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🚀 Discord gasses up
Plus, how do you know when it's time to quit?
💼 Alphabet and Microsoft make cuts. Google parent company Alphabet laid off 12,000 people on Friday, representing 6% of the company’s global workforce. CEO Sundar Pichai said in an open letter that the company “hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” and is re-focusing on high priority projects. The news followed Microsoft’s announcement earlier in the week of a similar layoff - 10,000 employees, or 5% of their workforce.
🔥Discord acquires Gas. Back in November, we wrote about Gas App - an anonymous social app for high schoolers. The app took off, generating more than $6M in revenue and 10M downloads with no ad spend. This week, Gas was acquired by Discord for an unknown price, with plans to keep it operational as a standalone app. Even more amazing than the acquisition? Founder Nikita Bier sold a similar app, tbh, to Facebook in 2017…maybe lightning can strike twice!
This week also saw a $2.5M funding announcement for Slay, an anonymous social app focused on Europe. They hit #1 on the German App Store late last year.
👨⚖️TikTok faces campus bans. As U.S. state governors make moves to prohibit TikTok use on government devices and networks, state-funded schools are following suit. This week, the University of Texas and Texas A&M became the newest schools to block usage of the app on campus WiFi. Other schools impacted? The University of Oklahoma, Idaho State University, Auburn University, and all schools in the University of Georgia system, among many others.
We’re interested to see how this impacts the TikTok vs. Reels vs. Shorts race, if at all - but expect to see VPN/cellular data usage soar on these campuses in the meantime 😂
🎨 AI art platforms face lawsuits. If you’ve created an AI art piece, you’ve likely been a user of Stable Diffusion - an open source model that powers many generative AI apps, with 10M users a day. Parent company Stability AI is now facing lawsuits that could set precedent for the broader sector. A group of artists in California claim the company violated copyright by using their art as training data. Getty Images has sued with a similar claim - that Stability illegally scraped their service for content.
This week in AI developments - NVIDIA’s eye contact tool went into public beta! One of the early potential “killer” use cases (at least according to Reddit) is for people who are secretly working several remote jobs. The recession hasn’t been kind to them, and many want to look more engaged on meetings (or are now being required to go video-on, which is tough when you’re in multiple meetings at once 😳). The tool is live in NVIDIA Broadcast for NVIDIA and RTX GPU owners.
what we’re following 👀
a16z’s enterprise team on where value will accrue in generative AI.
The first Reddit posts about popular consumer apps are hilarious and informative!
Is TikTok tipping the scales on which videos go viral?
The end of an era - after 20+ years, Reed Hastings is stepping down as Netflix’s CEO.
In 2023, we’re bringing book reviews back! This week, Justine dove into Annie Duke’s new book “Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away.” We included this book in our top 10 list for 2022, but we wanted to share some of the takeaways in a longer format. Of course, it ended up being too long for this newsletter 🤦♀️
You can read the full post - including a personal story from Justine - at this link. But we’ll provide a TL;DR here! This framework helps you decide when to move on from something, whether you’re pivoting or “hard quitting”. And it can be applied to almost any initiative: a startup, job, project, relationship, etc. There are three main steps:
The full post includes practical examples of how to do each of these things, as well as some “success stories” of quitting that aren’t often shared. It turns out that winners sometimes do quit. Stewart Butterfield is a perfect example - after raising $12M to build an MMO called Glitch, he shuttered the game and went all-in on a team communications tool…which eventually became Slack.
If you’re a high achiever and/or naturally gritty person, it can be really hard to make the decision to cut your losses. It feels like failure, especially if you think about the time, effort, and money you’ve invested in something. But sometimes quitting is your best option - it frees you to move on to something better. We hope this framework is helpful as you weigh these types of decisions in your own life.
Pave - Product Manager (SF)
Rippling - Strategic Finance Associate, GTM* (SF)
Kikoff - Associate Product Manager (SF)
Turn/River Capital - Investment Analyst (SF)
Kapor Capital - Director, Portfolio Services (Oakland)
Modal - Chief of Staff (Bay Area)
Entrepreneur First - Associate (Bay Area)
Roblox - Chief of Staff (San Mateo)
Techstars - Business Associate (NYC)
Etsy - Strategic Finance Analyst (NYC)
Flow - Biz Ops Generalist (NYC)
*Expects 3+ years of experience.
Primary Venture Partners - MBA Associate, Market Dev (Remote, NYC)
Reddit - Data Science Intern (Remote, SF)
Nimble - Software Engineering Intern (Remote, Santa Monica)
Amplitude - PM Intern (SF)
Frankly - Strategy Intern (NYC)
Slingshot AI - MBA Intern, GTM Strategy (NYC)
puppy of the week 🐶
Meet Emmi, a two-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo who lives in Germany.
She loves playing in the snow, hiking, and swimming (big fan of the outdoors, as an Italian truffle hunting dog!).
Find her on Instagram @emmi_thelagotto.
All views are our own. None of the above should be taken as investment advice. See this page for important information.