Posts tagged with "finance"

Twitter’s Future with Bitcoin

By: Sean Fontno, Elle Grant × Vaughn Lowery

Jack Dorsey always had a niche for technology. Back in 2000, he thought to himself, “What if you could share your status with all your friends really easily, so they know what you’re doing?” 6 years later, Jack Dorsey posted the very first tweet: “just setting up my twitter,” and became the company’s chief executive officer. In 2010, Dorsey started investing in the social networking company Foursquare and launched “Square.” Square lets people receive credit card payments through a mobile phone or computer. With his knowledge of social media and Square, it doesn’t seem like much of a surprise for Dorsey wanting to bring Bitcoin and Twitter together, creating something that can quickly connect people and their money.

What is Bitcoin? It’s a currency created back in 2009 by an unknown person using the false name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Have you ever been to the arcade or to the casino and received tokens or chips? Similarly, you must exchange real currency for cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that’s just like the normal United States Dollar (USD) but is protected by cryptography, which makes it impossible for scammers to attack this form of currency. It allows you to make payments online and money is easily moved place to place, account to account, with no credit card fees. With cryptocurrency being decentralized, YOU own that money. 

Along a contributing factor to this evolution in currency technology are NFTs. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are the tokens used to buy things in cryptocurrency. NFTs helps the owner, artist, etc, earn a percentage of all the sales. It protects the unique original work being sold because in this day in age, everything is being used for something and wouldn’t you want your rightly earned money for that? They create an immutable record, keeping note of every sale. It’s the new modern step to your work or business. All you need is a smart device and an internet connection, and with just those two things, Dorsey’s goal to reach a worldwide audience will definitely be achieved. Especially as there are already 192 million daily active users on Twitter. 

Jack Dorsey sees a new chance to bring cryptocurrency into Twitter in the modern moment. Dorsey, who has been supporting Bitcoin for years, even discussed with his investors about the next steps. He told them it would help the company keep up with new market strategies. He explains how the native currency can help them move products like Super Follows, Commerce, Subscriptions, and Tip Jar. Dorsey sees this as an opportunity to “…reach every single person on the planet,” instead of doing the regular market-to-market approaches. So, Dorsey’s goal to always stay connected with people continues to be in play.

Bringing Bitcoin to Twitter seems like it will give businesses from small to big an option to increase profits and reach more audiences. With Bitcoin, you can create your own fees, avoid fraud, and kiss “three business days” goodbye! Having these benefits accessible on Twitter could be the next step for the social media of the future. 

graph via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Black Owned Media’s Marketing Panel

By: Skyler Johnson

Black Owned Media Equity and Sustainability Institute hosted an educational marketing panel to help small businesses, primarily newsrooms, in getting people to donate money through membership.

Building Trust

There are many ways to build trust with the audience. The easiest way is to create habits through emails and newsletters. The phone is the modern day porch. People routinely wake up and check their phones in the same way they used to read the newspaper. They offer a way for companies to meet their clientele where they are. It’s important to be transparent about what the association is and what its goal is. A person may not know a certain magazine is non-profit.

They drew a comparison with dating apps. Potential members are the people swiping left and right. The goal would be to get people from casual hookups, people looking at random articles, to active viewers. The newsletter was mentioned as a consistent and direct channel to readers. Once you build up their trust, you can begin to ask for donations.

Welcome Series

A welcome series is helpful in this transparency. It lets them know why they need your newspaper in their lives. After the welcome series, now they can ask for money, which can and should feel uncomfortable and daunting. One should never be too cautious when asking for money. They recommended having monthly donations instead of one-time payments. 

Surveys

When attempting to decide which content resonates the most with your base, survey  was described as the easiest way to do so. These questionnaires should find out the basic needs of your patrons: where and how and how often they will read. What kind of news do they read? Publishing polls yearly help in seeing changes over time. And it’s important to include some questions gauging the emotional connection the patron has with the content. 

Conclusion

Ultimately, the panelists explained, there’s no exact science for any of this. It’s hard to gauge whether something will work or not and it’s impossible to tell how many welcome emails are needed and how much you should ask for in donations. That takes practice, and with enough of it you’ll be able to secure donations easily.

JBR CAPITAL SET RECORD BUSINESS PERIOD

JBR CAPITAL ENJOYS RECORD BUSINESS PERIOD, LENDING £100M SINCE 1 MARCH ENABLING CUSTOMERS TO FUND THEIR AUTOMOTIVE PASSION

Leading automotive finance provider JBR Capital has enjoyed its most successful business period to date. Driven by the post-pandemic pent-up demand for high-end vehicles, the London-based company has lent £100m since 1 March, enabling customers to fund their passion for supercars and luxury vehicles.

The UK’s only independent finance lender dedicated solely to high-end vehicle finance, JBR Capital was launched in 2015 and has lent £700m in tailored loans to date, rapidly establishing an enviable reputation within the automotive finance sector, forming close relationships with dealers, brokers, and customers.

Data from the last six months reveals Porsche to be the most in-demand marque, followed by Land Rover/Range Rover, with Mercedes-Benz in third place. In terms of the most popular individual models JBR Capital has financed, the Porsche 911 Carrera takes the top spot, with the Range Rover Sport, followed by the Lamborghini Huracán, completing the top three. The fourth most popular model is the Audi R8, while the Mercedes-Benz G Class AMG completes the top five.

Through a highly personalized approach, JBR Capital has been able to serve and rapidly grow its loyal introducer and customer base. The company’s holistic underwriting approach assists clients with a range of financial circumstances achieve an agreement with highly competitive monthly payments using a risk-based pricing model. Through its partnership with Supercar Driver, JBR Capital immerses itself in the high-performance automotive community, attending key events throughout the year as one way of staying in touch with its customers.

While JBR Capital provides funding from £25,000 the average advance over the past six months has been £81,000 funded on a Hire Purchase agreement with an average repayment term of 42 months. The most popular location for the provision of finance has proven to be the South East of England, followed by London and then the East of England.

Darren Selig, Founder & Chief Commercial Officer at JBR Capital, said: “At JBR Capital, we have always prided ourselves in our ability to create bespoke financial solutions for our customers and approve them quickly. As the country began to emerge from lockdown in March, and the demand for high-performance sports cars, supercars, and prestige vehicles exploded to unprecedented levels, the ability to react quickly has proven even more crucial. For many in the automotive community, 2020 was a lost year. It is an understatement to say that customers were itching to get behind the wheel of the car of their dreams in time for summer 2021. We are delighted that by living up to our ‘Fund your passion’ mantra, we were able to help so many enthusiasts get out on the open road in the car they’ve always promised themselves.”

Nayan V Kisnadwala, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The ending of lockdown in March opened the floodgates.  JBR Capital’s unmatched knowledge of the high-end automotive sector, combined with the fact that we had already initiated a recruitment drive to further bolster our highly motivated, customer-focused, and passionate workforce, meant that we were ideally placed to meet the demand. We have increased our workforce by 50% since the start of the year to ensure we continue providing the very best personalized service to our customers as we foresee demand for today’s high-performance cars remaining exceptionally strong. At the same time, further growth will be fuelled by forthcoming models yet to be released. In the months ahead, JBR Capital will continue to help customers fund their automotive passion.”

Image via Schure Media Group for 360 Magazine

Lecrae × Experian – Protect the Bag

GRAMMY AWARD WINNING ARTIST, LECRAE, TO HOST NEW PERSONAL FINANCE WEB SERIES PROTECT THE BAG, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH EXPERIAN NORTH AMERICA.

The Protect The Bag Web-Series Talks About the Basics Of Financial Health! Go from FOMO to legacy building.

Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Lecrae, has partnered with Experian North America, a leading information services company, to present Protect The Bag, a six-part web series that provides viewers with a blueprint for building a financial legacy.

The video series produced by Lecrae’s production company, 3 Strand Films, premieres Fall 2021, and guides audiences through the ins and outs of financial health. Through short sketches and the help of some high-profile special guests, Lecrae will break down the basics of financial literacy and credit education to help viewers understand how to balance their financial needs of today, with those of tomorrow.

I am on a mission to spread the word on financial education because I wasn’t educated about money and didn’t know about budgeting, Lecrae explained. I didn’t know to think about the cost of things or what to pay off first because I just didn’t have a strategy. He believes that through his unique vision, partnered with Experian’s expertise, the message of financial health and inclusion will be embraced.

Each episode will cover a key point of building a financial legacy starting with understanding money and utilizing checking and savings accounts. Other topics include budgeting, saving, protecting one’s identity, debt, and investing.

This partnership is part of Experian’s United for Financial Health, a global financial recovery initiative that helps educate and empower vulnerable consumers around their finances and minority business owners around financial health. Under this program, Lecrae previously supported the Home Preservation Grant, an Experian partnership with the NAACP to provide mortgage relief to homeowners negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Credit education isn’t always taught in homes and schools. In fact, a recent Experian survey shows almost one in three (30%) of young adults wish they learned how to build credit or improve their credit scores before entering adulthood, said Wil Lewis, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Experian. We’re excited to partner with Lecrae for ‘Protect The Bag’ and see this as an innovative way to reach young consumers so they can start their financial health journey on the right foot.

Protect The Bag will premiere on Lecrae’s YouTube channel and social media platforms. Learn more at their site or follow Lecrae via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

ABOUT LECRAE

A Multi Grammy Award-winning platinum selling artist, Lecrae has evolved into a New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, thought leader, and philanthropist. He is the Co-Owner/Co-Founder/President of Atlanta based record label, Reach Records. He made history as the first artist to have a #1 Album on both the Billboard Top 200 and Gospel Charts simultaneously! His first book, Unashamed is a New York Times best-seller! In 2021, he released his second book, I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion but Found My Faith, a new album Restoration, and The Road To Restoration, 3-part video narrative and a prelude to his forthcoming documentary. Restoration is more than an album, a book, or documentary, he is involved and partnered in several community initiatives that are rebuilding the west-side of Metro Atlanta.

ABOUT EXPERIAN

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments, from buying a home or a car to sending a child to college to growing a business by connecting with new customers, we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organizations to prevent identity fraud and crime. We have 17,800 people operating across 44 countries, and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximize every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Learn more at Experian or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group.

illustration by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Digital Transformation | How has technology changed your business? 

The use of technology is providing businesses a myriad of opportunities to connect with customers, educate their client base, promote products and services, track trends using analytics, and extend visibility beyond traditional company websites. This is especially important given the increase in remote working environments as well as the increase in electronic shopping. Customers and clients are reaping the benefits of this digital world and these business leaders are sharing the unique ways technology has changed their businesses. 

1. Zero Carbon Footprint

Brittany Kaiser, Chair of the Board of Directors Gryphon Digital Mining

Technology has made our business possible. At Gryphon Digital Mining, we create the world’s largest fully integrated pure-play Bitcoin miner with zero carbon footprint. Bitcoin mining is the process of creating a new bitcoin by solving a computational puzzle.

Bitcoin mining is necessary to maintain the ledger of transactions upon which Bitcoin is based. We are grateful that technology offers a world of possibilities.

2. Customer Education and Connection

Micheal Fischer, Founder Elite HRT 

Our business has been able to connect physicians with patients much more effectively and easily with online access. On top of that, patient education has been much easier for our Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) treatment plans, in order to ensure patients of their informed decisions. It’s been great to connect people to get them started leading healthier and happier lives. 

3. Refreshing Remote Work Structure

Samantha Charleston, VP Human Resources Newell Brands

For the time being, Newell Brands is continuing our remote work structure for the majority of the office population. A benefit of the new situation is it has given employees an outlet to try new things, think differently, share ideas and find solutions.

4. Business through Webapps

Amber Theurer, Chief Marketing Officer ivee

The ability for us to generate business through a webapp has been very beneficial for us, since apps are usually very user-friendly and virtually everyone is on their phones often enough as it is. By just tapping a few buttons on your phone, we can have a Registered Nurse provide IV treatment and other health and wellness services to you at your home or work in as soon as an hour. Without our platform, the process of being able to set up these appointments, and the subsequent efficiencies gained would not be nearly as impactful.

5. Educate and Connect through Blog Posts

Brandon Monaghan, Co-Founder Miracle Brand

Providing customers with more information through our blog has been a game-changer. Through this online community of readers, we have been able to establish a personal connection with our customers and eventual customers. We feel educating people through the blog about our products and providing other helpful tips aids in new and recurring sales from previous customers. 

6. Analytics Platforms for a Better Customer Experience

Benjamin Smith, Founder Disco

Using the vast amount of information available through analytics platforms like Google Analytics or SEMrush is pivotal to understanding how customers are finding and interacting with a website. Tracking behavior, identifying trends and roadblocks, analyzing search terms, and so on can help guide how to go about optimizing for a better customer experience.

7. Remote Business Connection and Productivity  

Joe Parenteau, Co-founder  Fable Home

Fable Home has almost always been a remote working business, with the option to come into the office as needed. Technology has allowed us to smoothly and effectively transition all of our employees to remote roles with success. We are able to communicate with video chatting and quick emails or Slack messages. Technology allows us to constantly stay connected and boost productivity levels!

8. Promote with Social Media using Analytics

Annabel Love, Co-founder & COO Nori Press

Technology has changed the way we promoted our business and got in front of the right customers. With social media, we wanted to target people who were actually interested in using our product, rather than just hoping the advertisements would do their job. Using analytics, we are able to target people who are more likely to be interested and use more optimization to increase sales. 

9. Create an Office Atmosphere at Home with Video Communication

Brittney Dolin, CEO Pocketbook Agency

If it wasn’t for the quick and easy adaptation our company experienced with technology, we would be in a very different place right now. Technology contributed to basic day-to-day practices in addition to assisting us in the trend tracking process. We were able to implement video chatting and Slack communication to help employees create a resemblance of office atmosphere at home. As trends changed, so did our goals! 

10. Track Customer Goals to Meet Needs

Jeff Goodwin, Sr. Director of Performance Marketing and e-Commerce Orgain

Technology has allowed the nutrition industry to skyrocket, as more information becomes publicly available and the interest for higher nutrition increased tenfold in the past decade. We are also able to track more accurately how health and fitness can help people reach their goals, and being able to formulate our products around those needs has become a lot easier. 

11. Attract Prospects from Anywhere without Travel 

Chris Bedi, CIO ServiceNow

Employers will quickly realize that they can start hiring anywhere and attract a whole new set of prospects. And even though there’s a level of Zoom fatigue that’s setting in from nonstop video calls, the travel market is forever changed, he predicts. The concept of getting on a plane for six hours for a two-hour meeting and being jet lagged, people are going to go — why?

The pandemic has changed the way we live life and do business. As Elon Musk says, “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.” Technology allows you to grow, expand, and elevate your business. With the number of opportunities to incorporate technology into your practice, how can your organization use technology to its advantage today?

12. Increase the Confidence of Customers through Education of Products

Aidan Cole, CEO TatBrow

We have been able to inform and empower the public by adding a “How to Use” section to our website. This gives potential customers confidence in using our product and has been enhanced with the use of video to show TatBrow demos without customers even leaving our site! This makes it convenient for customers to purchase immediately following their exploration of these resources. 

13. Stay on Top of Trends to Increase E-Commerce

Chris Vaughn, Co-founder Saucey

Before the pandemic e-commerce sales were already on the rise. When the pandemic hit and everyone was forced to purchase their essentials through the internet, naturally sales sky-rocketed. The convenience of purchasing products and services shifted from real-time purchases (in-stores) to finding the best product or service (researching and analyzing online), so our technologies also made that shift. We were able to stay on top of trends by effectively tracking them! Quickly, consumers began developing e-commerce habits that significantly helped these businesses track their sales and network. 

14. Promote through Social Media and Web Platforms

Ben Teicher, President/CEO Healthy Directions

Being able to promote our podcasts from our website and on our YouTube channel has been really helpful for our business. Without these digital forms of media, we probably wouldn’t be able to communicate our expertise with the public to the same degree, nor would we be able to allow our prospects and customers to get to know our brand as well. 

15. SEO Marketing

Danielle Callabrese, COO De La Calle

An important component of technology is the work put into search engine optimization. Consumer behaviors have unmistakably changed. They are no longer casually shopping around in stores. Trends have indicated that consumers are researching products they are interested in purchasing before making the trip to their preferred retailer (whether that be in person or online). SEO marketing has been around for some time, but it wasn’t until the global pandemic that we saw this side of marketing truly take off.

Image of Telescope via Gabrielle Archulleta for Use by 360 Magazine

New Report Underlines Importance of Science and Tech Funding

Investments in science and technology research are vital to the United States’ economic growth and global leadership, according to a new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

The Biden administration has made science and technology (S&T) a centerpiece of its early policy agenda with ambitious targets for federal investments in research and development (R&D). There are also growing concerns in Congress about the United States’ global leadership in S&T-focused industries, especially in relation to China.

“As the high technology sector (e.g., advanced computing and communications, social media platforms and other web-based services) becomes an increasingly large part of the overall U.S. economy, federal funding for early stage R&D, which has been at the root of much of the technological progress of this past century, is more important than ever,” wrote the Baker Institute’s Kenneth Evans, a scholar in science and technology policy, and Kirstin Matthews, a fellow in science and technology policy.

While President Biden’s first budget proposal aims to authorize historic increases to federal R&D agencies, the authors argue that significant challenges remain to ensure long-term, international competitiveness across scientific disciplines and advanced technologies.

According to their report, shifting priorities between administrations, changes to the ideology of Congress and broader economic conditions in the U.S. at large have resulted in inconsistent funding for R&D. 

“Traditionally, federal funding for R&D receives bipartisan support in Congress, particularly for health and defense-related research activities,” the authors wrote. “However, since the mid-1990s, government spending on basic research has declined or stagnated as a share of the U.S. GDP, in part due to the intrinsic uncertainties about the ultimate impacts of basic research.”

Science and technology R&D is essential to creating new knowledge and tools, the authors argue, because it ensures the development of new products and technologies that can drive domestic and global economies. Economists estimate innovations stemming from S&T accounted for more than 60% of economic growth over the last century. 

Yet scientists have placed relatively little value on evaluating and communicating the broader societal impacts of basic research to the public and especially to policymakers, the authors argue. The authors encourage researchers, especially academic scientists driven to action by anti-science rhetoric during the Trump administration, to continue to engage in public outreach during the Biden presidency. 

“Universities should encourage and incentivize avenues for public engagement through increased support of existing programs or funding new activities for interested faculty, postdocs, graduate students and research staff,” they wrote. 

“Building public support for R&D, strengthening trust in scientific institutions and expertise, and increasing scientists’ participation in decision-making related to S&T issues are critical to ensuring that scientific discoveries and innovation benefit the broader public and that increased investment in R&D serves the public interest,” they continued.

The report was a collaboration with two Rice undergraduate students and research interns in the science and technology policy program—Gabriella Hazan and Spoorthi Kamepalli.

Heather Skovlund computer illustration for use by 360 Magazine

Cryptocurrency Investment: Five Personal Finance Experts to Follow for Perfect Advice

There is much one must know to avoid facing trouble in the domain of cryptocurrency. Hence, it is vital to explore more about this new currency. Finance experts can be your best guide when it comes to cryptocurrency advice. Whether you follow these experts or explore sites like Bitcoin Buyer, you can gain valuable insight. Check out the top five personal finance experts to follow before investing in digital currency:

1). Jeremy Schneider

Jeremy is one of the most senior Bitcoin experts, having been involved with the industry from the first day. He learned about cryptocurrency in 2010 and after thinking for half an hour, Jeremy finally decided to procure BTC. Jeremy warns against investing because of fear of missing out (FOMO) pressure. Rather, Jeremy reminds people of two rules when it comes to making money by investing in cryptocurrency: think twice before investing, and go safe in their games. Today, his net worth comes to around 4.1 million dollars.

2). Jully-Alma Taveras

Jully is called the Investing Latina on the internet. She aims to diversify the entire holdings of digital currency assets. People are starting up to learn more about the digital coin, claims Jully, yet not all are required to put their money into cryptocurrency. Jully feels that one’s cryptocurrency assets should comprise of a wide range of profiles. She also recommends people try only the two, main digital currencies for now. When we compare digital currencies to traditional ones, some cryptocurrencies can miss the mark.

3). Kiana Danial

Kiana Danial is also known as the Invest Diva. She began keeping an eye over the digital currency market in 2016, and began putting her money into the market in 2018. Danial has been active on Instagram, on which she discusses investing on goals and objectives. Kiana claims that BTC is not a lottery ticket to make loads of money in a year. She feels that one should research and check out potential risks before investing their money.

4). Marc Russell

Mark, better known as Betterwallet on Instagram, loves to stick to the basic rules of investing. He says that long-term and boring kinds of strategies do not often work, and that they require too much focus. At the same time, Mark also recommends considering what your personal long-term goal is. He claims that a majority of asset distribution deals (which include a proper blend of bonds, stocks, and alternatives) are simple and make everyone a long-term investor. He recommends that veterans start first with 5 percent investment allocation, and then proceed to with 10 percent allocations with caution.

5). Humphrey Yang

Humphrey Yang creates TikToks and YouTube videos concerning investing. He strongly advocates for index funds. Humphrey recommends that investors put money into these index funds and check them on a yearly basis. Furthermore, Yang calls people to avoid any speculative investments. He recommends only putting a small amount of money into an investment, and then proceeding gradually to see that your money is moving in the right direction.

 

Smartphone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Maisel High-Contrast Phone Cases

By: Kim Bui, CEO/Founder of Maisel

Last year, I birthed two pandemic babies – one in June and another in November. Astute readers are surely furrowing their brows – it defies the laws of nature! Well, let me assure you that both are indeed my progeny, have caused sleepless nights, and have done quite a bit of growing up in the last year.

One is a little girl with endearing dimples named Maisel, and the other is a fast-growing company with engaging phone-case designs (also named Maisel).

Moms are notoriously gluttons for punishment, wearing their lack of sleep and milk-stained clothing like badges of honor. Not so different from entrepreneurs, who proudly boasting their lack of sleep and coffee-stained clothing. So it’s fitting that during my maternity leave with baby Maisel, I decided to double down.

My husband and I received countless high-contrast books and flash cards as gifts for baby Maisel,  with the expectation that we would be sharing them with our newborn to increase her cognitive development. Sounds easy, right? Sure is. It’s so easy that it’s downright boring. (ICYMI, pediatric neurologists found that newborns, who can’t see color, are not only attracted to black-and-white images but that the images also stimulate growth in their brain cells.)

While showing baby Maisel patterned flashcards was not high on my list of pastimes, I did notice that as a modern mom, I was constantly using my phone around her to take photos, videos, and FaceTimes from family and friends. She was spending significant time staring at the back of my phone. The eureka moment was realizing that baby Maisel was constantly staring at a meaningless iPhone logo when she could be staring at something more meaningful, like high-contrast artwork to strengthen her brain power.

With what felt like superhuman strength that only a mother could muster, I went from eureka moment to launching a company in under eight weeks. In our first month, just based on word-of-mouth, I sold over $3,000 worth of the high-contrast artwork phone cases and have been growing steadily ever since. Modern moms (and dads) could relate to always being on their phones, and also wanted to multi-task their phone cases as a tool for their child’s development.

I studied in college, and worked as a lawyer for half a decade. And yet, raising baby Maisel turned out to provide some of the most helpful lessons for raising my company, Maisel. Here are my top three lessons:

1)    Let go of the small things

As a first-time mother, I tried to read all the books on child-rearing that I could get my hands on. I wanted to know everything. But that isn’t reasonable, or possible. I quickly learned that you’re setting yourself up for failure as a mother if you try to do everything perfectly. Likewise–as the founder of a start-up–the goal should not be perfection. At least not initially. Conventional wisdom is to build a minimum viable product and get it out to customers, and then iterate on it based on their feedback.

2)    Try everything

Opinions about the best way to raise a child are like belly buttons. Everyone has one. There are a million theories and experts. But, the best approach as a new mother is to try different approaches and see which one works for you. The same applies to start-ups. Always be ready to pivot. You never know what’s going to work, or the best way to connect with customers. Pay attention to patterns and be thoughtful about how to respond to the ever-evolving experience – whether that’s sleep training or customer acquisition. And don’t be afraid to change directions quickly and often.

3)    Celebrate the wins

Last but not least, celebrate milestones and wins. Even small ones. When a baby stretches the amount it sleeps, celebrate. When a company has its tenth sale, celebrate. There are lots of frustrating and challenging moments when raising an infant baby or a baby business that it’s important to cherish the successes. It will help you stay motivated and drive you to your next milestone or win.

Babies and companies are exhausting, but they’re also exhilarating. It’s been a thrilling year of babies in our household, and I can’t wait to continue watching our Maisels blossom – even if it means permanently sporting milk-stained, coffee-stained clothing.

MAISEL HIGH-CONTRAST PHONE CASES via Annie Appleton at Pitch Public Relations for use by 360 Magazine
business brief case illustration by sara davidson for use by 360 Magazine

MANN+HUMMEL’s 2020 Report

“In a challenging business year 2020, MANN+HUMMEL was able to achieve a very solid result,” said Kurk Wilks, President and CEO of MANN+HUMMEL, at the presentation of the annual report for the past year. The globally active filtration specialist ended the year with a turnover of 3.8 billion euros (2019: 4.2 billion euros).

Although the decline in global automotive production (16.9 percent less compared to the previous year) had an impact on business, the company managed to significantly reduce the negative effects by taking consistent action and diversifying its product portfolio, which it had already begun to do years earlier. Thus, the decrease in turnover was only 8.9 percent compared to the previous year.

“The company achieved increases in both EBIT and EBITDA. We have also succeeded in generating more cash flow which helped us to further reduce the Net Debt-to-EBITDA ratio,” said Emese Weissenbacher, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) resulted in 165 million euros, which is above the previous year’s figure (2019: 153 million euros). EBITDA increased to 404 million euros (2019: 387 million euros). A further positive factor was the development of EBIT margin, which improved from 3.6 percent (2019) to 4.3 percent (2020).

Maintaining production facilities worldwide during the pandemic was a major contribution to this solid result: “We responded promptly to the Coronavirus pandemic and implemented comprehensive protective measures at all plants. This has prevented major production losses. Of course, we were also affected by supplier shortages, but we were able to handle these well through effective process management,” said Nic Zerbst, Chief Operating Officer. 

The lockdown impressively demonstrated how important digitization and intelligent processes are for reacting adequately to such unforeseen situations. “For this reason, we continued to invest in our infrastructure, digitization and IT projects. We also pushed our restructuring plans. This will not change in the current year either,” said Weissenbacher.

“2020 was a year in which markets, that are already on the move, changed even faster. But it was also a year of new opportunities that MANN+HUMMEL was able to successfully develop and enhance for itself. On behalf of the management, I would like to thank all employees across MANN+HUMMEL’s global team, whose commitment, drive, and innovative strength have made a lasting impression on me,” said Wilks.

After great uncertainty due to the global lockdown in spring 2020, he explained, the Group had quickly found its way back to success with great cost discipline and very good figures in the aftermarket. In some cases, it even succeeded in gaining market share. The Life Sciences & Environment business, which combines activities relating to clean air and clean water, also succeeded in expanding its technology leadership. Rarely before has the topic of “clean air indoors” enjoyed greater attention than in recent months.

Wilks: “On our way to ‘Leadership in Filtration’, 2020 has impressively shown that our core competence of separating the useful from the harmful is a key technology: Filtration makes the difference. Rarely has it been more in demand than these days. With our global efforts for cleaner mobility, cleaner air and cleaner water, we are on the right track.”

With the acquisition of HELSATECH GmbH and HELSACOMP GmbH in September 2020, MANN+HUMMEL was also able to expand its expertise in activated carbon technology and in the production of elastomer membranes. MANN+HUMMEL will thus be able to offer an even broader product portfolio in the field of molecular filtration in the future.

Even though 2021 has continued to be heavily influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, MANN+HUMMEL’s management sees no reason for concern: “The liquidity situation remains strong. We do not see other risks that could arise from the crisis threatening the company’s continued existence. MANN+HUMMEL will consistently pursue its transformation strategy and continue to invest in restructuring, new business areas, research and development in the field of highly innovative filtration solutions, and digitalization,” said Weissenbacher.

For MANN+HUMMEL, 2020 was the first year under the new management board. Since January 2020, Kurk Wilks, President and CEO, is leading the Group alongside Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Emese Weissenbacher and Chief Operating Officer Nic Zerbst. 

Click here for the full annual report.

360 MAGAZINE gaming illustration by Ivory Rowen.

Bitcoin And Online Casinos

Is Bitcoin a viable payment method for online casinos?

There are many payment methods that can be used at online casinos. Bitcoin is being accepted by a growing number of online gambling sites. Bitcoin never seems to be out of the papers these days, so is it a viable payment method for use at an online casino?

The mere fact that online casinos are accepting Bitcoin as a payment method speaks volumes. It is not going to be helpful to anyone if a payment method employed by them is going to cause big problems.

These online casinos will have put a great deal of thought into whether to allow the use of Bitcoin or not. It’s not an overnight decision. A great deal of thought has been put into their decision, and the fact they allow Bitcoin’s use should be seen as a huge vote of confidence in the cryptocurrency.

One site that supports this cryptocurrency is Bitcoin Games online casino. It’s important to do some research before joining any site. Taking a good look at a Bitcoin Games review is helpful. This review gives you plenty of information about the site.

Safety is so important when it comes to online payments. There is still a fair amount of financial fraud that takes place, and of which no one wants to become a victim. Bitcoin can help in this area because of the way it operates as a currency.

Unlike with a credit or debit card, there is no central bank in play with Bitcoin. It is the person who makes the financial transaction that owns the Bitcoin being used. The amount of personal information being made available to possible fraudsters is always a worry with banks, but that’s not the case if you are using Bitcoin. The fraudsters will be upset when realizing they can’t get their hands on your currency. The customer and the online casino itself will be impressed with this situation.

Another worry is that your bank account might be frozen. If you are using a debit or credit card for your financial transactions, it will cause you major problems. However, Bitcoin avoids these issues due to that lack of a central bank.

It’s not just a central bank that is absent. Furthermore, there’s no government to deal with this currency, though the Chinese government are doing their best to warn people off its use. Online sites will be happy that there’s no government to deal with, another reason they like using Bitcoin. There’s no taxation either and transactions cannot be reversed.

There are some disadvantages with Bitcoin, but that can be said of any payment method. How many times do you hear people moaning about their bank or PayPal? The main problem with Bitcoin is how its value can be volatile. That’s common with any relatively new currency and will hopefully settle down in the future. However, that’s more of a worry for those investing with Bitcoin. Just using Bitcoin to gamble online is a much better and safer way of using it.