Ok, I take back what I said about tech outages


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dated: 2022-11-19 19:22:43 .

Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced look at this week’s startup news and trends from a senior reporter and co-head of equity Natasha Mascarenhas. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.

Well, that didn’t last long. In late October, I wrote about how the tide was turning on tech layoffs, noting that 70% of layoffs this year took place in the summer. In fact, using data from Layoffs.fyi, I’ve argued that the fall will prove far less cruel in terms of new network events and people affected.

Then it got worse. Since I published this post, layoffs have been announced at a number of companies, including Twitter, Meta, Amazon, Chime, Stripe, Lyft, Salesforce, and Cisco. (Update: While I was putting this newsletter together, my colleague Kirsten Korosec broke the news that Nuro has laid off 20% of its staff). (Update #2: I’ve now heard that Carvana is reportedly laying off 1,500 workers).

Just a few weeks ago, the 2022 workforce cuts affected at least 92,558 known people, according to Layoffs.fyi. The same data source now says the number has grown to 134,739 celebrities, an increase of 46%.

In other words, I said the summer was bad. But now almost as many people who were laid off during the summer months of June, July and August were laid off in November (and the month isn’t over yet).

Talk about a bumpy start to November. According to executives and other industry sources, more layoffs could be made by founders in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Everyone seems to agree that the worst of the worst is ahead — and the true scale of the layoffs may not materialize until the first quarter of 2023.

I wasn’t entirely wrong in my outdated column. At the time, I wrote that we might just see a delay in reporting and that there could be more layoffs as corporate runways shrink. There are still plenty of companies that raised a lot of money during the boom cycle but don’t generate nearly enough revenue to justify their historical valuations; The late stage market is full of them.

Still, it’s a bit surprising to me to suggest that technology is about to have a major reality check. Wasn’t that the whole year? The only clue I can figure is that some companies have shown us that layoffs have a learning curve – just because they had to do more than one round in quick succession, basically underlining, highlighting and bolding that they weren’t able to cut deep enough the first time.

Finally, I’d like to say that I’m working on a year-end story about the impact of layoffs on people, where tech talent goes after being fired. If you lost your job this year and have an interesting story about what you did next and how your definition of risk changed, My Twitter DMs are open. Well, at least as long as the site exists.

Otherwise, you can find me on Substack and Instagram and, well, I won’t be sharing my LinkedIn yet, but maybe soon. In the rest of this newsletter, we talk about Elizabeth Holmes, the FTX outage, eavesdropping, and some corners of the Internet that have tempted me this week.

Elizabeth Holmes was convicted

Elizabeth Holmes, the infamous founder of Theranos, has been officially sentenced to 11.25 years in prison for fraud. The verdict comes months after Holmes was found guilty on four of 11 counts of defrauding investors. Theran’s COO and former friend of Homles, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani is still awaiting sentencing after being found guilty on 12 of 12 counts at his own trial.

Therefore, it is important: The verdict ends a long wait to see Holmes answer, if at all, for his crimes. From its inception, the Theranos story has been united with the strengths and clearly pernicious weaknesses of Silicon Valley’s hype culture.

Photo author: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

FTX update

I was on vacation (and then sick) when the FTX crash started. Fortunately, my colleagues gave me gifts with tons of content about the real consequences of such a public collapse of a crypto exchange. If last week was all about the how, this week was about the present moment. What’s next for investors, startups and people in the crypto world? And what are the lasting effects of FTX failure? (Remorse does not count).

Therefore, it is important: As we discussed in group this week, the human side of it all is finally starting to come out. Take Nestcoin for example. African startup Web3 said it keeps most of its daily cash used for operational costs in FTX. As a result, employees are fired. We’ve also heard that SoftBank followed Sequoia’s lead in reducing its investments, but what I’m really interested in is how former COO Marcelo Claure handled that mistake.

Photo author: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

What do we lose when we lose Twitter

I’m not going to run you through the latest Twitter headlines because, much like starting this newsletter, I’ll probably have to update it every hour to include all the flaws, contradictions, and outright meltdowns happening on the platform. However, what I will do is go through what we lose when we lose Twitter.

My serious colleagues and I, the most serious of them all, did a little post about why we value Twitter and what goes away when it goes away. Obviously, we’re not saying the platform is dead or going anywhere right away. But what if it is?

Here is a small excerpt from the TC+ announcement:

I am inquisitive, inquisitive and constantly afraid that I am missing a key understanding or hidden angle of a macroeconomic trend. That’s probably why I’m a journalist (and why I’m addicted to Twitter).

Twitter allows me to be a listener, a humble fly on the wall. That was important when I first downloaded back in college and subscribed to be notified every time the Boston Business Journal broke a story on Twitter — and it’s important now as I try to understand what founders are thinking in real time (as opposed to what they want to tell a reporter TechCrunch via Zoom). It helped me stay connected when I was an intern at the Boston Globe and helps me fit in and better understand myself as a senior reporter at TechCrunch.

Eavesdropping became even more important to me a week after the pandemic, which happened to be a week after my job at TechCrunch. That’s how I found my sources, which appeared in the inserts of my stories. It’s also how I’ve balanced my sources, aiming to not only quote the people with the sharpest views in 180 characters. As a journalist at the beginning of my career, I feel that Twitter has given me the opportunity to catch up with all my brilliant colleagues and competitors digesting news in real time. I mean, I saw her thought process literally every day.

We’ve all heard that Twitter has become our marketplace during quarantine, but for me it’s also become a map.

For the rest of the article, see our TC+ article, “TechCrunch contributors on what we lose when we lose Twitter.”

Photo author: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

A good area for tweets and posts

It’s officially the time of year and part of the news cycle that I’m desperate to highlight with good news. At Equity, we started this week with some positive growth-focused tech news, including the rise of Maven and how it’s helping women’s health, and Alibaba’s expansion despite others pulling back.

In the spirit of smiling, here are some tweets and jokes from the week that made me laugh:

Photo author: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

A few notes

Seen on TechCrunch

Daylight, an LGBTQ+ neobank, is raising money to launch a family planning subscription plan

Corporate communication for the startup soul

Sweetwood Ventures’ fund of funds relies heavily on the smallest VC funds

Meet Unstable Diffusion, a group trying to monetize AI porn generators

DoorDash is rolling out new security features for couriers on its platform

Seen on TechCrunch+

The pendulum of power swings back to employers, doesn’t it?

Pitch Deck Teardown: Sateliot’s $11.4M Series A Deck

Is web3 really the new phase of the internet?

How a bird trims its own wings

5 Sustainable Best Practices for Startup Companies

If you like this newsletter, would you do me a favor? Pass it on to a friend, let me know what you think we chirp and follow my personal blog for more content. In the meantime, I’m taking the next week off to enjoy the holiday season with friends and family, so I hope you’ll do the same. Startups Weekly is back on December 4th!



Source: techcrunch.com

Ok, I take back what I said about tech outages

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