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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Antarctica research station

    • Louis Rudd, a 49-year-old British adventurer, just became the second person in history to cross Antarctica alone and unaided.
    • Rudd's achievement comes just two days after an American, Colin O'Brady, reached the same finish line on the Ross Ice Shelf.

    British explorer Louis Rudd has become the second person to ever cross Antarctica alone and unaided, reaching the Ross Ice Shelf on Friday. 

    One of Rudd's sponsors, the adventure-apparel company Shackleton, tweeted the news on Friday afternoon, saying the 49-year-old had completed his 950-mile journey. Rudd's achievement comes just two days after Colin O'Brady, a 33-year-old American, accomplished the same feat

    O'Brady spent 54 days traveling 932 miles across Antarctica, while Rudd completed his own journey in 56 days. 

    Rudd embarked on a trek across Antarctica in honor of Henry Worsley, a close friend who died in Antarctica while trying to walk from coast to coast in 2016. Earlier this year, Rudd told The New Yorker that Worsley had introduced him to polar exploration, teaching the British Army captain how to survive in minus 60-degree Fahrenheit weather, how to move through blinding whiteouts, and how to spot crevasses in the ice sheet.

    The British explorer boarded a plane for Chile on October 25 and flew to Antarctica several days later. He set out on the cross-Antarctic journey at the same time as O'Brady and maintained the lead for about a week. 

    According to The New York Times, however, O'Brady caught up with Rudd on November 9 and never let the British man get close to him again.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: For some animals, there are more benefits after a wildfire than you may expect


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    trader_joes

    • Trader Joe's has hundreds of locations all over the US, including 11 in the five boroughs of New York City.
    • The chain's largest store on the East Coast just opened on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
    • We visited three Trader Joe's locations — one in the suburbs of Connecticut and two in New York City — to see where it was better to shop.
    • Between your standard suburban location, a standard city location, and a newer city location, the loser was clear.

    With locations all over the US, you might think that shopping at Trader Joe's would be the same no matter where you go.

    And while you'll find much of the same products and prices at different locations, the shopping experience can vary between urban and suburban locations.

    To determine the better shopping experience, we visited two urban locations — one established location in the Murray Hill neighborhood of New York and one new location on the Lower East Side — and the Trader Joe's in Stamford, Connecticut, located about an hour outside of Manhattan.

    We considered three main criteria when evaluating the stores:

    • First, we looked at each store's layout and the ease at which we were able to move around.
    • Next, we judged each store based on how well-stocked it was when we visited on a weekday morning.
    • Finally, we considered how each store handled crowds and lines.

    After evaluating the three stores, we concluded that it is generally much easier to shop at Trader Joe's in the suburbs, with the exception of the newly-opened urban store.

    Urban stores were harder to navigate and tended to have longer lines, which left us longing for the peaceful shopping experience back in the suburbs.

    Keep reading to find out why you may want to upgrade your usual city grocery shopping experience.

    We decided to compare a Trader Joe's store in the suburbs of Stamford, Connecticut ...



    ... with city locations on the Lower East Side ...



    ... and in Murray Hill in Manhattan.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bii voice app skills growth over time

    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    The voice app ecosystem is booming. In the US, the number of Alexa skills alone surpassed 25,000 in January 2018, up from just 7,000 the previous January, in categories ranging from music streaming services, to games, to connected home tools.

    As voice platforms continue to gain footing in homes via smart speakers — connected devices powered primarily by artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled voice assistants — the opportunity for voice apps is becoming more profound. However, as observed with the rise of mobile apps in the late 2000s, any new digital ecosystem will face significant growing pains, and voice apps are no exception. Thanks to the visual-free format of voice apps, discoverability, monetization, and retention are proving particularly problematic in this nascent space. This is creating a problem in the voice assistant market that could hinder greater uptake if not addressed.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, explores the two major viable voice app stores. It identifies the three big issues voice apps are facing — discoverability, monetization, and retention — and presents possible short-term solutions ahead of industry-wide fixes.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • The market for smart speakers and voice platforms is expanding rapidly. The installed base of smart speakers and the volume of voice apps that can be accessed on them each saw significant gains in 2017. But the new format and the emerging voice ecosystems that are making their way into smart speaker-equipped homes is so far failing to align with consumer needs. 
    • Voice app development is a virtuous cycle with several broken components. The addressable consumer market is expanding, which is prompting more brands and developers to developer voice apps, but the ability to monetize and iterate those voice apps is limited, which could inhibit voice app growth. 
    • Monetization is only one broken component of the voice app ecosystem. Discoverability and user retention are equally problematic for voice app development. 
    • While the two major voice app ecosystems — Amazon's and Google's — have some Band-Aid solutions and workarounds, their options for improving monetization, discoverability, and retention for voice apps are currently limited.
    • There are some strategies that developers and brands can employ in the near term ahead of more robust tools and solutions.

    In full, the report:

    • Sizes the current voice app ecosystem. 
    • Outlines the most pressing problems in voice app development and evolution in the space by examining the three most damning shortcoming: monetization, discoverability, and retention. 
    • Discusses the solutions being offered up by today's biggest voice platforms. 
    • Presents workaround solutions and alternative approaches that could catalyze development and evolution ahead of wider industry-wide fixes from the platforms.

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    Emerging markets are going to be essential for e-commerce growth, as retailers in developed markets may soon reach saturation in terms of consumer growth.

    APAC CAGR

    For example, almost half of US households now have a Prime membership, diminishing Amazon's growth potential in the country. Meanwhile, in China, the world's largest e-commerce market, nearly half of the population is actively making online purchases, leaving little room for growth. 

    However, India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America are worth keeping an eye on. E-commerce penetration rates in these areas hover between 2-6%, presenting a huge opportunity for future growth as online sales gain traction. Moreover, these regions are expected to grow at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 31%, 32%, and 16%, respectively, through 2021.

    This report compiles several e-commerce snapshots, which together highlight the most notable emerging markets in various regions. Each provides an overview of the e-commerce industry in a particular country, discusses influential retailers, and provides insights into the opportunities and challenges for that specific domestic industry.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Emerging markets are going to be essential for e-commerce growth, as retailers in developed markets may soon reach saturation in terms of consumer growth.
    • India is the clear overall leader in e-commerce potential, but countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America are also worth keeping an eye on. Within Southeast Asia, Indonesia shows the most promise for retailers, as the government is loosening restrictions on foreign investments, and its massive population is gaining spending power and more access to internet. Meanwhile, Mexico is a retailer's best bet for expansion in Latin America, due to its stable economy and rising middle class, but Brazil may be gearing up to steal the top spot.
    • However, doing business in these regions can be difficult. In most of these emerging markets, infrastructure is underdeveloped and the population is largely unbanked, making digital payments a challenge.
    • If retailers can build a brand presence in these markets while online shopping is still in its nascent stages, they may become market leaders as e-commerce takes off in the regions. Moreover, these markets could provide new sources of growth for companies that would otherwise stagnate in more mature e-commerce markets.

     In full, the report:

    • Explores the e-commerce industry in India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
    • Highlights the leading country in each region, as well as key e-commerce players there. 
    • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each region faces.
    • Gives insight into how these emerging markets may shape the future of e-commerce.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    felipe gomez alonzo

    • Two young Guatemalan children died in Border Patrol custody in December, prompting an uproar over the conditions of the facilities in which migrants are held.
    • Experts and advocates have decried the Border Patrol stations known as "hieleras," which migrants have alleged are freezing cold, with inedible food, undrinkable water, and open toilets.
    • But the Trump administration has said the uptick in the number of families with young children that have been crossing the border recently are the main driver, acknowledging that the government facilities weren't built to shelter sick children.

    The deaths of two migrant children in Border Patrol custody this month have triggered an uproar over the US government's practice of detaining young children after they cross the border and the alleged lack of medical care they receive in custody.

    But advocates say the problem began long before President Donald Trump — and that the recent deaths in Border Patrol custody have been years in the making.

    Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, died on December 8, roughly 24 hours after Border Patrol detained her. Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, died late on December 24, after spending nearly a full week in various Border Patrol facilities.

    US investigators are still determining the exact causes of the children's deaths, but New Mexico's medical examiner said in a statement that Alonzo tested positive for the flu.

    Experts say the facilities are unsuitable for children

    Both children were eventually brought to hospitals for care, but the temporary facilities that the children were initially detained in have come under particular scrutiny for what experts have described as poor conditions that are unsuitable for children.

    "They're designed to be problematic and not safe," Anne Chandler, the executive director of Tahirih Justice Center's Houston office who's been doing this work for 20 years, told INSIDER.

    She added: "They are designed and meant for punishment and deterrence, and this is nothing unique about this administration. These [Customs and Border Protection] facilities have been nasty and ugly since I started this work."

    Read more: 'Dog cages,' dirty water, and freezing temperatures: Immigrants describe squalid conditions at border facilities

    migrant children mcallen texas facility

    Migrants have long complained about the conditions in the Border Patrol facilities where they're taken immediately after their arrests. They have nicknamed the stations "hieleras," Spanish for "icebox," because of the freezing temperatures.

    Dozens of migrant children and their parents even submitted sworn declarations that alleged they had experiences involving inedible food, undrinkable water, overcrowding, and few opportunities to shower or clean themselves.

    Those declarations were filed over the summer as part of a long-running lawsuit over the US government's treatment of detained migrant children. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) defended itself by pointing to a government report filed in June that declared the agency "continues to comply" with court-ordered rules governing how to treat migrant children.

    But Colleen Kraft, president of the American Association of Pediatrics, told INSIDER she wasn't surprised when she learned of the deaths of Caal and Alonzo after they were detained.

    "We've seen this coming," she said. "When you take a child and you put them into a facility that's cold, and they don't get proper sleep because the lights are on, and they have risk of infection from open toilets, it's a really bad combination of things that could really result in some very sick children."

    'I've never seen a criminal baby'

    jakelin caal maquin

    One unique problem facing the Trump administration is the number of families with young children crossing the border and being placed in detention.

    Border Patrol arrests for illegal entries remain at historically low levels, but the type of migrants coming to the US has evolved over time and begun posing its own set of challenges.

    In previous decades, most of the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border were Mexican men entering alone, seeking work. But now, more and more Central American families and unaccompanied children are crossing together in large groups, often directed by smugglers.

    The Trump administration has pinned much of the blame on the migrants themselves, urging parents to avoid taking their children on long, dangerous journeys to the US, where they will then spend at least several days in detention.

    "The unprecedented number of families and unaccompanied children at the border must not be ignored," Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement on Wednesday. "I once again ask — beg — parents to not place their children at risk by taking a dangerous journey north. Vulnerable populations — including family units and unaccompanied alien children — should seek asylum at the first possible opportunity, including Mexico."

    Read more: After a 7-year-old migrant girl died in Border Patrol custody, Kirstjen Nielsen said 'this family chose to cross illegally', and critics are outraged she's blaming the death on the family

    kirstjen nielsen

    But Kraft said the migrants are "fleeing violence, and death, and recruitment into gangs," and don't make long, difficult journeys to the US on a whim.

    "I've seen a need to try to tone down the rhetoric on people coming to the border as 'criminals,'" Kraft said. "Half of them are children. And I've never seen a criminal baby."

    Kraft said she was heartened that CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan reached out to her on Wednesday to ask for assistance. CBP confirmed to INSIDER that the discussion took place, and said McAleenan will continue to seek AAP's input going forward.

    "The fact that he reached out to us is very positive," she said. "We have 67,000 medical experts — use our expertise. Allow us unfettered access to these facilities. Allow us to train your personnel. Allow us to monitor and make recommendations on these conditions, and we can help you out."

    After Alonzo died, DHS asked the US Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help provide healthcare to migrant children in its custody, partly because the agency didn't have enough trained personnel to handle all the cases itself.

    'Why do we have these kids sleeping on cement?'

    migrants cages mcallen texas

    Trump administration officials, including Nielsen, have acknowledged in recent weeks that the holding facilities were originally designed for adult men — not families with young, sick children.

    But despite Border Patrol's own rules stating that migrants should generally not stay in holding facilities longer than 72 hours, Chandler said she routinely encounters migrant children like Alonzo who have been held much longer.

    Chandler said the conditions in Border Patrol stations may not always cause a child to fall sick — they are often already in "bad shape" after dayslong or weekslong journeys to the US through the desert with little access to food or water.

    But she added that the Trump administration could implement simple measures to avoid worsening their conditions.

    "Why do we have these kids sleeping on cement? We can't afford, as a nation, some type of warm beverage and warm food? These are children, right? It's cruel and unhealthy to say the least," she said. "If kids are coming over and they're sick, that is only going to get worse through this structure."

    border patrol station

    But part of the blame, she added, lies not just with the facilities, but on broader border policies the US government has implemented for decades. Increased fencing, heightened surveillance technologies, and expanded Border Patrol staffing have pushed migrants away from crossing in heavily patrolled areas.

    "We put in measures to try to hamper the abilities of individuals to cross our border, pushing individuals into more desolate areas," Chandler said. "Most of the time these immigrants present themselves to CBP border people, but when they are pushed into these more remote areas to cross the border, their vulnerability and their health situation escalates."

    Caal, for instance, had crossed with a group of 164 migrants in a distant part of the New Mexico desert, where Border Patrol staff struggled to accommodate them.

    According to a government timeline, the "remoteness" of the area where Caal was detained meant that an hours-long bus trip to a different Border Patrol facility was "the best means to provide the child with emergency care."

    Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat who sits on a subcommittee overseeing border funding, told the Associated Press he has pushed for border-security measures that research has shown work, including using ankle monitors to track migrants as their cases proceed through the court system instead of detaining them.

    "There's so much money that the wall sucks up that it's hard to address some of the other issues," Cuellar said. "I wish the administration would understand that."

    The US government has been partially shut down since December 22 because of Trump's demand for $5 billion to fund his long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border, and Congress can't pass a spending bill.

    SEE ALSO: Trump threatens to close the border over a new caravan forming in Honduras that reportedly isn't even headed for the US

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    Edge computing solutions are key tools that help companies grapple with rising data volumes across industries. These types of solutions are critical in allowing companies to gain more control over the data their IoT devices create and in reducing their reliance on (and the costs of) cloud computing.

    edge popularity

    These systems are becoming more sought-after — 40% of companies that provide IoT solutions reported that edge computing came up more in discussion with customers in 2017 than the year before, according to Business Insider Intelligence’s 2017 Global IoT Executive Survey. But companies need to know whether they should look into edge computing solutions, and what in particular they can hope to gain from shifting data processing and analysis from the cloud to the edge.

    There are three particular types of problems that edge computing solutions are helping to combat across industries:

    • Security issues. Edge computing can limit the exposure of critical data by minimizing how often it’s transmitted. Further, they pre-process data, so there’s less data to secure overall.
    • Access issues. These systems help to provide live insights regardless of whether there’s a network connection available, greatly expanding where companies and organizations can use connected devices and the data they generate.
    • Transmission efficiency. Edge computing solutions process data where it’s created so less needs to be sent to the cloud, leading to lower cloud storage requirements and reduced transmission cost.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence examines how edge computing is reducing companies' reliance on cloud computing in three key industries: healthcare, telecommunications, and the automotive space. We explore how these systems mitigate issues in each sector by helping to efficiently process growing troves of data, expanding the potential realms of IoT solutions a company can offer, and bringing enhanced computing capability to remote and mobile platforms.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • In healthcare, companies and organizations are using edge computing to improve telemedicine and remote monitoring capabilities.
    • For telecommunications companies, edge computing is helping to reduce network congestion and enabling a shift toward the IoT platform market.
    • And in the automotive space, edge computing systems are enabling companies to increase the capabilities of connected cars and trucks and approach autonomy.

    In full, the report:

    • Explores the key advantages edge computing solutions can provide.
    • Highlights the circumstances when companies should look into edge systems.
    • Identifies key vendors and partners in specific industries while showcasing case studies of successful edge computing programs.

      Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

      This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
      Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
      Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
      And more!
      Learn More

      Purchase & download the full report from our research store

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Retailers and their logistics partners have been pushed to meet growing customer demands for increasingly speedy shipping. And the steady rise of e-commerce has caused the daily volume of parcel shipments to skyrocket — two trends that, for the foreseeable future, are only going to continue.

    With fulfillment giants like Amazon constantly nipping at their heels, e-tailers have to fight to figure out a way to offer same-day shipping at low prices. To do so, they’re experimenting with nontraditional logistics strategies and startup partners to see what sticks.

    Enter crowdsourced delivery — the Uber model for package fulfillment. In this article, we’ll take a look at what it is, why it’s growing, and the future of same-day shipping.

    crowdsourced delivery

    What is crowdsourced delivery?

    Crowdsourced delivery, also known as crowdsourced shipping, is an emerging method of fulfillment that leverages networks of local, non-professional couriers to deliver packages to customers’ doors. While most common in meal and grocery delivery, this model seems to be springing up everywhere as traditional retailers look for ways to cut costs and maximize supply chain efficiency.

    Why crowdsourced delivery?

    Crowdsourced delivery is beneficial for both retailers and their customers, with the primary advantage simply being that companies can get online orders to their customers faster — sometimes in less than an hour. And with the option of on-demand or scheduled delivery, companies can meet their customers’ demands for instant gratification (which is particularly prevalent among younger, digital-first consumers), while also ensuring that packages are delivered when someone is home — eliminating the additional time and costs involved with multiple delivery attempts.

    A secondary benefit of crowdsourced delivery is that it is tech-heavy and asset-light. Contracted couriers provide their own transportation to make deliveries, often from a retailer’s store location, and are typically paid per delivery or per shift. For companies, this means not worrying about warehouse operations, fleet management, or employee benefits — thereby offsetting some of the high costs and complex logistics associated with on-demand delivery.

    For customers, crowdsourced delivery provides greater control over the shopping experience; it satisfies their need for speed while offering more visibility into the delivery process. Customers can select a desired time slot to ensure they won’t miss a delivery and, perhaps most importantly, they can track their packages along the way. Instead of repeatedly checking a tracking code for a status update, customers can choose to receive SMS text alerts, push notifications, or even GPS tracking on their smartphones.

    Despite these benefits, the startup nature of many crowdsourced delivery services comes with inherent challenges, such as the high per-delivery costs of ad-hoc shipments, which are often absorbed by the retailer as customers become less and less willing to cover delivery fees.

    As with other startups tapping into the gig economy, other major challenges of crowdsourced delivery include workforce issues — more specifically, courier shortages and retention rates. Couriers are often signed up for multiple gigs, which can make localized labor hard to come by at times. When contractors toggle among delivery, ride hailing, and other on-demand service apps looking for the next available job, they can quickly cause churn for the company from burnout, particularly when regular wages and benefits are not guaranteed.

    Solving the last mile problem

    In traditional shipping, the last mile problem is the inefficiency of final delivery. The “last mile” of delivery refers to the final leg of shipment, when a package arrives at the customer’s doorstep. This step of the journey is the most expensive and the most time consuming, as there are typically multiple stops along a given route — slowed down by either long distances between stops in rural areas or heavy traffic in urban settings.

    Crowdsourced delivery attempts to skirt these bottlenecks by tasking someone local to both the package’s origin and customer’s door to expedite fulfillment and elevate customer satisfaction.

    Future of same-day shipping

    To date, crowdsourced delivery has been most commonly seen in meal delivery services in urban markets, with apps such as Postmates, Doordash, and Grubhub, but even giants like Walmart and Aldi have begun dabbling with this model for same-day grocery delivery.

    instacart groceries crowdsourced delivery

    Crowdsourced delivery is not limited to the food and restaurant industries either. A growing number of retailers is now experimenting with crowdsourcing as a solution to same-day shipping — an expectation of 56% of millennials, according to a survey from fraud prevention startup Trustev.

    And startups like Deliv have been answering their calls. Since 2014, the crowdsourced delivery startup has been processing same-day deliveries for Macy’s, using the retail titan’s existing ship-from-store program to pick and pack orders.

    These types of startups have been eliciting a response from traditional delivery providers such as DHL which launched a same-day scheduled delivery pilot for retail shipping in Germany, or FedEx, which has expanded same-day urban delivery in over 30 markets. Unlike emerging startups, these legacy providers have the advantage of leveraging their extensive logistics operations (traditionally used for non-retail deliveries), and shifting them to compete in the retail space.

    And as we continue to see advancements in drone technology and artificial intelligence, it’s likely that in the future, same-day delivery will no longer depend on local couriers, but rather automation.

    More to Learn

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has writtena detailed report on crowdsourced delivery that:

    • Details the factors driving investment and growth in crowdsourced delivery startups.
    • Examines the benefits and drawbacks of using crowdsourcing to deliver online orders.
    • Explains how crowdsourced delivery startups can improve their cost efficiencies to tackle greater delivery volumes
    • Explores the role that crowdsourcing will play in the future of delivery once automated delivery options, like drones and robots, arrive.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Retailers are looking for ways to deliver goods faster to consumers' doorsteps to stave off Amazon's threat and meet customer expectations.
    • To accomplish that, retailers and delivery providers are zeroing in on the "last mile" of fulfillment, the most expensive and time-consuming part of the delivery process, which is when a package reaches the customer's address.
    • Startups like Postmates, Instacart, and others are looking to disrupt the last mile delivery space by leveraging the "Uber model," and connecting businesses to non-professional couriers who can deliver goods instantly.
    • Crowdsourcing can drastically speed up deliveries in urban areas, where there is a high density of deliveries and potential couriers to be matched.
    • However, as delivery volumes increase, crowdsourced delivery startups will need to further optimize their deliveries to improve cost efficiencies.
    • Many of the deliveries these startups perform today will likely be automated in the future, raising the possibility that these startups may eventually look to incorporate new technologies like delivery drones or self-driving delivery vehicles.

       

     

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    Jeff Flake Trump

    • The retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona urged members of his political party to challenge the president, days before he is scheduled to retire from Capitol Hill.
    • "Somebody does need to challenge the president," Flake said in a CNN interview on Friday. "I think that the country needs to be reminded what it means to be conservative, certainly on the Republican side, and what it means to be decent as well, because we need a lot more of that in our politics."
    • Flake had terse words for Trump, who despite saying he was "proud to shut down the government," flipped and blamed Democrats for the ongoing partial government shutdown.
    • "Anytime you stand and say 'I own the shutdown,' then you own it," Flake said.

    Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, one of the few outspoken Republican critics of President Donald Trump, urged members of his political party to challenge the president, days before he is scheduled to retire from Capitol Hill.

    "Somebody does need to challenge the president," Flake said in a Friday interview with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta. "I think that the country needs to be reminded what it means to be conservative, certainly on the Republican side, and what it means to be decent as well, because we need a lot more of that in our politics," Flake said.

    "We've, for whatever reason, have resigned ourselves to two political parties in this country," Flake continued. "And as long as that's the case, both parties need to be rational and sane, and try to govern rather than simply put forward the politics of resentment and anger."

    Flake had terse words for Trump, who despite saying he would "take the mantle" and be "proud to shut down the government," flipped and blamed Democrats for the partial government shutdown, which has been in effect since December 22.

    A last-ditch effort to pass a bipartisan short-term funding bill was scuttled earlier this month after Trump abruptly pulled his support, citing a lack of funding for a wall on the US-Mexico border. The shutdown is expected to continue into next week, after Congress reconvenes from its winter break. 

    "Anytime you stand and say 'I own the shutdown,' then you own it," Flake said. "I mean ... 'Shutdown 101' tells you 'shift the blame if you can.' And when the president immediately said, 'I'll take the blame,' then he's got it."

    Read more: Senators react to Jeff Flake's bombshell announcement that he won't seek reelection

    The senior senator from Arizona, who announced he would retire at the end of his term in January, opened himself up to criticism from Republicans after distancing himself from Trump's more controversial policies and rhetoric.

    In November, Flake pushed back against Trump's escalating attacks on news organizations. After a deadly shooting in a synagogue in Pittsburgh and a string of bomb scares that targeted Democratic leaders, Trump accused news organizations, such as CNN, of "creating violence by not writing the truth."

    "Words matter, and when the president denigrates the press and the First Amendment, and calls real things fake and fake things real, it has a real effect around the world," Flake said on CNN at the time.

    "I agree with the president sometimes, I disagree with him quite a bit," Flake added.

    Asked by Acosta if he planned on running for president as a Republican in 2020, Flake smiled and said he did not rule out the idea.

    "There are others that seem more willing than I am," Flake said. "I've been doing this for 18 years now, it's nice to look forward to a little break."

    SEE ALSO: 'Embarrassing' and 'entirely inappropriate': One of the most highly decorated former US Army generals blasts Trump's visit with US troops in Iraq

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    • The payments ecosystem is undergoing a period of digital transformation, which will spur tremendous growth in money moved around the globe in the next five years.
    • Consumers and businesses will make 841 billion noncash transactions worldwide in 2023, up from 577 billion in 2018.
    • The next five years will mark a pivotal transformation in how companies and consumers handle payments.

    The impact of payments’ digital transformation is rippling around the world, in both advanced economies and developing countries.

    Payments Forecast Book Cover

    Across major global regions, the total volume of e-commerce transactions is expected to rise 91% over the next five years to hit $5.7 trillion by 2023.

    With such impending immense growth, it’s crucial for any business that even touches the payments industry to understand what’s ahead.

    Take, for example, noncash transactions, which include debit card, credit card, direct debit, and credit transfer transactions that are conducted either online or offline. Consumers and businesses will make 841 billion noncash transactions globally in 2023, a 46% surge from 577 billion in 2018. The rise in global card and terminal penetration, coupled with increasing digital payments volume, will will be the key drivers in this growth.

    To successfully navigate this changing landscape, individuals and organizations must understand the full extent to which digital transformation will affect the payments industry, the key drivers of this growth, and how it all relates to the work they do every day.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has forecasted the future of the payments ecosystem in The Payments Forecast Book 2018— and the next five years will be critical for the following four areas:

    • Global Payments: Asia, North America, and Europe will be the three main growth regions in the next five years, and will make up 70% of all noncash transaction growth by 2023.
    • US Payments: In the US, P2P and retail payments combined will still be less than a quarter of the size of the B2B payments market by 2023 ($6.3 trillion vs. $27.3 trillion).
    • US E-Commerce:Total e-commerce spending in the U.S. will surpass $1 trillion by 2023, and the average consumer will spend $2,959 online.
    • US Emerging Payments: By 2023, 67% of US adults will have used BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) at least once in the last 12 months.

    Want to Learn More?

    People, companies, and organizations all over the world are racing to adopt the latest payments solutions and prevent growing pains amidst a technological transformation. The Payments Forecast Book 2018 from Business Insider Intelligence is a detailed four-part slide deck outlining the most important trends impacting the payments ecosystem around the world — and the key drivers propelling each segment forward.

    Representing thousands of hours of exhaustive research, our multipart forecast books are considered must-reads by thousands of highly successful business professionals. These informative slide decks are packed with charts and statistics outlining the most influential trends on the leading edge of your industry. Keep them for reference or drop the most valuable data into your own presentations to share with your teams.

    Whether you’re newly interested in a topic or you already consider yourself a subject matter expert, The Payments Forecast Book 2018 can provide you with the actionable insights you need to make better decisions.

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    pos terminals graphicThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    The downfall of US brick-and-mortar commerce is overblown — despite sharp gains in e-commerce, which will nearly double between now and 2021, the lion’s share of purchasing continues to take place in-store. And that’s unlikely to change anytime soon, since the online environment can’t yet compensate for the reasons customers like brick-and-mortar shopping.

    That means the point-of-sale (POS) terminal, which merchants use to accept payments of all types and to complete transactions, isn’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean it’s not changing. As merchants look to cut costs amidst shifts in consumer shopping habits, POS terminals, which were once predominantly hardware offerings used exclusively for payment acceptance, are evolving into full-service, comprehensive solutions. These new POS terminals are providing an array of business management solutions and connected offerings to complement payment services. 

    This is where the smart terminal, a new product that’s part-tablet, part-register, comes in. Merchants are increasingly seeking out these offerings, which afford them the connectivity, mobility, and interoperability to run their entire business. And that’s shaking up the space, since it’s not just legacy firms, but also mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) players and newer upstarts, that offer these products. 

    As merchants begin demanding a wide variety of payment solutions, terminal providers are scrambling to meet their needs in order to maintain existing customers and attract new ones. This is leading to rapid innovation and increased competition in both the POS terminal hardware and software spaces.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a detailed report on the shifts in this landscape, how leading players can meet them, and who’s doing it most effectively.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • Evolving merchant needs are impacting POS terminal players’ strategies. Merchants select terminal providers based on four key areas: payment functionality, user experience (UX), over-the-top (OTT) offerings, and distribution/customer service. Terminal firms need to innovate in these areas, or risk falling behind.
    • Larger players need to double down on existing success. Smaller players can often be more nimble, which gives them the opportunity to innovate more quickly and build in-demand solutions. That’s a disadvantage to market leaders; however, they can, and should, leverage their massive distribution networks when upgrading or updating their offerings. Meanwhile, smaller players can win by focusing on niches instead.
    • It’s all about the platform. No single feature is likely to make or break a merchant’s decision to pursue a specific provider. Above all, they want a robust ecosystem that can evolve over time. 

    In full, the report:

    • Explains the current state of in-store retail and why terminal firms need to evolve to meet it.
    • Groups features that matter to merchants and explains why they’re important and what terminal providers stand to gain from focusing on them.
    • Determines the leading players in the space.
    • Assesses how the leading players stack up, and which offerings are the most comprehensive.
    • Issues recommendations about how to develop an attractive platform that best serves merchants' needs as the market continues to shift. 

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence,  Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    mobile banking features

    In recent years, we've seen a ballooning of activity in fintech — an expansive term applied to technology-driven disruptions in financial services. And 2018 has been no different, with fintechs' staggering influence on the market evidenced by record funding levels for the industry — by Q3 2018, overall funding was already up 82% from 2017’s total figure, according to CB Insights.

    Additionally, this year marked a watershed moment for the industry, with the once clear distinction between fintechs and financial services proper now blurred significantly. Virtually every incumbent financial institution (FI) is now looking inward and engaging in an innovation drive, spurred on by competition from fintechs. As such, incumbents are now actively investing in, acquiring, and collaborating with their fintech rivals.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence details recent developments in fintech funding and regulation that are defining the environment these startups operate in. We also examine the business model changes being employed among different categories of fintechs as they strive to embed themselves further in mainstream finance and prove sustainability. Finally, we consider which elements of the fintech industry are rapidly rubbing off on incumbent financial services providers, and what the future of fintech will look like.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Funding Circle, GreenSky, Transferwise, Ant Financial, Nubank, Cellulant, Oscar Health, Stripe, One97, UiPath, LianLian Pay, Wacai.com, Gusto, Toast, PingPong, Flywire, Deposit Solutions, Root, Robinhood, Atom, N26, Revolut, OneConnect, PolicyBazaar, WeCash, Zurich, OneDegree, Dinghy, Vouch Insurance, Laka, Cleo, Ernit, Monzo, Moneybox, Bud, Tandem, Starling, Varo Money, Square, ING, Chase, AmEx, Amazon, Monese, Betterment, Tiller Investments, West Hill Capital, Square, Ameritrade, JPMorgan, eToro, Lendy, OnDeck, Ripple, Quorom, Chain, Coinbase, Fidelity, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Bank of America, TransferGo, Klarna, Western Union, Veriff, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Canada, Facebook, ThreatMetrix, Relx, Entersekt, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Gemalto, Lloyd's of London, Kingdom Trust, Aviva, Symbility LINK, eTrade, Allianz, AXA, Broadridge, TD Bank, First Republic Bank, BBVA Compass, Capital One, Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse, Ally, Goldman Sachs.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Fintech funding has already reached new highs globally in 2018, with overall funding hitting $32.6 billion at the end of Q3.
    • Some new regions, including South America and Africa, are emerging on the fintech scene.
    • We've seen considerable scaling in older corners of the fintech ecosystem, including among neobanks and alt lenders.
    • Some fintechs, including a number of insurtechs, have dipped into new markets to escape heightened competition.
    • Emergent areas like blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), as well as digital identity, are gaining traction.
    • Many incumbents are undertaking business transformations that aim to reimagine everything from products and services to front-end systems and back-end processes.

     In full, the report:

    • Details the funding and regulatory landscape in the US, Europe, and Asia.
    • Gives an overview into a number of fintech segments and how they've changed over the past year.
    • Discusses how incumbents are reacting to fintechs in order to stay relevant in the changing financial services sector.
    • Evaluates what the future of fintech will look like and what trends to look out for in the coming year.

    Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

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    SEE ALSO: How the largest US financial institutions rank on offering the mobile banking features customers value most

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    • The Internet of Things is fueling the data-based economy and bridging the divide between physical and digital worlds.
    • Consumers, companies, and governments will install more than 40 billion IoT devices worldwide through 2023.
    • The next five years will mark a pivotal transformation in how companies and jurisdictions operate, and how consumers live.

    Being successful in the digital age doesn’t just require knowing the latest buzzwords; it means identifying the transformational trends – and where they’re heading – before they ever heat up.

    IoT Forecast BookTake the Internet of Things (IoT), for example, which now receives not only daily tech news coverage with each new device launch, but also hefty investments from global organizations ushering in worldwide adoption. By 2023, consumers, companies, and governments will install more than 40 billion IoT devices globally. And it’s not just the ones you hear about all the time, like smart speakers and connected cars.

    To successfully navigate this changing landscape, individuals and organizations must understand the full extent and functionality of the “Things” included in this network, the key drivers of each market segment, and how it all relates to the work they do every day.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has forecasted the start of the IoT’s global proliferation in The IoT Forecast Book 2018— and the next five years will be transformational for consumers, enterprises, and governments.

    • Consumer IoT: In the US alone, the number of smart home devices is estimated to surpass 1 billion by 2023, with consumers dishing out about $725 per household — a total of over $90 billion in spending on IoT solutions.
    • Enterprise IoT: Comprising the most mature segment of the IoT, companies will continue pouring billions of dollars into connected devices and automation. By 2023, the total industrial robotic system installed base will approach 6 million worldwide, while annual spending on manufacturing IoT solutions will reach about $450 billion.
    • Government IoT: Governments globally are ushering in IoT devices to spur the development of smart cities, which would be equipped with innovations like connected cameras, smart street lights, and connected meters to provide a real-time view of traffic, utilities usage, crime, and environmental factors. Annual investment in this area is expected to reach nearly $900 billion by 2023.

    Want to Learn More?

    People, companies, and organizations all over the world are racing to adopt the latest IoT solutions and prevent growing pains amidst a technological transformation. The IoT Forecast Book 2018 from Business Insider Intelligence is a detailed three-part slide deck outlining the most important trends impacting consumer, enterprise, and government IoT — and the key drivers propelling each segment forward.

    Representing thousands of hours of exhaustive research, our multipart forecast books are considered must-reads by thousands of highly successful business professionals. These informative slide decks are packed with charts and statistics outlining the most influential trends on the leading edge of your industry. Keep them for reference or drop the most valuable data into your own presentations to share with your teams.

    Whether you’re newly interested in a topic or you already consider yourself a subject matter expert, The IoT Forecast Book 2018 can provide you with the actionable insights you need to make better decisions.

     

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    Large FIs tech investments NEWThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    The way incumbent banks onboard and verify the identities of their customers online is inconvenient and insecure, resulting in lowered customer satisfaction and loyalty, and security breaches leading to compensation payouts and legal costs.

    It’s a lose-lose situation, as consumers become disgruntled and banks lose business. The problem stems from the very strict verification standards and high noncompliance fines that banks are subject to, which have led them to prioritize stringency over user experience in verification. At the same time, this approach doesn't gain banks much, since the verification methods they use to remain compliant can actually end up compromising customers' personal data.

    But banks can't afford to prioritize stringent verification at the cost of user experience anymore. Onboarding and verification standards are increasingly being set by more tech-savvy players within and outside their industry, like fintechs and e-retailers. If banks want to keep customers loyal, they have to start innovating in this area. The trick is to streamline verification for clients without compromising accuracy. If banks manage to do this, the result will be happier and more loyal customers; higher client retention and revenue; and less spending on redundant checks, compensation for breaches, and regulatory fines.

    The long-term opportunity such innovation presents is even bigger. Banks are already experts in vouching for people’s identities, and because they’re held to such tight verification standards, their testimonies are universally trusted. So, if banks figure out how to successfully digitize customer identification, this could help them not only boost revenue and cut costs, but secure a place for themselves in an emerging platform economy, where online identities will be key to carrying out transactions. 

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • The strict verification standards that banks are held to have led them to create onboarding and login processes that are painful for clients. Plus, the verification methods they use to remain compliant can actually end up putting customers' personal data at risk. This leaves banks with dented customer satisfaction, as well as security breaches and legal costs.
    • Several factors are now pushing banks to attempt to remedy the situation, including a tougher regulatory environment and increasing competition from agile startups and tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, where speedy onboarding and intuitive service is a given.
    • The trick is to streamline verification for clients without compromising accuracy, something several emerging technologies promise to deliver, including biometrics, optical character recognition (OCR) technology, cryptography, secure video links, and blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT). 
    • The long-term opportunity such innovation presents is even bigger. Banks are already experts in vouching for people’s identities, so if they were to figure out how to successfully digitize customer identification, this could help them secure a valued place, and relevance, in a modernizing economy.

    In full, the report:

    • Looks at why identity verification is so integral to banking, and why it's becoming a problem for banks.
    • Outlines the biggest drivers pushing banks to revamp their verification methods.
    • Gives an overview of the technologies, both new and established but repurposed, that are enabling banks to bring their verification methods into the digital age.
    • Discusses what next steps have to happen to bring about meaningful change in the identity verification space, and how banks can capitalize on their existing strengths to make such shifts happen.

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
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    And more!
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    • Amazon announced in November it would place its HQ2 project in two cities: Long Island City, Queens, in New York City and Arlington in Virginia.
    • Northern Virginia and New York City are two locations that were seen as obvious places any tech company would move.
    • That is a far cry from the original pitch for HQ2, which Amazon billed as completely up in the air, making HQ2 the biggest troll of the year.

    Amazon found its HQ2 this year. And, apparently, its HQ3.

    The company announced in November that it will split its second-headquarters project between two cities: New York, in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, and Arlington, Virginia, in the Crystal City neighborhood (now renamed National Landing).

    Selecting two cities is something of a curveball because it was not originally part of the plan Amazon had proposed for HQ2.

    In fact, on the website it created when it announced the HQ2 project, in September 2017, Amazon said the purpose of the entire project was to create "a full equal to our current campus in Seattle."

    Now, everything Amazon promised goes out the window. What makes these two locations different from Amazon's presence in other cities where it has offices, such as Boston or Los Angeles?

    In fact, Amazon already has a sizable number of employees in both the DC area and New York City. New York already has the largest number of employees outside Seattle, and Amazon employs thousands of workers in each city.

    A small note at the bottom of Amazon's RFP did, however, hint at it as a possibility of two separate campuses, but the locations themselves were anything but surprises.

    Amazon said tech talent is what drew it to the two places, with Northern Virginia and New York City each having the biggest pools outside of the West Coast.

    If that's the case, why did Amazon hold the public contest at all? 

    Read more: Amazon is breaking a central promise of HQ2 by placing it in 2 different cities

    With two locations splitting what the company has billed as a $5 billion investment and 50,000 new jobs, Amazon's initial promise would ring hollow. Neither would be anywhere close to equal to Seattle, where Amazon said now has more than 40,000 employees and has made $3.7 billion in capital investment.

    Effectively, it would mean that Amazon wouldn't have a true second headquarters — something that some critics have been claiming all along.

    It may have something to do with Amazon's sensitivity to criticism that no one municipality could absorb the large impact of its HQ2 as it was proposed.

    Splitting it into two could remove some objections from local leaders, but it would also take away some of the project's luster.

    Less downside, in this case, also means less upside. New York and Arlington reportedly will get Amazon, but they won't get HQ2. Nobody will.

    That makes Amazon's HQ2 saga the biggest bait and switch of 2018.

    SEE ALSO: Making returns on Amazon isn't usually free, but it can be if you follow a simple rule

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    robin hood

    • At the box office, 2018 saw a record year, but Hollywood still experienced plenty of flops. 
    • From "The Girl in the Spider's Web" to "Robin Hood," these are the biggest box-office disappointments of the year.

    At the North American box office, 2018 saw a record year, but Hollywood still had its fair share of flops.

    A "Star Wars" movie didn't land with audiences the way Disney expected, and anything starring Claire Foy struggled this year. The latest iteration of "Robin Hood" was dead on arrival, and a new big-budget fantasy from Peter Jackson didn't attract moviegoers the way the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy did.

    We've rounded up the biggest box-office disappointments and disasters this year.

    Below are 13 of the biggest movie flops of 2018 (box-office figures and production budgets are based on numbers from Box Office Mojo, unless otherwise stated):

    SEE ALSO: The 10 highest-grossing movies in the US of 2018, from 'Black Panther' to 'The Grinch'

    "A Wrinkle in Time" (March 9)

    Worldwide box office: $132 million

    Estimated production budget: $100 million (source: The Hollywood Reporter)

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 42%

    Disney ruled the box office in 2018 with movies like "Black Panther,""Avengers: Infinity War," and "Incredibles 2." But not everything it released was a wild success. The first disappointment was with Ava DuVernay's Disney adaptation of the fantasy novel "A Wrinkle in Time," which made just $132 million worldwide. Only $32 million of that came from international box office. 



    "Solo: A Star Wars Story" (May 25)

    Worldwide box office: $392 million

    Estimated production budget: $250 million (source: Variety)

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 70%

    "Solo" is in the top 10 of the highest-grossing movies of the year in the US. But it's still a major disappointment by "Star Wars" standards and is the first movie during the Disney era of the franchise to likely lose money. After a troubled production, in which Ron Howard replaced fired directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, "Solo" didn't even crack $400 million worldwide. Every other Disney "Star Wars" movie has grossed over $1 billion.



    "Billionaire Boy's Club" (August 17)

    Worldwide box office: $2.2 million

    Estimated production budget: N/A

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 8%

    Kevin Spacey's new movie made only $126 on its opening day in August, with just six people seeing it per theater in its first weekend. It barely made more than $600 during its opening weekend. The movie went on to earn only $1,300 in the US and $2.2 million internationally. 



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    • Sir Martin Sorrell said WPP's recent mergers spell the "death" of the Y&R and J. Walter Thompson brands and that the Y&R name should have come first in the merged company.
    • The former head of WPP also said he thinks the agency holding companies will survive, but there will be more consolidation.
    • He said that with his new company, S4 Capital, he's not concerned with competitors but with whether he can meet clients' data-related needs.

    After Sir Martin Sorrell's sudden departure as chief of WPP earlier this year, he set up S4 Capital to create a global-advertising, marketing, and ad-tech company by acquisition. That was followed by two big deals — MightyHive and MediaMonks.

    Business Insider caught up with Sorrell offstage at its IGNITION Conference in New York in December, where he weighed in on the agency-holding-company model, WPP, and advertising measurement. Our interview has been edited and condensed.

    Tanya Dua: With MediaMonks and MightyHive, S4 seems to have the programmatic and digital-production side of the equation figured out. What's next?

    Sir Martin Sorrell: We almost have the complete train set — probably about three-quarters to seven-eighths of the set. I'd like to see a little bit more in content and a little bit more in first-party data. But it's difficult to find good assets, and they're expensive. On the data side, there's stuff that I really like, but pricing is hard. When IPG bought Acxiom, they seemed to leave behind the best asset [LiveRamp], and I wonder why that was.

    Dua: The agency holding companies are making huge changes as well. Will that model as we know it survive?

    Sorrell: They'll survive, but there will be more consolidation. I can't remember a time when it's been more revolutionary.

    Dua: What is your opinion on the VMLY&R and Wunderman-J. Walter Thompson mergers at WPP?

    Sorrell: VMLY&R was something that I initiated. [VMLY&R CEO] Jon Cook and I fully agreed that it was going to happen. We were going to put Geometry [Global] into it as well. But I think it was a mistake for Jon not to have been more magnanimous. He would have done himself and his people at VML a lot of good by calling it Y&RVML.

    I can understand the idea of making it digital-first by implication, so you put Wunderman before Thompson and VML before Y&R, but it means the death of the Y&R and Thompson brand. I was in Argentina when it was announced, and Y&R and JWT in Argentina mean something.

    These decisions are difficult to make, but when you make them, you have to blend them in. You have to go out and talk to the troops and explain why you're doing it, because if you don't, you will lose their hearts and minds.

    Read more: Sir Martin Sorrell says the advertising industry reminds him of Burning Man, and it should embrace 'radical change'

    Dua: Do these moves signal the death of creative agencies? You don't seem to be shopping for creative assets for S4.

    Sorrell: You're living in the 19th century if you define creativity like Don Draper. The definition of creativity is shifting. Believe it or not, data analysts can be creative. People who do digital can be creative. Data doesn't destroy creativity, but enhances it, informs it, and makes it more effective.

    Dua: So who is S4 competing with? The consulting firms?

    Sorrell: I don't worry too much about the industry. What I worry about is what does S4 deliver in terms of data, driving content, and driving media planning, buying or programmatic. Several clients have said to me that is their model. They have their first-party data at the core, and that drives what they do from a content point of view and what they do on the media-planning and buying side.

    The acid test of S4 will be whether the combination works effectively and has correctly analyzed what clients want. The mantra — it's a terrible mantra in many respects — is doing it faster, better, cheaper, and more efficiently.

    Dua: You've said before that measurement needs to be improved. Some advertising executives have gone over to the measurement side recently. What are your thoughts on that?

    Sorrell: Comscore is a tragedy. We invested in Comscore when I was at WPP, and they had a massive opportunity. I was really disappointed with the way that was handled. I'm just as hopeful now as I was before. With Nielsen, I think [new CEO] David Kenny will make a difference. It's too early to tell. But there's a big opportunity there.

    Dua: Has Amazon started to challenge Google and Facebook's dominance?

    Sorrell: In terms of market cap, it has already. In terms of advertising, Amazon has a long way to [go], but it will challenge on advertising and search. Fifty-five percent of product searches in the US, according to Kantar, are delivered or initiated through Amazon. Those are the three, the troika, if you ignore the Eastern challenge, which includes Tencent and Alibaba.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • Investment banks like Morgan Stanley are already starting to research the flying car ecosystem of the future.
    • The bank has put together a list of 40 stocks that are primed to perform when these new technologies take over.
    • Some names, like Tesla, UPS or Amazon, you might have guessed make the list. Others, like electronics makers and semiconductor companies, are also on the list for their under-the-hood manufacturing. 

    If you want to invest in automakers, there are plenty of exchange-traded funds that will help you do that.

    And for more broad investment themes — like cryptocurrencies or environmental responsibility— there are incredibly specific ETF's built to track a specific idea.

    But for something as nascent as flying cars and taxi drones, you may have to build your own portfolio. Luckily, Morgan Stanley has done some of the homework for you in compiling the "Urban Air 50" a group of more than four dozen stocks it says are ready to reap the rewards of a robust urban air transportation network and rollout.

    "As part of our collaboration across Morgan Stanley, we have constructed a diversified list of stocks that, in our collective view, are most exposed to the adoption of Urban Air Mobility," the team said in its report. "The list is populated irrespective of specific 12-month recommendations, and, so, includes some Underweight-rated names, in addition to Equal-weight- and Overweight-rated names."

    Here’s the full list of 40 names:

    SEE ALSO: Virgin Hyperloop One's new CEO has run subway systems and bike-sharing companies around the world — now he’s focused on making Elon Musk's dream a reality

    Tesla

    Sector: Autos & Shared Mobility

    "Tesla has expertise in batteries, AI software, complete vehicle engineering, charging infrastructure and material science that we believe may have transfer ability to the autonomous aircraft domain. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is regularly asked about flying cars. While he is sometimes cautious about the near-term commercialization of the product due to noise and wind force, he has been outspoken about his desire to design a vertical-take-off-and-landing supersonic electric jet. Tesla’s increasingly close relationship with SpaceX may also prove useful in this adjacent area of development."

    Source: Morgan Stanley



    Aptiv

    Sector: Autos & Shared Mobility

    "Aptiv is a leader in software, sense-and-compute, electronic architecture and hardware integration for autonomous and electric cars. Given the skills overlap between AVs and flying cars discussed throughout this report, we see Aptiv as potentially well positioned in flying cars in a magnitude that we believe exceeds the risk of potential cannibalization. The company has conducted 5,000+ automated rides in Las Vegas, with a 4.96 / 5.00 rating on the Lyft app, and expects to have 75 vehicles in Las Vegas by the end of 2018."

    Source: Morgan Stanley



    Seating and interior companies

    Lear and Adient

    Sector: Autos & Shared Mobility

    "Seating/interior companies have expertise in the mass production of seats (including seat structures and mechanism/recliners) that are tested to a high level of longevity and crash safety in a rigorous automotive environment.

    "In our view, while the absolute unit volume of passenger – carrying flying cars may be quite low for the next 10 to 15 years, the $ value per unit may be substantially higher than for light vehicles - perhaps a significant multiple of content value. Adient has been emphasizing the aerospace opportunity broadly for their seating and interior products. Earlier in 2018, Adient and Boeing launched a new company to design and build airplane seats with the aim to sell a portfolio of products directly to airlines and leasing companies. Lear’s seating portfolio is also well positioned on the theme, in our opinion. "

    Source: Morgan Stanley



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    • President Trump has taken a hatchet to federal rules that he says kill jobs, cost money and give Washington bureaucrats too much power.
    • While this may be music to some large industries' ears, there are a number of sectors that are pleading with the feds to impose new rules.

    Regulation is a dirty word in most Republican administrations, and President Trump has taken a hatchet to federal rules that he says kill jobs, cost money and give Washington bureaucrats too much power.

    The catch: While this may be music to some large industries' ears, there are a number of sectors that are pleading with the feds to impose new rules. Without them, they say, their industries can't grow — and what's bad for business is bad for the economy.

    Here's a sampling of industries — both fledgling and established — that want the government to slap some regulations on them, in some cases to provide some certainty, and in others to get rid of headaches.

    Drones: The Gatwick Airport drone incident this month underscores why drone companies want the Federal Aviation Administration to write rules governing how drones can operate in the skies.

    • To help appease mounting security concerns, drone makers support remote identification standards so officials can spot rogue devices. And for their business needs, they want the FAA to establish rules that allow operators to fly drones beyond their line of sight and over people. Without those rules, companies like Amazon can't use drones to deliver packages to your door.

    Autonomous vehicles: Current federal law prohibits the deployment of self-driving vehicles without steering wheels and other conventional driver controls, and other rules for self-driving cars vary from state to state, as Axios' Joann Muller points out.

    • Congress failed to pass a law revising standards in order to deploy more cars (some Democrats wanted tighter safety measures). As GM CEO Mary Barra wrote for Axios, federal legislation is needed to "provide a path for manufacturers to put self-driving vehicles on the roads safely."

    Electric vehicles: In October, GM urged the Trump administration to create what amounts to a national electric vehicle sales mandate. GM says its proposal for a national zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) program could lead to addition of 7 million "long-range" EVs on U.S. roads by 2030.

    • It’s in the company’s financial interest to help drive the EV market; GM plans to launch at least 20 all-electric models by 2023. Environmentalists, however, said GM is just trying to distract from its support for weakening Obama-era mileage and emissions rules, notes Axios' Ben Geman.

    Facial recognition: Microsoft wants the U.S. government to set limits on the use of facial recognition technology that is increasingly being used in surveillance and other law enforcement tools, raising the risk of bias, discrimination and privacy breaches.

    • Microsoft suggests that those employing facial recognition should have to provide notice, and that ongoing surveillance should only be allowed with a court order, reports Axios' Ina Fried.

    Digital currencies: 2017 ushered in a boom in so-called “initial coin offerings,” but so far the Securities and Exchange Commission has only issued one no-action report and a string of charges against fraudsters.

    • The cryptocurrency industry is clamoring for regulators to finally declare what qualifies as securities (among other questions). And it would also like some further guidance from the Internal Revenue Service, which has kept mum since a short 2014 memo, notes Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva.

    Online privacy: Early in the Trump administration, Congress overturned the FCC's privacy rules for internet service providers such as AT&T, Verizon, Charter and Comcast. The rules didn't apply to web giants like Google or Facebook, who supported their repeal.

    • In the wake of high-profile data scandals and an increased interest in reining in Big Tech's power, policymakers from both parties are revisiting the need for federal privacy rules. This time, the telecom and tech companies are on board with rules — partly because they're inevitable, and partly to pre-empt state regulations are are cropping up all over the country.

    Financial advisers: Brokerage firms want more clarity about an Obama-era fiduciary rule that was overturned this year. The rule required financial advisers to work in their client's best interest — and not push products with higher fees, even if they produce less-than-stellar returns.

    • But firms have already shifted investment products and altered structures of broker fees in preparation for the regulation's full implementation. The question is what's coming back and when. The SEC has since taken up the issue, proposed "Regulation Best Interest" and put it high on its 2019 agenda, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.

    Oil: Most fossil-fuel companies have supported Trump’s aggressive efforts rolling back most of Barack Obama’s environmental regulations. But some of the biggest oil and gas companies want the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that’s the primary component of natural gas.

    • This is because it gives them a competitive advantage over smaller companies and a social license to operate a fuel that’s cleaner than coal but still a fossil fuel. Some automakers also don’t want Trump to freeze auto-efficiency standards issued under Obama, though that is likely the route the administration is set to take, reports Axios' Amy Harder.

    The bottom line: Companies may feel safer handing government the hot potato of figuring out where to draw lines around potentially controversial technologies to help limit their own liabilities. But government may not be inclined to limit its own freedom to use the new tools, as may be the case with facial recognition and drones, notes Axios' Ina Fried.

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    The proliferation of e-commerce has transformed free shipping and same-day delivery from perks to table stakes — and retailers are paying the price. With daily parcel volumes surging and customers increasingly unlikely to foot the bill, companies have been tasked with finding new ways to offer speedy shipments without eating costs.

    last mile share of delivery costs

    Among the most popular strategies is crowdsourced delivery, the Uber model helping online shops solve the most expensive part of shipping: the last mile problem. Like Uber and other ride hailing apps, a number of crowdsourced delivery solutions have been cropping up over the past few years to ease these pains by connecting customers directly with local couriers. And it’s not just startups either; Amazon, the world's undisputed e-commerce leader, is investing big in crowdsourcing deliveries.

    How much does Amazon spend on shipping?

    “Free shipping” comes at a high cost. According to Amazon’s 2017 annual report, the company spent $21.7 billion in shipping last year — a number that includes sortation, delivery center, and transportation costs. This is nearly double the $11.5 billion it spent on shipping in 2015. And as the expectation of free, same-day delivery becomes the standard for online consumers, even giants like Amazon need to seek alternative solutions.

    The crowdsourcing solution to the last mile problem

    The last mile of delivery is the most expensive and time-consuming part of fulfillment for retailers and their logistics partners, comprising 53% of the overall cost of shipment. Crowdsourcing takes the onus off of companies, instead connecting customers directly with local couriers to expedite deliveries and cut down on costs.

    The crowdsourcing model is already popular among meal and grocery delivery and, seeing the success of startups like Uber, Airbnb, and GrubHub, e-commerce retailers are now eyeing it to fulfill their online orders. As a result, general use crowdsourced delivery companies have emerged to meet this need.

    Here’s a look at how three companies - Amazon Flex, Hitch, and Deliv - are trying their hand in the shipping industry — and what’s coming up next.

    Amazon Flex - Deliver with Amazon

    Launched in 2015 and piloted in Seattle, Amazon Flex lets customers order and receive packages through its on-demand delivery service, Prime Now, which guarantees free one- and two-hour deliveries. For Prime customers with already high expectations for prompt delivery, not much changes; the service primarily markets itself as a side gig for couriers.

    Amazon Flex

    For the most part, the app is only open to people who have cars (except in select regions allowing commercial bicycles), so those who want to make deliveries on bike or foot might have to look elsewhere. The service is particularly attractive to rideshare drivers who may want to make extra money without having strangers or potentially disruptive passengers in their cars. Anyone 21 or older with a smartphone, car, and valid driver’s license can log into the app and schedule their availability to start making deliveries.

    Shipments can originate at an Amazon location, store, or restaurant. Drivers use their smartphone camera and GPS to scan packages and get turn-by-turn directions to their destinations. As long as they deliver the package within the allotted time frame, couriers make $18-25 an hour — all through a cashless transfer to their digital wallet on the app.

    Learn more about Amazon Flex.

    Hitch - Crowdsourced Delivery

    Hitch

    Founded in 2014, Tampa-based startup Hitch gives consumers, “the choice to be Shippers, Travelers, or both.” The platform touts “turning your commute into cash” by pairing up shippers (the people placing the orders) with travelers (the local couriers) who are already heading in the direction of the delivery.

    Users create profiles on the app to join the socially vetted community, where they can then rate one another and verify their accounts by adding bank account information. Shippers put out requests to have packages delivered, and Travelers can input travel information to see if there are any available deliveries along their route.

    The app uses GPS to find the quickest route and provide tracking, as well as camera functionality to show proof of delivery. All payments are exchanged through Hitch’s third-party payment processing partner, Stripe.

    Learn more about Hitch.

    Deliv - Same-Day Delivery

    Deliv is a general use last mile solution offering same-day service to over 4,000 omnichannel businesses in 35 cities across the country. Some of its biggest partners include Macy’s, Best Buy, Walmart, and IBM.

    Deliv Fresh

    Rather than just fulfilling ad hoc deliveries for consumers, Deliv seeks to be a long-term business partner solving companies’ last mile problem — evidenced by its breakdown into Deliv Small Business, Deliv Enterprise, and Deliv Fresh for groceries. It offers SLAs, performance metrics, and integrations into business’ online checkout processes.

    And the company is growing. In February, 2018, it launched Deliv Rx to extend these same-day services to patients, doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, labs, and clinics. Deliveries can include things like prescriptions, x-rays, medical equipment, documents, and even pet medicine.

    Learn more about Deliv.

    Growth & Future of Crowdsource Shipping

    Want to learn more? The Crowdsourced Delivery Report from Business Insider Intelligence examines the rise of the crowdsourcing model in the last mile delivery space.

    In this report, we detail the top use cases for crowdsourced deliveries, as well as the benefits and challenges of using this model for delivering online orders. We also provide insights into how to optimize crowdsourced deliveries for e-commerce and, lastly, we explain the long-term potential of startups appearing in the crowdsourced delivery space as automation plays a bigger role.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Retailers are looking for ways to deliver goods faster to consumers' doorsteps to stave off Amazon's threat and meet customer expectations.
    • To accomplish that, retailers and delivery providers are zeroing in on the "last mile" of fulfillment, the most expensive and time-consuming part of the delivery process, which is when a package reaches the customer's address.
    • Startups like Postmates, Instacart, and others are looking to disrupt the last mile delivery space by leveraging the "Uber model," and connecting businesses to non-professional couriers who can deliver goods instantly.
    • Crowdsourcing can drastically speed up deliveries in urban areas, where there is a high density of deliveries and potential couriers to be matched.
    • However, as delivery volumes increase, crowdsourced delivery startups will need to further optimize their deliveries to improve cost efficiencies.
    • Many of the deliveries these startups perform today will likely be automated in the future, raising the possibility that these startups may eventually look to incorporate new technologies like delivery drones or self-driving delivery vehicles.

    In full, the report:

    • Details the factors driving investment and growth in crowdsourced delivery startups.
    • Examines the benefits and drawbacks of using crowdsourcing to deliver online orders.
    • Explains how crowdsourced delivery startups can improve their cost efficiencies to tackle greater delivery volumes.
    • Explores the role that crowdsourcing will play in the future of delivery once automated delivery options, like drones and robots, arrive.

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
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    Mobility Market

    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    Automakers are on the verge of a prolonged period of rapid change to the way they do business, thanks to the combined disruptive forces of growing on-demand mobility services and self-driving cars, which will start to come to market in the next couple of years.

    By the end of 2019, Google spinoff Waymo, Uber, and GM all plan to have fleets of autonomous cars deployed in various US cities to provide on-demand rides for passengers. By eliminating the cost of the driver, these rides are expected to be far cheaper than typical Uber or Lyft rides, and even cheaper than owning a car for personal transportation.

    Many industry experts are predicting that such cheap on-demand autonomous rides service will result in a long-term decline in car ownership rates — PwC predicts that the total number of cars on the road in the US and EU will drop from 556 million last year to 416 million in 2030.

    This decline in car ownership represents an enormous threat to automakers’ traditional business models, forcing them to find alternative revenue sources. Many of these automakers, including GM, Ford, and Daimler, have plans to launch their own on-demand ride-hailing services with fleets of self-driving cars they will manufacture, potentially giving them a new stream of recurring revenue. This could set them up to take a sizeable share of a market that is expected to be worth trillions by 2030.

    However, competing in the on-demand mobility market will pit legacy automakers against ride-hailing services from startups and tech giants that have far greater experience in acquiring and engaging consumers through digital channels. To succeed in what will likely be a hyper-competitive market for urban ride-hailing, automakers will have to foster new skill sets in their organizations, and transform from companies that primarily produce vehicles to ones that also manage vehicle fleets and customer relationships.

    That will entail competing with startups and tech giants for software development and data science talent, as well as reforming innovation processes to keep pace with digital trendsetters. Automakers will also need to create unique mobile app and in-car experiences to lure customers. Finally, these automakers will face many overall barriers in the market, including convincing consumers that self-driving cars are safe, and dealing with a complex and evolving regulatory landscape.

    In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, delves into the future of the on-demand mobility space, focusing on how automakers will use fleets of self-driving vehicles to break into an emerging industry that's been dominated thus far by startups like Uber and Lyft. We examine how the advent of autonomous vehicles will reshape urban transportation, and the impact it will have on traditional automakers. We then detail how automakers can leverage their core strengths to create new revenue sources with autonomous mobility services, and explore the key areas they'll need to gain new skills and capabilities in to compete with mobility startups and tech giants that are also eyeing this opportunity. 

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • The low cost of autonomous taxis will eventually lead car ownership rates among urban consumers to decline sharply, putting automakers’ traditional business models at risk.
    • Many automakers plan to launch their own autonomous ride-hailing services with the self-driving cars they're developing to replace losses from declining car sales, putting them in direct competition with mobility startups and tech giants looking to launch similar services.
    • Additionally, automakers plan to maximize utilization of their autonomous on-demand vehicles by performing last-mile deliveries, which will force them to compete with a variety of players in the parcel logistics industry.
    • Regulatory pressures could also push automakers to consider alternative mobility services besides on-demand taxis, such as autonomous on-demand shuttle or bus services.
    • Providing these types of services will force automakers to make drastic changes to their organizations to acquire new talent and skills, and not all automakers will succeed at that.

    In full, the report:

    • Forecasts the growth of autonomous on-demand ride-hailing services in the US.
    • Examines the cost benefits of such services for consumers, and how they will reshape consumers’ transportation habits.
    • Details the different avenues for automakers to monetize the growth of autonomous ride-hailing.
    • Provides an overview of the various challenges that all players in the self-driving car space will need to overcome to monetize their investments in these new technologies in the coming years.
    • Explains the key factors that will be critical for automakers to succeed in this emerging market.
    • Offers examples of how automakers can differentiate their apps and services from competitors’.

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
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