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Hand-crank a level of Super Mario Bros. on Lego’s new 2,646-piece NES kit


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The healthy bump in valuation is a sign of the times: while the novel coronavirus spread has led to a lot of strain on certain sectors of the world of tech (and more generally certain industries like travel), others have found themselves seeing big surges of demand. Lattice has bumped up its own customers numbers to 1,900 businesses, from 1,400 in October (with their size in the 50-1,500 range generally) and Altman says that Lattice’s employee count, which now numbers around 200, has grown at the same rate.n

The reason for the good growth? Lattice, along with companies like it, have taken on a key role — that of providing structure in an organisation — at a time when we have lost a lot of that.n

“In March and April our customers were transferring to remote and business slowed down, a lot,” he said. “Now, it’s picked up.”n

Indeed, “workplace” has taken on a very different meaning for many of us in these COVID-19 days, but some might argue that as the workplace concept stretches and is tested, it’s more important than ever for individuals to have a sense of how they are doing within it.n

Lattice’s product covers a spectrum of tools that both tap into the idea of proactive usage, and more passive data flow, both to help build up a picture of how employees are doing, and also to help provide better communication of goals achieved between those employees and their managers.n

It includes software to give and get feedback and run reviews, set goals for employees, deliver praise, and get updates on what people are working on. It also features integrations with other platforms like Slack that help communicate “wins” but also track these milestones so that they can feed into an analytics engine to help facilitate the process of taking stock during review time, both for employees themselves as well as their managers.n

All of these are great, but even so probably still only scratch the tip of the iceberg in terms of how productivity can be better managed longer term using new innovations such as artificial intelligence.n

Altman (Jack, not Sam) says that he believes we are at least five years away from realistically building AI platforms that can seamlessly track all our work activity, both within our work apps and in a wider network of digital activity — to provide us with real time updates on how we are doing, what we’re doing well but also how we could be doing better.n

That’s before considering whether we are ready to accept that kind of concept as helpful and not dystopian. Lattice, he added, is definitely interested in that long-term goal even as it continues to build products that can address performance management as it’s known and identified as a business area today.n

The challenges of today, in any case, are no less massive and already a big shift, considering the move many of us have made to new work environments, which for some will take a long time to return to “normal” or at least start to feel “normal” and routine again.n

That’s the bigger opportunity for companies like Lattice, which compete not only against other pure-play platforms like BetterWorks or 15Five, but also those that integrate performance management into wider human resources platforms like Workday. While the two may co-exist for a long time, it means that for a company like Lattice, it has both opportunities to continue and grow as a standalone service, as well as one that might potentially get snapped up in that wider consolidation trend.n

“In the migration to a more remote world, the tools for organizations to help manage, engage, and develop their teams are more important than ever,u201d said Miles Grimshaw, Partner at Thrive Capital, in a statement. u201cWeu2019re excited to further advance the impact ofu00a0Latticeu2019s employee success platform.”n

 n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:”rendered”:”

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Ingrid is a writer and editor for TechCrunch, joining February 2012, based out of London.nn

Before TechCrunch, Ingrid worked at paidContent.org, where she was a staff writer, and has in the past also written freelance regularly for other publications such as the Financial Times. Ingrid covers mobile, digital media, advertising and the spaces where these intersect.nn

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do investors bidding up tech shares know that the rest of us don’t?”,”content”:{“rendered”:”

The biggest story to come out of the post-March stock market boom has been explosive growth in the value of technology shares. Software companies in particular have seen their fortunes recover; since March lows, public software companies’ valuations have more than doubled, according to one basket of SaaS and cloud stocks compiled by a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.n

Such gains are good news for startups of all sizes. For later-stage upstarts, software share appreciation helps provide a welcoming public market for exits. And, strong public valuations can help guide private dollars into related startups, keeping the capital flowing.n


n

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, and now you can receive it in your inbox. Sign up for The Exchange newsletter, which drops every Friday starting July 24.n


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For software-focused startup companies, especially those pursuing recurring revenue models like SaaS, it’s a surprisingly good time to be alive.n

""Indeed, after COVID-19 hit the United States, layoffs and rising software sales churn were key, worrying indicators coming out of startup-land. Since then, the data has turned around.n

As TechCrunch reported in June, startup layoffs have declined and software churn has recovered to the point that business and enterprise-focused SaaS companies are on the bounce.n

But instead of merely recovering to near pre-COVID levels, software stocks have continued to rise. Indeed, the Bessemer Cloud Index (EMCLOUD), which tracks SaaS firms, has set an array of all-time highs in recent weeks.n

There’s some logic to the rally. After speaking to venture capitalists over the past few weeks, notes from EQT Ventures‘ Alastair Mitchell, Sapphire’s Jai Das, and Shomik Ghosh from Boldstart Ventures paint the picture of a possibly accelerating digital transformation for some software companies, nudged forward by COVID-19 and its related impacts.n

The result of the trend may be that the total addressable market (TAM) for software itself is larger than previously anticipated. Larger TAM could mean bigger future sales for and more substantial future cash flows for some software companies. This argument helps explain part of the market’s present-day enthusiasm for public tech equities, and especially the shares of software companies.n

We won’t be able explain every point that Nasdaq has gained. But the TAM argument is worth understanding if we want to grok a good portion of the optimism that is helping drive tech valuations, both private and public.



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