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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Mark Zuckerberg

    • Former Facebook employees reportedly blamed the company's stack rank review process for creating a "cult-like" culture where they felt the need to appear happy in an attempt to win favor with colleagues.
    • On Wednesday, former Facebook employees provided more detail about the review process to Business Insider. 
    • They said that receiving two consecutive reviews of "meets most" expectations — which is equivalent to a "B" grade — would ultimately result in an employee being fired. 
    • "A lot of people I know got canned. You got to understand the game of it," one former employee told us. 

    Getting a "B" on a report was a respectable grade to bring home for a lot of kids growing up.

    But apparently, the above average mark is not good enough at Facebook, where the company stack ranks employees and terminates not among the top performers. 

    Former Facebook employees told Business Insider on Wednesday that receiving two consecutive reviews of "meets most" expectations — which they say is equivalent to a "B" grade — would ultimately result in an employee being fired. 

    “Everything is quantified, and you’re measured against everyone to a number," one former Facebook employee told Business Insider. "If you get 'meets most' expectations two times, then you’re going to be canned in a couple of months. A lot of people I know got canned. You got to understand the game of it, but for me, the culture was unsustainable.”

    The former employees clarified that receiving the "meets most" mark was not grounds for firing alone, rather it put employees on a performance improvement plan (PIP) that ultimately lead to one's termination. 

    "I’ve never met anyone that's received two ['meets most' reviews] in a row that has continued on at Facebook," another former employee told us. 

    Facebook disputes the characterization of its process as stack ranking, a spokesperson told Business Insider. The spokesperson also denied that two consecutive “meets most” reviews result in a performance improvement plan for employees.

    'Meets most' means underperformance

    On Tuesday, CNBC reported that former Facebook employees blamed the company's stack rank review process for creating a "cult-like" atmosphere where workers felt the need to appear happy in order to win favor with colleagues. The perception and feedback of colleagues is an important piece of Facebook's twice-yearly peer reviews. 

    "It's a little bit of a popularity contest," one former employee told CNBC. "You can cherry-pick the people who like you — maybe throw in one bad apple to equalize it."

    Read more:Former Facebook employees reportedly say the corporate culture is like a cult where you have to be happy all the time

    During the review process, once peer feedback is collected employees are ranked and assigned a grade by management. Only a certain percentage of employees can receive each grade, so managers must advocate for their direct reports to receive the highest marks. 

    According to the CNBC report, grades at Facebook range from "meets some" expectations (which are rare because most people are fired before receiving this grade) to "redefine (which is the top mark, given to only 5% of employees). The "meets most" mark is considered a lower grade at Facebook and puts future employment at risk, according to the report. 

    Management guru and former General Electric CEO Jack introduced the stack rank system in the 1980s. Since then, the system has found favor amongst the tech companies like IBM, Yahoo, and Amazon — but not without its share of controversy. 

    Microsoft, for instance, used stack-ranking until 2013, when it found the system to hurt innovation and was detrimental to employee morale.

    SEE ALSO: 33 of the best and wackiest photos from the biggest tech convention of the year

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 science-backed ways to a happier and healthier 2019 that you can do the first week of the new year


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    • After a shaky start, wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers have gained traction in healthcare, with US consumer use jumping from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018.
    • More than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data — and penetration should continue to climb.
    • The maturation of the wearable market will put more wearables in the hands of consumers and US businesses.

    The US healthcare industry as it exists today is not sustainable. An aging patient population and rising burden of chronic disease have caused healthcare costs to skyrocket and left providers struggling to keep up with demand for care. 

    FORECAST: Fitness Tracker and Health-Based Wearable Installed Base

    Meanwhile, digital technologies in nearly every consumer experience outside of healthcare have raised patients’ expectations for good service to be higher than ever.

    One of the key mechanisms through which healthcare providers can finally evolve their outdated practices and exceed these expectations is wearable technology.

    Presently, 33% of US consumers have adopted wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, to play a more active role in managing their health. In turn, insurers, providers, and employers are poised to become just as active leveraging these devices – and the data they capture – to abandon the traditional reimbursement model and improve patient outcomes with personalized, value-based care.

    Adoption is going to keep climbing, as more than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data, according to Accenture — though they have reservations about who exactly should access it.

    A new report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, follows the growing adoption of wearables and breadth of functions they offer to outline how healthcare organizations and stakeholders can overcome this challenge and add greater value with wearable technology.

    For insurers, providers, and employers, wearables present three distinct opportunities:

    • Insurers can use wearable data to enhance risk assessments and drive customer lifetime value. One study shows that wearables can incentivize healthier behavior associated with a 30% reduction in risk of cardiovascular events and death.
    • Providers can use the remote patient monitoring capabilities of wearable technology to improve chronic disease management, lessen the burden of staff shortages, and navigate a changing reimbursement model. And since 90% of patients no longer feel obligated to stay with providers that don't deliver a satisfactory digital experience, wearables could help to attract and retain them.
    • Employers can combine wearables with cash incentives to lower insurance costs and improve employee productivity. For example, The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority yielded $5 million in healthcare cost savings through a wearable-based employee wellness program.

    Want to Learn More?

    The Wearables in US Healthcare Report details the current and future market landscape of wearables in the US healthcare sector. It explores the key drivers behind wearable usage by insurers, healthcare providers, and employers, and the opportunities wearables afford to each of these stakeholders. 

    By outlining a successful case study from each stakeholder, the report highlights best practices in implementing wearables to reduce healthcare claims, improve patient outcomes, and drive insurance cost savings, as well as how the evolution of the market will create new, untapped opportunities for businesses.

     

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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

    bii big tech in healthcare ALL Four

    The healthcare industry is undergoing a profound transformation. Costs are skyrocketing, consumer demand for more accessible care is growing rapidly, and healthcare companies are unable to keep up. 

    Health organizations are increasingly turning to tech companies to facilitate this transformation in care delivery and lower health expenditures. The potential for tech-led digital health initiatives to help healthcare providers and insurers deliver safer, more efficient, and cost-effective care is significant. For healthcare organizations of all types, the collection, analyses, and application of patient data can minimize avoidable service use, improve health outcomes, and promote patient independence, which can assuage swelling costs.

    For their part, the "Big Four" tech companies — Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft — see an opportunity to tap into the lucrative health market. These same players are accelerating their efforts to reshape healthcare by developing and collaborating on new tools for consumers, medical professionals, and insurers.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explores the key strengths and offerings the Big Four will bring to the healthcare industry, as well as their approaches into the market. We'll then explore how these services and solutions are creating opportunities for health systems and insurers. Finally, the report will outline the barriers that are inhibiting the adoption and usage of the Big Four tech companies’ offerings and how these barriers can be circumvented.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Tech companies’ expertise in data management and analysis, along with their significant compute power, can help support healthcare payers, health systems, and consumers by providing a broader overview of how health is accessed and delivered.
    • Each of the Big Four tech companies — vying for a piece of the lucrative healthcare market — is leaning on their specific field of expertise to develop tools and solutions for consumers, providers, and payers.
      • Alphabet is focused on leveraging its dominance in data storage and analytics to become the leader in population health.
      • Amazon is leaning on its experience as a distribution platform for medical supplies, and developing its AI-assistant Alexa as an in-home health concierge.
      • Apple is actively turning its consumer products into patient health hubs.
      • Microsoft is focusing on cloud storage and analytics to tap into precision medicine.
    • Health organizations can further tap into the opportunity presented by tech’s entry into healthcare by collaborating with tech giants to realize cost savings and bolster their top lines. But understanding how each tech giant is approaching healthcare is crucial.

     In full, the report:

    • Pinpoints the key themes and industry-wide shifts that are driving the transformation of healthcare in the US.
    • Defines the main healthcare businesses and strategies of the Big Four tech companies.
    • Highlights the biggest potential impacts of each of the Big Four’s healthcare strategies for health systems and insurers.
    • Discusses the potential barriers that will challenge the adoption of the Big Four tech companies’ initiatives and how these hurdles can be overcome.

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

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    lauren sanchez jeff bezos patrick whitesell

    • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is reportedly dating entrepreneur and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.
    • Earlier on Wednesday, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced that they were divorcing after 25 years together.
    • The New York Post reported that Sanchez is still married to Hollywood agent Patrick Whitesell, though they are separated.
    • The National Enquirer said it's on the verge of publishing an exposé on the alleged affair between Bezos and Sanchez, saying its reporters tailed the pair for months.

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reportedly has a new romance in his life: former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.

    On Wednesday, the billionaire exec and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, announced they were divorcing, saying in a joint statement: "We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends."

    The New York Post and the National Enquirer both reported that Jeff Bezos, 54, is romantically involved with 49-year-old Sanchez, a former "Good Day LA" news anchor with Fox who also works as a helicopter pilot and entrepreneur.

    The TV host is still married to Patrick Whitesell, the co-CEO of prominent Hollywood talent agency WME. Whitesell counts Matt Damon, Christian Bale, and Hugh Jackman among his clients. According to the New York Post, Sanchez and Whitesell separated in the fall. It's after this that Bezos reportedly "became closer" with Sanchez. Sanchez has three children — two from her marriage to Whitesell and one from a previous relationship.

    The National Enquirer said it conducted a four-month investigation into Bezos and Sanchez's alleged affair, and suggested that it was its impending report — due to be published in full later this week — that sparked the announcement from Bezos.

    "During a blockbuster four-month investigation, The ENQUIRER tracked Bezos, who turns 55 on Jan. 12, and secret lover Sanchez across five states and 40,000 miles, tailed them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and 'quality time' in hidden love nests," the National Enquirer wrote in a story teasing its upcoming investigation.

    Bezos has an estimated net worth of about $137 billion, and news of his impending divorce has sparked fevered speculation as to what it will mean for his fortune. It's not clear whether Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos signed a prenuptial agreement or formed another arrangement regarding what would happen if they split. The couple have been married for 25 years, and have four children.

    An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.


    Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

     

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    NOW WATCH: 7 science-backed ways to a happier and healthier 2019 that you can do the first week of the new year


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    Will Hurd

    • Republican Rep. Will Hurd, who represents more of the southern border than anyone in the House of Representatives, has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. 
    • Hurd represents Texas' 23rd Congressional District, which stretches roughly 820 miles from El Paso to San Antonio.
    • Hurd, a former undercover CIA agent, has been pushing for what he has referred to as a "smart border wall," or a technology-based approach.
    • On Wednesday, the Texas congressman told CNN, "I think building a concrete structure sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security." 

    Republican Rep. Will Hurd, who represents more of the southern border than any of his colleagues in the House of Representatives, has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. 

    Hurd represents Texas' 23rd Congressional District, which stretches roughly 820 miles from El Paso to San Antonio.

    He has repeatedly stated that he is not in favor of Trump's wall and narrowly won reelection in the 2018 midterm elections in part by campaigning against the president's plan. 

    "I think building a concrete structure sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security," the Texas congressman told CNN, on Wednesday. 

    Sections of the border spanning across California, Arizona, and New Mexico are largely already covered with physical barriers. If Trump's proposed wall (or barrier) is constructed on the southern border, much of it will occur in Hurd's district. 

    Building along the Texas border would be complicated. Not only does the border not run in a straight line, but the territory it falls on is hardly ideal for building due to the terrain. Additionally, land owned by Hurd's constituents would likely be needed for the project to be feasible, which is part of the reason he opposes the wall. The location also includes Big Bend National Park.

    Read more: Several House Republicans broke with Trump and voted with Democrats to pass 2 bills that would end the government shutdown

    "Property rights are important to all Americans — especially Texans — and most of the property along our border has been privately held for generation," Hurd told The Atlantic in April 2017. "Many Texans I speak to think there are better ways to achieve border security without taking their lands, so you can expect a lengthy and expensive fight from these folks."

    Hurd, a former undercover CIA agent who's also the only black Republican currently in the House of Representatives, has been pushing for what he's referred to as a "smart border wall." What he's calling for is a technology-based approach to border security that would involve drones and other forms of surveillance to help stop people from crossing into the US from Mexico illegally. 

    "We have driverless vehicles, we can use facial recognition software as payment for goods, and outer space is the next hot commercial travel destination. Yet we continue to debate the efficacy of a third century solution to secure our nation’s southern border," Hurd wrote in an August 2017 op-ed for USA Today

    "What we need is a 'Smart Wall' to solve our 21st century border problems," Hurd added. "A Smart Wall would use sensor, radar and surveillance technologies to detect and track incursions across our border so we can deploy efficiently our most important resource, the men and women of Border Patrol, to perform the most difficult task — interdiction." 

    Read more:Trump gave his border security speech with a photo of his impoverished, immigrant Scottish mother behind him

    Trump's fight with Democrats over obtaining funding for the border wall has led to a partial government shutdown that has now lasted over two weeks. Last week, the president said drones and sensors could be helpful in terms of protecting the border, but contended they wouldn't go far enough. 

    Trump made the wall a cornerstone of his 2016 presidential campaign (and claimed that Mexico would pay for it). However, Congress is being asked for appropriations fo the barrier, and there are conflicting estimates on how much the president's proposed border wall would cost, ranging from $21.6 billion to $70 billion. Many experts have contended Trump's wall would be an inadequate means of addressing the complex array of issues associated with immigration in the US.

    Read more:Trump's insistence on a border wall ignores the fact roughly half of all undocumented immigrants entered the country legally

    The president on Tuesday gave a speech in the Oval Office in an effort to convince the American public to support his plan, offering a number of falsehoods and misleading claims in the process.

    Trump has referred to what's happening at the border as a "crisis," but hasn't declared a national emergency, despite previous reports that he was considering it.

    Meanwhile, the government shutdown persists and it is on track to be the longest in US history. Roughly 800,000 federal workers have been impacted, some are furloughed, while others who are deemed "essential" are working without pay.

    Hurd on Tuesday night rebuked Trump and called for an end to the government shutdown. 

    "If this is a crisis, the people that are dealing with this crisis should get paid," the Republican congressman told CNN.

    Recent polls have shown most Americans blame Trump for the shutdown and oppose his proposal for a border wall.

    In December, Trump said he would be "proud" to take responsibility for a government shutdown in order to obtain funding for his border wall, but he has since placed blame on Democrats in Congress.

    A Wednesday meeting between Trump and Democratic ended when the president reportedly stormed out of the room after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said no to funding a wall or steel barrier.

    SEE ALSO: Trump storms out of government-shutdown meeting after Democrats claim he 'slammed the table' over border wall

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'


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    Ford Explorer Platinum Detroit Auto Show 2019

    • Ford revealed its all-new Explorer SUV in Detroit.
    • Ford has sold 8 million units of the iconic Explorer since 1991.
    • The sixth-generation Explorer isn't radically different on the outside from the fifth-generation SUV, but it's been substantially improved in terms of engineering, capabilities, and technology.

    The Detroit Auto Show officially kicks off next week, but Ford grabbed the early spotlight by revealing its new Explorer SUV in Motown on Wednesday. 

    Business Insider got a look in New York, where Ford brought an example of the iconic SUV, of which the automaker has sold 8 million units since 1991. The revamped 2020 Explorer isn't radically different from the outgoing SUV, but it has been updated in all the ways prospective buyers should expect, given that the previous generation had been around for nine years.

    The three-row SUV is critical to Ford's future. US consumers have shifted away from passenger cars, and Ford has decided to stop investing in those vehicles. The strategy requires that pickup trucks, SUVs, and crossovers carry the sales burden. Ford redesigned the perennially bestselling F-Series pickups in 2015 and 2016. It also introduced — and reintroduced — new crossovers and pickups, such as the Bronco and the Ranger.

    Read more: The Ford Explorer has been around for more than 25 years — but it's still a brilliant SUV

    But the Explorer is special. It was the first large, profitable SUV to catch on with suburban families, ending the reign of the station wagon and bringing the utility vehicle out of the woods and onto city streets.

    After a dip in the wake of the financial crisis, when gas prices spiked, the Explorer came roaring back. Sales of the aging vehicle slipped just 3% in 2018, and much of that could be chalked up to consumers waiting for the updated model. (I reviewed the Explorer in 2017 and thought that although it was getting on in years, it was still an excellent choice for a seven-passenger family hauler.)

    Ford Explorer Platinum Detroit Auto Show 2019

    Ford knows its Explorer owners well, so it asked them what they wanted in the new vehicle.

    "More capability, more power, more space" was the answer, Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's head of product development and purchasing, said in a statement.

    "They want more technology, not just for the driver, but for the whole family. And they want all of it with a beautifully sporty exterior. This new Explorer gives all of that, and more, helping make every journey more enjoyable."

    The base Explorer's price will rise by $400, but the carmaker is compensating buyers by cramming the sixth-generation SUV with upgraded standard features. (The fifth-generation Explorer starts at $32,365, so the new one will start at about $32,765.)

    "We obsessed about what Explorer customers need and want," Bill Gubing, the SUV's chief engineer, said in a statement.

    "We met with customer groups, pored through internet forums, and dissected social media posts to determine what they love about today's Explorer and understand their pain points. Then we found ways to improve it across the board. Every enhancement on this all-new Explorer was inspired by our customers."

    Ford Explorer Platinum Detroit Auto Show 2019

    The design of the new SUV could be called a systematic improvement, rather than a total rethink. The fascia was reworked with a bold new grille, but the familiar blackout A-pillar remains, and nobody who owned or leased the previous-gen Explorer will think the 2020 model is anything other than ... a Ford Explorer.

    But, as Ford noted, the SUV has been reengineered, built on a new rear-wheel-drive platform that hasn't changed the outward dimensions of the vehicle but has opened up interior space.

    Under the hood, you can get everything but a V8. A 2.3-liter, twin-turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 300 horsepower with 310 pound-feet of torque is the base motor. A 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is the next step up; it makes 365 horsepower with 380 pound-feet of torque. 

    Towing has been massively improved. The properly outfitted Explorer with the 3.0-liter engine can pull 5,600 pounds, an increase over the top-level 3.5-liter motor in the outgoing SUV. The smaller 2.3-liter engine can now tug 5,000 pounds, while the current SUV with that engine manages just 3,000 pounds. The improvements come for an SUV that's also shed 200 pounds in overall weight.

    Drop the third-row seats, and the new Explorer has 171 cubic feet of cargo area. With the third row deployed, children and most adults can ride in relative comfort, and getting in and out of the seating area is made easier thanks to what Ford calls "E-Z Entry" second-row seats.

    Ford Explorer Platinum Detroit Auto Show 2019

    The most noticeable changes to the Explorer aren't surprising: infotainment technology has been fully updated with Ford's latest SYNC 3 system, a 10.1-inch central touchscreen, and a fully digital instrument cluster; the old-school shifter has been replaced by a selector knob; and the SUV now has wireless-device charging, as well as 4G LTE wireless connectivity. A 980-watt, 14-speaker B&O premium audio system has also been dropped in.

    The 2020 Explorer will also have numerous driver-assist technologies standard under Ford's Co-Pilot360 system. Drive modes will range from Eco to Sport, with setups available to showcase the new Explorer's off-road and foul-weather capabilities.

    The 2020 Ford Explorer will hit dealerships in mid-2020, with a lineup consisting of "standard, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, and Platinum models," the automaker said in a statement.

    Beyond the base trim level's increase, Ford didn't disclose pricing. The company also said it would reveal a Ford Performance ST trim level of the Explorer, as well as a hybrid version, at the Detroit Auto Show next week.

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    NOW WATCH: Ford has built a plug-in hybrid cop car


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

    trust smart speaker makersSmart speakers comprise one of the fastest-growing device segments in the consumer technology market today. Ownership levels have nearly doubled from early 2017 to summer 2018. 

    With this rapid growth, there are a few pivotal questions that both companies looking to develop and sell smart speakers as well as those looking to sell products, deliver media, and offer access to services like banking over these devices need answers to in order to craft successful strategies. In particular, they need to know who is and isn’t buying smart speakers, and what consumers who own smart speakers are actually doing with them. 

    To offer these stakeholders insight, Business Insider Intelligence asked more than 500 US consumers about their knowledge of smart speakers, the devices they do or don’t own and what led them to their purchase decisions, as well as the tasks they’re using their smart speakers for.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence will look at the state of the smart speaker market and outline how each of the major device providers approaches the space. We will then focus on the key factors that affect whether or not someone owns one of these devices. Next, we will use our survey data to outline the reasons why people don’t own devices in order to offer guidance for who to target and how. Finally, we will discuss what consumers are actually doing with their smart speakers — specifically looking at how the devices are used and perceived in e-commerce, digital media, and banking — which can help companies determine how well they’re publicizing their smart speaker services and capabilities.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Sonos, LG, Anker, Spotify, Pandora, Grubhub, Netflix, Hulu, Instagram, Snap.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • Despite their growing popularity, nearly half of respondents still don't own a device — which presents a long runway for adoption. Our survey data reveals a number of key factors that impact whether or not someone owns one of these devices, including income, gender, and age.
    • Smart speakers are establishing themselves as a key platform for e-commerce, media, and the smart home.
    • The introduction of a screen to some smart speakers will expand the possibilities for companies developing for the device — but developers will need to resist the compulsion to use speakers to accomplish too much.

    In full, the report:

    • Provides an overview of the key players and products in the smart speaker market.
    • Highlights critical adoption rates broken out by key factors that define the segment.
    • Identifies how consumers are using devices in important areas where companies in various industries are trying foster greater use of the voice interface.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, arrive for the Axel Springer award ceremony on April 24, 2018 in Berlin. Bezos will be receiving the award later.

    • Amazon could soon have a large new individual shareholder in the form of MacKenzie Bezos as a result of her impending divorce from the company's CEO.
    • Jeff Bezos owns 16% of the e-commerce giant, and MacKenzie could be entitled to up to half of those shares, which would giver her, with Jeff, one of the two largest stakes in the company.
    • Although the Bezoses are worth $137 billion on paper, nearly all of their assets are in the form of Amazon stock.
    • They live in, and will likely file for divorce in, Washington, which is a community-property state, which potentially gives her a claim on a sizeable portion of their wealth.
    • Because of the numerous variables in play, it's unclear exactly how much Amazon stock she'll end up with.

    Jeff Bezos may soon have someone familiar looking over his shoulder when it comes to running Amazon and having substantial say about it — his soon-to-be ex-wife.

    Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announced Wednesday they plan to divorce after more than 25 years of marriage. Because nearly all of their $137 billion net worth is in the form of his stock in Amazon, it's highly likely that she will end up with a substantial stake in the company as part of any separation agreement. Indeed, there's a good chance that she could end up having the biggest stake in the company other than Bezos'.

    "One would think so," said Ira Garr, a family law attorney in New York who represented Rupert Murdoch and Ivana Trump in their respective divorce cases. "I can't see anywhere else the settlement could come from."

    Read this: Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos may split his $137 billion fortune in half when they divorce — here's what typically happens when billionaires break up

    Bezos owns about 79 million shares of Amazon's stock, which are worth about $130 billion. The shares give him a 16% stake in the company, making him its largest shareholder by far. The second largest is Vanguard, which had about 6% of Amazon shares as of last February.

    Should Bezos have to give half of his shares to MacKenzie — a not-unthinkable outcome — her 39 million or so shares would give her an 8% stake in the company and vault her over Vanguard. Although she could opt for cash instead — which would force Bezos to sell off tens of millions of shares  — or immediately turn around and sell the shares herself, it's likely she'll choose to hold on to her shares instead, legal experts said.

    If she chose to sell — or forced Bezos to — "the stock would go way down," Garr said.

    MacKenzie will likely benefit from Washington state law

    The reasons why MacKenzie could end up with such a huge stake in Amazon have a lot do with where the Bezos' divorce proceedings are likely to occur.

    Although the Bezoses have dwellings in different areas of the country, it's likely they'll file for divorce in Washington state, legal experts said. They have a home in the Seattle area where Amazon has its headquarters and have lived out most of their marriage there, said Deirdre Bowen, an associate professor of law at Seattle University's law school. 

    Amazon holiday"Washington seems to be the most logical place" for the divorce proceedings, Bowen said.

    That's important, because it would mean that Washington state law would govern the dissolution of the Bezoses' marriage. 

    Washington is a community-property state; generally, assets acquired during a marriage are considered to be jointly held by the two parties. In the case of a divorce, those community assets have to be divvied up between the two spouses.

    Community property law works a little bit differently in Washington than in other parts of the country. Unlike states such as California, Washington doesn't require community assets to be divided evenly between the two parties, legal experts note. But in the Bezoses' case, where the two have been married for a long time and the founding of Amazon took place after they got married, it's likely that's where a court would end up, said James Spencer, an adjunct professor at Seattle University's School of Law and an attorney with Brothers & Henderson.

    "Considering the totality of the circumstances (as are publicly known), I think it more likely than not that a court would divide the stock roughly in half," Spencer said.

    Bezos and Mackenzie will likely settle out of court

    Legal experts such as Spencer, though, don't expect the Bezoses' case to end up being decided by a judge. Instead, they expect the two to reach a settlement out of court, whether through negotiations among themselves or between their lawyers or through arbitration proceedings. So, Washington's community-property law may not have a direct effect on the divorce's outcome.

    But it's likely that MacKenzie will use it — and the assumption that she should get half of the couples' community assets — as a starting point for negotiations, Bowen said.

    "She can go in and tell her attorney ... to work with the assumption that it's going to be 50-50," she said.

    To be sure, MacKenzie could end up with a far smaller stake in Amazon than half of Bezos' current holdings. If they signed a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, for example, such a contract could severely limit her claims on Bezos' shares in the company.

    Amazon representatives did not respond to an email inquiry about whether the Bezoses had such an agreement.

    Bezos and MacKenzie could fight over what she's entitled to

    Another complicating factor is how negotiators for the two parties — and potentially an arbiter or judge — classify Bezos' stock holdings. Although assets acquired in marriage or the amount by which they appreciate are generally considered community property, courts can make a distinction between passive and active appreciation of assets, Bowen said.

    Bezos could potentially argue that the massive increase in the value of his Amazon stock was due largely to his personal active management of the company and had nothing to do with MacKenzie. Should he take that stance and have it affirmed by a judge or arbiter, MacKenzie could end up with a much smaller stake in Amazon than she might otherwise.

    He could argue his Amazon stake "should remain mine," Bowen said.

    The outcome of the case also will hinge in large part on the mental and emotional state Bezos and MacKenzie are in going into it. In their joint statement announcing the divorce, the two portrayed their parting as amicable. But late Wednesday, reports in the New York Post and the National Enquirer charged that Bezos has been having an affair with former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez, which could indicate their separation wasn't all that friendly.

    If there's rancor involved, it could have a major effect on what each party will demand and settle for, Bowen said.

    new shepard reusable rocket launch 2016 blue origin"The wild card here is I don't know the psychology each party has going into this divorce," Bowen said.

    MacKenzie could end up demanding a large cash payout, she said.

    "I don't think she's an unreasonable person, so I don't see that happening," Bowen said. But, she added, MacKenzie could say in the proceedings something like, "'Why would I want Amazon stock when you're controlling it? I want you removed from my life.'"

    And there's another potential wrinkle. Amazon's board and Bezos himself may be uncomfortable and unwilling to hand over that much of the company's stock to MacKenzie, particularly if the two are at odds. The board or Bezos may push to limit her ownership, either by having Bezos sell shares and give her her stake in cash or by giving her other assets, such as his ownership of the Washington Post or rocket company Blue Origin, instead.

    "With someone who is as closely associated to his brand as Jeff Bezos, it may be that he will refuse a settlement that gives his ex-wife that much Amazon corporate power," said Terry Price, a family law professor at the University of Washington's School of Law.

    SEE ALSO: Amazon Web Services could be worth $600 billion by itself. Here's why Wall Street analysts think a spinoff won't happen any time soon.

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    eSports Advertising and Sponsorships

    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.

    What is eSports? History & Rise of Video Game Tournaments

    Years ago, eSports was a community of video gamers who would gather at conventions to play Counter Strike, Call of Duty, or League of Legends.

    These multiplayer video game competitions would determine League of Legends champions, the greatest shooters in Call of Duty, the cream of the crop of Street Fighter players, the elite Dota 2 competitors, and more.

    But today, as the history of eSports continue to unfold, media giants such as ESPN and Turner are broadcasting eSports tournaments and competitions. And in 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, the live streaming video platform that has been and continues to be the leader in online gaming broadcasts. And YouTube also wanted to jump on the live streaming gaming community with the creation of YouTube Gaming.

    eSports Market Growth Booming

    To put in perspective how big eSports is becoming, a Google search for "lol" does not produce "laughing out loud" as the top result. Instead, it points to League of Legends, one of the most popular competitive games in existence. The game has spawned a worldwide community called the League of Legends Championship Series, more commonly known as LCS or LOL eSports.

    What started as friends gathering in each other's homes to host LAN parties and play into the night has become an official network of pro gaming tournaments and leagues with legitimate teams, some of which are even sponsored and have international reach. Organizations such as Denial, AHQ, and MLG have multiple eSports leagues.

    And to really understand the scope of all this, consider that the prize pool for the latest Dota 2 tournament was more than $20 million.

    Websites even exist for eSports live scores to let people track the competitions in real time if they are unable to watch. There are even fantasy eSports leagues similar to fantasy football, along with the large and growing scene of eSports betting and gambling.

    So it's understandable why traditional media companies would want to capitalize on this growing trend just before it floods into the mainstream. Approximately 300 million people worldwide tune in to eSports today, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2020, that number will be closer to 500 million.

    eSports Industry Analysis - The Future of the Competitive Gaming Market

    Financial institutions are starting to take notice. Goldman Sachs valued eSports at $500 million in 2016 and expects the market will grow at 22% annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1 billion opportunity.

    And industry statistics are already backing this valuation and demonstrating the potential for massive earnings. To illustrate the market value, market growth, and potential earnings for eSports, consider Swedish media company Modern Times Group's $87 million acquisition of Turtle Entertainment, the holding company for ESL. YouTube has made its biggest eSports investment to date by signing a multiyear broadcasting deal with Faceit to stream the latter's Esports Championship Series. And the NBA will launch its own eSports league in 2018.

    Of course, as with any growing phenomenon, the question becomes: How do advertisers capitalize? This is especially tricky for eSports because of its audience demographics, which is young, passionate, male-dominated, and digital-first. They live online and on social media, are avid ad-blockers, and don't watch traditional TV or respond to conventional advertising.

    So what will the future of eSports look like? How high can it climb? Could it reach the mainstream popularity of baseball or football? How will advertisers be able to reach an audience that does its best to shield itself from advertising?

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled an unparalleled report on the eSports ecosystem that dissects the growing market for competitive gaming. This comprehensive, industry-defining report contains more than 30 charts and figures that forecast audience growth, average revenue per user, and revenue growth.

    Companies and organizations mentioned in the report include: NFL, NBA, English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, NHL, Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1, Ligue de Football, Twitch, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Electronic Arts, EA Sports, Valve, Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, ESL, Turtle Entertainment, Dreamhack, Modern Times Group, Turner Broadcasting, TBS Network, Vivendi, Canal Plus, Dailymotion, Disney, BAMTech, Intel, Coca Cola, Red Bull, HTC, Mikonet

    Here are some eSports industry facts and statistics from the report:

    • eSports is a still nascent industry filled with commercial opportunity.
    • There are a variety of revenue streams that companies can tap into.
    • The market is presently undervalued and has significant room to grow.
    • The dynamism of this market distinguishes it from traditional sports.
    • The audience is high-value and global, and its numbers are rising.
    • Brands can prosper in eSports by following the appropriate game plan.
    • Game publishers approach their Esport ecosystems in different ways.  
    • Successful esport games are comprised of the same basic ingredients.
    • Digital streaming platforms are spearheading the popularity of eSports.
    • Legacy media are investing into eSports, and seeing encouraging results.
    • Traditional sports franchises have a clear opportunity to seize in eSports.
    • Virtual and augmented reality firms also stand to benefit from eSports.  

    In full, the report illuminates the business of eSports from four angles:

    • The gaming nucleus of eSports, including an overview of popular esport genres and games; the influence of game publishers, and the spectrum of strategies they adopt toward their respective esport scenes; the role of eSports event producers and the tournaments they operate.
    • The eSports audience profile, its size, global reach, and demographic, psychographic, and behavioral attributes; the underlying factors driving its growth; why they are an attractive target for brands and broadcasters; and the significant audience and commercial crossover with traditional sports.
    • eSports media broadcasters, including digital avant-garde like Twitch and YouTube, newer digital entrants like Facebook and traditional media outlets like Turner’s TBS Network, ESPN, and Canal Plus; their strategies and successes in this space; and the virtual reality opportunity.
    • eSports market economics, with a market sizing, growth forecasts, and regional analyses; an evaluation of the eSports spectacle and its revenue generators, some of which are idiosyncratic to this industry; strategic planning for brand marketers, with case studies; and an exploration of the infinite dynamism and immense potential of the eSports economy.

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

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    Jeff Bezos

    • The National Enquirer, a gossip tabloid, said it has conducted a four-month investigation into an affair between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. 
    • On Wednesday, the Amazon CEO announced he and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, were divorcing.
    • Hours later, the National Enquirer reported it tracked romantic involvement between Bezos and Sanchez.
    • The Enquirer said it has photos of Bezos and his new partner, and plans to publish them — and that it has access to "one steamy picture too explicit to print here."
    • The National Enquirer has long-standing ties to President Donald Trump — fueling speculation that the investigation of Bezos, a critic of the president, could have been politically motivated. 

    The news of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' impending divorce has taken a dramatic turn.

    On Wednesday, the billionaire technology exec announced he and wife of 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos, were splitting up. Hours later, the National Enquirer, a well-known celebrity-gossip tabloid, said it had conducted a four-month investigation into an affair between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, a former TV host — and that it plans to publish the full story on Thursday. 

    The Enquirer said its reporters tracked Bezos and Sanchez"across five states and 40,000 miles, tailed them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and 'quality time' in hidden love nests." The front-page headline, the Enquirer revealed, will be "The cheating photos that ended his marriage."

    The publication also said it has obtained photos of the two "doing the dirty" and suggested it has access to "raunchy messages and erotic selfies — including one steamy picture too explicit to print here." It said the full report will include "more shocking photos of the pair," though it has yet to print any. 

    The New York Post reported Sanchez and Bezos were involved in a relationship shortly before the National Enquirer did so on Wednesday. While the Post did not mention the National Enquirer by name, it suggested that the Bezoses timed their announcement to come ahead of the possible release of photos of Bezos and Sanchez.

    The President Trump connection 

    Commentators have already been watching the divorce with fascination, given what it could mean for Bezos' $137 billion fortune. The involvement of the National Enquirer — which has a long-standing association with President Donald Trump — adds a new dimension to the story, with some already speculating that the investigation could be politically motivated.

    Bezos, who is also the owner of the Washington Post, is a longtime critic of President Trump, and the two have a long-standing public feud.

    Meanwhile, David Pecker, the CEO of National Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc. (AMI), was known for a long time as an ally of Trump, even before he entered politics, and the publication reportedly squelched several stories that would have reflected poorly on the future president. 

    MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes tweeted: "Given everything we know about how Pecker's National Enquirer has functioned as essentially an arm of Trumpworld, this prompts some questions."

    And Erica Orden, a CNN reporter, said: "One of the bylines on this National Enquirer story about Jeff Bezos is Dylan Howard, the AMI editor who was involved in AMI & [former Trump lawyer] Michael Cohen’s efforts to silence women who claimed affairs with Trump."

    It's worth noting, however, that Pecker seems to have flipped on Trump and is cooperating with prosecutors investigating payments made to women with whom Trump has been accused of having affairs, even as the National Enquirer is said to have downplayed its coverage of the president.

    The National Enquirer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. An Amazon spokesperson also did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. 

    Lauren Sanchez is still married to Patrick Whitesell, the co-CEO of prominent Hollywood talent agency WME. Whitesell counts Matt Damon, Christian Bale, and Hugh Jackman among his clients. According to the New York Post, Sanchez and Whitesell separated in the fall, and she and Bezos "became closer" afterward. The National Enquirer, meanwhile, reported that their secret relationship has been ongoing for eight months.

    Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced their separation in a joint statement on Twitter earlier on Wednesday. "We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends," they wrote. 

    Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos have four children together. Sanchez has three children — two from her marriage to Whitesell and one from a previous relationship.


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

    US Patients Are Foregoing Traditional Hospital Services for Urgent and Retail Care Clinics

    The consumerization of healthcare — a fundamental shift in patients’ preferences, behaviors, and demands around healthcare services — is threatening hospitals' bottom lines. For the first time, patients are transforming from passive recipients of healthcare services to active participants in their own health. They're flocking to online review sites to choose which doctor to see, skipping hospital visits in favor of a health clinic in their local CVS, and aren't afraid to ditch providers that don't offer them an engaging experience.

    The superior customer service expectations of millennials, declines in hospital profitability, and threats from startup providers and retail pharmacies intensify the need for providers to revamp the patient experience. Providers' current engagement capabilities are weak, and deficiencies around scheduling, appointment wait times, and billing are dragging on patient satisfaction, driving patients elsewhere and draining provider revenue.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explores the trends that are driving providers to revamp their care services. We then outline how patients' expectations for transparency, convenience, and access are transforming the way they interact with providers across each stage of care. Finally, we detail strategies health systems and hospitals can implement to create a consumer-centric patient experience that fosters satisfaction, loyalty, and patient volume. 

    The companies mentioned in this report are: 98point6, BayCare, Cleveland Clinic, CVS, Integris, Kaiser Permanente, Luma Health, New York-Presbyterian, One Medical, Publix, Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Yelp, and Zocdoc.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • The consumerization of healthcare is redefining how consumers engage with providers across each stage of care. 
    • But the vast majority of healthcare providers haven’t sufficiently altered their services to align with current patient expectations. Only 8% of US hospitals and health systems demonstrate strong consumer-centric performance, per a 2018 Kaufman Hall survey.
    • Failure to react to patient preferences hurts provider organizations’ bottom lines. US hospital profit margins are already thinning, and an emerging reimbursement model that ties a portion of providers' compensation to patient satisfaction means providers can't afford to preserve the status quo. 
    • Alternative players with consumer-focused healthcare services threaten to poach patients from traditional health systems. Tech-focused primary care startups, like One Medical and 98point6, and retail outlets, like Target, Walmart, and CVS, offer patients on-demand access to healthcare providers via mobile apps and convenient locations to receive healthcare services, drawing them away from incumbent health systems.
    • In order to retain patients — and keep them from straying to alternative care services — providers must transform their services with an emphasis on transparency, access, and ongoing engagement outside of the clinic. 
    • Healthcare providers that tailor their services to the new healthcare consumer will be well positioned to see growth. Alternatively, businesses that don’t implement these changes could find themselves falling behind the rest of the industry or closing their doors for good.

    In full, the report:

    • Details how patient behavior, preferences, and expectations have changed.
    • Outlines the demographic and industry trends that should add a sense of urgency for providers to revamp the patient experience.
    • Summarizes how the patient experience providers currently offer isn't conducive to loyalty and is likely driving patients to nonhospital services.
    • Explains strategies health systems and hospitals can implement to create a consumer-centric patient experience that fosters satisfaction, loyalty, and patient volume. 
    • Offers examples of provider organizations that have successfully adopted new strategies to encourage patient-doctor communication, improve satisfaction, and drive scheduling capacity.

     

    SEE ALSO: Top 5 Healthcare Startups & Digital Health Tech Disruptors in 2018

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    DLT TAXONOMY NEW

    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.

    Of the many technologies reshaping the world economy, distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) are among the most hyped. DLTs are most often associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but such coverage sidelines the broader use cases of DLTs, even though they stand to make a far bigger impact on the broader the financial services (FS) industry.

    DLT's value lies in its ability to centralize record-keeping, while cutting out the need for authorization by an overseeing party, instead allowing a record to be confirmed by multiple parties with access to the database. This means DLTs have the potential to streamline financial institutions' (FIs) operations, boost data security, improve customer relationships, and drastically cut costs. But many FIs have struggled to implement DLTs and reap the rewards, because of organizational obstacles, but also because of issues rooted in the technology itself. There are a few players working to make the technology more usable for FIs, and progress is now being made.

    In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence takes a look at what DLTs are and why they hold so much promise for FS, the sectors in which DLTs are gaining the most traction and why, and the efforts underway to remove the obstacles preventing wider DLT adoption in finance. It also examines the few FIs close to unleashing their DLT projects, and how DLTs might transform the nature of FS if adoption truly takes off. 

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • DLTs are proving attractive to FIs because of their ability to act as a single source of truth, distribute information securely, cut out middlemen, improve transaction times, and cut redundancy and costs.
    • DLTs like blockchain and smart contracts stand to save the FS industry up to $50 billion a year through improved operational efficiencies, reduced human error, and better regulatory compliance. 
    • The technology is being explored actively across FS, with trade finance, insurance, and capital markets proving especially active. Overall adoption is still low because of organizational and technical hurdles, but these are now being eliminated, promising to boost implementation.
    • A few FIs have pulled ahead of the curve and are very close to taking their DLT projects live, if they haven't already. These players can serve as useful case studies for other institutions in getting their DLT solutions live.

    In full, the report:

    • Looks at what DLTs are, and why the FS industry is working hard to make use of them. 
    • Gives an overview of the financial segments which are seeing the most DLT activity, and what they stand to gain.
    • Outlines efforts being made to make DLT more approachable and usable for the FS industry.
    • Examines use cases in which FIs have managed to take their pilots live, and what they can teach their peers. 

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

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
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    samsung 5g prototype phone ces 2019 2

    • Samsung had a 5G smartphone prototype on display at CES 2019
    • It's the closest official look we have to future smartphones from Samsung that come with 5G compatibility. 
    • A variant of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S10 is said to come with 5G support. 

    Strolling innocently through Samsung's massive booth at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, I stumbled upon Samsung's 5G prototype smartphone.

    There it was, a 5G smartphone prototype from the biggest mobile company in the world, with no fanfare or much interest from any other CES attendee around me. I almost started to believe that only I could see it. 

    To be clear, the prototype I saw was, indeed, just a prototype. It was the smartphone used to show off 5G capabilities when Verizon and Samsung announced earlier in December that a 5G phone will be coming in early 2019 during a Qualcomm event in Hawaii. I'd doubt that Samsung would brazenly display this device if it had any similarities to the upcoming Galaxy S10, of which one model is rumored to support 5G connectivity. 

    Still, it's the closest thing we've seen to an official 5G smartphone from Samsung at the moment.

    Check out Samsung's 5G prototype smartphone:

    SEE ALSO: Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S10 smartphone could introduce a completely new design with new features — here are 11 rumors about what to expect

    There it is, casually hanging out at the far end of Samsung's 5G hardware display. You can barely see it.



    Here's a closer look of the prototype of Samsung's vision of a 5G smartphone. If you were expecting 5G phones to look different, you could be set up for disappointment.



    It looked like a perfectly operational unit with a working display, volume buttons, a power button, and even a Bixby button. It even had a case.

    The phone's screen cycled through a canned demo that showcased some of the device's features and functions. None of the demos appeared to make use of wireless capabilities however, so it didn't provide much insight into what the super-fast 5G wireless data experience will actually be like.

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Eliot Horowitz

    • On Wednesday, Amazon Web Serivces announced DocumentDB — a new document database service that's compatible with MongoDB, a popular open source database. 
    • In October, MongoDB — the $4.4 billion company behind the database of the same name — took defensive moves against larger cloud platforms taking and selling its software for profit without giving back. 
    • AWS, in particular, has a reputation for profiting off of free software from smaller companies, while contributing little code to the companies. 
    • "More than anything, it shows how much developers love the MongoDB API and DB and how desperate Amazon was to have something in this case," Eliot Horowitz, CTO and Co-Founder of MongoDB, told Business Insider.

    On Wednesday, Amazon Web Services announced a new document database service, based on technology from $4.4 billion open source software company MongoDB — confirming previous reports that such a product was in the works.

    This new service, DocumentDB, fully supports MongoDB workloads, and customers can use MongoDB tools to run their work on Amazon's cloud. Customers can also migrate their MongoDB databases to DocumentDB, where they'll pay only for the capacity they use, Amazon says. 

    Notably, this comes just months after MongoDB announced a new license to push back on cloud providers taking its trademark open source database software and using it to turn a profit. Amazon Web Services, in particular, has a reputation for selling free software from other smaller companies as a service, while contributing little code back to the open source community that makes it all possible. 

    But Eliot Horowitz, CTO and co-founder of MongoDB, tells Business Insider that he's not worried about this particular move from Amazon. 

    "While there has been some buzz, this is not something we're super surprised about or terribly worried about," Horowitz told Business Insider. "More than anything, it shows how much developers love the MongoDB API and DB and how desperate Amazon was to have something in this case."

    Why MongoDB isn't worried

    First off, Horowitz notes, Amazon DocumentDB is actually built to integrate with MongoDB 3.6 — a two-year-old version of the software.  That's because in October, MongoDB announced a new license, called the Server Side Public License (SSPL), in response to Chinese tech giants like Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba repackaging and selling its free software.

    Read more: Two software companies, fed up with Amazon, Alibaba and other big cloud players, have a controversial new plan to fight back

    Basically, the SSPL says that if a company wants to sell MongoDB's software, it has two options: It either has to release any new MongoDB-based software that it develops as free open source. Or, it has to pay MongoDB for a commercial license, at which point it can do whatever it wants. 

    Because of this license, Amazon Web Services can't use the source code from the most recent versions of MongoDB, which were built after the SSPL went into effect, for free. This means that Amazon chose to build most of DatabaseDB from scratch rather than basing it on MongoDB itself, and that it only integrated it with the older MongoDB 3.6. 

    "They could have [used our code] if they talked to or open sourced some of the stuff, but they didn't, so they can't use any Mongo code," Horowitz said.

    Still, there's some overlap between the MongoDB and Amazon DocumentDB products. However, as part of the Amazon empire, it's easy and convenient for Amazon Web Services customers to set up and start running DocumentDB with just a few clicks, versus the relative difficulty of managing their own MongoDB servers. Still, MongoDB operates its own cloud database service, called Atlas. 

    “To meet developers’ needs, we looked at multiple different approaches to supporting MongoDB workloads and concluded that the best way to improve the customer experience was to build a new purpose-built document database from the ground up, while supporting the same MongoDB APIs that our customers currently use and like," Shawn Bice, vice president of Non-Relational Databases at AWS, said in a statement.

    The competitive landscape

    Microsoft Azure also offers a similar product to MongoDB, called Cosmos DB, which Horowitz says is in some ways competitive with MongoDB. However, he says, many customers find that MongoDB offers more features than Cosmos DB.

    Horowitz believes that it will go the same way with the new Amazon database. Although DocumentDB is similar to MongoDB's cloud database, he says there are some feature gaps compared to MongoDB's enterprise product. 

    "DocumentDB is AWS trying to imitate MongoDB and specifically Atlas. They're trying to offer the same service as Atlas," Horowitz said. "It might work for some MongoDB applications but for some serious MongoDB applications it might not be the best choice."

    There has been controversy over whether MongoDB's new license truly qualifies as open source, and is still seeking approval from the Open Source Initiative to use the term. Critics of the MongoDB SSPL say that it undermines the core foundation of open source, which is that anybody — even large corporations — can use the software as they wish.

    MongoDB currently does not have plans to change its licensing or business model, and will continue looking into ways to protect its business, Horowitz told Business Insider. 

    "We're always looking at things to do to protect our IP and long term growth to the MongoDB ecosystem," Horowitz said.

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

    mobile banking features

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

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

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

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

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

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

     In full, the report:

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

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

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
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    And more!
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    SEE ALSO: How the largest US financial institutions rank on offering the mobile banking features customers value most

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    The Next Smartphone

    The smartphone is an essential part of our everyday lives.

    But as with all technology, things change. So the question becomes: What will be the next smartphone?

    Will it be the connected car? Or the smart speaker? What about the smartwatch?

    Find out which device, if any, will take over the smartphone's role with this brand new slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence called The Next Smartphone.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Smartphones are the fastest adopted tech in the U.S.
    • Whichever device becomes the next smartphone needs to go everywhere
    • Consumer expectations around the smartphone are changing
    • And much more

    To get your copy of this FREE slide deck, simply click here.

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    Trump, Pence, Schumer, Pelosi

    • President Donald Trump reportedly left a meeting with Democrats abruptly, and gave a terse farewell, which he later repeated on Twitter.
    • "Bye-bye," Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, as he held his hands at the sides of his face, sources familiar with the meeting told The Wall Street Journal.
    • The roughly 20 minute meeting initially began with candy offerings: Butterfingers, M&M's, Baby Ruths, and coffee.
    • Pelosi, who previously described herself as a "choca-holic," said in the past that she enjoys chocolates from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, based in her district of San Francisco.

    The negations standoff between President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders over the wall and the government shutdown continued into Wednesday, after the president abruptly left a meeting with a terse farewell — one that he would later repeat on Twitter.

    "Bye-bye," Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California in the Situation Room, as he held his hands at the sides of his face, sources familiar with the meeting told The Wall Street Journal.

    Trump's abrupt move was in response to Pelosi saying she would not provide funding for a wall if he opened the government for 30 days while they continued negotiating, sources explained to The Journal.

    "Mr. President, as I said before, the plural of anecdote is not data," Pelosi reportedly said to Trump, after he described cases of human atrocities faced by migrants crossing the border.

    Democrats and Republicans had differing accounts of how the meeting ended — just 20 minutes after it began. Following the meeting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Trump "sort of slammed the table" and walked out of the room. Vice President Mike Pence and Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana reportedly denied that Trump slammed the table.

    Nancy Pelosi Chuck Schumer

    "The president was very calm in trying to continue to put different options on the table to solve this crisis," Scalise said after the meeting.

    Trump would later repeat his adieu on Twitter, calling the meeting with Pelosi and Schumer "a total waste of time."

    "I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier [sic]," Trump tweeted in the afternoon, referring to Democrats' request for him to open the government for 30 days while they continue negotiations. "Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"

    The meeting began with Trump offering sweets to participants: Butterfingers, M&M's, Baby Ruths, and coffee. Discussions were derailed, however, as Trump and Democrats tussled over the matter of ending the government shutdown and funding his proposed wall on the US-Mexico border.

    (Pelosi, who previously described herself as a "choca-holic,"said in the past that she enjoys chocolates from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, based in her home district of San Francisco.)

    Trump and Democrats have been entrenched on the subject of funding his border wall and reopening the government. Trump has demanded $5.7 billion in funds for a barrier, while Democrats, who have agreed to other border security measures, have rejected the proposal.

    SEE ALSO: Trump compares his border barrier to the walls of 'wealthy' politicians' homes

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    The App Marketplace

    In an increasingly digitized world, brick-and-mortar retailers are facing immense pressure to understand and accommodate their customers’ changing needs, including at the point of sale (POS). 

    More than two years after the EMV liability shift in October 2015, most large merchants globally have upgraded their payment systems. And beyond upgrading to meet new standards, many major retailers are adopting full-feature, “smart” devices — and supplementing them with valuable tools and services — to help them better engage customers and build loyalty.

    But POS solutions aren’t “one size fits all.” Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don't usually have the same capabilities as larger merchants, which often have the resources and funds to adopt robust solutions or develop them in-house. That's where app marketplaces come in: POS app marketplaces are platforms, typically deployed by POS providers, where developers can host third-party business apps that offer back-office services, like accounting and inventory, and customer-retention tools, like loyalty programs and coupons.

    SMBs' growing needs present a huge opportunity for POS terminal providers, software providers, and resellers. The US counts roughly 8 million SMBs, or 99.7% of all businesses. Until now, constraints such as time and budget have made it difficult for SMBs to implement value-added services that meet their unique needs. But app marketplaces enable providers to cater to SMBs with specialized solutions. 

    App marketplaces also alleviate some of the issues associated with the overcrowded payments space. Relatively new players that have effectively leveraged the rise of the digital economy, like mPOS firm Square, are increasingly encroaching on the payments industry, putting pricing pressure on payment hardware and service giants. This has diminished client loyalty as merchants seek out the most affordable solution, and it's resulted in lost revenue for providers. However, app marketplaces can be used as tools not only to build client loyalty, but also as a revenue booster — Verifone, for instance, charges developers 30% of net revenue for each installed app and a distribution fee for each free app.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence looks at the drivers of POS app marketplaces and the legacy and challenger firms that are supplying them. The report also highlights the strategies these providers are employing, and the ways that they can capitalize on the emergence of this new market. Finally, it looks to the future of POS app marketplaces, and how they may evolve moving forward.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • SMBs are a massive force in the US, which makes understanding their needs a necessity for POS terminal providers, software providers, and resellers — the US counts roughly 8 million SMBs, or 99.7% of all businesses.
    • The entrance of new challengers into the payment space has put pricing pressure on the entire industry, forcing all of the players in the industry to find new solutions to keep customers loyal while also gaining a new revenue source.
    • Major firms in the industry, like Verifone and Ingenico, have turned to value-added services, specifically app marketplaces, to not only build loyalty but also giving them a new revenue source — Verifone charges developers 30% of net revenue for each installed app and a distribution fee for each free app.
    • According to a recent survey by Intuit, 68% of SMBs stated that they use an average of four apps to run their businesses. As developers flock to the space to grab a piece of the pie, it's likely that increased competition will lead to robust, revenue-generating marketplaces.
    • And there are plenty of opportunities to build out app marketplace capabilities, such as in-person training, to further engage with users — 66% of app users would hire someone to train and educate them on which apps are right for their businesses. 

    In full, the report:

    • Identifies the factors that have changed how SMBs are choosing payment providers.  
    • Discusses why firms in the payments industry have started to introduce app marketplaces over the last four years.
    • Analyzes some of the most popular app marketplaces in the industry and identifies the strengths of each.
    • Breaks down the concerns merchants have relating to app marketplaces, and discusses how providers can solve these issues.
    • Explores what app marketplace providers will have to do going forward in order to avoid being outperformed in an industry that's becoming increasingly saturated. 

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

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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    tv usage decline

    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:

    • 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.

    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:

    • 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. 

    In full, the report:

    • 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.

     

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    Nancy Pelosi

    Hello! Here's what you need to know for Thursday.

    1. Jeff Bezos is reportedly dating former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced that they were divorcing after 25 years together. Sanchez is reportedly separated from her husband, a high-powered Hollywood agent.

    2. Jeff Bezos' divorce could make MacKenzie Bezos one of Amazon's biggest shareholders. Jeff Bezos owns 16% of the e-commerce giant. MacKenzie could be entitled to up to half of those shares, however, it's still unclear how everything will shake out.

    3. Trump's threat of a national-emergency declaration to fund the border wall is leaving Capitol Hill in shock. President Donald Trump has reportedly mulled over declaring a national emergency to build his desired wall along the US-Mexico border, but Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are unsure if he even has that authority.

    4. 'Bye-bye': Trump reportedly issued terse farewell as he abruptly left his meeting with Democrats. Trump later repeated his "bye-bye" on Twitter when explaining why he left negotiations withe Democratic leaders over the government shutdown.

    5.Drugs and syringes have become a problem in Starbucks bathrooms. The company is testing out solutions including syringe-disposal boxes, thicker trash bags, and removing trashcans from some bathrooms, after workers reported health concerns.

    6.The family of a teenager killed in a 116 mph Tesla crash is suing the company, alleging it makes 'unreasonably dangerous' cars. In a lawsuit, the victim's family alleged that a speed governor was removed by a Tesla technician without owner permission and accused the company of not doing enough to prevent battery fires.

    7.Chinese tech giant Baidu is making a play for the next big thing after cloud computing. At the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday, the "Google of China" announced OpenEdge, the first open source edge computing platform out of the country.

    8.The government shutdown is now the second-longest on record. The current shutdown, which began in late December, is the 21st time the federal government has had a funding lapse since the modern budgeting process began.

    9. Here's what Rod Rosenstein's reported departure from the Justice Department means for the Mueller probe. Multiple news outlets reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plans to leave the Department of Justice after a permanent replacement for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is confirmed by the Senate. Experts weigh in.

    10. After a long delay, a winner has been declared in Congo's presidential election. Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was declared the winner, and it could be it the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since the country's independence in 1960.

    And finally ...

    If you can’t be at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, our reporters have an inside look at everything from robots, to cars, to wearable technology.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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