Column

  • Why Is Yahoo Still So Bad At The Basics?

    Why Is Yahoo Still So Bad At The Basics?

    I’m reluctant to cite what I’m about to cite. It’s scathing. It’s scurrilous. It’s caustic criticism that seems often overblown and, in some cases, deliberately devoid of context. It’s the New York Times Magazine‘s condensation of Nicholas Carlson’s book about Marissa Mayer, which is clearly an attempt to do to her what Hatching Twitter did to… Read More

  • Crossing The Digital Divide To Protect The Environment

    Crossing The Digital Divide To Protect The Environment

    A growing suite of digital tools is emerging to better manage the world’s natural resources. Development Alert! maps where new infrastructure projects overlap with environmentally sensitive areas in Jamaica. Global Forest Watch uses satellite and crowd-sourced data to track deforestation around the world in near-real time. The Sarawak Geoportal collects geographic as well as… Read More

  • Ending The Invisibility Of Homelessness

    Ending The Invisibility Of Homelessness

    The lack of affordable, safe, and supportive housing is a scourge on society. It costs $90K to maintain a human being on the streets for a year, compared to $18K to provide supportive housing to a previously homeless person. Over the last 10 years, an influx of 75,000 people have moved to San Francisco, while only 17,000 new housing units have been built. We can end chronic homelessness by 2020… Read More

  • The Security Behind The Europay, MasterCard And Visa Shift

    The Security Behind The Europay, MasterCard And Visa Shift

    If you regularly accept payments from magnetic stripe debit or credit cards, you might as well post your customer’s credit card information on Google AdWords. Credit card fraud has become far too common, putting both consumers and businesses at risk. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, 37 percent of fraudulent transactions in 2014 were from counterfeit credit cards, and… Read More

  • Waging A War For Talent

    Waging A War For Talent

    We live and work in an age of mass competition and where the ability to land top talent can have as much of an impact on the success of the company as the product line itself. As companies of various shapes and sizes jockey for position in a constantly shifting tech market, there is a subtle, yet intense battle waging for talent. However, what was once hidden in the shadows has now come… Read More

  • Box Will Hit $1 Billion In Revenues Before You Know It

    Box Will Hit $1 Billion In Revenues Before You Know It

    There’s probably no enterprise software company more people opine on than Box. In particular, the business model of Box.
    But while opinions are somewhat subjective, math is math, and the physics of software as a service (SaaS) and recurring revenue are highly predictable. And there’s one thing we now know after Box’s recent SEC filings on its run up to an IPO: Box will be at… Read More

  • Raising More Than $750K In Hardware Crowdfunding

    Raising More Than $750K In Hardware Crowdfunding

    For months, investors have talked about how crowdfunding is changing the hardware investing landscape. The theory goes that the advent of Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow companies to test product-market-fit in a notoriously challenging category. And the numbers suggest there may be something to this: Venture investing in hardware companies increased 233 percent from 2007 to 2013 according… Read More

  • Pay TV Disruption Doesn’t End With Unbundling

    Pay TV Disruption Doesn’t End With Unbundling

    Which would you rather do: pay for all available content or only the content you consume? At first blush, this would seem like a simple cost issue: why not cancel your cable subscription in favor of Netflix, Hulu or Prime Instant Video – or all three? Instead of spending $70 a month for content you don’t watch, you could spend under $10 on just the things you do watch. Read More

  • A Wave Crests: Silicon Valley, Postsecondary Education And A Half-Trillion Dollars

    A Wave Crests: Silicon Valley, Postsecondary Education And A Half-Trillion Dollars

    It’s easy to forget that these are early days for the Internet. We still have different ideas on what it is or how it should work. The web is governed by an iterative improvement process that moves faster than any other invention in human history. Ed tech is no exception. Read More

  • American Re-Urbanization Drives More On-Demand Innovation

    American Re-Urbanization Drives More On-Demand Innovation

    The generational shift occurring as millennials come of age and baby boomers just keep aging has massive implications for both technology and society. As mobile devices become magic wands for marketplaces, matching supply and demand and making goods and services more accessible than ever before, we’re experiencing an “uberfication” of the economy. Read More

  • An Uber Valuation Comes With Uber Problems

    An Uber Valuation Comes With Uber Problems

    Parents like to say when it comes to raising kids, small kids, small problems; big kids, big problems. As Uber metastasizes into a transportation behemoth with a gargantuan $40B valuation, it’s learning a similar lesson: larger and more valuable companies face much bigger problems –and Uber, it seems, has become one big trouble magnet. Just this month alone, Uber was shut down in… Read More

  • The Reinvention Of The Ad-Tech Sector

    The Reinvention Of The Ad-Tech Sector

    There are major changes afoot in advertising technology at the moment, but not everyone has realized how transformational these changes are. Indeed, analysts have talked about four types of business models in the ad tech ecosystem, but have not discussed the underlying innovation that is driving the more leveraged of these models. Read More

  • An Open Letter To Tim Cook About Game Censorship

    An Open Letter To Tim Cook About Game Censorship

    An open letter to the CEO of Apple to change the company’s mind in how it handles the vetting of game content, as happened this week with Papers Please. Video games are an art form just like movies or music and deserve equal treatment. Read More

  • Real-Time Disaster Relief

    Real-Time Disaster Relief

    The Philippines last week topped international headlines as a typhoon ripped through the island nation, claiming dozens of lives and leaving a swath of destruction. The story has a ring of familiarity. Typhoon Hagupit (locally referred to as Ruby) followed a path dangerously similar to that taken last year by the infamous Super Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, which struck the… Read More

  • Unicorns Vs. Dragons

    Unicorns Vs. Dragons

    Everywhere I look I see a unicorn. The trouble is, I’m starting to see the dark side of the unicorn: Venture capitalists and the limited partners who back them are simply on a quest to acquire unicorn logos. Read More

  • Green Building Technology You’ll Never See But Can Experience Now

    Green Building Technology You’ll Never See But Can Experience Now

    Picture an office that cleans up after itself, improves indoor air quality with nanotech-formulated paint, and responds to sunlight by magically adjusting window tint, all while fighting climate change. Then imagine entering your workspace to find your desk light on and the temperature just as you like it. These innovations are already at work in some modern buildings, in the shape of the… Read More

  • The Invasion Of Wearables In The Workforce

    The Invasion Of Wearables In The Workforce

    Wearables have hit the market like a hailstorm. From watches to glasses, headgear to belts, to all assortments of chips and sensors built into clothes and accessories – this market doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, wearables are estimated to be more than a $70 billion market by 2024, according to IDTechEx. Read More

  • What Artificial Intelligence Is Not

    What Artificial Intelligence Is Not

    Artificial Intelligence has been in the media a lot lately. So much so, that it’s only a matter of time before it graduates to meaningless buzz word status like “Big Data” & “Cloud”. Usually I would be a big supporter. Being in the AI space, any attention to our often overlooked industry is welcome. But there seems to be more misinformation out there than… Read More

  • The Realm Of Venture Circa 2014

    The Realm Of Venture Circa 2014

    Today’s venture capital landscape has never been more complex, and it will never again be this simple. It’s hard for entrepreneurs to navigate and VCs to differentiate. And while many believe increased competition has driven valuations up, that simply doesn’t tell the full story. Read More

  • With 3D Printing, Medical Devices Are Cool Again

    With 3D Printing, Medical Devices Are Cool Again

    The recent, successful human implantation of a 3D-printed vertebra at Peking University in China captured the public’s imagination. I read the news (and its quick spread) as evidence that medical devices are dare I say, cool again. Read More

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