Making sense of the GameStop madness

Plus, what we know now about the Facebook Oversight Board, and how it might rule on Trump.

This week on the Source Code podcast, Shakeel Hashim comes on the show to talk about GameStop's craziest week ever: what it means that Reddit seems to run the stock market, whether Robinhood can survive the chaos, what regulators might be looking into and what to do about the fact that Elon Musk can tweet anything into existence. Then, Issie Lapowsky joins to talk about the first five decisions made by the Facebook Oversight Board, and what they tell us about its plans going forward — and what it might do about Donald Trump.

For more on the topics in this episode:

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Who is Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s new CEO?

The main thing you need to know: He’s an engineer’s engineer.

Twitter’s new CEO is its current chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal.

Photo: Twitter

When Parag Agrawal was at Stanford writing his computer science thesis, his adviser couldn’t imagine that any of her students would become the CEO of one of the world’s most powerful social media companies.

But much has changed since Agrawal graduated with his doctorate in 2012. On Monday morning, Twitter announced that Jack Dorsey had resigned and that Chief Technology Officer Agrawal had been promoted to CEO, effective immediately.

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Anna Kramer

Anna Kramer is a reporter at Protocol (Twitter: @ anna_c_kramer, email: akramer@protocol.com), where she writes about labor and workplace issues. Prior to joining the team, she covered tech and small business for the San Francisco Chronicle and privacy for Bloomberg Law. She is a recent graduate of Brown University, where she studied International Relations and Arabic and wrote her senior thesis about surveillance tools and technological development in the Middle East.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that by 2026, the shortage of engineers in the U.S. will exceed 1.2 million, while 545,000 software developers will have left the market by that time. Meanwhile, business is becoming increasingly more digital-first, and teams need the tools in place to keep distributed teams aligned and able to respond quickly to changing business needs. That means businesses need to build powerful workplace applications without relying on developers.

In fact, according to Gartner, by 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use low-code or no-code technologies and, by 2023, there will be at least four times as many active citizen developers as professional developers at large enterprises. We're on the cusp of a big shift in how businesses operate and how organization wide innovation happens.

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Andrew Ofstad
As Airtable’s co-founder, Andrew spearheads Airtable’s long-term product bets and represents the voice of the customer in major product decisions. After co-founding the company, he helped scale Airtable’s original product and engineering teams. He previously led the redesign of Google's flagship Maps product, and before that was a product manager for Android.
Protocol | Policy

Jack Dorsey and breaking up the cult of the founder

Dorsey’s farewell note is a warning shot to all founder CEOs … especially you-know-who.

“There aren’t many companies that get to this level. And there aren’t many founders that choose their company over their own ego.”

Photo: Getty Images

In his note Monday announcing his departure from Twitter, Jack Dorsey delivered a warm welcome to the company’s new CEO, a fond farewell to the tweeps he’s leaving behind and a quick shout-out to his mom.

He also fired a warning shot at certain other founder-CEOs who shall remain nameless.

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Issie Lapowsky

Issie Lapowsky ( @issielapowsky) is Protocol's chief correspondent, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. She also oversees Protocol's fellowship program. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University's Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing.

Protocol | Fintech

Twitter isn’t part of Jack Dorsey’s big bet on crypto

Bitcoin unleashed a huge wave, and Dorsey — no longer doing double duty at Twitter and Square — wants to ride it.

There’s still time for Square to expand its crypto footprint, though, which makes the timing of Dorsey’s move significant.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Jack Dorsey’s sudden exit from Twitter underlines the tech pioneer’s growing fixation with crypto — a passion that has forced a sudden resolution of the odd situation of a single individual leading two large tech companies.

It’s now clear that Square is Dorsey’s favorite child and needs all of his attention to advance the role it could play in popularizing bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency.

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Benjamin Pimentel

Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at bpimentel@protocol.com or via Signal at (510)731-8429.

Protocol | Workplace

Best practices for your company VR retreat

Trello held a VR corporate retreat in April. Here's what it learned.

Trello held their annual "Trello Together" retreat in virtual reality in April.

Image: Trello

Night kayaking and rainforest zip-lining in Puerto Rico. Racing go-karts and launching cooking competitions. Building dog houses in the Arizona desert. These are some of the in-person activities Trello organized in the before-COVID times. Expectations were high when the company scheduled its annual corporate retreat for 2021, since this time it would be in a virtual world.

Trello has embraced remote work for most of its 10-year existence, according to co-founder Michael Pryor. Like many remote-work companies, Trello organized yearly retreats to turn co-workers into friends. Called "Trello Together," everyone would gather for three days to chat and have fun. With the pandemic, they had to get creative.

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Lizzy Lawrence

Lizzy Lawrence ( @LizzyLaw_) is a reporter at Protocol, covering tools and productivity in the workplace. She's a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and international studies. She served as editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, her school's independent newspaper. She's based in D.C., and can be reached at llawrence@protocol.com.

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