Working remotely, Google Suite growth, Conference disruptions, Youtube Explorer tab, iOS14 features, Product Leadership challenges & more.

Welcome to a new edition of el producto

🏠 Special — Working remotely

In the coming days, thousands of us will have to stay working from home and perhaps even to stay quarantined. It may sound concerning, or even scary for some, but the world is far from stopping, and it’s in our hands to make the best out of this situation, and to help getting out of it as soon as possible.

For many professionals it’s going to be a first time working remotely, and it can be frustrating to feel that you are just “standing still” when there is some much uncertainty and anxiety around.

I was thinking about what can I do to help in such situation, and following the amazing example of Lucia Collará, I will dedicate 1h every evening to offer free consultation / advice / coaching / or just casual chats on Product Management to any impacted professional that would like to reach out.

Don’t be a stranger, reach out by Linkedin if you are interested, and we can schedule a call. Let’s help each other. We are all humans after all, and we are all on the same boat.

Stay safe.

Angel — El producto

The 3 problems everyone has when first working remotely (and how to solve them). No matter your role, if you work or have ever worked remotely, these challenges may sound familiar. Right time for this practical advice by InVision.

How to get people to actually participate in virtual meetings, 5 simple best practices by HBR.

How to lead a distributed team. 4 tips on what to do when your team is suddenly split across two or more locations by Jennifer Dennard.

🎰 The week in figures

2B: Google claims 2B-plus monthly active G Suite users; Gmail, Docs, Hangouts, and the other G Suite apps collectively reached 2B monthly active users at the end of last year.

£800M: The UK announces plans for an ARPA-like agency focused on developing cutting-edge tech; the government is committing £800M to the scheme, describing it as “blue skies funding”; previously leaked docs indicate the unnamed unit is expected to see high rates of failure.

$276.4M: Airbnb’s losses almost doubled in Q4; the company recorded a loss of $276.4M, which compares with $143.7M YoY; the company recorded $1.1B revenue, up 32% YoY; Airbnb has more than $2B cash-on-hand.

1M: Elon Musk congratulates the Tesla team on producing its one-millionth vehicle, a Model Y; Tesla is the first manufacturer to produce 1M EVs; the company had manufactured ~808k vehicles as of October 2019.

70%: Broadband and mobile services provider Telecom Italia saw a 70% increase in landline traffic following a nationwide lockdown prohibiting public gatherings and much of Italy’s commercial operations.

📰 What’s going on

Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft’s Board of Directors, plans to increase his focus on philanthropic initiatives addressing global health, education, climate change, more; he will remain a Technology Advisor for the company; Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975; he stepped away from day-to-day responsibilities in 2008.

Microsoft says this year’s Build developer conference will happen online; the event was scheduled to take place in Seattle this May but has been scuppered because of the coronavirus outbreak; follows similar moves for Google’s I/O event and Facebook’s f8 conference.

Facebook is testing cross-posting to Instagram (Instagram already supported cross-posting to Facebook Stories).

YouTube launches Explore tab on iOS and Android after ~2 years of beta testing; Explore replaces the Trending tab and adds shortcuts to categories including Gaming, Music, Learning, etc; also displays creators and music artists who are “on the rise”.

Google opens beta for the new Google Groups, slated to launch in general availability this year; the redesign brings the Usenet-linked newsgroups product in line with other G Suite products, like Gmail; some planned features, such as collaborative inboxes, are not available in the beta.

Google is making it easier to develop quantum machine-learning apps by adding a free open-source software add-on called TensorFlow Quantum to its popular TensorFlow toolkit.

Apple announces the Worldwide Developers Conference will take place in June as an online-only event; the company plans a keynote and numerous developer sessions; Apple also committed $1M to San Jose organizations to offset local revenue losses attributable to the cancellation of the physical event.

Apple to unveil new MacBook Air models next week, according to a MacRumors source; analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently predicted the company would launch MacBook Pro and Air models with scissor-switch keyboard mechanisms in the second quarter.

Apple will launch at least one new iPhone this year featuring a 3D depth sensor on the rear; the sensor will allow new photo, video, and AR experiences.

iOS 14 code contains details on a new iPad Pro, the iPhone 9, AirTags, and new Apple TV features; the code indicates the new iPad will feature a triple-lens camera array and a time-of-flight 3D sensor that could power AR features; a new workouts app for Apple TV will sync with Apple Watch and Apple Music for tracked exercise sessions. Apple is also developing an AR app codenamed Gobi; the code references AR integrations with Apple Stores and Starbucks; for instance, a user could point their iPhone at a product in an Apple Store to see detailed specs, virtual demonstrations, etc; iOS 14 also appears to enable full, system-wide support for mouse cursors; Apple added some support of external mice with iOS 13; the update reportedly will enable multiple cursor images, such as a pointing finger when hovered over a link.

Apple reopened all its Chinese stores on Mar 13; the company closed all 42 stores in the country on Feb 1 amid the coronavirus outbreak; Apple initially said the stores would be reopened by Feb 9. Apple has temporarily closed all 17 of its retail stores in Italy.

Amazon will start selling its cashier-free Go tech to other brick and mortar retailers; the company has signed deals with several firms, and it’s set to launch a website for companies who want to register their interest.

Didi Chuxing has launched a Postmates-style errands service; the company is offering deliveries for groceries, alcohol, medicines, and more across several cities; Didi previously piloted the service in the cities of Chengdu and Hangzhou.

Disney+ launches in India; the service is available at no extra cost via streaming platform Hotstar, which Disney also owns; Disney previously announced plans to expand Hotstar and Disney+ across Southeast Asia.

Airbnb announces fee-free cancellations for stays in the US, Mainland China, South Korea, and Italy; bookings have dropped ~40% across China and large European cities; reservations in Europe fell significantly over the last two weeks of February; Airbnb locations in Beijing are expected to report a 43% drop for March, which follows a 22% decline for last month; there have reportedly also been mass cancellations across multiple US cities including San Francisco and Chicago.

Remote learning tech companies see a surge in users as universities shutter classrooms to mitigate the spread of coronavirus; language-learning app Duolingo saw a 100-percent increase in its user base in China over the past month; videoconferencing company Zoom is offering temporarily free memberships to those impacted by the virus; TechCrunch lists other popular solutions for remote teaching

Just Eat institutes a no-touch policy for food drop-offs amid the coronavirus pandemic; delivery workers have been told to leave orders at customers’ doors to minimize the risk of community infection; Just Eat also says it has distributed hand sanitizers to workers and notes it’s engaging with restaurants to ensure good hygiene practices are followed.

Snap cancels its partner summit and is asking most of its staff to work from home amid the coronavirus outbreak; the company previously moved the April 2 event online, but will now postpone it indefinitely; the company’s offices will remain open for “critical business functions”.

Video games conference E3 has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak; E3 2020 was set to happen in early June.

Atlassian launches no-code automation for Jira Cloud; based on technology from Code Barrel, which Atlassian acquired in October; base functionality is free for all users; the company offers additional features based on subscription level; a drag-and-drop interface enables workflow and rule creation.

👩🏾‍💻 Good reads

Why you are not good at changing minds. Nir Eyal interviews Dr. Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School, and author of Contagious, Invisible Influence, and his newest book, The Catalyst.

How to overcome 6 key product leadership challenges. Roman Pichler shares the key takeaways of his latest book: How to Lead in Product Management.

Don’t let your obsession with Productivity kill your Creativity. Practical advice by HBR — Productivity is focus, creativity is “unfocus.”

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