Column

 

  • Let’s Fix The Internet

    Let’s Fix The Internet

    I hate to be the one to tell you this, but: we, the people of the Internet, have collectively run up a colossal amount of technical debt. Much of our online infrastructure consists of band-aid and/or legacy Rube Goldberg solutions hacked together with bubble gum and baling wire; and the only way to pay back technical debt is to fix it. The good news is, we’re finally doing just that. Read More

  • The Big Picture On Digital Receipts

    The Big Picture On Digital Receipts

    What’s happening with digital receipts? The answer to that is – a lot. The last five years or so have seen an explosion of ideas surrounding the capture, management and storage of digital receipts. There has been a mad rush by start-ups and merchants trying to capitalise on the enthusiasm typically generated by a new and innovative concept and it seems, in the process, they have… Read More

  • Amazon Attempts To Upend The Television Ratings System – No, Really

    Amazon Attempts To Upend The Television Ratings System – No, Really

    On January 26, 1979, “The Dukes of Hazzard” television show premiered on CBS on the East Coast. The show was poorly reviewed and, worse still, the TV ratings were just okay. As the legend goes, the president of CBS, who was in New York that night, saw the show for the first time and was appalled by its lack of quality. He immediately called his executives in Los Angeles, telling… Read More

  • Patient Access And Control: The Future Of Chronic Disease Management?

    Patient Access And Control: The Future Of Chronic Disease Management?

    Sufferers of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the United States are among the more active practitioners of disease self-management. It involves, among other disciplines, rigorous self-monitoring of blood glucose and blood pressure levels, strict dietary discipline and, possibly, self-administering of insulin injections. It is a complex program of continuous diagnosis and treatment that also… Read More

  • Patient Capital Drives Change In Education

    Patient Capital Drives Change In Education

    In 2001, Arthur Levine, then president of Columbia University Teacher’s College, predicted that one day faculty members would become free agents, increasingly independent of their colleges and universities. “It is only a matter of time before we see the equivalent of an academic William Morris Agency,” Levine, now president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, wrote in The… Read More

  • The Best Of Times …

    The Best Of Times …

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of Minecraft, it was the age of Square, it was the epoch of burn, it was the epoch of crash, it was the season of growth and it was the season of collapse. Or so Dickens might have written if he had lived in San Francisco. The Bubble is back in the news again following comments made by Bill Gurley, the well-known Benchmark… Read More

  • Technology And The Challenge Of Democracy

    Technology And The Challenge Of Democracy

    Information is more available and accessible than ever before, and we are witnessing the power of the crowd to respond to news events with greater impact. As technology continues to play a larger role in our everyday lives, we must ask ourselves what ultimately is the responsibility of technology when it comes to the dissemination of information? Read More

  • It’s Not About Creating Another Silicon Valley But Preventing Another Motor City

    It’s Not About Creating Another Silicon Valley But Preventing Another Motor City

    Many iconic founders grew up in Michigan. When you have a state with the highest concentration of engineering degrees in the country, there is a high probability that you’ll have a lot of babies who will want to build products. But why are these job creators moving away to set up their companies somewhere else? Is it the snow? The Detroit Lions, maybe? I believe you can look at the… Read More

  • How The Internet Killed Profit

    How The Internet Killed Profit

    New eras in technology have always brought a fear of job losses and the devastation of legacy industries, but the Internet has taken us beyond “creative destruction.” It’s destroying the very foundations of business. Software is indeed eating the world, in Marc Andreessen’s words, and we’re presented with an abundance of value being generated for consumers, but… Read More

  • The #Gamergate Answer

    The #Gamergate Answer

    In response to my article last week I got a fair degree of heated comments, but most civil ones said that the gamergate issue was about journalistic integrity. Is it? Or is it actually about the culture of games? And how does that affect the industry going forward? Read More

  • Putting Smartphone Zombies In Their Place

    Putting Smartphone Zombies In Their Place

    City planners are charged with designing cities for residents, from developing spaces for popular activities to balancing the needs of different constituencies. For planners in Chongqing, China, one of those constituencies are people absorbed in their smartphones, who have come into conflict with another group, often called human beings. So the city has done the obvious thing when two… Read More

  • Mobile Payments Are Finally A Reality Thanks To Apple

    Mobile Payments Are Finally A Reality Thanks To Apple

    A song lyric from “All That Jazz” comes to mind following Apple’s big announcement about mobile payments on Tuesday: “Everything old is new again.” Amid rumors and leaks surrounding the new Apple phone, operating system and peripherals, Apple clearly saw – and took advantage of – the looming perfect storm in mobile payments that’s been swirling… Read More

  • A Cambrian Explosion In AI Is Coming

    A Cambrian Explosion In AI Is Coming

    You can call it a Virtual Personal Assistant, an Intelligent Agent, an Intelligent Interface or whatever you wish. We call it inevitable. The era of the assistant that began with Siri will eventually dominate the way people interact with mobile devices, computers, cars, wearables, appliances and every other piece of technology that requires complex human-machine interaction. We do not appear… Read More

  • Venture Capital Is Prime For A Reverse Gold Rush

    Venture Capital Is Prime For A Reverse Gold Rush

    Considering how important proprietary deal flow has become as a tool for differentiation within venture capital, it’s surprising that more VCs aren’t shopping in the South. They simply aren’t looking at the concepts and companies coming out of Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chattanooga, and other Southern startup hubs. At best, VCs might have a token startup on their roster… Read More

  • Technologists’ Duty Can Go Beyond For-Profit Industries

    Technologists’ Duty Can Go Beyond For-Profit Industries

    Early last year, I wrote an article explaining how our team views the concept of duty for leaders in the technology ecosystem. We believe that this duty involves looking beyond conventional startups to study complex industries and using technology to tackle the biggest problems we can find. Read More

  • The Music Industry Is About To Change, And Apple And U2 Are Just The Beginning

    The Music Industry Is About To Change, And Apple And U2 Are Just The Beginning

    Of all industry roller coasters, the music industry must be the wildest. The last 30 years reshaped the business in a way we never could have imagined. Music as a product changed dramatically (e.g. from LPs to MP3s) and the ups-and-downs in worldwide sales would make the most hardened theme park visitor queasy. Nonetheless, we have yet to experience the biggest switchback on this… Read More

  • Twitter’s Huge Mistake

    Twitter’s Huge Mistake

    The worst tech news I read last week was: “Twitter CFO says a Facebook-style filtered feed is coming, whether you like it or not.” The horrified firestorm of condemnation that erupted in response was the first time I’ve ever seen anything like unanimity on my Twitter feed. Fortunately, it seems it’s not actually happening. (At least not any time soon.) Read More

  • The MOOC Revolution That Wasn’t

    The MOOC Revolution That Wasn’t

    Three years ago this week, Sebastian Thrun recorded his Stanford class on Artificial Intelligence, released it online to a staggering 180,000 students, and started a “revolution in higher education.” Soon after, Coursera, Udacity and others promised free access to valuable content, supposedly delivering a disruptive solution that would solve massive student debt and a… Read More

  • Big Data Analytics Vs. The Gut Check

    Big Data Analytics Vs. The Gut Check

    Data is more varied and fast-moving than ever, and analyzing it effectively now requires highly sophisticated software and machinery. But where does big data analytics leave the good old-fashioned hunch? What if the data tells a business manager to ‘jump’ but her intuition says ‘stay’? Read More

  • Sued As A Young Startup? Don’t Surrender

    Sued As A Young Startup? Don’t Surrender

    Patent trolls are on the offensive, using weak patents to go after young tech startups with the hopes of securing licensing deals. These trolls bank on the assumption that these young companies will pay without putting up a fight in order to avoid the high cost of a long drawn out litigation. Read More