Tech start-ups mint new millionaires every day. Many of these people are young Stanford and MIT graduates who live in Silicon Valley and spend years building their companies while subsisting on ramen noodles and Red Bull. Typically, they’re not funeral industry workers from Central Pennsylvania who spend three weeks learning to game referral competitions.
But there’s a first time for everything.
First, some background. There’s a new tech start-up called Jet.com. Maybe you saw it on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek. It’s a membership-only online shopping club, similar to Costco, that says it will be able to charge between 10 and 15 percent less than other e-commerce sites by, essentially, cutting its margins to nothing. Jet hasn’t launched to the public yet. But it’s already one of the most-hyped start-ups of the year. It’s raised a staggering amount of money—more than $200 million, at a valuation said to be close to $600 million—and when it does debut (“very soon,” according to the company’s
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