Marisa Meyer, Yahoo’s former CEO! Inc.
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Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer on Wednesday announced the launch of consumer apps called Sunshine, which makes its debut with an address book app that relies on artificial intelligence.
Sunshine is Mayor’s first attempt, and has attracted attention since stepping down as Yahoo’s CEO after the company. 48 4.48 billion sales For Verizon in 2017.
Initially, Mayor’s launches Sunshine Contacts, an address book application that relies on AI to detect and consolidate fake contacts, fill in incomplete information, and keep that information constantly updated. The application integrates with iOS Contacts and Gmail and is free to all iOS users by invitation.
“The idea is that Sunshine will basically become the brain that runs your contacts,” Mayer told CNBC. “Communications, in our view, should be a living, changeable thing.”
This application is designed to easily share your contact information with others or to update that information for others. One feature, for example, allows users to push their contact information into the app and push Sunshine contacts to others with their information as an update.
“Because I’m working on contacts, I’m worried that in a few days my Google email address or Yahoo email address will have thousands more people,” Mayer said.
According to the mayor, working on consumer applications is a return to form. During his tenure at Google, Mayer built his reputation in the technology industry as a product leader.
In 2003 he met his Sunshine co-founder Enrique Munoz Torres. There, the two did not cooperate, and the now-defunct Google product iGoogle allowed users to turn the Google website into a customized homepage for their browser. The mayor initially opposed Igogul’s idea, but a presentation of Torres’ plan sold her out.
“I was the caretaker of the Google homepage. It’s my job to keep it clean. Enrique got up and his intention was to just put a bunch of stuff in it. “The way he sometimes shapes his arguments, makes me think differently.”
Torres served as senior vice president of search and advertising, following Mayor Yahoo in 2013. The two began discussing grassroots ideas for Sunshine on Yahoo in their final year, the mayor said. The ideas were not understood at the time, but they decided it was worth reconsidering.
The two left Yahoo when the sale to Verizon ended in June 2017.
“Six months later Enrique called me and we got together and he was like‘ I’m still excited to start that company we were talking about a year ago ’and I thought‘ me too ’,” the mayor recalled.
Marissa Meyer and longtime colleague Enrique Munoz Torres on Wednesday announced the launch of Sunshine and its first application, Sunshine Communications.
Both have been working at Sunshine since 2018. The company is located in Palo Alto, California, and has raised $ 20 million in seed rounds for investors inside and outside, including Felicity Ventures, Extraordinary Ventures and Vin Ventures.
“Over time, I have a lot of respect for Marisa as a product thinker and as a person,” Torres said. “Marisa was brainwashed about this company and brainwashed about products elsewhere, and the alignment was always very quick.”
Sunshine Communications is the foremost in the set of planned consumer applications. Sunshine aims to launch applications that focus on family sharing, planning, event organization and small group communication. By optimizing contacts, Sunshine will build a foundation on which to build other applications, the mayor said.
“We believe the problems with communication are widespread, but a lot of people have learned to be satisfied with the status quo,” Torres said. “This is the class of issues we want to attract.”
The mayor referred to these types of applications as “small-scale sharing”, noting that consumers have evolved over the past two years. They no longer want mega apps that take care of everything for them, but are open to having the best apps that serve specific purposes, Meyer believes.
“The mega usage of doing everything for everyone has become less and less over time,” he said. “We like to have applications with specific issues.”
Consumers have become more comfortable paying for apps that provide value, the mayor said. While Sunshine Contacts will initially be free, Mayer expects more of a freemium business model where users can pay for additional features within Sunshine apps.
Unlike most consumer technology companies, Sunshine vows not to build a business from the data users store on its services.
“The data you give us, you give us for the purpose of enhancing your experience with the product,” Torres said. “We are not going to target advertising based on that data. We are not going to sell it in bulk, in individual form, in any form or format.”
He added, “We do not consider it fair to profit from users’ data.”