Column

 

  • The Answer Engine: How Humans Can Provide Better Knowledge Than Algorithms

    The Answer Engine: How Humans Can Provide Better Knowledge Than Algorithms

    When you have a question you need answered, do you ask a friend – or a robot? The answer to that question used to be easy. But the rise of Siri, Yahoo and Google has ushered in an era in which we turn, not to experts, but to search engines to answer our questions. By failing to solicit human responses in the pursuit of information, I believe we are making a big mistake – in… Read More

  • The Internet Of Someone Else’s Things

    The Internet Of Someone Else’s Things

    The Internet Of Things is coming. Rejoice! …Mostly. It will open our collective eyes to petabytes of real-time data, which we will turn into new insights and efficiencies. It will doubtless save lives. Oh, yes: and it will subtly redefine ownership as we know it. You will no longer own many of the most expensive and sophisticated items you possess. You may think you own them. But… Read More

  • Sound And Architectural Vision

    Sound And Architectural Vision

    In the race to build the newest, coolest and greenest tech offices, architects and their clients are sparing no expense on the best materials and features. Curved glass? Check. Rooftop parks? Check. But many of these buildings omit one of the most important architectural materials of all time: sound. As sound expert Julian Treasure says, architects are designing buildings with their eyes, but… Read More

  • The Key To Raising Your Seed Extension Round

    The Key To Raising Your Seed Extension Round

    Given the growth in seed funding driven by the combined forces of the “Micro-VC glut” and increasing activity by angel investors (often via crowd funding), it’s become increasingly common to meet so called “Seed Orphans” looking to raise seed extension rounds. These companies often have good teams that have achieved solid initial traction, but were asked by Round… Read More

  • Supply-Side Challenges Of The On-Demand Economy

    Supply-Side Challenges Of The On-Demand Economy

    As the on-demand and sharing economy grows at a feverish pace, led by companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Postmates, Instacart and Homejoy, worker rights has become one of the focal points of the most prominent technology trends in recent history. The companies in the blossoming on-demand and sharing economy cumulatively employ hundreds of thousands of workers directly and indirectly. Read More

  • 10 Men Making Waves For Women In Tech

    10 Men Making Waves For Women In Tech

    On September 20th UN Women announced the HeForShe campaign, an effort to invite men and boys to join in advocating for gender equality. Actress and UN Women Ambassador Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame gave a moving speech to launch the campaign, which has been met with both cheers and criticism from the media. Read More

  • Airbnb and Uber Face Some Harsh Realities

    Airbnb and Uber Face Some Harsh Realities

    Airbnb and Uber are maturing startups both facing some hard realities as they grow. While they have found a loyal and happy user base, they are facing tough resistance from not just the taxi and hotel industries they are disrupting, but also political and social resistance from quarters they probably never imagined when they started their businesses. In Europe and the US we are beginning to see… Read More

  • Could A Nobel Prize-Winning Innovation Have Almost Been Overlooked By Silicon Valley?

    Could A Nobel Prize-Winning Innovation Have Almost Been Overlooked By Silicon Valley?

    I want to congratulate Shuji Nakamura (pictured above), the founder of Khosla Ventures portfolio company Soraa, and his fellow collaborators who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics yesterday. They join an esteemed group of Nobel laureates that includes Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and Niels Bohr, all of whom have changed the course of human history. Read More

  • There’s Something Going On In L.A.

    There’s Something Going On In L.A.

    It’s the new refrain I hear from investors and even entrepreneurs these days. I hear it right after people decide to come by for a few days to “check out what all the fuss is about.” I hear it when I visit LPs (the people who invest in VCs) all across the country, “Yeah, I haven’t been out there for a few years but I keep hearing that something is going on… Read More

  • As The Valley Burns Up, Boston Readies Its Next Act

    As The Valley Burns Up, Boston Readies Its Next Act

    You wouldn’t think that you could fix the bicycle. It’s just two wheels, a seat, and a set of pedals, plus or minus some fancy materials and high-quality tuning. But for the engineers and designers at Cambridge-based Superpedestrian, that base is just the start for what they hope will be the next generation of urban transit. Reinventing the bike may be good business, but it is also… Read More

  • Us vs. Them: What’s Wrong With You People?

    Us vs. Them: What’s Wrong With You People?

    Internet, we need to talk. In a nuanced, thoughtful, intelligent way. I don’t want this to turn into some kind of knee-jerk confrontation. But it will, won’t it? You’ll end up citing the Nazis while frothing at the mouth, won’t you? That’s what you do. Every. Single. Time. What’s wrong with you, Internet? Why can’t we just agree to disagree? By which… Read More

  • Why And How To Hire A Game Designer

    Why And How To Hire A Game Designer

    I am a game designer but I don’t envy the task of potential employers or partners in trying to find someone like me to hire. Game design is very difficult to assess from the outside, to understand what role you think it would play in your team and whether it would be a fit. Some thoughts on how to approach it. Read More

  • How To Survive And Thrive In A Funding Round

    How To Survive And Thrive In A Funding Round

    Editor’s note: Tomer Tagrin is a co-founder of Yotpo, a social reviews platform for e-commerce websites.  When my co-founder Omri Cohen and I started Yotpo, a reviews and marketing solution for e-commerce, raising funding was new to me, like it is for most first-time founders. Three rounds and $13 million in funding later, I’ve learned a lot about the process. First of all… Read More

  • Enterprise App Marketplaces Respond To Pain Points In Corporate IT

    Enterprise App Marketplaces Respond To Pain Points In Corporate IT

    Enterprise application marketplaces have grown significantly in number and stature in recent years. This trend has emerged as a response to developers in corporate IT departments who are stifled by lengthy procurement processes, locked into long contracts and highly restricted when it comes to deploying exciting products offered by startup vendors. Read More

  • The Open VC

    The Open VC

    Ten years ago I became a venture capitalist, first with Village Ventures and now at Greycroft Partners. I spent the previous ten years as an entrepreneur. So, equal time on both sides of the table. My chief observation from the past twenty years is that venture capital firms understand much more about the start up’s they invest in than the start up’s understand about the… Read More

  • Tinder And Evolutionary Psychology

    Tinder And Evolutionary Psychology

    Mobile dating application Tinder has been criticized heavily due to its appearance-based matchmaking process, which many consider so shallow and superficial that it could only be used to facilitate casual sex. However, the app’s popularity continues to grow at an extraordinary rate: it is currently available in 24 languages and boasts more than 10 million active daily users. It was… Read More

  • Don’t Dismiss Developers

    Don’t Dismiss Developers

    Danny Crichton recently asked TechCrunch readers if developer-focused startups will ever find investors. It’s a debate that surfaces frequently in technology circles, with camps emerging on each side. On one hand, we find the “middleware analogists” — those who equate “selling to developers” to “peddling middleware,” which is code for… Read More

  • The Internet’s Missing Link

    The Internet’s Missing Link

    When the web was originally designed, its creators aspired to include a way to transfer value. According to the HTTP standard, error code 402 was “reserved for future use” and was labeled “Payment Required.” Just as we needed a way to freely share information, we needed a way to freely exchange value. Implementing a standardized payment protocol was a natural fit. But… Read More

  • We Have Entered The Golden Age Of Hardware Hacking

    We Have Entered The Golden Age Of Hardware Hacking

    Hardware is the new hotness. This has been true for some years now: but today, the acorns planted by Arduino, TechShop, Kickstarter, lean prototyping, etc., are finally beginning to sprout into oaks. The best thing about this year’s Disrupt SF conference was that its Startup Alley boasted far fewer sugar-water SoLoMo apps…and many more nifty hardware start-ups. Read More

  • What $1 Million Won’t Buy You

    What $1 Million Won’t Buy You

    What’s the value of talent today in Silicon Valley? This year, a startup with revenues of $10 million wanted to find a new chief executive following its Series B raise and offered $450,000 in compensation (5% of revenues). Another startup, quickly growing and approaching an IPO, did a search for a CEO to lead it onto the public markets. In addition to a hefty compensation package, the… Read More