Column

  • Legal Tech Startups Have A Short History And A Bright Future

    Legal Tech Startups Have A Short History And A Bright Future

    Legal technology is booming, with companies attempting to disrupt the legal space at every level and from every angle. And with good reason. Some estimates value the market size at as much as $400 million. While legal still hasn’t caught up with other industries — either in terms of funding or widespread adoption, the future is bright and coming at us fast. Read More

  • A Bitcoin Battle Is Brewing

    A Bitcoin Battle Is Brewing

    Did you know the Bitcoin community is riven by tension, drama, competing agendas, and at least two starkly different visions of our economic future? That even as major banks who thought of Bitcoin as snake oil re-assess its blockchain technology as a major breakthrough, and smart money pours into blockchain startups, the few at its cutting edge are increasingly divided against themselves? Read More

  • Separating The Opportunities From The Obstacles In Open-Source Networking

    Separating The Opportunities From The Obstacles In Open-Source Networking

    Open standards have driven the networking market since the earliest days of the Internet. While the use of open source for networking is a more recent phenomenon, it is no less important. A major industry transition to open source for software-defined networking (SDN) is under way, and users and vendors stand to benefit. Some expectations, however, may need to change. Read More

  • SwiftGate And The Future Of Music

    SwiftGate And The Future Of Music

    At last the dust is settling around SwiftGate. For those of you who missed (or avoided) the saga, it all began in early November when Taylor Swift pulled all of her music off Spotify. Spotify lightheartedly conceded, but battle lines were drawn in the press as music experts stunned by her move began questioning the company’s future. Read More

  • Facebook 202X: How It Becomes The Multitool For The Modern Totalitarian, Part 1

    Facebook 202X: How It Becomes The Multitool For The Modern Totalitarian, Part 1

    Maybe it is naive, but I’d always hoped that Facebook would evolve into the internet’s humanizing, unifying force—the one that stretched across geographical, national, religious, and racial boundaries to show us that we are the same… that even when we disagree about the tactics, we all want the same things for ourselves and our children: to be safe, to be at peace, to have… Read More

  • Platform Or Publisher? Whatever You Call It, It’s The Future Of Media

    Platform Or Publisher? Whatever You Call It, It’s The Future Of Media

    There has been a sea change in the way content today is being created, distributed and consumed. The distinction between publishers and platforms online has never been more uncertain. This ambiguity has only been compounded by the emergence of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as new content distribution platforms along with hybrid players like Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and… Read More

  • The Problem With The Internet Of Things

    The Problem With The Internet Of Things

    Lightbulbs, washing machines, thermostats, fridges and locks. If you believe the Internet Of Things salespeople, over the next 10 years, everything in your home is set to become connected. Imagine a world where you could turn on your porch light from the office, or unlock your door for a visitor, all from a smartphone app. Well, like a growing number of early smart home adopters, I have seen… Read More

  • Other Ways To Fund Your Business Dream

    Other Ways To Fund Your Business Dream

    For any startup, finding appropriate capital can be a matter of business survival. Nowadays, everyone is aflutter about the sexiest capital-raising tool on the block: crowdfunding. According to a recent Entrepreneur article, crowdfunding raises a whopping $2 million per day, an equivalent of $87,000 per hour. Read More

  • How Top Founders Juggle Term Sheets

    How Top Founders Juggle Term Sheets

    Breakout startups that are ready for “Fundraising Acceleration” often face the challenge of managing interest from multiple investors. Having been involved in a number of these startups first-hand as an early-stage VC, I’ve noticed a common pattern to how they manage to “juggle” investor interest that we can all learn from. Read More

  • The Internet Of Things Is Reaching Escape Velocity

    The Internet Of Things Is Reaching Escape Velocity

    The frenzy around the Internet of Things (IoT) should be reaching its final countdown. There has been a period of extraordinary activity in the IoT space since this original attempt at charting the ecosystem for TechCrunch. While the Internet of Things will inevitably ride the ups and downs of inflated hype and unmet expectations, at this stage there’s no putting the genie back in… Read More

  • The Algorithm Economy Heads To Amazon

    The Algorithm Economy Heads To Amazon

    Holidays are a time for families to come together, catch up over great food and drinks, and determine all the technical problems that need solving throughout the house. Indeed, for children growing up in the digital age, the holidays ultimately boil down to free (or more accurately, meal-subsidized) technical support for our most cherished loved ones. Kids: Amazon has you covered. Well, almost. Read More

  • Banks As Commodity Utilities In A New Payment World

    Banks As Commodity Utilities In A New Payment World

    With the recent launch of Apple Pay and leaked screenshots of Facebook integrating payments with Facebook Messenger fintech companies, there is a lot of speculation regarding the future of banking. Backed up by the way-too-often quoted Millennial Disruption Index, Accenture’s Banking 2020 and a range of similar reports tech evangelists predict that Apple, Facebook and Google will become… Read More

  • The Social Psychology Of The Naked Selfie

    The Social Psychology Of The Naked Selfie

    If you’re building a tech product that has anything to do with photos then you’re probably feeling an uncomfortable sense of déjà vu lately, and it has to do with data security. It had become so routine that throughout the fall it was hard to imagine a Monday without hearing about another set of iCloud photos that been hacked during the weekend. Read More

  • A Digital Healthcare Argument For Net Neutrality

    A Digital Healthcare Argument For Net Neutrality

    The federal agency regulating communications is at a crossroads in establishing the rules of the road for how the Internet operates. Many commentators are rightfully concerned that the FCC could adopt rules that will give cable and phone companies the opportunity to discriminate against website providers and/or content, which would potentially put some sites in a paid fast lane and leave… Read More

  • Peering Into The Minds Of The 4.3 Billion Unconnected

    Peering Into The Minds Of The 4.3 Billion Unconnected

    In a recent column on TechCrunch, I wrote about the mental challenges faced by the world’s 4.3 billion offline population, when trying to use the Internet for the first time. After all, they’ve never experienced the Internet before, lacking what UX experts call a ‘mental model’ of how basic internet services work, or why to even use them. In this post, I’ll shed… Read More

  • The Mexican Valley Of Startup Death

    The Mexican Valley Of Startup Death

    The startup universe revolves around Silicon Valley, but there is life on the other planets too. Long has the entrepreneur community been used to the term “startup valley of death” and come to fear it. As most accelerators claim, once you make it out of the ditch, you’re on your way to fame and glory. But not in Mexico. Read More

  • Mainstreaming The Smart Grid

    Mainstreaming The Smart Grid

    The October anniversary of Hurricane Sandy — which knocked out power in over 8,100,000 homes in 17 states and was the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history — has served as an opportunity to reflect on how we view our power grid. The practice is important. Stephen Lacey provided some of the best analysis of what caused the storm and how utilities are adapting the grid. Many… Read More

  • Mo’ Data Mo’ Problems

    Mo’ Data Mo’ Problems

    The most exciting promise of Big Data—and if you hate that term, you’re not alone, but I think we’re stuck with it now—is this: the data collection happening on an increasingly gargantuan scale, parsed by modern data-processing and pattern-recognition algorithms, will unearth powerful new insights into our world and, especially, human behavior. Unfortunately this is… Read More

  • A World Without Net Neutrality Already Exists

    A World Without Net Neutrality Already Exists

    People have wondered how an Internet without net neutrality would work. Net neutrality is more than just a debate, it’s not a hypothetical, and it’s real and alive today with SMS. It is currently hypothetical that on an Internet without net neutrality, companies would need to “pay to play” and live by arbitrary, ISP-devised rules for accessing consumers who want and pay… Read More

  • Preparing For An Acquisition

    Preparing For An Acquisition

    Silicon Valley is ground zero in the fight for technology talent and market share, and acquisitions are a great way to fuel that growth. Small acquisitions can help fill a business need quickly and are easier to close than big deals. Read More