The Importance of "Tech Company" Status: Background information when reading Big Vape

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Big Vape

The Incendiary Rise of Juul

by Jamie Ducharme

Big Vape by Jamie Ducharme X
Big Vape by Jamie Ducharme
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  • Published:
    May 2021, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Grace Graham-Taylor
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About this Book

The Importance of "Tech Company" Status

This article relates to Big Vape

Uber vehicle in traffic In Big Vape, Jamie Ducharme describes an existential crisis at the heart of Juul; while its founders (and many of its employees) saw the business as a tech start-up, to the Food and Drug Administration (and much of the public) it looked like a manufacturer of tobacco products. This distinction is not a mere matter of brand identity — having "tech company" status offers huge advantages to businesses. Many companies covet this privileged label, and there are good reasons why.

In the first place, it comes with a certain prestige. Calling yourself a tech start-up signifies modernity, newness and, importantly, profitability. Inferring connection to Silicon Valley is like dangling bait to investors, even if the association is a vague one. In 2011, for example, sandwich chain The Melt managed to secure $10 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, in part because of its focus on tech. Its founder, Jonathan Kaplan, claimed he had developed "a set of technology that allows us to ...

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