Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Before Lyft or Uber or WeWork, there was Snapchat. A red-hot, multi-billion dollar startup that melted upon contact with the public markets.

Why it matters: It's a cautionary tale for those who are quick to leave the 2019 cohort for dead. Snap shared many of the unfavorable traits of those that would follow. Giant losses, unclear path to profitability, and a CEO whose hubris and poor communication skills had damaged both morale and product development.

  • It went public in early 2017 at $17 per share, sinking below $5 per share by the end of 2018. To say there was pessimism about Snap's future would be overstating it, since few people still cared enough to consider an opinion. Dead unicorn walking.

The state of play: Since then, however, Snap has clawed its way back. It finally mastered Android, significantly increased its revenue-per-user, and CEO Evan Spiegel learned to listen, delegate, and be transparent.

  • Shares briefly topped their IPO price in July and, while only at $13.40 as of this writing, the company just crushed analyst expectations for Q3.

What's next: Snap still faces massive challenges, squeezed between incumbent Instagram and an insurgent TikTok, and too many employees remain underwater on their stock options.

  • But its falling knife did rebound and should remind all of us that long-term outcomes needn't be memorialized in the moment.

Go deeper: Snapchat adds 7 million daily active users

Go deeper

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Scoop: Republican super PAC raised $92 million in September

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images

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By the numbers: The SLF raised $92 million in September, spent $105 million, and ended the month with $113 million cash on hand, as Republicans work to maintain their majority on Nov. 3.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, human resources jobs were on the automation chopping block. Now they're essential.

The big picture: HR departments across the world have pulled off the incredible feat of turning companies from in-person to remote overnight, and as the pandemic continues to determine the future of work, HR has been elevated from a back-office function to a C-suite conversation.

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Netflix stock sinks after Q3 subscriber miss

Illustration:Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix's stock was down more than 5% in after-hours trading Tuesday after the tech giant reported that it missed expectations on global subscriber growth for the quarter.

Why it matters: Netflix experienced explosive growth during the first half of the year. It wasn't expected to match that growth this quarter, when lockdowns lifted and after new competitive services had launched, but analysts were still expecting it to meet expectations of at least 3.3 million net new global subscribers.