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  • Sunday Signal: Google DeepMind announces AlphaFold 3, a $1.3 billion exit and reaching critical mass

Sunday Signal: Google DeepMind announces AlphaFold 3, a $1.3 billion exit and reaching critical mass

Hey friends 👋 Happy Sunday.

Here’s your weekly dose of AI and introspection.

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AI Highlights

This is a monumental leap in the field of computational biology. AlphaFold 3 can predict the 3D structures and interactions of all of life’s molecules. This includes proteins, DNA, RNA, and even small molecules like ligands—essential for drug development.

Alex’s take: AlphaFold 3 is 50% more accurate than the best traditional methods. This means better crop resilience, innovative biorenewable materials, and accelerated drug design. I'm super bullish on Demis Hassabis and the team at DeepMind.

It's the most impressive AI-generated music I've heard and a real leap forward against other AI music-generation tools that sound quite robotic and artificial.

Alex’s take: If you're a musician, it's important to learn to use new tools like ElevenLabs Music, Suno, or Udio instead of rejecting them. One thing's for sure—nothing will beat the feeling of going to a live concert with other humans.

It uses a transformer architecture that converts visual data into small, localised segments of video that include information about how objects and scenes change over time. This approach allows the model to handle media with different durations and resolutions, enabling high-fidelity video generation up to a minute long.

Alex’s take: Although still under development and not yet released to the public, I can’t wait to get my hands on this tool. I see tremendous applications, meaning sophisticated video editing will be accessible to a broader audience—you’ll be able to create something meaningful just by using natural language prompts.

1 Article I Enjoyed

Emery Wells is the co-founder and CEO of Frame.io, a video collaboration platform.

Frame.io raised over $90 million from the likes of Accel, FirstMark and Insight Partners before being acquired by Adobe for $1.3 billion.

Emery is a favourite recent Twitter(X) follow of mine, and this article highlights exactly why. It breaks down the exact strategies he used for a launch that saw 15,000 signups and, three months later, $30K in MRR.

A few ideas that stood out to me:

  1. Deliver a spectacular landing page. Frame.io didn’t build a landing page—they built a landing experience. They created a game engine-level animation in a browser. This technology placed them on the front page of Hacker News when Frame.io was still just an email list.

  2. Gamify customer engagement. Instead of just collecting emails, Frame.io built a gamified points system that allowed users to climb the waitlist for various interactions, such as sharing posts on Facebook/Twitter and answering feedback questions.

  3. Automate personal follow-ups. This is something that caught my eye. Every new user received an email from Emery exactly 15 minutes after signing up. This led to thousands of replies from future customers, partners, and investors.

1 Idea I Learned

Critical mass.

In nuclear physics, critical mass refers to the minimum quantity of fissile material required to maintain a continuous nuclear chain reaction.

Simply put, it’s the least amount of material needed to keep a nuclear reaction going by itself.

But this idea has been lifted from physics and brought across to new domains.

In business, critical mass refers to the point at which something becomes self-sustaining.

A turning point that changed my understanding of critical mass in business was one realisation.

Every business has 2 key parts: product and distribution.

A great product with no distribution means your product sits in the dark.

A great product with great distribution means your product gets users' attention.

It’s not enough to create a great product and hope it all works out. You need both if you're going to win. You have to find a way to get it into the hands of the consumer at scale. This can be done through social media content, blog posts or collaborations.

When you have distribution that runs by itself—the best case of this is word of mouth—you’re kickstarting that chain reaction.

Start by finding something low-cost and low-friction to replicate. Pay attention to the data and turn the flywheel to reach that critical mass.

1 Quote to Share

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on the importance of focus:

“Focus is a force multiplier on work.

Almost everyone I’ve ever met would be well-served by spending more time thinking about what to focus on. It is much more important to work on the right thing than it is to work many hours. Most people waste most of their time on stuff that doesn’t matter.

Once you have figured out what to do, be unstoppable about getting your small handful of priorities accomplished quickly. I have yet to meet a slow-moving person who is very successful.”

1 Question to Ponder

Are you doing things today that the younger version of you would be proud of?

💡 If you enjoyed this issue, share it with a friend.

See you next week,

Alex Banks

P.S. The best response to ridicule is to act ridiculous.