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The Information’s Top 10 Stories of 2019

The Information’s top stories of the year include profiles of major tech figures Jony Ive and Andy Jassy, a look at Amazon’s efforts to crack the Hollywood code and a revealing examination into how employees at a growing startup missed out on equity in the business:

10. Before Departure, Apple’s Jony Ive Faded From View

The departure of Apple design chief Jonathan Ive represents the end of an era for the tech giant, but Ive had become a less visible presence at the company in recent years.

9. The Incredible Rise and Fall of China’s Bike Firm Ofo

Ofo’s rapid rise—and its even faster fall—serve as a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs and investors, not only in China but also in Silicon Valley, where today’s electric scooter craze bears the hallmarks of China’s bike-sharing frenzy.

8. Apple Eyes 2022 Release for AR Headset, 2023 for Glasses

At an internal October meeting, Apple executives shared the company's product roadmap for two augmented reality devices. The stakes for the closely watched products are sky-high as Apple hunts for the next big tech platform after phones.

7. How Iger Broke Disney’s Netflix Addiction

This story looks at the years long debate among top executives over whether the Netflix money was worth the damage it was doing to the cable business. And how Bob Iger went from openly defending Disney’s relationship with Netflix to leading the charge against it.

6. Inside Amazon’s Struggles to Make Its Mark in Hollywood

Behind the scenes of Amazon’s attempt to grow its video streaming service in a crowded sector. 

5. As AWS Use Soars, Companies Surprised by Cloud Bills

While businesses have flocked to cloud computing services like AWS in recent years, drawn by the promise of flexibility and cost savings, they have also found it easy to go overboard on their cloud spending if they don’t pay attention or precisely forecast their computing needs.

4. Andreessen Horowitz Returns Slip, According to Internal Data

The chart accompanying this story shows the net internal rate of returns for Andreessen Horowitz’s funds raised between 2009 and 2017, figures that are normally closely guarded secrets inside venture firms and among their limited partners.

3. Amazon’s Cloud King: Inside the World of Andy Jassy

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy has built one of the most important new technology businesses of the last decade. He has done so while managing concerns among customers about competition from Amazon and increasingly hostile competition from the likes of Oracle.

2. Harassment Allegations Against Intercom CEO Sparked Departures

At least a half-dozen employees of Intercom, a fast-growing business software startup, have left the company in recent years over allegations that the CEO, Eoghan McCabe, made unwanted advances toward female staffers.

1. At Booming Toptal, No Stock for Employees or Investors

The story of how Toptal employees and investors have so far ended up without any equity in the company is a cautionary tale as venture capital continues to pour into Silicon Valley. For co-founders and employees, it is partly a story about the consequences of not fully understanding employment contracts.