Texting tech bros and the danger of earnings blowouts
Hello, and welcome to this week's edition of the Insider Tech
This week: Big Tech's monster profits and the backlash danger
It's been an action packed week in tech, with earnings, IPOs and ongoing pandemic problems.
In what may be a first, several tech companies posted financial results that were too good.
- Facebook, Apple and Alphabet all blew past Wall Street targets, earning a combined $39 billion in profits in Q2. But with critics arguing that Big Tech companies are powerful monopolies that need to be broken up, the super-sized results and seemingly effortless growth are not likely to help the tech counterargument.
- The only Big Tech company that missed targets was Amazon, whose $2 billion revenue shortfall won't really hurt its business prospects, but at least keeps it out of the latest newscycle.
- The stock trading app, infamous for causing wild fluctuations in so-called meme-stocks, experienced its own turbulent debut, with shares of HOOD climbing 6% and then tumbling 12% on its first day out.
And the pandemic continues to upend the best laid plans for tech companies to bring their workers back to the office.
- Uber, meanwhile, experienced the new challenges first-hand after a person who attended a recent board meeting at its San Francisco headquarters tested positive for Covid and later infected several other employees (all suffered only mild cases, thankfully).
Cybersecurity company Tanium is in a bitter legal fight with another security startup called Wiz, which poached four of Tanium's top sales employees. Among the many interesting tidibits revealed in the case are text messages among the departing Tanium employees on their way out.
Employee 1: He asked if any other reps were leaving...I said I don't know...going to be awkward when 4 guys leave for Wiz lol
Employee 2: Hahaha oh yes it is.
Employee 2: I wonder who else is going to leave that we don't know about
Employee 1: Bro who would stay??
Read the full story here:
Texts from former Tanium employees surface as the $9 billion startup sues them and the firm that poached them.
From the curious file:
- Rules for talking about Elon Musk: A training manual for drivers piloting Teslas in Musk's Las Vegas tunnel provides instructions on how to answer passengers' questions about the boss. "Be as brief as possible and do your best to shut down such conversation." If a rider persists? Simple, reads the script: "Yup, he's a great leader. He motivates us to do great work!"
- The sport of kings: It may not be an Olympic sport yet, but hydrofoiling is all the rage among tech moguls, from Larry Page to Mark Zuckerberg. If you want to be like Zuck, hop on board (and don't forget to lather on the sunscreen).
- Thus spoke Steak-umm: You know the world is in a bad place when Steak-umm, the maker of frozen, sliced sandwich meat, is the voice of reason. And yet there's something heartening in seeing the frozen aisle-fixture fulminate on the front lines of Twitter against the dangers of conspiracy theories and misinformation.
To quote the packaged meat sage, it's imperative that we find "some semblance of mutually agreed upon information before we splinter into irreconcilable realities."
The Big Read
If you work in tech, chances are you've signed a nondisclosure agreement. Maybe you've signed a non-disparagement agreement, as well. But do you know whether your agreement is likely legally enforceable? Or how it compares to your friends'?
To understand how these agreements became the foundation of Silicon Valley's vaunted culture of secrecy, Insider reviewed 36 NDA's from tech workers, ranging from multi-billion dollar publicly traded firms that are household names to small
"Within the metaverse, you can build a hang out, play games with friends, work, create and more. You're basically going to be able to do everything that you can on the Internet today, as well as some things that don't make sense on the Internet today like dancing."
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, during Facebook's Q2 earnings call, discusses his plan for Facebook to evolve from being a social media company to a "metaverse" company.
Not necessarily in tech:
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