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10 things in tech you need to know today, September 12

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Uber is arguing that even under a new bill, its drivers aren’t employees.
Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

  1. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd is taking a leave of absence, saying he needs “time focused on my health.” Oracle shares fell more than 5% as the company also reported fiscal-first-quarter results.
  2. Andreessen Horowitz is reportedly backing Oculus founder Palmer Luckey’s new border technology startup Anduril with a $1 billion valuation. Palmer started Anduril after leaving Facebook in 2017 amid reports of his controversial political donations and support of far-right groups.
  3. Cybersecurity company Cloudflare says it may have violated US law by doing business with terrorists and narcotics traffickers. The company made the admission in a quietly updated S-1 filing.
  4. Uber has said a new bill in California re-classing gig-economy workers as employees won’t affect its drivers as they aren’t central to its business, the Verge reports. Uber’s chief legal counsel told reporters Uber drivers’ work counts as “outside the usual course” of business.
  5. A brewing FTC antitrust investigation into Amazon is looking more and more serious. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Federal Trade Commission officials have been interviewing small businesses that sell through Amazon about the company’s business practices.
  6. Video game retailer GameStop is closing 180 to 200 of stores as it attempts to stay afloat. GameStop CFO Jim Bell said he expects a “much larger” group of stores will be closed in the next one to two years.
  7. Nintendo is seeking millions in damages from a website that allegedly charged $30 per year for fast, unlimited downloads of video games. According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Polygon, Nintendo of America is seeking $150,000 in damages for each infringement of its copyrighted works, and $2 million for each infringement of a Nintendo trademark.
  8. Reverse app engineer Jane Manchun Wong discovered that Instagram is working on something called “Clips,” a new camera mode for creating Instagram Stories. “Clips” seems to mirror many features central to short-form video app TikTok, allowing users to string together recorded clips into one video, add music, and adjust each clip’s speed and length.
  9. McDonald’s bought an AI speech company to take the human interaction out of drive-thrus. Apprente builds AI designed to understand and respond to human speech, which McDonald’s said it plans to implement at its drive-thrus.
  10. WeWork may try to wrap its roadshow and price its IPO before the Jewish New Year on September 29. CEO Adam Neumann is reportedly hoping to finish up before the important two-day Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah begins.

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Leadership expert inspiring entrepreneurs to ‘start with why’

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  • Simon Sinek’s 2009 TEDx Talk, “How great leaders inspire action,” has more than 47 million views on TED.com. Sinek is a leadership expert with an academic background in ethnography, or the study of human social customs and structures.
  • His TEDx Talk and related book, “Start With Why,” illustrate the importance of focusing on why your business matters to people instead of the typical question of what your business does.
  • Leaders who can articulate a compelling “why” for their business stand a better chance at attracting the loyal team and customers that sustain long-term success.
  • Three takeaways from his 10-year-old message are more relevant than ever for small businesses and entrepreneurs in an increasingly competitive marketplace. 
  • Visit BI Prime for more stories.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

I first heard those words in an interview I did with Patrice Banks, an entrepreneur who started a women-focused auto garage in Philadelphia.

Banks was quoting Simon Sinek, the leadership expert and author of “Start With Why,” a book that documents the mindset that enables great entrepreneurs and innovators to inspire others.

Sinek’s quote lingered in my mind for weeks, until one day I came across a copy of the book on a shelf in the Business Insider newsroom.

SWW Cover High Res 600x903




SimonSinek.com



I read the book, watched his 2009 TEDx talk, and found three takeaways for how entrepreneurs and small businesses can use Sinek’s advice to strengthen the loyalty of their team and customers.

‘The world’s simplest idea’

Sinek calls his concept “the world’s simplest idea,” and he illustrates it with a diagram of three concentric rings. Within each circle are the words “what,” “how,” and “why,” with “why” at the center.

Most businesses answer those questions from the outside in, starting with a description of their product or service. Some go a step further and explain how they deliver it, and few ever make a clear case for why they offer it.

Instead, Sinek says leaders should start from the inside out — starting with “why.” Citing examples like Apple and Martin Luther King, Jr., he shows that leaders who articulate a guiding philosophical principle for their actions forge stronger emotional bonds with their followers.

In short, “what” is about your results, but “why” is about your motivation.

(By the way, money and profit are results, not motivation, Sinek says. Another way to think about it is how your idea benefits others.)

Finding people who believe what you believe

Not everyone is a good fit for your business, whether they are partners, employees or even customers. Sinek says that putting your motivations front and center can help focus your efforts on the people that share your mission.

In his talk, Sinek quips that MLK’s famous speech was “I have a dream,” not “I have a plan.”

He attributes Apple’s commercial success to its clear messaging about its mission to “Think Different,” which invites people to identify personally with the brand and follow it into new directions. Apple and Dell both offered music players to the market, but only Apple’s iPod (and later iPhone) became social icons for consumers.

Sinek traces the connection to biological roots in our brains’ neocortex and limbic systems, which support the logical and emotional processing of what we call “gut feelings,” which we later rationalize with facts.

I asked my wife about this — she is a doctoral candidate in psychology and neuroscience at Princeton — and she says while Sinek’s characterization is broadly correct, it is important not to oversimplify this complex system in binary terms.

Our more primal and advanced processes are supported by different regions of the brain that work together and adapt to changes throughout our lives.

Regardless of how you understand the science, “why” can be a profoundly emotional question.

What about “how”?

If you regularly read Business Insider’s Strategy coverage, you may have noticed a bit of a theme: we spend a lot of time on the “how” in our stories.

In fact, Sinek’s explanation of the importance of “how” is what made the book such a compelling read for me.

“How” is the action piece of Sinek’s model, where a philosophy is transformed into a result. Transforming the “why” of your business into a successful “what” is fundamentally dependent on the “how.”

The “how” is a vitally important question. Without it, your “why” remains just a lofty idea.

Conversely, without a “why,” the “how” can become rote and uninspiring. At the end of the day, it’s all about where you start.

Articulating the “why” for your business can be a challenging exercise, but the long-term benefits of defining it could be instrumental to your success.



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Video: Tesla Cybertruck ‘armor glass’ windows smash in test gone wrong

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Tesla’s new Cybertruck launch didn’t go quite as smoothly as expected after its “armor glass” windows got smashed during a live test.

CEO Elon Musk unveiled the $39,900 truck in Los Angeles on Thursday, and got lead designer Franz von Holzhausen to test the left-side windows by throwing a silver metal ball at them.

After von Holzhausen smashed the front-left window with ease, Musk exclaimed: “Oh my f—–g God. Well, maybe that was a little too hard.”

“It didn’t go through, that’s a plus side,” he said.

Von Halzhausen then tested the back-left window, which also smashed. “Room for improvement,” Musk joked.

“We threw wrenches, we threw literally the kitchen sink at the glass and it didn’t break. For some reason it broke now… I don’t know why.”

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck.
Tesla


Before the hiccup, in his opening remarks Musk said: “Trucks have been the same for a very long time,”  while images of conventional trucks flashed on a screen behind him.

A caption on the screen read: “100 years of the same.”

Elon Musk smashed windows

Elon Musk in front of his Cybertruck, complete with smashed windows, on Thursday.
Tesla


The Cybertruck is made of a heavy-duty exterior shell made from “ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel” and armored glass, according to Tesla.

Musk took pains to show the Cybertruck as being unlike any other production passenger truck on the road, punctuated by a 100-cubic-foot cargo area, and up to 14,000 pounds of towing capacity.

The Cybertruck can reach 60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds, according to Musk.



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Payments Industry Ecosystem Report 2019: Full Value Chain Explained

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The digitization of daily life is making phones and connected devices the preferred payment tools for consumers — preferences that are causing digital payment volume to blossom worldwide.

The Payment Processing Industry Overview

As noncash payment volume accelerates, the power dynamics of the payments industry are shifting further in favor of digital and omnichannel providers, attracting a wide swath of providers to the space and forcing firms to diversify, collaborate, or consolidate in order to capitalize on a growing revenue opportunity.

More and more, consumers want fast and simple payments. Rising e- and m-commerce, surges in mobile P2P, and increasing willingness among customers in developed countries to try new transaction channels, like mobile in-store payments, voice and chatbot payments, or connected device payments are all increasing transaction touchpoints for providers.

US Mobile Point-Of-Sale Installed Base


Business Insider Intelligence


This is helping payments become seamless, allowing firms to boost adoption, build and strengthen relationships, offer more services, and increase usage.

But payment ubiquity and invisibility also comes with challenges. Regulatory changes and geopolitical tensions are forcing players to reevaluate their approach to scale. And fraudsters are more aggressively exploiting vulnerabilities, making data breaches feel almost inevitable and pushing providers to improve their defenses and crisis response capabilities alike.

The Payments Industry Explained

In the latest annual edition of The Payments Ecosystem Report, Business Insider Intelligence unpacks the current digital payments ecosystem, and explores how changes will impact the industry in both the short- and long-term. The report traces the path of an in-store card payment from processing to settlement to clarify the role of key stakeholders and assess how the landscape has shifted.

It uses forecasts, case studies, and product developments from the past year to explain how digital transformation is impacting major payment processing industry segments and evaluate the pace of change. Finally, it highlights five trends that should shape the payments industry in the year ahead, looking at how regulatory shifts, emerging technologies, and competition could impact the payments ecosystem.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Behind the scenes, payment processes and stakeholders remain similar. But providers are forced to make payments as frictionless as possible as online shopping surges: E-commerce is poised to exceed $1 trillion — nearly a fifth of total US retail — by 2023.
  • The channels and front-end methods that consumers use to make payments are evolving. Mobile in-store payments are huge in developing markets, but approaching an inflection point in developed regions where adoption has been laggy. And the ubiquity of mobile P2P services like Venmo and Square Cash will propel digital P2P to $574 billion by 2023.
  • The competitive payments industry landscape will shift as companies pursue joint ventures to grow abroad in response to geopolitical tensions, or consolidate to achieve rapid scale amid digitization.
  • Fees, bans, steering, or regulation could impact the way consumers pay, pushing them toward emerging methods that bypass card rails, and limit key revenue sources that providers use to fund rewards and marketing initiatives.
  • Tokenization will continue to mainstream as a key way providers are preventing and responding to the omnipresent data breach threat.

In full, the report:

  • Explains the factors contributing to a swell in global noncash payments
  • Examines shifts in the roles of major industry stakeholders, including issuers, card networks, acquirer-processors, POS terminal vendors, and gateways
  • Presents forecasts and highlights major trends and payments events driving digital payments growth
  • Identifies five trends that will shape the payments industry ecosystem in the year ahead

Interested in getting the full report? Here’s how to get access:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >>  Purchase & Download Now
  2. Sign up for Payments & Commerce Pro, Business Insider Intelligence’s expert product suite keeping you up-to-date on the people, technologies, trends, and companies shaping the future of consumerism, delivered to your inbox 6x a week. >> Get Started
  3. Join thousands of top companies worldwide who trust Business Insider Intelligence for their competitive research needs. >> Inquire About Our Enterprise Memberships
  4. Current subscribers can read the report here.

The companies mentioned in the report are: CCEL, Adyen, Affirm, Afterpay, Amazon, American Express, Ant Financial, Apple, AribaPay, Authorize.Net, Bank of America, Barclays, Beem It, Billtrust, Braintree, Capital One, Cardtronics, Chase Paymentech, Citi, Discover, First Data, Flywire, Fraedom, Gemalto, GM, Google, Green Dot, Huifu, Hyundai, Ingenico, Jaguar, JPMorgan Chase, Klarna, Kroger, LianLian, Lydia, Macy’s, Mastercard, MICROS, MoneyGram, Monzo, NCR, Netflix, P97, PayPal, Paytm, Poynt, QuickBooks, Sainsbury’s, Samsung, Santander, Shell, Square, Starbucks, Stripe, Synchrony Financial, Target, TransferWise, TSYS, UnionPay, Venmo, Verifone, Visa, Vocalink, Walmart, WeChat/Tencent, Weebly, Wells Fargo, Western Union, Worldpay, WorldRemit, Xevo, Zelle, Zesty, and ZipRecruiter, among others



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