🗒️ The $10B workplace tool


October 11, 2021

The Hustle

Have you ever wanted to control the car’s A/C with your iPhone? You’re in luck… Apple announced plans to add this (and other features) to its CarPlay‌ platform. Sweat no more.

Today’s rundown:

  • Notion: Remote work and a surprising TikTok surge helped push this workplace startup to a $10B valuation.
  • Outdoor dining: It’s helped restaurants stay afloat… but will it last?
  • Digits: Email speeds, airport software, Michael Jordan’s sneakers, and more wild numbers.

Let’s do it.

The Big Idea
Notion and TikTok

Notion notches a $10B valuation, with the help of TikTok

TikTok is known for turning random dances or cranberry juice-drinking skateboarders into viral sensations.

While enterprise software seems less likely to pop, workplace startup Notion has become a favorite on the short video app with 80m+ video views of the hashtag #notion.

This rush of TikTok interest…

…. is part of Notion’s rapid COVID-era growth, which saw the platform 5x from 4m users last April to 20m today (Notion’s sales are not disclosed).

Investors clearly noticed the gains: Last week, the company raised $275m at a $10B valuation, according to Forbes’ Alex Konrad — an impressive climb from a 2019 valuation of $800m.

Notion has a cult following

In addition to TikTok, the company’s subreddit (r/Notion) has 151k members, much more than other productivity tools like Slack (~17k) or Zoom (~26k).

These power users create countless templates for others to copy including calendars, habit trackers, portfolio screens, life wikis, and more.

Further, Notion’s ease of use and collaborative tools are finding their way into the enterprise world, a major area of focus for the startup.

Playing in a crowded space

Founded in 2012, Notion contends with workspace software both old (e.g., Microsoft Office, Evernote, Google Docs) and new (e.g., Airtable, Coda, Roam Research).

To separate itself from the pack, Notion recently acquired its 1st company: Automate.io, an Indian startup that provides automated integrations with 200+ services including marketing (Mailchimp), messaging (Slack), and payments (PayPal).

The deal increases functionality for Notion users… which probably means we’re about to get a lot more TikTok videos.

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SNIPPETS

Right to repair: Microsoft agreed to let non-authorized repair shops fix Surface devices. #ecommerce-retail

Climate clampdown: Google and YouTube announced a policy to prevent climate deniers from advertising on its platforms. #clean-energy

Creator funding: Facebook announced a $10m fund for VR creators. #emerging-tech

New protection: Google announced plans to protect journalists and high-risk users from cyberattacks. #privacy

Alt-OS: Paddle announced plans to launch an iOS competitor that will avoid Apple’s fees. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Next up: Bret Taylor reportedly told friends he expects to replace Marc Benioff as CEO of Salesforce soon. #big-tech

Dining Trends
Outdoor dining

Cobblestone is def underrated (Source: Edwin Remsberg / Getty Images)

Outdoor dining is lovely, but at what cost?

Outdoor dining generally gets favorable reviews across the board:

  • Restaurants consider it a saving grace amid the pandemic
  • Diners love it because it allows them to maintain social distancing protocols
  • Onlookers appreciate the European vibes on city streets

Despite widespread approval, extending outdoor dining creates a new set of questions for restaurant owners, per The Wall Street Journal.

Last year, restaurants were in survival mode…

… which led to impromptu outdoor setups featuring propane-powered space heaters, tents, and low-cost patio furniture.

These setups created headaches that were worth it at the time, like scrambling to change ~10 propane tanks per night and furniture getting damaged by nearby traffic.

Heading into this winter, many restaurants are making investments to uplevel their outdoor experience across all axes, including:

  • Decor (e.g., permanent fixtures, infrared heaters, and thematic decor)
  • Staff (e.g., warmer uniforms and tablets to make orders more efficient)
  • Diners (e.g., blankets, knit hats, and warm menu additions to fight the cold)

But external factors are complicating the equation

Rising food prices and a shortage of restaurant workers means some restaurant owners need to weigh the scope of their outdoor investment. Further complicating the matter are temporary outdoor dining permits that vary by location.

Regardless, with 80% of diners in favor of permanent outdoor dining, the trend is here to stay.

P.S. If you’re looking to rig your own outdoor dining setup, check out these top-rated space heaters.

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Free Resource

The latest ‘Instagram for business’ guide

Don’t be fooled by last week’s outage shenanigans.

The picture platform went down with Facebook and WhatsApp for 6 hours, forcing mankind to pick up books and put on sunscreen. How ridiculous.

Thankfully for businesses, Instagram isn’t going anywhere. It’s still a top medium for growing your budding brand.

Use the 2021 Instagram marketing blueprint

… made by marketing juggernauts from Talkwalker and HubSpot.

Master the core social essentials:

  • Build your brand’s image and following
  • Hashtag glossary and best practices
  • When to use Stories vs. posts
  • How to run contests for viral growth
  • Measure marketing campaign success
Insta instructions →
Let’s Talk Numbers

Digits: Email speed, airport software, Michael Jordan’s sneakers, and more

1) “Email urgency bias” is a new term born out of a recent study published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, which found people assume they need to respond 36% faster to an email than senders expect.

2) The Federal Aviation Administration completed a 4-year test of new software to reduce airplane taxi times at Charlotte airport, where the tool helped save 275k+ gallons of fuel and cut delays by 916 hours. It’ll roll out to 27 airports beginning in 2022.

3) Sotheby’s is auctioning off Michael Jordan’s rookie-year Nike kicks, and they’re estimated to go for $1m-$1.5m. Though, in our opinion, they’re less unique than the pair of MJ’s worn underwear, which once went for $3,341.

4) You can no longer buy parts of the Amazon rainforest on Facebook Marketplace. Plots the size of 1k soccer fields were reportedly up for sale, but Facebook this week announced a ban on selling protected land.

5) In Q3, 4,523 apartments were sold in New York City, more than any quarter over the last 32 years. One-bedroom NYC properties sold at an extremely affordable median price of $800k.

AROUND THE WEB

📝 On this day: In 2006, Google Docs launched in beta. Since then, it’s been used in countless offices, but people have also used it for virtual escape rooms, grassroots organizing, and live comedy.

🕸️ That’s cool: Disney built the “Stuntronic” robot to effortlessly sail through the air like Spider-Man. It’s pretty fun to watch!

😮 Useful: LSXS is a catalog of visualizers you can use for parties, trippy backdrops, zoning out, or whatever you like!

☂️ Haha: For some reason, this man will stop at nothing to jump rope fast enough to prevent getting wet in the rain. That’s not actually possible, but… it’s about the journey.

😕 How to: Ever buy an item online and get something completely different? The Washington Post has a guide to researching purchases and avoiding scams.

🏰 That’s interesting: Burj Al Babas was to be a $200m resort with 530 castle-esque villas in Turkey, but the company building it went bankrupt. The castles now sit abandoned save for some adventurous tourists, like the ones in this video.

Meme of the day
spreadsheets meme

If you’re this person, you know… (Source: Twitter)

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