Weekly Reading: Are bots the next big thing?

Weekly Readings are a series of blog posts highlighting the best pieces of content I’ve read or listened to during the week. Give me feedback if you enjoy it. And suggestions if you don’t. Just to make it better for other guys.

Funderbeam is now officially launched. And Shipitwise‘s campaign to raise 250’000€ is on fire. We already have 61’000€ committed. And more is coming soon. But we can still fit you in as an investor (starting from 250€). At the same time, internet’s full of discussions on bots. And whether Uber’s the symbol of last eight years in startup investments.


are bots the next big thing?

  • Bots, Messaging and SmarterChild. There were bots before there were bots. And bots really seem to become the way people access services. Here’s the story of SmarterChild that shows why that could be true.
  • The first Messenger apps: The good, the bot, and the ugly. All Facebook told us about bots is great. However, the first impressions with these bots have been disappointing. And first impressions are everything. Which make us deeply concerned that the initial bots will turn us away from bots. And their potential.
  • Bots won’t replace apps. Better apps will replace apps. Lately, everyone’s talking about “conversational UI.” It’s the next big thing. Or not. Yes, current apps don’t fulfill our needs. But that doesn’t mean bots will. Here’s why…
  • Why Desktop Apps are Making a Comeback. All this talk about bots makes us think about interfaces. That interface can come in different forms. But usually boils down to either an installed program or a browser-based web application. Web apps seemed to have the upper hand for the desktop. But maybe not.

There’s a shift in the era of startups.

  • Why Uber Won. The start of 2016 marked the end of the steroid era of startups — the time between 2010 and 2015. Money was cheap and more plentiful. And used as a performance enhancing drug for company acceleration. No question. Venture money has always been used to accelerate company building. But this was different.
  • Uber has become the symbol of everything right and wrong with Silicon Valley today. Uber’s the ultimate test of whether the last eight years of venture investment in Silicon Valley was worthwhile.
  • RIP ‘Me Toos’. While not everyone agrees that there’s a massive downturn in the startup world currently. Many are acting as if there is. Just as in the last cycle, the category-defining companies of the next decade will be launched and funded in the next couple of “less exciting/slower” years.
  • The first rule of pricing is: you don’t talk about pricing. Pricing. Pricing. We constantly think about pricing. When in fact it mostly doesn’t make sense to. Talk about it. Nor think about it. The only thing we should do. Is experiments.
  • 41 Lessons Learned after Five Years as a Startup Founder. If an entrepreneur’s life is measured in Pokémon, let’s say it’s the year I evolved from Charmander to Charmeleon and am well on my way to Charizard.
  • 5 Types of Content Your Company Blog Needs. Your company blog is the one content platform you have complete and total control over. Bring someone to your blog and you can lead them on to your products and services. But to encourage people to visit your blog you have to produce the right type of content.

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