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The Dispatch, Episode 2: Zenefits, TV prices, and car sharing

Hey, look! A tech service being advertised in the Mission in San Francisco! Also wow, does this seem overdue.  Molly Wood

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Welcome to this week’s Molly Dispatch! I’m generously calling it episode two (I’ll think of a better name eventually.)

This week, the CEO of the big unicorn startup (insert-tech-boom-cliche here) Zenefits got the unceremonious boot from his job, after allegations that the company has been letting unlicensed employees sell health insurance. That’s against a lot of federal regulations and the state of California is reportedly looking into whether Zenefits violated compliance rules or even laws in this state.

Pando had a good writeup on who’s supposed to be responsible when start-ups that set out to disrupt highly regulated businesses, don’t follow regulations. I’m referring to outfits like Zenefits, Theranos, Hampton Creek, Uber, AirBNB and any number of new fintech startups with private funding and little oversight.

As it happens, I was discussing something similar this week on This Week in Startups with angel investor Jason Calacanis. Feel free to listen in.  

Also this week, I did some serious investigative reporting on the issue of why 65-inch TVs seem to be so much more expensive, on a per-inch basis, than 55-inch TVs. I checked in with CNET’s David Katzmaier, and let me just say, that dude is good at math.

Finally, while wandering the streets of San Francisco’s Mission District, avoiding raw eggs being chucked out the window by disgruntled residents, I discovered that at long last, rental car companies are getting into the car-sharing game. Doesn’t that seem overdue? I thought so, too.

All that plus this week’s book recommendation, for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!


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