April 2021 | Issue 6

Dear fellow Internet Optimist,

The saga continues. In this month’s installment, Google offers an (unpopular) alternative to third-party cookies and Apple announces a new location tracker, among other tech & privacy news. We’ve also included an excellent talk on the real meaning of trust, a letter from our CEO on our company’s unique culture, and more!


@buzz Beta

Living & breathing connections that automatically update, in real-time

@buzz logo

We’re proud to announce the release of @buzz: an entirely new way to connect — privacy included.

@buzz reimagines how we share information with the people in our lives. Our tech ensures that everything shared via the app is totally private and hidden from prying eyes.


April 2021 in Review

Michael from The Office says, "I think that pretty much sums it up."
Animation of Chris Swan appearing

We’re happy to welcome a new team member to our team, Chris Swan!

Chris chose the title “Engineer” because it represents a person who is always learning. Never mind that he has over three decades of experience in the IT industry, and boasts an impressive resume full of CTO and directorial roles. Chris’ willingness to learn and take on new challenges is readily apparent in his approach to work. Though he had never worked with Flutter before joining us, he plunged straight in, tearing our existing infrastructure apart and reworking it into a stronger foundation. And though startup culture is hectic, Chris somehow still finds the time to co-run a tech podcast and write his own blog

Get to know the rest of our team.


Remote Culture: One Company’s Journey

“You can’t create a company culture when everyone is virtual.” Really?

Group of colorful people

“When we first started The @ Company in 2019, we decided we would be virtual. That way we could recruit the best people we have worked with in the past, no matter where they are living now. 

People said that we were wrong, that virtual companies don’t work, and that we would need to get an office somewhere. How funny that in the spring of 2020 all of that changed.”

Read our CEO’s reflection on what makes The @ Company’s culture so unique.


Why Trust Matters with Rachel Botsman

Dog trust falls into person's arms

We talk a lot about the importance of trust, particularly in relation to consumers. But there are a lot of common misconceptions about trust, which author and Oxford University Trust Fellow Rachel Botsman breaks down in her LinkedIn course on trust. Some notable takeaways:

  • Trust is a confident relationship with the unknown. As Rachel states, “the greater the uncertainty… the more trust is required.” 
  • More transparency does not equal more trust. Transparency doesn’t increase trust; it simply removes the need for it.
  • The relationship between vulnerability and trust. Rachel calls vulnerability the “superpower” of building trust.
Bowls of food

@FoodShare, one of our @appathon II winners, is the food app for all your needs.

  • Phase 2 of @appathon II came to a close at the beginning of April. Read about the 9 winners.
  • Internet Pioneers wanted! By signing up for our Early Access program, you’ll get a 20% discount on @signs, join our Beta Tester list, and get exclusive access to our workshops. Sign up now (you can always opt out at a later time).
  • 💙 Flutteristas are “people who identify as women or non-binary who have an interest in Flutter.” Our CEO Barbara Tallent spoke on The Alternative Internet at the Flutteristas Conference on April 17! (Watch her full talk.) We also offered a virtual scavenger hunt challenge complete with prizes.
  • Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter capitalize on our desire to be seen. Read more about how social media hardwired this Gen Zer’s need for external validation.
  • Need help getting an @app up and running? You can get your questions answered at our weekly troubleshooting sessions, run by our trusty People Support team. Sign up now!

Hi Mom, we’re famous! 


We are technologists, creators, and builders with one thing in common: We love the Internet. You could go so far as to call us Internet Optimists. 

Speak with our founders — experienced technologists, builders, entrepreneurs, and Internet Optimists: media@atsign.com.

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