Richard Nieva

Richard Nieva

Richard Nieva is a staff writer for PandoDaily, covering startups and technology in Silicon Valley. He was previously a reporter for Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times and on You can follow him on Twitter.

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  • HAXLR8R_533939

    HAXLR8R Demo Day: Lessons from China

    Today the accelerator HAXLR8R held its second-ever demo day in San Francisco. Two things separate it from the usual incubator event. First, it focuses solely on hardware products. Second, HAXLR8R is based in Shenzhen, China, bringing founders and mentors to the city for about three months to learn how to work with factories and manufacturers. So that means a group of entrepreneurs from places as diverse as the United States to England to Singapore has just returned from what…
  • space oddity

    “Space Oddity,” atoms, and the intersection of science and art

    I’ve viewed two videos recently that took my breath away. One gained traction yesterday: a lonesome lament from an astronaut in space, performed by an actual astronaut in space. Canadian commander Chris Hadfield posted a video on YouTube of himself singing a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” while on the International Space Station. The other was “the world’s smallest movie,” as IBM Research puts it. The R&D organization animated still frames of atoms from carbon monoxide molecules, magnified…
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    The Thiel Fellowship and the future of connected hardware

    Whatever your feelings may be toward the Peter Thiel Fellowship, its focus on fostering young tech entrepreneurs can’t be denied. The program takes 20 young people under the age of 20 and grants them $100,000 to build companies for two years as an alternative to attending college. That’s sparked a debate about the benefits versus the shortcomings of university education. Beyond that debate, what the crop of young, overachieving applicants decides to focus on says something about the big ideas that…
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    Spark Devices aims to be the connector of connected devices

    We need to talk about the connected fart machine. There is one prototype that apparently exists somewhere in Shenzhen, China. If connected devices are the future, we’ve got to be resigned to the fact that we’re just going to suffer through some clunkers. (Yes, we’re looking at you, Samsung fridge.) And as the market finds its legs, slapping Wi-Fi connectivity on various products could be as common as putting a bird on it. Spark Devices takes a…
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    ShoeDazzle’s Brian Lee on the fruits of competition

    Ain’t nothing like competition, right? There are the classic examples: Coke and Pepsi, McDonald’s and Burger King. Or — for the Silicon Valley set — Lyft and Sidecar. But the best companies don’t let the other guys nipping at their heels faze them. That’s what Brian Lee, founder of woman’s shoes ecommerce site ShoeDazzle, believes. “If you have a good idea, just run hard, run fast. Because you are going to have fast followers,” said Lee, during PandoMonthly in…
  • graduation

    Five tech commencement speeches from the last five years

    It’s that time of year again. When balloon makers spell the word “ConGRADulations” and we’re just supposed to be cool about it. But it’s not just graduation season for seniors in caps and gowns. No, it’s graduation season for all of us… Because we’ve got the Internet. It’s about now that we start seeing Steve Jobs’ beloved speech at Stanford pop up on our Facebook News Feeds. And blogs start dispensing their own brand of wisdom. Here’s Drew Magary’s…
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    Postano tries to bank on Pinterest in real life

    Shortly after I began working at PandoDaily, I wrote a quick post about a real-life Pinterest board at a mall, after a reader brought the photo to our attention. For a newcomer to the site, I was surprised that the post, which I had ginned up pretty quickly, got a good amount of Tweets and Likes. It had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with how much people like Pinterest. But I think a small part…
  • carsharing

    Should insurance companies just cover everyone for car-sharing?

    The car-sharing industry has an insurance problem: Insurance companies, which predicate their entire business on measuring risk, don’t like the risk inherent in covering some schmoe who’s borrowed your car and then proceeds to plow into a tollbooth.  Car-sharing companies usually cover accidents up to $1 million, but for more major accidents, who pays the excess is still a big question. California, Washington, and Oregon have laws in place to protect people who rent out their cars, but some big insurers,…
  • things

    HAXLR8R explores different ways to sell connected devices

    We already know the connected device market will be a big opportunity. Early leaders in the category like Nest and Jawbone have shown us that. But as the market for software-infused hardware continues to mature, device makers should consider less traditional ways to distribute and sell their devices. At least that’s what Cyril Ebersweiler thinks, and he knows a thing or two about connected devices. Ebersweiler is the cofounder of HAXLR8R, an accelerator focused solely on hardware companies, based…
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    What’s the fastest way to the right app store? TapStream thinks it has the answer

    Here’s something that could help mobile app makers in search of users (so basically, all of them). One of the biggest challenges is getting people to download the thing in the first place. It sounds obvious, but forget retention and engagement, if people don’t install the app on their phones, you’re sunk. Today the Vancouver-based marketing analytics company TapStream is announcing a new product called Smart Taps that makes that a little easier. It’s a custom link that  redirects…

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