In the loop: Why startup leaders should be more like the Avengers, Facebook’s angry staff and SME employees are less stressed

From Facebook’s conservative employees throwing a fit to Apperio’s huge series A round, these are the news stories that rocked the startup space this week. Oh, and we reveal why you shouldn’t be like Tony Stark if you’re looking for funding.

In the loop: Why startup leaders should be more like the Avengers

Facebook employees lash out against the company’s “intolerant” culture

Silicon Valley is primarily a liberal area. But the left-leaning hegemony is being challenged. For instance, a group of conservative Facebook employees has taken issue with the company’s culture.

The squabbles began when Brian Amerige, a senior engineer at Facebook, wrote an internal post, saying: “We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views.” 

Dozens of other employees then followed his lead by joining the group FB’ers for Political Diversity, according to the New York Times which first broke the story. Other staff members have reportedly inundated Facebook with complaints after feeling the group is offensive to minorities.

Amerige’s sentiment echoes that of James Damore, the former Google employee who was sacked after posting the creed Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber in August 2017 and it’s a sign that the right is on the march in the Valley.

Why investors like great founding teams over one-man-band entrepreneurs

Forget Tony Stark. If your startup is going to be a success you better team up with other co-founders rather than going at it alone. That’s according to a new study from Concentric, the VC firm, and Egon Zehnder, the leadership advisory agency.

Having spoken with several entrepreneurs, VC professionals, talent specialists and angel investors, the researchers agreed on seven personality traits that makes for a great founder: resilience, motivation, persuasiveness, vision, humility, curiosity and being able to manage stakeholders honestly. Obviously, few single entrepreneurs have all these skills, which is why the report suggests  VCs should look for teams of great co-founders instead solo operators.

So while it’s easy to be wowed by Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Iron Man, it’s important to remember that he’s at his best when teamed up with the rest of the Avengers.

Apperio’s $10m series A round shows something’s brewing in legal tech

Legal tech is on the rise. From streamlining boring admin with AI to predicting the risk of criminals reoffending, innovations in this sector are coming hard and fast. But if you’re in doubt about it being something to look out for, remember that Apperio, the legal tech startup, raised a $10m series A this week.

The business’s tech aims to revolutionise how companies analyse their legal spend, enabling clients to track both billed and unbilled hours in real-time, run analytics and monitor law firm performance.   No wonder that Draper Esprit, the VC firm, was eager to lead the round and was supported by existing investors Notion, IQ Capital and a few angel investors.

So stay tuned, we’re certain the good news in this sector has only just begun.

SME employees are the least stressed out

Running a small business means being at the edge. Every business decision could mean the difference between failure or continuous existence. But surprisingly it seems as if SME employees are less stressed than workers at larger firms.

That’s according to new research from Perkbox, the employee benefits platform. Having surveyed 3,000 UK workers, it found a correlation between the size of the company and the stress levels of its staff. For instance, 45% of workers at micro businesses with between one and four employees felt stressed compared to 57% at companies with a five to 50-strong workforce. Interestingly corporates with over 500 workers were the most stressed with 65% of employees reporting being stressed.

Be sure to keep an eye open for stressed employees as you scale your business.

Will blockchain tech transform your business?

While it may seem like a big buzzword, blockchain technology has the potential of changing the world of business forever. Yes, that includes SMEs. How? Well, check out this story to find out.

Culture Trip’s founder reveals why he gave it all up for his work of passion

Kris Naudts had a successful career as a psychiatrist. But he abandoned it to ensure Culture Trip became a success. This week we dug into his story to find out why he did it.

PR experts unveil how TUI Airways could come back after its recent sexism row

Maybe the UK airline didn’t intend to cause a huge backlash when it handed out future captain stickers to boys and future cabin crew stickers to the girls on one of its flights. But it did. The question is how the brand can get out of the hot waters? We asked PR experts this week to find out.

How can you care for your employees’ mental health

Mental health issues are a huge problem in modern Britain. Unless you want it to affect your business, you better know how you can help your employees who struggle with these problems.

Revealing the mistakes to avoid when launching your brand

You know the expression that looks ain’t everything? Well, that’s only half-true when it comes to branding. And if you want your business to be successful you better get your head into the branding game. Luckily for you, we’ve found out at least three mistakes you should avoid when getting your name out there.

Get your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in fintech

If you’re shocked to hear that Britain is a world leader in fintech, then you haven’t been paying attention. However, with all the exciting things happening in the sector, it can be difficult to know what’s hot and what’s not. So we asked our friends at FinTech North to explain what’s trending in fintech right now

Eric Johansson
Eric Johansson

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