HomePod, Amazon Go and More
"Yesterday the Amazon Go concept store in Seattle opened to the public, filled with sandwiches, salads, snacks, various groceries, and even beer and wine (Recode has a great set of pictures here). The trick is that you don’t pay, at least in person: a collection of cameras and sensors pair your selection to your Amazon account — registered at the door via smartphone app — which rather redefines the concept of 'grab-and-go.'"
Ben Thompson, Stratechery
"In the world of smart speakers, Apple is uncharacteristically late to the party. The increasingly crowded, and competitive, market has been dominated by Amazon, Google, and, more recently, Sonos, each of which has vied to control the sound waves (and choice of virtual assistant) in your apartment for months and, in some cases, years."
Madeline Buxton, Refinery29
"Something has changed inside Apple Retail stores. On a recent trip to my local Apple Store on a Sunday afternoon, it was actually difficult to get up close to the Apple Watch tables. People were looking at and buying various Apple Watch models and bands. It brought back memories of the early hoopla found when trying out iPad for the first time. Just two years ago, the lack of crowds around the Apple Watch tables led people to wonder if the Apple Watch was a misfire. Something is changing when it comes to the way people are thinking about Apple Watch."
Neil Cybart, Above Avalon
"In May 2015, The New Yorker published a profile of the Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen. In it, writer Tad Friend joined Andreessen in his living room to watch an episode of Halt & Catch Fire, the AMC drama chronicling the rise of personal computing in the early 1980s. The scene provided an intimate window into the billionaire’s home life. Friend described a powder room toilet so opulent it wasn’t immediately clear how to flush it; the rooms were grand to accommodate Andreessen’s gigantic presence. Friend chronicled the endearing flourish with which the investor’s wife presented dinner—omelettes and Thai salads for two, served on Costco TV trays. Andreessen’s obsession with a punk software prodigy shed light on his self-conception as a man aligned with the industry’s outsiders."
Jessi Hempel, Wired
"Traditional banking services have fallen flat for an enormous segment of the population — whether because they’re “unbanked,” or because the state of those services makes it even more expensive to be poor. Why are so many low-income populations — both in the U.S. and around the world — left behind?
"In this talk delivered at our most recent annual a16z Summit in November 2017, Angela Strange shares what’s happening and why; how we might address the problem; and where this creates opportunities… Because this is also about leading indicators of what comes next in financial services, too."
Angela Strange, Andreesen Horowitz
Bonus: A reenactment of my life
Header Photo from Refinery29