When Lawyers Send Letters
Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week, and tell you what you need to know, and why it matters.
This week’s deal: King-making VC firm Greycroft Partners raised its first growth fund for making even bigger bets on late-stage startups.
Greycroft Partners is Read More
After the tech crash of the early 2000’s, major tech CEO’s started sending each other emails saying, ‘Hey, why don’t we try not to poach each other’s employees? It could keep salaries from going through the roof.’ Some, including Steve Jobs himself, would call that a gentleman’s agreement. The Department of Justice, however, calls it collusion, and now some of the biggest names in tech history are paying up.
Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit for $324 million, Reuters is reporting. About 64,000 tech workers sought a combined $3 billion in damages, and while the settlement is technically a victory, it comes out to roughly $5,000 per employee — a far cry from the roughly $47,000 each that they wanted.
Notorious fund manager Carl Icahn has declared war against tech’s Marc Andreessen over his role as a director on eBay’s board during the sale of Skype. This, in and of itself, isn’t that interesting. Value creators (executive management, venture capitalists) are always fending off incursion from value extractors (hedge funds, financiers).
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Last week, Valleywag published a disdainful list of “The Biggest Bullshit Job Titles in Tech,” calling out kooky positions like AOL’s “Digital Prophet” and Tumblr’s “Fashion Evangelist.” Betabeat wondered, What do these people actually do for a living? What, pray tell, does an “Innovation Sherpa” or a “Chief Happiness Officer” do all day? Are their jobs as illusionary as they sound, or are they just normal jobs with wacky titles?
Following chief happiness officer Jenn Lim, our second interviewee was eBay’s chief curator Michael Phillips Moskowitz, who’s been working with the company since August 2013. Mr. Moskowitz is on the team leading the roll-out of eBay’s new “experience,” which debuted in North America on October 22, 2013, and will expand overseas to the UK and Germany in early March.
Annals of Ebay
Everyone is excited about Amazon’s improbable plan to deliver packages by drones, except for one person: eBay CEO John Donahoe.
Drinking a gallon of haterade before recently appearing on Bloomberg, Mr. Donahoe lambasted Team Bezos’s plan to replace some delivery drivers with the unmanned aerial vehicles as a “fantasy.” Emily Chang, a reporter at your dad’s favorite business network, asked him if eBay had any similar plans. He responded with a big, fat nope.
A dad attempting to buy an Xbox One “for his 4-year-old son” on eBay recently had his plans thwarted when he received a photo of the game console in the mail instead of the Xbox itself, the Nottingham Post reports.
The eBay listing did say “photo,” the Post says, but the dad in question, Peter Clatworthy, looked Read More
There’s a price if you want to end Google Glass FOMO once and for all. As the search-turned-hardware giant rolls out its invite-only Explorer program for others to join in, Glass Almanac has noticed an uptick of invites percolating on the auction site.
Sure Why Not
eBay is apologizing after several items, supposedly from the Holocaust, surfaced on the auction site and turned out to be terrible PR. Thirty items of memorabilia, including a uniform of a Polish baker that was going for $20,000, were pulled from the site after an investigation from the Read More
Move over, weird Google Glass earbud. There’s a new kind of wearable tech in town, and it’s marginally cooler-looking.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America and eBay have teamed up to color with magic markers on a bunch of USB cords, then wrap them around people’s wrists, PSFK reports. See, they are iPhone chargers that don’t come with iPhones or wall plugs.
Start with the word “curator,” plop in a Pinterest-like layout, and pour in chillwave singer Solange Knowles and you’d pretty much get the gist of eBay’s new stunt. But if you’re still interested, let us explain: Today, the online retailer announced that it’s creating “Collections” that are curated by “tastemakers” on a revamped marketplace that is essentially a Pinterest knock off.