As Silicon Valley has boomed, there has been a flurry of public scrutiny of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook. But one company has stayed strangely out of the spotlight: Amazon.
In a new Financial Times ebook, on sale globally today, Barney Jopson and other FT writers lift the lid on a company which has grown from online book business into overlord of a corporate eco-system over which it wields extraordinary power. Read more
Jonathan Kaplan, founder of the Flip video camera business and now a chain of toasted-cheese-sandwich restaurants, is putting his foot on the accelerator with his expansion plans this weekend – driving away the first of an intended fleet of more than 100 food trucks to supplement his store openings.
The move will bring The Melt, backed by top Silicon Valley VC firms Sequoia Capital and Benchmark Capital, closer to its goal of opening 500 outlets nationwide over five years. Read more
One of the more innovative approaches in the plethora of efforts to persuade more people to pay for more content online is “social micropayment” firm Flattr.
Acting something like an online tip jar, Flattr reverses the usual payment process by giving people a way to pay for content after they’ve consumed it, rather than before they know what they are getting. Read more
Investment continues to pour into the soaring Russian internet market, which recently overtook Germany as Europe’s largest by users.
The latest mega-deal sees Avito.ru, a Russian online classified site along the lines of Craigslist, raising $75m from local private equity firm Baring Vostok and global venture capitalists Accel Partners, alongside existing investors Kinnevik and Northzone. Read more
BNP Paribas has launched an iPad app in the hope that hedge fund managers will want to check out their stock holdings on the move, writes Dan McCrum.
“You can get off an airplane and in one minute see everything that’s happening in your portfolio,” says Sam Hocking, head of prime brokerage sales for the French Bank. Read more
Apple has finally named a successor to Ron Johnson as head of its retail store operation, choosing John Browett, chief executive of the British electronics retailer Dixons.
Mr Browett (pictured left) will join in April as senior vice president of Retail, reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Mr Johnson was named last June as the new chief executive of JC Penney, the US department store chain. Read more