Whats up once more! Greg right here once more with Week in Review. WiR is the publication the place we take essentially the most learn TechCrunch tales from the final seven days and wrap them up in as few phrases as doable — no fluff, no nonsense,* only a fast blast of all the things you in all probability wish to learn about in tech this week.
*Perhaps somewhat little bit of nonsense.
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Tip your Amazon driver (on Amazon’s dime): Should you’ve bought an Alexa gadget at house, Amazon pays your supply driver an additional $5 in the event you say, “Alexa, thank my driver” after a supply. Amazon might, in fact, simply pay drivers extra to start with…however that, depressingly, in all probability wouldn’t be a transfer that will get Amazon probably the most learn headlines of the week.
Slack’s CEO to depart: Final week Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor stepped down; this week, Stewart Butterfield, CEO of (Salesforce-owned) Slack, introduced he’ll additionally step down come 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 proudly owning Twitter now means he controls each facet of the corporate — together with what its staff mentioned behind closed doorways earlier than he took over,” writes Taylor as an array of once-private inside Twitter communications is made public.
Lensa AI goes viral: Do your whole social media pals all of a sudden have avatars that make them seem like sci-fi gods and motion heroes? It’s in all probability due to Lensa AI, a photograph enhancing app that went viral this week after including help for Steady Diffusion’s AI-generated artwork instruments. Reputation didn’t come with out controversy, although — many proceed to debate the ethics of promoting one thing generated by an AI educated on the works of actual folks; in the meantime, others famous that the AI could be “tricked” into producing in any other case disallowed NSFW imagery.
More tech layoffs: This week Airtable laid off about 20% of its employees — over 250 folks. Plaid also laid off 20%, which for them works out to 260 folks. African fintech unicorn Chipper Cash let go of 50 people, and the U.Ok. drag-and-drop e-commerce platform Primer let go of 85 (about one-third of the corporate).
Google combines Maps/Waze teams: When Google purchased the navigation app Waze for over $1 billion again in 2013, Google mentioned they’d hold the Waze and Google Maps groups separate “for now.” Seems “for now” meant about 9.5 years, however Google confirmed this week that the 2 groups will likely be merged. Google says it expects Waze to stay a stand-alone service.
Twitter Blue might cost more on iOS: Twitter’s $8 “Blue” subscription plan (which comes with a blue “verified” checkmark) continues to be on pause for now after a few false starts, however when it returns, it’ll reportedly price a couple of bucks extra in the event you subscribe by the iOS app to be able to offset Apple’s reduce.
Found — our podcast about founders and the businesses they construct — has a brand new co-host! Becca Szkutak stepped into the function this week, becoming a member of Darrell Etherington in a chat with Daye CEO Valentina Milanova. In the meantime, the Fairness crew tried to make sense of 2022 in a year-end look back, and Taylor Hatmaker hopped on The TechCrunch Podcast to discover what the sudden explosion of AI-generated artwork means for precise human artists.
Right here’s what subscribers had been studying most on TechCrunch+:
Investors sound the alarm about possible private equity tech deals: “Who needs to promote when costs are low?” Ron Miller and Alex Willhelm ask.
Rootine’s $10M pitch deck: “Should you informed me that an organization that’s charging $70 per 30 days for multivitamins would be capable to increase a $10 million spherical, I’d demand to see the receipts,” writes Haje. With that in thoughts, he dives deep into the pitch deck that helped make it occur.