Finally, the big dogs are coming to the public stock market

Finally, the big dogs are coming to the public stock market.

For most of the past decade, the tech startups that emerged, then mushroomed in growth, then came to dominate the industries they either created or changed – these companies have stubbornly remained private.

But in the past few days, signs are emerging that many of them may go public in 2019…

Sheryl Sandberg is practicing what she preached

I keep getting asked why I haven’t written anything about the recent Facebook scandals, especially as it relates to tech’s most influential and until-recently admired female leader, Sheryl Sandberg.

Well, one reason is the rest of the world is busy with their own hot take and I’m not sure we need one more. Another reason is that, frankly, Pando wrote about a lot of these issues years ago. Nearly two years ago, I wrote about the growing concern among women in Silicon Valley that she had abandoned her “let’s link arms!” feminist rallying cry in the wake of the Trump win… read more

October has brought an autumn of discontent for tech

It’s been a tough October for tech.

After the mega-cap FAANG gang led the overall market higher for most of 2018, a selloff triggered by rising interest rates and an escalating trade war hit the leaders of tech especially hard.

With two days to go in the month, the Nasdaq Composite has fallen 13%. Apple is down 7%, Facebook down 12%, Alphabet down 15%, Amazon down 23%, and Netflix down 25%.

There are a variety of reasons for the sudden slump. The bull market is approaching its tenth year, elderly by any historical measure, leaving investors half-expecting the music to stop any moment even though, for most of 2018, indexes reached record high after record high. Tech companies cleaning up in their markets were among the market’s leaders, giving them an air of invincibility that, we’re now seeing, may have gone too far. read more

Move fast and break human lives

Early in my career, I covered venture capital investments in biotech and medical devices for BusinessWeek.

We were a few years past the fervor enthusiasm of decoding the human genome, and it was starting to dawn on folks that the industry may never see the creation of another massive powerhouse like Amgen or Genentech again.

Why? Bringing a drug all the way to market was just so damn expensive, time consuming and risky with all that Federal regulation, yunno, making sure new drugs didn’t kill people. Instead, drug discovery companies were finding something novel, proving it in the early phases, and then licensing it to big pharma to test and bring to market. Silicon Valley’s biotech industry was basically becoming an outsourced R&D lab. read more

The bias hidden inside “consensus”

A few weeks ago, my new company, Chairman Mom, hosted a retreat in a restored gold mining town for 100 women. There were no men on site– including the staff. And it was during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

It’s hard to describe the energy and friendships that came out of it. Conversations happened that are hard to have a mixed gender room. There was a clarity that is frequently missing in conversations where you are talking to men as well as women.

One of our speakers was Sallie Krawcheck, among the most successful women in the history of Wall Street, once called the “Last Honest Analyst” by Fortune Magazine, and the founder of Ellevest, a company that wants to solve the investment gap between men and women. read more

Engineers are fixing Silicon Valley

A little over a year ago, I quit the tech journalism beat. And every day I thank God that I did.

It’s depressing enough to be a mere consumer of journalism right now, never mind a producer. It’s struggle enough to see newspaper headlines about Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg enabling neo-nazis or the FSB without punching a wall. I can’t fathom how soul-crushing it must be to actually have to call those fuckers, or their functionaries, and listen politely as they repeat their disingenuous excuses for hastening the end of civilization. read more