Aaaaand we’re back! With our mini Thanksgiving break behind us, it’s time for another edition of Week in Review – the newsletter where we quickly summarize the most-read TechCrunch stories from the past seven days. No matter how busy you are, that should give you a pretty good idea of what people were talking about in tech this week.
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Instafest goes instaviral: You’ve probably been to a big music festival. But have you been to a fact just for you? Probably not. Instafest, a web app that went super viral this week, helps you dream up what this festival might look like. Log in with your Spotify credentials and it will generate a fake festival promo poster based on your listening habits.
LastPass breached (again)“Password manager LastPass said it was investigating a security incident after its systems were compromised for the second time this year,” writes Zack Whittaker. Investigations are still ongoing, which unfortunately means that it is not very clear which (and to whom) the data may have been accessed.
ChatGPT opens: This week, OpenAI widely opened up access to ChatGPT, which allows you to interact with their new language-generating AI through a simple chat-like interface. In other words, it allows you to generate (sometimes terribly well-written) passages of text by chatting with a robot. Darrell used it to instantly write the Pokemon cheat sheet he’s always dreamed of.
AWS re: Invents: This week, Amazon Web Services hosted its annual re:Invent conference, where the company outlines the next steps for the cloud computing platform that powers much of the internet. The highlights of this year? A low-code tool for serverless applications, a commitment to giving AWS customers control over where their data is stored around the world (to help navigate increasingly complex government policies), and a tool to run “city-scale simulations” in the cloud.
Twitter suspends Kanye (again)“Elon Musk has suspended Kanye West’s (aka Ye) Twitter account after he posted anti-Semitic tweets and violated the platform’s rules,” writes Ivan Mehta.
Spotify concludes: Every December, Spotify delivers “Wrapped” – an interactive feature that takes your Spotify listening data for the year and presents it in a super visual way. This year it’s got simple stuff like streaming minutes, but it’s also branching out with ideas like “personality listening” – a Myers-Briggs-inspired system that places each user in one of 16 camps, like “the adventurer” or “the Replayer”.
DoorDash layoffs: I was hoping to spend a week without a story of dismissal breaking the list. Alas, DoorDash confirmed this week that it was laying off 1,250 people, with CEO Tony Xu explaining they had been hiring too quickly during the pandemic.
Salesforce co-CEO steps down: “In one week last December, [Bret Taylor] has been named Chairman of the Board of Directors of Twitter and Co-CEO of Salesforce,” writes Ron Miller. “A year later, he no longer has a job.” Taylor says he “decided to go back to [his] entrepreneurial roots.
I expected things to be one little Quiet at TC Podcast land last week due to the holidays, but we still had some great shows! Ron Miller and Rita Liao joined Darrell Etherington on The TechCrunch Podcast talking about the departure of the co-CEO of Salesforce and the Chinese “great wall of porn”; Crew Chain reaction shared an interview with Nikil Viswanathan, CEO of web3 development platform Alchemy; and the always charming Equity The team talked about everything from Sam Bankman-Fried’s crazy DealBook interview to why all three co-founders of funding startup Pipe quit simultaneously.
What is behind the paywall reserved for TC+ members? Here’s what TC+ members read the most this week:
Lessons for Raising $10 Million Without Giving Up a Board Seat: Reclaim.ai has raised $10 million over the past two years, all “without giving up a single seat on the board.” How? Reclaim.ai co-founder Henry Shapiro shares his thoughts.
Consultants are the new non-traditional VC: “Why are so many consultant-led venture capital funds launching now?” asks Rebecca Szkutak.
Fundraising in an era of greater VC scrutiny“Founders may be discouraged in this environment, but they should remember that they also have a ‘currency’,” writes DocSend co-founder and former CEO Russ Heddleston.
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