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10 Things in Tech: Musk's U-turn

Jordan Parker Erb   

10 Things in Tech: Musk's U-turn
Tech3 min read
Elon Musk    HANNIBAL HANSCHKE /Getty Images

Howdy, readers. We're breaking down what might have changed Elon Musk's mind about joining Twitter's board, and showing you the impact of Apple's privacy changes.

Let's get to it.

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1. Inside Elon Musk's Twitter U-turn. It all unfolded in just a few days: Musk was revealed to have spent billions to become Twitter's largest shareholder. He was offered a seat on the board. Then, after accepting — and posting about the improvements he'd make — he ultimately declined the role. Now, experts and analysts share what could have changed his mind:

  • One consideration could be his flexibility: "When you go on the board of directors of a company, your degrees of freedom as an investor are substantially restricted," former SEC Chair Jay Clayton told CNBC.
  • Alternatively, he could be angling to buy the company. Joining Twitter's board would have limited Musk to buying only 14.9% of the company. Without that limitation, Musk is free to attempt to acquire the company if he so wishes.
  • Or maybe, the prolific poster simply wanted to tweet in peace and scrutinize the company freely, without the burden of having to face that company's board.

Catch up on a chaotic week for Musk and Twitter.

In other news:

Estimated 2022 revenue impact on Big Tech from Apple
Estimated 2022 revenue impact on Big Tech from Apple's privacy changes.      Shayanne Gal/Insider

2. Apple's privacy changes could wipe almost $16 billion from tech platforms this year. One year later, Apple's App Tracking Transparency update is still wreaking havoc on tech companies, and a new analysis estimates it could severely dent Meta, YouTube, Snap, and Twitter's revenues. See how much each firm could lose.

3. A 23-year-old explains how she went from intern to Andreessen Horowitz partner in a year. Carra Wu dropped out of Harvard (twice) and interned with Apple and Microsoft — all before becoming A16Z's youngest check writer and a rising star in the crypto investing world. Here's how she did it.

4. A man who returned his $116,000 Tesla Model X in 2020 is still paying for it two years later. CNBC reported the man tried to use a policy Tesla had of seven-day no-questions-asked returns, but that the company had quietly gotten rid of the policy. What we know so far.

5. A mental-health crisis is brewing in Silicon Valley. Insider spoke with tech workers who said sexual issues, burnout, and distress are forcing them to reprioritize their well-being, with many leaving to find more "meaningful" careers — and some say even the industry's glitzy perks aren't enough to make them stay.

6. Netflix is introducing a new way to tell its algorithm you love a movie or TV show. "Two Thumbs Up" allows users to "love" titles, and is meant to improve the content that Netflix recommends to viewers. An exec explains how it'll improve recommendations.

7. GoFundMe's "do-gooder" brand is being called into question amid right-wing crowdfunding. Despite booming business and a potential IPO, GoFundMe's position as the go-to platform to raise money has pushed it to the heart of some of the past few years' most contentious political fights — and it has thrown it and its employees into an identity crisis.

8. Google is withdrawing job offers to candidates with Russian addresses.The tech giant confirmed it had rescinded internship offers to an Egyptian student and a Syrian student because they are currently studying at a Russian university.

Odds and ends:

A Wii Remote and a TV playing Wii Sports.
Gilles Bassignac/Getty Images

9. Wii Sports is back — for the Nintendo Switch. Get ready, former Wii Sports champions: Nintendo Switch Sports, complete with tennis, bowling and volleyball, will be released on April 29. Here's what you need to know.

10. Fast food chains have entered the metaverse. Retail chains are opening up virtual locations accessible through VR headsets, and in some, customers can receive codes for real food. See inside the virtual worlds created by Wendy's, Chipotle, and McDonald's.

What we're watching today:

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