Column

  • Three Reasons Your Term Sheet May Fall Through

    Three Reasons Your Term Sheet May Fall Through

    So you’ve made it past all the VC grilling and received a term sheet. Congratulations! But don’t celebrate just yet. Term sheets are non-binding, and even though they should signify a VC has conviction in investing in you and is ready to move towards closing, they fall through more often than most Founders may expect. Read More

  • Smart Regulation For Smart Drugs

    Smart Regulation For Smart Drugs

    Nootropics, smart drugs, and other biohacks are now drawing mainstream scrutiny and controversy as more and more people are using legal, off-label, and unscheduled “research chemicals” as nootropics to enhance their academic or work performance. Read More

  • Finding Your Tribe Is An Ongoing Quest

    Finding Your Tribe Is An Ongoing Quest

    As the father of an 11th grade student, I am watching my oldest child explore where she will want to attend university when she completes her senior and final year of high school. This past month my wife and daughter drove through six different states and looked at over a dozen universities and colleges, with the hope that my 17 year-old child will find a place where “she fits in”… Read More

  • The “Death” Of Anything Is Overrated

    The “Death” Of Anything Is Overrated

    In the tech world, everyone aspires to “kill” something. At least, that is what you would think from the media coverage. “The death” of gamification. Of cable. Of video games. Of the Detroit auto industry. Real estate, car dealers, money, paper – all the victim of business homicide. However you cut it, we love slaughter. Read More

  • Microsoft, Facebook, Google And The Future Of Voice Communications

    Microsoft, Facebook, Google And The Future Of Voice Communications

    All of a sudden, it seems like Facebook, Google and Apple are climbing all over each other to own the voice interaction, and specifically, the phone conversation. They’re in a race to compete in the most valuable part of “social” — as if they’ve forgotten, until now, just how much humans ultimately value one-on-one conversation. Read More

  • The Fine Line Between Success And Bankruptcy

    The Fine Line Between Success And Bankruptcy

    When seed capital hits the books, the outlook of every startup is one of unbridled optimism. Founders, team members, and investors are inspired by a singular vision and believe it can materialize into a world-changing company. If things go right and the product gets amazing results, optimism turns into euphoria. There are few experiences more rewarding than making big collective bets and… Read More

  • Following On In The Land Of Plenty

    Following On In The Land Of Plenty

    Given the significant influx of new talent that has poured into the venture capital industry and the extended length of feedback cycles, it’s not that surprising that VCs tend to stick to old norms even if they may not apply in today’s market. Read More

  • A Developer’s Guide To The Wild West Of App Discovery

    A Developer’s Guide To The Wild West Of App Discovery

    It’s hard as hell to launch a consumer mobile app these days. Manage to build a stellar product that answers a true need? You can pretty much count on the Google/Apple duopoly and poor structure of both app stores to bury your work along with the overwhelming majority of apps wallowing on each platform. Read More

  • The Internet Of (Some) Things

    The Internet Of (Some) Things

    In 2015, a modern-day gold rush has taken the technology sector by storm. A recent study discovered that 75 percent of executives surveyed said that Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives are currently underway within their organizations. That said, there’s still one question many companies have failed to answer — is more data always a good thing? Read More

  • ‘Things’ Are People, Too

    ‘Things’ Are People, Too

    If you’re thinking this article is about creating a historical record that our future robot overlords may read and reward me for, you’re not entirely right. To keep this particular writing distanced from Terminator-induced concerns, I will constrain the definition of “things” to devices that empower us and our loved ones with light, comfort, safety and security, as well… Read More

  • The Importance Of Choosing The Right VC

    The Importance Of Choosing The Right VC

    Like so many young startup founders, I find myself alternating between laughing out loud and cringing as I watch the Pied Piper crew navigate the business world on HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” Having spent a good chunk of last year raising my own company’s latest round, the conversations about investment and valuation really hit home. Read More

  • The Case For Finding Your ‘Lime Equation’ And Keeping It Secret

    The Case For Finding Your ‘Lime Equation’ And Keeping It Secret

    Sixteen years ago, I thought that owning a bar and running a tech startup simultaneously would be a great match for my ADD. Ultimately, what made the late nights and shenanigans worthwhile was discovering the “Lime Equation,” a formula that revealed which employees were stealing from the bar. Today, I would argue that every CEO needs a secret Lime Equation that he or she can use… Read More

  • Why Today’s Automobile Industry Looks A Lot Like IBM in 1985

    Why Today’s Automobile Industry Looks A Lot Like IBM in 1985

    With the number of mobile phone subscriptions shortly expected to exceed the total global population, what is the next great connected device going to look like? Hint: It’ll have four wheels. Gartner predicts that there will be 250 million connected cars on the road by 2020. That means one in every three cars on the road will be connected. Read More

  • Three Things To Consider Before Investing In Ad Tech

    Three Things To Consider Before Investing In Ad Tech

    Amid a talent and investor drought and growing challenges with fraud and ad-blockers, ad tech is in an unusual place. People aren’t putting money in ad tech, and the players are playing a bloody game. Yet ad tech revenue is projected to reach $100 billion in five years. Read More

  • Why Is The University Still Here?

    Why Is The University Still Here?

    Universities are supposed to be dead. These bastions of higher learning have been on Silicon Valley’s hit list for much of the past decade, and disruption phasers targeting the industry have certainly been set to kill in the years since the global financial crisis. And yet after years of efforts, we have arrived in 2015 and almost nothing seems to have changed about the way we get… Read More

  • Mobile First, But What’s Next?

    Mobile First, But What’s Next?

    The ascendance of mobile devices, cloud computing and big data is having a profound impact on the lives of workers. Yet many of the business applications that run on their smartphones and tablets still fail miserably to take full advantage of this revolutionary shift. Even services that tout themselves as “mobile first” often fall short of delivering novel functionality that… Read More

  • Bubble 2.0?

    Bubble 2.0?

    Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen weighed in on the prospects of an equity bubble at a meeting with International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde earlier this month. The danger warnings beat to the drums of Mark Cuban’s worse than 2000 prediction because the tech sector was singled out as the asset class with overinflated valuation. Read More

  • Bridging The Gap Through Quality STEM Initiatives

    Bridging The Gap Through Quality STEM Initiatives

    too many students, especially those from underserved backgrounds, don’t have access to technology at home. And few schools, even ones in affluent communities, teach kids the skills they’ll need to get jobs in the technology sector. Fewer than 5 percent of all U.S. high schools, for example, offer AP computer science classes. Read More

  • A Mission Of Excellence

    A Mission Of Excellence

    Changing the world. You do it every time you walk on a sidewalk kicking dirt (entropy!) and every time you join a startup in San Francisco. Many of the Valley’s top companies have had such broad cri de coeurs. Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Facebook’s is to “make the world more… Read More

  • A Shared Future, A Global Economy Of Haves And Servants

    A Shared Future, A Global Economy Of Haves And Servants

    Many highflying companies are pushing logistics, services, and payment options to our new “sharing economy.” We see these firms and sectors as largely driven by macroeconomic trends. The American middle class is in steep decline. This has been true for 3-4 decades but accelerated rapidly after 2008. Read More

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