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Netflix has lost its golden touch. Here’s why the streamer is so boring now.

TGIF, readers. I’m your host today, Diamond Naga Siu. Tomorrow, I’m playing in a pickleball tournament. I love healthy competition — but not when it comes to work (sorry, editors). And many tech workers may feel the same way. 

Finance has long ranked employees, but it’s been out of fashion in tech for nearly a decade. Now, though, many tech managers have new marching orders to put a certain number of direct reports into piles of “top performers” and “low performers” — yikes.

Tougher performance reviews mark another shift in tech industry power dynamics. They feel synonymous with even more layoffs. My teammate Hasan Chowdhury breaks down what this means as the new year approaches.

Now that you’re primed for some high-performance work, let’s dive into today’s stories.

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The Netflix logo crumbling and being pushed off it's pedestal

Tyler Le/Insider

1. The golden age of streaming TV is over. Netflix revolutionized the way we watch television and movies. But the utopia of choice — watching what we want, whenever we want — could be waning. Ads are creeping in. The content just isn’t that fresh anymore. And many faves were controversially axed.

  • Netflix once made an explicit choice to invest in underrepresented communities, Paris Marx writes. Shows like “Orange is the New Black” and “GLOW” gave spotlights to women, queer people, people of color, and non-Americans.
  • But, according to Marx, the company stopped prioritizing stories from underrepresented communities, and new players were throwing their hats into the streaming wars.
  • The company shifted strategies to look for “big, broad stories that can be told on a budget,” according to documents shared with Insider. Now, Marx writes that Netflix is filled with bland shows, half-assed reality TV, and hopelessly derivative movies.

Here’s your front-row seat to the downfall of streaming.

In other news:

An image of new Twitter owner Elon Musk is seen surrounded by Twitter logos in this photo illustration.Elon Musk acquired Twitter on October 27.

Getty Images

2. Twitter suspended several accounts belonging to journalists who have been covering and criticizing Elon Musk. Among the affected accounts were journalists from CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Musk appeared to suggest the suspensions were related to the tracking of his private jet. Read the full story. 

3. This firm is quietly making it possible for companies like OpenAI to create lifelike language models. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which produces lifelike responses to text prompts, is taking the internet by storm — but the $1 billion developer framework beneath it is flying under the radar. Meet Ray, the framework from A16Z-backed startup Anyscale.

4. This is how you react to losing $1 billion in a day. After investors withdrew more than $1 billion from Binance on Tuesday, CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao sent a company-wide memo. Spoiler alert: he expects “the next several months to be bumpy.” Read the full memo here.

5. Elon Musk has divided Silicon Valley friendships, according to a former Facebook executive. Alex Stamos compared Musk to Donald Trump’s divisiveness. In the same way that families across America were split over Trump during his presidency, friendships in tech are suffering because of Musk. Check out the latest Silicon divide here

6. Starbucks and Amazon’s PR nightmare is coming true. Workers at a cobranded Starbucks Amazon Go store are holding a union vote this week. Locations for each giant have individually unionized, but this is the first group of workers to simultaneously take on the two titans. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the unionization effort.

7. Adtech took a big hit this year, but these companies blossomed. Digital advertising money fell considerably in 2022 and adtech felt the blow. Layoffs plagued the industry, but adtech still flourished in certain areas like streaming services and retail. Check out the hottest adtech companies of the year.

8. “Elon abandoned Tesla”: One of the EV maker’s investors calls for a new CEO. As Musk shifts his attention to Twitter, shareholder patience is running thin — to the point that KoGuan Leo, Tesla’s third largest individual shareholder, tweeted that it may be time for a new CEO. Inside investors’ mounting frustrations.

Odds and ends:

The Tesla Model Y electric SUV.The Tesla Model Y.

Tim Levin/Insider

9. These electric cars are here for a cold time — and a long time. Low temperatures majorly shorten electric vehicles’ battery lives. The Ford Mustang Mach-E, for example, loses more than 30% of its range, according to a new study. See which vehicles go the distance.

10. Russia shared a video of a nuclear missile getting loaded. Russian President Vladimir Putin previously said he would only use nuclear weapons if another country used them first. Here’s what the weapon of mass destruction looks like.

The latest people moves in tech:

Curated by Diamond Naga Siu in New York. Feedback or tips? Email or tweet @diamondnagasiu. Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London and Jordan Parker Erb (tweet @jordanparkererb) in New York.

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