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Marc Lore plans to build utopian city called Telosa somewhere in the desert

Telosa utopia may pick and choose its residents

Marc Lore plans to build utopian city called Telosa somewhere in the desert
Utopian city//Courtesy of Telosa

Telosa utopia may pick and choose its residents

Marc Lore, the former CEO of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce division, is planning on building a smart city called Telosa somewhere in the desert. If you want to move there, though, you may have to undergo an application process. While the intention is to make sure that Telosa lives up to Lore’s high-minded ideals, any criticism of the process could become a legal nightmare.

City club
Like a high-class co-op in New York City, Marc Lore’s city of the future may have a vigorous application process.

  • Optimistically, the $400 billion city will allegedly welcome the first round of 50,000 residents, called “settlers,” by 2030.
  • Each potential resident must fill out an application that will be vetted by “a team of staff and volunteers that includes architects, economists, engineers, climate experts, and more.”
  • The application process will reportedly have a focus on diversity and inclusion.

The former Walmart exec is beating the drum on his planned utopia, Telosa, that will be built in either Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, or the Appalachian Region.

What’s yours is mine
Telosa is essentially one big experiment based on a vision that Lore calls “equitism” — a mix of equality and capitalism.

  • It will offer residents equal access to healthcare, education, and transportation.
  • It will be built to support autonomous vehicles and run on renewable energy.
  • The land will be owned by the community, so that any appreciation on it will be funnelled back to residents through improvements in infrastructure.

Additionally, Telosa will have a VC fund for any startups that want to relocate to the city. That should be enticing.

Entrepreneurship vs. Intrapreneurship: What’s the Difference?

Two similar words with very distinct meanings—intrapreneur and entrepreneur. 

An entrepreneur is a person who starts and owns a business. An intrapreneur is an employee in a company who uses entrepreneurial skills to innovate and improve the company. Just because you work for a company doesn’t mean you’re considered an intrapreneur. 

Risk vs. Reward

Entrepreneurs have different risks compared to intrapreneurs. They are also compensated differently. As a business owner, your income is entirely dependent on your work ethic and forces out of your control. 

Intrapreneurs can earn a lot of money via performance bonuses and raises but are somewhat at the mercy of their employer. 

The Advantages and Risks of Entrepreneurship

Opening a new business is challenging. The vast majority of new companies and businesses in America do not last. Only 25% of new businesses make it past the 15-year mark.

Entrepreneurs need financial skills involving marketing, research, and business knowledge, and financial capital to get it all started. Luckily, there are more options to finance a business venture than ever. 

Being an entrepreneur means that you will either be doing everything on your own or hiring people to help you, like managers and consultants. Sometimes, people who own and run businesses completely on their own are called “Solopreneurs.”

The benefit of running a business entirely on your own is that you get to keep all the revenue minus expenses. Not having to worry about hiring staff can keep you more nimble and allow for more control, but this method has its costs.

Formal education can certainly help in the pursuit of starting a successful business, but surveys show that most entrepreneurs do not have a college degree. What seems to be a key factor to success is experience.

Advantages of Intrapreneurship

One of the biggest upsides to working within a pre-existing company or organization is the lack of risk. The worst that can happen financially is getting fired. Business owners have a lot more skin in the game if things go south. 

By not owning the business or its assets, you are free from the financial fallout of a company that fails. People who start businesses that fail usually end up in financial ruin and have to go through difficult processes like bankruptcy. 

Another bonus to intrapreneurship is a steady paycheck. Regular income and benefits is a staple in stability. As an intrapreneur, your job is not just to provide labor to your employer. You also need to actively add value to the company with new ideas and products that will make the company more profitable and sustainable. 

Another advantage for intrapreneurs is the number of resources immediately available when you get hired. There are managers, staff, and other resources at your disposal to help you through your career. 

The Risks of Intrapreneurship

Intrapreneurship is inherently lower risk than standard entrepreneurship, and it’s a lot more financially stable. Business owners are on the hook for not just their own labor but everything else involving the company. 

Regular business owners have startup costs and few financial safeguards. When working your way up and advancing through an existing company, there’s the risk of being fired, and that’s about it. 

An abstract risk to intrapreneurship is that you’ll have less control over your career, and it may take you places you did not intend. 

The Rewards

Entrepreneurship is a chance to have complete control over how a business runs. Owning your business means keeping the profits. And if you end up selling your company, you keep all of the money from that sale. 

As a business owner, there are innumerable perks like making your own hours, prices, and business approach. A good example of an entrepreneur you’re probably familiar with is J.K. Rowling. Today, she is considered a household name but had humble beginnings. 

Now famous for her award-winning Harry Potter novels, Rowling was living on welfare as a single mother before her rise. Her books are credited by many for the popularization of young teen novels, and the film adaptations and merchandise rights only added to their value. Today, she is estimated to be worth about $1 billion. 

A Case Study of Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs

Tim Cook of Apple Inc. replaced Steve Jobs as CEO in 2011. These two men are perfect examples of an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur working together. 

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is a classic example of an entrepreneur. He found a gap in the computer market and filled it with a company he co-founded: Apple Computer Company. 

Before the Macintosh, computers were not user-friendly, and they were primarily used by tech companies, scientists, and government agencies like NASA. Job’s recognized this and believed that computers could be a consumer product in the home. 

For the most basic of tasks, computers require that you learn their language and input unintuitive codes to achieve things. The Macintosh changed this with an easy-to-use interface that is widely considered the precursor to Windows 95. 

In 2007, Jobs revealed the iPhone to the public at the Macworld convention in San Francisco, and the world was never the same. Entrepreneurs don’t just start businesses. They come up with new ideas and change the world. 

Jobs was an entrepreneur in the truest sense in that he created a company and products that upset the natural order. 

Tim’s Early Career

Cook earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the Auburn University of Alabama. After graduating, he worked for IBM from 1982 to 1994 and became a director within the company. 

While working, he earned his Master’s degree in business administration from Duke University. After that, Cook had a couple more high-ranking jobs at different companies. In 1998, he met Steve Jobs, who offered Cook a position at Apple.

At this time in Apple’s history, it was not the tech giant we know today. It was actually nearing bankruptcy, and Cook went into the position understanding that things weren’t going well. 

Cook’s role at the time largely involved supply chain operations. He completely revamped the supplier operations by shutting down pre-existing manufacturers and signed new contracts with more efficient manufacturers. 

Within just a year of Cook’s hiring, Apple began to see profits for the first time in years. Other decisions he made early on, like investing in new flash memory technology, were crucial to Apple’s future success. 

These decisions had direct impacts on how Apple would produce products like iPods and iPads. While Jobs was battling pancreatic cancer, Cook would go on to take over more and more of the executive work and went higher up the ranks. 

Cook truly is the pinnacle of intrapreneurship. He entered into a company on the verge of bankruptcy and helped turn it into the most valuable company in the world in the span of thirteen years. 

Intrapreneurs and Entrepreneurs

Intrapreneurs are a necessary support for most traditional entrepreneurs. They play a key role in the vast majority of business venture’s success and adaptability. A lot of credit is given to entrepreneurs for leading the way in things like environmental protection and workers’ rights.

However, more credit needs to be given to those who innovate and create change from within existing businesses and organizations. It might technically be an easier path to success, but it still requires intelligence, talent, and experience. 

 

Sources:

Top 6 Reasons New Businesses Fail | Investopedia

Tim Cook tells climate change skeptics to ditch Apple shares | The Guardian

What is Intrapreneurship? | Elmhurst University 

What Is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurship is an economic idea that plays off of the best elements of a few economic theories. 

The overall goal is to use capitalist business practices and socialist humanitarianism and environmentalism together, all mixed with a healthy dose of innovation. Generally, the aim is to work towards social change or solving social problems, especially as they extend to the status quo.  

What Is Social Entrepreneurship?

Social entrepreneurs are somewhere near the middle of the economic spectrum by striving for a profit while also contributing to the community for the good of the whole. They use capitalist mechanisms for social benefit on a more systemic level than regular philanthropy and donations. 

Characteristics of social entrepreneurs often include creativity, determination, a strong sense of ethics and empathy, and much more. They’re looking to implement solutions with their social business ventures, not to gain political clout or make a load of money. 

Where Social Entrepreneurs Fit In

With the economic system we have, where does social entrepreneurship fit? The goal is to simply start a profitable company and then invest those profits into the employees and community, often while being ecologically sustainable. 

Instead of taking the profits from your business and buying yourself a second house, you invest those funds into things that actively improve your community as a whole. It’s more than just simple philanthropy.  

Social entrepreneurs and their ventures self-regulate by taking profits and lifting others up. The definition of a social entrepreneur is so broad because there is a wide spectrum of them and their practices. For example, some may recruit investors and donors and raise money for a new venture, while others attempt to build from the ground up on their own. 

Some of them reinvest into their own employees by creating programs that use company profits to pay for college tuition and healthcare. Others may create low-cost clinics for impoverished communities that financially break even. These types of business owners are not driven by excess but by social, economic, and ecological advancement. The social entrepreneur aims to make a positive impact. 

They are basically philanthropists that use their business skills to create positive change with an intelligent and thoughtful approach. These social activists focus on social innovation and social ventures that target problems they see in the world around them. 

Where Do Non-Profit Companies Fit?

Non-profit organizations and companies are on the other end of the spectrum, opposite to standard entrepreneurs. They exist solely to benefit communities through charitable donations, memberships, and other forms of income like branded merchandise. 

These organizations are not out to profit from anyone. They make just enough revenue to break even. The owners receive nothing extra on top of normal fixed income. Amnesty International is a non-profit based in the UK. 

Their goals heavily revolve around human rights and generating campaigns for its advocacy around the world. The goals of these social enterprises are strikingly similar to a social entrepreneur’s goals. 

The key difference is that one strives for a profit by producing a product and or service that isn’t necessarily related to their social and environmental goals, while the other solely exists to serve social and environmental goals and only uses profits for expenses and not bonuses. 

Societal Changes Needed Today

America has some serious, deep-seated problems with its social fabric. Things like the environment and the ripples of past discrimination of people of color are major issues, and many social entrepreneurs are trying to solve these issues. Each has its own specific social mission.

That said, the United States isn’t the only country where social entrepreneurs work to add social value. For example, Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, helps women in Bangladesh break out of poverty through microloans. TOMs shoes are another example of social entrepreneurship in recent years, donating a pair of shoes to children in need across the world, often in developing countries. 

Marginalized Groups

Marginalized groups, like African Americans, have been left behind socially and economically. Not only have they been denied access to housing and adequate policing, but they have also had difficulties starting and maintaining businesses. 

Recently, Target has been actively practicing a form of social entrepreneurship by stocking and promoting black-owned brands like Mented Cosmetics, a makeup brand co-founded and owned by Amanda Johnson. 

This is a clever but simple symbiotic relationship between Target and Mented Cosmetics. Target gets to profit from a brand while economically promoting a brand owned by someone from a marginalized group. Everybody wins. 

Mo’s Burgers is a food cart located in Harlem, New York, and is owned and operated by Mo Robinson Jr. The founder sells fruity drinks, burgers, and hotdogs. Mo only sells the burgers for $2 and the hotdogs for $1.50. He specifically states that he keeps his prices down so that the young black kids can afford it. 

Mo probably doesn’t even realize that he is partaking in social entrepreneurial practices, but he is aware of the social benefits of his business model. Hotdogs usually go up to $3 in the city, so it’s important that lesser-advantaged youth have access to affordable food vendors.

You may be thinking that $1.50 isn’t a significant price difference, but that could mean the difference between a kid eating lunch twice a week and four times a week. 

Systemic Healthcare Problems

You know there is a systemic problem when a third of GoFundMes are for medical care costs. Based on 2015-2017 data, over 39% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, out-of-pocket costs for newly diagnosed patients frequently represent 23% to 63% of their household incomes. 

And that’s just cancer. These numbers don’t include the flurry of other medical challenges Americans face on a daily basis. Two-thirds of Americans filing for bankruptcy cite medical debt as a key element as to why they file. 

One of the biggest criticisms of health insurance in America is that it is often attached to our employers. The original concept and intentions behind this were well-meaning but unfortunately had unintended consequences.  

Because people’s insurance companies are tied to their employers, there is basically no competition, thus allowing for unregulated price hikes. 

Some companies, like Boston Consulting Group, are attempting to remedy this issue by covering employee health insurance completely. 

Health insurance is expensive—really expensive. By completely covering these costs, they are bolstering their employees’ financial positions. 

The Environment

The field of social entrepreneurship is usually very conscientious of the environment and sustainability. Companies like Allbirds concentrate heavily on sustainability and dampening the environmental issues caused by the fashion industry

Fast fashion is responsible for dumping billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. Allbirds and other such organizations rely on sustainable materials like wool, trees that rely on natural rainfall as a water source, and even sugar. 

Leaving a positive impact on the world is a key component of the concept of social entrepreneurship. Economically speaking, being environmentally friendly isn’t just good for nature and marketing; it’s good for the business. Companies that rely on finite resources typically have a hard time surviving in the long run. 

Oil companies constantly have to find new locations and underground reservoirs to get oil out from. Once their wells are dry, that particular operation is over. This results in entire operations, including equipment and employees, completely uprooting the worksite. 

Operations like these are not sustainable. They end up costing the oil companies millions and billions of dollars just to grab a resource that will not replenish for literally millions of years. Solar panel technology has seen some huge strides in just the last few years. 

Future generations will likely rely on natural resources like solar, wind, and other renewables for energy because the oil will eventually disappear. It’s going to take characters like Elon Musk, who are driving us towards socially beneficial things like satellite internet available to everyone from almost anywhere. 

You may not think of Musk as a social entrepreneur because he definitely strives for personal gain but you can’t deny the positive societal impacts his company’s products and services produce. 

Social Entrepreneurs and Business

What is the point of high profits if the world and its people are set on fire anyway? 

After all, you need people with disposable income and a healthy planet to maintain any business model. If you’re going to make a profit, you might as well invest in the future of our world. 

Social entrepreneurs can look to places like Bill Drayton’s Ashoka, The Skoll Foundation, and The Schwab Foundation for help getting started, too, so they don’t have to do the whole business venture all on their own.

 

Sources:

New data on Americans crowdfunding medical expenses | Yahoo

Cancer Statistics | National Cancer Institute

This is the real reason most Americans file for bankruptcy | CNBC

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW | David Bornstein and Susan Davis | Asokau 

Your Guide on How To Create NFT Art

NFTs are extremely hot in the online market right now in both a creative and financial capacity. This relatively new technology has changed the art world and is flooding it with money and opportunities. 

What Is an NFT?

NFT stands for “Non-Fungible Token.” It operates very similarly to cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Many of them are part of the Ethereum blockchain, although not all. It basically allows for creators to have “originals” of their digital artwork. Of course, NFTs don’t stop at art—at some point, there might even be concert ticket NFTs. 

NFTs aren’t just short sports clips or pixelated cat gifs; almost anything in the form of a digital file can be one. In fact, Jack Dorsey, the founder and CEO of Twitter, sold his first tweet as an NFT.

A Brief History

In 2008, a person under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto” created the idea for a decentralized digital currency that didn’t rely on any government or bank. They called it Bitcoin, and the concept cut out the middleman. 

In January of 2009, the blockchain was launched, and the first transaction was made. However, it was just a test, and Bitcoin didn’t have any real value yet. The first real transaction that established Bitcoin’s real-world value was done by negotiating for two pizzas. 

The two pizzas cost $25 in real money, and the two parties agreed on 10,000 Bitcoins. This translated to Bitcoin being valued at $0.0025. That’s 4 Bitcoins per cent. The value of the cryptocurrency was completely arbitrary and negotiated on online forums. 

In 2010, Bitcoin became available on exchanges and was now more accessible to the public. By 2011, the price had finally reached the perceived and agreed-upon value of $1.00. Today, Bitcoin’s price stands at over $54,000 per coin—but this fluctuates constantly. 

Between 2012 and 2013, the very first NFTs came about in the form of “Colored Coins.” They were essentially smaller denominations of Bitcoins and were used to represent many different kinds of digital assets like digital collectibles and other types of property like shares in companies.

The NFT Today

NFTs really gained serious momentum in January this year thanks to companies like NBA Top Shot and CryptoPunks. It’s all thanks to perceived value and hype. Technically, these tokens don’t have any inherent value, but they do because we say they do. 

NBA Top Shot became wildly successful recently and has sold over $230 million in professional basketball highlights as of February 2021. Basically, these digital collectibles are the new trading cards. 

Earlier this year, a new record was set for the highest sale price of an NBA Top Shot NFT; it was a clip of LeBron James emulating a dunk Kobe Bryant was famous for in his honor. It sold for over $387,000. 

CryptoPunk NFTs are pixelated digital art pieces, and one just sold for nearly $12 million. The piece in question, CryptoPunk 7523, is a pixelated blue alien wearing a red hat, a facemask, and gold earrings. Believe it or not, the top ten CryptoPunks ever sold were all valued in the millions. 

In March of 2021, NFT history was made when Mike Winkelmann, aka digital artist Beeple, sold a piece of NFT artwork called “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” for over $69 million. 

The future of NFTs is relatively uncertain. Tech bubbles have been created and popped before due to excessive speculation, and it would be foolish to think that NFTs are somehow immune to that possibility. 

Most of us probably didn’t predict how valuable Pokemon trading cards would become. Those cards we traded for candy bars in the schoolyard are now valued in the thousands. For all we know, NFTs may have the same fate as Beanie Babies. 

The thing that makes NFTs fairly unique in the space of collectibles is that almost anyone can make them and sell them. This makes the value of these digital items more difficult to understand. 

How To Create an NFT

Luckily, creating your first NFT is pretty straightforward. You’ll need to design your piece and then decide what blockchain to have your work issued on. Then, there is the process of marketing and selling your NFT.

Blockchains

When you go out for a cup of coffee and pay for it with your debit card, there are multiple parties involved with the transaction process: your account, one or two different banks, and the shop’s account. 

With decentralized currency like Bitcoin, there are no banks or governments involved. Transactions are peer to peer and logged on a public record permanently. It’s sort of like each Bitcoin has a serial number that is logged and tracked through many computers connected to the internet that constantly cross-reference each other for discrepancies. 

NFT Marketplaces

NFTs are sold on a wide range of sites. In the high-stakes world of purchasing NFTS, most people are flocking to platforms like Flow, Ethereum, Axie Infinity, and World Asset eXchance (WAX).

While digital wallets are all the rage, this isn’t exactly an Apple or Google Pay situation. Instead, buyers must use cryptocurrency. This highly volatile type of digital currency is complex and difficult to predict. Each site can have its own rules. You may have to buy dollars to use from a particular site (like Axie) or use a digital wallet like MetaMask or Bitski. 

How To Sell and Buy NFT Artwork

It’s easy to assume that iconic artwork like Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Edvard Munch’s The Scream has staggering monetary value (after all, these and similar paintings were targets of famous art heists). 

It’s a little harder to comprehend how a distorted drawing of The Simpsons is one of the highest-selling NFTs of all time

Basics of Selling

If you have an iconic internet moment or an interesting piece of art, you might just be sitting on the next multi-million dollar NFT. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. First, you have to “mint” your NFT. This happens through the website of your choice, and the site requires you to pay certain fees for this service.
  2. Make sure to load up funds on your digital wallet (also called a crypto wallet).
  3. Upload the media file to the site of your choice (OpenSea, AtomicMarket, or Mintable).
  4. Set the price — this price is set in cryptocurrency (Bitcoin or Ethereum are popular).
  5. Wait for the crypto market to soar and price accordingly. 
  6. Profit (hopefully).

Basics of Buying

If you’ve got cash to burn and are in the market for the best fun fact you can share at a future party, here is how to buy an NFT:

  1. Join a market dedicated to buying and selling NFTs.
  2. Acquire a digital wallet (also called a crypto wallet). Every market basically uses a different digital wallet, and, like gift cards, these wallets don’t work at competing sites. 
  3. Go to the site of your choice. You have to decide if you want to buy at an auction or do a buy-now transaction. 
  4. Keep in mind that crypto is always in a state of flux, so watch the market to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. When ETH goes down, sellers are more likely to try to sell in case the market takes an even deeper dive.
  5. Pick a piece: either keep an eye on the auction or buy immediately.

Notable NFTs

Perhaps the new version of the art collector and aficionado is the NFT collector that delves into the world of digital artists. If you’re interested in ownership of one of the following NFTs, we’re sorry to say these particular ones are off the table (at least at the moment). 

The Nostaglia NFT

It’s no secret that nostalgia is pretty powerful. If you can remember back to the internet days of 2007, you might recall a viral YouTube video called “Charlie Bit My Finger” (sometimes called “Charlie Bit Me”). This 55-second video made the rounds on everyone’s Facebook. In fact, way back when, this iconic and hilarious clip was the most-watched video on all of YouTube.

“Charlie Bit My Finger” starred Harry, age three, complaining that his younger brother, Charlie, age one, bit him on the finger. As of July 2021, this video is pushing at upwards of 900 million views.

In an auction in May of 2021, Charlie and Harry’s parents sold the NFT of this clip for £538,000. That translates to $728,807.32 in US dollars. The boys have stated that they intend to use these funds to attend university. 

The Ironic NFT

In the world of street art, no name is as prominent as Bansky. Known for iconic pieces like “Girl With Balloon” and “Flower Thrower,” this artist is no stranger to controversy and drama. 

To this date, two Bansky NFTs have hit the open market, although it should be noted that the artist themselves was not involved in either of these big-ticket transactions. In what many deemed a tasteless stunt, Injective Protocol (a Blockchain company) and the owners of the Bansky piece burned Bansky’s 2006 screenprint called “Morons (White).” 

Injective Protocol forked over $95,000 for the work to burn it and then sold the NFT of this piece. The NFT of this piece taken before it was set aflame brought in a huge sum of $380,000. 

The seller noted that they chose this piece due to Bansky’s inscription on the original screenprint. It reads, “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this shit.” Some appreciated the irony, while many others found the whole debacle to be rather unfortunate.  

The Art Heist NFT

In August 2021, a Bansky work was once again involved in the NFT market, but this one was certainly less than savory. A hacker gained access to Banksy’s website, and the hacker then auctioned off a Bansky NFT on OpenSea. However, this NFT wasn’t an actual NFT: it was a total fake. 

The hacker was able to sell this fake NFT for 100 Ethereum, which equates to $336,000 in real-life dollars. In a surprisingly wholesome turn of events, the scammer returned all the money to his victim.  

Art in the Age of the Internet

The first computers were basically as powerful as the calculator you used in Geometry class. When the internet took off, some people barely noticed its presence and called it a fad. 

Now, pictures on the internet are selling for similar prices to oil paintings that take years to produce. If one thing is for sure, the internet is astounding. It constantly finds new ways to surprise, entertain, and educate us.

 

Sources:

15 Most Expensive NFTs Sold (So Far) | ScreenRant

How to make, buy and sell NFTs | CNBC

NBA Top Shot, CryptoPunks And More: What You Need To Know About NFTs | Yahoo Finance 

Banksy art burned, destroyed and sold as token in ‘money-making stunt’ | BBC

Fake Banksy NFT sells for more than $300,000 | CNBC

LeBron James’ SpringHill Company Sells Stake

LeBron’s SpringHill Company assembles investment team

LeBron James’ SpringHill Company Sells Stake

LeBron’s SpringHill Company assembles investment team

LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Company has tapped a diverse roster of investors to take a minority stake in the growing entertainment powerhouse, valuing the company at an expected $725 million. Fresh with funding, SpringHill is looking to expand even further… and may focus on emerging tech trends for its next chapter.

Racking up points
After exploring a potential sale for the better part of a year, LeBron James has filled the investment bench for his SpringHill Company.

  • SpringHill has sold a “significant minority stake” to RedBird Capital Partners, Fenway Sports Group, Nike, and Epic Games.
  • The deal values the company at $725 million.
  • LeBron and CEO Maverick Carter will remain majority stakeholders.

It plans on using the funding to expand the company’s many arms, possibly get into the M&A craze, and “bring new content to the metaverse” via Epic — a real-life Space Jam 2?

The deal is just another example of the growing appetite for star-driven companies that have diversified into every creative industry. Most recently, Blackstone group paid a hefty sum to acquire Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and is also trying to scoop up Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc.

Nike opens Lebron James Innovation Center

Nike opens high-tech sports science lab

The Future. Nike has opened the doors to its LeBron James Innovation Center — a complex where scientists in physiology, biology, and psychology will study the fundamentals of sports. It plans to study not just pros but everyday athletes who make up the actual consumer base of Nike. Eventually, the company could collect so much data and test-run so many iterations of products that wearing Nike footwear or apparel may factually be deemed a competitive advantage.

Decoding LeBron
Welcome to the mecca of sports science.

  • The 750,000 square-foot LeBron James Innovation Center is located at the company’s main Beaverton campus.
  • There, the Nike Sport Research Lab (NSRL) can test every aspect of athletics to inform support for both pros and everyday players with product technology.
  • It has the largest motion-capture installation in the world — 400 cameras and 97 force panels that cover a track and turf playing field and a full-size basketball court.
  • The facility also has environment chambers where scientists can test how different products perform under different climates.

While Nike has a huge roster of pros that it hopes to test and mine data from, the company says that 85% of its testing will be reserved for everyday athletes. You can apply to be a Swoosh guinea pig here.

Dribble data
Nike VP of innovation Matt Nurse says that what makes the facility “exceptional” is that it’s surrounded by the world’s best designers and creatives, explaining that “there’s always a healthy tension and pushing of art and science, and when they come together is when the magic happens.”

Those aren’t just empty words: the facility is housed in the same area as the company’s “biomechanical researchers and computational designers.” Nike claims that with everyone working together, they’ll be able to churn out new product prototypes in under an hour….which can then be tested in the facility.

For LeBron, his name on the building is one of the biggest honors that Nike bestows. And why wouldn’t they? LeBron, one of the best living athletes, has been with the brand for almost 20 years, has multiple shoe lines, and has a lifetime contract with the company worth over $1 billion.

How To Start Wholesaling Real Estate: A Step By Step Guide

Wholesaling property is an exciting way to make a lot of money very quickly. There are certainly risks, but this guide will help you figure out how to make sales and get business connections that land you good deals. 

What Is Wholesaling Real Estate?

Wholesaling real estate is a strategy that some investors use to make money in the relative short term. It’s important to note that it doesn’t follow the same principles as retail wholesaling, either. 

Basically, an investor will find a property, often a distressed one, that’s for sale, and make a contract with the seller to purchase it. However, instead of taking on the property themselves or making renovations, the way that someone flipping property would, they simply find another buyer, and charge them more than what they contracted with the seller. The wholesaler keeps the difference in sale prices and thus makes a profit. 

Finding a Property to Wholesale

Finding houses and other types of property is particularly difficult right now, based on market trends. Right now, the housing market is appreciating at a rapid pace. There are more buyers than there are sellers, so finding property is more difficult than ever.  

Strategy

Properties that are in desperate need of repairs are the most desirable when it comes to wholesaling. There are two types of agents; buying agents and listing agents. Listing agents are the people who put the house up for sale and publicize it on sites like Zillow. 

Buying agents are the people who help those who are looking to actually buy the property. Typically, both of these types of agents would collect about 3% commission when working together in helping two parties sell and buy a property. 

When looking for a distressed property for sale, it’s best to contact the seller directly without using a buying agent. This is called dual agency. Under this circumstance, the selling agent will get twice the commission if your offer is accepted. 

The selling agent is now much more inclined to give you a better deal on the property because that agent’s commission just got doubled no matter what. The selling agent is, in a sense, working for your interests now. 

This strategy will facilitate a foundation for future relationships with selling agents. They will eventually start to reach out to you with property listings because they want the double commission. Sometimes, listing agents will even let you know of future listings ahead of when they will be officially listed.   

Sellers Who Are Motivated

One of the types of sellers to look for are estate heirs. These are people who inherited a property but don’t actually want to keep it. These people likely already have homes themselves, or they can’t afford the taxes on the newly inherited home. 

Absentee owners are people who own properties but don’t actually maintain or even occupy the property. These types of owners are distinguished from active owners by being very hands-off and are much more likely to be motivated to sell. 

Properties that have liens attached to them have owners that are likely trying to get out from under debt. They see selling the property as a quick way of getting the funds necessary to pay off their debts. 

Foreclosures are public record, and many areas even offer lists of them. The reason they can be bought for so cheap is that they are being sold by the lender, and they only make a profit from any sale. Their goal is to simply recuperate the costs of the failed loan and then some.  

Making an Offer

It’s important to understand the local market of the property you are looking to acquire. It’s not all about paperwork and negotiations. You also need to strengthen your relationship with potential sellers.

Transparency

If you attempt to go about negotiations and offers with sellers in a way that seems dishonest, you’ll likely have your offer declined and damage your reputation. Selling agents are people just like you, and it’s best to be as transparent as possible with them. 

Take care in explaining exactly what your intentions are and discuss what your process will look like. If done right, you will foster a lucrative business relationship with many selling agents that love working with you because it will benefit both of you. 

Teamwork

There are three other parties that you need to have involved in the process; an appraiser, a contractor, and a title company. These parties will help assist you in making the process not only easier but much more lucrative. 

Appraiser

An appraiser determines the value of a home by examining the quality of the property and making sure that everything is up to code and safe. Appraisers know where and what to look for on properties. They can point out things you might not know to think about. 

They will perform a room-by-room walkthrough of the home and inspect for damage, quality of construction, and possible local code violations that need to be amended. The appraiser’s assessment can be used to leverage a better deal when negotiating a price. 

Depending on the state you live in, an appraisal can cost anywhere between $200 and $400. It might be tempting to skip out on this part of the process altogether, but it’s not a good idea. Without a professional appraisal, you’re basically going into the sale blind. 

Homes can look great on the surface, but who knows how many problems could be lying just underneath? Appraisers can point out things that may end up making the value of the property much less than what you were looking to sell it for. 

Contractor

A contractor can also inspect the property and assess what repairs or changes are necessary. The contractor will also be able to generate an estimate for the needed work. This estimate will inform your selling price later. 

Always check your contractor’s history and follow up on previous work that they have done. The internet makes it earlier than ever to find reviews to ensure you’re getting a realistic estimate. 

Title Company

Title companies analyze the title of the property for liens, defects in the title, and claims of encumbrances. They mostly examine public records. This process can be complicated, though, so it’s best to leave it to a professional. 

These companies ensure you’re actually buying a house legally and in full. If you don’t hire a title company, you could end up buying a property from someone who didn’t fully own it. It’s kind of like scam insurance. 

Finding a Buyer

You can’t sell a property if you can’t find someone willing to buy it. Luckily, there are a number of ways to attract buyers and investors, and most of them will either cost little or no money at all. 

Networking

Go to trade events that promote making business connections to possible investors. Social media is another great tool in your arsenal for connecting with other professionals in a quick, free way.

Starting your own website can also be a great way to attract higher-end buyers as long as it’s done well and is advertised. If you go to trade shows and events, be sure to have the website on your business cards. 

This is also an opportunity to utilize your new connections with selling agents. If you’ve gained their trust, they can provide you with leads and potential investors. They have access to connections that you can possibly tap into.

Closing the Deal

Before discussing a final number on a deal, you need to agree on a finder’s fee for the property sale. Most wholesalers charge anywhere between 5% and 10%. There are two ways to finalize a sale; an assignment of contract and a double close.

Assignment of Contract

These types of contracts are fairly straightforward. You’re basically signing a contract that says you have the right to sell the contract to the buyer for a fee. This is a simple transfer of the rights of contract. 

Double Close

A double close is where you essentially have two separate transactions; one between the wholesaler and the seller and one right after between the wholesaler and the buyer. This method allows you to keep your capital gains secret from the two other parties.  

Closeout

Real estate is a risky market but also lucrative if done properly. The great thing about wholesaling real estate is that you really don’t need a realtor license. You also don’t need a lot of capital to get started. 

Wholesaling has the potential of huge profits in a very short period of time. After you become more established and have the proper connections, you can do this practice many times over very quickly. It may take a few times before you get the hang of it, though. 

There are certainly risks to wholesaling, namely, not being able to find a buyer. Greed is often the biggest killer of deals. If the prices you set are too high, you will struggle to not only find a buyer but also struggle to stay in good standing with selling agents. 

Wholesaling real estate is not a consistent occupation, and there is no guaranteed paycheck. Income and profits are wildly unpredictable, so this type of work is probably best done on the side next to your full-time job.  

 

 

Sources:

Dual Agency In Real Estate | Forbes

Absentee ownership | Britannica

Appraisal Definition | Investopedia

Successful young business woman start up, crossed arm and smiling in workplace

How to Start a Business With No Money

Starting a business from absolutely nothing is no easy feat, but it can be done. There are some tools necessary, like good credit, internet access, and certain skills, but anyone can start a company or a startup these days. It just takes determination and following the right steps. You don’t have to be a billionaire or a venture capitalist to become a successful small business owner.

Business Planning

Just because you’re starting with no money doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brainstorm and write out a business plan. A business plan is like a map that you lay out in advance to help you achieve your business goals. Your goals, however, need to be concrete. 

A solid business plan can help get you the funds you need to get your services or goods off the ground. This plan will not just be something you use to reference personally; it will be shown to possible investors or partners to convince them to get on board with your ideas. Think of it almost like a marketing pamphlet. 

Type of Plan You Need

There are two basic types of business plans: lean and traditional. Lean plans are much more simplistic and streamlined. They work well for business goals that are clear and have fewer steps or boundaries to overcome compared to more complex business goals. 

Usually, lean plans only take up a single page and may only take an hour or two to write up. Examples of business ideas that may only require a lean plan include selling a single product on a popular eCommerce storefront. 

Creating and selling a single product on your own is relatively easy compared to more complex businesses that include multiple products and services that you plan to expand on. For more complex and expansive business ideas, you may need to consider a traditional business plan. 

Traditional business plans are usually much more detailed than basic business summaries or lean plans. They take more time to write because of how much more comprehensive they are. Traditional plans are much more complex, and you may need help in coming up with the outlining sections.

Business Plan Basics

Several core sections should be included in a good business plan. The first is an executive summary. This is the basic summary of things like what your company is, what product or service you are offering, and other things like who you will employ. 

The next section is a detailed description of your company. This is an opportunity to brag about how good your product or service is and why it’s better than your competitors. After that, you may need to include a section for market analysis. Prove that there is an unmet need that your company will be fulfilling. 

A section about the company structure and other important legal details regarding what type of company it is should be included. After that, write a section on the details of your product or service. This will include information about copyrights and patents. 

Some sections will have overlapping information on marketing, financials, and business costs, but it’s imperative to iron out those details with as much information as you can come up with. Will you maintain your own inventory, or will you make use of dropshipping? What kind of market research have you done? The final piece is the appendix, where all of the other things go, like resumes and credit reports. 

Once you have your business plan down, it will guide you and keep you focused on what you need to do. One of the biggest killers of new businesses is a lack of focus and planning. Business plans are technically not needed, but your company’s future will likely suffer if you opt-out of making one. 

Financial Support

There is no way to get around it; your business is going to need money, whether it’s yours or an investor’s. The good news is that this means you can still start a company from nothing. There are many ways to acquire funding to get started. 

Business Loans

Acquiring a business loan is a great way to get funding for your project. There are some hurdles and hoops to jump through, though. First, you’ll need to check your credit score and make sure it’s in good standing. 

Virtually no bank will give a business loan to someone with poor credit or little history. You can improve your credit score with credit cards that you regularly pay off. If you can’t get a credit card on your own, you can have a cosigner apply for a credit line under both of your names. 

An easy way to start building credit with cards is to apply monthly bills and regular expenses to a card. Things like gas, electricity bill, and groceries, for example, are common starters. Always pay your bills on time and keep your balance low. 

Remember that credit is not only used in your life for big purchases like cars and homes. Credit will be used for business opportunities, like small business loans. It’s also advisable to try and acquire a loan from a bank with which you already have an established relationship. 

They will be more likely to grant you financial services as opposed to banks that you have no history with. However, much of this depends on the financial climate you’re dealing with and can change annually.  

Banks are not the only place to get loans for your business. There are government-sponsored programs that financially help new businesses and companies that specialize in finding potential investors that match your company’s goals. 

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is the practice of acquiring startup capital from a large group of people, often through platforms like Kickstarter. Crowdfunders differentiate themselves from investors by not expecting a return on the money they put in. They have no stake in the company and are basically donors, rather than lenders. 

Crowdfunders often expect something in the form of a gift for their contributions, such as a discount on the product you’re selling, some sort of recognition, or potentially even to be used as a consultant. For example, if a film project is crowdfunded and someone donates enough, a perk may come in the form of appearing in the credits of the film.

Crowdfunding is becoming increasingly popular because of the low risk to the business. Loans need to be paid back, usually with interest, whether the business is successful or not. It’s a lot riskier. 

With a crowdfunding campaign, there is essentially no accountability or risk associated with getting donations, even if you end up getting a lot of money. Nobody will expect you to pay them back, depending on the agreement parameters you set. Sometimes, crowdfunding intermediaries require performance and results, or the money must be refunded. 

It’s not a free ride, however. Part of getting funds with crowdfunding is an advertising campaign or a social media presence of some kind. Some people make videos describing their goals, services, or products and publish them on Twitter, Linked In, or YouTube. They often follow a similar outline to a basic business plan. 

Online Businesses

Thanks to the internet, starting a company from home or your local coffee shop has never been easier. There are three types of online businesses: companies that provide products, companies that provide services, and companies that provide both. 

Ecommerce

Let’s say you have your own products, like jewelry or decor items, you want to sell online. You have a couple of options. You can choose to sell your product to potential customers on an established website that can facilitate payment processing and advertising—like Amazon, Etsy, or Ebay. 

The other option that is initially more challenging but possibly more profitable in the long term is making your own online storefront. It’s certainly a lot cheaper and easier than brick and mortar, but it’s still an obstacle. You can use websites like Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace to do this. 

Luckily, there are endless free resources that can teach you how to build a website. Some sites have templates that make it incredibly easy to customize your webpage and quickly get your online store up and running. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create a logo and get to work here. You can also aim to create a company blog to help funnel organic search to your website, as well as making use of social media marketing. 

The downside to these sites is that they do have a small upfront cost. If that’s something you can’t do, the established eCommerce sites may be your best option. They will usually take a cut of your sales, so that’s something to be aware of when deciding on pricing. 

Digital Services

With free online tutorials and resources, you can create a company by just learning a digital skill. There are endless examples and ideas yet to be conceived, but here are some examples:

  • Programming
  • Marketing
  • Content Editing and Creation
  • Data Analysis 
  • Online Security
  • Reselling
  • Online Learning Platform
  • Ebooks

And the list goes on. There are endless possibilities. Most of these business ideas require that you do some freelancing and contractor work before you actually start a business. This is a benefit, though. Working with these other companies first will give you the experience necessary to become the founder of your own company. 

Endgame

Starting from nothing and building something successful is part of the American dream. It’s tough, but it can certainly be done. If you have a great business idea, don’t let concern over funding hold you back–you have options. 

 

 

Sources: 

Fund Your Business | Small Business Administration

How to Write the Perfect Business Plan | Inc.

15 Free Online Learning Sites Every Entrepreneur Should Visit | Entrepreneur

What Is Remote Work? Things You Need to Know

Did you ever see those bogus internet ads that said you could earn cash just by working on your computer at home? They seemed like such an unrealistic scam. Then, 2020 happened, and remote work swiftly became commonplace. 

This change in work life forced many of us to take stock of our lives and what we were doing with them. This past year has seen some of the highest job resignations in history. And now, employers are fighting each other for talent. 

Sudden Change to Working From Home

In March of 2020, the world suddenly just stopped. People were told to go home, and bustling offices became ghost towns. The roads were suspiciously empty and quiet. 

2020 was the year of a massive shift in work life. Many were sent home with a laptop and maybe a headset for teleconferences. Others were laid off and had to rely on unemployment and find a new job altogether. 

COVID-19

The Pandemic was the catalyst for the WFH movement. Remote work was a type of employment that many people dreamed of. Working from the comfort of your own home or a local coffee shop was a fantasy for a lot of people. 

Remote work has been an idea that’s been considered by companies for a long time. It’s not like it wasn’t a thing before the pandemic, though. Companies like Google and other tech giants have had at least some employees work remotely. 

Independent contractors have been utilizing the WFH model for years. After all, why pay for office space that will only be used by people that are there temporarily? So, the concept of remote work has been proven to work and be beneficial. 

So, why haven’t we all been working from home these past years if WFH works? It’s likely that we’ve all just been so used to going into the office. Sitting on a bus or in your car for an hour every day to commute was something we didn’t really think about. 

COVID-19 was the push that offices needed, not only in America but around the world, to get people to work remotely. After all, what choice did companies have? Sure, they could retrofit all of their cubicles, integrate social distancing practices, and spend a bunch of money on daily sanitization. 

Or they could just send people home with a cheap laptop. Most companies chose the latter. The pandemic forced us to reconsider the benefits of physical office spaces. 

Mass Quitting

The pandemic didn’t just force people to reconsider how they worked; it made us think about the type of work we wanted to do. Forbes has called this past year “the great resignation.” Tens of thousands of people got a moment to breathe and reflect on their lives. 

It was like we all woke up and realized just how much we don’t like commuting, working under fluorescent lights, and spending all day in a cube. 2020 and 2021 have been a time of reexamination of our lives and career choices. 

And with the massive influx of available jobs, people are more tempted than ever to switch career paths. These companies are having to compete for new employees and are offering all kinds of benefits for new hires. 

Many companies are offering the option to either work from home or in the office. For those of us that miss the collaborative nature of the office, it’s nice that the option is there if we want it. Some people have an easier time focusing in a dedicated workspace away from home. 

And for the more introverted people, it’s relieving that we have the choice to stay home now. Not everyone works well around others. Some people simply like their space. This hybrid workflow and design should only benefit companies that are willing to be flexible.

People who would otherwise not be able to work for a certain company because of schedule issues can now be utilized remotely. With all of these benefits and opportunities, it’s no wonder why there has been a mass exodus. 

Companies are also competing for talent by increasing wages, and in some cases,  substantially. Even in-person jobs like fast food restaurants are offering much higher starting wages, but many are still struggling to get people to work for them. 

Everyone was getting fed up with low-paying jobs that take an hour to get to. COVID-19 was just the breaking point. And now, all kinds of economic opportunities are popping up around the country.

Productivity

So, you’re working from home, and you’re trying to figure out how to stay focused and on task? If you haven’t had the pleasure of remote work before, it can be quite an adjustment—mostly in a good way. 

Working at home comes with its challenges along with the benefits, and these distractions can affect productivity. If you have kids at home, it can be really difficult to stay on task even if you have an entirely separate room to work in. 

Are Remote Workers Getting Things Done?

Remote work focuses more on getting the job done than the number of hours worked. For employers, it can be difficult to track productivity if you can’t see what your remote workers are doing all day. 

However, Stanford conducted a compelling study that shows a 19% increase in overall productivity for people who start working from home. You’d think people would hardly be able to get anything done with so many more distractions, but it wasn’t the case at all for most.

When people work at home, minor worries like doing laundry and making dinner are no longer things that pile up at the end of the day. How many times have you come home from a long, hard day at work and had a million little chores still left to do? We bet more than a few. 

Working from home allows us to not be distracted by other coworkers. It’s nice asking a friend from work how their weekend went, but all of those little water cooler conversations can add up fast. There’s also the problem of in-person meetings at a physical office. 

All too often, we have had to go to meetings that break up our focus that didn’t amount to much and could have just been an email. Now, many would-be meetings have been turned into quick emails and short video calls. 

Remote work largely takes out the “when are we going home?” voice in our minds and has turned those voices into “What can we get done today?” 

How You Can Stay On Task

There are few things you can do to make sure you stay focused and energized while working remotely. The first thing is to not work in bed. It may be extremely tempting to just roll over and grab the laptop from the nightstand and go, but this will not only affect your work; it will mess with your sleep.

Keeping a regular routine and normal sleeping hours is crucial to your health and your work. It’s probably not a good idea to keep the pajamas on and roll over to the desk, either. Basically, just stick to the basic schedule that you had before working from home.

Get up, take a shower, and get dressed just like a normal day. Focusing on work is so much easier when you’re feeling fresh. 

If you can, keep your phone on the other side of whatever room you’re working in. Our phones have been engineered to grab and keep our attention for as long as possible. Social media, smooth user interface animations, and cat memes. Do yourself a favor and put a little bit of physical distance between yourself and your phone while working. 

Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks. Sugar might give you a momentary boost, but it will lead to lower levels of concentration in the long run. Try to stick with one to two cups of coffee a day. Anything beyond that could contribute to anxiety or a lack of focus. 

If you’re working on a laptop, an adjustable laptop stand might be a good idea. These stands raise the back of your computer up and give you a more ergonomic position for typing. Some of them even raise your entire laptop up to allow for a standing position at your desk. 

Going to a local cafe for fresh coffee and a nice view can really revitalize your attitude towards your work for the day. Coffee shops can get kinda loud, though. So, bring a pair of noise-canceling headphones. 

Is This The New Norm?

So, what does the future hold for us besides holograms? It’s hard to say if WFH is here to stay. Some say it’s all temporary and that office life is coming back eventually. Others say remote work is going to be the new norm and that working at a physical office will be reserved for a select few. 

Whether people liked it or not, our society has gotten a taste of being able to work from the comfort of our own homes. The pandemic kind of forced us to ask, “why do we need to go into an office at all?”

 

 

Sources:

Workers Are Quitting Their Jobs In Record Numbers | Forbes

In The War For Talent, Competition Has Never Been So Fierce | Forbes

Does Working From Home Work? | Stanford 

Startup Business People Looking on Strategy Board Information Thoughtful

The Types of Entrepreneurship

Successful entrepreneurs can be put into categories and many subcategories, but they can be broken down into maybe four or five different types with unique characteristics. Some people start a business or multiple businesses just for the money. Others do it because it’s their passion, they do it for a good cause, or because they see a social need or do it because they’re natural innovators. 

It’s important to remember that entrepreneurs each have a track record of previous failures, but they use them to their advantage. Failure is a wonderful teacher and to not learn from it is a terrible waste of experience. In order to figure out how to proceed, it’s important to know the different types of entrepreneurship and figure out which suits you best. 

The Traditional Entrepreneur

You’ve heard the classic stories of someone coming up with a brilliant new idea and making a business out of it. Traditional entrepreneurs are the kinds of businessmen and women that you probably think of when you’re thinking of company starters. 

Within this category, you might also consider certain types of small business entrepreneurship—like if a hairdresser started their own salon or a plumber started running a new business venture. On this small scale, they might be hiring mostly local employees and family members, but it can still grow and expand from there. These small business owners are absolutely entrepreneurs in their own right. 

This may also be referred to as opportunistic entrepreneurship. They identify gaps in the market and create a new product or service that fills that gap.

How Success is Achieved

There are millions of people who have started their own successful small and large companies in America. You’ve probably come across a few just by walking around town. They are everywhere. Many of them don’t even think of themselves as entrepreneurs. 

The word comes from the French term “entreprendre,” which means “undertake.” And depending on what they’re willing to undertake, anyone can truly be an entrepreneur these days. Going into most industries is easier and more accessible than ever, thanks to the internet. You can apply for jobs, do research, and conduct business deals on your phone today—so the role of traditional entrepreneur is one that’s increasingly easy to take on. 

Before the proliferation of the internet, it was much more difficult to conduct business meetings and transactions with supply chains and manufacturers. You had to actually have connections and know certain people. 

Having the right connections today certainly helps, but it’s no longer the requirement that it once was. Learning the particular business you’d like to enter is also easier than ever. There are countless free learning programs and online courses that are just sitting there waiting to be accessed. 

When it comes to the product or service you want to introduce to the market, it’s important to conduct market research and understand what kind of gap you’ll be filling.

Apple: An Example of the Traditional Entrepreneur

Apple is now a two-trillion-dollar company, and its products and services are used around the world. Today, nearly everyone owns a computer or smartphone, and Apple is largely responsible for that shift in society. 

Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne started Apple in Steve Job’s garage. Jobs had a simple idea; build a tool that can allow ordinary people to far exceed what they would normally be capable of. He thought of it as a “bicycle for the mind.” 

Computers before the 1980s were complex, and usually, only experts could effectively operate them. You actually had to learn the computer’s code language for the most basic tasks. 

These machines were almost exclusively used by scientists, international corporations, and certain parts of the government. The general public didn’t really know much about computers in the 60s and 70s beyond rudimentary things like calculations and information storage. 

Steve Jobs recognized the gap in the computer market. Computers needed to become friendly and easy to use. Computers could be something in an average person’s room and not just in a lab or office building. 

Apple also revolutionized cellphones with the first iPhone in 2007. Steve Jobs recognized how difficult cellphones were to use. Simple things like voicemail were hard to navigate, and the internet on these devices was overly simplified. 

The iPhone solved these problems with random access voicemail and an unrestricted web browser that loaded websites in their entirety. These areas were not previously addressed by the competition. 

The Passionate Entrepreneur

Sometimes people start businesses simply because they enjoy a passion or because they believe in a cause. This type of work is a bit of a double-edged sword. People are a lot more inclined to work hard on something if they feel intensely about the work. 

The possible downside is these people’s feelings getting in the way of profitable business objectives. Sometimes profitability isn’t even the goal for these types of entrepreneurs.

Brandon Stanton: An Example of the Passionate Entrepreneur

You may remember the “Humans of New York” project from years ago by Brandon Stanton. Brandon took 10,000 pictures of individuals in New York and asked a few questions about their lives. These photos were published on a website with a little bit of info on the subject. 

Brandon originally worked in finance but lost his job. Afterwards, he decided to dive deep into his passion for photography and created the Humans of New York website that is still up to this day. It’s filled with interesting stories and amazing photos.

His photography landed him awards and helped launch his career for photography and even publishing books. He is a perfect example of a “passionate entrepreneur.” Brandon has done public speaking tours and still works on photography projects today. 

For a Cause

There is a subcategory under passionate entrepreneurs for people who invest and pursue a cause. A French father and robotics engineer named Jean-Louis Constanza built a robotic exoskeleton for his wheelchair-bound son. 

The machine allows the user to stand and walk using voice commands. What started out as a personal project has transformed into a profitable undertaking. The exoskeleton is not available for personal use at home. 

However, many hospitals in several countries have bought and used them and have a price tag of roughly $177,000 each. This entirely new business cropped up because of a father’s desire for his 16-year-old son to walk.

The Buying Entrepreneur

People buying already established businesses is probably one of the most common types of entrepreneurship. Why go through all of the financial hardships and technical difficulties of starting a business when you can just jump right into one that is already working?

There are two major hurdles to overcome when buying a business: choosing the right business and having the capital to buy it to begin with. This is where a business loan from your bank may be able to help. 

Bill Gates: An Example of the Buying Entrepreneur

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, started as a traditional entrepreneur and graduated to a buying entrepreneur by mergers and acquisitions. His portfolio consists of multiple organizations, shares of companies, and charitable foundations. 

Before Bill Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000, the company had acquired numerous software businesses. Instead of competing, Microsoft largely bought their competition’s talent and assets before they could become major threats. 

While most buying entrepreneurs simply buy a company to run themselves, buying other small businesses has been a way for many large companies to avoid competition. This is a strategy that opportunistic entrepreneurs like Facebook have been utilizing for a long time.

The Serial Entrepreneur

Serial entrepreneurs are people who start multiple businesses at once or throughout their lives with varying degrees of success. People like these have one thing in common; they simply never give up. 

Some of the biggest serial entrepreneurs in the world, like Sir Richard Branson, are more than happy to tell people about their past failed companies. That’s usually why they are so successful; they learn from many mistakes. 

A Dangerous Game

It’s a lot easier to be a serial entrepreneur once you’ve already established multiple successful companies. You have a foundation and experience to go from, but people just starting their first businesses are in for a rough ride. 

Even starting the simplest and smallest of companies is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of time and resources. Want to start a chain of coffee shops? There is a litany of things that need to be done before you can even open the doors.

Online businesses are becoming more popular than ever thanks to the low cost and low risk. If your online company fails to gain traction, it wouldn’t be as much of a hit on the balance sheet if you had a brick-and-mortar location. 

Physical locations have so many pitfalls that it’s no wonder eCommerce has been more popular than ever with younger entrepreneurs. And the best thing is that you can run multiple businesses online from pretty much anywhere. 

There are some costs like domains, marketing, and programming, but those costs pale in comparison to physical locations. Being online will expand your reach with potential customers. With the right marketing strategy, your companies can be international overnight.  

Trial by Fire

If you think you have what it takes to start a company or multiple companies, go for it. However, it’s imperative that you ask yourself why you are pursuing what you’re pursuing. You need to understand what type of entrepreneur you want to be. 

As long as you don’t give up and have a clear vision in your mind, you will succeed in one way or the other. Creating a business is like natural selection, though. Watch out for the pitfalls others have gotten themselves into and learn from both the successful and unsuccessful. 

 

 

Sources:

10 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Fail | Forbes

Apple Becomes First US Company Worth More Than $2 Trillion | Forbes

Dad builds robotic exoskeleton to help son walk | BBC News