Column

  • Forget The Oscars, Last Weekend’s Biggest Snub Was Comic-Con

    Forget The Oscars, Last Weekend’s Biggest Snub Was Comic-Con

    The most important entertainment industry event so far this year happened over the weekend – but it wasn’t the Oscars. In fact, it’s likely that you had no idea it happened, not unless you’re plugged in to geek culture in a big way. Read More

  • Improv Is The Best Conditioning For Startup Life

    Improv Is The Best Conditioning For Startup Life

    Four years ago, I participated in my first improv comedy class. In 2013, Mahmoud Arram and I co-founded Bluecore, a marketing technology company whereevery single employee is required to complete an improv 101 class within the first four months on the job. In terms of importance, this ranks right up there with required reading and sales training. But why? Read More

  • SpaceTech Is Venture Capital’s Final Frontier

    SpaceTech Is Venture Capital’s Final Frontier

    Venture-backed companies like SpaceX, Skybox, Planet Labs, Rocket Lab and O3B disrupt the aerospace industry with faster, cheaper, better products. Unencumbered by government bureaucracy, this new breed of enterprise can move quickly, attract the best talent with equity ownership, and take calculated design risks that government contractors cannot afford to. Read More

  • Transactional Flexibility Is The Future Of Payments

    Transactional Flexibility Is The Future Of Payments

    When Apple Pay went live following the release of the iPhone 6, it was quickly and unceremoniously hailed as a “credit card-killer,” and to an extent it makes sense: As a payment method, the credit card has lost whatever futuristic luster it may have once had. But here’s the problem: If you’ve ever actually used Apple Pay, you may have noticed that it isn’t… Read More

  • Toward Our 3D Future

    Toward Our 3D Future

    If the past couple of years have been about one theme for me investment-wise, they have been about exploring the bridge between bits and atoms with a series of bets aimed to make a path between the digital world and the physical one we populate. And no, I am not talking about ordering a pizza from my smartphone or getting a maid-on-demand to come clean my house within an hour, but rather… Read More

  • The WebRTC Race Begins Today

    The WebRTC Race Begins Today

    As recently as 2012, it seemed that Web Real-Time Communication, or WebRTC, was so clandestine that the technology was a skunk works project, hidden in a back office somewhere in Silicon Valley. It is now an emerging standard of web communication which makes high definition, high resolution, low bandwidth video, audio, chat and peer to peer data transfer as simple as a single browser link. Read More

  • Trying To Hire A Diverse Team Of Engineers? It’s Not Just A Pipeline Issue

    Trying To Hire A Diverse Team Of Engineers? It’s Not Just A Pipeline Issue

    Recently, there have been a flurry of articles discussing the lack of diversity in tech. Many reference “pipeline” issues as justification for the low numbers. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, blacks and Hispanics collectively make up approximately 18 percent of U.S. computer science graduates, yet Facebook, Yahoo, and LinkedIn are between 8 to 11… Read More

  • Why Greece Should Not Switch To Bitcoin

    Why Greece Should Not Switch To Bitcoin

    In some discussions about Greece exiting the euro, it has been suggested that Greece should swap the euro for bitcoin. At first glance, bitcoin may appear to be the cure. But if the euro is the problem, switching to Bitcoin would be like trying to cure a headache with a bullet to the brain. Read More

  • Beware The Pretty People

    Beware The Pretty People

    The tech industry used to be home to a disproportionate number of misfits and weirdos. Geeks. Nerds. People who needed to know how machines worked; needed to take them apart, make them better, and put them back together again. People who existed a little apart from society’s established hierarchy … and often saw that hierarchy as another machine to be deconstructed and improved. Read More

  • Startup Lessons From My Screenwriter Life, Part 2: Movie Sets

    Startup Lessons From My Screenwriter Life, Part 2: Movie Sets

    This is the second post in a two-part series on the lessons I learned as a filmmaker that have value in my life as a startup founder and CEO at Vsnap. In the first post, I covered stuff that comes up before you go into production. In this post, I will discuss how a few of my lessons learned on sets apply to startup life. Read More

  • How Cards Are Quietly Transforming The Web

    How Cards Are Quietly Transforming The Web

    Nearly three hours a day. That’s the average amount of time you and I spent on our phones every day in 2014. Our dependency on mobile devices for information has forced the design of the web to change. Netizens have come to expect mobile content is optimized in a way that brings them exactly what they are looking for front and center. Read More

  • Sharing Is Everything But Caring In The Sharing Economy

    Sharing Is Everything But Caring In The Sharing Economy

    One of the hot topics so far this year is what will become of P2P services and the sharing economy. Last year Airbnb became the largest hotel chain in the world, Uber expanded abroad with large protests from incumbents in the taxi industry and P2P-lender Lending Club got listed on Wall Street. Read More

  • Beauty By Design: The Intersection Of Data And Digital Art

    Beauty By Design: The Intersection Of Data And Digital Art

    It’s only through parallel creative exploration that the broader ramifications of open data can be clarified and communicated, both in terms of the value of the art itself and also what it can reveal about our increasingly complex lives. Read More

  • Postponing IPOs Can Deliver Information Advantage

    Postponing IPOs Can Deliver Information Advantage

    It’s taking longer for startups to get to IPO, but that’s not necessarily bad news for investors in private companies. Why? Because startups today aren’t just valuable for their future exit potential, but for the proprietary data they produce while still private. Read More

  • It’s Well Past Time VCs Hired HR Directors

    It’s Well Past Time VCs Hired HR Directors

    Those following the Pao/KPCB saga in court yesterday were treated to the testimony of Trae Vassallo, a former Kleiner partner, who claimed on the witness stand that she too was uncomfortably propositioned by Ajit Nazre. Nazre was the Kleiner partner who Pao claims in her lawsuit harassed her after the two had a falling out. Vassallo said in court that when she brought this to the attention of… Read More

  • Before You Fly Over Kansas City, Read This

    Before You Fly Over Kansas City, Read This

    Yeah, we got Google Fiber before you did, so get over it…because we can’t have this conversation until you consider the idea that Kansas City might actually be for real. Are we ready for the big time? Nope, not yet, but our MVP is looking really good. Here’s one man’s opinion on a city that is trying to find a seat at the grownup table. Read More

  • The Web: Headliner Or TV’s Supporting Actor?

    The Web: Headliner Or TV’s Supporting Actor?

    Super Bowl XLIX was the most watched television show in U.S. history. It was also the most socialized Super Bowl ever measured, with 265 million Facebook posts, likes, and comments, and more than 28 million global tweets. Today’s TV viewer doesn’t just watch TV anymore — they scroll through Twitter and Facebook in real time, watch YouTube Videos, send Snapchats, and pin… Read More

  • Coaxing US Banking And Payments Into The 21st Century

    Coaxing US Banking And Payments Into The 21st Century

    In the last decade, financial institutions and industry regulators, driven by consumer demand and fintech innovators, have slowly changed the way transactions are being processed in the United States. The national standard for electronic transfers continues to be the ACH system – a legacy system with origins dating back to the 1960s. NACHA, the national rule setting body for the network… Read More

  • Defining The Digital Currency Professional

    Defining The Digital Currency Professional

    As new industries develop, new professions emerge. And when much is at stake and the industry is marked by an asymmetry of information between the layman and those in advisory roles, an organized process for defining and certifying those professionals is required. This process is critical for the success of the industry, as well as the success of those professionals who have invested in… Read More

  • Software And Data Are Disrupting Venture Capital Firms

    Software And Data Are Disrupting Venture Capital Firms

    Over the last decade, the estimated number of new tech startups formed in the U.S. each year ranged from 16,000 to 20,000, and the total amount of venture funding per year for software startups increased from ~$5 billion to $19 billion. Most recently, over the past five years, terabytes of structured data about these startups have been proliferating on the web (see CrunchBase profile growth… Read More

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