LinkedIn is Old and Indeed Gets Giggy
What a week! Fast Company celebrated LinkedIn’s 20th birthday, Indeed relaunched its Gig platform and TikTok is getting closer and closer to a ban in the U.S. Good thing Chad & Cheese are here to help you make sense of everything. In addition, AI has made resume carpet bombing easier than ever, and “body doubling” is now a thing we get to talk about in workforce circles. Money keeps flowing, which means more Buy-or-Sell, this time with Barley, Fount, and Glider AI are on the chopping block. More corporate insanity: Salesforce looks seriously out of touch, laying off thousands of employees while paying actor Matthew McConaughey $10 million annually to be a "creative adviser and TV pitchman" for the firm. It can all make you want to sail away, which is good because a new cruise line promises to be your floating workplace of the future. Ships ahoy!
Let’s do this!
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Intro: Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR's Most Dangerous Podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast!
Joel: Oh yeah! It's National Bagpipe Day, somebody cue the Bay City Rollers and grab my kilt. Hi, kids, you're listening to the Chad and Cheese Podcast. This is your co-host, Joel 'William Wallace' Cheesman.
Chad: This is Chad 'Darkness Retreat' Sowash.
Joel: And on this week's show, Happy Birthday LinkedIn, Body-Doubling, and Work Cruises.
SFX: Alright, alright, alright.
Joel: Let's do this.
Chad: Have you ever pondered a darkness retreat? And if you did, would you tell everybody about it? This Aaron Rodgers thing is becoming weirder and weirder.
Joel: It sounds like torture. Do people pay to be in these totally dark rooms?
Chad: Yeah, yeah.
Joel: People go nuts in full darkness, people trapped in caves go crazy.
Chad: I would have rather gone the sweat lodge with the peyote kind of like direction if that was the case.
Joel: I'd rather smoke the poison frog and take the Mike Tyson vacation into Neverland.
Chad: What team... You've gotta be pretty fucking desperate to pick up Aaron Rodgers, at this point, in his career. And he's totally gone off the rails, let's just call it what it is.
Joel: He's still good, you know they will. He's only one season more from MVP.
Chad: Oh my God. Yeah.
Joel: We're totally losing all of our non-US listeners, by the way. We're going right into Aaron Rodgers.
Joel: Let's get to some shoutouts that people might actually care about. My first one goes to Charles, or Charlie Hsieh, formerly Blind's VP of marketing. Blind, if you didn't know, is quietly becoming a tour-de-force for content about companies and what's going on. They've really sparked since, there have been all layoffs in Silicon Valley. Anyway, Charlie will now head up Blind's talent marketplace, seemingly they wanna take on LinkedIn, who we'll get to later. From this LinkedIn post from Charlie, "Talent leaders, we are looking for limited early customers to provide us with valuable product feedback." I say it's one to watch. Blind is pretty interesting. They've been around a long time, and they are very influential in the West Coast market.
Chad: I think it's interesting, and I love that they're actually using LinkedIn as a platform to promote Blind to be able to topple LinkedIn. That's pretty awesome. My first shoutout goes to firing squad alumni Oras Al-Kubaisi over at jobdescription.ai for understanding the teachings of ChatGPT. "What teachings?" You might ask. Well, ChatGPT is so damn popular, because they created a user interface for the whole damn world to play with. Oras, being a very apt pupil, last week, he launched a real time market analysis tool using Google for Jobs data at rta.jobdescription.ai. Was it perfect? Did people pull out the sniper rifles and start shooting at it? Yes, of course. But guess what? That's the fucking point. ChatGPT has flaws, and in being transparent about how ML and AI works, they're educating everyone. Keep it up Oras. And hopefully, we'll start to see some of the bigger names in our space do the exact same thing. Get that out there, show that it's not vapor-ware. Let us play with it.
SFX: Shall we play a game?
Joel: My second shoutout goes to Ahryun Moon. GoodTime's CEO and founder celebrated her new pregnancy on LinkedIn this week.
Chad: That's a good time.
Joel: It's not my baby, Chad, in case you're wondering, that's not the shoutout. Ahryun... Call her Jackie Moon shared, "My pregnancy has been a rollercoaster, but I learned to handle it well. I still make biz trips and meet with customers, I still work very hard and enjoy work." Her story is inspiring, I don't have time to go into it on shoutouts, but check her out on LinkedIn from her trip to Korea, to Canada and all the way to being CEO of a startup. Shoutout to Ahryun Moon, and congratulations on your new baby.
Chad: Yes, another Firing Squad alumni, by the way, too.
Joel: Our first, wasn't it? Or second?
Chad: It was close. Yeah. She was one of the first. She was the first handful, yeah. A Google for Jobs update shoutout, kids. Yes, from a very reliable source who has been working this story and its developments received the following quote from Google to clarify the beta testing on Google for Jobs, "These ads are not related to AdSense at all. These are a new format we're testing for search and akin to our shopping/search campaigns work." So all those people out there who were saying that this was going to be just an AdSense thing, it's not gonna be a Jobs thing. It can be both, kids. You can go out, and you can use AdSense, but you can also use this new Google for Jobs pretty much like booster that they're putting out there. So create more clarity, we're getting more every day. Keep the info coming, kids, we love it.
Joel: Love the info from Google as always.
Joel: Well, from one evil empire to the other, my shoutout goes to TikTok, it's been nice knowing the CCP's popular app. The White House threw its support this week behind a new bipartisan Senate bill that would give the Biden administration the power to ban TikTok in the US. Looks like it's gonna be, Cheesman one, Sowash one, on the predictions for 2023. And it's only March. Shoutout to TikTok, it's been nice knowing ya.
Chad: If we do ban it, how long do you think it'll take for business, the machine of business in the US, to actually finally get a deal with TikTok, and then they'd put it back up? Because there's no way in hell that this is gonna stay gone. There just... There's too much money involved.
Joel: There's too much money involved for Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn. And if you talk about stocks, you should be looking at buying with TikTok out of the picture. I don't know, this is a bipartisan, everybody wants to do this. It's so easy. It's low-hanging fruit. Young people don't vote. It's such an easy thing, I think, that they're gonna be able to do. Now, whether or not they Hail Mary this thing, and all the servers are in the US, everything is monitored by United States officials. Maybe like your point of, there's so much money in this. I just think that the heat that's going up with China is irrefutable, and TikTok is like an easy, suck it China. I say, if we let TikTok stay, then we make them accept Facebook and Twitter. That seems like a fair trade-off.
Chad: I think it's interesting that we forget about Russia, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, and yet we're trying to prop them up because they're an American company. Although they were selling data, the user data to another country. So it is interesting because this is a Chinese company that everybody is on board of saying, "Let's shut this bitch down," when we already have an instance, a proven instance where a American company sold shit to Russia and yet, guess what? That motherfucker's still afloat.
Joel: I'll take teen depression and Russian collusion any day over Chinese infiltration about that. I don't know. I'm not saying Facebook is perfect, but they're not trying to make Americans feel worse about the capitalism and make us feel a little worse about our government and everything else.
Chad: Hey, you're full of shit, you are totally full of shit if you think they're any different at all, you're full of shit. Anyway...
Joel: I feel bad about myself on Instagram, I feel bad about America when I'm on TikTok because big booty Latinas and bug fights make me feel less patriotic, Chad, that's the bottom line.
Chad: I was gonna say, I thought big booty Latinas and bug fights were your things. That's exactly what... TikTok's giving you exactly what you want.
SFX: It's corona time.
Chad: Oh my God. Okay. So next...
SFX: Hey, it's corona time right now.
Chad: So next shout out goes to Indeed Gigs are back in play, kids. That's right. Indeed had problems, Indeed had problems before when companies like Instacart would propagate a single job to thousands of locations where those opportunities did exist in those areas, but Instacart would then flood the Indeed Index and obviously the main job search. So it's not a great experience when you're doing a job search and you're getting nothing but Instacart types of jobs. And then you've got the Ubers, the Uber Eats, the Lyfts and all those things. So they had to pull back. They had to pull back. So apparently Indeed has control over the issue for the time being, and the gig jobs will be flowing back into the main search.
Joel: So I'm gonna pull out my crystal ball real quick and see where this business, this new thing is going for Indeed.
Joel: Okay, there we go. [laughter] That's what the Crystal Ball says about this new business. Much better than the fans that sign up for free shit on our site, Chad. Yeah, we got to mention it every week.
Joel: If you haven't signed up for free t-shirts from our friends at Job Get, Bourbon from our homies at Texkernel, free beer from Aspen Tech Labs. And if it's your birthday, you might win a really nice bottle of rum from our friends at Plum. But you got to play it if you're gonna win it. Head out to chadcheese.com today. Click the free link to get free stuff or a chance to win free stuff. Those will be going out for this month very shortly and we'll announce the winners hopefully next week.
Chad: Nice. Props to Caitlin and the Plum team. Rum with Plum. She was quoted in a New York Times article this week, the $2 billion question of who you are at work. So it revolved around assessment. So, good job and at least from the PR team.
Outro: [laughter] Really, can you feel the tension in the air right now? I know I can. I can feel it all the way down in my plums.
Joel: Chad, our travel schedule is heating up. Tell the audience where we're gonna be.
Chad: Unleash in Vegas, baby. In late April, If you're not there, what are you thinking? Vegas the first part of the year. You got to love it. Then we're going to iCIMS Inspire in San Diego in early May. And then last but not least, we have RecFest that's happening in Knebworth Park just north of London in July. For all of this information to register. I mean, we have like 10 plus events that we already have scheduled this year. Go to Chadcheese.com, click on the events link in the upper right hand corner and register, and catch them all.
SFX: Alright, alright. Alright.
Joel: Let's go to our birthdays for the week, Chad.
Joel: And you remember last week we missed a whole week, so we got a few birthdays to go through. Bear with me. A lot of fans wanna shout out to them. All right. Michael Deloya.
SFX: Happy birthday.
Joel: Mels Gatson. Evan White, our West Coast.
Chad: My man.
Joel: Robert Williams, Tracy Morris, David Altman, Leanne Chase, Dean DeCosta, Bruce Gee, Amanda Hahn, Ryan Estes and Kirby, I mean, Kyle Hager all celebrating. [laughter]
SFX: Happy Birthday.
Joel: Another trip around the sun. Happy birthday everybody, and thanks for listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast.
Chad: That's right. And don't forget that you can also listen to how Indeed sucks in four additional languages, not just in English, but also in French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. That's right. Veritone has cloned the Chad and Cheese voices and translated our weekly podcast into more languages. So again, you can listen to how Indeed sucks in more than just English.
SFX: Topics. They say it's your birthday.
SFX: Happy birthday.
Joel: Fast Company is celebrating LinkedIn's 20th birthday saying, "Born during the doldrums after the original.com bust, LinkedIn arrived at the same time as a flurry of other social networking upstarts, mostly of which quickly fizzled." Today, more than 4,500 job applications are submitted and eight hires are now made every minute on the platform. It's revenue surpassed $14 billion in the past 12 months.
Joel: Close to quadruple the figure at the same time it was acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion back in 2016.
Joel: All is not rosy however Chad, also this week an article by the information says, Recruiters are getting really pissed about rising prices at LinkedIn. And Fortune says the company has entered a "cringe era" blurring the lines of professional and personal. Highlighting a recent share, "Phil died while doing what he loved, networking and promoting our brand." Chad, 20 years of LinkedIn, you and I were around for all of it. What are your thoughts?
Chad: 20 years, what we call that kids is technical debt. One of the reasons why LinkedIn doesn't innovate is because they have old ass infrastructure. Happy 20th kids. It is becoming more cringey for some, to be quite frank, I think we are experiencing more of a professional and personal melding since the pandemic. Some people don't like them, don't like that. Well, fuck them. They can stop following me. They can stop following somebody else. Who cares? And that's the thing that bothers me is when people says, they say, "This doesn't belong on LinkedIn." It's my LinkedIn. I put on it what I want to put on it. You can stop following me if you want. Go away. And then the price hikes, it's gonna continue to happen as talent acquisition continues to put their eggs in baskets that they've known for 20 years, like Indeed and LinkedIn, and they don't diversify it.
Chad: They're just gonna continue to bloat, bloat, bloat the prices. But the one beautiful thing about LinkedIn is at least they're not putting a new label on some old ass technology and charging you 10 times that. Much like Indeed is doing right now. So at least they're being a little bit more transparent and they're just saying, "Hey, you're gonna pay us more."
SFX: That escalated quickly.
Joel: My kids won't touch Facebook Chad, I assume yours won't either.
Joel: Their kids probably won't touch Instagram or Snapchat, or God help us if TikTok is still around. But where they'll all likely end up? LinkedIn. And you could argue, that makes LinkedIn the most successful social network in history up to this date. To your point, is it off base to talk about LinkedIn as a monopoly? Well, we never do for whatever reason.
Joel: Although we probably should. I think being owned by Microsoft maybe gives them some cloud cover in that. Still presence in China. Others don't. 100 million users they just celebrated in India. LinkedIn is really just getting started. They've grown organically. They didn't have this huge spike and then fall from it like other social networks. They've just been slow and steady and winning that race. The thought of a human directory for the entire world makes them incredibly valuable.
Joel: I think startups like Poly work don't have a shot in hell of kicking them off the mountain. Google Plus came and went, Twitter is a meltdown. And I think part of the social or the personal stuff on LinkedIn is in part because Twitter is dying. And people feel like they need a place to put little snippets of thought and things that are more personal. I'm with you, if you don't like it, don't follow me. I feel like the people that say, "Hey, this is not the place for that," is falling.
Joel: And in part because of, it's just more common. And LinkedIn is getting more, they had stories. They tried to be the cool kids that way. But they're open to more polls and pictures and videos and... So to me this is arguably the most successful social network that we have today. And I think 10 years from now, it will still be a thing, and 20 years from now. Because it has tapped that professional market, which like I've said before, if you're 21 years old outta college, where do you want to be? You wanna be on LinkedIn. You want to grow your network, you want opportunities, you wanna sell shit, you wanna make inroads with new businesses. I mean it is in the poll position to be the social network for the next 50 years. And I say congratulations and happy birthday LinkedIn.
Chad: Remember when it started off, it was the whole idea was the six degrees kind like from Kevin Bacon.
Joel: The Kevin Bacon. Yeah.
Chad: Yeah, exactly. Remember it was everybody knows each other by six degrees and we're gonna prove it with LinkedIn. It's definitely interesting. I think that as we have said many times on this show, that platform should be much more powerful from the standpoint of being able to take my data, which you have more of my data than any other platform that's out there today and match me up against jobs, be able to introduce me to people that I should know, but maybe I'm not connected to, those types of things. And it's really piss poor at that. It is making a lot of money off of 20 year old tech, is really the basis of it. So they're going to have to change from an infrastructure, from a technology standpoint, because this thing will collapse at some point in time. You can only hold it together with bailing wire and duct tape for so long.
Joel: [chuckle] Yeah. I mean, it's Applebee's.
Joel: It's not the greatest, it's not like somewhere you wanna go, but ultimately, once or twice a year, you find yourself on Applebee's and you're okay with it, but you're not in a hurry to get back to it. I remember, LinkedIn didn't know what the hell it was gonna be. It was like a professional, put up your profile, and when I was writing Cheese Head, I remember LinkedIn contacting me and letting me demo the recruiter product, and they were just throwing spaghetti at the wall and it's become just a juggernaut in recruitment. But, they didn't really know at the beginning, what the hell they were gonna be, having every recruiter use it pretty much. I think the hiQ legal case that we've been covering means fewer, fewer companies are gonna try to go after their profiles or scrape their content. They're in a really good spot for profitability and reigning. And in that scenario, like you said, there's not a lot of incentives to set the world on fire with new innovation and technology, but they'll be crying all the way to the bank with Microsoft, as they suffer fools. And recruiters, complain all you want. It's a monopoly for the most part, and you're gonna pay whether you like it or not.
Joel: Power to the people. Ever heard of body doubling, Chad? No, I'm not talking about the Brian De Palma movie of the 80s.
Chad: Wasn't that an erotica flick? [laughter]
Joel: It was naughty. My dad took me to see that when I was like 15.
Joel: Whoo, okay.
Joel: I'm like, "This is how adults do it. Okay, that's nice." It's not quite as bad as seeing Porkies when I was 13. [laughter] My dad's taken me to some weird flicks as a kid. I remember... This is a true story. He took me to a double feature on my birthday. It was The Blues Brothers, which is great. And the next movie was Cheech and Chong, which I assume my dad didn't know was gonna be like a weed...
Chad: Up in Smoke?
Joel: Yeah, one of those. I don't remember which one. We actually walked out of Cheech and Chong. He was so upset that he took... But, sex was fine. Porkies, Body Double, that's all good. Anyway.
Chad: Oh my god.
Joel: Remote workers are apparently adopting a new practice called body doubling, in which they watch strangers online. AI hasn't solved loneliness yet, but it is empowering job seekers to distribute their resumes in new ways. Tiktoker Jerry Lee revealed how he uses an online chat bot to do the tedious work of filling out forms and answering application questions to the tune of 200 jobs in two days. And there's also a new service called Lazy Apply. You can get that in your favorite Chrome browser. It uses artificial intelligence to apply up to 150 jobs per day, body doubling and resume carpet bombing. Power to the people. Chad, your thoughts.
Chad: So I thought it was interesting that Firing Squad alum, Hireproof's Nick Barth, who is Co-Founder and CEO over there at Hireproof, he actually does the body doubling and he live streams his coding on Twitch, where people watch and they actually QA/QC his stuff, his code. It's amazing. He earns about 150 bucks a month, beer money, off of people tipping him while they watch him do the gig. It's amazing because it gives you kind of like this hyper-sensitive of somebody actually looking over your shoulder. And from our standpoint, we've talked about this, about monitoring; employers monitoring employees, and that's not something that employees think is cool. Although, this is something entirely different. If I have peers that are watching and they're QA/QCing my code and they're doing those types of things, and they're throwing money into my tip jar, it's pretty amazing.
Chad: And the story goes into ADHD, and where people have problems focusing on a task. But, when they know that somebody's watching them, they seem more hyper-focused on that task. So it's really interesting, in being able to body double and then hearing one of our Firing Squad alums actually does it. It's happening. It's weird, but it's... I guess it's kind of cool too.
Joel: Do you remember Chatroulette, Chad?
SFX: What are you doing, step bro?
Joel: So, you know what Russian roulette is, right?
Joel: You put a bullet in the gun and one gun and... So, you would basically click through different video screens of people and you could randomly chat with them if you wanted to. It has quickly devolved into video cams of penises and other body parts, when you would click through it. So Chatroulette has fairly quickly disintegrated under the weight of porn and all kinds of other regulations and things like that. So when I see a news story about body doubling, where you're gonna watch other people work, I instantly thought of Chatroulette and where this thing could go to, which had all kinds of naughtiness in my visions or imagination of it. So the ADHD thing is interesting. I know nothing about that. That's not my lane. If your ability to watch other people work helps you focus, that's really interesting. I think this is an opportunity for a vendor to say like, "Hey, watch your co-workers work as well," as opposed to random people. I don't know where that's gonna go. It seems like it could go to fairly dark places. Body doubling. Sure, I'll watch it and see where it goes.
Joel: Now, the carpet bombing of resumes is really interesting to me, because you have employers figuring out, "What's AI? Is it legal? Who can we use? What's going on?" And while employers are confused and trying to figure it out, job-seekers have already found out ways to shotgun their resume into 200 jobs in like a day. So, that means there's gonna be a lot of people getting through the system and the filters, that you didn't necessarily want to get through the filters, and that creates a problem, in terms of resources and time, to go through that. That means the employer bots have to get better at screening, a lot more people are gonna leverage chatbots and conversational AI to handle all of this flood of resumes.
Joel: So ultimately, it's really good for the paradoxes of the world, to go say, "Hey, you're getting 200... You're getting all these applications that you've never had before. Help us pre-screen, help us manage that whole process," and there are a lot of companies that are set to benefit from that. I think ultimately, it also creates a market for a startup to come along and say, "Hey, we'll be able to figure out which of these applicants are bots, which ones are automated and we'll help you filter out those in addition to the ones that we're already filtering out." So you're gonna have startups that are created to help filter it, and then maybe other technologies that filter through the filters, and it's just like a whack-a-mole situation, of getting through to apply to jobs. Robots screening robots, basically. Robots interviewing robots, that's where we're headed. And this is indication of just that.
Chad: We wonder why Indeed pushed cost per application through so quickly. It's like, "Oh, oh, no. You're gonna get more qualified candidates from this. Oh, wait a minute. Here come the bots."
Joel: You know how much money they're set to make, if this shit becomes mainstream?
Chad: Yeah. Yeah. And why should they stop it? What is their advantage in stopping this? They have no advantage. They make more money.
Joel: None, none, none. We were talking about click fraud last week, in... Click fraud, when you're making 10 cents a click, that's one thing. If you can fake or fraudulently apply to jobs where the profit is $15, $20 per, that's a real incentive. Of course, in this case, Indeed's getting all that, not their partners that are pay-per-click or any other API system. So yeah, Indeed, indeed is the evil genius set to make a lot of money from this process.
Chad: And this is a way to actually push people into their Indeed system, because if it's an applied start, that's something that they can't stop. So if the bot goes through and they're pushing and starting the apply, let's say, then they can't stop it 'cause it's happening on the applicant tracking system. But, Indeed can say, "Well, wait a minute. If you start using our system for interviewing, screening, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, we can go ahead and put a block on that." So again, there are some strategies in play here, where they're either gonna make a shit ton of cash... Well, they're always gonna make a shit ton of cash, and they can start to leverage people into using their system and paying more to use their system.
Joel: Damn you, Indeed.
Joel: Buy or sell when we get back. Alright, Chad. You ready for a little buy or sell?
Joel: Here's how it works, gang. Alright. We talk about three companies that have recently gotten funding. I read a quick summary and Chad and I either buy or sell the company, and here we go with. Buy or sell. First up, we have Cupertino, California-based, Glider AI. They've raised 10 million dollars in a Series A funding round, which will be used to further develop the company's proprietary technology and grow its global team. Glider provides screening assessments, coding video interviews and up-scaling software to help global enterprises and leading staffing firms transform their hiring practices into remote-centric, skills-based processes. Founded in 2020, the company employs 105 people. Chad, are you a buy or sell on Glider?
Chad: Glider. Isn't that a brand of lube?
SFX: What are you doing, step-bro?
Chad: The founders look like career CEOs and they have pretty major connections, which means they have access to money. I like that Glider went after the staffing segment first because that segment has money and they will be a much better bar for validation than any traditional hiring company can. I love skills validation because we're not just talking about someone's word that they can do it. But, we're testing to see if it's true and then also, the level of their skills. I'm an advisor for TADIO, another skills and competency-based platform, and I believe these types of platforms, accompanied with the appropriate credentialing and a portable CV, are the future, which all these things could literally kill LinkedIn. And yes, you know what's gonna happen. All this is gonna be on the blockchain. You won't know it, you don't have to know it, but from a validation standpoint, it's all going to be verified on the blockchain. You won't even know it... You won't have to. You'll just buy into it because it's yours, it's portable, and it's credentialed. I'm a buy.
Joel: There's an NFT for that. I wanna like these guys. They have a nice portfolio of clients on their site, if logos are to be believed on start-up websites, although I don't think they typically always are. It's usually... It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission on some of that stuff, and I should know 'cause I've been guilty of it. Anyway. But, the one platform to rule them all, to me, has been played out. There are better funded, more established players that I think have a much better shot at making that happen, than the 10 million dollar Series A that Glider just put up. It feels like they're trying to be everything to everybody, and in doing so, I feel like they're becoming nothing to no one. So for me, Glider is a sell.
Joel: Alright. Let's go to FOUNT, Washington DC-based employee experience software provider, FOUNT Global has raised 8 million dollars in a Series A. This brings total funding to 10.8 million dollars. The funding will help FOUNT develop its solution, which allows companies to identify and resolve friction points that affect employee productivity and engagement. Founded in 2022, they employ 30 people. Chad, are you a buy or sell, on FOUNT?
Chad: This just sounds like a different way to pull off pulse surveys, being able to survey the individuals in the organization. I thought it was interesting and almost like the virtual comment box to some degree. So I went to the website, which the URL is kind of funky, fount-ex or some shit like that.
Joel: Stole my thunder, man. Way to go.
Chad: Check out the pricing. There was no pricing on the website. They have co-CEOs. They already have three locations, Hamburg, London, and DC. They're trying to solve this very different problem with a worldwide posture right out of the gate, with only around 11 million dollars in funding. So this feels like a solution looking for a problem, too many locations right out of the box, too much too fast. Slow it down, FOUNT. It's a sell, for me.
Joel: Yeah, you stole my thunder on the URL. I almost didn't make it past the rest of this. If you got a hyphenated URL in 2023, "Dude, come on." fount-ex? Was foundx.com taken? Why do you need the hyphen? There's no... It's so bad that... Anyway, alright. I'm gonna try to get past that. They quote the number 764 million dollars lost annually through lost productivity, burnout, and attrition. I'm not sure how you measure that. That's an interesting number to me.
Chad: Wasn't that a per company or some shit like that?
Joel: I don't know. It sounds really good. It sounds like there's a Tam that is really impressive, and these guys...
Chad: Sounds like bullshit, it's what it sounds like.
Joel: Dude, honestly, the URL, I had a hard time getting past that, but I spent a lot of time on this site and I still really can't tell you what the hell they do. They need a good explainer video, like nobody's business. They need like a 30-second... Go hire someone on Upwork or Indeed's new gig platform and have someone make an explainer video for you, 'cause I do this shit for a living, and if I can't figure this shit out, someone who's a prospect is gonna have a really hard time figuring out what the hell you guys do. If I don't get it, I can't endorse it, I can't buy it. For me, yeah. It's a sell.
Joel: Let's get to... We have a Canadian company alert, Chad. Alright. Toronto-based Barley has officially launched, following 4 million dollars in seed funding. The company is aimed at making it easier for employers to understand how to structure pay decisions and explain them to employees. They'll use the funds for product development and to expand go-to-market teams. Founded in 2021, they employ only 11 people. Are you a buy or sell, on Barley?
Chad: So Syndio didn't need validation, but every little bit helps. Joel, you're a fan of waves, and I'm not sure there is a bigger wave than pay and comp equity. Then we look at the numbers. 4 million dollars in seed funding is pretty damn substantial, which is just another signal to the market. What company doesn't need a good pay band or salary benchmarking platform? It all sounds boring, but it's shit that everybody needs, as they start to see regulations pile on. Oh wait, probably don't have any of that shit set up. So either... It's been a buy for Syndio, it is definitely gonna be a buy for Barley.
Joel: Look at you.
Chad: I love it.
Joel: A sexy, sexy buy. Alright. The question here to me is, can someone be Pepsi to Syndio's Coke? And if so, is Barley the one to do it? Or are they destined to be Fanta or Dr Pepper? I love me a good Dr Pepper, but not quite the market share.
Chad: RC Cola.
Joel: This space is pretty full of competitors. Salary.com, Assemble, Market Pay, Pay Factors, Compart and others. It's hard to see room for a company named Barley, out of Toronto, to make any significant waves, although it's a good wave, Chad. This one is a triple sell edition of Buy or Sell for me. As much as I love Canada, I gotta sell.
Chad: Oh. Cheesman's got the... Keeping the wallet in the pocket today, kids.
Joel: Alright, from Canada to Texas and the West Coast.
SFX: Alright, alright, alright.
Joel: California-based Salesforce, the cloud-based software company is laying off 8000 employees while paying Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey 10 million dollars annually, to be a "Creative advisor and TV pitch man" for the firm. CEO, Marc Benioff stated that the success of the business is paramount, but company resources are being allocated to peculiar places, to say the least. The company had previously hosted expensive celebrity conferences and wellness retreats, and insiders reported that Benioff frequently involved his celebrity friends in strategy discussions. What the hell is going on here, Chad? McConaughey, Salesforce, your thoughts.
Chad: Optics, optics, optics. What the actual fuck is Marc Benioff doing these days? He was a huge proponent of remote work, and now he's not. He's fired 8000 people, while Matthew McConaughey is on the books for 10 million dollars and for some type of position he just wants to have one of his buddies on staff for. Marc Benioff off himselves total comp in 2021 was 25 million dollars. So to me, we've seen many irresponsible CEOS, and that has led to thousands of people being fired. There's no negative impact for them at all, other than saying, "I'm sorry. Have a nice day. Here's a severance package." So I don't know. Just from an optics standpoint, I don't know what the fucks going on with Benioff, but he's all over the board right now.
Joel: So Silicon Valley has had this, I don't know, this attraction to fame and celebrity over the last decade or so. We see Mark Bezos sleep with a TV anchor, get divorced, shave his head, lift weights and put rockets in the air and move to DC, where they have all the good parties and the politicians. We see Elon sleeping with whatever pop star it is, whatever her name is. So there's been a long fatuation with Silicon Valley and Hollywood. And Benioff, if you know, is a pretty colorful guy. He's toying with park mullet in his hair, so he still sort of grasps to that Hollywood image, a little slick back. He's like Gordon Gekko meets the 80s mullet. Now, in his defense, a lot more people know about Salesforce since the McConaughey ads. I don't think they're nearly as appealing as the McConaughey Lincoln car ads from back in the day, with the bull on the road. Remember those? Those were pretty good and the Jim Carrey skits on SNL, of making fun of that.
Joel: But yeah, when you get in bed with Hollywood, optics matter. Workday has been able to kind of avoid this. They've had some stars in their ads, their new one with Kiss and other stars, but Salesforce has really tied themselves to themselves to McConaughey. And when they do something like this, it obviously looks bad. I don't know how you get out of it. You need marketing, you need a budget, McConaughey a great brand to tie yourself to. I think people will ultimately forget about the layoffs. Those people will get jobs and McConaughey will still be making pretty ridiculous commercials about going to space and walking in downtown areas with 1000 people behind him. And more and more people will know Salesforce. And by the way, the biggest building in San Francisco has Salesforce written on it, and the biggest building in downtown Indianapolis has Salesforce written on it. I don't know if that says he's compensating for something, Chad. But it could be. It could be compensating for something.
Chad: Yes. And those buildings were there before McConaughey was a part of the conversation.
Joel: How does he not say...
SFX: Alright, alright, alright.
Joel: In any of the Salesforce ads? That is a crime, I tell you. That is a crime. We'll be right back. Call it the SS STD or The Love Boat, Chad. Miray Cruises is offering a three-year world cruise that covers 130000 miles and visits all seven continents and 135 countries for the low low price, starting 30000 per year. The cruise line is aiming to attract remote workers by offering amenities such as a meeting center, 14 offices, meeting rooms and a lounge, all passengers can freely access everything. The cruise line also offers utility-free accommodations, WiFi, medical visits, Port taxes and service charges and food and beverage charges are covered. The standard inside cabin costs 30 grand per year, while a superior outside cabin costs 41000 per year, and a suite with a balcony, or what I call the Sowash suite costs just $110000 per year. Chad, are you ready to say, "Ships ahoy," dump your real estate empire and start doing Chad and Cheese on the high seas, or not?
Chad: No fucking way. I mean, if you're into cruises and you think $30000 is a good investment, then yeah. Why the hell not? But personally, I'm not a fan of floating petri dishes. Think about just flu outbreaks or maybe, I don't know, a new strain of covid. Nope, nope, nope. I can travel in many different ways and not be stuck on that capsule for years. But if you're a kid, we actually did a story on a developer. I believe it was a developer that works for AWS, or it was a bigger brand and he is buying a condo on a ship, for a 15-year time frame. It's like, "Holy shit."
Joel: Facebook, I think. Wasn't it?
Chad: Yeah. It's amazing. So this is just a different way again... Ever since the pandemic, we've really moved in a different way. I think it's awesome. It's not for me, but for those it is for, that should be a blast.
Joel: Chad, I tried to think of something funny to say, but the sun is out, spring is coming and who doesn't love a good Christopher Cross sailing sound bite. Oh yeah. I'm down if I was about 20 years younger, unmarried without kids. Otherwise, not for me, my man. Have fun at Portland. It's been fun. Sail Away. We'll see you next week.
SFX: Alright, alright, alright.
Joel: We out.
Chad: We out.
Outro: Wow. Look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad and Cheese podcast. Or maybe you cheated and fast forwarded to the end. Either way, there is no doubt you wish you had that time back, valuable time you could have used to buy a nutritious meal at Taco Bell, and enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey, or just watch big booty Latinas and bug fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two chuckle heads instead. Now, go take a shower and wash off all the guilt, but save some soap, because you'll be back. Like an awful train wreck, you can took away, and like Chad's favorite Western, you can't quit them, either. We out.