Has the startup bankruptcy wave started? (The Pulse #56)
Bird and VanMoof are likely to go out of business. Also: a stricter promotions process at Amazon, and advice on selling developer tools when most companies cut spending.
Before we start, a small change. I’m renaming Thursday’s article’s series to The Pulse from The Scoop. The content will not change, but ‘The Pulse’ just better represents the mission of these articles, which is to help you keep an “ear to the ground” on what’s happening across Big Tech and at startups – sectors which regularly affect the whole tech industry.
I receive and validate plenty of interesting information from insiders at these companies, but my main focus is analyzing what’s going on in our industry; the implications of that and the opportunities for software engineers and tech businesses.
Names matter, and I feel “The Scoop” suggests a more gossipy, tabloid newspaper-style approach than what these articles actually deliver. Since The Scoop’s first issue I’ve focused on relevant industry changes and what they mean. I hope “The Pulse” makes the intent of this series clear: to provide you an ear to the ground and the latest analysis of the state of our industry.
Today's topics are:
Further tightening of performance management at Amazon? Some engineering managers face a challenging constraint for engineers they want to promote by the end of the year. Is Amazon trying to encourage more churn? Exclusive.
Google Cloud Domains to shut down: more details. It’s been confirmed by Google that its Cloud product which was in preview, is to be shut down, with Google Cloud Domains customers being transferred (whether they like it or not) to Squarespace. Analysis.
Bird valued at a mere $26M. If you would have invested $1,000 in shares of the scooter sharing company when it went public in November 2021, those shares would be worth about $11. The company is at risk of going under, and its unit economics tell part of the story on why. Also, the company inflated its revenue numbers for 2 years after it went public using a SPAC. Analysis.
VanMoof files for bankruptcy protection. The electric bike company raised close to $200M, but now closed all its service points, has no appointed CEO, and is starting down the threat of bankruptcy. For bike customers, they face the risk of their bikes being bricked, should the company’s servers go offline. If you own such a bike: use a third-party tool to obtain your encryption key while you can. Analysis.
Is a startup bankruptcy wave underway? We may be at the start (or even in the midst of) the ‘startup purge’ that’s been expected for some time. Analysis.
Selling developer tools when most companies are cutting spending. SaaS spending is down, as is spend on developer tools. Anna Debanham (a partner at Boldstart Ventures) shares advice on how to sell these tools at this time. Advice.
The Pulse sometimes delivers first hand, original reporting. I’m adding an ‘Exclusive’ label to news that features original reporting direct from my sources, as distinct from analysis, opinion, and reaction to events.