The life and career of Stewart Butterfield, the Flickr cofounder and Slack CEO who just sold his company to Salesforce for $27.7 billion

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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article

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Clearbanc CEO on how moving to Canada fast-tracked his tech career

  • Andrew D’Souza is a successful startup founder running a company out of Toronto.
  • He says leaving Silicon Valley to work at a Canadian company accelerated his career because he was able to establish himself at a fast-growing company in an emerging tech ecosystem.
  • “Everyone talks about, ‘Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?’ But I think the dimension that people don’t think about is how fast is the pond growing,” D’Souza said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Canada’s tech ecosystem has been called many things. Silicon Valley North. Maple Valley. Even “the nice person’s Silicon Valley.” Call it what you want, but don’t count it out, says Andrew D’Souza, who runs one of Canadian’s hottest tech startups, Clearbanc.

He says that going home to Toronto after a stint in the San Francisco Bay Area turbocharged his career in tech. His advice for young professionals is to migrate north if they want to be part of a fast-growing ecosystem.

“It’s like coming to Silicon Valley 20 years ago,” D’Souza said.

Oh, Canada

In his 20s, D’Souza was working as an analyst at McKinsey’s Toronto outpost when he decided he wanted to build companies instead of PowerPoint presentations. An old roommate from the University of Waterloo introduced him to another alum, Chamath Palihapitiya, a famed startup investor who was head of growth at Facebook at the time. 

Palihapitiya convinced him to move to the land of opportunity, Silicon Valley, where he went to work at a tech company in the investor’s portfolio, D’Souza said. A year later, he jumped to TopHat, a Canadian edtech startup that hired D’Souza to grow its salesforce in San Francisco and Chicago. But D’Souza had a critical decision to make: his company wanted him to leave the US and move back to Canada.

“Our board reached out and said this company is really growing, if you want to be part of the center nucleus of this company, you need to move to the headquarters,” D’Souza remembers.

So he did and ghe company exploded after his return to Toronto. By 2014, TopHat’s digital tools for the classroom were in use by some 300,000 students at more than 400 universities, and the company was booking millions of dollars of revenue a year. D’Souza, who was chief revenue officer, helped scale the organization from 15 to 80 employees.

Canada’s tech scene was thriving, as well. The industry added jobs and funded startups spun out of colleges such as the University of Waterloo — “increasingly known as Canada’s answer to MIT,” TechCrunch wrote. Companies could hire top talent from abroad thanks to the country’s quality of life, lower cost of living, and more relaxed immigration policy.

D’Souza said being at a company that was taking off at the same time an ecosystem — Canada’s tech hub — was gaining steam accelerated his career. In late 2013, he left TopHat, and after a stopover at another Toronto

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The Best Career Advice From Former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh, the technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist and former CEO of Zappos who built the company into a billion dollar shoe internet empire passed away on Friday. There was an immediate outpouring of tributes: to his innovation, to his generosity, to his commitment to building a better corporate culture and a better world. Between numerous interviews and a book, Hsieh passed on a great deal of career and business advice over the course of his life. Below are a few of the best lessons he shared and embodied throughout his career:

Value What You Want To Do Over A Title Or A Status Symbol

In an interview with NPR’s “How I Built This With Guy Raz”, Hsieh discusses how he sold his first company, LinkExchange, to Microsoft, but instead of staying with the company for just a year and a half longer and receiving his full payout he walked away. “I think I just started going down the path of just trying to make sure I’m being true to myself and doing things because its what I want to do versus what is maybe a status symbol or what society expects me to do,” he said. “I mean, the one resource that we all ultimately have the same constraints on are time, so I didn’t want to waste time.”

Never Settle

“Done is better than good” and “don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good,” are cliché sayings in the workplace, but these sayings were not Hsieh’s. “We must never lose our sense of urgency in making improvements. We must never settle for ‘good enough,’ because good is the enemy of great,” he writes in his book “Delivering Happiness: A Path To Profits, Passion and Purpose.”  

Take Risks

Hsieh was unafraid to take bold risks, especially if he felt it would benefit his company’s culture. At one point at Zappos he adapted “holacracy,” a decentralized organization model with no titles and no hierarchy. He gave his employees an out, and 18% chose to leave. Though it was eventually reported that Zappos moved away from “holacracy,” Hsieh was always considered a culture leader in Silicon Valley and the larger corporate world for prioritizing the happiness of his employees. His willingness to experiment and take big risks not simply to increase profit but to improve his company’s culture distinguished him from other corporate executives.

Don’t Meet Commitments Halfway—Go All In

One of Hsieh’s legacies will be the Downtown Project, his effort to revitalize downtown Las Vegas. Hsieh moved the Zappos headquarters to downtown Las Vegas in 2004, leaving the gated Silicon Valley community and committing $350 million of his own fortune to invest in downtown Las Vegas. It was a rare and progressive gesture from an entrepreneur of his stature. Though it fell short

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Head of Full Sail university, private equity firm CEO appointed to help oversee Florida universities

Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed the CEOs of Full Sail University and a private equity firm to the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system.

a large brick building with grass and trees: John C. Hitt Library -- University of Central Florida tour to show changes to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, on Thursday, July 2, 2020. r

© Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/ Orlando Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel/TNS
John C. Hitt Library — University of Central Florida tour to show changes to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, on Thursday, July 2, 2020. r

Edward Haddock of Winter Park, the co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer of for-profit Full Sail University, and Ken Jones of Tampa, the CEO and founder of Third Lake Capital, are to join the board, the governor’s office said Tuesday. DeSantis’ appointments are subject to approval from the Florida Senate.

The Board of Governors, the policy-making body for Florida’s public universities, currently has 16 members, including Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. Many are business executives or have political connections. They meet several times per year.

[email protected]


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Newsmax CEO Thinks Trump Should Concede When States Certify Elections, Would Support Overturning Electoral College

Chistopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax Media, a conservative multimedia platform that has supported President Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud, said in an interview that Trump should concede the race when states certify their elections.

a person wearing a hat: President Donald Trump throws hats to supporters during a rally at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport November 2, 2020, in Avoca, Pennsylvania. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania officially certified its election results for Joe Biden. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said in an interview that Trump should concede the race one states certify their results.

© Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty
President Donald Trump throws hats to supporters during a rally at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport November 2, 2020, in Avoca, Pennsylvania. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania officially certified its election results for Joe Biden. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said in an interview that Trump should concede the race one states certify their results.

In a conversation with Isaac Chotiner published in The New Yorker on Tuesday, Ruddy discussed his close relationship with Trump and how Newsmax has chosen to support the president in the post-election news cycle.

But when asked whether or not the conservative media outlet would support an attempt by Trump to overturn certified election results, Ruddy said he would not.

“I do think that Donald Trump should concede when the certifications come in,” he said, adding that he “would not support going to state legislators to overturn the electors.”

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania became the most recent state to certify its election results for Joe Biden, officially naming the former vice president the winner of the state’s 20 electoral votes. That certification puts Biden ahead with 306 electoral votes, compared with Trump’s 232.

What Is A Lame Duck President? Phrase Explained Amid Trump/Biden 2020 Election



Though Trump’s claims of voter fraud have repeatedly failed to gain traction in state courts, Ruddy defended Newsmax’s editorial decision to support the president in pursuing legal action.

“I think that the questioning of ballots, and taking that to court, is just as reasonable as when Al Gore did it in the 2000 election,” he said. “I think the mail-in ballots opened up potential for voter fraud and manipulation beyond what we’ve seen in previous years. And that’s, I think, the crux of the problem, and why Republicans feel this election was ‘stolen,'” he added.

The Newsmax CEO also added that supporting Trump’s claims of voter fraud has been “great for the news business.”

“At the end of the day, it’s great for news. The news cycle is red hot, and Newsmax is getting 1 million people per minute, according to Nielsen, tuning into Newsmax TV. I think it’s good,” he said.

Newsweek reached out to Newsmax for additional comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Chotiner pressed Ruddy on whether or not he believed Trump would have claimed voter fraud regardless of the election results.

Ruddy responded by saying that if “Biden won by the numbers that we were told that he was going to win by, Donald Trump would not have had much of an argument to claim voter fraud,” and voicing his dislike for the Electoral College.

“It would have been better for the country if the election had been decided with more of a mandate. I’m not a big fan

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Vir Biotech CEO Says His Covid-19 Medicine Offers Promise for Next Outbreak

(Bloomberg) — Vir Biotechnology Inc.’s stock has lost some of its luster after quadrupling earlier this year as competition heats up for Covid-19 antibody therapies. Yet its chief executive officer is looking ahead to the next viral scourge.


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With two well-heeled competitors ahead of it, Vir has pared a February surge to a still impressive 122% leap this year. Eli Lilly & Co.’s antibody treatment received an emergency use authorization on Nov. 9 and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s therapy got its nod over the weekend. Vir’s medicine is unique because it targets a variety of coronaviruses, CEO George Scangos said.

It “has the potential not only to be effective against Covid-19, but it has a reasonable chance of also being effective against the next coronavirus outbreak,” Scangos said in an interview. An interim look at late-stage data for VIR-7831 is expected in January.

Regeneron has touted its two-antibody cocktail as being better than single-antibody treatments like those from Lilly or Vir. Yet Scangos, a former Biogen Inc. chieftain, said that while Lilly and Regeneron’s medicines block the ability of the virus to infect cells, the virus could evade these antibodies by mutating.

‘Babe Ruth’

“Would you rather have two random baseball players or Babe Ruth?,” he said. “It’s not just the number but the quality and the characteristics of the antibody.”

Vir’s antibody was developed not from a Covid-19 patient but from one who’d recovered from severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which is also caused by a coronavirus. The company chose an antibody that also works against Covid-19 and Scangos postulates that it responds to something in the SARS and Covid viruses that hasn’t changed over years of viral evolution.

He also sees potential advantage for Vir’s antibody in its engagement of part of the immune system where Lilly and Regeneron’s molecules have had less potent activity.

Baird’s Madhu Kumar, the only analyst with a sell-equivalent rating on Vir, is skeptical. He said this particular component of Lilly and Regeneron’s antibodies may be what led to some safety signals and “could trigger inflammatory cascades that could be detrimental to patients.” This particularly concerns hospitalized patients, which Vir is still studying, Kumar told Bloomberg.

Email requests for comment to Lilly and Regeneron weren’t returned.

chart: Vir rally on antibodies hit by other's Covid scientific advances

© Bloomberg
Vir rally on antibodies hit by other’s Covid scientific advances

Much of Kumar’s skepticism is tied to Vir’s valuation. Even after the stock pulled way back from a Feb. 27 record, it’s still has more than doubled this year. He’s also wary of the market for antibodies in general because successful vaccine results from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE as well as Moderna Inc. have blunted its longer term “tail value.”

Outside of Covid-19, Kumar has a positive view on Vir. “There’s a real company behind this,” he said, calling out Vir’s hepatitis B RNAi platform.

Others on Wall Street take a more optimistic view with five analysts deeming it a buy, and one with a hold rating. The average analyst price

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Annovis Bio CEO to Present at Meridian Clinical Trials Summit

BERWYN, Pa., Nov. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Annovis Bio Inc. (NYSE American: ANVS), a clinical-stage drug platform company addressing Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative diseases, today announced its Founder and CEO, Maria Maccecchini, Ph.D., is presenting at the Meridian Clinical Trials Summit on November 2, 2020 at 10 a.m. ET.

Dr. Maccecchini’s presentation, “De-risking Phase 3 clinical studies in Phase 2; case study from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s”, will share insight learned from the Company’s ongoing clinical studies which are measuring all the steps in the toxic cascade leading to nerve cell death and how ANVS401, the Company’s lead compound, might reverse the toxic cascade and recover normal brain function.

“I look forward to sharing with the attendees how I believe we are effectively de-risking our clinical trial programs through our current Phase 2a studies,” commented, Dr. Maccecchini.

About Annovis Bio

Headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, Annovis Bio, Inc. (Annovis) is a clinical-stage, drug platform company addressing neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s in Down Syndrome (AD-DS). We believe that we are the only company developing a drug for AD, PD and AD-DS that inhibits more than one neurotoxic protein and, thereby, improves the information highway of the nerve cell, known as axonal transport. When this information flow is impaired, the nerve cell gets sick and dies. We expect our treatment to improve memory loss and dementia associated with AD and AD-DS, as well as body and brain function in PD. We have an ongoing Phase 2a study in AD patients and have commenced a second Phase 2a study in AD and PD patients. For more information on Annovis, please visit the company’s website:

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release contain “forward-looking statements” that are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “expect,” “believe,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “estimate,” “project,” “outlook,” “forecast” or other similar words, and include, without limitation, statements regarding the timing, effectiveness and anticipated results of ANVS401 clinical trials. Forward-looking statements are based on Annovis Bio, Inc.’s current expectations and are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Further, certain forward-looking statements are based on assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate, including that clinical trials may be delayed. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully in the section titled “Risk Factors” in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are made as of this date, and Annovis Bio, Inc. undertakes no duty to update such information except as required under applicable law.

Investor Relations:

Dave Gentry, CEO
RedChip Companies Inc.
[email protected]

SOURCE: Annovis Bio, Inc.

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Govini CEO Tara Murphy Dougherty Joins National Defense University Foundation’s Board of Directors

The National Defense University (NDU) Foundation has announced the appointment of Tara Murphy Dougherty to its board of directors. Ms. Murphy Dougherty’s extensive leadership experience in both the private and public sectors will enhance the Foundation’s ongoing support of NDU, the nation’s preeminent education institution for advanced national security strategy and leadership development. As a member of the NDU Foundation Board, she will serve on the Development Committee with a focus on increasing the Foundation’s overall level of partnership, programmatic, and resource support to the esteemed university.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Govini CEO Tara Murphy Dougherty (Photo: Business Wire)

“We are proud to welcome Tara Murphy Dougherty to our Board of Directors,” said NDU Foundation Chairman of the Board, Rear Admiral Mike Manazir, USN (Ret.). “Tara’s national security expertise, combined with a keen understanding of the emerging technologies and capabilities that will be essential to NDU’s future national security leaders, make her a powerful and transformative addition to our Board.”

“Having been part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and now as CEO of Govini, an innovative data science company, Tara understands the opportunities and challenges NDU faces to accelerate cooperation and integration with the private sector on matters critical to national security,” stated James Schmeling J.D., President & CEO of the National Defense University Foundation. “We look forward to working with her as our newest Member of the NDU Foundation Board of Directors.”

Ms. Murphy Dougherty has held leadership positions in technology across industry, government, and non-profit sectors, including at Palantir Technologies and serving as Chief of Staff for Global Strategic Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She holds a BS from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“NDU Foundation’s vision and values are inspiring. Bringing together key defense leaders to create cutting-edge learning experiences is a critical component of strengthening our country’s national security goals,” commented Ms. Murphy Dougherty. “I look forward to collaborating with such an accomplished team.”

In addition to Rear Admiral Manazir, NDU Foundation’s board of directors includes defense leaders such as Mr. Robert Spring, Esq., and Lt. General William J. Bender (Ret.) USAF.

About Govini

Govini is a decision science company whose mission is to advance U.S. competitiveness through dynamic data and machine learning.

Govini’s unique dataset and decision science platform are utilized at scale across the OSD, Joint Staff, military departments, and defense agencies to help implement core tenets of the National Defense Strategy. With Govini, DoD’s data scientists and analysts solve challenges pertaining to strategic portfolio analysis, resource analysis, industrial base assessments, science and technology surveillance, and supply chain analysis. These capabilities enable defense leaders to achieve superior innovation and modernization outcomes on shorter timelines and at a lower cost than traditional methods.

Govini has offices in Arlington, Virginia, San Francisco, California, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

About the National Defense University

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 4-step rule for life success

  • Naomi Gleit, Facebook’s vice president of product and social impact, has been working at the tech giant for more than 15 years.
  • Over the course of her career, she’s had a lot of face time with Facebook CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg.
  • She remembers one time, in 2013, when he shared his 4-step rule to life success.
  • The four rules have two main takeaways. The first is that you have to love yourself before you can build a product or business or career that helps others.
  • The second takeaway is to not worry about the things you can’t control in life, but instead focus intently on what you can control.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Naomi Gleit started at Facebook in 2005, working as the assistant to Sean Parker, Facebook’s then president.

Now she’s the vice president of product and social impact, leading the platform’s efforts to register people to vote, donate blood, pitch in to causes they care about, and other projects to promote people “doing good.” 

She’s spent countless hours working directly with Facebook CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg, but one instance in particular sticks out to her. It was when Zuckerberg shared his top life advice. 

In 2013, Gleit and Zuckerberg volunteered to teach a course on entrepreneurship to a group of middle schoolers in East Palo Alto, California. One of the sessions was specifically on personal growth. Zuckerberg took to the chalkboard and wrote down four rules: 

  1. Love yourself 
  2. Then you can better serve others
  3. Focus on what you can control
  4. For those things, never give up

“These lessons I still abide by,” she told Business Insider. “They’re my own life lessons as well.” 

There are two main takeaways. The first is that before you can serve others, you have to accept and take care of yourself. The second is that it’s useless to focus on things outside of your control. Only focus on the things you can control in life, and be persistent in your focus on them, Gleit explained.  

“I just think that’s really, really good advice,” the executive said. 

She’s applied it to her own life, and it’s helped her in her career. 

“None of this work is easy — being a woman leader in tech at one of the most relevant companies in the world and determining how we can bring the most positive impact globally — but what gets me through even the most challenging days is focusing on the things I can control,” she said. 

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