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News & Analysis

Your 90-second guide to the day in tech

- April 30, 2021 3 MIN READ
Apple CEO TIm Cook

Yay! We’ve made it to Friday.

Remember to tune in for the Startup Daily show on Ausbiz.com.au  every weekday, 2-2.40pm. Watch online, download the ausbiz app or via 7Plus.

Here’s the latest tech news from around the world. 

 

She’s Apple

The world’s most valuable company, smashed market revenue expectations for the March quarter (Q2) by around US$12 billion, generating US$89.5bn in sales. The iPhone contributed $47.94 billion of that figure, services revenue $16.9 billion.

The earnings per share were more than double Wall Street predictions at $1.40.

While iPhone production is expected to continue unabated, at around 220 million units, the global chip shortage could see delays in MacBook and iPad production.
Apple also announced a US$90 billion share buyback, just to remind Alphabet, which announced a similar $50 billion plan the day before, who’s really boss.

More here.

 

Basecamp avalanche

You’ve probably know of DHH – David Heinemeier Hansson to his mum – the co-founder and CTO of Basecamp, perhaps because of his new email venture, Hey.com, and a fight with Apple over its 30% commission.

Well things have been moving quickly this week at Basecamp camp, and we thoroughly recommend Ed Zitron’s coverage, which doesn’t hold back given the title is “Basecamp is the ultimate example of startup management hubris and delusion“.

To backtrack: co-founder and CEO Jason Fried announced a ban on political and societal discussion on company comms. DHH had more to say.

But the Platformer’s Casey Newton revealed there were internal concerns about a somewhat childish, decade old list of customers with funny names and its potential racism.

Apparently on thing that stuck in the management craw was a staffer posting the Anti-Defamation League’s Pyramid of Hate. How the company responded to concerns was also an issue. Newton writes:

Interviews with a half-dozen Basecamp employees over the past day paint a portrait of a company where workers sought to advance Basecamp’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by having sensitive discussions about the company’s own failures. After months of fraught conversations, Fried and his co-founder, David Heinemeier Hansson moved to shut those conversations down.

DHH responded to Newton with this blog post.

Which brings us back to Zitron’s thoughts. They’re tough, but this middle-aged white guy recommends to you take the time to read it as food for thought over how you tackle concerns around diversity in the future.

We’ll stop there.

 

Investing in women

If I told you female founders in the US raised $22 billion in 2020, you’d be impressed, right?

What if I told you that represents 14.14% of the US$156bn total invested in startups last year, a record for venture capital? And that’s a drop from 2019’s 16.9%.

All Raise’s latest research found that all-female founded startups had just a 2.3% ($3.5bn), and even that was a drop from 2019’s 2.5% ($3.25bn).

“Despite industry-wide promises, 2020 was a setback year for women and non-binary individuals,” All Raise CEO Pam Koska wrote in the intro to the 2020 report.

 

Open source childcare

Rachel Carlson, 32, is co-founder and CEO of US edtech unicorn Guild Education, and she’s just managed to get affordable childcare – a fraught and expensive issue in Australia into her Denver HQ after years of hard work.

As she tells Forbes: “Every CEO I asked about opening a daycare said the insurance alone would be a nightmare”, but turns out the biggest issue was opening it in commercial space, which took her over 100 meetings with regulatory authorities to develop the centre.

As a consequence, Carlson is going to release  plans on how they did it for other tech companies follow suit. Her point is that looking after families is a good way to retain talent.

“We are building a playbook that open sources everything we’ve learned for any company to replicate,”she said.

More here.

 

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