If there’s one thing I can rely on every new year, it is that people will debate whether resolutions are an irrelevant, capitalistic waste of time, or if there’s something beautiful about the world collectively wanting to better themselves.
Longtime readers know that I’m a fan of resolutions because of the latter. There’s nothing quite like the renewed energy you get from a few days off, ready to be focused on better, bigger goals that 2022 just didn’t have room for. Am I re-energized after two weeks off? Yes. Am I worried that the news cycle will begin to spiral out of control within moments, taking us and our hot takes with it? Also, yes.
Alas, that’s where we are and if you have a resolution, I’m cheering for you. My journalistic one, beyond working more on my writing craft and perhaps getting started on this book dream I’ve had forever, is to do more follow-up stories.
The big themes that dominated 2022 news coverage were around layoffs, labor and venture capital incentives. But beyond singular workforce reductions, how has the reality check changed the way tech works? Are venture dollars getting more disciplined or was that just a fever tweet of the past 12 months? Doom and gloom is part of the story, always, but I think there’s also news to be found in the reinvention and reframing of tech.
Tech isn’t as collegial as it used to be. Rocket ships are being unveiled as sputtering messes, mission-driven startups don’t feel so mission oriented when responding to investor pressure, and widespread layoffs offer a loud reminder that jobs are breakable contracts not sacrosanct vows.
Over the past few months, thousands of employees from Meta, Twitter, Stripe, Amazon, DoorDash and countless other companies that don’t have the privilege of being household names are back on the job market. A job market that includes hiring freezes, salary cuts and a general malaise that industry experts warn won’t be over this year.
So where does tech’s talent go from here?
The answer is complicated, and it’s too early to have definitive labor data. VCs want to fund the newest tech mafia startups before banks do, top MBA programs want laid-off workers to join so badly that they’re waiving standardized test score requirements, and the tech companies that are in a position to hire really want you to know it.
The pandemic has accelerated the industry in general.
Automakers are getting serious about investing in and acquiring robotics startups or building these technologies in-house. See: Ford’s Agility investments, TRI’s research and Hyundai’s events post-Boston Dynamics acquisition.
Big firms like Amazon have been aggressively pushing consumer robotics.
I’ll be honest, this subhed sounds like a mandatory groan meets not-so-subtle hangover. I know you’re not interested, or really helped by, a listicle of all the crypto stories you may have missed while you were enjoying eggnog or catching up on books. Link roundups, even though they are at the end of this newsletter, only do so much!
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Labor trends in 2023: Over-employment, fatigue and hope by Natasha Mascarenhas originally published on TechCrunch