Courtesy of Elaine Ratner
Is it too late to say "new year, new you"?
We are, after all, in a new year. A new decade even, as you might've heard.
This is Drake Baer, writing in lieu of executive editor Matt Turner, who's on parental leave. I run the strategy desk at Business Insider, where we cover how the professional world is shifting and how to navigate it. We have a vested interest in reinvention, one that you can follow through our weekly newsletter, Success Insider. And if you're interested in renewables, check out Power Line — our just-launched newsletter covering clean energy.
Over the past week, the Business Insider newsroom has had a variety of pieces that will help you plan out the year, and maybe the decade. Perhaps you want to finally get going in real estate, or you're curious about cannabis, or you keep hearing about the social reselling platforms where the kids are getting all their fashion. Or maybe, simply, you want to get stock picks from the highest-performing analysts around. We got you.
You want to get ahead. We'll show you how.
Finance and investing
The Japanese conglomerate SoftBank quickly went from being lauded to scrutinized with the fallout of WeWork. But as our reporters uncovered, the house that Masayoshi Son built (like many investors) has a history of calamity. The first megafund, SoftBank Capital Partners, surfed on the dot-com boom at the turn of the last century — and a frankly shocking number of those would-be world-beaters went belly up.
Having burned out on the startup grind, Spencer Hilligoss wanted to find a way to financial independence that would be predictable and lucrative. He learned that "syndication" was the best strategy for making smart investments in real estate — with a healthy dose of scale.
Gundlach is a superstar among finance types, known for his bold calls. And he has two interrelated messages: The US dollar is about to get way weaker and commodities are apt to swell in turn.
The fintech firm TipRanks measure how well sell-side analysts perform, and they gave us the top experts of past year with one stock each analyst rates as a buy. Why not learn from the best?
The cannabis-investment space continues to mature, and our reporters Yeji Jesse Lee and Jeremy Berke caught up with some of the leading VCs, as measured by deal count, for their 2020 predictions.
Dakin Campbell published 58 pages of letters between WeWork and the top U.S. securities regulator that have never been seen by the public. The back-and-forth shows how the company convinced the SEC to let it use a wonky metric that painted its financials in a rosy light when pitching its doomed IPO.
Tech, media, and telecoms
At Business Insider we pride ourselves in living up to our name — that is, bringing you inside the world's most influential companies. Reporter Patrick Coffee did just that on Wednesday with an article extrapolating from an internal document at Tesla that outlines the company's marketing strategy.
YouTube has a partner program through which influencers can make money off placing ads in their videos. We spoke with a variety of influencers about how much they earn with each video — the pay (and the ads themselves) depend on their length, the demographic, and how long people are watching them.
Amazon makes upward of $17 billion on advertising a year. Walmart is attempting to match that success, with a phalanx of executives with tenures at Frito-Lay, Facebook, and of course Amazon Advertising. Intriguingly, there are quite a few CBS veterans in the mix.
The reality of digital transformation mandates that large companies need to "upskill" their workforce — that is, provide their talent training that makes them freshly relevant as new skills become in demand. The professional services giant Deloitte founded its Cloud Institute last year, providing employees the chance to pursue technical roles in-house. A thousand people went through it last year, with quadruple the cohort in 2020.
Healthcare, retail, and transportation
Verily is one of the most intriguing names in health. Owned by Google parent Alphabet, the firm has taken on $1.8 billion in investments, and it's involved in projects ranging from addiction treatment to robotics. And in a presentation, CEO Andy Conrad unpacked how the firm isn't just working on a bunch of disparate initiatives, but a coherent strategy.
While trucking is a $800 billion industry, it's facing a labor problem. Trucking companies are seeing staggering rates of turnover — by one estimate, 97%! We spoke with trucking executives and economist about how they'd diagnose trucking's worker challenges, plus how to address it.
Ballet, but make it boutique fitness. Pure Barre has over 500 studios across North America, serving more than half a million clients. The owners we spoke with detailed the challenges of starting up and dispensed sage advice on metrics and marketing.
Chicken's hot. Popeyes and Chick-fil-A have become pop-culture presences unto their own. And the golden arches want in on it, testing new sandwiches in Houston and Knoxville. "We need to stay focused on coming up with a chicken sandwich our customers are going to crave," so reads an internal email.
Online resale is also hot, especially with millennials and Gen Z. Poshmark is a social reseller with an emphasis on fashion, and our reporter Jennifer Ortakales spoke with a pair of "poshers" about how they grew their platforms from side hustles into full-time businesses. One key strategy: The social nature of Poshmark creates a built-in marketing mechanism. A quarter-million followers goes a long way.
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