Week in Review - Google pauses hiring, Netflix loses nearly 1M customers, and Slack increases prices

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By Greg Kumparak

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Hey, friends! It’s that time again. Another week has passed us by, which means another issue of Week in Review — the newsletter where we recap the top stories to hit TechCrunch’s front page in the past seven days.

The top story this week was about a new set of documents detailing how (and how often) the Department of Homeland Security taps third-party data brokers to obtain potentially sensitive location info while “sidestepping the legal process government officials would typically need to go through.” A privacy bill aptly named the “Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale” act is in the works that would require agencies to get a warrant for this data — but it’s still in its early stages.

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Image Credits: Thibault Penin / Unsplash

other stuff

What else were people reading on TechCrunch? Here’s a handful of the most read posts this week:

Solar for your balcony: Got a balcony bathed in sunlight and want to make a shift toward renewable energy? That’s the idea behind these vertical solar panels designed to strap right onto a balcony’s railing. Mike Butcher caught up with WeDoSolar, a team founded by a Ukrainian entrepreneur to “wean Europe off Russian gas,” to hear their story.

Google pauses hiring: Last week Google announced that it was slowing its hiring pace for the latter half of 2022; now the company says it’ll outright freeze hiring for the next few weeks “to enable teams to prioritize their roles and hiring plans for the rest of the year.”

Netflix loses customers: The good news? Netflix lost fewer customers this quarter than it was predicting. The bad news? It still lost nearly a million customers, which works out to the “the largest quarterly loss in the company's history.”

OpenAI expands access to DALL-E 2: DALL-E 2, OpenAI’s tool for generating entirely new (and often impossibly good if wildly surreal) imagery from a text prompt, will be available to a million new users in the weeks ahead. The company also announced pricing for the (thus far free) tool, and it basically works out to “free if you just want to mess with it occasionally, but expect to pay if you use it a lot.”

Tesla dumps most of its Bitcoin: Last year Tesla announced that it had acquired $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin has been up and down (mostly down) since, and it seems the company wants at least partly off this roller coaster; in its most recent earnings report, Tesla disclosed that it has sold 75% of its Bitcoin holdings.

Slack price hike: Inflation comes for everything! Milk! Meat! and now… Slack? This week the company announced its first ever price hike since launching in 2014, bumping the price per user by around 60 to 75 cents per month (depending on if you pay monthly/annually.) They’re also changing the way free plans work a bit; if you’re part of any smaller/less active Slack communities that use the free plan, know that messages wont hang around as long.

Founder gets 7 figures of funding in 72 hours to close deal

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audio stuff

Podcasts podcasts podcasts!

Want a recap of everything thats been going on in the world of TC podcasts lately? Check out Matt’s weekly podcast roundup. Here’s some of what went down:

  • On TechCrunch Live, Brian Heater talks with Ayanna Howard (dean of the Ohio State University College of Engineering) and Ayah Bdeir (founder of littleBits) about the future of robotics and how to get more kids into the field.
  • On Chain Reaction, Lucas and Anita talk about OpenSea’s layoffs, Binance looking to gain ground in the U.S. as Coinbase stumbles, and the latest project from the Bored Apes founders.
  • On The TechCrunch Podcast, Darrell Etherington is joined by TC climate writer Harri Weber to hear about the challenges Tesla is facing in its effort to install 1,000 solar roofs a week.

Oh! And if you’re free Tuesday July 26 at noon Pacific and are interested in the nitty-gritty of startup economics, tune into our “WTF is a 409A?” Twitter space and learn why lowering your company’s valuation might actually be a good thing.

additional stuff

TechCrunch+. Are you a member yet? No? I know, I know — paywalls are a bummer. But this paywalled section of our site helps us keep the words aflowin’ and, crucially, lets us go deep on the stuff our most vocal readers tell us they want to see more of. Things like:

Stripe’s new valuation, explained: Speaking of 409As and lowered valuations, Alex Wilhelm dives into why Stripe lowered its internal valuation from around $95 billion to $74 billion.

Fundraising tips for 2022: With dozens upon dozens of investor meetings behind him, Kami Vision CEO Yamin Durrani has insights for raising a round in the current climate.

A look at Arkive’s $9.7M seed deck: Working on your startup’s slide deck and need some inspiration? In the latest installment of his popular Pitch Deck Teardown series, Haje takes a look at the deck that helped Arkive — described as the “world’s first decentralized physical museum” — close a $9.7 million seed round.

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