Post-COVID: Which Behaviors Will Stick?

Post-COVID: Which Behaviors Will Stick?

It’s an overwhelming time right now. Everyone in the world is focused on COVID-19, and to varying degrees, is changing the way they live. From an economic perspective — beyond the obvious massive damage due to a halting of large swaths of the economy, which will need to be addressed with some form of government bailout — there will also be some amount of permanent restructuring. Many people are experiencing, for the first time, how many activities — work, learning, healthcare, and socializing — can be done remotely and in new ways using digital tools. For sure, when the dust settles, we will largely go back to doing things how we’ve always done them, but I suspect that certain new behaviors will stick, and will result in longer-term behavioral and economic changes. The most obvious one is business travel and remote work. Everyone who can is learning how to do this now — including companies/teams/individuals that may have resisted it mightily in the past. Moving forward, it’s going to be much harder to justify an in-person-only culture. Virtual...
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Firefox Better Web (with Scroll)

Firefox Better Web (with Scroll)

Ad blockers are hugely popular. Close to 800mm people around the world use them to avoid intrusive ads and data collection. I do not use an ad-blocker but I completely understand why one would choose to do so. And yet much of the media business is supported by advertising. There are a growing number of subscription-based media services, but many people cannot or won’t pay for content and the vast majority of content consumed on the web is advertising supported. So USV has long felt that a subscription-based ad blocker would make a lot of sense. Ad-supported publications could opt-in to get a piece of the subscription revenue and agree to block ads to the subscribers who have the ad blocker. And that is why we invested in our portfolio company Scroll which makes exactly that. And today, Scroll and Firefox are launching Firefox Better Web, which is a service inside of Firefox ($2.50 a month to start and $5 a month in time). I downloaded the latest version of Firefox this morning and signed up. It...
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Legal Capsule by LexCounsel

FORCE MAJEURE AND CORONAVIRUS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Part 1: Force Majeure and Suspension/Termination of Contracts Coronavirus (COVID-19) is turning out to be a twin fold pandemic – that started with affecting public health and soon spread throughout the economy. Sudden global shutdown and travel restrictions have brought the economy to a screeching halt, before most of us could...
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Why Companies May Benefit from More Transparency about Product Drawbacks

Why Companies May Benefit from More Transparency about Product Drawbacks

Source: Pixabay Most companies, quite expectedly, focus intensely on the positive attributes of their products and services when communicating with customers. They market all the benefits, and typically, they minimize any discussion of the limitations or drawbacks of the product. After all, who would want to shine a spotlight on negative attributes of your products? Well, Harvard Business School scholars Ryan Buell and MoonSoo Choi decided to challene the conventional wisdom. They sought to examine whether a bit more honesty and transparency might actually be beneficial for companies. Buell and MoonSoo Choi published their findings in a paper titled, "Improving Customer Compatibilitywith Operational Transparency." The scholars worked with Commonwealth Bank, a large Australian financial services company, to conduct a randomized field experiment. On the bank's website, potential new customers received one of two offers: one highlighted the best attributes of the company's credit card, while the other also mentioned key drawbacks that firms often tend to place in the fine print only. In short, the company made explicit...
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Project Roles & Their Responsibilities

Project Roles & Their Responsibilities

You’ve got a project to do. But who is going to execute that plan and turn the abstract into the practical? Your project team: the most valuable resource for your project. If you’ve been tasked with a project and think you can do it on your own, then you’re in for problems. No matter the size of the project, there are schedules and resources to manage, which is a full-time job. Then there are the people who take the various tasks and see them to completion: they need managing too. Project management requires a variety of roles, and each has their own responsibilities so that everything can progress as smoothly as possible. Therefore, before you begin that project, take a moment to read about the different project roles and their responsibilities. As an added bonus, we’ll detail the tools that can help each of those roles be more productive. Project Sponsor While there might be a more superior position, like executive sponsor, for most projects there is a project sponsor sitting on top of the project roles...
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Construction Sites Still Open! For Now

Construction Sites Still Open! For Now

I’m sure at 8:30pm last night we were all tuned into the announcement made by Boris Johnson, announcing the new measures giving only four reasons to be able to leave your home. One of these reasons was so you can travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”. However, the line between absolutely necessary and not absolutely necessary seems to be blurred. With some self-declaring themselves necessary and opening up shop this morning. Good news for our colleagues in the construction industry At the minute construction sites remains open. People in the construction industry, of course, want to remain open and believe they can do so whilst keeping in line with the new social distancing guidelines. Robert Jenrick, the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, tweeted shortly after the prime minister’s television address to the nation on 23rd March: “Advice for the housing, construction & building maintenance industries: If you can work from home, do so. If you are working on site, you can continue to do so. But follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing.” For PM’s...
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Here’s how to use all this free time you have now that you’re working from home

Here’s how to use all this free time you have now that you’re working from home

First of all, wow. You have so much free time now! No commuting time. No having to put on pants! FREEDOM! What are you going to do with it? You have to be disciplined about your work hours, but once you are off, you are OFF! So! Restaurants and bars are closed! That’s a bummer. I went to the asian grocery store yesterday and ALL OF THEIR RAMEN was gone. People! Eventually you are going to get sick of ramen! Please don’t make ramen the only thing you eat! I know you are worried about food costs. But in many cities now it is illegal to evict if you don’t pay your rent. And we might be getting a stimulus check from the government too! So… please just get some fresh veggies, chop them and stick them in the freezer if you don’t want them now. You can put them on top of your ramen! I recommend learning how to cook. Here are some of my favorite recipe books! Please get them from Powells.com instead of Amazon,...
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