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Josef Cruz

Josef Cruz

1 month ago

My friend worked in a startup scam that preys on slothful individuals.

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Isaiah McCall

Isaiah McCall

4 months ago

Is TikTok slowly destroying a new generation?

It's kids' digital crack

TikTok is a destructive social media platform.

  • The interface shortens attention spans and dopamine receptors.

  • TikTok shares more data than other apps.

  • Seeing an endless stream of dancing teens on my glowing box makes me feel like a Blade Runner extra.

TikTok did in one year what MTV, Hollywood, and Warner Music tried to do in 20 years. TikTok has psychotized the two-thirds of society Aldous Huxley said were hypnotizable.

Millions of people, mostly kids, are addicted to learning a new dance, lip-sync, or prank, and those who best dramatize this collective improvisation get likes, comments, and shares.

TikTok is a great app. So what?

The Commercial Magnifying Glass TikTok made me realize my generation's time was up and the teenage Zoomers were the target.

I told my 14-year-old sister, "Enjoy your time under the commercial magnifying glass."

TikTok sells your every move, gesture, and thought. Data is the new oil. If you tell someone, they'll say, "Yeah, they collect data, but who cares? I have nothing to hide."

It's a George Orwell novel's beginning. Look up Big Brother Award winners to see if TikTok won.

TikTok shares your data more than any other social media app, and where it goes is unclear. TikTok uses third-party trackers to monitor your activity after you leave the app.

Consumers can't see what data is shared or how it will be used. — Genius URL

32.5 percent of Tiktok's users are 10 to 19 and 29.5% are 20 to 29.

TikTok is the greatest digital marketing opportunity in history, and they'll use it to sell you things, track you, and control your thoughts. Any of its users will tell you, "I don't care, I just want to be famous."

TikTok manufactures mental illness

TikTok's effect on dopamine and the brain is absurd. Dopamine controls the brain's pleasure and reward centers. It's like a switch that tells your brain "this feels good, repeat."

Dr. Julie Albright, a digital culture and communication sociologist, said TikTok users are "carried away by dopamine." It's hypnotic, you'll keep watching."

TikTok constantly releases dopamine. A guy on TikTok recently said he didn't like books because they were slow and boring.

The US didn't ban Tiktok.

Biden and Trump agree on bad things. Both agree that TikTok threatens national security and children's mental health.

The Chinese Communist Party owns and operates TikTok, but that's not its only problem.

  • There’s borderline child porn on TikTok

  • It's unsafe for children and violated COPPA.

  • It's also Chinese spyware. I'm not a Trump supporter, but I was glad he wanted TikTok regulated and disappointed when he failed.

Full-on internet censorship is rare outside of China, so banning it may be excessive. US should regulate TikTok more.

We must reject a low-quality present for a high-quality future.

TikTok vs YouTube

People got mad when I wrote about YouTube's death.

They didn't like when I said TikTok was YouTube's first real challenger.

Indeed. TikTok is the fastest-growing social network. In three years, the Chinese social media app TikTok has gained over 1 billion active users. In the first quarter of 2020, it had the most downloads of any app in a single quarter.

TikTok is the perfect social media app in many ways. It's brief and direct.

Can you believe they had a YouTube vs TikTok boxing match? We are doomed as a species.

YouTube hosts my favorite videos. That’s why I use it. That’s why you use it. New users expect more. They want something quicker, more addictive.

TikTok's impact on other social media platforms frustrates me. YouTube copied TikTok to compete.

It's all about short, addictive content.

I'll admit I'm probably wrong about TikTok. My friend says his feed is full of videos about food, cute animals, book recommendations, and hot lesbians.

Whatever.

TikTok makes us bad

TikTok is the opposite of what the Ancient Greeks believed about wisdom.

It encourages people to be fake. It's like a never-ending costume party where everyone competes.

It does not mean that Gen Z is doomed.

They could be the saviors of the world for all I know.

TikTok feels like a step towards Mike Judge's "Idiocracy," where the average person is a pleasure-seeking moron.

Liz Martin

Liz Martin

1 month ago

What Motivated Amazon to Spend $1 Billion for The Rings of Power?

Amazon's Rings of Power is the most costly TV series ever made. This is merely a down payment towards Amazon's grand goal.

Here's a video:

Amazon bought J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels for $250 million in 2017. This agreement allows Amazon to create a Tolkien series for Prime Video.

The business spent years developing and constructing a Lord of the Rings prequel. Rings of Power premiered on September 2, 2022.

It drew 25 million global viewers in 24 hours. Prime Video's biggest debut.

An Exorbitant Budget

The most expensive. First season cost $750 million to $1 billion, making it the most costly TV show ever.

Jeff Bezos has spent years looking for the next Game of Thrones, a critically and commercially successful original series. Rings of Power could help.

Why would Amazon bet $1 billion on one series?

It's Not Just About the Streaming War

It's simple to assume Amazon just wants to win. Since 2018, the corporation has been fighting Hulu, Netflix, HBO, Apple, Disney, and NBC. Each wants your money, talent, and attention. Amazon's investment goes beyond rivalry.

Subscriptions Are the Bait

Audible, Amazon Music, and Prime Video are subscription services, although the company's fundamental business is retail. Amazon's online stores contribute over 50% of company revenue. Subscription services contribute 6.8%. The company's master plan depends on these subscriptions.

Streaming videos on Prime increases membership renewals. Free trial participants are more likely to join. Members buy twice as much as non-members.

Statista

Amazon Studios doesn't generate original programming to earn from Prime Video subscriptions. It aims to retain and attract clients.

Amazon can track what you watch and buy. Its algorithm recommends items and services. Mckinsey says you'll use more Amazon products, shop at Amazon stores, and watch Amazon entertainment.

In 2015, the firm launched the first season of The Man in the High Castle, a dystopian alternate history TV series depicting a world ruled by Nazi Germany and Japan after World War II.

This $72 million production earned two Emmys. It garnered 1.15 million new Prime users globally.

When asked about his Hollywood investment, Bezos said, "A Golden Globe helps us sell more shoes."

Selling more footwear

Amazon secured a deal with DirecTV to air Thursday Night Football in restaurants and bars. First streaming service to have exclusive NFL games.

This isn't just about Thursday night football, says media analyst Ritchie Greenfield. This sells t-shirts. This may be a ticket. Amazon does more than stream games.

The Rings of Power isn't merely a production showcase, either. This sells Tolkien's fantasy novels such Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion.

This tiny commitment keeps you in Amazon's ecosystem.

Scott Galloway

Scott Galloway

1 month ago

Don't underestimate the foolish

ZERO GRACE/ZERO MALICE

Big companies and wealthy people make stupid mistakes too.

Your ancestors kept snakes and drank bad water. You (probably) don't because you've learnt from their failures via instinct+, the ultimate life-lessons streaming network in your head. Instincts foretell the future. If you approach a lion, it'll eat you. Our society's nuanced/complex decisions have surpassed instinct. Human growth depends on how we handle these issues. 80% of people believe they are above-average drivers, yet few believe they make many incorrect mistakes that make them risky. Stupidity hurts others like death. Basic Laws of Human Stupidity by Carlo Cipollas:

  1. Everyone underestimates the prevalence of idiots in our society.

  2. Any other trait a person may have has no bearing on how likely they are to be stupid.

  3. A dumb individual is one who harms someone without benefiting themselves and may even lose money in the process.

  4. Non-dumb people frequently underestimate how destructively powerful stupid people can be.

  5. The most dangerous kind of person is a moron.

Professor Cippola defines stupid as bad for you and others. We underestimate the corporate world's and seemingly successful people's ability to make bad judgments that harm themselves and others. Success is an intoxication that makes you risk-aggressive and blurs your peripheral vision.

Stupid companies and decisions:

Big Dumber

Big-company bad ideas have more bulk and inertia. The world's most valuable company recently showed its board a VR headset. Jony Ive couldn't destroy Apple's terrible idea in 2015. Mr. Ive said that VR cut users off from the outer world, made them seem outdated, and lacked practical uses. Ives' design team doubted users would wear headsets for lengthy periods.

VR has cost tens of billions of dollars over a decade to prove nobody wants it. The next great SaaS startup will likely come from Florence, not Redmond or San Jose.

Apple Watch and Airpods have made the Cupertino company the world's largest jewelry maker. 10.5% of Apple's income, or $38 billion, comes from wearables in 2021. (seven times the revenue of Tiffany & Co.). Jewelry makes you more appealing and useful. Airpods and Apple Watch do both.

Headsets make you less beautiful and useful and promote isolation, loneliness, and unhappiness among American teenagers. My sons pretend they can't hear or see me when on their phones. VR headsets lack charisma.

Coinbase disclosed a plan to generate division and tension within its workplace weeks after Apple was pitched $2,000 smokes. The crypto-trading platform is piloting a program that rates staff after every interaction. If a coworker says anything you don't like, you should tell them how to improve. Everyone gets a 110-point scorecard. Coworkers should evaluate a person's rating while deciding whether to listen to them. It's ridiculous.

Organizations leverage our superpower of cooperation. This encourages non-cooperation, period. Bridgewater's founder Ray Dalio designed the approach to promote extreme transparency. Dalio has 223 billion reasons his managerial style works. There's reason to suppose only a small group of people, largely traders, will endure a granular scorecard. Bridgewater has 20% first-year turnover. Employees cry in bathrooms, and sex scandals are settled by ignoring individuals with poor believability levels. Coinbase might take solace that the stock is 80% below its initial offering price.

Poor Stupid

Fools' ledgers are valuable. More valuable are lists of foolish rich individuals.

Robinhood built a $8 billion corporation on financial ignorance. The firm's median account value is $240, and its stock has dropped 75% since last summer. Investors, customers, and society lose. Stupid. Luna published a comparable list on the blockchain, grew to $41 billion in market cap, then plummeted.

A podcast presenter is recruiting dentists and small-business owners to invest in Elon Musk's Twitter takeover. Investors pay a 7% fee and 10% of the upside for the chance to buy Twitter at a 35% premium to the current price. The proposal legitimizes CNBC's Trade Like Chuck advertising (Chuck made $4,600 into $460,000 in two years). This is stupid because it adds to the Twitter deal's desperation. Mr. Musk made an impression when he urged his lawyers to develop a legal rip-cord (There are bots on the platform!) to abandon the share purchase arrangement (for less than they are being marketed by the podcaster). Rolls-Royce may pay for this list of the dumb affluent because it includes potential Cullinan buyers.

Worst company? Flowcarbon, founded by WeWork founder Adam Neumann, operates at the convergence of carbon and crypto to democratize access to offsets and safeguard the earth's natural carbon sinks. Can I get an ayahuasca Big Gulp?

Neumann raised $70 million with their yogababble drink. More than half of the consideration came from selling GNT. Goddess Nature Token. I hope the company gets an S-1. Or I'll start a decentralized AI Meta Renewable NFTs company. My Community Based Ebitda coin will fund the company. Possible.

Stupidity inside oneself

This weekend, I was in NYC with my boys. My 14-year-old disappeared. He's realized I'm not cool and is mad I let the charade continue. When out with his dad, he likes to stroll home alone and depart before me. Friends told me hell would return, but I was surprised by how fast the eye roll came.

Not so with my 11-year-old. We went to The Edge, a Hudson Yards observation platform where you can see the city from 100 storeys up for $38. This is hell's seventh ring. Leaning into your boys' interests is key to engaging them (dad tip). Neither loves Crossfit, WW2 history, or antitrust law.

We take selfies on the Thrilling Glass Floor he spots. Dad, there's a bar! Coke? I nod, he rushes to the bar, stops, runs back for money, and sprints back. Sitting on stone seats, drinking Atlanta Champagne, he turns at me and asks, Isn't this amazing? I'll never reach paradise.

Later that night, the lads are asleep and I've had two Zacapas and Cokes. I SMS some friends about my day and how I feel about sons/fatherhood/etc. How I did. They responded and approached. The next morning, I'm sober, have distance from my son, and feel ashamed by my texts. Less likely to impulsively share my emotions with others. Stupid again.

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Francesca Furchtgott

Francesca Furchtgott

3 months ago

Giving customers what they want or betraying the values of the brand?

A J.Crew collaboration for fashion label Eveliina Vintage is not a paradox; it is a solution.

From J.Crew’s Eveliina Vintage capsule collection page

Eveliina Vintage's capsule collection debuted yesterday at J.Crew. This J.Crew partnership stopped me in my tracks.

Eveliina Vintage sells vintage goods. Eeva Musacchia founded the shop in Finland in the 1970s. It's recognized for its one-of-a-kind slip dresses from the 1930s and 1940s.

I wondered why a vintage brand would partner with a mass shop. Fast fashion against vintage shopping? Will Eveliina Vintages customers be turned off?

But Eveliina Vintages customers don't care about sustainability. They want Eveliina's Instagram look. Eveliina Vintage collaborated with J.Crew to give customers what they wanted: more Eveliina at a lower price.

Vintage: A Fashion Option That Is Eco-Conscious

Secondhand shopping is a trendy response to quick fashion. J.Crew releases hundreds of styles annually. Waste and environmental damage have been criticized. A pair of jeans requires 1,800 gallons of water. J.Crew's limited-time deals promote more purchases. J.Crew items are likely among those Americans wear 7 times before discarding.

Consumers and designers have emphasized sustainability in recent years. Stella McCartney and Eileen Fisher are popular eco-friendly brands. They've also flocked to ThredUp and similar sites.

Gap, Levis, and Allbirds have listened to consumer requests. They promote recycling, ethical sourcing, and secondhand shopping.

Secondhand shoppers feel good about reusing and recycling clothing that might have ended up in a landfill.

Eco-conscious fashionistas shop vintage. These shoppers enjoy the thrill of the hunt (that limited-edition Chanel bag!) and showing off a unique piece (nobody will have my look!). They also reduce their environmental impact.

Is Eveliina Vintage capitalizing on an aesthetic or is it a sustainable brand?

Eveliina Vintage emphasizes environmental responsibility. Vogue's Amanda Musacchia emphasized sustainability. Amanda, founder Eeva's daughter, is a company leader.

But Eveliina's press message doesn't address sustainability, unlike Instagram. Scarcity and fame rule.

Eveliina Vintages Instagram has see-through dresses and lace-trimmed slip dresses. Celebrities and influencers are often photographed in Eveliina's apparel, which has 53,000+ followers. Vogue appreciates Eveliina's style. Multiple publications discuss Alexa Chung's Eveliina dress.

Eveliina Vintage markets its one-of-a-kind goods. It teases future content, encouraging visitors to return. Scarcity drives demand and raises clothing prices. One dress is $1,600+, but most are $500-$1,000.

The catch: Eveliina can't monetize its expanding popularity due to exorbitant prices and limited quantity. Why?

  1. Most people struggle to pay for their clothing. But Eveliina Vintage lacks those more affordable entry-level products, in contrast to other luxury labels that sell accessories or perfume.

  2. Many people have trouble fitting into their clothing. The bodies of most women in the past were different from those for which vintage clothing was designed. Each Eveliina dress's specific measurements are mentioned alongside it. Be careful, you can fall in love with an ill-fitting dress.

  3. No matter how many people can afford it and fit into it, there is only one item to sell. To get the item before someone else does, those people must be on the Eveliina Vintage website as soon as it becomes available.

A Way for Eveliina Vintage to Make Money (and Expand) with J.Crew Its following

Eveliina Vintages' cooperation with J.Crew makes commercial sense.

This partnership spreads Eveliina's style. Slightly better pricing The $390 outfits have multicolored slips and gauzy cotton gowns. Sizes range from 00 to 24, which is wider than vintage racks.

Eveliina Vintage customers like the combination. Excited comments flood the brand's Instagram launch post. Nobody is mocking the 50-year-old vintage brand's fast-fashion partnership.

Vintage may be a sustainable fashion trend, but that's not why Eveliina's clients love the brand. They only care about the old look.

And that is a tale as old as fashion.

Carter Kilmann

Carter Kilmann

3 months ago

I finally achieved a $100K freelance income. Here's what I wish I knew.

Source: Canva

We love round numbers, don't we? $100,000 is a frequent freelancing milestone. You feel like six figures means you're doing something properly.

You've most likely already conquered initial freelancing challenges like finding clients, setting fair pricing, coping with criticism, getting through dry spells, managing funds, etc.

You think I must be doing well. Last month, my freelance income topped $100,000.

That may not sound impressive considering I've been freelancing for 2.75 years, but I made 30% of that in the previous four months, which is crazy.

Here are the things I wish I'd known during the early days of self-employment that would have helped me hit $100,000 faster.

1. The Volatility of Freelancing Will Stabilize.

Freelancing is risky. No surprise.

Here's an example.

October 2020 was my best month, earning $7,150. Between $4,004 in September and $1,730 in November. Unsteady.

Freelancing is regrettably like that. Moving clients. Content requirements change. Allocating so much time to personal pursuits wasn't smart, but yet.

Stabilizing income takes time. Consider my rolling three-month average income since I started freelancing. My three-month average monthly income. In February, this metric topped $5,000. Now, it's in the mid-$7,000s, but it took a while to get there.

Finding freelance gigs that provide high pay, high volume, and recurring revenue is difficult. But it's not impossible.

TLDR: Don't expect a steady income increase at first. Be patient.

2. You Have More Value Than You Realize.

Writing is difficult. Assembling words, communicating a message, and provoking action are a puzzle.

People are willing to pay you for it because they can't do what you do or don't have enough time.

Keeping that in mind can have huge commercial repercussions.

When talking to clients, don't tiptoe. You can ignore ridiculous deadlines. You don't have to take unmanageable work.

You solve an issue, so make sure you get rightly paid.

TLDR: Frame services as problem-solutions. This will let you charge more and set boundaries.

3. Increase Your Prices.

I studied hard before freelancing. I read articles and watched videos about writing businesses.

I didn't want to work for pennies. Despite this clarity, I had no real strategy to raise my rates.

I then luckily stumbled into higher-paying work. We discussed fees and hours with a friend who launched a consulting business. It's subjective and speculative because value isn't standardized. One company may laugh at your charges. If your solution helps them create a solid ROI, another client may pay $200 per hour.

When he told me he charged his first client $125 per hour, I thought, Why not?

A new-ish client wanted to discuss a huge forthcoming project, so I raised my rates. They knew my worth, so they didn't blink when I handed them my new number.

TLDR: Increase rates periodically (e.g., every 6 or 12 months). Writing skill develops with practice. You'll gain value over time.

4. Remember Your Limits.

If you can squeeze additional time into a day, let me know. I can't manipulate time yet.

We all have time and economic limits. You could theoretically keep boosting rates, but your prospect pool diminishes. Outsourcing and establishing extra revenue sources might boost monthly revenues.

I've devoted a lot of time to side projects (hopefully extra cash sources), but I've only just started outsourcing. I wish I'd tried this earlier.

If you can discover good freelancers, you can grow your firm without sacrificing time.

TLDR: Expand your writing network immediately. You'll meet freelancers who understand your daily grind and locate reference sources.

5. Every Action You Take Involves an Investment. Be Certain to Select Correctly.

Investing in stocks or crypto requires paying money, right?

In business, time is your currency (and maybe money too). Your daily habits define your future. If you spend time collecting software customers and compiling content in the space, you'll end up with both. So be sure.

I only spend around 50% of my time on client work, therefore it's taken me nearly three years to earn $100,000. I spend the remainder of my time on personal projects including a freelance book, an investment newsletter, and this blog.

Why? I don't want to rely on client work forever. So, I'm working on projects that could pay off later and help me live a more fulfilling life.

TLDR: Consider the long-term impact of your time commitments, and don't overextend. You can only make so many "investments" in a given time.

6. LinkedIn Is an Endless Mine of Gold. Use It.

Why didn't I use LinkedIn earlier?

I designed a LinkedIn inbound lead strategy that generates 12 leads a month and a few high-quality offers. As a result, I've turned down good gigs. Wish I'd begun earlier.

If you want to create a freelance business, prioritize LinkedIn. Too many freelancers ignore this site, missing out on high-paying clients. Build your profile, post often, and interact.

TLDR: Study LinkedIn's top creators. Once you understand their audiences, start posting and participating daily.

For 99% of People, Freelancing is Not a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme.

Here's a list of things I wish I'd known when I started freelancing.

  1. Although it is erratic, freelancing eventually becomes stable.

  2. You deserve respect and discretion over how you conduct business because you have solved an issue.

  3. Increase your charges rather than undervaluing yourself. If necessary, add a reminder to your calendar. Your worth grows with time.

  4. In order to grow your firm, outsource jobs. After that, you can work on the things that are most important to you.

  5. Take into account how your present time commitments may affect the future. It will assist in putting things into perspective and determining whether what you are doing is indeed worthwhile.

  6. Participate on LinkedIn. You'll get better jobs as a result.

If I could give my old self (and other freelancers) one bit of advice, it's this:

Despite appearances, you're making progress.

Each job. Tweets. Newsletters. Progress. It's simpler to see retroactively than in the moment.

Consistent, intentional work pays off. No good comes from doing nothing. You must set goals, divide them into time-based targets, and then optimize your calendar.

Then you'll understand you're doing well.

Want to learn more? I’ll teach you.

Sam Bourgi

Sam Bourgi

8 months ago

DAOs are legal entities in Marshall Islands.

The Pacific island state recognizes decentralized autonomous organizations.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands has recognized decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) as legal entities, giving collectively owned and managed blockchain projects global recognition.

The Marshall Islands' amended the Non-Profit Entities Act 2021 that now recognizes DAOs, which are blockchain-based entities governed by self-organizing communities. Incorporating Admiralty LLC, the island country's first DAO, was made possible thanks to the amendement. MIDAO Directory Services Inc., a domestic organization established to assist DAOs in the Marshall Islands, assisted in the incorporation.

The new law currently allows any DAO to register and operate in the Marshall Islands.

“This is a unique moment to lead,” said Bobby Muller, former Marshall Islands chief secretary and co-founder of MIDAO. He believes DAOs will help create “more efficient and less hierarchical” organizations.

A global hub for DAOs, the Marshall Islands hopes to become a global hub for DAO registration, domicile, use cases, and mass adoption. He added:

"This includes low-cost incorporation, a supportive government with internationally recognized courts, and a technologically open environment."

According to the World Bank, the Marshall Islands is an independent island state in the Pacific Ocean near the Equator. To create a blockchain-based cryptocurrency that would be legal tender alongside the US dollar, the island state has been actively exploring use cases for digital assets since at least 2018.

In February 2018, the Marshall Islands approved the creation of a new cryptocurrency, Sovereign (SOV). As expected, the IMF has criticized the plan, citing concerns that a digital sovereign currency would jeopardize the state's financial stability. They have also criticized El Salvador, the first country to recognize Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender.

Marshall Islands senator David Paul said the DAO legislation does not pose the same issues as a government-backed cryptocurrency. “A sovereign digital currency is financial and raises concerns about money laundering,” . This is more about giving DAOs legal recognition to make their case to regulators, investors, and consumers.