Column

 

  • Navigating The Reality Of Cloud, Mobile And SaaS

    Navigating The Reality Of Cloud, Mobile And SaaS

    The websites of most VCs have a stated investment thesis in SaaS, cloud, mobile, social or some combination of each. Are these really investment theses? Still? No, they are realities. This is worrisome. While SaaS, Cloud, Mobile and Social have been drivers of big success for many funds and entrepreneurs over the past five years, theses-turned-realities cannot continue to drive outsized returns. Read More

  • The #Gamergate Question

    The #Gamergate Question

    Depending on how closely you follow the gaming and tech press, you may have heard of #gamergate. Those of us inside the industry have. This week it’s essentially all we’ve been able to talk about. How has this reactionary movement spawned from sexist roots managed to go so far, and what does it say about the industry? Read More

  • Barbarians At The Password Gate

    Barbarians At The Password Gate

    We’re now using the Internet for a wide range of everyday activities, including online banking, stock trading, online shopping, bill paying, socializing, gaming, entertainment and online research. In the last few years there’s been a massive growth in the number of social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Craigslist, Instagram, Tumblr. We share all kinds… Read More

  • Netflix Vs. Verizon Vs. Consumer: Who Wins?

    Netflix Vs. Verizon Vs. Consumer: Who Wins?

    Today’s consumer is streaming more video than ever before. Netflix alone has increased its subscribers by more than 20 million in the past two years, totaling 50 million subscribers as of Q2 2014. It’s no wonder, then, that the increase in video consumption is not without consequences for streaming services and Internet service providers (ISPs). Read More

  • Turning The Phone Call Into The New Click

    Turning The Phone Call Into The New Click

    Remember the days when you’d pull out a phone book when you needed to contact a business for more information? Today, those yellow phone books get a quizzical look from my kids as we lug them directly to the recycle bin. These days, a few keystrokes and clicks allow us to conduct detailed research on a product and even complete our transaction online. This evolution has defined the… Read More

  • Why Breach Detection Is Your New Must-Have, Cyber Security Tool

    Why Breach Detection Is Your New Must-Have, Cyber Security Tool

    Cyber attacks are all over the news, and it seems like no one is immune — Home Depot, Target, Adobe and eBay included. So why are CIOs still fighting cyber criminals with one hand tied behind their backs? Shockingly, most companies are still relying on outdated, only partially effective methods to protect their sensitive data, mainly with technology that focuses on preventing… Read More

  • Three Marks Of Real Data Science

    Three Marks Of Real Data Science

    As a venture investor looking to invest in data-driven companies, telling real data science apart from pseudo science is difficult, but it’s critically important. Investing in a data science application company won’t deliver long-term returns if the company uses quackery. Read More

  • When Old-Economy Jobs Become New-Economy Gigs

    When Old-Economy Jobs Become New-Economy Gigs

    I love the sharing economy because it’s efficient. Got some spare time? Become a TaskRabbit! Spare space? AirBNB it! A car and nowhere to go? Drive for Uber or Lyft! The taxi industry is a regulatory-capture nightmare. Disrupt ‘em ’til they’re dead! …But our 21st-century sharing-economy dream is beginning to look worryingly like a 19th-century robber-baron nightmare. Read More

  • The Case For Intelligent Failure To Invent The Future

    The Case For Intelligent Failure To Invent The Future

    The world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. In the past, experts with spreadsheets and econometric models or social scientists with subscale studies and linear models may have been useful. These so-called experts extrapolated from what came before, but as the rate of change has increased, looking to the past is often no longer meaningful — especially in a world driven by new… Read More

  • How To Present A Successful Hackathon Demo

    How To Present A Successful Hackathon Demo

    It’s sad to stay up for three days building something awesome only to bomb the demo presentation. It’s no surprise it happens: you’re exhausted and racing to finish your project, with little time to plan your words, and only a few minutes to say them. So here’s some advice on how to give a great hackathon presentation. Read More

  • Tables, Tablets, Data And Eating

    Tables, Tablets, Data And Eating

    Restaurants as we know them have remained the same for over two hundred years, and fables about amazing restaurant tech have inevitably leapt to futuristic ideas: robot waiters, food printers, talking refrigerators. Today’s reality is far more interesting and complex than those sweeping visions. A tsunami of technology, both from established industry providers such as POS and IT… Read More

  • Where You Are Is Who You Are Even If It Is China

    Where You Are Is Who You Are Even If It Is China

    Where your cloud data is stored is, increasingly, critical to determining who controls it. Though many around the globe have become concerned about data storage in the United States, there are worse alternatives. Imagine, for example, if your personal data were stored on a cloud server in China, a nation-state actor well known for conducting cyber espionage against U.S. businesses and… Read More

  • Are All Accelerators Decelerators?

    Are All Accelerators Decelerators?

    Hari, a smart and very savvy early-stage entrepreneur, emailed me to ask if it was worth joining a well-known accelerator. I texted an emphatic “No!” We then spoke to each other for over 30 minutes and I don’t recall having made such an impassioned argument. I almost felt like it was my duty to save an entrepreneur. Read More

  • The New Era Of Smart Dining

    The New Era Of Smart Dining

    The restaurant industry has been around for a long time – since the dawn of Western civilization itself. Starting in Ancient Rome, some of the earliest known public restaurants, called thermopolia, were local hot-spots where the citizenry would go to socialize, be waited on, and fill their stomachs after a hard day’s work. Read More

  • This Labor Day, Reflect On Diversity And The Future

    This Labor Day, Reflect On Diversity And The Future

    2014 is the year that work became a central point of discussion in Silicon Valley. For the engineers and knowledge workers in the region, issues of diversity and inclusion finally got their turn in the limelight, forcing us to question our deeply-held views about the meritocracy of Silicon Valley. We also had to confront news that several of our most iconic technology companies conspired to… Read More

  • Amazon Vs. Hachette: Fewer Middlemen Equals A Better World

    Amazon Vs. Hachette: Fewer Middlemen Equals A Better World

    By now everyone is well aware of the ongoing battle between Amazon and publisher Hachette. The thing is, we all know how this story ends, we just don’t know when it will be over. This one does not have a David vs. Goliath ending. Goliath is going to win — and that is a good thing for the world. Read More

  • How The Digital Revolution Can Fix Scientific Publishing And Speed Up Discoveries

    How The Digital Revolution Can Fix Scientific Publishing And Speed Up Discoveries

    Scientific, Technical, and Medical (STM) publishing is big business. It generates $19 billion in revenue per year, the majority of which is earned by a few powerful publishers who enjoy profit margins of up to 40 percent. Inflated subscriptions sold to academic libraries keep them moving ahead because the librarians feel they have no choice but to buy. These companies add little value to… Read More

  • Lessons From The Sharing Economy

    Lessons From The Sharing Economy

    Companies everywhere are jumping on the sharing economy trend – from sharing skills to houses to cars, the sharing economy is transforming many industries. Technology has lowered the barriers so that anyone can provide services blurring the line between “personal” and “professional.” Read More

  • Cultural Realities Of Latin American Entrepreneurship

    Cultural Realities Of Latin American Entrepreneurship

    One of the brilliant things about tech leaders and pundits in Silicon Valley is their true passion for entrepreneurship and their belief in the power of the human spirit and intellect. Surrounded by the sight of so many motivated and talented founders in the Valley itself, they assume that this optimistic sensibility can override nearly any obstacle for a dedicated entrepreneur. Read More

  • Five Factors In Building Giants Of The Big Data Era

    Five Factors In Building Giants Of The Big Data Era

    As we enter the second half of 2014, it would be fair to say that big data has gone mainstream, attracting coffee table books, multiple industry landscapes, consumer applications, and large amounts of funding. Having seen many technology cycles during our 45 years in venture capital including the birth of the PC era, the transition to client-server computing, then Web-based computing, to… Read More