👉 What Happened on Tech Twitter in May
🤪5 crazy things Elon Musk did, 💰A 2-person company valued at $100M, ✊🏾Solidarity with BLM, 💻Remote workers are coming for your job, and more!
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.
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This past month may have driven more change in the tech industry than any other month in history:
👉COVID19 forced a number of companies to do major layoffs
👉Startups as well as big companies announced permanent remote work policies
👉Virtually everyone made statements and some actions in support of the African American community after the murder of George Floyd
👉SpaceX became the first private company to put humans into space
Just let that all sink in for a second… 😧
Ok. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened on Tech Twitter in May 2020.
✊🏾 Tech stood in solidarity with Black Lives Matter
Read 🚨What Happened on Black Lives Matter Twitter to get the full story!
The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer sparked protests around the world pushing for criminal justice reform and an end to mistreatment of black people.
The tech industry has had a problem with racial representation for as long as it has existed, but this movement seems to have galvanized change in a new way. Beyond donations and statements, a few tech companies and venture firms took actions that could have a meaningful, long-term positive impact on African Americans in tech and beyond.
⚔️ Free speech was debated
Read 🔥The Hottest Takes on Free Speech and Twitter’s War with Trump to get the full story!
Twitter flagged a few of President Trump’s tweets that they said contained misinformation or glorifications of violence. Interestingly, there seemed to be a divide in the tech industry around what the right move is. Should platforms like Twitter and Facebook flag and take down misinformation, hate speech, and incitements of violence?
Some said yea. This stuff is incredibly damaging (think genocide in Myanmar, Russian election interference, etc.) and is only getting worse (think deepfakes). It would be irresponsible for tech platforms not regulate content that is so damaging to society.
Scott Haile @scottchaile@slpng_giants @YouTube @TeamYouTube People around the world upload over 1,300,000,000 hours of video to youtube every minute If anyone can design an algorithm to catch the nazis, predators and other monsters who’ve learned how to use keywords to slide between the cracks I think youtube would hire you on the spot
Others said nah. Free speech is one of the most important rights have. Limiting any form of free speech on these platforms - which have become our digital town squares - limits civil liberties. Furthermore, centralizing content moderation into any power, be it Facebook or the US government, is a recipe for disaster. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Balaji S. Srinivasan @balajisI don’t think Twitter & Facebook should be in the business of filtering out “untrue” statements from their networks. But the deeper question is whether they can confidently say something is false even if the New York Times says it is true. Because this does happen. https://t.co/rWHacHuTl4
💻 “REMOTE IS THE FUTURE” VCs were vindicated
Having everyone working from home for the last few months due to the COVID19 lockdowns has made a lot of companies realize remote work isn’t so bad. In fact the positives seem to outweigh the negatives for both employees and companies.
As a result, big tech companies and startups alike announced sweeping new work from home policies.
💰 Clubhouse FOMO drove us crazy
Read 🔥The Hottest Takes on Clubhouse to get the full story!
A pre-launch social audio app raised a seed round from a16z at a $100M. The combination of the app being invite only and VCs feeling the need to incessantly tweet about it stirred up quite a commotion and inspired me to write this song:
Some said the valuation was ridiculous.
Check out Neer’s deep dive on the different perspectives on the valuation.
🤪 Elon had quite a month
First there was this, which caused Tesla shares to plummet:
Then this, when Grimes and Elon announced the name of their baby (explainer below):
And then this:
Hope ya’ll make billion$ this month!