Welcome back! Greg here again with Week in Review. WiR is the newsletter where we collect the most read australiabusinessblog.com stories from the past seven days and pack them into as few words as possible — no nonsense, no nonsense*, just a quick rundown of everything you’re likely to want to know about technology this week.
*Maybe a bit nonsense.
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Tip Your Amazon Driver (On Amazon’s Dime): If you have an Alexa device at home, Amazon will pay your delivery person an additional $5 if you say “Alexa, thank my driver” after a delivery. Of course, Amazon could just pay drivers more to begin with… but that, depressingly enough, probably wouldn’t be a move that would make Amazon one of the most read headlines of the week.
Slack’s CEO is leaving: Last week Bret Taylor, CEO of Salesforce, stepped down; this week Stewart Butterfield, CEO of (Salesforce-owned) Slack, announced that he will also step down in January. Ron Miller shares his insights on inbound Slack CEO Lidiane Jones and her decades of product experience.
The “Twitter Files”“Elon Musk reminded his followers on Friday that owning Twitter now means he controls every aspect of the company — including what employees said behind closed doors before he took over,” Taylor writes as a series of once-private internal Twitter communication is made public.
Lensa AI goes viral: All of your friends on social media suddenly have avatars that make them look like sci-fi gods and action heroes? It’s likely due to Lensa AI, a photo editing app that went viral this week after adding support for Stable Diffusion’s AI-generated art tools. Popularity didn’t come without controversy, however – many continue to debate the ethics of selling something generated by an AI trained in the work of real people; meanwhile, others noted that the AI could be “tricked” into generating otherwise disallowed NSFW imagery.
More tech layoffs: This week Airtable laid off about 20% of its staff – more than 250 people. Plaid also laid off 20%, which equates to 260 people for them. African fintech unicorn Chipper Cash let go 50 people and British drag-and-drop e-commerce platform Primer let go 85 people (about a third of the company).
Google is combining Maps/Waze teams: When Google bought the navigation app Waze for more than $1 billion in 2013, Google said they would keep the Waze and Google Maps teams separate “for now”. Turns out “for now” meant about 9.5 years, but Google confirmed this week that the two teams will be merged. Google says it expects Waze to remain a standalone service.
Twitter Blue may cost more on iOS: Twitter’s $8 “Blue” subscription (which comes with a blue “verified” checkmark) is still on hiatus for now after a few false starts, but when it returns it will reportedly cost a few dollars more if you you subscribe through the iOS app to offset Apple’s discount.
Found it – our podcast about founders and the companies they build – has a new co-host! Becca Szkutak stepped into the role this week, joining Darrell Etherington in a conversation with Daye CEO Valentina Milanova. Meanwhile, the Equity crew tried to understand 2022 in a looking back at the end of the yearand Taylor Hatmaker jumped on it The australiabusinessblog.com Podcast to explore what the sudden explosion of AI-generated art means for real human artists.
Here’s what subscribers read the most on australiabusinessblog.com+:
Investors are sounding the alarm about possible private equity technology deals: “Who wants to sell when prices are low?” ask Ron Miller and Alex Willhelm.
Rootine’s $10 million pitch deck“If you told me that a company that charges $70 a month for multivitamins could raise a $10 million round, I’d demand to see the receipts,” writes Haje. With that in mind, he dives deep into the pitch deck that helped make this happen.