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el producto #350 🚀
PM competencies, Airtable's strategy and layoffs, New Amazon devices, Google's Brad extensions, Effective performance reviews, Alexa + GenAI, Instacart IPO & more
Happy weekend and welcome to a new edition of el producto!
🎰 The week in figures
$20B: Amazon said it plans to bring ads to Prime Video in 2024 to boost revenue and continue investing in new TV and movie content. The company is expected to bump up its spending on TV shows, movies, and music to $20B this year, an over 20% jump compared to 2022
$10B: Instacart priced its IPO at $30/share, representing a ~$10B fully diluted valuation; at its peak, Instacart was valued at $39B in 2021
$576M: Klaviyo priced its ~19.2M shares at $30/share, raising $576M at a fully diluted valuation of $9.2B; the company closed its first day of trading up 9%
550M: On a Spaces livestream, Elon Musk said X now has 550M monthly users and is considering charging all users a small monthly fee to combat bot armies
$238M: Cato Networks, an Israel-based cybersecurity startup geared for remote teams, raised a $238M round at a $3B+ valuatio
$100M: Pryon, a North Carolina-based AI startup whose platform organizes customer data and provides chatbot-style search interfaces for employees, raised a $100M Series B at a $500M+ valuation
$50M: JOKR, the LatAm-focused instant-delivery startup, raised a $50M Series D at an $800M valuation; a ~41% markdown from its $1.3B valuation in February 2023
5M: Snapchat said its paid subscription service, Snapchat+, has now surpassed 5M subscribers, up from 4M in June
95% of 73,000+ NFT collections analyzed are now considered worthless with a market cap of 0 Ether (ETH). 79% of NFT collections are unsold, leading to a buyer's market with a surplus of supply over demand
-27%: Airtable announced it would lay off 27% of its staff (237 people). The company plans to refocus efforts to attain large clients and reduce spending. Leah Tharin just published a great piece analyzing what this move means in Airtable’s strategy
📰 What’s going on
Amazon will hire former Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay to run its Alexa and Echo unit as Amazon’s longtime head of hardware, Dave Limp, plans to retire before the end of the year
Amazon unveiled new AI features, Echo devices, and Fire TV sticks during its Fall Devices event. Main highlights:
The updated Echo Show 8 (3rd Gen) offers enhanced video calling, sound, spatial audio, and room adaptation tech
Improved Echo Frames smart glasses have a better design, sound quality, and extended battery life
A new Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick 4K Max, and Fire TV Soundbar
The Echo Hub, an 8-inch wall-mounted display, is designed to manage home gadgets, offering voice control, live camera feeds, and support for the Matter and Thread smart home protocols
Amazon said it's enhancing Alexa with generative AI to make the voice assistant more conversational and responsive. The improved Alexa, using Amazon's in-house large language model, will launch this fall for all current Echo and Fire TV users in the U.S.
After initially launching only to creators in March, Meta expanded its Meta Verified program to include businesses for $22/month for either Instagram or Facebook, or $35/month for both
Meta is now allowing Facebook users to create up to four additional profiles and switch between them without the need to log in and out. The extra profiles are attached to a user's main Facebook account. Meta pitched the new feature as a way for users to separate personal and professional relationships and "organize who you share with and what content you see for the various parts of your life"
WhatsApp has unveiled a feature for Indian users that facilitates payments to businesses within the app using various methods
Microsoft introduced its AI assistant, Copilot, for Windows and Microsoft 365, formerly Office. The company plans a Copilot for Windows 11 release on Sept. 26 and availability for Microsoft 365 enterprise customers starting Nov. 1
OpenAI is racing to beat Google in releasing a multimodal LLM, which integrates images and text; Google is preparing to release Gemini, while OpenAI is attempting to release its own model, called GPT-Vision, first
Google announced it's integrating its Bard chatbot with Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and more. Google's new "Bard Extensions," similar to ChatGPT's plug-ins, allow the chatbot to pull information from Google's apps and answer questions
Google DeepMind debuted AlphaMissense, a new AI tool that can predict whether mutations in human genes are likely to be harmful
YouTube announced a mobile editing app for creators to make and edit Shorts and longer videos. YouTube Create has launched in beta for Android across eight markets, with iOS support coming in 2024
Neuralink received approval to begin recruitment for the first human trial of its brain implant for paralysis patients, which will take six years to complete
New court documents in the FTC v. Microsoft case revealed an Xbox Series X redesign codenamed “Brooklin” coming in 2024; features include: all-digital design with no disc drive, 2TB of storage, cylinder shape
📚 Good reads
To unlock your career, get over yourself, by Julie Zhuo. I always enjoy Julie’s reflections. This week’s edition explores a topic that I’ve seen, both as an IC and as a manager, getting on the way of people again and again: the ego at workplace. The Me vs We, the focus on climbing the ladder vs driving results, and acknowledging that you are part of a Team, not a family, and not just an employer. Enjoy!
Writing as a thinking tool, by Anne-Laure Le Cunff. Writing is an essential component of a PM’s toolkit. Unfortunately, many of us make use of this tool in only the most basic ways: to send emails, write down a to-do list, or text other people. When, in fact, writing is a superpower that can unlock parts of your mind that are harder to access otherwise
Best practices for effective performance reviews: Tips for giving and receiving feedback, by First Round Review. From the documents to use to prep for these conversations ahead of time, to the question prompts that yield insightful conversations, to reflection tools that put feedback into practice. They also reached out to a bunch of sharp folks in the First Round community for their best tactics on delivering feedback more effectively and how to take the constructive criticisms delivered in stride
How to make product discovery a habit. Inspired by Teresa Torres’ Continuous Discovery Habits, Doerthe Ramin and Martin Lehner share practical and actionable advice to turn bad habits into positive, lasting ones around product discovery
Framing effect, and why context affects decisions, by Growth.Design. How you present information shapes people's perceptions (and decisions). In this great visual case-study you will find some examples to help you master persuasion
Product Management Competence Map. Paweł Huryn put together a nice guide and visual on PM skills and competencies. El producto’s take: some of the competencies listed here are trendy frameworks, which may or may not be relevant in your role’s context. I would take this as a good example rather than as comprehensive model. Definitely a great starting point to build your own map!
That’s all for today! Let me know what you think by replying back to this email or commenting on Substack