Jessica E. Lessin, The Information

Jessica E. Lessin

The Information

San Francisco, CA, United States

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Recent articles by Jessica:

Stripe Plans to Go Public in Next Year or Make a Deal to Resolve Employee Stock Squeeze

Stripe plans to either go public or make a deal that will allow employees to sell stock within the next year, the company told employees and investors Thursday, moves that would be aimed at easing a looming stock crunch for some veteran employees. The company is considering both a direct listing ... → Read More

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Late-Night Move and How the FTX House Crumbled

Late last night, Sam Bankman-Fried sent a message he never thought he would send. He reached out to rival Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, CEO of crypto trading platform Binance and asked him if he would buy—and save—FTX, a person close to the deal told me. By early in the morning Pacific time, he ... → Read More

The Real Rationale Behind Adobe’s Figma Acquisition

Earlier this week, I asked our team for a copy of the slides for our annual Women in Tech, Media and Finance event and waited for a PowerPoint in my inbox. But instead of a slide deck, our team sent me a link to the slides using the design program Figma.I asked why we had switched up our methods ... → Read More

Which Digital Ad Businesses Work—and Which Don’t

Here’s a puzzle. The economy has tanked. The digital ad business is in chaos, with new regulations and technology that make tracking customers much harder. Ad budgets are getting slashed and everyone is…launching advertising businesses?Roblox, an online gaming platform, announced it’s doing so. ... → Read More

Emerson Collective Backing New Project to Encourage Civil Online Conversation

Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective is backing a new effort to encourage more civil conversation online, according to people familiar with the project. The project—which is in its early days—is being led by Nick Thompson, CEO of The Atlantic, and Raffi Krikorian, Emerson’s chief technology ... → Read More

Instagram Takes an Ax to E-Commerce

Imagine that you’re taking care of a tree—and all of a sudden it starts sprouting new limbs. And little by little those limbs start to suck more resources away from the heart of the tree. Then the main trunk gets hit with, I dunno, a big rock and all of a sudden is very weak.What do you do? You ... → Read More

With New TikTok CEO, ByteDance Roots Itself Firmly in Asia

TikTok said Friday that it had tapped Shouzi Chew as its new CEO, installing a lieutenant from its parent company, ByteDance, to oversee one of its most important and challenging businesses. The move is a big departure from the hiring of former Disney executive Kevin Mayer, the flashy U.S. ... → Read More

Walmart Joined Microsoft’s Bid for TikTok —

Microsoft and Walmart jointly bid to acquire TikTok's U.S. business, according to a person involved in the situation.The software giant brought the e-commerce company into the deal to provide a platform to support digital sales on the platform, this person said.The bids were submitted yesterday, ... → Read More

SoftBank Eyes Joining Deal for TikTok —

As President Donald Trump’s September deadline for TikTok to sell its U.S. business approaches, investors are scrambling to assess or participate in a deal. One party that has recently emerged as a possible buyer: SoftBank.It seemed unlikely that SoftBank, one of the most ambitious and deeply ... → Read More

Here’s an Idea for Advertisers Leaving Facebook—Support News —

The march of digital advertising heavyweights refusing to advertise on Facebook took some major steps forward this week, with Verizon and Unilever joining the boycott. The brands, and many others, want Facebook to do a better job removing hate speech and misinformation. Mark Zuckerberg announced ... → Read More

Announcing News Summer School —

Join leaders from across the news business for a free, four-week bootcamp to help you build a career in journalism during these unprecedented times.As many internships have gone remote or been rescheduled, we’re offering eight hour-long evening “classes” over the month of July, free of charge ... → Read More

ByteDance’s Big Ambitions —

Zhang Yiming, CEO of ByteDance—a $75 billion tech conglomerate from China that is behind some of the world’s most popular apps—needed help.Late last year, TikTok, the company’s app for sharing short videos, was exploding in popularity. It became the first social app from China to hit it big in ... → Read More

Google’s Parent Trap —

In early 2015, Google co-founder Larry Page had a problem. His once nimble startup had become a slow-growing behemoth, missing out on big tech innovations and struggling to incubate new products.Page’s answer was Alphabet, a new corporate entity that would allow Google’s cash cow—its search ... → Read More

Are Jack Dorsey’s Twitter Days Numbered? —

In 2016, as Twitter’s market capitalization shriveled to around $10 billion from a high of $35 billion, Silicon Valley investor Chamath Palihapitiya decided to make a bid for control of the onetime tech pioneer.He and a partner wanted to invest $1 billion in the company in a deal that would make ... → Read More

The Article Google Didn’t Want Us to Write —

A little over two years ago, I was sitting in my office with reporter Reed Albergotti and our managing editor Martin Peers wrestling with how to tell the story about the interoffice romances at Google that were long rumored but never published.Reed had new reporting about Alphabet’s chief legal ... → Read More

The Lesson from AB5 —

The big news of the week was the near passage of the California law that would require Uber, Lyft and other companies that rely on contractors to treat them more like full-time employees. Amir’s sources told him the move could add an estimated 20% to Uber’s costs.Some observers hailed the move ... → Read More

Marissa Mayer’s Lumi Labs Working on Contacts App —

Marissa Mayer, the former Yahoo CEO and early Google employee, has joined a wave of new entrepreneurs seeking to reinvent basic software tools aimed at making people more productive.Ms. Mayer’s new startup, Lumi Labs, is building a suite of such “productivity” apps, starting with software for ... → Read More

Uber’s Weak Debut Sobering Up Silicon Valley —

The weak public-market response to Uber’s public offering on Friday has already triggered some soul-searching in Silicon Valley.Some venture capital investors and entrepreneurs were full of reasons that the one-off IPO, in which Uber stock ended the day 7.6% below its already lowered IPO price, ... → Read More

How VCs Actually Cash In on an IPO —

Today, Uber is going public at a valuation of $82 billion, making a number of investors and early Uber employees very, very rich (or much, much richer). Benchmark will make $7.6 billion, based on the IPO price of $45; Google Ventures will make $3 billion. (Here’s a more complete list of some of ... → Read More

Inside Tech’s Civil War and What It Means —

Apple’s decision to go to war with Facebook and Google dominated headlines this week. For those who were off the grid, Apple shut down some iOS apps used by employees at those companies to run their businesses. Its reason: TechCrunch revealed the companies were abusing the program by extending ... → Read More