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Exit Interview by Patrick Donegan – Newsletter #35

By: SEI Team

For some time, I’ve been looking for one “source” that curates modern takes on HR Tech, perspectives from the people who build it, and its impact on enterprise — something that’s tailor-made by professionals for decision-makers.

I never found it — so I decided to build it.

Every week, I’ll be sharing fresh insights on tech platforms, design, data, and the future of work — straight to your inbox.

My Thoughts

The IPCC just released its stark report on climate change. A lot of the talk around the report is about limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. 🔥🌎📈 But it’s also clear that climate change is no longer something to plan for in the future — it’s impacting us now. We are already seeing the cost of climate change through its impact on our health, our businesses and infrastructure, and in lives lost. 🚨💪 Companies have to act now, and ESG commitments are just a start. This means drastically reducing emissions that are a direct and indirect result of business activities, investing in innovation, educating our employees and the public, and becoming active climate advocates. ✊💡🎤

Tech Innovation at Work

Creators and influencers are consistently undervalued for their work with brands, so Lindsey Lee Lugrin and Isha Mehra, formerly of Facebook, created an app with an unprintable name: F*** You Pay Me. It functions as a kind of Glassdoor for influencers, where creators can leave reviews of brands they have worked with, share ad rates, and obtain other crucial information for negotiating sponsored content deals. The aim: to have creators be paid more equitably. Based in Santa Monica, FYPM is one of several companies now aiming to bring pay transparency to influencers — others include Collabstr, a marketing platform that lets creators post brief biographies about themselves and list their pay rates, and social media pages like Brands Behaving BadlyWe Don’t Work for Free and Influencer Pay Gap

Air purifiers have become more popular due to the pandemic, but they aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing. Ikea has addressed this with its new Starkvind air purifier—an air purifier that’s also a side table. Ikea has tucked the round electronics of the air purifier directly underneath the surface of a side table. This way, you can set up a filtration system that is basically a table. If the design appeals, it’s available for $190.


Crypto mining is famously energy-intensive; mining wastes enough electricity to add 40 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere a year. 🌲👨‍💻 When Bitcoin peaked at $64,654 in April, its network was wasting enough energy to keep the lights on in all of Georgia. In response, “Green Bitcoin Mining” is slowly on the rise, but it’s still unclear how green crypto can really be. 🤔📊 Traders like Riot Blockchain in Texas, for example, propose to act as a shock absorber for new green power, buying energy when it’s not needed and shutting their rigs when demand surges. It’s promising, but it’s still unclear whether operations like this will really offset the increasing energy demands of crypto — but if Bitcoin is here to stay, it’s a start.

3D Printing has radical potential for the medical industry. 💊💉💪 It could revolutionize drug creation and the production of medical equipment and offer new methods for practicing medicine and optimizing supply chains. 💡🔥 Here are a few of the applications already available:

  • 3D printed casts and medical equipment such as micro-needles 
  • Models for surgical planning and education to help medical research and the outcome of complex operations 
  • Biomaterials like blood, bones, heart or skin

You can see more here


The Changing Workplace

Longstanding dress codes in financial services are finally being relaxed – a bit. The informal message from JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs is that returning employees should feel free to dress appropriately for the occasion — and that during a summer with few in-person client meetings, more relaxed attire is permissible. 👔👠💅 Some executives have ditched luxury timepieces in favor of Apple Watches and traded suits for short sleeves and khaki. ⌚😎 On this, Chris Riccobono, founder of Untuckit, makes a good point: “What’s amazing is these guys were wearing suits in the middle of summer, walking the streets of New York, coming off the train. It took corona for the guys who never wore anything but suits to realize, ‘Wait a second.’”🤔💡

Top talent in competitive industries are looking for career advancement opportunities, an attractive company culture, and an established company brand backed by reputation. 🎤🔥👏In a tough talent market, top employees can be a recruiting asset by becoming brand ambassadors for your company. One way to do this is through Employer Branding Tools, customizable social media assets that give users a plethora of marketing assets to highlight your company culture. 📱🔍🙋 Employees can choose from dozens of ready-to-use content pieces, such as employee spotlights, social postings, employee videos, and a culture widget. Once the content is chosen, simply customize it to your own messaging and brand guidelines.

Red-green colorblindness is incredibly common, but UI designs rarely take it into consideration. 👩‍💻🎨 For instance, red and green are usually used to indicate validation status — red being invalid —  or as options for primary and secondary buttons. To make things easier for significant portion of colorblind users, designers can take these basic steps: 

  • Avoid combining red and green in user interface design and information design.
  • Add text labels and icons so that color isn’t doing all the work.
  • Support color choices by combining them with different styles and textures.
  • Choose less problematic colors wherever possible.
  • If you have to use red and green, differentiate them by adjusting saturation and value. 

All About Data

What languages do developers prefer, and which ones do they dread? Stack Overflow’s 2021 Developer Survey asked over 80,000 developers from 181 countries this question. 👨‍💻📱☁️Here’s what they had to say: 

  • The top 10 “most loved” languages in descending order are: Rust, Clojure, TypeScript, Elixir, Julia, Python, Dart, Swift, Node.js, and Go.
  • Rust is the most loved language, but only 5,044 developers nominated it.
  • TypeScript is the third most “loved” language based on 18,711 responses.
  • While C remains a widely used language, more developers dreaded it (66%) than loved it (39.56%).
  • Languages more dreaded than loved include: C++, Delphi, Java, R, PowerShell, PHP, Perl, Assembly, Groovy, Objective-C, Matlab, VBA, and COBOL.

Travel is coming back. According to Deloitte’s survey of 150 travel managers, executives with various titles and travel budget oversight, fielded from May 28 to June 10, 2021, companies are expecting an uptick in travel, but few expect a quick return to pre-pandemic rates. ✈️💼 Almost all companies will consider post-pandemic travel with sustainability and budget challenges in mind. 💰🌲 Here are some key findings: 

  • More than two in three survey respondents said their companies were still at less than 25% of 2019 spend.
  • About a third of surveyed companies say travel spend will remain below 25% of 2019 levels and two-thirds below 50%.
  • Most companies have plans to reduce carbon emissions, but only a third have plans definitively in place. 

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