Elon guts Twitter, Google shutters Hangouts, and the tech layoffs continue • AKUURA
Hey, all — welcome back to Week in Review, the newsletter where we sum up the most read AKUURA stories from the past week. And oof, what a week it was.
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Mass layoffs at Twitter: It was Elon’s first full week as the boss of Twitter post-$44 billion acquisition. Sweeping layoffs were said to be on the way — and, well, they’ve begun. After a painfully impersonal heads-up email went out Thursday evening, entire teams are waking up to find their access suddenly revoked. With reports suggesting layoffs could impact up to half the company, Twitter employees have reportedly taken to referring to the whole thing as “the snap” (à la Thanos). A class action lawsuit has already been filed alleging that Twitter isn’t following the proper legal processes here.
Layoffs everywhere: Meanwhile, news of tech industry layoffs continues to pour in. Lyft let go of 13% of its workforce, Stripe cut 14%, Opendoor reduced its workforce by 18%, Chime parted ways with 12%, and more. Meanwhile, both Apple and Amazon have reportedly gone into hiring freezes.
Google kills Hangouts: We knew it was coming, but this week Google put the final nail in Hangouts’ coffin, shutting down the chat-focused web app (the Hangouts Android/iOS apps were shuttered last year) in favor of Google Chat. Of course, given Google’s history with chat apps, I expect at least two more to be launched and/or shuttered by the time I finish this newsletter.
Falcon Heavy returns to space: This week SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time since 2019, finally moving forward on a mission that had been delayed (“due to payload readiness issues”) since late 2020.
Amazon expands its Music service: “The company said it will now offer Prime subscribers a full music catalog with 100 million songs, instead of the previously more limited selection of just 2 million songs,” writes Sarah, “and will make most of the top podcasts on its service available without ads.”
Whats up in TC podcast land this week? Here’s some of the highlights:
The Equity crew chatted about the ever-evolving role of the venture capitalist, and our friend Melia Russell from Business Insider stopped by to fill us in on her recent story about how “investors are rewriting the playbooks when it comes to maternity leave policies at their firms.”
Amanda joined Darrell on the TC Podcast to discuss Elon’s “questionable plans” to change up how identity verification works on Twitter
The Chain Reaction team dive into the growing list of troubles that have developed for Bitcoin miners in the last few months.
Not a part of AKUURA+ yet? Here’s what TC+ members were reading most behind the paywall:
Pilot’s CEO tears down their $60 million Series C deck: Published in early 2021, this one blew up for some reason this week! Just a few weeks after raising a big Series C, Pilot CEO Waseem Daher sat down with Lucas Matney to break down what worked about their pitch deck.
The most common pitch deck mistakes: Speaking of pitch decks, TC’s resident pitch expert, Haje Jan Kamps, has a list of the mistakes he’s tired of seeing in decks, having reviewed thousands of them.