Advancements in science have made it possible to bring animals back from the dead, but one scientist recently argued that it might not be morally right to do so.
Tag Archives: don’t
The failing maker of luxury hybrids is in the spotlight in DC, but technologically speaking, who cares if Fisker fails?
Congress is trying answer some important questions today about whether the government made mistakes in handling a loan to Fisker Automotive, a company that’s now teetering on the edge of bankruptcy—the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is holding a hearing on the subject. But when looked at from the perspective of innovation, Fisker doesn’t really matter much.
As startup Solexant resurfaces for funds, consider the possibility that thin-film will still have its day.
Thin-film solar is back in the news as Solexant, a company that’s been hiding out for the past two years, recently resurfaced, likely with the goal of raising more funds (see “Thin-Film Solar with High Efficiency”). A few years ago, thin-film solar was all the rage in Silicon Valley. It was supposed to be a cheaper alternative to conventional silicon solar panels, promising costs as low as a jaw-dropping $ 1 per watt. It fell out of fashion as conventional silicon solar panels first approached, and then dropped below that cost. Thin-film solar companies started failing, or being acquired for pennies on the dollar, or dropping off the radar, lurking at a low burn rate in the hope that the solar market will surge, creating demand for their product.
DNA from an unnamed African American from South Carolina is so distinctive that it led scientists to a unique conclusion: the roots of the human tree date back much further than previously thought.
Editor’s note: Jacob Mullins is a VC at Shasta Ventures.
With the recent talk about the growing “billion dollar club” in startups, I’ve been wondering what characteristics a $ 1 billion consumer tech company has. As a Series A investor who primarily focuses on consumer web and mobile companies, I examined the pool of consumer companies that have had exits over $ 100 million within the current era of consumer tech, which I consider to be post-recession 2008. I wanted to see what I could learn and ideally reverse-engineer common characteristics that would help me identify the next big winners when I see them today or in the future.
Super-fast internet connections like Google Fiber have only geek, not consumer, appeal, Time Warner Cable’s CFO has insisted, dismissing suggestions that the ISP will need to speed up its consumer service any time soon. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference this week, chief financial officer Irene Esteves said that while the company has the
They may not make up the sexiest market segment. But don’t forget Grandma and Grandpa!
AllThingsD reports that Fujitsu is pitching an Android phone it’s calling the Stylistic, aimed at the “mature consumer” (read: old folks). Technology for the elderly may not be the sexiest topic, and seniors in general may not be the coolest demographic, but technology companies should be doing more of this. There may or may not be a business case for laving R&D on seniors, but if nothing else, it’s the right thing to do, and could inspire a kind of generational trickle-down brand loyalty to the sons, daughters, and grandkids who would buy these products.
Proposing that entrenched sub-cultures should try something new is dangerous. Going into guitar forums with a new idea is a prospect fraught with peril for anyone who dares move beyond the six-strings-and-a-dream mentality of guitar purists. The same goes for folks who pitch wine in a box at a vintage tasting session and those who might want to add some new technology to a classic car. In short, the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it crowd will tell you to get out of here with your fancy new concoction.
New video and images from Google still don’t reveal what its wearable display will show the user.
Google’s new website showing off Glass—eyeglass frames that insert a display into your peripheral vision—goes some way to explain what the company is planning for the gadget, such as directions and voice control. But the company still hasn’t given us a good sense of what the device will really be like to wear, and is even slightly misleading about it.
CEO Ben Silbermann says Pinterest is built on the idea that crowds of people are best at finding content that consumers care about.
In 2012 the startup Pinterest became a peer of more established social sites by offering things that they didn’t—an attractive design, a focus on images rather than text, and a mostly female population of users. On Pinterest, people use virtual “pinboards” to curate collections of images related to their hobbies and interests, discovering new items for their virtual hoards on the boards of friends and in the site’s personalized recommendations. Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review’s senior IT editor, recently spoke with Ben Silbermann, Pinterest’s cofounder and CEO, about the company’s popularity.
Automotive manufacturers all around the world are working hard to make their vehicles more fuel-efficient. The US federal government has mandated new fuel economy standards that will go into effect in coming years that require automotive manufacturers to create engines that use significantly less fuel than most vehicles use today. To do this, many automotive
A couple of years ago I wrote in this space: “A spectre is haunting Mountain View. No, not bed bugs: bit rot. Google is in serious decline.”
Well, credit where it’s due. These days Google has put its problems behind it and is soaring from strength to strength. Contenders keep coming and trying to claim its crown–and failing. I give you Apple Maps and Facebook’s Graph Search as an example.
Open Garden And TextMe Team Up So Android Tablet Users Can Text, Call, & Video Chat Even When They Don’t Have A Signal
Open Garden, the TechCrunch Disrupt New York 2012 battlefield finalist which allows users to share their wireless data connections with others, is today announcing its first partnership with another software company, TextMe, a mobile communications app with over 8 million users. The deal will allow users of TextMe on Android tablets the ability to text and make voice or video calls using their tablet, even when they don’t have a Wi-Fi connection present.
The CEO of design software giant Autodesk says advances in computing are lowering manufacturing costs while making products better.
The software company Autodesk doesn’t manufacture anything. But it stills play a role in the manufacturing economy: engineers, industrial designers, and factory builders rely on its design software to plan out and improve on their ideas before making big investments.
We had a bit of a false alarm today, when TechCrunch’s Kim-Mai Cutler spotted a bankruptcy sign on the door of the i/o Ventures building in San Francisco’s Mission District. We guessed that the sign was referring to the cafe that shares the building i/o, but we weren’t sure.
So in case you were wondering: Ashwin Navin, a partner at the startup incubator, confirmed it’s the cafe that went bankrupt, and the incubator is unaffected. By our count, this is actually the second time in the incubator’s history that the neighboring cafe has gone out of business.
So this is awkward. Ownshelf is a new service that lets people store and share ebooks online. Pretty nifty, huh? They reached out to me in part because I’ve released several of my own books for free under a Creative Commons license. (For those of you new to this column, I write fiction when not writing code, and have had a bunch of novels published by HarperCollins, Hachette, etc., over the years; see picture.) What they didn’t know is that for fun, all by my lonesome, I recently created — and open-sourced — a service called ePubHost which, er, lets people store, search, and share quotes from their ebooks online. Sound familiar? Um.
Editor’s note: Rajat Paharia is the founder of Bunchball, a provider of online gamification solutions.
Gartner recently issued a press release that made the following provocative assertion: “Gamification is currently being driven by novelty and hype. Gartner predicts that by 2014, 80 percent of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives primarily because of poor design.”
Editor’s Note: Nir Eyal writes about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business at NirAndFar.com.
A reader recently asked me a pointed question: “I’ve read your work on creating user habits. It’s all well and good for getting people to do things, like using an app on their iPhone, but I’ve got a bigger problem. How do I get people to do things they don’t want to do?”
Editor’s note: Scott Weiss is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz and the former co-founder and CEO of IronPort Systems, which was acquired by Cisco in 2007.
An approachable and authentic CEO is essential to fostering a high-performance, open communications culture.
It’s not clear what Google’s plans are for FeedBurner, its feed management and syndication platform. By the looks of it, FeedBurner has become a neglected platform, and I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it would get the axe in one of the company’s next rounds of “spring cleaning.” Not too long ago, Google decided to discontinue its AdSense for Feeds service, which was really the only way the company was monetizing the services.
Editor’s note: James Altucher is an investor, programmer, author, and entrepreneur. He is Managing Director of Formula Capital and has written ten books.
Every week for three years, I interviewed four prostitutes, drug dealers, criminals, potential dates (for me), and homeless kids. I have written about this before but my job was to go out on Tuesday nights at 3 in the morning, find out who was roaming the city, for what purpose, and photograph them and interview them.
Editor’s note:In response to our recent article on Jolicloud’s apparent third or fourth shift in direction, CEO and co-founder Tariq Krim wished to take the writer, Mike Butcher, to task on the ‘perceived pivot’. Here, he argues that the language we use needs to be addressed.
Your recent article about our jolicloud launch at the Dublin Web Summit was not particularly flattering, but that’s OK since we are not shopping only for nice articles.
The throwable device could relay panoramic images to let first responders or soldiers know what they’re getting into.
If Francisco Aguilar and Dave Young get their way, police officers and firefighters will someday carry baseball-shaped, throwable cameras along with the rest of their equipment.
In Silicon Valley, there’s a widespread belief that VCs don’t invest in content businesses. Here are 3 reasons – based on my experience with Hyperink – why investors hesitate to invest in content-heavy startups.
Survival in a harsher age. That’s why we evolved to fear for our privacy. Without somewhere secret to sleep, defecate, or have sex so someone couldn’t run up an club us while we were vulnerable.
Times have changed but we carry the fear like a vestigial wing. If we don’t stay conscious of our bias towards privacy, it could retard the progress of innovation.
Editor’s note: Editor’s note: Mike Hirshland is the founder of Resolute.VC, a seed-stage venture capital firm. Prior to Resolute, he was a General Partner with Polaris Venture Partners where he led the creation of Dogpatch Labs as well as Polaris’s investments in companies including Automattic (WordPress), Quantcast, KISSmetrics and Q1 Labs (IBM). Follow him on his Resolute.VC blog and Twitter.
Back in the “old days” (as in 5 or 10 years ago) the very definition of a seed investment was investing before any product had been built or prototyped. Since then, the ability to build a startup on far less capital has made seed investing less risky. But, oddly, it seems that seed investors have become more risk averse.
Consumer and enterprise. Software and hardware. Infrastructure operations and user experience. Products and services. No matter the focus, innovation in technology, and especially around Silicon Valley, has ebbed and flowed across these areas. Some new companies focus on building solutions for the enterprise, and perhaps nowadays its too easy to take the consumer route. The purpose of this week’s column is to shed a bit of light on a growing class of new startups that are not selling directly to big companies or individuals generally, but focusing on software and infrastructure developers specifically.
Selling into enterprise — going B2B — has been an attractive route for myriad reasons. There are barriers to entry in technological development, it takes real venture investment and time to build these products, and established sales channels and newer marketing avenues make the pursuit of these markets tantalizing. With the enterprise comes a promise of scale, size, and predictability, often in the form of pay-per-seat pricing models, built-in distribution, and lock-in.
Editor’s note: Andy Rachleff is President and CEO of Wealthfront, an SEC-registered online financial advisor. He serves as a member of the board of trustees and vice chairman of the endowment investment committee for University of Pennsylvania and as a member of the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses on technology entrepreneurship. Prior to Wealthfront, Andy co-founded and was general partner of Benchmark Capital.
Everywhere I go in Silicon Valley I hear people discussing their angel investments. The conversations remind me of fish stories. People love recounting the one time they caught a big fish, not the many futile hours they spent waiting for a bite.
Google has struck back at claims that it strong-armed Acer into ditching a collaboration with Alibaba, insisting that the contentious Aliyun platform is not only based on Android but distributes pirated Android apps. Chinese firm Alibaba made loud protests last week, after Acer withdrew launch support for the Aliyun-based CloudMobile A800 smartphone only moments before the
The Hackathon never sleeps, and neither do the hackers. Just like the Disrupt NY 2012 Hackathon, and the San Francisco Hackathon before it, this year’s bunch of coders are up and at ‘em, ready to disrupt… well, anything.
Surveying the San Francisco Design Center, you’ll find a lot of empty red bull cans, beer bottles, and bags of chips. It’s not necessarily the most nutritional sustenance, but tonight, it’s the lifeblood of our beloved hackers.
How Statwing Makes It Easier To Ask Questions About Data So You Don’t Have To Hire a Statistical Wizard
If you have ever tried to use SPSS you know the nightmare that it can be when trying to do even simple analysis. SPSS is designed for statisticians to analyze data sets. But even statisticians find it aggravating to perform such tasks as making a neat graphic to show the relationship between variables.
So here’s what happens. You hire a consultant who can do it for you. That’s why IBM, which owns SPSS, has thousands of analysts on its payroll.
Acer has renewed its commitment to Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets, with chairman JT Wang saying that the company’s criticisms of Microsoft’s Surface don’t mean it is ditching its Windows slate plans. The company made headlines after criticizing Microsoft’s own-brand hardware, arguing that the tablets would “create a huge negative impact” to the Windows ecosystem. Now, DigiTimes reports, Wang
Editor’s note: Jason Best and Sherwood Neiss spearheaded the efforts to legalize crowdfunding and helped author the JOBS Act. They founded Crowdfund Capital Advisors and are currently co-authoring Crowdfund Investing for Dummies.
The concept of crowdfunding to launch and grow your business may seem like a dream come true—reduced cost of capital, access to new pools of investors, the community opening their arms and wallets— all giving your business a shot to make it big. While crowdfunding (both donation and equity based) offers amazing opportunities, it also brings fiduciary responsibilities, commitments of time, reporting requirements and the potential to let down the people who mean most to you in the world if the unforeseen happens and failure occurs.
Spoiler alert: Phelps and Lochte raced today. The results are all over Twitter. But the race won’t air on TV in America until tonight.
This is 2012, not 1996. NBC has put all of the events live online, provided you have a cable subscription, but won’t have them available recorded online and won’t air many events, including the most high-profile ones, until a primetime tape delay.
This isn’t a new strategy, just a dumb, outdated one.
Editor’s note: Joe Kraus is a partner at Google Ventures, focusing on mobile, gaming, and local services. In 1993, he co-founded Excite.com, an early Internet search engine. He also co-founded JotSpot in 2004, a wiki company acquired by Google in 2006. Follow him on his blog, JoeKraus.com, and on Twitter: @jkraus.
One thing I can hear with some regularity from a small founding team is something like “we don’t think we need a marketing person” or “we’re not going to hire a product manager”. Those aren’t the only positions I hear that statement for. I hear it for PR, marketing, HR and sometimes BD.
Stop taking pictures of your food. You’re a lousy photographer, and I’m tired of looking at your photos. They are disgusting. While you may be excited about the delicious / unique / unfathomably fattening food you are about to consume, that does not mean you need to mark the occasion with an Instagram or Twitter
This week the BBC tested out Facebook advertising by running a campaign for the Facebook page of a fictitious small business called VirtualBagel. The investigation was headlined “Facebook ‘likes’ and adverts’ value doubted”. During the week over 3,000 people Liked the ads even though the company doesn’t exist and simply shows you a picture of a bagel. The ‘investigation’ is partly a reminder that Facebook still has issues with fake profiles and astro-turfing, but also a simple re-stating of the fact that you get what you pay for and if you put up a dumb ad targeted too widely you’ll waste your money.
If you were told that all of the sudden you could no longer access unlimited amounts of broadband by your cable provider, and if you exceeded your limit you’d have to pay overage charges, you would want to be able to track how much data you’ve been consuming, wouldn’t you? So would AT&T’s broadband customers,
Stop the presses! Facebook and LinkedIn are going to become archrivals in the recruiting market! At least, that’s the subtext of a new article in the Wall Street Journal which reports that Facebook plans to launch a job posting board later this summer.
It’s a nice scoop if true (the Journal cites “people familiar with the matter”), but reading the story is a strange experience. Basically, it starts out by explaining why the job board isn’t a big deal. Then, having established that it isn’t a big deal, the story talks about what a big deal it is.
No more “Arggh! Copy, delete, paste, edit, post.” Facebook is now rolling out the ability to edit comments, but users will be able to see the full edit history of a thread. This is just one more feature that I really liked about Google+, since I could essentially live blog with it and fix my mistakes, but that Facebook has now too.
Facebook tells me comment editing is rolling out now and will become available to everyone in the next few days on the web. There’s no comment editing yet in Facebook’s embeddable comment widget for websites or from mobile yet where that damn auto-correct lurks. Also, you still can’t edit original posts, all of which would be much more helpful than this. But I guess if you have to say or spell something wrong, do it from your desktop on someone else’s news feed post.
In today’s fast-paced and global tech world, internationalization is often on the minds of entrepreneurs and CEOs. If done correctly, it’s a great step that will make your business thrive on a global scale. However, there are a few essential insights an entrepreneur/CEO needs to break into a new country successfully. This is both easier and harder than you think it is. Easier, because you’ve already built up your business in one market. Harder, because what you don’t know how to do, you really don’t know. And there’s no faking it – examples of internationalization gone wrong are a dime a dozen (think “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” or i18nguy). If you’re seriously considering venturing beyond your core domestic audience, make sure you cover your bases and internalize these lessons.
There are advantages and disadvantages of being one of the earlier companies in a very early market. While new companies get to watch, observe, and create their own insights based on product features incumbents develop, we get to constantly introspect on “what has worked” based on real data, real feedback, and being out in the market talking to partners.
The second screen space is going to be a multi-billion dollar market. Just last week, Tim Cook announced that 67M iPads were sold in less than two years. It took more than 24 years to sell that many Macs. With the growing trend of second screen activity (i.e. using tablets while you watch TV), there is bound to be major disruption in the TV industry.
The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, John Taschek, Gabe Rivera, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — play toe jam football in the shadow of the Facebook IPO. Try as we might, we can’t shake the weight of Facebook’s dominance of Techmeme and maybe the fate of the global economy. Greece, move over. @gaberivera joins near the 30 minute mark.
@scobleizer tries a reverse Statue of Liberty play around the forthcoming Samsung phone and the threat to Apple (nonexistent) but our hearts aren’t in it. I fail in a weak attempt to roll up everything under push notification. Face it: our hopes and dreams are now tied to our jobs as feeders of the Facebook Empire Please Twitter. Save us.
Since I joined Facebook, I have excised exactly 2 photos from my timeline at the request of my friends. The first was a photo of a friend who is now an up and coming actor. He’s doing great work on the big screen, both here in the U.S. and in southeast Asia, and his popularity
Hybrid vehicles are all the rage these days. No doubt about that. It’s very easy to market them – they’re affordable, they get great gas mileage, and they have incredible safety records. But when it comes to actually driving day-to-day with one of these cars, do customers feel like it lived up to the hype?