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.

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.

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.

Human workings in work tech

Embrace the human side of work. That’s a loaded statement, but it’s an important one. Most people in work tech are working from home now, and it’s not easy to be productive while also caring for a screaming 5-year-old, doing the dishes, or spending time with a spouse.

Never, ever give up

Here’s a good news story: Our friends at Blueboard announced their $9.3 million Series A funding last week. You think your business has had a rough year? Think again. Blueboard founders Taylor Smith and Kevin Yip can beat most of the 2020 hard-knocks stories out there. Their entire business model has been built around experiential […]

All green or all bubble? Work Tech stocks look up

Despite the S&P 500 falling around 0.3% as we close out the end of this week, Work Tech pulled ever higher into the green, with The Starr Conspiracy’s Work Tech Index closing the week up 2.5%. That brings our overall return to over 20% on the year, compared to the S&P 500’s 6.34%. The big […]

Now’s the time to nut up and get creative

With everything that’s happened this year, we’re finally seeing brands embrace their human side. Work tech — the platform for the people — is becoming more and more people-oriented in their branding. “My advice to work tech is that if you were ever going to nut up and just be unapologetically unique, now is the […]

The way things are

We’ve been talking a lot about “Return of the Workplace” and “The Future (or Present) of Work.” That view is an inaccurate read on the situation. Instead, let’s focus on “The Way Things Were” and “The Way Things Are.”  The Way Things Are is not just about the “where” of work, but also the “what, […]

Big idea marketing with Razor Suleman

If you’ve ever met Razor Suleman, founder and CEO of Achievers, you’d know he never has a small idea. From putting on flash mobs in Times Square to building one of the fastest growing events in the world (Elevate Toronto), he goes all in. Related: Read Bret’s post about big idea marketing here. Bret sat […]

Two causes for optimism

Last week was a wild week for tech stocks, with the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Dow Tech Index flirting with correction territory. Time to panic? Hardly. Let’s look at Zoom. Like a lot of leading tech stocks, it took a hit last week. Of course, Zoom also reported that it made more money in […]

Work tech’s tough week: Inside the Work Tech Index

Work tech suffered a loss of -0.75% this week as of Friday morning, according to The Starr Conspiracy’s analysis of the top 25 public work tech companies. This analysis is part of a project we call the Work Tech Index, where we’ve been analyzing work tech’s public equities since earlier this year. Some fared better […]

Crisis marketing: A conversation with Gene Pease

How do you market in a global crisis? Bret wanted to find the answer to that question, so he called up Gene Pease. Gene is the founder of Mighty You, a new performance management solution. However, earlier in the 2000s, he was the founder of a company called Vestrics that ultimately sold to Ultimate Sofware. […]

Podcast: W.O.R.K. it

We at The Starr Conspiracy hope you had a restful weekend this Labor Day. If you’re seeing what we’re seeing, you’ll need it this fall. We’re talking to many brands that are going to invest heavily in marketing between now and the end of the year. That’s not just in categories doing well, like learning, […]

Well-being: Work tech’s next big market

There is a major story in work tech right now: Well-being is going to be yuge. Why? That’s what Bret wanted to find out. He sat down with Vic Strecher and Eric Zimmerman of Kumanu, a well-being company focused on performance, to understand the big drivers behind this category. Eric argues that since religion and […]

Post-pandemic growth in work tech

Many believe this is a time for restraint and defense, when we should all wait around for the second shoe to drop. But falling into the current doom loop is missing the greatest opportunity to build market share in recent memory. Let’s dive into why that might be the case. As the Quarantine Summer comes to […]

Emerging market: Mental health and well-being

Had enough yet? If so, you’re not alone. COVID has created an enormous mental health challenge for employers, creating a burgeoning work tech market.  Research from the nonprofit Mind Share Partners, conducted in partnership with Qualtrics and SAP, found that the mental health of almost 42% of respondents had declined since the coronavirus outbreak began. […]

HR Tech and others go remote.

Well, it finally happened last week. What we all knew was coming finally became official: the 2020 HR Technology Conference & Exposition® will not be an in-person event. Instead, it will become a free virtual event held from Oct. 27–30. Just one more feather in the ol’ remote-only cap… But virtual life can do some […]

Q2 Work Tech Investments

Want some good news? The Starr Conspiracy has broken down the Work Tech investment numbers for the first half of 2020, and 2020 is on an almost identical pace to last year’s investments. For the period April 1–June 30, we tracked 99 Work Tech deals worth $1.7 billion, compared to $2.2 billion in Q2 2019. […]

Slack files complaint years after full-page ad

Looks like the competition is heating up. Remember when, a few years ago, Slack pulled a daring marketing campaign to taunt Microsoft as the latter entered the former’s territory? No? Well, they took out a full-page ad in The New York Times to call out the Bill Gates Behemoth. Here’s a picture from The Verge. […]