Author Archives: Jessi Hempel, writer
  • How Josh James landed $125 million in funding from his hospital bed

    Domo's founder survived a near-death experience and signed a deal led by TPG in the same week.

    FORTUNE -- Today, enterprise software company Domo announced that it had closed $125 million in funding. TPG led the round, which includes Fidelity Investments, T. Rowe Price (TROW), and Salesforce (CRM), among others. TPG principal Nehal Raj will join the board. Here's the story explaining the tenuous situation surrounding the deal. 

    This is an edited excerpt from MORE

    - Feb 5, 2014 12:00 PM ET
  • Could Watson and Siri love like Her's Samantha?

    How close do today's artificial intelligence technologies resemble the emotive operating system in the film Her? You might be surprised.

    FORTUNE -- Samantha, the hot and sexy operating system in Spike Jonze's Oscar-nominated film Her, has a lot in common with the IBM (IBM) computer system Watson, the bold and brainy 2011 winner of the nationally televised television show Jeopardy! They both read quickly. They both process natural language, understanding with relative ease MORE

    - Jan 28, 2014 11:19 AM ET
  • IBM CEO Ginni Rometty: No bonus for me

    After IBM again misses most expectations for its quarterly earnings, its chief executive makes a concession of her own: her compensation.

    FORTUNE -- IBM (IBM) chief executive Virginia "Ginni" Rometty is passing up her annual bonus.

    It's a rare move for any tech CEO, and it signals that Rometty knows she's got trouble on her hands. She made the announcement Tuesday as the company missed Wall Street's expectations yet again for its MORE

    - Jan 21, 2014 4:39 PM ET
  • Kleiner Perkins' Trae Vassallo: Another winner in Google's $3.2 billion purchase of Nest

    Early on, the IDEO veteran saw the potential in a "green" company that understood consumers.

    FORTUNE -- Among the happiest of the investors behind Google's (GOOG) move to buy Nest Labs for $3.2 billion earlier this week is the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which is believed to be the company's largest outside shareholder. The deal will likely return the firm 20 times its original investment, a win for MORE

    - Jan 16, 2014 3:22 PM ET
  • BlackBerry's Chen: We'll get our talent from Silicon Valley

    The company's new CEO hopes to turn a profit by 2016. Which means quite a bit must change.

    FORTUNE -- Smartphones are a consumer business. Apple (AAPL) taught us this truth back in 2007 when it introduced the iPhone. Chief information officers are now acquiescing to it as their employees insist on bringing their own devices to work.

    For the last five years, BlackBerry (BBRY) has tried to win consumers over, too. MORE

    - Jan 9, 2014 2:13 PM ET
  • At Wal-Mart, moving the needle on e-commerce

    The retailer's global e-commerce chief, Neil Ashe, sits down with Fortune's Adam Lashinsky in Las Vegas to talk struggles and strategy.

    FORTUNE -- Amazon (AMZN) is the undisputed master of online retail. Wal-Mart (WMT) is a superstore juggernaut. For years, the two companies existed in relative isolation, an either/or proposition for shoppers.

    Not for long. Increasingly, customers won't choose between buying online or offline -- they 'll want a retail experience that MORE

    - Jan 7, 2014 1:57 PM ET
  • Why the surge-pricing fiasco is great for Uber

    Like a buzzy nightclub with velvet ropes, the luxe car service was never intended to serve everyone. The real surprise was that people thought otherwise.

    FORTUNE -- On Dec. 14, as heavy flurries and hail pounded pedestrians on Manhattan's streets, cookbook author Jessica Seinfeld -- wife of comedian Jerry -- shared an Instagram photo of a taxi receipt for $415, to which she appended the following tags: "#OMG #neverforget #neveragain #real."

    This was no ordinary MORE

    - Dec 30, 2013 1:22 PM ET
  • Behind Airbnb's legal fights, grassroots activism

    In courtroom battles against the room-rental service, elected officials find themselves facing a surprising opponent: the people.

    FORTUNE -- The week before Thanksgiving, roughly 200 Airbnb hosts and community organizers sat shoulder-to-shoulder at The Alley, a Midtown Manhattan co-working space popular with techies. The event was convened by Peers, an organization developed to support the growth of the sharing economy.

    An Airbnb host named Mishelle Farer got up to speak. Farer explained MORE

    - Dec 9, 2013 4:05 PM ET
  • BlackBerry shakeup: Third time's a charm?

    The Canadian phonemaker has seen three management regimes in as many years. Is this the one that will save the company from obsolescence?

    FORTUNE -- It has been almost 10 months since the Canadian business mobility company BlackBerry ditched the RIMM ticker symbol for (BBRY), renaming itself after the device that made -- and then lost -- its fortune. That rebranding was Frank Boulben's idea. The French marketing executive showed it to MORE

    - Nov 25, 2013 1:15 PM ET
  • A word is worth 1,000 selfies

    Snapchat struck gold by recognizing that the photo is the new SMS. Can it hold people's attention for more than an instant?

    By Jessi Hempel, writer

    FORTUNE—I can't figure out what Weng Ian is doing. The two of us are guests at a bridal brunch in Tupelo, Mississippi, standing in the formal living room of a home in which dozens of women in festive attire are packed elbow-to-elbow. Some are chatting MORE

    - Nov 20, 2013 2:34 PM ET
About This Author
Jessi Hempel
Jessi Hempel
Senior Writer, Fortune

Jessi Hempel is a New York-based technology writer for Fortune. She has written extensively about digital media, online advertising and social networking. Before joining Fortune in July 2007, Hempel worked at BusinessWeek and most recently served as their innovation department editor. Hempel is a graduate of Brown University and received a Masters in Journalism from The University of California at Berkeley.

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