Column

  • Investors Must Confront The On-Demand Economy’s Legal Problem, Part 1

    Investors Must Confront The On-Demand Economy’s Legal Problem, Part 1

    Chances are, no venture capital pitch deck you’ve ever seen had a slide entitled “Worker Classification.” And yet, many companies in the “sharing economy” or “on-demand economy” (ODE) rely on workforces whose legal status may be in jeopardy. Read More

  • The Message Is The Product: Solving Mobile Gaming’s Price Problem

    The Message Is The Product: Solving Mobile Gaming’s Price Problem

    The medium is the message, says Marshall McLuhan. If so the message is the product too. In considering the problem of paid games on mobile (conventional wisdom says people won’t pay for them) it seems more than ever that that reasoning applies. Mobile game makers don’t market premium, so they can’t charge premium. Time to take a leaf from Hollywood’s book. Read More

  • Why Business Must Take The Lead In Protecting The Global Internet

    Why Business Must Take The Lead In Protecting The Global Internet

    “Products don’t really get that interesting to turn into businesses until they have about a billion people using them,” said Mark Zuckerberg in a call with analysts in late October. Imagine trying to get to a billion users without the global Internet. Underlying Mark Zuckerberg’s comment is the simple assumption that the globally united and rapidly expanding… Read More

  • Channeling Positive Tablet Usage To Foster Childhood Development

    Channeling Positive Tablet Usage To Foster Childhood Development

    “Kids spend too much time on tablets and smartphones, not enough time outside!” “They are losing key skills because they are spending too much time on video games and apps!” We hear statements like these constantly, but the fact is, technology is a part of all of our lives, including our children’s, and that isn’t likely to change. Instead of looking at tech… Read More

  • What It Means When Law Firms And Startups Give Away Legal Documents

    What It Means When Law Firms And Startups Give Away Legal Documents

    Over the past five years, law firms in Silicon Valley, New York and Boston have put online – for free – the documents that startups need to execute basic legal transactions. But as big law firms mimic their small clients’ “freemium” business development model, they face increasing competition from startup companies seeking to disrupt the legal industry. Read More

  • The Four Horsemen Of The Cyber Apocalypse

    The Four Horsemen Of The Cyber Apocalypse

    If 2014 did anything good for cybersecurity, it showed us just how exposed major corporations, governments and militaries are to cyber attacks. From vulnerabilities in our power grids to our cash registers, cyber attacks have become the $400 billion problem. And while the attacks differ in motive and method, there are four consistent perpetrators charging at us at full speed – and we need… Read More

  • Getting More Cash Out Of SaaS: Timing Is Everything

    Getting More Cash Out Of SaaS: Timing Is Everything

    Much has been learned and written about the significant cash consumption associated with high-growth SaaS companies. But just how does one achieve rapid growth in a SaaS business while maintaining capital efficiency? The answer: by focusing on the timing of cash collection, not just cash spend. Read More

  • Decentralize All The Things!

    Decentralize All The Things!

    They gave us a fully decentralized Internet and we used it to build web services–Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, iCloud–so massively centralized they verge on being quasi-medieval fiefdoms. Now we’re building the Internet of Someone Else’s Things, wherein every room of every home will contain devices controlled by servers the homeowners don’t know, control, or understand. Read More

  • Preventing Digital Memory Loss

    Preventing Digital Memory Loss

    Editor’s Note: Kevin Skobac is a senior vice president for innovation, digital and social at SS+K and the co-founder of SS+K Labs, an in-house incubator of creative technologies.  For many years we’ve been blissfully riding a personal digital media revolution.  Better technology has solved more problems, enabling us to do more, consume more, and create more. The excitement… Read More

  • 2014 Hack Retrospective, Or Why Security Ecosystems Matter

    2014 Hack Retrospective, Or Why Security Ecosystems Matter

    The “Year of the Hack” will probably be one way that 2014 will be remembered. But it actually began in 2013 with a phishing email. There are clues to how hacks that began in 2013 (some even earlier) continue to reverberate, even as we begin into a New Year. Read More

  • Is YouTube The Yahoo Of 2015?

    Is YouTube The Yahoo Of 2015?

    The great story of Silicon Valley: A company, once ahead of its time, ceases to innovate for almost a decade while continuing to make billions off its legacy business model — ad sales. Then that once-great company dies. In the proud American tradition of AOL, Yahoo, and GeoCities, I present YouTube. Ever notice how its homepage looks almost the same as it did in 2007? Read More

  • Before You Make That Pivot

    Before You Make That Pivot

    According to Eric Ries, A pivot is a “structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth.”[1] The rise of the Lean Startup methodology, however, has led entrepreneurs to indulge and glorify the pivot without fully weighing the consequences. Changing course opportunistically is a key part of starting a… Read More

  • Happy New Year — Unless You’re A Startup

    Happy New Year — Unless You’re A Startup

    As we enter a new year, innovation is advancing across a broad front — mobile, data analytics, virtualization, security, the sharing economy, payment systems and more. That’s the good news. Here’s the not-so-good news. As in the period leading up to the dot-com bust in the late ’90s, enthusiasm for technology startups is running ahead of their reasonable prospects. We… Read More

  • Run A Nonprofit Like A Startup To Move Fast And Help Things

    Run A Nonprofit Like A Startup To Move Fast And Help Things

    The nonprofit model is broken. Unless you’re part of a unicorn nonprofit like Charity: Water then your organization likely has too much overhead, too much bureaucracy, and a lack of focus on impact. Everything feels slow. Read More

  • Would Smart Travel Solutions Find My Luggage, Which United Airlines Lost?

    Would Smart Travel Solutions Find My Luggage, Which United Airlines Lost?

    A few weeks ago at a dinner party, my companions and I were discussing travel startup ideas. The conversation fancifully ambled into a Bluetooth-enabled carry-on suitcase that would always stay within arm’s reach when walking through airports. How we laughed thinking about the idea. Read More

  • The Incredible Lightness Of Cloud Computing

    The Incredible Lightness Of Cloud Computing

    I spent a good good part of my weekend clearing my office of a couple of decades of accumulated software. As I discarded dozens of 3.5 floppies and CDs, and recycled piles of boxes and documentation — the flotsam and jetsam of an earlier computing age — I realized just how much easier computing is in 2015. Not all that long ago, there were no app stores and software came in… Read More

  • My Entrepreneurial Journey To Becoming A Digital Athlete

    My Entrepreneurial Journey To Becoming A Digital Athlete

    “Entrepreneur” might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of me. People know me as a New York Knick, an Orangeman, an Olympian, a Nugget, a husband and a father. But I also consider myself an entrepreneur. Read More

  • In 2015, Consumer Will Be King In Healthcare

    In 2015, Consumer Will Be King In Healthcare

    In 2015, the consumer will really be in the driver’s seat, and this is especially true in the healthcare world. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, is here to stay. Now health insurers today have little choice but to dramatically revise their 50-year old business models that focused on employer-sponsored group products and focus on the consumers who have so much… Read More

  • The Real Cybercrime Geography

    The Real Cybercrime Geography

    When Sony Pictures was the target of a recent cyber attack, computer experts were quick to speculate that North Korea was behind the digital infiltration. Things happen quickly in the digital world, and now many experts are doubting the original idea that North Korea walked around inside Sony servers in reprisal for “The Interview.” Read More

  • Hiring Cultural Creatives

    Hiring Cultural Creatives

    To attract top talent, startups are in an arms race to offer the best perks. From free organic meals and unlimited vacation, to yoga classes, gym passes, free iPhones and signing bonuses, companies are constantly trying to come up with the killer combination of perks that will get top candidates to sign on the dotted line. Read More