Studio Reviews : Bo Burnham: Inside

Ratchet Reviews is back! And this time we’re discussing Bo Burnham’s triumphant (maybe?) return to comedy specials, Inside. After a hiatus from comedy, Bo is back with his signature wit and musical talent taking us all through the highs and lows of quarantine emotions. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes a little too real, how did you like this new special? Join the agents as we discuss social media audiences and embarrassing Facebook statuses of the past. Will Rachit convince Evan to love Bo Burnham?

Limeade Acquires TINYpulse: More Than Meets the Eye?

Earlier this week, Limeade acquired TINYpulse for $8.8 million in cash (along with some possible earnouts over the next 18 months). The acquisition is interesting on its own merits — even in a Work Tech market that rarely suffers from a slow news day. The combination of “employee listening” with “immersive well-being solutions” is a unique variation on the theme of employee experience platforms. But when the TINYpulse acquisition is considered alongside a lower-key announcement Limeade made last week (July 14), some evidence emerges of a broader strategy for increasing the reach of well-being relative to the large-and-getting-larger employee experience …

The $4 billion press conference

Along with the excitement brought about by the knockout stage of the Copa America tournament, this year’s event also comes with a riddle. What do you get when you take a soccer superstar, a couple of Coke bottles, and add some media spin? An estimated $4 billion drop in Coca-Cola’s market value. At least, that’s what the barrage of articles after last week’s post-match press conference would have us believe. Here’s the backstory: Walking to his press conference seat, Cristiano Ronaldo saw two Coca-Cola bottles advertised on the table. Moving them clearly out of the cameras’ view, Ronaldo implored the …

SurveyMonkey becomes Momentive

Big news in the experience management category as SurveyMonkey becomes Momentive. Utilizing their own technologies, the brand surveyed over 22,000 people in seven countries before eventually making the move. While we’re slightly offended they didn’t ask for our opinion, we still recommend reading their recent blog post for a bit more insight into their methodology and findings.  At the end of the day, their decision to rebrand is pretty simple. While they like to boast over 20 million global users, they’re really beginning to focus in on the 9,000 enterprise logos currently on their roster. Renaming the parent company (SurveyMonkey will remain as the flagship consumer platform) …

I can't prove it, but I can say it. — Stephen Colbert

Microsoft Viva: What’s the Deal?

ICYMI last week — Microsoft just did a cannonball into the middle of Work Tech’s pool with the announcement of Viva, a new platform focused on the employee experience. If you want to take deep dives into smart people’s takes on this, Josh Bersin (of course) has a long take on it and so does Stacia Garr at RedThread Research. Already Skillsoft and Cornerstone have announced Viva integrations. And HR Executive is hailing this as a “massive opportunity” for HR executives. Why is this such a big deal? Glad you asked. It’s Microsoft. They have scale. It can’t be understated …

Podcast: Stay positive for pent-up demand

Stay positive. We think next year is going to be a blockbuster year for Work Tech. When you look back at 2020, sales of everything but communication, collaboration, and wellness solutions basically came to a halt between March and May. Activity began to rebound after that. Many Work Tech companies that we’ve spoken with reported all-time record sales months since June, including in the Talent Acquisition space that took such a hard hit at the end of Q1. We’re seeing lots of evidence of pent-up demand in conversations we’re having with customers and prospects, as well as the market research …

Buy the ticket, take the ride. ― Hunter S. Thompson

Podcast: Certified employers and reformed capitalists

Good news: The type of validation that the elusive blue checkmark provides for narcissists on Twitter may soon be coming to the workplace. But this is just one part of a broader reformation within capitalism. Performance management giant Workhuman is launching a new initiative in which companies will seek to become “Workhuman Certified” as workplaces in which “people have the right to be respected, seen, appreciated, and heard.” According to TechRepublic, the process for companies to gain this status will include making a pledge to uphold Workhuman’s “Charter of Workplace Rights” that outlines what employees should be able to expect …

Join Ocho’s Book Club: Buy a Book. Help a Kid.

In this month of Thanksgiving, I believe that we all have learned a lesson this year in the importance of gratitude. I know I have. Let’s all be grateful for the blessings we have. We’re grateful to say that The Starr Conspiracy is surviving and thriving. Now we feel it’s time to pay it forward to all of those in our lives. What can we do? Let’s remember that 2020 has been a tough year for many. Not every business has fared quite as well. My St. Louis friend, neighbor, fellow Texan, fellow business owner, and all-round awesome person, Kelly …

Studio Reviews: Lady and the Tramp with a BLT?

Adam Sandler is back on Netflix with a spooky season adventure. Hubie Halloween takes us on a rollercoaster of Happy Madison references including names that you’ve definitely heard before, a goofy main character that harkens Sandler antics of yore, and more cameos than you could throw a stick at. This week we discuss our favorite parts of Hubie Halloween and get into some serious childhood discussions. Don’t miss the uncanny resemblance of our co-workers dog, Hank and Steve Buscemi. “It’s kind of like a Swiss Army Thermos. Made it when I was in the scouts.” – Hubie

I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too. — Mitch Hedberg

Podcast: SPACs come for Work Tech

You’ve probably heard of SPACs by now, right? If not, you will hear much more soon. These Special Purpose Acquisition Companies are the hottest thing on Wall Street, and they’re invading Work Tech. These entities are so-called blank-check companies that are an alternative to traditional IPOs for financing. Essentially, investors give money to a sponsor, like a hedge fund, so that they can invest in a lucrative opportunity, but more or less with blind faith. Hence the moniker “blank-check” company. The sponsor takes the company public, bypassing the traditional regulatory hurdles of an IPO. This year has seen an explosion …

Vlog: Branding trends we see in Work Tech

A few weeks ago we launched our latest Brandscape on talent and learning categories coming together. Bailey led the creative and visual design insights in the report, so she gave us a tour inside her brain. In sum, we’re seeing brands become much more human, which we also talked about with Nancy a few weeks ago. What can brands do to create an innovative brand in the next year? Find your authentic self. Hear more from Bailey in this week’s vlog.

branding

Podcast: Certifications and Google are on the rise

There’s no lack of professional certifications for HR and L&D professionals, with ATD and SHRM certifications, among others. But what about one that’s all about Taking Care of Business (or TCB, as Elvis might say)? That’s what Brandon Hall Group is working on. Brandon Hall Group announced an interesting alternative to traditional HR and L&D certifications, an approach that’s more agile and focused on driving actual business results. Brandon Hall Group CEO Mike Cooke had this to say about the announcement: “We felt there was a void in certification programs that prepare human capital management professionals to work effectively with …

Contributing to the community

Creating impact in our community is a big responsibility. It’s something that a lot of people strive towards and it’s not always easy. The Starr Conspiracy has been working with a local elementary school for quite a few years to provide mentoring, tutoring, financial aid, and other support.   “It takes so little to have such a big impact” This week, Lou Chapman sits down with Springdale Elementary counselor (and wife) Kelly Gillham to discuss what our relationship has looked like over the last few years, how we’ve helped make an impact, and what has happened since the pandemic hit. How …