Overwork, Fatigue and Hope • Alaska Green Light Blog
#Overwork #Fatigue #Hope #Alaska Green Light Blog Welcome to Alaska Green Light Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:
Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced take on this week’s startup news and trends from Senior Reporter and Equity Co-Host Natasha Mascarenhas. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.
If there’s one thing I can count on every year, it’s that people will debate whether resolutions are an irrelevant, capitalist waste of time, or whether there’s something beautiful about the world wanting to collectively improve itself.
Longtime readers know that I’m a fan of resolutions because of the latter. There’s nothing quite like the renewed energy you get after a few days off, ready to focus on better, bigger goals that 2022 just didn’t have room for. Am I full of energy again after a two-week break? Yes. Am I worried that the news cycle will spiral out of control in a matter of moments, taking us and our hot takes down? Also yes.
Ah, that’s where we are, and if you have a resolution, I cheer for you. My journalism job is to write more follow-up stories alongside working on my writing craft and maybe starting this book dream I’ve always had.
The big issues dominating coverage in 2022 revolved around layoffs, labor and venture capital incentives. But aside from individual job cuts, how has the reality check changed the way the tech works? Are Venture Dollars becoming more disciplined or was this just a fever tweet from the last 12 months? Doom and gloom are always part of the story, but I think there’s also news in the reinvention and reimagining of technology.
So far, if I may say so, I’m not feeling too bad. This week I published a story examining how laid-off talent is rethinking risk in today’s job market. Here is the introduction:
Tech isn’t as collegial as it used to be. Rocket ships are being exposed as seething messes, mission-driven startups are feeling less mission-focused when responding to investor pressure, and widespread layoffs are vociferous reminders that jobs are fragile contracts, not sacred vows.
In the past few months, thousands of employees from Meta, Twitter, Stripe, Amazon, DoorDash, and countless other companies who don’t have the privilege of being household names have returned to the workforce. A labor market with hiring freezes, pay cuts and a general malaise that industry experts are warning of will not be over this year.
So where does the talent of engineering go from here?
The answer is complicated, and it’s too early to have definitive working data. VCs want to fund the latest tech mafia startups before the banks, top MBA programs want laid-off workers so bad they forgo standardized test scores, and the tech companies that have the ability to hire really want to know it.
Read on to see how three laid-off employees are approaching their careers differently in 2023. As always, find me on Twitter, substack and Instagram, where I publish more of my words and work. In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about CES, crypto, and Katrina Lake’s return as Stitch Fix’s CEO.
Hopefully what you experience at CES in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas
It’s that time of the year. This week brought CES, the annual consumer electronics trade show showcasing a slew of creative gadgets that are likely to surprise. Alaska Green Light Blog is on hand covering these products as they debut, ranging from lyrics from Your Dog to not-so-stupid AR glasses and “a stylish hideaway for your unmentionables.”
This is important for the following reasons: CES is starting to take robotics more seriously, according to Brian Heater, TC’s hardware editor. In his newsletter Actuator, Heater gave us early impressions of the show, which is less of a spectacle compared to the days leading up to the pandemic.
Here’s why he thinks there were more robots in Vegas this past week:
The pandemic has accelerated the industry in general.
Automakers are investing seriously in robotics startups and are acquiring or developing these technologies in-house. See: Ford’s Agility investments, TRI’s research, and Hyundai’s post-acquisition of Boston Dynamics events.
Big companies like Amazon have been aggressively pushing consumer robotics.
The latest in crypto
I’ll be honest, this subhed sounds like an obligatory moan met a not-so-subtle hangover. I know you aren’t interested or really helped having a list of all those crypto stories you might have missed while enjoying eggnog or catching up on books. Link summaries, although at the bottom of this newsletter, only do so much!
That’s why it’s important: we can’t just shrug off what happened in the last innings of 2022 and let exhaustion win! So let’s make a deal. I’ll take you to my brilliant colleague Jacquelyn Melinek’s newsletter, Chain Reaction, for the latest and greatest in what’s happening in the world of crypto. Her latest column certainly roused me: “Crypto rings in the new year with new lawsuits and new chaos.”
While we often report on executive departures, it’s not every day you see a founder return to their company a year and a half after stepping down as CEO. Gold star if you guess who I’m talking about: Stitch Fix founder Katrina Lake is returning to the company she founded as it struggles through the downturn.
That’s why it’s important: Now that Lake is back as CEO, she’s the bearer of bad news. As first reported by CNBC, Lake sent a company-wide email to 1,700 employees stating that 20% of them will be downsized.
As I mentioned in our last episode of Equity, it’s clear that the 2022 tech layoff wave is no longer a wave, it’s a reality. Just look at other headlines this week:
A few notes
If you’re feeling nostalgic, here’s some of our year-end 2022 coverage Alaska Green Light Blog is coming to Boston on April 20th. I’ll be there with my favorite colleagues to interview top experts at a one-day founders’ summit. Book your pass as soon as possible!
Seen on Alaska Green Light Blog
Two CEOs are better than one with Brex’s Henrique Dubugras
There is now an open source alternative to ChatGPT, but good luck running it
India has set an “incredibly important precedent” by banning TikTok, says FCC commissioner
Doorstead closes at $21.5 million to ensure you always have a tenant for your rental property
Do you remember how this whole working thing works?
Seen on Alaska Green Light Blog+
Will record dry powder levels spark a delayed explosion in startup investment?
Black founders still only raised 1% of all VC funds in 2022
How global unrest will impact innovation in 2023
The year customer experience died
Toyota stumbled when Hyundai stole the successful Prius playbook
Oops! Is generative AI already becoming a bubble?
It’s taking me to Baltimore to spend some time with some of my dearest childhood friends. If you have any coffee shop recommendations, send them to me! Otherwise I’ll catch you next week.