To Survive The Pandemic, Entrepreneurs Might Try Learning From Nature
The field of biomimicry says that businesses can take away crucial lessons by studying how organisms adapt to devastation. To Survive The Pandemic, Entrepreneurs Might Try Learning From Nature
Where can small businesses turn for strategic help during a global pandemic and an economic crisis?
Wildfires, pine cones and armadillos might hold some answers.
Those suggestions come from an interdisciplinary field of study called biomimicry—the idea that we can learn practical lessons by observing and copying processes and strategies found in nature.
The concept—popularized by author Janine Benyus—is well known as it applies to new products, such as adhesives inspired by the sticky feet of the gecko and underwater cameras suggested by the eyes of mantis shrimp.
But the natural world offers so much more than simply ideas for product design. In our research, we explore how nature can offer insight into topics such as keeping up with quickly changing markets, cooperating with peers and fostering resilience—all of which are relevant to organizations, especially to entrepreneurial organizations.
These lessons may be particularly useful during our current crisis. Many of the roughly eight million species on Earth have weathered times of intense disruption, and the strategies they’ve developed to adapt to harsh conditions—and thrive—have been proven effective over countless years.
Here’s a look at five ways organisms respond to periods of extreme adversity and what insights they hold for small businesses.
Strategy 1: Find New Opportunities To Grow
Organisms often respond to upheaval by leveraging opportunities for growth. Take wildfires: As they burn forests to the ground, they can create new habitats like grasslands, where different species flourish. Likewise, when a tornado uproots trees, it allows sunlight to reach the forest floor. Seeds that couldn’t grow before will sprout and thrive in this new habitat.
The business ecosystem is also changing significantly. That means big adjustments for companies, but also opportunities for growth—if companies are willing to move outside their usual niches and think more broadly. In the Great Recession of 2008, restaurants adapted by offering smaller, lower-cost meals, while higher-end retailers emphasized discount options. In the current crisis, some restaurants are emphasizing delivery, food manufacturers are focusing on core products that are most in demand, and therapists are offering online sessions.
Alternatively, small businesses might grow by using existing infrastructure in new ways. For example, a growing list of distilleries are producing hand sanitizer instead of spirits to fill drastic consumer needs.
Strategy 2: Shut Down And Strengthen
Even when some organisms appear to be devastated by a natural disruption, they have systems in place that let them thrive again. Trees such as the shortleaf pine do not have thick bark that can withstand a wildfire and are commonly burned to the ground. Yet their strong roots below the ground quickly rebuild after the fire has passed.
Similarly, entrepreneurs need to remember that they have a strong root system that they have built over the years, even if they don’t realize it. As individuals, they have knowledge and skills, and their companies have a solid base of trained employees and regular customers.
Businesses with money to spare in this crisis should consider investments to preserve those core strengths as much as possible and make it easier for the company to spring back to life once the crisis has passed. That might mean investing in employee training to boost morale and efficiency, or doing volunteer work in their communities to build loyalty. Many larger companies make these kinds of efforts to strengthen their roots, such as offering paid sabbaticals for employees to let them recharge, spur creativity and eventually boost productivity.
It is also important for entrepreneurs to keep their roots in mind if they’re forced to close permanently. They aren’t going to forget what they know because their business closed—they may even end up wiser and more prepared to launch another company. And they won’t lose valuable contacts with skilled workers and the public. There are countless examples of entrepreneurs trying again after launching failed companies, including after economic collapses like the dot-com bubble.
Strategy 3: Take Advantage of Predators
For some organisms, catastrophe is an opportunity to hunt. Tropical birds search for insects fleeing from army-ant swarms, and animals such as bears and raccoons often prey on smaller animals escaping a wildfire.
In the business world, hunting means looking for acquisitions, and small businesses fit the definition of “prey”—not as old, not as experienced and, of course, not as big as a potential acquirer.
Why Not Take Advantage Of That?
During the last economic downturn, big companies took the opportunity to snap up small firms that fit their needs, and they may very well start doing so again. Small businesses that are struggling might consider an exit strategy and position themselves as attractive takeover targets. This involves getting your records in order and figuring out what high-value attributes you can use as selling points, such as a prime location, well-established brand name or market position in a growing industry.
Cashing out and handing your company to somebody else can be a bitter experience. But the reality is that not every business will survive the crisis, and allowing your business to be snagged by a “predator” might be a best-case scenario.
Strategy 4: Look For Leftovers
Crises offer the opportunity a chance to do a form of bargain hunting—scavenging. Various species of beetles fly in large numbers to recently burned trees to take advantage of food, shelter and reproductive sites in the dead tissue. Later on, larger animals such as armadillos will return in search of these very insects for food.
Small-business owners may have similar opportunities right now, such as tapping into skilled workers who have suddenly become unemployed, negotiating more generous terms to get into an ideal space or looking for better prices with suppliers.
Throughout the decades, many small companies have leapt on these kinds of opportunities. When major airlines experienced an economic downturn in 2001, smaller airlines leveraged the opportunity to purchase aircraft at a discount. Likewise, after the dot-com bubble burst, surviving startups grabbed tech employees who had been laid off.
Strategy 5: Launch Something New
Disruption can sometimes be the ideal time for organisms not just to regenerate or seek sustenance—but to reproduce. Lodgepole pine trees have developed hard cones that are glued shut, and to release their seeds, the cones must be exposed to high temperature from a fire. Thus, the timing of tree reproduction is actually dependent on a catastrophic event.
What lesson does that hold for businesses? For individuals or companies nurturing an entrepreneurial idea, a crisis could be the spark they need to take a chance they wouldn’t have taken when jobs or customers were plentiful. In the Great Depression, many small groceries opened in homes or abandoned storefronts, as there were very few jobs available. Individuals were able to start their business by buying a small stock of perishable goods, and lived off the unsold inventory if needed. More recently, Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms emerged during the 2008 recession, in response to the difficulty small businesses had in accessing traditional financing.
Tech Entrepreneurs Form Coalition To Take On Sourcing Coronavirus Supplies
Initiative is part of a broader private-sector response to pandemic to help with masks, gowns and other equipment in short supply.
A pair of tech entrepreneurs has started a coalition including companies and nonprofits to help address a shortage of medical supplies for health-care workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic, an effort that has grown to include companies from Volkswagen AG to health-care distributor Cardinal Health Inc.
The group, calling itself the C19 Coalition, says it has raised $30 million in interest-free loans from wealthy families and foundations to help hospitals buy supplies and has delivered 100 million pieces of protective gear across the U.S. The group says its efforts amount to a small step toward addressing shortages in the U.S. health-care system of critical equipment including masks, swabs and gowns.
The coalition is one of a number of such private-sector initiatives that have sprung up to fight the pandemic, which has millions of Americans sheltering in their homes and has spread economic devastation across the country. The disease has overloaded hospitals in several hot spots around the nation, and caused shortages of critical equipment for those on the front lines.
As part of a national response to the crisis, the U.S. government has said it welcomes the support of the private sector. Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser, has overseen much of the effort, including working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
C19 Coalition has offered to work in concert with the government, noting federal agencies have a better view into where supplies are needed most, but since the group launched in March it has begun distributing medical equipment on its own.
Driving the initiative are Eric Ries, CEO of the San Francisco-based Long-Term Stock Exchange, and Joe Wilson, a partner at MarsBio, a Los Angeles venture-capital firm that invests in biotechnology startups.
The coalition includes Schmidt Futures, former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt’s philanthropic group. The group has donated $200,000 to fund salaries for about a dozen people involved in the project, said people familiar with the matter. A spokeswoman for Mr. Schmidt said his group has also been involved in other Covid-19 response efforts.
Among the coalition’s members, Volkswagen is helping produce face masks and isolation gowns, a company spokesperson said, and is now producing more than 1 million masks per week. Some of those supplies have been donated to New York hospitals, the spokesperson said. HP Inc., meanwhile, is producing medical supplies with 3D printing, and has donated the supplies to hospitals throughout the U.S., a company spokesperson said. Nonprofit Helena created a software system providing real-time data of where supplies are needed, Helena executives said.
The $30 million financing program is intended “to temporarily cover costs that come with purchasing [personal protective equipment] in bulk at a discounted price,” said tech entrepreneur Peter Pham, one of the coalition’s leaders. He said the program would pass on savings to states, hospitals, retirement homes, community clinics, homeless shelters and hospices.
Technology entrepreneurs have tackled the coronavirus in other ways. Salesforce.com Inc. Chief Executive Marc Benioff is involved in an effort that has spent more than $25 million to acquire supplies from China, a Salesforce spokeswoman said. Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook has donated supplies to hospitals. Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey pledged $1 billion in Covid-19 relief efforts.
Mr. Ries said the group was conceived as an umbrella organization for federal as well as state governments, supplanting the many individual groups looking to help. The group said it has engaged with state governments including New Jersey in order to assess needs. Representatives for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy didn’t comment.
Companies involved in responding to Covid-19 would prefer the government tell them where to direct supplies, Mr. Ries said.
“If you’re a private company, you don’t want to make that decision,” he said. “They don’t want the liability.”
Messrs. Ries and Wilson are both California-based, but they live hundreds of miles apart and haven’t met in person. They first connected last month in a WhatsApp chat group of concerned tech workers looking to help the pandemic response.
“I’ve probably spent hundreds of hours talking to Eric at this point,” Mr. Wilson said.
Husband-Wife Team Worth $12 Billion After Latest Canva Funding Round
Melanie Perkins’s and Cliff Obrecht’s Australian startup Canva is valued at $40 billion.
It all began with millennial angst at user-unfriendly software.
While teaching design programs part-time in 2008 when she was at university in Perth, Australia, Melanie Perkins grew frustrated with the clunky desktop-based tools she was helping her students understand.
“Facebook was taking off at the time — people could jump in and use that so easily and yet design tools took years of training to learn,” Perkins recalled in a Medium post in 2018. “I wanted to make design software simple, online and collaborative.”
It was a winning formula. A funding round last week valued their graphic design company, Canva, at $40 billion. That gave Perkins, 34, and her husband and co-founder Cliff Obrecht, 35, a fortune of $5.9 billion each, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The latest funding round makes the Sydney-based firm the fifth-largest startup in the world, according to data from research firm CB Insights, and Perkins the richest self-made female billionaire under the age of 40. Among Canva’s investors are Franklin Templeton and Sequoia Capital Global Equities.
Perkins and Obrecht, who married earlier this year, said in an interview this week that they aren’t slowing down. “We want to build one of the world’s most valuable companies,” said Perkins, who is chief executive officer. “We’re moving in the right direction, but we’re not there yet.’’
Canva users have created more than 7 billion designs, but Perkins wants it to become ubiquitous. That includes ultimately replacing PDF resumes with responsive web-based tools.
She and Obrecht own at least 30% of the company, Perkins disclosed in a Medium post that accompanied news of the company’s valuation. A former Google employee, Cameron Adams, is also a co-founder, though the size of his stake hasn’t been disclosed.
A Canva spokesperson, Lachlan Andrews, declined to comment.
Canva is popular with bloggers, students and marketers who can select templates and then customize them to make logos, resumes, flyers or even T-shirt designs.
Its tools are used by more than 10 million students and teachers, as well as companies including American Airlines Group Inc., Zoom Video Communications Inc., SkyScanner, Intel Corp., Salesforce.com Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc. and Marriott International Inc., according to Perkins. Canva says that it’s on track to surpass $1 billion in annualized revenue by year-end.
The pair’s new fortune makes them the 9th- and 10th-richest people in Australia, according to the Bloomberg index. While the country’s fortunes have long been linked to commodities industries, Perkins and Obrecht join a group that’s topped by fellow tech founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar of Atlassian, a software-development company.
Perkins also becomes Australia’s second-richest woman after Gina Rinehart, 67, who has a net worth of $17.9 billion derived largely from an iron-ore business.
In her latest Medium post, Perkins vowed that she and Obrecht would donate the vast majority of their Canva equity. The couple plans to direct its giving through the Canva Foundation, and announced a program with nonprofit GiveDirectly that will distribute $10 million to the poor in Southern Africa.
“It has felt strange when people refer to us as billionaires as it has never felt like our money,” Perkins said in a statement. “We’ve always felt that we’re purely custodians of it. It’s long been our intention to give the wealth away.”
How I Quit And Started a Company: Steve Silberberg, Fitpacking
The owner of an outdoor guiding service traded his computer programming gig to lead excursions 13 weeks a year.
Steve Silberberg is living the backpacker’s dream. He gets paid to take hikers of all fitness levels on one- to two-week trips in some of the most stunning landscapes of the U.S. national parks through his Hull, Massachusetts-based business, Fitpacking. Silberberg, 60, credits his 16-year-old company’s survival to rookie confidence. “I thought, ‘Oh yeah, for sure this is going to be a success. Who wouldn’t want to go backpacking all week?’” Here’s how he made the leap:
Old Job: Programmer. “I was writing code at an investment firm for 17 years. There was a time when I loved programming, but as with most things, it got hard to remain passionate about it.”
‘Ah-ha’ Moment: “I’d just turned 40, and didn’t see myself sitting in a cubicle for the rest of my life. I wondered if there was a way to get out into the wilderness and pursue my true passion. Whenever I backpacked, I’d come back and my clothes fit better and I felt better.”
Transition Time: Three years dreaming, one year transitioning. “My company was very kind to me, and allowed me to work for nine months finishing up projects on a part-time basis until I went full-time into my venture.”
Financial Trajectory: “It took two to three years before any reasonable amount of funds started coming in.” In the meantime, he took coding jobs in the winter during the off season for hiking in the U.S. “The business didn’t stop just because I had a 9-to-5, so it was like working two jobs.”
Staffing Up: Silberberg took a slow and steady approach to hiring. “It took a few years to get people to participate in a new venture. But the third year I started hiring part-time guides.” He now has 10 guides, plus his “right hand” coworker in Orlando who runs the company during the trips Silberberg is on, as well as part-timers who handle logistics like hotel booking and park permitting.
The Challenge: Wearing all the hats. Silberberg easily launched a website and built databases. “Then came the tricky stuff like marketing and dealing with customers and accounting. While none were completely foreign to me, I noticed that I did not have quite the same acumen.”
New Job vs. Old Job: “I used to sit at a desk in front of a computer all day, and now I sit at a desk in front of a computer all day,” he says with a laugh. “But I just got back from two weeks guiding in Yellowstone, and next month I’ll wake up in the bottom of Grand Canyon.” He guides 13 weeks a year, and is pivoting toward wilderness experiences that might be lost with global warming.
Pro Tip: “Make sure that your heart’s in your company, and that you really like to do it.”
Designers Try Selling Clothes First, Making Them Later
Rebecca Minkoff and other labels test on-demand production, hoping to avoid piles of unsold apparel; ‘That’s what really kills brands’
Some items on fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff’s website, including a $158 Gigi top and $248 Darcy dress, don’t exist.
They are part of a new way of making clothes that attempts to solve a problem bedeviling the fashion industry: Most brands produce too many goods, which leads to heavy discounting to clear unsold items. In addition to hurting the bottom line, the overproduction adds waste as unwanted merchandise ends up in landfills.
Ms. Minkoff doesn’t produce a single item in her eponymous brand’s “sustainably made” collection until a customer orders it, according to chief executive and co-founder Uri Minkoff. The designer, along with about 25 others, is using a system created by Resonance Companies Inc., one of a handful of on-demand manufacturers and technology providers trying to rethink traditional garment production.
The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the shortcomings of the established model, which requires brands to place large orders with overseas factories as much as a year in advance. Retailers were stuck with piles of unsold clothes last year, when stores shut temporarily as consumers sheltered at home—pushing some chains into bankruptcy.
“The industry has to change,” said Lawrence Lenihan, the chairman and co-founder of Resonance, which has raised $45 million since its 2015 launch. “Brands can’t be stuck making decisions 12 months in advance.”
Resonance prints fabric digitally at its factory in the Dominican Republic. The fabric is then cut robotically into pattern pieces, which are sewn by humans at the Dominican site, at a sewing facility Resonance opened in New York City in September or at another New York plant owned by a third party. Those facilities then ship completed garments to customers in packaging specific to each brand.
Every item is stamped with a QR code that shows how much fabric, dye, water and other materials were used in production, the amount of power consumed as well as who made it and where. Shoppers receive their items one to two weeks after placing orders, although shortages of raw materials have caused some delays recently, Mr. Lenihan said.
‘When you eliminate the 999 dresses that you would have had to make to sell one, that is where the profitability comes in.’
— Lawrence Lenihan, co-founder of Resonance Companies
Retailers from Gap Inc. to Kohl’s Corp. have been racing in recent years to shorten lead times to better match supply with demand. But even fast-fashion chains like H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB have at times wound up sitting on piles of unsold goods that dented profits and highlighted the environmental impact of throwaway clothes—so named because many consumers deem them cheap enough to wear only once.
Amazon.com Inc. has held a patent for on-demand apparel manufacturing since 2017. While brands from New Balance to Calvin Klein have used the method to customize sneakers and underwear, only a small portion of apparel and footwear is currently made this way, industry executives said. Peerless Clothing International said it plans to use the method for its Hart Schaffner Marx menswear brand starting in October.
Large brands would have to fundamentally change how they design to produce items one at a time, and the standards necessary for making products at scale this way don’t yet exist, some of the executives said. Unlike automobile production, which is mostly automated, apparel manufacturing still requires humans to sew clothes, adding a layer of cost and slowing the process, they said.
Mr. Lenihan said that Resonance’s system is scalable and that the company is looking to automate more of the manufacturing steps.
‘We aren’t mired by all this inventory that would put us out of business if we didn’t sell it.’
— Fashion designer Robert Tagliapietra, about on-demand production
Designers Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra were a hit when they launched their Costello Tagliapietra brand in 2005. Vogue nicknamed them the “lumberjacks of fashion” for their penchant for wearing plaid shirts, and their jersey dresses were sold in upscale stores like Barneys New York.
“We did all the right things, but we were always treading water,” Mr. Tagliapietra said. They closed Costello Tagliapietra in 2015 and a year later launched JCRT, which sells shirts, trousers, coats and other clothes. Resonance owns 50% of the brand, as well as stakes in other brands that use its system, including Kit and Tucker.
“We aren’t mired by all this inventory that would put us out of business if we didn’t sell it,” Mr. Tagliapietra said. “That’s what really kills brands.”
JCRT is on track to have about $2 million in revenue this year, less than the $8 million Costello Tagliapietra had at its peak. But JCRT is more profitable, the designers said. It has only two employees, Messrs. Costello and Tagliapietra, compared with 15 at their earlier company. Plus, markdowns don’t eat into margins.
“We never go on sale, because we never have excess inventory to clear out,” Mr. Tagliapietra said.
Another benefit of the on-demand model is that it gives brands the option of making some goods domestically, essentially eliminating the time-consuming and expensive effort of shipping goods from overseas factories. That is more appealing now, with skyrocketing shipping costs and backlogged ports.
Ziel Inc. PBC, an on-demand manufacturer of activewear, has a facility in Newburgh, N.Y., that makes items for Everlast Worldwide Inc., Dia & Co and other brands. Gooten, another on-demand player, makes 70% of its orders in the U.S. at 23 factories, from New Jersey to Oregon.
The cost of manufacturing domestically can run multiples of the cost of Asian production. But brands save on shipping and warehousing, while earning more on each sale, because they don’t have to slash prices to clear excess inventory, some of the executives said. As a result, the prices the brands charge consumers are similar to those of goods made the typical way, the executives said.
“By producing on-demand, we are getting equal if not greater margins because we don’t have to discount,” Mr. Minkoff said.
On-demand production doesn’t require minimum-order guarantees, a standard practice at large factories overseas. Even for big brands that can afford the minimums, the system is imperfect because it produces a set number of sizes for every batch. That leaves brands with too many sizes they can’t sell—for instance, too many extra-smalls or extra-larges and not enough mediums, according to industry executives.
“When you eliminate the 999 dresses that you would have had to make to sell one, that is where the profitability comes in,” Mr. Lenihan said.
Hoping To Use Your IRA To Start Your Own Business? Think Again, Says New Bill
If you were thinking of starting a business with money from your individual retirement account, you might want to put that idea on hold for a moment.
Ditto if you were thinking of using tax-deferred retirement accounts to invest in a startup run by a friend or a member of your family.
The new tax bill on Capitol Hill is planning to ban those moves. Worse still, it will effectively act retroactively — so if you’ve made such investments before it becomes law, you’ll have two years either to sell them, or remove them from your IRA.
Selling could involve a loss. Getting them out of your IRA will hit you with taxes.
The bill is currently being considered by the Senate. It is expected to become law, in some form, within weeks.
Under the current proposals, no one will be allowed to invest their IRA money in any company where they are an officer, or own 10% or more of the stock—which would make it very hard indeed to invest in your own business, or one being started by a friend or family member.
(The new law will also bar so-called “accredited investors” from using IRA money for investments in private placements and higher risk ventures. So you won’t be able to tap third party “angel” investors through private placements either.)
These investments have previously been possible so long as you ran a so-called “Self-Directed IRA,” which allows you to invest your retirement savings in assets other than stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
The new proposals come after revelations earlier this summer that PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel was able to accumulate a $5 billion IRA over almost 25 years through some controversial tax maneuvers and a big slice of luck.
Steve Rosenthal, tax expert at the liberal Urban Institute and one of the leading proponents of the change, explains the rationale for the new proposals. “Too many tax expenditures [i.e. tax breaks] go to the richest, whitest households, [and] reward those who don’t need rewarding,” he says.
But the law doesn’t just crack down on the super rich, says Adam Bergman, CEO of self-directed IRA provider IRA Financial.
“I just spoke to someone earlier today,” he tells me. “He lives in Connecticut, he has a good job, he has $100,000-something in his IRA and he was going to make it into a small business that his friend is the CEO of in California, with 45 employees, and he calls me up and he says Adam, I’ve read this bill. Should I do it? Because if I make this investment today, and this bill passes, now I have two years to get rid of this investment.”
Bergman notes that mega-IRAs are already being limited through a separate clause of the same tax bill, which would cap tax-deferred retirement accounts at $10 million. (Very few people in America have IRA balances over $25 million. Meanwhile, Bergman says, “Ninety-nine percent of our clients have less than $1 million.” The average balance, he says, is $125,000.)
Tax expert Marcia Wagner of the Wagner Law Group in Boston finds the proposals surprising. “It is not entirely clear why this particular provision was included in the House Ways and Means Committee markup,” she says.
“There are a number of provisions that are directed at very wealthy individuals with very significant amounts in their IRAs, but this proposal will affect a different category of individuals — perhaps upper-middle class.” She adds: “The category of individuals who qualify as accredited investors is not an uber-rich category.”
(Legally an “accredited investor” must make $200,000 a year as an individual or $300,000 as a couple, or have $1 million in assets, or qualify as a financial expert.)
It’s too soon to know whether these provisions will end up as law.
On the other hand, for ordinary Joes and Joannas hoping to start their own businesses there may be a silver lining to these provisions as they currently stand.
If you use your IRA to finance your business, and the business fails, you’ll lose the money.
But if you use credit cards or bank debt to finance your business instead, if the business fails your IRA money is safe. That’s because IRAs and 401(k)s are sheltered from creditors, even in bankruptcy, under federal law.
How I Quit My Job and Started a Company: Lisa Lane, Rinseroo
Seven takeaways from an entrepreneur seeking a better way to hose off the dog.
When Lisa Lane introduced a portable slip-on faucet extender in 2019 called the Rinseroo—it fits sink or tub faucets and helps with tasks like hosing down your dog—she expected a gradual climb to profitability on the sluggish trajectory shared by most small businesses.
Six months later the 56-year-old veteran of medical marketing positions was turning a profit from her New Jersey home.
Sounds like a quick success—but getting it right isn’t easy, so here are a few useful lessons Lane picked up along the way.
Her Aha! Moment: “I was at a beach house with 15 of my extended family members and four dogs, constantly rinsing sand off people and cleaning dogs and filling this bucket over and over. I thought that there must be a better way and that it would be useful to anyone with a shower. So, mass-market potential.”
Transition Time: Getting everything right took two years. “I didn’t jump ship until I had a product in hand and was ready to launch,” Lane says. She logged long evenings and weekends researching how to craft effective Amazon listings and develop the product. “I learned everything I really needed to know from The Mom Inventor’s Handbook,” she says.
Financial Trajectory: “Thankfully, my husband was also working, and my product was not very intricate, so I was able to fund it all with my own hard-earned dollars. I was willing to risk that.”
How It Went: Exceedingly well. Rinseroo swiftly ranked on Amazon, then was picked up in a BuzzFeed article. Rinseroo now sells on Amazon, Chewy.com, and Walmart.com, and Lane expects sales to hit $2 million this year. She hired her son full time to handle the tasks she enjoys less, such as e-commerce and logistics. “I’m terrible with unloading trucks,” Lane says.
The Challenge: Knockoffs. “We had a lot of infringers—they would literally copy our exact listing and use the images of me and my dog,” she says. An even bigger problem was that the copycats’ quality was inferior, so Rinseroo started getting bad reviews. The solution was to hire a company called Red Points to chase down the scammers. “They took down 6,000 infringers in one year,” she says.
New Job vs. Old Job: “This is more fun. I’m able to be creative every day, and I just love finding new ways to sell.”
Pro Tip: “If you have a product idea, first look at what’s already out there and then come up with improvements. Create a better mousetrap that will dominate the market.”
Six Apps To Help Small-Business Owners Build Their Brands Online
Social media can be a time suck. These tools make it easier to boost your company’s presence across platforms.
When last year’s lockdowns spurred small businesses to close up shop, many shifted online. While that helped them find more customers and weather the pandemic, it also introduced a new challenge: managing a digital presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Turns out there are myriad apps aimed at simplifying tasks such as scheduling posts, analyzing engagement, and tracking purchases. We talked to digital business advisers about their favorite tools for social media management. Here are their top picks:
The app lets you create and schedule posts across networks, monitor what people are saying, and analyze why your content works—or doesn’t. Hootsuite is “a very smart shortcut and time saver,” says Alisa Cohn, a coach for startups and chief executive officers. $49 a month for one user, up to $599 a month for a companywide license
For business owners in need of content creation and engagement monitoring, but without the budget for specialized staff, Ripl can keep costs down. The company offers templates for brand promotion on social media and allows you to schedule posts and track how users engage with your content. $15 a month or $120 a year
This platform allows users to set up tweets and Facebook updates from any device or browser, and an extension called Pablo offers a quick way to create images and graphics for social media, making it a good fit for businesses without a lot of resources to devote to social media. “The free option can be a great way for the most budget-strapped small businesses to start out,” says Vicky Wu, CEO of Vicky Wu Marketing. Free, with add-ons from $5 a month
Lets users schedule posts across platforms, coordinate and code campaigns for future reference, and monitor what competitors are up to on social media. The tool “provides detailed metric reports on performance and engagements that can be compared across specific ranges of dates/times,” says Brooklyn Holt, a marketing specialist with Rice University’s Doerr Institute. $99 to $279 a month per user
Helps you schedule posts, analyze performance, and discover and share content that’s trending online. Integration with Facebook Ads can make SocialPilot stand out from peers if you’re running ad campaigns. $30/month for a basic plan, up to $150 per month for additional user access and services
This tool pairs influencers with businesses to help brands better target customers. “You can get massive word-of-mouth traffic,” says Cohn, the startup coach. “And if you tap into influencers who have diverse networks, you can reach a lot more people.” Pricing dependent on the influencer
How The Founders Of A Famed But Failed Ice Cream Chain Plotted Their Return
A year after selling and exiting their Ample Hills business, Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna decided to give another ice cream shop a go.
When Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna opened their first Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn in 2011, they sold out of ice cream in four days. Ample Hills flavors mix in peppermint patties, cakes and cookies and more — it’s almost a pure expression of childhood id. The company grew slowly at first, but then Bob Iger, then chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, ordered some pints and fell in love.
He shared the ice cream with friends; enthralled celebrity endorsements soon followed, as did the prospect of mass-distributed Disney-themed ice creams and scoop shops, including at Walt Disney World. That required an ice cream factory and money. By 2018, Ample Hills had brought in $17 million in equity financing.
The possibilities quickly overwhelmed the small company. Smith and Cuscuna had little business or technical expertise to guide them and no sense of how much money they were spending — until it was about to run out. Ample Hills filed for bankruptcy in March 2020, the day before Covid-19 shut New York City down.
Eventually, the company sold for just $1 million to a West Coast precision machinery manufacturer. Smith and Cuscuna concluded that their future lay elsewhere.
So the couple did the only thing they could do: they started another ice cream parlor, a few blocks away from the original Ample Hills. The Social opened on July 25 with a distinct Seventies vibe. Smith sat down in The Social’s party room one August afternoon to talk about the experience, which included a turn through personal bankruptcy to get free of the guarantee on a $3.5 million company loan.
“People like second chances,” he said, “but there aren’t a lot of stories about third chances.” Cuscuna sat a few tables away hunched over a laptop with an employee. She joined Smith for part of the interview, which has been edited and condensed.
How Did You Go About Building The Social From The Ashes Of Bankruptcy?
Smith: We went in fits and starts down a couple of different paths trying to cobble together enough money to open up a small footprint, just to get back out and do something. But then we decided, ‘let’s build the perfect idea and see if we can find somebody who’s willing to pay to help us build that.’ And that wasn’t the 500 square-foot space.
It was a space like this, 2,700 square feet with a party room and we can do birthday parties, classes, maybe fondue nights. But we needed a concept to build around it, to give context and meaning to the space, and that was the ice cream social. If we could get all that into a tightly knit narrative and story, we felt we could raise the money.
How Did You Hope To Finance It?
Smith: Originally, we were going to follow what’s called a chef or small restaurant model, in which friends and family invest in a single location, and they’re paid back in full based on the profits of the business. Once they’re paid back, then there’s some split percentage of the profits each year for the life of the business.
It forces one shop to absolutely be profitable, and not be focused at all on growth. And that was totally fine. But to be honest, we hadn’t gotten all the way there. It’s a lot of meetings to get $10,000 from each person.
Venture capitalists frequently talk about betting on the jockey, not the horse. But as Ample Hills’s jockey, you basically took $20 million and turned it into one million dollars. So what’s the pitch?
Smith: I think you’re seeing it through the prism only of the financial guardrails and the money. The intangible part that people are willing to pay for is building a brand. The brand was as strong as ever on the day we filed for bankruptcy. We didn’t fail because people didn’t like the product. I still had a beautiful horse.
We have an investor that is not a traditional venture capitalist. He was a businessman himself, but I think the key is nobody obviously would see what we did and invest in us without making sure that the guardrails were in place.
How Did You Find Your Investor?
Jackie Cuscuna: It was just this random Zoom class on pivoting during the pandemic that a business therapist taught in conjunction with another business educator. And it was free. And I was free. I was doing a lot of introspection about all the things that led us astray and how to make this right.
These two people who taught the class worked with the investor. He, too, went bankrupt, and was able to rebuild a $140 million company. They suggested that I talk to him and just get his advice.
Smith: So we met with him a couple of times before he said, “I don’t think you should do this restaurant model. Why don’t we work together?” I think he really responded to second chances and stories.
Cuscuna: When we met him, we were in a very precarious spot. We knew we had something, but we were also fresh from coming out of a loss that was huge. He was very understanding, empathetic, and I would call him to talk me off the ledge, because he went through it. It’s also nice to have a successful businessperson tell us that this kind of thing can happen, you can bounce back.
How Are You Running The Social Differently?
Smith: We have an outsourced finance team that’s running the reports from the beginning. Before we ever opened, I sat down and went through what my COGS — costs of goods sold — were for the different flavors of ice cream. When we started Ample Hills, we were taking bags of money, uncounted, over to the bank. I didn’t even know the term “COGS” when we opened.
Cuscuna: Same for me for labor costs. That wasn’t something that I was personally involved in. Now, I’m pretty obsessed.
Has Your Approach To Growth Changed?
Smith: Yeah. Our plan is to try to open up a couple more shops, either next year or the year after. We’re going to be much more focused on the brick-and-mortar experience. We were chasing wholesale pint distribution with Disney way too early.
If you’re an ice cream business starting out and trying to grow, pints are the quickest way to the deathbed, because the margins are so low. It only works with really high volume. So we need to establish a strong business in our stores, and eventually have that turn to pints down the road.
Ample Hills’s brand doesn’t seem to have depended on you — lines were around the block at their new shop in Brooklyn. How important is brand identity and how much of it is just that if the ice cream is really good, the rest takes care of itself?
Smith: I do think that for a good portion of people, if the ice cream is really great, then all the rest of it is window dressing. But I don’t think people really know why they respond to something — they’re responding to a whole package whether they know it or not. And we have to get up in the morning and want to go to work. And that’s all wrapped up in a package — it’s not just ice cream.
One Food Delivery Startup’s Cost-Saving Trick? Bulk Meal Orders
In Toronto, ZipLunch’s streamlined process keeps prices down and emissions in check.
ZipLunch couldn’t have launched at a worse time. The startup introduced its food delivery service, targeting Toronto’s downtown corporate lunch crowd, in March 2020—just four days before the city went into pandemic lockdown and its office towers emptied out.
The company quickly adjusted its business model, and less than four months later ZipLunch drivers were bringing meals to white-collar workers at home rather than the office. The pivot let ZipLunch grow while remaining true to its original concept: meals from quality restaurants at reasonable prices and with a minimal carbon footprint.
Founders Majdi Alnabih and Maj Qureshi say meals from ZipLunch are 55% cheaper than similar offerings on other apps, and that the environmental impact of the company’s deliveries is 95% lower. That, they say, is because ZipLunch buys in bulk and passes the savings on to customers.
The company offers limited, curated menus and coordinates drop-offs to minimize travel distances, keeping its costs and emissions down. It doesn’t charge customers a delivery fee, but lunch or dinner orders must be placed before specific cut-off times, and menu items can’t be modified—allowing restaurants to fulfill bulk orders quickly.
Each driver delivers 30 to 50 meals in a particular area, and customers are given a 30-minute delivery window, with a few minutes’ warning so they can meet the driver at the curb. “We’re not an on-demand platform,” says Qureshi, who is head of operations. “If you’re a busy person and you’re a foodie, you like variety. Our platform will work for you.”
Alnabih and Qureshi, who met in high school, set out to improve the food delivery model by fixing problems they’d encountered: high service charges, long wait times, and the dilemma of deciding what to eat.
They wanted to offer an eco-friendly option, particularly for corporate clients looking to reduce their employees’ environmental impact. And they were keen to feature cuisines from a variety of cultures, reflecting Toronto’s diversity.
When Covid-19 restrictions shut down indoor dining and threatened the survival of some of the platform’s 100+ restaurants, ZipLunch temporarily cut its service fee in half, to 10% of the order. Now that dining out is allowed again, the rate is back up to 20%—though that’s still below the industry standard of 25-30%.
Using ZipLunch costs about the same as it would for a restaurant to hire a dedicated driver, but the service is worth it, says Aashwin Jeyakumar, general manager of Ravisoups, a family-owned chain in central Toronto. “ZipLunch is not like other platforms, they’re more personalized,” Jeyakumar says. “I know that the food is being taken care of, especially with soups.”
As employees slowly head back into office towers, Qureshi is seeing business from corporate clients pick up. Qureshi says one of the biggest regrets he has from the past 18 months is not having been aggressive enough. When the company shifted to home deliveries, he says, it could have grabbed more market share by starting out with several neighborhoods rather than just one.
“There were too many unknowns,” Qureshi says, “and we were trying to be cautious.”
ZipLunch is vying with at least four rival delivery platforms in the Toronto area, and industry margins are tight. The company is focused on winning market share, and often discounts menu items below the prices the restaurants charge, absorbing the costs to boost orders. To survive long-term, it’ll have to prove it can become profitable without losing too many customers.
Revenue has been growing an average of 22% month-over-month, and in the first six months of this year was double all of 2020, Qureshi says, putting ZipLunch on track to become profitable toward the end of next year. The founders are seeking more funding to spur growth in Toronto and to eventually expand into other North American cities.
“We are incorporated in both Ontario and Delaware, and while we are primarily targeting venture capitalists in Canada and the United States, we have received significant interest from international investors,” Qureshi says. “We expect ZipLunch to be entering into a new era soon and we are very excited about it.”
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The Ultimate Resource On “PriFi” Or Private Finance
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Miami Mayor Says City Employees Should Be Able To Take Their Salaries In Bitcoin
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Harvard, Yale, Brown Endowments Have Been Buying Bitcoin For At Least A Year
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Ultimate Resource For Leading Non-Profits Focused On Policy Issues Facing Cryptocurrencies
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Pro Traders Buy The Dip As Bulls Address A Trifecta Of FUD News Announcements
Andreas Antonopoulos And Others Debunk Bitcoin Double-Spend FUD
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Voyager Crypto App Review
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Bitcoin Slides Under $35K Despite Biden Unveiling $1.9 Trillion Stimulus
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Ex-Ripple CTO Can’t Remember Password To Access $240M In Bitcoin
Financial Advisers Are Betting On Bitcoin As A Hedge
ECB President Christine Lagarde (French Convict) Says, Bitcoin Enables “Funny Business.”
German Police Shut Down Darknet Marketplace That Traded Bitcoin
Bitcoin Miner That’s Risen 1,400% Says More Regulation Is Needed
Bitcoin Rebounds While Leaving Everyone In Dark On True Worth
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What Crypto Users Need Know About Changes At The SEC
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The Case For And Against Investing In Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s Wild Weekends Turn Efficient Market Theory Inside Out
Mega-Bullish News For Bitcoin As Elon Musk Says, “Pay Me In Bitcoin” And Biden Says, “Ignore Budget Deficits”!
Bitcoin Price Briefly Surpasses Market Cap Of Tencent
Broker Touts Exotic Bitcoin Bet To Squeeze Income From Crypto
Broker Touts Exotic Bitcoin Bet To Squeeze Income From Crypto
Tesla’s Crypto-Friendly CEO Is Now The Richest Man In The World
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Bitcoin’s Bulls Should Fear Its Other Scarcity Problem
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Bitcoin Breaches $34,000 As Rally Extends Into New Year
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Bitcoin Price Quickly Climbs To $31K, Liquidating $100M Of Shorts
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FinCEN Wants US Citizens To Disclose Offshore Crypto Holdings of $10K+
Governments Will Start To Hodl Bitcoin In 2021
Crypto-Linked Stocks Extend Rally That Produced 400% Gains
‘Bitcoin Liquidity Crisis’ — BTC Is Becoming Harder To Buy On Exchanges, Data Shows
Bitcoin Looks To Gain Traction In Payments
BTC Market Cap Now Over Half A Trillion Dollars. Major Weekly Candle Closed!!
Elon Musk And Satoshi Nakamoto Making Millionaires At Record Pace
Binance Enables SegWit Support For Bitcoin Deposits As Adoption Grows
Santoshi Nakamoto Delivers $24.5K Christmas Gift With Another New All-Time High
Bitcoin’s Rally Has Already Outlasted 2017’s Epic Run
Gifting Crypto To Loved Ones This Holiday? Educate Them First
Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Files With SEC To Launch Bitcoin Fund
Samsung Integrates Bitcoin Wallets And Exchange Into Galaxy Phones
HTC Smartphone Will Run A Full Bitcoin Node (#GotBitcoin?)
HTC’s New 5G Router Can Host A Full Bitcoin Node
Bitcoin Miners Are Heating Homes Free of Charge
Bitcoin Miners Will Someday Be Incorporated Into Household Appliances
Musk Inquires About Moving ‘Large Transactions’ To Bitcoin
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Bitcoin Tops $22,000 And Strategists Say Rally Has Further To Go
Why Bitcoin Is Overpriced by More Than 50%
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Andreas M. Antonopoulos And Simon Dixon Say Don’t Buy Bitcoin!
Famous Former Bitcoin Critics Who Conceded In 2020
Jim Cramer Bought Bitcoin While ‘Off Nicely From The Top’ In $17,000S
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WordPress Adds Official Ethereum Ad Plugin
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10 Predictions For 2021: China, Bitcoin, Taxes, Stablecoins And More
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US Gov Is Bitcoin’s Last Remaining Adversary, Says Messari Founder
$1,200 US Stimulus Check Is Now Worth Almost $4,000 If Invested In Bitcoin
German Bank Launches Crypto Fund Covering Portfolio Of Digital Assets
World Governments Agree On Importance Of Crypto Regulation At G-7 Meeting
Why Some Investors Get Bitcoin So Wrong, And What That Says About Its Strengths
It’s Not About Data Ownership, It’s About Data Control, EFF Director Says
‘It Will Send BTC’ — On-Chain Analyst Says Bitcoin Hodlers Are Only Getting Stronger
Bitcoin Arrives On Wall Street: S&P Dow Jones Launching Crypto Indexes In 2021
Audio Streaming Giant Spotify Is Looking Into Crypto Payments
BlackRock (Assets Under Management $7.4 Trillion) CEO: Bitcoin Has Caught Our Attention
Bitcoin Moves $500K Around The Globe Every Second, Says Samson Mow
Pomp Talks Shark Tank’s Kevin O’leary Into Buying ‘A Little More’ Bitcoin
Bitcoin Is The Tulipmania That Refuses To Die
Ultimate Resource On Ethereum 2.0
Biden Should Integrate Bitcoin Into Us Financial System, Says Niall Ferguson
Bitcoin Is Winning The Monetary Revolution
Cash Is Trash, Dump Gold, Buy Bitcoin!
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Bitcoin Fights Back With Power, Speed and Millions of Users
Guggenheim Fund ($295 Billion Assets Under Management) Reserves Right To Put Up To 10% In Bitcoin Trust!
Exchanges Outdo Auctions For Governments Cashing In Criminal Crypto, Says Exec
Coinbase CEO: Trump Administration May ‘Rush Out’ Burdensome Crypto Wallet Rules
Bitcoin Plunges Along With Other Coins Providing For A Major Black Friday Sale Opportunity
The Most Bullish Bitcoin Arguments For Your Thanksgiving Table
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World’s First 24/7 Crypto Call-In Station!!!
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Friendliest Of Them All? These Could Be The Best Countries For Crypto
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First Company-Sponsored Bitcoin Retirement Plans Launched In US
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Ultimate Resource On Mike Novogratz And Galaxy Digital’s Bitcoin News
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China’s UnionPay And Korea’s Danal To Launch Crypto-Supporting Digital Card #GotBitcoin
Bitcoin Is Back Trading Near Three-Year Highs
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Market Is Proving Bitcoin Is ‘Ultimate Safe Haven’ — Anthony Pompliano
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Bitcoin’s Rivalry With Gold Plus Millennial Interest Gives It ‘Considerable’ Upside Potential: JPMorgan
WordPress Content Can Now Be Timestamped On Ethereum
PayPal To Offer Crypto Payments Starting In 2021 (A-Z) (#GotBitcoin?)
As Bitcoin Approaches $13,000 It Breaks Correlation With Equities
Crypto M&A Surges Past 2019 Total As Rest of World Eclipses U.S. (#GotBitcoin?)
How HBCUs Are Prepping Black Students For Blockchain Careers
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Bitcoin Drops To $10,446.83 As CFTC Charges BitMex With Illegally Operating Derivatives Exchange
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Bennie Overton’s Story About Our Corrupt U.S. Judicial, Global Financial Monetary System And Bitcoin
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Mad Money’s Jim Cramer Will Invest 1% Of Net Worth In Bitcoin Says, “Gold Is Dangerous”
State-by-state Licensing For Crypto And Payments Firms In The Us Just Got Much Easier (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin (BTC) Ranks As World 6Th Largest Currency
Pomp Claims He Convinced Jim Cramer To Buy Bitcoin
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Mastercard Releases Platform Enabling Central Banks To Test Digital Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)
Being Black On Wall Street. Top Black Executives Speak Out About Racism (#GotBitcoin?)
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Right-Winger Tucker Carlson Causes Grayscale Investments To Pull Bitcoin Ads
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Cross Chain Is Here: NEO, ONT, Cosmos And NEAR Launch Interoperability Protocols (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto Trading Products Enter The Mainstream With A Number Of Inherent Advantages (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto Goes Mainstream With TV, Newspaper Ads (#GotBitcoin?)
A Guarded Generation: How Millennials View Money And Investing (#GotBitcoin?)
Blockchain-Backed Social Media Brings More Choice For Users
California Moves Forward With Digital Asset Bill (#GotBitcoin?)
Walmart Adds Crypto Cashback Through Shopping Loyalty Platform StormX (#GotBitcoin?)
Congressman Tom Emmer To Lead First-Ever Crypto Town Hall (#GotBitcoin?)
Why It’s Time To Pay Attention To Mexico’s Booming Crypto Market (#GotBitcoin?)
The Assets That Matter Most In Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)
Ultimate Resource On Non-Fungible Tokens
Bitcoin Community Highlights Double-Standard Applied Deutsche Bank Epstein Scandal
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An Israeli Blockchain Startup Claims It’s Invented An ‘Undo’ Button For BTC Transactions
After Years of Resistance, BitPay Adopts SegWit For Cheaper Bitcoin Transactions
US Appeals Court Allows Warrantless Search of Blockchain, Exchange Data
Central Bank Rate Cuts Mean ‘World Has Gone Zimbabwe’
This Researcher Says Bitcoin’s Elliptic Curve Could Have A Secret Backdoor
China Discovers 4% Of Its Reserves Or 83 Tons Of It’s Gold Bars Are Fake (#GotBitcoin?)
Former Legg Mason Star Bill Miller And Bloomberg Are Optimistic About Bitcoin’s Future
Yield Chasers Are Yield Farming In Crypto-Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)
Australia Post Office Now Lets Customers Buy Bitcoin At Over 3,500 Outlets
Anomaly On Bitcoin Sidechain Results In Brief Security Lapse
SEC And DOJ Charges Lobbying Kingpin Jack Abramoff And Associate For Money Laundering
Veteran Commodities Trader Chris Hehmeyer Goes All In On Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)
Activists Document Police Misconduct Using Decentralized Protocol (#GotBitcoin?)
Supposedly, PayPal, Venmo To Roll Out Crypto Buying And Selling (#GotBitcoin?)
Industry Leaders Launch PayID, The Universal ID For Payments (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto Quant Fund Debuts With $23M In Assets, $2.3B In Trades (#GotBitcoin?)
The Queens Politician Who Wants To Give New Yorkers Their Own Crypto
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Trump Orders Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin To Destroy Bitcoin Just Like They Destroyed The Traditional Economy
US Drug Agency Failed To Properly Supervise Agent Who Stole $700,000 In Bitcoin In 2015
Layer 2 Will Make Bitcoin As Easy To Use As The Dollar, Says Kraken CEO
Bootstrapping Mobile Mesh Networks With Bitcoin Lightning
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BitPay’s Prepaid Mastercard Launches In US to Make Crypto Accessible (#GotBitcoin?)
Germany’s Deutsche Borse Exchange To List New Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Product
‘Bitcoin Billionaires’ Movie To Tell Winklevoss Bros’ Crypto Story
US Pentagon Created A War Game To Fight The Establishment With BTC (#GotBitcoin?)
JPMorgan Provides Banking Services To Crypto Exchanges Coinbase And Gemini (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Advocates Cry Foul As US Fed Buying ETFs For The First Time
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Bitcoin Outlives And Outlasts Naysayers And First Website That Declared It Dead Back In 2010
Hedge Fund Pioneer Turns Bullish On Bitcoin Amid ‘Unprecedented’ Monetary Inflation
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Iran Ditches The Rial Amid Hyperinflation As Localbitcoins Seem To Trade Near $35K
Buffett ‘Killed His Reputation’ by Being Stupid About BTC, Says Max Keiser (#GotBitcoin?)
Meltem Demirors: “Bitcoin Is Not A F*Cking Systemic Hedge If You Hold Your Bitcoin At A Financial Institution”
Blockfolio Quietly Patches Years-Old Security Hole That Exposed Source Code (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Won As Store of Value In Coronavirus Crisis — Hedge Fund CEO
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Crypto Exchange Offers Credit Lines so Institutions Can Trade Now, Pay Later (#GotBitcoin?)
Zoom Develops A Cryptocurrency Paywall To Reward Creators Video Conferencing Sessions (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Startup Purse.io And Major Bitcoin Cash Partner To Shut Down After 6-Year Run
Open Interest In CME Bitcoin Futures Rises 70% As Institutions Return To Market
Square’s Users Can Route Stimulus Payments To BTC-Friendly Cash App
$1.1 Billion BTC Transaction For Only $0.68 Demonstrates Bitcoin’s Advantage Over Banks
Bitcoin Could Become Like ‘Prison Cigarettes’ Amid Deepening Financial Crisis
Bitcoin Holds Value As US Debt Reaches An Unfathomable $24 Trillion
How To Get Money (Crypto-currency) To People In An Emergency, Fast
US Intelligence To Study What Would Happen If U.S. Dollar Lost Its Status As World’s Reserve Currency (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Miner Manufacturers Mark Down Prices Ahead of Halving
Privacy-Oriented Browsers Gain Traction (#GotBitcoin?)
‘Breakthrough’ As Lightning Uses Web’s Forgotten Payment Code (#GotBitcoin?)
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Bitcoin Enthusiasts, Liberal Lawmakers Cheer A Fed-Backed Digital Dollar
Crypto-Friendly Bank Revolut Launches In The US (#GotBitcoin?)
The CFTC Just Defined What ‘Actual Delivery’ of Crypto Should Look Like (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto CEO Compares US Dollar To Onecoin Scam As Fed Keeps Printing (#GotBitcoin?)
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Bitcoin, Not Governments Will Save the World After Crisis, Tim Draper Says
Crypto Analyst Accused of Photoshopping Trade Screenshots (#GotBitcoin?)
QE4 Begins: Fed Cuts Rates, Buys $700B In Bonds; Bitcoin Rallies 7.7%
Mike Novogratz And Andreas Antonopoulos On The Bitcoin Crash
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Fatburger And Others Feed $30 Million Into Ethereum For New Bond Offering (#GotBitcoin?)
Pornhub Will Integrate PumaPay Recurring Subscription Crypto Payments (#GotBitcoin?)
Intel SGX Vulnerability Discovered, Cryptocurrency Keys Threatened
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Countries That First Outlawed Crypto But Then Embraced It (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Maintains Gains As Global Equities Slide, US Yield Hits Record Lows
HTC’s New 5G Router Can Host A Full Bitcoin Node
India Supreme Court Lifts RBI Ban On Banks Servicing Crypto Firms (#GotBitcoin?)
Analyst Claims 98% of Mining Rigs Fail to Verify Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)
Blockchain Storage Offers Security, Data Transparency And immutability. Get Over it!
Black Americans & Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)
Coinbase Wallet Now Allows To Send Crypto Through Usernames (#GotBitcoin)
New ‘Simpsons’ Episode Features Jim Parsons Giving A Crypto Explainer For The Masses (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto-currency Founder Met With Warren Buffett For Charity Lunch (#GotBitcoin?)
Witches Love Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s Potential To Benefit The African And African-American Community
Coinbase Becomes Direct Visa Card Issuer With Principal Membership
Bitcoin Achieves Major Milestone With Half A Billion Transactions Confirmed
Jill Carlson, Meltem Demirors Back $3.3M Round For Non-Custodial Settlement Protocol Arwen
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Top Graphics Cards That Will Turn A Crypto Mining Profit (#GotBitcoin?)
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You Can Now Donate Bitcoin Or Fiat To Show Your Support For All Of Our Valuable Content
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Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank Goes Public On New York Stock Exchange (#GotBitcoin?)
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Billionaire Investor Tim Draper: If You’re a Millennial, Buy Bitcoin
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US Deficit Will Be At Least 6 Times Bitcoin Market Cap — Every Year (#GotBitcoin?)
Central Banks Warm To Issuing Digital Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)
Meet The Crypto Angel Investor Running For Congress In Nevada (#GotBitcoin?)
Introducing BTCPay Vault – Use Any Hardware Wallet With BTCPay And Its Full Node (#GotBitcoin?)
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H.R.5635 – Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020 ($200.00 Limit) 116th Congress (2019-2020)
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Former Regulator Known As ‘Crypto Dad’ To Launch Digital-Dollar Think Tank (#GotBitcoin?)
Currency ‘Cold War’ Takes Center Stage At Pre-Davos Crypto Confab (#GotBitcoin?)
A Blockchain-Secured Home Security Camera Won Innovation Awards At CES 2020 Las Vegas
Bitcoin’s Had A Sensational 11 Years (#GotBitcoin?)
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Google Suspends MetaMask From Its Play App Store, Citing “Deceptive Services”
Christmas Shopping: Where To Buy With Crypto This Festive Season
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Coinbase CEO Armstrong Wins Patent For Tech Allowing Users To Email Bitcoin
Bitcoin Has Got Society To Think About The Nature Of Money
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At A Refugee Camp In Iraq, A 16-Year-Old Syrian Is Teaching Crypto Basics
Bitclub Scheme Busted In The US, Promising High Returns From Mining
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Germany: New Proposed Law Would Legalize Banks Holding Bitcoin
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The Ultimate List of Bitcoin Developments And Accomplishments
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Max Keiser: Bitcoin’s ‘Self-Settlement’ Is A Revolution Against Dollar
Blockchain Can And Will Replace The IRS
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Jack Dorsey: You Can Buy A Fraction Of Berkshire Stock Or ‘Stack Sats’
Bitcoin Price Skyrockets $500 In Minutes As Bakkt BTC Contracts Hit Highs
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Unicef To Accept Donations In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Former Prosecutor Asked To “Shut Down Bitcoin” And Is Now Face Of Crypto VC Investing (#GotBitcoin?)
Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ Is Bringing Blockchain To Zurich
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Bitcoin Developer Amir Taaki, “We Can Crash National Economies” (#GotBitcoin?)
Veteran Crypto And Stocks Trader Shares 6 Ways To Invest And Get Rich
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Nearly $10 Billion In BTC Is Held In Wallets Of 8 Crypto Exchanges (#GotBitcoin?)
SEC Enters Settlement Talks With Alleged Fraudulent Firm Veritaseum (#GotBitcoin?)
Blockstream’s Samson Mow: Bitcoin’s Block Size Already ‘Too Big’
Attorneys Seek Bank Of Ireland Execs’ Testimony Against OneCoin Scammer (#GotBitcoin?)
OpenLibra Plans To Launch Permissionless Fork Of Facebook’s Stablecoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Tiny $217 Options Trade On Bitcoin Blockchain Could Be Wall Street’s Death Knell (#GotBitcoin?)
Class Action Accuses Tether And Bitfinex Of Market Manipulation (#GotBitcoin?)
Sharia Goldbugs: How ISIS Created A Currency For World Domination (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Eyes Demand As Hong Kong Protestors Announce Bank Run (#GotBitcoin?)
How To Securely Transfer Crypto To Your Heirs
‘Gold-Backed’ Crypto Token Promoter Karatbars Investigated By Florida Regulators (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto News From The Spanish-Speaking World (#GotBitcoin?)
Financial Services Giant Morningstar To Offer Ratings For Crypto Assets (#GotBitcoin?)
‘Gold-Backed’ Crypto Token Promoter Karatbars Investigated By Florida Regulators (#GotBitcoin?)
The Original Sins Of Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)
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Israeli Startup That Allows Offline Crypto Transactions Secures $4M (#GotBitcoin?)
[PSA] Non-genuine Trezor One Devices Spotted (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Stronger Than Ever But No One Seems To Care: Google Trends (#GotBitcoin?)
First-Ever SEC-Qualified Token Offering In US Raises $23 Million (#GotBitcoin?)
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$2 Billion Lost In Mt. Gox Bitcoin Hack Can Be Recovered, Lawyer Claims (#GotBitcoin?)
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Wesley Snipes Is Launching A Tokenized $25 Million Movie Fund (#GotBitcoin?)
Mystery 94K BTC Transaction Becomes Richest Non-Exchange Address (#GotBitcoin?)
A Crypto Fix For A Broken International Monetary System (#GotBitcoin?)
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Waves Platform And The Abyss To Jointly Launch Blockchain-Based Games Marketplace (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitmain Ramps Up Power And Efficiency With New Bitcoin Mining Machine (#GotBitcoin?)
Ledger Live Now Supports Over 1,250 Ethereum-Based ERC-20 Tokens (#GotBitcoin?)
Miss Finland: Bitcoin’s Risk Keeps Most Women Away From Cryptocurrency (#GotBitcoin?)
Artist Akon Loves BTC And Says, “It’s Controlled By The People” (#GotBitcoin?)
Ledger Live Now Supports Over 1,250 Ethereum-Based ERC-20 Tokens (#GotBitcoin?)
Co-Founder Of LinkedIn Presents Crypto Rap Video: Hamilton Vs. Satoshi (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto Insurance Market To Grow, Lloyd’s Of London And Aon To Lead (#GotBitcoin?)
No ‘AltSeason’ Until Bitcoin Breaks $20K, Says Hedge Fund Manager (#GotBitcoin?)
NSA Working To Develop Quantum-Resistant Cryptocurrency: Report (#GotBitcoin?)
Custody Provider Legacy Trust Launches Crypto Pension Plan (#GotBitcoin?)
Vaneck, SolidX To Offer Limited Bitcoin ETF For Institutions Via Exemption (#GotBitcoin?)
Russell Okung: From NFL Superstar To Bitcoin Educator In 2 Years (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Miners Made $14 Billion To Date Securing The Network (#GotBitcoin?)
Why Does Amazon Want To Hire Blockchain Experts For Its Ads Division?
Argentina’s Economy Is In A Technical Default (#GotBitcoin?)
Blockchain-Based Fractional Ownership Used To Sell High-End Art (#GotBitcoin?)
Portugal Tax Authority: Bitcoin Trading And Payments Are Tax-Free (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin ‘Failed Safe Haven Test’ After 7% Drop, Peter Schiff Gloats (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Dev Reveals Multisig UI Teaser For Hardware Wallets, Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Price: $10K Holds For Now As 50% Of CME Futures Set To Expire (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Realized Market Cap Hits $100 Billion For The First Time (#GotBitcoin?)
Stablecoins Begin To Look Beyond The Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)
Bank Of England Governor: Libra-Like Currency Could Replace US Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)
Binance Reveals ‘Venus’ — Its Own Project To Rival Facebook’s Libra (#GotBitcoin?)
The Real Benefits Of Blockchain Are Here. They’re Being Ignored (#GotBitcoin?)
CommBank Develops Blockchain Market To Boost Biodiversity (#GotBitcoin?)
SEC Approves Blockchain Tech Startup Securitize To Record Stock Transfers (#GotBitcoin?)
SegWit Creator Introduces New Language For Bitcoin Smart Contracts (#GotBitcoin?)
You Can Now Earn Bitcoin Rewards For Postmates Purchases (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Price ‘Will Struggle’ In Big Financial Crisis, Says Investor (#GotBitcoin?)
Fidelity Charitable Received Over $100M In Crypto Donations Since 2015 (#GotBitcoin?)
Would Blockchain Better Protect User Data Than FaceApp? Experts Answer (#GotBitcoin?)
Just The Existence Of Bitcoin Impacts Monetary Policy (#GotBitcoin?)
What Are The Biggest Alleged Crypto Heists And How Much Was Stolen? (#GotBitcoin?)
IRS To Cryptocurrency Owners: Come Clean, Or Else!
Coinbase Accidentally Saves Unencrypted Passwords Of 3,420 Customers (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Is A ‘Chaos Hedge, Or Schmuck Insurance‘ (#GotBitcoin?)
Bakkt Announces September 23 Launch Of Futures And Custody
Coinbase CEO: Institutions Depositing $200-400M Into Crypto Per Week (#GotBitcoin?)
Researchers Find Monero Mining Malware That Hides From Task Manager (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto Dusting Attack Affects Nearly 300,000 Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)
A Case For Bitcoin As Recession Hedge In A Diversified Investment Portfolio (#GotBitcoin?)
SEC Guidance Gives Ammo To Lawsuit Claiming XRP Is Unregistered Security (#GotBitcoin?)
15 Countries To Develop Crypto Transaction Tracking System: Report (#GotBitcoin?)
US Department Of Commerce Offering 6-Figure Salary To Crypto Expert (#GotBitcoin?)
Mastercard Is Building A Team To Develop Crypto, Wallet Projects (#GotBitcoin?)
Canadian Bitcoin Educator Scams The Scammer And Donates Proceeds (#GotBitcoin?)
Amazon Wants To Build A Blockchain For Ads, New Job Listing Shows (#GotBitcoin?)
Shield Bitcoin Wallets From Theft Via Time Delay (#GotBitcoin?)
Blockstream Launches Bitcoin Mining Farm With Fidelity As Early Customer (#GotBitcoin?)
Commerzbank Tests Blockchain Machine To Machine Payments With Daimler (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin’s Historical Returns Look Very Attractive As Online Banks Lower Payouts On Savings Accounts (#GotBitcoin?)
Man Takes Bitcoin Miner Seller To Tribunal Over Electricity Bill And Wins (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin’s Computing Power Sets Record As Over 100K New Miners Go Online (#GotBitcoin?)
Walmart Coin And Libra Perform Major Public Relations For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Judge Says Buying Bitcoin Via Credit Card Not Necessarily A Cash Advance (#GotBitcoin?)
Poll: If You’re A Stockowner Or Crypto-Currency Holder. What Will You Do When The Recession Comes?
1 In 5 Crypto Holders Are Women, New Report Reveals (#GotBitcoin?)
Beating Bakkt, Ledgerx Is First To Launch ‘Physical’ Bitcoin Futures In Us (#GotBitcoin?)
Facebook Warns Investors That Libra Stablecoin May Never Launch (#GotBitcoin?)
Government Money Printing Is ‘Rocket Fuel’ For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin-Friendly Square Cash App Stock Price Up 56% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)
Safeway Shoppers Can Now Get Bitcoin Back As Change At 894 US Stores (#GotBitcoin?)
TD Ameritrade CEO: There’s ‘Heightened Interest Again’ With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Venezuela Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record Thanks To 10,000,000% Inflation (#GotBitcoin?)
Newegg Adds Bitcoin Payment Option To 73 More Countries (#GotBitcoin?)
China’s Schizophrenic Relationship With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
More Companies Build Products Around Crypto Hardware Wallets (#GotBitcoin?)
Bakkt Is Scheduled To Start Testing Its Bitcoin Futures Contracts Today (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Network Now 8 Times More Powerful Than It Was At $20K Price (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto Exchange BitMEX Under Investigation By CFTC: Bloomberg (#GotBitcoin?)
“Bitcoin An ‘Unstoppable Force,” Says US Congressman At Crypto Hearing (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Network Is Moving $3 Billion Daily, Up 210% Since April (#GotBitcoin?)
Cryptocurrency Startups Get Partial Green Light From Washington
Fundstrat’s Tom Lee: Bitcoin Pullback Is Healthy, Fewer Searches Аre Good (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Lightning Nodes Are Snatching Funds From Bad Actors (#GotBitcoin?)
The Provident Bank Now Offers Deposit Services For Crypto-Related Entities (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Could Help Stop News Censorship From Space (#GotBitcoin?)
US Sanctions On Iran Crypto Mining — Inevitable Or Impossible? (#GotBitcoin?)
US Lawmaker Reintroduces ‘Safe Harbor’ Crypto Tax Bill In Congress (#GotBitcoin?)
EU Central Bank Won’t Add Bitcoin To Reserves — Says It’s Not A Currency (#GotBitcoin?)
The Miami Dolphins Now Accept Bitcoin And Litecoin Crypt-Currency Payments (#GotBitcoin?)
Trump Bashes Bitcoin And Alt-Right Is Mad As Hell (#GotBitcoin?)
Goldman Sachs Ramps Up Development Of New Secret Crypto Project (#GotBitcoin?)
Blockchain And AI Bond, Explained (#GotBitcoin?)
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Outperformed Indexes In First Half Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)
XRP Is The Worst Performing Major Crypto Of 2019 (GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Back Near $12K As BTC Shorters Lose $44 Million In One Morning (#GotBitcoin?)
As Deutsche Bank Axes 18K Jobs, Bitcoin Offers A ‘Plan ฿”: VanEck Exec (#GotBitcoin?)
Argentina Drives Global LocalBitcoins Volume To Highest Since November (#GotBitcoin?)
‘I Would Buy’ Bitcoin If Growth Continues — Investment Legend Mobius (#GotBitcoin?)
Lawmakers Push For New Bitcoin Rules (#GotBitcoin?)
Facebook’s Libra Is Bad For African Americans (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto Firm Charity Announces Alliance To Support Feminine Health (#GotBitcoin?)
Canadian Startup Wants To Upgrade Millions Of ATMs To Sell Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Trump Says US ‘Should Match’ China’s Money Printing Game (#GotBitcoin?)
Casa Launches Lightning Node Mobile App For Bitcoin Newbies (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Rally Fuels Market In Crypto Derivatives (#GotBitcoin?)
World’s First Zero-Fiat ‘Bitcoin Bond’ Now Available On Bloomberg Terminal (#GotBitcoin?)
Buying Bitcoin Has Been Profitable 98.2% Of The Days Since Creation (#GotBitcoin?)
Another Crypto Exchange Receives License For Crypto Futures
From ‘Ponzi’ To ‘We’re Working On It’ — BIS Chief Reverses Stance On Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)
These Are The Cities Googling ‘Bitcoin’ As Interest Hits 17-Month High (#GotBitcoin?)
Venezuelan Explains How Bitcoin Saves His Family (#GotBitcoin?)
Quantum Computing Vs. Blockchain: Impact On Cryptography
This Fund Is Riding Bitcoin To Top (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin’s Surge Leaves Smaller Digital Currencies In The Dust (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Exchange Hits $1 Trillion In Trading Volume (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Breaks $200 Billion Market Cap For The First Time In 17 Months (#GotBitcoin?)
You Can Now Make State Tax Payments In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Religious Organizations Make Ideal Places To Mine Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Goldman Sacs And JP Morgan Chase Finally Concede To Crypto-Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Heading For Fifth Month Of Gains Despite Price Correction (#GotBitcoin?)
Breez Reveals Lightning-Powered Bitcoin Payments App For IPhone (#GotBitcoin?)
Big Four Auditing Firm PwC Releases Cryptocurrency Auditing Software (#GotBitcoin?)
Amazon-Owned Twitch Quietly Brings Back Bitcoin Payments (#GotBitcoin?)
JPMorgan Will Pilot ‘JPM Coin’ Stablecoin By End Of 2019: Report (#GotBitcoin?)
Is There A Big Short In Bitcoin? (#GotBitcoin?)
Coinbase Hit With Outage As Bitcoin Price Drops $1.8K In 15 Minutes
Samourai Wallet Releases Privacy-Enhancing CoinJoin Feature (#GotBitcoin?)
There Are Now More Than 5,000 Bitcoin ATMs Around The World (#GotBitcoin?)
You Can Now Get Bitcoin Rewards When Booking At Hotels.Com (#GotBitcoin?)
North America’s Largest Solar Bitcoin Mining Farm Coming To California (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin On Track For Best Second Quarter Price Gain On Record (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Hash Rate Climbs To New Record High Boosting Network Security (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Exceeds 1Million Active Addresses While Coinbase Custodies $1.3B In Assets
Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin’s Lightning Comes To Apple Smartwatches With New App (#GotBitcoin?)
E-Trade To Offer Crypto Trading (#GotBitcoin)
US Rapper Lil Pump Starts Accepting Bitcoin Via Lightning Network On Merchandise Store (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitfinex Used Tether Reserves To Mask Missing $850 Million, Probe Finds (#GotBitcoin?)
21-Year-Old Jailed For 10 Years After Stealing $7.5M In Crypto By Hacking Cell Phones (#GotBitcoin?)
You Can Now Shop With Bitcoin On Amazon Using Lightning (#GotBitcoin?)
Afghanistan, Tunisia To Issue Sovereign Bonds In Bitcoin, Bright Future Ahead (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto Faithful Say Blockchain Can Remake Securities Market Machinery (#GotBitcoin?)
Disney In Talks To Acquire The Owner Of Crypto Exchanges Bitstamp And Korbit (#GotBitcoin?)
Crypto Exchange Gemini Rolls Out Native Wallet Support For SegWit Bitcoin Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)
Binance Delists Bitcoin SV, CEO Calls Craig Wright A ‘Fraud’ (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Outperforms Nasdaq 100, S&P 500, Grows Whopping 37% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Passes A Milestone 400 Million Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)
Future Returns: Why Investors May Want To Consider Bitcoin Now (#GotBitcoin?)
Next Bitcoin Core Release To Finally Connect Hardware Wallets To Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)
Major Crypto-Currency Exchanges Use Lloyd’s Of London, A Registered Insurance Broker (#GotBitcoin?)
How Bitcoin Can Prevent Fraud And Chargebacks (#GotBitcoin?)
Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)
Zebpay Becomes First Exchange To Add Lightning Payments For All Users (#GotBitcoin?)
Coinbase’s New Customer Incentive: Interest Payments, With A Crypto Twist (#GotBitcoin?)
The Best Bitcoin Debit (Cashback) Cards Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)
Real Estate Brokerages Now Accepting Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Ernst & Young Introduces Tax Tool For Reporting Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)
How Will Bitcoin Behave During A Recession? (#GotBitcoin?)
Investors Run Out of Options As Bitcoin, Stocks, Bonds, Oil Cave To Recession Fears (#GotBitcoin?)
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