Hurricane Harvey is undoubtedly one of the most devastating natural calamities in American history. The early-2018 hurricane enormously swept properties across Houston and its neighbourhoods, while companies were watching helplessly. Worse of it, people perished as others lost their homes. Nevertheless, the Dallas-based Stream Energy took the step to bring hope to the affected residents through their philanthropic passion.
In as much as the presence of Stream Energy during the deadly storm brought the company to the limelight, few people knew that the company had already established an organized corporate philanthropic mission of aiding the community. The successful energy firm launched a separate arm to deal with this mission. The division, Stream Cares, alleviates Dallas homelessness by funding and partnering with other charitable organizations such as Hope Supply Co. This kind of business model is a relatively new model in business set-ups but carries double profits.
Across America, it is usual for brands and high-profile politicians to engage in philanthropic missions with the aim of establishing a compelling status from the public. However, such activities mainly cover financial aids. For instance, businesses in the US spent about 19 billion USD in charity funding in 2016. But Stream Energy has raised its status higher. The direct-selling company has made it clear that philanthropy and giving back to the community is part of the firm’s DNA – its employees and executives are going to the extent of spending time with residents besides funding charities.
Apart from the trivial reasons of building loyalty and brand status, corporate philanthropy helps companies, which are passionate with generous giving back, take advantage of the organized structure. Kimberly Girard, Stream Energy event manager, describes the company as an organization with heart. In addition, the Stream Care foundation helps the company’s staffs meet with its actual customers and device new strategies of giving back.
Even though most surveys rank Texas among the least generous US states, Stream Energy is keen to outturn these surveys through the company’s generous model. Its distinct role in the world of philanthropy is not only vital in uplifting the lives of Dallas residents but also residents of the whole state. And according to the company’s mantra, philanthropy is part of office days.
Sahm Adrangi is the chief investment officer at Kerrisdale Capital based in New York City. He holds a bachelors degree of arts in Economics from the famous Yale University. His previous positions include analyst at Longacre Fund Management, Restructuring Investment Banking Group, and Deutsche Bank.
Sahm Adrangi recently issued a negative report concerning the St. Joe Company. Kerrisdale Capital operates as a private investment manager. It published a negative report highlighting its short position at St. Joe Company. This real estate company is targeting to transform the sizeable desolate area located in Panama City Beach to become an attractive destination for businesses as well as retirees. In the report, Sahm Adrangi pointed out that St. Joe Company is not likely to develop the land due to the valuations that it is facing. Much of its land is located in swampy, desolate, and remote areas whereas the St. Joe has already monetized it. The company had foreseen a significant income source. The new retirement sector would have been a high selling community in America. Contrary to this, there is minimal progress made by St. Joe on the interior land. Very few activities and efforts of the building are happening among other things like permit fillings and signs of growth. Sahm Adrangi says that the plans for the interior land in the company were made lie ten years ago and up to date nothing tangible has been accomplished. He, therefore, predicts that the investors who have already suffered enough should be prepared to wait longer before their investments begin counting. This is because the company is still struggling to monetize the land. Due to all those issues faced by the shareholders, the largest investor for St. Joe, which is Fairholme Funds, has suffered some liquidity rules that were enacted in a few months ago. This was significantly contributed by the poor stock selection and this large investor reduced around 90 percent of its assets. Its position was more prominent in the company. Fairholme is therefore expected to reduce its status as a shareholder by half. Kerrisdale is convinced that no level of development can redeem the stock positions.
Few people in the country today have had such up-close and personal experiences with the founding of successful tech ventures as serial entrepreneur and financier Shervin Pishevar. Now in his 40s, Shervin Pishevar has been at the forefront of the tech industry since the mid-90s. He has been personally responsible for the founding and incubation of tech startups ranging from Airbnb and Uber to Social Gaming Network and Virgin Hyperloop.
Shervin Pishevar is also one of Silicon Valley’s thought leaders. He runs one of the most popular Twitter feeds of any venture capitalist in the Bay Area. It’s a safe bet that when Shervin Pishevar tweets on a topic of national importance, the most influential leaders in the country are hanging on his every word.
In a recent barrage of tweets, Pishevar laid down some solid arguments for why tech monopolies should be watched very carefully and why it’s likely that they will eventually need to be broken up. As someone who was there throughout the entire early stages of both Airbnb and Uber, Pishevar has seen, up close, the immense perils that new startups face. He says that the tendency of the top five tech monopolies —Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook — to run out or buy out any competitor that looks like they may even possibly pose an eventual threat to their business has become a major problem.
One of the means by which these tech giants can push out competitors or make their businesses non-viable is through the use of a little-understood but highly effective weapon: lawfare. Pishevar cites the ongoing legal battles that Uber has been forced to deal with due to nuisance lawsuits filed by autonomous-vehicle rival Google. Pishevar points out that Uber is a far smaller company, and it has been compelled to waste tens of millions of dollars defending itself in court from spurious claims made by Google.
While Google has virtually unlimited resources, the millions spent by Uber are seriously cutting into its bottom line, taking money away from operations and research and development programs. Through exploiting these asymmetries, the big tech monopolies can drive incipient competition out of markets.