Month: September 2020

How To Successfully Pay Back Your Online Installment Loan

In these uncertain times, sudden unavoidable expense or financial emergencies are the stuff of nightmares. Instead of having zero options, installment loans help tide you over and allow you to make payments over time.

According to Leap Credit, online installment loans are, ‘a specific amount of money you borrow and then pay back within a certain time frame with a fixed payment every week, two weeks, or month.’

Now, while receiving a lump sum is always relieving and gratifying, some borrowers struggle to finish payments on their installment loans. To help you get set up for success, we are sharing these effective tips on how to successfully pay back your online installment loan. After all, the faster you are out of debt, the better.

Double Your Payments

The longer you have your loan, the more you’ll pay in interest fees. You want to minimize this, and doubling up on payments can help. Pay more than your lender requires you to. For example, say your loan terms require you make a single monthly payment. Instead, you could give them a payment every two weeks. If your loan requires two payments a month, pay them every week. Contact your lender and confirm that they’ll apply the payments to your loan without penalizing you before you do this. This is very important because some lenders don’t allow you to make extra payments without penalties.

Make Extra Money

online installment loan payment make extra money

If you’re worried about having enough money to pay back your loan, start trying to make extra cash. You can put any extra money you make toward this loan. Start by seeing if there is anything you can sell online, or you could take a jump into the gig economy. Services like Uber, DoorDash, and Lyft are thriving. What’s even better, you can work at your own pace on your own time without any pressure to meet a set amount of hours. As your money starts to stack up, send it straight to your loan company to pay down your balance quicker.

Ask About Discounts

Did you know that some lenders will give you discounts on your interest rate for different reasons? If this isn’t the first loan you’ve taken out with a company, you could get a discount for being a repeat customer. Automatic debit signup is another way to get a discount, or you could go paperless. Although this discount most likely won’t be huge, anything can help. You may have to contact customer service to get these discounts, but they can add up over the life of the loan.

Create a Payoff Plan

When you first get the loan, you should create a realistic payoff plan. Write it down or put it in a digital format. Write in when you have to start repaying your loan and when the payment is due. Set reminders in your digital calendars. This will help ensure that you don’t miss a payment, and it’ll also ensure that you don’t overdraw your account because you forgot about it. Stick as close to this payout plan as possible. This could mean you cut out a few frivolous expenses until you pay it off. However, it’ll be worth it.

Know Your Loan Terms

You should have absolutely no doubts when it comes to your loan’s terms. You have to have a good understanding of what the lender expects in terms of payments. Know when you have to pay back the loan by, how much interest the loan carries, and whether or not the lender will let you extend a payment deadline if something comes up. If there’s a grace period, you want to know what it is. These loan terms shouldn’t change throughout the life of your loan.

Round Up Your Payments

online installment loan payment

If you can’t afford to double your payments every month, make a point to round up your payments. For example, say your loan has a payment of $275 per month. You could pay $300 instead. This isn’t a lot of extra money, but it’ll add up over the life of your loan. If you have a year loan period, that extra $25 can shave a month off your loan term with $25 leftover. This will be really helpful if you make two payments a month because you’ll pay it off much quicker.

Set up Automatic Withdrawals

The last thing you want to do is forget your payments. Even one missed payment can have a negative impact on your credit score. You can avoid this by setting up automatic withdrawals from your checking account. You do want to make sure you have enough money in there to cover the cost of the loan payment, so you don’t overdraw yourself and incur more fees.

Cut Back on Luxuries

Most people have subscription services that they can pause or cancel for a few months. If you can, you can take the money you’d normally spend on these services and use it to pay off your loan quicker. Even a few dollars will really help you chip away at the balance until you pay it off. Once you pay it off, you can easily resume your services without an issue.

Go With a Reputable Company

You want to get your installment loan through a reputable company that has no hidden fees and straightforward terms. This can help ensure that you pay off your debt with as minimal fuss as possible, and it also improves your chances of having a responsive customer service team in place if anything should come up. Do your research when you start shopping around for companies and comparing reviews. You can use the Better Business Bureau to check a company’s reputation. This will help you find companies that offer competitive rates.

Bottom Line

Now you know several tricks how to pay installment loans. You can use this information to decide whether or not this type of loan is right for you or not. These tips will help you maximize your savings while getting your finances on track while paying back your loan. Pay it off as soon as you can to help offset the higher interest rates. Save up for an emergency fund, and improve your financial health with smart money decisions.

The post How To Successfully Pay Back Your Online Installment Loan appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

E-scooter startup Neuron Mobility adds $12M to its Series A for expansion in Australia and New Zealand

Neuron Mobility, a Singapore-based e-scooter rental startup, announced today that it has added $12 million to its Series A. Led by Square Peg, an Australian venture capital firm and GSR Ventures, this increases the round’s new total to $30.5 million. The company, which operates in Australia and New Zealand in addition to Southeast Asian markets, first announced its Series A in December 2019.

Part of Neuron Mobility’s growth plans hinges on the increased adoption of electric scooters and bikes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are using their cars less frequently because they are working remotely or there are movement restrictions where they live. When they do go out, electric bikes and scooters offer an alternative to public transportation and ride-hailing services for short trips.

Neuron Mobility’s chief executive Zachary Wang said the company raised a Series A+ instead of moving onto a Series B because more cities are “opening up to the possibility of micromobility, particularly rental e-scooters as they present an individual transport option that takes pressure off public transport and allows people to continue social distancing.”

“We’ve been experiencing tremendous growth in ANZ and the pandemic has made us fast track our plans,” he added.

Though Neuron Mobility currently does not operate in other Southeast Asian countries besides Singapore, Wang said it is “constantly evaluating opportunities across APAC.”

The new funding will be used to speed up Neuron Mobility’s expansion plans in Australia and New Zealand, where it claims to be the leading electric scooter rental operator. The company is currently present in nine locations, including Auckland, New Zealand, and Australian cities Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Canberra and Townsville. Neuron Mobility plans to expand into five new cities over the next two months and part of that involves hiring 400 more people in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. In addition to the Asia-Pacific, Neuron Mobility will also launch in Slough, it’s first location in the United Kingdom, by the end of this year.

Neuron Mobility’s research found that before the COVID-19 lockdowns in Australia, one in five of its users had never used an e-scooter before. But now Australian and New Zealand users have increased their average e-scooter trip distances by 23% to 2.6 kilometers, with the average duration of rides rising by 10% to more than 14 minutes. Neuron Mobility’s pricing is meant to be affordable depending on different markets. For example, in Brisbane, users pay one Australian dollar (about 68 U.S. cents) to begin a trip and then 38 Australian cents for each minute of the ride. Its e-scooters can go up to speeds of about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) per hour.

Other “micromobility” companies, including Ofo, Reddy Go, Obike and Lime, have also offered rental services in Australia and New Zealand, but ran into trouble. Bike-sharing startups Ofo, Reddy Go and Obike withdrew from Australia in part because city councils were frustrated by bikes were being abandoned on sidewalks and in parks. Lime still operates in Australian cities, but in June, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that the company failed to disclose safety issues with its Generation 2 scooters (in response, Lime said it would implement new compliance procedures and upgrade to its new Generation 3 scooter).

Wang said Neuron Mobility avoids those issues by strategically planning which cities it will launch in, instead of focusing on rapid expansion, partnering with city councils and “continually shifting and adapting to meet their needs.” Several of Neuron Mobility’s features, including geofencing to control where and how fast e-scooters can be ridden, and a “Helmet Lock” to make helmets available for all scooters, were developed after discussions with city councils. Neuron Mobility’s scooters, designed by the company specifically for renting, also use swappable batteries to decrease pollution.

After launching in Singapore, Neuron Mobility decided to focus on Australia and New Zealand because “both countries have cities that are highly suitable for micromobility in terms of infrastructure and regulations,” Wang said. City councils have also “been keen to push the boundaries of what can be done with technology to make programs better and safer and that really suits our way of thinking.”

 

How to find the best Prime Day deals in the UK

How to find the best Prime Day deals in the UK

Prime Day kicks off on Oct. 13 this year, and then we’ve got Black Friday and Christmas shopping to tackle. The last few months of the year are going to be hectic, but there’s also going to be plenty of opportunities to save big. We know that these major shopping events can be overwhelming, but there are steps you can take to make things go smoothly.

Firstly, you need to be prepared. You should make a plan, put a list together, and then wishlist these products and set deal alerts within the Amazon app. This way you’ll be ready for when the prices drop. You should also familiarise yourself with how Amazon works, and how the site looks. These things might seem obvious, but they can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run. Read more…

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Are Press Releases Worth The Big Bucks?

The fact that press releases and their newswire services are still around should pretty much answer the question. No clue? Well, let’s look at it this way. Press releases have come a long way and have changed at least three mediums; newspapers, social media, and now dedicated PR platforms.

And to give you an idea of a press release’s resilience, how’s the fact that newspaper is still a medium used today to disseminate information through releases, despite print media shrinking both in visibility and relevance. Still asking if a press release is worth the spend?

However, resilience isn’t a trait looked for by businesses and corporations when shopping for a press release marketing service. It’s the ROI they want, and boy, do press releases give them the ROI. Plus, bigger corporations (especially multinationals) are still very adept at press releases, just not the way it works now in marketing.

Corporations like IBM or Pepsico use press releases as a way to keep both the customers and media updated about events, launches or news regarding the company. In short, press releases have carved out their place in the modern business sector and remain as relevant as they were back in the 1950s or 60s. And with relevance comes big business, which a press release can only serve to complement (if used properly).

But to actually gauge if press releases are worth the spending, let’s look at what they provide and claim to actually do for your business.

Press release – what it does

press releases worth it

Press releases, as stated beforehand, can convey news of a corporation to the relevant media sectors and also act as a marketing tool for products or services looking to expand their footprint in the digital marketing sector. As such, it lays claims to both mediums; print media and social media. Let’s take the purposes of the press release and understand them from the ground up.

As a news service:

Every business, from corporations to enterprises, regularly use press releases as their primary method of dispensing information or news regarding company launches or events. For example, whenever you go to Apple’s site or any other site for that matter, you can always find a dedicated corner for press releases that contains a ton of stuff meant as news items. Journalists, whenever in need of a story or filler material, regularly scour these parts of websites to find news that could fill in the blanks, thereby, guaranteeing press coverage of an event or a product about to be launched.

Similarly, whenever a legal matter is at hand for a major corporation, it is usually addressed and notified to the general public through a press release, which can be further utilized by news outlets as a way to gather aspects of a legal battle (i.e stance of the company or the proceedings of the case). To summarise, press releases double as news agents for corporations looking to release news about particular events or product launches.

As a marketing tool:

Now we come to the crux of the article. If your business utilises press releases, will it pay off? Are press releases worth the spending? As a marketing tool, press releases are a pretty potent method of getting your message across the board. And when it comes to answering the aforementioned question, it would be a big YES.

Press release marketing is considered one of the most cost-efficient methods of marketing there is. This is compared to regular advertisement campaigns, which promise the same amount of coverage as a press release but at a Herculean amount. Let’s look at a few ways press releases differ from a regular media campaign.

  • Dedicated releases to business hotspots like Silicon Valley, Wall Street, etc.
  • Releases to capital cities and metropolitans worldwide (London, Munich, etc.)
  • Inclusion of Virtual Digital Assistants (VDA’s) like Siri, Alexa or Bixby to increase spread and suggestions
  • Multilingual translations of press releases (for varying audiences and regions)
  • Distribution using RSS feeds

This is just the tip of the iceberg that is press release marketing. It contains several other targeting methods that are way better than a regular media campaign that focuses on TV and the internet. When a press release is marketed through services like ReleaseLive, it utilises every software and service at its disposal and makes it work to the tune of the press release, letting the algorithm work its magic and flood the internet with the release.

How much is it cost-effective?

are press releases really worth it

To get an idea of how much cost-effective a press release marketing strategy is, compare the numbers of a licensing and merchandising deal with a celebrity (like Travis Scott’s deal with McDonald’s) to the Super Premium plan of iCrowdNewswire, and you can immediately see why it is claimed to be the most cost-effective and is worth whatever bucks you can shell out.

The effects of both the campaigns are pretty much the same: they target a certain market, a certain audience, and bombard them with the relevant press release. The difference is the price and that difference is huge. As you might have guessed, yes, press releases are definitely worth whatever you spend on them. Maybe even more than what you spend. You could call press releases ‘criminally underrated’.

In a nutshell

Press releases are one of the uncut gems of the advertisement and marketing sector that are used widely, but have yet to be known by the general public as a viable method of marketing. While companies utilise it as a news distribution method and as a marketing method, it remains to be seen how much of its price effectiveness can be put to use by other businesses looking to expand their social media footprint.

As of now, press release marketing is up and coming and will be here to stay, all thanks to its one big pro: being cheap to run.

The post Are Press Releases Worth The Big Bucks? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

BTS’ “Dynamite” performance with The Roots is the best remix yet

BTS'

Global supergroup BTS kicked off an entire week of Tonight Show appearances today, performing their English-language bop “Dynamite” with host Jimmy Fallon and The Roots. There’s been no shortage of official “Dynamite” remixes, from the Tropical remix to the EDM remix to the Acoustic remix. Even so, the addition of The Roots’ beatboxing makes this one of the best “Dynamite” mixes yet.

Framed by brightly-coloured backgrounds and rocking some retro flares, BTS’ RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook grooved out to their No. 1 hit while The Roots accompanied them on instruments and percussion. The sunny, optimistic performance also displayed each BTS member’s name next to them, a very Ed Sullivan Show move which should help out all the new fans the K-pop group has been picking up. Read more…

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Russian surveillance tech startup NtechLab nets $13M from sovereign wealth funds

NtechLab, a startup that helps analyze footage captured by Moscow’s 100,000 surveillance cameras, just closed an investment of more than 1RUB billion ($13 million) to further global expansion.

The five-year-old company sells software that recognizes faces, silhouettes and actions on videos. It’s able to do so on a vast scale in real time, allowing clients to react promptly to situations It’s a key “differentiator” of the company, co-founder Artem Kukharenko told TechCrunch.

“There could be systems which can process, for example, 100 cameras. When there are a lot of cameras in a city, [these systems] connect 100 cameras from one part of the city, then disconnect them and connect another hundred cameras in another part of the city, so it’s not so interesting,” he suggested.

The latest round, financed by Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and an undisclosed sovereign wealth fund from the Middle East, certainly carries more strategic than financial importance. The company broke even last year with revenue reaching $8 million, three times the number from the previous year, ane expects to finish 2020 at a similar growth pace.

Nonetheless, the new round will enable the startup to develop new capabilities such as automatic detection of aggressive behavior and vehicle recognition as it seeks new customers in its key markets of the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America. City contracts have a major revenue driver for the firm, but it has plans to woo non-government clients, such as those in the entertainment industry, finance, trade and hospitality.

The company currently boasts clients in 30 cities across 15 countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) bloc, Middle East, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Europe.

These customers may procure from a variety of hardware vendors featuring different graphic processing units (GPUs) to carry out computer vision tasks. As such, NtechLab needs to ensure it’s constantly in tune with different GPU suppliers. Ten years ago, Nvidia was the go-to solution, recalled Kukharenko, but rivals such as Intel and Huawei have cropped up in recent times.

The Moscow-based startup began life as a consumer software that allowed users to find someone’s online profile by uploading a photo of the person. It later pivoted to video and has since attracted government clients keen to deploy facial recognition in law enforcement. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian government uses NtechLab’s system to monitor large gatherings and implement access control.

Around the world, authorities have rushed to implement similar forms of public health monitoring and tracking for virus control. While these projects are usually well-meaning, they inspire a much-needed debate around privacy, discrimination, and other consequences brought by the scramble for large-scale data solutions. NtechLab’s view is that when used properly, video surveillance generally does more good than harm.

“If you can monitor people quite [effectively], you don’t need to close all people in the city… The problem is people who don’t respect the laws. When you can monitor these people and [impose] a penalty on them, you can control the situation better,” argued Alexander Kabakov, the other co-founder of the company.

As it expands globally, NtechLab inevitably comes across customers who misuse or abuse its algorithms. While it claimed to keep all customer data private and have no control over how its software is used, the company strives to “create a process that can be in compliance with local laws,” said Kukharenko.

“We vet our partners so we can trust them, and we know that they will not use our technology for bad purposes.”

Understanding How To Use Mobile Communication For Business

Mobile devices are a lifeline for most people right now, but even under normal circumstances people rely on their mobile devices for all kinds of information. Last year, 69% of people looked up information about products and services while they were inside of stores rather than asking a store associate. Using mobile devices to get information has become commonplace, and businesses that don’t communicate with customers the way they want are likely to be left in the dust.

Consumers Use Mobile Devices For Just About Everything

mobile communications in businesses

From managing finances to accessing government services, consumers are really fond of their electronic devices. But, increasingly, those smartphone owners are wanting to communicate via text messaging. In fact, 85% of smartphone owners prefer text messages to calls or emails. More than half of smartphone owners ignore emails completely because their inboxes are overloaded. What’s more, almost a third never listen to voicemail messages.

Text Messages Are What Customers Use And Want

SMS messages are just simpler for a lot of people. 90% of people say they open text messages within three minutes, making this an optimal way for a business to communicate with consumers. SMS text messages have a 98% open rate, as opposed to a 20% rate for email. Response rates are five times higher for text messages than they are for emails, 45% and 6%, respectively.

The response time is even more staggering for SMS messages. The typical response rate for a text message is 90 seconds, whereas the typical response rate for an email is 90 minutes. Response rates for text messages are 60 times higher than that of emails.

In 2019, 68% of businesses used some kind of messaging to keep connected with customers, and now they are relying on this type of communication more than ever.

How Businesses Are Using Mobile Messaging

mobile communications in restaurant takeout business

In retail, mobile messaging is used for a variety of purposes, including sending coupons and sale notifications to customers. Mobile messaging is a crucial part of curbside pickup, which has grown significantly in popularity. Mobile messages are used to confirm an order was received, tell a customer when an order is ready, and for a customer to tell the store they have arrived to pick up their order.

Mobile messaging is used in medical offices to remind patients of appointments, check in for appointments, and remind patients of upcoming tests and more. Some offices are also using mobile messaging for prescription refills and physician questions between visits, which has shown to increase patient satisfaction with their medical providers.

For restaurants, mobile messaging is crucial for a growing takeout business, allowing business and customers to communicate quickly and efficiently. Small order changes and communication about order status can be easily communicated through a quick message rather than taking up the time and resources for cumbersome phone calls.

Consumers Want Mobile Messaging

One in three consumers have sent a mobile message to a business and not received a response, and most of the time it was because the business simply hasn’t activated two-way messaging capabilities.

The fact of the matter is that customers feel better about a business that uses mobile messaging. 65% of consumers say they feel more positive toward a business after a mobile messaging exchange because of a number of factors.

Mobile messaging shows consumers that a company values their time – there’s nothing worse than waiting around for the phone to ring or sitting on hold waiting for someone to help you. The ability to communicate with a business via SMS messages makes customers more likely to choose that business, and it increases the chances of recommending that business to their friends and family.

Communication Is Key

In order for businesses to be successful, communication should take place wherever a customer wants it to, and, increasingly, customers are feeling comfortable messaging instead of making phone calls or talking to people in person. Mobile communication also gives businesses the power to reach customers who aren’t physically showing up in stores with specials to lure them back in or to get them to use curbside pickup services.

Businesses that don’t use mobile communication are going to be left behind. Learn more about the power of mobile communication in business from the infographic below.

The Power of Mobile Messaging
Source: SopranoDesign.com

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Future-proof your career with this stacked web design course

Future-proof your career with this stacked web design course

TL;DR: The Ultimate Web Designer & Developer Course is on sale for £10.98 as of Sept. 28, saving you 95% on list price.


At this point, you’ve probably made enough sourdough bread to last a lifetime. While it’s commendable that you’re stepping up your baking skills, you may also want to pick up skills that will make you more marketable once things revert to normal. And few skills are more in-demand these days than web design and development.

Since everyone and everything lives online, gaining proficiency in web design and development is a great way to future-proof your career. With the Ultimate Web Designer and Developer Course, you’ll learn the essentials of visual and web design and get the chance to put your newfound programming and web development skills to the test with a slew of projects (23 to be exact). Read more…

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Philippines payment processing startup PayMongo lands $12 million Series A led by Stripe

Stripe has led a $12 million Series A round in Manila-based online payment platform PayMongo, the startup announced today.

PayMongo, which offers an online payments API for businesses in the Philippines, was the first Filipino-owned financial tech startup to take part in Y Combinator’s accelerator program. Y Combinator and Global Founders Capital, another previous investor, both returned for the Series A, which also included participation from new backer BedRock Capital.

PayMongo partners with financial institutions, and its products include a payments API that can be integrated into websites and apps, allowing them to accept payments from bank cards and digital wallets like GrabPay and GCash. For social commerce sellers and other people who sell mostly through messaging apps, the startup offers PayMongo Links, which buyers can click on to send money. PayMongo’s platform also includes features like a fraud and risk detection system.

In a statement, Stripe’s APAC business lead Noah Pepper said it invested in PayMongo because “we’ve been impressed with the PayMongo team and the speed at which they’ve made digital payments more accessible to so many businesses across the Philippines.”

The startup launched in June 2019 with $2.7 million in seed funding, which the founders said was one of the largest seed rounds ever raised by a Philippines-based fintech startup. PayMongo has now raised a total of almost $15 million in funding.

Co-founder and chief executive Francis Plaza said PayMongo has processed a total of almost $20 million in payments since launching, and grown at an average of 60% since the start of the year, with a surge after lockdowns began in March.

He added that the company originally planned to start raising its Series A in in the first half of next year, but the growth in demand for its services during COVID-19 prompted it to start the round earlier so it could hire for its product, design and engineering teams and speed up the release of new features. These will include more online payment options; features for invoicing and marketplaces; support for business models like subscriptions; and faster payout cycles.

PayMongo also plans to add more partnerships with financial service providers, improve its fraud and risk detection systems and secure more licenses from the central bank so it can start working on other types of financial products.

The startup is among fintech companies in Southeast Asia that have seen accelerated growth as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many businesses to digitize more of their operations. Plaza said that overall digital transactions in the Philippines grew 42% between January and April because of the country’s lockdowns.

PayMongo is currently the only payments company in the Philippines with an onboarding process that was developed to be completely online, he added, which makes it attractive to merchants who are accepting online payments for the first time. “We have a more efficient review of compliance requirements for the expeditious approval of applications so that our merchants can use our platform right away and we make sure we have a fast payout to our merchants,” said Plaza.

If the momentum continues even as lockdowns are lifted in different cities, that means the Philippine’s central bank is on track to reach its goal of increasing the volume of e-payment transactions to 20% of total transactions in the country this year. The government began setting policies in 2015 to encourage more online payments, in a bid to bolster economic growth and financial inclusion, since smartphone penetration in the Philippines is high, but many people don’t have a traditional bank account, which often charge high fees.

Though lockdown restrictions in the Philippines have eased, Plaza said PayMongo is still seeing strong traction. “We believe the digital shift by Filipino businesses will continue, largely because both merchants and customers continue to practice safety measures such as staying at home and choosing online shopping despite the more lenient quarantine levels. Online will be the new normal for commerce.”

This set of online courses could kickstart your freelance career

This set of online courses could kickstart your freelance career

TL;DR: The Kickstart Your Freelance Career Course Bundle is on sale for £23.55 as of Sept. 27, saving you 98% on list price.


Not to alarm you or anything, but it’s a rough moment to be looking for a new gig. If you’re struggling to find work or searching for an additional stream of income, you may want to look into kickstarting a side hustle or pivoting to a freelance role and working for yourself.

If you have a marketable skill perfect for freelancing (think copywriting, web design, digital marketing, and coding) but don’t want to enter the freelance world blind, the Kickstart Your Freelance Career Course Bundle will show you the ropes. For just £23.55, you’ll receive eight courses, all of which are designed to help your freelance career thrive. Here’s a sneak peek: Read more…

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Is your startup the next TikTok?

Editor’s note: Get this free weekly recap of TechCrunch news that any startup can use by email every Saturday morning (7 a.m. PT). Subscribe here.

And I don’t mean building an app that gets the world addicted to short-form videos. I mean, where you build a huge company that spans the world and then get turned into a political football.

The Bytedance-owned app developer still appears headed for a shutdown in the US, after the already convoluted talks stalled out this past week. Each national government appears to require local ownership of a new entity, as Catherine Shu details, and the business partners are each claiming ownership. It’s a zero sum global game now for control of data and algorithms.

On the other side of the world, Facebook was quick to state that it would not be pulling out of the European Union this week even if it is forced to keep EU user data local, as Natasha Lomas covered. The company was clarifying a recent filing it had made that seemed to threaten otherwise — it doesn’t want to get TikTok’d.

For startups with physical supply chains, existing tensions are squeezing business activity from Chimerica out into other parts of the world, as Brian Heater wrote about the topic for Extra Crunch this week. Here’s what one founder told him:

Many [companies] are considering manufacturing in areas like Southeast Asia and India. Vietnam, in particular, has offered an appealing proposition for a labor pool, notes Ho Chi Minh City-based Sonny Vu, CEO of carbon-fiber products manufacturer Arevo and founder of deep tech VC fund Alabaster. “We’re friendly [with] the Americans and the West in general. Vietnam, they’ve got 100 million people, they can make stuff,” Vu explains. “The supply chains are getting more and more sophisticated. One of the issues has been the subpar supply chain … it’s not as deep and broad as as other places like China. That’s changing really fast and people are willing to do manufacturing. I’ve heard from my friends trying to make stuff in China, labor’s always this chronic issue.”

Danny Crichton blamed nationalistic US policies for undermining the country’s long-term commitment to leading global free trade and threatening its competitive future, in a provocative rant last weekend. There’s truth to that, but the underlying truth is that globalization worked, it just hasn’t work as well as hoped for a lot of people in the US and some other parts of the world. In addition to phenomenon like China’s industrial engine, for example, those cross-border flows of money and technology have helped nurture the startup ecosystem in Europe.

Mike Butcher, who has been covering startups for TechCrunch from London since last decade, writes about a new report from Index Ventures about this trend.

It used to be the case that in order to scale globally, European companies needed to spend big on launching in the U.S. to achieve the kind of growth they wanted. That usually meant relocating large swathes of the team to the San Francisco Bay Area, or New York. New research suggests that is no longer the case, as the U.S. has become more expensive, and as the opportunity in Europe has improved. This means European startups are committing much less of their team and resources to a U.S. launch, but still getting decent results…. Between 2008-2014, almost two-thirds (59%) of European startups expanded, or moved entirely, to the U.S. ahead of Series A funding rounds. However, between 2015-2019, this number decreased to a third (33%).

The report also highlights the economic problem of dividing up markets into political blocks. “European corporates invest three-quarters (76%) less than their U.S. counterparts on software,” Butcher adds about the report. “And this is normally on compliance rather than innovation. This means European startups are likely to continue to look to the U.S. for exits to corporates.”

The pain from failing to trade will come home sooner or later to each government, as Danny observes. But that could be longer than your current company exists. Instead, now is the time to pick the markets you can win, and plan for a world where success has a lower ceiling. And hey, if you’re lucky, your national government could pick you as its winner!

Want $100m ARR? Fix your churn

We’ve been recapping key moments from the Extra Crunch Stage at Disrupt this week, here’s a key segment from a panel Alex Wilhelm hosted about how to achieve the $100m ARR dream, featuring Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain:

After explaining that in the early stages of building a SaaS company it’s common to focus more on adding new revenue than “plugging the holes at the bottom,” [Jain] added that as a company matures and grows, more focus has to be paid to managing churn and retention. He said that dollar-based retention is a key metric in the SaaS world that startups are valued by, meaning that after securing a customer, your ability to upsell that same account over a “defined window of time” really matters.

Noting the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that bonuses at Egnyte are tied to retention, “I say, managing churn is the new revenue,” he added. “Focus on that disproportionately more than you would focus on just top-line growth” … . Egnyte, Jain added, drives to just one or two metrics (net new MRR, or gross MRR adds and churn). “Everything that we’re doing, all of us [at Egnyte] have to be measured with that number to say, ‘How are we doing as a company?’” So if your startup is post-Series A, listen to what Jain says on managing churn. After all his company reached $100 million ARR, has a few dozen million in the bank, grew 22% in Q2 and is EBITDA positive.

Summer of tech IPOs continues with Root, Corsair Gaming and of course, Palantir

While public markets have waffled on tech stocks lately, the overall momentum of unicorn IPOs has continued.

Except, Danny may have slowed things down a bit for Palantir? Here are the key headlines from the week:

As tech stocks dip, is insurtech startup Root targeting an IPO? (EC)

Chamath launches SPAC, SPAC and SPAC as he SPACs the world with SPACs

Palantir publishes 2020 revenue guidance of $1.05B, will trade starting Sept 30th

Following TechCrunch reporting, Palantir rapidly removes language allowing founders to ‘unilaterally adjust their total voting power’

In its 5th filing with the SEC, Palantir finally admits it is not a democracy

How has Corsair Gaming posted such impressive pre-IPO numbers? (EC)

Even more info about the best investors for you

We’re making another big update to The TechCrunch List of startup investors who write the first checks and lead the scary rounds, based on thousands of recommendations that we’ve been receiving from founders. Here’s more, from Danny:

Since the launch of the List, we’ve seen great engagement: tens of thousands of founders have each come back multiple times to use the List to scout out their next fundraising moves and understand the ever-changing landscape of venture investing.

We last revised The TechCrunch List at the end of July 30 with 116 new VCs based on founder recommendations, but as with all things venture capital, the investing world moves quickly. That means it’s already time to begin another update.

To make sure we have the best information, we need founders — from new founders who might have just raised their VC rounds to experienced founders adding another round to their cap tables — to submit recommendations. Thankfully, our survey is pretty short (about two minutes), and the help you can give other founders fundraising is invaluable. Please submit your recommendation soon.

Since our last update in July, we have already had 840 founders submit new recommendations, and we are now sitting at about 3,500 recommendations in total now. Every recommendation helps us identify promising and thoughtful VCs, helping founders globally cut through the noise of the industry and find the leads for their next checks.

Around TechCrunch

Extra Crunch Live: Join Index Ventures VCs Nina Achadjian and Sarah Cannon Sept 29 at 2 pm EDT/11 am PDT on the future of startup investing

TC Sessions Mobility 2020 kicks off in two weeks

Announcing the final agenda for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

Explore the global markets of micromobility at TC Sessions: Mobility

Don’t miss the Q&A sessions at TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

Across the week

TechCrunch

Calling Helsinki VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC

The highest valued company in Bessemer’s annual cloud report has defied convention by staying private

Human Capital: The Black founder’s burden

Thanks to Google, app store monopoly concerns have now reached India

Free VPNs are bad for your privacy

Extra Crunch

The Peloton effect

Edtech investors are panning for gold

3 founders on why they pursued alternative startup ownership structures

How Robinhood and Chime raised $2B+ in the last year

Dear Sophie: Possible to still get through I-751 and citizenship after divorce?

Equity: Why isn’t Robinhood a verb yet?

From Alex Wilhelm:

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s VC-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Natasha MascarenhasDanny Crichton and your humble servant gathered to chat through a host of rounds and venture capital news for your enjoyment. As a programming note, I am off next week effectively, so look for Natasha to lead on Equity Monday and then both her and Danny to rock the Thursday show. I will miss everyone.

But onto the show itself, here’s what we got into:

Bon voyage for a week, please stay safe and don’t forget to register to vote.

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PDT and Thursday afternoon as fast as we can get it out, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

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Postmates cuts losses in Q2 as it heads towards tie-up with Uber

Popular food delivery service Postmates is in the process of merging with Uber in a blockbuster $2.65 billion deal that would see it join forces with its food delivery competitor, Uber Eats. The deal remains under antitrust scrutiny, and has not yet been approved for closing. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021.

However, a new SEC filing posted after hours this Friday gives us a glimpse into how Postmates is faring in the new world of global pandemics and sit-in dining closures across the United States.

Postmates posted a loss of just $32.2 million in Q2, compared to a loss of $73 million in Q1, nearly cutting its cash burning in half. That compares to Uber Eats’ results, which showed a loss of $286 million in the first quarter of 2020 and a loss of $232 million in the second quarter — an improvement of roughly 20%, according to Uber’s most recent financial reports.

Altogether, Postmates lost $105.2 million in the first half of 2020, compared to a loss of $239 million in the same period of 2019.

Uber through its filing today also disclosed the cap table for Postmates in full detail for the first time. On a fully diluted basis, the largest shareholder in Postmates is Tiger Global, which owns 27.2% of the company. Following up is Founders Fund with 11.4%, Spark Capital with 6.9% and GPI Capital with 5.3%. At Uber’s $2.65 billion all-stock deal, that nets Tiger Global roughly $720 million and Founders Fund roughly $302 million, not including some stock preferences and dividends that certain owners of the company hold.

While Postmates and Uber continue to go through the antitrust review process at the federal level, the companies also face legal pressure in their own backyards. Uber noted in its filing today that it and Postmates face headwinds due to California’s AB 5 bill, which is designed to give additional employment protections to freelance workers. However, the company notes that such litigation “may not, in and of itself, give rise to a right of either party to terminate the transaction.”

5 Tips To Build Your Team’s Productivity

When it comes to managing a team, whether in a corporate setting or as part of your business, productivity is one of the most important parameters of success. It’s also something that we all want, although it’s a little tricky to figure out how to get there.

Building your team’s productivity should be a priority for you as a manager, mainly because when productivity goes up, it implies that your business is functioning at optimal efficiency. Here we’re going to talk about a few tips and hacks that you must consider adding to your arsenal for boosting productivity among your employees. Let’s take a look at what these are.

Sense Of Ownership

As a good leader, it is imperative to understand the value of ownership. Ownership is all about allowing your team members to take their decisions and be accountable for the same. This inculcates a sense of responsibility in them towards their job.

It changes their outlook towards the task at hand and ensures that their decisions positively impact the performance of the whole team. You can give ownership in different ways – by asking someone to lead a particular project, handling more responsibilities, etc. It builds their self-esteem as they feel assured that you trust their capabilities.

Open Communication

boosting your teams productivity

Encouraging open avenues of communication between your team members and yourself is something you must ensure from the outset. It makes businesses thrive and fosters healthy dynamics in the workplace. In the absence of communication, there arise unwanted and completely avoidable misunderstandings and trivial errors that waste time, effort, and money.

Instead, if you can take the extra step to articulate and convey your ideas and expectations effectively, it makes matters easier for everyone on board. Sometimes a team member may shy away from clarifying doubts and asking questions during team meetings. As a team leader, you should sense this and try facilitating better communication in other ways, such as through private conversations and one-on-one interactions.

Collaboration

If your team members gel together and get along well with each other, they’re sure to be happier. It goes without saying that their performance will also be better in such cases. Encouraging collaboration among team members can help you maximize your team’s productivity.

No matter how large or small your team is, there is sure to be a fair amount of diversity in terms of the skills that each team member brings to the table. The best way to utilize these varying skills is by making sure the entire team knows about current projects. It will encourage them to volunteer to collaborate if they feel they can add value to a specific task.

Constructive Feedback

An ideal way to help your employees grow personally and professionally is by providing them with feedback about their performance. It should be your aim to guide your team members to figure out what they can do to keep growing in their careers. If there’s room for improvement, share constructive feedback that shows them how to be more successful at what they are doing.

You can hold regular touch-base meetings to monitor progress and advise the team members on their performance. These meetings can also be an opportunity for the team members to voice their professional concerns to you. Giving feedback may make you feel uncomfortable, but it plays an essential part in your team/company’s success.

Healthy Boundaries

boost your teams productivity

The last thing you want to do as a good team leader is to overwork your employees or cause burnout. Use your position to set healthy boundaries that encourage a harmonious work-life balance. Team leaders and managers can set precedents like not checking emails after working hours. It signals to the team the importance of switching off from work and keeps them motivated for the next day.

It might be tricky to manage this in an environment where flexible work hours prevail, and people start early or work late, depending on their preferences. But if you, as a team leader, can encourage them to set healthy work limits, prioritise their sleep, and avoid burnout, it will lead to better productivity and more success in the long run.

Leading a team isn’t the most straightforward job in the world, which is why great leaders are few and so revered. A good leader understands the techniques, as well as the significance of boosting productivity in the workplace. They value skills like time management, collaboration, and organisation. They also display keen insight into delivering what is asked.

These skills trickle down to the respective team members and make them more efficient at their tasks. A well-supported team is always motivated to bring their best to the table every day, making things smoother for everyone involved. Use the tips mentioned above and see your team achieve better levels of productivity than ever before!

The post 5 Tips To Build Your Team’s Productivity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Indonesian cloud kitchen startup Yummy gets $12 million Series B led by SoftBank Ventures Asia

Yummy Corporation, which claims to be the largest cloud kitchen management company in Indonesia, has raised $12 million in Series B funding, led by SoftBank Ventures Asia. Co-founder and chief executive officer Mario Suntanu told TechCrunch that the capital will be used to expand into more major cities and on developing its tech platform, including data analytics.

Other participants in the round included returning investors Intudo Ventures and Sovereign’s Capital, and new backers Vectr Ventures, AppWorks, Quest Ventures, Coca Cola Amatil X and Palm Drive Capital. The Series B brings Yummy Corporation’s total raised so far to $19.5 million.

Launched in June 2019, Yummy Corporation’s network of cloud kitchens, called Yummykitchen, now includes more than 70 HACCP-certified facilities in Jakarta, Bandung and Medan. It partners with more than 50 food and beverage (F&B) companies, including major brands like Ismaya Group and Sour Sally Group.

During COVID-19 movement restrictions, Suntanu said Yummykitchen’s business showed “healthy growth” as people, confined mostly to their homes, ordered food for delivery. Funding will be used to get more partners, especially brands that want to digitize their operations and expand deliveries to cope with the continuing impact of COVID-19.

The number of cloud kitchens in Southeast Asia has grown quickly over the past year, driven by demand for food deliveries that began increasing even before the pandemic. But for F&B brands that rely on deliveries for a good part of their revenue, running their own kitchens and staff can be cost-prohibitive. Sharing cloud kitchens with other businesses can help increase their margins.

Other cloud kitchen startups serving Indonesia include Hangry and Everplate, but these companies and Yummy Corporation are all up against two major players: “super apps” Grab and Gojek, which both operate large networks of cloud kitchens that have the advantage of being integrated with their on-demand delivery services.

Suntanu said Yummy’s main edge compared to other cloud kitchens is that it also offers fully-managed location and kitchen operation services, in addition to kitchen facilities. This means Yummy’s partners, including restaurants and and F&B brands, don’t need to hire their own teams. Instead, food preparation and delivery is handled by Yummy’s workers. The company also provides its clients with a data analytics platform to help them with targeted ad campaigns and making their listings more visible on food delivery apps.

In a statement, Harris Yang, Souteast Asia associate at SoftBank Ventures Asia, said the firm invested in Yummy because “given the company’s strong expertise in the F&B industry and unique value proposition to brands, we believe that Yummy will continue to be the leader in this space. We are excited to support the team and help them scale their business in this emerging sector.”

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How Personal Injury Attorneys Fight for Rights of Injury Victims

If you are involved in an accident that results in injury, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury attorney. Contacting an attorney may be the last thing on your mind immediately after an accident. However, the reality is that the right personal injury attorney can often be a great benefit to you and your recovery. Thus, it is never too early to start thinking about how a personal injury attorney may be able to help you.

Personal injury accidents can occur in the workplace, on the road, or even while you are at the store getting groceries. Regardless of where your personal injury occurs, an attorney may be able to help.

You might be thinking you can handle the aftermath of your accident on your own without the assistance of an attorney. While this may be the case, let’s take a closer look at how a personal injury attorney fights for the rights of injury victims and how that may ultimately lead to a better outcome for you.

What Qualifies as a Personal Injury Claim That an Attorney Can Assist with

personal injury

At its core, a personal injury claim is a legal dispute that arises when one person’s actions result in harm or injury to another. This definition is admittedly broad. Examples of situations that may result in a personal injury claim include:

  • Slip and fall accidents,
  • Motor vehicle accidents,
  • Medical malpractice, and
  • Assault

Because personal injury claims can arise in so many different scenarios, it can often be difficult to know whether you have a valid personal injury claim.

One Dallas personal injury lawyer uses what he calls the I.D.R. method, which stands for Injury, Duty, and Remedy. Essentially, if you are involved in an accident, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Was there an injury?
  • Did anyone involved have a duty to keep the injury from occurring?
  • Does the law allow for a remedy?

While you can probably tell easily if there was an injury, the other two questions may be more difficult to answer on your own. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you answer these questions and more.

Ways Personal Injury Attorneys Fight for Injury Victims’ Rights

Attorneys can be a great benefit to personal injury victims who need help answering preliminary questions to determine whether they may have a case. However, there are many other ways in which personal injury attorneys help fight for the rights of injured victims.

Connecting Victims with Medical Providers

personal injury attorney rights of injury victims

If you have sustained injuries in a personal injury accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as practicable. Not only will this help you work toward a speedy recovery, but it may also help you ultimately maximize your potential monetary recovery. Thus, getting connected with the right provider can be an important step. But where should you go for your medical care?

Fortunately, many personal injury attorneys may have close relationships with medical professionals. Often, they can point you in the direction of a medical care provider who may be better equipped to assist with your particular injuries.

Assessing Damages

A crucial part of a personal injury case is the assessment of damages. Legal damages comprise the monetary compensation you seek to help you recover from your injuries after an accident. Thus, it is essential that you know what to seek.

Damages you may be able to receive compensation for in a personal injury case include:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Loss of income and future earning capacity;
  • Property damages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress; and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

If you are not familiar with the allowable damages in a personal injury case, you may not know the full amount you may actually be entitled to. An experienced personal injury attorney, however, will be able to help you better assess the damages in your case. This will allow you to maximize your potential recovery.

Negotiating with Opposing Parties and Insurers

Personal injury attorneys are known for being great advocates for their clients. But that advocacy starts long before reaching a trial. One of the most common ways a personal injury attorney fights for the rights of injured victims is through negotiations.

In a personal injury case, there will be a long process of negotiations to reach a potential settlement. In fact, it is estimated that up to 97% of civil cases will be resolved before reaching a trial, most often in some form of a settlement.

Using the specific facts in your case, an attorney will aggressively negotiate with opposing parties and insurers on your behalf to get you the best result possible. Negotiating with these types of parties can be intimidating and overwhelming, but a personal injury lawyer who does this for a living can be a great asset.

Being an Advocate at Trial, If Necessary

Lastly, a personal injury attorney fights for the rights of injury victims by being their advocate at trial.

If you are unable to settle your case through negotiations, sometimes your only remaining option is to go to trial. Unfortunately, however, the trial process is long and complicated. Steps in a court trial include:

  • Filing the complaint,
  • Discovery,
  • Filing and responding to pretrial motions,
  • Selecting the jury,
  • Making opening statements,
  • Presenting evidence,
  • Examining witnesses, and
  • Making closing arguments.

While you may not know how to handle a full court trial, experienced trial attorneys know very well how to navigate the court system. Further, they know what arguments to make on your behalf and how to present the facts in a way that will give you the strongest case possible.

The post How Personal Injury Attorneys Fight for Rights of Injury Victims appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

WeWork sells majority stake in Chinese entity, seeks localization

Four years after its foray into the Chinese market followed by rapid and cash-hemorrhaging expansion, WeWork decided to wind down its involvement in the country.

WeWork’s Chinese unit has secured a $200 million investment led by Shanghai-based equity firm Trustbridge Partners, which first backed WeWork China in its Series B round in 2018, the American co-working giant announced. What the release didn’t emphasize is that the latest financing effectively makes Trustbridge Partners the controlling shareholder, leaving WeWork with a minority stake in its Chinese entity.

The investment marks WeWork China’s transition from a subsidiary of a multinational into a Chinese-owned company — with a globally recognized brand, sort of like franchising.

WeWork China will continue its close cooperation with WeWork’s global headquarters to “ensure the consistency of the WeWork brand and satisfication of global members and employees,” a spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch.

Other changes are already underway, though. There have been layoffs as part of the sale and “many things remain uncertain,” said the person with knowledge of the matter. WeWork China declined to comment on the matter.

WeWork arrived in China at the height of the country’s co-working boom. Its brand, service and chic design have long attracted well-financed startups and open-minded big corps. Since 2016, more than 100 WeWork spaces have sprung up across 12 cities in China, including dozens it acquired from local rival Naked Hub. It now claims 65,000 members in the country.

It’s also launched a range of initiatives in China, including an on-demand service for customers who don’t want to commit to long-term leases, which could help drive in more revenue.

Globally, WeWork serves 612,000 members in 843 offices across 38 countries. China accounts for roughly one-eight of its locations, down from a share of one-sixth in 2018.

WeWork China is not only competing with cheaper, home-grown alternatives — both private and government-subsidized — but also dealing with a weakening economy in COVID-19 times and uncertain U.S.-China relations. Relinquishing operational control in a cash-burning market seems logical, given all the troubles it already faces back home.

Ahead of its planned initial public offering, which was later postponed, WeWork said trade policy uncertainty could have an adverse impact on its business. It also highlighted China, a lower-priced market, as a drag on its profit margin.

Following the investment, Trustbridge Partners will launch an extensive localization makeover for WeWork China, from “decision-making and management, product and business, through to operations and productivity,” said the WeWork China representative. The new owner will also seek partnerships with local communities, real estate firms and Chinese enterprises during the process.

WeWork China gets a new boss as a result of the sale. Michael Jiang, ann operating partner at Trustbridge Partners, will serve as the acting chief executive. Jiang was previously a senior vice presidnet at Meituan, China’s food delivery and on-demand services giant.

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Could You Have Imposter Syndrome?

We’ve all heard the term “fake it until you make it,” which refers to the idea that by acting confident and, as though you know what you’re doing, you will eventually make that a reality. But, what if that reality never comes and you feel like you’re faking it all the time?

Everyone occasionally feels like they’re just winging it. We hope no one notices that we don’t really know what we’re doing. But when you live constantly feeling like a fraud and worry about being exposed you may have what is called imposter syndrome.

What Is Imposter Syndrome?

imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome refers to the persistent feeling that you aren’t actually responsible for your own achievements or success. People with imposter syndrome often feel like they’ve been lucky, in the right place at the right time, or that others are really the source of their success and feel guilty because of the praise that they’re receiving.

These feelings are often found in high achievers but can affect anyone in any walk of life, and both men and women can experience them. And it’s not just in the workplace.

Imposter syndrome can affect any positive area in your life – relationships, school, money, or family. Feeling that you don’t really deserve any of the good things in your life and are completely unworthy of what you have is a primary characteristic of imposter syndrome.

Feeling this way causes stress, anxiety, depression, and can make even the most successful people afraid to take on new challenges and unable to live with the worry of being exposed.

If this sounds familiar but you’re still unsure, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you consider yourself a high achiever?
  • Do you feel you’re lucky and worry your luck will run out?
  • Do you worry your achievements will make people expect too much of you and you’ll ultimately disappoint them?
  • Do you often feel like you’re mediocre or incompetent?
  • Does a new situation make you desperate to feel prepared, cause you to obsess over the details, or feel like nothing can be left to chance?
  • Are you controlling when it comes to events, projects, or anything else with which you are associated?
  • Do you experience constant self-doubt?
  • Are you worried that if people look too hard they’ll find flaws in your work?
  • Are you concerned that people will find out you’re not as smart or as good as you seem?

If you answered, “yes” to most or all of these, you are likely dealing with imposter syndrome. And while we can all experience these feelings occasionally, when they become persistent and get in the way of your happiness and ability to enjoy your success, they become a problem.

How To Get Over Feeling Like A Fraud

having imposter syndrome

One of the biggest problems with imposter syndrome is that no amount of success and happy achievements make it go away. In fact, it’s often the case that the greater the success, the more intense the feelings of being a fraud and being found out can become.

For some people these feelings can serve as motivation. They work harder, do more, triple and quadruple check everything just to validate themselves and increase their feelings of worthiness. But is that a healthy motivation? Not really. Using feelings of fear and self-doubt to motivate yourself is draining and costly to your mental health and overall happiness.

Finding a way to overcome imposter syndrome and feel secure in your achievements isn’t easy, however. If you suffer with this, it likely has deep roots. So to get past it you will have to truly examine your past experiences and beliefs about yourself and your abilities.

To do that consider some of the following truths:

  1. While others may have helped, you had a major role in your own success.
  2. Hard work pays off. If you have worked hard you have earned the right to be proud of what you’ve achieved.
  3. Positive or negative, other people’s opinions aren’t as important to your own mental health and happiness as yours is.
  4. You belong as much as anyone around you.
  5. Everyone around you has insecurities and feels like a fraud sometimes too. You’re not alone.
  6. Failure doesn’t make you a phony.

Although these are all true and need to be remembered, accepting them as truth can be tough. You may need work to believe them, and to that end consider using the tips below to assist you:

  • Keep a notebook of praise and compliments paid to you. Reviewing these can help you feel more secure and counter your negative self-talk.
  • Stop thinking about yourself and focus on adding value to those around you – but not in an obsessive way. The point here is to eliminate the, “What will they think of me?” train of thoughts and negative self-talk. Helping, pitching in, and doing things for others will not only make others appreciate you, it breaks down walls, brings you closer to other people, and will make you feel good about yourself.
  • Make a list of the things you’re afraid people will find out about you. Then review them and find the reasons they aren’t that bad or unique and recognize that others have the same or worse concerns about themselves.
  • Talk to someone and tell them how you feel. Doing this will take some of the fear away, allow that person to reassure you, and you may discover they have had very similar feelings.

If none of these helps and you still find that you feel like a fraud, it may be time to talk to a counselor. As I mentioned earlier, these thoughts and feelings are usually deep-seated. Getting past them will mean that you need to address their source and work through those issues before you can really move on and find the happiness and self-confidence you need.

The post Could You Have Imposter Syndrome? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Apple launches its online store in India

For the first time in more than 20 years since Apple began its operations in India, the iPhone-maker has started selling its products directly to consumers in the world’s second largest smartphone market.

Apple launched its online store in India on Wednesday, which in addition to offering nearly the entire line-up of its products, also brings a range of services for the first time to consumers in the country. India is the 38th market for Apple where it has launched its online store.

Consumers in India can now purchase AppleCare+, which extends warranty on products, and access the trade-in program to get a discount on new hardware purchases. The company said it will also offer customers support through chat or telephone, and let users consult its team of specialists before they make a purchase. The company is also letting customers order customized versions of iMac, MacBook Air, Mac Mini and other Mac computers — something it started offline through its authorized partners only in late May in India.

The company is also offering customers the ability to pay for their purchases in monthly instalments. TechCrunch reported in January that the company was planning to open its online store in India in the quarter that ends in September. The company plans to open its first physical retail store in the country next year, it has said.

Jayanth Kolla, chief analyst at consultancy firm Convergence Catalyst, argued that the launch of the Apple’s online store in India is a bigger deal for the company than consumers in the country.

Apple typically starts investing in marketing, brand building and other investments in a market only after it launches a store there, he told TechCrunch.

Apple does oversee billboards and ads of iPhones and other products that are displayed in India, but it’s the third-party partners that are running and bankrolling them, said Kolla. “Apple might provide some marketing dollars, but those efforts are always led by their partners,” he said.

In recent years, Apple has visibly grown more interested in India, one of the world’s fastest growing smartphones markets. The company’s contract manufacturers today locally assemble the latest generation of iPhone models and some accessories — an effort the company kickstarted two years ago.

The move has allowed Apple to lower prices of some iPhone models in India, where for years the company has passed custom duty charges to customers. The starting price of iPhone 11 Pro Max is $1,487 in India, compared to $1,099 in the U.S. (It started to assemble some iPhone 11 models in India only recently.) The AirPods Pro, which sells at $249 in the U.S., was made available in India at $341 at the time of launch.

Apple has also been trying to open its store in India for several years, but local regulations made it difficult for the company to expand in the country. But in recent quarters, India has eased many of its regulations. Last year, New Delhi eased sourcing norms for single-brand retailers, paving the way for companies like Apple to open online stores before they set up presence in the brick-and-mortar market.

This year, India also launched a $6.6 billion incentive program aimed at boosting the local smartphone manufacturing. South Korean giant Samsung, and Apple’s contract manufacturing partners Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron among others have applied for the incentive program.

Unlike most foreign firms that offer their products and services for free in India or at some of the world’s cheapest prices, Apple has focused entirely on a small fraction of the population that can afford to pay big bucks, Kolla said. And that strategy has worked fine for the company, Kolla argued. Apple commands the segment of premium smartphones in India.

That’s not to say that Apple has not made some changes to its price strategy for India. The monthly cost of Apple Music is $1.35 in India, compared to $9.99 in the U.S. Its Apple One bundle, which includes Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, and iCloud, costs $2.65 a month in India.

Some Apple customers say that even as they prefer the iPhone-maker’s ecosystem of products over Android makers’ offerings, they wish Apple made more of its services available in the country. A range of Apple services including Apple News and Apple Pay are still not available in India.

The launch of Apple’s online store in India comes weeks before the company is expected to unveil the new-generation iPhone models and a month before the festival of Diwali, which sees hundreds of millions of Indians spend lavishly.

Where to buy reusable face masks in the UK

Where to buy reusable face masks in the UK

TL;DR: Etsy, Amazon, and ASOS are still stocking a wide range of face coverings, with options available for under £1.


Just in case you hadn’t heard, there are a bunch of new coronavirus restrictions in the UK that could last up to six months.

Some of these new restrictions are related to face coverings, with face masks compulsory for bar staff and non-seated customers, shop workers, waiters, and taxi drivers. Also, the fine for people not wearing face coverings in shops, supermarkets, public transport, taxis, and hotels will double to £200 for a first-time offence.

More about Face Mask, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Uk, Uk Deals, and Coronavirus

How to Calculate and Reduce Your Customer Churn Rate

Regardless of what business you are in and by whatever name you call it – attrition, defection, or anything – customer churn is real. Every business has to deal with loss of customers and lose some revenue. Understanding what causes this customer churn is important. When a client or customer chooses to stop doing business with your company or stop using your brand products or services, it is called customer churn.

Customer churn depends on the type and nature of business or company. Some of the various ways it can be called in parlance include:

  • Cancellation of product or service subscription
  • Closure of customer account
  • Non-renewal of service agreement or contract
  • Cancellation of user agreement
  • Switching to a competitor program or offering

How to Measure Customer Churn Rate

Customer churn rate can be measured in these following ways.

  • Total number of customers lost in a specific period of time
  • Total percentage of customers lost in a specific period
  • Percentage of recurring business value lost
  • Business value lost

It is also necessary to note here that churn is inevitable. No matter how amazing your service is or useful your products or how great your marketing strategy is, you will have to face customers who want to leave. But this doesn’t mean you can’t prevent churn. Maintaining a good churn rate is possible and that is what is recommended.

Customer Churn Rates as per Industry basis

  • American card companies churn around 20 percent per annum
  • 5-7 percent customer churn rates are reported for software-as-a-service companies

While some customer churn rates are great for one business, they are terrible for another.

3 Ways to Reduce Customer Churn

Customer Onboarding

how to reduce customer churn rate thru customer onboarding

Customers will look for better options if they do not understand the product too well. Any questions in the initial introduction can blow them away. The most important being the customer’s first experience and when that is good, they will want to continue with the business. A clear onboarding process is necessary to better a customer experience and reduce customer churn. The onboarding is the most important step in the process. Customers think of leaving only when they are unsatisfied from the beginning.

Meet Customers’ Expectations

Promising a lot of things to a customer and failing to deliver is one of the quickest ways to lose one. Close to 35 percent of customers stop doing businesses after a single negative experience. Unmet expectations and dissatisfaction are big reasons for customer churn. Consistently meeting customer expectations is important. Being honest to your customer about what they can expect is necessary.

Listening to what customers have to say about the product is also crucial. If they have any suggestions or improvements, finding out the same from customers is just as essential. 16 percent of customers post on social media when they face a negative interaction with a brand. And close to 60 percent of customers are heavily influenced by social media comments on brands and companies.

Provide Awesome Customer Service

how to reduce customer churn rate thru customer service

A survey by Zendesk revealed that 42 percent of respondents found that they had a major frustration with customer service departments. Customer service is one of the major reasons why customer churn happens. Listening carefully to customers’ feedback is one of the best ways to retain customers.

When customers voice their complaints, listen to their exact problems, and find solutions. Even loyal customers can defect if the service is bad and they are being taken for granted. No one likes it when we must wait on a customer desk call for more than 20 minutes to clarify a simple doubt. Sometimes, customers face technical issues which can be sorted through an awesome customer service.

Bottom Line: Maximise Profits by Reducing Churn

A lot of businesses fail because customers are not happy with the customer service. If a customer threatens to close business, then it means the product needs to be explored to the full potential. A call with the customer success manager can make it simpler to resolve issues. Great customer success education should be the beginning of the customer journey.

From customer onboarding, it is important to maintain a great rapport with them. Through the right customer engagement tactics, customers can understand how the product fits into their success strategy.

The post How to Calculate and Reduce Your Customer Churn Rate appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

China’s electric carmaker WM Motor pulls in $1.47 billion Series D

Chinese electric vehicle startup WM Motor just pocketed an outsize investment to fuel growth in a competitive landscape increasingly coveted by foreign rival Tesla. The five-year-old company raised 10 billion yuan ($1.47 billion) in a Series D round, it announced on Tuesday, which will pay for research and development, branding, marketing and expansion of sales channel.

WM Motor, backed by Baidu and Tencent, is one of the highest funded EV startups in China alongside NIO, Xpeng and Li Auto, all of which have gone public in New York. With its latest capital boost, WM Motor could be gearing up for an initial public offering. As Bloomberg’s sources in July said, the company was weighing a listing on China’s Nasdaq-style STAR board as soon as this year.

Days before its funding news, WM Motor unveiled its key partners and suppliers: Qualcomm Snapdragon’s cockpit chips will power the startup’s in-cabin experience; Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving system will give WM vehicles self-parking capability; Unisplendour, rooted in China’s Tsinghua University, will take care of the hardware side of autonomous driving; and lastly, integrated circuit company Sino IC Leasing will work on “car connectivity” for WM Motor, whatever that term entails.

It’s not uncommon to see the new generation of EV makers seeking external partnerships given their limited experience in manufacturing. WM Motor’s rival Xpeng similarly works with Blackberry, Desay EV and Nvidia to deliver its smart EVs.

WM Motor was founded by automotive veteran Freeman Shen, who previously held executive positions at Volvo, Fiat and Geely in China.

The startup recently announced an ambitious plan for the next 3-5 years to allocate 20 billion yuan ($2.95 billion) and 3,000 engineers to work on 5G-powered smart cockpits, Level-4 driving and other futuristic auto technologies. That’s a big chunk of the startup’s total raise, which is estimated to be north of $3 billion, based on Crunchbase data and its latest funding figure.

Regional governments are often seen rooting for companies partaking in China’s strategic industries such as semiconductors and electric cars. WM Motor’s latest round, for instance, is led by a state-owned investment platform and state-owned carmaker SAIC Motor, both based in Shanghai where the startup’s headquarters resides. The city is also home to Tesla’s Gigafactory where the American giant churns out made-in-China vehicles.

In July, the Chinese EV upstart delivered its 30,000th EX5 SUV vehicle, which comes at about $22,000 with state subsidy and features the likes of in-car video streaming and air purification. The company claimed that parents of young children account for nearly 70% of its customers.

Learn from cybersecurity experts with this discounted training course

Learn from cybersecurity experts with this discounted training course

TL;DR: The Cybersecurity Expert Certification Training Bundle is on sale for £38.87 as of Sept. 22, saving you 98% on list price.


In 2020, we are almost entirely dependent on hackable technology. Not to frighten you, but your phone, computer, tablet, car, bank, credit card purchases, and even your smart home devices can be hacked into. 

As these cybercrimes increase, the need for more highly skilled information security specialists also increases. If you want to start a cybersecurity career, there’s no time like the present – especially since this CompTIA Cybersecurity Pathway Certification Prep Bundle is on sale for over 90 percent off. Read more…

More about Cybersecurity, Online Classes, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals

10 Best Chrome Extensions for Keeping Organized

Though it was necessity that caused most people to move to a remote workplace due to the restrictions put in place by the pandemic, many experts predict that remote work will continue long after a vaccine is created and we, as a whole, can go back to what was normal before quarantine. With that, staying organized at home can be more difficult than in an office, but technology is aplenty when it comes to helping you do so.

Here are 10 extensions that Chrome offers to help you keep your home office organized and secure.

Win the Day

Though admittedly not the most powerful tool on this list, starting said list with “Win the Day” seemed appropriate. This extension allows users to set goals and deadlines and keeps them organized on your desktop. You can sectionalize your goals with sub-goals, as well.

Google Keep

chrome extensions for productivity google keep
Via chrome.google.com

Google Keep is an extension for the organization of data. Data used to be utilized, primarily, by a data analyst at a given company, but now everyone should have a firm grasp of how to collect and manage data feedback.

Papier

This extension is to help organize your brainstorm sessions, even the ones with just you as the participant. It’s very easy to use, and with machine learning it can organize all of your brainstorming thoughts just how you like them, after a few weeks of you doing it manually.

LastPass

LastPass is a password manager extension that securely saves your login credentials across all of your devices. Rather than having a folder on your desktop that can be easily hacked, LastPass advertises itself as a “password vault” that only you can access when you need to quickly reference you means of accessing a website.

Productivity Tracker

Another encompassing extension, this helps users track their work, their financial plans, and even their personal goals outside of work, like walking every day, or keeping tabs on caloric intakes. It also tracks all of your clicks and scrolls in Chrome, so you can evaluate what you’ve been wasting your time on.

Save to Pocket

This nifty extension helps you organize your time and information by allowing you to quickly save something that you want to read right from your desktop to your phone. With this, you can make sure your time spent at the desktop involves actual work, and then when you’re in transit you can “check your pocket” for the story you want to get wise to.

Clockify

chrome extensions for productivity clockify
Via clockify.me

Clockify leans a little more towards time-management than physical organization, but organizing your time is as important as organizing your “stuff.” Clockify can be programmed to make sure you don’t get lost in a wormhole of a website like social media, that can not only waste time, but also cause security issues if logged in for too long.

TodoBook

With some similarities to Clockify, TodoBook is a way to self-inflict focus on your wondering mind. When you use this extension, it automatically shows you your to-do list every time you login to facebook or another social media site in order to keep you on task and mentally organized.

Diigo

This one is more geared towards those who need to organize and recall large amounts of research. Called a “web collector,” Diigo makes it extremely easy to collect, site, and even make notes directly on web pages that you can reference later.

Just Read

Last but not least, is more for in-the-moment organization, and that is the Just Read extension that allows users to block out everything on a page that isn’t the meat and potatoes. Ads, links, etc. are “muted,” allowing users to focus on what they came to the page to see.

Happy Chroming!

The post 10 Best Chrome Extensions for Keeping Organized appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Kindred Capital closes £81M second fund to back early-stage European startups

Kindred Capital, the London-based VC that backs early-stage founders in Europe, has closed its second seed fund at £81 million.

That’s only a tad larger than the the firm’s first fund, which invested in 29 companies and was raised in 2018. Portfolio companies from fund one include Five, which is building software for autonomous vehicles; Paddle, the SaaS for software e-commerce; Pollen, the peer-to-peer marketplace for experiences and travel; and Farewill, which lets you create a will online.

However, perhaps what really sets Kindred apart from most other seed VCs is its “Equitable Venture”. This sees the founders it backs get carry in the fund, effectively becoming co-owners of Kindred. Once the VC’s LPs have their investment returned, like the firm’s partners, the founders also share any subsequent fund profits, as long as they have passed the vesting period.

More broadly, Kindred says the idea is this extra incentive encourages a collective model, in which founders actively help each other achieve their goals. “This has also had a positive impact on deal flow, with entrepreneurs sourcing 38% of Kindred’s dealflow at the top of the funnel,” says the VC.

Notably, Kindred projects that around £5 million will be returned to founders from the first find, profit that would otherwise have gone to its own General Partners. Presuming those exits are realised, based on two founders per startup, a quick back of the napkin calculation suggests that’s just over £80,000 each.

Meanwhile, Kindred already begun investing from its second fund. It has led 10 seed investments in companies such as BotsAndUs, Gravity Sketch and Beit.

LPs in Fund two include: University of Chicago, Industry Ventures, Generation Ventures, Sands Capital, British Patient Capital, Isomer, and Legal & General. Founders such as Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise), Carsten Thoma (Hybris), and Rishi Khosla (Oak North), have also invested in Kindred’s second fund.

The best moments of the 2020 ‘Pandemmys’

The best moments of the 2020 'Pandemmys'

The virtual 2020 Emmys, or “Pandemmys” as we may or may not call them, took place Sunday night and proceeded with surprisingly few technical glitches and some generally pleasant surprises. We loved sneaking a peek at celebrity homes and makeshift Emmy parties, and seeing TV’s top players in the same situation as those watching at home was oddly comforting as we all celebrated television together.

In a normal year we round up the best and worst moments of the Emmys, but since this year is far from normal, we decided to just focus on the highlights (although that fake audience bit from the beginning… we could have done without). Here are our favorite moments from the 2020 Emmy Awards. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Television, Emmys, Entertainment, and Celebrities

The TikTok deal solves quite literally nothing

Well… that was pointless.

After debasing the idea of free commerce in the U.S in the name of a misplaced security concern, stringing along several multi-billion dollar companies that embarrassed themselves in the interest of naked greed, and demanding that the U.S. government get a cut of the profits, the TikTok saga we’ve been watching the past few weeks finally appears to be over.

A flurry of announcement late Saturday night indicate that the TikTok deal was actually a politically-oriented shakedown to boost the cloud infrastructure business of key supporters of the President of the United States.

Oracle, whose cloud infrastructure services run a laughable fourth to AWS, Alphabet*, and Microsoft, will be taking a 20 percent stake in TikTok alongside partner Walmart in what will be an investment round before TikTok Global (as the new entity will be called) goes public on an American stock exchange.

According to a statement from TikTok, Oracle will become TikTok’s “trusted technology partner” and will be responsible for hosting all U.S. user data and securing associated computer systems to ensure U.S. national security requirements are fully satisfied. “We are currently working with Walmart on a commercial partnership as well,” according to the statement from TikTok.

pic.twitter.com/jWxjnAIwZQ

— TikTok_Comms (@tiktok_comms) September 19, 2020

Meanwhile, Oracle indicated that all the concerns from the White House, U.S. Treasury, and Congress over TikTok had nothing to do with the service’s selection of Oracle as its cloud provider. In its statement, Oracle said that “This technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.”

Here’s how CNBC reporter Alex Sherman has the ownership structure breaking down, per “a person familiar with the matter. Oracle gets 12.5%, Walmart gets 7.5% and ByteDance gets the remaining 80%. The Trump administration is claiming that US investors will own 53% of TikTok because ByteDance (TikTok’s parent) is backed by venture capital investors that hold a 40% stake in the parent company.

So the ownership of TikTok Global will be, according to a person familiar with the matter:
Oracle – 12.5%
Walmart – 7.5%
ByteDance – 80% …

But 40% of ByteDance’s ownership is US venture capital funding. That’s how the Trump admin is calculating this deal as “majority US $”

— Alex Sherman (@sherman4949) September 20, 2020

 

The deal benefits everyone except U.S. consumers and people who have actual security concerns about TikTok’s algorithms and the ways they can be used to influence opinion in the U.S.

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance gets to maintain ownership of the U.S. entity, Oracle gets a huge new cloud customer to boost its ailing business, Walmart gets access to teens to sell stuff, and U.S. customer data is no safer (it’s just now in the hands of U.S. predators instead of foreign ones).

To be clear, data privacy and security is a major concern, but it’s not one that’s a concern when it comes to TikTok necessarily (and besides, the Chinese government has likely already acquired whatever data they want to on U.S. customers).

For many observers, the real concern with TikTok was that the company’s Chinese owners may be pressured by Beijing to manipulate its algorithm to promote or suppress content. Companies in China — including its internet giants — are required to follow the country’s intelligence and cloud security law mandating complete adherence with all government orders for data.

The Commerce Department in its statement said that “In light of recent positive developments, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, at the direction of President Trump, will delay the prohibition of identified transactions pursuant to Executive Order 13942, related to the TikTok mobile application that would have been effective on Sunday, September 20, 2020, until September 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.” So that’s a week reprieve.

So all this sound and fury … for what? The best investment return in all of these shenanigans is almost certainly Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz’ investment into Trump, who in addition to being a heavy donor to the Trump administration, also joined the presidential transition committee back in 2016. Thank god the U.S. saved TikTok from the crony capitalism of China. Let’s just hope they enjoy the crony capitalism of Washington DC.

*An earlier version of this article referred to AWS, Amazon and Microsoft. AWS and Amazon are the same company. I was typing fast. I’ve corrected the error.

Lindsey Graham said in 2016 to use his words against him. Twitter followed through.

Lindsey Graham said in 2016 to use his words against him. Twitter followed through.

Senator Lindsey Graham’s own words are being used against him, thanks to old videos recirculating on Twitter. 

Graham is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the cohort of senators who review judicial nominations. In the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, he’s facing pressure to reject any nominee chosen by Donald Trump to take Justice Ginsburg’s seat. Ginsburg was a progressive on a largely conservative court, and any nominee Trump puts forward is sure to be conservative as well. 

In years past, Graham has repeatedly insisted that Supreme Court vacancies should remain vacant during election years so the next president has a chance to fill them. When President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat in 2016, Graham led the opposition against the nomination.  Read more…

More about Viral Videos, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Lindsey Graham, Culture, and Web Culture

‘The Notorious R.B.G.’ taught a new generation how to dissent with her internet stardom

'The Notorious R.B.G.' taught a new generation how to dissent with her internet stardom

When Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was 80 years old, she became an internet icon. 

A law student started a Tumblr in her honor in 2013, dubbing her “The Notorious R.B.G.” and in the years that followed, she became a meme that lined Etsy sellers’ pockets. As much as her photo was flung around social media, her crowned head was emblazoned on T-shirts, her signature lace collar was reimagined as baby bibs, and she became “our lady of dissent” on votive candles you could buy for $15. Her internet domination both fueled and was fueled by her caricaturing on Saturday Night Live as a spunky old lady who could lift weights and kick ass. She particularly liked a popular T-shirt that read, Read more…

More about Memes, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Culture, and Politics

Unity Software has strong opening, gaining 31% after pricing above its raised range

Whoever said you can’t make money playing video games clearly hasn’t taken a look at Unity Software’s stock price.

On its first official day of trading, the company rose more than 31%, opening at $75 per share before closing the day at $68.35. Unity’s share price gains came after last night’s pricing of the company’s stock at $52 per share, well above the range of $44 to $48 which was itself an upward revision of the company’s initial target.

Games like “Pokémon GO” and “Iron Man VR” rely on the company’s software, as do untold numbers of other mobile gaming applications that use the company’s toolkit for support. The company’s customers range from small gaming publishers to large gaming giants like Electronic Arts, Niantic, Ubisoft and Tencent.

Unity’s IPO comes on the heels of other well-received debuts, including Sumo Logic, Snowflake and JFrog .

TechCrunch caught up with Unity’s CFO, Kim Jabal, after-hours today to dig in a bit on the transaction.

According to Jabal, hosting her company’s roadshow over Zoom had some advantages, as her team didn’t have to focus on tackling a single geography per day, allowing Unity to “optimize” its time based on who the company wanted to meet, instead, of say, whomever was free in Boston or Chicago on a particular Tuesday morning.

Jabal’s comments aren’t the first that TechCrunch has heard regarding roadshows going well in a digital format instead of as an in-person presentation. If the old-school roadshow survives, we’ll be surprised, though private jet companies will miss the business.

Talking about the transaction itself, Jabal stressed the connection between her company’s employees, value  and their access to that same value. Unity’s IPO was unique in that existing and former employees were able to trade 15% of their vested holdings in the company on day one, excluding “current executive officers and directors,” per SEC filings.

That act does not seemed to have dampened enthusiasm for the company’s shares, and could have helped boost early float, allowing for the two sides of the supply and demand curves to more quickly meet close to the company’s real value, instead of a scarcity-driven, more artificial figure.

Regarding Unity’s IPO pricing, Jabal discussed what she called a “very data-driven process.” The result of that process was an IPO price that came in above its raised range, and still rose during its first day’s trading, but less than 50%. That’s about as good an outcome as you can hope for in an IPO.

One final thing for the SaaS nerds out there. Unity’s “dollar-based net expansion rate” went from very good to outstanding in 2020, or in the words of the S-1/A:

Our dollar-based net expansion rate, which measures expansion in existing customers’ revenue over a trailing 12-month period, grew from 124% as of December 31, 2018 to 133% as of December 31, 2019, and from 129% as of June 30, 2019 to 142% as of June 30, 2020, demonstrating the power of this strategy.

We had to ask. And the answer, per Jabal, was a combination of the company’s platform strength and how customers tend to use more of Unity’s services over time, which she described as growing with their customers. And the second key element was 2020’s unique dynamics that gave Unity a “tailwind” thanks to “increased usage, particularly in gaming.”

Looking at our own gaming levels in 2020 compared to 2019, that checks out.

This post closes the book on this week’s IPO class. Tired yet? Don’t be. Palantir is up next, and then Asana .

*Really* miss flying? Join over 100 other weirdos on this 7-hour ‘flight to nowhere’.

*Really* miss flying? Join over 100 other weirdos on this 7-hour 'flight to nowhere'.

New seats on Qantas’ previously sold out “Great Southern Land” scenic joy flight have now been made available, giving travel-starved Australians another chance to pay almost AU$800 to board a plane, fly in a big circle for seven and a half hours, and touch down in the exact same place they took off from.

Australian airline Qantas revealed their Great Southern Land flight on Thursday, offering Sydney passengers the chance to buzz over iconic destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, and Bondi Beach. They won’t be able to disembark at any of these places though, considering state borders have been closed due to the coronavirus. Instead, passengers will merely glimpse these iconic locations out the windows of a low-flying B787 Dreamliner, weather permitting. Read more…

More about Australia, Airlines, Scenic, Qantas, and Flights

Apple will launch its online store in India next week

Apple will launch its online store in India on September 23, bringing a range of services directly to customers in the world’s second largest smartphone market for the first time in over 20 years since it began operations in the country.

The company, which currently relies on third-party online and offline retailers to sell its products in India, said its online store will offer AppleCare+, which extends the warranty on its hardware products by up to two years, as well as a trade-in program to let customers access discounts on purchase of new iPhones by returning previous models. These programs were previously not available in India. Customers will also be able to buy Macs with custom configuration

“We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity, and by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People, in a statement.

TechCrunch reported in January that the iPhone-maker was planning to launch its online store in India in Q3 this year. A month later, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed the development, adding that Apple will also launch its first physical store in the country next year.

On its website, Apple says it also plans to offer financing options to customers in India, and students will receive additional discounts on Apple products and accessories. Starting next month, it will also let customers check out free online sessions on music and photography from professional creatives. And if they wish, they can engrave emoji or text on their AirPods in several Indian languages.

The launch of the online store will mark a new chapter in Apple’s business in India, where about 99% of the market is commanded by Android smartphones. The iPhone-maker has become visibly more aggressive in India in recent years. In July, the company’s contract manufacturing partner (Foxconn) began assembling the iPhone 11 in India. This was the first time the company was locally assembling a current-generation iPhone model in the country.

Assembling handsets in India enables smartphone vendors — including Apple — to avoid roughly 20% import duty that the Indian government levies on imported electronics products. Lowering the cost of its products is crucial for Apple in India, which already sells several of its services including Apple Music and TV+ at record-low price in the country.

The starting price of iPhone 11 Pro Max is $1,487 in India, compared to $1,099 in the U.S. The AirPods Pro, which sells at $249 in the U.S., was made available in India at $341 at the time of launch.

We know how important it is for our customers to stay in touch with those they love and the world around them. We can’t wait to connect with our customers and expand support in India with the Apple Store online on September 23! 🇮🇳https://t.co/UjR31jzEaY

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 18, 2020

10 Things Not to Say to Someone with Breast (Or Any Other) Cancer

Welcome to October. The leaves are showing their vibrant fall colors. Pumpkin spice everything can be found everywhere, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is underway.
Learning that a friend, family member, or coworker has breast (or any other) cancer is hard. Figuring out what to say next is harder. As a two-time cancer survivor, I know that there are plenty of things not to say to a cancer patient because I’ve heard most of them.

I’ve written my experiences and learnings down in my book Again: Surviving Cancer Twice With Love And Lists and I will share with you here important questions, phrases, or topics to avoid.

At least you have a good cancer.

No cancer is a “good” cancer. This is a backhanded way of asking about the patient’s prognosis. Rather than asking for such information, let the individual know that you’re there to listen and let her share what she’s comfortable sharing.

Cancer isn’t as hard as it used to be.

When I was fourteen years old in 1981 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer was really hard, especially when I threw up day after day from radiation treatment and couldn’t go to high school. Thirty-five years later when I was forty-nine—a wife, mom of three, and professional—with breast cancer, cancer still was really hard, especially after I lost my hair, had agonizing bone pain, and diarrhea during months of chemotherapy. While advances in cancer treatment have improved over the years, any treatment stinks. It’s okay to say, “This really sucks.” Because it does and thanks for noticing.

Are you getting the boob job with the tummy tuck?

A lumpectomy or a single or bilateral mastectomy is not a “boob job.” It’s the amputation of some or all of the breast tissue, possibly including nipples, and often resulting in the complete loss of sensation in the chest. Reconstruction, if chosen, may be done with implants or with some form of flap reconstruction where the surgeon may use tissue from other body parts to reconstruct the breasts. These are painful surgeries with fairly long recoveries and leave individuals profoundly changed in their self-identities and in their sex lives. So, not a tummy tuck.

Does it run in your family? Maybe you should have worked out more.

No one asks for a cancer diagnosis. It’s not anyone’s fault if they get one. Please leave the “should have” lectures at home and avoid attributing an individual’s cancer diagnosis to something they may or may not have done, such as the food they ate, their exercise habits, or family history.

My mother, sister, friend, grandma . . . had cancer. She died.

Individuals’ cancer experiences and outcomes are different, and these stories may not always be helpful or comforting, particularly if death is involved. Put yourself in the patient’s shoes, would you want someone to say that to you?

Have you heard about [this new treatment, supplement, anti-cancer diet]?

When I was in treatment, I received much unsolicited advice. I had a great team of medical professionals whom I trusted, and I didn’t want to hear about the latest Internet “cures,” ginger chews for nausea, or turmeric tea’s anti-inflammatory properties. Respect the patient – and her choices.

I Know How You Feel.

No, you don’t. But, you can ask her how she’s feeling.

You’re so brave, strong, an inspiration . . .

do not to say to a cancer patient

While not unkind, these expressions discount how individuals with cancer may feel, which, more often than not, may be sad, angry, terrified, and anxious.

You look great.

Cancer may come with hair loss, weight loss or gain, changes in skin tone, etc. Trust me, the patient knows she doesn’t look great and is probably upset about it. Instead, simply tell the individual how great it is to see her.

Nothing.

not to say to a cancer patient

If you’re not sure what to say, then say so. Don’t ghost your friend, family member, or coworker due to your fear or unease. It’s about her, not you.

So what can you do?

Remember that the person with whom you’re speaking is the same person she always has been. Listen or offer words of encouragement and support. Ask what you can do to help them in practical, concrete ways, such as making meals, taking them to appointments, or picking up children from school. Finally, talk to them about something, anything, other than cancer.

If you would like to learn more, read about my journey in my new book

The post 10 Things Not to Say to Someone with Breast (Or Any Other) Cancer appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

TechCrunch statement on sweep at our venue

There have been a couple of articles published in the last two days reporting on an impromptu sweep that took place outside of a venue we are using for our TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco this week. We wanted to detail what we know about what happened and the steps that are being taken to make this right.

This week we are hosting a virtual version of our TechCrunch Disrupt conference from a studio in San Francisco. In order to stage the show we rented a venue from a company named Non Plus Ultra

Yesterday we were informed by Non Plus Ultra that a reporter had reached out to ask about a sweep that had taken place in the early hours of last Thursday morning before our team arrived. This was the first time we had heard about Non Plus Ultra having coordinated an unsanctioned sweep outside of their building. 

This was not an action that we asked Non Plus Ultra to perform and is not something that we would ever ask them to do. Upon further investigation, we discovered that belongings and personal effects had been removed or discarded by a private company hired by Non Plus Ultra.

This is absolutely unacceptable, and we’re working to take immediate action. First, we will no longer be working with Non Plus Ultra at any of their venues in San Francisco for any TechCrunch event in the future. 

In addition, Non Plus Ultra has committed to working with local partners Community Housing Partnership, and DISH to support the homeless community on 12th Street. They are also committing to set up a system to replace or, where possible, return property to the people who were unfairly targeted by this sweep. TechCrunch will ensure that Non Plus Ultra follows through on these commitments. 

The city of San Francisco continues to struggle with a housing crisis and a large houseless population. Our neighbors who are living on the streets are suffering even more as they endure a pandemic and hazardous air quality from the California wildfires.

Everyone deserves to be treated with compassion and humanity, regardless of how or where they live. TechCrunch focuses on technology and the economy that drives it; much of that economy is centered in and around the Bay Area. 

Many of us live in San Francisco and in the surrounding areas and we feel it is our basic duty as humans to see that our events benefit the community and do no harm to our neighbors. 

To those affected by this situation we are deeply sorry. We will make every effort to see that this is made right.

Thank you.

 

PlayStation 5 preorders are now live — here’s where you can get your hands on one

PlayStation 5 preorders are now live — here's where you can get your hands on one

UPDATE: Sept. 16, 2020, 8:48 p.m. EDT PS5 consoles are already listed as “out of stock” at Walmart, Target, and GameStop. Don’t fret: We suspect there are more to come. We’ll keep updating this story as we spot more availability.

TL;DR:

  • QUICK LINKS: PlayStation 5 preorders are now live at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, GameStop

  • Official release is Nov. 12 in the U.S.

  • Regular edition will retail for $499; digital edition will retail for $399

Gaming’s next generation is just about here. 

Sony’s PlayStation 5 finally has a release date and a price: Both the regular and digital editions of the PS5 will launch on Nov. 12 in the U.S., and will retail at $499 and $399, respectively. The digital edition of the console has the same internal components as the regular version, but gets rid of the disc drive for an all-digital experience (and it’s $100 cheaper). Read more…

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