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TechCrunch+ Roundup: SaaS architecture, Kimberly Bryant’s next move, managing cloud security on August 1, 2023 at 5:00 pm

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“Building a plane in midair” is one of my favorite startup clichés. It’s something Silicon Valley visionaries love to say, but it has little to do with the iterative work of developing software.

Well-designed SaaS architecture makes every company more maneuverable when it comes to pricing, scaling, and onboarding new customers, according to Ratnesh Singh Parihar of Talentica Software.

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Before developers get to work, he says three questions should determine which SaaS architecture you select:

How would the customers pay?
For what services (computation and values) would the customers pay?
How will the usage be measured and invoices be created for the customers?

In this TC+ post, Parihar shares a framework for selecting “the right SaaS type for your product,” along with multiple examples and use cases.

Choose wisely — boards tend to hate it when a refactor puts product development on hold!

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Thanks for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

How SaaS architecture impacts pricing and profitability

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Strengthening security in a multi-SaaS cloud environment

Image Credits: luismmolina (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Managing security across multiple SaaS cloud deployments has an element of risk: A lot can go wrong when using multiple APIs and interfaces to manage data without configuration standards.

“To overcome these challenges, automation and detection have become a crucial piece of the puzzle, and you should be asking about these capabilities,” advises Steven Tamm, a technology adviser to Spin.AI and former Salesforce CTO.

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VC Office Hours: Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant starts a new chapter

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

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Nearly a year ago, the board of the nonprofit Black Girls Code fired the group’s founder and CEO, Kimberly Bryant.

Although that “situation is still developing,” Dominic-Madori Davis interviewed Bryant about her next move: launching an accelerator in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, “under the umbrella of her newly launched investment firm, Ascend Ventures.”

VC Office Hours: Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant starts a new chapter

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How to succeed in today’s grocery delivery market

Misfits Market CEO Abhi Ramesh. Image Credits: Misfits Market

Grocery delivery services were in hot demand when the pandemic began, but in a post-vaccine era, many companies have scaled back operations as they attempt to ride out the downturn.

“One of the strategic mistakes folks in this category made was they assumed that the growth rate and demand in 2020 and 2021 would stay for the next three, four or five years,” said Abhi Ramesh, founder and CEO of Misfits Market.

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Deal Dive: Cutting through the noise in a category clouded by catastrophic failure

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Vital Bio hopes it can succeed where past blood testing startups like Theranos failed. Image Credits: Getty Images

Did the Theranos fraud case cast a shadow over other health tech startups hoping to disrupt traditional laboratory services?

Toronto-based Vital Bio recently unveiled a device that performs 50 blood tests and returns results in 20 minutes, reports Rebecca Szkutak, who interviewed co-founder and CEO Vasu Nadella.

“We knew we didn’t want to come out without really good data,” he said. “We didn’t want to even try to ask for credit before we felt that we had something worth showing off that is far enough along.”

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​ “Building a plane in mid-air” is something Silicon Valley visionaries love to say, but it has little to do with the iterative work of developing software. 

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X Opens the Door to Adult Content With New Policy

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X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has made a significant policy shift by officially permitting adult content on its platform with some restrictions and guidelines.

In an update to its rules, X stated that users can now share “consensually produced and distributed adult nudity or sexual behavior” as long as it is properly labeled and not prominently displayed in areas like profile pictures or header images.

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“We recognize that many of our users are adults who want to freely express themselves by sharing legal adult content,” said an X spokesperson. “At the same time, we have a responsibility to protect minors and prevent exposure to explicit material without proper labeling.”

Under the new guidelines, users who “regularly post” adult content must adjust their settings to automatically mark images and videos as sensitive content, which blurs or hides the media by default. By default, users under 18 or who haven’t entered their birth date cannot view this sensitive adult content.

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The policy prohibits content “promoting exploitation, nonconsent, objectification, sexualization or harm to minors, and obscene behaviors.” It applies to all adult content, whether photographic, animated, or AI-generated.

X has stated that it will monitor user-generated content and adjust account settings for those who fail to properly mark pornographic posts. Similar rules and enforcement will apply to violent content as well.

The move aligns X with Apple’s app store guidelines, which allow apps with adult content as long as it is hidden by default and behind proper age gates and content warnings.

While adult content was already present on X, this policy update officially permits and regulates it, aiming to balance freedom of expression for consenting adults with protecting minors from exposure to explicit material.

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However, enforcing these rules consistently may prove challenging for X’s reduced content moderation teams following recent layoffs and cost-cutting measures.

The policy shift has drawn mixed reactions, with some praising X for embracing adult expression while others raise concerns about the potential for the platform to become inundated with pornographic content despite the restrictions.

As X navigates this new territory, the effectiveness of its labeling requirements, age verification measures, and content moderation efforts will be closely watched by users, regulators, and advocacy groups alike.

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Trump’s Conviction Raises Stakes for 2024 Election

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In a stunning fall from grace, Donald Trump has been convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment made to conceal an alleged affair during the 2016 campaign. While Trump has vowed to appeal, the guilty verdict represents an unprecedented legal rebuke of the former president and frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination.

The question now is whether this first-ever criminal conviction of a former U.S. president will derail Trump’s increasingly plausible path back to the White House. The answer likely hinges on a narrow but potentially decisive sliver of persuadable voters in battleground states.

For Trump’s ardent base of supporters, the conviction seems to matter little. They have remained stubbornly loyal through past scandals, impeachments, and investigations. Many have already shrugged off the guilty verdict as an expected outcome from a “witch hunt” prosecution. In their eyes, Trump is the victim of a politicized injustice system rigged against him.

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But for the moderate Republicans, independents, and suburban swing voters who abandoned Trump in 2020, this criminal conviction could prove a bridge too far. The idea of reinstalling a convicted felon in the Oval Office may be unpalatable, even for those underwhelmed by President Biden’s leadership.

Trump’s ability to win back these key voting blocs in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will likely decide if the conviction is a fatal blow or a mere speed bump on his return to power. A small but decisive number of alienated moderates could make the difference in another nail-bitingly close Electoral College finish.

Of course, Trump has repeatedly defied conventional wisdom and political norms throughout his improbable rise. His supporters point to examples like Eugene Debs garnering over 900,000 votes while campaigning from prison in 1920 as proof a conviction does not disqualify a candidate.

And Trump will surely leverage the conviction to his advantage, stoking grievances and portraying himself as a martyr persecuted by the “deep state.” His rallying cry will be that the American people, not corrupt prosecutors, should decide his political fate.

Ultimately, the impact of Trump’s conviction may come down to the sentencing and outcome of appeals. A lengthy prison term would be a near-impossible hurdle. But if he avoids incarceration, the stain of being a convicted felon on the campaign trail is a heavy burden.

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In a nation deeply divided over Trump’s legacy, voters in 2024 will judge whether his norm-shattering presidency warrants a norm-shattering return to power as a convicted criminal defendant. The stakes for American democracy have never been higher.

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Trump is Found Guilty by Jury

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The jury in Donald Trump’s hush money trial has reached a verdict after deliberating for less than two days. The 12 jurors will return to the courtroom shortly to announce their decision on the 34 counts of falsifying business records that Trump faced related to the $130,000 payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

Trump has been present in the courtroom awaiting the verdict.  The jury had requested to rehear portions of testimony from key witnesses David Pecker and Michael Cohen during their deliberations, suggesting they closely scrutinized the evidence around the alleged hush money scheme.

A guilty verdict would represent a significant legal setback for Trump as he campaigns for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. An acquittal would be a boost for his campaign efforts. The high-profile trial has garnered immense attention, with the testimony providing insight into the alleged cover-up of the payment to Daniels.

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