The Pencil, a stylus by Fiftythree, the makers of the app Paper, is going to receive a big update. (Click Image To Enlarge)
THANKS TO APPLE UNLOCKING THE IPAD'S POTENTIAL, FIFTYTHREE'S PENCIL WILL SOON GET EVEN BETTER
Today, the iPad stylus takes another step away from stupid stick and closer to expressive artistic tool. FiftyThree's Pencil--a wooden stylus made for the impressive iPad sketching app Paper--will soon allow you to vary the width of your line as naturally as drawing with a real pencil or marker.
As the video shows, you simply tilt the tip of the Pencil to go from fine point to thick line while sketching on screen--just as you would with the real thing. In other words, digital drawing on the iPad can feel a step more intuitive than it has.
By tilting the tip, you'll be able to draw a line of varying thickness. You know, just like a real pencil. (Click Image To Enlarge)
The update actually comes largely of Apple. (Click Image To Enlarge)
In iOS8, the company unlocked the capacity for the screen to recognize objects of various width. (Click Image To Enlarge)
While the Paper app--also developed by FiftyThree--has some incredible algorithms inside that enable intuitive color mixing and for you to rest the palm of your hand on the screen as you draw, this update actually comes largely as courtesy of Apple. Amongst countless updates in iOS 8 is a powerful feature that most of us missed: The iPad’s touch screen can now recognize objects of various size. So instead of treating a thumb or pinky as the same sized orb, it can accommodate the precision necessary for the Pencil’s tip to begin simulating the multitude of subtle thicknesses we’d find in any natural drawing tool.
For these analog-digital hybrid drawing tools, this could lead to a wave of more naturalistic sketching experiences. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Eventually, these tools could get so good that we won't be able to distinguish Paper from paper. (Click Image To Enlarge)
If you already own a Pencil, there’s no need to buy anything new. Free software will update the feel of the hardware. Timing will coincide with the public release of iOS 8 in the fall.
THE COMPANY THAT SOMEHOW POPULARIZED COLORFUL PLASTIC CLOGS IS CLOSING 100 STORES AND CUTTING JOBS AFTER MAJOR DROPS IN PROFITS.
Crocs, the U.S. firm responsible for those shoes that look like what Ronald McDonald’s children might wear, has announced it'll close 100 of its 600 stores around the world following a 44% drop in profits in the last three months. The company plans to lay off about 180 of its 5,000 employees, and will also slash its product range by 30% to 40%, offering fewer styles. The announcement smells like victory for the anti-Croc movement of sorts that spawned an “I Hate Crocs” blog and a Facebook page titled “I Don’t Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like A Dumbass,” which has 1.5 million likes.
Crocs were born in 2002 as boating footwear. Unfortunately, they didn’t stay at sea for long. Lauded for being supremely comfortable, the shoes soon became a favorite of “crocophile” celebrities like Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, and chef Mario Batali, who has a Crocs line named after him. George W. Bush, too, wore the shoes in public(another reason he’ll forever be on the wrong side of history). By 2005, the company was producing a million shoes a month, and by 2007, had hit $850 million in annual sales.
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But by 2008, Croc-love was waning as consumers slowly came to their senses, and the company suffered a major drop in sales. They tried hard to regain their former glory by expanding their design selections: they made high-heeled leather Crocs, wedges, sneakers, winter boots, and leather boating shoes. The strategy worked, for a while--in 2011, they made $150 million in profits--but ultimately proved to be overexpansion. They’re now cutting the leather boots and dress shoes, and downsizing the company to survive--layoffs include 70 jobs at their Colorado headquarters. Crocs President Andrew Rees said in a statement.
"We have a clear, well-defined strategy for addressing these issues and improving performance. Work is under way already to drive significant change throughout our company."
Will fashion historians of the future see the Crocs phenomenon as a sign of a deeply sick society, the way we look back in horror at 18th-century corsets and bustles, or lead makeup, or mullets? Discuss.
COMMENTARY: Crocs, Inc. (Nasdaq:CROX) reported Q2 2014 EPS of $0.36, versus $0.48 reported last year. Revenue for the quarter came in at $376.93 million, versus $363.83 million reported last year.
Crocs, Inc. sees Q3 2014 revenue of $300-305 million, versus the consensus of $236.5 million.
Crocs Financial Performance by Year - Actual and Estimated - 2008 Through 2016 - Reuters (Click Image To Enlarge)
The company undertook a comprehensive strategic review of the business and its operations globally and identified four key areas of opportunity in the business.
1. Focus On Core Business - Crocs intends to focus on its core molded footwear heritage, as well as develop innovative casual footwear platforms. The company will streamline the product portfolio, eliminate non-core product development and will explore strategic alternatives for non-core brands. This more centralized product line control will also result in (i) a reduction of the SKU proliferation that has occurred over the past few years, (ii) a simplified and efficient supply chain and (iii) a reduction in overall product line costs and inventory levels.
Further, the company intends to drive cohesive global brand positioning from region to region and year to year to create a clearer and consistent product portfolio and message, resulting in a more powerful consumer connection to the brand. This strategy will be accomplished through developing powerful product stories supported with effective, consistent and clear marketing. Finally, the company will increase working marketing spend, defined as funds that put marketing messages in front of consumers, by about 50 percent, funded primarily from a reduction of marketing overhead.
2. Refine Its Business Model - Crocs will refine its business model around the world, prioritizing direct investment in larger-scale geographies to focus the company's resources on the biggest opportunities, moving away from direct investment in the retail and wholesale businesses in smaller markets and transferring significant commercial responsibilities to distributors and third-party agents. These re-alignments are already underway in Brazil, Taiwan and other markets around the globe. Further the company intends to expand engagement with leading wholesale accounts in select markets to drive sales growth, optimize product placement and enhance brand reputation.
3. Reorganize and Streamline Key Business Functions - Crocs has reorganized key business functions to improve efficiency, having eliminated 183 global positions of which the majority took place today, reducing structural complexity, size and cost. The company expects cost savings associated with the reduction in force of $4.0 million in 2014 and $10.0 million in 2015. In addition, Crocs will open a Global Commercial Center in the Boston area in late 2014, housing key merchandising, marketing and retail functions. The Boston location was chosen in order to attract experienced senior footwear and retail management talent. The Global Commercial Center in Boston will join the Product Creation and Global Shared Services Center in Niwot, Colo., the cornerstone of support for Crocs' global business. The company will strengthen Regional Commercial Centers in the Netherlands, Singapore and Japan with responsibility for managing Crocs' global business.
4. Focus On Efficient Asset Utilization Improve Store Peformance - Crocs will rationalize under-performing business units, in order to re-align its cost-structure and place greater focus on assets and operations with higher profit potential. This action will enable the company to gain greater strategic and economic leverage from its direct-to-consumer assets, including owned retail and e-commerce stores. The company intends to close or convert approximately 75 to 100 company-owned retail locations around the world, with 18 stores already closed or converted to partner stores in the second quarter of 2014. The company is also focused on various initiatives to improve four-wall retail store performance, such as merchandising, inventory planning, as well as the benefits from the above-mentioned product and marketing actions, to drive same-store sales growth over time. The impact of these closures and conversions is expected to reduce annual revenue by approximately $35.0 to $50.0 million and reduce SG&A expense by approximately $17.0 to $25.0 million, with an insignificant impact on future operating income. Crocs also will consolidate global company-operated e-commerce sites from 21 to 11.
For earnings history and earnings-related data on Crocs, Inc. (CROX) click here.
The Weakness of Marketing A Single Product
Crocs once again proves the dangers of launching a single-product business concept. Although Crocs had a great five year run, before consumers tired of their wimpy Crocs shoes and stopped buying, it obviously needs to innovate and design no product offerings. When a business fails to change, pivote or innovate, you end up like Mrs. Fields Cookies (closed hundreds of stores and avoided its third bankrutcy and ceded control to creditors in December 2011) and Crumbs the cupcake chain that closed all its stores abruptly in July 2014.
In my opinion, Crocs management should've innovated a lot sooner and streamlined its product offerings a lot sooner. In spite of this failure, the company is still profitable, but it now has to pay the piper as it increases spending on R&D, closes under-performing business units and reduces its inventory SKU's to improve return on assets. Nearly 90% of investors are institutions with large blocks of shares. Hopefully, they will not dump their Crocs share holdings in mass and force additonal downward presson on the share price which has fluctuated between $15 and $15.5 bucks a share since the beginning of 2014. This is a far cry from Crocs high of $68.98 back in October 2007.
The adjustable standing desk allows you to mix up your posture throughout the day, but top models cost as much as $1,600. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Clearly, it’s time to ditch the office chair, but standing desks can get pricey, especially the adjustable kind, which let you mix sitting and standing throughout the day.
On Kickstarter, StandDesk's basic model costs less than $400. (Click Image To Enlarge)
The company has raised more than 10 times its funding goal since April 2014. (Click Image To Enlarge)
StandDesk, a new standing desk model being launched on Kickstarter (where it has raised more than 10 times its target since April), is a cheaper solution. The basic model, which has a simple automated system to raise and lower the desk at the touch of a button, starts at less than $400. Not quite as cheap as a cardboard desk, but not $1,600 either.
The creators say the lower price comes from designing a custom motor that doesn’t have as much extra lifting power as other standing desks. It’s only designed to lift 225 pounds--enough to hoist your computer and desk gadgets, though maybe don’t put every textbook you own on it. It’s a clean, simple design with no frills, just a smooth tabletop and a small control panel. Considering that I spend my days curled over my desk in a bizarre yoga pose called, “becoming one with the laptop,” I’m on board.
The desk raises and lowers at the touch of a button. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Clearly, it’s time to ditch the office chair. (Click Image To Enlarge)
COMMENTARY: Steven Yu, the founder of StandDesk raised a total of $649,244 from 1,697 donors through Kickstarter. The goal was to raise $50,000, but StandDesk raised over 12 times that. Congrats to Steven Yu. The first batch of pre-orders from the Kickstarter campaign are scheduled for delivery sometime in September 2014.
According to the StandDesk website, you can still pre-order the StandDesk directly from them for $449.00 with FREE shipping. Delivery in the fourth quarter 2014. I assumed that these new pre-orders will be after the Kickstarter project donors receive theirs.
I like what Yu is doing. Let's just hope that he priced the StandDesk properly so they can generate a profit.
Some 12% earn less than $100,000; 39% earn between $100,000-$199,999; 39% between $200,000-$349,999; 6% between $350,000-$499,999; and 4% earn $500,000 or more, the global survey of chief marketers (CMOs, executive vice-presidents, senior vice-presidents, and vice-presidents, depending on the top marketing title in each organization) found.
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Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on 2013 data from a survey of 345 chief marketers from around the world (45% working at B2B-focused companies, 20% B2C, 35% hybrid).
Factors Influencing Pay
The base compensation of chief marketers was found not to highly correlate with the number of people that the person manages.
The the head of Marketing's job title (CMO, VP of marketing, SVP of marketing, etc.) also does not seem to correlate with base compensation.
Compensation was found to correlate to reporting structure: Respondents making more than $500,000 are more likely to report directly to the CEO.
CMO base compensation is also correlated with firm size. The larger the company, the more likely that the CMO makes more in base compensation and the more likely that he or she receives bonus compensation.
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Goals, Accomplishments, and Perceptions
Marketers earning the highest levels of base compensation (more than $500,000) tend to be focused on driving business performance (e.g., top-line growth, market share, efficiencies, etc.).
The key accomplishments of the top earners are centered on restructuring marketing to drive results, improving the yield/accountability of marketing, and building digital capabilities.
Less than half of all respondents (48%) feel fairly compensated.
Chief marketers are more likely to feel fairly compensated when they make more money.
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For more insights from the report, check out the following infographic:
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About the research: The report was based on 2013 data from a survey of 345 top marketers (CMOs, executive vice-presidents, senior vice-presidents, and vice-presidents, depending on the top marketing title in each organization) from around the world (45% work for B2B-focused companies, 20% B2C, 35% hybrid).
Courtesy of an article dated July 24, 2014 appearing in MarketingProfs
On July 23, 2014, Facebook reported its Q2 2014 earnings, blowing away expectations on the top and bottom lines. Revenue went up 61% to nearly $3 billion and earnings per share were $0.42 — 12 cents more than analysts predicted.
Facebook's gross margins increased dramatically. In essence, the company makes way more in sales this year than it used to, but its cost-base for generating those sales increased only modestly. Income from operations was a staggering $1.4 billion — this time last year it was just $562 million.
The stock went up and flirted with $74, a rise of 4%, after the market closed, hitting an all time high.
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Here are the highlights:
Revenues: $2.91 billion (analysts were expecting $2.81 billion). That's a nice beat.
EPS non-GAAP: $0.42 (analysts were expecting $0.32) that's also a good beat.
Monthly active users (MAUs): 1.32 billion, up 14%.
Mobile MAUs: 1.07 billion, up 31%.
Mobile revenue was 62% of ad revenue.
To give you a better idea of just how well-run a business Facebook has become, here's the top of the income statement. I've highlighted the way margins are expanding dramatically:
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And now for some charts!
Revenues: (Remember when people used to say Facebook has stopped growing?) Sales were up 61%:
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This is where that revenue comes from. America and Europe leading the way:
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Here's the picture regarding the users. Facebook added 41 million users last quarter:
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Facebook's mobile-only base is still growing:
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The following audio is from a conference call between Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook and David Wehner, CFO, Facebook and Wall Street stock analysts that was recorded on July 23, 2014 beginning at 17:00 PM ET. This audio was previously a live stream, and can be replayed anytime.
A NEW STUDY USING WEARABLE SENSORS SUGGESTS THAT TEAMWORK IS DONE BEST WHEN EMPLOYEES ARE STANDING UP.
As much as you might love slumping back in your chair and taking an open-eyed nap during long meetings, a new study suggests that teamwork is done best when employees are standing up.
It's the latest in a long line of research that examines the troubling effects of sitting. Evidence has piled up that “sitting is the new smoking”--that a sedentary lifestyle is linked to an increased risk for depression, heart disease, and diabetes. This is the first research we've seen that applies the anti-sitting argument directly to the boardroom.
Lo and behold, the people who worked standing up had higher levels of physiological arousal, indicating excitement about the work, and were less defensive about their ideas than those who lounged in chairs. This lack of territoriality led to a better exchange of ideas and more engaging videos. Lead researcher Andrew Knight of the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis told Eurekalert.
"Seeing that the physical space in which a group works can alter how people think about their work and how they relate with one another was very exciting,"
Knight himself had experienced the benefits of standing meetings while working for a software company, where groups would regularly crowd around whiteboards and work excitedly rather than lethargically. He found they always felt “more efficient and purposeful," which led him to want to back up this gut feeling with research.
Luckily, standing is free--so testing out these findings firsthand is as simple as getting employees off their butts.
Strengths, Limitations, and Future Directions
Washington University of St. Louis integrated several types and sources of data – including physiological data, self-report data, and observational data – to draw inferences about how physical space influences interpersonal dynamics in groups. Our use of multiple data streams mitigates concerns of inflated relationships due to common method variance. Further, our use of a sensor to unobtrusively measure arousal highlights the potential for researchers to use new technologies to assess interpersonal dynamics in groups.
Despite these strengths, their conclusions must be interpreted with the limitations of their study in mind. Their measure of territoriality was administered after the group task. In deciding to measure territoriality after the task, they weighed the costs of interrupting groups and sensitizing participants to the concepts under investigation with the benefits of measuring this pathway before groups completed their task. Their ultimate choice to measure territoriality after the task may have influenced participants’ responses. These concerns are mitigated by the fact that participants received no feedback prior to completing the post-task survey; nonetheless, they acknowledge that contamination may have occurred. Future studies should replicate their findings using a measure of this mediator administered during the task rather than after it.
The University studied groups engaged in a 30-minute task, which may be a boundary condition of their findings. Estimates of typical meeting duration in organizations vary. Panko and Kinney (1995) reported that nearly 75% of meetings are 30 minutes or less; Cohen and colleagues (2011) found an average meeting length of 73 minutes (SD = 41). The 30-minute meeting length that they studied thus likely generalizes directly to many situations commonly found in organizations. Still, future research is needed to explore the temporal boundary conditions around their finding that a non-sedentary workspace enriches interpersonal processes in groups engaged in knowledge work. It is possible that the benefits of a non-sedentary space would dissipate or even reverse over longer periods of time if people become fatigued or irritable. However, one promising approach for longer meetings might be for group members to oscillate between standing and sitting over the course of the meeting. Recent research (Oppezzo & Schwartz, In Press) suggests that the beneficial effects of movement on creativity persist even after individuals sit down. Thus, it might be possible to use a standing format for the first 30 to 45 minutes of a meeting and then switch to a sitting format without sacrificing performance. Research is needed to examine such questions.
Because the University examined one performance episode, their findings cannot speak to the durability and permanence of the effects of a non-sedentary workspace across multiple group interactions. Although they do not have data on groups engaging in multiple tasks, they believe it is unlikely that members would become habituated to the effects that they proposed and found in this study. The physiological and behavioral changes that they observed stem ultimately from physical effects (e.g., motion, physical location in space), rather than from perceptions of the novelty of the environment (Oppezzo & Schwartz, In Press). In post-hoc analyses they explored the possibility that the novelty of the environment might account for their results using a three-item measure that group members completed after the group task (e.g., “The room we worked in helped us feel creative.”). They found a non-significant effect of condition on members’ ratings of the novelty of the room (B = -0.05, p = 0.70), suggesting that people in the non-sedentary condition did not view their environment as more novel and conducive to creativity than those in the sedentary condition. Nonetheless, research would be useful to unpack how people respond to a non-sedentary environment across multiple group interactions.
Implications and Conclusions
The most important implication of this study is that the physical context in which a group works can shape interpersonal dynamics and, ultimately, group performance. Adopting a non-sedentary workspace may have benefits not just for individual physical health, but also for group performance on knowledge work tasks. By increasing arousal and reducing territoriality, a non-sedentary workspace enhances the extent to which people engage in collaborative information elaboration – a key ingredient to high performance on knowledge work. These findings are important both theoretically and practically. Theoretically, the physical space in which a group works is an important contextual input that scholars have, to date, largely ignored (Hackman & Katz, 2010). The manipulation that we investigated in this research – in which we simply removed chairs from the room – was relatively small, yet produced meaningful differences in group arousal and group idea territoriality. Practically, office configurations and furniture are aspects of the workplace over which leaders often have direct control. Our results suggest that, if leaders aspire to enhance collaborative knowledge work, they might consider eschewing the traditional conference room setup of tables and chairs and, instead, clear an open space for people to collaborate with one another.
Within the next five years, U.S. social advertising revenues will reach $15 billion, with native and mobile leading the way.
Driven by the growth of mobile and native advertising, U.S. social media advertising revenues will increase from $5.1 billion in 2013 to $15 billion in 2018, according to BIA/Kelsey.
In its newly released U.S. Social Local Media Forecast (2013-2018), BIA/Kelsey defines social media advertising as money spent on ad formats across social networks. The company predicts that these ad revenues will grow to $8.4 billion in 2014, representing the greatest year-over-year jump in the five-year forecast period.
Meanwhile, native social advertising is growing faster than social display, notes the report. And in 2015, it will surpass social display for the first time.
U.S. native social advertising, primarily driven by Facebook's News Feed ads and Twitter's Promoted Tweets, will surge from $1.8 billion in 2013 to $9.4 billion in 2018, according to the forecast. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.6 percent. In comparison, social display ad revenues will see a modest increase, from $3.3 billion in 2013 to $5.6 billion in 2018 (CAGR: 11.3 percent).
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Mark Fratrik, vice president and chief economist at BIA/Kelsey, commenting on the findings, says.
"Native social advertising is anything integrated within a social network's user experience. Facebook's News Feed and Twitter's Promoted Tweets are becoming very successful. And social sites are able to charge higher advertising prices for native advertising, because people know they have a great impact."
A look at two different platforms - desktop and mobile - reveals that by 2018, U.S. social mobile ad revenues will climb to $7.6 billion by 2018 (CAGR: 38.3 percent), and exceed social desktop for the first time.
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This trend is down to a striking revenue growth in Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels in the past few years, primarily through mobile, Fratrik explains. He tells ClickZ.
"Young people check Facebook pages and Twitter feeds every few hours. Based on every quarterly report we get from Facebook, we find that this social network has successfully moved into mobile area."
Fratrik points out that marketers and advertisers are continuing to transition from traditional media to online and mobile. He adds.
"We expect that growth to continue. In our research, we see many marketers are incorporating successfully social and online digital sites into their campaigns."
The full report is available for BIA/Kelsey clients only. You can request the report here.
Courtesy of an article dated May 19, 2014 appearing in ClickZ
Facebook was being used by around 80% of the social audience in the US, the UK, and Brazil during the final stages of the World Cup—the most engagement with any social network in all three countries—according to recent data fromGlobalWebIndex.
The report was based on data from a panel of people age 16-64 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil who watched the World Cup and are active on social media.
Respondents were asked at the beginning of the World Cup which networks/messaging services they planned to use during the matches; they were then surveyed at the end of the tournament to find out which platforms they actually used.
Overall, the use of the social networks and messaging services examined increased significantly as the World Cup reached its final stages, GlobalWebIndex found.
Some key findings of the research:
Twitter was the second most popular social network after Facebook during the tournament, though it was used only half as much.
WhatsApp rose from the fifth most popular platform at the start of the World Cup to third by the end, overtaking both Google+ and Instagram. Most of that jump was due to high engagement in Brazil, showcasing the messaging platform's increasing importance in fast-growth markets.
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About the research:The report was based on data from a panel of people age 16-64 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil who watched the World Cup and are active on social media.
COMMENTARY: Adobe forecasted that the FIFA Brazil World Cup would break records for social media traffic, and this appears to be the case judging from the following infographics:
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Courtesy of an article dated July 17, 2014 appearing in MarketingProfs
GOOGLE IS KNOWN FOR ITS ZANY OFFICE DESIGNS, FROM STROOPWAFEL CEILINGS TO SLIDES TO SCOOTERS. AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR OFFICE'S FOOSBALL TABLE WAS COOL.
While most of us 9-to-5ers hunch over in boxy, fluorescent-lit cubicles, feeling lucky if our office has a snack machine, the Google employees of the world are zooming around on scooters, slipping down tube slides, playing on their indoor putting greens, and gloating about the awesomeness of their offices. If they can even be called offices--the designs of these nerd playgrounds so outclass your average corral of homogenous desks that we had to round them all up in a grand, jealousy (and sometimes eye-roll)-inducing slide show, on the occasion of Google unveiling its new Mexico headquarters. As one Google spokesperson told the New York Times, designers of Google offices have but one goal: “to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world.” Marvel at the most over-the-top workspaces of Google’s big happy techie family and lament not being better at computer science.
NEW YORK CITY
The off-the-wall design of this conference room in Google's New York City office uses cutaways of old iron bathtubs as sofas. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Occupying an entire city block, the New York-themed amusement park of Google’s Chelsea-based headquarters has hallways decorated with subway grates and fire hydrants, graffiti’d conference room doors, and chandeliers made of meat hooks, a nod to the nearby Meatpacking District. One conference room is set up like a tiny Seinfeldian New York apartment--think exposed brick, an electronic drum set, and awkward family photos on the wall. Victorian-style portraits of Star Wars characters decorate the library. Scooters provide its 3,000 employees transportation around the 2.9-million-square-foot building, which welcomes dogs.
GOOGLE NEW YORK -- Google’s Chelsea-based headquarters has hallways decorated with subway grates and fire hydrants, graffiti’d conference room doors, and chandeliers made of meat hooks. (Click Image To Enlarge)
GOOGLE NEW YORK -- Google's New York headquarters features a digital bookshelf. (Click Image To Enlarge)
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
GOOGLE AMSTERDAM -- Designed by local studio DDOCK, the Amsterdam office designs take inspiration from their location’s cultural history and visual flavor, capturing the playfulness inherent in so much Dutch design. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Designed by local studio D/DOCK, Google’s Amsterdam office designsalso take inspiration from their location’s cultural history and visual flavor, capturing the playfulness inherent in so much Dutch design. The ceiling panels are designed to look like stroopwafels--that quintessentially Dutch gooey waffle-cookie. Maybe Googlers draw inspiration from sugar cravings? 1960s caravans serve as meeting rooms, complete with lawn chairs and fake grills.
GOOGLE AMSTERDAM -- The ceiling panels are designed to look like stroopwafels--that quintessentially Dutch gooey waffle-cookie. Maybe Googlers draw inspiration from sugar cravings. (Click Image To Enlarge)
GOOGLE DUBLIN -- Top that with veritable jungles decorating workspaces, and Google's downright Dr. Seussian Dublin campus is possibly the most playground-like in the whole family. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Office foosball tables are old '90s startup news, but an office putting green? Top that with veritable jungles decorating workspaces, and Google's Dr. Seussian Dublin campus is possibly the most playground-like in the whole family.
GOOGLE DUBLIN -- Google's Dublin office is a spunky, brightly colored playground for nerds. (Click Image To Enlarge)
GOOGLE DUBLIN -- Lounge chairs, pool tables, and interesting light fixtures abound, all of which help create a relaxing, fun-filled work environment. (Click Image To Enlarge)
GOOGLE DUBLIN -- Office foosball tables are old '90s startup news, but an office putting green. (Click Image To Enlarge)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
GOOGLE TEL AVIV -- And, of course, there are Space-Age egg chairs. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Occupying eight floors of the Electra Tower in Tel Aviv, these offices look like what elves and fairies might build if they held board meetings. Designed by Camenzind Evolution in collaboration with Setter Architects and Studio Yaron Tal, the office features Space-Age egg chairs, ivy and flower-covered walls, shag carpeting, a Lego room, a tube slide between floors, and a view of the Mediterranean sea from the rooftop deck.
GOOGLE TEL AVIV -- Occupying eight floors of the Electra Tower in Tel Aviv, these offices look like what elves and fairies might build if they held board meetings. (Click Image To Enlarge)
GOOGLE TEL AVIV -- The office features ivy and flower-covered walls, shag carpeting, a Lego room, a tube slide between floors, and a view of the Mediterranean sea. (Click Image To Enlarge)
GOOGLE LONDON -- Google's London locale is anglophilic dreamhouse fit for Mr. Bean himself. (Click Image To Enlarge)
GOOGLE LONDON -- A conference room at Google London's 'Super HQ' (Click Image To Enlarge)
GOOGLE LONDON -- Google London's cafeteria offers employees a seeting area where they can meet in small groups. (Click Image To Enlarge)
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA
The original global headquarters in Mountain View, California, the heart of Silicon Valley, is a sprawling, sun-drenched campus known as the Googleplex. (Click Image To Enlarge)
The original global headquarters in Mountain View, California, the heart of Silicon Valley, is a sprawling, sun-drenched campus known as the Googleplex. “It’s easy to feel like we’re back in college,” Googlers brag in their career page's description of the campus. Here’s why: hundreds of bikes and scooters provide transportation from the conference rooms to the bowling alley, the climbing wall, beach volleyball, and weekly “TGIF” celebrations. Whether hacky sacks are involved in those celebrations, we don't want to know.
This hanging netting makes the perfect place to hack, come up with new ideas or just relax at Google's Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia office. (Click Image To Enlarge)
GOOGLE PITTSBURGH -- For their Pittsburgh headquarters, Google opted for exposed brick and peeled paint to channel the Steel City's rough-and-tumble vibe. (Click Image To Enlarge)
GOOGLE PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh office fills the penthouse of a 100-year-old Nabisco factory with pool tables and other crucial aids to techie focus. (Click Image To Enlarge)
In this hammock filled room in Google's Zurich, Switzerland office, employees hang from hammocks or slings to hack, read, invent or just relax. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Zurich Google employees are called Zooglers. And they're virtually required to contract Peter Pan Syndrome in this fireman pole, slide, videogame, and hammock-filled workspace.
COMMENTARY: No wonder Google seems to get the most talented software engineers and talent from around the world. Google offices are no ordinary by any means, but represent a sort of fantasy land for hackers.
Raj Rajaratnam, Galleon Group fund manager and co-founder, is arrested by U.S. marshals at his office in Manhattan in October 2009 for alledged violations of fraud and insider trading laws (Click Image To Enlarge)
Chiesi, who did a 15-month stint at a West Virginia prison camp for passing illegal stock tips to hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, returned in January to New York City and has been living at a federal halfway house in the north Bronx.
A svelte Chiesi, wearing a white sleeveless peplum top, jeans and pink and white scarf, said May 16 as she left a residence she shares with other newly freed prisoners. (Click Image To Enlarge)
She said of her new found freedom from federal prison on being found guilty f fraud and insider trading laws.
“It’s good to be back. I feel good. I feel great.”
The halfway house in the Bronx New York where Danielle Chiesi will spend six months in a community-based 're-entry' program before being placed on two-year probation. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Chiesi, giving her first post-prison interview, is one of more than 70 stock traders, analysts, lawyers and executives who have been convicted of insider trading since August 2009.The former teenage beauty queen, who once showed up at technology conferences wearing form-fitting clothes and low-cut tops, is among the most flamboyant defendants to be ensnared in the sweeping federal crackdown.
Two years ago Raj Rajaratnam, co-founder of the Galleon Group LLC, a NY hedge fund firm, received the longest-sentence ever handed down for violating insider trading laws. (Click Image To Enlarge)
The probe initially centered on Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group LLC co-founder who was convicted in 2011 of conspiracy after an eight-week trial.The Sri Lankan-born money manager, who allegedly earned at least $45 million on tips from corporate insiders, is serving an 11-year prison sentence.
Courtroom drawing shows Raj Rajaratnam, right; assist US attorney Andrew Michaelson, left, and Judge Richard Howell, top right, listening to Anil Kumar witness testimony during Rajaratnam's trial. Photograph: Shirley Shepard/AFP/Getty Images (Click Image To Enlarge)
At Rajaratnam’s trial, prosecutors played wiretapped recordings of his conversations with Chiesi, who worked as an analyst at New Castle Funds LLC in New York. In one, they speculated why another trader bought 1 million shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) before the public disclosure of a transaction between Sunnyvale, California-based AMD and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co. Prosecutors said they had a tip.
Chiesi said on the recording.
“That’s a very bold move to make. Do you think somebody knows what we know?”
Robert Moffat, a former senior executive of IBM whose phone conversations were recorded by the FBI in the Galleon hedge fund insider trading probe, pleaded guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy charges in March 2010 (Click Image To Enlarge)
Chiesi pleaded guilty to conspiracy before the trial and went to prison in October 2011. In her guilty plea, she admitted that she solicited inside tips from technology industry executives. Among them was Robert Moffat, a former International Business Machines Corp. executive with whom she had an intimate relationship, he said in his guilty plea. Moffat got a six-month sentence.
Chiesi said in the May 16 interview.
“I was complicit.”
Chiesi did her time in Alderson, West Virginia, at a minimum-security camp in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Martha Stewart was once jailed there for lying to authorities about her sale of stocks.
Aerial View of Alderson Federal Prison Camp in Wesst Virgnia, the same facility where Danielle Chiesi did her time and Martha Stewart served time for lying about insider trading. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Chiesi’s home was an 8-foot by 10-foot cubicle. Her cellmate was doing time for a drug offense, as were many at the prison. She spoke to family on brief phone calls and tutored other inmates in math. She went running and tried to exercise in a sparse gym that lacked weights.
Chiesi said she earned respect from fellow inmates because she hadn’t cooperated with prosecutors.
“Not being a rat works. I didn’t talk, I didn’t speak, I kept to myself."
Chiesi said of a term she described as “very difficult.” Her cellmate was “an inspiration” who “really helped me get through.”
Chiesi left Alderson in early January after shaving time off her sentence for good behavior and participation in a drug and alcohol program. She headed for the community-based “re-entry” program in the Bronx, where she’ll spend six months before returning to an apartment in Manhattan.
“When my family picked me up, you cannot even believe the feeling. I had my mom, my brother, my sister, my nieces. They drove outside of the Alderson gates, and I jumped out of the car. It was surreal.”
She told her family.
“All I could say was, ‘I did it,’”
Now Chiesi is living on a tree-lined Bronx street that’s a far cry from the tony midtown Manhattan neighborhood that was once home. She has a room in a five-story facility housing men and women which is staffed by security officers guarding the entrance. Nearby are shuttered storefronts and a jeans shop selling $6 tank tops.
Chiesi, who is working for her brother in a job she declined to identify, comes and goes without an escort.
“Life is hard. I didn’t come back to something that’s perfect.”
At her sentencing, Chiesi’s lawyers argued that her former boss, Mark Kurland, co-founder of New Castle Funds, had used their “toxic” sexual relationship to manipulate her into feeding him tips. In the May 16 interview, Chiesi asked about Kurland, who was sentenced to 27 months in the case.
Mark Kurland was Danielle Chiesi's boss at hedge fund firm Galleon Group. On May 2, 2009, he departs federal court in New York after being sentenced to 27 months in prison for fraud and insider trading. (Click Image To Enlarge)
“I want to know what Mark Kurland is doing now.”
Chiesi’s lawyer, Don Buchwald, said in an interview on May 16 that Chiesi must serve an additional two years on supervised release, a form of probation, after she leaves the halfway house.
Chiesi says she’s resilient and is eager to move on with her life.
“I don’t have a career anymore, but I have drive and ambition, and I will make it work. I’m back.”
The case is U.S. v. Rajaratnam, 09-cr-1184, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
COMMENTARY: In a blog post dated May 15, 2011, I blogged about the trial of Danielle Chiesi for fraud and insider trading and how she cunningly manipulated numerous individuals into providing her information that she fed Galleon Group co-founder Raj Rajaratnam to help him make millions on securities trades.
Let's look at the key players in the insider trading trial of Galleon Group co-founder Raj Rajaratnam, and how much money he made from the securities trades.
Click Image To Enlarge
He stood trial in U.S. v Rajaratnam (09 Cr. 01184) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and on May 11, 2011 was found guilty on all 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud. On October 13, 2011, Rajaratnam was sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined a criminal and civil penalty of over $150 million combined.
Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty on all 14 charges against him for fraud and violatons of insider trading. (Click Image To Enlarge)
Rajaratnam is a very sick prisoner, suffering from Type II diabetes. Because of his medical condition, as of January 14, 2013 Rajaratnam is incarcerated at Federal Medical Center, Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts, an administrative facility housing male offenders requiring specialized or long-term medical or mental health care. Rajaratnam's release date is July 4, 2021.
The Danielle Chiesi case is absolutely incredible. It's difficult to believe that this bitch went to such lengths like sleeping with her victims to extract insider trader information to make a few bucks. The only other case I can compare it to is fictitious, from the blockbuster film "Wall Street" starring Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas. In this film, Bud Fox, the a young stockbroker played by Sheen in the film, is hired by Gordon Gekko, a character very similar to Raj Rajaratnam, to get "information," by any means necessary. My only hope is that Hollywood makes a film from Ms Chiesi's exploits. I am looking forward to it, and will cover this bitch's exploits after she is finally given her freedom from justice.
Here's a short video clip of Danielle Chiesi and her attorney Alan Kaufman following her sentencing. Get a load of this bitch.
Courtesy of an article dated May 17, 2014 appearing in Bloomberg