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Politicians just positioned ISPs to be the biggest digital ad player of the future

(ENTREPRENEUR) With the S.J. Res 34 signed, ISPs are on the fast and narrow track to knowing you better than you know yourself.



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Digital advertising is about to get creepily smart

Internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon, Comcast and and AT&T are about to take “know your customer” to the next level, thanks to recent government legislation.

ISPs will have unrestricted access to users’ sensitive data, making them essentially the all-knowing oracle of consumer behaviors and preferences.

Res 34

The US House of Representative and Senate passed S.J. Res 34, a measure that eliminates consumer broadband privacy rules enacted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last October requiring ISPs to get consumers’ permission before collecting personal information like browsing history, geo-location data, and financial information.

The rules also required more transparency from ISPs regarding their data collection and sales practices.

Profiting on your privacy

President Donald Trump signed this measure on April 3rd, giving ISPs practically unlimited freedom to create a vast repository of personal information and do whatever they want with it.

This includes selling it to third-party companies for digital advertising purposes.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) claims this measure will make the internet an unfriendly, even frightening, place for consumers.

Wary of the world wide web

The vote on S.J. Res. 34 passed by a very narrow margin along party lines, leaving many observers enraged and concerned. The EFF warned of the potential danger of such personal information in the hands of ISPs:

“They will watch your every action online and create highly personalized and sensitive profiles for the highest bidder. All without your consent.”

While this is merely a prediction, it echoes the concerns of most tech industry experts and observers that S.J. Res. 34 will put consumers in a very vulnerable position.

Step aside, Google and Facebook

Proponents of the measure argue that search engines and social networks like Facebook and Google have access to such large quantities of data, giving them an extreme advantage in the digital ad space, calling the current conditions “government intervention in the free market.”

They claim that offering ISPs the same privilege is only fair.

While users can choose to stay off Facebook and Google, avoiding ISPs is less easy. This means ISPs will not only have data from way more customers — they will have way more data from each customer, due to their unique ability to track every individual site a customer visits.

A new digital empire

Major ISPs have acquired companies like Time Warner, NBC Universal, AOL, and Yahoo in recent years to secure a presence in the digital advertising market.

Yet an omniscient view of internet users at large will do more than expand that presence.

It will overturn longstanding digital hierarchies, possibly making ISPs even more powerful than Google and Amazon.

You can’t hide

This new measure sparks the question of whether it’s more important to be fair to ISPs or to be respectful of consumers.

Whatever side you’re on, one thing’s certain: advertisers are about to know you better than you know yourself.


Helen Irias is a Staff Writer at The American Genius with a degree in English Literature from University of California, Santa Barbara. She works in marketing in Silicon Valley and hopes to one day publish a comically self-deprecating memoir that people bring up at dinner parties to make themselves sound interesting.

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Business Entrepreneur

Is this normal (you wonder about your business)?

(ENTREPRENEURIALISM) It can be lonely not being able to openly ask potentially embarrassing questions about your business – there’s a way to do it anonymously…




Entrepreneurialism is wildly rewarding – you are fully in control of the direction of your company, and you’re solving the world’s problems. But it’s also isolating when you’re not sure if what you’re experiencing is normal.

Sure, there’s Google, news networks (like ours), and professional connections to help you navigate, but sometimes you just want to know if something simple you’re seeing is normal.

Is Instagram Stories really where it’s at? Probably not if you’re a consultant.

Is it normal for an employee to attempt to re-negotiate their salary on their first day? Nope, but how do you keep the desirable employee without being bullied into new terms?

Do all entrepreneurs spend their first year in business as exhausted as a new parent? Sometimes.

You have questions, and together, we can share our experiences.

We have a brand new Facebook Group that is already wildly engaging, active, and you’d be amazed at how selflessly helpful people are – and we invite you to be one of them.

Want to anonymously ask a question about something you’re unsure is normal or not?

Click here to submit your question, and we’ll select as many as possible to discuss in the Facebook Group!

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Business Entrepreneur

Amazon on a collision course with politicians as they strengthen their monopoly

(BUSINESS) E-commerce has come a long way in the last decade, specifically led by Amazon, but are their controlling ways putting them on a collision course with regulators?




In March, Amazon stopped replenishing weekly purchase orders for tens of thousands of vendors in a move that has stirred up some trouble. The tech giant has once flexed its power over first-party sellers over their platform. And it’s not the first time.

Amazon originally sent out to vendors as an automated message citing the hold up in orders as a technical glitch. The following day, vendors were told the change was permanent. The affected vendors were categorized as making $10 million or less in sales volume per year and not having managers at Amazon. Vendors selling specialized goods that were difficult to ship were also a factor.

The effects can have remarkable effects on the market as Amazon’s algorithms decide who is able to sell what to whom via their near-ubiquitous platform. According to John Ghiorso, the CEO of Orca Pacific, an Amazon agency for consultation and manufacturers representatives, the decision is driven by financial data such as total revenue, profitability, and catalog size.

In a response from an Amazon spokesperson, the change was made in order to improve value, convenience, and selection for customers. The mass termination of purchase orders and the delayed response from Amazon herald the transition to the One Vendor system, putting vendors in an exclusive relationship with Amazon. This system will merge the current Seller Central and Vendor Central.

Amazon’s message is loud and clear: they will do what’s in their best interest to mitigate the market for their convenience. One may be reminded of the anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft in 2001.

The lack of warning didn’t do them any favors either.

While smaller businesses need to change for Amazon’s program, first-party business will revolve around larger brands like Nike with whom Amazon is maintaining a relationship.

Despite the streamlined platform Amazon is going for, the company wields power over vendors and customers alike. Capitalism is one thing, but monopolies are a whole other ball game, and politicians are finally paying attention.

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Business Entrepreneur

Culture Codes is the guide you need for company culture questions

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) One of the biggest sellers of a company to a prospective employee or customer is their culture. Culture Codes has compiled some the biggest companies cultures in convenient decks for you to study and align with.



culture codes

Organizational culture is a hot button of conversation. While a variety of definitions exist, one way of defining Culture is the way businesses exist – a summary of values, rituals, and organizational mythology that helps employees make sense of the organization they work in.

Organizational cultures are often reflected in Mission, Vision, and Value statements of organizations.

What many entrepreneurs or new organization struggle with as well, is how to create a culture from the ground up. What kinds of statements and values do they advocate? What are areas of focus? Who are our competitors and what can we do to create a service, product, or quality advantage?

Building a strong culture can be challenging, but a good place to start is looking at the best cultures around.

A new resource by Tettra, Culture Codes, has everything you could want to know on different companies their cultures available for you to study up.

Over 40 companies employing over 280,000 employees have created culture decks and collected core values and mission statements. Companies like Spotify, Netflix, LinkedIn, and NASA have all contributed information.

This information is great for young companies or entrepreneurs to start building a schema about what kind of culture they want to create.

Or existing established companies can look towards peers and competitors and help decide what statements they want to engage culture change on.

For job seekers, Tettra can help potential employees gauge if they are a fit for an organization, or discover that maybe an organization they dream about working for has a culture they may not jive with. And perhaps most valuably, transparently showing off your culture and allowing it to be compared means that organizations can better compete in the talent market.

Recruiters should be obsessed with talking about culture – because it keeps people in the door.

The reasons why people leave employment: work/ life balance, poor treatment, lack of training, or relationship issues with a supervisor or boss; in many ways are a by-product of organizational culture. If you want to compete in the talent market, make culture a selling point and show it off in everything you do.

Even consumer’s benefit from learning about an organization’s culture – values that indicate a commitment to excellence in ethics make consumers feel good about supporting an organization.

It pays to have a good culture. I encourage you to head over to and see how companies like Etsy are keeping it real, every day.

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