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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Doug Field, former head of Tesla Model 3 production, is taking a break – Roadshow

Elon Musk removed the five-year Tesla veteran from his position as chief of Model 3 production last month.
Source: CNET

Munchery shuts down operations in LA, New York and Seattle

Munchery, the on-demand food delivery startup, has shut down its operations in Los Angeles, New York and Seattle, the company announced on its blog today. That means the teams from those cities are also being let go.

“We recognize the impact this will have on the members of our team in those regions,” Munchery CEO James Beriker wrote on the company blog. “Our teams in each city have built their businesses from scratch and worked tirelessly to serve our customers and their communities. I am grateful for their unwavering commitment to Munchery’s mission and success. I truly wish that the outcome would have been different.”

With LA, New York and Seattle off the table, Munchery says it’s going to focus more on its business in San Francisco, its first and largest market. This shift in operations will also enable Munchery to “achieve profitability on the near term, and build a long-term, sustainable business.”

The last couple of years for Munchery has not gone very well, between scathing reports of the company wasting an average of 16 percent of the food it makes, laying off 30 employees and burning through most of the money it raised.

During that time, Munchery tried a number of different strategies. Munchery, which began as a ready-to-heat meal delivery service, in 2015 started delivering meal recipes and ingredients for people who want to cook. Then, Munchery launched an $8.95 a month subscription plan for people who order several times a month. In late 2016, Munchery opened up a shop inside a San Francisco BART station to try to bring in new business.

But it’s not just Munchery that has struggled. The on-demand food delivery business is tough in general. Over the last couple of years, a number of companies have shuttered due to the now well-known fact that the on-demand business is tough when it comes to margins. The most recent casualty was Sprig, which shut down last May, after raising $56.7 million in funding. Other casualties include Maple, Spoonrocket and India’s Ola.

Munchery has raised more than $120 million in capital from Menlo Ventures, Sherpa Capital and others. In March, the company was reportedly seeking $15 million in funding to help keep its head above water.

I’ve reached out to Munchery and will update this story if I hear back.


Source: TechCrunch

Uber, Lyft drivers hit roadblock on Seattle labor union law – CNET

A federal appeals court says no to collective bargaining, for now.
Source: CNET

Robotics investor Andy Rubin: Everything is going to get legs – CNET

In the future, leg day won’t just be for workouts at the gym.
Source: CNET

Enter to win* an exclusive collection of Android pins! – CNET

It’s Google I/O week, so we are giving aways 80 collectible pins, exclusive to MWC 2018, to one of our lucky Instagram followers. This sweepstakes ends May 13, 2018.
Source: CNET

Ring’s doorbell cam allowed video access after its password was changed

This is likely to be a bit of a black eye from Amazon, as the company looks to bolster its presence in the home security space. The Information reports that, until earlier this year, a security loophole allowed users to continue to view a feed from Ring’s doorbell camera even after its password was changed.

Ring, which was purchased by Amazon for $1 billion earlier this year, acknowledged that it patched the issue in January. The update arrived after a Miami man told the company that his ex had continued to watch the feed, after he had updated the password. Even so, the update doesn’t occur immediately, CEO Jamie Siminoff acknowledged, adding that kicking users off immediately would slow down the app, according to the site.

Ring was a centerpiece of a number of recent acquisitions for Amazon, allowing the company to expend delivery directly into customers’ homes and serving as a foundation of new home security offerings. While the outward-facing nature of the doorbell camera is less intrusive than those products designed to sit directly inside the home, this issue will no doubt lead many users to think twice before introducing a cloud-connected device in their home.

We’ve reached out to Amazon/Ring for a comment on the issue.


Source: TechCrunch

Polk Assist Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET

The Polk Assist takes on the Sonos One with Google Assistant compatibility in a compact countertop speaker.
Source: CNET

Gadget Lab Podcast: Why Google’s Duplex Demo Didn’t Have Everyone at Hello

This week on the Gadget Lab podcast, we discuss Google’s mind-blowing demo of artificial intelligence at its annual developers conference.
Source: Wired

Android co-creator isn’t sure whether robots will adopt a single platform

Android co-creator Andy Rubin isn’t so sure whether there will be one software platform to rule all robots. The former Google exec and Playground Global CEO talked in length about the role of platforms for automation at TechCrunch’s TC Sessions: Robotics event at UC Berkeley.

“The business model of platformization is something that is near and dear to my heart,” Rubin said. “For robotics and automatization, the idea of there being one cohesive platform that everyone ends up adopting? I’m not sure.”

Rubin did speak at length about the eventual need for companies to create systems for sharing machine learning data so that these machines will be able to communicate with each other and communicate their learnings so that obstacles only have to be overcome once across different devices.

You can watch the entire talk with Rubin below, which also includes a demonstration of the latest iteration of Cassie, a bipedal robot from Agility Robotics.


Source: TechCrunch

HubSpot adds customer service tools to its marketing platform

HubSpot is expanding beyond sales and marketing with the official launch of its Service Hub for managing customer service.

The product was first announced last fall, but now it’s moved out of beta testing.

HubSpot President and COO JD Sherman said this was a logical next step for the company. He argued that the Internet has “democratized” the ability of businesses to attract customers by creating their own content (using tools like HubSpot’s, natch), and while “that opportunity still exists, frankly, it’s getting harder due to the sheer volume of what’s going on.”

“It makes sense to take care of your customer,” Sherman said — both to keep them loyal and also to turn them into an advocate who might help you attract new customers.

Service Hub General Manager Michael Redbord and Go To Market Leader David Barron gave me a quick tour of the Service Hub. It includes an universal inbox for all your customer communications, a bot-builder to automate some of those customer interactions, tools for building a company knowledge base (which can then be fed into the bot-builder, which Redbord described as a more “customer-centric” way to present your content), tools for creating surveys and a dashboard to track how your service team is doing.

ServiceHub dashboard

Redbord said he previously worked on HubSpot’s own service and support team, so every feature in ServiceHub has “a one-to-one relationship” with an issue that HubSpot has faced, or that he personally has faced, while trying to support customers.

Barron added that ServiceHub benefits from being integrated with HubSpot’s existing products, allowing businesses to track their interactions with a customer across sales, marketing and support.

“We’re a platform company,” he said. “When any of these conversations happens, whether it’s a chat with a human or a chat with a bot, that’s all logged on [a single record] in HubSpot, so there’s no data leakage between different teams.”


Source: TechCrunch

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