If corporations can be people, why can’t people be corporations? A stealth startup called Fantex aims to allow celebrities and professional athletes to file for initial public offerings (IPOs).
The quoted text and screenshots in this article are from the Fantex app the company had launched in the iTunes app store on August 27, in what was an apparent beta test. Fantex removed the app yesterday after the company declined to comment for this story.
Fantex describes itself as “the world’s first marketplace that lets consumers invest real money in stocks linked to the value and performance of the brands of the world’s top athletes.”
And here’s the kicker: Fantex says “all tracking stocks are offered pursuant to a registration statement that has been filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).” A SEC filing from July shows the company was delivered a notice of effectiveness, which is typically done when the company…
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I totally liked it, seriously considering getting some today again in Covent Garden
Born in New York, Shake Shack has branched out to many locations. I have only personally been able to try it in Dubai, The Emirates Mall. It is by far one of the best tasting fast food “junky” burgers. What I mean is that it’s not as refined as a gourmet burger, but it definitely exceeds the expectation of the average “burger craver”. The Shack burger has all the necessary condiments; crispy lettuce, crunchy pickles, melted cheese, puffy buns, and a luscious secret sauce. It has been called a super over greasy burger, but in my opinion the greasiness adds to the moisture and the flavor that is extremely important to a good tasting luscious patty.
Although shake shack is well known for its burger, it must be noted that I find that their cheese fries is more than a worthy complement. Their fries, with or without the cheese, have…
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(I wrote the post 12 reasons to Live and Work in Barcelona originally for the BCNGit)
Barcelona is one of the most popular cities in the world, a tourist destination that has for at least 20 years – since the Olympics – enjoyed the reputation of a mediterranean urban utopia of sorts. It boasts sunny beaches, world class infrastructure and a relaxed, healthy and cultured lifestyle. Rooted in the catalan mindset, the city is just on a difference pace compared to the more hectic and stressful international capitals. Barcelona is also an infamous party destination, perhaps the number one in Europe. The city can be mentioned in the same breath as Rio, Ibiza, Amsterdam or Las Vegas, people come here for bachelorette and bachelor parties. A career minded tech professional might feel tempted to look into relocating to Barcelona. But just how feasible and productive is that exactly? As a dot-com guy who moved here from Amsterdam, choosing to pursue opportunities in Barcelona in spite of the economic downturns in the country, I think it there are a lot of opportunities to be productive and to advance professionally. Here’s 12 reasons why tech professionals should live and work in this amazing city.
1) Olympic infrastructure
Barcelona is the last bastion of the Olympic City ideal, literally the last one. Since the catalonian capital was changed forever by the sporting event in 1992, no other city has experienced the same level of impact from hosting the games. A lot of today’s professionals that choose to live in Barcelona first became fascinated with the local “vision, mission and values” perceived when they were still children and watched the Olympics on television. It helps that the massive public and private investments were leveraged to offer local residents a permanent infrastructure that empowers the city to this day. A stretch of beach was built, thousands of permanent jobs were created, sports facilities are public and abundant, landscaped public spaces are plentiful.
2) Everyone meets in Barcelona
Barcelona hosts several important world class meetups, from must-attend international business and technology events like MWC, to music festivals like Sonar and Primavera and anything in between. The Sitges Film Festival is one of the coolest in the world, and sports events attract global attention. You will meet people in Barcelona, and people you know elsewhere will be coming here. In addition to the busy event calendar, there’s always the beaches, the city, the football matches and countless other attractions perennially inviting visitors. It’s an amazing city for networking internationally, because people all over the world have reasons to come here often.
There are a number of technology and business schools in Barcelona offering high level international programs that attract top notch international students, which in their turn help to bring in companies and investments. These include IESE Business School, home of the first 2-year MBA program in Europe (now running for almost 5 decades). There are many other excellent schools offering excellent programs including Business (like EADA Business School), Design (such as the Istituto Europeo di Design), and Engineering (with many respected courses at UPC/BarcelonaTech). These institutions attract amazing professionals and promising students, and in particular those that are interested in the other aspects of Barcelona like the Mediterranean lifestyle and the progressive culture. They have helped to foment a local expat culture that is larger and more interesting than what you see in many other international business cities.
4) Business Incubators
Starting with our own Creative HotHouse here in the amazing Poble Nou district, Barcelona boasts a number of very successful business incubators, and there are huge opportunities for meeting mentors, coaches and investors. Backed by major interests that include global companies, the local government, the European Union and large Spanish corporations like Telefonica, there are several groups and spaces working to make Barcelona a staple of the tech industry. And many of the leaders fomenting this bustling local scene come straight for the Silicon Valley, so the experience and know-how to develop a productive startup culture are already here. Some of the top initiatives include Barcelonactiva, E3 Union, and Startup Spain.
5) Affordable living
Life in Barcelona is inexpensive, while still being luxurious enough. A lot of what makes live here so attractive is absolutely free of charge (the city itself offers world-class public facilities, for starters). The icing on the cake, newcomers learn quickly, is that things like quality restaurants, getaway weekends, shopping sprees and other activities that can cost a lot of money in a city like London are actually quite cheap in Barcelona. Rent prices are still sane – relocating from Amsterdam, my housing costs were cut by some 35% and never bounced back to what I used to spend in Holland. You also don’t need a car, in fact you don’t even need to own your own bike considering that Bicing (bike sharing) cards cost less than 50 EUR a year.
It’s true that salaries are lower in Spain, but then again so are your tax burden and cost of living. These lower salaries end up attracting investment and allowing companies to hire more often, so in the end of the day the lower pay works to everyone’s advantage. And it’s also true that both salaries and cost of living tend to rise in the future as the city becomes more and more established as a business hub, but that’s just more reason to relocate here sooner than later.
6) Cosmopolitan and friendly
The mix of cultures present in Catalonia is diverse enough to make anyone feel like they can belong. Sure, there are mild tensions with Catalan nationalism, but these aren’t violent as what you might see in other cities like Amsterdam or Berlin. Catalans are welcoming, and their nationalistic beef is with the Spanish, rather than with immigrants. It’s telling that in Barcelona you will see children of all races – European, African, Asian, American – speaking Catalan and growing up to be fully Catalan, while being racially diverse. You also see gay bars located right next door to mosques, and no one seems to have a problem. The division between immigrants (blue collar, working class) and expats (white collar, yuppies) is less marked here, and the atmosphere encourages integration.
7) Culture and Arts
The holy trinity of modern Catalan painters – Miró, Dali and Picasso – is celebrated everywhere in Barcelona. But it doesn’t stop there, Catalonia in general and Barcelona in Particular continue to produce and attract some of the most interesting artists in the world. From a tech professional perspective, this boosts your quality of life, and the quality of your life experiences. It’s sure helpful to always have so many museums and fresh exhibitions to see, as well as public spaces with amazing art, rather than having to take your children to the mall for entertainment. Then there are the film and music festivals (Sonar, Primavera, Sitges, etc.), the Opera House, the theatre and the many venues that bring in some of the top performers and artists in the world.
8) Neighborhoods and Transports
Barcelona has a variety of attractive neighborhoods, in very different locations and at varied distances from the main touristic hubs and the city centre. An incoming tech professional looking for a suitable area to live in will find that many diverse ones will have everything they need, and personalities of their own. That aspect of Barcelona also help to keep rent affordable, as there isn’t a particular “hot” neighborhood where you have to compete for prices. The historic center itself with quarters like Gothic, Raval and Eixample, the booming beach-side startup realm of Poble Nou, the expat chic of Gracia, are just a few of the most famous options.
Getting from one neighborhood to another is refreshingly simple. Barcelona is blessed with sunshine and good weather most of the year, and the network of bike lanes is extensive and inviting. You’ll never really need a car, residents get around by bike, shared bike, bus, subway, inexpensive taxi rides, train, tram, skateboard, scooters, there’s even people on rollerblades.
Here you will enjoy daily grocery runs for fresh food (and also fresh seafood), maybe use the service of some cool food startups focusing on healthy and convenient food, finally switch to 100% organic food (it’s cheap and widely available here), drink the almost salty local fizzy water Vichy, commit carbicide at Baluard Bakery, and just generally eat well and eat a lot. You won’t necessarily gain weight (moving between the United States, Brazil and Spain, I for one always get leaner in Spain).
The city is big on foodie culture, and the options here go well beyond jamon and paella. You can always find great food in the Mediterranean – what makes Barcelona special is that, unlike other Mediterranean cities, it offers a lot of excellent international cuisine (from burgers to vietnamese classics) as well as the local staples.
10) The Sheer Architectural Beauty
It’s not uncommon for architects to fall in love with Barcelona, a city that boats architectural works by greats like Frank Gehry and Van der Roe, and of course Gaudi. The modern city built on top of the Olympic dream has a symbiotic relationship with the 2,000 years of Catalonian history, and you will be strolling from a modern beach side complex into the winding medieval alleys of Gotic and the old center.
11) It’s easy to get here
Barcelona is one of the top destinations for low cost airlines, and there are plenty of routes to all major cities in Europe and beyond. Wether your roots are in the US, Africa far Asia and Oceania or in the southern cone of Latin America, there are enough routes and airlines coming to Barcelona for you to be able to arrange excellent deals most of the time.
12) The Weather
The sunny, almost perennially inviting weather in Barcelona is what ends up attracting most people that move here from abroad. Sure, there are minor tornados here and there, but I was on the beach sunbathing on January 1st this year, smack in the middle of wintertime! Try doing anything like that in Berlin or London.
This blogger says no you shouldn’t because it’s obviously going to end up rippn you off.
Brace yourselves, the Bitcoin chatter bubble burst is coming
There isn’t just a bubble in the Bitcoin economy, there’s a bubble in the number of posts about Bitcoin. I’ll pile on, even after this week’s mini-crash, but with a twist. A few weeks ago, I wrote some brief notes on what I thought about Bitcoin, but the over-arching feeling I had was that I couldn’t put my finger on what could become of this currency in the future. Perhaps that’s part of the reason this phenomenon is so fascinating to us all. So, instead of trying to determine future scenarios in a world I don’t understand and because Twitter has turned everyone into armchair professors, I reached out to a number of practicing economists who were either former professors or classmates, or had friends make introductions, and asked them to…
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We’re hearing from those familiar with the situation that Kim Malone Scott, an ex Apple and Google employee, has left Dropbox after about four months on the job. Upon her hiring, she was described as a “top sales exec” poach for Dropbox. At Google, she was commonly referred to as the “High Priestess of the Long Tail,” a name she had given herself because she placed ads on pages that normally didn’t have them, mostly for small publishers.
During her tenure at Google, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg had called Scott’s credentials a “perfect Googler’s resume.”
According to her LinkedIn, Scott worked in “Operations and Online Sales” for Dropbox, with no other details or information about her role. With two years at Apple and six years at Google, it was clear that the hiring was an important one at the time.
Recently, Scott shared her professional story…
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Correction Appended: Mar. 20, 2013
The Turducken — a duck stuffed inside a chicken stuffed inside a turkey — is a mythical culinary beast and the dream entree of Thanksgiving obsessives everywhere. And now, science is on its way towards making the Turducken a reality — sort of: a duck has successfully fathered a chicken at the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in Dubai.
Researchers injected a chicken’s germ cells — carrying DNA to produce eggs and sperm — into the reproductive organs of a male duck embryo; once the duck matured, it began to produce the chicken’s sperm. Initially looking to genetically modify chicken to produce more fertile hens (the global poultry industry currently maintains some 50 billion chickens), these scientists are now planning to use this technique to allow hens to lay eggs of other birds, including ducks, songbirds, hawks or eagles.
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Look at these “traditional family” advocates protesting mixed race marriages just the other decade. This week, the SCOTUS is
deciding hearing arguments on marriage equality cases.
“People tried to figure out enhancements, but for the most part they were not there to be had” –
In a post on Sony’s Playstation.Blog, Unity Technologies’ CEO David Helgason has announced a partnership with SCEA that will see the popular Unity tools platform developed for PlayStation platforms. These platforms include the newly announced PS4, PS3, PS Vita, PS Mobile, and future SCE cloud services.
The full post by David Helgason can be read here.
Habemus Mass Effect
During the past week, BioWare has released several blogs written by their staff, sharing memories of the Mass Effect Trilogy that undoubtedly left me a little teary-eyed. During PAX East in Boston, a panel celebrating the trilogy produced “scant details and vague teases about the future of the series and its creators.”
“We are starting to get ready to develop another Mass Effect game, and it’s going to be a new thing,” series executive producer Casey Hudson said at a Mass Effect retrospective at PAX. “We want to be able to give fans an opportunity to get back into the world with these things you’ve come to know and love about the Mass Effect experience but start something fresh and new—a new way for you to explore the whole universe in Mass Effect.”
It’s been told that the game will be primarily developed in BioWare’s Montreal studio, and as we’ve…
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This is a good read, I saved it to my kindle and pocket app for future reference and yeah, I’ll totally become a ninja, maybe.
Hello readers and welcome, to this Saturday Fitness rant. My name is The Dubious Pen, and some of you may have wondered/had fantasies about what kind of training you’d need to be like a ninja, the next big MMA fighter, American Ninja, etc. Now, I’m sure for MMA and the sort there’s already a whole wealth of training blogs out there, so don’t necessarily take my word to verbatum here; I’ve been doing PT for a while now, and this is just my two cents on the topic, okay? But, it’s funny really because A) I’ve had some experience a martial art before so a lot of the self-defense physics were explained in good detail already, and B) actually I had a self-defense instructor come up to me a week ago and ask me basically that very question. He wanted to know if I knew of a good way he…
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It was interesting to read a very detailed breakdown of how Spotify build products by Henrik Kniberg. Kniberg is a Swedish Agile expert who consults with a lot of different companies on how to best implement Agile and Lean practices. Kniberg is well respected when it comes to iterative development and Spotify is growing rapidly within the music industry (an industry which I also happen to work in with 7digital). Kniberg’s article gives a great insight into how companies can successfully apply some of the principles around “releasing early and often”.
In this blog post, I’ll highlight both Spotify’s underlying philosophy and the 4 key stages that form its product development process. Let’s start with Spotify’s core philosophy first:
- “We create innovative products while managing risk by prototyping early and cheaply” – Rather than taking a product through a whole product development cycle before finding out whether it provides value or not, Spotify…
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Gawker Media made headlines recently when founder Nick Denton offered his full-throated support of sponsored posts and “commerce journalism” and said he expected 10 percent of the company’s 2013 revenues to come from e-commerce activities.
Content and commerce have always had a symbiotic relationship that many traditional content providers tried to separate. The wall between editorial and business, otherwise known as the separation of church and state, is and always has contained back doors and windows in which compromises are made.
The slow adoption of all that the digital revolution has to offer – curation, aggregation, social, and automation – has also hobbled many traditional content providers. Depressed revenues, layoffs and shrinking bully pulpits are the results of an industry that…
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Technically this is not a travel photo. Today in London it is cold, windy, and rainy. I may have mentioned before that I’m ready for warm weather. Today’s weather is leaving me uninspired. I took this photo when we still lived in Boston. As you can see Miles is not a happy camper. I feel like this today.