Column

  • Notifications Are The Next Platform

    Notifications Are The Next Platform

    As the world moves from web to mobile, we’ve been thinking deeply about how people will discover mobile products and services and how we will find and access all the things we need in our digital lives. Search (largely Google) has long been the access and discovery point for web services. This model was pull-driven (i.e. we proactively find information on websites as we need), and… Read More

  • Why You’ll Hate the Apple Watch And The Important Business Lesson You Need To Learn

    Why You’ll Hate the Apple Watch And The Important Business Lesson You Need To Learn

    If you are among the 19 million people Apple predicts will buy an Apple Watch, I have some bad news for you — I’m betting there is an important feature missing from the watch that’s going to drive you nuts. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy one. In fact, I’m ordering one myself. However, this paradox illustrates an important lesson for the way companies… Read More

  • A Platonic Dialogue On Security By Benchmark’s Matt Cohler

    A Platonic Dialogue On Security By Benchmark’s Matt Cohler

    The security market has never been more important than now, of course. We’ve backed a couple of companies in this market recently at Benchmark, Duo and HackerOne, which is the leading bug-bounty marketplace and which was started by the people who first developed the idea of bug bounty programs at Facebook and Microsoft. But that being said, my partners and I tend to approach new… Read More

  • Bitcoin Vs. Wall Street: A Love-Hate Story

    Bitcoin Vs. Wall Street: A Love-Hate Story

    For the first few years, there was no response from Wall Street. The Wall Street Journal didn’t mention bitcoin until a blog post in June 2011. As the bitcoin community waited, advocates and enthusiasts speculated as to why America’s financial strongholds weren’t talking about the digital currency. Did banks not take bitcoin seriously enough to acknowledge it or feel… Read More

  • The Tide Is Turning Against Comcast’s Proposal To Buy Time Warner Cable

    The Tide Is Turning Against Comcast’s Proposal To Buy Time Warner Cable

    This colossus of a company would have unmatched power to destroy its competition, abuse its customers, and bully the government agencies charged with regulating it. Read More

  • How Facebook’s React Native Will Change Mobile Apps

    How Facebook’s React Native Will Change Mobile Apps

    Facebook just open-sourced its React Native framework for building mobile apps. React Native promises to let developers write JavaScript while still delivering a real native user interface. That’s a description that might cause non-technical readers to shrug, but I believe this announcement has some profound implications. React Native will soon transform the entire mobile app… Read More

  • The Author-ity Wedge

    The Author-ity Wedge

    “Authority” is an interesting word to contemplate. On the one hand it invokes images of dictators and repression. But it also breaks down as author-ity. A seal of approval, of unspecified acceptance, of authorship as opposed to creatorship. Read More

  • XPRIZE Contender Astrobotic Strives To Be FedEx To The Moon

    XPRIZE Contender Astrobotic Strives To Be FedEx To The Moon

    Astrobotic Technology, a leading Google Lunar XPRIZE competitor, is setting up to become the first delivery service to the Moon. With a low-cost launch, they now have a lander with the potential for precision landings driven by new system on a chip (SOC) technologies developed by Nvidia with help from General Electric. Read More

  • Why ‘Do It For Me’ Is The Next Big Thing

    Why ‘Do It For Me’ Is The Next Big Thing

    Now that we are a decade-and-a-half into the software-as-a-service (SaaS) revolution, many of us in Silicon Valley are thinking hard about the next big wave in B2B software. We’re excited about many themes—mobile enterprise, vertical SaaS, predictive analytics—but one less-obvious trend involves people power as much as computing power. Read More

  • Fintech Startups Navigate Legal Gray Areas To Build Billion-Dollar Companies

    Fintech Startups Navigate Legal Gray Areas To Build Billion-Dollar Companies

    Innovation, growth, technology, user experience, revenue and gross margin have become synonymous with how you define success for a tech startup. What is missing from this list is local, state, and federal regulation; terms that startups in the financial technology sector understand far too well as either barriers to or catalysts for growth and early success. Read More

  • We Need To Get The Internet Of Things Right

    We Need To Get The Internet Of Things Right

    Nowadays, it seems that everything is connected to the Internet. There are connected socks, shoes, shirts, hats, glasses, appliances, beds, homes, drones, cars, and even diapers. Yet, for the Internet of Things (IoT) to play a key role in shaping our future, we need to get a few thingsright. The statement, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” has never… Read More

  • The Year Of Mobile Payments

    The Year Of Mobile Payments

    Ask most people what the state of mobile payments is today, and they’ll tell you it’s just kicking off. With Facebook announcing the option to ‘send money to friends’ via messenger and the release of Apple Pay last year, 2015 has excitedly been dubbed “The Year of Mobile Payments.” Yet what most people don’t realise is that these services are… Read More

  • The Unbundling Of Everything

    The Unbundling Of Everything

    We’ve been living in a bundled world. ESPN packaged with Nickelodeon, healthcare tied to employers, learning wrapped up in colleges and degree programs. We’ve grown up surrounded by so many bundled products and services that it’s easy to become blind to the flexibility and value presented by unbundling. Read More

  • We Need Algorithmic Angels

    We Need Algorithmic Angels

    A lot has been written on how algorithms are manipulating this and that in today’s Internet. However, there hasn’t been so many concrete proposals on how could we create more human-centered algorithmic solutions. For example, do we need algorithms that are on our side? Read More

  • How To Sell Your Company Without A Buyer

    How To Sell Your Company Without A Buyer

    Conventional wisdom is that startups are bought, not sold. The logic follows that no matter how much an entrepreneur wants to sell a company, there needs to be an eager buyer and no amount of seller desire can manufacture one. Some people interpret this wisdom to mean that they should spend no time getting to know buyers and when a large company is ready to buy their startup, they’ll… Read More

  • Cleantech Is Dead, Long Live Cleantech

    Cleantech Is Dead, Long Live Cleantech

    I’m old enough to remember when the smartest folks on Sand Hill Road thought cleantech was going to be the next big thing. When venture dollars into the “sector” (really, a loose collection of very different markets and technologies, bundled together under a convenient label) were growing by leaps and bounds year over year. When the New York Times declared “Capitalism… Read More

  • Oh, The Places You Will Go With Hackers

    Oh, The Places You Will Go With Hackers

    Wanderlust in San Francisco used to mean going anywhere west of Mount Sutro to exotic locales like the Outer Sunset. But a new generation of creative worker, backed by the cloud and increasingly ubiquitous worldwide internet connectivity, is seeking to travel outside of the 7×7 to the wider world of the seven continents. Two startups, RemoteYear and Hacker Paradise, are taking… Read More

  • You Don’t Need A Digital Strategy, You Need A Digitally Transformed Company

    You Don’t Need A Digital Strategy, You Need A Digitally Transformed Company

    In 2015 it seems foolish to have a digital or mobile strategy, you just need a business strategy for the modern world. Whether it’s Uber reinventing the transportation business, Instagram changing the nature of photography or Netflix disrupting video content, what binds these companies is they brought digital thinking to the very heart of their companies, not just bolted it onto the side. Read More

  • On The War On General Purpose Computing

    On The War On General Purpose Computing

    The powers that be want to control your phones and your drones. And who can blame them? It was inevitable. Of course they’re upset that smartphones are making it hard to catch speeders. Of course manufacturers are hurrying to ensure that drones refuse to fly to certain locations, before they’re forced to do so by law. Those are the instruments of power in today’s and… Read More

  • How The Facebook Bubble Is Driving Online Startups Into The Arms Of Offline Advertising

    How The Facebook Bubble Is Driving Online Startups Into The Arms Of Offline Advertising

    Facebook advertising played a big part in my startup’s rapid growth. So big in fact that in our first two years of operations, all other online advertising platforms combined did not provide as big a growth contribution to the business as Facebook singlehandedly did. And yet, over the past nine months, I’ve been making every effort possible to divert our 8-figure annual… Read More

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