Anyone can now create Alexa skills in a matter of minutes

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Amazon on Thursday unveiled “Alexa Skill Blueprints,” code-free templates that any Alexa owner, regardless of experience level, can use to create customized Alexa skills in a matter of minutes.

Amazon included over 20 templates across four categories — Fun & Games, At Home, Storyteller, and Learning & Knowledge — with plans to add more.

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Uber is launching a rental car service inside its app

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Uber is launching a rental car network in partnership with Getaround, the ride-hailing company announced today (April 11).

San Francisco-based Getaround lets users find and instantly book vehicles from private car owners, all through a mobile app. The new Uber Rent platform, which is scheduled to launch later this month in San Francisco, will make cars from Getaround’s network available to users of the Uber app.

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YouTube is the most lucrative platform for creators — with Etsy and Instagram trailing behind

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The internet has sparked a new kind of economy, as creators find new ways to directly reach their audiences and customers. Services like Etsy, WordPress, and Amazon’s Twitch don’t have a lot in common, except for the fact that they give creative people ways to make a living doing what they love.

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You can now book incredibly cheap flights with a new app that lets you bid on unsold airline seats

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Air Ticket Arena is a UK-based start-up that launched in February.

It lets you bid on unsold airplane tickets up to two weeks before the departure date.

It’s only available on Android, but will be available on iOs next month.

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Pushbots vs Pullbots: How businesses can step up their game

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“Why a Chatbot?”

It’s a simple, three-word question I’ve posed to various entrepreneurs recently, particularly in sectors like FinTech and InsurTech. Some of these entrepreneurs have built a chatbot as a feature, others have developed it as core to their product, and a few even offer to license their chatbot to third parties (Chatbot-as-a-Service).

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Spotify disrupted the music world, now it’s doing the same to Wall Street

If Spotify’s non-IPO goes forward this spring, it will be unusual in that it will be a “direct listing,” wherein the current shareholders will sell their shares directly to the retail-investing public on the NYSE, vs. to institutional investors. Spotify is the first company of its size to propose such a listing. If the listing yields a lucrative exit for existing shareholders, it will encourage other nascent high-growth firms to follow in Spotify’s footsteps.

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