It has no identity.You don't even really call it that — to summon it from Google's new smart speaker, you'd address it with a simple "Hey, Google" or the same "OK, Google" that you'd use to activate its voice search and predictive service, Google Now.But Assistant's lack of personality was quite intentional, according to Jonathan Jarvis, a former creative director on Google's Labs team.While at the company, he led a team doing concept, strategy, and design on products like the Search app and even Alphabet's logo rebrand.Jarvis worked on Assistant only up until February, so he wasn't there for the final decision to use "Assistant" as the platform's name."We always wanted to make it feel like you were the agent, and it was more like a superpower that you had and a tool that you used," he tells Business Insider."If you create this personified assistant, that feels like a different relationship."For that reason, Assistant likely won't be telling you jokes or serving up sassy responses, either.We also heard while at I/O that Google didn't want to give its assistant a gender or make it seem too American.While the team didn't want to give it a personality, they had to call it something, or else it would be hard to distinguish it from regular Google, even though that's essentially what it is — all of Google's services mashed together with extra machine learning and artificial intelligence.Jarvis left Google earlier this year to join the startup studio Human Ventures, where he's working on a stealth new company that he plans to launch in the fall.He says that he's known for a while that he wanted to start his own company, but that the community and team-building offered by Human helped convince him to finally make the leap.NOW WATCH: Chrome has a ton of hidden features — here s how to find and enable themLoading video...
By Bettina Warburg, Founder and Executive Director of the Blockchain Technologies Lab BTL and Tom Serres, Founder of DV Torque, BCG s first Startup Studio & Lead Partner on the strategic partnership with BTL.Blockchain Technology can be this esoteric concept generally reserved as subject matter for academic elite and nerds with an IQ of 228...but not any more.In fact, you can go as far back as some of the first agrarian tribes who created rules to barter and trade amongst their communities for various goods and services.Mr. North was an advocate for something called New Institutional Economics.From there, the autonomous vehicle will either continue on to pick up the next rider in its queue before driving to an autonomous maintenance shop to clean its windshield and fulfill minor repairs for optimal driving performance to maintain its 5 star rating, of course .While attending the annual founders conference in Dublin, John Sculley, Fmr CEO of Apple, shared something with me I won t easily forget, Technology should either be invisible or beautiful .
For the most part, ideas are in-house, built from scratch to validate a business idea and spin it off as an independent startup, with the studio retaining a portion of the equity.When the startup studio I work with, Pioneer Square Labs, started — just nine months ago —  there wasn t a lot of open knowledge to draw from on how to run this kind of business.It s similar to when Y Combinator and TechStars got started and the accelerator model wasn t well understood.Many variations on the accelerator model have since been tried  —  some have failed, some have succeeded  —  and there is a body of information and expertise out there for the next entrepreneur trying to create an accelerator.So I wanted to share some key lessons we ve learned so far about running a startup studio.Of the many lessons we ve gleaned so far, I ve chosen the following nine because they are easy to articulate and don t feel obvious that s a dangerous statement since most of these will sound obvious after you read them, but when you are in the trenches executing a business, not everything is so clear .I won t go into our ideation process, but I can tell that it s not uncommon for someone to propose an idea and then find that there are already three companies executing it.If you agree with my point 4 above — that good ideas come from the collision of other ideas — it s easy to see why diversity in thinking, background, and experiences is the best source of raw idea-material.Gender diversity is important, but so are all other dimensions of diversity, including life experiences, age, religion, political views, background, etc.A few months ago I wrote about the analogy between a romantic relationship and building a startup and said that, like choosing a spouse, choosing a startup idea should only be done after an extensive period of low-level engagement dating .The media bombards us with this love story of how one night someone had a magical a-ha moment, founded a startup, became a fantastic leader, and a few years later were a billionaire.You can follow him on Twitter @calbucci.
You can find the whole presentation hereI would like to share some learnings we had at Founders, the Copenhagen based startup studio.Founders has been investing and helping 10 startups grow.In the process of building these companies we encountered the problem most of you might face as well:We needed: * structure * process * tacticsOut of these three the most important one: process Why?That's why we adopted the Growth Machine as a process.detailed steps in the presentation, visuals explain it best By adopting the Growth Machine at each company we gained more structure, better overview of performance and were able to maximise learnings.Most importantly: we got a better feeling of WHY growth happened.
500 Startups, known for its work as a startup accelerator, now hopes to incubate its own ideas in-house and spin them off into new companies.500 Startups essentially brings in developers and entrepreneurs in residence, giving them the resources to play around with ideas until they find one that sticks.It s not a particularly new model — there are others like Betaworks and Andy Rubin s hardware-centric Playground.500 Startups hopes to differentiate itself as a startup incubator by giving founders and developers the ability to lean on its large growth marketing team.McClure argues that it has one of the largest growth marketing teams in the VC community, giving it the ability to help spark an initial seed audience for projects that will hopefully start taking off on its own in addition to paid acquisition.500 Labs pairs up potential candidates based on their qualifications — a developer with a general manager, for example — and gives them room to try out a bunch of ideas.
Startup studio Expa has launched a new company with a focus on real estate.Called Haus, it adds transparency to the home buying and selling process, giving all parties access to real-time information on pricing and terms.The service is available today to those in California, but there are plans to roll it out to more parts of the U.S. in the future.In the world of real estate, home buys have a range of available resources, including Trulia, Zillow, and Craigslist.But when it comes to dealing with processing offers and accepting them, there s quite a bit of paperwork involved.When you get to the point of making an offer on a home, the agent deals with a lot of paperwork.They have to drop off the form, mail it in, or fax it to the seller, explained Sarah Ham, Haus general manager.
Big purchases are scary to make online without anyone there to quell your fears and answer questions.Operator s app wants to give you the same peace of mind, not with mechanical chat bot responses, but through real humans with knowledge about whatever you re buying.Today Operator 2.0 for iOS and Android beta launches with a new Discovery tab where curators assemble recommendations about their favorite products in a category, and can offer guidance about which to get.That said, bots will still help handle mundane interactions to free up experts for more subjective work.If they promote the app and rally their own social graphs to score more commissions, they could give Operator a critical growth boost.Operator emerged in April 2015 from Uber co-founder Garrett Camp s startup studio Expa.
Pinterest has acquired Instapaper, both companies have confirmed.Pinterest did not disclose the terms of the acquisition but the company said Instapaper will continue as a standalone app.Instapaper's team, including CEO Brian Donohue, will join Pinterest where they will work on both Instapaper and Pinterest products."Instapaper will work with us to continue building indexing and recommendations technologies, and we look forward to building great products together," Pinterest's lead project manager Steve Davis said in a statement.Pinterest's acquisition marks the second time Instapaper has changed hands.Startup studio Betaworks bought a majority stake in the company in 2013 after founder Marco Arment said the app had "grown far beyond what one person can do."
Launching with a marketplace for landscaping, snow plowing, and other home care and repair services, Plowz & Mowz has raised $1.5 million from the Los Angeles-based startup studio, Science.On the heels of the firm s successful exit from Dollar Shave Club, Science has turned to the marketplace industry for its next investment.The idea for the company stretches back nearly four years to one of the big snowstorms that hit co-founder Wills Mahoney s hometown of Syracuse, NY.Mahoney s mother was stuck in the family house, needing a plow to get out of her driveway, and watching spare snowplows drive by the house on their way to other jobs.From its first markets in Syracuse and Minneapolis, Plowz & Mowz has expanded to Boston, New York, Indianapolis, and Raleigh, NC.Sixty-five percent of homeowners have never hired a professional landscaper and it s primarily due to the cost of a seasonal contract, said company co-founder Andrew Englander.
In September 2014, Apple quietly acquired startup studio Typesoft Technologies, which developed a virtual keyboard called Dryft.While the Swype virtual keyboard ruled the screens on smartphones, Dryft aimed to do the same for tablets, providing a natural typing experience and enabling speeds of up to 100 words per minute on the bigger touch screens.Typesoft co-founder and chief technology officer Randy Marsden eventually moved on to serve as Apple s iOS keyboard manager after the acquisition, and now Apple officially owns the patent that powers the unique Dryft keyboard.The United States Patent and Trademark Office published on Tuesday a whopping 63 patents recently granted to Apple, one of which is called Finger Hover Detection for Improved Typing for virtual keyboards.Marsden is listed as one of the inventors along with Rob Chaplinsky, managing partner at the venture capital firm Bridgescale Partners.Apple officially acquired the patent in July despite the patent going public on Tuesday.
European startup studio eFounders is raising an additional $5.3 million €5 million from entrepreneurs and family offices.eFounders has been behind some very promising software-as-a-service startups, providing capital and financial resources for the first year or so before the startups can go and do great things on their own.In exchange, the startup studio takes a significant portion of the initial equity.In fact, I ve covered quite a lot of these companies already as they tend to have clever solutions to specific enterprise problems.Portfolio startups include Mailjet, TextMaster, Mention, Front, Aircall, illustrio, Hivy, Spendesk and Forestadmin.With today s funding round, the startup studio plans to keep going at full speed.
BuzzFeed has a new vice president leading its data science team.Gilad Lotan has a long résumé in the field, having most recently served as chief data scientist at New York-based startup studio Betaworks, and before that working in data-related roles at SocialFlow, Microsoft and Endemol.Publisher Dao Nguyen told me that this is a new role at BuzzFeed — the closest equivalent being Nguyen s old title of vice president of growth and data, which she held until her promotion two years ago.Among other things, she said she expects Lotan to significantly expand BuzzFeed s 11-person data science team next year.Nguyen suggested that there are a number of BuzzFeed initiatives where data will play an important role, including international growth and commerce.And beyond that, there s the growing importance of channels like Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube in allowing publishers like BuzzFeed to reach their audience.
Jim Kim, who most recently cofounded the venture firm Formation 8, is launching a brand-new venture firm called Builders that looks to be raising a $200 million fund, judging by a recent SEC filing.His cofounder is Paul Lee, who left the Chicago venture firm Lightbank in 2014 and last year launched a startup studio called Roniin that we wrote about last year.We wondered whether Builders meant that Lee was similarly moving on from Roniin, however, so we recently caught up with both men to ask that question, as well as ask how they came together, and what Builders — which already has an office in both San Francisco and Chicago — plans to do differently than the hundreds of other venture firms up and running.PL: We go back 15 years.But he was my first call in helping shape Roniin and he was the first investor in the platform and in five of the companies that have come out of the platform since.TC: Roniin s big idea was to take the ideas of overly busy entrepreneurs, find first-time founders to bring them to life, then give both a big chunk of the new company — backed with seed capital from Roniin.
Location has become an important and ever-present part of the mobile app experience, but for developers and marketers, understanding the information gleaned from it and how to take action can be confusing.Radar offers a tool to take all the guesswork out of using location — it ll take the data you want to collect, analyze it, and provide you with actionable results.The company is launching today with $500,000 in backing from startup studio Expa.Radar was founded last year by Nick Patrick and Coby Berman, both former employees at Foursquare.The company seeks to be what Mixpanel is to analytics, Stripe is to payments, or Twilio to communications.Developers can add an SDK to their app, establish a geofence around the area they want to target, and receive event data.The problem we re solving is that it s still too hard to build products and services with location, said Patrick in an email interview with VentureBeat.
For years, Foursquare has been building out the Pilgrim technology, which is essentially a decision-making engine that figures out where you’re going, where you’ve stopped to hang out, and what you might be interested in nearby.Up until today, Pilgrim was used almost exclusively in Foursquare and Swarm, with a select few beta partners testing out the tech.Maybe that means better tracking for Postmates delivery people, or serving up a push notification for a deal when someone enters a retail store, or even changing the difficulty and duration of the level of a game based on where a user is located.In fact, a new company called Radar recently launched out of Expa Labs — coincidentally, the same startup studio helmed by Foursquare cofounder Naveen Selvadurai.Radar was founded by former Foursquare employees, and it offers developers the chance to geofence areas and track users (without PII) to serve up contextually relevant information.However, Foursquare’s Pilgrim SDK already has those geofences set up in the form of its Places data.
p In 2016, Facebook took the bot world by storm when it opened up its Messenger platform to developers.So noticeable was the shift that New York-based startup studio Betaworks rebranded its popular Botcamp event from last year to Voicecamp this year./p p The integration of bots into our daily lives is really just getting started, so for brands and marketers joining the journey, the hyperdynamic, often polarizing views on which type of bot is best can be confusing.Should you build a voice bot or a text bot?/p p Derived from the concept of “persona,” Canadian computer scientist and researcher Bill Buxton introduced the idea of a “placeona” (place-ona) to capture how location can influence which types of interactive technology it makes sense for people to use.That’s a key point to make: Bots should not compete against each other, but work together to create a unified, seamless, delightful user experience that creates value for whichever context a user might be in.
p AI is one of the buzzwords of the moment in the world of tech, with startups coming at the concept from all angles — computer vision, machine learning, unstructured data inference and natural language processing being just a handful — in a wider effort to create more intelligent machines.Now comes a new organization that hopes to find and foster the next wave of AI businesses and products, co-founded by the ex-CEO of Evernote, Phil Libin (pictured above), who has left his role as a managing director at General Catalyst to build it (but he tells me he’ll stay on as an advisor).In an interview with TechCrunch earlier, Libin (whose other co-founders are Jessica Collier (Product Design) and Jon Cifuentes (Research and Operations) described it as “startup studio”, more akin to Netflix’s push to develop original content than to 500 Startups.It will start out with locations in San Francisco, Tokyo and Paris.The idea with All Turtles is not necessarily to seek out fully formed businesses, but to find and develop interesting concepts en route to them possibly becoming businesses (or at least good ideas that other businesses might like to buy), with people and startups collaborating together to collectively grow.This is not Libin’s first attempt to foster a group of AI startups: last year, after he parted ways with Evernote, Libin joined General Catalyst and kicked off a new project there to find, fund and grow startups building bots — tools that chatted with you, a human, using conversational artificial intelligence, to help you find information, solve a problem, order a sofa, and much more.
p If you work for a startup, chances are that you use four different software-as-a-service platforms to mange your orders, clients and products.French startup Forest started as part of eFounders’ startup studio and wants to unify all these administration interfaces into a single platform so that you don’t have to switch back and forth between all those products.Think about Forest as a sort of Squarespace for admin interfaces.It’s a visual all-in-one platform to perform the most common tasks without any particular technical knowledge.The product is divided into two main categories.On the dashboard page, you can keep an eye on your company’s metrics to see how you’re doing today, this week or this month.
Former VC Partner to Help Grow Groundbreaking Startup Studio ModelPioneer Square Labs (PSL), the Seattle-based startup studio, announced today that Julie Sandler is joining the organization as a Managing Director.She joins Greg Gottesman, Mike Galgon and Geoff Entress as the fourth member of the firm’s Managing Director group.Sandler most recently was a Partner at Madrona Venture Group, a Seattle-based venture capital firm.She served in both board director and observer capacities across several of the firm’s portfolio companies, including leading investments in Integris, Poppy and Julep.“Julie is crazy smart and brings an incredible network, but the culture fit was the most important thing to us,” said Gottesman, who worked for many years with Sandler at Madrona.
in Turku and Salo has originated more than 300 startups.the number of New businesses growing every year.Turku is the main startup environment, so the Finnish and Nordic Turku already operates a dozen startups-services to the producing companies and the community, and in addition, the region will be held in Finland one of the biggest start-up event for The Shift.Startups-services to producers of, inter alia, companies such as SparkUp, Boost Turku and Klopan Startup Studio.klopa was ceo Sebastian haapahovi according to the area high schools, thanks to the huge amount of technical knowledge.