Podcast: Euro unicorns & Facebook bribes
The Chad & Cheese Podcast discusses successful tech start-ups and shenanigans at Facebook.
Why You Should Care
Europe is a hotbed for unicorns.
Can this market activity continue in the HR space?
Has anyone on the Chad & Cheese Podcast ever had a beer bath?
Chad Sowash and Joel “bottleneck” Cheeseman are back, and this time they are talking European unicorns. Once a rare sighting, these majestic businesses will be the focus of the podcasts’ tenth episode.
Volonte CEO and founder, Daniel Masata, and HR industry veteran Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze discuss European beer bathing as well as the booming tech start-ups on the continent.
The podcast kick-offs with a conversation about Personio. Personio became a unicorn at the start of the year and has since grown significantly. Many regular UNLEASH readers will have seen our coverage and interviews with the digital transformation company, and it’s fair to say they are doing incredibly well.
The variety of Personio’s clientele (in terms of size) prompts an interesting conversation about the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The podcast presenters are slightly divided.
Chad Sowash notes: “Joel is pretty much a hater on the SME side of the house, cause they’re hard, man.”
“You’ve got to herd all those cats versus going whale hunting. So I guess the question is could Personio actually be…successful without this type of cash in the first place?”
Daniel Masata postulates: “My, point is, and again, I’m not arguing with their success story at all, it’s just a client count is a number that needs some double-clicking, right?
“And then obviously, the smaller your average customer size is the more expensive it is also to find them. So maybe that’s why they’ve taken on this additional money because it’s really expensive to acquire those customers out there.”
Either way, tech unicorns appear to be being spotted frequently whether they are nourished by SMEs or large enterprises. The podcast goes on to mention other growing companies and the reasoning behind focusing on Europe or taking the leap across the pond to the US.
Conversing about the growing market in Europe, the podcast discusses Multiverse, an apprenticeship startup founded by former UK prime minister Tony Blair’s eldest son which UNLEASH spoke to recently.
Speaking about the success of UK-based companies, Cheeseman asks: “It seems like culturally based on the number of startups, the UK is more open to risk and startups and giving money. Would that be correct?”
It turns out that both the EU experts and the US hosts agree with this assessment.
The conversation then turned from unicorns to big tech. There was plenty of talk about Facebook’s plans for VR work. While the name change for the company, to Meta, has grabbed headlines, the focus for The Chad & Cheese podcast has been virtual reality (VR).
The podcast notes that Facebook is hiring 10,000 people in Europe over the next five years. Some members of the podcast stipulate that the promise of hires is a bribe to get rid of antitrust cases. After some back and forth, the group talks about working within VR.
The group is split on virtual meetings and Daniel Masata notes that he may be old-school in his thinking but he is not convinced by the technology required for Metaverse and its uptake.
So much so, that he doesn’t like the idea of his kids using the technology.
“I also find it scary to imagine that they’re going to spend even more time in front of the screen when in reality, I think it would just be really nice for them sometimes to grab their bike and head down to the beach or do something out there.”
For much more discussion, check out the latest episode of The Chad & Cheese.
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Dan combines his first-hand experience alongside the latest news and opinions in the HR Technology space.