Column

  • A Wave Crests: Silicon Valley, Postsecondary Education And A Half-Trillion Dollars

    A Wave Crests: Silicon Valley, Postsecondary Education And A Half-Trillion Dollars

    It’s easy to forget that these are early days for the Internet. We still have different ideas on what it is or how it should work. The web is governed by an iterative improvement process that moves faster than any other invention in human history. Ed tech is no exception. Read More

  • American Re-Urbanization Drives More On-Demand Innovation

    American Re-Urbanization Drives More On-Demand Innovation

    The generational shift occurring as millennials come of age and baby boomers just keep aging has massive implications for both technology and society. As mobile devices become magic wands for marketplaces, matching supply and demand and making goods and services more accessible than ever before, we’re experiencing an “uberfication” of the economy. Read More

  • An Uber Valuation Comes With Uber Problems

    An Uber Valuation Comes With Uber Problems

    Parents like to say when it comes to raising kids, small kids, small problems; big kids, big problems. As Uber metastasizes into a transportation behemoth with a gargantuan $40B valuation, it’s learning a similar lesson: larger and more valuable companies face much bigger problems –and Uber, it seems, has become one big trouble magnet. Just this month alone, Uber was shut down in… Read More

  • The Reinvention Of The Ad-Tech Sector

    The Reinvention Of The Ad-Tech Sector

    There are major changes afoot in advertising technology at the moment, but not everyone has realized how transformational these changes are. Indeed, analysts have talked about four types of business models in the ad tech ecosystem, but have not discussed the underlying innovation that is driving the more leveraged of these models. Read More

  • An Open Letter To Tim Cook About Game Censorship

    An Open Letter To Tim Cook About Game Censorship

    An open letter to the CEO of Apple to change the company’s mind in how it handles the vetting of game content, as happened this week with Papers Please. Video games are an art form just like movies or music and deserve equal treatment. Read More

  • Real-Time Disaster Relief

    Real-Time Disaster Relief

    The Philippines last week topped international headlines as a typhoon ripped through the island nation, claiming dozens of lives and leaving a swath of destruction. The story has a ring of familiarity. Typhoon Hagupit (locally referred to as Ruby) followed a path dangerously similar to that taken last year by the infamous Super Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, which struck the… Read More

  • Unicorns Vs. Dragons

    Unicorns Vs. Dragons

    Everywhere I look I see a unicorn. The trouble is, I’m starting to see the dark side of the unicorn: Venture capitalists and the limited partners who back them are simply on a quest to acquire unicorn logos. Read More

  • Green Building Technology You’ll Never See But Can Experience Now

    Green Building Technology You’ll Never See But Can Experience Now

    Picture an office that cleans up after itself, improves indoor air quality with nanotech-formulated paint, and responds to sunlight by magically adjusting window tint, all while fighting climate change. Then imagine entering your workspace to find your desk light on and the temperature just as you like it. These innovations are already at work in some modern buildings, in the shape of the… Read More

  • The Invasion Of Wearables In The Workforce

    The Invasion Of Wearables In The Workforce

    Wearables have hit the market like a hailstorm. From watches to glasses, headgear to belts, to all assortments of chips and sensors built into clothes and accessories – this market doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, wearables are estimated to be more than a $70 billion market by 2024, according to IDTechEx. Read More

  • What Artificial Intelligence Is Not

    What Artificial Intelligence Is Not

    Artificial Intelligence has been in the media a lot lately. So much so, that it’s only a matter of time before it graduates to meaningless buzz word status like “Big Data” & “Cloud”. Usually I would be a big supporter. Being in the AI space, any attention to our often overlooked industry is welcome. But there seems to be more misinformation out there than… Read More

  • The Realm Of Venture Circa 2014

    The Realm Of Venture Circa 2014

    Today’s venture capital landscape has never been more complex, and it will never again be this simple. It’s hard for entrepreneurs to navigate and VCs to differentiate. And while many believe increased competition has driven valuations up, that simply doesn’t tell the full story. Read More

  • With 3D Printing, Medical Devices Are Cool Again

    With 3D Printing, Medical Devices Are Cool Again

    The recent, successful human implantation of a 3D-printed vertebra at Peking University in China captured the public’s imagination. I read the news (and its quick spread) as evidence that medical devices are dare I say, cool again. Read More

  • The Strength Of A Transparent Startup

    The Strength Of A Transparent Startup

    If you ask a member of the business-tech community about the benefits of closed systems versus their open counterparts, one word that will almost certainly come up is “security.” There’s been a long-held belief in the tech industry that closed systems are more difficult to corrupt and, therefore, more secure than systems built on a philosophy of radical openness. Read More

  • FoundationDB And The New NoSQL

    FoundationDB And The New NoSQL

    Databases are the spine of the tech industry: unsung, invisible, but critical–and beyond disastrous when they break or are deformed. This makes database people cautious. For years, only the Big Three–Oracle, IBM’s DB2, and (maybe) SQL Server–were serious options. Then the open-source alternatives–MySQL, PostgreSQL–became viable. …And then, over the last… Read More

  • Stop Being Afraid Of Negative Reviews

    Stop Being Afraid Of Negative Reviews

    In 2008 I was working at BigMachines, a B2B software company in the sales automation space. That year we made the controversial decision to invite prospective clients to our annual user conference. Traditionally, we didn’t invite prospects. We knew some of our customers weren’t 100% happy with the product, and we were afraid they would scare away business. Read More

  • Perks Don’t Work

    Perks Don’t Work

    In Silicon Valley and across the technology industry, there is a real risk of commoditizing engineers. What does that mean? Literally treating engineers like a commodity to be “bought” instead of thinking about the reasons they love to go to work. Read More

  • Your Company’s Future Depends On Sharing

    Your Company’s Future Depends On Sharing

    We all know the sharing economy is taking off and transforming industries. When your company is swept up, will you utilize the trend to drive competitive advantage? Read More

  • The Effect Of HubSpot’s CRM Launch On Salesforce

    The Effect Of HubSpot’s CRM Launch On Salesforce

    After several years of relatively stagnant waters, what was a dull CRM landscape dominated by one player is heating up dramatically these past months. Salesforce officially put their $3.5b market acquisitions building blocks together on a “Marketing Cloud” at last month’s Dreamforce event. It also announced its entry into health care and targeting a $1 billion in… Read More

  • Lessons From ESOS Energy Legislation In The UK

    Lessons From ESOS Energy Legislation In The UK

    The U.K. recently announced compliance guidelines for the government’s new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), a mandatory energy assessment and energy-saving identification scheme in response to the requirement “for all Member States of the European Union to implement Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive.” Read More

  • Startup Opportunities Abound In The Age Of Infinite, Resilient, Immutable Infrastructure

    Startup Opportunities Abound In The Age Of Infinite, Resilient, Immutable Infrastructure

    As we wind down 2014, a wave of innovation is sweeping infrastructure software and providing outsize opportunities for start-ups. From the introduction of Amazon Web Services in 2006 and the beginning of infrastructure-as-a-service, to the unveiling of Github in 2008 and the continued expansion of open source software, infrastructure technologies have evolved at a frenetic pace. Read More