Happy Year of the Rabbit, reader. I had a lovely time celebrating with my mom for the first time in more than five years. Plus, I finally had a moment to chill after weeks of nonstop travel.
Khánh Vũ, the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers CEO, told me the Lunar New Year probably didn’t fall on tech companies’ cultural radars. They were likely waiting for “traditional, Gregorian calendar” holidays like Christmas or New Year’s Day to pass before cutting jobs.
Vũ said the Lunar New Year symbolizes a brand new start for many, but “it’s not looking good when your brand new start is being laid off.”
Sadly, the only start I can control is the newsletter. So let’s kick off the new year together with some tech news.
1. Tim Cook’s slow-and-steady management method. Apple is the only Big Tech company that hasn’t conducted sweeping layoffs recently. Cook’s cautious, risk-averse leadership style might be the reason why — his model could even hold the key to ending the industry’s economic woes.
- Many of the major tech companies rapidly hired new people when the economy was looking rosy. But now that inflation and interest rates are rising, they find themselves in an unfavorable economic position.
- Apple didn’t do that. And experts told my teammate Paayal Zaveri that its steadfast strategy made the company more resilient for these tougher times. One expert even thinks the iPhone maker remains in growth mode.
- Apple has long been a lone wolf among its Big Tech peers. Cook’s unique business decisions have positioned it to remain healthy in these tough times.
In other news:
2. Job-Cut-January is in full swing. The chart above shows how more tech workers were laid off in January 2023 than during the first half of 2022 combined. And January isn’t even over yet. More on the carnage here.
3. This woman shared how she made $6.4 million in 2022 from OnlyFans. Bryce Adams has more than 700,000 followers across three OF accounts. She hit $1 million within her first 10 months on the platform. These are her success strategies.
4. These are the different ways people are trying to rein in ChatGPT. Techies are on high alert for ChatGPT’s ability to write malicious code, create deepfakes, and do other harmful things. Here’s how they plan to prevent things from getting out of hand.
5. It’s brutal out here (in Big Tech). Amazon, Google, and Microsoft implemented sweeping cuts within days of each other. The simultaneous upheaval is paving the way for a less extravagant industry. Get a first look at the reset here.
6. All the leaked Google layoff memos. Google sent tons of emails to communicate the layoffs. Many were shared with Insider reporters. Read four of the memos in full here, from Google Chrome, Google Cloud, Google UK, and its Europe, the Middle East, and Africa offices.
7. A rare Jack Ma sighting. The reclusive Alibaba founder was spotted in Hong Kong after he was recently also seen in the US, Japan, Thailand, and Israel. He’s been elusive ever since clashing with Chinese authorities in 2020. More on the billionaire’s fleeting whereabouts here.
8. TikTok’s secret viral button. Multiple current and former TikTok employees revealed to Forbes that employees have the power to choose which videos go viral. This secret superpower is dubbed the “heating feature.” This is how the red button works.
Odds and ends:
9. The world’s largest airplane is designed to launch rockets. The Stratolaunch Roc has a wingspan longer than the length of a football field. It just completed a 6-hour flight in the Mojave Desert. Check out the flying behemoth here.
10. This couple sold everything to buy a $2.5 million cabin on a cruise ship. This dynamic duo swapped a 6,000-square-foot home for a 721-square-foot cabin on a residential cruise ship. It’s set to sail in 2025. Here’s how they’re prepping in the meantime.
What we’re watching today:
- Paris Fashion Week is kicking off.
- Tax filing season (ugh) starts today in the US.
- The US Supreme Court is releasing its list of actions (also known as orders).
Curated by Diamond Naga Siu in an airplane. (Feedback or tips? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @diamondnagasiu) Edited by Matt Weinberger (tweet @gamoid) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.