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HOT TOPIC Agree or Disagree: Entrepreneurship is a privilege

GoGetter24

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I agree this. I know most will disagree. I feel like most people don't have the perspective of the really poor. All they are thinking about is necessities because they so poor. I know its very slowlane, but they gotta build up some cash reserve, so they can at least breath.

Big companies know this as well. Pay employees their food, water, gas, laundry, accommodation. So they don't have to worry about anything besides...you guessed it working more.
You get it though. You'll prevail. Spend the next 12 months building your skill and getting more independent work at higher rates. You'll increase your personal margins, more dollars per hour of work, more liberty in choosing from whom, more savings. Then you can move forward into greater leverage (so called 'passive income' plays).

It's just how it is. Blame a**hole parents, a**hole teachers, a**hole university mongers. But there is a pride in this. Now, for once, the difference between the life we have now, and the life we will have in 1 year from now, is under our control.
 

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ChrisV

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But let's say I wanted to start a new car company, I can't afford to R&D a new car line. But I'm not thinking I can't do it because entrepreneurship is for rich people. Yes R&D is too expensive for me.

Who's fault is it that I don't have enough money to do start a car company?
C’mon OP let’s rock out

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RubBzkZzpUA

i hear this is what the kids are listening to these days..it’s a song about bootstrapping

tenor-4.gif

@Kak is gonna yell at me for posting dumb shit
 
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Solais

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Depends on what "privilege" you're talking about.

If you're comparing yourself to some random guy in Pakistan or the Ivory Coast, who has no or barely functioning Internet and lives under a non-democratic/authoritarian regime, then yes, you could say you have "privilege."

You have options they can only dream of.

On the other hand, someone who lives in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, whatever and

1) Isn't born with a severe defect
2) Has a semi-functioning set of parents, i.e. they didn't throw you to the wolves at the age of 6
3) Has a 100+ IQ

can make it happen.

Let me expound on point #3.

Obviously, not everyone is suited for every type of business. For example, if an imaginary friend with 105 IQ came up to me and asked if he should start a software business, I would say "no" simply because coding a SaaS takes more mental aptitude than his (largely genetic based) aptitude could muster. It isn't his fault, of course, but he should accept reality and work within his framework to achieve success.

I would suggest, instead, that he start something like a local daycare, boat rental, or archery training business and scale upwards over time.

Keep in mind that being highly intelligent (135+ IQ) is not always a blessing...I would get bored as F*ck doing 90% of labor/service type businesses.

Different personalities, intelligence, and levels of resourcefulness breed different outcomes, but the path to success is there.

You don't need 2 million in startup capital to succeed. Most businesses are bootstrapped.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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TLDR for everyone else: Tom's, the huge shoe company "got lucky".





In other words, your friends all have nice cushy jobs and are consuming to the hilt with their nice cars and fancy condos.

You feel left out.

If this is your mentality about entrepreneurship and how you "live" during the process, you should just update the resume and forget about it.



Pretty much.



Of course a wealthy person has more OPTIONS, more SPINS, better probabilities, and MORE to gamble.

That's f*cking life.

I can't believe we're talking about this and need to explain it to someone, but I guess that's the product of today's "rich people are evil" and "privileged" educational indoctrination camps that turns everyone into a victim who isn't the right gender, skin color, or social class.

It's clear as a beginner with ZERO WINS and HUNDREDS OF EXCUSES, you're focusing on the wrong types of businesses.

I can think of dozens of great businesses I would start if I was back at square 1... having a job, having debt, low to zero capital, and nothing but a dream to be an entrepreneur.

And no, I wouldn't be plotting how to start the next uBer or airBnb. I'd be plotting on how to score some small wins while growing my skills.

While a "productocracy" would be on my mind as a long-game construct, my first objective would be purely building skills and building capital. If that happened in a "me too" business, I wouldn't care because "me too" businesses still can grab market share through other executional advantages. (Better service, better branding, better marketing, better story, etc.)



You mean the OP wants to jump in the pool and become Michael Phelps in 1 week?

IOW, he doesn't see the value in the process, the value of starting from nothing with perhaps, a "me too" product that builds capital. Nope, his view of a "productocracy" is too spend billions in R&D and then compete against Apple's iPhoneX.

He fails to see that you can own a pool cleaning business (pure human capital) and still have the the makings of a productocracy -- not an easy road, certainly not, but certainly not impossible.

This entire thread is a classic example of how you think internally, destroys how you act externally. When you got it wrong on the INSIDE, you most definitely will be wrong on the OUTSIDE.

Good luck.
Damn MJ. I haven’t seen a post like this from you in a while! Good stuff.

@MoreValue, at this point, just go get $200 lawnmower and start building the capital you need.

Every self made millionaire was a broke a$$ baby once that knew absolutely nothing.
 

MJ DeMarco

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this is the worst thread i’ve ever seen
Because a lot of times the worst questions bring out the best answers.

It happens a lot here.

Spend the next 12 months building your skill and getting more independent work at higher rates. You'll increase your personal margins, more dollars per hour of work, more liberty in choosing from whom, more savings. Then you can move forward into greater leverage (so called 'passive income' plays).

It's just how it is. Blame a**hole parents, a**hole teachers, a**hole university mongers. But there is a pride in this. Now, for once, the difference between the life we have now, and the life we will have in 1 year from now, is under our control.
My agreement rate with you is generally 50/50 but this little piece of advice is spot on. When money is tight and someone is *stuck* in the system (debt, entry level job, etc) the answer is human capital -- making yourself more skilled and adept, and eventually, those skills can be used to build the system to escape the system.
 

GoGetter24

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Really? No disrespect MJ, but you do need decent amount of money to start a productocracy. Even something as low cost as programming, will need capital to get market feedback with ads at least. I am making the assumption that most people have internet, smartphone, and laptop. I can see non-productocracy businesses that can be started with near $0 capital, but those businesses are pointless to start.
This is just false.

A “product-o-cracy” is based upon a unique product offering/service that is not offered by someone else.

You do not need ads to start that. You need a unique service offering.

Let's say you identify a need for cat nail clipping. Keyword planner checks out, murmurings on message boards and blog and youtube comments checks out, existing supply checks out. Lots of people have cats that they like, but are tearing up their couches and curtains with their claws. The solution is to clip their nails from time to time, but they don't want to do it themselves (and declawing is inhumane), and taking them to a vet to do it is too much hassle or too expensive. And cats absolutely hate being transported in cat boxes and freak the hell out.

So you now visit local "cat cafes" or pounds and get training in how to clip cat nails. You then devise the offer: "home-visit cat nail clipping service: $30 / clip". At $30/clip, if you get enough clients, and the clients are close enough together, you could hit $100/hr. Clips have to be done every 2 weeks, so it's also recurring business. Unique service offering: checked.

You now throw up a simple website offering this service. Since you're a cheapskate who can't bring himself to spend money to make money, you use a free wordpress blog [shudder] or a facebook page [also shudder] to do it.

You also don't do ads, because $15 of clicks that could create $150+ of lifetime customer value is unacceptable to you for some reason. So you start a YouTube channel about cats and give cat advice while playing with cats and interviewing vets, comment on cats in YouTube comment sections and facebook groups and forums and spam your link, blog about cats and spam it all over reddit, print out crappy flyers on your inkjet printer and post them in local mailboxes (you walk of course, no wasting money on gas), beg and plead at your local vet from them to let you put up a flyer on their wall for free or in exchange for plugging them on your blog/channel, and just be an all round cheap human being.

You end up with either: no interest (so drop it), or interest. Let's say you end up with 5 recurring clients a week, working evenings and weekends. "OK, might work!" you say. You invest all $150 of that weekly income in ads. You confirm an "in the green" conversion rate of $3 of lifetime estimated revenue for $1 of ads. Not great given that you have to fulfill it, but OK to start.

You then realize there are a bunch of value-additions you can do. Like bringing a bag of cat goodies for-sale with you each time. Or offering extra high-end services for the wealthy house wife type clients, like grooming the rest of the cat, "pampering" it, or taking it to the vet for them. You get a proper high-quality website, write books on cat care, buy more ads, etc. You solidify your workflow & sales tactics, hit $150/hour effective hourly rate, averaging 2 hours of work every evening, and 4 every weekend day.

You realize you can now hire other people to assist, at say $25/hour. Say you integrate them smoothly, and the net value of their work is $60/hour, and this allows you to free up commuting to further-away districts. You slap some "CatCareCrew" uniform on them, give them a branded bag to carry their tools and your merch, and you send them out. Meanwhile you keep spraying flyers everywhere, better targeting your ads, buying more ads, etc. You also get permission to video some of the customers cats, especially the coolest/cutest ones, and post it on your YouTube channel and show how the cat doesn't freak the hell out.

The business keeps growing, you slowly extract yourself from operations. Congratulations, you just started a "product-o-cracy" with $0.

So stop the "woe is me", "it's too hard" bullshit, and get on with it.
 

GoGetter24

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Create and source labels that sell and build a GREAT brand in the process Power Labels – for Private Labeling Profits Discover why I call them Power Labels
Have you considered adding another/bigger buy now button at or near the top? Needs a lot of scrolling to get to the button, and it's not big so easy to miss. "Make it easy for them to give you money" and all that. Also doesn't have HTTPS so says "not secure" next to url, not good for labeling :)
 

Destiny Warrior

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Simple: Start a $14 meetup group on meetup site and you can reach every community where they will promote for you free worth 10K

It worked wonders for my book
Upgrade 100% the Best You in 100 Days
 

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Walter Hay

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Have you considered adding another/bigger buy now button at or near the top? Needs a lot of scrolling to get to the button, and it's not big so easy to miss. "Make it easy for them to give you money" and all that. Also doesn't have HTTPS so says "not secure" next to url, not good for labeling :)
I appreciate your suggestion and will take action, at least in relation to the HTTPS. That unfortunately is about the limit of my technical skills, so I will have to find someone who can enlarge and maybe add a second Buy Now button for me.

I am sure you will find my book helpful.

Walter
 

ZF Lee

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Simple: Start a $14 meetup group on meetup site and you can reach every community where they will promote for you free worth 10K

It worked wonders for my book
Upgrade 100% the Best You in 100 Days
I'm being courted by some guy I met on a meetup.com arrangement to jump onto his real estate gig bandwagon.

I'm wondering if I'm not the first guy he's trying to rope into. :inpain:

In other words, your friends all have nice cushy jobs and are consuming to the hilt with their nice cars and fancy condos.

You feel left out.

If this is your mentality about entrepreneurship and how you "live" during the process, you should just update the resume and forget about it.
I feel it boils down to management.

If you want something nice, make sure you have enough to cover the costs and it doesn't hurt you financially, emotionally or physically. Buy what you can afford, regardless of whether you rely on a job or biz for income.

So updating the resume ain't going to work. It just enables you to 'run away' from the issue, only to have it come back to you later.

I generally don't feel left out when I see other folks having great cars and homes. I just worry, 'How in the F*ck do you clean the place/car?':playful:

IOW, he doesn't see the value in the process, the value of starting from nothing with perhaps, a "me too" product that builds capital. Nope, his view of a "productocracy" is too spend billions in R&D and then compete against Apple's iPhoneX.

He fails to see that you can own a pool cleaning business (pure human capital) can still have the the makings of a productocracy -- not an easy road, certainly not, but certainly not impossible.
I might actually pay more recurring cash to an ordinary biz like a pool cleaning biz. Or even a grocer.

I still have my iPhone 6. Still works. I refused to change to the latest iPhones because I realised I was just getting access to the same functions like the App Store and phone calls.

I think I'll keep the phone for the next 10 years lol, not withstanding any drastic tech changes. So Apple ain't gonna get my cash in a long time. :smile2:

In my local grocer, I actually got riled up when they sold
  • bananas that had a smell that is too strong to be real
  • cherry tomatos that were old
  • local sweet potatoes that spoiled just the next day

I stopped buying those things.

But they had some things that I liked:
  • Zucchinis. No complains on their freshness
  • English muffins
  • Beetroot bread
  • Chinese herb soup packet
And much more!

So I buy these things regularly. Needless to say, a small grocer got more of my money in the long run, even though they sell humble stuff. :)

But on R&D, I think no matter where you look, there's always room for more improvement. A billion dollars isn't the end-it-all.

When money is tight and someone is *stuck* in the system (debt, entry level job, etc) the answer is human capital -- making yourself more skilled and adept, and eventually, those skills can be used to build the system to escape the system.
How much human capital is enough? Enough to convince employees to join you, to fulfill the other gaps in skills? Enough to develop a competitive advantage or USP? It sounds more relevant to the service biz.
 

biophase

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I'll even give you one more because I don't have time for this one. Make a biking backpack that can conceal a handgun that is accessible without having to stop the bike. Please? Then take my money and the money of hundreds of other mountain bikers.
Soooooo... after typing this 5 days ago I've been thinking about it all week. I brought it up with my friend who is ex special forces and he gave me some great ideas on it. Sooooo.... I may be jumping the gun a little bit, but I think this is going to happen and will probably have him as a partner. Can't think of a better way to start this company than with a vet/spec ops as a partner. This is an example of combining totally different knowledge and skills into a partnership.
 

DennisDuty

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On the main topic of this thread:

OP is correct. Some people will NOT BE ABLE to start certain types of business. This is a truth. Sometimes money is a huge factor that LIMITS your ability to get started in certain spaces. A poor black kid from Compton will NOT be able to launch a innovative smartphone

What you've missed is that for other types of business, TIME is the limiting factor. Or EXPERIENCE, or LAWS, REGULATIONS, or CUSTOMER RETENTION or EMPLOYEE RETENTION, or PATIENCE or SKILL.

Every business has its own unique set of challenges. Your job is to identify these challenges and overcome them.

Instagram was not a good idea. It's dead simple. People were already sharing pictures on the internet long before Instagram. But instagram got a bit of traction so they hit it with multiple rounds of funding until it blew up. Instragram simply would not have become a household name were it not for the millions pumped into marketing it. Mass popularity is bought.
I agree with you on the whole, but this point is a bit reductionist. You've reduced the complexity of the situation until it matched your cynicism.

Marketing isn't about funding. It's about communicating WANT and NEED. If the customer doesn't NEED your product and you can't make them WANT it, it doesn't matter how much funding you have.

Raise your hand if you've ever tasted Virgin Cola.

Virgin poured millions into marketing. In 1998 Branson drove a TANK down times square and shot a coca-cola sign. It wasn't free, and only a company like Virgin could accomplish it.

Thousands of other companies have poured countless dollars into other products. Remember the Blu-ray vs HDDVD war? Why hasn't GOOGLE PLUS taken off? Why doesn't anybody own a ZUNE?

You can't buy popularity. Your product still has to FIT. Great marketing on a shit idea will net you shit returns.

Instagram became popular because of the question "how did you get that photo to look so good?"

The answer, of course, was Instagram's differentiator: "It's this app with these filters. Let me show you".

Before the integration of the filters they had zero traction.
 

ProblemOd

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A poor black kid from Compton will NOT be able to launch a innovative smartphone
But the kid from Compton doesn't need to start an innovative smartphone and shouldn't focus on what he/she can't do, but what he/she can. There's things "kids from Compton" can do right now to move them closer to a fastlane business and listening to the OP is not one of them.
 

ChrisV

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Simple: Start a $14 meetup group on meetup site and you can reach every community where they will promote for you free worth 10K

It worked wonders for my book
Upgrade 100% the Best You in 100 Days
elaborate.....

if you’re not here just to promote your book
 

ChrisV

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On the main topic of this thread:

OP is correct. Some people will NOT BE ABLE to start certain types of business. This is a truth. Sometimes money is a huge factor that LIMITS your ability to get started in certain spaces. A poor black kid from Compton will NOT be able to launch a innovative smartphone

What you've missed is that for other types of business, TIME is the limiting factor. Or EXPERIENCE, or LAWS, REGULATIONS, or CUSTOMER RETENTION or EMPLOYEE RETENTION, or PATIENCE or SKILL.


Every business has its own unique set of challenges. Your job is to identify these challenges and overcome them.



I agree with you on the whole, but this point is a bit reductionist. You've reduced the complexity of the situation until it matched your cynicism.

Marketing isn't about funding. It's about communicating WANT and NEED. If the customer doesn't NEED your product and you can't make them WANT it, it doesn't matter how much funding you have.

Raise your hand if you've ever tasted Virgin Cola.

Virgin poured millions into marketing. In 1998 Branson drove a TANK down times square and shot a coca-cola sign. It wasn't free, and only a company like Virgin could accomplish it.

Thousands of other companies have poured countless dollars into other products. Remember the Blu-ray vs HDDVD war? Why hasn't GOOGLE PLUS taken off? Why doesn't anybody own a ZUNE?

You can't buy popularity. Your product still has to FIT. Great marketing on a sh*t idea will net you sh*t returns.

Instagram became popular because of the question "how did you get that photo to look so good?"

The answer, of course, was Instagram's differentiator: "It's this app with these filters. Let me show you".

Before the integration of the filters they had zero traction.
This guy is one of the best thinkers on this forum and imo people should give attention to his posts.

And re: instagram.. instagram is popular for the same reason makeup is.. it makes your shitty life look cool
 

Nik@16

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I am speaking solely on productocracy type businesses. Not the just pay the bills type of businesses.

The startup culture is all about, rags to riches, zero to hero, I work so hard, etc.

I am starting to realize that entrepreneurship is actually a priviledge thing. Hear me out. If an average income person wants to build a business, they gotta make huge sacrifices for the time being. Just because most if not all productocracy businesses require substantial capital and time to get it going.

A wealthy person starting a business, doesn’t have to cut back much at all and continue living life as is without making sacrifices because they got capital.

Poor person trying to start a business? Full on cut everything out of life to even have a sliver of a chance.

So pretty anything that requires significant capital is a priviledge thing, due to the fact that those with money don’t have to sacrifice. Just hate how the startup culture is all about, everyone has an equal chance.

Edit: Still working on my business regardless though.
I live in India. Green Groceries are sold at streets and these street vendors beat any shop which sells groceries. You know why ? It's because they sell cheaper and better goods. The street vendors travel miles to the street to sell food.Gas is more expensive than human energy. Nobody can beat them. 10 million familes have a grocery store. No Walmart can beat them . Entrepreneurship is about increasing productivity in society. .
 

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Ninjakid

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Most rich people were born rich.

The ones who weren't were still privileged enough to become rich.

Are we allowed to take credit for anything?
 

The-J

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Poor person trying to start a business? Full on cut everything out of life to even have a sliver of a chance.
OK

Let's say you work a job that takes up 11 hours of your day 5 days a week. Your salary is juuuuust enough to make ends meet, not much more. Maybe you're able to save $100/month after cutting out all the fat but nothing else. You can't just up and quit your job and move in with your parents because you've got a debt load from all the schoolin' that got you the meager job in the first place (and also maybe a wife and kids).

You've got a couple choices you can make.

You've got your weekends so you could get another job. I'm 25, and this is what a LOT of people I know do.

You could do a side hustle. Photo booth business on the weekends, perhaps. Or copywriting gigs on Upwork. Or Craigslist arbitrage.

You could start a project that could eventually be something big enough to quit your job.

The last choice is really hard because for a while, it's going to pay you $0/hr for quite some time and is going to require you to sacrifice:
  • Hanging out
  • Sleep
  • Some sanity
  • Opportunities working on things that seem shinier in the moment
Most of all, though, you don't know really if it's going to work out. You're armed only with the information you have (and can reasonably acquire through books, etc), the time you have, and the fire in your heart. Without even one of these things, you've got a 0% chance.

The majority of the time you spend working on the business before you make a dime is in the Desert of Desertion. It feels like a waste of time. You squeeze in some work on your commute, waiting times, at 5am, or after dinner.

And you don't know if it's going to work at all. Everything is a hassle. Learning new skills and new technologies is a hassle. Going to meetups and workshops after work is a hassle. Talking to people who are able to save way more than you because they get paid more, have less debt, and are able to make bigger investments is a hassle.

But what keeps people who are in this position going is the knowledge that it's possible. That there IS a chance, and that there ARE ways they can push the odds in their favor. Most of all, it's the self security in knowing that they're actually going for their dreams and giving it an honest go.

Lots can go wrong, and often it does! But what I'm trying to say is to forget about the stuff you can't control. Everything that happened in the past you can't control. The family you were born into. The school you decided to go to. The debt you decided to take out. That's out of your hands now. What is IN your hands is what's going on right the F*ck now.

I didn't answer the topic of the question because the premise is irrelevant to any given individual circumstance.
 
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MoreValue

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Anyways, if you guys are wondering what I am doing with all this advice, I decided I am going to have to choose a business that is low monetary cost, high human capital cost. In the startup phase anyways, I got all starry eyed when I got into business 3 years ago thinking I could do any type of business. But I have lost those starry eyes and realized I am going to have to accept that for my first venture, I simply can't afford to start those types of businesses without declaring bankruptcy.

I have decided to choose Sass. Currently, learning to code because I don't have any other option. Some may call it a waste of time to learn to code. But I just can't afford one right now. Monetary costs are pretty much zero to start, meaning there is no limits to this at all. Wish me luck yall
 

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Hmm. A philosophical question indeed. Is it a privilege to have your health? Ask a sick person. Is it a privilege to have normal children? Ask a family with disabled children. Is it a privilege to have a hot wife? Yes (I can answer this one). Is it a privilege for you to be an entrepreneur? I hope you will be able to tell us the answer on your experience.
"Poor person trying to start a business? Full on cut everything out of life to even have a sliver of a chance."
This is addressed in MJ's books. You have to live too. Don't scrimp and save just to say you are an entrepreneur.
 

LamboKing

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Some people may argue this is one of the worst threads, but between some of the post from @MJ DeMarco @biophase and @Fox and others, there’s so many nuggets that have helped shape my mind state. Sometimes our beliefs and biases can be the emprisonment to our dreams.
 

Busybee22

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Here's the thing. Entrepreneurship IS a privilege. Some of us are so entitled into thinking that just because we can go out and start a business whenever we want, it's just whatever. That however, is NOT the case, as in some countries it is near impossible to raise one's station, with class systems or corrupt governments.
 

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