More on Entrepreneurship/Creators
1 year ago
In 5 minutes, you can tell if a startup will succeed.
Or the “lie to me” method.
I can predict a startup's success in minutes.
Just interview its founder.
I question "why" till I sense him.
I need to feel the person I have in front of me. I need to know if he or she can deliver. Startups aren't easy. Without abilities, a brilliant idea will fail.
Good entrepreneurs have these qualities: He's a leader, determined, and resilient.
For me, they can be split in two categories.
The first entrepreneur aspires to live meaningfully. The second wants to get rich. The second is communicative. He wants to wow the crowd. He's motivated by the thought of one day sailing a boat past palm trees and sunny beaches.
What drives the first entrepreneur is evident in his speech, face, and voice. He will not speak about his product. He's (nearly) uninterested. He's not selling anything. He's not a salesman. He wants to succeed. The product is his fuel.
He'll explain his decision. He'll share his motivations. His desire. And he'll use meaningful words.
Paul Ekman has shown that face expressions aren't cultural. His study influenced the American TV series "lie to me" about body language and speech.
Passionate entrepreneurs are obvious. It's palpable. Faking passion is tough. Someone who wants your favor and money will expose his actual motives through his expressions and language.
The good liar will be able to fool you for a while, but not for long if you pay attention to his body language and how he expresses himself.
And also, if you look at his business plan.
His business plan reveals his goals. Read between the lines.
Entrepreneur 1 will focus on his "why", whereas Entrepreneur 2 will focus on the "how".
Entrepreneur 1 will develop a vision-driven culture.
The second, on the other hand, will focus on his EBITDA.
Why is the culture so critical? Because it will allow entrepreneur 1 to develop a solid team that can tackle his problems and trials. His team's "why" will keep them together in tough times.
"Give me a terrific start-up team with a mediocre idea over a weak one any day." Because a great team knows when to pivot and trusts each other. Weak teams fail.” — Bernhard Schroeder
Every VC must ask Why. Entrepreneur's motivations. This "why" will create the team's culture. This culture will help the team adjust to any setback.
MAJESTY AliNICOLE WOW!
9 months ago
YouTube's faceless videos are growing in popularity, but this is nothing new.
I've always bucked social media norms. YouTube doesn't compare. Traditional video made me zig when everyone zagged. Audio, picture personality animation, thought movies, and slide show videos are most popular and profitable.
YouTube's business is shifting. While most video experts swear by the idea that YouTube success is all about making personal and professional Face-Share-Videos, those who use YouTube for business know things are different.
In this article, I will share concepts from my mini master class Figures to Followers: Prioritizing Purposeful Profits Over Popularity on YouTube to Create the Win-Win for You, Your Audience & More and my forthcoming publication The WOWTUBE-PRENEUR FACTOR EVOLUTION: The Basics of Powerfully & Profitably Positioning Yourself as a Video Communications Authority to Broadcast Your WOW Effect as a Video Entrepreneur.
I've researched the psychology, anthropology, and anatomy of significant social media platforms as an entrepreneur and social media marketing expert. While building my YouTube empire, I've paid particular attention to what works for short, mid, and long-term success, whether it's a niche-focused, lifestyle, or multi-interest channel.
Most new, semi-new, and seasoned YouTubers feel vlog-style or live-on-camera videos are popular. Faceless, animated, music-text-based, and slideshow videos do well for businesses.
Buyer-consumer vs. content-consumer thinking is totally different when absorbing content. Profitability and popularity are closely related, however most people become popular with traditional means but not profitable.
In my experience, Faceless videos are more profitable, although it depends on the channel's style. Several professionals are now teaching in their courses that non-traditional films are making the difference in their business success and popularity.
Face-Share-Personal-Touch videos make audiences feel like they know the personality, but they're not profitable.
Most spend hours creating articles, videos, and thumbnails to seem good. That's how most YouTubers gained their success in the past, but not anymore.
Looking the part and performing a typical role in videos doesn't convert well, especially for newbie channels.
Working with video marketers and YouTubers for years, I've noticed that most struggle to be consistent with content publishing since they exclusively use formats that need extensive development. Camera and green screen set ups, shooting/filming, and editing for post productions require their time, making it less appealing to post consistently, especially if they're doing all the work themselves.
Because they won't make simple format videos or audio videos with an overlay image, they overcomplicate the procedure (even with YouTube Shorts), and they leave their channels for weeks or months. Again, they believe YouTube only allows specific types of videos. Even though this procedure isn't working, they plan to keep at it.
A successful YouTube channel needs multiple video formats to suit viewer needs, I teach. Face-Share-Personal Touch and Faceless videos are both useful.
How people engage with YouTube content has changed over the years, and the average customer is no longer interested in an all-video channel.
Face-Share-Personal-Touch videos are great
Giving listeners a different way to access your podcast that is being broadcast on sites like Anchor, BlogTalkRadio, Spreaker, Google, Apple Store, and others Many people enjoy using a video camera to record themselves while performing the internet radio, Facebook, or Instagram Live versions of their podcasts.
Video Blog Updates
Faceless videos are popular for business and benefit both entrepreneurs and audiences.
For the business owner/entrepreneur…
Less production time results in time dollar savings.
enables the business owner to demonstrate the diversity of content development
For the Audience…
The channel offers a variety of appealing content options.
The same format is not monotonous or overly repetitive for the viewers.
Below are a couple videos from YouTube guru Make Money Matt's channel, which has over 347K subscribers.
In conclusion, you have everything it takes to build your own YouTube brand and empire. Learn the rules, then adapt them to succeed.
Please reread this and the other suggested articles for optimal benefit.
I hope this helped. How has this article helped you? Follow me for more articles like this and more multi-mission expressions.
11 months ago
How we started and then quickly sold our startup
From a simple landing where we tested our MVP to a platform that distributes 20,000 codes per month, we learned a lot.
Kwotet was my first startup. Everyone might post book quotes online.
I wanted a change.
Kwotet lacked attention, thus I felt stuck. After experiencing the trials of starting Kwotet, I thought of developing a waitlist service, but I required a strong co-founder.
I knew Dries from school, but we weren't close. He was an entrepreneurial programmer who worked a lot outside school. I needed this.
We brainstormed throughout school hours. We developed features to put us first. We worked until 3 am to launch this product.
Putting in the hours is KEY when building a startup
The instant that we lost our spark
In Belgium, college seniors do their internship in their last semester.
As we both made the decision to pick a quite challenging company, little time was left for Lancero.
Eventually, we lost interest. We lost the spark…
The only logical choice was to find someone with the same spark we started with to acquire Lancero.
And we did @ MicroAcquire.
Sell before your product dies. Make sure to profit from all the gains.
What did we do following the sale?
Not far from selling Lancero I lost my dad. I was about to start a new company. It was focused on positivity. I got none left at the time.
We still didn’t let go of the dream of becoming full-time entrepreneurs. As Dries launched the amazing company Plunk, and I’m still in the discovering stages of my next journey!
You’re an entrepreneur if:
You enjoy disassembling and reassembling things.
You're adept at making new friends.
YOU HAVE DREAMS.
You don’t need to believe me if I tell you “everything is possible”… I wouldn't believe it myself if anyone told me this 2 years ago.
Until I started doing, living my dreams.
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1 year ago
ZERO GRACE/ZERO MALICE
Amazon's purchase of One Medical could speed up American healthcare
The U.S. healthcare industry is a 7-ton seal bleeding at sea. Predators are circling. Unearned margin: price increases relative to inflation without quality improvements. Amazon is the 11-foot megalodon with 7-inch teeth. Amazon is no longer circling... but attacking.
In 2020 dollars, per capita U.S. healthcare spending increased from $2,968 in 1980 to $12,531. The result is a massive industry with 13% of the nation's workers and a fifth of GDP.
In 40 years, healthcare has made progress. From 73.7 in 1980 to 78.8 in 2019, life expectancy rose (before Covid knocked it back down a bit). Pharmacological therapies have revolutionized, and genetic research is paying off. The financial return, improvement split by cost increases, is terrible. No country has expense rises like the U.S., and no one spends as much per capita as we do. Developed countries have longer life expectancies, healthier populations, and less economic hardship.
Two-thirds of U.S. personal bankruptcies are due to medical expenses and/or missed work. Mom or Dad getting cancer could bankrupt many middle-class American families. 40% of American adults delayed or skipped needed care due to cost. Every healthcare improvement seems to have a downside. Same pharmacological revolution that helped millions caused opioid epidemic. Our results are poor in many areas: The U.S. has a high infant mortality rate.
Healthcare is the second-worst retail industry in the country. Gas stations are #1. Imagine walking into a Best Buy to buy a TV and a Blue Shirt associate requests you fill out the same 14 pages of paperwork you filled out yesterday. Then you wait in a crowded room until they call you, 20 minutes after the scheduled appointment you were asked to arrive early for, to see the one person in the store who can talk to you about TVs, who has 10 minutes for you. The average emergency room wait time in New York is 6 hours and 10 minutes.
If it's bad for the customer, it's worse for the business. Physicians spend 27% of their time helping patients; 49% on EHRs. Documentation, order entry, billing, and inbox management. Spend a decade getting an M.D., then become a bureaucrat.
No industry better illustrates scale diseconomies. If we got the same return on healthcare spending as other countries, we'd all live to 100. We could spend less, live longer and healthier, and pay off the national debt in 15 years. U.S. healthcare is the worst ever.
What now? Competition is at the heart of capitalism, the worst system of its kind.
Amazon is buying One Medical for $3.9 billion. I think this deal will liberate society. Two years in, I think One Medical is great. When I got Covid, I pressed the One Medical symbol on my phone; a nurse practitioner prescribed Paxlovid and told me which pharmacies had it in stock.
Amazon enables the company's vision. One Medical's stock is down to $10 from $40 at the start of 2021. Last year, it lost $250 million and needs cash (Amazon has $60 billion). ONEM must grow. The service has 736,000 members. Half of U.S. households have Amazon Prime. Finally, delivery. One Medical is a digital health/physical office hybrid, but you must pick up medication at the pharmacy. Upgrade your Paxlovid delivery time after a remote consultation. Amazon's core competency means it'll happen. Healthcare speed and convenience will feel alien.
It's been a long, winding road to disruption. Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway formed Haven four years ago to provide better healthcare for their 1.5 million employees. It rocked healthcare stocks the morning of the press release, but folded in 2021.
Amazon Care is an employee-focused service. Home-delivered virtual health services and nurses. It's doing well, expanding nationwide, and providing healthcare for other companies. Hilton is Amazon Care's biggest customer. The acquisition of One Medical will bring 66 million Prime households capital, domain expertise, and billing infrastructure. Imagine:
"Alexa, I'm hot and my back hurts."
"Connecting you to a Prime doctor now."
Want to vs. Have to
I predicted Amazon entering healthcare years ago. Why? For the same reason Apple is getting into auto. Amazon's P/E is 56, double Walmart's. The corporation must add $250 billion in revenue over the next five years to retain its share price. White-label clothes or smart home products won't generate as much revenue. It must enter a huge market without scale, operational competence, and data skills.
Healthcare reform benefits both consumers and investors. In 2015, healthcare services had S&P 500-average multiples. The market is losing faith in public healthcare businesses' growth. Healthcare services have lower EV/EBITDA multiples than the S&P 500.
Amazon isn't the only prey-hunter. Walmart and Alibaba are starting pharmacies. Uber is developing medical transportation. Private markets invested $29 billion in telehealth last year, up 95% from 2020.
The pandemic accelerated telehealth, the immediate unlock. After the first positive Covid case in the U.S., services that had to be delivered in person shifted to Zoom... We lived. We grew. Video house calls continued after in-person visits were allowed. McKinsey estimates telehealth visits are 38 times pre-pandemic levels. Doctors adopted the technology, regulators loosened restrictions, and patients saved time. We're far from remote surgery, but many patient visits are unnecessary. A study of 40 million patients during lockdown found that for chronic disease patients, online visits didn't affect outcomes. This method of care will only improve.
Amazon's disruption will be significant and will inspire a flood of capital, startups, and consumer brands. Mark Cuban launched a pharmacy that eliminates middlemen in January. Outcome? A 90-day supply of acid-reflux medication costs $17. Medicare could have saved $3.6 billion by buying generic drugs from Cuban's pharmacy. Other apex predators will look at different limbs of the carcass for food. Nike could enter healthcare via orthopedics, acupuncture, and chiropractic. LVMH, L'Oréal, and Estée Lauder may launch global plastic surgery brands. Hilton and Four Seasons may open hospitals. Lennar and Pulte could build "Active Living" communities that Nana would leave feet first, avoiding the expense and tragedy of dying among strangers.
Privacy matters: HIV status is different from credit card and billing address. Most customers (60%) feel fine sharing personal health data via virtual technologies, though. Unavoidable. 85% of doctors believe data-sharing and interoperability will become the norm. Amazon is the most trusted tech company for handling personal data. Not Meta: Amazon.
What about antitrust, then?
Amazon should be required to spin off AWS and/or Amazon Fulfillment and banned from promoting its own products. It should be allowed to acquire hospitals. One Medical's $3.9 billion acquisition is a drop in the bucket compared to UnitedHealth's $498 billion market valuation.
Antitrust enforcement shouldn't assume some people/firms are good/bad. It should recognize that competition is good and focus on making markets more competitive in each deal. The FTC should force asset divestitures in e-commerce, digital marketing, and social media. These companies can also promote competition in a social ill.
U.S. healthcare makes us fat, depressed, and broke. Competition has produced massive value and prosperity across most of our economy.
Dear Amazon … bring it.
1 year ago
Investors can bet big on almost anything on a new prediction market.
Kalshi allows five-figure bets on the Grammys, the next Covid wave, and future SEC commissioners. Worst-case scenario
On Election Day 2020, two young entrepreneurs received a call from the CFTC chairman. Luana Lopes Lara and Tarek Mansour spent 18 months trying to start a new type of financial exchange. Instead of betting on stock prices or commodity futures, people could trade instruments tied to real-world events, such as legislation, the weather, or the Oscar winner.
Heath Tarbert, a Trump appointee, shouted "Congratulations." "You're competing with 1840s-era markets. I'm sure you'll become a powerhouse too."
Companies had tried to introduce similar event markets in the US for years, but Tarbert's agency, the CFTC, said no, arguing they were gambling and prone to cheating. Now the agency has reversed course, approving two 24-year-olds who will have first-mover advantage in what could become a huge new asset class. Kalshi Inc. raised $30 million from venture capitalists within weeks of Tarbert's call, his representative says. Mansour, 26, believes this will be bigger than crypto.
Anyone who's read The Wisdom of Crowds knows prediction markets' potential. Well-designed markets can help draw out knowledge from disparate groups, and research shows that when money is at stake, people make better predictions. Lopes Lara calls it a "bullshit tax." That's why Google, Microsoft, and even the US Department of Defense use prediction markets internally to guide decisions, and why university-linked political betting sites like PredictIt sometimes outperform polls.
Regulators feared Wall Street-scale trading would encourage investors to manipulate reality. If the stakes are high enough, traders could pressure congressional staffers to stall a bill or bet on whether Kanye West's new album will drop this week. When Lopes Lara and Mansour pitched the CFTC, senior regulators raised these issues. Politically appointed commissioners overruled their concerns, and one later joined Kalshi's board.
Will Kanye’s new album come out next week? Yes or no?
Kalshi's victory was due more to lobbying and legal wrangling than to Silicon Valley-style innovation. Lopes Lara and Mansour didn't invent anything; they changed a well-established concept's governance. The result could usher in a new era of market-based enlightenment or push Wall Street's destructive tendencies into the real world.
If Kalshi's founders lacked experience to bolster their CFTC application, they had comical youth success. Lopes Lara studied ballet at the Brazilian Bolshoi before coming to the US. Mansour won France's math Olympiad. They bonded over their work ethic in an MIT computer science class.
Lopes Lara had the idea for Kalshi while interning at a New York hedge fund. When the traders around her weren't working, she noticed they were betting on the news: Would Apple hit a trillion dollars? Kylie Jenner? "It was anything," she says.
Are mortgage rates going up? Yes or no?
Mansour saw the business potential when Lopes Lara suggested it. He interned at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., helping investors prepare for the UK leaving the EU. Goldman sold clients complex stock-and-derivative combinations. As he discussed it with Lopes Lara, they agreed that investors should hedge their risk by betting on Brexit itself rather than an imperfect proxy.
Lopes Lara and Mansour hypothesized how a marketplace might work. They settled on a "event contract," a binary-outcome instrument like "Will inflation hit 5% by the end of the month?" The contract would settle at $1 (if the event happened) or zero (if it didn't), but its price would fluctuate based on market sentiment. After a good debate, a politician's election odds may rise from 50 to 55. Kalshi would charge a commission on every trade and sell data to traders, political campaigns, businesses, and others.
In October 2018, five months after graduation, the pair flew to California to compete in a hackathon for wannabe tech founders organized by the Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator. They built a website in a day and a night and presented it to entrepreneurs the next day. Their prototype barely worked, but they won a three-month mentorship program and $150,000. Michael Seibel, managing director of Y Combinator, said of their idea, "I had to take a chance!"
Will there be another moon landing by 2025?
Seibel's skepticism was rooted in America's historical wariness of gambling. Roulette, poker, and other online casino games are largely illegal, and sports betting was only legal in a few states until May 2018. Kalshi as a risk-hedging platform rather than a bookmaker seemed like a good idea, but convincing the CFTC wouldn't be easy. In 2012, the CFTC said trading on politics had no "economic purpose" and was "contrary to the public interest."
Lopes Lara and Mansour cold-called 60 Googled lawyers during their time at Y Combinator. Everyone advised quitting. Mansour recalls the pain. Jeff Bandman, a former CFTC official, helped them navigate the agency and its characters.
When they weren’t busy trying to recruit lawyers, Lopes Lara and Mansour were meeting early-stage investors. Alfred Lin of Sequoia Capital Operations LLC backed Airbnb, DoorDash, and Uber Technologies. Lin told the founders their idea could capitalize on retail trading and challenge how the financial world manages risk. "Come back with regulatory approval," he said.
In the US, even small bets on most events were once illegal. Under the Commodity Exchange Act, the CFTC can stop exchanges from listing contracts relating to "terrorism, assassination, war" and "gaming" if they are "contrary to the public interest," which was often the case.
Will subway ridership return to normal? Yes or no?
In 1988, as academic interest in the field grew, the agency allowed the University of Iowa to set up a prediction market for research purposes, as long as it didn't make a profit or advertise and limited bets to $500. PredictIt, the biggest and best-known political betting platform in the US, also got an exemption thanks to an association with Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Today, it's a sprawling marketplace with its own subculture and lingo. PredictIt users call it "Rules Cuck Panther" when they lose on a technicality. Major news outlets cite PredictIt's odds on Discord and the Star Spangled Gamblers podcast.
CFTC limits PredictIt bets to $850. To keep traders happy, PredictIt will often run multiple variations of the same question, listing separate contracts for two dozen Democratic primary candidates, for example. A trader could have more than $10,000 riding on a single outcome. Some of the site's traders are current or former campaign staffers who can answer questions like "How many tweets will Donald Trump post from Nov. 20 to 27?" and "When will Anthony Scaramucci's role as White House communications director end?"
According to PredictIt co-founder John Phillips, politicians help explain the site's accuracy. "Prediction markets work well and are accurate because they attract people with superior information," he said in a 2016 podcast. “In the financial stock market, it’s called inside information.”
Will Build Back Better pass? Yes or no?
Trading on nonpublic information is illegal outside of academia, which presented a dilemma for Lopes Lara and Mansour. Kalshi's forecasts needed to be accurate. Kalshi must eliminate insider trading as a regulated entity. Lopes Lara and Mansour wanted to build a high-stakes PredictIt without the anarchy or blurred legal lines—a "New York Stock Exchange for Events." First, they had to convince regulators event trading was safe.
When Lopes Lara and Mansour approached the CFTC in the spring of 2019, some officials in the Division of Market Oversight were skeptical, according to interviews with people involved in the process. For all Kalshi's talk of revolutionizing finance, this was just a turbocharged version of something that had been rejected before.
The DMO couldn't see the big picture. The staff review was supposed to ensure Kalshi could complete a checklist, "23 Core Principles of a Designated Contract Market," which included keeping good records and having enough money. The five commissioners decide. With Trump as president, three of them were ideologically pro-market.
Lopes Lara, Mansour, and their lawyer Bandman, an ex-CFTC official, answered the DMO's questions while lobbying the commissioners on Zoom about the potential of event markets to mitigate risks and make better decisions. Before each meeting, they would write a script and memorize it word for word.
Will student debt be forgiven? Yes or no?
Several prediction markets that hadn't sought regulatory approval bolstered Kalshi's case. Polymarket let customers bet hundreds of thousands of dollars anonymously using cryptocurrencies, making it hard to track. Augur, which facilitates private wagers between parties using blockchain, couldn't regulate bets and hadn't stopped users from betting on assassinations. Kalshi, by comparison, argued it was doing everything right. (The CFTC fined Polymarket $1.4 million for operating an unlicensed exchange in January 2022. Polymarket says it's now compliant and excited to pioneer smart contract-based financial solutions with regulators.
Kalshi was approved unanimously despite some DMO members' concerns about event contracts' riskiness. "Once they check all the boxes, they're in," says a CFTC insider.
Three months after CFTC approval, Kalshi announced funding from Sequoia, Charles Schwab, and Henry Kravis. Sequoia's Lin, who joined the board, said Tarek, Luana, and team created a new way to invest and engage with the world.
The CFTC hadn't asked what markets the exchange planned to run since. After approval, Lopes Lara and Mansour had the momentum. Kalshi's March list of 30 proposed contracts caused chaos at the DMO. The division handles exchanges that create two or three new markets a year. Kalshi’s business model called for new ones practically every day.
Uncontroversial proposals included weather and GDP questions. Others, on the initial list and later, were concerning. DMO officials feared Covid-19 contracts amounted to gambling on human suffering, which is why war and terrorism markets are banned. (Similar logic doomed ex-admiral John Poindexter's Policy Analysis Market, a Bush-era plan to uncover intelligence by having security analysts bet on Middle East events.) Regulators didn't see how predicting the Grammy winners was different from betting on the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Who, other than John Legend, would need to hedge the best R&B album winner?
Event contracts raised new questions for the DMO's product review team. Regulators could block gaming contracts that weren't in the public interest under the Commodity Exchange Act, but no one had defined gaming. It was unclear whether the CFTC had a right or an obligation to consider whether a contract was in the public interest. How was it to determine public interest? Another person familiar with the CFTC review says, "It was a mess." The agency didn't comment.
CFTC staff feared some event contracts could be cheated. Kalshi wanted to run a bee-endangerment market. The DMO pushed back, saying it saw two problems symptomatic of the asset class: traders could press government officials for information, and officials could delay adding the insects to the list to cash in.
The idea that traders might manipulate prediction markets wasn't paranoid. In 2013, academics David Rothschild and Rajiv Sethi found that an unidentified party lost $7 million buying Mitt Romney contracts on Intrade, a now-defunct, unlicensed Irish platform, in the runup to the 2012 election. The authors speculated that the trader, whom they dubbed the “Romney Whale,” may have been looking to boost morale and keep donations coming in.
Kalshi said manipulation and insider trading are risks for any market. It built a surveillance system and said it would hire a team to monitor it. "People trade on events all the time—they just use options and other instruments. This brings everything into the open, Mansour says. Kalshi didn't include election contracts, a red line for CFTC Democrats.
Lopes Lara and Mansour were ready to launch kalshi.com that summer, but the DMO blocked them. Product reviewers were frustrated by spending half their time on an exchange that represented a tiny portion of the derivatives market. Lopes Lara and Mansour pressed politically appointed commissioners during the impasse.
Tarbert, the chairman, had moved on, but Kalshi found a new supporter in Republican Brian Quintenz, a crypto-loving former hedge fund manager. He was unmoved by the DMO's concerns, arguing that speculation on Kalshi's proposed events was desirable and the agency had no legal standing to prevent it. He supported a failed bid to allow NFL futures earlier this year. Others on the commission were cautious but supportive. Given the law's ambiguity, they worried they'd be on shaky ground if Kalshi sued if they blocked a contract. Without a permanent chairman, the agency lacked leadership.
To block a contract, DMO staff needed a majority of commissioners' support, which they didn't have in all but a few cases. "We didn't have the votes," a reviewer says, paraphrasing Hamilton. By the second half of 2021, new contract requests were arriving almost daily at the DMO, and the demoralized and overrun division eventually accepted defeat and stopped fighting back. By the end of the year, three senior DMO officials had left the agency, making it easier for Kalshi to list its contracts unimpeded.
Today, Kalshi is growing. 32 employees work in a SoHo office with big windows and exposed brick. Quintenz, who left the CFTC 10 months after Kalshi was approved, is on its board. He joined because he was interested in the market's hedging and risk management opportunities.
Mid-May, the company's website had 75 markets, such as "Will Q4 GDP be negative?" Will NASA land on the moon by 2025? The exchange recently reached 2 million weekly contracts, a jump from where it started but still a small number compared to other futures exchanges. Early adopters are PredictIt and Polymarket fans. Bets on the site are currently capped at $25,000, but Kalshi hopes to increase that to $100,000 and beyond.
With the regulatory drawbridge down, Lopes Lara and Mansour must move quickly. Chicago's CME Group Inc. plans to offer index-linked event contracts. Kalshi will release a smartphone app to attract customers. After that, it hopes to partner with a big brokerage. Sequoia is a major investor in Robinhood Markets Inc. Robinhood users could have access to Kalshi so that after buying GameStop Corp. shares, they'd be prompted to bet on the Oscars or the next Fed commissioner.
Some, like Illinois Democrat Sean Casten, accuse Robinhood and its competitors of gamifying trading to encourage addiction, but Kalshi doesn't seem worried. Mansour says Kalshi's customers can't bet more than they've deposited, making debt difficult. Eventually, he may introduce leveraged bets.
Tension over event contracts recalls another CFTC episode. Brooksley Born proposed regulating the financial derivatives market in 1994. Alan Greenspan and others in the government opposed her, saying it would stifle innovation and push capital overseas. Unrestrained, derivatives grew into a trillion-dollar industry until 2008, when they sparked the financial crisis.
Today, with a midterm election looming, it seems reasonable to ask whether Kalshi plans to get involved. Elections have historically been the biggest draw in prediction markets, with 125 million shares traded on PredictIt for 2020. “We can’t discuss specifics,” Mansour says. “All I can say is, you know, we’re always working on expanding the universe of things that people can trade on.”
Any election contracts would need CFTC approval, which may be difficult with three Democratic commissioners. A Republican president would change the equation.
Ari Joury, PhD
10 months ago
7 ways to turn into a major problem-solver
For some people, the glass is half empty. For others, it’s half full. And for some, the question is, How do I get this glass totally full again?
Problem-solvers are the last group. They're neutral. Pragmatists.
Problems surround them. They fix things instead of judging them. Problem-solvers improve the world wherever they go.
Some fail. Sometimes their good intentions have terrible results. Like when they try to help a grandma cross the road because she can't do it alone but discover she never wanted to.
Most programmers, software engineers, and data scientists solve problems. They use computer code to fix problems they see.
Coding is best done by understanding and solving the problem.
Despite your best intentions, building the wrong solution may have negative consequences. Helping an unwilling grandma cross the road.
How can you improve problem-solving?
1. Examine your presumptions.
Don’t think There’s a grandma, and she’s unable to cross the road. Therefore I must help her over the road. Instead think This grandma looks unable to cross the road. Let’s ask her whether she needs my help to cross it.
Maybe the grandma can’t cross the road alone, but maybe she can. You can’t tell for sure just by looking at her. It’s better to ask.
Maybe the grandma wants to cross the road. But maybe she doesn’t. It’s better to ask!
Building software is similar. Do only I find this website ugly? Who can I consult?
We all have biases, mental shortcuts, and worldviews. They simplify life.
Problem-solving requires questioning all assumptions. They might be wrong!
Think less. Ask more.
Secondly, fully comprehend the issue.
Grandma wants to cross the road? Does she want flowers from the shop across the street?
Understanding the problem advances us two steps. Instead of just watching people and their challenges, try to read their intentions.
Don't ask, How can I help grandma cross the road? Why would this grandma cross the road? What's her goal?
Understand what people want before proposing solutions.
3. Request more information. This is not a scam!
People think great problem solvers solve problems immediately. False!
Problem-solvers study problems. Understanding the problem makes solving it easy.
When you see a grandma struggling to cross the road, you want to grab her elbow and pull her over. However, a good problem solver would ask grandma what she wants. So:
Problem solver: Excuse me, ma’am? Do you wish to get over the road? Grandma: Yes indeed, young man! Thanks for asking. Problem solver: What do you want to do on the other side? Grandma: I want to buy a bouquet of flowers for my dear husband. He loves flowers! I wish the shop wasn’t across this busy road… Problem solver: Which flowers does your husband like best? Grandma: He loves red dahlia. I usually buy about 20 of them. They look so pretty in his vase at the window! Problem solver: I can get those dahlia for you quickly. Go sit on the bench over here while you’re waiting; I’ll be back in five minutes. Grandma: You would do that for me? What a generous young man you are!
A mediocre problem solver would have helped the grandma cross the road, but he might have forgotten that she needs to cross again. She must watch out for cars and protect her flowers on the way back.
A good problem solver realizes that grandma's husband wants 20 red dahlias and completes the task.
4- Rapid and intense brainstorming
Understanding a problem makes solutions easy. However, you may not have all the information needed to solve the problem.
Additionally, retrieving crucial information can be difficult.
You could start a blog. You don't know your readers' interests. You can't ask readers because you don't know who they are.
Brainstorming works here. Set a stopwatch (most smartphones have one) to ring after five minutes. In the remaining time, write down as many topics as possible.
No answer is wrong. Note everything.
Sort these topics later. Programming or data science? What might readers scroll past—are these your socks this morning?
Rank your ideas intuitively and logically. Write Medium stories using the top 35 ideas.
5 - Google it.
Doctor Google may answer this seemingly insignificant question. If you understand your problem, try googling or binging.
Someone has probably had your problem before. The problem-solver may have posted their solution online.
Use others' experiences. If you're social, ask a friend or coworker for help.
6 - Consider it later
Rest your brain.
Reread. Your brain needs rest to function.
Hustle culture encourages working 24/7. It doesn't take a neuroscientist to see that this is mental torture.
Leave an unsolvable problem. Visit friends, take a hot shower, or do whatever you enjoy outside of problem-solving.
I get my best ideas in the morning after working on a problem. I couldn't have had these ideas last night.
Sleeping subconsciously. Leave it alone and you may be surprised by the genius it produces.
7 - Learn to live with frustration
There are problems that you’ll never solve.
Mathematicians are world-class problem-solvers. The brightest minds in history have failed to solve many mathematical problems.
A Gordian knot problem can frustrate you. You're smart!
Frustration-haters don't solve problems well. They choose simple problems to avoid frustration.
No. Great problem solvers want to solve a problem but know when to give up.
Frustration initially hurts. You adapt.
Famous last words
If you read this article, you probably solve problems. We've covered many ways to improve, so here's a summary:
Test your presumptions. Is the issue the same for everyone else when you see one? Or are your prejudices and self-judgments misguiding you?
Recognize the issue completely. On the surface, a problem may seem straightforward, but what's really going on? Try to see what the current situation might be building up to by thinking two steps ahead of the current situation.
Request more information. You are no longer a high school student. A two-sentence problem statement is not sufficient to provide a solution. Ask away if you need more details!
Think quickly and thoroughly. In a constrained amount of time, try to write down all your thoughts. All concepts are worthwhile! Later, you can order them.
Google it. There is a purpose for the internet. Use it.
Consider it later at night. A rested mind is more creative. It might seem counterintuitive to leave a problem unresolved. But while you're sleeping, your subconscious will handle the laborious tasks.
Accept annoyance as a normal part of life. Don't give up if you're feeling frustrated. It's a step in the procedure. It's also perfectly acceptable to give up on a problem because there are other, more pressing issues that need to be addressed.
You might feel stupid sometimes, but that just shows that you’re human. You care about the world and you want to make it better.
At the end of the day, that’s all there is to problem solving — making the world a little bit better.