Tech to Fix the System; Syndio CEO Maria Colacurcio, Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen +More

Maria Colacurcio of Syndio, Stephan Scholl of Alight, Ryan Petersen of Flexport

The Friday edition of the newsletter didn’t happen; I’d have said the most important thing in tech was the portion of President Biden’s executive order that aims to limit big tech’s ability to gain unfair advantages through data.

I’ve been skeptical of the various efforts underway to bring large tech companies to heel, mainly because they often try to apply antitrust law in ways I’m not sure make sense. (For example, I heard an executive allege in a single breath this week that Google has a monopoly in its Google Play store, but Apple is a worse monopolist in its App Store. But I hear about people switching from iOS to Android. So can they both have monopolies?)

To me, a lot of the efforts in the executive order make sense, because they emphasize fair treatment of smaller businesses in marketplaces, and don’t try to make a monopoly-based argument.

Outside of that, I talked to some tech leaders this week about technology that can improve the processes we use to work and trade, a topic that’s especially pressing as we try to emerge from a pandemic.

But first …

Can Facebook Beat Substack and Clubhouse? On the Other Hand

Can Facebook beat Clubhouse and Substack in creator platforms? Or is it a poor match for the market? I argue both sides in the latest edition of On the Other Hand, on CNBC’s Squawk Box:

Syndio’s CEO on Software to Support Fair Pay

What’s so hard about paying people equally for their skills and performance? A few things, it turns out. Syndio CEO Maria Colacurcio’s company has software to make it easier:

Flexport’s CEO on the Pandemic’s Global Shortages, and Opportunities

The pandemic caused a massive head-fake in global trade, causing many businesses to cut production and inventories right before a huge demand spike. Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen’s company was made for this moment, using technology to get goods from there to here more efficiently:

Alight CEO: Consolidation Looms in HR Tools; We’re Ready

Alight CEO Stephen Scholl talked to me on CNBC’s TechCheck about the company’s plan to make software for corporate human resources more useful and seamless, and how the newly public company will be positioned to grow market share:

Instawork CEO: Tech is Bringing Flexibility to Frontline Workers

Instawork CEO Sumir Meghani and investor Bill Gurley joined me on CNBC’s TechCheck to talk about the company’s latest funding round, and the arrival of gig economy flexibility for hourly workers in restaurants and warehouses:

If you know me, you know that I like projects. I put a lot of thought into things that are important to me, at it's not limited to Fortt Knox. My company, Fortt Media, is the home of The Black Experience in America: The Course, a curriculum I researched, designed, taught and then built into an interactive experience. I'm still building it, and crafting teacher training to increase its impact.

To share what I've learned from the process so far, and to learn from others who are passionate about Black history education, I'm participating in the Teaching Black History Conference, hosted by the Carter Center for K-12 Education at the University of Missouri, led by LaGarrett King. My presentation will be 7/23 at 8 a.m. ET. It's $99 to attend (virtually). Register here:

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