February 8, 2023

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Amazon layoffs begin, Ticketmaster struggles with Taylor Swift and much of Twitter headquarters is quitting • TechCrunch

Hello again! Time for another edition of Week in Review, the newsletter where we consolidate the week’s most read TechCrunch stories into one quick and easy-to-skim swipe. Get it in your inbox every Saturday morning by subscribing here.

(There won’t be a newsletter next Saturday because I’ll be grateful/eat leftovers/thankful for leftovers, but we’ll get back to our regular program the weekend after.)

If you read last week’s issue, you’ll notice some echoes here: more layoffs, more FTX drama, and more absurdity at Elon’s Twitter. Let’s dive in!

Greg

mostly read

Mass layoffs on Twitter: After firing thousands of Twitter employees in recent weeks, Elon gave those who remained something of an ultimatum: Commit to “extremely hardcore” as “part of the new Twitter” or leave with a three-month severance pay… and, well, a lot of people took door number 2. It’s unclear at this point (even to Twitter, it seems) how many rejected the ultimatum, but all indications are hundreds/thousands.

SBF DMs: For some reason, the founder of FTX – the once-massive crypto exchange that imploded last week – decided to do an impromptu interview with a Vox reporter via DM. Seemingly with no agreement that any of this was classified, these became DMs published quickly of course. His biggest regret in all of this? Oddly, declare bankruptcy.

Buying Evernote: Once something of an App Store darling, Evernote was an early paragon of design, quality, and governance. Then after a series of pricing/privacy/design changes angered the user base, it just sort of faded away. This week, the company was acquired by Italian app developer Bending Spoons in what Kyle Wiggers calls “the end of an era.”

Amazon Layoffs: Rumors suggest that layoffs are afoot at Amazon, with some estimates suggesting more than 10,000 would be laid off. The layoffs began this week, with CEO Andy Jassy writing in a memo that the layoffs will continue into next year.

Ticketmaster Face Plants: Tickets for Taylor Swift’s first tour in years went on sale this week, and Ticketmaster, the website no one in the world likes to use, couldn’t keep up with the Swifties. Things went so wrong with the closed advance sale that the planned public sale was completely canceled. You know your website downtime is bad when it happens kindles the political fire to break the overwhelming dominance of your company.

Audio Summary

podcast! We have them! People seem to like them! Or many people just download/subscribe to inflate our collective ego. That’s okay too. Here’s what’s been happening on TC Podcasts lately:

Live from our TechCrunch Sessions: Crypto event during one of Crypto’s wildest weeks in ages, the Chain Reaction crew “tore up the script” and broke down Sam Bankman-Fried’s “surreal, absurd” DM conversation with Vox. What does a Corporate Comms team do? The Equity team sat down with two highly experienced communications professionals to understand how all of these mechanisms work behind the scenes.

TechCrunch+

Two states received 80% of venture capital funds raised: “In the third quarter of 2022, US venture firms raised $150.9 billion across 593 funds,” writes Rebecca Szkutak. Where has all this gone? Rebecca breaks down the stats.

A look at the Sateliot Series A deck: 90% of the planet has no cellular connection. What if you need an IoT device to, say, call home in the middle of the ocean? That’s the idea behind Sateliot, which raised a $11.4 million Series A earlier this year. The company shared the pitch deck it was raised with with our resident pitch expert Haje Jan Kamps, who explored “the good and bad of this high-flying space deck”.