The Scoop #29: Netflix revamps its compensation philosophy
Also: Struggles at Sketch, and details about Pollen’s enormous $83M outstanding debt.
The Scoop is a bonus series covering insights, patterns, and trends I observe and hear about within Big Tech and at high growth startups. Have a scoop to share? Send me a message! I treat all such messages as anonymous.
The Scoop sometimes delivers firsthand, original reportage. 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. Of course, I also analyze what’s happening in the tech industry, citing other media sources and quoting them as I dive into trends I observe. These sections do not carry the ‘Exclusive’ mark.
Struggles at Sketch. Just weeks after Figma was sold for $20B to Adobe, the design platform Sketch laid off 30% of its staff. I talked with Sketch employees to find out what happened to the company which enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity in around 2015. Why did Sketch change its approach from sustainable growth to hyper-growth? Exclusive.
Rescinding offers before a mass layoff: yay or nay? At least two Sketch new employees started on Monday, only to be let go on Tuesday. Should the company have rescinded those offers in advance, paying severance and saving everyone time? I talked with founders with experience of similar situations, and it’s a nuanced question. Analysis.
Compensation philosophy revamp at Netflix. The company is set to deliver details on compensation changes to all staff starting 24 October. But leadership prepared staff to not expect an increase. Why is this, and is Netflix making a mistake by not raising most salaries? Exclusive.
Pollen’s enormous outstanding debt: details. Two months after the startup went bankrupt, administrators have summarized the $80M+ debt the company has accumulated, most of which will not be paid. The highest offer to buy Pollen’s business assets - but without its liabilities - currently stands at only $250K. I went through the details, such as how the company ended up owing 10x as much to Monday.com, as it does to Vercel or DataDog. Exclusive.
Tech layoffs ongoing. In what is sadly unsurprising, VC-funded companies keep laying off staff. Details on Brex, AtoB and Felyx. But could the pace of layoffs be slowing? I think so. Analysis.