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Kin + Carta Proves You Can Run A Business For Good

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Just last week, digital transformation consultancy Kin + Carta became the first publicly-traded business on the London Stock Exchange to gain B Corp status. And for good reason. 

It’s a really big deal.”

Kelly Manthey is Kin+Carta’s Group Chief Executive for the Americas. Kin + Carta, a London-based company, is all over the world. Manthey is responsible for North and South America. She could not be prouder of what the company has achieved in a short time. 

[We said that] In 5 years we’re going to achieve [our goals]. 

“We have three of them: one is to be the first publicly traded BCorp on the London stock exchange. 

“Another is to be an internationally recognized “best place to work.” 

“The third is to be a billion-pound market share business.”

If you want to know where Kin + Carta is headed – just look upward. 

What Is A Digital Transformation Consultancy?

Before they became Kin + Carta, they were several companies working in consultancy and technology. It wasn’t until 2020 that they came together and became a digital transformation consultancy. 

Everything today that companies are dealing with … there’s a technology component or a digital interface that’s usually at the core of solving the problem. 

“So, oftentimes we’ll start with what’s the problem to solve: What’s the business opportunity? What outcomes are our clients trying to drive? 

“Sometimes it’s around innovation and they want to be first to market … to innovate in their space … to be a leader in their space. 

“Sometimes it’s modernizing something they already have – a platform or an experience. 

“They need a partner that knows where things are headed. They need a partner to come in and help get them expertise, scale on something they’re already doing. 

“They’ll bring us in and we’ll help them drive the outcomes that they’re looking to drive for their business.

Running A Business As A Force For Good

It’s reasonable for most of us to look at large companies with some major side-eye. Kin + Carta means it. 

At the heart of what we do we do it all with the mind and eye towards the broader impact that we can make as a business. 

“We operate a triple bottom line business – Profit. People. Planet.

“We’ve made a commitment to be a B corporation – which means we aren’t just in business to drive profitability. 

“Profit is important, it’s the lifeblood of a business – but we owe a responsibility to our people and to our planet. 

“And, so, when you operate as a triple bottom line business it means that when you engage with us as a partner, we’re going to keep all of those things in mind. 

“We’re going to balance decision-making around all of those things. 

“So, our clients know that when they engage with us, they are all about supporting working with someone with a bigger ambition.” 

That ambition for something greater has attracted a large, diverse group of talent. Frankly, it’s impressive how many employees Kin + Carta has attracted. 

Last year, our last fiscal year, we hired 449 new people in the business.

“I do office hours every week to meet with people coming into the business and learn more about them. A lot of why people come and choose to work for us is because of the ambition – being a socially responsible business.

“And, just last year we won awards around some of the best places to work – we won ten workplace awards. 

“Consulting Magazine listed us as one of the best places to work in consulting. Best place for innovators. 

“People can bring their whole selves to work. We’re at the center of what’s exciting in technology – I’m super proud of that.”

The Bright Future for Kin + Carta … And Our World

Considering that they reached their five-year goals in one year, it’s not hard to imagine the success Kin + Carta is potentially looking at. 

I believe business is the greatest platform for change.

“The 449 people we brought into the company – we didn’t just bring 449 people. 

“We improved our gender diversity profile in the US by 23% our ethnic minority representation by 27% – our total LGBTQ representation by 10%.

“With growth, with momentum, and the growth trajectory we’re on comes a huge opportunity to be the change we want to see. 

“The tech business is historically terrible when it comes to diversity. We had the opportunity to actually do something with all those jobs we had open. 

“We’re just getting started. We’ve got lots of work to still do.

For Kelly Manthey, she’s optimistic not just about the future of Kin + Carta, but the future she’s creating for her own kids. 

As a female in tech business leader group CEO who’s a mom who has two boys at home who are watching me – all they know is that moms are CEOs – that moms work in technology – that moms go to work every day and dads can do laundry and moms can get a hammer out too. 

“I’m really seeing the micro changes that my children are able to witness. 

“I feel that responsibility for changing the narrative that’s out there. We can do this. With great growth comes great responsibility and greater impact that we can drive and lots of work to do still. 

“We’re doing it.

Keep an eye on Kin + Carta in the coming years. It’s endlessly refreshing to see a large corporation with its priorities focused on the larger picture.

Chris Blondell is a Philadelphia-based writer and social media strategist with a current focus on tech industry news. He has written about startups and entrepreneurs based in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, New Haven, and more. He has also written content for a true-crime blog, Sword and Scale, and developed social media content for a local spice shop. An occasional comedian, Chris Blondell also spends his time writing humorous content and performing stand-up for local audiences.

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Business

Adobe Drops Pantone Colors From Creative Cloud

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Print and pre-press professionals were worried about the information gap regarding Adobe’s decision to remove the Pantone color system from the upcoming versions of its Creative Cloud products. 

In November, Adobe released a technical bulletin about the changes to the Pantone Color Libraries. The company stated that: In March 2022, the Pantone Color Libraries pre-loaded in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign Color, and Adobe Captured will be deleted from future software updates. While Adobe drops Pantone, they said they are working on an alternative solution for the affected products. With that said, Adobe encourages its users to stay tuned for updates. 

Still, the news has caused dismay among influential users of Adobe in print and graphic arts.

Color management whiz Paul Sherfield, the founder, and owner of The Missing Horse consultancy, told Printweek that they have been talking to their customers about Adobe’s decision. For him, it is a disappointing example of big firms in the graphic arts supply chain not supporting the industry itself. He noted that there’s a need to pay for a subscription to download the latest library. Printers can afford that, but the thing is, how many graphic designers and publishers will. 

Adobe and Pantone’s Comments

Pantone official Marcie Foster responded and said Adobe and Pantone have been and will continue to be long-standing business partners. 

But, the current implementation of the Pantone color system with Adobe’s Creative Cloud products is outdated, with many missing colors and inaccurate information. The two companies have decided to remove the obsolete libraries and continue to work together on better in-app features. 

Similarly, Pantone will continue to explore new collaborations with other companies. It’s to ensure that Pantone users can easily access the latest color libraries depending on the design application they are using. 

Danaher owns Pantone, which also runs Esko, X-rite, Videojet, and Linx.

On the other hand, Adobe had not commented at the time of writing. 

Industry Reactions

From Simon Eccles, Printweek

As a long-time user of Adobe products, Simon Eccles said Pantone libraries were always an essential element of their usability for print across the whole industry, especially labels and packaging. 

Mr. Eccles expressed that the “Adobe drops Pantone” announcement is quite disrespectful to many designers and printers who dutifully pay Adobe’s subscription fees regularly.

Mr. Eccles wonders if Adobe consults any users before arriving at such a decision. 

From Bill Greenwood, high-end image manipulation and retouching specialist

Bill Greenwood told Printweek that Pantone creates an Adobe Extension known as Pantone Connect, allowing users to access the Pantone libraries. I hope that Adobe integrates the Pantone Connect extension automatically. Otherwise, users can download it from another site (exchange.adobe.com).

The software mainly operates on a rental basis, and Adobe minus the Pantone libraries in its suite is an exciting development. Sadly, the changes will force them to register for the Pantone monthly subscription plan.

If Pantone wants to retain its customers, it must offer more standard vital features accessible to designers and other users. Smaller companies and designers will choose not to pay a monthly subscription. After all, Pantone is just a guide – there are many different ways to specify color. Users may decide to select RGB values or HTML Hex color codes or just CMYK print color values in exchange for Pantone colors. 

Mr. Greenwood concluded that people might start to move away from Pantone if the cost is not worth it.

Simon Gambling, Zebra managing director

It would be somewhat scary and hard to imagine when Adobe drops Pantone. Also, it would be challenging for them to prove that an alternative solution to Pantone removal will be a hassle-free transition. Users could only await further updates from Adobe to be sure.

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Sony Stocks Plummet After Microsoft-Activision Deal

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Sony shares fell by more than after a Microsoft-Activision deal was announced. 

There is no doubt that this deal weakens Sony’s position in the market.

“Whether or not Activison Blizzard’s content is progressively made exclusive to Xbox platforms and services, inclusion of new releases into Xbox Game Pass for several major games franchises, including Call of Duty, will undermine Sony’s third-party business.” 

Piers Harding-Rolls, games research director at Ampere Analysis, explains the situation. 

Sony has benefitted from the ability to negotiate timed exclusive content for Call of Duty but this is now under threat.” 

Shots fired in the never-ending console war. 

Did The Market Overreact?

Serkan Toto, CEO of Kantan Games, thinks so:

I think the market has totally overreacted in Japan today.

See?

Sony will continue to push out blockbusters, there can be no doubt about that.

Those PlayStation exclusives are pretty sweet. Spider-Man, The Last Of Us, Ghost of Tsushima? Come on now. 

Sony can, of course, fight back: they still have their own top in-house studios spread around the world, PlayStation remains a powerful brand in gaming, and acquisitions are in the cards for Sony as well.” 

PlayStation isn’t going down without a fight. 

The Console Wars Continue

For some time, Sony has been ahead of Microsoft. But the $68.7 billion Microsoft-Activision deal raises the stakes the highest they’ve been since the Black Friday Battle of 2013. Franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft could become exclusive. 

How will Sony respond? We shall see what happens next in the seemingly never-ending console wars.

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Silicon Valley Blue-Collar Workers Hope To Return To Their Posts

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While big tech companies are delaying return to offices, Silicon Valley Blue-Collar workers anticipate full return in the coming months. 

Despite the economic disruption experienced due to the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses tried their best to ensure business continuity. Big tech companies were the first to allow their white-collar employees to work from home when the pandemic hit. However, not everyone can work remotely, like in the case of service workers.

Madeleine Rivera, 33, is a contractual food service worker at Google’s campus. Rivera is holding on to the slightest signs that workers will return to the company in the future. Recently, she handed out free peach ice pops to Google employees who have returned to work already. She’s trying not to overthink about the rising COVID cases in the country. According to her, being optimistic and happy matters. 

As the Delta variant enters a new troubling phase, more tech companies like Lyft and Facebook delay re-opening their workplaces early next year. Because of this, the companies’ contracted cafeteria workers, cleaners, and shuttle drivers are becoming more anxious. 

Most Silicon Valley blue-collar workers are not sure whether the Delta variant will delay their returns even longer or, worse, risk their jobs entirely if in-office work becomes less significant than it was before. As many white-collar employees have settled into work from home, blue-collar workers are struggling even more because of the unpredictable situation. 

“My kids don’t want me to go back to work, but I said I have to do it,” said Liliana Morales, 37, a food service staff at Facebook. Morales recently returned to work after having been on paid vacation since the pandemic started. Everyone needs to go back to their everyday routines, and it has been months that she has been out of work, Morales said.

Image Credit: SIPA USA via AP

Country-wide Concerns

While some Silicon Valley blue-collar workers are in better condition, they still have the same concerns as many fellow workers across the country. UCLA Labor Center director, Kent Wong, co-authored a book about the late Mike Garcia, a janitorial labor organizer who led strikes at Oracle and Apple. Wong said that because Morales and Rivera are members of a labor union, they are likely to be doing better than their non-union member counterparts. 

Previously, on a website Amazon created this year to convince workers in Alabama to vote against unionization, the company announced that they provided them with excellent hourly rates, attractive healthcare benefits, and career advancement. There is so much more than the workers can do with their career and family without paying premiums, Amazon said. 

But Wong said all blue-collar workers face problems, whether or not they have union membership. The bottom line is, they are still very vulnerable. 

Image Credit: SIPA USA via AP

Looking Ahead

In interviews, Silicon Valley blue-collar workers said that big tech companies primarily supported them throughout the pandemic. Others said the companies tried to find them other jobs when their original work was gone. Take, for example, the experience of Rivera, a former kitchen staff across Google’s campus in Mountain View, California. She was temporarily assigned to work as a receptionist in almost empty office buildings.

Some companies like Google are already starting to upgrade their headquarters. It’s to return to a sense of normalcy in Santa Clara County, the geographic heart of Silicon Valley.

Facebook is starting to recall their contractors. On the other hand, drivers are being asked to do training and practice driving empty buses, said Stacy Murphy, the representative for Teamsters Local 853 – the union of some Silicon Valley bus and shuttle drivers. 

Morales said that whatever her company orders, they will abide by it. If they say return to work, they will return to work.

Murphy believed that it had been a mixed bag for Silicon Valley firms needing shuttle drivers. Facebook continues to let its drivers make practice trips. While, Netflix and Amazon have been back to 100% capacity since June 2021. Tesla even expanded their service during the pandemic. On the contrary, Apple, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Salesforce never returned. 

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