Big Tech Layoffs 2023

I’ve had this exact thing happen several times in the last year. A Google search’s first three results included the Amazon product I wanted to buy (Prime-eligible, next day shipping), but searching on Amazon for the exact title yielded over a page of directly related results but not the thing itself.

They’ve done the research, but it seems amazing that a customer coming in cold searching for a very specific term won’t get that item as the first result. Like, the ad conversion possibility doesn’t seem like it could be more valuable than that person leaving the site.

Like 200% of the profit comes from AWS. (Seriously; last quarter their operating income was $2.7 billion; $5.3 billion of it was AWS, the rest of the company made a loss.)

Their ads business should just by common sense be pretty profitable too, but it is impossible to untangle from the retail business.

This is the whole reason for them having Amazon smile in the first place. Buying something by clicking on the Google result wouldn’t donate to Amazon smile. You had to search in Amazon so they could pitch you some of their payola results first. But apparently that incentive wasn’t enough to net them any money so they ditched the charity.

Smile still works currently, doesn’t it? That’s what I use when I connect to Amazon.

Smile while you can, it ends on the 20th. Then grimace.


I guess I’ll just up my direct contributions to WWF… I’ll get more cheap t shirts.

Re: ranking of products like GoPro in search results, I suspect Amazon rolled out some form of co-op advertising and unless manufacturers pay some level of active advertising the search ranking will prio other products based on a number of factors that will disadvantage the ‘authentic’ product (i.e. price)

I’m pretty sure I had a business teacher in long-ago college who stressed how companies shouldn’t stray from their core business(es). Sure they’re using Rivian vehicles but this seemed like a stretch.

Cory Doctorow uses exactly the “Google for the thing you want to buy on Amazon because in-site search is a hive of scum, fake reviews and knock-offs” example in his enshittification essay.

Heck more recently people have increasingly appended “Reddit” to the end of their search to try and find authentic reviews and discussion on products instead of relying on Amazon reviews

I am just now realizing that I’m one of those people!

Here’s a good analysis on the bay area -

I wonder if besides economic factors if that is just going to become more of a reality for pc makers. Even a new entry level computer is probably perfectly capable for most people at this point. Even for gamers, you can upgrade less frequently and be perfectly fine. I think I went about 5 years on my last system with a gpu upgrade in the middle, and I will probably be using this nzxt system for another 3 years. I will probably upgrade the gpu in the next year or so, but the 5900x cpu will last me until I decide I want whatever AMD is shipping in a few years since I can actually make use of all of those cores for work. If it wasn’t for that this system I have could probably last until it breaks down.

PC makers were facing that situation pre-2020, as sales had been on a slow decline for a while. But the pandemic was literally a once in a century anomaly that created unprecedented PC demand. It basically reset the upgrade cycle and we’re still nowhere near the end of that cycle because hardware lasts so long now.

Hell, even iPhone owners are holding on to their existing phones for longer than ever.

I just purchased a Dell directly from them at a very steep discount as one of our kids’ first computers. $700 for a nicely finished laptop with integrated graphics that plays a couple of my steam library AAA games from a handful of years ago “okay enough”. It might be time for me to build a new PC after my several years hiatus.

And also, the quantity and capability of secondhand parts coming from upgraders are still strong enough for most users’ daily drivers. Outside of gaming, the demanding uses are just not growing as fast as the hardware capability, so the hardware makers are facing tough competition from their own HW from 3 years ago.

I’ve been a huge critic of CEO pay and performance before and this opinion hits it all pretty well.

I always do this for unknown products. Once the scammers figure this out, Reddit is going to be ruined too.