Column

  • When Wearable Health Trackers Meet Your Doctor

    When Wearable Health Trackers Meet Your Doctor

    How interested is your doctor in health data that you’ve tracked yourself? Wearable health and fitness devices are now hugely popular, and they certainly appeal to people who want to tot up their paces. But many people who have invested in trackers like the Fitbit, Jawbone’s UP bracelet, or the Nike+ FuelBand want to know: can this data be used to give me more serious… Read More

  • Kim Kardashian: Hollywood And The Viral “Oops”

    Kim Kardashian: Hollywood And The Viral “Oops”

    Editor’s Note: Nir Eyal writes about the intersection of psychology, technology and business at NirAndFar.com. He is the author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products”. Recently, I started looking into the explosively popular new game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The game has ranked at or near the top of Apple’s U.S. App Store charts for the most downloaded… Read More

  • Three Ways For Retailers To Survive The Amazon Fire Crusade

    Three Ways For Retailers To Survive The Amazon Fire Crusade

    On July 25 Amazon began shipping its Fire phone, which includes Firefly, software that instantly recognizes products you can directly purchase on Amazon. Hot on the heels of this announcement was the news that Amazon released a beta version of its mobile wallet, Amazon Wallet, which will allow users to save gift cards to their device. For traditional retailers, Amazon has long been the… Read More

  • New Study Shows The Decline Of Startups And America’s Geriatric Economy

    New Study Shows The Decline Of Startups And America’s Geriatric Economy

    A few months ago, I asked a simple question: “Can Google ever be beat?” The query was less about Google itself, and more a question about the potential of startups to disrupt the largest companies in our economy. Do we have the talent and capital infrastructure needed for nascent companies to grow and compete against mature incumbents? I argued strongly that we do not, but I based… Read More

  • Notes From Crazytown, Day One: The Business Of Fear

    Notes From Crazytown, Day One: The Business Of Fear

    Can your computer be hacked? Yep. Can your phone be hacked? Yep. Have your passwords been harvested? Very possibly. (The NYT just reported that one Russian group has more than a billion, though it’s unclear how many are salted and hashed.) So how worried should you be, exactly? …Good luck getting a real answer to that. Almost nobody has a strong incentive to give you one. Read More

  • The US Market Will Benefit From China’s Tech Growth

    The US Market Will Benefit From China’s Tech Growth

    Editor’s note: Si Shen is the co-founder & CEO of PapayaMobile, the Beijing-based mobile company that operates AppFlood, the largest global mobile RTB ad network out of China. Before Papaya, Si worked on Google’s mobile team in the U.S. and China.   This has been a whirlwind year for Chinese tech companies. Alibaba is in the spotlight as it’s on track for an… Read More

  • Smart Building Technologies Could Expose Companies To A New Breed Of Cyber Attack

    Smart Building Technologies Could Expose Companies To A New Breed Of Cyber Attack

    Last month major corporations and household names such as Evernote, TweetDeck and Feedly were held ransom by Internet hackers. Many found this concerning, but even more serious is that some businesses may not realize how highly vulnerable they are to such an attack. What if it were your building that was held ransom? Are there things that could have been done to prevent a cyber-attack? Read More

  • The Dark Age Of Enterprise Software Is Ending

    The Dark Age Of Enterprise Software Is Ending

    Enterprise software has been a critical tool to help companies organize data and automate painfully manual processes. And unfortunately little else. To call enterprise software “dumb” might be slightly unfair, but as “smart” devices begin to proliferate it’s time we all accept that today’s software that we use to run our businesses is painfully ill-equipped… Read More

  • Unlocking Petition Makes Legislative History

    Unlocking Petition Makes Legislative History

    The Internet has helped bring down regimes, elect politicians, and stop lawmaking in its tracks, but until 2014 it has never directly led to legislation. On Friday, in the midst of the least productive Congress in history, that changed when legislators passed the “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act” as the direct result of an online petition. Read More

  • The Seven Constants Of Game Design, Part Three

    The Seven Constants Of Game Design, Part Three

    In the last of this three part series on the constant factors of game design we’re talking all about the role of the player as character (or not) and powerful draw of purpose. Read More

  • Technology’s Role In Direct Democracy

    Technology’s Role In Direct Democracy

    An influx of communication and collaboration technologies since the beginning of the 21st century has helped to make this the most connected time in human history — and seemingly easier than ever for society to work together. Yet, where is the political yield? Read More

  • Lessons Learned On App Design For Fast-Growth Markets

    Lessons Learned On App Design For Fast-Growth Markets

    One of the typical mistakes developers make is thinking that because they’ve had success in one corner of the globe, they should be able to employ the same strategy to drive adoption elsewhere. The truth of the matter is apps that are wildly successful in the U.S., Europe and Japan often fail to gain substantial traction in areas like India, South America and the Middle East; these… Read More

  • Apple Leads in Accessibility, But Can Third-Party Developers Follow?

    Apple Leads in Accessibility, But Can Third-Party Developers Follow?

    Buried deeply within her mostly “provocative and poorly reported” story for Reuters on Apple and accessibility, author Christina Farr offers a nugget of truth: third-party apps on the App Store need to be much better at being inclusively designed. The concern is a legitimate one, as the tendency — albeit naturally — is for Apple and other developers to make iOS and its… Read More

  • Mexico’s Resources Fuel The Texas Startup Economy

    Mexico’s Resources Fuel The Texas Startup Economy

    Everything is bigger in Texas, and thanks to Mexico, that may be also soon be true of the state’s growing tech sector. Flush with cash, Texas’ proximity to Mexico gives the state’s tech companies distinct advantages over other regions, according to entrepreneurs and others involved in the state’s tech industry. Read More

  • Augmented Reality’s First Step Forward Might Be More Blue Collar Than You Think

    Augmented Reality’s First Step Forward Might Be More Blue Collar Than You Think

    Augmented reality remains limited in its day-to-day applications for most consumers. If you mention “augmented reality” on the street, people think about scanning their favorite magazine with their smartphone, and having a coupon or 3D image pop up. This hasn’t exactly been a “game-changer” for brands or marketers in most industries, but some AR company… Read More

  • Dear America, Would You Please Give Edward Snowden His Medal Of Freedom Already?

    Dear America, Would You Please Give Edward Snowden His Medal Of Freedom Already?

    2013: “A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face­book and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur.” 2014: “Politically, it’s plutonium now for a member of Congress in this environment to be supporting something that would enhance the government’s ability to… Read More

  • With Apple’s Novel Acquisition, A Chance To Reinvent The Book

    With Apple’s Novel Acquisition, A Chance To Reinvent The Book

    Apple’s acquisition of BookLamp, a Boise, Idaho-based startup billed as a “Pandora for Books,” is a key move in the battle over the future of our printed-and-bound friends. When we combine this information with the rumors swirling around a potential smartwatch product from Apple, we can start to gaze into the future of publishing. Read More

  • The Seven Constants Of Game Design, Part Two

    The Seven Constants Of Game Design, Part Two

    In the second of a three-part series exploring the constants of game design, we delve into talking about elegance, naturalism and the role of time. Read More

  • The VP of Devil’s Advocacy

    The VP of Devil’s Advocacy

    In the 2013 film, World War Z, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is riding through the streets of Jerusalem as Jurgen Warmbrunn (Ludi Boeken) explains how the city was able to avoid the zombie apocalypse: The tenth man. If nine of us look at the same information and arrive at the exact same conclusion, it’s the duty of the tenth man to disagree. No matter how improbable it may seem, the tenth man… Read More

  • How Can We Make Recruiting Better?

    How Can We Make Recruiting Better?

    Recruiting is broken. In fact, it is so broken that almost no one I have ever talked to about the subject has offered up a point of disagreement. Not one person has said, “I love recruiting” or “We find that recruiting works just great for us.” Among the Valley’s cognoscenti, today’s startup truism is that recruiting is the most important function of a… Read More