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The latest news on Careers from Business Insider

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    RTSYVEG

    On June 23rd, many companies around the globe celebrated "Take Your Dog to Work Day."

    But at some companies, the holiday never stops.

    "Employees are more relaxed having their dogs at work," says Beth Bellanti, Pet Policy Expert at Tito's Handmade Vodka.

    "It also gives them a chance to take productive breaks by getting out and walking their dogs."

    Can't stand to be away from your precious pooch?

    Discover jobs at these 12 companies.


    Nestlé Purina

    Where They're Hiring: St. Louis, MO; Clinton, IA; Edmond, OK; Denver, CO and more

    Company Rating: 4.4

    As the largest pet food company in the United States, it's probably no surprise that dogs are welcome at Nestlé Purina. But this is just one of the many things that makes the company so great -- Nestlé Purina's culture is nearly unbeatable, said the employees who helped it become one of the Best Places to Work in 2017. "I absolutely love coming to work for NPPC everyday. The culture is second to none and over the years my work team has become like family...At this point, I can't imagine working somewhere else," says a current employee.



    Kabbage

    Where They're Hiring: Atlanta, GA; San Francisco, CA

    Company Rating: 4.5

    Kabbage, a tech startup and 2017 Best Place to Work based out of Atlanta, Georgia, "provides fully automated funding to small businesses" through their website or mobile app. 

    And rest assured, your furry friend is welcome at Kabbage. "The dogs are always fun to have in the office -- you'd be amazed at how many of your coworkers you meet in an ever-growing company when they stop by your desk to pet your dog, even if your paths might not normally intersect," the employee continues.



    Amazon

    Where They're Hiring: Seattle, WA; Atlanta, GA: Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; San Francisco, CA; Madison, WI; New York, NY and many more

    Company Rating: 3.5

    Ecommerce giant Amazon has long been a friend to dogs, earning the honor of being called Seattle’s most dog-friendly workplace and even having an entire page on their careers site dedicated to the four-legged team members that “work” there.

    But dogs aren’t the only thing Amazon has going on for it — “After 10+ years there is still a lot to learn and discover, and ways to have big impact for both customers and employees. I have fortunate to have been on 4 great teams. I have been given many opportunities to do new things, travel, take on global responsibility and pushback. Through org changes, maternity leave, and personal highs and lows, I have always felt supported and valued,” says one Senior Manager.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Queen windsor castle

    Two new job vacancies have been posted on The Royal Household website— and there's no experience necessary.

    The advertised roles are for daily cleaners at Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

    The positions are full time or part-time, five days a week. The main objective is "knowing a room is spotless before thousands of visitors arrive."

    Candidates will be in charge of ensuring all areas including the visitor route, public areas, staff offices, State rooms, and accommodation look their very best.

    As well as vacuum cleaning, dusting and bleaching, the winning candidates will also clean and care for "historic vases and irreplaceable paintings."

    Previous cleaning experience is not necessary, but the ideal candidates should have excellent teamwork skills.

    "You clearly take care and pride in your work, and your keen attention to detail means that you aim for the highest standards in all that you do,"the advert reads. "It's a busy environment, but with good time management skills, you'll work with your team to get everything done."

    In return, you'll get 33 days holiday. Free lunch is also thrown in.

    There's no salary listed, and previous research has shown us that there is a lot of discrepancy in the wages earned when working for Queen Elizabeth II, so it's a bit of a gamble.

    The closing dates for applications are July 20 and 23 for Holyroodhouse and Windsor respectively. If this sounds like your ideal role, you can apply here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: These are the two conversations every boss should have with their employees to create the perfect team


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    young woman professional job

    There's nothing like the feelings of relief and accomplishment that come with a job offer.

    But there's still business to take care of before you celebrate: reviewing and signing the contract. Your offer package is likely filled with legalese, but don't make that an excuse to skim through it.

    "Ultimately we need to view employment agreements as the glue that holds the relationship between the employer and the employee together," Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, told Business Insider.

    "How you define that glue is based on the needs and desires of both parties," he said. "It's generally the case, unless the employee has a great deal of bargaining power, that the employer holds a greater weight in determining what those terms are." Most importantly, the contract should establish what your employer expects of you and vice versa.

    Below, Hamrick lays out the seven most important financial terms to review before signing any job contract:

    1. Base pay

    When you receive an offer letter from a company, annual salary, or base pay, is likely at the front of your mind. And rightly so — you need to know how much you're being paid for your time and work. If the base pay number on the contract doesn't match the number you discussed in your interview with the company, say something now.

    By signing a contract, you're agreeing to the salary stated — at least until you get a promotion or a raise — so don't expect to sign it and then negotiate that number on your first day in the office.

    2. Incentive pay

    Depending on the position, you may be offered compensation beyond your base salary in the form of bonuses or commission. This type of incentive pay differs across employers, so you'll want to ensure your contract specifies whether a bonus is guaranteed or discretionary (meaning at-will of the employer).

    Plus, is your bonus a fixed amount or based on performance? If it's performance-based, who's judging your performance? "This might include some goals that could be in part, if not entirely, aspirational ... 'How high of a bar are we setting for this person to hit?'" said Hamrick.

    Also, what's the pay-out schedule — is it quarterly, bi-annually, or once-a-year holiday bonus? The contract should answer all of these questions clearly.

    3. Vacation and leave

    "Many people are highly interested in terms of their leave — that could include what we would broadly define as vacation days, personal days, sick time, maternity/paternity leave, caring for a sick relative, or bereavement leave," said Hamrick. A contract should say how many sick, vacation, and otherwise non-work days you have in a calendar year. It should also specify how many, if any, are paid.

    4. Insurance

    If your job contract is coming from a company with 50 or more full-time employees, you should be offered health insurance.

    "We don't necessarily think about having insurance because we're not betting that something bad is happening to us, but it's good to have if something does," Hamrick said. "There are a variety of insurances that an employer either provides or subsidizes: health insurance, dental, vision, life, disability insurance and whether they pertain to family members."

    You don't have to use the health insurance offered by your employer — like if you're under 26 and still on your parents' plan, for instance — but if you plan to, read the terms carefully and know what you're getting. Make sure you understand how much you'll pay for your portion of the monthly premiums as well.

    dream job

    5. 401(k) matching

    "[T]he most common variety of retirement compensation is the 401(k) and match — to the degree that an employer is essentially either providing some retirement pay or incentivizing the employee to contribute to that [fund]," Hamrick said.

    There are a variety of 401(k) matching formulas employers use — whether they contribute a percentage of your total compensation or dollar amounts up to a certain limit — and the details of your company's plan should be clearly stated in the contract.

    6. Stock options

    Many new or young companies offer stock options to their employees, which is an opportunity to make money if the company does well. If you plan to take advantage of the company's stock options, pay attention to the vesting schedule, exercise price, and exercise time — this is what determines how much money you could potentially earn and under what time frame.

    "For many people, it's the financial icing on the cake," Hamrick said. "[But] this is an area where people need to be very cautious." If the company is lucrative, your stock options could have incredible value. Conversely, according to Hamrick, the company could do poorly, in which case you should "gauge the risk" and ask yourself, "is my compensation still adequate" without stock options? 

    7. Education benefits

    More than 60% of employers offer tuition assistance in the form of compensation or reimbursement, and many are seeing less turnover and more satisfied employees as a result. If your employer offers this benefit, it should be outlined in the contract.

    Your employer may also be part of the growing number of companies helping employees with student loan repayment. It's an especially attractive benefit to millennials, said Hamrick. Make sure your contract states the maximum annual and lifetime contributions the company will make to your debt, as well as the tax implications.

    SEE ALSO: 'Turn the interview process on its head': A Facebook director shares 3 questions to ask in every job interview

    DON'T MISS: The 25 highest-paying jobs you can get without a bachelor's degree

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    In her book, "Radical Candor: Be A Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity," former Apple and Google executive, Kim Scott, details the best ways a manager can get the most out of his or her team. Scott says there are two key conversations every manager should have with his or her employees to create a well-functioning team and get the most out of the employee. Following is a transcript of the video.

    So the way that you can understand someone's goals and use that understanding to make sure you're giving them the right opportunities for them is simply to have two conversations with them. I think the first conversation that you want to have with someone is sort of the get to know you conversation starting with kindergarten tell me about your life and as you have this conversation you want to focus in on pivots that the person has made throughout their life and understand why did you make that change and from that question you'll understand what motivates somebody.

    So somebody was a cheerleader and then they became a swimmer because they really could see more results of time in the pool on the swim team than they could as a cheerleader then you know this person is results oriented. You start to see whether it's hard work or what not that really motivates the person but you get a much richer more textured view of the person if you understand these sort of abstractions in the context of their actual life story.

    And don't be intrusive. Obviously if a person doesn't want to tell you about their childhood, you're not a shrink, you're the boss, right. So be sensitive to how the other person is feeling. So that's one conversation. The next conversation that I recommend that you have with people to sort of understand what their goals are is what I call the "dreams conversation." So ask somebody at the pinnacle of your life, when everything is going just the way you want it, tell me what it looks like, what are your dreams? And don't ask for just one dream because very few of us really know what we want to be when we grow up and those who do confuse the heck out of the rest of us.

    So give people opportunity to have several different dreams, and when you have this conversation about somebody's dreams, you'll begin to see what are the skills that they need to develop, what are the things they need to learn, who are the people they need to meet in order to take a step in the direction of those dreams. And even when their current job is, seems really different than their long-term dream, you'll often find that there are ways you can change the job.

    You can give them different projects. You can give them some additional responsibilities. You can offer to make introductions for the person. You can offer to get them some training or some education or go to a conference. And those things will now be relevant to their current job but also be taking them a step in the direction of their dreeams. And that gives work a lot more meaning for people.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    student protest

    In 2012, the maximum amount universities in the UK could charge for a year of education increased to £9,000 from £3,375. In 2017, it increased again to £9,250 per year.

    Both decisions were met with protests, and students all over the country argued they were being priced out of their own education.

    According to research from MyVoucherCodes, students currently applying for university will be in at least £47,929 worth of debt when they graduate, if they also have a maintenance loan. Extra loans have become more widely necessary because maintenance grants were scrapped in 2016.

    However, like previous student loan agreements, the debt gets written off after a certain amount of time. With the latest fee payback plans, the debt will be cleared automatically 30 years after graduation. You also only start repayments when you start earning over £21,000 a year.

    This — along with the interest that accumulates — means many people will never pay off all of their student debt.

    MyVoucherCodes found that students who pursue certain careers will only have paid off about half of their fees by the time the slate is wiped clean.total repayment graph new1

    The research showed that publishers and journalists will probably only pay off 43% of what they owe, and those in retail management are likely to pay back 53%.

    Those studying veterinary science are at university for five years — six if they study at Cambridge — meaning they can rack up £82,326 in debt. They are only likely to have paid back 53% of that after 30 years.

    Some professions just about pay their way before the cut off. Those with a career as a mechanical engineer, for example, will have paid it all back in 29 years and four months, along with £27,930 worth of interest.

    On the other end of the scale, investment bankers and financial managers will have paid the entirety of their loans in just over 14 and 13 years respectively.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Navy SEAL who claims he killed bin Laden explains how he performs under stress


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    Screen Shot 2017 07 03 at 3.51.12 PM

    This chart should concern Wall Street. 

    A survey of 300 finance professionals with six to 10 years of post-MBA experience by the Toigo Foundation and Russell Reynolds Associates, a New York-based executive-search firm, found 50% of finance employees want to leave their job in the next one to three years. And 20% are considering leaving finance all together.

    The survey was conducted to shed light on the so-called talent crisis on Wall Street. Top students from America's most prestigious MBA programs are increasingly seeking out careers outside of financial services, and voluntary turnover at some banks has reached peak levels, according to Business Insider's Matt Turner.

    The report identifies three core themes for firms to consider to help them attract and retain talent.

    According to the report, they are as follows:

    1. Work towards inclusion. Many financial firms have taken steps to diversify their ranks, according to the report, but not everyone feels welcomed and valued.
    2. Stand for something. Some respondents said they didn't feel as if their firm had a defined mission or strove towards something greater in the same way that tech firms do. 
    3. Easy fixes don't go that far. Inauthentic attempts to change company culture will "fall flat." That means, you can't just make the dress code less formal and hold a minority employee dinner every year. 

    SEE ALSO: The CEO of an investing startup taking in $12 million a day on the future of finance, millennials, and happiness

    SEE ALSO: Young Wall Streeters were surveyed about their experiences in finance — and their responses were brutal

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: HENRY BLODGET: Tech market is nowhere near the dotcom days


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    grumpy kid

    There's nothing more formidable than a stubborn child.

    When they know their own mind, "no" becomes their favourite word, and you can have a difficult time getting them to do anything without getting a piercing scream in return.

    Unfortunately for parents, this kind of behaviour might as well be encouraged.

    According to a paper published in the journal Developmental Psychology, rule breaking and general defiance of parents are two of the best predictors of earning a high income as an adult.

    The research followed 700 children from around the age of eight to mid-life, using data from the MAGRIP study, which began in 1968.

    Children between the ages of eight and 12 were assessed for personality traits like entitlement, defiance, and academic conscientiousness. They were tracked down 40 years later to see how they ended up, and it turns out that the stubborn ones became the educational over-achievers and high-earners.

    "Given the nature of our archival data, the possible explanations are rather ad hoc and our exploratory results need to be replicated," the study reads. "If there are no other omitted third variables, we might assume that students who scored high on this scale might earn a higher income because they are more willing to be more demanding during critical junctures such as when negotiating salaries or raises."

    In other words, the stubborn kids grow up learning how to say "no" and negotiating for what they want. Children who scored low on "agreeableness," for example, were also shown to earn more.

    The authors don't provide a definite reason. The study also didn't account for life choices and career paths that affect earning potential.

    However, they do speculate over some explanations. One is that stubborn people value competition over their personal relationships, and so want to advance their interests relative to others. Another is that individuals who break rules and stand up to their parents are more willing to stand up for their own interests, leading to higher salaries.

    "Student characteristics and behaviors play significant roles in important life outcomes over and above socioeconomic factors and cognitive abilities," the researchers conclude in the paper.

    "We demonstrated that being successful is more than 'just' having good cognitive resources and coming from a socially advantaged family and that personality related characteristics and student behavior measured early in life are important predictors of life outcomes in midlife."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Marine who coaches Fortune 500 execs explains why setting goals is a 'waste of time'


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    skydiving risk danger adrenaline

    The internet may be made up of millions of anonymous strangers, but those strangers can still share some pretty great life advice.

    One of the most common questions to come up on Reddit's AskReddit threads is young people asking how to live without regret.

    Thousands of people have weighed in over the last several years, offering advice to people of all ages.

    Here are some of the shiniest pearls of wisdom from people over 40 to people still in their 30s.

    SEE ALSO: Redditors give 20-somethings advice on how to enter your 30s without regrets

    "Big goals are just checkpoints and have far less punch in hindsight."

    "Big goals are just checkpoints and have far less punch in hindsight. The day-to-day moments of sitting around with friends, cuddling on the couch, laughing together at a funny joke, those moments burn in memory and hold all of the real importance. Attaining or not attaining goals seems to have nothing to do with happiness. Looking back, some of my biggest failures that seemed so catastrophic at the time, feel meaningless. They are just part of my story. The people I've lost, I miss every day. It's only about the people."— clickclickfizzle



    "Multitasking is an oxymoron."

    "I regret ... living in a shallow blur, by doing too many things adequately vs. a few meaningful things really, really well.

    "Multitasking is an oxymoron, and your inbox will always be full — that is its job. But being excellent in a few cherished things (playing piano, skiing, photography, whatever) gives a lasting reward."— mustlovecash



    "Stay fit and healthy guys. It's a long way back once you lose it!"

    "I got married in my late 20s and really settled into a sedentary lifestyle right through my 30s. Stacked on too much weight and the lack of exercise and terrible diet now sees me having some fairly significant health issues before I even hit 45.

    "Stay fit and healthy guys. It's a long way back once you lose it!"— Ozguy23



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    drinking beer party

    Work parties are a good excuse to let your hair down a bit. Not too far, though.

    According to new research from the company research and review website Glassdoor, 45% of UK workers consume alcohol with colleagues once a month, and 10% do so several times a month.

    However, 26% of the 2,000 people polled said they didn't touch alcohol when they were at work events. This could be because some people are extra cautious of drinking too much when they are around people they work with, out of fear of looking unprofessional.

    On the other end of the spectrum, other people aren't so bothered. 12% of those polled admitted to having to be put in a taxi home from work event for being too drunk, and 7% had witnessed a fight at a work function.

    Apparently, this kind of behaviour isn't always saved for special occasions. 9% of people said they had been sent home from work for being drunk, and the same amount said the same for when they were hungover.

    About 8% admitted to behaving inappropriately due to drinking at work, and 4% had even been fired for turning up drunk.

    There's something of an age divide, also. In the 45-54 age group, 47% said they drink with coworkers once a month compared to 37% of 18-24 and 46% of 25-34 year olds.

    About 5% of young people aged 18 to 24 said they drink with their colleagues every day, and the 45-54s were the group who had been fired the most times for turning up to work drunk.

    "Socialising with colleagues should have the sole purpose of building, not damaging relationships," said David Whitby, the UK Country Manager at Glassdoor.

    "It's very possible to form genuine friendships with people at work which in turn can increase productivity within teams. Know your limits and remember that you are with colleagues, however at ease you feel after that fourth pint."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Valedictorians rarely become rich and famous — here's why the average millionaire's college GPA is 2.9


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    Success! How I Did It Banner BI GraphicsVlad Tenev Robinhood founder CEO

    It's hard getting funding for a startup, but it's even harder when the product doesn't exist yet, still requires regulatory approval, and is being launched during a recession.

    But after 75 investor pitches, the founders of a commission-free stock-trading app, Robinhood, found a few willing venture capitalists. Now the easy-to-use app has over 2 million users and is valued at about $1.3 billion.

    "There were a lot of people who didn't believe in it, and we had to bang down a ton of doors. We were really relentless," Vlad Tenev, the cofounder and co-CEO of Robinhood, told Business Insider US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell on the "Success! How I Did It" podcast. "We probably knocked on 75 doors before we actually made it work."

    In the wide-ranging conversation, Tenev and Shontell discussed:

    • His move to the United States from Bulgaria as a young boy, and how his upbringing affected his career.
    • What it was like having about 75 venture-capital doors slammed in his face.
    • How he and his cofounder, Baiju Bhatt, got nearly 1 million people to sign up for Robinhood before the app even existed.
    • How they met Snoop Dogg, one of Robinhood's investors.
    • What it took to build a $1.3 billion company by the age of 30.
    • What millennials are investing in (the average age of Robinhood's users is 30).

    You can listen to the full interview here:

    Subscribe to "Success! How I Did It" on Acast or iTunes. Check out previous episodes with:

    If you'd rather read the interview, here's a transcript of the podcast that has been lightly edited for clarity and length:

    Alyson Shontell: Vlad, thanks so much for joining us today.

    Vlad Tenev: It's a pleasure to be here.

    Shontell: To get started, I want to learn about you and your background, and how you grew into the CEO of a $1.3 billion company before you even hit age 30 — I think maybe you're 30 years old now?

    Tenev: I am 30 now, yeah.

    How emigrating from Bulgaria affected his career

    Shontell: But take me back. You moved here to the States when you were 5 years old from Bulgaria?

    Tenev: Yeah, that's right.

    Shontell: So what was growing up like for you?

    Tenev: Communist Bulgaria is where I grew up, and my father was actually a professor of economics. He tells me the story about how when he was in school, he would sneak into the basement — he had a friend there who was, like, keeping track of access, and she would let him in and let him read all of the banned literature, which was Western economic thought from the US, and that stuff wasn't well accepted at the time.

    My father had an opportunity to come to this country to study — this was in 1991, when I was four. So he went, moved over by himself. My mom moved over six months later, so I was actually living with my grandparents. They would take me to school, they basically raised me for a little bit, and I moved over in 1992, around the summer when I was 5 years old.

    My parents were decidedly risk-averse — they really were pushing me very hard to enter the financial industry, where they both work, but not really to enter it in the way that I did as an entrepreneur. They've been working the same job for over 25 years each, both working at the World Bank, so I didn't really grow up with entrepreneurship in mind. But I came over to Stanford for college, met my cofounder there, and in 2008 I went to grad school, he went to grad school, he joined a trading firm just north of San Francisco.

    His first month on the job and my first month in grad school, Lehman Brothers went under, the market collapsed, and things just completely changed, and it was a very, very interesting time for the industry. At, really, my cofounder Baiju [Bhatt]'s urging and insistence, we started a little trading firm and moved out here to New York City to actually begin it, and that was the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey.

    Starting startups

    Robinhood cofounders Bhatt and Tenev

    Shontell: You had a few kind-of finance-related startups before this, right?

    Tenev: Our previous company, which was called Chronos Research, started in New York. And essentially what we were offering were tools for hedge funds and banks to build automated trading strategies. This was the spiritual precursor to Robinhood.

    If you think about the stock market today, it looks very different than maybe what we were expecting when I was growing up, at least. I watched movies like "Trading Places" where you'd have a bunch of people in the pit waving around paper tickets and the burliest, tallest one would make the trade happen, right? And nowadays, that's not the case. All of the action happens in data centers, a lot of which are in New Jersey, and it's really about who has the fastest systems, the most automated systems, the best software. And those firms have an advantage when it comes to trading. With maybe a team of 10 people, that would have taken 300, 400, 500 people to do at a conventional trading desk at a big bank.

    It became clear to us that the smartphone would be your primary tool for accessing the markets and doing financial transactions in general. When we looked at the space and we compared what we saw with the institutional world, where maybe firms were placing millions of trades per day at effectively no cost, we realized that from a technology standpoint, that's not that different from millions of customers placing trades per day, and that we could offer that at low cost by leveraging that same automation.

    How to get nearly 1 million users signed up before a product launches

    robinhood 2017

    Shontell: And so the app, while it might sound complicated because it's financial services and all that, it's really not — to the point that it is so simple to use it's almost scary. But before I get into that app and what it looks like now, I want to go to you launching a website first before you even had an app, right? And from what I understand, it was more or less an overnight success. From the sounds of it, you basically put up a website and then have all these people suddenly on the wait list when you wake up.

    Tenev: To preface it, before we started Robinhood and launched it, we had very little experience with mobile app development and, really, consumer product development. I mean, our previous company, like I mentioned, was enterprise software, so —

    Shontell: And you were a physics and math major, right? You weren't engineering and —

    Tenev: No, I had no formal engineering background and no prior work experience, really, in consumer companies. And we actually had a couple of experimental apps while waiting for the regulatory approval for Robinhood that we launched and we actually tried to get some traction on, and it was very difficult for us to get customers because ultimately we made a lot of mistakes that first-time developers of mobile products make, like packing a ton of features into apps and not really addressing a really deep customer pain point. So the last thing from our minds when we launched Robinhood, the initial website, was that it would blow up overnight, so we were kind of cavalier in the way we approached it.

    Shontell: What did the website say?

    Tenev: It had a description in very simple language saying, "Commission-free trading, stop paying up to $10 per trade." And then there was a button that let you sign up, and then when you signed up, you put in your email, and you would join this wait list where we would actually show you: There's this many people ahead of you, this many people behind you.

    This has become a relatively common thing since then. I think a lot of that has to do with how well our wait list did, but we were actually inspired by this other product that launched about a year before called Mailbox.

    I remember distinctly it was a Friday night. We had been working on the wait list in preparation for our press launch, which would have been, I think, the following Wednesday or Thursday. Everyone goes home, and I wake up Saturday morning, and I open up Google Analytics, and I see something like 600 concurrents on our site, which nobody knew about at that point. I was just like, "What's going on? This is not normal. Something must be wrong." Right?

    And I'm looking at the analytics — I see a lot of traffic, or the majority of it, coming from Hacker News. And I open up Hacker News, and I see No. 1: "Chinese Land Spaceship on the Moon," No. 2: "Google acquires Boston Dynamics, the Robotics Company," and No. 3 was: "Robinhood: Free Stock Trading." So, first of all, I was like, "Oh man, like No. 3 on Hacker News? This is sort of like every engineer's dream in the Valley, right?"

    Shontell: Hacker News is really big, especially on the West Coast within the tech community. It's kind of how you find cool things that are bubbling up, big stories that are breaking in tech. How did you get on Hacker News? Who put you there?

    Tenev: We have absolutely no idea, and we've tried since then to get to No. 1 on Hacker News, and people at Robinhood I guess don't have a ton of karma, which is your Hacker News cred that helps. But both times we've been to No. 1, it's been a completely random person that we just have never been able to identify.

    My second thought was there's no way we'd get up to No. 1. I mean, the Chinese just landed on the moon and Google made a huge acquisition, so we probably have to settle at No. 3. But 20 minutes later we get up to No. 2. Maybe 15 minutes after that, we're at No. 1 on Hacker News.

    I'm just screenshotting the page; I'm calling my parents saying, "Oh, this is crazy. It might actually be working." And up until that point, we never really had an idea of what success, at least in the consumer space, was like. That was sort of the first moment where we built something that actually worked.

    Maybe about 20 minutes after that wore off, we realized, "Crap. None of the emails are wired up. The website's broken." And everyone just had to go to the office to staple everything together — make sure things were up, emails were getting sent. We ended up de facto doing our press launch on a Saturday, which every single person I've talked to in the PR world has told me was, like, the worst move you can possibly make.

    Shontell: Absolutely.

    Tenev: But we ended up getting 10,000 sign-ups that first day, over 50,000 the first week, and almost 1 million in the first year.

    Shontell: And do you think it was just the idea was exciting? That's been done before. Are there any other platforms that don't charge you a commission other than yours?

    Tenev: Not to my knowledge, and some people have promotions like your first five or 10 trades are free. That's been tried before, but I think what allows us to offer unlimited commission-free trading was a technological step change and the ability to attract a customer base organically in a space where customer acquisition has been entirely paid-advertising-driven.

    Shontell: At the time you put up this website, it goes to the top of Hacker News, and all of this is happening, you still don't have an app, right? There's nothing for people to actually physically download.

    Tenev: No.

    Shontell: It's just "You know this is coming, wait and see," and it builds some intrigue. How many people did you get on this wait list before you actually revealed the app?

    Tenev: We had almost 1 million.

    Shontell: And how many months was that from the time the website went up to the app coming out?

    Tenev: The app fully launched on the App Store in March of 2015, so about two and a half years ago. The time between announcement and public launch was almost a year and a half.

    Finding investors after 75 rejections

    Marc Andreessen

    Shontell: And had you raised money at that point?

    Tenev: We did. When we launched the website and launched the service, we had closed our seed round, so that was about $3 million, and it was led by Index, Google Ventures, Andreessen —

    Shontell: Snoop Dogg.

    Tenev: Snoop Dogg came in at the A, so that was a little bit later.

    Shontell: A few months before Snoop. How do you have no product and still raise $3 million?

    Tenev: Nowadays, it's sort of a relatively common amount. I shouldn't say common, but a lot of companies, especially ones that have capital requirements to get started, actually need to raise the capital. So for Robinhood, we didn't really have much of a choice, because the regulators required showing some amount of capital on our balance sheet before approval to launch the service. They don't want just a broker to come up with no capital and get a bunch of customers and then close up shop overnight. That's a really bad situation.

    So there are capital requirements, which also make it more difficult than launching a typical startup, because there's a little bit of a catch-22 situation. Investors want to be sure that you're going to get that regulatory approval before entrusting you with the capital, but you need that capital to get the regulatory approval.

    The people that invested in the company at that point were making a big bet on the founding team, on Baiju and myself and on this idea that was pretty unproven at the time, of us actually being able to acquire customers organically through word of mouth and actually deliver this product.

    Shontell: So, like, a Marc Andreessen invests in you with no product, no financial approval yet, and no wait list. This is a pretty big gamble. Investors don't usually do this. You must have had one heck of a pitch.

    Tenev: I think it was actually pretty challenging early on. There were a lot of people who just didn't believe in it, and we had to bang down a ton of doors, and we were really relentless. We probably knocked on 75 doors before we actually made it work.

    Shontell: Wow, so 75 venture-capital doors slammed in your face?

    Tenev: Yeah.

    Shontell: Sometimes bets pay off. It sounds like so far so good now that your last round, I think, valued the company at $1.3 billion. Those guys are probably pretty happy.

    Tenev: Yeah, yeah.

    How to get Snoop Dogg to invest in your startup

    snoop dogg

    Shontell: So talk to me about Snoop. How does one pitch Snoop Dogg and get him to invest in their startup?

    Tenev: Well, I think what really attracted a lot of our individual angels to Robinhood was this idea that you're doing something very important, and you're doing it in a new way. And it was a little bit rebellious, but rebellious in a good way in the sense that the financial industry over the past several decades has just not earned the trust of consumers, especially in our demographic. I mean, they've been actively ripping off consumers.

    You look at 2008 where we bailed out the banks, and the middle class, in a lot of ways, got stuck with the bill, and then in the years of the recovery since then, 90% of the returns have accumulated to the top 1%. It feels very, very unfair, and the margins for these services, which used to be brick-and-mortar but are now completely electronic, are way too big. The margins of financial-services companies are astonishingly large relative to what's actually going on, and what that translates into is almost literally they're taking money out of your pocket and putting it in theirs.

    As part of this latest funding announcement, we released some numbers about the business, and the one that I'm most proud of is that we've taken half a billion dollars, over $500 million in saved commissions, and put that money back into customer's pockets. That's money that elsewhere would have just gone into the —

    Shontell: Which is all great, but is still doesn't answer the question of how you pitch Snoop and Snoop got involved.

    Tenev: I think — let me try to remember how we actually met him. I think we met Snoop Dogg through Jared Leto.

    Shontell: OK, so then how did you meet Jared Leto?

    Tenev: Through Aaron Levie.

    Shontell: OK, so all of these people just know all of these people. The Hollywood and tech scenes are coming closer, I think.

    Tenev: Yeah, Aaron Levie is the founder of Box and also an angel investor in Robinhood. He was very helpful to us quite early on because he pushed us really, really hard to get Robinhood.com. We were Robinhood.io at the time, and I don't know the full story behind Box, but I vaguely remember them being Box.net, and maybe by the time they were Box.com that was very, very expensive, so we were lucky to go from Robinhood.io to Robinhood.com when we were still a teeny-weeny company.

    Shontell: So an intro, it sounds like, from an investor — which is why angel investors can be really helpful, if only for their networks. I'm sure for other reasons too, but they can introduce you to maybe future investors and things like that.

    Tenev: Yeah, definitely. And a lot of our angel investors actually really liked the idea of the product. Some of them traded before and give product feedback from time to time as well.

    Shontell: I want to talk about where the product is now. So about 2 million people are using this, and the company was recently valued at $1.3 billion, and you still are doing these commission-free trades. But you now have something called Gold, which is your freemium model. So you're going to basically have a large portion of the app that can be free to use, but then if you want kind of some bells and whistles on top, you pay.

    Tenev: We launched that late last year, in December, and we had done a lot of user research. We have an awesome user research team at Robinhood, where we're constantly talking to customers and understanding their pain points, understanding what products they might enjoy. And we had an idea that Robinhood Gold would be successful at the onset before we launched it, and we were optimistic about it.

    But then when it launched, it basically tripled our expectations. So it was super, super successful. It was growing 17% month over month. We were just generating a lot of revenue from this, and I think that's sort of a large part of what led to the funding round earlier this year and sort of resulted in a step change in kind of the trajectory and traction of the business.

    Buying a stock as quickly as you'd post an Instagram photo

    Robinhood

    Shontell: And one thing I wanted to touch on is just the design is so easy to use and almost gives you pause. I downloaded Robinhood recently, I bought myself some Snap shares when they sunk back down to their IPO price, and the whole thing start to finish for me, from download to buying Snap, took about 20 minutes —

    Tenev: Yeah, and that's never been done before —

    Shontell: Before my husband could even be like, "Alyson, stop, I don't know if I agree with this decision," I already had bought the shares. Is that safe? Is that OK?

    Tenev: I think it's important to separate the transactional elements of that from the actual decision-making of what stock you want to buy. People have really been used to a long process to set up any type of financial account. It used to be, for the vast majority, the bank account, brokerage account. You'd have to go in person, fill out some forms, talk to a person, they'd call you back — it would take maybe two or three weeks to buy your first stock.

    The first generation of online brokerages put up some forms online and a marketing page, but that process behind the scenes was still the same. That's why when you open up a brokerage account that's not Robinhood, you can't buy stock right away — you have to wait one or two weeks, usually. So we were really the first to create that experience of being able to go from nothing to being an owner of a stock instantaneously, because that's what people expect from products.

    You're usually downloading Robinhood precisely because you want to do something. Something gives you the idea, you want to buy a stock — let's download Robinhood to do it. So removing that friction is just categorically a good thing. The brokerages might say, "We slow down the process so that you can make sure you're making a well-informed deliberate decision," but that's just a load of crap. They slow it down because they don't have engineers, they don't have the ability to make an awesome user experience, and it's not a priority.

    How millennials are investing

    People Texting

    Shontell: A lot of your users are first-time people dabbling in the stock market. They've got a few hundred dollars to spend. They skew a little bit younger. So what are some of the habits that you're seeing this younger generation do with their money? Where are they investing it, how are they acting, do you think the recession affected their habits at all?

    Tenev: It's so interesting because there are a lot of habits that we see that have surprised us and that, frankly, we haven't seen before.

    One thing is now that we have several years of activity, we've built a really interesting data set, and we can track people as they spend more time in Robinhood. And the customers that joined Robinhood two years ago, we collect their self-reported liquid net worth, so how much money they have in liquid form in cash. Their Robinhood account balance today is larger than their self-reported liquid net worth two years ago. So we had this idea that Robinhood would function as a savings vehicle, and that seems to be bearing out.

    Another thing that we noticed is that that money, rather than being diverted, as we might have thought, through checking and savings, really looks like it's coming out of spending money. So this is money that would have been spent on coffee or on Amazon or just discretionary stuff, and because Robinhood has the experience that you might get from buying a physical product or something on Amazon, it sort of feels like spending in a way that's very positive and very engaging, but people end up building a portfolio over time.

    And one thing that's super unique is there's a lot more buying than selling activity on the platform, and you have these people that maybe are buying 50 different stocks but one or two shares of each and they're creating these diversified portfolios using small amounts of money. That type of transaction would have cost thousands of dollars in the past — people just wouldn't have done it. So we're actually giving people the ability to do something that they haven't been able to do anytime in the past.

    Shontell: If you're giving advice to someone else who wants to start the next consumer-app rage, what's your advice to them? How do you think that they should get it off the ground? How can they see some success like you've seen?

    Tenev: I think the biggest thing is to make sure that you understand the space super well and that you're actually really, really passionate about it. I think there's a lot of people who come at it from the business angle of: What's a market need? How do my skills align with this market need? How much money can we make from this?

    But the process of actually building something really, really big can take a really long time, and I read somewhere that the vast majority of value is created past Year 10 of a company's existence.

    So if you think about all of the crap that happens between Year 0 and 10, if you're not really, really passionate about something, I think it's very hard to keep going during that time period.

    Shontell: Great. Well, thank you so much for your time.

    Tenev: Thanks, Alyson.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Mount Everest is not the tallest mountain in the world


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    Colin Smith

    During his college summer holidays, Colin Smith worked as a ski-lift painter in Vermont, America.

    There wasn't a lot of snow over the summer months, so the crew would drive up the mountain, climb up the lifts and chip away all the rust and paint away, before repainting them.

    Fast forward more than 20 years and Smith has just been appointed as the CEO Motorsport Network, the world's largest motorsport media company.

    He landed the job, in part, because if his experience on a major project for NASCAR, where he was vice president of the wildly popular US motor racing sport's digital output.

    In 2013, Smith had to hire 50 people in two months as NASCAR took its digital operations in-house after a long association with broadcaster Turner. He had to run the transition, recruiting a front-end team and a back-end team.

    "It was a phenomenal opportunity," Smith said. "The only problem was I was hired in May of 2012, and we had no office, we had five people — I was the fifth hire — and essentially we were launching on January 3, or there was going to be hell to pay. Turner was not necessarily going to be there to pick up the pieces if we weren't ready."

    Below are the six lessons Smith learned when he had to 'fast hire' an entire department.

    1. Rules go out of the window

    Rather than the whole team being able to formally interview a candidate, one of the team would meet with them and decide then and there if they would be a good fit.

    "We'd get an email saying: 'I just interviewed so and so, she's a really great person, and has the right attitude, and she doesn't have everything that we're looking for, but I think given the opportunity she's going to shine.' And basically an email would come back that said 'Great, send her an offer.'"

    Smith said this was a really interesting way of working, because he had always learned from his mentors that the interview process needs to be serious.

    "[You had to] check all these boxes and ask all these questions, make sure that these people are giving you the right answers, throwing curveballs, seeing how they react to it," he said. "100% we just didn't have the ability or the opportunity to do that."

    Instead, they were hiring people who would be able to cope with the fact they would be in the trenches from their first day, and those who would be good teammates and would have their colleagues' backs. "If you see the broader vision and the broader opportunity, and then obviously can you do the job," Smith said.

    2. Personality can be more important than experience

    When it comes to hiring, Smith says it's important to trust your gut instinct about someone. For example, he met with some candidates who interviewed incredibly poorly, but he gave them a chance. The team were looking for people who would fit in and not cause problems, rather than someone who could interview well.

    "If you couldn't put them in the room with 75 to 100 other people and not have problems, we didn't hire them," Smith said. "Because we honestly just didn't have time to deal with problems."

    Of course, he didn't recommend hiring managers always use this approach. You don't want someone who is trained in medical sciences to come run your digital marketing group, for example.

    "But certainly when all else fails, and you kind of have to make the judgment between: This person is really smart and they're going to really do an awesome job running this platform, but they're going to make everybody's lives miserable around them," Smith said. "That was a big concern of ours, so we actually went in the opposite direction and it worked out really well."

    3. You can't speak to everyone

    The good news was word spread quickly about what NASCAR was trying to build, so the situation didn't have to be explained. The bad news was this meant there was nowhere near enough time to talk to everyone that applied.

    "We didn't have time to speak to all the people that were coming to the door," Smith said. "We started in a very structured environment and we were going to go through the interview process, especially for some of the key hires. Then all hell broke loose."

    4. People should have a start-up mentality

    Smith said the environment was never one where there were weekly or even monthly meetings. Everyone knew what the end goal was, and they just got on with their work.

    "The whole startup mentality, just building something from scratch, with everybody together, in the trenches, with a common goal, it was amazing how much of a guiding force that was," he said. "Everybody worked towards that goal, and it wasn't always pretty and it wasn't always fun, but everybody was growing in the same direction."

    5. Hire people who are willing to learn

    Smith said training breeds success, as long as people are willing to learn.

    "When people get comfortable with their limits, those are the people that I believe are just difficult to have in a fast growing company and a fast paced environment, because they're always ultimately going to be intimidated by what they don't know," Smith said.

    "But people who understand they do have limitations, and they want to get through them and they want to exceed those limitations, and be successful in what they're doing... it's amazing what people can do."

    6. 'CEO' can mean a lot of things

    At Motorsport Network, Smith is in his first official role as a CEO. However, he feels like he has had the role unofficially several times before. Whether you're managing a small team or an entire company, Smith says it's important to him that everyone shares the common goal.

    "You can be a CEO of a five-person team," he said. "But this is my first shot and I intend to follow myself and make sure this is not only a success for me but a success for the company and all the people that work here."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A woman who's worked in HR for over a decade shares the biggest résumé and cover letter mistakes she's seen


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    working dad

    Over the past two decades, families where both parents have incomes have benefited from pay growth, whereas those who rely on the fathers' income alone have suffered.

    Since 1994, the growth in the earnings of working fathers has increased by 0.3% a year on average. Working mothers' earnings have increased at a rate of over six times more, at 2.2% a year on average.

    This is according to new research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, which concludes that it has become increasingly difficult for families where only the father is working to keep up with other families.

    About a quarter of children in the UK come from a family where the income only comes from one parent, which is more or less the same proportion as 20 years ago. However, in 85% of these cases the working parent is a father, meaning many families have not benefited from the increase in working mothers' incomes.

    The incomes of two-earner families are 10% higher than in 2002-2003, but the incomes of single-earner families have not changed. In fact, the average earnings of a working father in a single-earning family are 6% lower in real terms than in 1994-1995.

    As a result, 43% of children who live with one working parent and one non-working parent were in relative income poverty in 2015-2016. Just 11% of children with two working parents were in this situation.

    A third of children in relative income poverty are from a one-income family, which is up from one in four in 1994-1995. This figure is roughly the same as those with families who have nobody in work.

    This is significant because in the mid to late 90s, there was not much difference in the earnings of these two groups. Incomes of one-earner families have only increased at all because benefit and tax credit payments have doubled for this group since 2002.

    According to the study, one reason for the slow increase in earnings is because fathers in one-income families are now less likely than fathers in two-income families to be in well-paid jobs. These fathers are also increasingly likely to have been born abroad — 35% for 2015-2016 up from 15% in 1996 — and immigrants tend to earn less than UK born people with the same qualifications.

    Also, couples with more children, and with children at younger ages, are more likely to have only one parent in work, often because of childcare responsibilities. However, almost half of one-earner couples have no children under five years old, so it's not the full story.

    "Boosting the incomes of large numbers of families dependent on fathers' earnings may well be challenging," said Andrew Hood, a senior research economist at IFS and an author of the report. "The vast majority of the fathers are already working full time, most of the mothers are not actively seeking paid work, and increases in in-work benefits targeted at the group would be likely to further weaken the financial incentive for those families to become dual earners."

    "But increasingly it is a challenge that governments wanting to improve the living standards of low-income children should be considering."

    SEE ALSO: A salary guide for your 20s, 30s, and 40s

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A woman who's worked in HR for over a decade shares the biggest résumé and cover letter mistakes she's seen


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    private school

    A private school education arguably sets people up with certain privileges. Directly, you're supposedly provided with a better quality education, and indirectly, you can make useful and powerful connections.

    The majority of students that attend private schools come from well-off backgrounds, which is also an important advantage when it comes to finding a job.

    In fact, according to a recent report by the government’s Social Mobility Commission, in 2016 over half of the UK's journalists, doctors, and barristers were educated at private schools.

    Out of those studying medicine, 51% came from a private education in 1987, and this has jumped to 61% in 2016.

    Journalists just overstepped the half way point, with 49% coming from a private education in 1987, rising to 51% in 2016. Those in judiciary positions remained mostly from a private education, at 74% down from 76% in 1987, and barristers also still mostly come from private schools at 71% down from 73%.

    However, one group which dramatically shifted in the other direction was CEOs. In 1987, 70% went to private school, but in 2016 this number dramatically dropped to 34%. The number of British MPs who went to private schools has also dropped, from 49% to 31% during the 2017 election, according to Sutton Trust data.

    Nowadays, it's common to have to do internships — often without being paid — before you are offered a full-time position somewhere. This is particularly common in sectors like journalism.

    The report states that work placements and internships have increased by 49% since 2010, and at least 31% of them are unpaid positions.

    People with parents who have the ability to fund their careers when they first start out are much more likely to go for these roles, because they know they will be able to afford their living costs. Some people simply don't have the luxury of taking an unpaid job.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Facebook director who interviews up to 100 candidates a year reveals how to make your résumé stand out


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    stress woman tea mental health

    Madalyn Parker, a web developer from Olark Live Chat, took to Twitter recently to share what happened when she was upfront with her colleagues about taking sick leave for her mental well-being.

    Nearly 10,000 people have retweeted her latest tweet, and many are responding with their own stories — both positive and negative.

    The tweet has received a lot of attention in particular because of the way her CEO responded.

    The email was titled "Where's Madalyn," and in the body Parker wrote: "I'm taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health. Hopefully I'll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%."

    Her CEO Ben Congleton got back to her in the best way possible.

    "I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this," he wrote. "Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health — I can't believe this is not standard practice at all organisations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can bring our whole selves to work."

    Parker has written about her mental health and working before. She says she is comfortable with talking about it now, but the idea used to terrify her.

    In a Medium blog post, Congleton explained further how surprised he was at the reaction, and how in 2017 this response really should be the norm.

    "Even in the safest environment it is still uncommon to be direct with your coworkers about mental health issues," he wrote. "I wanted to call this out and express gratitude for Madalyn's bravery in helping us normalize mental health as a normal health issue."

    Approximately a quarter of all people in the UK will experience a mental health problem every year, according to mental health charity Mind. That being said, mental health still isn't given the same weight as physical problems — especially in the workplace.

    According to Mind, employer awareness of mental health issues at work in the UK is poor. In its report "Taking care of business: Employers' guide to mentallyhealthy workplaces," studies are cited which show how most senior managers severely underestimate the scale of mental health problems in their workplace.

    In 2003, a study by the Health and Safety Executive found that up to five million people feel extremely stressed at work, and around a million people were so stressed by their jobs that they believed it was making them ill.

    "When an athlete is injured they sit on the bench and recover," wrote Congleton. "Let's get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Facebook director who interviews up to 100 candidates a year reveals how to make your résumé stand out


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    Jeff Reynar is a director of engineering and New York site lead at Facebook. He interviews between 50 and 100 people annually for various technical roles. Since Facebook regularly lands near the top of lists of the best companies to work for, we asked Jeff how to make a résumé stand out. Following is a transcript of the video.

    JEFF REYNAR: The biggest mistake people make is to just not prepare enough. And that shows up in both the technical portion of an interview, if they haven't really practiced, and it can often show up as well if someone is asked about what projects they've worked on in the past and they're not able to explain them in detail or talk about challenges they faced and how to overcome them.

    How do you prepare for a technical interview at Facebook?

    Well, there are a few different phases, typically, to an interview. Depends a little bit on exactly what role you're interviewing for. We might change things up a little if you're looking for a job as an Android software engineer rather than a — one who focuses on machine learning or someone who does AI research.

    But, some of the common components are, we're going to ask you to solve some programming problems, typically on a white board. We're going to ask you to design some systems, again, typically on a white board. And, we're going to ask you about your experience and how you tend to work with colleagues.

    So, the best advice is to just go practice those things. And, by practice, I really mean including role playing. Get a friend to talk you through some programming questions on a white board so that the first time you're doing this isn't during the interview itself. Use websites that give you example problems to solve and go solve a bunch of them. Maybe bone up on some algorithms, or data structures, or other things that you might feel a little bit rusty about.

    And, don't forget to make sure you can talk really concisely about what you've done in the past, what particular accomplishments you had by doing it why you chose to work on those things, and come with great stories that illustrate how you might be a great fit for Facebook because you're interested in the company's mission, and you think that the problems it's solving are really important.

    So, I can't encourage you enough to practice before you come in for an interview.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Richard Branson

    If there's one thing billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson really likes, it's to-do lists. He has written about lists several times for the Virgin blog.

    In a recent blog post, Branson wrote about an old diary from 1972 found by his friend Kenny Kemp. In it, Branson had written a simple list of things he wanted to achieve — both large and small.

    Here's what it said:

    1. Learn to fly

    2. Look after me, you, boat

    3. Entertain everybody with me

    4. Invite nice people back

    5. Start getting the small house together at The Manor

    6. Start buying odds and sods for The Manor

    7. Work with me on projects/sort me out

    8. More shops to be found

    You can see the list in Branson's tweet below.

    "As you can see, the bullet points range from lofty ambitions like learning to fly and opening more Virgin Records stores, to inviting people around and buying bits and pieces for our record studio The Manor," he wrote in the post. He also points out you can see some scribbles about an album on the page above.

    Branson said lists are a great way of structuring what you need to get done, but they also help us to set goals and achieve our dreams.

    A year after this list was written, in 1973, Branson launched Virgin Records and Tubular Bells was released — one of the biggest selling albums of the decade (and the soundtrack to The Exorcist.)

    45 years on, Branson has a net worth of about $5 billion (£3.9 billion), and the Virgin group owns about 200 companies all over the world. So it's safe to say he ticked off all bullet points and then some.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    kate moss

    It's incredibly satisfying to get a peek into the lives of the world's most glamorous people. So, perhaps it's unsurprising that a company built around doing just that has seen its revenue double for the past two consecutive years.

    In 2011, the luxury publication Coveteur launched as an inside view of the lives of inspirational people in the fashion and beauty industry.

    It was started by co-founders Jake Rosenberg and Stephanie Mark as a passion project.

    However, CEO Warren Webster told Business Insider he has seen the number of staff triple in the two years he's been at the company.

    Webster started his career in magazine and newspaper publishing, then along with a small team started digital local news site Patch.com, where he remained for six years. After that, he got the opportunity to relaunch Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand Goop, which was moving from its base in London to go back to the US.

    He was hired by Coveteur as CEO in 2015.

    During his career, Webster has played integral roles in companies in a range of different industries, both in the fast-paced start-up world and the more established corporate world — but it's the growth stage of companies that he really loves.

    "I really enjoy the stage of the company where you're really trying to figure it out and you're working with a small group, and every decision that you make you see instant results, whether good or bad, and you can adjust very quickly and be very nimble," he told Business Insider.

    "You're very close to your customers and you're very close to the marketplace and how it's working, and growing a company that way and seeing it take off is incredibly rewarding."

    Along with his time working for start-ups, Business Insider spoke to Webster about what he has learned working in the world of luxury fashion — and what advice he would give to someone wanting to break into the industry.

    Here are his five pieces of advice.

    1. Surround yourself with the best people you possibly can.

    Webster says that his team at Coveteur is what makes the company do well, and for that reason he is meticulous about hiring. He learned the importance of hiring good people when he was starting up Patch.com, and had to hire a lot of staff very quickly.

    "You really want to take the time to hire well," Webster said. "To look for the skill-set but also the cultural fit — that's really important."

    Webster also said that it was important for him to have mentors in the community or industry who had been down a lot of the same paths he knew he would go down.

    "Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't feel like you have to know everything yourself," he said.

    2. Know what makes you different.

    Webster said that part of Coveteur's success is due to the fact it's in its own niche. It struck a chord with the market by giving readers an inside peek into the lives of fashion and style icons, before Instagram and Twitter really took off. He says because of this, the company doesn't consider itself competitive to most other lifestyle, fashion, and beauty magazines that cover the same things.

    "That sort of insider and approachable view of luxury, and having an intimate look at fashion, has stuck with Coveteur," he said. "And now we have expanded into the way we present beauty, fitness, health and wellness, travel and other lifestyle categories — so having that voice and that insider approach has really put Coveteur in its own category. We have a sort of unique spin on it."

    3. Pay attention to your social media.

    Attn: @_racil_: wanna trade? 😭 📷 @jakerosenberg

    A post shared by COVETEUR (@coveteur) on Jul 10, 2017 at 6:56pm PDT on

    If you're looking to get into the fashion publishing world, Webster says it's really important you show that via your Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts. Coveteur has 1.1 million Instagram followers.

    "In the luxury space, we look for people who really live and breathe the world that we're talking about and touching upon," he said. "Attending events and creating their own brand, either through social media or a blog, is a great first step to getting noticed and getting people excited about you being a part of their organisation."

    4. Get things out the door quickly.

    It's tempting to make a product or a feature perfect before it goes out, Webster says, but this is actually a mistake.

    "Getting it 80% of the way there and getting it out the door, you'll learn so much more much more quickly," he said. "It could take forever to get something absolutely perfect, but if you get it out the door you'll learn so much more about whether the market is ready for it or if it's working."

    5. Know yourself.

    Something that's really important in any industry is knowing what you're good at and what you enjoy. For example, Webster found out early on that he enjoyed the growth stage of a company, when everything is fast-paced and no two days are the same.

    "If you're not the type of person who wants to be in a big corporation, that's a good thing to know," he said. "Steer yourself, and steer your career, to where you'll be most effective, and every day is fun for you."

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    US cyber command hacking ad

    As cyberattacks on the US become commonplace, disorienting, and potentially damaging to the US's fundamental infrastructure, the US Army's Cyber Command reached out to civilian hackers in a language they could understand — hidden hacking puzzles online.

    In the opening sequence of a Go Army commercial for Cyber Command, green text scrolls on a vacant computer as the narrator details the ominous state of cybercrime today. Viewers who watch closely will find a URL at the bottom of the screen that leads to Recruitahacker.net.

    From there, the user can enter rudimentary commands and access a hacking puzzle. Lt. Gen. Paul M. Nakasone told reporters at Defense One's Tech Summit on Thursday that of the 9.8 million people who viewed the ad online, 800,000 went on to attempt the hacking test. Only 1% passed.

    Business Insider attempted the test and failed swiftly.

    lt gen paul nakasone defense one tech summit

    "We have the world’s adversaries trying to come at our nation," said Nakasone, who explained that in the next few months qualified hackers could undergo "direct commissioning" and find themselves as "mid-grade officers" in the Army's Cyber Command. Hackers who can pass the test online will be invited to apply for a role within the Department of Defense.

    With Russia's attempts to hack into voting systems during the 2016 presidential election and its alleged infiltration of US nuclear power plants keeping the US's cyber vulnerabilities constantly in the news, Nakasone said Cyber Command will put together 133 teams to do battle in the cyber realm.

    In light of the recent attacks, Nakasone said he's seen "more enthusiasm or desire to serve and join the government or military" and that he looks forward to bringing civilians into the battle against foreign cybercrime.

    SEE ALSO: The Trump administration just fired back at Russia

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    Disneyland buffet characters kids

    The Walt Disney Company is one of the most admired, and most recognised businesses in the world.

    What started as a small studio in 1923 with a hand-drawn cartoon mouse is now a global entertainment giant with $US177 billion revenue.

    Building a reputable brand and keeping it relevant almost 100 years is no easy feat. The company has even had to change the way it sees the world in order to keep with the evolving consumer landscape.

    So how do they do it?

    Well, "it's not secret sauce," according to the head of Walt Disney International, Andy Bird.

    Rather it is about the values the company built and continues to preserve no matter how big it grows.

    "[It's about] honesty and trust and truth, that transparency. Optimism. Integrity. The values that are important in who we are, who we employ, how we want to be perceived, and in the stories that we tell," he says.

    "A lot of the values that you see on screen also evolve from the values of the company. If you're going to be admired, you want to be respected.

    "These are attributes and values that are very important to ourselves and you look for that in people.

    "When I'm interviewing someone, everyone wants to work for Disney... I really want to dig down deep into finding out whether you share the same sort of value set as we aspire to. Those are really important. You start to create that culture."

    When interviewing potential candidates, there is one question in particular that Bird asks to determine whether the person is the right culture fit for Disney.

    "One consistent thing I do, I ask people I interview to tell me a story," he says.

    "Tell us a story about something that's happened in your life.

    "It's important because we're storytellers."

    From people interviewing for finance roles to HR and everything in between, he said the question still applies.

    "People go, ‘Yeah, that's just for the creatives'. No it's not.

    "Everyone has the ability to be creative if they're given the opportunity to be… Creativity's not just about filmmakers, it can be anyone. Some of the best ideas have come out of the finance department."

    He says its about how they present and interpret stories that creates diversity of thought and generates new ideas.

    "They all have stories to tell."

    *This author travelled to Los Angeles as a guest Disney.

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    Jeff Reynar is a director of engineering and New York site lead at Facebook. He interviews between 50 and 100 people annually for various technical roles. Since Facebook regularly lands near the top of lists of the best companies to work for, we asked Jeff the best questions a Facebook candidate should ask during a job interview. Following is a transcript of the video.

    JEFF REYNAR: I think the way you should think about the interview process is that it's Facebook trying to figure out whether you're a fit for the company and for a particular set of projects, and that for you, you want to figure out whether Facebook is the right place for you.

    So, you should ask about the things that are important. And, that could be anything from, are there other people from the university that I attend who work here, could I talk to them, to what does it look like to change jobs in a couple years after I've been successful on my first project, to how long do people stay in this office? Do people move from office to office?

    It really depends on who you are and what you're looking to learn and do in your career, and I think if you think about it that way, you'll figure out the best set of questions to ask.

    There are definitely technical questions that people can and should ask. I think one of the best ones is for people to just explore what kind of technology we use and how we solve certain problems.

    So, you can sort of turn the interview process on its head a little bit and ask the person who's interviewing you, maybe, what they've done, what they've worked on and what they've learned in the process. That's a great way to get a sense for whether you'll fit in and get the kind of experience and have the sort of job that you're looking for.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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