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Business leaders call for ‘patience and civility’ ahead of US election, tying economic health to democracy

Business leaders call for ‘patience and civility’ ahead of US election, tying economic health to democracy

Business leaders are calling on Americans to be patient and civil ahead of the 2020 presidential election, citing the importance of maintaining confidence in democracy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael E. Porter wearing a suit and tie: Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter.

© David De La Paz
Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter.

More than 50 executives across the fields of tech, finance, retail, and real estate signed onto a statement released Wednesday by the Leadership Now Project, a group founded by Harvard Business School alumni focused on protecting democracy.

“America has successfully held elections through previous challenges, like the Civil War, World Wars l and ll, and the 1918 flu pandemic… we can and must do so again,” the group said in the statement. “As business leaders, we know firsthand that the health of America’s economy and markets rests on the founding principle of our democracy: elections where everyone’s vote is counted.”

The statement was backed by big names in business, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, former Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, and General Assembly chief executive Lisa Lewin. Massachusetts executives on the list include Seth Klarman of Baupost Group, Tricia Glynn of Advent International, Trinidad Grange-Kyner from Tufts Health Plan, and Eric Spindt from Commonwealth Financial Group.

The group emphasized that it could take weeks or more until election results are confirmed because of the number of citizens voting by mail this year. They asked Americans to stay calm, “making it clear that they will refuse to accept any results called too early or based on insufficient data.”

The statement also called on journalists to “avoid calling the election before sufficient data are available,” and asked business leaders to “promote patience and civility among employees, communities, and the American people.”

LinkedIn’s Hoffman wrote that “election results inaccurately or prematurely reported by journalists, elected officials

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Apple iPhone 12 colors and HomePod leak ahead of event

Apple iPhone 12 colors and HomePod leak ahead of event

  • Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 12 lineup and a new HomePod speaker at its event on Tuesday.
  • But hours before the event, the leaker Evan Blass published what he said were images of the new iPhones and HomePod.
  • The images line up with previous leaks about the color choices for the iPhone 12.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple is expected to unveil its iPhone 12 lineup at an event on Tuesday, but the device’s design and color options may have leaked just hours before the official debut.

Evan Blass, who has a track record of publishing accurate leaks about unreleased tech gadgets, posted photos of what he said were the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and a new HomePod mini speaker.

The images line up with previous leaks about the phones, such as that the iPhone 12 will have a dual camera setup while the iPhone 12 Pro will have a triple-lens camera like the iPhone 11 Pro.

According to Blass, the iPhone 12 will come in black, blue, green, red, and white, while the iPhone 12 Pro will come in blue, gold, graphite, and silver. That lines up with details recently published by a leaker known as Kang.

Blass also posted images of what appears to be a shorter, rounder HomePod smart speaker in space-gray and white color options.

Bloomberg previously reported that Apple was working on a smaller and cheaper version of the HomePod.

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Blass has previously published accurate leaks about tech products before they officially launched. For example, he recently published renders of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Fan Edition before it debuted.

The iPhone

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With 2019-20 Season Over, NBA Must Now Confront Tough Financial Reality Ahead

With 2019-20 Season Over, NBA Must Now Confront Tough Financial Reality Ahead

The longest season in NBA history ended Sunday night with the Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Miami Heat, 106-93, to win their 17th championship in franchise history.

Now comes the hard part for the NBA. With the coronavirus pandemic showing no signs of disappearing anytime soon, the league must begin planning for its 2020-21 season amid unprecedented uncertainty.

The NBA sets its salary cap each year based on the projected basketball-related income for that season. That tends to be a relatively straightforward calculation, as the league can plan to have a full 82-game regular season and four-round postseason with fans in attendance.

However, the 2020-21 season will likely be the exception to that rule.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently told CNN’s Bob Costas that the league hopes to play “a standard, 82-game season and playoffs” next year. He added that the “goal would be to play games in home arenas in front of fans,” although he noted “there’s still a lot that we need to learn in terms of rapid testing, for example.”

That could have a dramatic impact on next year’s salary cap, creating a potentially massive headache for the NBA and National Basketball Players Association in upcoming negotiations.

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‘Shoppers aid growth but economic slowdown ahead’

‘Shoppers aid growth but economic slowdown ahead’

a person standing in front of a store

© Getty Images

The UK economy may have grown by as much as 17% in the three months to the end of September, says the EY Item Club, but slower growth may follow.

Shoppers splurged during the period as coronavirus lockdown restrictions were lifted, it said.

It is a rosier vision than the one offered by Item Club economists in the summer, but they warned that growth for the rest of 2020 would be far slower.

Growth for the final three months will be 1% or less, they predicted.

“The UK economy has done well to recover faster than expected so far,” said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club.

“Consumer spending has bounced back strongly, while housing sector activity has also seen a pick-up, in part thanks to the stamp duty holiday.”

The economy probably grew 16-17% in the third quarter of the year compared with the second quarter, it said. It had been expecting growth of 12%.

Trade deal risk

While government help such as the furlough programme has provided “much-needed support”, growth will now begin to fade, said Mr Archer.

The end of the furlough scheme, under which workers had part of their salary paid by the government, will mean higher unemployment and sluggish growth, said the forecasters, who use a similar economic model to the Treasury.

That said, the UK economy is now predicted to regain its pre-pandemic size in the second half of 2023. Back in July, the EY Item Club did not expect that to happen until late 2024.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed last week that The UK economy continued its recovery in August, growing by 2.1% in the month, as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme boosted restaurants.

It was, however, smaller than economists

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Consumer tech startup boAT powers ahead as India goes vocal for local

Consumer tech startup boAT powers ahead as India goes vocal for local

When Sameer Mehta and Aman Gupta launched boAt in 2016, the goal was to avoid another me-too sourced from China product “without having a clear vision on the design and Intellectual Property”.

Today, boAt is present in 5,000 retail stores, supported by 20 distributors. The startup claims to be clocking sales of over 10,000 units a day, and four million units per year, and says it has served 20 million Indians so far.

In FY 2020, it clocked a revenue of Rs 500 crore, up by 108.8 percent from Rs 239.44 crore in FY 2019, while the business has been profitable for five years straight.

Behind boAt’s growth is a consumer-first approach, which has made the startup one of the most sought-after youth brands in India. Almost 80 percent of its sales coming from ecommerce channels such as Amazon and Flipkart.

By paying heed to millions of customers’ reviews online, boAt was able to learn what other brands did not want to learn —that Indians loved a product that can be part of their lifestyle.

“Our hypothesis was to listen to the consumer and to address their needs. In the D2C world, the consumer’s feedback is instant and that is what we listen to build our brand,” Aman tells YourStory.


Narayana Murthy-backed Paper Boat is giving traditional Indian beverages a makeover

Building a global D2C audio brand

According to Aman, at the time boAt launched, Indian players couldn’t compete with Chinese brands and their financial muscle.

“That is why we focused on product quality and starting with small numbers. We started our business by launching indestructible charging cables in 2015, and realised that owning the IP in a brand is very important rather than just sourcing products from China, which a lot of other brands

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