United Airlines and China’s Century of Humiliation

David Dao was dragged off a United Airlines plane this week and the video of the brutal incident has gone viral. In China, it is estimated that the video has been watched more than 2 billion times. In this Brain Boost, Eazl business instructor Davis Jones talks about why the explosive Chinese reaction could be rooted in recent history–China’s “Century of Humiliation” and it’s rise to economic power.

“It’s Because I’m Chinese”
David Dao said that he was selected for “involuntary removal” by United Airlines because he is Asian-American. Some in China agree, and the Global Times, a state-owned newspaper ran a piece that gives credibility to Mr. Dao’s claim.

Roots of Humiliation
A phrase that’s known inside China is “The Century of Humiliation.” The beginning of the Century of Humiliation is usually dated around 1850 when free-trade agreements with Britain led to widespread opium addiction and the political unraveling of Qing dynasty. Later, events like the Japanese invasion in the 1930s and the eventual massacre and rape of Nan Jing where an estimated 300,000 citizens were killed and around 20,000 women were raped led Chinese society to bundle these years together as a time when China was fated to suffer terrible humiliations.

New Chinese Consumers
Today, media outlets, political leaders, and Chinese consumers are quick to report any incidents they view as discrimination against China or Chinese customers. As businesspeople and citizens outside China have more interactions with Chinese citizens, it is important to be aware that Chinese society increasingly demands recognition and respect. As their economic power increases, all brands and business owners will benefit by understanding more about Chinese history, the Century of Humiliation, and what that means for the psychology of Chinese citizens

Further Reading:
Chinese Consumers Boycott United
The Global Times says racism might have been a motive (Chinese)

Subscribe to Eazl here

Interact with the Eazl community:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Does the Government Hate Freelancers?

As tax time comes in the US, Eazl has a question: does the government hate freelancers? Should we rework the tax code to make sense for self-employed people? Have your say! Answer the poll at the end of this video or leave your comment.

• The New 40%: Freelancers and self-employed people represent the fastest-growing portion of the labor market in the US and in many countries around the world. There are currently 55mm freelancers in the US and by 2020 freelancers will be 40% of the work force [1]. This trend will only continue as millennials and Gen Z are the largest groups who opt in to the freelancer work style.

• Support for Big Business: Meanwhile, governments around the world continue to flow money towards massive corporations. For example, the CATO Institute found that $10bn in farm subsidies went to publicly-listed industrial agriculture businesses, $4.4bn in special financing was directed towards Boeing, and Walmart has received more than $150mm in land grants and financing at the expense of US taxpayers. [2]

• 43.3% Tax Rate: Now that it’s tax time, freelancers are cutting relatively huge checks to federal and state governments… and taxes on self-employed people are rising. In her Piece for the Huffington Post, Nancy Humphries shows that freelancers who make under $110k annually pay an effective tax rate of 43.3% in the US [3]. That’s a higher rate than most billionaires! The US isn’t alone in raising taxes on self-employed people. The UK just passed a hugely controversial law requiring self-employed people to pay higher National Insurance Contributions [4] which many self-employed people say makes it even harder to survive.

Sources:
[1] See https://www.slideshare.net/upwork/freelancing-in-america-2016/1
[2] See https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa592.pdf
[3] See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-k-humphreys/selfemployed-pay-highest-_b_2397853.html
[4] See https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/09/self-employed-nics-increase-budget

Subscribe to Eazl here.

Interact with the Eazl community:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Using Equity Crowdfunding to Launch Small Businesses

Despite all the hype about startups and disruption, entrepreneurship is actually on the DECLINE. Here’s how we can fix that.

The Problem: Entrepreneurship is on the decline. See the non-partisan Economic Innovation Group’s report with some dramatic statistics on the subject.

The Funding Gap: On a recent fundraising trip to Silicon Valley, Eazl’s founders realized that part of the problem is that most angel investors and VCs want to invest in the next Facebook or Snapchat. But where does that leave startups that only need $30,000 to launch a grow into a solid business?

The Solution: Equity Crowdfunding, a new financial technology, would enable people in the community to own a small piece of local businesses, to get dividend payments from those businesses, to increase their property values, and to provide local job opportunities. See how this technology works in a short, free mini-course from Eazl:

Our team at Eazl is building this movement. If you’re interested in participating send us an email at care@eazl.co.

Subscribe to Eazl here.

Interact with the Eazl community:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Bots Can Now Power Your (Huge) Business

⍾ Build Your Own Artificially-intelligent Twitter Bot in a New Project-based Course from Eazl 

Philip Kaplan is the founder of DistroKid, one of the largest digital music distributors on the planet. They’ve served more than 5 billion downloads and streams and… wait for it… they only have 3 EMPLOYEES. Philip has created an army of bots that do everything from standardize song information, process and distribute payments, communicate between the company and distributors, and a lot more. That’s enabling DistroKid to beat out firms with millions of dollars in funding an 100+ employees.

Links mentioned in this Brain Boost:
• Read about Philip’s approach to deploying bots for his business
• Read about Bill Gates’ thoughts on taxing bots and robots
• Build an AI Bot powered by IBM Watson with no coding in under 2 hours (project-based course… learn by doing!!)

Subscribe to Eazl here

Interact with the Eazl community:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Think Like a CEO: Using the New LinkedIn Workforce Report

The new LinkedIn Workforce Report will give you a near-realtime snapshot of the movements, skills gaps, and industry talent scenarios each month. The report is built exclusively from LinkedIn’s huge amounts of workforce-related data and should enable you to step into the shoes of a big-time CEO, investor, or entrepreneur. Sometimes, you need to step back and take a 30,000 ft. view to see things you don’t notice when you’re “on the ground.”

Check out February 2017’s report here.

The report will be published each month on the LinkedIn blog.

Subscribe to Eazl here.

Interact with the Eazl community:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Kickass Females, the Miracle Earbud, and the End of Free Content

Learn about what’s next in natural health in a brand new episode of What’s Next as we visit Sonoma County, California. Live only on the Eazl YouTube channel next week!

• Spotlight on Kick-ass Females
We want to highlight a few of the rising star females in the Eazl community and have made a few original interviews with some of them available to you on the EazlBlog. For example, Jessika Jake of Rist Wellness gave a killer interview about what she’s learned from designing, manufacturing, and distributing a physical product that she invented. Here’s her interview.

We’re looking to feature more of you smart people. Find out more here.

• The Earbud that Translates
Pilot, an instantly-translating earbud from Waverly Labs, is one of the most anticipated pieces of new technology in the last decade. It promises to translate from any major language into your ear in real time and plans to retail for $299. See their crowdfunding video here.

• Will the Free Content Era End Soon?
With the rise of fake news, internet trolls, and low-quality journalism we think that a new era of paid-for content will emerge soon. Information is power and we think it’s in (some) peoples’ interest to pay for access to good content and quality discussion forums. What do you think?

Subscribe to Eazl here

Interact with the Eazl community:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Peter Navarro and the Breakup of the EU

We think you should know more about Peter Navarro. Just a few months ago, he was a little-known economics professor at the University of California Irvine and today, he’s the head of the National Trade Council in the United States—a newly-created post within the White House that is responsible for directing ALL trade policy for the US. This includes NAFTA, free-trade agreements with the EU, the US-China trade relationship, and more. Let’s dive in.

Here are the further reading links that are mentioned in this week’s Brain Boost:
The Economist’s profile on Peter Navarro
Peter Navarro’s approach to Germany and the EU (requires subscription… we suggest you read some of the comments)
More about Steve Bannon (Pres. Trump’s senior advisor) and his opposition to globalization
Peter Navarro’s book on China’s rise

Subscribe to Eazl here

Interact with the Eazl community:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

The Problem with Business Gurus (+ Big Announcement)

While professional development conferences, business books, coaching, and online courses are all extremely important sources of inspiration and development I take issue with the idea that a business guru can be qualified to teach based on their ability to sell something to you. We have a big announcement about how the Eazl Team is going to bring you learnings and tactics about innovation and growth marketing from “the field.”

Here are the links mentioned in the video:
Course on Patent Research (Applies to US Patents)
Wefunder’s guide to equity crowdfunding

Subscribe to the Eazl YouTube channel in January for a chance to win a copy of Michael Lewis’ bestseller on business and the irrational brain!

Interact with the Eazl community:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

The History of the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Warning: There is some strong language in this speech.

January is Be Your OWN Inspiration month at Eazl. The world WILL change–almost everything around us will be disrupted at some point. Rather than waiting for someone else to be the change-maker, it is in your cultural DNA to be the change you want to see in the world.

This Brain Boost is a recording of a talk that Eazl co-founder Davis gave to the School of Business and Economics students at Sonoma State University in California in late 2016 on innovation, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the history of democracy.

In this talk:
• #Entrepreneurship and #Democracy: We need to remember that democracy was a revolutionary INNOVATION that brave people in our past brought into the world. Innovation is in our cultural DNA.
• Entrepreneurship isn’t Just for Entrepreneurs: Ultimately, working at larger companies can be an awesome experience. However, these companies do not exist to guarantee your employment. They exist to use your labor to create value. In a world of rapid change, you MUST be innovative to continue creating value.

Community Announcements:
☆ Subscribe to the Eazl YouTube channel in January for a chance to win a copy of Michael Lewis’ new book, the Undoing Project

A New Milestone in Artificial Intelligence

In this week’s Brain Boost: a new milestone in artificial intelligence.

A collaboration is happening between Google’s Deepmind team in the UK and Oxford University. They have been developing an AI platform designed to read lips and, recently, they published their astonishing results.

The AI team put their software up against a professional lip reader for a string of two hundred clips from television broadcasts and the AI platform won big time. The professional –the human– got about 12% of the words spoken by people on TV without any error but the AI platform got nearly 47% percent of the words correctly. Almost four times better than human and many of the mistakes made by the software were just missing little things like an “s” at the end of the word.

What’s happening is a total reorientation of cloud computing towards AI.

One person to follow in this space is Oren Etzioni, who is the CEO of the Seattle-based nonprofit Allen Institute for artificial intelligence. Mr. Etzioni and others are observing that the major tech giants — pretty much all of them: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft– they’re all totally reorienting their cloud services businesses to AI driven services, much like IBM’s Watson.

Each of these tech giants has plans for an AI as a service platform where companies or individuals –maybe people like you– will send things like images and videos through the AI platforms of these tech firms so that their AI cloud services can do things with that data for you.

But there is a talent problem. Deep neural networking is a really different way of building computer services. So, rather than programming the software to behave in a particular way, engineers need to do more coaxing of results from tons and tons of data.

What people on the inside are saying is that AI developers need to think of themselves more as data coaches than a programmer. Google, for example, in their internal class on Deep Learning for Googlers, titled this class The Art of Deep Learning.

In a short, AI developers are in high demand and short supply but, lucky for us, Google recently released its three-month AI course for free on Udacity because you gotta love Google.

Next week, in Part 2 of this update, we’re going to meet two of the most powerful people in Artificial Intelligence and they happen to be women.

I’ll see you next Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time for another Brain Boost and, if you haven’t yet, subscribe to the Eazl channel on YouTube.