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The future of the office, how we'll shop and pay, and Masa Son's biggest challenge

Coronavirus Disease Outbreak in Call Center, South Korea

Hello!

As the curve flattens in many parts of the world and the movement to reopen the economy gains steam, I keep finding myself thinking about the seating plan above. As Holly Secon reported this week, 44% of workers on one floor of a South Korean call center got the coronavirus. The desks colored blue show where employees with confirmed cases sat.

For some of you, that seating plan might look a little like your bank of desks at the office. It certainly looks like mine. 

A number of Business Insider reporters this week delved in to what a return to work might look like, and how offices will have to be reconfigured to make a return possible:

Contactless payment

How we'll shop and pay

There are other questions beyond whether we'll go back to the office, when, and what it might look like. How will be shop? How will we pay? What felt normal in February — queueing for Chipotle in a packed restaurant and paying by bank card — now feels anachronistic.

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Masa Son's biggest challenge

Where did it all go wrong for Masayoshi Son?

From Dakin Campbell's story:

In 2017, Son, the founder and CEO of SoftBank, upended the tech establishment with the creation of the $100 billion Vision Fund, the largest venture-capital fund in history. Over the next two years, it would deploy $75 billion across 88 investments, with Son holding an outsized voice on the three-person investment committee. 

Son earned a reputation among some venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who saw him pressuring founders into taking more money than they needed, elbowing aside coinvestors, and warping markets by seemingly pushing for growth at all costs. Venture capitalists kept investing alongside him, and founders took the money as valuations rose. The fund earned some wins, selling a stake in India e-commerce company Flipkart to Walmart and making money on an investment in publicly-traded chipmaker Nvidia. But as more than one company with billions of dollars in Vision Fund cash and no profits began to crater last year, the Silicon Valley community quickly turned against him.

You can read the full story here:

Masa Son is facing one of his biggest challenges yet as the SoftBank Vision Fund racks up billions in losses. 12 insiders reveal where it all went wrong.

Lastly, if you didn't catch the first installment of Starting Up, Business Insider's interview show, you should check out Drake Baer's conversation with Slack cofounder and CTO Cal Henderson

Below are headlines on some of the stories you might have missed from the past week. Stay safe, everyone.

-- Matt

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