This week Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures sat down with me for a video interview (part of Reuters' Tech Tonic: Interface series) to talk about a wide variety of topics: Bitcoin, wireless spectrum auctions, Airbnb, immigration, the New York City mayor's race, even his wife Joanne (the Gotham Gal), and a few others. Why so many topics? Fred’s simply one of the most thoughtful technology investors working today, and peppering him with as many different questions as possible can help us learn how he thinks.
It hasn’t yet been six years since the start of the smartphone revolution and we’ve already become an “always on” culture. At least, that’s the temptation. Those who submit can be called The Immersives: checking e-mail, keeping tabs on Facebook “friends,” debating on Twitter, snapping photos of food for Instagram. It would be rare if any of us didn’t have at least one toe dipped in the stream.
On the surface, Nick D’Aloisio’s story is the kind tech lives for, and sometimes regrets. It’s the tale of a kid selling an obscure startup for an inflated price, and then it becomes as irrelevant as Netscape, and its buyer’s remorse is part of the company’s enduring legacy.
The backbone of the Internet — fiber, cables, and copper wires — sounds boring. But these physical structures enable the bits and bytes that increasingly define our lives to flow to and from computers around the world. Without them, there’s no Internet. If they’re slow or outdated, they handicap our access to the digital world. Which means these boring pieces of hardware are a new battleground for access in our digital age.
A new article from the Boston Consulting Group sheds some light on the world of online local advertising, a $21.2 billion market in the U.S. and cited often by a variety of players from AOL’s hyper local network of news sites, Patch, to Yahoo as a the holy grail of ad dollars.
When Alvin Toffler popularized the term “information overload” in 1970, even that legendary futurist could not have predicted the flood of data that drowns today’s road warrior. E-mails from multiple accounts, instant messages, texts, iMessage and Google Voice — and, oh yeah, phone calls — all clamor for attention from our smartphones.