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Elon Musk Dreams of Electric Robots

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Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Insider Tech newsletter, where we break down the biggest news in tech, including:

I’m Insider Tech Features Editor Alexei Oreskovic, and I’m always eager to hear your thoughts, feedback and tips, so hit me up at aoreskovic@insider.com.

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This week: Elon Musk dreams of electric robots

Tesla ai day


Never underestimate Elon Musk’s indefatigable desire to make people go ‘WTF?!’  During Tesla’s “AI day” event this week, the electric carmaker’s CEO stunned the audience by unveiling something that looks very different than a car: a humanoid robot.

Musk says a prototype will be coming soon, but for now the Tesla Bot is just a pretty picture on a screen. That said, the technology for robots is evolving in amazing ways:

Amazon’s slack problem

Andy Jassy

Andy Jassy

Mike Blake/Reuters

Less than two months into his tenure as Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy has his first case of employee unrest to deal with. As Eugene Kim exclusively reports, hundreds of Amazon employees have created an internal slack channel to openly criticize and vent about the company’s opaque performance review system.

The channel is called “I got pipped,” in reference to Amazon’s brutal performance-improvement plan that’s known for ending more careers at the company than it improves.

Read the full story here:

Hundreds of Amazon employees join an internal Slack channel to criticize its opaque performance-review system

And check out some of Insider’s other reporting on Amazon’s internal culture:

Some Amazon managers say they ‘hire to fire’ people just to meet the internal turnover goal every year

Inside Amazon’s complex employee-review system, where workers feel left in the dark and managers expect to give 5% of reports bad reviews


Here at Insider we love to find out who the key players are within various companies and industries, and to track the team rosters and all the big hires and departures. Here’s a couple of our latest lists of people worth watching:

50 behind-the-scenes investors in the venture capital world that control billions of dollars

From left: Paula Volent, chief investment officer of The Rockefeller University, Jagdeep Singh Bachher, chief investment officer of University of California, Kim Lew, chief executive officer of the Columbia Investment Management Company, and Craig W. Smith, chief investment officer of Tufts University on a yellow background.

Rockefeller University; L’Attitude; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Tufts University

62 power players at Travis Kalanick’s secretive food startup, plus 26 who left in the last two years

Quote of the week:

Vlad Tenev, CEO and Co-Founder, Robinhood in his office on July 15, 2021 in Menlo Park, California.

Vlad Tenev, CEO and co-founder, Robinhood.

Kimberly White/Getty Images for Robinhood

“Customers that have been participating in these IPOs have been relatively diamond-handed, so to speak.”

— Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, speaking on the company’s first earnings call since going public, busts out a bit of meme-stock lingo. To have “diamond hands” — as anyone in Reddit’s Wall Street Bets community will tell you — means to hold on to a stock or cryptocurrency when the price is falling. It’s the opposite of “paper hands.” 

Recommended readings: 

Hedge fund Tiger Global is blowing up the unwritten rules of startup investing right now with its speed, tons of cash, and hands-off approach

Apple is scaling back a key health project that grew out of its care clinics, and some workers could lose their jobs

Broken tech is causing a mounting environmental disaster. It’s time for tech companies to give us the right to repair our stuff instead of needing to throw it away

Uber is showing ads in its core app for the first time — a feature former CEO Travis Kalanick once rejected as bad for users — as it seeks profitability

The CEO of Cisco says the $239 billion networking giant is signing up more ‘web-scale’ customers than ever before as a ‘transition’ in the cloud drives more demand for cutting-edge data center gear

Not necessarily in tech:

College athletes are starting to cash in on sponsorships and it could spark a fight with universities trying to protect their own multimillion-dollar brand deals

Thanks for reading, and if you like this newsletter, tell your friends and colleagues they can sign up here to receive it.

— Alexei


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