Timmy Cook Kills Your App And Wins AI

New format. WWDC feelings. Little brother OpenAI. New Live Event. New Podcast.

Getting out of the news aggregation game because it’s undifferentiated and lame. From now on you’ll get exclusive memes (because I make them), exclusive “this is what I’m thinking about” links and commentary (because I think it / write it), and exclusive Sandhill live events / pre-recorded interviews (because we do them ourselves). Thanks for sticking around as we continue to iterate here. This feels like final form.

Timmy with prayer hands is the last thing your promising app sees before it dies.

Apple WWDC is happening and you there a million recaps to read if you’re into that. The official Apple website for it is here. I haven’t been following very closely outside of the “killing startups” and “Apple Intelligence” headlines. Main thing I’m hearing/feeling there is that after all the moaning about how Apple isn’t doing enough AI stuff (which I contributed to) they’re now suddenly at the head of the pack again. Apple just isn’t really incentivized to “innovate” in a world where they have a strangle hold on distribution. They can just wait for OpenAI to do the work and then partner. Once Siri is good I’ll stop using the chatgpt app.

I wrote about what this means for startup aspirations more generally a few weeks ago, but I think it says something for software as a whole if the best you can ever do is get swallowed by a bigger player. That’s not to say you can’t still build a massive / world changing company quickly - see OpenAI doubling revenue to $3.4B - but there is something a bit different there than in tech past paradigm shifts that birthed Gates and Jobs. Even with all his power - Sam Altman and OpenAI aren’t really at the big boy table. They can contractually protect themselves, but if Apple goes in house once the AI race is over we’ll all forget about that fun AI project that was worth 3% of Apple.

I’m not the first one to say this, but I think this is what is pushing more ambitious founders (and funders) towards hardware. Right when I was getting the hang of this whole software investing thing too!

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What’s “interchange” you ask? ChatGPT: In the context of payment systems, interchange refers to the fee paid between banks for the acceptance of card-based transactions. This fee is typically paid by the merchant's bank (acquirer) to the cardholder's bank (issuer) and is a component of the costs associated with processing card payments.

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Ed was a member of the original growth team at Facebook, and a software engineer at Plaxo and Citadel Investment Group. Now, he is the Founder and Managing Partner of Alpine Ventures, a San Francisco based technology venture capital firm.

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