That’s founder Jimmy Wales on the turning point for Wikipedia, which marks its 20th anniversary today. Author Tom Roston interviewed Wales and other company leaders for OneZero’s oral history of…


Number of the Day

One tech company filed the most. And it wasn’t Google.

Photo illustration with text “1% The decline in the number of patents granted in the United States last year. “
Photo illustration with text “1% The decline in the number of patents granted in the United States last year. “
Photo illustration, source: d-l-b/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty

1%: That’s the approximate decline in the number of patents granted in the United States last year, according to TechCrunch.

The drop in the number of patents granted — from 354,428 in 2019 to 352,013 — seems likely to be a side effect of the pandemic’s general drag on the economy, but it was milder than expected. Data tracker IFI CLAIMS Patent Services notes that the patent figure, which can be taken as a rough proxy for innovation, has been trending upward for a decade; even the slightly lower number in 2020 is 13% higher than the 2018 figure. And perhaps even more surprising: Patent applications actually rose last year by nearly 5%. …


Number of the Day

Honoring the civil rights icon seems like the bare minimum — especially this year

45%: The share of U.S. companies that give employees a paid day off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Source: CNBC
45%: The share of U.S. companies that give employees a paid day off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Source: CNBC
Photo illustration, source: © Santiago Urquijo/Moment/Getty

45%: That’s the share of U.S. companies that gives employees a paid day off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, according to a 2019 Bloomberg Law survey, as reported by CNBC.

Since 1983, the third Monday in January has been observed as a federal holiday that honors civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. — though it took until the year 2000 for the holiday to be observed in all 50 states.

While the number of companies that observe MLK day as a holiday has been trending upward (only 28% of companies gave employees the day off in 2009), and it’s more popular with employers than other federal holidays like President’s Day and Veteran’s Day, it’s still a little shocking that fewer than half of all companies give their workers the day off. Following a year that has seen a pandemic decimate communities of color; in which widespread protests were triggered by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police; and that was capped off with the election of Georgia’s first Black senator on the same day that a white supremacist mob stormed the U.S. Capitol carrying Confederate flags, it would seem appropriate for every company to observe the holiday dedicated to America’s most prominent Black civil rights icon. …


As increasingly more and more companies join the bandwagon of corporate America banning the president from their platforms (YouTube being the latest entrant) and halting PAC donations, many Big Business…


Number of the Day

Could VCs be part of the problem?

20: The number of women in the U.S. who led their companies from startup to IPO Source: Business Insider
20: The number of women in the U.S. who led their companies from startup to IPO Source: Business Insider
Photo illustration, source: Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision/Getty Images

20: That’s the number of women startup founders who have led their companies to an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange — since its founding 204 years ago — or the Nasdaq, according to an analysis by Business Insider.

If you include companies that are no longer publicly traded, or which were led but not founded by a woman, that number increases slightly. But only 4 of the 442 companies that went public in 2020 were both founded and led by women. This major imbalance is driven in large part by the lack of venture funding that goes to women founders. Pitchbook reported that in 2019, women-founded startups received only 2.7% of all venture funding in the U.S., and that share went down to 2.6% …


Image for post
Image for post
Illustration: Maria Chimishkyan

Last month, Patrick Sisson wrote in Marker that Compass is building a residential brokerage with the valuation of a tech giant. For months, the splashy real estate startup backed by SoftBank sparked much speculation about when the company would go public amid a pandemic-induced booming luxury real estate market. The wait is now over: The company filed confidentially to go public on Monday and submitted a draft registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The size of the offering has not yet been reported, but Compass was last valued at $6.4 …


Number of the Day

And it’s only picked up steam during the pandemic

“$44.1 billion — The size of the global market for instant noodles.” text on a  cup ramen background
“$44.1 billion — The size of the global market for instant noodles.” text on a  cup ramen background
Photo illustration, source: LoveSilhouette/iStock/Getty Images Plus

$44.1 billion: That’s the size of the global instant noodles market, according to a report by Fortune Business Insights, a market research firm, which projects that number to grow to more than $77 billion in the next six years. At $2.3 billion, North America accounts for a small but steadily growing share of all that instant noodle buying.

The report, based on data from 2019, doesn’t account for the surge in demand that instant ramen saw during the pandemic. Nissin, the Japanese maker of the Cup Noodle brand, saw double-digit sales growth in the first five months of 2020. Other Asian instant noodle brands also saw large sales spikes as people looked for easy ways to feed themselves without leaving the house. …


Number of the Day

You can be a billionaire too, if you leave your $600 stimulus in the stock market for a couple of centuries

“56 — The number of people who reached billionaire status during the pandemic” text w/ generic stock market graph background
“56 — The number of people who reached billionaire status during the pandemic” text w/ generic stock market graph background
Photo: Yuichiro Chino/Moment/Getty

56: That’s how many newly minted billionaires the United States gained between mid-March and December 2020, bringing the total number to 659, according to a report by the Institute of Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness, per NBC News.

These individuals have seen their collective net worth increase by more than a trillion dollars during the pandemic so far. While Elon Musk took the top spot on that list on Thursday, most of the newer entrants to the billionaire’s club aren’t household names, and gained their billionaire status much in the same way that Musk became the wealthiest man in the world: thanks to a seemingly unstoppable stock market rally. …


That was what former CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz said yesterday, joining a mounting chorus of U.S. business leaders, trade groups, and corporate brands distancing themselves from President Trump in the aftermath of the storming of the U.S. Capitol, reports David Gelles of The New York Times. “People were seduced, and unfortunately decided for their own benefits and the benefits of their company, that this was the right thing to do,” Schultz said. As Gelles writes, a whole slew of CEOs presiding over corporate America and who stood by Trump over the past four years—condoning his racist policies and divisive rhetoric in hopes of gaining business favors—are having a moral reckoning with the “Faustian bargain” they struck with the president. …


NUMBER OF THE DAY

It’s the gaming platform all the cool kids are into this pandemic

“$29.5 billion — Gaming startup Roblox’s new valuation, following a $520 million private fundraising round” with Roblox photo
“$29.5 billion — Gaming startup Roblox’s new valuation, following a $520 million private fundraising round” with Roblox photo
Photo illustration, source: Ian Tuttle/Stringer/Getty Images Entertainment

$29.5 billion: That’s gaming startup Roblox’s new valuation, following a $520 million private fundraising round this week. Roblox — a platform that allows users to create their own games and socialize in virtual spaces like concerts and birthday parties — saw a sevenfold increase in valuation since its last funding round in February, Axios reports. Put in Roblox terms, the company is now worth nearly three trillion Robux, the in-game currency used by the platform. The company has seen rapid growth through the pandemic: It has over 150 million monthly active users, and as Scott Galloway wrote for Marker, American kids spend an average of 2.6 hours a day on Roblox. …

Marker Editors

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