Social Starts Buzz Room: July 13, 2017

A compendium of what our partners read each week, highlighting macro industry trends, our investment focus areas, and general personal and business strategies.

News About Our Portfolio Companies

·         Boxed CEO featured on Today Show for generosity to employees

·         VendorHawk raises 1.2M with Social Starts participating

·         Vinepair shows a data-driven look at bartending

·         RentHop’s analysis reveals negative correlation between rent prices and crime

·         Glassbreakers on building an enterprise grade platform

·         Snaps introduces conversational marketing cloud + SocialFlow’s new whitepaper

·         Thinglink wins EdTechXGlobal All Stars Rise award

·         YouEarnedIt named one of the best places to work in Austin

·         Ambassador on what’s missing from your multichannel marketing strategy

·         LeagueApps launches FundPlay, an initiative to allow children to play sports who don’t have access

Industry Trends

·         App economy to grow to 6.3T in 2021 (5x) and user base to double to 6.3B

·         How Americans spend their time, by income

·         What’s different about unicorns + unicorn class of 2017 + 7 startups that recently shut their doors with massive funding + interesting analysis on unicorns

·         Amazon reaches 85M Prime members, up 35% from last year

·         Angel Funds + Y Combinator has gone supernova

·         Waymo backs off 3 of 4 patent lawsuits against Uber + Uber board conflicts and no Kalanick: a sale to Alphabet?

·         Semil Shah: Venture Investing is still an apprenticeship business

·         The angst of endangered CEOs

·         Who came to America and when?

·         MIT’s new 3D chip could be key to powerful edge computing

·         Gordon Gekko’s cell phone + the iPhone decade in 12 charts

Artificial Intelligences

·         Instagram launches an AI system to blast away nasty comments

·         Original Stitch and AI

·         Ford creates dedicated AI team


·         Has the death of manufacturing been overexaggerated?

·         QVC to merge with HSN in 2.1B deal

·         How the growth in ecommerce is shifting retail jobs


·         How Edtech can gain market share with the teacher of tomorrow

·         VC investment in Edtech is rising again

Work Platforms

·         Insights on on-demand economy workers

·         CodeFights unveils new interview practice to help programmers ace technical job interviews

Content and Experiences

·         How AR could save tech from itself

·         Blocks by Google

·         Adaptly on understanding the new generation of Gen Z platforms

·         NewsWhip report on top media publishers on Instagram


·         Here’s when to buy bitcoin and ethereum

·         Cuban investing in Unikrn after calling bitcoin bubble

·         Vitalik Buterin

·         Mapping the decentralized world of tomorrow

·         Bitcoin bubble unmatched

·         Pantera rising ICO fund


·         With 6.5B so far, 2017 is on track to be the biggest digital health funding year yet

·         Jawbone to be liquidated (3B+ former valuation)

Business and Personal Strategy

·         5 ideas for starting an online business

·         Patterns in startup M&A process

·         Sweden eliminating taxes for startup stock options

·         What to do if your product isn’t growing

·         Why onboarding is so crucial to your growth strategy

·         Look beyond existing customers when building product

·         The five questions to answer about your company’s strategy