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- 10/13/18--11:26: _IKEA has a new vega...
- 10/13/18--11:27: _I spent 10 years pl...
- 10/13/18--11:27: _I cofounded Harry's...
- 10/13/18--11:27: _The economy of ever...
- 10/13/18--11:28: _9 photos of the J-3...
- 10/13/18--11:28: _These incredible ph...
- 10/13/18--11:29: _Happy Birthday, Nav...
- 10/13/18--11:30: _Caught between Trum...
- 10/13/18--12:25: _Why this Bovet watc...
- 10/13/18--12:43: _Trump's likely repl...
- 10/13/18--12:48: _12 secrets to enjoy...
- 10/13/18--14:02: _IoT Report: How Int...
- 10/13/18--14:04: _THE AI DISRUPTION B...
- 10/13/18--14:08: _Michael Bublé says ...
- 10/13/18--14:26: _It looks like the C...
- 10/13/18--16:17: _A writer named on a...
- 10/14/18--08:51: _Amazon's new $15 mi...
- 10/14/18--09:00: _Embraer just reveal...
- 10/14/18--09:01: _The New York City P...
- 10/14/18--09:15: _BANK OF AMERICA: Co...
- IKEA just added a vegan hot dog to its food-court menu.
- The veggie dog is meant to be a more sustainable alternative to the hot dog and is made from kale, red lentils, quinoa, onion, and carrots. It's topped with pickled red cabbage and roasted onions.
- IKEA is the latest of many mainstream retailers to start offering more vegan alternatives. Costco recently removed the Polish hot dog from its food-court menu to make room for several vegan options, including a new al pastor salad and an acai bowl.
- We tried IKEA's new veggie dog ourselves, and we were surprised by how delicious it was.
- Josh Leslie is the CEO of Cumulus Networks.
- When Leslie was 30, he told his manager that he wanted to be a CEO by the time he was 40.
- By his late 30s, CEO was nowhere in sight and his career seemed to be on a distinct sideways trajectory.
- Leslie changed his perspective, stopped thinking about his next job, about the size of his team, or about the perception of his accomplishments — and ten months later, he became the CEO.
- On his first day, he realized he had been preparing for the role for years.
- Founders often need to know how to raisecapital to grow and achieve their company goals.
- Jeff Raider, who cofounded Harry's and Warby Parker, has learned several things during the fundraising processes for these two companies, which combined have raised more than $700 million.
- His advice is to first ask yourself, "Should I raise capital?"
- From there, he outlines the entire process for raising money for a startup, from determining how much you need and finding investors to what kind of capital you should raise.
- What is your fundamental reason for being? What is the unmet need your business addresses?
- What's the market environment today? How big is the opportunity to solve this problem, and why haven't others done it yet?
- How is your business going to deliver against the consumer need in a differential way? What's your operating plan to get there?
- And what does all of the above imply financially? How do the economics of your business work? How much capital do you need for the next stage of the business?
- Valuation and dilution: How much the company is worth?
- How much control of the company founders retain: control over the board, voting rights and governance of the company.
- Structure, and what happens in a downside scenario: Investors can invest in different securities that enable them to get their money or earn a return before founders and employees are eligible to get proceeds themselves.
- 10/13/18--11:27: The economy of every state, ranked from worst to best
- The US economy is the sum of the economies of the 50 states and Washington, DC.
- Using six measures of labor-market and general economic health, we ranked all of those component economies from worst to best.
- Photos of the standoff between the US Navy destroyer Decatur and a Chinese warship have surfaced online, and they show just how close the Chinese ship came to colliding with the American vessel.
- 10/13/18--12:25: Why this Bovet watch costs over $450,000
- President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to name DOJ veteran Pat Cipollone to replace Don McGahn as White House counsel.
- Cipollone's legal background and relationship with Trump's legal team suggests he will take a more combative approach toward the special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia probe than his predecessor did.
- Cipollone could also help gird the White House in the event of a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives following the upcoming November midterm elections.
- We project that there will be more than 55 billion IoT devices by 2025, up from about 9 billion in 2017.
- We forecast that there will be nearly $15 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2017 and 2025, with survey data showing that companies' plans to invest in IoT solutions are accelerating.
- The report highlights the opinions and experiences of IoT decision-makers on topics that include: drivers for adoption; major challenges and pain points; deployment and maturity of IoT implementations; investment in and utilization of devices; the decision-making process; and forward- looking plans.
- Provides a primer on the basics of the IoT ecosystem.
- Offers forecasts for the IoT moving forward, and highlights areas of interest in the coming years.
- Looks at who is and is not adopting the IoT, and why.
- Highlights drivers and challenges facing companies that are implementing IoT solutions.
- Michael Bublé told the Daily Mail that he's quitting the music industry following his son's heartbreaking battle with liver cancer.
- Bublé also said he was done with social media and doesn't want anything to do with "celebrity narcissism."
- His new and likely final album, "Love," is set to be released November 16.
- Satellite images from September 7 suggest that the Chinese Navy has acquired a new strategic bomber, increasing the amount of power China could bring to a potential conflict.
- The new planes, presumably Xian H-6J bombers, would presumably replace the older H-6G maritime striker bombers, as the new aircraft are thought to carry additional anti-ship cruise missiles and have a greater range than their predecessors.
- Some observers suspect that China could, with aerial refueling, use these aircraft to patrol and project power across almost all of the South China Sea.
- Writer Stephen Elliott filed a defamation suit on Wednesday against the creator of a crowdsourced list that named him among male media figures accused of sexual misconduct.
- Journalist Moira Donegan came forward in January as the author of the "S----y Media Men" list, an online crowdsourced spreadsheet which contained anonymous allegations against Elliott from harassment to rape.
- Elliott vehemently denied the allegations in a personal essay, but Donegan said after the suit's filing she stood by the spreadsheet.
- Amazon's recent increase of its minimum wage to $15 is great news for workers, but it is less exciting for stock traders who have enjoyed a historically strong period of earnings growth.
- Labor costs seem headed higher for US corporations, and they represent a serious threat to profit expansion and thereby the broader market.
- The Embraer Praetor 500 and Praetor 600 private jets made their world debuts on Sunday in Orlando, Florida.
- The Praetor 500/600 are based on Embraer's current Legacy 450 mid-size and Legacy 500 super mid-size jets.
- The base price for the Embraer Praetor 500 is $16,995,000, while the Praetor 600 starts at $20,995,000.
- The Bossa Nova interior is a $750,000 option.
- Stocks are getting slammed, which also means they're cheaper to buy.
- According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, corporate America is holding the "dry powder" that would push the S&P 500 to 3,000 by year-end, or about 4% above where it opened on Wednesday.
- Two sectors will be the biggest winners, the strategists said.
The veggie dog, which launched in IKEA's European locations in August, officially launched in the bistros in the furniture retailer's US stores at the end of September. IKEA began developing the veggie dog as a more sustainable alternative to its hot dog back in February.
According to Fast Company, IKEA sold one million veggie dogs in Europe in the first two months that they were available. The veggie dog has only been in American IKEA stores since late September, but in its first two weeks, one out of every 10 customers who bought a hot dog in-store opted for the vegan version, Merlijn Crébolder, IKEA food manager in the US, told Fast Company.
The veggie dog is made from kale, red lentils, quinoa, onion, carrots, and spices like ginger and turmeric. It's topped with pickled red cabbage, spicy mustard, and roasted onions. It costs $0.75 and is 226 calories. While the veggie dog itself is vegan, the bun isn't because it contains egg.
It isn't IKEA's first venture into vegan food, and it won't be its last. The furniture store's restaurant serves vegan meatballs and has announced plans to introduce a vegan ice cream to the menu in summer 2019.
IKEA is the latest among several mainstream brands to start adding vegan options to meet increased demand. Costco recently removed the Polish hot dog from its food-court menu to make room for several vegan options, including a new al pastor salad and an acai bowl. Nestle acquired the vegan-meat supplier Sweet Earth in September. Campbell's recently acquired Pacific Foods, which makes nondairy milks. And White Castle added the plant-based Impossible Burger to its menu.
We went to the IKEA store in Brooklyn, New York, to try the veggie dog for ourselves — here's the verdict:
The veggie dogs are available at IKEA's bistro, which is separate from its restaurant. The line was long — I waited almost 20 minutes to order. The veggie dogs cost $0.75 each, so I got two for $1.50.
IKEA's bistro's veggie hot dog is entirely vegan, except for the bun, which contains egg. The menu says that the veggie dogs have 226 calories each.
The veggie dog itself is made from kale, red lentils, quinoa, onion, carrots, and spices like ginger and turmeric.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
I joined Cumulus Networks in June of 2015 as the vice president of sales, which was a role I had been in for several years before, and I was comfortable with. Our founder, JR Rivers, was CEO when I joined. But as time went on, JR transitioned to the CTO role, and gave me the opportunity to lead as Cumulus' chief executive.
So, ten months after I joined the company, I walked into the office for day one of a completely new role: CEO.
It was an exciting, thrilling opportunity; Something I had perhaps been unknowingly preparing for since childhood, and something I had definitely put at the top of my goal list.
Thinking back to my first day as CEO, I realize it wasn't that much different than my experience in the previous ten months as VP of sales — I knew my team, I knew my way around the office, and I knew a bit more of what I was getting myself into versus starting a new role at a completely new company.
But it was this ten month introduction to Cumulus, along with an entire lifetime preparing for the CEO role, that showed me I was more than ready to take on this new chapter. I was 100% ready to be CEO on my very first day.
Preparing for CEO since childhood
My earliest memories of the software business were as a young child. My dad had converted one of our bedrooms to a home office and on the weekends, he'd be in there, on the phone, talking shop. It was the first time I heard my dad swear: "That's a bunch of bullshit!" he would say. Followed shortly by, "screw those guys."
It was kind of shock to hear, but after that shock wore off, I was simply fascinated by the grit and the pace of business and watching my dad 'doing deals.'
My dad is Mark Leslie. He was the CEO of Veritas Software and built the company nearly from inception. At its height, Veritas was a Fortune 1000 Company with annual revenue exceeding $1.5B.
My dad was revered by Veritas employees and widely respected in Silicon Valley. He left the company in 2001, to advise startups, invest, and teach at Stanford. In short, he knows pretty much everyone in tech and he casts a pretty long shadow.
When I was nine, I didn't think about what it would be like to follow in his footsteps. I wasn't one of those kids who started some amazing business at a young age, and I wasn't writing code. But I did know that I had an intense interest in the business world.
As I grew older, I still listened in on those phone calls, perused my dad's open emails when he wasn't around, and had dinner table conversations about OEM licensing deals, stock options, and UNIX file systems.
I didn't realize it then, but looking back now I realize I was training to be a CEO. Sort of. It wasn't like I was waking up at 6 a.m. to work on spreadsheets and cap tables. But I was surrounded by my dad's work.
Eventually I grew up, went to college, and started my career in sales. This was my dad's influence again. Salespeople, he said, are the ones that know what's really going on in a company. Salespeople know how to solve problems. Build the product or sell the product, he told me.
It only took my one semester in college to learn I wasn't smart enough to build the product, so I began my sales career.
When I was 30, I told my manager at VMware that I wanted to be a CEO by the time I was 40. He laughed and said fifty was a more reasonable goal, if anything.
Eventually I left VMware and I became a VP of Sales at a small Series A startup. I worked harder than I ever had but the company and the job did not turn out the way I hoped. I took another VP Sales job at another early stage startup.
After a few years at startup number two and I was approaching 40. CEO was nowhere in sight and my career seemed to be on a distinct sideways trajectory.
I had a great family, by most measures a very good career, but when I measured myself against my dad, or against my peers, and I measured my 'wins' (or lack thereof) and I was unhappy with the score.
But then I had an epiphany. I remember as a young parent, seeing one of my children display some startling ability (or at least, I was impressed!). I thought, perhaps I will be most remembered as the parent of one of my children and not for any of my own accomplishments.
It was a big change in perspective for me. For the first time, I realized: Perhaps I won't be a CEO. Perhaps I won't be a 'serial entrepreneur with multiple successful exists.'
And maybe I don't care that much.
It was about the journey, not the destination
For the first time in my career, I started to focus on the journey, not the destination. I will simply be the best VP of Sales I can be. I will treat customers with care and employees with respect. I will spend my time on the things I know I'm good at (building trust with customers) and get help where I'm weak (process).
So that was it. I was going to be a great VP of Sales and let the chips fall where they may. I left start up number two and joined Cumulus Networks. For the first time in my career, I did not seriously negotiate my compensation, my title or organization.
VP of Sales? Sure, I thought, that works for me. There were many questions of organizational ownership, but I had come to understand that all of those things would eventually get sorted out correctly if we focused on the right priorities and built trust with the team.
I had truly stopped thinking about the next job, about the size of my team, or about perception of my accomplishments. It was the first time I was leading. Ten months later I became the CEO.
Josh is a seasoned technology executive and currently serves as CEO of Cumulus Networks. Prior to Cumulus, Josh spent time at Instart Logic, VMware, and CommValut Systems, holding various leadership roles in both sales and business development.
A Bay Area native, Josh received a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia Business School. When he’s not in the office, Josh enjoys spending time with his wife, two kids, and his poodle, Peggy.
I have the privilege of meeting with amazing founders who inspire me with their vision to build companies that truly transform their markets and make people's lives better. Many of these founders require capital to grow and achieve their potential. Thus, I'm often asked about how to raise capital and how to get the best outcome when raising money.
The world of fundraising can feel opaque, but it shouldn't have to.
In the spirit of transparency, I want to share some of the things I've learned in past fundraising processes.
Before wading into this topic, I want to acknowledge that I've been really lucky. I've cofounded two companies: Harry's and Warby Parker. Together, these companies have raised more than $700 million from major institutional investors.
Before I founded these companies, I worked in private-equity investing, so I started with a solid understanding of the investment process and had relationships with people in the investment world. My cofounders and I also had great guidance — from amazing cofounders, teammates, board members, and lawyers — and lots of luck along the way, so I try not to take any of that for granted.
With that said, and with the caveats that this reflects my own experience and that others may have different but equally valid perspectives, I hope some of this advice can be helpful to anyone looking to raise capital.
So let's dive in.
There's a question I don't think entrepreneurs ask themselves enough: 'Should I raise money?'
People have often congratulated me and my cofounders after a big round of funding. But raising money isn't a badge of honor. While it's validating to have someone in our vision enough to invest in the company, outside capital is just fuel for a business to grow until it can exist in a self-sustaining way.
It's a means to an end, not an end unto itself.
My cofounders and I have taken big swings at Harry's and Warby Parker. We've opened more than 75 Warby Parker retail stores and have grown to over 1,000 people in only a few years. At Harry's, we bought a 90-plus-year-old, 420-person German razor-blade factory, even though we're just a 30-person startup in New York. And we've done all of this in highly competitive markets. As a result, we've felt it prudent to raise outside capital to enable us to grow quickly.
But raising lots of money isn't necessarily right for every company. You may not feel pressure to grow as quickly or compete in the same ways we did (and that could be a good thing), and you may not need to raise outside capital.
Additionally, raising money doesn't come without cost.
The math speaks for itself: If you own 10% of a $100 million company, it's the same as owning 100% of a $10 million company, and sometimes the latter can be much easier to achieve.
Raising money also comes with high expectations from your investors about your business performance.
At Harry's, we raised money at a $750 million valuation as a three-year-old company. That valuation was predicated on our ability to continue to grow quickly; it came with substantial expectations from investors that we would hit aggressive growth targets. Such expectations can be good — they drive our team to achieve at the highest levels — but they also add pressure to the already pressure-packed situation of building a company.
Investors also expect that we'll pay them back — meaning that at some point, we need to sell our companies, take them public, or find another large investor to get our initial investors' liquidity.
So for all of those reasons, the first question I encourage founders to ask when thinking about raising capital is a basic one: "Should I raise outside capital?"
How do you get money?
How you approach the process can have a meaningful impact on the future of your business and your role in it. The choices you make will dictate who surrounds you, your control as a founder, and financial outcomes in both positive and negative scenarios.
Take the time to prepare
Before even thinking about valuation or terms, or reaching out to potential investors, spend time refining an airtight narrative and business plan.
A good business plan answers four key questions:
For me, the most important part of a business plan is the first section that defines your reason for being. Everything flows from there. At Warby Parker, we expressed our reason for being in one line: "Glasses shouldn't cost as much as an iPhone."
As you're laying out your plan, be pithy! Our business plans have been 25 to 30 slides at most. There's always time to share more after.
Determine how much money you need and how you want to raise it
Your financial model should help you determine how much outside capital you need. From there, imagine scenarios where things don't go exactly as planned (because they never do) and what those scenarios mean for how much money you'll actually need.
For example, ask yourself questions like: What happens if Gillette threatens to sue Harry's? (Which it did) Or what if our business grows twice as quickly as we had forecasted? (Which also happened). Given the unpredictability at Harry's (and at many early-stage companies), we needed to be prepared for any scenario related to cash burn.
This estimation is both an art and a science. I've never been able to determine, with surgical precision, the exact amount of money it takes to run a business in a variety of different upside and downside scenarios. And as a result, I've always thought it prudent to raise a little extra capital (and take a little more dilution) in order to ensure we have some cushion against our projections.
Once you've determined how much capital you need, there are three common approaches I've seen entrepreneurs take in the seed stage:
1. Friends and family
Go to your friends and family who love you and believe in you, and ask them to invest in your company to the extent they're financially able.
We started this way at Warby Parker. We were lucky to have four founders and a broader group of people around us who were able to invest in our idea.
This approach works nicely because it gives the people closest to you the chance to benefit from your success in the company. The conversations are usually easier because these people already know you well and they believe in you. With that said, unless you have very wealthy friends and family, this approach has limits in terms of how much capital you can raise.
2. Professional investors
These can be angels or venture funds — either way, they are people who invest professionally and are likely invested in lots of companies like yours.
The benefit to speaking with these folks is they know the investing process well and can commit material amounts of capital to your business. They also work with lots of companies and have perspectives and experiences that can be helpful.
That said, it can be harder to approach these investors cold, and you have to really convince them of the return on investment your business will provide.
3. A mix of the two
Many people raise a round with both professional investors and friends and family.
What's best for you depends on how much capital you think you need. If you just need a little capital to get started, friends and family can be a good way to go. If you want more capital or lots of advice and engagement, then it may make sense to pursue professional investors.
What form of capital should you raise? Note vs. priced round
A convertible note is an instrument that typically converts to equity in the next funding round. These notes usually pay interest during the time that they are outstanding, and some have a "cap," which means that there is a max valuation at which they convert to equity.
For example, a company may issue a convertible note at a 15% discount to their next round of funding with a $10 million cap. In this case, if the company raises money at a $10 million valuation in the next round, the note would convert to equity at an $8.5 million valuation (15% discount). Yet if the company raised money at a $15 million valuation, the "cap" would kick in, and the note would convert to equity at a $10 million valuation.
Convertible notes are commonly used in the early stages of companies when people aren't ready to put a hard valuation on the company, and they tend to be more popular with smaller friends-and-family raises. They can often be quicker and easier to complete because valuation is off the table.
They provide companies the limited capital they need to hit early milestones, at which point they then can go out and raise money at a valuation that's exciting to them.
The other option companies commonly choose is to raise a "priced round." That means raising money in equity at a specific valuation.
In this instance, the founders believe their vision and track record can command an attractive valuation. They also are more likely to want to raise substantial amounts of capital at a valuation they are comfortable with and have the capital last for a while.
There's no right or wrong answer as to the type of funding you should choose. We initially bootstrapped Warby Parker and invested only our own capital (meaning our life savings). Then, after we launched the business and sold out of glasses, we realized we needed more (but had no more life savings), so we turned to our friends and family and raised money from them through a convertible note.
At Harry's, we had to buy 1 million razor blades to lock a contract with our German factory. We signed the contract but didn't have the money to buy the blades — and this part is not recommended — so we came back to New York and raised a priced round in order to have capital to get started.
Thus, the type of capital you raise depends on the state of the company, what milestones you want to hit before raising more capital, how much money you need, and what valuation you think you can command.
How do you navigate the investment process?
Find a lead investor
The fundraising process can quickly spin out of control and become complicated to manage.
In order to streamline and make the job as simple as possible, we've always found it helpful to find a single investor to lead each of the rounds — though this is still not easy. A lead investor is a person or firm who will commit a substantial amount of the capital in a round and with whom you can negotiate a core set of terms.
The benefit of this approach is that you have to negotiate only once. After you have a lead investor and a core set of terms negotiated, you and the investor sign a "term sheet" codifying those terms. Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, wrote a post that thoughtfully lays out the common terms included in a term sheet.
Then you can take that term sheet to other investors and get them to join the round on the same terms as the lead investor. Your lead investor can help you there, too, by introducing you to their network and serving as a partner throughout the fundraising process.
For example, at Harry's, Thrive Capital led our seed round. After the Thrive team committed to investing, we sat down, talked about the early needs of the company, and put together a list of potential investors who could be helpful, instead of spending a lot of time and effort fostering our own independent relationships with potential new investors. Thrive then helped to introduce us to those investors and supported us by explaining to them why Thrive was excited about Harry's.
Find the right investors
It's important to try to figure out who the "right" investors are for you.
Investors can add a tremendous amount of strategic value beyond just the capital they provide — and different investors add value in different ways. Some have material domain expertise, some are exceptionally well-connected and can make helpful introductions to partners and prospective employees, and others have relevant experience in building businesses at your stage.
When thinking about who might be a good investor, I often try to identify who has invested in analogous companies. Then, if possible, I ask other founders about their experiences with those investors.
Once you've figured out who you want to invest, you have to actually get to those people
This step can be hard. Most people with great business ideas don't have a Rolodex of potential investors at their fingertips (and we certainly didn't either at Warby Parker).
This is where entrepreneurial hustle comes in.
I've found that the people who make the best introductions for me are people who know me well. It's always easier to make connections through someone who already knows you. For example, when I was preparing to raise money for Harry's, I first went to my Warby Parker cofounders. They knew great investors — and more importantly, they knew me well. Because of this, the investors they introduced me to were receptive and took their recommendation seriously.
Think broadly about who you know personally — professors, colleagues, bosses, friends — as they could have a connection to investors or firms that might be useful. But if you're drawing a blank, think about who you can get to know — other founders, VCs, people in the tech community, corporate venture funds — who might be able to help connect you. In some cases, pitch competitions, incubators, or grant programs that can open doors and give you initial exposure.
If you're having an introductory conversation with a person you don't yet know, approach it with a lot of curiosity and self-awareness. In my experience, the first discussion is probably not the right moment to go in guns blazing with a hard pitch.
Investors are also out there looking for you too. So expand your network, get people to know and like you, meet with and learn from interesting folks, do people favors, and try to network yourself into the right investors in an organic and authentic way.
No one said this part was easy — it's really hard.
How do you best negotiate?
Once you have identified a potential lead investor who is excited about your business (congrats — in a lot of ways, that was the hard part), you can think about the terms of a deal.
There are three things you should keep in mind:
Though it's counter to the way people often talk about fundraising in the news, I've always been focused more on optimizing structure and control than on valuation.
You might know the valuation of a company, or how much it's "worth." But do you know whether it's capitalized through common or preferred stock, and what special terms preferred investors have? Do you know the composition of the board and the voting rights of the founders? These things also matter.
I believe that you don't always want to take the highest price valuation. Sure, big sticker prices are good for the ego, can attract top talent, and are often good for company morale. But if you're optimizing solely for valuation and trying to push for the highest possible number, you may sacrifice other terms, or you may not get the right investor, or you could increase pressure on future rounds to raise capital at even higher valuations.
Clearly, this is all conceptual, and when it comes to specifics I'd suggest hiring a great lawyer who's been through lots and lots of transactions like this and can give you good advice.
Raising money is always hard, emotionally draining, and time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be a mystery. I hope this helps other entrepreneurs to have a more informed perspective on the fundraising process, to make good decisions for themselves and their companies, and to get the capital they need and grow their businesses and achieve their entrepreneurial vision.
As a cofounder of both Harry's and Warby Parker, Jeff Raider aims to build companies and brands that positively impact people's everyday lives and the world more broadly. Harry's ambition is to create exceptional shaving and personal-care products that better meet the needs of modern men. Prior to Harry's, Jeff cofounded Warby Parker, the transformative lifestyle brand that offers designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses. Today, Jeff serves as the CEO of Harry's Labs. He is also on the board of directors at Warby Parker.
The US is a massive, complex economy, and so too are the component economies of the 50 states and Washington, DC, that make up the whole.
Business Insider combined six measures of labor-market and general economic health for all the states and the District of Columbia. They are the unemployment rate, job growth, per-capita GDP, GDP growth, average weekly wages, and wage growth. By putting all those on a common scale and combining them, we came up with an overall score for each state's economy.
While the top of the list remains similar to our most recent ranking last quarter, with Washington, DC coming in first place, several states saw their fortunes rise or fall. South Dakota moved up from last place to 12th best overall, while Georgia fell from 11th to 35th.
Here's how the economy of each state and DC is doing right now:
Mississippi's Q1 2018 per capita GDP of $38,313, August 2018 average weekly earnings of $697, and 2.2% decline in wages between August 2017 and August 2018 were all the lowest among the 50 states and DC.
Alaska's August 2018 unemployment rate of 6.7% was the highest in the country, and its 0.9% decline in the number of non-farm payroll jobs between August 2017 and August 2018 was the worst among the 50 states and DC.
Arkansas Q1 2018 per capita GDP of $42,282 and GDP growth rate of 0.0% were both the second-lowest among the 50 states and DC, as was the state's August 2018 average weekly earnings of $734.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
After China's J-31 stealth fighter made its first full-scale public appearance in 2014, observers noted its striking resemblance to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
And many weren't surprised: China was thought to have stolen unclassified F-35 design information five years earlier.
But recently, there's been little reporting and discussion about the J-31.
"Part of that, to my knowledge, is that the [PLA] Air Force still hasn't bought any of them," Matthew P. Funaiole, a fellow with the China Power Project at CSIS, told Business Insider.
"It was supposed to be introduced in 2018 [or] 2019 ... but there hasn't been much chatter on it," Funaiole added.
Here's how the J-31 stacks up against the F-35, and what China might do with the new fighter.
The J-31 had already resembled the F-35 — both are multirole strike fighters — when a scaled model of it was unveiled in 2012.
Although the J-31's full specifications are not yet known, the J-31 and F-35 have roughly the same weight, height and wingspan.
Source: Popular Science
But the J-31 has a maximum takeoff weight of 56,000 pounds and a maximum range of 775 miles, making it lighter than the 70,000-pound F-35, and with roughly half the range.
Source: Popular Science
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
A Chinese destroyer challenged a US Navy warship in what US officials called an "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter in the tense South China Sea on Sunday.
The People's Liberation Army Navy ship, reportedly the Type 052C Luyang II-class guided-missile destroyer Lanzhou (170), part of the Chinese navy's South Sea Fleet, took on the US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Decatur (DDG-73) during a close approach near Gaven Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands.
The Chinese vessel "conducted a series of increasingly aggressive maneuvers accompanied by warnings" for the US Navy ship to "leave the area," Pacific Fleet said in an official statement Monday. US Navy photos first obtained by the maritime-focused news site gCaptain and confirmed to CNN by three American officials show just how close the Chinese destroyer got to the US ship.
Three US officials confirm that images obtained by @gCaptain are US Navy images of the "unsafe & unprofessional" encounter between the USS Decatur and a Chinese destroyer that took place Sunday while the US warship was sailing near Gaven Reef in the South China Sea pic.twitter.com/A8Z4YPuXBS— Ryan Browne (@rabrowne75) October 2, 2018
(The USS Decatur is pictured left, and the Chinese destroyer is on the right.)
The USS Decatur was forced to maneuver out of the way to avoid a collision with the Chinese vessel, which reportedly came within 45 yards of the American ship, though the pictures certainly look a lot closer to the 45 feet originally reported.
Ankit Panda, a foreign-policy expert who is a senior editor at The Diplomat, called the incident "the PLAN's most direct and dangerous attempt to interfere with lawful US Navy navigation in the South China Sea to date."
China condemned the US for its operations in the South China Sea, where China is attempting to bolster its claims through increased militarization. The US does not recognize Chinese claims, which were previously discredited by an international tribunal.
Beijing said the US "repeatedly sends military ships without permission close to South China Seas islands, seriously threatening China's sovereignty and security, seriously damaging Sino-US military ties, and seriously harming regional peace and stability," adding that the Chinese military was opposed to this behavior.
The latest incident followed a series of US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress long-range bomber flights through the East China and South China seas. Beijing called the flights "provocative," but Secretary of Defense James Mattis insisted that the flights would not mean anything if China had not militarized the waterway.
"If it was 20 years ago and had they not militarized those features there, it would have been just another bomber on its way to Diego Garcia or wherever," he said last Wednesday.
For 243 years, the US Navy has been the most visible part of America's military might, visiting far-flung ports of call and operating all over the world.
To celebrate the US Navy, we've pulled out some of the coolest photos from the archives.
In the decades after the Civil War, America began a new era of foreign intervention with the Navy leading the way. This 1899 photo shows sailors eating on the USS Olympia, which was the US's flagship during the Spanish-American War of the previous year.
The USS Holland, seen in this photo from 1900, was the Navy's first commissioned submarine.
President Theodore Roosevelt ordered a fleet of US ships to circumnavigate the globe from 1907-1909.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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Mr. Pascal Raffy is the current owner of Bovet, a legacy watchmaking company based in Switzerland. The company is famous for creating intricate and complex timepieces. We got to take a closer look at the Récital 22 Grand Récital with Jack Forster, editor in chief of Hodinkee. The watch comes in red gold and platinum, with price points of $460,000 and $500,000 respectively. What makes this watch worth nearly half a million dollars? Following is a transcript of the video.
Jack Forster: The watch comes in two different versions, and the difference between the two is pretty much restricted just to the case material. The $460,000 version is in red gold, and the more expensive half million dollar version is done in platinum.
Many of the most expensive watches are expensive because they're set with precious stones, which, of course, raises the price through the roof. In the case of the Récital 22 Grand Récital, however, the watch is as expensive as it is entirely because of the amount of craftsmanship that goes into it and the length of time that it takes to produce the various effects that make the watch what it is.
BOVET watches are inherently limited in production simply because of the complexity that's associated with making them. This particular watch is a limited edition of 60 pieces worldwide. Those are going to roll out very slowly, simply because they can't be made quickly. It's just inherent in the nature of the watch. The single decorative element that's probably most strongly identified with BOVET today is the use of extremely fine miniature painting, often in the form of, what's called, cold enameling on the dials of their watches. And the Récital 22 Grand Récital has a really, really wonderful example of this particular craft.
The centerpiece of the watch is a hemisphere representing the Earth as seen from above the North Pole. There are many, many layers of enamel that have been, that have been applied to the hemisphere in order to achieve a wonderful kind of translucent effect in which the clouds literally seem to float above the oceans and continents.
The paints are actually luminous and very, very luminous, and, when you turn the lights off, you are treated to a view of the continents glowing up at you that's just incredibly compelling.
This particular wristwatch is in a class of, what are called, astronomical complications. These are timepieces that show, often, the relative position of the stars to an observer standing on Earth, or, in this case, the relative position of the sun and the moon relative to an observer standing on Earth. So the centerpiece is this revolving hand-painted depiction of the upper hemisphere, the northern hemisphere of the Earth.
Placed just below it, in the six o'clock position, is, what's called, a tourbillon. We can see the tourbillon rotating as we look at the watch, and the position that it's in is identical to the position that the sun would be in, relative to the Earth. So it kind of stands in for, the tourbillon stands in for the sun in this wristwatch.
Rotating around the Earth is a spherical depiction of the moon divided into a sunlit hemisphere and a dark hemisphere. And you can read the phase of the moon from the position of this little hemisphere as it rotates around the Earth.
The back of the watch is also loaded with information. It's what's called the perpetual calendar. Now, a perpetual calendar is a mechanical watch which knows the difference between a leap year and a non-leap year, and which also advances the date correctly at the end of each month, whether it's a 30-day month or a 31-day month.
The relative rarity of the watches and the amount of handwork that goes into finishing the movement, the case, and other aspects of the watch all adds up to a tremendous, tremendous amount of real old-school craftsmanship, which simply doesn't come cheap. At this level of watchmaking, you're really talking about something that's designed to appeal to someone with extremely specific tastes and with a budget to match.
There are 705 components in this wristwatch.
President Donald Trump will likely name Justice Department veteran Pat Cipollone to replace the outgoing White House counsel Don McGahn, according to multiple media reports.
Speculation that Trump would tap Cipollone for the position picked up steam over the summer, when McGahn’s departure was first announced.
Cipollone currently practices at the Washington DC-based law firm Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner.
His biography on the firm's website states that Cipollone has "substantial expertise" in defamation counseling and defending corporations, organizations, and public figures, including prepublication negotiations and litigation with major media organizations.
He has additional experience working on cases involving regulatory disputes, crisis management, consumer fraud, constitutional issues, and government scrutiny.
A source close to Trump's legal team, which is managing his and the White House's response to the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, told Business Insider that Cipollone has closely advised the president's lawyers in recent months.
He is also reportedly chummy with Emmet Flood, a White House lawyer and veteran attorney who represented President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings in the 1990s.
Cipollone's legal background and relationship with Trump's team suggests he will take a more combative approach toward Mueller than his predecessor did.
McGahn's is the latest in a long string of departures from the White House counsel's office over the last several months. The Washington Post reported that the office normally has a staff of 50 lawyers, but it had 35 earlier this year and is now down to just 25. It has also lost four of its five key deputies in recent months, the report said.
McGahn is a critical figure in the ongoing Russia investigation, particularly as it relates to Mueller's inquiry into whether Trump sought to obstruct justice at various points throughout the investigation.
He frequently clashed with Ty Cobb, the former White House counsel, about how much to cooperate with Mueller's document and witness requests because he reportedly believed that Trump would be able to assert executive privilege over many of their interactions.
But earlier this year, it emerged that McGahn voluntarily sat down for 30 hours of questioning with Mueller's team that spanned over several months.
It is unusual for a lawyer to share as much information with prosecutors investigating their client as McGahn did with Mueller's team. But one person familiar with the matter told The New York Times that Trump wrongly believed McGahn would act as his personal lawyer when interviewing with Mueller and would therefore protect his interests at all costs.
Instead, McGahn is believed to have given Mueller critical details about Trump's attempts to assert control over the Russia probe. His resolve was bolstered by his belief that Trump had willingly made him available for an interview with Mueller because he was trying to trap McGahn into taking the fall for him.
For that reason, McGahn and his lawyer devised their own plan to cooperate as much as possible with the special counsel, The Times reported.
Trump pushed back on The Times' article and took issue with the implication that McGahn may have turned on him. Nonetheless, McGahn's departure was announced shortly after.
Cipollone's new reported position as White House counsel comes during a critical time for the president. Trump's legal team has been engaged in a protracted back-and-forth with Mueller over the terms of a presidential interview. Earlier this week, CNN reported that Trump's lawyers are in the process of providing written answers to several questions from prosecutors about potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
The report said Mueller insisted on being allowed to ask follow-ups after getting the answers to the first round of questions. The two sides have still not reached an agreement on whether Mueller's team will get to interview Trump in person.
Cipollone could also help gird the White House for a potential Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives following the upcoming November midterm elections. If the party gains control of the lower chamber of Congress, several Democratic lawmakers have said they plan to subpoena as many documents and witnesses from the White House as they can.
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INSIDER spoke to wine experts to find the best tips for enjoying your perfect bottle of wine.
Checking the label to learn a wine's importer can be useful.
Typically, a bottle's region and vintage can be found right on the label. But, you might be missing out on a crucial piece of information about a wine's quality— the name of the importer.
"Building a relationship through wine with an importer will help you find more wines that you like, especially when shopping retail," John Paterson, wine director of Frankies Spuntino in New York City, told INSIDER. "Most importers of smaller, family-run wineries share a common 'ethos,' and you might discover more wines you enjoy from places you might not have expected."
When shopping for wines from overseas, learn to read the label markings.
If you enjoy French and Italian wines, learning to read the labels can help you be more informed about your purchases.
"Wines grown within the European Union will have geographical indications if they are of a certain quality," sommelier Jules Elkovich of Michael Jordan's Steak House in Uncasville told INSIDER. "Look for phrases and abbreviations like appellation contrôlée, AOC, AOP, and PDO/DOP."
These labels signify that the wine comes from a specific region, said Elkovich. Because of this, these bottles are likely held to a "strict standard to preserve the integrity of the region."
If you're a fan of Californian wines, keep an eye out for any mention of specific wine regions within the state.
Wines made in California count among the highest-profile versions in the world, according to Wine Folly. But, if you're browsing bottles and come across a wine label that vaguely lists only the state of California as its region, feel free to be skeptical.
"[You want to] look for a more specific designated region. For example, a wine that has 'Sonoma Coast' listed as its designation is going to be more distinct and typically of higher quality than one that simply says ‘California,'" Ronald Buyukliev, lead sommelier of Estiatorio Milos at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas told INSIDER.
He said when a more specific wine region is listed, the wine is typically higher in quality.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming how companies and consumers go about their days around the world. The technology that underlies this whole segment is evolving quickly, whether it’s the rapid rise of the Amazon Echo and voice assistants upending the consumer space, or growth of AI-powered analytics platforms for the enterprise market.
And Business Insider Intelligence is keeping its finger on the pulse of this ongoing revolution by conducting our second annual Global IoT Executive Survey, which provides us with critical insights on new developments within the IoT and explains how top-level perspectives are changing year-to-year. Our survey includes more than 400 responses from key executives around the world, including C-suite and director-level respondents.
Through this exclusive study and in-depth research into the field, Business Insider Intelligence details the components that make up the IoT ecosystem. We size the IoT market and use exclusive data to identify key trends in device installations and investment. And we profile the enterprise and consumer IoT segments individually, drilling down into the drivers and characteristics that are shaping each market.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
Artificial intelligence (AI) isn't a part of the future of technology. AI is the future of technology.
Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have even publicly debated whether or not that will turn out to be a good thing.
Voice assistants like Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa have become more and more prominent in our lives, and that will only increase as they learn more skills.
These voice assistants are set to explode as more devices powered by AI enter the market. Most of the major technology players have some sort of smart home hub, usually in the form of a smart speaker. These speakers, like the Amazon Echo or Apple HomePod, are capable of communicating with a majority of WiFi-enabled devices throughout the home.
While AI is having an enormous impact on individuals and the smart home, perhaps its largest impact can be felt in the e-commerce space. In the increasingly cluttered e-commerce space, personalization is one of the key differentiators retailers can turn towards to stand out to consumers. In fact, retailers that have implemented personalization strategies see sales gains of 6-10%, at a rate two to three times faster than other retailers, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group.
This can be accomplished by leveraging machine learning technology to sift through customer data to present the relevant information in front of that consumer as soon as they hit the page.
With hundreds of hours of research condensed into three in-depth reports, Business Intelligence is here to help get you caught up on what you need to know on how AI is disrupting your business or your life.
Below you can find more details on the three reports that make up the AI Disruption Bundle, including proprietary insights from the 16,000-member BI Insiders Panel:
AI in Banking and Payments
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most commonly referenced terms by financial institutions (FIs) and payments firms when describing their vision for the future of financial services.
AI can be applied in almost every area of financial services, but the combination of its potential and complexity has made AI a buzzword, and led to its inclusion in many descriptions of new software, solutions, and systems.
This report cuts through the hype to offer an overview of different types of AI, and where they have potential applications within banking and payments. It also emphasizes which applications are most mature, provides recommendations of how FIs should approach using the technology, and offers examples of where FIs and payments firms are already leveraging AI. The report draws on executive interviews Business Intelligence conducted with leading financial services providers, such as Bank of America, Capital One, and Mastercard, as well as top AI vendors like Feedzai, Expert System, and Kasisto.
AI in Supply Chain and Logistics
Major logistics providers have long relied on analytics and research teams to make sense of the data they generate from their operations.
AI’s ability to streamline so many supply chain and logistics functions is already delivering a competitive advantage for early adopters by cutting shipping times and costs. A cross-industry study on AI adoption conducted in early 2017 by McKinsey found that early adopters with a proactive AI strategy in the transportation and logistics sector enjoyed profit margins greater than 5%. Meanwhile, respondents in the sector that had not adopted AI were in the red.
However, these crucial benefits have yet to drive widespread adoption. Only 21% of the transportation and logistics firms in McKinsey’s survey had moved beyond the initial testing phase to deploy AI solutions at scale or in a core part of their business. The challenges to AI adoption in the field of supply chain and logistics are numerous and require major capital investments and organizational changes to overcome.
explores the vast impact that AI techniques like machine learning will have on the supply chain and logistics space. We detail the myriad applications for these computational techniques in the industry, and the adoption of those different applications. We also share some examples of companies that have demonstrated success with AI in their supply chain and logistics operations. Lastly, we break down the many factors that are holding organizations back from implementing AI projects and gaining the full benefits of this disruptive technology.
AI in E-Commerce Report
One of retailers' top priorities is to figure out how to gain an edge over Amazon. To do this, many retailers are attempting to differentiate themselves by creating highly curated experiences that combine the personal feel of in-store shopping with the convenience of online portals.
These personalized online experiences are powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This is the technology that enables e-commerce websites to recommend products uniquely suited to shoppers, and enables people to search for products using conversational language, or just images, as though they were interacting with a person.
Using AI to personalize the customer journey could be a huge value-add to retailers. Retailers that have implemented personalization strategies see sales gains of 6-10%, a rate two to three times faster than other retailers, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). It could also boost profitability rates 59% in the wholesale and retail industries by 2035, according to Accenture.
This report illustrates the various applications of AI in retail and use case studies to show how this technology has benefited retailers. It assesses the challenges that retailers may face as they implement AI, specifically focusing on technical and organizational challenges. Finally, the report weighs the pros and cons of strategies retailers can take to successfully execute AI technologies in their organization.
In an interview with Daily Mail's Weekend magazine on Saturday, Michael Bublé revealed that he's not only done with music but with the celebrity lifestyle as well.
"This is my last interview," he told the magazine. "I'm retiring from the business. I've made the perfect record and now I can leave at the very top."
The emotional interview comes two years after his son, Noah, was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.
Bublé also talked about how his son's diagnosis made him question his priorities.
"Going through this with Noah, I didn't question who I was, I just questioned everything else. Why are we here?" the singer said.
Although Bublé used to place importance on things like his level of success and his ticket sales, he says his perspective has changed entirely since 2016.
"The diagnosis made me realize how stupid I'd been to worry about these unimportant things. I was embarrassed by my ego, that it had allowed this insecurity."
In an effort to get away from what he called, "celebrity narcissism," Bublé decided to give up social media and was quoted saying, "I don't have the stomach for it anymore."
The 43-year-old also recalled the immense pain he felt as he cared for his son with his wife, Luisana Lopilato.
"You just want to die," he said. ‘"I don't even know how I was breathing."
This wasn't the first time the singer opened up about how his son's illness affected his music career. In July, speaking to the Herald Sun per Entertainment Tonight, the singer said, "I truly thought I'd never come back to music."
Bublé says he will officially walk away from the music business following the release of his November 6 album, "Love."
Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.
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The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force (PLANAF) appears to have a new bomber in its ranks, and it could boost China's military strength in disputed waterways.
Satellite images of the PLANAF base at Guiping-Mengshu in Guangxi Province, China show what observers suspect are Xian H-6J bombers, new naval variants of the upgraded H-6Ks that have been in service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) since 2011, IHS Janes first reported Thursday.
The H-6Js are expected to replace the H-6G maritime striker bombers first fielded in the 1990s, The Diplomat reported Friday.
The new bombers are believed to carry three times as many anti-ship missiles as their predecessor, with experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Missile Defense Project predicting that the new aircraft will be paired with the YJ-12 anti-ship cruise missile, which can cover roughly 400 km in about six minutes.
The Chinese PLAN has at times found itself in tense showdowns with the US military. When the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation near Chinese military outposts in the Spratly Islands earlier this month, the Chinese navy dispatched the Type 052C Luyang II-class guided-missile destroyer Lanzhou to confront the American warship.
The PLANAF H-6Js would give China extra firepower in any potential conflict. The H-6Js are also thought to have a greater range of about 3,500 kilometers, allowing these aircraft to patrol almost all of the South China Sea with mid-air refueling.
The satellite photos, taken on September 7, appeared on Twitter around the start of October.
Already reported last week as a possibility, seems now to be confirmed: the first four H-6J naval bombers were spotted on the ramp at Guiping-Menshu on 9/7/18. That would fit to the 8th Naval Air Division, 23rd Regiment within the Southern Theater Command. pic.twitter.com/qD5cPevhtr— @Rupprecht_A (@RupprechtDeino) October 3, 2018
The PLANAF appears to have at least four H-6Js in its arsenal, but it will presumably want to establish a full regiment, The Diplomat explained.
Chinese bombers have been increasingly active above contested waterways, such as the East and South China Seas, in recent years, according to a 2018 Department of Defense report on China's military power.
"The PLA has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against US and allied targets," the report said. Last year, the PLA flew a dozen operational flights through the Sea of Japan, into the Western Pacific, around Taiwan, and over the East and South China Seas — all potential regional flash points.
In recent months, the US military has been putting pressure on China with regular B-52H Stratofortress heavy long-range bomber flights through the East and South China Seas, with the most recent occurring this past week.
"One US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber, deployed to the 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, conducted a routine training mission Oct. 10," Pacific Air Forces told Business Insider on Friday. "The bomber integrated with four Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) F-15Js in the vicinity of the East China Sea before returning to Guam."
China has previously characterized these types of flights as "provocative," criticizing the US for its repeated flybys in August and September.
The recent flight, like the many others before it, was in support of US Indo-Pacific Command's Continuous Bomber Presence operations, which are intended to send a deterrence message to any and all potential challengers.
Writer Stephen Elliott has filed a defamation suit against the author of a crowdsourced Google spreadsheet that named him alongside dozens of male media professionals accused of varying degrees of sexual misconduct.
Elliott filed a complaint against journalist Moira Donegan in the Eastern District of New York on October 10 seeking $1.5 million in damages for libel and emotional distress, alleging that Donegan "conspired to create" the "S----y Media Men" list.
The list, which was created and widely circulated last October, includes Elliott's name beside anonymous allegations including "rape accusations, sexual harassment, coercion, unsolicited invitations to his apartment."
Donegan came forward as the spreadsheet's creator in a personal essay for The Cut last January. She said she created the list as "an alternate avenue to report this kind of behavior and warn others without fear of retaliation."
The list came after the high-profile sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, and amid the emergence of the #MeToo movement, which swelled in media circles and resulted in a number of male anchors, journalists, and editors being publicly accused of sexual misconduct.
Elliott's suit also includes 30 "Jane Does" who anonymously contributed to the list, and whose identities Elliott hopes to discover by subpoenaing Google. Google told The Daily Beast it would oppose Elliott's requests.
Elliott shared his thoughts about the list in a personal essay published last month and a New York Times opinion article that was published three days after the filing, titled "What do you do when you are anonymously accused of rape?"
After Elliott published the personal essay vehemently denying the allegations and describing how they affected his life, one of his former colleagues, Lyz Lenz, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review among other publications, tweeted a thread describing his harassment.
When you couldn't find me you refused to come to the magazine party. I was told by your friends to apologise for my mistake. I did. Two days later you grabbed me under the guise of taking money from mug sales out of my back pocket. There is a witness.— lyzzie borden lenz (@lyzl) September 25, 2018
Lenz said other women had contacted her to share similar accounts.
"Since your name was on the list I have gotten so many emails from women talking about the harassment you put them through," Lenz wrote. "I'm talking so they don't have to."
After Elliott's filing, Donegan tweeted that though writing the list was the "hardest thing" she had ever written, "I still stand by it."
I opened the spreadsheet a year ago today, and I wrote this essay, the hardest thing I've ever written, a few months later. I still stand by it. https://t.co/wj8vkvawL4— Moira Donegan (@MoiraDonegan) October 11, 2018
A GoFundMe that was created soon after the filing to help cover Donegan's legal fees had reached $92,000 towards its $500,000 goal as of Saturday afternoon.
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So far in 2018, earnings growth for US companies has been at its strongest in years. And based on forecasts from Wall Street analysts, its impressive expansion is likely to continue through the third quarter.
But as corporations start to report their latest numbers, many investors will be focused not on the latest quarter but on what the future holds.
Because even though double-digit profit growth is an encouraging sign, the inevitable decline from that lofty level poses a real threat to the share price of companies that have seen valuations swell along with earnings.
This chart shows these worries are valid. After peaking in the second quarter, earnings growth is now expected to grind lower over the next few periods.
And complicating matters is Amazon's recent move to increase its minimum wage to $15. The move highlights another dirty little secret of the record-setting stock market: Wages and labor costs are increasing.
Goldman Sachs expects that upward pressure to start eating into profit margins. And the situation is already quite urgent. A leading wage indicator monitored by the firm is already at its highest level of this market cycle.
These developments should have prudent investors closely watching for guidance from companies most exposed to higher labor costs.
"Amazon's announcement of a $15 minimum wage for all US employees has spurred discussion of economy-wide wage inflation," David Kostin, Goldman's chief US equity strategist, wrote in a client note. "Investors will be observing the responses from other firms."
The US stalwart McDonald's would appear to be next in line. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — who was viewed as instrumental in getting Amazon to raise its pay — recently called for the fast-food giant to raise its minimum wage to $15.
But Amazon and McDonald's are hardly the only companies feeling the pressure of higher wages. Small businesses surveyed by the NFIB are actually more worried about the quality and cost of labor than anything else right now.
What's ultimately at stake stretches far beyond the near-term fates of Amazon, McDonald's, or any of the small firms surveyed for the chart above. The very health of the stock market is in limbo.
If companies are unable to contend with rising labor costs, their bottom line could suffer. And since the recent historic profit growth is so responsible for record-setting equity valuations, any sort of downward shift could take some air out of the market.
Going forward, Goldman says the best approach is to identify companies that either have low labor costs or are relatively immune to upward pressures.
Because wages are rising, regardless of whether traders like it. All they can do now is recognize this mounting headwind and adjust accordingly.
Embraer introduced a pair of new private jets on Sunday in Orlando, Florida dubbed the Praetor 500 and Praetor 600. The pair represents the Brazilian plane maker's newest entrants in the mid-size and super mid-size private jet market.
"The Praetor 500 and Praetor 600 are the disruptive aircraft for the entrepreneur, for the pioneer, for the innovator," Embraer Executive Jets president and CEO Michael Amalfitano said in a statement.
Neither aircraft is a brand-new clean sheet design. Rather they are derived from two of Embraer's current Florida-built jets. The Praetor 500 is based on the existing Legacy 450, while the Praetor 600 is a development of the Legacy 500.
The biggest update to the jet is in terms of range with the Praetor 500 capable of going 3,740 miles and the 600 can do flights up to 4,500 miles.
The decision to leave behind the Legacy moniker is an effort on the part of the company to differentiate its dedicated business jets like Legacy 450/500 and Praetor 500/600 from its commercial derived models like the Legacy 650, Embraer's vice president for interior design, Jay Beever told Business Insider in an interview.
Named after the title given to high-level government magistrates in ancient Rome, the Praetor name was selected to convey the sense that the jet is the owner's ultimate servant, Beever explained.
Interestingly, the Praetor 500/600 will not replace the two aircraft on which they are based. Instead, the Legacy 450/500 remain available for customers who don't require the new planes' increased capabilities.
For the new aircraft, Beever and his team created a custom interior option called the Bossa Nova that's inspired by the soul and beauty of Brazil's beaches.
Here's a closer look at the Embraer Praetor 500/600 and the Bossa Nova interior:
Here they are! The new mid-size Embraer Praetor 500 and...
... The super mid-size Embraer Praetor 600.
The Praetor 500 can fly nearly 3,700 miles, more than 300 miles further than the Legacy 450 on which it's based.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Honeybees help at least 30% of crops grow. The half-inch buzzers pollinate all kinds of plants — they're needed to grow almond trees, vanilla vines, avocados, and cranberries.
Since 2017, bees have also become an integral part of a New York City Police Department (NYPD) building in Queens. On the roof of the 104th precinct, officer Darren Mays keeps more than 30,000 honeybees. By night, he's a beat cop, patrolling the streets of the Ridgewood, Queens neighborhood. But by day, he's a beekeeper in charge of the department's only rooftop hive.
Mays gained temporary fame this summer when he vacuumed up a migrating swarm of bees that perched atop a hot dog cart umbrella in Times Square.
Mays and another officer, Michael Lauriano, are responsible for responding to any issue a New Yorker calls in with that involves a "stinging insect." He said he responds to about a dozen calls during a typical summer, as people request help with bee swarms, wasps nests, and more. Before Mays and Lauriano, an officer named Anthony 'Tony Bees' Planakis served as the NYPD's first bee 911 responder.
But the hive on top of the precinct where Mays works wasn't a planned part of his job. It formed out of necessity: During the summer of 2017, Mays answered so many bee calls (roughly two dozen), that he didn't have time to bring recovered bees to his house outside the city, where he keeps five bee colonies. Instead, he assembled a makeshift bee orphanage on top of the office.
I stopped by the rooftop hive last week to check out the yellow-and-black invertebrates there. They're now working quickly to produce honey before the temperature shifts and they go into survival mode for the winter.
Take a look.
You'd never know from the street level that there's a colony of bees on this roof in Ridgewood, Queens.
Mays didn't always like working with bees. He grew up on a farm in South Carolina and knew plenty of people who raised honeybees, but he said he wanted "nothing to do with it" and thought honey was gross.
Mays even intentionally kicked over a honey bee colony once, while horsing around with his brother, when he was a kid.
"I felt so bad later, once I really got into beekeeping," he said.
Then, about 10 years ago, when Mays was 38 years old, a friend showed him a hive. As an adult, Mays was transfixed by the bees' work. He watched them toil for a full hour. "They live in a perfect society," he said. "There's no boss, there's no governor, even the queen doesn't rule the colony."
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The sell-off in US stocks this week may have created a good buying opportunity for a key group of investors — public companies themselves — according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
It's already been a record-breaking year for share buybacks. Led by the tech sector, companies spent a record $190.6 billion on their shares in the second quarter, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. A chunk of the cash came from overseas, following a permanent tax cut on foreign-earned profits provided by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
By reducing the count of their outstanding shares, companies are able to boost their earnings per share, one of the metrics investors care about the most and a strong catapult of stock prices.
Despite the record spending on buybacks, less than half of such announcements in the second half of 2018 have been executed, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. That's why buyback executions are "dry powder in the equity market," a group of strategists led by Mark Cabana said in a note on Wednesday.
For example, Apple announced $100 billion in buybacks during the second quarter and repurchased only $20 billion worth of stock in the same period.
The ratio of announced to completed buybacks this year climbed above 2:1 in the second quarter, Cabana said. The ratio hasn't been higher during this bull market.
"The trend of elevated announced executed buybacks should serve as a modest tailwind for the equity market over the remainder of the year as buybacks are executed, where we expect buybacks will add 3ppt to EPS growth this year, and forecast the S&P 500 will reach 3,000 by year-end," Cabana said.
The median Wall Street analyst also expects the S&P 500 to end the year at 3,000, a 4% jump from where the index opened on Wednesday.
Companies have been reluctant to execute on their buyback plans partly because of concerns about valuations, Cabana said. After all, companies would argue that they buy shares believing they're undervalued, but all-time highs mean stocks are more expensive to buy.
And some of the tax-reform windfall has been diverted to capital expenditure, Cabana added.
But the sell-off over the past five days — the longest since November 2016 — presents more attractive prices at which companies can buy their shares.
"A normalization of the buyback ratio should support the equity market, particularly tech and healthcare stocks, but potentially harm the front end of the US rates curve since it could result in a liquidation of corporate short-term holdings," Cabana said.