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Tech Bytes – Week of Mar 7

📰 Recent Top Tech News

  1. Square Payments acquires Tidal Music Streaming – A Financial Symphony?

  2. Bank of America uses Virtual Reality for Training – A Cure to Zoom Fatigue?

  3. Tesla supercharges its fans with Tesla Engagement Portal


1. Square, the payments company, acquired Jay-Z owned streaming service, Tidal for $297mn. Jay-Z, now the world’s richest musician-businessman, had bought Tidal for $56m in 2017. Square also has a fast-growing Cash App with a strong customer base in the music industry.

🔎 Our Take

  • Jack Dorsey is known for running two completely disconnected companies: Twitter, the social media site and Square Payments, known for its payment dongles. This acquisition is another seemingly disconnected company. However, Tidal could prove to be a good way to acquire customers for Cash App and therefore Square overall.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Like Tidal potentially being used for acquiring customers for Square, consider new services or new audiences you can get into can get you in touch with new customers for your main business. Try joining new groups online and offline. Connect people across your network and see your value go up too.

2. Bank of America brings Virtual Reality instructions to its employees, completing a pilot with 400 employees and now scaling up to its 45,000 employees. They partnered with Strivr, a VR startup, with future training modules on practising empathy. Strivr’s biggest customer is Walmart, working with them since 2017.

🔎 Our Take

  • With physical distancing still a norm, and training new employees and upskilling existing employees remaining a critical part of running a business, Training plays an important role in any company. With large organisations, this has typically defaulted to Zoom style video conferencing for training, which has led to the self-explanatory term “Zoom Fatigue”. We expect more innovative methods to teach and communicate to become more common, such as 3D games, Virtual and Augmented Reality.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Consider how you are handling your new and existing teams who are joining you in a post-COVID reality. Use a variety of mediums, including handwritten or physically printed notes, online games, and of course, where possible – physically distanced in-person meetings, to keep your onboard process interesting.

  • This applies to new clients as well – a novel experience can help you stand out from every other Zoom/Teams/Meet based onboarding.

3. Tesla launched a new online portal called Tesla Engagement Portal, where Tesla posts actions its users can take, like contacting government officials regarding a potential law that could affect Tesla. This comes right after shutting down the Tesla online forums, directing the community to the new engagement portal instead.

🔎 Our Take

  • Tesla is known for radical moves, thanks to its radical CEO, Elon Musk. This move channels the fan base of Tesla towards helping the company’s goals, such as Disaster Relief, and writing to politicians to allow easier Tesla sales. Tesla fans are quite loyal and enjoy the community, so this just sets them in a direction that is beneficial for the company as well.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • If you have been running a business for a while, you will have super fans who really enjoy what you do. Let them know how they can help you, from something as simple as writing a review for your business online or supporting your next initiative by re-sharing your posts or forwarding an email. Your fans would be willing to do so if they are just asked.

Jargon Buster

  • SPAC – Special Purpose Acquisition Company. These are nicknamed ‘blank check’ companies.

  • These are shell companies (A) that are listed on the stock exchange, and then later acquire a private company (B). The actual target is (B), but since (A) is listed first, it does not need to go through a full Initial Public Offering process, allowing (B) to remain mostly a secret from the public.

  • In 2020, SPACs raised a record $82 Billion by being listed on US stock markets

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