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Questioning the Bounds
There must be something more than this commercial life.
A mostly quiet couple of weeks, though it may not feel like that to the companies that closed funding rounds (or to the employees who got laid off). Coro raised $75 million to consolidate cybersecurity solutions for companies into one platform, which makes all the sense in the world from a logistics perspective but also kind of sounds like an opportunity for a single point of failure. Don’t worry though, it’ll use AI, so it’s probably great. Also using AI is IManage, which raised an undisclosed amount to help corporate operational teams increase productivity, and is hiring 15 folks as a result.
Please tell the investors that we are also using AI in this newsletter. It’s just that the how and what of it all is a trade secret, you understand. Anyway give us money!
Or maybe tell them we’re leading the Web3 charge like Coinflow Labs, which raised a $1.45 million pre-seed round to “strengthen the bridge between traditional banking infrastructure and blockchain technology.”
Biotech company CTRL Therapeutics did raise some money on the back of regular old intelligence this week, picking up $10 million to develop a cell therapy solution capable of attacking solid tumors.
And some good news for the Chicago Solidarity Collective, which will be getting $2.25 million from JPMorgan Chase’s community innovation competition, which has nothing at all do with laundering the bank’s reputation. Chicago Solidarity Collective will use the money to help Black women who have previously been incarcerated with training and employment in worker-owned food cooperatives like ChiFresh Kitchen.
It may not be a co-op, but Farmer’s Fridge is continuing to grow its fresh packaged food business fast enough to keep folks employed, with a new push into retail locations alongside its eponymous fridges. Because Farmer’s Fridge runs its own distribution network, that means jobs not just in production, but in logistics and delivery too.
Which is good, because the month has not been without its layoffs. Computer sales company CDW cut an estimated 600 jobs in the wake of disappointing first quarter sales (that are still up 5% year over year). Mediafly, meanwhile, laid off 50 people — roughly a quarter of its staff — over fears that the business-to-business market its sales enablement software depends on is starting to go a bit soft.
The 275 employees facing layoffs in Libertyville did, however, get a potential stay of execution this week. After pharmaceutical company Novartis announced plans to close its plant, New York-based Bristol Myers Squibb swooped in to pick up the facility — and at least some of its employees — at a discount. No word yet on how many people Bristol Myers Squibb will keep, but we do hope they have counseling in the company health plan after this wild emotional ride.
Jobs, Glorious Jobs
Arts & Culture Editor and Director of Sales at Block Club Chicago
Hot on the heels of the Chicago Reader, Block Club Chicago is posting ads for its own expansion. While the Director of Sales role doesn’t list a salary range, the Arts Editor starts at $75,000 — already the high end for any jobs at the Reader. We know the people are lovely and tend to stick around, so if you have hesitations, use your interview to dig into the org’s financials and your development opportunities.
Cat and Rabbit Program Coordinator at One Tail at a Time
Or, dig even deeper into those comms dreams and take a job at One Tail. Just remember that while the truckloads of rescue dogs and cats are objectively adorable, the treatment they face, and the condition they come in, is really, really not cute. If you can’t love them at their ear infections and amputated tails, you don’t deserve them at their whatever this is.
Inspiration of the Week
“At its most useful, however, leisure time is an interim means of questioning the bounds of the work that surrounds it … that critical pause during which the worker wonders why she works so much, where collective grief is processed, and where the edges of something new start to become visible.”
—Jenny Odell in Saving Time. The book’s academic language can make its concepts seem abstract. They’re not. When we rethink how we approach time — what we measure, how we value it — we rethink pretty much everything about how we live our lives.
Yes, the idea that rest is radical is not new. But what we love about this quote is that it reminds us that rest can be radicalizing. When we make space for downtime, we can begin to question what uptime actually is, who it serves, and what role we want it to play in our lives. And we can start to imagine an alternative to wage work and endless productivity.
Forward this email to anyone who’s ready to question everything. They can sign up here to get time and motivation to do so twice a month.