venture capitals

5

Uber is a mess — the “bad boy” ethos shattered, a nervous breakdown in its place. This week, the CEO announced he is taking a sudden leave of absence. A former U.S. attorney general released a brutal audit of the startup’s culture. It’s a terrifying moment for many investors who want that $70 billion unicorn to make them rich or richer — not implode.

But there is one Uber investor who stands out for how she decided to speak up. It was not very Silicon Valley-like of her, but Freada Kapor Klein wanted to turn the crisis into a teachable moment. And while this week’s events could lead her to say “I told you so,” she has a different takeaway.

Let’s rewind a few months. Kapor Klein decided to write an open letter to Uber — which she published with her husband — after a young woman shared an explosive account of sexual harassment at Uber headquarters.

Kapor Klein is a venture capitalist, or a VC. That means she makes money by betting on technology startups. Uber is one of those startups. She has committed to “impact investment” — businesses that can turn a profit while also making the world a better place. For too many years, she says, critics would question her on Uber, and she stayed silent. She tried to influence the company from the inside, though she didn’t see a real will among leadership to change. While “Silicon Valley prides itself on pattern recognition,” the letter said, Uber had “toxic patterns” that needed to stop.

Kapor Klein thought she was just saying what insiders knew: This is not a one-off. Turns out, her peers didn’t like that and wanted her to pay for it.

The Investor Who Took On Uber, And Silicon Valley

Photos: Talia Herman for NPR

Folks, good morning: I’d like to introduce you to my new startup idea, conjured during a chocolate milk inspired dream session last night: Screamer. It’s Breather, but instead of renting out any old room in your town or city, we’ll have gone the extra mile to soundproof the rooms. That’s right: For the low price of $35 per hour, you could step into one of our cozy studios and shriek your lungs out to your heart’s desire. You could claw at the walls and throw yourself against our patented Cushion Corners. You could even cry until your face becomes a red, blotchy mess. With no way for anyone outside of the room to hear you unless there’s an emergency, no one would have to know what kind of hot mess you’re going through!

Extra add-ons would include: Rent-A-Friend, a specialized staff member who would act in loco amico to provide endless support as you mumble about your issues; the Break Room, a room full of breakable objects which you could launch at a wall in a controlled environment for your safety; and Barney, the well-known purple dinosaur, who would show up to your room and allow you to beat him so that you can unleash physical rage unto him. (You would not harm the man inside the Barney suit. The suit would consist of many layers of padding and an interior aluminum shell.)

To fund Screamer, I would need $10 million in venture capital. The State of Qatar has already stepped in as a potential backer. I hope that you will consider my idea as something unique to the growing rent-a-room market. Thank you.

Say Hello To Toothpastero®

Toothpastero® is the new smart connected toothpaste dispenser for your home. Using the latest in technology, and a precisely calculated amount of pressure, the Toothpastero® will dispense a fresh single use of toothpaste directly onto your Toothpastero®-compatible toothbrush to be ready for your use each morning and evening.

When Toothpastero® arrives at your home, you’ll find the Toothpastero® unit, a pair of Toothbrusheri®, a disposal carton, and a thirty-day supply of Paste Pods® in amazing organic flavors like Mojito, Kale, Tahitian Vanilla, and Cassia.

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When you’re ready to use your unit, open the Toothpastero® app on your phone and press the DISPENSE button. A few short seconds later you’ll have freshly-loaded Toothbrushero®, ready to brush!

After you’re done brushing your teeth, place the Toothbrushero® back into the unit, and replace the Paste Pod®. Use a sharp knife to open the used Paste Pod®, rinse it out, and place it into the pre-labeled disposal carton to send back to Toothpastero® for processing and disposal.

Using our app, you can schedule dispensing every evening before you go to bed to have toothpaste ready for you when you wake up in the morning, or every evening as you’re getting ready for bed.

Be certain to only use certified Toothpastero® Pods and Brushes in the unit. Reuse of Pods, or use of Pods without proper licensing can damage the unit and will void your warranty. You will know that you have voided your warranty when the indicator light on the front of the unit flashes red.

With free overnight shipping, you can order Toothpastero® today, and start a better tooth-brushing experience tomorrow.

4

Sheryl Sandberg: ‘As A Woman Gets More Successful.. She Is Less Liked’

Ellen Pao’s high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit has resonated with women across Silicon Valley and beyond – including Sheryl Sandberg.

In a recent interview with Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Bloomberg, the Facebook executive said she saw many of her own experiences reflected in Pao’s case against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Watch the full interview for more on women in tech from Sheryl Sandberg and RIchard Branson. 

Giant: Ch. 10

How close am I to losing you?
Tonight you just close your eyes
and I just watch you
slip away.

As a little girl, Lena never quite understood what her father did. She knew he did a lot of things, but they were all abstract, and difficult to imagine. It wasn’t like he was a cop, or a doctor, or a scientist, or a tugboat captain. He did things like mergers and acquisitions, financial planning and venture capitalism, all very unglamorous things for a nine year old who envied people who got to say that their daddy put out fires or helped people feel better.

Keep reading

nadineyoussef4321-deactivated20  asked:

Hey I keep seeing throughout your blog something about stories that you did? I'm not sure what they are but I'm hella interested so can you please give me a bit of info on what they're about and where I could possibly read them? Thanks and have a great day!

Oh, Turncoat? It’s my Fallout 4 story! 

Tumblr - All my stuff, including chapters and art!

AO3 - Easier reading format, also comments and suggestions!


“Working for the Railroad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be - especially when the Brotherhood’s got a bounty on you and the Institute’s got your number. Turner finds a friend in a disgruntled detective that might have taken on a case too big for his britches, and the two of them fall into a plot that might just be more than enough for the both of them.” 

It’s a story about my character, Ridley Turner, an ex-Brotherhood knight who ventured up from the Capital Wasteland to the Commonwealth. 

Events transpire that lead to her leaving their ranks and joining the Railroad, wherein she meets Nick Valentine. But under the orders of Elder Maxson, Paladin Riddik has made it their goal to see Turner sentenced for treason. 

But Riddik’s madness begins to take hold, and their goal is no longer to simply take Turner in – they want to see her suffer the consequences of her betrayal.

I’m almost done with Turncoat, too! I already have a sequel planned, Call of Far Harbor, where I plan to use Creepy!DiMA to his full potential! 

Self-Sustainability As A Business Value

Bootstrap as a metaphor, meaning to better oneself by one’s own unaided efforts.

Money continues to be a point of discussion for a lot of game developers in the industry. It can be daunting at times, but that stress never goes away.

Most developers assume that crowdfunding is the only way to go, when in fact, it is one of the many options for funding. Most requirements demand undivided commitment to organizational skills, deadline compromises, and financial responsibility. Crowdfunding is not exempt of all of the things just listed, it only seems to make crowdfunding the most attractive based on the lack of legal consequences. However, regardless of how this might be misconstrued by developers, options do exist for every industry out there. Hopefully, presenting healthier business options will provide for better choices regarding money.

Recently, I ran into an article about business bootstrapping. As a concept, this is what defines entrepreneurs starting out a business with next to no money. Exchanging the word ‘entrepreneur’ with ‘developer’, and it is pretty much an everyday process in the gaming industry.

In order to showcase how it works in practice, these are few of the many companies that started out self-funded, and eventually grew without external financial support. Tech companies that have thrived from keeping their goals in check, and most importantly, keeping their finances in order:

Go-Pro

Nick Woodman got started with a $35,000 loan in 2002, originally named Woodman’s Lab. Woodman kept full responsibility of his finances until 2012, when then he opened up the company to a $200 million investment from Foxconn. Eventually, the company finally goes public in 2014 with a value of $2.96 billion.

GitHub

Originally started in 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, and PJ Hyett. It only took a few thousand dollars from their own savings to get things going, which provided enough revenue for all of them at the time. There wasn’t even an office then, they would meet up at coffee places to work a few times a week. It wasn’t until 2012, that they started to take on employees into the company. Years later, GitHub found $100 million investment through venture capital, and achieved $250 million in a second round of venture capital back in 2015. Nowadays, the company makes about $140 million annual revenue. GitHub value is about $2 billion.

Craigslist

It all started in 1995 as some sort of casual newsletter among friends to showcase events around San Francisco. Obviously, the service became a wide spread phenomenon online reaching a million page views per month by 1997, great milestone at the time. Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, was financially independent until 2004 when eBay paid $32 million for a piece of the company, which did not end up well because years later, a lawsuit happened and Newmark bought back the shares. Craigslist, with over 20 billion page views per month, is present in over 70 countries nowadays – tops with $690 million (revenue by 2016), and is roughly appraised in $5 billion these days.

Bootstrapping requires understanding of the financial risk that, as a developer and entrepreneur, they accept. Unlike venture capital, there is a form of total control on every decision as well as full ownership of failure. Personal finance might not be initially enough to provide success at a reasonable rate, but it educates on responsibility by becoming accountable on every financial choice made. Unlike many other ways of funding, mostly when money is third party sourced.

Startups cultivate growth from reinvesting their own profit as it comes, ideally when costs are low and return on investment is high. This financing approach allows developers to maintain control of their business and forces them to spend with discipline. Money can always become a problem when there is absence or abundance of it: if there is too much, it all gets spent now instead of saving to reinvest later; just as there is not enough, it ‘justifies’ lack of quality.

This idea isn’t limiting to startups only, it’s a valid way for business owners to treat valuable resources at any stage of their business’ growth. Considered one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to ensure a business’ positive cash flow. Also, allows businesses to focus on customers rather than investors, increasing the chances of creating a self-sustaining business.

As always, I welcome hugs, memes, cookie recipes, and tweets :3

blue [ pt. 2 ]

pairing | pcy x reader
count | 3.5k

Originally posted by lullabyun


“Don’t worry, you’re gonna do great!” Beakhyun patted you on the back as you fidgeted with the mic that was clipped onto the top of your blouse. You took a deep breath, looking up at the groups of people in suits filing into the auditorium in front of you. 

You glanced at your manager sitting up front, smiling and giving you a thumbs up as you tapped your foot nervously from behind the podium. This presentation has to go well, you thought. Your future at this company, Baekhyun’s future at this company, your careers depended on this. 

The best case scenario is if your presentation goes well, your manager would report your success to the company’s president, and they would allow you to start your own firm under their umbrella given that you could find investors to fund your venture. You felt a small smile growing on your face at this prospect. 

But your mind quickly fell on the worst case scenario: your presentation is a flop, people would leave the auditorium in the middle of your pitch, the audience’s eyes would wander, bored, inattentive, you would stumble through your words, and afterwards your manager would fire you and Baekhyun on the spot. 

You quickly shook those thoughts from your head as the doors closed, and a silence began falling over the crowd. You looked up at your audience as you felt the light turn to focus on you on the stage at the front of the room. You turned and saw Baekhyun smile at you from behind the laptop as he began operating your presentation projected onto the large screen behind you. 

The MC walked out to the front of the stage to introduce you. “The recent booming success of CoreTech’s newest product line is actually the brainchild of two young ivy league graduates,” the announcer’s voice rang through the mic system in the auditorium and he turned to face you, holding a hand out towards you, “Please give a warm welcome to them and the radical and industrious ideas that changed the company.” 

You took a deep breath and stepped out from behind the podium, taking one last look at Baekhyun winking at you from behind his laptop screen on the table. You turned to face the audience, smiling, waiting for the welcome applause to fade. 

“As a company that has long had a strong presence and foothold in the industry, you probably think the idea to create our own market competition is insane,” you began. 


“Absolutely, I look forward to speaking with you soon,” you smiled, shaking the hand of an investor who approached you after your presentation. He smiled back, “My office will contact yours next week,” he said. 

“Holy shit!” you giggled under your breath, turning back to Beakhyun at the table the two of you stood at during the networking event after the morning presentations. 

“That’s like the tenth person that’s approached us about funding!” he screeched under his breath, shaking his hands like a child, unable to contain his excitement. 

Your presentation was a huge success. It went better than either of you could’ve imagined. A line of people had formed to approach you with questions and funding proposals as soon as your presentation ended, and now even more people approached you as the two of you hung out in the large networking hall. 

Looking up, you noticed your manager walking towards you, hanging up the phone. “I just spoke with the CEO,” he said, smiling. “You have a meeting with him next week when we get back.” 

You felt your eyes grow wide in excitement, “It’s happening?” you asked timidly. 

He nodded, “It’s happening.” 

“Gaaaaah!” Baekhyun screeched, pulling you into a hug, the two of you hopping around each other in circles, giggling like school children. 

“Ok, alright you two,” your manager put his hands on your shoulders, calming the two of you down. “Get it together, you have a meeting in five minutes with a big investor.” 

“But we already talked to a bunch of investors,” you said, confused with the sudden formality. 

“Well this one called for a meeting,” he said, looking down at the calendar app on his phone. “Go grab your things, I’ll meet you guys outside the hall in five.” 

You nodded, following behind Baekhyun over to the coat check to pick up your laptops and bag. The two of you walked over to your manager standing outside in the hall, eyes glued to his phone, and followed as he led the you to a conference room at the end of the hall. 

Walking through the large glass doors of the conference room, you froze in your steps, Baekhyun bumping into you when you came to a sudden stop. You looked up at the figure standing across the large conference table from you, looking out the row of windows in the back of the room. You felt the thumping of your heartbeat growing louder in your ears as he turned to face you. 

You stared at his face, a veritable wave of confusion and bewilderment crashing over you. You stared at his dark hair, brushed back neatly from his forehead. You stared at his tie, in a slick knot around a perfectly pressed white shirt, under an expensive-looking navy blue suit jacket, his long legs in a pair of matching navy blue slacks, over a pair of brown leather shoes. You saw a familiar smirk grow on his face as he saw the astonishment in your eyes. 

“Oh my god…isn’t he the stal-” you heard Baekhyun say from behind you as he looked over your shoulder at the familiar face. You closed your eyes, hoping that when you opened them and your sight returned to you, you’d find the man standing before you was not him, that your eyes simply played some kind of trick on you. You were wrong. 

“What?” your manager responded to Baekhyun’s comment, eyes wide in confusion. You nudged Baekhyun, “Uh..sorry, nothing, I had something in my throat,” Baekhyun fumbled through his words. 

You watched as he walked over to you, his legs making such long strides, the grin never leaving his face. 

“Y/N, this is Park Chanyeol,” your manager said, “He’s one of the stakeholders and board members of Park Capital. Park Capital is-” 

“One of the biggest investment firms currently backing many internet startups, I know,” you said. You watched the smile on his face grow wider. 

“It’s nice to meet you, Y/N,” he reached his hand out to you. You reluctantly held out yours, and he took it, shaking your hand with the kind of formality appropriate for a business meeting. 

“Hi, I’m-I’m Byun Baekhyun, I work with Y/N,” you found yourself unable to tear your eyes away from him as Baekhyun reached out timidly for a handshake. You felt your thoughts running at a hundred miles an hour. Is he really going to pretend like that exchange at the bar last night didn’t happen? What is he doing here? Park Chanyeol of Park Capital, that’s just a coincidence right? He’s here for the conference? No, it can’t be, he can’t be here for the conference. He can’t behave that way if he’s actually here on business. 

You looked up at him, and he grinned, and you could tell from the look on his face that he knew exactly the thoughts running through your mind and his only response was the arrogant smirk that refused to leave his face. 

“I was very impressed with your presentation,” he said, pulling out one of the chairs at the end of the table, unbuttoning his jacket, and sitting down. Impressed? Is he joking? “Tell me, how did you arrive at the idea to create your own market competition?” 

You heard yourself scoff audibly, “Are you serious?” 

“Y/N!” you heard your manager scold. “Mr. Park, I’m so sorry, she’s very young, they’re both recent graduates, they’re inexperienced with business, they’ve mostly been isolated within the company while they worked on this project-” you watched him hold a hand up, stopping your manager mid-sentence. 

“You don’t have to explain,” he smiled amicably at your manager. “I’m sure she’s just shocked that such a young person could be a majority stakeholder at a venture capital firm,” he turned back to you, grinning. Young isn’t the adjective I’d use, your internal monologue ran.  “But I’m equally shocked by how such a young person could be the mastermind behind a business model that completely changed a company’s outlook.” 

“Well, we didn’t exactly have that idea at first,” you heard Baekhyun cut in hurriedly, trying to diffuse the situation. 

“Oh no?” he asked without looking away from you. 

“Well, the business model shift, that was all Y/N’s idea, but it evolved from a project we were given when we were recruited for the company,” Baekhyun continued. 

“So maybe Y/N would like to explain how it happened,” he said, smiling, leaning into the table, his arms propped up on the tabletop. 

“Mr. Park told me he’s willing to invest quite a lot of resources into your project, Y/N,” you heard your manager say in a pleading voice from beside you. “But he wanted to meet with you because he wanted to know what kind of person you were, if you’re capable, if you had a vision that aligned with his.” 

“There’s no need for formalities here,” he said, “just call me Chanyeol.” 

You took a deep breath, quelling your growing anger as you took a seat across the table from him. “CoreTech is an old company,” you said. “They’ve been successful, showing noticeable growth in the last ten years.”

“Yes, I’m aware of your company’s financial history,” he said, leaning back in his chair. “Your company has seen slow and incremental growth since its inception.” 

“Slow and incremental yes, but steady growth nonetheless,” you responded. “But the sites that they were selling were fast becoming out of date. Ten years ago, these sites were great. And their service model made sense for an older generation of clients who were not used to the internet.” You saw his eyes focused intently on yours, listening carefully to your words. 

“But as our older clients are becoming replaced by a younger generation of internet-users, we realized the websites the company had been maintaining were very out of date and very out of touch with the current technological climate. They brought Baekhyun and I in to revamp their existing websites.” 

“So why did you invest the resources to rebuild the entire line of sites? You just completely ignored what management wanted you to do? I can’t imagine your CEO was pleased with your proposal to spend the time and resources re-doing something that already exists.”

“No, he was not pleased with it at all. He almost fired us on the spot,” you continued. You heard him let out a soft laugh. “But here’s the thing - these older webistes were built and maintained over ten years by different people on different teams. Its base platform is extremely outdated, and as more people worked on it, rather than spending the time to make sure its foundation code is stable, they just tacked functionality on top of functionality, creating an extremely unstable, buggy system. Ultimately it would take years for us to fix it, requiring more time and more resources than it would take for us to rebuild something from scratch.” 

He smiled, his eyes lighting up as you voiced your ideas. “But why create internal competition? Why not openly market it as another product line within your company?” 

“Because we didn’t want CoreTech’s name associated with our new sites, and the stigma surrounding an established company. We wanted there to be no preconceived notions about what this site would be like. We also approached this with an entirely different framework. Rather than building a large, overwhelming website that does everything, we focused on scalability. Starting small, with the basics, and allowing the option to add on anything a client could want. This way we were able to market the product as a full suite of websites and features, but also as its individual parts.” 

A few moments of silence passed as he considered your words. You watched as a smile grew wide on his face. He stood up, walking over to your manager. He held out his hand to shake his, “Thank you for setting this up, this was very informative,” he said, before turning and walking out of the room. 

You looked down at your hands as Baekhyun and your manager exchanged confused looks. 

“What the hell was that?” Baekhyun said. 


“Come on, forget about that meeting,” Baekhyun said from beside you. The two of you sat at the bar of the hotel restaurant. It was meant to be a celebration of the success of your presentation today, but you couldn’t forget about what happened earlier. You were angry. You felt played. 

After the meeting, you Googled his name, finding that he really was in fact one of the majority stakeholders of Park Capital, and that his father was the president and CEO of the company. He used his name to fool your manager into pulling you into a meeting with him, under the ruse of wanting to invest in your project, only to humiliate you. 

You tilted your head back, downing your fifth shot of the night. You felt someone pat you on the back, and turned to see your manager squeezing up to the crowded bar beside you. “He’s going to invest,” he yelled in your ear over the noisy crowds. 

“What?” You yelled back. 

“Park Chanyeol, I just got off the phone with his secretary, he said he’s going to invest,” he said. “His office is sending over the papers next week.”

“Holy shit, that’s awesome!” Baekhyun gushed from next to you. You fell silent, in shock. Baekhyun nudged you with his elbow, “See? I told you not to worry about it!” 

“I need to get some air,” you said quietly, standing up from the bar stool. 

“Don’t stay out too late! We need to leave for our flight at 7 tomorrow!” you heard your manager yell after you as you walked out of the restaurant in a daze. 

You made your way to the escalators in the hotel lobby, walking up to the upper deck of the resort. You walked past a row of tall, glass windows, looking at the open balcony outside, a rooftop pool, and a bar next to it. There was no one outside, and the lights were off. You pulled open the large glass door, walking out out to the edge of the balcony. 

“You know this bar isn’t open,” you jumped, hearing a voice say suddenly. You turned and in the darkness you could make out a figure sitting on one of the patio sofas next to the pool. You felt your heartbeat quicken at the sound of his voice. You watched as he stood up and walked towards you. 

You looked up at him as he stepped into the light, moving closer to you. You noticed that his perfectly coiffed hair from earlier is now again a messy flop on his head, like he’d run his hand through it too many times. His tie was undone, hanging from the unbuttoned top of his white shirt, its sleeves rolled up to his elbows. You noticed that he had a tattoo on the inside of his forearm, but didn’t look closely enough to discern what it was. He moved close enough that you could see his eyes, glimmering in the moonlight, a little freckle on the tip of his nose, the same obnoxious grin that he’d had on his face since you met.

“What the hell is wrong with you,” you heard yourself snap. You retracted yourself, surprised at your own words. 

He laughed lightly. “Come on, tell me that wasn’t fun,” he chuckled. 

You scoffed, turning to look out at the resort grounds, leaning into the railing of the balcony. “Is that why you did this? For fun?”

“You should’ve seen the look on your face when you saw me in that room earlier,” he laughed. “Just that look alone is worth what I’m about to invest in your company.” 

You felt your anger growing. You turned, walking quickly back towards the doors to the resort. You heard his steps following behind you and felt his hand grasp onto your wrist. “Whoa whoa, hey, calm down,” he said as you swung around, ripping your arm from his grasp. 

“I’ve worked hard to get to where I am,” you snapped. “Baekhyun and I have put everything into our work, into this project. We’ve worked too hard to be taken seriously to be used like some toy in whatever game you think you’re playing. We don’t need your money. Or sorry, should I say your daddy’s money.” 

You watched the smile disappear from his face. He stood upright, putting his hands in his pockets. “Is that what you think of me,” he said, the lightness had left his voice, dropping instead to a stern, low register. 

“Isn’t that what you think of me?” you retorted. “That my work, that all this, is just some joke to you?”

“And what about you?” he said, his voice low, his tone growing harsh. “You’d so easily condemn me as some rich, careless corporate son while you think yourself morally superior and put yourself on a pedestal because you’ve, what, worked hard? As though I’ve never had any hardships in my life? As though you’re the only one deserving of success you’ve gotten?” 

“Oh yes, I’m sure not being able to find a restaurant that serves alcohol at 9 in the morning is a very agonizing hardship, I feel for you,” you rolled your eyes, your words seeping with sarcasm. 

“I’m not playing games with you, Y/N,” he said. “As hard as it may be for you to believe, I have a lot of respect for you, for your work.” 

You scoffed, “Yes, I can see you have so much respect for your vodka and scotch girls. If I lived by your definition of respect, I would think so too, I thank you on behalf of my entire gender.” 

He took a step towards you, “You should stop right there.” 

“Or what, you’re going to pull your funding?” You scoffed, “Do it, we don’t need your money.” 

He took another step towards you, and you looked up to see the obvious anger growing in his eyes. You took a step back, hitting the glass door behind you. 

“And we don’t want your money,” you continued. “I don’t want the integrity of my work to be tainted by the likes of you,” 

“The likes of me?” he stepped in closer. 

“Yes the likes of you,” you looked at him, at his expensive suit and his expensive watch, the air around you reeking of his expensive cologne. You felt your animosity boiling over. “I can’t stand people like you. Born into privilege, you have no idea what it’s like for the rest of us. What it’s like to have to work to get what we have. How hard we have to continue working to hold onto what we have once we get it. Do you think because I’m not some rich, ditzy girl in a tiny dress that you can address me as though I’m inferior to you? I have an ivy league diploma just like you, only I didn’t get it because my father gave the chancellor a phone call.” 

You saw his fists clench on either side of him. “So this is your opinion of me,” he said, his voice barely audible. 

“It’s no opinion when it’s the truth.” 

“No, I think you’ve made your opinion quite clear, and it is an opinion,” you flinched as he slammed a hand into the glass next to your head. “But did you ever think for a second if you stopped looking at me through this prejudiced lens of yours, through your perceived notions of how easy it must’ve been for me my whole life because of the family I was born into, that maybe you’d see something different? Maybe you’d see me. Or maybe you’d just see your own reflection and realize that you and I are not so different. If you think I’m treating you as though your’e inferior, then you should realize you’re only looking in the mirror.” 

You fell silent. You felt your head growing dizzy as the ringing from his words continued to sting at you, at your ego. You felt his hand reaching up and grabbing onto your jaw, forcing you to look up at him. You looked up into his eyes, noticing them soften, noticing that his lips had been pressed into a tight line, holding back his anger. He gazed into your eyes, like he was looking for something. 

“And you’re wrong,” he said, letting go of you, turning and opening the door. “My father doesn’t know the chancellor. I earned my diploma, same as you.” You looked down at your feet as he walked back into the building. You let yourself slide down against the glass, crouching with your arms around your legs, knees to your chest. 

His words stung. And as much as you didn’t want to admit it, you recognized they stung because perhaps they were true. 

Jay Z Launches Arrive To Fund Startups, Offer Branding Support And More

Tech Crunch writes:

Jay Z’s new venture capital firm Arrive, has arrived — the rap and business mogul has been planning the launch for a while, according to reports that surfaced in February, but a press release from parent company Roc Nation made it official on Monday. The investment platform will work with early-stage startups, and offer investment of capital as well as assistance with business development, branding and more to help those select companies flourish, per the official announcement.

Arrive’s unique sales pitch to potential investment targets revolves heavily around its experience in brand building — the company is unique among VC firms in terms of its exposure to the task of managing and building up artists, as well as athletes. It’s hoping to leverage that experience into something a bit different from the status quo in venture capital, according to the release, which could be a very appealing edge indeed to consumer-focused startups looking to accelerate their growth.

Keep Reading.

The Illuminati in the World of  Deus Ex

Since it seems that most people here on Tumblr only played the Adam-centric games of the series, I decided to write a little post about the Illuminati, its structure and key-members. This post is more like a little overview for you guys, since  HR/MD only offer little info about them, and I won’t go very deep into detail. (Edit to myself: I lied.)

Officially, the Illumanti were founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776, his goal was to create a new society, a “New Order” that is lead by individuals that are called “The Enlightened (Illuminati is the plural of the Latin word Illuminatus, meaning  “enlightened”). This might be a reference to either Plato’s concept of the “Just State”, a society that is ruled by all knowing “Philosopher Kings” who were born to full-fill this rule and reign over the others. Another possible reference might be Thomas Hobbes’ theory of the Leviathan, a state that is ruled by a chosen “Sovereign” that can be either a single individual or a group of people acting as one where the rest of the citizens have no rights.

Those Individuals are defined as perfect beings, ahead of the rest of humanity and are in harmony with mind and body. To achieve this, there are certain requirements to be chosen as a suitable initiate, and every member has to go through certain ranks involving taking certain classes and undergoing tests. There is not much known about this besides the few references Stanton Dowd makes in Deus Ex 1, saying Bob Page never made it past the rank of “Master of Tyre” since did not participate in mandatory yoga lessons. In additions to this he mentions a special form of meditation that should lift the spirit and mind to a higher level.  

Furthermore, although the official foundation is dated to 1776, many patters and structures can be traced back to the Knight Templar during the Crusades (also stated by Dowd). So over the time, the Illuminati also “adopted” several other orders/organizations to their cause, utilizing them for special tasks. Besides the Templars, who function as the Order’s financial arm since they control most of the banks around the world, they also incorporated Majestic 12 in 1969, after the USAF closed down Project Blue Book and the organization was shut down as well. Since then, MJ12 operates as the Illumianti’s scientific and militaristic arm.

In general, you can say that the Illuminati don’t know any restrictions when it comes to achieving their goal, they are all about control, but ultimately they do one thing: They influence, they direct, they never act out directly and they think in very long term plans. They have boxes stacked into boxes, a machinery that works for them while keeping the puppet-masters in the shadows. They are not just a group of “evil rich people wanting to dominate the world”, they do not just simply beat up or kill people just because they want to. Everything they do is for the greater cause, and they don’t like loose ends. When someone is in their way, they make sure to completely destroy this person forever. Either through assassination (and they don’t back off from killing members of the Order for “The Greater Plan” as they wanted to assassinate Taggart to further fuel the Anti-Aug Debate) or through complete destruction of  one’s existence. They would never just leave a “warning” or harm someone out of fun or cruelty. The Illuminati are, in their core, completely finalistic and dedicated to their cause.

Now, after the fundamentals are clear, let’s take a short look at the members of the Council of Five, the ruling top with the highest ranked members of the order. The Philosophers Kings or the Sovereigns, if you want to see them that way.

Lucius DeBeers is the head of the Order, the only with the highest rank, the “Supreme Enlightened”. His background and true age are unknown since he keeps himself artificially alive, but it’s known he was already in charge back in the 1960s, as he ordered the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. So pretty much everything we know about the actions of the Illuminati can be traced back to him. It’s clear that he seems to be obsessed with power, he refuses to give up his position as leader to his protége Morgan Everett and seeks a way to achieve immortality. He seems himself as the perfect being Weishaupt was talking about. In 2052, he is in a somewhat frozen state to halt his ageing, but he is still kept conscious to able to advice Everett who assumed the position of the Leader after Lucius was put into this state. 

Morgan Everett is the Second-In-Command and leader of Majestic 12. It is implied that he was born into the Illuminati, as he states he had close ties to the Templars in his childhood, saying “I once knelt in this chapel for communion, with two Rockefellers and a Rothschild. Since the time of the Crusades every leader in finance has prayed for the continued stability of Templar banks, founded on gold.”. During the events of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, he is the CEO of the Picus Group, and thereby controlling the world’s media and news. He did not found it, it was Sir Martin Darrow (Hugh Darrow’s father) in 1985 -  it is unknown how Everett got into this position and what happened to Martin. Furthermore, Everett is in charge of various AI projects involving E.L.I.Z.A. and Morpheus (referred to as “M Initiative” in HR & MD)  together with his protégé Bob Page to control and monitor the public. In 2052, he took up the position as the Supreme Enlightened and controls the remnants of the Order after MJ12 nearly destroyed them during the 2030s. Although he is the acting leader, he keeps his former mentor in a state that allows him to still give advice and actively lying about the fact that Lucius could “be brought back to live” and using him as a tool. It is assumed that Morgan grew bitter about Lucius withholding him the possibility of becoming the Supreme Enlightened and now abuses his power over him. 

Stanton Dowd is the leader of the Knights Templar in 2029 and in control of most of the Illuminati’s finances and the world’s banks and therefore putting financial pressure on opposing parties. Although the Templar’s base is located in Paris, it is stated that Dowd is unable to leave New York City due to unknown reasons. According to Deus Ex 1, he was also born into the Order as his family had ties for generations. Little is known about the man, but it’s implied that he is a rather traditional man since he is the only one ever talking about the existing ranks and rituals and around the events of Mankind Divided, he led the Templar to a very powerful and controlling position. This concerns Beth DuClare who states she had to leave her home-town Paris because “Dowd’s Templar minions are the reason I stay away from Paris these days. I smell them on everything when I go back to the château. They act like they own  the city.” (quote from Black Light) and leading to the suspicion Dowd might try to overthrow Lucius and take over himself.  In 2052 Stanton is a poor man after MJ12 taking over the Knight Templars and destroying his finances and he is infected with the Grey Death. Besides his knowledge, he has nothing and is forced into hiding - powerless and defenceless.

Elizabeth DuClare, often only called “Beth”, is  millionaire philanthropist and leader of the World Health Organization in 2027 and 2029. Just like the previous members she was born into a very old and wealthy family tied to the Illuminati. This is why she claims it was her birthright to be “Queen of this World.” And again, little is known about the woman besides her public role. In 2027 she controls the distribution of the manipulated TYM chip that would later cause the Aug Incident, and in 2029 she works with DeBeers on several projects. Among them: Black Helix and The D Project. Her exact position/rank is unknown, but it is implied in Black Light that she might be the “true” Second-in-Command since she has a very close relationship with DeBeers and because of their collaborations. In addition to this it is implied that she is a highly skilled manipulator, especially regarding men, and it is implied she uses sex and “love” to achieve her goals. The groomed the carrier of  Philip Riley Mead, Florida’s Governor in 2027 and future President of the United States (2052), has a confirmed sexual relationship with Morgan Everett, is rumoured to be the mistress of the President of France Alain Bourges-Maunoury and talks derogatory about emotions like love and affection. She was assassinated by Majestic 12 prior to the events of Deus Ex 1. She has a daughter named Nicolette DuClare whose father is unknown and it is suspected that Nicolette is in fact a cosmetically altered clone. 

There is little to say about Volkard Rand, since he is only appears in Mankind Divided and the only thing we know about him is that he is a member of the Council of Five in 2029 and that he puts pressure on the UN council to pass the Human Restoration act. A very popular fan-theory sees him as the elusive Janus, leader of the Juggernaut Collective that was somewhat confirmed by the “Prima Game Guide” by accident.  But this is all speculation.

Robert “Bob” Page is not directly a member of Council of Five during the events of HR and MD, but has a high enough position to participate in most of their meetings. He is the protégé of Morgan Everett, who recruited him at some point before 2016 and due to his influence the young man managed to have an unusual career and rise up faster than he should (stated by Stanton Dowd). Page is the CEO of VersaLife (founded 1975), a pharmaceutical giant he acquired in 2016 and a subordinate to his company Page Industries, a venture capital/tech firm. He is the second leader of MJ12 alongside his mentor and is in charge of the Tyrants in Human Revolution (Codename Black, also referred to as “Commander” in The Fall) and overthrows the Illuminati during the 2030s in a Coup d'état, and takes over completely. In 2052, he is the richest and most powerful man in the world while still having an extremely positive public image, as people see him as generous, a philanthropist and he pretends to donate to good causes. He tries to become the “true Supreme Enlightened” by merging with the AI Helios. 

All of these character summaries are kept short and only mention the most important things, there is much more to tell but this should be enough to give a general overview about the canon information regarding the Illuminati. If you got any questions of wish that I got deeper into certain things, please let me know. 

50 WAYS TO BECOME A BETTER ENTREPRENEUR

Here are 50 things to keep in mind if you want to be a better entrepreneur:

  1. Don’t let emotions cloud your decisions.
  2. Accept criticism, no matter who gives it to you.
  3. Never stop networking.
  4. Learn from your own mistakes.
  5. Learn from other people’s mistakes.
  6. Around every corner lies an opportunity for you to sell something.
  7. Don’t get too greedy… pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.
  8. Try not to mix your family life with your business life.
  9. No matter how successful you are, you shouldn’t stop learning.
  10. Spending money on good lawyers and accountants will save you more money in the long run.
  11. Don’t pick a stupid company name and if you do, don’t change it later on.
  12. Hiring employees won’t solve most of your problems.
  13. Be agile because slow and steady won’t win the race.
  14. Being agile isn’t enough, you also have to be scrappy too.
  15. Having a good business partner will be a key factor in your success.
  16. Don’t be afraid of the unknown.
  17. It is easier to save money than it is to make it.
  18. You don’t always have to innovate; there is nothing wrong with copying.
  19. Have a marketing plan.
  20. Don’t under estimate your competition; you can’t always know what they are doing.
  21. Watching movies like Boiler Room, will teach you how to sell.
  22. If you don’t have a business mentor, you better get one.
  23. Your income will be the average of your 5 closest friends, so pick them wisely.
  24. Diversifying is a good way to play things safe.
  25. It doesn’t matter what you want, it only matters what your customers want.
  26. When others are fearful, you should be greedy. And when they are greedy you should be fearful.
  27. You don’t always have to pay for advice. You’ll be amazed with the free advice you can get pick up from the web.
  28. The best chances you have of becoming rich is through your willingness of working hard.
  29. Even the most idiotic business idea can make money.
  30. Sex sells and it always will.
  31. An easy way to make more money is to up sell to your current customer base.
  32. Base your business decisions around metrics.
  33. There is no such thing as a safe bet.
  34. You don’t have to start a business to be successful.
  35. Raising venture capital is harder than being struck by lightening.
  36. Staying under the radar isn’t always a bad thing. Being out in the open is a great way to attract more competitors.
  37. Learn to be a team player.
  38. If you ever get screwed over, think twice before you burn the bridge.
  39. Learn to manage both your personal and business money.
  40. Live in a location filled with entrepreneurs.
  41. If you don’t take any risks, there will not be any rewards.
  42. Don’t let anything stand in your way.
  43. Sometimes you have to wait for good deals to come to you.
  44. The smartest route isn’t always the easiest route.
  45. Being too aggressive can backfire.
  46. With networking, it isn’t about whom you know, it is about whom your network knows.
  47. It’s never a bad thing to know too many rich people. Whether you like them or not, they can always come in handy. So make sure you always play nice with them.
  48. Use your email signature to promote your business.
  49. Don’t be afraid of social media. It is a great channel for customer acquisition.
  50. You’ll learn more from starting your own business, than going to business school.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you improve your entrepreneurial skills. And if you have any other suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment.

  • GUY WHO INVENTED THE AUTOMATIC FLUSH TOILET: Craig! I just had a great idea! It's like a regular toilet only it costs more, wastes water, and actively inconveniences the user!
  • CRAIG, WHO WILL LATER FOUND THE FIRST SILICON VALLEY VENTURE CAPITAL FIRM: Interesting.........
Blackbay is recruiting!

That’s great! …who are you again?

Blackbay is a tight-knit group of antiheroes. We run the blackest of black ops, operations which often blur ethical, moral, and legal boundaries. Our members form the fringes of society. We do not venture into the Capital Cities, nor do we engage in politics and aristocratic niceties. We often sleep in caves and barns, making camp wherever is most convenient (although we do have a few safe houses, too!). All of us are specialists in our own right. Whether it’s poisons, parkour, or planting an herb garden, we all have our passions. Some of us knit, some of us bake, some of us fish and hunt.

Cool, I guess. Why haven’t I heard of you?

The members of Blackbay operate behind the twin veils of invisibility and secrecy. Many of our members are believed to be deceased. As a group, we strive to maintain a minimal social footprint, and only interact with large-scale server events when necessary to our cause.

Oh, so you’re an SI–

Blackbay is not affiliated – in any way, shape, or form – with SI:7.

Well, if you don’t work for SI:7 … What do you do, and why do you do it?

Blackbay’s mission is two-fold. First, we aim to provide a wholly immersive and gritty, black ops-style RP experience. Second, we want to see our members grow as writers. We are like-minded people who push for equitable storytelling. As our Master-at-Arms once said: “Officers are stage managers, not divas.”

We aim to provide fresh, high-quality, complex, and engaging stories. Our stories tend to be slow-burning. Plot continuity is paramount, and the smallest of details matter. Every member contributes to our guild’s overall story. What happens to one of us will affect all of us. The threads of memory cling to each of us: when momentous events occur, they matter, and are never forgotten.

What is ‘equitable storytelling’? That sounds kind of complicated.

Blackbay is proud of our writers and RPers. They are all talented, and we want to grant them a forum for their writing. Our guild Tumblr page functions as that forum by highlighting guild- and plot-centric writing.

Hm. How could my character contribute…?

If you have story or plot ideas that you’ve always wanted to play out, we want you to pitch them to us. Work with us. Allow us to help you realize your ideas. We’re a guild of writers and artists. Blackbay’s officers seek to enable your writing and your character, while all of us are nothing but encouraging, and often turn to each other for ideas and advice. All of us want to see your character pop off the page.

Ok… Be honest – are there cliques? What is Blackbay really like?

We’re a small and inclusive guild built on a bedrock of mutual respect both OoC and IC. We recognize that a community is only as strong as its bonds allow. As such, bullying or harassment of any kind is not tolerated. Alt-tabbing during RP is discouraged. We’re all 21+ and mature, so you should be, too. All of our members are deeply invested in their characters and their characters’ relationships with their teammates. These qualities build intensity into Blackbay’s overarching story.

We ground ourselves in gritty reality. For the most part, we only tap into Azeroth’s magics when we are backed into a corner and have no other alternative. We believe that magic is taxing, difficult to use properly, and can be outright dangerous. We also believe that spycraft is a delicate, subtle art that encompasses  assassination, battles, reconnaissance, disguise, decoy & stealth missions, and rare moments of  diplomacy. Sometimes, our operations go smoothly. Sometimes, our operations get out of hand. And sometimes, our operations backfire spectacularly. (Be warned: our dice suck!)

Sounds fun! When do these events happen?

Plot-centric guild events begin at 6pm Server every Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Often, we have open RP kicking off about an hour beforehand which leads into the main event. The rest of the week is available for open RP, PvE, endgame content, developing & playing alts (your alts are not required to be in our guild), or anything else you can think of! Breaks typically occur around the major holidays. As always, if you’re sick, up to your eyeballs in work, or dear Aunt Mary passes on, we understand!

Real life comes first.

Wow, that’s really all the things! Is there anything else I should know?

We use Blizzard’s lore as our canon… though we do add a bit of our own, special panache. Many of us recognize the larger, server-wide events in the world and accept them as our canon, too – though no one is required to do so. Your character, your call. Our guild and personal canons are formed by missions, events, or other moments held in-game. World of Warcraft is where our plot unfolds. We strongly encourage your creativity outside of the game, e.g.: Tumblr, Skype, and Discord. We want to read your character’s backstories, interpersonal relationships, inner turmoil, ordinary days, mission recaps, and preparations for (or reactions to) our events. We come from all corners of reality to craft our beautifully messy story – help us make it messier.

Most of all, Blackbay should be a place where you feel at home and welcome. Please contact either Quai or Monette in game (Wyrmrest Accord) or here via Tumblr to know more or to apply. 

the old view of startup culture is where scrappy little underdogs come up with a Clever Idea that transforms the world by giving us technology that makes our lives better, like HP and Apple and Microsoft starting out as a few nerds working out of garages and inventing home computers and crappy printers, etc.

the new view of startup culture is a bunch of insanely wealthy investors dividing a ridiculous amount of venture capital between a number of moonshots, most of which will vanish without a trace but a few will be able to take advantage of their deep pockets to steamroll their way into a monopolistic position and use it to extract massive amounts of rent out of the economy to reward the investors who can then grab another bunch of hopefuls from Stanford and repeat.

oh and they have an app, or something.

wired.com
The Brain-Machine Interface Isn't Sci-Fi Anymore | Backchannel
This startup lets you control machines with your mind—no implants required.

2017 has been a coming-out year for the Brain-Machine Interface (BMI), a technology that attempts to channel the mysterious contents of the two-and-a-half-pound glop inside our skulls to the machines that are increasingly central to our existence. The idea has been popped out of science fiction and into venture capital circles faster than the speed of a signal moving through a neuron. Facebook, Elon Musk, and other richly funded contenders, such as former Braintree founder Bryan Johnson, have talked seriously about silicon implants that would not only merge us with our computers, but also supercharge our intelligence. But CTRL-Labs, which comes with both tech bona fides and an all-star neuroscience advisory board, bypasses the incredibly complicated tangle of connections inside the cranium and dispenses with the necessity of breaking the skin or the skull to insert a chip—the Big Ask of BMI. Instead, the company is concentrating on the rich set of signals controlling movement that travel through the spinal column, which is the nervous system’s low-hanging fruit.