Let’s talk about succession plans


Welcome to Startups Weekly, a special focus on this week’s startup news and trends by a senior reporter and equity co-host. Natasha Maskerenhas To receive this in your inbox, subscribe over here.

Maybe it’s the fact that “success” is back next week, or maybe it’s the fact that Silicon Valley has its first banking crisis, but I want to talk about the lineage in startups.

As I wrote in my recent post:

Silicon Valley Bank is a good reminder that startups, often entrenched in a world of risk and adversity, sometimes forget to think about the obvious—single points of failure. But just as it makes sense to trust a community-friendly bank, so does trusting someone to lead your business to success. Now that we’ve seen that the former didn’t quite work, maybe it’s time to rethink the latter.

For my full take on the new stress founders need to consider, read “Banking Isn’t the Only ‘Failure Point’ Entrepreneurs Need to Rethink.”

For more, read about the crypto corner, my latest snapshot of my founding passion, the impact on black founders, and this timeline of everything that’s happened so far. This SVB coverage ends as a reminder to this newsletter writer to keep her sanity and remember that there is a world outside of bank pits.

In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll delve into this week’s Buried News and GPT-4. As always, you can follow me Twitter Or Instagram to continue the conversation. You can also send me tips at natasha.m@techcrunch.com or Dial +1 925 271 0912. No tones, please.

GPT-4 does not write this.

This week at Fairness, Alex and I talked about the above, but more interestingly, the future of AI. When smart people write books we talk about the impact of technology, context and the general joy of technology. We need it, and I say this because I live a stone’s throw away from Cerebral Valley.

Here’s why it’s mind boggling: GPT-4 launched this week from the team behind OpenAI. As our own Kyle Wiegers reports, “GPT-4 can generate text and accept image and text input — an improvement over the earlier GPT-3.5, which only accepted text — and performs ‘human-level’ on a variety of professional and academic metrics. For example, GPT-4 passed the tested bar exam with more than 10% of test takers. In contrast, the GPT-3.5 score was less than 10%. Companies like Stripe, Duolingo and Khan Academy were among the beta testers.

Image Credits: Microsoft

Buried news

When there is clear oil, news is often buried – intentionally or unintentionally. As a result, over the past week, there has been a lot of news – both good and bad – that deserves more attention. The list includes Start the house that is declining the current works And the dismissal of employees, as well as Clavio and Kors Valor conduct the first layoffs in the company.

Here’s something else I missed sharing my two cents on:

High angle view of a microscope focusing sunlight into a single point on a turquoise colored background;  Technical due diligence

Image Credits: Mirage C (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

etc. etc.

  • Return Saturday: If you missed last week’s Startup Weekly, catch up on my latest issue here: “The Oh-So Biased Brand in Venture Capital.”
  • Should we stay on campus? TechCrunch is coming to Boston on April 20th. I will meet with my dear colleagues to ask senior experts at a one-day founding conference. Book your pass fast! Speakers will include Kurti Levy of Techstars, Dayna Grayson of Construction Capital and James Currier of NFX.
  • A big shout. All the sources who spoke to me last week, on and off the record, to help me understand Silicon Valley’s first, real banking crisis. There is much to learn and many questions ahead, so keep the faith and tips coming.
  • Programming Notes: If you’re reading this in a browser, get it in your inbox too! Subscribe here and share with your friends.

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Silicon Valley has been through a rough patch, and that’s saying a lot as the ongoing pandemic and recession continue to present obstacles. Thanks if you made it to the end, but also get some sleep. We will be here on Monday. You deserve some rest. I’ll probably have some sweet words about how technology has come together during a stressful time, but for now, sleep.

Chat soon – and let me know if you’d like to live “Success” with me on Twitter next week?



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