OpenAI Wraps Up Tender as AI Talent War Heats UpRead Now

Art by Clark Miller.

Buying Stocks Doesn’t Make You an Investor

David Trainer
 |  April 18, 2023 9:15 AM PDT
Photo: Art by Clark Miller.

Last year was the worst year for the stock market since 2008—and for good reason. The nearly 19% drop in the benchmark S&P 500 in 2022 capped many years of wild speculation in capital markets driven largely by the Federal Reserve’s era of free money and government handouts.

Dangerously loose fiscal and monetary policies sparked a seemingly endless parade of worrisome investing trends—a spike in special purpose acquisition companies, numerous profitless initial public offerings, the rise of meme stocks and the euphoric surge in crypto prices. Investors decided to ignore core investing principles in favor of speculation and gambling, blindly pouring money into stocks that should never have entered the public markets in the first place—Carvana, Peloton Interactive, Beyond Meat, Robinhood, Affirm, Sweetgreen and more. They’re all down at least 75% from the highs of 2021, and many are down much more. The inevitable and yet still sudden tightening of policies designed to curtail such reckless behavior led to yet another disaster—the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Proper consideration would have revealed that many of the companies going public in 2020 and 2021 were zombies with poor business models. They faced stiff competition and offered undifferentiated, nonessential goods and services, yet their stock prices soared. There was a total disregard for due diligence.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
The Briefing markets ai
Netflix Is Now a Real TV Firm: Slow-Growing but Printing Money
Photo by Shutterstock
Netflix is looking more and more like an old-fashioned television company. In other words, it’s growing slowly but producing lots of cash. The video-streaming giant reported what can only be described as anemic growth in the first quarter. Revenue rose 3.7%, which is the kind of growth rate we associate with traditional TV firms like Fox Corp. or Paramount Global. Its subscriber count expanded...
Latest Briefs
Chipmaker’s Stock Rose 4% on False Speculation It Was Behind Microsoft’s AI Chip
Meta Opens Horizon Worlds VR App to Teens
Fox News and Dominion Settle Lawsuit
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Rippling CEO Parker Conrad at his home in San Francisco on April 10, 2023. Photo by Carolyn Fong for The Information
The Big Read startups enterprise
Parker Conrad Takes the Pain
Parker Conrad was touring me around a personal sliver of heaven when I asked him to relive his personal hell.
Photo by Shutterstock.
Exclusive enterprise
Cybersecurity Firm Zscaler Loses Coveted Spot in Gartner Ranking Due to ‘Sales Arrogance’
Competition between the two of the biggest cybersecurity firms selling software monitoring employee access to cloud applications and data is set to intensify after influential market research firm Gartner cut its ranking on the market leader, Zscaler.
Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive startups enterprise
Palo Alto Networks Woos Customers With Years of Free Software as Cloud Security Sales Slow
The slowdown in enterprise software spending is forcing some software firms to go to extraordinary lengths to win business.
Illustration by Matheus Costa.
google facebook
Google, Meta Struggle to Figure Out Employee Reviews
Last year, Google cut the number of employee performance reviews it conducts annually from two to one, responding to complaints that twice-a-year reviews consumed too much time.
Art by Clark Miller
Social Studies startups real estate
The Rise of the Not-Home Not-Office
When Jamie Snedden moved to San Francisco from London in late 2021, it occurred to him that he didn’t actually know how to make friends.
Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive microsoft startups
Microsoft Readies AI Chip as Machine Learning Costs Surge
After placing an early bet on OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, Microsoft has another secret weapon in its arsenal: its own artificial intelligence chip for powering the large-language models responsible for understanding and generating humanlike language.