Startup Stash - Fool's Frenzy, Dimes & Slack Groups 🃏

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Why Are Startups Firing People?
  • Since January, nearly 50 startups have made significant layoffs. 
  • Public tech companies like Uber have decided to cut down on marketing spend and hiring. 
  • Larger companies, like Meta, have already implemented hiring freezes and warned staff that cutbacks may be coming. 
  • Even Tesla has warned of laying-off 10% staff and firing employees who don’t serve a minimum 40-hours a week in office. 

The worker community that was once riding the high of the ‘great resignation’ is now reeling from the 'great firing'. 

What’s causing this grim situation? 

Investor enthusiasm has buoyed the startup ecosystem for the past few years, as valuations and average funding rounds reached new heights. But now many are realising that that was just a fool's frenzy. Investors have started advising founders to spend conservatively with the expectation that raising the next round might not be as breezy. 

This is because of broader economic factors—rising interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical uncertainty. Cash reserves are important to weather the storm.

Kruze Consulting, an accounting firm that works with more than 600 venture-backed startups, says its clients now have $5.42 million on average in cash, as compared to $3.27 million in 2018. But the same clients now expect their cash to last them 26 months as compared to the 12-month average in 2018. 

So while the bank balances have ballooned, spending has trimmed.

The primary expense for early-stage startups is people, and people have become a lot more expensive, thanks to inflation. 

Startups are paying 20% more for engineers than they were a year ago. In the current hiring climate, mid-career software engineers expect a salary of $200,000 or more. Experienced engineers receive more than $400,000 cash, plus equity—often more than $1 million in total compensation.

It’s almost becoming capital-intensive just to hire talent.



Popular Communities

Slack’s networking channels are the new job search engines for tech startups and employees, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In the past two years, Slack-based networking groups have grown, providing a way for people to swap career advice and tips. The app has become a hotbed of B2B communities.

Reasons:

  • Cost: Using just the free version of Slack, communities and founders can get in touch with potential employees and thus trim expenses.
  • Direct Communication: Workers can connect directly with managers and founders of companies, bypassing the traditional HR process. One worker claims that within a week of joining a cybersecurity marketing community on Slack, he had ~20 interviews scheduled.
Job posting on a Slack channel

People are interacting with industry leaders and employees from different fields. They can be located anywhere and still have conversations and connect. Job matches often come about from employees sharing opportunities at their companies.

For instance, Maria Velasquez, met her future boss, last fall when he asked for advice on data translation on a Slack group and she told him about a tool she had used. Later that year, when he posted a job opening to the group, Mrs. Velasquez responded quickly—and got hired.

Here's a list of some great Slack communities. 



Reimagining Tampons

This startup is re-engineering the tampon. 

Tampons can leak at inopportune times. That’s why Greta Meyer and Amanda Calabrese founded Sequel.

How does Sequel work?

Most tampons have vertical channels that allow them to expand from the core to the outside as they fill with liquid. Because of this the tampons absorbed unevenly and leaked before they were full.

Sequel’s grooves are spiral, lengthening the flow path and slowing the flow. Absorption is more even, reducing leaks as well as discomfort caused by dry spots during removal. As a result, a higher percentage of each tampon is used

Why hasn’t anyone ‘re-engineered’ the tampon before?

There are newer D2C brands offering tampons made from organic cotton or infused with CBD, but the U.S. tampon industry isn’t easy to break into because tampons are a medical device that must be FDA-approved.



Dollars Into Dimes

More than a third of Americans earning at least $250,000 annually are living paycheck to paycheck, underscoring how inflation is taking a bigger bite out of Americans’ budgets.

According to a survey by Pymnts.com and LendingClub Corp.

  • 36% of households earning nearly four times the median US salary devote nearly all of their income to household expenses.
  • 61.3% reported living paycheck to paycheck in April.
  • Millennials were more likely to report running out of money by the end of the month. 
  • One in nine respondents said that they wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency expense by any means, including credit cards, borrowing from family or friends or by selling an asset

But even these top earners struggling to pay the bills, are much better off than the rest of the nation, which is facing soaring prices for everything from food to gas and electricity.


Shorts ⏳
Emancipate From Google - Murena One is the first privacy-focussed Android smartphone, that tries to free you from Google. 

100% Swiss Worms - Entomos is the first company in Switzerland allowed to breed and sell edible insects.

Costliest Liquor - The world's largest whisky bottle dubbed 'The Intrepid' was sold for $1.4 million at auction.

No More Free Work - The White House announced that it would start paying its interns for the first time in history.

Meme Catalogues - An encyclopaedia of literally every meme on the internet. 

Startup Learnings - This guy has documented his learnings from years of code auditing several early stage tech startups. 

Fast Funds - Founded just 9 months ago, security startup Chainguard lands $50 million in investment.

Inflation Records - Turkey's inflation rate hit 73% - a 23-year high - as food and energy prices soar. 


Stash Recommends: Tools to Explore
🧞‍♂️ GeanyA robust, stable, and lightweight programmer's text editor with a wealth of features that won't slow down your productivity.

🥣 Sublime MergeThis app dev tool raises the benchmark for performance with a snappy cross-platform GUI toolkit and a proprietary high-throughput Git reading library.

⚛️ AtomAn Electron-based text editor developed by the GitHub team that supports plugins, themes, and languages.

📞 HelpCrunch: A customizable and flexible live chat customer service solution for your SaaS or e-commerce business.


 
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