July 26, 2022
Photo: National Cancer Institute/Unsplash
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. Our editor Meg is on vacation, which is great for her, but sad for me. If you miss her as much as I do, check out her interview on This Week in Tech. Today: why an Amazon-owned One Medical may be difficult for consumers and employers to deny, health care startup layoffs and a burst in unionization.
Amazon is buying One Medical for $3.9 billion, and the deal’s not only shaking up direct-to-consumer care, but employer-based health care as well. Some consumers are less than pleased that Amazon — in addition to being their grocer via Whole Foods, their convenience store via Prime and their home assistant via Alexa — is poised to be their primary care provider, too. But convenient digital primary care access may outweigh any data concerns.
Consumers and human resource managers will have to decide themselves whether to embrace an Amazonified One Medical. The purchase may ring antitrust alarm bells, but it will be difficult for regulators to target as it’s not a monopoly in the traditional sense.
But for some people, Amazon meshing retail and medical businesses together is a terrifying thought. Why? It’s a powerful amount of data.
Experts don’t think the data aspect will scare away potential individual or enterprise customers.
One Medical isn’t the only option out there, though. If nervous employees lobby against an Amazon-backed One Medical or employers become spooked, enterprises and consumers can always go elsewhere. Once the deal is finalized, it will be interesting to see how an Amazon-owned One Medical pitches itself.email| twitter)
Anyone else having a bad case of Great Resignation whiplash? It’s hard to keep up with which tech companies are growing, shrinking, floating or sinking. We’re here to help.
↓ Shopify is laying off 10% of its workforce, The Wall Street Journal reports. The layoffs will impact roughly 1,000 workers. CEO Tobi Lütke told employees that consumers are making fewer online orders, slowing revenue for the company.
↓ Mural is doing a second round of layoffs, the company confirmed to Protocol last week. It didn’t say how many people would be affected.
↓ Several health care startups had layoffs last week: New York-based Capsule cut 13% of employees, Seattle-based 98point6 slashed 10% of its staff and Seattle-based RealSelf let 11 people go, or 5% of its workforce.
They created Digital People. Now they've made celebrities available as Digital Twins: Soul Machines co-founder and CEO Greg Cross and his co-founder Mark Sagar, Ph.D., FRSNZ are leading their Auckland and San Francisco-based teams to create AI-enabled Digital People to populate the internet, at first, and soon the metaverse.
Feel like you’ve been hearing lots of rumblings of worker organizing? It’s not just in your head — unionization is on a tear, folks. We’re six months into 2022 and already the number of groups filing to unionize has surpassed the total for last year. The National Labor Relations Board said on July 15 that the number of union petitions in the first nine months of the 2022 fiscal year increased by 58% compared to the same time last year: nearly 2,000 this year compared to fewer than 1,200 last year.
“The NLRB is processing the most cases it has seen in years with the lowest staffing levels in the past six decades,” NLRB general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo said in the press release.
Some companies are doing their first round of layoffs. Others are already onto a second round.
SignalFire CEO Chris Farmer explains why he decided to invest in a downturn.
Impossible Foods is fighting to protect a key ingredient in meatless meat from competitors.
They created Digital People. Now they've made celebrities available as Digital Twins:Soul Machines is at the cutting edge of AGI research with its unique Digital Brain, based on the latest neuroscience and developmental psychology research.
A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.
The EEOC issued a cause finding against Tesla. (CNBC)
A new report details how remote workers are more productive than ever. (National Bureau of Economic Research)
Google fired Blake Lemoine, the worker who claimed the company’s chatbot generator was sentient. (The Washington Post)
Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to email@example.com.