August 29, 2022
Image: Greg Ory, Ataur Rahman and Protocol
Good morning! By hiking prices and getting rid of free products, is tech still the inflation disruptor it was once thought as?
Jerome Powell warned of pain in the fight to bring down inflation during his Jackson Hole speech on Friday. Tech has historically been a savior when inflation peaks. But where is it now?
Let’s rewind to 2000, when former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan gave a speech talking about how new technology was bringing the economy into untested, yet promising, waters.
Now fast forward to 2022, when the Fed is trying to fight inflation. And if you ask critics like FTC Chair Lina Khan, a consolidating tech sector isn’t that competitive anymore.
Maybe tech itself is becoming an inflation driver, and the FTC’s push to fight competition could help ward that off. Maybe tech is still on the side of deflation, but it’ll take years to know for sure. These things often only become clear in hindsight. Until then, hold onto your wallets.
— Sarah Roach
PayPal isn’t the only mafia that Peter Thiel is a part of. Thiel was one of the founders of Palantir, the data company that quietly (and sometimes controversially) built itself into a multibillion-dollar business. It’s been a shining example of the PayPal Mafia, but it’s spawned a network of its own. We’re calling it the Palantir Pack.
To be a successful “mafia” by tech standards, Keith Rabois once suggested to me that you need at least three unicorns to come out of it along with a distinct culture. Palantir meets those requirements and then some.
The Palantir Pack has followed a similar playbook to Palantir. The main twist is that Pack members have rethought Palantir’s trademark secrecy.
And unlike PayPal’s “mafia,” it’s still expanding. PayPal went public but then got acquired quickly, which caused an exodus of talent. Palantir still operates much like an engineering institute or SEAL Team Six for technical talent, said 8VC’s Alex Moore.
A version of this first appeared in our VC and startups newsletter Pipeline. For an even closer look at the Palantir Pack, read our deep dive.
— Biz Carson
DataRobot's AI Cloud for Financial Services Unlocks the Art of the Possible: DataRobot continues to attract clients in financial services who want to de-risk their AI investments and rapidly scale AI to almost every part of their operations, resulting in improved productivity and higher customer satisfaction.
Reddit's Steve Huffman wants Reddit Avatars to help bring blockchain to the site:
Spotify's Max Cutler, the VP of "talk," expects video and podcasts to blend much more:
VMware Explore 2022 starts today and runs through Thursday.
NASA is launching its Orion crew capsule into space today. The 42-day unpiloted journey around the moon will test the capsule’s heat shields.
UX Product Design Week begins tomorrow and runs until Friday. It’s hosted by the Future London Academy.
Deutsche Bank's 2022 Technology Conference starts on Wednesday and goes through Thursday. It takes place in Las Vegas.
NamesCon Global begins Wednesday and runs until Saturday in Austin. It’s a domain investor and service provider conference.
So long, Novi. Meta’s crypto wallet, is officially shutting down on Thursday.
Meta’s Vivek Sharma is leaving. Sharma played a huge role in the company’s metaverse push, most recently serving as VP of Horizon.
Self-driving Teslas may arrive by the end of the year. Elon Musk wants them ready in the U.S. and possibly Europe, depending on regulatory approval.
Meta settled its 4-year-old privacy lawsuit over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, avoiding the deposition of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg.
WhatsApp is getting into grocery shopping. It partnered with India’s Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms to launch a grocery service on the platform.
MoviePass’ second act is going well so far: 463,000 people have signed up for the waitlist within its first 24 hours.
Back to the office, and back to COVID? Google employees say they’ve been hit with several COVID exposure messages from management upon returning to the office.
Microsoft and ByteDance are partnering on a project called KubeRay, a software initiative aimed at helping companies efficiently run AI apps.
Hackers stole some of the source code from LastPass, but the company says that users’ passwords were unaffected.
Netflix is considering charging between $7 and $9 for its ad-supported tier, around half the current cost of its monthly plan, Bloomberg reported.
Nobody knew when Mario Kart first came out that it would spawn dozens of spinoffs, decades of fun and open gamers up to a whole new category of racing game. To celebrate Mario Kart’s anniversary, don’t miss this fun story from GameSpot on the game’s most hated item: the dreaded blue shell.
DataRobot's AI Cloud for Financial Services Unlocks the Art of the Possible: Banks need to secure a competitive advantage in an increasingly tight race to harness best-in-breed technology. Decision makers need to not just plan a future-ready strategy, but also recognize the value of AI that could boost not just their performance in-house but also their reputation among their global customers.
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