Nick Carr insists that the Internet is wrecking our brains. But not everyone shares Carr’s techno-cultural pessimism. One of the most articulate champions of the Internet’s impact on our mental cognition is the Duke University professor Cathy Davidson, whose book Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work and Learn argues that the Internet is both the… → Read More
The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, Andrew Keen, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — convened for yet another G+ conversation. This one, however, was noted for its evenhandedness as @ajkeen and @scobleizer traded social blows over the new Google service. As someone in the Friendfeed chat on the livecast noted, @stevegillmor seems surprisingly positive about the new service. As Keen observed, that’s… → Read More
“Steal this book,” wrote Abbie Hoffman in 1970. So, today, why should we pay for our books – especially in a digital age where intellectual theft is both ubiquitous and pretty much risk free?
According to Gary Shteyngart, the best-selling author of novels like “Super Sad True Love Story” and “Absurdistan,” paying for his books means that he doesn’t have to work at a gas station or a car… → Read More
America’s most talented writers are discovering the electronic network. In “Super Sad True Love Story,” Gary Shteyngart’s best selling trip into the digital future, Shteyngart invents a darkly disturbing world in which we all wear electronic pendants around our necks called “apparats” which reveal everything about us to everybody. In the future, he tells us, privacy will be dead and our blazingly… → Read More
The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, John Borthwick, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — joined the Circle Game as channelled by Joni Mitchell and Tom Rush. Google + seems to be a hit, which means it is soon to reach the critical mass where all social software must graduate from high school to beyond. For now, the service appears like a broader reimplementation of Friendfeed, which some of us felt… → Read More
As he told me when he came into our San Francisco studio earlier this week, Reputation.com CEO & Founder Michael Fertik is “ecstatic” about our new reputation economy. In today’s Web 3.0 personal data rich economy, reputation is replacing cash, Fertik believes. And he is confident that his company, Reputation.com, is well placed to become the new rating index of this digital… → Read More
August Capital was doing very late stage deals when most VCs refused to. And its early 2000 era buyout of Seagate was one of the better returns in the firm’s history. So why is it mostly sitting out this round of late-stage mega-deal mania?
In the final segment of our Ask a VC on the road with David Hornik, he explains why the answer to missing out on Facebook early isn’t dumping money in at a… → Read More
Let’s be honest: One of the reasons David Hornik actually agreed to be on camera at All Things D is that he didn’t have a startup about to file to go public any second. So we talked about some of his more high profile investments that haven’t always lived up to the hype.
We haven’t done Ask a VC for a while thanks to my hectic travel schedule, so I pulled David Hornik out of the hallway at D to catch up on his thoughts on his portfolio and the industry.
But first, we chat about the highlights from the All Things Digital conference. Or we started with that and then talked about how the motivation for starting companies is changing in Silicon Valley, given the… → Read More
The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, John Taschek, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — shuddered with expectant glee at Apple’s presumed iCloud announcement at next week’s WWDC event. It’s clear from all the leaks, most interestingly from Apple itself, that the record companies are finally healthy enough to move into the new streaming era. With Lady Gaga selling five times as many records as the… → Read More
We’re midway through the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon (which, by the way, you should be watching live here), and the range of stuff that the hackers have managed to throw together in a mere 24 hours is astounding. Some are trying to find their big payday — others are going for the cool factor or a quick laugh. Some, however, spent their weekend trying to change the world for the better.
It’s… → Read More
If you have been watching TechCrunch TV interviews lately, you may have noticed the videos are much sharper, crisper and much higher quality. The reason: we’ve gone HD. We are now using a new workflow with HD cameras and HD video switcher. Our shows from New York (Fly or Die and Founder Stories) have always been produced in HD at AOL Studios. But, now our San Francisco studio has gotten the… → Read More
Ze Frank thinks that the future of play is a “hot thing.” That’s why he founded Star.me, his soon-to-be fully public startup. And that’s why he’s shifted his focus from stand-up entertainment to stand-up entrepreneurialism.
But why has he gone from being one of the web’s top entertainment stars to yet another star-struck startup guy? As he told me last week when he came into the… → Read More
Ze Frank wants to send us all back to kindergarten. Star.me, Ze’s soon-to-be fully public startup, which raised $500,000 from star-struck investors including Gary Vaynerchuk and Ron Conway, is an attempt to reinvent the kindergarten’s star system of rewards.
As Ze told me when he came into the TechCrunchTV studio earlier this week, “stars are good.” They make us human, they allow us to… → Read More
The Gillmor Gang — Kevin Marks, Danny Sullivan, JP Rangaswami, John Taschek, and Steve Gillmor — christened the new Gang studio with a surprise welcome to Kevin Marks. It turns out he’s joining salesforce.com on Monday, following JP (six months), JT (7 years), and me, who is celebrating my one year anniversary. Kevin has been a forceful champion of open standards at Apple, Technorati, Google… → Read More
Does founding a non-profit organization require the same skills as founding a traditional start-up company? Are the most successful social entrepreneurs as skilled in personal reinvention as the top Silicon Valley entrepreneurs?
The Gillmor Gang — Danny Sullivan, Doc Searls, John Taschek, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — endured technical glitches and a dissection of the disruption formerly known as TV before settling into a debate about privacy. I know, sounds like the usual nonsense, but this show was high quality nonsense. I forget who brought up the famous iPhone/Android hidden recording file crisis, but things… → Read More
Best selling author, TechCrunch contributor and former VC Peter Sims is making a giant wager with his stimulating new book Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge From Small Discoveries. Sims is betting that the biggest new idea is that there aren’t really any brilliant ideas anymore – only lots of little ideas which get endlessly worked and reworked into the right idea.
As Erick Schonfeld… → Read More
The Gillmor Gang — Dennis Crowley, JP Rangaswami, Robert Scoble, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — waxed prophetically in the social garden. Crowley has been the focus of some media attention about a slowdown in checkins, but he seemed more excited about his market position than worried. With good reason, as the Gang explained in a dissection of hyperlocal and personal data… → Read More
How important is the technology sector to the US economy? According to George Friedman, the author of the New York Times bestselling The Next Decade: Where We’ve Been…and Where We’re Going, technology is American culture. Rather than Coca-Cola, it has been the personal computer that has swept the world, spreading the American language and distributing the central American values of… → Read More
Why does the American media love Twitter and Facebook so much? According to George Friedman, the author of the New York Times bestselling The Next Decade: Where We’ve Been…and Where We’re Going, it’s because these social media networks reflect American values. When the world uses Twitter and Facebook, Friedman explains, it simply confirms to the American media that everyone “wants to be… → Read More
Do we really need another book about Google? If it’s as richly researched, memorably anecdotal and as finely written as In The Plex, Steven Levy’s new book about how Google thinks, works and shapes our lives, then the answer is: yes we do!
In The Plex is the most comprehensive and carefully researched book to date about Google’s various businesses – from search to Android to YouTube to… → Read More
Forgive the snarky headline, but history has shown that navigating a once-hot consumer Web company through the trough of the hype cycle is one of the hardest jobs in Silicon Valley. And very few come out with a billion winner on the other side. (Cough, cough, MySpace, Digg, Six Apart…)
Floodgate’s Mike Maples came in the studio yesterday to pre-tape an episode of Ask a VC, and while we had him here we picked his brain about the state of the venture industry. We started by talking about why his firm, Floodgate, is out of step with the broader Super Angel movement. Not only does Maples not believe you can make money through a spray-and-pray-and-flip approach, he doesn’t want to… → Read More