Column

 

  • Israeli High Tech Gets Aggressive

    Israeli High Tech Gets Aggressive

    Israel has always taken a disproportionate share of global media attention. This has long held true in international politics, where Israel would prefer a little less attention, but also in high tech where the media attention on start-up success has often been overstated and anecdotal. Read More

  • The New Fast Food

    The New Fast Food

    By market cap, McDonald’s is a $100 billion business — that’s two-thirds of Amazon. At $19 billion, Chipotle’s worth a whole WhatsApp. Hell, Taco Bell’s parent company is almost worth 1 and a half Twitters. Whither the next unicorn(s)? Food. Read More

  • Who Watches The Watchmen?

    Who Watches The Watchmen?

    In honor of the Fourth of July, let’s talk a little about how horrifically paranoid and counterproductive the US government has become. And I’m not even talking about Congress! Instead I mean our old friend the No Such Agency, who, it turns out, have been singling out for special treatment anyone who displays any interest in tools which might make the NSA’s life more difficult. Read More

  • The Government Once Built Silicon Valley

    The Government Once Built Silicon Valley

    Last month, I received an invitation to participate in the “Startup Global Design Workshop” hosted by the White House Business Council and Business Forward. The organizations are working on bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and Washington. Currently, small-to-medium-sized enterprises are responsible for 98 percent of U.S. exports. As part of the President’s Nation… Read More

  • Christensen Vs. Lepore: A Matter Of Fact

    Christensen Vs. Lepore: A Matter Of Fact

    Nothing gets keyboards clicking like a good controversy. Recently Jill Lepore, a history professor at Harvard, published a fierce article in the New Yorker accusing another Harvard professor, Clayton Christensen, of being a quack. Lepore didn’t use that word, but she may as well have. Christensen is a business school professor renowned for his “Disruption Theory” about… Read More

  • The Numinous Veil Of Ignorance

    The Numinous Veil Of Ignorance

    In watching the latest drama unfold over Facebook and its experimentation with users, I’m moved to argue that sometimes you can be too honest. For game makers especially sometimes it’s better for users not to know, for you to hint and inspire but never reveal the inner secrets. To preserve the numinous magic, it’s often better not to show the man behind the curtain. Read More

  • Startups And The Un-Banking Of America

    Startups And The Un-Banking Of America

    Historically, when looking for opportunity in the financial industry where technology can have the greatest impact — for investors and entrepreneurs — the best place to start has been with one of our oldest institutions: banks. However, while critical to our economy, banks are generally inefficient, have high fixed costs and don’t exactly elicit happy thoughts from the… Read More

  • The Supreme Court And Your Software Patents

    The Supreme Court And Your Software Patents

    The Supreme Court recently issued its long-awaited opinion in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, known more affectionately in many circles as the Supreme Court case deciding whether software is patentable. Although the Supreme Court did not tackle that broader question in its June 19 opinion, it did address whether CLS Corp. should be allowed to patent the concept of mitigating settlement… Read More

  • Unscaling The Healthcare Economy

    Unscaling The Healthcare Economy

    Health care delivery has always been among the top targets for founders seeking to dramatically improve our lives while building great businesses. Yet, with very few exceptions, most founders find it difficult to build scalable software-defined businesses for providing high quality care. Read More

  • The Rise Of The “Social Professional” Networks

    The Rise Of The “Social Professional” Networks

    Back in the mid-2000s, many espoused a theory that there would emerge social networks for different types of people. It sounds a little preposterous now in the age of Facebook dominance, but at the time you had smart people like Marc Andreessen founding companies like Ning that followed this thesis. I was the co-founder of a now-defunct social network called Zaadz that you could think of… Read More

  • Foursquare, Quora, Path: What Becomes Of The Underachievers?

    Foursquare, Quora, Path: What Becomes Of The Underachievers?

    Foursquare, Quora, Path. Each is (or was) a Valley darling; each has millions of loyal users; each has raised more than $50 million, albeit nontraditionally, and been valued at $400 million or more — and each has recently done something remarkable. Foursquare and Path pivoted, hard. Quora, bizarrely, joined Y Combinator. Are they flailing, or is there method to this madness? Read More

  • Pirate Radio, YouTubers And Video Games

    Pirate Radio, YouTubers And Video Games

    YouTubers are considered a big boon by some, but also a big threat by others. Game developers in particular sometimes feel that what they’re doing is less journalism/coverage and more like pirate radio, exposing and spoiling their games for profit. Is that true? How will this latest innovation find its place? Read More

  • The Ring Of Fire: Of Pirates, Popcorn Time And Dynamic Pricing

    The Ring Of Fire: Of Pirates, Popcorn Time And Dynamic Pricing

    At 36,007 feet up in the air, somewhere between Alaska and Russia, with the Aleutian Islands someplace below us, my child and I are sharing a blissful moment. My one-year-old is sleeping peacefully and I finally have an opportunity to catch up on Game of Thrones. I’m four episodes behind, and I need to see what happened in that trial by combat. Read More

  • Apple Might Finally Solve Photo Storage Hell

    Apple Might Finally Solve Photo Storage Hell

    We take a bazillion photos with our phones and digital cameras. The digital images mostly just sit, clogging up our hard drive(s). This has been a problem for as long as digital photography has existed and it’s getting worse. Camera resolutions are getting bigger and with it, the file sizes of our digital photos are growing. Read More

  • The Term Sheet Mating Dance

    The Term Sheet Mating Dance

    There is no word more sacred and yet over-used than “term sheet” in the entrepreneurial circle. Often, the pursuit of the mythical VC term sheet has blinded entrepreneurs from the real goal of building a business – revenue, customers, users, engagement, and retention. Securing a term sheet is about more than money, more than survival. It’s validation. It’s the… Read More

  • Russia’s Skolkovo Project Back On Track

    Russia’s Skolkovo Project Back On Track

    The pace of change in Russia would appear slow at the moment. Recent and ongoing events in the Crimea and Ukraine suggest an inward-looking country that has no ear to global opinion and is set on acting like the angry Soviet bear that we know from the Cold War. Read More

  • Will Google Enter The Insurance Industry?

    Will Google Enter The Insurance Industry?

    When it comes to collecting and organizing information, Google is well on its way to establishing its hegemony through the registration of 6 billion daily unique searches and indexing of over 50 billion web pages (2013). What remains to be seen is how this information is being made universally accessible and at what price. One of the industries that has particular advantage of access to… Read More

  • Amazon’s Master Of Commerce Move Into The Phone Game

    Amazon’s Master Of Commerce Move Into The Phone Game

    Mobile is so 2010. So why would Amazon throw its hat into the mobile phone fray? That’s the thing – they’re not. They are headed into battle in two other markets full of potential: real-world commerce and digital advertising. Read More

  • Consumer Robotics Is Finally Ready For Prime Time

    Consumer Robotics Is Finally Ready For Prime Time

    The robotics revolution has been in the making for decades, but market expectations have historically outpaced technology readiness. While industrial and military sectors have adopted a number of high-priced robotics solutions, the consumer sector has lagged due to lack of technological maturity and high costs. Read More

  • Welcome To Extremistan! Please Check Your Career At The Door.

    Welcome To Extremistan! Please Check Your Career At The Door.

    Will robots and software eat all the jobs? No. Will robots and software eat your job? Yes, probably. Eventually. Rejoice! …for your grandchildren. You and your kids are likely to have a pretty tough time over the next few decades. Sorry about that. Read More