Tech’s voices asking to #StopAsianHate
Image: Fuse Studio / Protocol
Good morning! This Thursday, the response to the horrific shooting in Atlanta, the opportunity facing YouTube Shorts, how Angie's List rebranded, why Kevin Mayer left TikTok, and Robinhood's new CPO.
And don't miss our State of VR event today! It's Janko Roettgers and a great group of VR expert guests, and it kicks off today at 10 a.m. PT. See you there!
We wanted to take a moment this morning to pause and give room to the voices of the Asian-American women in this industry, many of whom have been sharing their own experiences since the mass shooting in Atlanta on Tuesday. Six of the women killed were of Asian descent, and their deaths mark not some random, horrible moment in this country, but yet another tragic crime in the wave of anti-AAPI violence rising in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic.
Here are the words of just a few of the women from the tech sector who chose to share their own stories and thoughts yesterday.
What is YouTube Shorts? Well it's TikTok. On YouTube. That's pretty much it.
You can see for yourself: it's rolling out to U.S. users now, after launching in India last fall. I wrote about what the company is up to and why Shorts matters, but it was YouTube product manager Todd Sherman's thoughts on the idea that Shorts is a "TikTok clone" that really stuck with me.
Calling Shorts a "TikTok clone" is too simple, Sherman said. TikTok isn't some wholly new thing full of wholly new ideas: it's a clever packaging of a lot of existing ones.
And there are some unique aspects to Shorts. YouTube's making every video on the platform available to be used as a backing track for a video; Sherman said the plan is to "effectively remix YouTube." (Creators can opt out, but they'll be included by default, and that's going to make some people mad.) Plus, sounds can connect back to a video, which YouTube hopes will help drive users to discover new content, most obviously music.
Angie's List is no more. There is only Angi. The 25-year-old company has spent the last several months planning not just a name change but a total overhaul and rebranding. And CEO Oisin Hanrahan said the change has been a long time coming.
An outdated name can be a challenge both internally and externally, he said: "It brings conversations with your team back to, 'Well, our name is X, shouldn't we be doing X?'"
Did it think of doing a crazy pivot in the rebrand? Becoming homefixers.ai or something like that? Hanrahan said there's always somebody in the room advocating for chaos, but that the Angie's List branding was good and recognizable enough that the company didn't want to leave it behind entirely. (And by dropping the "e" from Angie, it could still trademark the name.)
Protocol's Joe Williams sits down with Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk for a discussion on his influential leadership of the industrial icon and what's next in the company's digital overhaul.
Kevin Mayer said he left TikTok because he really, truly believed it was about to be sold:
Buying groceries with Bitcoin? Maybe soon, Visa CEO Alfred Kelly said:
Billionaire philanthropy is not enough to save the world, Melinda Gates said:
Chuck Schumer said the future of transportation is about much more than EVs:
Aparna Chennapragada is the new chief product officer at Robinhood, joining from Google.
Google's investing over $7 billion in the U.S. this year. Sundar Pichai said that would create at least 10,000 new jobs.
Ford is letting 30,000 employees work from home permanently, adding to the companies going all-in on remote work.
Snap acquired Fit Analytics, which built tech to help people find the right size when shopping for clothes online.
ByteDance is hiring hundreds of people in Singapore, according to The Financial Times. It looks like the city might become its non-Chinese global hub.
SMIC announced a $2.35 billion chip plant, partly funded by the Shenzhen government. It will produce chips using manufacturing processes down to 28 nanometers.
A thing is not a Thing until the brands get involved. So congrats, NFTs, because now that Charmin is selling NFTP ('cuz toilet paper, you know?) I think we can agree that NFTs are both fully in the public consciousness and have now officially jumped the shark. But hey, it's for a good cause! Digital currency for digital toilet paper almost makes perfect sense. Almost.
Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Anna Kramer and Shakeel Hashim. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to email@example.com, or our tips line, firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your day; see you tomorrow.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Block Party. This article was updated on March 18, 2021.