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.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.