Column

  • Will 2015 See The Death Of The Robo Advisors?

    Will 2015 See The Death Of The Robo Advisors?

    If 2014 was the year that robo advisors came of age, then we’ll probably look back at 2015 as the year the traditional asset management industry fought back. Is this move going to be the death of Wealthfront, Personal Capital, Betterment and the rest of the robos? Will the new entrants with their mix of low fees, great online tools and portfolios of ETFs that automatically rebalance be… Read More

  • Be Honest About Whether Your Product Really Makes A Difference

    Be Honest About Whether Your Product Really Makes A Difference

    Startups in a world of massive markets can be confusing. The law of large numbers; platforms that can make your company blow up unexpectedly and the trendy nature of tech markets are deceiving. Success for many is ephemeral. Read More

  • The Fragility Of Our Connected World

    The Fragility Of Our Connected World

    A decade ago, one would have never predicted the sheer size and impact the Internet has made on our planet. Now, with everything including government, healthcare, commerce and financial services brokered through connected devices, the stakes are much higher. Within the past month alone, Internet connectivity made headlines in Cuba after the U.S. trade embargo was lifted, in North Korea as… Read More

  • Becoming An Engineering Manager

    Becoming An Engineering Manager

    Over the last few years I’ve gotten the pleasure to work with a large number of really talented engineers — some of whom I’ve asked to make the leap into management. Like any individual contributor moving into a new role, they’re asked to fundamentally change the way they approach their day. As I’ve done my best to coach them through this experience, I wrote down… Read More

  • Winter Is Coming For Wearables

    Winter Is Coming For Wearables

    Remember wearables? Those wristbands and glasses that were going to take over our lives? This time last year, many of us had high hopes that 2014 was (finally) going to be the year of the wearable. Whoops. The wearables revolution didn’t come to pass in 2014, and it’s not going to happen in 2015, either. Why? Read More

  • Data And Commerce Elope, Birth Unicorns

    Data And Commerce Elope, Birth Unicorns

    First we went online to learn. Then we naturally started buying stuff. Smart retailers learned to target us based on our behavior. We searched and they reacted through PPC and display. Then folks like Amazon used purchase history data to get smart about predicting what else we’d buy (based primarily on other’s purchase data, not our own). Read More

  • The Reason To Be Cheerful About HoloLens

    The Reason To Be Cheerful About HoloLens

    With the release of the HoloLens, Microsoft put something out there that has a chance of being transformative. Not in the high concept way, but in a general way especially for gaming. But is Microsoft able to bring it home, or will it get lost in its own ambitions as it has so often before. Read More

  • What VR Pioneers Can Learn From New York’s Hottest Play

    What VR Pioneers Can Learn From New York’s Hottest Play

    Editor’s Note: Noah Nelson reports on virtual reality for TurnstyleNews.com, a tech culture site from Youth Radio.  After two years of hype from the tech press about the return of virtual reality, we’re waking up to the hard reality of a content gap. The skepticism stems from the observation that while VR is neat-o, there’s not that much you can actually do with it at… Read More

  • Israel Grows From Startup Nation To Exit Nation

    Israel Grows From Startup Nation To Exit Nation

    Thanks to a string of big exits over the past year, Israel’s technology companies are moving the country from a startup nation to an exit nation. With nearly $15 billion in exits through mergers and acquisitions and public offerings, 2014 was an all-time record year for the Israeli hi-tech industry, compared with a mere $1.2 billion raised in 2013, according to a PwC report for 2014. Read More

  • The Human Impact Of The Industrial Internet Of Things

    The Human Impact Of The Industrial Internet Of Things

    Will digital technology be positive for workers and jobs? Amid today’s public debate about the consequences of artificial intelligence and advanced robotics, along comes the industrial Internet of things. Little understood but potentially very significant for multiple industry sectors, this next wave of technology will create more jobs than it will destroy, according to the majority… Read More

  • Investors Want Proof You’re High Fantasy

    Investors Want Proof You’re High Fantasy

    Recently, TechCrunch published a post presenting differing investment theories of those in venture capital, unicorns vs. dragons. In the article, an investor legitimately claimed that a unicorn is a good analog for a good investment but dragons are even better. I had flashbacks of all the fantastical terms that investors use to describe good investment opportunities; it’s clear that… Read More

  • Digital Distribution Is Changing Who’s Going To See Indie Films

    Digital Distribution Is Changing Who’s Going To See Indie Films

    Combine a culture that increasingly encourages self-expression; an economy that generates considerable surplus capital with low interest rates; Moore’s Law-like improvements in performance-per-dollar in production technology; proliferating on demand distribution outlets for digital media; and persistent underemployment for liberal arts graduates; and what do you get? More films being made! Read More

  • The Net Neutrality Debate Also Affects SMS

    The Net Neutrality Debate Also Affects SMS

    Net neutrality was one of last year’s biggest tech stories. The one that went mainstream after John Oliver poked fun at it and beseeched his viewers to flood the FCC’s comments page with tirades against a two-tiered Internet (they did, reportedly causing FCC.gov to crash). Read More

  • As Cloud Arrives On Main Street, We Need A New Set Of Metrics For Cloud SLAs

    As Cloud Arrives On Main Street, We Need A New Set Of Metrics For Cloud SLAs

    A lot can happen in a year, and in the world of cloud computing, 2014 was a breakout one. Cloud adoption finally experienced a tornado of demand that swept up large enterprises en masse. Yet as businesses move services to the cloud and increasingly depend on 3rd party vendors, important questions should be answered around who is responsible for managing these services and how service… Read More

  • Prioritizing Diversity In 2015

    Prioritizing Diversity In 2015

    At a recent forum on diversity in tech, Google’s Director of Global Diversity Talent & Inclusion, Yolanda Mangolini, explained that it is incredibly hard to move the needle on diversity by even 1% at Google’s size. In a blog post on how to recruit more women into tech companies, Jennifer Dulski, President and COO of Change.org, echoed the same sentiment, advising startup… Read More

  • The Portability Angle Of Tech Immigration

    The Portability Angle Of Tech Immigration

    In 2001, I was working for Outride, Inc., an early pioneer in context sensitive search and browser history-based personalization. After the dot-com boom, search became passé. The startup couldn’t raise more money closed and its technology assets were acquired by Google. The founders of Outride were giving glowing recommendations to engineers to get them hired at Google and a few joined. Read More

  • This Industry Is Still Completely Ridiculous

    This Industry Is Still Completely Ridiculous

    Things are getting pretty strange out there. Roughly a year ago I wrote a post entitled “This Industry Is Completely Ridiculous.” Since then, as you probably already know, our world has gotten even more surreal. If anything the ridiculousness is accelerating. It’s like the tech industry is subject to a Moore’s Law of weird. Read More

  • There’s A Big Difference Between Using Facebook ‘At Work’ And ‘For Work’

    There’s A Big Difference Between Using Facebook ‘At Work’ And ‘For Work’

    If you’re an employer, how do you solve a problem like Facebook? Roughly 61% of office workers use social media during the day and Facebook takes up a huge share of that surfing. Its highest traffic actually occurs mid-week between 1 to 3 pm. All told, this 1.5% drop in productivity adds up to 12 billion hours wasted per year with a cost of $650 billion dollars to the… Read More

  • What We Didn’t See From Wearables At CES

    What We Didn’t See From Wearables At CES

    At CES this year, we saw everything from stickers that tracked heart rates on babies to virtual reality headsets that didn’t make you throw up. Talk of the Apple Watch took a backseat, but wearables were a hot topic in sunny Las Vegas. Back in the drizzly reality of winter in Cincinnati, we’re contemplating how wearables will seriously make the leap in 2015. Read More

  • What Do Uber, Zenefits And Public Health In A Kenyan Slum Have In Common?

    What Do Uber, Zenefits And Public Health In A Kenyan Slum Have In Common?

    The old saw about effective management goes, “You get what you measure.” Today, whether you call it growth hacking or business intelligence, successful large corporations and lean young startups have become fanatical about measuring their customers. The leaders of the pack – like Uber (which collects data on the supply and demand of their riders and drivers) and Zenefits… Read More