Welcome back to Insider Weekly! I’m Matt Turner, co-EIC of business at Insider.
That’s the question at the heart of Rebecca Knight’s latest work-advice column this week. Rebecca’s spent her career answering these kinds of questions, most often focused on the emotional life of work. As boundaries between home and work blur in the WFH era, they’re more relevant than ever.
Also in this week’s newsletter:
- Noom markets itself as an anti-diet app. Users say they count calories and receive generic advice from expensive subscriptions.
- Private-equity firms are locked in a power struggle with their investors, and lawyers are raking in cash no matter what.
- Launch House allows startup founders to live and work in mansions. Now it’s facing scrutiny over safety.
Let me know what you think of all our stories at [email protected]
Correspondent Rebecca Knight takes us behind the scenes of her work-life column What’s Working?:
What most interests me about work and careers are the people-problems. When launching my column, “What’s Working?”, I wanted to find a way to talk about these things and help workers through the challenges they face.
Work and home have merged into one in this pandemic. There is much more of an acknowledgement and a focus on what’s going on in our personal lives outside of work. The reader questions I’m getting most often are about personality clashes in the remote setup and about people reassessing what they want out of their lives and out of their jobs.
My most memorable column so far was about remote-work paranoia. A reader worried: “There must be another Slack channel that everyone else is having fun on and leaving me out of.” That reader tapped into something that a lot of us are feeling right now – and as a remote employee myself, I sometimes feel it, too.
So that’s why it’s important to remember that we’re all doing our best in this pandemic. Have compassion for yourself and for others. And if you need any advice, send me a question at [email protected].
Read Rebecca’s latest column here: ‘I always thought that I was a socially anxious introvert. Now I worry I’m a narcissist. What do I do?’
An industry leader in weight-loss apps, Noom has millions of dollars worth of venture-capital funding. It claims to use psychological methods and customized plans to help users lose weight – though users say they largely get cookie-cutter content.
While the app sells itself on a concept of psychological reset and long-term weight control, a registered dietician said Noom advises an extremely low daily calorie goal – “It’s not really an adult serving size.” Here’s why some clients reported feeling anxious and burnt out.
Private-equity firms and their investors are at each other’s throats with expensive demands and competing interests. Legal teams from both parties are caught in the middle, waging a secret war that investor attorneys see as “a game of holding the line.” Ambiguous contractual changes between legal teams, firms, and investors muddy the water, and changes are rarely uniform across the industry.
The back-and-forth often results in seven-figure legal expenses, as private-equity-firm billing rates can cost up to $US1,500 ($AU2,066) per hour. But the battle, according to one attorney who works for investors, is one-sided in favor of private-equity.
Los Angeles startup Launch House, a coliving program meant for founders, threw a mismanaged house party with hundreds of guests. Police had to shut it down – but that’s part of the “work hard, play hard” ethos of Launch House, according to former residents.
While at times, Launch House was poorly controlled and potentially unsafe, with COVID-19 outbreaks and parties, residents also said there were many benefits. A strong community, invaluable network, and fireside chats with like-minded entrepreneurs all remain part of the culture. But the safety concerns have put the company under scrutiny.
More of this week’s top reads:
- Better’s CEO has a specific hiring philosophy that allowed him to quadruple its workforce during the pandemic.
- These 9 BlackRock execs are powering Aladdin, a powerful behind-the-scenes tech software the asset manager has staked its future on.
- Shopify beat Amazon in one important metric, as competition intensifies between the e-commerce giants.
- Insider correspondent Kate Taylor exposed Brandy Melville’s allegations of discrimination and sexual exploitation. Here’s how she got the story.
- Alphabet life-sciences unit Verily is planning to untangle itself from Google ahead of a potential IPO.
- This Stitch Fix employee quit during a fiery all-hands meeting. She says stylists are being manipulated and silenced.
- Investors of cannabis startup Civilized are pushing out the founders. Insider has the full memo.
Compiled with help from Phil Rosen, Lisa Ryan and Jordan Erb.