Vanity metrics are feel-good nonsense

I was chatting with an entrepreneur earlier this week.

I asked why she cared so much about reading her Instagram insights.

When you look at your Instagram insights what do you think?

Should it be:

“How many of my followers are engaged?”

Or:

“Is my content making an impact?”

In fact - there is just one thing that any entrepreneur should be asking themselves.

It is:

"Did I make a sale?”

I’ve co-founded or founded four businesses so far.

I know why I joined my first startup.

It was because I wanted to be part of a business.

That was pretty much it.

Yes, there as a market opportunity, it was technology, based in California, checking all the cool boxes.

But frankly, I think I was more motivated on just being part of a startup more than anything else the business could impact or do.

Forgetting what the real point of business was.

To make sales.

The business didn’t last long and famously crashed after one year.

Sales.

This chat from earlier this week reminded me that just being in a business is not enough.

Business is about sales.

It is important to remember why we use tools like Instagram.

We use tools like Instagram not for the feel-good vanity metrics like likes, comments, and followers.

We use tools like Instagram to make sales.

- Marc

Marc A. Ross is the founder of Caracal Global and an advisor and connector working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics. Ross specializes in helping entrepreneurs and thought leaders make better connections and better communications.

Candidates who have qualified for the 2020 Democratic debates in Detroit

CBS News reports, the second Democratic primary debate is on July 30 - 31 -- but some candidates are at risk of not meeting the thresholds for support and donations to qualify for the party's debates.

The second debate will air on CNN, and anchors Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper will moderate both nights. Candidates will be chosen for each night in a live drawing on July 18

Candidates who have met both the donation and polling thresholds:

Joe Biden

Cory Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Julián Castro

Tulsi Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kamala Harris

Jay Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Bernie Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

Marianne Willamson

Andrew Yang

Candidates who have fulfilled one criteria:

Michael Bennet

Steve Bullock

Bill de Blasio

John Delaney

John Hickenlooper

Tim Ryan

Mike Gravel

Who has not yet qualified for the debates:

Wayne Messam

Seth Moulton

Joe Sestak

5G, what is it good for?

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5G's impact: Even though the global rollout of 5G remains in its early stages, some networks are active and people are connected. Billed as a revolution over the 4G network it is replacing, 5G is already fulfilling some of its potential. That's according to wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal who measured 5G and 4G speeds in eight different countries. They found that some 5G users are already experiencing the dramatically higher speeds promised ahead of 5G's arrival.

Prep Notes | Bloomberg Radio - July 7, 2019

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On Friday, July 5, Caracal Global Founder Marc A. Ross joined Bloomberg Radio's Sound On program.

Below are his prep notes for the episode.

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Prep Notes | Bloomberg Radio

July 7, 2019

Jobs Day

Stocks fell on Friday after the release of stronger jobs data dampened hope for easier Federal Reserve monetary policy = Markets like stimulus | Overread? Low amount of traders working

Dollar rises to a two-week high on job numbers = impacts commodity goods - including oil - traded in USD

Fed a little less dovish = next meeting July 31

The US economy added 224,000 jobs in June. Economists had forecast the US added 165,000 jobs in June, after a stunningly low 75,000 jobs were created in May, according to Dow Jones.

two month average = 149,500

The unemployment rate edged higher to 3.7% but was still near 50-year lows

Though companies still face the uncertainty of trade tensions and inflation remains below the Fed’s goal, the broad hiring gains in June provide a solid backdrop for consumer spending

A St. Louis Fed economist recently wrote a report suggesting that housing trends are consistent with a looming recession, and the bond market for months has been sending signs of a slowdown ahead.

Even after 10 years of job growth, employers are hiring at a faster pace than the pool of worker is growing. Yet, for most workers, wages are rising only modestly.

"Trump says the Fed doesn't know what it's doing"

Larry Kudlow

Kudlow says talks between the US and China are continuing.

The Fed should "take back the interest rate hike,” Kudlow says. "With a weak global economy, taking out an insurance policy is not a bad thing."

Global Banking

EU officials are considering Mark Carney for top IMF Job = He's Canadian, but he holds Irish and U.K. passports.

ECB = On Tuesday, European officials nominated Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund’s current leader, to succeed Mario Draghi as European Central Bank president.

Bloomberg - Editorial: Lagarde is the right choice for the ECB: She’s more than acquainted with the problems Europe’s facing. She’s lived them.

"Yet to truly prepare the euro area for whatever tests may come, the ECB president will need to be a lot more than a monetary-policy expert. She must also have the political will and conviction to push for the deeper structural changes crucial to making the currency union viable. On that front, the lessons Lagarde appears to have learned over the past decade should prove invaluable."

If she’s confirmed, both the ECB and the US Federal Reserve—the world’s two most influential central banks—will be headed by lawyers, not economists.

Forty years ago, economists convinced the world that good monetary policy needed to be free of political influence in order to focus on long-term considerations in a more global and connected financial system. As a result, governments installed technocrats with deep academic and market expertise to head central banks. But following the financial crisis of 2008 and a rising wave of economic populism, technical expertise and knowledge of monetary policy does not cut it anymore

We now live in a world where politicians, journalists, and the public are wary of expertise and economic populism threatens central bank independence.

Both Powell and Lagarde have enough economic knowledge and humility, to consult with economists, and know when to put economic interests above politics. Future central bankers may not have this wisdom. To be fair, economists don’t always either.

Global Business

Jaguar Land Rover plans to build a new range of electrified cars in the U.K., safeguarding thousands of jobs and providing a boost for a British automotive industry that’s been rocked by job cuts and plant closures.

Ford readies for push in electric cars = “While Ford and VW have yet to announce any definitive agreement around joint-BEV development,” Morgan Stanley wrote, referring to battery electric vehicles, “we believe investors should prepare for significant levels of potential collaboration to share development and manufacturing costs.”

US-China

The meeting between President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping at the G-20 might have been enough to pause the trade war, but it seems that finding a lasting peace is no easier than it was before the summit. China’s pre-condition is a removal of all tariffs placed on its goods, with state media saying talks will “go backward again” without the U.S. agreeing to that step. Trade spats are starting to spread beyond the U.S.-China faceoff, with the long-standing grudge match between Japan and South Korea among those that are beginning to re-emerge.

CNBC: White House trade advisor Peter Navarro: ‘Complicated’ US-China talks ‘will take time’

“We’re headed in a very good direction,” Navarro said in an interview with CNBC. “It’s complicated, as the president said, correctly, this will take time and we want to get it right. So let’s get it right.”

“All we’ve done basically is to allow the sale of chips to Huawei, and these are lower-tech items which do not impact national security whatever,” Navarro said. “Selling chips to Huawei, a small amount of chips - less than $1 billion a year - in the short run is small in the scheme of things.

“We’re not going to sacrifice anything in order to get a cheap political trick,” he said. “The whole China game plan ... is to dominate not just 5G but artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and we can’t let that happen.”

Election 2020

Politico: DOJ says it will continue to explore path for citizenship question as Trump considers executive order

Next DEM debate = July 30 + July 31 = Detroit

Currently, 21 candidates have passed a modest qualification threshold for the July debates, either hitting 1 percent in three qualifying polls or getting 65,000 donors. That’s one more candidate than the Democratic National Committee has said it will allow on stage across the two nights, meaning someone has to get cut.

Fourteen candidates have crossed both of the thresholds = Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.

On the outside = John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Tim Ryan, Michael Bennet, Bullock, Bill de Blasio, and Eric Swalwell.

No chance = Seth Moulton, Wayne Messam, Mike Gravel, and Joe Sestak

Hickenlooper campaign in shambles = Senior staffers asked the former Colorado governor to drop out of the presidential race and run for Senate.

Politico: Reeling O'Rourke seeks a way forward: The Texan’s boosters think organization and a moment could turn the campaign around. 'Things can change on a dime,' says one strategist.

Campaign Cash

Here's how much 2020 candidates raised in the second quarter, according to reports so far:

Trump: $105 million

Buttigieg: $24.8 million

Biden: $21.5 million

Sanders: $18 million

Harris: $12 million

Bullock: $2 million

Campaign Polls

ABC News/Wash Post

Biden 30

Sanders 19

Harris 13

Warren 12

Castro 3

Buttigieg 4

O'Rourke 2

Klobuchar 2

Booker 1

Gabbard 1

Bennet 1

Inslee 1

Yang 0

Bullock 0

Economist/YouGov

Biden 23

Warren 19

Harris 15

Buttigieg 8

O'Rourke 2

Booker 2

Castro 1

Yang 1

Gabbard 1

Bennet 1

Bullock 1

Inslee 1

Klobuchar 0

USA Today/Suffolk

Biden 24

Harris 16

Warren 13

Sanders 9

Buttigieg 6

Klobuchar 2

Booker 2

O'Rourke 1

Delaney 1

Gabbard 1

Bennet 1

Castro 1

Yang 1

Inslee 0

Bloomberg Radio: Sound On: Jobs day, Fed's next move, US-China + US-Mexico, Election 2020, and Christine Lagarde

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On Friday, July 5, Caracal Global Founder Marc A. Ross joined Bloomberg Radio's Sound On program.

Bloomberg Chief Washington Correspondent Kevin Cirilli was the host and Mattie Duppler, president of Forward Strategies and a National Taxpayers Union fellow, also joined the program for a wide-ranging discussion.

Topics:

Jobs day + the Fed's next move

US-China + US-Mexico commercial relations

Senator Cory Booker + Election 2020

Citizenship + 2020 Census

Christine Lagarde + European Central Bank