The short-message social media company Twitter wants to sell many little slices of itself to the public--it filed for an IPO yesterday. Naturally, the company announced the news in a tweet. Marketplace's Mark Garrison joins Morning Report host David Brancaccio to discuss what it means to confidentially file for a public IPO and what the company will do with the money it raises.
Click the audio player above to hear the interview. And to hear more about Twitter's future plans and who the company is acquiring listen to David's conversation with Ben Popper, business editor at The Verge.
It's quiz time on Marketplace Tech. 69.63 kilobytes, 84.1 million, 12,000 resumes, and 3: Can you guess what these numbers mean?
We put Jon Gertner, editor-at-large for Fast Company and author of “The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation" to the test for our latest edition of Silicon Tally.
Click on the audio player above to play along.
Some pretty big news in under 140 characters. There's been talk for months about whether the popular micro-blogging site would go public. But Twitter's filing was a bit unconventional. The company filed for an initial public offering of stock with the help of a provision in the JOBS Act. Zach Seward, senior editor at Quartz, joins Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson to discuss.
Click the audio player above to hear more.
Many Syrians have fled their homes and sought refuge in neighboring countries. But Israel and Syria are enemies, and Israel hasn't opened its gates to Syrians fleeing the violence. But it has helped about 200 injured Syrians get medical attention. The Syrians come to Israel at great personal risk.
Planthoppers are champion jumpers - launching themselves upward, hundreds of times their own height, in just a couple milliseconds. They achieve this feat with the help of cog-like teeth on their legs — the first mechanical gear system ever found in nature.
The chemistry of dozens of streams and rivers across the U.S. is changing. Waters are becoming more alkaline — the opposite of acidic. And the reason is counterintuitive — researchers believe that acid rain is to blame.
Jews across the world are sitting down to a big meal before Friday's Yom Kippur fast. And many of them are eating kreplach. Some say these strange-sounding-yet-good-tasting dumplings are a holiday meditation on our inner and outer selves. Or maybe they're just a delicious example of the peasant cooking of Eastern Europeans.
Lessons in optimism from very ill children inspire pediatric oncologist Jim Olson in his hunt for better treatments for brain tumors. If a boy too sick to get out of bed can still find a way to have a snowball fight with his older brother, then Olson figures he can find ways to improve brain surgery.
Thomas Weller would have died in a snow bank in 1966 had a stranger not helped him. Weller has been helping strangers in the same way ever since.
California's minimum wage would rise to $10 an hour within three years under a bill passed Thursday by the state Legislature. Gov. Jerry Brown indicated earlier this week that he would sign the measure.
Already stripped of his Tour de France titles, Armstrong lost another link to his once-legendary cycling career Wednesday, returning the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Dolby's inventions helped remove the hiss from tapes and screen Star Wars in Dolby Stereo. He was 80 years old.
Vladimir Putin took a deliberate jab at President Obama, just when the two nations are attempting to make a deal on Syria. Putin is not only seeking to have the upper hand in U.S.-Russia relations but to teach Obama a lesson.
An initiative in New York City is designed to nudge the families of overweight kids and teens to change the way they eat with fruit and vegetable prescriptions. The big incentive? Free produce as well as tips on how best to cook and economize.
"This is the real deal. Voyager 1 has finally reached interstellar space; the first time a spacecraft has been in the space between the stars," says one project scientist. Launched in 1977, the probe has been surveying the solar system.
Much of the world’s attention has focused on the disaster going on inside of Syria. But there is also a humanitarian crisis in neighboring countries that host refugees.
In the last two years, Jordan has received half a million refugees, who have brought with them particular economic consequences.
On CNN earlier this week, Senator Lindsey Graham recalled his recent conversation with King Abdullah II of Jordan.
“He’s told me and Senator McCain, ‘I’ve got 600,000 Syrian refugees. And 40,000 new Syrian kids in Jordanian schools.’ And he’s hanging on by a thread,” said Graham.
Jordan’s King is under pressure because the refugees put an additional financial strain on a country that’s poor to begin with.
Often, in countries like Jordan, a new, refugee workforce can undermine the pay for locals.
“More people coming in, willing to work for less, that tends to drive wages down,” says Courtland Robinson, an assistant professor at the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
To make matters worse, as wages fall in Jordan, prices keep moving in the opposite direction. It’s a basic supply-and-demand thing; too many people competing for a limited amount of stuff.
“The prices on goods – the price they pay for water, or for rent, or for food and other items – has skyrocketed since the beginning of the refugee crisis,” says Cassandra Nelson, director of multimedia projects for the international aid organization, Mercy Corps.
She’s been on the ground with the refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, and seen the financial toll on the host countries. Nelson says, “the economic impact on the Jordanians has been tremendous and also extremely crippling for many people there.”
Over time, some Jordanians have come to see the refugees as competition and an economic threat.
Courtland Robinson with Johns Hopkins says ordinary Jordanians watch as Syrians receive better financial assistance then they get.
“People say, ‘Why are we not getting anything? We’re absolutely either destitute ourselves or we’re even more impoverished because of this influx,” says Robinson.
To help prevent tensions from escalating in an already volatile situation, Mercy Corps’ Cassandra Nelson says aid groups like hers try to strike a balance.
“We certainly are focusing on the refugee population, in terms of supplying them the basic items they need. But we also are working in the communities to help the Jordanians who are suffering,” says Nelson.
The blaze began Thursday afternoon in an ice cream shop and spread to adjacent structures within a few hours.
Twitter announced plans for an initial public offering today. In plain English, this means that it plans to sell a chunk of its shares to the general public. There are a number of reasons for doing this.
- The company may need money. Like all growing companies, Twitter likely needs hard cash to spend on marketing, staff, facilities, maybe even acquisitions.
- The company’s investors may want to get their money back. Investors in Silicon Valley and other parts of the world pumped more than a billion dollars into the startup since 2006 in the hopes that within a few years they’d be able to cash out at a huge profit. Well, here we are, seven years later, and it’s probably time to make a withdrawal.
- The company may already have so many investors that is HAS to go public. This is what happened to Facebook, which, once it had more than 500 investors, was required by law to go public. This doesn’t appear to be the situation with Twitter, however.
OK, so Twitter wants money. Fair enough. But what’s this "confidential" malarkey? Twitter has more than 23 million followers, and once it tweeted out the news about the IPO, a whole bunch more people knew about it (including all of Marketplace’s listeners this afternoon).
Turns out, it’s not the IPO the company wants to keep secret, it’s details about the way it does business. Twitter filed the IPO under the terms of a law passed last year, called the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. The act permits some companies to keep some information about their business and operations confidential, until the IPO gets closer to pricing.
IPO filings are usually followed by a series of updates to investors, as the company gets closer to the filing date. The updates include financial data and details about the terms of the share sale. But this kind of stealth filing, which is becoming increasingly popular, lets companies keep negative information, such as a poor quarter or a big loss, out of the public eye for longer.
In other words, Twitter is either keeping its powder dry, or it doesn’t want us to see just how damp it is.
In a tweet, the 200-million-user microblogging service said it had confidentially submitted the paperwork for a planned IPO.
After decades without any reported cases, dengue fever seems to be getting a foothold in the U.S. In 2009, it surfaced in Key West. This year, 18 cases have been reported this summer in Martin County, Fla.