Happy Friday, readers! Writing to you from New York City, I'm Jordan Parker Erb.
A vacation sounds nice, right? The weather here has turned icy and I can't help but think about being somewhere more warm and less gray.
For some laid-off tech workers, that thought isn't confined to just daydreams - some employees told us that since they've been laid off, they've taken the opportunity to finally go on vacation. So today, we're looking at layoffs from a different angle: being set free.
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1. In Big Tech, getting laid off can mean taking a fancy vacation. With several months of severance pay on the way out, many freshly unemployed tech workers see their current job status not as a desperate situation, but as an opportunity to take a break abroad.
While the typical US worker receives little to no severance pay when they get laid off, firms like Facebook, Snap, and Twitter have been relatively generous. Facebook, for example, offered laid-off workers six months of pay.
Some laid-off tech workers have racked up few years of sky-high pay, frequent bonuses, generous stock awards, and now, decent severance - so some are thinking, "why not travel?"
Insider spoke with employees who said layoffs gave them the freedom to plan lavish vacations, like cross country road trips or European vacations.
See where other "freed" tech workers are headed.
In other news:
Tara Anand for Insider
2. Noom promised psychology-driven weight loss, but former employees say they weren't equipped to handle users' depression, disordered eating, and trauma. Coaches say they lacked the qualifications, preparation, and training to be psychological counselors, and often found themselves working with clients who exhibited complex and sometimes frightening behaviors. Read the full report here.
3. Andreessen Horowitz's buzzy tech publication Future is shutting down. After just a year and a half, the VC firm's publication is dead in the water: Future hasn't published a new article in months, most of its editorial staffers have left, and its newsletter is defunct. What happened to Future.
4. Lucid is offering employees $18,000 discounts to buy its cars by the end of the year. The program could help Lucid juice delivery numbers before year-end as it looks to rack up orders. What we know so far.
5. Some creators are starting to lean away from Instagram. The platform's tendency to launch and then shut down or scale back money-making initiatives has left many creators feeling like the platform has repeatedly pulled the rug out from under them. Why influencers are getting fed up with Insta.
6. Elon Musk's war with Apple is apparently over. After a tumultuous week for the world's richest man and the world's biggest tech company, Musk said he's resolved a "misunderstanding" with Tim Cook about Twitter potentially being yanked from Apple's App Store. More on that here.
7. A leaked message from Slack's CEO shows how shocked he was over Bret Taylor's sudden Salesforce departure. Stewart Butterfield, the CEO of Slack - which is owned by Salesforce - wrote to staff that there's "no way to spin this as a good thing, so I'm not going to try that." Read his full message here. Plus, see lone CEO Marc Benioff's 2023 to-do list.
8. Elon Musk said he plans to get Neuralink's brain implant for himself. The billionaire said he expects Neuralink to start human trials in the next six months, and that he'll install one in his own brain when it's available. What we know so far.
Odds and ends:
9. A writer shares why she'll never travel without an AirTag again. After losing her wallet in Iceland and again in London, Lauren Savoie invested in a pack of four Apple AirTags - and they changed the way she travels. How the AirTags have come in handy.
10. These words create special texting effects on your iPhone. Add some spice to your iMessages by including certain words like "Pew Pew." See all the words that cue special effects.
The latest people moves in tech:
Apple quietly hired Vishal Gurbuxani, a mobile advertising pioneer, to build a new ad-buying platform.
Bret Taylor announced he'll be leaving Salesforce.
Tableau CEO Mark Nelson is leaving the Salesforce-owned software company.