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 Josh Constine

Squad is the new screensharing chat app everyone will copy

Squad is the new screensharing chat app everyone will copy

Squad could be the next teen sensation because it makes it easy to do nothing… together. Spending time with friends in the modern age often means just being on your phones next to each other, occasionally showing off something funny you found. Squad lets you do this even while apart, and that way of punctuating […]

 Josh Constine

Meet Caper, the AI self-checkout shopping cart

Meet Caper, the AI self-checkout shopping cart

The Amazon boogie-man has every retailer scrambling for ways to fight back. But the cost and effort to install cameras all over the ceiling or into every shelf could block stores from entering the autonomous shopping era. Caper Labs wants to make eliminating checkout lines as easy as replacing their shopping carts while offering a […]

 Josh Constine

To automate bigger stores than Amazon, Standard Cognition buys Explorer.ai

To automate bigger stores than Amazon, Standard Cognition buys Explorer.ai

Standard Cognition helps retail stores stand up to Jeff Bezos’ juggernaut. The $50 million-funded autonomous checkout startup is racing to equip bigger shops with scanless payment technology that lets customers walk out the door without ever stopping at a cashier. While Amazon Go opens its own 2,000 square foot boutiques, Standard Cognition is working on […]

 Josh Constine

My product launch wishlist for Instagram, Twitter, Uber and more

My product launch wishlist for Instagram, Twitter, Uber and more

‘Twas the night before Xmas, and all through the house, not a feature was stirring from the designer’s mouse . . . Not Twitter! Not Uber, Not Apple or Pinterest! On Facebook! On Snapchat! On Lyft or on Insta! . . . From the sidelines I ask you to flex your code’s might. Happy Xmas […]

 Josh Constine

HQ Trivia launches HQ Words tonight under reinstalled CEO

HQ Trivia launches HQ Words tonight under reinstalled CEO

HQ’s expansion beyond trivia emerges from beta tonight, but the question is whether it’s different and accessible enough to revive the startup’s growth. HQ Words opens to everyone with today’s 6:30pm pacific broadcast within the HQ Trivia app after several weeks of closed beta testing of the Wheel Of Fortune-style game. The launch will be […]

 Josh Constine

How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion

How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion

A Juul is not a cigarette. It’s much easier than that. Through devilishly slick product design I’ll discuss here, the startup has massively lowered the barrier to getting hooked on nicotine. Juul has dismantled every deterrent to taking a puff. The result is both a new $38 billion valuation thanks to a $12.8 billion investment […]

 Josh Constine

Ex-Googlers meld humans & machines at new cobotics startup Formant

Ex-Googlers meld humans & machines at new cobotics startup Formant

Our distinct skill sets and shortcomings mean people and robots will join forces for the next few decades. Robots are tireless, efficient and reliable, but in a millisecond through intuition and situational awareness, humans can make decisions machine can’t. Until workplace robots are truly autonomous and don’t require any human thinking, we’ll need software to supervise […]

 Josh Constine

A month after $70M, Clearbanc raises $50M fund to front startups ad money

A month after $70M, Clearbanc raises $50M fund to front startups ad money

Clearbanc is disrupting startup funding by providing companies cash to buy ads in exchange for a revenue share so they don’t have to sell as much equity to venture capitalists. That idea has proven so appealing that 1000 companies seeking up to $1 billion total hit up Clearbanc since we reported it raised $70 million […]

 Josh Constine

Robinhood said to not be properly insured to offer checking & savings

Robinhood said to not be properly insured to offer checking & savings

Robinhood’s new high-interest, zero-fee checking and savings feature seems to be too good to be true. Users’ money may not be fully protected. The CEO of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, a nonprofit membership corporation that insures stock brokerages, tells TechCrunch its insurance would not apply to checking and savings accounts the way Robinhood claims. “Robinhood […]

 Josh Constine

They scaled YouTube — now they’ll shard everyone with PlanetScale

They scaled YouTube — now they’ll shard everyone with PlanetScale

When the former CTOs of YouTube, Facebook and Dropbox seed fund a database startup, you know there’s something special going on under the hood. Jiten Vaidya and Sugu Sougoumarane saved YouTube from a scalability nightmare by inventing and open-sourcing Vitess, a brilliant relational data storage system. But in the decade since working there, the pair have […]

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