Saving Nokia, the page view apocalypse, Jonathan Franzen is old and cranky, corn is king, Senegal and the American South, the story of The Climate Company, and the modern genome gold rush — these are some of the stories for your weekend reading pleasure. Read more »
We’ve got a fun new section of our experience design conference RoadMap that we wanted to share with you: The Product Lab! Read more »
The birth of Twitter has long been a complicated and confusing story. This excerpt in The New York Times from columnist Nick Bilton’s book, “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal,” gives a first hand look at how Twitter came about, the power struggles at the company and how we go here. Find time to read it.
The emergence of Industrial Internet is not only going to make older industries more efficient, by making them data-smart, but in addition this will lead to more opportunities and create new jobs, GE economists argue in a new report, The Industrial Internet@Work. Read more »
Come join us on November 5th and 6th in San Francisco and hear from the creative minds behind the future of experience design. Read more »
Time Warner Cable of New York is spending $600 million in cash to buy DukeNet, a fiber optic network that is part-owned by Duke Energy, the company announced today. The Charlotte, NC-based DukeNet will help Time Warner improve its network and business services in the Carolinas. Time Warner Cable had announced its intention to build a gigabit network in the Carolina earlier this year. In related news, Zayo, a large fiber network operator based in Boulder, Colorado announced that it was buying Fiberlink, a small Midwestern fiber operator that owns 1,200 miles of dark fiber that runs between Denver and Chicago (and runs via Omaha and Des Moines.) The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Three years and 150 million users later, Instagram, the photo sharing service that launched on October 6, 2010 is growing up — it needs to sell ads and make money. And as it grows up, I can say my love for it hasn’t diminished. Read more »
Apple, long a laggard in India is waking up and wants to make a stronger push into the country by planning to team up with retail chains and open stores-within-stores in small towns, a report says. Read more »
On the menu this week: A profile of The Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, Lewis Lapham on selling death, where is Hemingway and the Return of warlords. Plus some fun lessons about reputation, saying NO and why making money is easy for bankers. Read more »
Behance founder Scott Belsky, who will be speaking at our RoadMap conference, talks about what creative work will look like and how it will change the way we collaborate. Read more »
Fab, a New York-based commerce company backed by the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and Menlo Ventures, is going to cut about a fifth of its work force (roughly 100 people) from its various offices. Jason Goldberg, the CEO of the company, in a memo to employees wrote: “The impetus behind the decision is our plan to accelerate Fab’s path to profitability.” This is the second major set of layoffs at a company that has raised nearly $300 million from investors and is valued at $1 billion by private investors.
We’re excited to announce that Google Maps design gurus Jonah Jones and Bernhard Seefeld will be speaking at our third annual experience design conference RoadMap on November 5th and 6th in San Francisco. Read more »
Dave McClure’s 500Startups has officially invested in over 500 companies in more than 40 countries. And the pace and scope of its investment continues: it now has about 600 companies in its portfolio. And in order to keep finding and funding companies, McClure’s group has closed a $44 million fund, a big step up from its $29.4 million first fund that closed at the end of Dec 2011.) There are no plans to change the fund name to 1000Startups! PS: Check out our profile of McLure from last year.
Amazon recently introduced its new lineup of Kindle Fires including new HDX devices that have faster processors, more memory and a brighter, richer display. Here are my early impressions of the tablet, which will come to market later this year. Read more »
Ryan Sarver, who spent about four years running Twitter’s platform is joining Menlo Park, Calif-based venture capital firm, RedPoint Ventures. He left Twitter in May 2013. As a partner with the fund, he is going to focus on investments in social applications, social platforms and software-as-a-service startups. Prior to joining Twitter, Sarver worked for Boston-based Skyhook Wireless and had founded a startup called BlueTrim. He is part of a growing posse of Internet executives who are gravitating towards venture capital investing at a time when the industry itself is going through sea change, due to evolution of technology business and changing regulations.
On the menu this week: Mariano Rivera, Myst, Oyster crisis, Flexians, CrossFit’s dirty secret and the history of online travel journalism. Plus Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich on reality of hunger in America. Read more »
According to Leichtman Research Group data, about 83 percent of US households now have Internet service at home. Less than 1 percent of all online households say that broadband is not available in their area – compared to 6 percent in 2008. Read more »
In 2007, when the iPhone launched, some of us believed that it was going to change the phone business forever. Nokia and RIM Blackberry obviously dismissed it as a joke. They focused too much on the “phone” and not on the “i,” which was a metaphor for easy internet access in our pockets. Nokia’s market cap on the day of the iPhone launch was $114.5 billion and markets valued Blackberry at $40.09 billion. This year Nokia’s devices business was sold to Microsoft for $7.2 billion. Blackberry is going private for mere $4.7 billion. That is $134 billion in market cap that went poof.
eBay is buying Braintree, a Chicago-based payment platform for approximately $800 million in cash, the company announced this morning. “Braintree is a perfect fit with PayPal,” said eBay CEO John Donahoe. Braintree, started in 2007 is used by companies such as Airbnb and Uber for accepting payments and is said to be processing a total of $12 billion in payments annually. Founded in 2007, it has raised $69 million in outside funding from Accel Partners, NEA, RRE Ventures and Greycroft Partners. Techcrunch had originally reported on the talks between Paypal and Braintree.
Design legend Erik Spiekermann, who will be speaking at our experience design conference in November in San Francisco, has spent decades creating and redesigning typefaces, which can influence culture both subtly and powerfully. Read more »
Amazon has unveiled a series of new Kindle Fire tablets: the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX, the regular Kindle Fire HDX, and updated the Kindle Fire HD tablet. A new version of Amazon’s custom operating system based on Android was also released. Read more »
The internet, if anything, has been able to do two things admirably: reduce friction and cut out middle men in many processes. After deflating the stock-buying process a decade ago, the Internet is going to change venture capital: and the notion of money itself. Read more »
Here is a map of how people used the internet on a recent day, based on the 24 hour relative average utilization of IPv4 addresses observed using ICMP ping requests collected by the Internet Census in 2012. Plus, here are some more visual maps of the internet.
The Guardian reached out to all top U.S. phone companies including Verizon, CenturyLink and AT&T and asked them the question: ”whether they accept that the bulk collection of their customers’ phone records by the National Security Agency is lawful.” The Guardian report was prompted by the publishing of a declassified opinion in the FISA court that reveals “that no telecom has challenged the court order for bulk collection of phone records.”
Chip Conley started Joie de Vivre Hospitality less than three years after leaving Stanford. He survived two downturns and now tells people to find happiness and meaning in their work. And starting today, he will help Airbnb hosts become even more hospitable. Read more »
When it comes to cloud services, webscale companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Tencent, and Baidu have an infrastructure advantage, which in turn allows them to sell cloud services to others. What does lack of such giants mean for Europe and European cloud ambitions? Read more »
Twitter has finally announced that it will go public via a tweet that went out after markets closed on Thursday. Read more »
Here are my 5 takeaways from comments made by Evan Spiegel (Snapchat), Boris Sofman (Anki), Don Valentine (Sequoia Capital), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Dick Costolo (Twitter) at the Disrupt SF 2013 conference. Read more »
Apple yesterday introduced two new models of its iPhone — iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. One is a mid-market product and the other is targeting the top end of the market. And they are both packed with some incredible stuff. Here is what I like & dislike. Read more »
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer explains her plans to get Yahoo back on the path of growth, attract new users and embrace mobile. She also said the company now has about 800 million monthly active users. Read more »
The future of work and jobs is going to be complex and messy. It is fraught with uncertainty and will mean redefining what we think is work. At least that’s what LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner says. And in my opinion, he isn’t that off the mark. Read more »
Apple introduced two new iPhones Tuesday at an event at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., and here’s how the action unfolded. Read more »
As someone who loves connected devices, I love the concept of smart watches and what the future will bring. What I don’t much care about are the current implementations including the much ballyhooed Samsung Galaxy Gear. Here are my mostly non-tech reasons. Read more »
Open source router software, different encryption tools, legislative, judicial and media pressure are all necessary to pushback on backdoors access to technology and networks that help with surveillance state, says PGP inventor Phil Zimmermann in a conversation. He has a thoughtful take on recent encryption revelations. Read more »
Instagram says it has 150 million users and it signed up about 50 million users in past six months. The company is benefitting from the sharp increase in smartphone penetration, especially overseas where Android juggernaut has caught full momentum. Nearly 60% of its users are overseas. Read more »
Wi-Fi is becoming a critical part of carrier — phone and cable companies – plans. A new report forecasts a big boom ahead for carrier Wi-Fi hotspots and Wi-Fi networks, which is especially good for all of us addicted to the internet. Read more »
I’m happy to announce that Tom Krazit is our new Executive Editor. With more than a decade in the tech media industry, Tom has the experience needed to take our group to the next level. Read more »
Yahoo wasn’t innovating with the old logo. And it isn’t innovating with the new logo, announced today. I am pretty ambivalent about the logo. What do you guys think?
Whisper, a Los Angeles-based secret sharing/anonymity social social platform today announced that it had raised $21 million in new funds from a group of venture capitalists led by Sequoia Capital general partner Roelof Botha, who in the past had backed YouTube and Tumblr. GigaOM had first reported the news of Whisper’s funding in July 2013. At that time, we reported that company was raising about $15 million in its Series B round of funding. A report in Techcrunch puts their valuation at between $75 million and $100 million. In our earlier report, our sources put Whisper’s valuation at $100 million.
Sony today announced a new US-only 4K video download service, Video Unlimited 4K. Sony also introduced two new 4K television models. It is all part of the company’s big bet on 4K technology as a way to stage a big comeback. Read more »