This week, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom – a darling of tech capitalists – signed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) into law. The bill codifies the “ABC test” to determine the applicability of California employment laws and makes it harder for companies to get away with misclassifying workers as independent contractors. If properly enforced, AB5 will have enormous impacts for vulnerable workers in the trucking, janitorial and construction industries.
Uber on Thursday priced its shares at $45 each on its Wall Street debut, valuing the company at a disappointing $80.4bn.
While its value could rise on the first day of trading, the figure is well below Uber’s initial $100bn target as investors got the jitters about the lacklustre performance of the float staged by its rival Lyft in March.
Serf, noun: a laborer bound under the feudal system to work on his lord’s estate.
Uber is a lot. Last year 5.2 billion people took a ride in an Uber. And the company lost an average of 58 cents on each ride.
In Silicon Valley, an open house can be more than an open house. At a six-bedroom, seven-bath home in the town of Menlo Park, a flamenco dancer swirled and a guitarist fingerpicked in a kitchen alcove. Outside, pesto pizza was pulled from the pizza oven. A face painter splotched unicorns on pudgy cheeks. A barista whipped up lattes. There were squishy toys for kids and videos of the house for potential homebuyers, who could keep the video-players.
Several big-name tech companies are set to enter the public market, and the speculation over the effects of a crush of overnight millionaires overwhelming the region has reached fever pitch.
Alongside the results of last week’s US midterms came the passing of San Francisco’s Proposition C, a measure that will tax firms with an annual turnover of more than $50m (£44m) to raise an estimated $300m extra a year to help address homelessness. Last Tuesday, 60% of voters backed it: though the proposal is now snarled up in a constitutional dispute, its approval marks a big moment for a city whose housing crisis has become a matter of urgency.