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An online dollar store sounds like a terrible business. This CEO wants to prove it’s not
May 24, 2016

Bringing the dollar store online sounds like a bad idea.

Online buyers might reasonably worry that cheap items are cheap for a reason, and won't buy if they can't see them in person to judge whether they'll fall apart after one use.

Plus, there's the fundamental question of business metrics: How is a store supposed to turn a profit if it's both selling and shipping items that retail for a few bucks?

David Yeom, a former VP at The Honest Company, thinks he's found an answer with his new startup: Hollar.

“You can absolutely make it a business,” Yeom says.

After six months, the retail startup has already reached $1 million a month in online sales. Before it ran out of stock, Hollar was selling 1,000 copies a day of its most popular item, a unicorn version of the Glow Pets Light-Up Jumbo Pillow Pet. It doesn't sell cheap knock-offs, but real recognizable brands like Revlon lip gloss, Cheerios cereal, or Disney backpacks.

Yeom's making a big ..

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New ads in Google Maps will try to get you to stop for gas or eat at McDonald’s (GOOG, GOOGL)
May 24, 2016

Road trip time!

You plug your destination into Google Maps and start cruising down your route when a purple pin appears, showing you the location of the nearest McDonald's and offering a few dollars off on a combo meal if you stop.

“Add to your route,” it prompts. Well, you were getting hungry…

This is the new ad experience that Google is testing out in its Maps app to help businesses entice you into visiting their coffee shop, gas station, pharmacy, whatever.

“A Promoted Pin for McDonalds might convince someone to stop to eat,” Google ads VP Jerry Dischler explains.

The company has had some form of advertising in Maps since 2010 but it's now building out its Promoted Pins to be much more prominent, and adding new features for advertisers, like letting them list special offers or a local product inventory search bar (so you can check if the Walgreens down the street has the right kind of contact solution before you actually go there).

You'll also see more Pr..

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This startup is connecting superfans who are hiding away in isolated corners of the Internet
May 24, 2016

When 20th Century Fox paid to take over Snapchat's filters before the release of the movie “X-Men: Apocalypse,” some Snapchat users were angered at what felt like an intrusion into their social space.

But the exact opposite happened when 20th Century Fox launched an app using Victorious' technology. X-Men superfans flocked to it and found friends in their fandom.

“While so many companies are so focused on content distribution on views, we’re laser-focused on the experience and the engagement piece. That’s the majority of a fan's time,” Sam Rogoway, CEO and cofounder of Victorious, told Business Insider. “Their passion doesn’t die when the view is over or a new video isn’t available.”

Victorious helps creators, from YouTube bloggers to brands like 20th Century Fox's X-Men, create apps designed to bring together superfans. Nearly two years after the Santa Monica-based startup launched, the company has produced more than 100 apps, with 15 of them cracking into the..

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The logos of these 19 huge companies have changed beyond recognition since they launched
May 24, 2016

Every few years, major brands will make a small or large adjustment to the design of its logo.

By comparing the original logo to its most recent version, we can learn important lessons about a brand's roots and its arc of progression.

We compiled a list comparing the first logos of 19 of the biggest brands in the world with their most recent logos with help from Stocklogos.com, an identity design community.

See how these famous brands have altered the design of their logos since inception.

Samantha Felix contributed to this report, using information gathered from Logopedia.
SEE ALSO: 22 corporate logos that contain subliminal messages

AT&T

Bell Telephone Company designed the original logo in 1900. In 1964 the “AT&T” of Bell Telephone Company became the dominant element of the brand. The company eventually dropped the Bell all together in 1970 and the latest AT&T logo was released in 2005.

2. Canon

The Canon logo was originally designed in 1933. The simpler version of the c..

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Half of Netflix subscribers think its content is getting better — only 10% think it’s getting worse
May 24, 2016

Netflix is in the midst of a big transition.

While Netflix gained much of its past dominance in the streaming space by letting you binge-watch reruns of old shows and movies, the company has increasingly pivoted toward its own original content. That isn’t new for Netflix, which has constantly reinvented itself since it debuted its DVD-by-mail service in 1998.

Netflix executives have said, on many occasions, that they believe original (and exclusive) TV shows and movies are the best way to provide value to its subscribers moving forward. That’s why Netflix will release 600 hours of original content this year, including 31 original shows, roughly double its 2015 output.

But how are subscribers reacting to the shift in Netflix’s programming? According to research by RBC Capital Markets, they approve. In a recent survey, 49% of Netflix subscribers thought Netflix’s content had improved over the last year (further breaking that number down, 30% said it had “greatly or moderately improved..

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RANKED: These are the most popular tech companies in the Fortune 500, according to employees
May 24, 2016

The new breed of billion-dollar “unicorn” startups are popular places to work these days.

But there's a lot of advantages to working at big, public corporations: they are less risky, have more resources, and give better liquidity options, to name a few.

For those interested in large companies, job search site Indeed.com has put together the 10 most popular tech companies to work for in the Fortune 500. It went through more than 10 million job reviews by its members to find the companies that are most highly rated on overall employee experience.

Here's the full list:
SEE ALSO: The most popular tech jobs that will get you an $89,000-plus salary

10. EMC

Overall rating: 4.1 (out of 5)

What it does: EMC provides the infrastructure and software for enterprise storage systems. (Note that EMC is due to be acquired by Dell in the coming months)

Revenue (2015): $24.7 billion

Employee review: “EMC has been one of the most influential data storage providers for several decades a..

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Amazon just blew my mind with a new $5.99 unlimited comic book service (AMZN)
May 24, 2016

Today, Amazon's Comixology app announced Comixology Unlimited — an all-you-can-eat buffet of digital comic books for $5.99 per month, so you can binge Netflix-style.

At launch, the Comixology Unlimited plan includes the first volumes of popular titles like “The Walking Dead,” “Attack on Titan,” “Saga,” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8,” among many others.

There's even a 30-day free trial, so you can try it on your phone or web browser.

A Comixology spokesperson tells Business Insider that this is all about helping readers find an entry point into the medium, with a focus on partnering with publishers to fill the service up with first volumes and introductory storylines.

“CU is about giving the new reader the very best entry point,” says Comixology's Chip Mosher. “We’ll be cycling through content periodically.”

That means that while it's unlikely that Comixology Unlimited will get the whole run of “The Walking Dead,” it'll constantly be refreshed wit..

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Nasdaq just dealt a huge blow to the cannabis industry (MSRT)
May 24, 2016

Nasdaq rejected an application by MassRoots, a social network for cannabis users, to list shares on its exchange.

MassRoots said in a press release Tuesday that Nasdaq thinks it's helping to sell an illegal substance. Medical marijuana is illegal under federal law but allowed in 23 states.

It plans to formally appeal, and has started a public campaign to get more people to protest the electronic exchange.

“If we were a social network for tobacco users or alcohol consumers, the Nasdaq would likely be moving forward on our application even though alcohol and tobacco cause far more deaths and societal damage than cannabis ever will,” said MassRoots CEO Issac Dietrich in a press release following Monday's denial.

MassRoots would have been the first cannabis-focused company to be listed on the exchange.

“Moreover, the Nasdaq has already listed at least 4 biotechnology companies that extract compounds from the cannabis plant for scientific research – actually touching the ..

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How the free-to-play model captured the mobile gaming market, why it’s proven problematic, and how to fix it
May 24, 2016

The mobile gaming app industry is quickly growing. Over the past eight years, developers have flocked to create mobile games as smartphones became a mainstream consumer device. Technological evolutions including faster processors, larger screens, more input points, and better overall graphics capabilities, combined with dropping prices, brought the ability for gaming via smartphone to audiences larger than ever before.

In that growth and through that transition, smartphones as a gaming arena experienced its own evolution. More developers flocked to this medium, and the gaming sections of app stores became saturated. While mobile gaming apps using an up-front paid downloading model, wherein consumers paid a typically nominal fee to download an app, flourished in the early days of mobile gaming, the deluge of apps led to a change in monetization strategy. More apps started using the free-to-play (F2P) model, wherein a consumer can download an app for free, and is then later monetized e..

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