Let’s Try Business - Granite Grok

Let’s Try Business

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Grok doesn’t do coordinated sections like newspapers do. Maybe there’s no need. But maybe we should take more interest in things related to business. After all, business determines what’s happening in the economy; at least to the extent the government allows it.

It puts money into worker’s pockets and tax dollars into government coffers. There is no economy without business. Somehow it just seems like a topic we should address more. So here goes. We’ll try it and see if anybody reads it.


Layoffs at tech startups have become widespread. It is so much so that no individual situation is getting much attention. To help you keep track, here is a list, drawn from The Information’s Kate Clark and Cory Weinberg. It is supplemented by reports from other publications.

The hope here is to provide value in showing the direct impact the virus is having. It may help show which companies and specific sectors are taking the brunt. There are also may be some ideas for companies still thinking of hiring where they can find candidates.

Travel/hospitality sector: Sonder 33% of staff cut, TripActions 20%-25%, The Guild about 20%, Cabin about 20%, Vacasa “hundreds” cut out of total staff of 6,000, Zeus Living 33%, Lola 30%, Wanderjaunt 15%-20%. Real estate: Divvy Homes 8%, Compass 15%, Convene 20%, Clutter (number uncertain). Education/child care: Wonderschool 75%. Recruiting: Triplebyte 20% Direct to consumer:
Eight Sleep 20%. Research: Second Measure single-digit number.

Pay cuts

We are seeing a re-appearance of the 2009-era alternative to layoffs: pay cuts. BuzzFeed is reportedly cutting salaries across the board for the next few weeks. It is gearing up for what it expects to happen, a drop in advertising. According to the Daily Beast, the cuts range from 5% for low-paid employees to 25% for executives.

The advantage of pay cuts is the impact is less damaging to employees, particularly if it is temporary. BuzzFeed’s cuts will last for at least two months. Longer-term, it’s likely to hurt recruiting and retention. But right now, that’s far from anyone’s mind.

Workforce retention

WeWork is taking the opposite tack to BuzzFeed. It is offering employees willing to turn up at its co-working spaces bonuses of $100 a day. That’s according to the New York Times. WeWork doesn’t want to shut down its co-working spaces, given the financial pressure it is under. So this is the first article in the “let’s try business.” There will be a couple more today so let us know if there’s value in this diversity… or not. It’s all good.