Klarna's new products, privacy focused apps, and connecting folks to a deeper sense of purpose and meaning

Raz TirboacaRaz Tirboaca
Klarna's new products, privacy focused apps, and connecting folks to a deeper sense of purpose and meaning

It doesn’t matter what you say, it matters what they hear

Hello everyone!

I’m coming with great news and a fresh approach to moving forward with the Makers newsletter. I will stop publishing it on LinkedIn – based on your feedback, I learned that LinkedIn works better for short-form content, so I redesigned the Makers website to create a calmer reading experience where everyone can take the time here to digest the weekly. Thank you for that and enjoy the new design!


🚀 Klarna launched 3 new products this week, hopping to move beyond being just a payment platform but a place for consumers to search and discover, for influencers to create content and for retailers to promote their products.

  • A more intelligent search tool to compare prices across thousands of stores, find the best deals, check in-store availability and explore shipping options—all in one place.
  • Dynamic shoppable video content
  • An app for retailers and influencers to collaborate on brand campaigns and to track earnings, performance and sales.

It used to be Klarna vs Affirm vs Apple Pay, now it’s Klarna vs Pinterest. Smart move!

📱 An anonymous app called Gas is taking high schools by storm. The app prompts teens to say nice things about each other. The app has racked up 500k+ downloads since August, despite only launching in 12 states so far.

Here’s how Gas works:

  • The app uses location data to let users choose their high school
  • Users are served multiple choice questions about fellow students with superlative-style answers – e.g., “the most beautiful person you have ever met”
  • Users are anonymous by default, but an upgraded version lets them see who said what about them

❤️ Speaking of complete privacy, we’re building Fotopulse – a mobile app to receive unbiased reactions of your photos from people who don’t know you. Check it out and join our friends list to receive news as we progress and give us feedback.

🧑‍💻 The future of rendering in React. React can be confusing with so many rendering options. Prateek Surana wrote an article about what the landscape looks like and what’s on the horizon.

💡 Distinction bias—the cognitive bias of the week

The distinction bias, a concept of decision theory, is the tendency to view two options as more distinctive when evaluating them simultaneously than when evaluating them separately.

When asked if someone would like an apple, they may say “Yes”. So, an apple is placed before them and they begin to eat it and are happy.

But when two apples were placed on the table - the person will choose the fresher apple and eat it and be happy. If asked, “would you have enjoyed eating that other apple”, they would likely say “No”. Moreover, if presented with five apples on a table, they might examine each apple so that they would be sure they had the best one, even though the time spent making that decision would be wasted.

The reason for this is that distinction bias causes us to “over-examine and over-value the differences between things as we scrutinize them.”


👫 You cannot mandate productivity; you must provide the tools to let people become their best.

Jobs knew something more than two decades ago that most executives are beginning to see now. Businesses that invest in their employees to become their best are investing in their own futures. It makes sense to give employees the skills and tools they need to meet customers where they are to solve difficult challenges.

To achieve this on a grander scale to affect organizational change, there are a few leadership initiatives that must take place consistently over time:

  1. Give your people freedom
  2. Give them plenty of feedback
  3. Give them space to perform
  4. Give them your ears

🌟 Forget Great Resignation; think Great Reflection. In companies rated as a “Great Place to Work” over the years, connecting folks to a deeper sense of purpose and meaning at work has always been a key focus.

Research by Gartner this year indicates that 65% of workers surveyed are rethinking the role that work plays in their life. Employees are more than ever, in this Great Resignation, seeking a higher purpose in their jobs.

In the book ”Bullshit Jobs: A Theory”, I highly recommend it, David Graeber points out that one of the worst of all possible tortures you can inflict on a person is to get them to do something they know to be utterly pointless.

We are meaning making creatures…


🏪 TikTok is planning to build its own product fulfillment centers in the U.S. creating an ecommerce supply chain system that could directly challenge Amazon, as indicated by more than a dozen new job openings posted in the past two weeks to LinkedIn. The move signifies TikTok’s commitment to ecommerce as its next major revenue stream, following the explosive growth of its ads business.

📱 More apps, more problems. Apple’s “there’s an app for that” was a fun ad slogan. But now, there may be too many apps for too many things.

Okta, a platform that connects employees to apps, found that companies used an average of 89 different apps in 2021, up from 58 in 2015. Another study across three large companies found that we switch between apps ~1.2k times daily.

Apps are supposed to make our life easier, but app overload actually decreases focus and boosts stress. Consolidation is the name of the game for the next decade.

⤴ Netflix bounces back in Q3 with 2.4M subscribers gain, for a total of 223M. It expects to gain 4.5m in Q4 as it rolls out its ad-supported tier, and will stop offering subscriber forecasts in 2023.

Thanks for reading! See you again next week 🫶