What I Learned This Week

Why Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica crisis could soon be a crisis for high-flying unicorns.

Last year, $66 billion was invested in unicorn companies, up 39% year-over-year. Such staggering funding undergirds the rapid growth of private giants from Uber and Airbnb to WeWork, allowing them to operate at losses, subsidizing their services as they undercut legacy competitors and expand relentlessly. Investors have had euphoric faith that the power of technology, of innovation, of young leadership will reign supreme—meteoric growth today is a near-guarantee of meteoric growth for years to come. And it is easy to understand why such faith exists: Facebook, Amazon, and Google all achieved it. Yet, as Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal engulfs the news cycle and drives unprecedented w…

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