Twilight of the Tech Gods

Welcome back from the long weekend. Silicon Valley’s biggest luminaries are in for a rude awakening — we explain it all below.

Let’s dive in.

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Jack Dorsey, Travis Kalanick, Marc Andreessen, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg fading into darkness as the sun sets behind them.

Rebecca Zisser

1. Silicon Valley’s tech titans are in serious trouble. Tech founders have cultivated reputations as geniuses. But as stocks tank and layoffs take hold, many are watching their empires crumble — and within a few years, some of the hottest innovations will simply disappear.

  • This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a tech bubble expand and burst. But what makes this time so different is the scale of the destruction it will leave behind.
  • According to Jim Chanos, founder of short-selling firm Kynikos Associates, the companies that could crumble this time are even bigger — and they make up a bigger slice of the economy.
  • “Our typical short in early 2000 was a $2 billion to $3 billion company that was going away,” Chanos said. “This go-round it’s a $20 billion to $30 billion company. That’s why we call this the dot-com era on steroids.”

Why “lots of companies are going to get vaporized.”

In other news:

Logo of Microsoft in New York.

Mark Lennihan/AP

2. Microsoft is slowing down hiring. The company is the most recent tech giant to slow recruitment efforts, scaling back hiring for its Windows, Office, and Teams divisions. Here’s the latest.

3. Salesforce reports earnings today — and they could predict just how hard the downturn will affect the industry. Wall Street’s eyes are on the company, with investors seeing it as a bellwether for how much customers are willing to spend on cloud. Everything you need to know ahead of Salesforce’s earnings.

4. Elizabeth Holmes wants a judge to overturn her convictions on wire fraud charges. Court documents show the Theranos founder’s lawyer arguing that there is “insufficient evidence” for any “rational juror” to proceed with the conviction. Get the full rundown here.

5. Gopuff put 22 warehouses on the chopping block. The fast-delivery sector is suffering a brutal post-pandemic slump, and nearly two dozen Gopuff warehouses across the United States are the latest casualties. What we know so far.

6. A researcher says her avatar was sexually assaulted in the metaverse. The encounter took place in Meta’s social-networking platform Horizon World, making her the latest victim of sexual abuse on Meta’s platforms, a watchdog group said in a new report. Here’s what else the report says.

7. Cloud computing’s favorite business model is starting to look like a huge risk. As markets sour, the popular pay-as-you-go model for cloud computing has become a massive liability. Why experts say it may be dicey for companies relying on it.

8. The SEC asks Elon Musk to explain the delay in disclosing his stake in Twitter. It comes amid speculation that the Tesla CEO was attempting to manipulate the market. Over the weekend, the internet was trying to decipher the meaning behind Musk’s cryptic Tweets, particularly this one cartoon

Odds and ends:

The new Amazon Style store in Glendale, California.


9. Amazon just opened its first brick-and-mortar clothing store. Making use of touchscreens and QR codes, the store allows customers to do things like request different styles and sizes without leaving the fitting room. Get a look inside Amazon Style.

10. Lonely? Might we suggest a companion robot? To help combat feelings of isolation in older adults, New York state officials are giving out the so-called companion robots to more than 800 senior citizens. See how the devices work.

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 Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.