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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek May 24, 2021

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Get the digital magazine subscription today and draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

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United States
Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

7 min
laura miele is listening

One of the first things Laura Miele did when she became chief studios officer of Electronic Arts Inc. three years ago was to gather 19 video game influencers in a conference room. “What do you want me to hear? Lay it on me,” she recalls asking them. “One guy sitting at the corner of the table, he just said, ‘I don’t understand why you don’t give players what they’re asking for.’ ” It’s something many gamers have wondered about EA for years. The $40 billion company, one of the biggest in gaming, is responsible for Battlefield, Madden NFL, and other megahit franchises. But many gamers have long seen EA as a necessary evil, resenting the direction in which it took some games and bristling at its aggressive attempts to extract money…

7 min
build a business on …

ETSY KATE ANTESBERGER (PLANNERKATE1) For seven years, Antesberger and her husband, Karl, have run a business making stickers and sticker tape for day planners. They did $2.5 million in business in 2020. I’ve always loved planners. I’d posted a picture of my calendar on Instagram—I’d made some stickers that popped. People said, “You should sell those.” That day, I started an Etsy shop. In six months, I left my job at IBM to do Etsy full time. I have an accounting degree and an MBA. My dad was like, “You’re foolish.” The sticker industry has blown up. We make everything ourselves. There are stickers for things like a doctor’s appointment that’ll just say doctor, or it’s a stethoscope. There are stickers to make your planner look cute for birthdays, paydays. Others are for therapy…

5 min
it’s shark week for discovery

Over the years, Discovery Inc., the owner of Animal Planet and steward of Shark Week, has mesmerized TV audiences with all sorts of Darwinian marvels. Alligator snapping turtles. Giant Tasmanian crayfish. Tree kangaroos. Now, Discovery is trying to pull off its own evolutionary leap, crawling out of the choppy seas of basic cable to invade the fertile land of streaming TV. On May 17, Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav sat alongside John Stankey, the CEO of AT&T Inc., at a hastily convened investor call and provided a blurry snapshot of their newly hatched, multiheaded entertainment hydra. The executives disclosed that AT&T, just three years after completing its costly acquisition of Time Warner and renaming it WarnerMedia, would be spinning off its media assets, which include CNN, TNT, TBS, and the Warner…

2 min
in brief

Global coronavirus cases passed 164 million, and deaths topped 3.4m Meanwhile, more than 1.5 billion vaccine doses have been given. The virus has flared up again in parts of Asia: A new outbreak has forced Singapore to return to lockdown-like conditions. Fighting between Israel and Hamas has now killed at least 224 Palestinians and 12 Israelis. On May 19, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuffed President Joe Biden’s demand that he wind down the conflict, saying airstrikes on Gaza (above) would continue. AT&T will spin off its media operations and merge them with Discovery’s assets to form a new company. The combined entity, which the deal values at about $130b could offer some serious competition to streaming giants Amazon, Disney+, and Netflix. 17 Donald Trump faces another criminal investigation. On May 18, New York…

2 min
pitch a vc

SUNEEL GUPTA Co-founder, Rise Gupta, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, is the author of Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You, published in March. Rise, his one-on-one nutritional coaching startup, was sold to primary care provider 1Life Healthcare Inc. in 2016 for a reported $20 million. I’d gone zero for … more than 12 pitching Rise. It was going so poorly that, hoping there would be investors in the audience, I agreed to be the keynote speaker at the 2012 FailCon, a San Francisco tech conference that celebrated flops. Not only did that not work, but my photo appeared in the New York Times a year later at the top of a story about failure. If I didn’t get a VC to invest soon, I’d…

1 min
answer someone who asks how the stock market or economy will perform

I get this question a lot when people find out I cover economics for this magazine. What I’d like to say is: “Glad you asked! Of course I know the answer. My perfect foresight has made me inconceivably rich.” What I actually say is: “The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicts U.S. gross domestic product will grow 6.3% this year. The median estimate for the yearend S&P 500 is 4,150.” It’s the perfect way to end a boring conversation. -Peter Coy…