OpenAI, Freight Layoffs, and TikTok Ban with Grace Sharkey
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In this episode of “Everything is Logistics,” host Blythe Brumleve and guest Grace Sharkey discuss various topics related to freight and technology. They cover AI’s dominating presence in the news, recent layoffs in the freight industry, and the possibility of TikTok getting banned.



[00:01:42] AI advancements dominating industry.

[00:03:54] The marketing strategy of AI.

[00:07:25] AI and Data-driven decision making.

[00:12:24] Repurposing old content.

[00:18:31] Revolutionizing movie-making with AI.

[00:19:37] AI in content creation.

[00:26:36] Layoffs in the freight industry.

[00:28:35] Over hiring and job economy.

[00:33:13] Layoffs in the tech industry.

[00:39:20] TikTok’s Chinese spyware controversy.

[00:41:23] TikTok’s use in China.

[00:44:33] The power of technology.

[00:48:28] Mindless phone usage.



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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome to another episode of everything is logistics a podcast for the thinkers in freight. I'm your host Blythe Brumleve. And we are once again joined with the wonderful Grace Sharkey of Sirius XM Radio fame also freightwaves fame. If you follow any kind of freight content, you have likely seen her stuff all over the place. She's no signs of slowing down. So welcoming into her second appearance on this monthly recurring thing that we are doing. I'm going once a month on her Sirius radio show. So she's coming once a month on here to talk all things. Freight tech. So Grace, welcome in.

Grace Sharkey: 0:43

I'm happy to be here excited. Yeah, we got this little trade off. We're doing just sharing each other's talents. Why not? Right. That's called relationship building. That's how you truly do it brokers. So I love it. It's been a fun

Blythe Brumleve: 0:57

30 seconds and there's already shade thrown out there. I love it. Now I know for I will say that our last episode that we did together, I have gotten the most comments from it. Compare that to any other episode, how much they loved that insight and sort of the back and forth between us. So we're just going to keep it rolling, you know, right with, you know, some of these controversial topics. So as a little bit of a roadmap for the show, we're going to talk about AI because obviously, it's just dominating the news. We're going to talk a little layoffs in freight. And then we're going to be talking about fakeness on social media and not in the way that you might think. So we're going to cover all of those topics. First of all, being a I don't have to you don't have to be living under a rock in order to not notice all of the news and headways that have been made with this technology, not just essentially over the last few years. But really in the last few months from a lot of these big game players, Google and Microsoft being the top two dogs in that respect. So just in this week, so we have Google AI that's releasing their new sort of software that attaches to Google Docs attaches to Gmail attaches to pretty much their entire business suite of software. Microsoft has also ridden the same with their tool, essentially, what they're calling with artificial intelligence is that it's going to not just run in the background, it's going to be your copilot. And so that's what Microsoft has named it as your co pilot is going to work with all of them Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, all of that stuff. We've seen other models that have just released chat GPT four, which is big in the news, obviously, Microsoft is a big backer for them, I think they've a chat GPT or open AI, which is the owner of chat GPT gave away 50% of their company, not give gave away but Microsoft invested in 50% of their company. So that's what's powering a lot of these moves that you're seeing on their side of things. Then two more that I think have a really larger impact is that intercom chat products, which powers a lot of the chat bots on a lot of different websites, they release their own version of AI that powers on top of it. So it's a chat GPT for on top of those intercom chat bots. So you may already be communicating with chat GPT and not really even know it yet. And then hub spots chat spot for CRM and content creation. Now that is a lot of things that I just threw at you. So gray sort of first thoughts, you know about all of this AI news that's coming down the pipeline?

Grace Sharkey: 3:30

I'd say my first thoughts are I think it's AI is time to shine. I think that's why you're seeing so much of his investment take place right now. A lot of this technology AI in particular, I kind of want to talk about machine learning as well, because I think some people confuse machine learning tools, sometimes with AI tools because they act behavioral sometimes the same, but in the AI aspect. I think what chat GPT did and how they dropped this AI bomb on everyone. I mean, it was it. We're talking about marketing, right in this in this podcast. I mean, this, it was, I think one of the best marketing plans I've ever seen something straight out of loves and say the TV show Silicon Valley, right. But Silicon Valley s as well, where it's like, let's almost create a movement of AI and it worked. And now you have, I think a lot of these companies who are already working on these tools, one had to escalate their teams to get the product moving faster. I think the problem with AI is people look for perfection, when you just kind of put something like Chechi PTS out there, you're probably going to learn a lot more from the 100 millions of users you just grabbed than than the Perfected model that you have. But I think that's why you're seeing a lot of the these headlines of m&a action or more AI technologies being used is because it's just a hot topic right now. And so I can assume that the sales reps behind a lot of these teams are having a hell Over time to picking up the phone, and people say wait ways it's kind of like what the chat GPT is. Yeah, it's exactly that boom, bang, find that sign the dotted line, keep it moving forward. So I think that's, we talked about the past to like when chat GPT came out, and how if Microsoft, clearly was going to invest in it, like how they could apply this to Bing, and how Bing could technically become even more powerful, and maybe in a way less ad driven than think Google. Right. And I think that's kind of like the discussions you're seeing now is like, Where can I go? How can it change a lot of the models? How, how can companies compete against each other, just to sit back and say, like Google, until what, like a few months ago, wasn't working on AI, I think is absolutely ridiculous. I think it's just, this is the time for that application to shine. So let's drive the sales. Let's drive our team towards this particular project as hard as we can, and get that out there. So I'm happy to see it. I don't think I think that they've caused this like reaction where people are more invested in it. But a lot of this technology has been around for a while. I mean, the chat box thing the ask that aspect, right? When you look at in our industry, we we like hub tech, right has their little robot whose hamburgers name right now at the time, I had no come near the end of the show, I'm sure. But we've seen it even in our industry, this type of work being used. The chat box is probably the biggest one you you've probably noticed. And I think that's what's cool is maybe now we're all getting an education on what AI we've been using this whole time.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:45

And I think Microsoft really put it in a great verbiage when they said that we AI has been a part of our society for a while now. But now it's evolving into being your co pilot, which I think is such a brilliant name for that Google's is called Bard, which is just such a terrible

Grace Sharkey: 7:03

name. A lot of people don't want to say Bard, but the names that are coming out are hilarious to me. And a tabby isn't even the robot There we go.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:12

Just Yes, I was just on their website, I was gonna I was gonna throw it out there. Tabby is is a good really use case for So for folks who don't know how that works? Do you know how Tabby works within the hub tech functionality. So

Grace Sharkey: 7:26

here's the thing, AI is all about taking data, and numerous pieces of data about your company or whatever you're working on or a certain piece. For instance, Tabby would be putting together maybe all of your freight data, your rates, your carriers, your customers, etc, feeding into something like tabby. And then Tabby can be used as almost like yeah, like a co pilot, right in a way to say, hey, what would our rates be on the slain? It's put that out for you. Now, imagine putting that into a shippers, hands or carriers hands, right? Like, what lanes are most available in these regions and being able to spit that back out, or what I think is more important to spit out what's most important for that interact or to know so if it's like a carrier, right? It's gonna its intelligence model should be able to spit out the lanes that are most attracted to the carriers, but also the lanes that it needs to be most sold from the brokerage side. So that's where I think is really interesting, or this AI starts to take in almost model, the human interaction or the the decision making, right that that we would make as human beings. Now it does depend on what data you're putting in there. If you're putting the data in of a rep who makes terrible decisions, then, then you've got a not so great system. I think we talked about this last time. That's kind of like pushback chap GPT is getting right now is because it's a little bit more liberally built, right. Like if you ask it to make certain jokes on certain presidents, it will lean against it for more leftist politicians and lead right into it for more, right. And so that I'm sure, though, has to do with the data that it's using to generate those responses. So I think it's very important for people to understand the data that you're putting into these systems for this stuff to really truly work.

Blythe Brumleve: 9:40

And I think you hit the nail on the head with the the data aspect of is making sure you have clean data, and then making sure that you have that constant process of feeding that good clean data and auditing that data and then making sure that that is feeding into systems like the hubs, hub, tech Tabby, and then also For, for chat GPT because they've released several different versions Now, check GPT. Four just released this week. Have you had a chance to play around with it at all?

Grace Sharkey: 10:10

I? So I have used chat GPT this week, I don't think I've used the four model. But I mean, I don't use it for anything too intense. But sometimes if I need to, like, maybe be a little bit more creative, I've sometimes I've dove into it. But no, I haven't. Is it cool? Have you played around with it?

Blythe Brumleve: 10:35

Yeah, I. So to back it up a little bit, I've used a bunch of AI tools, I think I have a tab in my Google Chrome browser right now that if I open it up every all of my tabs just super strange shrink down, because I have so many AI tools that I want to try out. And so earlier this year, especially in q1, I was definitely like getting all the tools. And if it was cool for like one little thing, I was buying it, and I spent a lot of money on a lot of these different tools. So now I've done a little bit of consolidating on on the tools that I'm going to use and how they fit into my processes. And with the a lot of these tools, they were powered by check GPT three, or check GPT 3.5. And they're okay. So for example, I use a tool called otter, which I absolutely love, I think that it is one of those tools that every person should have. Because it auto joins your meetings, it takes notes it takes really good notes to but what you can also do is transcribe your podcast, and it gives you incredible like you can match your speakers to what parts of the conversation that they're talking to. And then you can take an outline that creates. And it's a fantastic outline. And it helps me to go back in and find those key moments of the conversation that I maybe want to make a social media clip from that I maybe want to use that quote in a social media promotion of that podcast. The next level where chat GPT four comes in is you're able to submit that entire transcript to the system, it still has a character limit, which is annoying, but I think it has around a you know a 20,000 character limit of a transcript that you can upload. And you can say summarize this into a blog post for me. So that is a really good use case. And then last night I was just playing around with because I have a few articles on digital dispatch that that perform very well, as far as SEO is concerned, it sends me, you know, about 12,000 visitors a month to the site alone, just because of these SEO driven articles. But they're also very old. And they're a little outdated. I wrote them back in like 2018. So what I did last night in charge GPT four is I said I gave it a prompt. I said pretend you're an editor that was just hired at a trucking company rework this article with the latest industry news. And it's I copied and pasted the old article right into chat GPT four, and it rewrote the entire article with news up until 2021. Now, if news has happened since before, then it's outside of that data set for chat GPT for so you have to keep that in mind as well. But the way it made remade the entire article, it sounded better than what I originally wrote it and that these articles have been on my to do list for six months. And I did it in a night. And so I think that those are the kind of like use cases that you can find especially in marketing, but the HubSpot, CTO, Dharmesh, I forgot his last name, but he was debuting how the new tool chat spot can really be a superpower version of HubSpot where he said it takes 21 clicks right now, to go into HubSpot and to send an email to a person that you're trying to sell to 21 clicks and chat spot has reduced that to two clicks. And so it's these kind of minor improvements I think just make are game changers for folks like us who wear a lot of hats and have to do a lot of things

Grace Sharkey: 14:12

1,000% I think that's where it's really been interesting for me is to like see if it can create more creative titles that's I hate literally just like hate titles there's like the I panic and I've it's been a problem since the longest I can even think like even in college just like I would spend the first 10 minutes of like a finals exam just like what are we going to name this? Or even be like fine just figure it out the end and then the last 10 minutes I'm just having a panic attack do and so for me I've like used it to great like different creative different types of, of titles based off of maybe the information that I'm feeding it as well and so I think it's definitely a game changer. It's definitely added more time into my life. And I think that's what's what your examples and like updating and like rejuvenating a lot of like content? Well they're small medium sized businesses like can you imagine like how much easier this is going to allow them to compete on a scale against the big fortune 500 marketing teams that can throw away money on them Superbowl commercials, right it's like it's I that's what I think is really cool and I see this type of stuff. I don't of course he we all kind of ponder over now these kids in college or high school are gonna cheat on papers. Sure, that'll get fixed out, that'll get fixed quickly. Because at the end of the day, the thing about generative AI is about what you're generating into it. So right you take your blog, which already is your work and what you've done, you put it into the AI and it spits it out using your own framework, right, which is like it's still your thoughts. So I think I know I just get really excited when I see tools like this come out that I know are going to allow small players to compete with large players, and once again, defuse this. This barrier to entry that might be holding people back from entering or becoming an entrepreneur entering our space that then maybe in the past.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:31

This episode is brought to you by SPI logistics, the premier freight agent and logistics network in North America. Are you currently building your freight brokerages, book a business and feel that your capabilities are being limited due to lack of support and access to adequate technology? At SPI logistics, we have the technology, the systems and the back office support to help you succeed. If you're looking to take control of your financial future and build your own business, with the backing of one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, visit SPI three To learn more, even with you know, like business ideas like I have a million ideas for websites. I'm not a coder, I know a little bit of HTML. And that's it. I know what you know, quote unquote enough to be dangerous. That's it. But for these types of platforms, they can you can in the chat GPT for demo, there was a you know, a back of the napkin drawing of a website that this guy did. And he took a picture of it, put it into chat GPT four, and it made the website for him. And it was a joke website like not a joke, like kind of a joke. I don't know that played on words here. But the example was he said I want to have a joke website, spit out a joke, here's the button for it to generate the joke. And here's where the result will it will land and catchy Beatty for built that for him. So the creative energy that you're going to be able to unleash, I think just levels like you said levels the playing field. For a lot of these, you know, just smaller businesses, smaller creators, I think it has the opportunity, especially with these image generators, and video generators as well to revolutionize a lot of you know, say music videos or movies to an extent. If you want to make a movie right now you have to have somewhere between 200 million and 500 million for the entire budget and marketing budget for that movie. That's why we're seeing so many remakes. With this technology. Like in five years, I do not see a situation where or I see a situation where these creators are going to be able to use these tools and make that creative work and bring back the storytelling, the power that storytelling to a lot of these different creative mediums.

Grace Sharkey: 18:48

Now I just saw a clip of them using this type of system on the movies called fall. The one or the two girls like climb up on this giant like pole in the middle of a desert. And it's like I think their rope falls down. So they're like, they don't know how to get up. I haven't seen it yet. I want to watch it but they use the chat GPT work or some type of AI software to create a PG 13 version of the rhetoric, right, using the girl's face using her voice. They're able to go through the whole movie and make it go from like an R rated movie to PG 13. And that kind of stuff is so cool. Imagine like how much more you could even make in a movie and how much you saved because they didn't have to reshoot it right? They didn't have to come up with a second script. They didn't have to produce that physically themselves. And now you opened up an audience it's much larger than the one you originally were hoping for. So I mean even apply that to like the music industry and and those ratings and TV as well. I think it's it's just really interesting to watch how I think that's What's really cool too is like what you're saying it, how it builds actual sites and actually builds all the algorithms that you would need to get something done. And I'm excited to see maybe how many more apps pop up using this type of stuff, because it can be really cool, or really awful, because it's just no one needs, but will will soon find out.

Blythe Brumleve: 20:21

Yeah, there was another point that that I saw this, this company called our one, I believe that they will take your your entire so if you feed the system, like a bunch of videos, like say, for creators like us, we could feed that system, a bunch of videos of us talking just like this. And it'll be able to synthesize our voice and sit, sympathize our appearance, and where in the future, we'll just be able to write a script, probably powered by Chet GPT. And then it will take every our voice or image our looks and be able to create content for us without us ever having to do our hair and makeup and get on camera and things like that, which is crazy.

Grace Sharkey: 21:00

Yeah, you go check out for everyone listening, go check out Thomas Watson show loaded and rolling. This last week, he did his first segment, all explaining the drainage system basically, using his own voice and chat GPT. And it's it was funny, because it's spot on sounds like toddlers, except for there are small things, right? Like guy couldn't say chassis, right? I kept saying chassis in a really strange way. But like aI works, the more data that you put into it, the word that you Here's the word chassis, it'll it'll catch up and learn itself. So but it was it was really cool to kind of see that. Especially because I mean, it was a good three minute clip. So it's like, wow, Thomas, you just 10% of your show. didn't even need you to and so

Blythe Brumleve: 21:53

yeah, that's a really cool

Grace Sharkey: 21:55

job. But he doesn't well.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:58

I'll make sure it What about I'll make sure to link that in the show notes so folks can can check it out. Any other cool use cases that you've seen with AI? Maybe not, you know, chat GBT related, but any other AI cool tech that's going on, within the freight space.

Grace Sharkey: 22:13

I think I'm just excited. Like I said, I think people are on this like, high of it. Right? I'm excited to see where companies maybe start to put it into their operations. And what makes me fearful. And I want people to truly understand this. Generative AI, which is what this is, it's not there's two forms of AI, there's the, into the future AI, where people sit and assume that this computer's gotten smarter than the human being. And it can out think us and move forward. Generative AI, it's it's just algorithms, algorithms that are taking in context, data, text, images, audio, etc. And it's training, it's training those algorithms to become smarter, but those algorithms have to be built by something still. And so what I think sometimes concerns me is maybe small, medium size, medium sized companies out there saying wow, like, we could easily take this and we could apply it to our booking process or how we negotiate with our customers. And it can bring a lot of savings. That is a true statement that could happen. But it also is going to take an extreme amount of human interaction to order nature that that gets done appropriately, which I hope people are afraid of AI taking their jobs, because as we get smarter without you involved with it. And two, I think there's a lot of people who have really dirty data and don't realize that if they apply this technology to those certain operations, it will take them probably steps and steps back. So for here's a perfect example, let's say that you are booking a load in your system, and it can go on a flatbed or step deck and you just keep it you keep it in the in the TMS system as a flatbed or step deck, you send the array count out, etc, etc. Well, taking the extra step of say this load today was on a flatbed. That could be the little piece that ends up helping the generative AI become smarter. So again, it's like there's I just want people to understand that the way that they're creating their data, exchanging their data, and quantifying their data can really hurt maybe their AI experience in the future. So I just hope that there aren't people like blowing up AI technology firms right now saying we need this the don't have a CTO or CIO behind them, I think there's a lot of other steps that companies can take to make themselves more efficient. I think machine learning tools can be a lot easier. And machine learning is different from Ai, in the fact that machine learning learns autonomously through past data. So it's not been, it's almost like it's watching you and it's performing how you want it or AI is almost built to perform in a certain way. It's machine learning is like probably a little bit more closer to that robots taking over situation. But both of those are going to take a lot of leadership to be implement smart leadership to be implemented appropriately in a business. So as excited as I get about that, these tools, and I think that we will see them in the future. And I think a lot of visibility players out there who are just basically data pipes at this point will probably be the first to offer these tools in a in a really usable manner. I don't think we're because of how far away transportation already is with technology. We're not to the AI stage yet. So that's just like my personal views. Do I think it can be so applicable and as applicable in this industry? Yeah. Do I think that there's just so many data hurdles, that we're still looking to overcome? 1,000%?

Blythe Brumleve: 26:30

Yeah, be very well said. And I think that that that's a good segue into our next segment where, unfortunately, when a lot of tech advancements happen, there's a readjustment period, we're seeing it with it, you know, not a little bit in in the freight tech space a little bit within just freight in general. And that's it comes to layoffs, and it happened majorly, at, you know, a lot of big tech companies, obviously, like Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook, you know, I think it was closer to in fourth quarter of of last year. And so, as we kind of come into the new year, the first, you know, sort of fiscal quarter of this year there are there have been a lot of layoffs within mostly the technology space and mostly within the brokerage space. Is that accurate to say, within the freight industry as a whole?

Grace Sharkey: 27:19

I would definitely say so. I think in the carrier space, there's not really layoffs, it's more of owner operators, right, like leaving and going back to large firms or more, maybe stable lifestyle at the moment. But yeah, it's definitely the broker. And it's definitely the technology companies. I mean, it's it's really, you want to look at it almost like the way that our economy works, right. We came into we were all stimulated quite literally, with cash in our pockets. companies as well, PPP loans helped a lot of companies grow during those times, and they know it whether or not they want to admit that. And so of course supply chains are a huge issue. So all of these companies had more and more customers knocking on their door, more calls to make better opportunities. Well, we need employees to make sure those calls are being captured we as a care as brokerages, right? I'm sure shippers were just pounding on their doors looking for help. Well, we need people to answer these calls. Well guess what? shippers don't need your help as much anymore. Like it's just it's they have a capacity they they have right in front of them. Now it's dependent on how they're working. Some might be working with more of a four PL relationship with a lot of these brokers and the brokers are probably experiencing a little bit more fun as well. But they just we over hired, just like our economy, right? We I don't want to say we overstimulated. But we got a lot of stimulation that we wouldn't have had, if it wasn't the case of where we're at in the pandemic, and, of course, making sure our economy kept moving at the time. So I most will say in the most marketing way possible. Like we just we over hired for what we need, and especially for such as flip, right, it's, it's the pendulum is swinging back. So it's not like it's swinging back to normal. It's swinging back to way, way worse. So it's even more employees than they probably need. Do I think that any of these companies are going to be left behind because they maybe let go of too many people? Probably not. I mean, a lot of them will they wouldn't be letting people go in and some of them are still hiring right. And it's, I mean, it's it's tough because during December during the end of the year, it is normal for companies to look back and get ready for tax season and get their books straight figured out. Okay, who exactly do we need on this team? Um, and unfortunately, it was a lot of over hiring added on to that. And it came out the way that it's looking like today. Now you don't see it in unemployment data. Now, the way that we get employment data, I do sometimes fear that maybe people have multiple jobs. That's why we don't see it as much. But people are finding jobs and are being let go. So that's the positive thing about all of this. At least there's a really great job economy right now for these people to go to. But it is, it is interesting to kind of see, you went from like the employee having so much power, right? And when when the time where everyone was just like leaving their jobs, or are really holding their employers by the neck saying I will, I'll leave if you give me more money. Well, guess I wonder who was the first on the chopping block when that time came? Right. So it is a crazy swing, and hopefully people learn from it. I mean, it's the cool thing about capitalism and the way our economy works, it will continuously swing like that. And for those out there that unfortunately, lost their jobs. Hopefully, you did find something already. But that's why it's important when you do take these jobs to figure out exactly what is their plan? Why are they hiring as much as they are now and figure out maybe your career path in that role, or maybe deciding this is I'm gonna be here, as long as this opportunity is here for me. And I'll, I'll figure out what I want to do after this.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:27

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Grace Sharkey: 33:23

I've seen people take different routes towards announcing it. And I will say for example, one in particular convoy convoy actually reached out to me about their layoff situation and worked with us as a news company to say, hey, we want to make this announcement. We want to let you know why. First, we want to address this as politely with our your audience, our customers and our employees as best as possible. And then I think there was others who really shied away from it and said, Hey, like, we're not. How can we lay people off? And we're still hiring people. That's my favorite comeback. Well, how can you do that? You just did? I don't know. I don't know. Explain that to you. But that's I think that's the tough part is that a lot of people like want to push back against it and say like, it's not layoffs. We're just kind of either restructuring the company, which I will say is, I think a lot to do with a lot of these tech companies looking for a better path towards profitability. Right. So, but none of them would say that on a press release, but it's true. It's a they need to start making profit. And if there's any edge in that, yeah. And here's the thing, when you raise a lot of money to which a lot of these tech players did, your investors want to see it go towards something they're not giving you $100 million, just in a bank somewhere. That's like the literal like opposite of what that money is supposed to be doing. So sometimes I'd say over hire a purpose, right? So it's like if you join a company after they just raised $100 million, like, if you have, there's a time where the economy gets tough and those investors want to see profit, they're going to let some of you go. I mean, it was even later in the tech space, who's telling me he's like, you know, we have a lot of employees, and to be honest with the grace, pulling data from like, their computers and stuff, like some of these guys weren't even working. It's like some a bad guy for like, letting some of these people go. And it's like, no, you're not. But it's, I think people look at you know, it's funny, because we don't want to treat businesses as people. Right? Like, I think a lot of times that's brought up in Congress, like, should we treat companies as a physical human being, and most people would say, No, but you know, when it comes to these decisions, now we want to treat them like a human and say they're a bad guy. Well, that's business being business. And I think that's like, I hate writing layoff stories, because I do like to show empathy towards the people that are let go. But a business is a business. And if you're in going into a time, like we are now, I mean, even prior to the bank situations we've seen in the last weekend, this isn't a time where I would want to be over extended, I'm not going to raise money anytime soon, because if I do, I'm probably going to lose more percentage than I had been in the past, I'm gonna have to hand over more of my company. So I need to be very, very smart about how I maneuver. And it's just the unfortunate part about it. But the positive part is that we live in a capitalistic, also democratic society, where anyone can become a person that has to make these tough decisions that he does every day. So where I do see people being like, go, I do get excited, because most leaders even in our tech space, who have built really great companies have either been fired or let go even in the past, right. So maybe we get some really cool innovators out of this experience. But it's, I'd say it's business's business. And that's what we saw happen here. And it is unfortunate, and that's why I like being the content creator that I am, because it's a little bit different space than having to build out the software, the software and technologies.

Blythe Brumleve: 37:27

For sure. And I think that, you know, there is definitely a fine line to walk where you're trying to look at like the business use case of the numbers and the output with some of these employees. And I can't I'm blanking on the CEO who actually said this, but he said that he is paraphrasing here, but he said that you should be cutting your staff by about 10% Every single year, otherwise, you're just going to keep the dead weight of the people who are not, you know, really just hungry to work, they and you know, I, I kind of play both sides a little bit because I do empathize with the employees that like my brother, for example, he wants to show up exactly on the.of the hour that he's supposed to be there, and then he wants to leave on the exact.on the hour that he is supposed to leave, and he doesn't want to give a company any more than what he has contractually, you know, agreed to. And I fully agree with that. But then on the flip side, I just think that there is a passion and a drive with with some kind of employees like me, who just works crazy. And it's you have to almost like force me to shut it off. So I think that there's a balance to be made between both of those things. And it's a transition for a lot of workers. And it's a tradition for a lot of these businesses who were used to just getting VC Monday, money, you know, hand over fist for years, sometimes or really over the last decade, and not having to worry about being profitable. Now you have to worry about being profitable. And guess what, that's what a lot of small and medium sized businesses have had to do this entire time, they don't get the luxury of having that VC money pumped in, or stimulus money, you know, at every beck and call anytime something, you know, minor league goes wrong. So it's a transition for, you know, just the economy in general. And I think you know, as we have about 10 minutes left, I really want to get into this next topic because it is a part of a transition. And that's tic tock your favorite subject. My favorite social media app. So for those who don't know grace is anti tic tock she does not want any any kind of you know, Chinese spyware on her phone.

Grace Sharkey: 39:36

It's not that I'm like anti Tiktok in the way that I don't think it exists or has a value out there. It's a business they all have values, but I find it very hilarious that the the the Chinese blues situation scares people, but the tic tac does. So that's where my anger comes from. I just wanted to plead that case because So, I'm not gonna pretend that tic tac doesn't exist, but I will not download it on my phone. No.

Blythe Brumleve: 40:08

And the reason you know, I think a lot of people share that same sentiment that they don't want, you know, sort of spyware on their phone. I think the the other side of it, where I tend to sort of lean is that it has an incredibly addicting algorithm. And it is really good. And it's really powerful. And you have to tell yourself to step off a step away from the app, because literally, you will spend an hour and a half, two hours on it, and you won't even realize it. The little, after a little while, there's supposed to be a guy that or a woman that like pops up on the screen tells you Oh, you've been scrolling for too long. Maybe go get some water, take a layer. Yes. And every time I see it now, like shut up, don't tell me what to do that, and I'll just keep scrolling.

Grace Sharkey: 40:55

It's like the Netflix like, are you still there? And it's like, yeah, I have watched eight hours.

Blythe Brumleve: 41:01

Might your business?

Grace Sharkey: 41:05

Well, that's cool. No, yeah, go for it.

Blythe Brumleve: 41:09

I was I was just gonna say did just, I guess on the China versus us thing like I do, from the matter of like a data perspective, you know, a lot of this anti, you know, tick tock and you know, tick tock should be banned has actually come from, you know, Mark Zuckerberg over at Facebook, he has a very large incentive in order to get this app out of here. And he's been selling our data to China for years. And so it's just it's that aspect of it. But within the country of China itself, their kids are only allowed to go on their their tick tock version for 40 minutes a day. And it is my you can there's no parental settings that you can switch on and off to make that and you know, to make that setting disappear, so they have 40 minutes only. And then there's primarily showed math and science and educational materials, which is complete opposite of what's being shown to Americans. And so with Americans is much more from what I understand it's very much more open, wide open. So that has a good and a bad use case where the good is you can learn about stories like Ace Palestine, the trail, or train derailment, that that happened up in Ohio, I did not see any of that news on any other sort of mainstream legacy media channel on any other social media channel. I saw it first on tick tock. And that's where I think, you know, some of the, I guess, US media coverage falls short. And I can get news that the US maybe doesn't want to use to manipulate me with so I kind of see it from like, both sides. Like I know that China has an incentive to keep me on their app and almost like make me dumber by watching stupid videos. But then I don't flipside, I do see a lot of different videos that I don't see on American founded social media channels.

Grace Sharkey: 43:01

Yeah, it's, uh, it's gonna like, same thing, right? When like Netflix and stuff, like you can use different VPN software to see it. You know, it's interesting. I. And this is like, this is a fact. This is like my personal belief. But the Chinese are so far ahead of us when it comes to AI technology, or any, like any of these like app based, like technologies that are using right how you're, I say almost like, this is kind of the example of machine learning, like using what you like next. Right, what you're clicking what you're finding valuable and, and making the next decision off of that. The Chinese are incredibly far ahead of us. I'm looking for us, because there it is. It was, I want to say in 2018, the National Security Commission of artificial intelligence put out a 750 page report, all on just warning the United States government about how far away we are from China, and how if they do want to start using this technology, right in a way that can be dangerous to us it, it could be very harmful we would have we are at the basically at this point. It's kind of like global warming, we have no way of catching up unless we put all of our eggs in one basket basket really focused on this. And I think that's I wrote about it in an article I was doing on a chip company out of China, who was growing pretty quickly. And it just, I think that's kind of not where my fear is with Tik Tok or anything like that. But I it's important to know how much more powerful some of our trade partners are this type of technology and how it can just easily be skewed and make it look like something that's fun and use against us and then they say used against us. I mean, there's so many different ways But the Chinese are spying on us. And like I'm, I'm not saying like tiktoks is the only way. I mean, I post my location all the time even on Instagram. So Zuckerberg has got that info to them too. And but it's, I think it's important to like understand at least like who has access to this stuff, know exactly like what you're doing in in, just be aware of, you know why the technology is here, how powerful it actually is. And in maybe in the future who could really hold some really intense trade power if it was ever needed in a specific way. Now China is falling population wise, and they've got a lot of other issues on their back. But it is kind of interesting to just see in this particular space, like creating apps and things of that nature, how powerful they become.

Blythe Brumleve: 45:49

Yeah, because I mean, if you control someone's attention, then you can control a lot of their lives. And I, and I don't think that the majority of US residents have have really prioritized and took control of their own algorithm of their own, what you choose to digest, because what you choose to digest as far as information, and social media channels, and whatever content is on those channels, that does affect your work day. And, you know, I sort of come from the I guess, the generation of like, we're video games were blamed for violent behavior. And now as an adult, like I see where some of those points were being made, where you can have certain situations that you're just conditioned to, and and you get fed this information over and over again, we, from an evolutionary standpoint, we have not been able to keep up with the amount of information that we intake now. And so it's sort of, I guess, to bring this conversation sort of for full circle, we really do have to be, you know, cautious about who is feeding us information, where they're feeding us how much time we're spending on it, and then how that shapes the rest of society. I mean, if China is limiting the amount of time that their kids can spend on the app, then they know full well how powerful that algorithm is. Yeah. So I think that taking those cues, from what they're doing with their kids, I would honestly like to see a lot of social media companies in the US take that cue give parents more of a chance to control how much time that their kids are spending on these apps, and also control yourself because I think for a lot of parents, it's really easy to just get sucked into your phone for hours at at a time. And hopefully, you know, with all of this talk around banning Tiktok. And you know, Facebook's role in it, and all that stuff that it brings to light, the the onus is really on you right now, because China is going to try to manipulate you, the US is going to try to manipulate you and you really have to take control of your of your feed and who you follow and why you follow them. And if they're bringing you know, some kind of value into your life from an educational entertainment standpoint, if they're not, you got to cut it out.

Grace Sharkey: 47:59

That's why immunity Elon Musk on Twitter. Much better since I've done it. So

Blythe Brumleve: 48:06

you're taking control of your timeline and of your piece, which is like you know, there's all kinds of apps too, that now exist that you can block social media from your phone and even accessing it from your phone. I think the app is called Opal. I've started using that just because I know how addictive like if you've ever deleted these apps off your phone immediately after I think for like the first day or two. Count how many times you pick up your phone and you go to that app and you don't have a single reason to do so. You're just doing it out of habit. Yeah, it's crazy all the time. Alright, Grayson, we just hit the 1pm mark. I know we both gotta go for a couple different appointments. So any last words where can folks follow you know, your work all that good stuff.

Grace Sharkey: 48:47

I had to or just Google gray sharqiyah freeways I'll pop up humblebrag there. And yeah, have you clicked my link tree in my LinkedIn, Twitter wherever you follow that and check out content and we got some we got some cool content coming down the pipeline as well through freightwaves. So we'll get some other stuff set your set your way you can't avoid me at this point, basically.

Blythe Brumleve: 49:11

Heck yeah. And even more so we love having you so so again, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your perspectives. Really fascinating talk for and I'm sure hopefully you know a lot of people will will find it interesting as well.

Grace Sharkey: 49:24

Thank you so much, Blake.

Blythe Brumleve: 49:30

I hope you enjoy this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. If you liked this episode, do me a favor and sign up for our newsletter. I know what you're probably thinking, oh God, another newsletter, but it's the easiest way to stay updated when new episodes are released. Plus, we drop a lot of gems in that email to help have the one person marketing team and folks like yourself who are probably wearing a lot of hats at work in order to help you navigate this digital world a little bit easier. You could find that email signup link along with our socials and past episodes. Over at everything is And until next time, I'm blind and go Jags

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.