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Kuration #193 A new wave of tech layoffs
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Top News 🗞️
Tech Layoffs: A new wave of tech layoffs that contradicts the expected economic recovery. In October, several companies, including Nokia, Qualcomm, Qualtrics, LinkedIn, Flexport, Stitch Fix, and Hopper, announced significant layoffs. The reasons behind these layoffs are complex, involving individual company circumstances and broader economic conditions. Despite economists' predictions avoiding a recession, the recovery has been slow, contributing to these unexpected job cuts.
Databricks Acquires Arcion: Databricks, recently valued at $43 billion, has acquired data replication startup Arcion for $100 million. This acquisition allows Databricks to natively offer scalable, user-friendly, and cost-effective data ingestion solutions from various enterprise data sources. Arcion's technology provides more than 20 connectors to enterprise databases and data sources, enhancing Databricks' data lakehouse capabilities. This move is part of Databricks' aggressive expansion, especially in the AI sector, following other significant acquisitions and product launches.
Monday.com introduces mondayDB, a groundbreaking data infrastructure designed to supercharge the performance of your Work OS. This new architecture promises remarkable speed improvements, even for substantial boards and dashboards, ensuring data integrity and stability. With mondayDB, users can expect faster load times, enhanced data manipulation capabilities, and a significant scale-up in the number of items per board and dashboard. The platform is set for several upgrades, with future releases aiming to further extend API capabilities and overall functionality.
OpenAI’s Dall-E 3 Model OpenAI is expanding access to its advanced text-to-image generator, DALL-E 3, for ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise users. This AI model, an enhancement over previous versions, allows for more detailed image creation based on textual descriptions. Despite past controversies with generated content, OpenAI assures significant safety improvements, including content restrictions and demographic representation enhancements. The company emphasizes its extensive research and tools to ensure responsible AI use and content generation, underscoring its commitment to ethical AI practices.
Google’s English Tutoring Feature Google is introducing a new feature in Search to compete with platforms like Duolingo, offering interactive English language practice. Initially available in select countries on Android, this tool provides personalized feedback and daily practice reminders. It employs sophisticated AI for semantic feedback and grammar suggestions, adapting to users' language proficiency levels. The feature complements other learning resources and represents Google's growing interest in educational tools. While it's not clear if Google aims to rival dedicated language learning platforms, this move highlights its commitment to leveraging AI in diverse domains.
Top Products 📱💻
Galxe: A Universe for Web3 Communities Galxe emerges as a pioneering platform in the Web3 space, designed to foster community building around various blockchain projects and initiatives. It serves as a bridge connecting over 11 million unique users with groundbreaking projects across ecosystems like Optimism, Polygon, and Arbitrum. The platform's essence is its reward-based loyalty programs, which have significantly contributed to the growth of more than 3000 partners.
Google Meet's New Features: Google Meet is introducing beauty effects, allowing users to apply 'portrait touch-up' during video calls. This feature, rolling out to premium Google accounts, offers two modes for subtle complexion smoothing, under-eye lightening, and teeth whitening. Despite the late introduction compared to competitors like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, this feature is a welcome addition for Google Meet users who want to present themselves more confidently during video calls.
Oxolo Oxolo offers an AI-powered platform for creating engaging product videos for e-commerce, websites, or social media. Users can simply enter their product's URL to generate a video, with the first one being free. The platform allows extensive customization, providing various AI actors for relatable product presentations. Oxolo claims significant improvements in engagement and conversion rates, citing success stories and statistics supporting the effectiveness of video content in marketing strategies. The service is particularly beneficial for businesses looking to reduce costs and increase content output for their products.
Exitfund Exitfund is a unique platform that invests in innovative startups and assists founders in raising additional capital. The process includes participating in Exitfund's due diligence, raising capital from them and their network of angel investors, and becoming part of their portfolio community. They promise efficiency in decision-making, valuable mentorship, and accessibility for all startups without the need for warm introductions. Exitfund emphasizes building a supportive community around the startups they invest in.
Pill Extension on Chrome Web Store: Pill is a Chrome extension designed to enhance users' browsing experience by providing chill music at the click of a button. It aims to create a relaxing atmosphere to help users focus, whether they are working, studying, or just browsing. The extension does not require a login, works offline, and is designed to be non-intrusive, with a minimalist interface. It does not consume significant resources, ensuring a smooth browsing experience.
Trending 📚 Recommendations
In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike's annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today. But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, he tells his story. Candid, humble, wry and gutsy, he begins with his crossroads moment when at 24 he decided to start his own business.
He details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream - along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls how his first band of partners and employees soon became a tight-knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission, and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything. A memoir rich with insight, humour and hard-won wisdom, this book is also studded with lessons - about building something from scratch, overcoming adversity, and ultimately leaving your mark on the world.
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Podcast Episodes worth a listen 🎙
Ali Abdaal Podcast
In this episode of, Ali Abdaal speaks to Dr Julie Smith, a psychologist with 4.6 million followers on TikTok who shares brilliant mental health advice. Her book ‘Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?’ is a Sunday Times Bestseller and is full of simple, actionable insights to help you take control of your wellbeing. While Dr Julie's expertise cover a whole range of topics, in this conversation they focus on how to manage stress and anxiety, overthinking, and burnout.
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