Microsoft invests in Cruise, a company that develops driverless cars

This investment will raise Cruise’s subsequent valuation to $ 30 billion. Its objective will be to accelerate the commercialization of self-driving vehicles.
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January 20, 2021 3 min read

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

The companies will unite their hardware and software engineering expertise , as well as their cloud computing capabilities, manufacturing expertise and partner ecosystem to transform transportation and create a safer, cleaner and more accessible world for all.
Microsoft will join General Motors (GM) , Honda and other investors in a combined capital injection of more than two billion dollars into Cruise, a self-driving vehicle company.

“Our mission to provide safer, better and more accessible transportation for all is not just a career in technology, it is also a career in confidence,” said Cruise CEO Dan Ammann.

This investment will raise Cruise’s subsequent valuation to $ 30 billion. Its objective will be to accelerate the commercialization of self-driving vehicles.
According to a statement, the companies will unite their expertise in software and hardware engineering, as well as their cloud computing capabilities, manufacturing knowledge, and partner ecosystem to transform transportation and create a safer, cleaner and more accessible world for everyone.

Image: Cruise via Facebook
Cruise will leverage Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, to market its autonomous vehicle solutions at scale. For its part, the company co-founded by Bill Gates will leverage experience in the freelance industry to enhance its innovation in customer-driven products and serve transportation companies around the world through continued investment in Azure.

“Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including the way we move people and goods,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “As Cruise and GM’s cloud of choice, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous vehicles a mainstream transportation source.”

According to the Financial Times , this is Microsoft’s first investment in autonomous cars, although the firm already has a “connected car” business, which provides “digital chassis” and cloud services to companies such as Volkswagen, BMW and Ford. .
Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of GM commented “Microsoft will help us accelerate the commercialization of Cruise’s fully electric and self-driving vehicles, and will help GM realize even more benefits from cloud computing for the launch of 30 new electric vehicles. globally by 2025; as well as in the creation of new businesses and services to boost our growth ”.

How to Deal With Unforeseen Success

The co-founder of a holistic skincare company shares lessons learned after experiencing 400-percent growth.
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January 20, 2021 1 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Quinton Lewis is the co-founder of Herb’N Eden, a holistic skincare company specializing in handmade soap bars — a company that experienced 400-percent growth in 2020. In this clip from an episode of “The Startup Story” podcast, Lewis talks with host James McKinney about what he wishes he’d known and done to prepare for success.
Listen to the complete interview on this episode of “The Startup Story.”
Lewis’s key suggestion for entrepreneurs is to prepare ahead of potential success to avoid playing catchup when you’re busy. Namely, he suggests:
Investing and preparing ahead of growth
Establishing a customer support team
Integrating software solutions
Hiring from the top down
Understanding your material and inventory needs
Bringing tasks in-house or having them done locally
Related: How to Leverage Personal Videos to Build Relationships with Customers

How to Really Leave Your 9 to 5 for a Freelance Side Hustle

Create your escape plan to go full-time with your freelance business and discover how to handle your exit professionally.
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January 20, 2021 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Congratulations! You’re one of the growing number of U.S. side hustlers that are wondering whether it’s worth staying in your day job. Over the past eight years as a freelancer, I’ve watched hundreds of students and clients go through this process of deciding to go full-time with their business. In this article, you’ll learn more about what to know before you make the leap and how to create a plan that will get you there.
Decide your client or revenue numbers
It’s hard to walk away from a regular paycheck, even if you’re not passionate about your job or you feel that it’s unstable. Without some specific reason to leave, like your boss blowing up at you for the umpteenth time, you’re likely to stay in your job without a clear plan.
Related: 5 Signs Your Freelance Business Is Ready to Go Full-Time
For me, I wanted to make as much freelancing for 12 months consistently as I did at my day job before I felt confident to leave. Even once I hit that, I was still nervous to quit. I had my two weeks notice letter in my purse for several days when the company I worked for fired me. In hindsight, I was grateful to be fired, because it gave me the courage to pursue my freelance business full-time without any guilt. (And no awkward two weeks on the job with my coworkers glaring at me or asking questions I didn’t feel I owed an answer to.)
But if I could go back in time, I would have held myself accountable to those numbers and exited on my own terms. Whether it’s wanting to have three regular clients or generate a certain amount of revenue each month, decide when you’re going to judge your business as a “success” enough to leave.
Be professional, if you can
Unfortunately, parting ways with an employer doesn’t always go as planned (see my example above of getting fired before I was confident enough to quit.) Usually, it’s not worth trying to burn bridges, so avoid that if at all possible.
Be professional. Tell your boss that you’re leaving to pursue other opportunities, follow the procedures or customs for giving them that notice, and offer to help with anything that needs to be tied up before you leave, like training a coworker or closing out projects. This shows that there’s no bad blood.
If you’ve had a turbulent relationship with anyone at work, it’s very tempting to leave things on bad terms. You might be hoping it gives you the closure you need to move on, but it’s rarely worth it.
Even if your team doesn’t take the news of your departure well, remain calm and focus on your exit. If you need to get through an awkward two weeks or month on the job before you’ll be leaving, take it one day at a time.
Since you’re now stepping into the role of business owner full time, keep your cool. From my experience coaching dozens of freelancers through this process, it’s never as fulfilling as you think it’s going to be when you make a big exit like flipping off your boss or cursing at everyone. Don’t give them the power to show that you’re even that upset. Thank them for the opportunity to work there and leave it at that.
Related: The Business of Freelance: An Increasingly Popular and Very Viable Career Choice
Let your clients know
You might have clients on your roster who want to do more work with you and they haven’t been able to book it due to your limited schedule. Give any of them first dibs on your new availability when you share the dates of your departure with them.
Even when you know it’s the right call to leave your day job, it’s still nerve-wracking to put that plan into action, so booking some additional business or even hearing the positive words of a client congratulating you on this decision can help bolster you.
Moving into freelance work full time can be very exciting, but it can also be scary because now you’re truly the CEO responsible for generating your own paycheck. Consider joining an online or local community of freelancers to help you stay motivated and accountable while you make this transition.

The new labeling impacts the consumption of yogurt

Consumers have changed their shopping habits due to stamps alerting them to high sugar, calorie, sodium or fat content.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 20, 2021 2 min read

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

The new high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie, high-sodium warning labeling in foods is already beginning to take its first toll. Yogurt is the first affected, whose sales have been negatively impacted as it is no longer considered a healthy option.
This was stated by Arturo Vasconcelos, deputy general director of the commercial, operations and logistics areas of Chedraui.
“In those categories where the customer did not expect to see a label, which they considered healthy by themselves, we have seen a consumer migration. Some of the dairy categories, for example, are where we already see a reaction from customers, ”he said in an interview with El Financiero.
Photo: SSA
On the other hand, in products such as chocolates, ice cream and cookies, there have been no major changes, as consumers expected to see warning stamps, said the manager.
The new labeling is the result of a reform to the General Health Law that came into force last October. It is part of the NOM-051 standard that aims to provide the end consumer with information on the content of nutrients and ingredients that represent a health risk in packaged products.

How to Partner Up and Crush It

January 20, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It’s one thing to weather a storm with your business partner. But how do you keep a partnership solid when business is booming?Danielle Gronich and Kayleigh Christina, co-founders of CLEARstem Skincare, have been busy building their business and featuring at FounderMade’s Discovery Show. They partner well, and still find time for individual pursuits, such as Kayleigh’s bestselling book Healing with Apple Cider Vinegar, and Danielle’s writing for Forbes and Buzzfeed.
Related: Meet 12 Young Founders Who Are Disrupting the Way Business is Done
Here the powerful beauty entrepreneurs share a few key lessons from their partnership.
1. Be emotionally intelligent and kind
“Working so closely together, we have to be conscious and aware of each other’s moods,” Kayleigh says. “I’m usually very upbeat and energetic. But some days I’m not my happy-go-lucky self. I come into the office and say, ‘I’m not feeling 100 percent, but I’m ready to crush it.’ I like to address the mood I’m in so Danielle doesn’t take it personally, and we can get to work without walking on eggshells. We are both very socially aware of our emotions and our attitudes.” 
2. The 80/20 rule
“We recently implemented an 80/20 rule,” Danielle explained. “If it’s something like formulation of our CLEARstem products, which is my specialty, or creating a product that I know people are going to be obsessed with, it’s all mine. I know what goes into that because that’s what I do at the San Diego Acne Clinic all day long. I work with hundreds of people and I’m constantly asking them, “Why do you love this product?’ or ‘What do you wish we had?’. I get unsolicited feedback from them on what they absolutely love, too. So, when I’m creating a product and thinking about all its sensory applications, if Kayleigh is 80 percent OK with the formula as is and I love it, then we get to go ahead with it. On the flip side, if there’s something creative or branding-related, or if it involves the planning of a photo shoot, as long as I’m 80 percent OK with the decision, we move ahead with it. We have found the 80/20 rule applies to a lot of things, even with customer service. Is it going to be exactly how I would have done it? No. But if it’s 80 percent of the way I would have done it, it’s good enough. Otherwise, perfection will get in the way of our progress.”
Related: The Young Founder Behind a $100 Million Luxury Travel Business
3. Reconnect to your passion to fuel your confidence
“The passion we had for helping people,” Kayleigh says, “far outweighed any possible fear and doubt we had when creating CLEARstem. We knew the product was so needed. We knew the education Danielle was providing at the San Diego Acne Clinic was changing people’s lives by changing their skin. So in that way, it was already a proven success. In starting CLEARstem we just wanted to bring the education and the products to a larger audience so we could reach more people and make a bigger impact. When it comes to the business, we each have our own special skill set, and we’ve done a really good job in respecting and recognizing that within each other. In loving and respecting each other, we can really get into our individual grooves.”
4. The customer matters most
“At the end of the day, as co-founders, our common goal is the success of the company and the impact we make on our consumers,” Danielle says. “This is always in the front of our minds in everything we do. So, as long as we’re keeping this common goal in mind, we let each other do what we each love doing and what we’re each really good at.”
Related: Creating a Customer-centric Brand
5. Celebrate the big moments together
“Together, we have to pause and say, ‘This is so cool’ when big things happen,” Danielle says, “like our product being ranked number one in Women’s Health magazine. We knew it was possible, but it’s so important to reflect on how far we’ve come.”
6. Remember your baseline
“Don’t get too caught up in the good or bad,” Kayleigh added. “Keep your head in the clouds, creativity-wise, but your feet grounded. Stay in the operational procedures, and stay focused on your customers.” 
As an entrepreneur, there will be many big moments in your future. I hope Danielle and Kayleigh’s insight into their partnership helps you create a more solid foundation as you move into the next phase of your adventure. My personal favorite tip of their: the 80/20 rule (the inner control freak in me needs that 20 percent to trust my team).
And by all means: Celebrate! But then get back down to earth, and keep crushing it in your business.

The Rise Of Substack—And What’s Behind It

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The media industry has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. In the U.S., the media industry was besieged by more than 30,000 job cuts in 2020—an increase of more than 200% over 2019 levels. Overall sentiment related to the media industry—especially social media—has also taken a nosedive. From these ashes, a new era of media is seemingly being born—the rise of newsletters, led by Substack. 
Substack—which allows writers to send digital newsletters directly to their readers and monetize their work by putting it behind a paywall—has been growing steadily ever since its launch in 2017. A Y Combinator graduate that is also backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Substack now has more than 250,000 paying subscribers. Perhaps even more impressive, its top ten publishers collectively bring in $7 million in annualized revenue. While some are skeptical about whether the shift from algorithm-powered news feeds to age-old email newsletters will be long-lasting, others are optimistic that, in fact, what’s old is a new age of media.
Finding freedom
Beholden to editors, advertisers, and page-view metrics, the freedom of journalists has long been constrained. Journalists are flocking to Substack in hopes of gaining back this freedom—creative, editorial, as well as financial freedom. Substack offers journalists a platform to say whatever they want, unencumbered by editors. The independent writers that join the platform own their own content, as well as their subscription lists. They also have no obligation to stay on the platform. They can leave at any time—and bring their subscribers with them. Ultimately, Substack changes the incentives for writers. As Substack author, Judd Legum has said, “It’s not about gaming the Google algorithm or the Facebook algorithm.” Instead, it’s about writing compelling content that wins hearts and minds. 

On Substack, journalists are also able to find financial freedom. As Substack CEO Chris Best has said, the overarching goal is “to allow writers and creators to run their own personal media empire.” While Substack takes a 10% cut of earnings and payment company Stripe takes another 3%, writers pocket the rest. But the opportunity to find financial freedom goes beyond pocketing the majority of earnings. Substack also offers its writers various grants ranging from $3,000 to $100,000. It also offers grants—often six figures—similar to book advances that empower writers to get started building a lucrative audience without needing to publish a lot of content first. 
Perhaps most empowering, Substack supports its writers to pursue tough stories. Its legal program—called Substack Defender—offers writers access to top-notch lawyers who provide advice on legal uncertainty or complexity related to their work. This includes pre-publication legal review of stories, as well as responses to cease-and-desist letters. Substack has committed to covering fees up to $1 million (sometimes more) once a case is picked up by Defender lawyers. 


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The freedom appeal of Substack seems to only have heightened as the pandemic has unfolded. As Alex Kantrowitz, a former Buzzfeed reporter who now authors the Big Technology newsletter on Substack, has explained, “I think many people in the journalism world saw how quickly their business fortunes can change during COVID and decided they would rather run their own business as opposed to be dependent on another businesses’ ebbs and flows.” Those decisions seem to be paying off. Substack has said readership and writership doubled during the first three months of the pandemic.
Transforming trust
Trust in the media has declined steadily over the years. In 2019, one estimate pegged the percentage of people who had a great deal of confidence in the press at only 6%. Substack aims to repair this severed trust. Not incentivized to game view metrics or algorithms writers are motivated to produce work that readers find interesting and engaging
As a result of freedom—especially financial freedom—Substack also fosters trust. Not incentivized to game the algorithm, writers are pressed to do the work to discover what a reader finds interesting and engaging. Substack producer Valerio Bassan has argued, “As a publishing tool, newsletters provide a solid answer to the number one question in media today: how can we rebuild trust between us and our readers?” 
Substack also promises to foster trust through intimacy and authenticity. In Substack, writers are able to engage in a more one-to-one conversation than in the past as the newsletters arrive directly in a reader’s inbox. And it feels authentic. As Vanity Fair has said, “Newsletters retain some of the intimacy of the early digital-media days, when online writing felt less polished, more vital.” And Substack gives journalists that opportunity to be authentic. Once writers receive payments on Substack, they unlock the ability to write preambles to their newsletters. As Substack writer, Emily Atkin, has said, “That’s where I did my marketing. I went personal on it. I was like, ‘Guys, I’m scared. I quit my job to do this. Please don’t let me fail.’” 
Revamping recognition
Trust often leads to loyalty. By building trust, Substack writers are able to build recognized brands. Consider Emily Atkin, previously at The New Republic and ThinkProgress, and now author of the climate-focused Substack newsletter, Heated. Emily is earning more recognition and money on Substack than she earned at any salaried journalism job. That’s not, of course, to say recognition has come easy. It hasn’t. Recognition comes at a cost of being vulnerable and developing that intimate connection with readers. As Emily advises, “Market your newsletter in a way that will almost make you uncomfortable, because it sounds like you’re just talking and promoting yourself all the time.” 
In years and decades past, readers might follow a large media publication on social media, but, rarely, individual journalists. Now, as journalists are taking control of the distribution on Substack, we’re seeing the pendulum shift. Research shows that readers have started to gravitate more towards the individual creator compared to large media publications that employ them. 66% of journalists now say that their readers first followed them as journalists or as people rather than their publications. 
The future of Substack
In launching Substack, its founders were “fed up about the effects of the social-media diet.” Substack’s mission statement cries, “The great journalistic totems of the last century are dying…content farms, clickbait, listicles, inane but viral debates over optical illusions, and a fake news’ epidemic.” Substack promises to flip the status quo on its head and, just maybe, help restore trust in the media.

Netflix Reaches Over 200 Million Subscribers

However, most of the growth is coming from outside North America. To keep subscribers happy, Netflix says it has over 500 titles currently in post production or preparing to launch.
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Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 20, 2021 2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag
Despite COVID-19, Netflix had a good 2020. At the end of last year, the company passed a milestone by reaching over 200 million paid subscribers. 
The pandemic and the ensuing stay-at-home orders helped Netflix add a record 37 million new subscribers during the year, a 31% annual increase from 2019. 
That growth also occurred despite a US price hike the company announced last October, which increased the standard plan to $13.99 a month and the premium tier to $17.99 a month. During 2020’s fourth quarter, Netflix still added 8.5 million paid subscribers. 
“Since the start of 2018, our paid memberships have risen from 111m to 204m and our average revenue per membership has grown from $9.88 to $11.02,” the company said in an an earnings report on Tuesday.
Related: 10 TV Shows Every Entrepreneur Should Watch on Netflix
That said, in the US and Canada, Netflix only added 860,000 new subscribers in Q4 for a total of 74 million. Much of the growth happened in foreign markets. In 2020, the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region accounted for 41% of the company’s new paid subscribers. 
The big question is whether Netflix will be able to hold onto its subscribers. In 2021, the company will face even stiffer competition from the likes of Disney+, HBO Now, Peacock, and the soon-to-be-rebranded Paramount+, which all promise to deliver new TV shows and movies. 
However, Netflix says it’s ready to unleash a flood of new content to its own service. “With over 500 titles currently in post production or preparing to launch on our service and plans to release at least one new original film every week in 2021 with extraordinary talent, we’re confident we’ll continue to have a great content offering for our members,” Netflix added.
One company also estimates Netflix could spend as much as $19 billion on content this year.