June 7, 2023

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10 Things in Tech: Fast’s Fall

Welcome back, readers. Fintech Fast is closing its doors this week, and a very good (robot) dog is helping restore the ancient city of Pompeii.

Let’s get started. 

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Domm Holland Fast


1. Stripe-backed Fast is shutting down. According to a leaked screenshot viewed by Insider, CEO Domm Holland told employees their last day will be Friday.

  • Just last week, Insider reported the fintech, which offered one-click checkout software for online merchants, was planning to cut half of its staff as it explored options for a possible sale. 
  • Tuesday morning, an email from Holland said “the vast majority” of Fast engineers would have an opportunity to join buy now, pay later player Affirm — but that “there is not a role for everyone.”
  • Then, in an all-hands meeting shortly after, Holland reread the email and abruptly ended the call, leaving employees hanging. 

Read Holland’s full email to staff.

In other news:

Elon Musk wears a mask.

Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

2. Twitter will test an edit feature. In a tweet, the company said it’s been working to let users edit their tweets after posting them. And while the announcement followed new board member Elon Musk’s edit-button survey, Twitter “didn’t get the idea from a poll.” We’ve got the latest.

3. Google Cloud is hiring 200 support staff employees, a month after hitting the department with layoffs. Last month’s layoffs affected dozens of workers, insiders said. Now, internal emails show the company is hiring employees for the same department, but many will be based in cheaper markets. Everything else the emails said.

4. Amazon is planning a new internal-messaging app that could censor terms like “union” and “restrooms.” According to The Intercept, Amazon is working on a platform for employees to praise each other, but documents indicate it would flag or block posts containing words linked to working conditions and other topics. See other blacklisted terms.

5. Want to land a software-developer job? Listen to these 10 podcasts. We compiled a list of podcasts — with topics including programming, tech, and more — that every aspiring software developer can add to their queue to improve their programming skills. Check them out here.

6. GM and Honda are partnering to build electric cars people can actually afford. The carmakers expect to begin selling millions of the cheaper models — including compact SUVs — starting in 2027. Get the full rundown here.

7. Analysts explain why ads may not be the move for Netflix. Even though the streamer has the content and the tech for a cheaper, ad-supported version, experts say the upside of adding commercials may be limited. The case against Netflix ads.

8. We outlined the top five TV shows returning to streaming services this month. Every month, Insider looks at data for the most anticipated returning TV shows. This month, viewers are looking forward to


‘s “Russian Doll,” which is returning after a three-year hiatus. These are the other long-awaited TV shows.

Odds and ends:

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at the company's Open Forum on April 4, 2022.

Starbucks video

9. Starbucks is the latest company to jump onto the NFT bandwagon. Interim CEO Howard Schultz said that by the end of the year, the company would be in the digital tokens business. What we know so far.

10. A robodog is helping restore the ancient city of Pompeii. Named Spot, the robot dog from Boston Dynamics can autonomously navigate difficult terrains that can’t be safely accessed by humans. See the very good dog in action.

What we’re watching today:

Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.

Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email [email protected] or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Michael Cogley in London.