Showing posts tagged TC

Jolla Wants To Build A Foursquare Phone, A Facebook Phone — Whatever It Takes To Wake Smartphones From Their Android Slumber

#SuryaRay #Surya Finnish startup Jolla is open for business. That’s the message CEO Marc Dillon was putting out, loud and clear, during two on stage appearances at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona last week. Not a bad amount of stage time for a first time MWC attendee and a mobile upstart that hasn’t sold a single handset yet because it’s still busy making its first phone. @suryaray

CloudFlare Is Down Due To DNS Outage, Taking Down 785,000 Websites Including 4chan, Wikileaks,

#SuryaRay #Surya Security and caching service CloudFlare has been down for more than 50 minutes due to a DNS issue. As the service adds a layer between 785,000 websites and their users, all of those websites are currently affected — 4chan is one of them. CloudFlare generates so many pageviews that it would be the tenth website in the world. Its downtime shows developers that relying on a third-party service is not without any consequence. Developing… @suryaray

Riding On The Wings Of Angels, VCs Avoid The So-Called Series A Crunch

#SuryaRay #Surya Editor’s note: _Erik Rannala is co-founder and managing partner of MuckerLab._ Much has been written about the Series A crunch that is facing entrepreneurs and their investors. Those who believe the crunch is upon us contend that a significant number of seed-funded startups will not be able to raise follow-on financing. A cursory review of the data reported recently by CB Insights would seem to support the fact that the Series A crunch is a market reality. @suryaray

Netflix’s Content-Marketing Secret Sauce Is Wrapped Up In ‘House Of Cards’

#SuryaRay #Surya Editor’s note: _Brandon Carter is a marketing manager at Outbrain, a content discovery platform on a mission to help readers find the most interesting content online. _ It’s been nearly impossible to consume any kind of media in the last two weeks without hearing about Netflix’s new original series “House of Cards.” With all 13 episodes released simultaneously to enable binge viewing and a massive budget, the David Fincher-directed series has everyone talking about what it means for the future of the TV industry. @suryaray

Marc Andreessen And Ben Horowitz ‘Decode’ Groupon CEO Andrew Mason’s Farewell Memo — On RapGenius

#SuryaRay #Surya When Andreessen Horowitz invested a whopping $15 million into RapGenius this past fall, they were keen to point out that the platform can be used for things well beyond decoding the meaning of rap lyrics and extend to other forms of wordplay — literature, historical texts, political speeches, and the like. Well today the venture capital firm really put their mouths where their money is. Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz have both logged onto RapGenius to add their own decodings of the memo issued this past week by Groupon’s founder Andrew Mason after he’d been fired from his position as CEO. @suryaray

This Facebook-Twitter Marriage Proposal Shows Social Media Might Not Be Killing Romance After All

#SuryaRay #Surya There’s this video making the San Francisco and tech industry rounds this weekend of Facebook staffer Jon Park proposing to his longtime girlfriend, Twitter employee Genevieve Wong. It’s called the “Twitbook Proposal," since Park incorporated the products built by both his and Wong’s day jobs into the whole thing, and the result is pretty amazing and actually quite touching. @suryaray

Want To Build A $1B Consumer Company? Look For Long-Haul Founders And Don’t Fear Incumbents

#SuryaRay #Surya Editor’s note: _Jacob Mullins is a VC at Shasta Ventures. _ With the recent talk about the growing “billion dollar club” in startups, I’ve been wondering what characteristics a $1 billion consumer tech company has. As a Series A investor who primarily focuses on consumer web and mobile companies, I examined the pool of consumer companies that have had exits over $100 million within the current era of consumer tech, which I consider to be post-recession 2008. I wanted to see what I could learn and ideally reverse-engineer common characteristics that would help me identify the next big winners when I see them today or in the future. @suryaray

Why Nokia Is Calling “Here” Here, The Curious Rebranding Of Their Maps Product

#SuryaRay #Surya As Nokia tries to separate out its mapping business and make it a standalone entity earning more than 1 billion euros per year, it has stripped its name entirely out of the unit. This past week, the company said it would take its name out of all navigation products and instead brand them with the word “HERE” — as in HERE Maps, HERE Drive and HERE Transit. Yes, it does sound a bit strange. The real reason likely has to do with the fact that partners like Amazon and Mozilla, which license Nokia data for their hardware, might be touchy about having “Nokia” branding inside their products. But in bureacro-speak, Nokia’s reasons are a bit different. “HERE is a name that I think signifies what I call an ethos in cartography. HERE is about a sense of location,” said Michael Halbherr, the Nokia executive who oversees the company’s location and commerce unit, in an interview at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. “If you look at the brand, it’s the same font and the same color logic,” he said. “There are other companies that do it successfully with Microsoft having the X-Box, Bing and Skype brands.” With the acquisition of NAVTEQ for $8.1 billion in 2007, the company brought in a licensing business that helped the unit bring in 278 million euros ($364.7 million) in the fourth quarter of last year. That business handles four out of every five cars with an in-dash navigation system, Halbherr said. It also recently bought Earthmine last year for the company’s 3D-map making software, and partnered with Mozilla to bring location and maps to the Firefox OS. Nokia views the model for maps as one that’s mostly about licensing with partners like Amazon and Ford, although they’re exploring commerce partnerships with companies like Groupon and recently launched a direct-to-consumer maps for iOS. They face a competitive field including Google Maps, Microsoft’s Bing Maps and MapQuest among others. Halbherr thinks they got a boost from the Apple Maps debacle, although he wouldn’t specify if it actually contributed to new deals. “What happened when Apple launched maps was that the focus moved to quality and that’s clearly, clearly what is good for us,” he said. “To be a full mapping company, you have to drive the streets, you need data centers. It can look very simple and automated but the last 20 percent takes 80 @suryaray

What Games Are: Real-Money Gaming Is Really Boring

#SuryaRay #Surya It may be the case that real-money gambling is inching its way to reality in the U.S., much as it has in the rest of the world, but if so it’s a phenomenally boring story. It’s hard to get excited about a sector that only ever sells the same few game types over and over, and it leads me to wonder when will real innovation ever really make its mark in this space. There’s more to life than slots. @suryaray

Kleiner Perkins Has Now Put Over $450 Million In Nearly 40 Mobile Investments

#SuryaRay #Surya This week, Kleiner Perkins partner Matt Murphy joined us in the TechCrunch TV studio for our Ask A VC series. As we discussed on the show, Kleiner Perkins has been making a solid bet on mobile for the past few years. In fact, we’ve confirmed with the firm that the VC firm has put over $450 million in mobile companies across nearly 40 companies. @suryaray

High Returns On A Small Fund Challenge Low Returns On A Big Fund

#SuryaRay #Surya Editor’s note:_ David Teten is a partner with ff Venture Capital and founder and chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York._ I recently had an extensive debate with Tom Grossi, partner with New Enterprise Associates, about why and whether small funds (like mine) tend to outperform large funds (like his). He and I wanted to share the conversation with you. @suryaray

If You Are Reading This Here You Have Already Failed At Unplugging

#SuryaRay #Surya Are you noticing that some things are a bit different today? People in cafes are actually talking to each other, no laptops in sight? Drivers at stoplights are accelerating as soon as the light turns green, without that “oops I was just finishing this text” lag? Don’t panic, you haven’t been somehow transported back to 1995 (though that might be kind of fun, actually.) @suryaray

Iterations: Much Ado About Yahoo!

#SuryaRay #Surya Over the past few weeks, I’ve been genuinely surprised by the depth and reach of the reaction to any moves made by Yahoo! As someone who hasn’t been around the this place for too long, my sense is Yahoo!, despite its recent history of countless missteps, is still vitally important to the cultural memory of Silicon Valley. And, as a result, the moves its new CEO makes becomes the subject of ridiculously intense, global scrutiny, armchair speculation and analysis, and a deafening level of peanut gallery twitter blabber devoid of any reason or context. @suryaray

Gillmor Gang: Pinch and Spread

#SuryaRay #Surya The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, Keith Teare, John Taschek, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — spent a beautiful Bay Area day chatting amiably about Android, Apple, and the GUI formerly known as the Lock Screen. With notifications becoming the default interaction point with email, social, and app inputs, the Gang is split down the middle. On one side is @scobleizer and @jtaschek and partially @kevinmarks; on the other more correct side is @kteare and me, @stevegillmor. We think Apple has the more elegant if slightly hamstrung solution, while the rest are Android fanboys waiting desperately for the latest Samsung phone. And of course, @scobleizer sees everything through his forthcoming Glassware, or as he joked, being a Glasshole about it. Oh, the humanity. @suryaray

A Look At YourKarma, A Tiny Wi-Fi Hotspot On A Mission

#SuryaRay #Surya We wander the streets with tiny computers in our pockets and in our hands. We talk casually to these computers, just like Captains Kirk and Picard talked to the computers on their Enterprises. With the push of a button, our computers give us unprecedented access to the bulk of human knowledge. These computers sometimes talk back to us. But underneath all the noise and chatter of speech, the computers in our pockets communicate with one another in an endless stream of ones and zeroes. Packets whiz through the air, unseen, unappreciated. @suryaray