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- 12/31/18--15:29: _It could take days ...
- 12/31/18--16:08: _From a hush-hush Ap...
- 12/31/18--16:34: _[Report] Future of ...
- 12/31/18--17:09: _These are the top 5...
- 12/31/18--17:17: _6 top VCs give thei...
- 12/31/18--18:04: _International money...
- 12/31/18--18:35: _'You'd have to ask ...
- 12/31/18--19:13: _Here's how fintech ...
- 12/31/18--19:51: _Stunning photos sho...
- 12/31/18--20:08: _When it comes to VR...
- 12/31/18--21:01: _Traditional TV usag...
- 12/31/18--21:38: _At least 9 people i...
- 12/31/18--22:17: _Disgraced former Ni...
- 12/31/18--23:04: _How consumers rank ...
- 01/01/19--10:07: _I'm a neurosurgeon,...
- 01/01/19--10:30: _7 unusual status sy...
- 01/01/19--10:30: _10 new books Amazon...
- 01/01/19--10:32: _How three countries...
- 01/01/19--10:33: _8 signs you're not ...
- 01/01/19--10:59: _Research shows frie...
- You may have to wait a few days for your "top nine"
- According to a pop-up on the website Top Nine, is currently "being used by millions of users worldwide."
- Of course, if you're just eager to relive your most-liked Instagram posts of 2018, you can always download the Top Nine app.
- Business Insider's team of tech journalists was first to report some of the most important developments in tech in 2018.
- From the surprise departure of Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene to the internal turmoil at AR pioneer Magic Leap and the problems leading up to Uber's fatal autonomous-car crash, the industry has had an eventful year.
- Check out the list below for some great reads you may have missed, or to refresh your perspective and challenge your assumptions as you prepare for the new year in tech.
- Life insurance is fundamentally hard to sell; it’s morbid to think about, promises no immediate rewards, and often requires a lengthy paper application with minimal guidance.
- Despite the popularity of personalized products in other areas of finance and fintech, life insurance largely remains unchanged.
- A small, but growing pocket of insurtech startups are shaking up the status quo by finding ways to digitize life insurance and increase its appeal.
- Lack of education: Forty percent of US consumers told the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA) that they feel intimidated by the life insurance application process, often drastically overestimating its cost and facing uncertainty about how much or which type of coverage to buy.
- Inconvenient application process: It can take weeks or months for coverage to take effect because of the sheer number of meetings and parties combing through paperwork in each round of the application process. The risk for the insurer often warrants reviews from the carrier, a team of underwriters, a broker, and even a medical examiner.
- Low customer loyalty: Life insurance tends to be a “set it and forget it” type of purchase, with very few people revisiting it after buying. Insurers and consumers therefore have limited contact for most of the relationship — with the exception of an annual bill, of course.
- Inefficient data management and processing: The aggregate data life insurers rely on is typically fed into algorithms that make broad assumptions about particular populations, and often incorporate outdated medical documentation — all of which can delay applications and result in unnecessary rejections.
- Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and self-driving technology are helping the transportation and logistics industry finally transform by cutting costs, optimizing delivery routes, and automating mundane tasks.
- Startups will be the lynchpin of this transformation because they specifically target areas of need with cutting-edge solutions.
- Business Insider Intelligence examined the top 5 startups within five key areas: digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI for supply chain management, last-mile delivery robotics, and self-driving car software.
- We asked healthcare and biotech venture capitalists from leading firms like Venrock, Canaan Partners, and General Catalyst Partners to share their predictions for 2019.
- While some had their eye on new ways to aid mental health, others are on the lookout for biotechs with a more focused approach to drug development.
- From biotech-market corrections to an ever-growing field of direct-to-consumer healthcare companies, here's what the VCs anticipate will be in store next year.
- The global remittance industry recovered from a two-year decline in 2017 to reach a record $613 billion in transfer volume. That growth will continue and will be fueled by digital remittances, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow at a 23% CAGR from $225 billion in 2018 to $387 billion in 2023.
- There’s a new segment of customers that both legacy and digital firms are competing to grab share of. Young, digital-savvy consumers are the customer segment that all firms are vying to reach, which is creating a highly competitive dynamic. The needs of those consumers will precipitate transformational change in the industry.
- We’ve identified several tangible steps firms can take to improve in four key areas — cost, convenience, speed, and security — to not only attract but also maintain this customer segment to align with their preferences and ultimately win in the space.
- Outlines the global remittance landscape and sizes the opportunity that the industry presents.
- Identifies the new audience for remittances and future drivers of the remittance space going forward.
- Discusses four key areas that providers can focus on — cost, convenience, speed, and security — to improve offerings and ultimately capture that shifting audience.
- President Donald Trump responded to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Monday announcement that she was forming an exploratory committee for a potential 2020 presidential run.
- During a phone interview with Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth whether or not Warren can win.
- "Well, that I don't know," Trump responded. "You’d have to ask her psychiatrist."
- The president also mocked the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, who he has repeatedly called "Pocahontas," because of her claim that she is part-Native American.
- 12/31/18--19:13: Here's how fintech is taking over the world — and what's coming next
- 12/31/18--19:51: Stunning photos show New Year's Eve celebrations around the world
- People are celebrating the arrival of 2019 around the world.
- See images of New Year's Eve celebrations from the Philippines to Russia.
- Fireworks lit up the skies of Paris, London, Hong Kong, and more.
- Business Insider Intelligence forecasts shipments of all VR headsets to grow 69% year-over-year (YoY) to reach 13.5 million in 2018. Powering that growth is the stand-alone VR headset category, which is expected to account for 30% of total headsets shipped in the year ahead.
- The VR hardware market is volatile because getting a device right is a balancing act. On one hand, the price point needs to be affordable for most consumers, and on the other, the experience has to be distinctive and immersive enough to convince a consumer to strap a visor to their face on a regular basis.
- While only a handful of stand-alone VR headsets will hit the market in 2018, they mark the biggest step toward mainstream adoption of consumer-oriented VR headsets by making the technology more accessible for the average consumer.
- Declining price points, coupled with high-quality headsets and the introduction of a game-changing app, are crucial for the VR industry to achieve before VR can really gain traction on a global scale.
- Forecasts the growth projections and shipment expectations of the global VR headset market, and breaks it up by the major headset categories.
- Explores the four major segments in the current VR hardware market, defined by the hardware needed to power the experience — stand-alone, smartphone-powered, PC-powered, and game console-powered VR.
- Identifies the key players shaping the burgeoning stand-alone VR headset segment.
- Discusses the biggest challenges to VR development and adoption.
- Skinny bundles — Cheaper, streaming versions of the traditional pay-TV bundle, but with fewer channels.
- SVOD aggregators — Facilitate a la carte sign-ups to third-party streaming services through a central user portal. The primary example so far is Amazon Channels, Amazon's SVOD partner program.
- SVOD integrations — SVOD services like Netflix that bring their offerings to a traditional operator's service.
- Streaming service partnerships — Combine one or more streaming services under a single offering, at a lower cost than the total price separately.
- SVOD bundles partake in a growing SVOD market in the US. Business Insider Intelligence estimates that the SVOD market totals $13.6 billion in 2018, primarily driven by uptake on services from SVOD giants Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
- Streaming video accessed on over-the-top (OTT) platforms is going mainstream, while consumers — particularly younger viewers — are reducing usage on live, linear TV. Traditional TV usage among viewers ages 18-24 has dropped 48% since 2011, 35% among 25-34 year olds, and 18% in the 35-49 demographic.
- Skinny bundle services are growing in popularity, with 7.2 million subscribers in the US, but they suffer fundamental financial sustainability problems.
- Distributors with at-scale platforms and powerful back-end tech can capitalize on the growing consumer demand for content consolidation among consumers. Faced with a fragmented and expanding universe of content options, more than two-thirds of consumers say they would prefer to get all their services from a single source, per Hub Entertainment Research.
- Winners in the bundling shakeout will have prioritized internet-connected tech, an effective user experience, reasonable pricing, and content diversity.
- Identifies the four SVOD model types that have emerged as alternatives or supplements to traditional distribution.
- Investigates the top advantages and challenges of each model type.
- Outlines strategies that players across media and distribution companies can use to address business or market challenges.
- Explores how the dynamics of each model type will evolve as services converge under new bundled offerings.
- A car plowed through a crowd of pedestrians celebrating New Year's Eve in Tokyo, Japan.
- At least nine people were injured, one critically, CNN reported.
- Police said the car barreled down a crowded street roughly 10 minutes after midnight.
- The former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is expected to spend New Year's Day in a Tokyo jail, after a court chose to extend his stay until January 11, in the wake of new allegations of financial misconduct, The Asian Nikkei Review reports.
- Ghosn has been behind bars since November and was served a fresh arrest warrant on Dec. 21 for allegedly transferring personal investment losses to Nissan ten years ago in 2008, the publication said.
- Ghosn has denied the allegations.
- Uses proprietary consumer survey data to evaluate how the largest delivery companies in the US stack up on customer service, package tracking, package protection, and timeliness of delivery.
- Assesses how at risk these providers are to new challengers entering the space.
- Shares strategies on how delivery companies can achieve feature parity and, ideally, differentiation, in customer experience.
- Reading isn't just good for learning something new — it's also excellent for your brain function.
- Dr. Mark McLaughlin, a neurosurgeon, says that reading books (outside of medicine and school) transformed his life.
- He says not only does it help you learn how to navigate specific circumstances in a better way, but it also helps the brain's connectivity.
- Various studies have found reading can improve parts of the brain related to language and empathy.
- 01/01/19--10:30: 7 unusual status symbols from around the US
- Luxury watches and private yachts are obvious status symbols, but there are so many other subtle, and in some cases, particularly odd, ways to flaunt wealth.
- In some US cities, you may be able to decipher a person's social position by the size of their family, the animals in their backyard, and even how many digits are on their license plate.
- 01/01/19--10:30: 10 new books Amazon's editors say are must-reads this January
- 01/01/19--10:32: How three countries are creating the roadmap to a cashless society
- Noncash payments are on the rise worldwide.
- As new players emerge to capitalize on consumer appetite for digital payment methods, three mature markets — the UK, Australia, and Sweden — have become standouts for what a more cashless society could look like.
- The UK, Australia, and Sweden are transitioning to digital particularly well, and can serve as a roadmap for other mature markets seeking to overcome the legacy channel of cash.
- Australia is launching government initiatives and instating new regulations. The Australian government has banned purchases over AU$10,000 ($7,500) from being made in cash, as well as launched the New Payments Platform (NPP) to allow real-time funds transfer as a means of replacing transactions typically made in cash, such as paying back a friend.
- In Sweden, consumers are rapidly abandoning cash in favor of cards. In fact, only 2% of the total value of transactions in Sweden consist of cash — a figure that’s expected to decline to less than half a percent by 2020.
- Contactless payments are leading the shift away from cash in the UK. Nearly the entire population has a debit card, and debit card transactions surpassed cash payments for the first time at the end of 2017. This milestone was largely fueled by the surge in contactless cards, which grew 97% annually last year to hit 5.6 billion transactions.
- 01/01/19--10:33: 8 signs you're not ready to start your own business
- Not everyone is suited to owning a business– and that's OK.
- Some people don't have an entrepreneurial mindset, and there are clear signs that you're not ready to start a company, according to Uptima Business Bootcamp cofounder Rani Langer-Croager.
- There are also some practical matters you should have in order, particularly your finances.
- Making friends as an adult can be difficult.
- As we get older, life changes can affect existing friendships, and adulthood can make forging new ones harder than it was in adolescence.
- But it is possible to make new friends in adulthood with a few simple steps.
- It's a process that requires repetition, disclosure, and some initiative on your behalf.
If you have scrolled through Instagram recently, you have probably noticed collages of users' "top nine" posts of the past year. However, if you were trying to figure out your own top nine posts of 2018, you may not know until the new year. As of the evening of December 31, the website appears to be overloaded.
One of the websites used to make these collages, Top Nine, is currently "being used by millions of users worldwide" and processing all of those collages could take "a few days," according to a pop-up on the website.
The website, which prompts you to enter your Instagram user name and email address, was built by Beta Labs that has offices in the US and Uruguay. INSIDER contacted Top Nine for more information and will update as necessary.
Of course, if you're just eager to relive your most-liked Instagram posts of 2018, you can always download the Top Nine app.
From massive, multibillion dollar acquisitions to boardroom shake-ups and disturbing scandals, the tech industry had an eventful 2018.
Business Insider's team of tech journalists was first to report some of the most important developments, from the surprise departure of Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene to the internal turmoil at augmented-reality (AR) pioneer Magic Leap and the problems leading up to Uber's fatal autonomous-car crash.
As the tech world moves ahead into 2019, we decided to distill the year's catalog of exclusive stories and investigations into a list of the nine most important reports. Check out the list below for some great reads you may have missed, or to refresh your perspective and challenge your assumptions as you prepare for the new year in tech.
Microsoft in talks to acquire GitHub
A Microsoft acquisition of GitHub — the popular platform for software developers — seemed like a wild notion when Business Insider's Julie Bort and Becky Peterson broke the news this summer that the two companies were in discussions for a multibillion-dollar deal.
Within days, however, Microsoft announced plans to buy GitHub for $7.5 billion, sending shockwaves throughout the tech world and spurring competitor IBM to acquire Red Hat.
The inside story of Travis Kalanick's downfall at Uber
A lot of stories have been written about the internal turmoil at Uber that led to the ousting of CEO Travis Kalanick.
Business Insider's chief tech correspondent, Julie Bort, wrote the definitive account, speaking to dozens of people over six months. She unearthed important new details, revelations, and behind-the-scenes events that set in motion a boardroom coup that's sure to be analyzed by business-school professors for years to come.
Apple's secret app-developer meeting
Kif Leswing's fascinating and detailed report about an invite-only meeting with app developers that Apple hosted in a New York City luxury loft shed new light on the iPhone-maker's strategy to focus on subscriptions.
With Apple's recent shift to focusing on its "services" business, building a reliable app-subscriptions revenue stream and keeping developers happy will become increasingly vital to the company's success.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Life insurance is a fundamentally difficult product to sell; it requires people to think about their deaths without promising any immediate returns.
And, despite tech innovations and the development of personalized services in other areas of finance, life insurance remains largely unchanged.
Luckily, there is a small but growing pocket of insurtech startups looking to modernize it. These companies are finding ways to digitize life insurance to appeal to consumers — and they’re giving incumbents the opportunity to revamp traditional offerings, either by partnering with them or using their technology.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has forecasted the shifting landscape of life insurance in the The Future of Life Insurance report. Here are the key problems insurtechs are tackling:
Want to learn more?
The need for modernization in life insurance is clear: Overall sales are slowing and policy ownership is hitting record lows. And because it’s such a tightly-regulated space, innovation from incumbents has stagnated — but they’re not helpless. Consumer-focused and insurer-focused startups have emerged to offer new technologies and process improvements.
The Future of Life Insurance report from Business Insider Intelligence looks at the two main strategies life insurtechs are adopting to drive change in this market, for the benefit of both buyers and sellers. In full, the report discusses best practices incumbents and startups should adopt to steer clear of the risks attached to applying emerging technologies to such a tightly regulated product.
Insurtech startups will soon set new industry standards and consumer expectations around this complex product. That, in turn will serve as a catalyst for innovation among legacy players.
Companies included in this report: Ladder, Haven Life, Getsurance, Tomorrow, Fabric, Atidot, AllLife, Royal London, Polly, Life.io, Legal & General, Vitality, Discovery, John Hancock, Dai-ichi Life.
Transportation and logistics industries have operated largely the same way for decades. But the surge in e-commerce in the last several years, combined with consumers’ appetite for same-day delivery, has brought us to a tipping point.
Delivery companies are doing all they can to get orders to customers’ doors as quickly as possible, which has facilitated wholesale changes in how they operate.
Cutting-edge digital solutions (including digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI for supply chain management, delivery robotics, and autonomous driving software) are forcing traditional delivery companies to either evolve or see their core businesses erode.
Transportation & Logistics Startups to Watch, a new report from Business Insider Intelligence, monitors the biggest change agents in the industry to offer unique insight into the development of the transportation and logistics space at large, and shows how traditional companies are adapting to their new environment.
Want to Learn More?
Business Insider Intelligence's Startups to Watch reports give a high-level overview of the funding trends for startups in a particular coverage area, as well as a list of key startups (by function, what they do, key news, and statistics). Businesses need to understand new competitive threats, technologies, and acquisition opportunities in order to thrive. These reports provide that contextual information in an easy-to-digest manner.
In full, the Transportation & Logistics Startups to Watch report dives into the top 25 companies - five startups across five key disruption areas - that are easing shipping burdens, improving order fulfillment efficiency, optimizing delivery, and automating processes.
The healthcare industry is at a crossroads.
Big tech players are encroaching on entrenched healthcare companies, forcing them — as well as startups — to think of different ways to care for patients. In biotech, a red-hot initial-public-offering window appears to be closing.
Looking ahead to 2019, Business Insider turned to six healthcare and biotech investors at top venture-capital firms to find out what they're keeping an eye on going into the new year.
Venrock partner Camille Samuels predicts a biotech correction and a slump for Moderna.
Venrock partner Camille Samuels is ready to get back to the basics in biotech.
"I'm enthused by the correction," Samuels told Business Insider. Over the past five years, the Nasdaq biotech index is up 25%, though recently stocks have taken a tumble, putting them into correction territory, a term that refers to a 10% or greater decline from a stock's most recent peak.
In 2019, she said, she's anticipating a return to the basic biotech-business model. That is, instead of a broad platform with six or more potential drugs in the works, a more straightforward focus on one or two lead programs that a company knows super well.
The correction in turn will drive that because there will be less available capital pouring into early-stage companies, forcing them to have a more zoomed-in approach.
"I remain an optimist on the fundamentals of biotech, but the industry has gotten so enthusiastic as to be undisciplined," Samuels said.
On the policy side, Samuels said she expects to see the biopharma industry make a concession on drug pricing to appease the Trump administration. That said, she doesn't expect it to have broad implications.
Another prediction: "Moderna will exit at a $3 billion valuation next year."
Moderna debuted on the public market on December 7 after raising more than $600 million in the biggest IPO in biotech history. While the IPO valued Moderna at $7.5 billion, it's currently trading well below its IPO price, with a market value of $5 billion.
Samuels expects that to drop even further by the end of 2019, to a market value of $3 billion.
"It's hard for me, looking at their pipeline, to figure out why they're valued five times, six times [as much as] other companies with the same pipeline," Samuels said.
Lastly, she sees exhaustion with financing cancer-drug makers sinking in, with interest picking up for other diseases that have been left at the wayside.
Two of the scientific areas she's most interested in at the moment: mitochondrial RNA-based medicines and antiaging biology, particularly a subsection she refers to as "inflamm-aging."
Wende Hutton, a general partner at Canaan Partners, anticipates a more skittish IPO market.
"We're coming out of a very ebullient year," Hutton told Business Insider. As part of the massive year biotech companies had entering the public market, Canaan Partners' portfolio had two entries.
Hutton said she expects to see a lot of new startups form and a lot of early-stage fundraising rounds, given the money that venture funds have raised over the last 18 months. But as the IPO markets start to look more skittish and uncertain, that might signal a slowdown in public debuts for 2019.
Like Samuels, Hutton said she's anticipating a shift in focus from platform-based companies with a number of drugs in the works to companies focused on one or two drugs, in large part because those are easier buys for pharmaceutical companies looking to build up their development pipelines.
"If there's any retrenchment of capital, that's a great place to put your money," Hutton said.
Hutton said she's still seeing a lot of money flowing into cancer-drug makers, particularly those developing drugs that act on the body's immune system. Hers and Canaan's interest, she said, will also be in finding new candidates for neurology and rare diseases.
Ambar Bhattacharyya at Maverick Ventures sees a 'shadow cash economy' stepping into the light.
The way Ambar Bhattacharyya sees it, the economy of consumers willing to pay cash — rather than use their insurance — for healthcare is about to emerge.
"A shadow cash economy is coming out of the shadows," Bhattacharyya told Business Insider.
Companies like GoodRx, 23andMe, and Warby Parker have already paved the way. Now with the explosion of direct-to-consumer health companies like men's health company Hims, in which Bhattacharyya is an investor, the new relationship with healthcare and a willingness to pay cash for services that might otherwise be covered by insurance will cement itself.
Bhattacharyya said he also expects to see interest in cybersecurity pick up in 2019, potentially in the form of services like LifeLock's work in identity theft showing up in medical records to protect from health-insurance fraud.
Maverick, an early investor in One Medical, anticipates seeing more brick-and-mortar doctor's offices for specialties pop up, possibly for diabetes or mental health. Already, he's seen companies like Two Chairs for mental health spring up in northern California and fertility clinic Kindbody in New York.
On the employment side, Bhattacharyya is looking forward to seeing people who are pursuing careers in technology start to consider healthcare in a more serious way, particularly as tech giants like Facebook face reputational challenges.
Two areas Bhattacharyya is less interested in seeing new companies: new approaches to pharmacy benefits management (the companies in charge of negotiating drug prices), and tech services for diabetes (an area that already has a fair amount of competition).
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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. Current subscribers can read the report here.
Remittances, or cross-border peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers, hit a record high of $613 billion globally in 2017, following a two-year decline. And the remittance industry will continue to grow, driven largely by digital services.
Several factors will fuel digital growth globally, such as increased smartphone penetration, greater demand for digital transactions, and an overall need for faster cross-border transfers. And with the shift to digital comes an audience of younger, digital-savvy customers using remittances — a segment that companies are looking to target.
As a result, the global remittance industry is becoming increasingly competitive for firms to navigate, with incumbents like Western Union and MoneyGram competing for the same pool of customers as digital upstarts like WorldRemit and Remitly. And in order to win, companies across the board will need to prioritize the four areas consumers value most in remittances: cost, convenience, speed, and safety.
In The Digital Remittances Report, Business Insider Intelligence will identify what young, digitally savvy users value in remittances. We will also detail the concrete steps that legacy and digital providers can take to effectively capture this opportunity and monetize digital offerings — the primary growth driver — to emerge at or maintain their presence at the forefront of the space.
The companies mentioned in the report are: MoneyGram, Remitly, Ria, Western Union, WorldRemit, TransferWise, and Xoom, among others.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
President Donald Trump responded to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Monday announcement that she is forming an exploratory committee for a potential 2020 presidential run.
During a phone interview with Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth asked Trump whether or not Warren can win.
"Well, that I don't know," Trump responded. "You’d have to ask her psychiatrist."
Trump made this comment during an interview for Fox News' "All-American New Year" special that airs on New Year's Eve.
The president also mocked the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, who he has repeatedly called "Pocahontas," because of her claim that she is part-Native American.
"Elizabeth Warren will be the first," Trump said, referring to Warren being the first major Democrat to throw her hat into the ring. "She did very badly in proving that she was of Indian heritage. That didn't work out too well."
In an apparent attempt to get ahead of attacks related to her claim, Warren released a video discussing a DNA test that she took, the results of which she said "strongly support" her claim of Native American ancestry. The response to the October video was mixed — and even elicited a negative response from Native American leaders.
In a video emailed to supporters on New Year's Eve day, Warren announced she was launching an exploratory committee for a presidential run.
Warren is the first well-known Democrat to announce a potential run in what is expected to be a crowded field for the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.
Digital disruption is affecting every aspect of the fintech industry.
Over the past five years, fintech has established itself as a fundamental part of the global financial services ecosystem.
Fintech startups have raised, and continue to raise, billions of dollars annually, pushing incumbent financial institutions to get in on the action. Legacy players have begun using fintech to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving financial services landscape.
So what's next?
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, explores recent innovations in the fintech space as well as what might be coming in the future in our brand new exclusive slide deck, The Future of Fintech: How Fintech Is Taking Over The World and What Comes Next.
To get your copy of this free slide deck, click here.
People around the world are saying goodbye to 2018 and ushering in 2019 in spectacular fashion. Fireworks lit up the skies of many cities across the globe. Here are stunning images of New Year's Eve celebrations around the world.
A New Year's Eve party in Manila in the Philippines.
In Jakarta, Indonesia, fireworks went off over the Lagoon Beach Ancol.
People wait for fireworks at city hall in Vienna, Austria.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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 virtual reality (VR) market is expected to rally in 2018 after seeing slow growth from 2016 to 2017. The uptick will be largely catalyzed by the emergence of the newest headset form factor, stand-alone VR headsets, which address some of the biggest pain points that have prohibited mainstream consumers from adopting VR.
This new form factor is more affordable than cost-prohibitive high-end headsets and more capable than its smartphone-powered counterparts. Additionally, it features in-unit processing that frees the VR headset from wires. The first major stand-alone headset, the Vive Focus from HTC, was launched in January of this year, and more from other major companies like Oculus and Google are expected to follow over the next six months.
In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence lays out where the VR market is and forecasts how it will grow over the next five years. We dissect the various hardware categories and the unique strengths and opportunities of each, and identify how they will gain traction at different points of the market’s evolution. Finally, we examine various components impacting consumer adoption.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
As streaming becomes an increasingly mainstream behavior among consumers, the video industry has produced new combinations of streaming video programming services to prepare for the progressive overhaul in how media is distributed.
These streaming bundles have emerged in response to the problems of media fragmentation, cord-cutting, and high consumer costs. Declining usage of traditional TV across every demographic, particularly among young viewers, has also demanded new solutions to the traditional distribution model that is pay-TV.
Although streaming media bundles are still evolving, four distinct models have emerged:
In the SVOD Bundling Report, Business Insider Intelligence examines the state of the US video ecosystem and how media companies are refining their distribution strategies to meet the changing needs of consumers. The report situates each of the four bundle model types within the overall SVOD market, and investigates the overarching advantages and challenges each faces. Finally, we predict how player dynamics might transform and adapt, outlining best practices for providers to succeed within the new TV landscape.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
A car plowed through a crowd of pedestrians celebrating New Year's Eve in Tokyo, Japan, in the early morning of January 1. At least nine people were injured, one critically, CNN reported.
The incident happened in the tourist and shopping destination of Harajuku on Takeshita Street, which is close to the Meiji Shrine. The shrine is a popular New Year's Eve destination.
Police said the car barreled down a crowded street roughly 10 minutes after midnight.
According to CNN, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police have detained a suspect, 21-year-old Kazuhiro Kusakabe. Initially, a police spokesperson characterized the crash as an "act of terror," Reuters reported. However, according to CNN the suspect later said he was allegedly protesting the death penalty.
A Tokyo court on Monday backed Japanese prosecutors' request to keep the disgraced former Nissan Motor Company chairman Carlos Ghosn behind bars until January 11, due to the latest allegation of financial misconduct.
His previous release date had been set for January 1.
Ghosn, initially charged over underreporting his income, has been under lock and key since November.
His stay in detention has been extended once again, after another arrest warrant served last week, alleged that Ghosn transferred massive personal investment losses of up to 1.85 billion yen ($17 million) to the Japanese automaker in 2008, The Asian Nikkei Review reported, on Monday.
Ghosn has denied all the allegations.
Ghosn, a legend in his field, was arrested in Japan last month on allegations of massive financial misconduct when his private jet landed at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. The former chairman of Nissan was detained alongside a Nissan director, American Greg Kelly, who is accused of having enabled Ghosn.
Ghosn was long credited for helping to save Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1990s, and as the architect of an alliance between Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi. The alliance became the world's largest automotive conglomerate by sales volume last year.
Now he has been rearrested three times as Japanese prosecutors search for what they allege might be hidden millions in compensation and perhaps even financial engineering to conceal more personal losses.
Kelly was released on bail on Tuesday, but Ghosn's fall from grace to a cell in Tokyo has been extended again after further suspicion of aggravated breach of trust against Nissan was cast on December 21.
The transportation and logistics industry is undergoing a massive shift as a result of surging deliveries. Daily parcel volumes are higher than ever before — but so are customers’ expectations for cheap and fast fulfillment.
To keep up with mounting demand, retailers and their logistics partners have been racing to develop more efficient processes with experimental supply chain models like crowdsourced delivery — the Uber model in which customers use mobile apps to connect directly with local couriers for on-demand or same-day fulfillment.
And it’s not just startups like Deliv and Postmates getting in on the action. This year Amazon not only launched its own shipping service to deliver packages for other businesses (“Shipping with Amazon”) but also announced its “Delivery Service Partner” program, which provides capital incentives for people to launch their own delivery companies fulfilling orders on behalf of Amazon itself.
With emerging delivery models like these aggressively stealing away customers, the pressure is on for legacy players like FedEx, UPS, the USPS, and the thousands of businesses who depend on them every day, to respond. But it will take more than just material resources or a large fleet of vehicles to truly compete. These companies need to earn the trust of consumers.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has obtained exclusive survey data to paint the 2018 delivery landscape and the trends of its major players. The findings comprise the team’s latest Enterprise Edge Report, The 2018 Delivery Trust Report, and give transportation, supply chain, and logistics companies the tools they’ll need to win back customers.
Enterprise Edge Reports are the very best research Business Insider Intelligence has to offer in terms of actionable recommendations and proprietary data, and they are only available to Enterprise clients.
In full, the study:
So, which delivery features do consumers care about?
First and foremost, speed. It makes sense that consumers value fast delivery, but did you know just how many of them prioritize this feature? According to a recent survey from Dropoff, it’s 99%. And with millions of packages delivered nationwide every single day, that’s a lot customers with high expectations.
But customers don’t just want their packages delivered quickly; they want to follow the journey from store to doorstep. Another one of the most important offerings delivery companies boast is real-time tracking, with nearly 90% of consumers noting it in the Dropoff survey.
If they can get it right, tracking is a twofold advantage for delivery companies; it entices consumers who want to know when their packages are coming, and it appeals to merchant partners who might be willing to switch delivery service providers for the added visibility and customer benefit.
And the field is still wide open for companies to differentiate on this feature. Among those who had a package delivered from UPS, FedEx, USPS, or DHL in the last year, nearly 30% of Business Insider Intelligence survey respondents couldn't actually say which company offered the best tracking features. Whether it means using mobile apps, SMS texting, or chatbots to communicate with customers, there’s plenty of opportunity for logistics companies to hone and become known for this feature.
Want to learn more?
This is just a snapshot of the Business Insider Intelligence 2018 Delivery Trust Report, which compiles the complete survey findings to dive deeper into the opportunities delivery companies have to engage and delight customers.
The multi-part report also presents actionable insights that transportation and logistics companies can use to fight back against Amazon’s continuous push into deliveries.
As I was about to start my own practice as a neurosurgeon, I experienced a transformative moment.
It didn't happen in the OR during a challenging surgery. It happened in a quiet room at home, under the glow of a single lamp.
I started reading books.
As a kid, and even as a young adult in medical school, I rarely read books other than those required for my studies. I didn't have the patience. Non-medical reading seemed like a waste of time.
My perspective changed in my mid-30s, when I was starting Princeton Brain and Spine Care. Med school didn't prepare a doc to run a small business, so I had to get up to speed fast. I immersed myself in volumes on management, planning, human resources, accounting, and leadership.
My breakthrough book was "Good to Great" by Jim Collins. Then I dove into Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point," which I consider one of the greatest marketing books ever. As I continued consuming volumes on business, I branched out into biographies and fiction. I had finally broken free of the limitations of reading for a specific need.
Before long, I realized that books were doing more for me than just instilling knowledge in my brain — they were also improving my communication skills. I became a more attentive listener in meetings with patients and business associates, and more articulate and insightful in my responses.
Of course, being a brain guy, I wanted to know how reading books impacted me on a neural level. Clearly, it was affecting my overall thought processes — but perhaps also my brain anatomy.
Research on the topic has confirmed this: Reading actually changes the wiring of the brain.
Advances in scanning technology have enabled us to see how reading affects areas of the brain associated with communication. In a 2013 study done at my alma mater Emory University, student volunteers were instructed to read sections of a novel ("Pompeii," a 2003 thriller based on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ancient times) for nine consecutive nights. MRIs taken the morning after revealed an increase in connectivity in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language.
What's most interesting is that this strengthened language processing was evident even though the subjects weren't reading at the time of the scan. According to Gregory Berns, the neuroscientist who led the study, this increased connectivity was "almost like a muscle memory." Imagine how strong these connections become if you read every night!
Another MRI analysis by Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, revealed a significant overlap in brain networks that comprehend stories and those involved in trying to understand the thoughts and feelings of others — the basis of empathy.
Reading fictional stories apparently makes us better at dealing with real-life people, especially in challenging encounters.
I have recognized this benefit in my own life, both in the hospital and in my business dealings. It's critical for me to handle encounters with patients and their families with tact and understanding. One day I may need to gently persuade an ambivalent patient to undergo an essential operation. On another day, I may have to console parents over the loss of a loved one.
Immersing myself in the lives of various characters on the printed page has enhanced my ability to "read" real people in challenging scenarios.
Reading on a regular basis has also better equipped me to get colleagues on my side when I need their cooperation and support. In fact, it has enriched all of my social encounters — in business, in coaching wrestling, and with my own family.
I've come a long way from reading books to become more informed. I clearly see how reading helps me navigate situations that have nothing to do with the topics I've read about.
It's cross-training for the brain. And excellent training for life.
Being a bibliophile has also helped me better train and engage my employees. For example, I give out copies of "Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery" by Henry Marsh to my staff and encourage discourse about it at office meetings. It's filled with inspiring stories relevant to a surgeon's work and gives my employees a better perspective of what it's like to be a doctor and a patient.
My greatest hope is that my gift of books will land in the hands of people like me: latecomers to serious reading who are grateful to have discovered the wonders of literature.
When they catch the wave of words, they may be amazed at what exciting new shores they land on. As Walt Disney once said, "There's more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."
Dr. Mark McLaughlin, M.D., practices neurological surgery at Princeton Brain and Spine Care and believes that we can all apply the core principles behind brain surgery to our daily lives. His mission is to use the lessons he has learned from his career to help others manage stressful situations and engage with problem-solving.
People have found obscure ways to flaunt their social position for centuries.
Before sports cars and luxury gym memberships came along, Americans demonstrated their wealth by snapping selfies, although not the kind we take today. Shortly after the X-ray was invented in 1895, the rich couldn't wait to snag a radiographic machine of their own. They would snap photos of their jewelry-clad bones with at-home X-ray machines they scored from the black market.
And while the days of smuggling X-ray machines are long gone, Americans now try to impress each other in different ways: by always having the newest iPhone, wearing the most expensive watch, or exclusively sporting Lululemon to spin class. But more unexpected status symbols abound in the US.
Here are seven ways Americans around the country show their social status:
Silicon Valley: Urban chickens
Not all status symbols are glamorous. Take, for instance, Silicon Valley's latest hipster trend. According to The Washington Post, tech industry leaders have started housing chickens in their backyards.
While keeping livestock has historically been the thriftiest way of putting food on the table, these egg-laying hens are fed gourmet meals and sometimes even sport diapers around the house.
Chicago: Canada Goose coats
One fail-proof way to show people that you have money is to wear extreme, expedition-ready outerwear in the city. It's a widespread phenomenon, but Chicagoans are partial to the notoriously expensive brand Canada Goose, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Sure, the Windy City can feel like the Arctic Tundra sometimes, but could its finicky climate possibly warrant wearing a $1,000 parka suited for Antarctica? Probably not.
Los Angeles: The costs of Scientology courses
If you've seen or heard of Leah Remini's docuseries "Scientology and the Aftermath," then you're familiar with the controversies of the religion that Tom Cruise and John Travolta follow. According to Remini's series, Scientology is not only a secretive religion, but also an expensive one.
The courses, books, and therapy required to join the church allegedly cost thousands, which only the rich and famous can afford, according to the series. It's no surprise why Los Angeles, with its affluent stars, has been called the "Scientology Capital of the World."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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Welcoming in the new year usually comes with a load of ambitious New Year's resolutions. One resolution that comes up often is to read more books. If this happens to be one of your goals for the new year, you can start right now — all you have to do is pick up a book.
If you're not sure just which book to begin 2019 with, check out Amazon's Best Books of the Month section. You'll find a selection of the best new releases handpicked by Amazon's editors. This month, you'll find "Maid" by Stephanie Land, the spotlight pick, along with nine other unique titles. One is sure to kick-start your desire to read more.
If you're looking to start off 2019 with a great book, check out this list to see what Amazon's editors are loving right now.
Captions have been provided by Erin Kodicek, editor of books and Kindle at Amazon.com.
"Maid" by Stephanie Land
Stephanie Land’s aspirations to go to college and become a writer were derailed by an unplanned pregnancy. In "Maid", she describes the struggle to keep her American dream alive.
"Sugar Run" by Mesha Maren
Debut author Mesha Maren’s ability to engender compassion in deeply flawed characters shines in this Southern noir about a parolee who tries to rebuild her life, but is stymied by her past and terrible taste in romantic partners.
"The Current" by Tim Johnston
When a car is pulled from the Black Root River, only one occupant makes it out alive. The incident mirrors one from a decade prior, so this no accident, and the further the surviving woman delves into the mystery, the more imperiled her life becomes.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Noncash payments have been gaining popularity around the world for the last decade. And though cash isn’t anywhere near dead, its global growth is slowing as consumers turn to emerging cashless alternatives.
But there are a few key markets - Australia, Sweden, and the UK - where annual noncash payments have already surpassed traditional cash transactions altogether — and they’re stong early indicators of what a truly cashless society could look like.
Why are digital payments on the rise?
The growing adoption of noncash payments is a direct result of the rise of e-commerce, but that’s not the only factor. Consumers today are adaptable to disruptive technologies and are generally open to trying new types of digital payment methods.
This consumer appetite is compounded by their access to infrastructure, as well as the emergence of government-backed initiatives, such as real-time transfers and the backing of electronic currencies, that make digital payments more enticing to both consumers and merchants.
How are Australia, Sweden, and the UK driving the world towards cashless payments?
Australia, Sweden, and the UK are emblematic of opportunities for payments players to lead the world away from cash. The Global Payments Landscape from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, provides a snapshot of the payments industry in each of these three markets.
The report shows that several leading payments players have already emerged or are dominant within each of these regions — and they’re finding success in different ways. For other mature markets seeking to overcome the legacy channel of cash, the digital transformations of Australia, Sweden, and the UK can serve as a roadmap.
Here are the strategies these regions are implementing in the race to become the world’s first cashless society:
Want to Learn More?
The Global Payments Landscape from Business Insider Intelligence compiles various payments snapshots, together illustrating how digital payment methods are supplementing or replacing cash in each market.
Each snapshot provides an overview of the payments industry in a particular country, and details the evolution of its development. They also highlight notable payments players in each region and discuss the opportunities and challenges that players are facing in their respective markets.
There's no shame if you are happier as an employee, as some people don't have an entrepreneurial mindset. Though you can develop entrepreneurial traits, your business would need to be something "that you can't not do," according to Langer-Croager.
From issues of risk appetite to matters of personal finance, Langer-Croager shared eight signs you might want to keep your day job, at least for now.
1. You have a low appetite for risk
Here's the harsh reality of starting a business: around 70% of startups are no longer in business by year 10, according to Fundera.
Even if your product or service is fantastic, there are a host of snags you can hit, from running out of money to running out of steam. To deal with this risk, "every entrepreneur should go into this with their own timeline" for when they expect the business to turn a profit — and pay its founder a salary.
This timeline should be "tied to their own financial wellbeing," Langer-Croager said. In other words, figure out how long you can afford to allow your business to grow without getting something back from it, knowing that there's a chance your startup might never turn a profit. She said that doing so "makes managing that risk a little easier."
2. You have a "scarcity mindset"
"People who are in a scarcity mindset think there aren't enough opportunities or resources for them," Langer-Croager said. This can result in a sense of desperation that can lead you to pursue avenues that hurt your business, rather than holding out for better opportunities. This is a pitfall even for seasoned business owners during down times, she said.
"Working on your own relationship with money and knowing that relationship might be deep-rooted" may be necessary to remove this obstacle to becoming your own boss, according to Langer-Croager.
3. You need a quick profit
Small Business Trends reported only 40% of startups actually turn a profit and 82% of small business failures are tied to cash-flow problems.
It can take years for your business to become profitable enough to pay yourself a living wage, Langer-Croager noted. "If you're trying to make cash quickly, you're going to put a lot of pressure on the business that's not going to allow it to grow the way it needs to grow," she said.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
It's akin to how salmon feel when swimming upstream. Trying to keep in touch with your buddies post-college, much less forging new friendships, is difficult, exhausting, and sometimes futile.
But it's not just you.
An analysis of a whopping 177,000 people found that friend groups expand until about age 25, after which they shrink like a sweater in the dryer. Additionally, a national survey conducted in 1985 found the most commonly reported number of confidants was three. Fast-forward several decades, and that number has dwindled to zero. That's right, zero.
Whether as a result of parenthood, divorce, moving to a new city, or simply focusing on family and career, having to make new friends doesn't end on the playground. It is a task and a skill that we revisit time and time again throughout life.
When it comes to making friends, semantics reveal an important detail: We make friends. Making a friend isn't luck or chance: It's a process, which is actually good news. You don't have to wait for the stars to align; instead, with three factors — repetition, disclosure, and some initiative — we can give the stars a nudge.
1. Be a regular
There's a prevailing sense that having shared interests — a love of bocce, Democratic politics, or Argentine tango — precedes a friendship. And while a mutual love of David Lynch films can't hurt, the true magic ingredient is considerably less sexy than shared interests: repetition.
To have the best shot at friendship, we have to interact with the same person again and again. One study illustrated this fact perfectly: 44 state police trainees, when asked to name their closest friends, chose those who fell next to them in alphabetical order of seating.
Another classic study of friends in a university apartment building found that the most popular individuals were simply those who lived in the most highly-trafficked areas: the foot of the stairwells.
Therefore, think about how to see the same people on a regular basis. Rule out drop-ins, like one-time meetups or special events, and look for activities where the same core people show up every day or every week, like going to the the local dog park, choral group practice, Thursday night running group, or anywhere you can be a "regular."
The bottom line? Keep showing up. Commit to any new activity for at least a few months. Conventional wisdom holds that six to eight conversations — beyond "Hey, how's it going?"— are necessary before people consider us a friend.
2. Talk about yourself
For the shy among us, answering questions that come with meeting new people can be torture: 'And what do you do for work? Where are you from? What brought you to this city?'
But it can be just as frustrating for our conversation partner to have to interrogate us.
Therefore, experiment with sharing the details of your life and inner workings more freely. If you're shy or socially anxious, experiment with initiating and offering more than usual.
This might feel wrong, as if you're talking too much, being annoying, or making it about you, but if you're known for being reticent, give yourself permission to stretch and grow. Research shows what draws others in is disclosure, specifically that which is "sustained, escalating, reciprocal, and personalistic."
Whether you're an introvert, extrovert, or anywhere in between, telling someone the details of your life sparks them to share with you, which in turn brings you closer.
Even the most banal small talk can be made personal. Talking about traffic can be a disclosure: "I prefer to ride my bike because it's so much faster, but I draw the line when it's raining like this.""Traffic was horrible, but '2 Dope Queens' got me through as usual.""The construction on Broadway is nuts — I could barely get to my favorite donut place." You're still talking about traffic, but you've also laid the groundwork of conversation by giving them a topic or two to riff off.
3. Be the conversation starter
It's not your imagination that people seem busy and noncommittal when it comes to making new friends. But as long as you get some basic friendliness (no grunting and staring at their phone when you say hello), try this mindset: Assume that they like you, and act in kind.
Unapologetically brighten when you see them. Share a little bit of your life. Don't wait for them to initiate the "hello," or suggest trying the new ramen place — be the reason the conversation starts.
In my experience as a clinical psychologist, pretty much everyone is secretly scared of getting rejected. So initiate. They'll be relieved and you'll be on your way to those six-to-eight conversations.
There's no doubt about it: It's tough to cut through the busyness and ambivalence of life to meet new friend after we've tossed our mortarboards. But don't despair: the stardust that is potential friendship is all around us. Interaction by interaction, disclosure by disclosure, initiation by initiation, we really can, as the Girl Scout song reminds us, make new friends.
Ellen Hendriksen, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, award-winning host of the Savvy Psychologist podcast, and author of How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety. Follow her @ellenhendriksen.