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- 01/09/19--05:14: _Elon Musk got some ...
- 01/09/19--05:16: _Take a tour of the ...
- 01/09/19--05:26: _After second man di...
- 01/09/19--05:32: _This $80 smartwatch...
- 01/09/19--05:35: _Deliveroo, the $2 b...
- 01/09/19--05:40: _Check out our exclu...
- 01/09/19--05:42: _Sears chairman Eddi...
- 01/09/19--05:46: _The maker of Corona...
- 01/09/19--05:53: _Tim Cook made over ...
- 01/09/19--05:59: _This $30 reusable s...
- 01/09/19--06:00: _Go inside the Chrys...
- 01/09/19--06:08: _6 expensive things ...
- 01/09/19--06:09: _The downfall of US ...
- 01/09/19--06:13: _Police hunt man who...
- 01/09/19--10:00: _'Bad and unexpected...
- 01/09/19--10:04: _Local officials in ...
- 01/09/19--10:04: _Everyone at JPMorga...
- 01/09/19--10:06: _T-Mobile is outpaci...
- 01/09/19--10:09: _Jeff Bezos' advice ...
- 01/09/19--10:10: _Amazon has an under...
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
- Li said he hopes Telsa can be "a promoter of the stability of Chinese-US relations," in a sign that the two countries' trade war may be thawing.
- Tesla kicked off the construction of its new $2 billion Gigafactory in China this week.
- Super Bowl LIII will take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, one of the swankiest arenas in the entire NFL.
- The stadium, which is located in downtown Atlanta, cost $1.5 billion to build and was officially opened on August 26, 2017.
- Fans will enjoy the retractable roof, beautiful lounges, football-field length bar, and stunning views of the city's skyline during the 2019 Super Bowl.
A 55-year-old man was found dead in the West Hollywood apartment of Democratic donor Ed Buck on Monday. In 2017, a dead escort, Gemmel Moore, was discovered in Buck's apartment. He was said to have died of a methamphetamine overdose.
Activists say Buck avoided prosecution because he was politically connected, and renewed outrage has sprung up around the two incidents. Monday evening, a rally calling for his arrest occurred outside of Buck's apartment.
A review of political donations shows that Buck contributed to nearly every member of West Hollywood's city council, as well as the Los Angeles District Attorney and numerous state-level politicians.
- The Amazfit Bip ($79.99) proves you don't have to spend more than $100 for a good smartwatch.
- I've worn it daily for more than a month and primarily use it to keep track of my physical activity and sleep and to receive phone notifications.
- While it lacks the sleek sophistication of its $200 to $350 counterparts, it still impressed us with its month-long battery life and variety of features you'll use every day.
- Deliveroo, the $2 billion British food delivery startup being eyed for acquisition by Uber, has lost one of its most senior executives.
- Roy Blanga was previously chief operating officer and left in December, sources told Business Insider.
- Deliveroo has appointed another executive, Rohan Pradhan, as his successor.
- Uber was in early-stage talks to acquire Deliveroo late last year, per media reports and sources.
- Business Insider compiled a list of the top lawyers who've worked on the biggest M&A transactions in the marijuana industry to date.
- Check out our exclusive, subscribers-only list here.
- Eddie Lampert, the chairman and former CEO of Sears, has an estimated net worth of $1 billion.
- Lampert owns three homes, including one on the "billionaire bunker" island in Florida, and a $130 million yacht.
- Lampert is a member of the ultraexclusive Skull and Bones society at Yale University.
- In 2003, he was kidnapped and held at gunpoint — and negotiated his way free.
- Constellation Brands, the company behind Corona beer, beat on both the top and bottom lines.
- But the company slashed its guidance for full-year comparable earnings to below Wall Street expectations.
- Constellation's guidance was impacted by its recent investment in the Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth.
- Watch Constellation Brands trade live.
- Apple revealed that CEO Tim Cook was paid $15,682,219 in 2018 in an SEC filing.
- That doesn't include $121 million in Apple stock that vested last year.
- The median Apple employee makes $55,426.
- Lots of Apple employees work in its retail stores and with AppleCare support and they factor into the median employee compensation calculation.
- Rocketbook is best-known for creating a $30 smart notebook called the Everlast which wipes clean with a damp cloth. You may have seen it on Kickstarter or Shark Tank.
- By outlining one of the icons printed on each page in pen, you can blast a JPEG or PDF of your handwritten notes to Google Drive, iCloud, messages, Dropbox and more.
- I've been using the Everlast for a little while now, and I'm surprised by how great the product is. If you're looking for a smart notebook that sends handwritten notes to your devices, this is my personal recommendation based on its price, reliability, and simplicity.
- 01/09/19--06:00: Go inside the Chrysler factory that makes Jeep Wranglers
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles allowed cameras inside their Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio.
- Over 5,600 people there manufacture the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and Jeep Cherokee.
- Employees can make around 50 Jeeps an hour.
- 01/09/19--06:08: 6 expensive things that are totally worth the money
- Money priorities differ from person to person, depending on what you value.
- There are some things, like a college education, that cost a lot of money but can give you a great return on investment through your salary later on.
- Here are six pricey things, from a financial expert, that are well worth the money.
- Evolving merchant needs are impacting POS terminal players’ strategies. Merchants select terminal providers based on four key areas: payment functionality, user experience (UX), over-the-top (OTT) offerings, and distribution/customer service. Terminal firms need to innovate in these areas, or risk falling behind.
- Larger players need to double down on existing success. Smaller players can often be more nimble, which gives them the opportunity to innovate more quickly and build in-demand solutions. That’s a disadvantage to market leaders; however, they can, and should, leverage their massive distribution networks when upgrading or updating their offerings. Meanwhile, smaller players can win by focusing on niches instead.
- It’s all about the platform. No single feature is likely to make or break a merchant’s decision to pursue a specific provider. Above all, they want a robust ecosystem that can evolve over time.
- Explains the current state of in-store retail and why terminal firms need to evolve to meet it.
- Groups features that matter to merchants and explains why they’re important and what terminal providers stand to gain from focusing on them.
- Determines the leading players in the space.
- Assesses how the leading players stack up, and which offerings are the most comprehensive.
- Issues recommendations about how to develop an attractive platform that best serves merchants' needs as the market continues to shift.
- California police are hunting a man who licked a doorbell outside a house for three hours on Saturday, and was caught on security tape.
- The elderly homeowners were out of town at the time.
- The man, whom police identified as 33-year-old Roberto Arroyo, can be seen licking the doorbell and occasionally glancing at the camera. He also urinated in the yard, police said.
- Police are still looking for Arroyo, and said he could face two misdemeanor charges for petty theft and prowling.
- 01/09/19--10:00: 'Bad and unexpected': Germany probably just went into a recession
- German industry went into a sudden and unexpected collapse in November. The data is so bad some economists think it might be wrong.
- Nonetheless, they agree that Germany may have been in a recession for the last two quarters of 2018.
- Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the fourth-largest on the planet. So this is bad.
- German industrial production fell by -1.9% in November.
- Year over year, production hit a low of -4.6% — the biggest trough since the 2008 crisis.
- Germany’s exports fell -0.4% month over month in November, the government reported today.
- The federal government is unable to pay some of its water bill to the city of Washington, DC, due to the federal government shutdown.
- DC Water officials joked about cutting off the White House's water due to the delinquency on Tuesday, according to local radio station WAMU.
- A DC Water spokesperson told WAMU that the utility has the right to cut off any customers water after 30 days of nonpayment, but that it is a final resort and unlikely to actually happen to the White House.
- The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is underway in San Francisco.
- Walking around the conference, a few topics seem to be at the top of everyone's minds.
- From M&A skepticism to big tech attendees, here's what Business Insider reporters are hearing on the ground.
- The US smartphone market is creeping toward saturation. Penetration in the US hit 85% in 2018, up from 82% in 2017 and 77% in 2016.
- eSIM technology is making it easier for consumers to switch carriers. eSIM technology is a nonphysical SIM card slot that pairs with the physical SIM card to enable dual-SIM functionality — allowing customers to switch carriers without changing to a different SIM card or device.
- And cable mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are edging in on US carriers' share of wireless adds. Cable MVNOs, such as Comcast's Xfinity Mobile and Charter's Spectrum Mobile, are expected to snag roughly 50% of total wireless customer net adds, or about 2.2 million subscribers, by 2020.
- T-Mobile came out on top again, outpacing the rest of the Big Four US carriers on value, loyalty, and satisfaction. T-Mobile customers want to see coverage improvements, though.
- Verizon customers don't see much more value in its offerings than a year ago.
- AT&T was the only carrier to show declines in all capacities.
- Sprint is still a good deal, but it doesn't offer much else.
- When it comes to features, subscribers still value the basics most. However, demand for international coverage is growing.
- 5G is the next major battleground for the Big Four, and the winner of the 5G race has the potential to leap ahead in customer volumes.
- Determines the features that are most important to consumers when selecting a mobile provider.
- Identifies which features are nice to have or essential in consumers' willingness to switch carriers.
- Examines consumers' feelings on emerging technologies and trends in the mobile industry, such as 5G, new network-connected devices, and the T-Mobile-Sprint merger.
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he believes the term "work-life balance" is a "debilitating phrase."
- Bezos revealed that one of the top pieces of advice he offers new Amazon employees is that they shouldn't view the two as a strict trade-off.
- Instead, Bezos thinks of his personal and professional pursuits as a "circle" rather than a balancing act.
- Amazon has a program that sends customers free samples of items they might like.
- It uses machine learning and predictive analytics to send samples of goods like Folgers coffee and dog food to customers who might want to try them, based one what the company already knows about them, according to Axios.
- It's another feature of Amazon's growing advertising business, in which brands can pay the e-commerce company to reach certain customers.
Elon Musk is on a charm offensive in China — and his latest meeting may be a sign that trade hostilities between the US and China are thawing.
After beginning construction on Tesla's new $2 billion Gigafactory in China this week, Musk met with Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday in Beijing, at the Great Hall of the People.
The pair posed for photographs and made short press statements as part of the meeting. It came against the backdrop of three days of talks between Washington and Beijing over a trade deal.
There are signs are that negotiators may have reached a preliminary agreement, and Li bolstered this theory by saying that he hopes Tesla can become an "a promoter of the stability of Chinese-US relations."
"We're incredibly excited to break ground on the Shanghai Gigafactory," Musk added.
At the White House, Bloomberg said some advisers are pressing for a speedy end to the trade war to help soothe recent volatility that has gripped markets. US President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday night: "Talks with China are going very well!"
But if hostilities continue, Tesla's new Gigafactory could help the carmaker side-step retaliatory tariffs in Trump's trade war.
Tesla announced in October that it was accelerating construction on the Chinese factory, as tariffs of up to 40% were making it uncompetitive in China, and in November it cut the price of its cars in China to balance out costs to customers.
The Georgia Dome — the former home of the Atlanta Falcons — was only 25 years old when it was demolished by the city of Atlanta.
The Falcons moved into the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium — a stunning $1.5 billion stadium with a retractable roof — to start the 2017 season. It is like nothing else ever seen in the NFL and looks from the outside like a gigantic metal origami structure.
Here is a tour of some of the stadium's stunning features. Many of the images are from a rendering produced before the stadium was opened.
The Georgia Dome was taken down on Monday with a controlled implosion. It opened in 1992.
GOODBYE GEORGIA DOME: Here is NewsChopper2 video of the @GeorgiaDome demolition: https://t.co/oILFX7EZuTpic.twitter.com/C8rRtzddgt
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which sits right next to the lot where the Georgia Dome once stood, is located in downtown Atlanta.
Here is the outside of the stadium and the area surrounding it, which includes a fan plaza, solar panels, and electric-vehicle charging stations in the parking lot.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
A man was found dead at major California Democratic donor Ed Buck's West Hollywood apartment Monday in a what his lawyer is calling an accidental drug overdose. That story alone could provoke suspicion, but this isn't the first time it's happened, setting off alarm bells for enraged community members following the July 2017 death of a male escort on Buck's property.
Police say a 55-year-old black man was found in the apartment not breathing. He could not be resuscitated and was later pronounced dead. Details of his identity have not yet been released, and the Homicide Bureau says they are investigating the cause of death.
Buck has reportedly not been charged in connection to the incident and remains a free man.
For certain members of the black and LGBTQ communities in Los Angeles, the second death highlights what some are calling a disturbing pattern of injustice enabled by white privilege and nepotism. A review of Buck's political donation history reveals that he has deep ties to the mayor of West Hollywood, donating over $10,000 to his campaigns over the years, and has donated to nearly every member of city council and the Los Angeles district attorney who oversaw his case.
Some question whether those donations could have influenced the manner in which the cases surrounding Buck were handled.
A second death under similar circumstances
On July 27, 2017, the body of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore was found on a mattress on the living room floor of the same apartment the unidentified man was found on Monday. The coroner ruled Moore's death an accidental meth overdose. One year later, prosecutors announced they would charge Buck in Moore's death. Now investigators say they are reviewing the case in light of the latest death.
Moore was a sex worker who was addicted to methamphetamine, according to friends. Buck was a wealthy well-connected Democratic donor and activist who had a penchant for soliciting black male escorts in West Hollywood for meth and GHB-fueled sex, according to a report from The Root and screenshots and interviews from the WeHo Times.
After leading a successful effort to impeach Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham in 1987, Buck moved to West Hollywood in 1991 to "retire," according to WeHoVille. There he unsuccessfully ran for city council in 2007. He gained notoriety after interrupting a town-hall-style meeting featuring Republican candidate for governor Meg Whitman. He then focused his political efforts on passing a local fur ban for retailers, for which he aligned himself with local politicians, including John D’Amico who now sits on West Hollywood City Council. From then on, he would be connected to major Democrats, such as Hillary Clinton.
In a journal supposedly kept by Moore and found by authorities, he wrote, "I’ve became addicted to drugs and the worst one at that. Ed Buck is the one to thank he gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful but after all the troubles I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy."
He continued, "If it didn’t hurt so bad I’d kill myself, but for now I’ll just let Ed Buck do it."
LaTisha Nixon, Moore's mother, told WeHo Times that before his death, her son said that Buck injected drugs into him against his will. Escort Damar Love said he had a similar experience, telling WeHo Times, "I was at Ed’s house and I fell asleep. I woke up because I felt a prick on my arm. My arm was tied down and it was red." Other escorts described Moore as fetishizing the control over how much drugs were administered into their systems, encouraging them to use more for more money.
Nana Gyamfi, a civil-rights attorney representing Nixon, told INSIDER that whether or not Moore consented to the drug use, Buck's tactics and methods were predatory and made him responsible. "Obviously, if it's not consensual. That's an issue, but even if it is consensual, the question for us is who is in control of the drugs and the administration of the drugs. The answer is Ed Buck."
Twenty-four syringes and baggies with white and crystalline residue were reportedly found in Buck's apartment, according to the Los Angeles Times.
After Moore's death, Nixon called for a deeper investigation, suggesting that either nepotism or racism could be protecting Buck.
In July 2018, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office announced that it would not seek to prosecute Buck. After the announcement, Nixon warned in a press conference that other young black men could die as a result.
If another young, Black gay man overdoses or worse dies at Democratic donor Ed Buck’s apartment it’s going to be the fault of the sheriff’s dept and L.A. District Atty for not stopping him when they had the opportunity to. #GemmelMoore#Justice4Gemmelpic.twitter.com/jlbS2KTvNe— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) July 28, 2018
Now, Gyamfi says the community is suffering because no one listened. "We had been very clear with the detectives that based upon the information that we had that Ed Buck has a problem in the sense of him being predatory, being reckless, and being dangerous — that he would not stop unless he was stopped. And that his actions clearly lead to people’s death," said Gyamfi. "Someone else was going to die."
Now, activists are calling for Buck's arrest and a reinvestigation of Moore's death
At a protest Monday evening outside of Buck's apartment, more than 100 people rallied for his arrest and a renewed investigation into Moore's death.
Jasmyne Cannick, who has been leading the campaign for justice for Moore, demanded action from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department, saying, "We will leave and there will be another man going into his house tonight, another man coming in tomorrow. Now it’s time for the Sheriff’s Department and [District Attorney] Jackie Lacey to s--t or get off the pot," Cannick said.
According to a resident of Buck's building who spoke to WeHoVille, occupants have repeatedly called the police because of his suspected drug use, but no action has been taken.
Gyamfi criticized the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for what she saw as persistent failure to listen to Buck's alleged victims. "Two or three of the witnesses described going to the Sheriff's Department right there in West Hollywood, including Gemmel in his own journal, and complaining and letting them know that something had happened, that Ed Buck had done something to them," she said. "They were literally shooed away, literally, 'hey drug heads get out of here.'"
Activists have also suggested that the inaction in Buck's case could be due to his political connections. "Lindsey Horvath is the only City Council member who spoke up and that it made any attempts to try to investigate it and push this case," said Gyamfi. "All the other Council members have all received money from Ed Buck, and the mayor completely tried to throw this under the rug."
According to public records reviewed by INSIDER, the assertion that Buck donated to every other West Hollywood City Council member is true. In 2014, Buck donated over $11,000 to West Hollywood mayor John Duran. In 2014, Buck also donated $500 to Mayor Pro Tempore John D'Amico. In 2017, he gave $2,000 to Councilmember John Heilman. And in 2015, he gave $500 to Councilmember Lauren Meister.
D'Amico and Meister reportedly attended the rally Monday night, with D'Amico drawing vocal criticism for not returning donations from Buck.
Buck also donated $100 to LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey in 2012, who oversaw his case and decided not to prosecute the case of Moore's death. Additionally, Buck has donated to numerous state politicians, such as Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown.
D’Amico, Meister, and Horvath have all requested a sheriff's department investigation, according to WeHoVille.
Despite the blame Gyamfi attributed to politicians and members of the political establishment, she believes race is at the root of the problem that led vulnerable men like Gemmel Moore to Ed Buck. "Race is the basis, that's the foundation," she said. "That it becomes OK for him to live his life as normal no matter how many dead bodies come out of his apartment. This cannot happen outside of white privilege."
"The reason that people are able to get caught up with a person like Ed Buck isn’t because they're just so excited to hook up with him. It is because of the lack of services. It is because people are houseless, because of the lack of employment opportunities for young LGBTQ black folks," Gyamfi said.
"Before the person got dragged out of Ed Buck's house, how many failures on the part of the city occur in helping with mental health and helping with housing and helping with employment."
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
Though Apple and Fitbit are probably the first names to come to mind when you think of wearables, Chinese wearables company Huami is quietly giving them a run for their money with its under-$100 Amazfit Bip smartwatch.
I've been wearing it for the last five weeks and had multiple friends mistake it for an Apple Watch. It never gets any less satisfying for me to explain that it's actually a smartwatch they've never heard of, and it costs a fraction of its more famous doppelgänger.
The Amazfit Bip is only $80, but has so many useful features that you'll be surprised it doesn't cost more: fitness, heart rate, and sleep tracking, physical activity guidance, and the ability to receive app, call, and text notifications. It can also act as a timer, stopwatch, compass, or personal weatherman. It does all of this on an incredible battery that lasts for weeks (yes, plural).
As a longtime Fitbit user, I can say without a doubt that wearing a fitness tracker has improved my health by motivating me to move more, whether that involves going for an evening run in order to maintain my run streak, or simply taking a lap around the office when I've been sitting down for too long. With the Amazfit Bip, you can set step goals, then see how much you're walking and how many calories you've burned, down to each hour of the day. When you haven't moved in a while, you'll get a nudge in the form of a watch vibration, and the watch celebrates when you've reached your daily step goal.
The watch can also accompany you on activities like outdoor running or cycling and track stats like your pace, heart rate, and stride, but in my experience the activity guidance features weren't always completely accurate, and I preferred using the Nike Run app. It works perfectly, however, as a casual day-to-day activity tracker.
The sleep tracking function, made more accurate with the watch's heart rate monitor, is also the source of endless fascination and utility. The watch breaks down your deep and light sleep and offers insights that help you get more consistent, restful sleep. Combined with the physical activity reports, the sleep data lets me draw connections to my overall mood and energy level and I can tweak my routine so I feel 100%, or as close to it as possible, every day.
Other than for activity and sleep tracking, I use the watch to receive phone notifications since it's distracting to pick up my phone every time it lights up next to me. I'll occasionally use its timer and stopwatch when I work out or cook dinner, its alarm to wake me up every morning, and its weather report.
Compared to those of the Apple Watch and Fitbit smartwatches, the Amazfit Bip's interface isn't as refined or polished, but one big reason why I sing the Amazfit Bip's praises anyways is that it juggles multiple features on a suspiciously strong battery. After five weeks of daily use, it has 33% battery left. Other smartwatches need to be charged every one to three days, but my Amazfit Bip is still going strong. I do have my screen brightness set fairly low, and only choose to receive text notifications, so the exact battery life can vary depending on the combination of your preferences. However, it should still last about 30 days on a single 2.5-hour charge, which is really impressive.
The watch is available in four colors and offers a variety of watch faces. It has a barely-there feel on your wrist, and the screen is easy to read, even in the bright sunlight. Insider Picks associate editor Brandt Ranj, who also tested the watch and liked its features, found that the silicone band irritated his skin, so if you have more sensitive skin, we would recommend switching out the standard band for a different material.
If you're looking for a reliable smartwatch with a fair amount of customization, and you don't care for the glossy or extraneous features of the bigger brands, you'll be very happy with the Amazfit Bip. It's easy to use, it helps you practice healthier habits, and its long battery life means you have one less device to think about charging all the time. For less than $100, no other smartwatch comes close.
Britain's $2 billion food delivery startup Deliveroo has lost one of its most senior executives.
Former chief operating officer Roy Blanga left the firm in December, a source with knowledge of the matter said. Business Insider understands that Blanga's departure was announced internally around spring.
Deliveroo confirmed Blanga's departure, and said it had promoted another executive, Rohan Pradhan, to replace him as COO. Blanga did not respond to a request for comment. The source said Blanga was currently exploring his options.
Blanga was previously international vice president of northern Europe at discount giant Groupon, joining Deliveroo in 2015. He led Deliveroo's global expansion when the delivery startup raised $100 million to launch outside Europe.
Pradhan, his successor, previously led Deliveroo Editions, its pop-up kitchens that help restaurants meet demand for takeout orders.
Deliveroo is one of the best-funded startups in the UK, with almost $1 billion in investment and a $2 billion valuation. Its core offering is the Deliveroo app, which allows customers to order takeaway from a broad range of local restaurants, most of which don't have an in-house delivery service. Contracted Deliveroo "riders" deliver the food by bicycle or motorbike.
Its American CEO and cofounder, Will Shu, started the company after being frustrated as a City banker with the poor choice of takeaway food available in London.
While Deliveroo isn't available in the US, Bloomberg reported in September 2018 that Uber was considering acquiring the firm to bolster its UberEats food delivery business.
Sources confirmed that Deliveroo had fielded several acquisition offers, but suggested Will Shu was unlikely to sell. Shu subsequently told Business Insider that his company was not for sale, and insiders have said that any offer from Uber would need to be in the $4 billion to $6 billion range.
According to its 2017 accounts, Deliveroo is growing quickly but also losing large amounts of money. Its revenue for the year grew 116% to £277 million ($361 million) in 2017, on a pre-tax loss of £184.7 million ($241 million).
With the rapid spread of marijuana legalization in the US, lawyers are discovering that the tangled web of regulations guiding the rapidly growing industry is a boon for business.
After last year's midterm elections, some form of cannabis is now legal in 33 states, and many in the industry say it's only a matter of time before legalization sweeps the nation.
Big money — and big law — has followed. The opportunity could be huge: some Wall Street analysts say marijuana could become an $80 billion market in the US alone in the next decade, with the global market hitting close to $200 billion.
There are several key reasons lawyers are attracted to the marijuana industry. For one, as cannabis companies grow, merge, and start getting the attention of Fortune 500 corporations as acquisition targets, they need more sophisticated advice on financing, tax planning, corporate structure, and M&A.
Publicly traded cannabis companies were on a dealmaking tear in 2019, scooping up competitors and signing multibillion-dollar tie-ups with pharmaceutical, alcohol, and tobacco corporations. It's a trend heating up this year.
In addition, many marijuana companies still directly flout US federal law, despite being publicly traded and posting multibillion valuations.
That's an opportunity to a select group of lawyers who have cut a trailblazing path into the industry. Once reluctant, some of the biggest law firms, like Duane Morris, Baker Botts and Dentons, are building out specialized cannabis practice groups as the industry continues to grow in profitability and complexity.
And even some of the most world's most prestigious law firms, like Sullivan and Cromwell, have gotten in on the marijuana mergers-and-acquisitions action.
Business Insider has pulled together a list of the top lawyers who've worked on the largest deals in the past year in the growing marijuana industry.
Subscribe to read our exclusive story here: Meet the top lawyers who've worked on some of the biggest deals in the booming marijuana industry that's set to skyrocket to $194 billion »
Eddie Lampert, the chairman and former CEO of Sears, has had an eventful career.
With an estimated net worth of $1 billion, Lampert was once hailed as a genius hedge-fund manager and the next Warren Buffett. He's a member of Yale's ultraexclusive Skull and Bones secret society, along with three former presidents, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was his college roommate.
He also managed to save Kmart from bankruptcy in the early 2000s, but not before he was kidnapped and held at gunpoint for 30 hours in a Connecticut hotel. He reportedly talked his captors into releasing him, then capped off the Kmart deal a week later.
Now, after Lampert merged Kmart with Sears, the department store is on the brink of liquidation.
Lampert has been criticized for his management of Sears, which he reportedly runs from his sprawling $38 million estate in a wealthy Florida community known as "billionaire bunker." The executive also owns houses in Connecticut and Colorado — not to mention a $130 million yacht.
Read on to see how Sears' embattled chairman made — and spends — his $1 billion fortune.
Eddie Lampert, 56, is the chairman of Sears Holdings, the company that owns Sears and Kmart.
Lampert's net worth is an estimated $1 billion, and he hasn't been shy about spending: He owns three sprawling homes and a $130 million yacht.
Source: Business Insider
But Lampert wasn't always this wealthy. Although he grew up in an affluent family in Roslyn, New York, his life changed at age 14 when his father, a successful attorney, died of a heart attack. Lampert helped his family make ends meet by taking jobs at warehouses stocking shelves and packing boxes.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Constellation Brands, the company behind Corona beer, plunged 11.45% to $152.61 early Wednesday after slashing its guidance because of its recent marijuana investment.
Constellation Brands adjusted its full-year comp earnings guidance to $9.20 to 9.30 a share, down from its previous forecast of $9.60 to $9.75. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting $9.43 a share.
Constellation's guidance was impacted by its recent investment in the marijuana industry. In August, the beverage maker announced a $4 billion investment in the Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth. The deal was closed in November, giving it a 37% stake.
"Constellation estimates the interest expense associated with this transaction to approximate $55 million before tax with an approximate $0.25 impact on fiscal 2019 comparable basis EPS results," Constellation said in a press release at the time.
But the company's updated guidance shows the impact was bigger than expected.
Constellation posted $1.97 billion of comparable sales in the third quarter, topping the $1.91 billion that was expected by Wall Street, according to Bloomberg data. Comparable earnings came in at $2.37 a share, which was $0.31 higher than what analysts were anticipating.
Constellation Brands was down 22% in the past twelve months.
The leader of the iPhone giant made over $15 million in 2018, according to a new filing with the SEC.
That includes a base salary of $3 million, $12 million in bonus incentives for hitting performance goals related to sales and operating income, and $294,082 to pay for Cook's private jet fare.
That's not including the massive stock incentives that Apple also provides to its chief executive as part of a 2011 grant. Cook cashed in $121 million of stock that vested earlier this year. Cook still has over 1.5 million Apple shares that haven't vested, worth about $189 million at the current share price.
Apple also revealed on Tuesday how much money its median employee makes: $55,426. That means that of Apple's 132,000 total employees, half make less than that, and half make more. Lots of Apple employees work in its retail stores and with AppleCare and they factor into the median employee compensation.
For example, Facebook's median employee makes significantly more: Over $240,000 per year. But Facebook doesn't have retail or call center workers.
Cook's compensation, not counting his restricted stock, is 283 times what the median Apple employee makes, according to the filing. Other Apple executives were also well-paid last year. CFO Luca Maestri, general counsel Kate Adams, retail head Angela Ahrendts, and COO Jeff Williams all made over $26 million each, according to the SEC filing.
"We believe the compensation paid to our named executive officers for 2018 appropriately reflects and rewards their contribution to our performance," Apple states in the filing.
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If you're an old soul who prefers pen and paper notes (they're just more personal, you know?), or you just get how obnoxious it is to be the only person clack-clack-clacking away at your laptop in a big meeting, you'll probably be interested in this $30 Kickstarter-funded smart notebook.
Once rejected on Shark Tank, the notebook is made by Rocketbook (the same company that brought you such worldly gifts as microwavable notebooks), and it connects to an app on your phone so you can save your notes easily.
How it works
You can write in the Everlast notebook with the included FriXion pen, take a picture to scan the notes, and seamlessly send either a PDF or JPEG of your writing to a host of destinations (your email, messages, iCloud, Google Docs, Dropbox, and more). Then, once you're done and want a fresh page, you take a wet cloth and wipe it down. Your notes come off, and you can start the process again. There are 36 pages, but some users may find they only regularly touch one to five of them.
Why it's a good value
It's a pretty great use of $30. You get access to your notes online without additional typing, get to use something lighter and easier than your laptop to jot things down, and you only need to buy one notebook for $30 to end all future notebook purchases. You don't need to re-up on your Everlast (theoretically), and you'll have digital copies of your notes so you won't find yourself digging through a stack of legal pads in the attic at any point.
How it is in real life
When I heard about the idea of a notebook that lets users wipe down the pages to reuse them, I thought back to high school lab assignments. It seemed like a fun, cool experiment for that would last a couple of days, but not a feature I would bother to use very often. I'm pretty minimal when it comes to day-to-day life, and few gadgets punch through to the everyday.
I was surprised by how much I have used the Everlast, and by how much I really, genuinely like it. I personally prefer the ease and immediacy of handwritten notes, and the post-it notes strewn across my desk can attest to that fact. Since Rocketbook sent the Everlast to our office, I've used it nearly every day, almost like a whiteboard. I write down a to-do list for the day with the day's date at the top, and I cross tasks off as I get to them throughout the day. If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll scan the remaining tasks into an email to do later that night if I leave the notebook at the office. The next day, I wipe the page down and start again. It's taken some of the pressure off of note-taking, and I love that it has become a habit. Writing things down helps me organize my thoughts, and crossing them out incentivizes me in a 'simple joy' kind of way. It's also a much less wasteful way to prefer paper in the 21st century.
How it compares to competitors
I've used more expensive options that digitize notes, and each has their merits (like Moleskine's $200 Smart Writing Set, which actually turns your handwritten notes into text you can copy and paste into documents — a huge help during college lectures that didn't allow laptops), but Rocketbook's $30 Everlast is hard to beat in terms of usability and dependability for cost. Plus, you can reuse it. It's a sustainable purchase that won't require you to shell out $30 more in the future when you run out of pages and have to replace your investment. And for a minimalist like me, I appreciated its simplicity.
It's also easier than expected to use the Everlast's scanning system (just take a picture in the app) and you get to assign each of the seven icons at the bottom of the page to a specific destination (the diamond can be emails, the apple can be iCloud, and so on). When you want to email your notes rather than send them to iCloud, just outline the assigned email icon with pen. When you scan, the app will understand the command. If you outline more than one, the Everlast app will send it to both destinations.
Cons to the Everlast smart notebook
Having said all that, it's worth noting that you're only supposed to use specific pens in the notebook, which is always an added inconvenience. I haven't lost the FriXion pen that comes with the Everlast purchase yet, so this hasn't impacted me, but it is something to consider. Replacement pens are about 7 for $11 on Amazon. Just to be sure, I did a test with a Bic pen, and you really are better off using the recommended styles that wipe away; any other pen is there to stay.
However, the pens do work particularly well — the paper is smoother than average, and even though they sort of "glide" across it, I never noticed any smudging when my hand rested against past notes. After the designated 15 seconds, the ink dries and stays put until wiped away with a damp cloth.
All in all, the Everlast is a really useful tool if spending $30 for a reusable smart notebook makes sense to you. It saves you money on future notebooks, sends scans of your notes to your devices, and wipes down for easy and immediate reuse. I already prefer handwritten notes, but I'm surprised by how easy and helpful using this notebook has been. If you're looking for a new office or school tool, the Everlast is a really solid option.
The Wrangler is the quintessential Jeep. For 32 years, Jeep has been delivering the iconic 4x4 into the hands of adventurous motorists. Watch the Wrangler be made at Jeep's Toledo Complex in Ohio.
Here's how Jeep Wranglers are made.
Narrator: The Wrangler. The quintessential Jeep. This 4x4 behemoth is perhaps one of the most recognized vehicles in the world, with a life spanning 32 years.
They're produced here, at Jeep's Toledo complex in Ohio. At this 3.65 million square foot facility, over 5,600 employees operate on two shifts to assemble the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and Jeep Cherokee. At this factory, employees can make around 50 Jeeps an hour.
It all starts at the body shop. A body shop robot transfers the door of a Jeep Wrangler into the laser welder. At another part of the factory, multiple robot arms weld the frame. After that, the Wrangler moves on to the paint shop. Here, the Wrangler receives its first coat of paint. Paint shop robots also apply a clear coat to protect the paint. They use a buffer to wax the car and remove any imperfections.
The Wrangler then moves to general assembly. Employees move the powertrain off of a carrier using a hydraulic arm. They will then lower the powertrain into the Jeep's chassis. Back on the line, an employee adheres the iconic Jeep badge and Wrangler decal to the body. The chassis is placed on a carrier that rotates to provide access to the roof of the Wrangler. This creates the most ergonomically friendly workspace for employees. An employee installs a header panel, the frame that the headlights and the grille mount to, while another secures the mirror mounting bracket.
Next, a robotic arm lifts the Wrangler chassis and places it on a different part of the line. Jeep says the arm, which weighs 3000 pounds and has a reach of around 12 feet, is easier to maintain than a conveyor system. As the body moves down the line, another robot preps the front windshield with urethane. This will allow the windshield to bond to the chassis. Another robot grabs the windshield and presses it to the chassis.
Next, an employee carefully navigates the instrument panel around the metal frame and installs it at the front of the Wrangler. Further down the line, employees install the iconic seven-slot grille.
This next step is called body and chassis decking. At this station, the Wrangler body is married to the frame. At another part of the factory, an employee uses an ergonomic arm to transfer a hardtop roof for a Wrangler to a battery-powered, autonomous cart. This automated guided vehicle, or AGV does a lot of the heavy lifting. It can travel up to 150 feet per minute and are accurate within a quarter of an inch of their target. This AGV will taxi the hardtop to the line, where another employee is waiting to seize the hardtop roof and drop it on the body.
Then, an employee uses a hydraulic arm to gently position a door on the Wrangler. Wheels are then lifted onto studs on the chassis. A robot with a five-pronged wrench screws the lug nuts into place. The Jeep Wrangler is now fully assembled and goes off for a final wash. Finally, employees drive the finished Wrangler off the factory floor.
We all like to be — or at the very least try to be — smart with our money. But that doesn’t always mean choosing the least expensive option. In fact, sometimes the pricier item or experience can be the one that is most worth your hard-earned cash, while the cheapest can be the biggest waste.
“Most of us spend money on things we don't really care about at the expense of the things we do without even realizing it,” Stefanie O’Connell, financial expert and author of “The Broke and Beautiful Life,” told Business Insider. “So step one is defining your priorities, then tracking your spending (an app or a simple pen and paper works) to see if you're actually spending in alignment with those priorities, and making adjustments as needed.”
You should also weigh the added value something can bring to your life. “Before spending a lot of money on an item or service, it may be good to understand what value it brings to you,” Roger Ma, certified financial planner and founder of Life Laid Out, told Business Insider. “Does it help you save time or help you avoid doing something you don't enjoy, does it make you feel more confident, or will the experience be something you remember for a long time?”
Here are six expensive things, from financial experts Ma and O’Connell, that are completely worth the money.
About 70% of students graduate from college with student loan debt, and there have been plenty of debates on whether getting a higher education is even worth it. Despite this, Ma said that education is most definitely worth spending money on.
“An investment in yourself is typically worth it,” Ma said. “Increasing your knowledge could ultimately increase your human capital — that is, how much money you're able to command from your employer. Besides, learning new material keeps life interesting and exciting.”
Travel can be good for your body and your overall well-being, NBC reports. O’Connell said that it’s something she spends money on herself. “I love to splurge on travel because it brings me joy,” O’Connell said.
As Business Insider previously reported, people are happier when they spend their money on experiences rather than things.
3. A mattress
Sleep is essential to good health, according to the National Institute of Health. It only makes sense to invest in a mattress that provides optimal comfort, even if we can’t get the suggested seven to nine hours nightly.
“We spend 5-8 hours a night on our mattress, depending on our sleeping patterns. Getting a good night's rest affects every other part of our life,” Ma said. “If we don't get a good night's rest, we won't be productive at work, may not get that promotion, and may just feel like crap. A good mattress is good for your health and will pay for itself in the long run.”
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The downfall of US brick-and-mortar commerce is overblown — despite sharp gains in e-commerce, which will nearly double between now and 2021, the lion’s share of purchasing continues to take place in-store. And that’s unlikely to change anytime soon, since the online environment can’t yet compensate for the reasons customers like brick-and-mortar shopping.
That means the point-of-sale (POS) terminal, which merchants use to accept payments of all types and to complete transactions, isn’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean it’s not changing. As merchants look to cut costs amidst shifts in consumer shopping habits, POS terminals, which were once predominantly hardware offerings used exclusively for payment acceptance, are evolving into full-service, comprehensive solutions. These new POS terminals are providing an array of business management solutions and connected offerings to complement payment services.
This is where the smart terminal, a new product that’s part-tablet, part-register, comes in. Merchants are increasingly seeking out these offerings, which afford them the connectivity, mobility, and interoperability to run their entire business. And that’s shaking up the space, since it’s not just legacy firms, but also mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) players and newer upstarts, that offer these products.
As merchants begin demanding a wide variety of payment solutions, terminal providers are scrambling to meet their needs in order to maintain existing customers and attract new ones. This is leading to rapid innovation and increased competition in both the POS terminal hardware and software spaces.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a detailed report on the shifts in this landscape, how leading players can meet them, and who’s doing it most effectively.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
Police in California are hunting a man who was caught on home security tape licking an elderly couple's doorbell for three hours on Saturday.
The man, whom police identified as 33-year-old Roberto Arroyo, was seen on security footage licking and rubbing his face on the doorbell in the town of Salinas around 5 a.m., the local KION news channel reported.
The footage also showed the man "appearing to relieve himself in the front yard," police told KION.
The couple living in the house were out of town, but they said their children were asleep inside. It's not clear how old the children are.
Police are still looking for Arroyo, and say he could face two misdemeanor charges for petty theft and prowling, according to KION.
The homeowner, Sylvia Dungan, described her reaction when her home security software, made by Ring, alerted her to the unusual early-morning activity by her front door. Ring's security system sends live camera footage from outside the user's house to their smartphone.
“I thought, boy there's a lot of traffic," Dungan told KION. "I go, 5:00 in the morning? My son doesn't get home till 6 a.m. Well then, who the heck is that?"
She tweeted a photo of the man on Friday, with the hashtag #doorbelllicker and the caption: "We had just installed our Ring doorbell just less than a month ago. It paid off."
#doorbelllicker We had just installed our Ring doorbell just less than a month ago. It paid off. Our home is the doorbell that was featured on #LivePD, 1/05/19 episode. So funny. It was great. Should I remove my sign (over perp’s right shoulder)? I’m embarrassed for his family. pic.twitter.com/JKnYFd6i3F— Sylvia Dungan (@jaycat13) January 6, 2019
Miguel Cabrera, an officer at the Salinas Police Department told KION: "We were pleasantly surprised the image was so clear, it didn’t take us long to identify the individual."
He added that the force knew who the perpetrator was because he had a history of misdemeanor offenses including public intoxication, resisting arrest, and being under the influence of narcotics, according to the New York Post.
Germany may be in recession, economists said, after they trawled through an unexpectedly horrible set of industrial and manufacturing data published on Wednesday's from the world's fourth-largest economy.
Suddenly, Europe is faltering.
Germany is the largest European economy and its leaders have an outsized influence on the rest of the EU and the European Central Bank. A recession in Germany could easily drag down France and Italy — and the latter country is already likely in a recession of its own. Greece is still struggling to recover from its debt crisis and neighbouring Turkey also dropped into a steep recession, triggered by the devaluation of its currency.
Here is what analysts are saying:
"Even if order books and backlogs of work still look good, Germany likely flirted with a technical recession in H2. We have revised our Q4 GDP forecast to 0.0%."— Daniel Harenberg of Oxford Economics.
"The decline was broad-based across sectors, with no bright spots: manufacturing fell by 1.8% m-o-m with the consumer goods sector once again being the major drag (-4.1% m-o-m vs. -3.3% in Oct.) ... Today’s data were both bad and unexpected. A technical recession in German industry now seems likely."— Stefan Schilbe of HSBC.
"Germany likely was in recession in H2 2018 ... Yesterday’s manufacturing data in Germany provided alarming evidence of a much more severe slowdown in the second half of last year than economists had initially expected. Industrial production plunged 1.9% month-to-month in November, driving the year-over-year rate down to a decade-low of -4.6%. The headline was hit by a perfect storm across all sectors."— analyst Claus Vistesen of Pantheon Macreconomics.
The collapse of German industry was so steep and so sudden that Vistesen told clients he almost doesn't believe the data: "The crash in the year-over-year rate is far in excess of anything remotely believable, at least using survey data as a yardstick," he told clients in a note seen by Business Insider.
SEE ALSO: Europe is faltering
The government shutdown could quite literally leave President Donald Trump and the White House high and dry.
According to WAMU, a local radio station, DC Water officials joked about cutting off the White House's water supply during a meeting on Tuesday, due to the federal government's inability to pay its full bill.
Matthew Brown, chief financial officer at DC Water, told members at their meeting that the Treasury Department informed the board that $5 million of the federal government's $16.5 million first quarter water bill could not be paid due to the shutdown.
"That brings up an interesting question, is there a time from nonpayment when we cut someone’s water off?" asked Tommy Wells, the DC Water board chairman, according to WAMU.
"1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is that what you’re talking about?" another board member responded.
Vincent Morris, DC Water's spokesperson, told WAMU that cutting off the White House water was technically an option.
"Conceivably, DC Water can shut off service for nonpayment to any customer," Morris said.
According to DC Water rules, any customer that is 30 days late on payment can have his or her water shut off. But the spokesperson did say that the move is a "last resort" for nonpaying customers and the board would "never want to do it."
While Trump had threatened to shut to federal government down for "months or even years," Brown told board members that the federal government's delinquency wouldn't be a problem for DC Water for at least a year.
As it stands, the federal government is in day 19 of a partial shutdown, with no end in sight. Trump is still demanding that Democrats include $5.7 billion towards a wall along the US-Mexico border in any funding bill, while Democratic leader insist that no border wall funding will be including in a measure to reopen the government.
The strain of the shutdown is starting to impact federal services and the roughly 800,000 government workers who are not receiving pay during the closure.
The shutdown is also tied for the second-longest in modern history as of Wednesday.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, a massive conference attended by thousands of pharmaceutical industry executives, investors, bankers, and analysts, is off and running in San Francisco's Union Square.
Walking through the halls of the hotels that house the main events, a few topics seem to be on the tops of everyone's minds.
From new arrivals heading up big biotech and pharmaceutical companies, to doubts about 2019's first mega-merger, here's what Business Insider's healthcare team is hearing at the conference.
What's a mega-merger to do?
Walking from meeting to meeting, it's hard not to hear chatter about the $74 billion Bristol-Myers Squibb-Celgene deal.
The deal, announced last week, combines a massive pharmaceutical company with a biotech giant, both of which have a big presence in the development of cancer drugs.
But among attendees of the conference, there's some skepticism about whether the deal will go through. Instead, there's a possibility that another pharmaceutical company could come in and make a bid for BMS — nixing its deal with Celgene entirely.
The big tech elephant in the room
Rumors that Amazon and Apple employees are attending the conference have healthcare veterans wondering what that might mean for the two giants' health strategy.
While some initiatives Amazon's working on — like the PillPack acquisition and the joint healthcare venture with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway — have clicked into place, there's still a lot we don't know about Amazon's healthcare strategy. That should have the healthcare industry worried.
While retail pharmacy giants seem to be setting up delivery services that could protect them from Amazon, it remains to be seen if drugmakers or other parts of healthcare will need to find new ways to be competitive or find ways to partner up with Amazon instead.
A number of pharma and biotech companies had new presenters up on stage. New CEOs heading up Pfizer and Gilead drew a lot of curiosity over where they'd take the companies.
And Moderna, the biggest biotech initial public offering in history made its first presentation at the conference as a publicly traded company to an overflowing room of spectators.
And then there's newly formed companies like CVS Health, which in 2018 finalized its merger with Aetna. In its presentation, CVS laid out how it plans to incorporate the health plan into its retail pharmacy business to create home hubs. CVS's presentation was overflowing, too.
Lisa Gill, the JPMorgan analyst who covers the company, joked at the start: "Just as a side note, I think we're going to have to move you back to the big room next year."
We'll be sending out our best stories from the week in Dispensed, our weekly dispatch of pharma, biotech, and healthcare news. Sign up here.
This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. This report is exclusively available to enterprise subscribers. To learn more about getting access to this report, email Senior Account Executive Jeff Jordan at email@example.com, or check to see if your company already has access.
Although competition in the US wireless carrier market remains fierce, the price war among the Big Four US carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint — began to cool over the past year.
In an attempt to avoid further competition on price, carriers began shifting their focus to adding value to their mobile plans with new offerings to differentiate from the competition. This helped average revenue per user (ARPU) start to stabilize across all carriers in Q1 2018, after declining over the last two years.
The Big Four have now begun reshuffling their unlimited plans to lure subscribers by providing more options. This strategy has been unrolling in two flavors: introducing new, expensive unlimited plan tiers loaded with an array of features and choices, while also catering to price-sensitive customers with more affordable plans that strip away extra perks like free digital content and international coverage. As a result, a new battleground is emerging, with differentiation now coming down to the value loaded in their mobile plans.
Looking forward, the US carrier market will see competitive pressure pick up due to a number of trends:
All of this means fostering loyalty and winning over new subscribers is more important than ever for the Big Four, making it crucial for these mobile carriers to understand consumer sentiment around their services.
In this report, Business Insider Intelligence uses consumer survey data from our proprietary panel, collected during 2017 and 2018, to evaluate which features are most important to consumers when selecting a mobile provider, as well as to determine which features would convince them to switch to the competition. It contains insights that can help telecoms guide strategic investment and marketing decisions to win and retain customers in this increasingly competitive space.
The companies mentioned in the report are: AT&T, Amazon, Apple, Charter, Comcast, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Sprint, T-Mobile, Tidal, and Verizon.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos isn't a fan of the phrase "work-life balance."
At an April 2018 awards event hosted by Axel Springer and Business Insider US editor in chief Alyson Shontell, Bezos revealed the counterintuitive advice he offers new Amazon employees.
Bezos believes that his new hires should stop attempting to achieve "balance" within their professional and personal lives, since that implies a strict trade-off between the two. Instead, Bezos envisions a more holistic relationship between work and life outside the office.
Historically, the world's richest man has a nontraditional approach to work: He makes time for breakfast every morning with his family, doesn't set his alarm before going to bed, schedules surprisingly few meetings, and still sets aside a few minutes every day to wash his own dishes.
This counterintuitive approach to maintaining a healthy symmetry within his professional and personal pursuits is one of the chief pieces of advice Bezos offers his staff.
"This work-life harmony thing is what I try to teach young employees and actually senior executives at Amazon too. But especially the people coming in," he said. "I get asked about work-life balance all the time. And my view is, that's a debilitating phrase because it implies there's a strict trade-off."
Instead of viewing work and life as a balancing act, Bezos said that it's more productive to view them as two integrated parts.
"It actually is a circle. It's not a balance," Bezos said.
Bezos said that the relationship between his work life and personal life is reciprocal, and that he doesn't compartmentalize them into two competing time constraints.
"If I am happy at home, I come into the office with tremendous energy," said Bezos. "And if I am happy at work, I come home with tremendous energy. You never want to be that guy — and we all have a coworker who's that person — who, as soon as they come into a meeting, they drain all the energy out of the room ... You want to come into the office and give everyone a kick in their step."
Amazon and Costco have at least one more thing in common: sampling.
The e-commerce giant has a little-known program that sends small test sizes of consumable products to customers who might want them. Known as Amazon Product Sampling, it will send sample sizes of products like Folgers' new brand of 1850 coffee, Purina Beyond grain-free pet food, Bear Naked Granola, and Dunkin' Keurig coffee pods.
The idea is that Amazon can use information it knows about you to provide products that you might like. For example, if you've purchased a Keurig machine or Keurig coffee pods from Amazon before, the algorithm figures you might be able to use some pods from a different brand. It uses machine learning and predictive analytics to do this on a large scale, according to Axios.
The program is currently small, but according to job listings seen by Axios, it could be expanding.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to provide additional details on the samples program.
The program is another part of Amazon's growing advertising business, in which brands can pay Amazon to reach certain customers. In this case, advertisers pay Amazon to send items to customers who might purchase the product, according to the legal terms and conditions of the program. The brands get access to Amazon's huge customer base without offering the customer data directly to the advertiser.
It appears Amazon opts customers in to the program by default. To opt in to or out of the samples program, customers can visit Amazon.com/samples and navigate to the preferences page. Only customers who agree to receive "Marketing Information by Post" in Amazon's general Communication Preferences Center will recieve samples.
It's likely that frequent shoppers are more likely to be chosen as sample recipients, but there's no limit to how many samples customers can get, and they don't need to be Prime members either.