Culture

  • Surveillance

    Will our future dystopia be one where privacy is something only the rich can afford?

    Privacy and security are the buzz words which have defined the bulk of conversation around the technology sector of late. From the Edward Snowden NSA leaks, to Facebook and OkCupid manipulating user emotions, to the fight for Do Not Track options in online advertising, to the trend toward anonymity and ephemerality in social networking and messaging, it’s clear that the average consumer is more aware of her privacy rights than ever and more intent on demanding accountability from…
  • eric-vishria

    You likely haven’t heard of Benchmark’s new GP and that says everything about where Benchmark is going

    Benchmark announced this week that it’s hiring Eric Vishria as its newest general partner. It was hardly the biggest industry news of the week. Much of the tech press was like, “Eric, who?” Exactly. I’ve always had a soft spot for Benchmark’s radical approach to venture capital. And by “radical” I only mean wildly out of step with most of the other top venture firms. It’s actually the only firm still operating a more classic model from the VC days…
  • ceo-rich-pool-man-ducky

    Study says income inequality in America even worse than we thought

    There is massive income inequality in the United States. It’s a fact. There’s no disputing that such a gap exists, regardless of your emotional response (or lack thereof) to the fact that the lion’s share of wealth in America is concentrated at the top. And the gap is getting bigger. In the middle of the century, the America’s richest ten percent possessed a little above thirty percent of the country’s wealth. That share has risen decade-on-decade and is quickly approaching…
  • New York City

    “Silicon Alley” is done, but New York is rising

    Last month at our Southland conference former vice president Al Gore beseeched me to help popularize a Nashville-centric moniker for the startup ecosystem, ala Silicon Beach, Silicon Alley, Silicon Wadi etc. I said that was the worst thing I could do for Nashville. I’ve spent years traveling to startup hubs — both aspirational and actual ones — in most states in the US and at least 15 countries around the world. I’ve found an inverse relationship with a…
  • twitter-branded-tweets

    Companies are finally realizing no one wants to read their branded tweets

    It was a cold night in February when the digital skirmish went down. Fifteen social media soldiers lay patiently in wait, unsure what they were waiting for, but certain they will know when it happens. This cadre of ninjas, mavens, and gurus are not unlike the squads of great men caught in fierce battle on the gridiron before them on the television. They don’t mind working on Super Bowl Sunday. Twitter never takes a day off — neither do they. And then, without…
  • andreessengif

    Marc Andreessen: Be disruptive, but don’t be a dick

    Disruption is one of those words that’s been defined, reintrepreted, and unpacked so many times that I have tried to banish it from my vocabulary, except in etymological discussions like this. There are those “disruption cultists” for whom the word is a signifier for all things good and holy about the technological revolution — the taking down of incumbents and the installation of better, stronger, faster companies. Then there are those like the New Yorker’s Jill Lepore who wrote a
  • US Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court will decide the legality of threatening someone on Facebook

    Imagine separating from your spouse and leaving him or her. You take the kids with you and move to a new home. You try to build a new life for yourself. Then, one day, you sign onto Facebook and encounter a post from your former spouse envisioning a particularly grisly murder scenario — and you’re the purported victim. Would you be afraid? The above scenario is exactly what happened to the wife of Anthony Elonis, a Pennsylvania man who has…
  • bonnaroo3

    The kids are alright: Bonnaroo, youth culture, and the “New New Sincerity”

    “The next real literary ‘rebels’ in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles.” – David Foster Wallace on “The New Sincerity” One nice thing about New York City is that the definition of “young” here extends at least to 40 (as long as people don’t have kids or a mortgage payment). The city’s size, pace, and…
  • Danger RWE Close

    America’s “moderates” are wild, crazy — and more extreme than any “extremist”

    Every damn second of every stupid day in this brain-dead nation, the insipid overlords of America’s inane corporate news media puts out the same message: extremism is extremely bad. 9/11? Carried out by Muslim extremists. The couple who murdered two police officers in Las Vegas this week? Right-wing, anti-government extremists. Washington gridlock? A Republican Party taken over by intransigent extremists (the Tea Party). In this official narrative, unquestioned by left and right alike, moderation and centrism are equated with reasonableness.…
  • Screwpulp Braintree PitchHop

    Startups drop rhymes for cash in Braintree PitchHop competition

    In the midst of a Southland conference that was equal parts culture and music festival as it was hard hitting technology summit, perhaps it’s no surprise that Braintree would take an atypical approach to onboarding new users. What was that approach? Asking entrepreneurs to Rap their startup pitch in a makeshift bus turned recording studio. The judges? Braintree CEO (and potential future PayPal president) Bill Ready and developer relations head John Lunn. The Braintree PitchHop competition started slow…
  • scott-mcnealy

    Tech billionaire to caddy for his teen son at the US Open

    The richest man working inside the ropes at this week’s US Open golf championship won’t be Tiger Woods (he’s injured) or Phil Mickelson (despite his alleged ill-gotten, insider trading gains). No, that distinction will go to tech billionaire, Sun Microsystems co-founder and former CEO Scott McNealy. McNealy won’t be hitting any shots himself, despite being a respectable golfer in his own right as a former member of the Harvard golf team. Rather, the 59-year-old will be carrying the…
  • Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 10.06.39 AM

    Live music at Southland: Moon Taxi, The Weeks, LEAGUES and Cooper & the Jam and more

    Not only is our Southland conference taking place in Music City but it also falls right smack in between CMAFest and Bonnaroo – two of the country’s biggest music festivals. In addition to a stellar speaker lineup, Southland attendees  are going to see some of the Southeast’s hottest new bands. We’ve already announced our Tuesday night lineup of St. Paul & the Broken Bones with J. Roddy Walston & the Business. Now we’re ready to share more details of Monday…
  • Chicago Tech week

    Industry leaders attack Chicago Tech Week over ludicrously sexist ads

    As the unofficial capital of the midwest, Chicago considered by many to be a kindler, gentler version of its coastal counterparts, New York and Los Angeles. This overall friendly attitude and fondness for work-life balance attitude is often cited when tech industry observers ask why an ecosystem is not more highly regarded by coastal investors and entrepreneurs, despite producing successes such as Orbitz, Groupon, GrubHub, and Braintree. Well it seems someone forgot to tell the organizers of Tech Week…
  • mike-maples-17

    Mike Maples on why so many female founders pitch Floodgate

    When the Midas List came out this year, only four percent of the top VCs recognized were women. According to the National Venture Capital Association, the number of female VCs has declined from fourteen percent in 2008 to eleven percent in 2011. And yet, at a time when women’s role in venture seems to be ever dwindling, Floodgate is a firm with not one, but two female partners, a full two thirds of its senior investment team. Mike…
  • Third Man Records

    What founders can learn from Jack White about launching a product

    Like most entrepreneurs and technophiles, I love checking out new companies and products. But I am having a real problem with what has become the status quo “intro video,” with its obligatory animations, cutesy music, and a description that seems targeted for my 5-year old. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dumb Ways to Die, Yo Gabba Gabba, and pretty much most of the stuff my son likes during his “screen time.” I just don’t want to every new product I try going…
  • depression

    Startups Anonymous: What Startup Failure Feels Like

    It was the morning after our failed launch, I had just dropped off my kid at preschool as a rush of emotion hit me like a sledgehammer to the nuts. At that moment, I thought it was because of my 4-year old’s struggle to leave my side, which never failed to draw a tear. As I bawled my way to the car, I quickly realized it was much greater this time.

The Week in Review