The man who helped invent self-driving cars is working on his next project… a religion. The Hustle Thur, Nov 16 Brought to you by Felix Gray… protect your peepers. Anthony Levandowski wants to start a futuristic religion… seriously The former Google/Uber exec notoriously known for self-driving cars says he is dead-serious about starting a groundbreaking […]
November 16, 2017
The man who helped invent self-driving cars is working on his next project… a religion.
Brought to you by Felix Gray… protect your peepers.
Anthony Levandowski wants to start a futuristic religion… seriously
The former Google/Uber exec notoriously known for self-driving cars says he is dead-serious about starting a groundbreaking religion in the Bay Area — the deity of which will be highly advanced artificial intelligence.
Levandowski says the new religion, “Way of the Future,” will focus on “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on AI developed through computer hardware and software.”
Forgive me, Alexa, for I have sinned
The idea behind the religion is that AI will one day become smarter than humans, and, according to Levandowski, the technology will then be an object of worship.
“I would love for the machine to see us as its beloved elders that it respects and takes care of,” he confided in an interview with Wired. “We would want this intelligence to say, ‘Humans should still have rights, even though I’m in charge.’”
But the tech has to get there first — and until it does, part of the WOTF initiative will include bankrolling research to create the enlightened AI, while building relationships with industry leaders and “laypersons” in order to create a membership service.
And he wants to get started before the new year.
But first, he’s got some loose ends to tie up
Anthony Levandowski is currently wrapped in a crazy-high-stakes lawsuit between Waymo and Uber, after providing Uber with 14,000 secret documents he allegedly stole from Waymo back when he worked for them.
Uber fired him a few months ago after pleading the fifth, and the lawsuit is set for an early December trial.
Ahh, the classic tech on tech espionage lawsuit getting in the way of producing a robot church. It happens too often.
But ambition always persists
Lawsuit or no lawsuit, Levandowski is ready to get cracking on the quest to create ultra-transcendence, or as he refers to it, “The Transition.”
The church will have a belief system stemming from its own principles called “The Manual,” as well as public worship ceremonies, and “probably” an actual, physical church.
What if god was… a robot?
SendGrid’s IPO crushed it
Yesterday, the cloud-based email delivery service made its New York Stock Exchange debut, raising $131m in its IPO.
The company’s success exceeded Wall Street’s expectations, outpacing projections of both share volume (8.2m) and price ($16) — and their shares debuted at 16% above the IPO price.
A SendGrid refresher
SendGrid was founded in 2009 with the goal of creating a SaaS business to help companies send marketing emails.
Prior to their IPO, they raised $80m in venture capital — a figure nearly matched by their 2016 revenue of $79.9m (though they are still just shy of profitability).
To date, SendGrid has processed upwards of 1 trillion emails, including the one you’re reading right now.
In fact, SendGrid CEO Sameer Dholakia recently cited The Hustle as his favorite newsletter. Aww shucks, Sameer. You’re making us bashful!
This bodes well for email
SendGrid — like its competitors, MailChimp and SparkPost — is banking on the future of email.
As new work-based communications platforms like Slack and HighFive continue to rise in popularity, the staying power of email has become a topic of debate.
But for now, with 54% of the planet (3.7B people) using email, it’s hard to foresee a monumental shift occurring in the near future.
Kickstarter is kickstarting a new service in order to compete with Patreon
The project-funding platform is releasing their first new product since they launched in 2009: Drip.
Similar to the newly successful artist-friendly platform, Patreon, Drip allows creators to connect with backers by allowing them to make recurring payments to their favorite creators as opposed to a specific project.
Or as the company explains it, “Kickstarter is for projects… Drip is for people.”
In the nick of time
Drip was originally intended to be a community app for independent music artists when it launched in 2011.
But the company had a hard time sustaining user-attention, and in 2016, one day before the company was going to shut down, Kickstarter swooped in and acquired them.
So how is Drip different than Patreon?
Founded in 2013, Patreon is reportedly on pace to pay out $150m in subscription revenues this year — to set Drip apart, Kickstarter is relying on their “founding members” initiative which offers backer incentives based on when they pledge or how much they give.
Kickstarter is also really leaning into their “creator-first” approach with Drip, allowing Drip-creators to cut ties with the platform while still keeping their subscribers if they wish to move to a different crowdfunding source.
So aside from a few minor differences, what really sets Drip apart from its veteran competitor? The answer is simple: Drip has Kickstarter. And Kickstarter has street-cred.
Cards Against Humanity is the undisputed champion of holiday promotions
The world’s raunchiest card game has purchased a plot of vacant land along the Mexico-US border and has hired an eminent domain lawyer to make it “as time-consuming and expensive as possible” for the Trump administration to build its proposed wall.
To fund their effort, CAH offered a package of “six surprises” for $15 — all of which are now sold out.
It’s the latest of their yearly holiday stunts
Since the game was launched by 8 high school friends in 2011, it’s gained a reputation for pulling incredibly on-point PR stunts, including:
2013: Selling their card game for $5 more than usual as a Black Friday “promotion”-slash-protest (sales went up)
2014: Selling a box of literal poop for $6 (30k people bought it, and it sold out in under 2 hours)
Two years ago on our blog, we called out how easy it is to game the Kindle ecosystem and become a best-selling author. Using scammy tactics, it only took us a week to write and launch a book that became a bestseller.
This $300 scooter goes up to 20 MPH, has a range of up to 15 miles, and charges super fast. Every urban dwelling yuppie should be riding one of these. Not only does it have a headlight, but it’s freakin’ called SWAGTRON. Seems like the easiest decision ever.
FEEL: that chunky honeycomb weave, starting at $29
Upgrade your bathroom linens with new waffle patterned towels from Parachute. Parachute’s waffle towels are lightweight, quick drying, and ridiculously soft. One touch of the luxe waffle pattern and you’ll be asking for syrup.
ATTENTION: THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Microsoft has made one of the most innovative, easy-to-use business products we’ve ever seen. We’re talking about the Office 365 apps we love, beefed up with security and multi-device functionality — you know what they say, never skip security day.
Do your eyes feel… Dry? Fatigued? Blurry? That’s because blue light is literally frying your eyeballs with every laptop, cellphone, and other ridiculously addictive electronic we stare into.
So, since I don’t want to be one of the millions of nearly blind millennials aimlessly wandering the earth in 2065, I picked up a pair of Felix Gray’s Instagram-worthy Italian frames. Within a few hours, I could literally feel the difference — and I looked classy AF. Plus, investing in my health feels so adult.