Monthly Archives: November 2015

This website just helped me book a super-cheap tropical vacation in December

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A picture from my family’s vacation to Puerto Rico last year.
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Jillian D’Onfro

An amazing feature on a lesser-known travel website just saved my family’s vacation plans.

For the past several years, my sisters, mom, and I have traveled together after Christmas.

We had discussed going to Mexico City this time around after finding some cheap flights, but we all slacked off these past few months and didn’t actually book anything.

So, when we got together for Thanksgiving, our hearts plummeted when we discovered how high the cost of flying there had crept up. It had become too expensive to justify, as were flights to every other warm place we could think to search on our staple travel site, Kayak.

But just in time to fend off the doldrums, I remembered a suggestion that my coworker Harrison Jacobs had made last year to check a site called Skyscanner.

Though Skyscanner works like Kayak in many ways – it automatically searches a bunch of airlines at once to find the best price for a given destination and date – it has one magical, unique feature.

You can choose your departure city and then select an “Everywhere” option that will show you a list of the cheapest flights possible, to anywhere in the world.

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Skyscanner

Thanks to Skyscanner, we booked flights to the French Caribbean island Martinique for an absurdly lower price than anything we’d searched for on Kayak.

Here’s how Skyscanner ranks flights:

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Skyscanner

With a still-smoldering volcano, gorgeous beaches, and a mix of French and West Indian culture, Martinique sounds like a gem.

But never in a million years would we have thought to search for flights to go there.

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Shutterstock

If you’re trying to book a last-minute vacation and don’t really care where you go, I thoroughly suggest trying out Skyscanner’s Everywhere feature. Maybe you’ll find the perfect destination too!

People’s racist Facebook comments are ending up on billboards near their homes

Racist commenters beware: Your words might show up in your own backyard.

A new campaign in Brazil is plastering billboards with racist Facebook comments. The point is not to expose anyone but to educate people that their words have a real impact.

The campaign, “Virtual racism, real consequences,” is using the location tag from Facebook posts to find where the offenders live. The group is then buying billboard space in their neighborhoods, but blurring out the names and photos of the commenters.

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The comment roughly translates to “I got home stinking of black people.” “Preto” is an offensive way to say “black” in Portuguese, compared to “negro,” which is neutral.
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Racismo Virtual

Behind the project is the Criola group, a nonprofit that works to defend the rights of black women in Brazil.

The campaign was prompted after Brazilian journalist Maria Júlia Coutinho was targeted by racist Facebook comments online. Coutinho, the first black weather forecaster on Brazilian prime-time television, corrected another anchor on air in July. When another news site praised her for getting the terminology correct, Facebook commenters responded with a torrent of comments against everything from her hair to her race.

The offensive comments range from telling her to “go f— herself” to saying her nickname “Maju” made it clear she was from Africa.

The project is republishing those comments as a reminder that virtual bullying can have an impact in the real world.

“We omit names and faces of the authors because we have no intention of exposing anyone. We just want to educate people so that in future they think about the consequences before posting racist comments,” the project says.

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The comment roughly translates to “If you showered, you wouldn’t be so filthy.”
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Racismo Virtual

Scientists say being funny is associated with having above-average intelligence

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Louis CK: A modern-day Einstein?
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Netflix

The fact that I struggled to come up with a joke to open this article is somewhat disconcerting, given the multiple studies that link being funny to above-average intelligence.

In one 2011 study, researchers at the University of New Mexico asked 400 psychology students to complete measures of abstract reasoning ability and verbal intelligence before writing captions for a series of New Yorker cartoons.

Sure enough, captions that were rated funnier belonged to students who scored higher on the tests of cognitive ability. In particular, students who scored high on the test of verbal intelligence were likely to produce funny captions.

Another study out of the University of New Mexico used a group of comedians to complete a similar procedure. Results showed that comedians not only produced more and funnier caption ideas than the students had, but also scored higher on the test of verbal intelligence, which generally correlates with overall intelligence.

Other research, published in the 1970s, looked at 55 male and 14 female comedians, and found that they scored significantly higher on IQ tests than the average population. Specifically, male comedians scored on average 138; female comedians scored on average 126. The average IQ score is between 90 and 110.

At least on some level, people may be aware that humor is a potential sign of intelligence, and may therefore be drawn to funnier mates. The University of New Mexico study that focused on students also found that funny people reported having had more sexual partners than their duller peers.

Of course, if you don’t have a knack for cracking people up, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not intelligent – or that you’ll never attract a romantic partner. A good sense of humor is just one trait among many that can signal above-average smarts.

The most creative thing central banks have done since the financial crisis has had ‘unspectacular’ results

The most creative thing done by central banks since the financial crisis is taking benchmark interest rates into negative territory. But, according Willem Buiter and his team at Citi, the results have ultimately been fairly “unspectacular.”

“Overall, the striking point is how unspectacular the move to negative rates has been,” Buiter and his team wrote in a note to clients on Monday.

“Money has not flooded out of the banks, exchange rates have not plunged, thrift has not been destroyed, and inflation has not soared. After many years in which it was virtually unthinkable for interest rates to go below zero, the evidence suggests that there is no discontinuity at the zero bound.”

Wind the clock back just 10 years or so and the economic orthodoxy more or less said there was a lower bound on monetary-policy rates that existed at 0%. Going below that rate, in this line of thinking, would basically create a malfunction in the modern economic system.

This has not happened. We’ve seen the European Central Bank, the Swiss National Bank, the Danish Nationalbank, and the Swedish Riksbank all take interest rates into negative territory. This week, the ECB looks poised to cut its deposit rate – currently pegged at -.20% – further into negative territory, a development that, again, was more or less unthinkable not long ago.

And so strategists like Buiter and central bankers like ECB president Mario Draghi are now past the point of thinking about the feasibility of negative rates but considering how much lower rates can go.

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Citi

The most basic idea supporting the reason for taking interest rates into negative territory is that, by effectively charging large institutions to park money at the central bank – rather than paying these depositors interest, as had been the case for most all of economic history – central banks hoped to spur increased lending and financial activity in the economy.

But for a few reasons, saying that the ECB’s deposit rate is -0.2% and therefore all deposits held by European banks at the ECB are charged 0.2% on a regular basis doesn’t quite work.

Here’s Citi (emphasis added):

The central banks differ slightly in the implementation of negative rates. In the euro area, Denmark and – especially – Switzerland, a significant portion of reserves banks hold with the central bank are exempted from the negative policy rate (and instead earn a zero rate in Denmark and Switzerland, or the refi rate in the euro area). These strategies aim to weaken the pressure on banks to pass through the negative policy rate to household and corporate bank deposits – in effect creating more downward pressure on interbank rates than on retail interest rates.

And so this passage sort of goes to the heart of why central-bank policy has been so greatly studied and, in some corners of the discussion, panned as inadequate in response to a financial crisis that at its core was about over-leveraged consumers.

Retail banking rates have gone to 0% but not below, with negative interest rates thus prevailing only inside the financial system and for some government borrowing.

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Citi

The amount of currency in circulation, meanwhile, has increased modestly but not to the extent that someone at the furthest end of a central bank’s policy transmission mechanism – i.e., a regular person – is going to really notice a big uptick in economic activity or prices.

(One of the consistent puzzles during all phases of the postcrisis response from central bankers has been the persistent lack of an increase in the velocity of money, which has traditionally been viewed as a proxy for increasing economic “dynamism” or something like that. This continues.)

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Citi

But so how much lower can interest rates go?

Here’s Citi (emphasis added):

The Riksbank, ECB and DNB have all signaled the possibility that rates could fall further, with the DNB stating that “the lower bound on monetary policy rates in Denmark is lower than the current interest rate on certificates of deposit of -0.75%.” Since holders of central bank reserves can in principle shift into currency, the effective lower bound on policy interest rates should be determined by the point at which banks are indifferent between holding central bank reserves and currency. That point is below zero, due to the ‘carry cost of currency’, the cost of safely storing, moving and handling currency (including insurance costs), and including the cost of using currency. Conventional estimates of these carry costs are usually not more than 50bp, at least for banks that can benefit from economies of scale – but the central banks of Denmark and Switzerland have already shown that it is technically possible to go below that level (especially with the Swiss model which limits banks’ incentives to switch reserves into currency).

Given the complexity and largely theoretical nature of this issue, Citi’s response is, all things considered, pretty tight.

What the firm ultimately argues is that as long as central banks can get their depositors to keep their money as reserves at the bank instead of calling their claims on these deposits in the form of cash, interest rates can keep going lower.

Obviously, holding actual cash on your balance comes with its own cost, not only because of the declining value of that cash because of inflation but the potential costs incurred by redeploying that money on something else in the future (among other insurance and storage issues).

And while Citi thinks there might be a sense that negative interest rates are a temporary phenomenon potentially tamping down the amount of deposits being converted to currency, it isn’t likely, in Citi’s view, that rates could go much lower without “institutional changes” such as the abolition of physical currency altogether (which seems like a non-zero possibility in Sweden).

The broader takeaway is that when people talk about interest rates in the abstract there’s often an assumption that monetary policy – like much of economics – can be carried out in a somewhat frictionless environment, which is certainly not the case.

Going forward, Citi expects that, in addition to the ECB’s pending rate cut, the Riksbank will cut rates by the end of next year while the Bank of Israel will likely join the negative-interest-rate crowd in 2016. The Czech National Bank and the Bank of Japan also look like candidates for negative rates in the “not too distant” future.

On a longer horizon, Citi notes that in the last 15 years, each of the ECB, Federal Reserve, and Bank of England have embarked on major rate-cutting cycles in response to economic events, with both of those cycles seeing rates fall more than 3%.

And given that markets don’t expect any rate increase cycles to bring benchmark rates much above 3%, we could well be seeing negative rates as a feature of many more major central-bank responses to economic downturns.

A New York VC firm that invested in The Huffington Post and Venmo just closed its fourth fund

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Greycroft’s partners. Not pictured: Greycroft’s newest partner Ellie Wheeler.
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Greycroft

New York City venture capital firm Greycroft Partners has closed its fourth early-stage fund.

The New York and Los Angeles based firm’s portfolio includes companies like The Huffington Post, Maker Studio, Trunk Club, Munchery, The Skimm, and Venmo, to name a few.

The man behind Greycroft, Alan Patricof, first got his start in venture capital in 1969, when he founded the firm Patricof and Co.

Over the next 40 years, he turned that into Apax, one of the largest private equity firms in the world- then, in 2006, he left and founded Greycroft.

Greycroft’s newest venture fund, Greycroft IV, brings the firm’s total capital under management to $800 million. The firm plans to start making investments using the new fund next year, in January 2016.

As part of the new fund, Ellie Wheeler has been promoted as a Partner, alongside Patricof, Dana Settle, Ian Sigalow, John Elton, and Mark Terbeek. Between its New York and Los Angeles offices, Greycroft now has a 20 person-strong investment team.

Donald Trump holds chaotic Trump Tower press conference with black pastors

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CNN/screengrab

Real-estate magnate Donald Trump ended up holding a Monday press conference with black pastors after all.

After abruptly canceling the event the day before, the Republican presidential front-runner suddenly appeared for a chaotic press conference at Trump Tower following his closed-door meeting with the group.

Trump at times dipped into the background of his cadre of supporters as they answered a flurry of media questions.

“I thought it was an amazing meeting. I met some fantastic people, some of whom I’ve known,” Trump declared at one point. “You know it lasted for more than two and a half hours. We came up with lots of good ideas and lots of future ideas. But I thought it was an amazing meeting.”

But there were some tensions going into the meeting. Trump suggested Monday morning that some of the 100 black pastors his campaign said were to endorse him after their powwow had rescinded their support amid pressure from Black Lives Matter activists.

But some of the pastors appeared to clearly oppose Trump’s candidacy. One person going into the meeting reportedly said that he wanted to address Trump’s “racism” with the candidate.

Trump’s supporters who gathered for the impromptu press conference were clearly a more enthusiastic bunch. Some highlights from the event can be found below:

A pastor decried the ‘liberal media’ smearing Trump’s reputation:

Pastors speak after meetingwith @realDonaldTrump:”It was a great day” https://t.co/cyhwcRduGb https://t.co/CXRsV1OQJz

@realDonaldTrumphttps://t.co/cyhwcRduGbhttps://t.co/CXRsV1OQJzNovember30, 2015

Trump warned presidential rival and Gov. Chris Christie (R-New Jersey) to be ‘careful’:

Trump tells @TomLlamasABC that ChrisChristie “must be careful with what he says” inchallenging Trump’s 9/11 claim.https://t.co/2ikQ4nm8pf

@TomLlamasABChttps://t.co/2ikQ4nm8pfNovember30, 2015

Trump declared that the meeting was ‘amazing’:

.@realDonaldTrump:”This meeting was amazing” https://t.co/cyhwcRduGb https://t.co/YA8yLPz1VN

@realDonaldTrumphttps://t.co/cyhwcRduGbhttps://t.co/YA8yLPz1VNNovember30, 2015

An MBA isn’t as important as you might think for building a career on Wall Street

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Harvard Business School/Facebook

You might think that holding a Masters of Business Administration, or MBA, is essential to building a career on Wall Street.

You would be wrong.

It turns out that MBA degrees are very common at the upper levels within investment banks – but they don’t dominate.

And at the entry level, the most common degree is in fact a Bachelor of Science.

That is, of course, because people typically go to business school after completing an analyst program or attaining an associate-level position.

To better understand which degrees are most popular on Wall Street, we spoke to Emolument, a salary benchmarking website that collects self-reported pay data. They gathered data on 840 finance professionals in New York at the analyst, associate, vice president, and director level.

Respondents come from a number of firms, including Citigroup, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as well as smaller banks, asset managers, and hedge funds. They are all front-office professionals, and two-thirds work at banks, while one-third works on the buy-side.

Here are the most popular degrees.


The most popular degree among analysts on Wall Street is a Bachelor of Science.

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Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

The B.S. ranks most popular among associates, too.

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Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

MBAs are the most common degree at the VP level, although only slightly more common that Bachelors of Arts and Bachelors of Science.

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Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

At the director level, MBAs pull out further in front. Masters of Science are still pretty common too.

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Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

At all levels, Bachelors of Science are the most common, followed by Bachelors of Arts and MBAs. That could be because banks hire many more analysts, associates, and VPs than directors.

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Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

The overall Wall Street sample is big enough to include additional degrees, while the breakouts by title have too few data points to include anything other than the five most common degrees.

The best new movies and TV shows coming to Amazon Prime, iTunes, Hulu, and more in December

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“Ted 2.”
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Iloura/Universal/”Ted 2″

We’re hitting December on the calendar. Yep, still cold out, so let’s get back to bingeing.

This month your favorite streaming platforms have enticing new releases like “Sicario,” “Ted 2,” and “The Visit.” There are also classics like “Blow Out,” “Annie Hall,” and “Brokeback Mountain.” And just in time for the holidays, Hulu has seven (!) of the “Friday the 13th” movies for you to take on.

All the new movie and TV titles are below. We’ve highlighted in bold some titles we think are worth checking out.

iTunes

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“The Visit.”
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Universal

Available December 1

“Ted 2” “The Look of Silence”

Available December 8

“Knock Knock”

Available December 11

“Hitman: Agent 47”

Available December 15

“The Visit”“Dragon Blade” “Pan” “Meet the Patels”

Available December 22

“Hotel Transylvania 2” “Sicario” “The Walk” “Sleeping with Other People” “Sinister 2” “Green Inferno”

Amazon Prime

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Universal Pictures/”Minions”

Available December 1

“Something’s Gotta Give” “Bedazzled” “Hoffa” “River Of No Return” “Monkey Business” “Ted 2” “The Details”

Available December 2

“PAW Patrol” (Season 5)

Available December 4

“Mob Wives” (Season 6)

Available December 8

“Minions” “Ant-Man” “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”

Available December 9

“Meet Me in Montenegro”

Available December 11

“Transparent” (Season 2)

Available December 12

“Interstellar” “Tumble Leaf” (Season 2)

Available December 15

“Cutie and the Boxer”

Available December 19

“Selma”

Available December 26

“The Gambler” (2014)

Available December 27

“Pusher” “Stick Man”

Available December 30

“Black Beauty” (1994) “Curly Sue” “Free Willy” “Mozart in the Jungle” (Season 2)

HULU

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“Friday the 13th.”
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YouTube/Paramount Pictures

Available December 1

“Apocalypse Now”“Black Rain” “Blacula” “Blow Out” “Bringing Out The Dead” “Charlie Bartlett” “Chasing Amy” “De-Lovely” “Dr. No” “Friday the 13th – Part II” “Friday the 13th – Part III” “Friday the 13th – Part IV: The Final Chapter” “Friday the 13th – Part VI: Jason Lives” “Friday the 13th – Part VII: The New Blood” “Friday the 13th” “Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan” “Good Morning, Vietnam” “Good Will Hunting” “Pieces Of April” “Popeye” “Six Days Seven Nights” “Tetro” “The Care Bears Movie” “The Crying Game” “The Longest Yard” “Tomorrow Never Dies” “Vampire in Brooklyn” “Young Sherlock Holmes” Available December 2

“A Fistful of Dynamite” Available December 4

“The Wiz Live!” Available December 7

“The Millionaire Matchmaker” (Season 8) Available December 8

“The Mindy Project”: Midseason 4 Finale (Hulu Original)

Available December 11

“Michael Buble’s Christmas Special” Available December 12

“Interstellar” “Spring Breakers” “What If” Available December 13

“Listen to Me Marlon” Available December 15

“Drunk History” (Season 3 Finale) Available December 19

“Selma” Available December 24

“Una Noche” Available December 26

“The Gambler” (2014)

HBO NOW

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“Get Hard.”
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“Get Hard”

Available December 1

“10 Things I Hate About You” “Annie Hall” “Brokeback Mountain” “Disturbia” “Divergent” “Girlfight” “Home Alone” “Less than Zero” “Mystic Pizza” “Robocop” “Robocop 2” “Robocop 3” “She’s All That” “Soul Plane” “Spaceballs” “Vice Special Report: Countdown to Zero” “Waitress”

Available December 5

“Get Hard”

Available December 12

“The Divergent Series: Insurgent”

Available December 19

“The Longest Ride”

Redbox

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“Dragon Blade.”
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Lionsgate

Available December 1

“The Man From U.N.C.L.E” “Self/Less” “Some Kind of Beautiful” “Mississippi Grind”

Available December 8

“Ant-Man” “Trainwreck” “Knock Knock”

Available December 15

“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” “Finders Keepers”

Available December 22

“Dragon Blade”

9 startup lessons entrepreneurs would teach themselves if they could go back in time

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The New Savvy founder and managing director Anna Tan.
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LinkedIn/Anna Vanessa Haotanto

A 2012 Harvard Business School study found that three out of four venture-backed startups fail.

And not even the luckiest and most talented founders – the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world – make it through the process unscathed.

All entrepreneurs will make poor management decisions or wrong hires and face obstacles entirely out of their control. The best are able to process each failure, learn from it, and continue forward with a modified vision.

Some experienced entrepreneurs discussed what they’ve learned out in the field in the Quora thread: “If you could go back in time and teach yourself one thing about starting a business that would’ve made yourself 10X more successful today what would that be?

We picked out the highlights:

Convincing people you’re successful doesn’t make you successful.

In the early stages of a company, founders are not obliged to share any financial information with the public, giving them a great opportunity to build the “myth” behind the brand to excite consumers. It’s necessary to provide your company with a story your customers can connect with, as long as you don’t find yourself chasing good press rather than sales, says Josh Bob, a product manager at Trip Advisor and two-time founder-CEO.

“Just because you’re interviewed for articles, flown out to speak at conferences, or given props as a successful entrepreneur – that does not make you a successful entrepreneur,” he says.

Fast growth is of prime importance.

“Growth – at a near-exponential rate – is how you build a great company, at least in the early stages,” Bob writes. “I would tell my younger self to focus less on building features and on the parts of the business that I enjoyed, and more on just building the base of paying clients.”

You must become self-sufficient.

Bob says that seven years after founding his first business he realizes that nothing is free, not even advice. That’s to say, it’s necessary to understand the motivation behind advice offered to you, whether it’s because someone wants to sign on as an adviser or investor. Both are important for growing a business, but Bob says that he would tell his younger self to trust his instinct and capabilities more.

It’s related to advice that Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank gave at the CNBC and Inc. Magazine iCONIC conference in November, about equating success with raising money at a high valuation and not recognizing the risks of giving up control. “I think that the cheapest capital in the world is probably sitting in your inventory racks or the product you are trying to sell because, No. 1, it doesn’t require a board seat and doesn’t have an opinion to weigh in on what you are trying to do with your business,” Plank said.

Your success depends on who you hire.

When you’re a first-time entrepreneur, it can be easy to start a habit of taking chances on people, but it is necessary to establish strict hiring standards and never compromise, Bob writes – the same philosophy Google’s HR head Laszlo Bock takes at the tech giant.

The top criteria is trustworthiness, Bob says. You’ll likely be spending more time with your team than you will with your loved ones, and you need to believe that they are putting in just as much effort as you are.

If you choose a business partner, treat it like a marriage.

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PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel has said choosing a business partner is like choosing a spouse.
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Getty / Chip Somodevilla

PayPal cofounder and influential investor Peter Thiel says in his book “Zero to One” that a business partner should be seen as a kind of spouse; it’s a lesson three-time entrepreneur Gregory Logan says he wished he knew sooner.

The decision to go into business with someone should never be as simple as, “This person is qualified to help me.” Business partners should have complementary skill sets, but they also need to have chemistry.

As in marriage, there will inevitably be times when you will clash with your business partner, and tempers may flare. “Good partners will go on and keep working despite the fights, and bad partners will slow down the startup, which could drive it to death,” Logan writes.

Know that you can’t control everything.

As a founder, it’s your role to create and nurture the spirit of your company, and in its early days you may be responsible for every aspect of its existence. But as it grows, you need to learn to ease back, says The New Savvy founder Anna Tan.

Tan says it’s easy to get caught up in minutae, but that micromanagement holds everyone back. Think of yourself as “chief visionary officer,” Tan writes.

“Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”

“Many entrepreneurs start off with a grand vision in mind – their product or service will change their industry, they’re ready for it, plans were drawn, things were done and we’re ready to take on the world,” Tan says. “There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious … But so many entrepreneurs get obsessed with doing so many things at once that they soon reach a point where they’re effectively achieving nothing.”

Find a niche to serve, Tan says, and grow from there.

All successful entrepreneurs are marketers.

Startup founders must constantly be thinking of customer acquisition, Tan writes.

“Marketing is and should always be No. 1 on the entrepreneur’s priorities – it doesn’t matter if you have a great platform or the best products if no one knows about it,” she says. “At the end of the day all businesses come down to money, which won’t come in without sales, so it strikes me as incredibly strange that most people don’t even think about this till the very end.”

“Do what you’d do if you didn’t need the money.”

Entrepreneur and author Ed Tyson says that all entrepreneurs are driven by the desires to build something and not work for someone else. In his first venture, he hit a wall, he says. He was financially successful but business stopped being fun. He stepped back and realized that his career satisfaction was not tied solely to money. He decided to become a founding member of the 3D printing filament company rigid.ink because its potential excited him.

“When you’re working towards a goal you really want, as opposed to a goal set through the fear of average, things click for you and all the people that will help you achieve it,” Tyson writes, adding that he likes speaker and author Simon Sinek’s advice to “focus on the ‘why.’

That way, everything “becomes aligned with your single true goal instead of the many distractions you previously used to avoid thinking about the thing you know you really must do.”

20 photos that celebrate Kobe Bryant’s legacy as one of the greatest basketball players in history

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Bryant dunks against the Phoenix Suns during Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals in 2010.
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REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Without a doubt, Kobe Bryant will go down as one of the top athletes to ever play the game of basketball. After 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s won five NBA championships, an MVP trophy, and has been selected as an All-Star 17 times. He’s currently the third-highest scoring player in history.

Bryant announced his retirement in a piece on The Players’ Tribune Sunday night.

“My heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye. And that’s OK,” Bryant wrote in his farewell letter to basketball. “I’m ready to let you go.”

According to ticket price tracker TiqIQ, ticket prices for the final game of the Lakers’ regular season have already nearly tripled to $1,388.60 since the retirement news broke.

Scroll below to see a selection of photos highlighting Bryant’s career.


When he entered the league in 1996, 18-year-old Bryant was the youngest man to ever play in an NBA game. He also became the youngest winner of the Slam Dunk Contest that same season.

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Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Alongside his teammate Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant won his first NBA championship in 2000.

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REUTERS/Mike Blake

Bryant battled it out with Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers in the following year’s NBA Finals, but the Lakers once again emerged victorious to win their second consecutive title in 2001.

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Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

The Lakers completed their three-peat by winning the NBA Finals again in 2002.

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Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

From 2000 to 2002, the Lakers were unstoppable. Bryant played a big part in that.

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Donald Miralle/GettyImages

Bryant continued to shine, but the Lakers weren’t able to continue their championship winning streak for a while.

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Brian Bahr/Getty Images

During this time, however, Bryant broke more and more records. In 2005, he scored 62 points in three quarters against the Dallas Mavericks. As a result, entering the fourth quarter, Bryant had outscored the entire Mavericks team 62–61. This is the only time a player has ever achieved this feat.

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Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

In a 2006 game against the Toronto Raptors, Bryant scored a career-high 81 points, second in history only to Wilt Chamberlin’s famous 100-point game in 1962.

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Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Bryant was awarded the NBA MVP Award for the 2007/2008 season. Here, he’s given the trophy before Game 2 of the 2008 NBA Western Conference Semifinals.

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REUTERS/Mike Blake

The United States National Team defeated Spain in the men’s basketball finals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Here, along with teammate Dwight Howard, Bryant playfully bites into his gold medal.

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REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Bryant raised his arms during an event in China that was part of a Nike-sponsored six-city summer tour in 2009. He had an endorsement deal with Adidas early on in his career, but he eventually landed a deal with Nike.

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REUTERS/Stringer

After the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic to win the NBA championship in 2009, Bryant celebrated by holding up both the Finals MVP Award and the championship trophy.

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REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

Bryant dives for a loose ball while playing the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals. The Lakers would go on to win the series, and Bryant was once again awarded the Finals MVP trophy.

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REUTERS/Lisa Hornak

During the parade celebrating the Lakers’ 2010 NBA Championship, Bryant holds his daughter, Gianna, while his wife, Vanessa, and other daughter, Natalia, stand by his side.

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REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

“I played through the sweat and hurt — not because challenge called me, but because YOU called me,” Bryant said of basketball in his retirement letter. “I did everything for YOU because that’s what you do when someone makes you feel as alive as you’ve made me feel.”

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REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Source: The Players’ Tribune


However, after winning back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, the Lakers began to lose their momentum.

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REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Bryant at the end of the men’s preliminary round match at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The National Team would go on to win the Olympic Basketball Finals, once again defeating Spain.

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REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Many have speculated that Bryant would retire soon, especially given the series of injuries he has been facing.

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Harry How/Getty Images

The rumors were finally put to rest on November 30, when Bryant announced that the 2015-2016 season would be his last.

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“You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream and I’ll always love you for it. But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer,” Bryant said in his retirement letter. “This season is all I have left to give.”

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REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Source: The Players’ Tribune