NY Needed Ventilators for Coronavirus. They Developed One in a Month. – By Steve Lohr – The New York Times

“The nudge came in an email in early March from an Italian friend alarmed by how fast the deadly coronavirus was spreading in his country.

A shortage of ventilators, he told Scott Cohen and Marcel Botha, was a critical problem in Italy, and he warned that it soon would be in the United States, too. He urged the pair to apply their skills to the ventilator challenge.

Both Mr. Cohen, co-founder of a technology center for researchers and start-ups, and Mr. Botha, chief executive of a product design and development company, were skeptical. A standard ventilator, with thousands of parts requiring a complex global supply chain, was hardly a device that could be manufactured quickly and affordably.

“I was dismissive at first,” said Mr. Botha, whose company is called 10XBeta. “It looked impossible.”

For Millions of Immigrants, a Common Language: WhatsApp – The New York Times

“When Facebook bought WhatsApp for more than $19 billion in 2014, Jan Koum, a founder of the messaging company, arranged to sign a part of the deal outside the suburban social services center where he had once waited in line to collect food stamps.

Mr. Koum, like many in the tech industry, is an immigrant. He was a teenager when he and his mother moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1990s, in part to escape the anti-Semitic tide then sweeping his native Ukraine. As Mr. Koum later told Forbes, his mother worked as a babysitter and swept floors at a grocery store to survive in the new country; when she was found to have cancer, the family lived off her disability payments.