Why is counting video callers so complicated?
Good morning! This Friday, it's almost impossible to make sense of how many video calls we're all making, Amazon isn't going to turn a profit next quarter, and a sneak peek at Protocol's new VC and startup newsletter.
Also, we're co-hosting a virtual event next Thursday with sf.citi and sea.citi all about tech's race to respond to COVID-19. We'll have folks from Slack, Twitter, Postmates, Amazon and more with us — and we hope you'll join us too! Register here to save your spot.
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Amazon shopping is way up, but Jeff Bezos said it won't mean big profits:
Some fintech startups are winning by not building products for themselves, Chime CEO Chris Britt said:
Warren Buffett got an iPhone — and the most impressive customer-service team in history:
Adaptability has been vital to keeping up with the pandemic, Amazon head of workplace health and safety Heather MacDougall said:
Approximately 65,000 times a day for the last month, I've gotten an email from some tech company that wants to talk about how fast it's growing. Spoiler: Everybody's using the internet more. The numbers, they're big!
But all these claims of growth have made clear that even when we talk about hard data, we're not all actually talking about the same thing. Take video as one example:
To recap, here's what we actually think we know:
The same principle holds across so many industries right now. Coronavirus has changed the fortunes and trajectories for a number of businesses, but we don't yet have the data to see who's really going to win and lose in the long run.
All we know for sure? Everyone's having too many video meetings.
In terms of "metrics that are actually useful," Okta's tracking of how often users open apps is as good a proxy for popularity as any. And in its newest report, in addition to once again confirming that everyone's in too many video meetings — Zoom was Okta's fastest-growing app — Okta found some surprising trends.
Turns out security is the other big thing on everyone's mind:
As so many companies rushed out WFH procedures they jumped on any tool that would help keep a distributed team secure.
One other interesting tidbit: Okta's data pinpoints March 6 as The Last Day Before Everything Changed. That was a Friday — by Monday, nearly every workplace trend went haywire. And March 23, for whatever reason, seems to have been Peak Remote Work Day so far.
Launching this Saturday: Protocol Pipeline by Biz Carson
Be ready for that Monday partner meeting. Your weekly Saturday newsletter to the fast changing venture capital and startup world.
If you haven't signed up to get Biz Carson's new weekly Pipeline newsletter about all things venture capital, well, you should. To prove it, here's a sneak peek from Biz of tomorrow's issue — an interview with Paul Buchheit, the Gmail creator and current Y Combinator partner.
Paul Buchheit has an audacious goal: wipe out COVID-19 by the end of 2020. If that makes you raise your eyebrows … that's OK.
Buchheit knows all that. But his approach is a clear distillation of a venture capitalist's view of big vision, big risk — and potentially big rewards.
This week's Pipeline also features an interview with Greylock's Sarah Guo, and everything else you need to know about what's happening in the VC world. Subscribe now to get it tomorrow!
Abby Kearns is the new CTO of Puppet, a popular devops tool. She was previously the executive director of Cloud Foundry, and said part of her new job is to fix Puppet's "perception problem" in the market.
Cynthia Hogan, Apple's VP of public policy and government affairs, is one of four membersof Joe Biden's VP-selection team. She worked with Biden when he was VP, and previously in the Senate as well.
Protocol's Janko Roettgers sends this in: When Robert Downey Jr. announced last summer he wanted to clean up the planet with robots and nanotechnology, fans cheered him on. A real-life Tony Stark! 10 months later, Downey finally unveiled his Footprint Coalition (check out the 1990s-looking website!), and all but admitted that he had underestimated the challenge. Instead of cleaning up all the oceans by himself, Downey now wants to invest in clean technology. "We are on a quest for people and companies that can imagine a more sustainable and resilient way forward, for humanity and for Mother Earth," said Footprint Coalition Ventures managing partner Jonathan Schulhof, who seems to be the Pepper Potts in Downey's world-saving plot. Downey should now have plenty of time to … I don't know, build a Palladium Arc Reactor?
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or our tips line, email@example.com. Enjoy your weekend, see you Monday.