🍪 Google's Epic loss

Happy Thursday, friends. We're the ghost pepper to your tech news diet - we bring the heat and spice it up.

We’ve got a ton of good stuff on deck today, so let’s get to it.

In the oven this week:

  • 🧑 Google’s epic L

  • 🗳️ Poll of the week: who got paid the most on OpenAI’s board?

  • 💬 Tweet of the week: Youtube’s still got the teens

  • 🍪 Cookie crumbs: 6 bite-sized headlines 

  • 🍫 Chocolate chips: our 3 favorite finds this week

  • 😂 Snickerdoodles: Thursday memery



Epic Games is pretty much only known for 2 things: 

  1. Creating Fortnite

  2. Suing Apple and Google over their App Store fees

They’ve been in court for YEARS. 

At this point, they’ve probably spent more money on legal fees than they’ve given to Apple and Google this year. 

Here’s why they’ve got their panties in a bunch: 

  • The big app stores take a fat cut of app revenue (i.e. in app purchases). 

  • Apple: 15% cut for developers that make under $1M a year and 30% for developers that make more than $1M. Google: 15% on your first $1M in revenue, and 30% on everything above your first $1M in revenue

  • This ain’t small potatoes. Epic makes ~$6B in revenue a year, so it’s giving up ~$2B.

  • Meanwhile, Google alone makes ~$50B in revenue from the Play Store every year. For context, that’s Stripe’s current valuation.

A few years back, Epic tried to get smart by letting their users use their own direct payment system, thus bypassing the app stores’ fees. 

This is completely against the rules, since Apple and Google require developers to use their billing systems. 

So what did Apple and Google do?

They kicked Fortnite out of the app stores. 

…Which prompted Epic to file an antitrust lawsuit against them for abuse of monopoly power. 

In 2021, Apple won the suit against Epic. 

So people were expecting the same ruling when it came time to decide on the verdict of the Google trial this week.  

But the jury said, “not so fast” and ruled against Google in a surprise move. 

Huh? What was different?

  • The main problem was that they found out Google had struck deals with certain gaming companies and not others (aka they lowered their app store fees for something in return) 

  • Apple didn’t have these backdoor deals, so their approach was considered fair and equal for all developers

Google’s appealing the ruling, and it’s a good thing they’ve got money, ‘cause that might take another few years. 

They’re down, but not out. 

One thing’s for sure - regulators are on the prowl, and they ain’t afraid to bite.


This week, OpenAI filed a bunch of tax documents to the IRS, and we finally found out how much everyone on their board was compensated. So, here’s a fun one for ya:

Take a guess - who had the highest base salary on their board of directors?

Sound off 👇🏽

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No peeking! Answer’s at the bottom of this email.



Teens are the golden children of tech - everyone wants their attention, cause they’re usually first to adopt the next big thing.

A new study came out this week and well, Youtube’s still the king of the teens.

93% of teens use YouTube, vs. ~60% each for TikTok, Snapchat, and IG:

Everyone’s always talking about Gen Z taking over Snap and TikTok, but it’s pretty incredible to see Youtube still at the top after all these years.

*Cue Facebook punching the air rn.*


Remember last year, when we talked about Apple and Google’s battle over RCS messaging (i.e. the great green vs blue text bubble battle?) We had our money on Apple holding out, but in a surprise move, they caved and decided to start supporting RCS messaging for Android users. What does this mean for our iOS + Android group texts? They’ll now support encryption, read receipts, high res photos/videos, etc. Huge win for Google. Now Aunt Pam can finally stop breaking the family group chat.  

Elon’s “anti-woke” AI called Grok is now rolling out to X’s Premium Plus users. Since it was built to purposely not have the political correctness of Bard/ChatGPT, all it’s doing is roasting everyone, and it’s hilarious

Adam Neumann's new startup, Flow is finally here - you know, the one a16z famously invested $350M into? It's a 639-unit Fort Lauderdale built around social networking/community building opportunities: a poolside restaurant, fitness classes, a co-working space, a concierge staff, and an app residents can use to communicate with each other. It’s actually less expensive than you'd think - a one bed is $2.1K (vs. Fort Lauderdale’s $2K average).

Andreessen released their 2024 predictions across all verticals: consumer tech, crypto, healthcare, etc. Super slow/annoying website, but pretty interesting trends.

80% of all grades given to undergraduates at Yale last academic year were A’s or A-minuses, up from 67% in the 2010-2011 academic year. At Harvard, 79% of all grades given to undergraduates in the 2020-21 year were also A’s or A-minuses, up from just 60% a decade earlier. No wonder all the Ivy League kids have that 4.0 GPA on their LinkedIn profiles…








That's all we got for ya this week, folks. See ya next Thursday!

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