BIG TECH: Digital Wrecks!

By Staff Reporters



According to journalist Neal Freyman:

The days of an internet company trying to e-scooter their way to solving world hunger through solar-powered NFT horse racing just to compete with Disney+ are over. Futuristic projects that were once a staple of Big Tech line items are getting squeezed in this “we definitelycan’t afford that anymore” economy.

That was made very clear yesterday.

1. As part of its anticipated mass layoffs this week, Amazon began to cut employees who were working on its AI assistant, Alexa. That division has an operating loss of more than $5 billion per year.

2. The hedge fund TCI Fund Management, which has a $6 billion stake in Alphabet, urged Google’s parent company to join its Big Tech peers in laying off workers yesterday, saying it’s overstaffed and paying its employees too much. It took specific aim at Google’s famous Other Bets division that incubated “moonshot” projects like Waymo, the autonomous vehicle company. That Other Bets unit brought in $3 billion in revenue over the last five years, but incurred $20 billion in operating losses, TCI’s letter to CEO Sundar Pichai said.

Big picture: While Snap and Microsoft are also nixing riskier long-term bets, the big Big Tech exception is Meta. Zuckerberg has cut back on some experimentation, but is staying committed to spending billions on the metaverse, despite investor concerns.


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