woman giving 'peace sign'


‘This is like maybe 5 minutes of work. You should be embarrassed’: Tech CEO shares the work she does in a day, gets criticized

'Genuinely can't tell if this is satire.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Oct 18, 2022   Updated on Oct 18, 2022, 11:26 am CDT

Over the past year, tech startup Zette received positive press from outlets like Forbes after sharing its mission to give access to paywalled articles through a subscription service.

Now, the company is capturing the internet once more—but not for the reasons it may have wanted.

Last week, Zette founder and CEO Yehong Zhu posted a Twitter thread, in which she describes all the work she does in a day. The only problem? According to other users on Twitter, it doesn’t appear to be much work at all.

Throughout the thread, Zhu documents her day, going from reviewing Figma mockups (made by a designer) to picking up business cards (there is an error in the business cards; she delegates getting a refund to her chief of staff) to reviewing emails from investors (“I snooze all their emails. I make a mental note to respond next week”). Part of the listed workday included drafting the tweet thread itself in a Google Doc.

She says she completed all of the listed tasks at 6:37pm.

“I look up in shock that the sun is setting. Jesus, how is it already 6:37 PM?” reads one of the thread’s final tweets. “I feel like I haven’t even started the work I needed to do today!”

Quickly, users piled onto Zhu in replies and retweets, with many saying that her workday didn’t seem to contain much work at all. “This is like maybe five minutes of work. You should be embarrassed,” wrote a user. Zhu responded to this post saying she “actually worked for about 7 more hours after posting this thread,” adding that some of her work is “sensitive” and can’t be shared.

“I couldn’t help but notice that you seem to think you do actual work, but when you set out what you do in a day, it doesn’t seem like you do any work at all,” added another. “I’m just wondering if I’m missing something?”

“Genuinely can’t tell if this is satire, please halp,” stated a third.

“I want to just remember this tweet for the next time someone tells me how much harder a CEO works than me,” offered a further Twitter user.

“This is like the stuff i do on the toilet in the morning before breakfast but passed off as a full day of work,” an additional tweet claimed. “Congrats.”

Many were critical of the business itself. Though the company has yet to release a working product, Zette claims it will be a browser extension that will allow users to pay a subscription fee to unlock paywalled articles from a variety of news sources.

However, as some on Twitter pointed out, this appears similar to the business model of Apple News+. 

“With Apple News+ you unlock access to premium content from hundreds of magazines and leading local, national, and international newspapers, cover-to-cover magazine issues you can read online or off, and audio stories — professionally narrated versions of some of the best stories available in Apple News+,” reads the product’s website.

Zhu discussed her company’s apparent connection to Apple News+ in the past.

“Zhu priced the subscription to match Apple News+, but that’s where the similarities end, she told me,” author Sara Bloomberg writes for Bay Area Inno. “Zette will be platform agnostic and is building products for users across Mac, PCs, iOS and Android. It also doesn’t lock users into its app, and sends readers directly to a publisher’s site.”

For her part, Zhu seems to be taking the criticism in stride, citing the virality of the tweet thread as “free advertising.”

“At first, my feelings were hurt, and I thought about deleting my tweets. Then I wondered—is there such thing as bad publicity?” she asked in a tweet. “Because either way, people had my name in their mouths…You’re Googling me, Googling Zette. This tremendously benefits our SEO strategy.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Zhu via a website contact form.

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*First Published: Oct 18, 2022, 11:25 am CDT