Summary of “SoundCloud sinks as leaks say layoffs buy little time”

Instead, sources at SoundCloud tell TechCrunch that founders Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss confessed the layoffs only saved the company enough money to have runway “Until Q4” – which begins in just 80 days.
Another employee from a different office described the all-hands as “a shitshow” and said “I don’t believe that people will stay. The good people at SoundCloud will leave. Eric [Wahlforss] said something about the SoundCloud ‘family,’ and there were laughs. You just fired 173 people of the family, how the fuck are you going to talk about family?”.
At the same time, this content comes with copyright problems and SoundCloud has had trouble monetizing it.
Despite the startup’s financial troubles, Ljung told those in attendance at the all-hands meeting he was adamant about SoundCloud staying independent and there’s no intention to sell the company.
One of the facts that was most frustrating to SoundCloud staff was that the company continued hiring people into positions that would soon be eliminated, with some workers joining SoundCloud as little as two weeks before the layoffs.
Stavik is now exploring legal action against SoundCloud because he says his signed job offer included four weeks notice of dismissal, yet “SoundCloud claims they are not going to pay me my salary during those 4 weeks.”
The company hasn’t given employees any updates on the stats, either, with one telling TechCrunch “I think no one within SoundCloud believes the user number. I think they’ve been going down for a while now.”
One source said Ljung explained that SoundCloud is not a giant streaming company and didn’t want to directly compete with the $9.99 plans like Spotify.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The end of the internet startup”

Some critics say, they’ve gotten better at controlling and locking down key parts of the internet’s infrastructure, closing off paths that early internet companies used to reach a mass market.
Most important, Google bought a little-known mobile software company called Android in 2005, laying the foundation for Google’s eventual dominance of smartphone operating systems.
If these companies had remained independent, they easily could have emerged as major competitors to Google and Facebook.
Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman rebuffed acquisition offers from Google and Yahoo, taking the company public in 2012.
“At one point,” writes Businessweek’s Brad Stone, “Quidsi executives took what they knew about shipping rates, factored in Procter & Gamble’s wholesale prices, and calculated that Amazon was on track to lose $100 million over three months in the diaper category alone.” As a venture-backed startup, Quidsi couldn’t sustain those kinds of losses, so the company wound up selling to Amazon in 2010.
“Mark Zuckerberg had a huge advantage with Facebook because the pressure that normal people have of building a company was replaced by the lightness of him just playing around with ideas,” said Mike Maples, an investor at the firm Floodgate.
In the 1980s, great companies like Microsoft, Adobe, and Intuit were founded to make software for PCs. Those companies still make plenty of money – just like Intel does – but there isn’t a lot of room for desktop PC software startups today.
There are only so many things you can do with a web browser or a smartphone, and maybe companies like Google, Facebook, and Snap have already locked down the most important markets.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I do whatever I want at work and I haven’t been fired yet”

If you can make a decision and you don’t think it’s going to get you fired, just do it.
Basecamp operates without much in the way of formal decision making processes.
The amount of implicit “Decision making authority” differs for each person, depending on role, tenure, etc.
The same basic rule-of-thumb applies: if you aren’t worried that making the decision is going to be disastrous, you have authority to make it.
You made the “Right” decision and the company benefited, hurray! This represents the vast majority of decisions that are made at Basecamp, because we hire intelligent people and those people are making these decisions.
We don’t have “Bet the company” level decisions come up very often.
Our system of granting decision making authority - in which we don’t explicitly grant decision making authority, but let each person assert the level of decision making authority they’re comfortable with - is built on a certain level of trust.
Most of the time, no one has concerns, because you’re a smart, capable person who is going to make good decisions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Rise and Fall of Working From Home”

Last year, Richard Laermer decided to let his employees work from home on a regular basis.
Flexible work remains popular at many organizations, but most companies want workers at work at least some-if not most-of the time.
Telecommuting comes in many flavors, and 77 percent of organizations don’t let people work from home on a full-time basis.
Most employers allow ad-hoc remote work for the person who needs to stay home for the plumber or wait for a package.
Technology such as chat programs and collaboration software made remote work feasible for many white collar workers in the last couple of decades.
Some organizations found the most lenient work-from-home policies kept workers too isolated for that kind of work.
Earlier this year the tech giant told 2,000 U.S. workers they could no longer work from home and about the same number of employees that they had to commute into offices more often.
“IBM’s strategy is about adopting the best work method for the work being done,” said an IBM spokesperson.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Before you can be with others, first learn to be alone”

Like many poets and philosophers through the ages, Poe stressed the significance of solitude.
Two decades later, the idea of solitude captured Ralph Waldo Emerson’s imagination in a slightly different way: quoting Pythagoras, he wrote: ‘In the morning, – solitude; that nature may speak to the imagination, as she does never in company.
In the 20th century, the idea of solitude formed the centre of Hannah Arendt’s thought.
What Eichmann showed Arendt was that society could function freely and democratically only if it were made up of individuals engaged in the thinking activity – an activity that required solitude.
We might ask, we become lonely in our solitude? Isn’t there some danger that we will become isolated individuals, cut off from the pleasures of friendship? Philosophers have long made a careful, and important, distinction between solitude and loneliness.
Echoing Plato, Arendt observed: ‘Thinking, existentially speaking, is a solitary but not a lonely business; solitude is that human situation in which I keep myself company.
In solitude, Arendt never longed for companionship or craved camaraderie because she was never truly alone.
Arendt reminds us, if we lose our capacity for solitude, our ability to be alone with ourselves, then we lose our very ability to think.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Should You Create a Company or Personal Blog?”

“Should I create a company blog or a personal blog?”.
Have you ever wondered which type of blog would serve you better – a personal one or a company one?
Some of you may be wondering whether or not there are any major differences between a company and personal blog.
Another plus is that a personal blog makes your brand transferable, meaning you can still retain your audience if you ever choose to launch a new company, partner with a different business, etc.
I will say that one downside to running a personal blog rather than a company blog is that you’re inevitably going to give your personal opinion.
Deciding between a company or personal blog is one of the first questions business owners will have when beginning their blogging quest.
While a company blog isn’t without merit, it often lacks the transparency, authenticity, and intimacy of a personal blog.
How would you decide between creating a personal blog vs. a company blog?

The orginal article.

Summary of “The man who built a $1bn firm in his basement”

After a month of working “Crazy hours”, Mr Rodrigues had come up with his first fully formed idea – a software system that allowed the user to control his or her mobile phone from their laptop.
Naming his company Soti, sales of the system started to grow slowly, until 12 months later Mr Rodrigues got a phone call out of the blue from one of the UK’s largest supermarket groups.
“Mr Rodrigues, now 55 and Soti’s chief executive, says:”I was still in my basement when I got a call from the company, saying they would like to place an order.
Soti has never looked back; and while most people have never heard of the firm – because it sells its mobile technology software systems to companies instead of consumers – it today has annual revenues of $80m. This is despite Mr Rodrigues not needing any external investment.
Instead of still being based in Mr Rodrigues’ basement, its headquarters is split across two buildings in Mississauga, which borders Toronto in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Technology journalist Martin Veitch who has followed Mr Rodrigues’ career, says Soti has been so successful because of its specialised approach.
One problem Mr Rodrigues says the company has faced, is struggling to recruit enough good computer programmers.
While Mr Rodrigues no longer has to work from his basement, his mother-in-law still lives with him, his wife and their two sons.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Capitalism the Apple Way vs. Capitalism the Google Way”

While lots of attention is directed toward identifying the next great start-up, the defining tech-industry story of the last decade has been the rise of Apple and Google.
The greatest collision between Apple and Google is little noticed.
A few weeks after Apple’s concession to shareholders, the founders of Google announced a new share structure that would defend against a similar situation: The structure gave the founders’ shares 10 times the voting power of regular shares, ensuring they’d dictate the company’s strategy long into the future and that Google was, in the words of the founders, “Set up for success for decades to come.”
What has happened to Google and Apple in the wake of these events is the defining story of early 21st-century capitalism.
Several hedge funds started asking for much larger payouts, with some of them filing suits against Apple and even proposing an “iPref”-a new type of share that would allow Apple to release much more cash in a way that didn’t incur as high of a tax bill.
What has Google done in that same period? Google is, like Apple, making loads of money.
The paths taken by Apple and Google manifest alternative answers to one of the main questions facing capitalism today: What should public companies do with all of the money that they’re making? Even as corporations have brought in enormous profits, there has been a shortage of lucrative opportunities for investment and growth, creating surpluses of cash.
Who’s right? Which principal-agent problem is more vexing? Stock-market returns are one, albeit imperfect, way of answering this question and since the initial developments, Google has far outperformed Apple.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Atlassian Boosted Its Female Technical Hires By 80%”

Atlassian took this tack, and deprogramming people from calling its hiring culture a meritocracy has shifted the company’s mentality to really scrutinize potential biases – in every candidate touchpoint, in performance evaluations, in project assignments, and throughout.
“If these people have a very similar set of perspectives and life experiences, you may be unintentionally building a culture that’s saying, ‘We only want people like us. We don’t want you here. We’re not going to support you,'” she says.
I’ve seen people post everything from what it’s like to work with mental health issues to interesting observations about what makes our culture unique,” says Blanche.
“We thought really specifically about what images we put on our website. Were we showing a diversity of employees in situations that demonstrated a multidimensional environment? Would most people coming to the site feel like they recognized not only themselves, but the type of activities, social occasions, work settings they like to work in? We didn’t want to show pictures of only happy hours or intense heads-down work,” Blanche says.
“Startups should create a broad picture of who they are and who they support. Showcase benefits that you provide for people across different backgrounds and stages of life. It’s important that people feel represented and that their needs have been thought of. If you’re emphasizing that the perks of your company are your ping pong table and the keg, then there’s a very specific set of people who are going to be interested in that kind of a culture.”
“We also choose interviewers who we think are great ambassadors of our culture and values. There’s a nomination process where Atlassians choose peers who they think best embody the company values to interview candidates for Values Fit. For instance, one of Atlassian’s values is ‘Play, as a team.’ So, a chosen interviewer might be someone who goes out of their way to help others learn, tasked with looking for that quality in prospective candidates. Atlassian then gives nominees training on structural behavioral interviewing and unconscious bias, and we make sure these people have a lot of support,” she says.
“If you want to increase your conversions, identical pitches may only end up working on a small subset of people because everyone has a different set of preferences,” says Blanche.
“A lot of people have habits with implications they don’t understand because they haven’t worked with the most diverse set of folks in the past. There’s a big learning curve for a lot of people. To be understanding and empathetic of that learning curve is also a crucial part of inclusion. We have to include people who we’re asking to develop new habits. The key will always be dedication and persistence. Always ask what perspectives you don’t have. Just carrying that question with you can create powerful change. Make your efforts public to your company.”And remember, startups are uniquely suited to this task.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Story Behind the World’s Most Famous Desktop Background”

The company never told O’Rear exactly why they selected his photograph.
“Were they looking for an image that had no tension?” But the artist duo Goldin+Senneby, who spent months researching the photograph for a 2006 work, said that the Microsoft branding team “Wanted an image with ‘more grounding’ than the images of skies they had used in Windows 95. Also, the green grass and the blue sky fit perfectly with the two main colors in the branding scheme.”
O’Rear agreed to sell Microsoft all the rights to his photograph.
Microsoft had valued the image so highly that none of the shipping companies could cover the insurance.
In the end, O’Rear hopped on a plane to the company’s Seattle headquarters to hand-deliver the photograph.
Although he signed a non-disclosure agreement that prevents him from revealing the exact price, O’Rear has claimed it was the most he’s ever been paid for an image-and the second-largest sum received by a living photographer for a single photograph, topped only by an image of Bill Clinton hugging Monica Lewinsky.
The pair visited the site with O’Rear, recreating the iconic background as part of their work After Microsoft.
Several employees were certain that Bliss had been taken in Washington, near Seattle-and that the image was Photoshopped.

The orginal article.