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Ship Happens ⛵️

March 31, 2021


WeWork is going public (for real this time)

Here we go again with WeWork...

We can't believe it either - but the coworking startup has plans to go public (again). This time, by merging with BowX Acquisition, a SPAC backed by Shaquille O'Neal. The deal values the company at $9B (including debt) and aims to close in Q2.

But no one is holding their breath for this to happen. In 2019, WeWork first attempted to go public as a tech company - and it was an absolute dumpster fire. 

And in a few short months, WeWork went from a $47B valuation to roughly $2.3B - thanks to some shady corporate governance. And they burned through $6.6B of someone else's money in the process. 

The company has since cleaned up its act (and business), including: 

  • Changing their lease agreements to spend way less on overhead.
  • Focusing on higher paying customers (namely, enterprises).
  • Cleaning their house of all employees involved in the first IPO scandal.

And with a newly band-aided reputation, WeWork is betting everything that hybrid offices are the future of work.

Trainual's new hybrid office set-up!

Per HBS, 78% of workers don't want to go back to an office full-time. But 61% would like to go into the office 2+ times a week, starting as soon as possible.

So, hybrid offices are the ideal compromise (we even have one for our team to use). They give employees a retreat from work-from-home disruptions and distractions. Without the price tag of a full-blown office.

And with 86% of companies saying that flexible offices will play a role in their post-pandemic future, WeWork is salivating at the opportunity. I mean - they might not be a tech company, but their bread-and-butter is renting out temporary office space to companies (so this might just work for them). 


Check that your candidates aren't all talk - here's how

Name one person that told you they're not great for the job - and still got the job. We'll wait. 

No one? We're not surprised. Interviewing is a game where you talk yourself up. And the person who gets the job is whoever does it best.

But you don't want team members who are all talk (it would be a disaster). You want ones who can actually walk the walk.

So, before you even think about extending your next offer, test-drive your top candidates in the role they applied for. With a hands-on project, of course! 

Marlowe Everett on her Trainual candidate project

Have your existing team create a prompt that simulates a challenge the role will take on. Just make sure the project isn't mission impossible or a huge time suck. 

For example, when we hired our first copywriter, we asked them to write a blog that "tells a Trainual story." (We've since published it on our website.)

Then, let all your top candidates take a swing at it. This will make it easy to gauge who's actually the best person (skill-wise) for the role.

Plus, it gives candidates a chance to see if your company is the right fit for them too. (After all, they're interviewing you as much as you're interviewing them.) 

👉 See how Trainual runs candidate projects.


Supply chain troubles in the Suez Canal

A satellite image of the Ever Given blocking the Suez canal

Source: Maxar Technologies

As if Covid didn't disrupt the world's supply chains enough, enter the Ever Given. AKA the container ship that will forever be remembered for blocking the Suez Canal. 

For nearly a week, 10% of the world's trade stood still on either side of Egypt as dredgers worked to dislodge the 400-meter ship. Coffee, livestock and Ikea furniture included. (Not to mention the shipping containers, which are in hot demand right now.) 

Many braced themselves for this bizarre maritime drama to take months to wrap up. And some ships even made the gamble to just go around Africa - rather than through Egypt. Meaning, what should have taken 12 hours would now take about 11 days. 

Now, after a week of jokes and tugboats, we (the royal we) freed the Ever Given late on Monday.

But that doesn't mean the supply chain will fix itself overnight. If anything, this event proved once again how fragile our global supply chain really is. It will likely take a week to clear all the ships that waited around. All while new ships will get caught in the clearing Suez congestion. 

And we can expect to see months of supply chain repercussions following the saga. But some good news: projections suggest this week-long episode shouldn't disrupt global economic recovery.


Who you need to hire first - no exceptions

Bet you wish you could just clone yourself. That way, you could get everything done - and do it a lot easier.

What every business owner wishes they could do to themselves

But until technology catches up, your next best option is to start hiring. And according to Gino Wickman, world-renowned founder of EOS, you'll want to hire someone who loves doing all the tasks you hate doing.

That way, your business continues to grow. While your days become more fulfilling for you and your new teammates. It's a win-win.

For example, if you dread handling the finances, hire a bookkeeper. Or, if you can't stand hopping on sales calls, hire a sales rep. 

And there are 2 approaches for how to do this: 

  1. If you're good at the work and hate it, build SOPs on how you did it. That way, every new hire does it your way - not their own way. 
  2. If you hate doing it because you don't know how to do it, bring in an expert. That way, they can own and optimize your processes moving forward. 

Not ready to hire quite yet? Make a list of all the tasks you love doing in your business. And the ones you wouldn't mind ever doing again. And whenever you need to hire someone, use that list as your compass.

👉 Get the full guide.

P.S. Gino's back with a hot new book, Entrepreneurial Leap! And it breaks down how you can tell if you've got what it takes to launch a venture. 


This week's highlight reel

  • The ultimate tech stack doesn't need to break the bank. Here are 20 totally free small business tools that your business should be using.
  • Citigroup just introduced Zoom-free Fridays to ease their team's pandemic fatigue. And all we can say is why didn't anyone think of this sooner?
  • As if Tesla investing in $1.5B of cryptocurrency wasn't enough, you can now buy their cars with Bitcoin. (@Elon, is Dogecoin next? We gotta know!)
  • Want to spy on your competition? Say no more - here are 3 (completely legal) ways to snoop on them. So you can prepare for their next move.
  • You don't need us to tell you that everything has changed. But NCAA legend John Wooden says, "there is no progress without change." Here's why.

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