O'Reilly Bots Podcast: Sarah Guo on the Case for Bots

Greylock Partners investor joins for episode 2

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Ben Tossell
Ben TossellHunter@bentossell · Services for startups
Notes: We open by asking how bots fit into Sarah’s investment thesis and why bot startups are appealing right now (short answer: they sit at the intersection between messaging, AI-based search, and mobile commerce). In the middle of the episode, we raise a question that comes up often in bot circles: is WeChat the future of mobile commerce? It’s easy to look at WeChat usage in China, where it’s an almost universal payment and identity platform, and see it as the final evolution of messaging, and a model that must eventually arrive in the U.S. Sarah thinks it’s not; in China, it preceded many of the Internet services that have already been popular in the U.S. for some time—payments, file transfer, common identity, and so on. Bots and messaging-based commerce will need to find a more nuanced fit here.