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3 key secrets to building extraordinary teams

David Cancel, the CEO and founder of Drift, wrote a deep dive on how to think about finding and recruiting the kinds of people who build incredible startups. Among the factors he looks at:

Scrappiness (Importance: 35%)

The four most telling words a new hire can say: “I’ll figure it out.” If you find someone who says that (and can follow through on it), you know you’ve found someone with drive — someone who will plunge headfirst into any challenge and help move the company forward. But to clarify, the type of drive I look for in new hires is different from traditional ambition. Because traditionally ambitious people, while hard workers, tend to obsess over their own personal rise up the corporate ladder. They always have an eye on that next title change, from manager to director, director to VP, or VP to C-suite, and that influences how they perform. That’s why a decade ago, while running my previous company Performable, I added a new requirement to our job descriptions: “Scrappiness.” Today, it’s one of our leadership principles at Drift.

Scrappy people don’t rely on titles or defined sets of responsibilities. Instead, they do whatever it takes to get the job done, even when no one is looking, and even if the tasks they’re performing could be considered “beneath their title.”

Takeaways from F8 and Facebook’s next phase

We had a greatly informative conference call with our very own Josh Constine and Frederic Lardinois, who were checking in from Facebook’s F8 conference in San Jose this week. In case you weren’t able to join us, the transcript and audio have been posted for Extra Crunch members:

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Honor marks independence by inking the supplier deals Huawei couldn’t

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Honor is going it alone, cutting ties with Huawei as it spins out as an independent business, and inking the deals that the US government blocked its former parent company from making. The Chinese phone-maker launched its first device as a standalone company today, the Honor View40, a 5G smartphone with aggressive pricing.

Honor was founded eight years ago, as Huawei’s push to grab market share in the more affordable end of the device market. Resolutely targeting younger users, the sub-brand tapped celebrity endorsements like Brooklyn Beckham to help emerge from its parent’s shadow, though also benefited considerably from Huawei’s R&D investments into camera tech and screen design.

That stopped being such an advantage when Huawei found itself added to the US trade embargo list under the Trump Administration. Under the terms of the entity list, Huawei was blocked from inking deals with companies like Google, Qualcomm, and others, and as a subsidiary it left Honor out in the cold, too. In mid-November 2020, Huawei sold Honor to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co., Ltd.

As a “fully independent company,” Honor says, it has its own ambitions for 2021 and beyond. As well as the Honor View40 smartphone, and upgrades to the MagicBook Series of Windows notebooks, the company also confirmed it had reached supplier agreements with a number of firms that, as part of Huawei, it had been blocked from doing business with.

“Based on global consumer needs, Honor has the flexibility and independence to choose the best solutions for its global supply chain,” the company said in a statement today. “Honor has already confirmed partnerships with leading suppliers such as AMD, Intel, MediaTek, Micron Technology, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, SK hynix, and Sony.”

It’s a comprehensive list if you’re a company trying to make cutting-edge smartphones. Sony, for example, provides the camera sensors for many in the smartphone industry right now; Samsung is a key supplier of memory and displays. A deal with Qualcomm gives Honor the option of using Snapdragon chipsets and, arguably as important, the company’s 5G modems.

The Honor View40 uses MediaTek’s 1000+ chipset with 5G, but lacks support for the mmWave networks that US networks have been rolling out for the fastest possible speeds in typically urban areas. It’s unclear when – or if – Honor might have ambitions for the fiercely competitive US market, but supporting mmWave 5G would be effectively a must-have if that’s on the roadmap. Right now, that means Qualcomm modems, since MediaTek’s 5G products don’t support that specific network tech.

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HONOR View40 launched with waterfall display, 5G, super-fast charging

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This week the folks at HONOR revealed the HONOR View40 at a live streamed event in China. This device is the first major release of the year for HONOR, and one of the most extravagant devices released by the brand thus far. The HONOR View40 works with a waterfall cured 7.72-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2676 x 1236 pixels.

The HONOR View40 smartphone’s display is 10-bit (8+2-bit) with OLED tech, delivering over 1 billion colors directly into your face. This device’s display works with a 120Hz image refresh rate with up to 300Hz touch response. This panel covers the entirety of the DCI-P3 color space and works with HDR10 support.

Under the hood, this device has a 4000mAh battery with the ability to charge at a great speed, thanks to 66W SuperCharge tech. The battery in this device can charge up to 60 percent capacity in approximately 35 minutes – that’s swift! That’s wired charging – wireless charging is here too, at up to 50W (allowing up to 50 percent total charge in approximately 30 minutes).

The processor inside this machine is a MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ (SoC) with GPU Turbo X and Hunter Boost optimizations – we’ll see what that’s all about when we review the device in the near future. For now, HONOR suggests they’ll bring power to the gaming environment in this machine.

The HONOR View40’s cameras include a 50-megapixel RYYB sensor with 1/1.56-inch sensor with f/1.9 aperture to deliver top-notch main sensor action. This camera array also includes an 8MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.4 aperture and 2MP macro lens with f/2.4 aperture.

This device also has NSA/SA 5G connectivity with a dual-SIM tray for switching. This device also works with an infrared port (for controlling your television) and always-on display. You’ll have NFC, multi-window multi-tasking, and a variety of sensors. Sensors include proximity, ambient light, gravity, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and fingerprint sensor (under-display, optical).

The HONOR View40 will have a release date of January 22 (today!) That’s when it’ll be released in China – no word yet when it’ll be released (or if it’ll be released) elsewhere. This device will have two iterations (at least) with 8GB RAM and either 128GB or 256GB internal storage. Pricing will be RMB 3599 and RMB 3999 for the smaller and larger internal storage size iterations.

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New MacBook Air could lead Apple’s long-awaited apology to power users

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A lot of rumors have been swirling about incoming MacBook updates lately, and today we have a particularly juicy report to sink our teeth into. Just as Apple is rumored to be updating the MacBook Pro significantly, so too is it apparently looking to make some big changes to the MacBook Air. The first big change is rumored to be a switch back to MagSafe chargers.

That’s according to a new report from Bloomberg, which is based on information from anonymous sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans. Last week, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that MagSafe will return in 2021’s MacBook Pro, and now we’re hearing the same is true for Apple’s next MacBook Air, which could be released either later this year or at some point in 2022.

Bloomberg’s report also states that this new MacBook Air will use next-generation versions of Apple’s in-house processors, which makes sense as Apple debuted its M1 chip in the MacBook Air last year. This new MacBook Air may shrink screen bezels to make for a footprint that’s smaller overall, but we can expect the screen to stay at 13-inches – we’re told that Apple has entertained the idea of making a MacBook Air with a 15-inch display, but that’s on hold for this upcoming model.

This report doesn’t just stop at the next MacBook Air, though. Bloomberg also reports that the next MacBook Pros will feature SD card slots, which is something we haven’t seen on a MacBook since 2016. We also hear that the Touch Bar is being dropped, which is something that Kuo predicted last week as well. Further off in the future, we could even see Macs that support both cellular connectivity and Face ID, but Bloomberg says that neither feature is coming soon.

So, regardless of whether you’re a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro person, it sounds like you’ve got some changes heading your way in newer models – assuming, of course, that Bloomberg’s report and Kuo’s predictions pan out and are actually accurate. We should find out soon enough, as Apple could start unveiling these new laptops in the second half of this year.

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