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  • This former Google employee wrote a novel about sex and drugs at a fictional search ad company — so we asked him how much was true (GOOG)

    filip syta

    Filip Syta worked as an ad sales executive at Google for two years until 2014, when he became disillusioned with his work. So Syta dropped out and wrote a novel, "The Show," about a fictional search advertising giant. The story describes a San Francisco company called Show that employs a lot of 20-somethings who make a lot of money, have a lot of parties, drink a lot of booze, sleep with one another indiscriminately, and take a lot of cocaine.

    "The Show" was published in January, and Business Insider got hold of an early edition. It tells the story of Victor, who gets an ad sales job at Show but over time becomes depressed with the emptiness of his life, despite the money. Victor gets swept up into a whirl of partying and casual sex while failing to get the attention of another employee, Maggie, whom he has actual feelings for.

    The most interesting parts of the book are the sections that deal with the company's in-house drug dealers, "the drug lords," and the sections that describe the way Show's ad sales execs simply make up, or lie about, numbers and statistics for their managers and clients.

    The word "Google" is not mentioned in the book. So it's definitely not about Google, just so everyone is clear! 

    A Google representative declined to comment.

    Nonetheless, there are some remarkable similarities between the fictional Show and the actual Google (or Alphabet, as it is now known). Both companies are search ad companies. Show has $93 billion in annual revenue (more than Google, but on Google's scale). And the internal rule at both companies is that leakers get fired.

    So we were curious: How much of this is true, or inspired by real events?

    "Ninety percent," Syta told us.

    The ShowHere's how the drug lords are introduced in the book:

    The two dealers ran a personal enterprise within SHOW. They provided the entire company with drugs — you wanted it, they had it. They were both skinny and looked quite normal, nobody you would pay any special attention to on the street. They worked in sales, so they had the skills to sell their product. On the other hand, the demand was high, so they didn't really need to do much. It was like selling ice cream to kids on a hot summer day.

    They were obviously smart guys and had figured out that they didn't need to do it all by themselves, since they could outsource and build a sales team that would do their shit for them. They now had a sales team of about five people who distributed their stuff around the office when they didn't do it themselves, like they did at the party. Different departments, different floors, different groups of people. And the two guys were just collecting cash.

    The drug lords show up occasionally throughout the book, usually at Show corporate parties, where colleagues of Victor take a lot of cocaine. All of this was inspired by Syta's experience in the tech industry, he says. 

    "There are guys who basically distributed if you want it, I mean weed or whatever," he said. "They were the go-to guys if someone wanted something. And they used the office as their primary market. So it was easy for them. They didn't have a booth where they were 'officially.' But they spent a lot of time there."

    In the book, everyone eventually gets sucked in and starts taking the drugs these guys are supplying. There is a particularly vivid chapter about the company flying hundreds of employees to a conference in Las Vegas, where the men end up partying with strippers and hookers. (The fictional Show is based in San Francisco even though Google is actually based in nearby Mountain View, and Syta himself actually worked out of the 5,000-person Dublin office). 

    Was the drug scene as big in real life, or is that exaggerated in the book?

    filip syta"There is a lot of different drugs, not only cocaine, but marijuana, or some stuff. Cocaine was popular," Syta says. "Definitely, once again, not the majority of people. But enough people that it's common, you could say. It was well known, not a shock, that people took cocaine or something when they partied.

    "You get bored after a while, you get everything there, basically. They do everything that your mother doesn't do for you anymore. There's a dry-cleaning service, swimming pool, dentist, doctor, food, massage — you don't have to think about anything. You just go to work and it’s all taken care of.

    "And also I think a lot of talent is being wasted there because we hired smart people. We will hire smart people, but they hire overqualified people because they have such a strong brand. Many people are bored at their job ... It's kind of chill and might get boring. These other people seek out other adventures when they're together — they don't have to care about anything. They know Google has their back. It's like a kindergarten for grown-ups. And obviously there was a higher and more adventurous type who obviously take more risks. Everyone is very relaxed, and they don't take the safe way."

    There is also a lot of sex in "The Show." Empty, meaningless, depressing, drunk sex. One character, a driven female manager named Nicky, gets so drunk and stoned on a business trip to San Diego that she fails to notice two colleagues having sex on a hotel sofa right next to her. A couple of other stories in the book are too graphic to retell on Business Insider.

    "That's exaggerated," Syta says. But there was a lot of sex at work, he adds. "It is like a university, except that you get paid, right? A lot of people are young professionals, mid-20s to mid-30s, 25 to 35. It's a young company. The only really senior people are the VPs or the managers. Otherwise, it's a young crowd. And then there's a lot of parties. So yeah, there's a lot of sex within the company, between people, a lot of people have had the same sex partners as others. A bit like a uni campus."

    filip sytaAnother dramatic aspect in "The Show" is the lying and cheating that goes on regarding numbers and metrics at Show. In one scene, Vic's team has to pitch a movie studio ad account. But the team fails to prepare before the meeting and instead makes up numbers that sound good:

    Because we worked at SHOW, we knew the client wouldn't question them, either. We were confident our fairy tale would work. It was an easy sell. We had observed our managers making up numbers for their bosses every day. The higher-ups were so overwhelmed with data that nobody ever questioned it. We figured we could do the same thing.

    Syta told Business Insider the company was "extremely data driven."

    "They measure everything, and you want to look good to your manager and your manager wants to look good to their manager and up the chain it goes, so you want to report great numbers," Syta said. "Rarely someone checks, so they will make up cases for reporting, make it sound better than it really is. Data can be, depending on how you present it, data could be X or Y or Z, so it suits you well. So there could be a manager who asks before: 'OK, it's not good enough,' and they say, 'Ah well just make something up to improve it.' Or they will urge their teams to cheat because they want to live good, that they manage a team who's performing well to their managers. And that manager will want to look good to the next level. So and then it becomes a big chain of lies. Internally and externally."

    Does nobody check?

    "No, no because no one cares."

    But surely there are numbers and metrics that can be easily verified?

    "No, no, not always," Syta said. "Because the upper manager will not go down to the account manager-level and check. Of course they will see real cash flow coming in. But in specific cases of a specific client, they won't check. As long as it looks good everyone is happy because everyone cares only about their own task to look good to their next upper manager."

    One character in the book who everyone who has ever worked at a large company will recognise: Alex, a Show veteran who has figured out how to keep his job while doing the least amount of work possible. He leaves his jacket and laptop on a different floor from his desk. He arrives late in the morning, carrying them from the other floor, so that it looks as if he was in an early meeting. Alex is also an alcoholic who wets himself outside a nightclub one night.

    So why wasn't the real "Alex" fired?

    "He was too smart — he outsmarted the system and management, I think," Syta says. "He was just smart, knowing what to say, to who, and how to be present when he needs to. And that's it. He was happy that he will never have a job where he does this little, and gets this much money for it."

    One of the reasons Syta bailed out of Google had to do with the cynicism of his colleagues over the Christmas gifts given by the company to employees. For two years in a row, Syta says, staffers received Nexus tablets. "It was a tablet two years in a row, and then everyone complained ... people were unhappy because it was a tablet the year before as well," he said. So the company offered to change the gift to a Nexus phone, if staff chose, "which they got after some complaining."

    Syta thought this was ridiculous, that he was living a life so coddled that someone would complain about receiving a free computer. "That’s what I mean — you lose appreciation.

    Syta is now a growth manager at Ztory, a books and magazines app, in Stockholm.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Everything Apple will unveil this year

  • THE THREE COMMA CLUB: The elite apps and platforms that have more than a billion users

    crowd football sky

    For Mark Zuckerberg, a product isn't a real business until it has a billion users.

    "This may sound a little ridiculous to say, but for us, products don't really get that interesting to turn into businesses until they have about 1 billion people using them," he said during Facebook's third-quarter earnings call in 2014.

    On Monday, one of the social network's sister apps just got "interesting" — WhatsApp passed the 1,000,000,000-user mark.

    It's a coveted milestone that very few apps and platforms ever reach.

    Here are the members of the three-comma club:

    WhatsApp: Used by one-seventh of the earth's population.

    On Monday, the Facebook-owned messaging app announced it had a billion active users, nearly one-seventh of the world's population.

    WhatsApp's big news, interestingly, came out right after Google's parent company, Alphabet, announced quarterly earnings — which beat analysts' expectations and sent the stock soaring.

    "But now, it's back to work," WhatsApp said in a blog post, "because we still have another 6 billion people to get on WhatsApp, and a long way left to go."

    Facebook Groups: The billion-user app that's still a bit of a secret.

    Facebook Groups is another Facebook product with more than a billion users. It announced it had passed that milestone in late January 2016. It's available as a standalone app and is also accessible via the main website.

    Gmail: Probably the best all-around email product, ever.

    Google's incredibly popular email service passed the billion-user mark recently. The search giant announced the news on its earning call earlier this week.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider
  • Forget the Apple TV, this dirt-cheap Google gadget revolutionised my living room (GOOG)

    television black and white old fashioned fifties

    Looking to spruce up your lounge?

    An Apple TV top box starts at $159 (£129).

    A PlayStation 4 is currently $343 (£284).

    A smart TV will set you back hundreds.

    Forget all of them – Google sells a gadget for just $35 (£30) that will transform how you watch TV.

    It certainly did for me.

    I'm talking about Chromecast. It's a "dongle" that Google sells that you plug into the back of your TV.

    You slot it into a HDMI port, the sort found on basically all modern TVs. Once there, you control it with your smartphone.

    You can throw videos and music onto your TV to watch by pressing the Chromecast button on any of the hundreds of compatible apps.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider
  • 20 incredible perks companies like Airbnb, Facebook, and Google offer their employees


    Most of us spend a majority of our waking hours at work, so it's only natural that we want to enjoy our time in the office as much as we can. And perks help — a lot.

    According to career site Glassdoor, more than half (57%) of all workers say perks and benefits are among the top things they consider when deciding whether to accept a job, and almost 80% of employees say they would prefer new benefits – like health insurance or paid time off — over a pay raise.

    That's why some employers are raising the bar and going beyond free food, on-site gyms, and 401(k)s to attract new talent. Companies like Airbnb and Facebook are offering unique and surprising perks like travel stipends and "Baby Cash," according to Glassdoor's new list of the "Top 20 Employee Benefits and Perks."

    "Benefits and perks matter because they're an added piece of the total compensation puzzle," says Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor's career trends analyst. "Job seekers should understand what benefits and perks an employer may be offering, and do their research ahead of time to find companies that offer benefits that matter most to them."

    Glassdoor's list is based on the hundreds of thousands of benefits reviews shared on Glassdoor by employees.

    Through research and surveys, Glassdoor has found that benefits and perks affect recruiting efforts "in that they certainly help get prospective talent interested in a company and through the door," Dobroski explains. "However, once people are hired, our research shows culture and values, career opportunities and senior leadership, not perks, are the leading factors that impact employee satisfaction, which directly affects a company's talent retention rates."

    Here are 20 of the most incredible perks companies are offering right now:

    SEE ALSO: Here's how to respond to weird interview questions you may hear from major companies like Google and Apple

    Netflix: year-long paid parental leave

    Netflix offers one paid year of maternity and paternity leave to new parents. The company also allows parents to return part-time or full-time and take time off as needed throughout the year.

    Overall benefits rating: 3.7 / 5

    REI: 'Yay Days'

    REI encourages its employees to get outside by offering two paid days off each year, called "Yay Days," to enjoy their favorite outside activity.

    Overall benefits rating: 4.0 / 5


    Salesforce: PTO for volunteering and money for donation

    Salesforce employees receive six days of paid volunteer time off a year, as well as $1,000 a year to donate to a charity of their choice.

    Overall benefits rating: 4.5 / 5

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider
  • The 14 most impressive AI scientists working at Google DeepMind (GOOG)

    Mustafa Suleyman

    Google DeepMind, a group of approximately 140 people aiming to "solve intelligence" in London, is arguably one of the most interesting technology companies operating in the UK right now.

    However, who actually works at Google DeepMind beyond the three cofounders is a bit of a mystery, possibly because Google doesn't want to risk shouting about them and losing its smartest staff to rivals that are also focusing on artificial intelligence, such as Facebook. 

    DeepMind's talented workforce is likely to have been one of the main reasons that Google decided to spend £400 million on the company last January, so we thought it was about time someone took a look at who actually works there.

    DeepMind, founded in 2011, is heavily involved in a lot of research and a number of its academically-focused staff have been busy publishing papers on artificial intelligence since the company was incorporated. A page on the DeepMind website details all of these academics papers and which DeepMind employees contributed to them.

    In order to identify the most impressive DeepMind scientists, Business Insider analysed the page to see which DeepMind staff have contributed to the most scientific papers. Google was unable to confirm whether the other authors worked for DeepMind so we have linked to a source where possible. We also contacted several of the academics directly but did not hear anything back. 

    14. Ioannis Antonoglou

    Publications: 3

    Official job title: Software Engineer 

    Confirmation: LinkedIn 

    Interesting fact: Ioannis Antonoglou joined DeepMind in 2012 after graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a masters degree in artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

    13. Martin Riedmiller

    Publications: 3

    Official job title: Research Scientist 

    Confirmation: Blog 

    Interesting fact: Prior to joining DeepMind, just nine months ago, Martin Riedmiller worked on robotics and autonomous learning systems at the University of Freiberg in Germany. 

    12. Mustafa Suleyman (cofounder)

    Publications: 4

    Official job title: Head of Applied AI 

    Confirmation: LinkedIn

    Interesting fact: Mustafa Suleyman dropped out of Oxford University at the age of 19 to set up a counselling service known as the Muslim Youth Helpline. He also worked as a policy officer for the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider
  • Luxembourg wants to mine asteroids for minerals with the help of Google's Larry Page


    Luxembourg is planning to go into space to mine minerals from asteroids — and it will get help from Google founder Larry Page.

    Luxemburger Wort, one of the country's newspapers, reported that Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg's deputy prime minister and minister of the economy, said the government would work with one of the world's largest satellite operators — SES, which he helped set up a decade ago — and two US companies to help make it happen.

    The two US private companies are Planetary Resources, in which Page from Google is an investor, and Deep Space Industries, which is working on sending tourists into space. But it has taken over two years to get these private companies on board, as Luxembourg's Schneider first started working on the project in secret after visiting NASA's research centre in August 2013.

    Last November, US President Barack Obama signed legislation that allows commercial extraction of minerals and other materials, including water, from asteroids and the moon.

    The US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 says that any materials American individuals or companies find on an asteroid or the moon is theirs to keep and do with as they please.

    While the Space Act breaks with the concept that space should be shared by everyone for scientific research and exploration, it establishes the rights of investors to profit from their efforts, at least under US law.

    Larry Page"I am convinced there is great scientific and economic potential in Luxembourg's vision," Jean-Jacques Dordain, the ex-director-general of the European Space Agency, told the Financial Times in another report. "We know how to get to asteroids, how to drill into them and how to get samples back to Earth."

    But while the technology seems to be there and ready to be used for space mining, the cost of the project requires Luxembourg to seek out rich, private investors.

    For example, it is estimated to cost NASA $1 billion just to bring back 60 grams of asteroid mineral from the OSIRIS-REx mission.

    Dordain told the FT he reckoned that the Luxembourg project would cost "tens of billions of dollars" but that the payoff could be enormous. "At the end," he said, "there could be a market worth trillions."

    Asteroids might not look like much on the outside, but they're packed full of rare and precious materials.

    Underneath the surface of some asteroids is a treasure trove of a type of mineral, called platinum, that is rare on Earth but extremely lucrative — 1,000 cubic centimeters of platinum is worth close to $1 million.

    One of these platinum-loaded asteroids flew by Earth on July 19.

    And this particular one, called asteroid 2011 UW-158, is thought to harbor $300 billion to $5.4 trillion worth of platinum and other precious metals and materials. Astronomers can estimate this by studying the object's size as well as its general composition with instruments called spectrometers that measure the intensity of light from an object.

    Asteroid mining could be an extremely useful business for agencies like NASA, which hopes to capture an asteroid and bring it in orbit around the moon soon enough for future astronauts to visit it and collect samples by as early as 2025.

    NASA says the materials frozen in asteroids could "be used in developing the space structures and in generating the rocket fuel that will be required to explore and colonize our solar system in the twenty-first century."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: New York City rental prices are out of control

  • Bernie Sanders is getting more attention than Hillary Clinton on Google

    Bernie Sanders might have the upper hand over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, one of the most important primary elections in the presidential race, according to data from Google Trends.

    bernie sanders

    While the top two candidates in the Democratic presidential campaign debated each other on Thursday night, Google Trends was visualizing search data about both candidates in real-time.

    As The Washington Post points out, Sanders received more attention on Google during and after the debate — both in New Hampshire and nationally. In particular, Sanders saw a big spike after the debate ended, possibly due to Sanders mentioning his immigrant father during his closing remarks.

    But what’s even more illuminating about the close race between Clinton and Sanders — which was neck-and-neck earlier this week in the Iowa primaries — is what types of questions people search about each candidate.

    These are the top five questions for each candidate, according to Google:

    Top 5 Hillary Clinton questions

    1. How old is Hillary Clinton?
    2. Who can beat Hillary?
    3. Where is Hillary Clinton today?
    4. Will Hillary win?
    5. How much is Hillary Clinton worth?

    Top 5 Bernie Sanders questions

    1. Where will Bernie Sanders be speaking?
    2. Why Bernie Sanders?
    3. Who would be Bernie Sanders' VP?
    4. How to donate to Bernie Sanders
    5. Where can I see Bernie Sanders in NH?

    As you can see, the top five questions relating to Clinton were about her age (she's 68), her likelihood of winning, and her overall net worth. When it came to Sanders, though, people wanted to know where he would be speaking, and how they could donate to his campaign.

    As The Washington Post notes, Sanders has raised more money — and at a faster pace — than President Obama did during his first campaign in 2008. He even raised more than Clinton last month, and he did it from more than a million different donors.

    But even though Sanders might look like the favorite on Google right now, the data doesn’t guarantee him a victory. Clinton certainly has more experience in the White House having served as First Lady for eight years, Secretary of State under President Obama for four years, and a senator of New York for eight years. It will be interesting to see how accurately Google’s data reflects both candidates’ campaigns as they move closer to November.

    Google Trends has a whole page dedicated to comparing Clinton and Sanders on the issues. Check it out here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Have you heard of 'the Tinder for elites'?

  • Google DeepMind is going to pitch its AI against the world's best Go player and broadcast it live on YouTube (GOOG)

    Demis Hassabis DeepMind

    Google's artificial intelligence (AI) company DeepMind is going to pitch its AI system against Lee Sedol, the best Go player in the world.

    The announcement, made on Twitter last night, comes less than a week after DeepMind said it had beaten the best Go player in Europe, Fan Hui.

    The match, which will involve a $1 million (£680,000) wager, will be played in Seoul, South Korea next month and live-streamed over YouTube.

    Go, the eastern version of chess, is a board game for two players that is thought to have originated in China more than 2,500 years ago and has trillions of possible moves.

    While computers can beat humans at chess and other games, looking ahead in Go is more difficult for them because the number of possible moves is far greater.

    DeepMind chief Demis Hassabis announced the news on his Twitter account:

    Thrilled to officially announce the 5-game challenge match between #AlphaGo and Lee Sedol in Seoul from March 9th-15th for a $1M prize!

    — Demis Hassabis (@demishassabis) February 4, 2016

    The London startup, which was acquired by Google for £400 million in 2014, was in a race with Facebook to develop an AI that could defeat a professional Go player. DeepMind can now do that but Facebook can only beat amateur players.

    Hassabis is hailed as something of a genius, having gained chess master status at the age of 13 and a double first in computer science from Cambridge University.

    However, AI experts have questioned how significant Google's AlphaGo algorithm really is. Rodolfo Rosini, cofounder of London AI startup weave.ai, said the company is better at marketing than AI.

    Deepmind's greatest skill is not in AI but in marketing. And I am not saying this dismissively. I'm in awe. https://t.co/WgOm38ua68

    — Rodolfo Rosini ☕️✨ (@rodolfor) February 5, 2016

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The iPhone will finally stop ruining your sleep — here's how

  • The US smart home market has been struggling — here's how and why the market will take off

    Smart Home Adoption Curve

    The US smart home market has yet to take off. Quirky's recent announcement that it was filing chapter 11 bankruptcy — and selling off its smart home business, Wink — highlights this well.

    At its current state, we believe the smart home market is stuck in the 'chasm' of the technology adoption curve, in which it is struggling to surpass the early-adopter phase and move to the mass-market phase of adoption.

    There are many barriers preventing mass-market smart home adoption: high device prices, limited consumer demand and long device replacement cycles. However, the largest barrier is the technological fragmentation of the smart home ecosystem, in which consumers need multiple networking devices, apps and more to build and run their smart home.

    In a new report from BI Intelligence, we analyze current US consumer demand for the smart home and barriers to widespread adoption. We also analyze and determine areas of growth, and ways to overcome barriers.


    Here are some key takeaways from the report: 

    • Smart home devices are becoming more prevalent throughout the US. We define a smart home device as any stand-alone object found in the home that is connected to the internet, can be either monitored or controlled from a remote location, and has a noncomputing primary function. Multiple smart home devices within a single home form the basis of a smart home ecosystem.
    • Currently, the US smart home market as a whole is in the "chasm" of the tech adoption curve. The chasm is the crucial stage between the early-adopter phase and the mass-market phase, in which manufacturers need to prove a need for their devices.
    • High prices, coupled with limited consumer demand and long device replacement cycles, are three of the four top barriers preventing the smart home market from moving from the early-adopter stage to the mass-market stage. For example, mass-market consumers will likely wait until their device is broken to replace it. Then they will compare a nonconnected and connected product to see if the benefits make up for the price differential.
    • The largest barrier is technological fragmentation within the connected home ecosystem. Currently, there are many networks, standards, and devices being used to connect the smart home, creating interoperability problems and making it confusing for the consumer to set up and control multiple devices. Until interoperability is solved, consumers will have difficulty choosing smart home devices and systems. 
    • "Closed ecosystems" are the short-term solution to technological fragmentation. Closed ecosystems are composed of devices that are compatible with each other and which can be controlled through a single point. 


    In full, the report:

    • Analyzes the demand of US consumers, based off of survey results
    • Forecasts out smart home device growth until 2020
    • Determines the current leaders in the market
    • Explains how the connected home ecosystem works
    • Examines how Apple and Google will play a major role in the development of the smart home
    • Some of the companies mentioned in this report include Apple, Google, Nest, August, ADT, Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Lowe's, and Honeywell.


    Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

    1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store.» Purchase & Download Now
    2. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally.» Learn More Now



    BI Intelligence DevicesPS. Did you know...

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    Our subscribers consider the INSIDER Newsletters a "daily must-read industry snapshot" and "the edge needed to succeed personally and professionally" — just to pick a few highlights from our recent customer survey.

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  • 8 reasons why working at Facebook is better than working at Google

    Mark Zuckerberg

    It's been 12 years since Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook out of his Harvard dorm room, and the company has come a long way since then.

    For the past four years, Facebook has overtaken Google as the best place to work in the US on Business Insider's annual list. Google currently sits at No. 2.

    While both tech giants are considered to be great companies to work for, Facebook edges out Google in a number of head-to-head comparisons.

    Here are eight of them:

    SEE ALSO: Facebook is at the forefront of a radical workplace shift — and every business in America should take notice

    DON'T MISS: New dad Mark Zuckerberg posted about his return to work this week — here's how Facebook responded

    1. Facebookers are happier.

    Employees from both tech companies are pretty happy to be there, but Facebook has the edge over Google with a satisfaction rating of 93% compared to Google's rating of 84%, according to employees who completed PayScale's survey.

    "Every morning when I go in, I feel like the luckiest guy on earth for ever landing a job here," writes a Facebook data scientist in Menlo Park, California, on Glassdoor.

    2. They get more freedom.

    There are a lot of contributing factors to this high level of happiness, but one important reason stands out: Facebook trusts its people.

    Don Faul, a former Facebook executive, recently told The Wall Street Journal that, compared to Google, which he says is more structured and places more importance on "manager" titles, Facebook employees are often placed in roles that cater to their strengths and are encouraged to question and criticize their managers.

    And this kind of freedom is perhaps one of the best drivers for employee engagement.

    "You get zero credit for your title," he said. "It's all about the quality of the work, the power of your conviction, and the ability to influence people."

    3. They make more money.

    We know money isn't everything when it comes to job satisfaction — but it certainly helps. In fact, while a higher salary won't necessarily boost your happiness, researchers from the University of British Columbia and Michigan State University found that people with higher incomes reported feeling less sad, something Facebook employees surely know well.

    On average an experienced employee at Facebook makes $135,000 compared to $133,000 at Google. And the social-media company typically pays 17% above market rates for its employees, while Google pays 10% above market.

    Taking a closer look, according to data gathered by Glassdoor, an intern at Facebook makes almost $7,400 a month on average, while a Google intern makes closer to $7,200 a month.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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  • Apple Music is now live 2015-07-01T15:55:44Z

    Apple Music gives access to just about every song ever recorded, along with expert recommendations. You can now earn affiliate commission on qualified memberships to Apple Music.

    If you already have an affiliate account, you can use your existing affiliate token to link to Apple Music and earn commissions. If you do not already have an affiliate account, go to www.apple.com/itunes/affiliates and complete the online application with our affiliate provider PHG. Your application will be reviewed within five business days.

    Affiliate partners can earn a one-time when referrals result in a conversion from the trial period to the first paid month for Apple Music. For more information on Apple Music commissions by market, see the affiliate commission table.

    Any existing link to iTunes may open in Apple Music if the customer has already become a member. There are some occasions where you may want to override the behavior of a link and open the iTunes store or Apple Music.

    How do I create links that always open Apple Music?

    For any iTunes artist, album, song, or music video URL, simply append the parameter “app=music”. This parameter can be added before or after other parameters, but be sure all parameters follow the “?” and are separated by “&”.

    Apple Music example: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/roar/id690928033?i=690928331&app=music

    How do I manually create links to iTunes?

    For any existing iTunes artist, album, song, or music video URL, simply append the parameter “app=itunes”. This parameter can be added before or after other parameters, but be sure all parameters follow the “?” and are separated by “&”.

    iTunes Store example: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/roar/id690928033?i=690928331&app=itunes

    For more information visit the Apple Music FAQs

  • iTunes Affiliate Program Terms & Conditions Update 2014-10-23T16:00:50Z

    The Terms and Conditions for the Affiliate Program have been updated. There will not be any impact to the commission rate or the purchase window which remain at 7% and 24 hours respectively.

    Here is a brief overview of the changes:

    • Minor changes to unify verbiage used in the platform and program terms

    • Section 2.2 has broader language for qualifying links allowing Store Kit Product Sheet to be supported for app developers

    • All the terms are managed and enforced by Performance Horizon Group in United Kingdom

    You can review the new PHG Terms and Conditions here.

    The new terms come into effect immediately. If you continue using our services after today, you agree to be bound by these new terms. If you do not agree with the new terms and wish to remove your account, or if you have any questions, please contact us at our Helpdesk.


  • Affiliate Linking to App Bundles 2014-10-02T16:49:18Z

    App Bundles

    App Bundles let you promote multiple apps or games from the same developer at a special price. This is a great way to promot high quality apps and earn more commission with higher value sales.

    View App Bundles: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewFeature?id=915131749&mt=8

    Grab a link from any App Bundle and append your affiliate token when linking from your own app or website. For more information about how to create an affiliate link, see our basic linking guide.

  • Affiliate Program Update for App Developers 2014-08-18T16:15:43Z

    Store Kit Product Sheet

    We are excited to announce that Store Kit Product Sheet is now affiliate commissionable on iOS 8. Store Kit Product Sheet allows app developers to promote the purchase of music, apps, books and more directly from a sheet within your app and earn the standard affiliate commission on all sales within 24 hours.

    We encourage you to use Store Kit Product Sheet to provide a superior user experience and keep users in your app longer. Learn how to integrate your affiliate token into the Store Kit Product Sheet in the Developer Documentation.

    Smart App Banners

    Smart App Banners have always been commissionable in the affiliate program. Promote your app with this banner feature when a user is viewing your website in mobile Safari. Learn how integrate your affiliate token in the Developer Documentation.

  • Korea and 19 More Countries Added this Week 2014-04-17T21:17:49Z

    Korea and 19 more countries have been added this week. The Affiliate Program is now supporting 147 countries on one easy to use platform. Start earning commission today when you link to music, apps, books, and more.

    If you are already signed up for the Affiliate Program then you are automatically opted-in to start earning commission in these new countries.

    New Countries added April 2014
    Albania Algeria Angola
    Azerbaijan Benin Bhutan
    Cambodia Dominican Republic Iceland
    Korea Laos Malawi
    Montserrat Palau Seychelles
    Solomon Islands Sri Lanka Tajikistan
    Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands  

    Click here for a full list of all countries in the Affiliate Program.

    If you have not already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG you can go to http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/apply to apply and start earning commission

  • 33 New Countries Added, Now Over 100 Supported 2014-02-18T05:10:24Z

    We've done it again. We have expanded support of our Affiliate Program to 33 new countries added today on the PHG platform. Also, as part of our expansion two weeks ago into Europe and South America, we added six more countries that had previously not been supported. Over 100 countries are now supported.

    If you are already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG then you are automatically opted-in to start earning commission in these new countries.

    New Countries added February 17, 2014
    Antigua and Barbuda Belize
    Brunei Burkina-Faso Cape Verde
    Fiji Gambia Ghana
    Grenada Guinea-Bissau Guyana
    Jamaica Kyrgyzstan Macedonia
    Micronesia Mongolia and Tobago Mozambique
    Namibia Nepal Niger
    Pakistan Papua New Guinea Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and The Grenadine São Tomé and Príncipe
    Sierra Leone Suriname Swaziland
    Tunisia Virgin Islands Zimbabwe
    New Countries added February 3, 2014
    Ecuador Guatemala
    Nicaragua Uruguay Venezuela

    Click here for a full list of all countries in the Affiliate Program.

    If you have not already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG you can go to http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/apply to apply and start earning commission in over 100 countries.

  • Important News for Europe and South America 2014-02-03T17:08:47Z

    Last year we introduced our new affiliate platform partner, PHG, providing added countries and unified program reporting. Today we are announcing the migration of 39 Europe and South America countries to this single platform.

    If you are already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG then you are automatically opted-in to start earning commission in every country we support. If you are currently participating in the affiliate program for Europe or South America, you need to migrate your links to PHG before 3/31 in order to continue earning affiliate commission. Click here for a full list of all countries in the Affiliate Program.

    Latin & South America
    Brazil Chile
    Colombia Costa Rica
    El Salvador

    Cyprus Czech Republic
    Finland France
    Germany Greece Hungary
    Ireland Italy Latvia
    Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
    Netherlands Norway Poland
    United Kingdom

    Learn more about this transition. If you have not already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG you can go to http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/apply to apply and start earning commission in all 94 countries.

  • Affiliate Reporting Holiday Shutdown 2013-12-18T18:46:21Z

    As a reminder, the iTunes Connect holiday shutdown schedule will also impact the affiliate program tools.

    Affiliate program reporting may be impacted from approximately from Saturday, December 21 to Friday, December 27, 2013. Some of the affiliate tools will be temporarily suspended or updated less frequently.

    • The Enterprise Partner Feed will be taken offline for the duration of the iTunes Connect shutdown.

    • The Search API, Link Maker, Banner Builder, RSS Generator and Widget Builder will be kept online.

    We thank you for your understanding and wish you the best of luck in the coming weeks with your affiliate sales.

    Happy Holidays,

    The Affiliate Team

  • Affiliate Reporting Planned Downtime 2013-10-16T02:04:16Z

    As part of a planned downtime affiliate reporting will be delayed this week by 3 to 4 days.

    All sales are still being recorded and will be recognized by PHG and TradeDoubler respectively once reporting is resumed.

    • Clicks will still be reported to PHG and TradeDoubler
    • Free items will still be reported daily on the PHG platform

    Only paid items are impacted by this downtime.

    If you have any questions please contact the Affiliate Helpdesk at http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/support.

  • 20 Additional Countries Added to the PHG Platform 2013-09-30T19:07:38Z

    We are happy to announce the continued expansion of the Affiliate Program with 20 new countries added today to the PHG platform. This brings the total of new countries to 43. The total number of countries on the PHG platform (existing plus new) is 49, providing a tremendous opportunity for iTunes affiliates.

    If you are already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG then you are automatically opted-in to start earning commission in these new countries.

    New Countries
    Bahamas Bahrain
    Barbados Belarus Bermuda
    Cayman Islands Croatia
    Dominica Kenya Mauritius
    Moldova Nigeria Oman
    Tanzania Trinidad and Tobago Uganda
    Uzbekistan Yemen

    Click here for a full list of all countries in the Affiliate Program.

    If you have not already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG you can go to http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/apply to apply and start earning commission in all 49 countries.

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