Economics/Class Relations

Startups just missed ‘mass extinction’

March 17, 2023
Hello, Insiders. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Here’s what’s on the agenda today:
— Nicholas Carlson


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Trump, fighter jets, & more

  • Chinese leader Xi Jinping is heading to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin. What we know.
  • Donald Trump is launching a preemptive attack on prosecutor Alvin Bragg in the run-up to a possible criminal indictment in New York. More here.
  • Fighter jets are “worthless” over Ukraine, and it’s a sign of what US pilots and troops may face in future battles. Find out more.

Tech’s financial crisis

Liu Guanguan/China News Service/VCG/Getty Images; Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty; Insider


It was described as an “extinction-level event.” A calamity that would set startups back by 10 years or more. Even the “Godfather of Silicon Valley” was pleading the startup community’s case to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.

Silicon Valley Bank, the biggest go-to financial institution for tech companies, serviced nearly half of all US venture-capital-backed startups.

But over the last week, all that changed. In just 24 hours, customers withdrew $42 billion from SVB accounts in a full-on bank run. A day later, regulators seized the bank and the FDIC took control.

A rescue for all depositors arrived on Sunday — to the relief of the startup community and to the chagrin of almost everyone else.

We’re taking you inside the week that left tech divided as never before and threatened to bring down the entire banking system.


Swift City, brilliant jerks, & more

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS


  • Welcome to Swift City. Taylor Swift’s record-breaking Eras Tour kicks off today. In Glendale, Arizona, which hosts the first two dates, hotels are booked, businesses are making more room, and the cookies are flowing. The things a city does to host over 150,000 Swifties.
  • “I was just laid off from Meta. The way the layoffs were handled was very cold.” Mary Prescott was one of the 10,000 people laid off from Meta this week. She wasn’t surprised, but she wishes leadership had handled it differently. The full story, in her words.
  • AI vs. tech’s “brilliant jerks.” AI is expected to take on tedious tasks and free humans to do more creative work. This means communication and collaboration among tech workers is paramount; conversely, it’s bad news for tech workers who thrived as brilliant solitary jerks. Read more.
  • Making $100,000 in New York City “feels like” only $36,000. NYC ranked the lowest for cost of living on a six-figure salary in a study of 76 cities. The top 10 cities where your money goes further.
  • The average bachelorette party now costs $10,800. Bachelorette parties have turned into multi-day long trips to cities like Nashville and Miami that include over-the-top experiences like pool parties hosted by hunky pool boys. Read on.
  • Moscow was likely trying to send a message by harassing a US drone. A Russian fighter jet harassed a US military drone over the Black Sea this week. One think tank says engagements like this are likely calculated Russian tactics. More here.
  • What the average home for sale in the US looks like. Typical homes on the market have had a price cut, been up for sale for months, and come with at least one sweetener for buyers. Read more here

Spacesuits over the years

Dragan Radovanovic/Business Insider
NASA’s newest moon suit — and every key spacesuit its astronauts have worn since the 1960s. NASA astronauts will don a new spacesuit during the 2025 Artemis III moon mission. From the silvery suits of the Mercury program to Elon Musk’s sleek Crew Dragon suits, here’s how astronauts’ spacesuits have evolved over six decades.



Undersea seizure


Colombia seized nearly six tons of cocaine from a submarine. Colombian authorities captured a submarine in the Pacific Ocean, finding 5,800 pounds of cocaine on board. They also found two dead bodies. The submarine was on its way to Central America. See it for yourself.



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This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, Dave Smith, Nathan Rennolds, and Jack Robert Stacey. Get in touch:

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