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Business Startup Culture

The SEC’s Crowdfunding Conundrum

When President Obama signed the JOBS Act last April, one of the most controversial and potentially far-reaching provisions was giving startups the ability to raise money through crowdfunding. Private companies would be able to sell shares to all manner of individual investors for the first time. Currently you need to be an "accredited investor" (a high net-worth individual) to buy private company stock through angel rounds or electronic platforms such as SecondMarket and SharesPost. But the JOBS Act will open that up to anybody as soon as the SEC hammers out the rules by early next year.   More

Energy & Green Tech Startup Culture

GreenLancer Boosts Renewable Energy from Detroit to Afghanistan

In anticipation of the Techonomy Detroit conference on September 12, we're profiling six Detroit tech startups that are driving the city’s re-emergence as a center of innovation. GreenLancer Energy connects freelance renewable energy engineers with companies and contractors looking for green expertise. Since 2011, GreenLancer’s clients have included the U.S. Department of Defense, Occidental Oil, General Motors, and the U.S. Armed Forces. I spoke with co-founder and CTO Patrick McCabe about freelancing renewable energy, the Midwest’s lack of green energy experts, and Detroit’s tech scene.   More

Government

Can Twitter Hold Out as Defender of Free Speech?

Twitter's chief lawyer, Alexander Macgillivray, believes that defending free speech is smart business. The company has been tenacious in its efforts to keep governments' prying eyes away from its users' content, and is still resisting a Manhattan court order to turn over the account activity of an Occupy protestor. "We value the reputation we have for defending and respecting the users' voice," says Macgillivray. But Twitter may soon face pressures, both financial and regulatory, that render such customer-facing idealism inoperable. Industry observers wonder how the company will navigate corporate responsibility in an Internet era.   More

Business

Tech Companies: Cut the Geek Speak!

Recently, I heard a little girl standing with her father in the security line at the San Francisco airport ask, “Daddy, how does the Cloud work?” He leaned in and started to explain how water vapor molecules clump together due to air movements and temperature. She shook her head as if to imply he was really slow and said, “No daddy. The cloud. Like Apple’s iCloud.” To which he replied, “Oh honey, I have no idea how that works.”   More

Government Techonomy Events

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas on How a Mobile Video Changed American Foreign Policy

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas, talks about how the video of Neda Soltan's murder, captured on a mobile phone, changed American foreign policy in a matter of hours. Without empowerment technology, he says, the seriousness and immediacy of what was happening during the Iranian uprising in 2009 would likely have gone unnoticed by foreign leaders.   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Events

Jim Breyer of Accel Partners on How Tech Empowers Entrepreneurs

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Jim Breyer, Partner at Accel Partners, discusses whether technology can help people create jobs for themselves. Instead of working for Facebook or Google when they leave school, Breyer says, recent college graduates are more often leveraging technology to create new companies, like Etsy and Zaarly.   More

Business

The Ripple Effect of the Apple-Samsung Verdict

The Apple-Samsung verdict will have lasting consequences in the consumer tech field. Shelley Palmer of MediaBizBloggers.com lays out the good (patent protection), the bad (fewer consumer options), and the sad (an uncertain future for tablet innovation).   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Events

Sean Parker on How Startup Culture Diffuses Talent

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Sean Parker, Managing Partner at Founders Fund and a co-founder of Napster, argues that startup culture pulls critical talent into meaningless endeavors, instead of concentrating it on ideas that have true potential.   More

Finance

The Goldmines and Sinkholes of Intellectual Property Investing

Most investors entrust their money to the ups and downs of the stock market. But there is a “techonomic” alternative that offers great opportunities for high risk-adjusted returns: investing in intellectual property. If you want to use the stock markets to invest successfully in intellectual property, the first step is to identify pervasive emerging technology trends. Next find the companies that hold the core intellectual property associated with these growing markets.   More

Learning

An Education in Computer Gaming

For nearly a decade, gaming has been touted as one of the next big trends in educational technology. At first, many dismissed the use of computer games as learning tools, but now both educational leaders and gaming companies are starting to take the idea seriously.   More

Government Techonomy Events

Microsoft’s Craig Mundie on Changing Governance in Response to Technological Change

In the "Government in an Integrated World" session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Craig Mundie, Chief Research and Strategy Officer at Microsoft, discusses how he thinks governance will have to change to accommodate rapid technological and social change. The world is now so interdependent, he says, that a 'sick' country is felt by the rest of the world.   More

Business Government

To Build America’s Future, Compete Aggressively for Investment

Here’s a chicken and egg problem. Are companies failing to invest in the United States because of its decaying infrastructure, schools that don’t produce enough skilled workers, and a byzantine immigration system? Or has the reluctance of companies to invest in the United States led to decaying infrastructure, failing education, and growing political fights over immigration?   More

Bio & Life Sciences

How “Cloud” Services Democratize DNA Sequencing

DNAnexus is providing genomic storage and analysis tools in the cloud. Techonomy Contributing Editor Adrienne Burke spoke with the company's leadership recently about what their innovative approach to managing this unique brand of big data means to scientific research, personalized medicine, and individuals who’ve had their DNA sequenced.   More

Business Techonomy Events

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse on Apple’s Tech Dominance

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel Corporation, talks about how Apple has come to dominate its corner of the technology market.   More

Cities

Will Tech Save the First Western Post-Industrial City?

"If Detroit is on the brink of a revival, it’s technology that is proving to be the leading driver of job creation and economic growth," writes Detroit-based marketing exec Alex Southern for GrowDetroit. Southern's "if" acknowledges the pessimism some or his readers expressed last year in a survey about their hometown's prospects for recovery.   More

Techonomy Events

Jeffrey Katzenberg on How DreamWorks Keeps Tech Costs in Check

In this session from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Jeffery Katzenberg, Co-Founder and CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG, discusses how DreamWorks keeps the cost of its productions steady, despite changing technologies.   More

Partner Insights

Working from Home Together: How Companies Use Collaboration Tools to Connect Home-based Workers

Working from home has become the norm for many corporate employees. One in five employees worldwide ‘telecommute' on a regular basis. In the United States, more than 26 million people work from home on a regular basis, according to the Telework 2011 report. And even workers who spend the majority of their time in the office often check email and do work tasks from home—with 80% of employees completing company work on weekends and evenings.   More

Government

Social Media Fuels Hopes for Civil Society in Russia

So what’s Europe’s largest Internet economy: Germany? The United Kingdom? France? Since last year, Russia is top of the heap—at least in terms of users, according to Internet metrics experts ComScore. More important, Russia’s online market is still growing rapidly, its social media scene is vibrant—and the big players are all homegrown.   More

Business Techonomy Events

Jack Dorsey on Twitter’s Business Model

In this video from the "21st Century Individuals vs. 20th Century Organizations" session at Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon, Ariz., Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick asks Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey to explain the success of Twitter's business model. The ad-driven model works, says Dorsey, because Twitter introduces users to people and products they're already inclined to like.   More

Learning

Digital Teaching Promises to Improve Grades

Technology in the classroom is not about putting a computer on everybody’s desk anymore. It’s about getting the right software so students can absorb the information universities and schools are teaching. Given all the technology available, increasingly students may find it tough to explain why they can’t maintain a 4.0 grade point average.   More