el producto #178 ✊🏿

Silence is not an option, Designing for diversity, Google Currents, iOS translation tool, BBC’s voice assistant, Super apps, Lyft & Uber start catching up, more.

Welcome to a new edition of el producto

Before the usual news, there’s something more important we should all be talking about. Silence is not an option:

  • Tony McDade: Black transgender man killed in Tallahassee, Florida on May 27th, is at least the 12th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year in the U.S. McDade was allegedly killed by police
  • Ahmaud Arbery: A 25-year-old black man who was pursued by armed white residents of a coastal South Georgia neighborhood, and murdered while jogging
  • Breonna Taylor: Shortly after midnight on March 13, Louisville police, executing a search warrant, used a battering ram to crash into the apartment of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American emergency room technician. After a brief confrontation, they fired several shots, striking her at least eight times
  • Chris Cooper: Christian Cooper, an African American bird-watcher, who asked Amy Cooper, who is white, to put a leash on her dog in Central Park. She responded by threatening to call the police.”I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” she is heard on video saying
  • George Floyd: In Minneapolis, George Floyd was held to the ground by a police officer kneeling on his neck during an arrest. He begged for the officer to stop torturing him. Like Eric Garner, he said he couldn’t breathe. Three other police officers watched and did not intervene. Mr. Floyd was 46 years old

Though the circumstances around their deaths varied, there were commonalities. All victims were black. And, until there was outside intervention, no arrests were made against their killers

In America, black men receive longer sentences for the same crimes. An unarmed black person is 3.5x more likely to be shot by the police than an unarmed white person. Using a resume with a white name instead of a black name increases the chances of an interview by 2.5x

Please understand, Black people are exhausted, angry, afraid, hopeful, and grieving — all at the same time

The apps powering the protests

5–0 Radio Police Scanner provides an audio feed of police radio channels. The app was created by a single developer who is donating the proceeds to social action charities

Protestors are also turning to a messaging app called Signal. Signal is like Whatsapp, except with better security and encryption features, ensuring that messages and contacts aren’t shared if a phone is compromised. Most importantly, Signal is open source, which ensures that it can’t be tampered with by the government. The app just launched a face-blurring feature that adds another layer of anonymity to pictures shared through the app

Resources on allyship — by AngelList

Extensive list of anti-racism resources

$6.6B: Online grocery sales in the US jumped by 24% from April to May, reaching $6.6B. Compared with August 2019, the figure represented a 450% increase. 43M customers placed 73.5M orders online, with an average value of $90 per order.

~$2.7B: China-based games company NetEase has raised ~$2.7B ahead of its secondary listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange; NetEase offered 171M shares at ~$15.90 apiece

$2B: Amazon is considering a $2B stake in India-based telco Bharti Airtel; Amazon is in talks to acquire 5% of the company

1.8B: Zynga ($8.7B market cap) acquires Turkey-based games company Peak for $1.8B (cash and stock); represents Zynga’s largest-ever acquisition

169%: Zoom ($58.7B market cap) Q1 beats: $328.2M revenue, up 169% YoY ($202.7M expected); $0.20 EPS ($0.09 expected); reports 265.4M customers that have more than 10 staff, up 354% YoY

-20.2%: Q1 global smartphone shipments fell 20.2% when compared with the previous year; Samsung dropped 22.7%, Huawei 27.3%, Oppo 19.1%, and Apple 8.2%; Xiaomi grew its market share by 1.4%

-70%: Lyft says it has seen trip demand increase week-over-week since the week ending April 12, though it remains down YoY; bookings were down 70% YoY in May; Lyft announced in April it would reduce its workforce by 17%, furlough some employees, and reduce pay; the company expects a loss of no more than $325M (EBITDA) for the second quarter. Uber reported similar YoY descend in May, contrasting with growing Uber Eats orders

Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab launches GrabMart, a delivery service for essential groceries and select goods; GrabMart has partnered with 3k supermarkets and convenience stores in 50 cities across Southeast Asia

Google has started highlighting results within relevant pages for some Search items; clicking on Search results that show a snippet will take users through to the page where they’ll see the info highlighted

Google to launch Currents, the company’s enterprise-focused replacement for Google Plus, in general availability on July 6; Google News began as a magazine app called Currents; the new Currents is unrelated; enables G Suite users to chat, share media and polls, more; admins have additional moderation tools and can create custom feeds for employees

iOS 14iOS/iPadOS 14 is set to add a translation tool for Safari, and Apple Pencil support for websites; the translation feature will allow users to switch between languages without having to reload the page; Apple reportedly plans to add translation support throughout iOS/iPadOS

Apple launches open-source project Password Manager Resources; the software, available via GitHub, aims to help developers of password managers to generate strong passwords that meet specific websites’ requirements; the project lists sites with shared sign-in systems, links to pages for updating passwords, more

The BBC launches the first beta of its Beeb voice assistant; available to UK-based testers via the Windows Insider Program, Beeb is being designed to understand a broad array of accents; it will eventually be integrated into the BBC’s various digital offerings including its streaming platform iPlayer

China-based TikTok-owner ByteDance shuts down its news aggregation service TopBuzz; ByteDance launched TopBuzz in 2015, positioning it as a global version of its popular Chinese-language app Jinri Toutiao

Dropbox is testing a passwords manager app; known as Dropbox Passwords, it’s currently available via an invite-only beta for iOS and Android; similar to Dashlane and LastPass, the app promises to securely store user passwords; unknown if or when it will launch fully

Food delivery companies Delivery Hero and Just Eat Takeaway have expressed interest in merging with Grubhub, should that company’s talks with Uber fail due to antitrust concerns; the sources said Grubhub would face less scrutiny over a European sale; Uber and Grubhub have discussed a breakup fee

Messaging service Signal announces a blurring feature for its iOS and Android apps; users who share photos via the app will be able to quickly blur the identities of those featured; they can also blur out other details by manually selecting an area of the image

Indonesia-based ride-hailing and payments firm Gojek raises undisclosed sums from Facebook and PayPal; the investments are part of Gojek’s ongoing Series F; has raised more than $3B to date

The German government says it will mandate all gas stations add EV charging points; as part of a €130B (~$146B) economic recovery plan; the scheme includes higher taxes for gas-powered SUVs and plans for a €6k (~$6.7k) maximum subsidy for those purchasing EVs

Andreessen Horowitz launches Talent x Opportunity (TxO), a $2.2M fund aimed at seed-stage startups; A16z says the fund is focused on founders from underserved communities who have products that are showing some promise; the company notes TxO is designed to expand in size over time

Sega announces Game Gear Micro, a set of four ultra-small portable retro consoles featuring a 1.15-inch display; available in four colors — black, blue, red, and yellow; each color comes with its own set of built-in classic games; the black version features titles such as “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Out Run”; available for pre-order in Japan for ~$50 each, or ~$250 for all four with a magnifying screen; ships in October; unknown if there will be a broader release

Medium launches Newsletters, an expansion of the company’s Letters product; a publication can create a newsletter with a name and description and share a sign-up link; reader replies to newsletter emails go to publisher inboxes, initiating one-on-one conversations; each newsletter email is replicated on the publisher’s Medium page

How to begin designing for diversity. A guide to get you started in building equitable products, services, and content, written by Boyuan Gao and Jahan Mantin of Project Inkblot, with illustrations by Fanny Luor.

Why Super Apps are proliferating in emerging markets. Given WeChat’s tremendous success, it’s not surprising that the app serves as inspiration for a wide variety of companies. But while not everyone agrees that the model makes sense — they are proliferating across emerging markets

Use networks to prioritize product features, by Michael Dubakov. There are many prioritization techniques, but Michael argues there’s something important missing. These techniques are just linear models that work as good (or as bad) as intuition of an experienced product manager. Let’s bring in networks. Anton Iokov enhanced this idea further and proposes a network-based framework to prioritize features

Product Management Trends and Benchmarks Report 2020, by PMF

Productverse: an interactive visualization of the best product management tools by Product School

A design system business case & business benefits — the ultimate guide, by Matěj Káninský.

Essential tools for User Research, by Nick Babich

Product Management in the 21 Century, with Uber Sr PM Alex Marinov, by Product School. Monday, June 8, 20:30 CET, Free

Tech Circus Meets: Jeff Gothelf — Author of Lean UX, by The UX Crunch — Amsterdam, Wednesday, July 8, 19:00 CET, Free

Additionally, check out this Best Product Conferences in 2020 list put together by Product School

During 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

el producto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product leader perspective. Free forever. Sign-up here

Full-time learner, product stuff, “triathlete” & global traveller. Creating cool products @ Revolut, formerly @ Booking.com and @ Just Eat.