Explainers

In This Week’s New Yorker, We Learn Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Wears an Albanian Army Dog Tag

Man with the plan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

In this week’s issue of the New Yorker, there’s an intriguing profile about Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his company’s boom.

The lengthy piece, penned by Ken Auletta, is an interesting deep-dive on how the streaming site maneuvered away from the edge of irrelevance to the dominant, Emmy-winning, Robin Wright-purveying entertainment powerhouse that it is. Read More

Mo Money Mo Problems

The Average Venture-Backed Startup CEO Makes Approximately One Bajillion Dollars More Than You

(Photo: thedrop.fm)

Looks like CEOs of venture-backed startups–particularly those in the B2B arena–really know how to lean in. Nick Tomaino, an associate at North American Capital, published a post today exploring the average salaries for the executive teams at NAC’s portfolio companies. (It promptly hit the front page of Hacker News.) As it turns out, leaders at “expansion stage” venture-backed startups–or at least those backed by NAC–are sitting pretty atop a mile-high mountain of dough. Read More

Tao of Steve

‘I, Steve': A Book Of Nothing But Steve Jobs Quotes

Money where his mouth is.

Betabeat just received a marvelous little press release from Agate publishing on their new book, I, STEVE: STEVE JOBS IN HIS OWN WORDS, a 160 page collection of quotes from the most iconic product pitchman since P. T. Barnum.

The book, says Agate, is a natural companion to the long awaited biography of Mr. Jobs, coming soon from Walter Isaacson. Fortune writer Adam Lashinsky just announced a few weeks back that he’ll be releasing a book on Steve Jobs in January. The macabre scrabble to be a part of Steve Jobs final years is in full swing.

Betabeat hasn’t had time to read the entire book yet, but we picked out  few of our favorite quotes for you to savor on the subway ride home. The full book comes out in late October.  Read More

The Tao of Steve

Steve Jobs and the Value of Saying No

The man and his muse.

“I wanted to come and just have chat this morning,” says Steve Jobs, seated onstage for the closing keynote of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference back in 1997. Mr. Jobs, who officially stepped down from his post last night, had just begun his second tenure as Apple’s CEO. The company’s stock had been dipping below $20 a share for much of that year, and it was clear to Mr. Jobs that someone needed to light a fire under the developers who helped support the Apple ecosystem.

“We get to spend 45 minutes or so together and I want to talk about whatever you want to talk about,” Mr. Jobs told the crowd. Coming from a legendary CEO, known for having things his way, it was a disarmingly humble and open stance. “I have opinions on most things,” he said, drawing a laugh from the crowd. “So I figured if you want to just start asking some questions, we’ll go to some good places.” It’s a turn of phrase that reminds one Mr. Jobs is in fact a Buddhist, raised in the apricot orchards of Silicon Valley.

But the first question was about OpenDoc, a piece of software Apple had just discontinued, and from there, Jobs transformed, becoming the confrontational yet charming executive whose reality distortion field drew standing ovations from developers and journalists alike. “I know some of  you spent a lot time working on something that we put a bullet in the head of. I apologize. I feel your pain. But Apple suffered for several years from lousy engineering management, I have to say it.” Read More