Special — Work in times of 🦠
For many of us is already week 2 or 3 of confinement, and it is heartwarming to see that despite physical distances, Tech, Design and Product communities are coming closer together more than ever in order to make it through our current challenges in the best possible way.
This week we have collected more useful resources to support you working from home, and I will keep dedicating my evenings to offer free consultation / advice / coaching / casual chats to any impacted professionals that would like to reach out.
Don’t be a stranger, reach out by DM 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
Three valuable pieces by HBR:
- A guide for parents working from home.
- A guide to managing your (newly) remote workers.
- Virtual meetings don’t have to be boring.
Free webinar by InVision: How teams can master remote work, on March 25th and 26th. They also shared a list of Design resources for remote work.
Free online Product Management events, by Product School.
Introduction to remote work and collaboration, by the folks at Miro.
Working remotely? 5 ways to help your Product team thrive, by Teresa Torres.
10 suggestions on making the most from working from home, by Marty Cagan.
Product Coalition Podcast: Remote work special edition with distributed systems of work specialist Tim Buzza.
🎰 The week in figures
$7.5B: E-learning platform Yuanfudao raising round at $7.5B value. Chinese online education platform Yuanfudao, which is backed by tech giant Tencent Holdings, is close to completing a financing round that would value it at around $7.5 billion. Founded in 2012, the company offers online courses and homework plans to primary and secondary school students.
$4.6B: Indonesia-based “super app” Gojek — a single platform that provides a wide range of services like ride-hailing, food delivery, and payments — raised $1.2B. The funding round takes the company’s total disclosed funding to just under $4.6B.
$500M: Plant-based meat startup Impossible Foods raised $500M at a valuation of $4B.
$100M: Facebook plans to award $100M in ad credits and cash grants to 30k SMEs in more than 30 countries to help offset the impact of the coronavirus outbreak; Facebook will also pay all staff a $1k bonus to help them amid the outbreak; the firm’s ~45k workers will also receive an “exceeds” grade for their 2020 6-month review, thereby giving them access to other bonuses.
12.5M: Reporters without Borders launches Uncensored Library in “Minecraft,” enabling people in oppressive regimes to access censored news articles and sources; new articles appear as books in a virtual library constructed of 12.5M building blocks; the game’s redundant servers protect against attempts to delete or corrupt the library.
100,000: Amazon said that it would hire 100,000 new warehouse workers to meet the spike in coronavirus-driven demand.
45: A trial for a COVID-19 vaccine started this week, with a batch of 4 volunteers receiving injections in a study that will eventually include 45 people.
80%: Xiaomi says 80% of its supply chain is operational again after being impacted by the coronavirus outbreak; the company says it has also reopened more than 1k stores across China.
60–70%: Uber says ride bookings over recent days have dropped 60-70% in Seattle and some other cities amid the coronavirus pandemic; Dara Khosrowshahi says the company is in a place where it can wait things out, even if rides are down as much as 80% for the whole year; Khosrowshahi notes Uber is already exploring the prospect of using its driver network to deliver medicines and basic goods; Khosrowshahi also says the company has $10B cash-on-hand.
📰 What’s going on
Facebook begins rolling out its desktop redesign; adds a dark mode option, tabbed home screen, and more; first announced at F8 last year, the company started testing it publicly last October; the new design is currently opt-in but will become the default next year.
Instagram confirms it’s testing ephemeral messaging; the Snapchat-like feature will erase a chat thread once its been viewed; the mode is activated by swiping up within the Direct (messages) section; unknown if or when it will roll out.
YouTube, Amazon Prime and Netflix will temporarily reduce playback quality in Europe amid the coronavirus outbreak; YouTube will switch to standard definition by default; follows a request from the EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton, encouraging streaming services to reduce bandwidth needs.
Apple is set to add trackpad support to all iPads running iPadOS 13.4, which rolls out March 24; the company notes iPads will be able to connect to Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2, or third-party mice via Bluetooth or USB; follows the announcement of iPad Pro Magic Keyboard ($300 for 11-inch, $350 for 12.9-inch) which launches in May.
Apple announces refreshed MacBook Air featuring a scissor-switch keyboard; also adds 256GB storage for the base model, up from 128GB previously; starts at $1k ($900 for the education market).
Apple announces a new iPad Pro featuring a wide-angle lens, a ultrawide, and a LIDAR sensor and with depth sensing capabilities; available in 11-inch ($800), or 12.9-inch ($950); also supports trackpad controls; new iPad Pro will be released next week.
Apple announces a refreshed Mac Mini; the base model ($800) has a 256GB SSD, up from 128GB in the previous; runs on an Intel Core i3 CPU and features an Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU and 8GB RAM; available now.
Apple-owned Beats announces $150 Powerbeats 4 earbuds; promise 15h battery and feature Apple’s H1 chip for quick pairing and hands-free Siri control; IPX4 rated for sweat and water resistance; available now in black, white, and red.
Disney postpones the launch of Disney+ in India; the service was set to launch through subsidiary Hotstar in conjunction with the new Indian Premier League cricket season; the games have been delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
India-based restaurant discovery and delivery app Zomato plans to launch a grocery service; Zomato is in talks with grocery firms Grofers and BigBasket to act as suppliers; known as Zomato Market, it’s expected the delivery service will roll out next week.
UK-based fintech firm TransferWise partners with Alipay to allow money transfers to people based in China; TransferWise customers can send remittances using the recipient’s name and Alipay ID; follows TransferWise’s expansion to Asia late last year.
Tesla starts delivering its Model Y crossover to US customers, roughly six months ahead of the company’s initial schedule; the long-range Model Y starts at $53k, and promises up to 315 miles on a single charge
Just Eat cuts its take for 30 days to help restaurants during the COVID-19 crisis.
Niantic updates popular AR title “Pokémon GO” to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus; the game usually draws users to public locations to capture virtual creators; in observance of the CDC’s recommendation to practice social distancing, Niantic has implemented multiple changes to make the game more entertaining at home.
Airbnb looks for more private funding. Airbnb is reportedly fielding funding offers from private investors amid the sharp slowdown in travel and hospitality spending. The company has seen interest from VCs, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds, according to sources.
👩🏾💻 Good reads
How to help restaurants while under quarantine, from Instagram founder Mike Krieger. Officials are endorsing delivery as a safe way to get food as demand is surging. Complement with this good HBR article on how delivery technology is keeping Chinese cities afloat during this crisis.
Introduction to Product Discovery, by Product School.
Technological revolutions and the governance gap. Great read on the gap between tech progress and its organizational adoption.