Column

  • The Censorship Effect

    The Censorship Effect

    How much does censorship affect digital media from a business perspective? Unsurprisingly, it’s clear that censorship has a huge impact on how social platforms develop and on how individuals use them. Some of the specific effects of censorship can be surprising, though. Read More

  • Lost In Translation — Don’t Mistake British Reserve For Lack Of Ambition

    Lost In Translation — Don’t Mistake British Reserve For Lack Of Ambition

    Editor’s note: Robin Klein is a Venture Partner at Index Ventures in London. This post has been ‘brewing’ in my mind for a number of years now. It’s only taken a shape worthy of publication thanks to Julian Rowe, principal at Horsley Bridge (that Blue Chip investor in the world’s great tech VCs). During a recent meeting, Julian and I were talking about the… Read More

  • Managing Growth In A Volatile Market

    Managing Growth In A Volatile Market

    Over the past several years, founders have been operating in a steadily improving macroeconomic environment. Stock market performance has mirrored the economic recovery, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ having posted meaningful gains in four of the past five years, with only 2011 posting a modest 1.8% loss. Leveraging this economic and stock market performance, venture capital firms have raised… Read More

  • After Technology Destroys Capitalism

    After Technology Destroys Capitalism

    In honor of May Day, let’s think big for a moment. No, no, no. Bigger than that. Consider all the furious attention paid to economic inequality of late, courtesy of Thomas Piketty and Capital in the 21st Century. He argues that increasing inequality is an inevitable outcome of laissez-faire capitalism, and proposes we fix this with a global wealth tax. I humbly suggest that… Read More

  • Selling Your Company? Prioritize Dollars Over Prestige

    Selling Your Company? Prioritize Dollars Over Prestige

    Right after Adobe acquired EchoSign, I ran into a friend whose company had recently been acquired for several hundred million dollars after having raised very little capital. It was a great outcome. The acquirer was a public company, but not one you’ve likely heard of. I asked him if he had any regrets, learnings, etc. Read More

  • Payment Innovation Is Not Enough For Retail

    Payment Innovation Is Not Enough For Retail

    Once a key differentiator, mobile payments are fast becoming a commodity and are widely used by retailers. Yankee Group found that 61 percent of large merchants already use a mobile checkout or plan to in 2014. We are seeing the major payments players recognize this, realizing that they can’t bank on razor thin profit margins from swiping fees alone. For instance, Square has introduced… Read More

  • How I Killed A Startup In 4 Hours (And Why I Don’t Regret It)

    How I Killed A Startup In 4 Hours (And Why I Don’t Regret It)

    I hate activist journalism. But last week, I was responsible for the death of a startup. It was probably the fastest death in the history of the tech industry: four hours from launch to dead-pool, by my reckoning. If that sounds like boasting, well… I’m afraid it is. Let me explain. Read More

  • Crowdfunded Gadgets That Frame And Notify

    Editor’s note: Ross Rubin is principal analyst at Reticle Research, a technology, media and telecom advisory firm, and founder of Backerjack. He blogs at Techspressive. Each week, Backerjack shares three tech-related products seeking funding. There’s nothing that grandparents love more than photos of their grandkids. Photo sharing these days is easy with the Internet and… Read More

  • What Games Are: What Became Of Social Games?

    What Games Are: What Became Of Social Games?

    Remember social games? Remember how they supposed to be the future, how they were transforming the games industry and all that? No? Strangely not many people seem to think about social games any more, or consider them as a thing. Their central story seems to have faded, replaced largely by other platforms and better functions. Is that a bad or a good thing? Read More

  • How To Hack Hiring

    How To Hack Hiring

    Everyone knows there is an arms race for tech talent nowadays. Companies in every industry, not just tech, need this talent to survive. So what are the current myths of hiring and how are innovative companies hacking the process to come out on top? Read More

  • A Look At Play-i’s Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

    A Look At Play-i’s Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

    In just six months, Play-i went from just an idea to a working prototype to $1.44 million in pre-orders through our crowdfunding campaign. Other entrepreneurs often ask us what we did to run an effective campaign. So here is our strategy and what we learned along the way. Read More

  • A Different Approach To Tech M&A

    A Different Approach To Tech M&A

    Many top Silicon Valley buyers like Google, Facebook and Twitter have a standard process for how they manage acquisitions. One main part of that is the technical interview. But Villi Iltchev, EVP of corporate development at LifeLock, does things differently than many other corporate development executives in Silicon Valley. Read More

  • Five Hard Things That Great VCs Do

    Five Hard Things That Great VCs Do

    One of the hard things about being a VC today: You must give entrepreneurs more than just capital. In my experience as a founder and sometime investor, here are five hard things I’ve seen great VCs do for their companies, long after their checks have cleared. Read More

  • Seed Is A Process

    Seed Is A Process

    The seed “round” as a singular event appears to be dying. What used to be a discrete funding round is now more of a rolling, continuous financing process. At Bullpen we say “seed is a process,” and it’s important for entrepreneurs to know how to tailor this process to minimize dilution and maximize survival chances. Read More

  • What’s Your Honeywell Bubble Count?

    What’s Your Honeywell Bubble Count?

    I divided my time this month between West Africa and the Bay Area, which triggered a lot of cultural whiplash, which got me thinking about filter bubbles. I fear today’s technology can reinforce our instinct to confuse what’s familiar with what’s normal … which leads to skewed perceptions, bad decisions, and needless conflict. It’s OK to live in a bubble, but it… Read More

  • How Google Can Leverage Facebook’s Biggest Weakness

    How Google Can Leverage Facebook’s Biggest Weakness

    When Google launched Plus, it was clear they just wanted users to move their sharing over from Facebook. Google+ didn’t give users a new way to interact, they just copied Facebook’s model. As a result, Google social network never truly took off. Few people actively share on it. No one checks it. Most, in general, ignore it. Read More

  • Culture In Silicon Valley

    Culture In Silicon Valley

    When I arrived in San Francisco from New York at the beginning of the end of that first glorious Internet era in April 1999, I had in my mind’s eye a place teeming with culture junkies. Hyper-literate music and arts loving people, drawn to the Bay to be part of a kind of acceptably commercial counter-culture. Although I had spent time in SF before becoming a resident, I mostly had images… Read More

  • What Games Are: Worrying About Indie Games

    What Games Are: Worrying About Indie Games

    It’s been great times for indie games over the last few years, a true golden age compared to what went before. Yet I’m very worried that the great times are over and that – on multiple fronts – the forces of darkness are closing in. Are indie games about to go through a contraction, a difficult phase and a period of being disempowered once more? Read More

  • AI Experts On The Reality Behind The Sci-Fi Thriller “Transcendence”

    AI Experts On The Reality Behind The Sci-Fi Thriller “Transcendence”

    An ambitious blend of fact and fiction, “Transcendence” is Hollywood’s latest dystopian-edged take on the implications of artificial intelligence. Here are some examples of where the film displays some chops in computer vision, intelligent systems and brain imaging. Read More

  • Crowdfunded Gadgets That Talk To Your Home And Charge Your Phone With Wind Power

    Editor’s note: Ross Rubin is principal analyst at Reticle Research, a technology, media and telecom advisory firm, and founder of Backerjack. He blogs at Techspressive. Each week, Backerjack shares three tech-related products seeking funding.  Talk to your home and have it listen and respond with ALYT Part of the smart-home dream has always been being able to talk with a place of… Read More