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How FTX Blew Up Overnight… In Flames

How FTX Blew Up Overnight… In Flames

FTX, recently valued at $32 billion, has just blown up. But not in the “viral-overnight” sense. More like, a nuclear catastrophe. 

On Wednesday, the largest cryptocurrency exchange on earth, Binance, tweeted that it was terminating its partnership with FTX. Binance stated, “We have decided not to pursue the potential acquisition of FTX as a result of corporate due diligence and the most recent news reports regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations. Initially, our hope was to be able to support FTX’s customers to provide liquidity, but the issues are beyond our control or ability to help.”

And on Friday, FTX filed for bankruptcy, and its CEO resigned.

Not exactly a good day for the company.

So… what the heck happened?

Alameda Research is where it all starts. Sam Bankman-Fried established Alameda, a proprietary trading firm that dabbled in cryptocurrencies, in 2017. They made money buying and selling crypto… and there was a lot of buying and selling going on. After a while, Sam realized he wanted more. He didn’t just want to trade cryptocurrencies himself. He wanted to also get very large financial institutions involved.

So, in 2019, he set up a crypto trading platform called FTX, which became a wildly popular mobile app that had a quick rise to disrupt the financial industry.

If you’re familiar with FTX’s model, they were (emphasis on “were”) a crypto marketplace that would locate a crypto vendor if you intended to make a purchase, and vice versa. When FTX handled a transaction, the company earned a fee. Customers who were willing to place large wagers were also eligible for loans. The exchange imposed interest on this of course. Money was made. RobinHood App, move over.

Except… then it wasn’t. FTX almost went bankrupt due to a “liquidity” problem, according to the media, which essentially meant that the crypto markets were crashing and customers wanted their money back. As in, $6 billion over the course of three days. And, of course, FTX was unable to issue these refunds because they, like any exchange would, had used these customer-earmarked funds for business expansion, under the belief that the crypto market was too big to crash. When it did crash and every Chad and Aidan on earth wanted to cash out the $750 they had sitting in FTX for the next coin rush and FTX had nothing for them, chaos ensued. 

FTX has always had lofty goals. When they launched their trading platform, they also unveiled their own cryptocurrency token called FTT. “We can make our own coin and make serious money with it!” was the big idea. And of course, making your own cryptocurrency costs… money.

So, FTX offered all buyers of their proprietary tokens discounted or free withdrawals and reduced trading fees as an incentive to join their platform. 

The token’s potential began to emerge quickly. The costs started to emerge, too. So FTX started buying its own tokens with a portion of its actual revenue generated from transaction fees, artificially inflated the demand for their own coin by purchasing it in large quantities. 

Basically, FTX created a coin, asked people to buy it for perks, then bought more of their own coins using the money people paid for the coins originally to artificially inflate the value of their coin, so people would buy more.

What could go wrong?

When the cost of FTT started going up, the value of Alameda’s holdings of these coins started going up as well. When the FTT tokens started going up in price, this would greatly benefit Alameda (and Sam, FTX’s founder… definitely not shady).

FTX likely used customer deposits or borrowed money to make loans for trades. But when customers all at once started demanding their deposits back, FTX didn’t have enough to cover everyone’s accounts.

The worlds largest crypto exchange, Binance, was positioned at first to essentially bail FTX out of its situation. But, as mentioned above, they pulled out. In a statement, Binance explained,

“We have seen over the last several years that the crypto ecosystem is becoming more resilient and we believe in time that outliers that misuse user funds will be weeded out by the free market.”

Burn. So much burn.

Since its inception, the cryptocurrency industry has battled to win over skeptical regulators, investors, and everyday customers. As a result of Binance’s withdrawal and the decline of FTX, a company that appeared more stable than others, the market has been jolted.

If anything, the FTX crash will turn off institutional investors just as they were starting to warm up to the cryptocurrency space. It may take years to restore faith in the sector’s promise, even though some people will continue to work on interesting projects. Because, you know, crypto.

Tightening screws for crypto companies that make it through the oncoming purge will almost certainly increase. Crypto’s future will be heavily debated on Reddit threads across the world.

Crypto will survive. But for FTX… big, big L. Billions’ worth.
 

But hey. Let’s go make some s’mores in the flames.

Why Are You Hearing about “CX” Startups Popping Up Everywhere?

Okay, first of all, what even is CX? CX stands for customer experience. The experience of being a customer. And if you’re thinking that’s not revolutionary enough to disrupt something, you’re probably absolutely right. CX startups are companies like Zendesk; they’re companies that are designed to streamline the current customer experience. And they’re poised to disrupt because of AI. Let’s dig in.

Hand touching digital chat bot for provide access to information and data in online network, robot application and global connection, AI, Artificial intelligence, innovation and technology.

Disrupting the customer experience

So, go on Reddit and search for CX. It’s like user experience, user interfaces, and user design, but much more. It starts with a buyer’s journey and ends with you embedding yourself into every facet of their being. For example, the Robinhood App has poor CX. They barely respond to anyone.

The customer experience is a relationship that customers build with a business. And it’s becoming important because customers are seeking these experiences. Look at Apple. People want to call themselves Apple or iOS users. People want to connect with the brand that they’re using.

But more than that, there’s AI.

The AI chatbots are disrupting customer satisfaction

In the old days, we hated phone trees, right? 

If you’re a younger millennial, you have no idea what that means. A phone tree is a directory; when you call in, you get directed to different areas of a company. There weren’t any voice prompts, and the phone trees could get five or six levels dense.

“Do you want accounting? Do you want receivables? Do you want Steve? Steve A or Steve S?”

The earliest chatbots operated like this, too, and they sure weren’t going to disrupt anything. If you called, say, Reddit, you’d get an automated voice telling you to press 1, 2, or 3. If you then went on a live chatbot (let’s assume Reddit ever wanted anyone to contact them, because you actually cannot contact Reddit at all), the chatbot would tell you much the same.

But now chatbots have differentiated themselves. You can talk to them in natural language, and they respond. This is something called Natural Language Processing.

What does it mean for you?

You could start a CX web3 machine-learning startup today, and realistically, most people wouldn’t even know what you do. But they would throw money at you.

Today, CX is mostly about using automation and artificial intelligence to smooth the customer experience, reducing friction across multiple channels. So the reality is that a CX startup is someone who is using high technology to make the customer experience better.

So you’ve got AI. And you’ve also got web3, because this is what people are expecting web3 to be. They go on their mobile app, they load up a page, and they see furniture in real life through augmented reality. They see furniture, scan it with a mobile app, and immediately buy it.

Let’s all move to a better customer experience

Part of it is that people do need a better CX. Amazon made itself an empire because of fast returns and good customer service. Guess what: That’s how Sears was an empire for over 100 years. A better customer experience is essential, and it’s a great industry to be in.

As the economy falters, customers are increasingly operating solely within realms they want to operate with. Newer customers have been more concerned with customer experience than product quality. That’s right. They’ll stick with a mediocre product because they… want a good experience.

How far could you get if you could help other companies build those experiences?

What are you reading? The most essential resources for a disruptive founder today

So, you want to disrupt the world with your mobile app. But like all things, disruption and entrepreneurship occur on the shoulders of giants. Steve Jobs didn’t come up with the iPhone on his own. He took things that were already popular and made them better. 

Life isn’t always about innovation. Often, it’s about implementation. You identify best-in-class technologies and find opportunities to apply them. And you do that by knowing what’s going on. Let’s take a look at some essential resources for a disruptive founder today.

Mainstream Periodicals: Let’s Get It Out of the Way

Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes — you should read them all. But be aware that once something’s in a mainstream periodical, its time has expired. In the old days, investors used to say: “The best time to invest in a stock is before your Aunt Sally is talking about it.” The same applies.

Still, these mainstream periodicals are critically important because they provide insights into the general zeitgeist is thinking. Mainstream periodicals will tell you what people are already talking about. It’s your job to be ahead of the curve.

And there’s always the exception. Did you know that Zuck was talking about the Metaverse since 2014?

Innovation and Tech: Futurism, MIT Technology Review, and Wired

Frequently, new technology breaks quietly. There are one or two articles on an advanced, open-source machine learning platform… and then silence for literally years. Tech frequently develops unevenly. You bring radio to the internet before internet speeds have caught up to streaming. We’ve understood the principles of artificial intelligence and machine learning for decades, but it’s only recently that cloud technology has advanced to the point where it’s feasible.

So, new technology is an opportunity to grow. And it’s not always obvious what will or won’t be critical. Look for the trends under them; if you’re starting to see things pop up in multiple talk spaces, then it’s probably important.

Podcasts: Masters of Scale, The Week in Startups, Mixergy, and The Growth Show

You know what? There are thousands upon thousands of podcasts targeted toward entrepreneurs. But these are some best. Whether riding the bus to your Silicon Valley day job or going for a stroll in your suburb, listening to the opinions of experienced founders will help. 

These podcasts give you a good mix of inspiring startup stories, current news, and actionable tips for growth. Don’t ignore the importance of inspiration. Podcasts are uniquely inspiring: they are designed to keep you going, thinking, and innovating.

Books: The Startup Owner’s Manual, Who, Zero to One, and Leading at the Speed of Growth

Read books, whether you’re listening to them in the car or reading them on your Kindle. In particular, Zero to One (by Peter Thiel) encapsulates the startup experience from someone who’s lived it. But don’t forget that there’s a lot of survivorship bias out there. Just as you should read information about those who succeeded, you should also read information about those who failed. 

Some other critical books include Why Startups Fail, Build, and How to Ruin Your Life by 30. If you prepare for the worst you can move toward the best.

Entrepreneurship Means a Lifetime of Learning

Don’t stop there.

You want to create the next Reddit or Robinhood app. It starts with learning more — about everything. If you never stop learning and never stop thinking, you can keep innovating. Be open to new ideas and be willing to learn from anyone.

Who is currently winning the battle for web3?

Can you disrupt an industry that’s just begun? Who is currently winning the battle for web3? It’s a complicated question — for end users, the hope is that no one wins. For companies, the hope is that it creates megaliths and monoliths.

Metaverse, Web3 and Blockchain Technology Concepts. Opened Hand Levitating Virtual Objects. Futuristic Tone

Facebook’s Got the Name

Sorry — Meta. Regarding being recognizable, Facebook has worked hard to make itself synonymous with web3. And the work has paid off; most people think of Meta when they think of the “Metaverse.”

The bad news for Meta is that everything published about web3 looks extraordinarily goofy. While people are thinking about the Metaverse when they think about Meta, they aren’t taking it seriously.

The Game Industry Has It Locked

From mobile app to VR space, the game industry is really making advances into web3. It’s understandable. The gaming industry has always been at the forefront of new technology. And society just got out of a few years of staying at home and playing with their computers, consoles, and phones.

If you want an example of what “the Metaverse” and web3 could do, you need only look at… Roblox and Fortnite. There are children already growing up in the Metaverse and living their lives in an overlaid, digital reality. People are holding concerts in Fortnite.

It’s Not Like Amazon Isn’t Trying

With Amazon’s AWS technology, it may be surprising that Amazon really isn’t breaking out into the web3 space. Why isn’t it selling digital terrain through its online platform?

Actually, Amazon is trying. Just this year, Amazon Studios released an MMO that they had touted to be groundbreaking. It ended up being quite poorly received and almost universally panned. It was just a regular MMO, but it shows that Amazon is trying to get into the digitally interactive space.

Of course, to really disrupt web3, you need to be able to get into the space and be accepted by people and Amazon doesn’t really have an understanding of people, nor does Zuckerberg.

What about the NFTs?

You know, a little while ago we could stay that bitcoin was definitely the winner of web3. But Bitcoin is going the way of the dodo. Even if it’s the de facto standard still for trading and bartering in crypto, it’s not going to be for long. Because it’s being surpassed by other contenders.

NFTs are going to stay but they are going to be very different.

Right now, there’s a battle for the soul of web3. It could be Facebook, Amazon, Google, or any other large company. But it could also become a decentralized service that everyone can take advantage of and enjoy.

There’s something to the dark net. It’s not just a place to buy drugs and hitmen. The dark net has remained entirely uncontrolled and collaborative for years. It’s a space where anyone can throw up a site and everyone has to essentially collaborate for people to get there. Read into the dark net and you’ll find that more things are being traded in the dark net than on the Robinhood app.

So if you want to find out more about the future of web3, why not make it? And if you want to know what people hate about web3, just ask Reddit.

Pearson selling textbooks as NFTs–does this open doorways for new startups?

If you went to college (or dropped out of college—hey, all the tech wunderkinder are doing it), you’re already rolling your eyes. Yeah, Pearson could disrupt the NFT space by selling textbooks as NFTs. Let’s set aside the anger and explore what it means for new startups.

Pearson? Textbooks? NFTs?

Maybe you somehow have the luck of never encountering a Pearson textbook. Pearson textbooks are hundreds of dollars and usually required by a class. Even better, Pearson has worked hard to ensure you can’t get their textbooks on the secondary market.

It began with edition inflation. Every year another edition… so you couldn’t just use an old book. Next, there were codes attached to each book for an “online lab,” even books that really didn’t need an online portion. These codes were one-time-use only, so again, you couldn’t sell the book.

Now NFTs are the latest in Pearson’s pursuit of profit.    

Removing the secondary market

But actually, this isn’t about NFTs. Not really. It’s about removing the secondary market. Pearson has been clear that it hates that its books can be resold. A used textbook can be sold up to seven times, even with multiple editions and lab codes.

Removing the secondary market is happening everywhere. Earlier this month, HBO axed a tremendous portion of its library. People were mad, but they can’t do anything about it; they don’t actually own the library, they just own access to it.

Pearson’s NFTs also remove the secondary market but use an entirely different strategy. What you’re purchasing now is your access to this book. You can’t sell it because you only purchased your access. And if Pearson goes through with this, there will probably be limited access; the Terms of Service will likely state that the service could go down or disappear entirely without liability to the company.

NFTs, web3, and the world of artificial scarcity

We’ve talked about this before, but what web3 commerce does very frequently is create artificial scarcity. Planet #24928 of the Metaverse could have infinite lots, but if we produce only 100 lots, then we profit. This isn’t new. A painter could sell 4,000,000 prints, but they chose to sell 40 because that makes their work valuable and rare.

The extraordinary thing, of course, about this new economy is that anything can become rare art, including a Pearson textbook on Quantitative Analysis for management. Many of the most successful NFT products dabble with these elements of artificial scarcity. You might pay $5 for a hat for your Metaverse avatar now, but what if we told you it was the only one in the world? 

More importantly, NFTs are moving firmly into mainstream space. CNN is selling NFTs of articles. While the world hasn’t quite gotten a handle, universally, on what an NFT is or what it means, they have continued to embrace it.

That’s some good news in the world of bad.

The funding window is closing—so go find your unicorn

If you haven’t loaded up Reddit in a minute, you might not realize that the unicorns are missing. In a reference only millennials will get, they’ve been driven back into the sea. Bottom line: You’re running out of time.  

Investors are pulling back. Layoffs are rampant. Startups are having a hard time. The time to throw out a quick mobile app and make millions of dollars was slightly before the Robinhood app launched. Things are getting lean out there.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities. You can see that mainstream adoption of NFT, blockchain, and cryptocurrency continues even after the disastrous series of crashes this year. Pearson’s consideration of NFTs means mainstream companies still welcome the idea, provided that NFTs and cryptocurrency can solve their extant pain points. What pain points could your blockchain solve?

Here’s Why Crypto Mortgages Are The Next Big Disruptor

Crypto mortgages are bringing in a new wave of onlookers, wondering if this is the next avenue to securing a home? Well it makes sense, but we’ll see if there’s a catch to it. Say you’ve got $300,000 in crypto currency, this can be leveraged against a mortgage company’s $300,000 cash for a home with no taxes paid because you never cashed out of crypto!

Why crypto mortgages do make sense

When you cash out of crypto you pay huge amounts of taxes, short-term investments get hit harder than long-term investments. The trick here is that the bank will hold your crypto equity as collateral, so it’s like you never cashed out and those taxes are out of the equation of your new home. This is especially helpful for those who are self-employed or a regular trader since qualifying isn’t easy traditionally.

The end all is crypto mortgages allow you to pay off your house without meandering through the traditional process, with large dollar signs sitting in your crypto wallets it makes perfect sense to skip all of that lousy traditional process!

Why crypto mortgages are insane 

Okay really, what’s the risk?

Okay, so the thing is, like everything in the crypto world, crypto mortgages are an amazing idea that can go south for you very quickly.

Let’s say that your $300,000 in crypto tanks and now it’s worth $100,000. Your bank will perform a mortgage call and you’ll either need to put up more equity, refinance your home, or otherwise come up and with the cash. 

And let’s be honest, crypto is very volatile. So, the odds are that this could happen.

It’s a gamble. If everything works perfectly, you disrupt the mortgage industry and get an amazing house without paying taxes. If everything goes poorly, you’ll be back on your Robinhood app trading penny stocks in no time at all.

As you should know, the crypto world is very volatile and can make your life either Heaven or Hell depending on the market. How you could end up losing out on big dollars is, say that $300,000 in your wallet tanks down to $100,000 your bank will either require you to refinance your home, put more equity, or otherwise come up with the cash. The odds of this happening are probable as the market fluctuates consistently, so the gamble is up to you. The pros are getting to disrupt the mortgage industry by securing an amazing home without paying taxes, versus the cons of a major setback in your crypto wallet and the bank leveraging you (they know you’re likely to pay considerable fee and high interest to avoid hefty taxes).

What crypto mortgages mean for tech disrupters 

The larger picture is mortgage is a highly regulated and controlled industry. You’re not going to be getting FNMA mortgages, however the fact that you can get a subprime mortgage with crypto makes crypto continue to take over the conventional mainstream spheres.

So, what industry will be next? Travel and hospitality? Restaurants? Manufacturing? As cryptocurrency continues to tumbleweed in support and reach, it can also spread into any of these other sectors and more. Just as Blockchain technology is changing everything from the Metaverse to legal contracts, crypto can be slotted into any type of equity or asset-based transaction. 

Years ago, crypto fans on Reddit rejoiced when they could suddenly order a pizza through BTC. Being able to buy cars, houses, or even just groceries with crypto doesn’t put crypto closer to adoption, it opens new opportunities more widespread than the eye can meet. It’s not just about building some crypto mobile app anymore. Now it’s about what traditional industry you want to disrupt.

Startup Financing and the Economy: Is it a VC Drought?

Yes and no. Alright, if you’ve got a mobile app that you want to sell, it’s going to be a lot harder for you. But if you have a truly innovative and courageous product, you’re good to go. Let’s take a real look at what’s happening in startups, the economy, and the VC drought.

What’s a K-Shaped Recession?

The good do better and the bad do worse; that’s capitalism, baby. 

Currently, we’re in what you would call a K-shaped recession, but most people don’t want to talk about that because of the widespread and chaotic implications that might have.

A K-shaped recession is a recession in which the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, in extreme. You’ve already seen it. People who make under $50,000 a year are getting crushed by inflation. But your friends in tech just got like eight raises, didn’t they?

Money is bleeding all over Silicon Valley. But we also know that major companies are axing employees left and right. What are we to make of this strange and, let’s face it, terrifying dichotomy?

The reality is that we’re on the precipice of dramatic digital transformation. Money is coming into digitization and tech, while it’s absolutely bleeding from everywhere else. People are pulling back on spending (including VC funding) because they’re terrified of the upcoming recession. At the same time, the recession is by far hitting the poor, working class more than it is hitting the rich—the rich have only gotten much, much richer.

What Does That Mean for Venture Capital?

A lot of private investors are holding back not because their balance sheets are going south (which they are) but because of psychology. Yes, the market is crashing. But any actual investor understands that the “market crashing” is the time to buy.

But it’s an unprecedented time. This means people can’t really anticipate who is going to do well or who is going to do poorly. Before you load up that Robinhood app, think about how wrong Reddit was about most of their stocks. Any time an individual thinks they can “disrupt” the stock market, well. It’s probably not going to go in the direction they expected. 

It’s not a drought, it’s a dry season. The money is there to invest. The rich are getting richer. So, eventually, the dams are going to break. For now, though, investors are being conservative with their money because they don’t know what direction the water’s going to go. And who’s going to get wiped out.

Getting Funding for Your Startup

VCs are still going to invest in companies. You need to be the best company for their dollar. It’s getting harder to get capital, but that doesn’t make it possible. Don’t ignore the temperature. Address, head on, why VCs want to get on the ground floor with your technology now. Address the fact that the economy means they are getting a fantastic deal on your company that they could never get during more auspicious times. Talk to them about how far their dollar can go right now.

People are still investing. But they’re being rightfully cautious. The K-shaped recovery isn’t pure good for the people on the upper angle of the K; it’s bad for everyone. It builds a shaky economy that could collapse at any time. But it also means the people at the upper angle have more relative wealth to invest than ever.

So, go after those dollars. But be smart. A VC drought means you have to be the best pitch available. 

5 Benefits of Conversational AI That You Should Know

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Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a form of AI that can recognize and respond to natural human speech. The emergence of this technology has led to some impressive innovations in customer service, eCommerce, and beyond.

If you’re not already using conversational AI in your business, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. As more people today get used to having their own virtual assistant at all times, any customer-centric business that doesn’t offer a similar level of convenience and accessibility is likely to get left behind.

Over 60% of customers today report preferring instant messaging a business instead of calling. There’s clearly a real appetite for conversational AI applications in customer service. However, this technology can do much more than provide support to your customers; it can also be used internally to boost efficiency and productivity.

Conversational AI can be used in many ways to improve customer service, increase sales, and streamline business processes. Here are five benefits of conversational AI that you should know about:

Better Customer Service

The impact of AI on customer experience is already being felt by businesses and consumers alike. Thanks to the development of natural language processing (NLP), conversational AI understands human speech. This technology is constantly improving, meaning that chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming more and more accurate at understanding the nuances of human conversation.

Improving the customer experience with conversational AI is one of the easiest ways to set your business apart from the competition right now.

Boost your customer service with these nifty features:

  • Automation– Automating simple tasks that would otherwise require the attention of a human agent, including complaints. This frees up your agents to deal with more complex issues and provides a more efficient support system for your customers.
  • Gather and analyze real-time customer data– You can use conversational AI to collect data about your customers’ preferences and pain points. This valuable information can be used to improve your product or service offering.
  • No language barriers– Conversational AI brings the power of machine translation to the customer service arena. This means that businesses can offer support in multiple languages without the need to hire bilingual agents.

Personalized Customer Interactions

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Linking your conversational AI platform to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system provides a wealth of customer data that can be used to personalize interactions.

The CRM system stores all relevant customer information in one place, including contact details, order history, and past interactions with your business. This information can be used to create a customer profile which is then used to personalize conversations and ensure they are relevant to the customer. This not only increases customer satisfaction but can also lead to a higher customer lifetime value.

Helps You Scale

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Growing your business too fast should be a good problem. You don’t want to stop growing just because your company can’t physically or affordably support more customers. But when all your agents are busy with current customers, how do you take on more without sacrificing quality?

This is where conversational AI can help. Most customer queries can be answered without the need for a human agent. Leveraging conversational AI can help you to automate simple customer interactions, freeing up your human agents to focus on the more complex queries. This can help you to scale your support function and handle more customers without sacrificing quality.

Smaller companies may find it difficult to afford the customer service infrastructure to support a large customer base. However, conversational AI makes it possible for them to offer the same level of customer service at a fraction of the cost.

Lower Operational Costs

24/7 availability is a costly proposition for most businesses. Staffing your customer service department round the clock can be prohibitively expensive, but with conversational AI you can offer this level of support at a fraction of the cost.

Conversational AI platforms are powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning which means they get smarter over time. This means that the more queries they handle, the more accurate their responses become. This can help to reduce the number of staff required to provide customer support and keep your operational costs low.

Easy Follow-Ups with Customers

One of the challenges of customer service is that it can be difficult to follow up with customers after they have interacted with your company. Conversational AI can help to resolve this issue by automating the process of following up with customers. This can be done using several methods, such as sending an automated email or SMS message, or by including a follow-up question in your conversational AI platform.

The value of customer service lies in its ability to build relationships with customers. By following up with customers after they have interacted with your company, you can show them that you are interested in their experience and that you value their business.

Conversational AI offers several benefits that can help businesses to improve customer service and reduce operational costs. It is scalable, affordable, and efficient—making it the perfect solution for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, conversational AI can help you to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, setting you up for long-term success!

Which Startups Are Resilient to Recession?

A downturn doesn’t destroy startups. Rather, it separates the startups that are in recession-proof arenas from the startups that didn’t think about the economy at all. Silicon Valley is no longer a pinata full of cash; you can’t just take a whack and bleed green. You need to be thoughtful about your enterprises. Well-run companies will thrive. The others will perish.

Lean it up

Strip your tech, drop your weight. Startups that were getting fat need to lean it down; they need to pare down to the barebones now. Now is not the time for rapid expansion or hyper-scaling. It’s time for hunkering down and building real muscle. Start cutting areas that you can cut while still retaining your core technology, talent, and identity. You don’t want to be the people scrambling to pick up talent later, but you also don’t want a thousand excessive tools and utilities that you really don’t need during a time when you can’t build strong scale.

Build homes, not castles

Focus on the major pain points of companies and create technologies that they need. Okay, a decade ago, you could make millions solving some minor “problem” that a company had or giving them some luxuries that they didn’t want. But now you have to concentrate on the issues they have. And they’re going to have a lot of problems. Think about what’s going to happen to people when the economy crashes? How can you help them lean it up themselves?

Learn from success

Hey, Amazon’s doing great isn’t it? Walmart, Amazon, anyone who sells stuff online, really. But who isn’t doing great? Oh, Facebook, Twitter… social media. It turns out that during a recession, companies that don’t produce anything of value don’t do great. Take a look at the companies that are posting record profits during these recessions. It has to do with the technologies that are making it easier for people to survive during a recession, doesn’t it?

Make less go further

Don’t just lean. Think about what you can do to grow your client base from within. Think re-selling, re-targeting, re-marketing, rather than raw expansion. What other problems can you solve for your customers? How can you help them succeed? Their success is your success, after all. It’s easier to sell to people who already love you. And, as Amazon has discovered, clients are more likely to stay onboard if they rely on you for multiple things. How many people still have Amazon Prime because they don’t want to lose Prime Video or Prime Music?

Look to the debt/credit/finance industry

And finally, look, it’s a raw deal, but the reality is the industry that’s gonna be doing great is in debt, credit, and finance. At minimum, diversify your interests. Fintech booms when deals go bad, and there’s no way around that. Forge partnerships within industries that are going to last. The real estate bubble, for instance, might crash, sure; but it’s not going away.

Alright, so you’re on your way to building a mobile app to disrupt—which industry? Choose a lean one. A recession doesn’t have to stop your startup in its tracks, but you’re doing it wrong if it isn’t changing at least some of what you’re doing. 

Crypto Mortgages May Be the Next Big Disruptor

Alright, well—it almost makes sense. Crypto mortgages are the new fad. You’ve got $300,000 in crypto. The mortgage company has $300,000 in cash. You leverage your crypto for the cash then you leverage that cash for a house and you’ve got it made. No taxes paid because you never cashed out the crypto.

But surely there’s a catch?

Why crypto mortgages do make sense

When you cash out your crypto you pay huge amounts of taxes, more if it was a short-term investment than a long-term investment. Crypto mortgages make it possible to secure a bank loan with your crypto equity, so you don’t actually have to cash out. The bank will hold your crypto as collateral but otherwise you’ve never cashed out. So, you can buy a house. And if you’re self-employed or a regular trader, you probably won’t qualify any other way.

If you’ve got millions of dollars in crypto, this type of mortgage makes absolute sense. Now, you’re still paying the mortgage, which also means that once you’ve paid off your house you’ll own it free and clear. But you get a great mortgage without having to go through a traditional qualification process.

Why crypto mortgages are insane 

Okay, so the thing is, like everything in the crypto world, crypto mortgages are an amazing idea that can go south for you very quickly.

Let’s say that your $300,000 in crypto tanks and now it’s worth $100,000. Your bank will perform a mortgage call and you’ll either need to put up more equity, refinance your home, or otherwise come up and with the cash. 

And let’s be honest, crypto is very volatile. So, the odds are that this could happen.

It’s a gamble. If everything works perfectly, you disrupt the mortgage industry and get an amazing house without paying taxes. If everything goes poorly, you’ll be back on your Robinhood app trading penny stocks in no time at all.

For the bank, they’re basically leveraging you. They’ve hedged their risks because either way, you’ll be left holding the bag. And they know you’re likely to pay considerable fees and high interest to avoid those hefty taxes.

What crypto mortgages mean for tech disrupters 

Big picture time. Mortgage is a highly regulated and very controlled industry. Obviously, these aren’t going to be FNMA mortgages. But the very fact that you can even get a subprime mortgage with crypto means that crypto continues to bleed into conventional, mainstream spheres.

So, what industry will be next? Travel and hospitality? Restaurants? Manufacturing? As cryptocurrency continues to grow in adoption, it can also spread into other sectors. And just as Blockchain technology is changing everything from the Metaverse to legal contracts, crypto can be slotted into any type of equity or asset-based transaction. 

Years ago, crypto fans on Reddit rejoiced when they could suddenly order a pizza through BTC. Being able to buy cars, houses, or even just groceries with crypto doesn’t just put crypto closer to adoption. It opens new opportunities. It’s not just about building some crypto mobile app anymore. Instead, it’s about what traditional industry you want to disrupt.

Stablecoins and the Crypto dash: What Happened?

Stablecoins and the Crypto dash: What Happened?

Hey, on the bright side, cryptocurrencies have finally untethered themselves from the market. On the downside, it was stablecoins that did it. To some, a new economic platform. To others, a transparent Ponzi scheme. Let’s take a look at how stablecoins are going to permanently disrupt the crypto market.


What is a Stablecoin?


Cryptocurrency is now fairly mainstream. You can buy cryptocurrency on the Robinhood app. You can buy it on Cash app. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps in the road.

A stablecoin is a coin that’s pegged to the value of something else. It’s designed to be, well, stable. For instance, the U.S. currency is technically backed by a gold standard (although it hasn’t really been for some time). Ideally, stablecoins should be a hedge against other risks.

Cryptocurrencies are, of course, notoriously volatile. Just load up Reddit and you can see photographic evidence of people losing millions (and gaining them).


TerraUSD, the Stablecoin That Couldn’t


TerraUSD/Luna was a stablecoin locked into the US dollar. It should, ideally, peg its price on the USD… largely in a way that no one really understood. TerraUSD/Luna was two coins in one. One was stable and pegged (again, theoretically), while the other coin was burned to create that stability. 

What you need to know is that a stablecoin can either be truly backed by a product (such as the stablecoins that are backed by pools of Bitcoin) or a stablecoin can be algorithmically backed. The algorithm seeks to course correct the coin any time the coin diverges from its backer. 

The problem comes when the algorithm needs to create increasingly more volatile swings to compensate for existing instability. With TerraUSD, the adjustments compounded in such a fashion that what should have been a stablecoin catastrophically tanked. As TerraUSD/Luna lost its value, it tried to print more Luna to compensate. This created a virtually infinite loop.


The Consequences of TerraUSD

TerraUSD lost its value within minutes. And that’s not a great thing for cryptocurrency as a whole, because the whole reason people were invested in TerraUSD was to keep their money safe. So, you’ve got this technology that promises that it’s going to be less volatile than crypto, and a great place to save your crypto money, and then it absolutely tanks.

On the one hand, most people investing in AltCoins pretty much know what they’re doing or know what they’re getting into. But on the other hand, anyone investing in stablecoin isn’t looking to engage in risk or make a buck; literally the only reason to be in a stablecoin that matches USD is to keep your money safe, whether it’s between transactions or part of a larger, more diversified portfolio.


Bottom line: Not only did TerraUSD absolutely obliterate its own value, but it also shook investor faith. More and more, cryptocurrency investors are starting to wonder whether crypto is really all that it’s cracked up to be.

The Follow Up Crypto Crash


Well, though, crypto is decentralized, right? So, if crypto is so decentralized, why would TerraUSD cause the entire crypto market to crash?

Actually, there’s good news and bad news there. Good news: a single AltCoin isn’t going to cause the market to crash. If it was going to, Dogecoin would have already done it like eight times.


The bad news is that there were entirely separate issues going on during the whole TerraUSD frenzy; probably issues that also caused TerraUSD to spin out. Part of it started when Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, announced that if it had to declare bankruptcy (which, it was going to do), all its wallets would need to be liquidated.


Because, of course, cryptocurrency isn’t considered to be an actual currency, and Coinbase isn’t a bank. That means the wallets that other people had stored on the exchange would be liquidated to pay Coinbase’s debts. 


That led to people mass panicking, selling, liquidating—just generally getting out. That introduced churn that was quickly followed up by the TerraUSD crash.


That doesn’t mean crypto is over, certainly. It’s a great way to transfer wealth, for better or worse. But it does mean that investors need to be a lot more cautious when they read a prospectus. Certainly, don’t just load up any mobile app and start buying coins.


Crypto Billionaire Takes Stake in Robinhood

Crypto Billionaire Takes Stake in Robinhood

Robinhood’s had a pretty bad year, hasn’t it? 
When the Robinhood app launched, it was poised to vastly disrupt the industry of at-home investing. The mobile app made it easy for people to invest from their phones. It gave voice to the often ignored retail investor.
But the Robinhood app eventually betrayed retail investors during the entire GameStop/AMC debacle, ultimately ending up on the wrong side of Reddit. This year has seen Robinhood’s stock regularly tanking… until now.


Robinhood App Surges in Stock Market


While everyone else was going down, Robinhood was going up. Robinhood lost 40% of its value this year, but regained 25% when crypto-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried took a 7.6% stake in it. Does that mean anything?
Well, maybe.


Sam Bankman-Fried runs FTX, a popular cryptocurrency exchange that has made cryptocurrency far more accessible. The jump in Robinhood’s pricing could indicate a couple of things. First, maybe crypto bros just want to invest in an investor. Maybe they see advantages in crypto expertise.

Second, it could just be the meme. It’s very possible that people simply reinvested in Robinhood because they see “crypto” and they think “good bet.” Really, anything works; people want to believe in the Robinhood mobile app because they want investing to be easy and accessible. Perhaps that’s why it hurt so much that they were betrayed.


The Future of Robinhood


The reality of investing is that it’s designed to protect large fortunes. When you have a David-vs-Goliath situation, David will generally lose out. The skepticism surrounding Robinhood is that Robinhood may very well be ordering trades or making trades in ways that injure smaller investors.


Robinhood has been notorious for pausing trading during times of high volatility. When GME was soaring, they took away the purchase button. Now, that’s not entirely unheard of. The stock market itself stops working whenever there’s a crash.

The problem is that these times of high volatility are generally when a retail trader makes their money. A rich person can put $1,000,000 in a bank account and get thousands back. But if a retail trader is only working with a few thousand to start with, they need to engage in riskier bets.


So, there are a lot of people still using Robinhood. But there are also a lot of people disenchanted with the process. The entire stock market is rigged around not transferring too much wealth in one direction at a time because when that happens, well, the markets crash.


Could a Crypto Billionaire Help?


Well, maybe. A crypto billionaire is certainly more likely to have their finger on the pulse and know what people want. At the same time, we don’t really know what his plans are for influencing the company, even if there are any. The stated reason that he invested was that he saw Robinhood as a good investment. At 40% down from its prior valuation, it very well could have been. A 7.6% stake, even in a company as large as Robinhood, isn’t that much.


But perhaps the news of the stock jump matters. It certainly seems that investors are eager to believe in Robinhood. Robinhood does fulfill a vital position within the investing ecosystem. And if someone were to create an all-encompassing app that was more trustworthy than Robinhood, they would probably be able to capture a significant portion of the market.


Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered


One thing to remember in all this: It’s not hard to make money in a bull market. The stock market was racing to unseen highs for over ten years. Investors made money hand over fist, not because they were great investors, but simply because they existed.


A lot of retail investors made fortunes. A lot of them lost fortunes. But a disproportionate amount made money just because they weren’t screwing up badly enough to compensate for the sheer market inflation.


Now that we’re in a bear market, we’re going to see a lot more losses. We’re going to see “great investors” lose their shirts. And we’re going to see our day-trading uncles suddenly wonder why it’s “so hard.” How that impacts Robinhood remains to be seen.

Snapchat’s Crash Leaves Social Media Disruptors Gasping

Okay, so, the entire stock market is crashing. So this probably isn’t surprising. Open your Robinhood app, and it’s just a crazy sea of red. But there are still some standouts, sometimes for the wrong reasons. Snapchat crashed 43% because it didn’t meet its revenue targets. But that’s actually not altogether surprising.


Why Did Snapchat Crash?

It’s not that extraordinary. Many social media platforms suffer from the same problem. Even if they disrupt the market and get millions or, in Facebook’s case, billions of users, they have no clear path towards monetization. Facebook countered that by getting in good with businesses and starting to develop ads.

Snapchat has creator monetization tools, which makes it fairly unique among “social media first” platforms. But by and large, it’s just not an easily monetized mobile apply.

A lot of social media platforms are on a VC runway. They lose money, but they still get investments because they have such extraordinary engagement and active users. 

The Implications of the Snapchat Crash

But investors are becoming disenchanted with these continuous losses. As the recession pulls investors back from spending, it’s going to pull back on these high-risk, would-be-nice plays. Do you really want to be invested in Snapchat and it’s potential monetization as it bleeds money? Or do you want to pick up some cheap Microsoft stock, knowing that it’s currently at an extraordinary discount?

Social media disruptors tend to concentrate on engagement and hope, very fervently, that they’ll figure out monetization later. But that’s not the strategy. Just ask Reddit, which has had to incorporate pretty aggressive advertising on its platform to stay afloat. Just ask MoviePass, which lost investors millions of dollars on its casual “we’ll figure it out” engagement play.

Monetizing Social Media: Is It the Metaverse?

So, here’s the thing. Anyone who wants to disrupt social media needs to have their monetization baked in. How do you monetize social media?

The best way, quite honestly, is going to have to do with the Metaverse and product placement. Metaverse—purchasing digital items that generate a “lifestyle image,” whether that’s cosmetics for your digital avatar or filters for your digital photos. Produce placement—advertising that’s less obtrusive and more likely to get people to buy, because people are sick of ads.

That being said, social media ads are going to become tremendously more effective shortly because of the death of the third-party cookie. Cookies can’t track you, but your social media account can.
People are focusing more on product placement now. Get creators to highlight your items. Build sponsorships. In fact, that’s actually pulling back to the very early days of the web when everything was directly sponsored. Including the reviews.

But social media is a hard nut to track, because engagement doesn’t necessarily mean monetization. Companies that are poised to disrupt the social media market need to really dig into their monetization and make sure they have a viable strategy. We aren’t in the second DotCom boom anymore; VCs aren’t going to throw money at every mobile app that’s being built. You need an actual business strategy, not just a product.

As for Snapchat, well, the problem with social media platforms is also that they have a shelf-life. Just as the kiddos are moving away from Facebook, they’re moving away from Snapchat, too. Kids aren’t going to use the same platform as their parents—and it shows. So, the time is right for a successor to TikTok. But who will it be? 

Elon Musk takes over  Twitter

Elon Musk takes over Twitter

Can you believe it? It worked. But what does it mean for the media? What does it mean for “free speech” and the market of opinions? Elon Musk has finally bought Twitter — and tanked his own stock doing it. What does that mean for digital disruption?

A Hostile Takeover

Earlier in the month, Elon Musk started a hostile takeover of Twitter by purchasing an immense number of shares. Twitter reacted by enacting a poison pill measure; a poison pill is something a company does specifically to avoid a hostile takeover, making it effectively impossible for a company to be taken over through stock purchases alone.

But despite the board initially saying that Musk would have no control over the company, they quickly introduced him to the board. And when he offered $44 billion for Twitter itself, they rather quickly folded. Musk is known for his capricious but often visionary purchases; he did not build Tesla but rather purchased it.

Interestingly, until the very end, Reddit posts were saying Musk could never take over. But Redditors have a long history of skepticism, going back to the Robinhood App.

Why Does Musk Want Twitter?

Musk has a weird relationship with Twitter. He doesn’t like being censored. So much so that he’s been fined repeatedly by the SEC for saying things that manipulated Tesla’s stock prices. Musk says that he wants transparency on the platform but it’s also likely he wants the freedom to do what he wants.

Whether he’s the proper steward for a channel that has become a leading resource for news and even political change remains to be seen. Musk cut his teeth in digital disruption with PayPal and his forays into Tesla and SpaceX have both been markedly successful. But they are very different technologies.

The Consequences for Tesla

Tesla stock, meanwhile, has been absolutely slaughtered. In part, this is due to the perception that Musk is acting irrationally or emotionally, which he has historically been prone to do. If he’s purchasing Twitter as a means of radically decentralized discourse, that’s one thing. If he’s purchasing it because he wants people to stop saying mean things about him on the internet, that’s a vastly different situation. Regardless, Tesla stockholders got to see the stock plummet.

The Consequences for Twitter

While many users have abandoned Twitter, the reality is that people are mostly meh. As one user stated, “if you’re upset over a billionaire buying Twitter, wait until you find out who owns everything else.” So, a billionaire bought an online platform/mobile app. What else is new?

For many, the reality of the situation is that Twitter is just a social media venue that they can take or leave, and most appear to be waiting to see what happens.

Entrepreneurs, though, will face broader implications. One thing Musk does have a stance on is algorithm transparency.

Algorithm Transparency and Business

No one knows what special sauce Google uses to make sure that results surface. That’s the point. Billions are spent every year trying to figure it out in the form of search engine optimization.

Musk wants to make visible the mechanisms that promote posts on Twitter. And that could be both a problem and an opportunity. It will either radically change the way people are using Twitter or (more likely) destroy it as spam becomes even more aggressive and prevalent.

Companies that lean firmly on Twitter for their advertising campaigns are currently right to be wary.

Note that the Musk deal with Twitter could still fall through. It’s not finalized. He may discover that he didn’t want to buy Twitter after all. He may get butthurt that Bill Gates’ short position against Tesla paid off big. And Twitter itself may decide not to capitulate.  

Still, this gives rise to many thoughts as to how the wealthy can control discourse, how vulnerable the entrepreneurial disruption community is to its tools, and how the internet is evolving today. The Twitter purchase will undoubtedly disrupt business on the platform and mobile app; the question is how much?

Reddit vs the Market: A David and Goliath Tail

Reddit vs the Market: A David and Goliath Tail

By now, most people know about the meme stock debacle. But it’s more than meets the eye. When Redditors blew up GameStop and AMC stock, what they were really doing was revealing tremendous inequality within the current stock market — and a stock market inherently divorced from real economic values. 

Redditors and GameStop: The Big Short

Let’s go over what happened. On Reddit, retail traders (independent home investors) frequently post something called “DD.” Due Diligence. That’s information about stocks and investments; the research they’ve done into determining whether something is a “good buy.”

Okay, so, a Redditor posts that they’ve noticed that GameStop is being shorted into the ground. Someone is betting on GameStop to fail, way beyond what seems to be legitimate. And they decide it’s a good idea to be on the other side of that trade; they think GameStop is way undervalued.

What happens next is the chaos. Everyone agrees, so everyone buys. GameStop stock starts to soar. This launches a massive squeeze. A squeeze occurs when someone has shorted a stock (hoping it will go down in value), because that means they still need to purchase that stock to sell it at the lower value. So the value keeps going up and up because the short sellers don’t want to take a loss and buy, but they eventually have to make that purchase to cover their sales. 

But in this pandemonium, it’s large companies like Citadel losing money. And that’s where the disruption occurs.

Robinhood’s Fall from Grace

A few years ago, Robinhood made waves by making trading easy. It was able to disrupt the day trading market by letting anyone trade at any time. Retail traders were able to start trading stocks and making money with technology that could keep up with the giants.

But there were still some caveats. The Robinhood App was the only way a lot of investors could access their trades and money and many of them weren’t interested in holding traditional investment accounts.

When GameStop started ballooning, Robinhood started disabling the ability to buy and sell GME stock. It moved similarly on AMC. The idea was that Robinhood was trying to reduce volatility. But it all led to an inherent flaw in the system.

Everyone’s Jim Cramer

When someone on television says a stock is a “buy,” it can be enough to influence the stock to go up. But that’s legal. Offering an opinion on a stock is legal. Colluding to boost a stock price is not legal. But you can see where the lines can be gray.

Online, everyone can give their opinion about a stock. The GME and AMC squeezes had people making millions overnight. They increased their value not by thousands but by tens of thousands. This led to dozens of copycat pump and dump schemes focused on stocks like WISH.

The question is simple: what happens when internet trends can so vastly influence the stock market? 

But retail traders aren’t doing anything that hedge funds weren’t already doing. The reason the DD on GameStop first appeared was because a specific hedge fund, Citadel, had been shorting companies into nonexistence. This creates an unbalanced effect in which hedge funds can manipulate the market but the retail trader cannot.

The Fallout

Most GME and AMC investors are still waiting for their big payoff. While both stocks rose tremendously, they believed they should rise even higher because the shorts still haven’t been covered. However, a variety of financial systems (such as borrowing shares to cover shorted shares) have largely mitigated what they call MOASS (the Mother of all Short Squeezes).

Robinhood and Citadel are being accused of manipulating the market. The mobile app is accused of engaging and disengaging trades to manipulate price. Citadel is accused of relentlessly shorting stocks to drive companies out of the market and of not covering shorts that it should have covered. But whether anything will come of this is largely unclear. 

What is evident is that retail traders now have a very significant hand in the market and that they aren’t going away. If the market does not become more transparent or at least more accessible, it’s difficult to see how it can remain stable. 

As for the retail traders themselves, many are chasing the next squeeze. While some continue to invest in AMC and GME, the subreddits like WallStreetBets are full of other DDs. Many aren’t investing for long term strategies but rather short term gambles, which further complicates implications for the market — and makes it a lot more interesting.

Design your baby from a mobile app…

Design your baby from a mobile app…

Are you serious designer babies? What is CRISPR and can it disrupt the healthcare industry? Design a baby or fix your chronic illness right from a mobile app, well maybe not just yet but the technology to execute this is already on its way.

The world we live in might not look like The Jetsons, but we are living in the future in many ways. We’ve already got smartphones, and smart homes quickly followed. Augmented reality has expanded the horizons of video games, and virtual reality is poised to change the lives of people living with disabilities. What’s next? Smart genes? You might be shocked to learn that a technology called CRISPR promises exactly that!

While “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats” might be a mouthful, CRISPR is a little easier to say. CRISPR are a naturally occurring sequence of repeats in simple living creatures such as some bacteria. While bacteria use CRISPR as an immune defense against other organisms, humans discovered that CRISPR could be used to target genes of pretty much any living creature, including us!

Through a method known as CAS-9, CRISPR can essentially be used to edit genes from DNA, similar to how you can cut text from Word documents. Researchers have since been able to use CRISPR to cut genes out entirely and cut out faulty genes to replace them with functional ones. That’s right, CRISPR lets us copy and paste our DNA.

CRISPY isn’t just a novel new technology. It represents some pretty important possibilities. For example, CRISPR can be used to disrupt the faulty DNA that leads to diseases such as Huntington’s, which is caused by a mutation in a gene and has been difficult to treat up until now. Not only does Huntington’s decrease the quality and length of life, but parents can pass the disease to their children. If CRISPR can remove faulty genes, people who would otherwise develop Huntington’s disease and avoid having children who might do the same can live happily and healthily with a brood of their own.

That’s just one example of the power of CRISPR. Researchers are hard at work determining the different ways that CRISPR (and CAS-9) can work for us. Many are hopeful that CRISPR can be used with CAR-T, a method used alongside genetic therapy to boost the patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer. Jens-Ole Bock of COBO Technologies Aps, which focuses on DNA technology, expressed hope over this combination:

Focus now is on different types of blood diseases and cancer treatment using CAR-T. We have now more than 70 trials ongoing in the clinical phase and initial safety data from these trials are looking promising. 

Kevin Doxzen, Ph.D., expressed similar sentiments about the potential that the “development of CRISPR and other genome engineering technologies is moving modern medicine towards personalized therapeutics and away from a one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare. The ability to precisely locate and alter a specific genetic sequence is opening the door to treating a range of previously untreatable diseases, especially rare genetic diseases.” Who’s to say what uses we’ll find for CRISPR in the future?

In fact, some researchers are already investigating whether CRISPR can be used to created so-called “designer babies.” Considering that researchers in China have already tested CRISPR on embryos to produce babies resistant to HIV, smallpox, and cholera, is it a leap to wonder if they could identify other traits that some people might find undesirable to edit them right out of embryos before implanting them. Given that the 23&Me app can already tell us what genes we might pass on to our children, the idea doesn’t sound that farfetched at all! Who could have predicted this? The writers of Gattaca, for one.

However, while it might be possible for CRISPR to create “designer babies” in the future, many medical experts are skeptical. For example, Bock expressed disbelief that CRISPR technology would move in this direction based on current research efforts.

 All trials today are in somatic cells and focus is to treat well-characterised genetic diseases that will have a significant impact for the patient and the patient group. Because we learn more and more about the genes involved in different diseases, it will make sense to do more pre-screening of germ cells and thereby we could exclude many potential genetic diseases to move to the next generation. However some genetic disease we can not predict and “capture” on in pre-screening and therefore we need tools like CRISPR to be able to cure future genetic diseases in this group of patients

Of course, there’s always someone who wants to capitalize on new tech, which means that we’re pretty much guaranteed that someone will step in to fulfill the role of designing babies with CRISPR in the future. But most researchers understand the significance of treating or even preventing cancer and other diseases that severely impact–and shorten–a patient’s life. With such important work already underway, there’s no use fretting over the potential misuses of CRISPR when the technology will have such long-reaching benefits.

The success of our agency is built upon our clients’ growth. If you want to discuss your next project or be interviewed and featured in our next series of “Project Venus,” contact Colure’s Mobile App Development Team.