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The road to this morning’s inauguration has been filled with history-defining moments. The white supremacist attack on the Capitol two weeks ago during election certification. The backdrop of the global pandemic, national protests about racial injustice, and huge economic struggle for many working Americans. At the inauguration itself, the swearing in of our nation’s first woman, first African-American, and first Asian-American as Vice President. The brilliant performance of youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman.

All of these events provide valid lenses through which historians will be studying this inauguration for decades to come. But for me, one of the most immediately…


At Textio, we were early adopters of Slack. From our earliest days, our internal communication was Slack-first, not email-first. In our first couple of years, I loved so much about our communication set-up. The way Slack democratized access to information, the way I could easily communicate quickly with the whole team at once without taking the Heavy Step of sending an email — these were big upsides for a team that was focused on moving fast.

As we grew, so did our use of Slack. Most key systems that we use are integrated into Slack. We use Slack to discuss…


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To be silent about the violence facing the Black community is to be complicit in the systemic racism and ongoing reality of oppression that the community faces every single day. It is time to say it out loud, yell it out loud. We cannot continue to tolerate a white supremacist system that has been based on inequity from the start. We need to agree that the sociopolitical system we have today is built on a rotten foundation, and it needs to be dismantled and rebuilt.

Our Black colleagues have already been doing the work. To do this work as allies…


The last few weeks, I have held my breath constantly. I’m not always aware that I’m doing it. I am in a near-permanent state of waiting for the other shoe to drop; what devastating public health news or market crash will be next? Which of my favorite restaurants is folding? How many assignments will arrive today from school, and how will I teach my kids and keep our house clean and supplied and still have time to wash my hands every 30 minutes?

My brain is underwater just from living, and that’s not even counting the parts of life that…


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And 2020 is poised to do it again

It’s hard to remember 2015, back before Trump was elected, before the Brexit vote, and before the Game of Thrones series finale. The Supreme Court voted to make same-sex marriage legal in 2015. The New England Patriots deflated footballs and won the Super Bowl in 2015. Caitlyn Jenner was on the cover of Vanity Fair, NASA flew by Pluto for the first time, and, in the U.S., the number of fatalities by gun violence surpassed the number by traffic accident.

The business landscape was developing rapidly too. The Apple Watch first went on sale in 2015. Volkswagen was caught cheating…


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The language that works when we chat in Slack

Somewhere in me there are words that, if I write them on this page, you’ll be excited to continue reading. Somewhere in me there are also words that will make you roll your eyes and search for cat gifs instead. It may not be obvious to me ahead of time which are which.

For a words person, I am also a wordy person. Across all of Textio’s history, I have personally contributed 11% of the posts in our company Slack. I have written hundreds of thousands of words on this blog. I think in monologue. …


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Are you buying software with your team’s experience in mind? They may not think so

Earlier today, PwC released some new research on the effect of technology and digitization on employee experience: Our status with tech at work: It’s complicated. The report says that leaders believe they’re choosing technology with people’s experience in mind, but their teams don’t agree.

While top leaders are keen to upgrade their organization’s technology, increasingly betting that AI is the future, PwC reports that only 68% of people in non-executive roles think that their team’s tech choices are working. Their top complaint, according to the research? …


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Job automation talk is everywhere. Will AI replace us? Will robots make it hard for people to find work? If bots take jobs, should they pay taxes? Do we need a Universal Basic Income to offset the impact of automation in our employment market?

While these are all significant questions, they miss two critical points. First, many traditional enterprise jobs have already been reinvented by automation. Second, the automation revolution is not always forced on workers from above.

Job automation often starts with someone on the job who recognizes an opportunity for automation to make their tedious tasks go faster…


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What hiring language from 25,000 recent job descriptions tells us about corporate cultural norms

Let’s say that you collected 1,000 people together and gave them simple instructions: In one minute, everyone start singing your favorite song.

It’s easy to imagine the resulting chaos. 1,000 different voices bursting into different music, lots of them out of tune and none of it coordinated.

That’s what it’s like when you ask 1,000 hiring managers at your company each to write a job description for a role on their team. 1,000 different voices saying different things, lots of it poorly constructed and none of it coordinated.

Now imagine that, in response to those “sing your favorite song” instructions…


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Using machine learning to predict the end of “machine learning”

According to CB Insights, VC investment dollars in AI startups surpassed $5B in 2016. That’s nearly double what it was just two years ago, and almost ten times more than in 2012.

Ask any technologist what they do right now, and you’re liable to hear stuff like, “We use AI and ML to help you make better sales forecasts,” and “We use AI and ML to tell you what to have for dinner,” and even “We use AI and ML to predict which Game of Thrones character is going to die this week.”

We’ve previously written about how you can…

Kieran Snyder

CEO and Co-Founder at Textio.com

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