LastPass hacked, OpenAI opens access to ChatGPT, and Kanye gets suspended from Twitter (again)
Aaaand we’re back! With our Thanksgiving mini-break behind us, it’s time for another edition of Week in Review — the newsletter where we quickly wrap up the most read TechCrunch stories from the past seven(ish) days. No matter how busy you are, that should give you a pretty good idea of what people were talking about in tech this week.
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Instafest goes instaviral: You’ve probably been to a big music festival before. But have you been on a team just for you? Probably not. Instafest, an online app that went super viral this week, helps you daydream about what that festival might look like. Sign in with your Spotify credentials and it will generate a mock festival poster based on your listening habits.
LastPass broken (again): “Password manager LastPass said it is investigating a security incident after its systems were compromised for the second time this year,” writes Zack Whittaker. Investigations are still ongoing, which unfortunately means it’s not super clear what (and whose) data may have been accessed.
ChatGPT opens: This week, OpenAI wide-opened access to ChatGPT, which lets you interact with their new language-generation AI through a simple chat-style interface. In other words, it allows you to generate (sometimes scarily well-written) pieces of text by chatting with a bot. Darrell used it to instantly write the Pokemon cheat sheet he’s always wanted.
AWS re: Invents: This week, Amazon Web Services hosted its annual re:Invent conference, where the company showcases what’s next for the cloud computing platform that powers a massive chunk of the internet. Highlights of the year? A low-code tool for serverless apps, a promise to give AWS customers control over where in the world their data is stored (to help you navigate increasingly complex government policies), and a tool to run “city-scale simulations” in the cloud.
Twitter suspends Kanye (again): “Elon Musk has suspended Kanye West’s (aka Ye) Twitter account after the latter posted anti-Semitic tweets and violated the platform’s rules,” writes Ivan Mehta.
Spotify is ending it: Every year in December, Spotify releases “Wrapped” — an interactive feature that takes your Spotify listening data for the year and presents it in a super visual way. This year it has the simple stuff like how many minutes you streamed, but it’s also branching out with ideas like “listening personalities” — a Myers-Briggs-inspired system that puts each user into one of 16 camps, like the “adventurer” or ” Replay.”
Layoffs by DoorDash: I was hoping to go a week without a layoff story bumping the list. Alas, DoorDash confirmed this week that it is laying off 1,250 people, with CEO Tony Xu explaining that it was hiring too quickly during the pandemic.
Salesforce’s co-CEO is stepping down: “In one week last December, [Bret Taylor] was named chairman of Twitter and co-CEO of Salesforce,” writes Ron Miller. “One year later, he holds neither job.” Taylor says he has “decided to return to [his] entrepreneurial roots.”
I expected things to be one a little quiet in TC Podcast land last week due to the holidays, but somehow we had great shows! Ron Miller and Rita Liao joined Darrell Etherington on The TechCrunch Podcast to talk about the departure of Salesforce’s co-CEO and China’s “great wall of porn”; Team Chain reaction shared an interview with Nikil Viswanathan, CEO of web3 development platform Alchemy; and the always delightful Equity the crew talked about everything from Sam Bankman-Fried’s wild interview on DealBook to why all three co-founders of funding startup Pipe resigned at the same time.
What’s behind the paywall for TC+ members only? Here’s what TC+ members read the most this week:
Lessons for raising $10 million without giving up a board seat: Reclaim.ai has raised $10 million over the past two years, all “without giving up a single board seat.” How? Reclaim.ai co-founder Henry Shapiro shares his insights.
Consultants are the new non-traditional VC: “Why are so many consultant-led venture capital funds launching now?” asks Rebecca Szkutak.
Collection in times of greater VC control: “Founders can get discouraged in this environment, but they need to remember that they have ‘currency’ too,” writes DocSend co-founder and former CEO Russ Heddleston.