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  • Was Y Combinator Worth It?

    Was Y Combinator Worth It?

    Almost any time someone asks about the Y Combinator experience they ask, “Was it worth it?” It’s a difficult question to answer concisely given the complexity of such a program. During Y Combinator we had a chance to make a lot of friends, learn from experienced entrepreneurs, pitch to investors, and even sign up valuable early adopters. Read More

  • A Modest Proposal

    A Modest Proposal

    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” And all seem to be doing it about the new class of apps that rest on the premise of anonymity and/or ephemerality. Read More

  • Why There Will Never Be Another RedHat: The Economics Of Open Source

    Why There Will Never Be Another RedHat: The Economics Of Open Source

    Open source software powers the world’s technology. In the past decade, there has been an inexorable adoption of open source in most aspects of computing. Without open source, Facebook, Google, Amazon, and nearly every other modern technology company would not exist. Thanks to an amazing community of innovative, top-notch programmers, open source has become the foundation of cloud… Read More

  • White House Unveils Cybersecurity Plan For Big Firms, Looks To Silicon Valley Next

    White House Unveils Cybersecurity Plan For Big Firms, Looks To Silicon Valley Next

    The Obama administration unveiled Wednesday a long-awaited plan for bolstering the cybersecurity of critical-infrastructure providers — including big information technology and communications companies — and is gearing up to try to enlist smaller Silicon Valley shops in its battle against hackers. Read More

  • How NASA Prints Trees

    How NASA Prints Trees

    Lynn Rothschild has short brown hair and smiley eyes. She cracks jokes about biology and microscopes with ease. Diana Gentry, her decades-younger Ph.D. student, loves classic video games and vegetarian cooking. She lives near Silicon Valley. The two colleagues have a funny banter, and have spent holidays together. But they share one unique goal. They’re trying to 3D-print wood in space. Read More

  • How To Keep Your Team And Make Your Startup Acquisition Succeed

    How To Keep Your Team And Make Your Startup Acquisition Succeed

    I caught up with Segerstrale to get his thoughts on how to manage acquisitions and make them successful. There are many facets of an acquisition, but Segerstrale focuses on the individual people involved and the often-overlooked things that can keep a team from leaving after an acquisition. Read More

  • One Year Later, Unlocking Your Phone Is Still A Crime

    One Year Later, Unlocking Your Phone Is Still A Crime

    A year ago a ruling went into effect by the Librarian of Congress that made it a crime to unlock your cellphone (changing the settings on the phone to be able to be used on a different phone carrier). When that ruling went into effect, there was public outcry across the technology community that such a basic technology was now illegal to use. Read More

  • How I Funded My Company With Credit Cards (And Almost Failed)

    How I Funded My Company With Credit Cards (And Almost Failed)

    We have all heard of the story of Airbnb. They’re a successful company that made it through their infancy by “bootstrapping by credit card.” They ran out of money early on and rose to the occasion by brute force and now they’re a billion dollar company. That sounds great, in theory. In practice it sucks. Here’s my tale of woe. It’s a cautionary tale and… Read More

  • Why Makers Fail At Retail

    Why Makers Fail At Retail

    2014 is starting off with a bang for hardware. The $3.2B acquisition of Nest, a four year old company, is great news for makers. The question is, then, should you be starting a hardware company rather than the next mobile app? In previous columns we covered the first steps: from prototype to production as well as early stage financing. Let’s now look into another trap: distribution. Read More

  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Economies Of Scale In Tech

    What We Talk About When We Talk About Economies Of Scale In Tech

    When I joined the Industry Analyst community in 2000 the industry was much smaller. For those in the business and analyst community who were in the field decades prior it was even smaller still. Early in my career as an analyst I was studying the semi-conductor industry as it related to markets like PCs, mobile phones (not smart phones), digital home and a few other consumer facing segments. Read More

  • Perfecting The Enterprise End User Experience

    Perfecting The Enterprise End User Experience

    Everyone talks about user experience. It’s often referred to in terms of how ‘sticky’ an app is for its users – how easy it is to use, how engaging it is, how relevant it is to what you’re doing, etc. All are elements that contribute to a compelling experience, regardless of industry or app type. But while user experience is well understood and has always been core… Read More

  • Harvey Keitel, CEO, Or How To Pull Off The Impossible

    Harvey Keitel, CEO, Or How To Pull Off The Impossible

    In many of the old war movies, every elite unit has at least one member that has the critical talent to make something out of nothing: the scrounge. You know this guy: when everyone is out of rations or ammunition and the truck is broken down, he quietly heads out. The next day, when all hope of completing the mission seems lost, the scrounge comes rolling up in a freshly repainted jeep… Read More

  • To Succeed, Growth Hacking Has To Focus More On Product Development Than Marketing

    To Succeed, Growth Hacking Has To Focus More On Product Development Than Marketing

    I can’t think of a buzzier phrase in the tech industry these days than growth hacking, and in some ways I also can’t think of a more dangerous trend to glom onto. Sure, growth is good. But only if it’s real growth. Read More

  • The Alternative Commerce Recipe

    The Alternative Commerce Recipe

    Alternative Commerce is a piece of cake, right? After all, while big box retailers are suffering, fun things like “the Internet” and “mobile phones” make it easier to sell stuff to customers without the expense of stores and make a bunch of money. Just ask WebVan, Kozmo, eToys.com, or Pets.com. Okay maybe it isn’t that easy. Read More

  • Tomfoolery's Kakul Srivastava | Founder Stories

    Founder Stories: Kakul Srivastava On How Tomfoolery Will Make Our Work More Social And Fun

    Mobile messaging and mobile communications tools have grown like a weed on the consumer side — but what about in a work context? With more and more people buying better and better smartphones, taking them into work, where employers are beginning to pay for them and the services, are the conditions ripe for a breakout on the enterprise side? To hear Kakul Srivastava break it down, it… Read More

  • Data As A Company’s Secret Weapon

    Data As A Company’s Secret Weapon

    This year, we’re going to see data go from an opaque, untapped, and mystifying asset to a hyper competitive, I-can’t-believe-you-don’t-use-it weapon for businesses. I don’t mean big data; I mean data of any size: big, medium, and small. In fact, it’s not about the amount of data, it’s about the kind of data you have (and, of course, being smart enough to… Read More

  • Overseeding Will Be Key To Strong Venture Returns

    Overseeding Will Be Key To Strong Venture Returns

    The story is one we’ve heard before: plucky startup sails through seed fundraising, unfurls its wings, then runs into the brick wall of not enough venture and shatters into pieces. The numbers speak for themselves. Read More

  • Billion-Dollar M&A Club Admission Guidelines

    Billion-Dollar M&A Club Admission Guidelines

    Average valuations for venture-backed M&A deals typically come in a pretty tight range. According to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), in 2013 there were 377 total M&A exits of venture-backed companies with mean pricing of $161 million. This compares with total deal count of 499 and 488 and mean pricing of $143 million and $173 million in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Read More

  • SeaMicro's Andrew Feldman| Founder Stories

    SeaMicro’s Andrew Feldman On Pulling The Thread In Entrepreneurship

    I’ve been lucky to host many great founders here on “Founder Stories” to date, but this particular video discussion with Andrew Feldman, a cofounder and CEO of SeaMicro (which was eventually acquired by AMD) struck a different tone than those past. Read More

  • Uber And Disruption

    Uber And Disruption

    Usually an industry’s disruption happens faster than anyone anticipates. Things look like business as usual to the slow moving incumbents, who often have not faced a real market threat for a while. Then the incumbents’ business undergoes sudden, cataclysmic collapse. Uber and Lyft are in the midst of causing this pattern to eat away at the taxi industry. Read More