Low/no-code is democratizing creation and shifting power into the hands of the designer. Here’s how design tool startups will evolve.

Special thanks to the many designers, investors, founders, and startup operators who spoke with me over the last few months about the space: Paul, Toby, Mark, James, Toi, Frances, Erhan, Alison, Jill, Matt, Yiliu, Darren, and others.

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In this post, I’ll be discussing…

  1. How the definition of a designer has evolved over time
  2. Why the Figmas, Miros, and Zeplins of the world are just the tip of the opportunity iceberg
  3. Key inflection points happening in the design tool space
  4. What successful design tools of the future will look like

Democratization of Creation & Resulting Power Shifts

Ten years ago, TechRepublic published an article describing the advent of the decade of the developer, after years of tech progress being largely propelled by IT professionals. This may not seem prescient now given the market has grown into 26M software developers across the world, but back then this was not a crystal clear future. From a survey of CIOs in 2010 on developers vs. …

At what point does fiction become dangerous? Here’s how technology weaponized information, creating a niche for cybersecurity startups in the truth economy.

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Thank you to the founders, investors, operators, and academics who have chatted with me about the space over the last several months: Bill Coughran, Maggie Engler, Isabella Garcia-Carmargo, Vas Natarajan, Gordon Crovitz, Steven Brill, Dan Brahmy, Théo Lepage-Richer, and others.

A Never-Ending Fairytale

As children, we’re told bedtime stories to help us fall asleep at night. Stories about mythical creatures, princes and princesses, and unsung superheroes take us to an alternate reality, a more comfortable reality. There, everything is better — we’re more adventurous, life is more exciting, and we always win the battle between good and evil.

But what happens when we grow up? For most, the storytelling ceases and is reserved only for fictional novels, TV shows, and cinema. For others, the storytelling never stops. They live in it, taking misleading headlines and fake news as ground truth. While this is sometimes harmless, like feeling a little better about a glass of red wine they had the night before, it can also lead to dangerous precedents, like COVID-19 conspiracy theorists being more likely to refuse to wear masks.

You can see my original article on the Two Sigma Ventures blog here. Thank you Mickey, Villi, Colin, Dan, Lindsey, Frances, and Natalie for helping review!

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Market landscape of healthcare startups that will shape the post-pandemic future.

Though we’ve had our fair share of global health outbreaks in recent history, COVID-19 most closely parallels the 1918 flu pandemic in scale and impact — a once-in-a-hundred-years type of black swan event. Overwhelmed hospital systems, a lack of extensive contact tracing, enforced mask coverings, and quarantine and isolation were all hallmarks of the 1918 experience, which is not too different from what we’re seeing today. But if there’s any silver lining that comes out of these pandemics, we believe it’s human ingenuity. In 1918, this took the form of much-needed healthcare system overhauls across the globe: Rather than relying on self-employed private doctors and religious groups, many countries shifted towards varying degrees of increased government and public intervention. …

Special thanks to Lucy Wang for her mentorship on this topic!

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Startups addressing threat of adversarial attacks along the AI/ML value chain.

More than 4,300 AI startups have raised equity funding since 2014, raising over $26.6B in 2019 alone. As we continue to burn through an almost decade-long funnel of VC funding into the next “AI for ____” startup, these applications have become increasingly palpable at the consumer level — evident in controversial facial recognition plays, helpful AI physician support tools, and growing autonomous vehicle (AV) tests on the road. This unprecedented amount of VC financing has been majorly responsible for enabling AI/ML applications to become more closely intertwined with everyday consumer interactions. Yet investment into AI/ML-specific security infrastructure has not been developing in tandem with innovation. This overlooked area, however, will be a defining pillar in the new decade of AI/ML. …


Caitlin Pintavorn

Soon @ Insight Partners. Prev @ Two Sigma Ventures, Owkin, & StartUp Health. See more @ www.takeme.to/caitlin.

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