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Radancy Buys & Employment Hero Raises


It's Halloween time again, and as usual, this episode is full of tricks and treats from the world of work. We're talkin' layoffs at Bullhorn and Nomad Health, Radancy acquiring Brazen, Employment Hero claiming unicorn status and more. What's more, you ask? How about Amazon introducing human-like robots into its warehouses and Cruise driverless cars getting pinched by the government regulators. The biggest trick of all probably goes to all the Return-to-Office mandates dropping on the heads of unsuspecting workers, like moms and the disabled. Of course, we end on a treat, talkin' about adult film star Riley Reid's new AI girlfriend app, that promises to be as naughty as you want her to be ... virtually, of course. Carve a pumpkin, grab a glass of witch's brew and enjoy this week's episode of HR's most dangerous podcast.


PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:



Joel: It's the Halloween episode of the Chad and Cheese Podcast.


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.


[music]


Joel: Oh, yeah. Two guys who will never be Speaker of the House. What's up kids? You are listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. I'm your co-host, Joel Gag Odour Violation Cheeseman.


Chad: And this is Chad Kingmaker Sowash.


Joel: And on this episode, we're talking Radancy acquisition, employment heroes, and intimate conversations. Let's do this.


Chad: You cannot leave.


[laughter]


Joel: Yoh! Chad is back.


Chad: I am back. I'm back in full force. Oh, it's glorious. It is glorious.


Joel: Your costume this year, Euro Chad. That's what I'm going at for Halloween this year. [laughter] And every day until next year. [laughter] It's good to have Euro Chad back.


Chad: It's good to be back.


Joel: So I gotta throw something at you before we start. You probably didn't catch this, but this is blowing up with the socials. There's a new survey asking women where they do not want to be taken on a first date?


Chad: Okay.


Joel: And a lot of guys are chiming in and giving opinion on this. Have you seen this list?


Chad: I have not.


Joel: Okay.


Chad: But why are guys chiming in? I don't understand. [laughter]


Joel: So this is great. So this is a list of where women say, do not take us on a first date. Your ready?


Chad: Okay.


Joel: Yeah. Cheesecake Factory.


Chad: Okay.


Joel: Applebee's, Chili's, Chipotle. Come on now. Olive Garden, the movies, your house, any fast food chain, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wingstop, Red Lobster, any buffet. I guess that includes Vegas, IHOP, Denny's, the gym. Why would you go to a gym on a first date? Church, Starbucks, coffee dates, ice cream dates, family functions, movie nights I.e. Netflix and chill.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: Somewhere that requires a long drive, bowling nightclubs, hookah bar, a bar for just drinks, Waffle House or sporting events. So where the hell else can you go? Like, coffee's out, sporting events, Starbucks, come on.


Chad: Yeah. Well, I mean, this is why you don't look at surveys 'cause they're fucking stupid.


[laughter]


Chad: Ask her where she wants to go. Obviously, don't take her to a fucking franchise. I mean, gimme a break. And, Applebee's, are you kidding me?


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Come on.


Joel: I love the gym. Is that a thing? Let's go to the gym.


Chad: Apparently. Fuck, I don't know.


Joel: Apparently it's a thing.


Chad: I haven't been on a date in a very long time.


Joel: Yeah, yeah. I know. I know. Alright. Let's...


SFX: Shout out.


Joel: Let's get to some shout out. Shall we?


Chad: Hit it.


Joel: Alright, we talked about the MarTech. We did a who would you rather...


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: Some people chimed in positively and negatively. But I wanted to point out that the MarTech is doing marketing right. We talk a lot about companies. We're generally as complimentary as we are critical about companies.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: If the media says something good about you, run with it, put it on social. Make a meme, make charts, do a soundbite. Do of it... Do everything you can to get mileage outta this. And the nice things that we said about the MarTech, they ran with it. Like you too... They put a image together, put your quote on the image, put your face on it. Had a big... Big long comment about it. It was great. So we have a lot of companies listening. If we say something nice about you, go with it. Get it for as much as you possibly can. So, shout out to the MarTech and their marketing team for getting it right when we said something nice about them.


Chad: Yeah and Yardstick the one who was not the one we would rather, the CEO commented on my LinkedIn and said, "Yardstick here, I won't dwell on the items you got wrong about us on the pod care to have us on the pod to clear up the details?". And I was like, of course. Come on to firing squad. I would love to see MarTech and Yardstick on their own firing squads because a who would you rather is like a... It's 2:00 AM at the bar. Okay?


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: It's... I mean, you're picking up scrap at that point. In some cases. In some cases.


Joel: Yeah. Yardsticks should be careful what it asks for.


[laughter]


Chad: Well, my first shout out goes to childcare at work. I guess UPS is expanding their emergency daycare after a pilot program, helped it avoid 120, count them. 120 unplanned absences and reduce turnover in the pilot program from 31% to 4%. Holy shit.


Joel: Wow. Yeah.


Chad: So UPS will expand the program to additional shifts in the California pilot site in some Pennsylvania facilities this quarter. Everyone cheers UPS While Patagonia has provided onsite daycare for 40 fucking years, kids. Shout out to companies like UPS are finally waking the fuck up, while Patagonia continues to be an example of giving a shit about their employees for decades, not just when it's fashionable. So shout out to childcare at work.


SFX: Alright. Alright. Alright.


Joel: By the way, I'm still waiting for our free Patagonia swag to come in for all these nice things that we say about Patagonia [laughter] Well from one company to another that we talk about quite a bit. LinkedIn.


Chad: Oh, okay.


Joel: Had some big layoffs last week that we talked about.


SFX: Layoffs?


Joel: And they finally reported. So things aren't exactly as bad as they seem. LinkedIn's revenue for the fiscal first quarter ending on September 30th increased by 8% year over year in constant currency reaching $285 million. Growth was primarily driven by the talent solutions segment, while the results exceeded expectations. LinkedIn continued to experience negative year over year bookings due to a weak hiring environment in some key sectors I.e. Technology. For the upcoming second fiscal quarter, Microsoft expects LinkedIn's revenue growth to be in the mid-single digits with a focus on talent solutions and marketing solutions. So a little bit of best of both worlds, are to tail two cities on that one.


Chad: Oh yeah.


Joel: People are hiring less, but LinkedIn's still making a boatload of money on their talent solutions. Shout out to LinkedIn.


Chad: Shout out to another company, Dollar General. This is not really a shout out. This is a, what the actual fuck were they thinking moment, which goes out to Dollar General, who was fined by the EEOC for requiring applicants at its Bessemer, Alabama distribution center to share past and present medical conditions of family members such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease all according to the 2017 EEOC Case. Dollar General also required applicants to pass a post-offer pre-employment medical exam that screened out qualified individuals with disabilities. Holy shit. The EEOC said in a statement, "Dollar General rescinded job offers to applicants whose blood pressure exceeded 160 over 100, or who had less than 20,50 vision in one eye. Even if those impairments did not prevent the applicant from safely performing the job". This is a... What the actual fuck were you thinking moment out to Dollar General.


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


[laughter]


Joel: All I wanna know is why Dollar General wanted to know about my penis enlargement surgery. That's all...


SFX: Ai, Papi.


Joel: That's all I was concerned about.


Chad: And that was not the cash was about, wasn't it?


Joel: Yeah. Yeah.


[laughter]


Joel: And restocking. Anyway, well we talked about Patagonia, who will never send us free stuff, but we at Chad Cheese...


Chad: I love free stuff.


Joel: Are always sending free stuff to our listeners. We're talking rum with plum. If it's your birthday, we're talking free beer from our friends at Aspen Tech Labs. We're talking about a bourbon selection from you and me from our good friends at Textkernel. Great seeing them in Paris last week.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: And of course t-shirts by our friends at JobGet. But you can't win if you don't play. Head out to chadcheese.com today, click that free link, put in your information and following that will be free stuff from Chad and Cheese. What time is it?


Chad: What time is it?


Joel: It might be, it might be time. It might be time 'cause we mentioned Plum.


Chad: Ah...


SFX: Can you feel the tension in the air right now?


Joel: It might be time for birthdays.


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


Joel: That's right. That's right. We miss birthdays 'cause we're on the road. So let's do some catching up on some birthdays. Celebrating another year around the sun, our friend Dennis Tupper, who needs a little birthday love because his fantasy team isn't doing all that great. We'll get to that in a second. Ryan Moffitt, Garrett Friedman, Sean Horton, Cammy Owens, Jonathan Stelling, Jeremy Roberts, Heather Cochrane, Dr. John Sullivan, Stephen O'Donnell, one of our favorite Scots out there,'cause we love the Scots and last but not least, born on Halloween. That's right, our friend Punkage.


Chad: Oh.


Joel: Pankaj Jindal Co-founder at Sense celebrates his birthday on Halloween. So everybody that's out there...


SFX: Happy birthday!


Joel: This week. Happy, happy birthday to everyone.


Chad: Happy birthday. Happy birthday. Well, it's time for events kids, which is brought to you by Shaker Recruitment Marketing. That's right. Wherever Chad and Cheese go, we take Shaker with us.


Joel: That's right.


SFX: Ai Papi!


Chad: So coming early December fourth to the sixth TAtech Europe is gonna be happening in London. And I'm going to be there MCing with, Kirsty Kelly. So if you're in London, you're gonna be at TAtech. Can't wait to see you there. Not to mention we're probably gonna stay about a week or so. So, let's take a look at some dinners, maybe some podcasts. Let's get some content out while I'm in London and we're freezing our asses off together. Can't wait to see you there.


Joel: Love the deep content.


SFX: Just the tip.


Joel: Alright well.


[music]


Joel: That's right, fantasy football update everybody. Fantasy Football with Chad and Cheese, brought to you by our friends at FactoryFix. Here's the leaderboard, heading into I think week eight of fantasy football. Number one still stands strong, that goes to Michelle Sergeant Slaughter.


[laughter]


Joel: Number two, Marcy Playground Mall, followed by Dean Kane Ossner, followed by Joe Biden Dixon.


Chad: Wow!


Joel: Number five Spot goes to Chad Lowe Sowash, number six Jasper Jim Stone Span Jart, number seven Jagged Little Jill Patterson, who I think kicked your ass this past week.


Chad: Oh yeah.


Joel: Number eight, Brent Crude Low Cie, followed by Funky Cold Medina Perro, number 10 crisscross Kristin Urban. Number 11, Joel Embiid Cheeseman. And...


Chad: Oh 11!


Joel: And number 12 spot Dennis The Menace Tupper that is... Hey, if I have to go two and four for the Browns to be four and two, well I can swallow that.


[laughter]


Joel: That's not the worst thing in the world, Chad.


Chad: All I have to do is say, Jill, you got lucky. Last week I was in Paris and I totally spaced my lineup and I had two, I think at least two that were on a bi-week. So yeah, she kicked my ass. That's not gonna happen again. [laughter]


Joel: Yeah. I lost it by single digits again, I think six points because fucking TJ Hawkinson decided to have the best Monday night football game of his life. Oh, well anyway.


[laughter]


Chad: And topics.


Joel: We're having fun no matter what at Fantasy football. So before we get to the news, Chad.


Chad: Yes.


SFX: Layoffs.


Joel: That's right. We got some layoffs to talk about. Bullhorn has laid off 9% of its workforce. CEO and Founder Art Pappas announced on October 19th in a blog post citing the downturn in the staffing industry following the "explosive growth", observed coming out of the pandemic. Also with layoffs is Nomad Health a healthcare staffing startup, in case you missed it. They've cut 25%...


Chad: Wow.


Joel: Of its staff according to Business Insider. They have previously cut 17% of its workforce, that was back in February. Ouch. This was a former favorite startup of mine Chad.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: Any comment on what's happening with layoffs at Bullhorn and Nomad Health?


Chad: There's a couple of things I think in the tech space for staffing companies, we need more competition. I really think we need more competition to be able to push the market even harder. We have... You have Bullhorn and then you've got everybody else. So I think we need more competition there, really to push the market harder. Yes. The landscape itself isn't great from a staffing standpoint, but that doesn't matter. You should be automating, you should be building tech stacks and you should be bolstering your margins. So, I mean there's that Nomad Health side of the house. This one is really confusing because we have, at least here in the US, we have a great need for nursing. Right? We have a great need for healthcare. I mean it's amazing that an organization like this, unless they're literally just trying to rightsize because they became bloated, which I could... I can understand. I can't imagine there aren't great opportunities still out there for Nomad Health. So maybe this is more of a right sizing because they were bloated. But again, you know how I feel about that. If a CEO cuts that many people, they should cut the CEO.


[laughter]


Joel: Yeah. I mean, this is one of those businesses, it's like trucking, right? If you can't make this thing work, it's time to take your ball and go home.


Chad: Yeah. Yeah.


Joel: Particularly with the flexibility that they were giving travel nurses and other healthcare professionals who want more flexibility, who want more of a gig economy. I really thought Nomad Health was gonna, was just gonna crush it and be a model for their businesses coming through. This is not a good sign. I mean, laying off 25% and then 17% earlier this year of that, that's really, really bad. That's either like super shitty management or this business just doesn't work because they're baby boomers getting old every day and they're not getting any younger that need healthcare. So some of the others that came out that do this, we haven't heard layoffs from them yet. So, we should watch this carefully. Some of the other sort of gig economies or flexible work platforms for healthcare workers, like, let's keep our eye on those and see if this is a trend. Otherwise, Nomad Health, what the hell are you doing? Geez.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: Geez. Gets...


Chad: Again, utterly surprised that a CEO... I mean, 'cause this is, if you take a look at it, it no matter what, it falls on the CEO's head period. And if you were cutting 17, 25%, I mean, you gotta get new leadership in there. It's, not that we don't like the guy for god's sakes, it's just there's gotta be ramifications for shit like that, for mismanagement.


Joel: Does not look good. Not look good at Nomad hell.


Chad: No.


Joel: Well, speaking of news, Chad, let's get to Radancy the artist formerly known as TMP. They've acquired Brazen the fine purveyor of recruiting event software. In case you missed it, the terms of the deal were not disclosed. This acquisition expands Radancy's cloud-based marketing and technology offerings by incorporating brazen tools for managing virtual and in-person events, creating microsite, enabling live chat and automating candidate communication. Brazen was founded back in 2007 and had previously raised $13.2 million over 10 funding rounds. In case you missed it Radancy also acquired CRM vendor as unify and candidate referral solution First Bird in the not so distant past. Chad, what are your thoughts on the move by Radancy?


Chad: So virtual job fairs, hey, Radancy 2010 called and they want their tech stack back [laughter] It's, this is fucking ridiculous. Brazen founded as you'd said in 2007. Why buy a product that puts us all back into Zoom fatigue after COVID? I mean, it just doesn't make sense. So acquiring legacy tech, like Brazen isn't the move I would have expected Radancy to make. I would've expected a company like Radancy to be looking at startups like vet, Taddeo hiring branch to just name a few examples of technologies that we think are more future hiring process. I mean, it's not virtual job fairs. I mean, that's not the future screening, interviewing, proving that a candidate has the actual skills that their resume says that's the future. And we can do those things now. So.


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: It just... It blows my mind and it almost feels like Radancy has lost their swagger. And here's an example. Let's look at how Radancy is currently creating narratives around positioning themselves in the market. Number one, Radancy's new byline is from high to apply. Okay? So from high to apply, it doesn't scream end-to-end hiring platform.


Joel: No.


Chad: It screams top of funnel point solution, right? So that's one. And that's just basic. That's basic shit. It's like that's not you. That doesn't make any sense. Here's another one quote from the press release, "Decreasing cost to hire by 30%, reducing time to hire by 25%." So how do those numbers impact the actual business as I've said on this podcast almost every fucking week, the C-suite and the board doesn't give a shit about those numbers. If you're reducing time to hire by 20%, how much faster are those people getting into the seats?


Chad: Right? What impact does that have on the bottom line? How much actual revenue does that represent? Cost per hire in time to hire are acute little statistics. But if you want to help your clients vie for more budget, that actually ends up in your pocket, you have to get to the numbers. The C-suite and the board actually give a shit about EBITDA, margins, sales retention, wallet share. If you can't tie those numbers to those big corporate board types of numbers, then get the fuck out of the boardroom man. Radancy should be a much more evolved platform at this point. It just... It really feels weird as we take a look at their marketing and then you take a look at the actual... This acquisition in itself, it just, it's mind boggling to me. I don't get it.


Joel: That escalated quickly. I'm gonna blame this all on Appcast, Chad.


[laughter]


Joel: Appcast buys Bayard, agencies freak out. They've always had this question of buy, build or partner. They tried to build in the early days, including TMP/Radancy. They realized that they don't have the engineers to keep up with the products of actual companies that are building this stuff.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: So building wasn't really a thing they could do. So partnering was great. Let's partner, like maybe white label some shit. It'll be fantastic. And then Appcast happens, they buy Bayard, they become AppcastOne, all the other agencies freak out and go, okay, if we can't build it where like, partnering is a huge risk now, we gotta like buy shit. Let's go buy some companies. And Brazen, let's be honest, was probably on the clearance rack at TJ Maxx.


Chad: Oh, yeah.


Joel: Radancy walked in and bought it for 50% off or whatever.


[laughter]


Joel: This is gonna be a trend that we see, I think.


Chad: At Marshalls.


Joel: Yeah. You're gonna see agencies like, "who can we buy? Who can we take off the table?" We've seen ATSS kind of do this with Text Recruiting and buying Canvas...


Chad: Right.


Joel: So like this whole like partnering thing is in question. And I think agencies are a little bit scared and emotional right now and Radancy, to me is an example of that emotional decision making. We're gonna see more agencies buy companies, they're gonna put more companies in their portfolio and have a brand of house or house of brands.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: And this is gonna be something that you see going forward. If you're looking to build a startup for kids, build something that an agency just bought, and then create a copycat of that company. And in 12 to 18 months, you will sell to another competing agency at Top Dollar. So if you're looking to start a company, make a new Brazen or something else because agencies are looking to buy and they might be coming for you if you create the right solution.


Chad: Don't do that. Don't do that. TMP/Radancy, I mean, they bought a programmatic platform after StepStone bought Appcast, right? So they've been reacting each time. I don't think this has any reaction whatsoever. This is, again, this is Legacy Tech. Why do you even buy a virtual job fair platform in the first place? There are so many amazing point solutions that are out there today that are like cheats to being able to get qualified, proven individuals into your candidate slates.


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: What does this do? This slows down the process. "Oh, we've gotta wait. We're gonna have a job fair next week. Can you come to our job fair?" "No because I have a fucking job by then." This is so old school. It doesn't make any fucking sense. I don't get it, dude. I seriously don't get it. And I really believe that Radancy has lost their swagger.


Joel: And by the way, we mentioned Centrify in Firstbird. Does Radancy have any track record of integrating these new tools effectively? I haven't seen it.


Chad: Employee referrals. I mean, employee referrals.


Joel: I mean, it's a thing.


Chad: It's a thing but companies trip over more employee referrals. I mean it's an agency that's buying things that seems like 2010 when everything was really hot. But they're not... The newer tech that's out there today is about automation, it's about quickness, it's about targeting, it's about skills, and which this has nothing to do with at all.


Joel: Chad, this news just came over the wire. Recruitics has bought a QR code company.


[laughter]


Joel: It's crazy how this is happening already, already so fast. Geez.


Chad: That was a joke kids. That was a joke.


[laughter]


Joel: Let's get to our next story. That's right, baby. The unicorns. Unicorns are back and they're coming from down under this time. Australian tech startup Employment Hero has secured nearly 140 million pounds in funding, valuing the company at over 1 billion pounds. The funds will support its expansion in the UK where it provides software for small and medium sized businesses to manage payrolls, employee integration and recruitment. The company's choice of London, as its European base, is seen as a vote of confidence in the UK's tech sector and is aligned with the government's effort to attract foreign businesses. Thanks, Brexit. Chad, throw some shrimp on the Barbie. Pop open a fosters and give us your thoughts on this news.


Chad: Got some, I mean, some pretty impressive numbers first and foremost. I mean, getting that kind of cash is... That's pretty impressive. Two weeks in a row. I think we've actually talked about tech companies down under who have gotten funding. So, good for Australia. Employment Hero says that they have 300,000 companies across Australia using their product. Not too shabby. And already 20,000 in the UK.


Chad: PE firm. TCV actually had past investments with Airbnb ByteDance, and now they're getting into hiring and payroll. [laughter] I mean, it just doesn't seem to be as exciting at all anyway. Building tech for the SMB market is much easier than building for enterprise. SMB doesn't require a ton of customizations like Enterprise. So you can build a standardized platform and the SMB market will just be happy that they aren't using spreadsheets anymore. So the hardest part about this though, is that being able to actually target those SMBs and get major market penetration, top of mind types of marketing. So in the financial year of 2021, over 365,000 new businesses entered the Australian market, right? So there's tons, tons of small businesses. By the end of the financial year, they had 2.4 million in total small businesses. And in the UK they generate around 700,000 new businesses a year.


Chad: So there's some great opportunity that's there. The hardest part though, and you can see this with the ZipRecruiter of the world and whatnot, when you can't spend money anymore to continue penetrating the market. We as humans have very short memories. But hopefully, that 140 million pounds will give them a little boost and they'll be able to get some market penetration in the UK, which I also like that focus too. Going to the UK instead of coming directly to the US. I think it's a much easier market to dig into.


[music]


Joel: Alright. So in an uncertain world of war, political upheaval, I could go on. Inflation rates, money's not free. It's good to see our space raise some big bucks here in the last few months. We talked about HiBob. Harry recently and now these guys, apparently the one platform to rule them all is still really popular. This company's on a tear. This company is like Crocodile Dundee and in a big old oil can of fosters in them, because they have a lot of testiness go to their site. It's a party, go to their employment brand stuff. I mean, it's like, it looks like a fun company. They're partying. They're looking for a good time. In the last two years, they've increased headcount, 93%. They're all remote. You talked about their customer base, right on their website, it's like 300,000 clients, can't be wrong.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: Something like that. They make claims of being the first, the world's first employment super app. Whatever the fuck that means.


[laughter]


Joel: I mean, they are living it. They're vim and vigor. They're kicking ass. Like it's fun to watch. Very Australian in demeanor. Australia's like America's younger sibling, you know, south the border. I think we have a lot in common.


SFX: Rebellious.


Joel: The question I have, I also agree with the European Focus. I think they're gonna run into Personio and HiBob and some others. So that'll be interesting to watch. The question I have is, who the hell ever comes out of Australia and becomes a huge success? Like recent memory, we got Vervoe.


Chad: Atlassian.


Joel: Cipia, VideoMyJob, even Seek, can't get the hell out of Apac. So if they can do it, more power to them, and at least from the looks of it, they think they can. It's gonna be fun to watch. I want them to come to America because they're gonna have a good time in the US. But until then, I guess maybe we'll have to see them at RecFest.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: At Knebworth to have a good time. But employment Hero baby give it to me. I'm down.


[music]


Joel: We'll be right back. Alright, Chad, from the party in Australia, let's go to the Amazon. Well, Agility Robotics is collaborating with Amazon to test its bipedal robot Digit at Amazon Robotics Research facility in Seattle. Digit is designed for logistics and can handle items in warehouses while working alongside employees. Amazon will initially use Digit for tote recycling, aiming to improve workplace safety and reduce repetitive tasks. The robotics tailored for human-centric environments. And this partnership expands their collaboration with Agility, already part of the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund. Digit's initial deployment is expected in 2025. Well, from Amazon to Cruise, the driverless car company, Chad, the California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended Cruise's autonomous driving permit, effectively halting its Robot Taxi service in San Francisco.


Joel: The DMV said that Cruise's vehicles aren't safe for public operation, and the company has misrepresented information related to the safety of the technology of the vehicles. Cruise is majority controlled by General Motors. So, Chad, your thoughts Amazon, Cruise, is this a win or a loss for humankind?


Chad: Well, I mean, if you think about it way back in the lost in Space days, right? The black and white were robot. Everybody loved robot, right? And I think as humans, we really want to see robots, right? It's the sci-fi that we've all grown up with. But then we start talking about possibly infusing those humanoid robots with Gen AI. And then you've got a movie on your hands, right? All you need is Will Smith as lead actor. We've all seen this movie before. We're getting into iRobot territory here. The pace of algorithms are developing and evolving at an amazing rate.


Chad: The thing is, can the hardware keep up with it, on the robotic side of the house? If it can, I think we're gonna see some amazing innovation. But then also at the same time, can we start talking about universal basic income for God's sakes? I mean, this is gonna be a need for some people in parts of the country, as we've seen manufacturing taking over by robots, they're going to be much like Italy. You go into southern Italy, they have a poverty problem because the government hasn't focused on economic development in that area to bring them jobs. So what did they do? They had somewhat of a universal basic income. So anyway, we're gonna have to be talking about a lot of these issues from an economic and a societal standpoint because of these sexy ass robots.


Joel: Yeah. If you're listening, you can't see what we're talking about. But I encourage everyone listening to go to Google and search Amazon robots in the company that they partner with. 'Cause these are, you're right, these are like science fiction Robot humans lifting boxes, doing what humans can do. But doing it with metal and AI. So scary, yes. Which is appropriate.


SFX: You cannot leave.


[laughter]


Joel: Because it's Halloween. But this is the future. This is like when we went to the sphere and said, Oh, this is gonna be a thing.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: These robots are gonna be a thing. And by the way, Amazon has apparently run out of people to employ. We've talked about that before, that they can't hire any more people. They can't, like...


Chad: Shitty jobs.


Joel: They can't produce... We can't clone people to go work at Amazon. So robots are the next best thing. They don't take time off. They don't need breaks. They don't go on strike. They don't pee in trash cans.


[laughter]


Joel: Like, it's a perfect scenario. And probably what Bezos and company have been wanting to do for many, many years, it's finally coming to fruition. You can't look at it and say like, that's the future. And humans are kinda screwed if this takes hold, which it probably will. The UBI thing is really interesting to me. There's been a lot of studies recently about like, if you give people a $1,000 what happens? Oh, they spend it, they put it right back in the economy.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: Which is a good thing. And they tend to buy things like, you know, pay for rent and food and things like that now.


Chad: Yeah. 'Cause Robots aren't gonna buy shit.


Joel: Robots aren't gonna buy shit.


[laughter]


Joel: And I think it's gonna be a hurdle because we've also seen where people take drugs when you give them free money. So I don't know what kind of guidelines or posts or safety things you put in, like to make people not get drugs. If you give them cash, like, do you have to spend it on food? I don't know. But that's something I think that's gonna happen. The Cruise thing to me is just stupid. From what I can tell, they're in trouble because like, somebody fell out of a car and then they hit the driver's car hit that person, or it wasn't like a normal, I'm walking across the street and I got hit. It seems like an extreme example.


Chad: That was a hit and run. So an actual human hit somebody, it threw that person into the path of a Cruise Vehicle.


Joel: Into the car. Yeah.


Chad: And then the Cruise vehicle ran him over. So, I mean, again, it was humans fucking things up in the first place. And then secondly, the company just isn't transparent enough with the government. I mean, if you're doing something like this, it has to be highly, highly, highly transparent.


Joel: Yep. So the fraud thing is bad, like that should not happen. But in terms of the technology, they're gonna go back to the drawing board. Every extreme case, they're gonna like, try to program into this thing. Cities like Phoenix will continue to have driverless cars. It'll continue to grow. So I don't look at this as any sort of major hiccup that this is over, this trend is over. Driverless cars are gonna be a thing. By the way, quick note, you probably heard the UAW settled with Ford. I think at the 25% increase.


Chad: First domino.


Joel: Yeah, in salaries. So good news for the Ford workers. I'm sure Stellantis and GM are soon to follow as well.


Chad: Yep.


Joel: Well, moving on from robots good, people bad. Let's go back to, let's go to some work from home. Return to office news. Stick with me here. This is a little bit lengthy, but some heartfelt messages that I think we should share. So the percentage of US households with remote workers has declined to less than 26% down from the peak of 37% in early 2021. That's according to the Census Bureau household pulse survey. This trend reflects employers efforts to bring employees back to the office. Driven by concerns about dwindling profits and economic uncertainty. The demand for remote jobs outpaces the number of companies offering them, of course. And some states are offering incentives to attract remote workers, such as Alabama's $10,000 incentive program.


Joel: While many large cities have high remote work rates. Overall office attendance in major US cities remains at around 50% of pre-pandemic levels. Now, in RTO news, Carrie Breckenridge shared on LinkedIn how she had to resign from AWS, thanks to their return to office mandate, saying in her post, "The day my manager called to tell me, the RTO mandate finally made its way to our team. I silently cried on the other end of the phone. I knew I wouldn't be able to manage to keep my children's schedule and appointments, keep up with my productivity at work, keep taking care of my stakeholders and customers the way I had done for five years. And more importantly, I wouldn't be in the best mental state if I did commit to the return to office policy. Not for me, my children, my stakeholders, my customers, or my team." Chad, what are your thoughts on the state of WFH and RTO?


Chad: Yeah, I mean there's some major unintended consequences for return to office. So I'm gonna take a different angle here real quick. We've seen the lowest unemployment rates for individuals with disabilities because of their ability to do their jobs remotely. So instead of thinking of the segments of people with disabilities as charity cases, they've more than proven they are vital, a very vital segment of the workforce. Only now to be told, unless you can come into the office, you're worthless to us. So just think of that for a minute. Companies pounding the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging drum over and over, and then forcing people back into the office who can't work from the office. And then what about women? We just heard that story. What about women in the workforce? Many women pulled themselves out of the workforce because of the lack of childcare benefits when they go into the office.


Chad: So, again, DEIB takes over and it takes another shot on the chin because old white dudes want everybody back in the office like it's 1930. I really believe if companies gave two shit about diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, they wouldn't be focusing on this. They'd be focusing on being able to embrace remote, hybrid onsite childcare. For me, this really hurts the workforce. And not to mention, the relationship that somebody has with their employee, right? I mean, like, she was just talking about working not just with at AWS but with their clients, and having those relationships, right? And then also being able to have those relationships with her kids, which is incredibly important. Those are things that companies just aren't taking into account. Not to mention, obviously being able to really kill the individuals with disabilities. And then working women who really just need autonomy. It's not a good look or I think a good strategy for most of companies that are out there.


Joel: Alright, dude, work from home was over as far as I'm concerned. When Zoom, Zoom told people to get their ass back into the office. You remember Elon Musk talking about this being a moral question. In the meantime of all this, stock prices have gone down. The market's tanking. Shareholders are talking about get shit back up to speed, layoffs, get back in the office. This is just, this is what's happening. This is just the world that we live in. The old white guys in the ivory tower can't be happier than to have this happen and get people back in the office. It's obviously a shame. People that were benefiting from work from home, whether it was mothers who, let's be honest, have suffered probably more than anybody with the work or going back to work. People with disabilities, this is hugely awful for people that were having a great time coding or doing whatever they were doing, can't make it in the office. Can't... Just can't do it, right?


Joel: Just working. It's an incredible shame. To me, hybrid is not remote. To me, hybrid is, I still gotta live near the office. I still gotta go in, I still have to find transportation. So hybrid to me is not like a nice middleman. To me, it's either you're pregnant or you're not. You're either remote or you're not. And I think hybrid is just Latin for, we'll eventually have you back for five days a week in the office. So for me, this is a huge bummer.


Chad: It literally makes no sense.


Joel: But someone else happy about the return to work OnlyFans, which will take us into our next story. We'll be right back. Chad, are you familiar with Riley Reid?


Chad: Not until this article came across my desk.


Joel: Yeah. I've never heard of her either.


[laughter]


Joel: Yeah. Okay. So anyway, Riley Reid is launching clona.ai, an online platform that allows users to chat with digital versions of adult content creators and porn stars. These avatars are trained with explicit consent from the models creators, giving them control over the AI companions conversations. Users can subscribe for $30 per month to engage in "intimate conversations," with their favorite adult stars. Clona uses Meta's Llama 2 language model as a base and refines it to reflect the personality of the person it's based on while the AI can engage in explicit conversations, the extent depends on the actor's preferences, not the users. Despite ethical concerns, Riley Reid believes the sex industry will play a significant role in adapting AI into society. G, you think like Porn's had a big role in everything that technology is coming to her life. Chad, what are your thoughts on intimate conversations with porn star ai?


Chad: I mean, the oldest profession, prostitution as an occupation, dates back to 2400 BCE in Mesopotamia, for God's sakes. That's right, kids. Sex has always been good business. And now women can step away from prostitution and stripping to scale a much safer sex selling business. AI to duplicate versions of yourself. Now that's fucking scale. And at $30 a month, or $360 a year, and let's say she has 10,000 subscribers, that's a cool 3.6 mil baby. Yes. The robots are the sex workers in this model, which is, again, much safer. She knows sex cells, and unlike the prostitutes of Mesopotamia, she doesn't have to worry about some fat dudes grimy mitts on her. So let the algorithm do the work and cash those fucking cheques.


[laughter]


SFX: You cannot leave.


Joel: Okay. If you're OnlyFans, you acquire this company Or build this shit as soon as possible because Naughty AI is the future. And like, wouldn't you rather, instead of getting naked, like have a visual that is a human, and someone can bend it, do whatever it wants to do. You can have chats, talk conversations with Riley Reid. She's as naughty as you want her to be. To me, that's the future. But you have to be a big porn star to have an audience that people will pay $30 a month for that kind of access. While we were on planes this past couple weeks and those eight hour flights from Europe had, a lot of time, I watched the movie Her again.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: Which is a 10-year-old movie which is pretty cool. So if you don't know, it's Joaquin Phoenix. Scarlett Johansson is the voice who should be the porn voice for everything, but I digress. Anyway, having conversations, relationships, like I'm dating an AI. These are things that's gonna happen. People are lonely, loneliness epidemic. People are gonna embrace this thing. It's gonna make a ton of money. What was really strange in Her was, and I'd forgotten about this... So he talks, she's Scarlett Johansson's in his ear. He talks to her like, wakes up. She laughs at all his jokes. She thinks he's super smart. So a real woman gets involved and she puts Scarlett in her ear and like a video thing. So she doesn't talk, but she's talking and Scarlet's in his ear, but she's doing the physical human stuff with I guess the equivalent of a prostitute. So that's how you get the physical, but still feel you're connected. It really scrambled my brain and fucked me up a lot. So anyway, if you're OnlyFans, to me, this is a big trick.


[laughter]


Joel: If you don't follow suit and buy this company. But if you are a lonely guy looking for love, this is a huge treat.


SFX: [laughter] So bad.


Joel: I love Halloween. I worked in a trick or treat joke at the end, Chad [laughter], have a good time in Portugal, whatever the hell they're doing in Portugal for Halloween. And we out.


Outro: Wow. Look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad and Cheese podcast. Oh, maybe you cheated and fast forward it to the end. Either way, there's no doubt you wish you had that time back. Valuable time you could have used to buy a nutritious meal at Taco Bell. Enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey. Or just watch big booty Latinas and bug fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two 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't look away. And like Chad's favorite Western, you can't quit them either. We out.

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