If you missed it last week, my name is Greg, and I’m in charge of Week in Review now that Lucas is working on their new crypto-focused podcast/newsletter, Chain Reaction, with Anita. I’m technically on vacation today, but I felt it wouldn’t be cool to hand the newsletter off to someone else ONE WEEK after taking over, so I came back in for this one. I swear I have a nice work/life balance most of the time! Sure, I have way too many coworkers’ phone numbers set to automatically bypass my phone’s “Do Not Disturb” setting, and yes, every now and then I wake up to a phantom Slack ping that didn’t actually ding, but… huh. Maybe I’ll back out of that pledge.
The most important thing, if there’s a “huge thing” this week, it’s not one that’s really interesting to write about: Employees in the startup business are being laid off in droves right now, with a fresh round of layoffs appearing every other day. The first was Robinhood, which announced that 9 percent of its full-time employees will be laid off. Then there was Netflix, which trimmed (but did not shut down!) a large portion of its freshly founded in-house journal, Tudum. Thrasio, Cameo, On Deck, and MainStreet followed. And I’m sure there are several I didn’t mention or those we haven’t yet heard about.
Why are you doing this now? The short version: As a result of the epidemic, several of these firms observed large positive shifts in their user base (in terms of size, use, or both) and made adjustments as a result. Things are turning in a different direction now that we’re arguably on the other side of the epidemic (or as near as we’ll get to some “other side”). Natasha Mascarenhas and Amanda Silberling go further into the recent layoffs and some of the reasons for them. Take a look at it here.
Something else, Is there anything else that happened this week? Here are some of the most popular articles on the site: The “Father of the iPod” displays his collection of prototypes: Tony Fadell, the man behind the iPod, iPhone, and Nest Thermostat, is writing a book on making things, and as part of the process, he dusted out his collection of once-secret prototypes and concept drawings. He showed us a few of his favorites, including a bizarre iPod Mini/phone combination with a swiveling head.
A rocket booster is caught by Rocket Lab… with a helicopter: Companies are currently figuring out the best/safest/most effective method to actually… you know, bring those components back, as more space rocket parts become reusable. This past weekend, Rocket Lab set out to retrieve a reusable rocket falling from the sky using a HELICOPTER… and were successful! At least, such was the case at first. I won’t even attempt to fly most video game helicopters since they’re always too difficult, so this is a complete mental breakdown for me.
Apple, Google, and Microsoft have joined forces to eliminate passwords: It’s not every day that Apple, Google, and Microsoft collaborate on a project… However, the trio revealed this week that they’re teaming together to take on a monster that causes them all so much grief: passwords. If all goes according to plan, they’ll deploy a passwordless standard over the next year that will allow you to login into items using your smartphone’s fingerprint reader or face scanner on macOS/Safari, Android/Chrome, and Windows/Edge.
Why is Instagram experimenting with a full-screen mode? It’s difficult to respond to that question without utilizing the word “TikTok.” Google is attempting to improve its removal of personal information: Have you ever been searching on Google and discovered your home address or phone number on a shady website that refuses to take it down? After years of complaints, Google is launching a procedure for having certain search results removed. Zack provides a detailed guide on how to make a request… But how long will it take to complete the process?