Text comeback is inevitable – TechCrunch
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On Equity this week, we discussed the value of the written word. You can imagine that the resulting argument is inherently flawed, given that we are three journalists who bet our livelihoods on ink; but, I promise, there are more nuances here beyond the importance of a lede.
We recently published a recent in-depth study on Automattic, the commercial media company behind the WordPress publishing platform. Founded in 2005, Automattic is one of the few companies to have evolved and made its way through a graveyard of media sites. Valued at $ 7.5 billion, it has also convinced investors of the financial promise of its vision.
I was most struck by how the text shaped Automattic’s hiring process: the company offers a purely written interview, where potential new hires never need to reveal their faces or voices. to anyone through the recruiting funnel. This removes the bias inherent in a Zoom interview, which is basically just a digital version of a face-to-face interview. Monica Ohara, Marketing Director of WordPress.com, explained her thinking in more detail:
“You normally think you have to talk to them; see them on video. With text only, you remove all of those biases and focus on the content of what they are saying, and also test a really important communication style in a distributed team.
“In Silicon Valley, everyone is competing for the same people who would add diversity to your pool. Which is good for these people, but what about all the others who do not have these opportunities because of where they were born or live? For me, I was born in the Philippines and if I hadn’t had the chance to move here, I would be living a different life.
Rethinking the value of text, in the same way we’re rethinking how many synchronous meetings should be on our calendar, seems like the natural next step for companies looking to scale distributed work. Even in a world seemingly ruled by shorthand video, words – and sound – seem to matter that other formats never will.
In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll be talking about PayPal’s reported new friend, the Chinese venture capital market, and not at all about Facebook’s impending new rebranding.
PayPal chooses Pinterest
We took to Twitter Spaces this week after rumors surfaced that PayPal could buy Pinterest for $ 45 billion. The fintech giant has embarked on a sort of acquisition frenzy, but taking hold of a social photo-sharing platform may indicate that it craves owning the content, not just the customer.
Here’s what you need to know: It sounds nostalgic. PayPal is potentially teaming up with a more content-focused e-commerce business, more than half a decade after divorcing eBay. But, as Jareau Wadé, Chief Growth Officer of Finix, pointed out, Pinterest isn’t a shopping destination like eBay – it’s a place where purchases begin for nearly 450 million users.
In a Substack article, Wadé makes the following argument to describe why PayPal can buy Pinterest:
At its core, Pinterest looks more like Google than eBay. It’s a search engine that performs over 5 billion searches per month for fuzzy, hard-to-describe ideas where pictures, rather than words, are often the best place to start. It also has a growing advertising business which produced $ 613 million in the last quarter, up 125% year-over-year. With Pinterest, PayPal would buy the top of the funnel – the awareness and interest stages – for millions of websites on the internet. PayPal would provide Pinterest with the bottom of the funnel, allowing them to see purchases resulting from purchases that started on Pinterest.
Imagine if PayPal could use its core product and the business assets it has acquired over the past five years to create a deconstructed sales funnel, not just for one website, but the entire Internet.
Put a pin in it:
China is prospering
CB Insights data shows us that, aside from a single oversized 2018 cycle, China’s third quarter 2021 was the best three-month period ever for Chinese startups, both in terms of transaction value. and number of transactions.
Here’s what you need to know: We are also surprised. Regarding equities, we discussed how the growth of the Chinese venture capital market contrasts with government restrictions in the region. It seems that the impact of regulation hasn’t stopped all companies from growing and expanding their businesses there.
TC sessions: SaaS 2021, it’s next week! My colleagues put on an incredible show about the industry that apparently can’t stop attracting millions of investors. We’ll see what stopped eating the world, how hunger turns into innovation and definitely hit some SaaSy ratings through expert panels.
Consult the event agenda, buy your pass and come meet us on October 27.
All week long
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