Jon Fortt co-anchors Squawk Alley on CNBC, and has covered technology and innovation for more than 15 years. Fortt Knox brings you rich ideas and powerful people. Guests include Intel CEO Bob Swan, Accenture CEO of North America Julie Sweet, Olympic champion Michael Phelps, and Hip-hop legend Q-Tip. Join Jon's conversations with power brokers on how they made it, what they value, and what makes them tick.
You ever hear about kids taking a gap year after high school? A gap year. It's when they don't go straight to college and don't get a job, they … do something else. Maybe travel to Europe, or hike the Appalachian Trail. Gap years cost money, so mostly rich kids do them. For other people they’re called “being unemployed,” or “vagrancy.”
But! For kids whose parents can afford it? A gap year can be a beautiful period of self-discovery. Or it can be a ticket to delay responsibility.
What does this have to do with tech? Uber just went public days ago, after waiting a long time. Which is kind of like finally starting college after that gap year. How did the stock do? Terrible. Like straight Fs. Priced at the low end of the range, trading 10 percent below that.
I blame the parents. SoftBank and its 100-billion-dollar Vision Fund have been slinging billions of dollars around Silicon Valley like gap years after Andover, helping startups delay their IPOs. The question today? Is SoftBank spoiling the kids?