Another week of layoffs, executive departures and AI-generated everything
Hello again! Greg Here again Week in Review. WiR is the newsletter that takes the most popular TechCrunch stories over the past seven days and summarizes them in as few words possible. There’s no fluff or nonsense. It’s just a quick overview of all things tech this week.
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Tip your Amazon driver (on Amazon’s dime).: Amazon will pay $5 extra to your delivery driver if you have an Alexa device at your home. Amazon could pay drivers less to begin with, but that, unfortunately, wouldn’t be the move that would make Amazon the most read headline of the week.
Slack’s CEO to Resign: Last week Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor stepped down; this past week, Stewart Butterfield (CEO of (Salesforce owned) Slack) announced that he would also be stepping down in January. Ron Miller shares his thoughts on inbound Slack CEO Lidiane Jones’s decades of product experience.
The “Twitter Files”.: “Elon Musk reminded Twitter followers that he now controls all aspects of Twitter — including the conversations of its employees behind closed doors before he took control.” Taylor writes as a collection of previously private internal Twitter communications is made publicly.
Lensa AI goes viral: Have all your social media friends suddenly been given avatars that make them look like action heroes and sci-fi gods? Lensa AI, an app for photo editing that supports Stable Diffusion’s AI art tools, is probably the reason. Popularity was not without controversy. Many continue to debate the ethics behind selling an AI-generated product that was trained on the work of real people. Others noted that the AI generated the popularity. Could be “tricked.” NSFW imagery that is not allowed.
More layoffs in techThis week Airtable laid off About 20% of its staff are over 250 people. Plaid Also, 20% offThey are able to employ 260 people. Fintech unicorn in Africa Chipper Cash lets go of 50 people, and the U.K. drag & drop e-commerce platform Primer Let go of 85 About one-third of the company.
Google merges Maps/Waze teams: In 2013, when Google purchased Waze, a navigation app, for more than $1 billion, they said they would keep the Waze team and Google Maps separate “for now”. However, this week Google confirmed that the two teams will merge. Google claims Waze will remain a standalone service.
Twitter Blue may cost more on iOS: Twitter’s $8 “Blue”, subscription plan (which comes along with a blue checkmark “verified”) is still on pause after a Few false startsIt is, however, expected to cost a few more dollars when it returns.
Found Our podcast about founders, and the companies they create, has a new host! Becca Szkutak joined Darrell Etherington for a conversation with Daye CEO Valentina Maiova. The Equity crew attempted to understand 2022 in a nutshell. Year-end look back, and Taylor Hatmaker hopped onto TechCrunch Podcast Explore the implications of AI-generated art’s sudden explosion for human artists.
Here’s what TechCrunch subscribers read most often:
Investors raise alarm over possible private equity tech dealsRon Miller and Alex Willhelm pose the question: “Who wants a sale when prices are low?”
Rootine’s $10M pitch deckHaje writes: “If you told us that a company charging $70 per monthly for multivitamins could raise $10 million, I’d demand to see their receipts.” He then dives into the pitch deck that made it possible.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.