Pickleball is tech’s hottest new club. Here’s why it’s gaining popularity in Silicon Valley.
It's Monday, reader. I want more time outside playing pickleball and California Dreamin' (it's an Asian song btw. iykyk). I miss my South Brooklyn pickleball community, but hope to find a consistent place to play in San Diego.
Maybe that officially makes me a woman in tech, because right now, it's the hottest club in the industry.
I used to play tennis competitively, but I have so much more fun with pickleball. It's more social with its emphasis on doubles. The intense, short games make great stress relief. And it feels approachable with a drop-in play style. These factors also build the perfect conditions for chill tech networking.
So if you work in tech, let's stop meeting over coffee and chat while dinking instead. But before we hit the courts, let's dive into today's tech.
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1. VCs are dropping their golf clubs and tennis racquets for pickleball paddles. Of course I understand why. But let's hear it from VCs directly:
- Rather than hosting a networking event at a bar or restaurant, a venture capital firm tried holding a pickleball tournament instead. To their surprise, it caught the interest of other VCs, founders, executives, and a trove of techies.
- Venture capital has long been associated with "high-brow" sports like tennis and golf. But pickleball's accessibility — in terms of both cost and athletic ability — means a wider array of people are able to play it.
- These low barriers of entry, plus its social nature, make pickleball perfect for networking. With four players on a badminton-sized court, it's the perfect setting to develop more personal relationships within professional communities.
Read more about why pickleball is so popular within tech.
In other news:
2. Elon Musk says Twitter drama has only helped Tesla. But Wall Street isn't so sure. No matter what Musk says, the numbers show a different story, my teammate Asia Martin reports. This is the reality of Musk's split Twitter-Tesla world.
3. Leaked Shopify memos show its major leadership shakeup continues. On the tail of two VPs suddenly being laid off, the CTO is also headed out — and he won't be replaced. Read the leaked announcement in full here. Bonus: Check out the departing CTO's leaked farewell message here.
4. Here's how to survive in-person work (AKA your guide to time theft). 30-minute ping pong sessions. 15-minute snack breaks. 30-minute bathroom trips. (They forgot my favorite — taking social laps around the newsroom). This is how to make it to 5 p.m.
5. Bed Bath & Beyond "missed the boat" for the internet. The retailer's founders told WSJ that they "missed the boat on the internet." Other companies adopted in-store pick up and delivery options, but Bed Bath & Beyond was much slower to do so. Sail away with the company here.
6. Amazon is going to start charging Prime members for grocery delivery. The e-commerce giant announced plans to start charging as much as $10 for all grocery deliveries under $150. It claims the new fee is designed to help keep other prices low. More on the changes here.
7. Automakers are ready to hire laid off tech workers. Car companies are keen for tech talent. And now is the perfect time to swoop them up after the troves of layoffs. Grab the front wheel of this hiring trend here.
8. We asked ChatGPT to write a Buzzfeed-style listicle. The CEO announced that it would outsource listicle writing to generative AI. So we asked ChatGPT to make a list of "10 things that are better in other countries compared to the US." Check out its pretty nuanced list here.
Odds and ends:
9. These are the most affordable electric cars you can buy this year. Going electric can get pricey. But with more EVs available now than ever, more lower priced options like the Chevrolet Bolt are also on the market. Check them out here.
10. The double life of an FBI spy hunter. Charles McGonigal was charged with money laundering, taking money from Russians, and other offenses. Insider got an exclusive look at his cash-fueled double life. Go behind-the-scenes here.
What we're watching today:
- It's bubble wrap appreciation (or irritation) day.
- Happy birthday, Kid Cudi. Hope your Pursuit of Happiness is a success!
- Chinese stock exchange reopens after pausing for the Lunar New Year.
Curated by Diamond Naga Siu in San Diego. (Feedback or tips? Email email@example.com or tweet @diamondnagasiu) Edited by Matt Weinberger (tweet @gamoid) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.
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