Extra Crunch roundup: Options pool rules, voice tech hurdles, keeping employees engaged

“In today’s cash-rich environment, options are more valuable than cash,” says Allen Miller, a principal at Oak HC/FT. “In turn, managing your option pool may be the most effective action you can take to ensure you can recruit and retain talent.”

In an article squarely aimed at early-stage founders, Miller shares best practices for protecting your option pool, lists the mistakes many founders make and offers multiple tips for course-correcting “if you made mistakes early on.”

As we’re just returning from the Labor Day holiday, today’s newsletter is quite brief. We have much more planned for this week, so thanks very much for reading.

Walter Thompson

Senior Editor, TechCrunch


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To commercialize, voice tech must first solve its ‘cocktail party problem’

Image Credits: Karnet / Getty Images

Voice and speech recognition is expected to be a $26.8 billion global market by 2025, but there’s still a long way to go before voice can be fully commercialized.

Developers are deploying natural language processing and conversational AI to overcome current limitations, but “solving these problems requires voice tech to meet the human standard for voice and match the complexities of the human auditory system.”

How engaged are your employees?

Image Credits:katleho Seisa (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

According to a recent survey, more than 70% of workers are actively hunting for a new job or are giving the matter serious consideration.

In a startup environment, employee development takes a back seat to priorities like scaling growth. As a result, few managers have any experience or interest in helping employees acquire new skills or advance their careers.

Don’t wait to be blindsided: Put an action plan in place to assess employee engagement. Remember, seven out of the next 10 people you see on a video call might be polishing their resumes.

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