FROM Brad Stone
The story of startups that changed our culture Many of the companies now at the center of Silicon Valley didn’t exist 10 years ago. We learn how Uber and AirBnB started, and why this generation of tech CEOs is different.
The "Everything Store" and the Changing Economy As another holiday season reaches a frenzied climax, more American shopping takes place on line than ever before. Amazon, the major force in e-commerce, is leaving Best Buy, Target and even WalMart far behind -- not just now but for the foreseeable future. Massive investment is finally paying off for consumers who want stuff now, although relentless cost cutting creates a "dark side" for many workers. But the big story may be Jeff Bezos' vision of a new economy with Amazon the dominant player.
The Bruising Workplace Culture at Amazon The founder of one of America’s largest online retailers is taking exception to a lengthy report that called Amazon a “bruising workplace” for both executives and rank and file employees. Saturday's New York Times described Amazon as a workplace where employees are so harshly treated they cry at their desks and where executives are regularly managed out rather than being allowed to recover from cancer, miscarriages or other personal crises. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, says he didn’t recognize the Amazon he knows—and that “tolerance for such lack of empathy needs to be zero.”
Google, Uber and the Ridesharing Wars The ride-sharing service Uber is said to be worth $40 billion, but local regulations, pending lawsuits and organized taxi drivers are threats to its global expansion plans. Now comes an even bigger tech titan—Google, a friendly investor with competitive plans. Google’s investment wing, Google Ventures, has poured millions into Uber, and Google’s chief legal officer sits on Uber’s board of directors. But now the companies may be on a collision course. Brad Stone is a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek. He’s also author of The Everything Store : Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.
Amazon Grows, But Not Profits Amazon is always finding new ways to expand. The company is reportedly looking into the mobile payment business, and it just released a new 3-D printing service. The company’s been tiptoeing into pretty much every service you can think of over the past few years. But this never-ending diversification has Amazon watchers asking whether Bezos’ gambles will ever pay off.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.