Startup Stash - Startups 2022 & the New WFH Movement 🔕

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Growing Pains & Startups Growing Confidence 

According to a new report from Angel Investment Network, the startup ecosystem in the U.S. and the U.K. is seeing renewed confidence. About three-quarters of the startups surveyed say they’re now confident about entering 2022.

This shift in confidence levels is further underscored by the fact that 62% of U.S. and 59% of U.K. startups reported negative growth rates in the past year. And it’s not that startups aren’t anticipating challenges. There are still a lot hurdles to navigate.

Raising investment, for one, is the biggest challenge, according to 85% of all startups surveyed. In both countries investors have been demanding too much stake in the business. Plus, more than 40% of startups in both countries felt they didn’t have a good understanding of the fundraising process, suggesting demand for more transparency. 

Source: 2021

Despite these hurdles, both countries firmly believe that governments play a key role in promoting the startup ecosystem, through tax relief and dedicated funding for startup investment. The U.S. has already taken some positive steps to boost startups and small businesses badly hit in 2020. 

Bolstering startup confidence are also the 2022 business predictions that throw a positive light on growth. Gartner, for one, has made some awesome predictions for the next few years - including 80% better performance and a 70% reduction in privacy issues. 

Hiring Custormers!

During its infancy stage, organic baby food company, Little Spoon’s founder were overwhelmed with handling several customer service calls all by themselves. Then they had an aha! moment: Who understands babies more than parents? They would be great at relating to other parents’ travails which would make them great customer service associates.

The four co-founders then built a distributed customer service network composed mostly of part-time parents. 

What they found was that a lot of parents just wanted to talk. They wanted to know that they were not alone. They kept popping up the same question: "Is this normal?" 

This inspired the Little Spoon team with another great idea. They built an online community around the question, where parents could ask about anything from connecting with their spouse after having kids to tips for fussy sleepers. The community then expanded to (pre-pandemic) real-life hangouts, Facebook groups, and card games that launched in April 2021--all connected by the idea of parents providing support and validation to each other. 

Since launching in April 2019, Little Spoon's subscriber base has increased by 250%.

Zoom's Zooming with Corporate America

Zoom, the video conferencing darling of the remote working world, reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings last week. 

  • Earnings: $1.11 per share
  • Revenue: $1.05 billion

This, despite the fact that growth has slowed for the company after surging 326% year over year in 2020, as workers return to offices. Corporate America, though, appears to be a strong supporter of the company: Despite, fierce competition from Microsoft Teams, and Verizon, Zoom’s enterprise contracts with large employers more than doubled last quarter.

Pandemic's Next WFH Movement 

Our mass acclimation to remote (pandemic) work has accelerated a movement that is seeing real-time communication and synchronized work schedules as optional. Why should we coordinate in teams? Why must our work depend on others? That’s the notion of asynchronous work, and it’s here to stay.

Some numbers to show how our tolerance for coordinated hours has shrunk:

  • 5: Hours per day that 90% workers spent checking messenger apps
  • 20%: Share of time by which the average meeting has shrunk since the pandemic began
  • 25%: Share of workers who said they would take a 10-20% pay cut to WFH after the pandemic

Shorts ⏳
Sing Along w/ Spotify - After podcasts and videos, Spotify will now be entering the Karaoke industry. 

No Room for Women Leaders - Sweden’s first-ever female prime minister was forced to resign just hours after her appointment

Some Good News - More women than men are going to college (2 male students for every 3 female students) - one of the more progressive trends of our times

Weed by Uber - Uber has partnered with cannabis supplier Tokyo Smoke to make weed deliveries in Canada.

More animal rights - Octopuses, crabs, and lobsters will get more rights after the UK expands its protection laws.

Fun ironies -The US Secretary of State is offering advice to Nigeria on how to control police brutality
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