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Disability Solutions

LinkedIn, Don't Fear The Polywork

The HR Tech Conference hangover is cured and it's back to business. Fortunately for you, there's a lot of cover. Namely, big funding for Polywork, Atlas, The Muse gets lots of attention, followed by some Buy-or-Sell with Gig and Take, Knoetic and Ashby. Spoiler alert: Selling, lots and lots of selling! Oh, and robots ... gotta talk about robots.


Disability Solutions works with employers each step of the way as consultative recruiting and engagement strategists for the disability community.

INTRO (1s):

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 (26s):

Oh yeah. Hey, where's my free trip to Martha's vineyard. Hey kiddies you're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host Joel "partial mobilization" Cheeseman. This

Chad (39s):

Is Chad "power of the podcast" Sowash

Joel (43s):

And on this week's show Atlas shrugs. Polywork's a cracker and investors find their muse. Let's do this.

Chad (52s):

Dude. What a great week I feel. Do you feel fully detoxed after Vegas?

Joel (59s):

I feel pretty good. I feel pretty good. Yeah. It's good water. We have here in the Midwest. Really cleans out your system. It's good.

Chad (1m 7s):

You need it. And you need it bad. Oh my God.

Joel (1m 9s):

You do need it. Well, you probably had a good time on your anniversary yesterday with your beautiful wife celebrating year 7?

Chad (1m 17s):

6. 11 together, and six married. Yeah. It took her five years to finally say yes.

Joel (1m 28s):

Or five years for you to ask, which

Chad (1m 31s):

Yeah. Could be that.

Joel (1m 32s):

If I asked her what would the answer be?

Chad (1m 34s):

It would be the latter.

Joel (1m 36s):

Okay. Okay. Let's get to some shoutouts. We got a lot of stuff to cover this week. Listeners. We're looking at each other for the first time on a podcast. So this may be a whole new dynamic.

Chad (1m 48s):

I wouldn't say the first, the first time I want of our podcast on other people's podcasts they have videos.

Joel (1m 53s):

Yeah, that's true. I'm kind of discombobulated. I don't know how this is gonna go. So quick Shout out. You know, we love the lists. We love the lists. TA tech, top 100. I'm right above your wife. I don't know what that means in the list. There's no numbers, but you and I are both on it as well as your wife. So team Sowash is fully represented.

Chad (2m 15s):


Joel (2m 16s):

On the list there. Good for you guys. Honor, to be recognized.

Chad (2m 23s):

An honor, an honor, I'll tell you, I'll tell you what's an honor. Shout out to the Serial podcast. One of the podcasts that really got me into listening to podcasts.

Joel (2m 33s):

That's the new clapping sound bite, Chad, I don't know if we'll keep it or not, but

Chad (2m 38s):

I don't like it. So Adnan Syed walks free after 23 years in jail, the dude was 17 when he went in. He was accused of and convicted of killing his girlfriend. Even after presenting shotty, detective work and evidence full of holes. There was, was a new law that actually just came out. That said, if you were, if you were actually convicted and you were under the age of 18, that the court could reassess your case, well they reassessed or they were going to the process of reassessing. And the prosecutor said, no, we won't even prosecute. They started looking at the evidence and they looked at evidence that was withheld, which is against the law.

Chad (3m 25s):

So there was evidence that was withheld. And this poor 17 year old kid went to jail for 23 years because of a shitty system. So kudos to Serial, kudos to podcasts. And that's 23 years of his life lost, but it's good that he's free. By

Joel (3m 42s):

The way, Chad Cheese Never Convicted was a tagline that we considered early on in the show. Just, we didn't go with anyway. I got The Mom Project (TMP) as a shout out. They're not calling themselves TMP, which I'm sure Radancy loves. Yes, the mom project or TMP as of September, we're in September, The Mom Project says they've attracted and served 1 million moms in search of a better work experience. Thanks in large part to the pandemic. Women have accounted for a staggering 11.9 million in lost jobs and TMP has $116 million in funding and Serena Williams in its corner to make a difference.

Joel (4m 27s):

So shout out to The Mom Project or TMP as the kids like to call them.

Chad (4m 33s):

They should come out with a TMP kinda like McDonald's sign that starts with remember the number where they used to have served millions. It was like so many million served. They should do that and put Serena on there.

Joel (4m 45s):

Remember the mom ads in the eighties, it was like, you deserve a break today at McDonald's and had like the working mom. And she was all in her power suit with the shoulder pads picking up McDonald's for dinner. All the eighties.

Chad (5m 2s):

Just the start to the fast food industrial complex we know today, kids.

Joel (5m 6s):


Chad (5m 6s):

Big shout out to our friends at Vonq, they're hiring industry, heavy hitters. They've got Richard <inaudible> of CareerBuilder fame, and also Doug Reese guys have been in the industry for a very long time. And this is big because Vonq has invaded the US. And you haven't heard anything about this.

Joel (5m 29s):

It's spreading. The virus is spreading.

Chad (5m 31s):

The Vonq is spreading in the US. Well also, I was actually watching one of the iCIMS videos of some of their newer releases. And they're talking about their job distribution, like their job distribution backend, and I'm watching it. And I'm like, that's Vonq. That's Vonq.

Joel (5m 52s):

You can't hide, man. You can't. When hide, when you pull off the undergarments, you see the Vonq, it can't, you can't hide from it. Yeah. There's some big, you know, what energy going on with the personnel at Vonq, it's quietly becoming quite a roster of vets and experts. So keep your eye kids on the Vonq and wear protection whenever you do.

Chad (6m 16s):

Get your shots. Shout

Joel (6m 16s):

Shout Out to what I'm gonna call OG Americans. Ah, for the first time in 230 years, Congress has full us indigenous representation. That means they have a Native American, an Alaskan native, and a native Hawaiian in the House of Congress fully represented the United States, indigenous people for the first time ever. Suck it old European white guys, shout out to OG Americans.

Chad (6m 45s):

It only took how long?

Joel (6m 47s):

230 years.

Chad (6m 48s):

Jesus Christ.

Joel (6m 48s):

How do you feel if you're in Hawaii and some white dude is your representative. I don't know. We've come a long way America.

Chad (6m 58s):

Shout out to secret admirers. Now I got home from Vegas, actually went to this weekend and took a trip to Ohio to visit the fam and got back and had a box. It was, it was a box that was filled with Blanton's goodness with gold edition Blanton's. There's no card. I looked at the return address. There's pretty much nothing that you could actually see where this came from.

Joel (7m 26s):

Well, you messaged me and asked if I got the same thing. And of course I'm like, fuck you. No, I didn't get the same thing. So yeah. Go ahead with your story.

Chad (7m 34s):

I'm just saying secret of admirers out there if you did send me this very expensive bottle of Blanton's.

Joel (7m 41s):

Was it your wife?

Chad (7m 41s):

No, no, no, no.

Joel (7m 42s):

I thought it was an anniversary present.

Chad (7m 46s):

No, when I said that on Facebook, obviously nobody was taking credit so she automatically did. The incredibly smart woman that she is.

Joel (7m 54s):

Well, look, I'd be getting some questions if I got a blank, you know, bottle of you know, Blanton's at my doorstep.

Chad (8m 2s):

For what?

Joel (8m 3s):

Who's that from? Well, I don't know, shit because I have so many secret admirers.

Chad (8m 9s):

Yeah. So secret admirers. Yeah. Yeah.

Joel (8m 10s):

Like so many in the kitty.

Chad (8m 12s):

Come on. I mean, it's one thing to send me, like, you know, some Makers Mark or something like that, but this is, this is an expensive bottle of Blanton's that I believe comes from Japan. So

Joel (8m 24s):

Yeah. That's no joke, dude. Yeah. If you're out there listening, keep it a mystery or let us know. It's kind of more fun as a mystery, but

Chad (8m 31s):

It is, send another one.

Joel (8m 32s):

I'd love the mystery to come to my doorstep. If you're listening well.

Chad (8m 36s):

Whoa, By the way. Yeah. I, I don't know about that one.

Joel (8m 39s):

Not Chad's mystery. I want a new mystery. Give me a new mystery. Scooby doo mystery for me

Chad (8m 45s):

Row row raggy.

Joel (8m 46s):

All right. Let's talk about free shit, cuz we got more free shit than ever before. All right guys, you know the deal go to click the free link. You gotta sign up to get a t-shirt. We have new ones sponsored by JobGet we have whiskey. We had our lucky winner post picks this week. That's from our friends at Textkernel. We got Aspen Tech Labs helping us to send out free beer to everybody. We got Plum sponsoring rum, which we'll get to birthdays in a second, but we got all kinds of people wanting to give our listeners stuff for free, but you can't get it unless you go to

Joel (9m 27s):

And while you're at it, go to your favorite podcast platform and give us a review. We love those.

Chad (9m 34s):

Exactly. That's right. Aspen Tech Labs bringing beer to your front door, Textkernel two bottles, two bottles, kids of whiskey. And you gotta love JobGets, they are powering the new Chad and Cheese t-shirts. Joel, when are we getting the Chad Cheese t-shirts cuz they didn't make it to HR Tech. Supply chain issues. That's what we're gonna claim. That's what we're gonna claim. When are we gonna get t-shirts?

Joel (9m 57s):

T-shirts are in.

Chad (9m 58s):


Joel (9m 59s):

Eight boxes came to my house. Speaking of boxes, coming to your front door. None. None contained whiskey by the way. Oh, okay. But we have t-shirts I ordered a little little card to go into the bags.

Chad (10m 14s):

Oh, okay.

Joel (10m 15s):

Telling people basically thanks for listening. Visit our sponsored JobGet post a picture on social media, et cetera. So those should come today. So we will start packing these babies up, going into the weekend and next week. So those will start dropping next week for those that have signed up. Be patient. They don't all, we're not a warehouse. Amazon warehouse. Like it takes some time have some patience, but yeah. Shirts will be going out soon.

Chad (10m 43s):

So you don't have a trash can in your garage that you're made to piss in because you've gotta get ahold of these put out.

Joel (10m 49s):

No, we only do diapers at our house. We only do diapers size five is what, what we have here at our place.

Chad (10m 57s):

Okay. Okay. Yeah. So you have to pin a few together to make that work?

Joel (11m 6s):

No, just it's like a cup. You just put a cup, little rubber band around it. It's nice. It's like a red hot chili peppers album.

Chad (11m 15s):

All right. Alright. All events, events, events brought to you by Shaker Recruitment Marketing.

Joel (11m 22s):


Chad (11m 22s):

My new trucker cap is legit. I love it. Yeah. So shout out to Keegan, Joe and the crew over Shaker. We are here very soon kids going to be in Nashville. Yes. We went to Vegas. Now we're going to Nashville, which is this side of the world's Vegas.

Joel (11m 39s):


Chad (11m 40s):

October 5th through the seventh with Keith Urban concert, Vango Immersion Experience and Sixth and Peabody whiskey tasting. You have all of this going on. Obviously the content happening during the day. I mean, that's, you know, at least what you're, why you're telling your boss you're there. But if you're a practitioner and you would like a comped ticket, listen kids. If you're a practitioner and you would like a comped ticket message, Chad and Cheese, we can get you a link. We can get you some comp tickets because if you're close to Nashville or you just wanna fly in, enjoy some time in Nashville, get some credits, all that other fun stuff. Do it, go to You can register there. Or you can just reach out to us and we can help you out with a link to comp tickets.

Joel (12m 24s):

Before you get to Paris, I have a question about Nashville. Okay? Dude, is Elvis coming back from the dead and doing a concert because hotel rooms are ridiculously expensive in Nashville when we go there?

Chad (12m 35s):


Joel (12m 35s):

When we go there, something has to be going on. If you're a listener in Nashville, like hit us up on what. Is Johnny Cash back from the dead? Maybe they're touring together. I don't know what's going on, but, but man, like thousand plus dollars for some of these places. I'm staying in a gutter, I guess on Broadway is where I'm gonna be staying.

Chad (12m 55s):

Which is normal, which is what we're used to after a good night on Broadway.

Joel (13m 1s):

That's true. Tennessee whiskey goes down really nicely sometimes.

Chad (13m 3s):

Here's here's the problem. We only have a couple of days after that, then we're gonna both be jumping on planes to go to Paris kids, September 12th and 13th. You can catch the Vonq with Chad and cheese in Paris. First and foremost, we're gonna have a rooftop pre-conference party overlooking the Paris skyline. More details coming your way soon.

Joel (13m 26s):


Chad (13m 26s):

In the meantime you get can go to and click on events in the upper right hand corner. If you register through our website, you'll get 20% off. And if you're not already going to Paris and you're in Europe, what are you waiting for? It's Paris. It's Unleashed. It's amazing. It's probably one of our favorite conferences. What do you think? Are you psyched? Are you stoked?

Joel (13m 48s):

Totally stoked. Yeah. Three years since we've been in Paris. Yes?

Chad (13m 54s):

Guess. Yeah. For this

Joel (13m 55s):

Maybe favorite city. Definitely top three or four for me. We're going in October. Yeah. Trees, you know, it's changing little, little crisp in the air. Yeah. I'm totally down some Bordeaux on in the cafes. I might even start smoking cigarettes. I don't know. That's that's how inspiring Paris is.

Chad (14m 13s):

It would be very European of you.

Joel (14m 15s):

And I'm excited to see Lieven. It's been a few months since we've seen Lieven.

Chad (14m 21s):


Joel (14m 21s):

Our Euro homeboy. He's all. He's all fired up to hang out with us in Paris.

Chad (14m 24s):

Oh, he's stoked. Oh yeah. And he's got his tickets to the Moulin Rouge, everything. So this is going to be an exciting time. If you don't have tickets to Unleash, get tickets to Unleash, go Click on events. Have at it kids hope to see you there. And not to mention, we are also going to be in the podcast pit on the Unleashed expo floor joined by, you might not know this yet, Joel. Matt Alder that British guy's gonna be with us.

Joel (14m 54s):

There you go. That British dude. He better have scotch or some gin.

Chad (14m 59s):

Yeah. Matt, listen up, man. Bring some scotch.

Joel (15m 1s):

All right. You want birthdays or fantasy football first?

Chad (15m 6s):

Let's do birthdays and then we're gonna finish it off.

sfx (15m 7s):

Happy Birthday!

Joel (15m 8s):

All right. Celebrating a birthday this month. And we have a few cuz we didn't do 'em last week cuz we were hung over in Vegas.

Chad (15m 16s):

So very hungover.

Joel (15m 17s):

Again. Thanks to Plum for sponsoring a lucky winner every month for a bottle of rum celebrating this this week. Randall Emery, Eli Carson's Betty Norris. Robert St. Jacque.

Chad (15m 31s):


Joel (15m 31s):

That name is gotta be hot with the girls at the bar. Karen Heatwoleo . I think she wrote that in right into our database. Michelle Palermo, Shannon Siri, John Sumpser, old timer. Allison Holbrook, Katrina Kibin, Kelly Robinson, our friend of the show. Kevin Plantin, Eva Zils. Is she still doing videos? I don't see her videos anymore.

Chad (15m 56s):

I don't either. Since she left France and she went back to Germany. I don't know if Germany's not big on video, but I haven't seen, I haven't seen them.

Joel (16m 6s):

Germany's big on video. We know what you are doing. Craig Silverman and Theresa Ferris, all celebrating happy birthday another a trip around the sun, which I guess leads us right into fantasy football. Chad. Ugh, where you, you saw a drop, but we'll get to that in a second. Yeah. From first not to worst, but you're on your way. All right. Week two of fantasy football with ChadCheese in the books. Here's your leaderboard powered by our good friends at FactoryFix. Number one this week, Christie "don't call her moon" killing it. The only woman in our league is in first place. Imagine that?

Chad (16m 45s):

Killing it.

Joel (16m 47s):

So followed by Broadway Joe Wilke, Jason "and the Argonauts" Putnam, "Hailey Joel Osmit" Cheeseman. I like that one. "James Dean" Gillum. Dan "the magic man" Shoemaker. Chad, "not just a country in Africa" Sowash. Christopher "man down" Manion. Serge "second fiddle to Shelly" Boudreaux. Matt "king of the hill." "Pass the mic" Shafer and Dennis "basement bitch" Tupper. Oh, round out the leaderboard of our fantasy football league sponsored by FactoryFix.

Chad (17m 21s):

I blame Tommy over at FactoryFix for my loss last week. I was way out of focus because I was laughing so hard after the FactoryFix video. Obviously Mike was in Vegas. Guy actually goes everywhere with a green screen with him for God's sake. The guy's a pro. Mike and Tommy if you haven't seen the FactoryFix fantasy football league updates, they are fucking hilarious. Check 'em out on LinkedIn. They're all over the place, but check 'em out. They're fun.

sfx (18m 0s):


Joel (18m 0s):

All right. Chicago based Atlas technology solutions firmly known as Elements Global Services. I guess that's a good change. That's they were elements global services up until this past June. Well they raised $200 million in a series B. This brings total funding to $220 million. This is where the unicorn soundbite comes in.

sfx (18m 21s):

Pink Fluffy Unicorns.

Joel (18m 23s):

Founded in 2015, the company is a cloud-based human resource management platform that aims to ease international expansion initiatives for companies. Atlas operate subsidiaries and 160 countries and will use the funds to enhance their platform's capabilities and add more self-service and automation features, they employ 308 people according to LinkedIn. Chad, what are your thoughts on Atlas?

Chad (18m 47s):

So you said their name was Elements Global Services?

Joel (18m 50s):

Yeah. And Atlas Technology Solutions they thought was better.

Chad (18m 55s):

Yeah. Okay. So Atlas technology solutions and the URL that they went with kids was They changed their name. And then when they went with that shitty ass URL, I guarantee they knew that the money was coming in. So that's kind of odd. Anyways, this is a rapidly growing and broad segment edit. Is it focuses on helping companies scale quickly by hiring wherever the talent is in any country. So the Tam is huge from a global standpoint. Now Atlas, it's thrown its hat in the ring against other startups like with about $500 million in funding Oyster with about $225 million in funding and DEEL around $680 million just to name a few.

Chad (19m 36s):

So this space

Joel (19m 38s):

It's actually minus about $10 grand for their booth, Chad.

Chad (19m 40s):

For their 10 by 10 booth. Yeah. This space is, is crowded. It's starting to get crowded, put it that way, but it is extremely hot. Are we finally getting to a saturation point with the global/remote work platform, do you think?

Joel (19m 56s):

I was reminiscing, not just cuz we were at HR tech and got to see Jerry Crispin, but I was reflecting on, remember the old additions of career crossroads, the book of top job boards. Yeah. This came out in the nineties. They stopped doing it around 2001 or two I think because it got too crazy,

Chad (20m 18s):

Too fast.

Joel (20m 18s):

It got too much of a headache for Jerry and company to write this book every year about job boards, because there's so many fucking job boards. This is what this feels like. There are too many global platform. One to rule them all. Velocity's in there. Velocity Global, Eightfold you could argue is in there.

Chad (20m 42s):


Joel (20m 42s):

This space to me is overfunded. It's time to prune some hedges. I'm surprised they're still getting money, frankly, based on what the investment community, you know, news is like and what we've seen in our own in reporting, but money keeps going in but less so of the 200 plus a hundred plus million Flavor. And I just, I just think it's too much, man. I just think like these guys are gonna run outta money at some point soon they're gonna get consolidated. It's gotta be confusing for customers. That's period. I mean, look, I quoted, I wrote down a quote from the CEO. Quote, "the future of work thrives across borders and cultures.

Joel (21m 23s):

Atlas is enabling companies to seize the opportunity to be competitive, flexible and borderless." You could pretty much plug in any CEO of any of those companies you mentioned and it'd be the same fucking thing. Exactly. They all do the same thing.

Chad (21m 36s):


Joel (21m 36s):

They all have a ton of money. Look, you talked about zigging when everyone is zagging on the European show.

Chad (21m 41s):


Joel (21m 41s):

Somebody in this group needs to zag because everyone is zigging and it's hard for consumers to figure out who should I use? How are you different? What's going on? It's kind of a mess and it'll work itself out in the next, I think two or three years. And we'll have fun talking about it, but it's a cluster as far as I can tell.

Chad (21m 57s):

Yeah. Well it's gonna be, it's definitely gonna be interesting. As we see some companies focus on remote/hybrid and being able to, especially in European countries, being able to go cross borders and make it easy, especially if you're American and you're going into Europe, you need some type of an infrastructure to do that. Companies like Atlas and all the other companies that we just listed do that. The question is saturation point, right? I did notice though. Yeah. As we talk about Vegas, that Atlas had a very large booth. Was Remote there? I didn't see Remote. I didn't see Oyster.

Joel (22m 31s):

I didn't see Oyster. I didn't see Velocity.

Chad (22m 33s):

Deel had a 10 by 10, which was pitiful. They should have probably just stayed home in the first place.

Joel (22m 42s):


Chad (22m 43s):

But I mean, it is interesting because these organizations are getting money much to the tune of like HCM. So outside of talent, we'll talk about money still being flushed into talent platforms. But now you take a look at these, these types of platforms and they're getting HCM type of cash.

Joel (23m 1s):

Well, if I can't interest you in an HCM, can I interest you in a LinkedIn killer for our next company? Watch out LinkedIn here comes Polywork raising 28 million this week from the likes of pretty impressive. Former GitHub CEO, Nat Friedman, the founders of Stripe Lyft, Clubhouse, Instacart and Minted as well as Andreesen Horowitz. Polywork has now raised a total of $44 and a half million since it's launch in April of 2021. Many are labeling them as a new gen LinkedIn, when a user registers, they are invited to choose identity badges that describe themselves as things such as dog dad, foodie, author, front end developer and black lives matter.

Joel (23m 53s):

Some numbers for you. No revenue currently they won't discuss their user metrics or how many users they have. They have 20 employees altogether. Okay. Boomer. Chad, your thoughts on LinkedIn for a new generation and most importantly, Chad, what are your identity badges?

Chad (24m 15s):

Yeah. It'd be dad. Podcaster. Veteran. Dog owner. Yeah. Yeah. Football fan

Joel (24m 18s):

Cheese Wrangler.

Chad (24m 19s):

Well, it is funny because I'm in Polywork. When, when we talked about them last year, I joined, I think it was before that I joined, I just wanted to see how it was, it was going to work. And it's interesting because most of the hits that I'm getting in there and there most recently just literally within the last week are around podcaster. Nothing else. Around podcaster. I think it's interesting that, you know, if you think about it, how did LinkedIn grow? And, I know that , we're talking about entirely different decades, but how did LinkedIn grow? LinkedIn, they spent a lot of money building infrastructure for this six degrees from Kevin Bacon thing that they were doing back then, remember that?

Chad (25m 3s):

And they did not. Much like Facebook at first. They did not have any revenue plans right out of the gate. They were just building infrastructure and then product came later. So I see the same kind of strategy here. I'm just not sure that how long you can wait for revenue streams in this current environment. I think LinkedIn was lucky in timing in being able to build and have very patient funders. I'm not sure that that's gonna happen with Polywork. Last August, we talked about Polywork, receiving their Series A. I said back then, let's see if we're talking about them in 24 months.

Chad (25m 43s):

Well, this is obviously they they've made it 12 months. And with this $28 million, they're easily gonna make it another 12 months. But the only time that we've talked about them in the last year is now, receiving funding, right? Again, they're babies and I get it, but nothing newsworthy has happened. So I believe, you know, the continued LinkedIn killer is a strong and smart narrative because you want to align yourself with an organization that is making a shit ton of cash. And LinkedIn is, but they're more of a side hustle version of LinkedIn. They're not a full-time, they're not a full-time platform.

Chad (26m 25s):

At least they're not pushing themselves as that. And CEO, Peter Johnson actually said, if LinkedIn was built for nine to five generation, we are built for the collaboration generation. So this is almost like a side hustle platform per se.

Joel (26m 38s):

Yeah. I hated the company. When, we first talked about him and I, I still hate them. Look, I, I think you have a lot of hip Silicon valley investors who clearly believe that we can TikTok LinkedIn with something cooler, something newer. The kids will leave the old, the old social network for us. The problem is, whereas Facebook has kids leaving them because it's not cool anymore. Kids need to go to LinkedIn because guess what? That's, who's gonna give you a job. That's who's gonna mentor you. That's the contacts you need to make to sell shit, to get a job, to work your way up into the professional ranks, connecting to younger kids, cuz they're cool isn't gonna help your career like LinkedIn is.

Joel (27m 22s):

And guess what? LinkedIn has already achieved the status of being the professional network. So that's where, I mean, no one graduating college is being told, go to Polywork to grow your career. They're being told, go to LinkedIn because that's where you're gonna build a network of people who can help you grow your career. I just don't really know where this thing goes, to be honest with you. I think it's a Silicon Valley Cool idea. But I just don't see, you know, if, if they were releasing numbers of like, Hey, we're up to 10 million users, Hey, we're at 20 million users. I might get a little excited. I might get a little interested, but they don't even release numbers about how many people are on this thing. You know, I'm super connected to the youth of America and I never hear about Polywork.

Joel (28m 2s):

So, I just, I don't get, I feel like Tom Hanks in Big when he says like, I don't get it. I just, I don't get it. Maybe I'm just too old to get it or this is just a really dumb idea that a lot of dumb money is following.

Chad (28m 16s):

Could be? But I, I think you can definitely use both. You can use LinkedIn as your full time, nine to fiver, but then you're also looking for side hustles, which you're not gonna find usually on LinkedIn. Peter and his investors are, are betting on work to drastically change from nine to five to more than likely project based types of work. Not entirely of course, but we do believe after the pandemic and side hustles exploding that the collaboration generation will be making major revenue. At least that's what their bet is is that this new side hustle generation is gonna make a lot of cash.

Chad (28m 56s):

Can there be more than one LinkedIn platform out there? Of course, especially if they're not directly competing with LinkedIn, they're not gonna dethrone LinkedIn again. That's just narrative to push themselves up for people to talk about them like us, right? And again, I think this is a long-term play more than more than a short term play.

Joel (29m 17s):

If they pivot to big booty Latinas and bug fights, I might change my mind. Other than that, let's go to the next news story on our list. The Muse New York based The Muse has raised 8 million this week. That's a grand total of nearly $32 million since launching way back in 2011. They say they're going to use the money to continue investing in values aligned hiring, and fund consolidation in the next gen hiring space, with 10% of fortune 500 companies using The Muse and it reported 75 million people using the service. That sounds a little high to me.

Chad (29m 55s):

Yes. Yes.

Joel (29m 56s):

Yeah. Whatever. We'll go with it. We'll go with it.

Chad (29m 58s):

I call bullshit.

Joel (30m 0s):

What's not to love with those kinds of numbers. Chad, what are your thoughts on The Muse getting a little extra cash?

Chad (30m 7s):

What was the percentage of fortune 500 companies?

Joel (30m 9s):


Chad (30m 9s):


Joel (30m 9s):

So they're, they're getting 1% a year since they're founded.

Chad (30m 12s):

Oh, okay. So I think we should refer to The Muse as the old hotness is what we should really do. I mean, cuz remember five or six years ago they were hot.

Joel (30m 23s):

It's Jennifer Aniston is what you're saying. It's Angelina Jolie.

Chad (30m 27s):

Still hot. That's changed dramatically. As they try to stay relevant as much as Polywork, we were just talking about the, we haven't talked about The Muse since they received a $3 million fund from Dice from boat anchor Dice a year ago. Anyway, as you read it and I myself was thinking, I don't think I'm reading this correctly is Muse CEO Katherine Minu saying that they're looking to acquire startups and consolidate? Cuz she's talking about all these smaller platforms and what they really need to do is they need to drive more traffic to The Muse site. That's what they need more traffic.

Chad (31m 8s):

I don't believe those user numbers. I believe that's a culmination of over 10 years. You know, that's not a daily, that's not a daily user. There's no fucking way.

Joel (31m 17s):

They said annually 75 million users. So, I was curious, Chad, I went to the way back machine and I wanted to see what The Muse look like in 2012. And if it had really made any strides to change its look and feel so. So this was the headline on the site in 2012. 'What do you want to do with your life?' And then put in search whatever box and search stuff today, the headline is 'find work that's worth it'. So what do you want do with your life to find work that's worth it. This is a job site.

Chad (31m 57s):


Joel (31m 58s):

They can put whatever shit, but they're in the game of traffic.

Chad (32m 4s):


Joel (32m 5s):

Getting traffic as cheaply as possible, spending less than you bring in, hoping that demand rises, that competition stumbles. And it's an endless cycle of hell. Just ask CareerBuilder and just ask Monster the kind of hell you're in. When you have to keep spending, oh, ZipRecruiter, I'll throw them in too of just spending to make money. And then when you stop spending money on advertising, the money slowly goes away and goes somewhere else. And for what I can tell 10 years, The Muse has been in this endless hell of like they're making a little more than they're spending. They're able to raise a little bit more because they are profitable. I haven't seen anything new and exciting coming out of them since I guess what virtual job fairs during the pandemic.

Joel (32m 48s):

They can't IPO, they can't sell to anybody. They're just sort of existing. Have fun with that. I mean it's, it's fine. But.

Chad (32m 52s):

It's like a lifeline dude.

Joel (32m 54s):

I don't know what investors are hoping to get out of it. If you and I had this, it'd be a great business. What is Dice want?

Chad (33m 2s):


Joel (33m 2s):

It's just weird.

Chad (33m 5s):

And I don't understand what the actual fuck is values aligned hiring. I mean, our industry comes up with the stupidest shit. It's like Muse leadership were all sitting on bean bag chairs in front of a whiteboard smoking weed and came up with this shit. Nobody understands what it actually means, but it sounds good, right? Yeah. Just like when the band Chicago were so high, they didn't know if it was 25 minutes or six minutes to four o'clock hence 25 or six to four. It worked for Chicago, but it's not working for The Muse. These guys are stoned outta their brains. And I hope they use that $8 million to get high and just fade away.

Joel (33m 44s):

Does anyone really know what time it is? Chad?

Chad (33m 46s):

It's time for a break.

Joel (33m 47s):

Let's take a break. We'll be right back. All right. Kids buy or sell time. You know how this works. We pick three companies that have gotten funding this week and we talk about 'em and we either buy or sell what they're dropping. First up Gig and Take

Chad (34m 10s):

Gig and Take

Joel (34m 12s):

Pennsylvania based Gig and Take has raised $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round. Founded in 2021 the company manages flexible workforces for factories and warehouses. Founded last year they will use the funds to wait for Chad, continue growing and expanding the business Gig and Take employs just nine folks. Chad, are you a buy or sell on slap and tickle? I mean, Gig and Take.

Chad (34m 39s):

So remember when American families were single income families? After 40 years of wage stagnation, trickle down economics that that never trickled down to the actual working families, a single income home, isn't a choice anymore, but some parents can't work a full-time job and working at Walmart seems to be their only choice. Unless there are new part-time gigs that are exposed, which provide more flexibility. So take a look at some of these different examples. One, think of all of the full timers, who are also out there, who might actually pick up a shift at the last minute or on weekends, if they have flexibility or an app to be able to see what's there, right. You know, maybe plans fell through on the weekend.

Chad (35m 23s):

They and huh, why not go work four hours and pick up, you know, a few extra bucks? Founder and CEO Rahil Siddiqui does have an HR background and it is also in manufacturing. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania also gives the brand some legitimacy for manufacturers in the Heartland instead of just another run of the mill Silicon Valley startup. The timing is good for this segment. I like the vision. The website sucks. I hope they use the money to focus on the site and on the tech, but from the vision, from the timing and from the actual experience of the team, it's a buy for me.

Joel (36m 6s):

Wow. So their site says, quote "manufacturers in the US are facing an unprecedented labor shortage". Yeah. "What most factories are missing is flexibility" or maybe enough robots "get access to workers who are leaving traditional jobs for gig jobs." For the times, this is great. Like, I mean, I think they're gonna have to spend more than 1.5 million on marketing to get enough warehouse workers. I don't know where the marketing's gonna come from because they're gonna need a lot of people in this platform to make it worthwhile for the warehouses that are hoping to fill these people into their warehouses because warehouses employ a lot of people. And if this platform has, you know, a thousand folks, it's gonna be hard to really scale this thing up.

Joel (36m 47s):

So they need to take a lot of money to do that. I'm not sure that 1.5 is gonna do it. I'm also concerned with them in regards to timing. Okay. We talk a lot about robots on this show. We're gonna talk about robots later in the show. We both know that Jeff Bezos is just biting the time before he can get rid of all the human beings in the warehouse, minus the VP of whatever, some managers and replace these folks. So I think robotics are coming for this business and I think that's bad timing. And I also think that if unemployment ever gets to like normal times, they won't have the luxury of all these people being able to have gig jobs or work warehouses when they want.

Joel (37m 30s):

It's gonna be, if you don't want the job, we got plenty of other people that will. So for the time being robots aren't there yet, people still have flexibility that the workers are still in control, but if I'm buying or selling this, I'm looking at it from a long term perspective. So for me, I don't think history is on their site. I do hope that they use the $1.5 million to at least have a contact page as opposed to just for the users. You're right. The site is straight out of a WordPress theme in 2004. So hopefully they can update that one. All right. That is Gig and Take. Let's go to Ashby. So

Chad (38m 9s):

Is that a sell or a buy?

Joel (38m 12s):

That's a sell.

Chad (38m 13s):


Joel (38m 14s):

That's a sell. Sorry. The sound effects usually make it really clear. That is a sell from me. Let's go to Ashby. The San Francisco based company is raised $21.5 million in a Series B round. This brings total funding to $34.5 million. Founded in 2018 the company has a mission of redefining the applicant tracking system category. Ambitious. Ashby's product, incorporates candidate sourcing and outreach, automated scheduling and customizable reports. The round will go toward growing operations, engineering and go to market teams.

Joel (38m 54s):

They employ about 60 folks. Chad, are you by or sell on Ashby?

Chad (38m 57s):

So the CEO and founder has software development, recruiting ops experience, and the other co-founder Akhil looks like he's just a run of the mill product guy, you know, which is what you need. The big question is, do we need another applicant tracking system? Big, deep breath. I appreciate the need to jump into a broad total addressable market and trying to say that your product is SMB enterprise, but that's more of a fantasy than reality. And we've seen over the years, last couple of decades to be quite Frank with companies like iCIMS and Taleo, who, you know, they had the itch, they scratched the itch and it was a bad itch.

Chad (39m 37s):

And they gave up, especially on the SMB side because the enterprise animal is so much different than the SMB animal. It's also why you see Employ owning three different applicant tracking system platforms, Jobvite, Lever and JazzHR. So unfortunately the limited experience this group has in the space, isn't enough to steer them away from the biggest icebergs. So therefore it's a sell for me.

Joel (40m 4s):

So the good news, Chad, they claim 500 paying customers. It's not too, too shabby. Although they've taken, what are they paying? Although they've taken $34 million.

Chad (40m 11s):


Joel (40m 12s):

Their selling points, I guess, are pricing and analytics aside from what you can get in any ATS. So let's talk about pricing for a second. I'm of the camp that if you're doing SMB, small business stuff, not the enterprise level, like there's a commoditization of the ATS. And while they're priced very competitively, I feel like it's erased to the bottom in terms of pricing for ATSs playing in that space. So I don't think the pricing is that much if any of a selling point for Ashby. The second thing is analytics. I mean, are there pie charts better than Greenhouse's pie charts?

Joel (40m 52s):

I doubt it. I mean, maybe there's some secret sauce that I don't see, but for me, yeah, unless we're talking about Alan Ashby, catcher of the Houston Astros in the eighties, I am a sell on this Ashby.

Chad (41m 7s):

Alright. Quick advice to ask Ashby though. Get some advisors in there that are not yes people on telling you exactly what you want to hear, focus on your Tam, ridiculous

Joel (41m 18s):

Chad and Cheese are for sale. If you need advisors, by the way. All right, let's go to what I thought originally was Knowetic. No, it's Knowetic we'll get to that in a second. All right. Knowetic the startup that calls itself the number one, chief people officer platform and "single source of truth" for people analytics today announced it's $36 million series B. This round closely follows their $18 million Series A back in August of 21. Since it's founding in 2020, the New York based company has experienced rapid expansion. This is from their release, including five X year over year, ARR growth, 20 X community growth and three X year over year headcount growth.

Joel (42m 6s):

Building on this momentum Knowetic will use its new funds to invest in its two main product lines, people analytics and its global network of people, leaders and CPOs. They employ 220 workers. Chad, are you by or sell Knowetic?

Chad (42m 20s):

So man, it's, it's hard to pull together all the data points a CPO's gonna need. I mean, from all the different, all the different systems that don't talk, that should talk and then trying to get that, that data's a pain in the ass. All those gross growth numbers, they're grown from zero. So yeah, they look impressive. But to me, that's a, so what if you're gonna gimme numbers, give me real fucking numbers. Those are not real numbers. Going after chief people officers though is I think a very smart tactic as they're always exploring ways to be more relevant and truly strategic in the suites in the C-suite and in the boardroom.

Chad (43m 3s):

CROs and CMOs are way ahead of CPOs in creating business narratives around data. The problem isn't data though, it's understanding and relating proper business narratives, which HR sucked at. TA has sucked at. So to Knowetic, this seems to be a pivot out of Twine Labs. The founder and CEO, Joseph Kwan seems to be a strategy guy, which I like, but he has no understanding of the real need of the CPO and how to make them more relevant. Cuz that that's the problem CPO needs to be relevant in the C-suite so that the board gives a shit so that, so the CEO gives a shit. So this isn't a data problem. It's a vision and narrative problem for the chief people officer.

Chad (43m 46s):

You can give CPOs data all day, but if they don't understand how to form business narratives like CROs and CMOs, hint, hint, they will continue to be out flanked in C-suite discussions. To me, this is another platform being built that is addressing a problem, which really isn't even the problem. And as for the Facebook like support community in no in Knowetic for CPOs, it will only get use if admins can gain access, cuz they're not gonna jump in and they're not gonna use those communities. So unfortunately, idea's great. It's just not fully formed. They don't understand what the real problem is.

Chad (44m 27s):

So it's gotta be a sell for me.

Joel (44m 29s):

So these guys are so far up their own asses. It's kind of hard to actually be objective and review these guys. I mean whoever's writing their releases and shit is

Chad (44m 43s):


Joel (44m 43s):

Speaking of being on something or someone, or I don't know.

Chad (44m 46s):

Maybe they visited The Muse.

Joel (44m 47s):

Yeah. So this, this is a first. Let's talk about the name real quick. I thought it was Knowetic when I first saw it. It's spelled K N O E T I C. Right? So you go to their site and there's literally below their logo rhymes with poetic, with an arrow to the logo. If your logo, if your name needs something that says rhymes with, whatever, you might have the wrong name, but literally their logo has rhymes with poetic. So it's Knowetic. That's a problem to me. So they tout two primary things.

Joel (45m 29s):

One is people analytics. There's quite a few competitors in that space. Many of whom are well funded, Lattice LeapSum, Cruncher, et cetera. I'm not sure that they can cut through that clutter and be a better people analytics platform than some of those companies. And then they kind of go to the other side and it's almost like a content play, a people - like community play and, they hope that they both kind of support each other. Like, Hey, you're gonna buy the product. If you're in the, if you're in the community, which to me is like, it's a LinkedIn group. I don't know what they're providing that I would pay for that. I could get that I'm not getting in a LinkedIn group. I know LinkedIn groups kind of suck and they could improve them quite a bit.

Chad (46m 14s):


Joel (46m 14s):

But, I just don't know. There are not more CPOs in this community than there are CPOs on LinkedIn. So I think that's not a, a huge selling point for me. So I don't get those two businesses very well or how they compliment each other. I love their pricing page, which is basically, you're either gonna get a demo of the people analytics or you're going to ask for an invite to be on in the community. So guess what? There's no pricing on the pricing page. And we know that we both love that Chad. For me, Knowetic, this is a hat trick for me. Three cells on these three bums of a company.

Chad (46m 54s):


Joel (46m 55s):

Yeah. On buy or sell. Let's take a quick break and talk about something that does make some sense to me.

Chad (47m 1s):


Joel (47m 2s):

Robot fries. Well, Chad, as usual, you and I are way ahead of the curve on this one. The Washington Post is finally on the robot bandwagon with a story this week entitled, "the robots are here and they're making you fries". Meet Flippy, Sippy, and Chippy, the newest technology, stepping into a dress, a protected labor crunch, a protracted labor crunch, excuse me, in food service. The good news about your robotic fry cook. He doesn't take breaks. Never shirks when the boss isn't looking, won't call out sick or lean heavy on the company, health insurance.

Joel (47m 45s):

The bad news flippy, the robot costs $50 million to develop and costs companies about $5,000 for installation and $3,500 per month to rent the machines as well as get customer service. According to the national restaurant association, 65% of restaurant owners are still say, finding enough workers is a central problem. So the incentive and the demand to augment or replace human labor means costs will eventually come down. Concerns with bots, working alongside people are prevalent however, with the post highlighting a slack channel devoted to why Flippy freaks out sometimes when he has to drop a row of tacos in the special metal perforated taco tray.

Joel (48m 31s):

That sounds like a first world problem Chad. What's your take on the current state of robots cooking up a side of fries?

Chad (48m 38s):

Flippy, Sippy, and Chippy. I can't say it enough. So this is robots as a service, which I I think is incredibly smart. You know, the $5,000 for installation $3,500 per month for rental is genius. Because if you take a look at the actual cost for, you know, anybody staying humans that you're paying to do that, you know, I think that's a wash plus. I mean, you're looking, you know, you hear the MRR cash register ringing. I also like this creates an entirely new segment of mechanic. You know, a technician that's going to have to come in here and be locally servicing all of this.

Chad (49m 17s):

I mean, this isn't, you know, we're losing fry cooks, oh, darn being a fry cook fucking socks. Right. But now you're gonna be a technician fixing robots on robotics. So I think this is a, this is a scale up. I, I love this. And I think this is a great evolution of fast food, getting them out of the fucking food and getting them onto the, the technical aspect. And, that's the rub here that says, you know, Flippy, Sippy and Chippy never take breaks. Well, yes they do. When they're down for maintenance, right? So, you know, you, you have to get those things scheduled. You do have Flippy freakouts, those types of things. So for me, I love the idea of this because those jobs, I remember being a kid being a 15 year old flipping, you know, fries being on the fry station, I fucking hated it.

Chad (50m 4s):

I went, I went home every day, full of oil in my pores being, it was horrible. Have a robot do it and then have kids train to be more technical to fix these robots. I love it. And I hope this continues to happen.

Joel (50m 20s):

It doesn't only suck to be a fry cook. It's actually really dangerous. I had no idea how many injuries happen, which I used to cook fries and chicken nuggets and shit. So it shouldn't surprise me how dangerous it is, cuz that shit is hot. So I'm glad the Washington Post is on this story. We're ahead of the curve on this one. A lot of the people in our community, I do feel like we're ways from this being something that's mainstream. They talked about Jack in the Box, which has 2,270 restaurants in the US. They only have one Flippy. And they're only looking at adding five to 10 new robots in locations by the end of 2023.

Joel (51m 1s):

So this shit's gonna have to scale really fast, which it may, I think it's gonna scale faster than we think for a lot of these restaurants. I think costs are gonna come down as they standardize, you know, developing these things, producing these things, getting 'em out. So costs are gonna come down, but people are still gonna be a pain in the ass. So robots to me are, it's a storm coming, man. There's nothing gonna stop this train. It's just a matter of how fast it's gonna happen. I do love your point about the workers of the future. You're gonna have to know something about robotics. You're gonna have to know something about control alt delete. How do you reset this thing? How do you know, how do you set the clock on the VHR or the VCR like that kind of like minimal knowhow is gonna be really important for workers.

Joel (51m 48s):

It's not just gonna be dunk salt serve. I mean, there's gonna be some real skills. I think that go into these things and there's gonna be a ton of customer service, jobs and maintenance guys that go to these restaurants and fix these machines. Or like people are gonna have to call Miso robotics, customer service, holy shit, Flippy flipped out again. How do I fix it? Whatever, like those are gonna be skills and new jobs that are created out of this, which I think is the optimistic side of what's going on. We're gonna have fun talking about it. If you're a listener, you're welcome.

Joel (52m 29s):

Robots, Chad and Cheese.

sfx (52m 31s):

Shall we play a game?

Chad and Cheese (52m 33s):

We out, we out.

OUTRO (52m 33s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of 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. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo 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.

OUTRO (53m 18s):

And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out.

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