Archive for the ‘class’ tag
Mark your calendars, SocialTimes readers.
We’ve got a free webcast happening next Monday, May 6 from 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET on Google Tools for Social Media Marketing Success.
Monica Morse, the social media lead for SMB Solutions at Google, will be sharing best practices on how to use Advanced Search, Trends, Hangouts, and YouTube to enhance your social media marketing campaigns.
To register for the free class, just follow the course link below. Feel free to share it with anyone else who may be interested.
Image by kentoh.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
OpenTable’s founder, Chuck Templeton, has launched ImpactEngine, a new Chicago-based accelerator to support for-profit businesses that aim to make a positive social or environmental impact in the world.
This week, ImpactEngine accepted its first class. These founders hope to become social business leaders, and are tackling global problems like illiteracy in emerging nations, water filtration problems, and inequities in U.S. financial services.
Impact Engine has raised a $500,000 fund to invest in the startups. Templeton and the other founders, Jamie Jones, assistant director of social enterprise at Northwestern University, and Linda Darragh, executive director of Kellogg School of Management‘s Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice, will take a small equity stake of 7%, in exchange for doling out $20,000 in funding.
“Our mission is to show investors that they can invest in social business and still make strong returns,” said Templeton, in an interview with VentureBeat. The founder of OpenTable, an online reservations service, told me that he was inspired to support social business when his daughter was born.
“I started to think about what the world might look like when she got older,” Templeton explained. “There are some deep challenges, but with those challenges are huge business opportunities.”
ImpactEngine is the first of its kind in the Midwest, and takes its cue from Hub Ventures, a Bay Area-based accelerator program for social entrepreneurs. VentureBeat covered its Demo Day this month; 7 companies attempted to build technologies to improve healthcare, education, civic engagement, and the environment.
The inaugural class will start in September with a demo day on December 5. Here is a list of the eight startups, as they would describe themselves:
Azadi - More than 300 million women living in rural India face financial, educational, and social challenges because they do not have access to hygienic menstruation products. Azadi creates biodegradable sanitary pads that are both accessible and affordable to this population.
Collaborative Group - Collaborative Group aims to provide sustainable employment to artisans in need around the globe, from Guatemala, Kenya, India, and beyond. It advocates for artisans and underserved populations by sourcing goods to socially conscious retail partners and distributors in the United States.
Effortless Energy - McKinsey estimates that cost-effective residential energy efficiency measures constitute a $230 billion market, yet adoption has been extremely low. By addressing the financial, operational, and behavioral market barriers, Effortless Energy makes home energy efficiency a snap. Customers pay a reduced monthly energy bill while Effortless Energy does the work to analyze, coordinate, and finance smart home upgrades at no cost to customers.
Ithaca Education - Ithaca Education helps teachers deliver personalized and rigorous literacy curriculum to students through its web-based platform, CERCA. This tool aligns to the new Common Core State Standards by focusing on argument-based teaching methods. CERCA lets teachers build and share lessons, track growth, collaborate with students, and create academic portfolios online.
Light Up Africa - Light Up Africa (LUA) provides renewable energy to marginalized populations in Kenya through The Zoom Box, an efficient and affordable kinetic energy storage device. The Zoom Box easily attaches to bicycles, motorbikes, livestock, and boats in order to provide electricity for small personal devices, such as cellular phones and lamps.
POMS - Approximately 80 million consumers in the United States lack access to a payment card (credit/debit) or do not have an official banking relationship. But traditional financial services for the underbanked population have limited reach and predatory fees. By integrating into existing retail terminals, POMS provides real-time payment transfer solutions to the underbanked that are significantly cheaper than today’s options.
Portapure - Portapure invents, designs, and manufactures affordable, easy-to-use water filtration products for the nearly one billion individuals who lack access to clean drinking water.
Raise5 - Raise5 (pictured, above) is a fundraising platform that lets people raise money for their favorite charities and non-profit organizations through micro-volunteering. Users can donate a small service or task—logo design help, copy editing, etc.—in exchange for $5 to the charity of their choice.
Filed under: Entrepreneur
This week, San Francisco-based Virgin America is celebrating its fifth anniversary. That’s an anniversary that few startups hit and very few startup airlines hit. And it’s quite the feat given that oil prices have increased 45% since the airline launched and that the economy has, at best, been stuck in neutral in that time.
“We’re the first real startup since jetBlue,” Virgin America CEO David Cush told me in an interview earlier this year. “When you’ve got 10 years between startups, then that tells you it’s a very difficult business. Our obituary has been written many times, but we’re here and we’re doing well.”
Low-cost carriers have generally followed a standard playbook when launching:
- Lease ancient airplanes that would otherwise be parked in the desert.
- Fly in and out of secondary or far-away airports, like Manchester or Providence instead of Boston. Westchester instead of JFK.
- Have a single class of service, with no first class.
- Offer bare-bones service.
The big thing these carriers offer is a lower price for some extra degree of inconvenience.
That standard playbook triggers a standard response: legacy carriers put extra seats on those routes from their more convenient airports. They price all of this extra capacity so low that the upstart airline can’t make a profit. They lure in their frequent fliers with generous rewards to keep flying on the legacy carrier. (When Independence Air launched in Washington, United offered frequent fliers the opportunity to earn a trip around the world to keep them flying United.) Upstart airline goes out of business.
Too many companies try to compete on price, which is a hard competitive advantage to sustain. Someone can always undercut you, and the price-sensitive customers you attract are happy to jump ship. One of my recurring themes when I talk to companies is to sell value, not price. Virgin America exemplifies that.
Virgin threw out the playbook. It launched with brand new aircraft. It flew to prime business airports like San Francisco, LAX, JFK, and Washington Dulles. Its first-class service is infinitely better than typical domestic first class and almost in the same league as international business class. That’s not to say that it doesn’t sell price — just the existence of a competitive carrier tends to drive down price — but it’s not the sole reason to choose the airline. Virgin has created a brand that many people will pay a premium for.
But it also offered a lot of things that weren’t easy for other carriers to match: power at every seat, an in-flight entertainment system with both on-demand and live TV, and an embrace of social media. Virgin was also the first carrier to offer WiFi on every plane in its fleet. “It’s a game changer for us,” Cush said of inflight WiFi.
Legacy airlines can adjust fares several times a day. But they can’t completely retrofit their fleets. Five years later, many United aircraft still have only a few ancient tube TVs in the cabin with vapid content that has to appeal to everyone and, as a result, appeals to no one.
Among airlines, Virgin has been one of the most active on social media and in experimenting with startups. It was the first airline to use Twitter’s promoted tweets. The first airline to run a Groupon. The first airline to run Loopt’s u-deals. The airline was born of social media, with a Let Virgin Fly campaign that launched to help get support for the airline when it seemed that U.S. ownership rules for airlines might threaten its launch.
“It’s where our guests live,” Cush said, explaining why the airline is so focused on social media. Given the demographics of the Bay Area and its younger audience, “It’s how people want to communicate with us.”
Over Thanksgiving, Virgin America ran a promotion with Gilt City that, for $60,000, gave the purchaser and 140 some guests a roundtrip flight to anywhere on its network along with naming rights for one Virgin plane.
A group from Stanford business school purchased that ticket for a spring break party to Miami. Instead of just flying the trip as a charter, Virgin America created an experience out of it. The whole plane, including the passengers and flight crew, got groovy and dressed in ’70s clothes.
“When we came to the gate, they had music playing and greeted us with amazing ’70s roleplaying like ‘Welcome aboard to the groovilicious flight to Miami. We’ll be rocking the whole way so get your gogo boots ready,’” said Don Hoang, who does business development for Klout. ”Virgin is awesome. That’s it — they used this flight as a PR campaign, but they really won over all of us. We will remember this for the rest of our lives and talk about it as one of the best weekends ever. They are truly an amazing brand and understand the LTV of a customer. I don’t think of Virgin as just an airline but a lifestyle brand.”
Part of the airline’s quirkiness has been driven by having to compete with much larger rivals. Virgin America does a lot more with event marketing and social media than most carriers.
“As a new airline we certainly don’t have the large advertising budgets of many of our competitors, and because we have a unique product largely driven by word-of-mouth about how different the onboard experience is, when launching into new markets we have had some success with cost-effective live events that tie into that product message and drive awareness about it in new ways that are relevant to our guests and social media audiences,” said spokeswoman Abby Lunardini. Lunardini points to several examples, including a YouTube promotion when the company launched Wifi on its first flight back in 2008, smaller live events at mobile food trucks in San Francisco and LA, offering two-for-one flights via Loopt when it launched its Mexico flights in 2010, and, at its Philadelphia launch, partnering with an entertainment outlet for a live event to celebrate the live TV product onboard, something new for an airline in that market.
“Because we’re launching into new markets [where] local folks may have never flown with us, there is a value in introducing the unique cabin product to the local community (including corporate sales) with aircraft tours etc — which is always incorporated into the launch events we do,” said Lunardini.
As part of its anniversary celebration this week, Virgin is tossing out the ceremonial first pitch at Saturday’s Giants game aboard a flight bound from Seattle to SFO. That will be broadcast live via WiFi to AT&T Park.
Startups are often in the same boat: They’re competing with giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter for attention from consumers.
They need to think hard about these questions:
- What is going to create real value for consumers that will be hard to replicate?
- How do I get people to talk positively and enthusiastically about my product? (Much like Hoang’s comments above.)
- How can I launch events that generate buzz? Clearly, most startups can’t afford events at AT&T Park, but an event focused on the right audience can be much more effective (and less expensive) than traditional marketing.
One place to look for inspiration is Virgin America’s twitter feed, @virginamerica.
“We’ve got a lot of creative people here who like to try new things,” Cush said.
I agree. They’re among the best marketers I know.
[Top image credit: VirginAmerica.com]
Since it first appeared earlier this year, Boston-based educational startup Boundless has been on a mission to ensure that college students have a free alternative to the pricey and bulky world of physical textbooks. The startup believes that an oligopoly of textbook publishers has been driving up costs for years (as the four top publishers currently control the lion’s share of the market) and so it set out to change that. Naturally, as a result, Boundless has found itself on the receiving end of litigation — courtesy of three of those top textbook publishers.
Leaning on the $8 million it raised in April from Venrock, Nextview, Founder Collective and Kepha (and nearly $10 million total), the startup has since gone on the offensive, filing a motion to dismiss two of those claims last month, as it buckled down to fight its accusers.
“We aren’t intimidated by the lawsuits,” says co-founder Ariel Diaz, “as their sole purpose seems intent on stifling innovation from edtech startups like ours.” So, in spite of a legal morass, Boundless has pressed on, focusing on developing its product and push forward with its plans to overturn the textbook establishment.
Today, Boundless is officially coming out of private beta and launching to the world, which includes a brand new website, interface, additional content as well as the launch of its first “Open Textbooks,” which are available at the outset in seven subjects.
But to give you some quick background on Boundless: During its private beta, the startup emerged as a product (or proponent) of the Wikipedia Era. In other words, if we can say that the free, open and crowdsourced encyclopedia has played a significant role in democratizing (and lowering the price) of the world’s information, then Boundless can be seen as carrying that torch on to education.
In practice, this means that the startup works directly with Open Educational Resources (OERs) to curate and then connect college students to the openly-licensed and free educational content that’s been created by educators and institutions over the last two decades.
OERs, for those unfamiliar, make an enormous amount of educational content (including courses, course materials, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals) available through open-licenses, which we’re now seeing increasingly make their way into open and distance learning solutions. The startup takes the best of the material from those resources and offers a free educational platform/portal that helps students select their class and walks them through what they should be studying and how, while pushing interactive multimedia content and class materials to their mobile devices.
With its public launch today, Boundless is expanding on its earlier iterations with a set of new features, including improved navigation and intuitive search options to make studying faster and easier as well as a customizable Notebook that students can use to study and prepare for exams, highlight content and take notes. The startup has also converted its tools to HTML5 with the goal of providing a user experience similar to that of a native app but which allows students to open their materials, coursework and textbooks in any browser while working on their iPad or any other mobile device.
At the outset, Boundless offered a small group of subjects, including Biology, Economics and Psychology, and today the startup is expanding its suite to include Writing, American History, Physiology and Sociology, bringing its total to seven — with more on the way.
During its year-long private beta, Boundless tested its platform with students at over 1,000 universities, with students rating the experience 50 percent higher than that of physical textbooks and, on average, receiving a grade of B+ — with 80 percent of users saying they got the grades they wanted (or higher).
While these results have been encouraging for the startup, it still has a long road ahead. Last month, it filed a motion to dismiss two of the initial claims (for false advertising and unfair competition) from textbook publishers. But it has to sort those out before moving on to three copyright claims, which Diaz said he believes “have no merit,” and will be formally responded to after the current motions are resolved.
The startup will be tied up in litigation for the foreseeable future, and on top of that, it now has to leverage back-to-school season to find new users for its platform and open digital textbooks. Because all of the above is free, the pricing will no doubt be appealing to students buried under textbook and course fees. However, the startup still has some work left to do to prove that that its interactive platform and device-agnostic functionality can overcome any stigma there might be around choosing free, open educational content over the trusted (walled garden) world of the top textbook publishers.
Students may prove easier to convince than teachers and parents, who might be given more toward skepticism, but that remains to be seen. Boundless, naturally, is convinced that open and free are the future:
“In 10 years, we’ll look back and think how crazy it was that we forced students to pay over $1,000 per year for general textbooks,” Diaz said, “just like how today it now seems silly to ask someone to pay for a general encyclopedia.”
More on Boundless at home here.
Here’s an unsurprising confession: I’m a fan of knives. (Warcraft rogues, you can stop giggling now) I’ve probably got more knives than any other class of tool in my house, even accounting for an absurd number of misplaced and lost screwdrivers, and I use knives on a daily basis more than any other piece of non-digital hardware.
All of this started when I was about 10 years old, when I got my first Boy Scout knife, a small Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. (back then in those politically incorrect days, giving a child a knife as a gift was totally appropriate.) It was a relatively simple model with a 2 inch knife blade, a built-in saw, built-in scissors, built-in can opener/screwdriver, and a pair of tweezers that pulled out of the plastic handle. All in all, it was a great little knife that whittled more sticks and bars of soap than I care to remember.
Over the years, I’ve collected knives, made knives from blanks bought at various knifeworks, broken more than my fair share of them, and can say with certainty one truth about knives:
Use the right knife for the right job.
A chef’s knife is wonderful for long drawing slices and cuts across large pieces of food. It’s terrible at very short cuts that require a lot of twists and turns.
A paring knife is wonderful for doing exactly what it says it does: paring. It’s also good in a pinch for quick, short slices and dices.
A folding belt or pocket knife is great to have around for utility tasks like opening boxes or if you need (and are safely trained in the use of) a knife for self protection.
A decorative knife like some of Gil Hibben’s fantasy blades are great for decoration. You’re highly likely to injure yourself or break them if you try to use them for anything practical.
Accidents happen when you use the wrong knife for the wrong purpose. You also get substandard results. Take a good look at a side of roast beef and imagine trying to cut it with a paring knife or a pocket knife and still have a presentable meal, and you get the general idea. Use the right knife for the right purpose.
As a kid, a Swiss Army Knife is good enough for most situations that a 10 year old is going to face. It’s not especially good at any one of the tasks that it does, but most kids don’t need to saw down a tree, carve a roast, or fight with a knife, and so it’s good enough for the barest basics. As an adult, the Swiss Army Knife is now relegated to a beloved keepsake rather than a heavily used utility tool.
What does any of this have to do with marketing? In many ways, marketing tools are no different than knives. If you don’t use the right tool for the right purpose, accidents happen and results are below expectations.
There are an astonishing number of companies that want to be all things to all marketers – some even go so far as to make the analogy that they’re a Swiss Army Knife of marketing. They want to be your SEO tool, your email marketing tool, your mobile tool, your advertising tool, and so on. It’s everything you need in one convenient package, right?
For the novice marketer, the all in one solution will take care of all of your basic needs, but it won’t do any of them particularly well. It’s better than no SEO solution, but you’ll hit its limits really quickly. It’s better than sending BCC emails from Outlook, but lacks any serious email marketing capability. It’s better than no analytics, but a pale cry from the full fury of Google Analytics.
For the capable and talented marketer, you’re better off going with a limited mix of best-in-class tools rather than bigger and bigger “Swiss Army Knife” marketing solutions. Any chef of repute and experience will tell you they keep a drawer of a half dozen or so knives that do one particular style of cutting exceptionally well, and they’re not shy about spending a decent amount of money on a solid blade that will do its job well through the years. As a marketer, look for the right tools for the right purposes, and be willing to invest more time and money to get better results.
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Online learning platform, Course Hero, announced today it has added 18 new courses to its catalog, so users can pick up skills like web programming and product design for free.
The Redwood City-based company began as a study supplement and online tutoring service, but recently began offering classes. Unlike Coursera, a platform for online college courses, subject matter experts can teach on Course Hero. The focus is on professional development skills that aren’t typically taught at college.
“Anyone in the world can offer a course on Course Hero,” said Andrew Grauer, the site’s founder and chief executive. Educational content is drawn from all over the web for courses taught in business, photoshop and design, Excel, calculus, algebra and constitutional law.
These courses will always be free to users, but the founders are considering offering premium services like one-on-one tutoring. To access the library of study materials, users pay a $40 per month subscription, or a one-off annual fee of $100.
Once users complete the class, they aren’t given any formal accreditation. Grauer said you can’t prove your aptitude with a piece of paper. Instead, take a class and you’ll be able to pull out a laptop and start programming in HTML5, or work up a solid business plan in hours.
“Our thinking is that there will be alternative methods of certification in the future,” he said. But Grauer, a Cornell grad, would not advise that students drop-out of college. The company makes money through its database of college class notes that would typically be discarded at the end of a semester.
Course Hero is one of many startups with a view to disrupt higher education. But it’s a bit different for a number of reasons: the company has been profitable for over a year, content is crowdsourced, and it uses game mechanics to reward users.
For instance, a team that excelled in one of the entrepreneurship-focusesed classes walked away with $5,000 and an opportunity to pitch investors at SV Angel as a reward.
Grauer told me the site has accumulated a massive database of class notes, exams and assignments by offering students free access to materials in exchange for uploading 40 documents each month. It’s straight up bargaining, and it seems to be working.
The company has also worked out a clever way to curate its content. Unlike Boundless, a competing site, it doesn’t rely on bots or an algorithm. All material uploaded to the site is subject to an extensive peer review process. At least one member of the startup’s 25-person team will take a look once the content has been rubber stamped by a campus-based employee, usually an intern.
The site isn’t just focused on classes. Grauer told me the company recently acquired Cardinal Tutors, a Palo Alto-based tutoring service, to expand to K12 education. The sites will function separately, but Course Hero will benefit from an influx of ivy league-educated tutors.
The site has raised $2.4 million in seed funding from a band of investors, including SV Angel, Maveron, and YouTube’s cofounder, Steve Chen.
Filed under: VentureBeat
Last week a story appeared in Fortune magazine hypothesizing that Google and Facebook are using cy pres settlements of privacy class actions to improperly channel money to civil liberties groups that reliably support “the tech sector side” in disputes with copyright owners, including my organization, Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. Read more » about No Surprise, CIS Reliably Sides With Users
To paraphrase Cracker, what the world needs now is another e-ink smart watch like I need a hole in the head. However, Phosphor has been in this game for years and I’m willing to give them at least the benefit of the doubt. Like the Pebble and the Strata, Phosphor has created a unique, feature-rich watch that adds some very interesting features to their well-known e-ink watch line and ups the ante with long battery life and lots of class.
The watch has multiple “faces” and you can swap them by sliding a finger across the crystal. It runs for a year on a regular button-type battery, so there is no need to charge it.
The watch isn’t “smart” per se but instead is a digital watch with a large e-ink face. It has a world-time function, six alarms, reminders, and a bright built-in LED backlight. It also includes a calculator and lunar information including days to full moon and a horoscope. The watch costs $99 (the $89 early bird discount is sold out). Considering the retail price will be $159 for the higher-end model, it’s a pretty good deal.
Arguably this isn’t as smart as the other smart watches that made ripples on Kickstarter, but I think it’s fascinating that Phosphor is practicing market analysis via crowdfunding. The watch is obviously difficult to build but with Phosphor’s expertise they could have manufactured and sold it just like they sold their other models over the years. By creating this Kickstarter, they’re essentially testing the waters for their Touch Time without having to invest in tooling, production, and distribution ahead of time. They can make just as many as there is demand, which is a real sea change in consumer electronics.
Afgelopen weekend tweette Rebekah Cox, een product designer bij Quora, het volgende bericht: “The first company to fully execute on embedding your identity into your phone (making a truly first class experience) wins the next decade.” Haar tweet werd al snel opgepikt en er ontstond een discussie omtrent de inhoud. Had Rebekah gelijk of niet? Lees meer
As we reported before, Zynga executives and investors, including CEO Marc Pincus, sold over $500 million in stock just three months before. Pincus sold $200 million of Zynga stock, chief operating officer John Schappert sold $3.9 million, and chief financial officer David Wehner sold stock worth $4.6 million.
Those five firms were Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe, Newman Ferrara, Johnson & Weaver, Wohl & Fruchter, and Levi & Korsinsky.
Today San Francisco-based Newman Ferrara has announced the first lawsuit on behalf of Mark H. DeStefano and “all other persons similarly situated.” In other words … a class action. The firm believes that hundreds of investors share the same concerns and may be included in the suit.
Key among the law firm’s allegations are these:
- Executive stock lock-up agreements were initially set to expire May 28, 2012
- All of our officers and directors and the holders of substantially all of our capital stock have entered into lock-up agreements with us which provide that they will not offer, sell or transfer any shares of our common stock beneficially owned by them for 165 days, subject in certain cases to extension under certain circumstances, following the date of this prospectus. We have agreed with Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Goldman, Sachs & Co. not to waive these lock-up restrictions without their prior consent.
- Zynga issues positive guidance on stock price
- In announcing its 2012 outlook, Zynga stated that “Bookings are projected to be in the range of $1.35 billion to $1.45 billion. We expect that growth will be weighted towards the back-half of the year with slower sequential growth in the first half of the year.”
- The lock-up agreements were revised on March 23, 2012
- On March 23, 2012, before the Secondary Offering was completed, Zynga filed an Amendment to Form S-1 with the SEC. The Amended Registration Statement authorized the Secondary Offering of 42,969,153 shares of Class A common stock. Zynga’s March 23 Amended Prospectus waived the lock-up restrictions that previously restricted Zynga insiders from selling their common stock until May 28, 2012. Indeed, the Prospectus announced “[w]e are releasing the selling stockholders from these lock-ups to permit them to sell up to 49,414,526 shares (including the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares) in this offering.”
- Which enabled Zynga insiders to sell stock early
- The March 23 lock-up restriction waiver enabled Zynga insiders, including the Defendants, to sell their shares of Zynga stock when the Secondary Offering was on April 3, sooner than the May 28, 2012 expiration date.
- And allowed them to profit while ordinary investors did not (and rank-and-file employees could not)
- As detailed below, the Individual Defendants promptly sold the shares they received in the Secondary Offering, for proceeds of over $500 million. While Zynga insiders were able to sell their holdings at $12 per share before Zynga’s second quarter financial results were announced, Zynga’s non-executive employees and other public shareholders suffered colossal losses on their investments.
- In addition, Zynga continued to issue positive guidance
- On April 26, 2012, Zynga issued a press release on Form 8-K with the SEC and filed a corresponding Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q with the SEC announcing its financial results for the first quarter of 2012. Zynga touted its growth in both web and mobile bookings, reporting record bookings of $329 million for the quarter, up 15% year-over-year. The press release announced that “[w]e’re pleased with the progress that Zynga has made in the first quarter growing our audience reach 25% year over year and nearly 20% quarter over quarter.”
- In issuing its 2012 outlook, Zynga announced that “Bookings are projected to be in the range of $1.425 billion to $1.5 billion. We expect growth to be weighted towards the second half of the year.”
- And, misrepresent or failed to disclose important information
- Zynga misrepresented or failed to disclose material adverse facts about its business, operations, and growth prospects including, among other things, that: (1) Zynga had been experiencing a rapid decline in user numbers and virtual goods sold in existing web games; (2) Zynga had faced substantial delays in launching new web games; and (3) Zynga’s revenue and bookings were entirely dependent on Facebook’s online gaming platform.
It’s a serious lawsuit and obviously a major problem for Zynga. But the company and its executives will have their day in court and will be able to present their view of the events at that time.
One possibly bigger problem for the company right now?
I wonder if the rank-and-file employees, who were forced to wait longer to sell than key executives, are one of the parties feeling particularly aggrieved right now.
Especially if their options happen to be underwater at the moment.