Column

  • Positioning The Next Generation Of Women To Succeed In Silicon Valley

    Positioning The Next Generation Of Women To Succeed In Silicon Valley

    Over the past few months there’s been a lot of discussion about whether women are positioned for success in Silicon Valley. The debate on empowering women in tech ranges from pay equality to increasing the number of women in the boardroom. Still, it’s encouraging to see many women who are driving their own success and supporting each other. There are a lot of positive things that… Read More

  • 365 Million Reasons Why Email Is A Solid Investment

    365 Million Reasons Why Email Is A Solid Investment

    Funding events over the last five quarters have shown investors to be bullish on companies engaged in email. From analytics to infrastructure, advertising to services, and everything in between, the email ecosphere has been infused with $364.5 million in funding. The recent growth of these freshly funded companies underscores how important solid, reliable and measurable email is to startups… Read More

  • Brazil’s $26 Billion Eyewear Industry Moves Online With Lema21 And EÓtica Merger

    Brazil’s $26 Billion Eyewear Industry Moves Online With Lema21 And EÓtica Merger

    The late April merger of, Lema21, an innovative private label startup, and eÓtica, an ecommerce site for prescription eyewear and contacts, is proof that Brazil’s investors are taking a long view toward startup development and not just interested in stamping out their competition. Read More

  • A Food Bubble? Not So Fast

    A Food Bubble? Not So Fast

    Is there a “Food Bubble”? Robyn Metcalfe believes so. In her recent TechCrunch editorial she pointed to recent fundraises by Instacart and Delivroo—reportedly demanding valuations of $2 billion and $100 million on revenues of ~$100 million and $1 million, respectively—as evidence that the kind of irrational exuberance so often found in tech is seeping into food investmen Read More

  • What The U.S. Can Learn About Financial Inclusion From The Developing World

    What The U.S. Can Learn About Financial Inclusion From The Developing World

    Financial inclusion — expanding access to financial services to those on the margins — is often advocated as a priority for the developing world. And rightly so: It can increase economic security for the people who need it most and promote economic development where those people live. Read More

  • The Bitcoin Blocksize Blackjack Mining Blues

    The Bitcoin Blocksize Blackjack Mining Blues

    Bitcoin: it’s at a crucially important crossroads; it’s approaching a crisis that threatens its very existence; it has never been more likely to erupt into enormous global importance. Which? Don’t be ridiculous. It is all those things at once, of course, as usual. I only wish I was joking. If you’re dumb enough to judge Bitcoin purely by its exchange rate, you might… Read More

  • Three Reasons Your Term Sheet May Fall Through

    Three Reasons Your Term Sheet May Fall Through

    So you’ve made it past all the VC grilling and received a term sheet. Congratulations! But don’t celebrate just yet. Term sheets are non-binding, and even though they should signify a VC has conviction in investing in you and is ready to move towards closing, they fall through more often than most Founders may expect. Read More

  • Smart Regulation For Smart Drugs

    Smart Regulation For Smart Drugs

    Nootropics, smart drugs, and other biohacks are now drawing mainstream scrutiny and controversy as more and more people are using legal, off-label, and unscheduled “research chemicals” as nootropics to enhance their academic or work performance. Read More

  • Finding Your Tribe Is An Ongoing Quest

    Finding Your Tribe Is An Ongoing Quest

    As the father of an 11th grade student, I am watching my oldest child explore where she will want to attend university when she completes her senior and final year of high school. This past month my wife and daughter drove through six different states and looked at over a dozen universities and colleges, with the hope that my 17 year-old child will find a place where “she fits in”… Read More

  • The “Death” Of Anything Is Overrated

    The “Death” Of Anything Is Overrated

    In the tech world, everyone aspires to “kill” something. At least, that is what you would think from the media coverage. “The death” of gamification. Of cable. Of video games. Of the Detroit auto industry. Real estate, car dealers, money, paper – all the victim of business homicide. However you cut it, we love slaughter. Read More

  • Microsoft, Facebook, Google And The Future Of Voice Communications

    Microsoft, Facebook, Google And The Future Of Voice Communications

    All of a sudden, it seems like Facebook, Google and Apple are climbing all over each other to own the voice interaction, and specifically, the phone conversation. They’re in a race to compete in the most valuable part of “social” — as if they’ve forgotten, until now, just how much humans ultimately value one-on-one conversation. Read More

  • The Fine Line Between Success And Bankruptcy

    The Fine Line Between Success And Bankruptcy

    When seed capital hits the books, the outlook of every startup is one of unbridled optimism. Founders, team members, and investors are inspired by a singular vision and believe it can materialize into a world-changing company. If things go right and the product gets amazing results, optimism turns into euphoria. There are few experiences more rewarding than making big collective bets and… Read More

  • Following On In The Land Of Plenty

    Following On In The Land Of Plenty

    Given the significant influx of new talent that has poured into the venture capital industry and the extended length of feedback cycles, it’s not that surprising that VCs tend to stick to old norms even if they may not apply in today’s market. Read More

  • A Developer’s Guide To The Wild West Of App Discovery

    A Developer’s Guide To The Wild West Of App Discovery

    It’s hard as hell to launch a consumer mobile app these days. Manage to build a stellar product that answers a true need? You can pretty much count on the Google/Apple duopoly and poor structure of both app stores to bury your work along with the overwhelming majority of apps wallowing on each platform. Read More

  • The Internet Of (Some) Things

    The Internet Of (Some) Things

    In 2015, a modern-day gold rush has taken the technology sector by storm. A recent study discovered that 75 percent of executives surveyed said that Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives are currently underway within their organizations. That said, there’s still one question many companies have failed to answer — is more data always a good thing? Read More

  • ‘Things’ Are People, Too

    ‘Things’ Are People, Too

    If you’re thinking this article is about creating a historical record that our future robot overlords may read and reward me for, you’re not entirely right. To keep this particular writing distanced from Terminator-induced concerns, I will constrain the definition of “things” to devices that empower us and our loved ones with light, comfort, safety and security, as well… Read More

  • The Importance Of Choosing The Right VC

    The Importance Of Choosing The Right VC

    Like so many young startup founders, I find myself alternating between laughing out loud and cringing as I watch the Pied Piper crew navigate the business world on HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” Having spent a good chunk of last year raising my own company’s latest round, the conversations about investment and valuation really hit home. Read More

  • The Case For Finding Your ‘Lime Equation’ And Keeping It Secret

    The Case For Finding Your ‘Lime Equation’ And Keeping It Secret

    Sixteen years ago, I thought that owning a bar and running a tech startup simultaneously would be a great match for my ADD. Ultimately, what made the late nights and shenanigans worthwhile was discovering the “Lime Equation,” a formula that revealed which employees were stealing from the bar. Today, I would argue that every CEO needs a secret Lime Equation that he or she can use… Read More

  • Why Today’s Automobile Industry Looks A Lot Like IBM in 1985

    Why Today’s Automobile Industry Looks A Lot Like IBM in 1985

    With the number of mobile phone subscriptions shortly expected to exceed the total global population, what is the next great connected device going to look like? Hint: It’ll have four wheels. Gartner predicts that there will be 250 million connected cars on the road by 2020. That means one in every three cars on the road will be connected. Read More

  • Three Things To Consider Before Investing In Ad Tech

    Three Things To Consider Before Investing In Ad Tech

    Amid a talent and investor drought and growing challenges with fraud and ad-blockers, ad tech is in an unusual place. People aren’t putting money in ad tech, and the players are playing a bloody game. Yet ad tech revenue is projected to reach $100 billion in five years. Read More