Column

 

  • Examining The Effects Of Patent-Troll Legislation On Startups

    Examining The Effects Of Patent-Troll Legislation On Startups

    Non-practicing entities (NPEs), or patent trolls, have largely stayed off the political radar for the 12 years since the term “patent troll” was coined. But the political winds have changed in the last year, as NPEs have now become a favorite whipping boy of Congress — and the president, the Federal Trade Commission, the State of Vermont and the International Trade Commission. Read More

  • The Business Of Fear

    The Business Of Fear

    I spent much of this week at the Black Hat information security conference, after attending the head of the NSA’s keynote speech; and I am pleased to report, O my readers, that here in Las Vegas I have finally achieved enlightenment. That being: the fundamental problem with the National Security Agency, which it shares with most “security” companies, is that it’s not… Read More

  • What Games Are: Self-Publishing On Console Will Not Create The Next SuperCell. But Microconsoles Might.

    What Games Are: Self-Publishing On Console Will Not Create The Next SuperCell. But Microconsoles Might.

    It’s interesting to watch Microsoft pivot to liberalize their platform and allow self-publishing for indies, but that doesn’t mean Xbox will suddenly be the home of the next SuperCell. There’s still too much legacy in how console makers think to let that happen. Microconsoles, on the other hand, may well offer that possibility. Read More

  • How Apple Gets At-Home Workers To Work

    How Apple Gets At-Home Workers To Work

    When a leaked memo broke the news earlier this year that Yahoo was ending its work-from-home program, CEO Marissa Mayer was both lauded and lambasted for the decision. Companies such as Best Buy followed suit by announcing they too would end their flexible work options, while some industry observers called the move an “epic fail. Read More

  • Technology And The Ruling Party

    Technology And The Ruling Party

    “Power tends to corrupt,” said Lord Acton, “and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The sexism needs updating but the sentiment remains true. That’s been all too obvious this week, during which the powers that be did their damnedest to protect their once-secret surveillance programs…while the NSA responded to Freedom Of Information Act requests with the… Read More

  • What Games Are: Apple Needs To Make An iJoypad

    What Games Are: Apple Needs To Make An iJoypad

    The prospect of iPhones supporting game controllers is cool. But why is Apple giving away the opportunity to seize the initiative and make a new cool new add-on of its own? It feels like a big mistake, one symptomatic of a risk-averse sentiment growing around the company. For that and many other reasons, Apple should lead and make an iJoypad rather than wait for others. Read More

  • When Will Doom Come To Hollywood?

    When Will Doom Come To Hollywood?

    Jane Austen? Shakespeare? Tolstoy? Hacks. Beethoven? Bach? Mozart? Wildly overrated. Statistically speaking, at least. It’s a curious fact that while the long-dead titans of literature and music are revered above all others, they were working in a time when the talent pool–the educated population of the planet–was a tiny rounding error compared to today’s. Read More

  • Let’s Have General Solicitation As Congress Intended It

    Let’s Have General Solicitation As Congress Intended It

    Everyone passionate about the startup company funding ecosystem was overjoyed by the news last week that “general solicitation” would soon be okay for startups looking for angel investors. With one fell stroke, the artificial networking inefficiency imposed by the ban on public communication would be gone. Entrepreneurs and accredited investors would be able to talk freely. Read More

  • U.S. Government Can No Longer Be Trusted To Protect The Internet From International Power Grabs

    U.S. Government Can No Longer Be Trusted To Protect The Internet From International Power Grabs

    In the wake of Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing, the United States government can no longer be seen as a beneficent or even merely benign actor on the Internet. That could have disastrous consequences, first in reducing trust in the cloud and its American hosts and second in potentially upending Internet governance. Read More

  • What Games Are: The Culture Gap In Mobile Games

    What Games Are: The Culture Gap In Mobile Games

    While other formats gain huge swathes of coverage in the gaming press, the talk in mobile is almost always just about process, business models and money. The absence of a cultural layer is notable, and a potential gap is emerging for someone to become a critical influencer in that market. What might that look like? Read More

  • Why Behavior Change Apps Fail To Change Behavior

    Why Behavior Change Apps Fail To Change Behavior

    Imagine walking into a busy mall when someone approaches you with an open hand. “Would you have some coins to take the bus, please?” he asks. But in this case, the person is not a panhandler. The beggar is a PhD. As part of a French study, researchers wanted to know if they could change how much money people gave to a total stranger using just a few specially encoded words. Read More

  • Rating The Venture Capitalists

    Rating The Venture Capitalists

    For a profession full of business strategy experts, it’s impressive how rarely and narrowly the venture capital industry is subjected to conventional competitive analysis. Ask yourself: who are the VC’s customers? Limited partners (LPs) is probably the technically correct answer, but startups would certainly be the more fashionable one. It’s a reasonable debate. Either… Read More

  • Your App Is Slow Because Our World Is Ending

    Your App Is Slow Because Our World Is Ending

    The meatiest article I ran across on the Internet this week was also–maybe–a harbinger of doom for life as we know it. I mean Drew Crawford’s superb piece Why mobile web apps are slow. It’s long, and somewhat dense, but definitely worth reading if you’re technical enough to follow along. Its upshot: HTML5 apps will be vastly inferior to native apps not just for… Read More

  • In The Cloud OS Debate, OpenStack’s Success Inspires Backlash

    In The Cloud OS Debate, OpenStack’s Success Inspires Backlash

    In God we trust. All others bring data. This quote, widely attributed to total quality management pioneer W. Edwards Deming, came to mind this morning as I read an anonymous Tumblr post taking me to task for my “State of the Stack” presentation. Specifically, the author took issue with the analysis concluding that OpenStack has won the open source cloud wars. Read More

  • In The Bay Area, Why “The Rent Is Too Damn High”

    In The Bay Area, Why “The Rent Is Too Damn High”

    Editor’s Note: Semil Shah is a contributor to TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter at @semil. The unraveling of the Enron debacle in 2001 became a symbol of corporate scandals of that era. The effects were so decimating to loyal employees vested in their employers’ retirement plans and public investors, the Federal Government responded with legislation the following year… Read More

  • Tools For Treason

    Tools For Treason

    If we are to start again on the Internet with knowledge of prying eyes that turn the law to their own purposes, our founding principle cannot be the establishment of trust, but rather the impossibility of trust. The trick is to treat every communication as a potential act of terrorism. After all, isn’t that how the NSA does it? Tools for treason are the only tools that will suffice from… Read More

  • The Death Of Google Reader Opens The Door To A Smarter Subscription Ecosystem

    The Death Of Google Reader Opens The Door To A Smarter Subscription Ecosystem

    Editor’s note: Julien Genestoux is the founder and CEO of Superfeedr. We all know that Google Reader, which used to be the most obvious RSS subscription tool, is now gone. At the same time, we see “follow” buttons on just about every website. We are at a tipping point with two contradictory trends: the decreased visibility of RSS feeds and the popularity of the… Read More

  • Google Plus Is Like Frankenstein’s Monster

    Google Plus Is Like Frankenstein’s Monster

    Your humble correspondent begs your indulgence for this flu-fuelled stream-of-consciousness post, but deadlines wait for no virus, so needs must I expel the contents of my febrile mind onto this screen and thence to yours. To wit: Google Plus is a total mess. You probably knew that already. But you may not have realized that of late it has become an interesting mess…like… Read More

  • Will Apple Sideline Siri Before She Kills Google?

    Will Apple Sideline Siri Before She Kills Google?

    Editor’s note: Dan Kaplan is a freelance Content Strategist and armchair futurist. He has worked in marketing for Asana, Twilio and Salesforce. In the wake of Apple’s big iOS 7 reveal, there has been much hoopla and quibbling. The bulk about it has centered around the design choices made by Jony Ive, his team and (apparently) some icon designers in marketing. Read More

  • Startups Compete To Win The Mobile App CRM Battle

    Startups Compete To Win The Mobile App CRM Battle

    Editor’s note: Ankur Jain is a venture investor at Nexus Venture Partners. Nexus invests in early and early growth stage companies across sectors in India and the U.S. The rapid growth of mobile device usage has created major gaps in CRM capability; as smartphone adoption has exploded, companies have scrambled to launch mobile apps, many of which are disconnected from an… Read More