Faire CTO Marcelo Cortes
Photo: Faire

This CTO never answers his phone, doesn’t touch his calendar and cancels meetings regularly

Protocol Workplace

Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. Here’s a little something for anyone who welcomed a new co-worker this week. Today: How Faire’s CTO manages multiple meetings, why Twilio’s CEO wants employees to take the long-term view on equity compensations and how much are freelancers charging for their work these days?

Got tips or suggestions for what you want to read more/less of? Email me.

See you Tuesday!

Meg Morrone, senior editor

Rapid fire with Faire CTO Marcelo Cortes

This is an excerpt from Protocol’s Calendar Series, where we take you inside a day in the life of some of the world’s biggest tech execs: the meetings on their agenda, how they manage their time, their best productivity hacks and what they prioritize in a busy day. Read the rest of the series and the full interview with Marcelo Cortes.

Any hard and fast rules for your calendar, like no meetings after a certain time?

No, I’m very easy. I try to accommodate everything. [My EA] Carolyn knows when my time has to be protected, especially if it’s something that cannot conflict or cannot be changed.

Outlook or Gmail?


Phone calls or Zoom?

Zoom. I don’t answer my phone. It’s too many random calls, people trying to sell me things, asking for jobs. I only answer if I know exactly who you are and why you’re trying to reach me.

Optimal meeting length?

I think 30 minutes. Very rarely should they be longer than that.

Do you ever do focus days with no meetings?

I don’t, but [Faire co-founder and CEO] Max [Rhodes] has been doing that. He calls it his special little day. We do have no-meeting Wednesday afternoons but mine always gets meetings in there somehow. I am thinking of having a day just for myself once in a while.

Do you keep a separate calendar for your personal life?

No, it’s the same. My wife adds things there, Carolyn adds things there. And the only rule I have is that I do not add anything there anymore. Because every time, nowadays, when I try to add things there, I create more problems. And so I always go to Carolyn to make changes.

Is there anything you will make time for no matter what?

No, no. I’m very flexible, and I’m not a planner either. So I change things a lot. And very often, I’m fine with that.

Your favorite productivity hack?

One thing that I do very often that I think is mandatory is to stop, look at my whole calendar for a week, figure out what type of meetings I’m having and make sure that I’m spending my time right. Are the things that I’m doing the most impactful that I can do for my position? And I stop having a lot of meetings that I was having every time I do this, and I add new meetings or change the cadence of meetings. Not too long ago, for example, I would meet with all of my managers every month. There’s almost 30 of them. It’s impossible to do that now. I still meet them, but we only meet if they have an agenda to discuss with me.

— Michelle Ma, reporter (email |twitter)

Twilio's secret to employee equity compensation

Amid falling share prices, software CEOs are on the defensive, arguing that company valuations don’t measure the actual results they’re posting. And the leaders of SaaS companies that have yet to post a profit after over a decade of operations keep trying to assure us that while net income and cash-on-hand are now more significant metrics, growth remains important.

Of course, such a phenomenon is not unique to the industry. We all know that it wasn’t until 2001 that Amazon began posting a profit, seven years after it launched and four years after the IPO. That is perhaps why Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson — a former employee of the ecommerce giant and avid fan of Jeff Bezos — is so bullish on his company’s future.

Protocol reporters Aisha Counts and Joe Williams talked to Lawson about Twilio’s outlook, the path to profitability and the company’s approach to compensation.

Read the full story.


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.

Read more from Soul Machines

The freelancer pay gap

Compliance platform ZenBusiness wanted to know how much freelancers are charging for their services, particularly when comparing women and men. In a new study, the company looked at more than 6,000 profiles on Upwork.

  • Male freelancers charge 48% more than women in equivalent roles. The average hourly rate for men is $68.58, while the rate for women is $46.30.
  • DevOps engineers have the largest gender pay gap. Men charge $100.90 per hour on average, whereas women charge $30 per hour.
  • Female copywriters charge $6.29 more per hour than men. But male business writers earn $20.59 more than female business writers.


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.

Read more from Soul Machines

Around the internet

A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.

Is all fair in love and the workplace? Researchers say, maybe not.

Psychologists say we have been forever changed by The Great Resignation.

For our office design nerds: The offices of the future are making some pretty big promises.

In a sign of the times, Salesforce just listed almost half of the office space in one of its SF towers for lease. Are even more tech companies to follow?

Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to workplace@protocol.com. Have a great day, see you Tuesday.

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