Articles tagged with: #company

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How to avoid stress while establishing a startup

Final thoughts A startup is a business project that is usually at the idea or development stage of an MVP – a minimally viable product that can satisfy some market needs.It should contain all the main parts of the future product: buttons; forms; color palette. The path to starting a startup Any company starts with an idea, which the startup will later improve and turn into its own product. From prototype to product An IT startup can move faster than manufacturing-related companies. When the team is assembled and work is underway on the first iterations, it is already necessary to look for prospective customers who could not only help the company with money at the pre-order stage but also give the entrepreneur feedback on the product. Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com In this article, we will consider why people order design and development services for startups. Photo by SevenStorm JUHASZIMRUS on Pexels.com Some people prefer to create a strict hierarchy from the very beginning. Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com To be convinced of this, it is enough to turn around and pay attention to the world around us and its problems. On the contrary, it is necessary to constantly show each new iteration of the future product to potential users and customers. When a team is created, it is necessary to build relationships within it – the internal philosophy of the future company. Finally, the future entrepreneur himself may specialize in some area – logistics, finance, advertising – and he himself has a problem that needs to be solved. Then you need to polish the idea and create a minimum viable prototype, or MVP, that can be shown to potential partners. Some companies, on the contrary, build the most horizontal system, where programmers can know how things are going with potential customers, and salespeople receive information about all technical difficulties and a roadmap for solving them. Many aspiring entrepreneurs faced the problem of where to find an idea for a business. It is also necessary to constantly communicate with people, and find out what problems they have. However, the further the startup moves forward, the more important it is to attract new specialists. In the first stage, it is important who will become the co-founder of the company. Turning an idea into a prototype should not be a closed process. Once the MVP is ready, it also needs to be shown to potential clients.As some professionals say, a great team with a good idea is more likely to succeed than a good team with a great idea. How to find an idea? Where to look for people? If looking around, a novice entrepreneur does not see such a problem, this is not the time to despair. The idea is only half the battle. However, it does not have to be the actual final product. Company philosophyIf you are thinking about establishing a startup, but don’t have an idea, a team, or knowledge of how to manage it, cooperate with specialistsMany mistakes can be avoided if you conduct high-quality communication with customers and deeply understand the issues by conducting many problematic interviews with potential consumers of the product.Startups are often created based on the needs of people that no one has yet managed to satisfy, while small businesses reproduce current consumption patterns.Applications that help people with disabilities to be creative, a platform for teaching physics to applicants – the list of examples can be long.

7 Tips for Handling Phone Calls as a Startup

Photo by Canva Studio on Pexels.com Here are a few tips for handling phone calls as a startup: Answer the Phone Promptly Taking too long to answer the phone call can negatively impact your business as it can portray inefficiency. Ask Before Placing Callers on Hold Placing callers on hold can lead to callers feeling unwanted and agitated. Consider Getting A Local Phone Number A local phone number refers to a number that begins with an area code specifically for a particular region e.g. in Pennsylvania. Keep a Call Follow-Up Procedure in Place To ensure your customers get the most out of their calls, it is best to have to follow -up procedures set up. Follow-ups portray a positive image of your company and can influence the callers’ decision to use the services offered by your company in the future. Identify Your Business Identifying your business as soon as you pick up the call is crucial. Taking too long to answer the phone can lead to callers hanging up with minimal chances of ever calling back. Summarize Before Ending the Call Before you end the call, it is best to summarize the critical topic you have gone through. Excellent phone handling portrays high professionalism and standards for your company and can benefit your business’s growth. A warm and positive attitude is always guaranteed to leave a long-lasting positive impact on callers. Ensuring you handle your phone calls efficiently can have a beneficial impact on your startup.You should aim to answer the phone as quickly as possible, primarily if your business relies on phone inquiries to gain new customers.Professionally Interactions over the phone are an indication of the standard in your company. Asking the callers first helps set expectations as it helps them know what to expect.Although many communication channels are available today, such as email, social media, and live chats, phone calls are still highly preferred by customers.Therefore you cannot ignore the relevance of phone calls, and call handling is crucial to ensuring excellent customer service, especially for startups. Treat the CallerA local Pennsylvania number is a great way to ensure your services are more accessible to the local community and also allows you to advertise your startup.It would be best if you always asked for more details from the callers to ensure you can communicate with them later.

Are Frameworks Keeping Up With Modern API Requirements?

Summary When I’m looking for a framework to use, I see how much of this I can get done, as any API I build is going to need HTTP caching, HTTP/2 with server push, serialization, deserialization, OpenAPI-based validation, standard error formats, and support for message formats like JSON:API. Fractal for PHP Roar for Ruby Marshmallow for Python JSON:API extension These are all agnostic tools which require a bit of boilerplate to get running in most frameworks, but I think frameworks should be doing the integration with these tools, or providing the equivalent functionality. type : object properties : username : type : string email : type : string format : email age : type : integer minimum : 18 required : - email - age This is a usable contract which can totally reduce the requirement for needing to write out that validation contract. HTTP/2 + Server Push One of the biggest fundamental changes in ye oldé APIs of HTTP/1.1 is the concerns of “lots of HTTP calls” leading to API developers mushing loads of JSON together. { "ErrorCode" : "CATALOG_NO_RESULT" , "Description" : "Item does not exist" } However they spit out internal errors, frameworks should provide high quality error serializers so users don’t find themselves dumping return json({ error: "something went wrong" }) . { "error" : "something went wrong" } Over time those developers realize they need programmatic codes, longer explanations, links to problems, and all sorts of other things. Standard Errors A surprising number of APIs will emit HTML error messages which confuse the API consumer; they just see “Invalid JSON token <” and no further explanation until they dig into the network traffic…Write ( [ ] byte ( "Hello" ) ) } NodeJS has Server Push support too: const http2 = require ( 'http2' )Comment `jsonapi:"relation,comments"` } type Comment struct { ID int `jsonapi:"primary,comments"` PostID int `jsonapi:"attr,post_id"` Body string `jsonapi:"attr,body"` Likes uint `jsonapi:"attr,likes-count,omitempty"` } So much of the training and writing that I do could be thrown out if more people used existing standards, and way more people would use them if their frameworks made it easy to do so. Validation Deserialization and validation are often blurred together in some frameworks. In Rails for example, ActiveModel Serializer will give you all the help in the world to output stuff as JSON:API, but when you’re trying to read that data back you’re stuck with mucking around with Strong Parameters params .😎 Serialization When it comes to output, many frameworks seem to offer you a JSON helper, but don’t do much more. Deserialization I built Fractal to serialize, and whenever people asked why it couldn’t deserialize too I answered that serialization and deserialization were two different jobs. Network Caching Network caching is a big complex topic which Ruby on Rails has managed to make incredibly easy. Server Push lets API developers solve over-fetching, having them design more simple resources and move related content out to other endpoints, which can be pushed to the client preemptively if they’re likely to want it (or if they specifically asked for it with the Preload request header). These days pretty much all frameworks support “HTTP routing”, query string, JSON, etc. by default, and it would be considered shocking if they didn’t. Despite not being a “framework”, Golang has server push support because it’s written its own HTTP layer. API developers back in the HTTP/1.1 days would include every tangentially related resource in a single response to avoid clients having to make multiple requests, and this was slow and annoying for clients who didn’t need that extra data. The best serializers go a step further and offer support for common “message formats” like HAL, JSON: A framework that cares about APIs does not need to support every single message format, but the serializer should be extensible so different formats can be plugged in. These days many frameworks are either primarily designed to create APIs, or have an “API mode” to cut out non-API related bootstrapping, for cookies, sessions, views, etc. Trailblazer is a collection of gems that make Ruby-based frameworks better at being an API framework, and offer serialization and deserialization through a shared contract. Several API formats and architecture including GraphQL, JSON:API and HAL try to solve the under-fetching problem by allowing the client to ask the server to embed related resources in the main HTTP response.API Developers already maintain the API contract in the following places: When you ask developers to do the same thing so many times over, some of it is going to be low quality.Until then everyone was hacking it in on their own, but sadly API developers are still having to hack together support for a lot of these fundamental concepts: Let’s look at some of this stuff. Rails edged towards HTTP/2 support by adding Early Hints in v5.2, which seemed like a step towards server push, but no progress since. Most of the remaining frameworks which do output JSON for errors will just go ahead and invent their own rando-JSON error format, or expect users to create their own. Multiplexing changes a lot for API design, and limits the cost of under-fetching, but the more interesting HTTP/2 feature for API design and development is Server Push.headers ) } The frameworks for Go and NodeJS have a lot done for them, so they just need to make this pushing a little easier, maybe add some helper methods, and hook it up with their serialization logic. Maybe we see more API-specific frameworks emerging, and the more generalist web application frameworks continue the way they are. A framework could easily build logic where serializers and deserializers take a contract, and that contract could be their usual DSL, or it could take an schema object to reduce the amount of typing. For example, at my previous employer, the /users/fred resource contained all of their locale information, various public profiles, information about the company they worked for, subscription information, which buildings they had access to, and other information about those buildings.Eyal Posener wrote a great example in this post showing how server push works for an API: func handle ( w http . Anyway, this was all jammed in there each time a new client asked for new information because “aggghhh multiple requests! If a web API doesn’t have any caching helpers built in, it’s not particularly useful to API developers, regardless of if they are building a HTTP API or a RESTful API.Time `jsonapi:"attr,created_at"` ViewCount int `jsonapi:"attr,view_count"` } type Post struct { ID int `jsonapi:"primary,posts"` BlogID int `jsonapi:"attr,blog_id"` Title string `jsonapi:"attr,title"` Body string `jsonapi:"attr,body"` Comments [ ] * Even though HTTP/2 was published in 2015, most frameworks only support the most basic bit: multiplexing.Serialization and deserialization share the concept of a “contract” (i.e. all the attributes that make up the resource in question), and turning them from the resource into message format compliant JSON is just as important as reading that inconing message format compliant JSON and turning it into a resource. type Blog struct { ID int `jsonapi:"primary,blogs"` Title string `jsonapi:"attr,title"` Posts [ ] * Open-sourcing is hard and time consuming, so if you’d like to see some of this in your framework of choice, please consider pitching in! Whilst this might sound like cargo-cult culture, I get it, developers are busy people. The stale? method here is checking for conditional headers like If-Modified-Since and If-Match , which as well as helping to avoid race conditions on writes, can provide caching for reads. Serializers are important, and are essentially a “view” for resources. The basic time-based caching is not the exciting thing here, the best bit is the stale? The solution for some tooling is to make a validation contract file, which just does the validation. The bigger the resource the more complex this syntax gets, especially if you have an array of objects in the payload where some of the objects attributes are required and some are not… class NewUserContract < Dry :: Validation :: Contract params do required ( :email ) . To go with another Rails example, Strong Params is for kinda deserialization, then the validation usually happens in the model. Figuring out which serializer to use for many frameworks can be hard.Nothing is required of a framework to support multiplexing, it’s a network-level feature enabled by the client, web server (nginx), application server (rack, unicorn, etc.) This moves it out of the model or controller (all of which has pros and cons for other articles), but this is yet another place where people are having to write out their contracts. That last one, OpenAPI… looks a bit like this. Validation logic doesn’t want to know about JSON: This is a verbose usage which works with anything, Company could be any sort of instance at all, but if it happens to be an ActiveRecord instance (or something similar enough) it can be simplified to if stale? To understand the benefits of HTTP caching for clients, take a look at my article Speeding Up APIs/ We all know technology moves fast, but the world of API development has changed drastically, and quickly too.Some serializers are fast but only support one format (like fast_jsonapi), some support multiple formats but are slow (like ActiveModel Serializers), and some have fallen into disrepair (also AMS). Not everyone spends as much time thinking about API development solutions as myself, and I get that. Laravel has serialization logic built in, and Symfony has a component too. def show @company = Company . def show @company = Company . def show @company = Company . Adding that will emit a Cache-Control and set the max-age to 180. Google have a Golang JSON:API serializer/deserializer, which uses annotated structs.Many web application frameworks never solved the API problems of the HTTP/1.1 era particularly well, and forced a lot of work onto the application developers which could have easily been solved with some built in convenience methods. For example, back in 2009 I released CodeIgniter REST which is now being maintained by Chris Kacerguis. Anyone who used to think writing OpenAPI was hard was probably doing it before Stoplight Studio came out.Creating good quality error messages is not easy, and frameworks should support this by supporting common error formats.I’m out of the framework maintenance game these days, busy building API design tools at Stoplight, but I know framework developers appreciate help far more than they appreciate demands. Supporting RFC 7807: API Problems and JSON: These things can also be combined.I feel like the need for generalist frameworks is somewhat in decline, meaning the need for proper API support is going to be more important now than ever. Check out API Platform if you’re interested in a toolkit which is all about APIs. config .API, and trying to shove “this field should match this regex” and “should also be unique in the database” into the deserialization logic just makes for a big old mess.A message format goes beyond just being JSON, and standardizes the shape of collections, resources, metadata, error messages, and links for things like state changes, pagination, etc.Clients still make requests for the same related resources, but thanks to server push those responses will be sat in the clients push cache before they even thinks about asking for them.If the error format is RFC 7807 or JSON:API Errors then it doesn’t matter if the error came from the OpenAPI validator, or the controller, or some database-based uniqueness exception being thrown from a race condition, it all looks the same.I wrote about how API developers can already use OpenAPI for server-side validation, but it shouldn’t be something folks need to hack together.Over the years I’ve used about 20 different web application frameworks (tool-kits for making server-side applications), contributed to a few, and maintained a couple of popular ones.I added that to a framework which surprisingly was pretty bad at handling HTTP in general: no query string support, only GET/POST supported, etc.With more and more people starting to create API descriptions before they write code, frameworks can leverage this description as a contract to help folks get running code much quicker.😱” but with server push, the buildings, subscriptions, locale, etc are all their own resources.A good API should be able to support multiple formats easily, and that’s not really possible with any framework I know of at the moment.Despite the existence of Falcon, a HTTP/2-enabled Rack compatible application server, Rails still has no server push…Creating an API response should not just be a case of “I have an object, now it’s a JSON object”, because that is how you built brittle trash APIs which just dump the DB model to the consumer.Design-first OpenAPI is the most important thing for API developers and it should be supported as a first class part of any API framework.API Errors would mean consistent error outputting for every API response, increase the chances of consistent errors across that organizations API portfolio, and remove a lot of guesswork for API consumers.Models are a tricky place for validation, for more on that search “Skinny Model, ” and notice how many articles there are on the topic.I’ve got a bit of a theory that many developers are introduced to new methodologies as and when their framework deliver it to them.Basically, the server will create a big JSON document containing the main requested resource and all its requested relations as nested objects.If some of that data was computed, or highly volatile and therefore tricky to cache, the whole resource would be slow every time, instead of it being broken into some cacheable and some uncacheable resources.

Navigating your business through uncertain digital waters

Conclusion Prolonged periods of crisis and uncertainty are bound to have negative effects on just about anyone, and business leaders are in a particularly unfavorable position of having to balance company goals with employee needs, altogether keeping the bigger picture top of mind in terms of both business and society in general. Balancing empathy with company goals and visions The previous point focused on balancing company objectives with empathy for your customers, but it’s equally important to have empathy for your own employees – after all, they’ll have been the ones interacting and empathizing with your customers. No playbook – more “winging it” While it’s still very much possible (and necessary) to plan things out in a fast changing environment, the sheer novelty of the scope of the current technological and societal disruption means that we lack the necessary experience to confirm tried and true solutions and best practices. Managing burnout of both employees and yourself A major part of employee well-being is managing – or, better yet, altogether preventing – burnout of employees. Proactivity vs. reactivity One very important challenge leaders have to keep in mind today is the need to balance proactivity with reactivity. Strategic investments and partnerships Strategic investments and partnerships have become an important success factor for digital transformation. Since data is the most valuable digital asset, responsible management of this data is one of the key responsibilities of successful digital business leaders. Another essential element is a culture which encourages healthy cooperation and exchange of ideas, where the team spirit is emphasized (but not forced on employees) and there are plenty of opportunities for various team building activities – which demands extra considerations in the era of remote / hybrid work. During the pandemic, this lack of a playbook has largely meant that business leaders were suddenly thrown into the deep end and were forced to “wing it” in order to keep their companies in operation. Fortunately, having the right attitude allows leaders to leverage digitalization in order to turn disruptions to their advantage, or at least not let these disruptions devastate their business efforts. For most SMEs, forming partnerships with digital agencies and streamlining their technology stacks with existing technology solutions will be much more feasible than trying to reinvent the wheel or making more large-scale investments such as acquisitions. Successfully navigating through these will determine whether a business will come out on top as a leader of the digital age or fall behind the rapid pace of innovation that we’re likely to continue seeing. However, an even more, if not the most important factor is likely the sense of meaning or purpose in one’s work, which will often be closely tied to your company’s mission and values, as well as more specifically to the types of projects an employee will be involved in. If you’re looking for a reliable development partner to help you digitally transform or execute your existing digital strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we’ll be happy to talk about how our developers can help you out. In the current uncertain age of the great resignation, it’s more important than ever to have a company culture which prioritizes a good employee experience. Only by staying productive and motivated in the face of constant disruption and prolonged stress can you help your employees / team achieve the same. Thus, it is on those leaders and businesses who have been successfully winging it to set the standards and produce a “playbook” for others to follow.

Volkswagen names a new CEO to run its electric truck and SUV spinoff Scout

The company said it will develop “True American” electric SUVs and pickup trucks, according to the report, as it attempts to restore a reputation that took a hit from the “Dieselgate” emissions scandal.The former head of VW Group America, as initially reported by Axios, pushed for VW to start a new electric truck line after seeing a fully restored vintage Scout: “the rights to the brand were just sitting there,” Keogh said. VW hopes that Scout will be the answer to double its 5 percent US market share of electric vehicles; the automaker hit a roadblock this year after selling out of all its EV offerings — ID.4 and Audi E-trons included — for 2022.In its previous life, Scout built an off-road SUV to compete with Jeep in the 1960s and is now reborn as a company that can flourish separately from VW (and perhaps go public itself) so it can try and go head to head with electric SUVs and trucks that remain a popular category in the US.One thing is for sure: the company is said to be working on vehicles that are good for camping, off-roading, or used for work — a clear indication that Ford’s F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T electric pickups are top targets.

Netflix lost nearly 1 million subscribers last quarter

The company is still pinning its hopes on a lower-priced ad-supported tier due in early 2023, and expects to launch it in a "handful of markets" where there's already strong ad spending.The company still turned a $1.44 billion net profit despite the shrinking customer base and unfavorable foreign exchange values for the US dollar.The streaming service said it lost nearly 1 million subscribers (970,000 to be exact) in Q2. The company attributed the slightly rosier outcome to "better-than-expected" subscriber growth, particularly in areas like Asia-Pacific.Netflix warned it might lose more subscribers in the second quarter of this year than it did in the first, and that prediction has come true — though it wasn't as bad as feared.Unfriendly exchange rates are a particularly difficult problem when nearly 60 percent of revenue comes from outside the country, Netflix said.The strong start for Stranger Things 4 could help — the nostalgic show is now Netflix's most watched season of English TV to date with over 1.3 billion hours of viewing.

TikTok Starts Layoffs in Company-Wide Restructuring

Another TikTok staffer says that the layoffs were focused on individuals and teams that managers believed were not contributing enough to the company, and claimed that the number of layoffs would be less than 100. One of TikTok’s earliest executive hires outside of China, David Ortiz, a veteran of Snap, announced on LinkedIn today that he was leaving the company because his role was being eliminated as part of “a much larger re-organization effort.” But on Monday morning, some employees based in Europe were informed that their jobs were at risk and told to expect invitations to meet with human resources staff in coming weeks, according to sources at the company. The restructuring announced internally today includes layoffs and the closing of some vacant roles, one staff member said, and affects TikTok’s businesses in the US, EU, and UK.Its rapid growth has seen the company reach milestones such as reaching 1 billion active users, drawing political scrutiny, and playing a central role in a war much more quickly than older social networks such as Facebook. TikTok joins the ranks of major tech companies and startups that have frozen hiring or made layoffs in recent weeks as fears of an economic downturn have taken hold. The short-form video app, owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance, has rapidly expanded both its user base and workforce in recent years."There are a small number of roles within the operations and marketing teams that shifted in focus, that can't be called a 'company-wide restructure,'" she said.One former TikTok employee who left the company earlier this year says the restructuring was probably related to the broader economic climate.“I don’t think what’s happening here with TikTok’s layoffs is any different to what’s going on in big tech,” the former employee says. A senior staff member with knowledge of the changes did not deny that a restructuring with job losses was taking place.“They’ve scaled at a rate we’ve never seen before,” says Brendan Gahan, partner and chief social officer at Mekanism, a New York marketing agency.The company recently abandoned plans to expand its live shopping platform TikTok Shop, seen as a major new revenue source, in the United States and Europe.“I can't imagine that a few layoffs is a sign of broader troubles or anything that’s going to slow their momentum.”

Twitter Has Entered the Elon Musk Twilight Zone

Twitter fired back with a lawsuit saying Musk made false claims in a strategy “of hypocrisy” that showed he considered the company “an elaborate joke”—and should be forced to become the owner of Twitter. “From a negotiating perspective, relationships tend to be the cornerstone of durable, sustainable agreements,” says Paul Fisher, who teaches negotiation at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.“Your strategy is a model of hypocrisy and bad faith,” it says, seemingly addressing Musk.In April, Musk signed a deal to buy the company, but this month he announced he was pulling out, claiming the company had withheld information needed to count the number of bots on the platform.“In this case, this doesn’t seem to have happened and that doesn’t augur well for a strong future relationship,” Fisher says.“They are not in any way negotiating for implementation,” she says.The angry bird then pivots to a plaintive question: “Will you now finally agree to adopt me?”“After this sale goes through, they have to work together—and they have not created on either side a situation that will make that easy.”He estimates there is a 20 percent chance that Musk escapes the deal he signed by either paying the $1 billion breakup fee written into its terms, or winning in Delaware’s Chancery Court without paying Twitter a cent.“You’ve trashed me, disrupted my operations, and destroyed shareholder value.” Manu Cornet joined Twitter last year after 14 years at Google, where he used his hobby of drawing cartoons to poke fun at his employer’s culture and scandals.Late last week, Musk said in a court filing that Twitter’s request for a trial in September was unfair because of the case’s complexity, and repeated his claims that Twitter has obscured the true number of bots on its service.

Samsung teases August 10th Unpacked event with a puzzle

Rumors have swirled for months that Samsung will introduce the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, with OnLeaks' unofficial renders suggesting they'll be subtle evolutions of the company's existing foldable phones.You just have to match a grid of characters to their corresponding colors (which conveniently match typical Samsung phone colors) using the above guide to get an "081022" date. The timing lines up with a recent leak by Evan Blass, who shared a teaser image for an August 10th Unpacked event.While we wouldn't rule out surprises, the clues so far point to the company sticking to last year's script.

The Morning After: Why Nikon and Canon are giving up on DSLR cameras

-Mat Smith The biggest stories you might have missed After you mold some tips to your ears, a custom-made set arrives in 2-4 weeks. Warner The campaign that helped pave the way for the "Snyder Cut" version of Justice League was boosted by a large number of bots and fake accounts, according to a report from Rolling Stone. Lego Atari is marking its 50th anniversary with a Lego collaboration: a piece-by-piece recreation of the Atari 2600, which debuted in 1977. Ultimate Ears, best known for its Bluetooth speakers, is having another attempt at custom-fit buds, only this time the company is making the process more like how you’d order a set of in-ear monitors (IEMs) with the UE Drops. Until recently, reflex cameras were regarded as a better option than mirrorless for action photography, so what happened? The main attraction of UE Drops is the custom fit, which is coordinated via the company's FitKit. Twitter has scored an early victory in its lawsuit against Elon Musk over his attempted exit from a $44 billion takeover deal.The company has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that it knew about and concealed the unreliable designs of keyboards on MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models released between 2015 and 2019. A report showed that 'at least' 13 percent of online discourse was generated by bots. Apple could soon compensate MacBook owners for their troubles with faulty "butterfly" keyboards. Slide open the front panel to reveal a pop-up gaming room scene. Twitter's lawsuit will head to court in October." Continue reading. Continue reading. Continue reading." Continue reading. Continue reading. You may not get a huge payout, however.

A Lawsuit Against Meta Shows the Emptiness of Social Enterprises

The company has always claimed to pay workers a “living wage,” which usually exceeds the minimum wage and ensures a decent standard of living for employees in a given country. Maybe Sama’s current problems began with a fundamental change in mission: Initially founded as the non-profit “SamaSource” in 2008, the company converted to a for-profit social enterprise structure in 2019.Finding “a workplace culture characterized by mental trauma, intimidation, and alleged suppression of the right to unionize,” with Sama workers numbering among the lowest-paid employees for Meta anywhere in the world, TIME’s investigation also calls the RCT findings into question.Evidence of this internal mindshift can be seen in Sama’s documents: early SamaSource reports are filled with references to giving people “dignified” work and measuring impact in terms of changes in workers’ lives and communities.Definitions of “social enterprise” vary, but most academics and entrepreneurs agree that they aim to maximize revenues and profits while contributing to a social or environmental goal—usually, by supporting a specific marginalized group.The lawsuit claims that “misleading job ads” lured potential employees from across Africa who, once realizing the true nature of the work, often had no means to get home. A win for Motaung, who filed the lawsuit, could force social media companies to invest in their content moderation workers, even if they’re not direct employees.Sama is a so-called social enterprise founded specifically to offer “decent work” to low-income people globally.However, a recent TIME investigation found Sama’s lowest paid workers in Nairobi earned only $1.50 an hour–barely above Kenya’s current $1.15 minimum wage for cleaners, and well below the $2.61 an hour that cashiers must be paid.Even if Motaung wins his lawsuit, prompting a new set of standards for content moderation work, there’s no telling if these standards will actually be implemented in Kenya.However, Motaung argues the moderators are Meta employees in a material and legal sense: they use Meta’s internal systems and guidelines, work closely with Meta staff and on a schedule of work set by Meta.)A self-proclaimed “ethical AI” company, Sama has been lauded by Fast Company, B Corp, and Forbes, among others.But fast forward to its transformation to a for-profit and its subsequent rebranding to “Sama,” and this focus on worker impact seems to have, if not disappeared, at least receded.(In response to the lawsuit, Meta claims they never employed Motaung and are therefore “not liable for or privy to” any of the allegations. Seen in that light, setting up a regional content moderation hub in a place with such weak labor protection seems almost strategic, or at least convenient, for Meta.Payroll savings aside, no Ministry of Labor official monitored what staff were actually moderating: usually highly disturbing content including beheadings and child sexual abuse, according to Motaung.

Facebook puts news on the back burner as it continues to push video and creators

Facebook wants its feed to look more like TikTok This change in priority was independently confirmed by The Verge, while a spokesperson for Meta told the WSJ that the company is always assessing where to allocate resources, and that its teams “remain committed to the success of creators, and are doing even more to ensure they can find audiences on Facebook and grow engaged communities there.”In response, the company is trying to push more video content from creators into users’ feeds, and is now shifting resources away from more text-focused products like its News tab and Bulletin newsletter platform.In a blog post last year, one of the few hard stats the company offered on the size of Bulletin was that “half of the creators on Bulletin have over 1,000 free email subscribers, with many having more than 5,000 or 10,000” — small numbers considering Facebook’s mammoth size. Facebook Bulletin, meanwhile, launched last year as a rival to newsletter giant Substack, and the company attracted some big names for its launch, like best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell.In June, The Verge reported on changes Facebook planned to make to its main algorithm; turning users’ feeds into TikTok-lite by centering visual content from creators rather than friends’ updates.Brown said engineering and product teams at Meta-owned Facebook would, in future, spend less time on News and Bulletin to “heighten their focus on building a more robust Creator economy.” Facebook launched News in 2019, paying organizations like The New York Times and Washington Post to aggregate their content.

Faze Clan goes public in $725 million SPAC deal

It not only has 11 competitive esports teams in games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, PUBG, and Valorant but is also associated with some big personalities, including streamers and content creators like NickMercs, rapper Lil Yachty, and even Snoop Dogg, who is on the company’s board of directors. Faze is a huge esports and gaming lifestyle brand, and it’s extremely popular with younger audiences — Faze claims that about 80 percent of its audience is between the ages of 13 and 34.And Faze has expanded beyond gaming with an expansive merch shop where you can buy all sorts of gear adorned with the company’s logo and a studio for original film and TV projects.CEO Lee Trink told The Washington Post that Faze is exploring ideas like gambling, ghost kitchens, and fan clubs and possible partnerships with Web3 companies.Faze Clan, one of the biggest esports companies in the world, has officially gone public via a SPAC merger with B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp.

Tesla sold 75 percent of its Bitcoin

When it comes to its business of making electric cars and solar products, the company is reporting that it made $2.26 billion in profit this quarter, around a 31 percent decrease from last quarter when it posted profits of $3.3 billion.Tesla already reported vehicle shipment numbers for the second quarter, and now its full Q2 2022 financial report (pdf) reveals it’s dealing with inflation and the overall economic downturn, as well as the “crypto winter” that has sent prices of Bitcoin plunging.The company attributes that to several factors, including “lower stock-based compensation expense,” more vehicle deliveries compared to last year, and an improved average selling price. Other difficulties the automaker reports are increased prices in everything from raw materials to logistics, higher fixed costs per car due to the closures in Shanghai, and, of course, the aforementioned “Bitcoin impairment.”In its earnings report, Tesla says it faced “limited production and shutdowns in Shanghai for the majority of the quarter,” but that it continued to ramp up production at its new facilities in Berlin and Austin, Texas.In the latest report, Tesla says the value of its remaining “digital assets” is $218 million, which it had reported at around $1.2 billion in previous quarters. In terms of profitability, the company is still doing better than it did in Q2 2021, where it made $1.1 billion on $11.9 billion in revenue.The profit was earned on $16.9 billion in revenue, which is also down from Q1, where the company reported bringing in $18.7 billion.Musk also reportedly said he has a “super bad feeling” about the economy when announcing the hiring freezes and layoffs at the company.This is the first full quarter since Tesla raised the prices on all of its cars by as much as 10 percent, and it raised prices again on select models in June. Last year, Tesla made a $1.5 billion investment in bitcoin and announced that it would accept bitcoin as payment. Tesla announced earlier this month that its deliveries have slowed down, dropping by around 18 percent compared to Q1.Despite the price increases, the company has broken with its trend of earning more per car each quarter.In late April, CEO Elon Musk sold billions of dollars worth of stock in the company to help pay for Twitter (a deal that has been a huge mess and is now headed to Delaware’s Court of Chancery after Elon tried to cancel the arrangement).In the letter to investors, Tesla execs reveal the company has sold 75 percent of its Bitcoin holdings.

250,000 car deliveries in one quarter can't save Tesla from dwindling revenue

The company was sure to point out that its total revenue grew 42 percent year over year to $16.9 billion, operating income had improved year over year to $2.5 billion (with an impressive 14.6 percent operating margin) and is currently sitting atop a $18.9 billion pile of cash. This could prove challenging given that the company produced nearly 18 percent fewer vehicles this quarter than last (though still up 27 percent year over year).The EV automaker announced on Wednesday's Q2 investors report that its automotive revenue has declined by more than 13 percent following last quarter's record-breaking mark despite ending the quarter with "the highest vehicle production month" in company history.The company invested $1.5 billion in the digital pseudo-currency in February 2021 and sold off a 10 percent stake a couple months later.Austin has begun producing vehicles with the company's new 4680 battery cells and the Berlin Gigafactory notched a production rate of more than a thousand vehicles in a single week during the last three months.To date, the company has delivered 564,743 vehicles and would need to sell another 935,257 of them by year's end to meet that goal. Per the company, Tesla produced 258,580 vehicles last quarter and delivered 201,304 of them.During last quarter's investor call, CEO Elon Musk estimated that the company could increase its annual deliveries by 60 percent in 2022.

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