Business Opinion

My Advice to Jack Dorsey

Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com

What is the future of Twitter? With the departure of former CEO Dick Costolo and recent declines in the company's stock valuation, many users and investors are asking. Co-founder and now interim CEO Jack Dorsey is right to focus on the mass market now that the service so successfully has leaders like journalists and politicians on board. He seems to recognize that the dynamics of what drives these audiences are different. Yet Twitter’s power to create more influencers every day is a powerful basis upon which to build, in a culture where everyone has the potential to give voice to their thoughts. Tapping into this desire as a means to pull the mainstream, intelligently and responsibly, is not just a smart move but a necessary one as the world navigates an always-on sharing culture.   More

Global Tech Opinion

Google’s Fail of a Ramadan App

(Image via Google Arabia)

Earlier this month Google launched a “Ramadan Companion App.” As a Muslim who works in marketing strategy and social media, who has consulted on a number of Muslim-focused marketing projects, this seemed to me like it could be an exciting development. As far as I know, Google has not previously reached out specifically to the global Muslim community. I love apps and I’m always excited to see what’s new and hot and cool. Plus Ramadan was starting. Initial response to Google's app on Facebook was positive and there was a bunch of “attaboy’ing” on community posts saying, "Oh look, Google’s finally paying attention to Muslims." Sad to say, this euphoria was short lived.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Opinion

Why It’s So Hard for Americans to Talk About Science

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Talking about science is a lot harder than it should be. We talk all the time about things we don’t fully understand: the polar vortex, how footballs can get underinflated during games, why the Kardashians still get so much attention. We’re not experts in these areas, but we’re happy to weigh in with theories and opinions. But when it comes to scientific topics, both scientists and lay people hide behind the excuse that the general public in this country simply doesn’t have the education to process such complex information.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare Opinion

Obama’s Not-So-Daring Precision Medicine Plan

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For all the attention that President Obama’s precision medicine initiative has garnered in the weeks since he first mentioned it in his State of the Union address, you’d think the program was the next version of the Human Genome Project. But unlike that effort, which was a wildly audacious push to revolutionize biology and medicine, the modest new initiative—and its $215 million price tag—seems downright underwhelming.   More

Global Tech Opinion Techonomy Events

The Internet Is Not the Answer

Andrew Keen, Internet entrepreneur and author of several books about technology including "Digital Vergito" and, most recently, "The Internet Is Not the Answer," spoke at our Sept. 16 Techonomy Detroit conference about his belief that tech companies seek profits under the misleading guise of doing social good.   More

Global Tech Government Opinion

European Legislators Face “Data Secessionism”

The key players in the public and private sector are now working to protect their interests in a world that is shifting from government to “Googlement”—driven by the unprecedented ability of companies to gather, store, and evaluate vast amounts of personal data. Adding to the challenge will be unabated progress on more invasive technologies such as biometrics, household robotics, smart homes, and connected cars, coupled with widespread adoption of cloud computing. Even overconfident U.S. tech titans must concede that Europe is in the pole position to shape this process and that the Old Continent’s success or failure will reverberate around the world.   More

Media & Marketing Opinion Techonomy Events

Risky Marketing

Techonomy 2013 - Tucson, AZ

The Techonomy 2013 session "Smart Media: Waste Not, Want Not" brought together marketing professionals from firms as diverse as Glam Media and YP (formerly Yellow Pages). They discussed how to make targeted advertising desirable by accurately assessing what people want and avoiding offending them. Alison Lowery, chief technology officer for Simulmedia, related how one consumer’s personal feedback to Jeff Bezos regarding her offense at receiving an ad for a “sensitive” product caused Amazon to rethink its ad strategy.   More

Media & Marketing Opinion

Why Bezos Should Buy the L.A. Times

Jeff Bezos via Niall Kennedy.

In the wake of Jeff Bezos’s purchase of The Washington Post, he would do the journalism business a big favor by cutting a similar deal for The Los Angeles Times. And while he's at it, the Amazon multi-billionaire should snap up the seven other newspapers owned by the Times' parent, the Tribune Company. They include The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Hartford Courant, and The Orlando Sentinel. Since the Tribune Company emerged from bankruptcy last December 31, it has signaled its plans to either spin off or sell the newspaper part of its media empire. Bezos could quickly flesh out his news and information universe.   More

Media & Marketing Opinion

How Much Will Bezos Disrupt the Post?

Earns Washington Post

The best news for the ailing news business in a long time is Jeff Bezos's $250 million purchase of The Washington Post. Those who entertain the knee-jerk reaction that this acquisition of a legacy media operation is simply Bezos laying down dead presidents for “a billionaire's bauble” are sorely mistaken. The news and information economy desperately needs disrupters and innovators of Steve Jobs-like ambitions, and who else but Bezos fits that description? The Amazon founder wouldn't have opened his checkbook if he himself didn't think he was that guy.   More

Opinion

Mobile Is a Fundamental Sea Change for All Businesses

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One of my favorite pundits for decades has been Bill Gurley, a partner at Benchmark Capital in Silicon Valley. Gurley recently penned this authoritative article on the many reasons why those who miss the transition to apps may miss the next generation of users. This is not the next generation of web/mobile/Internet users. This is the next generation of customers—period. The App economy is global, it is ubiquitous, and it is growing with astonishing speed, as he notes. Gurley's long background as a PC security analyst, author, conference organizer, and for the last decade or so venture investor position him uniquely. His perspective is essential.   More

Learning Opinion

Every Classroom Needs a Camera, and Here’s Why

Image via Shutterstock

Let’s imagine every classroom installed a camera (and software) that could record, store, and manage the lecture and materials so they were available to students anytime and anywhere on any device. What improvements would that bring? The universities and colleges that have done just that using Echo360’s edutech software (in which my firm, Revolution Growth, is an investor) have improved student outcomes and instructor efficiency. More students pass the class, and with higher grades. Fewer teachers are required for entry-level classes, and valuable time is spent on more personalized instruction.   More

Government Opinion

Did Obama Just Destroy the U.S. Internet Industry?

Photo: President Barack Obama talks with Michael Froman, then NSA deputy for international and economic affairs, during a working dinner at the G8 Summit, June 25, 2010. (White House/Flickr)

News about the National Security Agency's PRISM program and its privileged access to internal user data at nine U.S. Internet companies has unleashed a torrent of justified anger and hand-wringing. But the worries do not go far enough. Almost everybody is still looking at this through a narrow domestic lens. Our values and goals may be more challenged than you think.   More

Jobs Learning Opinion

Class of 2013: Narcissism or Altruism? In a World of Abundance, Time to Decide

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I'm jealous of anyone graduating college today. You are stepping as a newly-burnished adult into an era of unprecedented promise, innovation, and opportunity. The world you will witness and contribute to can be fairer, wealthier, and more peaceful than any that people have ever known. What makes all these glories possible is the exponential pace of change driven by technology. Your generation takes that for granted, and revels in it. But it makes those older than you deeply uncomfortable, and many simply refuse to see it. That puts a lot of responsibility on you.   More

Government Jobs Opinion

The Knives of Class Warfare Turn Towards Tech’s Plutocrats

I have lots of quibbles with Joel Kotkin's recent essay published at the Daily Beast and already echoing elsewhere. He gets numerous facts wrong, and some of his assumptions are silly. But anyone in tech better pay close attention to his thorough summing-up of the numerous ways that tech's billionaires and their often-wealthy allies increasingly aim to influence social policy at a time when more and more Americans (and others in the developed-world middle class around the world) find middle-class life out of reach, and poverty grows among the less educated.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Opinion

Why VC’s Shortchange Healthcare IT—And How to Change It

Some are celebrating the increasing levels of venture capital flowing to health information technology startups. But I’m in the business of cloud-based electronic health record services, and I’m not celebrating. In fact, I consider current levels of VC funding for my industry to be tragic. In a 2013 first quarter report, Mercom Capital Group reported that “the sector continues to explode in another record quarter with almost half a billion dollars ($493 million) raised.” But VC levels pale in comparison to what the federal government has ponied up: $30 billion under the HITECH Act to encourage adoption of health IT.   More

Business Opinion

Ted Leonsis: Top 13 Trends for 2013

Ted Leonsis 1

The Great Wayne Gretzky once said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.” He was talking about hockey, but in reality it’s relevant in almost all facets of life. 2012 was an eventful year full of ups and downs. The domestic housing market took an upward turn, but international events and budget issues in D.C. pulled us back as we entered 2013. Looking at my crystal ball, there are a number of trends I see happening for the rest of the year. I predict the economy will show signs of improvement with investors eager to deploy capital, but this may be the Year of Fallen Angels—overfunded, overvalued, overhyped companies are going to struggle to raise the additional capital they need.   More

Global Tech Opinion

Chinese Media Take Aim at Microsoft

A new attack on software giant Microsoft by an English-language Chinese broadcaster looks like a relatively minor affair and would probably not even qualify as news in most Western markets. But this is China, where all media are owned by the state and often support each other by speaking with a single voice. That means this new criticism by China National Radio could be just the opening shot against the world’s largest software maker, similar to an ambush faced by rival Apple just weeks ago.   More

Opinion

Who Says the Internet Isn’t Making Life Better?

A standard trope these days is that we in the middle class have been slogging through a couple of decades of woe. Wages are stagnant. Our standard of living isn’t improving. The grand forces of our time—the Internet and globalization—are failing to better our lives, and may be making things worse. The numbers prove it. But here’s the problem: the traditional numbers used by the government and economists measure the wrong stuff for the twenty-first century.   More

E-Commerce Global Tech Opinion

Alibaba Dips Toe in Developing Markets

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Finally there are some interesting news bits on e-commerce leader Alibaba that don’t involve its highly anticipated IPO, including a push into developing markets and a new tie-up with global payments giant MasterCard. Of the two bits, the former is more intriguing because it represents a major move for the company outside the Chinese-speaking world for its highly successful consumer-oriented e-commerce services. The latter tie-up is interesting because it involves a big name like MasterCard, even though actual details are scarce and probably won’t get worked out until some point in the future.   More

Cities Opinion

Shanghai Street View: Garbage Disposal

(Image via Shutterstock)

What started as local news of hundreds of dead pigs found floating in Shanghai's Huangpu River has suddenly morphed into a major story, captivating global audiences with its graphic images and air of mystery about where the corpses came from. The news has now traveled to much of the world, including the U.S. city of Denver, prompting even my brother to take notice and send me an email warning not to drink the Shanghai tap water.   More