Cover art for podcast The Starr Conspiracy Podcast

The Starr Conspiracy Podcast

48 EpisodesProduced by OchoWebsite

Welcome to The Starr Conspiracy Podcast where we talk about everything work tech.

48 Episodes | 2020 - 2022

Dark clouds, silver linings

November 21st, 2022


For tech companies, the hits kept coming. Twitter is in turmoil. Crypto is crashing. There were multiple layoff announcements, including Meta and …

Aim higher than Elon

November 17th, 2022


Lance is back with another Work Leader Weekly newsletter: We can do better than Musk’s Twitter disaster. It’s been a meme-worthy three weeks since Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover took place. From his proclamation that …

Talent acquisition leader pulse

November 10th, 2022


Yesterday, Lance was finishing out a great ERE Recruiting Conference in Atlanta. What did he learn from the leaders in the room during a tumultuous …

Want a better economy? Root for the Astros.

November 4th, 2022


The 2020s have already been a difficult decade by any measure, as we have already confronted disease, war, and civil unrest. Now we face yet another …

Productive paranoia

November 2nd, 2022


In this week’s newsletter, Lance Haun wanted to start with the always-interesting world of economics and employee productivity before we covered the …

Generative AI for generative growth

October 29th, 2022


In 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that in a hundred years we would work only 15 hours a week to satisfy our basic economic needs. …

Earnings: Not quite 🔥 but not 💩

October 28th, 2022


It was a big week for Work Tech earnings, and … it could have been worse. Microsoft’s net income was down but Asure’s earnings were a relative bright …

(Not so) quiet riot

October 26th, 2022


In this week’s newsletter, we cover how folks with disabilities are benefiting from remote work, which became the norm during the pandemic (and how …

Raise your game

October 21st, 2022


We are putting the finishing touches on an industry survey we conducted this month and last, with responses from over 700 Work Tech professionals about how their brands have fared in 2022 and what they expect in 2023. …

The gig is up

October 12th, 2022


Lance is back with a new Work Leader Weekly newsletter: This week in work leader news, the U.S. Department of Labor is proposing new rules for gig …

It’s not fair

July 21st, 2022


As we’ve spent the last few years trying to understand what an equitable and fair workplace looks like, you would think we would have made at least …

Make some brainspace with grace

July 18th, 2022


The human brain has a limited amount of calories to make decisions. Over the millennia, our once-smooth brains evolved to reduce complexity to stave …

The four-day work week test

June 8th, 2022


In this week’s newsletter, we’re covering fixing retention with money, Microsoft’s unique approach to organized labor, a return to annual performance reviews for Google, and green energy. Yeah, it’s all in here. But …

A silver lining for Work Tech?

May 20th, 2022


There’s still plenty of ugly stock market news out there with still plenty of bubble-bursting talk and layoffs. But, believe it or not, there’s actually some good news for Work Tech if you look closely.

Music by Bonkers …

Is this the future of work? Cause it’s still not great.

May 18th, 2022


It’s been a long time since I’ve met a work leader who doesn’t want to see the workplace improve. While we might agree to disagree on how that will come about or what elements need to change, we all agree there is a big …

Why PwC is investing $2.4 billion in EX

May 11th, 2022


Today, we’re covering why people are returning to their old jobs, the global skills shortage, and why the wellness industry might need a little …

Work Tech looks a lot better than the rest of tech

May 10th, 2022


April closed with the Nasdaq Composite Index notching its worst monthly performance since February 2009. Time to pour bourbon on your Post Toasties? …

Stuck between the office and a hard place

April 27th, 2022


A new Work Leader Weekly from Lance coming up. This week, we’re writing about the very serious issues of why flexible work depends on men, the life and death consequences of bad private equity deals, and more return to …

A down quarter with an asterisk

April 26th, 2022


After Q4’s record $10.9 billion Work Tech investment, Q1 was going to be hard-pressed to beat that number — and it didn’t. When the books closed on Q1 2022, Work Tech investment was down 23% to $8.209 billion, which …

People ops is ops

April 26th, 2022


Imagine you run an airline. You’ve somehow survived the pandemic. You’re prepping for what promises to be a very busy travel season. You have a route to Hawaii that banks you serious cash. But you have to cancel all …

Ransomware gangs have HR too.

April 18th, 2022


So, ransomware gangs have HR too, eh? It seems a business is a business is a business. 

Not sure how to feel about this, but a series of document leaks reveal operational details about the Russian ransomware gang known …

Is there a big chill coming for startups?

April 15th, 2022


As someone working in Work Tech, how worried should you be about the macro-economic outlook? The reason we ask is the appearance of a TechCrunch …

Safe or not, you have to get back in the water

April 14th, 2022


The pandemic seems to continually find new ways to challenge business strategies and thwart planning efforts. Then the Russian invasion of Ukraine has set the world — and your employees — on edge in a completely …

If you ain’t people first, you’re people last

April 6th, 2022


We all survived another April Fool’s Day, and, thankfully, this year we saw even fewer major organizations trying to prove how witty they are. This …

Thoma Bravo buys Anaplan for $10.7B

March 31st, 2022


Last week’s work tech weekly newsletter written by Steve Smith summarized some recent trends and introduced the employee engagement market map. What’s that? Stay tuned. Email us at for …

Power to the people

March 30th, 2022


Power to the people. Lance has pulled together some great insights in his Work Leader Weekly newsletter.

It’s allergy season, but between sneezes, …

New finance newsletter: Choppy waters need a steady gaze

March 29th, 2022


If you hadn’t heard, we published a brand new monthly newsletter authored by your faithful podcast host focused on the finance leader. Sign up today:

A better solution for hybrid?

March 16th, 2022


Lance Haun offers the permission-based vs. permissive-based approach to remote work in his latest Work Leader Weekly newsletter. Questions, feedback, links mentioned in the episode? Email

The return of employee engagement

March 14th, 2022


The return of employee engagement. Thought you were done with that, eh? Well, buckle up. We have a new hot take.

We’ve all spent the past two years obsessing over the Employee Experience (EX) and how to improve it. …

When will equity come for women in HR?

March 9th, 2022


Because calendars are unyielding, this podcast is coming to you a day after International Women’s Day (IWD). One of the missions of IWD is “to forge …

Marketing down to the bone: Friction, sparks — and transformation

March 3rd, 2022


One of our top writers is Lou Chapman, a man who’s been with the agency for over a decade. He posted a blog this morning called, “Marketing down to the bone: Friction, sparks — and transformation.” The summary? You …

Work tech hits the main stream

March 2nd, 2022


The invasion of Ukraine is an avoidable tragedy, and Lance couldn’t start his newsletter without mentioning it first. He wrote last week, in addition …

What is the product delusion?

February 11th, 2022


Today we’re recapping partner Steve Smith’s newsletter, the Work Tech Weekly, out today. If you don’t know Steve, he’s been a partner at the agency for over a decade and is a work tech guru. Definitely, definitely get …

Love is *still* in the stale office air

February 9th, 2022


Our very own Lance Haun has released his latest newsletter called the Work Leader Weekly. Haven’t subscribed yet? Go here: Feel free to email

Season 2 trailer

February 7th, 2022


What’s up, party people. We’re back, and we’re dishing out all the hot goss from every corner of the agency about all things work tech. You’ll hear short, weekly bites on a range of takes and topics. Stay tuned this …

Stay positive for pent-up demand

December 3rd, 2020


Stay positive. We think next year is going to be a blockbuster year for Work Tech. When you look back at 2020, sales of everything but communication, …

Certified employers and reformed capitalists

November 12th, 2020


Good news: The type of validation that the elusive blue checkmark provides for narcissists on Twitter may soon be coming to the workplace. But this is just one part of a broader reformation within capitalism.

SPACs come for Work Tech

October 20th, 2020


You’ve probably heard of SPACs by now, right? If not, you will hear much more soon. These Special Purpose Acquisition Companies are the hottest thing on Wall Street, and they’re invading Work Tech.

Certifications and Google are on the rise

October 12th, 2020


There’s no lack of professional certifications for HR and L&D professionals, with ATD and SHRM certifications, among others. But what about one that’s all about Taking Care of Business (or TCB, as Elvis might say)? …

Never, ever give up

September 28th, 2020


Here’s a good news story: Our friends at Blueboard announced their $9.3 million Series A funding last week. You think your business has had a rough year? Think again. Blueboard founders Taylor Smith and Kevin Yip can …

The way things are

September 21st, 2020


We’ve been talking a lot about “Return of the Workplace” and “The Future (or Present) of Work.” That view is an inaccurate read on the situation. Instead, let’s focus on “The Way Things Were” and “The Way Things Are.”

Two causes for work tech optimism

September 14th, 2020


Last week was a wild week for tech stocks, with the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Dow Tech Index flirting with correction territory. Time to panic? Hardly.

For work tech, it’s time to W.O.R.K.

September 9th, 2020


We at The Starr Conspiracy hope you had a restful weekend this Labor Day. If you’re seeing what we’re seeing, you’ll need it this fall.

Post-pandemic growth in Work Tech

August 31st, 2020


Many believe this is a time for restraint and defense, when we should all wait around for the second shoe to drop. But falling into the current doom …

Emerging market: Mental health and well-being

August 25th, 2020


Had enough yet? If so, you’re not alone. COVID has created an enormous mental health challenge for employers, creating a burgeoning work tech market.

Research from the nonprofit Mind Share Partners, conducted in …

HR Tech and others go remote

August 18th, 2020


Well, it finally happened last week. What we all knew was coming finally became official: the 2020 HR Technology Conference & Exposition® will …

Q2 Work Tech investments

July 28th, 2020


Want some good news? The Starr Conspiracy has broken down the Work Tech investment numbers for the first half of 2020, and 2020 is on an almost identical pace to last year’s investments.

Quiet time and four-day weeks

April 28th, 2020


It’s hard working from home. So, we made the decision to create more space in our people’s lives so we can experience the feelings of well-being and productivity that we all deserve, even in these most unusual times. We …

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