You never get a second chance to make a first impression

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Over the past few months, I’ve been lucky to meet and work with Matt, Miles, and Jason at OthersideAI. They’re building productivity and communication tools using GPT-3: in one summer, they’ve generated over 3,000 followers on Twitter, along with a waitlist of nearly 8,000 people who want to get their hands on Otherside’s early access alpha product.

But perhaps one of the most intriguing parts of OthersideAI’s story is their approach to onboarding: every single user who gains access to the coveted alpha is personally onboarded through a one-on-one call. On this front, Jason is Otherside’s onboarding guru: he’s onboarded nearly 100 early users, crafting an intentional community of excited alpha testers and maintaining constant dialogue with users as the Otherside team makes product iterations. “User centricity is at the center of every single thing we do, and I want to establish a close relationship with each individual testing our product,” Jason states. …


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In consumer technology, everything old is new again.

As products get flashier with more features and shinier buttons, we crave a return to our roots. In food delivery, Amazon Prime Now and Instacart bring back memories of Webvan, the poster child of the dot-com “excess” bubble that filed for bankruptcy in 2001. David’s Disposable, the disposable camera app from YouTube personality David Dobrik, is a nostalgic throwback to the Kodaks and Fujifilms of the ‘90s. Even iOS 14’s homescreen widget functionality is reminiscent of the days of jailbreaking iPhones to create custom themes.

Another growing trend among modern alternatives to legacy products is the comeback of the command line, creating a user interface that’s both powerful and approachable to non-developers. …


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The Business Model of Good Taste

We’re experiencing a content overload. There are an average of 550 new social media users each minute, and over 40,000 search queries on Google every second. The Facebook like button has been pressed 13 trillion times, and each new day welcomes another 682 million tweets. It seems that every time we blink there’s a new podcast published, or blog post to read, or book recommendation to order on Amazon. To make a long story short, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to disaggregate signal from noise.

Andrew Chen, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, wrote last year:

“We’re living in a pivotal time in the history of mass communication — what we believe is the golden age of new media.” …


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At Chapter One, we like to say we invest in cults. But what does that really mean? Here are a few examples from our portfolio:

  • Roam Research, a note-taking tool for networked thought, exploded to nearly 10,000 subscribers in two months, reaching $1.2M ARR within 60 days of launching a paid plan. Roam fostered an obsessive community of users, leading to vibrant groups on Slack (6,000+ members), Reddit (nearly 6,000 members in /r/RoamResearch), and GitHub (over 100 Roam-related repositories).
  • Lambda School, an online immersive computer science academy, processed 60,000 applications in 2019 — 50% more than Harvard — and scheduled over 1,000 job interviews for Lambda grads. …

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Have you ever taken a look at Facebook’s content policies? Or Twitter’s? Probably not — they’re decently hard to find, and most social media platforms don’t necessarily go out of their way to advertise their moderation policies. But this silence around moderation illuminates a fascinating dichotomy: moderation is the actual commodity of any social computing system. It classifies the kinds of content allowed on a given platform, and it has downstream influences on how people use the platform to interact. Moderation shapes social norms, public discourse, and cultural production — so why does it receive so little scrutiny?

The benefits of social media platforms are obvious. They foster connection, community, and opportunity — Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy even went so far to call these sites the “modern public square.” But alongside this value, the perils of social computing platforms are apparent and painfully underdiscussed. We’re all aware of the hateful, violent, pornographic, and otherwise obscene content that can stain our Internet. It’s only getting worse — as these systems get bigger and support wider user bases, proportionally less content can get attention. As a result, companies have resorted to taking additional moderation measures, like the…


By Gaby Goldberg & Jordan Odinsky

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None of us are new to the idea of hype and exclusivity around drops and launches. Streetwear brands like Supreme and Yeezy are in the business of scarcity, where limited product releases supercharge the traditional supply-and-demand model, and where influencers, celebrities and fans alike create an “echo chamber of excitement.” Gaming and lifestyle brand 100 Thieves has become one of the hottest names in competitive gaming, in part due to its limited and highly sought-after drops of branded hoodies and t-shirts. …


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Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv. Photo by Ted Eytan via Flickr

AI Infrastructure: background, trends, and insights through the lens of Israel’s startup ecosystem

Introduction

Over the past few years, artificial intelligence has played a major role in defining trends of startups. Across all industries, the general evolution has shifted from computing based on human instruction to computing based on self-learning. Research and advisory firm Tractica even predicted that the annual worldwide AI revenue will grow from $643.7M in 2016 to $38.8B by 2025. However, as new technologies are implemented across all domains, we need to consider the following: during a gold rush, sell shovels.

Thus, we begin to see an opportunity for artificial intelligence infrastructure. Essentially, along with a new class of software — here, artificial intelligence and its subset, machine learning — comes new infrastructure to support it. …

About

Gaby Goldberg

Investing @BessemerVP & studying Symbolic Systems @Stanford. Previously @ChapterOne. Follow me @gaby_goldberg.

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