Column

In mid-March, a majority of companies had to send their employees home and tell them to stay there indefinitely. Most business owners were abiding by what they hoped would be a short-term situation. Few could have imagined 10 months ago that at the beginning of 2021 they would still lack a bonafide game plan to get back up and running. In fact, the longer this pandemic has dragged on, the more it's become clear that the typical, pre-pandemic workplace is not something we'll see again for quite some time.

Reflecting on what the country looks like today, it's a real possibility that in the not-too-distant future L.A. sets not only the stage but also a new standard for what a health-conscious commute and a productive work life looks like as a model for apprehensive Americans.

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Missions and core values are ubiquitous at companies today. They're expected — by employees, new recruits, even investors — because they take a stand on the company's purpose and path to get there.

You need both because one without the other isn't enough. A mission is the purpose of the company, its north star, its reason for existing, whereas core values are how you fulfill that purpose, the set of navigational tools in service to your mission that are more useful for immediate, near-term decisions. They're a code of conduct, a common language, guiding principles, shorthand for new employees, partners and outsiders to understand how your company operates.

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Over the last year, there has been bipartisan appetite for taking a bite out of big tech. From carve outs of §230 of the Communications Decency Act to Congressional antitrust hearings, to lawsuits and investigations from seemingly every three-lettered government agency in the District, big tech has had an especially tedious go of it recently. And 2021 does not seem to be any different.

Sometimes overlooked amid other more headline-worthy stories, one initiative has the potential of striking at the heart of platforms' business models – including both the largest social media companies we're all familiar with and any-sized platform that relies on user-generated content. The future of copyright online, which generates billions for platforms, will be up for discussion in the 117th Congress, and legislation across the Atlantic may play a major role in influencing how that discussion shakes out.

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