E168: Can Google save itself? Abolish HR, AI takes over Customer Support, Reddit IPO teardown

E168: Can Google save itself? Abolish HR, AI takes over Customer Support, Reddit IPO teardown

Bestie intros! Jato Caelin (00:00:00)

  • Jason is at a house that is architecturally significant.
  • K-Kin is still alive and kicking, he is 64 years old now.
  • K-Kin is a good hang and sets things up.

Groq update!: The key metric developer platforms should care about (00:01:36)

  • Groq's waitlist has tripled in the past week, with almost 10,000 developers now waiting to access the platform.
  • The number of developers is increasing, with more and more non-technical founders teaching themselves to code.
  • The White House has released a statement encouraging developers to learn memory-safe languages to prevent security leaks.
  • Google is facing challenges in various areas, including:
    • Declining market share in search to competitors like TikTok and YouTube.
    • Increased regulatory scrutiny and antitrust lawsuits.
    • Employee dissatisfaction and activism.
  • Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, has announced several changes to address these challenges, including:
    • A reorganization of the company into smaller, more focused units.
    • Increased investment in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
    • A commitment to addressing employee concerns and improving the work environment.
  • Despite these changes, Google's future remains uncertain, and it is unclear whether the company can successfully adapt to the changing landscape.
  • HR departments are often seen as bureaucratic and inefficient, and there is a growing movement to abolish them altogether.
  • AI-powered customer support tools are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are able to handle a wide range of customer inquiries.
  • By eliminating HR departments and using AI for customer support, companies can reduce costs and improve efficiency.
  • Reddit's recent IPO was a success, with the company's stock price rising significantly on its first day of trading.
  • Reddit's growth has been driven by its unique user base and its focus on user-generated content.
  • However, Reddit also faces challenges, including:
    • Competition from other social media platforms.
    • The need to monetize its user base without alienating them.
    • The potential for misinformation and abuse on the platform.

Google's make or break moment: Should Sundar be fired, AI safety team's power, RIF potential, stock pressure, and more (00:05:55)

  • Google's AI chatbot, Gemini, generated racially biased responses, leading to a 5% stock drop and investor frustration.
  • Sundar Pichai acknowledged the issue and promised structural changes, potentially including layoffs and the elimination of the DEI group.
  • Google faces internal concerns about its AI products, lack of diversity and inclusion, and a culture of fear that discourages employees from speaking up.
  • The company's stock is trading at a discount compared to other big tech companies despite growth in core businesses like search, cloud, and YouTube.
  • Google's market share in the search engine market is at 92%, and any significant decline could substantially decrease its market capitalization.
  • The company's responsible AI team enforces diversity principles, leading to potential overcorrection and suppression of dissenting opinions.
  • Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, may need to take decisive action to address these issues and refresh the company's culture.

How bloated HR departments slow down companies (00:29:17)

  • The speaker criticizes the role of HR departments in organizations, particularly their involvement in hiring processes and diversity quotas, and suggests abolishing them.
  • Empowering individuals to design their own benefits packages and hire their own teams can lead to better performance and diversity.
  • Measuring performance and holding individuals accountable is more effective than focusing on immutable traits for diversity.
  • Successful startups have a cultural meritocracy, are non-bureaucratic, and have minimal overhead, while DEI organizations can create bureaucracy, add costs, and slow down companies.
  • Founders should have an outside law firm specializing in employment law to handle HR-related complaints and investigations.
  • HR should be an administrative function focused on onboarding and administrative tasks, not acting as gatekeepers of sensitive information.
  • The term "diversity, equity, and inclusion" has been captured by a single vector of immutable racial identity or gender, while diversity in backgrounds, experiences, and ways of thinking is more important for the success of a team or organization.

Google's licensing deals: Is this TAC 2.0? How can Reddit capitalize on its data? (00:40:15)

  • Google has made significant licensing deals with Reddit, Stack Overflow, Springer, and OpenAI to obtain training data for its AI models.
  • OpenAI is facing a lawsuit from the New York Times for allegedly hacking ChatGPT to obtain specific results.
  • Google, OpenAI, and Gemini have implemented safeguards to prevent copyright infringement in their AI systems.
  • Google's shift from paying for search traffic to paying for unique training data to improve its AI models is known as "Tac 2.0."
  • This presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs and website owners with unique data to generate revenue by licensing it to companies like Google.
  • The impact of Tac 2.0 on small websites and publications is uncertain, but it could provide an additional revenue stream for content creators.
  • Google faces challenges in attributing the value of training data from small websites in the current AI-driven landscape.
  • The market-based solution involves websites providing training data to Google, but the monetization model is still unclear.
  • The value of training data decreases over time as the rate of data generation increases.
  • Reddit's non-exclusive licensing deal with Google allows it to potentially make similar deals with other platforms.
  • The historical content in Reddit's archive may become more valuable over time.
  • The lack of unionization among content creators limits their bargaining power in negotiations with large tech companies.
  • The news industry missed an opportunity to form a federation and negotiate with Google collectively, resulting in lost revenue and customer data.

Klarna's huge AI innovation: AI disruption, open-source benefits, a new class of billion-dollar startups (00:53:50)

  • Clara Labs' AI customer support tool has replaced 700 full-time agents, reducing issue resolution time and increasing profits.
  • AI is expected to replace knowledge labor and frontline customer support roles but create new jobs and businesses.
  • Open-sourcing AI tools, like Clara Labs', Meta's, and Apple's, can promote responsible AI adoption and benefit companies that don't directly sell AI.
  • AI-powered customer support agents and bots can significantly reduce costs and replace traditional workflows, making it challenging for companies with point products to survive.
  • The next frontier for AI in customer support is likely to be phone-based interactions, with AI-generated voices and real-time translation tools.
  • AI-powered customer support can provide personalized and efficient assistance by recognizing accents, understanding customer history, and anticipating needs.
  • Celebrities' voices can be used to create personalized customer support experiences, potentially enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction.
  • The text is about a YouTube video titled "E168: Can Google save itself? Abolish HR, AI takes over Customer Support, Reddit IPO teardown" that discusses various topics, including the HBO show "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy", Thanksgiving recipes, and the importance of gratitude.

Reddit S-1 breakdown (01:13:06)

  • Reddit's revenue grew by 21% YoY to $84 million in 2023, but it still incurred a net loss of $91 million.
  • Despite a high gross margin of 86%, Reddit's average revenue per user (ARPU) is low at $3.42 compared to competitors like Facebook.
  • Daily active unique users grew by 27% YoY to 76 million, and the company has $1.2 billion in cash.
  • Reddit plans to implement a direct share program for its most active moderators, which could pose challenges.
  • The recent surge in user growth in the past six months is crucial for Reddit's valuation, as it was previously experiencing flat growth.
  • Potential investors will scrutinize the reasons behind the recent growth spurt and expect a clear strategy to maintain or accelerate it.
  • Reddit's logged-in user growth has doubled in the last three years, while logged-out user growth may be due to users opting out of the app experience.
  • Reddit users are sophisticated internet users who don't click on ads and are anti-ads.
  • The largest shareholder in Reddit is still Condé Nast, so they will benefit the most from the IPO.

The Apple Car is dead: Apple cancels Project Titan (01:22:52)

  • Apple cancels Project Titan, its electric vehicle project.
  • The project had been in development for a decade, with a target price point of $100,000.
  • Apple had 2,000 employees working on the project, including designers from various luxury car brands.
  • Most of the team will be transferred to Apple's generative AI division.
  • There will be some layoffs, but the extent is unclear.
  • Apple's decision to cancel the project is seen as a shift in focus towards AI.

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