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Daily Digest
June 14th, 2024
Liveblocks just launched a new update to help you build collaboration features fasterLiveblocks just launched a new update to help you build collaboration features faster

Building apps has become easier over the past few years thanks to APIs, frameworks, and SDKs. These tools make it faster to implement features that, say, twenty years ago, would have taken weeks, if not months, to build by yourself. 

One of the features that is still notoriously difficult to implement is real-time collaboration. The cursors and comments of your teammates in your Figma design that you might take for granted is no small feat, and in today’s remote work world, reliable, real-time collaboration is critical to any team software. 

Liveblocks is a platform built to make it easier to implement these features. It was founded by Steven Fabre and Guillaume Salles in 2021 as a live presence API showing which team members were viewing a document. Since then, it has raised $5 million in seed funding to expand its capabilities, and the team just launched the latest update.

So what’s new? Since its initial launch, the team has doubled down on its efforts to become an all-in-one collaboration suite for your products. The latest update expands beyond live presence functionality to include more complex features like real-time text editing, live commenting, and real-time notifications when your team makes edits or suggestions. 

It also ships with “Realtime APIs,” so if something is missing that your team can’t live without, you can build it with the Liveblocks service.

The handy thing about this is that every feature includes fully-styled default components. If you need to implement comments and aren’t too fussy about the specifics, you can theoretically add them to your app in moments. Components even include dark mode by default.

It's in pretty good company too with companies like Zapier, Vercel, Hashnode, and others all using Liveblocks to power their suite of real-time collaboration features.

June 13th, 2024
This new AI video model could challenge OpenAI

Looking back at AI-generated videos from 2023 is like viewing cave drawings in a museum. It's been about a year since the Internet saw an AI-generated video of Will Smith eating spaghetti. If you haven’t seen it — be warned, it’s nightmare fuel.

Since then, AI video generation has advanced significantly. OpenAI set things in motion with the announcement of Sora earlier this year. Now, there's a new player on the block.

Luma AI, a California-based startup backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Nvidia, announced Dream Machine, a generative AI video model that creates high-quality, realistic shots from basic text prompts and images. It's currently in a free beta, but it’s been flooded with users, causing frequent crashes since it debuted on X (formerly Twitter) yesterday.

What does it generate? Almost anything. Like Sora, its output depends on the details of the prompt. It can create clips in various styles, from a hyper-realistic frog in city lights to a Studio Ghibli-inspired woman looking out a train window. And yes, someone recreated that spaghetti-eating clip.

How does it compare to Sora? Dream Machine can generate up to 120 frames of video in around 120 seconds, outperforming OpenAI’s Sora, which produces up to a minute of video but takes 10 minutes to an hour, depending on who you ask. When it comes to quality, it’s pretty strong, although through my own testing I noticed it can get a little funky when it comes to movement. Take this UFO-inspired video for example. The movement of the child towards the end has a certain stiffness to it. 

Who else is making waves? Dream Machine and Sora are not the only players in the generative AI video scene. Runway’s Gen 2, a multi-modal AI system for generating video, launched last year but now feels outdated. Kling, an AI model from China, also made a splash when it launched last week with new videos that could make OpenAI sweat.

Weekly Digest
More Launch Stories
June 10th, 2024

Detail wants creators to share videos without editing software. Launched originally in 2020, Detail's latest update puts even more editing tools right into the recording experience, like text-based editing and remote recording. Detail is founded by Paul Veugen, whose past startups won Apple and Webby Awards. Read the story.

Descript, the popular audio & video editor, launched Underlord, an AI video assistant. If you’re a user, you know that Descript’s text-based editing was a game changer, but editing is still a time suck. Underlord can now redline changes for you, create clips, and more. Read the story.

Second is a codebase maintenance system from second-time YC founder Eric Rowell. Connect to your GitHub repo, select whatever maintenance module you need (e.g. Angular to React), review the AI agent's plan, modify as needed, and hit run. Read the Story.

Cello is a new all-in-one referral platform for B2B SaaS. Although a crowded space, the founders (a Forbes 30 under 30, serial founder + an ex-Twilio PM Director) say Cello is set apart through its seamless integration with your product, which motivated them to build it in the first place.

Elevate (formerly Bloom) offers US-based USD accounts for remote employees and freelancers, primarily in East and North Africa. Back in 2022, it became the first startup from Sudan to particpate in YC, and is now available in other emerging markets.

Top Launch Stories
June 3rd, 2024

The ex-Head of Growth at Notion launched a tool for growth people: Roadway. It lets marketers self-serve data and pull insights with an AI assistant. Read the story.

Cartesia Sonic is an AI voice model – a state space model (SSM) that the founders invented while working as PhDs at the Stanford AI Lab. Sonic generates high-quality, lifelike speech fast (135ms model latency). Read the story.

Kino is a video app from the makers of Halide, the popular and Apple Design Award-winning photography app. Kino gives pros and amateurs more control, using the iPhone 15 Pro’s ability to shoot ProRes in Log format. Read the story.

🥇Oh, A Potato is a meal planner set apart by its AI-powered features. You can scan recipes from a book or save videos from Instagram — the app translates the instructions for you. The fun branding is prob thanks to the makers’ backgrounds in Product at Savage X Fenty, Adidas, Babbel, and Amazon.

Hex launched end-to-end no-code workflows. The data and analytics platform from ex-Palantir makers is already growing in popularity (we use it at PH) across people with varying technical backgrounds. This elevates its flexibility and collaborative potential.

Reforge launched a Chrome extension. It's an AI tool that integrates with tools like Notion and Google Docs to evaluate your work and give you advice based on experts like Andrew Chen or the ex-CPO of Tinder.

Stolkholm-based Mentimeter launched an AI builder to add polls and surveys to your interactive presentations.

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