What 40 hours of VC podcasts can teach us about Silicon Valley
Top of the morning, readers. Writing to you from New York, I'm your host, Jordan Parker Erb.
There's roughly a zillion podcasts in the world right now. That's particularly true in the tech industry, where seemingly every venture capitalist, millionaire, and billionaire has a pod.
Recently, senior tech correspondent Adam Rogers (courageously) spent 40 hours trying to make a dent in the endless stream of VC podcasts, and came away with a few lessons about Silicon Valley. Not all of them were good.
Today, we've got an inside look at what these podcasts can teach us about the industry.
Let's get into it.
1. What 40 hours of VC podcasts can teach us about Silicon Valley. Senior tech correspondent Adam Rogers volunteered to binge-listen to as many podcasts about tech investing and venture capital as he could possibly stand. What he learned about Silicon Valley is kind of scary.
- Rogers put together a list of several popular podcasts from influential tech investors: "The A16z Podcast," "How I Built This," "The Pomp Podcast," "Acquired," "The Twenty Minute VC," and "This Week in Startups."
- Among the lessons he learned is that when VC podcasts don't stick to the core issues of venture capital, things can get really weird, really fast (and sometimes, incredibly inaccurate).
- In many cases, Rogers found, the hosts have a singular idea of what constitutes success — and it's not always something that contributes to societal good. Instead, success is narrowly defined as something that is popular and makes money.
- All told, the hours of podcast-binging showed him that the purpose of these pods is to push a certain Silicon Valley ideology: money is the only metric, don't know what you don't need to. And after enveloping himself in this mindset for days on end, the repetition and reinforcement made it start to feel true.
In other news:
2. Kim Kardashian has agreed to pay the SEC $1.3 million. According to the SEC, Kardashian was paid $250,000 to publish a post to Instagram about EMAX tokens, but didn't disclose how much she'd been paid to do so. If you'd been swayed to buy the tokens last year, your holdings would have lost 95% of their value by now.
3. Your next raise is probably going to suck. If you're looking forward to a big raise in the next year or so, prepare to be disappointed. Recent surveys show companies are planning to raise salaries by only 4%, and with inflation at 8.3%, your paycheck is about to be worth a whole lot less.
4. The Supreme Court will take up a case challenging legal immunity for tech sites. Section 230 has long given tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter legal immunity over moderating content. But now, the Supreme Court is taking on a case that seeks to hold Google legally liable for a deadly 2015 Paris terrorist attack. Everything to know about Section 230.
5. VCs share their picks for the most promising cybersecurity startups of 2022. As businesses search for new ways to protect their data, we asked top investors to pinpoint the hottest cybersecurity startups both in and out of their portfolios. These are the 13 startups investors say are worth betting on.
6. Ukrainian officials are hitting out at Elon Musk for his take on the war in Ukraine. In a series of tweets, Musk listed a few conditions he seemed to imply could lead to "peace" between Ukraine and Russia. Several officials — including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy — have clapped back. See some of their responses to Musk.
7. Facebook is conducting "quiet layoffs," Insider has learned. Managers are being urged to label a certain number of workers "needs support" in an internal review process — in a move that could lead to thousands of job cuts. Here's what facebook employees told us.
8. Jack Dorsey called Facebook "the swamp of despair" in private texts to Elon Musk. The text, which was revealed during the pretrial discovery process for Twitter's lawsuit against Musk, was one of hundreds of messages between Musk and some of the most powerful men in Silicon Valley. More on Musk and Dorsey's messages here.
Odds and ends:
9. VW just unveiled an autonomous EV concept that lets passengers sleep horizontally. The fully electric — and fully autonomous — Gen.Travel concept car is designed to test what could be possible once self-driving tech is widely available. Take a look inside the concept car.
10. The first two-story 3D-printed concrete home in the US is under construction. The 4,000-square-foot house is being built in Houston, and is the first multi-story printed home in the United States. See the house is being built.
What we're watching today:
- Current, an event for data-streaming professionals, kicks off today in Austin, TX.
- World Space Week starts today with the theme "Space and Sustainability."
- Today is the 10th anniversary of Facebook announcing it had over a billion users.
- I was working toward a promotion at Amazon when my manager started emailing me about needing coaching. Now I'm worried about losing my job.
- Google's head of mental health and wellbeing was among the 12,000 workers laid off by the tech giant
- Mercedes-Benz says it has achieved Level 3 automation, which requires less driver input, surpassing the self-driving capabilities of Tesla and other major US automakers
- Big screen effect: Of French beards, marketing case studies & littered tourist spots
- Grit, tears, joy: Novak Djokovic claims his 10th Australian Open crown, moves closer to ending the GOAT debate
- Manu Kumar Jain departs from Xiaomi, nearly a decade after working for the Chinese smartphone maker
- L&T reports ₹2,553 crore Q3 net profit, sees boost from major private capex investments
- Tech Mahindra’s Q3 net profit slips 5.2% on year to ₹1,297 crore