Spotify’s recent layoff of 1,500 employees, despite positive earnings, signals a shift in how we view roles like UX Research in the tech industry. Drawing parallels with seasonal work, I explore the implications for professionals in non-business crucial roles like ours and ask unpopular questions about investing differently in our research careers.

Meltem Naz Kaso Coskun

UX Collective

A digital image of the Spotify app logo alongside notes
Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

(This article is the continuation of the previous pieces I wrote on the future of UX Research and building a new UX Research culture)

A few days ago, Spotify’s co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek released this statement to announce that he would be reducing their total headcount by 17%. Ek said the following:

“I recognize this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions. To be blunt, many smart, talented and hard-working people will be departing us. For those leaving, we’re a better company because of your dedication and hard work. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. I hope you know that your contributions have impacted more than half a billion people and millions of artists, creators, and authors around the world in profound ways.”

What becomes evident is that these layoffs aren’t merely about individual merit but a strategic move towards a more resourceful future. Ek emphasizes a return to Spotify’s roots, highlighting the need for relentless resourcefulness in a landscape where lean operations are no longer an option but a necessity. He explained:

“The decision to reduce our team size is a hard but crucial step towards forging a stronger, more efficient Spotify for the future. But it also highlights that we need to change how we work. In Spotify’s early days, our success was hard won. We had limited resources and had to make the most of every asset. Our ingenuity and creativity were what set us apart. As we’ve grown, we’ve moved too far away from this core principle of resourcefulness. The Spotify of tomorrow must be defined by being relentlessly resourceful in the ways we operate, innovate, and tackle problems