Is a Data Privacy Law Realistically Feasible to Pass in Congress?

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Hello, and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines. This is our Monday show, where we dig into the weekend and take a peek at the week that is to come. Now that we are finally past Y Combinator’s demo day — though our Friday show is worth listening if you haven’t had a chance yet — we can dive into the latest news. So, this morning on Equity Monday we got into the chance that the United States might pass a real data privacy law. There’s movement to report, but we’re still very, very far from anything becoming law.

“Collaborative Journals Come to Life with Retro: The Premier Photo-Sharing App for Best Friends”

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It’s a flexible way to share photos with your favorite people and create visual records of whatever matters in your life. Retro’s main feature is a way to share your most important photos of the past week with your favorite people. Retro’s answer to this use-case is journals: A new flexible way to share photos as a group. You can also have a journal with your partner to share important moments you’ve spent together without spamming all your friends on Retro. Building a social consumer app involves many experimentations — and journals are one of those experimentations.

Amber Introduces Solution for Tesla Owners’ Lapsed Warranties

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One Bay Area startup called Amber thinks it can help them navigate that minefield, starting with Tesla owners. When owners file a claim, Amber works with qualified repair shops to find the right parts and fix what’s wrong, and will transport the vehicle. AmberCare is the latest addition to a growing economy built around used EVs. One group is anyone who is looking to buy a used EV but is scared away by the thought of expensive, time-consuming repairs. There are other unexpected things to consider in the process of repairing an EV that Pak thinks AmberCare can help with, like transportation.

Lizcore’s Simplistic Sport Tracking System: Ideal for Indoor Climbers’ Practicality

Lizcore, a sport tracking startup out of Barcelona, caught our eye on the 4YFN show floor at MWC this week. Lizcore’s system requires gyms to buy in and install its smart base units and top-out holds for each boulder problem. It’s activity and progress tracking with minimal effort so climbers can concentrate on the real work — of training, climbing, sending and repeating. So climbers could even use the minimalist wearable to forget having to bring their own wallets to the gym. Lizcore says the system gives gyms data about quiet vs busy times for different climbing areas and walls.

The Importance of Sustainable Growth for Achieving Success

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It’s a story as old as time: Startup founder raises giant sack of that sweet, sweet VC money. If you throw enough money at advertising, anyone can get the growth chart to go up and to the right. But the thing is, you need to find the right way to do growth, and that’s a lot harder. In his new book, “Growth Levers and How to Find Them,” he makes a case for finding the right way to sell your product. And that actually worked.

“CES Showcases Cutting-Edge AI Products: Voice Synthesis and Fertility Tracking Among the Top Standouts”

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“AI” was everywhere this year at CES; you couldn’t swing a badge without hitting some company claiming generative AI was going to revolutionize your sleep, teeth, or business. But a few applications of machine learning stood out as genuinely helpful or surprising — here are a few examples of AI that might actually do some good. These folks can whisper just fine, but not speak — often having to rely on a decidedly last-century electronic voice box. The rabbit r1 got a fair amount of hype at CES, as a candy-colored pocket AI assistant should. If you can talk, you can get things done — and if you use Whispp, you don’t even need to talk!

“AI: Neither Evil Nor Intelligent Yet Undeniably Omnipresent”

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Instead, it’s settling into a place where its use is already commonplace, even for purposes for which it’s frankly ill-suited. The doomerism vs. e/acc debate continues apace, with all the grounded, fact-based arguments on either side that you can expect from the famously down-to-earth Silicon Valley elites. Witness everything always, forever, but if you’re looking for specifics, self-driving is a very handy recent one, as is VR and the metaverse. Utopian vs. dystopian debates in tech always do what they’re actually intended to do, which is distract from having real conversations about the real, current-day impact of technology as it’s actually deployed and used. Use of generative AI, according to most recent studies, is fairly prevalent and growing, especially among younger users.