Today on GeekWire: Modular smart housing; Galaxy Note10; and understanding the differences between big companies and startups

Highlights from today’s top stories. Subscribe here to receive this rundown daily.

A rocket launch this morning marked a key milestone in a Seattle company’s quest to keep a closer eye on the planet. One of the satellites blasted into space from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula will join a BlackSky constellation to provide “rapid-revisit” satellite imagery to monitor crop health, natural disasters, and other highly dynamic situations back here on Earth.

Aaron Holm believes the housing market is fundamentally broken. The former Amazon product manager and his colleagues are out to change that with their Seattle-based startup, Blokable, a modular smart-home manufacturer that just raised $23 million from Vulcan Capital, Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff and other notable investors.

Readers and listeners are reacting passionately to my decision to dump my iPhone in favor of the Galaxy Note10+, aiming to take advantage of Samsung’s new Windows integration, as explained in our podcast and post over the weekend. There were a few positive comments, mostly from those who have also struggled with the chasm between Windows PC and iPhone. But their encouraging words were the exception.

“Maybe next year you should try switching to an Android that costs less than half as much,” reader Kary wrote of the $1,100 phone. “Spending that much money on a smartphone in 2019 is like spending $5,000 on a PC in 2019.”

Patrick Husting says, “You’ll be back in the Empire… I give you exactly 1 year.”

And then there was this reaction on Twitter: “It’s 2019 and people still have to let others know they left the iPhone??? Dude no one cares. No one.”

Wow! Well, that last comment, at least, is demonstrably false. Our coverage of the promised integration between Samsung and Microsoft has quickly become one of our most popular ongoing stories. I’ll keep everyone posted after my new device arrives later this week. Stay tuned!

Also sparking an interesting discussion is Seattle startup vet Marcelo Calbucci’s weekend commentary about the lessons that people from big companies need to “unlearn” before joining startups.

Leslie Feinzaig, founder and CEO of Female Founders Alliance, points out that this extends to advisors, mentors, and investors who come out of big companies, as well. Understanding the differences is particularly important for new angel investors, “because money creates a power imbalance,” she writes. “Their advice can really do more harm than good.”

But the most eye-opening reaction came in response to Calbucci’s tweet about witnessing “the struggles of those leaving Microsoft, Google, Expedia, and Amazon and joining a startup.”

“Hi Marcelo,” responded Expedia’s official Twitter account. “Please DM us your itinerary number and email address so we can further assist.”

“Yeah,” observed Calbucci, “I am not sure AI will take over anytime soon.”

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