Monthly Archives: March 2016

BMW and Microsoft teamed up for this slick, smart new app that lets you know when to hit the road

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The BMW 7 Series in white.
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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

The BMW 7 Series is already one of the highest-tech, sleekest cars you can buy.

Today, the 7 Series, and other models equipped with BMW ConnectedDrive, gets a little smarter with the launch of the new BMW Connected app for iPhone, debuted Thursday at the Microsoft Build conference.

With the BMW Connected app, you’ll get an alert when it’s time to hit the road, based on traffic. To start navigation, select where you’re going on your phone, and it’ll automatically start routing you when you get in the car. It’ll even predict your next destination.

And, of course, it’ll unlock your doors and vent your car of hot air.

BMW Connected will work with model year 2014 and newer BMW cars, except the 2014 X6. And you need to be a subscriber to BMW Assist/ConnectedDrive to take advantage.

Under the hood, the BMW Connected app uses the Microsoft Azure cloud to crunch all of your personal data and come up with smart recommendations that improve over time. It’s a big step forward for Microsoft’s connected car business.

Here’s how it works.


BMW demonstrated the app for me in a 7 Series, its flagship car and already one of the most high-tech rides around. But it’ll work on any model with BMW ConnectedDrive.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

To get started, you can upload a destination straight to the BMW Connected app from Google Maps or Apple Maps. Just click “Share” and it’ll appear as an option, the same way you might send it via Messages or Gmail.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

Once it’s in the app, you can just select it. It’ll also suggest destinations for you — if it’s 5 o’clock on a Friday, it can guess you’re probably heading home. Over time, it learns from you so the suggestions get smarter and more relevant.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

It also keeps an eye on traffic to the places it predicts you’re going, so you’ll get a notification on your phone or Apple Watch if you have to leave earlier.

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Getty Images/Daniel Berehulak

Then, you just get in the car. The app automatically and wirelessly connects to the BMW’s dashboard …

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

… it prompts you to confirm your destination …

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

… and you’re off and running.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

You can even let your friends and family know your ETA. Just choose “Notify Others” from the dashboard …

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

… and choose your friend. They get a text message with your GPS-driven location and estimated time of arrival.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

As a neat, additional feature, once you park, BMW Connected will give you walking directions the rest of the way to your final destination.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

As an extra-extra bonus, it can control your BMW’s lights, locks, and car alarm. It can even open your air vents so hot air leaves the vehicle on a warm day.

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Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

And because it’s built on the Microsoft Azure cloud, it opens the door to integrating with all kinds of additional services in the future — like, maybe, just maybe, integrating with Internet-connected appliances to suggest routes based on the time of day and weather.

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Spark

The world’s 15 richest self-made women are worth $53 billion — more than the GDP of Iceland

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Business Insider/Samantha Lee

The top tier of wealth in the world is a veritable boys’ club, with only four women breaking the top 50. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of women who have earned huge fortunes for themselves as well.

With data from Wealth-X, a company that conducts research on the super wealthy, Business Insider has taken a look at the richest self-made women in the world. These women have built companies, pioneered new technologies, and made huge advances in their respective fields. They’re worth a combined $53.1 billion – larger than the combined gross domestic product of Honduras, Iceland, and Cambodia.

The list includes household names like media mogul Oprah Winfrey as well as influential but lesser-known personalities such as Gap founder Doris Fisher.

Keep reading to see how these 15 women made their fortunes.


14. TIE: Lynda Resnick

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Charley Gallay/Getty

Net worth: $2.4 billion

Country: US

Age: 72

Industry: Agriculture

Source of wealth: The Wonderful Company

At 19,Resnick, a former child actress and daughter of a Hollywood movie producer,dropped out of college to found an advertising company called Lynda Limited. In 1973, Resnick married her second husband, Stewart Resnick, who was managing a private security business, and the two combined their assets.

The Resnicks made a succession of company acquisitions and salesthroughout the 1970s and 1980s. Their first forays into agriculture included the purchase of a 12,000-acre pistachio and almond farm in California for $30 million.

The company today generates $4 billion in sales from best-selling brands like Wonderful pistachios, Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice, Wonderful Halos (formerly Cuties California clementines), Fiji Water, Justin Vineyards, and the Teleflora flower-delivery service. Last summer, Roll Global was renamed The Wonderful Company, where Resnick serves as vice chairman.

The Resnicks are no strangers to controversy. The Federal Trade Commission successfully sued them for deceptively marketing and inflating the health benefits of their pomegranate juice (the Resnicks are appealing to the Supreme Court). They have also taken heat for their access to and use of water during California’s drought.


14. TIE: Marian Ilitch

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Paul Sancya/AP

Net worth: $2.4 billion

Country: US

Age: 83

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Little Caesars

Ilitch has been in the food industry since she was a little girl. Starting at age 10, she worked at her father’s restaurant in Dearborn, Michigan, where she filled the salt and pepper shakers. In 1959, Ilitch and her husband, Mike, opened the first Little Caesars pizza store, the moniker stemming from Marian’s nickname for Mike. In 1962, the couple sold their first franchise for $5,000. Today Little Caesars has more than 4,000 fast-serve pizza restaurants.

Though the Ilitches command one of the largest takeout pizza chains in the US, their overall empire is even larger. Ilitch Holdings consists of 10 companies that specialize in food, sports, and entertainment, including the MLB’s Detroit Tigers, the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, and the MotorCity Casino in Detroit. They bought the Red Wings for $8 million in 1982; the franchise is worth $600 million today.

The Ilitches will both be inducted into the International Franchise Association’s Hall of Fame this year.


11. TIE: Johnelle Hunt

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Youtube/Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame

Net worth: $2.5 billion

Country: US

Age: 84

Industry: Logistics

Source of wealth: J.B. Hunt Transport Services

When the J.B. Hunt Company opened in 1962, founded byHunt‘s husband, Johnnie, who died in 2006, she started out as a part-time employee, helping get the business off the ground. Hunt quickly became an integral part of the company, moving up to full-time employee and then cofounding the logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport alongside her husband in 1969 with only five tractors and seven trailers.

Thanks to Hunt’s entrepreneurial vision, the transportation company grew, eventually integrating J.B. Hunt proper into it. The company went public in 1983, and by 2004 it commanded more than 11,000 trucks and more than 16,000 employees. Today the company is worth $9.5 billion.

In 2001, Hunt cofounded Hunt Ventures, an office and retail development company, where she still serves as chairman. The company tackles large-scale real-estate projects, such asPinnacle Hills, a 700-acre development that will feature more than 2.5 million square feet of restaurants, retail space, and offices.


11. TIE: Zhang Xin

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REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Net worth: $2.5 billion

Country: China

Age: 50

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Soho China

Beginning at age 14,Zhang lived with her mother in Hong Kong, where she spent her days working in a factory and her nights studying. Zhang eventually moved to the UK to study at the University of Sussex, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, and at the University of Cambridge, where she earned a master’s degree. Throughout the early 1990s, Zhang moved through a succession of jobs as an investment analyst, including a stint at Goldman Sachs in New York.

In 1995, Zhang and her husband founded a real-estate development company in Beijing known today as Soho China, the nation’s”largest prime office property developer.” The company – which has built hundreds of commercial and residential properties in major Chinese cities – debuted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2007, raising $1.7 billion from its initial public offering. Zhang, who is the CEO and executive director, has been referred to by Chinese media as “the woman who built Beijing” for herprolific influenceon the city’s skyline.

Zhang and her husbanddonated a combined $25 million to Harvard and Yale in 2014, and through the Soho China Foundation they gave $100 million to fund the undergraduate education of Chinese students at top universities around the world.


11. TIE: Judy Faulkner

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Epic Systems

Net worth: $2.5 billion

Country: US

Age: 72

Industry: Healthcare software

Source of wealth: Epic Systems

She’s not a household name á la Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos, but Faulkner, the founder and CEO of Epic Systems, has earned her place as a disruptive tech billionaire just the same. The quiet software programmer built Epic – a private healthcare company that sells medical-records software – from the ground up, launching in 1979 with about $75,000 in capital.

The company is now in a league of its own, with $2 billion in annual sales. Epic’s databases contain medical information fornearly half of the US, and its client list reads like a who’s who in healthcare, includingKaiser Permanente, CVS Health, and Johns Hopkins. Though a dominant player in the sector, Epic has also drawn criticism for making its technology incompatible with competing software.Faulkner remains staunch about keeping the company private, arguing that doing so allows Epic to focus on how to best serve its customers instead of the short-term financial picture.

In 2015, Faulkner joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, promising todonate 99% of her fortuneto philanthropy.


10. Giuliana Benetton

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Luca Bruno/AP

Net worth: $2.7 billion

Country: Italy

Age: 78

Industry: Fashion retail

Source of wealth: Benetton Group

The bright, eccentric clothing produced by the Italian fashion giant Benetton Group dates back to the 1950s, when Benetton would knit sweaters and her brother Luciano would sell them. After acquiring a used sewing machine the duo, along with their brothers Gilberto and Carlo, decided to start selling their merchandise in the Veneto region of Italy. The family company officially launched in 1965, with Giuliana planning the knitwear collections and supervising their product lines as the company’s chief designer.

In the past 50 years, Benetton Group – made up of brands like United Colors of Benetton, Sisley, Playlife, and Killer Loop – has grown to more than 5,000 retail stores in more than 120 countries, generating more than $2 billion in sales.

Aside from its bold merchandise, the brand has garnered attention for diverse and sometimes controversial ad campaigns – something it has started to tone down in the past year as it tries to keep pace with H&M and Zara. Its new “Collection of Us” campaign is moving away from shock tactics and leaning more toward diversity and unification.

The family began diversifying its assets beyond clothing in the 1990s, and its holding company Edizione today boasts more than $12 billion in revenue and has a hand in real estate, agriculture, transportation and infrastructure, and the restaurant business.


8. TIE: Wu Yajun

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Imaginechina

Net worth: $2.8 billion

Country: China

Age: 51

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Longfor Properties

After earning a bachelor’s degree in navigation engineering,Wu started a career in 1984 as an engineer at an instrument manufacturer in her hometown in Chongqing. In 1988 she switched to journalism to cover real estate at the China Shirong News Agency.

She left reporting six years later and, after a bad apartment-buying experience, she and her husband started their own homebuilding company that would later becomeLongfor Properties. By 1997 the two had sold their first residential project, and they expanded Longfor to 13 other cities in China to build residential and office buildings. In 2009, Longfor raised just over $900 million during its initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

In 2012, Wu divorced her husband, with whom she shared a 72% stake in the company. She ended up with a43% stakeand still serves as chairman of Longfor, which reportedrevenue of $7.8 billionin 2014.


8. TIE: Oprah Winfrey

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Rich Polk/Getty

Net worth: $2.8 billion

Country: US

Age: 62

Industry: Media

Source of wealth: Harpo Productions

Born and raised in poverty in Mississippi, Winfrey broke into the media industry as a TV news anchor in Baltimore in the 1970s, moving to Chicago in 1984 to host a morning show that a year later became “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” She hit the big time with her acting debut in 1985’s “The Color Purple,” for which she landed an Oscar nomination.

A year later she started Harpo Studios, where for 25 years she hosted her talk show, which in its peak brought in $300 million a year. Winfrey’s Harpo empire would expand to includea book clubthat turns authors into best-sellers, awomen’s magazine, and a cable network,Own. It also produces films, including the 2014 critical darling “Selma.” Next up for Harpo? Own will start airing scripted TV dramas; “Greenleaf,” a show about a Memphis church, will be Winfrey’s first acting gig for the network.

In October, Winfrey announced a 10% ownership stake in the weight-loss company Weight Watchers, causing the stock to double in value. Earlier this year she revealed that she had lost 26 pounds on the diet, once again helpingWeight Watchers stocksoar.


7. Jin Sook Chang

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Forever 21

Net worth: $3.1 billion

Country: US

Age: 52

Industry: Fashion retail

Source of wealth: Forever 21

South Korean immigrants Chang and her husband, Don, opened their first “Fashion 21” store in 1984, three years after moving to Los Angeles without jobs and almost nothing to their name. Inspiration to start a clothing company struck Don when he was working at a gas station and realized the best cars were driven by clothing retailers.

The Changspulled in $700,000 in sales their first year, changing the name to Forever 21 shortly after and aggressively expanding. Today, Forever 21 has more than 600 locations worldwide and generates $4.4 billion in sales. Chang is the chief merchandising officer of the family business – Don serves as CEO, and their daughters,Esther and Linda, hold the titles of creative director and head of marketing.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the retail giant. Along with past issues with labor violations, the company has reportedly been sued more than 50 times for copyright infringement,and, most recently, it decided topull a men’s shirt from its shelves that critics deemed offensive and “suggestive of rape.”


6. Doris Fisher

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Reuters/Hector Amezcua

Net worth: $3.2 billion

Country: US

Age: 84

Industry: Fashion retail

Source of wealth: Gap

Back in the 1960s, Fisher’s husband, Donald, couldn’t find jeans that fit anywhere, so the couple decided to break into the denim business for themselves. They opened the first The Gap store – which soldonly jeans and music– in 1969 on San Francisco’s Ocean Avenue, named for the “generation gap” they aimed to fill. The brand originally sold Levi’s, but the Fishers soon produced their own line of jeans, followed by T-shirts, sweaters, and other clothing staples.

The Gap grew rapidly, going public in 1976 and continuing to expand across the US and internationally. Along the way, the Fishers dropped “The” from Gap’s name and picked up several other brands, including the 1983 acquisition of Banana Republic, then a tiny catalog clothing business, and the launch of the spin-off store Old Navy in 1994. Donald Fisher died in 2009, and Gap has struggled in recent years to keep up with millennials’ tastes. But the company remains a retailing behemoth with $15.8 billion in sales, more than 3,700 stores, and 150,000 employees.

Now retired from fashion, Fisher is an avid art collector. A portion of her1,100-piece collection, which includes works from Roy Lichtenstein, Agnes Martin, and Andy Warhol, sits on display at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, which reopens this May.


5. Elizabeth Holmes

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REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Net worth: $4.5 billion

Country: US

Age: 32

Industry: Healthcare

Source of wealth: Theranos

In 2003, when Elizabeth Holmes was 19, she dropped out of Stanford to found Theranos with the vision of a pain-free, needle-free blood-testing company that reduced costs and headaches for patients. The Silicon Valley-based startup remained in stealth mode for its first 10 years of operation, but it now offers more than 240 tests direct to consumer that can detect a range of medical issues from high cholesterol to cancer. The company’s valuation was close to $10 billion last fall; she’s the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world.

But Holmes and Theranos have become embattled in the past year, and the value of the company has likely dipped from its peak. They faced harsh criticisms in October for reports of dodgy business practices that question the accuracy of the company’s blood tests – Theranos’ finger-prick technology was being used for only a small number of tests, damaging the company’s reputation. She waved off criticism as “grounded in baseless assertions by inexperienced and disgruntled former employees and industry incumbents.” Then in early 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed that during a routine inspection it found some of Theranos’ practices to “pose immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety.” Theranos submitted a plan to inspectors in February to correct the issues.

In 2015, Holmes helped pass a law in Arizona that allows patients to obtain lab tests without first consulting a doctor. But it is actions like these – pushing its tests directly to consumers, eliminating the need for physicians but also potentially risking patient health – that some suggest could be Holmes’ biggest mistake.


4. Pollyanna Chu

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YouTube

Net worth: $4.9 billion

Country: Hong Kong

Age: 58

Industry: Finance

Source of wealth: Kingston Financial Group

Chu grew up in Hong Kong, but as a teenager she moved with her father to San Francisco, where she attended Golden Gate University in the late 1970s. Not long after college, Chu and her husband, Nicholas, broke into the California real-estate investment business. In 1992 they returned to Hong Kong at the urging of Chu’s father, who counseled them to take advantage of the country’s thriving market.

In 1993 the couple founded Kingston Financial Group – named after their son Kingston – despite neither of them knowing much about finance. They quickly caught on and focused on growing the business, eventually finding a niche in initial-public-offering distribution and mergers and acquisitions. By 2010, Chu had helped elevate Kingston to a top-five firm for mergers and acquisitions. The next year the couple incorporated Kingston into Golden Resorts, the hotel company founded by her father. The company has continued to grow, posting profits of $163 million in 2015, up 64% from the $99 million it earned in 2014.

Kingston, their only child, joined in the family business as Kingston Financial Group’s executive director in 2015.


3. Chan Laiwa

Net worth: $5.2 billion

Country: China

Age: 74

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Fu Wah International

Chan is a descendant of the Manchu (Qing) dynastythat ruled China for nearly 300 years into the early 20th century. Chan grew up in the 1940s and 1950s, during the Japanese invasion of China, and her family was severely impoverished, forcing her to drop out of high school. Still, she managed to raise enough money to start a furniture-repair business in 1976.

The business grew steadily, leading her to Hong Kong, where in the early 1980s she purchased and flipped a dozen villas, making her first fortune. Upon returning to Beijing in 1988, Chan founded Fu Wah International, a real-estate investment company that today is responsible for the construction and operation of luxury hotels, apartments, office buildings, and shopping malls in China, Australia, and New Zealand.

One of Fu Wah International’s best-known properties is the China Red Sandalwood Museum. It started as a $24 million investment by Chan in 1999 to salvage the red sandalwood furniture she cherished as a child – her grandmother had buried the family’s collection to preserve it during the Cultural Revolution. It’s now the world’s largest museum for the research and collectionof red sandalwood furniture and sculpture.

Chan remains chairman of Fu Wah International, while her two daughters serve as directors and her son is the company’s president. Fu Wah is heavily involved in charity, donating tens of millions of dollars to disaster relief and aid efforts.


2. Diane Hendricks

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ABC Supply Co.

Net worth: $5.6 billion

Country: US

Age: 69

Industry: Building materials

Source of wealth: ABC Supply Co.

Hendricks grew up the daughter of Wisconsin dairy farmers. Three years after she met her late husband Kenneth, the couple had bought and remodeled more than 100 homesin the Beloit, Wisconsin, area with the ultimate goal of getting into wholesale roofing distribution. In 1982, Hendricks and her husband openedABC Supply, which quickly expanded and began selling an array of building materials across the US. The company is now considered the largest wholesale distributor of roofing in the country, with more than 600 locations and over $6.5 billion in sales.

Hendricks still serves as chairman of the company in addition to running Hendricks Holding Company, her private investment vehicle. Hendricks Holding has a large real estate portfolio and is invested in 22 companies in industries ranging from manufacturing to pharmaceutical research.

When she’s not tackling the world of building supplies, Hendricks, a mother of seven and grandmother to 17, makes it a point to give back to the Beloit community, donating millions to local organizations and serving as a trustee for Beloit College.


1. Zhou Qunfei

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AFP

Net worth: $6 billion

Country: China

Age: 46

Industry: Manufacturing

Source of wealth: Lens Technology

Born in a small village in the Hunan province of China,Zhou grew up poor. At 16 she got a job working in a watch factory, which meant long hours under harsh conditions. She quickly rose up the ranks at the factory, eventually saving up $3,000 – enough toopen her own competing lens workshop in 1993 next door to her previous employer.

In 2003, Motorola asked Zhou to replace the plastic screens it had been using for cellphones with a sturdier glass version. She accepted the offer and soon had several smartphone companies knocking on her door, including Apple, which needed a keyboard touch screen for its first iPhone in 2007. The touch-screen model took off, forcing Zhou to expand rapidly andpropelling her to billionaire status.

Today, Lens Technology’s largest clients still include Apple and Samsung. The company went public in 2015 and now has a market capitalization of $7 billion. Zhou’s success hasn’t slowed her down; she remains hands-on at Lens and has been known to test out factory equipment herself.

Here’s the first thing you see when you are accepted into any Ivy League school

At around 5 p.m. on Thursday, thousands of students learned if they were accepted into an Ivy League university for the class of 2020.

For the lucky ones who make it in, it’s a super-exciting moment. Here’s the first thing these students see when they’ve been accepted into the Ivy League:

Brown University:

Columbia University:

Cornell University:

Dartmouth College:

Harvard University:

University of Pennsylvania (on the left):

Princeton University:

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Michael Lotito Twitter

Yale University:

Silicon Valley venture capitalist takes credit for the Golden State Warriors’ record-smashing season

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We’re not sure Steph Curry feels about this.
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Brandon Wade/AP

Steph Curry is a force of nature for the Warriors, but it’s taken more than just his natural talent to build the team to where it is, argues its owner Joe Lacob.

Lacob is a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins.

“It’s not just Steph Curry,” he told The New York Times. “It’s architecting a team, a style of play, the way they all play together. It’s all extremely thought through.”

In a profile for the magazine, Lacob seems to take credit for turning around the team he bought in 2010. The $450 million deal, at the time, sounded excessive. The Warriors, after all, hadn’t won a championship since 1975.

Yet, Lacob promised another win would come after five years, and he was right.

“The great, great venture capitalists who built company after company, that’s not an accident,” he said. “And none of this is an accident, either.”

Lacob isn’t the only venture capitalist behind the Warriors. Social+Capital partner Chamath Palihapitiya, Redpoint Ventures’ John Walecka, Sequoia Capital’s Mark Stevens, Benchmark Capital’s Bob Kagle, Juvo Capital’s Harry Tsao, YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley, and Zappos cofounder Nick Swinmurn are all on the executive board.

Still, to suggest the incredible season is thanks largely to the VCs who built the business behind it? That may not sit too well with all the fans, who have been witnessing some incredible talent on the court.

Currently, the Golden State Warriors are on pace for the best season in NBA history, even better than the 1996 Chicago Bulls season with Michael Jordan.

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Here’s how the Warriors’ season currently stacks up.
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Land of Basketball

And Curry, just one of the teams’ few stars, is having one of the best seasons personally in NBA history.

The Warriors are now worth around $2 billion, more than four times what Lacob and his investor group paid to buy the franchise.

“We’ve crushed them on the basketball court, and we’re going to for years because of the way we’ve built this team,” Lacob said.

You can read the full profile here >>

Snapchat is back up after issues took it down for some users for three hours

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Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Snapchat has fixed the issues that lagged the photo messaging app on Thursday afternoon.

The trouble began around 5:30 ET as people started reporting that they couldn’t send photos or load stories.

Three hours later, the company announced on Twitter it was back up and running. The company declined to comment on the cause of the outage.

According to Down Detector, which tracks website and app outages, most of the people hit are on the west and east coasts, along with Europe.

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Down Detector

During the outage, Snapchat users could barely control their frustration, and many blamed the massive changes to its chat feature that the company had announced days earlier.

A former McKinsey partner says a 2-minute exercise can get you back to productivity when you’ve hit a wall at work

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Sevenshift CEO Caroline Webb.
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Courtesy of Caroline Webb

There are times when you’re simply overwhelmed at work. You’ve got so much on your plate that none of it seems like it can be finished, and so none of it gets finished as you sit there panicking.

Whether it’s the end of the day and you’re struggling with decision fatigue or fear of failure has your heart racing, there’s a quick way to collect yourself so that you can resume being productive, says Caroline Webb, Sevenshift‘s CEO, a McKinsey senior adviser, and a former McKinsey partner.

Her new book, “How to Have a Good Day,” is a collection of best practices she’s learned in her 16 years as a consultant.

It includes a simple mindfulness technique that you can do in as little as a couple of minutes or stretch out, if you’d prefer. Here’s how to do it:

    Sit or stand as comfortably as you can, moving to a quiet place, if necessary. Place your feet squarely on the floor and either close your eyes or look down. Focus your thoughts with one or all of the following: Slowly take a deep breath in and then exhale deeply several times, focusing on the way your stomach rises; do a mental scan of your body, from your toes to the top of your head, noting without thinking how each part feels; count down from 100 to 0. Pay attention to your thoughts, and if your mind wanders, don’t become anxious. Recognize that it’s normal behavior and refocus your attention.

Webb writes that if your panic hits you in the middle of a meeting, you can try an amended version of the technique, taking just one or two deep breaths or counting down from 10.

She interviewed a digital-marketing startup founder she refers to only as Anthony who told her that he uses a version of this exercise when his mind starts feeling overloaded and he runs the risk of making decisions that will harm his business.

When his stress becomes unmanageable, he’ll ask himself, “Do I want to feel like this?” – no, he doesn’t – and will do the breathing exercise.

“It starts to reengage rational thought, without fail,” Anthony told Webb. “It’s like pinching myself in a dream.”

Why Microsoft Office’s Clippy had to die, according to the exec who killed him

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Julie Larson-Green at the Wired Business Conference: Think Bigger at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on May 7, 2013, in New York City.
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Brad Barket/Getty Images for WIRED

This week at the Microsoft Build conference, CEO Satya Nadella spent a lot of time talking up chat bots, robots that help you get stuff done through normal human conversations.

But for those of us who remember using Microsoft Office in the 1990s and early 2000s, the concept raises the specter of Clippy – the paper-clip-shaped, animated help tool that was supposed to answer basic questions in plain speech, but became an icon of annoyance.

Clippy debuted to much fanfare in Microsoft Office 97 and appeared in other products, such as Microsoft Publisher. But the negative reaction to Clippy caused Microsoft to gradually phase him out. And by 2008, Clippy had disappeared completely, without a trace or any explanation.

On Thursday, for the first time, Julie Larson-Green, Microsoft Office’s chief experience officer and a 23-year company executive, took responsibility for killing Clippy.

“I’m the one who took Clippy out of Office,” Larson-Green confessed to Business Insider, noting that it was the first time she had spoken publicly about the deed.

Clippy of yesterday

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Clippy, full name “Clippit.”
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Microsoft

She describes Clippy, whose proper name was “Clippit,” as a “polarizing” feature.

Some Office users really liked having a floating little friend sitting nearby to answer questions, especially if they weren’t super comfortable on a computer.

“They liked having someone with them, and not being alone,” says Larson-Green, who previously led user-interface design for Office products.

The problem was that while Clippy was omnipresent, he could talk to you only with his pre-written responses.

Clippy was supposed to help answer questions and gently guide you to Office’s best features, but instead, all he could tell you was “don’t run with scissors and ‘it looks like you’re writing a letter,'” says Larson-Green.

Users didn’t love that, and it got worse over time. And so, Clippy had to die.

Clippy of tomorrow

Fast forward to the present, and Larson-Green says that technology has finally caught up to the vision that created Clippy.

“We were just ahead of our time with the technology,” Larson-Green says.

Thanks to a confluence of factors, including Microsoft’s research into natural speech, artificial intelligence, and the so-called Microsoft Graph of user data, Office can finally go beyond canned responses and start to actually answer questions and teach you important skills.

“The Clippy of today would have a PhD in learning,” says Larson-Green.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that a reborn Clippy, or his spiritual successor, Cortana, will suddenly barge into your Microsoft Office. Larson-Green says that all of this is still so new that the company is still working on the best way to weave the chat-interface concept into Office products.

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Microsoft Cortana on Windows 10.
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Microsoft

In a bigger-picture sense, Larson-Green says that she sees the intelligence and ability to learn that underpins apps like Cortana as a way to constantly make Office better, without the need to completely revamp the interface or add extraneous new features.

Office can and will make smarter suggestions over time – from “It looks like you’re writing a letter” to “It looks like you’re writing a job application,” plus maybe some formatting suggestions inspired by Microsoft’s own data. Or maybe PowerPoint will help you design your slides to be more eye-catching, based on how long people looked at other peoples’ slides.

But Microsoft Word will still look and feel like Microsoft Word, familiar interface and all.

The promise, Larson-Green says, is a Microsoft Office that can finally and truly respond to people’s needs, across all devices. If it can do that, then it can help people not only be more productive, but actually turn out better-looking and -reading documents.

“There’s a whole new level of making things not only easier, but also higher quality,” Larson-Green says.

13 tough interview questions you may have to answer if you want to intern at SpaceX this summer

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Elon Musk, the CEO and CTO of SpaceX.
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SpaceX/YouTube

Forget about fetching coffee – as an intern at SpaceX, you’ll help design, build, and launch rockets that could potentially take humans to Mars.

So it follows that you’re going to have to answer some tough interview questions to get the gig.

Each year, more than 700 interns join SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, for 80-hour workweeks at about $22 an hour in departments like avionics, dynamics, launch operations, manufacturing, and enterprise information systems.

The hiring process typically consists of two in-depth phone interviews, during which intern candidates have to answer questions like the following, which we found on Glassdoor:


‘What are composites?’

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SpaceX interns gather in front of the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
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SpaceX Internship Program

‘What is the size of an integer on a 32-bit system?’

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A group of SpaceX interns celebrate a win at the company’s annual “Aerospace Summer Games.”
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Courtesy of SpaceX Intern

‘Let’s say you have a variable ‘var’ assigned to be ‘2’. What will display if you print ‘var++’? If you print ‘++var’ on the next line, what will be displayed? What is the final value of ‘var’?’

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An interior promo shot of the SpaceX Crew Dragon, which is designed to carry astronauts.
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SpaceX

‘What is a null pointer?’

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GoPro inside a SpaceX rocket
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SpaceX

‘If you have a large, heavy object moving very, very fast, how do you safely slow it down?’

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Falcon 9 launches from Space X’s Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
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Business Insider

‘How would you go about a design for an electrical harness to protect it from a sharp object falling from above?’

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SpaceX Dragon, the first commercial spacecraft in history to deliver cargo to the International Space Station, in an artist’s depiction of it landing on Mars.
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SpaceX Photo on Flickr

‘Imagine a cantilever beam fixed at one end with a mass = m and a length = L. If this beam is subject to an inertial force and a uniformly distributed load = w, what is the moment present at a length of L/4?’

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Elon Musk standing in front of the SpaceX Dragon.
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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

‘How would you find a cycle in a singly-linked list?’

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The interior of SpaceX Crew Dragon, which will carry out the company’s first human missions in 2017.
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SpaceX

‘There are all kinds of data structures out there, like arrays and heaps. Why can’t there just be one that does it all?’

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SpaceX headquarters.
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SpaceX/Glassdoor

‘One side of a beam is attached to a wall and the other is free. If a force is applied, where would it break, and what would you need to know to determine the force that would break the beam?’

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A SpaceX intern works on a SpaceX model.
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YouTube

‘What happens when you run a high current (spot welding) through a nickel piece touching a copper piece?’

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An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral
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Thomson Reuters

‘How do you reverse a stack, using only the pop and push methods?’

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Musk speaks after unveiling the Dragon V2 spacecraft in Hawthorne.
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Thomson Reuters

‘Describe the design process of a series of pipes to be used in a rapid fueling system for a liquid propellant rocket engine. Be sure to include which equations would be best for the case at hand for fluid pressure calculations and structural considerations.’

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The SpaceX Dragon is designed to carry both cargo and humans, although the first human missions for the company will not take place until 2017.
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NASA

Want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg? His CEO sister says don’t do these 3 things

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Randi Zuckerberg.
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Delbarr Moradi

Fans of “Shark Tank” know there are some cringe-worthy moments in which hopeful entrepreneurs convince the investors to do anything but pour money into their businesses.

Like revealing that you’re unaware that your product is a potential fire hazard.

Yet there are other, less obvious missteps that can sabotage an entrepreneur’s pitch.

That’s according to Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media and one of four investors on the new Oxygen docuseries “Quit Your Day Job.”

In the show, which premiered on March 30, millennial entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to Zuckerberg and business successes Ido Leffler, Sarah Prevette, and Lauren Maillian.

The catch? All four investors have to agree on whether to invest in each business. Along the way, the investors mentor the entrepreneurs and give them specific challenges to prove that their business concept works.

Business Insider recently attended a panel featuring some of the “Quit Your Day Job” investors. After the panel, we spoke with Zuckerberg further about some of the most common mistakes she saw while filming the eight-episode series.

1. They don’t know their numbers

Zuckerberg told the audience that some entrepreneurs come in saying, “I will work hard for this,” without presenting any specific data.

While a solid work ethic is impressive, “data speaks really loudly,” she added.

Moreover, Zuckerberg said, you’ll want to use those numbers to show the investors “why you,” as opposed to someone else in the industry.

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Randi Zuckerberg and Ido Leffler speak at the “Quit Your Day Job” panel.
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Oxygen

2. They don’t toot their own horn

In the interview with Business Insider, Zuckerberg said this can be a problem – especially for women.

Many male entrepreneurs “tell me how awesome they are,” she added, which can put female entrepreneurs at an immediate disadvantage.

One of the best ways to learn to advocate for yourself, Zuckerberg said, is to have a peer network who can do it for you.

For example, maybe they’ll share news about your business on social media and you’ll do the same for them. Presumably, that’s a little less intimidating than having to engage in shameless self-promotion.

3. They choose a cofounder with the same skills

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of choosing a cofounder who has the same skill set that they do, Zuckerberg said in the interview.

That’s likely because they know they’ll be spending a lot of time with that person, so they want to like them.

But what entrepreneurs should be doing is partnering with someone who has a different skill set. That way, their skills will complement each other, instead of overlap. Plus, they won’t step on each other’s toes and will have a better chance of leading their business to success.

SunEdison just disclosed that the Feds want more information about the deal that ruined everything

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Shutterstock

SunEdison received a subpoena from the Department of Justice on Monday.

In a regulatory filing Thursday, SunEdison disclosed that the DOJ is requesting documents related to its acquisition of Vivint Solar, and how it financed projects in Uruguay, among others.

Vivint terminated its deal with SunEdison earlier in March, and argued that the company was unable to fulfill its obligations.

SunEdison also said it got an informal inquiry from the Securities and Exchange Commission “covering similar areas.”

“The Company and the board of directors intend to cooperate with the DOJ’s inquiry and the SEC investigation,” it said.

Shares were little changed in after-hours trading. They’ve plunged 55% over the past five days, and closed at $0.5402 on Thursday.

Here’s the full regulatory filing:

On March 28, 2016, SunEdison, Inc. (the “Company”) received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) seeking information and documentation relating to: (i) certain financing activities in connection with the Company’s acquisition of Vivint Solar, Inc., (ii) the conduct of a former non-executive employee who is alleged to have committed wrongdoing in connection with the Vivint termination negotiations, (iii) the previously disclosed investigations by the Company’s audit committee, (iv) intercompany transactions involving the Company and each of TerraForm Power Inc. and TerraForm Global Inc. and (v) the financing of the Company’s Uruguay projects in connection with project costs and equity contributions that remain to be contributed by the Company and the DOJ may have additional requests. Also, the Company has received a nonpublic, informal inquiry from Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) covering similar areas.