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Showing posts from March, 2019

My Favorite Companies to Watch Out for from YC W19

Shef It is a marketplace to connect home chefs with nearby customers. Why I found it interesting - This is model is interesting because it is unlocking previously non-existent supply of food. Home chefs with excess capacity (groceries, time) can now monetize their kitchen without much of the overhead costs in a traditional restaurant. This means that not only is this marketplace increasing supply but also driving down food delivery costs. Woke It provides non-dilutive capital to emerging e-commerce brands and takes a % of their sales. Why I found it interesting - I am a big fan of exploring alternative capital investment models. A lot of startups raise big $$$ and end up spending a large % of that money towards paid campaigns and customer acquisition. Basically, this means selling your equity to acquire new customers. This new model, recently popularized by Clearbanc, lets founders get cash for marketing without selling equity in return for a revshare. I recently read somewhere that if …

Why Every Sports Team Needs to Become a Media Brand

Today I binge-watched the entire season of 'We are LAFC' on ESPN+. It was incredibly interesting to get a behind the scenes look at a brand new franchise's origins. Most importantly, I definitely walked away from the season, an LAFC fan. Today, our relationship with sports is evolving. In the past, our touch points with our sporting idols were few - live games on TV, seeing them live in-stadium, and the occasional newspaper article. Now, social media has given us unprecedented access into the lives of our favorite athletes. On the flip side, athletes have found several ways to express themselves off the court. Thanks to Twitter and Instagram, we know of Russell Westbrook's latest pre-game fashion garb, Lonzo's latest rap song, Lillard's offseason superman workouts, and Josh Hart's favorite video games (and how good he is at them). As access increases, fans want their sports team to create content way beyond their live games. This is important for three rea…

Biotech Platforms Primer

Biotech entrepreneurs ask themselves the same question software entrepreneurs ask. "Do we want to build a platform or a product?" Traditionally, entrepreneurs, both software and biotech, have focused on building single-product companies. In biotech, that means a specific drug, and in software it means providing a specific tool or service. Now, platform startups are the rage, especially in silicon valley. 'Come for the tool, stay for the platform' has become the mantra for many early stage entrepreneurs. In biotech, a platform essentially means providing centralized set of technologies and services to support the drug development process. This includes lab diagnostics, therapeutic protocols, antibodies, or testing devices. While product (drug) focused companies spend years (and tons of $$$) in research and clinical trials before making any money, platform companies see cash flow much earlier in their life cycle by licensing their platform to these drug manufacturers. …

Bye Excel

Today, Excel launched their big product update - being able to import a spreadsheet by using the camera to take a picture of the table.
First, tools like Airtable and Coda are disrupting the traditional spreadsheet by adding app-like functionality on top of it - making it extremely powerful, attractive looking, and fun and easy to use.
Now, in this competitive landscape, Excel comes back with camera based import. Admittedly, it is very cool. However, it is not a killer feature for most users. Excel's has lost its functionality advantage long ago and now it's only lock ins are - inertia, especially in finance, platform integration on windows PCs, and enterprise integrations through Office 365 and Microsoft Azure.
I am excited for my favorite tools to copy this feature, but unfortunately it cant save excel.