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How the Front team works from home

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Planking on Zoom calls, game nights, and skincare Fridays

Like most tech startups, the Front team had to convert to an all-remote setup in just a few days. Mathilde Collin, CEO of Front, shares 25 things they implemented to maintain their culture during the transition.
 
Daily status email: Front normally sends a daily email, called the Weather Report, to their entire team. The email is a business health check, covering revenue, churn, new customers, etc.
Weekly CEO AMA: Mathilde hosts a weekly AMA (ask me anything) on Wednesday mornings. They use Slido, an audience engagement app, to let the team submit and upvote topics for discussion.
Dedicated Slack channel: Front created a #life-wfh Slack channel for employees to connect socially. Their people team posts resources there to help employees cope with the current circumstances tips for working remotely, fun things to do indoors, etc.
Health and wellness benefit: Front expanded these to be more work-from-home friendly by including reimbursements for things like meditation, reading, and language lessons. They also do a weekly team-wide guided meditation session virtually over zoom.
Counseling services: Employees can get confidential counseling to help navigate challenges relating to work, family, stress, finances, and other personal issues.
Books for parents: The company shipped children's books to employees with kids to help with childcare (or, at least, to demonstrate support for their situation).
Virtual game night: The team sets aside a night to play virtual games, like Codenames and Werewolf, over Zoom calls.
Plank: In the office, the teams would take a moment before lunch to do a plank for 2 minutes. They've kept that but now do it virtually over Zoom twice a week.
Skincare Fridays: To take advantage of being at home and to encourage self-care practices, some team members do a facial mask and hop on a Zoom call on Friday evening. A silly and positive way to end the work week.
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More from Today in Tech

Internal company memos often capture businesses in extraordinary moments, and reviewing them can benefit the broader business world.

From Slack's founder on how to sell experiences over products to executives at Nokia and Yahoo offering critical views of their business operations, take a look at 8 of the most-discussed business memos of the last 30 years.
NerdWallet's VP of Content, Maggie Leung, opens up about how her 80-person team has worked remotely for six years. Here are six tactical takeaways that have helped her level up as a leader of a large remote team:
 
  1. Create space for conversations and try to cultivate the "we're all in this together" feeling.
  2. Invest in relationships and set a cultural north star.
  3. Fight fires with candor.
  4. Shine a spotlight on what good looks like.
  5. Connect the dots, relentlessly.
  6. Don't unintentionally undermine your team.
Especially in these times, startups need leadership who can rapidly assess the current circumstances and act with urgency. Those that don't may not survive.

Steve Blank offers a five-day playbook to help CEOs of cash-flow negative startups assess the new normal and respond with urgency.
 
  • Day 1: Prepare an assessment of the internal and external environment
  • Day 2: Iterate the assessment with your investors/board
  • Days 3 and 4: Prepare new business model and operating plan
  • Day 5: Iterate with investors and board

Chartable analyzed data from 7,000 podcasts over the past month and a half. The big findings:

 

  • Downloads and listening have declined, but the people tuning in are significantly more engaged.
  • Listen-through rates are sky-high
  • Reviews are down, but they're coming back
  • Downloads happen at home

Lenny Rachitsky consolidated a bunch of the best advice he found for navigating your business through this crisis:

* Determine if you should be in survival mode, tweak mode, or accelerate mode
* Preserve optionality through scenario planning
* Create an incident response team
* Make sure you have enough cash
* Adjust messaging and positioning
* Take advantage of the lower ad costs

Hot startups hiring now πŸ”₯

Quibi - Quick bite premium content focused on mobile viewing. Explore 4 jobs.
Clutter - On-demand storage company changing the way you manage your belongings. Explore 6 jobs.
Parabola - Eliminate busywork. Work like an engineer, no code required. Explore 7 jobs.
Dave - Banking for humans. Explore 23 jobs.
Roblox - Build and share your own multiplayer video games. Explore 4 jobs.

Funding and Acquisitions

Personal finance startup SoFi has agreed to buy payments software company Galileo for $1.2 billion. Galileo's digital payments platform enables checking and savings account-like functionality via its open APIs, providing companies with a way to create consumer and B2B financial services. Via its APIs, companies can launch debit cards, credit cards, savings products, money transfers, and a number of financial products more quickly.
Podium, a customer messaging platform for local businesses, has raised a $125 million Series C round valuing the company at around $1.5 billion. It also announced a new free version,that enables companies to connect with customers and process contactless payments over messaging. Contactless transactions are especially important now, as most of the world locks down and practices social distancing due to COVID-19.
Airbnb has secured $1 billion in debt and equity from private equity firms Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners. The deal gives the travel giant a financial cushion to recover from the massive impact of the coronavirus. Airbnb said that it would go public in 2020, although it's unclear if it will stick to that plan now.
Foursquare is merging with yet another location-focused startup, Factual in an all-stock deal. The combined entity will represent some of the largest location data sets in the world, spanning more than 500 million devices. The company will also have data on more than 105 million points of interest across 190 countries and 50 territories.
Notion, a workplace productivity platform, has raised $50 million from Index Ventures and other investors at a $2 billion valuation. With more people working remotely now and turning to such products, new customer sign-ups hit an all-time high for Notion in recent weeks.
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