Aaaaaah we’re back! Now that our Thanksgiving mini-break is over, it’s time for another edition of Week in Review – the newsletter where we quickly round up the most read TBEN stories from the last seven(ish) days. No matter how busy you are, it should give you a pretty good idea of what people were talking about in tech this week.
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Instafest is going instaviral: You’ve probably been to a great music festival before. But have you been to a made only for you? Probably not. Instafest, a web app that went super viral this week, helps you daydream about what that festival could be like. Log in with your Spotify credentials and it will generate a fake festival promo poster based on your listening habits.
LastPass breached (again)“Password manager LastPass said it is investigating a security incident after its systems were compromised for the second time this year,” writes Zack Whittaker. Investigations are still ongoing, which unfortunately means it’s not entirely clear what (and whose) data was accessed.
ChatGPT opens: This week, OpenAI has widely opened access to ChatGPT, which lets you interact with their new language generation AI through a simple chat-style interface. In other words, it lets you generate (sometimes eerily well-written) passages of text by chatting with a robot. Darrell used it to instantly write the Pokémon cheat sheet he’s always wanted.
AWS re:Invents: This week, Amazon Web Services hosted its annual re:Invent conference, where the company shows what’s next for the cloud computing platform that powers much of the Internet. Highlights of this year? A low-code tool for serverless apps, a promise to give AWS customers control over where in the world their data is stored (to help navigate increasingly complex government policies), and a tool to deliver “city-sized simulations” in the cloud to run.
Twitter suspends Kanye (again)“Elon Musk has suspended Kanye West’s (aka Ye) Twitter account after the latter posted anti-Semitic tweets and violated the platform’s rules,” writes Ivan Mehta.
Spotify finishes it: Every December, Spotify sends out “Wrapped” – an interactive feature that collects your Spotify listening data for the year and presents it in a super visual way. This year it’s got the simple stuff like how many minutes you’ve streamed, but it’s also expanding to include ideas like “listening personalities” – a Myers-Briggs-inspired system that puts each user into one of 16 camps, like “the adventurer or “the Replayer.”
Fired by Dash: I was hoping to go a week without a layoff story on the list. Unfortunately, DoorDash confirmed this week that it is laying off 1,250 people, with CEO Tony Xu explaining that they had hired too quickly during the pandemic.
Salesforce co-CEO steps down: “In a week last December, [Bret Taylor] was named chairman of the board at Twitter and co-CEO at Salesforce,” writes Ron Miller. “A year later, he no longer has either job.” Taylor says he has “decided to return to [his] entrepreneurial roots.”
I expected things a small quiet in TC Podcastland last week because of the holidays, but somehow we still had great shows! Ron Miller and Rita Liao joined Darrell Etherington The TBEN Podcast to talk about the departure of Salesforce’s co-CEO and China’s “great wall of porn”; Team Chain reaction shared an interview with Nikil Viswanathan, CEO of web3 development platform Alchemy; and the always beautiful Equity crew talked about everything from Sam Bankman-Fried’s wild interview at DealBook to why all three co-founders of funding startup Pipe stepped down simultaneously.
What’s behind the paywall for TC+ members? Here’s what TC+ members read the most this week:
Lessons to raise $10 million without giving up a board seat: Reclaim.ai has raised $10 million in the past two years, all “without giving up a single board seat.” How? Reclaim.ai co-founder Henry Shapiro shares his insights.
Consultants are the new non-traditional VC: “Why are so many advisor-led venture capital funds launching now?” asks Rebecca Szkutak.
Fundraising in times of increased VC research“Founders may be discouraged in this environment, but they should remember that they also have ‘currency,’” writes DocSend co-founder and former CEO Russ Heddleston.