Each week via our ‘Weekly Rundown’ segment, we highlight stories we thought were interesting, notable across business and technology. This week, we showcase stories on the Future of Work, Confluent, Expressing Gratitude in Tough Times, Evernote steps into the task management space, and Spotify gets even more personal.
Story-1:: Future of Work
Overview:While the COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges, it also presented an opportunity to re-examine the way things are done.
“In a recent survey by PwC, 83% of employers and 71% of employees agreed that remote work has been successful.”
Workers begin to move away from established economic centers
- San Francisco witnessed a 35% increase in migration away from the city as workers returned home or looked for new (cheaper) ones.
Digital adoption a clear priority as computing spend rises
- Adoption of cloud computing platforms jumped during the COVID-19 pandemic as companies spend to equip a remote workforce.
New ways of working have been defined
- Distributed workforce solutions have
83% of employers have experienced positive outcomes with a work from home model.
Why It Matters: People, teams, and organizations have found a way to be successful. While all the data points to a remote or hybrid model, will this trend last? Will people want to go into the office, will all people want to go into the office and what do organizations do if the staff doesn't want to go to the office. These are just a couple of the questions that need to get resolved in the coming months and years.
Story-2:: LinkedIn spinout Confluent files for IPO, with annualized revenue of over $300 million
Overview: Confluent, which sells software that developers can use to quickly move data for use inside applications, filed its IPO prospectus on Tuesday, seeking to become the latest enterprise business to go from open-source project to multibillion-dollar public company.
- Confluent’s founders built the technology inside LinkedIn and created a separate company in 2014.
- The company filed for an IPO on Tuesday and said first-quarter revenue climbed 51% to $77 million.
- Confluent was valued at $4.5 billion in a private financing round last year.
Why It Matters: Seven years after spinning out of LinkedIn, cloud software developer Confluent is going public.
Confluent Cloud is the industry’s only fully managed, cloud-native event streaming platform powered by Kafka. Deploying this, instead of self-managing Kafka, enables teams to focus on building real-time applications, knowing they’ve based them on a simple, scalable, resilient, secure, fully managed infrastructure.
Story-3:: Expressing Gratitude in Tough Times
Overview: The stay-at-home order can have people feeling isolated, but now is an important time to focus on others and show gratitude. Ryan Fehr, associate professor of management at Foster and world-renowned expert on gratitude, discusses steps you can take to cultivate gratitude in tough times. Fehr also touches on ways to create an organizational culture of gratitude and the impact that can have on the company and its employees.
Why It Matters: Ryan Fehr an Associate Professor at University of Washington, Michael G. Foster School of Business hit my radar thanks to a digital conference I watched over the weekend. In the 3+ Hours of the recording, Ryan's piece about Expressing Gratitude really stood out to me. What was even cooler was when I reached out and he was quick to respond with a shorter version of the presentation and couldn't have been nicer. But back to the point of my posting this presentation. This whole thing has been tuff. Give yourself and the people around you a break and also give yourself and others some gratitude, it will go a long way.
Story-4:: Evernote adds task management tools for personal projects
Overview: With Tasks, your notes and to-dos no longer have to be managed in two separate places—your to-dos can live inside your notes, complete with priority flags, due dates, and reminders to help you get your schedule out of your head. Tasks allows you to keep the things you have to do connected to the information you need to do them, so you can be confident that nothing will get lost in the shuffle.
Why It Matters: Just looking at this feature from Evernote, one would assume that someone say like Microsoft and Google would clone this feature for this OneNote and G-Suite solutions. But till then, we will be on the look out to see how this works from Evernote.
Story-5:: Spotify ‘Only You’
Overview: Only You begins with a unique artist pairing, showing two disparate musicians you might hop between. It also offers insight into music from specific years you stream often, and even the music or podcast you listen to frequently at a specific time of day.
Why It Matters: Spotify's new "Only You" feature shows how unique your listening tastes are and gives you a musical astrology reading.
Only You compares all the songs and artists you have saved and notes which ones are the most different from one another, and which combinations set you apart from other users. Spotify claims it's done this by analyzing every user's music tastes and picking out the songs or artists that you listen to together, but no one else does.
Link: Only You
Story-6: Apple Releases new Software
Overview: Apple WWDC kicked off this week. While iOS 15 releases, Mac OS, and IPAD OS. Here were a few of the more important updates
- iPadOS will get home screen widgets. They’re pretty similar to the ones you’ve seen on iOS, with the addition of a much bigger widget option because, well, bigger screen.
- The “App Library” concept is making its way from iOS to iPadOS, as well.
- A new multitasking menu will (hopefully) simplify the way you handle multitasking on iPadOS, moving the system away from the easily forgotten gestures currently required.
- The Notes app will now let you @ mention, someone, in a shared note to get their attention on a change, and highlight changes when you come back to a shared doc. “Quick Notes,” meanwhile, will let you create a note from anywhere by swiping up from the bottom right corner of the screen.
Why It Matters: With the M1 Chip, the Ipad Pro becomes a computer. I had the last round of the IPad Pro and while it was close, the combination of performance and software limited the device to a secondary tool/toy vs. a work horse. I wish Apple had a borrow-and-try program to see if you liked the 11 vs. 12-inch model; notably, the 12inch model has a slicker screen and of course is bigger. Who knows, you might see me drive over to BestBuy and make a capital purchase. Only time will tell.
Story-7:: Councillor calls for 2 24-Hour House Music Clubs
Overview: City Councillor Carlos Ramirez-Rosa made the suggestion on Twitter, saying the clubs would help “tap into the international market for Chicago house music.”
Why It Matters: Chicago was the birth place of house music and for a city trying to grow and attract businesses, you need the culture. Don't believe me. Look at Austin Texas, look at Atlanta. Both cities have music and arts and as a result can attract talent. So if you think this is just about late night clubs, you are partial right. Although those days are way behind me by now.