Ex-Foursquare Designers Focus On Sunrise, Want You To Do More With Your Calendar Two of the team of eight designers at Foursquare have recently left to focus on Sunrise, a calendar product to do more with your calendar, with data from Google Calendar, Facebook, LinkedIn and others. They currently offer a daily email and are actively working on the next version. According to them, the calendar can be a very powerful tool and nobody has figured it out yet. “Calendar apps today are mostly broken as they don’t show you useful information, even though you spend a lot of time adding items every day,” UX designer and developer Pierre Valade said in an interview.
12 Tips for Early Customer Development Interviews (Revision 3) Note: also see my 11 Customer Development Anti-Patterns post. Each time I give a talk introducing people to qualitative “customer development” conversations, I try to revisit my points. A few months ago, I gave this talk to an entrepreneurship class at Columbia Business School, and once again the list and messages evolved. Below you can find my latest thinking (here is version 1 and 2) 1. One person at a time
The fundamentals of storytelling in UX When was the last time you visited a website and really felt drawn into their story and brand? I mean, you really connected with what the company was all about, and their story led you to take action. For me, it was experiencing Medium for the first time. If you haven’t heard, Medium is a platform built by Evan Williams (@Ev), co-founder of Twitter, that allows anyone to read and write content with almost zero learning curve. On Sale At Last: Twine, Your Gateway To The Internet Of Things A year ago, two MIT Media Lab graduates raised half a million dollars on Kickstarter to create Twine, a cigarette-pack-sized chunk of Internet magic that promised to turn any object in your home into a web-connected, interactive "smart product." Want your basement pipes to send you a text message when they’re in danger of freezing up, or your garage door to ping you if you forget to close it? No problem: With Twine, building your own personal "Internet of things" is supposed to be easier than programming a VCR. And now that the product is available for purchase, it looks like creators John Kestner and David Carr have very nearly delivered on that ambitious promise.
Introducing Make Your Pitch If you are an entrepreneur with a new business or a breakthrough business idea, we want to meet you. I’m a business strategist (and a recovering investment banker), and I am inviting you to participate in The New York Times Make Your Pitch contest. Send us your pitch on video. Tell us about your product or service, your marketing plans, your customer base. Tell us what makes your business different — why it is one to watch? Do you need capital? The Secret, Selfish Side Of Social-Curation Sites Here’s my beef with social platforms today: I don’t think they’re very social at all. As much as Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest promise a way to connect, they’ve also promoted a disconnect--sharing on different platforms, proving a fragmented sense of keeping tabs on any social network. We can track our connections’ job promotions on LinkedIn, photos from their new office on Facebook, and hear their celebratory music on Spotify--but what about how these all link together?
Crafting the business model – a key task for start-ups The sharing economy is ready to take over MRI machines, now that it has conquered bikes, cars and apartments. Berlin-based medneo is offering physicians and hospitals clinical MRI images on a pay-by-case basis, letting them skip buying the expensive machines. And it dramatically improves customer satisfaction by reducing the wait time for MRI scans from several weeks to few days. All this because they crafted an innovative business model in a mature industry. Startups are ideas looking for a business
Misadventures in VC Funding: The $24 Million Moz Almost Raised Date / / Category / Startups Over the course of this year, I’ve written a couple times about raising a potential round of venture financing for my company, SEOmoz. At last, the saga’s over, I’ve been released from terms of confidentiality and I can share the long, strange story of how I first rejected, was eventually persuaded, but ultimately failed to raise a second round of investment capital. photo credit Coal-Eating Microbes Might Create Vast Amounts of Natural Gas Fracking technology has already made it practical to exploit previously inaccessible natural gas and oil in the United States (see “Natural Gas Changes the Energy Map”). Now several companies are demonstrating a way to use microörganisms that eat coal and excrete methane—the main ingredient in natural gas—as a possible means of extracting fuel from coal resources that had been too expensive to mine. Many coal beds contain large amounts of methane that can be harvested by drilling wells. In recent decades, researchers have demonstrated that a large fraction of the natural gas found in the coal beds is produced by naturally occurring microörganisms that feed on coal, and they have found ways to stimulate the microbes to produce more methane. Luca Technologies, based in Golden, Colorado, is using this approach to increase production from coal beds with existing methane wells.
A Brief History of Text Messaging Where would we be without text messaging? The feature has grown from being favored by the tech-savvy to a universal staple. It's allowed us to be more efficient, independent and direct. When you're running late, you text someone to let them know. When you're in class or a meeting and there's an emergency, you know immediately.