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Exclusive: Empathy is essential for building a loyal team, says Kolors co-founder Anca Gardea – TalkOfNews.com

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Empathy is essential for building a loyal team, says Kolors co-founder Anca Gardea

#Empathy #essential #building #loyal #team #Kolors #cofounder #Anca #Gardea

Whether you’re riding a chicken bus in Nicaragua or a Greyhound in the United States, intercity bus travel is rarely a glamorous affair. Despite its essential nature in moving people for vacation, visiting family and business, this particular mode of transportation has often been reduced to its most essential components — plenty of seats, wheels, an engine and a driver — in order to make the most amount of profit for the least amount of effort.

In Latin America, advancements in technology coupled with a growing middle class with more disposable income have opened up the bus industry for disruption. Kolors, a Mexico City-based startup that is providing an elevated bus service and intelligent intercity mobility, might just have a first-mover advantage on that disruption.

Anca Gardea, co-founder, chief technology officer and head of product at Kolors, previously founded Busolinea, one of the first bus aggregators in Mexico and Latin America. As with Kolors, Gardea founded Busolinea with her husband, Rodrigo Martínez — Gardea is the technology-minded one in the relationship, while Martínez handles the business aspects. A few months into founding Busolinea, the company was purchased as a subsidiary by one of the largest intercity bus incumbents in Mexico. Gardea and Martínez went on to lead the digital unit for that company, where the two gained plenty of experience in various aspects of modernizing the intercity bus industry.

Feeling stymied by the lethargic tech so often found in larger organizations, the two decided to pivot in September 2019 and start Kolors.

“At Kolors, we’ve developed everything that’s necessary for running operations from the route planning, pricing optimization, tools like revenue management, crew and customer support, etc.,” Gardea told TechCrunch.

Everything except actually owning and operating the buses themselves. Kolors is following a model that the company has described as “if Uber and Southwest Airlines had a baby.” The startup essentially provides a technology layer to small and medium-sized bus operators to help them operate more smoothly. Kolors also provides each bus with an attendant, a Kolors employee who checks in passengers, accepts payments of cash when needed, and sells snacks and drinks — all to provide that near-luxury level of service.

“I’ve been working for over 15 years in the tech industry, and it’s not enough to be the most intelligent person at the table if you’re not a team player and a good person.” Kolors co-founder Anca Gardea

This business model, while still evolving, has attracted the attention of big investors in the mobility space. Kolors recently closed out a $20 million Series A that was led by UP.Partners with participation from Toyota Ventures, Maniv Mobility, K5 Global and Mazapil.

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We sat down with Gardea to discuss how being an empathetic leader inspired her team of engineers to work for six months without pay while Kolors was starting up, why intercity bus travel in Latin America is ripe for disruption, and how the company plans to expand in the coming year.

Editor’s note: The following interview, part of an ongoing series with founders who are building transportation companies, has been edited for length and clarity.

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Exclusive: The iPhone 14 Pro’s camera cutout might look a lot like a notch after all – TalkOfNews.com

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Weibo leak of iPhone 14 Pro design and packaging sticker

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Exclusive: Now you can watch Paramount Plus and Showtime in a single app – TalkOfNews.com

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Now you can watch Paramount Plus and Showtime in a single app

#watch #Paramount #Showtime #single #app

You can now access the content packed into Paramount Plus and Showtime from a single app. First bundled as a subscription last September, Paramount and Showtime’s catalogs have been separated between two apps for viewers in the US, but viewers can now access the full roster of TV shows and films from the Paramount Plus app.

For new subscribers, the Paramount Plus and Showtime bundle is available at a discounted rate until October 2nd, at $7.99 per month for the Essential plan (which includes ad breaks) with Showtime and $12.99 per month for the Premium plan with Showtime that adds more sports, live broadcasts of your local CBS station, and downloads for offline viewing on mobile, and mostly removes ads, except on live TV and certain shows. After October 2nd, the regular pricing resumes with the combined Essential tier at $11.99 per month and the Premium plan for $14.99 monthly.

Paramount Plus as a standalone service will continue to be available on two subscription tiers without Showtime: the ad-supported Essential plan ($4.99 per month) and the ad-free Premium tier ($9.99 per month).

“This singular user experience streamlines sign-up and enhances discovery, and this lower price will allow more households to enjoy with exceptional entertainment offering,” Paramount Global Streaming president Tom Ryan said in a press release announcing the new service.

iPhone screen showing the paramount plus app highlighting the showtime series your honor

Paramount Plus and Showtime were previously bundled in two apps under one price.
Image: Paramount
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In case you haven’t been streaming Star Trek and Halo TV shows for the past few years, here’s the rundown on what these apps are. Paramount Plus is the rebranded version of CBS All Access. Its parent company, ViacomCBS, rebranded to Paramount earlier this year to further focus its attention on streaming. In May, Paramount Plus reported that its subscriber count grew to almost 40 million during its first quarter, and in June, Paramount Plus said it planned “to commission” 150 international original series, adding more to its current roster.

Laptop screen with Paramount Plus on the screen highlighting the Showtime series Billions

The service will be available at a lower price until October 2nd.
Image: Paramount

In mid-August, the streaming service partnered with Walmart to bundle its service with Walmart Plus, and it has been included in other packages like this one with T-Mobile’s wireless service. These bundles don’t cost quite as much as cable once did, but pulling the offerings closer together is similar to Disney’s approach with the combination of Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus, while HBO Max will be absorbed into a new combo app with Discovery Plus in 2023. Netflix, meanwhile, is going it alone but has plans to roll out an ad-supported streaming package, and has started to offer games as an added feature for your subscription fee.

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Exclusive: Who Should Be the Next James Bond? io9 Picks – TalkOfNews.com

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Who Should Be the Next James Bond? io9 Picks

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