How the Co-Founder of the Calm App Pivoted From Online Games to Meditation

Before co-founding the unicorn company Calm, Michael Acton Smith ran the online gaming company that created Moshi Monsters, a U.K. sensation. Here’s his story. February 7, 2019 11 min read This story was originally published on Oct. 19, 2018, and has been updated.  In this series, The Gambit, Entrepreneur associate editor Hayden Field explores extraordinary risk, speaking with successful people about how they overcame unusual obstacles to found a company or switched industries entirely in a “career 180.” One summer morning in 2014, Michael Acton Smith sat on a balcony overlooking a lush green valley in the Austrian alps. He had booked a vacation by himself to get away from the stress of his crumbling online gaming company. The view, composed of abundant grass and far-off mountains, seemed almost cookie-cutter — evoking a postcard, a computer desktop, a backdrop to rousing words on a motivational poster. But Acton Smith wasn’t taking in the scenery. His […]

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Facebook Pays to Track People, Cryptocurrency Scams Cost Users $1.7 Billion and Elon Musk’s Jet Travel (60-Second Video)

Here are three things entrepreneurs should know today. January 30, 2019 1 min read Facebook has been paying people, including teens, up to $20 a month to install an app that tracks almost all of their phone and web activity. After the original article appeared in TechCrunch, Facebook said it would shut down the iOS version, partly because of Apple’s app store rules. But the app will reportedly still be available on Android.  The cryptocurrency world is rife with scams, according to a recent report from security firm CipherTrace, which said thefts and exit scams cost cryptocurrency users and investors about $1.7 billion in U.S. dollars last year.  In his self-described “excruciating” 2018, Elon Musk’s corporate jet flew more than 150,000 miles, or more than six times around the Earth. The Washington Post created a graphic to illustrate the flight paths.  Watch the previous 3 Things video: Apple Acknowledges FaceTime Bug, PG&E Files for Bankruptcy and NFL History Will be […]

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Tips for Your Next Tough Conversation, the World’s Most Admired Companies and a Quiz to Help Fight Phishing (60-Second Video)

Here are three things entrepreneurs should know today. January 23, 2019 1 min read Harvard Business Review has prep tips for your next difficult conversation. The first thing step? Reset your motives by asking yourself one question: What do I really want — for me, for the other person, for the relationship and for other stakeholders? Fortune released its annual list of the world’s most admired companies, and surprise, surprise, Apple, Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway topped the list. Also rounding out the top 10 were companies like Starbucks, Netflix and FedEx.  Phishing is the most common type of cyber attack, and its trademark emails have one goal: Steal your password and gain access to your account. The bad news: You can fall victim just by clicking on a link or replying to an email that appears to be from someone you know. The good news: Google created a quiz aiming to teach consumers to better recognize phishing emails.  […]

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The Top 10 Side Gigs for 2019 (Infographic)

A report published today gave software development, design and writing top billing, in part because of their above-average pay levels. January 16, 2019 1 min read The term “gig economy” seems ubiquitous now, but it was reportedly coined just 10 years ago, when people began picking up side jobs for extra cash during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Freelance labor marketplace TaskRabbit, hotel industry disruptor Airbnb and rideshare giant Uber all came onto the scene during that span, and today, nearly four in 10 Americans have a side hustle, according to a 2018 Bankrate.com survey.   If you’re considering new ways to make extra cash, a report published today from Fundera, a small–business loan marketplace, lists 10 top options to consider this year. To narrow down the side gigs, the report used raw data from four large freelancer sites — Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Guru and SimplyHired — and analyzed demand, pay and client ratings. Software development, […]

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Culver’s Succeeds By Investing In Managers

At the #6 company on our Franchise 500 list, a mentorship program focuses on turning store managers into franchisees — and it’s fueling growth. January 15, 2019 2 min read This story appears in the January 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Started franchising: 1988   Total units: 680   Cost to open: $2M–$4.7M The menu at Culver’s hasn’t changed much since the fast-food company’s inception in 1984. It still offers frozen custard, a childhood favorite of cofounder Craig Culver, as well as ButterBurgers, which are made using his mother’s original recipe. But something is new at Culver’s — because it’s here, ranked in the top 10 of the Franchise 500 for the first time, after bringing in $1.43 billion in revenue in 2017, according to Technomic, a food-industry research and consulting firm. (Last year, Culver’s ranked #13.)  Related: The Top 200 Franchise Brands People Love the Most So what’s new? Truly nothing much, […]

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5 Incredible Startups We Found at CES

From AI-powered translation to the first smart train set, here are five entrepreneurs changing the game in their industries. January 11, 2019 9 min read CES may be the world’s largest showcase for technology’s giants, but it’s also one of the primary hubs for the scene’s innovative upstarts. One of its convention areas, known as “Eureka Park,” often hosts more than 1,200 startups from more than 40 countries. And although flashy booths from the likes of Google, Intel, Huawei and more typically generate buzz, it’s the startups that tend to have riveting stories — and even some of the most talked-about products. Here are five of the most inspiring startups we found at the show. Timekettle Image credit: Timekettle Leal Tzen has always been a fan of science-fiction novels. That’s why The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s “Babel fish” — a creature that can reside in your ear and translate […]

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How Christen Dominique Went From Locker Room Makeup Artist to YouTube Star

Christen Dominique built a beauty brand and a following of more than 4 million subscribers by showcasing simple, everyday makeup techniques. January 10, 2019 5 min read In this series, YouTube Icon, Entrepreneur speaks with the individuals behind popular YouTube channels to find out the secrets of their success. On a weekday morning about 20 years ago while her mother made breakfast, a teenage Christen Dominique sneaked into her mother’s restroom, rifled through a makeup bag and used a bit of concealer. Dominique wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, but her undereye circles had been a major source of insecurity for the seventh-grader and she’d decided to do something about it. That day at school, she felt beautiful and confident. She even felt as if people were nicer to her. That’s when her love for makeup began to flourish. “I was creating a feeling of happiness and confidence,” she said. Dominique began […]

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10 Things at CES You'll Actually Want to Buy

Smart desks, massage chairs and ovens: The world’s biggest tech show is upon us. Read_more Related posts: What This Blog is and What it is Not SPI 301: How a Data Scientist Pivoted into a New Brand (And Won a Tesla Roadster) Why How-to Content Continues to Grow SPI 301: How a Data Scientist Pivoted into a New Brand (And Won a Tesla Roadster) Move Over AOL: The Ten Best Premium E-Mail Services Today Apple Will Let All Users Download Their Collected Personal Data 3 Real Examples of How to Start a Consulting or Service Business Is Creating Online Tools Better Than Writing Content?

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A Day in the Life of Contemporary Artist Elizabeth Sutton

Watch this one-day video diary to see how a New York artist, entrepreneur and mother handles work-life balance. January 4, 2019 2 min read Editor’s Note: A Day in the Life is a series in which women leaders and entrepreneurs share a behind-the-scenes video diary on what it is like to be in their shoes for a day. Contemporary artist Elizabeth Sutton brings geometric shapes, landscapes and portraits to life by way of vibrant colors. But she’s also an entrepreneur and mother. Her artistic successes include showing her work at New York area art fairs, a collaboration with Bari Lynn Accessories for Bergdorf Goodman and an artistic partnership with beverage chain Joe & the Juice. In our Day in the Life video series, we get a peek into Sutton’s work-life balance as an artist, entrepreneur and mother. Related: A Sweet Day in the Life of Dylan Lauren, the Founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar Sutton’s morning […]

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NASA’s Furthest-Ever Space Mission, Google’s FCC Green Light and Airline Mistake Fares. (60-Second Video)

Here are three things entrepreneurs should know today. January 2, 2019 1 min read Happy New Year! On Earth, it began with a record-setting space mission by NASA. We now have images of the oldest object ever observed by a spacecraft — Ultima Thule — and it’s four billion miles away.  The FCC greenlit Google to move ahead with its radar-based motion sensor that tracks slight hand and finger motions to inform commands. For example, a user could rub a finger on a speaker to turn up its volume instead of adjusting a dial.  Cathay Pacific Airways accidentally sold first- and business-class seats for $675 when they should have cost around $16,000. It’s unfortunately already too late to snag the fares, which were from Vietnam to New York, but the airline will honor the ones already sold.  Read_more Related posts: Apple and Tesla Stocks Get Hit, China Lands on the Dark Side of the Moon, and […]

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He Was Asked to Co-Found a $300 Million Company Based on His LinkedIn Profile. Here’s Why He Stood Out — and How You Can, Too.

The founders of travel startup Klook found their third business partner on LinkedIn. Here’s how to make your own profile a winner. January 2, 2019 5 min read With more than 590 million users in over 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn’s user base is inching closer to twice the U.S. population. That makes for a host of potentially powerful connections that can yield incredible results. Exhibit A: The founders of travel startup Klook, which raised $200 million in an August funding round, found their third business partner, Bernie Xiong, after sifting through hundreds of profiles on LinkedIn. Co-founder Eric Gnock Fah told Entrepreneur he started his search on the platform so he could look beyond resumes and take potential candidates’ preferences, likes and connections into account. Gnock Fah started with a skills filter to locate potential candidates who knew how to code. After looking through close to 500 profiles, he […]

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‘Elon Musk’ Goes Up Against ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ in a Viral YouTube Rap Battle

Epic Rap Battles of History is back — and they debuted with a video parodying two famous entrepreneurs. December 28, 2018 2 min read Sick burns, skillful rhymes and spot-on pop culture references — plus a few nerdy dance moves thrown in. These are all hallmarks of Epic Rap Battles of History (ERB), a YouTube channel founded by entertainers Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist with a staggering overall view count of more than 3 billion. Since the premiere of their first video in 2010, Shukoff (better known online as Nice Peter) and Ahlquist (who goes by EpicLLOYD) have stepped into the shoes of influential figures ranging from George Washington to Skrillex — and earlier this month, the two released their first rap battle in almost two years: Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg. The video has already racked up more than eight million views, and it’s easy to see why: The […]

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The Most Innovative Tech Companies and Leaders, Ranked (Infographic)

Patents go hand in hand with innovation, and compared to other tech industry heavyweights, Samsung came out on top. December 10, 2018 2 min read Subwoofer. Scooter. Wireless headset communication device.  Those are just three of the more than 10 million utility patents filed over the last 200 years — and the number of patent applications is even more staggering, usually numbering more than 500,000 annually. Patents go hand in hand with innovation, signifying big ideas, key risks and steps to move an industry forward. And according to 40 years of data from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), the “most innovative” tech giant — denoted by number of patents filed compared to other industry heavyweights — is Samsung. The electronics company reportedly has registered 138,934 patents, more than double that Microsoft, which came in second. The research was conducted by The UK Domain, a registry that manages .uk domain names, by way of analyzing records […]

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Here’s Every State’s Favorite Holiday Movie (Infographic)

New York is partial to The Apartment, while Georgia went with Gremlins. See where your favorite film stacked up. December 7, 2018 2 min read The holidays often kick off a host of hot-button discussion topics — politics, religion, sports — but if you’re looking for a less-loaded conversation starter, try “favorite holiday movie.” The question should fuel a healthy debate minus the raised voices (depending, of course, on how many Die Hard loyalists are in the room). And according to a new report and infographic by StreamingObserver.com, the consensus may look different depending on your state.    Georgia and the Carolinas favored Gremlins, New York and Alaska went with The Apartment and Home Alone came out on top in Illinois — where much of the movie was shot — as well as in neighboring Indiana. Interestingly, Christmas in Connecticut reigned supreme in Montana, while Connecticut was partial to Trading Places. As far as methodology, the site used the top […]

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Bill Gates’s Top 5 Books to Read and Gift This Year

The Microsoft founder’s 2018 book roundup covers everything from meditation to autonomous weapons. December 4, 2018 3 min read It’s been almost nine years since Bill Gates launched his personal blog, Gates Notes, with his musings on topics like health, energy, education and — perhaps most popular — books. The Microsoft founder regularly releases a winter roundup of five books he loved reading over the past year, and his 2018 list — released Monday — spans everything from a how-to guide on meditation to an in-depth exploration of autonomous weapons. Whether you’re in need of a volume to read on the flight home, to use as an escape when extended family members bring up politics or to break your social media scrolling addiction, Gates recommended his top five titles to read and gift this year. Educated by Tara Westover “Tara never went to school or visited a doctor until she […]

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How to Achieve Your Goals (60-Second Video)

Here are three things entrepreneurs should know today. November 28, 2018 2 min read 1. New research detailed in the Harvard Business Review suggests that when it comes to goal-setting, we perceive modest improvement targets as being easier to achieve than maintaining our status quo. The researchers put it this way: “When we’re judging the difficulty of a goal, the first thing our brains see is the size of the gap that separates the goal from the baseline. The bigger the gap, the more difficult the goal. But with a status quo goal, there’s no gap to evaluate, so our negativity bias kicks in, and our brains start generating reasons we might fail.” This held true across a range of different categories. The bottom line: If you’re in the market for a new success strategy, try setting slightly loftier goals rather than smaller ones closer to your baseline.    2. McKinsey Global Institute released […]

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Tech CEOs Lose $61 Billion

Here are three things entrepreneurs should know today. November 1, 2018 1 min read 1. CEOs and founders of big tech companies reportedly lost $61 billion during October’s stock market plunge. Primary shareholders of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent took the biggest hit, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lost as much as $34 billion over the course of the month.  2. Waymo is the first company to receive permission to test unmanned self-driving cars in California. That means that as soon as April, the company — which is owned by Google — could test autonomous vehicles without backup drivers on public roads in the state. This milestone could eventually pave the way for self-driving taxis and more.  3. Coca-Cola may have finally figured out a way to convince millennials to drink Diet Coke. The company surpassed investor expectations in its latest earnings report, partly due to people in their 20s and 30s […]

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When Entrepreneurs Post Impulsively, Their Companies Pay the Price. Should Their Social Media Be Regulated?

We’re looking at you, Elon Musk and Brandon Truaxe. October 29, 2018 8 min read It was the tweet read ‘round the world — or at least all of Wall Street.   “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote on the morning of Aug. 7. “Funding secured.”   Those nine words resulted in intense scrutiny, an onslaught of public speculation, a company board review, fraud charges filed by the SEC, two separate $20 million settlements and Musk’s agreement to step down as Tesla’s chairman for at least three years (though he plans to stay on as CEO). It wasn’t the first time the outspoken entrepreneur has ruffled feathers on a wide scale via social media — in 2018 alone, he sparred with Warren Buffett on Twitter, feuded for months with British caver Vernon Unsworth and regularly condemned short-sellers.   Related: Elon Musk’s $20 Million Settlement […]

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The World’s Most Valuable Startup Is a Company You’ve Probably Never Heard of

A recent $3 billion funding round landed Bytedance (parent of TikTok) the title of world’s most valuable startup. October 26, 2018 2 min read In a fourth-quarter upset, China’s Bytedance (parent of music video app TikTok) has overtaken Uber as the world’s most valuable startup. After closing a $3 billion funding round led by Japan’s SoftBank group, Bytedance — which also owns Chinese news aggregator Toutiao and a host of other social media apps — has reached a reported $75 billion valuation. Its closest competition, Uber Technologies, falls $3 billion short of that benchmark, according to CB Insights, a tech market intelligence platform. Uber is reportedly vying for an IPO in 2019 that could boost its value to $120 billion, but Bytedance holds top billing for now. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  Bytedance founder Zhang Yiming launched his startup without any sort of funding […]

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Who Won the Mega Millions Jackpot?

Here are three things entrepreneurs should know today. October 24, 2018 2 min read 1. If you were hoping to win the lottery this week, you’re not alone. Here at Entrepreneur, we even had an office pool. But news has broken that someone in South Carolina had the golden ticket for yesterday’s Mega Millions, which had a total jackpot of $1.6 billion. But it’s too early to call whether this one person will walk away with the full payout or whether there were additional winners.  2. In data breach news, the Yahoo saga continues to unfold. The company, which is now owned by Verizon, has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class action lawsuit over its 2013 and 2014 data breaches. And since Yahoo waited until 2016 to disclose the breaches, the SEC slapped the company with a $35 million fine in April. Now, Yahoo will also pay up to $35 million […]

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