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tv   Best of Bloomberg Technology  Bloomberg  December 31, 2021 5:00pm-5:30pm EST

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>> from the heart of where money, innovation and power collide, in silicon valley and beyond, this is bloomberg technology with emily chang. ♪ emily: i am emily chang in san francisco. we will take a deep dive into the dramatic post-pandemic work shift, some companies going fully remote, some demanding all workers returned to the office
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in person. could the future of work not be at home or in the office but in the metaverse? we will explore microsoft's plan. companies from microsoft to unilever are experimenting with four-day, 32-hour work weeks. will it catch on? we will discuss. another industry benefiting from changing work trends, the travel industry. i will speak with the ceo of airbnb and the ceo of uber. first, is the metaverse actually our post-pandemic future? microsoft is banking on it. i spoke with the ceo who told us about his visit to the virtual world. >> whenever i think about the metaverse, it comes down to bringing real-world places and
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things to the digital world, and for us, this happens in the consumer space. we launched hollow lens. we talked about the gaming implications of it. the commercial use cases have become much more mainstream, even though sometimes the consumer stuff feels like science fiction. i was able to visit the nhs hospital in the u.k. i was able to go to a tell you it a manufacturing plant, to a remote site, even the space station. the ability to have the malleability of digital reality will really help bring things together where the real world and digital world emerge. the two announcements we are making at ignite speak to it. we have dynamic spaces, which
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brings the metaverse capability to hospital, retail or manufacturing line, and we are bringing mesh meetings to teams. emily: has your avatar joined teams in meetings? satya: we've had avatars in xbox. i have a satya avatar. it is going to be the same avatar that i can now use, whether it is my microsoft account or azure directory. you have your real presence in video today. you will also have your holographic presence, and the avatars are an intermediary in the middle. it is about creating more presence, more human connection, giving options for people to participate in the communities
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they are most interested in. emily: i know you are focused on business use cases, but you have xbox. shouldn't we expect to see this expand into xbox and entertainment and consumers more broadly? satya: absolutely. we are a platform company. we always build the core intrinsic's first, and then we build it into our first party applications. if you take halo as a game, it is a metaverse. the question is, can you take that to a full 3d world. to your point, we are going to exercise this in the enter ties -- enterprise space, whether it is mesh meetings in teams or other dynamic connected spaces.
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the thing to get right are all of the intrinsic's, the digital twins people are creating in factories and hospitals so that they can predict all of these. that is what we will build into azure, just as any other platform service. >> you are working with a number of competitors, like facebook. what do you think of their approach? satya: we love the fact that there is so much innovation going in, whether it is from facebook or others that will be in this space. i hope this is the next big thing that happens after the mobile internet. we would like to continue to make sure some of our best applications and platform work,
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we want to make sure that anybody who builds using mesh can run that on oculus and hollow lens. emily: given how much facebook has struggled with hate and misinformation, what kind of accountability do you want to see? including the metaverse, potentially children. satya: i can talk about what we are doing, whether it is the communities for xbox or linkedin, get hub, or any others. one of the things we have to make sure is in the product making each those we build in the community safety and context of why we are even building what we are building. if any communication behavior gets in the way of the joy of
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gaming, we have to exercise the editorial context. same thing with linkedin. it is about finding economic opportunity. that is what the discourse should go to. the same thing with get hub. we are all trying to make sure, whether it's privacy, child safety, misinformation, and also the decency and humanity that is required for proper discourse that allows us to have a product and a platform that thrives going forward. emily: how do you keep this technology feeling comfortable rather than creepy, and how much of our days are we going to want to and will we spend in the metaverse? satya: when we think about some of the consumer scenarios, i think we are in the early days, and that is why it feels like science fiction, or to use your
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words, creepy, but there is nothing creepy about visiting a covid award -- ward, for a doctor to be able to visit their patients, or to be able to assist in a manufacturing line. i think what we are going to do is use these technologies as the next shift for an increasingly digitized world, but only use it when it matches our expectations as to why this technology benefits us. we will not do anything -- emily: how big dollar terms will this be for microsoft's a? > we've approached of these platform shifts, whether it is the cloud or aia, all of these
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things are absolute secular shifts. for me, teams of the future will include metaverse capabilities. some of the most popular platform services on azure will be these metaverse platform services. that is why trying to predict platform shifts is one of the hardest things for us in tech to do. really knowing that these things are not just going to happen, they are going to happen more gradually, so that is what we will stay focused on. emily: that was microsoft's ceo satya nadella. how would you like to work just four days a week? some companies and lawmakers are pushing for that to be the new normal. more on that with mark takano, next.
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this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: from remote work to hybrid work to a four-day workweek? companies like microsoft and unilever have been experiment thing with four-day, 32-hour work weeks. senator mark takano from california is pushing for the government to recognize this as the norm. i spoke with him about the proposal's chances. sen. takano: we are hopefully coming out of a pandemic that frankly put a lot of us in a new work environment. a lot of people are working from home. it has revolutionized the way
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that people work, and people are used to a flexibility they would not have dreamed possible before the pandemic, and as we come out of it, people do not want to go back to the old way of doing things, which was not all that great, but are interested in creating something new. i think there is an openness. emily: how much of this has to do with flexibility, and how much of this has to do with people trying to make livable wages for fewer hours or get them paid more money for the hours they are already working. sen. takano: the conversations that are happening most in earnest about the four-day workweek are happening in the non-hourly workers, people
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who are not subject to the wage loss. the idea is that companies in a tech space, kickstarter, for example, they are looking at a four-day, eight hour a day work week with no loss in pay. they are planning to pay these people the same, and they are piloting that four-day workweek. one of the things we will look at is whether or not the productivity will stay the same or increase. some experiments have been done by microsoft japan. some work has been done in iceland. they reduced it by 2.5 hours, and in scandinavian countries, they work a 7.5-hour work way --
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workday. it will be a different conversation for hourly workers, but it is a conversation and debate i want to start. i want to see us look at moving the entire country to a 32-hour workweek. emily: it sounds great for a lot of people, but i'm sure you have a lot of business leaders saying, this will hurt productivity. what do you say to that? sen. takano: that is why i am interested in the pilots that are happening particularly in the tech space where the reduction in the workweek, some of these pilots have shown that there has been no loss in productivity. in fact, there have been some benefits. they have a more motivated workforce.
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they may save on some medical claims because workers are better able to attend to their home. workers find that they are paying less for child care. there's a lot of ways in which workers and employers can benefit from a reduced workweek. the government of japan has issued guidance encouraging employers to move to the four-day workweek. emily: that is california's mark takano. coming up, how the travel industry is rebounding off of changing work habits. we will talk with the ceo of airbnb next. this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: as vaccines and boosters have ruled out, the travel industry has seen a comeback. airbnb added $2.2 billion in revenue in the third quarter, rising above pre-pandemic levels. i spoke with brian chesky about the rebound, specifically the shift to long-term stays as we see the shift to remote work gain ground. brian: we saw with the pandemic, it's now 20% of our business, lights longer than a month. the longer you are away from home, the more you want to be in a home, and people want this flexibility. i think it will be a lot larger than 20%. it is clear where the world is going. emily: australia has been closed to international tourists until about now. thailand, still grappling. what has been the impact of these delayed re-openings in the
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asia-pacific region? brian: north america, europe, and latin america are outpacing aipac, but to give you a point of reference, before the pandemic, half of our business was cross-border. the majority is people crossing borders or staying in cities. we've seen people not crossing borders and not traveling to cities. what we've now seen is that as borders start to reopen, when president biden visited ford, cross-border bookings into the united states were up 44% in one week. cross-border's are still restricted, but that means we think there will be a lot of pent-up demand.
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i think travel is one of the things that people miss the most and feel like has been taken away from them. i think you will see a lot more. emily: how do you see the mix of domestic and cross-border travel shifting as we move forward? brian: it will come back a bit. i don't think you will see the world looking like 2019. business travel will never come back to 2019 levels the way it was, people getting on airplanes for a meeting. there will be new types of business travel, people working remotely or going back to headquarters for weeks at a time. it's a major shift from business to leisure. no matter how travel recovers, i think the genie is out of the
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bottle. they are going to stay longer and travel in off-peak hours, but when we see borders reopen and see a rebound. it will be somewhere in between. it is hard to know where. emily: what are you expecting, and are you prepared if there is another wave of covid or a new variant that takes off around the globe? brian: i think it's going to be a big holiday season. most people are saying that. not everything from the pandemic we lost we want to get back. i'm not sure if everybody wants to go back to the office. most people want to travel. i think that is absolutely important. i would also say this, what if
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there is another variant. the best thing i can say is, if i cannot predict the future, i cannot adapt to it. airbnb's business model is highly adaptable. emily: that was airbnb's ceo brian chesky. huber has seen ridesharing return, posting its first ever profit. i spoke with the ceo about where he sees uber headed in the years to come. >> we are quite confident, and in the guidance we gave for investors, we got it to 25 to $75 million. i think for the foreseeable future, you can expect to see a company that is growing our top line at a healthy rate, over 20%, as we expand into this $5 trillion market, as we expand
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into the $5 trillion addressable market and freight, as well, while improving the profitability of the business. we are hitting that scale point globally where we can deliver growth and profits for the foreseeable future. emily: wait times are still longer than usual, and fares are still higher than usual. how much longer will wait times and fares be elevated? >> we've added just in the u.s. alone 640,000 drivers and couriers to the platform. the numbers are up 65% since january. the number of couriers is up 80% since january. the good news is the incidence of surge pricing are half of where they were at their peak. average wait times are 4.5 minutes. we are below that magic five
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minute mark. the quality of the service continues to get better. the problem we have is we have too much demand. now we are seeing travelers go to airports, as well. 20% jumps in the last few months. there is a time out there, and we are catching up to demand happily, but the demand keeps growing ahead of us. emily: there is a huge labor shortage, inflation. we are heading into the holidays where companies like amazon are sweetening the deal. don zimmer told me this week he's not interested in getting into a price war. he's focused on differentiating the product to win these drivers over. how big of a challenge will it be to continue to keep drivers involved through the holidays, and what is your strategy? >> the great news on drivers is
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that driver earnings first of all are at historical highs. if you are a driver driving more than 20 hours on the platform, a pretty engaged driver, you are making, including tips, $40 per active hour. the earnings are very high. in this world where we talk about flexibility and being able to work wherever you want, that is exactly what uber offers. you can choose to move people or move food around, as well. we think the combination of earnings opportunities, which are dynamite, and flexibility, whether you want to drive people or things, puts us in a good position. we only see those trends
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improving as we get into q4 and into next year. emily: coming up next, a 30-minutes it down with fried some in a special edition of "bloomberg studio 1.0." you don't want to miss it. this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: not long after bitcoin was born, fred ehrsam became an analyst at goldman sachs. the new, mysterious digital currency had been invented by satoshi nakamoto, a pseudonym for a person or group that wanted to circumvent the traditional banking system. on a good day, the price was mere cents, and almost no one knew what it was. but ehrsam saw the potential. he bought in, as much as he could, and found himself obsessively checking early cryptocurrency exchange mt. gox


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