When unemployment rose in the pandemic, many people applied to start businesses. But why?

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Photo: Matias Malka

By Peter Coy

When the coronavirus pandemic caused the deepest recession ever recorded in the U.S., something surprising happened: The Census Bureau reported a sharp increase in applications to start businesses. But why?

One intriguing possibility is that necessity has been the mother of invention — people who lost their jobs are trying to make some money on their own as instant entrepreneurs. …

The battle lines in Milford, Mich., reflect the nation’s divisions

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The Village of Milford clock lights up as the sun sets in downtown Milford, Mich. Photo: Erin Kirkland for Bloomberg Businessweek

By Sarah Kopit

Gary Fiyalko doesn’t wear a mask. Won’t wear one. …

Masatoshi Kumagai was a high school dropout whose conglomerate now dominates cloud computing in Japan — and he has an unusual approach to management

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Masatoshi Kumagai, founder, chairman, and group CEO of GMO Internet Inc., at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo on Oct. 5. Photo: Shoko Takayasu/Bloomberg

By Gearoid Reidy, Shoko Oda and Toshiro Hasegawa

Beside Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya train station lies a sprawling set of offices, where a high school dropout watches over his many disciples. Over three decades, Masatoshi Kumagai has built his internet business into a vast empire. Today he presides over 102 companies, led by himself and 101 different chief executive officers.

To keep his people focused on the same goals, the founder, chairman, and president of GMO Internet Inc. uses a private creed he calls GMO-ism. It’s a set of values and philosophies he’s been crafting since 1995. “It’s like a religion,” Kumagai says in a Zoom interview. …

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