One of the things we try to do here at Business Insider is to introduce our readers to the individuals shaping their industries. After all, companies don't do things; it's the people working there that make things happen. With that in mind, I wanted to highlight stories focused on key players in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Wall Street this week.
First off, in Silicon Valley, a special breed of investor known as 'super angels' are raising their own venture-capital funds as solo general partners, Melia Russell reports. Yes, the rise of SoftBank's Vision Fund has helped accelerate a shift towards bigger and bigger VC funds. But as per Melia's story:
There's a flurry of activity taking place at the opposite end of the spectrum too: A new generation of tech investors are raising funds on a more modest scale, and they're doing it outside the confines of the traditional institutional-investing firms.
You can read her story here:
And she profiled some of super angels here:
While we're talking about Silicon Valley, I want to highlight this story from Megan Hernbroth on Zume Pizza. As she reports:
The pizza-making robotics startup spent its early days pitching investors and the public on an AI-powered robotic revolution at the hands of its robot fleet.
But the revolution hit a snag, and in January, Zume announced it was permanently shuttering Zume Pizza, the robotics division of the company, and laying off about 360 employees across multiple offices.
You can read the inside story here:
Over in Hollywood, as Tanya Dua and Ashley Rodriguez report:
The streaming wars have not only led to a flood of new content, they're also driving a marketing blitz as new and incumbent platforms try to convince people to open their wallets and subscribe.
And Ashley identified the 54 most powerful people at Netflix. Here's our exclusive chart of its top executives and their roles.
And on Wall Street, Alex Morrell worked with a data provider to identify the 20 top mergers and acquisitions bankers of 2019. As he reports, "these coveted rainmakers are among the most highly compensated — and fiercely fought over — bankers on Wall Street." And the deals they worked on are helping shift entire industries. Here's his story:
Before I go, I want to highlight the second and third installment of Dave Mosher's series on Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX, which is building a Starship rocket-development site and future Mars spaceport in Boca Chica, a remote beach area at the southern tip of Texas.
That's it this week. For those of you in the US, enjoy the long weekend!
Finance and Investing
The Charles Schwab-TD Ameritrade tie-up is set to shatter records for its size, remake the brokerage and custodian industries, and usher in a wave of branch closures and job cuts.
Tech, Media, Telecoms
Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian is well aware that he's in a distant third place in the cloud-computing market behind the dominant powers of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.
Digital advertisers are grappling with a number of changes that threaten their business, but especially Google's recent decision to remove third-party cookies from its Chrome browser in the next two years.
For 45 years, State Farm pitched itself as the "good neighbor" who stands by you when things go wrong — before retiring it in 2016 under its former agency-of-record DDB.
Healthcare, Retail, Transportation
2020 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for health insurance startups trying to gain footholds in a red-hot market.
Wayfair confirmed on Thursday that it was laying off 3% of its global workforce, or more than 500 employees.
An Amazon truck driver was on the road to drop off a shipment when he noticed something amiss in the route — it forced him through a subdivision. There were no trucks allowed on those streets.
Leadership and Entrepreneurship
Tesla has a reputation for being unconventional. The electric-car maker's independent streak extends to its employee handbook, which is titled "The Anti-Handbook Handbook."
Despite what pop culture has conveyed, quitting your job is a big decision. Walking out, theatrically telling off your boss, or deciding to leave on a whim generally doesn't happen. Instead, pivotal career changes can be stewed over for months — or even years.