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ZipRecruiter’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day



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Think you’re having a bad day? It’s probably not as bad as ZipRecruiter’s shareholders had this week. To say times are tough would be an understatement. But it’s not just Zip, as much of the space is having a pretty tough time on Wall Street and just about everywhere else. Dice. Recruit. All bad. Not dire enough? Want some more dogs-and-cats living together scenarios? Zoom employees are going back to the office (yeah, that Zoom), WeWork is more like WeOuttabiz, everyday Americans are beating up UberEats' rolling automated coolers, Elon is still loco, America doesn’t have enough semiconductor talent to support the Chips Act and fake women are becoming more popular than real women.


Grab a bottle of your favorite whiskey for this one. Things are gettin' gettin', getting' kinda hectic.


PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:


Intro: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HRs 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. It's presidential joke day. Chad, what's Michelle Obama's favorite vegetable?


Chad: I'm not going there.


Joel: Broccoli. Get it? Broccoli. Okay, you're listening to the Chad and Cheese Podcast. This is your co-host, Joel Oppenheimer Cheeseman.


Chad: And this is Chad Traveling Man Sowash.


Joel: And on this week's show, Gem slashes, Zip crashes and WeWork more like we bankrupt. Am I right?


[laughter]


Joel: Let's do this.


Chad: So bad.


Joel: Nailed the intro. Yes.


[laughter]


Chad: Broccoli.


Joel: Broccoli.


Chad: That's much better than the other pads that I thought you were gonna go down. Vegetable presidents?


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Ooh.


[laughter]


Joel: I didn't wanna go too far back, 'cause I know our audience, audience doesn't have that much historical perspective.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: But yeah. I thought I nailed it. I thought it was good.


Chad: That was good.


Joel: Good entry to the show. Good entry.


Chad: I like it. I like it. I like it. Yes.


Joel: So traveling man, you were in Portland?


Chad: I was in Vancouver, which is just north on the other side of the river, Portland. So Washington, never been to Vancouver before, it's a pretty cool little town. I liked it. Right? Riverside area. Really cool.


Joel: Not Canada.


Chad: Not Canada.


Joel: There's another... There's a poser Vancouver in America, apparently.


[laughter]


Chad: I didn't get to see Tyler Weeks though. I had, there was a Tyler Weeks sighting and dinnering. That was a good time.


Joel: Dinnering?


Chad: Yes.


Joel: There was a dinnering with Ty. Nice.


Chad: That's right. Oh yeah.


Joel: Nice. Was he wearing his Chad and Cheese t-shirt? He's got the classic. He's got the OG t-shirts, which is cool.


Chad: Well, he doesn't say he does, but the one that he had... That he wore on stage was the new one with the iCIMS event. Yeah. He's got a compliment, probably a full compliment of Chad and Cheese t-shirts.


Joel: Yeah, that was pretty cool. Keynote stage with iCIMS. He's wearing a Chad and Cheese t-shirt. We haven't talked about the Barbenheimer phenom that is going on. Have you seen either of these movies? Do you have any...


Chad: No.


Joel: So I've seen Oppenheimer.


Chad: Okay.


Joel: I liked it before I even went to it. It's World War II. It's science, it's politics, it's all these things. So I won't ruin it for you but, I think... I haven't seen Barbie yet, but Oppenheimer I will definitely endorse and I think there's a little bit of a work...


Chad: Sure. You haven't.


Joel: Work spin on Oppenheimer. Part of it is Oppenheimer builds this bomb. Hopefully I'm not ruining it for everybody goes in the desert and they build this thing. So he recruits these scientists and he is gotta retain these scientists. And so I think there's a little spin on, your workplace should have a mission statement that's bigger than yourself. Right? And in this case, it was building a bomb to end the war. There's a scene in the movie where one of the science says, why should I get involved with this? And Matt Damon's character, who's a general says, "How about because it's the most important fucking thing in the history of the world?"


[laughter]


Joel: So you gotta have a mission as an employer. Number two, you gotta be worker-focused, Chad. And Oppenheimer built a city within the desert with a church, brought all the families out. They had holiday, drinks. And so he made sure the workers were as happy as possible, which is no small feat when you're in the desert. And the third thing, hopefully not spoiling it is diversity. There's a diversity play in the movie Oppenheimer.


Chad: Really?


Joel: Oppenheimer's talking to Matt Damon's character and basically says, the Germans are 18 months ahead of us in building a bomb. And Matt Damon says, basically, well, what chance do we have to catch up? And his reply is antisemitism, which was an interesting answer. And then Matt Damon says, what do you mean? He says, well, Hitler thinks that the bomb and atoms, splitting atoms is Jewish science and he doesn't really focus on it or spend much time on it. Being, embracing diversity, had Hitler embraced diversity we might all be speaking German, but because he was a racist son of a bitch, we are where we are today. So those three things I thought were nice work related. I wanted to highlight those for the show, Chad.


Chad: Thats very nice. I'm gonna roll right into shout-outs because I'm gonna talk in about movies myself. Shout out to AI movies. This is from the MIT Review, The Frost, which is a 12-minute movie in which every shot is generated by image-making AI, is one of the most impressive and bizarre examples of this strange new genre. Waymark made The Frost to explore how generative AI could be built into its products. Why? Because the company makes video creation tools for businesses looking for a fast and cheap way to make commercials. Go figure. My critique, it's unnatural, it was very creepy. It felt like a moving comic book. So it wasn't like fully animated, really. It was incredibly interesting. But then I watched the behind the scenes video. Yes, 12 minutes and then another additional five minutes for research is what it was. So that video really gave me some great insight on the world of prompt engineering.


Joel: So let me get this right. Basically videos that can be created on the fly that are meant to look as real as possible in the future. Do I have that right?


Chad: Yes, yes. Movie making through AI generation.


Joel: Totally where we're going. And that's why we have this whole actor strike and writer strike.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: That's where the world's going. Like, people will be able to make movies without actors in the near future. Now the big stars we said will still be okay. But yeah, it's a weird future and it's kind of a hit to creativity, I guess. But it is the future and it's a nice book into the show. So keep listening kids. It might actually make sense even more so in the end. Well, I have a shout out too.


S4: Shout out.


Joel: All right, let's go to the Forbes Cloud 100, Chad. Forbes 8th Annual Cloud 100 list is the world's best private cloud computing companies. That's per Forbes, by the way, not me.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: And some companies in our space we're actually featured. These companies include it number 88 of the 100, Personio out of Germany. We talk about them quite a bit on the European show. Number 55, another European darling, HiBob comes in at number 55 and 54 right behind them is Rippling, who we talked about last week, and the new ATS. Go check that out if you haven't. Number 38 is Deel. That's D-E-E-L. Number 26, Gusto, and number 22, the highest rated company in our space and the Forbes Cloud 100 list is Checkr. That's right. Number 22, Checkr came in the highest. Shout out to all those Cloud 100 companies in our space.


Chad: Very nice. Very nice. My next shout out is to Mattel and no not for the Barbie movie, but Mattel. Mattel says It is conducting a nationwide job search for a Chief UNO player. The toy company is hiring someone to promote the release of their new game, UNO Quatro. The Chief Uno player, will make $4,444 a week. Get it? Quatro, for 4 weeks to play UNO Quatro with strangers in New York City and create social media content featuring the new game. Probably the best $17,776 Mattel will ever spend on marketing. So shout out to Mattel and UNO Quatro.


SFX: Shout out.


Joel: All right, shout out to UNO Quatro. Little known fact. My 6-year-old loves playing UNO. Just little, just throw that out there. All right, my shout out goes to CareerBuilder. What show wouldn't be complete without CareerBuilder? So I got hit up on LinkedIn and somewhere in between the 382 automated messages about congrats on my new job, this person who will remain anonymous, commented the following, "Thought you might get a kick out of this crap. We have been a client since 2004, just keep that in mind. Think they have outsourced their sales reps since all of their other reps have apparently been laid off, and it seems like a recorded, canned message. Yes, it has come to this. CareerBuilder has no one left to turn off the lights." And here is that outbound sales call. Enjoy.


Sonny: Hi, good morning. My name is Sonny. I am calling from CareerBuilder job site. I was calling to connect with you, see if you would be interested in using CareerBuilder for your staffing needs. If you do, please call me on my direct line, which is 773-389-7523. Repeat that, Sonny with CareerBuilder at 773-389-7523. Thank you.


[laughter]


Chad: Scripted much.


Joel: The warmth I got from that script...


Chad: Jesus.


Joel: That he, that Sonny read.


Chad: Sonny.


Joel: That was lovely. CareerBuilder, it's been fun, man. Keep on giving that content gift every week.


Chad: Ooh, Jeff Furman all by himself. Who knows what the hell he is doing in that big leather chair right now?


Joel: Well, if you've been laid off by CareerBuilder and a lot of you out there have you might appreciate some free shit.


Chad: Why not?


Joel: Free shit from Chad and Cheese. Head out to chadcheese.com. Click the free link. We're talking free t-shirts from our friends at JobGet free beer from Aspen Tech Labs and jeez, free bourbon. How can it get better than that from the folks at Textkernel. And by the way, everybody wants to get out, the pandemic's over. Our friends at Abode are giving away a $250 gift card to Airbnb. Go wherever the hell you want in style. Thanks to our friends at Abode.


Chad: Wouldn't happen to have birthdays, would you?


Joel: Oh, it's funny. You should ask.


SFX: Can you feel the tension in the air right now? I know I can.


Joel: By the way...


SFX: I can feel all the way down my clothes.


Joel: This week is an extra Cheese edition of the birthdays. That's right. All right.


Chad: Oh Jesus.


Joel: Another year around the sun for a lot of our listeners, starting with Kevin Kirk Patrick and we have Bill Peterson. Peter Semando, Andrew Hyland, Patrick Morgan, Jason Putnam. Oh, Jason Side and Johnny Campbell, Carmen Hudson, Peter Clayton. What happened to that guy? Is he still around doing? He was the original like podcaster guy, yeah. And last on our list, but number 1 in our hearts, Abby Cheeseman celebrates her birthday. No relation. No relation to me, although she is married to a burly bearded man much like yours truly. So maybe there is some sort of a loose connection there. Happy birthday.


SFX: Happy birthday.


Chad: Happy birthday. Now it's time for events, powered by Shaker Recruitment Marketing kids. That's right. You see it. We are going to RecFest on September 13th in Nashville, where we are taking the disrupt stage all day to talk about recruiting and technology. And we're doing it with special guests, Lynn and Tracey from the Talent Rebelcast podcast and Canadians.


SFX: No, God, please, no.


Chad: Serge and Shelly from the Recruitment Flex podcast. It's the first time RecFest in the us. It's in Nashville. Then we're going to be virtual. We haven't done one of these in a while, Cheeseman.


Joel: No.


Chad: Gem's 2023 Virtual Talent Summit is happening September or on September 20th, where you and I will be joined by EEOC, Commissioner Sonderling, NYU Professor, PhD, Mona Sloane, and Brie Bastidas, head of technical Talent at Scale AI. We're gonna be talking about AI's ability to unlock recruiting efficiencies, the trials, tribulations, and reasons why or why not the recruitment community should embrace AI. Then, oh my god, HR Tech and Mandalay Bay in October, that's in Vegas. When the Expo hall opens, kids, we are going to be spending two days in the Fuel50 booth. And we like to really extend our appreciation to Fuel50 for allowing us to crash there while we drink, eat, probably make a mess, do some interviews. And enjoy the HR Tech show. So if you are going to be at HR Tech, come see Chad and Cheese at the Fuel50 booth. Then a few days later, Jesus, gonna be on a flight to Paris.


Joel: Yep.


Chad: Which I love. One of the staples in our industry, UNLEASH World in Paris, I have no clue what we're doing there yet. But we're gonna be there. I'm sure there'll be interviews, there'll be VIP parties, all that other fun stuff.


Joel: Yeah. Yeah.


Chad: For all of these events, one place you need to go chadcheese.com/events or just go to the website, click on events in the upper-right hand corner and register, register, register.


SFX: All right. All right. All right.


Joel: Chad, word has it, this is a rumor cardboard Chad may make it at least one appearance.


[laughter]


Joel: At least one appearance in one of those shows. Well, we'll just have to have to wait and see.


[music]


Chad: Topics.


Joel: Oh boy. We haven't done one of these in a while.


SFX: Layoffs.


Joel: That's right. Layoffs. Oh boy. Layoffs are back on the podcast. Here we go. Guppy or Guppya South American Company laid off 8% of its workforce that totals 58 people better up 16% or 100 people. And Gem, who you mentioned in our shoutouts, the CEO stated that 70 employees out of the 356 listed on LinkedIn were laid off. But Lisa Schiller, a senior solutions consultant at Gem, said the layoffs affected 40%. So the math is a little bit fuzzy on this one. We don't have a confirmation on what percentage 70 is, but that's bad news for a unicorn that has raised upwards of 100 million dollars. Chad, any takeaways from the layoffs from this week?


SFX: Layoffs.


Chad: Reconfiguration, kids. That's what's gonna continue to happen. Then again, we're gonna see more M&A more fire sales. Not saying that these guys are up for sale or anything like that, but there's just a lot of turbulence in the market right now, and that happens when you're flushed with fucking cash for years. So this is something that was gonna happen. We saw it was gonna happen. Definitely, we're definitely feeling the ramifications of the repercussions for all that money.


Joel: Yeah. If you can have a hangover from a pandemic, I'm not sure that you can, but this is sort of maybe the canary in the coal mine. We got a lot of unicorns from 2020 to 2022. These guys are one. If the deals, the remotes, the oysters, if they start talking about 40% chops in headcount, this is definitely a phase that is going to be ugly. And HR Tech may be a little smaller in booth size than last year. You might remember eight folds, 760 by 800 booth that they had last year. But yeah it's, times are tough. Money's not free anymore. These valuations are going to hell. Employees are getting cut. And just for me personally, I've probably know about five or six people in the last week in our industry that have either left or been cut, been fired.


Chad: Most of them pretty senior.


Joel: Yeah. It's hitting people that I know personally. So it's tough out there.


[video playback]


Joel: As things are at ZipRecruiter, Chad. Oh shit. Let's get into our first story. ZipRecruiter experienced significant drops in Q2 to '23 revenue and paying advertisers attributing the decline in their stock price to reduced hiring despite a strong US job market. The company withdrew its previous full year earnings guidance due to uncertain hiring trends leading to a 10% share price drop. The company expects a 34% decline in revenue and projects adjusted EBITDA of around 40 million for the upcoming quarter. Chad, your take on the news outta ZipRecruiter.


Chad: So, I have three major problems with what ZipRecruiter's been doing. So first and foremost, market penetration and expansion. Zip's, inability to fully break into the enterprise market and then expand wallet share is a huge problem. Zip has been wallowing in the SMB market for far too long. Problem number two, they're being too fucking quiet on their press page. They're only two press releases for 2023. We're in August, two press releases. They're too quiet. Problem number three, it's the same old shit. When was the last time ZipRecruiter did anything to nudge the market with product? Can you remember when Zip upgraded, changed or even introduced a new product for hiring companies?


Joel: I mean, their chat bot fill was so big. I feel like they could just coast for about a year on that one.


Chad: Again, that was a product for job seekers, not for, employers that employers had to buy. So here's a quick summary. Live by the job posting, die by the job posting. If all of Zips eggs are in the job posting basket, how are they supposed to gain wallet share? Indeed is launching some really stupid shit, but hell, at least they're trying. So to me, it doesn't feel like Zip is even trying anymore. It's like they're laying down and they're ready to die.


[music]


Joel: Oh, man. That's what happens when you have headquarters in Santa Monica. The lure of the beach and the cool breeze just takes your eye off the ball. Yeah. Look, a couple things to say on this. Every stock, every public company, pretty much in our space right now is sideways or in the shitter. Zip is, Zip is there, Dice is there. But you can go down to like Robert Half, you can go to Recruit Holdings. Veritone who we talk about a lot getting in the space, their stock took a huge hit this past week. It wasn't necessarily the HR stuff, but people are hurting from a stock, stock value percentage or stock value perspective in our industry. And if the stock market is a leading indicator of what the economy's gonna do. So last October, about a year ago, the stock market took a shit that was a leading indicator on what the economy was gonna do.


Joel: Well, the economy's job labor reports have been really strong, which has kind of helped keep things up. The Fed, as we know, continues to raise rates. They want to get unemployment up. They want to get, they wanna cool the economy, get inflation down. So from what I can tell, like people are still employed, but these reports and what's coming out of the public companies in our space tell me that there's another canary in the coal mine is that companies aren't posting jobs.


Joel: So they may not be firing, they may not be laying off a lot of people, but they certainly don't look like they're hiring or replacing people that have left and what's going on. Now, it might be a good thing in terms of the Fed will get their unemployment rate. Inflation will come down, interest rates will come down, and that will obviously spark another phase of, of investment and money coming into the space. But I think this is a pretty glowing sign that things are gonna get a bit, get pretty rocky towards the end of the year in terms of employment. We're gonna see that employment rate go up. That is a prediction, Chad. And you know what they say about my predictions.


SFX: 60% of the time, it works every time.


Joel: Focusing on Zip for a second, ZipRecruiter had a lock on the seasonal hourly segment. And when they went public, they decided that they were gonna be everything to everybody. They were gonna be AI, they were gonna be enterprise, they were gonna be global. None of those things have come to pass. They launched this crazy chatbot fill. So there was a time where if you wanted a job at a restaurant, you wanted a job at a convenience store, a dry cleaner, you went to ZipRecruiter. 'Cause that was, you saw the commercials, it was small business. It was like that segment of the population. They had a lock on that brand and they chucked it, threw it down the toilet, and said, we're gonna be everything to everybody. We're AI, we're everything. Well, job seekers are now confused because, wait a minute, ZipRecruiter used to be this place where I could get a waiter job, and then employers are confused because the bar owner down the street is like, wait a minute, this isn't what I signed up for.


Joel: So total confusion in the marketplace, they're nothing to nobody. Indeed is now taking their market share in terms of the SMBs, they launched their own ATS, so I think they're trying to get in that space. ZipRecruiter is in this no man's land where they had a lock on one brand. They threw that away. They can't be the enterprise thing. They should have just remained the hourly seasonal essential worker and grown that globally. They made a tremendous brand mistake, not on the level of Elon, Chuck and Twitter for X, but in the same vein, they took what they were in the market, tried to be something else, and I think they've totally failed. And I think the stock price exemplifies that.


Chad: So I think you're right, in some areas too. They could have been SMB and enterprise at the same time, it's all about scale. Because there are enterprise companies that have essential workers. As a matter of fact, that should have been where they went. If we take a look at anybody who's doing high volume today, they're focusing not just on SMBs, they're mainly moving up to the enterprise side of the house. So they had an opportunity to stay who they were, right? In the high volume, in the essential worker side of the house, work for SMBs and work for enterprise. This to me is a huge issue with regard to execution, the AI piece that was all about how the tech worked, that to me, really doesn't have anything to do with anything other than just the rails that they're running on.


Chad: The problem is they didn't get good enough penetration into the enterprise market where they can sell more goods and services. Right? That's really where they needed to be. They could have done sourcing screen, there could have been a ton of different things that they could have done, but it just seems like they, as you'd said, they're kind of all over the place. They could have laser focused and then built that brand even into enterprise, but they just didn't do it. So they're failing miserably, which is hard to see, to be quite frank.


Joel: Yeah. So I'm gonna go deep here for a second.


SFX: Just for two.


Joel: So let's go way back in time, kid. So I used to work for a company we called Espan in the late '90s. Espan was known as the developer's job board. It was techies before techies, it was dice before dice. Our competition was OCC, where Chad worked Monster Board, career mosaic and some others. But they were more general in nature. We were like tech and we had a great brand with tech companies. We had a great brand with tech talent. And then Gordon Gund and NAS came in and said, we're gonna change the brand. We're gonna be everything to everybody. Espan is gone. We're job options, we're everything to everybody. And we didn't have a big enough gun to take on Monster board and some of the Super Bowl ads that were there at the time, and job seekers abandoned us.


Joel: So they kinda left and went other places, companies that were tech that loved us and used us well the talent wasn't there anymore, they were confused about why we were doing it. They held us to a higher standard because now they're putting on their accounting jobs and everything, which we didn't do. So they weren't getting results there. It was a total mess. And long story short, couple years later, we sold for pennies on the dollar and I'm unemployed a year after that as a mass layoff at the company. So I speak from some experience that pivoting in that way, really fuck shit up. And I think ZipRecruiter in some manner has done a similar pivot that has been probably a disaster for them.


Chad: Much like.


Joel: Much like another disaster. That's right. Let's have some more tales of misery, shall we?


S8: No, God. No, God, please. No. No. No. No.


Joel: I know. All right, so first up, say it ain't so after mass layoffs in the first half of 2023, Zoom makes Jaws drop by requiring employees within 50 miles of an office to work in-person for at least two days a week, marking a shift from previous flexibility. Imagine that. Zoom flexible. Yeah. Everybody was on Zoom calls back during the pandemic. Chad, your take on Zoom's RTO announcement.


Chad: Holy irony. Right? I think, I actually saw a article last week where they were talking about companies actually going back to the office to be able to downsize instead of layoff, right? So if you're forcing people back in and people want the autonomy well they're gonna leave. So instead of laying off and then having severance and all that other fun stuff, then you don't have to do that as much. So I think this might be one of the reasons why Zoom is doing it. They want to pare down, but they don't wanna lay off, because you've got the bad optics and whatnot. Not that this isn't bad optics, but how many examples have we had or heard of employees going back to the office just to be on Zoom calls.


[laughter]


Joel: Alone in an office on Zoom calls. Yeah.


Chad: Yeah. But I wanna address an item that we've heard pop up in the press and on webinars and economic circles, that that item is productivity loss and associating it with remote work, worker autonomy is not the reason companies are losing productivity. Let me say that again. Worker autonomy is not the reason why companies are losing productivity, bad management, which leads to workers quitting. That churn leaves open positions. Those open positions represent lost productivity and lost revenue. The remaining team members cover the open positions, the daily workloads, they are spread too thin for months on end. And after those workers have had enough, they leave, which exacerbates the problem. So if we treat workers like kids they are gonna leave, and then the cycle starts. This is bad management; it's not treating your employees well, which makes them wanna leave, and productivity takes a shit. It has nothing to do with remote work.


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


Joel: Zoom is making employees come back to the office. The last company that should require people to come back is Zoom! And they're making people come back to the office. To me, this is like a major nail in the coffin of remote work. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next year, but long term, you're right, this is the boiling of the frog. This is the oh, 50 miles? Really? That's a distance. It had been like 30, and now it's almost doubled to 50 for most companies. So, yeah, it's a way to lay off people, very convenient that they don't want... It will eventually become four days a week, and maybe four is all it will come down to. But what's gonna happen is, people who do come back to the office they're gonna get promoted. They're gonna be having happy hours with other co-workers, and you're gonna feel guilty that you're not there. People will be there more often, and eventually, companies will get what they want, like they always do. They will get people back in the office. It's basically like the 80/20 rule, like everything else. There will be some start-ups, some companies that do have a 100% remote, but for the most part, our dreams of a remote workforce have been dashed by the man.


[laughter]


Chad: The way that we were raised, as exers by boomers, we were made to feel guilty if we weren't in early and we didn't leave after, right? These new generations are not that way. So, I think they're not going to feel guilty. And if they don't get promoted but yet they're living the lifestyle that they wanna live, they won't give a fuck. I think, there's a major change in the give-a-fuck, and there just isn't much of a give-a-fuck anymore, which I think is great because people need to live their fucking lives instead of sit in a goddamn cubicle all day or on the train, trying to fucking commute.


Joel: Yeah, I think the jury's out on some of that. With young people, I have seen surveys like, some young people that live in a studio apartment want to get into an office. Now is it a cubicle, or is it an open space whatever? But some young people wanna get out. They wanna hang out with other young people after work. They wanna be mentored by older people like us. It's kinda crazy, but anyway, Zoom is out of the remote work business. It's very sad. Well, from one former pandemic darling to another, let's go to WeWork! WeWork's second-quarter earnings report costs, "Substantial doubt on its survival due to losses and departing clients. Despite plans to enhance liquidity and profitability, the co-working giant's stock plummeted almost 40% this week, underscoring its tumultuous journey from a high valuation to potential collapse." Chad, WeWork to we outta business. Your take?


Chad: How is WeWork not fucking killing the game right now? I mean, all of this real estate that's open. WeWork should actually take the position as the middle ground by driving hybrid and more flexible options for work. They just need to get into some big brands involved from a national and also global scale. To me, this is a go-to-market issue, where they're not really seeing the forest for the trees. This, to me, just blows my fucking brain. If they were going to work, it should work right now. If it's not working right now, they just need to fucking eject.


Joel: Yeah. It's kinda like a trucking company that goes out of business when trucking is more popular than ever. Who didn't talk about yellow trucking? Yes, you're right. I get that they signed leases on these properties, but commercial real estate owners were more than flexible to keep you in the office, keep you in the space, keep you occupied. This is either awful management, like you said, go-to-market, someone should had called Airbnb and said, hey, let's do like a work Airbnb collaboration...


Chad: Something.


Joel: Or Verbo. There had to be some sort of platform that they could get in there. Yeah, I don't know if this is the weight of just the business and the expectations, the investment money, but this is a total disaster. You're right, this is like, if anyone should be successful right now, it's the WeWorks of the world. But here we are talking about their demise. And somebody will pick this up on pennies on the dollar and hopefully bring in some good management, some cost efficiencies, and launch this thing back, rises from the inferno, like the phoenix. But only time will tell what happens there. Let's take a quick break and talk about chips, not the Southern California police force from the '70s.


[chuckle]


Chad: This would be a great place for that opening intro for Chips.


Joel: Yeah, it would be, it would be...


Chad: Erik Estrada.


Joel: Remember the take-off Chips? They made a joke...


[chuckle]


Joel: The chimpanzee were on the motorcycle?


Chad: Yes. The bikes.


Joel: Anyway, all right. Let's talk about chips. A labor shortage is slowing US semiconductor companies efforts to fill critical positions, with Hiring taking twice as long as in other sectors. The industry's struggle to find skilled labor could hinder President Biden's push to boost the domestic chip industry and create jobs with projections of 115,000 new jobs by 2030. The sector faces challenges in finding candidates with science, technology, and engineering backgrounds. Wait, wait. Government didn't think this through. I'm shocked. Chad, what are your thoughts on a lack of talent in the chip sector in the US?


Chad: Is it the government's responsibility to make sure that we have all those people ready for those jobs? It sounds like big government you're looking for. Here's an excerpt from the Fortune article that just stuck with me. So chip makers have long sounded the alarm, US doesn't have enough job candidates, right? So my brain automatically went to high school sports. Some of the biggest sports brands like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and others, they equip high schools and athletes with uniforms, cleats, they buy scoreboards, sometimes outfit the entire court, field or stadium. You know what I'm talking about, right? Why aren't companies like Intel, AMD, Nvidia and many others, equipping middle schools, high school, classrooms and labs? Why aren't they deep inside of communities, schools, community colleges, selling the dream of engineering? Why aren't they doing this? This is not a government problem. These companies need to be focused on what they need to make and drive revenue. Why aren't they fucking doing this?


Joel: They should be doing it and should've been doing it. But the problem is we have a challenge now. We have a China problem now. We have global economic issues today, and we should have been thinking about this 20 years ago, 10 years ago at least, obviously nobody was. Now, Taiwan, as most people know, is the breadbasket of the semiconductor chip business. And companies are actually relocating Taiwanese workers into Montana and North Dakota and some of these other places where these chip factories are being established. So we've gotta go poach from other countries. Longer term, we should definitely be talking about stability in this industry, colleges should be pounding the table. There should be some maybe subsidies for people who get these degrees or at least instant jobs by companies saying, "Hey, go get this degree and do that." Now, what we've additionally done, I don't know if you caught this or not this past week, the Biden administration announced a $345 million weapons package to go to Taiwan.


Joel: The first tranche in a total of one billion the US has allotted to be transferred directly from the Pentagon stockpiles to the island this year. So the reaction to not having enough talent is also, let's arm up Taiwan, to make sure that Taiwan remains a stable supplier of chips in the near future. Because if China takes the real estate, then it's game over. So like, "Let's ship some weapons and let's fortify Taiwan." So hopefully long-term we're thinking about the talent to do these jobs in the future. But for now it looks like, let's poach from Taiwan and other places and let's fortify Taiwan to keep China at bay.


Chad: So Intel said they're gonna spend $17.7 million in Ohio, which is where one of these manufacturing facilities are going. Intel's revenue is $63 billion a year. So that's 0.03% of Intel's annual revenues. That's not an investment, that's fucking crumbs. Talent is the only thing that will make those revenue numbers grow. And talent acquisition, listen up TA pros, you need to stiffen your fucking spine. See this as an opportunity to talk about driving revenue through building real talent pipelines and not bullshit photo ops. That's what this is. They're pledging like a million dollars to like 15 different universities in Ohio. It's fucking photo op, that's crumbs, that's not enough. You need to have an investment, and you need to get into those communities ASAP.


Joel: Yep.


Chad: Not to mention TA Folk, it's taking forever for people to get through your application process. I remember talking to Allyn Bailey when she was at Intel. And she was like, well. A part of it was funding. You have to re-streamline your process with the market. They don't have the cash. You need to go back to the business with your need and show them that if we don't get these positions filled, we're not gonna make the cash.


Joel: By the way, the stories about fraud and misuse of funds that the government is giving these companies is just starting. It's just kind of a bummer. All right, Chad, AI is still in the news, imagine that. We got a lot of headlines. I'm gonna read through some of them and you're gonna give me your take on what stood out to you the most. Let's start with TechCrunch writing an article entitled The Future of AI is Video, And It's Coming At Us Fast. The story outlined what a mess the 2024 election is going to be.


Joel: HR Executive Magazine wrote a story entitled Seven AI Considerations HR Leaders Need To Think About Today featuring Chad and Cheese super fan Andrea Wade enforcing the importance of humans being in the process. Hacker News says Zoom's AI can now train its AI with user content, but you can't opt out of the process. Sorry about that. Reuters asks whether AI will be a blessing or a curse for the economy. People are beating the shit and molesting Uber Eats automated food delivery bots. And here's Chad's favorite, Elon Musk now owns ai.com. Chad, what stood out most to you this week in AI news?


Chad: So, when Domino's, I think, they were the first companies that actually said they're gonna have these AI delivery bots, I called it back then. I think it was even Walmart, with the ones that were in the aisles.


Joel: The janitors? [laughter]


Chad: People were going to start taking fucking ball bats to these things. They're gonna flip them over, they're gonna do whatever they could to fuck with these things. Now we're saying that's exactly what's happening. Whether they like AI robots or not, doesn't matter, people are fucking stupid. Just the way it is. One of the really cool... I'm gonna paraphrase items in one of the articles, is that they likened AI to dynamite. And dynamite is either used to blow a hole in a mountain to create streamlined infrastructure or as a weapon, but there are regulations around dynamite, right? And there's not regulations around AI.


Joel: You can't download it on your computer.


Chad: Yeah. And the biggest issue here that I see is shareholder capitalism. Its focus is completely on reward and not risks. It's a move fast, generate revenue and break society model. The internet was created by the US government with our tax dollars, and yet companies like Amazon who leverage the internet with e-commerce sales and AWS, skirt taxes, create billionaires like Jeff Bezos who build super yachts and launch penis rockets, but they're not building a strong middle class and paying it back. Our biggest issue that we're having right now is that we are not moving fast enough on the regulatory side of the house to ensure that we have the guardrails in place, but we need to move. We can't allow, let's say for instance, a six-month pause to happen. We just can't do that. We can't allow other countries to get ahead of us. So we need guardrails and we need them quick. The Elon Musk thing...


[chuckle]


Chad: This to me is the funniest thing ever. I believe we're experiencing one of the most public ADHD moments in world history as we watch Elon Musk play with Twitter, now X. Get into generative AI game, propose dick measuring contests with Zuck.


[laughter]


Chad: And then getting fined by federal government for not complying with federal subpoenas. He is all over the place, probably one of the smartest guys in the world today, right? Hate him, hate him, hate him but he's all over the place. This is a squirrel moment for Elon Musk.


[laughter]


SFX: That escalated quickly.


Joel: All right. We didn't have this in the notes, but the Octagon Zuckerberg versus Musk fight on X, would you watch that for free?


Chad: Oh, well, yeah, I definitely would.


Joel: At what price point would you pay to see it live?


Chad: Oh, I would... It would be free somewhere. I'd be able to get it somewhere.


[laughter]


Joel: I hope this happens.


Chad: Because those assholes would make money off of it and I'm not paying 'em.


Joel: Oh well, they said it's going to charity for veterans. No...


Chad: Oh fuck that, that's full of shit.


Joel: That is to me, if that happens, that is peak douche bag for tech. That is like, it's only downhill from here. So I'm glad you brought up Zuckerberg, 'cause I'd forgotten about the Octagon match. Oh my God. Dude, these poor Uber Eats. I call them mobile coolers.


Chad: Oh, god.


Joel: I mean thank God for TikTok. I've talked for an end to TikTok, but this makes TikTok worthwhile.


[laughter]


Joel: What the homeless and just the riffraff and knuckleheads are doing to these coolers is almost pornographic. Like how these are built is, I guess it's closed and you have a QR code or something with your phone. And then you can open it and get your sandwich and you're done. Well, people are like, fuck it, I'm hungry. They like, open the thing. This alarm goes off, which nobody cares about. It's like, whoop, whoop. And they just... They're eating the sandwich while the alarm is going off. People are riding these things in the streets. I don't know how they're steering them, but it's so bizarre. I don't know what the future is of these things. I don't know if it's just like, it's gonna be only in really high rent districts where people aren't gonna do stuff. If there's... Are they gonna criminalize this where, face recognition and they turn you into the cop. I don't know what's gonna happen.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: I like the idea of my Chipotle rolling up on the driveway, but I don't know if there's a future for these mobile coolers of food. I think the TechCrunch article about video and the campaign is even scarier than when I first commented about this a week or so ago.


Chad: Creepy as fuck, man.


Joel: What we're gonna see out of deep fakes of Putin and She and overseas and what's in the election.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: No one's gonna know what's real, what's fake. There's no government regulation anywhere, there's no tech guardrails that I see anywhere. It's gonna be the Wild West this election. And God help us if democracy breaks and we fall into the abyss, 'cause if it's gonna happen, it's probably gonna happen in 2024. The seven considerations...


Chad: Fuck.


Joel: Of HR leaders shows me HR knows nothing about what's coming, it was such... It was sort of like an SEO article from 'O5 about how to write a title tag.


[laughter]


Joel: And that was gonna save your website. So anyway, this show's been a total bummer and this didn't help it at all for the most part. AI is crazy. People are crazy. And mixing the two together is a recipe for disaster.


Chad: But after the break, we've got something that's gonna be even more creepy, but fun.


SFX: What are you doing, step bro?


Joel: All right, Chad, I don't know if this is good news or bad news, you decide listener. All right, Mila, or is it Mila? We'll call her Mila. Mila Sophia says she's a 24-year-old robot girl living in Helsinki, but she's actually an AI generated influencer with a substantial following on Twitter and TikTok. She has almost 60,000 followers on Instagram. Despite being entirely virtual or fake. Her photos attract likes and admiration from thousands, tens of thousands of fans oblivious to her non-existence. She posts pictures portraying various roles from a bikini clad model to, get this, a construction worker. Her digital existence raises so many questions from me, Chad. What do you got on Mila Sophia?


Chad: Yeah, it's interesting that nerdy white dudes are creating hot chicks on the internet and making money off them, we've totally come full circle on this podcast. We started off with talking about AI generated movies. All I can say is it's surreal, in 1855, P.T Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute." And with AI and deepfakes and clones, it's gonna be very hard to distinguish between all of us who are the suckers and who aren't.


Joel: So Chad, you and I have been debating an Instagram presence for a while. I think this is our shot. I think we do a virtual Chad and Cheese. Maybe we're horseback, on sunset on the beach, maybe we're in shop class or doing some crafts.


Chad: Shop class.


Joel: At hobby lobby.


Chad: Ooh. We do the ghost molding of the clay.


Joel: They say it's totally open. We can do whatever the hell we want. So, one of my favorite movies particularly from the '80s, is Risky Business.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: And in Risky Business, Tom Cruise's friend Booger from Revenge of the Nerds.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: But that's a different movie, Chad knows what I'm talking about. Most of our listeners probably do too. Booger gets him a hooker that wasn't what Tom expected, let's put it that way. So the hooker that shows up realizes that Tom isn't into her. So she gives him the name of a woman named Lana. And her quote is, "I'm gonna give you a number, Joel," that's one of the reasons why it's my favorite movie. His character's name is Joel. But anyway, she says, "Joel, I want you to call Lana, it's what you want. It's what every white boy off the lake wants," which is one of the great lines of '80s movie nostalgia. So here's my takeaway from this. OnlyFans is done. Not tomorrow, not next week, but eventually. Digital girls are starting to look like the real thing. They're starting to talk like the real thing. And with the right apparatus, Chad, they will do everything every dude on the planet wants. Just like Lana. It'll be a subscription model for all the kinky, freaky, illegal in 28 states shit that all of our demented listeners want in a woman. Even if it's not real. 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'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're out.

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