A New Website Builder, the Survival of Robotics Startups, and an AI-Powered Bike Light
It's been a whirlwind of a week as I prep to leave for my adult/no kid vacation of the year.
And this year, it's the most exciting of destinations: Mendocino, California. What makes it even more epic is that I'll be deep in the redwoods with 100 other dirty cyclists for three days of riding, eating, drinking, and shenanigans.
Hosted by Ibis (a manufacturer of super high-quality mountain bikes), the Ibis Migration is an excellent example of a brand that knows how to create, grow, and engage with a rabid fanbase. Every Ibis Migration sells out. Next week will be the ninth outing.
Shout out to Ibis founder, Scot Nicol. This guy knows how to build more than great bikes. Bonus points: Legend has it that Scot was one of the earliest mountain bikers in northern California. Now that's rad.
Plus, Scot was an early supporter of LaneSpotter back in the day, so I'll always have a soft spot.
Long story short, I'm off next week to hang out with a really fun group of people. No cell service available, so I'll see you on the flip side.
Happy Friday, friends!
Venture into the woods this weekend. You won't regret it.
The Easiest Website Ever Made
Recently, my friend Ted Serbinski introduced me to one of my favorite new newsletters. It's called Exploding Topics.
Find trending topics before they take off. Each week, we'll send you our best Exploding Topics. Plus, expert insight and analysis.
In this week's edition, I learned about a no-code tool that creators use to build simple websites super fast. It's called Typedream.
What really caught my attention is that it's built to work seamlessly with Notion!
I haven't had a chance to mess around with the Notion integration, but it looks pretty slick and I'm excited to find a few minutes to see what it's all about.
Anyway, while I absolutely should've been doing something else, I couldn't help myself. I had to see what Typedream was all about.
So, I set a timer for 30 minutes to see what I could build. Here's the result.
I didn't have time to create and add any images, but I was able to grab a template, customize the colors, and add the text from my actual website in this 30-minute timeframe. Not bad!!!
The result: A pretty decent personal website for very little effort.
See, you have no excuse.
Meet Clark Haynes & Velo.ai
You can't be working on bikes in Pittsburgh and not be my friend. This is the case with Clark Haynes, a former autonomy engineer at Uber ATG turned entrepreneur.
I've been working with Clark to bring his vision to life over the last several months.
That vision: Velo.ai
The first product from Velo is Copilot, an AI-powered bike light that uses autonomous vehicle technology to determine what drivers are doing behind you while you bike. Are they distracted or are they moving across those yellow lines to give you room to pass? Velo can tell you.
Clark will have a booth at this year's PedalPGH event on Sunday, August 28. His interactive display will let you drive tiny cars toward the bike light to see if – and how – the AI detects them. If you've always wanted to drive a Barbie corvette, here's your chance!
Visit Velo.ai's website to learn about the pilot program to test this cool tech. While you're there, sign up for updates on future product releases.
Sylan Esso, No Rules Sandy
I can't remember a time when I didn't have this North Carolina electronic duo on rotation. Their songs have been playing in the background of my life over the last decade. So much so that they get a mention in my book.
Sylvan Esso's Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn created the bulk of this LP in just three weeks. The result is a thrillingly unpredictable 16 tracks.
My fave is the song featured in the video above, Echo Party. Give it, and the album, a listen if you have a sec.
Trainwreck: Woodstock '99 (Netflix)
I've been in a '90s kinda mood lately. Partially because I'm 50% of the way through Chuck Klosterman's latest book, The Nineties (which is so so so good, btw).
So, when Netflix served this up, I thought, "Why not? Let's throw on episode one."
142 minutes later, I'd binged all three episodes. I couldn't look away, for so many reasons. The ridiculousness of the lineup, the greed of the promoters, and the shit water. Holy shit, the shit water.
Anyway, this is definitely worth a watch. Especially if you're a music fan.
Social Media Was a C.E.O.’s Bullhorn, and How He Lured Women (New York Times)
One day before this article hit, I noticed a Twitter post that was being passed around. I knew something was coming.
Dan Price was applauded for paying a minimum salary of $70,000 at his Seattle company and criticizing corporate greed. The adulation helped to hide and enable his behavior, which has been absolutely grotesque. And going on for far too long.
Let's hope this guy goes away for good, unlike Adam Neumann (see below).
The three true robotic startup outcomes (TechCrunch)
Since I'm sitting in one of the hotbeds of robotics, this headline definitely caught my attention. So, what are the three true outcomes? According to TechCrunch, the three outcomes for robotics startups are as follows:
But there's a lot more to it than that, as the article explains.
When Every Ketchup But One Went Extinct (Gastro Obscura)
If you've ever wanted to know the entire history of ketchup, then this is your article. And of course, lots of Heinz gossip is included.
This amazing ketchup article was published by Gastro Obscura, a website-turned book created by the ever-curious minds of the people at Atlas Obscura, the definitive guide to the world's hidden wonders.
And thanks to my friend, Phil Bender, Gastro Obscura happens to be sitting on my nightstand. The kiddo loves to flip through the pages and read stories about food in far-off lands. He calls it "The World's Menu Book," which is a great description.
If you're ever looking for a gift for a food lover or chef, this is a great option.
And finally, I can't end this edition without publicly expressing my disgust for az16's recent investment in former WeWork founder, Adam Neumann. I'll just leave this here.
Until next time,
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