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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

They took a little Dom Pérignon, some cabernet sauvignon from the Napa Valley estate Screaming Eagle, and 63 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, one of the most coveted–and expensive–French pinot noirs being made today. DRC, as collectors like to call it, runs as much as $25,000 a bottle.

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Published in Crime

This is a grim fairy tale about a mythical company and its mythical founder. As I’ve seen over many years and many deals, in all but the most glorious outcomes, terms will matter way more than valuations, and way more than whatever your cap table says. And yet entrepreneurs – often with the encouragement of their stakeholders – optimize for the wrong things when they negotiate their financings.

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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

One morning a few months ago, New Yorkers opened their eyes to a city that, seemingly overnight, had been blanketed in advertisements for a company called Airbnb.

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A bold entrepreneur with a radical startup. An African-American. In tech, those two phrases usually don’t go together. Enter Tristan Walker.

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Published in Business

Since moving to California in 1990, Behar has become one of the leading industrial designers of his generation, creating iconic objects for Jawbone, Herman Miller, General Electric, and Puma, among many others. The objects often have a socially progressive bent: light fixtures that promote energy conservation, say, or cheap but durable laptops that offer poor children improved access to education.

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Published in Technology

The energy and tech capitals of the U.S., Houston and San Francisco have little in common, but in the coming decades they are likely to become America’s dominant cities.

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Published in Business

Longform Business Articles Top Story: In Silicon Valley offices, the framed founder's doodle is as common as jewel-toned furniture and quirky conference-room names. But there's something peculiar about the drawing hanging in the colorful lobby at YouSendIt, an online file-sharing service based outside San Jose, California.

Below the doodles is a vaguely inspirational quote: "Let's help our users start new kinds of conversations, ones they couldn't have before finding YouSendIt."

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Shaken by the latest digital gold rush, San Francisco struggles for its soul. Last year, when Mayor Ed Lee heard that Twitter was planning to move its headquarters out of San Francisco and down to the peninsula, he quickly consulted with his digital experts—his two daughters, Brianna, 27, and Tania, 30.

Was the company important enough to make a top priority? “Of course it’s important, Daddy!” they told him. “We tweet all the time. You have to keep them in town.”

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Published in Technology
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