Telegram’s Massive ICO, Citi Closes Pay Gap, And Carillion Files For Bankruptcy

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You know that saying “out over your skis?” That doesn’t even begin to describe Telegram’s ICO. The company is best known for running the preferred encrypted messenger platform of crypto-junkies … and probably your local weed dealer. The platform handled 70B messages every day in October 2017, which were sent and received by 170M users.

The Snapchat knock-off is planning a technological clusterf*ck to be named Telegram Open Network (TON). Let’s break it down. The new Telegram plans to

  • Raise $1.2B as part of an ICO (the largest by far to date)
  • Create its own blockchain platform to rival Ethereum (FYI: ether is the cryptocurrency traded on the Ethereum platform)

But that’s not all

Please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times as we head down the rabbit hole. As part of its master plan, Telegram plans to decentralize the internet (*conspiracy theorists ears perk up*). What does this mean? Distributed storage and censorship-proof websites, of course.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Add this to the long list of things that I don’t fully understand and simultaneously scare the sh*t out of me. The most frightening part is the thing that sets this ICO apart from all the others (read: Kodak): Telegram has a HUGE following  and is widely accepted in the crypto-community.”


Uncontrolled demolition

UK based construction juggernaut, Carillion, had a serious case of the Mondays this week, as they announced that they’re going into liquidation. Carillion, who employs upwards of 43k people globally, has accrued some serious debt. To the tune of $3B. That’s a lot of 2×4’s.

Carillion, who depends on the UK for three-fourths of its revenue, has been been on a crumbling financial foundation since July. According to reports, there are as many as 30k small firms that Carillion has contracted with, to whom they still owe some cash. Someone’s knee caps are definitely getting broken.

So, do I have a job?

Public sector workers across the world, some 19.5k people, will still be receiving paychecks for the work they’ve done, but there will still be thousands of private sector employees who are being cut loose within 48 hours. Not a great start to a New Year.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “So let me get this straight … the UK government was paying billions of dollars to this contractor to improve and create the infrastructure of the motherland and said company couldn’t even stay solvent? Maybe London Bridge falling down ain’t a nursery rhyme after all …”


Mind the gap

*Slow clap* That’s right. Citi deserves it! The big bank is the first major corporation to take action and correct the wage gap amongst its employee ranks. Citi conducted a survey in 3 countries and found that women and minorities were paid 99% of what white-men and non-minorities were paid.

It’s not clear from the study what types of employees were included in the survey, but Citi must be happy with these results. Along with other big banks and credit card companies, there has been a lot of pressure to ensure equal pay for all employees.

Filling the hole

As a result of the study, Citi announced that they will be updating compensation this year to eliminate the gap altogether. And they totally would have done that no matter what the gap was … they promise. Citi also plans to adjust compensation for other individuals where necessary. Sorry Milton, sounds like they are about to fix that payroll glitch.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Big banks and credit card companies finally decided to pay women and minorities the same as everyone else?! Lookout 2018, we are coming in hot!”




  • Airbus built 718 planes in 2017, a new record.
  • Lego and Tencent are joining forces to create online games for children in China. No word on how the government feels about the new “Democracy and Capitalism” play set released by the company.
  • CVS will stop touching up its beauty images by 2020. They also plan to take pictures from really, really far away and apply Instagram filters.
  • The South Korean government is facing pressure from throngs of citizens who are signing a petition rebuking proposed bitcoin regulation, possibly including an outright ban. The President of South Korea can’t help but think how much easier Kim Jong Un has it sometimes.
  • The founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, is leaving the VC firm he has been with since 2015.
  • US indices were closed for MLK Day.



Professional motivation, tips, tricks, hacks & resources carefully-curated by yours truly. Something you’d like to see featured? Shoot me an email at


Brutally honest advice from someone more successful than you

I’m digging into the archives for this one. Back when we were a lowly blog, depending on Facebook for traffic (read: idiots), we ran a really popular series called “brutally honest advice from someone more successful than you.” The good news is we’re bringing it back (and we’re dropping this teaser to get you excited) … but the bad news is that you’ll probably never be as successful as Chris Guillebeau

The guy has been to EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, he’s written two wildly popular books on entrepreneurship and he’s got a daily podcast called Side Hustle School.

Here’s what Chris had to say when we asked him “What is the most brutally honest advice you can give someone about career success? (You know, that one pill that might not be easy to swallow.)”

His answer: “Most of the time you spend getting advice or looking for a mentor is wasted. Maybe you need specific guidance for something, but it’s just as likely that you’re stalling. It’s like when people who go to graduate school not because they want to or because it’s necessary, but because they don’t know what they want and it’s a nice way to defer life decisions. Don’t defer your life decisions, and don’t hand over your agency to anyone else. Decide for yourself and get moving!”


Not your daddy’s career advice

If something has Harvard’s stamp of approval who am I to question it? So when this Harvard professor got to talking about faking it til you make it, I got to taking notes.

But in typical Ivy League fashion, this video goes next level on this age old strategy. Pulling the wool over other people’s eyes is so 2017. This year its all about overcoming being your own worse enemy.


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.