This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. Here is a collection of past columns.

I have deep thoughts this week. About mattresses and movie tickets.

A fire sale by the money-burning mattress company Casper and the possible revival of the money-burning movie subscription service MoviePass has made me ponder over the past decade of changing consumer habits driven by technology and bazookas of investor money.

Technologists are on a potential future of these days Blockchains and Metaverse or to spend millions for a copy of the US Constitution because … democracy? But before we move on to the next technology chapter, let’s look at both the good and the ugly in this one.

On my good days, I think the Silicon Valley silliness and the Damage from some uses of technology are far outweighed by the advantages of innovation and Optimists who dream big when they are out of the ordinary. I’m glad that entrepreneurs are working to make cars safer and better for the planet, and I can’t imagine life without a supercomputer in my pocket.

However, at this moment I am pessimistic.

Part of the latest tech legacy is a generation of young companies that have (arguably) clever ideas but are becoming financial zombies nonetheless. Many have ingrained unhealthy consumer expectations and Bucket of money lost.

I wonder if anyone who was involved in the 2010s tech era has any concerns about these drawbacks or has drawn any lessons from them. I hope so, but don’t be afraid.

Kasper Popularized purchase of mattresses online which are packed in boxes and delivered to your home. This week the company did reached an agreement to sell the company For a fraction its former value.

Without the coronavirus pandemic and the freezing of goods movements around the world, circumstances might have been different for Casper. But the sale was also a sign that investors didn’t believe in Casper’s future.

The company – how Above, We work, DoorDash and many other startups emblematic of the 2010s have lost tons of money after years in business. Casper too disclosed This week, the company threatened to run out of cash within a year, despite the company saying the sale, along with loans, planned cost cuts and other steps, should help stay afloat.

Even in the last few days, one of the weirdest madmen of the past few years looked like a comeback. MoviePass was exciting for the people who originally paid $ 10 a month to see a movie in theaters every day. It felt like an impossible business – and it was.

MoviePass Lost an incredible amount of money, and its parent company Filed for bankruptcy almost two years ago. Now one of the founders of MoviePass has a plan to revive it after acquisition from bankruptcy. Lets see what happens.

What, besides the red ink, connects Casper and MoviePass – together with Warby Parker, Open door and many other start-ups of the last decade – is the willingness rethink old ways of doing things Selling any product or service. Even if we never bought what these companies were selling, they changed the cumbersome industries and opened people’s eyes to new opportunities.

It’s worth celebrating the good while learning from what went wrong at the same time. Many of these young companies have grown up offer unsustainably cheap services or flood the internet with advertisements. It couldn’t last.

They also created expectation that having a mattress or dinner delivery to our door would be a hassle-free and free ballet. Instead, they use many of these services suffocated landfills with unwanted mattresses, Workers treated miserably and contributed to more traffic in cities. And many of these companies are also unsuccessful financially. Was the whole disturbance worth it?

It feels like many of the technical mistakes of the last decade are repeating themselves on steroids. There are electric vehicle companies that have barely produced cars added value as many the automaker in the world. I see a lot excessive hype all about NFTs and the blockchain and new Services emerge that will prove untenable.

I want to be optimistic about how technology has improved our lives. At the moment I am not.

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  • What the Activision CEO knew: The Wall Street Journal published one detection It found that the video game company’s top manager failed to inform his board of directors about allegations made by Activision employees of rape and other misconduct against men within the company. Activision has faced hundreds of sexual harassment, assault and mistreatment lawsuits against female employees. This is what my colleague Kellen Browning reported Some employees called for the CEO to be dismissed on Tuesday.

  • Is It Really Necessary? Moscow’s metro system is installing technology to scan people’s faces for entry rather than using a ticket or bank card. Celestine Bohlen writes for the New York Times that Privacy advocates are afraid that this is an unnecessary change that is an excuse to keep watching Russian citizens.

  • Do you have a plan B for the gadget you want: My colleague Brian X. Chen reminds us that consumer electronics like video game consoles and cheaper laptops are likely to be hard to find for the holidays. Here are his tips for buyers.

Do you ever really saw on the legs of the owls? They are amazing and a little bit silly.


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