Her(e) For Real

What a time to be alive! I'm still wrapping my head around the next wave of possibilities AI is creating. For better or worse. OpenAI released ChatGPT, which is optimised for dialogue, and I must admit the hype is real! Folks went all out testing, as you can see for yourself in this thread. AI will become your new assistant or co-pilot who helps write code and take over the world. The use cases are mind-boggling! In the future, you'll know it's me writing these blogs cuz my "Denglish" will never be perfect. To stay in the loop of AI, I recommend subscribing to Ben's Bites. Your daily dose of AI madness!

Life After Lifestyle

It's such a joy to read this essay from Toby Shorin that accurately captures the zeitgeist of today's digital natives. He argues that the era of D2C lifestyle brands has passed, and what comes next is a new world of belief, faith, and meaning... leaving us with many questions like; What types of culture are worth creating? What types of people do we want to become? In the end we are all longing for more connection right?! Still, it will take a few more years before web3-enabled community projects become the status quo. Best thing to do in the meantime is to pick up the phone and call someone you love.

Most Startups Fail

Most startups fail, they say. Even though this is common knowledge, it still sucks when it happens. I'm experiencing this myself (again) as I'm closing down Adelee, the company I started in 2019. Failure is an overwhelming emotion. It feels like letting down everyone who believes in you. Investors, family & friends are all losing money and time, employees losing jobs, and the folks who tested apps are all left with... nothing.

Even though this adventure will be added to my long list of failed attempts, it won't discourage me going forward. It's far more thrilling and fulfilling to be the one who might mess up than to be someone who... doesn't. I'm far too grateful I've been given the privilege of being wrong in the first place. I like participating in life.

You win sum you dim sum.

The Early Bird Gets The Worm

When investing, I prefer early-stage tech companies where I can help people from day one. More specifically, pre-seed & seed stage. I like this phase cuz it's when most of the magic happens. It's more about creating and less about numbers. Building things with like-minded people to solve problems or needs is a meaningful thing to spend time on.

Hence it's a humbling experience to see founders I've backed raise more funding to continue their journeys. Shoutout to Speedinvest for taking the lead in Drop, kudos to Adriaan for cleaning up the cap table at Formitable, and hooray Blue Farm for closing this round. Significant achievements, especially now the market is all over the place.

If you're a struggling entrepreneur reading this and VCs are being a bitch, find one that isn't or consider alternative routes like Calm Fund. Another option is to extend your runway with a bridge loan. Browse the Operator Exchange to find more angels and keep trying. Here's some musical encouragement courtesy of Jill Scott.

Rethinking Labels

You're probably tired of all web3 bullshit but bear with me. I'm fascinated by the concept of a Metalabel, which Yancey coined in this mega-clarifying article. Yes, the name kinda sucks, and this type of organisation (a coop) isn't new, yet the timing is right! We now have the technology to support groups of people who share the same interests and collaboratively make, support, and release projects. MSCHF is the obvious one, but check Ampled for musicians, Obscura for photographers or Unnamed Fund for art. All are examples of squad wealth! Cool thing is... anyone can create a DAO using Syndicate.

The Age of Co-Creation With AI

There are a lot of AI-generated visuals poppin' up on the socials these days. Dall•E 2 from OpenAI is making waves. Even more mind-boggling stuff is coming from folks using Midjourney. Laszlito co-created a Batman rendered in a victorian era style, and Jacob Grubbe went for a full series called Sandstorm Samurai. No wonder Nando Costa wrote about the age of co-creation with AI. Undoubtedly, AI will change how we go about the creative process. For better or worse, writing prompts will be one of the primary ways art is created in the future. I'm sure there's a quote for that...

What Is A Browser?

Shiiiiiat, Microsoft retired the Internet Explorer after 27 years of service. The end of an era. I remember back in 2009 when Google successfully tried to take over the market with Chrome, asking people what a browser is. I wonder which answers we would get these days. Do people even care? Mozilla still cares. Maybe the browser evolution is cyclical since new kids on the block, like Mighty and The Browser Company, are now challenging the status quo. Anyway... shout out to IE! We've shared many good times in between those blue screens before I went on Safari.

From Strength to Strength

Wow! This Super Soul episode resonated deeply. Oprah talks to Arthur Brooks, who explains that we can set ourselves up for joy and deepening purpose when we're older by refocusing our priorities and habits. My main takeaway from this conversation would be: use things, love people and worship the divine. The only growth that matters is personal.

Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.

William Gibson

Music NFTs Are A Thing

A lot is happening at the intersection of music and technology. Recently, Water & Music released a report on 2021 music NFT sales, covering over $86 million in revenue and insights into the different forms of utility emerging in the format. Based on this tweet, things seem to be looking more positive for artists. Explore Nina, Catalog, and Sound or browse Mirror for exciting collaborations. It's the tip of the iceberg where music is going, whether the industry likes it or not. One still needs 100 true fans, though.

Rhapsody in #0000FF

You might have noticed the blue links around here. It's a nod to the web back in the days and the promise or potential of what lay on the other side of that blue text. Ever wondered why hyperlinks turned out blue? You're not alone. Elise Blanchard went down the rabbit hole, searching for who made it blue. The result is an entertaining history lesson about the www and a resounding theory of the blue hyperlink.