#Digest — Issue №5: A newsletter about interesting things I discover in tech.

2017 has been an incredibly busy year, but I plan to start sending #Digest on a weekly basis.

Speaking of #Digest, I’m going to roll out new branding soon and the primary focus of the newsletter will be the mobile space.

Why mobile?!

VC’s and entrepreneurs have shifted much of their attention to emerging platforms like AR, machine learning, and autonomous transportation.

I’m fascinated by those topics and will cover them at times, but I believe the mobile space has so much innovation “waiting to be discovered” — and I want to help us explore those ideas.

You can subscribe to the newsletter and get a friendly email when I publish new issues here: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/jmj

“Alexa, what can I ask you to do again?!”

Recode published a fascinating breakdown of discovery and retention challenges with Voice Apps — and all key metrics are much worse than mobile apps.

The biggest issue right now is that consumers aren’t discovering new Alexa commands, and when they do, retention is very weak. A few key ideas:

  • Amazon must quickly solve these discovery issues if they expect developers to keep building on the Alexa platform.
  • If Amazon fails to nurture their developer ecosystem by helping them build and monetize their audiences, the platform will be at risk.
  • The biggest question that Amazon will have to figure out: how can Alexa developers earn money on the platform? Money speaks for developers of all sizes, and the strategy isn’t clear yet.

All things considered, I’m very bullish on the Alexa OS and voice as the next big platform, and it will be fascinating to see how this plays out.

#Startup I’m loving right now: Clarke.AI

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I’ve been excited about Clarke.ai for a long time and have been giving product feedback to Shishir and Chris (their founders) since September.

Clarke.ai is a personal assistant (artificial intelligence…not a real human) who takes notes during your conference calls.

Teams can add Clarke.ai to calendar invites and receive beautiful meetings notes (see example below) delivered to their platform of choice.

Shishir and team are expanding the concept soon and have an amazing product roadmap ahead. Try the product and let me know what you think!

On the #Snapchat IPO

Think about the platforms and channels that they explored: augmented reality, hardware & fashion, virtual gifts, voice & video calling and their bread and butter —insanely fun mobile communication.

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That said, it’s undeniable that Instagram negatively impacted Snapchat’s growth by releasing Instagram Stories in November 2016.

App Annie data reveals a decline in downloads for Snapchat — starting when Instagram Stories was released in August 2016.

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ValuePenguin had a great breakdown of the Instagram vs. Snap rivalry last week, and it’s hard to argue with the data.

All things considered, I’ve learned to never bet against the Snapchat product team, even as growth slows and skeptics debate whether their stock will become the next Twitter.

Snap has one of the most innovative product teams in the world right now, and they’ll continue to build fun products that users love.

I encourage you to read the Snap S-1 if you have time — it is fascinating: Snap Inc. Form S-1 Registration Statement.

And yes, I will likely invest in SNAP at some point after the IPO.

Subscribe to #Digest. I’ll do the hard work of reading a shit ton of articles and will send you emails with the best things I discover: Subscribe to the newsletter

Written by

Founder and investor @ChapterOne. Previously led revenue @Tinder ($MTCH). Became #1 top grossing app. Follow me @jmj.

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