A few slots still remain for free AngelNV bootcamp – KTNV Las Vegas


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A few slots still remain for free AngelNV bootcamp  KTNV Las Vegas

Meet Asha Grant: The Founder Of Black Feminist Literary Hub To Be ‘The Salt Eaters Book Shop’ – Forbes


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Meet Asha Grant: The Founder Of Black Feminist Literary Hub To Be ‘The Salt Eaters Book Shop’  Forbes

Chicago’s venture-capital and private-equity firms 2020 – Crain’s Chicago Business


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Chicago’s venture-capital and private-equity firms 2020  Crain’s Chicago Business

With a new general partner and without Alexis Ohanian, Initialized Capital garners $230 million for fund five – TechCrunch


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With a new general partner and without Alexis Ohanian, Initialized Capital garners $230 million for fund five  TechCrunch

Local VC leads $1.1M fundraise for Virginia social networking startup – San Antonio Business Journal


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Local VC leads $1.1M fundraise for Virginia social networking startup  San Antonio Business Journal

The Surface Deuce


This post is by M.G. Siegler from 500ish - Medium

The oddness of Microsoft’s Surface Duo

I am confused. Microsoft did a press blitz for their Surface Duo device this week and… I don’t understand anything. About the product. The strategy. The goal.

Look, I think the foldable tablets on Westworld look cool too. But if this is that, it sure seems like the prehistoric version of it. Granted, I think it looks and sounds better than Samsung’s gimmicky foldable phones, but only just. At least with a phone you can make the argument that folding a big screen to be pocketable makes some conceptual sense. This is decidedly not a phone. Because Microsoft insists it’s not. Even though it runs Android and can make phone calls. Listening to Microsoft, it’s not a tablet either. It’s something new.

Well maybe it is. Or maybe it isn’t. Cnet’s Scott Stein spoke with Microsoft’s Panos Panay on the matter:

Panay seemed hesitant to call the Duo a new device category, because it really isn’t. It’s an Android phone. Or, a tablet. “It really is five years of invention … we just have a belief that there’s a new category here,” Panay adds.

What it actually is, at least right now, is not real.¹ Speaking of that Cnet article, it has to be one of the most remarkable “first looks” I’ve ever read:

This isn’t a working version of the Microsoft Surface Duo being unveiled today. This is a special see-through prototype sent to me in advance just so I can see the circuits and feel how the hinge works.

I had to check the date of the article. Was this a piece from a year ago? Nope. It’s from this week. Less than a month until it supposedly ships. Pre-orders started yesterday. Hope you’re feeling lucky, punk.

Well, at least Wired’s Lauren Goode got a look at the thing in action — remotely.² She notes another oddity:

Now Microsoft is trying to sell an ultraportable two-in-one at a time when many of us are going exactly nowhere. For the digital employee, work has officially been redefined as WFH, and our days are structured by whatever screen we have to use at any given hour. The move from a 6-inch screen to a 13-inch one, and later in the evening to a 50-inch screen or 10-inch one, is the delineator between work and leisure. Now, Microsoft wants to wedge its way into your living room and onto your couch, instead of your train ride and your office.

People criticize the iPad as a “tweener” device, still, after all these years and insane success. So I don’t know what to make of this. Maybe there’s a market for this type of thing — again, I want the Westworld foldable tablet! — but to Goode’s point, it feels like Microsoft made this for a world in which we’re not actually living. One more thing — the most important thing:

Microsoft may very well be able to make the case that two screens are better than a single screen, especially when it comes to switching between apps. But the Duo’s starting price of $1,399 will also turn off many a potential buyer. Early pandemic concerns about supply chain disruptions in the tech industry eventually gave way to daunting concerns about consumer demand. Many millions of people in the US are unemployed, the pandemic is still raging, and, by the way, you can get a pretty good Android phone right now for around $400. At a thousand dollars more than that, the Duo is a tall order.

I’ll say. Again, this is a device for which Microsoft is shipping transparent shells to test out the look and feel of the hinge. Who wants to hit the craps table after this? As with Samsung’s aforementioned foldable phones, it feels like you’re paying a ton of money to beta test something. Which, look, godspeed. But that’s not how Microsoft is trying to frame this. This is the future of computing.³ On the go. When you’re stuck at home.

The iPad mini starts at $399. It can run two apps side-by-side.⁴ It may not fold, but where the hell are you going anyway?

Is anyone going to hold it like this? That looks uncomfortable.

¹ What’s especially odd is that there were hands-on impressions with the device a year ago, when it was first announced. What has taken them so long, even in the age of COVID, I have no idea. And why no hands-on now beyond hollowed-out Duos, I really have no idea.

² You can watch the “closed door” video briefing for the press yourself, here. It’s also a bit weird.

³ And none of this is to talk of the confusion of this being a Surface device — let alone a Microsoft device — that doesn’t run Windows, it runs Android. On one hand, that’s smart — that’s where the apps are. On the other, one could argue that the reason no Android tablets have taken off in the way that the iPad has is because there are no apps built for those form factors, as they are for the iPad. We’ll see what happens here, but Microsoft is obviously touting the idea of running two regular (read: phone) apps side-by-side. Maybe that’s interesting — but is it $1,399 interesting? Of course not. This thing needs to be sub-$500, then we can talk.

⁴ And the screen size is actually similar — 8.1" for the Duo versus 7.9" for the iPad mini. (And the rumored next iPad mini will likely have a larger display thanks to a reduction in bezels, something which the Duo doubles down on.)


The Surface Deuce was originally published in 500ish on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Chilean Venture Capital Firm Says it Acquired DirecTV Venezuela – Bloomberg


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Chilean Venture Capital Firm Says it Acquired DirecTV Venezuela  Bloomberg

SF coffee shop and famed tech meeting hub The Creamery to close permanently – SF Gate


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SF coffee shop and famed tech meeting hub The Creamery to close permanently  SF Gate

Huron Capital in Detroit Purchases Insurance Group in Bloomfield Hills – dbusiness.com


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Huron Capital in Detroit Purchases Insurance Group in Bloomfield Hills  dbusiness.com

Transaction in Own Shares and Total Voting Rights and Capital – StreetInsider.com


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Transaction in Own Shares and Total Voting Rights and Capital  StreetInsider.com

Transaction in Own Shares and Total Voting Rights and Capital – Yahoo Finance


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Transaction in Own Shares and Total Voting Rights and Capital  Yahoo Finance

Private equity investing in Mexico – Lexology


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Private equity investing in Mexico  Lexology

Atomwise raises $123M to expand AI-powered drug design efforts – FierceBiotech


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Atomwise raises $123M to expand AI-powered drug design efforts  FierceBiotech

A beginner’s guide to diversity, equity and inclusion – TechCrunch


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A beginner’s guide to diversity, equity and inclusion  TechCrunch

Fortnite maker accuses Apple of being “more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear” in a lawsuit – Fortune


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Fortnite maker accuses Apple of being “more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear” in a lawsuit  Fortune

Tech Moves: Intellectual Ventures exec departs; Shujinko grows leadership team; and more – GeekWire


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Tech Moves: Intellectual Ventures exec departs; Shujinko grows leadership team; and more  GeekWire

Indonesian fishery startup secures more funding from existing shareholders – SeafoodSource


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Indonesian fishery startup secures more funding from existing shareholders  SeafoodSource

A Power Couple With a $50M Venture Fund for the Overlooked – OZY


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A Power Couple With a $50M Venture Fund for the Overlooked  OZY

Private equity investing in Austria – Lexology


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Private equity investing in Austria  Lexology

13% Yield, SBA Green Light, Selling At Book Value: Capital Southwest Corp. – Seeking Alpha


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13% Yield, SBA Green Light, Selling At Book Value: Capital Southwest Corp.  Seeking Alpha