Robots get sleeker. Microsoft catches cheaters. Really ugly websites.

Read this stuff

Hi there,

The newsletter has had a section called The Blurb for a while that contains articles that we think are worth reading.  

Today, we’re highlighting a few.

But first, some data.

Cobots > robots?

Robots have made improvements to factory work, but they've also been plagued by issues with vision, dexterity, and low ROI.

Enter cobots: lighter weight, lower cost bots that can work collaboratively with humans in industrial settings. 

We explore how companies are using cobots to tackle common tech challenges faced by robots, and how cobots are changing the economics of different industries. 

Absolute power corrupts absolutely

In The Blurb, you’ll find an article by Jerry Useem from The Atlantic that talks about how power affects the brain. People under the influence of power sometimes act like they’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Power makes people more impulsive and less empathetic.  

It actually makes leaders lose the qualities that got them to power in the first place.

Chef'd gets f'd

This week, meal kit company Chef'd unexpectedly shut down, laying off 350 employees. It had raised $40M in funding, earning it a spot on our list of the biggest, costliest startup failures of all time.

Can’t win ‘em all

James Clear's essay on the 3 stages of failure is worth a read. The 3 stages are:

  • Failure of tactics
  • Failure of strategy
  • Failure of vision
I found the below on failure of tactics quite interesting, especially in the context of scaling a company.

Tactics are something you constantly need to re-evaluate.

Caught you

Microsoft's recently published patent application proposes using behavior-analyzing machine learning to detect cheating in video games. This is a move to integrate information between a gaming platform like Xbox and a third-party game.

Microsoft's recent moves in gaming could come up in tomorrow's earnings call. Check out our analysis so you're in the know.

The hotel bathroom puzzle

The Blurb also features an essay by Alec Nevala-Lee, who discusses one of the most famous case studies in the history of design.

For those of you who are building something, it is a great reminder to think about design, and has this warning worth remembering:  

"When simple things need instructions, it is a certain sign of poor design.”

Glow up

Puberty is rough — even for tech companies. If you had seen Uber's website in 2011, you might not have predicted it would eventually be worth $68B. And it's not alone.

From Airbnb to Palantir to BuzzFeed, we take a look at the websites of 35 unicorn startups before they were billion-dollar companies.

The Industry Standard

CB Insights data is the most trusted by those in the industry and the media. A few recent hits.

Forbes. Kayla Michele (@iamkaylamichele) writes about her experience pitching her VC-backed startup PeduL and cites CB Insights research.

Food Dive. Jessi Devenyns (@jdevenyns4) reports on new happy hour trends and features CB Insights’ Happy Hour Market Map.

Business Times. This article reports that food delivery platform is seeking $2B+ in funding and refers to CB Insights data.

I love you.


P.S. Join us tomorrow for a discussion of fintech trends in Q2'18. Sign up here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Fail so hard. James Clear (@james_clear) discusses the main stages of failure and how to get through them.
James Clear

Are you ok? People in positions of power can exhibit behaviors similar to those associated with traumatic brain injuries.
The Atlantic

I love puzzles. Alec Nevala-Lee (@nevalalee) discusses the hotel bathroom puzzle, one of the most famous case studies in the history of design.
Alec Nevala-Lee

The future. Jiayang Fan (@jiayangfan) explores how the rise of e-commerce is changing life in rural China.
The New Yorker

Relatable. Astronomers have discovered 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter, one of which is on a path that will inevitably lead to its own destruction.
The Guardian

On my honor. Girl Scouts can now earn badges in robotics, computer science, space exploration, and more.
The Verge

Can we CTRL + Z? A new study found that CRISPR caused major DNA deletions.
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