Nov. 28, 2022

How Airbnb Bounced Back from Mass Layoffs

The future of travel and tech with co-founder & CSO Nate Blecharczyk


Nora speaks with Airbnb co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Nathan Blecharczyk. He shared his insights on the current chaotic climate in Silicon Valley, revealed how the company bounced back from pandemic layoffs, and why trust remains at the core of their business. For more info on our presenting sponsor, check out https://purple.com

 

Host: Nora Ali

Producer: Raymond Luu   

Video Editors: Sebastian Vega and Evan Frolov 

Production, Mixing & Sound Design: Daniel Markus & Rosemary Minkler 

Music: Daniel Markus & Breakmaster Cylinder

Fact Checker: Kate Brandt 

Senior Producer: Katherine Milsop

 

Full transcripts for all Business Casual episodes available at https://businesscasual.fm

Transcript

Nora Ali: From Morning Brew, this is Business Casual, bringing you convos with people you know, and some you may not know yet, to make business less intimidating. Because money talks, but it does not have to be dull. I'm your host, Nora Ali. Now let's get down to business. Airbnb. By now, the founding story is part of Silicon Valley lore. Through hard work and a whole lot of grit, three friends were able to turn the idea of renting air mattresses in their San Francisco apartment into, as of this recording, a company with a $60 billion market cap. Of course, the real story is somewhat more complicated. Airbnb had two failed launches before finally succeeding on the third launch in 2007, and landing on systems that work, from payment processing to redesigning the search function to combat over-tourism in cities, took years of trial and error.

Today we heard from one of those co-founders, Chief Strategy Officer Nate Blecharczyk. He's the engineer amongst the founder group who has played a key role in building the technology that actually makes Airbnb work. Nate shared his insights on the current chaotic climate in Silicon Valley, and Airbnb is no stranger to turmoil. In the early months of the pandemic, the company laid off nearly 2,000 employees, or about 25% of its workforce, due to the sharp decline in business. We talked about whether there's a right way—or at least a better way—to do mass layoffs, how Airbnb bounced back from it all, and how the company keeps trust at the core of everything it does. That is all next, after the break. Nathan, welcome to Business Casual.

Nathan Blecharczyk: Hey, thanks for having me on the program.

Nora Ali: Let's start with a little icebreaker for a segment called OG Occupations. Nathan, what was the first ever job you've had?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Well, I started coding at the age of 12 and started my first company at the age of 14. So I don't know if that's job or not, but it was a business.

Nora Ali: What was the business?

Nathan Blecharczyk: I was creating early internet marketing software, and it actually did quite well. I made almost a million dollars as a teenager working out my basement. But I think more important than the revenue was that it gave me self-confidence that I could teach myself all the necessary skills—I'm completely self-taught as a computer engineer—and that I could build things that people would value, and that's really where I became a lifelong entrepreneur.

Nora Ali: Yeah. At age 14. Who were your customers? Who was buying your software that you were building?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Well, it's funny. I was posting my work on the internet and I would say, "If you like my work, please send me $5." Nobody ever paid me $5. But at the age of 14, I got a phone call and someone said, "I saw your work on the internet. I'd like to pay you a thousand dollars to create something different, but similar." And so I told my dad, "Somebody from the internet wants to pay me a thousand dollars." He just laughed. He said, "Son, nobody from the internet is going to pay you a thousand dollars." This is the mid-90s, by the way. So it was particularly uncommon to have such an opportunity through the internet, but I said, "Whatever, Dad, this is my hobby. I'm going to do it anyways." And sure enough, 30 days later I got paid a thousand dollars, but more importantly, I got introduced and referred to other people who needed things created, and this is really what began the more serious business.

Nora Ali: That is absolutely incredible. So impressive. So all of that led you eventually to Airbnb. So it was born in 2007 when your pals, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, they rented out their air mattresses in San Francisco for a design conference. So they are the designers with the big moonshot dreams. You're the technical co-founder, you're the engineer. You're the one who makes it happen, at the end of the day. What was your initial reaction to the idea of turning this practically into a company?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Well, I thought the concept was really cool. I loved to travel, personally, and I loved the idea of using technology to connect people in the real world. So I thought it was certainly a great project for us to work on together. I think I had no idea that it was going to be the next big thing. At the time, I was probably working on two or three projects that I had high hopes for, and I probably would've guessed some of the other projects were going to be more successful, but I was wrong.

Nora Ali: It looks like you chose correctly. Ultimately with Airbnb, especially in the early days, went through a lot of ups and downs, launched three separate times, most people in the world will give up after a failed launch, but you all kept going. What gave you confidence that ultimately Airbnb would succeed?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Well, there was a couple things that I think are important to mention. One is just a little bit more context on how Joe, Brian, and I came together, because that also explains how we stuck together. I met Joe through Craigslist when I moved to San Francisco. I needed a place to live, and just by chance, I found him on Craigslist. We became roommates, and this all predates even the founding of the company or the story about Joe and Brian inflating the airbeds. Prior to all that, we were living together, and through living together, we kind of noticed two things about each other. One is that we had similar work ethic. We would be up nights and weekends outside of our jobs working on our passion projects. And second was that we had complementary skills. I'm obviously an engineer by background. Joe is a designer by background, and we started helping each other with our projects, and it was pretty clear that together we could build some really cool stuff when you put those skill sets together.

So that was a lot of the context also for when Joe and Brian came to me with the idea. It wasn't just the idea, it was the team that was compelling. Before they pitched me on AirBedandBreakfast, that was the name at the time. We had been spending two months brainstorming other ideas together over that first year in 2008 while we were working so hard on this, and yet nothing was going well. That's what really held it together was our friendship, our respect for one another. The team wasn't going to fall apart. So that was one. I think second was that we had to live the experience ourselves, right? Joe and Brian had hosted these three guests. It was really a magical experience, and so I think they firsthand saw the value proposition and saw the magic, and other early users told us similar stories, and so there weren't many of them, but those who were using the product were having some great experiences that we just thought to ourselves, if we could create more experiences like that, this is really special.

Nora Ali: Yeah. You knew you had a special team that could build something. Maybe at first it wasn't clear what that would be, but I've heard you speak before about how one of the biggest challenges early on, especially, was building trust between the guests, and that was you're staying in strangers' homes, you're letting strangers into your home. How did you approach that in the early days when the platform didn't have anything that they could point to yet?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Yeah, yeah. I mean the obvious question that people still ask today is, how can I trust a stranger in my home? And what we ultimately came up with was having very rich user profiles, handling the payments up front, and then a review system, but that wasn't the full concept on day one. It was a journey to come up with that paradigm, and the way it came about was very, very organic. Again, from us being close to the product experience, specifically with regards to payments, it was April 2008. Brian was headed to South by Southwest, huge conference. Twitter had launched the year before and we had gotten ready our AirBedandBreakfast prototype ready for this event. This is something that even predates what you see today, and with this earlier prototype, he had found a host and booked, meaning arranged a stay.

The host picked him up at the airport, brought him to the house, his wife had made them all dinner. There was an air bed blown up, a chocolate on the pillow. I mean, it was just great hospitality. But at the end of the night, the host asked Brian, "Do you have the money?" Because at that point in time, we didn't facilitate the transaction. Brian didn't have the money, but he said, "Well, can I go to the ATM tomorrow and bring it to you?" And the host said, "Yeah, of course, no problem." So the next night the host asked Brian again, "Do you have the money?" And Brian is a bit forgetful sometimes, and he had forgotten to go to the ATM to get the money, and suddenly it got a little bit awkward with the host.

The host is kind of probably thinking in his head, who's this guy from the internet staying at my house who for the second night in a row has forgotten to pay me? So it was upon reflecting on that experience that we thought, how much better would it be if the awkwardness of exchanging money wasn't something that happened when you showed up in someone's living room, and you could just take care of that up front, and wouldn't that actually Create a lot of trust in the process? So some people might think that we came up with the payments as a kind of form of enhancing the business model. It was really about enhancing the user experience and building that kind of foundational trust.

Nora Ali: Yeah. The payments piece of it kind of reminds me of Uber. One of the value propositions is you don't have to take out your credit card and pay the taxi and go through the whole process. You just get in, you get out. It's very smooth sailing. We are going to take a very quick break. More with Nathan when we come back. Nathan, let's get a little bit macro now. We've seen lots and lots of tech layoffs recently. Airbnb even had to go through letting go some of its workforce during the peak of the pandemic. How did you navigate that? What is the right way to go through layoffs, as we see put on display now different approaches that leadership has been taking at different companies?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Layoffs are one of the hardest things, I think one hopefully doesn't have to do, but it shouldn't happen, especially for companies that are tightly knit. A lot of companies are going through that challenge right now. For Airbnb, we had to go through this at the start of the pandemic. We lost 80% of our revenue in the span of just a few weeks, and we didn't know when it was going to come back. So it was pretty clear that we were going to have to make some pretty big changes to our finances. So recognizing that it was unavoidable, 1,800 people would ultimately leave as part of this. But we also thought, we're gonna make this big decision to put the company in a better place, but we also gotta recognize that employees are going through a tough time too. It's not just the company, right? Employees, too, are going through a very tough time. And so it is really on us to help set them up for success, help them find their next chapter. 

So we got really creative about the things that we could do for them. So it's beyond the typical things, which is a generous severance. We gave them their laptops so that they could be prepared for finding their next thing. But beyond all that, one of the really creative things we did was we created a directory of all the resumes of those who were leaving who wanted to participate. And of course, it was opt-in, but we were thinking Airbnb is a very respected brand out there and people know that we have great talent. So why don't we make it easy for other companies who are still hiring to have access to this talent? And so we assembled it all into a directory that could be downloaded by companies that were hiring. We also pivoted our internal recruiting team to help find jobs for those employees who were leaving. So instead of the recruiting team hiring for Airbnb, we're now hiring on behalf of our employees, finding them their next gig. But I think we just recognized that we wanted to do this in a very humane way, that these employees who were affected, they did nothing wrong, and that we should also partner with them, and that we actually have really some assets, meaning our brand, that could actually be of use in helping them start their next chapter.

Nora Ali: Especially now as we see companies going through this process in suboptimal ways, Twitter as one example, they could learn from how you guys approached it. But I want to ask about engineering culture, specifically because you are an engineer. We've seen Elon Musk, for example, firing employees, very important engineers who may not agree with him or may disagree publicly on Twitter with him, and they get fired. So I guess, what is your approach to cultivating a healthy leadership approach to retaining engineers when they are so valuable? But there may be times where the engineering teams don't agree fully with leadership.

Nathan Blecharczyk: Yeah. Well, there's a few things. I think, one, whenever you're engaging with people, it's wise not to treat it transactionally. I think the most basic thing you can do with your workforce or your people or any stakeholder is communicate. So that's another thing we did a lot of over the course of the pandemic, was have a weekly update with employees. Let them know what's happening with the company, let them know the difficult context, and also some of the things we were thinking about in terms of how to navigate it. And by the way, it's communication. It can be bidirectional, right? It's not just leadership saying, "Here's what we think." There's also needs to be opportunities to hear from employees and other stakeholders. So I think during these tough times, communication is really essential. I think the challenge, though, is in tough times sometimes it's painful, and time is of the essence. So people try to power through it, but you can't let it be transactional. These are people you're talking about.

Nora Ali: And I guess, speaking of having this two-way dialogue and getting feedback from employees, what is your approach to incorporating feedback, whether it's employees or this is...Airbnb is inherently the kind of company and experience that causes people to have opinions, have feelings, you're traveling, you're staying in people's homes, there's different kinds of transactions you have to consider, and human interactions. So what is your approach from, I guess, the product side, of taking that feedback and deciding what to implement?

Nathan Blecharczyk: One thing we've always done from the beginning of the company is have employee all hands, and now we call it a CEO Q&A. So people can ask their questions; others can upvote it. Same approach though, when dealing with your customers, whether they be guests or hosts. We get a lot of our ideas from our host community, and when we launch new things, we make sure we take the time to explain it to our host community. I think there's 600 host clubs all around the world, and we have a process by which we engage with them. These clubs have leaders. We share before a public launch. We share what we've been working on, why, we'll host the Zoom, there'll be an opportunity for questions. And so again, it's kind of a two-way dialogue. 

I think a great example, just actually in the last couple weeks, is around pricing transparency. There was a whole to-do about cleaning fees and just knowing the price up front that was trending on Twitter. So we took a hard look at that, realized that users were making a good point. We quickly got our product team together and in the span of two or three weeks, identified some opportunities for improvement. And then we came back out within the span of I'd say a month and shared what some of those updates would be. And there'll of course be more to come too. But that's the rapid development cycle I think helps you build credibility with your stakeholders and in this case our customers.

Nora Ali: So you made the cleaning fee transparency happen in a matter of weeks, but at least from the customer's standpoint, I feel like people have been talking about it for a while, where there's the surprise fees at the end. It's hard to know exactly what you're going to pay. I guess the skeptical person would say, why'd it take so long to provide this transparency to customers?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Yeah. Well, inevitably it's about prioritization. There's lots of room for improvement all across the board, I must say. I mean, the closer you are to it, the more you realize that. So I'm under no false impression that there isn't room for improvement. The list of things that need to be done are endless, because I mean, I gotta be honest that at this large scale and with such a large product under the hood, it's complex to implement changes and not break things in the process. So there's a great deal of planning that goes into it and a great deal of work, and it comes down to prioritization. That prioritization is shaped by the voices of the guests and hosts and sometimes those voices have to get a little bit loud, and it adds an input.

Nora Ali: So we have to tweet aggressively about something for it to get higher in the prioritization list?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Well, there are certainly other ways too.

Nora Ali: What are the other ways?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Well, like I mentioned before, we have these host clubs. So this is kind of a structured way in which we routinely go out to these groups and engage with them, hear what's on their mind, share what we're thinking, and get their feedback. So we might have a set of priorities that we've identified; we share that with them and we hear if that resonates or not, and also there's a lot of nuance to these things.

Nora Ali: It does sound like there's definitely an emphasis on the hosts from your strategy perspective. How much are you talking to guests and getting that feedback to balance out the hosts' needs?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Oh, it's absolutely both. And it goes beyond just guests and hosts, it's all the stakeholders. I mean, we talk to employees regularly. We're talking to governments. How you engage with different stakeholders does vary, right? Our hosts, many of them have been very active on the platform for years and years. So they're already organized nicely into groups and we know exactly who to reach out to. Guests are a little bit more transient, even if they're guests who've used the Airbnb for years and years, they're probably only traveling a couple times a year, a few times a year. A lot of what we learn on the guest side is through user research studies, surveys, you get together a focus group, and there's a lot of nuance on there, right, like how people make travel decisions, very nuanced, than a host that is deeply engaged in the activity of hosting.

Nora Ali: We are going to take another quick break. More with Nathan when we come back. So I want to get into some of the maybe concerns that have been raised generally with local governments, locals saying that Airbnb is maybe contributing to over-tourism in certain cities. I guess, how do you think about from a design and engineering perspective how to ensure that not everyone is going to the same place and overcrowding a certain locale, and ensuring that everyone feels happy with the way that tourism is shaping out in each of these locations?

Nathan Blecharczyk: There's a couple things that are really special about Airbnb and shape what we can do to shape tourism in a sustainable way. I think, one, we have a massive audience, and two, it's a platform and we have a real kind of technology capability internally. We've thought about, how can we help travelers to discover new destinations. I think this is important not just from a community standpoint, but it leads to better travel experiences and it also helps hosts who are in lesser-known destinations get bookings. For us as a company to maximize the utilization of all the homes on our platform. Six months ago we launched something called Airbnb Categories and this is really a reinvention of the travel search paradigm. Pretty much any travel website you go to, the first question they ask you is like, where do you want to go? So with Airbnb Categories now, instead of asking where you want to go, which you can still tell us, but we also say, what kind of experience do you want to have? And we've identified now 60 different categories of experiences you can have in Airbnb homes. And the data shows that travelers who engage with this feature, they're 17% less likely to book a top 20 destination. They're 35% more likely to book outside of the top 400 destinations, meaning the kind of extreme long tail. So this is an example of us distributing tourism away from top destinations to kind of the long tail of destinations that really are actually trying to get more exposure to tourism. With a product-based approach, we can have this impact all around the globe. So this is some of the creative thinking we're doing around sustainable tourism and travel.

Nora Ali: It reminds me of a problem that e-commerce companies are trying to solve, where instead of typing in exactly what you want and spearfishing, they want to make you have the experience of walking through a mall and discovering and window shopping, which I don't think anyone's really cracked yet in e-commerce, but it sounds like you guys are there getting there for travel at least. So on that note, there's also this emphasis on experiences. I know Airbnb has a lot of different experiences. You did virtual experiences that you could book even during the pandemic. How is that business going? Are people discovering things to do on Airbnb and not just the housing?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Yeah, it's been a really exciting journey. It had a little bit of a setback during the pandemic because obviously, people were no longer meeting in person. We did do some online experiences, which turned out to be more exciting than I would've guessed. They were quite fun.

Nora Ali: Like cooking classes, and what else was there?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Cooking, I mean, I did a tango lesson over Zoom with my wife. 

Nora Ali: Really? Wow.

Nathan Blecharczyk: Yeah, it was actually a lot of fun. We did date night and did a session with a wonderful woman in Puerto Rico and learned some dance moves. But yeah, all kinds of stuff. Cocktail making I did as well. And anyways, I think we've been...experience has been a really interesting experiment, just understanding that diversity of experiences that people can offer and also the use cases. I think it's still an ongoing experiment, one with a lot of potential, but I think it's early days and as we come out of the pandemic, I'm hoping we can accelerate those efforts and explore it further.

Nora Ali: It's funny that you mentioned locals doing those experiences because, in preparation for this conversation, I went to the experiences page, which I haven't done in a long time. Since I'm in Manhattan, it was showing me things to do in Manhattan. I was like, there's a lot of fun things that I would never think of as a resident to go do to explore the city. So I might start using Airbnb Experiences even when I'm not traveling.

Nathan Blecharczyk: And I think right now it's really relevant because I think many people have been a bit lonely and isolated, and this is one of those, I think...

Nora Ali: Way to point that out, Nathan. Yeah, I'm a little lonely. I live by myself.

Nathan Blecharczyk: But look, I think there aren't that many tools for going out and meeting people, whether in this case, it's the host or other travelers or people on the experience. Minus a dating app or whatever. But this is a really kind of more informal, casual way.

Nora Ali: I'm going to find the love of my life through an Airbnb experience, I've decided.

Nathan Blecharczyk: That's always possible too; you never know.

Nora Ali: So the concept of Airbnb is on TikTok a lot and it's a lot of these financial experts saying you can achieve financial independence by buying a property, renting it out, you have passive income, et cetera, et cetera. What are your thoughts generally on people using this as an investment vehicle, is renting out properties?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Well, I think there's a full spectrum there. The origin of the idea was really about helping people to get by and make ends meet. That's what Joe and Brian were doing when they paid for their apartment that one month, and that's still the case for many hosts today. I think economic opportunity is a very scarce thing these days. I think Airbnb is a really important tool for creating economic opportunity that is broadly accessible to those who need it, whatever the reason may be. Maybe they're paying for their home, maybe they're saving up for something, maybe they're using it to bootstrap a business or a nonprofit. I've heard all these stories. Now I know there's stories about, you know, kind of larger corporate entities, the professionalization of Airbnb, but that is a small amount of what's happening on the platform. 90% of our hosts have one property and so it's largely individuals. Individuals who honestly are enjoying a lot of success and so they are making more money and sometimes they're investing in a second home. I think that's all right as long as they're following local regulation, which increasingly there's more of.

Nora Ali: Do you feel like over time, local lawmakers are becoming more or less friendly to Airbnb, generally?

Nathan Blecharczyk: I think Airbnb is becoming more well-understood. It's been 14 years now. So if you look at our top 200 cities that Airbnb operates in, 90% of them are regulated at this point. Some of those have been regulated for over a decade. So I think the dust has settled a bit in a lot of the larger cities. I think there's a lot of examples of balance being found. Of course, there's still sometimes conflict, and we both want to cooperate with government and find ways of working together while at the same time making sure that hosts who need it the most have access to opportunity, and so it very much is about achieving balance. But there's a lot of good examples out there now of balance and that's something that as a company, we also started leaning into. I'd say relatively early on, I'd say around the time of 2012, 2014, we kind of had an "aha" that as a company we should embrace regulation as opposed to trying to avoid it.

So with that in mind, we took a very proactive stance in terms of trying to create the tech necessary to support policymakers. Because for example, on the issue of taxation, hosts were basically expected to remit these taxes individually on their own. But frankly, the paperwork was such that there was too much friction and no one was ever going to really do that, not at scale, but we went out in 2012 and created a tech platform when given permission by a municipality or a state or in some cases federal level. We could collect and remit the tax on behalf of hosts automatically as a part of the transaction. So that's one example of a tech tool that we built and now is operating at scale. We've collected more than $6 billion US dollars through this platform across a few hundred different levels of government.

Nora Ali: You're working collaboratively with them. We like to hear that. Okay, last thing, Nathan. We have a game called Host or Ghost. So I'm going to give you two fictional characters that want to stay at your Airbnb. Let's say they want to stay in your treehouse and you have to tell me which one you'd rather host and which one you're going to ghost. And our producer, Raymond Luu, put these together. So I will play along with you because this is kind of fun. All right, you ready?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Sure.

Nora Ali: Okay. Host or Ghost: Neo from The Matrix or James Bond?

Nathan Blecharczyk: James Bond.

Nora Ali: Why? You're so confident in that answer.

Nathan Blecharczyk: James Bond is just an international man of adventure. I enjoyed the films and I like the way he rolls.

Nora Ali: You need to include a bar in your treehouse then, for him, so we can have whatever his drink is...

Nathan Blecharczyk: For us both.

Nora Ali: Yes. Yes, exactly. Okay, amazing. I'm going to agree with you. James Bond. Okay, number two. Host or Ghost, Hermione Granger from Harry Potter or Scarlet Witch from Marvel?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Oh, this is where I've not kept up with pop culture. My daughter has just read the first few Harry Potter books and I have not, and so I definitely need to do that. And the answer should be Harry Potter, but I must admit that I haven't read the stories yet.

Nora Ali: I'm going to have to end this interview right now because you need to go read Harry Potter right this second. Okay. Well, I choose Hermione Granger because I think she'd be a good guest, and Scarlet Witch might mess things up with her powers. Okay, great. Number three. Host or Ghost, the Ocean's Eleven team cast, or Charlie's Angels?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Ocean's Eleven.

Nora Ali: Why?

Nathan Blecharczyk: Another great film and thrilling movie.

Nora Ali: Yeah, good film. Okay, awesome. Ocean's Eleven it is. Okay, number four. Sarah Connor from The Terminator or Laurie Strode from Halloween. That's Jamie Lee Curtis's character. I haven't seen Halloween so I can't opine. Do you have a preference?

Nathan Blecharczyk: I would say Sarah Connor. Again, enjoyed the Terminator films. I think that would be fun.

Nora Ali: As long as there's a pull-up bar in your treehouse, because she's real strong in I think the second movie. Okay, number five. The Incredible Hulk or the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes? So random. They would both destroy your treehouse for sure.

Nathan Blecharczyk: Yeah, well maybe the Tasmanian Devil

Nora Ali: Maybe a little less damage because he is smaller.

Nathan Blecharczyk: Yeah. Yeah. A little less scary.

Nora Ali: Okay. The Tasmanian Devil it is. Amazing. That is it. I think you win the game. This wasn't a game you win or lose, but I loved it.

Nathan Blecharczyk: We'll see what the audience thinks.

Nora Ali: Yeah, we'll see what they think. We'll see if they agree. But Nathan, this has been so fun. Thank you so much for joining us on Business Casual.

Nathan Blecharczyk: Thanks for having me.

Nora Ali: This is Business Casual and I'm Nora Ali. You can follow me on Twitter @NoraKAli and I would love to hear from you. If you have ideas for episodes, comments, thoughts on episodes you loved, fun segment ideas, feel free to shoot me a DM and I will do my very best to respond. You can also reach the BC team by emailing businesscasual@morningbrew.com, or call us. That number is (862) 295-1135. And if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. And if you like this show, please leave us a rating and a review. It really helps. Business Casual is produced by Katherine Milsop and Raymond Luu. Additional production sound design and mixing by Daniel Markus, Rosemary Minkler, and Nick Torres. Kate Brandt is our fact-checker. And AB Silver is our senior booking producer. Sebastian Vega and Evan Frolov edit our videos. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and the Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali. Keep it business, and keep it casual.