In: Business News
A longtime VC at Sequoia is out of the firm following an explosive lawsuitMarch 13, 2016
Longtime Sequoia Capital venture capitalist Michael Goguen is out of the firm following an explosive lawsuit that accuses him of “sexually, physically, and emotionally” abusing a woman for over 13 years and then refusing to pay her an agreed upon settlement in full.
Goguen, a partner at Sequoia for nearly 20 years, allegedly signed a contract agreeing to pay Amber Laurel Baptiste $40 million to drop a prospective lawsuit against him, but only paid $10 million of that sum, according to a filing in San Mateo County Superior Court earlier this week (and first highlighted by TechCrunch).
The background of the case is graphic.
According to the lawsuit filing, Baptiste had been a “victim of human trafficking” since the age of 15. The filing claims that Goguen met her at a strip club in 2001 and promised to help her “escape from the human traffickers” if “she would have sex with him.” Baptiste claims that Goguen then raped and abused her for many years, including an alleged incident where ..Read More
Hot LA startup founder reveals what startups you need to know about in the LA startup sceneMarch 13, 2016
A lot of founders and investors from the LA startup scene are in Austin, Texas this week for South by Southwest. A few years ago, the only startups people really knew about in southern California were Snapchat and Tinder.
But in the last five years, a lot has changed. We chatted with Michael Schneider, who recently founded an up and coming startup there called Service, about what it's like to build a company there, and which startups should be on your radar.
Service is an outsourced customer service center that works to find a resolution between complaining customers and businesses. For example, if your flight is delayed and you reach out to Service about it, Schneider's company will hear you out, then contact the airline on your behalf to negotiate a possible solution. The startup has raised $3 million so far.
According to Schneider, here's what's happening in the LA startup scene:
It's not just about Snapchat anymore. And not every startup involves ecomme..Read More
Publishers reveal what it’s really like using Facebook’s Instant Articles so far (FB)March 13, 2016
10 months ago, Facebook launched the first trial of “Instant Articles,” its bid to have publishers put their articles directly into the Facebook app instead of first on their websites.
The pitch was that Facebook hosting these articles would provide a much faster, cleaner experience for mobile readers — 10 times faster in fact.
The catch was that publishers would have to conform to Facebook’s various specifications, including for advertising (though some of those rules relaxed in December). But for optimists, the theory was that any temporary advertising losses would be made up by a mix of increased shareability and reader goodwill.
In the months since the product launch, Facebook has opened Instant Articles up to more and more publishers, and will make it available to everyone on April 12 at its F8 conference.
We talked to a bunch of publishers who got early access to Instant Articles to see how the experience has gone so far.
BuzzFeed and Vox, two new media heavyweig..
The $6 trillion opportunity in the IoTMarch 13, 2016
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you've likely heard the term Internet of Things, or IoT, at some point. But what does it mean?
In short, the IoT is a network of objects connected to the Internet that can collect and exchange data.
That brand new car loaded with apps? Internet of Things. The smart home devices that let you control the thermostat and lights with one voice command? Internet of Things. That fitness tracker that lets you share your exercise progress with friends? You get the idea.
The IoT is set to transform the way we live, work, and interact with one another in the coming years. It might seem complicated at first, but the Internet of Things works through a relatively simple ecosystem.
A person uses a remote (such as a smartphone or tablet) to give a command or request information through a network to an IoT device, which performs the action and then sends it back through the network. The command or information is then di..Read More
The IPO window slammed shut in JanuaryMarch 12, 2016
So far, 2016 is the worst year for IPO filings since the depths of the Great Recession in 2009.
As this chart from Statista based on data from Renaissance capital shows, only four companies have filed to go public so far in 2016, and all of those filings came in February. Blame a jittery stock market and a growing sense that many tech startups have been overvalued by private investors.
SEE ALSO: WeWork is now worth as much as Snapchat
Join the conversation about this story »
NOW WATCH: The one Samsung Galaxy S7 feature that blows the iPhone out of the water
The favorite job interview questions of Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and 26 other highly successful executivesMarch 12, 2016
Savvy executives know that interview questions like, “What's your biggest strength?” and, “What's your biggest weakness?” aren't as telling as they seem.
That's why they steer clear of these cliché queries and instead ask more meaningful ones.
Many of the most successful execs have their one favorite go-to question that reveals everything they need to know about a job candidate.
Here are 28 of them.
SEE ALSO: 9 things hiring managers should never ask about in a job interview
DON'T MISS: Here are the personal interview questions one CEO asks during every job interview
'What didn't you get a chance to include on your résumé?'
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson explains in his new book “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership,” that he isn't a fan of the traditional job interview, reports Business Insider's Richard Feloni.
“Obviously a good CV is important, but if you were going to hire by what they say about themselves..Read More
Here’s where this ‘success kid’ pic and other Internet memes originally came fromMarch 12, 2016
Memes are everywhere. Easily sharable on any social media platform, and instantly remixable with little technical effort, they've become visual vehicles to share our thoughts with the outside world.
But where do they come from?
That's where KnowYourMeme comes in, a sort of Wikipedia for memes that covers a meme's journey from inception to viral hit, along with its inevitable decline, and in some cases, its crossover into popular culture.
Here are the origin stories behind 7 of the most widely shared memes on the internet.
A meme so ubquidious that its origin was explained in a long-form Vanity Fair article, the viral phenom started innocently enough. Maggie Goldenberger, the “ermehgerd” girl had the picture taken while her and her friends took turns dressing up in the most ridiculous clothes they could find while striking funny faces and poses. These images were eventually scanned and uploaded to Facebook, where the Reddit user xWavy randomly came across ..Read More
We drove the only Chinese-made car you can buy in the USMarch 12, 2016
I was a broken record. For years, I said that it would be impossible for Chinese carmakers to crack into the US market, following the example of the Japanese and the South Koreans.
I had good justification for this extreme view: there's no room.
Simply put, there's was no market share to take in the US. And the old game of coming in with a great car in a segment that had been neglected or abjured — fuel-sipping Hondas in the 1970s, reliable family sedans in the 1980s, small SUVs in the 1990s, hybrid drivetrains in the 2000s — wasn't going to work.
Competing on price, as Hyundai and Kia had, wasn't really an option, either, as all the automakers selling cars in America had greatly improved their offerings on that front. You no longer needed to spend very much to get a lot of car.
Then in the midst of the financial crisis, Ford decided to streamline itself and shed its premium brands.
Geely makes its move
Among these were Volvo — the no-nonsense, yet romantic Swe..
THE DRONES REPORT: Market forecasts, key players and use cases, and regulatory barriers to the proliferation of dronesMarch 12, 2016
Drones turned the corner in 2015 to become a popular consumer device, while a framework for regulation that legitimizes drones in the US began to take shape. Technological and regulatory barriers still exist to further drone adoption.
Drone manufacturers and software providers are quickly developing technologies like geo-fencing and collision avoidance that will make flying drones safer. The accelerating pace of drone adoption is also pushing governments to create new regulations that balance safety and innovation. The FAA is set to release new regulations this spring could help boost adoption. Safer technology and better regulation will open up new applications for drones in the commercial sector, including drone delivery programs like Amazon’s Prime Air and Google’s Project Wing initiatives.
In a new BI Intelligence report, we forecast sales revenues for consumer, enterprise, and military drones. We also project the growth of drone shipments for consumers and enterprises. We detail..Read More
There’s two big reasons why Apple may release a smaller iPhone this month (AAPL)March 12, 2016
If the rumors turn out to be true, Apple will unveil a new, 4-inch iPhone on March 21.
To many, this may seem like a strange decision. After all, the last iPhones that had a 4-inch display were the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, both of which are two and a half years old.
Plus, the larger-screened iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models (and the more recent “S” variants) sold in record numbers.
But Jan Dawson, an independent analyst at Jackdaw Research who also blogs at a tech industry opinion site called Techpinions, thinks there are two good reasons for Apple to bring back the small-screened phone.
1. It may boost sales during what's usually a relatively quiet period for Apple.
The spring and summer months are usually *relatively* quiet in terms of iPhone sales. (“Relatively” has to be taken with a grain of salt, as Apple sells way more premium smartphones than anyone else.)
“Q2 and Q3 sales are typically off by about a third from sales in Q4 and about 25% from sales in Q1,” Dawson writes, “S..Read More