Syndicate content Business Insider
The latest news from Tech Insider
Updated: 4 days 10 hours ago

10 things in tech you need to know today

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 09:03

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.

  1. Apple banned all vaping apps from the App Store. The firm banned all 181 vaping-related apps from the App Store amidst growing health concerns.
  2. Xbox head Phil Spencer says it'll be "many years" before video game streaming becomes mainstream. Spencer was speaking to the BBC about Xbox's Project xCloud, a rival to Google's upcoming game streaming service Stadia.
  3. TikTok has now been downloaded more than 1.5 billion downloads worldwide on the App Store and Google Play. Mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower says the app has been downloaded more than 600 million times so far this year.
  4. The owner of TikTok is reportedly in talks with major record labels to launch a music streaming service. ByteDance is in talks with big music labels — Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music — for global licensing deals to include their songs on its new music subscription service, according to the Financial Times. 
  5. The UK Labour party wants to tax Amazon, Facebook and Google to fund a $25 billion plan for free, high-speed internet for the whole country. The party floated plans on Thursday to buy up most of the UK's existing internet infrastructures for an estimated cost of £20 billion (around $25 billion), which it pledged to massively expand. 
  6. Apple's iPhone 11 is proving an early success in China, according to official data. Apple shipped 10 million iPhones in China during September and October, Bloomberg reports.
  7. Twitter will ban all politicians from advertising on its platform, but it will make a few exceptions for news publishers and causes. Twitter's political ads policy prohibits any ads mentioning political candidates, elections, and ballot measures, but exempts news publishers and certain "cause-based" ads.
  8. Google is cutting back on its popular TGIF all-hands meetings as it reels from unprecedented leaks and unrest. CEO Sundar Pichai said the move was in response to a "coordinated effort" to share conversations outside Google as well as a desire to make better use of employees' time.
  9. SoftBank is planning to combine Yahoo Japan with messaging service Line. According to Bloomberg, the deal is pencilled in to happen in October 2020.
  10. President Trump will tour Apple's manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, CNBC reports. The tech giant shifted production of its Mac Pro to Austin in September after securing a series of tariff exemptions for computer parts.

Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for "Business Insider" in your Alexa's flash briefing settings.

You can also subscribe to this newsletter here — just tick "10 Things in Tech You Need to Know."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch Google reveal the new Nest Mini, which is an updated Home Mini

Categories: English

AR IN SOCIAL MEDIA: How immersive experiences drive sales, improve customer engagement, and boost awareness (FB, SNAP)

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 06:01

Augmented reality's (AR's) ability to link our digital and physical worlds is transforming the way brands engage with consumers on social media. Digital titans Snapchat and Facebook are monetizing consumers' love for AR with ads and branded experiences, opening the door for brands to use a new means of creativity and immersive storytelling to reach consumers in a way they appreciate and respond to.

While the use of AR in social media is still in early stages, the immersive technology is already becoming impossible for brands to ignore. This fun, memorable, and convenient way to merge a brand into consumers' lives is catalyzing the way brands escalate converted sales, drive consumer engagement, and lift brand awareness.

With AR ads expected to generate over $13 billion in revenue by 2022, and, as a result, account for over 12% of all mobile ad revenue by that year, it's crucial brands map out their AR strategies now to secure an early-mover advantage. 

In the AR in Social Media Report, Business Insider Intelligence dives into the growing social media AR ecosystem; explores why brands should integrate AR into their ads and branded experiences; outlines how brands are benefiting from embracing this new, immersive form of content delivery; and probes what's ahead for the space.

The companies mentioned in this report are: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • The number of mobile AR users is expected to have grown 100% year-over-year (YoY) in 2018 to pass 1 billion, and social media is quickly becoming consumers' go-to channel for mobile AR experiences. 
  • Consumers' viral acceptance of AR in social media underscores why brands need to embrace the technology to enhance their social strategies, and it's already proving to be an effective channel for engaging consumers and expanding their reach.
  • There are three clear goals brands are striving to achieve when implementing AR in their social media strategies: escalate converted sales and downloads, drive consumer engagement, and lift brand awareness. 
  • Additionally, there are numerous indications that the technology will improve in the near future, which will play a chief role in driving brands' AR usage within social media. 

In full, the report:

  • Sizes mobile AR adoption in social media and identifies the factors driving uptake among both consumers and brands. 
  • Details how brands stand to benefit from leveraging AR in social media and offers an inside look into how it has played a role in helping brands achieve their goals. 
  • Provides an overview of a trends that will heighten the social media AR experience and supercharge the opportunity for brands in the years to come. 

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now
  2. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you've given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the rapidly growing social media AR ecosystem

Join the conversation about this story »

Categories: English

Ford just revealed its Mustang Mach-E SUV — the first new Mustang-branded vehicle since 1964 and a Tesla challenger (F)

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 05:38

  • On Sunday, Ford revealed its much-anticipated, all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV ahead of the official opening of the Los Angeles auto show.
  • Ford also opened an online ordering site for the Mach-E, where vehicles could be reserved for a $500 deposit.
  • The Mach-E is the first new vehicle to join the Mustang lineup since the iconic pony car's introduction in 1964.
  • Ford said that the Mach-E can be outfitted with an extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive that could achieve 300 miles of range on a single charge.
  • In an "all-wheel-drive configuration," Ford said, the "Mach-E is targeting 332 horsepower."
  • The Mustang Mach-E is priced from $43,895, with high-performance version rising to more than $60,000. The vehicle should arrive in late 2020.
  • Two performance versions of the Mustang Mach-E will also hit the market by 2021. The GT trim "is targeting 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds," Ford said. The GT Performance Edition "is targeting a ... 0-60 mph in the mid-3-second range." Horsepower for each is 459.
  • The Mustang Mach-E will also get Ford's next-generation SYNC infotainment system, featuring a 15.5-inch central touchscreen.
  • Sign up for Business Insider's transportation newsletter, Shifting Gears, to get more stories like this in your inbox.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

LOS ANGELES — On Sunday, Ford Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jin Hackett, with some help from Idris Elba (who worked at a Ford plant in England before he made it big), revealed the much-anticipated Mustang Mach-E.

The all-electric SUV was controversial when announced. Mustang purists might not have wanted the pony car's iconic styling and nameplate applied to an electric vehicle, much less a crossover SUV.

But Ford took the plunge and staged a Tesla-level extravaganza to introduce the newest Mustang to the world.

Check out the Mustang Mach-E:

FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

The Mach-E's design is Mustang up front.

And Mustang in the back. The distinctive 'Stang fascia and rear taillights define the vehicle, along with the galloping pony icon on the grille.

The Mustang Mach-E evolved from sketches that show it was always going to be the 'Stang of all-electric crossovers.

"The Mustang Mach-E wholeheartedly rejects the notion that electric vehicles are only good at reducing gas consumption," Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's chief product development and purchasing officer, said in a statement.

"People want a car that's thrilling to drive, that looks gorgeous and that can easily adapt to their lifestyle – and the Mustang Mach-E delivers all of this in unmatched style."

Ford said it would offer the Mustang Mach-E with a "standard-range" 75.7-kWh lithium-ion battery and an "extended-range," 98.8-kWh battery.

The latter should yield 300 miles on a charge.

"The batteries are secured inside a waterproof battery case surrounded by crash-absorption protection," Ford said. "They are liquid-cooled to optimize performance in extreme weather and to improve charging times."

A variety of charging options are available.

Ford said that at a "peak charging rate of 150 kW, the Mustang Mach-E with an extended battery and rear-wheel drive can add an estimated average of 47 miles of range in approximately 10 minutes while charging on a DC fast charging station."

"The standard-range Mustang Mach-E is estimated to charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in approximately 38 minutes while charging on a DC fast charging station," the company added.

Owners who use a Ford Connected Charging station could "add an estimated average range of 32 miles per charging hour on a 240-volt outlet, based on extended-range, rear-wheel-drive configuration," Ford said. A mobile charger could add  22 miles per hour on 240-volt power.

Ford said it would work with Amazon Home to facilitate installation of charging stations.

Ford capitalized on the lack of a gas engine and drivetrain to create an expansive, open cabin for the Mach-E.

Like Tesla with the Model 3, Ford is doing away with the need to carry around car keys.

"Getting in and starting the vehicle is easy and effortless with Phone As A Key technology, which makes its debut in the Ford brand lineup in Mustang Mach-E," Ford said.

"Using Bluetooth, the vehicle can detect customers' smartphones as they approach, unlocking the Mach-E and allowing them to start driving without getting their phones out of their pockets or using a key fob."

The centerpiece is a 15-5-inch portrait touchscreen.

The next-generation Sync infotainment system simple interface "ditches complicated menus, making it easier to access features with touch, swipe and pinch controls that every smartphone owner will be comfortable using," Ford said.

Yep, the Mustang Mach-E has a frunk!

"Mach-E holds another surprise under its hood – a drainable front trunk storage unit," Ford said.

"Providing 4.8-cubic-feet of storage space, the front trunk is large enough to comfortably store the equivalent of a carry-on luggage bag. And because it's drainable, customers can easily pack it full of ice and keep their favorite beverages cold."


The Mach-E joins Ford's 55-year-old Mustang family, starting in late 2020.

  • The First Edition arrives in 2020, priced from $59,900. 
  • The Select trim hits in early 2021, Ford said, and starts at $43,895.
  • The Premium trim rolls out in 2020 and starts at $50,600.
  • A California Rt. 1 Edition hits in 2021 and should start at $52,400.
  • The GT performance models arrive in 2021 and start at $60,500.

Categories: English

Chatbots 101: How AI is Fueling the Disruptive Force in Customer Relations

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 03:01

Advancements in artificial intelligence, coupled with the rise of messaging apps, are fueling the development of chatbots — software programs that use messaging as the interface through which to carry out any number of tasks, from scheduling a meeting, to reporting the weather, to helping users buy a pair of shoes.

Businesses are foreseeing immense potential and are investing heavily in this burgeoning chatbot economy. In the near future, chatbots may do everything from distributing media content to offering personalized concierge services.

In The Chatbots 101 Report, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, breaks down how chatbots work and looks at the future of the market.

This exclusive report can be yours for FREE today.

Join the conversation about this story »

Categories: English

'Ford v Ferrari' trounces 'Charlie's Angels' to dominate the weekend box office with a strong $31 million opening

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 17:48

  • Disney/Fox's "Ford v Ferrari" won the domestic box office this weekend with an estimated $31 million.
  • It's the second-straight weekend that an original movie topped the box office.
  • Sony's "Charlie's Angels" was a major disappointment as it only took in $8.6 million (the studio projected it to earn between $12 million and $13 million).
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Original movies have been showing their might of late at the multiplex.

Last weekend Lionsgate's "Midway" surprised the industry by winning the domestic box office (but with a $18 million opening it was the lowest November release champ in 20 years), and now the Fox/Disney release, "Ford v Ferrari," took home the top prize this weekend.

The movie brought in an estimated $31 million, a strong start for a $90 million race car movie. The global take for the movie was $52 million.

Following a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes and award season hype surrounding its lead actors (Matt Damon and Christian Bale), director (James Mangold), and its beautiful cinematography (lensed by Phedon Papamichael), "Ford v Ferrari" just needed the grown-up audience to show up. And they certainly did.

Friday's $10.9 million take was fueled by males over 25, who made up close to half of the audience on the movie's first full day in release, according to Deadline.

It's a much-needed win for Fox, which made the movie before the Disney/Fox merger and is one of the few from the big studio to find success since Disney took the wheel (indie shingle, Fox Searchlight, has had several successes since the merger).

When Business Insider spoke to Mangold before he premiered the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival, he said Disney was fully backing the movie and added that he believes it's a type of title Disney wants Fox to release more of.

"It's the kind of movie Disney hasn't made, so it does expand their portfolio," Mangold said.

If this is the formula by Disney going forward for Fox — big budget movies catered to the 30-and-over crowd — it also potentially makes the studio a more consistent contender for Oscar glory, which historically is a rarity outside of its animation output.

The other big release of the weekend, Sony's "Charlie's Angels," had a disastrous opening.

Trying to relaunch the franchise following its successful transition from TV to movies in the early 2000s thanks to stars Drew Barrymore, Lucy Lu, and Cameron Diaz, this new "Angels" enlisted the talents of Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska (with Elizabeth Banks directing). But it did not excite anyone as the movie only brought in $8.6 million. Sony was projecting a $12 million to $13 million opening on over 3,400 screens.

It seems "Angels" suffered the same fate as "Terminator: Dark Fate." Audiences can sniff out a tired franchise from a mile away and with so many content options to choose from these days they are going to ignore anything they don't have to spend money on.

Disney will certainly repeat as champs next weekend as it opens the much anticipated "Frozen II."

Box office highlights:
  • "Midway" came in second place with a $8.7 million take. It now has a global total of over $53 million.  
  • Warner Bros./New Line's "The Good Liar" had a weak opening, only taking in $5.6 million domestically on 2,400 screens.
  • "Joker" is the first R-rated movie to cross $1 billion at the worldwide box office, as it hit the milestone on Friday.


SEE ALSO: The director of 'Ford v Ferrari' on how he convinced a studio to take a chance on his big-budget drama and what effect the Disney-Fox merger had

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch the 20 details you may have missed in the new trailer for 'Birds of Prey'

Categories: English

We spent a day with ScootScoop repossessing renegade scooters to find out why the services are drawing so much backlash

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 17:32

How do an international repo-man and a bike shop owner end up in business together?

Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, and for Dan Borelli and John Heinkel, it was a match made in frustration heaven.

"If you had been here a year ago, you wouldn't have been able to walk through these pathways because it was filled with scooters," Borelli told producer Sarah Wyman on a recent episode of Business Insider's "Brought To You By" podcast, as they walked toward his San Diego boardwalk shop.

The rentable e-scooters, made popular in recent years by Bird, Lime, Uber, Lyft and others, were his shop's natural enemy. Why walk into a shop and speak with a human, when you can rent the vehicles on an app in two-taps of a button?

But that convenience came didn't come without aggravation. In many cases, the companies set up shop overnight, angering residents and business owners who suddenly found the scooters cluttered on sidewalks and streets.

"This was, you know, getting under my skin big time," Borelli said.

That's when Heinkel, who happened to run an international repossession business, walked in.

"John came walking into my business one day and had a flat tire with his daughter's bike and he came on in the shop to get the tire fixed," Borelli said. "We started chatting about all the scooters that we're laying all over the property here and what we were doing about the and … looked at him like, I hadn't had a clue what to do about 'em."

"I egged him on a little bit," Borelli continued, "and said, 'what would you do about it? You got a towing shirt on and you can tow a car, can't you tow a scooter?"

It turns out, yes, he could tow a scooter, and ScootScoop was born.

At 5 a.m., while it's still dark and the scooters are just faint, blurry outlines and there are few people on the streets, the duo sat in a back alley behind a shopping center. They're here to pick up scooters that have been left on private property.

After a few minutes, Borelli spots a delinquent scooter on the property of a hotel that's contracted with ScootScoop. It's also in a fire lane. He pulls out his phone and starts the process of "ticketing" -- yes, they write their own "tickets" -- and then towing his first scooter of the morning.

"What we do is we fill out a tracking form for each scooter," Borelli said. "It's a very simple form that we've created. We fill out the type of scooter it is, where we found it, the device ID number, and take a photo of the location so we can show the scooter company where we found it. I'll even include the sign that says tow away here and they'll see that it's in a fire lane."

But as he begins to push the scooter, it begins loudly beeping. It's an anti-theft mechanism. Borelli has to hustle, because eventually the wheels will lock. Before long, about fifty scooters are in the back of the truck.

ScootScoop has a growing list of nearly 350 properties whose owners have contracted with them to rid their grounds of parked scooters. Borelli and Heinkel's daily route takes them past many of those locations. But they also rely on part-time employees back at the office to check on the very apps people use to rent the scooters. They can see if riders are dropping scooters off at properties that ScootScoop serves.

If the companies want to get them back out onto the streets, according to ScootScoop, they'll have to pay a $50 impound fee and a daily storage fee of $2 per day for each scooter.

Those can add up quickly.

"So if we're holding 10,000 scooters right now," Borelli said, "There's a $20,000 per day storage fee every day."

At one point, Bird wrote a check for more than $40,000 to retrieve about 1,800 scooters.

"Yeah we can buy a lot of coffee and donuts with that," Heinkel said.

Understandably, the companies aren't always happy. At one point, they even filed a lawsuit.

In a statement, a spokesman for Lime said, "ScootScoop has repeatedly been observed taking scooters that are responsibly parked" and that "their attempts to deputize themselves as an extension of the city is not only unlawful, but it is nothing more than a property theft scheme to generate income."

Borelli and Heinkel deny these claims, including comments that they tow scooters that are "properly parked." In fact, just hearing that description gets a rise out of Heinkel.

"At what point is a scooter properly parked on private property when you do not have permission from the property owner to park it there ... that's a mouthful," he said.

While that litigation is ongoing, the scooter tensions are likely here to stay. Both Uber and Lyft have said they have plans to continue investing in micromobility. But in some cases, cities are pushing back.

Los Angeles this month suspended Uber's permit for its Jump scooters in the city after the company refused to provide data on where the scooters are. Uber, in response, requested a hearing with city officials about the issue, The Wall Street Journal reported.

What's next? No one's quite sure.

"There is a good chance scooters are fads," Sarah Kaufman, Associate Director at the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University, told the podcast. "But there will be something next and something after that and something after that. And it won't be a car. It'll be something that helps people get around in a more healthy and fun way."

SEE ALSO: Amtrak had another record ridership year as it works toward its first-ever profit

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why it's so hard for planes to land on water

Categories: English

Uber's co-founders are starting to cash out of the ride-hailing giant. Here's the pitch deck they created back in 2008, way before it was a $45 billion ride-hailing giant. (UBER)

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 17:08

  • Uber, now a decade old, went public back in May on the New York Stock exchange, but has disappointed investors in the five months since. 
  • Co-founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp began cashing out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock this month as the company's lockup period expired. 
  • The cash outs provide a perfect opportunity to revisit "UberCab"'s original pitch to investors more than 10 years ago. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Uber founder Garrett Camp cashed out roughly $13 million of his massive stake in the company this week, according to regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The sale of 8,462,352 shares was worth $13,538,023, the filing shows, and will still leave the entrepreneur with a roughly 4.75% stake in the company. Camp also sits on the board, and remains the largest individual shareholder after Japan's SoftBank and the venture capital firm Benchmark, according to Bloomberg data. 

Last week, Camp's co-founder and Ubers famously ousted former chief executive Travis Kalanick began selling some of his stake as well, on a much grander scale. Kalanick, who's working to build a "virtual restaurant," or delivery-only kitchen business, sold $711 million worth of shares

The sales by both Camp and Kalanick came after the expiration of Uber's "lockup period," a set amount of time that's common in initial public offerings in which insiders are not allowed to sell their existing shares in the company. When Uber's period expired last week, heavy selling sent the stock down some 9% to record lows.

And as Uber fights to turn its first profit in the face of that falling stock price, the company looks very little like it did ten years ago when Camp self-financed some of the company's first rounds. "UberCab" wasn't always a network of more than 2 million drivers providing rides at the tap of a button in 165 countries around the world.

Instead, in those days of August 2008, the dream of a "next generation car service" was merely a slideshow presentation on founder Garrett Camp's computer.

Business Insider has covered the original pitch deck before, when Camp first published it on Medium in 2017, but we felt it deserved a fresh look in light of a the company's underwhelming May IPO, the launch of its freight business, an aggressive push into food delivery, flying cars, autonomous vehicles, and more

Here's how the founders envisioned Uber 10 years ago:

SEE ALSO: Leaked Uber employee survey shows what it's really like to work at the company ahead of its massive IPO

The very first slide is a time capsule from 2008. Yes, that's a BlackBerry.

10 years ago, hailing a cab was a very different affair.

While Camp highlighted "dead-time" with cabs, a 2018 report by Schaller Consulting found that for-hire vehicles drive an average of 2.1 miles without passengers between fares.

Also, most New York cabs are now Toyota Camrys, which the city estimates to have an environmental rating of 25 miles per gallon.

Uber has decimated the value of taxi medallions.

After the expansion of Uber in New York, the value of taxi medallions — limited amounts of which are sold at auction by the city — has plummeted by nearly 75%. And, of course, street-hailing is vital for those without smartphones or a credit/debit card.

Camp said Uber would be the "NetJets of car services."

This, in a nutshell, was — and still is — Uber's value proposition. NetJets, a company that allows you to buy fractional ownership in a private jet — has been owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway since 1998.

Uber originally wanted to screen its customers.

Today, anyone with a credit or debit card and a smartphone can instantly be connected with a driver. GPS and photos make finding your driver much easier — something that hasn't changed today.

It's not just luxury Mercedes sedans these days, either.

According to the original pitch, Uber cars would be luxury Mercedes sedans. Today the most popular cars are Toyota Priuses, Honda Civics, and Toyota Camrys.

Uber would be "Profitable by design."

Uber has yet to turn a profit. In its most recent self-reported quarterly financials, the company said its growth had slowed while losses were continuing to increase.

A car could be summoned using GPS or texting.

GPS is obviously still a main tenet of the app. SMS summoning, on the other hand, seems to have gone by the wayside.

Saving destinations with specific labels would have been much more important for text-hailing.

Still, saving addresses into the app for easy selection is a big time-saver.

All of Uber's projected use cases still hold up today.

Uber would be cheaper than a limo but safer than a cab.

Not all of Uber's projected eco-friendly benefits have played out.

The same 2018 consulting report found that an average of only 63% of for-hire miles driven are with passengers.

The fleet looks very different today than originally planned.

Today, a majority of the Uber fleet consists of Toyota Priuses and Camrys, Honda Accords, and Ford Fusions, as well as the luxury models it mentioned in 2008.

Uber now operates in more than 60 countries around the world.

Camp had a plan for surge pricing.

Though traditional surge pricing is now largely gone, Uber had long foreseen its ability to use trip data to forecast demand and incentivize drivers in areas of increased trip requests.

Knowing where riders and drivers are — and what areas will be popular in the future— is still one of Uber's most valuable products.

It all comes down to data.

Uber could be worth up to $120 billion on public markets — a far cry from the $4.2 billion market estimate it had 10 years ago.

Airport trips still make up a large chunk of Uber rides

In many cases, Uber rides have become so popular at airports that some cities have altered their pick-up and drop-off lanes to better facilitate ride-hailing. There are still cab lines, though.

Today, Uber operates in 400 cities worldwide. But its original ambitions were much smaller.

And the company easily hit its best-case scenario.

In the third quarter of 2018, Uber brought in $2.95 billion in revenue.

The market breakdown of smartphones in 2008 is another great example of just how ephemeral tech can be.

Today, Samsung makes up the largest smartphone-market segment, with Nokia's market share just a fraction of what it was then.

Most of the company's "Future Optimizations" have played out as well.

Referrals are still a big part of Uber's business, but not all of these caught on.

Uber had its eyes on medical or governmental transportation, but its exploration ended up going in other directions.

Healthcare is still around, though. Uber Health was announced in March 2018 as a way to provide "reliable, comfortable transportation for patients." It could be a big area for both Uber and its competitor Lyft, which recently announced the hire of a vice president for healthcare.

The rest is history.

Uber launched an Android version of its app two years later in 2010, when it began to rebrand from UberCab to Uber.

Categories: English

The top 9 shows on Netflix and other streaming services this week

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 16:15

  • Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the nine most in-demand original TV shows on streaming services.
  • This week includes Netflix's "Atypical" and Apple TV Plus' "Dickinson."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Apple TV Plus launched earlier this month and one of its shows has surged past the others in audience demand. "Dickinson" broke through this week's list, as did Netflix's "Atypical," which recently debuted its third season.

Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the nine most in-demand TV shows on streaming services. The data is based on "demand expressions," Parrot Analytics' globally standardized TV demand measurement unit. Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement, and viewership weighted by importance, so a stream or download is a higher expression of demand than a "like" or comment on social media, for instance.

Below are this week's nine most popular original shows on Netflix and other streaming services:

SEE ALSO: 'Dickinson' on Apple TV Plus has surged ahead of its other launch shows in popularity

9. "Good Omens" (Amazon Prime Video)

Average demand expressions: 24,757,057

Description: "Aziraphale and Crowley, of Heaven and Hell respectively, have grown rather fond of the Earth. So it's terrible news that it's about to end. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing. The Four Horsemen are ready to ride. Everything is going according to the Divine Plan … except that someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist. Can our heroes find him and stop Armageddon before it's too late?"

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%

What critics said: "What makes the diverting and mostly pleasurable "Good Omens" especially timely is something that hasn't much changed: Armageddon seems as real a possibility now as it did three decades ago." — New York Times

Season 1 premiered on Prime Video May 31.

8. "Dickinson" (Apple TV Plus)

Average demand expressions: 25,198,121

Description: "Dickinson is a half-hour comedy series starring Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld. Created by Alena Smith, Dickinson audaciously explores the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of rebellious young poet Emily Dickinson."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (season 1): 71%

What critics said: "Dickinson shows promise in a number of areas — among them striking visual language, an irresistible playfulness in the music supervision, and a sense of fun, if not humor, that pervades even scenes about mortality or misogyny." — (season 1)

Season 1 premiered on Apple TV Plus on November 1.

7. "Lucifer" (Netflix)

Average demand expressions: 26,326,856

Description: "Bored with being the Lord of Hell, the devil relocates to Los Angeles, where he opens a nightclub and forms a connection with a homicide detective."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 4): 100%

What critics said: "The more I think about it, the more I stand by my belief that the majority of season four is among the very best episodes the Luciferhas to offer." — AV Club (season 4)

Season 4 premiered on Netflix May 8.

6. "BoJack Horseman" (Netflix)

Average demand expressions: 27,543,029

Description: "Meet the most beloved sitcom horse of the '90s, 20 years later. He's a curmudgeon with a heart of ... not quite gold...but something like gold. Copper?"

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 6): 100%

What critics said: "BoJack may be the most important — and beloved — animated series since The Simpsons." — Time Magazine (season 6)

Season 6 premiered on Netflix October 25.

5. "The Boys" (Amazon Prime Video)

Average demand expressions: 27,722,672

Description: "'The Boys' is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes, who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians and as revered as Gods, abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. It's the powerless against the super powerful as The Boys embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about 'The Seven,' and their formidable Vought backing."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 1): 83%

What critics said: "The Boys is an expert deconstruction of superhero stories, with an appropriately wintery view of institutional power, be it corporate, governmental, religious, or caped." — Slate (Season 1)

Season 1 premiered July 26 on Amazon Prime Video.

4. "Atypical" (Netflix)

Average demand expressions: 29,820,433

Description: "When a teen on the autism spectrum decides to get a girlfriend, his bid for more independence puts his whole family on a path of self-discovery."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 88%

What critics said: "Atypical is proving yet again why it remains the best half-hour on Netflix's slate." — Forbes (Season 3)

Season 1 premiered November 1 on Netflix.

3. "Castle Rock" (Hulu)

Average demand expressions: 32,712,407

Description: "Misery has arrived. Lizzy Caplan plays a young Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's MISERY. In season two of this psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King's best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King's literary career: Cujo, The Dark Half, IT and Needful Things, as well as novella The Body and numerous short stories such as Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption, are either set there or contain references to Castle Rock."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 89%

What critics said: "Castle Rock remains an atmospheric, grippingly acted series that captures the feeling of King's fiction while exploring corners of his world that even he might not have imagined existing." — The Verge (season 2)

Season 4 premiered on Hulu October 23.

2. "Titans" (DC Universe)

Average demand expressions: 55,575,880

Description: "'Titans' follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and lovable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 81%

What critics said: "Those are a lot of arcs to complete in only three episodes but, judging by how episode 11 was paced, it doesn't look like the showrunners are in any hurry to conclude these plotlines." — Bam Smack Pow  (Season 2)

Season 2 premiered on DC Universe September 6.

1. "Stranger Things" (Netflix)

Average demand expressions: 110,827,747

Description: "When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 90%

What critics said: "This belated third season is in many ways the most movie-like thing Stranger Things has done. Its scope is much wider, from the greater reliance on elaborate digital effects to the sheer number of extras in Eighties fashions in so many scenes." — Rolling Stone (Season 3)

Season 3 premiered July 4 on Netflix.

Categories: English

Inside the influencer economy, a sports betting boom, and SoftBank's struggles

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 15:39


You might have noticed this week that Instagram is testing a feature that hides "likes" on posts in the US.

As Amanda Perelli reported, some popular influencers and their teams have already begun expressing concern over the change.

"For creators, it's a big change because likes are the number one tool for tracking post engagement," Adam Wescott, a partner at the digital talent-management firm Select Management Group, told Amanda. "They know within minutes how their content will do based on number of likes."

And, given how easy it is to buy followers, some are worried the change could lead to more fake influencers.

"Now that people don't have to make sure their likes correlate to their following, one of the easiest ways to spot fraud, this will create more fake influencers in my opinion," Joe Gagliese, the CEO of the influencer-marketing company Viral Nation, told Amanda. 

The shift is yet another milestone in the evolution of Instagram, and its relationship with a giant community of influencers who make a part- or full-time living from creating on the platform. 

Brands are set to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022, according to Business Insider Intelligence research. On Instagram in particular, the average price of a sponsored photo has soared from $134.04 in 2014 to $1,642.77 in 2019, according to IZEA. Of course, it's possible to earn a lot more. 

For example, Caitlin Patton, who has 24,900 followers on Instagram, told Amanda she typically earns about $2000 for a campaign on the platform. And Katy Bellotte, a YouTube creator and Instagram influencer, told Amanda that on average she earns between $2,400 and $5,000 for a sponsored Instagram post

Others have used Instagram to launch their own business. Julia Engel, who goes by Gal Meets Glam online and now has 1.1 million Instragram followers, in 2018 launched a dress collection that releases limited products every few months. Since launching, Engel's collection has earned $35 million in revenue, she told Amanda.

The rise of the influencer economy is nothing new, of course. But this week's debate over hiding "likes" is another reminder that for platforms like Instagram and YouTube, it's not just those scrolling through their feed when they have a spare moment who notice a design change.

There's a whole economy of folks who rely on the platforms for income who are also impacted. 

Betting boom

Gaming, media, and tech companies are clamoring to corner pieces of the US sports-betting market, which Morgan Stanley estimates could generate $7 billion in revenue by 2025.

Even Wall Street's looking for ways to get in on the action. As Rebecca Ungarino and Dan DeFrancesco reported this week, TD Ameritrade is considering business opportunities it could pursue within the world of sports gambling as it looks to make up lost revenue from moving to zero commissions.

Here's your 101 on the booming sports-betting market, courtesy of Ashley Rodriguez:

SoftBank's struggles

It's not just WeWork. As we reported this week, several other SoftBank-backed startups are also in the news for the wrong reasons:

-- Matt

Finance and Investing

A new Goldman Sachs tech exec hired from Amazon is taking a page from the Jeff Bezos playbook by urging engineers to ditch PowerPoint and write memos

Goldman Sachs made a splash earlier this year when it announced the hiring of a top executive from Amazon Web Services, the online retailers' cloud service.

Prosper, a pioneer in consumer lending, has held talks to sound out potential buyers

Prosper Marketplace, a pioneer of the peer-to-peer lending industry, has been exploring a sale, according to people familiar with the process.

Viking's former investment chief is gearing up to launch his own fund in mid-2020 and join the long list of Tiger Management grandcubs

The Tiger family tree continues to grow.

Tech, Media, Telecoms

Magic Leap's CFO is stepping down after it was 'mutually decided' it was time for someone new. Read the email Magic Leap's CEO just sent to employees.

Magic Leap Chief Financial Officer Scott Henry is stepping down and will help train a successor before transitioning into an advisory role, Business Insider has learned.

Dell-owned Pivotal is preparing for as many as 150 layoffs ahead of its $2.7 billion acquisition by VMware, and employees are openly protesting management over it

The Dell-owned developer software company Pivotal is facing significant job cuts as it prepares for the closing of its $2.7 billion acquisition by VMware, Business Insider has learned.

Here are the power players at Amazon and Microsoft who will play a key role in their battles over the government cloud market, which could be worth $100 billion

Microsoft may have defeated Amazon in the battle for the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud computing contract, but there's still billions of dollars worth of government cloud contracts on the table — and both companies have assembled influential teams to fight for their share. 

Healthcare, Retail, Transportation

Inside a restructuring of Walmart's legal department that's dragging on longer than execs promised. Some employees are exiting, and one used a meme of Al Pacino to say goodbye.

Walmart is restructuring its law department, and a raft of changes have unsettled insiders responsible for handling its massive caseload.

The head of 'Uber for Business' explains how it's helping the ride-hailing giant finally turn a profit — and reveals the new areas it's targeting

Uber is under massive pressure to turn a profit after an underwhelming initial public offering earlier this year and a $1.1 billion loss last quarter, and the path to getting there remains unclear. 

The self-driving car startup Zoox has less money and experience than Waymo. Here's why its CTO thinks it has an edge over the Google spinoff.

Waymo may have more experience and access to more money than any of its rivals who are working on self-driving cars.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 8 weird robots NASA wants to send to space

Categories: English

Salesforce's CMO explains why companies need to be 'values-driven' in order to keep their customers (CRM)

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 15:15

  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is well known for his activism, taking a stand on everything from LGBTQ right to homelessness to climate change, and its apparent in every part of his company. 
  • Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi says that the rest of the company needs to take a stand: everything from marketing to billing to customer support has to reflect the company's values in the "good times and the bad times."
  • "For a long time it was do you have the best product or service? And the reality is...people are saying, look at, we will switch brands if we don't believe in the core values of the company," Buscemi said.
  • She says that's the approach Salesforce takes with Dreamforce. It is meant to exemplify the company's culture and values. "We want, and we have diversity in our customer base and we want that reflected." she said. 
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has never been shy about his beliefs. He speaks often about business being the biggest platform for change, and the responsibility businesses have in tackling social issues. As one of a new breed of activist CEO, he's taken a stand on issues from LGBTQ rights, to homelessness, to climate change.

That outspokenness has translated into a business strategy for Salesforce, which has grown into a $143 billion cloud software company. 

Stephanie Buscemi, chief marketing officer of Salesforce told Business Insider that now more than ever, a company's brand is more than just its products and services — it's the values that it upholds. 

Buscemi said it's the view of Salesforce that companies now can't just be about capitalism: They have to be "values-driven" in their approach to everything from marketing to billing to customer support, and making sure those values remain apparent in the "good times and the bad times."

"For a long time, it was 'do you have the best product or service?' And the reality is...people are saying, we will switch brands if we don't believe in the core values of the company," Buscemi said. 

She said that those values are the focus of Salesforce's annual Dreamforce mega-conference, which will take over downtown San Francisco this week. At the event, Benioff, co-CEO Keith Block, and other top Salesforce execs will share updates on the company and its strategy. Salesforce is expecting 170,000 people to attend Dreamforce in person, with more tuning in to the event livestream, Buscemi said.

Buscemi said that the splashy event — which will feature guest appearances from speakers like President Barack Obama and "Game of Thrones" actor Emilia Clarke, as well as a Fleetwood Mac performance at the official after-party — doubles as a showcase of the company's culture and values.

She thinks of the event as less of a traditional tech conference and more like an event that focuses on how businesses can have a positive impact, and how technology can help it happen. Prominent figures like Apple CEO Tim Cook, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe will be on hand to talk about the intersection of social good and business. Representatives from the United Nations will also be on hand to offer an international perspective.

"We said, wait a minute, what are the top world issues and how can we inspire people to make change and contribute? We immediately went to our relationship with United Nations," Buscemi said. "We said we could try to create these conversations. But they're having these conversations; bring them here and inspire business leaders to take action and get individuals to take more action." 

She said what helps Salesforce do this is its community of so-called "trailblazers," its term for those who are innovating and leading in their respective fields. Those trailblazers will be in attendance at Dreamforce, she said, as invited guests of the company — coming from all walks of life, from different areas around the world.

"We want, and we have, diversity in our customer base, and we want that reflected," she said. 

There's still a lot to talk about in terms of the Salesforce platform itself, Buscemi says. The conference will highlight how Salesforce is building cutting-edge new technologies such as artificial intelligence into its products, she said, which will only underscore how far the company has come in terms of building out its products.

"So everything about Salesforce from when we started 20 years ago, it was CRM, customer relationship management...flash forward 20 years, it's about being number one in customer relationship management and leveraging the power of the latest innovative technologies to drive better customer relationships," Buscemi said.

Still, it appears that not everybody is convinced that Salesforce is living up to its values: Activists are planning to demonstrate at Dreamforce in protest of Salesforce's contract with US Customs and Border patrol — an issue that also sparked a backlash from some Salesforce employees.

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at or Signal at 925-364-4258. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 9 items to avoid buying at Costco

Categories: English

An abandoned 19th-century Napa Valley resort on 857 acres is now on sale for $50 million

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 15:06

A Bay Area tech billionaire looking for a project with some history would be smart to look at the Napa Soda Springs Resort, which just went on the market for the first time in 40 years. 

Home to 27 mineral water springs, the property was once the site of a legendary resort. Historically, natural springs were seen as potential cure-alls, and resort towns popped up on spring sites around the country. By the 1930s, there were over 2,000 spring resorts in the US.  

At the same time, the owners of the resort also had a factory where they bottled and sold Napa Soda, and they won the exclusive rights to use the Napa name in court. In 1897, San Francisco saloons reportedly ran out of Napa Soda, necessitating overnight shifts at the factory to restock. The drink was a 19th century Bay Area food trend, an early precursor to kombucha and Soylent trends of today.

Here's some history about the resort, and photos of what remains on the site after over a century.

SEE ALSO: A decommissioned nuclear missile complex in Arizona that was abandoned for decades is now on sale for $400,000

In 1856, a lawyer from San Francisco opened the resort. Over the next decade, he added amenities like tennis, billiards, horseback riding, and citrus groves for visitors. The rest of the century saw a pool, music hall, and pagoda added as well.

As spring resorts went out of vogue, the hotel shut down after World War I. Two later fires destroyed much of what was left of the property.

The resort was a place for wealthy 19th-century vacationers to soak in healing springs and breath mountain air.

The resort has never been renovated, and the remaining shells of the stone buildings are all that's left of what was once a popular vacation destination. They could be restored by a wealthy buyer willing to pick up the $50 million tab.

The 75-foot-tall Rotunda, introduced with a formal ball in 1877, was once a highlight of the property. Only the shell has survived multiple fires.

Because it has never been renovated, the remaining structures have an eerie quality.

The sale will be one of the largest Bay Area land deals, with 857 acres, several springs, and an 80-foot waterfall.

Despite the large size and remote feel, the property is only about 15 minutes from downtown Napa, and close to several wineries.

The property is listed with Gerry Rohm of JLL Capital Markets.

Categories: English

The highs and lows of the last decade for Jeff Bezos, from becoming the world's richest man to a high-profile divorce (AMZN)

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 14:57

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has had a pretty big decade.

He saw Amazon turn 25, became the richest man in the world, and even became a meme; he introduced the world to Alexa and bought Whole Foods. But he also weathered an attempt at blackmail and a high-profile divorce.  

As the decade draws to a close, let's take a look back at what Jeff Bezos has been up to in the 2010s.

SEE ALSO: A decommissioned nuclear missile complex in Arizona that was abandoned for decades is now on sale for $400,000

In 2010, Amazon launched Amazon Studios as something of a crowd-sourced, anti-Hollywood-studio.

Amazon Studios will acquire movies or series, or produce original ones. In the last few years, it's made shows like "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and movies like "Manchester by the Sea."

Source: Seattle Business Magazine, Amazon

That year, Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, attended "billionaires' summer camp" at Sun Valley together. At this point, he was worth $12.6 billion.

Source: Forbes

At some point in the early aughts, Bezos started shaving his head, but he hadn't yet committed to the bald look — which is now key to his iconic style — at this November 2012 appearance on the Today Show.

In this photo from 2013, Bezos' head seems to be recently shaved. We don't really see him with hair again after this point.

In 2013, Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million, which amounted to less than 1% of his net worth.

Source: Forbes

2014 was Amazon's first, and so far last, attempt at releasing a smartphone. The Fire Phone flopped, but by this point, Bezos was worth $30.5 billion.

Source: CNN

Amazon also bought streaming service Twitch that same year, which has launched popular streamers like Ninja.

Source: CNN

The company released the first generation Echo in 2014, one of the first mainstream smart speakers, and made "Alexa" a household phenomenon.

Source: TechCrunch

Amazon opened its first physical store in Seattle, and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015.

Bezos spent $65 million on a private jet that seats eight in 2015.

Source: Yucatan Times

In 2016, Bezos used his personal jet to bring a detained Washington Post report home from Germany.

Source: Business Insider

In July 2017, Bezos became world's richest person, surpassing Bill Gates. They switched back and forth briefly before Bezos retook the top spot, which he has mostly held onto ever since.

Source: Business Insider

The same year, Bezos' space company Blue Origin unveiled a rocket designed to take tourists to space, called New Shepard.

Source: Forbes

2017 was also the year that Bezos' transformation from tech nerd to buff, stylish dad became a meme.

Tweet Embed:
Former and current Jeff Bezos is literally the 'you vs. the guy she told you not to worry about' meme.

Source: Business Insider

In August 2017, Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.

Source: CNN

That same year, he also joined Instagram.

Source: Instagram

By 2018, The New York Times called Bezos a style icon, describing him as a "muscled-up, black-polo-shirt-and-shades digi-stud."

Source: The New York Times

Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos also made one of their last public appearances together at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2018.

Source: Forbes

In January 2019, the couple announced they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage.

Source: Business Insider

A day later, the National Enquirer published details about Bezos and his new girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez.

Source: Forbes

Shortly after, Bezos published a Medium post titled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker" that accused AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer, of trying to extort him over naked photos.

Bezos said the publication was threatening to release naked photos it had obtained of him unless he stopped investigating the source of other leaks to the tabloid. 

Bezos wrote, "Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten."

Source: Medium

In July, as part of his divorce agreement, Bezos transferred one-fourth of his Amazon shares to his ex-wife, making her the third-richest woman in the world.

Source: Forbes

These days, Bezos' most recent net worth hovers around $110 billion. He's reportedly thinking about his next big purchase, and he's said to be eyeing the Seattle Seahawks. Bezos also reportedly encouraged former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to jump into the presidential race. Meanwhile, Bezos' girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, is in the process of finalizing her divorce.

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider, Page Six, Business Insider

Categories: English

Motorola's iconic Razr flip phone was one of my favorite cellphones ever— but I wouldn't buy the new one

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 14:45

  • Motorola is reviving its popular Razr flip phone from the early 2000s as a new foldable smartphone. Preorders start on December 26 and it will cost $1,500.
  • Although I loved my original Razr back in 2005, I'm hesitant to buy the new one. 
  • While the Razr's vintage-inspired design, compact build, and foldable screen are impressive, the phone seems like it falls short in other areas compared to modern smartphones — particularly when it comes to the camera.
  • That wouldn't matter as much if the Razr wasn't so expensive. But at $1,500, it's pricier than Apple's iPhone 11 Pro or Samsung's Galaxy S10.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

Motorola is bringing back its iconic Razr flip phone from the early 2000s, a phone that probably invokes just as much nostalgia for millennial-aged smartphone users as their first iPhone or Blackberry handset. 

I had a Razr when I was a teenager sometime around the year 2005, and it was the first cellphone I was ever actually excited to use. Like most people my age at the time, I really just wanted a cellphone so that I could feel more independent and contact my friends whenever I wanted.

But until the Razr, I didn't really care what type of phone I was using, so long as it could text and make phone calls. The Razr, however, felt like the first phone that was a status symbol. With its angular edges, flat shape, and shiny, sleek keypad, the Razr looked unlike anything else at the time. 

The 2019 version, thankfully, maintains this general aesthetic, but with modern functionality. It has an expansive, crisp touchscreen that impressively folds in half, a camera with a high-resolution sensor, and a fingerprint scanner for unlocking the phone, among other familiar features. And compared to other foldable phones that have debuted this year, the Motorola Razr seems well-positioned to succeed.

For starters, it's less expensive than rivals like the Samsung Galaxy Fold. But it also revives a form factor that's proven to have resonated with cellphone users in the past — the flip phone — rather than asking consumers to get used to something entirely new. And most importantly, since it folds in half, it's more convenient to store in a pocket or purse. 

But those benefits alone may not be enough to make the Razr a hit. While its foldable and nostalgic design certainly makes the Razr stand out, it's unclear how well-spent that $1,500 will feel once the novelty of snapping your phone shut to end a call wears off.

That's because although the Razr is made to look and feel like a 2019-era smartphone, it's lacking in certain areas compared to rival devices from Apple, Samsung, and others.  

Here's why I wouldn't buy one. 

SEE ALSO: The 5 coolest features of Motorola's new $1,500 Razr phone

Its camera falls behind competitors.

The Razr's front-facing camera only has a 5-megapixel sensor, which is a far lower resolution than that of other high-end smartphones like the iPhone 11 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S10. All three of Apple's new iPhones, for example, have a 12-megapixel selfie camera, while all the phones in Samsung's Galaxy S10 family have a 10-megapixel front camera. 

But more importantly, the primary camera on the back of the Razr, the one you'll probably use to take the majority of your photos, only has one 16-megapixel lens. That may not sound like a shortcoming, but Motorola is putting a single lens camera on an expensive smartphone at a time when triple-lens cameras are quickly becoming the norm.

Both the iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10, for instance, have wide-angle, telephoto, and ultra-wide-angle cameras that allow for more flexibility when shooting with your smartphone. I've found the ultra-wide-angle lens on the iPhone 11 Pro and Galaxy S10 to be especially useful, considering it makes it possible to squeeze much more of the scene into a frame than smartphones of years past. It's a useful feature I'd sorely miss if I ever try switching to the Razr. 

It doesn't support 5G connectivity.

That might not be very important right now, considering 5G networks are far from being available on a widespread basis. But if you're investing $1,500 in a new phone, you'll probably want to hold onto it for at least three years. By not supporting 5G, the Razr could quickly feel out of date. 

Despite these shortcomings, it's still more expensive than today's high-end smartphones.

The iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10 both look like a bargain compared to the $1,500 Razr: the iPhone 11 Pro starts at $1,000, while the larger Pro Max starts at $1,100, and the Galaxy S10 starts at $900. The highest configuration of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which offers a 6.5-inch display and 512 GB of storage, is still $50 cheaper than the Razr at $1,450. It has four times the amount of storage space compared to the Razr and a larger screen, in addition to a triple-lens camera and higher-resolution selfie camera. 


For the price, it doesn't look like it will add much that's new to the smartphone experience.

The Razr's main selling point is that it can fold in half, making it much easier to stow away in a pocket or purse. That level of convenience is important considering today's smartphones are larger than ever.

But beyond making your smartphone more portable — and bringing back the ability to snap your phone shut to hang up on someone — it doesn't look like there will be much that makes using the Razr different than any other smartphone.

The Galaxy Fold, despite the durability issues it faced earlier this year, at least made it possible to do more with your phone. I loved using the Fold to expand the size of my phone's screen, making everyday tasks like playing a game, watching Netflix, or even just reading email feel more enjoyable. It made me hopeful for a future in which buying one device that serves as both a phone and a tablet felt like a viable option for most people

Buying a first-generation product can be risky.

It's exciting to see smartphones that experiment with new designs and form factors, and doing so is necessary to keep pushing the industry forward. But it's also worth considering that purchasing a first-generation product is always a risky move. Since it's Motorola's first foldable phone, and one of the first foldable phones period, there's no telling how well it's going to hold up over time.

No one would have guessed that the screen on Samsung's Galaxy Fold was prone to issues, but then several reviewers reported that the display malfunctioned after only a couple of days of use. The Razr's screen has a protective scratch-resistant coating, and the device has a zero-gap hinge that should protect the display from debris. These measures will hopefully ensure that the Razr isn't prone to damage as the first version of the Fold was, but it's impossible to know for sure without using it.

But of course, none of this has anything to do with what really makes the Razr appealing in the first place.

You could argue that I'm missing the point by picking apart the Razr's technical specifications and zeroing in on the features it doesn't have. The Razr isn't meant to be like the iPhone 11 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S10.

You're paying a premium to get a one-of-a-kind phone with a foldable screen that has the look and feel of the cellphone you probably had back in 2005. Even if you didn't have the Razr, you probably had a flip phone of some kind, and the new Razr is designed to emulate that experience with a modern twist. 

But it comes at a high price, just like the original. And in an era in which we rely on our phones for a lot more than we did back in the early 2000s, you'll have to decide whether it's worth the trade-offs. 

Categories: English

The CEO of developer startup Sentry explains the huge change it made to its business to prevent Amazon and other startups from profiting off its code

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 14:45

  • Earlier this month, the error monitoring software startup Sentry changed its software license to the Business Source License (BSL), which was created by the database startup Cockroach Labs.
  • Before, Sentry gave away its software for free as open source, but now, users can do whatever they want with the code for free except sell it.
  • Sentry CEO and co-founder David Cramer says today, investors are concerned that Amazon Web Services could be a threat to open source software companies, and he decided to make this change because AWS is a "huge business liability," but also because other startups have been selling Sentry's software.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

When Sentry CEO and co-founder David Cramer first told investors that he gave away the software he built for free, he faced lots of skepticism. 

Cramer originally created the error monitoring software as an open source product, meaning anyone could use, download, or modify it for free. In 2015, he decided to leave his job at Dropbox to focus full-time on turning the free software into a business.

"That was a very confusing idea four years ago," Cramer told Business Insider.

But now, he says, the concern isn't whether or not Sentry can make money: The company is one of a new class of startups, including GitLab, Neo4j, and DataStax, proving that it's possible to build a sustainable business on open source — something proven out further by IBM's $34 billion acquisition of open source giant Red Hat.

"People don't fear [the business model] nearly as much just because there's been a lot more innovation in open source," Cramer said.

Now, Cramer says that Sentry faces a different challenge as an open source company: The fear that other companies are unfairly ripping off its code and using it to make money.

Part of that fear stems from the continued rise of Amazon Web Services, which has been criticized for taking open source software projects and turning them into commercial, paid services — something that's perfectly legal under the rules of open source software, but that hasn't sit right with an increased number of companies in the space. 

But while Cramer acknowledges that the possibility that Amazon will give Sentry that treatment is a significant concern, that's not what gets under his skin.

"Our biggest issue is we had to file various complaints against startups throughout the years, taking our code and incorrectly licensing it," Cramer said. "It feels like it's a moral thing, almost stealing. They didn't contribute at all to it and think you should be able to commercialize it. It didn't sit well with us."

In a recent blog post, Cramer went further, saying that competitors have taken photos and even promotional copy from its website, using the fact that Sentry is available as open source as an excuse.

That's all why, earlier this month, Sentry announced that it was changing its model over to the Business Source License (BSL) — a license created by the database startup Cockroach Labs that has what's been called a "no-Amazon clause." It stems off the threat of AWS poaching its business, while also closing the door on bad actors.

"We made this change because of's a huge business liability," Cramer says.

'I don't know that it's so practical'

Amazon Web Services, the leading cloud computing provider, has a certain reputation: It's happy to use other people's open source code, the thinking goes, without giving enough in return. 

Companies like Elastic, MongoDB, Redis Labs, and Confluent have taken defensive steps after Amazon (and other clouds) started selling their code. The most dramatic weapons have come in the form of new software licenses, which place restrictions and limits on how others, especially cloud providers, can use their software. 

Sentry opted for that BSL, which essentially says that anybody can use and modify Sentry, as they have been — but that they can't sell Sentry for profit. Notably, the BSL does have provisions that over time, older code will become available as traditional open source, minus even that restriction.

After meeting with the Cockroach Labs team, Sentry decided on BSL because it was the "best compromise we found." In addition, the vast majority of contributions to Sentry's code are from its own employees, Cramer says, meaning that there was limited risk from alienating its community.

BSL and licenses like it have proven controversial in some corners of the developer community, where the dominant belief is that the idea of placing restrictions on code is inherently contradictory to the concept of open source. Cramer says that this is a nice idea, but it doesn't always hold up in the real world.

"Open source means wildly different things to different people," Cramer said. "Open source could mean this was built by the community. Open source to a lot of people means free. The hardcore definition is you can do whatever you want with that code, which is very idealistic. I don't know that it's so practical."

A 'huge business liability'

The reaction to the change has been mixed, Cramer says, with many concerns coming from open source advocates.

"Some people are very rigorous about what open source means, but for the most part, anyone who used Sentry was very supportive," Cramer said. "It's kind of a gray zone...A lot of people brought up if it's open source or not, but it's the spirit of open source. We have to reframe what open source is, in a way." 

Still, so far, Cramer says he feels good about Sentry's position, but he's open to making changes down the line if the license isn't working out.

Ultimately, he says, Sentry is in a good position: Just in September, Sentry closed a $40 million round of funding, underscoring what Cramer says is its success in having its "peer companies" in Silicon Valley use and love its product. 

"We're really big in the sense that we always joke internally that if you have a map of Silicon Valley and throw a dart, that company uses Sentry," Cramer said. "If you ask developers, hopefully they know what it is."

SEE ALSO: An exec at $2.75 billion startup GitLab resigns over claims that the company is 'engaging in discriminatory and retaliatory behavior' after proposing a ban on hiring in China and Russia

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 5 things about the NFL that football fans may not know

Categories: English

I tried the $3,000 digital weights machine that's like a Peloton for strength training and found how at-home fitness systems are the future — at least for those that can afford it

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 14:40

  • Tonal is an at-home workout machine that's like a Peloton for strength training that mounts to your wall and offers on-demand coaching and digitally-connected personalized exercises.
  • It costs $3,000 and is one of the first products in the at-home fitness workout market that focuses on resistance training instead of cardio, like Peloton does.
  • I recently gave Tonal a try to see how it compares to traditional weight lifting.
  • Take a look at how my workout went.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tonal is an at-home strength training machine that uses electromagnetism to create resistance and mounts to your wall for a personalized workout with over 200 exercises, like deadlifts, bicep curls, and overhead presses, and on-demand coaching.

With Tonal, performance anxiety at the gym could be a thing of the past — no more feeling self-conscious in front of your seemingly more experienced gym-goers, no more 30-plus minute round trips to the gym, and no more gym memberships.

That is, if you can afford the $3,000 price tag.

Tonal was invented by Aly Orady, a Hewlett-Packard veteran who wanted an easier way to stay in shape at home that didn't involve sweaty, used equipment and tedious trips to the gym.

It operates similarly to its cardio cousin Peloton, whose stationary bikes retail for $2,000. Both are a part of a growing trend that is seeing digital, at-home fitness systems on the rise and gym attendance and boutique fitness studios declining in popularity.

Tonal is one of the first products in the market with a focus on strength training. Fitness experts have increasingly stressed the importance of resistance training in addition to cardio to maintain good health. And in an interview with TechCrunch, Orady said that a significant amount of Tonal users also own a Peloton bike (amounting to a collective $5,000 investment, if you were wondering.)

I recently tried a Tonal workout for myself at the company's San Francisco showroom. It was a bit hard to get used to at first, but I knew that if I were to own one, I'd adjust and would eventually have a convenient way of staying fit in the privacy of my home.

Too bad it's way out of my budget and that even if it wasn't, mounting such a piece of equipment onto a wall in my rental apartment would likely make my landlord less than pleased.

Here's how my workout went.

SEE ALSO: Peloton superfans say the $2,000 bike changed their lives and helped them to quit therapy

When I work out, I opt for weight lifting rather than cardio. So Tonal stuck out more so than would a cardio-based at-home fitness machine, like the ultra-popular Peloton bike.

And that's something Tonal has going for it — it's among the first strength training-focused, digitally-connected fitness systems that you can use in the privacy of your home.

The company has a showroom in San Francisco's Cow Hollow neighborhood, so I decided to give it a try.

I was a little apprehensive. Eliminating the need to travel to and from a gym is appealing, and so is not having to work out surrounded by strangers.

But I didn't know how I'd like using what is called digital weights instead of tangible, more traditional dumbbells or machines.

The Tonal machine looks a lot like a flat-screen TV with two handlebars protruding from its sides. They're adjustable, with interchangeable attachments at their ends.

The resistance is created through electromagnetism, which basically means that the weights are digitized.

You can activate the resistance yourself from the Bluetooth-connected handles or from the screen. Just click the button on the handles with your thumb to turn the weights off …

... and on.

Before I could start working out though, I had to create an account. I filled in my weight, height, and chose my goals for using the machine. I chose the Build Muscle feature and the Get Lean tab as my secondary goal.

Users then do a one-time preliminary test before getting started that allows the machine to assess your strength and customize its settings to your body.

It had me do three different exercises to decide how much weight I should use for some basic moves.

Now, whenever I started any workout targeting whatever muscle group, the machine would know how much to "load onto my plate."

The weights that the machine assigned me were similar to what I would usually use at the gym, except for maybe the deadlift — I'll usually go a bit heavier there than 7 lbs.

The calibration test was also a good time for me to fiddle with the machine and get to know how it works.

There are three ways to adjust the handlebars.

A lever at the top slides it up and down the side of the panel, a lever in the middle of the bar allows you to move it vertically at different degree angles, and a button right below that can move the bars inward and outward.

It took me a bit to get the hang of it, but it also takes a while to get used to a set of machines at a new gym. After some time, I'd imagine using it would become second nature.

Peloton tunes you into live classes, but Tonal's sessions are pre-recorded at a studio in San Francisco featuring trainers in the area.

This was my first training session ever where I was following along with a virtual instructor, and I quickly learned that I was not a fan.

I kept turning and twisting toward the screen to try to keep up with him.

Once my strength was calibrated, it was time for the actual workout. There were a slew of programs to choose from, with all of them ranging from 15 to 30 minutes in length. The selection was a little overwhelming.

I settled on one called "Leg Day Revival." Sumo stretches, pull-throughs, and lunges were in the line-up. It was 3 sets of 15 reps.

All three of the moves are exercises that I don't usually gravitate toward in the gym, which means that I was relying on my virtual Tonal instructor to learn them.

This may have been one of my biggest qualms with the machine: I had no idea if I was executing the moves with the correct form.

This wasn't cardio exercise where the technique wasn't as much of a focus — you can certainly hurt yourself on an at-home treadmill or bike, but the movement is more straightforward.

Lifting weights incorrectly can lead to some serious injuries, and hypothetically if I was alone in my living room using a Tonal machine with improper form, no one would be around to help.

I asked one of the Tonal staff members if the machine could correct me if my form was off, and she said no. The only kind of correcting technology the machine employs is when you're lifting too quickly or too slowly.

I found myself wanting an actual human standing next to me showing me the best ways to perform the exercises.

What I liked more was the free-weights feature on the machine. It allowed me to choose individual exercises to do across different muscle groups.

I was able to choose exercises I was more familiar with, like a bicep curl. Since I've done these before, I was more confident that my form was more on track.

I tried out some of Tonal's unique features with the bicep curl, like the Chains mode, which simulates a traditional weight-lifting practice that adds more weight at the top of a lift.

There's also an Eccentric mode that challenges you during the negative part of your rep, which means that when gravity is making a lift easier on you, the machine kicks in with a dose of resistance.

The Eccentric mode is also a unique industry feat, as reported by Inc. In a gym, even if you have a personal trainer, there's no way to add resistance when gravity is working on your side in the middle of a lift. Tonal can do that.

Source: Inc

The machine also has a built-in spotter feature, which doesn't correct you if your form is off, but will lessen or increase the weight if you're going too slowly or too quickly, respectively.

For example, when the Chains mode was activated on the bicep curl, I struggled — and the machine picked up on that. It automatically decreased my weight a couple notches.

When the workout was over, my muscles burned. I never doubted that a Tonal workout would be effective and that I'd wake up sore the next day (which I did.)

But the issue is that these machines are still so far out of the price range for a large group of people, including myself, even though there are payment plans.

A Tonal machine retails for $2,995, plus a monthly $49 video training subscription fee. And on top of that, unlike Peloton, a Tonal machine requires mounting to a wall in your home.

Source: Business Insider

Tonal professionals can attach the machine "to most walls," with only about eight holes being made, a Tonal representative told me via email.


Source: Tonal

The Tonal spokesperson said that the company has a number of customers who are renters that enjoy the compactness of the machine. But many rental apartments likely wouldn't allow the installation, so you should definitely check first before buying.

So the target market for this kind of equipment isn't just those who could afford the $3,000-plus investment for the machine — it's also likely those who can afford to own a home.

Which is not an inexpensive feat in the pricey Bay Area, though Tonal is used by customers across the nation.

The Tonal panel does look a lot more aesthetically pleasing when it's not in use than a hodgepodge bunch of dumbbells laying around your house does. And I can't deny that, at the end of the day, the machine is effective.

Fitness experts have also increasingly stressed in recent years that staying in good health takes more than just cardio. You need to lift, too.

Source: Business Insider, Men's Health, Healthline

So, as TechCrunch reported, a large portion of Tonal users also own a Peloton to get in their regular cardio.

Source: TechCrunch

Which means that fitness aficionados with a predilection for at-home workout machines — and with the budget to match — are shelling out a collective $5,000 for both a Tonal and a Peloton and never have to go to the gym again.

I guess that leaves more space on the communal squat rack for us mere mortals.

Categories: English

A beloved video game studio outsold some of October's biggest releases with its first game since being acquired by Microsoft

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 14:00

  • October is usually one of the biggest months of the year for new video game releases, and this year a new release from a beloved studio took the spotlight.
  • A newly launched game, Obsidian Entertainment's "The Outer Worlds" was the second best-selling game of the month.
  • "The Outer Worlds" is Obsidian's first game since being acquired by Microsoft in November 2018. As an independent studio, Obsidian was beloved for games like "Fallout: New Vegas" and "Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords."
  • The Nintendo Switch continues to dominate the hardware market as consumers wait for the next PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

October is usually one of the biggest months of the year for new video game releases as eager publishers look to get their best games out on the shelves for the holiday season. But with multiple studios prepping for the launch of the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Project Scarlett next year, a bunch of blockbuster titles are waiting until 2020 to launch.

That's left room for some lesser known games to take the spotlight, like Obsidian Entertainment's "The Outer Worlds." "The Outer Worlds" was the second-best selling game of October, according to data from the NPD Group. It was surpassed only by "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," the latest entry into the perennial best-selling franchise.

"The Outer Worlds" is Obsidian's first game since being acquired by Microsoft in November 2018. As an independent studio, Obsidian was beloved for games like "Fallout: New Vegas" and "Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords." "The Outer Worlds" is a single-player shooting game with role playing mechanics that let players alter the story.

"The Outer Worlds" was included in Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass when it was released on October 25th, but that didn't stop people from buying the game outright. Despite being made by a Microsoft subsidiary, "The Outer Worlds" is also available on PlayStation 4, and is coming to Nintendo Switch next year.

In comparison to last year, video game sales in October were down 34 percent, according to the NPD Group. However, October 2018 featured some of the biggest hits of the decade, including"Red Dead Redemption 2,
"Marvel's Spider-Man," and yet another "Call of Duty."

Nintendo's big exclusive release of October, "Luigi's Mansion 3," earned the third spot on the sales chart with a solid debut, while the company's new exercise game "Ring Fit Adventure" was the 10th best-selling game of the month.

"Madden 20," "NBA 2K20," and "FIFA 20" all made it onto the charts as the fall sports season hits a stride.

Though it's made it into the top 10 in two consecutive months, Ubisoft's "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint" appears to be a bit of a sale disappointment. The military survival game has been criticized for being too similar to "Tom Clancy's The Division 2," another Ubisoft game released earlier this year.

The Nintendo Switch continues to dominate the hardware market as consumers wait for the next PlayStation and Xbox consoles. The new Nintendo Switch Lite helped push the console over the 40 million mark in lifetime sales in October.

These were the top 10 best-selling games of October: 

SEE ALSO: Everything we know about 'Pokémon Sword and Shield,' the newly released Pokémon games for Nintendo Switch

10. "Ring Fit Adventure" (Nintendo)

"Borderlands 3" (Take 2 Interactive)

8. "FIFA 20"/Electronic Arts

7. "WWE 2K20" (Take 2 Interactive)

6. "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint" (Ubisoft

5. "NBA 2K20" (Take 2 Interactive)

4. "Madden NFL 20" (Electronic Arts)

3. "Luigi's Mansion 3" (Nintendo)

2. "The Outer Worlds" (Take 2 Interactive)

1. "Call of Duty Modern Warfare" (Activision Blizzard)

Categories: English

Check out the pitch deck Freetrade used to get a $15 million Series A to take on Robinhood and Revolut

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 11:01

The battle for Europe's stock traders has stepped up a notch after Robinhood's UK challenger, Freetrade, secured $15 million in a fundraise.

The firm's total stands at $26.2 million to date.

The Series A round sees investors Draper Esprit topping up the £3.8 million ($4.9 million) Freetrade raised through crowdfunding earlier this year with an additional $7.5 million.

Draper's investment comes at the same terms, namely a £52 million valuation, as other crowdfund investors, per Altfi

The company confirmed to Business Insider that it would use the new funds to extend its engineering talent pool and also open a new office in Amsterdam, at an undetermined future date. 

"We took the view that this isn't a 'winner takes all' market, the opportunity to get millennials to save and invest more is huge," a Draper Esprit spokesperson told Business Insider. "Most importantly, we felt their mission was totally aligned with our own—as a listed VC we are also on a mission to open up investment into tech to the general public."

Fee-free stockbroking has exploded in the US, with Robinhood gaining support among US millennials. Freetrade is looking to do the same in Europe despite the imminent arrival of its colossal American competitor which is valued at $7.6 billion, according to Crunchbase. 

The company's latest innovation is to offer UK users access to "fractional" or parts of individual shares in European companies, something which is available for US companies, which Freetrade claims is a first.

Other competitors are lurking, however, with challenger bank Revolut also offering a stock-trading feature. The relationship between the two companies is already heated after Freetrade's cofounder and former CTO, André Mohamed, left the firm to become head of wealth and trading products at Revolut at the start of 2019 in murky circumstances. 

Freetrade operates on a "freemium" model. Customers are able to open an account free of charge and make trades but can pay more for quicker transaction speeds.

The startup's core demographic is between ages 25 and 35. The next stage in the company's evolution is to bring in older investors who have their main savings with UK incumbents such as Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell. 

Check out Freetrade's redacted pitch deck below:

SEE ALSO: Eschewing pitch decks and personal connections in favour of data — here's how European investor EQT Ventures uses AI to stay on top

Categories: English

One chart shows just how dire WeWork's revenue situation is

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 10:27

  • A simple chart showing WeWork's revenues plotted against its losses over time raises an existential question...
  • Can this company survive?

When The We Company pulled its IPO for WeWork in September it stopped disclosing its financial statements in the full, formal way required by SEC rules.

Instead, as the crisis at the company rumbles on, it published a less formal Q3 2019 presentation to investors, obtained by Business Insider a few days ago. That deck shows WeWork suffered a net loss of $1.3 billion on revenues of $934 million in Q3.

When you plot the company's revenue growth against its growing losses you get a dramatic snapshot of just how ugly WeWork's business is right now:

It is normal for a new company to make losses in its early years. Companies going public often carry losses on their books. It is normal to burn investment money in order to grow and scale a business. As long as the underlying business is solid, temporary losses aren't really a problem.

Previously, WeWork's losses were lower than its revenues. In some quarters, losses even declined. That suggested these losses could be pared or reversed completely at some point in the future. Indeed, WeWork's revenues are growing nicely.

What the above chart shows, however, is a company whose losses are increasing as time goes by. The more WeWork grows, the worse it gets. WeWork now spends about $2.25 in order to generate every $1 in revenue.

Obviously, this company is in no condition to do an IPO.

A bad sign gets worse

In Q3, the losses vastly eclipsed revenues. That underscores an existential question around WeWork: Is this company a "going concern"? The term "going concern" is the official jargon accountants use when they believe there is a realistic prospect that the company might go bankrupt.

On the numbers above, from WeWork's own investor deck, it is difficult to imagine that this company can survive.

There are some things we don't know. WeWork's latest presentation doesn't give a full set of official financial statements, and they may include cashflow information that would make the picture rosier. WeWork does have the ability to generate positive cashflow and it can make some buildings profitable.

But, on WeWork's own numbers, there is no sign of that helping the company's income statement.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Apple just released iOS 13.2 with 60 new emoji and emoji variations. Here's how everyday people submit their own emoji.

Categories: English

AI 101: How learning computers are becoming smarter

Sat, 11/16/2019 - 23:01

Many companies use the term artificial intelligence, or AI, as a way to generate excitement for their products and to present themselves as on the cutting edge of tech development.

But what exactly is artificial intelligence? What does it involve? And how will it help the development of future generations?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in AI 101, a brand new FREE report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, that describes how AI works and looks at its present and potential future applications.

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

Join the conversation about this story »

Categories: English

I saved $100,000 before age 25 with the help of an app I've used for years

Sat, 11/16/2019 - 18:48

As a money coach, one of the top five things I tell my clients to do is create visual goals for their finances. 

People who write down their financial goals are 33% more likely to achieve them, according to research. Some people like making games out of their financial goals, while some like keeping a coloring sheet on the wall that tracks their progress. 

Others don't need a gold star each time they put money into their savings, but it's still helpful to see a complete picture of your overall wealth and financial situation. Personal Capital is the free tool I check daily to keep a close eye on my financial picture.

What I love about Personal Capital

I used Personal Capital daily to track my savings and investments to reach $100,000, a goal I achieved earlier this year. It kept me on track and motivated to make my goal a reality.

The Personal Capital dashboard makes looking at spending habits easy and intuitive. First, you link all your accounts to the tool (including any investment or retirement accounts). Then, Personal Capital scans that data and looks for patterns in your monthly cash flow.

Now you have the knowledge of how much money you're bringing in and how much is going out right at your fingertips. After all, you can't start making financial decisions until you understand your cash flow.

Personal Capital also has financial advisers on call if you need any extra help deciphering what your dashboard means, or if you want some extra help making plans for your future. 

The best part is the free initial consult, which lets you decide if going with their professionals is right for you. 

Want to use Personal Capital to track your wealth and grow your savings? Open an account today »

A few notable features about Personal Capital that I love and relied on as I saved towards my goal: 

Retirement education 

Investing for retirement is confusing, complicated, and sometimes so far in the distant future that it's hard to comprehend. If you're lucky, your employer offers financial consultations. But for most people, you're on your own making those decisions. 

The retirement planner helps you adjust your goals by offering tools that can help forecast how much money you'll need to retire and the amount of money you'll need to save to get there. 

Plus, Personal Capital estimates how much you'll pay in fees over a lifetime so you can be prepared.

Real-time investment updates

Oftentimes, when you login to a retirement/investment account, it will give you delayed value information by a business day or so. You're in the dark about how your investments are really doing.

Personal Capital gives you real-time updates based upon how the market is performing. So when you see a dip or surge, you get a clear picture of your overall wealth in the moment. 

The savings planner

In order to reach financial freedom, you need to have a few different types of savings: retirement, emergency funds, and lowering your overall debt. The Savings Planner tool shows you what you can afford to save, or what you should be saving based upon your goals.

My rule of thumb: work towards building an emergency fund of at least three months of expenses, pay down your high-interest debt, like credit cards, and then add to retirement. 

As always, there are a few downsides to every tool that you use: 

  1. At its core, Personal Capital is a net-worth tracker. If you're someone who isn't interested in tracking that (you should be!), there are other tools out there.
  2. If you want day-to-day tracking of your personal expenses, it doesn't give you that type of breakdown. There are other applications that categorize your spending to help summarize where you could be cutting costs. I recommend Charlie, which gives me alerts if I'm starting to near my monthly budget spending. 

Those factors aside, this tool was there for me as I worked towards my savings goal, and I recommend it highly.

Personal Capital makes tracking your wealth easy. Open an account today and take charge of your savings and investments »

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How to find water when you're stuck in the desert

Categories: English