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The Takeaway

Tech IPO Mania? Not So Fast.

By Jessica E. Lessin · Oct 20, 2018 9:15 AM PDT

In recent weeks, Lyft has hired J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and Jefferies to lead its IPO and bankers are circling Uber, wooing them with predictions of a $120B market valuation—nearly twice its current private market price. Palantir, Postmates, and even eventually Pax, are contemplating IPOs too, several outlets, including WSJ, Reuters and The Information have reported.

With all these ...

Facebook Gets a Taste of Its Own Medicine

By Jessica E. Lessin · Oct 06, 2018 6:01 PM PDT · 1 comment

“Should Mark move Facebook out of Silicon Valley?”

It was a strange text message to receive Thursday afternoon, but I instantly knew what it was about: this well-reported New York Times article revealing the uproar that had occurred inside Facebook over vice president of global policy Joel Kaplan sitting behind his close friend and liberal enemy No. 1 Brett Kavanaugh during the ...

Come On, Elon

By Jessica E. Lessin · Sep 29, 2018 1:22 PM PDT

(Update: Elon Musk has settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission.)

I’ve written little about Elon Musk’s troubles in recent weeks, because frankly I couldn’t think of much interesting to say other than “That’s Elon. He thinks the rules don’t apply to him. But he’s wrong, and this will come back to bite him.”

Then this week happened.

Where Venture Capital Is Broken

By Jessica E. Lessin · Sep 23, 2018 7:57 PM PDT · 1 comment

In his interview with Reed Albergotti, Social Capital founder Chamath Palihapitiya didn’t mince his words when describing why he is transforming Social Capital into a tech holding company (aka he wants to “flush” out bad investors). He was also quite blunt in his analysis of what is wrong with venture capital.

The summary of his critique is that venture capitalists ...

Google’s Real Motive in China

By Jessica E. Lessin · Aug 04, 2018 10:45 AM PDT · 3 comments

I remember Google co-founder Sergey Brin calling me up in 2010 to tell me why Google was shutting down its censored Chinese search engine. China has "made great strides against poverty and whatnot," he told me. "But nevertheless, in some aspects of their policy, particularly with respect to censorship, with respect to surveillance of dissidents, I see the same earmarks of ...

The End of Growth

By Jessica E. Lessin · Jul 07, 2018 8:23 AM PDT · 5 comments

Priya’s article this week about retailers flocking to Instagram instead of Amazon got me thinking about growth and where startups are finding it. (I suppose running a business also has something to do with my interest in this topic.)

There have been several major shifts that are making it much harder—and more expensive—for startups to grow. They are worth exploring, because if ...

The New Tech Bundle

By Jessica E. Lessin · Jul 02, 2018 9:55 AM PDT · 1 comment

I smiled when I read Jessica Toonkel’s great story this week reporting Apple may sell one service bundling news, TV and music. Even my colleagues mock my love of bundle economics, discussed in columns like this one.