The Way SoftBank Invests In Startups Just Doesn’t Work, Says Khosla Ventures’ Keith Rabois

>President Trump is planning to address the nation from the Oval Office tonight

, and plans a Thursday visit to the southern border in a double-play attempt to pitch the public on the need for a border wall, an issue that has left parts of the government closed since December 22 in a shutdown that some estimate at costing the U.S. half a billion dollars a day. Trump also indicated that he might declare a “national emergency” at the border; this would be the fourth he has issued. Here’s what Trump could do if he declares a state of emergency, from seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law. ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and NBC have agreed to Trump’s request for the lucrative primetime slot. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has formally invited Trump to deliver a State of the Union address on January 29. [Maggie Haberman, Michael M. Grynbaum, and Eileen Sullivan / The New York Times]

[Want to get the

Recode Daily in your inbox? >Subscribe here.

]

>The Internal Revenue Service will pay tax refunds

, even though the agency is subject to the ongoing federal government shutdown, after the Trump administration reversed a longstanding policy. Even if the impasse over a border wall lasts into the income tax-filing season scheduled to start January 28, the administration’s move will let hundreds of billions of dollars flow to households. Since the shutdown began on December 22, the IRS has been operating with a skeleton staff of just one in eight employees, mostly focused on maintaining computer systems and investigating crimes. Meanwhile, Trump has four days to make a deal before many federal workers start missing paychecks. [Richard Rubin and Peter Nicholas / The Wall Street Journal]

>Amazon is the latest tech titan to claim the crown of world’s most valuable public company

, with a market cap of $797 billion that ended a weeks-long reign by Microsoft (at $784 billion), which itself recently supplanted Apple (coming in fourth at $702 billion, just behind No. 3, Alphabet, at $756 billion). Analysts said Amazon’s 25 percent slide last quarter — its largest drop in a decade — pushed investors to scoop up beaten-down shares to start 2019. Despite fears of slowing growth, the e-commerce giant is projected to show fourth-quarter sales up 20 percent from a year earlier when it reports earnings on February 7, along with Apple and Alphabet; Microsoft reports on January 30. [Brian R. Fitzgerald and Amrith Ramkumar / The Wall Street Journal]

>Gavin Newsom was sworn in as the 40th governor of California

, ending the era of Jerry Brown with a broad promise of a more aggressive government that would turn its attention to the sharp economic disparities that have plagued the nation’s most populous state. A former mayor of San Francisco and an early promoter of same-sex marriage and the legalization of recreational marijuana, Newsom did not mention Trump by name in his 25-minute speech, but said that California would “offer an alternative to the corruption and incompetence in the White House.” [Adam Nagourney and Jose A. Del Real / The New York Times]

>Japan’s SoftBank has radically scaled back plans for fresh investment in coworking company WeWork

, opting for a smaller deal of $2 billion instead of the $16 billion that had been discussed last year. The latest investment is coming from SoftBank itself, not its nearly $100 billion Vision Fund, which is largely backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia; it values WeWork at $47 billion and brings SoftBank’s total investment in WeWork to about $10.5 billion. After the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which American intelligence agencies believe was directed by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, many in the technology industry are reassessing their willingness to take money from the kingdom. Shares in SoftBank itself have fallen by 33 percent in the past three months. [Eric Platt and Arash Massoudi / Financial Times]

>Samsung’s quarterly profit and revenue results missed estimates on declining demand for memory chips during Q4 of 2018.

Deteriorating relations between the US and China have lowered demand for Samsung memory used in everything from personal computers to mobile devices. Compounding the issue is weakness at Apple, which saw anemic sales in China in the last quarter of 2018. Apple stunned global markets last week when it cut its sales outlook for the first time in almost two decades. Now, Samsung’s operating income fell to 10.8 trillion won ($9.6 billion) in the last three months of 2018, coming in under the 13.8 trillion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. [Sam Kim / Bloomberg]

Top stories from Recode

>Apple’s growing attraction to non-iPhone revenue in one chart.

Services now account for 16 percent of Apple sales. [Rani Molla]

>The way SoftBank invests in startups just doesn’t work, says Khosla Ventures’ Keith Rabois.

On a recent

Recode Decode, Rabois talked with Kara Swisher about startups, innovation, Facebook, President Trump, and more. [Kara Swisher]

>How Dotdash CEO Neil Vogel rebuilt the once-mighty About.com into a modern network of sites answering people’s questions.

On the latest >Recode Media

, Vogel says that making the transition meant pitching IAC’s Barry Diller on drastically cutting back on the topics About.com covered and reducing the number of ads on every page. [Peter Kafka]

This is cool

>An “intelligent toilet” already won CES.

Runners-up: >An internet-connected litter box

and >a suitcase that follows you around

.

>A Japanese billionaire paid followers $920,000 for the most retweeted tweet ever.

>

Sign up for the newsletter Recode Daily

By signing up, you agree to our
Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy.

Recode Daily: Major networks will let President Trump make a primetime pitch for his border wall tonight
Texas-Squared Startup Newsletter #177
Peter Thiel