MogulGrind is all about entrepreneurship but sometimes you need to keep your day job while you’re building your empire. If you have to work a 9 to 5 you might as well enjoy it, and be compensated well. With that said check out Glassdoor’s recent ranking of America’s top jobs for 2017. Glassdoor used three factors in the rankings: Average annual salary, an overall job-satisfaction rating, and the number of job openings available for that particular occupation.
Interesting to note, that 7 of the top 11 jobs are tech related. Get your math and science skills up kids!
Just before the software developer AppDynamics was set to launch their Initial Public Offering Cisco puts the kibosh on things and drops a big bag of cash off. $3.7 billion (cash) is what it took to put an end to all this silly talk of AppDynamics going public.
Cisco appears to really like this company because they’re paying a $1.8 billion premium over AppDynamics’ last private equity valuation of $1.9 billion.
What’s So Special About AppDynamics?
AppDynamics develops software to help companies like eHarmony to Expedia monitor their mobile apps and websites for bugs and fix them before customers are impacted. They help companies save millions of dollars and in return they charge a nice fee for this service. The company was founded in 2008, and according to CNBC in the first 9 months of 2016 they generated $158.4 million. This is a 54% increase over the previous year’s revenue for the same period.
Why Does Cisco Care So Much?
Cisco is becoming the old guy on the block and needs to adapt quickly. Cisco grew in previous decades into the behemoth that it is by providing the big switches and routers needed in computer networking that helped to fuel the growth of the internet. Today, instead of buying big branded hardware, companies are demanding commodity equipment that can be run by less expensive software. This is where AppDynamics fits in. They provide software products that are in high demand and this purchase helps Cisco pivot towards the future.
Check out this story from Forbes Magazine on of how AppDynamic’s founder, Jyoti Bansal, came to America from India to pursue his dream and created a multi-billion dollar software empire.
Jay Z’s music streaming service Tidal and wireless phone service provider Sprint have teamed up. Sprint has acquired a 33% interest in Tidal. The deal gives 45 million Sprint customers access to Tidal along with exclusive content. Sprint’s CEO, Marcelo Claure now has a seat on Tidal’s Board of Directors. According to Billboard, Sprint paid approximately $200 million for their stake.
“It Wasn’t All Good Just a Week Ago”
Accounts of Tidal’s struggles permeated the industry. The company reportedly lost $28 million last year. This signals a major turn of events. Jay-Z purchased Tidal for $56 million and in 2 short years they’ve received an infusion of $200 million. Quite the power move. Well played sir. Maybe he does have the keys…
Enough spectating from the sidelines, what are your next business moves? Hit me on the Gram and let me know.
Tristan Walker is a 32 year old African-American who founded one of the hottest startups to come out of Silicon Valley. Let’s take a look at his path to launching a successful health and beauty empire.
Tristan grew up in Queens, NY graduated from The State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2005. After a few years working as an Energy Trader first for Lehman Brothers then J.P. Morgan, he enrolled in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business where he graduated in 2010.
It was in grad school at the age of 24 where his eyes were opened to another world of possibilities.
“I was 24 and I said, ‘Damn, there are other 24-year-olds not only making millions of dollars, but fundamentally changing the world. I need to be a part of this.’”
While in grad school he interned with Twitter and the Boston Consulting Group in 2009. Upon graduating, Tristan landed a gig with the then hot startup Foursquare as Director of Business Development from 2009-2012. In 2012 he co-founded Code2040, an org that helps gifted minority undergraduate students find internships at the top technology companies. He learned the venture capital game by spending a year working at Andreesen Horowitz (2012-2013) as “Entrepreneur In Residence.” In 2013 Tristan stepped out on his own and launched Walker & Co. the firm that created the hugely successful Bevel brand.
Walker & Co. has raised over $33 million from investors such as his former employer Andreesen Horowitz and rapper Nas’ VC firm Queenbridge Venture. In three years Walker & Co. has successfully established its Bevel branded products which include a specially designed shaving system geared toward men of color. The company has developed strategic partnerships with Target and Amazon and has increased total sales by 5% per week since February of 2016! In 2017 Walker & Co. are planning to launch a brand geared towards women.
Education Is Key
Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
Education is key! It opened up a tremendous amount of opportunities for Tristan. His undergrad degree lead to a job on Wall Street, which lead to attending grad school in Silicon Valley, which lead to working at a venture capital firm that ultimately financed his startup. He took calculated risks which lead to the launch of Walker & Co. and it paid off. The rest as they say is history.
The U.S. Labor Department has sued Oracle America Inc. Apparently the tech giant has “allegedly” systematically paid white, male employees at their Redwood Shores, California headquarters more than female and non-white workers with the same job titles and experience. Interestingly the complaint also notes that Oracle’s hiring practices favored Asian applicants, most notably Indian people.
The complaint goes on to indicate that Oracle has been uncooperative in the investigation, which started in 2014. Oracle apparently refused to provide requested information about its hiring practices to investigators.
3 Sides To A Story
There’s always 3 sides to a story, your side, my side and the truth… Here’s what Oracle’s spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger had to say:
The claims were baseless and “politically motivated,” and that the company bases employment decisions on experience and merit.”Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer…”
Be Like Spike
Well there ya have it! Of course Oracle is innocent until proven otherwise. Experience has shown it’s best to acknowledge a discovery (you may not have realized a pattern developed), take corrective action and keep moving. No person or organization is perfect, we must all strive to continually improve. In the meantime “Do The Right Thing” like a Spike Lee joint.
First a wave of jobs were lost to globalization and now the experts are saying automation is the next big wave… The robots are taking over! That just means we have to adapt and develop new skills to remain relevant. It’s no biggie.
Panasonic recently announced they’re delivery robot, HOSPI has reported for work helping guests at the Crown Plaza Ana Narita Hotel in Japan. The robot is serving bottled water and announces the bus schedule for guests. After it’s stint at the hotel, Hospi is scheduled to begin serving guests at the Narita International Airport (Tokyo’s main international airport). There, HOSPI will be bussing tables, collecting used dishes in the airport lounge.
HOSPI is fully autonomous, meaning it doesn’t require a human to operate him/her/it.
With all of the recent advances in artificial intelligence it’s only a matter of time before HOSPI starts thinking for itself and then tries to take over the human race! Just kidding, but hmmm….
American Apparel is that cool clothing company with the edgy, sexy ads, founded by the controversial Dov Charney. The company built its brand on the fact that their clothes were manufactured in the United States, far away from repressive overseas sweatshops. Gildan Activewear, a Canadian clothing wholesaler recently won American Apparel in a bankruptcy auction for $88m.
So What’s The Plan?
Gildan intends to stick to it’s wholesaling roots and steer clear of the costly retail outlets that American Apparel currently operates. They’ve indicated that American Apparel’s retail and online operations have 100 days and then it’s caput (shutdown)… Gildan also plans to shut down American’s Los Angeles based factories and distribution centers. The idea is to consolidate the back end operations of the two companies. This is a little concerning for the American Apparel brand since Gildan has been accused of exploiting its workers overseas.
Let’s Get This Straight
“American” Apparel is really Canadian Apparel, and the sweatshop free brand is now run by a company accused of exploiting its overseas factory workers? The PR and Marketing folks are going to have their work cut out for them, ehh.
No not Google silly, Yahoo is changing its name. As Verizon nears the completion of it’s purchase of Yahoo’s main internet properties, they’re making some major adjustments. One of those adjustments is changing the name from Yahoo to Altaba. The new name appears to be a derivative of Yahoo’s most successful asset Alibaba. Yahoo invested in the company early on. This investment proved to be very lucrative for Yahoo as Alibaba went on to claim the title of largest US-listed IPO in history at $25 Billion.
Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer is also “stepping down” from her position on the board of directors of Yahoo.
It’s the end of an era. Remember when Yahoo was the Google of it’s day?
Russia has demanded that Apple and Google remove LinkedIn from their app stores in Russia. This comes after Russia blocked the LinkedIn website because the network does not “store data on Russian citizens within the nation’s borders,” according to a recent New York Times article.
Apparently Russia wants to keep tabs on those using the service and presumably would like to have easy access to said records. LinkedIn has refused to comply and hence the banishment. Hmmm “I see, said the blind man.” Interesting.
Reminds me of those Seinfeld episodes… Sorry Russia, Putin has spoken: “No LinkedIn soup for you!”
Venerable actor Robert De Niro who’s starred in such classics as The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Casino, just to name a few, is also a pretty good business man as well.
He’s co-founder of the popular chain of sushi restaurants called Nobu, which can be found in over 30 locations in major cities across the globe, including New York, Tokyo and Moscow. One day De Niro was dining in a restaurant in Beverly Hills called Matsuhisa, he loved the food so much he asked the chef, who happened to be the owner, to partner with him in opening a restaurant in New York. Eventually chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, agreed and in 1994, the two opened “Nobu New York”. The rest as they say is history.
De Niro also owns several Italian restaurants, including Locanda Verde and AGO. In addition to his restaurants, De Niro co-created a new vodka brand, VDKA 6100, and most recently he’s announced plans to open a boutique hotel in London . Robert has developed a repeatable blueprint for each of his ventures. In each of them he partnered with expert co-founders in the respective endeavors.
The Key Takeaways
Save! Save! Save! – Get your fetty/guap/paper/bread/money (or whatever they call it these days) up. Save your money and invest it wisely so you’ll have resources available to take advantage of the right opportunities when they are presented.
Develop A Skill – Develop a skill or expertise that’s in demand. In the case of chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, he may not have had the resources to develop a new restaurant but he had the skillset of a chef who spent years honing his craft. When the opportunity presented itself his skills put him in a position to partner with De Niro and create a successful restaurant chain.
Partner With Experts – Partner with experts when entering a business venture. De Niro may know acting and good food but he knew squat about the restaurant business. Partnering with an expert shortened the learning curve saving him time and most importantly cold hard cash. (Believe me, I owned a frozen yogurt shop for a few years before selling it. Initially I didn’t know a thing about the business and could have benefitted greatly by partnering with an expert. We live and we learn.)
Over the past couple of months the big banks (Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.) have begun offering credit lines to lenders that specialize in house flipping (investor buys a property, makes updates then quickly resells it). The amount of loans outstanding for house flippers neared $48 billion in 2016. That’s the highest since 2006, the peak of the housing bubble. Through the 3rd quarter of 2016 the number of home flippers hit it’s highest level since 2007. House flipping deals tend to typically be done with cash, however in 2016 one third of the deals were made with debt. That’s the highest in over 8 years!
Low Doc Loans Making a Comeback?
Home prices nationwide are the highest they’ve been since the 2008 crash. Some borrowers have reported that they’ve been offered loans that exceed the value of their homes. Others have reported that lenders are relaxing their loan requirements by requiring bank statements but not the standard W-2 tax documents. Additionally more and more people are getting in on the flipping action. Seminars are popping up left and right teaching people how to flip homes and promising boatloads of cash. The average flip nets approx $61k, this is up from $19k at the bottom of the crash in 2009.
If It Walks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck…
Hmmmm I’m not saying a bubble is brewing, but c’mon son, judging from the previews this movie is looking pretty familiar. It might be time to start slowly increasing our cash positions in order to be able to take advantage of opportunities and/or ride out the storm in the event of a downturn. The economy naturally tends to correct itself every 10 or so years and guess when the last recession occurred, 2007.
The second richest man in the world, Warren Buffett added a cool $12 billion to his stacks in 2016, bringing his net worth to $74 billion. That’s a 20% increase over last year. Bill Gates still owns the title of richest man in the universe with a net worth of $84 billion, but the “Oracle of Omaha” is on his heels.
Buffett’s investment company Berkshire Hathaway recently released its results for the year and here’s some of Warren’s top performing investments for the 4th quarter of 2016.
United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) up 46%
American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) up 34%
Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) up 32%
Delta up 27%
Arca Airline Index (XX:XAL) up 27%
Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) up 23%
Goldman Sachs & Co. (GS) up 49%
M&T Bank Corp.(MTB) up 36%
U.S. Bancorp(USB) up 22%
American Express Co. (AXP) up 16%
Media and Food
Charter Communications(CHTR) up 44% on the year.
Kraft Heinz Co.(KHC) up 21%.
How’d The S&P 500 Do?
The S&P 500 (SPX) was up a scant 4.2% during the same period (last 3 months).
They don’t call him the world’s greatest investor for nothing. Mighty impressive sir!
Ice Cube has announced he will be launching a traveling basketball league for retired NBA players, called the Big 3 league. It’s set to launch this summer after the NBA playoffs. Former Heat player and deputy director of the National Basketball Players Association, Roger Mason Jr. will be joining Cube and his business partner Jeff Kwatinetz to help run the league.
“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore. A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights. I started to look at three-on-three basketball and wondered, ‘Why isn’t this played on a pro level?’ It’s the most normal form of basketball. And from there it was like, ‘Yo, why don’t we make this happen?’
So far ex-ballers Jermaine O’Neal, Kenyon Martin, Rashard Lewis and Jason Williams have signed on to play in the league and Gary Payton will be a coach.
Smooth move Cube! This could be something “bigly.” It fills that void when there’s nothing much going on between the NBA finals and the start of the NFL football season. Will the Big 3 League prove to just be a passing novelty or something more permanent? Either way you gotta admire Cube’s audacity for taking a “shot!” They say you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Kudos Cube! Will you guys and gals be tuning in? Hit me on the Gram.
According to the World Economic Forum, solar and wind energy are now the same price as fossil fuel energy. 10 years ago the average cost for generating a megawatt hour of solar energy was $600. Today the cost is down to $100 per megawatt, the same average price of coal energy. In 2016 renewable energy investments exceeded fossil fuel investments for the first time ever.
Maybe Elon Musk is on to something with merging Tesla & Solar City…. It’s all about renewable energy duh. Stevie can see it’s the next wave, along with autonomous vehicles, virtual reality and marijuana. Hmmmm maybe it’s time to consider adding Tesla to the stock portfolio as a spec tech play?