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There’s only one brand that everyone knows when it comes to online sports betting: Bovada. This legendary sportsbook has been operating for well over 15 years, serving customers from both North America and Europe. They pride themselves on “…never missing a payout…”, redefining the meaning of QUALITY customer service.
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Short the literal FUCK out of IQ

Disclaimer and Risks: This is not financial advice, and you must always be cautious when betting against Winnie the Pooh. One major risk factor is the fact that BIDU owns 50% of IQ, and even more worrisome is that 30% of BIDU’s revenue stems from IQ. Whether or not China will intervene to prevent the plunge in value of its own version of Google is unknown, but is certainly a risk that should be hedged against. I’m very confident on this trade and have verified some of the more important arguments lined in the paper, but as always do your own DD and hedge appropriately.
Hello you beautiful bastards, it’s been a while. I’m back with another DD, but this time it’ll be a little different than my usual options-exclusive DD. As we all know, volatility was crazy during most of last week, making the Unusual Options Strategy extremely difficult to use due to the amount of noise that was in the options market. In addition, me and the gang are hard at work perfecting our analysis and filtration strategies, so it was a good week to diverge from my usual spiel on Unusual Options.
Now I’ve already seen a couple posts on iQIYI, or $IQ and its potentially fraudulent financial statements. However, me and my team did a deep dive into IQ and the Wolfpack Research report on the subject, and I wanted to offer my own voice in this discussion.
What is IQ?
About a month ago, Wolfpack Research released this report on its findings of evidence of IQ inflating its numbers. While Wolfpack doesn’t exactly have the best track record, the report was corroborated by Muddy Waters, who have a much cleaner track record for spotting these potential frauds.
IQ is known as the "Netflix of China", and is valued at around 12 billion dollars currently. It allows users to stream videos. The company is based in Beijing and is partly owned by Baidu, the "Google of China". It had its IPO in 2018 and is currently sitting at $17.95 per share.
Some of you have pointed out that it’s not the same situation as LK, as LK was cut and dry fraud and the IQ is simply inflating the numbers. I am here to tell you not only is IQ inflating the numbers, it’s actively taking steps to disguise its completely fabricated revenue, user count, and investments. Here is a detailed outline of what exactly the Wolfpack Report has found and see for yourselves if you think IQ should be valued at 12 billion right now.
How is IQ inflating its share prices?
There's more and more evidence piling up against IQ. Here is Wolfpack's full report. There are numerous red flags on IQ's financial statements, and the fact that the stock is still trading at such a premium is absolute insanity. Any single one of the factors above could mean a HUGE drop in share price, and yet we have almost a dozen of these factors congruent to each other. It’s safe to assume investigations of IQ are already well underway, and any negative news will send this stock drilling to the fucking core.
Options Activity
In terms of Options Activity, IQ had a fairly large put buy ahead of their earnings. However, that is not the real focus. If you were to look at the option chain on the LEAPS for IQ, you'll notice huge open interest in the January 2021 put contracts. This indicates that either funds are hedging against a downturn in IQ or are betting for a downturn in IQ's price similar to LK's earlier this year. Either situation plays very much into the bear thesis. There is also significant put option open interest on BIDU.
What the move?
What to play? IQ is a fraudulent company, so their earnings report on Monday is not necessarily going to reflect reality, and therefore the stock price will most likely not drill. However, the prices on the May 22 expiry options imply that you would only need a 1-2 dollar movement in price to be profitable with a strangle, regardless of IV, thus allowing you to profit from both sides in the short term.
In terms of the long term play, IQ will go down just like LK did, it's just a matter of when. LK tanked around 3 months after the Wolfpack report was released. This current report was released April 7th, and already numerous agencies and organizations are investigating IQ and its business partners, as well as several independent law firms.
My Personal Position and TL,DR
I’m personally going with the IQ Sept 18th 15p in order to balance out my cost basis and risk. They’re fairly cheap and will give me plenty of time to roll out to December puts if price action hasn’t moved by July. I’m hedging with 5/22 18C to play earnings and make sure I don’t get burnt if there happens to be a run-up and short term volatility.

UPDATE: Huge put buying and call selling right now, looks like institutions are catching on.
UPDATE: Earnings Call is 9:00 EST, we will wait until then.
EOD May 19: Huge blocks of IQ were sold AH, and new legislation is expected to pass subjecting Chinese companies to regulation by US based auditors and the PCAOB, potentially causing a mass exodus from Chinese equities. BEAR GANG
May 20 UPDATE: As will meade says, wow
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I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part Two

I hope you all have taken full advantage of the past 48 hours or so to regain some sense of normalcy after our adventures through Part 1 of Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot! Without further ado, Part Two:
I resume my journey through the truly incomprehensible mind of Kelly Bensimon with a chapter entitled, "Thursday: Tricks of My Trade." Now that we've learned about the basic building blocks of hotness, Kelly promises to share even more hard-earned advice to help us really kick things up a notch. And, as she reassures us:
I'm actually glad for the mistakes I've made because anyone who doesn't make mistakes doesn't learn, and if you don't learn, you're boring!
And if you're boring, you're not HOT! I think I'm starting to get the hang of this!
One of Kelly's most important life lessons came at her first horse show, when she made an unbelievably devastating misstep: "I decided to have an egg on a bagel from the food-service van." What kind of unimaginable ripple effects did this poor decision set off? I continue on to learn that Kelly "did all right in the competition." And…that's literally the whole story. Kelly legitimately refers to this as "one of my biggest lessons," as it taught her "to never eat more than I normally would." If life-changing breakthroughs were this easily sparked in my own life, I can't even begin to imagine how self-actualized I would be at this point.
At this point in my reading, I have reached the book's first insert, which contains about a dozen glossy color photos from various phases of Kelly's life. Unfortunately, I am far too preoccupied by this picture, in which a carefree, wind-swept Kelly clenches her infant daughter under one arm with all the grace of an NFL wide receiver, to pay the rest of the spread much mind.
We continue on as Kelly introduces new dimensions to the basic tips she's previously introduced. For example, you may have had some vague idea that water was important, but Kelly -- always there to help us learn and improve -- digs into the specifics to make sure we're up to date on the HOTtest tricks of the trade:
Staying hydrated is important no matter what you're doing, so I always try to drink eight glasses or about a liter of water a day. Soda isn't water. Coffee isn't water. Water is water. Drink throughout the day; don't try to get it all down at once. You wouldn't drown an orchid, so don't drown yourself.
I am putting in my formal request for a Public Service Announcement in this format, but using the last line of that passage. Also, Kelly clearly does not know how poorly I tend to my houseplants.
The next page informs us that, "hot isn't just caliente; it's also spicy and sultry." Kelly promptly launches into yet another list of miscellaneous grocery items, this time focused specifically on "red-hot foods." Except it includes entries like "popcorn with sugar and cinnamon," and "Mike and Ike candy," so I'm not convinced Kelly didn't just lose track of the thread entirely by the time we got a few items in. However, this does seem like an appropriate time to introduce this picture, from the book's second photo insert, which clearly depicts the sleep paralysis demon that has haunted my dreams for the past several nights. We're also treated to this chapter's first "hot button issue" panel, in which Kelly pulls back the curtain on the shadowy, pro-salt cabal trying to control us all with their anti-sodium legislative agenda:
We keep reading about how bad sodium is for our health, but if you eat fresh foods that you prepare yourself, you can determine and control the amount of salt you want to use. I, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, am perfectly capable of deciding how much salt I want to put on my food. I don't need anyone else to salt my food for me. I know that the amount of salt I choose to sprinkle on my food is not going to hurt me.
I read on to find a two-page spread in which Kelly expounds, in rhapsodic praise to rival that of Song of Solomon, upon her ardor for her beloved dehydrator -- "I though I was in love with coffee, but now I think my dehydrator is my truest love." Most of the passage is taken up by an unstructured list of the various things Kelly has attempted to dehydrate ("cucumber," "mangoes," "avocado") but she does manage to squeeze in a few infomercial-ready lines -- "Really, you should buy one; I promise you won't be sorry."
Since repetition is the key to reinforcing new concepts, I appreciate that Kelly's next list (of "a few more lean tricks I've learned along the way") repeats a note she originally relayed to us just a few pages ago:
Drink water throughout the day (not all at one sitting).
She's also been thoughtful enough to provide a list of resources for us to use as we soldier on along the perilous journey to HOT. After all, as Kelly says, "I don’t expect you to carry this book wherever you go -- as much as I would love that." As someone who has never before ventured into the wild world of cyberspace, I really appreciated Kelly introducing me to so many fun, useful websites that I might want to check out! In case you, too, just haven't figured out how to navigate this whole Internet thing, I've included a few examples below:
www.amazon.com
One-stop shopping for just about any book, periodical, or product you might want to read or buy in order to get HOT.

www.espn.com
Everything you need to know to stay up to date on any sport.

www.webmd.com
Useful, up-to-date, trustworthy information on medical and health issues.

www.yummly.com
Claims to have "every recipe in the world"
Can't wait to check these out later! That Amazon one sounds super cool!
I'm reminded quickly just how inelegant the transitions in this book are as we move directly from that list into the following:
I suggest that you take a picture of yourself every day…Some days when you're feeling your fattest, you may be surprised to see that you really look great.
Okay, so fat is NOT HOT. Except being comfortable in your body is HOT. And trying to be skinny is NOT HOT. But being skinny is HOT. Thank goodness I still have a few more chapters to go -- I clearly still have a ways to go before I truly understand the logic of HOTness. As it stands, I must admit that I'm a bit baffled.
Of course, returning to the previous bit of advice, Kelly doesn't actually have to worry about taking her own pictures like us plebeians -- "Having been photographed so often has provided me with a permanent retrospective catalogue of my life." The chapter closes with these words of wisdom:
The best kind of vanity is being vain about what you put in your body.
Friday's chapter promises to introduce us to the world of "Hot Couture," and I am excited to see what tips and tricks Kelly has managed to accrue over her lifetime in the cutthroat world of modeling . But first, we abruptly transition to a story about Kelly meeting Madonna shortly after both women had given birth. Kelly had "gained a healthy fifty pounds," which I am led to believe, from the context of the anecdote, is NOT HOT. Madonna, on the other hand, was "flat-stomached" and therefore "HOT and cool." Of course, Kelly reassures us hurriedly that she lost all the weight within the following six weeks and was "actually thinner than I'd been prepregnancy." I am at an utter loss as to what the point of this story could possibly be, but -- blessedly -- Kelly is gracious enough to explain:
So what's the lesson here? That Madonna had personal trainers and chefs to whip her back into shape, and I didn't -- and still don’t. I shouldn't have been comparing myself to her in the first place. My advice to you is: don’t compare yourself to anyone else, only to your own personal best.
This is a perfect example of something Kelly does throughout this book, which is to present a completely reasonable piece of advice (don’t compare yourself to others), but couched within such a bizarre and logically disorganized narrative that by the time I reach the ultimate moral of the story, my brain feels like it's been run through a series of meat grinders, and I'm reduced to just nodding along in bemused acceptance.
We get a "Kelly's Cardinal Rule" reminding us to "let your body be what your body is and be happy with what you've got." I'm starting to wonder if there is some sort of Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde thing going on behind the scenes here, in which two versions of Kelly are frantically grappling over control of the book's body-positivity dial. I'm literally don't even have to flip the page to see Kelly commiserating with us that "we all have days or occasions when we feel fat" and quipping about her "go-to fat outfit." But also:
Stop praying for what you don't have and be grateful for what you've got.
This amount of cognitive dissonance is truly proof that Kelly contains multitudes. Or has recently acquired some sort of debilitating short-term amnesia. Nevertheless, we continue:
But whatever your shape, show it off. Don’t try to hide it. Hiding is not hot.
Kelly next walks us through figuring out which "season" we are, based on the wisdom extolled in "Color Me Beautiful, the groundbreaking book that was so wildly successful in the early 80s." It's no surprise to me that Kelly, who earlier encouraged us to make our lives easier by using our PDAs, finds this to be an exciting new trend to share. Also, in case you weren't aware, "hair color is also important. You can lighten it or darken it or cover the gray." Lighten it or darken it? The boundaries of my mental universe are truly expanding.
Some more fashion tidbits:
Scarves are hippie chic, cool, and always HOT.

If you're narrow, show off how narrow you are with a monochromatic palette.

Ankles are the new cleavage!
Narrow ankles only, I presume. Kelly's selfless, giving nature is highlighted yet again in the following passage, in which she explains:
All these celebrities have stylists who pull the clothes, accessories, and shoes that make them look the way they do. They charge a lot of money for what they do, so why not get some free advice based on my experience.
And what, pray tell, is this coveted advice that Kelly is so lovingly sharing with her readers, free of charge?
  1. Save sweatpants for the gym.
  2. Save PJs for the bedroom.
  3. Dress as if you were the boss.
  4. Remember what Carrie Bradshaw says: "Nothing is casual anymore, even when it says so on the invitation."
  5. Manolo Blahniks are a girl's best friend.
Okay, so far be it from me to complain about the quality of free advice. But. Out of the five pearls of wisdom that make up the "KKBStyle Rules," two of them are rudimentary instructions to wear somewhat-situationally-appropriate clothing, and the other three are the kind of cute sayings that you would find on a piece of poorly bedazzled wall art in the clearance aisle of your local TJMaxx. I'm not impressed.
Kelly next tells us how important it is to eat well and exercise, even "when you're premenstrual or having your period." That way, as she continues on, "you'll feel better because your endorphins will be flowing while your body is sloughing off unwanted endometrium and mucus." To be fair, Unwanted Endometrium does sound like a sick band name.
Thankfully, the mental image of Kelly's mucus slough is promptly booted from my mind by a careening diatribe about the color red (HOT!):
I even painted my nails red the minute I started writing this book. I wanted to see my short red nails tapping away on my Macbook Pro. Almost every red dress is smokin' HOT, and I've never met a guy who doesn't think a woman in a red dress isn't hot. He's a liar if he denies it.
To repeat, Kelly says she's "never met a guy who doesn’t think a woman in a red dress isn't hot." Poor dear got a bit carried away with her negatives, but I'm sure she'll redeem herself in no time:
When I was sitting in the front row of a Marc Jacobs fashion show a few years ago, I wore a full, red short skirt, a tight red sweater, and red open-toed shoes. One of the editors from The New York Times was sitting across from me, and as we were waiting for the show to begin I kept crossing and recrossing my legs to make him laugh.
Sure, Kelly. To make him laugh. I can only assume she must have written some kind of hilariously clever joke on the gusset of her underwear to have had this editor so tickled pink red.
It was a long wait and after a while some guy I didn't know who was at the other end of the row, leapt towards me and screamed that he was obsessed with my feet. How crazy is it that red open-toed shoes and red toenails could create such a reaction. Red is HOT, even stalker HOT. Yikes!
I'm not clear where "stalker HOT" fits into this whole complex web, but it's reassuring to know that a wise soul like Kelly has such a nuanced appreciation of all of the different ways to be hot. She also gives us some "HOT tips for heating up your image." Like,
Put on a pair of jeans and a white tee shirt.

Put your hair in a ponytail.

Put on a pair of hoop earrings.
And also
Wear your jeans a size smaller instead of a size larger.
For some reason not entirely clear to me at this moment, wearing jeans in your actual size does not seem to be an option.
The chapter continues with a reminder to "remember what's on top of your head!"
There's nothing hotter than a HOT head of hair (unless it's a hunky bald guy).
Kelly follows up by offering a list of what she calls "HOT healthy options." Based on the preceding paragraph, you might assume that these tips would have something to do with haircare and hair styling. However, you would be wrong. Instead, we're instructed to:
Enjoy as much watermelon as you like.

Pack a picnic lunch of dehydrated fruit, chamomile iced tea, and mini pizzas made with corn tortillas, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Eat your picnic in the park.

Come up with something fun you want to try and do it!
Personally, it seems like a bit of a cop-out to make one of the items on your list of fun things to do "make up your own fun thing to do." But who knows? Maybe cop-outs are HOT!
Before my faith in our fearless leader starts to waver, however, I read on through the end of the chapter, and my surety is promptly restored:
Besides my hair and my legs, the one thing people always ask me about the way I look is how I keep my teeth so white. And yes, that's also a matter of genetics. I'm blessed with the whitest teeth on the planet, and, no, I've never had them professionally bleached.
The weekend begins as I turn the page to the penultimate chapter -- "Saturday: Heat Up Your HOT Image with Healthy Options Today." Saturdays, as Kelly tells us, are for fun activities. For example:
If you're in the mall, go to different stores and figure out which looks will make you HOT. Ask other shoppers for advice.
Also:
Parks are great for people-watching. Who looks fit and healthy?
I sincerely hope that any and all of my friends would give me a stern talking-to if I informed them that my weekend plans consisted of going to a park and…pointing out people I think aren't healthy enough?
Kelly then warns us against overindulging on late-night snacks or alcoholic beverages, lest we wake up Sunday feeling "bloating, sluggish, and with deep regrets." Presumably, Kelly then proceeded to rail a massive line of cocaine and hammer out the following frenetic spiel:
You're not going to get fat from having a few drinks a week. You will get fat if your routine is to drink, eat late, and then lie around watching television the next day, eating and making bad food choices. Going out is fun, but when you sacrifice the next day, it's never fun enough. Don't have regrets; enjoy every day. This is a life plan, and yesterday isn't coming back ever again.
The chapter comes to a close with a reminder to "wrap up every day with a great big bow and be ready for your next adventure. But before we close out our week of HOT, we're provided with what I anticipate will be an incredibly useful reference material for us all, the "KKBfit HOT Quiz." If you'd like to take the quiz yourself, you can find it here. However, I'm not entirely sure I would classify it as a "quiz," since it seems to be mostly a set of questions followed by Kelly's feedback on various possible responses. For example:
  1. How Kelly Green are you?
I had a Kelly Green Juice -- Wasn't it yummy?
I had a smoothie from the health food store with a splash of spinach -- Great choice!
I had kale chips, spinach, and quinoa for dinner last night -- I bet you woke up feeling great this morning!
Other?
I presume that the lack of response after the "Other?" choice is supposed to represent Kelly staring at me in deranged disappointment for a few painfully protracted seconds. Some questions, like the one above, don't seem to have any wrong answers at all. In contrast, other questions have clear wrong answers, which Kelly wastes no time in making apparent:
  1. Are you getting enough protein? How many days did you eat chicken, fish, or meat for at least one meal?
I had a grilled chicken salad for dinner on three different days -- That's good, but I wish you'd get a little more adventurous in your choices.

  1. How KKBfit are you?
Haven't had a meal since last night, but I'm going to skip breakfast and go on a run. I won't eat anything until lunch. -- Sorry, but starving your body is not KKBfit.

  1. Are you drinking enough?
I drink when I'm exercising but that's about it -- Not good enough! Try harder next week.
The quiz ends, leaving me entirely unsure of whether or not I've actually made any forward progress towards my HOTness goals, but the next page does promise help for those who "still need more inspiration." Here, it seems that Kelly has compiled a loose assortment of quotes, most of which (I have a sneaking suspicion) were found by searching the keyword "hot" on BrainyQuote.com. Also, this masterpiece from Kelly's ex-husband, noted fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon:
HOT--
It is not about the look,
It is not only about the charm,
It is the perfect combination:
Sweet and tough,
Sexy and reserved,
Fragile and powerful,
And definitely smart.
-- Gilles Bensimon
Move over, Rupi Kaur! I hope with every fiber of my being that Gilles Bensimon has published his collected poetry in some kind of volume that I could purchase, read, and have, I'm sure, nothing but positive things to say about. After about a dozen similar quotations, Kelly continues:
Now, as you get ready for Sunday Funday, take a few minutes to think about how you define HOT. Has your definition changed or evolved since you started reading this book? If so, I'm doing my job.
In all honesty, my definition of HOT has definitely been…affected by this experience. So we'll call that a win! Kelly tells us a few stories about times when her friends and family members have come to her for guidance on how to be hot. She explains:
I'm not the food police, but I've made myself the Sven-arbiter (as opposed to Svengali) of what's HOT and what's not.
Case in point:
It's just not hot to belong to the clean plate club.
The chapter closes with a list titled "Why Don't You," which I believe is supposed to be a list of fun activities we can try during a Sunday Funday. Or possibly a list of terrible life hacks for stoned college freshmen:
Use an electric teapot as a clothing steamer.

Make grilled cheese sandwiches or press wraps using a hot clothes iron.
There are very few things sadder to me that imagining someone taking Kelly up on this last bit of advice as a fun way to liven up what must be the most preternaturally boring existence possible. If your idea of fun is white bread and Kraft Singles getting slowly warmed over on your clothing iron, I can only imagine the fit of hysterics that you'd be thrown into by a passable Minions meme.
And that brings us to the end of the week. But not -- lucky you! -- to the end of this book. Au contraire -- the remaining 100 pages or so of I Can Make You Hot! feature dozens of unique recipes from the culinary mind of none other than the indomitable Kelly Bensimon herself. In her intro, however, she makes it clear that
No one on earth would ever call me a chef.
Of course not, Kelly -- they'd call you a cook. Otherwise, it's creepy.
This portion of the book begins, reasonably enough, with Breakfasts. These include such thoughtfully named delicacies as "My Favorite Cereal" and "My Favorite Pancakes." The recipe for the latter begins with the following introduction:
I'm not the greatest pancake maker, and I probably never will be. But what I am very good at is thinking of unusual things and doing them.
Frankly, I can't argue with that. As she continues:
When in pancake doubt, have fun, add fruit, and see if pancakes can be a vehicle for creating great memories for your family.
Next time I'm in pancake doubt, I'll know just what to do! We move right along into the Soups and Salads section, and are promptly introduced to Kelly's "Jimmy Achoo's Chicken Soup." Which is apparently a play on Jimmy Choo and also described by Kelly as "filled with veggie exploitation," which sounds terrifying. Of the next recipe, "Rich and Skinny Cauliflower Soup with Kale Chips," Kelly reflects:
I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Internet. I wish I could tell you exactly where, but I can't.
The recipe calls for kale chips, which Kelly goes out of her way to inform us can be purchased "at health food stores and many well-stocked supermarkets." We also get a few general "HOT salad tips" that can be applied to many of the recipes throughout this book, such as
There are so many different types of lettuces available today! Try different ones to see which you like best
and
When you order a salad in a restaurant, ask for the dressing on the side. You're a grown-up and you should get to decide how much you want to use.
With that under our belts, the grown-ups among us move on to "Meat, Chicken, and Fish." In her recipe for "Grilled Rib Eye with Herbes de Provence", Kelly tells us about meeting the famous chef who inspired this dish:
When I met Eric, who was still in his thirties at the time, he still had dark hair. I was caught off guard because I thought all chefs were older, had gray hair, and smelled like garlic.
So perhaps Bethenny should have taken it as a compliment? Kelly continues,
He's since invited me many times to go into his kitchen and cook with him, but my fear of losing a finger by being overzealous has prohibited me from accepting.
It's unclear to me exactly what this means or why Kelly would even be particularly worried about this possibility. Does she have habit of excitedly snatching vegetables out from other people's knives? Does Eric have a reputation for slicing anyone who dares to get in his way? Before I make any headway with this particular mystery, we're introduced to the next recipe, the "Pencil-Thin Skirt Steak." As we learn, "Everyone looks slim in a pencil skirt, so it's only fitting that skirt steak is one of the leanest cuts of beef you can buy." We get a recipe for "Sultry Roast Chicken" in which Kelly shares with us that "in fact, chicken without ginger doesn't taste like chicken to me anymore." This would be more believable if we weren't, a mere two pages later, introduced to a notably ginger-free recipe for "Second-Chance Chicken." As Kelly explains,
I hate the idea of leftovers. To me, eating leftovers means you're too lazy to start over, and I've never wanted my girls to think that we weren't starting fresh.
In the introduction to the recipe for "Bad Girl Wings," Kelly gives us yet another poignant insight into her life as a mother:
These chicken wings are Sea's favorite. I'm sure she loves them because she knows I love wings (she's a cutie like that).
It would obviously be ludicrous to assume that Sea actually enjoys chicken wings authentically. Much more likely that she just loves them because Kelly does. HOT! In a segment labeled "hasta la vista taco bell," Kelly recounts a traumatic experience in which she "discovered that my favorite food choices [at Taco Bell] added up to 580 calories." To me, this seems like a perfectly reasonable amount of calories for one daily meal out of three, but according to Kelly, I am embarrassingly off the mark. Rather, she sighs, "I guess that means my Taco Bell days are over -- unless I decide to chance [sic] Sunday Funday into Fatso Food Day." Not HOT.
Kelly tells us about the creative process behind the development of the next recipe, "Spicy Sultry Shrimp and Mango Stir-Fry" (which, for the record, is the second recipe to have the word "sultry" in its title).
This was one of the first dishes I made when I started to cook -- as a science experiment. My "method" was to think of foods I loved and which ones I thought would go well together.
Fascinating! Think of ingredients you like and combine them into a dish that you will then likely also like! The next recipe, for "Kelly's Kalamari," features the following introduction:
I still love fried calamari, but it doesn't love me. Whenever I eat it, it goes right to my stomach and makes a little pooch -- eww!
As a reminder, this is the same Kelly Bensimon who told us that loving our bodies is HOT and dieting is die + t. But also, eww!
We trek along into the next portion of the recipe book, succinctly titled "Pizza, Pasta, Potatoes, Grains, Vegetables, and Sides." We get a recipe for "Pizzzzzzzza!," which instructs the reader to obtain pizza dough, pizza sauce, mozzerella cheese, salt and pepper. Spread out the dough, add sauce and cheese, and cook! This is yet another time I'm glad Kelly told us early on in this book to take detailed notes -- these kinds of nuanced culinary creations can only come from the mind of a true master.
The same kind of true master who would, as we soon learn, conceive of this particular travesty -- "Pink Pizza." Imagine with me, for a moment, that a dear friend invites you over to their house for dinner. I'm making pizza! they implore you. Come over -- we'll hang out, have a couple beers, catch up on old times! Excited for a chance to relive the glory days, you eagerly accept, only to be met -- upon your arrival -- with this abomination. I thought you said we were having pizza? you sputter nervously. This is pizza, your friend intones, as their eyes slowly fade to black and their hands reach out to wrap themselves around your throat.
Kelly goes on to share a recipe for an "Asian-flavored noodle dish" that she has christened (and it truly pains me to type this), "Me Love You Springtime Noodles." Somewhere, the last ember of hope for humanity quietly fizzles out.
The following recipe, for "Pasta with Oddkavodka Sauce" begins with a warning:
When you make this (especially for children) just be sure you cook off the alcohol so that you aren't serving vodka to minors or have to assign a designated driver for your guests.
This seems like reasonable and conscientious advice. Until I read on and learn that the recipe calls for 1/8 cup vodka, and makes four servings. If your guests need a designated driver after consuming a half-tablespoon of vodka each, I would strongly encourage them to seek medical advice forthwith.
I am reminded once again how different Kelly's and my worlds are with the following exclamation:
Try using quinoa in this recipe instead of the rice -- I call that having your cake and eating it too!
Oh, to live a life in which your most selfish indulgence was quinoa. I suppose this should have prepared me for a few pages later, when Kelly remarks:
Both hummus and guacamole make great toppings for steak or fish. They're my version of béarnaise sauce.
I love hummus. Hummus is great. But there is no possible existing parallel universe in which hummus and béarnaise sauce are interchangeable. One of the final recipes in this section is cryptically titled "Have an Impromptu Pepper Party" and instructs the reader to scoop out the insides of a bell pepper and stuff it with "whatever ingredients suit your fancy." Again, I feel like this fails to meet the definition of an actual recipe, per se, but it is supposedly "quick, fun, and satisfying."
We're nearing the book's end (for real this time) with a section on "Breads and Desserts." This includes an inspirational passage in which Kelly shares a personal anecdote:
On Season 4 of the Real Housewives of New York City, I made a mixed fruit pie for my kids with what was left over in the fruit bowl…Don't be afraid to try new things, make mistakes, and have fun doing it.
I can only hope to someday be brave enough and fearless enough to make a mixed fruit pie.
Blessedly, the final section , titled "Beverages", looks like it might have exactly what I need in the aftermath of finishing this book. The "GIN-Ginger Beertail," for example, which "was originally made with gin, but I don't like serving gin drinks because I think it makes people mean." We also get a recipe for something called "Babylove," which (thankfully) seems unrelated to another of my favorite reality TV cesspools.
It only seems appropriate to share the final recipe of I Can Make You Hot! with all of you. I will definitely be downing approximately seven of these tonight, and I hope some of you will be joining me in spirit. Cheers:
Gummi Bear Martini
If you don't have a paper umbrella handy, Gummi Bears are a great way to put more fun in your drink.
Makes 1 Drink
2 parts orange, grape, or other-flavored vodka
1 part Triple Sec
1 part white grape juice
Splash of cranberry juice
Gummi Bears, as many as you like
Combine the vodka, Triple Sec, grape juice, and cranberry juice in a tall glass. Add ice and fill the glass with Gummi Bears.
ETA: I am so disappointed in myself for forgetting to include that Kelly has a ceviche recipe that instructs you to marinate raw fish in lemon juice for exactly two minutes before serving. In the interest of food safety, perhaps it was for the best that this nugget momentarily slipped my mind, but sharing this information with you all is the burden I have been cursed to bear. 🙏🏼
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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 13, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002
  • Okay, look, here's the deal. The obituaries, as sad as they are, contain some of Dave's best work. But good lord, they are looooooooooong. And they never contain anything newsworthy that is relevant to 2002 or anything. But they're always super interesting from a historical perspective. But last week, Dave wrote a brief obit for Lou Thesz (only 5,000 words, ahem) and promised to go into more detail this week. So this week, we open with a 16,000+ word obituary for Lou Thesz and I just can't. Sorry. It's really good though, you should all go read it. But I've got, like, a family and a job and responsibilities and stuff. I can't recap this. It's an incredible piece of work though.
  • The World Wrestling Federation is no more. On May 5th, the company unveiled its new name, World Wrestling Entertainment. Dave recaps the history of the company briefly (was originally called "World Wide Wrestling Federation, or WWWF, until 1979 when it was shortened to WWF, which is has remained for the past 23 years). But as of this week, the company has been rebranded to WWE. The website domain was changed to WWE.com and all references to "WWF" were changed to "WWE." The scratch logo was also changed, with the F being removed, so now it simply looks like "WW" (which, honestly, never really did make much sense to me. Even though the logo has changed, it's still "WW" to this day). Anyway, this all stems from the World Wildlife Fund lawsuit over in the UK, in which the WWE lost every court case and appeal. They were planning to appeal the ruling in the UK's highest court, their final last-ditch effort to save their name, but the reality is, they weren't going to win that case. Vince McMahon and the company blatantly and repeatedly violated the agreement they signed in 1994. It was 1000% obvious they were in the wrong here and they had gotten spanked by every single court before, often losing their appeals by unanimous decisions. So they weren't going to win this final appeal either and they knew it. So they dropped the appeal and threw in the towel and finally agreed to just change the name. The WWE has until May 15th to remove all references to "WWF" from their shows and merchandise. Any merch with "WWF" on it can no longer be sold after that date. All video packages and posters will have to be changed and any "WWF" mention or logos after that time on television or in past footage will have to be censored. Last year, during the court case, the WWE claimed it would cost them more than $50 million to change their name and to deal with all the legal and rebranding headaches that come with it. But this week, they backtacked on that and said it wouldn't be that expensive after all. Who knows if that's true, but the idea of this costing $50 million was enough to make the shareholders shit themselves, so Dave says they claimed it won't cost that much in order to keep the stock from plummeting. Anyway, none of this had to happen. In 1994, Vince McMahon and the Wildlife Fund signed an agreement that the wrestling company would not use the "WWF" name for promoting itself outside of the U.S. (since the Wildlife group is based overseas) and that worked well for a year or two. But then Vince McMahon apparently decided, "Meh, who cares about agreements?" and began repeatedly and blatantly violating it, constantly, for years, at which point the Wildlife group finally got upset enough to file a lawsuit. Anyway, on the first Raw since the name change, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler repeatedly stumbled over the new initials, accidentally saying "WWF" multiple times. Gonna take time for everyone to get used to calling it the new name.
  • The buyrates for Wrestlemania 18 are in and it appears the event will have to settle for being the #2 biggest money show in wrestling history after it came up short and failed to surpass Wrestlemania 17. Final numbers aren't in yet, but latest estimates put it somewhere around the 800,000 buys range (ended up being about 880,000) which is quite a bit down from WM17. It was also #2 in total revenue from live gate and merch. Internally, it's actually being seen as something of a disappointment because with the power of the Hogan/Rock dream match, they were hopeful this show would top 1 million buys but unless something drastic changes with these buyrate numbers, it looks like the final total will be a good bit short of that.
  • NJPW's latest Tokyo Dome show is in the books. The show drew a sellout crowd of 57,000 fans, there to see the Masahiro Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa dream main event (which ended up going to a 30-minute draw). It was the biggest non-Jan. 4 crowd NJPW has drawn to the Dome in 2 years. So that's the good news. The bad news is that the show flopped in the ratings on TV. A big part of that is because the Chono/Misawa match didn't air as part of the show (due to the Asahi-TV/Nippon TV network issues discussed in past issues) so the televised show was built around the Shinya Hashimoto/Naoya Ogawa vs. Scott Norton/Hiroyoshi Tenzan match and man, the fans sure didn't seem to give a fuck about that. In fact, the rating was so bad that there's concern that this will be the end of pro wrestling on prime time TV in Japan for the foreseeable future. But there are justifiable reasons for the rating. The show went head-to-head with the Kirin Cup soccer tournament, which was a huge deal and did more than double the rating the NJPW show did. Unlike the U.S., wrestling and "real" sports in Japan have a major crossover audience, so having real sports competition severely hurt NJPW's show. Also, while Ogawa is a draw as a singles star, putting him in a tag match against Norton and Tenzan isn't exactly setting the world on fire. The show lasted 6 hours, which was way too long and the crowd was burned out before Misawa vs. Chono even started.
  • Other notes from the NJPW show: it opened with an hour long 30th anniversary ceremony. They had a 10-bell salute for Lou Thesz and brought out a bunch of legendary NJPW names from the 70s and 80s. Then they did an angle where Antonio Inoki came out to give a speech, but he was attacked by Tiger Jeet Singh. But then Chyna made the save, attacking Singh, running him out of the ring, and challenging him to a match. Inoki's ex-wife, famous Japanese actress Mitsuko Baisho then made an appearance, getting a huge pop, and she and Inoki did his famous catch phrase to kick off the show. Minoru Suzuki of Pancrase (who started with NJPW as a pro wrestler) was also there. Jushin Ligher and Minoru Tanaka won the IWGP Jr. tag titles and then Liger challenged several NOAH wrestlers who were at ringside (most notably KENTA) and they all jumped in the ring and it ended with a staredown. The Steiner Brothers reunited to face Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kensuke Sasaki, with Chyna as the special referee. Tanahashi was working hurt, but he still worked. They did a spot where Tanahashi ran into Chyna and he went down off the bump instead of her and Dave seems annoyed by this since Tanahashi is a guy they really need to be pushing who can be a huge star for this company. Dave doesn't like him selling bumps for Chyna. Anyway, decent match but the Steiners basically steamrolled them and Tanahashi was pinned by Scott Steiner. Chyna then challenged several All Japan Women at ringside as well as Scott Steiner, Tanahashi, Sasaki, and even IWGP champion Yuji Nagata, saying she wanted a title match. Dave thinks this company has lost its damn mind. Speaking of Nagata, he retained his title in the next match. And then, of course, the main event. Usually during interpromotional matches, the crowd is always super pro-NJPW but this time, they went insane for Misawa and it was clear there were a ton of NOAH fans in the building. Chono did some Inoki moves and Misawa did some Great Baba moves, to kinda have a spiritual "Baba vs. Inoki" tribute in the match I guess. Ended in a draw and by the time it was over, no matter how big the dream match was, the crowd was burned out and weren't as hype for the match as you might expect once the entrances were done.
WATCH: Misawa vs. Chono highlights
  • Goldberg has received a full buy-out of his WCW contract from Time Warner and as of this week, he is now an unsigned free agent. Goldberg did not request the buy-out, the decision was made by the Time Warner side after the most unprofitable quarter in their history. The company was looking to cut expenses, even at a loss, just so the books can look better in future quarters. Goldberg reportedly received almost all of his remaining salary (more than 90% of the nearly $3 million he was still owed) in order to get him off their books. When Goldberg realized he's going to be a free agent a year earlier than expected, talks with WWE started up. But as usual, they went nowhere. WWE (I feel like I'm having to get used to typing that all over again. Really does feel like 2002 again) has interest in him, especially given the way ratings continue to plummet lately. But Goldberg has always wanted more than WWE is willing to pay. Plus, they're feeling burned right now after signing Hall and Nash to big money, long-term contracts for part-time work, only to have Nash get injured and Hall likely to get himself fired at any moment (that moment is coming sooner than you think), and neither of them really getting over in any meaningful way. Even Hogan, who is also making big money for a reduced schedule, was hot for a minute and boosted ratings and buyrates. But after only a few months, that train already seems to be out of steam and TV ratings are back to floundering with Hogan as champion leading the shows. So WWE is kinda gun-shy on opening the checkbook and paying out the ass for these big stars, futilely hoping that one of them is the quick-fix that can stop the bleeding.
  • There's also the question of how Goldberg would fit within the WWE locker room. He hasn't been shy about his dislike for Triple H, dating back to WCW when Triple H trashed Goldberg in a radio interview and saying that even if Goldberg was available, they wouldn't want him (which, at the time, when WCW was still alive and Goldberg was the biggest star in the company, is just about the dumbest thing he could have said. In 1998, WWF would have gladly traded 10 Triple H's for Goldberg). Anyway, Goldberg took the comment personally and even confronted Triple H face-to-face at the Toy Fair convention in New York a couple of years ago, in a bit of an ugly scene where Goldberg was yelling at him and Triple H and Stephanie kept their heads down and said nothing. Goldberg also has a lot of dislike for Scott Hall, which is another of Triple H's good friends, so ya know. The latest on Goldberg is that he's considering working some in Japan but he's just fielding offers right now. Word is he's interested in working with PRIDE as well as NJPW. Of course, if he's looking to maximize his money potential, WWE is still the place to go if you want to make big bucks. If promoted right, matches against Rock, Austin, Triple H, and others could do huge buyrates. And if they keep Goldberg and Austin apart for a year and build to a match with them at Wrestlemania, well, needless to say, that show would set records. Dave talks about how Goldberg got nuclear hot in 1998 and even in 1999, he was the biggest drawing wrestler in the business. But by 2000, the company was dying, Goldberg was injured, and "Jesus Chris with an Etch-a-Sketch" couldn't have drawn in WCW. Dave again does the math and talks about how WWE should have brought Goldberg in for the Invasion angle. Yes, it would have cost them a lot of money and upset the salary structure, but he would have more than made up for it with the kind of buyrates he could have drawn with those dream matches and the Invasion angle might have had a chance. But alas.
  • And of course, who's to say how WWE would use Goldberg? They already have Brock Lesnar and they're currently giving him the unstoppable monster push. Lesnar is bigger, younger, and a more legitimate athlete (for whatever that's worth). And WWE probably isn't going to give Goldberg an endless string of jobbers to beat. In WWE, he's going to be expected to work longer matches, sell for people, etc. They won't book him the way WCW did so who knows how he'd get over in WWE? If they wanted to build to an Austin/Goldberg match, it would make sense that Goldberg first has to plow through guys like Triple H, Undertaker, etc. And politically, that just ain't gonna happen. Dave doubts NJPW can afford him for anything more than one or two big shows. As for PRIDE, he could probably make a lot of money there, but the problem is.....PRIDE is a shoot. They haven't had "worked" matches in a couple of years and doing so now would kill their credibility. Which means Goldberg would have to go into a legit shoot and one embarrassing loss there would severely hurt his future earning potential. In the end, Dave thinks it's inevitable that Goldberg will end up in WWE, but probably not any time soon. But he's certain it will eventually happen. There's too much money on the line for both sides and WWE's ratings woes are making them desperate, so it'll happen some day (yup, less than a year from this).
  • And the moment is here! For those of you who had "under 3 months" in the "How long will Scott Hall last?" pool, come collect your prize. Scott Hall was released by the WWE this week due to misbehavior on the European tour. Firstly, he went on a drunken binge during the entire tour and was even worse on the plane ride home (much more on that in a bit). Dave says this was inevitable. WCW fired him. Even ECW stopped using him when he got arrested at one point. And even though he was seemingly behaving during his Japan tours, even NJPW cut ties with him shortly before he went back to WWE because they were fed up with some of his antics. And now WWE has fired him. Dave talks about how Hall made a drunken spectacle of himself in the locker room on his very first day back in WWE, before the NWO even debuted on TV, then he showed up in Toronto for Wrestlemania in no condition to perform (later came out that he was hungover from the night before), which caused Austin to insist on ending their feud at WM (which was the plan, but Dave says Austin has continued working with Hall afterwards simply because they don't really seem to have any other credible opponents for him). Hall's match with Bradshaw at Backlash was an embarrassment and the night before that show, agents had to help him back to his hotel. Just endless incidents like this. In Europe, Hall was such a blatant drunken mess that even the other wrestlers were calling for him to be fired. Hall was 45 minutes late for the bus they all took to London and then passed out in the locker room during the show. On the plane ride back, he was starting fights with people and eventually passed out and it got to the point that people were worried about his health. When they got back to the U.S. for Raw, they literally had to wake him up from a drunken stupor backstage to send him to the ring to do his segment (and yes, he wrestled). After the show, they fired him. No one came to his defense, and even Hall's closest friends are now admitting that he simply can't handle the pressures of being on the road and being released is the best thing for him right now. Dave talks about how a lot of wrestlers have been fired in the last couple of years for drug and alcohol issues and that's all well and good, but the big problem is why hire them in the first place? Scott Hall's issues were not a secret. It wasn't like he cleaned himself up before he came to WWE. He was getting in trouble and collecting arrests like Pokemon all the way up until the day they brought him back. Anyway, Hall had a 2-year deal, believed to be worth $600,000-per-year downside for only 10 dates per month. So a really sweet deal, but it's gone now.
  • Hey, speaking of that European tour, turns out there was a bit of trouble on the flight back to the U.S. Perhaps you've heard of it. Most of the trouble wasn't even due to Scott Hall. Turns out Vince McMahon didn't make the trip and lots of people decided that was a good reason to cut loose and have fun. Plus, since everyone has seen Hall get away with being drunk 24/7 for the last few months, they figured nobody would get in trouble. So....folks got DRUNK. Among the various incidents on this flight: Goldust got on the speaker system and began drunkenly serenading his ex-wife Terri with love songs. Terri was extremely uncomfortable and begged him to stop and then Jim Ross had to go sit him down. Ric Flair also "started to get wild" but Jim Ross calmed him down as well (Dave doesn't seem to know just yet exactly what Flair "getting wild" entailed, but if you don't know, it involved getting totally naked except for his robe and started helicoptering his dick at flight attendants. And it gets worse if you feel like researching it. The flight attendants later filed a lawsuit against Flair and accused him of sexual assault). Curt Hennig was spraying people with shaving cream and he kept trying to get Brock Lesnar to fight him. Lesnar, being a newcomer, didn't know how to handle it and didn't want to get in trouble, but he ain't gonna let Hennig talk shit to him either. So anyway, Lesnar got up and basically annihilated Hennig, repeatedly taking him to the ground and embarrassing him because, well, of course he did. It's Brock Lesnar. At one point, Lesnar slammed Hennig up against the side of the plane, right into the emergency exit door, which freaked everybody out for obvious reasons. Michael Hayes got into a scuffle with Bradshaw and then tried to pick a fight with Hall (although everyone on the plane said Hall had it coming). Anyway, Hayes was apparently obnoxious as hell and annoyed everyone. But then he made the mistake of falling asleep and someone (believed to be X-Pac) cut his hair off. When Hayes woke up, he was furious and tried to fight several people. The next day at the Raw tapings, his entire mullet was in a plastic bag, pinned to the wall of the locker room for everyone to see. Gerald Brisco, Arn Anderson, and Hayes all caught a ton of heat from Vince afterward since they were the people who were supposed to be in charge. Anderson and Hayes especially, since their jobs are to keep the boys under control, but they were apparently having just as much fun as everyone else. Everyone's waiting to see how Vince is going to handle this situation. As noted, Hall was already fired and Hayes got an earful from Vince, Stephanie, and JR at Raw the next day, but there will likely be more fallout. Undertaker was also said to be furious over how out of hand everything got (I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this).
  • Anyway, while they were in Europe, WWE presented its latest UK PPV, Insurexxtion. As usual with the UK PPVs, this was little more than a glorified house show. They announced the show as sold out, but there were empty seats everywhere. RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero for the IC title was the show-stealer according to every report Dave heard, and was said to be far better than their Backlash match. Brock Lesnar teamed with Shawn Stasiak (lol wut) and lost to the Hardyz. Brock beat up everybody after the match. Triple H beat Undertaker in the main event and Dave doesn't know why since Undertaker is the one challenging Hogan for the title at the next PPV. The top rope broke during the match when they did an Irish whip into the corner and when the rope snapped, a metal piece broke off from the corner and flew into the crowd and barely missed hitting a small child in the face.
  • Smackdown on 5/2 drew the all-time lowest rating in the history of the show. Dave says that's the scariest thing to happen to WWF in the past 5 years. It was also the 3rd lowest rating for any Smackdown or Raw dating back to 1998. The rating was a full 18% drop from the week before, which was already scary. The rating was even lower than previous holiday episodes. So what was the problem? Well, it was headlined by Hogan defending the WWF title against Chris Jericho (as it turns out, the final time the "WWF" title was ever defended). Dave says the title has been meaningless for years now and Hogan's steam is running out. And Jericho hasn't recovered from spending the first part of the year being emasculated and playing second fiddle to Stephanie McMahon in the Wrestlemania feud. Add all that together and you've got a recipe for a shit ratings night. Among other things. Dave isn't blaming this all on Hogan and Jericho by any means, there's a lot of problems with the company as of late, from bad storylines to failing to make new stars, and it's all starting to come home to roost.
  • Keiji Muto wrestled a match in AJPW under his alternate gimmick of Kokushi Muso. Turns out "Great Muta" isn't his only other persona. The Kokushi Muso gimmick is basically like Hakushi in WWF, where he's covered his entire body in Japanese writing. He originally debuted the gimmick in Michinoku Pro last year, when teaming with....Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki, who occasionally brought back the old Hakushi gimmick in Japan). Anyway, same thing here. He teamed with Hakushi for this match, while using that gimmick (Muto would use that gimmick a handful of times throughout the years, always when teaming with Hakushi. It's like that was only his gimmick for that team. The last time he used it was in 2009, also in a tag match with Hakushi).
  • Former NOAH Jr. champion Naomichi Marufuji underwent knee surgery this week and should be out around 6 months (ends up being 9 months).
  • NJPW is doing an angle (according to Dave) similar to the Vince/Flair angle last year where Antonio Inoki and Masahiro Chono are battling over control of the company. Although it's more realistic. Inoki is in the press talking about how many of NJPW's shows aren't doing well and is pushing for them to use Naoya Ogawa more, while Chono doesn't want to. Inoki is also saying Chono needs to retire from wrestling and focus his energies on managing the day-to-day business of the promotion full-time. Dave says this is an angle, but it doesn't sound like much of one to me, and I think later years have kinda proven there was a lot of blurring between fiction and reality here, because there was a ton of behind the scenes turmoil in NJPW during this period.
  • Will Smith appeared alongside Antonio Inoki at the Japanese movie premiere for the film "Ali" based on Muhammad Ali's life. Crowd went absolutely insane for Inoki (I've tried like hell and can't even find a picture of them together. But then again, I can't find a single pic from the premiere at all).
  • When reviewing the recent Dos Caras Jr. shoot fight in Japan, Dave talks about the guy's potential as a wrestler. He has a strong amateur background, legit shoot skills, and a famous name. Dave thinks, if he's even halfway a decent worker, he can almost be a guaranteed star in Mexico (based on his name alone) and probably Japan too, if he decides to pursue that career (indeed he did, and indeed, he was fairly decent at it. Of course, he later became Alberto Del Rio, accused rapist and pretty much confirmed all-around piece of shit).
  • Former long-time WCW referee Randy Anderson passed away this week after a long battle with testicular cancer. Back when WCW was still around and he first got diagnosed, they did an angle out of it where Eric Bischoff fired him and then laughed at his wife and kids when they begged him to give Anderson his back. Of course, he was later re-hired when Flair became on-screen commissioner and continued to referee until 1999 when the cancer forced him to retire.
  • Random news and notes: Bobby Heenan is said to be in good spirits and is especially excited because WWE recently contacted him about doing a WWE Magazine feature on him. Verne Gagne's wife Mary passed away from cancer this week. Goldberg will be appearing on this week's Wrestling Observer Live show to be interviewed. Mil Mascaras is releasing an autobiography (in Spanish of course) and man, I'd love to find an English translation of that because I bet it'd be interesting. Chyna appeared on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" this past week.
WATCH: Chyna on Sabrina The Teenage Witch
  • Bruno Sammartino turned down an invitation to attend the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in New York (yes, that HOF existed and still does, in a different city now). Bruno did an interview with the local paper and said "Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it's over. I don't want anything to do with it anymore." Bruno managed to turn the discussion to the WWE, despite them not having any affiliation with this HOF and grumbled about how Vince McMahon blocked him from being inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. However, the new MSG owners have apparently promised Bruno he'll be inducted this year, since he sold the place out 200 times (Dave jumps in here to correct it and says the real number of sellouts is closer to 45. Bruno only main evented the Garden 127 times and by no means were they all sell-outs. But it's one of those myths that has been perpetuated for so long that Dave begrudgingly recognizes that people are always going to believe the 200 number is true, but it's not even close. He compares it to the claim that Andre The Giant was 7'4, which also wasn't true but people repeated the lie so often that it became accepted as fact).
  • Afa Anoa'i Jr., the son of the legendary Wild Samoan, is a star football player at his high school and is being recruited for Penn State. He also sometimes wrestles on his father's indie shows (that would be Manu, who was very briefly part of Legacy with Orton, Dibiase Jr., and Cody).
  • Former WCW announcer Scott Hudson will be doing commentary for Jerry Jarrett's new promotion, and Bob Ryder is said to be in a major front office position.
  • Jarrett has put out a press release saying that his new promotion has had talks with Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Word is Warrior wanted a 15% ownership stake in the new company, which pretty much ended those talks right there. They're also apparently interested in Scott Hall now too, with the idea that since they're only doing 1 show per week, he won't be a screw-up here. Dave is skeptical. Anyway, currently Road Dogg and Brian Christopher expected to be some of the company's top stars and Dave's not optimistic.
  • XWF wrestlers were told last week that a television deal should hopefully be finalized this week. But Dave has been told no chance it's happening that soon. The rumors are that the deal is either with the FX or Fox Kids networks. Ted Turner had inquired about buying this promotion a few months ago, but when he learned how much it would cost to get them off the ground and make them competitive, he lost interest (TV deal never materializes, company is already dead, etc. etc.).
  • The Scorpion King slipped to 2nd place this week, falling to the new Spider Man movie which did a record breaking $114 million opening weekend. Randy Savage has a small role in that movie.
  • Speaking of, The Rock worked his first match in about a month at a Fort Lauderdale house show, teaming with Hogan to beat Jericho and Angle. After the match, Hogan tried to get Rock to pose with him, but Rock wouldn't do it. Rock thanked the fans for the success of Scorpion King and said it would likely be his last match for awhile. There was a ton of local media there, but Rock didn't talk to any of them. Basically, the house show was in his neck of the woods and he simply decided to show up and work it just so he could see his friends and hang out with the locker room, he had no interest in doing interviews. He was just there because he wanted to be. Backstage, Rock was telling people that Hollywood higher-ups have told him he has to leave the wrestling business if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor. Those in the company feel it's a certainty that Rock really is leaving and he's likely going to break out of wrestling into Hollywood and actually become a rare success story (yeah, you could say that).
  • Look how long this is already. Imagine if I had covered that Lou Thesz obituary in full. JUST IMAGINE!
  • Notes from Raw: Dave compares it to an episode of Thunder, with the crowd half-dead for everything. Also, the roster was exhausted after just returning from the Europe trip (and the plane ride shenanigans) and that was apparent too. Brock Lesnar won his match via pinfall instead of the usual ref stoppage and Dave says that word is Triple H got in Vince's ear and convinced him to end the ref stoppage gimmick for Brock. Sure, why not? Hogan was supposed to ride off on Undertaker's bike at one point, but then the motorcycle wouldn't start. It was one of those awkward live-TV moments where time stood still and nobody knew what to do. Flair finally turned heel on Austin, to a shocking lack of heat from the crowd. Nash returned, etc. Dave recaps the rest of this show and it sounds like a lot of bad WCW stuff, coincidentally enough with a lot of the same people.
WATCH: Hogan can't start the motorcycle
  • The man who played the effeminate gay guy applying to be Vince McMahon's secretary on Smackdown a few weeks ago was new creative team member David Lagana. He recently joined the company and has written for several other TV shows, including "Friends" and has a strong knowledge of the industry (Dave says if you've been reading the Observer closely for the last few years, you're probably familiar with him, he's written in to Dave a lot over the years).
  • Dave goes on a brief rant about how to use older stars. In the past, everyone, even Vince McMahon, talked about how you should use guys like Hogan and Flair in small doses and how WCW's reliance on older stars like that is what made them less special. Dave talks about back in the day in Memphis, Jackie Fargo would come back once or twice a year and he was always the biggest star in the company when he did. Because he was used sparingly. But WWE has pretty much built its company around Hogan and Flair (and to a lesser extent, Vince and Undertaker) over the last few months and they've been totally overexposed because of it. Just 6 weeks ago, Hulk Hogan was getting some of the largest crowd reactions in the history of the business. Now, he and Undertaker are practically hearing crickets during their on-screen interactions.
  • Lita underwent neck surgery this week and isn't allowed to do anything physical for 9 months. Scotty 2 Hotty also had neck surgery and is expected to be out for about a year. Both are expected to make full recoveries though.
  • Jesse Ventura admitted this week that he received WWF stock options as partial payment for some work he did with them. Dave doesn't know if it's related to the Summerslam appearance a few years ago or the XFL announcing gig. Ventura says he has 10 years to exercise those stock options but wouldn't give any further details.
  • Scott Steiner told WWA he will work their next UK tour but after that, he's going to WWE. Dave is skeptical. Reports are that Steiner was in horrible pain after every match he worked on the last WWA tour and there's significant doubt that his body will hold up to a WWE schedule.
  • The new Steve Austin "What!" DVD has a lot of WCW footage, including the full Austin vs. Steamboat match from WCW Bash at the Beach 94. Dave doesn't say so, but I believe this is the first time WWE used any of the WCW library for commercial release after they purchased it the year before.
  • Someone writes in and asks Dave to stop spending so much time writing about steroid use in wrestling and instead says he should write a story about racism in the business. This person writes about the allegations from years back of Dusty Rhodes using the N-work with impunity, or the time DX parodied the Nation by wearing blackface. The WCW discrimination lawsuit, the embarrassing angles they've done with Mark Henry such as Sexual Chocolate, etc. This guy is asking why is it white wrestlers outnumber black wrestlers by 35-to-1 ratio in the U.S. (70-to-1 in Mexico and 80-to-1 in Japan). He wants to know why Dave isn't writing about that stuff. Dave responds and agrees that the blackface DX promo was racist, and it was racist when Buff Bagwell did it in WCW and when Roddy Piper did it in the 80s. Dave says wrestling, especially from the 70s through the 90s, had a horrible history of exploiting stereotypes and/or saying and doing racist things. You can argue it's gotten better, but no doubt the problem still exists. Dave lists some examples but he also pushes back on some others. For example, he's heard people complain that Booker T isn't being used properly due to his race and Dave disagrees. It's true that Booker T probably deserves a bigger push, but you can make the same case for guys like RVD and Jericho and Raven or DDP (when he first debuted, at least) and that didn't happen either, so Dave doesn't necessarily think Booker's lack of top-star push can be blamed on his race (we're less than a year away from Triple H definitively proving otherwise).
  • There's also 2 letters about the Rock/Hogan match at Wrestlemania and they couldn't be more different. One guy writes in and he can't understand why people are praising that match because if you put aside the hot crowd, it was awful, everyone's moves looked bad, it was embarrassing, etc. and says Hogan should have retired afterward. Then someone else writes in and says he was there live and, taken as a whole, Rock vs. Hogan was the greatest match he's ever seen. Basically the same "love it or hate it" opinion people have about that match to this day. Also, someone else writes in about the recent Low-Ki vs. American Dragon match from an ROH show and puts it up there among some of the greatest matches of all time (listing off several classic WWF matches like Shawn/Razor and Owen/Bret at WM10 for example). So there ya go.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: more fallout from the Plane Ride from Hell, more on the beginning of Jarrett's new NWA-TNA promotion, more on the NJPW Tokyo Dome show, and more...
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###Wall Street Breakfast: The Week Ahead

Jun. 07, 2020 8:43 AM ET take what you will and tell me what you think, I think they named most of the stocks out there. What are your favorites?

Welcome to Wall Street Brunch, our preview of stock market events for investors to watch during the upcoming week. You can also catch this article a day early by subscribing to the Stocks to Watch account for Saturday morning delivery. Podcast listener? Subscribe now to receive Wall Street Breakfast by 8:00 a.m. every trading day on Seeking Alpha, iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify

Fed Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will be in the spotlight next week when the Federal Open Market Committee meets on June 9-10. Powell is expected to face questions on the central bank's role in the economic recovery and what tools are still available to use. "We think right now they’re just trying to get this Main Street lending program to work. The question is are they going to do more things around what they do in terms of forward guidance and next steps of macro easing," previews Bank of America economist Ethan Harris. On the economic front, reports on consumer prices, producer prices and consumer sentiment will be watched closely. The weekly jobless claims numbers due out on June 11 will be crucial for sentiment after May’s employment report showed a surprising record gain of 2.5M jobs. On the corporate side of things, Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) reports earnings with shares sitting near their all-time high and a board battle at GameStop (NYSE:GME) goes to a vote.
Earnings spotlight: REV Group (NYSE:REVG) and Stitch Fix (NASDAQ:SFIX) on June 8; Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG), AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC), Chewy (NYSE:CHWY), Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE) and GameStop on June 9; Guess (NYSE:GES) and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NASDAQ:RRGB) on June 10; Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), Dave & Buster's Entertainment (NASDAQ:PLAY) and Lululemon on June 11. Go deeper: See Seeking Alpha's complete list of earnings reporters
IPO watch: Online car seller Vroom (VRM) is offering about 18.8M shares in an expected range of $17 to $19. The timing for the IPO is intriguing with the pandemic leading to more online shopping for cars, but sales and margins under pressure. How well the Vroom IPO is received by investors could be of interest to Carvana (NYSE:CVNA), Cars.com (NYSE:CARS), TrueCar (NASDAQ:TRUE), AutoNation (NYSE:AN) and even Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) as the concept of online car shopping heads more mainstream. Vroom is expected to have a market capitalization of around $1.92B if it prices at the higher end of the indicated range. Across the Pacific, Chinese gaming company NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES) is looking to raise $1.2B in a Hong Kong listing to fund strategies for international expansion. Shares are expected to start trading on June 11. Also in the IPO world, the quiet period expires for ADC Therapeutics (NYSE:ADCT) on June 9 and IPO share lockups end on XP (NASDAQ:XP), Bill Holdings (NYSE:BILL), OneConnect Financial (NYSE:OCFT) and Sprout Social (NASDAQ:SPT) later in the week. There are also secondary offering lockup expirations on Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) and BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) to keep an eye on. Go deeper: Catch up on all the latest IPO news.
M&A tidbits: Gaming officials in New Jersey meet to discuss the Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR)-Eldorado Resorts (NASDAQ:ERI) merger. The tender offer on the Menarini Group pickup of Stemline Therapeutics (NASDAQ:STML) is also due to expire. Keep an eye on Western Union (NYSE:WU) and MoneyGram International (NASDAQ:MGI) for reports on if the companies are in talks and expect a little more drama around the Tiffany (NYSE:TIF)-LVMH (OTCPK:LVMHF) merger.
Projected dividend changes (quarterly): W.R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) to $0.12 from $0.11, Casey's General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY) to $0.34 from $0.32, National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) to $0.445 from $0.435, Realty Income (NYSE:O) to $0.2330 (monthly), Urstadt Biddle (NYSE:UBA) to $0.14 from $0.28.
Spotlight on Snap: Snap (NYSE:SNAP) has its partner summit event scheduled for June 11. The virtual event will feature a keynote address by Snap co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, as well as talks from other team members from across the company. New product features and partnerships will be announced around Snap's augmented reality offerings and a stripped-down version of its platform that partners can embed in their own apps is expected to be unveiled. Developers are expected to be able to use a toolkit provided by Snap to build a Snapchat-like mini-app right in their own websites. The Snap event takes place with the company under a brighter spotlight for how it curates its promoted content on the Discover page. Heading into the summit, shares of Snap are up more than 50% over the last 90 days.
Airlines: How high can the airline sector fly? After a series of reports on improved bookings trends, airline stocks are showing positive momentum. American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) paced the sector with a 77% gain last week, while Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) +75%, JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) +36%, Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) +36%, Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ:HA) +34% and SkyWest (NASDAQ:SKYW) +33% also reeled off big gains. Traffic reports for May are due out next week, which could include more market-moving metric updates.
Healthcare watch: At ENDO Online, OPKO Health (NASDAQ:OPK) is due to present data on Somatrogon on June 8 and Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX) will present on Crinecerfont. Virtual presentations scheduled for the European Hematology Association conference starting on June 11 include bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) on LentiGlobin data, Merus (NASDAQ:MRUS) on MCLA-117, Altex Industries (OTCQB:ALTX) on Nomacopan, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) on CTX001, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) on AZD1222 and Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AGIO) on AG-348.
Analyst meetings and business updates: Equifax (NYSE:EFX) has an investor update scheduled for June 8. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) CEO Bob Swan will talk ESG in a discussion with JUST Capital on June 8 and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) has a business update call scheduled for June 9 covering networks and digital services. Avery Dennison (NYSE:AVY) has a conference call scheduled with R.W. Baird on June 9. Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) cloud exec Mike Micucci is participating in the Citi Virtual Software Bus Tour on June 10. Finally, Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) has an Investor Day scheduled for June 10 and Centene (NYSE:CNC) has a Virtual Investor Day presentation scheduled for June 12.
Conferences rundown: Cowen hosts a conference covering the "New Retail Ecosystem" with virtual presentations from Vince Holdings (NYSE:VNCE), Lands' End (NASDAQ:LE) and Macy's (NYSE:M). Also next week, William Blair has a growth stock conference with online talks by execs from a long list of companies, including Pluralsight (NASDAQ:PS), Appian (NASDAQ:APPN), TransUnion (NYSE:TRU), Arista Networks (NYSE:ANET), CyberArk Software (NASDAQ:CYBR), QAD (NASDAQ:QADA), Talend (NASDAQ:TLND), Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY), SmileDirectClub (NASDAQ:SDC), DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU), Chewy (CHWY), Zendesk (NYSE:ZEN) and Varonis Systems (NASDAQ:VRNS). The hodge-podge list of companies due to participate at the Stifel 2020 Virtual Cross Sector Insight Conference include Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), Donaldson (NYSE:DCI), HubSpot (NYSE:HUBS), S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI), Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK), Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE:ADM), MasTec (NYSE:MTZ), Lindsay (NYSE:LNN), Dycom Industries (NYSE:DY) and Cronos (NASDAQ:OTC:CRON). Meanwhile, the Deutsche Bank 11th Annual Virtual Global Industrials & Materials Summit 2020 will also run next week with presentations ranging from airline companies, paper producers, construction concerns to home builders. Appearances are expected from MYR Goup (NASDAQ:MYRG), WillScot (NASDAQ:WSC), Berry Global (NYSE:BERY), Builders FirstSource (NASDAQ:BLDR), Cabot Corp. (NYSE:CBT), Canadian Pacific (NYSE:CP), Clearwater (NYSE:CLW), Crown Holdings (NYSE:CCK), AMETEK (NYSE:AME), ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), Ahland Global (NYSE:ASH), AXTA, Delta Air Lines (DAL), Dow Inc. (NYSE:DOW), Fluor (NYSE:FLR), Garrett Motion (NYSE:GTX), Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO), Saia (NASDAQ:SAIA), Silgan Holdings (NASDAQ:SLGN), Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON), Summit Materials (NYSE:SUM), Target Hospitality (NASDAQ:TH), Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC), Westlake Chemical (NYSE:WLK), XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO), Meritor (NYSE:MTOR), nVent Electric (NYSE:NVT), Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU), PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG), PQ Group (NYSE:PQG), REVG, Alcoa (NYSE:AA), Rexnord Corp. (NYSE:RXN), Canadian National (NYSE:CNI), CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX), Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP), Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU), Honeywell (NYSE:HON), Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) and O-I Glass (NYSE:OI).
Eating out: The week ahead will see the eat-at-home vs. restaurants trade be hashed around again. Nielsen data could show a deceleration in the stockpiling benefits for Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM), B&G Foods (NYSE:BGS), Blue Apron (NYSE:APRN), Hain Celestial (NASDAQ:HAIN) and General Mills (NYSE:GIS) - while restaurant stocks like Cracker Barrel (NASDAQ:CBRL), Denny's (NASDAQ:DENN), Dine Brands Global (NYSE:DIN), Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) will look to scrap back from their YTD losses with more people eating out.
Notable annual meetings: GameStop may generate the most drama of the annual meetings next week with the company's board up for re-election. Two proxy firms are backing candidates from stakeholders Hestia Capital and Permit Capital for board inclusion, while Michael Burry's Scion Asset management is voting in favor of the board's slate. The annual shareholder meeting arrives with shares of GameStop down 32% YTD. Other annual meetings to watch this week include MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI), SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS), Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK), Target (NYSE:TGT), Wingstop (NASDAQ:WING), TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX), Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR).
Betting on betting: The brand-new Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF (NYSEARCA:BETZ) heads into its first full week of trading just ahead of the re-emergence of major sports in the months ahead. The Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF is designed to offer retail and institutional investors exposure to sports betting and iGaming industries. Holdings include DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG), Flutter Entertainment (OTCPK:PDYPY), Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN), William Hill (OTCPK:WIMHF), Scientific Games (NASDAQ:SGMS), GAN (NASDAQ:GAN), Churchill Downs (NASDAQ:CHDN) and PointsBet (OTCQX:PBTHF).
Barron's mentions: Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) makes the cover this week with the company in the middle of the political firestorm. For investors, the bigger issue than the culture debate is that the stock is valued at a sales multiple lower than social media peers. Food suppliers Sysco (NYSE:SYY), US Food Holdings (NYSE:USFD) and Performance Food Group (NYSE:PFGC) are recommended with sales volume slowly recovering. The publication notes that large investors like KKR and Trian Fund Management are taking an interest in the sector. There is also a reminder that COVID-19 drug trials are progressing. Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) is testing its antibody in a Phase 1 trial. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) is also set to begin testing this month, while a collaboration between Vir Biotechnology (NASDAQ:VIR) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) will begin trials later this summer. If the trial results are positive and the pandemic remains intense, emergency authorization of some of the drugs could follow.
Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC, BioPharmCatalyst, EDGAR
submitted by abiech to Winkerpack [link] [comments]

A step-by-step guide of how I would build a SaaS company right now - part 2

This is part 2 of 5.
Part 1
LET'S DO THIS!
Big thank you to everyone that upvoted and commented on the last post.
I’m pumped, this is part 2 of 5 for those keeping track at home.
  1. Start with your revenue and monetization plan (are you targeting a sector that has money and can/will pay - Part 1)
  2. Align yourself with others in your space (cheapest way to get traction/credibility)
  3. Work on road mapping your product to align with what complements your partnerships (cheapest distribution)
  4. Work on building a marketing strategy that can help expose and align your brand while strengthening its recognition with your partners (will this make us both look good)
  5. Build customer advocates along the way, tell their stories (lead with examples)
Early traction, everyone wants it, very few people know how to do it effectively. Hell I’ve seen it all, run all the experiments, all the tests and I can tell you from experience if you have the patience, slow, steady, and surgical is the way to grow. Especially in the beginning.
In part one we spent a lot of time asking some basic fundamental business questions. Including, an exercise in the importance of being able to niche down.
We’re going to expand on the niching down because it’s how you gain clarity and find people to align yourself with early on.
The goal of this will be to understand:
  1. How to niche down
  2. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
  3. How to position within that market
  4. How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
I’ve chosen to outline these in all our steps for niching down.
You’re going to see these steps move from research to market evaluation to list building stopping just short of outreach. We’ll touch on this in part 3.
Last week I took a call where someone told me their target market is males 25-45 that like sports.
This is the most important part of your entire business. I’m serious.
Let’s rock through this together so we can get you super focused and know where and how to spend your time and money.
(The below was laid out in part 1 and was the layered niching exercise)
LEVEL 1: We’re a helpdesk product.
How to niche down
The big question is “for who”?
So you’ve picked the type of product you are building and a use case, the problem is there are lots of people like you out there and this doesn’t tell me much about your market, it’s too broad.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Because this is so broad, it’s impossible to actually target a market and without being able to do that, it’s not possible to recognize opportunities, there’s just too many of them.
How to position within that market
Competition is good and bad, but it’s always better to be a big fish in a little pond, the best way to reduce the size of your pond is to niche down as much as possible while still understanding a large enough TAM (total addressable market).
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
No wasted effort. Every idea, concept, must have a small goal attached to it.
It’s too expensive to try to be everything for everyone and when you take this approach you end up failing at doing any one thing well enough for people to switch.
Let’s build on this.
LEVEL 2: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies.
How to niche down
Pick an industry or trend that is on the rise - look towards a shift or something that relates to changes people are making in their daily routine.
In this case we picked eCommerce because it’s on track to hit over $7 Trillion worldwide this year and has steadily been increasing across all brands. So we have an industry with a large enough economic driver to let us start niching down.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
We now buy things online that we never would have thought to do so even just a few years ago. Amazon is selling Tiny Homes now, seriously, if you can buy it, odds are you can do it online. There are massive opportunities to bring goods and services to people through convenient online shopping. And with that increase they will all need a help desk platform to provide the best experience for their customers.
Customers today don’t want to speak with people, they want answers quickly and easily. It’s all about reducing friction.
How to position within that market
Narrow down within the market. eCommerce is a good starting point, there are different industries, subsets, and categories. Go narrower. Start thinking about where the friction exists in the industry and for what subsets.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
In the beginning, it’s going to be an uphill battle, picking the right trending industry will give you the best chance of success. Something that is rising up to the right in popularity is way easier to sell into than a trend that is declining.
Know your competitive landscape.
Everyone has a competitor, whether direct, partial, or mildly related. Spend a lot of time on understanding this and knowing that your product is part of a very large landscape or landscape of potential competitors. Any one of the existing partial or mildly related competitors may be building something to more directly compete with you down the road.
Practical advice
Most companies stop here and hope for the best.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a go to market plan or a sustainable business model.
There’s an important bit worth mentioning here as it will become a theme of this entire post.
Great products enhance workflows through features, the focus isn’t on the product but what the product enables people to do. Success in the software business is all about understanding existing workflows and simplifying the experience.
As you do this exercise to niche down ask yourself:
What does the current workflow look like?
What are they currently using?
How are they currently using it?
Where are the gaps?
What are the best practices for creating workflows?
Always seek to understand how your product works in a workflow - what role it plays, how it best optimizes - this is the data play referred to in Part 1.
What are the things that matter most to people in the eCommerce space?
That’s a lot of questions with even more answers, when you peel everything back it becomes very clear that it’s not possible to answer all of them without going deeper.
Too many people to talk to, too many industries, too much everything.
Let’s take a different approach - how I got to Shopify in the next niche down.
No successful new SaaS company today launches without an integration.
So let’s find an eCommerce platform to integrate with.
We have to look for a stable player that has an app store and is a market leader.
As a starting point, my goal is to be a help desk for ecommerce companies.
  1. I need a list of all eCommerce platforms
  2. I need to understand which help desks they already integrate with
  3. I need to understand what people like and don’t like about them
  4. I need to find out which platform is going to be the best fit for my product
There are lots of sources for this and even more articles, google and read.
If you’re looking for numbers though and data, use BuiltWith and run a search on the platforms after you have your list to figure out which is the most popular.
Ok so we have our list of eCommerce platforms, we’ve analyzed the data, made sure they tick all the boxes and we’ve run our reports and found that Shopify powers 1.2 million stores.
Let’s lock it in as our next step in niching down.
LEVEL 3: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify.
How to niche down
It’s more than just market size. Going with a market leader is always a safe bet but it also provides the most competition. Sometimes going with a smaller platform that doesn’t get all the attention is a worthwhile research project.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
There are two sides of the opportunity and this is something that I didn’t touch on in the original niching down. Shopify and BuiltWith categorize the types of stores that are on the platform, so you can niche down to a certain type of store, for example just cosmetics or just apparel.
The other side of the opportunity is putting together your list of companies currently operating in the ecosystem.
How to position within that market
Smart people are really good at collecting data and interpreting it.
Let’s get some data.
  1. Go to the shopify app store
  2. Type in “Support”
  3. Click paid on the left margin and click the “Support Category”
  4. Use something like Simple Scraper ( a great chrome plugin, no affiliation)
  5. Get your scrape on, this shows 87
  6. Time to get busy - categorize them
  7. Pick the ones most similar to your offerings
  8. Click on them, look at their reviews - all of them on shopify Scrape them
  9. Go to G2 and Capterra and look through all those reviews as well
  10. Put them all in a spreadsheet, read them all, highlight those that stand out
  11. Find the ones that are popular, others that have features people like etc.
  12. Document, and integrate the baseline features into a trello board on your product roadmap
  13. Take all the bad reviews and complaints - look for gaps that you can fill
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
So take a look above, we went from a bunch of questions to being able to do a ton of market research to do product research and understand the current market offerings and where we might be able to gain some ground and offer something people might be interested in and ARE PAYING FOR.
How do you stand out?
You need to have a workflow that is 10x better than a current competitor in the market with a strong roadmap that lays out how you intend on optimizing this workflow. Features are built to augment the workflow and simplify the work of your clients employees, less work, more data, better understanding.
Ok so we’ve narrowed it down to eCommerce and Shopify and we have a list of other products that are currently playing in the space. We’re now looking at workflow - let’s figure this bit out.
LEVEL 4: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation.
How to niche down
Add another variable - it doesn’t have to be Shipstation, but it’s a good example as for eCommerce you’re likely shipping products places. By adding another variable, we’re shrinking our population to target.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
The biggest problem for all companies these days is combining different one off services and getting them to play nicely together. Stand alone products usually outclass all in one products as stated above because the focus is better. This is generally always going to be where you can find a gap in the market as the integrating of products is an afterthought rather than something contemplated in the very beginning.
How do you decide on the technologies you want to work with?
How to position within that market
Don’t guess. Understand the workflow of an eCommerce company and how it relates to support. For instance, most support tickets relate to order status, tracking, and returns. These all involve the store, transaction, the service desk, and the shipping carrier. Look for ways to streamline the experience for the service rep - for instance if refunds require approval, build a system that allows for all those tickets to be queued up with an easy interface for approvals or different color tagging to allow for them to be easily sorted by type.
By focusing on two technologies you can start by creating a better visual collaboration between tools to improve overall experience.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Stack the deck in your favor.
Focus on where you can drive early alignment between your product offering and the audiences of your now two products. When you reach out to both companies especially the smaller ones like a Shipstation, you can collect more information about who they are catering to, volumes etc.
Most companies have a partner program - look into connecting with the lead.
When the time is right you might even get a shoutout on their social or blog or you can decide to co-publish some research report together. Lots of options.
Let’s double down on what being niche allows us to do:
  1. Know our audience
  2. Research with purpose
  3. Personalize outreach with early feelers
  4. Better understand a realistic TAM (total addressable market)
  5. Understand overlap between products
  6. Early alignment with bigger names
This whole topic is about alignment, alignment with partners, customers, and your product.
We have a list of potential customers now, but we need to segment them down further.
LEVEL 5: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus.
How to niche down
Why less than 100 skus?
This means they are small enough to try a new product. It also means you can see what works and what doesn’t work on a potentially smaller store. When you’re managing a store with more than 100 skus, things get a little complicated, it’s an arbitrary number but changing internal processes and workflows when you get to that level means that your staff is coming from a place of having used a system before that could handle the volume and trying out something newer or unproven is a tall order.
This process can be applied to anything, if your product does better project management look for people that run less than 20 projects at a time or projects that are less than 6 months, whatever it may be. We’re starting small.
Always default to the path of least resistance. Work smarter, not harder.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
I’m sure this could be automated, but in lieu of it being automated, you should start by manually figuring this out for yourself.
That list you have from BuiltWith that has urls, yeah we’re going to use that one.
Put the websites in the spreadsheet you downloaded, then create a new column and add “products” to the url - so you have the website in cell A, the word “products” in cell B then in blank cell C write “=CONCATENATE(A:B)” congratulations now you have cell C that will take you straight to the product page to see how many skus they have.
Update this hack doesn’t work on all shopify websites like I had hoped and after some research it seems like this is a bit of a struggle point for others as well.
I’m sure someone could write a script to scrape this information.
Go find an intern or hire someone to do all the lookups for you or find someone to write a script to automate the results - remember always work smart.
Run this and you’ll come up with your go to target list.
How to position within that market
The best helpdesk for stores on Shopify using shipstation with less than 100 skus - all of a sudden this starts to sound like something someone would almost search for. That’s the point.
We’re working our way down where it becomes a simple checklist if someone was searching for things.
Shopify - check
Shipstation - check
Built for smaller stores - check
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Remember you’re not building a product for everyone yet, your goal is to dominate a niche. You can always expand from there.
So we’re about half way through and we have figured out our potential partners and now we’re working on narrowing down this customer list. Before we dive in and start reaching out we need to really understand who we’re targeting and we need to start small.
Let’s narrow this down even further.
LEVEL 6: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue.
How to niche down
Why the less than $10 million in annual revenue? The only reason I would say this in the beginning is that they won’t have as much traffic and ticket volume, they make for better early clients, you can learn a lot more from their use cases and improve the product without worrying about something going wrong and a larger client really getting mad and churning. You also usually have greater access to work with their staff to improve your product.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Unless you’re currently on the front lines, you need to find some early providers of feedback that are on the front lines. In essence, this is the starting point of a community and information play.
There aren’t a lot of data points available about companies in the early stages. People always have questions and there are limited resources in the early days, even across similar companies.
(Just look at reddit there are tons of repeat answers and questions.)
Someone answering tickets all day is the last person that wants to provide feedback, as much as they would like their job made easier, they don’t have the time.
How to position within that market
“But I need a big logo to let people know that I’m real.” You don’t, not in the beginning. All you need is a few good customers that are open to lending you the feedback you need to get better. A lot of smaller brands do a good job of branding, play the long game, find brands that are growing and try to get in early - grow with them.
Logo hunting has its place but you need to find product market fit before you can really make that happen.
By now you have probably figured out that whenever possible you should automate things. The way you do this is through data collection.
Using logic, math, and a spreadsheet you can do enough to be dangerous.
Use a service to figure out what their unique traffic is, take a look at their products and assume that their cart value is around 2-4 products per order then take the conversion rates by industry - you can find these online they are openly listed.
Your sheet will look something like this:
Company, Traffic, Conversion Percentage, Order Value, Sales Percentage, Revenue
eCommerce blended average is 2.2% - go use a spreadsheet and some formulas and bam you now have the revenue numbers. We’re not looking for exacts here, but more generally a good estimate.
I’ve actually run these numbers, if the products are sold through other channels, Amazon, retail, etc, then a rough estimate would be around ~33% of the revenue will come from the ecommerce store.
Factor in a range based on the size of the brand and it’s channels this should give you a rough estimate of the revenue even if they don’t publish it.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Provide value - the most overhyped phrase but still true - the question then becomes, with something as subjective as “value” rather than just create, instead ask and create. This part is coming up, we’re almost ready to turn this on.
We’ve started to move from who are partners are to who are our potential customers. This is on purpose - my stance is that your first customers are really your partners and you should work on aligning yourself with those that are the best fit for your product.
You want your first clients to buy into your vision and invest the time to help shape it.
Ok on to the next -
LEVEL 7: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people.
How to niche down
So now we’re getting into the easier stuff - this is just a simple LinkedIn Search - small teams are usually before the real deep process point, they are also really good at providing feedback on tools that can actually help them out.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
If you have less than 5 people on a team, it’s a small enough number to target the entire team - multi prong approach to product awareness.
For customer support they are often the least paid and they have the most stressful jobs - it’s an all around shitty position to be in, so if you can provide them joy, you’re going to make fans quick. Also, they aren’t usually sold into, they are rarely asked their opinion, etc.
How to position within that market
Give them a voice. The same goes for any lower level positions as well by the way. When people are getting started in their careers they are looking to hear about the jobs people have even at the lower levels but the resources just aren’t there. Even for more senior roles, it’s hard to get a beat on what the current status is of their projects, people don’t like sharing - I still don’t know why.
We’re seeing communities around Sales popup SalesHacker, sales, Bravado etc. We don’t see as many for other roles, there is a wide open space in this. I don’t see any places for people to better understand customer support/success which is THE ONLY INBOUND TOUCHPOINT WITH CUSTOMERS POST SALE.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
This is part of the philosophy and psychology of understanding human dynamics. Find a persona that you can relate to immediately and build your product around fixing their problems, be obsessed with this.
They get paid nothing, but they’d like less tickets, how do you reduce that ticket count, how do you bring other parts of the business that they may need to have access to more prominently in your support system so they don’t have to have multiple windows open. How do you build something to maximize their efficiency?
Better yet, how do you tag someone in the CRM and flag it over to the sales system to see if they purchase more product as a result of a good interaction with support - this is how you turn a cost center into a revenue generator. This is a killer feature that I’m not aware of out of the box.
This could unlock a commission structure and reward system for what is arguably becoming a dealbreaker for most companies.
Which is a great segway to the next drill down - you should be starting to see how this all really blends together if done correctly.
LEVEL 8: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people who are looking to automate their processes.
How to niche down
They have to be looking to automate their process or improve their workflow. When people find a tech stack that works, oftentimes new technology doesn’t stick around very long, we’re all creatures of habit.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
You’re only looking for people that are talking about processes or a company that has something related to the pride they take with their process - you can check out BuiltWith and see a list of products they have tried over the last 18 months.
When a company is testing a bunch of different products it means they are looking for a better process. This is your sweet spot.
How to position within that market
You’ve seen me sprinkle “workflow” into this post. This is pretty much a preview of Part 3 and the importance of product design.
Your product must improve someone’s existing workflow. If it doesn’t it’s not a viable product.
There are two parts to this, does your product improve an existing workflow AND how easy can your product be inserted into that workflow?
Remember, this is their business and they need to make a transition as smoothly as possible with as little disruption as possible. This goes for any product you’re selling. Change is hard.
Understanding a company’s process really is everything.
If people aren’t looking to automate or improve their process, there’s a good chance you should change your approach immediately and work towards more of an education campaign and double down on what it would take to let people quickly switch over from an existing platform. Focus on reducing friction.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Looking for people that are interested, not those we need to educate early on.
Data migration and implementation is one of the main reasons people don’t want to switch or entertain new products. There is always a fear of lost productivity.
Everyone is looking to automate right now, but the price has to be right, and that includes not the subscription amount, but the training, the migration, the new workflows, the time to adopt, the willingness to adopt, etc.
During almost any transition, the company will be paying for two systems at the same time during that handoff. This is rough, not enough companies actually address this in a meaningful way.
The argument is that a pure SaaS play doesn’t exist or shouldn’t exist for an early stage company, there should always be a service and consulting component. Hold everyone’s hand, understand their problems and make them feel like you’re building a product just for them.
Ok we’re almost there -
LEVEL 9: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people who are looking to automate their processes who are currently using Zendesk.
How to niche down
Let’s spearfish.
Zendesk - great platform - but has its limits that only show up based on workflows. Zendesk will work great until you have a workflow that incorporates other tools - then it starts to struggle.
This is true of most large legacy platforms. As legacy platforms moved up market to Enterprise for revenue reasons, they usually forget about smaller teams. Instead relying on dev house partners to do customizations.
This is where industry experience really comes into play - knowing the goals of a company or team, their workflows, and where you can create a better solution for those with those workflows for things that the legacy platforms prefer to source out to their dev house partners.
How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Your calls can now go from generic to focused with questions that can hone in on workflows and gaps. For example, Zendesk’s UX/UI sucks for partner integrations, we’ve seen companies like Kustomer, Gorgias, and others become more popular because of a better UX/UI that supports the whole customer experience and journey. This is a fundamental switch in approach.
From one of our earlier research steps we found 87 companies that people were using for support with shopify, we have them in a spreadsheet, we then could take those and put all the competitors in builtwith to run some reports to understand market penetration (you can do this with number of reviews as well by the way if you’re lazy - don’t be lazy).
Download your list - populate your CRM - you now know what people are using, how long they’ve been using them.
Narrow down your list to the top 20 clients - yes only 20.
Even if you have 100 clients or a thousand clients at this point, this process works for every single Sales rep you have - and I’m going on a 95% chance none of them are doing this stuff. And if you tell me they are, I know from the amount of generic ass emails I get regularly spewed out to me they aren’t doing it well and I guarantee you money is being left on the table. (Topic for another day)
How to position within that market
You know what software they are using, you know their tech stack, your goal is to figure out their workflow. If you don’t know, ask. You should understand the general business workflows for the industry - again industry knowledge is required.
Engage them with conversation and find out. Base your questions on conversations you’ve had with other people in the space and be a source of information about how other people are doing it.
The above is completely able to be put into a human measurable process, one based on quality over quantity, relationships over transactions, and geared towards long term growth.
Be about the things that other platforms are not. Focus on changing the narrative from cost center to revenue generator.
The helpdesk for Shopify and Shipstation customers looking to streamline their processes and free up their support teams to become revenue generators in an organic and measurable fashion.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
It’s all about workflows, data, and automation.
Niche down, learn from the inside out, follow the trends and work on being able to tie back data to creating more revenue no matter what your product does and you’ll be able to start conversations with people actively looking to create more optimized workflows.
Focusing on a legacy product and small businesses usually allows you to find a sweet spot, they don’t find value in all the features because they won’t use them all. But they do want the more advanced features like automation and workflow help. These are usually cost prohibitive in the platform.
This is why you focus on workflow over features, you’ll never catch up with the big guys in terms of features, but there are always ways to compete on workflows, because everyone has their own independent goals around them. There aren’t standards, only best practices.
Side note - there are entire companies that are hired to implement systems like Zendesk and build integrations on top of it and it’s a market leader. The same goes for any market leader.
LEVEL 10ish: You can add location to the end of our narrowing down. A company physically local to you (at least this was the case prior to COVID-19) can allow for an in person visit which has been massive in building trust with early clients. Makes it easier to have a conversation as well.
That’s it. Go through this process, substitute your values, keep drilling down and recognize opportunity along the way. When you do it correctly you’ll see massive improvements for your initial outreach.
Emails go from:
We’re a new helpdesk company.
To:
We’re a new helpdesk company for customers that use Shopify and Shipstation. We help agile support teams that are looking to better automate their workflows. Our integrations also allows your support team’s interactions to be directly tied into future revenue generation.
___________
I can tell you from experience I’m visiting the url for the second email even if I’m not looking to make a change.
This is a good place to stop, we hit question 2 of 5 and we’re almost at the halfway point.
If you have more specific questions about this part just drop them in the comments and I'll respond to them.
submitted by lickitysplitstyle to startups [link] [comments]

Blunt Resume Advice for Recent Graduates in Technical Fields

I have reviewed a lot of resumes over the past several years. I have had more than my fair share of jobs in the technology industry where I have been both a job applicant and hiring manager. In recent years I have returned to academia where I get to help students prepare for that job market. I keep seeing the same missteps and offering the same advice on the matter so I thought I would right this up. ADMINS feel free to pin.
Now as a disclaimer before I begin. I am speaking ONLY about my experience in the Computing technology sector (Finance, Pharma, Telecom, and Marketing). Much of this will probably apply to similar or adjacent fields. Design or office administration jobs probably none of it.
EDIT: This is LONG. Be sure to have your resume handy when you go through it so you can edit as you go. Stick around for the end where I added a sample technical resume.
TL;DR: Think like a hiring manager, focus on what they want to see. You are ultimately going to be a cog in a machine for the first few years so leave off all of the fluff. Be clear, concise and focused. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SKILLS.

Objectives / Summary

Let me begin by addressing my biggest pet peeve: Objectives. I don’t know who keeps recommending this for resumes for anyone other than Vice President or “C” level executives. Your objective is irrelevant to the company. Your objective is to do whatever you are asked to do in order to get the job. Your objective is to be the best damned cog in the machine as you can be because that is what you are being hired to be. No one cares what the Cog wants to achieve in this role. There will come a time when it is more important. Your first post-college job is not it. Sorry, not sorry.

Education

If you graduate in an off month (Not may or june) then don’t list the month, people assume the worst. "BUT ProfessorOfLies, I had a really good reason for taking that extra semester!" It was because of my [internship|pandemic|family emergency|Early Graduation|Whatever]. It doesn’t matter. Anything you need to explain on your resume, you will never get a chance to.
Don’t list GPA unless over 3.5. Know what it is. If an employer asks then answer truthfully, but do not volunteer it.
Associates Degrees are made irrelevant by your bachelors degree IF it is in the same field. IE: your BCC degree in CS is no longer worth mentioning after your CS degree from NJIT/Rutgers/Steven’s. Now you got your associate degree in MATH and then a Bachelors in CS. YES advertise that!

Skills

Skills are the most important part of your resume. Some people might say work experience but the things that are important from your work experience are the SKILLS you applied and learned while on the job. What any hiring manager wants to see is if the applicant can fit the hole in their team. They need a set of skills to get a job done and they want to get the best candidate that they can with those skills. So make sure your skills are right near the top of your resume. Make sure every project and job you have had reinforces those skills. Your resume should say “I have these skills and LOOK at all the ways I have demonstrated that I have these skills!”
To that effect I would suggest making sure your skills section is easy to read and categorized for convenient skimming. For example:
SKILLS
Programming Languages: C/C++, Java, C#
Scripting Languages: HTML/CSS/Javascript, PHP, Python, Perl, BASH
System Administration: Windows (Server, 10, 7), Linux (RedHat, Fedora, Gentoo, Ubuntu), Solaris
Database Administration: MySQL, SQLite, Oracle, MangoDB
Project Management: JIRA, Trello, Git, AGILE, SCRUM
Skills should be listed from MOST proficient to least proficient. In general for a technical resume I would shy away from using qualifying language. Proficient in, experienced with, once read about it in a textbook, etc. The reality is that if you put it on your resume you better be at least proficient in it enough to answer interview questions about it. Google interview questions for each skill you list. Make sure you are prepared to answer them. If you are not then don’t list them, if you are close then STUDY until you are prepared.
Read through job sites. Technology evolves constantly. Buzzwords change. New things become popular. Classwork doesn’t always make it clear what things you do in class are worth mentioning and which are not. So read through the job descriptions. Take note of the skills that they are looking for. Perhaps you have some but didn’t mention them in your resume because you thought that it wasn't relevant. Maybe you had it down, but described it in a different or outdated way. Adapt the resume to the job description (BUT DON’T LIE).
Human languages (as opposed to programming languages) DO require qualifying language. Having taken a French class in high school is not the same as a native speaker. Being fluent in a language means more than a casual speaker. If you mention a language make sure you list your level in the language. It may actually help if you are applying for a company that has business dealings in different languages.
NOTE: IF you mention a non-English language, be sure to mention English and your level in it. You may think that English is a given, it is not. People will also assume that if you know another language that your English skills are probably poor. So PLEASE remember to list English and your level in it. Especially if you grew up in a bilingual household.
EDIT: I don't want to forget to mention that if you come from a technical field you do NOT need to mention Office as a skill. That is a muggle skill, we are better than that.

Work Experience

Work experience can be a tough one for a college student. Not everyone can get or afford to take an internship or co-op. Sometimes your work is hard to justify on your resume. There is pressure to list every job you have ever had, but the reality is that it is just not necessary.
If you have had a string of retail / clerk jobs, you really don’t have to show them all. Pick the most recent one to list. IF you managed to do anything related to the field (Helped with the company website for instance) then list that as a bullet, but do not feel the need to go into detail about it. We all know what hell you go through. The only purpose this serves is to show employers that yes indeed you can hold a job.
For each job you held you want to list the standard information in the top line for it: Company, Title, Location, Dates (year - year is fine unless you NEED to be more granular because you worked a few in the same year). Then a BRIEF one line description of the role. You can even leave it off if you are doing that clerk job (Sales Associate at BLAH).
Then you want to list 2 or 3 bullets about your SPECIFIC accomplishments while in that role. Resist the urge to go through ALL the responsibilities you had in the role. Yes there is paperwork and teamwork and meetings and documentation in every role. Those are not going to highlight your technical skills!
Example entry:
Back End Developer, South Hill Apparel Newark, NJ Summer 2019
Supported and developed new features for the remote procedure calls for retail websites.
Note how each bullet mentions what the achievement was and then name drops the technical skills used in the process. This will now reinforce the assertion that your skills in Node.js, MYSQL, ZeroMQ, AWS, and Google Dart are legit.

Projects

Passion projects, Hackathon / Game Jam projects, and class projects are excellent things to put on the resume. Treat them like jobs (But make sure they are under the correct category) in formatting. Since few college students would have had relevant work experience you really want to focus on the projects section. This is something that I wish I knew when I was a recent graduate. I never had an internship but I had a TON of passion projects.
Not only will projects show that you have experience in the skills you are claiming, but it will also tell the employer that you are actually INTERESTED in the field you want to work in. That you will constantly be learning new skills and technologies that may benefit the company. Your projects will likely have exposed you to things not mentioned in the rest of the resume that could pay out in the future.

Professional Associations

If you belong to one of the industry related professional societies, be sure to list them. I am talking specifically about IEEE, ACM, IGDA, etc. For other extra curricular activities see the section below (Spoilers: DON’T list them). These will again show that you are serious about your interests in the field.

Conclusion

At this point I have gone over everything that SHOULD be in a resume (everything after Objective that is). As a new job seeker I would even recommend it be in that order:
Education, Skills, Work Experience, Projects, and Professional Associations. The minute you have that industry job though, Put Work Experience at the top and move Education to the bottom.
You may be wondering at this point that I left some things out. If you keep reading below "Additional Thoughts" you will see what I left out and why.

Additional Thoughts

One Page Resume

The one page resume is largely a thing of the past. When the most common way to get your resume in front of an employer was to attend a career fair or trade show, the one page resume made more sense. You basically need it to be your elevator pitch and no one at a busy fair wants to go through a long resume.
These days we mostly distribute resumes digitally (PLEASE USE PDF, not DOC) and the hiring managers will go through them in bulk when they have time to think. This doesn’t mean you should be sending out 5 page documents, ain’t no one got time to go through that. But if your resume goes over a page up to a full second page I would not worry.
Now Career fairs and trade shows ARE still a thing. So have a 1 page version of your resume with ample copies printed out when you attend these events. Do not be surprised if you hand a recruiter your resume, they read it for a minute and then go, “This looks great, here is my card. Email it to me” or “This looks great, here is the company job site, please apply and mention my name.” THEN when you send in your digital resume, send in the full resume.

Never Submit the same resume twice

EVERY time you apply for a job, look at the job posting. Match your resume as best as you can to the description. Use their language. Highlight the skills that they are looking for, cut down things that are not relevant to that specific job. Even if you apply to the same company more than once, each position should get a tailor made resume.
Hell make a MASTER resume with EVERYTHING you have ever done that might be relevant. And then cut it down to suit a job in question.

If you have to explain something, you will never get the chance

I mentioned this in the education section, but this bears repeating. The resume is a filter of sorts, so if something looks OFF, it will be thrown out. You may have an EXCELLENT reason for including something weird or off, but you will never get a chance to defend it. Just do yourself a favor and don’t put it on the resume. Maybe it will come up during the interview, and if so then you can give a full explanation and maybe the thing will work out for you.

Cover Letters

This is where you would put that fluff you wrote for your objective btw. But no one reads them. Even when they are required, no one actually reads them. Do you know when people read them? When you made a glaring mistake on them. Applying for a job at Prudential but accidentally mentioned how much you want to work for FedEx? Well you can bet someone WILL read it that time.
Write a good heartfelt cover letter for a job at a company that you really want to work for, and then adapt it to the job you are applying for. AND THEN PROOFREAD IT. I can’t stress this enough READ IT, adapt it, and make sure it makes sense because no one really cares what you wrote it in unless you made a HUGE careless mistake.

Github

Definitely have a github with examples of your work. Try to curate it to show your best, but a few old projects that were not great are fine and can show your growth. Finally public repos give programmers the ability to have a portfolio. Also try to make sure your username is sanitary. I can get away with EngineerOfLies because I have been in the industry long enough. You can't. At least not yet.

LinkedIn

Make sure you have a LinkedIn page and DO NOT TREAT IT LIKE FACEBOOK. LinkedIn is like your living resume. Treat it as such. Make sure it's up to date and leave your personal life and politics off of it.
And a side note: Make sure your FB is set to Friends only. You WILL be looked up on there. Sanitize it.

Relevant Courses

This is something that I see a lot on resumes from students. You are rightfully proud of the work you did in your undergraduate degree however, listing the courses doesn’t really help you on your resume. If you are being considered for a position then they will request your transcript and it will all be there. Before that though you need to show that you have the skills that they care about. “But ProfessorOfLies,” I hear you say, “I did some excellent relevant work in those courses!” And you are right, but the way to showcase that work is with the PROJECTS section. You can hone in on that one gem of a project you did in that class without mentioning the class title.
Note on class prefixes and numbers: Even when listing class work under the projects section DO NOT use the prefix and course numbers. NO ONE OUTSIDE YOUR UNIVERSITY KNOWS WHAT CS 345 IS! Hell most people IN your university won’t know what that is.
Note on class titles: Most course titles are generic and vague by design. When we propose a course we need to future proof ourselves. Technologies change all the time and even methodologies come and go. So when we make a course title and description we tend to make them generic enough to not require updating when technology does. Also these courses have to get through committees staffed by faculty from different departments. Sometimes interdepartmental politics will mutate a course title into something ridiculous because of some petty squabble. So when mentioning a class (under the projects section) use a DESCRIPTIVE title not the authentic one if the authentic one is weird. The actual title will be seen on your transcript.

Graphics

Just a reminder that all of this advice is for a technical resume. This may not apply to graphic designers, web designers, UX designers, Writers, Administrators, etc. With that said, DO NOT PUT GRAPHICS ON YOUR RESUME! You may think that logos may look nice or highlight the big name companies you interned for, but they are tacky and take up a ton of space on the page.
DO NOT get fancy with your templates either. Again, if you are not going for a design job you are FINE with just a drab easy to read resume.
DO NOT put your picture on the resume. That is what LinkedIn is for.

Extra Curriculars

Hobbies, clubs, student senate, Sports, eSports, fraternities and sororities please leave them off the resume. NO ONE CARES.
Follow up note on Frats and Sororities: DO NOT LIST THEM on your resume. You may have heard anecdotes about that one frat brother got the job because another brother was the hiring manager. Anecdotes are not data. The sad reality is that Frats have a bad reputation. To anyone who was not part of greek life you are seen as drunken party animals and sexual predators (I am not saying that all people in greek life are like that, I am saying that your reputation has painted it like that). Hell to people who were part of greek life that is how they are seen. Worse still, you know how Frats have rivals? What if the hiring manager was greek and from a rival frat, or at their school their chapter was a rival to your fraternity even if you had a good relationship with your local chapter? The best way to use your greek connection is to ask around from within your own organization and find out if the hiring manager is an older brother or sister. Barring that just wear a ring or something to the job interview. IF it comes up and you luck out it will be a huge bonus. If not, then it won’t hurt you.

Sample Resume

College Student Name

11111 Bleeker St Newark NJ 555 555-5555 github.com/baapsjfl;kasjdf;kjasdf;j LinkedIn link goes here

Education

New Jersey Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science Information Technology (expected 2021)

Skills

System Administration: Linux (Ubuntu 18.04 LTS), Windows 10
Programming Languages: C / C++, Java, C#, Pascal, Fortran, Erlang
Libraries: STL, Boost, OpenGL, SDL, Glib, GTK, Qt, Web Sockets, BSD Sockets,MySQLi, RabbitMQ, AJAX
Scripting Languages: PHP, Python, Bash, HTML, CSS, Javascript
Database Administration: MySQL, NoSQL, MongoDB
Technologies: AMQP, RabbitMQ, Wordpress, Git, Apache2, Cron, SOAP, CURL, Trello

Work Experience

Sales Associate, Retail Giant Hometown, NJ 2018 - Present
Responsible for managing stock, orders from corporate, and large ticket items.

Projects

Front End Developer - Systems Integration Project Spring 2020
Project involved integrating a third party data source with a custom front end through a multiple server environment. I was responsible for Project Management, setting up the Front End server and implementing the third party api

Professional Associations

IEEE, ACM, IGDA
submitted by ProfessorOfLies to NJTech [link] [comments]

Online gambling legislation and regulation. Starting your own gambling product.

Online gambling legislation and regulation. Starting your own gambling product.

Mobile gambling
If you plan to develop an app with the ability to deposit and withdraw real money, then such a product automatically falls into the category of gambling and you will need to license your business for successful operation.
Mobile and Web Based Apps
So let’s talk about the different kinds of online gambling apps available on web and mobile. We’ll be covering both free-play gaming apps and real money casino app games you can find for iOS, Android devices and web browsers.
Mobile gambling is more common for poker, casino, bingo, and skill games. They have advantages in terms of a low barrier to enter the market, instant liquidity, product knowledge, and marketing expertise, minimal infrastructure costs, and the ability to bring a brand to the market quickly. Consequently, this form of gambling does not sit neatly with jurisdictional boundaries. Multiple gambling opportunities are available, including betting on various events and markets, in a relatively simple format. Gambling products can also be integrated into betting on television shows or virtual racing and sports games as well as offering lotteries, bingo, poker and casino games.
Most Popular Gambling Apps
Sports betting, casino, poker and lotteries are the most popular forms of online gambling. However, other forms are available too. These include the following: Bingo, slot machines, different card games, roulette and other game of chance. One of the best things about online gambling and betting apps is the number of choices you have.

Sports Betting

Betting means making or accepting a bet on the outcome of a race, competition, or other event or process, the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring, or whether anything is or is not true. Today most sports betting is done via mobile-friendly sites and apps.
Today most sports betting is done via mobile-friendly sites and apps.
The introduction of live betting for sports like soccer and tennis means that bettors who are sitting inside stadiums watching games can now pick up their mobile devices and find real-time betting value with the best sports gambling apps. This has really unlocked a door to the future of sports gambling and the popularity of online gambling apps.

Poker

Many sites offer free poker, where no real money is wagered, although in some cases players can accumulate credits that can be exchanged for prizes. This is the case why people are going to play for real money. There is an ongoing debate over whether poker should be classified as a game of chance or skill. The parameters of legal poker playing are still unclear and differ between jurisdictions. Since you are not gambling with money, I’m pretty sure under the law it’s just a video game for now.

Blackjack

Blackjack is the game of choice to many high-rollers and do you know why? Because blackjack is a challenging, logic and skill-based game where your thinking, strategy, and calculations determine the outcome of the game.

Bingo

Bingo is one of the most popular and socially accepted games in the world. Bingo is a traditional form of gambling that has seen considerable innovation in recent years. It is also the only form of gambling recognized in the Gambling Act that does not have a specific statutory definition, the Act providing simply that “bingo” means “any version of that game, irrespective of by what name it is described”. Bingo must be played as an equal chance game. For game to be classed as “bingo” it must meet the Act’s definition of “equal chance gaming” (as opposed to casino gaming). Thus, it: must not involve playing or staking against a bank, and must be a game in which the chances are equally favorable to all participants in the sense that each ticket or chance has the same probability of success as any other.
Licensed bingo is a well-regulated and socially responsible form of gambling that takes place in a safe environment. Many sites offer multiple forms of bingo with different features, types of games, and costs of play. These sites often cater specifically for women and some research suggests that they may appeal to markets who would not typically engage in traditional forms of gambling.

Slots

Slot machine is one of the most beloved game among the gambling community and it has been a part of the industry for a long time. They provide fun and entertainment and their simplicity allows gamers to start playing at once. This can play out in different ways depending on the machine you’re playing. For instance, there’s Pick a Fortune, a five-reel, 20 line game that puts players right in the studio of a television game show, including the potential to play a Deal or No Deal-style bonus round. A super trend over the past few years is mobile-friendly slot games. These apps and websites were developed to enable players to enjoy their favorite games on their smartphones at any time. Another dominant slot trend is licensed branded slots that are based on popular movies, television, and musicians.
Virtual Money vs Real Money
Let’s find out the difference between social gambling and real money gambling, as well as the differences between gambling through apps and gambling through a web browser. It can be quite confusing trawling through all the casinos, slots, and lotteries available, both through your mobile web browser as well as through mobile app stores, in the form of downloadable apps.

Virtual money

The main difference between virtual money and real money gambling is that the in-game virtual currency in social games and gambling-type games is used only like credits that are not paid out as winnings or anything given to player in cash, making these games exempt from gambling regulations.
Virtual money is loaded on user game accounts via in-app purchases in mobile applications or the game balance funding from a card via web based applications.

Real money gambling

Real money gambling via your mobile device is only allowed in countries where laws have been passed that allow for this type of gambling online, or there are no laws in place that prevent it. The payment systems are the legal way of services payment in the gambling app, performing as the intermediary between the gambling facility and the client. With their help, users replenish deposits and withdraw funds to personal accounts in financial institutions. If the application uses the payment system of a well-known brand, that gives players additional confidence in the resource. Nowadays, there is a wide range of payment systems, some of which operate all over the world, other systems are oriented towards the citizens of one or several countries. A number of services accept money of different world currencies, while others allow currency transactions of one state only.
What is an Online Gambling Licensing
The internet has a global audience, there’s no single piece of legislation that covers the legality of online gambling for the entire world. Mobile gambling doesn’t typically accept customers from every single country in the world. It often focuses on certain specific regions.
Instead, most countries have their own local laws that deal with the relevant legal and regulatory issues.
Ultimately, questions of legality all go back to the location of the casino or where the website operates out of. In closed regulatory systems, such as Italy, France, and the Netherlands, licenses, and advertising rights are limited to domestic providers, which must be located within their country’s geographical boundaries and these are only permitted to offer some types of products. Some jurisdictions, for example, Norway, Sweden, and Canada legalize and regulate online gambling, but this is limited to a single site that is owned by the government. Under such an approach, the government becomes the operator and regulator and all revenues are returned to the government.
Remote gambling is generally permitted. That means that an operator that is licensed may provide gambling services to citizens in the country via all forms of remote communication (and using equipment that may be located in the country or abroad). Equally, a remote operator may be licensed to offer gambling services to citizens in any jurisdiction in the world using equipment located in the country. The law provides that, for each type of gambling (betting, gaming, and participating in a lottery), there will be two forms of license available: remote and non-remote forms (land-based). If you provide facilities for remote gambling, online or through other means, and advertise to consumers you will need a license from the licensing jurisdictions or local licensing authorities. Before an online gambling site signs up its first customer, before it accepts its first bet before the first card is dealt, it must be licensed by a recognized governmental entity.
Certain regions in the world have specific legislation in place that allows them to license and regulate companies that operate online gambling sites or provide industry services (such as the supply of gaming software). These regions are referred to as online gambling jurisdictions or licensing jurisdictions.
Depending on what type of entertainment you are going to implement in your internet establishment, you will have to apply for the corresponding permissions. Online gambling laws in Europe vary from one country to the next. The industry is well regulated in some countries and less so in others. There are several online gambling jurisdictions located in Europe. Some of these are members of the European Union (EU), and thus subject to the various rules and regulations of that body, while others are independent. Each of these jurisdictions has an authority that’s responsible for approving gambling sites for licenses that enable them to offer their services legally. They also regulate their licensees.
Countries that Provide Gambling Licensing
Today there are lots of licensing jurisdictions located all over the world and offering different terms for their customers. Depending on the country, licenses can be local, international (distributed in several countries), have a different set of documents for registration, costs of registration and further support, various operating conditions and other special details.

Which gambling license is both internationally recognized?

The government of Ireland offers casino operators, software, and service providers in the gambling industry, with a gambling license that allows gambling operators to conduct business related to casino, lotto, and other gaming-related activities. Ireland Gambling License is one of the most popular license for online casinos worldwide. Ireland has long been recognized as one of the preferred locations for Online Gambling operators to base their operations. This success has been due to a combination of factors, such as a progressive legislative system, political stability, first-rate telecommunications facilities, and a well established financial services industry. A wide range of gambling sites operates out of Ireland including sports betting, casino sites, poker, bingo, and more.
In stark contrast, the UK is the largest regulated market for online gambling in the world, and corporations are already comfortable exploiting the intersections of gambling and gaming, betting in-play, social gaming, Bitcoin, financial trading and spread betting, betting exchanges, e-sports and, most profitably, mobile gambling. 40% and 60% of online gambling in the UK took place in Gibraltar.

International licensing

Europe is home to the following online gambling jurisdictions: Alderney, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta. Malta is currently the country that is most accommodating to gambling companies, and the license offers whitelisted online gambling in sports and casino games in many European territories. But takes an extreme amount of time in paperwork and background checks. Also, you pay 5% of all your gross profit to the EU.
Among countries offering gambling licensing services, the attention should be paid to Curaçao jurisdiction, which is considered to be one of the most promising for the online gaming business.
Curaçao Internet Gaming Association (also known as Curaçao eGaming) is both a regulator and a licensor, and its licensing works worldwide except Curaçao itself, USA, France and Netherlands. Using Curacao as an example, let us examine in detail the process of obtaining a license, the necessary documents and expenses.
How to get a License on Curaçao
  • Documents necessary for company registration:
  • criminal record;
  • passport scans;
  • bank account confirmation;
  • documents proving payments for utility services.
After the company is registered, an operator can apply for the license providing the following documents:
  • a document certifying the right of domain possession;
  • description of games planned to be used in the project;
  • a list indicating countries of potential operation;
  • illustration of server locations to be used in the project;
  • a copy of the agreement with a software provider.
Gambling license cost:
  • Bank account opening $1000
  • Company registration $3600
  • Company management per year $3600
  • Application processing fee $1000
  • License fee per year $4800
  • Equipment/software fee starting from $1500
  • Server maintenance per year $6000
Apart from that pay for technical support and maintenance every year. The entire license issuing process takes between 2-4 weeks. Curacao Internet Gaming Association (CIGA) also has the power to review a license and, if it finds that an operator has breached a license condition, has the power to impose a range of sanctions including revocation of the license.
Apple and Google Gambling Rules
You’ll be surprised at the limited number of real money gambling app options available on the AppStore and Google Play Store. Most real money casino gaming is done through gambler’s mobile web browsers and not through mobile gambling apps that you’ll find for iPhone and Android phones. Apple allows online gambling applications in a few forms, and not just in places where it is explicitly permitted. They do not allow any payments through the applications – those have to be done on the websites. Apple has far stricter developer guidelines for iOS apps than Google does for Android apps, so it’s fine to assume that whatever you choose to download from iTunes is usually safe, secure, and meets a certain standard.
Any real money casino in the iTunes app is required to have proper licensing and permissions before Apple will approve the app for use or downloads. While Google Play is technically regulated, it is much more loose in what can be hosted.

Apple Store

Gambling, gaming, and lotteries can be tricky to manage and tend to be one of the most-regulated offerings on the App Store. Apple has rules for apps that support real money wagering, including sports betting and poker. Those apps and lotteries must have necessary licensing and permissions in the locations where the App is used, must be geo-restricted to those locations, and must be free on the App Store, and Apple rate even simulated gambling apps as appropriate only for users 17-years-old and up.

Play Store

Google keeps the reigns tight. To be able to successfully upload apps to the Google Play store, developers need to have a valid license for the specific countries they are targeting and comply with their regulations. The app must be free to download and must prevent under-age users from gambling in the app. As a final precaution, all gambling apps are required to display prominent information regarding responsible gambling practices. This brings its policy in line with the Apple App Store.
Countries where gambling is illegal
It is also important to remember that while gambling is growing rapidly in many places, in others it is totally or partially prohibited. As well as in the majority of the US, sports betting is illegal in India, Pakistan, and China, three of the largest gambling markets in the world. Most countries have rules against gambling. Almost all Islamic countries prohibit gambling of every kind, but many turn a blind eye to online gambling or simply do not have regulations in place for this grey area.
In the United Arab Emirates, however, any kind of gambling is prosecuted. National lotteries are the only legal forms of wagering on the Asian country’s mainland. Cambodia, North Korea strictly forbids online and offline gambling amongst its own citizens but allows tourists to participate in these activities.
Qatar is the strictest country of all when it comes to gambling laws. All forms of gambling activities are considered illegal, and even sports betting is not permissible.
Starting your own gambling product
Numerous online casino platforms in the market offer fantastic casino games like bingo, poker, roulette, and many more.
If you have an idea, but don’t know where to start, we advise you begin with a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to pilot your proof of concept for investors. MVP spotlights your core features and lets your investors know there are bigger and better things to come.
For MVP you do not need a large team, just a few people are enough to create a fully functioning prototype. In the case of successful numbers of your prototype, the further development of a full-fledged product will require more team, resources and time, however you will be sure that your development and your costs will pay off.
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Best Sports Betting is your home for all things sports betting as well as the various casino style games now available. We’ve compiled this handy guide list of some of the best sports betting Sites in South Africa, ones that offer not only Sports but Lucky Numbers, Lotto, Betgames, Roulette, Blackjack and more. Best online betting sites 2020. Our best international sports betting sites list boasts some of the biggest names in online wagering. These online betting sites are regulated by the best jurisdictions in the world and must cater to multiple regions to make our best betting sites list. Before you consider identifying the best betting site, you might be wondering if sports betting is even legal in the US. The short answer is ‘yes.’ While the long answer is a bit more complicated, most Americans can safely and legally place sports bets online from the comfort of their own home. Sports betting sites UK. Sports betting sites in the UK pretty much have the same offering in mind, as they tend to focus on a number of highly popular sports. For example, Bet365 is considered the best betting site for football, as they offer a mix of high odds, many markets and top-notch live streaming. Below we will delve into the best When you have a look at Google, and you search for the best betting websites and the best online casinos, you find thousands of different options. Every month new online casinos and online sports betting websites open their virtual doors. 10 Years a go it was hard to open an online casino or sports betting website.

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