Humanoid robots on the horizon

Plus, growing up Disney.
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Humanoid robots draw millions from Bezos, OpenAI and more | Axios

“Humanoid robot startup Figure has drawn a $675 million investment from Jeff Bezos, AI chipmaker Nvidia, ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and others. … Bipedal robots with dexterous hands are joining the labor force this year, a trend that's expected to gain steam. … There's an arms race among humanoid robot makers — which include Tesla and Boston Dynamics — to bring anthropomorphic machines into the workplace.”

The Home Depot - DIY=decorate it yourself [Partner]

Home improvement projects are fun… until you’re making 100 trips to 100 different stores for everything you need. Luckily, The Home Depot isn’t just a DIY — do it yourself — place; they’ve also got home goods so you can decorate it yourself, too. By now, you already know them as your go-to spot for tools and hardware, so why not trust them with all the other steps in your next home improvement project? That includes everything from fashionable furniture to on-trend products to style your home. And now through 3/6, you can get some of their best goods for 30% off with their Presidents’ Day event, plus free delivery on orders over $45. [Ad]

Yolk is a social app where users swap custom live stickers — no text allowed | TechCrunch

“With so much fresh competition in social apps right now it might feel like there’s precious little room to innovate in this slice of the consumer market. But the creators of a new iOS app called Yolk are joining the fray, spying an opportunity to hook into recent developments in on-device AI and attract a younger demographic. In this playful arena, no text can be typed. Users have to message each other visually, sending custom live stickers the AI tools enable them to make. The goal: Channel kids’ energy to be creative about how they socialize by giving them low friction tools to express their individuality.”

Adobe’s new prototype generative AI tool is the “Photoshop” of music-making and editing | The Verge

“Adobe’s latest generative AI experiment aims to help people create and customize music without any professional audio experience. Announced during the Hot Pod Summit in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Project Music GenAI Control is a new prototype tool that allows users to generate music using text prompts and then edit that audio without jumping over to dedicated editing software.”

Rad AI - The future of AI marketing is here, and you’re invited to be a part of it [Partner]

Just ask any digital marketer: guessing plays a pretty big role in content strategizing. From deciding which content will engage customers most or which audiences to target — guesswork is often the name of the game. But it doesn’t have to be. Imagine an AI that removes the uncertainty and replaces it with cold-hard facts and data that actually gets brands pushing their social content in the right direction. RAD Ai is the solution — and it needs your investment to keep fueling its already successful platform. How successful? Just ask their newest big-name clients like Hasbro, Skechers, Sweetgreen, or Accenture. With 3X growth in 2023 alone, $27 million raised, and more than 6,500 backers, we’d say it’s a pretty sound investment. Plus, with 20% bonus shares available for a limited time, it seems kinda silly not to. [Ad]

The “Disney adult” industrial complex | New Statesman

“Before Sarah Rachul was a Disney adult, she was a Disney baby. ‘I don’t really ever remember a time when the Disney movies or characters weren’t a part of my life,’ says the 29-year-old account director, who is based in Ohio. … Rachul is a proud ‘Disney adult’ – a nebulous and often pejorative term for a grown-up who is a fervent fan of the Walt Disney Company. … Whether Disney adults are embarrassing or enchanting is largely a matter of opinion. What is missing from endless social media comment sections is the fact that they are a creation of the Walt Disney Company – a character constructed just as carefully as Elsa or Donald Duck.”

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JP’s Startup Corner: Top Entrepreneurship Trends for 2024

Startup Corner: Should I raise money for my startup or bootstrap?

When I founded StackCommerce, I had no savings, no connections, no family money. So how did I do it? I networked with other entrepreneurs at meetups in San Francisco and pitched software engineers on my idea until I found one who liked it enough to become my co-founder and help build it for equity. The key aspect was that I moved to a city where a lot of engineers and entrepreneurs gathered. It was part luck and part planning. From there, I picked an industry and business model where we could generate sales and revenue right away (like e-commerce) versus one that would take much longer to monetize (like social media). Eventually, we grew enough to raise a small seed round from angel investors like Tim Draper and others, but I didn’t want to lose control, so we focused on profitability from there on out. I like to say we “seed-strapped” the company to success, and it’s the path that worked for us, but ultimately it depends on your business model, financial needs, and risk tolerance.