Items tagged with: ways
Minneapolis Fed The declining prospects of America’s working class are widely discussed and hotly debated these days, from the anthems of Bruce Springsteen to the “deaths of despair” research of…
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19530378
Posted by howard941 (karma: 6230)
Post stats: Points: 97 - Comments: 106 - 2019-03-30T16:48:15Z
#HackerNews #days #good #many #old #the #ways #yes
The declining prospects of America’s working class are widely discussed and hotly debated these days, from the anthems of Bruce Springsteen to the “deaths of despair” research of Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton.
A recent paper from the Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute explores this downhill trend for less-educated men and women by comparing life outcomes of two cohorts born 20 years apart. It shows that for the more recent generation, the American dream has undeniably vanished.
“The Lost Ones” compares life outcomes for less-educated, white men and women of two cohorts born 20 years apart. For the recent generation, the American dream has undeniably vanished.
“The Lost Ones: The Opportunities and Outcomes of Non-College-Educated Americans Born in the 1960s” compares wages, medical expenses, and life expectancy for non-college-educated white men, women, and couples born in the decade around 1940 with circumstances for those born 20 years later—a cohort 49-to-58 years old as of 2014. The paper’s authors, Institute senior scholar Mariacristina De Nardi and colleagues Margherita Borella and Fang Yang, then analyze how those differences have affected the two cohorts’ labor market outcomes and will affect their lives in retirement. Their goal, they write, “is to better measure these important changes in the lifetime opportunities … and to uncover their effects on the labor supply, savings, and welfare of a relatively recent birth cohort.”
In brief, they find a profound deterioration in well-being. Accounting for inflation, wages have declined for non-college-educated white men. And while wages have increased for women, it’s only because their human capital (education and experience) has drastically increased over this time period. These men and women—comprising 60 percent of their age group—are also expected to experience much higher out-of-pocket medical expenses in retirement and large decreases in life expectancy compared with their earlier counterparts (see figures). They “would have been much better off if they had faced the corresponding lifetime opportunities of the 1940s birth cohort.”
Borella, De Nardi, and Yang focus on whites for methodological reasons—the need for a sufficiently large and homogeneous data set—not from a sense that they alone suffer bad times. “White non-college-educated Americans are hardly the only disadvantaged population losing ground,” they write, citing research on stagnant wages and dramatic declines in employment rates for less-skilled black men, along with rising incarceration rates and persistent black-white skill gaps.
Generational change, for the worse
To arrive at these conclusions, the researchers take several steps: analyzing existing data sets in a new way, comparing generations, and building a “life-cycle” model of labor supply and savings with single and married people, incorporating skill-building on the job and including medical spending and longevity risk. Finally, with this model, they analyze the impact that the later generation’s worse wage schedules, medical expenses, and life expectancy profiles have had on their labor supply, savings, and welfare.
They “would have been much better off if they had faced the corresponding lifetime opportunities of the 1940s birth cohort.”
The data being analyzed refer to people who are white, have less than 16 years of education, and were born between 1936 and 1945. The comparison is made with the cohort of whites with the same educational achievements but born 20 years later, between 1956 and 1965. The data show that conditions got significantly worse. Men’s wages dropped by 9 percent (inflation-adjusted.) Women’s were 7 percent higher but, again, only because of higher human capital. Out-of-pocket medical expenses after age 66 increase by 82 percent. Still worse, life expectancy at middle age declines by 1.7 years for men and 1.1 years for women. “All of these changes are thus large,” observe the economists, “and have the potential to substantially affect behavior and welfare.”
Impact of change
The economists test their theoretical model by seeing if it can generate estimates that approximate actual data. It does. Model estimates closely match data on labor market participation, hours worked, and asset accumulation for all four demographic groups—single men, single women, married men, and married women—of the 1960s cohort over their entire working lives.
The final step is using the model to measure the impact these changes have had on the well-being of the 1960s generation.
Accounting for inflation, wages have declined. These men and women are expected to experience much higher medical expenses and large decreases in life expectancy.
They compare actual labor force participation, hours worked, and savings for the 1960s cohort with the outcomes generated if that cohort had enjoyed the higher wages, lower health expenses, and longer lifespans of the older generation. They first analyze one input at a time—wages, health costs, lifespans—and then all three together.
The effects of these changes on labor supply and savings vary by demographic group (male, female, single, married) but, in most cases, the impacts are substantial. If just wages had stayed at 1940s schedules, for example, while health expenses and lifespans were kept at 1960s levels, married couples would have had the most different labor market outcomes, with husbands staying in the labor force much longer and wives having lower participation rates and working fewer hours because of the much higher wages for men in the 1940s.
Changing just health expenses or just lifespans would have altered labor outcomes less significantly. “The decrease in life expectancy mainly reduced retirement savings,” the economists observe, “but the expected increase in out-of-pocket medical expenses increased them by more.”
Loss of welfare
The final question is the impact on overall welfare, a measurement the economists make by estimating the lump-sum compensation an individual would require to be indifferent between the 1940s and 1960s wages, medical expenses, and health and survival dynamics. The sums are large: $126,000 for single men, $44,000 for single women, and $132,000 for couples. Lower wages account for most of the welfare loss, between 47 percent and 58 percent, depending on demographic group. Shorter life expectancies explain 26 percent to 34 percent of the decrease in well-being, and higher medical expenses account for the rest.
Deep welfare losses, along with effects on labor supply, health care spending, and asset accumulation indicate that this large population segment has not enjoyed the fruits of broad economic health.
These deep welfare losses, along with the associated effects on labor supply, health care spending, and asset accumulation, contrast starkly with the American economy’s strong aggregate growth, indicating that this large segment of the population has not enjoyed the fruits of that broad economic health. By illuminating that difference, this research can serve well in any effort to, in the economists’ words, “evaluate to what extent current government policies attenuate these kind of shocks and whether we should re-design some policies to reduce their impacts.”
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#advisors #bridge #business #column #death #economy #entrepreneurship #four #softbank #start-up chile #startup company #startups #tnt #valley #ways #widening
Shahin Farshchi ContributorShahin Farshchi is a partner at Lux Capital. More posts by this contributor
* Building a great startup requires more than genius and a great invention
* Investing in frontier technology is (and isn’t) cleantech all over again
Many founders believe in the myth that the first steps of starting a business are the hardest: Attracting the first investment, the first hires, proving the technology, launching the first product and landing the first customer. Although those critical first steps are difficult, they are certainly not the most difficult on the arduous path of building an iconic company. As early and late-stage funding becomes more abundant, founders and their early VC backers need to get smarter about how to position their companies for a looming valley of death in-between. As we’ll learn below, it’s only going to get much, much harder before it gets easier.
Money will have the look, and heft, of dumbbells as the economic cycle turns. Expect an abundance of small, seed checks at one end, an abundance of massive checks for clear, breakout companies at the other, and a dearth of capital for expanding companies with early proof points and market traction. Read more on how to best prepare for this inevitable future. (Image courtesy Flickr/CircaSassy)
There will be an abundance of capital at the two ends of the startup spectrum. At one end, hundreds of seed and micro VCs, each armed with dozens of $250,000-$1 million checks to write every year, are on the prowl for visionary founders with pedigrees and resumes. At the other end, behemoths like SoftBank, sovereigns, as well “early-stage” firms raising larger funds are seeking breakout companies ready for checks that are in the mid-tens to hundreds of millions. There will be a dearth of capital to grow companies from a kernel of a business, to becoming the clear market-defining leader. In fact, we’re already seeing deal volume decreasing significantly as dollars increase, likely evidence of larger checks going into fewer companies.
Even as the overall number of deals decrease below 2012 levels, the overall dollars invested into startups continue to soar. The 200+ “seed-stage” funds formed since 2012 will continue to chase nascent companies. Meanwhile, the increasing number of mega-funds will seek breakout companies into which to make $100 million+ investments. Companies with early traction seeking ~$20 million to grow will be abundant and have difficulty accessing capital.
Founders should no longer assume that their all-star seed and Series A syndicates will guarantee a successful follow-on financing. Progress on recruiting and product development, though necessary, are no longer sufficient for B-rounds and beyond. Founders should be mindful that investors that specialize in leading $20-50 million rounds will have a plethora of well-funded, well-mentored, well-staffed startups with slick presentations, big visions and some early market traction from which to choose.
Today, there is far more capital chasing fewer quality companies. Fewer breakout companies and fear of missing out is making it easy to raise growth rounds with revenue growth, which may not be scalable or even reflective of an attractive business. This is creating false realities and prompting founders to raise big rounds at high prices — which is fine when there is an over-abundance of capital, but can cripple them when capital later becomes scarce. For example, not long ago, cleantech companies, armed with very preliminary sales, raised massive financings from VCs eager to back winners toward scaling into what they characterized as infinite demand. The reality is that the capital required to meet target economics was far greater and demand far smaller. As the private markets turned, access to cash became difficult and most faltered or were acquired for pennies on the dollar.
There is a likely future where capital grows scarce, and investors take a harder look at the underpinnings of revenue, growth and (dis)economies of scale.
What should startup leadership teams emphasize in an inevitable future where the $30 million rounds will be orders of magnitude harder than their $5 million rounds?
A business model representative of the big vision
Leadership teams put lots of emphasis on revenue. Unfortunately, revenue that’s not representative of the big vision is probably worse than no revenue at all. Companies are initially seeded with the expectation that the founding team can build and sell something. What needs to be proven is the hypothesis that the company can a) build a special product that b) is inexpensive to convince customers to pay for, and c) that those customers represent a massive market. It should be proven that it is unattractive for customers to switch to the inevitable copycats. It should be clear that over time, customers will pay more for additional features, and the cost of acquiring new customers will go down. Simply selling a product to customers that don’t represent that model is worse than not selling anything at all.
Recruiting talent that’s done it
Early founding teams are cognitively diverse individuals that can convince early investors that they can overcome the incredible odds of building a company that until now, shouldn’t have existed. They build a unique product, leveraging unique tools satisfying an unmet need. The early teams need to demonstrate the big vision, and that they can recruit the people that can make that vision a reality. Unfortunately, more founders struggle when it comes to recruiting people that have real experience reducing a technology to practice, executing on a product that customers want and charting the path to expand their market with improving unit economics. There are always exceptions of people that do the above for the first time at startups; however, most of today’s iconic startups knew what kind of talent they needed to execute and succeeded in bringing them on board. Who’s on your team?
Present metrics that matter
The attractive SaaS valuation multiples behoove all founders to apply its metrics to their businesses even if they aren’t really SaaS businesses. Sophisticated later-stage investors see right past that and dismiss numbers associated with metrics that are not representative. Semiconductors are about winning dedicated sockets in growing markets. Design tools are about winning and upselling seats in an industry that’s going to be hooked on those tools. Develop a clear understanding of how your business will be measured. Don’t inundate your investor with numbers; present a concise hypothesis for your unfair advantage in a growing market with your current traction being evidence to back it.
Find efficiencies by working in massive markets
“Pouring fuel on the fire” is a misleading metaphor that leads some into believing that capital can grow any business. That’s just as true as watering a plant with a fire hose or putting TNT in your Corolla’s gas tank: most business models and markets simply are not native to the much-sought-after venture growth profile. In fact, most later-stage startups that fail after raising large amounts of capital fail for this reason. Most markets are conducive to businesses with DIS-economies of scale, implying dwindling margins with scale, which is why many businesses are small, serving local, fragmented markets that technology alone cannot consolidate. How do your unit economics improve over time? What are the efficiencies generated by economies of scale? Is there a real network effect that drives these economies?
Image courtesy Getty Images
I expect today’s resourceful founders to seek partners, whether it’s employees, advisors or investors, to help them answer these questions. Together, these cognitively diverse teams will work together to accelerate past any metaphoric valley and build the iconic companies taking humanity to its fantastic future.
You won't be able to order Whole Foods groceries on Instacart soon.
Article word count: 401
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18674365
Posted by acdanger (karma: 3800)
Post stats: Points: 107 - Comments: 106 - 2018-12-13T17:52:54Z
\#HackerNews #amazon-owned #and #are #foods #instacart #parting #ways #whole
Instacart has announced this morning it will no longer be doing business with Whole Foods, a U.S. organic grocery chain the company launched a partnership with in 2014. This comes roughly one year after Amazon closed its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods; Amazon, of course, has its own grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh.
Currently, Instacart has 1,415 in-store shoppers, or paid Instacart couriers, at 76 Whole Foods locations; 243 of those couriers, who exclusively deliver groceries from Whole Foods, will no longer be able to make Instacart deliveries beginning February 10, when the company officially winds down its partnership. Instacart says they have already placed 75 percent of those workers in new roles, though 25 percent, or about 60 workers, have been laid off.
Instacart added that 75 percent of the 1,415 total shoppers, or 1,016 people, are also expected to be placed in new stores, meaning layoffs could surpass 350.
A person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that significant developments over the last 18 months forced Instacart to wind down its relationship earlier than planned. Whole Foods didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Whole Foods will fully exit the Instacart marketplace, which allows shoppers to order from more than 300 retailers, including Kroger, Costco, Walmart and Sam’s Club, in 2019.
The Amazonization of Whole Foods, one year in
In a blog post this morning, Instacart founder and chief executive officer Apoorva Mehta (pictured above) said the company will be offering transfer bonuses to all current Whole Foods couriers being transitioned to new stores. As for those being laid off as part of the dissolution of the partnership, Instacart will provide a separation package based on a minimum of three months of maximum monthly pay in 2018.
Instacart pays 70,000 people to shop for its customers. The 1,415 affected by the news may seem like a small fraction, but it’s bad news for the business, which has likely been bracing for this since Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos signed the Whole Foods check in 2017.
VCs, however, seem to be confident in Instacart’s ability to compete with Amazon. The company raised $600 million at a $7.6 billion valuation in October, just six months after it brought in a $150 million round and roughly eight months after a $200 million financing that valued the business at $4.2 billion.
Farmstead is an ambitious grocery delivery startup with plans to defeat Instacart
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I have suffered a loss of $10k due to an extremely unbelievable case of my client's as well as my own email domain was hacked.
So, I run a very small pharma export company in India. I have a client in Ontario, Canada with whom I have been doing regular business.
2 weeks ago I got an order worth $10000 from them. So as usual I dispatched the material to them and then raised the invoice with my bank details from my email address called "abcde@mydomain .com".
Now on the next day my client received an email from "firstname.lastname@example.org" stating that there is a change in invoice and revised invoice is again sent which had bank account details of a UK bank account.
Now an email like "email@example.com" doesn't exist at all.
My client asked me for a confirmation email again but this email never reached me. So the client made the payment and the money is already deducted from his account.
Also, what makes this even more strange is that I received a fake email from my client's company with 3-4 times about not asking for payment as it will be delayed.
I got this email from an email address like "firstname.lastname@example.org" instead of "email@example.com".
Now $10000 in an extremely huge amount for survival of my company. I want to know what are my options and is there any way of recovering it.
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18310135
Posted by milanmot (karma: 74)
Post stats: Points: 88 - Comments: 76 - 2018-10-26T15:28:07Z
\#HackerNews #10k #any #ask #email #hacked #lost #recover #was #ways
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The era where we were in control of the data on our own computers has been replaced with devices containing sensors we cannot control, storing data we cannot access, in operating systems we cannot…
Article word count: 548
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18209045
Posted by crunchiebones (karma: 116)
Post stats: Points: 112 - Comments: 43 - 2018-10-13T17:34:54Z
\#HackerNews #against #being #data #invisible #manipulation #our #used #ways
The era where we were in control of the data on our own computers has been replaced with devices containing sensors we cannot control, storing data we cannot access, in operating systems we cannot monitor, in environments where our rights are rendered meaningless. Soon the default will shift from us interacting directly with our devices to interacting with devices we have no control over and no knowledge that we are generating data. Below we outline 10 ways in which this exploitation and manipulation is already happening.
1. Fintech and the Financial Exploitation of Customer Data
Financial services are collecting and exploiting increasing amounts of data about our behaviour, interests, networks, and personalities to make financial judgements about us, like our creditworthiness.
2. Profiling and Elections — How Political Campaigns Know Our Deepest Secrets
Political campaigns around the world have turned into sophisticated data operations.
3. Connected Cars and the Future of Car Travel
As society heads toward an ever more connected world, the ability for individuals to protect and manage the invisible data that companies and third parties hold about them, becomes increasingly difficult. This is further complicated by events like data breaches, hacks, and covert information gathering techniques, which are hard, if not impossible, to consent to.
4. The Myth of Device Control and the Reality of Data Exploitation
Our connected devices carry and communicate vast amounts of personal information, both visible and invisible.
5. Super-Apps and the Exploitative Potential of Mobile Applications
For those concerned by reporting of Facebook’s exploitation of user data to generate sensitive insights into its users, it is worth taking note of WeChat, a Chinese super-app whose success has made it the envy of Western technology giants, including Facebook. WeChat has more than 900 million users. It serves as a portal for nearly every variety of connected activity in China.
6. Smart Cities and Our Brave New World
Cities around the world are deploying collecting increasing amounts of data and the public is not part of deciding if and how such systems are deployed.
7. The Myth of Free Wi-Fi
Many technologies, including those that are critical to our day-to-day lives do not protect our privacy or security. One reason for this is that the standards which govern our modern internet infrastructure do not prioritise security which is imperative to protect privacy.
8. Invisible Discrimination and Poverty
Online, and increasingly offline, companies gather data about us that determine what advertisements we see; this, in turn, affects the opportunities in our lives. The ads we see online, whether we are invited for a job interview, or whether we qualify for benefits is decided by opaque systems that rely on highly granular data. More often than not, such exploitation of data facilitates and exacerbates already existing inequalities in societies — without us knowing that it occurs. As a result, data exploitation disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
9. Data and Policing - Your Tweet Can and Will Be Used Against You
Police and security services are increasingly outsourcing intelligence collection to third-party companies which are assigning threat scores and making predictions about who we are.
10. The Gig Economy and Exploitation
Gig economy jobs that depend on mobile applications allow workers’ movements to be monitored, evaluated, and exploited by their employers.
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