“expanding” as a euphemism for “outsourcing”

Zenefits Is Laying Off Almost Half Its Employees:

Zenefits will lay off 45% of its employees in an effort to slash costs, according to an internal memo this morning that was obtained by BuzzFeed News, a stark acknowledgment by the embattled human resources startup that its onetime expectations for growth were vastly inflated.

Roughly 430 workers will be cut, including 250 in Zenefits’ San Francisco headquarters and 150 in its office in Tempe, Arizona, leaving the company with about 500 employees, according to the memo and a person briefed on the matter. That’s about a third of the size it was a year ago, when it ousted its founding CEO, Parker Conrad, over revelations that it flouted state regulations for selling health insurance.


Towards the end we get more specifics:

Fulcher said in the memo that Zenefits would consolidate its operations group in its Arizona office, while expanding its product and engineering groups in Vancouver and Bangalore to supplement its San Francisco team.

Outsourcing has become commonplace in many U.S. industries, particularly in technology where countries like India have a much larger, better trained, and most importantly, cheaper workforce.

It will be interesting to see how Trump responds after he praised Intel for their plans to build factory in Arizona. He convinced the company Carrier to keep 1,000 jobs in the U.S. by giving them $7 million in tax breaks, but this sort of approach addresses the symptoms of the outsourcing problem, not the causes.

A few of the causes include valuing profit over people, and having an education system that doesn’t always properly equip kids with the skills they’ll need to be relevant in the workforce.

I’m sure Betsy DeVos has insightful solutions to these problems.

Intel Not Inside

Ina Fried at Re/Code on Intel missing the mobile boat:

After missing the early days of the smartphone revolution, Intel spent in excess of $10 billion over the last three years in an effort to get a foothold in mobile devices.

Now, having gained little ground in phones and with the tablet market shrinking, Intel is essentially throwing in the towel. The company quietly confirmed last week that it has axed several chips from its roadmap, including all of the smartphone processors in its current plans.

It’s a stunning admission of failure that saw the company throw good money after bad in its bid to make up for lost ground.

Intel is right there with their old buddy Microsoft on the sidelines of the mobile devices game.

PC Does Bad Ads

Speaking of Lenovo, Ars Technica on the new ‘PC Does What?’ ad campaign to take on Apple:

You’ve got to feel for the PC. While there’s no denying its practicality or gaming chops, ever since IBM dropped the first beige box of PC joy on the world over three decades ago, the PC has never really managed to be cool—and for the likes of Intel, Microsoft, HP, Dell, and Lenovo fighting against a declining market that’s a problem.

So the five of them have teamed up to take on Apple and make the PC cool again, or at least encourage people to upgrade from their five-year-old PCs—of which Intel says there are over 500 million out there—to shiny new laptops with touch-screens, and thin metal enclosures, and longer battery life. The result of their collective marketing prowess is the “PC Does What?” campaign, a collection of short TV ads set to run in the US and China in the coming months.

They’re as cheesy as I expected.