How I Found Jeff Bezos’s Biological Father

Children with fractured or nonexistent relationships with one or both of their birth parents are more likely to end up with psychological or behavioral problems—not leading powerful nations, companies, or cultural movements. But in the case of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs — and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — the unusual circumstances of their birth seemingly helped to create an overpowering drive to succeed and to challenge the status quo.

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Amazon Unveils New Kindle Readers

For the last six years, Amazon has constructed a nearly unbreakable hold on the digital-reading market, thanks in part to the company’s Kindle e-readers—and its ability to weave together attractive new features that broaden the reading experience.

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Shocker: Jeff Bezos Buys the Washington Post!

The deal is surprising for a number of reasons. Bezos believes that the Internet is changing the entire business landscape, but so far he has seemed devoted to blazing new paths, not rescuing ailing old media franchises.

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Can Marissa Mayer Save Yahoo?

It’s been a year since the longtime Google executive took the reigns at Yahoo!, the company with the inexplicably exuberant exclamation mark. I got an exclusive interview for this Businessweek cover.

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Inside Google’s Secret Lab

An exclusive peek at Google’s secret Lab, Google X, whose mandate is to come up with technologies that sound more like plot contrivances from Star Trek than products that might satisfy the short-term demands of Google’s shareholders.at

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Battered Dreams, Battered Dreamliner

The grounding of the Boeing 787 was in many respects inevitable for a project marked by narrowed visions and provides a dispiriting example of the shrinking tolerance for risk among corporate executives and government regulators.

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Does Jeff Bezos Care About Profits?

The Bezos Doctrine is powerful. New businesses don’t have to be good. They just have to appeal to customers. As long as consumers are consuming and shareholders are buying what Bezos is selling, Amazon looks fairly unbeatable.

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Mapping a Path Out of Steve Jobs’s Shadow

Since Jobs’s death one year ago, many Apple observers have predicted the company would suffer from the loss of his internal authority and intuition about product design and features. Apple is undoubtedly a different company under Tim Cook. It misses Jobs’s conspicuous creativity and entrepreneurial fervor, but it’s gaining in maturity, rationality, and, yes, value.

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My Life As A Task Rabbit

Silicon Valley startups in the distributed workforce movement want to help auction off our most tedious chores. I dove into the labor pool.

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Part 3: The Talented M. Despallieres

In 2011 I discovered that “Alex Becker” was also known as Alexandre Despallieres and was in jail for the suspected murder of his husband, music executive Peter Ikin. I retraced the steps of our earlier collaboration and made some unpleasant discoveries. Later I visited him in Paris after he had gotten out of jail and…

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Twitter, the Company that Couldn’t Kill Itself

Throughout its first five years of existence, Twitter always seemed on the verge of committing some excruciating form of startup seppuku. Now something freakish is happening in San Francisco. Twitter, which for years treated the responsibility of earning money as an annoying distraction, may be turning into a viable business.

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Amazon’s Hit Man

Amazon and New York City book publishers have very different views of the future of the book business.

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Flight of the Warbots

AeroVironment was founded in 1971 by Paul MacCready, a legend in aerospace engineering and meteorology. MacCready obsessed with unconventional planes that flew without conventional fuel. In 1977 he created the Gossamer Condor, a pedal-powered craft made of piano wire, Mylar, and old bike parts. Now his company is a leader in unmanned aerial vehicles.

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Scott Forstall: the Sorcerer’s Apprentice At Apple

A number of high-ranking Apple executives left the company because they found working with Forstall so difficult. That sentiment, it seems, has not been limited to fellow executives. One former member of the iOS team, a senior engineer, describes leaving Apple after growing tired of working with Forstall and hearing his common refrain: “Steve wouldn’t like that.”

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Steve Jobs: The Return

When Steve Jobs passed away in the fall of 2011, we assembled a tribute issue of Bloomberg Businessweek that hit newsstands a few days later. Here is my chapter from the issue, about his triumphant return to Apple.

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Understanding China’s Tencent: March of the Penguins

Tencent is the Internet Goliath you’ve either never heard of or know little about. Yet 674 million Chinese actively use its QQ service, and hundreds of millions more are familiar with its cute cartoon mascot, a winking, scarf-wearing penguin that has helped make Tencent one of the most recognized brands in China.

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Hacker vs Hacker: the HB Gary Story

The HB Gary saga—involving a high-powered Washington (D.C.) law firm, the Justice Dept., and the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks—hasn’t just been entertaining geek theater but a rare look into the esoteric realm of cyber-security.

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Can Virgin America Fly?

Virgin America’s philosophy of fun in the skies has shown promise, despite byzantine regulations and powerful competitors. But the airline is at a turning point, and its future is far from certain.

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