How Nordstrom uses robots and shelves inspired by ants to deliver lipstick faster

The Seattle-headquartered company has tapped two new partners, robotics supply chain company Attabotics and parcel-sorting provider Tompkins Robotics, to test a more modern facility in the San Jose area. Nordstrom is the first retailer to bring together both Attabotics’ and Tompkins Robotics’ technology into a single distribution center, in Newark, California. Nordstrom’s eight other U.S. distribution facilities are in Portland, Oregon; Dubuque, Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Ontario, California; New


The Seattle-headquartered company has tapped two new partners, robotics supply chain company Attabotics and parcel-sorting provider Tompkins Robotics, to test a more modern facility in the San Jose area.
Nordstrom is the first retailer to bring together both Attabotics’ and Tompkins Robotics’ technology into a single distribution center, in Newark, California.
Nordstrom’s eight other U.S. distribution facilities are in Portland, Oregon; Dubuque, Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Ontario, California; New
How Nordstrom uses robots and shelves inspired by ants to deliver lipstick faster Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-05  Authors: lauren thomas
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, chain, ants, uses, nordstrom, supply, customers, robotics, faster, california, inspired, shelves, company, tompkins, newark, lipstick, robots, deliver, phan


How Nordstrom uses robots and shelves inspired by ants to deliver lipstick faster

NEWARK, California — If you’re in retail these days, you’re likely trying to solve these two problems: How to cut costs, and how to get products to your customers as quickly as possible. Nordstrom thinks it has found a solution that will help it do both. And it starts at a warehouse in Newark, California. The Seattle-headquartered company has tapped two new partners, robotics supply chain company Attabotics and parcel-sorting provider Tompkins Robotics, to test a more modern facility in the San Jose area. If successful, the retailer could expand its use to Nordstrom’s eight other U.S. distribution centers. Nordstrom hopes a speedier and slimmed-down supply chain will help it rise above other department store operators that are struggling to win customers over the likes of Amazon, Walmart and Target. Nordstrom’s online sales are growing, up 16% in fiscal 2018, and make up 30% of total net sales, which were $15.48 billion last year. But revenues are meantime shrinking at its core department store business. So it’s looking for ways to keep stoking this growth engine.

Where faster delivery begins

In Newark, California, Nordstrom has stocked row after row of shelving with all of its beauty merchandise to fulfill online orders for Chanel perfume, Kiehl’s facial rubs and Yves Saint Laurent lip kits up and down the West Coast. Nordstrom is also using the center to help stock its stores in the area.

Nordstrom is the first retailer to bring together both Attabotics’ and Tompkins Robotics’ technology into a single distribution center, in Newark, California. Source: Nordstrom

“We recognize that the supply chain is a critical component of being able to deliver on [our customers’] experiences,” Ngoc Phan, vice president of supply chain at Nordstrom, said in an interview at the Newark facility earlier this week. “So we’ve been looking for solutions that fit inside our broader strategy. … It’s about opportunities to get product closer to customers … and avoid extended shipping and fulfillment delays.” The combination of Attabotics’ and Tompkins Robotics’ technologies uses 90% less space than other alternatives, and allows the company to be more nimble and stock more inventory, Phan said. The Newark facility, which has been up and running since the spring, is roughly 340,000 square feet, while a traditional warehouse can span upwards of 1.5 million square feet, she said. Nordstrom currently offers same-day delivery for certain ZIP codes in California, Colorado, Illinois, New York and Washington, according to its website. But it plans to grow that option. Nordstrom started working with Attabotics and Tompkins Robotics with its beauty products because that represents one of the company’s top categories. “And what we’ve learned, is that often when our customers are buying the product, they will order with another [beauty] product,” Phan explained. “And what it means for us, is that we’re moving one of our top categories closer to the customer, which means that we can deliver their product to them faster, as well as … it will also reduce the amount of packages that we’re shipping to customers.”

Consumers have more real-time access to and understanding of retailers’ supply chain-influenced offerings than ever before. This is driving higher expectations… Thomas O’Connor Gartner supply chain analyst

In the coming weeks, Nordstrom will install this same system in a new facility in Torrence, California, where it will hold inventory and process orders for its Local shops in Los Angeles. When customers visit a Nordstrom Local, they aren’t actually taking the merchandise they buy home with them. Instead, the stores are inventory-free locations for fittings and other services like manicures, pedicures and stroller cleanings. When placing an online order from home, customers can also select a Nordstrom Local as a spot for curbside pickup. “Our hope would be to expand product categories, along with expanding this type of solution in other markets,” Phan said. Nordstrom’s eight other U.S. distribution facilities are in Portland, Oregon; Dubuque, Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Ontario, California; Newark, California; San Bernardino, California; Upper Marlboro, Maryland; Gainesville, Florida; and Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.

Attabotics has brought its patented storage structure, which is inspired by ant colonies, to Nordstrom’s fulfillment center in Newark, California. Source: Nordstrom

Nordstrom knew it needed to bring in outside experts to make its logistics vision a reality. Attabotics, which was named to CNBC’s Upstart 100 list earlier this year, is a 3-D robotics provider for fulfillment centers that replaces the traditional row-and-aisle configuration seen in warehouses with a patented storage structure inspired by ant colonies, which store items vertically. The Calgary-based company says it can reduce square-footage needs, allowing companies to bring fulfillment centers closer to high-density, urban areas. Warehouses have long been placed in more remote locations, where the cost of land is less expensive. But smaller buildings can get closer to metros. Tompkins Robotics, meantime, has developed a parcel-sorting solution it calls t-Sort Plus, which uses autonomous robots that travel the shortest route possible to grab boxes and deliver them to their appropriate destination. Additional robots can be added during peak seasons, like the holidays, the company said. The Tompkins International unit is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. With the two technologies, Nordstrom can store thousands of items in crates in one of Attabotics’ so-called matrices, which tower more than 20 feet high. When items are needed, they’re electronically picked and pushed toward Tompkins’ conveyor belt, where more robots help Nordstrom workers sort the merchandise. Phan said the combo — a first in the retail industry — is saving workers from walking miles and miles each day. “We can [allocate] workers to functions that provide more value to our customers, like making sure it’s the right item, it’s high quality and its package is at the standard of which our customers expect from us — as well as labeled to their shipping destination of choice,” she said. “And we hope that investing in these types of [robotics] solutions help employees to want to come work for us, as well as for employees to stay working with us.” Phan said the technology is also helping Nordstrom process returns at a faster rate and resell a larger quantity of returned beauty merchandise, after items are inspected and cleared to be repackaged.

A Nordstrom worker processes orders on a conveyor belt built by Tompkins Robotics, in Newark, California. Source: Nordstrom

California, and specifically Los Angeles, has always been a testing ground for Nordstrom. The company has 16 stores in the Los Angeles area today, serving 4 million shoppers. It brings in $1 billion in annual sales, making it the retailer’s largest market, by far. Nordstrom has called New York a potentially $700 million market, for comparison.

Going inventory-free

Los Angeles was the first city to see an inventory-free Nordstrom Local store. It opened in October 2017. In Los Angeles, during Nordstrom’s latest-reported quarter, the growth in customers shopping in stores and online was 100 basis points higher than the company average, according to co-president Erik Nordstrom. On a post-earnings conference call, he said those customers are spending about four times as much as the average customer. And sell-through rates in the Los Angeles area — or the percentage of inventory that Nordstrom sells versus what it’s receiving from suppliers — are higher than in other markets, “contributing to profitability,” he said. Nordstrom declined to quantify its supply chain investments, or disclose the terms of its tie-up with Attabotics and Tompkins Robotics. Phan said Nordstrom is primarily focused on time savings. She said the upgrades in Newark are helping Nordstrom shave “one to two days” off of beauty deliveries up and down the entire West Coast. “Consumers have more real-time access to and understanding of retailers’ supply chain-influenced offerings than ever before,” Thomas O’Connor, a senior supply chain analyst with Gartner, told CNBC in an interview. “This is driving higher expectations of supply chain services and the information that can and should be made available to shoppers such as in-store inventory availability and real-time delivery tracking.” As Nordstrom retools its supply chain, it should be thinking about how to meet the “demands of the modern consumer,” he said. Nordstrom has said New York, which is the company’s biggest market for online sales, will be its next focus. The company in October opened its first flagship store in Manhattan.

Fighting for every sale


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-05  Authors: lauren thomas
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, chain, ants, uses, nordstrom, supply, customers, robotics, faster, california, inspired, shelves, company, tompkins, newark, lipstick, robots, deliver, phan


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Karlie Kloss says this CEO’s memoir ‘really inspired’ her to be a great leader

But in 2015, Kloss put away her wings to attend New York University and launch Kode with Klossy, a non-profit that teaches girls to code. Several years in as an entrepreneur, Kloss, who continues to model, admits she still has a lot to learn about running a business. Most recently Kloss read The Disney Company CEO Bob Iger’s memoir, “The Ride of a Lifetime.” “I really admire Bob [Iger] and his opinions,” she says. That’s how I learn,” Kloss says.


But in 2015, Kloss put away her wings to attend New York University and launch Kode with Klossy, a non-profit that teaches girls to code.
Several years in as an entrepreneur, Kloss, who continues to model, admits she still has a lot to learn about running a business.
Most recently Kloss read The Disney Company CEO Bob Iger’s memoir, “The Ride of a Lifetime.”
“I really admire Bob [Iger] and his opinions,” she says.
That’s how I learn,” Kloss says.
Karlie Kloss says this CEO’s memoir ‘really inspired’ her to be a great leader Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-24  Authors: jade scipioni
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, leader, feel, experience, bob, igers, memoir, business, ceo, kloss, ceos, inspired, great, karlie, really, principles, learn, iger


Karlie Kloss says this CEO's memoir 'really inspired' her to be a great leader

The same week Karlie Kloss started her freshman year of high school, she landed a job walking in her first New York City Fashion show for Calvin Klein. At 18, Kloss debuted as a Victoria’s Secret Angel in the brand’s 2011 fashion show.

But in 2015, Kloss put away her wings to attend New York University and launch Kode with Klossy, a non-profit that teaches girls to code.

“I always knew that I wanted to do something that was so much bigger than just myself,” Kloss, 27, told CNBC Make It at American Express’ 10th Annual Small Business Saturday event on Thursday.

“If you feel in your heart that there’s something that you want to do, be fearless and take that leap of faith.”

Several years in as an entrepreneur, Kloss, who continues to model, admits she still has a lot to learn about running a business. So she turns to business books for help.

“I personally love reading those kinds of books, [with] firsthand experience of inspiring [and] accomplished leaders,” she says.

Most recently Kloss read The Disney Company CEO Bob Iger’s memoir, “The Ride of a Lifetime.”

“I really admire Bob [Iger] and his opinions,” she says.

Kloss says Iger’s book — which details his climb to the top and the lessons he learned in his 15 years as the CEO of one of the largest entertainment companies in the world — really inspired her to become a better boss.

In his book, Iger outlines a set of 10 principles, which he says helped him succeed and are essential for every good leader.

Some of those key principles include being optimistic, courageous and authentic. For instance, Iger says you should never “fake anything,” and it is essential to be genuine and honest at all times.

He also encourages leaders to take responsibility when they screw up and learn from their mistakes.

“I feel like I’m a student of life. I feel like through both my experience of day-to-day starting a small business as well as learning from those through reading from their experience or having mentors in my life that I can lean on. That’s how I learn,” Kloss says.

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10 principles for great leadership, according to Disney’s CEO

From summer janitor to CEO of Disney: What fueled Bob Iger’s rise to the top

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I used a peak performance coach who worked with Google and Berkshire Hathaway—and it actually helped me


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-24  Authors: jade scipioni
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, leader, feel, experience, bob, igers, memoir, business, ceo, kloss, ceos, inspired, great, karlie, really, principles, learn, iger


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This is the James Bond sports car Elon Musk bought for nearly $1 million that inspired Tesla Cybertruck

The long wait for Elon Musk to unveil Tesla’s all-electric pickup truck finally ended on Thursday night — the big reveal definitely caused a stir. One Wall Street analyst said the electric Cybertruck looks “really weird,” while other viewers marveled that at the much-hyped, live-streamed unveiling a Tesla designer smashed two of the truck’s windows, which Musk had described as bulletproof. The Bond film featured a 1976 Lotus Esprit car that doubled as a submarine. The billionaire tweeted a clip


The long wait for Elon Musk to unveil Tesla’s all-electric pickup truck finally ended on Thursday night — the big reveal definitely caused a stir.
One Wall Street analyst said the electric Cybertruck looks “really weird,” while other viewers marveled that at the much-hyped, live-streamed unveiling a Tesla designer smashed two of the truck’s windows, which Musk had described as bulletproof.
The Bond film featured a 1976 Lotus Esprit car that doubled as a submarine.
The billionaire tweeted a clip
This is the James Bond sports car Elon Musk bought for nearly $1 million that inspired Tesla Cybertruck Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-22  Authors: tom huddleston jr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, windows, bought, million, bond, design, james, nearly, cybertruck, car, film, tesla, elon, lotus, described, white, musk, inspired


This is the James Bond sports car Elon Musk bought for nearly $1 million that inspired Tesla Cybertruck

The long wait for Elon Musk to unveil Tesla’s all-electric pickup truck finally ended on Thursday night — the big reveal definitely caused a stir.

One Wall Street analyst said the electric Cybertruck looks “really weird,” while other viewers marveled that at the much-hyped, live-streamed unveiling a Tesla designer smashed two of the truck’s windows, which Musk had described as bulletproof. (“We will fix it in post,” Musk said.)

And while some reviewers have described the vehicle as being like “nothing we’ve ever seen,” Musk has said the pickup’s design was inspired by two films: sci-fi classic “Blade Runner” and the 1977 James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me.”

The Bond film featured a 1976 Lotus Esprit car that doubled as a submarine. The billionaire tweeted a clip of the film on Thursday, noting that the Cybertruck’s design was “influenced partly” by the car in the movie.

Musk’s Cybertruck has an intensely angular design that echos that of the white Lotus Esprit.

In fact, Musk was so struck by the Lotus that in 2013 he bought one of the actual vehicles used in filming, reportedly for about $997,000 during a RM Sotheby’s auction.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-22  Authors: tom huddleston jr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, windows, bought, million, bond, design, james, nearly, cybertruck, car, film, tesla, elon, lotus, described, white, musk, inspired


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The classic business book Gwyneth Paltrow read as a teenager that inspired her to start GOOP

This is like gaming, but with real people in real life,'” Paltrow told Reid Hoffman on the Masters of Scale podcast. The book details former RJR Nabisco CEO F. Ross Johnson’s attempt to take the company private in 1988 in order to buy it himself. Paltrow said the drama in the book, which was made into a made-for-TV movie by HBO in 1993, got her fascinated with the world of business. “So I always harbored this secret desire to somehow start a business,” Paltrow told Hoffman. In 2008, at the age o


This is like gaming, but with real people in real life,'” Paltrow told Reid Hoffman on the Masters of Scale podcast.
The book details former RJR Nabisco CEO F. Ross Johnson’s attempt to take the company private in 1988 in order to buy it himself.
Paltrow said the drama in the book, which was made into a made-for-TV movie by HBO in 1993, got her fascinated with the world of business.
“So I always harbored this secret desire to somehow start a business,” Paltrow told Hoffman.
In 2008, at the age o
The classic business book Gwyneth Paltrow read as a teenager that inspired her to start GOOP Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-13  Authors: jade scipioni
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, teenager, ceo, book, business, inspired, gwyneth, paltrow, start, read, corporate, johnsons, goop, classic, world, york, wellness, rjr


The classic business book Gwyneth Paltrow read as a teenager that inspired her to start GOOP

In 1989, the same year a 17-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow made her acting debut in the TV movie “High,” she also read one of her first business books: “Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco.”

The book — which was written by investigative journalists Bryan Burrough and John Helyar after they covered the fall of the American conglomerate that sold tobacco and food products in the late ’80s and early ‘ 90s — got Paltrow thinking about starting a company.

“I remember reading ‘Barbarians at the Gate’ when it came out and just being like, ‘This is incredible. This is like gaming, but with real people in real life,'” Paltrow told Reid Hoffman on the Masters of Scale podcast.

The book details former RJR Nabisco CEO F. Ross Johnson’s attempt to take the company private in 1988 in order to buy it himself. It set off a tumultuous bidding war as other companies fought to make their own offers. In the end, investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. bought it for $25 billion. (At that time it was the largest corporate takeover in history.)

Despite Johnson’s failed attempt to buy the company, he walked away with a “golden parachute” payment of about $50 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. His unethical tactics throughout the process made him a symbol of corporate greed and corruption in the late ’80s.

Burrough and Helyar detailed Johnson’s free-spending as CEO: He used corporate funds to decorate his office with lavish items such as a $51,000 vase, a $36,000 end table and a $100,000 rug. He was also accused of jet-setting around the world using more than 10 corporate airplanes, which some dubbed the “RJR” Air Force, among other things.

Paltrow said the drama in the book, which was made into a made-for-TV movie by HBO in 1993, got her fascinated with the world of business.

“So I always harbored this secret desire to somehow start a business,” Paltrow told Hoffman.

Paltrow said at The New York Times DealBook event on Nov. 6 that despite growing up in an artsy household, where her father Bruce Paltrow was a film director and producer and her mother Blythe Danner was a Hollywood actress, she was always “very drawn to business.”

“I think it’s fascinating and very dramatic in and of itself. So I just always read about it. I always loved it,” Paltrow said.

Paltrow said that going to a prestigious, all-girls private school in Manhattan also had an influence.

“When I started to go to school with the daughters of some very prominent businessman, I started to ask a lot of questions,” Paltrow said.

In 2008, at the age of 36, Paltrow finally made a move toward starting her a business. She began sending a weekly email newsletter called Goop with lifestyle advice to her family and friends.

Goop has since morphed into a lifestyle brand, which sells its own beauty products, supplements and clothing. Goop also holds health wellness summits throughout the year in places like Los Angeles, New York City and London. Goop’s biweekly newsletter reportedly had 8 million subscribers in 2018 and is valued at $250 million.

Paltrow, 46, is now the company’s CEO, but in the beginning, she hired someone else to run the company.

“I just didn’t know what the f— I was doing,” Paltrow said at Dealbook, “So I thought I needed to outsource everything and I thought I needed a grown-up around me to, you know, tell me what to do.”

Paltrow soon realized though, that nobody actually knows what they are doing when launching a new product or service. And that realization has been the most interesting part of the whole process, she said.

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-13  Authors: jade scipioni
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, teenager, ceo, book, business, inspired, gwyneth, paltrow, start, read, corporate, johnsons, goop, classic, world, york, wellness, rjr


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What inspired these top advisors to help others manage money

But how about the financial advisor you’ve been working with all these years? More from Financial Advisor 100:CNBC FA 100 2019 list of top-rated financial advisory firmsTop-ranked advisory firms help meet their client’s financial goals10 years on, ‘personal touch’ will still dominate financial advice spaceWe asked eight financial advisors from wealth management firms ranked in the 2019 FA 100 list what exactly inspired them to get into the financial advisory business. My first purse, at 5 years


But how about the financial advisor you’ve been working with all these years? More from Financial Advisor 100:CNBC FA 100 2019 list of top-rated financial advisory firmsTop-ranked advisory firms help meet their client’s financial goals10 years on, ‘personal touch’ will still dominate financial advice spaceWe asked eight financial advisors from wealth management firms ranked in the 2019 FA 100 list what exactly inspired them to get into the financial advisory business. My first purse, at 5 years
What inspired these top advisors to help others manage money Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-10  Authors: kenneth kiesnoski, salem investment counselors, prapass pulsub, moment, getty images, jose luis pelaez, -mark a pitre, principal, california financial advisors, -dale brown
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, advisory, firms, advisor, manage, money, list, 100, working, financial, advisors, inspired, help


What inspired these top advisors to help others manage money

Everyone loves a good origin story, whether it’s fictional, like Superman’s, or real life — think Warren Buffett or Steve Jobs — or even somewhere in between. But how about the financial advisor you’ve been working with all these years? What motivated him or her to work with numbers and balances and figure out how those, well, figures impact people’s lives?

Financial professionals sometimes get stereotyped as bean counters and calculator-button pushers, but in speaking with top executives at leading advisory firms that made CNBC.com’s FA 100 list this year, it’s apparent that there are two themes common to most of their background stories: first, a fascination with the mechanics of money, math and markets — in short, “finance” — and second, a desire to interact with and truly help people — in other words, “service.” It’s no coincidence, then, they ended up in financial services.

More from Financial Advisor 100:

CNBC FA 100 2019 list of top-rated financial advisory firms

Top-ranked advisory firms help meet their client’s financial goals

10 years on, ‘personal touch’ will still dominate financial advice space

We asked eight financial advisors from wealth management firms ranked in the 2019 FA 100 list what exactly inspired them to get into the financial advisory business. Their replies follow.

California Financial Advisors , San Ramon, California

• Michelle Perry Higgins, principal: “My family owned several businesses when I was growing up, and I was completely obsessed watching my dad pay the bills, count the money after closing and work with customers. I knew early on I had a love for money management. My first purse, at 5 years old, was a Bank of America money bag.”

• Mark A. Pitre, principal: “Personally, as I went through college, I realized that there were a few interests that I wanted in my career: One, I wanted to help people, and two, I enjoyed working with numbers. As I considered various careers, I realized that the financial planning/investment advisory industry provided both. In this industry, to be successful, you have to want to help people first and foremost. Without that being your main objective, you will struggle as an advisor.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-10  Authors: kenneth kiesnoski, salem investment counselors, prapass pulsub, moment, getty images, jose luis pelaez, -mark a pitre, principal, california financial advisors, -dale brown
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, advisory, firms, advisor, manage, money, list, 100, working, financial, advisors, inspired, help


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The lesson from Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey that inspired these students to build a multimillion start-up

Siu Rui Quek had always been entrepreneurial. But it was a lesson learned in his early twenties from enterprising icons Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey that set him on course for the big times. I always joke that I have a mentor, which is Mark Zuckerberg, but it’s only one-way. Carousell’s co-founders from left to right, Marcus Tan, Siu Rui Quek and Lucas Ngoo. You’ve just got to love what you do and be obsessed about that problem you’re solving Siu Rui Quek co-founder and CEO, Carousell


Siu Rui Quek had always been entrepreneurial. But it was a lesson learned in his early twenties from enterprising icons Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey that set him on course for the big times. I always joke that I have a mentor, which is Mark Zuckerberg, but it’s only one-way. Carousell’s co-founders from left to right, Marcus Tan, Siu Rui Quek and Lucas Ngoo. You’ve just got to love what you do and be obsessed about that problem you’re solving Siu Rui Quek co-founder and CEO, Carousell
The lesson from Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey that inspired these students to build a multimillion start-up Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-09  Authors: karen gilchrist
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, students, mentor, jack, zuckerberg, inspired, multimillion, siu, startup, technology, know, dorsey, mark, lesson, rui, build, big, online, quek


The lesson from Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey that inspired these students to build a multimillion start-up

Siu Rui Quek had always been entrepreneurial. As a teen, he would fuel his passion for technology and earn extra cash buying and selling gadgets online. But it was a lesson learned in his early twenties from enterprising icons Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey that set him on course for the big times. That lesson? Know your mission. Quek is co-founder and CEO of $550 million online consumer marketplace Carousell. He started the business with his college friends Marcus Tan and Lucas Ngoo back in 2012 after they were inspired by talks from the top tech talents during an internship in Silicon Valley. And, even today, he says those presentations played a vital role in shaping Carousell’s success.

I always joke that I have a mentor, which is Mark Zuckerberg, but it’s only one-way. Siu Rui Quek co-founder and CEO, Carousell

“The one thing that we really learned and took away,” Quek told CNBC Make It, “is to be absolutely mission-oriented and mission-first.” “This idea of being mission-first just helps people transcend personal egos (and) helps create collaboration,” he said. To be sure, the founders did not mentor Quek and his friends directly. “I always joke that I have a mentor, which is Mark Zuckerberg, but it’s only one-way — I know him but he doesn’t know me,” Quek said.

Carousell’s co-founders from left to right, Marcus Tan, Siu Rui Quek and Lucas Ngoo. Carousell

But, by watching their presentations and studying their style, Quek said he and his co-founders were inspired to think about the big picture and how they could use technology to solve big issues. “I think the one commonality all of them had was just this whole fascination for using technology to solve problems and make a big impact,” said Quek. For Carousell, that meant building a platform to simplify buying and selling online, which, Quek said, plays into the company’s wider mission to “inspire every person in the world to start selling.”

You’ve just got to love what you do and be obsessed about that problem you’re solving Siu Rui Quek co-founder and CEO, Carousell


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-09  Authors: karen gilchrist
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, students, mentor, jack, zuckerberg, inspired, multimillion, siu, startup, technology, know, dorsey, mark, lesson, rui, build, big, online, quek


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How ‘FOMO’ inspired this millennial founder to build a $71 million-dollar virtual reality game

Steve Zhao, founder and CEO of Sandbox VR. As a serial entrepreneur, Chen knew the value of creating demand for a product, Zhao explained at RISE tech conference in Hong Kong. “We started Sandbox VR in 2016, when the hype of VR was very palpable,” said Zhao. Players experience Sandbox VR’s immersive virtual reality game. But, rather than fail, they launched a Sandbox VR center in San Francisco and quickly signed up investors to get on board.


Steve Zhao, founder and CEO of Sandbox VR. As a serial entrepreneur, Chen knew the value of creating demand for a product, Zhao explained at RISE tech conference in Hong Kong. “We started Sandbox VR in 2016, when the hype of VR was very palpable,” said Zhao. Players experience Sandbox VR’s immersive virtual reality game. But, rather than fail, they launched a Sandbox VR center in San Francisco and quickly signed up investors to get on board.
How ‘FOMO’ inspired this millennial founder to build a $71 million-dollar virtual reality game Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-26  Authors: karen gilchrist
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, reality, zhao, millennial, inspired, sandbox, build, experience, funding, founder, vr, game, 71, virtual, kong, hong, business, steve, really, milliondollar, fomo


How 'FOMO' inspired this millennial founder to build a $71 million-dollar virtual reality game

When Steve Zhao was looking for investment for his virtual reality arcade business, he did something unconventional: He lined up all his meetings back-to-back and had the investors sit together in the same waiting room. It was part of the young founder’s “FOMO” strategy — fear of missing out — to build a hype around his business. And it seemed to work. Within five days, Sandbox VR closed out its Series A funding round with a total of $68 million, led by famed Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. That took the company’s total funding raised to $71 million. “Investors are emotional beings, just like everybody else,” Zhao told CNBC Make It. “It’s important for VCs (venture capitalists) to see you’re in demand.”

Steve Zhao, founder and CEO of Sandbox VR. RISE

It was the idea of Siqi Chen, the company’s chief product officer and the brains behind journaling app Heyday. As a serial entrepreneur, Chen knew the value of creating demand for a product, Zhao explained at RISE tech conference in Hong Kong. So they made it clear that their immersive gaming experience was hot property. It was just the boost the young entrepreneurs needed to make it big, explained 36-year-old Zhao.

Getting in on the game

At that stage, in 2018, Sandbox VR had already won $3 million in early-stage funding, including from Chinese tech giant Alibaba. Zhao himself put in a personal investment of $300,000. But they felt they had to build a following in the U.S. to really get their start-up off the ground. “We started Sandbox VR in 2016, when the hype of VR was very palpable,” said Zhao.

Players experience Sandbox VR’s immersive virtual reality game. Sandbox VR

The engineer, who had relocated from the U.S. to Hong Kong for business, had seen the growing popularity of VR while working on a separate mobile gaming app, and decided to pivot. At that time, other immersive VR gaming attractions — such as The Void and MindTrek VR — were beginning to emerge in major cities. But Zhao dreamed of creating an experience that put greater emphasis on in-headset interactions between players. “There were a lot of VR experiences like what you experience at home. Then there were full immersive ones. We didn’t do any of that. We felt the game experience was not about the environment, but your friend,” said Zhao.

We thought ‘okay, this is the VR center globally, we can either fail really hard here or not.’ Steve Zhao founder of Sandbox VR

However, he lacked conviction from investors. “Our business felt like a paradox. Lots of money was going into VR in the U.S., Japan etc., but not Hong Kong. People didn’t see the VR tech potential in Hong Kong — they thought it would only have a local reach, ” he said. While Hong Kong has long been recognized as a global financial center, it has so far struggled to gain traction as a major start-up hub, particularly with regard to emerging technologies such as VR and artificial intelligence.

Sandbox VR’s virtual reality graphics in action. Sandbox VR

Finding funding in the Valley

So, with their team of six having successfully built a pop-up venue and amassed a small cult following for its games in Hong Kong, they decided in 2018 to take their business stateside — to the mecca of VR, Silicon Valley. “We thought ‘okay, this is the VR center globally, we can either fail really hard here or not,'” said Zhao. But, rather than fail, they launched a Sandbox VR center in San Francisco and quickly signed up investors to get on board. “That was the second paradox: People were curious about us being from Hong Kong, so they were interested in investing,” said Zhao.

Andrew Chen, partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Siqi Che, chief product officer at Sandbox VR, and Steve Zhao, founder and CEO of Sandbox VR, after singing an investment deal at 1am at an In N Out Burger restaurant. Sandbox VR

Before long, the company attracted investment from U.S. venture capital firms Floodgate Fund and Andreessen Horowitz, and Stanford University with whom Zhao signed a deal at 1 a.m. in a local In-N-Out Burger restaurant in San Francisco. That funding round, which closed in January 2019, took Sandbox VR’s total funds raised to date to $71 million. With it, the company has expanded to new markets including Vancouver, Canada; Jakarta, Indonesia; Macau, greater China; and Singapore. Zhao said those venues enjoy around 90% occupancy during peak hours, which are on weekends and in the evenings from 6 p.m.

It’s a fundamentally human experience, so the scope is global. Steve Zhao founder and CEO, Sandbox VR

Virtually limitless potential

Sandbox VR now plans to open new locations in a range of U.S. cities, including Austin, Chicago and New York, as part of the company’s plans to target leading global markets. “It’s a fundamentally human experience, so the scope is global. But we’re aiming for countries with high GDP (gross domestic product) initially,” said Zhao, pinpointing other parts of the U.S., the U.K., Japan and China. A 30-minute session in the U.S. currently costs $48. At the same time, Zhao’s team of developers, which had grown to 75, started looking for other VR avenues to pursue beyond the traditional zombie, pirate and futuristic franchises. “Zombies are easy,” said Zhao. “Comedy and Esports are really exciting.” It’s part of Zhao’s grand ambition to create a “new movie industry” of VR content. For that, the entrepreneur will be looking to raise more funds next year. Perhaps this time, he’ll need to find a bigger waiting room. Don’t miss: What this couple learned from Facebook and Google about building a Chinese mega app Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-26  Authors: karen gilchrist
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, reality, zhao, millennial, inspired, sandbox, build, experience, funding, founder, vr, game, 71, virtual, kong, hong, business, steve, really, milliondollar, fomo


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A Bill Gates speech inspired Zoom founder to start an internet business—now he’s a billionaire

In 1994, Yuan was just out of college and working in Japan for a few months at the same time that Gates was in that country to give a speech. The talk reignited something in Yuan that he had been thinking about for a few years already. He’d first thought of the idea for a videoconferencing company as a college freshman in China in 1987. Yuan spent those train rides daydreaming about ways he could see his girlfriend without making such a long journey. And every day I thought about that,” Yuan say


In 1994, Yuan was just out of college and working in Japan for a few months at the same time that Gates was in that country to give a speech. The talk reignited something in Yuan that he had been thinking about for a few years already. He’d first thought of the idea for a videoconferencing company as a college freshman in China in 1987. Yuan spent those train rides daydreaming about ways he could see his girlfriend without making such a long journey. And every day I thought about that,” Yuan say
A Bill Gates speech inspired Zoom founder to start an internet business—now he’s a billionaire Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-18  Authors: tom huddleston jr, victor j blue, bloomberg via getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, billionaire, company, speech, zoom, start, internet, yuan, videoconferencing, train, remembers, hes, gates, inspired, thought, talk, founder, businessnow


A Bill Gates speech inspired Zoom founder to start an internet business—now he's a billionaire

When Eric Yuan was in his early 20s, he heard a speech from then-Microsoft CEO Bill Gates about the promise of the internet, and Yuan decided he wanted to move from China to the US to be a part of the Silicon Valley tech boom.

Today, Yuan is the 49-year-old founder and CEO of videoconferencing cloud software company Zoom, which debuted on the Nasdaq exchange on Thursday in an IPO that currently values the company at more than $16 billion.

In 1994, Yuan was just out of college and working in Japan for a few months at the same time that Gates was in that country to give a speech. At the time, Gates was in his late 30s himself, and Microsoft was still a year away from releasing its Internet Explorer web browser as part of the Windows 95 operating system.

In an interview with GGV Capital last year, Yuan simply remembers that he was “inspired by this speech” that Gates delivered in Japan on the future of the internet, which was then not yet as ubiquitous as it is today.

The talk reignited something in Yuan that he had been thinking about for a few years already. He’d first thought of the idea for a videoconferencing company as a college freshman in China in 1987. Yuan and his girlfriend (now his wife) lived in different cities and he had to take a 10-hour train ride each way just to see her.

Yuan spent those train rides daydreaming about ways he could see his girlfriend without making such a long journey. He remembers telling her, “Someday, if I can have a smart device and with just one click I can talk with you, can see you.’ That was my daydream, right? And every day I thought about that,” Yuan says in the GGV Capital interview.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-18  Authors: tom huddleston jr, victor j blue, bloomberg via getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, billionaire, company, speech, zoom, start, internet, yuan, videoconferencing, train, remembers, hes, gates, inspired, thought, talk, founder, businessnow


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Women-led companies have more engaged and inspired employees, new survey finds

Workers prefer female-led companies’ approach to corporate strategyThe biggest difference the survey noted between women-led companies and similar male-led ones comes down to purpose. When workers rated how inspired they felt by the purpose and mission of their organization on a 10-point scale, women-led companies scored 0.8 points higher. (Women-led companies scored 0.3 points higher on this topic.) Engagement and worker autonomy rise at female-led companiesIn addition to strategy, companies wi


Workers prefer female-led companies’ approach to corporate strategyThe biggest difference the survey noted between women-led companies and similar male-led ones comes down to purpose. When workers rated how inspired they felt by the purpose and mission of their organization on a 10-point scale, women-led companies scored 0.8 points higher. (Women-led companies scored 0.3 points higher on this topic.) Engagement and worker autonomy rise at female-led companiesIn addition to strategy, companies wi
Women-led companies have more engaged and inspired employees, new survey finds Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-13  Authors: kerri anne renzulli, pixelfit, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, survey, engaged, strategy, finds, women, engagement, employees, work, higher, companies, female, workers, inspired, womenled


Women-led companies have more engaged and inspired employees, new survey finds

If you want to feel more satisfied at work, switching to a company headed by women might just be the antidote.

Organizations where women hold at least half of executive positions are more likely to have employees who believe in the company’s mission, products and strategy, leading such companies to do a better job meeting the needs of its workers. That’s according to a new survey of 57,483 workers conducted over four years by Peakon, an HR data platform that gathers and analyzes employee feedback.

Workers prefer female-led companies’ approach to corporate strategy

The biggest difference the survey noted between women-led companies and similar male-led ones comes down to purpose. Workers at the female-headed firms felt more positive about their organizations’ corporate strategy and mission, both understanding and agreeing with the overall strategy at a higher rate than did employees at companies with more male executives.

When workers rated how inspired they felt by the purpose and mission of their organization on a 10-point scale, women-led companies scored 0.8 points higher. That might seem like a small difference, but Peakon co-founder Kasper Hulthin told CNBC Make It that it is actually quite significant. Because of the survey’s large pool of respondents, Hulthin says it very rare to see large differences between groups, and that a 1-2-point difference would be exceptional.

“The interesting thing here was all the questions related to strategy stood out for women-led organizations,” adds Hulthin.

Workers at women-led businesses were also more likely to say that they felt the goals and strategies set by senior leadership were moving the company in the right direction. (Women-led companies scored 0.3 points higher on this topic.)

That difference might be explained by communication: The survey found workers scored female leaders 0.6 points higher than male leaders when it came to explaining and sharing the goals and strategies top executives had set for the company.

Engagement and worker autonomy rise at female-led companies

In addition to strategy, companies with a greater share of female execs tended to have more a more engaged workforce and fewer employees just collecting a paycheck. Their staffs were likelier to report feeling absorbed in and enthusiastic about their work and believe in the company. Women-led companies, for example, scored 0.6 points higher when it came to employees’ willingness to recommend their company’s products or services to family or friends.

Finally, women-led organizations appear to feature less micro-managing and more employee autonomy, allowing workers to complete tasks as they see fit and offering better remote work policies, according to the survey.

Hulthin says Peakon regularly surveys employees on a variety of factors, but did not find any areas where male-led organizations outshone women-led ones, instead the two groups were very similar on other workplace issues such as peer relationships, management support, compensation and rewards, employee growth, cultural fit, recognition and workload.

Women might not be the cause for the differences

While the data might suggest at first glance that the greater presence of women is the cause behind these positive changes in worker’s engagement and commitment to their employer, Hulthin cautions against such a conclusion.

The differences seen between women and men-led companies could be due to that fact that industries that promote female leaders or attract top female talent might already be higher-performers when it comes to strategy and autonomy.

In other words: Female leadership might not be the cause of these findings, but the result.

That theory lines up with other research done on the topic, including a 2016 Gallup poll, which argued that men and women’s job choices may explain the difference between their engagement levels.

Men were more likely to work in manufacturing and production jobs, which typically have lower worker engagement, whereas women were likely to hold professional jobs that have higher engagement levels. So women who work their way up to leadership roles may have positioned themselves at companies that had solid employee engagement levels to begin with, regardless of the gender makeup of their executive staff.

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Don’t miss: 11 high-paying jobs you should avoid


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-13  Authors: kerri anne renzulli, pixelfit, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, survey, engaged, strategy, finds, women, engagement, employees, work, higher, companies, female, workers, inspired, womenled


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Cramer Remix: How my father’s mistakes inspired me to buy stocks

If you want to invest in individual stocks, you have to be ready to do your homework, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on his show Thursday. The “Mad Money” host told a story from his childhood about how his father, “Pops,” began buying stocks of National Video through a tip that he received from his brother. “One of the precepts of ‘Mad Money’ is to know how to invest in an individual stock if you are going to do so,” Cramer said. “Tips, as I like to say, are for waiters … You must do homework if you a


If you want to invest in individual stocks, you have to be ready to do your homework, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on his show Thursday. The “Mad Money” host told a story from his childhood about how his father, “Pops,” began buying stocks of National Video through a tip that he received from his brother. “One of the precepts of ‘Mad Money’ is to know how to invest in an individual stock if you are going to do so,” Cramer said. “Tips, as I like to say, are for waiters … You must do homework if you a
Cramer Remix: How my father’s mistakes inspired me to buy stocks Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-21  Authors: tyler clifford, scott mlyn, michael fein, bloomberg, getty images, daniel acker, ashlee espinal
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fathers, inspired, stock, tip, buy, video, cramer, stocks, individual, remix, money, pops, mistakes, buying, homework


Cramer Remix: How my father's mistakes inspired me to buy stocks

If you want to invest in individual stocks, you have to be ready to do your homework, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on his show Thursday.

The “Mad Money” host told a story from his childhood about how his father, “Pops,” began buying stocks of National Video through a tip that he received from his brother. Pops, he said, eventually put a large chunk of his life savings into the equity as the price was rising. Once the stock began falling, Pops, like many people, had no idea what to do besides asking his brother to fetch another tip from his friend, Cramer said.

The tip was to keep buying National Video and the only thing that Pops knew to do was continue buying the stock, which means he was at the “mercy” of the stock’s movement, he said.

“One of the precepts of ‘Mad Money’ is to know how to invest in an individual stock if you are going to do so,” Cramer said. “Tips, as I like to say, are for waiters … You must do homework if you are going to own individual stocks … [and] if you can’t do homework then own an index fund.”

But if you fear losing money, “don’t own stocks at all,” he said.

Click here to hear the full story.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-21  Authors: tyler clifford, scott mlyn, michael fein, bloomberg, getty images, daniel acker, ashlee espinal
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fathers, inspired, stock, tip, buy, video, cramer, stocks, individual, remix, money, pops, mistakes, buying, homework


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