May 14, 2020
Original Image: skinnylawyer, Wikimedia Commons
Good morning! This Thursday, Splunk's CEO thinks business travel will come back, updated guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program, and Epic Games keeps on impressing. Want Index in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.
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Some people are pretty convinced that travel is never coming back — not like it used to be, at least. The most widely-touted theory is that we've all realized how inessential most business travel is: Why fly around the world when you can just do your meeting via Zoom? According to Splunk CEO Doug Merritt, there's a simple reason: We're human.
"We did do more than one $1 million+ transaction with a net-new customer during the past two months, so it's certainly possible," he added. But it's much harder. "You can do more when you're physically in the room … we need to be face to face," especially in something like sales.
There are other remote practices Splunk wants to embrace, too. "17% of the [employee] population have voiced interest in moving," Merritt told me, with people thinking about leaving cities to work remotely from their hometowns instead.
Aptly for the CEO of a data platform company, Merritt is an advocate of being led by data. "You've got to approach the data with 'what is it going to tell me,' not 'I make it tell me what I want it to tell me,'" he said. That's something he wants to see more of in this crisis: When the data changes, you need to have the "courage" to change your positions, too.
The Small Business Administration released updated guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program yesterday, and it looks like good news for startups.
What does this mean? If a startup, with its affiliates, borrowed less than $2 million, it probably won't need to prove that it asked its investors, banks, and the like for alternative funding sources.
Epic Games is the most impressive company in the world right now. It's got a portfolio of phenomenal products: one of the world's most popular games, one of the world's fastest-growing apps, and even one of the world's best game engines. The latter got a major update yesterday with the announcement of the jaw-dropping Unreal Engine 5. The demo is phenomenally pretty, and even more fascinating are the licensing terms: The company will waive royalties on developers' first $1 million in sales. Yet Epic is still worth "significantly higher than $15 billion." Like I said: impressive.