What a grim summer this is turning out to be. News today that Netflix was laying off 300 people, or 3% of its workforce, is a reminder that the slowdown in streaming we talk about so often has a human cost (on that, more below). More sobering: Netflix was the 28th tech firm to lay people off this week, according to Layoffs.fyi. In other words, most layoffs are now happening below the radar, without the attention that a high-profile company like Netflix gets.
And while most of the other 27 are startups most people won’t have heard of, that’s not true of all of them. Remember MasterClass? It cut 20% of its workforce, or about 120 people, on Wednesday, TechCrunch reported. Its reasoning: It wants to “get to self-sustainability faster,” CEO and founder David Rogier tweeted. Talk about a telling comment. “Self-sustainability” is code for profitability. So MasterClass is a decade-old subscription service and it is not yet making enough money to keep itself in business? Maybe that’s unfair. Netflix is an even older subscription service and it only lately has turned cash flow positive.