Another week of confinement, another week full of amazing initiatives to keep us inspired, creative and productive at home. I hope you enjoy the good reads and resources this week, once again focused on remote working and online events.
Stay safe, stay happy, keep thriving.
Angel — El producto
Online events next week:
- How to develop your first Product with Twitch Sr Product Manager, by Product School. Sunday, April 5, 2020 from 8:00 PM GMT. Free
- Debunking the Biggest Myths in PM with former Atlassian PM, by Product School, Sunday, April 5, 2020 from 6:30 PM GMT. Free
- Product Management Live Chat with Amazon Sr PM, by Product School. Tuesday, April 7, 6:30 PM GMT. Free
- Webinar: Product Management Pitfalls with Shopify Senior PM, by Product School. Wednesday, April 6, 6:30 PM GMT. Free
Crunchbase resources to help businesses during Covid-19 crisis. From market trends tracking, to finding resilient companies.
The “field guide” to remote working for large teams. By Maggie Leung, NerdWallet VP of Content. “There are no silver bullets. Strong remote teams are built on building trust and communicating consistently and effectively. There are many ways to get there — even if you have a team that’s in the deep end struggling to work well now.”
The virtual events crash course, by David Spinks for First Round Review. “See what resonates with your audience and if it works, keep doing it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes right now with virtual events — the bar isn’t very high.”
YC Alum advice for managing remote teams. Another extensive list of tools, advice and resources for current times.
More resources updated weekly at elproducto.eu.
🎰 The week in figures
$2.2B: Ride-hailing firm Via raises $400M Series E on a $2.2B post-money valuation; the company also operates an on-demand shuttle service in Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York City; has raised ~$600M to date.
$2B: Workplace productivity platform Notion raises $50M on a $2B post-money valuation from Index Ventures and others; the company provides online collaboration tools to enterprise customers; has raised $67M to date.
$1.1B: China-based e-commerce platform Pinduoduo raises $1.1B via a private share placement, financed by its long-term investors; Pinduoduo recently warned of losses because of the coronavirus outbreak; the company now says the funding gives it “strategic flexibility”.
$250M: Airbnb announces a $250M Host Relief Fund, which promises to help hosts with some costs amid the coronavirus outbreak; the company is also launching a $10M Superhost Relief Fund, offering grants of up to $5k to those who rent their personal homes on the platform.
10M: Uber says it will provide 10M free rides and food deliveries to some of those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak; the company says it will offer services to healthcare workers, senior citizens, and others; Uber plans to roll out the scheme over the coming months, focusing it on those most in need; the company is inviting enquiries from senior centers, hospitals, and more.
775%: Microsoft Azure cloud services have seen a 775% increase in usage across regions where home shelter orders are in place; Microsoft says since the coronavirus outbreak demand for Windows Virtual Desktop has tripled, and notes Teams is seeing an average of 44M daily users.
69%: Germany-based meal-kit firm HelloFresh says it expects quarterly revenue of €685M (~$755M) to €710M (~$783M), indicating growth of as much as 69% YoY; the company notes a surge in demand amid the coronavirus outbreak; shares in the company have risen as much as 14%.
19.1%: Huawei says its income grew 19.1% last year to $121B; the company suggests the figure would have been even greater if not for a US trade ban; Huawei says the US is unwilling to discuss measures to get it removed from the blacklist, though it notes it remains hopeful the situation will eventually change. Huawei’s net profit is up 5.6% YoY, it’s smallest annual growth in 3 years; at the same time last year, Huawei reported 25% growth; Huawei’s carrier business, which includes its 5G networking operations, grew 3.8% YoY
📰 What’s going on
WeWork sells Meetup.com to a group of investors including AlleyCorp; terms undisclosed; WeWork bought the company in 2017 for $156M.
YouTube plans to launch a TikTok competitor; known as Shorts, the feature will exist within the current YouTube app; it will let users create and upload short video clips, taking advantage of YouTube’s record label licensing deals; it’s unclear when the service will roll out.
Sanpachat gamifies social distancing; Zenly, a Snapchat-owned location app just added a leaderboard comparing who stays home the most.
Slack rolls out a feature that allows users to launch Microsoft Teams calls from its own service; it does not let Slack users handle the calls through Slack; Slack will also let users set Microsoft Teams Calls as their default calling service; additionally, Slack is adding support for VoIP services from Zoom, WebEx, Jabber, RingCentral, and Dialpad.
WhatsApp launches a fact-checking service in Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak; lets users pass along videos, photos, and other content circulating on the platform to check its veracity; all content is checked by local organization Facta.
Facebook launches Community Help, a tool that connects those offering help with neighbors who need it; Facebook says the service is aimed at facilitating grocery shops, food bank donations, and more; the company is testing Community Help in the US, the UK, France, Australia, and Canada; it says it will roll it out to more locations over time.
Facebook launches a standalone Messenger app for Windows 10 and macOS; offers messaging, group video calls, and more; supports dark mode.
Uber Eats announces a Restaurant Employee Relief Fund; the company is adding an in-app donate button, allowing customers to support local restaurants; Uber will match donations up to $2M, and will also contribute an additional $3M to the fund; the firm promises 100% of customer donations will go directly to the restaurants they’ve chosen to support.
Apple acquires weather app Dark Sky; terms undisclosed; Dark Sky co-founder Adam Grossman says there are no changes currently planned, but notes the Android version is no longer available to download; Dark Sky’s API will stop receiving support at the end of 2021, but it’s not accepting new sign-ups.
Apple Card customers are being given the option to defer their April payments without incurring interest or other penalties because of the coronavirus pandemic; Apple has written to customers informing them of the option, noting they will have to enroll in its Customer Assistance Program.
Apple will soon launch a 4.7-inch 2020 iPhone SE, according to a source for 9to5Mac; the device, previously rumored to be called iPhone 9, will be available in red, white, or black; it will also come with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB storage; expected imminently. Apple’s online store features a Belkin screen protector for iPhone SE; the listing references “InvisiGlass Ultra Screen Protection for iPhone SE/8/7,” indicating the new phone will have a similar design to iPhone 8 and iPhone 7.
Apple has referenced unreleased AirTags in a video posted to its Apple Support channel on YouTube; the since deleted video showed a reference to AirTags in the settings menu; AirTags are rumored to be Tile-like tracking tags, expected to launch in the first half of this year
Spotify launches its Spotify Kids app in the US, Canada, and France; listed as a beta app, it’s aimed at users aged aged 3 to 12; provides a playlists themed around movies, TV shows, and stories, as well as activities such as learning or playing.
Microsoft replaces its Office 365 consumer plans with Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions; Personal will be billed at $7 per month, Family $10 per month (up to 6 users); both plans offer access to Office, and will eventually include a consumer version of Microsoft Teams; the company will also introduce a Family Safety app for sharing personal location, managing users’ screen time, and more; the plans go live April 21.
Ikea-owner Ingka Group acquires computer vision firm Geomagical Labs; terms undisclosed; Geomagical has developed AI-powered smartphone tools for scanning a room and then digitally rearranging the furniture within it.
Teleconferencing firm Zoom updates its iOS app, removing code that transmits data to Facebook; the firm had been passing along info about a user’s location and their device whenever they opened the app; Zoom says it did not send personally identifiable data. Related: automated Zoom conference meeting finder ‘zWarDial’ discovers ~100 meetings per hour that aren’t protected by passwords.
Huawei open sources MindSpore, its AI app development framework; similar to Google’s TensorFlow or Facebook’s PyTorch, MindSpore works across devices, edge computing, and cloud environments; Mindspace has the support of Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh, Peking University, and others.
Samsung launches a Galaxy S20 buyback program that promises up to 50% of the full retail price; customers have to have purchased their device directly from Samsung, and it can be returned any time within 24 months; rebates will be based on the condition of the handset.
👩🏾💻 Good reads
How Slack uses Slack, by Tamar Yehoshua, Chief Product Officer at Slack.
10 consumer behaviours driven by the Covid-19 crisis. Will they persist?
How Cameo turned D-List celebrities into a monetization machine. Inside the surreal and lucrative two-sided marketplace of mediocre famous people
The economics of food delivery platforms. Great read on the multiple approaches taken by food delivery players. What’s good for the platform is bad for the ecosystem.
For the upcoming weeks (for as long as the Covid-19 crisis goes on) 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 let’s help each other. We are all humans after all, and we are all on the same boat.