Column

 

  • The Death Of Nintendo Has Been Greatly Under-Exaggerated

    The Death Of Nintendo Has Been Greatly Under-Exaggerated

    I love Nintendo. I love Nintendo. I love Nintendo. I feel the need to say that over and over again to begin with because this post will inevitably be read by some as some sort of anti-Nintendo screed. I know that because every single time I write anything mildly critical of Nintendo, groups of folks reveal themselves that make Android and iPhone diehards look like placid hippies. Those people… Read More

  • The Mediated Life Is Not Worth Living

    The Mediated Life Is Not Worth Living

    I spent last week in Black Rock City, where on Saturday night I and 60,000 others stood within a ring of hundreds of vehicles transformed into spectacular art, and watched a gargantuan wooden effigy erupt, burn, and collapse, amid one of the most dazzling fireworks displays in ever. It was quite a moment. And I looked at the crowd around me and I thought to myself: what is wrong with these people? Read More

  • Microsoft’s Next Era

    Microsoft’s Next Era

    Moments like this happen only once a generation in the technology industry. The announcement of Steve Ballmer’s retirement from his post as CEO of Microsoft puts an end to one of the most powerful and interesting “regimes” in technology history. Symbolically, this is likely the closing chapter of an era that was led by Bill Gates, then collectively by Gates and Ballmer, and… Read More

  • The Board Of The Borg

    The Board Of The Borg

    On April 17 of this year, I wrote a post that I never published. The following day, Microsoft was set to release their Q3 numbers and I wanted to see what they looked like before I ran my piece. I wanted to see if the implosion of the PC industry would start to show up in that quarter, or if it would take another quarter before we saw how dire things really were. Then life got in the way. I… Read More

  • What Games Are: The March Of The Muggles

    What Games Are: The March Of The Muggles

    It’s easy to consign tablet and mobile gaming to the lamestream and feel that there’s a detente between that and the more core gaming platforms. However this is both shortsighted and naive. There’s a deep reason why users are moving over to simpler platforms, one that can’t be ignored. For game developers, for everyone really, learning how to engage with a more… Read More

  • The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Starting And Running Your Business

    The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Starting And Running Your Business

    This is going be a bullet FAQ on starting a business. No joke. If you’re a lawyer, feel free to disagree with me, so you can charge someone your BS fees to give the same advice. If you can think of anything to add, please do so. I might be missing things. If you want to argue with me, feel free. I might be wrong about any of it. Read More

  • How Fast Should You Be Growing?

    How Fast Should You Be Growing?

    Paul Graham wrote a great post in which he defines a startup as a “company designed to grow fast” and encouraged founders to constantly measure their growth rates. For Y Combinator companies, he notes that a good growth rate is 5-7 percent per week, while an exceptional growth rate is 10 percent per week. Read More

  • Jobs, Robots, Capitalism, Inequality, And You

    Jobs, Robots, Capitalism, Inequality, And You

    Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe everything will be fine. Maybe the “widening gap between rich and poor” is temporary. Maybe the steady growth in the proportion of jobs that are part-time and/or low-paid will soon reverse. Or maybe the idea that all the homeless need are old laptops and a few JavaScript textbooks is not unlike the claim that new technologies automatically create new… Read More

  • The Internet: We’re Doing It Wrong

    The Internet: We’re Doing It Wrong

    This week Facebook’s ban-bot went berserk; Github went down; and all Google services collapsed for a few minutes, taking 40% of the Internet with them. Just another week on the Internet, then. We love our centralized services, until they let us down. Bruce Sterling calls them “the Stacks”: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft. In his most recent (always riveting) State… Read More

  • Goldfinger: The Next iPhone

    Goldfinger: The Next iPhone

    “Gold? All over?” M asks James Bond upon hearing how Jill Masterson died in 1964’s Goldfinger. While Bond goes on to explain that the gold coating on Ms. Masterson caused her to die of “skin suffocation”, the same fate will not befall the next iPhone. But only because the iPhone will not require oxygen. Yes, there will be a gold iPhone. Read More

  • What Games Are: Something’s Adrift With Oculus Rift

    What Games Are: Something’s Adrift With Oculus Rift

    Take a step back from what Rift does and consider where it does it. What do you see? A hulking PC at a desk powering it and its games. Oculus Rift’s problem is essentially that it’s a peripheral for a device category which is ever-so-slowly passing into the West. The business case doesn’t make sense. Read More

  • Cloud Service Architecture Will Power New Era Of Intelligent, Automated Applications

    Cloud Service Architecture Will Power New Era Of Intelligent, Automated Applications

    The new way of the world for most web software development is the assembly of applications from cloud based APIs. Developers are saving loads of time by pulling in various cloud services and focusing their attention on the novel business logic of their solutions. Read More

  • How LinkedIn Became A Wall Street Juggernaut

    How LinkedIn Became A Wall Street Juggernaut

    In 2010, had you suggested to the smartest Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors that LinkedIn would have a larger market value in 2013 than Groupon, Zynga or Twitter, you would have been laughed at.  Had you hypothesized that LinkedIn would be worth more than Groupon, Zynga and Twitter combined and worth nearly one-third the value of Facebook, no one would have believed you.  LinkedIn… Read More

  • Why Venture Will Abandon Seed Investing

    Why Venture Will Abandon Seed Investing

    Five years ago, I noticed a growing gap between angel and venture investing. Venture was getting bigger and writing bigger checks, while angel checks were getting smaller and their process was becoming more cumbersome. Since it had also become exponentially easier to launch a web, and later mobile business, entrepreneurs had ideas that needed a million dollars or less to launch, but no… Read More

  • Lessons From Monks About Designing The Technologies Of The Future

    Lessons From Monks About Designing The Technologies Of The Future

    “The purpose of technology is not to confuse the brain but to serve the body,” William S. Burroughs once said in a Nike commercial, of all places. But things haven’t worked out that way, at least not for most of us. Our technologies are designed to maximize shareholder profit, and if that means distracting, confusing or aggregating the end-user, then so be it. Read More

  • 30 New Franchises

    30 New Franchises

    There is a perfect storm of three distinct disruptive forces that has the potential to topple nearly every major enterprise software incumbent. And the traditional approach of dealing with technology shifts — through acquisition — looks like it’s headed towards failure. As such, there is an unprecedented opportunity to create many, new multi-billion dollar enterprise… Read More

  • StartupEquality.org: Remove Restrictions On Gay Investors

    StartupEquality.org: Remove Restrictions On Gay Investors

    Something is amiss with the SEC rules about who is eligible to invest in startups. It doesn’t look deliberate — it is just an artifact of changing times and changing rules. But it’s a bad artifact, and we’ve got to set it right. The SEC treats gay and lesbian couples differently than straight ones. Read More

  • Your Miyagi Moment

    Your Miyagi Moment

    There’s a scene in the 80s movie The Karate Kid when Daniel LaRusso discovers that he’s actually learned how to fight. I’m willing to bet you’ve experienced a similar breakthrough. Here’s the problem: we expect learning to be linear. When we invest 10 hours of effort into learning a new programming language, we expect to feel 10 hours smarter. In reality, we… Read More

  • Close A Round With New “Inbound” Tools And Techniques On AngelList

    Close A Round With New “Inbound” Tools And Techniques On AngelList

    Last week, my company Directly closed a $1.75 million seed round using an “inbound” approach to fundraising. In past ventures, we’d used the “outbound” approach that virtually all startups use – identifying investors, networking to coordinate calls and meetings, and working 1:1 to create demand. Our new inbound approach applied new marketing technology… Read More

  • Why Founders Fail: The Product CEO Paradox

    Why Founders Fail: The Product CEO Paradox

    This happens all the time. A founder develops a breakthrough idea and starts a company to build it. As originator of the idea, she works tirelessly to bring it to life by involving herself in every detail of the product to ensure that the execution meets the vision. The product succeeds and the company grows. Then somewhere along the line, employees start complaining that the CEO is paying… Read More