👉 What Happened on Tech Twitter in July
The unbundling of Harvard, Big Tech antitrust, Tik Tok ban, Tech Twitter TLDR rebrand, and profiles of top writers.
Yo! ✌️ I’m Brett! I am a Product Manager, musician, and Twitter power user. Twitter is where all the action happens in the tech industry but it’s not easy to keep up with. I write this weekly newsletter to help people stay informed on the most important discussions happening on Tech Twitter.
🚨 Help me make Social Studies even better! Please fill out this quick survey for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
Also welcome to the new 500 new subscribers since last month! 👋
✨ What Happened on Tech Twitter in July
🎓The unbundling of Harvard began - Harvard announced it would charge full tuition for its remote classes. Students are considering influencer-lead micro schools instead.
🤯 GPT-3 blew our minds - OpenAI’s breakthrough technology was definitely overhyped. Sam Altman had some ideas as for why, but humans are just prone to this stuff. Work from psychology, philosophy, and evolutionary biology explain.
⚔️ Big Tech had antitrust on its mind - CEOs of the major tech companies testified before congress just to remind us how complex tech antitrust really is.
👉Read The Ecology of Antitrust
🚫 Tik Tok almost got banned and bought - Trump announced he would ban Tik Tok from the US like India did. Microsoft offered >$30B to buy the company.
🤔 Top writers shared their thoughts on everything - Lenny Rachitsky and Nathan Baschez dug deep with me on writing, product and business. I also round up some of the best newsletters from the entire month!
🧠Tech Twitter TLDR rebranded to Social Studies - Now you’ll receive news from Tech Twitter PLUS analysis from the social sciences. Even Zuck was a psych major!
🎓The Unbundling of Harvard began
There’s a MASSIVE bubble in higher education and Harvard just lead the way in rocking the boat even more after announcing it would still charge $50K tuition for Zoom classes.
This is going to put a lot of pressure on students (particularly at mid and lower tier universities) to reconsider college.
At the same time, there’s an explosion in influencer-lead micro universities like Write of Passage by David Perell, On Deck by Erik Torenberg, and Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte. This is just the beginning of the unbundling.
🤯GPT-3 blew our minds
👉Read Doctor GPT-3 (Avoid Boring People), What is GPT-3 (Technically)
Developers finally got their hands on GPT-3 and it is unbelievable.
Sam Altma, CEO of OpenAI (the creator of GPT-3), had to reset expectations. There’s still quite a bit of work to be done.
Nonetheless, the implications of GPT-3 are still immense.
⚔️ Big Tech had antitrust on its mind
👉Read Antitrust Politics (Ben Thompson, Stratechery)
The CEOs of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple testified before Congress around anticompetitive practices. There was a lot of grandstanding and boomer tech troubleshooting, and not a lot of juicy questions given how egregious some of these companies are - looking at you Zuck.
Antitrust law was written over 100 years ago and fails to apply to the world today where Big Tech does indeed stifle competition, but it ends up benefiting the consumer.
Antitrust is all about rebalancing business ecosystems. Turns out we can learn a lot from biological ecosystems here.
🚫 Tik Tok almost got banned and bought
👉Read The Rise of Tik Tok (Turner Novak) and The Tik Tok War (Ben Thompson, Stratechery)
As fun as Tik Tok is, it’s a risk to national sovereignty. As a result, Trump threatened a US ban.
Tik Tok stars scrambled to move their audiences to other apps, Tik Tok scrambled to fight it by saying “we believe in competition” and opening up their algorithm to the public, and Microsoft scrambled to seize the opportunity to buy Tik Tok outright.
It seems clear that the world is headed to an even more nationally aligned internet.
🤔 Top writers shared their thoughts on everything
Lenny Rachitsky, Tech Twitter’s most helpful person and author of Lenny’s Newsletter, dropped some knowledge bombs about growth and product.
Check out these other amazing reads from July!
If I Ruled the Tweets (Packy McCormick, Not Boring)
Unbundling Work from Employment (Li Jin)
The Rise of Solo Capitalists (Nikhil Basu Trivedi, Next Big Thing)
Bringing Back Myspace for Gen Z (Lucy Mort, Sunroon)
Adjacent User Theory (Bangaly Kaba, AndrewChen.co)
🧠 Tech Twitter TLDR rebranded to Social Studies
I’ve been writing Tech Twitter TLDR for about a year and received some incredible feedback. Andrew Chen, who writes one of the best newsletters out there, said Tech Twitter TLDR was one of his favorite newsletters.
I decided to rebrand to Social Studies to take Tech Twitter TLDR to the next level.
The Social Sciences are the most important areas for business but they’re fairly understudied by most people in the tech industry.
Social Studies combines analysis from the Social Sciences with news from Tech Twitter. You still get your weekly Tech Twitter roundups, but now you also get juicy juicy analysis from the lens of the Social Sciences.
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