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Terrence Taylor suffered severe burns as a child and reached a settlement with a space-heater manufacturer that had a lifetime expected payout of $31.5 million, but after numerous sales from his structured settlement at a fraction of the value, he is broke.

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Published in Business

Will the home-cleaning revolution be Uberfied? How one company tried, and spectacularly failed. The online home-cleaning startup was in the midst of an explosive expansion and only shut its doors two days each year: Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

But on this particular holiday, a booking had slipped through unnoticed, due to a website malfunction, according to a former employee. Rather than cancel an appointment at the last minute, Homejoy’s cofounder and CEO Adora Cheung grabbed a toilet brush and a vacuum cleaner. Then she headed to San Francisco’s Mission Dolores neighborhood and scrubbed.

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Published in Business

In the new world of on-demand everything, you’re either pampered, isolated royalty — or you’re a 21st century servant. Angel the concierge stands behind a lobby desk at a luxe apartment building in downtown San Francisco, and describes the residents of this imperial, 37-story tower. “Ubers, Squares, a few Twitters,” she says. “A lot of work-from-homers.”

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Published in Business

On a Friday in July 2012, two employees of the Wikimedia Foundation gave a talk at Wikimania, their organization’s annual conference. Maryana Pinchuk and Steven Walling addressed a packed room as they answered a question that has likely popped into the minds of even the most casual users of Wikipedia: who the hell edits the site, and why do they do it?

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Published in Culture

A few days ago, the value of all the bitcoins in the world blew past $1 billion for the first time ever. That’s an impressive achievement, for a purely virtual currency backed by no central bank or other authority.

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Published in Business

At 24, Patrick is a fast food veteran. Over the past eight years, he has worked at seven different franchises. He started out at America’s Incredible Pizza Company at the NASCAR Speedpark in St. Louis, Missouri, the city where he grew up and still lives. 

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Published in Business

In the fall of 1985, Gary Gygax was the most famous and powerful figure in hobby gaming. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of TSR, Inc., the company that published Dungeons & Dragons.

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Published in Business

Below is the complete inventory of my interactions with Paula Deen, deep in the Caribbean Sea, on the Reflection, the vessel of the Celebrity Cruise line which hosted the Paula Deen cruise. 

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Published in Business

When Josh was 10 years old, he sat cross-legged on the floor in his parent’s neat, suburban home in Australia, enraptured. It was May 1996 and Andy Thomas had just stepped out of the space shuttle Endeavour and onto the tarmac of Runway 33 of the Kennedy Space Center. 

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Published in Business

On october 16, 1962, John F. Kennedy and his advisers were stunned to learn that the Soviet Union was, without provocation, installing nuclear-armed medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. 

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Published in Politics
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