How This 30-Year-Old Became a Mainstay of the ‘Weird Corner of YouTube’ With His ‘Short’ and ‘Snackable’ Sketch Comedy Videos

It took a decade for Brandon Rogers’ channel to blow up, but he says he would still be making videos even if it hadn’t. October 10, 2018 12 min read In this series, YouTube Icon, Entrepreneur speaks with the individuals behind popular YouTube channels to find out the secrets of their success. There’s no set path to success in the filmmaking industry. There are no credentials you have to obtain to get your big break, just experience. Or “enough experience that you can exaggerate into looking like official experience,” as Brandon Rogers puts it. After Rogers dropped out of community college on paper, he continued attending the classes that would teach him various aspects of storytelling, including TV production and English classes. The college’s speech and debate team coach even let him travel and compete. Meanwhile, Rogers worked “crappy” odd jobs and eventually saved up $1,000 to move to L.A. Even […]

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This Lyft Employee’s Entrepreneurial Past Inspired Her to Create a Business Pitch Competition for Lyft Drivers

Lyft recently surveyed its drivers and learned that nearly one-fifth of them run or aspire to run a company. September 27, 2018 7 min read During an interview for a job at Lyft last summer, Kate Glantz proposed the idea of a pitch competition for Lyft drivers with entrepreneurial aspirations. Fast-forward more than a year, and her vision is a reality: She landed the job, and the ride-hailing company is now accepting applications from its drivers for its new regional Lyft Pitch program. From Sept. 26 through Oct. 21, existing Lyft drivers in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., can submit applications and elevator pitch-style videos for consideration in the Lyft Pitch competition. Those who aren’t yet working for the platform can also apply to become a driver and enter the running for the competition if they’re approved by the pitch submission deadline. Lyft on Nov. 1 will announce eight finalists, […]

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How Venmo Co-Founder Iqram Magdon-Ismail Pays It Forward by Applying Past Wins to New Projects

Since Venmo took off, Magdon-Ismail has combined his passions with the lessons he learned from the successful payments company. September 26, 2018 1 min read On this episode of How Success Happens, we chat with Iqram Magdon-Ismail, co-founder of mobile payments company Venmo and audio-sharing app Ense, which is in beta. Magdon-Ismail co-founded Venmo in 2009 with his freshman-year roommate, Andrew Kortina, a few years after they graduated. But first, they dabbled in other ventures, including a real estate startup that brought in just enough revenue to pay for Venmo’s first Philadelphia office space. Not all of the co-founders’ early instincts about Venmo proved correct, but many were right on the money. Braintree acquired Venmo in 2012, and PayPal acquired Braintree in 2013.  Related: 5 Lessons Venmo’s Co-Founder Learned While Building a Twice-Acquired Company In our chat, Magdon-Ismail shares how the Venmo team initially positioned the app for mass adoption, explains why he believes the adage “success leaves clues” and describes […]

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This Company Hosts Virtual Dance Parties to Help Its 170 Remote Employees Feel Connected

Zapier uses its own technology, among other strategies, to build tools and traditions in the name of collaboration. September 20, 2018 8 min read Editor’s Note: In this series, The Way We Work, Entrepreneur Associate Editor Lydia Belanger examines how people foster productivity, focus, collaboration, creativity and culture in the workplace. Although his company is seven years old and employs 170 people, Wade Foster has never felt the need to establish a headquarters for his team. Zapier’s product is an enterprise tool that helps teams connect the apps they use by making different software programs talk to each other. So, Zapier is all about collaboration. Its co-founders established their company in Missouri in 2011, but they later moved to Silicon Valley to participate in the Y Combinator accelerator program. Still, they didn’t want their employees to feel like they had to be in the same room, let alone country. Last […]

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Everything You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Shopping Features

The app is giving influencers and brands new channels on which consumers can discover them. September 18, 2018 2 min read Influencers and brands have two new ways to sell products to users scrolling and tapping through their Instagram feeds. After a summer of testing shopping buttons that drive purchases via Stories, the Facebook-owned app has launched them for businesses in 46 countries. It’s also begun rolling out a personalized shopping section in the Explore tab, which Instagram redesigned earlier this year to feature AI-powered channels categorizing content based on topic (e.g. travel, art, decor). The shopping tab will be a place for users who know they want to browse and potentially buy, with Instagram’s algorithm serving up brands the user already follows or would likely be into, based on past activity on the app. Meanwhile, the shopping bag stickers in Stories will give users a chance to not just […]

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CEOs Are Leaving Their Jobs — and Women Are Filling Those Vacant Roles — at a Higher Rate Than Usual

Of the chief executives who have stepped down this year, 22 percent of those lined up to replace them are women. September 13, 2018 2 min read Last month, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi announced her decision to step down after 12 years in the role. PepsiCo president Ramon Laguarta will replace her. But while the food and beverage corporation is replacing a female chief executive with a man, national trends in company leadership are inching in the other direction. In 2018 so far, 879 CEOs have left their roles, for various reasons including retirement, resignation for new jobs or other opportunities, termination, scandal and others. The gender breakdown is 727 male, 152 female. A total of 716 replacements for the 879 have been identified, and 161 of them, or 22 percent, are women, according to outplacement consultancy and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. So, there are more women […]

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Don’t Understand Blockchain? It Can Work for You Anyway, This Founder Says.

Blockchain is just a technology to make things more efficient, explains Sagewise co-founder and CEO Amy Wan. September 12, 2018 8 min read Editor’s Note: In this series, The Way We Work, Entrepreneur Associate Editor Lydia Belanger examines how people foster productivity, focus, collaboration, creativity and culture in the workplace. Amy Wan started off her law career in Washington, D.C., where she quickly realized that working for the federal government fulfilled its stereotype of being “slow and bureaucratic.” So she decided to take online courses to learn how to code. One coding assignment was to create a website to exchange bitcoin. This was in 2012, in the cryptocurrency’s nascent days before what Wan calls “Crypto Winter,” when interest in the blockchain-based technology weaned for a few years. Right before that downturn in bitcoin buzz, Wan left her job, moved to L.A. and joined a “legal hackers meetup.” Crypto Winter diverted […]

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Bob Woodward’s ‘Fear’ Is the Latest Example of How the Trump Bump Seems to Be Boosting Nonfiction Book Sales

People have been reading nonfiction in increasing numbers since 2013. September 11, 2018 5 min read Editor’s note: This story originally published Sept. 6, 2018, and it has been updated to reflect the popularity of Fear: Trump in the White House on the date of its publication, Sept. 11, 2018. Watergate journalist Bob Woodward’s latest book, Fear: Trump in the White House, out today, is already No. 5 on Amazon’s “Best Sellers of 2018 (So Far)” list. That’s up from last week, when, after excerpts debuted, pre-orders of the book had propelled it to the No. 12 spot. Publisher Simon & Schuster has reportedly stated it is printing 1 million copies of the book to keep up with demand. The book that tops Amazon’s 2018 list is Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff, while No 6. is A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey. Across America (and the […]

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With This Company’s New Tool, You Can Run a Free Background Check on Yourself

Checkr sells AI-powered background check software to companies. Now, it’s giving job candidates a glimpse into what potential employers might see. September 6, 2018 4 min read Job applicants can update their LinkedIn pages, pad their resumes and write a cover letter that’ll knock a hiring manager’s socks off. But despite these efforts, one of the most important and personal aspects of the hiring process gets kept out of candidates’ sight: background checks. Checkr, a company that uses AI to help companies such as Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Postmates and Grubhub streamline background checks, is now turning the tables. Instead of just selling its technology to its 10,000-plus clients, it’s now making it publicly accessible so job seekers can background check themselves first — for free. The company’s new service, launching today, is called Better Future. It’s an extension of Checkr’s larger mission to help people with criminal backgrounds get jobs. […]

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Freelancers Will Soon Be Able to Buy Short-Term Disability Insurance Through This Startup

Sara Horowitz, also the founder of Freelancers Union, explains why a safety net for freelancers starts with her new company, Trupo. September 5, 2018 10 min read Editor’s Note: In this series, The Way We Work, Entrepreneur Associate Editor Lydia Belanger examines how people foster productivity, focus, collaboration, creativity and culture in the workplace. If you’re a freelancer, you don’t get days off when you’re sick. While you may be able to save up a rainy day fund for the occasional flu, if anything ever happened to you that put you out of commission for weeks at a time, chances are you’d be screwed. For freelancers who have experienced this misfortune firsthand — or who live their lives trying not to think about the possibility — a new kind of insurance will soon become available. A company called Trupo, formed out of the Freelancers Union by the organization’s founder, Sara […]

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How to Fight the Gender Pay Gap as a Self-Employed Woman — and Maximize Your Income

Biases exist regardless of whether you work as a full-time employee or a contractor. Here’s how to take control of your earnings. September 4, 2018 6 min read Editor’s Note: Each edition of this Women Entrepreneur series, Behind the Numbers, presents a stat about a disadvantage women face in work and in business, examines the dynamics at play and provides guidance to help women overcome obstacles. The average woman makes 80 cents for every dollar the average man earns. If you suspect (or know for sure) that you’re being paid less than your male counterparts who have comparable levels of experience, and you’ve asked for a raise to no avail, entrepreneurship may be tempting. You might think, I’ll get to set my own rate, and therefore salary, and as long as I work hard, I’ll make what I deserve. Not so fast. The reality is, there’s a gender pay gap […]

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Netflix-Like Recommendations May Be in Store for Workplace Benefits

Employers are competing to attract and retain talent, and some are concluding that one-size-fits-all benefits offerings won’t cut it. August 29, 2018 7 min read Editor’s Note: In this series, The Way We Work, Entrepreneur Associate Editor Lydia Belanger examines how people foster productivity, focus, collaboration, creativity and culture in the workplace. It’s time for your company’s annual benefits meeting. Chances are, you and your colleagues all have access to the same medical, dental, maybe vision, life insurance and retirement savings options — just the basics. The fact that every employee gets the same rigid benefits might be something you take for granted. But not everyone has the same life circumstances. Someone in their 20s may be trying to get their student loans paid off, whereas someone in their mid-30s may prioritize child care. That’s why some companies offer employees help covering these costs as a benefit. Of course, not […]

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Papa John’s Has Created a Social Media Ad Featuring Negative Customer Tweets That’s Been Watched 1.7 Million Times

The company isn’t downplaying the fact that its reputation has suffered, but it wants customers to know it’s working on improving. August 27, 2018 4 min read Papa John’s founder, John Schnatter, is no longer CEO nor board chair of the company after making a series of racially divisive comments. But the pizza company’s reputation has been damaged, and now, Papa John’s is trying to salvage it through social media and diversity training campaigns. Schnatter denounced the National Football League on a quarterly earnings call last November for its handling of players’ “taking a knee” during the national anthem to protest the oppression of people of color in America. Two months later, after a deluge of public outcry labeling Schnatter and Papa John’s racist, Schnatter stepped down from his chief executive role. In May, Schnatter used the n-word on a conference call that the company organized specifically for racial sensitivity […]

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Women Can Use These Simple Strategies to Save Enough for Retirement

If you know you could or should be saving more but don’t know where or how to start, consider this your crash course. August 21, 2018 7 min read Each edition of this Women Entrepreneur series, Behind the Numbers, presents a stat about a disadvantage women face at work and in business, examines the dynamics at play and provides guidance to help women overcome obstacles. The gender pay gap is an issue that comes up often, but the gender savings gap is just as troubling. Women are less likely than men to participate in their workplace 401(k) plans, and those who do tend to save less than their male counterparts, a T. Rowe Price survey found. The average woman’s 401(k) balance among those surveyed was $38,000, while the average man’s was $74,000. Women contributed an average of 7.2 percent of their annual salary to these retirement plans, compared to men […]

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The Surprising Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Motives and Obstacles in Becoming Entrepreneurs

A new survey exposes perceived obstacles to success in entrepreneurship based on gender. August 3, 2018 3 min read Stereotypes can limit founders, regardless of whether a person’s circumstances truly do limit them. A venture capitalist might think, “She’s a mom, she’ll be burning the candle at both ends if she tries to start a company,” even if the aspiring entrepreneur doesn’t have a single doubt about her ability to balance business and family. Women-led early-stage VC firm Illuminate Ventures recently surveyed a small group of tech company founders who raised VC funding in 2017 to gauge what motivates women and men to start businesses, as well as what deters them. From there, Illuminate also questioned VCs about their perceptions of founders of both genders, based on common circumstances that one might assume would help or hinder them. Across both groups, the firm collected 400 responses, according to TechCrunch. In […]

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‘Tonight, We Stand Here, and It Feels Like We’re Finally Winning,’ Say Sexual Abuse Survivors in Inspiring Speeches at ESPY Awards

More than 140 women, including Aly Raisman, Sarah Klein and Tiffany Thomas Lopez, took the stage to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. July 19, 2018 5 min read At the televised ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards Wednesday night, one of the centerpieces of the event was the presentation of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. This year, a group of more than 140 women took the stage to receive the award, all of whom are survivors of sexual abuse. The award honored the hundreds of women who were victims of abuse by former U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar over multiple decades. Nassar was imprisoned on child pornography and sexual abuse charges after The Indianapolis Star reported on a pattern of incidences. At last night’s ceremony, the survivors spoke about the experiences they endured in a video that played prior to a series of remarks by current and former […]

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How This Instagram Artist Turned Her Passion for Fashion Into a Freelance Career

Jeanette Getrost has illustrated collections, product packaging and even party guests for fashion and beauty brands. July 18, 2018 11 min read Editor’s note: In this series, Instagram Icon, Entrepreneur speaks with the individuals behind popular Instagram accounts to find out the secrets of their success. Like many millennials, Jeanette Getrost developed her aspirations first through television, then through social media. She was in junior high when the Style Network channel debuted, and tuning in led her to dream of a career in fashion. What her job would be, exactly, she wasn’t sure. “I assumed that you could either be a designer or a model,” Getrost tells Entrepreneur. “I didn’t really understand the industry, so I would just draw clothing a lot. I didn’t know that fashion illustration was even a thing.” To develop her skills, she took drawing composition classes at a local college, meanwhile learning about and Googling […]

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Build-A-Bear Workshop Is Caught Off Guard for Its ‘Pay Your Age’ Promo and Forced to Turn Away Customers

The company says it experienced ‘unprecedented’ customer turnout and provides a lesson on preparation for entrepreneurs. July 13, 2018 4 min read Build-A-Bear Workshop generated buzz on social media leading up to Thursday’s “Pay Your Age” sale, calling the upcoming promotion its “biggest deal EVER.” The company, which allows children to construct and decorate their own stuffed animals, expressed on July 11 that it had received “unprecedented response” from customers leading up to the event, which would allow customers to pay their age to take home a bear or other species of “furry friend.” In other words, for $5, a 5-year-old could walk out with a newly made stuffed animal (with sound effects and accessories available for an extra cost).  Build-A-Bear posted a note to its official Facebook page explaining that employees at its stores were “anticipating the potential of long lines and wait times.” Despite the warning, turnout exceeded […]

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10 Entrepreneurs Behind Finance Companies Share What They Think About Money

Founders of Robinhood, Kabbage, Wealthfront and more share their wisdom on everything from saving to investing to the power of new technologies. July 12, 2018 6 min read Good sense about money is one of those things that most of us have to learn the hard way, and that’s also true of many of today’s top entrepreneurs in the money management and fintech space. They’ve had their share of bad investments (Enron, anyone?), waited too long to build credit and didn’t think long term about what it would take to reach their savings goals. The tools they and their teams build address many of these issues, some involving AI to help the average person balance their financial priorities and make personalized decisions. Others automate saving so you can “set it and forget it” and your hard-earned cash starts compounding well before your retirement years. Others help you budget, invest and […]

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Use These Strategies to Make Your Voice Heard at Work. 3 Things to Know Today.

Get in the know in 60 seconds. June 21, 2018 1 min read Getting your voice heard at work — whether you’re in a meeting, talking with your boss or communicating with collegues — can sometimes be challenging. But here are a few things you can do: First, everyone should be aware that in meetings where both men and women are present, women speak 25 percent less than men on average, according to a study published in the American Political Science Review. It’s something many of us can work on. Leadership expert Jill Flynn suggests treating every meeting “as if you’re visiting a foreign country.” Figure out what’s on the agenda, and prepare questions and comments accordingly. When you speak up, be authoritative! Instead of saying “How about we do this …” say, “I strongly suggest we do this … .” To show agreement, say, “I agree completely. Want more tips? Women Entrepreneur just […]

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