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Photo credit: John Troxell. Restaurant:Scratch Bar Kitchen

Restaurants are in a dire state right now and have been hit hard by COVID-19. Frontline Foods is on a mission to support them — particularly local restaurants — by providing meals to frontline workers and other communities that have been impacted by this crisis.

It’s been about two months since we first launched this grassroots effort. Since then, we have seen an outpouring of support from people across the United States. The support has come in many forms. We’ve received donations from more than 16,000 people. …

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I hope you’ll dream with us as we envision a world where there is always a warm meal, an encouraging word, and a helping hand in hard times. — Jose Andres

A little over two weeks ago, Frank Barbieri and I were texting. He had been talking to our mutual friend, Sydney Gressel, a RN at the Emergency Department at UCSF Mission Bay. Things were starting to heat up in San Francisco, a lockdown was imminent, and he asked her “how can we help?”. She responded with a simple message — “pizza”.

What we didn’t know at the time was that there were hundreds of people in cities across the country having nearly the same conversation. We connected with this growing army of volunteers and seemingly overnight enabled a network of organizers, now 185 strong across a dozen cities, to share resources and maximize our impact around a simple mission: Help support hospital workers and save our ailing restaurant industry at the same time. …

When I first joined Redpoint back in 2013, I was drawn to the incredible opportunity to partner with entrepreneurs and work alongside a remarkable team of experienced investors. These past six years have beat all of my wildest expectations — we’ve put our seventh fund to work supporting early-stage companies, and grown a world-class team at Redpoint that’s felt like family. So it’s bittersweet to be sharing that I’m transitioning out of Redpoint to pursue an idea I have gotten really excited about. …

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Karl Siebrecht, CEO of FLEXE

It’s no secret that retail and e-commerce have been going through a massive disruption due in large part to the “Amazon Prime Effect”. Amazon’s enormous investments in its supply chain and logistics network has transformed, and in some cases destroyed traditional retail and e-commerce businesses. In the process, Amazon has permanently raised the bar on consumer expectations for every retailer. Free and fast delivery are now a requirement. 80% of respondents in a recent study say that shipping cost and speed are extremely important in their buying decision.

In the ongoing battle with Amazon, e-commerce players are re-thinking their strategies in order to stay competitive. Creating a fulfillment network that competes with Amazon’s is thought to be impossible, but the alternative, using Amazon as a sales channel or fulfillment solution carries its own set of existential risks. Having goods shipped in a box with a smile on it may seem harmless, but the requirement to grant Amazon access to all their customer and order data puts these companies at risk of being cloned and under-priced by Amazon itself. …

On Thursday I tweeted asking people what their 5 favorite apps or products are. The responses were obviously skewed to people who follow me which are mostly in tech and in the valley, but thought I would post the results anyway as it’s interesting to see what people responded with.

Here’s the (un)official list and count. I linked the ones that had multiple mentions. Feel free to add a note with a link to the other ones.

There is a great discussion going on over at Hacker News about the various roles and ideal people at different stages of a growing company. This is something every growing company goes through and something I watched and personally struggled with at Twitter. People who love the early days of a startup usually aren’t suited for the later stage, more structured environment. The faster the company grows, the greater the mismatch in desires and expectations.

David Ulevitch from OpenDNS captures it well:

There are people who were at OpenDNS in the early days who were incredible, and as we grew, became less and less incredible, largely because the things that made them incredible actually started to be really frustrating as the company grew and they didn’t want to change those things. …

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”
- Arthur C Clarke

Yesterday I read Fred Wilson’s post on Recognizing Wine Labels and it reminded me of the first time I used Delectable and had that a ha moment — they had broken through a large pack of wine apps and got the experience just right. I’m a wine neophyte, but I love wine, and aspire to learn more about it through tracking what I drink and enjoy. I’ve always believed in the promise that a wine app could capture and enrich my experience. I tried every wine app that had come on the market — from the time the app store opened until now, that numbered least a dozen. …

After 13 years at startups—the last four at Twitter—I’ve made the transition into venture capital as a partner at Redpoint Ventures. It has been just over a month since I began spending my days on Sand Hill Road and in that short time, I’ve learned quickly about working in a tight, seasoned partnership as well as having listened to some of the smartest, most interesting startup pitches.

Thus far, my transition from an operating role into an investing and advisory role has been a rapid, intense education. Some parts of the job are as I expected but others have been surprising. …


Ryan Sarver

Partner at @redpointvc. Previously, Director of Platform at Twitter. Detroit and Boston export. Foodie and over-the-hill hockey player. @devon’s lesser half

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