🗓 What Happened on Tech Twitter in September

🥰 Financial toys got VCs hot and bothered, 💀 SF died…, 🚨 TikTok got…, 🎶 We glimpsed the future of music, 🌴 We started a Hype House for startups AND 🤔 Chris Messina shared his thoughts

Yo! ✌️ I’m Brett! I am a founder and former Cognitive Science researcher. Social Studies is a semi-weekly newsletter for people building great products for humans. It includes recaps of what happened on Tech Twitter every week plus deep analysis using frameworks from Psychology, Economics, and the other Social Sciences.


Here were the biggest stories from Tech Twitter in September.

🥰 Financial toys got VCs hot and bothered - September was SPAC city with numerous companies IPOing by being acquired by SPACs. Even more rolling funds were raised. Even more hot takes on how these financial instruments will change the tech industry were shared.

💀 SF died… It’s now ded. D. E. D. - We’ve been doomsplaining SF for a long time, but after some hellish wildfires and the COVID exodus, Balaji finally may be right.

🚨 TikTok got… well I don’t really quite know how to explain it. But it’s not going away and somehow Trump made out with a lot of money…

🎶 We glimpsed the future of music - TikTok has been upending the music industry right under our nose. A viral tweetstorm shed light on this interesting trend.

🌴 We started a Hype House for startups - It was just supposed to be a month of coworking in Tulum but wound up as a full blown reality show. Currently casting season 2. This is actually for real.

🤔 Chris Messina shared his thoughts - I had the chance to sit down with the inventor of the hashtag to talk about digital identity, design, and… blackberries?

🥰 Financial toys got VCs hot and bothered

Read Stanford’s Reign on Venture Capital Is Over

SPACs and rolling funds were super hot in September.

Tons of companies went public via SPACs - Opendoor, Palantir, and Hims&Hers to name a few. “Congrats Twitter” gave the founders and employees the congrats they deserved and the investors the congrats they didn’t. Meanwhile, a small few have expressed some skepticism over the long-term legitimacy of this means of going public.

Could SPACs be as bad as the shitcoins of 2017 or the tech IPOs of the dot com era?

Chamath has been the SPAC ringleader and has been keeping the momentum going into October.

Rolling funds also hit their stride in September. Anthony Pompliano raised one of the largest seed funds in only 7 days. While most others didn’t quite have this success, many followed suit.

This got a lot of people thinking… what does this mean for ✨the future of venture??

Bring in the influencers.

💀 SF died… It’s now ded. D. E. D.

The SF exodus has begun… really though. It’s actually happening. SF sales tax revenue is down 43% YoY, which may be a good trailing indicator of the fact that everyone is GTFO.

A handful of holdouts on Tech Twitter still seem to believe SF will be a thing, but most people wound up in Balaji’s “SF is dead” camp after the California wildfires turned SF into an apocalyptic doomscape.

I’m not sure if doomscape is a word, but that’s what it was last month.

🚨 TikTok got…

Well it didn’t quite get banned… or even acquired. WTF happened?

Basically this:

People were surprisingly supportive of the deal.

Minus the shady extortion scheme

🎶 We glimpsed the future of music

Read TikTok & The Future of Music

Shardul shared a quick thread observing how musicians on TikTok using the duet feature are generating THOUSANDS of collaborations on single songs.

This is emblematic of what’s to come in music, but that’s not all.

🌴 We started a Hype House for startups

Read Creator Mansions, Shitposts & Chief Meme Officers

I just wrapped up living in a mansion in Tulum with 19 entrepreneurs called Launch House - think of it like a TikTok collab house, but more cringe since it’s filled up with startup founders instead of ridiculously good looking 19 year olds.

It started as a joke, but wound up turning into ✨a thing✨

It was so much of a success that we decided to do it again. If you’re interested in joining up, apply here 👇

🤔 Chris Messina shared his thoughts

Read/Listen to Chris Messina's thoughts on digital identity, design, and inventing the hashtag

I had a chance to sit down with Chris Messina, the guy who invented the hashtag, for my very first podcast (kinda).

🙏 Thanks

Sorry for the delay this week - I’ve been sick and running from hurricanes in Mexico. I’ve got some REALLY exciting stuff on the horizon for you all. Stay tuned.