Social Starts Buzz Room: April 17, 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

• Adaptly partnered with Blue 449 to drive 21.9M Facebook video views

• Phonelisten CEO Lauren Leto’s thoughts on the promising future of phone numbers

Where brands and influencers meet, by Fohr Card

• Snaps founder Vivian Rosenthal discusses tech, communications and the future

• Who’s winning the Social Media war? Social Flow CEO Jim Anderson discusses

• Grovo providing inclusivity training for managers and leaders • Kanvas enables users to turn photos into works of art with free editing tools in their SDK

Industry Trends

• AirBnB CEO says its IPO is ‘half-way’ ready + tax agreements with 275 governments

• Walmart offers discounts for online orders picked up in stores

• Tesla pick-up truck in two years + the 22 year old at the heart of self-driving cars + Apple receives CA permit to test self-driving cars

• Jeff Bezo’s annual letter + Amazon’s look at Whole Foods

• Where American income has grown the most over the past 25 years + Americans spend 2.65 billion hours on taxes each year

• Android overtakes Windows as internet’s most used operating system + IBM and Microsoft re-making themselves

• The anatomy of a successful IPO + a dearth of IPOs…not the fault of red tape?

• When CEO’s don’t win awards, they make more acquisitions

• The future of agriculture in cities

• The Netflix generation

• A counter to the convertible notes debate

Artificial Intelligences

• Visual intro to machine learning + the arrival of AI + the boundaries of AI emotional intelligence

• Dark secrets at the heart of AI

• Bezos says AI to fuel Amazon success

• Google’s neural networks aiming to get smarter

• Jobs and robots: evidence from US labor markets

• The future of humanity is to merge with technology


• The retail revolution: From Zombie malls to Bonobos

• How Spotify curated the ultimate playlist for brand growth

• What’s happening with retail and fulfillment jobs

• Reflecting on Adam Dunn (Bonobos CEO’s) post on e-commerce four years ago

• What big stores can learn from small stores given 92% of retail purchases are still made in person

• Why the fashion industry brought vertical commerce back into style

Retail store closures on pace to surpass number of store closures in the Great Recession of 2008 + 89K retail jobs lost since October

• Nike no longer the top brand amongst teenage boys

IoT Software Stack

• Amazon allowing Echo’s microphone tech to be built into other companies

• Adam Marchick, CEO of Voice Labs, on voice techIoT is real despite skeptics

Work Platforms

• Google entering the hiring space

• Gig work driving employees to want more flexibility in the office or at home?

Content and Experiences

• Instagram now has more DAU than Snapchat with 375M DM users + social media usage by age + Snapchat users open app 18 times on average per day

• Digital media valuation

• The first decade of AR

• Google Daydream VR

• Facebook launches augmented reality Camera Effects developer platform + a beta version of Spaces, its social VR platform

Blockchain Beyond Currency

• Global blockchain innovation – US lags, Europe and China lead

• Blockchain in energy sector


• Apple working on glucose monitoring on iPhones

• The biggest US health insurer is hiring a blockchain director

Business and Personal Strategy

• 10 behaviors to achieve happiness

• How to manage your time

• Toxic mental habits to give up

• The art of one sentence product descriptions

• Generic VC/PE reference questions

• How to write great investor updates + what it takes to fund your business

• How to avoid the ‘keeping up’ trap

• 5 salary negotiation tips

• Learn these 9 tough skills

• Why deep breathing relieves stress