• ipad-airline-pilots

    This iPad app helps keep the Air Force from crashing planes. So why is no one talking about it?

    Every once in awhile you stumble across a company that’s doing something so important you can’t believe you haven’t heard of it before. Then you Google them to see how you missed it, and nothing comes up. And then you email the founder for an interview, after a very kind introduction from someone else, and they ignore you for weeks before they finally say, “Alright, fine, sigh” — they’ll chat on the phone for a bit. But only on Thursday. And…
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 5.15.43 PM

    After I write about ridesharing series cutting their prices to the bone, Lyft decides to go even further

    How kind. I just received a text message telling me I’m a Lyft “pioneer” (whatever that means) and offering me ten free rides. It’s a smart marketing move (although I don’t actually live in Los Angeles, so not terribly useful) — but the timing is ironic given all the reporting I just wrapped up for my piece on mobile price wars. Just this morning I called Lyft’s “bizarro economic calculus,” of cutting prices to below the bone “unsustainable”…
  • mobile-web-price-wars-uber-lyft-hunger-games

    Drowning in venture capital, mobile startups are waging unsustainable price wars

    When millions — or even hundred of millions — in venture capital is powering your startup engine, profits are often a distant concern. It’s with this bizarro economic calculus that we stand by and watch an entire sector of on-demand mobile-first startups compete in the kind of price wars that will leave a handful victorious, many bloodied, and more still gasping their last breaths, lucky to be sold at acquihire prices. In the mean time, though, consumers are getting a…
  • uber-bay-area-price-cuts

    The Bay Area gets UberX’s 25 percent price cut…weeks after the rest of the nation

    Surprise surprise, in the latest ongoing saga of ridesharing price wars, UberX has cut its Bay Area prices 25 percent. I guess that’s what you do to celebrate after raising a $1.2 billion venture round. The Bay Area shouldn’t feel too special. Scrolling through the UberX blog, it’s clear the company is cutting prices left and right in many of its markets. It’s been doing so all month, and the Bay Area is one of the last…
  • ode-to-uber

    A skeptic’s ode to Uber

    Of all the companies I’ve covered in my time at Pando, by far I have lobbed the most crap at Uber. It was perfectly deserved, reporting that needed to be done on their shoddy background check practices, the gaps in their insurance coverage, the way they treat passengers who have been assaulted and reporters who are trying to uncover the truth. I threw crap at Uber because I believe it’s one of the most important startups in…
  • nashville-wish-you-were-still-here

    Steve Case on the road: Just as the going gets big, the big leave Nashville

    The Nashville fireside chat is a far cry from its Rise of the Rest tour predecessors. The audience sits in a pristine carpeted room, on the 28th floor of a corporate sky rise, looking out through wall to ceiling windows on the greenery of the city. In the distance, the Titans football stadium looms. Prior fireside chats had taken place in scrappy refurnished warehouses and little enclaves off of accelerator buildings. Likewise, the Nashville crowd couldn’t be more…
  • Rise-of-the-Rest-Steve-Case-cincinnati

    The best and worst of startup Cincinnati comes down to its Fortune 500s

    It’s fitting that of all the stops on Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest tour, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce chose to join up in Cincinnati. It is, after all, a place where corporate America meets the startup world. The two converge, clash, cooperate, compete, help each other, hurt each other, and generally exist in a fucked up synergistic relationship. They represent both sides of America’s economic past and future, and as we covered, Penny Pritzker was there taking…
  • penny-pritzker

    The U.S. Secretary of Commerce: We are nowhere with immigration and the clock is ticking

    Today on Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest tour, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said something that would make any Silicon Valley entrepreneur’s eyes roll: “We like to think we’re the department of innovation!” Yeap, you and every other giant, bureaucratic organization. If I had a quarter every time some corporate representative told me, “We’re just like a big, 100-year-old startup,” I’d no longer have to work at my actual startup job. She went on to plead with the entrepreneurs…
  • pittsburgh

    Detroit gets all the press, but Pittsburgh is the Rust Belt’s unsung startup hub

    One day later and the energy on Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest tour has made a 180. He stands in front of a packed warehouse space in Pittsburgh, addressing a rather solemn, serious crowd. “It’s not as bad as Detroit, but you have lost half your population,” Case chastises. “It’s not a good thing. There’s still work to be done.” Heads nod in assent. It’s a far different scene from the raucous cheers and hooting and hollering of…
  • Rise-of-the-Rest-Steve-Case

    The line between hype and pessimism: 24 hours in Detroit with Steve Case

    Late at night down the Ohio turnpike, a giant bus emblazoned with a red logo forges through the rain. It stands out on the highway filled with trucks and cars going about their business in the midwest. At first glance, the tour bus looks like it might house some famous rockstar trekking across Middle America. Not quite. It’s housing a tech rock star from the 1990s, his crew, with yours truly as the only journalist aboard. The name gives away…

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