Startups And Stuff Episode 3: Tech Companies Find Spine

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We didn’t have a guest host this week, because schedules didn’t work out. Oh well. But we did have lots of fun talking about the tech news of the week. Here are a few of the things we talked about, and you can find more information about those topics at the links below.

This episode of Startups And Stuff was brought to you by Zenefits, which has been going through a bit of a rough time. As we noted on a previous podcast, the company recently replaced its CEO after questions arose around its licensing and compliance practices. But the hits keep coming for the troubled company — since then it’s been revealed that Zenefits had missed internal revenue targets and a leaked memo appeared in which the company alerted employees they could no longer have sex in the office stairwells.

What better company could be lead sponsor for our podcast?*

The main topic once again was Apple’s fight with the FBI. This week Apple received the support of some other major tech companies, including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, which all filed an amicus brief to stand against the FBI’s demands. For more info on the upcoming battle, check out this post from The Verge which breaks down Apple’s legal brief in the case.

The next thing we talked about was the gunman from Kalamazoo, Mich. who also just happened to be an Uber driver. We discussed Uber’s responsibility and liability when people pass its background checks, and also how Uber safety differs from cabs. A shoutout to our former colleague and good friend Sarah Buhr, who shared her own scary taxi experience on TechCrunch not too long ago.

And it wouldn’t be a show if we didn’t talk about Zenefits (see above). If you want to listen to our thoughts on screwing in stairwells and company culture, that part comes like, 20 minutes in.

In a roundabout way that got us to talking about how many “unicorns” will actually be able to go public and whatever. Basically we would have to see a historic IPO market for most of the recent valuations to make sense.

* As always, our “sponsors” are fake and Alex and I receive no compensation for the 30 minutes or so that we spend talking. That’s probably a good thing.

Image via Flickr user m01229 under CC BY 2.0. Image has been cropped.

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