I’m technically was supposed to be on vacation today, but I thought it probably wasn’t cool to throw the newsletter ONE WEEK after the takeover to someone else, so I came by here again. I normally have a very good work-life balance, I promise! Sure, I’ve set way too many co-worker numbers to automatically bypass my phone’s “Do Not Disturb” switch and, yes, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a spooky Slack thing that didn’t really do, but… hmm. Maybe I’ll take that promise back.
the big thing
If there’s anything “big” this week, it’s sadly no fun at all to write about: Workers in the startup world are currently being hit hard by layoffs, seemingly with another batch of cuts every other day.
The first was Robinhood, who announced it would lay off 9% of its full-time employees.
Then Netflix, which cuts (but doesn’t shut down!) much of its newly formed in-house publication, Tudum.
Then came Thrasio, Cameo, On Deck and MainStreet. And I’m sure there are a few that I’ve missed or haven’t heard of yet.
Why now? The short version: Many of these companies saw huge positive shifts in their user base (in terms of size, usage, or both) with the pandemic and adjusted accordingly. Now that we are arguably on the other side of the pandemic (or as close as we will get to an “other side”) and things are shifting in a different direction…
Natasha Mascarenhas and Amanda Silberling take a closer look at the recent layoffs, and some of the reasoning behind each. Check it out here.
What else happened this week? Here are some of the things people read the most on the site:
The “father of the iPod” shows off his prototype collection: Tony Fadell, the man behind iconic devices like the iPod, iPhone, and Nest Thermostat, is writing a book about building things — and as part of the process, dusting off his collection of once-secret prototypes and concept art. He shared some great ones with us, including an absolutely outlandish iPod Mini/phone hybrid with a swivel head.
Rocket Lab captures a rocket booster… with a helicopter: With more space rocket parts becoming reusable, companies are still working on the best/safest/most efficient way to actually… you know, get those parts back. Last weekend, Rocket Lab wanted to use a HELICOPTER to catch a reusable booster that fell from the sky… and it succeeded! At least in the beginning. I won’t even fly most video game helicopters because they are always too heavy so this whole thing is breaking my brain.
Apple, Google and Microsoft team up to destroy passwords: It’s not every day you see Apple, Google and Microsoft is teaming up on something… but this week the trio announced they’re teaming up to tackle a beast that’s giving them all trouble: passwords. If all goes according to plan, they’ll be rolling out a passwordless standard over the next year that will let you use your smartphone’s fingerprint reader or face scanner to log into things in macOS/Safari, Android/Chrome, and Windows/Edge.
Instagram is testing a full screen experience: Why? It’s damn hard to answer that without using the word “TikTok.”
Google is trying to get better at removing personal information: Have you ever looked around on Google and found your home address or phone number on a sketchy website that refuses to remove it? Google – after many, many years of complaints – is rolling out a process to zap those search results. Zack has a step-by-step guide to submitting a request… but how long can it take to actually process? To be determined
We have a paywall section of our site called MovieUpdates+. It costs a few dollars a month and it’s full of really good stuff! For example, starting this week:
UiPath’s Falling Rating: UiPath’s valuation has definitely plummeted in the past year. Why? Ron and Alex have some thoughts.
6 problems investors look for: You’ve built something cool and it seems to be finding an audience, and now you’re ready to raise some money…or are you? Bill Petty of investment firm Tercera outlines six things every investor will look for in the due diligence process.
The common mistakes founders make with financial projections: Financial projections are not just there to please potential investors. In this post, Jose Cayasso, co-founder of the founders platform Slidebean, outlines some of the most common mistakes he sees with the founders they work with.