Artificial intelligence—AI—is getting those investor checks. In Q2 alone, AI startups raked in $7.4B in funding. And if you look at the exits, you can see why VCs are bullish. It’s a sector that’s delivering some very valuable exits.
Since 2013, seven AI companies have had billion-dollar exists—either through IPO or M&A—four of which have taken place in the last two years. Here’s a chart from CB Insights with all seven.
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10 Bizarre Things About The WeWork IPO Filing
As WeWork goes public in its recently announced IPO, professionals and entrepreneurs better take note. The sharing economy is spreading its wings beyond Uber and AirBnB.
Although less well known than those icons of the sharing economy, WeWork could change how we work in the years ahead.
That said, its IPO is a bit bizarre, as the media has been quick to point out. Here’s why.
1. We Work Is Running Spectacular Losses
In 2018, the company had a net loss of $1.9 billion. In the first 6 months of 2019 alone, it lost another $900 million.
2. Investors Worry The Company Will Run Out Of Cash
MKM Partners’ Rohit Kulkarni said the company faces a real prospect of running out of cash in a few months’ time.
3. WeWork Is Spending Money Like It’s 1999
The startup has a burn rate of $150m-$200m a month.
4. Over $47 billion In Future Lease Obligations
WeWork will need to make a ton of money in the future to make it all work.
5. Its Contracts With Users Are Short Term
The startup keeps things flexible for users but is taking on more of the risk itself.
6. The Company Could Be On The Hook If Users Leave
If users defect, WeWork’s rent obligations remain. This should worry any investor.
7. WeWork’s Business Model Is Iffy At Best
The company has declining revenue per user, on top of its failure to be profitable. In other words, things could get worse for investors.
8. Conflicts Of Interest With The CEO
WeWork leases some buildings owned in part by CEO Adam Neumann, paying millions in rents for it.
9. WeWork’s China Assets A Puzzle For Investors
The company’s assets in China are puzzling for investors, and they carry unique risks yet to be fully understood.
10. Despite All Its Troubles, WeWork Has A Staggering Valuation
This unicorn has a valuation of $47 billion. Some in the business media say it’s based on smoke and mirrors. The IPO could be a good test of whether the valuation will hold.
5 Steps To Create A Freedom-Based Team That Love What They Do
(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.)
Your team should love coming to work every day and they should love what they are doing. The worst thing a leader can do for their team is to restrict the ways in which they work and not allow them to do the work they think matters most. Here are five strategies for creating a freedom-based team that loves what they do.
According to a 2017 Gallup Employee Engagement Survey, 33% of U.S. professionals are engaged, 51% are disengaged and 16% are actively engaged. Freedom-based companies, by contrast, can typically boast that more than 70 percent of their professionals are “engaged.” These numbers bring into question how many of your team members are actually engaged in the work they are doing and how can you help boost this number?
FIRST STEP: LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR
Your team members will never believe that you trust their insight or intelligence if you are always the person who has the best solution. You need to allow your team to shine with the freedom to succeed or fail on their own. Your team is a reflection of your leadership. Remember, there is not only one style of leadership that works.
SECOND STEP: SHARE THE COMPANY’S VISION
A shared vision is fundamental when it comes to creating a freedom-based team. This will provide a common goal and establish a criterion for teams to make educated decisions. Qualified team members do not need to be told how to do their jobs. When you set them free to explore their talents and call the shots, they will have the potential to perform even better.
THIRD STEP: CREATE CLARITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
There’s nothing more effective than being clear on what we’re all trying to accomplish while being accountable for the short-term success of each and every project. Like stated above, the combination of this with vision unlocks tremendous progress.
FOURTH STEP: DISCUSS ROADBLOCKS WITH YOUR TEAM
It’s very important to create time during the week to do 10-15 minute huddle sessions, whether through online collaboration tools if you’re not in the same location —or even better, in person. So everyone FEELS the progress together. You feed off the energy of the whole —and I feel like that’s missing a lot of times. Everyone is trying to shine themselves, but when you feed off the energy of the WHOLE, it’s more powerful.
FIFTH STEP: TAKE ON THE ROLE OF GUARDIAN OF YOUR FREE TEAM
When your team takes on more responsibility and make more decisions on their own, there will be less for you to handle, which means you can abstain from using your formal authority and serve as a guardian instead. Your new role will be the tie that keeps everything strewn together and keeps the company operating successfully and efficiently.
Your team will love coming to work if they feel they are valued, trusted and have the freedom to work in the way they do best. These five steps will help you accomplish establishing a freedom-based team.
Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here.