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Techies aren't moving to Miami. They're moving to Austin.


Good morning! This Wednesday, tech workers head to the Lone Star State, Spotify rails against Apple's anti-steering rules, a bunch of senior employees are leaving Facebook and the WarnerMedia-Discovery combo gets a new, boring name.

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The Big Story

Where are all the tech workers moving?

If it seems like a lot of tech workers are leaving the Bay Area, well … they are, at least according to LinkedIn data published by Bloomberg. The biggest recipient of tech workers, though, isn't Miami like the VC hype train would like you to believe.

Austin is the destination of choice for the most tech workers, according to LinkedIn data, which was used to calculate the rates of people moving in versus leaving.

  • Other southern cities are popular too: Nashville and Charlotte rounded out the top three.
  • Miami may be one of the buzziest destinations, but it placed 11th behind other Florida spots like Jacksonville and Tampa Bay.

The biggest loser was the San Francisco Bay Area, which saw the biggest outflow of tech workers, followed by Boston and Chicago. Despite the "New York is dead" narrative, it placed fifth behind Cincinnati.

Driving the techodus: Companies being flexible about where employees work and tech giants expanding into new locations. As part of the allure of Austin, Apple announced that it would build a new 5,000-employee campus. Tesla also recently broke ground on another gigafactory in the area.

  • There will likely be more people moving as companies finalize their back-to-work post-pandemic plans. On Tuesday, SAP said its 100,000 employees will be flexible forever and can choose to work where they want.
  • Detaching work from a specific location is one of the biggest historical shifts ever, argues mmhmm founder Phil Libin, who is currently living outside Bentonville, Arkansas (not one of the top relocation destinations — yet). "A whole life cycle has been built around this idea that where you live is completely based on where you make a living, and for that to all of a sudden get decoupled is such an amazing and profound thing that I think it's going to change everything," he told me.

The challenge for all the cities is what happens next after the techies arrive. There's already concerns that tech workers are "Columbusing" cities like Miami by "discovering" new tech epicenters while ignoring the people who were already there.

  • Miami's seen its fair share of drama with a fight over Miami Tech Week — an event that already existed among local tech entrepreneurs but was redone by Silicon Valley venture capitalists and founders who had moved into town in 2020.
  • And Austin's already grappling with what to do. "We never meant to be the next Silicon Valley, nor do we have hopes of being the next Silicon Valley," Leigh Christie, SVP for global technology and innovation for Austin's Chamber of Commerce, told Protocol's Anna Kramer. "We aren't looking to duplicate or replicate it. We'll never become that. How do we continue to support those who live here?"

And, of course, San Francisco won't go down without a fight. "We are in competition with other cities," San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney told Protocol's Megan Rose Dickey. "And, in some ways, we shouldn't just allow folks to leave who have brought tremendous economic growth and jobs to our city. I don't think that's a good thing."

— Biz Carson (email | twitter)


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People Are Talking

Twitter is investing in "collectives," VP of product Mike Park said, believing that small groups can build big audiences:

  • "Outside of individuals sharing news and knowledge, we believe a collective approach is a super interesting model. Low overhead with an audience-funded model is a solid recipe for success."
Tesla is feeling the supply-chain squeeze, Elon Musk said:
  • "Our biggest challenge is supply chain, especially microcontroller chips. Never seen anything like it. Fear of running out is causing every company to overorder – like the toilet paper shortage, but at epic scale. That said, it's obv not a long-term issue."
Another Google researcher, Nicolas Le Roux, left the company, and said he learned something on the way out:
  • "Now that I know more about how resignation at Google works, let's be absolutely clear about one thing: @timnitGebru did not resign."

Spotify wants to change Apple's anti-steering rules just like Epic does, Spotify's Horacio Gutiérrez said:

  • "We want Apple to go back to the situation that existed at the time when we joined the App Store. We want them to undo the tying of their proprietary payment system to the App Store and all of the other anti-steering provisions, which is a fancy way of saying punishments and penalties that they've created for those people who do not want to use their proprietary payment system."

Making Moves

Joaquin Quiñonero Candela is leaving Facebook. He had been at the company for nine years, most recently running its Responsible AI work.

Jason Toff is also leaving Facebook, where he was a director of product management. He said he's taking the rest of 2021 off.

Aarthi Ramamurthy is also, also leaving Facebook. She's joining Clubhouse as its new head of global after co-hosting an audio show on the platform for five months.

Etsy is buying Depop for $1.6 billion. The deal gives Etsy a huge presence among Gen Z shoppers.

Cloudera was acquired by two private equity giants for $5.3 billion. The company's stock has had a tough year in a great market, and has been under pressure from investors for a while.

Robinhood added three new board members: Jon Rubinstein, Paula Loop and Robert Zoellick. It's beefing up the board in anticipation of going public, and its S-1 could come any day now.

Alastair Westgarth is the new CEO at Starship, joining from Alphabet's Loon. Co-founder and CEO Ahti Heinla will now be Starship's CTO.

In Other News

  • The SEC is still watching @elonmusk. Regulators told Tesla that some of Musk's tweets violated the court order that required he get tweets approved by company lawyers, and said that Tesla had "abdicated the duties required of it."
  • Paycom's Chad Richison is the highest-paid CEO in the biz, according to The Wall Street Journal, making $211 million last year. At the bottom of the list? Jack Dorsey's $1.40 in salary and Elon Musk's $0. But don't worry, they're both doing OK.
  • Huawei's Harmony OS is launching tomorrow, as the company tries to take on Android and challenge Google for smartphone dominance. It won't be easy, but Huawei may have the best possible shot.
  • Coinbase Pro users can trade Dogecoin starting tomorrow. Coinbase said users constantly ask it to support new currencies, and it's not shocking that Doge would be high on the list.
  • The largest meat supplier in the world, JBS, was hit by a cybersecurity attackover the weekend, and shut down operations in several locations. The attack came "from a criminal organization likely based in Russia," the White House said.
  • Amazon changed its mind about arbitration. Facing more than 75,000 individual demands on behalf of Echo users, it changed its terms of service to allow customers to file lawsuits. And they've done so! The Wall Street Journal reported there are already at least three class-action suits against the company.
  • Amazon also changed its mind about weed, saying that it now supports marijuana legalization and will stop weed-testing job applicants for certain roles. It also said it would tweak its controversial "Time off Task" metric, which has been blamed for Amazon's high rate of worker injuries.
  • An Apple employee's bribery case was dismissed. A judge found that the allegations against Thomas Moyer — which said that he'd traded Apple gear for concealed-weapons permits — were "pure speculation."
  • The new streaming giant has a (really boring) new name. The WarnerMedia-Discovery combo will be called … Warner Bros. Discovery. Should've been Discovery Bros., if you ask us. Or maybe Quibi? That's probably available again.
  • On Protocol | China: China's tiny, adorable Wuling Hongguang Mini electric car is outselling Tesla, costs only a fraction of a Model 3 and could be a big part of the future of electric vehicles all over the world.

One More Thing

Vertical slides are the new vertical video

Your virtual meeting pro tip of the day, courtesy of Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke: "Some teams change slide deck formats to be vertical instead of horizontal (think more like paper) and it works much better with the way zoom/meet/teams lay out the screen."

It makes sense, right? Instead of presenting with those big letterboxes, you can fill one side of the screen and keep everyone's faces active on the other. It's also more mobile-friendly. (Here's how to switch the orientation in PowerPoint and in Google Slides.) Just please don't do that thing where you screenshare a Google Doc and make everyone look while you scroll. Just share the doc, you know?


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Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Cincinnati. This story was updated on June 2, 2021.

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