Sixteen years ago, the tech bubble crashed.
The NASDAQ fell from a high of 5,132 in March 2000 to just 1,470 a few months later, as giddy investors suddenly sobered up after figuring out that web businesses with little or no revenue were fundamentally worthless. Companies worth billions when they IPO’d went to zero. Good companies were dragged down with them: Cisco lost 86% of its market cap. Amazon stock fell from $107 to just $7.
A global recession kicked in within a year. Few who lived through it will forget it. The 2000 crash remains one of the defining features of modern economic life.
One of the more memorable characters from the dot-com boom was Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, founder of govWorks.com. He was the star of a D.A. Pennebaker documentary, “Startup.com,” which showed his struggle — and ultimate failure — to persuade local governments in the US to put their operations online so people could pay parking tickets on a website — a novel idea at the time.
Tuzman was back in the news this week when federal prosecutors in New York made a seventh arrest in an alleged market manipulation and securities fraud case involving another tech startup, KIT Digital. He has pleaded not guilty.
Of all the Kings of the Dot Com Bubble, Tuzman has probably fallen farther than most. (We’ll tell you what happened to him later in this article.)
At the same time, we thought it would be interesting to find out what happened to the other startup founders who defined an era of unparalleled ambition and excess.
These were the guys who declined to buy a new company called “Google” for $1 million because it seemed too expensive. The people who threw office parties at which transvestites served burgers from White Castle. The men who complained that the “Concorde was a bit cramped.”
It was a heck of a time.
Kaleil Isaza Tuzman’s govWorks was made into a movie, “Startup.com.” No one went to see it.
Tuzman was one of the more famous, but least successful, entrepreneurs from the late 1990s. He left Goldman Sachs to start his own tech company, where he allowed a film crew to follow the creation, and bankruptcy, of his startup, govWorks Inc. The film, Startup.com, was a box office flop.
On paper, govWorks was a great idea — a website where people could go to pay parking tickets and get other local government services without having to physically go to the local courthouse.
But the company, which had over 250 employees at its height, burned through $60 million in venture capital and never made a dime.
Tuzman went on to become president of JumpTV, a start-up focused on foreign Internet Protocol Television content. The company raised $160 million in two public offerings in 2006 and 2007. Tuzman sold his stake and left the company.
And then …
Now he faces 20 years in prison after being extradited from a Colombian jail.
Currently, Tuzman and several business associates he met years later are accused of false accounting methods to inflate the stock price of KIT Digital, a video advertising company.
After he was charged in 2015, Tuzman allegedly went on the run to Colombia, according to prosecutors, and was arrested in September of that year. He spent the next 11 months inside Colombia’s notorious La Picota prison, where he shared a cell with an accused murderer and a drug trafficker, according to Bloomberg. In July 2016 he was extradited to the US, where he is out on bail pending the trial.
He potentially faces 20 years in prison.
Joe Kraus’ eXcite got an offer to buy Google for $750,000, and passed.
The early search engine Excite (or “eXcite,” as it was styled) was founded in 1994 by a group of Stanford University students, including Kraus.
In 1999, Excite had a chance to buy Google, according to MinyanVille. But Excite’s George Bell deemed the $1 million asking price too high. Bell also declined a second offer to take Google for $750,000.
The company went through a complicated skein of mergers and financing, culminating in a deal in which @Home paid $7.2 billion for the company in 1999. By 2001, it was bankrupt.
Kraus now works at Google Ventures, where he is an investor. Bell sold his mobile-ad startup Jumptap to Millennial Media last year, and he’s now an investor at General Catalyst Partners.
No matter how many Reddit threads or WebMD sites you might browse in the attempt to find answers to your most burning personal sex and health questions, nothing beats a real, live expert for straightforward, no-bullshit solutions. Clinical sexologist and couple’s therapist Dr. Eve, author of the bestselling book Cyber Infidelity: The New Seduction, is STYLECASTER’s “WTF” columnist and go-to resource for bedroom conundrums of all kinds. Whether it’s clashing with a partner over how often to have sex, wanting to finally get off from oral sex, or figuring out how to bring strap-ons into your relationship, Dr. Eve has answers. (To submit a question for next month, email WTF@stylecaster.com.)
Q: I have a much higher sex drive than my partner—advice?
A: The fact is, difference in desire exists in every couple, irrespective of gender or sexual preference. There’s almost always going to be one person more interested in sex than the other. This is not the problem. The problem is the mismanagement thereof. Stereotypes, like that men are always horny and women are rarely so, are damaging myths that set people up for feeling sexual shame, which in turn lowers libido. But there are some things you can do.
Once the spark of a new relationship wears off, and it becomes obvious that one partner—in your case, you—is more interested in frequent sex, talk about it. It might be time to redefine what you consider sex: Perhaps hugging, masturbating a partner, masturbating alone in front of a partner, or consensual non-monogamy are options to consider. (Cheating is not a healthy solution.) Remember that private masturbation can also be an important way to make up the difference between sex drives in partners—you can get off alone, with porn, on the nights that your partner isn’t interested; that way, you’re getting off and he or she doesn’t have to fake interest when they’re not feeling it. On that topic, by the way, resist the urge to fake interest or excitement if you’re not feeling it. That’s unsustainable, unsatisfying, and can eventually become insulting. By talking about what you each want out of a sex life, you can both reset expectations and find ways to make sure you’re both getting off to your satisfaction, without compromising your relationship or your sex life.
Q: What does it mean if I’ve never come during oral sex?
A: There could be a few different things going on. Many women are genitally averse and self-conscious about their lady parts. Our culture doesn’t encourage women to embrace this part of themselves, so it’s no wonder that women are driven to trim, clean, and wax them in the hopes of “taming” them. If you fall into the self-shaming category, it’s likely that oral sex will fill you with dread, making orgasm very difficult. Your task is to spend time examining and exploring your genitals until you’re comfortably able to smell, taste, and look at them without shying away. The power of first bringing yourself to orgasm through masturbation will give you the much-needed confidence to allow another person to do the same.
As for the genitally self-accepting, masturbating women who don’t come from oral sex: To that I say, so what?! Oral sex may simply not be your thing. Perhaps you enjoy getting off with other sexual touches, bites, and squeezes, and it may not have to be in your vulva area. You may prefer to be masturbated with a partner’s fingers or a sex toy more than oral sex. Still, every woman has the capacity for clitoral orgasms, so if you’re determined to come from oral, have your partner stimulate the nerve-enriched clitoral complex (essentially, the entire vulva area). I invite you to be brave enough to give your partner guidance, focus on your own genital sensations, forget trying the distracting sixty-nine position, stop fearing it will take too long, or that your partner will grow bored. See what happens—you might just come for the first time. And if not, you can always go back to the vibrator or penis—or whatever else you like—if they work better for you.
Q: Any tips for helping my male partner bounce back after coming?
A: Well done on wanting to enjoy multiple orgasms in a single session! Physiologically, men are pretty wasted after they ejaculate. Prolactin is released during orgasm, which makes them sleepy. Post-orgasm, there’s also a rush of oxytocin and vasopressin hormones that makes them want to cuddle. Still, there are ways to overcome those challenges.
First things first: Make round one count. If you’re not satisfied after the first session, it makes me wonder if it’s because you’re not getting off. Whether that’s because your man doesn’t last long enough for you to come or because he’s not giving your clitoris enough attention, put yourself first if need be, and don’t depend on him going another round to get satisfied. Slowing everything down will help delay his ejaculation. Take him to the point of orgasm and back again—that’s called edging—and you’ll get longer penetration, while he enjoys the feeling of orgasm without actually ejaculating.
Once he has ejaculated, let him rest for a few minutes. Then, start kissing, talking, and caressing him until he rouses. Let him know you’re not pressurizing him into round two, but merely want to keep playing. Invite him to participate by using a vibrator or dildo to penetrate you, or masturbate next to him. Most likely, he’ll be turned on by your initiative and horniness for him, and will rise to the occasion again.
Q: Any tips for how to ease my partner into strap-on play?
A: For newbies, strap-ons (essentially dildos with straps or harnesses attached) can be daunting. The key is to introduce them to your partner gently. Be sure to reassure him or her that it’s about trying something new and exciting—not you trying to disclose a secret about yourself (i.e. that you’re into men, if your partner is a woman, or that your partner isn’t enough, if he’s a man). Try to remove all judgments and discriminations about people who use strap-ons: It’s not a statement about gender or sexual orientation—it’s about pushing boundaries.
If your partner is male, reassure him that you adore his dick just as it is. It’s just fun to try different dicks with the same person, so encourage him to strap it on, and then he’s relieved of pressure to perform. Let him know what a turn on it is for you to strap it on and penetrate him. Soften his anus by inserting gloved fingers before you penetrate with the strap-on.
For female partners, reassure her that desiring penetration does not mean you’re a closet straight person—you’re a sexually fluid woman who loves to penetrate and be penetrated by a woman. Use a high end strap on—never compromise on quality. Always use lube on the strap-on and at the vaginal entrance (and anal lube for anal penetration). Never insert the strap-on into the vagina after being in the anus—you don’t want to transfer bacteria. And most importantly of all, if your partner decides he or she ultimately doesn’t like strap-on play, respect his or her NO. Sexual consent is always the priority, especially with new kinds of play.
Q: If I’m prone to yeast infections, should I get an IUD instead of birth control?
A: Estrogen does increase your susceptibility to yeast infections. However, this only applies to certain oral contraceptives that happen to be high in estrogen. The newer oral contraceptives tend to be low in estrogen, so don’t necessarily worsen your vulnerability. However, I’m always in favor of considering a non-hormonal IUD, which doesn’t cause yeast infections or increase your vulnerability to getting them. You’ll endure some discomfort when it’s inserted, and then forget about it for five years (ideally, assuming there aren’t any issues or complications, which are unlikely). Ultimately, talking about your birth control options with your doctor is the best way to ensure that you’re choosing the one that’s the best fit for your personal disposition and health concerns.
In terms of avoiding the dreaded yeast infection in general (which 75 percent of women get), you can lower your risk by following a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet, cleaning your genitals daily with warm, soapy water, avoiding over-the-counter douching products that can destroy your vagina’s healthy bacteria, and wearing breathable underwear. And if you do end up with one anyway, here are a few natural ways to fight the itch.
Submit your questions for next month at WTF@stylecaster.com.
When it comes to influencer marketing, food and beverage brands are beginning to step away from big stars in favor of a different track.
There’s no denying celebrities’ wide-following and trend-boosting power, but brands seeking a wellness halo are increasingly turning to influential food and lifestyle bloggers instead. By having a more accessible representative behind their content, companies can increase their reliability.
Influencers Are the New Celebrities
As consumers prioritize health and wellness, they’re more inclined to look for information from someone who feels like a trusted friend than a public figure. Most people in this crowd don’t just want to see what their favorite stars are up to — they want reliable content that can help inform their purchase decisions.
Wellness influencers are viewed as “real” people — approachable and authentic. Including them in marketing leads to higher engagement in ads, regardless of whether the content is sponsored. Moreover, because these influencers are truly passionate about healthy eating and a well-balanced lifestyle, they’re more likely to put care into their endorsements and avoid mishaps.
Rachel Mansfield is one healthy living blogger and Instagram influencer who has promoted food and beverage brands on her platform. When she used Barney Butter as a key ingredient in her Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars recipe, she went beyond an obvious plug to explain why she loves the product.
“Barney Butter Bare is different than the other BB almond butters because of the no added salt or sugar,” she wrote in her blog post. “I aim to eat as clean as I can with no added salts especially, so I am a huge fan of this line. The ‘Bares’ are perfect to add into recipes too that already have sugar (like this one with dates and chocolate!).”
Health advocates like Rachel also broaden consumers’ options for wellness resources —and consumers want those extra options. The most successful influencers deliver honest and credible resources in a way that’s easy to access online.
Choosing Your Brand’s Perfect Health Guru
To earn consumers’ loyalty and trust, you need the right person advocating for your brand. Here are a few tips for marketers going through the decision-making process:
- Know your celebrities from your social influencers. Celebrities are valued mainly for their level of exposure. They’re also not necessarily in charge of their own social media platforms. Social influencers, by contrast, offer specific expertise, credibility and a self-built audience of loyal fans.
- Pay attention to your audience. Brands that listen to their current social media followers generate feedback from already dedicated customers. Taking a look at another brand with an established community can also be helpful in finding what does and doesn’t work for consumers.
- Don’t focus on fame. It’s tempting to spring for the biggest name available, but follower count only goes so far. If the individual you’re seeking to plug your product isn’t knowledgeable, he or she isn’t a good choice for your brand. Look for someone in the “power middle” — influencers with followers ranging from 10,000 to 250,000 — with the ability to convince your specific audience to engage with your brand.
With a little more than 89,000 Instagram followers, mommy blogger Joanna Goddard fits this model perfectly. So it makes sense that healthy snack subscription service NatureBox tapped into her network to promote its products online.
The brand posted multiple pictures of Joanna’s kids enjoying their healthy snacks on Instagram, gaining thousands of shares collectively. For her part, Joanna posted a sponsored blog post detailing why she loves NatureBox and gave her subscribers a discount code. The posts felt authentic — what mom doesn’t want her kids eating healthy? — and boosted both the brand and Joanna’s credibility.
At the end of the day, putting a face to your brand isn’t just about reaching a larger audience or connecting your product to a well-known figure. Instead, you want to reach consumers by empowering them with trustworthy content. You’ll bring your brand the credibility consumers are after when you work with a wellness influencer.
Sarah Clark is the president of Mitchell, an award-winning public relations firm that creates real conversations between people, businesses, and brands through strategic insights, customized conversations, and consumer engagement. Mitchell is part of Dentsu Aegis Network, which is made up of nine global network brands and supported by its specialist/multimarket brands.
(Photo Credit: Pexels)
By now, you’ve probably seen the new video for Amazon Go, the e-commerce store’s first physical grocery store that comes with no cashiers or check out lines.
But if you’ve followed Amazon closely, you’ve probably noticed the store is missing one of the most important parts about Amazon’s retail strategy: Prime benefits.
Prime, Amazon’s annual membership program, gives access to free two-day shipping and a bunch of other services, such as Prime Video and Music. Amazon has increased the number of Prime perks lately in hopes of attracting more members, as it became clear that Prime members tend to spend more on Amazon than non-Prime members.
Oddly, Amazon is not giving any privilege to its Prime members in the new grocery stores, which is easily one of the biggest retail initiatives the company has taken in years. The Amazon bookstore, which launched last year, for example, offers discount prices only to Prime members.
When Business Insider first reported in October that Amazon sees potential for up to 2,000 grocery stores in the US, Prime was mentioned as one of the key discussion points internally. Amazon management wrestled with the question of making the grocery stores Prime-exclusive or open to the general public because of the different cost benefits, according to documents we’ve seen. The WSJ previously reported that the new grocery stores would be Prime-only.
Cowen & Co.’s analyst John Blackledge suggested Amazon might add those benefits in the future, and is simply trying to first gain mindshare in the grocery space for now. There’s certainly precedence: Amazon bookstores introduced the Prime-only discounts almost a year after opening.
“Amazon’s doing a lot of things to increase conversion of Prime members, so this might be a way to first expand their customer base and then overtime, convert non-Prime members to Prime members,” Blackledge told Business Insider.
That means Amazon may see its brick-and-mortar grocery stores as a means to expand its share of the massive $800 billion grocery market, instead of a channel to attract more Amazon Prime members. According to Blackledge, Walmart (in combination with Sam’s Club) is the leader with a 21% share in the grocery market, while Amazon is outside of the top 20 with just 0.8% share, as of last year, and is expected to be 7th largest by 2021.
Perhaps what’s more striking is that Amazon is indeed doubling down on its brick-and-mortar strategy. From bookstores last year to pop-up stores this year, and now a grocery store, Amazon has been aggressively expanding its presence in the physical space.
That’s in stark contrast to what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said about retail stores just 9 years ago. In a shareholder letter published in 2007, Bezos wrote that he gets asked a lot about opening physical stores but it’s an idea he’s resisted.
“The potential size of a network of physical stores is exciting. However: we don’t know how to do it with low capital and high returns; physical-world retailing is a cagey and ancient business that’s already well served; and we don’t have any ideas for how to build a physical world store experience that’s meaningfully differentiated for customers,” Bezos wrote at the time.
After nearly a decade, Amazon seems to have cracked the code on how to answer all those questions.
Last week, we found out the best-liked Instagrams of 2016—which mostly came from Selena Gomez, with two from soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo for good measure. Though that’s a fun game, we found a way better one: Thanks to this site, you can find out what your top nine IG posts were this year—and they’ll even give you a little visual of those successful posts squeezed together in a ‘Gram-friendly pictograph. Thanks, guys!
Though you probably already clicked on that site and are hungrily typing in your username as we speak, we realized that the possibilities are endless, and that this little process could be repeated ad infinitum with every single friend, family member, frenemy, competitor, celebrity, ex, and random person you don’t actually know. All you need is their handle, and—voila, their top nine posts appear, as if by magic.
We typed in a few celebs to get an idea of what kinds of posts really resonated this year. Here’s Kylie Jenner, who received 1,464,381,508 likes in 2016, on 1,139 posts.
It’s not surprising that four of her nine top posts feature Tyga, since a glimpse of the famous couple feels intimate and personal (especially these glimpses). But it’s interesting that the three pics in which she appears solo are the top contenders this year, in a sea of solo shots and selfies. Why these three? Who knows. But numbers don’t lie.
Next we tapped in Rihanna’s IG handle, and found out that she didn’t do so shabbily herself this year, with 227,934,796 likes on 399 posts in 2016.
Again, this grouping of pics is enlightening: All nine of her top posts were taken when she had locs, without exception. If there was any question as to how much RiRi’s followers adored her new hair, we now have the answer: They loved it.
Last we typed in Hilary Duff’s Instagram, and found that she got 31,000,959 likes on 318 posts in the past year.
We found that Duff’s followers are all over the place. Predictably, they went crazy for the shot she posted of herself kissing possibly now ex-boyfriend Jason Walsh, because that confirmed the are-they-or-aren’t-they rumors swirling around, and everyone loves to love love. Her followers also were quick to double-tap a shot of the actress in a bikini—makes sense. But the rest of the photos are a mix of family shots, throwbacks, and a couple of selfies.
So, lest you hope that this handy tool will clue you in on the most across-the-board genius IG posts, we have to say: Probably not. That depends on each individual’s brand, following, and message, and captions def play a part too, though they aren’t even factored into this equation. But if you want to find out your own top posts this year—and possibly waste a few extra minutes typing in other people’s usernames—this is a most excellent tool.
Fusion announced layoffs across the organization, letting go the following staffers:
- Adam Weinstein, senior editor of digital investigations
- Adriana Lorenzo, a producer covering Hispanic-related issues
- Andrew Joyce, elections researcher
- Danielle Friedman, Sex+Life senior editor
- Jason Gilbert, senior editor, Fusion News
- Kelsey McKinney, culture writer
- Laura Feinstein, head of social stories
- Marisa Kabas, Sex+Life reporter
- Molly Fitzpatrick, senior culture editor
- Rebekah Dryden, director of election coverage
- Taryn Hillin, reporter
- Terrell J. Starr, national political correspondent
Follow Fusion on Twitter.
Tinder’s cofounder and CEO Sean Rad reveals the top 5 jobs that women find most attractive on Tinder and explains what goes into making a successful profile on his popular app.
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With all these Victoria’s Secret models prancing up and down the runways—airport runways, that is—in the past week, it got us thinking about how to travel in style. And while you might not find yourself wearing coordinated jeans and pink t-shirts with your fellow travelers as the VS girls did en route to Paris this year (silver linings), you can cop the style of any number of other stylish gals walking through the hallowed gates of LAX or JFK or CDG or whatever.
Of course, it’s totally acceptable to don a pair of leggings and an oversize sweater and call it a day, though we always feel a little better when we’re wearing something stylish while trudging through security and eating 10 peanuts at 30K feet. Whatever your preference may be, here’s a look at 65 celebs on the way to or coming from a flight. Since there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be doing some traveling yourself this holiday season—even if it’s just to hop a bus or take a quick train ride—feel free to take inspiration from (or straight-up copy) some recent celeb flight style.
NOW WATCH: 7 places you can’t find on Google Maps
“If one more person tells me to invest in a good tinted moisturizer, I’m going to lose it.” That’s an actual quote from an actual friend who has two actual kids and one more on the way. “It’s like the magazines think we have no idea that we’ll have less time in the morning when we decide to procreate, but I’ll be dead before I trade in my full-coverage foundation.”
Amen to that. So in the name of digging up beauty tips for moms that aren’t BS (or, you know, a total waste of valuable time), we went straight to the source: We asked TK new-ish moms to find out what the best beauty tip they ever got from a fellow mom was. Read on for our favorites below:
“For some reason, my four-year-old son would never let me sit and polish my own nails during his quiet play time, and a fellow mom suggested letting him pick out the color so he feels involved without actually ‘helping’ me polish them—a.k.a. making a huge mess all over my hands. It worked like magic: Now he sits and plays with his toys while I polish my nails in peace. He likes to ‘approve’ them when I’m done.” —Anna, mother of one
“The best beauty tip I learned is to put on my face masks while my daughter is in the bath. She thinks I look funny and ridiculous, I’m able to keep my skin looking amazing, and it’s all done in exactly 15 minutes. It may be the most genius thing I’ve ever done.” Katya, co-founder of Hey Mama
“About two weeks before my due date, I got my eyelashes tinted at the insistence of a fellow new mom. Best decision I’ve ever made. I’d suggest going a little earlier in your pregnancy if possible though since it’s hard to lay flat on your back at eight-plus months.” —Chloe, mother of one
“I keep hair ties in every single pant and jacket pocket that I have, this way I can easily put my hair in a top knot in the middle of the day when I realize that I should have washed it the night before! For moments like this, I just add baby powder to my hair so that it has a fresh smell.” —Adele, mother of two
“I used the same Mary Kay powder blush my mom used for as long as I could remember. I even brought it to the hospital with me when I gave birth to my twins. When the nurse saw it, she laughed and suggested I replace it with a cream version that can do double-duty on my cheeks and lips for when I want to look presentable, and it was so true. I also find it’s easier to carry a small pot in the diaper bag and use my fingers when I’m out of the house, rather than a compact with a brush. Now, half my beauty products come in pots and require no brushes!”—Charlotte, mother of two one-year-old twin girls
“My hair never does that braid-it-while-wet-and-get-perfect-waves thing so foam rollers were the best trick any mom has ever taught me. I usually put my toddler to bed around 8:30, which is three hours before I lay down. Once she’s out for the night, the foam rollers go in. They take about half an hour and I can do it while catching up on my shows. Genius!”—Christine, mother of one
“I have long, thick hair and rarely get the chance to style it with a blow-dryer or flat iron. So when it comes to hair-wash day, I deep condition and comb it while I’m still in the shower. After I towel-dry my hair with a cotton T-shirt, I put it in a braid. I get to look cute while it’s drying and when it finally dries (usually next day for me), it’s wavy.—Kira, mother of one
“I was trying to find another use for nipple cream after coming home from the hospital. The first ingredient in mine was olive oil, so now I use it to remove eye makeup!” —Gioia
“I had a friend that worked at a fancy department store counter for years, and she told me eye cream was a waste of money. Instead, when I have bags under my eyes, I use green tea bags instead.”—Francesca, mother of three
“I literally have 12 minutes in the morning to get ready since I go to the gym at 5 a.m. so I shower at night. When I wash my hair—I learned all about dry shampoo after being a mom, so now I wash my hair maybe twice a week—I spray it with beach wave spray, put it in a bun on the top of my head, and sleep with it. When I take it out, even after the gym, it’s dry and wavy. To get it looking someone uniform, I go in with a curling iron and curl a few choice pieces. It saves me almost 20 minutes that I definitely don’t have in the morning.” —Lori, mother of two
“Cream highlighter is your friend! Dab it on the inner corners of your eyes and in the center of your eyelid, and you just might trick your co-workers into thinking you got more than four hours of sleep last night.”—Max, mother of four kids all under age 5