Finance Internet of Things

A16Z’s Chris Dixon on the Internet of Locks, Cars, New York, and Everything Else

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Chris Dixon is a New York guy with a degree in philosophy from Columbia University. He’s also, as of last fall, a partner at hot Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (which shortens its name to A16Z—16 is the number of letters between the A and the Z). All in all, that gives him a pretty interesting point of view on the big technology shift that’s being labeled the Internet of Everything (IoE). Dixon already has quite a track record as an investor and entrepreneur. He co-founded Hunch, which eBay bought for $80 million in 2011, and then started Founder Collective, a seed-stage venture fund. Alone or with a fund, he’s been an early-stage investor in Kickstarter, Pinterest, Foursquare, Dropbox, and Warby Parker.   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

Internet of Things Startup Culture

Launching the Internet of Everything One Startup at a Time

The Availabot

With our May 16 Techonomy Lab: Man, Machines, and the Network in Menlo Park this week, we look at five startups delivering connectivity to consumers in various aspects of their lives. BERG Cloud of London pivoted from design consultancy to cloud service with its own connected products. In 2006 BERG built the Availabot, a puppet-like, vaguely humanoid USB-plug-in gadget that notifies users when their contacts are available to chat by standing up, and then falling down when contacts go offline. One day the notion of the Net existing only behind a screen will seem odd, predicts BERG Cloud’s Matt Webb. “To me the Internet won’t stay trapped behind the glass; we’ll see it flip. It’ll be everywhere.”   More

Cities

Can Israel Be the Tech Capital for the Next Five Billion?

In partnership with Campus Tel Aviv (powered by Google Entrepreneurs), Techonomy will facilitate a series of conversations on June 5th in Tel Aviv about Israel's emerging role as a tech superpower. The two-hour event will begin with a talk by Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick, followed by a panel discussion entitled "Can Israel Be the Tech Capital for the Next Five Billion?" The panel will include Israeli innovation experts Yosi Abramowitz of Energiya Global Capital, TheMarker's Guy Rolnik, GetTaxi's Shahar Waiser, and Yahal Zilka of Magma VC. Kirkpatrick will moderate the discussion.   More

Business Startup Culture

XO’s Carley Roney on Startups, NY, and The Knot

At a Dell Women's Entrepreneurship Network dinner, Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick spoke with XO Group co-founder Carley Roney about her company's trajectory since 1996. Roney says barriers to entry are much lower for startups today than when she and her husband David Liu were launching The Knot, XO's signature enterprise. "Now you can iterate more quickly and test things and segment," says Roney. "None of those things were possible at the time." With resources scarce, Roney says her team had to launch with a clear business plan.   More

E-Commerce Global Tech

Alibaba Mobile Drive Leads to Autonavi

Less than two weeks after buying a major stake in leading Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, e-commerce leader Alibaba is back on the acquisition track with word that it’s on the cusp of another deal to buy a similar strategic stake in mapping services firm AutoNavi. While this newest deal would be a bit smaller than the Weibo tie-up, it marks the latest transaction in a nascent M&A wave among China tech firms that looks set to gain momentum during the rest of the year.   More

E-Commerce Global Tech

Alibaba Tamps Down Valuation Expectations

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Having let the markets get pumped up with huge expectations for its upcoming mega IPO, e-commerce leader Alibaba now appears to be trying to temper some of those high hopes in the run-up to an offering that is likely to be the biggest ever for a Chinese Internet firm. The reason for the sudden change of tone? Apparently the company wants to avoid following in the footsteps of social networking giant Facebook, whose IPO was so overhyped by the time it finally occurred that it was almost bound to result in failure and major disappointment.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Energy & Green Tech

DIY Genetic Engineering Project Draws Crowd and Controversy

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A fundraising campaign for a DIY biology project to genetically engineer "sustainable natural lighting" was going gangbusters on Kickstarter. And that was before it was featured on page B1 of the New York Times today. But not all of the attention has been supportive.   More

Government Manufacturing

How Do You Regulate 3D-Printed Guns?

(Image via Defense Distributed)

Ethical technological question of the day: If technology is neither good nor evil, but simply a means to an end, what happens when that end has potentially dangerous consequences? Cody Wilson, a University of Texas at Austin law student, has developed a working gun—which he calls The Liberator—using a 3D printer, and he’s made the design available on his website, Defense Distributed. Wilson's home-made firearm becomes all the more striking as the cost of 3D printing drops precipitously, with low-cost printers poised to enter the mass market.   More

Manufacturing

Staples Brings 3D Printers to the Mass Market

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Designers have used 3D-printing websites like Shapeways to manufacture and market their wares for several years now, while some intrepid DIY makers have taken production into their homes by investing in desktop 3D printers from New York-based MakerBot. But 3D printing machines have yet to make their way into mass-market retail stores. Until now. Last week Staples announced that it will sell the Cube 3D printer, made by South Carolina-based 3D Systems Corp., in select stores. Priced at $1,299, the machine sells for almost half the cost of Makerbot's Replicator 2.   More

Energy & Green Tech Internet of Things

Why the Internet of Everything Could Mean Fewer Cars

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Dire predictions about the mushrooming number of cars jamming the world’s roads and clogging the world's air may never come true. Instead, a dawning era of super-optimized car sharing is poised to shrink demand for cars. Even General Motors and Ford Chairman Bill Ford have invested in technology that can help make it happen.   More

Government

UN Crowdsources Targets for Global Development

UN image via Shutterstock

When even the UN starts appealing to the global crowd for direction and buy-in you know the tools of communication and leadership have really begun to change. This essay in The Guardian by a UN assistant secretary-general explains the many ways in which the organization is asking how to meet its so-called Millenium Development Goals. It includes the amazing statistic that there are now more mobile phones in the world than toilets. That's why it is using SMS and other mobile querying methods alongside web surveys and in-person meetings in places like the Amazon.   More

Business

Will Your Golden Years Be Robot-Assisted?

Honda's Asimo (via Honda Robotics)

When an elderly person needs dinner, “Herb” answers a command given on an iPad. He heads to the freezer, pulls out a frozen meal, microwaves it and brings it to the person—just like that. What's different about this situation is that Herb is not a person. HERB actually stands for Home Exploring Robotic Butler, and is developed out of Carnegie Melon University's Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center. The center specializes in assistive robots for older adults and people with disabilities. Robots like HERB will have a "tremendous" impact on elder care, says the 34-year-old "father" of HERB, Siddhartha Srinivasa, an associate professor at Carnegie Melon's Robotics Institute.   More

Learning

Who Needs College, Anyway?

Will college become superfluous in the digital economy? It’s a real possibility—at least, for some jobs. A new two-year, hands-on apprentice program, Enstitute, teaches skills in information technology, computer programming, and app building, and could help close the income gap between college graduates and those with just a high school degree. “Enstitute seeks to challenge the conventional wisdom that top professional jobs always require a bachelor’s degree—at least for a small group of the young, digital elite,” writes Hannah Seligson in a recent New York Times profile.   More

Internet of Things

Why an Internet of Everything Event? “It’s the World Waking Up”

(Image via Shutterstock)

What inefficiencies frustrate you in your day-to-day life? What could work better about your home and the things that surround you—your car, your commute, your job, your health care, your aging parent's physical situation, or your local government? Entrepreneurs and innovators are beginning determinedly to address those problems. How can I be so confident? Because of the macro trend that some, including we at Techonomy, call the "Internet of Everything" (IoE for shorthand). We see it as a big deal worth devoting a half day to, along with a superb group of speakers, at our Techonomy Lab: Man, Machines, and the Network on May 16.   More

Business Internet of Things Partner Insights

John Chambers on Why Business Can’t Ignore the Internet of Everything

The only constant is change—and companies that do not change get left behind. My perspective is that it’s best to accept change as inevitable—to embrace it, lead it, and use it to shape desired outcomes. As I discussed previously, many of today’s leading trends—what I call market transitions—are combining into the Internet of Everything, which we define as the intelligent connection of people, processes, data, and things.   More

Business

Capturing the Value of Technology—in Economic Terms

When you look at economic statistics like G.D.P. and productivity, what gets overlooked? According to a New York Times column by Eduardo Porter, these key measures fail to capture the value people get from digital technologies. But leading academics from the University of Chicago, Stanford, M.I.T., and the University of Michigan are developing metrics to assess the overall value of technology on our lives, trying to put numbers around key pieces of the puzzle, like the value of the Internet and the value of free online services.   More

Media & Marketing Video

Media Execs on Video: Why Distribution Hasn’t Trumped Content

Techonomy asked Forbes CEO Mike Perlis, Thomson Reuters's ex-CEO Tom Glocer, and Huffington Post CEO Jimmy Maymann: Is content king, or has it been trumped by distribution? In this video, one of them says that if media models don't shift, we could end up in a world of mindless cat videos.   More

Business Cities

New Yorkers Can Now Hail Yellow Cabs with an App

New York City cab image via Shutterstock

New York City’s yellow taxi riders can now legally hail a cab with a smartphone app. Tuesday evening, San Francisco-based Uber announced that its cab hailing services were approved for use throughout the city, a move that positions Uber as the first and only cab-hailing app currently approved for use in New York. This follows a recent dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the livery car industry in New York, which opened the doors for app makers to offer electronic hailing of taxicabs throughout the city, a service Uber initially began testing last fall.   More

Business

Zooniverse Calls the Crowd to Find Patterns in Science Data

The Planet Hunters project at Zooniverse asks citizen scientists for help identifying stars

When two amateur astronomers noticed via a citizen science platform that NASA's Kepler space telescope software had possibly overlooked the signal of an unknown planet, they tapped "the most powerful pattern-recognition computer in the world—the human brain" to point out the mistake, Michael Lemonick reports on the New Yorker's new science and tech blog, Elements, today.   More