Thursday, June 14, 2018

Snailmail: GDPR, Duplex, Forcasting CAC in DTC Products and other food for thought...

Slow Ventures Snailmail

 Snailmail: GDPR, Duplex, Forecasting CAC in DTC Products and other food for thought...

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Welcome back to Slow Snailmail. Got this forwarded and want to subscribe? Go to:
🧐GDPR  Fun fact, did you know that you can violate GDPR by sending an update to your users about GDPR?  As you probably saw hundreds of times over and over in privacy policy updates in your inbox, the new European privacy framework recently came into force in the last few weeks.  It is somewhat amazing to find ourselves in a place where a bunch of American internet companies opting-in to letting the EU be their defacto regulator.  This doesn't feel like it will end well.

🤖Google Duplex Wowed everyone…if you haven't seen it, you should check it out.  Sam wrote a brief response to it for those that think we are days away from the robots taking over on the Fin blog

🔗Taxing Attention It is interesting to see product shots fired by Google and Apple on the issue of digital media and internet 'addiction' (with Apple's screen time tracker).  There have been all sorts of proposals floated about new forms of taxation for the digital economy like Chris Hughes's data-tax idea…but are we just going to end up with an attention tax?  If Attention is a social good then maybe you do (though, of course, that would only put further pressure on monetizing it!)

🥩Understanding DTC CAC in a FB Acquisition World We have a lot of DTC consumer brands in our portfolio.  We believe that the internet opens up huge amounts of opportunity for them… We also believe that Facebook, in particular, is very good for bootstrapping companies early on when they have no brand awareness and potentially no keyword specific obvious demand…  But, there is a catch to watch out for… Facebook is great at finding and delivering your first customers, but they are so good that they can basically find almost anyone to buy almost anything, and you are left not knowing how deep the market ever is that you are fishing in, or when the cost of acquiring new customers might all of a sudden spike.  

🛴An SF government official walks out of her apartment, looks down, and sees 2 homeless people, 4 shits, 5 used needles, and 3 electric scooters...which needs to go? SPOILER ALERT: it's the only one not related to the others! Bird hunting culture is starting to impact our on!

💵Is Coinbase creating a centralized or decentralized financial system?

😂Wall Street Douche Bags versus Fleece Vests...same same but different

🤔 Slow Summer Reading List

Keeping with the tradition of notable figures like Bill Gates and Oprah releasing summer reading lists, the team at Slow wanted to share the literature that has been keeping us most captivated these hot summer nights:

1.  The Day The Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers
2.  Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney
3.  The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
4.  I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde
5.  If I Built A House by Chris Van Dusen
6.  Stella, Star Of The Sea by Marie-Louise Gay
7.  If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
8.  Up The Creek by Nicholas Oldland
9.  Steam Train Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker
10. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Looking to hire entry level full stack software engineers? Shoot an email to Elie Schoppik at!

After teaching together at other coding schools, Elie Schoppik and Matt Lane grew frustrated by the landscape. They felt that many for-profit education models were focusing on aggressive scaling to the detriment of the student experience. This misplaced focus took many forms: filling classes with upwards of 40 students, hiring inexperienced developers to teach, trying to teach the same content in different markets even if those markets had different needs, and so on.

Elie and Matt built a boutique coding bootcamp called Rithm School that put the student experience first. Their classes are capped at 16 students and they hire only extremely qualified educators and developers to teach. Small classes also give them the bandwidth to do things that larger programs can't, like give students a month of contract experience on production codebases.

Working with speech-to-text? AssemblyAI has released the next version of their API which is more accurate than Google at transcribing audio of all types. If you're transcribing phone calls, videos, podcasts, or any type of speech in your product, they'd love to give you access to the API. You can read more about the API here, and email the founder Dylan directly at

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