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Exclusive: New Jeff Bezos Movie Reminds Entrepreneurs of 3 Key Lessons When First Starting Out – TalkOfNews.com

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New Jeff Bezos Movie Reminds Entrepreneurs of 3 Key Lessons When First Starting Out

#Jeff #Bezos #Movie #Reminds #Entrepreneurs #Key #Lessons #Starting

There’s a new Jeff Bezos biopic set to be released this summer that chronicles the Amazon kingpin’s endeavor into creating an online book store that eventually expanded into an e-commerce empire. Curious entrepreneurs may want to tune in if interested in a small taste of Amazon’s beginnings. 

The biopic, dubbed Bezos, attempts to map out the early days of Amazon by following the challenges faced by the entrepreneur, played by Armando Gutierrez, in the aftermath of quitting his job at the New York-based fund D. E. Shaw. Viewers are reminded of the pain points that any young startup founder may face: access to capital, work/life balance, and poor compensation. A media representative for the film says that Bezos is based on Zero to Hero, written by Tashena Ebanks, which “was created for young readers to inspire them regarding entrepreneurship.”

While Bezos is most certainly not an Academy Awards contender, it does offer lessons for emerging entrepreneurs. Here are three:

1. A company’s name is everything

One of the first impressions a business makes on a consumer is with its name. Amazon is named after the world’s largest river by volume–a nod to the entrepreneur’s eventual goal of becoming the everything store.

In the company’s early days, however, Bezos first set out to call the company Cadabra Inc. It was a play on “abracadabra,” an exclamation magicians yell out during a magic trick. That name ended up being panned when people started confusing it for the word “cadaver.” Bezos then looked towards a handful of other names until he gravitated to Relentless.com. He and his now ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, purchased the web domain for Relentless–even today, typing in Relentless.com into your web browser will reroute you to Amazon’s homepage.  

In the movie, viewers watch Bezos leaf through the front of the dictionary until landing on the word “Amazon.” And so Amazon.com was born, since the dot com “tells our customers that we exist exclusively on the internet,” Bezos says in the movie.

2. Believe in your idea

Bezos soared through the ranks at D. E. Shaw, eventually becoming the youngest senior vice president at the hedge fund. Bezos’ then-boss, David Shaw (played by Marcus Lemonis, who stars in CNBC’s The Profit) at the time was interested in the future of the internet, leading Bezos to research its value propositions and growth potential. He then stumbled upon a fact that the web was growing at 2,300 percent per year. 

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And so Bezos approached Shaw with his idea. Though it was not met with the enthusiasm that Bezos likely hoped for–Shaw dissuaded Bezos from leaving a financially secure position and plunge head-first into a startup. In the film, Shaw even says that he likes the idea, but actively discourages Bezos from pursuing it. As it obvious to all, Bezos chose to ignore that advice.  

3. Know your market, and know when to walk away

The decision to take–or walk away–from a buyout offer boils down to a few factors, such as how sweet the deal is and if an entrepreneur thinks its the right time to sell, according to the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, an Alexandria, Virginia-based entrepreneur network. Spoiler alert: as the Bezos movie draws to an end, we see Bezos himself make a decision on whether or not to sell. 

When Amazon was first starting out, Barnes & Noble dominated the book-selling industry with hundreds of stores and roughly $2 billion in revenue in 1995 while independent booksellers were shuttering. Meanwhile, Bezos was setting out to create the largest online bookstore with few resources on-hand. Bezos met with Barnes & Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio, who purportedly told the Amazon head that the brick-and-mortar giant would start their own website and crush Amazon, according to The Everything Store, a book by Brad Stone that follows Amazon’s rise. 

B&N’s Riggio reportedly propositioned Bezos to work together–and the Bezos movie portrays this as well, showing a tense meeting between the two where Riggio offers to acquire Amazon for $1 million before the startup even launched its website. Bezos walks away, emphasizing to his bewildered team that they must be onto something if they’ve already received a buyout offer this early on.

Those who’d like to see Bezos may have to wait until August, according to a media representative for the movie. The representative shared that the movie may receive an in-theaters short-term release, but declined to share where the film will land as “the network is still going through final agreements.”

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Exclusive: Veterinary telehealth service Vetster launches in the UK, post expansion in the US – TalkOfNews.com

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Veterinary telehealth service Vetster launches in the UK, post expansion in the US

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Vetster, a veterinary telehealth service which has raised $40M, is launching in the UK following expansion in the US.

Vetster connects licensed veterinarians with pet owners via video, voice and online chat.

It hopes to fill a yawning gap in provision. In the UK one in two veterinary clinics are overbooked and unable to take on more patients, according to research.

Vetster commissioned research through 3Gem with 150 vets in March 2022 and found vets are overwhelmed with pets, overbooked and unable to take on new patients. And many are looking to quit. So the Telehealth industry is probably arriving just in time.

Mark Bordo, CEO and coFounder of Vetster. “Veterinarians  are facing tremendous pressure to provide services to millions of pet owners. Vetster’s virtual care platform connects pet owners with licensed UK veterinarians to provide support when their clinic is closed, to answer a non-urgent question, and to improve  the health outcomes of their pet and help ensure owners can care for their animals.”
 
The pet telehealth service has been live in North America for over two years.

Vetster raised $30M USD in its Series B funding in April 2022.

Competitors include Televet (raised $7M) ,Dutch ($25M), and Pawp ($17.5M), among others.

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Exclusive: FDA Finalizes Rule To Make Hearing Aids Over-the-Counter – TalkOfNews.com

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FDA Finalizes Rule To Make Hearing Aids Over-the-Counter

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On Tuesday, the FDA finalized a rule that will allow for hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter, theoretically cutting time and money from a multi-step, expensive process.

“Reducing health care costs in America has been a priority of mine since Day One and this rule is expected to help us achieve quality, affordable health care access for millions of Americans in need,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in the FDA’s release.

Why are hearing aids so expensive?

To get a hearing aid, you previously had to visit an audiologist to get your hearing evaluated and get them fitted, as well as obtain medical clearance from your doctor, according to Cleveland Clinic.

The actual devices, however, are not usually covered by insurance or Medicare and are sold by Audiologists, who usually charge $2,000 per hearing aid — so $4,000, roughly, for a pair, according to Forbes Health.

“The rule is expected to lower the cost of hearings aids,” the FDA added in its statement. Over-the-counter aids could be available — and thus more accessible for many — in stores by mid-October, it added.

People who are over 18 and who have “perceived mild to moderate hearing loss,” will be able to buy the devices over the counter, per the FDA.

Luis Medina, a pharmacist and owner of Baron II Drug & Surgical, a surgical supply store and pharmacy in Moonachie, New Jersey, told Entrepreneur he hopes to start selling hearing aids in his store because he often recommends them to customers.

Beyond that, he’s just happy his mother-in-law might finally be able to hear him talk — she balked at the initial price of around $2,000 per ear for her aids.

“This weekend was my mother-in-law’s 93rd birthday and all she said was ‘what?’ and ‘huh,’” he said.

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Exclusive: Behind the Brand with On Running’s Olivier Bernhard – TalkOfNews.com

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Behind the Brand with On Running’s Olivier Bernhard

#Brand #Runnings #Olivier #Bernhard

When On Running co-founder Olivier Bernhard was a child, running made him feel whole. He had trouble focusing in school, and says that in today’s society he would have probably been given medication to help him focus. Luckily, his parents saw the energy he needed to expel and put him in a running club. That changed everything. The experience of moving his body and running gave him a sense of belonging and place and eventually he would grow up to be a pro Swiss athlete. 

“I’ve been a runner all my life,” he says. “I would say I’ve had this DNA in me. I started racing when I was 5 or 6 years old, and I enjoyed it. Maybe not so much to climb the podium and claim a medal. It was more the feeling of running, the breathing and heartbeat.” 

Bernhard–a multi-championship Ironman–never intended to be at the helm of a disrupter or challenger brand, nor did he intend to create a running shoe company. The idea sort of found him when he was looking at ways not to create new running products but to create a different kind of running experience and feeling. 

“I always felt there was room not for another running shoe but for a different running feel,” he says. “I had no clue how to build or manufacture a running shoe, but I had this vision or dream that stuck with me [where] I really wanted to bring that different feel to life in a running shoe.”

At the time, Bernhard was sponsored by Nike, and he first approached the company with his idea. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he was rejected and that resulted in his beginning his own project and, later, company. Bernhard admits that had he been in Nike’s position at the time, he might have laughed himself out of the room as well, because the shoe prototype he presented was, in his own words, hideous. 

The first prototype for the On Running sneaker was a Frankenstein of sorts. Bernhard says he glued pieces of a garden hose to a traditional running shoe to create a softer landing and a springboard-like mechanism to push off from while in motion, sort of like shocks on a car. It might have looked a bit slapdash when he put the sample together, but the sensation when using the shoe was exactly what he was looking for. 

Bernhard describes his current career to me as “surfing a dream,” and says he’s always been happy because he’s always done what he loves. Even after Nike said no to him, he was determined to get his idea off the ground. Years of professional athletics had taught him that no often meant not right now, so he stayed the course.

Bernhard presented his concept to two friends, David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti, and while these two men thought the shoe prototype was terrible, they were converts once they ran in it. The three friends formed the company On Holding AG in Zurich in 2010 and quickly developed a somewhat cult-like following among runners. Once people tried the shoes, they were hooked and had no problem paying whatever the price tag to get their hands on a pair. 

Bernhard says that many people warned him not to compete against established juggernaut brands like Nike, Adidas, or New Balance, but he had spent years training in the Swiss Alps and he’s not one to shy away from an uphill battle or discomfort. He says he liked to go to the mountains to test himself and improve, so it’s no wonder that he’d end up in a similar position with a product–pushing it to its limit to see how it could be better. 

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The On Running founders were less worried about competing in their chosen market and more concerned with creating a great product that they themselves would want to buy. By focusing on the product more than the market, they were able to not only find their unique niche in the athletic space, but also create a superior product and find immense revenue success.  

Just starting your own business and having it be successful is a win, but On Running was in motion and things were about to get even bigger. After some time, the guys were approached by tennis legend and fellow Swiss athlete Roger Federer. Federer wasn’t just a fan. He was interested in getting very involved. Was this a Michael Jordan Jumpman moment for On? Maybe. Federer is arguably the G.O.A.T., and collectively the Swiss countrymen had a lot in common in terms of vision and competitive DNA. 

“He kind of knocked on our doors by posting Instagram pictures about going into tournaments wearing our shoes, and what we often do with celebrities like him or actors, we send a care package,” Bernhard says. “He came back and said, ‘Hey, can we go out for dinner in Zurich?’ and of course we didn’t say no! And that’s how we met and talked, and it was nice, but only a week later he said, ‘Hey, could I actually be a partner?’”

Federer came on board and even invested his own money in the brand. Along with the On Running team, Federer started designing a tennis shoe and spent most of his pandemic lockdown working on that. I ask Bernhard if it was a planned trajectory to go from running shoes to tennis shoes, and he says that it sort of just happened. To him, any kind of body movement is good, and it seems that On Running is poised to jump in where the team sees opportunities.

Bernhard tells me that On Running’s mission is to ignite the human spirit through movement and that was put to the test in 2020. Like most active/athletic companies, On emerged from the pandemic well in the black, and its 2021 IPO proved the company is a top-tier competitor in the athletic market.

Noting that Bernhard started his company shortly after the recession, I ask if he has advice for entrepreneurs starting out now during uncertain financial times. He says it’s all about products that are recession-proof. He notes that even during tough financial times, people will invest money in their health, and he’s not wrong. Now more than ever, people want to spend more time outside versus on their sofa and are finding more ways to work out and stay healthy. 

“If things get tough, then you prove if you’re made out of steel or a little plastic piece,” he says. “I loved to compete in [difficult] conditions. Even in 2010, we knew that it was going to be super tough. But we looked at each other as athletes. We said, ‘We want to found the company right now, and if we can survive this, we can take any storm that hits our boat.’”

On has proved that it’s a brand that can weather the test of time. It began in a recession; it thrived during a global pandemic. The founders have shown that their products are the kind that people will invest in even during troubled times. But what troubles Bernhard these days now that he’s been in business for more than a decade? He tells me it’s knowing that his company contributes to waste. Bernard impressed me with his connection to the outdoors and care for the land that has given him so much. Our interview took place a day before his birthday, and I asked him how he was planning to celebrate. He let me know that his kids had planned a beautiful day together hiking in the Alps. No wonder he wants to walk the talk and do his part to help preserve what’s most important.

“I always had a hard time being an athlete and knowing that everything I have on my feet and everything I wear is actually ending up in a landfill,” he says. “And I didn’t think that was going to change. When we founded the company, I was super excited, but I also felt bad because I felt that now I’m playing into that. We are producing more waste.”

Bernhard says that he brought this up to his partners mostly thinking that things would remain the same as they always had, but these days the company is taking seriously its pledge to contribute less to waste and is starting to experiment with recycled materials. Bernhard also tells me that On is experimenting with the concept of a subscription service wherein a consumer can return a pair of shoes when they’ve worn them out and once On gets the pair back, the company will send the customer a new pair and recycle the old pair and put the materials toward new products. He describes this as the products becoming circular, and it’s not a bad idea. 

The market has shown that consumers are comfortable with subscriptions. We pay for streaming services, subscription boxes, even subscribe and save on items on Amazon. Why not on our footwear? On is successful because it is evolving with the times. The founders have watched the world and the market change in the 12 years they’ve been in business, and wherever the trends are heading, they’ll be running right after them.

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“We spend a lot of time in nature, training and moving, and we are very thankful that we can do that,” Bernhard says. “We want to help the planet to make sure that it’s going to stay for generations to come.”

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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