Column

 

  • Louis CK And The Hare Krishnas Can Make You A Better Entrepreneur With This One Trick

    Louis CK And The Hare Krishnas Can Make You A Better Entrepreneur With This One Trick

    Louis CK is the high priest of understanding our culture. I watch him every day. I watch the same routine over and over. I can spend hours breaking down every line of his routines. I watch him before I give talks because I get to borrow his confidence. I used to watch him before dates. I even watch him before I hang out with my kids. 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

  • In 3.5 Years, Most Africans Will Have Smartphones

    In 3.5 Years, Most Africans Will Have Smartphones

    I reckon it’s time to check in on one of my bolder predictions. Some 18 months ago, I wrote “In Five Years, Most Africans Will Have Smartphones.” Let’s get this out of the way: most of the smart money thinks I’m wrong by at least three years. Worldwide, according to Gartner, smartphone sales exceeded feature phone sales in 2013, for the first time — but… Read More

  • You’d Be Surprised By What Really Motivates Users

    You’d Be Surprised By What Really Motivates Users

    Earlier this month, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone unveiled his mysterious startup Jelly. The question-and-answer app was met with a mix of criticism and head scratching. Tech-watchers asked if the world really needed another Q&A service. Skeptics questioned how it would compete with existing solutions and pointed to the rocky history of previous products like Mahalo Answers, Formspring… Read More

  • What Games Are: Flappy Bird, Patterns And Context

    What Games Are: Flappy Bird, Patterns And Context

    It’s nice to know that the games industry can still surprise you and that – just when everybody thinks it’s been figured out – there’s room for a Flappy Bird. It’s another Dots, Temple Run, Ridiculous Fishing, Candy Crush Saga, Puzzle and Dragon, Tiny Wings or Fruit Ninja. The game that seems to just pop, leaving many heads scratching as to how it did it. 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

  • BuzzFeed Is The Future (Whether It Lives Or Dies)

    BuzzFeed Is The Future (Whether It Lives Or Dies)

    It’s time for a little inside baseball! Be still your beating hearts. But admit it: secretly you want to know about the success/failure of the myriad news sources whose stories flit disconnectedly across your Facebook and Twitter feeds from time to time, if only so you can tell your friends that you already knew who was doomed, on the day that long-fabled Great Shakeout finally comes… 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

  • Nintendo: It’s Dangerous To Go Alone! Take This.

    Nintendo: It’s Dangerous To Go Alone! Take This.

    I hate to say I-told-you-so… Who am I kidding? I love to say that. But while I’m happy about being correct, I’m sad for Nintendo. I love Nintendo. I really do. And so it pains me to see them in such a state. But I come bearing gifts. Rather than being the millionth person to advise them to move their games to smartphones, I thought I’d offer another alternative. Read More

  • What Games Are: Generation Gygax

    What Games Are: Generation Gygax

    There is probably no single game that has been so influential for a generation as Dungeons and Dragons. On this, its 40th anniversary, I find myself asking whether the long-term legacy of D&D is one that will endure for all time, or whether it’s a generational thing. Will the ideas that inspired my generation of designers translate for the next generation, or will they be left behind? 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

  • Failure Modes

    Failure Modes

    This was a rich month for the deadpool. Prim shut down. So did CarWoo. And much-hyped Outbox. And even moot’s Canvas/DrawQuest, which had 1.4 million app downloads and 400,000 monthly users. All part of the game, right? The circle of startup life, or something. It’s a truism that most startups fail. But in fact most startups don’t even get to fail, in the way the word is… 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

  • What Games Are: Sports And Video Games

    What Games Are: Sports And Video Games

    This weekend’s big game between the Seahawks and 49ers makes me think of the rise of video game broadcasting (through services like Twitch.tv) and its potential. At what point will video games cross over the mass-popularity threshold that sports have, and become the new tribal entertainment? Read More

  • How To Get An MBA From Eminem

    How To Get An MBA From Eminem

    In 2002 I was driving to a hedge fund manager’s house to hopefully raise money from him. I was two hours late. This was pre-GPS and I had no cell phone. I was totally lost. I kept playing over and over again “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. I was afraid this was my one shot and I was blowing it. I was even crying in my car. I was going broke and I felt this was my one chance. What… Read More