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The GameStop effect: businessman Ryan Cohen became a billionaire on Wall Street thanks to Reddit

The 800% rise in GameStop shares placed the founder and former CEO of Chewy in the billionaire category in record time.
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January 29, 2021 4 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

This week, GameStop shares drove Wall Street crazy, due to a massive buyout by Reddit users. The stunt skyrocketed shares in the video game company, causing heavy losses for some and millionaire profits for others.
Such is the case of businessman Ryan Cohen , founder and former CEO of Chewy , an e-commerce of pet supplies. The 35-year-old investor became a billionaire, thanks to the plays of the stock market and the initiative of the ‘redditors’. His fortune rose to an estimated 1.7 billion dollars (about 35 billion Mexican pesos).
GameStop’s share price skyrocketed from the collective action of Reddit users , in a forum called ‘Wall Street Bets’ , with more than 4.5 million followers. There they organized to buy stocks against which hedge funds bet. The purchases sent GameStop shares down from $ 17 on January 1 to $ 469 on January 28 .
At the end of last year, Ryan Cohen invested about $ 76 million to buy more than 9 million shares of GameStop . His intention was to assist in the restructuring of the Texas-based company, which was on a losing streak.
– Ryan Cohen (@ryancohen)December 9, 2020
“Unfortunately, it is clear that GameStop currently lacks the mindset, resources, and plan to become a dominant player in the industry ,” Cohen said in a public letter to the board of directors of video game stores.
“GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences, not remain a video game retailer that over-prioritizes its physical presence and stumbles on the online ecosystem ,” added the former CEO of Chewy .
GameStop shares have risen more than 800% since Cohen made the remarks. Now, the value of his stake is 825 million dollars .
To that must be added the 3.4 billion he received in 2017, when he sold his company Chewy to PetSmart . Forbes estimates that the businessman is worth close to $ 1 billion . The investor also landed three seats on the GameStop board in early January, one for himself and two for former Chewy executives.
What awaits Ryan Cohen?
It’s impossible to predict how long Cohen will stay on the billionaires list, because GameStop shares are more volatile than ever.
“Gamestop shorts and longs are in a knockout battle being fought in the stock market and on social media platforms ,” Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of S3 Partners, told Forbes on Tuesday.
The specialist noted that short sellers betting against stocks have dropped about $ 5 billion this year .
“Both parties hold on with firm conviction, but in the end, one party will be the outright winner, and in the later rounds of this fight, the big shareholders are way ahead,” Dusaniwsky said.

Doomsday Clock: Does not advance and stays 100 seconds from the “apocalypse”

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists states that the coronavirus pandemic “does not threaten existence”, thanks to some positive scientific developments that helped stop the hands.
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January 29, 2021 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

The Doomsday Clock located in the United States was 100 seconds before midnight symbolizing the “apocalyptic” moment, thus marking 23:58:20 , the same time as 2020 , according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Failure to advance the clock in 2021 , despite the pandemic consequences, is due to the fact that, although “this disease is lethal, it does not threaten human existence,” this group of scientists announced on January 27. They indicated, “Its consequences are serious and long-lasting, but Covid-19 will not destroy civilization and we hope that the disease will eventually recede,” they mentioned.
Likewise, from the bulletin they pointed out that this “pandemic serves as a historical wake-up call, a vivid illustration that national governments and international organizations are not prepared to handle nuclear weapons and climate change, which currently represent existential threats to humanity, or other dangers, including more virulent pandemics and next-generation warfare, that may threaten civilization in the near future.
Among some events and developments that have impacted the hands of said clock are “some positive developments”, such as the election of Joe Biden, given that the President of the United States “recognizes climate change as a profound threat and supports international cooperation” the board of scientists noted. Likewise, the United States reported the reincorporation of the Paris Agreement against climate change and was left with Russia to extend for five years the Treaty for the Reduction of Strategic Arms, also known as New START or START III.
It is worth mentioning that these events have not produced essential progress towards a safer world, so “they are not enough to move the Clock away from midnight.”
What is the Doomsday Clock?
Created in 1947 , it symbolizes the “total and catastrophic destruction” of humanity, where midnight represents it. It was made by a group of physicists at the University of Chicago, also known as the “Apocalyptic Clock.” When it first emerged, its hands were pointing to 7 minutes before midnight. It has become an indicator of the world’s vulnerability, thus reflecting a degree of threat from nuclear proliferation and global warming.
After the US and the Soviet Union in 1953 , tested their thermonuclear devices, the Doomsday Clock struck 10:58 p.m., the same time it returned to in 2018 and 2019.
It should be noted that the quietest year was 1991 , when the hands were 17 minutes until the time of the nuclear cataclysm.
Who decides how to move the hands?
This decision is made by the board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists together with invited specialists, who include many Nobel laureates.
In case you’re interested: Hyundai DAL-e, the robot that reminds us of “Robotina” is already a reality

Apple vs Facebook on Customer Data Privacy: How does this fight impact Small Businesses and Consumers?

Everybody wants a piece of Apple these days. And I’m not talking about iPhones, iPads, Macs or any other device consumers love them for. The folks coming for Apple aren’t folks, it’s companies like Facebook and Google because of the changes Apple is making to allow consumers of apps running on their Apple devices to have more control over the data that gets created from them using these apps.

In response to this move, companies providing ad platforms that use that data collected by mobile apps to connect businesses to prospective customers are feeling the heat, and reacting in a variety of ways. Google announced earlier this week that it will stop collecting Identifier for Advertisers (IDFAs) for the iOS apps that currently use it for advertising purposes, once Apple’s new policy goes into effect. This will allow Google to avoid showing Apple’s tracking permission prompt in its iOS apps.
But it’s Facebook that has been the most visible and vocal proponent of Apple’s policy change, taking out a full page ad in the New York Times, stating that this move would adversely impact millions of small businesses who use digital advertising platforms that run off of the data created by consumers using apps to connect with prospects in a cost-efficient manner. There is even speculation that Facebook might eventually sue Apple for anticompetitive practices.
But are these moves by the tech titans about protecting customers? Or protecting small businesses? Or their own profits and business models? Considering roughly 98% of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising, where pretty much all of Apple’s revenue comes from selling devices and services. Or does the reasoning behind their positions and moves even matter, considering what’s at stake in terms of how customer data is used?
With all that hanging in the balance, I had a really interesting conversation on what Apple’s move (and Facebook’s response to it) could really mean for small businesses and the consumers they seek to engage with. Raju Vegesna, Zoho’s Chief Evangelist and a leading proponent of customer data privacy rights, and marketing technology expert and industry analyst Anand Thaker, joined me to discuss the issues at length on a recent LinkedIn Live conversation. Below is an edited transcript of a portion of our conversation. To hear the full conversation check out the embedded SoundCloud player.

Raju Vegesna: When I first saw the ad, ironically on New York Times, the first thing that hit me was, “Damn, these guys are endorsing Apple. This is a testament to Apple doing the right thing.” That was the first thing that I felt, because now when an advertising company, and of course Facebook is an advertising company, complains that the new rules imposed by their platform restricts their advertising, then the privacy side of it is done right.
So, there are two angles here. Facebook is taking the small business angle, but Apple is taking the consumer angle. And the consumer is also the consumer for small businesses. Which means, I think Apple is doing certainly the right thing here. It’s actually a simple choice. You pay them for when you buy a product or service, you’re paying with money or you’re paying with data, in either case you’re paying.
Now, what Apple is doing is forcing the apps to ask users to decide how they want to pay. “Do you want to pay with your data or do you want to pay with money?” Currently users don’t have a choice. Apple is saying they need a choice, and I like that option better. Currently it has been an open season of tracking, and now the restrictions are coming in. And the restrictions never existed on the website back in the day. Thanks to GDPR and others, now the vendors or website owners are asked or required to ask users permission on whether they can accept certain cookies, mandatory cookies versus tracking cookies and whatnot. But that option never existed to apps, it was restricted to websites. Now Apple is taking that, bringing in the new option of asking the user whether they can be tracked within the apps. The entire concept is the right move.
I would go one step further and say, every vendor should do it, even for web apps. And currently it is an open season when it comes to web app tracking. And I fully support that model of providing, of letting the user pick the way they want to pay, pay with money or pay with the data. And I think we’ll have to see how this evolves, but end of the day, it is about giving users the choice, that choice that they never had in the past.
Anand Thaker: It’s an incredibly complex situation and not just because of the companies, but how do we as a society decide that we want to dictate that engagement. And there are a lot of stakeholders involved that we can all empathize with. We can empathize with the coffee shop owner that spoke about, “We’re just trying to survive. We’re trying to figure it out.” Facebook happens to be a platform that works for us. And if Apple restricts or creates some gates that we have to follow or maybe more overhead, it could be a challenge.
Apple has been around for decades, and they have always built around what their community wants from them. And they have learned over and over again, what backlash feels like, particularly days of when Jobs departed Apple many years ago, and then he returned, and there was some of the culture they set up from the beginning. But that’s one of Apple’s greatest strengths, is ensuring that people adore Apple because they recognize the consumer or the customer’s preferences in how they do things.
Normally Apple is one to be, “Let’s go for what makes it easier for people to do,” whereas they’re taking a very much of an approach, “We’ll, take something… We’ll add some gates in here because we believe the statement of the importance of privacy regarding customer data.” But again, those numbers really tell everything about why each has taken the stance that they’re taking, even with Facebook heading right into what will potentially be more political and policy discussions they’ll have in front of Congress as they start to settle in and after COVID starts to navigate its way into some level of normalcy, whatever that might look like.
And Apple has already taken that stance some time ago, and now they’re starting to institute this over time. So, it’s not… I just want to share with everybody, this is not easy because there’s so many very important people who are involved, and that’s not including Facebook or, and Apple shareholders or the people that work there, it’s really these consumers and how we want to engage ourselves. What’s important to us to do that.
Brent Leary: Does it matter that Apple may have ulterior motives? If the end goal or the end result is better protection for customer data privacy, does it matter if Apple tends to benefit more than, and may even hurt their competition? Or is it just, it’s the right move to do it because it’s the right thing? Whoever wants to take that.
Raju Vegesna: I think if you’re listening to Apple’s maybe alternative motives and whatnot, end of the day, Apple knows their customers. Take me, I pick Apple because I respect the fact that they respect privacy. And that is the reason I stick with a Mac or an iPhone, and I don’t use any other browser other than Safari. Again, all of these because there’s a privacy angle in there. That doesn’t mean that Apple is right all the time. In fact, I sometimes question their privacy stance itself because they cannot run an ad network like Search Ads that they do, and then claim privacy because inherently, that conflicts with the business model. The moment you do ad network, while it is completely based on tracking an app, you cannot say they are privacy friendly and they respect user privacy, and then run an ad networking [inaudible 00:07:03], and try to make money.
So, Apple is no saint either, but at least among the vendors that currently exist, they have a customer base that is picking them based on their privacy stance. And this is yet another move that helps them keep that current status.
Anand Thaker: Yeah. Their future growth is defined by their culture and what they prioritize. We live in a day where, how you publicly stand as a company, defines whether, what kind of audience you’re going after. And there’s no necessarily good versus evil kind of situation. It’s more of what kind of choices, again, back to the choice of where, which audience are you going to go after? I want to remind folks, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to empathize what it’s like to be a small business, to try to start up a store, start up a website, honestly it’s been a while. And I’m a bit embarrassed that I’ve had people certainly hired who were far better at it than I am, do a lot of stuff for the ventures I’ve had in the past. But I think it’s incredibly important that there’s going to be so many people who really need to be able to go online. And one of the reasons that so many people can start businesses today is because it is easy to do so.
And I’ll commend obviously, there’s a whole community because it’s one of their core ventures, and I’m not doing this for, to play, certainly to just speak to the community or just kind of enhance everything. It’s true, and there are a lot of other, “I don’t need to code things. I don’t need to necessarily build so many things. I don’t have to have as much technical knowledge, and I can start a business, and I can get going, as long as I have a good idea and I understand how I want to start to engage with these customers.” So, being able to streamline this is very important. And I think both of them are taking two different stances on that front as well, about how do you want to build your business or enhance your business moving forward. And that’s also a different conversation than just, is your privacy policy better than the other ones as well?
Brent Leary: Oh, so let me take the other side and say, what about Facebook and their stance from the small business perspective? We heard from the small business guy, particularly in the current time where a lot of small businesses are struggling to survive. Is this the right time for Apple to make a move like this? Because it is already a tough thing right now, small businesses are going through, adding this onto it at this particular time. Is that something that we should take into consideration and say, “Hey, this might be a good thing in the long run. Maybe we shouldn’t try to do it right now”?
Anand Thaker: I’m sure there’s going to be research from Apple that says Apple’s route is the better way to go. Right, quality over quantity. And then there’s going to be Facebook’s research, which will generalize to say, quantity is better than quality. But I don’t think we really know which way will really enhance a small business who is struggling. Again, Apple has been very good at making things incredibly easy, regardless of what new gates or new obstacles, not obstacles, but new policies that they put into place. Yes, they get criticized, they address them, and they push forward. So, if Apple does make it straightforward in a way for small businesses to provide that permission-based capacity, if you were in love with the brand and you’re in love with your local coffee shop, you’re probably going to go through those no matter what. And if anything, you’re probably building a level of trust in that capacity.
Now, is that the same if a business decides to go to Facebook? Are you bad business because you go to Facebook? It’s not necessarily the case because you could still treat the data that you have in a certain way. So, I almost take it as, is it the platform’s responsibility or how much of the responsibility falls on the platform to enable these small businesses to address their customer data privacy, the way that they would like them to. Is Facebook going to even offer opportunities for someone to say, “You could opt in or out,” and by default maybe say, “Well, you just assume you’re on the Facebook platform, trust Facebook”? And then obviously vice versa with Apple where, “Hey, we’ve got these permissions that you’re required as a developer, but if they love your stuff, they’re going to get through it and we’ll try to make it as seamless as possible while still informing your user base about what’s being collected and how it’s being used.”
Raju Vegesna: And make no mistake, this is not about Facebook standing up for small businesses. It is about money, period. It is about them keeping their revenue and increasing their profits, period. And if that means using small businesses to communicate that because it resonates well, and that’s essentially what’s going on, let’s cut to the chase. Okay. And then it is not about free as in freedom, it is about free as in a business model. And that is also what the discussion was about in the ad in the New York Times. They seem to confuse between the both frees, and maybe deliberately so, but that is the direction Facebook is. And also, there are a lot of businesses that will also claim that the ad prices went up. And interestingly, during the same time, the state of Texas files a lawsuit against Facebook and Google about colluding, and that may have resulted in prices.
Then I’m sure you can find a lot of case studies about advertisers who are paying a lot more and who may have lost business because of those increasing online digital advertising, because of probably monopolies that are there in the industry. So, there are other aspects of it we should not ignore in here as well.
Anand Thaker: If I could respond real quickly to that, right. Not to say that I defend Facebook by any means, right, by stating this, but again, as a small business owner, and I know you know this as well, just because I know I’ve heard you evangelize, I’ve read many of your things. And obviously empathizing with small business or people who are not even ready to be in small business who need to survive on being able to leverage technology. Sometimes it needs to be achievable to even accomplish that. And if unfortunately, or fortunately, if Facebook is an easier route, yes, you’re right. Perhaps Facebook is using that as a business model choice and growth choice with their positioning and Apple’s doing the same thing. And that’s where the war is happening with this that’s coming up.
But a lot of small business users, they don’t really have a lot of understanding about all of these, the nature of a lot of these things. And it’s unfortunate that they’re using small business as an example about why their position matters, but at the same time if we look at the flip side of the coin, they really don’t know. And so, are you going to really fault a company or a small business or a solopreneur or someone potentially surviving or growing to not use Facebook because of their choice or not use Apple because of their choice. They’re going to pick what’s going to be best for them in how they approach moving forward, so. But, yeah. Yes, all of this is about money, right?
Again, go back to those numbers which were striking. You’ve got one company that makes money off nothing but ads, and then, almost nothing but ads. And then you’ve got another company who produces products, which certainly has data components to it. And Apple has had its shellacking for data matters in the past, perhaps why they’re taking these positions as well, but they’re just different business models. And Raju, to your point right there, it’s the way that they’re going to decide to make money while being able to create a competitive situation for the other party.
Brent Leary: So, what role does Apple have in … Let me rephrase it. So, small businesses, we know, we just, part of the survey, you’re looking at just the small business segment, a lot of them don’t have customer data privacy policies to begin with, let alone enforced them and really deal with it. I don’t think customer data privacy has been one of the things that they have focused on in building a business. A lot of them right now is just survival. And I think you see that in some of those testimonials. It’s like, “Hey, we’re trying to survive over here, forget about the customer data privacy stuff.”
What role does the government need to play in this to help put some structure around this? Or what role does a company like Apple have in helping businesses make this transition to this opt in model? Because I think in the long run, yeah, this has to happen, but how many companies have to get hurt or left behind? Is there a way that that doesn’t have to happen? Is there a way to minimize that, so that yes, customer data privacy is withheld up, but small businesses in particular don’t have to be martyrs for it?
Raju Vegesna: The regulation comes through later. Does the government has a role to play? I believe so. And as you’ve seen in the past, it comes in at a later point. Just like you’re seeing a, do not call list, pop up, we need a, do not track list, that consumers should have an option to be there. And once it is there, everyone, but no matter who it is, should respect that do not track list. And that is something that, end of the day, gives the power to the consumer. And now, we know that it doesn’t exist. And now, without that, now it is up to vendors to take a stance on this. And over a period of time, when enough vendors take a stance, and the government will eventually come with it. And of course, there are some governments that are more proactive than others, but, so government certainly has a role to play.
And because there has been significant abuse on the privacy and the tracking part of it, it is important for vendors like Google, in this case, Apple, or others to step up and show the path. Otherwise, it becomes… It goes to a stage where the success of the tracking companies or maybe the technology companies will lead to the detriment of the internet. People will no longer trust the system. And that will hurt us all in the long run, if we don’t put things in place.
Anand Thaker: Yeah, I agree. Government’s going to have to … Once you impact everyday lives, and it’s kind of accelerated because of the elections that have occurred, particularly in the United States where a lot of the data models, the customer data usage has been … That trust has been broken severely and very publicly, right. And impacting publicly in a way that was very shocking. A lot of people did not realize that maybe your loyalty card that you might be signing up for has an incredible amount of data, or maybe we knew it and we didn’t care because it didn’t matter because we got something for it, or we got something useful out of it. But now, when people feel like data is being used in a way that is manipulative, or trying to influence us ways that we don’t like, then that’s when it … Obviously that’s going to become a problem.
And that’s when governments typically step in, or government entities, or watch out groups, or different types of groups like this will start to step in. And we’re going to see that even more so, especially in the coming years. When Facebook and Google decided to fight some of the antitrust laws that are coming on, I guarantee you, straightforward of that is going to be all deflected into the data of it because both of them, well, Facebook more so than Google, certainly has a challenge with that … They’ve backed themselves into, “Advertising is where we make all of our money.” So, they’re going to defend that position to a degree. We’ll end up finding a middle ground, somewhere where consumers will be happy with it and/or be content with it, or have to be happy with it.
And businesses, or the platforms will come to some level of agreement about what the right gates, or privacy matters that you would need to… Policies you would need to implement will satisfy any kind of mandate. So, usually governments play sort of a referee in a lot of this, or watch guard groups tend to do this. And we’ll see some sort of middle ground that no one’s going to be happy with, 100% happy with, but it’s going to take, as I see it and as you follow technology, we always do this in waves, right. We come in and we see someone push the boundaries, then obviously someone has to step in and take it. So, we’re in another round of that from robocall days as well.
This is part of the One-on-One Interview series with thought leaders. The transcript has been edited for publication. If it’s an audio or video interview, click on the embedded player above, or subscribe via iTunes or via Stitcher.

PHOTOS: Elon Musk Shows Us the Redesign of the Tesla Model S

The businessman boasted that Cyberpunk 2077 can be played in the car.
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January 29, 2021 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Tesla presented the images of the redesign of the Model S Plaid , one of its electric cars, and Elon Musk did not hesitate to tweet about it. The tycoon explained that the car can be purchased from February.
The founder of the automotive company commented that this is the first car produced that reaches 60 mph (almost 100 km / h) in less than two seconds. On the company page they specify that the car will be able to reach 100 km / h in 2.1 seconds and its maximum speed is 322 km / h.

0 to 155mph trap speed in a 1/4 mile. 200mph top speed (with right tires).
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2021
Image: via Tesla Mexico.
The car will have no gear sticks and has a rectangular steering wheel similar to that of an airplane. It also features a completely redesigned second row of seats “with additional legroom and headroom. plus a folding armrest with integrated storage and wireless charging ”.

Image: via Tesla Mexico.
Those who decide to buy the car will also be able to play video games and will have a central cinematic 17-inch screen with a resolution of 2,200 x 1,300 pixels that can be tilted from left to right.
“Up to 10 teraflops of processing power enables in-car gaming on par with the newest consoles available today. The compatibility with the wireless controller allows you to play from any seat ”, it is explained on the page.

Image: via Tesla Mexico.
Other features
The Model S Plaid also features Bluetooth, wireless and USB-C fast charging for various devices. On the other hand, it has a sound system with 22 speakers and 960 watts with active noise cancellation.

Image: via Tesla Mexico.

More Than 50 Lawmakers Urge Biden to Send Recurring $2,000 Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

Those in support included Reps Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
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January 29, 2021 3 min read
This story originally appeared on ValueWalk
The Biden administration is working on giving Americans stimulus checks of $1,400, but is facing opposition from several Republicans, who are worried about the high cost of the package. However, some lawmakers are pushing Biden to increase this amount even further and give recurring coronavirus stimulus checks of $2,000.
Calls for recurring coronavirus stimulus checks
On Thursday, a group of more than 50 House progressives wrote a letter to the Biden administration. In the letter, the lawmakers asked the administration to include recurring stimulus checks in the relief package, instead of a one-time payment.
The group of Democrats, which sent the letter, was led by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. Others in support of recurring coronavirus stimulus checks were Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others.
“One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “Many families cannot afford to wait for eight months between payments.”
A point to note is that the letter didn’t specify the amount of the recurring checks. Rep. Omar, however, in a tweet on Thursday, said she is in favor of $2,000 per month until the pandemic is over.
Also, a proposal introduced last April called for $2,000 stimulus checks. Under this proposal, every American who is 16 or older and earns less than $130,000 annually, would be eligible for up to $2,000 per month. The proposal also included $500 per child for up to three children, and for six months.
Related: When Is Your $1,400 Stimulus Check Coming?
Who needs the stimulus payment most?
Those in support of recurring stimulus checks argue that people are still facing financial hardships even 10 months after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered the economy. “As we look at the coming year, another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities,” the letter read.
Also, an analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that about one-third of adults are still struggling to pay bills. Further, the analysis found that people impacted the most are low-wage workers, whose job were affected by the pandemic.
Omar said recurring checks should go to those who “need it most and will spend it the quickest” such as “all immigrant workers, refugees, and their families.” She also noted that the recurring payments must also go to the older dependents and people over 16 years who are claimed as dependents. Dependents over 16 years were excluded from the first two stimulus checks.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is continuing with its efforts to gain support for the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Though Biden said that he prefers a bipartisan agreement on the relief package, Democrats are working on getting the stimulus package passed using a special process called budget reconciliation. Such a process would not require any Republican support.

What 'The Weirdest Job in Football' Can Teach Us About Finding Ways to Win in Business

January 29, 2021 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When Thomas Gronnemark was hired by Liverpool in 2018 as a throw-in coach, analysts of the sport scratched their heads at best and outwardly ridiculed the decision at worst; critiquing management decisions in a sport in and of itself, after all. In the 100 plus year history of football, the throw-in had been considered a necessary but time-wasting nuisance and often the mundane step to the next step. Former player and BBC Television football frontman, Gary Lineker summed up the consensus among players, coaches and fans when he said, “You just knock it in.” But Gronnemark saw the throw-in as something else entirely – an untapped tool that if given the attention it deserved, could not only re-shape the game but make the difference between a good team and a great one. 
My passion for football is both personal and professional. As former President of Dugout, I launched a content platform that currently delivers approximately 500 million eyeballs monthly to the world’s biggest teams; prior to that, I served as Chief Media Officer with Liverpool Football Club, forecasting broadcast media rights among other responsibilities. Like most of my family members and friends (perhaps it’s in our blood?), I am a dedicated and life-long fan so Groonemark’s hiring interested me. A coach just for throw-ins? Could an aspect of the game with seemingly small margins make a considerable difference?
Groonemark himself called his role the “weirdest job in football,” after all. His strategy is three-fold and loaded with nuance and intricacy. The long throw-in looks at the distance a player can achieve. The fast throw-in counts on a player’s speed and decision-making skills. The clever throw-in demonstrates a team’s ability to understand the pitch and with specific, practiced and coordinated movements, create pressure-alleviating space. All three create goal-scoring opportunities and as most athletes and coaches know, practice won’t necessarily make perfect but it helps. It wasn’t long before Groonemark’s coaching method delivered results: Liverpool scored 14 of their 85 Premier League goals from throw-ins in their 2019 winning season. I was convinced, to say the least. As Co-Founder of Stellwagen Ventures, a global venture firm, I often think of Groonemark’s measurable impact and how his unexpected and laser-focused decisions led to game-changing success.
Related: 4 Sports Strategies You Can Use to Succeed in Business
Outside investment has long played an important role in professional sport, but the territory is no longer just for the individual millionaire or billionaire: equity firms, institutional investors and special purchase acquisition companies (SPACs) are inching toward the pitch (or the field, or the track, or the court). Investment is no longer a vanity project, but for Private Equity Partners willing to take an innovative and disciplined approach, the gains can bring far more than bragging rights.
While deals have been, to date, relatively few, the trend is hot and now. According to the financial data company PitchBook, in 2019 nearly $911 million was invested across ten deals in European sport; in the United States, $1.2 billion was invested. “Brand name” firms like Silver Lake, Bain Capital and Blackstone are joining the likes of CVC Capital Partners and Advent International, whose November 2020 $2 billion investment earned them a ten percent stake in Italy’s Serie A’s new media unit. As American sports consider loosening regulations on outside investment in the NBA, NHL, MLS and MLB (the NFL still bans it), the trend toward outside private investment that Europe has enjoyed appears to be on a fast track, and, as with many aspects of life, the pandemic has allowed smart leaders to recognize the value of sport in wholly different ways.
Related: A New Breed of Private Equity Investors
Empty stadiums haven’t dampened the rabid dedication of sports fans across the world. In the absence of live-action, many tuned into classic games and matches, reliving the excitement if already aware of the outcome. When live sport returned, fans easily adapted to the cardboard cutouts in seats and piped in cheering. For organizations facing devastating losses – at a cost of between 4 and 7 billion Euros for English football and an estimated $8 billion for American sport, this relentless and un-phased fandom was a shining spot in a dreary year. Despite, or because of the pandemic, investors are taking note – and they should.
Beyond ticket sales, merchandise revenue and sponsorship deals, Broadcast Media Rights (BMRs) have long been the true moneymaker in professional sports entertainment — with a forecasted $85 billion worldwide by the end of 2024. With a growing global audience, those BMRs have become decidedly more valuable: a predictable, easily identified market will tune in without fail. An influx of technologies provides more ways for fans to engage with their beloved teams. Forward-thinking organizations are approaching these new opportunities with intensified focus; direct-to-fan communications, deregulated gambling, digital ticketing and contactless payment are a few of the areas presenting revenue opportunities ripe for exploration and exploitation. But like traditional infrastructure enhancements — increased stadium capacity, OTT, academies and entertainment spaces for example — growth requires capital.
Related: 5 Ways in Which Technology is Changing the Way People Watch Sports
For organizations looking to weather the pandemic (and who isn’t), the benefit of an infusion of investor cash is more important now than ever. Cash entices super star players and helps to nurture newfound talent, and even sometimes, improves the quality of stadium food offerings; it’s no wonder sports fans cheer for management with an open checkbook. While deep-pocketed investors have been long desired, European football leagues predictably prefer those who resist armchair coaching and consistently deliver on promised funds. Meddlesome partners and undelivered assets can lead to outrage amongst fans and even worse, poor performance and relegation to the lower leagues. But for teams able to strike the right balance between minority stakeholders or BMR investors and management, the upsides allow for not only a reassuring financial cushion but operational excellence, proper business planning and data-driven decision-making.
Investment in sport requires a different level of expertise and patience that is not typically required by the already-tapped tech or industry markets. Professional sport is a complicated industry with various stakeholders and the fact that large sums of cash may be unavailable for unpredictable lengths of time can bring chills to even the seasoned broker. Though it might not be standard practice, it’s clear that the payoffs are great. Consider CVC Partners’ investment in Formula One: a $952 million infusion in 2006 grew to a $6.7 billion return in 2016. It’s no surprise that the fast-paced Arctos Sport Partners firm alone is expected to raise $1.5 billion to make investments of between $20 million and $400 million in American and European teams.
While nothing is a sure shot, investment in sport is as good as it gets, with mutual upsides and rewards. Once willing to weather rain, sleet and snow at an open stadium and now coping with and adapting to the strangeness of Covid-era viewing, the unflinching devotion of sports fans around the world is perhaps the most predictable game in town. I watch week in and week out, and until he can get back to play with his team, my son will kick it around with me in the garden. We’ll work on his throw-ins, and I would suggest, so should we all.
With a willingness to rethink the “match” and by utilizing an equal mix of long-term ambition, speed and expert decision making – the Long, the Fast, and the Clever, investors and organizations can attain the highest level of success together.

What Is Nutritional Psychology, and How Can It Help You Excel?

In this mini-masterclass, Ben Angel shares how essential diet is to not just your mood, but your family’s overall wellbeing.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 29, 2021 1 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Could your diet lead you to becoming depressed, anxious or even violent? In this mini-masterclass, I’ll share how essential diet is to not just your mood, but your family’s overall wellbeing, by taking a look at the field of nutritional psychology, including: why we eat what we eat, why you can eat well but still feel like hell and the foundational element to great mental health that even some doctors and psychologists miss.
Want to discover your likelihood of depression, brain fog and nxiety? Take this 60-second quiz now to find out how your gut is affecting your mental health. And be sure to grab a copy of Unstoppable Journal, based on research from the award-winning book Unstoppable, which just released its 2nd Edition via Entrepreneur Press.

Robinhood Raises $1 Billion to Support Purchases of GameStop Stock

Robinhood has raised $1 billion and tapped its credit lines to support the trading of GameStop and other high-flying stocks.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 29, 2021 2 min read
This story originally appeared on ValueWalk
The trading app raised $1 billion from investors overnight after tapping its credit lines for $500 million. CNBC reports that Robinhood raised the money and tapped its credit lines due to a liquidity crunch caused by purchases of GameStop and other high-flying stocks.
However, the company’s CEO told the news network that tapping the credit lines was proactive rather than liquidity problems. Vlad Tenev said they always draw on their credit lines “as part of normal day to day operations.” According to him, they use the capital to deposit with the clearinghouses so they can “enable ideally more investing with fewer restrictions.”
Related: Billionaire Investor Chris Sacca Cheers on GameStop Traders
On Thursday, Robinhood restricted trading on GameStop, AMC and 11 other stocks. The trading app allowed customers to sell shares but not open new positions. Robinhood also increased margin requirements and said it would automatically close some positions if the customer were at risk of not having enough collateral.
Why restrictions were put in place
After closing bell on Thursday, the company said it would allow limited purchases of the 13 restricted stocks on Friday. Robinhood has seen unprecedented levels of trading this week as investors who read certain Reddit forums encouraged each other to drive the prices of GameStop and other stocks higher and higher. Many of the stocks were heavily shorted names, which meant that short squeezes ensued as hedge funds were forced to cover their positions.
CNBC explained that Robinhood must deposit money into a clearinghouse according to trade volumes. The company said it restricted trading on the 13 stocks because it couldn’t meet the deposit requirements it expected. Those requirements increase when volatility rises.
Shares of GameStop and AMC surged again in premarket trades as investors anticipated the loosening of restrictions from Robinhood. After the markets opened, they were still in the green but trending lower.

3 Strategies to Reinvent Your Business and Thrive in 2021

Adapt, keep costs low and go digital to persevere.

January 29, 2021 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Millions of businesses around the world had to learn how to adapt and reinvent themselves during the coronavirus pandemic. Those that readjusted to the rules of this new economy have thrived and seen exponential growth in the face of global adversity. Those who didn’t got left behind. 
Despite the unforeseen events of 2020, it was the year that businesses had to make a choice. The economic shift caused by the pandemic pushed companies to adapt or die. For many businesses, this was the year of innovation and prosperity — if you embraced social media and e-commerce, that is. 
But now it’s time for your business not merely to survive in the market, but thrive. The choice is yours. Here are three strategies to reinvent your business into a prosperous one in 2021.
Adapt to market needs
The pandemic brought about the disruption of the normal demand and supply pattern. The new demand and supply pattern involves identifying and responding to market needs.
Many conglomerates, including Amazon and Uber Eats, recorded their highest sales in 2020. This is because they adapted to their customers’ needs during the pandemic. They delivered their products to customers’ doorsteps. Not only did large businesses recorded high sales, but also small businesses that adjusted to suit the needs of their consumers.
The businesses that succeeded in 2020 were able to adapt to the new economy’s demands. To adapt means to listen to customer needs and deliver services in a model that corresponds to those needs. The first step to growing your business in 2021 is to adapt to the market needs. The best listeners were the greatest winners and will continue winning.
Related: These Were the Companies That Best Adapted to the Crisis of 2020
Go digital
Businesses now know better than ever that if you’re not online, you do not exist. Going digital doesn’t mean that you need to have a million followers to make a difference. Even with 100 followers who are your customers and can reach out to you, you still have an online footprint. Interacting with your customers online goes a long way to grow your brand and business.
You can achieve more in the digital world than you can in the real world. For example, if you host an in-person conference for 100 people, it will fill up. But you can host a live event on Zoom and have thousands of people attending. These limitless opportunities are presented by going digital.
The point here is to connect and communicate with your customers online. When you take advantage of digitizing your business, you’re sure to have a thriving business. You could start by posting your menu on your Instagram page if you’re in the hotel industry. You can also post business consultancy video content to get clients online. Go digital with your business and you’ll never go wrong.
Related: Bill Gates Predicts What 2021 Will Be Like, Alerts Us to Our Immediate Future
Be cost-conscious
Another winning strategy is to be conscious of your pricing strategy. Your price strategy should have changed in 2020. 
Being cost-conscious means serving your customers at both high price points and low price points. One way to achieve this is by increasing the number of products such that you have high-price products and low-priced ones.
Of course, everyone would imagine that lower prices wouldn’t be worth considering. But lowering the costs of some of your products doesn’t mean you’d run out of business tomorrow. When you offer so much value at a lower tier, it gives you the chance of customer acquisition. The motivation cost will make the customer not feel the pinch when they upgrade to a higher price tier.
Offer starting products at a lower price to make them accessible to everyone. Then increase its value to attract a higher price. That is the essence of staying cost-conscious.
If the pandemic has taken a toll on your business and you’re only surviving, it’s time to act. You’ll need to adapt to the needs of your customers to stay on top of your competitors. Digitizing your business is a must, or you’ll run out of business. Online is the future of business. Do more than survive, thrive!

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How Esports and Gaming Are Bringing Crypto to the Masses

January 29, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Since PayPal announced late last year that it was making a foray into cryptocurrencies, investment has been flooding into the market. In particular, the price of Bitcoin has spiked, leading to much speculation about crypto going mainstream. 
However, this has happened before. Bitcoin’s previous all-time high led to a sudden surge of interest that cooled off into the long “crypto winter” of 2018. If cryptocurrencies, and the blockchain technology that underpins them, are ever to unlock mainstream adoption, then real-world utility combined with a compelling user experience is more likely to provide the key. Looking at recent news trends, combined with the macro events of 2020, esports and gaming currently seem to be one of the hottest tickets. 
Due to a lack of attendance at in-person events this year, the global esports market shrank slightly, but it’s forecast to grow by over 50 percent in the next three years, rising to $1.6 billion. Analysts within the crypto sector already believe there’s vast potential to tap into this market, with digital research firm Messari predicting mass adoption of blockchain technology. The market demographic fits well into this scenario – predominantly male, aged 18-34 and based in economically developed countries. 
Crypto entrepreneurs capitalize on esports
According to some of the latest news reports, blockchain and esports entrepreneurs are seeking to capitalize on the opportunity to converge the markets. Esports personality Susie Kim recently confirmed that she is launching her own custom fan cryptocurrency called SUSIE. Her followers can use it to buy access to private Discord chats and shoutouts on her social channels. 
She joins an existing group of 30 gamers, creators and influencers who have issued their own cryptocurrency on the Rally platform, which is backed by Andreessen Horowitz and other VC Firms. Kim is credited with helping gaming streaming platform Twitch to build its presence in South Korea. 
Elsewhere, FirstBlood Technologies has been operating an online competitive gaming platform using the blockchain-based Dawn Protocol since 2016. It uses its own token but has recently announced an integration with MakerDAO to incorporate the crypto-backed DAI stablecoin into its games. 
Esports competitors on the platform will be able to participate in tournaments using DAI and win the stablecoin in a series of events taking place over the coming months. This is an intriguing development, given it creates a link between esports and decentralized finance, which has so far existed as a niche in the crypto sector. 
Crypto wunderkind Justin Sun, the founder of Tron, is never one to miss a trick when it comes to the latest market opportunities in crypto. In late October, it emerged that BitTorrent, which was acquired by Tron in 2019, was taking over, a blockchain-based esports streaming service. 
Related: Decentralized Finance Is on the Rise. What You Need to Know in 2021.
NFTs – the new frontier of gaming
Beyond esports, blockchain and the broader gaming sphere are providing entrepreneurs with further inroads into mainstream adoption. Gaming is one of the few sectors that has benefitted from the 2020 pandemic, as people have looked for new ways of entertaining themselves at home. 
One trend that’s definitely making a resurgence is non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which allow blockchain innovators to issue one-of-a-kind digital assets with unique attributes. It’s a feature that lends itself particularly well to gaming, as it means users can acquire in-game assets of value that are stored securely on a blockchain. 
Online gamer PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellberg, has amassed an incredible 107 million followers on YouTube alone. So when he speaks, the online gaming world tends to listen. He’s been a longtime supporter of blockchain in gaming, but most recently, he’s lent his support to the blockchain-based 3D augmented reality game Wallem. The game uses NFTs for skins and other items, also rewarding players in Ethereum-based tokens. PewDiePie has issued his own NFT representing one of his skins that can be purchased and used in the Wallem virtual world. 
Early November also saw a slew of NFT-based gaming announcements. Animoca Brands, a blockchain-based gaming firm, confirmed a licensing agreement with the racing game Formula E to create a game using NFTs. Formula E holds 14 races across five continents every season, pulling in viewership of 411 million.  
Another blockchain gaming project, Enjin, announced via Twitter that it was partnering with Canadian firm Skymarch entertainment to develop a further three NFT-based games. These include a collectible card game called Crystals of Fate and an RPG called Zeal. 
Digital pets have enduring appeal
Longtime crypto enthusiasts will remember that NFT’s first became popular in 2017 when the craze for digital cat artwork, Cryptokitties, started congesting the Ethereum blockchain. It seems that there’s a sustained enthusiasm for digital pets, as Axie Infinity has risen to become one of the most used decentralized applications in the Ethereum ecosystem. Axie Infinity allows users to breed and battle their own digital creatures. The project recently confirmed it was partnering with blockchain giant Chainlink for a decentralized oracle service to price the assets traded on its native marketplace more accurately. 
At this rapid pace of development, it’s evident that the convergence of blockchain and crypto with gaming and esports provides many opportunities for users, innovators and established players in the space. Even if the current Bitcoin bull run doesn’t sustain, blockchain and gaming is a segment that’s definitely worth watching over the coming months and years.