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Appcast Goes Full-Blast

After a week of travel and nursing a Recfest hangover, the boys are particularly feisty this week. The recent acquisition of recruitment marketing agency Bayard by Stepstone’s Appcast provides ample fodder for some big-time opinion on the news and the ripple effect it’ll have on the industry as a whole. What’s more, could Meta’s strike against Twitter with Threads be a sign of things to come in recruitment or not (talkin' to you, LinkedIn). Plus, buy-or-sell with alfii, RecruitBot and Zinc, then a deep dive into the Lazy Girl trend taking TikTok by storm.


Intro: Hide your kids, lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Joel: Oh, yeah, it's international nude day or as I like to call it every day. You're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host Joel bad naked Cheeseman.

Chad: Chad, Mr. Worldwide Sowash.

Joel: And on this week show, Appcast Goes Full Blast. Meta goes after Elon and a little buy or sell. Let's do this.

Chad: And you're back across the pond, aren't you?

Joel: Yeah, I traded London England for London Ontario this week. That's right. [laughter] That's right. But it is always great to be in Canada, Chad.

SFX: Take off, we were doing our movie. Don't wreck our show, you hoser.

Chad: Love Canada 'cause there's literally nobody who lives there. It's amazing. It is a huge country. And it has less population than the state of California. So yeah.

Joel: And lovely people. Positive outlook on life.

Chad: Yes.

Joel: She got a love.

Chad: Always. Yes.

Joel: So I look like I rolled out of bed and you look like you just came off the beach. You're recuperating nicely from England, I think.

Chad: Yeah, 'cause I did. Freaking amazing. I had to come out of the water to come do this, but that's okay. That's what I'm here, listener. [laughter] I'm here for you.

Joel: Yeah, the Pit Bull label is starting to grow. [laughter] The pit bull of recruiting as Chad Sowash or as I like to call him Euro Chad is in full effect.

Chad: Euro Chad, Okay, so we're just going to roll right in the shout-outs since we're talking about being away, because we got to talk about RecFest. Okay?

Joel: Yep.

Chad: Whoo. Last year, great time. Everybody's coming out of their cocoon. Everything was just starting to happen. It felt great. Felt great.

Joel: Yep.

Chad: This year, it was fucking off the chain. It was amazing. I mean, it did not feel like 5000 people. It felt like 10,000 people. And the way that they situated the tents this year were a little different than last year. They did some things different here and there, but man, it was a fucking blast.

Joel: It was a blast. And for me, it had extra heartwarming vibes. [laughter] Because I got to bring my 16-year-old to the event. He was working hard, passing out t-shirts.

Chad: There he was.

Joel: Had our equipment. He was kind of a gopher, getting us beer. That was a good time. And he was particularly impressed with the rooftop party thrown by Hackajob and seeing what that meant.

Chad: Best booth. Easily.

Joel: That was a good time. The booze laws are a little more flexible in England. So we found out that my 16 year old enjoys a good cider from the old country, which is nice. [laughter]

Chad: The cedar. He loves the cedar.

Joel: Yes. The cedar.

Chad: Now, that's good stuff. Yeah, I thought the best giveaway, at least, Julie, we didn't have time. We were on the stage all goddamn day. We were working. We were emceeing the Disrupt Stage. Talk about little recipe in the minute for all those kids out there who want to get on stage, how to get a packed house. I'll tell you that here in a minute. But Julie went and she went shopping.

Chad: 'Cause she didn't have to be on stage. Last year she was on stage. So she got to go do what everybody does. Get the bag. Go get the good swag. The best swag for me personally was, we're going to talk about them later in this podcast. Zinc, they gave away whole bean coffee. Good coffee. I'm drinking it as a matter of fact right now. Oh, yeah. Good stuff. Can I asked Julie, I was like. Okay, so you went to a bunch of presentations. Which one was your favorite? Guess who it was?

Joel: Is this all the tents or just our thing?

Chad: All the tents that she went to.

Joel: All the tent... Oh, I have no idea.

Chad: Brew dog. Go figure. Alcohol once again wins, kids. I do have to say after being on stage, watching a tent full. I mean fucking standing room only and then in the very next presentation having a quarter of that. We found out what the recipe was. And you can add some color into this 'cause I'm sure you can.

Joel: Sure.

Chad: Number one, it's a sexy title which includes a big brand. You got to have the sex appeal in there kids and even though, many of these smaller companies have amazing stores and they're doing much better and nimble things. I'm telling you right now, if you want to fill a room, you want to fill a tent, you want to fill anything, you'd better have a sexy title and you better have a big name on stage like AstraZeneca, Siemens, Heinz. Those are some big names, they filled the fucking house. Anything to add?

Joel: Anytime you could put Semen on a title, it's gonna... [laughter] I mean Siemens, sorry, sorry I misspoke. Siemens is a good one. I would add that it should be snappy, unless it's so long that it's sort of sarcastic. And also, if it bleeds, it leads, so if it's anything about killing recruitment, employers are finished, anything like that, is typically gonna play pretty well. I have a BrewDog story, Chad.

Chad: Oh, okay.

Joel: I'm a little unhappy with BrewDog. And this has nothing to do with recruiting, so bear with me.

Chad: Oh, please tell. Yeah, do tell.

Joel: It's half my show, so I'm going to take over here.


Joel: So, Cole and I fly into Manchester. We like the music scene, I've never been there, I'm a big Oasis fan, there's a whole thing going down. He's a big Joy Division fan, the Smiths, so anyway, I read all the laws about drinking in England. And it says that as long as a 16 year old is with a parent and they're having a meal they can have beer, cider or wine.

Chad: Okay.

Joel: So I'm like, cool, that's the law. So I go into BrewDog specifically, because I know that they do beer. They have a great hotel but that's a different story. So anyway, I check in and I ask the bartender and I say, hey what's... I want to make sure I know the law, like I got my 16 year old. I want to have a flight of beers, I want to have him try a lager, a sour, a stout, like every... Like let's see what he likes and go from there. Bartender says, "Yeah, the law is, as long as you're eating and you're there, you can't leave".

Chad: Right.

Joel: It's all good. So I'm like, cool. So we get back from all our touring, we shower up, clean up, go to dinner. I'm like, cool, I'm going to get a flight and we're going to have a good bonding experience. Well, what I assume is the manager...

Joel: Takes our order and I start like looking at beers to order, and he says, "Sorry, sir, we don't serve 16 year olds." And I'm like, but your bartender said that you do. And he said, "No, it's our policy that we don't." He leaves and gets my drink. I go online to look at the UK laws, and it says on the official website, just what I told you about eating and dah, dah, dah. So I show that to him and I say, well, according to the law that I can, I mean, I guess you can have a corporate policy. And he said, "Yes, it's our corporate policy not to do that." So I'm like, okay, I'm gonna go to and see if there's anything about 16 year olds can't drink, even if they're with their parents. Of course, there's nothing online that says that that's the case with BrewDog. So I'm like, there's nothing on your corporate policy that says I can't do this. Cole was getting upset, like, you're embarrassing me. I just decided to drop it. But the whole reason I picked BrewDog was to have this experience, and they kind of fucked me. So I'm a little bit mad, with BrewDog.

Chad: Wow. That hurts, dude. That's where you don't ask for stuff. You just order and then you just share. You just ask for forgiveness later. Yeah. I get it.

Joel: Well, you know my policy.

SFX: 60% of the time. It works. Every time.

Chad: Every time.

Joel: All right. Well, let's get to some other shout-outs, I guess.

SFX: Shout-out.

Chad: Hit it.

Joel: All right, Chad. You know, one of our favorite times of the year is football. And we are as of this...

Chad: Oh yeah, American football.

Joel: This publication, yes American Football, 55 days until kickoff for the NFL and Fantasy Football with Chad and Cheese has become an annual tradition. And FactoryFix gets my first shout-out for being...

SFX: Yes.

Joel: A repeat sponsor of fantasy football.

SFX: All right. All right. All right.

Chad: Ah-hah, baby. That's awesome.

Joel: Which now we know Dennis Tupper, the defending champion, will be in the league, we know FactoryFix will have someone on the league. But we will soon be promoting the opportunity to play some fantasy football with Chad and Cheese. Always fun, love reading the leaderboard, during the season, but that is one of my big shout-outs.

Chad: Excited again for fantasy football. Yes.

Joel: Yes. And I love our league because, we have an extra, wild card with Quarterback...

Chad: Yes.

Joel: As an option.

Chad: Shhh, don't tell anybody the that's the cheat right there.

Joel: That's part of the fun.

Chad: You can't tell anybody what the cheat is. [laughter] It's fun when they don't know what the cheat is. It's a shortcut.

Joel: Yes. Justin Fields is my sleeper this year. I think he's gonna blow out this year.

Chad: No kidding. I hope so.

Joel: Trevor Lawrence was the hot item last year. I think Justin Fields, hits it this year, who knows. So my second shout-out, Chad, you and I remember the early days of what Microbrews were.

Chad: Yes.

Joel: You and I would drink in the '90s. It was Sam Adams for me anyway. Sam Adams, Goose Island, Fat Tire and and Anchor Steam.

Chad: Anchor Steam. Yes.

Joel: Three of those, two of those have been bought up. Sam Adams is still holding firm, but Anchor Steam announced this week after 127 years, the San Francisco icon will be stopping the creation of beer, the brewing of beer, and just closing up shop.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: And I'm personally sad about that 'cause that was one of my go-tos whenever I'd go to San Francisco. But I also think talking about Bud Light as we do on the show, Bud Light's problem isn't being too woke. Bud Light's problem is people aren't drinking shitty beer anymore. They're not even drinking like the good Microbrews of old, they're drinking local shit in their city and towns. Where people they actually know work there or they know where the brewery is. It's better. It's fresher. Like that's the biggest problem.

Chad: Oh, yeah.

Joel: With Bud Light. And I think Anchor Steams news sort of underscores the problem with the beer industry right now.

Chad: And if anybody knows that we do, because in Indianapolis and all throughout Indiana, we probably haven't, Midwest probably have the best beer, especially IPAs in the world, juicy, hazy, fucking amazing.

Joel: Indiana goes deep when it comes to Microbrews.

SFX: Just a tip.

Joel: And who else goes deep? Chad. It's us. When it's, when it comes to giving free shit away, we gotta talk about on every show. But if you haven't signed up kids, go to, click that free link. Give us your information. You could win a t-shirt from our friends at JobGet. You can win beer from Aspen Tech Labs. You can win Whiskey, one from Chad, one from me. Our favorite bourbons, that's from our friends at TextKernel and a new one, Chad. Abode HR new sponsor. We got $250 Airbnb gift cards every month. You want to get out, COVID's over, like this is your opportunity. Sign up and get a night on us. A night on Chad and Cheese. Get a special romantic room. A little candles, fill up the bathtub. Like what could be better than that, Chad.

Chad: Fill it up with champagne and do it the way that Chad and Cheese would do it. And then doing it...

Joel: This is not your honeymoon my friend.

Chad: Also in your Chad and Cheese t-shirt because it's like an hug with Chad and Cheese. Love it.

SFX: Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo. Really? Can you feel the tension in the air right now? [laughter] I know I can. I can feel it all the way down in my plum.

Joel: Oh, that just never gets old. That's right. Chad. Another year around the sun. Some of our fans are celebrating a birthday. We got Christina White, Justin Spencer, Eddie O'Neill, Ellen Spiegel, Rob Busey, Todd, the mayor, Daley, Ben Sagers. I think that's a made up name. There's no way that Ben Sagers is a real person. [laughter] Melissa Bordage, Karen Lash, Patrick Sullivan, Elaine Euler, Will Staney and Christian Anderson. I always bring up Christian Anderson because he was the PR guy for Jason Goldberg [laughter] back at Jobster, which none of that exists anymore, but he's got a special place in my heart. And by the way.

Chad: But the stain still exists.

Joel: We mentioned Matt Alders birthday last week. I think the dude is double dipping. It was not his birthday last week.

Chad: Oh, what?

Joel: He's trying to get more t-shirts or something. I don't know what's going on, but...

Chad: He's trying to get some rum from Plum.

Joel: We're onto you. That British guy we're onto you. It was not your birthday, so stop double dipping.

SFX: Happy birthday.

Chad: Verification. We're gonna have to have, like ID verification for birthdays or something like that.


Joel: Yeah. What is it that people can sign up for? We're gonna have to have like a clear...

Chad: Oh shit. Okay.

Joel: Program or something.

Chad: Okay. Well, you definitely gonna need a clear, because coming up next Kids it's events and yes, we just did RecFest and we're getting ready to do RecFest again. All of the craziness, all of the FOMO that you obviously if you weren't there, you felt, you gotta come to Nashville. It's very simple. It's in September, we actually have a 50% off discount code. Yes. 50. That's half. Yes. And why do we do that? Here's why we do it. Because TA professionals, you need to bring your entire team. This is an all hands day, right? You bring them out...

Chad: You get together, you rub those members together, you make them sticky. That's what our friend Douglas would always say. But you gotta love a little RecFest. So get out there, come see Chad and Cheese at the Disrupt Stage. Then we're going to be in Vegas at HR Tech. Everybody's obviously gonna be there, but it's gonna be a little different this year.

Chad: That escalated quickly.

Joel: And this year kids, you can come to the Fuel50 booth where Chad and Cheese will be recording live in front of a studio/expo audience. That's right. Gonna be at the Fuel50 booth HR Tech. And then last but not least, 'cause I gotta bring this up because I can't fucking wait to do this. Unleash Paris. Unleash America was amazing. But when you have Unleash Paris, come on kids. You got to come to Paris.

SFX: All right, all right, all right.

Chad: Got to do it. All of this is at Click on events in the upper right hand corner. Register for them all.

Joel: Yep. By the way, Chad, I had a call with, Fuel50 this week. You were on the beach doing something.

Chad: Oh, okay... Yes. Sorry about that.

Joel: A little teaser. Not confirmed, but cardboard Chad might be making... Oh yeah. An appearance at HR Tech. Not confirmed yet kids. And there may even be a cardboard Cheese. I don't know. It could get crazy.

Chad: But I was gonna say, but I'm actually going to be there, I don't understand why we need a cardboard version of me. I don't want to compete with me.

Joel: But we take breaks, Chad, and there needs to be something to fill in the seat when we're gone. So, I don't know. I'm just tea... I'm just, we're still exploring. I don't know.

Chad: Okay, teasing out, teasing out, okay.

SFX: Topics.

Joel: Alright. It's so big. It's gonna cover the whole first block of our podcast, Appcast. By all accounts, the most popular programmatic Ad distributor in the recruitment industry has acquired Bayard Advertising, a recruitment marketing company. Terms were not disclosed. The combined company will become a Global Recruitment Agency with programmatic services serving over 2000 clients. The deal resulted in the addition of 238 employees. And Bayard's executives will continue their roles under Appcast's leadership, aside from the CEO, the acquisition will integrate Bayard's operations into Appcast and retire the Bayard name. It's gone. Appcast focus on large enterprise clients will continue and the company aims to maintain partnerships with other Agencies. I don't know, Chad, this is big news. What are your thoughts?

Chad: Ooh, well there's a commonality here. We just saw Anchor Steam 127 years gone. Bayard has been around, Bayard around for 100 years, a century, and they are going to be gone. So consolidation and convergence between traditional agencies and technologies have been happening for over a decade. And this is big. Why a convergence between agency and technology? I think it's pretty simple. Employers are spending more budget today on recruitment marketing than their actual core talent acquisition tech stacks. And if you don't have to pay that 15% agency fee, 'cause that's yours, plus you can widen up that wallet share with creative and all that other fun stuff. Woo-hoo. That's some cash. And Bayard had a very nice size portfolio, mainly in the US. So this to me is incredibly smart. It just makes damn good sense. I got a call on Sunday talking about this was gonna happen on Monday. It sounded like they feel like they're getting away with something. Somebody could have bought Bayard, but we got them. They were, it wasn't just the bullshit, we're trying to put up this fluffy, this is we were really excited about this. They are giddy, fucking giddy that they bought Bayard it. This is a big, big move. Now we'll talk about a little bit of why that might be, but let's dig into some history here.

Chad: So in 2013, Symphony Talent known back then, as Findly, by the way, they acquired Bernard Hodes Group, that's when we started to see a lot of this technology's gonna play a big game in the agency space. Well, Hodes and Findly their cultures and their business priorities didn't align at all. It was cats and dogs, the shit didn't work. So that really didn't gel. They thought they would, they finally killed the Findly brand.

Chad: They became Symphony Talent 2016, started including programmatic later on down the road. Then fast forward six years later in July of 2019, Gemspring a PE firm acquires TMP Worldwide. So since then they rebranded the Radancy. But again, we're starting to see agencies really understand what's happening here. Then Appcast, was obviously the predominant player in the space for agencies. Chris Foreman, incredibly smart go-to market. They created the infrastructure for agencies to be able to make money from programmatic and performance jobs. That worked so well, that obviously StepStone acquired Appcast on July 1st of 2019.

Chad: Indeed not to be outdone acquires ClickIQ on July 15th and then Radancy not to be put in a corner like a baby July 16th that they're buying Perengo another Programmatic ad platform. Then two weeks later we've got four fucking acquisitions that are happening here. Recruitics has their Hold my Beer moment [laughter] as they acquire the very sexy KRT Marketing. So all was quiet on the Western front until July of 2021 when a brand new player Veritone acquires Programmatic player PandoLogic and then just recently bought a large portfolio of business from Apollo and CareerBuilder. They call that Broadbean. Now this. Historically we're seeing the convergence happening.

Joel: Don't forget Recruitology and Jobcase as well.

Chad: Oh yeah Jobcase. And Jobcase but then you've got all of that but you've got a 100 year name agency so do you think the day of mad men is pretty much gone as we move toward technology.

Joel: Oh in our industry for sure. And you gave a eloquent great breakdown and all the kids should be listening to your historical breakdown. I'm gonna go even deeper with my historical breakdown...

Chad: Just the tip.

Joel: So 20th century 50 plus years agencies were a money printing machine. I mean they would do display ads. They would basically answer the phone and be like oh yeah can we place our New York Times ad again this week? Sure no problem. We'll change the dates. We'll do a little change in creative like oh do you wanna do colors?

Chad: $60,000.

Joel: Do you want to do coloured, maybe we do a full page instead of half page whatever, and just like printed money and their main role was the three martini lunches, the season tickets the dinners at Morton's that was the agency world and that was what existed.

Chad: Mad man baby.

Joel: And then the internet came along and cheap job ads. And for a while they did all right. They did the little bundle thing. They said let's put it in the paper let's put it on hot jobs. Let's throw it on Chromosaic and things were pretty good. And I remember the days of going to trade shows and agencies would have vinyl walls with literally newspaper ads stuck on Velcro on there. And they would just show people the ads that they've done. And then after job sites technology started happening. ATSs SEO led to mobile stuff. And agencies had this moment where they said well we can build this and get all the money or we can partner with these tech solutions and get part of it. And a lot of the agencies built their own shit and they ended up realizing that it's not as good as the shit that's actually being built by the entrepreneurs and the startups. So we're gonna transfer to being the consultant and knowing everything out there we're gonna plug you into what's best. And that worked really well. I didn't have to spend money on building stuff and maintaining it. I could just leverage the best solutions and plug people into that. And now we're into a phase of I have to now push Appcast which acquired an agency which I've always been a competitor to.

Joel: So agencies that... The Shakers you mentioned most of them in there. Now it's a moment of do we build it now? Do we keep putting money in Bayard and Appcast pocket? Do we use a different solution until they're bought by someone that we're competing with? My guess is you're going to enter a time where these agencies are like who should we acquire? Who should we invest in to have a piece of it? So if they do buy we have a first right of refusal or we have an opportunity to get in bed with these companies. But I think it's a really interesting time because I can't imagine any of the agencies I know really loving the fact that now they're putting money in Bayard's pocket or a competitor's pocket. So there's gonna be a really interesting shakeout with what these companies do. Do they stop recommending Appcast? Can they stop recommending Appcast? Where are they gonna send people? And these solutions are being built all the time. AI is going to be a major fun time for us to talk about startups till these agencies that are still around start saying okay who do we place bets on? So we can be at the forefront or we can buy these companies.

Joel: So to me that's historically the most interesting perspective is we've gone from the martini lunches to M&A who invest in but then it's conflict of interest because are we recommending only the companies that we're investing in? I think it's really gonna be a difficult time and they're gonna have to dance between the raindrops to keep everybody happy. I would not want to be an agency head right now trying to figure out all this stuff right now.

Chad: Yeah. So when we're talking about the Shakers and the NASs and whatnot I really believe that not every agency is good for every company. There's obviously a need that fits and will they continue to use Clickcast and Appcast who knows? There are other Programmatic tools that are out there that they could prospectively just flip over to. It's not gonna be that easy but there's definitely things that they can do. I think what Joe has done and just personally... 'Cause we know Joe and we're definitely biased. There's no question. Now you can see us wearing the Shaker gear around all the time. I really believe that his idea of we don't wanna buy it because we're not a tech company. And we're not gonna try to fool people like Radancy did like TMP did into thinking that we're a tech company 'cause we're not a tech company. That's not who we are. And I appreciate that authenticity and I also appreciate that he can be more nimble and unbiased in being able to use other technologies that are out there and so on and so forth. I do believe there is always going to be a place for that. The thing that interests me the most and I'm gonna throw a curve ball at you.

Joel: Yep.

Chad: Is what this means to Indeed because Bayard had a large, large sum of cash that would actually go from their clients to Indeed. Now does Appcast outflank Indeed and start taking that cash maybe a little bit more of a margin on it and that money goes into Appcast instead of directly to Indeed. Are the Germans outflanking the Indeed Army? That's the question. Is Axel Springer coming out? Are they actually getting this right. And we have been giving Stepstone shit this entire time and they might be outflanking Indeed. What do you think about that?

Joel: I think you pulled the rabbit out of the hat and it's interesting to me how little Stepstone is mentioned in any of the PR any of the interviews and they own Appcast. The press release could have just been Stepstone acquirers Bayard as well as it could have been Appcast acquiring Bayard. So Stepstone is allegedly preparing for an IPO this year. Okay? This is a good move if you're gonna IPO. I assume they're gonna IPO on the US markets. It's the biggest markets in the world by far. And I'm gonna throw out a prediction to you Chad. Stepstone acquires CareerBuilder. [laughter] Let me say it again. Stepstone acquires CareerBuilder. They wrap all that into the Programmatic solution the agency piece and they go public owning one of the best brands historically in the US market. That sounds like an IPO that will get the interest of a lot of investors. CareerBuilder gets acquired by Stepstone. That's my answer to your Indeed question.

Chad: Wow. I think that would be a great move because there's no question CareerBuilder is on the market at fire sale prices right now. And if anybody could get them it would definitely be Stepstone. StepStone was looking at Broadbean at one time so maybe they were looking at trying to just outflank in a much different way and going toward the US market versus focusing on Europe as much. Because when you have the rails like Appcast does it's just smart. The other Programmatic players that are out there today though they've got to be excited though. They've got to be excited because a couple of things happens. This just invalidates the power of the platform and the rails. We saw Recruitics buy KRT now Appcast buys Bayard. This isn't the other way around. This isn't a TMP buying a little Perengo which was a little early stage startup compared to these other two. So I think this really flips the switch and starts to say okay look at the validation for all of these Programmatic players. Now valuation where does that go. And everybody's gonna be clamoring for them because they are unbiased.

Joel: The acquisition of Appcast for the price tag that they got it is quickly looking like the steal of the last...

Chad: So smart.

Joel: Four or five years. Yeah it's starting to look really really smart. And I think we called it then but it's certainly playing out that way for sure. And if they can do a deal on CareerBuilder and wrap all that shit up and go IPO that'll be a lot of fun to watch.

Chad: Last one kids prediction from Chad Indeed which we've been talking about for a while now. This actually kicks Indeed in the ass and says "Well you've been thinking about it now you must move to the agency model."

Joel: We'll be right back. Chad are you on Threads?

Chad: I am.

Joel: I think we should talk about it in case you missed it everybody. [laughter] Threads. The Twitter rival launched by Meta reached a 100 million signups in just five days. Twitter has 240 million daily active users. So Threads has a little work ahead of it still but it's a good start. It's a pretty good start. Threads lack certain features like direct messaging hashtags and keyword search but it's a good bet those are coming soon. Currently Ad-free Threads will consider monetization after reaching one billion users. Pretty lofty goals early days Chad but what's your take on Threads?

Chad: Well first and foremost I think it's amazing because Bluesky Jack Dorsey's new venture which is just a Twitter clone. It reached one million. It's been around for a minute. But it was one of those invite-only. Mastodon was an invite-only. I'm on Mastodon. Who the hell knows how many are on Mastodon today 'cause nobody cares.

Joel: We know Truth Social is your favorite Chad [laughter]

Chad: Post News is actually really cool from a monetization standpoint because of the micropayments. I think that wrapped in with some advertising could be incredibly helpful with all of the content. And then also feeding journalism. That's the big key is trying to feed that thing that we all need is journalism. We need them out there pressing for the truth. Anyway back to Threads. Yes. Threads was incredibly easy from a registration process standpoint. I went through Mastodon and they're asking me what server do I wanna fucking sign up for? Are you kidding me? I'm not a tech guy. I don't want to choose a server because of my social alignment. I just want to be on the fucking platform. It was easy. Threads just boom you're in. You did have to do a little profile which... That didn't take too long. So being able to get to a 100 million users in five days was amazing. Here's their big problem stickiness. Twitter is incredibly sticky because they do have the trending. They do have the notifications and these guys are still really new. Even though they do have a obviously great tech backbone with Meta and everything Meta does. They still are going to have to get at least some of the very basic features together that create more sticky, more of a sticky platform that I want to come back and then they actually have notifications that are meaningful to me.

Chad: I think that that is something that will be incredibly helpful while Elon continues his stupid shit and puts limits on tweets and all these things and then he wants to charge for tweet deck and so on and so forth. And it's like okay you're just giving all these reasons all these toll roads for me to go somewhere else. And if Threads is that popular that fast and they can create the stickiness I think there's a chance. I'm saying there's a chance.

Joel: You're saying stickiness is the key.

SFX: What are you doing step bro?

Joel: So sometimes this copycat approach works for Facebook. Sometimes it doesn't. I mean some of the things that weren't real successful they went after Foursquare with the check-ins. Check-ins is just a feature now. I miss being the mayor of my local Chipotle but that's a different story. [laughter] They launched Bulletin to arrive or have a new survey so they paid really high profile people to write content. doesn't even work anymore. So they scrap that real quick.

Chad: Jesus.

Joel: Now sometimes it works really well. Reels has worked pretty well copycat. Marketplace copycat working pretty well. WhatsApp Instagram. So far Threads looks like it's working. Now you and I have seen things skyrocket and as quickly come down. I'll mention Clubhouse as one of those. We're not talking about them anymore. And traditionally something that rises really fast will fall really fast. So they've won the early innings but we'll see what happens long term. What really makes me wonder about this is if Zuck believes he has a recipe for kind of these copycat and I have three billion users and I can become a major player on overnight what would stop him from going after LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a twenty six billion dollar acquired company from a few years ago. It has no competitors really. What's to stop Zuck from creating a LinkedIn competitor. Plug in your Facebook stuff put in your current employer rights whatever. I don't know how they would do it but apparently this Threads thing was built with 20 developers as a almost side project. They could roll out a LinkedIn kind of thing. And everybody hates LinkedIn. Just like a lot of people hate Twitter and Elon Musk. There's a real incentive in my eyes that people would leave LinkedIn and maybe not old people like us who have tens of thousands of followers.

Joel: Where I'm just too tired to build a whole new LinkedIn. But if I'm a kid Polly work looks like a pile of shit to me. Something that Facebook could build and plug me into maybe some employers that are in their marketplace or that used to post jobs. By the way that's another failed copycat is job postings around the Facebook. But I would love to see Facebook roll this recipe out and put out a LinkedIn competitor. I don't know how it would do but I think LinkedIn could use a little competition. We talk a lot about how shitty it is. If they had somebody at their heels nipping like a Facebook with that kind of budget I think it would be good for the marketplace and good for business.

Chad: It'd definitely be good for the marketplace. We need something that's an alternative to LinkedIn just because it is, it's old, it's crappy. Just the tech itself I feel like I'm getting into a 1997 Jalopy for God's sakes. Yeah we need something newer. They are trying a lot of different things. And I think that's the biggest problem is they are throwing a lot of spaghetti at the wall. To me okay let's go over to Facebook. Facebook tried the workplace side of the house. I think they could, could possibly get it right if they had people that were in there who actually knew how to build tech for this space. They're trying to build tech for what they're used to. This is an entirely different space and most companies don't get that. So yeah I don't know we'll watch threads I've been posting on threads. I do also like the idea of all of those individuals who are my friends that I'm linked to on the threads I can take to any social platform with me. I'd love to be able to take all of the people that follow me on Twitter and then all of my history of tweets and then port that over another social platform. To me that's not starting from ground zero anymore. That's freedom of choice. And Elon's always talking about freedom of this freedom of that. What about freedom of choice? Give me my shit [laughter]

Joel: Yep. Yep. Good luck with that. Good luck with that. But we both agree that LinkedIn could use some competition and it could use some competition from somebody with deep pockets so I don't care if it's Google Facebook Twitter could launch something Amazon Salesforce somebody sack up and create a LinkedIn competitor. I think that would be good for everybody.

Chad: Google needs to buy the CV wallet and then they can just build the profiles off of that thing.

Joel: Look at you bringing Sir Richard into the podcast. That's...

Chad: I'm just thinking of foundational rails to get something going. And...

Joel: By the way how do we go to London and that bastard isn't at RecFest.

Chad: Web thrust.

Joel: Goddammit poor Richard.


Chad: Dude's working. Dude's working.

Joel: I miss you man. I miss you man.

Chad: Beverly is cracking the whip is what it is. Beverly's cracking the whip.

Joel: And speaking of cracking the whip all right let's play a little buy or sell everybody. You know how the game works. Three startups that have recently got funding. I read a summary and Chad and I either buy or sell the company. Here we go with Little Buy or Sell. First up we have Zinc background check provider Zinc has secured around $6.5 million in a series A. The investment will support global expansion and product innovation. The company aims to tap into the growing global background check market and becomes a leader in regulated industries by leveraging a technology driven approach. Chad Zinc buy or sell?

Chad: Well first and foremost Zinc Coffee from RecFest was awesome. So that's automatically that's a thumbs up here from Chad.

Joel: Not their business unfortunately.

Chad: Yeah. Not their business. Although every morning when I pull out the beans to grind the beans you know what's looking me in the face. Their brand. It was fucking brilliant. At the end of the day though background checks need a facelift. We've been talking about this week after week after week. Anything that helps me wake up in the morning and could prospectively take an antiquated segment like background checks and move it into 2023. I am a buy all day.


Joel: Chad do you remember Virgin Cola back in the '90s? Do you remember?

Chad: I do not. No.

Joel: Sir Richard Branson since we're bringing up Sir Richard. Sir Richard Branson. Do you remember Virgin Cola?

Chad: I don't.

Joel: Yeah, mid-'90s. They had a cola. And mistakenly made it red, which is Coke's color. So that was a bad idea. By the way, Virgin Cola failed. No one's drinking it.

Chad: Apparently. Yeah, apparently.

Joel: The problem with background checks, it's an old industry, and we have our Coke and Pepsi. We have Sterling, we have HireRight. And now the tech option is Checkr. It's a business that has its big brands. Fanta would be Checkr, I guess in this analogy. By the way, Sterling Stock, which is a public company from a year ago, is about at half of what it was a year ago, which means it's kind of a shitty business. It's a disparate business. It's a hard business. Companies aren't super loyal. They kind of bounce back between the two big ones and maybe Checkr. So I hate the business. You have your Coke and Pepsi. I think this is a sad exercise in futility. And for that reason.

Chad: We need a revolution, Joel. We need a revolution.

Joel: It ain't in background checks. It ain't in background checks. [laughter] All right, let's go to RecruitBot. The San Francisco-based recruiting experience platform has raised an additional $8.2 million in seed funding, bringing its total to $11.2 million. The platform utilizes AI and ML, well, we haven't talked about ML in years, to match companies with suitable candidates from a database of over 600 million people and facilitates personalized automated email campaigns on behalf of hiring managers. Chad, RecruitBot, buy or sell?

Chad: So they've been around since 2017, and I don't know that we've ever talked about them on the show. Have we?

Joel: Possibly. A lot of bots and recruit in our content.

Chad: Yeah. I don't remember them. Anyway, 8.2 in seed funding is a lot of cash. That's a lot of cash for seed funding. So there's a good amount of runway that's there. Matching recruitment automation and recruitment marketing automation light is pretty much what the platform does. 600 million candidate database. To me, whenever I hear something like that, it means it's garbage. It means they went and they bought candidates from somebody else. They bought it from a data warehouse. Automatically think garbage. There's no mention of generative AI, which I thought was odd, although cool at the same time, AI, ML. We have two really big brands in this space, SeekOut, hireEZ. We've got more than two. But we've got so many of these. They're a little bit late. They're underfunded compared to definitely SeekOut. I hope they kick ass tech names, but for me today, kids, gonna sell it.


Joel: Another sell. Yeah, Chad, I got really excited about this company, and I remembered it was 2023 and not 2017. [laughter] Yeah. Look, if companies like SeekOut and hireEZ have really pivoted, kind of grown their business into different ways, oh, by the way, HiringSolved is closed for business, what reason do we have to think that this thing is gonna be successful? I'm pretty impressed they've raised as much as they have, especially when they've raised it. But I see no reason, this feels antiquated. Even their logo is like this fucking Windows 95 robot thingy. I mean, it's just, it's a disaster to me.

Chad: Hating on the robot.

Joel: I have nothing...

Chad: Oh. Oh-oh.

Joel: RecruitBot is... The name is horrible too. It's all bad. [laughter] It's a big sell for me. All right, let's go to our third and final startup. Dubai-based Alfii has raised $2.5 million in a pre-seed funding round to expand its business. The near-term focus for Alfii will be building a suite of innovative payroll features. You don't hear innovative and payroll in the same sentence very often.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: The startup aims to serve the Middle East and North Africa region, particularly startups and SMEs, and has already attracted over 250 businesses across countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Chad, buy or sell Alfii? Not to be confused with the '80s alien and popular sitcom ALF.

Chad: Yeah, the alien who eats cats. Yeah, not that one. So this to me... This is FinTech. To me, we are starting to see a convergence of technology, and we're going to see more of that with generative AI. So all of these huge tech companies are going to start bleeding into HR and talent acquisition and payroll and so on and so forth. And there's so many great FinTech companies that are out there that I think will just automatically gobble up payroll and do it much easier, apps on the phone, all that other fun stuff, and just make it incredibly simple. It's gonna be crazy competitive market, which is one of the reasons why I just can't buy into Alfii. It's a sell.

SFX: Doesn't anyone notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

Chad: Sorry, Alfii.

Joel: Oh, that's a sell. All right, is this the first Dubai-based startup we've ever covered? I don't remember ever saying Dubai.

Chad: I think possibly.

Joel: Yeah, possibly. [laughter] So in case you missed it, the Middle East is spending money around the world. Like, they are drunken sailors. They're buying sports teams, they're buying entire leagues. They're trying to sports-wash the whole energy authoritarian government thing. And if that starts bleeding into our industry, Katy-bar the door. 'Cause there's a whole lot of money that they can start funding these employer-related startups. Not that Alfii is taking money from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Who knows? Actually, we do know 'cause it's in the press release. But anyway, I love the region. I love the money that they are spending, which has to come to startups at some point. They have to start getting into businesses and startups after they get done with sports and who knows what else they're spending money on. I love the growth opportunities in Africa. I love the growth opportunities in the Middle East. I think it's gonna start diversifying from energy-only to many other industries. And companies like this, to me, are on the forefront of that. So I just think it's hella interesting. And the money that's flowing around the Middle East right now makes this...

SFX: All right. All right. All right.

Joel: A buy for me. And if you're keeping score at home, well, that's a whole lot of sell ratings this week on buy or sell.

Chad: It was.

Joel: When we return, we'll talk about lazy girls. All right, Chad. Move over Boss Girl, Lazy Girl is here. The Lazy Girl trend, popularized by Gen Z on TikTok, is challenging the previous Girl Boss hustle culture. Young women are prioritizing work-life balance and opting for jobs that meets expectations without exceeding them. The trend has gained traction on TikTok with users sharing their experiences of Lazy Girl jobs that offer flexibility and minimal stress. Have a listen.

[video playback]

SFX: Most vital person to your career and livelihood is the person who they would fire.

Lazy Girl: I could not agree more. And I've done this, and I'll talk about it. And I did the other way around. Okay, guys? I did... I talked about this in my podcast, like, I did the other way around where I sat there and I tried to be the best-performing person, and I worked extra nights and blah, blah, blah. And I didn't get any more of a raise than I did just doing the second worst, best effort. Giving your best effort and working the most overtime does not equal a pay raise. It's just my opinion. I worked in the tech industry. That's what I saw. The people who got a raise, they stayed top of mind by talking about the projects that they were doing all the time. And they weren't even that impactful of projects. They would just talk about what they were doing all the time. They would look like they were moving the needle all of the time, but not actually working. That's who gets a raise. It's not the person that's quietly grinding the whole time. So just be the second worst on your team and just go live your life.

Joel: Just be the second worst. Chad, what's your take on the Lazy Girl trend?

Chad: So I think it's bad marketing, first and foremost, to put lazy in any of that. I think she could have gotten to the source and found something a little bit more appetizing, [laughter] something that somebody would want to embrace. Nobody wants to be called lazy. But it is a game. And she very keenly, at a very young age, has pinpointed the truth. We've always heard the squeaky wheel gets the grease, gets the oil. On this case, it gets the greased palm. They get the leg up. So life over work, that's exactly what she talked about. I think that the marketing that we've heard since the '80s, work hard, rugged individualism, has finally started to decay and it's starting to fall down. And these Zs understand because either they're feeling it themselves or they're having Xers like us saying, "Yeah. Nah, it doesn't really work that way."


Joel: There is some evil genius sprouting out with this Gen Z crowd. And I'm here for it, my man. So the Lazy Girl hashtag on TikTok currently has 14 million views. Here's some quotes.

Chad: Wow.

Joel: Here's some quotes, "I don't have to talk to people. Only come to the office twice a week." "Me at my Lazy Girl job that lets me do whatever the heck I want, as long as I answer emails [laughter] and keep everything clean." Are these girls podcasters? Chad, I've been at the forefront of this trend for 18 years. [laughter] You have met Lazy Girl. And now I present to the Lazy Boy. Everyone bow down to Joel Cheeseman, AKA Lazy Boy. We out.

Chad: Nappy Boy. We out.

Outro: Wow. Look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad and Cheese podcast. Or maybe you cheated and fast forwarded to the end. Either way, there's no doubt you wish you had that time back. Valuable time you could have used to buy a nutritious meal at Taco Bell. Enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey. Or just watch big booty Latinas and bug fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two Chuckleheads instead. Now go take a shower and wash off all the guilt. But save some soap because you'll be back. Like an awful train wreck, you can't look away. And like Chad's favorite Western, you can't quit them either. We out.


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