Welcome to Marker!
Welcome to Marker! We are a new publication focused on making you smarter about the world of business — and the way business impacts our world.
A marker tells you where something is — and what’s important about it. It’s a signpost that provides direction and clarity, and conveys information. It’s also a standard setter; when you lay down a marker for yourself or your company, you are setting out the terms by which you aspire to operate. And whether it’s an IPO, turning your balance sheet black, or contemplating becoming a B Corp, we all have our own mental models for markers of success.
By chronicling the world of startups, we aim to give you the information you need to make smart decisions and analyses at your company and in your career. With honest, unvarnished contributions from operators in the field, you will gain access to the kinds of insight, information, and conversation that insiders have. And with deeply reported, engaging narratives about the biggest businesses in the world, you will learn from the successes, struggles, and failures of companies, leaders, and legends.
Marker will tell stories about the cycle of value: how it is created, as with JP Mangalindan’s profile of Faire. This Etsy-like platform that connects wholesalers with retailers was founded by three former Square engineers who spotted an opportunity to organize an online marketplace for the same small businesses served by their former employer. Having recently announced an international expansion, the San Francisco-based startup is now trying to do globally what it’s been doing nationally: centralizing an inefficient, fragmented industry so creators can scale their businesses. Watch for this story later this week.
We will show how value is used once it exists, as with Grace Dobush’s examination of how Uber and Lyft are alternately working with and stymieing efforts by city and state governments to gain access to their ridership data — a currency that may be more valuable to the companies’ long term chances than their market caps. We’ll also have the story of the hidden influence Charles Koch wielded to shape President Trump’s signature tax-cut plan to his benefit, written by Kochland author and investigative journalist Christopher Leonard.
And Marker will document how easily value, once created, can be carelessly destroyed. In Rob Walker’s new column, Off Brand, he argues that CEOs must design for worst-case scenarios, considering the actions and impulses of bad actors in order to harden their products against exploitation and compromise. Farmgirl Flowers founder Christina Stembel writes candidly about how her startup was almost derailed by sexism in U.S. agriculture, and how she fought back.
Along with our team of journalists, we’ll include regular columns and series from experts, including venture-capitalist-turned-executive-coach Jerry Colonna, Simple Health founder and CEO Joel Wishkovsky, and Renew Breakup Bootcamp CEO Amy Chan.
Our promise to you is simple: You’ll be smarter for having spent your valuable time with Marker. No blandly written commodity news, no clickbait, and no five-tips-for-your-next-job-interview-style headlines. We’re here for people who are looking to make their mark. We’re here for you.
Thanks for being a part of our story.
P.S. You can read our ethics statement here.