Happy Monday! Yes, yes. We know. We're a week late, but we can explain (promise!).
The entire HackerNoon team was so dumbfounded by the whole will-he, won’t he situation with Elon Musk that we decided to take some time off to process the Tesla co-founder's decision to back out of the deal to buy Twitter Inc. 😢 (Editor's Note: No HackerNoon employee was traumatized by Elon Musk's decision to pull the plug).
While we're not going to go into the specifics of Musk's erratic behavior and general eccentricity (we recommend this YouTube video instead), we are interested in knowing how the Elon-Twitter feud is going to shape the week-to-week rankings of technology companies. So the question really isn't whether Musk will (or will not!) buy Twitter, but whether any of his companies will land in the coveted #1 spot on HackerNoon's tech rankings (we're self-centered like that.)
For this week, though, that doesn't seem to be the case. In fact, this week's reigning champion was none other than Microsoft 👑, and why wouldn't it be? After a relatively slow June, the technology behemoth was in the news for becoming Netflix's technology and sales partner on its first-ever ad-supported subscription offering. (ICYMI: Netflix is planning to offer a cheaper subscription plan to lure "advertising-tolerant" viewers to its platform to make up for slowing subscriber growth).
While all that's great, what's not so great is news that Microsoft is going to be letting go of some of its employees. According to Bloomberg, this is normal since the Redmond firm typically announces job cuts shortly after the July 4 holiday as it reevaluates its priorities for the new fiscal period.
Moving on, this week's #2 was Apple 🍎. The ranking comes at the heels of a Forbes article detailing a new iPhone upgrade (and possibly the Apple Watch too?) to include lasers in the devices. What for? Well, it could be for biometrics, making Face ID or Touch ID more effective, or to determine the air quality around you. The details are a bit murky at the moment.
What isn't murky is this week's #3: Tesla 🚗. And ooh boy, we don't even know where to start! So much news, such little time. According to CNBC, Tesla’s bitcoin holdings could result in a $460 million hit for the carmaker (what, with the cryptocurrency losing its value by 53.76% YTD as of July 18, 2022 — at one point to even below $19,000 a pop).
But that's not all! A German court has asked Musk's darling carmaker to pay a little over $100,000 for a faulty autopilot feature. Meanwhile, another report details plans of Steam games coming to Tesla cars soon, ya know, so you could hit that hi-score while your vehicle drives you to the nearest Starbucks, shopping mall, or grocery store. ☕
Switching gears (geddit, gears?), Amazon 📦 landed on the #4 spot. A profile on Amazon CEO Andy Jassy by The New York Timeshighlights how the current CEO is breaking from the 'Bezos way' by having more frequent visits to Washington and opening lines of communication with lawmakers. Which makes sense given the e-commerce giant is facing regulatory scrutiny on multiple fronts.
Out in the U.K. 🇬🇧, Amazon announced plans to take on Britain's Tesco with a price match scheme on hundreds of products. Given an increase in the cost of living, consumers are as interested as ever in keeping their expenses in check, and Amazon's decision will likely help customers save on their weekly grocery shopping.
Rounding off the rankings for this week was Coinbase 🪙 at the #5 spot. Things don't look too hot at the cryptocurrency exchange, despite the fact that it received approval in Italy to operate in the European country.
After spending weeks with the whole job cuts fiasco and shaming employees for questioning its leadership (and not to mention that one report detailing an agreement by Coinbase to sell data to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency), rumors are now surfacing the company could be facing liquidity issues.
The rumors began after Business Insider reported the crypto exchange was suspending its affiliate program, leading some to believe the decision was indicative of liquidity problems and hinted at a possible insolvency. 💸
And that's a wrap! Thank you for reading this week’s Tech Company Brief. If you'd like to follow these rankings in real-time, feel free to head down here. See y'all next week.