to our readers in the US! Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories. On the agenda today:Insider ranked 100 of the best early-stage investors in the United States.Meta instituted a hiring freeze expected to affect "almost every team" at the company.Seven JPMorgan employees shared fears and frustrations over its return-to-office policy.The mental-health startup Cerebral is facing an investigation as it comes under increased scrutiny.But first, I'd love to share my dispatch from the Milken Institute Global Conference this past week in Los Angeles.Subscribe to Insider for access to all our investigations and features. New to the newsletter? Sign up here. Download our app for news on the go — click here for iOS and here for Android.What I got up to at MilkenMilken Institute Global ConferenceI'm back in New York City after a busy few days at the Milken Institute Global Conference, where investors, founders, and CEOs met to discuss today's most pressing issues.I was there to moderate a panel discussion (which you can watch here) about the erosion of trust and the responsibilities of big businesses — but I was also eager to get back to IRL networking. Attendees were similarly delighted to get back to seeing their clients, colleagues, and peers in person. There was a real energy to the event.I was slightly surprised at how upbeat many of the attendees were given the challenges facing the global economy. Whether inflation, rising rates, and the risk of a recession in the US or the invasion of Ukraine and the move toward a more multipolar world, there's lots to worry about. While some people were more cautious, overall I found attendees to be pretty sanguine — though I can't help thinking the Los Angeles sunshine and the excitement about in-person interactions might have contributed to that.I'll be headed to the World Economic Forum in Davos in a few weeks, where I'm looking forward to hearing from a diverse spread of participants. I'll write another dispatch while I'm there, so be sure to check back in for the latest from Switzerland.Now, let's get to the rest of the stories.Introducing the best US seed investorsMaC Venture Capital; Nurx; Initialized Capital; Vitalize; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderBased on data from Tribe Capital, Insider identified the top seed investors, meaning those who repeatedly demonstrate extraordinary skill.Among the best are Eric Paley, whose search for the "weird and wonderful" led to an early investment in Uber; Miriam Rivera, whose portfolio includes the unicorns BetterUp and Everlaw; and Avichal Garg, who's among the beneficiaries of a wave of capital pouring into Web3.Read the full story here: The Seed 100: The best early-stage investorsAlso read:The Seed 25: The best female early-stage investorsHow the law firm Gunderson Dettmer's deal machine swallowed Silicon ValleyLeaked memo: Meta is going on a hiring freezeDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesIn a leaked note to staff, Meta's CFO announced a hiring pause that would "affect hiring goals for almost every team across the company."The freeze, which the CFO said was brought on by the invasion of Ukraine, data-privacy changes, and an "industry-wide downturn," is rare for Meta, which most recently froze hiring at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story here:Internal memo from Facebook's CFO says a hiring freeze will last through the rest of this year, and reduced hiring targets 'will affect almost every team in the company'Also read:Read the internal Facebook memos detailing a major hiring freeze and explaining 'slower' revenue growthJPMorgan employees dish on return-to-office plansiStock; Rebecca Zisser/InsiderEven with one of the most lenient return-to-office policies on Wall Street, JPMorgan's hybrid work plans have some workers concerned about their compensation, their performance at work, and the safety of their loved ones.Insider spoke with seven JPMorgan employees, who described feeling betrayed and distrusted by the firm. And for some, leaving feels like the only answer.Read the full story here:7 JPMorgan employees explain why the bank's return-to-office policies have them running for the exits — and what they want to tell Jamie Dimon about his 'surveillance state'Also read:Leaked screenshots: JPMorgan is tracking office attendance using 'dashboards' and 'reports' — and some employees are threatening to quitCerebral is under investigationHo Anh (left) and Kyle Robertson, Cerebral's cofounders.CerebralCerebral, one of a handful of online companies that prescribe controlled substances tightly regulated by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, such as Adderall and Xanax, has faced scrutiny in recent months over its prescribing practices.Insider has learned DEA agents interviewed former Cerebral employees about the mental-health startup.Read the full story here:The DEA is investigating Cerebral as the $4.8 billion mental-health startup faces growing scrutinyMore of this week's top reads:From Tucker Carlson's childhood to his massively influential career, we're bringing you the Fox News host's origin story.People are ditching big cities to live in seven more-outdoorsy towns.Airlines have a bold new plan to make travel better: buses.Two Germans went to Ukraine to help fight Russians. Chaos ensued.Mortgage lenders and startups are laying off thousands of employees — and it may get way worse.Things are about to get ugly for home flippers.Plus: Keep updated with the latest business news throughout your weekdays by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here tomorrow.Event invite: With the rise of hybrid and work-from-anywhere models, companies need to proactively tackle cybersecurity challenges. Join Insider's editorial conference on Tuesday, May 12, at noon ET, presented by Cisco, for a front-row seat to the best practices in cybersecurity and data protection. Register here.Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb, Hallam Bullock, and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 8th, 2022

25 pitch decks that startups used to raise millions to disrupt advertising

These startups are using tech to disrupt advertising and marketing. Explore the pitch decks selling their vision. Picnic's adtech team.Matthew Goldhill Investors are pouring money into marketing and media startups. These startups are using technology to disrupt advertising and marketing. Check out these 25 decks to see how these startups sold their visions to VCs and other investors. See more stories on Insider's business page. Investors are pouring money into startups that are trying to disrupt advertising, media, and marketing.Insider has been tracking these startups that are using tech to capitalize on changing consumer media habits and marketers' desire to reach new audiences and ensure their ads are working.Check out these pitch decks that they've used to sell their vision and raise millions from PE and VC investors.They range from tools that measure digital ad performance to platforms for people seeking out online entertainment.Marketing in the metaverseAnzu, a startup whose technology inserts ads into video games, helps advertisers place logos and digitally-rendered products inside video games.Anzu raised $20 million in a new funding round led by NBCUniversal and HTC, which manufactures electronics including VR headsets.Read the pitch deck that helped an adtech startup raise $20 million to build ads in the metaverseCapitalizing on messaging appsAI platform Connectly helps businesses market to people through messaging apps. It was founded by the former head of Meta's messenger and blockchain businesses and Strava's ex-CTO.Connectly raised $4 million in seed funding in February 2021 from Unusual Ventures, Marathon Venture Capital, and others and is now seeking $15 million.Check out the pitch deck this startup is using to raise $15 million to help marketers capitalize on the rise of messaging appsReinventing the PowerPointGiideCrispin Porter Bogusky alums founded Giide to update the business presentation with tools that let customers create interactive, audio-based content.They just raised $1.6 million in seed funding led by Supernode Global, which was joined by other early-stage venture funds including FirstMile Ventures and TechNexus.Here's the pitch deck a startup that wants to reinvent the business presentation used to raise $2.2 millionGrowing streaming TV businessesAmagi helps media giants like NBCUniversal and Gannett build and distribute ad-supported streaming channels. It also provides tools to help content owners sell ad inventory.It just raised $95 million in a round led by Accel Ventures, which it plans to use to invest in the news and sports categories.Read the pitch deck a media tech firm used to raise $95 million to help content owners like NBCUniversal and Gannett run their streaming channelsTargeting home buyersAdtech vet Ed Carey got the idea for Audience Town, an ad tech startup focused on real estate, when he realized how data-rich the industry was.The company uses public property data to help advertisers target home buyers and owners, and it just raised $6.1 million in its third seed round from investors including Utah's Wasatch Venture Partners and Aperiam Ventures.This pitch deck helped an adtech startup raise $6.1 million to capitalize on the red-hot real estate marketConnecting PR pros to journalistsPropelAs consumers avoid online ads and tech giants curtail advertisers' use of targeting, marketers need to find other ways to get their messages in front of people.Tech startup Propel argues that PR has a chance to benefit by using earned media. It sells tech that helps public relations pros find the right journalists to pitch.It just raised $4.5 million in seed funding, led by Lyft and DoorDash investor NFX.Read the pitch deck that helped a PR tech startup raise $4.5 million, led by an early investor of DoorDash and LyftSocially responsible advertisingUK startup Good-Loop is trying to harness companies' growing desire to show they're socially responsible. It's encouraging viewers to watch ads by having brands donate to one of their charity partners once the video is complete. Clients include Unilever, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Levi's, Adidas, NBC Universal, and Nike. It just raised a $6.1 million Series A round, led by Questus Capital Management.See the pitch deck watch-to-donate adtech startup Good-Loop used to raise a $6.1 million Series A roundCreative consulting platformFounded in the UK in 2015, BeenThereDoneThat connects companies with c-suite creative and strategy officers to help them solve marketing and advertising challenges by linking them to a network of chief strategy, chief innovation, and chief creative officers. The startup just raised a $7 million Series A round, led by VC firm Beringea.See the pitch deck creative marketing consultancy BeenThereDoneThat used to raise a $7 million Series A roundAI tools to grow salesOcean.ioOcean.io is a Copenhagen-based martech data platform that helps clients like Sony, UserTesting, and Brandwatch target key B2B accounts.Personalizing B2B marketing can be a tedious process, but Ocean.io's pitch is that it analyzes more than 300 million web pages, company registries, public databases, and existing account and transaction data to help companies find likely prospects.The company just raised $7 million from Peak Capital and existing investors.See the deck that helped a martech startup used by Sony and Brandwatch raise $7 million. The European company is now set to expand to the US.Measuring the value of PR servicesEddie Kim, CEO and founder of MemoMemoFounded in 2018, Memo pitches software that shows clients like Google and Samsung how many people read an article about their company or products, using data from publishers like Condé Nast, Forbes, and The Washington Post.It most recently raised $10 million in Series A, for a total of $17 million in funding.Read the pitch deck that a PR startup used to raise $10 million to help clients like Samsung and Google grab publisher insightsProtecting companies' reputationsFounded in 2013, Signal AI collects and analyzes data from regulatory filings, social media, broadcast, and net promoter scores to help clients like Bank of America Securities, Google, and Exxon Mobil, measure their reputation and manage supply chain risks.It just raised $50 million in Series D funding from venture capital firm Highland Europe along with asset manager Abrdn.Check out the pitch deck that a PR tech company used to raise $50 million to extend its business beyond public relationsCollecting data in the privacy eraQonsentAdvertisers are scrambling to find new ways to market to people as the privacy clampdown makes it harder to target people online.Qonsent is a startup that helps advertisers get customers to share personal data like birthdays or email addresses using QR codes on ad creative.It just raised $5 million in seed funding from Zekavat Investment Group, who led the round; VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk; and Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink.Check out the pitch deck a privacy tech startup used to raise $5 million from investors like Gary Vaynerchuk to transform how advertisers collect customer dataSelling mobile advertisingUK-based Picnic says digital ads are rife with fraud and perform terribly. Its solution: mobile ads inspired by social media features like stories and carousels that actually engage readers. It claims its ad formats boost ad performance for brands and bring in more revenue for online publishers.Now it's expanding to the US with help from $3 million in Series A funding it just raised from Guinness Asset Management, along with existing angel investors.Check out the pitch deck that helped UK digital advertiser network Picnic raise $3 millionCustomizing the user experienceBusinesses have scrambled to update their digital operations in the pandemic, creating an opportunity for UX startups like Uniform that help companies customize their user online experience.Uniform just raised $28 million from Insight Partners, Array Ventures, and Elad Gil.Check out the pitch deck that this startup that helps advertisers customize their digital user experience used to raise $28 millionCreating non-intrusive audio adsAudioMob cofounders Christian Facey (left) and Wilfrid Obeng.AudioMobUK-based adtech firm AudioMob offers audio ads that appear in mobile games. It pitches the ads as "non-intrusive" because they don't interrupt the gameplay, the ads only play if a user's device is set to a certain volume, and they don't rely on hypertargeted tracking techniques.It just raised a $14 million Series A round from investors including Makers Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Google, to grow its team and expand to new products.See the pitch deck that helped audio ads firm AudioMob raise $14 million from investors including Makers Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and GoogleBringing efficiency to video editingToch.ai is an India-based startup that aims to democratize video editing, arguing that the technologies to produce and distribute videos require time-consuming, manual processes, and existing video editing software can be pricey.Toch.ai has raised $11.75 million in Series A funding led by Moneta Ventures to support an expansion into bigger markets like the US.See the pitch deck that helped a video-editing startup raise $12 million to take on Adobe and expand into the USPlacing contextual advertisingSeedtagContextual advertising has become a buzzy area in adtech as the sector shifts away from the precision-targeting and tracking of individual users. Founded seven years ago by two former Googlers, Seedtag specializes in contextual advertising — using data and artificial intelligence to place ads within relevant publisher content that users should be more likely to interact with. Seedtag recently raised a $40 million funding round, led by Oakley Capital. See the pitch deck that helped contextual advertising firm Seedtag raise $40 million. The European adtech company now plans a US expansion.Automating ad creationDan Pantelo started a performance marketing agency in college and pivoted to software after discovering that creative testing was the most important and time-consuming part of making ads.Today, his marketing technology startup Marpipe claims to help advertisers figure out which ads perform best by automatically testing hundreds of variations.Marpipe recently raised $8 million in Series A for a total of $10 million raised to date.The key pitch deck slides that helped an ad automation startup raise $10 millionConnecting companies to freelancersInvestors are pouring millions into platforms like Catalant Technologies that connect companies to independent advertising and consulting professionals, a need that's growing as people quit in the pandemic.Catalant has raised more than $100 million by pitching itself as an alternative to consulting giants like McKinsey.See the key slides a staffing platform used to raise more than $100 million from investors like Morningside CEO Gerald ChanSimplifying market researchAd agency vets Grant McDougall, Liza Nebel, and Matt Gross started BlueOcean in 2019, when they saw an opening to use machine learning to simplify market research and tell marketers how they and their competitors were performing. Now, they count Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Bloomingdale's, and Diageo as clients.The software-as-a-service startup recently raised $15 million in Series A funding from private equity firm Insight Partners.Pitch deck reveals how an AI startup that helps brands like Google and Microsoft plan their marketing raised $15 millionData management toolsGoogle and Apple's moves to clamp down on third-party cookies and the rise of online shopping have advertisers clamoring for help managing all their customer data so they can effectively market to them.One such company is 4-year-old Amperity, which sells software that clients like Starbucks, Patagonia, and Crocs use to manage stats from sales, email, e-commerce, and loyalty card programs.Amperity raised $100 million in its Series D from existing investors including Tiger Global Management, Declaration Partners, and Madrona Venture Group, for a total of $187 million.Here's the pitch deck that helped a marketing tech startup raise $100 million at a $1 billion valuation to help brands manage their dataOut-of-home advertising platformOutdoor advertising is coming back after being crushed during the pandemic, and adtech startup OneScreen.ai is hoping to cash in with a platform for brands to search, buy, run and measure their out-of-home ad campaigns.OneScreen recently raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by Florida-based fund TechFarms Capital with other investors including HubSpot cofounders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, Wayfair's alumni fund Wayfund, Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe, and BuySellAds.com CEO Todd Garland.See the pitch deck that Google, Hubspot and Wayfair alums used to raise $1.2 million to build the 'Amazon of out-of-home advertising'Collecting consumer dataTracer started in 2015 as a unit of Gary Vaynerchuk's ad agency VaynerMedia that automatically collects and organize data that isn't personally identifiable. Led by Tracer co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Nicholson, it also offers free consulting services. It started by helping VaynerMedia oversee hundreds of millions in ad buys for clients like Oreo maker Mondelez; today, clients include other ad agencies like Labelium; Condé Nast; and pharma giant Sanofi.Tracer recently raised $9.9 million in seed funding led by big names like former Walmart and Amazon exec Marc Lore and NBA star Kevin Durant's firm Thirty Five Ventures.Read the pitch deck a Gary Vaynerchuk-backed data startup used to raise $10 million from investors like Walmart's ex-ecommerce CEOGrowing repeat customersRetina AI founder Emad HasanRetina AIAs people do more of their shopping online, marketers are trying to get them to become repeat customers.Former Paypal and Facebook product and data analytics manager Emad Hasan says his startup Retina helps brands like Dollar Shave Club and Madison Reed acquire and keep customers by building lookalike audiences based on companies' order history and shopper attributes.It recently raised $8 million in Series A funding from Alpha Intelligence Capital, Vertical Venture Partners, and others. This investor deck helped a former Facebook product manager raise $8 million to help brands boost customers' long-term valueReal-time market researchMatt BrittonAgency veteran Matt Britton pitches his consumer intelligence startup Suzy as an always-on digital assistant like Siri or Alexa for marketers. It has a consumer panel that lets marketers conduct surveys and research on subjects like product development and ad effectiveness testing.He raised $50 million in Series D after closing a $34 million Series C last year, bringing its total raised to $100 million.H.I.G. Growth Partners, an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, led the round, with Rho Capital Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Foundry Group, and Triangle Peak Partners also participating.See the pitch deck a market research startup that's trying to rival Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey used to raise $50 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 6th, 2022

These 3 small business owners started their companies during the pandemic. Here are the books they read to do it, from self-help bestsellers to concrete management guides.

Covering everything from forming a business plan to overcoming challenges, these are the best books for aspiring or current small business owners. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.Covering everything from forming a business plan to overcoming challenges, these are the best books for aspiring or current small business owners.Amazon; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderWhen you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Starting a small business can seem complicated, overwhelming, and stressful. Books can help us learn more about starting and running a business. We talked to 3 successful small business owners to get their book recommendations. Turning your passion or idea into a small business can seem complicated, overwhelming, and too stressful to attempt. Luckily, books can help us learn more about starting and running a small business as well as motivate us to keep going through the hardest days. A record-breaking 9.8 million new small businesses opened in 2020 and 2021, so we spoke to three successful small business owners who started their businesses during the pandemic and read books to guide their entrepreneurial journeys. Their recommendations range from traditional business books to motivational self-help books and inspirational memoirs, so if you're considering starting a small business, here are some reads that may help you along the way:Getting startedOvercoming challenges Improving your business planGetting started"Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life" by Bill Burnett and Dave EvansAmazon"Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99During the pandemic, many people began to think differently about their careers and aspirations. This book helps readers apply Bill Burnett and Dave Evans' "Life Design" method to their own lives with real-world examples and practical techniques to create a life that works for you and fits your purpose.  "No matter where you are or how old you are, it's never too late to design a life you want to live," says Shekeitha Jeffries, founder of My Pretty Girl Notes, a stationery company that uplifts and honors Black women. "This book is dedicated to helping you find your purpose with questions about life and how you see yourself in the world."You can also take an online class led by Burnett and Evans on the same topic."Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person" by Shonda RhimesAmazon"Year of Yes," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.32Shonda Rhimes is the creator of the hit TV shows "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal." But in her memoir, "Year of Yes," she addresses how her introverted side often kept her away from opportunities like media appearances and interviews. This book is about her commitment to saying "yes" for one year and the ways it changed her life. "[This book] is a reminder to say yes to the things you're most afraid of," says Jeffries. "It's hard to start a business, it's hard to have the confidence when even your family or friends might not see your vision. Say yes to yourself... Do it even if you're scared."Legend PlannerAmazon"Legend Planner," available at Amazon, $24.99While technically a book you write in, a guided planner can become an indispensable tool in starting a small business."If you're running a business, you need to learn how to get organized and you need to do it quickly." That's why Darwin Alford, founder of the sustainable streetwear brand Reclaimed DNA, recommends finding a great planner that works for you. She finds the layout of the Legend Planner most helpful for her handmade, made-to-order sustainable clothing business. "You can write out your monthly and weekly schedule, but the layout includes a section for your goals, habit tracking, separate work, and personal to-do lists, [as well as] space to identify your wins for the week and improvements for next week."  You can also read our picks for the best planners here."The Fashion Business Manual: An Illustrated Guide to Building a Fashion Brand" by FashionaryAmazon"The Fashion Business Manual," available at Amazon, $37.04As a fashion business owner, Alford recommends "The Fashion Business Manual" to anyone looking to start a business specifically in the fashion industry."This is an amazing overview of what is it to run a fashion business," says Alford, who notes it "covers everything from forming an idea, finding a production team, marketing, taking stock, accounting.""It's fully illustrated so it's an easy read, but it does give you an idea of the weight you'll take on when you start your business and how to get prepared to manage all the aspects you may not have thought about yet," adds Alford.Overcoming challenges"The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph" by Ryan HolidayAmazon"The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99One big hurdle in starting a small business is learning to adjust to unanticipated challenges. "Especially as an entrepreneur, there are going to be so many things that we are not prepared for. This book helped me shift my mindset to understand that there are going to be obstacles in your life and that is okay," says Ruth Sherrill, founder of Ruth Sherrill Marketing Services and Director of The Black Girl Initiative. Written by Ryan Holiday (of "The Daily Stoic" fame), "The Obstacle Is the Way" is a philosophy book that offers a formula to help readers turn obstacles into opportunities. "It's a book that's helpful for business, relationships, and the ups and downs we go through so we can understand obstacles will happen and learn how to better handle them," says Sherrill."Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway" by Susan Jeffers, PhDAmazon"Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.49Small business owners often deal with fear and imposter syndrome but "Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway" helped Alford move forward nonetheless. "Imposter syndrome is there, it's going to be there, but move with it and do it anyway." With practical techniques such as Susan Jeffers' 10-Step Positive Thinking Process, this book can help readers overcome passivity and negativity, even on the most challenging days."You're never going to feel fully prepared, no matter what Instagram shows you of others that seem to have it all together," says Alford. "Have faith in yourself.""Staying Power: A 30-Day Guide To Commanding The Boardroom, Branding Yourself, And Finding Your Higher Calling" by Liz Nolley TillmanAmazon"Staying Power," available at Amazon, $19.95Recommended by Jeffries, "Staying Power" is an action-oriented guide that helps readers identify their purpose, articulate their value, and market themselves effectively to guide their business journey with purpose."There's not always going to be someone in the room who looks like you and that can create insecurities, [but] you need to come in commanding the attention and the recognition you deserve," says Jeffries, who credits the book with providing "advice so you can become more visible and be heard.""Push beyond your insecurities, fear, and the stereotypes you face," she says. "As a business owner, you have to be confident in who you are and the products and services you provide — you have to be the voice of your business.""The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery" by Brianna WiestAmazon"The Mountain Is You," available at Amazon, $16.19This self-help recommendation aims to help readers learn new skills to step out of their own way and reach their greatest potential by looking insightfully at their most damaging habits, building emotional intelligence, and releasing past experiences that may be damaging their confidence. "This book helps you reflect inward, look at your self-saboteur, and find empowerment," says Sherrill. "When things don't go your way as a small business owner, it's easy to blame yourself, but we need to get out of our own way to be successful."Improving your business plan"The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea" by Bob Burg and John David MannAmazon"The Go-Giver," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.90"The Go-Giver" is an anecdotal business book that uses the story of an ambitious go-getter to teach readers that shifting their focus from "getting" to "giving" can add value to our lives and ultimately help them get more in return. "This is a great business book because it helped me find new ways to appreciate my clients and value our relationship," says Sherrill. "It's not about what you're trying to get from people, but what you're trying to give to them.""The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months" by Brian P. Moran and Michael LenningtonAmazon"The 12 Week Year," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.59Recommended by Sherrill, "The 12 Week Year" is a self-help business book that redefines your "year" as 12 weeks in order to help you be more productive and reach goals faster."Whatever your goal is, this book can help you break it into bite-sized pieces," says Sherrill. "I always have so many things to work on for my clients, but I need to work on bettering my business, too. It helped me set my goals, manage them, and see them objectively.""Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive" by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert CialdiniAmazon"Yes!," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29Backed by over 60 years of research into the psychology of persuasion, "Yes!" offers insightful tips in short chapters that can help readers become more persuasive in their personal and professional lives. These tactics can help small business owners clarify their message, differentiate themselves, and capture consumer interest. "Like so many other business owners, I follow so many marketing experts, but every great idea I've had came from what I learned in this book," says Alford. "It covers a different way of understanding how we get connected to things so we can better understand our consumers.""Sustainable Marketing: How to Drive Profit with Purpose" by Michelle Carvill, Gemma Butler, and Geraint EvansAmazon"Sustainable Marketing," available at Amazon, $25"Sustainable Marketing" is an inclusive guide that uses case studies, academic research, and professional examples of how to implement and maintain sustainable marketing practices that will positively influence your brand and customer loyalty. "It's nice to find a book that talks about the constructs of having a sustainable business," says Alford. "This book gives you a basis to understand that you are a business and you do need a profit, but you can find a balance where growth can benefit you, the planet, and other people."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 5th, 2022

The Tucker Carlson origin story

Tucker Carlson's journey from prep school provocateur to Fox News flamethrower, according to his friends and former classmates. Tucker Carlson during a CNN National Town Meeting on coverage of the White House sex scandal, on January 28, 1998.Richard Ellis/Getty Images Tucker Carlson is remembered as a provocateur and gleeful contrarian by those who knew him in his early days. His bohemian artist mother abandoned her young family and cut Tucker and his brother out of her will. At a Rhode Island prep school and at Trinity College, classmates remember him as a skilled debater who could both amuse and infuriate his audiences. On Oct. 29, 1984, New York police killed an elderly Black woman named Eleanor Bumpurs in her own home. Bumpers, who lived in a public housing complex in the Bronx, had fallen four months behind on her rent. When officials from the city housing authority tried to evict her, she refused, and they called the police. Five officers responded by storming into her apartment. Bumpurs, who had a history of mental illness, grabbed a butcher knife as two officers pushed her against a wall with their plastic shields and a metal pole. A third officer fired two shots from his 12-gauge shotgun, striking Bumpurs in her hand and chest.Eleanor Bumpurs' death dominated the city's news for two months and led the NYPD to revise its guidelines for responding to emotionally disturbed individuals.At St. George's prep school, some 175 miles away in Rhode Island, the incident deeply haunted Richard Wayner. He was one of the school's few Black students and had grown up in a residential tower not far from where Bumpurs had lived. He earned straight As and was so admired that in 1984 his peers elected him senior prefect, the prep equivalent of student body president, making him the first Black class leader in the school's 125-year history. Harvard soon beckoned.Wayner was frustrated with how the St. George's community seemed to ignore the conversations about racial justice that were happening outside the cloistered confines of Aquidneck Island. It bothered Wayne that almost no one at St. George's seemed to know anything about Bumpurs' killing. "You had your crew, you put your head down, and you tried to get through three or four years of prep school with your psyche intact," Wayner said of those days.As senior prefect, one of the duties was to deliver an address each week at the mandatory Sunday chapel service. One Sunday, perched from the chapel podium, Wayner described the shooting as a sea of white faces stared back at him. He concluded with the words: "Does anyone think that woman deserved to die?"Near the front of the chapel, a single hand went up for a few brief seconds. It was Tucker Carlson.Eleanor Bumpurs was shot and killed by the New York Police Department on October 29, 1984APThen a sophomore, Tucker had a reputation as a gleeful contrarian – an indefatigable debater and verbal jouster who, according to some, could also be a bit of a jerk. "Tucker was just sort of fearless," said Ian Toll, a St. George's alumnus who would go on to be a military historian. "Whether it was a legitimate shooting may have been a point of debate but the fact was that Tucker was an underclassmen and the culture was to defer to the seniors." Wayner himself never saw Tucker's hand go up, and the two kept in touch over the years. (Note on style: Tucker Carlson and the members of his family are referred to here by their first names to avoid confusion.)  Four decades later, glimmers of that prep school provocateur appear on Tucker's Prime Time show on Fox, which garners an average of between 3 to 4 million viewers a night. His furrowed visage and spoiling-for-a-fight demeanor are all too familiar to those who have known him for decades. In the words of Roger Stone, a Republican political operative, frequent guest, and longtime friend of Tucker's: "Tucker Carlson is the single most influential conservative journalist in America… It is his courage and his willingness to talk about issues that no one else is willing to cover that has led to this development."Tucker's name has even been floated as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024. "I mean, I guess if, like, I was the last person on earth, I could do it. But, I mean, it seems pretty unlikely that I would be that guy." he said on the "Ruthless" podcast in June, dismissing this possibility.Tucker's four decades in Washington, and his transition from conservative magazine writer to right-wing television pundit, have been well documented. But less well known are his early years and how they shaped him: his bohemian artist mother, who abandoned her young family and cut Tucker and his brother out of her will; the Rhode Island prep school where he met his future spouse; and his formation into a contrarian debater who could both amuse and infuriate his audience with his attention-getting tactics.Tucker declined to participate in an interview with Insider, saying in a statement. "Your level of interest in the boring details of my life is creepy as hell, and also pathetic," he wrote. "You owe it to yourself and the country to do something useful with your talents. Please reassess."California roots Tucker Carlson's West Coast roots burrow as deep as a giant redwood. He was born in San Francisco in May 1969 as the excesses of the Sixties peaked and the conservative backlash to the counterculture and the Civil Rights movement started to take shape. Tucker's mother, Lisa McNear Lombardi, born in San Francisco in 1945, came from one of the state's storied frontier families. Lisa's mother, Mary Nickel James, was a cattle baron heiress. Her great-great-grandfather had owned 3 million acres of ranchland, making him among the largest landowners west of the Mississippi. Her father Oliver Lombardi was an insurance broker and descendant of Italian-speaking Swiss immigrants. Lisa enrolled at UC Berkeley, where she majored in architecture. She met Richard Carlson, a San Francisco TV journalist from a considerably less prosperous background, while still in college. Lisa and Richard eloped in Reno, Nevada in 1967. The couple didn't notify Lisa's mother, who was traveling in Europe with her new husband at the time. "Family members have been unable to locate them to reveal the nuptials," a gossip item published in the San Francisco Examiner dished.Tucker arrived two years later. A second son, Buckley, was born two years after that. As Richard's career began to flourish, the family moved first to Los Angeles and then, in 1975, to La Jolla, a moneyed, beach-front enclave about 12 miles north of San Diego. When Lisa and Richard divorced a year later, in 1976, Richard got full custody of their sons, then 6 and 4. According to three of Tucker's childhood classmates, Lisa disappeared from her sons' lives. They don't recall Tucker talking about her, or seeing her at school events. Marc Sterne, Tucker's boarding school roommate who went on to be executive producer of the Tony Kornheiser Show, says the two didn't talk much about Tucker's relationship with his mother and he got the impression that Tucker and Richard were exceptionally close. When Sterne's own parents split up that year, he said Tucker was supportive and understanding. Lisa spent the next two decades as an artist – moving first to Los Angeles, where she befriended the painter David Hockney, and later split her time between France and South Carolina with her husband, British painter Michael Vaughan. In 1979, Richard Carlson married Patricia Swanson, heiress to the Swanson frozen foods empire that perfected the frozen Salisbury steak for hassle-free dinners. She soon legally adopted Tucker and Buckley.  When Lisa died in 2011, her estate was initially divided equally between Tucker, his brother Buckley, and Vaughan. But in 2013, Vaughan's daughter from another marriage found a one-page handwritten document in Lisa's art studio in France that left her assets to her surviving husband with an addendum that stated, "I leave my sons Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson and Buckley Swanson Peck Carlson one dollar each." A protracted battle over Lombardi's estate involving Vaughan and the Carlson brothers wound up in probate court. The Carlsons asserted the will was forged but a forensic witness determined that Lisa had written the note. The case eventually went to the California Appellate Court, which allowed the Carlson brothers to keep their shares in 2019."Lisa was basically sort of a hippie and a free spirit," said one attorney who  represented the Vaughan family and recalled having conversations about the case. "She was very liberal and she did not agree with Tucker's politics. But she stuck the will in the book, everyone forgot about it, and then she passed away."In a 2017 interview with The New Yorker, Tucker described the dissolution of his family as a "totally bizarre situation — which I never talk about, because it was actually not really part of my life at all." Several pieces of art produced by Tucker's mother, Lisa Lombardi, and her then-partner Mo Mcdermott in the home of a California collector.Ted Soqui for InsiderLisa When Lisa left her husband and two young sons, she was escaping suburban family life in favor of the more bohemian existence as an artist. One of Tucker and Buckley's former teachers said their mother's absence "left some sour grapes." "I felt they sided with the father," Rusty Rushton, a former St. George's English teacher said. After the divorce, Lisa returned to Los Angeles and tried to break into the city's thriving contemporary art scene. She befriended Mo McDermott, an LA-based British sculptor, model, and longtime assistant to David Hockney, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. A few years before he met Lisa, the scene was captured in Jack Hazan's 1974 groundbreaking documentary "A Bigger Splash," which followed Hockney and his coterie of gay male friends idly lounging around the pool in his Hollywood Hills home."When love goes wrong, there's more than two people who suffer," said McDermott, playing a slightly exaggerated version of himself, in a voiceover in the documentary.Lisa and McDermott became a couple and Lisa won admission into Hockney's entourage. Hockney lived a far more reclusive lifestyle than his pop art compatriot Andy Warhol but some four dozen or so artists, photographers, and writers regularly passed through his properties."She was more like a hippie, arty kind of person. I couldn't ever imagine her being a mother," said Joan Quinn, the then-West Coast editor of Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine, who knew Lisa during those years and still owns several of her works. "She was very nervous all the time… She was ill-content."The pair were often seen at Hockney's Hollywood Hills home and at Friday night gallery openings on La Cienega Boulevard. They collaborated on playful, large-scale wood sculptures of animals, vegetables, and trees. A handful of their pieces could be seen around Hockney's hillside ranch."Hockney had me over to meet them. He wanted a gallery to handle their work," said Molly Barnes, who owns a gallery in West Hollywood and gave the pair shows in 1983 and 1984. "They were brilliant and David loved Mo. He thought they were the best artists around.""She was quiet and intellectual and somewhat withdrawn," Barnes said. "She had come from a lot of money and that reflected on her personality. She wasn't a snob in any way but she had the manners of a private school girl and someone who was fighting the establishment."A sculpture by Tucker's mother, Lisa Lombardi, and her then-partner Mo Mcdermott in the home of a California collector.Ted Soqui for InsiderNone of them recall Lisa discussing her two sons. McDermott died in 1988. After his death, Hockney discovered that McDermott had been stealing drawings from him and selling them. Hockney said the betrayal helped bring on a heart attack. "I believe I had a broken heart," Hockney told The Guardian in 1995. (Hockney did not answer multiple inquiries about Lisa or McDermott.)In 1987, Lisa met Vaughan, one of Hockney's peers in the British art scene known as the "Bradford Mafia." They married in February 1989 and for years afterward they lived in homes in the Pyrenees of southwest France and South Carolina's Sea Islands.Lisa continued to make art, primarily oversized, wooden sculptures of everyday household items like peeled lemons and dice, but she exhibited her work infrequently. She died of cancer in 2011, at which point Carlson was a decade into his media career and a regular contributor on Fox News. Richard In contrast to Lisa's privileged upbringing, Richard's childhood was full of loss. Richard's mother was a 15-year-old high school girl who had starved herself during her pregnancy, and he was born with a condition called rickets. Six weeks later, his mother left him at an orphanage in Boston called The Home for Little Wanderers. Richard's father, who was 18, tried to convince her to kidnap the infant and marry him, but she refused. He shot and killed himself two blocks from her home.A Massachusetts couple fostered Richard for two years until he was adopted by a wool broker and his wife, which he described in a 2009 reflection for the Washington Post. His adoptive parents died when he was still a teenager and Richard was sent to the Naval Academy Preparatory School. He later enlisted in the Marines and enrolled in an ROTC program at the University of Mississippi to pay for college.In 1962, Richard developed an itch for journalism while working as a cop in Ocean City, Maryland at the age of 21, and the future NBC political correspondent Catherine Mackin, helped him get a copy boy job at the Los Angeles Times. Richard moved to San Francisco three years later and his career blossomed. He started producing television news features with his friend, Lance Brisson, the son of actress Rosalind Russell. They filmed migrant farm workers in the Imperial Valley living in cardboard abodes in 110 degree weather, traipsed the Sierra Nevada mountains to visit a hermit, and covered the Zodiac Killer and Bay Area riots (during one demonstration in 1966, they sent television feeds from their car where they trapped for four hours  and a crowd roughed up Brisson, which required four stitches under his left eye). Another time, they rented a helicopter in search of a Soviet trawler but they had to jump into the Pacific Ocean when the chopper ran low on fuel near the shore and crashed.In 1969, Richard and Brisson co-wrote an article for Look Magazine that claimed San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto had mafia ties. Alioto sued the magazine's owner for libel and won a $350,000 judgment when a judge determined the article's allegations were made with "actual malice" and "reckless disregard for whether they were true or not." (Richard was not a defendant in the case and has stood by his story. Brisson declined an interview.)Richard moved back to Los Angeles to join KABC's investigative team two years later. One series of stories that delved into a three-wheeled sports car called the Dale and the fraudulent marketing practices of its founder, Geraldine Elizabeth Carmichael, won a Peabody award in 1975. The series also outed Carmichael as a transgender woman. (Richard's role in Carmichael's downfall was explored in the HBO documentary "The Lady and the Dale.") Soon after arriving as an anchor for KFMB-TV, San Diego's CBS affiliate, Richard ran a story revealing that tennis pro Renee Richards, who had just won a tournament at the La Jolla Tennis Club, was a transgender woman."I said, 'You can't do this. I am a private person,'" Richards, who years later would advise Caitlyn Jenner about her transition, urged the television journalist to drop his story, according to a 2015 interview. "His reply? 'Dr. Richards, you were a private person until you won that tournament yesterday.'" By the time he left the anchor chair in 1977 to take a public relations job with San Diego Savings and Loan, Richard had soured on journalism. "I have seen a lot of arrogance and hypocrisy in the press and I don't like it," he told San Diego Magazine in 1977. "Television news is insipid, sophomoric, and superficial… There are so many things I think are important and interesting but the media can be counted on to do handstands on that kind of scandal and sexual sensation."Years later, Richard said that he never tried to encourage his eldest son in politics or journalism, but that Tucker had a clear interest in both from an early age. "I never thought he was going to be a reporter or a writer. I never encouraged him to do that," Richard told CSPAN of his eldest son in 2006. "I actually attempted not to encourage him politically, either. I decided those are the things that should be left up to them."A LaJolla, California post card.Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty ImagesA La Jolla childhoodAfter the divorce, Richard and his boys stayed in La Jolla in a house overlooking the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Friends of Tucker's would later say that the trauma of their mother's absence brought the three of them closer together.  "They both really admired their dad. He was a great source of wisdom. He's one of the great raconteurs you'll ever meet. They loved that glow that came from him," said Sterne, Tucker's boarding school roommate. "They both looked up to him, it was clear from my eyes."In an essay included in his book "The Long Slide: Thirty Years in American Journalism," Tucker described Richard as a kind parent who imbued family outings with a deeper message.One of Tucker's earliest memories, he writes, was from just after the divorce, when Tucker was seven and Buckley was five: the brothers gripping the edge of a luggage rack on the roof of his family's 1976 Ford Country Squire station wagon, while their father gunned the engine down a dirt road."I've sometimes wondered what car surfing was meant to teach us," Tucker wrote. "Was he trying to instill in us a proper sense of fatalism, the acknowledgement that there is only so much in life you can control? Or was it a lesson about the importance of risk?... Unless you're willing to ride the roof of a speeding station wagon, in other words, you're probably not going to leave your mark on the world."More often, the boys were left unsupervised and found their own trouble. Tucker once took a supermarket shopping cart and raced it down a hill in front of their house with Buckley in its basket. The cart tipped over, leaving Buckley with a bloody nose. He also recalled building makeshift hand grenades with hydrochloric acid and aluminum foil – using a recipe from their father's copy of "The Anarchist Cookbook"  and tossing them onto a nearby golf course."No one I know had a father like mine," Tucker wrote. "My father was funnier and more outrageous, more creative  and less willing to conform, than anyone I knew or have known since. My brother and I had the best time growing up."Richard sent Tucker to La Jolla Country Day, an upscale, largely white private school with a reputation as one of the best in Southern California, for elementary and middle school. In his book, "Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution," Tucker described his first grade teacher Marianna Raymond as "a living parody of earth-mother liberalism" who "wore long Indian-print skirts," and sobbed at her desk over the world's unfairness. "As a conservative, I had contempt for the whiny mawkishness of liberals. Stop blubbering and teach us to read. That was my position," he wrote. "Mrs. Raymond never did teach us; my father had to hire a tutor to get me through phonics.""I beg to differ," Raymond countered in an interview, saying that she was also Tucker's tutor during the summer after first grade and was even hired again. "I'm a great teacher. I'm sure he liked me." For her part, she remembered Tucker as a fair-haired tot who was "very sweet" and "very polite." (When The Washington Post reached out her her, she said Carlson's characterization had been "shocking.")  Friends from La Jolla remember that Tucker loved swimming the mile-and-a-half distance between La Jolla Shores Park and La Jolla Cove, jumping off cliffs that jut out into the Pacific Ocean, riffing on the drums, and playing Atari and BB gun games at the mall with his friends. "He was a happy kid. We were young, so we used to go to the beach. We did normal kid stuff," said Richard Borkum, a friend who is now a San Diego-based attorney. When they weren't at the beach or the mall, Borkum and another friend, Javier Susteata, would hang out at the Carlson home listening to The Who, AC/DC, and other classic rock bands. Borkum said the adults at the Carlson household largely left them alone. "I'm Jewish and Javier was Mexican and I'm not sure they were too happy we were going to their house," Borkum said.Another friend, Warren Barrett, remembers jamming with Tucker and going snow camping at Big Bear and snorkeling off Catalina Island with him in middle school."Tucker and I literally ate lunch together every day for two years," Barrett said. "He was completely the opposite of now. He was a cool southern California surfer kid. He was the nicest guy, played drums, and had a bunch of friends. And then something must have happened in his life that turned him into this evil diabolical shithead he is today."LaJolla is a upscale beach community outside of San Diego. Carlson and his family moved their in 1975.Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesSan Diego's next mayorRichard, meanwhile, was exploring a second career in public service. By 1980, he had risen to vice president of a bank headed by Gordon Luce, a California Republican power broker and former Reagan cabinet official. The following year, Richard's public profile got a boost when he tangled with another veteran television journalist, CBS's Mike Wallace. The 60 Minutes star had interviewed Richard for a story about low-income Californians who faced foreclosures from the bank after borrowing money to buy air conditioners without realizing they put their homes up for collateral. Richard had his own film crew tape the interview, and caught Wallace saying that people who had been defrauded were "probably too busy eating their watermelon and tacos." The remark made national headlines and Wallace was forced to apologize.Pete Wilson, the U.S. Senator and former San Diego mayor, encouraged Richard to run for office. In 1984, Richard entered the race to challenge San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock's re-election. "He was a very well-regarded guy," Hedgecock told Insider. "He had an almost Walter Cronkite-like appearance, but because he was in local news he was all about not offending anybody. He didn't have particularly strong views. He was nice looking, articulate, and made good appearances, but what he had to say was not particularly memorable other than he wanted me out of office."Sometimes Tucker tagged along for campaign events. "He would always show up in a sport coat, slacks and a bowtie and I thought that's really nice clothing for someone who is a kid," Hedgecock remembers. He was a very polite young man who didn't say much."Five days before voters went to the polls, Hedgecock went on trial for 15 counts of conspiracy and perjury, an issue that Richard highlighted in his television campaign ads. Richard still lost to Hedgecock 58 to 42 percent despite pouring nearly $800,000 into the race and outspending Hedgecock two to one. (Hedgecock was found guilty of violating campaign finance laws and resigned from office in 1985 but his convictions were overturned on appeal five years later.)People are seen near a beach in La Jolla, California, on April 15, 2020.Gregory Bull/AP PhotoPrep school In the fall of 1983, a teenaged Tucker traded one idyllic beachfront community for another.At 14, Tucker moved across the country to Middletown, Rhode Island, to attend St. George's School. (Buckley would follow him two years later.) The 125-year-old boarding school sits atop a hill overlooking the majestic Atlantic Ocean, and is on the other side of Aquidneck Island where Richard Carlson went to naval school. The private school was known as a repository for children of wealthy East Coast families who were not as academically inclined as those who attended Exeter or Andover. Its campus had dorms named after titans of industry, verdant athletic fields, and a white-sand beach.Senators Claiborne Pell and Prescott Bush graduated, as did Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, and poet Ogden Nash. Tucker's class included "Modern Family" actor Julie Bowen; Dede Gardner, the two-time Oscar-winning producer of "12 Years a Slave" and "Moonlight"; and former DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson. Billy Bush – "Extra" host, and cousin to George W. Bush – was three years behind him.Tuition at St. George's cost $13,000 per year in the 1980s (it's now up to $67,000 for boarding school students) and student schedules were tightly regimented with breakfast, classes, athletics, dinner, and study hall encompassing each day. Students were required to take religion classes, and attend chapel twice a week. Faculty and staff would canvass the dorms on Thursdays and Sundays to ensure no one skipped the Episcopal service. Tucker impressed his new chums as an hyper-articulate merrymaker who frequently challenged upperclassmen who enforced dorm rules and the school's liberal faculty members."He was kind of a California surfer kid. He was funny, very intelligent, and genuinely well-liked," said Bryce Traister, who was one year ahead of Tucker and is now a professor at the University of British Columbia. "There were people who didn't like Tucker because they thought he was a bullshitter but he was very charming. He was a rascal and a fast-talker, as full of shit as he is today."Back then Tucker was an iconoclast more in the mold of Ferris Bueller than preppy neocon Alex P. Keaton, even if his wardrobe resembled the "Family Ties" star. Students were required to wear jackets, ties, and khakis, although most came to class disheveled. Tucker wore well-tailored coats and chinos, pairing his outfit with a ribbon-banded watch and colorful bowtie which would later become his signature. "He was always a very sharp dresser. He had a great rack of ties. He always knew how to tie a bowtie but he didn't exclusively wear a bowtie," said Sterne, Tucker's freshman year roommate. "He always had great clothes. It was a lot of Brooks Brothers." Their crew crew held court in each others' dorm rooms at Auchincloss, the freshman hall, kicking around a Hacky Sack and playing soccer, talking about Adolph Huxley, George Orwell, and Hemingway, and dancing to Tom Petty, the Grateful Dead, and U2 on the campus lawn. Televisions weren't allowed so students listened to their Sony Walkman swapping cassette recordings of live concerts. Tucker introduced several bands to his friends."He loved classic rock and he was and still is a big fan of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead," said Sterne, who saw a Dead show with Tucker at RFK Stadium in 1986.Sometimes the clique got slices at Aquidneck Pizza and played arcade games in town, hung out in history instructor William Schenck's office, and smoked pot and Marlborough Red cigarettes on a porch in the main building's common room that faced the ocean, according to multiple sources. When the school administrators banned smoking indoors the following year so they congregated behind the dumpster behind the dining hall. Vodka (often the brand Popov) mixed with Kool-Aid was the drink of choice and students stockpiled bottles under their beds.Tucker was an enthusiastic drinker, half a dozen classmates recall. In his book, "The Long Slide," Tucker credits Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" for enticing him to try drugs in 10th grade, The experience gave him "double vision and a headache." By the time he got to college, Tucker writes, "I switched to beer."By the late 1990s Tucker stopped smoking. He eventually cut alcohol too in 2002 after drinking so much while covering George W. Bush in New Hampshire during the 2000 primary that he accidentally got on the wrong plane, according to a friend.Most of Tucker's fellow students remember him best as a skilled speaker."He was always eager to take the less palatable side of the argument and argue that side," said Mahlon Stewart, who attended prep school and college with Tucker and is now a geriatric specialist at Columbia University. "Back then it was comedic. I thought it was an act.""His confidence was just amazing. He could just put out some positions and be willing to argue anything no matter how outlandish," Keller Kimbrough, a former classmate who's now a professor at the University of Colorado. "We were talking about politics and religion one time Tucker pulled this card out of his wallet and said, 'Well actually I'm an ordained minister, I'm an authority on the subject.' This was a stunt. He could literally play the religion card." "When he got the job at Fox I just thought 'Wow that's perfect for him, that's exactly what he can do.'"Their dorm room discourses were never serious. Tucker would pick a side in a debate between whether the color red or blue were better, and the crowd would erupt whenever he made a good point, friends said.  "Even at age 15 he was verbally dexterous and a great debater," Ian Toll said. "His conservative politics was fully formed even back then. He believed in strong defense and minimal government."His teachers saw a pupil who was primed for law school."Language and speaking came naturally to him. He took pleasure in it," said Rusty Rushton, Tucker's former English teacher. Tucker's politics, though, "seemed fluid to me," Rushton said. "I don't think of him as a deeply ensconced ideologue."He ditched soccer after sophomore year to act in a school theater production of Ayn Rand's courtroom thriller "Night of January 16th" (Julie Bowen starred as the prosecuting attorney. Tucker played a juror). But Tucker found his voice in competitive debate when he eventually joined the school's debate club. The team traveled to other private school campuses to compete against schools like Andover, Exeter, and Roxbury Latin in tournaments."He won some debate and basically did a victory lap afterward and got in the face of all the faculty there," one alum from a rival school who debated against Tucker said. "After defeating the student team, he started challenging the faculty, and said, 'Do any of you want to take me on? Are any of you capable of debating me?'"SusieIn the fall of Tucker's sophomore year, a new headmaster arrived at St. George's, Rev. George Andrews II. Andrews' daughter, Susie – who Tucker would eventually marry – was in Tucker's class. According to school tradition, a rotating group of underclassmen was charged with serving their classmates dinner and, one night in late September, Tucker and Susie had the shift at the same time. "They were sitting at a table at the far end of Queen Hall just leaning in, talking to each other," Sterne recalled. "You could see the sparks flying, which was cool."Susie floated between the school's friend groups easily. When she was seen mingling with Tucker, some questioned what she saw in him."People were saying, 'Come on Susie, why are you dating Tucker?' He's such a loser slacker and she was so sweet," Traister said. The pair started dating at the age of 15 and quickly became inseparable. Tucker gained notoriety on campus for repeatedly sneaking into Susie's room on the second floor of Memorial Schoolhouse, the school's stately administrative office that housed the headmaster's quarters. He had less time for his dumpster buddies now that the couple hung out on the campus lawn, attended chapel and an interdenominational campus ministry organization called FOCUS. His senior yearbook included a photo of Tucker squinting in concern to a classmate, with the caption "What do you mean you told Susie?While Susie was universally liked within the St. George's community, her father was polarizing.Andrews led the school during a turbulent period – it was later revealed – when its choirmaster Franklin Coleman was accused of abusing or having inappropriate conduct with at least 10 male students, according to an independent investigation by the law firm Foley Hoag in 2016. (Two attorneys representing several victims said 40 alumni contacted them with credible accounts of molestation and rape accusations at the hands of St. George's employees between 1974 and 2004 after a 2015 school-issued report detailed 26 accounts of abuse in the 1970s and 1980s. (Coleman was never criminally charged and he has not responded to Insider's attempts to reach him.) Over his eight-year tenure as school music director, from 1980 to 1988, Coleman invited groups of boys to his apartment for private parties. Sometimes he shared alcohol and pot with some of them, gave them back and neck rubs, showed pornographic videos, traveled with them on choral trips and stayed in their hotel rooms, and appeared nude around some of them, the report found. Several of Tucker's classmates and former faculty said they had no reason to believe he would have been aware of the accusations. "There were rumors circulating wildly that Coleman was bad news. The idea was he would cultivate relationships with young men," Ian Toll, a St. George's alum, said. "Anyone who was there at that time would have likely been aware of those rumors."Andrews told Foley Hoag investigators he was not aware of any complaints about Coleman until May 1988 (by then, Tucker had finished his freshman year in college) when school psychiatrist Peter Kosseff wrote a report detailing a firsthand account of misconduct. But Andrews acknowledged to investigators the school could have been aware of "prior questionable conduct" before then, the report said. Andrews fired Coleman in May 1988 after the school confronted Coleman with allegations of misconduct and he did not deny them. According to the investigation, Andrews told students Coleman resigned due to "emotional stress" and that he had the "highest regard and respect for him." On the advice of a school attorney, Andrews did not report the music teacher to child protective services. He also knew that his faculty dean wrote Coleman a letter of recommendation for a job at another school, according to investigators. Andrews left the school a few weeks after Coleman departed. By September 1989, he was named headmaster at St. Andrew's School in Boca Raton, Florida which he led for 18 years. (Andrews declined to speak about Tucker or his tenure at either school.) St. George's, meanwhile, reached an undisclosed settlement with up to 30 abuse survivors in 2016. Coleman found work as a choir director at Tampa Preparatory School in Tampa Bay, Florida before he retired in 2008. Tucker Carlson attended St. George’s School, a boarding school starting at age 14.Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesTrinity In the fall of 1987, Tucker enrolled at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where Rev. Andrews had also attended.Nearly two-thirds of Trinity's student body back then originated from private schools and many came from wealthy backgrounds. Tuition in 1987 cost $11,700 plus an additional $3,720 for room and board—around $27,839 in today's dollars."When the Gulf War broke out" in 1990, one Trinity alum who knew Tucker recalled, "there was a big plywood sign in front of the student center that read, 'Blood for Oil,' and someone else threw a bucket of paint on it."The posh campus was situated in the middle of Hartford, Connecticut, the state's capital and one of its poorest cities. Discussions about race and inequality were sometimes at the forefront of campus politics, but many students avoided engaging in them entirely."There were issues about whether black students should only date other black students, that kind of thing," said Kathleen Werthman, a classmate of Tucker's who now works at a Florida nonprofit for people with disabilities. "My sophomore year, for new students, they had a speaker talking about racism, and one of the students said, 'I never met a black student, how are you supposed to talk to them?' And the idea that only white people can be racist was challenged too."Susie was at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee. His brother remained in Rhode Island and other prep school friends had fanned out across the East Coast. Tucker moved into a four-bedroom dormitory overlooking the main quad. One suitemate, Neil Patel, was an economics major from Massachusetts who played intramural softball. (They would co-found the Daily Caller together two decades years later.) Other roommates played on the varsity soccer team and they formed a tight-knit group."I remember being struck by him. He was the same way he is now," said Rev. Billy Cerveny, a college friend of Tucker's who's now a pastor at Redbird Nashville. "He was a force of nature. He had a sense of presence and gravitas. You might get into an argument with him, but you end up loving the guy."Tucker often went out of his way to amuse his friends. Once during the spring semester, several activists set up a podium and microphone beneath his dorm window to protest the CIA's on-campus recruitment visits. The demonstration was open-mic so Tucker went up to the stage and told the crowd of about 15 people, "I think you're all a bunch of greasy chicken fuckers.""I think people laughed. He did," Cerveny said. "There was always a small collection of people any time there was an issue who tried to stir the pot in that way. Some people were dismissive and other people loved it, thinking 'Oh we're getting a fight here.'"As a sophomore, Tucker and his friends moved into a dingy three-story house on Crescent Street on the edge of the campus. He ditched his tailored jackets, khakis, and bowties for oversized Levi jeans, t-shirts, and untucked oxford shirts. Tucker commandeered a low-ceilinged room above the front porch with so many windows he had to hang up tapestries to keep out the sun. The tiny alcove had barely enough space for an eight-foot futon and several bookshelves Tucker built himself stacked with books he collected. Friends remember Tucker receiving an 8-by-10 manilla envelope that his father sent through the mail once or twice a month containing dozens of articles from newspapers and magazines.One of Tucker's friends, Cerveny, remembered stopping by Richard's home in Washington, D.C. and finding evidence of his hobbies, including the world's second largest collection of walking sticks."His house was filled with rare canes he collected from all over the world," Cerveny said. "The hallways had really amazing rows of canes hung on hooks that were specially made to mount these things on the house. One used to be a functional shotgun, another one was made out of a giraffe. His dad would pull out newspaper clippings of WWII Navy aircraft carriers. It changed the way I thought about a lot of things. I had never seen anything like that. Who collects canes?"During sophomore year, Tucker's friends decided to rush Delta Phi, a well-to-do fraternity also known as St. Elmo's. The Greek scene had a large presence on campus — about 20 percent of men joined them even though Trinity was a liberal arts school — and St. Elmo's had a reputation as freewheeling scamps. Once a year, a St. Elmo's brother would ride his motorcycle naked through the campus cafeteria. (Faculty voted in 1992 to abolish Greek life saying they were sexist and racist, and school administrators instead forced fraternities to become co-ed.)But Tucker refused to come aboard. Some classmates thought it was because he didn't want to be hazed."Tucker was not a joiner like that," Mahlon Stewart said. "He wouldn't have set himself up for whatever humiliation would have been involved. He would not have put up with that." But Cerveny, who pledged the fraternity, said it was a matter of faith."I remember explicitly him saying 'Look, I want to focus on what my faith is about and I thought this would be a big distraction,'" Cerveny said. "But he was very much in the mix with us. When we moved to a fraternity house [on Broad Street], we asked him to live with us."Tucker occasionally dropped in on his friends' fraternity events and occasionally brought Susie when she visited or Buckley when he drifted into town. Other times they hung out at Baker's Cafe on New Britain Avenue. Mostly Tucker stayed in his room."He was basically a hermit. It wasn't like he was going to a ton of parties" one Trinity St. Elmo's brother said. "He was not a part of the organizational effort of throwing big parties, or encouraging me to join the fraternity." Susie, who didn't drink or smoke, was a moderating influence. "Tucker and Susie had their moral compass pointing north even back then," Sterne said. "Tucker's faith was not something he was focused on in his early years but when he met Susie and he became close to her family, that started to blossom and grow in him. Now it's a huge part of his life."By the time his crew moved to another house on Broad Street, they each acquired vintage motorcycles and tinkered with them in their garage. Tucker owned a 1968 flathead Harley Davidson that barely ran and relied on a red Jeep 4X4 to transport friends around town (the Volkswagen van he had freshman year blew up). He smoked Camel unfiltered cigarettes, sipped bourbon, and occasionally brewed beer in the basement, including a batch he named "Coal Porter," according to GQ.When he wasn't reading outside of his courses or tinkering with his carburetor, Tucker took classes in the humanities and ultimately majored in history. Tucker dabbled in other fields including Russian history, Jewish history, Women's Studies, and Religious Studies, sitting in the back of lecture halls with his friends. Ron Kiener, who taught an introductory level course in Judaism, recalled Tucker performing "poorly" but earning a credit. "He did not get a stellar grade from me," Kiener said. "Based on what he says now he surely didn't get very much out of my courses."But Leslie Desmangles, who led courses in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Myth, Rite, and Sacrament, said Tucker was engaged and likely did just enough to pass his courses even if he wasn't very studious or vocal in class discussions."He was interested in understanding the nature of religious belief and studying different cultures and religions but I'm not sure if he had an interest in diversity," Desmangles said. "He was genuinely interested in ritual since a lot of the Episcopal church is highly ritualistic."Tucker's fascination with religion extended to his extracurricular activities too. He and several friends joined Christian Fellowship, a Bible study group that met weekly and helped the school chaplain lead Sunday services. Some members even volunteered with ConnPIRG, a student advocacy group on hunger and environmental issues, and traveled to Washington D.C. to protest the Gulf War. But Tucker steered clear of campus activism. He spent his free time reading and seeing Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, and Sting perform when they came through Connecticut. Sometimes he skipped school to follow his favorite band, the Grateful Dead, on tour.He took an interest in Central American politics too. At the end of freshman year, Tucker and Patel traveled to Nicaragua. "We did not have a place to stay or any set plans," Tucker told the Trinity Tripod, his college paper, in March 1990. "It was very spontaneous. We are both extremely political and we felt that getting to know the country and some of its citizens would give us a better perspective on the situation." In February 1990, Tucker returned with three friends to Managua for 10 days to observe Nicaragua's elections. The National Opposition Union's Violetta Chamoro, which was backed by the U.S. government, defeated the leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front Daniel Ortega who had been in power since 1979. A month later Tucker and his classmate Jennifer Barr, who was separately in Nicaragua to observe elections and distribute medical supplies to the Sandinistas, shared their perspectives about their visits to a small crowd at the Faculty Club for the school's Latin America Week. Tucker thought press coverage of the election was too left-leaning and criticized the media for skewing a conservative victory, according to Barr."I don't think it was necessarily true," Barr said. "He was dismissive [about my views]. I did get a sense that he believed in what he was saying, and it was very different from my experience and my understanding of the race."Tucker's stance on U.S. politics at the time was less didactic. As the 1992 presidential election loomed his senior year, Tucker touted the independent candidacy of Ross Perot, a Texas business magnate, to his friends although it did not appear that Tucker was an ardent supporter."Tucker would go on and on about how Ross Perot was the answer to this or that, as a joke, and every one would participate" one St. Elmo's brother said. "He liked the way Ross Perot was basically throwing a wrench into the system. He wasn't a serious Ross Perot proponent. He was cheering on somebody who was screwing up the system."In Tucker's college yearbook, below his tousle-haired, bowtie wearing thumbnail photo, was a list of his extra-curricular activities: "History; Christian Fellowship 1 2 3 4, Jesse Helms Foundation, Dan White Society." Neither of the latter two – named, respectively, after the ultra-conservative North Carolina Senator, and a San Francisco supervisor who assassinated Harvey Milk in 1978 – ever existed. Tucker admired Helms for being a "bull in the china shop" of Congress, one classmate said. Some friends believed Tucker slipped in the off-color references as a lark."It's like a joke you and a friend would put in a series of anagrams that only you and two friends would remember and no one else would," the St. Elmo's friend said. "It's so niche that only someone like Tucker is thinking things like that or would even know the name of the person who killed Harvey Milk. He paid attention to things like that."Others claimed Tucker was the victim of a prank."It would not at all surprise me if one of the other guys in the [fraternity] house filled it in for him, and not just an inside joke, but pegging him with something that he got grief for," another close friend said. Protesters rally against Fox News outside the Fox News headquarters at the News Corporation building, March 13, 2019 in New York City.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesAn outsider among insidersBy the spring of 1991, Tucker's academic performance had caught up with him. He had accumulated a 1.9 grade point average and may have finished with a 2.1 GPA, according to one faculty member who viewed a copy of his transcript. Tucker would eventually graduate from Trinity a year late. Falling behind was not uncommon. About 80 percent of Trinity students completed their degrees in four years, according to Trinity College records. (A Trinity spokeswoman would not comment on Tucker's transcript due to FERPA laws, which protect student privacy.Tucker's post-collegiate plans fell through too. Tucker applied to the CIA that spring. The spy agency passed."He mentioned that he had applied and they rejected him because of his drug use," another college friend said, while declining to be named. "He was too honest on his application. I also probably should say I don't know whether he was telling the truth or not." Once the school year was over, Tucker and Neil Patel hit the road on a cross-country motorcycle ride. After that: Washington DC.  Tucker's family left Southern California for Georgetown after President Reagan named his father head of Voice of America. In June 1991, President George H.W. Bush appointed Richard ambassador to the Seychelles and the Carlson family upgraded to a nicer house in Georgetown with a pool in the basement. That summer, with Tucker's father and stepmother often out of town, the Carlson household was the center of Tucker's social lives, the place they retired to after a night drinking at Georgetown college dive bars like Charing Cross and Third Edition, and pubs like Martin's Tavern and The Tombs, immortalized in St. Elmo's Fire. In August, Tucker and Susie got married in St. George's chapel and held a reception at the Clambake Club of Newport, overlooking the Narragansett Bay. Back in Washington, Tucker's prep school, college, and his father's Washington-based networks began to mesh. Tucker took a $14,000-a-year job as an assistant editor and fact checker of Policy Review, a quarterly journal published at the time by the Heritage Foundation, the nation's leading conservative think tank. For the next three decades, Tucker thrived in the Beltway: He joined The Weekly Standard and wrote for several magazines before appearing on cable news networks as a right-of-center analyst and host at CNN, PBS, and MSNBC. His father embarked on a third career as a television executive where he ran the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and his brother became a political operative and a pollster. By the time Tucker reached the core of the conservative media sphere, a slot on Fox News's primetime opinion lineup, he shed friends from his youth who couldn't grapple with the hard-right turn he veered once he became the face of the network.One friend was not surprised with Tucker's act. In the spring of 2016, during the heat of Donald Trump's presidential campaign against Hilary Clinton and a few months before "Tucker Carlson Tonight" premiered on Fox, Tucker had lunch with his old prep school classmate Richard Wayner who made the speech about Eleanor Bumpurs all those years ago. Wayner believed Tucker's gesture from his pew was never serious. "As a 9th or 10th grader in a chapel full of people in a conversation, he was trying to get attention," Wayner said.The two stayed in touch over the years and Tucker at one point suggested he write a handful of pieces for the Daily Caller, the conservative news and opinion site that Tucker co-founded and ran in the 2010s. As they settled into their table at a Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, the two chatted about Wayner's experience on the board of St. George's (which Susie was about to join) and their respective careers. Tucker was floating around at Fox, and Wayner, now an investor and former Goldman Sachs investment banker, said the conversation drifted toward salaries."He was asking, 'How much do you make on Wall Street' and was like, 'Wow, Wall Street guys make a lot.'" Wayner said. When they left the restaurant and headed back toward the Fox News headquarters, several people recognized Tucker on the street even though he had jettisoned his trademark bowtie years ago. Wayner saw Tucker making the pragmatic decision to follow a business model that has made his conservative media counterparts a lot of money."I don't think he has a mission. I don't think he has a plan," Wayner said. "Where he is right now is about as great as whatever he thought he could be.""Tucker knows better. He does. He can get some attention, money, or both." he added. "To me, that's a shame. Because he knows better." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 5th, 2022

Inflation, Passwords and TikTok: The Real Threats to the Future of Netflix and Streaming

The pandemic sparked a boom for video streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Peacock. In 2020 and 2021, Netflix added 54.6 million subscribers, many of them in the frightening, isolating six months after the world locked down and people sought entertainment in the safety of their homes. Now, that unprecedented wave of growth may be… The pandemic sparked a boom for video streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Peacock. In 2020 and 2021, Netflix added 54.6 million subscribers, many of them in the frightening, isolating six months after the world locked down and people sought entertainment in the safety of their homes. Now, that unprecedented wave of growth may be hitting its limits, as the company lost subscribers for the first time in its history, cut around 25 people from its marketing staff, and has begun piloting ways to crack down on sharing passwords. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Netflix’s losses weren’t simply theirs to bear. In the aftermath of Netflix’s results, other streaming services have taken a hit—Disney, Paramount, and Warner Bros. Discovery, all of which run streaming services, saw their stock price drop as well. The same week that Netflix cut some of its marketing team, CNN+, the news service’s foray into streaming, shuttered. It all raises the question: Was the pandemic peak streaming, and we’re now on a perpetual downward slope? On the heels of its April 19 letter to shareholders—where Netflix said it lost 200,000 subscribers instead of growing by millions as expected—the company lost $60 billion in market capitalization in just over a week. Netflix says it already expects to lose a further two million subscribers in the second quarter of 2022. “In 2020, people were locked at home and you couldn’t do anything but watch TV,” says Maria Rua Aguete, senior director of media and entertainment at London-based consultancy Omdia, which regularly analyzes the state of the streaming market. “It’s only natural to go down after a boom.” The next question, then, is how streaming services will find their new normal, as user demographics change and the cost of basic needs continues to rise. Streaming is competing with YouTube and TikTok It’s not just that pandemic viewing habits may be reverting. For one thing, viewers may be overwhelmed and exhausted by the plethora of services available, according to a Nielsen study—which found nearly half of users felt that way, even if they generally like the ability to watch streaming video. “The number of video streaming services in the U.S. has reached a ceiling,” says Rua Aguete. At the same time, there’s a potential generational shift. “If there is a reckoning coming, it’s because all emerging data suggests millennials and Gen Z are not only less interested in streaming TV and film than the previous generation, they are also consuming more content on YouTube and TikTok,” says Andrew A. Rosen, founder of streaming service analyst PARQOR, and a former Viacom executive. This issue was also noticed by consulting firm Deloitte, in its 2022 digital media trends survey. And for the first time, the most avid users of Netflix are likely to be those aged 24 to 44 in some markets, rather than those aged 18 to 24, according to research firm Ampere. The cost of living is going up If Netflix broadens some of its account-sharing restrictions, it may be particularly hard on younger people who are used to sharing Netflix passwords. But it’s not just younger generations—cost of living increases are squeezing users of all ages. “With gas and electricity bills going up massively, you almost worry about switching the TV on at all,” says Emma Heath, 52, of Northampton, England, who recently cancelled Netflix, along with her satellite TV. United States inflation has hit a 40-year high, while the U.K. is doing little better, with inflation at a 30-year peak. Rua Aguete says: “Inflation is going up, the cost of living is going up. If in 2020, we took six or seven services, do we need them all now?” As consumers grapple with higher costs for basics like food and fuel, services like Netflix are hiking prices. In January, Netflix told U.S. consumers that its standard two-screen service would rise to $15.49—the second price increase in two years. A similar increase in the U.K. followed shortly thereafter. Nearly four in 10 U.K. households say they plan to cancel a paid streaming video service, according to research by Kantar. These factors may add up to troubling news for streaming services trying to stand out among the crowd. Netflix rose to prominence by doing just that—with original hit shows like Orange Is The New Black, delivered ad-free. But now, Rosen says, the landscape has changed. “To date, Netflix has driven a tightly constructed narrative around a subscription model only, and the objective of ‘we want to entertain the world’,” says Rosen. “Until the past two quarters, it has defied market concerns for its billions in debt that funded the content spending to pursue that objective.” Netflix could not be reached for comment. What’s next for Netflix and streaming Netflix has said it’s looking at an ad-supported tier that would cost less. “Think of us as quite open to offering even lower prices with advertising as a consumer choice,” Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings said on a conference call with analysts after the results were announced, though there was no formal indication in the shareholder’s letter that the company would be pursuing an ad-supported model. Should it decide to do so, Netflix would be following in the footsteps of many competitors who have introduced similar lower price points for consumers worried about cash. It’s not all bad news, either: according to Omdia’s analysis, Hulu and Peacock have each managed to increase and maintain their average revenue per user by introducing a half-price, ad-supported option. Still, Rua Aguete doesn’t believe Netflix is losing its prominent place in the industry any time soon. In the Asia-Pacific region, Netflix posted subscriber gains that helped offset losses in the United States, Canada, and Europe. While the company’s first quarter results were disappointing, and may signal the tide turning, they weren’t necessarily terminal. “It’s challenging times,” says Rua Aguete. “Things are not fantastic around the world, but yes, there is still growth in some countries.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeMay 2nd, 2022

18 Of The Easiest Money Saving Tips That’ll Make You A Millionaire

Even if you’re modest, I think everyone wouldn’t mind being a millionaire. But, with such an uncertain future is that even possible? Actually. It is. With proper planning, responsible spending habits, and smart investments you can grow your fortune to $1 million and beyond. But, there’s a key part of that equation that shouldn’t be […] Even if you’re modest, I think everyone wouldn’t mind being a millionaire. But, with such an uncertain future is that even possible? Actually. It is. With proper planning, responsible spending habits, and smart investments you can grow your fortune to $1 million and beyond. But, there’s a key part of that equation that shouldn’t be overlooked. And, that’s effectively saving your money using these easy 18-tips. 1. Make it a game. “You probably think saving money has to be boring, hard work,” writes Michael Beck. “I say, let’s play a game instead!” he adds. “And if you’re good at it, this game can help you save a lot of money.” Here’s how the game began. Beck and his wife were broke after purchasing their first home. While eating at a fast-food restaurant they challenged themselves to see if they could both leave full by spending only $10. Since that was too easy, they kept dropping the price. From there, they competed against each to see who could stretch their gas tanks the most. After that, taking their entertainment budget to zero. And, finally, reducing their energy consumption by turning off the lights or reading instead of watching TV. The result? The couple was able to save $10,000 in one year? 2. Don’t talk about it. Be about it. What exactly do I mean? Well, if you want to save money, then it could be as simple as asking. And often, this is done in two ways; Proactively. Get in touch with the vendor you pay regularly, such as cable TV, cell phone carriers, or garbage service. Let them know that you’re a satisfied customer and then just ask for a discount. Some people even threaten to switch services to get a better deal. But, that’s your call. For retail, you could ask when specific items go on sale. Reactively. Let’s say that you receive a medical bill that insurance was supposed to cover. Instead of just shrugging this off and paying, contact them to settle the misunderstanding. Worst case scenario? You negotiate a better deal. For some, this may induce an anxiety attack. Thankfully, there are tools like Trim and Truebill that analyzes spending. From there, they will cancel unnecessary subscriptions and negotiate your recurring bills for you. Here are a couple of other suggestions for being proactive with your money; Don’t neglect problems, fix them ASAP. Let’s say you don’t replace your brake pads. This will result in a more costly repair. Do your research and only shop when you have coupons. If you use a credit card, make sure it offers perks like rewards and/or cashback. 3. Get free stocks. Not everyone thinks they are wealthy enough to invest. Well, guess what? The truth is, you don’t need that much to start investing. In fact, if you know where to look, you can even find free stocks — sometimes worth up to $500. Robinhood is one example of a robo-advisor that lets you start investing with $5, $100, or $800. It’s actually a favorite among beginner and professional investors because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and it lets you buy and sell stocks without any limits. In addition, it’s extremely easy to use. In addition, Robinhood automatically deposits a share of free stock into your account when you download the app and fund your account. This type of stock has a random value, so you could get anywhere from $5 to $500. Still, it gives you a jumpstart on building your investments. 4. Pay with cash. The easiest way to save money every time you make a purchase at the store is to use cash instead of a credit card. With a credit card, you can lose sight of your limits very easily. But, with cash, you have a hard spending limit. Whatever cash you have is your spending limit. If you don’t like carrying around cash, you could go out with a prepaid and reloadable card. 5. Buy used. You don’t have to spend your money on new and fancy stuff just because you have the money. That’s what Ilene Davis, who became a high-income earner when she went from making a moderate income to becoming a millionaire, discovered. Davis, for instance, typically shops at thrift stores and consignment shops for her clothing. The author even titled a chapter “Unfashionably Rich,” showing four pairs of jeans and asking what the difference between them is. One pair cost $132 and the other three cost around $12. “I also only buy used cars and will opt to watch movies with friends at home instead of going to the theater,” she said. Those are just a few ways to live a thrifty lifestyle, but there are plenty of ultra-easy frugal tips to try. 6. Lower your car costs. The ability to refinance your auto loan at lower interest rates will save you a lot of money in the long run. You can also save money if you shop around for car insurance regularly, rather than letting your current policy automatically renew. By driving less, taking heavy items out of your trunk, and avoiding excessive acceleration, you can reduce car maintenance and fuel costs. Speaking of gas, there are several things you can do to reduce your gas consumption and save money, even if you can’t control prices at the pump. For example, when you fill up, consider using a gas app to save money. 7. Re-evaluate your housing costs. Most households spend a substantial portion of their budgets on housing costs, such as rent or mortgage payments. In fact, housing costs accounted for more than 35% of the average person’s budget in 2020. If possible, you may be able to start saving right away if you move to a place with a lower rent. Choosing to refinance your mortgage can help you save money on interest and monthly payments. However, it’s important to understand whether refinancing is right for you. Or, you could find ways to monetize your home or rental. For instance, you could find a roommate or list a spare room on Airbnb. 8. Improve your credit score. The importance of having a good credit score cannot be overstated. After all, credit cards, mortgages, and student loans all have reduced rates if you have a better score. Furthermore, payments go down when the interest rate goes down. As such, reduced payments allow you to focus on important goals. As an example, if you’re saving $25 extra a month, you could throw it towards your debt, an emergency fund, or vacation savings. How can you improve your credit score? Well, here are some pointers to get you started; Always pay your bills on time. Keep accounts open — the longer you maintain accounts, the better your credit score will be. Keep utilization below 30%. If you keep hard inquiries below 1 every 12 months, your score will improve. 9. Don’t be wasteful. Besides being terrible for the environment, food waste is doing a number on your budget as well. According to statistics, the average American family of four throws away $1,600 in produce each year. How can you be less wasteful? Well, you could only buy what you need at the store. I know. Easier said than done, right? But, it’s possible if you map out your meals for the week and only purchase those items. Bonus points if you base your meals around coupons as well. I’m also I big fan of the freezer. For example, when I just went to the store, chicken breast was buy one, get one. So, I cooked up one package for my dinner for the week and throw the other in my freezer. 10. Auto-save your money. Your money will accumulate over time without any further work from you if you set up automatic transfers. As an example, each month a percentage of your paycheck automatically goes to your savings account. This is especially convenient when you’re setting up different savings account for different goals, wheter that’s building an emergency fund or going on vacation. You can even set up automatic enrollment for a retirement savings plan. Additionally, there are apps such as Digit, Qapital, or Acorns that do some of the heavy lifting for you. Upon signing up, a small amount will be transferred from your checking account to a savings account. Therefore, you won’t have to waste time or energy thinking about transferring funds. You can also round up purchases made on your debit or credit card and divert them into a savings account using these apps. 11. Transfer all windfalls to a savings account. Unexpected cash may still come your way even if you’re past the age when relatives give you birthday money. According to Miami-based attorney Miguel Suro, who runs RichMiser.com with his wife Lily Rodriguez, you should open a separate savings account just for these cash windfalls. “Deposit all unexpected income there,” Suro recommends. “I mean things like product recall refunds, class action settlements, refunds you get when you return an item or money someone gifts you. Just money that you weren’t expecting or counting on.” Do not forget to take advantage of your employer’s bonuses. Suro adds that unexpected income can be used for a specific goal or you can splurge on something you want in the future. It can also be used to create or boost an emergency fund. Bonus tip: You’re probably losing money at traditional financial institutions. So, when it comes to savings, consider parking this money in an alternative that pays better, such as a high-yield savings account. 12. Don’t keep up with Kardashians. What makes you happy? Go ahead and give yourself plenty of time to answer that question. Got it? Great! You can now resist the temptation to keep up with Joneses, Kardashians, or whoever the latest influencer is. Also, I strongly recommend spending less time on social media — especially before you go shopping. The truth is, it is unhealthy to compare one’s life with the lives of those around you on social media. It’s well known that these are selected to display unrealistic perfection. 13. Take advantage of your employer’s 401(K) match at work. “If you work for a fantastic company, one of the best perks that may offer is matching your 401(K) contributions. While you may not be able to access this today, it’s yours when you retire,” notes Due founder and CEO John Rampton. “We find that most 401k match contribution level are tiered,” he adds. “A generous match might include a dollar-for-dollar match on the first 3%-5% of the employee’s deposit.” Most 401(k) plans then contribute 50 cents for each dollar of the next 3%, which would equal 10% of employee contributions. “I would 100% take advantage of the first part, I also would take advantage of the 50% match for the second part as well,” John recommends. “This is all free money to you at the end of the day.” 14. Exercise and stay healthy. “Finances and health are nearly impossible to separate,” writes Kate Underwood in another Due post. “After all, health care costs money, and making money is a lot simpler when you’re healthy. You may be thinking you just don’t have time to focus on healthy habits like a balanced diet, exercise, or sleep.” However, “you might change your mind if you consider the many financial reasons to prioritize your health.” Having a healthy body helps you avoid illness and being absent from work. For freelancers or those with limited sick days, that’s especially important. In the case of freelancers, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. If you are a full-time employee, calling out excessively isn’t going to convince your employer to pay you more. In addition, there are long-term consequences. With healthcare costs rising, taking care of yourself today can help reduce your costs in the future. As a result, you should follow a nutritious diet and exercise regularly along with getting enough sleep. I am not the only one who can confirm this. Self-made millionaires also exhibit these traits. “Seventy-six percent of the rich aerobically exercise 30 minutes or more every day,” said Thomas C. Corley, who spent five years researching the daily habits of 177 self-made millionaires. Exercises that focus on cardio, such as running, jogging, or walking, count as aerobic exercises. “Cardio is not only good for the body, but it’s good for the brain,” he added. “It grows the neurons (brain cells) in the brain.” “Sleep is critical to success,” Corley also wrote. According to his study, 89% of self-made millionaires slept seven or more hours each night. 15. Brown bag-it. Did you know that the average household spends roughly $3,526 a year on food outside the house? When you crunch the numbers, that’s $294 per month! Buying lunch once or twice a week might seem like a big deal. By packing your lunch, however, you can expect substantial savings. 16. Follow the S.J.S.P. Principle. What’s the S.J.S.P. Principle? Well, according to Jeff Rose, founder of Good Financial Cents, this stands for stop justifying your stupid purchases. But, what classifies as stupid purchases? In short, liabilities like designer sneakers or McMansions. Instead, you should purchase assets. These would be things that appreciate in value over time, such as real estate, insurance policies, passive businesses, and stocks and bonds. 17. Don’t fall for quick rich schemes. Those who are successful in building wealth invest their money strategically. More importantly, they’re well aware that accumulating wealth doesn’t happen overnight. So, don’t fall for the false promises from get-rich-quick schemes. In reality, these should be referred to as lose-your-money-fast schemes. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 18. Invest in yourself. Want to build a financially secure future by saving money and investing in the stock market? That’s a smart move. At the same, it’s equally important to invest in yourself. After all, has Mark Cuban has said “the best time to invest in yourself is when you’re young and have nothing to lose.” One idea? Improve your financial literacy by listening to financial podcasts or reading finance books during your commute. Or, you could have “Mad Money” or “Squak Box” on in the background when doing the dishes. In addition to becoming more financially literate, you could also take measures to become more valuable. Perhaps you could learn a new skill or earn new qualifications in order to secure a raise or freelance on the side. Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Millionaire What is a millionaire? Millionaires are people whose net worth exceeds $1 million. Therefore, they have assets worth at least $1 million less than their liabilities. Why do you want to be a millionaire? As silly as the question may seem, wanting to be a millionaire and really understanding its meaning are far apart. After all, you must know why you want to achieve something in order to accomplish it. Millionaire status just for the sake of having a lot of money probably won’t give you the motivation to succeed. Instead, think through why you need to succeed; Are you looking for financial stability by becoming a millionaire? Would you like to travel more? Do you want more freedom? Do you want to help society in some way? What’s preventing you from becoming a millionaire? Debt and time are two major roadblocks to becoming a millionaire. If you can keep these two factors in your favor, you can become a millionaire regardless of your situation. In fact, by the time you retire, you can be a millionaire if you avoid consumer debt and start investing every month when you’re in your 20s or 30s. To start saving, you should put your investments into a tax-deferred account, such as an employer-sponsored 401(k). As long as you invest in retirement accounts, you can take a balanced approach to reduce any debt. How can you increase your savings? Although imagining becoming a millionaire is exciting, many people wonder if saving $2,000 a month is even feasible. The easiest way to increase your savings is to spend less and earn more. You should be able to save more as your career advances if you avoid lavish luxury purchases and avoid consumer debt. Have you formulated a retirement savings plan? The average person assumes that purchasing a home will be the biggest financial decision of their lives, but you’ll need far more money in retirement than you’ll need for a house. Building enough of a nest egg takes years, and the first step is to figure out how you’ll save it. Article by John Rampton, Due About the Author John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old while attending the University of Utah he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine, Finance Expert by Time and Annuity Expert by Nasdaq. He is the Founder and CEO of Due. Updated on Apr 28, 2022, 5:12 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkApr 28th, 2022

MoviePass Co-Founder Stacy Spikes Is Trying to Stage a Comeback–and Save Movie Theaters in the Process

Any resemblance to Steve Jobs was unintentional, or so Stacy Spikes claims. Back in February, minutes before Spikes was set to take the stage at Lincoln Center in New York City to announce the resurrection of his old company, MoviePass, he realized he was sweating through his white button-up shirt and jacket. He changed into… Any resemblance to Steve Jobs was unintentional, or so Stacy Spikes claims. Back in February, minutes before Spikes was set to take the stage at Lincoln Center in New York City to announce the resurrection of his old company, MoviePass, he realized he was sweating through his white button-up shirt and jacket. He changed into a more breathable black mock turtleneck, which, on his slim figure, paired with dark jeans, sneakers, and glasses, looked a lot like an homage to the Apple co-founder. “I didn’t want to be thinking, Are they going to see my sweaty pits?” Spikes, 54, says during an interview in a Manhattan office several weeks later. “When people said, ‘That’s very Steve Jobs,’ I was like, ‘Everybody in New York dresses in all black.’” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Spikes will invite the comparison again when his memoir, Black Founder: The Hidden Power of Being an Outsider, arrives in December. For the stark cover, he wore a nearly identical black shirt. Like Jobs, Spikes built a company from scratch only to be pushed out. Like Jobs, he watched from the sidelines as it fell apart. And like Jobs, he will attempt a triumphant return to the business he built. But while Jobs was self-assured to the point of polarizing colleagues and occasionally the public, Spikes charms you into buying his vision of the future—specifically the future of moviegoing. He asks everyone he meets what films they’ve seen lately. He refuses to disparage a movie (to a journalist, anyway), even when I try to goad him into criticizing some of this year’s Oscar contenders. He’s eager to discuss why his friend might have missed the majesty of Dune’s sandy hills by watching the sci-fi epic at home rather than in an IMAX theater. “An adventure should never come with a pause button,” he says. He loves a dramatic metaphor: during his MoviePass 2.0 presentation, he included a slide of a phoenix rising from the ashes. Read More: 10 Oscar-Nominated Movies and Performances You May Not Have Seen—But Should Most people who are familiar with MoviePass—and it had more than 3 million members at its peak in the late 2010s—probably remember it as the company that offered cardholders the chance to see one movie per day at the theater of their choice for just $9.95 a month, and then predictably crashed and burned when the deal proved too good to be true. For Spikes, the story is more complicated—and more personal. It is one of struggling for years to secure funding, which he attributes at least in part to racial discrimination, and then being ignored when he disagreed with the business plan put forth by the company that bought a majority stake. He illustrated the implosion of MoviePass during his presentation with a picture of the Hindenburg. Spikes is staging a comeback in a radically altered moviegoing environment. COVID-19 scared people away from theaters, and the proliferation of streaming services has kept them on their couches. The 2021 domestic box office, which includes the U.S. and Canada, trailed 2019’s by 60%. “We’re at the point where the industry is willing to try things,” says Daniel Loría, editorial director at Boxoffice Pro. “This is probably the perfect time for MoviePass to come back if it was ever going to come back at all.” In its heyday, Spikes says, MoviePass increased any one user’s moviegoing somewhere between 100% and 144% by incentivizing customers to take risks on movies they wouldn’t otherwise see. Now Spikes believes he can boost attendance again. “We ask, Will anyone go to movies anymore? But we don’t ask that about other events,” he says. “We don’t ask, Is anyone going to go to basketball games anymore? Soccer games? Because you can watch those at home, but the live experience is different.” Spikes is a magnetic pitchman, but it’s impossible to assess the feasibility of his plan. He is still trying to strike deals with theater chains and won’t even specify a date for the product’s release beyond that he’s targeting summer movie season. Perhaps most salient, while he says there will be a tiered pricing plan, he won’t say what those numbers actually are until launch day. He will say this: “It won’t be $10.” Spikes often tells the story about how Blade Runner convinced him he wanted to pack his bags for Hollywood. When he was 14, he watched it in a theater wedged between his father, who fell asleep, and his inattentive brother. “I kept nudging my dad, who was just snoring, and my brother’s like this.” Spikes fidgets in his seat. “And I’m there thinking, How can I be a part of this world?” Spikes worked in a video store as a high schooler in Houston, left Texas for California with just $300 in his pocket, and got a job as a production manager at a production company at 19. He worked briefly on the business side of record companies before helping to market film soundtracks at Sony. By age 27, he was vice president of marketing at Miramax. Illustration by Party of One for TIME But it was films like Dumbo that set him on his career trajectory. “Do you know that Dumbo song with the crows?” he asks, before singing a few bars of that song, the one sung by a bird named Jim Crow. (Disney now runs a warning in front of the movie.) “As a kid, I guess it was supposed to be flattering that you were getting seen in something,” says Spikes. “But as I got older and worked in the movie business, I had this whole different view of what I saw in my childhood.” In 1997, he founded the Urbanworld Film Festival, which featured the works of BIPOC filmmakers, including Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler before they were household names. “I was the Spike Lee of distribution because there was no one of color on that side of the fence,” he says. In 2004, the festival hosted the premiere of the thriller Collateral starring Jamie Foxx, Tom Cruise, and Jada Pinkett Smith. “I felt like I’d summited Everest, but I needed to find what was next.” Read More: Hollywood So Often Gets Black History Wrong. Black Filmmakers Are Setting the Record Straight In 2006, he designed a system that would allow moviegoers to sign up for a subscription and request tickets via text message. There were already subscription services at the movie theater chains in Europe, so Spikes was just introducing the concept to the U.S. “Everyone was like, ‘A subscription? That’s stupid,’” he says. “I was laughed out of conference rooms.” Or worse. For years, he was unable to get funding for his venture. Black entrepreneurs received about 1% of venture-capital funding in 2011, the year he ultimately launched the company. (A decade later, that number has barely ticked up: Black founders received 1.2% of VC funding in the first half of 2021 when startups raised a record-breaking $147 billion.) “When you want access to higher capital, there’s a Black tax on you,” Spikes says. “It was like I had to run faster, climb higher than these guys who had multiple failed businesses. If you don’t look like Mark Zuckerberg, you don’t fit the mold. I saw a lot of people getting funding for worse business ideas, but they dropped out of Stanford, so they got a shot.” Spikes used to bring an analyst named Geoff Kozma with him to pitch meetings to run the numbers in real time. “So Geoff and I walk into the meeting, and the guy walks over to Geoff, puts his hand out, and goes, ‘Stacy, it’s so nice to meet you,’ and Geoff goes, ‘That’s Stacy.’” Kozma was a young white man. “But even after that, at that meeting and a lot of other meetings, Geoff would be sitting there, and the VC guys’ attention would start drifting toward him. They’d start asking him questions instead of me. And I was like, Really?” The rejections were particularly upsetting because, as his current and former co-workers attest, Spikes is obsessed with going to the movies. Ryan McManus, who started as an intern at the first iteration of MoviePass and is now head of product for MoviePass 2.0, has worked with Spikes on and off for nearly a decade. “I’ve saved every movie-ticket stub going back to 2003,” says McManus, “and he was even more passionate about movies than I was.” In 2011, Spikes brought on Hamet Watt as a co-founder, and they were able to raise a combined $1 million from AOL and the venture-capital firm True Ventures. MoviePass launched that year, but five years after that, it still wasn’t profitable. Mitch Lowe, a former Redbox and Netflix executive, acted as an early MoviePass adviser, and found working with Spikes frustrating. But he felt they always had a connection, and agreed to come on board as CEO in 2016. “His main investor brought me in to essentially be his boss,” Lowe says. “That would be hard for anybody. He put his heart and soul into it. But he and I were great partners for that first year and a half, two years.” Liz Hafalia—The San Francisco Chronicle/Getty ImagesMoviePass co-founders Stacy Spikes, left, and Hamet Watt at AMC in San Francisco, Calif., on January 29, 2011. Around that time the company had 20,000 subscribers who were being charged $34.95 to $49.95 per month, and it was still losing about $50,000 to $110,000 per month. Lowe, too, struggled to convince investors that MoviePass had juice. Looking back, he says Spikes may indeed have faced discrimination, but there was clearly a problem with the business proposition as well. “I met with 120 different investors and got no on 120,” Lowe says. “My wife is African American, so I see racism out there. I see the way people are treated. But I would not say that was the only reason. I wasn’t with Stacy in any of his investment meetings, but I can tell you I had 120 nos, and I’m a white guy.” Then, in 2017, the data-analytics firm Helios and Matheson bought 51% of the company for $25 million. To increase subscribers, Helios and Matheson wanted to run a “promotion” dropping the price to $9.95 a month. Spikes, who had experimented with price points ranging from $19.99 to $49.99 over the years, was not wild about the idea. The average movie-ticket price in the U.S. was $8.97, so users would have access to near unlimited movies for just over the price of a single ticket. In the press, Lowe and Ted Farnsworth, CEO of Helios and Matheson, said they hoped MoviePass would work like a gym membership: plenty of people pay the monthly fee and never go, so the gym turns a profit. Here’s the problem: people don’t like running on a treadmill; they do like going to the movies. Still, Spikes says he agreed to the promotion as long as they upped the price again after 100,000 new sign-ups. “It happened in literally 48 hours,” says Spikes. “I was like, ‘Great, turn it off.’ And they were like, ‘No, no, leave it on. See what happens. We know what we’re doing.’” Spikes calculates they were losing $30 per customer per month. Lowe says it was closer to $17. Either way, they were losing money. “The math didn’t work,” says Spikes. In December 2017, the same month MoviePass reached its millionth subscriber, Spikes was removed from the board. The next month, he was informed he was no longer needed at the company. A few days after he was ousted, Spikes went to the movies. “I walk up to the kiosk. And the person on my left pulls out a MoviePass card. The person on my right pulls out a MoviePass card. And they’re literally looking and smiling at each other. And you knew we were all part of something big,” he says. “And I’d created that. I never forgot that feeling.” Read More: The 10 Best Movie Performances of 2021 By the first half of 2018, MoviePass members were buying 6.6% of all movie tickets in the U.S., according to Lowe. But that year, Helios and Matheson reported an estimated net loss of $329.2 million. In 2020, Helios and Matheson filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and in 2021 the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint alleging that the company had failed to secure customer data and had engaged in fraudulent practices like invalidating users’ passwords to try to prevent them from buying too many tickets. The resulting settlement prohibited the company from misrepresenting its practices and required it to put better security programs in place. But by then, MoviePass was long gone: it shuttered in September 2019. (Lowe said he could not comment on the FTC investigation because of a nondisclosure agreement, but blames the demise of MoviePass largely on user fraud—members sharing cards with one another and otherwise bypassing the system. Farnsworth did not respond to requests for comment.) Spikes equates what he experienced with PTSD. “I was licking my wounds for about two months when my wife was like, ‘You need to put some clothes on and get out of the house.’” Then, late last year, he heard from someone working on a documentary about the rise and fall of MoviePass that nobody had bought the company assets during the bankruptcy auction. He called the trustee, who said the minimum bid was $250,000. Spikes talked him down to $140,000. In September 2020, Spikes drove alone from his home in Manhattan to Hoboken, N.J., donned two masks, and sat in a theater with 10 other people to watch the action film Tenet. The next weekend he returned to see it again. “He’s my people, right?” Spikes says of director Christopher Nolan, who very publicly refused to debut his movie on a streaming service. “I told my wife, even if I have to get on a plane to fly to an open theater, I’m going to support this movie. And I’ve been at the movies pretty much every weekend since.” He’s likely one of the few who can make that claim. Movie attendance plummeted during the pandemic: In 2019, 76% of people in the U.S. and Canada saw at least one movie in theaters. In 2021, that number dropped to 47%. People may have gotten used to streaming movies at home, especially since services like Disney+, HBO Max, and Peacock all launched right before or during the pandemic. Every year, the Motion Picture Association releases data on the combined theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market. In 2019, it found that global digital spending (which includes purchases and rentals of movies from companies like Amazon and Apple) made up 48% of the market, theatrical sales made up 42%, and purchases of physical content like DVDs made up 10%. In 2021, digital spending made up 72% of the market, theatrical 21%, and physical content 7%. That digital spending calculation doesn’t even include the money customers pay for subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix. The window between a theatrical release and a streaming release is also shrinking; would-be moviegoers often have to wait only a few weeks to stream a movie like The Batman. The Oscar-winning CODA was released simultaneously on streaming and in theaters, and studios occasionally skip the theater altogether. Spikes dismisses the threat of streaming and compares the situation to when DVDs went mainstream in the late ’90s. “We forget that we were worried people would stay home then too,” he says. But Rich Daughtridge, CEO of the upstart chain Warehouse Cinemas and president of the Independent Cinema Alliance, views the proliferation of streaming differently: “We see our main competition as the couch.” Read More: The 10 Best Movies of 2021 Spikes often touts the loyalty of MoviePass customers. When he first founded the company, he was inspired by Steve Jobs’ biography to suggest that every employee—including himself—spend at least one day per month on the customer-service line. He recalls one not-so-happy customer who dropped her phone while running to the theater and demanded the company buy her a new $600 smartphone. “I was like, ‘But, ma’am, you dropped your phone,’” he says. “I think I gave her a free month.” But more often the calls would turn into discussions about how much MoviePass members adored going to the movies. They hadn’t abandoned cinema because of Netflix. They’d abandoned it because movie tickets had gotten too expensive: movie attendance was already declining before the pandemic even as the box office ballooned, thanks to higher ticket prices. MoviePass’s relatively low (and later, absurdly low) price tag helped increase its customers’ attendance, until those fervent movie-goers quite literally loved MoviePass to death. Persuading moviegoers to return to MoviePass may prove less challenging than wooing movie theaters. MoviePass buys tickets for its users directly from the theater. If it can buy discounted tickets, in exchange for promoting the theater on its app and incentivizing customers to go to the movies on slow-traffic days, the company can flourish. But if it has to pay full price for tickets, it will have to rely heavily on other revenue streams like advertising. Spikes claims that the pandemic has made theaters much more open to MoviePass. “Before, the conversation was ‘Eh,’” says Spikes of his initial proposal in the 2010s. “Now the conversations are, ‘Congratulations on buying it. How soon can you be up?’ So COVID definitely did something it would have taken us years to do.” My exchanges with theaters were more measured. The head of a small theater chain, who asked to remain anonymous because the company is still considering working with Spikes, said the customer-service issues that plagued MoviePass at the end of its first run “left a bad taste in our mouths.” The big chains—AMC, Regal, and Cinemark—declined to comment for this story. Loría of Boxoffice Pro says those chains likely see MoviePass as competition to their own loyalty programs, which were developed, at least to some degree, because of the success of MoviePass 1.0. Spikes is undeterred. He says he’s had preliminary conversations with Cinemark and Regal, but AMC has not responded to his calls: “My feeling is at the beginning there may be some competitiveness, but if you still have empty seats, what do you care? Get bodies in there.” Justin J Wee for TIMESpikes, who has been infatuated with Hollywood since he was a teen, makes weekly trips to the movies. Smaller chains and independent theaters—which make up about 20% of the industry, according to Daughtridge—seem more open to working with MoviePass. Alamo Drafthouse has 36 locations across the country and boasts comfy seats, meals instead of just concessions, and alcohol. The founders pride themselves on exhibiting smaller films that the bigger chains don’t show. In theory, their interest in saving the indie filmgoing experience should align with MoviePass’s mission. According to Lowe, in 2018, MoviePass was buying 30% of all movie tickets sold in the U.S. for smaller films (ones that grossed $20 million or less). “We’ve been quite disruptive in the space,” says Michael Kustermann, the chief experience officer at Alamo. “So I think we were always curious about MoviePass. I think the $9.95 thing was a mistake. But like all good disrupters, there was probably a seed of a great idea that theaters should have been thinking of themselves.” Kustermann says Alamo, which has its own loyalty program, has not yet decided whether it will partner with MoviePass but has not ruled it out. “Instead of being dictatorial about how people get in the door, Alamo focuses more on the experience once they’re in the door.” After all, most theaters make their money on concession sales, and that’s especially true of chains that sell alcohol. “I’m definitely intrigued,” says Daughtridge, of Warehouse Cinemas, which has two theaters in Maryland. He and Spikes have spoken several times about the potential of MoviePass 2.0. “We’re just running the numbers to make sure we don’t cannibalize our own sales.” This summer will prove a crucial test for MoviePass’s viability, as a backlog of delayed blockbusters, like Top Gun: Maverick, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Jurassic World Dominion, debut exclusively in movie theaters. “All the good content had been moved out. So it’s kind of like starving the patient and asking why they’re not gaining any weight,” Spikes says of the box office. Optimistic prognosticators point to Spider-Man: No Way Home, which in December had the second biggest opening weekend in Hollywood history despite premiering during the Omicron surge, as a sign that audiences will come back. But even with that coup, the domestic box office totaled around $4.5 billion last year, compared with $11.4 billion in 2019. About 10% of the estimated 5,500 movie theaters open pre-pandemic in the U.S. closed either temporarily or permanently, according to Comscore, and the theaters that are open today are mostly surviving on a few hits like Spider-Man and The Batman. Cinephiles fear a future in which studios make only superhero films for the big screen and relegate everything else to streaming. MoviePass doesn’t move the needle on the Marvel or Star Wars movies—people are going to come out for those anyway—but it may be able to have a substantial impact in driving ticket sales to indie films, Oscar bait, and documentaries. If MoviePass can scale, then it could play a major role in saving the moviegoing experience. But with just months before launch, MoviePass won’t confirm whether Spikes has brokered any deals at all. MoviePass can exist without theater buy-in, but it’s unclear if it can thrive. To that end, Spikes will try to build a subscriber base quickly with several changes from its original incarnation, including tiered pricing options and in-app credits that customers can earn by watching ads. They will be able to apply these credits toward tickets for friends and family members who don’t subscribe to MoviePass, and, eventually, Spikes says, users will be able to trade credits among themselves via blockchain technology. Customers can also invest as stakeholders in the company. During the MoviePass relaunch presentation, Spikes floated the idea of implementing technology that would track the user’s eyes during an ad and pause the ad if the user looked away or put the phone down. The demo immediately drew comparisons to dystopias like A Clockwork Orange. “I can say it’s given us some level of pause,” Spikes tells me when we meet. “If it’s something that we even decide to deploy, it might be radioactive. So it maybe doesn’t see the light of day.” A month later, he says he’s decided it will not be a part of the app launch this summer, though he may consider integrating it later. It’s clear that Spikes cares deeply about the future of cinema, but he’s also desperate to give the MoviePass story a happy ending. “I sometimes worry if I build something new, someone will take it away from me again,” he admits. Yet he forged ahead with the relaunch. “I knew I could build something again. Because you can’t take my intelligence. You can’t take away my passion.” Read More: People Longing for Movie Theaters During the 1918 Flu Pandemic Feels Very Familiar in 2021 If MoviePass succeeds, Spikes will be vindicated. Lowe and others who pushed him out will be cast as the obstacles he had to overcome to make his comeback. I ask Lowe how he feels about his role in that potential narrative. “I’d be so happy for his success in this,” he says. “It wouldn’t bother me at all for people to say that he told me so.” With reporting by Mariah Espada.....»»

Category: topSource: timeApr 27th, 2022

Slack CEO On The Company’s Hybrid Work Policy

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Slack CEO & Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield and CNBC’s “TechCheck” Co-Anchor Deirdre Bosa live during “CNBC Work Livestream: Empowering the Hybrid Workforce” today, Wednesday, April 27th. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield On The Company’s Hybrid Policy DEIRDRE BOSA: Hi everyone, welcome to “CNBC Work: Empowering the Hybrid […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Slack CEO & Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield and CNBC’s “TechCheck” Co-Anchor Deirdre Bosa live during “CNBC Work Livestream: Empowering the Hybrid Workforce” today, Wednesday, April 27th. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield On The Company’s Hybrid Policy DEIRDRE BOSA: Hi everyone, welcome to “CNBC Work: Empowering the Hybrid Workforce.” I’m Deirdre Bosa. Today, we are looking at hybrid work as many companies they’re beginning to implement hybrid work strategies for their employees. It’s really important for us to look at what the data tells us about how, when, where people are their most productive. In today’s program, we will talk with top business executives about what their research is telling them, what their policies are, their advice for business leaders implementing their own hybrid strategies. Later this hour, we will be joined by Kiersten Robinson, Chief People and Employee Experiences Officer for Ford Motor Company also Anne Raimondi, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Business for Asana. Now to submit questions for any of our speakers today, please scan this QR code on your screen or you can go to slido.com, enter the code CNBCWORK when prompted. I have that open up on my screens so I will see your questions, please questions, comments, keep them rolling in. We love to see it. We’re going to kick things off with someone who knows quite a bit about how and when we are working. Stewart Butterfield is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Slack. This month, Slack released its latest pulse report entitled “Inflexible return to office policies are hammering employee experience scores.” Here’s a direct quote from this report, “New data shows work related stress and anxiety is skyrocketing among full time office workers and those without schedule flexibility.” Stewart, welcome back. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more STEWART BUTTERFIELD: Hey, nice to see you. BOSA: I know we even at the beginning of the pandemic, we were figuring out the work from home thing and we were doing interviews on TV from attics, from cabins. So here we are two years later, what now is Slack’s hybrid policy. How is that working out? What kind of feedback are you hearing in these still early stages I suppose? BUTTERFIELD: Well, we haven't made any requests or demands that people return to the office. So we're kind of in the same position. Maybe not that we were since the last time I spoke to you because last time I spoke to you I think we were planning to return to work in September 2020. BOSA: And that's kind of changed multiple times. BUTTERFIELD: It did although I think we probably realized maybe six months or so in that no matter what, we weren't going to go back to the same situation. And at this point it seems a little strange to be honest. You know, we're like two plus years in and there definitely feels like there's people who think like “we're going to go back any day now.” Like there's some moment that's coming when we will shift backwards. I just can't see that ever occurring. First of all, we've hired thousands of people who are in locations where we don't have an office at all so for them it's just not possible. But I think for most people the idea of like a Monday to Friday, nine to five is the thing that they want least. BOSA: Now, Stewart, I know that you're in New York at the moment, but you're usually based in San Francisco and I was recently in New York and I really did feel this difference between the two cities. In San Francisco it's easier for tech companies to tell employees that they can work from home or have a remote or hybrid workforce. On Wall Street, though it is a little bit different. And you hear about the banks in particular wanting their employees back in the office and to the point that we started on, it’s kind of causing anxiety, right? How do you figure out the right way to do this? BUTTERFIELD: Well you know, we look at what people say that they want and what they say they want is a little under 80% want flexibility in location. A little bit more than 90% want flexibility in time. And I think that's really the biggest issue. Most people don't like commutes. You know, you do hear about some people who appreciate the time to read a book on the train or to kind of check out from regular life while driving. I don't think it's so much the commute though. It's the nine to five. It's the not able to spend time with your kids when you want to or get exercise. If they're kind of person who likes to wake up really early or stay up really late or needs to get you know have a nap or something like that. Now that you're used to that ability, it's very difficult to take it away. And you know, I think the behaviors that we care about are often binary. Like the employee stays or they go, but the inputs are continuous. So that old expression about the straw that breaks the camel's back is really true. The great resignation is a thing, people are turned over, a lot of people have found that they change jobs and they're not actually happier. But that churn is really real. And so I think given the competition for talent and the kind of the crises of attrition that most companies are already facing, it'd be really foolish to put one more straw on that camel's back. BOSA: That's a great point. We've seen the talent war change so much over the last few years. Something I think is interesting is this difference between a hybrid work strategy or a remote first or remote only. And some people say that actually a hybrid can put you at a disadvantage because there's some people who are coming in and some people who choose not to whereas if you have a remote first or remote only strategy, that's sort of more fair, more level. BUTTERFIELD: Yeah, and I think ultimately they are going to be or at least, we intend to be remote first. Not remote only because I think there is real value for people getting together in person, you know, establishing relationships, building trust, and all that. But thinking of the physical space that the company has, the office, as like a resource that teams and employees can use to kind of advance their work as opposed to a place that they have to be because you know, by square footage, the office was mostly devoted to just kind of desking for people to sit and use their laptops by themselves and not talk to anyone. That part they can do from anywhere. BOSA: Yeah, I want to get to some of these questions. There's a really good one. It was anonymous, but I know that you guys have done at Slack a number of studies, looked at the data behind this new way of working. So there's a question. Is there any data to show what kind of characteristics that CEOs have – the ones that want workers to be in the office versus the CEOs that are embracing flexibility? BUTTERFIELD: You know, I don't have data on that. I mean, obviously, my subjective impression is that one axis is age. So the older CEOs, definitely, I think, they more decades of experience and habit that are built up around office culture, and so they have a stronger preference. The other one, I think, is like kind of progressiveness of the industry. And I don’t mean that on a liberal conservative spectrum, but more how dynamic the overall space is and technology compared to finance, much less regulated much newer. And so you see a little bit more tolerance for newer policies there. Yeah, I'll leave it there. BOSA: So then are there degrees of, you know, what kind of industry, what kind of company a hybrid work strategy works for? Would you say that banks risk losing talent to tech companies? Or do you think that this is the right strategy for them? It could be to have workers back in the office five days a week. BUTTERFIELD: It could be, you know, like, the nice thing about the really quiet days of the pandemic is you're able to reach out to people much easier. And I actually ended up having breakfast with David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs – this is probably a year ago – and he actually made a pretty compelling case for wanting in person. That they have 5000 interns to start every summer. Part of the experience of that is getting to meet with the older partners and to spend time and kind of get aculturated. They also hire an enormous incoming class of which they expect most people to leave and that's kind of part of their strategy. Those employees go to other consulting firms, other banks, and that's kind of a network of relationships that they can rely on. And that too kind of is much better in person. However, they do compete for software developers. Every industry, every company is becoming more and more dependent on software. And there's just an enormous advantage when you can say to someone, “the work you're doing is about equally interesting, the pay is about equally attractive. In one position, you don't have the flexibility. You have to come into the office every day. And the other one, you have the flexibility. You can come as much as you want.” I mean, no one is going to choose the first one. BOSA: So you said that David Solomon the CEO of Goldman Sachs, made a pretty compelling argument. Did he managed to convince you? I don't know – you were kind of getting at that, but it doesn't sound like it. BUTTERFIELD: Yeah, I think there's probably other ways to achieve the same thing. And then it's more like a periodic cadence of getting together. You know, I'm having my executive team offsite here in New York  next week, I think. And it has been incredibly valuable to get back together in person. I don't feel like it's necessary to get back every single day because you can kind of use those opportunities again, you know, deepen the relationships, establish more trust, but also make a bunch of decisions that are easier in a kind of real time environment. But most day to day work doesn't require that and the ability for people to be more comfortable while they're coming in and executing against those decisions is just such a huge advantage. There's no way we would give it up. BOSA: Yeah, you mentioned that your conversation also talked about the huge amount of interns that are coming into the banking space that typically do benefit from that facetime, and that relates to another question that we're getting. And that is are remote hybrid workers a greater risk for career development and advancement compared to those who are or choose to be in the office? And then there's kind of a nuance there as well between what I asked you earlier hybrid and remote first. Do some people – are some people at an advantage versus others? BUTTERFIELD: Yeah, I don’t – so in practice, I haven't seen many companies be hybrid in the sense that most people talked about. You know, I think it's there's an extrapolation from the previous experience into the future but so far that hasn't really materialized. There are people who do come into the office. So in New York, I think there's more employees even in the tech industry where they don't have to, but they're coming into the office because their apartment is small, or because there's not enough room in their house for both their spouse and them to do video calls at the same time. So that's really a question of space. They're not coming in in order to collaborate. I think the question is really good, though, is it going to diminish opportunities if people stay at home? So far, it hasn't right? Because we now we're, you know, two plus years into this and people have been promoted, people have been hired people have, you know, companies have done reorgs and all that and it hasn't really made a difference. I think it'll be difficult for an employer to kind of make that a requirement for career advancement, because it's just the same thing as demanding people come in nine to five Monday to Friday. If there's an option, they'll take the other option. BOSA: Stewart, do you think that the skill set that employers are looking for from their workers is changing – for example, in a remote work strategy or hybrid – the importance of writing maybe rises to the top, right? Because you're communicating much more on Slack, on email. What's your advice for some of those people that are getting into the workforce right now? Or employers even -- what should they be looking for? BUTTERFIELD: Yeah, I think it's a really interesting question and the heart of it certainly from our perspective at Slack is drawing a bigger distinction than we used to between synchronous work so like having a meeting or a phone call discussion, and asynchronous. We’re both collaborating on this document, but I'm doing it over the course of many hours in the afternoon and you're looking at it tomorrow morning. That is a really important distinction and asynchronous work I think does rely more on written communication. But you know, Slack and many other companies have been kind of diving in there with features that support the kind of asynchronous work, but with the richness and kind of full emotional texture of video, so we have a feature called clips and people do that to rather than have the daily standup meeting at 9am, everyone has to be there 9:00 to 9:15, it’s like I record mine at 8:50 and I watch yours at 10:17 and it's a lot more convenient. You still get the video. On the other hand, trying to replace the kind of spontaneity and serendipity of in office communication, we launched this feature called huddles which is a lot like a phone call that’s it's it's audio only, but it doesn't necessarily start or stop and people can drop in and leave and that's been the fastest adopted feature in the history of Slack. It's been a huge success. There's millions of people using that every week. So I think there's a big opportunity for us but also for many other players in the tech space that kind of fill the toolset with a richer set that are more appropriate for the way people are working today. BOSA: That's so interesting. Huddle sounds kind of like an enterprise clubhouse of sorts. What have you learned from huddle and are people actually using it? Is that really replicating that spontaneous interaction that you get in person? BUTTERFIELD: I think it is up to, typically on smaller teams if you're if you're working with like a group of five or eight people let's say you do online ad buying for your ecommerce company or something like that than you're just kind of in constant communication all day, people will leave it open. The other use case is because it feels a little bit less heavy than a call, people are more, maybe it's the name huddle, people are more willing to step into it. And that makes a real difference because if all you have is this hammer of 30-minute Zoom calls, then everything looks like a nail and if you and I need to have a conversation it’s like okay, well next time we can do it is Tuesday at 11:30 and if you schedule a 30-minute meeting, people are gonna use 30 minutes. Sometimes it's a 90-second conversation that you want to have now and the difference is really dramatic in how fast that like increases the pace of work. BOSA: Right. I really love this question that we're getting from another anonymous audience member. To your point, you can have these sort of quick conversations, but when you're on a Zoom meeting, this person asks, “Can we agree that you should have to turn on your camera if you're on Zoom?” Do you need to feel that pressure Stewart to turn it on if everyone else has their camera on? BUTTERFIELD: The sociology of this is really fascinating because it's definitely like there's a lot of tolerance for people turning the camera off mid-meeting, you know, for just a moment maybe their kid came into the room or something or they're eating and they don't want to watch you chew. We actually kind of this wasn't a policy or decision we kind of stumbled into this practice which I think is really interesting and valuable where if there's a document or a presentation or something like that to read, everyone turns their camera off, reads it and then when they're finished they turn their camera on. So you can just glance at the screen at any point to see how many people are done and that's so much more effective than the 15 minutes of the top of the meeting where someone's reading the slides. I mean that at a personal level, I just can't stand it. But but their use of camera off and on can like signal more than just like are we gonna do this call while looking at each other's faces. BOSA: Yeah, it's kind of, it's kind of a delicate, delicate thing in the hybrid work environment. I do want to talk about this data that you guys have been collecting for some time. I've talked to your Chief People Officer in the past as well who's done a lot of great work here. So the latest Slack Future Forum, the latest pulse survey, what were some of the key findings there? BUTTERFIELD: Well, I mentioned them up at the top. It's really the desire for flexibility. There's also an interesting point about the kind of job satisfaction of people who are in positions where they are required to go back to the office for for office workers and the levels of dissatisfaction are nearly twice as high in that case. But I think the biggest one is the 90 plus percent of people who who want flexibility in time, and that's it's so valuable. You know, for me personally, we have a 11-month-old so it's kind of like half-ish of the of the pandemic we’ve had this baby. And there was no like, I gotta get the six eight train to get home by seven before the kid goes to sleep and I wouldn't trade that for anything. BOSA: I'm with you. I also I have a seven-month-old so had the baby at the end of the pandemic and sort of it is a game changer right especially for parents. And you guys have done a lot of good work as well at getting more diversity, more representation in the hybrid work model. How do you do that? Give us sort of some concrete examples. BUTTERFIELD: Well, I mean, I guess there's two. One is you can hire anywhere and there's lots of before we had I think 15 offices in nine or 10 countries. We still have several of those offices, but we're no longer constrained to hiring in those geographic regions. So in the US, it was San Francisco and New York and there were a couple people in Boston we had just opened a very small Chicago office, but now we're hiring all over the place, in Atlanta, in St. Louis, throughout like the Great Lakes states, throughout the Southwest and Phoenix and in Texas and that just opens you up to a much more diverse workforce broadly. The other one is people are kind of on a slightly more even footing and there's there's some mixed feedback from people who are in groups that are traditionally underrepresented in tech. But I think net it's a big advantage to not have to come into the office, to not have to kind of get the microaggressions and the parts of the culture that don't really work for people when they're physically in the office. So, it is like a little bit of a cognitive load that comes off and people end up happier with their jobs. BOSA: Yeah. Stewart so I know that your company in particular, others like Dropbox I can think of, have really made this, had thought it out and created this strategy. But I have become a little bit more skeptical that of companies that say they want to do remote work or hybrid workforce, and don't really have that strategy laid out and this hits on another question that we got in from a viewer and he or she asks, “Are we defining remote and hybrid work the same, are companies working remotely until they can return to the office?” So is it a good talking point for now? Are they sort of saying they're embracing especially when we talk about things like the talent war, just to kind of go back on it when it is more acceptable to go to the office? BUTTERFIELD: Yeah, I think there's definitely some wishful thinking in the sense that like, we're just not going to think about this and assume that everything's going to go back to the way it was. At this point, it’s clear that it's not happening. If this was like a one-week event in March of 2020, then obviously people wouldn't have broken any of their habits. If it's six months, you know, maybe that starts to change. If it's a year, two years, certainly everyone would agree if this goes on for 20 years, we're not just going to go back to the way things are. So I think the disagreement is like where is that threshold where like the habits are now deeply ingrained. I think we're well past that. So anyone who's kind of putting off decision making at this point years into the pandemic for how we're going to work is going to suffer as a result and it's not just the strategy. It's like the investment that you make in training people and how to become more effective communicators. It is kind of mind boggling to me how little we invest, and I would include us in that in the category. We do more and more and more but how little people invest in training people to be more effective communicators, to have more effective meetings, to make better use of these tools when that's what people are doing all day. BOSA: Okay, I like this idea of training and we've talked a lot on the employee side of this. But here's another great question. She asks, “What are the skills that managers need to effectively manage a remote slash hybrid workforce?” BUTTERFIELD: That's a great question and I think that a lot of managers’ job satisfaction has plummeted over this period. They're in a much more difficult position kind of, you know, stuck especially people in middle management. I don't mean that in a disparaging way. I just mean like, you know, frontline managers and directors who are responsible for these groups, they have all these new challenges that didn't exist before and the fact that people are working from home means that there's a little bit more of a blend of work and life. There's obviously a lot of stress. There was a lot of illness, there was financial consequences. So they're having to be kind of almost social workers or counselors. The skills I think are really much more on that axis of what we sometimes used to call soft skills, and those become more and more important for for managers. And again, another area where we could truly invest in in training and support and we've definitely started to do that. We've seen other companies trying to do that, but there's much more that we could do to better support those managers. BOSA: It's a great answer. Stewart as we only have a few minutes left, maybe just a big picture question. Where do you think we are five years from now? How many companies are truly, have true hybrid workforces or are remote first? BUTTERFIELD: Yeah, I think it's going to vary not just by company and region, but also kind of by department. As you know, my wife is the CEO of Away, the travel brand. Their product team in contrast to Slack’s product team which is like kind of all digital software making people. If you're designing luggage, it's tough to do that without the other people in the room and evaluating the products. You know, you make prototypes. Same thing is true in architecture. Same thing is obviously true in like TV or movie production. So there are groups of people who, in order to do their work, must be together some of the time or most of the time, and I think we will see more not a hybrid in the sense of like strict remote, strict in office, and now we're going to like 50/50 of them, but more per industry and per function kind of variance in how people work together. BOSA: Yep, certainly seeing that play out. I know my job keeps me in the studio five days a week, which is a good thing because it's worth it. Right. I guess it's making those incentives for the people that need to come in. Stewart, it's great to talk two years on from when we first talked over Zoom on live TV from our new remote studios or makeshift I should call them remote studios. Thanks so much for joining us. BUTTERFIELD: Thank you. Updated on Apr 27, 2022, 3:12 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkApr 27th, 2022

How NFTs are changing the entertainment industry

NFTs are a hot commodity in Hollywood, where players from former Disney CEO Bob Iger to Reese Witherspoon are staking claim to the tech and its potential to generate fresh IP and build fandoms. Vicky Leta/Insider NFTs have become a hot commodity in Hollywood. Major entertainment players from Bob Iger to Reese Witherspoon to Warner Bros. Discovery are jumping in. Some NFTs allow holders to participate in the Hollywood creative and production process. NFTs are ready for their Hollywood close-up. The blockchain-based digital assets — NFT stands for non-fungible token — are a hot commodity in the entertainment industry, where everyone from former Disney CEO Bob Iger to Fox Entertainment to actors Reese Witherspoon and Mila Kunis are staking claim to the tech. On a recent episode of "The Tonight Show," Paris Hilton and host Jimmy Fallon fawned over their respective Bored Apes NFTs. But a lot of people inside and outside of show business are still wrapping their minds around the tech, which has garnered skepticism, not to mention comparisons to the dot-com boom-and-bust.In their most common current form, NFTs function much like digital trading cards or art — unique collectibles that can be acquired and sold. But there are many other applications for the tech, some of which Hollywood is just beginning to explore, including utility NFTs that act as a subscription or a ticket to an event. Read more about non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a unique digital asset built on blockchain technologyWhile some see the ascendance of the tech as a fad, others are loath to miss out on a potential new revenue stream, and the entertainment industry's heaviest hitters are minting and buying NFTs of their own. Hollywood players from Disney ex-CEO Bob Iger to Reese Witherspoon are laying claim to NFTsWitherspoon's media company Hello Sunshine has inked NFT deals to develop TV and film projects, while "Law & Order" mega-producer Dick Wolf has teamed up with Curio to release interactive storytelling project "Wolf Society." The Hollywood mogul who's lent the most credibility to the digital asset is Iger, who invested in and joined the board of Genies, a company that makes digital wearable NFTs. Read more about Disney ex-CEO Bob Iger joining the board of NFT maker Genies, and check out 8 more companies working to drive the future of the digital assets in entertainmentCreators and companies are capitalizing on NFTs in various ways. Fox Entertainment released 10,000 "Miss Masky" NFTs tied to its hit reality show "The Masked Singer" in the hopes that fans of the singing competition will collect, buy, and trade other "Masked Singer" NFTs on the Eluvio platform (which Fox has invested in). Rupert Murdoch's broadcaster Fox was one of the quicker legacy media companies to move into the space with its Blockchain Creative Labs NFT studio. The studio's CEO, Scott Greenberg, who also heads Fox animation studio Bento Box, told Insider he believes NFTs will become a revenue-driving business for Hollywood and not just a market for speculative assets. Fox also has a $100 million creators' fund for NFTs.Read more about insiders' predictions for how Hollywood can maximize NFTs in 2022, from character and IP development to subscription marketingBut just about every media conglomerate and startup is getting in on the action now. Warner Bros. sold out of 100,000 "Matrix Resurrections"-inspired NFTs, and NFT platform OneOf, backed by legendary producer Quincy Jones, auctioned off an NFT of the previously never-heard demo of a Whitney Houson song for almost $1 million. Paramount Global (fka ViacomCBS) — the parent company of MTV, Nickelodeon and CBS — is working with NFT startup RECUR to create its own NFT marketplace. Read more about ViacomCBS' move into the NFT market with possible SpongeBob, Star Trek, and South Park digital tokens What the future of Hollywood's NFT marketplace holds isn't crystal clear, but early adopters are bullish. Early NFT adopters in entertainment see revenue opportunities aheadBlockchain Creative Labs' Greenberg sees the NFT market expanding beyond digital collectibles, while former Fox exec Rich Battista, a Curio investor and adviser, predicts that Hollywood will begin to create IP that is "native to the NFT world."Read more about the 5 biggest NFT trends to watch for in entertainmentActor and producer Kunis, for instance, has invested in NFT animated series "The Gimmicks" through her blockchain entertainment company, Sixth Wall. The studio behind the series, Toonstar, is able to quickly animate weekly episodes that allow "Gimmicks" NFT holders to vote on the direction of the show's storyline. Check out the pitch deck that got Mila Kunis to invest in an NFT animated series and blockchain fan community where NFT holders can vote on storylinesAnd there are entire entertainment companies being erected on a crypto and Web3 foundation, such as Mad Realities, which has raised $6 million in a round led by Paradigm that also includes investments from Bumble's Selby Drummond, Rex Woodbury of Index Ventures, cofounders of the Friends With Benefits DAO, and 11:11 Media — Paris Hilton's media company. Read more about Mad Realities, an NFT-meets-reality-TV entertainment company The allure of allowing industry outsiders to participate in Hollywood's creative process is one factor driving this new business model. For instance, former co-CEO of MGM and Spyglass Entertainment co-founder Roger Birnbaum partnered with AOL scion Mark Kimsey to debut a studio that also allows NFT holders "a deep level of access to various stages of film and television production — from the creative process to development, writing, casting, marketing and distribution," according to their new company Electromagnetic Productions. Read more about former MGM chief Roger Birnbaum and AOL scion Mark Kimsey launching a new Hollywood studio that offers NFT holders a role in production'Even the most traditional Hollywood company is not going to ignore the massive winds of change'Expect more players to jump into the NFT pool in the coming months and years. "Even the most traditional Hollywood company is not going to ignore the massive winds of change that are going to start blowing through," former UTA chief innovation officer Brent Weinstein told Insider. Weinstein, who's now chief development officer at Candle Media — founded by former Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs — is positioned to capitalize on that intersection of legacy media and new modes of storytelling and distribution. "Do I expect the most traditional companies to be leading in this space?" said Weinstein. "Probably not, but I think the smartest of them will take advantage."Read more about former UTA digital exec and current Candle Media exec Brent Weinstein's thoughts on Hollywood's move into the metaverse Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 26th, 2022

What other CEOs can learn from Elon Musk"s aggressive, unorthodox Twitter takeover

"Whether you like him or you hate him, don't miss the opportunity to take a seat and watch him," said one expert who's studied Musk. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is both a model of effective leadership and an example of what not to do.Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP via Getty Images Twitter has accepted Elon Musk's unsolicited offer. The courtship reflects his brash leadership style. It's a playbook that other CEOs can hold up as a case study, to both aspire to and avoid.  CEOs should lean into their vision but avoid Musk's abrasive approach toward management. Elon Musk has succeeded in his unconventional bid to buy Twitter, the company said Monday afternoon, ending a roller-coaster of back-and-forth interactions between the tech CEO and the social media giant."This takeover is typical Elon," Anna Crowley Redding, author of "Elon Musk: A Mission to Save the World" said. "He likes skin in the game, whether it's financial, intellectual, time, he is all in." The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX tweeted mid-April an SEC filing containing an unsolicited offer to buy Twitter for $43 billion, hinted at a tender offer in a cryptic post, then revealed in another SEC filing that he had lined up $46.5 billion to finance the deal.   Twitter will be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Musk for $54.20 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at about $44 billion. The acceptance of the offer marks an about-face by Twitter from the initial lukewarm reception.Musk's Twitter courtship is his latest unorthodox move, and it's typical of how he operates. From reimagining the car industry and trying to colonize Mars to flouting government laws and tweeting whatever is on his mind despite market backlash, Musk shows complete disdain for convention in his personal and business interactions. According to Redding and other experts, Musk has been interested in improving the world of social media, so he decided to do it himself.  His defiance of the status quo, coupled with other key attributes, like his ability to sell his vision and solve problems in innovative ways, provides lessons for other CEOs, leadership experts said. At the same time, Musk's raw outspokenness and his abrasive way of treating people are cautionary tales of what not to do."It's both shocking and classic Elon," David Yoffie, a leadership professor at Harvard Business School who's published research on Musk, said. "It reflects his extreme self-confidence that he can make businesses work where others fail." Musk has an incredible ability to get people onboard with the way he sees the future.Jae C. Hong/APLean into your vision Musk, 50, has an uncanny ability to get consumers, investors, and employees behind his mission, three leadership sources said. His secret is that he taps into people's yearning for inspiration — something the general public is increasingly seeking in its business leaders. Exhibit A: He was able to continuously secure billions in funding even though Tesla didn't report its first full-year profit until 2021, after 18 years in business. Exhibit B: He continues to garner global support for SpaceX despite numerous explosions.   He doesn't just sell companies, he sells answers to big problems weighing on humanity's future, Crowley Redding said. Tesla was his answer to weaning the world off gas, and he coupled eco-friendly transportation with luxury. SpaceX aims to secure humanity's future through space colonization — taking something typically thought of as a far-off, government-only task and making it a private venture, speeding up the mission in the process. Now he's promising a new era for free speech and connectivity. "Twitter has extraordinary potential," Musk said in a letter to the company's leadership. "I will unlock it." "He's an expert in defining the mission, communicating the mission, and getting your employees to buy into that mission," said Crowley Redding, who has researched Musk for four years. "You're not going to work for an Elon Musk company and sit back, come in, and clock in, clock out. You are going to work harder than you've ever worked in your whole life because the stakes are so high."  The takeaway for CEOs and aspiring leaders is to tap into your vision, your purpose, and be clear to all stakeholders about it, said Vitaliy Katsenelson, the CEO of Denver-based investment firm IMA and author of the leadership book, "Soul in the Game." "Musk has soul in the game," Katsenelson, who also wrote "Tesla, Elon Musk and the EV Revolution," said. "You can see it and feel it. He puts his everything into what he's working on." Pouring your everything into your work is something leaders should copy from Musk, Katsenelson added. The tech visionary also convinces people to take the long-term bet on him, said Harvard's Yoffie, author of the leadership book, "Strategy Rules." "He is the most visionary CEO on the planet today," Yoffie said. "He's inspired enough confidence that he can ultimately do these incredible things. That's what gives capital markets the permission to go after these goals long term." Musk has attributed first-principles thinking to his success.Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty ImageLook at things from a different perspectiveIn engineering and physics, there's a mode of thinking called "first-principles thinking," and Musk has attributed it to his success. First-principles thinking is essentially a consideration of how you would solve a given problem if you were an alien who's never seen or heard of the problem before. Pay no mind to how things have been done in the past, and reject every prior assumption so you can start fresh. Embracing this mindset has driven Musk's hiring decisions and what he demands of his workers. Imagine, for example, designing car-door handles one way your whole career and then being asked to come up with something completely different. Then, feeling satisfied with your new design, you're told to scrap it and create a completely new one for the next model. Such is life under the world's greatest visionary."He wanted people to say, 'Well, we've always done things this way because of X reason, but maybe we could do it another way if we disregard Y,'" Tim Higgins, author of "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century," said. "It was sort of a startup mentality." Musk smoked weed on a podcast.The Joe Rogan Experience/YouTubeBe authentic, but to a point Musk has done things most business leaders would get fired for, some more serious than others. He smoked weed while taping a podcast with Joe Rogan, and that same year called a rescue diver in the 2018 Thai cave-rescue mission a "pedo," a slur for a pedophile (he later apologized). He also kicked off a legal battle with the Securities Exchange Commission after tweeting he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 per share, which Musk at one point said was a joke about weed. In 2017, SpaceX put out a compilation video mocking its many rocket explosions and failures.  "There are clearly things that he's doing that most people are not going to be able to get away with in their normal, day-to-day careers," Higgins said.  What makes Musk so engaging — and bulletproof — is his authenticity, said Crowley Redding. Musk has built a reputation for being unapologetically himself, something few image-conscious CEOs can pull off. For instance, she noted how Musk's responses in interviews don't appear to be pre-written. She also said that CEOs shouldn't replicate some of the more wild things Musk has said and done, but it wouldn't hurt most executives to be a bit more off the cuff to seem relatable.  "CEOs often focus on projecting confidence and perfection and poise at the expense of identifying the problem they're trying to solve and working to solve the problem," Crowley Redding said. "Elon is unconcerned with people thinking he's perfect." Musk is reported to be an abrasive leader.HANNIBAL HANSCHKE /Getty ImagesKnow how and when to break the rules Musk is desperate to find answers to big problems, so he seeks the most innovative solutions. Many times, that means he breaks the rules or veers from convention — for better or worse — Crowley Redding said.While breaking the rules has been a driver of innovation at his companies, it's also led Musk to become ensnared in a number of messy, public legal battles. Musk currently faces SEC trouble over potential securities-law violations for filing notice of his ownership stake in Twitter later than required. In 2017, the National Labor Relations Board found him guilty of breaking labor laws for his tweets threatening employees over unionization efforts. "He has a tendency to be reckless," Harvard Business School's Yoffie said.  Musk also breaks some of the rules regarding how leaders should treat employees. "He has a very good eye for hiring talent, but the problem over time has been he doesn't always listen to that talent and he burns through them very quickly," Higgins said. "They leave either because they've given up on him, they've burned out on him, or he's burned out on them."  There have been multiple reports of stress- and exhaustion-driven injuries at Tesla and rampant burnout."The worst part is the toxicity that Elon creates — unrealistic stretch targets without a realistic plan in order to achieve them," one former manager who worked directly with Musk previously told Insider. "It's a culture in which, if you don't have a solution to a problem and you don't have that problem resolved within a few days or a week or two, you're gone." Yoffie likened Musk's leadership style to the late Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs, who was said to have been unkind to employees on multiple occasions. "Without question, he could be more empathetic," Yoffie said of Musk. "Like Jobs, Musk has done things that are characteristic of bad leadership, specifically treating people very poorly."  Higgins, the author and Wall Street Journal reporter, agreed. "The question I think is, 'How long can Elon get away with some of this stuff?'"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 25th, 2022

Elon Musk says Neuralink"s brain chip will be "similar in complexity level to smart watches"

Elon Musk has said in the past that Neuralink's brain chip represents the "future" of smartwatches and phones. Elon Musk says Neuralink's AI brain chip will be "similar in complexity level to smart watches."Associated Press Elon Musk is looking for smartwatch employees to join Neuralink's team. Musk has said in the past that the company's brain chip is the "future" of smartwatches and phones. Musk said Neuralink is on track to start implanting its tech into humans by the end of the year. Elon Musk compared Neuralink's brain chip to a smartwatch.On Sunday, the founder of the brain-interface technology company invited smartwatch employees and people that had worked on phones to come work for Neuralink. He said that the skills developed at a wearable-tech company would be "directly applicable" to Neuralink's device, even if a person has no experience with artificial intelligence."It is an electronics/mechanical/software engineering problem for the Neuralink device that is similar in complexity level to smart watches (which are not easy!)," Musk said on Twitter.—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 24, 2022 It was not the first time that the billionaire drew a correlation between Neuralink's device and a smartwatch or phone. In 2020, Musk said the brain chip — which he has said will be able to do anything from cure neurological diseases like Parkinson's to help people communicate through text or voice messages — will be the "future" of phones and smartwatches.The smartwatch industry has faced several hurdles. When Apple launched into the industry in 2014, design experts said wearable tech faced difficulties when it came to reducing increasingly sophisticated technology down to a small, one-inch watch screen, plus not overwhelming a consumer with information.Neuralink could be facing similar concerns. In his tweet Sunday, Musk said Neuralink is in the midst of developing its surgical robot, a machine that could help address some of the difficulties the company has faced when it comes to developing a device small enough to implant into the human brain. Last year, a Neuralink engineer said in a promotional video that the electrodes in the chip were "too small for a human to handle."More recently, the Neuralink founder said the brain chip implant could also help treat morbid obesity. Experts previously told Insider the idea was not implausible, though a commercially available obesity-busting brain chip is a long way off."We're working on bridging broken links between brain & body," Musk said on Twitter on Sunday. He added that using the implant to treat obesity was "certainly physically possible."Musk said on Sunday that the company is on track to launch human trials and transition from implanting its chips in monkeys to humans by the end of the year. In January, the company posted a job opening for a clinical trial director to oversee human trials and manage communication with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).Musk has been teasing human trials for several years. In 2019, the billionaire said that the program would begin testing on humans as early as 2020. Last year, he said trials would start by the end of 2021 and that he was in "close communication with the FDA."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 25th, 2022

From Kim Kardashian to Rihanna, meet the only 8 Hollywood A-listers who are billionaires

The group of eight celebrities, which includes Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Rihanna, is collectively worth $15.6 billion. From left to right: Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Rihanna.Ronald Martinez/Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Eight Hollywood celebrities were named in Forbes' World's Billionaires List this year. The group of eight celebrities is collectively worth $15.6 billion. Film mogul Steven Spielberg is the wealthiest celebrity on this year's list, with a net worth of $3.7 billion. Every year since 1987, Forbes has released a ranking of the wealthiest individuals in the world.Hollywood sign in Los Angeles.Perseomed/iStock Editorial/Getty Images PlusForbes' World's Billionaires List compiles the documented net worths of billionaires around the globe and their sources of wealth. There are 2,668 billionaires on this year's list — and only eight of them are Hollywood stars.To create the list, Forbes said it interviews sources and asks billionaires for documentation of their assets. Private and public stakes in businesses are also taken into account when calculating net worth. In 2019, Forbes' list generated a wave of controversy when it named Kylie Jenner — of Kardashian family fame and wealth — the world's youngest self-made billionaire. Forbes later retracted its claim that Jenner was worth a billion dollars and lowered its estimate of her wealth to be closer to  $900 million.Keep reading for a look at the only eight Hollywood A-listers who made the billionaires list in 2022. Entrants are arranged from least to most wealthy.8. Film director and actor Tyler Perry has a net worth of $1 billion.Tyler Perry.Theo Wargo/WireImage/GettyFamous for: Perry is best known for playing the "large and in charge matriarch" Madea. Perry has created multiple television and film franchises based on the character, which have collectively grossed over $660 million, according to Forbes.How he rose to fame: Perry rose to fame by directing, playing, and writing the play "I Can Do Bad All by Myself" (1999), his first project to feature Madea.How he made his wealth: Perry owns the rights to all materials in the "Madea" franchises, and owns a 25% stake in streaming service BET+, per Forbes.Luxury assets: Perry sold his Atlanta estate for $15 million in 2020. He also used to own a Gulfstream V, which costs at least $36 million. He sold the plane in 2018, according to a blog post by televangelist Kenneth Copeland, the jet's buyer.7. Rapper and producer Jay-Z is worth $1.3 billion, which he made from business ventures in the alcohol beverage industry.Jay-Z.Leon Bennett/FilmMagicFamous for: Jay-Z founded record label Roc-a-Fella in 1995 and went on to build a music empire. He founded entertainment and management company Roc Nation in 2008. The rapper and producer has won 24 Grammy Awards.How he rose to fame: Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life" (1999) was his first top 20 song in the Billboard Hot 100 as a soloist, according to Billboard.How he made his wealth: Most of Jay-Z's wealth comes from his ventures in the alcohol industry. Armand de Brignac, a Champagne company he co-owns with LVMH, is worth $310 million, according to Forbes. Another venture, D'Usse, which he partially owns with Bacardi, is worth $100 million, the publication reported. His stakes in companies like Uber and Tidal are also worth $70 million and $100 million respectively, per Forbes.Luxury assets: Jay-Z's real-estate portfolio is worth $50 million, Forbes reported in 2019. He bought a Bel Air mansion with his wife Beyonce for $90 million in 2017, per the Los Angeles Times. He also owns a $40 million Bombardier Challenger 850. 6. Film director Peter Jackson, who is worth $1.5 billion, made the Forbes' Billionaires List for the first time this year.Peter Jackson.Albert L. Ortega/WireImage/Getty ImagesFamous for: Jackson is best known for directing "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy (2001-2003), "The Hobbit" trilogy (2012-2014), and "King Kong" (2005). His films have grossed more than $6.5 billion at the box office, making him the fourth-highest-grossing film director in history.How he rose to fame: Jackson's first installment of "The Lord of the Rings" was his first blockbuster, grossing almost $900 million.How he made his wealth: Jackson sold part of his visual effects company, Weta Digital, to video-game software company Unity Software for $1.6 billion in 2021, according to Forbes. Jackson and his life partner own a majority stake of 60% in the company, per the publication.Luxury assets: Jackson's real-estate portfolio is worth 150 million New Zealand dollars ($99.7 million), the New Zealand Herald reported in 2018, citing data collected by financial services company CoreLogic. Most of his properties are located in New Zealand. Jackson also owns a Gulfstream G650, which costs around $65 million.5. Singer and cosmetics mogul Rihanna, who has a net worth of $1.7 billion, is the first Barbadian billionaire.Rihanna.Steven Ferdman/Getty ImagesFamous for: Rihanna is best known for her chart-topping albums "Unapologetic" (2012) and "Anti" (2016). She has sold more than 250 million records, and 14 of her songs have topped the Billboard Hot 100. She founded cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty in 2017.How she rose to fame: Rihanna's first international hit was "Umbrella" (2007), which was certified 7x Platinum in the US, and sold more than six million copies worldwide.How she made her wealth: Forbes estimates that the majority of Rihanna's fortune comes from the value of Fenty Beauty. Rihanna's 50% stake in Fenty is said to be worth $1.4 billion, while her lingerie brand Savage x Fenty nets her around $270 million, the publication reported.Luxury assets: Rihanna has a "vast" real estate portfolio, according to Architectural Digest. She has two Beverly Hills mansions, which she bought for $10 million and $13.8 million respectively in 2021. She also owns properties in Hollywood and Barbados, AD reported.4. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian has a net worth of $1.8 billion.Kim Kardashian.Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for ABAFamous for: Kardashian is best known for starring in the reality TV show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" since 2004. She is also one of the most-followed Instagram users in the world, with over 300 million followers. Kardashian is the face and founder of cosmetic line KKW Fragrance and shapewear brand Skims.How she rose to fame: Kardashian was publicly known as socialite Paris Hilton's best friend in the early 2000s. Her 2007 sex tape with singer Ray-J made headlines when Vivid Entertainment released it as a home movie.How she made her wealth: Kardashian sold a 20% stake of KKW to cosmetic company Coty in 2020 for $200 million, Forbes reported. Her remaining stake in KKW is valued at $500 million, the publication estimated in another report. She has also made at least $225 million with her majority stake in Skims, per Forbes.Luxury assets: Kardashian owned $100 million worth of real estate with her ex-husband Kanye West. After their divorce, Kardashian paid $23 million for full ownership of their then-shared compound in Calabasas, according to the New York Post. Kardashian also reportedly owns a Gulfstream G650ER, which is priced from $66 million. 3. Rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, is worth $2 billion.Kanye West.Brad Barket/Getty ImagesFamous for: West is one of the most famous rappers in the world. He has sold over 160 million records and won 24 Grammy Awards. He is also known for his fashion and creative projects, which include streetwear label Yeezy.How he rose to fame: West's collaboration with rapper Twista and singer Jamie Foxx in "Slow Jamz "(2003) became his first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. When his album "The College Dropout" was released in 2004, it sold more than 3.3 million copies. It is West's best-selling album to date.How he made his wealth: The majority of West's wealth comes from Yeezy, according to Forbes: He has made $1.5 billion from the brand. West's publishing rights earn him around $90 million a year.Luxury assets: West owned almost $100 million worth of property until his divorce from Kim Kardashian. Some of his biggest real-estate purchases include a mansion in Malibu, which he bought for $57 million in 2021.2. Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey is worth $2.6 billion.Oprah Winfrey.Steve Granitz/Wire Image/Getty ImagesFamous for: Winfrey is nicknamed the "Queen of All Media." She became the first Black female billionaire in 2003. The Oprah Winfrey Show ran for 25 years and is the highest-rated daytime talk show in US television history.How she rose to fame: Winfrey garnered a national following after launching her talk show in 1986. Many viewers tuned in to her talk show to watch her interview high-profile personalities like Michael Jackson and Rihanna.How she made her wealth: Winfrey made most of her fortune from her ownership of the Oprah Winfrey Show, according to Bloomberg. In 2018 alone, she made more than $427 million from her stake in weight-loss firm Weight Watchers International, the publication reported.Luxury assets: Winfrey has owned real estate in Illinois, Florida, Hawaii, Colorado, Washington, Tennessee, and Indiana. Winfrey paid $50 million for a 42-acre compound in Montecito in 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing local real-estate sources. Winfrey reportedly bought a $25 million Gulfstream G4 jet in 1991.1. Film director Steven Spielberg has a fortune of $3.7 billion, which he made from producing Hollywood blockbusters.Steven Spielberg.Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesFamous for: Spielberg is a three-time Academy Award-winning director. Among his films are "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (1983), "Schindler's List" (1994), and "Saving Private Ryan" (1999).How he rose to fame: Spielberg's 1975 film "Jaws," which grossed $472 million at the box office, put him on the map.How he made his wealth: Spielberg made most of his wealth from project fees. He has amassed over $2.5 billion in fees and profit participation in films and television deals, according to Bloomberg. Spielberg's films have grossed more than $25 billion, per the publication.Luxury assets: Spielberg owned a superyacht named Seven Seas, which he sold for $150 million in November 2021, according to Forbes. He sold his beachfront Malibu compound for $26 million in 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing property records. Spielberg owns a 20,000-square-foot estate in Los Angeles. He also reportedly owns a $70 million Gulfstream G650 private jet.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 25th, 2022

HVS 1Q22: Interview With WCM Investment Management

Hidden Value Stocks issue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, featuring an interview with WCM Investment Management, discussing their investment approach. Interview With WCM Investment Management’s Andrew Wiechert Andrew’s primary responsibilities are portfolio management and equity research for WCM’s global value strategies. Prior to joining WCM in 2007, Andrew began his investment career […] Hidden Value Stocks issue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, featuring an interview with WCM Investment Management, discussing their investment approach. Interview With WCM Investment Management’s Andrew Wiechert Andrew’s primary responsibilities are portfolio management and equity research for WCM’s global value strategies. Prior to joining WCM in 2007, Andrew began his investment career in 2006 at BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Andrew earned his B.S. in Economics and Management Science from the University of California, San Diego, where he graduated with honors. DREW FRENCH Portfolio Manager & Business Analyst Drew’s primary responsibilities are portfolio management and equity research for WCM’s global value strategies. Drew’s investment career began when he joined WCM Investment Management in 2013, first as Portfolio Associate, and later as Marketing & Communications Manager. Drew earned his B.A. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Could you give our readers a bit of background on WCM? Drew: Absolutely, Rupert. WCM is a 76-person investment management firm based in Laguna Beach, CA. We manage ~$107 billion in assets (as of 31 December 2021), predominantly focusing on institutional client relationships. Our primary goal is to generate long-term, sustainable excess returns for clients through a culture of innovation, close alignment of employee incentives with client objectives, and a flat power structure that fosters meritocracy and critical debate. To this end, we strive to mitigate risk for our clients, focusing our attention on downside protection, low volatility, and low turnover. The firm was founded in 1976, but we didn’t adopt our institutional focus until the current management team bought out the original founder in the late nineties. The single most important lesson we learned during our transformation from a $200 million RIA to $100 billion institutional asset management firm is how critical a role corporate culture plays in the success of an organization. We have been incredibly intentional about building a culture focused on our core values of having fun, showing gratitude, and serving others. We believe it’s people that ultimately drive results, so we want to foster a culture that empowers our people and encourages them to think different and get better. We have also been committed to passing down equity to the next generation of investors and leaders at the firm. Today, over 50% of our employees have an equity stake in the firm, and we have 11 principal owners with an equity stake of 1% or more. Our Global Growth Equity Team is responsible for the majority of our assets under management, managing strategies across international, global, and emerging markets. My co-PM, Andrew Wiechert, and I are responsible for WCM’s Global Value Equity enterprise, along with Sachin Kashyap, a business analyst dedicated to our team. Why do you believe your approach differs from that of other value-focused funds? Andrew: You know, Rupert, I’m confident that there isn’t another value manager approaching markets the same way we are here at WCM. Back when we launched Focused International Value in 2011, we approached the market with the belief that international indices are structurally inefficient, and that we could exploit these inefficiencies from several angles. First, we believe our portfolio possesses a significant structural advantage. If you look at the benchmarks outside the US—and this is especially true in emerging markets— they’re filled with basic commodities, poorly run banks, and utilities. It’s our firm’s view that as emerging-economy consumers gain higher disposable incomes, they will do what developed-economy consumers have done for decades: expand their use of technology, seek out higher quality, branded consumer goods, and demand more comprehensive healthcare. Fortuitously, our bottom-up process for identifying great investments naturally leads us to emphasize discounted, high-quality businesses in these same sectors (e.g., consumer, technology, health care, and niche industrials). In other words, our process drives toward the sectors and industries benefitting from where the world is headed. This means our portfolio not only looks materially different than the benchmark, but that it also stands to meaningfully benefit from the global, emerging middle class. This positions our portfolio in front of a multi-decade tailwind, where the sources of real value creation will come from the sectors we emphasize. This is in stark contrast to many traditional value funds, who tend to bargain hunt in more cyclical sectors or industries that tend to be facing long-term headwinds. To be clear, we don’t believe value investing needs to be—or should be—a sector bet on these typically lower-quality subsections of the market. Second, and more importantly, we believe our process has a significant stock-selection advantage. This derives from our framework for identifying successful businesses that we can purchase at discounted-entry points. While we know valuation is critical to identifying investments with the best risk/ reward profiles, we are also convinced that quality wins over time. And while our frontend valuation discipline certainly produces an attractive opportunity set, we believe our focus on identifying businesses with strengthening competitive advantages (“economic moats”) and superior corporate cultures is what truly propels the probability of outperforming over the long-term. Moreover, we believe pairing our valuation discipline with our long-term time horizon and our emphasis on quality ends up highlighting unique businesses that are easily overlooked by other investors. We believe there is a false dichotomy between value and growth investing that has been growing over the past several decades. As both camps become more entrenched in their way of investing, we believe our process allows us to exploit the growing opportunity set in between. Third, and perhaps most importantly, we believe we have a temperament advantage. This derives from our efforts to build a culture at WCM that fosters humility, absence of fear, audacious / different thinking, and continuous learning. As we’ve done that, we’ve come to believe that a culture which attracts and keeps the best people is not only important to the success of our firm, but that it is important to the success of any organization, and, in particular, to the businesses we want to own. Ultimately, it is great people that keep a business squarely in front of the important “tailwinds”, and it is great people that nurture the competitive advantage to grow year after year. We think that building these concepts into our own culture and into our process is why our small team has exhibited the judgment and temperament necessary for long-term success. You say you start the idea generation process with a “series of quantitative screens.” Could you offer our readers some idea of the sort of metrics you’re screening for in this initial step? Andrew: There might be some doubts about this after the last 10 years or so, but we believe valuation is absolutely critical to the risk/reward profile of any investment, and we believe that price is going to be a much more important factor for returns in the next 10 years than it has been in the past decade or so. This belief is why we’ve always put valuation at the front-end of our process, as it ensures that we’re fishing in the right pond—e.g., the top three deciles of the most undervalued stocks in the non-US universe. That said, we don’t think there is anything magical about our screening process. By design, they are incredibly simple and focus only on the factors we think best represent value across all sectors and industries. Our initial criterion consists of simply eliminating companies with a market cap less than $2 billion. This initial step alone reduces the entire non-U.S. universe to about 2,000 names. Our secondary set of criteria consists of a simple six-factor screen that ranks the remaining international universe based on: Valuation (P/E, P/B, P/CF, Dividend Yield); Financial strength (Price/Net Assets); and Relative strength (EPS estimate revisions). This screen limits our universe to~600 names for consideration. Our next step, we would argue, adds the most value to the “narrowing” process, and to our subsequent returns. This step includes seeking businesses with: Favorable and long-term economic tailwinds; High or rising return on invested capital (“ROIC”). This suggests the presence of an economic moat; Low or no debt. We don’t have a precise standard on this but generally speaking, we use a net debt/EBITDA threshold of about 2.5x; High or rising operating margins; History of consistent and sustainable earnings, revenues, and free cash flows; and Relative price strength. This set of hurdles narrows the universe to a very manageable list of ~200 names. From this narrowed universe, we are actively following ~100 names for consideration. From this list, we construct a portfolio of 40- 50 high-quality businesses that we believe are attractively valued, are supported by longterm tailwinds, are growing their competitive advantages, and are aligned with superior corporate cultures. Lastly, the final portfolio is diversified not just across sector, industry, country, currency, and revenue, but also across our own distinct sub-categorizations—our traditional, transitional, and opportunistic value profiles. While growing economic moats and superior corporate cultures are barriers to entry for all three of these profiles, the criteria we seek beyond these factors will depend on the value profile we assign to the company. For traditional value, we primarily seek strong operators with more predictable earnings and free cash flows. For transitional value, we are primarily looking for signs of inflection points in the business (e.g., a narrative shift, product mix shift, or cultural turnaround). Ultimately, we believe these names have the potential to transition from value names to growth names during our holding period. Lastly, for opportunistic value, we are seeking high-quality businesses that experience a short-term period of what we believe to be unjustified multiple compression, thereby giving us and our investors a deeply discounted entry point. Updated on Apr 18, 2022, 4:08 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkApr 18th, 2022

Thoughts on Leadership: Lessons From the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

This week my travels found me starting Monday at home with my typical WIG calls then traveling to Atlanta, Georgia for the Realty Alliance General Membership Meeting. The conference was filled with valuable takeaways and insights from trailblazers, disruptors, and visionaries in the world of real estate and beyond. There was one keynote that had […] The post Thoughts on Leadership: Lessons From the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company appeared first on RISMedia. This week my travels found me starting Monday at home with my typical WIG calls then traveling to Atlanta, Georgia for the Realty Alliance General Membership Meeting. The conference was filled with valuable takeaways and insights from trailblazers, disruptors, and visionaries in the world of real estate and beyond. There was one keynote that had a particular impact on me, delivered by Horst Schulze, co-founder, and former president of the Ritz-Carlton Company. I’ve written about the Ritz-Carlton Gold Standard for operations before, but to refresh your memory these are a few of the Gold Standard values that guide the company and its team members to operate with impeccable service and the highest standards of performance, execution and leadership: I build strong relationships and create guests for life. I am empowered to create unique, memorable, and personal experiences for our guests. I continuously seek opportunities to innovate and improve customer experience. I own and immediately resolve problems. I create a work environment of teamwork and lateral service so that the needs of our guests and each other are met. I am involved in the planning of the work that affects me. I have the opportunity to continuously learn and grow. In his presentation, Horst Schulze told an interesting story that is the epitome of accountability in action. He said that if there was an underperforming hotel, he would give the general manager three months to turn things around; if they didn’t, he’d go to the hotel, sit in the GM’s office, and have the GM sit in the corner and watch Schulze turn hotel operations around. Talk about accountability! Here are a few other lessons from Schulze: Top performers pick up the trash. What’s one trait of a top performer? They pick up the trash, says Schulze. When something isn’t taken care of, they’re not afraid to get their hands dirty and do it themselves. Wait around for someone else to do a job you may not want to do, and you’ll be waiting forever. And who can perform if they’re just sitting there waiting for something to happen? Make it happen yourself, Schulze explains. Don’t ever be late. To Schulze, one of the greatest insults is tardiness. He says it doesn’t matter if you’re thirty seconds or thirty minutes late; when you’re late, you’re late and it is a sign of disrespect and a lack of care. You arranged for someone else to meet you at a particular time and place (even if it’s virtually), you have a duty to be there at that exact moment, too. Managers push, leaders inspire. Managers control the hierarchy of an organization, says Schulze but they don’t have real buy-in when it comes to the overall success of the team or their ability to inspire their team to reach new levels of greatness; they simply care that profits are increasing and the business is growing. A leader is someone who gets that team members to want to do their job. They know an inspired employee is a passionate employee and that dedication to excellence spills out into all aspects of the company. Excellent customer service can cost you – and that’s OK. At the Ritz-Carlton, it was common practice to spend money to keep guests happy. In fact, every employee could spend up to $2,000 per guest, per incident to right a wrong. Sometimes this meant purchasing a meal for a guest who was dissatisfied but sometimes, it was even more extensive. At the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun, Mexico, for example, hotel employees used that money to buy metal detectors when a young couple on their honeymoon lost their wedding band on the beach. At another location, one guest – a mother with a two-year-old son – realized her son lost his favorite Thomas & Friends train toy while they were packing up to leave the hotel and head to the airport. Frantic, the mother mentioned the missing toy to one of the Ritz-Carlton employees and called the loss “heartbreaking.” The employees helped the mother search for the toy to no avail, so they simply went to the nearest toy store and purchased a new one for the woman’s son. They gave it to him with a note that said, ‘Thomas took a long vacation but he’s back now and included a few photos of the Thomas toy in various locations around the hotel. The mother said she would tell anyone she met that Ritz-Carlton won her business for life. So, what’s the message? Horst Schulze is widely regarded as an icon in the service and hospitality industry, not only because he led his company with excellence but also because he instilled the idea that excellence should not be a sometimes-endeavor; it is an always-endeavor and with perpetual improvement, impeccable service, and an empowered team, you can achieve this excellence no matter what business you’re in or what customers you serve. This article is adapted from Blefari’s weekly, company-wide “Thoughts on Leadership” column from HomeServices of America. The post Thoughts on Leadership: Lessons From the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaApr 18th, 2022

Elon Musk"s Twitter bid reflects his outrageous and brash leadership style. Here"s what leaders can take away from it.

"Whether you like him or you hate him, don't miss the opportunity to take a seat and watch him," said one expert who's studied Musk. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is both a model of effective leadership and an example of what not to do.Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP via Getty Images Elon Musk's hostile bid to buy Twitter reflects his brash leadership style, experts said. It's a style that other CEOs can hold up as a case study, to both aspire to and avoid.  CEOs should lean into their vision but avoid Musk's abrasive approach toward management. Elon Musk on Thursday offered to buy Twitter for $43 billion, capping an eventful two weeks of back and forth with leaders from the social-media giant. The move was unexpected, unconventional, and typical of Musk's leadership style."It's both shocking and classic Elon," David Yoffie, a leadership professor at Harvard Business School who's published research on Musk, said. "It reflects his extreme self-confidence that he can make businesses work where others fail." The Tesla and SpaceX CEO's Twitter bid is his latest unorthodox move. From reimagining the car industry and trying to colonize Mars to flouting government laws and tweeting whatever is on his mind despite market backlash, Musk shows complete disdain for convention in his personal and business interactions. His defiance of the status quo, coupled with other key attributes, like his ability to sell his vision and solve problems in innovative ways, provides lessons for other CEOs, leadership experts said. At the same time, Musk's raw outspokenness and his abrasive way of treating people are cautionary tales of what not to do."Whether you like him or you hate him, don't miss the opportunity to take a seat and watch him," Anna Crowley Redding, author of "Elon Musk: A Mission to Save the World," said. "What he's doing and how he's doing it is fascinating."Musk has an incredible ability to get people onboard with the way he sees the future.Jae C. Hong/APLean into your vision Musk, 50, has an uncanny ability to get consumers, investors, and employees behind his mission, three leadership sources said. His secret is that he taps into people's yearning for inspiration — something the general public is increasingly seeking in its business leaders. Exhibit A: He was able to continuously secure billions in funding even though Tesla didn't report its first full-year profit until 2021, after 18 years in business. Exhibit B: He continues to garner global support for SpaceX despite numerous explosions.   He doesn't just sell companies, he sells answers to big problems weighing on humanity's future, Crowley Redding said. Tesla was his answer to weaning the world off gas, and he coupled eco-friendly transportation with luxury. SpaceX aims to secure humanity's future through space colonization — taking something typically thought of as a far-off, government-only task and making it a private venture, speeding up the mission in the process. Now he's promising a new era for free speech and connectivity. "Twitter has extraordinary potential," Musk said in a letter to the company's leadership. "I will unlock it." "He's an expert in defining the mission, communicating the mission, and getting your employees to buy into that mission," said Crowley Redding, who has researched Musk for four years. "You're not going to work for an Elon Musk company and sit back, come in, and clock in, clock out. You are going to work harder than you've ever worked in your whole life because the stakes are so high."  The takeaway for CEOs and aspiring leaders is to tap into your vision, your purpose, and be clear to all stakeholders about it, said Vitaliy Katsenelson, the CEO of Denver-based investment firm IMA and author of the leadership book, "Soul in the Game." "Musk has soul in the game," Katsenelson, who also wrote "Tesla, Elon Musk and the EV Revolution," said. "You can see it and feel it. He puts his everything into what he's working on." Pouring your everything into your work is something leaders should copy from Musk, Katsenelson added. The tech visionary also convinces people to take the long-term bet on him, said Harvard's Yoffie, author of the leadership book, "Strategy Rules." "He is the most visionary CEO on the planet today," Yoffie said. "He's inspired enough confidence that he can ultimately do these incredible things. That's what gives capital markets the permission to go after these goals long term." Musk has attributed first-principles thinking to his success.Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty ImageLook at things from a different perspectiveIn engineering and physics, there's a mode of thinking called "first-principles thinking," and Musk has attributed it to his success. First-principles thinking is essentially a consideration of how you would solve a given problem if you were an alien who's never seen or heard of the problem before. Pay no mind to how things have been done in the past, and reject every prior assumption so you can start fresh. Embracing this mindset has driven Musk's hiring decisions and what he demands of his workers. Imagine, for example, designing car-door handles one way your whole career and then being asked to come up with something completely different. Then, feeling satisfied with your new design, you're told to scrap it and create a completely new one for the next model. Such is life under the world's greatest visionary."He wanted people to say, 'Well, we've always done things this way because of X reason, but maybe we could do it another way if we disregard Y,'" Tim Higgins, author of "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century," said. "It was sort of a startup mentality." Musk smoked weed on a podcast.The Joe Rogan Experience/YouTubeBe authentic, but to a point Musk has done things most business leaders would get fired for, some more serious than others. He smoked weed while taping a podcast with Joe Rogan, and that same year called a rescue diver in the 2018 Thai cave-rescue mission a "pedo," a slur for a pedophile (he later apologized). He also kicked off a legal battle with the Securities Exchange Commission after tweeting he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 per share, which Musk at one point said was a joke about weed. In 2017, SpaceX put out a compilation video mocking its many rocket explosions and failures.  "There are clearly things that he's doing that most people are not going to be able to get away with in their normal, day-to-day careers," Higgins said.  What makes Musk so engaging — and bulletproof — is his authenticity, said Crowley Redding. Musk has built a reputation for being unapologetically himself, something few image-conscious CEOs can pull off. For instance, she noted how Musk's responses in interviews don't appear to be pre-written. She also said that CEOs shouldn't replicate some of the more wild things Musk has said and done, but it wouldn't hurt most executives to be a bit more off the cuff to seem relatable.  "CEOs often focus on projecting confidence and perfection and poise at the expense of identifying the problem they're trying to solve and working to solve the problem," Crowley Redding said. "Elon is unconcerned with people thinking he's perfect." Musk is reported to be an abrasive leader.HANNIBAL HANSCHKE /Getty ImagesKnow how and when to break the rules Musk is desperate to find answers to big problems, so he seeks the most innovative solutions. Many times, that means he breaks the rules or veers from convention — for better or worse — Crowley Redding said.While breaking the rules has been a driver of innovation at his companies, it's also led Musk to become ensnared in a number of messy, public legal battles. Musk currently faces SEC trouble over potential securities-law violations for filing notice of his ownership stake in Twitter later than required. In 2017, the National Labor Relations Board found him guilty of breaking labor laws for his tweets threatening employees over unionization efforts. "He has a tendency to be reckless," Harvard Business School's Yoffie said.  Musk also breaks some of the rules regarding how leaders should treat employees. "He has a very good eye for hiring talent, but the problem over time has been he doesn't always listen to that talent and he burns through them very quickly," Higgins said. "They leave either because they've given up on him, they've burned out on him, or he's burned out on them."  There have been multiple reports of stress- and exhaustion-driven injuries at Tesla and rampant burnout."The worst part is the toxicity that Elon creates — unrealistic stretch targets without a realistic plan in order to achieve them," one former manager who worked directly with Musk previously told Insider. "It's a culture in which, if you don't have a solution to a problem and you don't have that problem resolved within a few days or a week or two, you're gone." Yoffie likened Musk's leadership style to the late Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs, who was said to have been unkind to employees on multiple occasions. "Without question, he could be more empathetic," Yoffie said of Musk. "Like Jobs, Musk has done things that are characteristic of bad leadership, specifically treating people very poorly."  Higgins, the author and Wall Street Journal reporter, agreed. "The question I think is, 'How long can Elon get away with some of this stuff?'"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 15th, 2022

How college athletes are getting paid from brand sponsorships as NIL marketing takes off

Insider is tracking student-athlete marketing after the NCAA changed its name, image, and likeness rule. Here's a breakdown of our coverage. Wide receiver Treylon Burks of the Arkansas Razorbacks runs the ball during a game against the Auburn Tigers on October 16, 2021.Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. In 2021, student-athletes gained the right to make money from their names, images, and likenesses. Athletes, universities, startups, and brands have spent months learning how to best navigate the new NIL world. Here's a breakdown of Insider's recent coverage on student-athlete marketing and NIL activity. On July 1, after a decades-long fight, student-athletes across the country gained the right to make money from their names, images, and likenesses (NIL) thanks to a flurry of new state laws and an NCAA policy change.What happened next was a mad rush of student-athletes, small businesses, national brands, and startups looking to cash in.Some athletes in widely followed sports scored deals worth five or six figures. But many of the 460,000-plus student-athletes across the US ended up working with local businesses, like restaurants, or participating in one-off marketing campaigns with bigger brands, receiving free products, gift cards, or smaller cash payments, rather than big pay days, for their NIL promotions.University of Nebraska football players pose with burritos in a brand partnership with local restaurant Muchachos.Nick Maestas.In addition to brand deals, student-athletes have run branded training clinics and have been paid for appearances and autograph signings.Unlike professional influencers, college athletes tend to have small audiences on social media. In the influencer world, these athletes would be classified as "micro" (generally under 100,000 followers) or "nano" (generally under 10,000) influencers — an area of increasing focus for marketers."You don't have to have 40,000 followers or even 10,000, 5,000 followers to take advantage of these [NIL] rules," Christopher Aumueller, the CEO of the athlete-marketing and brand development upstart FanWord, told Insider. "Those small deals, while they may be small in monetary value, they may go a very long ways for these student-athletes. A couple hundred dollars here and there can make a big impact for some of these young men and women."Read more about how student-athletes with small social-media followings are cashing in on the NIL gold rushOne company that leaned into nano-influencer marketing for its first student-athlete campaign was The Vitamin Shoppe, which hired 14 college players for a campaign.The company worked with sports-marketing company OpenSponsorship to identify 14 student-athletes across a wide range of sports, from golf and cross country to volleyball and cheerleading. All of the athletes had under 10,000 Instagram followers.Each athlete was given about $100 worth of free products, including a set of whey and plant protein, a True Athlete performance supplement, and a shake bottle, in exchange for promoting the brand on social media."The micro-influencer trend has become popular because when you get people with smaller followings, with smaller networks, the things that they promote or suggest come off as more genuine," Dustin Elliott, a senior brand manager at The Vitamin Shoppe, told Insider.Read more about how the company boosted its social-media engagement by hiring college athletes from niche sports like golf and cheerleadingIn a few states, even high school athletes are starting to get in on the NIL action. Jaden Rashada, a quarterback for Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California, signed a sponsorship deal with the recruiting app AIR in December."Who better to talk about recruiting from a marketing perspective than someone that has just gone through it or someone that is actively going through it currently," AIR's founder James Sackville told Insider. Read more about how a high school football star landed his first brand sponsorship dealLSU golfer Hayden White recently worked on an NIL campaign for The Vitamin Shoppe.LSU Athletics.How much student-athletes are earning from NILWhile many schools are being tight-lipped about how much their student-athletes are earning from NIL activities, in November, the University of Arkansas released data on how much its student-athletes had earned since July 1.It reported that 140 of its student-athletes had participated in some type of NIL activity, working with over 170 companies on at least 300 agreements and earning an average of $4,102. Football, basketball, softball, and baseball players saw the highest volume of NIL deals at Arkansas, according to the university.Read more about how student-athletes at the University of Arkansas have taken advantage of NIL opportunitiesThose earnings could increase next year, as some brands are already making spending bets on the category for 2022.Over half of the 300 brand, agency, and retail professionals surveyed by retail analytics firm Inmar Intelligence in November said they planned to spend between $50,000 and $500,000 on student-athletes next year. Only 15% of respondents said they either don't plan to invest in the category or weren't sure yet what their budget would be. Read a breakdown of responses from Inmar's survey, including how marketers think student-athletes will perform in ad campaigns compared to traditional influencersStudent-athlete growing painsAlthough some marketers are bullish to run student-athlete campaigns in 2022, the category comes with logistical challenges.Colleges, student-athletes, and brands are still trying to figure out how to navigate a web of state laws and university guidelines around what players are and aren't allowed to do with their names, images, and likenesses. Some colleges and universities have developed policies to stop student-athletes from making brand deals that would interfere with their own lucrative sponsorship contracts. A deal requiring an athlete to "wear products competitive to Nike during team activities – ex. practices, competitions, media, team travel, community service, photo sessions, team-building activities, etc." could violate Ohio State's rules, for example. The university also said that students should not "promote beverages competitive to Coca-Cola on-campus.""It is messy," Blake Lawrence, CEO of sports-marketing platform Opendorse, told Insider in August. "If a student athlete at an Adidas school that signs a deal with, let's say, Lululemon shows up to a press conference with a Lululemon hat and shirt on, is that a violation of the team's contract with Adidas? Those are the things that people are trying to figure out."Other universities have pushed back against Barstool Sports' student-athlete ambassador program, telling Insider the company did not have approval to use their trademarks and logos.Read more about how colleges are taking steps to limit the deals student-athletes make with brands, as they look to protect their own sponsorshipsBrands tested their first campaigns with student-athletes during March Madness 2022Doug Edert and the Saint Peter's University Peacocks were the Cinderella team of the NCAA Tournament.Seth Wenig/AP ImagesOne of the first marquee marketing events for student-athletes after the NIL rule change was the 2022 March Madness tournament, which put NCAA men's and women's basketball players in the spotlight.Some players, like Saint Peter's University guard Doug Edert and University of Connecticut's Paige Bueckers, were able to capitalize on the attention by scoring deals with brands like Buffalo Wild Wings and Chegg. But industry insiders said the real payoff for student-athletes who gained social-media followings during the tournament could be still to come. "If you have a really successful March Madness, you're increasing the value of your NIL," Nicholas Lord, CEO of the NIL deal-making platform NOCAP Sports, told Insider. "Then you're able to capitalize on it more in the future because you have more eyes on your social media and your persona in general."Here's a full breakdown of what brands learned from the first March Madness when they could hire student-athletes as influencersAs with any new industry that has a variety of regulations, a wave of startups and established companies have rushed in to help universities, student-athletes, and brands both succeed in the field and avoid missteps.Some companies, like Athliance, are focused on helping universities and players handle NIL education and compliance. Others, like MOGL, are interested in building marketplaces to connect brands with student-athletes.Learfield, a nearly 50-year-old firm that helps schools monetize their IP in categories like digital media and stadium signage, launched a series of features over the past few months to support student-athlete NIL activities."People keep saying it's the wild west," said Chase Garrett, CEO of the athlete-marketing platform Icon Source. "But I think 2022 is gonna be the year of adoption. People have built-in marketing budgets. They've started to find the athletes that they think they would wanna work with. They've started to learn what's market value."Here's Insider's list of 13 top companies helping student-athletes make money and shaping the future of NIL marketingRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytApr 13th, 2022