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Sanjay Priyadarshi

Sanjay Priyadarshi

1 year ago

Meet a Programmer Who Turned Down Microsoft's $10,000,000,000 Acquisition Offer

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Jayden Levitt

Jayden Levitt

1 year ago

Billionaire who was disgraced lost his wealth more quickly than anyone in history

If you're not genuine, you'll be revealed.

Photo By Fl Institute — Flikr

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was called the Cryptocurrency Warren Buffet.

No wonder.

SBF's trading expertise, Blockchain knowledge, and ability to construct FTX attracted mainstream investors.

He had a fantastic worldview, donating much of his riches to charity.

As the onion layers peel back, it's clear he wasn't the altruistic media figure he portrayed.

SBF's mistakes were disastrous.

  • Customer deposits were traded and borrowed by him.

  • With ten other employees, he shared a $40 million mansion where they all had polyamorous relationships.

  • Tone-deaf and wasteful marketing expenditures, such as the $200 million spent to change the name of the Miami Heat stadium to the FTX Arena

  • Democrats received a $40 million campaign gift.

  • And now there seems to be no regret.

FTX was a 32-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange.

It went bankrupt practically overnight.

SBF, FTX's creator, exploited client funds to leverage trade.

FTX had $1 billion in customer withdrawal reserves against $9 billion in liabilities in sister business Alameda Research.

Bloomberg Billionaire Index says it's the largest and fastest net worth loss in history.

It gets worse.

SBF's net worth is $900 Million, however he must still finalize FTX's bankruptcy.

SBF's arrest in the Bahamas and SEC inquiry followed news that his cryptocurrency exchange had crashed, losing billions in customer deposits.

A journalist contacted him on Twitter D.M., and their exchange is telling.

His ideas are revealed.

Kelsey Piper says they didn't expect him to answer because people under investigation don't comment.

Bankman-Fried wanted to communicate, and the interaction shows he has little remorse.

SBF talks honestly about FTX gaming customers' money and insults his competition.

Reporter Kelsey Piper was outraged by what he said and felt the mistakes SBF says plague him didn't evident in the messages.

Before FTX's crash, SBF was a poster child for Cryptocurrency regulation and avoided criticizing U.S. regulators.

He tells Piper that his lobbying is just excellent PR.

It shows his genuine views and supports cynics' opinions that his attempts to win over U.S. authorities were good for his image rather than Crypto.

SBF’s responses are in Grey, and Pipers are in Blue.

Source — Kelsey Piper

It's unclear if SBF cut corners for his gain. In their Twitter exchange, Piper revisits an interview question about ethics.

SBF says, "All the foolish sh*t I said"

SBF claims FTX has never invested customer monies.

Source — Kelsey PiperSource — Kelsey Piper

Piper challenged him on Twitter.

While he insisted FTX didn't use customer deposits, he said sibling business Alameda borrowed too much from FTX's balance sheet.

He did, basically.

When consumers tried to withdraw money, FTX was short.

SBF thought Alameda had enough money to cover FTX customers' withdrawals, but life sneaks up on you.

Source — Kelsey Piper

SBF believes most exchanges have done something similar to FTX, but they haven't had a bank run (a bunch of people all wanting to get their deposits out at the same time).

SBF believes he shouldn't have consented to the bankruptcy and kept attempting to raise more money because withdrawals would be open in a month with clients whole.

If additional money came in, he needed $8 billion to bridge the creditors' deficit, and there aren't many corporations with $8 billion to spare.

Once clients feel protected, they will continue to leave their assets on the exchange, according to one idea.

Kevin OLeary, a world-renowned hedge fund manager, says not all investors will walk through the open gate once the company is safe, therefore the $8 Billion wasn't needed immediately.

SBF claims the bankruptcy was his biggest error because he could have accumulated more capital.

Source — Kelsey PiperSource — Kelsey Piper

Final Reflections

Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, became the world's youngest billionaire in four years.

Never listen to what people say about investing; watch what they do.

SBF is a trader who gets wrecked occasionally.

Ten first-time entrepreneurs ran FTX, screwing each other with no risk management.

It prevents opposing or challenging perspectives and echo chamber highs.

Twitter D.M. conversation with a journalist is the final nail.

He lacks an experienced crew.

This event will surely speed up much-needed regulation.

It's also prompted cryptocurrency exchanges to offer proof of reserves to calm customers.

Vanessa Karel

Vanessa Karel

1 year ago

10 hard lessons from founding a startup.

Here is the ugly stuff, read this if you have a founder in your life or are trying to become one. Your call.

#1 You'll try to talk yourself to sleep, but it won't always work.

As founders, we're all driven. Good and bad, you're restless. Success requires resistance and discipline. Your startup will be on your mind 24/7, and not everyone will have the patience to listen to your worries, ideas, and coffee runs. You become more self-sufficient than ever before.

#2 No one will understand what you're going through unless they've been a founder.

Some of my closest friends don't understand the work that goes into starting a business, and we can't blame them.

#3 You'll feel alienated.

Your problems aren't common; calling your bestie won't help. You must search hard for the right resources. It alienates you from conversations you no longer relate to. (No 4th of July, no long weekends!)

#4 Since you're your "own boss," people assume you have lots of free time.

Do you agree? I was on a webinar with lots of new entrepreneurs, and one woman said, "I started my own business so I could have more time for myself." This may be true for some lucky people, and you can be flexible with your schedule. If you want your business to succeed, you'll probably be its slave for a while.

#5 No time for illness or family emergencies.

Both last month. Oh, no! Physically and emotionally withdrawing at the worst times will give you perspective. I learned this the hard way because I was too stubborn to postpone an important interview. I thought if I rested all day and only took one call, I'd be fine. Nope. I had a fever and my mind wasn't as sharp, so my performance and audience interaction suffered. Nope. Better to delay than miss out.

Oh, and setting a "OoO" makes you cringe.

#6 Good luck with your mental health, perfectionists.

When building a startup, it's difficult to accept that there won't be enough time to do everything. You can't make them all, not perfectly. You must learn to accept things that are done but not perfect.

#7 As a founder, you'll make mistakes, but you'll want to make them quickly so you can learn.

Hard lessons are learned quicker. You'll need to pivot and try new things often; some won't work, and it's best to discover them sooner rather than later.

#8 Pyramid schemes abound.

I didn't realize how bad it was until I started a company. You must spy and constantly research. As a founder, you'll receive many emails from people claiming to "support" you. Be wary and keep your eyes open. When it's too good to be true. Some "companies" will try to get you to pay for "competitions" to "pitch at events." Don't do it.

#9 Keep your competitor research to a minimum.

Actually, competition is good. It means there's a market for those solutions. However, this can be mentally exhausting too. Learn about their geography and updates, but that's it.

#10 You'll feel guilty taking vacation.

I don't know what to say, but I no longer enjoy watching TV, and that's okay. Pay attention to things that enrich you, bring you joy, and have fun. It boosts creativity.

Being a startup founder may be one of the hardest professional challenges you face, but it's also a great learning experience. Your passion will take you places you never imagined and open doors to opportunities you wouldn't have otherwise. You'll meet amazing people. No regrets, no complaints. It's a roller coaster, but the good days are great.

Miss anything? Comment below

Evgenii Nelepko

Evgenii Nelepko

1 year ago

My 3 biggest errors as a co-founder and CEO

Reflections on the closed company Hola! Dating app

My pitch to investors

I'll discuss my fuckups as an entrepreneur and CEO. All of them refer to the dating app Hola!, which I co-founded and starred in.

Spring 2021 was when we started. Two techies and two non-techies created a dating app. Pokemon Go and Tinder were combined.

Online dating is a business, and it takes two weeks from a like to a date. We questioned online dating app users if they met anyone offline last year.

75% replied yes, 50% sometimes, 25% usually.

Offline dating is popular, yet people have concerns.

  • Men are reluctant to make mistakes in front of others.

  • Women are curious about the background of everyone who approaches them.

We designed unique mechanics that let people date after a match. No endless chitchat. Women would be safe while men felt like cowboys.

I wish to emphasize three faults that lead to founders' estrangement.

This detachment ultimately led to us shutting down the company.

The wrong technology stack

Situation

Instead of generating a faster MVP and designing an app in a universal stack for iOS and Android, I argued we should pilot the app separately for iOS and Android. Technical founders' expertise made this possible.

Self-reflection

Mistaken strategy. We lost time and resources developing two apps at once. We chose iOS since it's more profitable. Apple took us out after the release, citing Guideline 4.3 Spam. After 4 months, we had nothing. We had a long way to go to get the app on Android and the Store.

I suggested creating a uniform platform for the company's growth. This makes parallel product development easier. The strategist's lack of experience and knowledge made it a piece of crap.

What would I have changed if I could?

We should have designed an Android universal stack. I expected Apple to have issues with a dating app.

Our approach should have been to launch something and subsequently improve it, but prejudice won.

The lesson

Discuss the IT stack with your CTO. It saves time and money. Choose the easiest MVP method.

UX description

2. A tardy search for investments

Situation

Though the universe and other founders encouraged me to locate investors first, I started pitching when we almost had an app.

When angels arrived, it was time to close. The app was banned, war broke out, I left the country, and the other co-founders stayed. We had no savings.

Self-reflection

I loved interviewing users. I'm proud of having done 1,000 interviews. I wanted to understand people's pain points and improve the product.

Interview results no longer affected the product. I was terrified to start pitching. I filled out accelerator applications and redid my presentation. You must go through that so you won't be terrified later.

What would I have changed if I could?

Get an external or internal mentor to help me with my first pitch as soon as possible. I'd be supported if criticized. He'd cheer with me if there was enthusiasm.

In 99% of cases, I'm comfortable jumping into the unknown, but there are exceptions. The mentor's encouragement would have prompted me to act sooner.

The lesson

Begin fundraising immediately. Months may pass. Show investors your pre-MVP project. Draw inferences from feedback.

3. Role ambiguity

Situation

My technical co-founders were also part-time lead developers, which produced communication issues. As co-founders, we communicated well and recognized the problems. Stakes, vesting, target markets, and approach were agreed upon.

We were behind schedule. Technical debt and strategic gap grew.

Bi-daily and weekly reviews didn't help. Each time, there were explanations. Inside, I was freaking out.

Our team

Self-reflection

I am a fairly easy person to talk to. I always try to stick to agreements; otherwise, my head gets stuffed with unnecessary information, interpretations, and emotions.

Sit down -> talk -> decide -> do -> evaluate the results. Repeat it.

If I don't get detailed comments, I start ruining everyone's mood. If there's a systematic violation of agreements without a good justification, I won't join the project or I'll end the collaboration.

What would I have done otherwise?

This is where it’s scariest to draw conclusions. Probably the most logical thing would have been not to start the project as we started it. But that was already a completely different project. So I would not have done anything differently and would have failed again.

But I drew conclusions for the future.

The lesson

First-time founders should find an adviser or team coach for a strategic session. It helps split the roles and responsibilities.

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Chritiaan Hetzner

1 year ago

Mystery of the $1 billion'meme stock' that went to $400 billion in days

Who is AMTD Digital?

An unknown Hong Kong corporation joined the global megacaps worth over $500 billion on Tuesday.

The American Depository Share (ADS) with the ticker code HKD gapped at the open, soaring 25% over the previous closing price as trading began, before hitting an intraday high of $2,555.

At its peak, its market cap was almost $450 billion, more than Facebook parent Meta or Alibaba.

Yahoo Finance reported a daily volume of 350,500 shares, the lowest since the ADS began trading and much below the average of 1.2 million.

Despite losing a fifth of its value on Wednesday, it's still worth more than Toyota, Nike, McDonald's, or Walt Disney.

The company sold 16 million shares at $7.80 each in mid-July, giving it a $1 billion market valuation.

Why the boom?

That market cap seems unjustified.

According to SEC reports, its income-generating assets barely topped $400 million in March. Fortune's emails and calls went unanswered.

Website discloses little about company model. Its one-minute business presentation film uses a Star Wars–like design to sell the company as a "one-stop digital solutions platform in Asia"

The SEC prospectus explains.

AMTD Digital sells a "SpiderNet Ecosystems Solutions" kind of club membership that connects enterprises. This is the bulk of its $25 million annual revenue in April 2021.

Pretax profits have been higher than top line over the past three years due to fair value accounting gains on Appier, DayDayCook, WeDoctor, and five Asian fintechs.

AMTD Group, the company's parent, specializes in investment banking, hotel services, luxury education, and media and entertainment. AMTD IDEA, a $14 billion subsidiary, is also traded on the NYSE.

“Significant volatility”

Why AMTD Digital listed in the U.S. is unknown, as it informed investors in its share offering prospectus that could delist under SEC guidelines.

Beijing's red tape prevents the Sarbanes-Oxley Board from inspecting its Chinese auditor.

This frustrates Chinese stock investors. If the U.S. and China can't achieve a deal, 261 Chinese companies worth $1.3 trillion might be delisted.

Calvin Choi left UBS to become AMTD Group's CEO.

His capitalist background and status as a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum don't stop him from praising China's Communist party or celebrating the "glory and dream of the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese nation" a century after its creation.

Despite having an executive vice chairman with a record of battling corruption and ties to Carrie Lam, Beijing's previous proconsul in Hong Kong, Choi is apparently being targeted for a two-year industry ban by the city's securities regulator after an investor accused Choi of malfeasance.

Some CMIG-funded initiatives produced money, but he didn't give us the proceeds, a corporate official told China's Caixin in October 2020. We don't know if he misappropriated or lost some money.

A seismic anomaly

In fundamental analysis, where companies are valued based on future cash flows, AMTD Digital's mind-boggling market cap is a statistical aberration that should occur once every hundred years.

AMTD Digital doesn't know why it's so valuable. In a thank-you letter to new shareholders, it said it was confused by the stock's performance.

Since its IPO, the company has seen significant ADS price volatility and active trading volume, it said Tuesday. "To our knowledge, there have been no important circumstances, events, or other matters since the IPO date."

Permabears awoke after the jump. Jim Chanos asked if "we're all going to ignore the $400 billion meme stock in the room," while Nate Anderson called AMTD Group "sketchy."

It happened the same day SEC Chair Gary Gensler praised the 20th anniversary of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, aimed to restore trust in America's financial markets after the Enron and WorldCom accounting fraud scandals.

The run-up revived unpleasant memories of Robinhood's decision to limit retail investors' ability to buy GameStop, regarded as a measure to protect hedge funds invested in the meme company.

Why wasn't HKD's buy button removed? Because retail wasn't behind it?" tweeted Gensler on Tuesday. "Real stock fraud. "You're worthless."

Shruti Mishra

Shruti Mishra

1 year ago

How to get 100k profile visits on Twitter each month without spending a dime

As a marketer, I joined Twitter on August 31, 2022 to use it.

Growth has been volatile, causing up-and-down engagements. 500 followers in 11 days.

I met amazing content creators, marketers, and people.

Those who use Twitter may know that one-liners win the algorithm, especially if they're funny or humorous, but as a marketer I can't risk posting content that my audience won't like.

I researched, learned some strategies, and A/B tested; some worked, some didn't.

In this article, I share what worked for me so you can do the same.

Thanks for reading!

Let's check my Twitter stats.

@Marketershruti Twitter Analytics
  • Tweets: how many tweets I sent in the first 28 days.

  • A user may be presented with a Tweet in their timeline or in search results.

  • In-person visits how many times my Twitter profile was viewed in the first 28 days.

  • Mentions: the number of times a tweet has mentioned my name.

  • Number of followers: People who were following me

Getting 500 Twitter followers isn't difficult.

Not easy, but doable.

Follow these steps to begin:

Determine your content pillars in step 1.

My formula is Growth = Content + Marketing + Community.

I discuss growth strategies.

My concept for growth is : 1. Content = creating / writing + sharing content in my niche. 2. Marketing = Marketing everything in business + I share my everyday learnings in business, marketing & entrepreneurship. 3. Community = Building community of like minded individuals (Also,I share how to’s) + supporting marketers to build & grow through community building.

Identify content pillars to create content for your audience.

2. Make your profile better

Create a profile picture. Your recognition factor is this.

Professional headshots are worthwhile.

This tool can help you create a free, eye-catching profile pic.

Use a niche-appropriate avatar if you don't want to show your face.

2. Create a bio that converts well mainly because first impressions count.

what you're sharing + why + +social proof what are you making

Be brief and precise. (155 characters)

3. Configure your banner

Banners complement profile pictures.

Use this space to explain what you do and how Twitter followers can benefit.

Canva's Twitter header maker is free.

Birdy can test multiple photo, bio, and banner combinations to optimize your profile.

  • Versions A and B of your profile should be completed.

  • Find the version that converts the best.

  • Use the profile that converts the best.

4. Special handle

If your username/handle is related to your niche, it will help you build authority and presence among your audience. Mine on Twitter is @marketershruti.

5. Participate expertly

Proficiently engage while you'll have no audience at first. Borrow your dream audience for free.

Steps:

  • Find a creator who has the audience you want.

  • Activate their post notifications and follow them.

  • Add a valuable comment first.

6. Create fantastic content

Use:

  • Medium (Read articles about your topic.)

  • Podcasts (Listen to experts on your topics)

  • YouTube (Follow channels in your niche)

Tweet what?

  • Listicle ( Hacks, Books, Tools, Podcasts)

  • Lessons (Teach your audience how to do 1 thing)

  • Inspirational (Inspire people to take action)

Consistent writing?

  • You MUST plan ahead and schedule your Tweets.

  • Use a scheduling tool that is effective for you; hypefury is mine.

Lastly, consistency is everything that attracts growth. After optimizing your profile, stay active to gain followers, engagements, and clients.

If you found this helpful, please like and comment below.

Trevor Stark

Trevor Stark

1 year ago

Economics is complete nonsense.

Mainstream economics haven't noticed.

Photo by Hans Eiskonen on Unsplash

What come to mind when I say the word "economics"?

Probably GDP, unemployment, and inflation.

If you've ever watched the news or listened to an economist, they'll use data like these to defend a political goal.

The issue is that these statistics are total bunk.

I'm being provocative, but I mean it:

  • The economy is not measured by GDP.

  • How many people are unemployed is not counted in the unemployment rate.

  • Inflation is not measured by the CPI.

All orthodox economists' major economic statistics are either wrong or falsified.

Government institutions create all these stats. The administration wants to reassure citizens the economy is doing well.

GDP does not reflect economic expansion.

GDP measures a country's economic size and growth. It’s calculated by the BEA, a government agency.

The US has the world's largest (self-reported) GDP, growing 2-3% annually.

If GDP rises, the economy is healthy, say economists.

Why is the GDP flawed?

GDP measures a country's yearly spending.

The government may adjust this to make the economy look good.

GDP = C + G + I + NX

C = Consumer Spending

G = Government Spending

I = Investments (Equipment, inventories, housing, etc.)

NX = Exports minus Imports

GDP is a country's annual spending.

The government can print money to boost GDP. The government has a motive to increase and manage GDP.

Because government expenditure is part of GDP, printing money and spending it on anything will raise GDP.

They've done this. Since 1950, US government spending has grown 8% annually, faster than GDP.

In 2022, government spending accounted for 44% of GDP. It's the highest since WWII. In 1790-1910, it was 3% of GDP.

Who cares?

The economy isn't only spending. Focus on citizens' purchasing power or quality of life.

Since GDP just measures spending, the government can print money to boost GDP.

Even if Americans are poorer than last year, economists can say GDP is up and everything is fine.

How many people are unemployed is not counted in the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate measures a country's labor market. If unemployment is high, people aren't doing well economically.

The BLS estimates the (self-reported) unemployment rate as 3-4%.

Why is the unemployment rate so high?

The US government surveys 100k persons to measure unemployment. They extrapolate this data for the country.

They come into 3 categories:

  • Employed

People with jobs are employed … duh.

  • Unemployed

People who are “jobless, looking for a job, and available for work” are unemployed

  • Not in the labor force

The “labor force” is the employed + the unemployed.

The unemployment rate is the percentage of unemployed workers.

Problem is unemployed definition. You must actively seek work to be considered unemployed.

You're no longer unemployed if you haven't interviewed in 4 weeks.

This shit makes no goddamn sense.

Why does this matter?

You can't interview if there are no positions available. You're no longer unemployed after 4 weeks.

In 1994, the BLS redefined "unemployed" to exclude discouraged workers.

If you haven't interviewed in 4 weeks, you're no longer counted in the unemployment rate.

Unemployment Data Including “Long-term Discouraged Workers” (Source)

If unemployment were measured by total unemployed, it would be 25%.

Because the government wants to keep the unemployment rate low, they modify the definition.

If every US resident was unemployed and had no job interviews, economists would declare 0% unemployment. Excellent!

Inflation is not measured by the CPI.

The BLS measures CPI. This month was the highest since 1981.

CPI measures the cost of a basket of products across time. Food, energy, shelter, and clothes are included.

A 9.1% CPI means the basket of items is 9.1% more expensive.

What is the CPI problem?

Here's a more detailed explanation of CPI's flaws.

In summary, CPI is manipulated to be understated.

Housing costs are understated to manipulate CPI. Housing accounts for 33% of the CPI because it's the biggest expense for most people.

This signifies it's the biggest CPI weight.

Rather than using actual house prices, the Bureau of Labor Statistics essentially makes shit up. You can read more about the process here.

Surprise! It’s bullshit

The BLS stated Shelter's price rose 5.5% this month.

House prices are up 11-21%. (Source 1Source 2Source 3)

Rents are up 14-26%. (Source 1Source 2)

Why is this important?

If CPI included housing prices, it would be 12-15 percent this month, not 9.1 percent.

9% inflation is nuts. Your money's value halves every 7 years at 9% inflation.

Worse is 15% inflation. Your money halves every 4 years at 15% inflation.

If everyone realized they needed to double their wage every 4-5 years to stay wealthy, there would be riots.

Inflation drains our money's value so the government can keep printing it.

The Solution

Most individuals know the existing system doesn't work, but can't explain why.

People work hard yet lag behind. The government lies about the economy's data.

In reality:

  • GDP has been down since 2008

  • 25% of Americans are unemployed

  • Inflation is actually 15%

People might join together to vote out kleptocratic politicians if they knew the reality.

Having reliable economic data is the first step.

People can't understand the situation without sufficient information. Instead of immigrants or billionaires, people would blame liar politicians.

Here’s the vision:

A decentralized, transparent, and global dashboard that tracks economic data like GDP, unemployment, and inflation for every country on Earth.

Government incentives influence economic statistics.

ShadowStats has already started this effort, but the calculations must be transparent, decentralized, and global to be effective.

If interested, email me at trevorstark02@gmail.com.

Here are some links to further your research:

  1. MIT Billion Prices Project

  2. 1729 Decentralized Inflation Dashboard Project

  3. Balaji Srinivasan on “Fiat Information VS. Crypto Information”