Welcome to this weekly roundup of stories from Insider’s Business co-Editor in Chief Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.
What we’re going over today:
- The best early-stage investors.
- Republicans are unloading on Rep. Matt Gaetz in gossipy texts and snide asides.
- Nike is transforming from a marketing company into a technology brand, and it’s creating internal turmoil.
- Scientists are coming around to a surprising new understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Big Law associates are burned out, and special $60,000-plus bonuses may not be enough to keep them.
Here’s what’s trending this morning:
- Facebook hack: 533 million Facebook users’ phone numbers and personal data have been leaked online.
- Alphabet’s secret quantum tech team: It’s called Sandbox.
- Consulting confessions: 6 current and former staffers at Deloitte, PwC, and other top firms detail pandemic burnout.
- Remote work: The wealthy streamed into six under-the-radar cities and towns during the pandemic.
From Margaux MacColl, Melia Russell, Candy Cheng, and Michael Haley:
The venture capitalists who write the earliest checks – known as seed investors – take the biggest risks. But when they choose well, they also reap the biggest rewards. With huge profits at stake, thousands of institutions and individuals are active seed investors.
But seed investing is more an art than a science and only a few succeed regularly. Tribe Capital, a seed venture-capital firm and an investor in other funds, set out to find the top investors by analyzing data on about 1,000 of them. The result is this list of the top 100 as well as the Seed 25, a list of the top female seed investors.
Read the full story here:
- Meet OpenStore, the new stealth Miami startup founded by Founders Fund VC Keith Rabois and Atomic’s Jack Abraham
- A tiny startup was inundated with reach-outs from more than 120 investors and offers to wire money right away. It’s just one example of the extreme FOMO fueling Silicon Valley’s startup scene right now.
- Frustrated Amazon employees rip on the company for encouraging them to come back to the office
From Warren Rojas, Adam Wren, Robin Bravender, Dave Levinthal, Camila DeChalus, Darren Samuelsohn, and Tom LoBianco:
Matt Gaetz was looking for a scandal.
It was March 25, and the Florida congressman responded to a tweet from the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who had asked no one in particular, “If there’s ever a scandal about me, *please* call it Elongate.”
“I want Gaetzgate,” the Florida Republican tweeted.
Not long after the news broke, “Gaetzgate” was trending on Twitter. And former Trump White House and GOP officials who loathe the loquacious Gaetz were gloating.
Read the full story:
- Republicans are unloading on Rep. Matt Gaetz in gossipy texts and snide asides amid reports of a DOJ sex investigation: ‘He’s the meanest person in politics’
- Matt Gaetz’s Florida sex game included a ‘Harry Potter’ challenge and ‘extra points’ for sleeping in sorority houses, a female Republican tells Insider
- Inside Matt Gaetz’s office, where surprises – from doing the boss’ TV makeup to cleaning up after messy controversies – are part of the job
- Gen Z is already shaking up the Biden White House. Meet 12 up-and-coming staffers.
From Shoshy Ciment:
In January 2020, just days before the coronavirus pandemic would engulf the world, John Donahoe took the helm at Nike.
The former eBay and ServiceNow CEO had a bold mission to transform Nike from a marketing-first company into a technology juggernaut. Instead of selling shoes primarily in stores, Nike would up its innovation in a push to sell more products online and on smartphones.
Early signs point to success: In its latest quarterly earnings report, Nike said it grew online sales by 59%.
But some worry that transforming Nike from a marketing company into a technology brand is too ambitious.
Read the full story here:
- Nike is transforming from a marketing company into a technology brand. 7 company insiders say the changes – including mass layoffs and team restructuring – are creating internal turmoil.
- 2 former Nike execs have been tapped to turn underwear brand Tommy John into a billion-dollar company – and they’re going all in on product innovation and wholesale partnerships to get there
- Barry’s Bootcamp CEO dishes on his company’s first foray into outdoor classes and virtual fitness during the pandemic – and how the new revenue streams helped the brand find new markets to expand
- Starbucks’ benefits boss explains how delivering unique incentives like fertility coverage and opportunities to further education are motivating its 350,000 employees and boosting the company’s bottom line
From Allison DeAngelis:
In January, at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering of some of the globe’s richest and most powerful leaders, Andrea Pfeifer was promoting her biotech company and a new global initiative to treat Alzheimer’s.
During a Q&A session, George Vradenburg, the entertainment lawyer turned philanthropist, asked her a question about her work: “Is Alzheimer’s not one disease?”
“It’s definitely not one disease,” she replied.
The once controversial idea that Alzheimer’s is in fact a highly varied disease, if not multiple distinct but related conditions, is gaining traction and could unlock new approaches to treating it.
Read the full story here:
- Scientists are coming around to a surprising new understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, and it could supercharge drug development for the $1.1 trillion problem
- We read all 323 pages of 23andMe’s SPAC filing. Here are the 5 biggest obstacles it faces ahead of its public debut.
- This biotech’s goal is to make $1 in profit. Peter Thiel and 8VC think it’s worth $563 million.
- Why Silicon Valley can be toxic for healthcare startups
From Sam Stokes and Jack Newsham:
For some, their jobs advising financial firms and corporations just got a lot more lucrative. At least 25 Big Law firms are awarding special bonuses up to $64,000 to high-performing associates in 2021.
Recruiters and other industry experts say the payouts are an effort to keep burned-out associates from leaving after a grueling year of high-volume remote work. And some associates Insider spoke to said that, while the money is nice, what they’d really like is to see the workload lighten.
Read the full story:
Lastly, don’t forget to check out Morning Brew – the A.M. newsletter that makes reading the news actually enjoyable.
Here are some headlines you might have missed last week.
- Employees say they experienced racism and sexism at Zimmerman Advertising, an Omnicom agency known for clients like McDonald’s and Nissan
- Famed lawyer Tom Girardi and ‘Housewives’ star Erika Jayne flaunted their life of excess. Now, with accusations of a Ponzi scheme, they may lose it all.
- JPMorgan poached 5 people from Silicon Valley Bank and Bank of America as it builds out teams focused on VCs and ‘disruptive’ commerce
- The research director at Grayscale, the world’s largest crypto asset manager, breaks down 5 digital tokens other than bitcoin and ethereum that he is newly tracking – and shares 3 emerging opportunities he is monitoring
- UPS Power Players: Meet the 15 execs tasked with making the 114-year-old giant a tech powerhouse and holding onto huge pandemic profits
- People flocked to Florida and Texas for a lower cost of living during the pandemic. Some were shocked when their healthcare got way more expensive.
- Compass just went public, putting CEO Robert Reffkin on a path to become America’s youngest Black billionaire
- The 30 highest-paying jobs in America