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Hi, hope it’s a great Thursday for you so far. For me, it’s the little things that get me excited and today is Delta Air Lines’ announcement that SkyMiles frequent flyers, including yours truly, will get free Wi-Fi starting February 1. May you also find something that excites you today. Let’s get in the news. — Christine
The australiabusinessblog.com Top 3
- Even more layoffs: Yesterday it was Salesforce; today it’s Amazon. While these layoffs were announced in recent months, the number of people who were laid off was today’s surprise. Knowing doesn’t take the sting out of employees, I imagine. Paul takes you through the cuts.
- Secret secrets hurt someone: Secret secrets are no fun. Just ask CircleCI customers, who were urged to rotate their passwords and private keys after a breach compromised the company’s system, Carly reports.
- Take a bite out of this apple: Apparently you’ve all made a resolution to read more in 2023. Among the announcements Apple made today, the one that got a lot of clicks was the company’s new AI-powered book narrations for select titles on Apple Books, Ivan reports. If fitness is more your goal this year, Apple Fitness+ adds new features such as kickboxing workouts and sleep meditation, Aisha writes.
Startups and VC
Continuing what appears to be a trend in layoffs, Natasha M‘s story is very important to get perspectives from former employees who have been laid off at startups to see how they approach things and how their next job might evolve. She also asks the question, “Where do tech workers go from here?” I won’t spoil it for you, but there seems to be a cycle going on.
Now there are four more:
- That next text could be from Fido: My dog has a hard time telling me when to go outside, so I’m looking into FluentPet’s Talking Button System with programmable buttons that, when pressed, speak voice commands and text you. Sara has more.
- VR isn’t just for young people: Rendever, a major startup in the virtual reality space, has acquired Alcove from AARP, showing that “VR is coming of age”, Ingrid reports.
- Neighbors don’t shake hands; neighbors need to cuddle!: Okay, maybe not a hug, but if you live in an apartment complex and want to get to know the others who live nearby, you might want to check out my story on OneRoof to raise some money to help apartment dwellers get cozy with their neighbors.
- Here’s a metaverse optimist: Conversational AI startup MeetKai expands its offerings with new room-scanning technology and a metaverse builder with a focus on capturing objects and spaces, Kyle writes.
Teach yourself growth marketing: how to set up a landing page
In the first article of a five-part series on growth marketing basics, Jonathan Martinez explains how to create an essential part of any startup’s sales funnel: a landing page.
This overview provides basic steps for writing a clear headline, providing visitors with social proof that builds credibility, and creating calls to action that get results.
Next week, Martinez, who has helped scale startups like Uber, Postmates, and Chime, will share his tips for launching a paid acquisition channel.
Three more from the TC+ team:
australiabusinessblog.com+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams lead the way. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!
Big Tech Inc.
If you couldn’t tell from your Twitter feed, CES is on. Brian introduces CES and how to get all the juicy details for the rest of the conference. Kyle also helped you by compiling a list of the best AI-powered products seen at the conference.
One of the stories that particularly stood out to us today was Kyle‘s story of Ring bringing back his Peephole Cam. It was apparently something ahead of its time, with Ring closing the product in 2021. Now it’s back in all its glory and can be yours for the starting price of $129.
Here are a few favorites from today’s series of CES stories:
Our team wrote 51 Big Tech stories today, so I’ll give you an extra over the usual five:
- Back in the saddle: Who let the former CEO of Stitch Fix take back the helm on their BINGO card for 2023? Nobody? Connie fills in some details about Katrina Lake returning for an interim period, adding to a CNBC report that featured another round of layoffs, this time affecting 20% of the company’s 1,700 employees.
- You must fight for your right to communicate privately: And WhatsApp is behind you 100%. Aisha reports that the messaging giant has launched a proxy support for users worldwide to maintain access even if their connection is blocked or lost.
- Art is in the eyes of the AI-powered beholder: Kyle reports on Picsart’s AI-powered SketchAI app that turns images and outlines into digital art.
- And the streaming crown goes to…: Lauren writes about Roku ending 2022 with a new milestone: over 70 million active accounts. The streaming company claims that it is still the No. 1 TV streaming platform in the US, Canada, and Mexico in hours streamed.
- Another bytes the crypto dust: Jaquelyn reports that the New York Attorney General has charged Alex Mashinsky, the former CEO of Celsius, with defrauding crypto investors. The cryptocurrency lender filed for bankruptcy in the summer.
- Privacy ping: As Natasha L notes, Apple received a rare fine. The French data protection watchdog group fined the consumer technology giant about $8.5 million in connection with Apple’s practice of “failing to obtain consent from local mobile users before placing (and/or reading) advertising IDs on their devices, which violates local data protection laws.”