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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - July 14, 2016

By Christopher Steiner  •  Jul 14, 2016

FundersClub Portfolio News

Instacart continues to expand its reach, landing an agreement to deliver groceries using the Instacart platform for Publix, the alpha grocery retailer in the southeastern United States. Deliveries will begin in the Miami area in mid July. Publix teams up with Instacart on grocery delivery

Cleartax is preparing for a deluge of new customers during the upcoming Indian tax return season. The company is planning to handle 10x the demand of last year, while also cutting operations costs by 5x. Exclusive: ClearTax buckles up to service 10x demand this tax season

Investor Thoughts

Sam Altman of Y Combinator describes what kinds of challenges successful startups will face 12-24 months in. This is when challenges to founders go past product and extend to management. Later Stage Advice for Startups

David Cheng of DCM Ventures says that the purpose of a bot should be to replace a human, not another application. Don’t Build a Bot Unless it Replaces a Human

Mahesh Vellanki of Redpoint Ventures examines the speed at which different internet companies reached their IPOs. The median time is eight years, but no matter the timeline, public markets value high growth and huge market opportunities, and any company that exhibits those characteristics will be met with enthusiasm, at least until its growth falters.Here's How Fast Internet Companies Need To Grow To Get Public

Alex Iskold of Techstars writes about how every single startup, every single business, has a kind of interface that it offers to the world—and even if you're not an engineer or a product manager, it can be helpful to think of your business as an API. What is the API for your startup?

Jerry Neumann of Neu VC writes that Augmented reality will prove to be a far more fertile area for VC investors than that of virtual reality. The key is the medium in which the media is presented. AR will be startup dominated, VR will not

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Anant Kale of Appzen says it’s important to make distinctions between a bot and today’s A.I.-powered intelligent assistants. Intelligent assistants go beyond bots to perform tasks that assist the user. The future isn’t bots, it’s intelligent assistants. Don’t call them chatbots, call them intelligent assistants

John-Henry Scherck of DocSend describes the kinds of events that signal when a prospective customer has hit an inflection point in the sales process, and when it's best to approach them to move a deal forward. How To Use & Personalize Sales Triggers to Start Meaningful Conversations

John Vars of TaskRabbit writes about how startup founders need to keep their own biases out of major directional decisions for their company. To do this, he says, it's helpful to imagine an objective observer who sits in on strategy meetings and draws his own conclusions. Startup Decisions: The Troll in the Middle of the Table

Henry Ward of eShares explains why his company split itself into four units that operates with their own P/Ls. Within each division, just like a separate company, there should be a trifecta of people who run the startup—a person representing each of Business, Product, and Engineering. Founders Wanted

Francesco Marconi, the strategy manager of The Associated Press writes that the secret of success isn't grounded in luck or serendipity, but in a proven formula that can be seen in the rise of Jack Dorsey, and the continued hits created by product maker 3M. Success is not a matter of luck—it’s an algorithm

In Other News

Pokémon Go mania has gripped the United States, New Zealand and Australia just one week after being released by Nintendo. To play Pokémon Go, users roam their neighborhoods or towns looking for Pokémon characters to pop up on their screen and then capture those characters.NYTimes: Pokémon Go Mania Could Signal a Bright Future for Augmented Reality

Theranos received less scrutiny than other tech companies such as Uber when the blood testing company was raising a total of $600 million at a valuation of $9 billion. Fortune: Why Blood Test Startup Theranos Raised Money So Easily

Brain hacking may have the exact opposite effect of what was intended, say 39 neurology researchers in an open signed letter to brain hackers who have gained publicity and notice in publications such as WIRED and The Economist. Caution, May Backfire: Neuroscientists' Open Letter To DIY Brain Hackers

Neural Networks have become integral to the inner workings of logic and applications belonging to Facebook, Google and others. As the web's bots get smarter about us as individuals, the chance for confrontation with the European Union increases, as their laws closely guard and value anything that can be viewed as personal data. WIRED: Artificial Intelligence Is Setting Up the Internet for a Huge Clash With Europe

Did You Know?

The NASA spacecraft Juno spent five years traveling to Jupiter, arriving last week to gain position in orbit around our solar system's largest planet. Juno is now in a stable position, traveling 130,000 miles per hour around what most scientists believe to be the first planet created after the sun. The craft will probe Jupiter for radiation, water and the presence of a rocky core. Scott Bolton, Juno's principal investigator, says, "This is the hardest thing NASA has ever done." The New York Times