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What Are Esports, and How Do I Monetize Them?

Ann Hand, CEO at Super League Gaming, talks about her early career, working for traditional big enterprise companies in oil and gas before venturing into the startup space, eventually landing as the CEO of the first esports company to trade on Wall Street.

Hand and The Playbook host David Meltzer discuss how they learned about the vast opportunities in the esports space and how they explain what esports are to people who don’t understand the appeal of competitive video games. The pair also discuss the importance of creating an accepting community for the 2.6 billion amateur gamers in the world.

Related: How to Manage a Business With Courage

Source: Entrepreneur
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MediaLab acquires messaging app Kik, expanding its app portfolio

Popular messaging app Kik is, indeed, “here to stay” following an acquisition by the Los Angeles-based multimedia holding company, MediaLab.

It echoes the same message from Kik’s chief executive Tim Livingston last week when he rebuffed earlier reports that the company would shut down amid an ongoing battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Livingston had tweeted that Kik had signed a letter-of-intent with a “great company,” but that it was “not a done deal.”

Now we know the the company: MediaLab. In a post on Kik’s blog on Friday the MediaLab said that it has “finalized an agreement” to acquire Kik Messenger.

Kik is one of those amazing places that brings us back to those early aspirations,” the blog post read. “Whether it be a passion for an obscure manga or your favorite football team, Kik has shown an incredible ability to provide a platform for new friendships to be forged through your mobile phone.”

MediaLab is a holding company that owns several other mobile properties, including anonymous social network Whisper and mixtape app DatPiff. In acquiring Kik, the holding company is expanding its mobile app portfolio.

MediaLab said it has “some ideas” for developing Kik going forwards, including making the app faster and reducing the amount of unwanted messages and spam bots. The company said it will introduce ads “over the coming weeks” in order to “cover our expenses” of running the platform.

Buying the Kik messaging platform adds another social media weapon to the arsenal for MediaLab and its chief executive, Michael Heyward .

Heyward was an early star of the budding Los Angeles startup community with the launch of the anonymous messaging service, Whisper nearly 8 years ago. At the time, the company was one of a clutch of anonymous apps — including Secret and YikYak — that raised tens of millions of dollars to offer online iterations of the confessional journal, the burn book, and the bathroom wall (respectively).

In 2017, TechCrunch reported that Whisper underwent significant layoffs to stave off collapse and put the company on a path to profitability.

At the time Whisper had roughly 20 million monthly active users across its app and website, which the company was looking to monetize through programmatic advertising, rather than brand-sponsored campaigns that had provided some of the company’s revenue in the past. Through widgets, the company had an additional 10 million viewers of its content per-month using various widgets and a reach of around 250 million through Facebook and other social networks on which it published posts.

People familiar with the company said at the time that it was seeing gross revenues of roughly $1 million and was going to hit $12.5 million in revenue for that calendar year. By 2018 that revenue was expected to top $30 million, according to sources at the time.

The flagship Whisper app let people post short bits of anonymous text and images that other folks could like or comment about. Heyward intended it to be a way for people to share more personal and intimate details —  to be a social network for confessions and support rather than harassment.

The idea caught on with investors and Whisper managed to raise $61 million from investors including Sequoia, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Shasta Ventures . Whisper’s last round was a $36 million Series C back in 2014.

Fast forward to 2018 when Secret had been shut down for three years while YikYak also went bust — selling off its engineering team to Square for around $1 million. Whisper, meanwhile, seemingly set up MediaLab as a holding company for its app and additional assets that Heyward would look to roll up. The company filed registration documents in California in June 2018.

According to the filings, Susan Stone, a partner with the investment firm Sierra Wasatch Capital, is listed as a director for the company.

Heyward did not respond to a request for comment.

Zack Whittaker contributed reporting for this article. 

Source: TechCrunch
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Verbraucherschutz: Das ist Europas „New Deal for Consumers“

Kernstück der Reform sind die EU-weite Sammelklage, Änderungen am Widerrufsrecht sowie neue Transparenzregelungen für das Online-Shopping. Ersteres war von Verbraucherschützern lange gefordert worden. Mit dem Instrument soll es den Konsumenten europaweit möglich sein, sich zusammenzuschließen und über Verbraucherschutzorganisationen Klagen gegen Unternehmen einzureichen – etwa gegen Autohersteller wie VW, die beim Fahrzeugkauf falsche Angaben gemacht haben. Die Urteile fällen Berufsrichter, Erfolgshonorare, wie sie etwa in den USA Usus sind, sollen nicht zulässig sein. So will Brüssel verhindern, dass eine regelrechte Klageindustrie entsteht, wie man sie aus den Vereinigten Staaten kennt.

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Arri: Geld verdienen mit Blockbustern in China


Alles hat seinen Preis,
besonders die Dinge,
die nichts kosten.

Art van Rheyn

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Zeiss-Chef Michael Kaschke über China: „Wie Chinesen an Probleme herangehen, ist für einen deutschen Ingenieur oft unorthodox“


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besonders die Dinge,
die nichts kosten.

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Liftbauer Doppelmayr: Wie ein Seilbahnbauer vom Bodensee China eroberte


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besonders die Dinge,
die nichts kosten.

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U.S. Government Still Uses Suspect Chinese Cameras

Thousands of Chinese-made surveillance cameras remain in use at U.S. military installations and other government sites after purchases of such devices were banned, highlighting the hurdles in replacing costly equipment to address national-security concerns.

More than 2,700 of the banned cameras are in operation across the federal government today, according to data from Forescout, a security-technology company that detects equipment on networks under contract with the federal government. The total is likely higher because…

Source: WSJ.com: WSJD
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Do You Work With a Narcissist? Here’s How to Tell in 5 Minutes

It only takes five minutes for narcissists to reveal themselves in the office.

As you may already know, the classic definition of a narcissist has fallen out of favor in recent years. Over the last decade or so, I’ve seen an evolving view of the condition where someone is not just overly self-preoccupied. It’s also more than excessive self-interest. 

There’s a little more to it these days, especially in an age when we’re all staring at our phones and constantly checking our social media feeds.

The best way to tell is not when you see self-interest but a decided and angry opposition to anything related to your interests. 

Fortunately, the actual condition of narcissism is not that hard to identify.

My view is that the office narcissist is the opposite of someone who shows empathy, and the way to tell in five minutes is not just when someone shows disinterest in your life or when someone checks their phone a lot. That’s called selfishness, and it’s becoming more and more common. Narcissism is more troubling in an office because it creates toxic behavior. Here’s an example of how this works.

In a typical conversation, you might discuss a project with someone and find that a coworker is a bit self-occupied, maybe even to a worrying extent. That’s not a great way to work because in the modern office a well-functioning team has to be more about empathy and watching out for the work of others. You have to break out of the cycle of personal success and each person has to be willing to share the credit.

However, there’s a totally different level of self-interest.

In the same five minute conversations, if a coworker gets irritated or mad, or even suddenly changes the subject, it’s possible you’re dealing with a narcissist. A better definition of the term is to evaluate whether a coworker becomes irritated. Selfishness is a thought process that says “it’s all about me” but narcissism takes that a step further and says “it’s all about me and it’s definitely not about you” to the degree that narcissism creates conflict.

It’s self-interest combined with a lack of empathy with an extra dose of irritation. Self-interest takes root below the surface and may never grow beyond that; narcissism is more like a virus that is not content with mere selfishness, and it will infect and impact everyone in the office. It tends to cause people to stew and ruminate on how they are not getting enough credit and also how someone else is getting credit

If the condition was only about not getting credit, the damage would be less severe. In an office, watch for the signs of aggression about others receiving credit or recognition during even simple conversations. The reason this only takes five minutes is that it can’t be contained. Full-blown narcissism is not easy to control or simply turn off like a light switch. 

It has to become part of the conversation and it’s never, ever subtle.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

Source: Inc.com
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Women Fired for Not Returning from FMLA; Wins a Lawsuit for Unlawful Termination. Here’s Why

That may seem reasonable–companies aren’t obligated to hold your job forever, and the US requires only 12 weeks of unpaid time off–if you qualify for FMLA. So, why did Boston University lose a lawsuit?

The baby blues generally clears up on its own in a couple of weeks, but PPD can last for months or longer and should be treated by competent medical professionals. And like other mental health problems, PPD can be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

ADA requires that you provide employees with reasonable accommodations. That can include additional time off. A jury found that Boston University did not follow the interactive process and come to a reasonable accommodation for Alves and awarded her $144,000 in back pay and emotional distress. 

How can you help an employee with PPD?

With 10 percent of women suffering from PPD after giving birth, you’ll probably have an affected employee sooner or later. See Her Thrive is a UK based organization that focuses on women’s health in the office. Director and business psychologist Clare-Louise Knox spoke with me about what businesses can do.

First, Knox said, HR and managers need to recognize that this is possible, and policies should be in place before someone needs it. Secondly, a similar affliction called post-natal depression can affect men as well, so it’s not just a female problem.

But, most importantly, Knox says, companies should work with women returning to work and recognize that “women can experience a significant drop in self-esteem after having a baby which makes returning to work stressful for some.” Women in the US, who work for companies with 15 or more employees are eligible for ADA protections if they suffer from PPD, and you can help with that transition.

Does ADA require unlimited time off?

The short answer is no. It requires a reasonable accommodation–not that you hold a job for years and years. What is reasonable will vary from organization to organization and position. However, you should look for a reason to say yes to an employee who needs help.

In other words, you can work with your employees and perhaps provide a part-time or flexible schedule, or change some of their job requirements to help with the return to work. The accommodation needs to be reasonable–you don’t have to make a new job or displace other employees. But, if it’s reasonable to do so, work with the returning employee.
The critical thing here is that you work with your employees to come to a solution. At some point, it can be unreasonable to continue to hold a job or to provide a reduced workload. But, that is hardly ever the case when an employee should be returning from FMLA or other maternity leave.

Firing too quickly can result in a lawsuit and a big payout, as Boston University found out. Instead, be compassionate and follow the law. It’s cheaper and better for your organization.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

Source: Inc.com
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Make Your Binge-Watching Productive with Access to 2,000+ Documentaries

If you’re like most people, your evening unwinding time turns into a multiple-hour TV binge. Sure, there are a lot of great shows on today, but when you’re watching re-runs of Friends or The Office for the sixth time, it may be time to reevaluate how you’re using that time before sleep. If picking up a book feels a little too ambitious, consider CuriosityStream, the award-winning streaming service that’s explicitly devoted to documentaries.

Launched by Discovery Communications founder John Hendricks, CuriosityStream works just like Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming service you already use. You get unlimited access via web browser, mobile app, TV, or tablet to a library of more than 2,000 documentaries and shows. Their library has content you’re familiar with as well as originals never seen on any other platform from the likes of Stephen Hawking and David Attenborough. As you watch, CuriosityStream learns your preferences and delivers personalized recommendations so you can learn more about the subjects that interest you or delve into new worlds and interests. If you’re not sure where to start, you can also browse curated lists from the CuriosityStream team.

Learn something new in your downtime. Right now, you can sign up for yearly plans to CuriosityStream and avoid the monthly payments. Get a 2-year subscription for 25 percent off $40 at just $29.99, or a 3-year subscription for 25 percent off $60 at just $45.

Source: Entrepreneur
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