How to jump from corporate lawyer to Peloton’s top instructor

June 15, 2020, 1:24 PM UTC

This is the web version of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the top tech news. To get it delivered daily to your in-box, sign up here.

For companies and people, it’s time to make a plan. There was a time for freaking out, a time for learning to cope, and now a time to think about what’s next. Though the pandemic will last longer than quite a few overly optimistic people believe it will, it won’t last forever. When it ends, will you be ready?

Last week, I interviewed an executive at one of the technology world’s hottest companies: Robin Arzon, vice president of fitness programming for Peloton, the digital workout boutique. Arzon also is Peloton’s head instructor, and if you’ve ever taken one of her cycling, strength, or other classes you’ll know her as one of the toughest coaches you’ve ever encountered.

The main reason I interviewed her, though, wasn’t to learn about Peloton’s business or her approach to fitness programming. Rather, I wanted to hear the story of her extraordinary career shift, from corporate litigator at the old-line firm Paul Hastings to professional fitness coach and social-media influencer. Arzon had fallen hard for running and decided she couldn’t sit behind a desk anymore. She created vision boards, visual representations of her goals that helped her map out what she was after. She set up informational interviews with sports journalists, figuring that’s one thing she’d like to do. She scheduled recurring reminders on her calendar to spend as little as 10 minutes a day figuring out how to make money while running rather than lawyering.

There’s more, including the inspired and gutsy way Arzon found her way to Peloton and its CEO, John Foley. The point is that she had a plan. And she executed it.

Adam Lashinsky


This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman.


Failure is an orphan. The adventures of KBerg and the Whit, aka former Dreamworks boss Jeffrey Katzenberg and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, are getting deliciously close to Adam-Neumann-at-WeWork-level entertaining. After Katzenberg gave a goofy interview to the New York Times last month blaming COVID-19 for the struggles of their short video service Quibi, now the Wall Street Journal is on the story. Anonymous sources tell the paper that Whitman almost quit early on after dealing with all of KBerg's nonsense (including that he wanted to name the service "Omakase" after high-end sushi!) and that now she's disappointed with the coverage his interview generated. Disappointed, indeed.

Tail between the legs mode. When New York City demanded in 2018 that Airbnb hand over detailed data about hosts in the metropolis, the company loudly objected and filed a lawsuit. On Friday, Airbnb quietly settled and agreed to provide the data, which will help the city enforce a ban on what it calls "illegal hotel operators."

Who lives, who dies, who tells your story. An engineer at Facebook who publicly challenged a colleague over not supporting Black Lives Matter was apparently fired. Brandon Dail, who had tweeted that “intentionally not making a statement is already political,” said he was let go on Friday. Facebook declined to comment. Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, Facebook pushed back against Australia's new law requiring the company to pay to carry news links. Few users look to Facebook for news, thus "if there were no news content available on Facebook in Australia, we are confident the impact on Facebook's community metrics and revenues in Australia would not be significant," the company wrote in a comment to the government.

You've got space mail. We are getting very, very close to finding out whether Elon Musk's vision for Internet service from space will be a real thing or just another in a long line of failed attempts. Musk's SpaceX lofted 58 more satellites for its Starlink constellation on Saturday, bringing the total count in its orbiting Internet platform to 540. Though the ultimate plan is for 12,000 or more, service can begin in the U.S. when Starlink reaches 800 satellites, Musk has said.

A raft of dollars. Insurance software startup Duck Creek Technologies said last December it was filing to go public. Perhaps it's taking longer than expected, because last week the company raised another $230 million of private backing from investors led by Kayne Anderson Rudnick and Whale Rock Capital.


The debate over how social networks like Facebook and Twitter are overseeing the flow of information–and disinformation–on their platforms often focuses on a single law: Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1996 grants the companies some legal protections from liability. President Trump wants to repeal it. Fortune tech reporter Danielle Abril examines what might happen next.

Changing Section 230 would not only affect companies like Facebook and Twitter. It would also apply to any Internet company that publishes user content, including comments on news articles and reviews of products, restaurants, and hotels.

“You would have much less ability to post views, or controversial views on any entity,” said Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment lawyer who defended the New York Times in a landmark case in 1964 for publishing an ad that allegedly defamed an Alabama public safety commissioner. “It would be a major step, which would likely lead to less speech rather than more.”


Can Nikola Motor’s big battery promises be true? By David Z. Morris

How Bytedance is trying to consolidate TikTok’s user base in India By Eamon Barrett

Big investors like Bitcoin for the wrong reason By Robert Hackett

Why every company needs to ‘reimagine’ their workplace, according to PwC’s U.S. CEO By Lee Clifford

A kind of ‘Magic’: One nerd’s quest to shake up video games and create a $1 billion market By Robert Hackett and Jeff John Roberts

Adobe’s CEO on how the company is posting record results amid economic chaos By Lance Lambert

Facebook contest shows just how hard it is to detect deepfakes By Jeremy Kahn

(Some of these stories require a subscription to access. There is a 50% discount for our loyal readers if you use this link to sign up. Thank you for supporting our journalism.)


Last night's mid-season cliffhanger on Showtime's entertaining hedge-fund romp Billions was a high-tech storyline with echoes of Elon Musk and a cameo from real-life Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon. An experimental drug intended to bring more focused thinking led Bobby Axe and his gang to consider spending $3 billion on mining asteroids for precious metals. What happens next? Production on the show shut down due to the pandemic, but will return at an unspecified date, according to Showtime's teaser-trailer.

Aaron Pressman


Read More

CEO DailyCFO DailyBroadsheetData SheetTerm Sheet