Column

 

  • Why 2014 Is The Year You Change

    Why 2014 Is The Year You Change

    I stopped going to classes. I had a scholarship that paid all my living expenses ($1,200/month) so I didn’t want to quit (ugh, and get a job?). So I stayed a student but I failed every class I took for three semesters in a row. Read More

  • What Games Are: Games And Money Are Still Weird

    What Games Are: Games And Money Are Still Weird

    Suppose you have a passion-project game. You want to develop it for iOS, to be “console quality”. You want it to be cool. Given how everything has liberalized in the gaming market over the last few years, you would think that it would be much easier to get a project off the ground than it used to be. You’d be wrong. Games and investment are still weird. Read More

  • I Can’t Believe I’m Saying This, But T-Mobile Is Awesome

    I Can’t Believe I’m Saying This, But T-Mobile Is Awesome

    I’ve spent the last week back in my wintry homeland in Canada, and here the scales have fallen from my eyes, and I have seen the light, and I have a message for all of you who live in America, a message of the utmost importance, inscribed in fire on the sacred stone of the Internet. And that message is: holy crap T-Mobile is awesome. If you travel internationally at all, you should switch… Read More

  • A Look Back At How The Content Industry Almost Killed Blockbuster And Netflix (And The VCR)

    A Look Back At How The Content Industry Almost Killed Blockbuster And Netflix (And The VCR)

    The once iconic video rental giant Blockbuster is shutting down its remaining stores across the country. Netflix, meanwhile, is emerging as the leader in video rental, now primarily through online streaming. But Blockbuster, Netflix and home media consumption (VCR/DVD/Blu-ray) may never have existed at all in their current form if the content industry had been successful in banning or… Read More

  • How To Hire More Engineers In Less Time

    How To Hire More Engineers In Less Time

    Editor’s note: Bryan Schreier is a partner at Sequoia focusing on consumer and enterprise companies. He represents Sequoia on the boards of Dropbox, Hearsay Social, Inkling, Qualtrics, Thumbtack and TuneIn among others. Follow him on Twitter @schreier. Got 990 free hours? Not likely. Yet that’s how long it takes the typical startup to hire 12 engineers. Even if you spread your… Read More

  • The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Selling Anything

    The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Selling Anything

    I’ve never read a book on sales. They seemed corny. Like many people, I always looked down on the concept of “selling.” It seemed like something lower than me. To some extent, selling appears manipulative. You have a product where you give the perception it has more value than it has in reality. So you need to manipulate people to buy it. This seems sad, as in “Death of… Read More

  • It’s A Wonderful Life, For A Few Of Us

    It’s A Wonderful Life, For A Few Of Us

    So where were we? Oh yes: everybody hates us. San Francisco’s recent Google-bus and “homeless trash” kerfuffles are symptoms of an increasingly broad, deep, and bitter anti-tech animosity. The Economist predicts: “The tech elite will join bankers and oilmen in public demonology.” The New York Times concurs: “Tech workers have, rightly or wrongly, received… Read More

  • All I Want For Christmas: A Beta App Store

    All I Want For Christmas: A Beta App Store

    Notice: You must submit your basically untested app now or your holidays will surely be ruined. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on all those downloads that your app probably isn’t ready for anyway. Your call. Merry Christmas. Okay, Apple doesn’t actually issue such an alert, but they might as well. The App Store is about to shutdown for holiday break this Saturday. And so… Read More

  • Code Literacy Doesn’t Need To Come At The Expense Of Other Skills

    Code Literacy Doesn’t Need To Come At The Expense Of Other Skills

    This week President Barack Obama rekindled a couple of the Internet’s favorite debates: whether it’s appropriate to take selfies at funerals, and whether everyone should learn to code. As part of Computer Science Education Week, Obama delivered a YouTube address titled “President Obama calls on every American to learn code.” “Learning these skills isn’t… Read More

  • Amazon Drones: As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap

    Amazon Drones: As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap

    As a drone hipster — I wrote an entire novel about a drone apocalypse a full five years ago — I watched the techosphere’s reactions to Amazon’s announcement that it was experimenting with drone delivery with a mixture of amusement and despair. Almost everybody is thinking so small. Jeff Bezos must feel like Butch Cassidy: “I got vision, and the rest of the world… Read More

  • Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s 43-Day Assault On The Patent Troll

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s 43-Day Assault On The Patent Troll

    NPEs (the bad ones) are undeniably a problem. By one estimate, companies that have been targeted by NPEs spend $29 billion a year in direct costs, with $83 billion a year in lost wealth, an amount that the authors concede is conservative. So Congressman Bob Goodlatte (D-Va.) took action. Read More

  • What Games Are: The Multiplayer Singularity

    What Games Are: The Multiplayer Singularity

    There’s a tendency in game design circles to think of the potential of games as being wrapped up in some great leap. When we have the breakthrough technology that somehow tells stories for example, or the game/life crossover that makes games meaningful in the everyday. What if that singularity moment, however, is something much simpler? Read More

  • Let It Full-Bleed

    Let It Full-Bleed

    On the importance of images and layout in writing. Load up your favorite tech blog. Or almost any blog, really. There’s a good chance it looks like shit. There’s a better chance that the reading experience is even worse. And we put up with it, day in and day out. Why? Because that’s where the content is. Enter Medium 1.0. While there are some questions as to what exactly… Read More

  • It’s Time For A Special Regulatory Zone

    It’s Time For A Special Regulatory Zone

    Your government is the enemy of the future. Innovative technology that would disrupt the world as we know it is already here, but oppressive government bureaucrats keep getting in its way. Taxi commissions vs. Uber; the FDA vs 23AndMe; the FAA vs. Amazon Prime Air; the DMV vs. self-driving cars; governments everywhere vs. Bitcoin. This is intolerable and must stop. The government must get out… Read More

  • Yahoo Users Anonymous: A Transcript

    Yahoo Users Anonymous: A Transcript

    This is what happened: Scene: A Silicon Valley church basement. Folding chairs, coffee, cigarettes tucked behind ears. Jon EVANS, a tall man with a shaved head and an Arsenal FC T-shirt, steps forward to the podium. He has a slight Canadian accent. Jon: Hi, my name’s Jon, and I’m a Yahoo! user. Room, in unison: Hi, Jon! Jon: I guess…I mean, this is so embarrassing… Read More

  • How To Sell Your Business And Make And Lose Millions

    How To Sell Your Business And Make And Lose Millions

    First I totally gave up. I thought there was no way to sell my web services business. It started when I was in the offices of Loud Records, run by Steve Rifkind. My company, Reset, was doing websites for the Wu-Tang Clan and other Loud artists. It was 1997. Ol’ Dirty Bastard would call me on the phone sometimes. Mobb Deep would stop by. Trent Reznor would hang out (we did… Read More

  • The Lean Hardware Startup: Financing

    The Lean Hardware Startup: Financing

    We can differentiate several steps in the life of a hardware startup: concept, minimum functional prototype (MFP), complete functional prototype (CFP), design for manufacture (DFM), first factory run (FFR) and retail. Capital needs vary according to the stage you’re in and might come from different sources. In hardware, venture capital is essentially about growth. Read More

  • Let’s Kill The Aid Industry

    Let’s Kill The Aid Industry

    Long have I nursed a healthy contempt for the aid industry. As I spent much of a decade wandering around the planet, taking local public transit through poor and/or unstable nations, I kept encountering aid workers in their flashy white branded 4x4s, and was almost invariably resoundingly unimpressed. As I’ve written elsewhere: Most development aid is actively harmful. Read More

  • Email Is Now Just Another Stream

    Email Is Now Just Another Stream

    Editor’s note: Peter Yared is the CTO/CIO at CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter @peteryared. Only a couple of years ago, pundits were predicting an end to email. But instead of fading away, there’s been ever-increasing email volume and usage. Rather than being replaced by Facebook and Twitter streams, email is actually becoming a stream itself. Mail systems are evolving to… Read More

  • What Games Are: The Wacky World Of Convergent Divergence

    What Games Are: The Wacky World Of Convergent Divergence

    It used to be the case that developers had a binary choice between a multi-platform strategy with lowest-common denominator game ideas, or make a bet on a single platform in the hope that its unique attributes would help them win. Both have historically been difficult because they implied compromise. I’m not so sure that it’s a choice they need to make any more. Read More