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Bad week for technology
The news on both sides of the Atlantic this week was dominated by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the world’s favorite bank for tech startups.
as a Forbes As noted this week, the most influential voices in tech came together quickly to urge the US government to take decisive action and prevent contagion in the rest of the economy.
Similar efforts were made in the United Kingdom, which resulted in two separate agreements protecting depositors in the United States and the United Kingdom. But as the dust settles on the biggest banking collapse since 2008, it’s time to reflect on the tech sector and its role in the broader economy.
Over the past 15 years in London, I have watched the once affectionately known ‘scene’ blossom from the corners of the financial district to become one of the most important sectors in the country.
The tide seems to have turned this week. What happened to the unique technological difference? What happened to growth at any cost and worry about income later? Those wild days when a mattress company became a ‘tech start-up’ because it made huge losses selling online. Or simply add the words ‘blockchain’, ‘meta’ or ‘AI’ to your company description and you’ve added millions.
Silicon Valley Bank, one venture capitalist told me, was a bank that really understood tech businesses. They have been and will continue to be an integral part of the technology world serving the needs of tomorrow’s leaders.
But as the tech world continues to reel from its biggest ever financial meltdown and brutal job cuts continue across the sector, is this the moment we realize that tech isn’t as unique as we once thought?
Five things we learned
The ‘toxic workplace gap’ widens. Studies have shown that in the first year of covid-19, women are 41 percent more likely to be poisoned at work. In worse news, another study found that a significant number of women are leaving altogether, citing a disconnect in workplace culture.
Uber drivers in California do not receive benefits.. San Francisco courts have ruled that app-based travel and delivery workers are not entitled to paid sick leave, health insurance and other employee benefits. The decision may be appealed to the California Supreme Court.
Daylight saving time is bad for our health.. North America switched to DST by an hour last weekend, leading to impaired decision-making, weight gain and even strokes. Poor sleep costs the United States an estimated $411 billion annually. Will this much hated tradition end in our lifetime?
The Northern Lights can come to New York, Ireland and much of Canada. A rare, once-in-a-decade “halo” event far from the Sun causes the aurora borealis to appear farther south than usual. Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes this weekend.
Saudi Arabia is making a big push into tourism.. This week, the kingdom released Riyadh Air for 33 additional options, aided by an order for 39 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. With luxury resorts popping up across the country, Saudi Arabia aims to attract 100m visitors by 2030.
Airport liquid restrictions are finally coming to an end.. Frequent flyers rejoice – new high-tech CT scanners are ending the job of identifying and restricting onboard flights. The laws were introduced after the failed terrorist attack in 2006.
A skin-eating fungus is silently tearing through Africa. They are said to be larger than the human species. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (BD) has been described as a devastating disease that kills frogs, toads and other amphibians. The fungus attacks the skin and triggers heart attacks and has wiped out many species in Africa.
How Tesla squandered its lead. Troubled by poor build quality, the world-renowned EV maker has struggled to ramp up production. With the old guard of Ford, GM, Toyota and Renault-Nissan catching up fast, and with loose cannon CEO Elon Musk at the helm, has Tesla lost its spark? Wendover Productions, YouTube, Free to watch worldwide.
Acceptance as a trans couple. Learn more about the highs and lows behind creating a very modern family. Death, Sex and Money, NPR; Free to listen worldwide.
Understand what you cannot understand. Do meetings leave you more confused than before? This persuasive book unlocks the mysteries of many different types of human relationships and more. In Idiots, Thomas Erickson, St. Martins Essentials; From 12 dollars.
The best London restaurants and bars for a wild night out. Underground secret parties under Covent Garden, 24-hour bottomless brunch in Billingsgate and dancing on tables in Soho. I’m tired of London, I’m tired of life.