my first day at Bessemer
I’m really excited to be working with Rob Stavis and the entire team at Bessemer Venture Partners.
After 3 incredibly rewarding years as part of the Foursquare team, seeing the company grow from 20 to 160 super talented people and from 1M to over 35M passionate users, it was a very hard decision for me to leave for this new opportunity. I still believe strongly in the team, the product, and in Dennis’ leadership and vision for where things are headed.
To Dennis, Naveen, Evan, Holger, and my entire Foursquare family - thank you for taking a chance on a business school punk and letting me learn so much from all of you.
I’ve always loved working with people with great ideas and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with my new colleagues at BVP, some of the brightest people in the venture capital industry, and tons of phenomenal entrepreneurs in this new role.
10 Tech Concepts Everyone Should Know
awesome stuff from Benjy.
If you work in the tech industry then your daily conversations are littered with tech terms. You’ll probably have at least a vague idea of what these mean, but if you’re not in a technical role it’s sometimes hard to put these concepts and buzzwords in precise context.
In this post I’ll briefly explain ten basic terms that engineers use every day. Whatever your role in the tech industry, you’ll benefit from knowing exactly what these mean.
Brevity will require me to leave many important details out. If you’d like me to elaborate further, or if there are other concepts you’d like explained, let me know! I’ll be happy to write another post in this vein in the future.
guys in the last meeting today insisted I visit the Red Square. so they took me. (at Красная площадь / Red Square)
Love this from the New Yorker. Right now, we’re all Sox fans.
these kids can play (at Trancoso)
crew on our boat was doing flips all day (at Paraty - RJ)
graffiti art on the streets of Santa Teresa. incredible. (at Santa Teresa)
ruminations on Mobile World Congress 2013
Last week, I had the opportunity to represent Foursquare again with Dennis and Holger at this year’s rendition of GSMA Mobile World Congress.
In between 30+ partner meetings, copious amounts of tapas, and even sneaking in an incredible rendition of El Clàsico, I tried to jot down some of the themes we were seeing.
Whether it was on the show floor, during our discussions with OEMs, operators, and other developers, or during late night chats over some Rioja, there were some common threads.
I looked back on my post from last year at this time attempting to do the same. As expected, some of these points were still relevant, but here’s my attempt at summarizing what we saw that was unique to this year:
- Let’s play Guess the Android OEM - it’s gotten to a point where all high-end Android devices (and virtually all smartphones including iOS, WindowsPhone, and BB devices) simply look the same. Differentiating through hardware is becoming increasingly difficult at the high-end and this puts developers like us in a really interesting position. Apps, content, and great services are the only way to rise above a crowd of sleek black rectangles until someone breaks away. Apps:Mobile Platforms::Live Events:Cable Television.
- Phablets - Samsung and other Android OEMs are starting to go all-in on these hybrid tablet / phone devices that are gaining major traction among some lucrative demographics. Developers who currently have distinct smartphone & tablet strategies will need to consider what is different about how consumers engage with these devices and how that impacts strategy if the distribution opportunity becomes meaningful.
- Chinese at both ends of the spectrum - Huawei and ZTE are now really good at making high-end devices that rival anything you’ll see out in the market. Copying the innovators with ease and pricing these devices to move. The thing that I found fascinating though, was that when we went to their booths on the floor, 95% of the space was used to show off those high-end phones, but the crowds were always huddled around the handful of their lowest end, dirt cheap Android handsets they were displaying. They might not be as proud of them, but people are much more curious to see what is happening at the low end right now, myself included.
- (Smart-ish)feature Phones - Nokia continues to innovate in a market that few others are paying attention to, improving their s40 / Asha line and keeping a nice hold on device sales in emerging markets. In effect, these devices are the first smart-ish phone experience for all those who can’t afford what we are all so focused on here in well developed markets. Their 15 euro phone (with 35 day stand-by battery life!) was one of the hottest topics at this year’s event.
- This is no longer a Telecoms show - as I heard a few different folks agree throughout the week, this is no longer an operator, telecom conference, but rather should be renamed Digital World Congress. We at Foursquare were not alone representing a developer running around the floor meeting with every member of the mobile and digital ecosystem. The platforms don’t work without great content, and the pipes are still struggling to figure out where they fit in.
Themes from last year such as HTML5 v Native, what will happen to WinPhone/Blackberry, NFC (still?!?!?!), big data, were still prevalent, but nothing new.
A few years ago, I had little appreciation for how interesting the mobile landcape was. Now I can’t imagine a February going by without a visit to the Fira.
not gonna lie. that experience just put Yanks / Red Sox in perspective. #ElClàsico @dens @holger (at Camp Nou)