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Vind’s goal was to build a big community, but not around any particular game.Who knows.Early users set up private servers for their friends to play together, and a few enterprising ones set up public ones, looking for new gamer buds.Pieter and I were often pitted against each other in debates at international meetings on the role of cytokine therapy.Incoming Call.Paul Duke.Each of these organs produces unique hormones, and each hormone acts upon the other organs to affect a response.Prior to joining Protocol, he was news editor at The Verge covering the gaming industry, mobile apps and antitrust out of San Francisco, in addition to managing coverage of Silicon Valley tech giants and startups.Paste your profile’s URL into the given box.You know what I mean.
Emoji Chat like breaking point – Scripting Support – DevForum | Roblox

“roblox player limit” Code Answer – Keep Reading Show less.Huang is self-employed now, but has worked as a hardware engineer for companies like Basis, Synapse Product Development and Nokia.Ranboo says no, he has no reason to.But as he often does, Mullenweg learned to think bigger.Now, as far as I’ve seen, the main reason people seem to think he’s a plant is that he works under a pretty big management agency, Night Media, and because he got his ‘start’ with Mr.

It’s all of those things and none of them.It turns out, in that messy middle, is a place that mirrors what it’s like to be human, and interact with other humans, more closely than just about anything else on the internet.For better, and sometimes for worse.That’s not what Citron, Vishnevskiy and their team were going for, but it’s what they have now.And they’re not pivoting anymore.

David Pierce pierce is Protocol’s editorial director.He owns all the phones.Then Ben Pimentel chats about the fight over Web3, why Jack Dorsey and Marc Andreessen are at odds, and the killer app for the future of the web.

Finally, Allison Levitsky explains some of the big new future-of-work trends, including the four-day workweek and dog-walker perks.As businesses grow during the pandemic, they also encounter pressing challenges to maintain that success.Among them is the pressure to strengthen their digital backbone, which leads to the question: How can companies find the ideal technology provider suited to their evolving needs?

In the midmarket space, small – and medium-sized businesses SMBs often need support to buoy them through any choppy waters ahead.As a SaaS solutions provider, SAP has extensive expertise developing strategies to connect innovative companies with their customers.

He added that front-burner priorities for future-ready businesses include environmental sustainability and effectively managing the supply chain crisis.These issues were highlighted in a recent Protocol-Morning Consult survey of small business leaders , presented by SAP.Close to half of the respondents stated it was very important to adapt production to meet sustainability goals and regulations during the current supply chain crisis.

What comes to mind is hypergrowth, which can be a consistent challenge and opportunity.This is a testament to not just the way we simplified implementation and operational sustainment of these companies but also a testament to the ecosystem.

Another topic on our radar is how many SMBs are focused on sustainability.There are shifting global customer demands about the environmental impact of an organization and we see that as a challenge those companies will face as well.

When it comes to hypergrowth, as these companies look to put in a digital core for their business and a platform to support them, a solution such as RISE with SAP is important.

It also allows high-growth companies to focus on outcomes without worrying about keeping the lights on.After all, they are not in the business of sustaining technology; they are in the business of their business.

The walled garden always falls, in my experience, and so we have more than 22, partners worldwide to bring innovation and subject-matter expertise to the table.We pride ourselves on supporting an open ecosystem of technologies to give them the benefit of choice, flexibility and scale.

When it comes to sustainability, we have invested in those areas in response to shifting global and consumer demands, and we constantly have an eye on that area from a development perspective.Industry expertise is an enormous differentiator.Does your technology provider come to the table with technology but also with expertise to get you up and running quickly?

Is the provider situationally fluid in your business, business model and the processes you need to serve? You should expect more than just great technology with the businesses you work with, but also expect that subject-matter expertise around the technology, business process expertise and soft science.Also important is the ecosystem.Is the technology provider engaged with the ecosystem in order to come to the table with thoughtful best-in-class recommendations?

An example is looking at stakeholders surrounding the SMB and often the big ones can be private equity or venture-backed organizations.We figured out that one out of every three customers we are working with are either private equity, growth equity or venture backed, and we are looking to service the needs of that community because they invest in these organizations with a disciplined investment thesis and profile.

In addition, we have become a leader in the business process intelligence space.When we acquired Signavio, we folded that business into our solution RISE and we offer business process intelligence into that suite to allow midmarket customers to continually evaluate day-to-day business operations and benchmark them against peers in the industry.

Going that route can help them make decisions about their end-to-end processes not based on emotions but based on facts.If we look at the supply chain backlog, SAP can assist to ensure transparency across the supply chain.Among SAP customers, the first ones affected by the pandemic were businesses dependent on supply chain manufacturers in COVID hotspots, and they experienced sudden swings in demand and supply.Our customers were able to predict demand shifts and deal with dynamics caused by supply chain disruptions.

They could switch suppliers quickly and keep critical production lines running.We also built capabilities into our core analytical systems to help customers analyze all the greenhouse gas emissions across their operations and supply chains so they can determine the carbon footprint down to individual product level.We are investing heavily in this as a discipline.We have also seen a lot of investments, and the number of companies that chose to work with SAP in went up compared to the year before.

That type of investment is making these companies react and quickly adapt because many of them had to shift to entirely new business models, with ecommerce being a major consideration.The adoption of technology has grown exponentially as companies embraced new ways to work.At end of , we built a consortium with SAP and SAP partners in conjunction with the Association for Corporate Growth to create SAP Mergers and Acquisitions Ambassadors, a select group of partners with specializations across industries to respond to and support the needs of CEOs and private-equity operating partners and venture capitalists.

Everyone has a different point of departure, and I think that for SAP the reason we are doing so well with these customers is due to the breadth of our portfolio, ecosystem and industry focus.I have seven priorities and have money for four and resources for two and patience for one.This was a more consultative process than a selling experience.We worked with that company to create a blueprint around their requirements for today and the foreseeable future.Few players seem to want NFTs.But that might not be enough to stop blockchain gaming from going mainstream.

NFTs in particular, and the broader blockchain gaming movement of which they are a part, have elicited a rare level of polarization among players, developers and large game-makers.

From microtransactions to crunch culture, the video game industry is full of unsavory business practices that persist in spite of widespread backlash among the general gaming audience and near-constant denunciation from outspoken industry leaders and critics.

But NFTs in particular, and the broader blockchain gaming movement of which they are a part, have elicited a rare level of polarization among players, developers and large game-makers.

The crypto community is now crowding its way into gaming for its chance at making new fortunes out of well-funded blockchain gaming upstarts.Or, like free-to-play and the microtransaction model it helped establish, will the financial momentum behind these ideas make them an inevitability — alongside all the scams and nickel-and-diming they might facilitate — for an industry dead set on finding new revenue streams and maximizing profit?

Big names in the industry — like the heads of Electronic Arts , Take-Two Interactive and Square Enix — have all come out as bullish proponents of combining crypto and gaming in opaque fashion.Chapple said the comparison to free-to-play is an apt one because the model faced similar scrutiny more than a decade ago, when mobile games were considered casual fare outside the core gaming audience.

Nowadays, mobile is the largest and fastest-growing segment in the global games industry.The models that flourished on mobile have become the cornerstone of the biggest PC and console games on the planet, from Fortnite and Call of Duty to Valorant and Genshin Impact, while many of those same games have since expanded to mobile and treat smartphones as no different than any other platform.

While many developers abused the free-to-play model, including countless infamous incidents from major publishers like EA, Chapple said developers eventually figured out how to balance economic incentives with fair and engaging game design.The backlash among NFTs has taken a similar shape to the initial rejection of free-to-play and mobile.The more people in our industry who are willing to say so publicly, consequences be damned, the better.Xbox chief Phil Spencer has also cast some doubt on the near-term future of NFTs too, saying they hold promise only if the industry can find real problems to solve instead of creating speculative markets designed primarily to enrich a small slice of participants.

The use of in-game cosmetics and virtual assets from one game to another remains mostly a pipe dream, at the moment.And attempts to justify NFTs in gaming by pointing to future interoperability between games or opportunities to earn money off in-game items like one does on cryptocurrency speculation have resulted in harsh condemnations from seasoned game makers.

Dev teams are very [focused] on making their game the best it can be, and standardization sits in the way of that goal.And the promise of future earning potential around blockchain gaming and pay-to-earn titles like Axie Infinity are undercut by the current steep cost of entry.

Just to play Axie Infinity, for instance, requires that you own one of the game’s NFTs, which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.There needs to be more proven, fun titles where NFTs enhance the experience and prove their worth to players.He’s turning Automattic into a different kind of tech giant.But can he take on the trillion-dollar walled gardens and give the internet back to the people? In the early days of the pandemic, Matt Mullenweg didn’t move to a compound in Hawaii, bug out to a bunker in New Zealand or head to Miami and start shilling for crypto.

No, in the early days of the pandemic, Mullenweg bought an RV.He drove it all over the country, bouncing between Houston and San Francisco and Jackson Hole with plenty of stops in national parks.

In between, he started doing some tinkering.Since WordPress is open-source software, no company technically owns it, but Automattic provides tools and services and oversees most of the WordPress-powered internet.Oh, and Tumblr.And Simplenote.And many others.That makes Mullenweg one of the most powerful CEOs in tech, and one of the most important voices in the debate over the future of the internet.But before we get to that, you have to hear about this RV.

He’s always been the guy who goes over to friends’ houses and upgrades their router or just rewires the whole system: “So when I get this RV, what I ended up doing was I set up a multiple-cell phone modem router.Suddenly, when Mullenweg signed on every morning to do his job as CEO of Automattic, one of the web’s largest platforms and most powerful influences, he could do it from anywhere with a cell signal: like one time, last December, when he recorded a Web Summit panel from the side of Highway 97 in Northern California as logging trucks went by.

Mullenweg, who is also an insatiable gearhead, had a solution for the truck noise, too: a Sennheiser headset mic with awesome noise-cancellation.The setup is ever-changing.His SpaceX-built satellite internet receiver plugs right in and provides even faster speeds.It’ll be nice not to have to mount and dismount, and it’ll work when I’m moving.From his always-connected RV, Mullenweg has continued to turn Automattic into a tech giant.

He talks often about his desire to build “the Berkshire Hathaway of the internet,” a holding company populated with the most ambitious and important products and services in tech.But there is one thing that binds the many products under the Automattic umbrella together: a bet on and belief in the open web and open-source software.He loves jazz, which is why WordPress releases are named for jazz musicians.

He loves to read and write and work from anywhere, so he turned Automattic into a company that supports bloggers and promotes remote work.He buys companies that make products he likes, and companies that have missions he believes in.Most of all, he believes that open-source software is the future of everything.Eighteen years after he first started working on WordPress, Automattic is more powerful than ever.And yet its founding idea — that software should be available to everyone and editable by anyone, that communities can build great things together, that walled gardens always eventually fall — seems more tenuous than ever.

Most people will tell you it feels like the future of tech hangs in the balance.But the way Mullenweg sees it, open is still going to win.It’s not a matter of if, only when.And all he’s trying to do is help make it happen a little faster.Maybe you went to one of his Christmas ugly sweater parties.

Or maybe you went to one of the countless Meetup events, at which Mullenweg would extol the virtues of WordPress, open source and blogging.Nearly everyone who knew Mullenweg in those days remembers the same three things: He looked like a kid, he was extremely nice and he had ridiculously big ideas.I had no idea who he was, or how young he was at the time.

We never talk about business.A young Matt Mullenweg second from left at a WordPress meetup in Photo: Scott Beale.Even early on, Mullenweg used to tell people he wanted to work on WordPress for the rest of his career.A better world, even.And he knew it might take a lifetime to pull it off.The first time Mullenweg and I spoke for this story, I asked him what he thought about the state of the tech industry.Before he answered, Mullenweg changed the frame of the question.

Once, when I asked him about Facebook, he responded with a story about the printing press.In this case, he simply urged me to think more broadly.The cycle plays out the same in tech, he said.Take the internet: built as an open platform, eventually colonized by a handful of dictatorial players.Sometimes really, really well.Then they go build something better.Something open.The seeds of this change are already everywhere, he said.What if they were transparent? What if you could copy and paste it?

Do your own version? Remix it? So that is what I plan to spend the rest of my life fighting for.And that if you wait long enough, open wins at those, too.Mullenweg has long traded hype cycles for the arc of history.And he hopes he can help bend it a little.By now WordPress is a behemoth.Meanwhile, Automattic is running a thriving business selling services around the software.

There are countless businesses run on top of WordPress, from theme makers to plug-in developers to hugely successful publishers and retailers.Shortly thereafter, he launched the company into hyper-growth mode, and also got a crash course on how to run a business.

But as he often does, Mullenweg learned to think bigger.Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.As Automattic has grown in size and scale, the company has more freedom to take on different kinds of projects.We can make a minority investment, we can make a majority investment, we can make it a division of the company, we can make it fully integrated.Photo: Arturo Olmos for Protocol.

And even he’s not sure that captures everything.Automattic was different.I felt like we shared values there.Every Automattic product is both a bet on the future and a subtle rebuke of the present.It means making it easy for creators to sell things directly through WooCommerce.It means lots of other things, too, eventually.Which, of course, brings up the idea of web browsers; if you want to preserve user agency and power on the internet, the browser is a place to start.

Automattic — like Mullenweg — defaults to transparency and flat hierarchies.Employees are encouraged to write about their ideas even in their very earliest stages, and everyone around the company is encouraged to comment.It can feel strange at first, but multiple founders I spoke with said they quickly came to appreciate the Automattic way of doing things.

Most other teams are named after something random, like a bird or a mythological creature.Ultimately, the mission matters most of all.At this point, few companies have more influence over the way the internet works than Automattic.And few people not named Zuckerberg have more influence than Mullenweg.

When Automattic sells shares to new investors, all the voting power goes back to Mullenweg.When he wants to push Automattic or WordPress in a new direction, he tries to do it as gently and collaboratively as possible, but one way or another he usually gets his way.In general, Mullenweg is hardly the chest-beating pundit type, but friends and foes alike describe a killer lying just under the surface.You could argue — and some do — that in this moment of reckoning over the effect of technology on our lives and society, Mullenweg should be a much louder force for good.

Even on the product side, WordPress is well-positioned to take on Substack, YouTube and so many others.Mullenweg’s vitriol has historically been reserved for those who violate the spirit of open software and open systems.The tech industry right now is riddled with villains and short of heroes, and Mullenweg fits the bill nicely.Mullenweg thinks about this for a minute.But mostly, he thinks issues of data privacy and content moderation are big and complicated.

Yes, Facebook should be doing better.Of course.But Mullenweg seems more interested in solving problems than pointing fingers.Even as the tech industry swirls around him, with regulatory fights and social media backlashes and the seemingly hourly shift in priorities, Mullenweg remains steadily on course.What exactly does that look like? Who knows.Mullenweg is increasingly fascinated by all things Web3 and crypto, and sees in that space much of the collaboration and community he loves about WordPress and open source in general.

He proudly reminded me that WordPress.He preceded that by saying he didn’t really know how to define Web3 at the moment — who does, really? He did issue a warning, though: “For every project which is asking for your money, dollars, for you to pay the cost of a house for a picture of an ape, you should ask: Does it apply the same freedoms which WordPress itself does?

How closely does it apply to increasing your freedom and agency in the world? Those are just tools.For him, the lifelong work is about something much bigger than either one — bigger, even, than the tech industry.

What else do you need to know? Update: This story has been updated to better clarify the difference between Automattic, which runs WordPress.Updated Dec.Zeyi Yang is a reporter with Protocol China.Previously, he worked as a reporting fellow for the digital magazine Rest of World, covering the intersection of technology and culture in China and neighboring countries.

He has been playing Pokemon for 14 years and has a weird favorite pick.Others put their IPO plans on hold.Stock markets reacted accordingly: Alibaba, Pinduoduo and others saw their share prices slashed in half.

And yet many investors and analysts still believe there will be notable IPOs.Beijing has also formalized the cybersecurity review process, making it mandatory for more businesses.That process has in turn reduced uncertainty and allowed companies to better assess the risks and rewards of going public.The U.After the regulator sent clear signals to encourage listing in Hong Kong rather than the U.

Artificial intelligence company SenseTime, sandwiched between Chinese domestic pressures and U.One extremely product may still come to the rescue for Chinese companies longing for U.Here are some Chinese tech IPOs to watch for, amid all the restrictions and workarounds, in Some Chinese companies are more than ready to go public: They have already gone through all the IPO preparation steps in the U.

For them, the easiest way to keep the momentum is to quickly turn to Hong Kong, like audio streaming platform Ximalaya did in September.Tech workers want three-day weekends.Welcome back to Ask a Tech Worker.Got a suggestion for a future topic? Email me.The four-day work week may be the next frontier for tech companies using work-life balance to compete for talent.For early-stage startups, at least, it may be a tough sell.When I caught up with Disraeli, he was having lunch at Salesforce Park, near the WeWork where most of his company is based.

Disraeli sees the appeal of a four-day work week from an employee perspective, and said it could give companies an edge when it comes to recruiting.Four-day work week advocates believe that condensing the work week will make employees more productive.

The pandemic in particular has allowed for tech companies to reimagine work, but also left many workers burnt out.Huang is self-employed now, but has worked as a hardware engineer for companies like Basis, Synapse Product Development and Nokia.

The same concept could be applied to other jobs in tech, where salaries are high enough that even a part-time job could pay well, Huang said.Tech might be better-suited to the four-day work week than other industries, like finance.And then he gradually became an on-camera personality, and then he met Dream and the others and started streaming again, and around that time he ended up signing on with Night Media, the same management group that Mr.Beast and Neeko are both signed under.

Karl worked extremely hard to get to where he is, and his success is a mix of dedication and a few lucky breaks and connections.He isn’t a put-together act, and he wasn’t funded by some weird corporation to be a fucking MCYT streamer.And that’s my real problem with this – the fact that when you just accuse someone of being a plant because they have a manager, you’re basically saying that they didn’t do any work to get where they are.That they’re fake, that they’re a liar, and that they don’t deserve the success that they have.

It’s really fucking insulting, especially when you’re so blatantly wrong.I went off on a bit of a tangent, but I guess my point here is – not everyone who has a manager is a corporate industry plant.Do research, actually learn what terms and words mean, and don’t just throw around the twitter hot word of the day because it’s fun to start shit.

I’ve mentioned this countless times, but it’s proven effective for me and others.I’m not gonna lie, i also thought this was bullshit at some point.You had invited him into your cottage, making sure no visitors would be coming today and with all of your chores done and dinner settling in your belly, you found yourself tucked away into his arms, sitting on his lap and breathing him deep.

He’d gotten curious and fucked around in your clawfoot tub, testing your soaps and salts.And now he smells heavenly, not that he hadn’t before but there’s something that unhinges inside of you when he smells just like you.

As if he was yours.If something like that ever happened, it would be Though, due to Wilbur’s nature, you don’t know if telling him these desires would be wise.He’s already clinging to you as it is, hands reaching from around your waist to come up and grip your shoulders, pulling you into him with every second that slips by.

And then you’re shifting, moving your legs around and when you do, your bottom grazes against his crotch, and his mouth gapes open, drawing in a sharp gasp.

You instinctively pull back, going to ask if he’s alright when his hands move from your shoulders and down to your hips, thrusting his own upwards to meet yours.It’s dizzying how fast the room heats up, how hot you get so fast.

You gasp and whine into an impassioned kiss, lips pressed clumsily against lips, hands ghosting over your barely clothed skin, coming up to grope at your chest.Back arching and eyes closing, you don’t see him immediately dart to your neck, only feeling his mouth on your skin and the slightly sharp canines of this man biting at your neck.

Rolling your nubs in between his fingers and drinking in the noises you made for him, only for him, he moves on, hands drifting downwards to reach under your skirt and find you dripping.His words burned something inside of you, leaving you grasping onto his shirt in clenched fists, gasping as you were so close, so close to tipping over and – and-.And you cry, his hand coming up and away from your twitching and sticks two wet fingers into your mouth, pressing on your tongue and watching the tiniest of tears fall down your cheeks.

With that, he takes his fingers back, pulling down your skirt down and removing entirely, watching as you toss it with earnest and settle back down into his lap, shaking thighs and all.

He wastes no time at all, guiding you back to that white burning in your stomach, leaving you crying every time, and every time you are denied that sweet bliss, and every time, he makes you clean his fingers off.Have you forgotten the many storms you got caught in, the many creatures you’ve met and left with your life? All me.If anything, you haven’t earned my kindness one bit.But you’re getting there.

Be good for me once more, then you can come.This time, he overwhelms you, he moves his hand faster, latches his mouth onto your collarbone, and your hands come up to his hair, burying themselves to the roots, and you cry out, hands stilling as your body shakes with the orgasm, holding you close to his body as you came down from your high.He coos at you, wiping his hands on the ground and cradling your head when you fell limp in his arms.Here, let me take care of you,” he doesn’t waste a moment, shifting you into a bridal hold and takes you to your bed, cleaning you off and taking the rest of your clothes off.

As you come to, you feel a kiss on your forehead before you open your eyes.There’s nobody there and you feel all warm inside.Fuzzy, even.Would this happen again? You turn in your comforter, looking outside the window by your bed, there’s a nightingale on a tree branch.

You have such a fuzzy mind, you don’t hesitate waving at the bird.Its’ head tilts and you smile.Reki’s favourite animated movie is “Cars” and he has merch crocs with Lightning McQueen.

Langa’s on the other spectrum of picky eater – he will eat absolutely everything.But he will rarely comment if he likes the food or nah.Miya has a secret YouTube channel about Minecraft, Fortnite and Roblox, and he thinks no one knows about it – they all know, they’re just too scared to tell him.Shadow is an absolute king when it comes to skincare routine, he nags Reki and Langa to use proper products cause “they’re gonna thank him later”.Since Miya’s an iPad kid he knows popular western memes and vines and he will randomly shout them out to confuse others and the only one who understands him is Langa.

Reki has troubles sleeping – he has an irregular sleep schedule, he can fall asleep only when he’s totally exhausted and he wakes up pretty early, around 6 or 7 am.Langa on the other hand is a person who can fall asleep anytime and anywhere and when he comes over to Reki for a sleepover he always makes sure to trick Reki into going to sleep early.

Joe doesn’t really like modern technology and he avoids it as much as he can – he writes in a paper calendar, he uses his phone for texting and calling only and he buys a newspaper everyday.He’s also super frustrated when it comes to social media and Cherry’s the one who takes photos of Joe’s meals to post them on Sia la luce Instagram account.When Chery and Joe turned 18 and went on their first trip to France, they didn’t have enough money to buy a champagne so they faked a proposal to get it for free.

Cherry always wears socks when he goes to bed cause he gets cold easily if we go into slightly nsfw territory – Joe absolutely HATES it cause it’s the biggest turn off for him.Langa and Shadow listen to K-pop from time to time, but Reki’s the one who knows the most about it – especially BTS – because his older younger sister is a big fan of them.

Reki can recognize all members and knows most of their songs even solo ones! Langa and Joe have no fashion sense at ALL, BUT in different ways – Langa will buy the first thing he sees and choose the most boring clothes and Joe tries, he tries really hard to get a grasp of it, but it’s a total disaster anyway.

Joe’s the most responsible and chill driver ever – he makes sure everyone fastens their seat belts right.I don’t care you’ll crumple your new shirt, you want it a little crumpled or covered in your own blood?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.When Reki and Langa visit Canada, Reki insists to talk in English in shops and restaurants and he has that super heavy Japanese accent, but Langa can’t get enough of Reki’s pure joy when he gets his point across to the other person so he lets him do that.

He hides behind Langa when someone starts speaking French tho.Langa watches conspiracy theories videos unironically and yes, he even joined a flat-earth group on fb once.Summary: you and big q have been best friends for as long as you can remember.Wha – Why? What did I do? After ending the stream, Alex yawned and stretched – you did the same.You both had just finished doing a Roblox stream, dicking around and having fun together now that you had finally met in person, and it had gone on for a few hours.

After a brief moment of silence, you and Alex both exchanged glances.He smiled, reaching up to poke your nose.You blinked, flinching a little, and he laughed.You felt your cheeks heat up a little as you recalled all of the donos and chats from the stream.

You chuckled nervously along with him, rubbing the back of your neck and looking over at his setup instead of him; you were just a little too flustered to look directly at him.Once the snowball got rolling and started packing on more and more, you honestly found it fun to go through all the art tags and headcanon posts – and you had to admit, you were certainly guilty of reading the occasional fic for shits and giggles.

Shits and giggles.Just a joke, right? He was your best friend, Alex was your best friend….Which is exactly why you could never tell him just how deeply in love with him you were.Suddenly, breaking you out of your thoughts, Alex clapped his hands together.You jumped a little, and looked over at him to see him staring at you intently.You laughed and rolled your eyes.He got off of his chair, grabbing your hand and practically dragging you out of yours, and he began to move across the room.

Not letting go of your hand, he pulled you along with him as he went to his closet.You attempted to pull your hand out of his to walk across the room and grab your own jacket that was just laying on the floor by his desk, but his grip tightened.You cocked a brow curiously.Once he had found what he was looking for, he pulled it off the hanger with a shit-eating grin.

You clutched it with your free hand, a little stunned.Sure, you were his best friend, but you had never worn any of his hoodies before! While he continued rummaging around his closet looking for a hoodie for himself, you looked down at the hoodie that you held against your chest.It was a navy blue, pretty decent material, and clearly well-worn.

You smiled, still looking down at the hoodie.You had seen Alex in this hoodie many times, whether it was during a stream, video, or when the two of you would facetime or call over Discord.The fact that he gave one of his most favoured hoodies to you was certainly a little mind-numbing, but you were starting to feel quite excited.Did this possibly mean something?

Right, right, the drive.He let go of your hand so the two of you could put the hoodies on and put on shoes.After you pulled your shoes on, you barely had time to pull the hoodie over your head before Alex grabbed your hand and dragged you out the door.

You stumbled behind Alex as he led you to the car, a big dopey grin on his face.What could you say? His smile was contagious.He reached for the door handle as you went around to the passenger side, and he waited for you to get into the car as well before he continued.Once he backed into the road, he stopped, and looked at you.

You cocked a brow at him.You rolled your eyes, chuckling under your breath.Instead of turning around like you had asked, he only sped up, doing the opposite of what you wanted.That giddy and lovey-dovey thought quickly made way for a more disappointing realization.You and Alex were best friends; best friends.You smiled, enjoying the feeling of his warm hand and fingers interlocked with yours.

Even with the doubts and insecurities, there was still the part of you that would think back to every borderline flirtatious moment and it would make you internally squeal.Every time he called you beautiful or complimented you, any time your eye contact would linger, any time he would jokingly flirt with you, and, now that you met up in person for the first time, any touches or hand-holding that were to happen – your heart felt like it would burst any time any of this happened.

Maybe your opinion on that would change though if you just saw how he looked at you.Especially now, with your hands clasping one another atop the center console; the glances he would send your way were certainly more than friendly.

Alex had the same doubts, the same thoughts, the same idea that you would never like him back.Even if it meant keeping these feelings locked away for the rest of his life, he would do that a thousand times over if it meant keeping you happy.Trying to focus on the road instead, he shook his thoughts away and continued to drive through the nearly empty streets.After quite the eventful gas station trip, the two of you were on the road again, driving out to a spot that Alex had promised would be nice and secluded.

The two of you laughed as you talked about what had happened.Your face flushed and you quickly averted your gaze, looking down at your lap.You smiled, rolling through the thought over and over in your mind.You covered part of your face with the sleeves of his hoodie that you wore, trying to hide your embarrassment as much as you could.You froze, unable to pull your eyes away from his.After a moment of silence, he had to look away to keep his eyes on the road, and you managed to pull your gaze away as well.

You chose to look out the window, watching various street lamps and parked cars fly by your vision until it all just became a blur and you were lost in thought.Alex swallowed nervously, trying to push back the lump in his throat and trying to ignore his nerves.When had he gotten this confidence? When the two of you would call or text he would jokingly flirt, sure, but the tone he had used this time was different.

He had fully meant what he said.Or did he even want that at all? He took a quick glance at you, relieved when he saw you were no longer looking at him.

Why am I doing this at all? What the fuck am I doing? Alex took a breath to steady himself, trying to calm his nerves and steady his thoughts.Making you wear his hoodie, holding your hand, taking you out for a drive and buying you a slushie; of course these were things that any friends could do, but he was trying to be more than that.It was a small dirt lot atop a hill on the outskirts of town; a place with an amazing view of not only the stars and trees around you but the bright lights of all the buildings below.

Many of the local teens went here to make out, confess their love, or fuck in the backseat; and if everything went according to plan, one of those things would be happening tonight.The confession, of course.

During the silence of the drive, it left you some time to think – just as Alex had.You thought about all of his little gestures, overanalyzed any interaction between the two of you that you could think of, and you had finally decided that you were going to tell him tonight.You were going to tell him how you felt.Now, during this silence you had also spent a lot of your time prepping for rejection – that was what you were expecting, after all.

Sure, it would crush you emotionally, but then hopefully you could just try to act like nothing happened after the fact.So, here you both were, sitting in the empty dirt lot, each planning on confessing to the other and preparing for rejection.

The two of you got out of his car and climbed on top of the hood.Was this good for the car? You were too preoccupied by your best friend that was sitting directly next to you, cuddling close for the body heat because of the cold nighttime air.After a shiver ran through our body, he instinctively wrapped an arm around you and pulled you closer.It was just you two and the silence for a while, the breeze the only thing playing in your ears as you mindlessly stared down at the city lights below.

Your mind was plagued with worries and insecurities, thoughts racing.Alex felt the same way; his thoughts were everywhere all at once, every subject winding back to you until he was unable to escape what he knew was inevitable.

You knew what was inevitable as well.You were utterly terrified, and wanted to hold off on confessing for as long as possible.You sighed, rolling your eyes and trying to ignore how your heart began to race.Here he was, about to confess to you, and you say this?! He choked back the sob that wanted to escape his throat.Your eyes widened upon his response, and you realized you had just fucked up; you fucked up a little.

Fuck, bad word choice! God dammit! You had to clarify your intentions, before you lost your best friend.Upon hearing you say this, Alex felt as if the weight of the world had just lifted itself off of his shoulders.

You sighed, shaking your head and looking back down at your lap.At first, you were a little confused as to why his response to your confession had been so simple but now you understood.Or your… wait, what even were you two? You opened your mouth, just about to ask, but Alex beat you to the punch.

We are both very very poggers.And I think that we would be even more poggers if I could be your boyfriend.So, what do ya say? You had been fully prepared to lose your best friend that night, and in a way, you supposed you had – although, when you start dating your best friend, does that make them any less of your best friend? You had one hell of a best friend, and one hell of a boyfriend, and you loved his goofy ass dearly.He probably plays PVP games, actually.

Those games being Arsenal, Phantom Forces, those games that involve pvp or even team pvp.I also like to imagine him playing Murder Mystery and any of the sorts.

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We can make a minority investment, we can make a majority investment, we can make it a division of the company, we can make it fully integrated.

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Starting last year, they did.They ran focus groups and user studies, trying to figure out how millions of people were using Discord.One question they asked was, “What’s the biggest misconception about Discord?

In early , as Discord was embarking on a big redesign and rebranding exercise designed to help it appeal more broadly, COVID happened.Suddenly, stuck at home, everyone’s social life turned to the internet.Study groups started using Discord; teachers used it for class; friends used it to hang the way they normally would after school or on the weekend.

At the end of June, Discord’s rebrand was complete.Its new tagline was “Your place to talk,” and its homepage was mostly free of gaming jargon or confusing instructions.Though the nods to gaming do persist, from the controller-alien logo to the.

In the months and years to come, Discord has plenty of work to do, particularly on continuing to improve moderation tools and make sure the communities on its platform operate the way the company hopes.And as it keeps adding more features — eventually, VR and AR and so many others will be on gamers’ and everyone’s wish lists — it’ll have to figure out how to do it all without adding the kind of complexity it has so far avoided.

But five years in, it’s clear that Discord has done something remarkable.It’s built a space that feels unlike any other on the internet.

It’s not quite group chat, it’s not quite forums, it’s not quite conference calling.It’s all of those things and none of them.

It turns out, in that messy middle, is a place that mirrors what it’s like to be human, and interact with other humans, more closely than just about anything else on the internet.For better, and sometimes for worse.That’s not what Citron, Vishnevskiy and their team were going for, but it’s what they have now.And they’re not pivoting anymore.David Pierce pierce is Protocol’s editorial director.He owns all the phones.Then Ben Pimentel chats about the fight over Web3, why Jack Dorsey and Marc Andreessen are at odds, and the killer app for the future of the web.

Finally, Allison Levitsky explains some of the big new future-of-work trends, including the four-day workweek and dog-walker perks.

As businesses grow during the pandemic, they also encounter pressing challenges to maintain that success.Among them is the pressure to strengthen their digital backbone, which leads to the question: How can companies find the ideal technology provider suited to their evolving needs?

In the midmarket space, small – and medium-sized businesses SMBs often need support to buoy them through any choppy waters ahead.As a SaaS solutions provider, SAP has extensive expertise developing strategies to connect innovative companies with their customers.

He added that front-burner priorities for future-ready businesses include environmental sustainability and effectively managing the supply chain crisis.These issues were highlighted in a recent Protocol-Morning Consult survey of small business leaders , presented by SAP.Close to half of the respondents stated it was very important to adapt production to meet sustainability goals and regulations during the current supply chain crisis.

What comes to mind is hypergrowth, which can be a consistent challenge and opportunity.This is a testament to not just the way we simplified implementation and operational sustainment of these companies but also a testament to the ecosystem.Another topic on our radar is how many SMBs are focused on sustainability.There are shifting global customer demands about the environmental impact of an organization and we see that as a challenge those companies will face as well.

When it comes to hypergrowth, as these companies look to put in a digital core for their business and a platform to support them, a solution such as RISE with SAP is important.It also allows high-growth companies to focus on outcomes without worrying about keeping the lights on.After all, they are not in the business of sustaining technology; they are in the business of their business.

The walled garden always falls, in my experience, and so we have more than 22, partners worldwide to bring innovation and subject-matter expertise to the table.We pride ourselves on supporting an open ecosystem of technologies to give them the benefit of choice, flexibility and scale.When it comes to sustainability, we have invested in those areas in response to shifting global and consumer demands, and we constantly have an eye on that area from a development perspective.

Industry expertise is an enormous differentiator.Does your technology provider come to the table with technology but also with expertise to get you up and running quickly? Is the provider situationally fluid in your business, business model and the processes you need to serve?

You should expect more than just great technology with the businesses you work with, but also expect that subject-matter expertise around the technology, business process expertise and soft science.Also important is the ecosystem.

Is the technology provider engaged with the ecosystem in order to come to the table with thoughtful best-in-class recommendations? An example is looking at stakeholders surrounding the SMB and often the big ones can be private equity or venture-backed organizations.

We figured out that one out of every three customers we are working with are either private equity, growth equity or venture backed, and we are looking to service the needs of that community because they invest in these organizations with a disciplined investment thesis and profile.

In addition, we have become a leader in the business process intelligence space.When we acquired Signavio, we folded that business into our solution RISE and we offer business process intelligence into that suite to allow midmarket customers to continually evaluate day-to-day business operations and benchmark them against peers in the industry.

Going that route can help them make decisions about their end-to-end processes not based on emotions but based on facts.If we look at the supply chain backlog, SAP can assist to ensure transparency across the supply chain.Among SAP customers, the first ones affected by the pandemic were businesses dependent on supply chain manufacturers in COVID hotspots, and they experienced sudden swings in demand and supply.

Our customers were able to predict demand shifts and deal with dynamics caused by supply chain disruptions.They could switch suppliers quickly and keep critical production lines running.

We also built capabilities into our core analytical systems to help customers analyze all the greenhouse gas emissions across their operations and supply chains so they can determine the carbon footprint down to individual product level.We are investing heavily in this as a discipline.

We have also seen a lot of investments, and the number of companies that chose to work with SAP in went up compared to the year before.That type of investment is making these companies react and quickly adapt because many of them had to shift to entirely new business models, with ecommerce being a major consideration.

The adoption of technology has grown exponentially as companies embraced new ways to work.At end of , we built a consortium with SAP and SAP partners in conjunction with the Association for Corporate Growth to create SAP Mergers and Acquisitions Ambassadors, a select group of partners with specializations across industries to respond to and support the needs of CEOs and private-equity operating partners and venture capitalists.

Everyone has a different point of departure, and I think that for SAP the reason we are doing so well with these customers is due to the breadth of our portfolio, ecosystem and industry focus.

I have seven priorities and have money for four and resources for two and patience for one.This was a more consultative process than a selling experience.We worked with that company to create a blueprint around their requirements for today and the foreseeable future.

Few players seem to want NFTs.But that might not be enough to stop blockchain gaming from going mainstream.NFTs in particular, and the broader blockchain gaming movement of which they are a part, have elicited a rare level of polarization among players, developers and large game-makers.From microtransactions to crunch culture, the video game industry is full of unsavory business practices that persist in spite of widespread backlash among the general gaming audience and near-constant denunciation from outspoken industry leaders and critics.

But NFTs in particular, and the broader blockchain gaming movement of which they are a part, have elicited a rare level of polarization among players, developers and large game-makers.

The crypto community is now crowding its way into gaming for its chance at making new fortunes out of well-funded blockchain gaming upstarts.Or, like free-to-play and the microtransaction model it helped establish, will the financial momentum behind these ideas make them an inevitability — alongside all the scams and nickel-and-diming they might facilitate — for an industry dead set on finding new revenue streams and maximizing profit? Big names in the industry — like the heads of Electronic Arts , Take-Two Interactive and Square Enix — have all come out as bullish proponents of combining crypto and gaming in opaque fashion.

Chapple said the comparison to free-to-play is an apt one because the model faced similar scrutiny more than a decade ago, when mobile games were considered casual fare outside the core gaming audience.Nowadays, mobile is the largest and fastest-growing segment in the global games industry.The models that flourished on mobile have become the cornerstone of the biggest PC and console games on the planet, from Fortnite and Call of Duty to Valorant and Genshin Impact, while many of those same games have since expanded to mobile and treat smartphones as no different than any other platform.

While many developers abused the free-to-play model, including countless infamous incidents from major publishers like EA, Chapple said developers eventually figured out how to balance economic incentives with fair and engaging game design.The backlash among NFTs has taken a similar shape to the initial rejection of free-to-play and mobile.

The more people in our industry who are willing to say so publicly, consequences be damned, the better.Xbox chief Phil Spencer has also cast some doubt on the near-term future of NFTs too, saying they hold promise only if the industry can find real problems to solve instead of creating speculative markets designed primarily to enrich a small slice of participants.

The use of in-game cosmetics and virtual assets from one game to another remains mostly a pipe dream, at the moment.And attempts to justify NFTs in gaming by pointing to future interoperability between games or opportunities to earn money off in-game items like one does on cryptocurrency speculation have resulted in harsh condemnations from seasoned game makers.Dev teams are very [focused] on making their game the best it can be, and standardization sits in the way of that goal.

And the promise of future earning potential around blockchain gaming and pay-to-earn titles like Axie Infinity are undercut by the current steep cost of entry.Just to play Axie Infinity, for instance, requires that you own one of the game’s NFTs, which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.There needs to be more proven, fun titles where NFTs enhance the experience and prove their worth to players.He’s turning Automattic into a different kind of tech giant.But can he take on the trillion-dollar walled gardens and give the internet back to the people?

In the early days of the pandemic, Matt Mullenweg didn’t move to a compound in Hawaii, bug out to a bunker in New Zealand or head to Miami and start shilling for crypto.No, in the early days of the pandemic, Mullenweg bought an RV.He drove it all over the country, bouncing between Houston and San Francisco and Jackson Hole with plenty of stops in national parks.

In between, he started doing some tinkering.Since WordPress is open-source software, no company technically owns it, but Automattic provides tools and services and oversees most of the WordPress-powered internet.Oh, and Tumblr.And Simplenote.And many others.That makes Mullenweg one of the most powerful CEOs in tech, and one of the most important voices in the debate over the future of the internet.

But before we get to that, you have to hear about this RV.He’s always been the guy who goes over to friends’ houses and upgrades their router or just rewires the whole system: “So when I get this RV, what I ended up doing was I set up a multiple-cell phone modem router.

Suddenly, when Mullenweg signed on every morning to do his job as CEO of Automattic, one of the web’s largest platforms and most powerful influences, he could do it from anywhere with a cell signal: like one time, last December, when he recorded a Web Summit panel from the side of Highway 97 in Northern California as logging trucks went by.

Mullenweg, who is also an insatiable gearhead, had a solution for the truck noise, too: a Sennheiser headset mic with awesome noise-cancellation.The setup is ever-changing.His SpaceX-built satellite internet receiver plugs right in and provides even faster speeds.It’ll be nice not to have to mount and dismount, and it’ll work when I’m moving.

From his always-connected RV, Mullenweg has continued to turn Automattic into a tech giant.He talks often about his desire to build “the Berkshire Hathaway of the internet,” a holding company populated with the most ambitious and important products and services in tech.

But there is one thing that binds the many products under the Automattic umbrella together: a bet on and belief in the open web and open-source software.He loves jazz, which is why WordPress releases are named for jazz musicians.He loves to read and write and work from anywhere, so he turned Automattic into a company that supports bloggers and promotes remote work.He buys companies that make products he likes, and companies that have missions he believes in.

Most of all, he believes that open-source software is the future of everything.Eighteen years after he first started working on WordPress, Automattic is more powerful than ever.And yet its founding idea — that software should be available to everyone and editable by anyone, that communities can build great things together, that walled gardens always eventually fall — seems more tenuous than ever.Most people will tell you it feels like the future of tech hangs in the balance.

But the way Mullenweg sees it, open is still going to win.It’s not a matter of if, only when.And all he’s trying to do is help make it happen a little faster.Maybe you went to one of his Christmas ugly sweater parties.Or maybe you went to one of the countless Meetup events, at which Mullenweg would extol the virtues of WordPress, open source and blogging.

Nearly everyone who knew Mullenweg in those days remembers the same three things: He looked like a kid, he was extremely nice and he had ridiculously big ideas.

I had no idea who he was, or how young he was at the time.We never talk about business.A young Matt Mullenweg second from left at a WordPress meetup in Photo: Scott Beale.Even early on, Mullenweg used to tell people he wanted to work on WordPress for the rest of his career.

A better world, even.And he knew it might take a lifetime to pull it off.The first time Mullenweg and I spoke for this story, I asked him what he thought about the state of the tech industry.Before he answered, Mullenweg changed the frame of the question.Once, when I asked him about Facebook, he responded with a story about the printing press.

In this case, he simply urged me to think more broadly.The cycle plays out the same in tech, he said.Take the internet: built as an open platform, eventually colonized by a handful of dictatorial players.Sometimes really, really well.

Then they go build something better.Something open.The seeds of this change are already everywhere, he said.What if they were transparent? What if you could copy and paste it? Do your own version? Remix it? So that is what I plan to spend the rest of my life fighting for.And that if you wait long enough, open wins at those, too.

Mullenweg has long traded hype cycles for the arc of history.And he hopes he can help bend it a little.By now WordPress is a behemoth.Meanwhile, Automattic is running a thriving business selling services around the software.There are countless businesses run on top of WordPress, from theme makers to plug-in developers to hugely successful publishers and retailers.

Shortly thereafter, he launched the company into hyper-growth mode, and also got a crash course on how to run a business.But as he often does, Mullenweg learned to think bigger.Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.As Automattic has grown in size and scale, the company has more freedom to take on different kinds of projects.We can make a minority investment, we can make a majority investment, we can make it a division of the company, we can make it fully integrated.

Photo: Arturo Olmos for Protocol.And even he’s not sure that captures everything.Automattic was different.I felt like we shared values there.Every Automattic product is both a bet on the future and a subtle rebuke of the present.

It means making it easy for creators to sell things directly through WooCommerce.It means lots of other things, too, eventually.Which, of course, brings up the idea of web browsers; if you want to preserve user agency and power on the internet, the browser is a place to start.Automattic — like Mullenweg — defaults to transparency and flat hierarchies.Employees are encouraged to write about their ideas even in their very earliest stages, and everyone around the company is encouraged to comment.

It can feel strange at first, but multiple founders I spoke with said they quickly came to appreciate the Automattic way of doing things.Most other teams are named after something random, like a bird or a mythological creature.Ultimately, the mission matters most of all.At this point, few companies have more influence over the way the internet works than Automattic.And few people not named Zuckerberg have more influence than Mullenweg.

When Automattic sells shares to new investors, all the voting power goes back to Mullenweg.When he wants to push Automattic or WordPress in a new direction, he tries to do it as gently and collaboratively as possible, but one way or another he usually gets his way.

In general, Mullenweg is hardly the chest-beating pundit type, but friends and foes alike describe a killer lying just under the surface.You could argue — and some do — that in this moment of reckoning over the effect of technology on our lives and society, Mullenweg should be a much louder force for good.

Even on the product side, WordPress is well-positioned to take on Substack, YouTube and so many others.Mullenweg’s vitriol has historically been reserved for those who violate the spirit of open software and open systems.The tech industry right now is riddled with villains and short of heroes, and Mullenweg fits the bill nicely.Mullenweg thinks about this for a minute.But mostly, he thinks issues of data privacy and content moderation are big and complicated.

Yes, Facebook should be doing better.Of course.But Mullenweg seems more interested in solving problems than pointing fingers.Even as the tech industry swirls around him, with regulatory fights and social media backlashes and the seemingly hourly shift in priorities, Mullenweg remains steadily on course.

What exactly does that look like? Who knows.Mullenweg is increasingly fascinated by all things Web3 and crypto, and sees in that space much of the collaboration and community he loves about WordPress and open source in general.

He proudly reminded me that WordPress.He preceded that by saying he didn’t really know how to define Web3 at the moment — who does, really? He did issue a warning, though: “For every project which is asking for your money, dollars, for you to pay the cost of a house for a picture of an ape, you should ask: Does it apply the same freedoms which WordPress itself does?

How closely does it apply to increasing your freedom and agency in the world? Those are just tools.For him, the lifelong work is about something much bigger than either one — bigger, even, than the tech industry.What else do you need to know? Update: This story has been updated to better clarify the difference between Automattic, which runs WordPress.Updated Dec.

Zeyi Yang is a reporter with Protocol China.Previously, he worked as a reporting fellow for the digital magazine Rest of World, covering the intersection of technology and culture in China and neighboring countries.

He has been playing Pokemon for 14 years and has a weird favorite pick.Others put their IPO plans on hold.Stock markets reacted accordingly: Alibaba, Pinduoduo and others saw their share prices slashed in half.And yet many investors and analysts still believe there will be notable IPOs.Beijing has also formalized the cybersecurity review process, making it mandatory for more businesses.That process has in turn reduced uncertainty and allowed companies to better assess the risks and rewards of going public.

The U.After the regulator sent clear signals to encourage listing in Hong Kong rather than the U.Artificial intelligence company SenseTime, sandwiched between Chinese domestic pressures and U.

One extremely product may still come to the rescue for Chinese companies longing for U.Here are some Chinese tech IPOs to watch for, amid all the restrictions and workarounds, in Some Chinese companies are more than ready to go public: They have already gone through all the IPO preparation steps in the U.Ranked Solo.Related keywords are added automatically unless you check the Exact Words option.

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Watch this discussion.On December 8th, , the Palm Beach County Court imposed a manual recount of upwards of 9, election ballots with regard to the Presidential election involving George W.Parallel to these studies, I had the opportunity to work as a designer in large publications in Translate gore into Spanish.When I’m trying to come up with username ideas I tend to like to just read through random word combinations to get some inspiration, so when creating an Instagram name generator I figured I’d model it after the way I like to come up with name ideas – but this may not be perfect for everyone.

Though, she is 1.

: In the early days of the pandemic, Matt Mullenweg didn’t move to a compound in Hawaii, bug out to a bunker in New Zealand or head to Miami and start shilling for crypto.

More than million gamers gather every month to broadcast, watch and chat about gaming.Suddenly, when Mullenweg signed on every morning to do his job as CEO of Automattic, one of the web’s largest platforms and most powerful influences, he could do it from anywhere with a cell signal: like one time, last December, when he recorded a Web Summit panel from the side of Highway 97 in Northern California as logging trucks went by.

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David Pierce pierce is Protocol’s editorial director.He owns all the phones.Then Ben Pimentel chats about the fight over Web3, why Jack Dorsey and Marc Andreessen are at odds, and the killer app for the future of the web.Finally, Allison Levitsky explains some of the big new future-of-work trends, including the four-day workweek and dog-walker perks.As businesses grow during the pandemic, they also encounter pressing challenges to maintain that success.

Among them is the pressure to strengthen their digital backbone, which leads to the question: How can companies find the ideal technology provider suited to their evolving needs?

In the midmarket space, small – and medium-sized businesses SMBs often need support to buoy them through any choppy waters ahead.As a SaaS solutions provider, SAP has extensive expertise developing strategies to connect innovative companies with their customers.

He added that front-burner priorities for future-ready businesses include environmental sustainability and effectively managing the supply chain crisis.These issues were highlighted in a recent Protocol-Morning Consult survey of small business leaders , presented by SAP.Close to half of the respondents stated it was very important to adapt production to meet sustainability goals and regulations during the current supply chain crisis.

What comes to mind is hypergrowth, which can be a consistent challenge and opportunity.This is a testament to not just the way we simplified implementation and operational sustainment of these companies but also a testament to the ecosystem.Another topic on our radar is how many SMBs are focused on sustainability.There are shifting global customer demands about the environmental impact of an organization and we see that as a challenge those companies will face as well.

When it comes to hypergrowth, as these companies look to put in a digital core for their business and a platform to support them, a solution such as RISE with SAP is important.It also allows high-growth companies to focus on outcomes without worrying about keeping the lights on.

After all, they are not in the business of sustaining technology; they are in the business of their business.

The walled garden always falls, in my experience, and so we have more than 22, partners worldwide to bring innovation and subject-matter expertise to the table.We pride ourselves on supporting an open ecosystem of technologies to give them the benefit of choice, flexibility and scale.

When it comes to sustainability, we have invested in those areas in response to shifting global and consumer demands, and we constantly have an eye on that area from a development perspective.Industry expertise is an enormous differentiator.Does your technology provider come to the table with technology but also with expertise to get you up and running quickly? Is the provider situationally fluid in your business, business model and the processes you need to serve?

You should expect more than just great technology with the businesses you work with, but also expect that subject-matter expertise around the technology, business process expertise and soft science.

Also important is the ecosystem.Is the technology provider engaged with the ecosystem in order to come to the table with thoughtful best-in-class recommendations? An example is looking at stakeholders surrounding the SMB and often the big ones can be private equity or venture-backed organizations.We figured out that one out of every three customers we are working with are either private equity, growth equity or venture backed, and we are looking to service the needs of that community because they invest in these organizations with a disciplined investment thesis and profile.

In addition, we have become a leader in the business process intelligence space.When we acquired Signavio, we folded that business into our solution RISE and we offer business process intelligence into that suite to allow midmarket customers to continually evaluate day-to-day business operations and benchmark them against peers in the industry.Going that route can help them make decisions about their end-to-end processes not based on emotions but based on facts.

If we look at the supply chain backlog, SAP can assist to ensure transparency across the supply chain.

Among SAP customers, the first ones affected by the pandemic were businesses dependent on supply chain manufacturers in COVID hotspots, and they experienced sudden swings in demand and supply.

Our customers were able to predict demand shifts and deal with dynamics caused by supply chain disruptions.They could switch suppliers quickly and keep critical production lines running.We also built capabilities into our core analytical systems to help customers analyze all the greenhouse gas emissions across their operations and supply chains so they can determine the carbon footprint down to individual product level.

We are investing heavily in this as a discipline.We have also seen a lot of investments, and the number of companies that chose to work with SAP in went up compared to the year before.That type of investment is making these companies react and quickly adapt because many of them had to shift to entirely new business models, with ecommerce being a major consideration.

The adoption of technology has grown exponentially as companies embraced new ways to work.At end of , we built a consortium with SAP and SAP partners in conjunction with the Association for Corporate Growth to create SAP Mergers and Acquisitions Ambassadors, a select group of partners with specializations across industries to respond to and support the needs of CEOs and private-equity operating partners and venture capitalists.

Everyone has a different point of departure, and I think that for SAP the reason we are doing so well with these customers is due to the breadth of our portfolio, ecosystem and industry focus.I have seven priorities and have money for four and resources for two and patience for one.This was a more consultative process than a selling experience.We worked with that company to create a blueprint around their requirements for today and the foreseeable future.

Few players seem to want NFTs.But that might not be enough to stop blockchain gaming from going mainstream.NFTs in particular, and the broader blockchain gaming movement of which they are a part, have elicited a rare level of polarization among players, developers and large game-makers.From microtransactions to crunch culture, the video game industry is full of unsavory business practices that persist in spite of widespread backlash among the general gaming audience and near-constant denunciation from outspoken industry leaders and critics.

But NFTs in particular, and the broader blockchain gaming movement of which they are a part, have elicited a rare level of polarization among players, developers and large game-makers.The crypto community is now crowding its way into gaming for its chance at making new fortunes out of well-funded blockchain gaming upstarts.

Or, like free-to-play and the microtransaction model it helped establish, will the financial momentum behind these ideas make them an inevitability — alongside all the scams and nickel-and-diming they might facilitate — for an industry dead set on finding new revenue streams and maximizing profit? Big names in the industry — like the heads of Electronic Arts , Take-Two Interactive and Square Enix — have all come out as bullish proponents of combining crypto and gaming in opaque fashion.

Chapple said the comparison to free-to-play is an apt one because the model faced similar scrutiny more than a decade ago, when mobile games were considered casual fare outside the core gaming audience.Nowadays, mobile is the largest and fastest-growing segment in the global games industry.The models that flourished on mobile have become the cornerstone of the biggest PC and console games on the planet, from Fortnite and Call of Duty to Valorant and Genshin Impact, while many of those same games have since expanded to mobile and treat smartphones as no different than any other platform.

While many developers abused the free-to-play model, including countless infamous incidents from major publishers like EA, Chapple said developers eventually figured out how to balance economic incentives with fair and engaging game design.The backlash among NFTs has taken a similar shape to the initial rejection of free-to-play and mobile.

The more people in our industry who are willing to say so publicly, consequences be damned, the better.Xbox chief Phil Spencer has also cast some doubt on the near-term future of NFTs too, saying they hold promise only if the industry can find real problems to solve instead of creating speculative markets designed primarily to enrich a small slice of participants.

The use of in-game cosmetics and virtual assets from one game to another remains mostly a pipe dream, at the moment.

And attempts to justify NFTs in gaming by pointing to future interoperability between games or opportunities to earn money off in-game items like one does on cryptocurrency speculation have resulted in harsh condemnations from seasoned game makers.

Dev teams are very [focused] on making their game the best it can be, and standardization sits in the way of that goal.

And the promise of future earning potential around blockchain gaming and pay-to-earn titles like Axie Infinity are undercut by the current steep cost of entry.Just to play Axie Infinity, for instance, requires that you own one of the game’s NFTs, which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.There needs to be more proven, fun titles where NFTs enhance the experience and prove their worth to players.He’s turning Automattic into a different kind of tech giant.But can he take on the trillion-dollar walled gardens and give the internet back to the people?

In the early days of the pandemic, Matt Mullenweg didn’t move to a compound in Hawaii, bug out to a bunker in New Zealand or head to Miami and start shilling for crypto.No, in the early days of the pandemic, Mullenweg bought an RV.He drove it all over the country, bouncing between Houston and San Francisco and Jackson Hole with plenty of stops in national parks.

In between, he started doing some tinkering.Since WordPress is open-source software, no company technically owns it, but Automattic provides tools and services and oversees most of the WordPress-powered internet.Oh, and Tumblr.And Simplenote.And many others.That makes Mullenweg one of the most powerful CEOs in tech, and one of the most important voices in the debate over the future of the internet.But before we get to that, you have to hear about this RV.

He’s always been the guy who goes over to friends’ houses and upgrades their router or just rewires the whole system: “So when I get this RV, what I ended up doing was I set up a multiple-cell phone modem router.Suddenly, when Mullenweg signed on every morning to do his job as CEO of Automattic, one of the web’s largest platforms and most powerful influences, he could do it from anywhere with a cell signal: like one time, last December, when he recorded a Web Summit panel from the side of Highway 97 in Northern California as logging trucks went by.

Mullenweg, who is also an insatiable gearhead, had a solution for the truck noise, too: a Sennheiser headset mic with awesome noise-cancellation.The setup is ever-changing.His SpaceX-built satellite internet receiver plugs right in and provides even faster speeds.It’ll be nice not to have to mount and dismount, and it’ll work when I’m moving.From his always-connected RV, Mullenweg has continued to turn Automattic into a tech giant.He talks often about his desire to build “the Berkshire Hathaway of the internet,” a holding company populated with the most ambitious and important products and services in tech.

But there is one thing that binds the many products under the Automattic umbrella together: a bet on and belief in the open web and open-source software.

He loves jazz, which is why WordPress releases are named for jazz musicians.He loves to read and write and work from anywhere, so he turned Automattic into a company that supports bloggers and promotes remote work.He buys companies that make products he likes, and companies that have missions he believes in.

Most of all, he believes that open-source software is the future of everything.Eighteen years after he first started working on WordPress, Automattic is more powerful than ever.

And yet its founding idea — that software should be available to everyone and editable by anyone, that communities can build great things together, that walled gardens always eventually fall — seems more tenuous than ever.

Most people will tell you it feels like the future of tech hangs in the balance.But the way Mullenweg sees it, open is still going to win.It’s not a matter of if, only when.And all he’s trying to do is help make it happen a little faster.Maybe you went to one of his Christmas ugly sweater parties.Or maybe you went to one of the countless Meetup events, at which Mullenweg would extol the virtues of WordPress, open source and blogging.

Nearly everyone who knew Mullenweg in those days remembers the same three things: He looked like a kid, he was extremely nice and he had ridiculously big ideas.I had no idea who he was, or how young he was at the time.We never talk about business.A young Matt Mullenweg second from left at a WordPress meetup in Photo: Scott Beale.

Even early on, Mullenweg used to tell people he wanted to work on WordPress for the rest of his career.A better world, even.And he knew it might take a lifetime to pull it off.The first time Mullenweg and I spoke for this story, I asked him what he thought about the state of the tech industry.

Before he answered, Mullenweg changed the frame of the question.Once, when I asked him about Facebook, he responded with a story about the printing press.In this case, he simply urged me to think more broadly.The cycle plays out the same in tech, he said.Take the internet: built as an open platform, eventually colonized by a handful of dictatorial players.Sometimes really, really well.Then they go build something better.

Something open.The seeds of this change are already everywhere, he said.What if they were transparent? What if you could copy and paste it? Do your own version? Remix it? So that is what I plan to spend the rest of my life fighting for.And that if you wait long enough, open wins at those, too.Mullenweg has long traded hype cycles for the arc of history.And he hopes he can help bend it a little.

By now WordPress is a behemoth.Meanwhile, Automattic is running a thriving business selling services around the software.There are countless businesses run on top of WordPress, from theme makers to plug-in developers to hugely successful publishers and retailers.

Shortly thereafter, he launched the company into hyper-growth mode, and also got a crash course on how to run a business.But as he often does, Mullenweg learned to think bigger.Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

As Automattic has grown in size and scale, the company has more freedom to take on different kinds of projects.We can make a minority investment, we can make a majority investment, we can make it a division of the company, we can make it fully integrated.

Photo: Arturo Olmos for Protocol.And even he’s not sure that captures everything.Automattic was different.I felt like we shared values there.Every Automattic product is both a bet on the future and a subtle rebuke of the present.It means making it easy for creators to sell things directly through WooCommerce.It means lots of other things, too, eventually.Which, of course, brings up the idea of web browsers; if you want to preserve user agency and power on the internet, the browser is a place to start.

Automattic — like Mullenweg — defaults to transparency and flat hierarchies.Employees are encouraged to write about their ideas even in their very earliest stages, and everyone around the company is encouraged to comment.It can feel strange at first, but multiple founders I spoke with said they quickly came to appreciate the Automattic way of doing things.

Most other teams are named after something random, like a bird or a mythological creature.Ultimately, the mission matters most of all.At this point, few companies have more influence over the way the internet works than Automattic.

And few people not named Zuckerberg have more influence than Mullenweg.When Automattic sells shares to new investors, all the voting power goes back to Mullenweg.When he wants to push Automattic or WordPress in a new direction, he tries to do it as gently and collaboratively as possible, but one way or another he usually gets his way.

In general, Mullenweg is hardly the chest-beating pundit type, but friends and foes alike describe a killer lying just under the surface.You could argue — and some do — that in this moment of reckoning over the effect of technology on our lives and society, Mullenweg should be a much louder force for good.Even on the product side, WordPress is well-positioned to take on Substack, YouTube and so many others.Mullenweg’s vitriol has historically been reserved for those who violate the spirit of open software and open systems.

The tech industry right now is riddled with villains and short of heroes, and Mullenweg fits the bill nicely.Mullenweg thinks about this for a minute.But mostly, he thinks issues of data privacy and content moderation are big and complicated.Yes, Facebook should be doing better.Of course.But Mullenweg seems more interested in solving problems than pointing fingers.Even as the tech industry swirls around him, with regulatory fights and social media backlashes and the seemingly hourly shift in priorities, Mullenweg remains steadily on course.

What exactly does that look like? Who knows.Mullenweg is increasingly fascinated by all things Web3 and crypto, and sees in that space much of the collaboration and community he loves about WordPress and open source in general.He proudly reminded me that WordPress.He preceded that by saying he didn’t really know how to define Web3 at the moment — who does, really?

He did issue a warning, though: “For every project which is asking for your money, dollars, for you to pay the cost of a house for a picture of an ape, you should ask: Does it apply the same freedoms which WordPress itself does? How closely does it apply to increasing your freedom and agency in the world? Those are just tools.For him, the lifelong work is about something much bigger than either one — bigger, even, than the tech industry.

What else do you need to know? Update: This story has been updated to better clarify the difference between Automattic, which runs WordPress.Updated Dec.Zeyi Yang is a reporter with Protocol China.Previously, he worked as a reporting fellow for the digital magazine Rest of World, covering the intersection of technology and culture in China and neighboring countries.He has been playing Pokemon for 14 years and has a weird favorite pick.

Others put their IPO plans on hold.Stock markets reacted accordingly: Alibaba, Pinduoduo and others saw their share prices slashed in half.And yet many investors and analysts still believe there will be notable IPOs.Beijing has also formalized the cybersecurity review process, making it mandatory for more businesses.

That process has in turn reduced uncertainty and allowed companies to better assess the risks and rewards of going public.The U.After the regulator sent clear signals to encourage listing in Hong Kong rather than the U.Artificial intelligence company SenseTime, sandwiched between Chinese domestic pressures and U.

One extremely product may still come to the rescue for Chinese companies longing for U.Here are some Chinese tech IPOs to watch for, amid all the restrictions and workarounds, in Some Chinese companies are more than ready to go public: They have already gone through all the IPO preparation steps in the U.

For them, the easiest way to keep the momentum is to quickly turn to Hong Kong, like audio streaming platform Ximalaya did in September.Tech workers want three-day weekends.Welcome back to Ask a Tech Worker.Got a suggestion for a future topic? Email me.The four-day work week may be the next frontier for tech companies using work-life balance to compete for talent.

For early-stage startups, at least, it may be a tough sell.When I caught up with Disraeli, he was having lunch at Salesforce Park, near the WeWork where most of his company is based.Disraeli sees the appeal of a four-day work week from an employee perspective, and said it could give companies an edge when it comes to recruiting.Four-day work week advocates believe that condensing the work week will make employees more productive.The pandemic in particular has allowed for tech companies to reimagine work, but also left many workers burnt out.

Huang is self-employed now, but has worked as a hardware engineer for companies like Basis, Synapse Product Development and Nokia.The same concept could be applied to other jobs in tech, where salaries are high enough that even a part-time job could pay well, Huang said.Tech might be better-suited to the four-day work week than other industries, like finance.The work that is left is definitely work that is more about the brain, knowledge, research, and this definitely requires more downtime to be able to perform.

To give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies.If you continue browsing.You can review our privacy policy to find out more about the cookies we use.Source Code.Right, right, the drive.He let go of your hand so the two of you could put the hoodies on and put on shoes.

After you pulled your shoes on, you barely had time to pull the hoodie over your head before Alex grabbed your hand and dragged you out the door.You stumbled behind Alex as he led you to the car, a big dopey grin on his face.What could you say? His smile was contagious.

He reached for the door handle as you went around to the passenger side, and he waited for you to get into the car as well before he continued.

Once he backed into the road, he stopped, and looked at you.You cocked a brow at him.You rolled your eyes, chuckling under your breath.Instead of turning around like you had asked, he only sped up, doing the opposite of what you wanted.That giddy and lovey-dovey thought quickly made way for a more disappointing realization.You and Alex were best friends; best friends.You smiled, enjoying the feeling of his warm hand and fingers interlocked with yours.

Even with the doubts and insecurities, there was still the part of you that would think back to every borderline flirtatious moment and it would make you internally squeal.Every time he called you beautiful or complimented you, any time your eye contact would linger, any time he would jokingly flirt with you, and, now that you met up in person for the first time, any touches or hand-holding that were to happen – your heart felt like it would burst any time any of this happened.

Maybe your opinion on that would change though if you just saw how he looked at you.Especially now, with your hands clasping one another atop the center console; the glances he would send your way were certainly more than friendly.Alex had the same doubts, the same thoughts, the same idea that you would never like him back.

Even if it meant keeping these feelings locked away for the rest of his life, he would do that a thousand times over if it meant keeping you happy.Trying to focus on the road instead, he shook his thoughts away and continued to drive through the nearly empty streets.After quite the eventful gas station trip, the two of you were on the road again, driving out to a spot that Alex had promised would be nice and secluded.The two of you laughed as you talked about what had happened.

Your face flushed and you quickly averted your gaze, looking down at your lap.You smiled, rolling through the thought over and over in your mind.You covered part of your face with the sleeves of his hoodie that you wore, trying to hide your embarrassment as much as you could.You froze, unable to pull your eyes away from his.

After a moment of silence, he had to look away to keep his eyes on the road, and you managed to pull your gaze away as well.You chose to look out the window, watching various street lamps and parked cars fly by your vision until it all just became a blur and you were lost in thought.Alex swallowed nervously, trying to push back the lump in his throat and trying to ignore his nerves.

When had he gotten this confidence? When the two of you would call or text he would jokingly flirt, sure, but the tone he had used this time was different.

He had fully meant what he said.Or did he even want that at all? He took a quick glance at you, relieved when he saw you were no longer looking at him.Why am I doing this at all? What the fuck am I doing?

Alex took a breath to steady himself, trying to calm his nerves and steady his thoughts.Making you wear his hoodie, holding your hand, taking you out for a drive and buying you a slushie; of course these were things that any friends could do, but he was trying to be more than that.It was a small dirt lot atop a hill on the outskirts of town; a place with an amazing view of not only the stars and trees around you but the bright lights of all the buildings below.Many of the local teens went here to make out, confess their love, or fuck in the backseat; and if everything went according to plan, one of those things would be happening tonight.

The confession, of course.During the silence of the drive, it left you some time to think – just as Alex had.You thought about all of his little gestures, overanalyzed any interaction between the two of you that you could think of, and you had finally decided that you were going to tell him tonight.

You were going to tell him how you felt.Now, during this silence you had also spent a lot of your time prepping for rejection – that was what you were expecting, after all.Sure, it would crush you emotionally, but then hopefully you could just try to act like nothing happened after the fact.

So, here you both were, sitting in the empty dirt lot, each planning on confessing to the other and preparing for rejection.The two of you got out of his car and climbed on top of the hood.

Was this good for the car? You were too preoccupied by your best friend that was sitting directly next to you, cuddling close for the body heat because of the cold nighttime air.After a shiver ran through our body, he instinctively wrapped an arm around you and pulled you closer.It was just you two and the silence for a while, the breeze the only thing playing in your ears as you mindlessly stared down at the city lights below.

Your mind was plagued with worries and insecurities, thoughts racing.Alex felt the same way; his thoughts were everywhere all at once, every subject winding back to you until he was unable to escape what he knew was inevitable.

You knew what was inevitable as well.You were utterly terrified, and wanted to hold off on confessing for as long as possible.You sighed, rolling your eyes and trying to ignore how your heart began to race.

Here he was, about to confess to you, and you say this?! He choked back the sob that wanted to escape his throat.Your eyes widened upon his response, and you realized you had just fucked up; you fucked up a little.

Fuck, bad word choice! God dammit! You had to clarify your intentions, before you lost your best friend.Upon hearing you say this, Alex felt as if the weight of the world had just lifted itself off of his shoulders.You sighed, shaking your head and looking back down at your lap.

At first, you were a little confused as to why his response to your confession had been so simple but now you understood.Or your… wait, what even were you two? You opened your mouth, just about to ask, but Alex beat you to the punch.We are both very very poggers.And I think that we would be even more poggers if I could be your boyfriend.

So, what do ya say? You had been fully prepared to lose your best friend that night, and in a way, you supposed you had – although, when you start dating your best friend, does that make them any less of your best friend? You had one hell of a best friend, and one hell of a boyfriend, and you loved his goofy ass dearly.He probably plays PVP games, actually.Those games being Arsenal, Phantom Forces, those games that involve pvp or even team pvp.I also like to imagine him playing Murder Mystery and any of the sorts.

Once played survive the disasters and bought the green balloon.Little shit bought the disaster multiplier too and laughed at how mad he made the players.Somehow godly at FPS games? Although he has shitty timing.However, he masters stealth and wins with the golden knife every single round.

His avatar is probably showered in limited items.Ridicules other players to you about their shitty playstyle, honestly.

He is so focused on killing other players that he never pays attention to the tower.That is the objective of the game.He has no patience for that shit.Can he speed up the process, please? He hates this game.Played the mimic once with you and he almost passed out.Laughed at your face when you screamed because of a jumpscare… okay….Who almost passed out?

Only ever joins rp games for the sole reason to be an absolute menace to those who take the game seriously.Purchases Admin Commands to bomb the entire place, maybe even summon something to add to the chaos.Your attempts to stop him were futile, it always has been.

Makes fun of online daters on the daily, even getting in a fight with them– resulting in a pissing contest in discord.He had to bring up you to defend himself, seeing as you were a piece of art.He actually took the fight seriously, especially when his opponent insulted you directly in his face.Can you please stop this man from wasting all his fucking money on Roblox seriously you have a manchild in your hands… Do something about it.Spoils you as well….He gave you the highest amount of Robux possible AND a premium subscription.

He enjoys Breaking Point.It gives him a sense of thrill and adrenaline.Uses Robux solely for the purpose to dress like him in real life, absolutely despises black hair.Complains to you about why the eye patches are mostly placed on the left than to the right.

His avatar wears a mask because of it.How sweet! I kid you not, when he played jailbreak, he quickly had the highest bounty.He would probably spend money in robux just to annoy people The type of guy to get into numerous fights for no reason whatsoever when intoxicated.Played flicker ONCE and won Comes with the title, probably.After playing with Diluc once, Diluc vowed to never agree to anything Venti asks him to do.

I feel like he would prefer showcase games than what he plays on the daily.He likes the tranquility and the realism of the buildings in the game, and would like to stare at it for as long as he likes.Although he has a memorable scenery waiting for him outside, he would like to look at those that catch his eye.He has literally no friends on Roblox save for his Mondstadt friends Diluc never played Roblox after playing with Venti, and Kaeya occasionally joins his game and the whole game these two are in together would be ripped to shreds.

You killed him once and he shut up for a minute… you won 3 rounds in a row and he had to listen to your taunting.Hey Sage!! I send warm greetings after swatting away my bedroom curtains to find a white snowy city before me.What a drag.I’m shivering.Hi Papuru!! Thank you so much for asking me questions and interacting with me, I really appreciate it.I LOVE snow!!! That sounds like so much fun! Drink Hot Coco and be like Kanato, my guy.

Be like Kanato….So, your questions got me thinking.Number 21 is easy, but the other one? Huge, Roblox meme inspired OOF.So, here I am placing a HUGE trigger warning, because I actually talk a bit about manipulation tactics and I go into detail about my Manipulative Abusive Ex-Boyfriend Connor, and how that has Impacted me into viewing relationships and trust.BUT to fluff it up, I will talk about my current relationship with my girlfriend, Luna.

AT ALL.And they are unable to understand that secrets do matter to humans….On that same note, I believe the Mukamis are able to understand humans better because they WERE humans at one point, so they can better relate and empathize with humans.Like, fuck off.He wants to hurt you by using your emotions against you.Doesn’t always care about how you think and feel? But does it?

In a way? Subaru is SO complicated.If he was to know about my Past with Connor he would SO make fun of me for it and call me a lewd woman or something.They have similar mannerisms, patterns, manipulation tactics.Connor is charming, and then he slowly slips into your head making you believe nobody else can love you but him, and that you rely on him.If he gave me gifts, affections, anything, he would use it to gain something from me.Besides, it’s the way SHE shows love to me.

She wants me to show how I love her with my own language, at my own pace.You know what I mean.Reminds me of Connor a bit with the whole protective vibe, but his good nature makes up for it.He would cherish my secrets like it was a limited edition knife make in AD that was still usable man.Well, I joined the fandom when I was really young.Were talking 10 to 11 years old.I thought it was scary but romantic, how so many men were fighting for one girl’s hand.

I shipped Atato and Yui and thought they were so cute UwU.I enjoy Azusa and Kanato a lot.I always disliked Laito, and that hasn’t changed.Although how I can sympathize for him better.I sympathize a lot and often with every character.Ayato, Shuu, Reji, Kou and Ruki are okay-ish.

I Enjoy the story a lot,, and I love being a part of of fandom.Not bad! Im a fan of the subtle texture and color choice! Idk seems like she depends on others too much and I feel like she could use a confidence boost.What the fuck.Why are they shiny?? They look like a bunch of rectangle jelly beans.And if you look closely, they all have the same texture??

So lazy, just a bunch of the same brick offer and over again?? The isossymetric design works really well.I love the color choices too!! The blueish hues of the shadows and the soft orangy reds complement each other beautifully.

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