Column

  • The Global Broadband Adoption Gap Needs Greater Attention

    The Global Broadband Adoption Gap Needs Greater Attention

    While development organizations, nonprofit groups and some of our largest technology companies push for a global Internet, a tale of two cities highlights the difficulties inherent in getting a population to use services intended for their development (even if they’re free). The divergent paths of broadband adoption in Stockholm and New York highlight just how difficult getting local… Read More

  • The Doomed Quest For The Golden Key

    The Doomed Quest For The Golden Key

    Some months ago, the Washington Post waded into the debate about the NSA, pervasive surveillance, and end-to-end encryption with a call for Apple and Google to magically “invent a kind of secure golden key they would retain and use only when a court has approved a search warrant.” This was met with a chorus of contempt and opprobrium. Read More

  • The Future Of Voice-Activated AI Sounds Awesome

    The Future Of Voice-Activated AI Sounds Awesome

    For decades science fiction movies have been imagining the future as one where humans talk to machines just as naturally as they speak to family and friends. In reality, however, using voice to interact with machines has been maddeningly frustrating, with Siri often mistaking “open up my email” for “look up some kale,” for example. This is changing. Increasingly the… Read More

  • The Impatient

    The Impatient

    Scarcity is commonly defined as the problem of seemingly unlimited wants and needs in a world of limited resources. Money is scarce, power is scarce and fame is scarce, but most of all, time is scarce. And even more meaningful than all these prized assets—both concrete and ephemeral—is something much more basic and fundamental: health. And nowhere is scarcity felt more acutely than… Read More

  • In A World Where Email No Longer Exists

    In A World Where Email No Longer Exists

    Imagine the death of email. It’s hard to picture not having an inbox inundated with messages from friends, family and co-workers, constantly demanding your attention. But let’s leave that aside and focus our attention on the workforce. More and more people are bringing collaboration technology tools with them to work. With this in mind, is it really that hard to imagine a world… Read More

  • The Hidden Co-Founder

    The Hidden Co-Founder

    It was Valentine’s Day recently and that reminded me of a story I often share with the founders we work with, here at Balderton. One Friday in Cambridge, a few years ago: a tech guy and his fiancée are planning their wedding, which is due to take place in the city a few months later. Scheduled that day were: checking out the wedding venue, meeting people involved with the service… Read More

  • Are Drones A Fad Or Here For Good?

    Are Drones A Fad Or Here For Good?

    Drones are no longer just seen as a tool of the military or a toy that people use to fly around. They’re becoming accepted as a tool that businesses can deploy, and every day more and more companies are being created to build drone prototypes and software to help them fly, detect obstacles and make sense of terabytes of data they collect. This is the golden age of drones, and it is… Read More

  • Designing Animation For Mobile

    Designing Animation For Mobile

    It’s easy to forget that it was only eight years ago that the first iPhone introduced the world to the idea that you could actually touch software. Graphically, the UI was filled with gradients, textures, and bevels that referenced real world objects to make the user interface look touchable and familiar — a term that we call skeuomorphism. Read More

  • The New Frontier Of Telemedicine Is Drug Stores

    The New Frontier Of Telemedicine Is Drug Stores

    Modern medicine has seen some amazing technological advances. Heart surgeries that used to be all day open-heart procedures requiring long hospital stays can now be performed as arthroscopic outpatient procedures in a few hours. Tattoos can monitor vital signs, and contact lenses can monitor glucose levels. In a third-world country, you can get the results of an AIDS test in minutes at the cost… Read More

  • 4 Ways Stadium Hospitality Technology Is Defending The Live Event

    4 Ways Stadium Hospitality Technology Is Defending The Live Event

    This year’s Super Bowl XLIX broadcast on NBC had 114.4M viewers, making it the most-watched TV broadcast in history — reflecting the fact that television has clearly mastered the art of broadcasting sports games for the comfort of the living room. While the high TV ratings across all sports are great, team owners are increasingly adapting (and investing heavily) to create the… Read More

  • Y Combinator’s Sam Altman On The Elements Of A Successful Startup

    Y Combinator’s Sam Altman On The Elements Of A Successful Startup

    You don’t have to have millions of dollars or the best team possible to launch a winning startup. What you do need to have, however, is passion according to Sam Altman in an interview he gave with at Startup Grind 2015 When an entrepreneur has a project he feels passionate about, he’ll be much more likely to succeed than someone who simply launches a startup for the sake of… Read More

  • The Battle Is For The Customer Interface

    The Battle Is For The Customer Interface

    In 2015 Uber, the world’s largest taxi company owns no vehicles, Facebook the world’s most popular media owner creates no content, Alibaba, the most valuable retailer has no inventory and Airbnb the world’s largest accommodation provider owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening. Since the industrial revolution the world has developed complex supply chains… Read More

  • Getting Breach Notification Right

    Getting Breach Notification Right

    President Obama proposed in January the first federal standard for data breaches, requiring that companies notify customers of privacy-related breaches within 30 days of discovery. Other standards and regulations exist (47 states at last count had some form of regulation regarding breach disclosure), but there is currently no federal standard to act as a uniform baseline. Read More

  • New Federal Regulation Deters Experts On Road To Security

    New Federal Regulation Deters Experts On Road To Security

    Security experts were abuzz last month in anticipation of President Obama’s proposal for new federal regulations that would concentrate on bolstering the nation’s stance on cybersecurity. Last year was witness to a number of high-profile breaches, which shone a light on the possibility of nation-state-backed cyberattacks and espionage and even drove the federal government to… Read More

  • Storytelling In The Digital Media Age

    Storytelling In The Digital Media Age

    I often get asked why a Harvard neuropsychiatrist spends so much time talking about emotions and the brain in front of media and marketing research experts. The answer is that we live in an increasingly competitive world, and relying on what consumers tell us is incomplete, and in many cases just plain inaccurate. Read More

  • Former NFL Player Becomes Entrepreneur For Social Good

    Former NFL Player Becomes Entrepreneur For Social Good

    A six-foot, 185 pound NFL cornerback isn’t the type of tech co-founder expected to be pitching venture capitalists for seed money. Until now. Tech entrepreneur Reggie Howard played seven years in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins, until it was time to transition out and take the next step in his life. For most pro athletes the transition is difficult, Howard said… Read More

  • Forget The Oscars, Last Weekend’s Biggest Snub Was Comic-Con

    Forget The Oscars, Last Weekend’s Biggest Snub Was Comic-Con

    The most important entertainment industry event so far this year happened over the weekend – but it wasn’t the Oscars. In fact, it’s likely that you had no idea it happened, not unless you’re plugged in to geek culture in a big way. Read More

  • Improv Is The Best Conditioning For Startup Life

    Improv Is The Best Conditioning For Startup Life

    Four years ago, I participated in my first improv comedy class. In 2013, Mahmoud Arram and I co-founded Bluecore, a marketing technology company whereevery single employee is required to complete an improv 101 class within the first four months on the job. In terms of importance, this ranks right up there with required reading and sales training. But why? Read More

  • SpaceTech Is Venture Capital’s Final Frontier

    SpaceTech Is Venture Capital’s Final Frontier

    Today, our new frontiers lie in space, which humanity must eventually colonize for minerals, energy and new homelands. As Carl Sagan observed, “All civilizations become either space-faring, or extinct.” The commercialization of space began in 1965 with the deployment of the first private communications satellite IntelSat1, only 4 years after US FCC Commissioner Craven saw… Read More

  • Transactional Flexibility Is The Future Of Payments

    Transactional Flexibility Is The Future Of Payments

    When Apple Pay went live following the release of the iPhone 6, it was quickly and unceremoniously hailed as a “credit card-killer,” and to an extent it makes sense: As a payment method, the credit card has lost whatever futuristic luster it may have once had. But here’s the problem: If you’ve ever actually used Apple Pay, you may have noticed that it isn’t… Read More