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Google Pulls Out, Lyft Puts Out & Apple Tells Porn "Get Out!"


It's a Chad-less week, as Serge Boudreau of The Recruitment Flex podcast fills in. We've got some follow-up from last week's show: Google unexpectedly shut down its job-advertising test due to performance issues, leaving speculation about staffing cuts and competing priorities. In other news, Appcast analysis shows an increase in clicks and applies per job posting in 2023, but the median cost per click fell.

Moving on, Fora, an Executive Relationship Management platform, has launched with $3.8 million in pre-seed funding. Featuring industry veterans like Joe Essenfeld and Susan Vitale, Fora aims to revolutionize decision-making for executives with tailored AI technology. Lyft is making waves in the U.S. ride-hailing industry with weekly earnings guarantees for drivers, aiming to attract more to its platform amidst competition with Uber.


Starship Technologies has secured $90 million to expand sidewalk delivery robot operations, while the NYPD ends its AI-driven security robot deployment in Times Square. And guess who's back? NYPD's K9 robot Digidog returns to service. Lastly, Apple's Vision Pro VR headset disappoints buyers as it blocks access to VR porn. Despite anticipation, users can't access explicit content, sparking frustration on social media and Reddit.



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 the breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls, it's time for The Chad & Cheese Podcast.

[music]

Joel: Oh yeah, because you can't spell NAFTA without T and A. What's up kids? You are listening to The Chad & Cheese Podcast. I'm your co-host Joel Putin Cheeseman.

Serge: And I'm Serge The Raging Acadian Boudreau.

Joel: And on this episode, Google pulls out, Lyft puts out, and Apple wants to sell you a $3,500 chastity belt. Let's do this.

[music]

Joel: You're not Chad. You're not Chad.

Serge: I'm way better looking. Way better looking, and I have hair.

Joel: You hair and a great pair of glasses. Yeah. You're... This feels way too familiar almost to me, almost to me. So...

Serge: But does it?

Joel: So yes, for those listening, we have a stand-in for Chad. Chad is getting shoulder surgery. He's worked it too much in his lifetime. I won't go into how that happened, but Serge Boudreau from the Recruitment Flex Podcast has graced us with his presence. Serge, for those that don't know you or the Flex, like give them a quick little synopsis.

Serge: Yeah, so well, thanks for having me on, and yes, my name is Serge Boudreau, I am the co-host of the Recruitment Flex with Shelley. Shelley is really the brains and the power behind this podcast, but I'm here, you know I'm joining. So a little bit about me. I am a girl dad, three daughters, including two identical twins, and I'm also the vice president at a Canadian company called CareerBeacon.

Joel: Did you say Canadian?

SFX: Take off will ya we're doin' our movie! Don't wreck our show, you hoser!

Joel: That's right. That's right. So...

Serge: That's right. Well, you're Canadian too, Joel. Like you married into Canada.

Joel: Only the nice parts are Canadian. Only the nice parts. Yeah, I have learned more about Canada and your wonderful country than I ever thought that I ever would. Yeah, Strange Brew was basically... And the occasional hockey playoff game, I'd say, and CFL. I'm old enough to remember when ESPN had CFL games on a regular basis and didn't have NFL.

Serge: Really?

Joel: So The Argonauts and... Yeah, I remember watching that way back, way back. But the Recruitment Flex, if they haven't listened, what can they expect to get from that?

Serge: So we've been doing the Recruitment Flex over 300 episodes right now, and the focus is really on the practitioner, someone that is doing the job on a daily basis. We do a little bit of industry, but industry knowledge, this is the podcast The Chad & Cheese, we're for the practitioners with a little bit of industry stuff just blended in.

Joel: I gotta ask about the name. How did you get... Like flex, I think a weight lifter, I think like tough guys and Shelley's everybody's mom. So she's like the least flex that I... She's not flex at all, and I know you personally, I'm guessing you're like 165, all wet. So Recruitment Flex, well, how did that come about?

Serge: You know what our first title or the first one we came up, it was actually called Slain Recruitment, and I did not know what slain meant until I started running that title with people younger and I'm like... And they lost their shit. They laughed at it, so we decided to move to the Flex and it was just like we tried 100 different names, and it's just flexing your recruitment knowledge, that was what's behind the name, and even though 165 is actually generous Joel, I do have quite the biceps when I flex, so I think it goes pretty well with myself.

Joel: Is that right? Ooh, okay.

Serge: That is right.

Joel: You wouldn't notice it with the eight layers of Canadian winter clothing that you're sporting now, so I'll have to take your word for it.

Serge: Fair enough.

Joel: Now, some of our listeners, they're gonna miss Chad. They're not gonna like appreciate that he's not on, but you have been kind enough to do like a 12-second synopsis of what Chad is like on a weekly basis for those listeners that are gonna miss Chad, like why don't you hit them with that and we can get on with the show.

Serge: Sounds good. Elon Musk is a douche, indeed is devil. Everyone should join the union, even the robots. And something about Josh Bersin. Did I, did I get it?

Joel: I think you nailed it my friend. I think you... We could just stop recording now, I think for most of our people, however, gotta do a show because we have this thing called the sponsor, so let's get to something that we call shout-outs. Now, you are my guest, so I'm going to let you go first in the shout-outs.

Serge: You know what? I'm gonna start a shout-out from, for Joel Cheeseman yourself.

Joel: You can't brown-nose me that fast on the show, my friend.

Serge: No, I'm not brown-nosing you.

Joel: Okay.

Serge: Wait. Listen here. So we recently did a listener survey on the Recruitment Flex podcast, and I personally got some really interesting feedback, and here is some of it. "Whenever Serge talks, I feel IQ points leaving my body."

[laughter]

Serge: "Chad and Cheese are the shit. Have them on more. Also, hockey isn't a real sport." The next one, "Dump Serge, free Shelley." Then you had to add the. Uh. So I had to do some investigative reporting here and pretty sure that was you Joel. And I'll tell you...

Joel: What?

Serge: When I first saw it, it really hurt my feelings. I think I started crying, but then I figured out who it was. So first shout-out to Joel Cheeseman. I appreciate the feedback. Although it's...

Joel: I love it. I love it.

Serge: It's bullying, man. It's bullying.

Joel: If you only knew how many drams of scotch I had before filling that out. I had some good fun. It was during the holidays, right? It was kind of holiday...

Serge: It was, yeah.

Joel: End of your thing. Okay. Yeah. I had fun with that. All right. My first shout-out goes to podcasts, oddly enough. It was a good week for podcasts. I don't know if you saw the news. So a quick rundown, Spotify has crossed the 600 million active user mark, and they were the first to kind of really dig into exclusive podcast and getting people onboard, which leads me to my next little news item. Joe Rogan regards to how you feel about him politically, and I know that Canadians have pretty strong opinions about politics, the guy can certainly market a podcast, and Spotify has upped his contract to $250 million. Not to be outdone, the SmartLess Crew, which features at least one Canadian, Will Arnett and probably one honorary Canadian, at least one other that's around that show. I don't listen a SmartLess. Do you?

Serge: No. I've listened to it once, but no. I am a fan of Joe Rogan. I definitely...

Joel: Yeah.

Serge: I grew up with Howard Stern. Howard Stern is really hard to listen to now. Joe Rogan, there is some episodes that are great, some are not, but I gotta give him kudos. He's giving this podcast industry...

Joel: Yeah. Well, I...

Serge: A massive boost.

Joel: I hope he's sending you a check, 'cause he's getting a really big one for the people who listen to the show. Anyway, the SmartLess guys SiriusXM, which I didn't even know is still a thing, although my last new car was in 2017, so how would I know, but they're giving those guys a three-year deal, I believe at $100 million. So podcasts are having a great week, and I think it's obviously good for the industry as a whole. We have sponsors, of course, as do you. I have strong opinions as to why podcasts are a great choice to sponsor. With us, both of us, I think it's not about the numbers. We're not selling Casper mattresses, we're selling trust, we're selling our expertise and not doing business and sponsorship deals with hacks and fly-by night software companies, and I think our listeners appreciate the perspective that we give. So podcasts, great mediums, and this week showed that there's money, there's money in podcasting, so shout out to the podcasts.

Serge: All right. Perfect. Well, my second shout-out is a Canadian crooner, so Michael Bublé, famous Canadian singer was at the NHL All-Star game this week, and he was like a team captain, like celebrity team captain. And he went to a press conference, high as fuck on mushrooms, and it was so evident, even though he admitted it during the press conference, but then tried to retract after... It was funny 'cause he was on stage with Will Arnett, we were just talking about. I don't know if you've seen it, but definitely go check it out because it is hilarious. I love me some NHL and some celebrities that are high as fuck.

Joel: Check it out everybody. Check it out. So the All-Star game was this weekend, did you watch... I watched some of the skills thing... McDavid is a monster. He's really impressive. What were your thoughts as a Canadian? Is hockey on the up trend? Are you happy about its place where it is? What's going on?

Serge: Yeah, I'm really happy where it is right now, obviously, my team, the Montreal Canadians are not very good, but to your point, and I'm gonna put out something and I want to get your opinion. McDavid is the best professional athlete out there. There is no one in their sports that dominates as much as Connor McDavid, and you saw him live. You notice him more than any other athlete on the ice, and that's pretty rare for most sports. So McDavid, huge fan, even though I'm not a fan of the Edmonton Oilers, he's just such a beast. So hockey is doing well. I think what we're gonna see in hockey is they're talking about approximately six more US expansion teams, which is driving a lot of Canadians crazy.

Joel: And none of them in Québec City, which is a crime, in my perspective.

[chuckle]

Serge: It is a crime. It is.

Joel: I probably disagree with McDavid, but I don't see enough of him. The real tragedy is he's in Alberta, he's in a mountain time zone, and he plays a sport that most Americans could leave or give a shit about. So...

Serge: Yeah.

Joel: I can't speak, but we see a lot of really good athletes here in America in a variety of sports, but I'll take your word for it. He is definitely built differently, as you know, I was at a Canadiens game a few weeks ago, and they're just, guys, when you watch in person, Ovechkin, I told you was like this, LeBron is like this. If you've ever seen these guys, they're just built differently, they're just chiseled out of a different piece of rock. I mean they are monsters, and he is one of those guys. Now, Bedard, I can't imagine you think you're high on him. I know he's like 12, but I haven't seen him, but I guess he's a similarly impressive guy.

Serge: He's very impressive, but he's definitely not Connor McDavid. He's a lot smaller too. Like you've got, Connor McDavid has all the skills, but also has size, and he's proven it. Like his like 150 points in the NHL is unheard of. Like in the days of Wayne Gretzky, it wasn't, but these days, it's really odd. I see Connor Bedard as a superstar, and I think it's great for Chicago, but I don't see it...

Joel: No, not that level.

Serge: I don't see him at the level of Connor McDavid, not even close. Who's the guy in NFL? Like who is that beast in the NFL that you're like, they're built differently.

Joel: NFL's tough, 'cause it's a different... Like I can say, Patrick Mahomes is an incredible athlete. And it's true. Josh Allen is an incredible athlete. All those guys are, but there are guys on the defense that are impressive athletes. I mean basketball has some just ridiculous athletes. I mean look at Wemby, but he's built for his sport, he's 7'4" and can, you know, like he's just ridiculous. We'll see the Olympics this summer. They're incredible athletes, but just 'cause you can like run a 4, 4, it doesn't mean you can hit a baseball, it doesn't mean you can hit a 90 mile an hour fast ball. So all these things are very different. I mean McDavid may not be able to dunk, right? But he's... That doesn't mean he's not a great athlete. Speaking of greatness my friend, that leads me to my next shout-out and our final one. My shout-out goes to Alexander Zhadan. Who the fuck is Alexander Zhadan you might ask. Well, my man has gained attention for revealing that he employed ChatGPT to operate a Tinder bot, that's the dating app that you and I know nothing about, resulting in over 5,000 matches. Let me repeat that, 5,000 matches, and ultimately helping him meet his fiance.

Joel: Zhadan shared that he proposed to the girl ChatGPT had interacted with on his behalf for an entire year. Now, I bring up this dating story because it has recruiting relevance. I've said for a long time that we're eventually going to a place where robots interview robots, and the only time people actually meet is when they show up at the company for their first day. And this to me, proves that we're on track for that reality. The fact that this dude could hold conversations with 5,000 girls who are not easily duped. I've dated in the past, I mean, there are dumb girls as there are dumb guys.

Joel: But most of them like you can't get past a chat bot, but this guy did it with current technology, and you can bet that they're gonna be techies, and there already have been that interview with multiple companies, and on the other side of the company, they're chatting with him with a chat bot. So this is kind of a weird world we're going to. You as a recruiter, like what are your thoughts on where this is going, is it a good place? Is it a bad place? Should we try to stop it? Is it just like it can't be stopped. What are your thoughts on robots interviewing robots?

Serge: Well, in this particular case, like hats off for this guy, right? 'Cause I couldn't manage dating three girls at the same time, so obviously technology is way ahead since I was in the dating pool. But if we look at... It's not a robot interviewing a robot in this particular case, even though these ladies are going to assume we're real, even though they did get to, but we are definitely heading that way and it scares the shit out of me, Joel. If you think about it and you had Hilke on your show, and I have Hilke coming on who wrote The Algorithm, and just thinking about how we're just letting it run wild, I think we're already past the point that like we can't stuff it back in.

Serge: We are going to get within the next couple of years, a couple of things. Someone is going to get hired that basically, we're a robot in the sense that they did their interviews through some type of AI program that's going to happen, and we are going to see... I think it's already happening. Like robots are interviewing robots, so yes, it is happening. Do I like it? No. But there's some elements that I like. What I do like about AI in this space is definitely removing a lot of the things that really suck to do. Like I hate booking interviews, I hate doing all the admin tasks, if you can take that off my plate, great.

Serge: But the other things as far as making hiring decisions, and even the matching software, you're still like putting your hands on a scale, like you're acting like God with technology that has no clue... I know they probably train on large language models, there's a lot of data around it, but I still don't think it's accurate, and I don't think anyone after they implement these tools are actually going back and checking does it still make sense.

Joel: Just wait till video, you can't tell the difference. Just wait till conversations, you can't tell the difference. There's gonna have to be filters and companies are gonna pop up that say like, no, this is an AI, this is not a human being. How you police that, I have no idea, I believe with you, I believe your comment of the toothpaste is out of the bottle, and we're not ever going back, but in light of that, my friend, almost as good as toothpaste out of the bottle is booze out of the can or booze out of the bottle, which is where I start talking about the free stuff that you can get at Chad and Cheese, that's right. If you like free t-shirts from our friends at JobGet, free beer from our friends at Aspen Tech Labs, and free bourbon, you get a selection from me and a selection from Chad every month. That is from our friends at Textkernel. And if it's your birthday, that's right, if it's your birthday, you could win a bottle of rum from our friends at Plum.

SFX: Ooh, ooh. Really, can you feel the tension in the air right now?

Serge: I love that soundbite. But I don't think Michelle at Plum loves it. Have you asked her?

SFX: I can feel it all the way down in my plums.

Joel: What I've found is everyone loves it there, and it's a great hook for people to remember...

Serge: I love it.

Joel: Plum. Maybe it's good or bad, but anyway, it's definitely good for the people that are having a birthday because they have a chance to win some booze. So anyway, some listeners that are celebrating another trip around the Sun, include Elizabeth Dunlap, Ivan Stoyanovich, Jonathan Zube, Saif Ahmed, Adam Bergen, Jim Kurtz, Ryan Ravina, Collie Nichols, Sarah Hanson, Matt Riordan, Amadoo Bamia, Joe Essenfeld. He's on this show twice by the way, happy birthday, Joe. Tania Pittman, Ben Wagster, Mimi Jerkin, Courtney Brown, Jess Fondbank, Andrew Rothman, Jason Loritson, Dave Ralph, one of my favorite Irishman. Amanda Thomson Buffington, Dave Mendoza, and my neighbor down the street, and Indeed employee and maybe their only sign of life at employee, Scott Stum. What's up Stummy? Celebrate a birthday, and that is the birthdays. Now, just so you know, I'm wrapping in two weeks in one because we were live and skipped them from last week, so happy birthday today. Well, it's travel season, Serge, and I know you're on the road, you wanna plug any places you're gonna be here in the next couple of months or this year?

Serge: Well, I'm going to make an announcement, TA Tech in Washington in May, myself and Shelley will be the official MCs of that show. Just a couple of other shows. [laughter] I love your soundbites.

Joel: And that's Washington DC, not Washington State. Gotta make that clarification, so... Okay.

Serge: Yes. Thanks for clarifying that. And aside from that, we'll be at Unleash, HR Tech, all the big shows, look for the good looking guy.

[laughter]

Joel: Such humility with the Canadian people. That's great. All right. Well, our travels are heating up as well. We're in San Diego recently, be at Transform in Vegas in March, I think that's the 11th through the 13th, and then we're headed to good old Europe, the old country, we're going to Amsterdam, to the House of HR conference, the E-recruitment conference. If you're gonna be in Amsterdam and if, or if you're in Europe and you wanna stop by, I think that's March 19th. Go to chadcheese.com, click our Events link. We have a coupon code for 50% off. Holy shit, 50%. And in Euros, I'm not sure how that equals out to dollars and Canadian dollars, but it sounds like a pretty good deal to me, no matter what. Again, our travels are sponsored by the good folks at Shaker Recruitment Marketing, and my last announcement before we get to topics, if you haven't listened to The Chad & Cheese Podcast does data with LinkUp CEO Toby Dayton. It's a great show. We do it once a month. We look at the jobs report, which I know you guys talked about recently on your show, we dig into it, we ask questions about 25 minutes. It's on YouTube only, so you gotta go to youtube.com/@chadcheese to check that out, and that is the announcements. You got anything else, Serge? You wanna make a football prediction or anything before we get to topics?

Serge: That's it.

Joel: SuperBowl prediction, before we get to topics?

Serge: Kansas City 34-28, Kansas City over under on Taylor Swift Cutaways 12.

Joel: So we did this on the monthly show, I said Kansas City 24-21, you got a lot of scoring in that game that will be interesting. That's too pretty good defenses. What's changing my mind is Mahomes' dad with the DUI. Number three, DUI. That's never good the week before a game. So he's gonna have, his head's gonna be in weird place. You never want dad with the perp shot, you never want the mug shot with your dad, it's number three, he could do jail time. Like that's...

Serge: He could. Serious jail time too, right?

Joel: Yeah, serious jail time. So I'm on the fence man. I had 24-21...

Serge: Put your money on the QB.

Joel: 24-21... I like the QB. Yeah. It's hard to, but if the goat's got some bad shit in his head, that makes me think twice. I'll stick with Kansas City 24-21, but I love the commercials and Taylor Swift, there's gonna be a lot of Taylor Swift, I'm afraid, let's get to...

[music]

Joel: Topics. That's right. Google for Jobs is back in the news. We talked about it last week in the show that they're taking away their pay-per-click solution that we've been talking about, they were testing it, piloting with some agencies. Well, Google unexpectedly closed its job advertising test, citing performance issues according to its participants, feedback indicated low application rates and shrinking job budgets. Google provided no explanation for the shutdown, leaving speculation about staffing cuts and competing priorities. One source said, "Performance just wasn't there." Serge, what are your thoughts on Google pulling out?

Serge: I'm not surprised, but I am disappointed. I really thought this was an opportunity to kind of start taking a bite out of the Indeed monopoly, especially here in Canada, where Indeed dominates 90% of the market share. I did think it was going to be a great alternative. I am disappointed I think is the biggest word I can say right now.

Joel: So I've thought about this a lot, Serge.

Serge: Yeah.

Joel: I've lost sleep over it, 'cause it's so perplexing to me, and I had this long soliloquy that I had prepared about how the job board business sucked and Google... It just wasn't worth Google's time, and they just... It wasn't worth it, right? And then it was great for Indeed, and like they should celebrate. And then we had a report from AppCast recently about how clicks are going down, like the number of clicks are going up, but what people are getting for the clicks is going down. And historically, when you're a middle man to any of this stuff, like it's a race to the bottom, like prices are just gonna go down eventually. And I was gonna say, Google just didn't want any part of that, but then I put my tin foil hat on, Serge. And I'm gonna be a little conspiratorial in my commentary here, and I've been in a few of these back rooms with the cigar smoke, and like it's usually five or 10 other white, old white guys talking about so and so promised this to so and so, and in return they got so and so.

Joel: I have no proof of this, I have no inside information, but it would not surprise me if Google sat down in the board room and said, hey, what industry can we like scare the shit out of and get money from? Well, classifieds is an easy one, right? Job post... They know how much Indeed is spending. They know how much ZipRecruiter is spending. So what if Google said, you know what? Let's launch this job thing, it'll be easy for us, we'll put some resources behind it, and then we'll start talking about a pay-per-click thing, and we'll start talking about like we'll do pilot things and like really scare the shit out of these folks. And it's no surprise to me that Indeed was not on Google for Jobs and now they are. Indeed spends a ton of money with Google, and then you have a post by our friend, Chris Russell, who's really on the front lines of like the small niche job board folks, and he talks about how it's all big sites now. It used to be the little guys, it used to be little niche boards that were on Google for Jobs, and it's now all ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, big, like big sites, right? That spend a lot of money.

Joel: So would you really put it past Google to call up Indeed, to call up LinkedIn, to call up ZipRecruiter, to call up any, Seek in Australia, whatever, right? And say, you know what? If you guys sort of commit to, I don't know, five years at a certain budget to advertise on Google, we'll forget about this whole pay-per-click thing, and we'll keep putting your jobs in the organic thing, and you'll still get a lot of exposure and traffic, but we'd like some sort of a commitment, monetary commitment in advertising. And why wouldn't Indeed, LinkedIn, and whatever take that deal? They're gonna spend it anyway, and then Google gets to go, okay, well, let's put our resources back into AI in fighting OpenAI and fighting Meta who just had a blow-out quarter. And if you think I'm crazy, Google gives Apple $6 billion a year to be the default search engine on Safari.

Serge: Yeah.

Joel: It would be nothing for Apple to go buy DuckDuckGo or buy some other search engine or build their own and have their own pay-per-click thing, like Apple could do it. Do they wanna do it? No, it's much easier and better to get $6 billion check written from Google and they don't have to worry about it. I think some conversations happened where the big job sites committed dollars to Google, and in return, wink wink, hush hush, Google said we're gonna get out of the job board business. That's my take on Google getting out of the pay-per-click business. Am I crazy?

Serge: You're not crazy, but I don't think you're right. I think there's definitely some factors, and if we look at Google job ads, and basically for Google, it was kind of replacing the money that was being spent on SEM ads, which Indeed, LinkedIn, all of these players are massive budgets. We're talking about billions of dollars, and those dollars were just going to move into the Google job ad platform. So I didn't see a lot of upside because in reality, outside of those big job boards or ad agencies, have you ever been into one of these dashboards trying to buy an ad on Google? Like there is not a recruiter that I know would be able to do this or want do this this, right?

Joel: It'd be the agencies.

Serge: It'd be the agency.

Joel: The agencies would buy it for them. Right?

Serge: They would, but there's...

Joel: Frankly, it would be going to Indeed and say, hey, you wanna sponsor your jobs? Like here's the cost.

Serge: Yeah.

Joel: It wouldn't be the little guy, the little recruiter buying the ads.

Serge: No, there wouldn't be.

Joel: And I like Google's pushed out... The dream of Google was like all the company jobs would take precedence, all the people would click on the company jobs, and we could eliminate job boards. Unfortunately, user behavior says, I know LinkedIn, I don't know this company from Adam, I gotta go through a 45-minute application ATS bullshit process, I can apply with one click from LinkedIn. So I think it just... It became a thing where everyone's going to the big job sites anyway, they're not going to the company sites like we thought, let's just... Let's get our coin. Have you read The Art of War by Sun Tzu?

Serge: I have.

Joel: Okay. So Sun Tzu said, "The greatest victory is that which requires no battle." Google basically won this fight, fattened up their bottom line with no battle whatsoever, just the fear that Google would launch this thing, I think got the big companies to open their wallets.

Serge: I don't think that's what happened. I really do think...

[laughter]

Serge: I don't think that's what happened. I think the reality here, Joel, is that Google's core business is potentially in deep trouble, and we've seen some recent layoffs at Google, there's definitely... Well, they still have a ton of staff. So don't get me wrong, but I think their focus is completely different, and I do think to a couple of billion dollars and maybe not even a couple of billion is not worth the effort, it's not worth the effort in Europe, it's not worth the regulation nightmares it might come across if they actually become successful at this. And to your point, I agree ad agencies would buy this, but you think about a lot of Indeed's business is coming from that mom and pop buying that $15 a day budget, buying a job and without the ability to do that, Google is not going to be an avenue for most of the jobs is only going to be populated with the big jobs out there. So I think it has nothing to do... It's not a bad theory, but I think you've been listening to Joe Rogan and conspiracy theories a little too much.

[laughter]

Joel: That's right, I want a piece of that $250 million that Joe Rogan's getting. So if it takes a conspiracy theory about Google strong arming the job boards, well, I'm willing to take, I'm willing to take that bet. But you as typical, it takes a Canadian to pull down the crazy American and see some logic.

Serge: Yeah, I think there's not enough money, and Google's core business is going to be their focus, it's like... It's a nasty business.

Joel: It is.

Serge: Like I've been in 20 years and no one wants to run a job board. I don't blame anyone for running a job board, but I don't see like aggregating all the jobs on the internet is a fucking nightmare. And I think Google finally realized that.

Joel: All right. Let's move on to Fora. An executive relationship management platform or ERM has launched this week, where they focus on AI technology tailored for C-suite leaders, backed by 3.8 million in pre-seed funding, they aim to revolutionize decision making for executives by offering actionable insights amidst the daily information flow. Fora simplifies complex data providing concise insights for a strategic advantage as attested by CEO, Joe Shaker, Shaker Recruitment and Marketing, and also a proud sponsor of Chad & Cheese I might add, noteworthy here. In addition to Joe Shaker's stamp of approval is Fora bringing back Jibe leadership, Joe Essenfeld and Michael Liddell as well as iCIMS former CMO, Susan Vitale as an advisory board member, getting the band back together, if you will. You might remember.

Serge: So I didn't know the My Pillow guy...

Joel: Mike Liddell, yeah.

Serge: Was part of this as well. I'm surprised.

Joel: He's lifted a little bit and lost some hair, but yeah, it's a totally different Mike, it's Michael, Michael Liddell. Yeah.

Serge: Michael.

Joel: It's like Mike Cohen is... Yeah. No, Michael Cohen, 'cause he's a sleaze bag. Anyway, you remember Jibe was acquired by iCIMS, Susan was at iCIMS, Joe was at iCIMS for a while, and he's gone and launched for us. So Serge, what are your thoughts on Fora and executive relationship management?

Serge: Yeah. To be completely honest, I had no clue what that meant until I had to go to ChatGPT and keep reading that article multiple times. It's a little bit different then ERM, which is enterprise relationship management, but aside, whatever it is, there's a couple of things that I look for success when a new company is launching, and it's people that have done it before and had been successful. And I had the opportunity to work a little bit with Susan Vitale, back in my Workopolis days and we were a reseller for iCIMS in Canada, and she was extremely impressive. I haven't met the other members of this team, but I feel like they have the chops, they have the chops to accomplish this, and so kudos on them. I'm still not 100% sure what an executive relationship manager does. But just reading on it, it looks like it helps people just doing decisions at a high level, it takes a lot of data and just kind of simplifies it and brings it to a way that helps you make that decision.

Joel: Got it. So you're right with the jockeys and we gotta look at those before anything else. So Joe Essenfeld launched Jibe really before mobile was cool. The idea was we'll build mobile websites for career centers, and I can remember multiple people saying no one will ever search for a job on a mobile device, on a smartphone, no one will ever search, no one will ever look at jobs and no one will definitely ever apply to a job on a mobile phone. So Joe was very early in the mobile revolution, and he obviously was correct in his vision. So to be a little bit curious about what the hell is this thing, it doesn't really surprise me because Joe's always sort of been ahead of the curve to say the least on some of these things. We've talked about on the show of like AI CEOs. Do we really need CEOs? That's a little crazy.

Joel: I won't go off the reservation again on you on this show. Well, I might, but who knows? But having an augmented executive is not crazy, like to say, okay, let's say I'm on a battlefield and I'm a general, like, okay, give me the AI. What could possibly happen with any move possible, and then let me decide based on the information what I think is best. So I'm still making the decision, but I'm making it more intelligently, hopefully, because I have AI behind me. I'm sure there are multiple executive decisions every day where they would love to go, okay, put this in the AI machine and tell me what I should do or tell me what my odds are, be my C-3PO, if you will, tell me what my chances are of escaping the minefield or the asteroid field, and I'll make the decision from there. So I like the idea of an augmented executive, and I think a smart executive would use something like this. I love the URL, it's fora.day, so it's Fora Day, memorable, kinda weird, kinda out there. So...

Serge: I like it.

Joel: 3.8 is a good start. Think Joe is a good jockey. He's a visionary. I think getting Joe Shaker on board at Shaker means that he's gonna connect that with a lot of other people, he's got a good track record. So I'm gonna watch this company carefully, I'm not necessarily ready to buy if you put my feet to the fire, but I'm definitely not selling the idea of like an augmented AI tailored a sick co-pilot for an executive, I think it's an interesting idea.

Serge: Joel, if you think about it, it's the perfect tool for an executive. If you look at what a CEO's job is, is to make decisions...

Joel: Manage risk.

Serge: That's it. In reality, make the big decisions in some ways, I think obviously AI and this type of tool is going to have a lot more data to be able to make that decision, so it makes a lot of sense. I'm just saying, I'm gonna be looking at really closely is pretty interesting stuff, but not ready to say bye, but they've got a track record. So I'll go by that.

Joel: And who wouldn't love, hey, why the hell did you do that? Oh, well, the data says this. So you're not culpable for the dumb things you do as an executive, you have AI behind you saying that you made the right move.

Serge: Yeah. Well, in that case like why do we need CEO's to your point, 'cause at one particular point, they're going to make better decisions than most CEOs can, so you might be going the right track here.

Joel: Someone at VC made a prediction in 2024, someone will invest like a decent chunk of money in a company and realize that the CEO is a bot or AI, and all the employees are AI-driven. But who's not AI-driven are our sponsors on the show. So let's take a quick break. Pay some bills, and we'll talk about Lyft when we get back. So Serge, are you an Uber or Lyft guy? Do you... Are you an equal opportunity rider? What's your take?

Serge: So I rarely take any of it unless I'm traveling.

Joel: Take the limo, right? You get the limo guy with the Boudreau sign at the airport.

Serge: Yes, absolutely. It's a requirement. So usually, I'll leverage Uber for sure. I've never taken a Lyft, and Lyft is not really big here in Calgary, in my hometown. So the only option is Uber.

Joel: Calgary. Well, Lyft is in the news again. They're introducing weekly earnings guarantees for drivers, a first in the US ride- hailing industry, aiming to attract more drivers to its platform amidst competition with... You guessed it, Uber. The move addresses concerns about driver earnings and aims to strengthen the sector, additionally, Lyft announced measures to improve transparency and offering incentives for drivers, including extra earnings for scheduled rides and electric vehicle usage. Serge, what are your thoughts on the move? Is this going to be a strike to Uber that really wounds the leader or not?

Serge: I don't think it is. There's a couple of things I have to say here. So you had Kevin Wheeler on your podcast, I think a couple of weeks ago, and he said one thing that really stuck with me is basically five years, he was talking about UPS and be like... Or UAW, sorry, and in five years, we'll give you the money now, in five years, you're going to be replaced. Obviously, they're not saying that. I think this is very similar, 'cause the question is like when do we get to driverless cars? And this is... I don't think this business model works without being... Without that being the future of where Uber and Lyft go, that these cars are driven not by people, because we are going to run out of people.

Serge: The supply chain challenges as far as when it comes to talent, to be able to staff all these cars across North America across the world, it's just not sustainable. So I think this is just a way to appease the drivers for the next 5-10 years, and I also, I have a conspiracy theory around it, and I wanna bounce it off you, I definitely think this is Lyft's... They're trying to cause Uber some pain. They're trying to cause Uber some pain to eventually get acquired. They're trying to get acquired by Uber is one of my guess, I have no clue, I don't spend any time in this space, but it kinda makes sense. Like who wants to get in the battle of paying the drivers more and more, it's just... It doesn't... No one wins, Uber or Lyft doesn't win at the end of the day, so there's gotta be another motive here is my thoughts.

Joel: The motive is just to be competitive and stay alive, and Uber has done an amazing job of being the Coca-Cola of the ride-sharing, ride-hailing industry. And I remember when Netflix came out and delivered DVDs to your door, you probably remember this as well. And you put it back in the mail and you sent the CD or DVD back, you didn't have late fees, you didn't have like any of this stuff. And then Blockbuster said, Holy shit, we're getting killed, we'll do what Netflix does, and they launched this big, I think actually a Super Bowl ad at one point of like, we'll ship them to you Blockbuster, and everyone said, well, everyone knows Blockbuster, Netflix is still this fairly little company, but it didn't work. The attempt didn't work, it was desperation. Netflix, they were that brand, they were associated with mailing CD, DVDs, and Blockbuster was still the company that you got in your car and you went out and hoped that the video was there. And that you rented it. So to me, like Uber has won this branding battle, they are the 800-pound gorilla. The only thing Lyft could do would be reduce prices, and I've ridden in both, and I would say Lyft typically is much cheaper than Uber.

Joel: The problem is you need rides for me to buy. So Uber is so much more available in multiple countries, they're more international, they're just easier to use, they've done a great job of integrating with like enterprise accounts and business accounts and things like that. So to me, like Lyft, applause for like trying to give back more to the drivers, make it more profitable for them, but the problem is you gotta drive people somewhere to make a dollar. And unless Lyft changes everyone's perception that Lyft is a better way to go, no one's gonna take Lyfts like they do Uber. So to me it's like it's just a failed battle, Lyft can hope to be acquired, I don't know who. Maybe a driverless car company would buy it for the brand, but to me, or maybe DoorDash could buy it and just like monopolize the drivers to do that, I don't know. I think it's a move of desperation and it's basically over for them.

Serge: So why wouldn't Uber buy them?

Joel: Well, you get into some monopoly issues, you'd have to go in front of Congress and say, this is not anti-competitive trust. Yeah.

Serge: Well, is there room?

Joel: It's better for Uber... It's better for Uber to just let Lyft die or maybe get it for parts, government doesn't care 'cause Lyft is so small, but I just... I don't think Uber wants that government intervention in their business. They're doing so well right now, why fuck it up with government like knocking on the door for anti-trust issues.

Serge: Do you think there's enough room for multiple... I know there is Uber and Lyft are the two biggest. There's probably 20 different ones depending on the country that you're in. Is it just kind of a market size, well, the market is massive, but is there enough demand and enough people there are going to be driving that... There can be 100 people or 100 companies doing this.

Joel: Look, Uber, Uber is great. I mean...

Serge: They are.

Joel: They've got a good platform. They've got scale, they got the drivers, they got the reviews, they have the security issues, they have... They got it going on. I mean what's gonna disrupt them is like a Netflix, it's gonna be someone say, we are driverless, you get in the car, you scan your QR code on your app, it takes you where you wanna go, you get out and you're done. Like that, if somebody comes along and does that, that could disrupt Uber, but another like drivers and the way it is now, I think Uber is gonna be 80% of the market.

Serge: Yeah.

Joel: And Lyft and others that come on will be the other 20 or so percent. They're going deep, Serge.

SFX: Just the tip.

Serge: Just the tip.

Joel: Going deep. We have you to thank for that soundbite. Don't we?

Serge: It's my voice. You didn't know that?

Joel: Give you credit for that. Oh yeah. [chuckle] Let's talk about bots speaking of driverless car. So it was a good news and bad news week for bots. First, the good news, Starship Technology is a company that produces sidewalk delivery robots, has secured 90 million in funding to expand operations. The investment will fuel a geographic expansion, enhanced manufacturing capabilities and invest in software and logistics. With 6 million deliveries and 11 million miles traveled, the company is profitable, and as an Estonian-based company focused on Europe. Now to some bad news for robots, the NYPD is ending its AI-driven security robots deployment in the Times Square subway station after a pilot program. These were these 400-pound egg-shaped wheel bots created by a company called Knightscope. NYPD did not disclose the robot's crime finding efficiency. Meanwhile, going back to some good news, the NYPD's canine robot Digidog, which we've talked about on the show, returns to service...

Serge: I am but it depends on which bots.

Joel: After a hiatus. Serge, are you buying or selling...

Serge: And definitely these delivery bots, have you seen them out in the wild?

Joel: The bots?

Serge: Have you ever seen one?

Joel: Not only have I seen them, I've seen TikToks of people breaking them open 'cause they know food's in it, and it's... I don't wanna point fingers, but usually homeless, down-on-their-luck folks, or kids that wanna like get a meal or just fuck shit or get a fun video on TikTok, but I have seen people be really, really naughty to these robots. I assume that's a fringe case. I assume it's single-digit percentages that this happens, because they just got $90 million, which means there's some business there and they are profitable, but yes.

Serge: In Estonia is the market.

Joel: Well, Europe, not just Estonia, not just the Helsinki metro area. They are in other places. But, so you're bearish on wheeled R2D2 robots delivering food.

Serge: No, I... Yeah. I'm definitely bearish 'cause there's no way some of these robots can survive America's inner city. Like what are you gonna do? Put like AK-47s attached to them? Like they're going to do the same shit they did with the Lime scooters, I forget what the brand is, and the bikes. We see that in Canada as well. I do not see a future in this, they're going to get vandalized, damaged in every major city. It might not happen in the country, but they're not gonna use these delivery bots in the country at all. So definitely bearish. I would not put a penny, obviously people that know a whole lot more than I do, think it will work. There's no way this works in America.

Joel: It'll work in Fringe situations, big cities maybe where there's cameras and security and you can't get away with it as easily, but yeah, country, it won't work. Security, I think, makes a lot of sense. Sometimes there's equipment that's heavy and police officers don't wanna to... Like Digidog makes a lot of sense. It is a little bit dystopian, but I don't know if you saw in the news this week, a New York City cop got jumped by, I think six illegal immigrants or new immigrants, so there's a whole like political to blow up on this. But the point is that there are a lot of cops and frankly, we need all the cops we can get.

Serge: I agree.

Joel: Like recruiting cops is not a growth industry, and if you can plug in robotic security or augmented security where it's kind of cool to be a cop, you get a like digital dog walking with you, walking the beat with you. Or you have R2D2 with a machine gun in case you get jumped by a bunch of knuckleheads like that to me makes sense because cops need all the help they can get. We want cops to be successful. We want cops to feel safe, and we want cops to beget more and more cops for security. So from that perspective, I'm buying the canine, I'm buying the egg, whatever.

Joel: I think technology will make it so that facial recognition and cameras in subways are gonna be much better, but just the presence of something that looks like, oh, I might not wanna do what I wanna do, that's a crime, because there's this thing there and I can't go beat it up because it's got a siren and a cop is with it, whatever it is, right? But security, people wanna feel safe, people are feeling scared, particularly in America in the big cities. And this to me is something that makes a lot of sense. I did like the New York Post headline about retiring the Times Square robot. It was Rust in Peace, which I thought was cute, and...

Serge: I'll end it on this. I think I'm definitely bullish on bots, but I'm bullish on bots when it comes to where it makes sense, right? I'm thinking, like I saw a video this week that just blew my mind of this robot harvesting hay, I'm like, well, that's amazing. It did it like in two minutes, I see it in manufacturing, I see it in quick service restaurants. I think there will be bots, I just don't think they will be everywhere. So I am bearish and bullish depending on what the robot looks like, but definitely not those delivery bots, no way, it's not gonna happen.

Joel: Something else that's not going away is sponsors on our show because we need to pay some bills. Let's take a quick break. And we'll come back and talk about Apple. All right, Serge, let's get a little naughty. A little naughty I know you Canadians like a little naughty. So Apple's Vision Pro, I'm sure you've seen this thing, I don't know if it's for sale in Canada yet, but it's big news. So their VR headset has disappointed buyers, maybe not for the reason that you think. It's disappointing buyers because it apparently blocks access to VR pornography, that's right, prompting frustration and complaints on social media and Reddit. Despite anticipation for its release, users find they cannot access explicit content leading to speculation about intentional restrictions by Apple. The headset also faces criticism for its high price of $3,500 US, dubbing it, "An overpriced chastity belt." If you need a naughty alternative, Serge, never fear, try the Meta Quest 2, not that I speak from experience...

Serge: Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Joel: That is. Serge, your take on Apple's no porn for you.

Serge: Oh imagine the shame of being caught with your dick in your hand wearing that space helmet. It would probably be the most shame that anyone could ever feel, so outside of that, you can still play PornHub in flat video, so are they upset by that? It's gotta come eventually. Right? Like it's gotta be available that you get the full VR experience. Someone's going to figure it out. I did see there's like Reddit threads, basically talking how you can bypass it. I don't know if anyone did, but I don't know, if it could. Maybe I'd get one. No, I'm kidding. But I would get one for different reasons, obviously. I love it. I think it's the coolest thing ever. Would you get one?

Joel: Yeah. A VR headset? I mean I talk a lot about it on the show.

Serge: Would you get this one?

Joel: I just... Not for $3,500.

Serge: No?

Joel: I'll get the fourth generation 999 version. But the whole... So my take on this... So I learned really early in my career that the success of the Internet was based on three things PPC, not pay-per-click, pills, porn, and casinos, built the original internet. I can remember being in college in the '90s where dial-up modem at my campus, going to like playboy.com and waiting like for the pixelated nipple to show up on the screen. If Apple is gonna block porn, and they've done a good job on the app store of not having any real naughtiness, although people would argue TikTok and social media is its own porn. But this to me is a real opportunity for Meta to sort of take the lead on all the guys out there. And there are a lot of lonely men. Or not lonely, I'm not judging. I'm not judging, Serge. We don't judge in America.

Serge: No.

Joel: That this is an opportunity... By the way, Mark Zuckerberg is having one of the best months ever.

Serge: He is.

Joel: Meta stock is off the chain. The dude kind of, you know, the Congress, I don't know if you saw this. He went in front of Congress. Dude, Congress needs to make laws like, [chuckle] that's a whole other show, but like they paid a dividend to Facebook, Meta shareholders, which made him 700 million richer overnight. He's looking kinda svelte. He's growing his hair out. He's looking like an adult. He's looking sort of thoughtful. Like I think this could be the resurgence of Zuck, and I'm here for it, man. I'm here for it. VR porn or not, I'm a buyer of what Zuck is selling. And speaking of selling, the Recruitment Flex, thanks for joining me. For those that wanna listen to your secondarily nice show compared to ours, where would you send them?

Serge: On all major podcast players, but also therecruitmentflex.com, you can find all our episodes. Joel, this was a ton of fun. Thank you so much for bringing me on.

SFX: Take off will ya we're doin' our movie! Don't wreck our show, you hoser!

Joel: We out.

Serge: We out.

Outro: Thank you for listening to... What's it called? Podcast with Chad and Cheese, brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing, just a lot of shout-outs to people you don't even know, and yet, you're listening, it's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one. Cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. They're so many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Anyhoo, be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode, and while you're at it, visit www.chadcheese.com. Just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. It's so weird. We out.

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