💌The Bulletin #25: A rough week at Twitter, the buzz about 6G & an age-old question, "Who are you at work?"
In this week's bulletin: How Twitter's latest outage was caused by a single employee, a quick explainer on 6G (wait weren't we just at 5?) and the $2 billion industry of Personality Testing.
Hey everyone! Hope you all are well (and keeping warm), amidst the wind and rainfall over the past week. 10 more days till Spring!🌻🌺🌿
🐤A rough week at Twitter
Ever since he took over, Elon Musk has cut the workforce of Twitter by more than 70%. The social media platform now has a work force of less than 2,000, down from 7,500 in October 2022.
How a Twitter’s latest outage was caused by a single employee
On Monday, Twitter users found themselves confronted with an error message when they tried to view links or photos. Twitter put the issue down to an "internal change" that caused "unintended consequences”, but the outage was reportedly caused by a single employee.
According to The Verge, Elon Musk’s steep layoffs had left Twitter with so few engineers that only one person was on a major project involving the platform’s API. The engineer had made a “bad configuration change” that “basically broke the Twitter API,” according to a current employee.
Unfortunately for Twitter, this incident is just one in a spate of outages that have plagued the platform ever since the mass layoffs begun. In an article about this issue, The New York Times explained that Twitter used to have more staff on hand to quickly identify and resolve issues. However, post-downsizing, the platform has been affected by more glitches because it now takes longer for the remaining workers to identify the source of the issue. Musk's modifications to internal systems and communication have also exacerbated the difficulty of addressing technical challenges. In February, employees were unable to access Slack, the main platform they used for communication with colleagues and for reviewing past solutions to Twitter-related issues.
Twitter's massive layoffs have created a variety of problems for the company, with outages caused by understaffed engineering teams the most obvious user-facing consequence. The spate of staff cuts also contributed to a sense of instability, as junior employees now oversee products and services they are unfamiliar with.
Let’s see what happens next, but an upturn does not seem likely anytime soon.
In other Twitter-related news…
Musk publicly mocked an employee this week, making light of his disability - then apologized.
The FTC has demanded that Twitter hand over documents relating to Musk as well as detailed information about the layoffs- citing concerns related to Twitter’s ability to protect users’ information.
📶What is 6G, and how far are we from rollout?
Woah there. It seems like the world just got into 5G, and now telcos are steaming ahead to the next bound, 6G. Executives at some of the world’s largest telecommunications and technology firms believe that 6G is likely to launch in 2030 (even as 5G adoption remains low).
Wait…what is 5G again?
5G is the fifth generation of cellular networks. It is up to 100 times faster than 4G, its predecessor. The combination of 5G mobile technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to bring about the next industrial revolution, enabling applications like self-driving cars, remote surgery, and smart cities with advanced features such as smart power grids, e-surveillance, and facial recognition payments. Countries that possess these technologies will have a significant advantage in shaping the future.
How is 6G different?
It is anticipated that 6G services will be accessible by 2030, offering speeds that are up to 100 times faster than 5G and lower transmission latency. Researchers in China have already demonstrated speeds of approximately 200Gbps (gigabits per second) in laboratory trials.
In addition, 6G networks have the potential to blur the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds through advanced technologies like holographic telepresence, augmented reality, and virtual reality (VR).
So what does this mean for Venture Capital?
The McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook for 2022 stated that advanced connectivity, such as 5G, 6G, low-Earth-orbit satellites, and other technologies, are causing growth and productivity across industries, with an investment of $166 billion in 2021.
5G technology has the potential to revolutionize various sectors such as transportation, banking, traffic control, healthcare, agriculture, logistics, and more, by providing faster download times, increased data communication in real-time, and reduced latency. In addition, emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning, industrial IoT, intelligent cars, augmented and virtual reality, and metaverse applications require even faster download times and improved data communication, which 5G and 6G technologies are expected to facilitate.
🎭Answering the age-old question: “Who are you at work?”
From Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Enneagram Tests, to BuzzFeed quizzes and the Hogwarts Sorting Hat Quiz (my personal favorite, though debatable whether it qualifies as a personality test), personality tests are often used by individuals seeking to understand themselves better and have fun doing so.
But it appears that their utility has expanded into other areas. Nowadays, Employers often use personality tests to make decisions about career development and hiring. According to a recent report by The New York Times, every year, around 100 million workers take psychometric tests, contributing to the $2 billion industry of personality testing.
While personality tests can identify "diamonds in the rough," critics have pointed out that some hiring processes rely too much on personality tests without scholarly psychological backing, leading to bias. New research-backed assessments, such as PrinciplesYou and Suited, are flooding the market, offering alternatives to traditional resumes for hiring decisions. These tests aim to identify character traits beyond education and familiar credentials, bringing in more diverse candidates.
Covid-19 has shaped the way we work in profound ways. As employers moved to virtual hiring processes, personality testing grew in popularity. Now, in our post-pandemic world, it seems like these tests are here to stay.
🍔What we’re consuming in Venture
A quick rundown of all our faves here at VWV.
An interesting thread on a16z’s investment strategy over the years
A thread on gaming 🤝 generative AI
An old favorite, How I Built This with Guy Raz, from NPR
Ashwin Kumar, Stripe’s Head of Startups for Banking-as-a-Service on building embedded finance
📰News / Newsletters
An article from The Washington Post about Artificial Intelligence and why we seem to fear it
That’s it for this week, feel free to email me at email@example.com with any inquiries. Stay warm out there!
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