Welcome to another edition of Business Twitter, where we collect the best tweets to come out of Silicon Valley so you don’t have to. This article is part of a newsletter — if you want a weekly Business Twitter roundup sent to your inbox every Friday, subscribe here.
This week: Jack Dorsey announces that Square is starting a new DeFi business aptly named TBD, a look at a 2003 email from Bill Gates on iTunes, Keith Rabois criticizes the free spending of venture capitalists everywhere, and why Chobani’s employees could stand to win big in the yogurt maker’s upcoming IPO.
1. Square gets into DeFi
On Thursday, Jack Dorsey announced that Square was building TBD, a DeFi business for Bitcoin, via (what else?) a Twitter thread. The new business is designed to link up Square’s other acquisitions, Tidal, Cash App, and Seller, into one platform.
“Like our new #Bitcoin hardware wallet, we’re going to do this completely in the open,” Dorsey wrote. “Open roadmap, open development, and open source. [Mike Brock] is leading and building this team, and we have some ideas around the initial platform primitives we want to build.”
The move comes not long after Square Crypto, the payment company’s first foray into cryptocurrency.
2. Bill Gates on iTunes
Apple created the iPod and transformed music consumption forever. Microsoft, meanwhile, created the Zune and transformed just about nothing with it. Three years before Microsoft debuted its ill-fated MP3 player, Bill Gates noticed that Apple had gotten an amazing deal from the music industry.
An email from Bill Gates on the iTunes Music Store, sent on April 30, 2003, was tweeted out by Internal Tech Emails, a Twitter account dedicated to some of the more interesting emails in tech history. Gates started by praising Steve Jobs.
“This time somehow he has applied his talents in getting a better licensing deal than anyone else has gotten for music,” Gates wrote. “This is very strange to me. The music companies own operations offer a service that is truly unfriendly to the user and has been reviewed that way consistently.”
“I am not saying this strangeness means we messed up — at least if we did so did Real and Pressplay and Musicnet and basically everyone else,” Gates continued. “Now that Jobs has done it we need to move fast to get something where the UI and Rights are as good.”
The success of iTunes and the iPod doubtless propelled Gates and Microsoft to create the Zune faster, but in the end, Jobs won. That is, until the explosion of Spotify and other music streaming services.
3. Keith Rabois on VC funding: “All of us have caved”
Founders Fund general partner Keith Rabois isn’t known for adhering to mainstream thinking when it comes to venture capital. In a recent tweet, Rabois criticized VC firms investing more and more money into startups. “Biggest change in the venture landscape now: There are no VC funds with pricing discipline,” Rabois wrote. “All of us have caved.”
The tweet quickly drew criticism from others in venture capital. In the replies, Rabois elaborated on his position: “There is no major fund [with] any price disciple. Historically, Sequoia, Benchmark, [Khosla] and [Founders Fund] were.”
Altamont Capital vice president Sahil Bloom replied, “Do you view this as a natural market cycle? As in: Too much capital chasing too few deals, leading to pricing discipline declines, leading to squeezed returns, leading to capital moving elsewhere, leading to improved balance of capital/deals.”
EchoSign co-founder Jason Lemkin replied, “A decacorn or two a year is all the fund needs though.”
4. Chobani’s workers win in IPO
Michael Martocci, founder of SwagUp, tweeted some information about a company he finds fascinating: Chobani, the Greek yogurt maker that’s set to IPO soon at a valuation north of $10 billion.
“Back in 2016, Founder Hamdi Ulukaya granted his then 2k employees roughly 10% of the company or about $450k/employee at the IPO value, w/ many earlier employees set to net several million.”
Now that Chobani prepares for its public debut, its employees, many of whom are factory workers, could stand to gain quite a bit of money.