Economics & Economy

Is the e-scooter craze more bubble than business?

Jun 21, 2018

Venture capitalists have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in scooters — electric scooters, specifically. On a sunny day in San Francisco, they're clogging every sidewalk. Lime and Bird are the two best-known options. They also operate in Santa Monica, California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta. You use an app to check out a scooter, GPS tracks your location and you just drop it anywhere when you're done with it. There's speculation that Uber or Lyft will buy one of the bigger companies since both have invested in electric bikes. Bird is being valued at $2 billion.

Is the e-scooter craze more bubble than business?

Jun 21, 2018

Venture capitalists have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in scooters — electric scooters, specifically. On a sunny day in San Francisco, they're clogging every sidewalk. Lime and Bird are the two best-known options. They also operate in Santa Monica, California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta. You use an app to check out a scooter, GPS tracks your location and you just drop it anywhere when you're done with it. There's speculation that Uber or Lyft will buy one of the bigger companies since both have invested in electric bikes.

Earlier this year, corporate titans Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon announced they would team up to form a new health care company. Their mission: Improve health and save a few bucks for the 1 million people who work for Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. Today we learned that Atul Gawande will lead this still-to-be-named venture. Gawande is an accomplished surgeon, a Harvard professor, a staff writer at the New Yorker and a best-selling author.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

With NBA picks, data can only take you so far

Jun 20, 2018

The NBA draft takes place tomorrow in Brooklyn, when teams make big bets on young players, hoping they might been the next LeBron James or Steph Curry, that once-in-a-generation player who can transform a team's fortunes. But these players are notoriously risky investments.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

How a red-hot housing market made Zillow a media company

Jun 20, 2018

A few years before the financial crisis hit, Spencer Rascoff was among the entrepreneurs who started a new website devoted to real estate. They named it Zillow, and it was meant to hold all the data and information consumers needed to buy and sell their homes. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to Rascoff, who is now CEO, about the years the company's spent collecting data as home values crashed, recovered and are now skyrocketing. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

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