Channel: Business Insider
Viewing all 57004 articles
Browse latest View live

Sexual harassment isn't a Hollywood, tech, or comedy world issue — in fact, it affects everyone


Harvey Weinstein

  • Sexual harassment doesn't just affect the Hollywood elite or major tech companies.
  • Allegations of sexual harassment have impacted most industries.
  • A new poll from MSN shows just how far-reaching the issue is.

Sexual harassment in the workplace isn't an industry issue. Nor is it a toxic workplace issue. It's an issue that affects literally everyone. 

number of industries have been implicated in the wake of producer Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct, including Hollywood, politics, and sports. Before that, sexual harassment at work made headlines with tech's "bro-culture" problem. Before that, it was the media industry with Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly's oustings. And the list goes on.

When pretty much every industry out there is involved, it's naive to simply point the finger at these institutions and damn them for perpetuating a systemic issue.

To be sure, toxic workplace cultures are partially to blame — companies with these values are far more susceptible to sexual harassment.

But don't let these characterizations lull you into a false sense of security. Sexual harassment is a problem that affects everyone — not just those in high-profile positions or industries.

sexual harassment boss office

Sexual harassment is more rampant than you want to think

Overall, about one in three people (31%) in the US admit to having been sexually harassed at work, according to a poll from Business Insider's partner, MSN.

MSN polls its readers and then uses machine learning to model how a representative sample of the US would have responded, using big data, such as the Census. It's as accurate as a traditional, scientific survey.

For women, the situation is drastically more dire.

Overall, 45% of women polled said they have been sexually harassed at work. This translates to about 33.6 million women in the US.

The group that experienced the most harassment were women between the ages 30 and 44 — almost half (49%) said they had been sexually harassed at work. Not far behind, 47% of women ages 45 to 64 said they were sexually harassed at work, followed by 41% of women ages 18 to 20, and finally 40% of women 65 or older.

Sexual harassment at work doesn't just affect women.

While 15% of men said they had been sexually harassed at work, a higher proportion of men between the ages of 30 and 44 said they had been sexually harassed in the workplace: 22%.

gretchen carlson roger ailes fox news sexual harassment getty images

Speaking up rarely ends well for the victim 

Former Fox News Channel host Gretchen Carlson stunned the media world when she filed a sexual-harassment lawsuit against Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes in 2016.

In her lawsuit, Carlson said Ailes repeatedly sexually harassed her, and that she was fired from her job of 11 years for turning down his sexual advances.

The lawsuit ultimately led to Ailes' resignation from the network, which he had run since its founding in 1996, and Carlson settled the suit for a reported $20 million in 2016.

But Carlson did not walk away from the accusation unscathed.

At Fortune's Most Powerful Women (MPW) Summit in October, the TV journalist said she faced concentrated backlash on social media when she came forward, and many people close to her distanced themselves. "You find out who your friends are in a big way," she said. "It can be a very alone experience."

Carlson also said that, for many people who confront sexual harassment head-on, the fallout can often be steep:

"First of all, if you do come forward, you'll be labeled a 'troublemaker' or a 'bitch.' More importantly, you won't be believed. And, some people have even suggested that you do it for money or fame."

Carlson said it takes courage to put your career on the line and report sexual harassment in the workplace.

"When you know that that's the culture that we still live in ... it's the most important decision of your life to dig deep for that courage, to know that you might torpedo everything that you've worked so hard for," she said.

It's unsurprising, then, that 73% of the women who said they had been sexually harassed at work also said that they never reported it. Of the men that said they were sexually harassed at work, 81% said they never reported it.

Bill O'Reilly

Sexual harassment can happen anywhere, anytime, and be perpetrated by anyone

Certain factors may make organizations or institutions more susceptible to instances of sexual harassment.

A 2015 report from researchers at Kent State University and the University of Texas at Tyler found that the "prevalence of male norms in the male-dominated environment may result in a more hostile workplace for women who are perceived by men as violators of the gender norms."

But as Adam Bear and Joshua Knobe wrote in The New York Times, when normally inappropriate or unacceptable actions continue unabated, people tend to adapt their mindset, and sexual harassment becomes normalized and seen as less worthy of outrage.

This could happen literally anywhere — and in many places, it seems that it already has.

When asked to rate their employers' efforts against sexual harassment, 42% of the people MSN polled overall said their employers have done enough, while 26% said they haven't.

But when you ask women, who are disproportionately more likely to experience sexual harassment at work, the number of people satisfied with their employers' approach to sexual harassment at work drops to 36%, while 33% of women say their employers haven't done enough.

What's more, with 31% of the American workforce reporting they've been sexually harassed at work, if you work at a company with at least three people, odds are either you or one of your coworkers has been sexually harassed at work.

While this means you may not be affected directly, you are undoubtedly affected indirectly by the financial and emotional damage sexual harassment's causes.

According to Working Woman Magazine, a typical Fortune 500 corporation blighted by sexual harassment incidents can expect to lose $14.02 million adjusted for inflation annually from absenteeism, lower productivity, increased health-care costs, poor morale, and employee turnover.

And it cannot be good for any employer's bottom line when sexual harassment settlements and legal fees themselves cost the company tens of millions of dollars.

In fact, thanks to the growing number of allegations, Business Insider's Lauren Lyons Cole reports that some companies are purchasing employee practices liability insurance to protect against the financial risk of sexual harassment.

These policies have become a multi-billion dollar industry, with companies collectively paying over $2 billion in EPLI premiums last year.

"Claims are so common now that it's more or less part of the cost of doing business," New Jersey employment lawyer Stephanie Gironda told Business Insider.

SEE ALSO: Only 3 of the 50 most-loved CEOs in America are women — and the reason why transcends the corner office

DON'T MISS: A Facebook exec says the best way to remove bias against mothers is to force men to take equal parental leave

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I won't trade in my iPhone 6s for an iPhone X or iPhone 8 — here's why

At PayPal and Venmo's New York offices, employees enjoy as much free food as they can stomach, from Taco Tuesdays to secret stashes of candy


Paypal Venmo NYC offices

  • PayPal recently expanded its Manhattan office.
  • The online-payments system shares the space with Venmo, which it acquired in 2013.
  • Business Insider stopped by the office to check out the space and perks.

PayPal is in a good place right now.

Markets Insider reported that its latest earnings report, released late last month, sent its stock price up 6%. Meanwhile, its total number of active users has surpassed 210 million around the globe.

And the company, based in San Jose, California, is doubling the size of its New York office in the West Village by adding two floors.

Business Insider recently visited PayPal's Manhattan office, which it shares with Venmo. PayPal acquired Venmo when it bought its parent company, Braintree, for $800 million in 2013.

Here's what we saw:

SEE ALSO: This $3.2 billion tech company you've never heard of has insane perks including massage therapists, a pool, and woodside yoga

We arrived at the company's West Village digs on a balmy afternoon last week. Amanda Coffee, a PayPal spokeswoman, showed around as the office prepared to celebrate its expansion.

First, we headed up to the office's private rooftop, which has a prime view of the Hudson River. Employees can gather here to work or mingle during happy hours or office events.

The building started out as Venmo's headquarters. When eBay and PayPal split in 2015, the latter relocated from Chelsea and moved in with its recent acquisition.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A lip-syncing app teens are obsessed with just got bought for $1 billion — here's how to use Musical.ly


jacob sartorius musically

Jacob Sartorius, age 15, spends more time than most teenagers staring into his phone's selfie camera. He uses the app Musical.ly to record himself mouthing the words to songs — drawing hearts with his hands and "smizing" — and shares the video with his 18.9 million followers.

Musical.ly is the social-media platform of choice for Generation Z. The app launched in 2014 and has racked up an impressive 215 million users— or "musers," as they're known. Teens post 15-second clips of themselves lip-syncing, dancing to popular music, and pulling stunts.

More than 150 million people, mostly teens, have registered for the service, and its growth has caused others to take note.

On Thursday, Chinese social-media giant Toutiao announced it had purchased Musical.ly in a deal valued up to $1 billion, according to TechCrunch.

I talked with a handful of middle schoolers for Musical.ly tips and entered the mysterious world of teen tech to see what the buzz is about. Here are the basics.

SEE ALSO: Generation Z is creating a $5 billion market for fake meat and seafood

When you open the Musical.ly app, it defaults to a feed of featured videos.

These are often the coolest, most-liked videos of the day. The Featured feed is also a good place to find inspiration.

Users, or "musers," include the hashtag #featureme in their posts to help their chances of being discovered by the app's curators.

The Follow tab shows you videos from the musers you follow.

A majority of teens I talked to said they prefer the Follow tab to Featured. Here, they can easily see what content comes from their friends, as opposed to strangers on the internet.

Being at least 10 years older than most musers, I don't have many friends on the app, so I mostly followed mainstream celebrities like Selena Gomez, Jason Derulo, and Ariana Grande.

Here's what a typical Musical.ly video looks like.

Instagram Embed:
Width: 800px

Identical twins Lisa and Lena, from Germany, have gained about 24 million followers on Musical.ly and are the third-most-followed people on Instagram in Germany.

The 15-year-olds joined Musical.ly in December 2015, and their videos have surged in popularity and production quality, thanks to professional-grade lighting, their synchronized dances, and matching outfits from the girls' own clothing line.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

5 foods that contain more sodium than a bag of potato chips


Potato chips are pretty salty, right? Turns out, when you compare them to other common foods, chips don't pack nearly as much sodium as you might think. Following is a transcript of the video.

How much sodium in the average small bag of chips? We looked at the sodium content in a small bag of chips of three leading brands: Lay's (170mg), Ruffles (160mg), and Kettle Brand (210mg).

By taking the average of these three, we estimate that the average small bag of chips has about 180mg of sugar. Here's how other popular foods compare:

One serving of Bumble Bee White Crabmeat has 260mg of sodium. Buy the Solid White Albacore Tuna In Water with more protein with 140mg of sodium.

Making a sandwich? 2 slices of Oroweat's Whole Wheat bread contains 270mg of sodium. Instead, try an Oroweat Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin Roll with just 170mg.

One Serving of Grape-Nuts Original Cereal has 270mg of sodium so opt for Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds with 135mg instead.

One Serving of Organic Valley's Cottage Cheese contains 450mg of sodium so replace it with a Grassmilk Plain Yogurt which contains 120mg per serving.

A serving size of V8 Original Vegetable Juice contains a whopping 640mg of sodium but the V8's Purple Power Veggie Blend contains just 100mg instead.

Salt is an essential part of a healthy diet. It helps our nerves and muscles function properly and help us control blood pressure and volume. But too much may lead to hypertension, a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. The FDA recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.


Join the conversation about this story »

Ex-Facebook president and billionaire Sean Parker reveals one of the biggest advantages rich people have over everyone else


sean parker

  • Sean Parker, billionaire and ex-President of Facebook, says one of the biggest advantages rich people have is access to better healthcare.
  • Because of this, according to Parker, rich people can live longer and continue to grow their wealth.
  • "[G]ive us billionaires an extra hundred years and you'll know what ... wealth disparity looks like," he said.


Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook, revealed recently what he believes to be one of the greatest advantages rich people have.

"Because I'm a billionaire, I'm going to have access to better healthcare," the entrepreneur said at an Axios event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Healthcare costs in the US are higher than ever — with many families struggling to keep up with the growing expense. The average annual healthcare costs per person reached $10,345 in 2016, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Parker continued:

"So ... I'm going to be like 160 and I'm going to be part of this, like, class of immortal overlords. [Laughter] Because, you know the [Warren Buffett] expression about compound interest. ... Give us billionaires an extra hundred years and you'll know what ... wealth disparity looks like."

Life expectancy is predicted to increase across the board in the future, but with the ability to afford top-end healthcare, rich people may have an even greater chance of outliving everyone else now, according to Parker, whose current net worth is about $2.6 billion.

Parker is the founder and chair of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which aims to accelerate cancer innovation. He established the research organization in 2016 with a $250 million grant from his charity, the Parker Foundation.

Parker found success at an incredibly young age after cofounding music-sharing site Napster and then moving on to become the founding president of Facebook. He's developed a reputation as a big spender and a big partier. He's also notoriously outspoken.

At the same event, Parker was sharply critical of Facebook, accusing it of exploiting human "vulnerability."

He's not the first wealthy tech entrepreneur to take issue with the addictive power of digital technology. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both limited their kids screen time at home.

"God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains," Parker said.

SEE ALSO: Billionaire ex-Facebook president Sean Parker unloads on Mark Zuckerberg and admits he helped build a monster

DON'T MISS: We compared Facebook vs. Google to find which company is better to work for — and the winner is clear

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran: How I went from a 10-kid household and more than 20 jobs to become a real estate mogul

Americans are almost four times more worried about getting hacked than murdered

  • More Americans are worried about internet-related crimes involving personal and financial information theft than "conventional" crimes, like burglary or murder.
  • More people were affected by cybercrimes than conventional crimes over the course of 12 months.


Americans are more worried about crimes facilitated by the internet than "conventional" crimes, like burglary, stolen cars, and sexual assault, according to a report from Gallup News.

The top concern is having personal and financial information hacked, which has 67% of those who were surveyed worried. The top "conventional" crime is having your car broken into or stolen, which concerns 38% of those who were surveyed. Meanwhile, few are apparently concerned about being assaulted or killed at a place of work at 6%.


Indeed, the internet has revolutionized the way we communicate since its widespread adoption, and it's hard to imagine a life without it. But it's opened up a whole new category of crime called "cybercrime" for Americans, and the world, to be concerned about.

In 2013, phone numbers, birth dates, security questions and answers, and "hashed," or scrambled, passwords of all three billion of Yahoo accounts were compromised. And in 2017, credit reporting agency Equifax experienced a huge breach including sensitive information like social security numbers, full names, addresses, birth dates, and even drivers licenses and credit card numbers of 143 million Americans. 

It's easy to understand why cybercrime is more of a concern than "analog" crime (as I call it). Having information like social security and credit card numbers stolen can have far more of an impact than a stolen car.

On top of that, cybercrime is more common than other crimes. An astounding 25% of Americans – one in four - have reported that their personal information was stolen by hackers in the last 12 months, according to Gallup. That's compared to the 12% of Americans who have reported "having money or property stolen" in the last year. 

With that said, it's surprising that more permanent crimes, like "getting murdered" and "being a victim of terrorism" isn't as concerning to Americans – scoring just 18% – as having their cars stolen. It just goes to show the extent that Americans value their cars.

SEE ALSO: The Equifax hack isn't the biggest security breach of all time, but it could be one of the worst in history for Americans

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What to do if your Yahoo account was one of the 3 billion hacked

13 signs you're smarter than you realize


hidden figures math

  • There's a Quora thread where users share common signs of high intelligence. Some of those signs are supported by scientific research.
  • They include curiosity, adaptability, and even a tendency to procrastinate.
  • We rounded up some of those signs below — so you can see which ones describe you.

Everyone wants to be humble. Who me, smart? Nah, I'm just a good test-taker.

And anyway, it's kind of crass to go around proclaiming to everyone who'll listen that you're a genius.

But now that it's just the two of us, we can be honest. If you really are a genius — or at least smarter than average — you deserve to find out.

Below, we've rounded up 13 common signs of high intelligence, drawn largely from a Quora thread and supported by scientific evidence. Read on and see which describe you.

SEE ALSO: 13 science-backed signs that you're smarter than average

You're not easily distracted

Frank Zhu says "people who can focus for long stretches at a time and tune out distractions" are highly intelligent. As evidence, he points to a 2013 paper published in the journal Current Biology.

The paper describes two small studies that found people with higher scores on an IQ test were slower to recognize large background movements in an image. That's likely because they focus on the most important information and filter out the rest.

You're a night owl

The smarter you are, the more you're inclined to stay up into the wee hours of the morning, according to research.

One study, published in 2009 in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, looked at the link between childhood IQ and sleep habits among thousands of young adults. Sure enough, smarter individuals said they stayed up later and woke up later on both weekdays and weekends.

Another study, published in 1999 in the same journal, looked at about 400 US air force recruits and yielded similar findings.

You're highly adaptable

Several Quora users noted that intelligent people are flexible and able to thrive in different settings. As Donna F Hammett writes, intelligent people adapt by "showing what can be done regardless of the complications or restrictions placed upon them."

Recent psychological research supports this idea. Intelligence depends on being able to change your own behaviors in order to cope more effectively with your environment, or make changes to the environment you're in.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A crucial line in Trump's new tax plan will make it a lot harder to buy a $1 million home


Donald Trump

  • President Donald Trump and the House GOP unveiled a massive tax-reform bill on Thursday.
  • It proposes a new limit — $500,000 from the current $1 million — for home-mortgage-interest deductions.
  • Millennials and buyers in expensive markets would be most affected by the disappearing homeownership incentives.


President Donald Trump's new tax plan just dealt a blow to many would-be homeowners.

The 429-page GOP tax plan, called the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" was revealed on Thursday and is being billed as a boon for hard-working middle class Americans.

But Republicans have proposed paring down popular homeownership incentives, which would likely affect millennials and millions of people living in high-cost housing markets.

The tax plan cuts the $1 million limit for the home-mortgage-interest deduction in half. The deduction allows homeowners to write off the interest they pay on home loans, effectively reducing their taxable income. The bill would apply to new home purchases and make it so homeowners can only deduct interest payments on up to $500,000 worth of home loans.

In previous generations, that may have been a typical mortgage amount for a first-time homebuyer, but today's young people are different. Millennials are "skipping starter homes," Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said, and moving straight to the $1 million range when its time to buy their first house.

The mortgage size on a $1 million home would be $800,000 — assuming the homebuyer makes a down payment of 20% of the purchase price, though some are putting down payments as low as 10%. Under the proposed bill, the homeowner could only deduct interest on the first $500,000 of the loan, leaving them to shoulder the rest of the principal and interest payments without the benefit of a tax deduction.

"Eliminating or nullifying the tax incentives for homeownership puts home values and middle-class homeowners at risk, and from a cursory examination, this legislation appears to do just that," William E. Brown, president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), said in a statement.

What's more, home prices — and thus, loan amounts — are much higher in pricey coastal markets like New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. Millennial populations in these cities are only increasing.

Two powerful trade associations slammed the GOP's tax plan on Thursday, reports Business Insider's Akin Oyedele, saying the reduction of a key benefit for homeowners could hurt the market.

Jerry Howard, the CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, estimated that 7 million homes would be excluded from the mortgage-interest deduction, amounting to about a third of the homes in California.

"You're talking about potentially causing housing recessions in some of the biggest markets in the country, and those kinds of recessions tend to have spillovers," Howard said. "We're worried about a national housing recession."

SEE ALSO: The GOP tax plan doesn't touch your 401(k) — and that's a huge opportunity to build wealth

DON'T MISS: Here's what Trump's new tax plan means if you're making $25,000, $75,000, or $175,000 a year

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The smartest way to upgrade to Apple's iPhone X or iPhone 8

21 everyday phrases that come straight from Shakespeare's plays



William Shakespeare wrote a lot of great plays, but he also coined and popularized a lot of words and phrases that we still use to this day.

We put together a list of our 21 favorites. Check them out:


"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. ..."

How Shakespeare uses it: "Puking" was first recorded in Shakespeare's "As You Like It." It was likely an English imitation of the German word "spucken," which means to spit, according to Dictionary.com.

Modern definition: A synonym for the verb "to vomit."

Source: "As You Like It," Act 2, Scene 7

"Vanish into thin air"

"Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away. Go; vanish into air; away!" (Othello)

How Shakespeare uses it: The Clown says this to the musicians in "Othello" to make them go away.

But some have also suggested that there is a darker underlying meaning. Act 3 in Othello is the final act that suggests that all of this might have a happy ending. It gets pretty dark starting in Act 4. So the Clown might be symbolically asking musicians and all happy things to "vanish into thin air" because there's no more room for them in the play.

A similar phrase is also found in "The Tempest."

Modern definition: To disappear without a trace.

Sources: "Othello," Act 3, Scene 1, "The Tempest," Act 4, Scene 1

"There's a method to my madness"

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't. Will you walk out of the air, my lord?"

How Shakespeare uses it: Polonius says it in "Hamlet," basically suggesting that there is reason behind apparent chaos.

Modern definition: The meaning is the same nowadays, although the language is a bit updated into modern terms. It is also a Bee Gees song.

Source: "Hamlet," Act 2, Scene 2

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

49 'facts' about health we often believe that are misleading, inaccurate, or totally false


muscle body builder workout exercise health reuters

Carrots make you see in the dark. Don't swim after a meal or you'll cramp. Drink eight glasses of water a day for good health. No pesticides are allowed on organic foods.

These are just a few of the incorrect notions that we've all been told at one point or another.

But it's time to put an end to these alluring myths, misconceptions, and inaccuracies.

To help the cause we've rounded up and corrected dozens of the most popular health "facts" that we've heard over the years that just aren't true.

Did we miss a notable health myth? Send it to science@businessinsider.com.

Kevin Loria, Lauren Friedman, Kelly Dickerson,Jennifer Welsh, and Sean Kane contributed to this post. Robert Ferris contributed to a previous version.

SEE ALSO: 17 'facts' about space and Earth that you thought were true — but have been debunked by science

DON'T MISS: Crushing an egg into your coffee sounds disgusting — but it makes an amazing-tasting drink

MYTH: Milk does a body good!

This is a successful bit of advertising that has wormed its way into our brains and policies to make milk seem magical.

The US Department of Agriculture tells us that adults should drink three cups of milk a day, mostly for calcium and vitamin D.

However, multiple studies show that there isn't an association between drinking more milk (or taking calcium and vitamin D supplements) and having fewer bone fractures.

Some studies have even shown an association with higher overall mortality, and while that doesn't mean that milk consumption itself was responsible, it's certainly not an endorsement.

Sources: Business Insider, NYTimes, Journal of Bone Mineral Research, JAMA Pediatrics, The Lancet, British Medical Journal

MYTH: All organic food is pesticide-free and more nutritious.

Organic food isn't always free of pesticides and it isn't necessarily better for you.

Farmers who grow organic produce are permitted to use chemicals that are naturally derived — and in some cases are actually worse for the environment than their synthetic counterparts. However, pesticide levels on both organic and non-organic foods are so low that they aren't of concern for consumption, according to the USDA. (A thorough rinse can eliminate most pesticide residues.)

Eating organic food also doesn't come with any nutritional benefits over non-organic food, according to a review of 98,727 potentially relevant studies.

Sources: University of California - Berkeley, Annals of Internal Medicine, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Business Insider

MYTH: Eating food within 5 seconds of dropping it on the floor is safe.

It's the worst when something you really wanted to eat falls on the floor. But if you grab it in five seconds, it's ok, right?

The five-second-rule isn't a real thing. Bacteria can contaminate a food within milliseconds.

Mythbusting tests show that wet foods attract more bacteria than dry foods, but there's no "safe duration." Instead, safety depends on how clean the surface you dropped the food on is.

Whether you eat it or not after that is up to you, but if the people that walk on that floor are also walking around New York City, for example, we wouldn't recommend it.

Sources: Business Insider, Discovery.com

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Watch the US Marines place a temporary bridge across the Colorado River


The US Marines built a temporary bridge across the Colorado River so Light Armored Reconnaissance could cross it. Here's how they did it. Following is a transcript of the video.

US Marines built a temporary bridge. Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) needed to cross the Colorado River. The 7th Engineer Support Battalion was put to work. Here's how they built the bridge. Trucks launch folded bridge sections into the water. They pop open. Boats are hooked to the bridge pieces. The boats drive the sections in place. Each piece hooks together like Legos. The ends are ramps that slope up. Once it's secure, military vehicles are able to cross the river.

Join the conversation about this story »

A new fitness app charges you for every minute you spend at the gym — here's the verdict


mercedes club

  • The new app POPiN allows users to pay by-the-minute at participating gyms.
  • Users currently have access to six gyms in Manhattan.
  • Per-minute rates run from $0.14-$0.26.


Gym memberships are expensive, especially if you don't use them regularly. But even if you do use your membership consistently, they often only apply to a select number of gyms that have limited hours, which means you may be forced to pay $50 for a one-time pass if you want to exercise after staying late at work or traveling. 

The new app POPiN attempts to solve this problem, allowing users to pay reduced rates to workout at participating gyms based on the amount of time they spend there. (There are six gyms available so far—all in Manhattan—with two more the company's website indicates will be available soon.) The per-minute rates run from $0.14-$0.26, which means that a 45-minute workout would cost between $6.30 and $11.70, a significant discount from the average gym's day pass.

We tried the app at the Mercedes Club in Midtown and saw why it might change the way we exercise.

SEE ALSO: Under Armour's new subscription box enlists fitness experts to choose the best workout clothes for you

When you open the app, it shows you a map of available gyms and lists them according to how close they are.

For each gym, you can see its hours, per-minute and per-hour rates, and reviews from other users.

We chose to go to the Mercedes Club on 550 W 54th St.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Riga has been named the best-value city for a Christmas market mini-break — and you've probably never even considered it


riga christmas market panoramic flickr karlis dambrans

  • Riga, Lativa, topped a list of European Christmas market cities.
  • Post Office Travel Money compared the 10 destinations.
  • Riga beat more mainstream destinations such as Munich and Prague.
  • Designer brands are often on sale there for less than London prices.

Forget Munich's cosy beer halls and Lille's dazzling light displays — Riga, the capital of Latvia, has been named the number one European city for a Christmas minibreak in 2017.

Post Office Travel Money named Riga the best-value city break for a Christmas shopping weekend — and it's pretty festive out there, too.

The survey of ten popular European cities with stand-out Christmas markets — including Munich, Copenhagen, and Budapest — analysed the cost of a weekend in each destination.

The Post Office's survey pegged the cost of a weekend away for two in Riga at £504, taking into account flights, airport transfers, accommodation, food and drink — and made sure to include a festive treats allowance.

riga stall flickr karlis dambrans

While Prague was rated the cheapest of the ten for general cost of living, limited flights and accommodation in the Czech capital meant that the whole-trip cost came out at £574.

Christmas markets in Munich and Berlin are also popular yuletide destinations for UK tourists. However, due to the cost of the average trip, the cities placed second and eighth respectively.

The Post Office Travel Money's top 10 Christmas shopping destinations, along with the estimate total cost, are:

1. Riga, Latvia: £504
2. Munich, Germany: £525
3. Lille, France: £532
4. Tallinn, Estonia: £563
5. Prague, Czech Republic: £574
6. Budapest, Hungary: £686
7. Copenhagen, Denmark: £692
8. Berlin, Germany: £697
9. Vienna, Austria: £720
10. Stockholm, Sweden: £853

The survey also found that Christmas shopping in Riga is significantly cheaper than in the UK.

It compared the prices of six typical Christmas presents — a Ralph Lauren shirt, Clinique lipstick, Marc Jacobs perfume, Levis 501 jeans, an iPad, and UGG boots.

Riga came out 15% cheaper overall than average prices in London, while Berlin was 22% cheaper and Stockholm was 21% more expensive.

riga tree flickr karlis dambrans

The city has three major Christmas markets in Doma Laukums (Dome Square), Līvu Laukums (Livu Square), and Esplanade Park — meaning you won't run out of seasonal shops and activities to check out over the weekend.

It also claims to be home to the first ever Christmas tree, dating back to 1510.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We went to the most Instagrammed restaurant in America that has a sundae with 28 scoops of ice cream

Marks & Spencer sold 15,000 Paddington toys in 3 days — now they're landing on eBay


Paddington Plush Toy

  • M&S Christmas ad starring animated Paddington debuted on Tuesday.
  • 15,000 stuffed toys made to tie-in to campaign sold in the 3 days since it launched.
  • Over 100 are listed on eBay at an inflated price.

LONDON — Marks & Spencer has almost sold out of their special edition Paddington Bear toys just days after debuting its Christmas advert starring the children's book character.

M&S said on Friday that it sold 15,000 Paddington stuffed toys since the advert debuted on Tuesday. The retailer has produced 50,000 of the bears and said it expects to sell out within a week. Eighty percent of sales have been online but many stores are sold out too.

Rob Weston, Brand & Marketing Director at M&S, said: "We know Paddington is a much-loved character so we purchased 10 times the amount of bears we would normally sell in a whole year. Our customers have completely fallen for our little bear and can’t get enough of him."

The sales rush came after M&S debuted its Christmas ad earlier this week, timed to coincide with the release of the Paddington 2 film: 

However, the Paddington sales rush may be fuelled by entrepreneurial salespeople rather than genuine fans.

Over 100 of M&S' Paddington toys have already hit eBay at inflated prices. M&S is selling the stuffed bears in store for £12 but the going rate on eBay is around £25 — with one even listed for £50.


Some customer too to Twitter to complain of the shortages:

Marks & Spencer declined to comment further when asked about the eBay secondary market.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: MongoDB soars 33% on its first day of trading — the CEO explains how they plan to beat Oracle and Amazon

The most exciting city to visit in every state — and the most boring one you can probably skip



Debates about "best" and "worst" cities elicit strong feelings. It's a tricky issue because such debates are largely subjective.

So Business Insider attempted to use data to definitively prove which are the most exciting and most boring cities in every state across America.

To do that, we took counts of the number of establishments for 66 different types of businesses — like breweries, art dealers, and museums — that can make a city more "interesting." We sourced data from the Census Bureau's 2015 County Business Patterns program and picked the metro areas with the highest and lowest count of these businesses for our interesting and boring cities.

For example, the New York City metro area has 62 breweries, 762 art dealers, and 305 museums, based on federal data. That ended up being the "most exciting" city in New York. Elmira, the "most boring" city in New York, has two breweries, zero art dealers, and four museums. Of course, this means that bigger cities tended to rank better as "exciting" cities, but that is a trend for most lists of this nature.

The list below breaks out cities by each of the 381 Metropolitan Statistical Areas recognized by the federal government. You will see that some of the metro areas span more than one state (e.g. New York City includes Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey). We have made it clear in the slides below which metro areas span more than one state.

And two states — Rhode Island and Vermont — are not included in the list because they don't have at least two metro areas as defined by the federal government.

Read below to see the most exciting and most boring city in every state in America.

SEE ALSO: Billionaires and royals are rushing to teach their kids Mandarin


Most Exciting

Birmingham, Hoover, Alabama

Population: 1,144,857

Most Boring

Gadsden, Alabama

Population: 102,873


Most Exciting

Anchorage, Alaska

Population: 399,432

Most Boring

Fairbanks, Alaska

Population: 99,639


Most Exciting

Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Arizona

Population: 4,567,857

Most Boring

Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona

Population: 126,395

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Take a tour of New York's most expensive neighborhood for renters, where the apartments cost $6,500 a month


Central Park South, New York City

  • Central Park South is the most expensive rental neighborhood in New York City.
  • The neighborhood's median asking rent is $6,500 a month.
  • Once known as "hotel row", many of those accommodations have now been converted into condos and co-ops. 

One of Manhattan's smallest neighborhoods is also its most expensive for renters. Just below Central Park, between 5th and 8th Avenues on 58th and 59th Streets, you'll find the micro-neighborhood known as Central Park South.

This small stretch of Manhattan is bounded by the greenery of Central Park on one side and soaring condo buildings and five-star hotels on the other. Billionaire's Row, which earned its name from its sky-high buildings with sky-high prices, is nearby.

According to StreetEasy data, the median asking rent in Central Park South is $6,500 a month.

Below, take a look at this small but extremely expensive micro-hood.  

SEE ALSO: We went to New York City's most expensive neighborhood — home to Wall Streeters and celebrities like Taylor Swift — and saw why it's so popular

The area is easily accessible by the subway's N, R, and W lines (pictured here) along with the A, C, B, and D lines at Columbus Circle.

At the corner of 59th Street and Grand Army Plaza is the prestigious, landmark hotel: The Plaza.

The Plaza reopened in 2008 after a redesign that included adding apartments. At the time, the condos sold for $5.8 million to $7 million.

Source: New York Times

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A startup has created a performance-enhancing bottled 'superfuel' — here's what it's like to drink


hvmn ketone ester

  • Ketones could supercharge the body in a way unlike any other fuel source.
  • HVMN, a startup based in San Francisco, is bringing to market a drink made of pure ketone ester that it says has performance-boosting qualities.
  • We tried the drink before its public launch.


HVMN, a startup building "human enhancement" technologies out of San Francisco, recently revealed that it is bringing one of the first commercial ketone esters to market. HVMN Ketone is an FDA-reviewed drink that claims to improve athletic ability, focus, and energy.

The drink contains 120 calories, but it has no fat, protein, or carbohydrates. Those calories instead come from ketones — molecules formed by the breakdown of fat. Geoff Woo, cofounder and CEO of HVMN (pronounced "human"), likes to call ketones "the fourth macronutrient."

"It's not a fat, it's not a protein, it's not a carb, but your body gets fuel from it," Woo told Business Insider.

To make the product, HVMN leveraged more than a decade and $60 million worth of scientific research through an exclusive partnership with the University of Oxford.

Brianna Stubbs, lead researcher at HVMN, joined a study on the effects of ketone esters in competitive rowers while a student-athlete at Oxford. The experienced inspired her to change her course of study from medicine to physiology.

Stubbs remembered how the ketone ester made her feel during practice rowing sessions: "When you take it, you get to the red line and feel like you can go further. It's as you get to the end, when normally you'd run out of energy, it's as if you have this extra gear at the end."

Stubbs holds a PhD around the science of ketones and two gold medals from the 2013 and 2016 World Rowing Championships. She resigned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to join HVMN.

HVMN Ketone is available for pre-order. It costs $99 for a three-pack.

We tried HVMN Ketone and felt great, with some caveats

In October, we (Melia Robinson, an innovation reporter, and Erin Brodwin, a science correspondent) had the chance to try HVMN Ketone before it hit the market.

melia erin hvmn ketone

The drink comes in a bottle about the size of a 5-Hour Energy shot. It's clear and has no smell. The taste, however, burns like rubbing alcohol. It caused our eyes to tear. We gagged, loudly.

After a few minutes, our stomachs began to toss with nausea. A flavor like nail polish remover lingered on our lips long after drinking and was only extinguished with ice water.

Melia Robinson: I thought I would puke.

Erin Brodwin: Yeah, that's ... bad.

MR: After the feeling passed, I felt sort of jittery. Stubbs described the sensation as "you could run up a wall, but you don't want to."

EB: Once I was no longer nauseated, I noticed a definite curb in my appetite and an easier ability focusing on work. The timing of our experiment (11:00 a.m.) also coincided with the second day of my weeklong intermittent fasting experiment during which I had been breaking my fast each day at noon. After drinking the ester, my normal fasting jitters disappeared; I didn't even think about food until around 12:30 p.m. and I didn't eat until 1 p.m.

MR: About three hours after drinking the ester, around 3:00 p.m., I felt surprisingly alert. On a normal afternoon, I find myself searching for distractions in the depths of my inbox. Instead, I cranked away on writing and skipped my usual second or third cup of coffee around 3:00 p.m.

The next morning, Erin tried HVMN Ketone again before her morning workout.

EB: I chugged a second bottle of HVMN Ketone on an empty stomach an hour before my 7:30 a.m. high-intensity interval-training yoga class. It was just as disgusting as it was the first time, and I felt like my class was just as challenging as usual.

When I shared this anecdote with Kieran Clarke (a professor of physiological biochemistry at Oxford and the scientist leading the charge to translate her work on ketones and human performance into HVMN Ketone), she said the ketone may still have enabled me to perform better in class than normal. Since I didn't have a way of measuring it, I'll never know for sure. I also noticed that my appetite was curbed for a little longer after my workout than usual — probably by about an hour.

Both times we tried out the drink, we noticed that its effects wore off after between four and six hours — faster when we did lots of physical activity and slower when we didn't.

Two people do not make for a sufficient sample size in a study of the drink's effects, but our personal experiences were positive overall.

ketogenic keto diet review 4069

It's hard to separate our perception from any placebo effect, but HVMN Ketone produced measurable results for us. Stubbs performed two tests — a blood-glucose test and a ketone test — three times during the course of our trial. Using a small digital meter, she pricked our fingers the first time before we drank the ester, again 30 minutes later, and one hour after drinking.

During the hour before and the hour after we drank the ester, Melia's ketone levels to 6.0 mmol/l, a deep state of ketosis that can typically only be achieved through fasting. Erin's ketone levels rose to 4.2 mmol/l. Most people maintain a non-existent level of ketosis of 0.1 mmol/l, but we started with higher levels because one of us happened to be eating a low-carb diet while the other was trying a fast.

It's not hard to imagine Silicon Valley tech workers buying a ketone ester from their local drug store, instead of a $9 coffee drink, to fuel them during marathon coding sessions.

"Computer hackers back in the day were figuring out what more you could do with computers," Woo told Business Insider. "We're at the cusp of doing that with human bodies."

SEE ALSO: I tried the popular Silicon Valley diet credited with boosting energy and prolonging life — and I can see why people are obsessed

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Terry Crews explains how intermittent fasting keeps him in shape

Millions of college students are so terrified of loans they're turning to 'Sugar Daddies' for help paying for school


anonymous woman

  • A growing number of students are turning to dating sites to find Sugar Daddies and Mommas for help with college costs.
  • Christina, a 29-year-old Sugar Baby and MBA student living in Las Vegas, talked to Business Insider about her experience.
  • She's received over $90,000 for education-related costs, but says the stigma is the hardest part about being a Sugar Baby.


The student debt crisis in the US has gotten so bad, there's a growing group of young women — and some men — who are taking an unconventional approach to paying for college.

Through dating websites like SeekingArrangement.com, Sugar Babies, as they're called, partner up with wealthy, often older, men who want to spend money on them.

Some 2.5 million Sugar Babies identified as students in 2016 on SeekingArrangement.com. Many of these Sugar Babies turned to the site to find someone who will pay for their education so they can graduate debt, and worry, free.

In exchange, Sugar Babies go to dinners, attend events, or accompany their Sugar Daddy, or daddies, on trips. In some cases, they provide companionship or foster a mentor-mentee relationship. In other situations, the terms of the agreement include physical intimacy.

Welcome to Sugar Baby University

SeekingArrangement.com was founded by MIT graduate Brandon Wade in 2006 and now counts 10 million members worldwide, making it the biggest Sugar Baby and Sugar Daddy dating site on the web.

A couple years ago, the site noticed an uptick in the number of members signing up with a university email address, Alexis Germany, a spokesperson for SeekingArrangement.com, told Business Insider. It decided to launch a marketing campaign — dubbed Sugar Baby University— targeting indebted college students and young people who are interested in college but afraid of taking on massive loans.

Christina SeekingArrangementAmericans owe more than $1.3 trillion to the federal government and private lenders for borrowing money to go to college. That's more than two and a half times what they owed a decade ago, according to Pew, and it's thanks to higher-than-ever enrollment numbers and rising college tuition costs.

"Some of [the Sugar Daddies] have that 'white knight' scenario where they really want to be helping somebody and saving them from their debt — or whatever you want to call it," Germany said. The average annual income for Sugar Daddies who use SeekingArrangement.com is $250,000 and the average net worth is $1.5 million, she said, although those figures are self-reported.

Sugar Baby students get a SeekingArrangement.com premium account free of charge. A one-month membership typically costs $20 for Sugar Babies and $80 for Sugar Daddies and Mommas.

'What are you looking for?'

To understand what one of these partnerships looks like, Business Insider spoke with Christina, a 29-year-old Sugar Baby who lives in Las Vegas.

Currently an online MBA student at Michigan State University, Christina turned to SeekingArrangement.com a few years ago for help with college costs after her uncle, who previously paid for her education, passed away.

"That was when it finally set in and I was looking at the prices and I was looking at how much debt I was getting in and I had already started my MBA," said Christina, who received her first bachelor's degree in fashion design and merchandising, and at the time was in the middle of earning her second bachelor's in political science and pre-law from Oakland University. "I was like, I can't afford this, I'm going to be paying this off for years and years and years."

Sugar Baby Christina 1Some girlfriends introduced Christina to SeekingArrangement.com and encouraged her to find a Sugar Daddy to foot the bill. With education as her priority, Christina thought she'd probably be different than the typical Sugar Baby who was after expensive gifts and cash, she said.

"One of the very first messages that pretty much everyone sends, on either side, is 'What are you looking for?' because we want to make sure we're on the same page," Christina explained.

Christina says she isn't willing to have sex for money, though she knows some sugar babies who do.

"I'm not a person that is interested in one-night stands with people who are visiting Vegas for a couple days — that's not interesting to me. If that's what you're going to come at me with, my response is going to be, thank you for the offer, but I'm going to pass," she said.

"On my profile it specifically says, I'm going to school for this, this is what I'm looking for, I would like help paying for my school and my books," Christina said. That's the kind of straightforwardness and honesty that's expected of all users on the site, she says.

Even so, there have been situations where Christina will agree to dinner under her terms and still get propositioned for sex. She's learned "the site isn't foolproof," she says. "You have to stand your ground, you need to have a backbone."

There are expensive gifts and free trips, too

Over the past couple of years, Christina says there have been three consistent Sugar Daddies in her life who have helped her pay for school.

Sugar Baby Christina 2The men, at least one of whom is married with children, will ask how much she owes for school and write her a check. In total, Christina estimates she's been given "at least $90,000" from these men and others to pay for tuition, books, labs, and other education-related costs.

"People are more gracious and more willing to do more for you [when you aren't demanding] ... as opposed to someone who's sitting there saying, this is what I'm expecting and if I get less than this I want nothing to do with you," she said.

Christina has been given extra money after finals week so she can pamper herself and take care of her other bills, like insurance and rent. The Sugar Daddies also plan and pay for expensive weekend trips on a whim. But ultimately, Christina says she calls the shots.

"They know that school comes first to me," she said. "If a trip is offered to me or something and I say I can't because I have school, they back off right away."

The stigma is the hardest part

Christina still has two semesters left before she completes her MBA, then she's hoping to start law school. As of now, she doesn't expect to stay on the site when she's finally done with school, "but that could always change," she says.

When she's not busy with school, Christina works as a cocktail waitress and an atmosphere model, a type of model who is paid by wealthy partiers to sit at their VIP table at a nightclub or in their cabana by the pool.

wealthy dinnerIt's another source of income, so she doesn't have to fully rely on the money she gets from her Sugar Daddies. But the earnings — anywhere from $50 to $100 an hour for atmosphere modeling — pale in comparison to what she gets from Sugar Daddies.

"It was difficult at the beginning to be like, OK I'm getting handed this money for doing really nothing, I'm literally just going to dinner, it was difficult to understand at the beginning," Christina said.

Now, she values the relationships she's formed and is happy with the way she's presented herself to Sugar Daddies, as someone who can have an intellectual dinner conversation and has goals she's working toward.

"I'm fortunate enough to, hopefully when I'm completely finished with school, to say, I have no student loans, I have no debt at all, that is going to be the easiest part [of this experience] for me," Christina said.

But as expected, the benefit to using SeekingArrangement.com hasn't been as clear to the naysayers, including some of Christina's friends and family.

"I've had to struggle with the negative attachment that comes along with being on the site, or saying that you have a Sugar Daddy, it's difficult to have people hear a word and automatically think negative about you, but at the same time, I have to push that stuff out of my mind," she continued.

"At the end of the day, it's benefiting me and it's helping me and my future, and people's opinions aren't going to benefit my future."

If you are accepting, or have accepted, money from a Sugar Daddy to pay for college and would like to share your story, please email yourmoney@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: Meet 7 of the world's richest power couples, who have a combined fortune of over $260 billion

DON'T MISS: Meet the 9 women who have the most money, influence, and power in the world right now

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How much money you need to save to retire by age 40

Manhattan landlords are offering tons of freebies — and it's still not enough


apartments condo vacant empty construction

  • The vacancy rate of rental apartments in Manhattan was near its highest level of the year in October, according to a report from Douglas Elliman Real Estate.  
  • Landlords have amped up the concessions they offer prospective tenants, such as a month of free rent. 
  • However, tenants are becoming more wary of these freebies, especially when they wouldn't be able to afford apartments without them. What's really needed is cheaper face rents, said Jonathan Miller, author of the report. 

Manhattan's rental market continues to soften, even with all the incentives that landlords are offering apartment hunters. 

The vacancy rate in the borough in October was 2.6%, down from 2.7% in September, which was the highest level of this year. The October rate was the highest for the month in 11 years of data collection, according to a report by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Landlord concessions like a month of free rent seemed to be working earlier in the year as the vacancy rate fell. But the increase in vacancies over the last three months, and fewer new leases, show that concessions may be losing their effectiveness. 

"Landlords, and probably tenants, are leery of renting out an apartment where if the concessions weren't offered, the renter couldn't afford the apartment," said Jonathan Miller, CEO of the real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report. For example, a landlord who offered one free month on a 13-month lease would cheapen the annual cost of rent and lower the minimum income that's required to qualify — typically about 40 times the monthly rent. 

Landlords would need to reduce their face rents (without concessions) to satisfy more prospective tenants, Miller said. That's already happening in Brooklyn and Queens, he added, where the so-called median net effective rent, which factors in freebies, fell on an annual basis in October. 

Incentives may not reduce anytime soon, meaning that the market may ultimately be shaped by how enticing renters find them. "The higher the share of new developments as a percentage of the market, the higher the share of concessions that the landlords are required to offer to keep the vacancy rate from rising," Miller said. 

Concessions surged last month in Queens and were offered in 87% of all new developments, Miller said. 

SEE ALSO: ZILLOW: America's red-hot housing market is a bit of a problem

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why Amazon's new headquarters sweepstakes makes it the 'smartest company in the world'

How this woman grew her startup from zero to $58 million in three years


Framebridge SusanTynan

  • Framebridge is a hot Washington, D.C. custom framing internet startup that has landed deals with Target and Crate & Barrel. 
  • Founder Susan Tynan's career has been a wild ride that includes a stint in the White House under President Obama.
  • Framebridge nearly crashed and burned right out of the gate.
  • Her story shows the kind of grit it really takes to found a successful startup.


Susan Tynan's favorite bit of advice when asked for words of entrepreneurial wisdom is this: Ignore the well-meaning naysayers who tell you your idea can't be done.

Tynan is the founder and CEO of Framebridge, an internet custom framing startup. Founded in 2014, she has raised nearly $37 million from backers like NEA and Steve Case's Revolution Ventures at a $58 million valuation.

Tynan's journey to CEO shows that the road to success is more about grit and determination than anything else.

Tynan is a fountain of positivity who won't take no for an answer. That's how she landed herself her "dream job" back in 2009 working at the White House for the Obama administration. 

Back in 2006, she was a Harvard MBA working at Steve Case's startup called Revolution Health, basically a WebMD competitor, that gained a reputation for its layoffs and struggles at the time. (Case turned it around and sold it to Everyday Health Network in 2007 for $300 million.)

Working from the bathroom for the White House

With Revolution under new ownership, Tynan was at a crossroads in her career. She was living in Washington, D.C. during the euphoric days for Democrats right after President Obama had been elected. Although she had no experience in government, she decided working for Obama would be her "dream job," she told Business Insider.

To get such a job, she sent her resume to "like 10,000 people," anyone who she thought could get her an introduction, she laughs. It worked and she landed an interview — during it, she apologized for "going overboard," she said. The guy who hired her told her, "My wife came to me with your resume. Everyone came to me with your resume."

obama reading white houseThe job involved writing policy papers on things like using technology to improve customer service. While she loved working at the White House – it felt like "a privilege," she says – there were some downsides. For one, White House staffers were expected to be work around the clock.

"I remember one time, my parents were in town and we went to dinner and I was hiding out in the bathroom on my Blackberry, working," she said.

Meanwhile, several of her old buddies from Revolution had gone on to found LivingSocial. "It was growing so fast and was so exciting. I was watching them truly with envy, and one day they called," she said. 

Less than two years at the White House, Tynan quit to join LivingSocial and help them launch new product lines. The pace of the startup world after the slow grind of government made her head spin. She started on a Monday and was told her first new product would launch on Friday.

The big lesson was, "speed is a virtue in a startup, and sometimes you just have to move on a lot less info than you comfort with," she said. She went on to launch three product lines for LivingSocial before jumping onto another job at another startup, called Taxi Magic.

The idea for Framebridge occurred to her when she was still at LivingSocial. Tynan went to get some mementos custom framed and was shocked at the expense. She searched for a cheaper online alternative and didn't find one. She had just started her new job but become obsessed with launching an online custom framing company, in much the same way she had become obsessed with getting a job at the White House.

With several years of startup experience, she felt ready, but investors weren't biting.

"I had to quit my job," for people to take her seriously, she said. With two young children at home, "That was scary. A really big leap." But she did it.

And then, "I hit the jackpot with Dayna Grayson," a VC at NEA. Grayson had recently gone through her own struggles to get a project framed. She backed her and taught her how to pitch other investors. "Raising capital is its own game with its own set of etiquette rules," Tynan said.

For instance, you can't send a cold email but must be introduced to an investor, Tynan learned. And you have to show a track record. So if your career didn't provide that, you have to manufacturer it, such as telling investors your next steps like completing a mock-up and talking to 100 would-be customers, and then completing them. 

The true challenge was running the business

With funding, Tynan launched Framebridge — but soon after, was almost a victim of her own success.

In 2015, the company's first big Father's Day campaign was wildly successful and landed them too many customers and too many projects than she had the staff to fulfill. Instead of the promised one-week turnaround, customers would have to wait weeks.

Framebridge FactoryHer reputation for customer service, the main marketing pitch, was about to be pummeled. 

"We’re not going to go down like this," she said. She wrote a heartfelt apology letter to customers, gave them more realistic dates and pulled every employee, even the office workers, into the workshop. They worked seven days a week through July and August and madly hired more framers. 

At the end of that episode, she hired an experienced production manager who taught her how to plan for orders on daily basis. "We're not building a SaaS business where I can look out 18 months and know what my business is," she says.

Fast forward to 2017 and Tynan now employs 200 full-time workers, and will balloon to 400 people over the holiday season. Framebridge, meanwhile, has landed deals with Target, and Crate & Barrel. And Tynan has built her first US factory, too, in Kentucky.  

SEE ALSO: How a registered sex offender wound up living in an Airbnb hosting unsuspecting guests

SEE ALSO: The ex-Tesla engineer who created an FDA-compliant hangover cure made $1 million in 3 months

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We put the iPhone X's Face ID to the ultimate test with identical twins — and the results surprised us

Viewing all 57004 articles
Browse latest View live