Jeff Bezos’ move sparks questions about wealth taxes

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What should we make of Jeff Bezos' decision to move from Seattle to Miami? It's tempting to see the Amazon founder's departure as a blow to the Seattle region. But like many of us, he was a transplant, and different from Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and the late Paul Allen in that way, in his reasons for being here and ultimately in his long-term commitment to the place.

That said, Bezos did as much as anyone to change this city and region, indirectly and directly, for better and worse, over three decades. At least symbolically, it's the end of an era.

Regardless of his professed reasons for leaving, there are important questions to be asked about what this says about the state’s wealth taxes, and what it will mean to have one of the region’s longtime business leaders and biggest philanthropists living in another state. 

That's our first topic on a new episode of the GeekWire Podcast. Also this week: 

Listen here, or subscribe to GeekWire in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Pictured above, Amazon recreated Jeff Bezos' early workspace at a recent event. 

Seattle startups weather the tech downturn better than Bay Area and New York peers: A new report shows that Seattle startups had fewer down rounds (funding rounds at lower valuations) than those in the Bay Area and New York City through the first nine months of 2023.

  • Investors say Seattle founders are more focused on revenue and profitability than chasing big funding rounds, which helps them avoid inflated valuations and risky spending.

  • Seattle also has a strong talent pool in areas such as cloud infrastructure and business process automation, which are more resilient to market fluctuations.

  • Still, there’s no shortage of challenges. Some startups have resorted to layoffs to cut costs. Nationwide, more than 540 U.S. startups have folded this year, up from 467 in 2022. Read more.

Hot Links:

  • WeWork’s likely bankruptcy filing is the latest sign of upheaval for the tech office market in Seattle and elsewhere around the country. (Wall Street Journal)

  • “The drones feel more like a toy than anything — a toy that wastes a huge amount of paper and cardboard.” — an Amazon customer quoted in a first-hand look at the company’s drone initiatives by journalist David Streitfeld. (New York Times)

  • Product review: The new Echo Show 8 is “the first Amazon smart display that’s a fully fledged smart home hub,” with features including the ability to adjust the text size based on the user’s distance from the screen. (The Verge

  • Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer saved the day by preserving an employee perk that was about to be killed: free Game Pass ultimate subscriptions. (Yahoo News)

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