Column

  • Israel Grows From Startup Nation To Exit Nation

    Israel Grows From Startup Nation To Exit Nation

    Thanks to a string of big exits over the past year, Israel’s technology companies are moving the country from a startup nation to an exit nation. With nearly $15 billion in exits through mergers and acquisitions and public offerings, 2014 was an all-time record year for the Israeli hi-tech industry, compared with a mere $1.2 billion raised in 2013, according to a PwC report for 2014. Read More

  • The Human Impact Of The Industrial Internet Of Things

    The Human Impact Of The Industrial Internet Of Things

    Will digital technology be positive for workers and jobs? Amid today’s public debate about the consequences of artificial intelligence and advanced robotics, along comes the industrial Internet of things. Little understood but potentially very significant for multiple industry sectors, this next wave of technology will create more jobs than it will destroy, according to the majority… Read More

  • Investors Want Proof You’re High Fantasy

    Investors Want Proof You’re High Fantasy

    Recently, TechCrunch published a post presenting differing investment theories of those in venture capital, unicorns vs. dragons. In the article, an investor legitimately claimed that a unicorn is a good analog for a good investment but dragons are even better. I had flashbacks of all the fantastical terms that investors use to describe good investment opportunities; it’s clear that… Read More

  • Digital Distribution Is Changing Who’s Going To See Indie Films

    Digital Distribution Is Changing Who’s Going To See Indie Films

    Combine a culture that increasingly encourages self-expression; an economy that generates considerable surplus capital with low interest rates; Moore’s Law-like improvements in performance-per-dollar in production technology; proliferating on demand distribution outlets for digital media; and persistent underemployment for liberal arts graduates; and what do you get? More films being made! Read More

  • The Net Neutrality Debate Also Affects SMS

    The Net Neutrality Debate Also Affects SMS

    Net neutrality was one of last year’s biggest tech stories. The one that went mainstream after John Oliver poked fun at it and beseeched his viewers to flood the FCC’s comments page with tirades against a two-tiered Internet (they did, reportedly causing FCC.gov to crash). Read More

  • As Cloud Arrives On Main Street, We Need A New Set Of Metrics For Cloud SLAs

    As Cloud Arrives On Main Street, We Need A New Set Of Metrics For Cloud SLAs

    A lot can happen in a year, and in the world of cloud computing, 2014 was a breakout one. Cloud adoption finally experienced a tornado of demand that swept up large enterprises en masse. Yet as businesses move services to the cloud and increasingly depend on 3rd party vendors, important questions should be answered around who is responsible for managing these services and how service… Read More

  • Prioritizing Diversity In 2015

    Prioritizing Diversity In 2015

    At a recent forum on diversity in tech, Google’s Director of Global Diversity Talent & Inclusion, Yolanda Mangolini, explained that it is incredibly hard to move the needle on diversity by even 1% at Google’s size. In a blog post on how to recruit more women into tech companies, Jennifer Dulski, President and COO of Change.org, echoed the same sentiment, advising startup… Read More

  • The Portability Angle Of Tech Immigration

    The Portability Angle Of Tech Immigration

    In 2001, I was working for Outride, Inc., an early pioneer in context sensitive search and browser history-based personalization. After the dot-com boom, search became passé. The startup couldn’t raise more money closed and its technology assets were acquired by Google. The founders of Outride were giving glowing recommendations to engineers to get them hired at Google and a few joined. Read More

  • This Industry Is Still Completely Ridiculous

    This Industry Is Still Completely Ridiculous

    Things are getting pretty strange out there. Roughly a year ago I wrote a post entitled “This Industry Is Completely Ridiculous.” Since then, as you probably already know, our world has gotten even more surreal. If anything the ridiculousness is accelerating. It’s like the tech industry is subject to a Moore’s Law of weird. Read More

  • There’s A Big Difference Between Using Facebook ‘At Work’ And ‘For Work’

    There’s A Big Difference Between Using Facebook ‘At Work’ And ‘For Work’

    If you’re an employer, how do you solve a problem like Facebook? Roughly 61% of office workers use social media during the day and Facebook takes up a huge share of that surfing. Its highest traffic actually occurs mid-week between 1 to 3 pm. All told, this 1.5% drop in productivity adds up to 12 billion hours wasted per year with a cost of $650 billion dollars to the… Read More

  • What We Didn’t See From Wearables At CES

    What We Didn’t See From Wearables At CES

    At CES this year, we saw everything from stickers that tracked heart rates on babies to virtual reality headsets that didn’t make you throw up. Talk of the Apple Watch took a backseat, but wearables were a hot topic in sunny Las Vegas. Back in the drizzly reality of winter in Cincinnati, we’re contemplating how wearables will seriously make the leap in 2015. Read More

  • What Do Uber, Zenefits And Public Health In A Kenyan Slum Have In Common?

    What Do Uber, Zenefits And Public Health In A Kenyan Slum Have In Common?

    The old saw about effective management goes, “You get what you measure.” Today, whether you call it growth hacking or business intelligence, successful large corporations and lean young startups have become fanatical about measuring their customers. The leaders of the pack – like Uber (which collects data on the supply and demand of their riders and drivers) and Zenefits… Read More

  • VCs Are Ripe For Smart Alternatives To Fund App Growth

    VCs Are Ripe For Smart Alternatives To Fund App Growth

    With 1,600+ apps making their debuts in the app stores daily, the pressure is on app developers to stand out from the crowd and acquire users at scale. However, app developers aren’t the only ones feeling the strain. The tremendous growth of the global app economy — powered by more than 2.5 million apps in the App Store and Google Play combined — is also stretching… Read More

  • Why Are E-Commerce Startups Bullish On Retail?

    Why Are E-Commerce Startups Bullish On Retail?

    It’s a tough time to be an old-school retail company. This past summer, I was walking around Chicago with a realtor. We were looking for popup spaces in Lincoln Park for Ministry of Supply, and she pointed out an American Apparel. “They’re not doing well,” she whispered. “That space may become available.” Six months later, Warby Parker moved in. Read More

  • Box Has Always Been About Reshaping Enterprise Software

    Box Has Always Been About Reshaping Enterprise Software

    One of Box’s earliest marketing stunts was a series of billboards on California’s Route 101 in which it made no bones about going after enterprise content management (ECM) big shot, Microsoft SharePoint. While many would like to pigeonhole Box as storage or sync and share, Box has always had other ideas. From the earliest days in its transition from a consumer to enterprise… Read More

  • Security For Startups

    Security For Startups

    In the past two years, cyberspace has clearly changed in ways that threaten every online business, big or small. Startups now use the cloud infrastructure that mature companies do, and quickly aggregate large, juicy caches of private user data and payment credentials. As malware infestations scale to scour the “long tail” of targets, they don’t discriminate between the Fortune… Read More

  • Uncle Sam Needs More Geeks

    Uncle Sam Needs More Geeks

    One of President Obama’s guests at this year’s State of the Union address was Kathy Pham, a health IT expert formerly of Google and IBM. Pham recently joined the federal government to make it easier for veterans to access the benefits they have earned – like her brother, who earned a Purple Heart for his service in Afghanistan. Kathy is exactly what this country needs. Uncle… Read More

  • What Changes At ModCloth And Nasty Gal Mean For E-Commerce

    What Changes At ModCloth And Nasty Gal Mean For E-Commerce

    Recent weeks have brought some major shakeups to the e-commerce world as Sophia Amoruso stepped down as CEO of Nasty Gal and Eric Koger stepped down as CEO of ModCloth. While some may wonder if such personnel changes signal the fall of vertically integrated retail, I believe the industry is entering a new phase where successful players will look and behave more like retailers and less like… Read More

  • Building A Great Company May Not Be Enough To Get Acquired

    Building A Great Company May Not Be Enough To Get Acquired

    The dream of many entrepreneurs is to build a successful business that can go public or be acquired for a large sum. While IPOs are hard to come by, acquisitions are more common. The mantra is that good companies are bought not sold. In other words, the best companies are sought after and not desperate to sell. But how can startup founders or CEOs ensure that they’re the ones who are… Read More

  • For Mobile Growth Pay Attention To Markets Beyond The US And China

    For Mobile Growth Pay Attention To Markets Beyond The US And China

    In 2014, China-based Alibaba had a record-breaking IPO on the U.S. stock market, China surpassed the U.S. in terms of purchasing power, and the country earned itself a new position in the world economy. But China’s not the only emerging region we need to pay attention to. Other countries are quickly following China’s lead and solidifying their positions in the technology marketplace. Read More