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Fun fact: Sometimes engineers automate themselves out of a job. And sometimes, those engineers never tell. The Hustle Sponsored by What happens when you automate your own job? Several years ago, a user by the name of “FiletOFish1066” unloaded a...
By: Wes Schlagenhauf
October 4, 2018
Fun fact: Sometimes engineers automate themselves out of a job. And sometimes, those engineers never tell.
Several years ago, a user by the name of “FiletOFish1066” unloaded a shocking tale in an anonymous reddit post: He’d written a program that automated his own QA testing job — and for 6 years, had done “jack sh*t at work.”
“For 40 hours each week I go to work, play League of Legends in my office, browse reddit, and do whatever I feel like,” he wrote. “In the past 6 years I have maybe done 50 hours of real work.” Eventually, FiletOFish1066 was caught, and promptly fired.
His plight raises an interesting philosophical question: Should workers be permitted to automate their own jobs?
Corporations automate jobs, so why can’t you?
Per an estimate from the McKinsey Global Institute, as many as 800m jobs — including 30% of American jobs — will be automated by 2030.
Robots now make our pizzas, serve us coffee (at a rate of 120 cups per hour), and everyone from Amazon to McDonald’s is investing heavily in automated labor.
One of the celebrated benefits of automation is that it will reduce the amount of time we spend working. But, when workers figure out a way to automate their own jobs, that’s often not the reality.
The reward for efficiency? More work.
There’s a famous scene in the 1936 film Modern Times, where the harder Charlie Chaplin works on the factory line, the more work he has to do.
Today’s workplace isn’t far off: Companies place a premium on speed and efficiency — but when workers (like this one) deliver by automating their jobs, they just get saddled with additional tasks.
The Atlantic recently talked to a dozen people who claimed to automate their jobs; nearly all were afraid to tell their employers. “Even if a program impeccably performs their job,” writes the magazine, “many feel that automation for one’s own benefit is wrong.”
We’ll leave it with a question: If you figure out a way to satisfactorily complete 8 hours’ worth of tasks in 10 minutes, should you: A) Get the rest of the day off, or B) Have to take on additional work?
Are you paid for your time or your work?
Thanks to $2.75B from Honda for GM’s self-driving division, the Cruise continues
Yesterday, Honda invested $2.75B in GM’s self-driving program, Cruise. Why are they getting in bed with a competitor?
As the race to build autonomous vehicles spreads out, slow-moving companies are hitching rides with industry leaders -- and the tech companies behind it all are still on a roll.
If you can’t beat ’em, draft ’em
Two clear leaders have emerged in the crowded self-driving race: GM-Cruise and Google’s Waymo. But Ford bought an AI company called Argo in an attempt to catch up, and Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, and Volvo are all developing their own self-driving cars.
Meanwhile, some legacy automakers -- Honda and Hyundai -- have remained on the sidelines. Now, as the future of self-driving cars looks certain, the Japanese automaker seems to have finally gotten nervous.
Honda will invest $750m in Cruise immediately, doling out the remaining $2B over 12 years as part of a 5.7% stake in Cruise. The deal will bring GM closer to catching up with Waymo, and it will prevent Honda from falling out of the race entirely.
But Cruise is the real winner
When Cruise was acquired by GM, it sold for just $581m. But this new investment from Honda values the company at $14.6B, meaning the value of the company has increased 25x in less than 2 years.
Cruise also got $2.25B from Softbank just a few months ago -- and its founders continue to run the company independently as GM’s youngest senior directors.
So you’ve got to ask yourself: Who’s really in the driver seat at GM?
Aston Martin’s London Stock Exchange debut was… not what James Bond was hoping for
We can assure you that James Bond was shaken, not stirred, after hearing the news about Aston Martin’s stock market debut.
The beloved Bond car began trading on the London Stock Exchange Wednesday and by day’s end had fallen 4% below its IPO price of $24.70 USD.
Investors reportedly scoffed at a valuation that put the luxury carmaker on par with larger and more profitable Italian competitor Ferrari.
Easy, 007. It’s not all that bad for the luxury icon
According to CEO Andy Palmer, as only the second luxury carmaker to go public, and the first UK carmaker in more than 3 decades, the market is still “adjusting” to the idea.
Not to mention the sticker shock: The IPO valued the 105-year-old company at $5.6B USD -- that’s 20.7x its first-half earnings, a few notches shy of the current 21x share multiple that Ferrari expects to bring in 2018.
21x? How is that possible, Moneypenny?
The 10-fold return comes with the company’s newfound attitude. Aston Martin has struggled during its century-long history, filing for bankruptcy 7 times.
But, since hiring Palmer in 2014, the historically loss-making automaker has overhauled its car lineup to broaden its appeal, and set its sights on a goal to sell almost 10k vehicles per year by 2020.
Likewise, a new social recommendations platform, has finally surfaced after more than a year in development.
The app is a hub to find and build trusted recommendations for restaurants, TV shows, movies, books and more, with the ability to follow other users, as well as in-house tastemakers, and their lists of favorites.
You only need one Bill
The free app began as a brainchild of Larry Cohen, a longtime Gates aide who serves as CEO of Gates Ventures.
Cohen pitched the idea for the app to Gates, where he reportedly flipped. “He jumps from his chair, and he starts talking, and he really gets into it,” Cohen recalled.
Likewise is not under the web of any of Gates’ existing organizations, though the idea was born in his private office. For now, Gates is the sole investor in the 20-person, Bellevue, Washington-based company.
Now the real work begins…
It doesn’t hurt to have one of the richest, most innovative humans on Earth in your corner -- but the market holds no bias. And, like all app companies, it will be an uphill battle for Likewise to grow its audience.
The app hopes to generate some initial interest with recommendations from Gates and celebrities like Tom Friedman, Howard Schultz, and Bono… because nobody knows the top fondue spots better than Bono.
The company also hopes to expand to new categories in the future, including podcasts, electronics, and recipes.
Science says your daily 8-hour eye fry is making you blind
Researchers from the University of Toledo recently released findings indicating the Blue Light emitted from electronic devices may speed up blindness.
According to the study, prolonged exposure to Blue Light creates poisonous molecules in our eyes’ light-sensitive cells that can cause “macular degeneration” -- a form of partial blindness.
No surprise: Our eyes weren’t built for a daily barrage of high-intensity artificial light. Luckily, Felix Gray can help.
Protect your eyes with these compliment magnets
Now, more than ever, it’s time screen-hustlers around the world protect their most precious commodity -- their eyes.
Felix Gray’s non-Rx and prescription glasses have Blue Light filtering technology built into the lenses. It’s like an invisible shield between your eyes and the damaging Blue Light coming from your screens.
And these aren’t glorified safety glasses -- a pair Felix Gray’s turns heads, folks. Their handcrafted Italian acetate frames look as fly as the price point of just $95 for non-RX.
Protect your money-makers. Put Felix Gray between you and your screen.
TICKLE: Your literary bone with Self Authoring, $30
Call it, journaling with directions. Explore your past, present, and future-self with Self Authoring. Through a series of online courses, you’ll discover the “you” hidden in digital ink. Fight anxiety, depression, and learn to live a healthier life just by writing it all down.
CHARGE: Your Apple armada while staying organized, $25
Apple fanboys: ditch the hornet nest of bedside charging cables. The BEACOO Dock Station lets you charge your Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods with tactical precision. Plus, it’s cheap. So, when Apple finally releases its wireless charger, you won’t need a second mortgage.
SPEND: The weekend playing with this ‘labyrinth’ cube, $22
The Awful Labyrinth Cube comes straight from Satan’s toy chest. Rated at a 8 out of 12 difficulty scale, and we honestly have no idea what to expect. Drop the ball in one end, many hours later, maybe it comes out the other. There’s even a ‘phantom ball’ to quicken your descent into insanity.
Watching 7 seasons of a show in a day? Bad. Reading 7 industry mags instead? Good. Real good. With the Readly app, you can devour as many magazines (Forbes, FastCompany, and Inc., to name a few) as you can handle all for one low monthly price. Hustle readers get their first 3 months for $0.99. Bonus: If you’re an AT&T subscriber, you can get up to 3 months free.
SERENADE: The streets of LA with the Rise watch from MVMT, $125
MVMT’s new Rise Collection is a tribute to their hometown hustle and the iconic grit and glam of the City of Angels. With a subtle accent on the 13 mark, Rise is MVMT’s LA time capsule, featuring a modern 39mm case, date window, and a custom “Los Angeles” engraving. Click below to peep the full Rise lineup.