I am technically Supposed to be on vacation today, but thought it probably wasn’t cool to send the newsletter to someone else ONE WEEK after taking over, so I came back for this one. I normally have a very good work/life balance, I promise! Sure, I have way too many co-worker numbers set to automatically bypass my phone’s “do not disturb” toggle and, yeah, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to a ghost Slack ding that doesn’t really sounded, but… um. Maybe I’m withdrawing that promise.
the big thing
If there’s one “big thing” this week, it’s sadly not at all fun to write about: Employees in the startup world are being hit hard by layoffs right now, apparently with a new round of cuts every two days.
The first was Robinhood, announcing that it would lay off 9% of its full-time employees.
Then Netflix, cutting (but not closing!) much of its new in-house publication, Tudum.
Then came Thrasio, Cameo, On Deck and MainStreet. And I’m sure there are some I’ve missed or we haven’t heard about yet.
Why now? The short version: Many of these companies have seen massive positive changes in their user base (in terms of size, usage, or both) with the pandemic and have adjusted accordingly. Now that we are arguably on the other side of the pandemic (or as close to an “other side” as possible) and things are moving in another direction…
Natasha Mascarenhas and Amanda Silberling have a deeper dive into recent layoffs and some of the reasoning behind each. Check that here.
What else happened this week? Here are some of the things people read the most on the site:
The “father of the iPod” presents his collection of prototypes: Tony Fadell, the man behind iconic devices such as the iPod, iPhone and Nest Thermostat, is writing a book about building things – and as part of the process, he’s dusted off his collection of prototypes and designs. once so secret concept art. . He shared a few with us, including an absolutely bizarre iPod Mini/phone hybrid with a swiveling head.
Rocket Lab catches a rocket booster… with a helicopter: As more and more space rocket parts become reusable, companies are still working out the best/safest/most efficient way to actually…you know, salvage those parts. Last weekend, Rocket Lab decided to use a HELICOPTER to catch a reusable booster as it fell from the sky… and succeeded! At least, at first. I won’t even fly the most video game helicopters because they are always too hard, so all that breaks my brains.
Apple, Google and Microsoft team up to kill passwords: It’s not everyday you see Apple, Google and Microsoft is working on something together…but this week the trio announced they’re teaming up to tackle a beast that’s been giving them all sorts of trouble: passwords. If all goes as planned, over the next year they will be implementing a passwordless standard that will allow you to use your smartphone’s fingerprint reader or face scanner to log into 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 improve the removal of personal information: Have you ever searched Google and found your home address or phone number on a sketchy website that refuses to remove it? Google is – after many, many years of complaints – rolling out a process to zap these search results. Zack explains step by step how to submit a request…but how long can it take to process? To be determined.
We have a paid section of our site called TechCrunch+. It costs a few dollars a month and it’s full of very good things! From this week, for example:
The plummeting valuation of UiPath: UiPath’s valuation has completely plummeted over the past year. Why? Ron and Alex have a few thoughts.
6 problems sought by investors: You’ve built something cool and it seems to be finding an audience, and now you’re ready to raise some money…right? Bill Petty of investment firm Tercera outlines six things every investor will look for in the due diligence process.
Common mistakes founders make with financial projections: Financial projections don’t just exist to please potential investors. In this article, Jose Cayasso, co-founder of founder readiness platform Slidebean, breaks down some of the most common mistakes he sees among the founders they work with.