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- 01/01/19--11:04: _The 54 best sports ...
- 01/01/19--11:10: _I'm a neurosurgeon,...
- 01/01/19--11:14: _ClassPass is runnin...
- 01/01/19--12:07: _How Facebook, YouTu...
- 01/01/19--12:53: _A men's wellness st...
- 01/01/19--12:59: _A step-by-step guid...
- 01/01/19--13:00: _22 secrets to save ...
- 01/01/19--13:02: _We asked over 1,000...
- 01/01/19--13:07: _I spent 10 years pl...
- 01/01/19--14:04: _Online-only banking...
- 01/01/19--15:06: _In 2018 alone, new ...
- 01/01/19--15:09: _Trump tweeted at Na...
- 01/01/19--15:23: _This $350 robot vac...
- 01/01/19--15:54: _The Digital Media F...
- 01/02/19--14:30: _Leaked internal doc...
- 01/02/19--14:34: _Bernie Sanders camp...
- 01/02/19--14:36: _Tim Cook blames Tru...
- 01/02/19--14:39: _These are the bigge...
- 01/02/19--14:41: _Top tech analyst Ge...
- 01/02/19--14:43: _Disney World is get...
- 01/01/19--11:04: The 54 best sports photos of 2018
- The past year had a lot of breathtaking sports to offer.
- Between the Winter Olympics, the World Cup, and thrilling NBA and NFL seasons, it was quite a year for sports and sports photography.
- Whether capturing an important moment or simply a moment of beauty, great sports photography gives us a new perspective on athletes we love to watch.
- Morning routines can be hard to develop, but having one can set you up for a productive day and successful life.
- Neurosurgeon Mark McLaughlin shares the three-step morning routine he follows to set up the rest of his day for success.
- He calls it his "triple threat": meditation, filing, and planning.
- ClassPass is offering a free month-long trial— double their standard trial period offer.
- With the trial, you can go to up to six boutique fitness classes in January for $0.
- It's the perfect way to jump-start that New Year's resolution.
- Find out how ClassPass works below.
- After your free trial, you pay a monthly membership fee that’s based on your city and how many classes you want to take each month. For reference, the lowest tier membership starts at $15, though you should expect to pay something closer to $59 (the rate in cities like Minneapolis) to $79 (the rate in New York City) per month for five to eight classes. That works out to be about $7-$12 per class in Minneapolis or $10-$16 in New York.
- Use the app or online site to book yourself in one of the thousands of participating fitness classes in your area. Every class has a different credit value, and you can book in advance or last-minute—even up to five minutes before it starts when you use the mobile app.
- Add more credits anytime if you use yours up.
- Social media is becoming more influential in all aspects of the purchasing journey.
- Facebook is the clear winner in social commerce, with its huge user base and wide-ranging demographics.
- However, retailers should have a presence on every platform their target market is on. Each platform will require a different strategy for retailers to resonate with its users.
- Retailers can also benefit from bringing social aspects in-house. They can do this by building their own in-house social networks, or by embedding social media posts into their sites.
- Provides an overview of the top social media platforms — Facebook, YouTube, Instagram — that retailers should be using, the demographics of each platform, as well as their individual advantages and disadvantages.
- Reviews tools recently developed by these platforms that help retailers create engaging content.
- Outlines case studies and specific strategies to use on each platform.
- Examines how retailers like Sephora, Amazon, and Poshmark are capitalizing on consumers' affinity for social shopping by creating their own in-house social networks.
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- Though millions of men suffer from male pattern baldness, it's still a sensitive topic that many aren't willing to seek help for or discuss openly.
- Direct-to-consumer company Hims sells hair loss products like finasteride and minoxidil (the generic formulations of Propecia and Rogaine) at better prices and with a friendlier, modern approach, so guys don't have to feel ashamed or embarrassed about finding hair loss solutions.
- With a one-time $5 medical consultation and $44 per month complete hair kit subscription, men will be on their way to regaining their hair and their confidence.
- Finasteride pills: An FDA-approved medication that blocks dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that binds to hair follicles and makes them shrink, then fall out. Its brand name equivalents are Propecia and Proscar.
- Minoxidil drops: An FDA-approved topical solution used once or twice a day to help regrow hair by increasing blood flow to hair follicles. Rogaine is the popular brand name equivalent.
- Shampoo: A special formulation that reduces DHT levels and adds volume to hair.
- Forget old-school self-help.
- With this 31-day guide full of sage life advice, you can head into the new year feeling confident to tackle anything.
- Tasks include overhauling your LinkedIn, practicing a new language, and setting a savings goal based on your age.
- 01/01/19--13:00: 22 secrets to save time and money shopping at Costco
- Shoppers love Costco for its low prices, bulk products, and, of course, free samples.
- Costco memberships come with many perks. But the store can be time-consuming to shop at, and it's hard to know when you're getting the best deals.
- Here are ways to save time and money while shopping at Costco.
- INSIDER polled more than 1,000 people living in the US about New Year's resolutions, specifically how long they should last.
- Most Americans agree that, if you're going to resolve to try something new in 2019, you should try to stick to it for at least a few months.
- That advice squares well with what scientists know about behavior change, but they also say it's best to start small and be specific.
- Josh Leslie is the CEO of Cumulus Networks.
- When Leslie was 30, he told his manager that he wanted to be a CEO by the time he was 40.
- By his late 30s, CEO was nowhere in sight and his career seemed to be on a distinct sideways trajectory.
- So he changed his perspective: He stopped thinking about his next job, the size of his team, and the perception of his accomplishments. Ten months later, he became the CEO.
- On his first day, he realized he had been preparing for the role for years.
- These days, it's easier than ever to handle all your banking needs without ever visiting a branch.
- With the ability to deposit checks by taking a photo with your phone, and to use virtually any ATM, being near a physical branch is no longer a requirement when choosing a bank.
- Here's what you need to know about online-only banking — and why it might be right for you.
- Regulatory compliance is still a significant issue faced by global FIs. In 2018 alone, EU regulations MiFID II and PSD2 have come into effect, bringing with them huge handbooks and gigantic reporting requirements.
- Regtech startups boast solutions that can ease FIs' compliance burden — but they are struggling to scale.
- Some changes expected to drive greater adoption of these solutions in the next 12 to 18 months are: the ongoing evolution of startups' business models, increasing numbers of partnerships, regulators' promotion of regtech, changing attitudes to the segment among FIs, and consultancies helping to facilitate adoption.
- FIs will actively be using solutions from regtech startups by 2020, and startups will be collaborating in an organized fashion with each other and with FIs. Global regulators will have adopted regtech themselves, while continuing to act as advocates for the industry.
- Reviews the major changes expected to hit the regtech segment in the next 12 to 18 months.
- Examines the drivers behind these changes, and how the proliferation of regtech will improve compliance for FIs.
Provides our view on what the future of the regtech industry looks like through 2020.
- President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday afternoon to ask House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to "make a deal" that includes funding for a wall along the southern US border.
- Trump's tweet comes 11 days into a partial government shutdown that came after gridlock among congressional lawmakers who did not secure Trump's requested $5 billion for a wall along the southern US border.
- Democrats have released plans to reopen the government, but none include funding for the wall.
- Ecovacs is back at it with its latest robotic vacuum, the $350 Deebot 711.
- This may just be my favorite robot vacuum yet, with its Smart Navi Mapping Technology, 110-minute battery life, and ability to double the suction power on command.
- If you're looking for a way to spend more time doing things other than vacuuming, this is one product that you need in your life.
- McDonald's is debuting Donut Sticks in February, according to internal documents shared with Business Insider.
- The deep-fried sticks of dough, coated with cinnamon sugar, look very similar to Dunkin's Donut Fries, which rolled out nationally in June.
- This is the second national breakfast item McDonald's will have launched in less than a year, after more than a decade without a single new breakfast item.
- "We want to do better at breakfast," McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook told investors in October, saying that he hoped new food items would "reenergize" sales during the morning.
- More than two dozen of Senator Bernie Sanders' former supporters and campaign workers want to meet with him and his top political advisors to discuss sexual violence and harassment during the 2016 campaign.
- In a letter, former staffers said they want to mitigate the issue before Sanders launches a 2019 Senate campaign or a 2020 presidential campaign.
- "In recent weeks there has been an ongoing conversation on social media, in texts, and in person, about the untenable and dangerous dynamic that developed during our campaign," former staffers said in a letter sent to Sanders.
- Apple issued a surprising warning about its upcoming quarterly earnings on Wednesday, lowering its revenue target substantially.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook placed a significant portion of the blame on China's economic slowdown, which Cook said was caused in part by President Donald Trump's trade war.
- "We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States," Cook wrote.
- Apple is an example of how tariffs can indirectly harm American companies.
- Regulations have helped the US, Europe, and China become the three largest potential markets in the world for commercial drone use.
- In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) governs all commercial and consumer drone use. Meanwhile, a slew of states have their own regulations that companies deploying drones have to navigate through.
- In Europe, the lack of EU-wide drone regulations creates a patchwork of national regulations that resembles the state-level rules in the US.
- In China, the military controls over half of the airspace, confining drones to a small area of the country relative to the US and other nations.
- While on paper several of the regulations in Europe are the same as in the US, many European countries have been far more lenient in granting exemptions to their requirements.
- Commercial drone laws in most of these countries are set to change to allow for more widespread use in the next couple years, helping operators fly their aircraft in new locations and for new use cases.
- Offers an in-depth overview of the current regulatory landscapes at the national, transnational, and local levels, and discusses how they're shaping the development of the drone industry in several large markets.
- Gives examples of how companies are working with and around these regulations to deploy drones in a manner that government officials find permissible.
- Provides a look at what regulations will change in the coming years, and explains how that will impact companies operating drones.
- A leading tech pundit expressed concern about a miss on Tesla miss on Model 3 deliveries for Q4 2018 and the impact of a reduced federal EV tax credit.
- Tesla's discount was actually pretty light, relative to how much its vehicles cost.
- It's unclear whether tax credits actually support Tesla demand.
- Disney World raised its prices twice in 2018 and switched to a dynamic pricing model that charges higher prices during peak summer months and winter holidays.
- This is the fourth time in park history that annual pass prices were raised twice in the same year.
- The new model prices out many of its pass holders in the middle class — the old model doesn't work in the modern US economy anymore.
- According to Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider, Disney Parks wants to use pricing and promotions to equalize crowds throughout the year.
The past year was a great one for sports.
Things started with a bang, with an epic Super Bowl and an enthralling Winter Olympics. From there, we journeyed through the NBA playoffs, and the summer brought us World Cup we'll never forget.
After spending the dog days of summer watching baseball, football season was back before we could blink. With it came historically high-powered offenses and a brand new slate of rookies ready to change the league.
Through it all, some of the best photographers alive were there to cover it and produce some astounding images.
Take a look below at some of the best sports photographs of 2018.
Rory McIlroy finds himself in a predicament amongst Augusta National's iconic foliage during the third round of the Masters.
Read more:The 55 best photos from the 2018 Masters
Boxer Paddy Barnes makes his way to the ring.
The Philadelphia Eagles walk out on to the field prior to their NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
It's easy to feel overwhelmed when juggling career and work demands, family time, relationships, and other obligations.
If you feel like you're constantly playing catch-up with no time to achieve personal or professional fulfillment, it's possible to turn it all around by changing one thing about your day: your morning routine.
There's a reason successful people tend to beearly risers— think Tim Cook or Oprah. The quiet early morning hours are a key time for focusing on a set of routines that start your day off right, before the rest of the world wakes up and has the potential to throw you off course.
If your morning routine isn't designed to maximize productivity, then you're missing an opportunity to boost your performance in both life and business.
As a busy neurosurgeon, wrestling coach, author, speaker, and dad, my morning routine is the secret to my success. It consists of only three simple steps that set the rest of my day up for productivity — I call it my triple threat:
I awake each day at 5:00 a.m. and meditate for 10 minutes, without fail. This is anon-negotiable self-care aspect of my day, which is why it comes before everything else.
I was fortunate to learn transcendental meditation — which involves silently reciting a mantra over and over — from instructors John Hanlon and Dean Sluyter, who's author of severaloutstanding books and audio meditations, at the Pingry School back in 1980. However, over the years, my technique has changed to natural meditation— which does not require the use of a mantra. It is more centered on quiet inactivity.
Meditation — or mindfulness practices — can help reduce your stress levels and avoid burnout, improve your mental health and well-being, boost your creativity levels, enhance your capacity for empathy, improve sleep and so much more.
Try at least 10 minutes of meditation to start your day and discover what it enhances in your life.
This sounds like a real 180-degree turn, right? Going from relaxing and focus-enhancing meditation to…filing? Hear me out.
I've created a personal file system labeled for each day of the month, and every day has one task in that file. When something pops up during my day that's not urgent, I file it away in this system and don't think about it again until its designated day. For example, I might wake up one morning, check my file, and see that today's task is to write a thank-you note to a friend. I can check this off my list and move on with my day.
Create a similar daily filing system for yourself to remove the stress of all of the little "to-dos" that can easily pile up and overwhelm you.
Starting your day without a set plan is like running a race with no idea of the route or destination: You might get there eventually, but you're going to be stressed, exhausted, and certainly lagging behind everyone else.
That's why the third element to my "triple threat" morning routine is consulting my day planner and making a list of everything I need to get done that day before it all has a chance of going sideways. Though most things have gone digital these days, I personally use a classic paperFranklin planner. There arebenefits to keeping a paper day planner, including increased mindfulness and memory retention.
Mapping out your day before it begins each morning doesn't mean it won't go off course, but it will help keep you focused on your goals and give you a better shot of actually achieving them.
Lastly, try different morning routines until you land on one that works for you. While it doesn't have to be complicated, it does need to be intentional and tailored to your needs in order to help you have a more productive, successful day.
Dr. Mark McLaughlin, MD, practices neurological surgery at Princeton Brain and Spine Care and believes that we can all use the core principles behind brain surgery and apply them to our daily lives. His mission is to utilize the lessons he has learned from his career to help others manage stressful situations and engage with problem-solving.
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
ClassPass is a relatively inexpensive way to drop into boutique fitness classes in your area without any commitment or membership. You pay a monthly ClassPass fee and get credits, and you use those credits to sign up online for classes that pique your interest: boxing, yoga, cycling, weight training, martial arts, pilates, and a seemingly never-ending list of others.
And, since budget-friendly options can often mean second-rate options, it’s nice to know ClassPass typically features top-tier studios, including a majority of the fitness classes you’ve likely heard of or have actually been meaning to try.
Right now, ClassPass is offering a free month-long trial for the new year.
Their standard offer is typically two weeks. You can take up to six classes during your free month, and you can cancel your membership whenever. If you don’t cancel, though, you’ll be auto-enrolled in a monthly membership.
Here’s how ClassPass typically works:
The perks are plentiful. You pay as much as 50% less per month for multiple specialized fitness classes (for comparison, a single class can normally run for $30), you can get class recommendations and read reviews so you know what’s good before you try it, and you can stream workouts from home if you’re not up to leaving the house. You don’t have to buy class packs or commit to a membership that penalizes you if you decide in February that you’re really not interested in getting into fitness in 2019.
Plus, the versatility means working out can actually be fun and engaging — and you can rope friends into trying out new classes with you, in the hopes that you’ll discover you actually love something like martial arts but just never knew it. And if you’re traveling, you can switch your account location and use ClassPass wherever you are (given you're in one of the 80 participating cities).
The risks you run, depending on the city, are popular classes booking up quickly, falling in love with a high-credit class, needing to buy more credits because you exercised too much that month (is this really a bad thing, though?), or paying for a month and never using the credits. If you end the month with a bunch of unused credits, you can use them on the considerably higher credit spa treatments ClassPass also offers. Otherwise, up to 10 credits roll over each month. And if you love a workout spot that isn’t listed, submit it as a recommendation to ClassPass.
You can go to most studios an unlimited times per month (or per “cycle”), though it’s possible more credits will be charged if you go often, in which case you’ll see a message explaining the change.
Overall, ClassPass is ideal for relatively inexpensive access to variety and top fitness classes. But, with a month to try it, you don’t have much to lose. If you’re thinking about trying it, now is a good time.
This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.
Social media is becoming increasingly influential in shoppers' purchasing decisions. In fact, the top 500 retailers earned an estimated $6.5 billion from social shopping in 2017, up 24% from 2016, according to BI Intelligence estimates.
In addition to influencing purchase decisions, social media is a large part of the product discovery and research phase of the shopping journey. And with more and more retailers offering quick access to their sites via social media pages, and shoppable content becoming more popular, it's likely that social media will play an even larger role in e-commerce.
In this report, BI Intelligence examines the advantages and disadvantages of each platform, and reviews case studies of successful campaigns that helped boost conversion and increase brand awareness. Additionally, we explore how retailers can bring social aspects into their own sites and apps to capitalize on consumers' desire for social shopping experiences.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
Hair loss is a regular, common part of life. By age 35, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of hair loss and by age 50, approximately 85% will experience noticeably thinning hair. Men in their 20s aren't invincible from this hereditary and hormonal condition, also known as male pattern baldness or Androgenic alopecia, either.
Although online forums like r/tressless offer some reprieve for men seeking support and guidance for everything from pharmaceutical solutions to the emotional effects of hair loss, it seems that many men still aren't talking about it enough to each other or their doctors.
That's not surprising — hair is linked strongly to self-image, confidence, and identity, so hair loss is a tough topic to broach. In speaking to friends experiencing hair loss in their 20s, I learned the importance of hair isn't something you realize until you find yourself trying to avoid taking pictures or fending off insensitive jokes and questions from friends and relatives.
When faced with noticeable hair loss, some guys choose to take the plunge and go bald, which is a great route to go if they're comfortable with it. But others would prefer to keep their hair for various reasons, and that's completely fine, too.
For the guys who opt for the latter, online startup Hims wants to help.
Through its modern aesthetic, friendly, yet transparent messaging, and affordable hair loss products, Hims is assuring men that it's okay to acknowledge insecurities like hair loss and actively seek the help they want.
Working together, these pills, drops, and shampoo actively prevent hair loss, promote hair growth, and simply make hair look good. Their consistent use is made convenient through Hims' automatic subscription option.
Finasteride is a prescription product, so you'll need to pay $5 for an online medical consultation with a licensed doctor before proceeding. At this time, Hims' finasteride is available in 18 states. Minoxidil and the shampoo do not require prescriptions and can ship anywhere in the US.
Because Hims is direct-to-consumer, its products cost 50% to 80% less than their retail cost, addressing affordability and accessibility problems that may have previously prevented men from trying hair loss solutions. Cost isn't the only differentiator. Hims' frequently updated blog offers open, informative discussions that educate men on the science and issues surrounding hair loss.
The company hopes that this combination of cheaper products and better education can get men to feel more comfortable with the difficult, deeply personal topic of early hair loss. Hims' guiding philosophy is that prevention is more effective than denial. The sooner you're open to trying solutions, the better off your hair (and the accompanying confidence levels) will be.
In addition to hair loss products, it also offers skin-care and sexual wellness products, making Hims a general wellness brand for any man looking to improve themselves in areas that are all too often — to the detriment of both himself and other men — whispered about discreetly rather than discussed transparently.
2019 is upon us. Meaning it's time to stop thinking about how to improve your health, job, relationships, and life in general — and time to start doing. And we're here to help.
Above is our 31-day guide to starting off a healthy, wealthy, happy year. Each day is accompanied by a task, along with a quick explanation of why it's important.
Read on to find out how to set yourself up for success.
January 1: Ask yourself: What do I want that I already have? What else, if anything, do I truly want?
"The more self-aware you are, the easier it'll be for you to distinguish between what you like, and what you actually want to acquire," she writes. "But how do we make that distinction? As human beings, we're so used to wanting more as a default mode. More food, more money, more friends, more sex, more stuff, more time, more attention. So how do we start wanting less?"
It starts with the questions posed above.
January 2: Stop hitting the snooze button.
That's because when you wake up, your endocrine system begins to release alertness hormones to get you ready for the day. By going back to sleep, you're slowing this process. Plus, nine minutes doesn't give your body time to get the restorative, deep sleep it needs.
January 3: Start keeping track of your net worth.
One of the easiest ways to keep track of your financial progress is to monitor your net worth: everything you own minus everything you owe.
As a financial planner in New York, Business Insider's Lauren Lyons Cole says one of the first tasks she asks clients to complete is their current financial snapshot, an overview of every aspect of their financial situation, including account balances. Once you can see all your money in one place, you can start figuring out what you want to do with it.
Bonus: Getting organized frees up brain space so you don't have to think about money nearly as much.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Shoppers love Costco for its low prices, bulk products, and, of course, free samples.
Costco memberships come with many perks, including cheap gas, vacation deals, and discounts on prescription medication. The store also offers plenty of savings opportunities on top of its already low prices, like coupons and "warehouse savings."
Even though Costco offers a lot of great deals, it can be tricky to weed through them to find the best ones. Plus, Costco is known for its massive lines and hectic shopping experience.
Some tricks to know include looking at the price tags to see if a markdown is final, splitting bulk deals with friends or family, and heading to the center of the store to find the best deals.
Here are more ways to save time and money while shopping at Costco:
Make a beeline to the center of the store.
The flashy displays in the front of the store may be fun, but they're likely more expensive. Head to the center of the store to find some of the best deals.
Keep an eye out for the "star."
If an item has an asterisk on the price tag, it will not be restocked. Make sure to buy it while you can.
Split bulk items with friends or family.
Buying in bulk offers major savings, but you may not have the storage space for everything. If you split bulk items, you and a friend can both see major savings, without being weighed down by having more than you need.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
On New Year's Eve, when spirits are bright, it can feel like a hopeful moment to pin one's ambitions on being a far better person in 2019. The truth, however, is a bit bleaker. We often aim too high with our new year's goals, with 80% of people failing New Year's resolutions by February.
But still, year after year, we continue to make (and break) these goals. Perhaps because we think we can make it last a little longer.
To get a sense for how long people think resolutions should last, INSIDER, a sister publication of Business Insider, asked more than 1,000 Americans "how many months is it reasonable to expect someone to keep a New Year's resolution?"
Here's a month-by-month breakdown of their expectations, and some tips to help you stick to your goals for longer than what others might expect.
94% of respondents said people should keep their resolutions for at least one month.
The type of resolution you make could play a part in the success rate. Yale psychology Professor John Bargh previously told Business Insider that the most successful resolutions are small, reasonable changes that we can seamlessly incorporate into existing daily routines.
He says you shouldn't even try to bust a big bad habit or start a new regimen unless you really, really want to, because otherwise the resolution likely won't stick. Behavior change is hard.
By the end of February, 22% of people have decided it's OK to give up on new habits.
Still, a majority of Americans — 86% — say it's best to keep chipping away at your New Year's goals.
To maintain new behaviors, psychology professor Wendy Wood at the University of Southern California says you should put them into practice in routine, easy-to-follow ways. In other words, if you make a New Year's resolution a habit or daily reflex, it's more likely to stick.
78% of those surveyed think it's still a good idea to maintain new year's ambitions at the three-month mark.
But by the end of March, 35% of respondents think it's fine if your resolutions have gone by the wayside.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
I joined Cumulus Networks in June of 2015 as the vice president of sales, which was a role I had been in for several years before, and I was comfortable with. Our founder, JR Rivers, was CEO when I joined. But as time went on, JR transitioned to the CTO role, and gave me the opportunity to lead as Cumulus' chief executive.
So, ten months after I joined the company, I walked into the office for day one of a completely new role: CEO.
It was an exciting, thrilling opportunity; Something I had perhaps been unknowingly preparing for since childhood, and something I had definitely put at the top of my goal list.
Thinking back to my first day as CEO, I realize it wasn't that much different than my experience in the previous ten months as VP of sales — I knew my team, I knew my way around the office, and I knew a bit more of what I was getting myself into versus starting a new role at a completely new company.
But it was this ten month introduction to Cumulus, along with an entire lifetime preparing for the CEO role, that showed me I was more than ready to take on this new chapter. I was 100% ready to be CEO on my very first day.
Preparing for CEO since childhood
My earliest memories of the software business were as a young child. My dad had converted one of our bedrooms to a home office and on the weekends, he'd be in there, on the phone, talking shop. It was the first time I heard my dad swear: "That's a bunch of bullshit!" he would say. Followed shortly by, "screw those guys."
It was kind of shock to hear, but after that shock wore off, I was simply fascinated by the grit and the pace of business and watching my dad 'doing deals.'
My dad is Mark Leslie. He was the CEO of Veritas Software and built the company nearly from inception. At its height, Veritas was a Fortune 1000 Company with annual revenue exceeding $1.5B.
My dad was revered by Veritas employees and widely respected in Silicon Valley. He left the company in 2001, to advise startups, invest, and teach at Stanford. In short, he knows pretty much everyone in tech and he casts a pretty long shadow.
When I was nine, I didn't think about what it would be like to follow in his footsteps. I wasn't one of those kids who started some amazing business at a young age, and I wasn't writing code. But I did know that I had an intense interest in the business world.
As I grew older, I still listened in on those phone calls, perused my dad's open emails when he wasn't around, and had dinner table conversations about OEM licensing deals, stock options, and UNIX file systems.
I didn't realize it then, but looking back now I realize I was training to be a CEO. Sort of. It wasn't like I was waking up at 6 a.m. to work on spreadsheets and cap tables. But I was surrounded by my dad's work.
Eventually I grew up, went to college, and started my career in sales. This was my dad's influence again. Salespeople, he said, are the ones that know what's really going on in a company. Salespeople know how to solve problems. Build the product or sell the product, he told me.
It only took my one semester in college to learn I wasn't smart enough to build the product, so I began my sales career.
When I was 30, I told my manager at VMware that I wanted to be a CEO by the time I was 40. He laughed and said fifty was a more reasonable goal, if anything.
Eventually I left VMware and I became a VP of Sales at a small Series A startup. I worked harder than I ever had but the company and the job did not turn out the way I hoped. I took another VP Sales job at another early stage startup.
After a few years at startup number two and I was approaching 40. CEO was nowhere in sight and my career seemed to be on a distinct sideways trajectory.
I had a great family, by most measures a very good career, but when I measured myself against my dad, or against my peers, and I measured my 'wins' (or lack thereof) and I was unhappy with the score.
But then I had an epiphany. I remember as a young parent, seeing one of my children display some startling ability (or at least, I was impressed!). I thought, perhaps I will be most remembered as the parent of one of my children and not for any of my own accomplishments.
It was a big change in perspective for me. For the first time, I realized: Perhaps I won't be a CEO. Perhaps I won't be a 'serial entrepreneur with multiple successful exists.'
And maybe I don't care that much.
It was about the journey, not the destination
For the first time in my career, I started to focus on the journey, not the destination. I will simply be the best VP of Sales I can be. I will treat customers with care and employees with respect. I will spend my time on the things I know I'm good at (building trust with customers) and get help where I'm weak (process).
So that was it. I was going to be a great VP of Sales and let the chips fall where they may. I left start up number two and joined Cumulus Networks. For the first time in my career, I did not seriously negotiate my compensation, my title or organization.
VP of Sales? Sure, I thought, that works for me. There were many questions of organizational ownership, but I had come to understand that all of those things would eventually get sorted out correctly if we focused on the right priorities and built trust with the team.
I had truly stopped thinking about the next job, about the size of my team, or about perception of my accomplishments. It was the first time I was leading. Ten months later I became the CEO.
Josh is a seasoned technology executive and currently serves as CEO of Cumulus Networks. Prior to Cumulus, Josh spent time at Instart Logic, VMware, and CommValut Systems, holding various leadership roles in both sales and business development.
A Bay Area native, Josh received a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia Business School. When he’s not in the office, Josh enjoys spending time with his wife, two kids, and his poodle, Peggy.
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As one of the cool kids at school, I started a coin collection in fifth grade. I remember going on trips to the bank with my mom for rolls of coins to sort through, looking at dates and years to fill in the slots in my blue coin-collecting albums. That, alongside my parents owning a business, sent me on many trips to local banks. But over time, my number of visits to the bank have dropped to zero.
These days, I stick with an online-only bank as my primary bank. I don't have a single branch available. While it seemed strange at first, it was easy to grow accustomed to.
Let's look at the pros and cons to help you better understand if you could survive with online-only banking.
Online account offers from our partners:
How online-only banking works
With online-only banking, you are the teller and new accounts representative for yourself. Instead of going into a bank branch, you handle your own banking transactions from your computer or smartphone — like you could with many traditional banks, too.
Online banking uses secured connections, so as long as you use strong, unique passwords, it's totally safe to bank online. The best accounts allow you to deposit checks from your phone, transfer funds to or from any account at any bank with no fees, pay bills online, and avoid fees common to traditional brick-and-mortar banks.
As long as you get paid via direct deposit or check, as opposed to cash, online banking should easily meet all of your financial needs. Now, let's take a more detailed look at how some of the features work so you understand how the replace your old banking experience.
Managing your money with mobile banking
You don't need to go to any specific place when you have an online bank. Instead, every online bank uses a website and offers a mobile app to handle your banking wherever you are. It doesn't matter if you're on the way out of work, sitting on the couch at home, or standing on the beach on vacation, you can log in and manage your banking with a few taps on your screen.
Once logged in, you can view balances, pay bills, make transfers, and deposit a check with a photo. If you have other accounts at the same bank, such as credit cards, loans, or investments, you can manage and make transfers to those accounts as well.
With online banking, it is easy to have all of your accounts under one roof. But even if you don't, it's easy to manage everything through convenient mobile apps.
Cash and online banking
The only real downsides of online banking are losing the in-person banking option and depositing cash with a teller. If you have a job where you are paid mostly in cash or tips, like a restaurant server or valet parking attendant, online-only banking probably isn't viable for you.
Taking cash out of an online bank account, though, is easy. Most online banks charge no fees for any ATM access, and some reimburse fees charged by other banks' ATMs. Some popular accounts that offer no-fee ATM access include Ally Bank (up to $10 per month reimbursed) and Charles Schwab Bank (unlimited reimbursements).
To deposit cash, you may want to consider pairing your online banking account with a favorite local credit union. Most credit unions offer a basic no-fee checking and savings option, which you can use to deposit cash and transfer to or from your online bank account.
Even online banks that don't charge fees usually offer a large network of free ATMs. Through memberships in various banks networks, Capital One (39,000 free ATMs), Discover Bank (60,000 free ATMs), and others typically have a convenient location near your work or home.
Expect better interest rates and lower fees
Traditional banks spend a lot of money on human tellers and fancy branch locations. They tend to pass those costs on to customers in the form of fees and less favorable interest rates. If you are willing to give up the human on the other side of the desk or counter, you can save a bundle.
For example, most big banks charge huge fees for overdrafts. Online banks charge lower fees, if any. Capital One gives you four options for how to handle overdrafts to help you avoid or manage fees. Simple and Chime don't charge those fees at all — in fact, the only fee online bank Simple charges is for foreign debit card use. Otherwise, you won't pay them a cent. Ever.
Capital One and Ally typically stand at the top of the leaderboards in terms of interest rates, but other online banks don't lag far behind. Online savings rates are commonly around 20x better than what you get from the big, nationwide traditional banks.
Does online-online banking make sense for you?
If the idea of better interest rates, lower fees, and managing your own banking online is tempting to you, online banking may be the right choice.
To get started, you can keep an old account in addition to your new online account, slowly shifting your banking. Alternatively, you can get an online account and keep a local credit union account for physical banking needs. The truly bold dive in without looking back.
Online banking may feel new to you, but it has been around since the early 1980s. It's safe and secure and the future of managing money. As long as you don't need to regularly deposit cash, online-online banking may be a great decision for your money needs.
Online account offers from our partners:
Regtech solutions seemed to offer the solution to financial institutions' (FIs) compliance woes when they first came to prominence around 24 months ago, gaining support from regulators and investors alike.
However, many of the companies offering these solutions haven't scaled as might have been expected from the initial hype, and have failed to follow the trajectory of firms in other segments of fintech.
This unexpected inertia in the regtech industry is likely to resolve over the next 12-18 months as other factors come into play that shift FIs' approach to regtech solutions, and as the companies offering them evolve. External factors driving this change include regulatory support of regtech solutions, and consultancies offering more help to FIs wanting to sift through solutions. Startups offering regtech solutions will also play a part by partnering with each other, forming industry organizations, and taking advantage of new opportunities.
This report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, provides a brief overview of the current global financial regulatory compliance landscape, and the regtech industry's position within it. It then details the major drivers that will shift the dial on FIs' adoption of regtech over the next 12-18 months, as well as those that will propel startups offering regtech solutions to new heights. Finally, it outlines what impact these drivers will have, and gives insight into what the global regtech industry will look like by 2020.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday afternoon to ask House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to "make a deal" that includes his desired $5 billion in funding for a wall along the southern US border.
Trump wrote: "Border Security and the Wall "thing" and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?"
Border Security and the Wall “thing” and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2019
The government has been partially shut down for 11 days after gridlock among congressional lawmakers who did not approve Trump's requested $5 billion for a wall along the southern US border.
The tweet comes a day after House Democrats released bills that would reopen the government but not provide funding for the wall. The new Congress is expected to pass them when it convenes Thursday.
Pelosi is expected to be elected speaker when Democrats take control of the House Thursday.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer implored Trump to avoid a shutdown in a fiery meeting that took place ahead of the deadline, but Trump was indignant on the matter of funding the wall, telling the top Democrats he'd be "proud to shut down the government."
Since the shuttering of several federal departments on December 21, Trump has tweeted several times to pressure Democrats into resolving the shutdown, but negotiations have stalled over the holidays.
To convince members of your household to fight over the privilege of vacuuming your home, you'll need a very special vacuum indeed.
That special vacuum may just come in the form of the newest robotic offering from Ecovacs. Because let's face it — the only way to inject excitement into cleaning the house is to eject any and all effort associated with the task. As it turns out, the new Deebot 711 is capable of doing just that.
The Ecovacs family of vacuums has long been a customer (and Business Insider) favorite. They're some of the best-selling robots on Amazon, and back in June, we just couldn't get enough of the Ecovacs Deebot 900, a $400 smart vacuum that cut cleaning time in half. But now, the team has come out with yet another iteration of its popular cleaning assistant, and this one is $50 cheaper and just as effective.
The Deebot 711 is a sleek little vacuum that adopts the same circular shape that you've likely come to expect from the robotic cleaners. Its black finish gives it a slightly more modern and sophisticated edge, but the aesthetics of the 711 are far less important than its other attributes. What I've been most impressed by in my few weeks with the new Deebot is its ability to map my home and quickly learn which areas are most in need of cleaning. That's thanks to the robot's Smart Navi Mapping Technology, which not only helps it adapt to any environment with ease, but also helps it to avoid bumping into furniture or avoid falling down stairs.
While other robot vacuums I've used have taken some time to determine where in the world (or room) they really are before getting to work, the Deebot 711 is surprisingly efficient at scanning its surroundings and beginning to move. Plus, rather than learning to avoid furniture by first hitting it, the Deebot does a great job circumventing obstacles.
The Smart Navi Mapping Technology is capable of creating an optimized and systematic cleaning path that covers up to 1300 square feet, which makes it more than enough for at least one floor of your home (if not your whole home). Many other robot vacuums I've tried seem to clean by trial and error, randomly moving around a room with hopes that they'll ultimately reach every corner. The Deebot 711, on the other hand, seems much more regimented — or dare I say, more human — in its cleaning.
Thanks to the Deebot's compatibility with both Alexa and Google Assistant, you can begin cleaning simply by telling the robot to do so. Either use a voice command or download the companion smartphone app to start the cleaning process, and you'll be able to spend your time doing more important things. Of course, if you'd like to exercise a bit more control over the cleaning process, you can use the app to direct the robot, or schedule a cleaning. You can also ask for status updates while you're away so that you know exactly what the Deebot has and hasn't done.
One of my favorite features of the Deebot 711 is the maximum power suction mode, which doubles the suction power of the machine and helps it take care of tough stains like dirt and grime on either hardwood or carpeted floors. Plus, the Deebot features two specialized cleaning modes — edge and spot mode — which allow you (by proxy, that is) to tackle hard to reach and often-missed areas of the room.
With 110 minutes of battery life, it's likely that you'll tire of cleaning long before the robot does. And when the Deebot does run out of juice, it sends itself home to recharge, which means that it's always ready for more (should you need it).
The Deebot 711 comes with a one-year warranty, a charging dock, four side brushes, two high-efficiency air filters, a remote control with battery, and Ecovacs' famous customer support. So if your New Year's Resolution is to spend more time on the more important things in life, then you may just want to let the Deebot 711 take care of your vacuuming.
Media consumption has changed rapidly over the past decade, with digital increasingly claiming a larger share of the daily time spent with media. Increased mobile usage is driving much of the growth in digital time spent, as smartphones become more powerful and capable of handling tasks otherwise completed on desktop.
Meanwhile, cord-cutting and cord-shaving will continue as consumers seek more affordable alternatives to traditional pay-TV. Marketers need to understand the underlying consumer trends that are driving billions of dollars in global advertising, and how those behaviors are likely to play out in the near term.
In this three-part forecast book, Business Insider Intelligence forecasts how much time users spend consuming each format as we approach peak media, and how those changes reflect how advertising dollars are spent globally and in the US.
McDonald's is taking a page out of Dunkin's playbook to drum up excitement about breakfast.
In February the chain plans to launch "Donut Sticks" as a limited-time offering, according to internal documents viewed by Business Insider. The strips of deep-fried dough, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, will be available only during breakfast hours.
"They're light and crunchy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside," according to the internal description of the product.
Here's what the Donut Sticks look like:
Customers will be able to buy six Donut Sticks at the recommended price of $1.29, or a dozen for $2.39. McDonald's is also pushing a bundled deal of a half-dozen Donut Sticks and a small coffee for $1.99.
McDonald's declined to confirm any plans to roll out Donut Sticks but said in a statement that customers could expect "more delicious and craveable news to come in 2019."
The Donut Sticks appear to be markedly similar to Dunkin's Donut Fries, which the chain rolled out nationally as a limited-time offering in June. According to Dunkin' Brands CEO David Hoffman, Donut Fries "quickly became one of the best-performing limited-time offer bakery items in recent brand history."
McDonald's quest to boost breakfast sales
While McDonald's has long been the king of fast-food breakfast, the chain has recently lost market share to competitors as rivals double down on morning sales.
"We're still losing a little share," McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook told investors in October."It's very competitive out there at breakfast."
"We want to do better at breakfast," Easterbrook said. "We've got some initiatives in place, which we're going to see out through the next few months and also some new food news, which we think will reenergize the day part."
In September, McDonald's expanded its $1, $2, and $3 menu to include a $1 any-size coffee, $1 Sausage Biscuit, and a $1 Sausage McMuffin. In November it debuted Triple Breakfast Stacks, breakfast sandwiches with three times as much meat — the chain's first new breakfast item in 15 years. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that McDonald's is hoping to boost breakfast sales by "testing baked goods including coffee cakes and muffin tops."
"Customers have been lovin' the quality and iconic taste of McDonald's breakfast for decades," a McDonald's representative said in a statement Wednesday. "In recent years, All Day Breakfast, more McCafé choices and new breakfast tastes, like our Triple Breakfast Stacks, are all proof of our renewed breakfast commitment."
The Donut Sticks will represent McDonald's first national rollout of a breakfast baked good in years, though the chain has launched a number of regional tests. Currently, McDonald's only has three items on its national McCafé Bakery menu: the apple pie and two kinds of cookies.
Former Bernie Sanders campaign staffers want to meet with the senator and his top political advisors to discuss "the issue of sexual violence and harassment during the 2016 campaign," in advance of the 2020 election cycle, according to a letter sent to Sanders and published by POLITICO.
Though Sanders hasn't yet announced his intentions to run for the White House, more than two dozen women and men who worked for his 2016 campaign want him and his advisers to create a "gold-standard" harassment policy to avoid what they described as an "untenable and dangerous dynamic that developed during [the 2016] campaign."
One of the letter's organizers, who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity, said signees are trying to address "a pervasive culture of toxic masculinity in the campaign world."
“This letter is just a start,” the organizer said. “We are addressing what happened on the Bernie campaign, but as people that work in this space we see that all campaigns are extremely dangerous to women and marginalized people and we are attempting to fix that.”
Though the former staffers did not detail any specific instances of sexual harassment or violence in their letter, a New York Times article detailed a few instances in which Bernie campaign staffers felt they were harassed during the 2016 campaign. Giulianna Di Lauro, a Latino outreach strategist for the 2016 campaign, told The Times that a Sanders surrogate once ran his hand over her hair in a “sexual way” and continued to push her boundaries "for the rest of the day."
When she reported the incident to Bill Vazquez, a manager on the Latino team, he reportedly told her "I bet you would have liked it if he were younger."
The Times reported that similar accounts have made rounds online among former Bernie supporters.
“I did experience sexual harassment during the campaign, and there was no one who would or could help,” Samantha Davis, the 2016 campaign's former director of operations in Texas and New York, told The Times. She said she was marginalized by her supervisor after declining an invitation to his hotel room.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders' 2016 campaign manager and currently a top adviser, was named in the letter sent to Sanders. In response, he told The Times that “anybody who committed harassment on the campaign would not be asked back.” He also expressed regret for some of the campaign's shortcomings.
“Was it too male? Yes. Was it too white? Yes,” he told The Times. “Would this be a priority to remedy on any future campaign? Definitely, and we share deeply in the urgency for all of us to make change. In 2016, as the size of our campaign exploded, we made efforts to make it a positive experience for people. That there was a failure pains me very much.”
Friends of Bernie Sanders, his principal campaign committee, responded to the letter in a statement to POLITICO.
“We thank the signers of the letter for their willingness to engage in this incredibly important discussion,” the statement said. “We always welcome hearing the experiences and views of our former staff. We also value their right to come to us in a private way so their confidences and privacy are respected. And we will honor this principle with respect to this private letter.”
Some former supporters told The Times that the pervasive harassment and sexism in the campaign drove them away from it. Sarah Slamen, who worked for the campaign in Texas and helped build out Our Revolution, a progressive organization born from Sanders' campaign, told The Times she quit the organization at the end of 2016 after she said she a male member of Our Revolution berated her for suggesting an organizing plan.
“Do you know how hard that is for me to say after working so hard for him?” she said.
In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Cook said tariffs imposed by the US and China on products from the opposite country contributed to an economic slowdown in China. The Chinese economic slowdown in turn decreases retail sales in the country and hurt Apple's overall business.
"And what I believe to be the case is the trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy," Cook said. "So we saw as the quarter went on things like traffic in our retail stores, traffic in our channel partner stores, the reports of the smartphone industry contracting, particularly bad in November. I haven't seen a December number yet, but I'd bet it would not be good either."
Cook also highlighted the trade war's impact on Apple's sales in a letter to shareholders announcing the reduced revenue target.
"We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States," he wrote.
In total, Apple estimated that revenue for the company's first fiscal quarter would come in around 7.6% lower than a previously expected $84 billion. The original guidance called for revenues between $89 billion and $93 billion.
While Apple did not place complete blame on the trade war — the company also cited the strong US dollar, reduced battery replacement prices, and more — the tariff battle between the US and China appears to have taken its toll on the tech giant.
There may still be more worries on the trade front for Apple, as well. Current US tariffs on Chinese goods do not include many consumer electronics like those manufactured by Apple, and some Apple products were dropped from a preliminary list of goods that were subject to tariffs in September.
But President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal in November that the iPhone and other Apple products could be hit by the next round of tariffs, which would cover the $255 billion in Chinese products not currently involved in the trade war. Apple previously warned that tariffs on their products would harm the company.
The US and China agreed to a trade war truce at the start of December and have put any additional tariffs on hold. But that truce is only set to last until March 1. And Trump's lead trade negotiator, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, reportedly wants to deploy additional tariffs to pressure the Chinese.
Regardless of the trade war's future, Cook's statements make it clear that Trump's trade war with China is indirectly harming one of the America's largest companies. The announcement is also an example of the highly integrated supply chains US companies use — and how tariffs can disrupt those firms' ability to do business.
In response to the news, Apple's stock fell by over 7% in after-hours trading to $146.40 a share.
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.
Drone technologies continue to improve at a rapid pace and are slowly pushing the unmanned aircraft toward the mainstream. Companies in a variety of industries are now looking to use drones to cut costs, boost efficiencies, and create new revenue streams and business values, such as last-mile retail deliveries.
But regulatory roadblocks are still holding back widespread commercial drone use in most large, developed markets. Many countries still have laws on the books that regulate drones as other aircraft, such as planes or helicopters, and prevent unmanned aircraft from flying beyond a few miles from the operator. That makes laws and regulations arguably the chief determining factor in the development of the commercial drone industry worldwide.
This new report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, will give a high-level overview of commercial drone regulations around the world. We detail the major changes in global drone regulations over the past year, and show how regulators are working to stay ahead of the nascent, yet valuable devices. In addition, we show how regulatory changes will impact the industry and allow for new enterprise use cases in the next few years.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
Gene Munster used to be a leading tech analyst, well known for his views on Apple.
He made the switch to investing and now labors for Loup Ventures. He's frequently offered his bullish views on Tesla, so on Wednesday after the carmaker reported quarterly Model 3 sales that were a bit lighter then Wall Street anticipated and announced a $2,000 price cut, Munster went into deep-concern mode, while preserving his long-term optimism.
"These developments are psychological setbacks for investors looking to gain confidence in Tesla production and underlying demand, but the news does not fundamentally change the company's long-term opportunity related to EVs, renewable energy, autonomy, and ridesharing," he wrote in a brief note.
He's correct that the news is a psychological setback for Tesla investors, who promptly sent shares down 7%, to $311. But anything could be a psychological setback for Tesla investors these days, so Herr Doktor Munster is going to be busy if Wednesday's news is his standard.
In terms of what this really means, think of it this way. Tesla didn't miss by that much on Model 3 deliveries, the company hit its guidance for its big-ticket Model S and Model X vehicles, and in any case, quarterly sales are only marginally less noisy than monthly sales. What matters is the consistency of sales across a car model's cycle: sell close to a million Ford F-150 pickups every year for a decade, for example.
As for the price cut — pricing in the car business is extremely flexible. That's why a price is called "manufacturer's suggested retail price" (MSRP). Dealers have a great deal of power to determine what they're willing to sell a car for. Tesla acts as its own dealer in many cases, using a direct-sales model, and while it says it doesn't cut prices, it can if it wants to.
The two-grand cut is meant to compensate for a $7,500 federal tax being cut in half for new Teslas in 2019, as the carmaker has passed a sales threshold established by the government and will now see the credit phased out. Of course, Tesla could simply call it an "incentive," in which case it would be about half of the current industry average. Automakers selling vehicles in the US have been knocking off around $4,000 from sticker prices for months.
So why the worry? Well, the stock did go down, but $TSLA is a yo-yo, and a fragile one at that. If Elon Musk tweets something about ... pretty much anything, the stock could move.
But otherwise, the psychological impact of Wednesday's news should have been negligible. Tesla is getting a good price for its vehicles, and it did sell more cars in 2018 — almost 250,000 — than in the previous 14 years of its existence combined.
I reached out to Munster for his thoughts, but he hasn't responded.
Tesla could always re-label a price cut as an incentive
In his note, he also wrote that the $2,000 price cut"is evidence that demand for Teslas and for EVs more broadly is still tied to incentives, so the step down in the tax credit ... will, understandably, have an impact on demand."
He added: "This equates to about a 3% average discount on a Tesla. If Tesla had a demand issue, they would have to discount by more than 3%. To be clear, we are not changing our 2019 unit estimates."
Munster is right; a 3% discount is a drop in the bucket. A lot of carmakers would be jumping for joy if all they had to do was trim 3% off the price to move metal.
What about the demand-incentive nexus? Well, it's certainly nice to be looking forward to reducing your tax bill by $7,500 — but that assumes you'll owe the IRS something. If you don't, then the credit is useless. So in a sense, Tesla is opening a discount to non-rich people, the folks who don't generally have to worry about reducing their annual tax liability.
So ironically, Tesla's use of its pricing power (to both raise and lower the sticker) could actually increase sales. We'll have to wait for first-quarter numbers to come in to see if that's the real psychological impact of Wednesday's news.
NOW WATCH: What would happen if Elon Musk left Tesla
Narrator: In 2018, Disney World raised its ticket prices, twice. Take the park's platinum pass for example, it's the standard option that grants access to all four parks with no blackout dates. In February, the price went from $779 to $849, then in October its price jumped from $849 to $894, as Disney unveiled its dynamic pricing model. That's a 15% increase in just one year.
This is the fourth time in park history that annual pass prices were raised twice in the same year. The first time was 1997 in anticipation of Animal Kingdom's 1998 opening. Similarly, the price markups in 2018 are in advance of Disney World and Disneyland's 14 acre Star Wars theme lands, called "Galaxy's Edge." And Disney parks expansion doesn't stop there. Hong Kong Disneyland is spending $1.4 billion on Avengers and Frozen themed attractions. On top of that, it's adding capacity to Tokyo DisneySea, and updating Epcot and Disney Studio park at Disneyland Paris.
Despite all the costly expansions, Disney Parks and Resorts reported a $4.5 billion operating profit for the 2018 fiscal year. That's over 100% increase from 2013. So, if it is steadily profiting, why are Disney Parks becoming so expensive?
From the mid-80s into the early 20 00s, Disney Parks pulled way ahead of its competition. In 2002, Magic Kingdom's attendance alone nearly doubled its closest non-Disney competitor, MGM Studios. But in 2010, that changed when Universal opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Robert Niles: It was game on in this business all of a sudden Disney had a competitor again and Disney does not like to lose, not just lose, Disney doesn't even like to compete. Disney wants to dominate its competition.
Narrator: Disney launched a full out retaliation against Universal and other competitors. In 2011, it announced Pandora, its Avatar themed attraction located in Animal Kingdom. Then over the following six years, it opened new attractions in all four major parks. And by 2017 Disney Parks claimed 55% of North American theme park attendance.
Niles: This has been really successful, so everybody wants to come during summer vacation and Christmas when their kids are out of school. And the trouble is that if you spent billions of dollars really to build these attraction facilities. They are open 365 days a year. It's just not efficient to have them filled to the brim for four, five, six weeks out of the year and then not so much the rest of the time. So, they really want to use all of their pricing and promotions to try and equalize the crowds throughout the year.
Narrator: Disney World's second price hike of 2018 included a switch to dynamic pricing. Charging higher prices during those peak summer months and winter holidays and encouraging volume purchases.
Niles: Disney understands the demographic changes that are happening in the United States at this point. They understand what's happening with income and economic inequality. They know that the money is in the upper level, the top 10%, the top 1%. They've created a wide variety of new products to try and, frankly, extract more money out of the people who have money to spare.
Lee: Disney has several new offerings targeted at its wealthiest visitors, including dinners with Disney princesses, two Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques that offer a makeover, hairstyling, and costumes. And even private VIP tours of the parks. But the luxury offerings go beyond activities in the parks. In 2014, Orlando's first five-star resort opened on the Disney grounds, a Four Seasons resort with rooms starting at $449 a night. And Bora Bora Bungalows that cost $29 dollars when the park first opened can reach prices of $3,400 today.
Niles: Now the down side with that is if you are one of those remaining middle class people in America, you could get squeezed here.
Narrator: Since 2000, Disney World prices have steadily increased while wage growth has been falling from its 2001 high of 5.4%. And in 2018, Disney Parks reported a 5% increase in per capita spending in the parks and an 8% uptick in per room revenue in hotels.
Niles: Disney's done such a good job at becoming a cultural institution in the United States. It's done such a good job of becoming a lifestyle brand that some of the people who may have been early adopters to this brand are really feeling some pressure right now, because of the way the company is growing. People who were early adopters to this are used to a middle class pricing model that just doesn't really work in the modern economy anymore. And they feel frustrated that they put a lot of loyalty into this brand, into this company and now they feel like they really have to stretch to keep up. And that's tough, but at the same time, if Disney's going to grow, it's got to go where the money is. It's got to go in a direction that allows it to get maximum value from its investments and limiting itself only to its early adopters isn't going to allow the company to do that.