10 Year Futures (Vs. What’s Happening Now)

The personal computer S-curve gave us 1.5 billion PCs and 3 billion people online, and now the smartphone S-curve is giving a computer to everyone on earth. So today, we have two innovation conversations: First, what can we build on …

Hackers Are Targeting Your Mobile Phone. Here Are 15 Ways to Slow Them Down

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Multi-bits/Getty Images

Mobile phones have become the new prey of choice for hackers and other nefarious individuals. Once compromised, our phones offer easy access to our personal and financial information, giving hackers the ability to sell that information on the dark web and to ransom our information.

But despite the growing threats to our smartphones, most people — even most corporate executives — still don’t take basic security precautions. According to a 2016 report on mobile security by Intertrust, the cost of mobile app hacks and breaches will reach $1.5 billion by 2021. Yet mobile device security often gets less attention than security for network systems or even our laptop computers. The same report says $34 million is spent annually on mobile app development while only $2 million is spent on app security. This reinforces the old adage that the money spent on security is never enough, until there

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Companies Need More Than Two-Factor Authentication to Keep Users Safe

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calvindexter/Getty Images

We all know the basics of cybercrime, such as phishing emails with malicious links or attachments, or phone calls from fake help desks seeking to take over your computer.

But schemes in the cyber world continue to get more sophisticated. One of the latest scams has hackers stealing phone numbers to drain cryptocurrency accounts such as Bitcoin. How? Hackers have identified a weakness in the way we use our phones to authenticate our identities to mobile service providers, as well as to online accounts. They’re exploiting this weakness to steal whatever they can get their hands on. And it all goes back to two-factor authentication, or 2FA.

If you’ve enabled 2FA on Twitter, Facebook, or Google, you’ve probably received a one-time password, through SMS text message, for logging in or making changes to the account. Many online cryptocurrency wallets and services also use SMS text messages as a

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AppLovin scraps acquisition and takes debt financing instead

 The story of AppLovin‘s acquisition has taken another turn. We first reported that the mobile ad startup was in acquisition talks in August of last year, and the announcement came a month later: AppLovin would sell a majority stake Chinese private equity firm Orient Hontai Capital. Today, however, CEO Adam Foroughi revealed that the deal is (sort of) off. Instead of an outright… Read More

Airpods and Android

I wrote a post a month or so ago saying that I had fallen hard for Airpods while I was briefly using an old iPhone and was going to miss them when I moved back to Android.

A bunch of readers responded to me in the comments and via email that the Airpods would work just fine as Bluetooth headphones on my Pixel phone.

And they were right. I have been using the Airpods with my Pixel for a month now and they work great.

So if you are an Android user like me and like the idea of tiny wireless headphones in your ear without wires or bulk, you can absolutely get a pair.

Now if Apple would only make iMessage work on Android there would be no reason to use an iPhone 😉

Berlin’s GetYourGuide raises $75 million to expand its travel activities platform internationally


From a slow start as an ill-fated student project almost a decade ago, Berlin’s GetYourGuide has become one of Europe’s hottest startups and is today announcing a $75 million round of funding.

GetYourGuide is an online booking platform that helps travelers find things to do, from visiting a notable tourist attraction to booking a local tour. It may sound like a simple idea, but the firm is enjoying explosive growth and has now raised a total of $170 million in venture capital over the past four years.

“What we learned is that there is this giant market,” said Johannes Reck, cofounder and CEO of GetYourGuides. “And we realized there was quite a bit of consumer demand for what was a completely underserved market.”

The latest funding round was led by Battery Ventures but also included previous investors KKR, Spark Capital, Highland Europe, Sunstone Capital, and Nokia Growth Partners.

Reck said Continue reading "Berlin’s GetYourGuide raises $75 million to expand its travel activities platform internationally"

Berlin’s Ada Health raises $47 million for global expansion of its AI-driven medical app


Using a mix of artificial intelligence and human doctors, Ada Health has seen a surge of users for its telemedicine app that has investors swooning and ready to bet big on the Berlin-based startup.

Today, Ada Health announced it has raised $47 million in venture capital in a funding round led by Access Industries, June Fund, and Berlin-based Cumberland VC. In addition, the company said that William Tunstall-Pedoe, an AI entrepreneur who originally helped develop Amazon’s Alexa, also invested in the round.

“The future of healthcare lies in a much more patient-centric model where individuals have actionable insights at their fingertips, and doctors and artificial intelligence work together to support patients throughout their healthcare journey,” said Daniel Nathrath, CEO and co-founder of Ada Health, in a statement. “We’ve seen incredible traction since launch, receiving countless messages each day about how we’ve helped someone identify an important health issue and get to Continue reading "Berlin’s Ada Health raises $47 million for global expansion of its AI-driven medical app"

What Happens to Mental Health at Work When Our Devices Know How We Feel?

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Denys Argyriou/unsplash

Stressed? Depressed? Distracted? Overwhelmed? The cognitive and emotional demands on managers have rarely been more complicated or intense. One recent global research survey of employee assistance programs found that, combined, employee anxiety, stress, and depression accounted for over 80% of all emotional health cases in 2014, compared with 55% in 2012. In the UK alone, a 2014 report from the chief medical officer for England estimates, the number of sick days lost to “stress, depression, and anxiety” increased by 24% from 2009 to 2013.

Protecting their mental health has become a self-preservation priority for managers. Arianna Huffington counsels more sleep. Many executives embrace mindfulness and meditation to better cope, while others take prescribed medication or self-medicate to get their jobs done. Growing numbers of managers worldwide know they need help.

Increasingly, we can expect our personal devices to diagnose, monitor, and manage our mental wellness. The omnipresence of these devices mean

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The Circle of Happiness

2.45 am… I woke up and looked out of the window. It was jet black sky with twinkling stars, spread like diamonds across the universe. There were so many of them. I was wide awake in a few minutes. I walked out to the patio, barefoot, my soles feeling the cold of the tiles and wetness of the dew.

I slipped on my headphones and listened to Tom Petty, walking, sitting, walking some more. I wasn’t searching for specific songs to listen to, just his greatest hits. Listening as a way to pay homage to a great rocker. I was introduced to his music by one of my oldest friends, Tito. He turned 50 earlier this year, much like me last year. I turned 51 last week. Continue reading "The Circle of Happiness"

The Circle of Happiness

2.45 am… I woke up and looked out of the window. It was jet black sky with twinkling stars, spread like diamonds across the universe. There were so many of them. I was wide awake in a few minutes. I walked out to the patio, barefoot, my soles feeling the cold of the tiles and wetness of the dew.

I slipped on my headphones and listened to Tom Petty, walking, sitting, walking some more. I wasn’t searching for specific songs to listen to, just his greatest hits. Listening as a way to pay homage to a great rocker. I was introduced to his music by one of my oldest friends, Tito. He turned 50 earlier this year, much like me last year. I turned 51 last week. Continue reading "The Circle of Happiness"

Slack confirms it has raised $250 million at $5 billion valuation amid growing competition


Workplace collaboration platform Slack has closed its long-rumored new round of funding at $250 million, led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, as it seeks to beat back a growing list of competitors with deep pockets.

According to Bloomberg, Slack said it is still sitting on most of the $591 million it had previously raised. The latest round will give the company “operational flexibility.”

San Francisco-based Slack has been one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups in recent years. But that success has attracted numerous competitors, including Microsoft, which launched Teams earlier this year; Atlassian, with its HipChat service workplace collaboration; Google, which launched Hangouts Chat this year; and Facebook, which is still pushing its Workplace service.

So $250 million only sounds like a lot of money until you look at those competitors’ balance sheets.

Still, according to Bloomberg, Slack has passed 9 million weekly active users and 6 million daily Continue reading "Slack confirms it has raised $250 million at $5 billion valuation amid growing competition"

Slack confirms it has raised $250 million at $5 billion valuation amid growing competition


Workplace collaboration platform Slack has closed its long-rumored new round of funding at $250 million, led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, as it seeks to beat back a growing list of competitors with deep pockets.

According to Bloomberg, Slack said it is still sitting on most of the $591 million it had previously raised. The latest round will give the company “operational flexibility.”

San Francisco-based Slack has been one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups in recent years. But that success has attracted numerous competitors, including Microsoft, which launched Teams earlier this year; Atlassian, with its HipChat service workplace collaboration; Google, which launched Hangouts Chat this year; and Facebook, which is still pushing its Workplace service.

So $250 million only sounds like a lot of money until you look at those competitors’ balance sheets.

Still, according to Bloomberg, Slack has passed 9 million weekly active users and 6 million daily Continue reading "Slack confirms it has raised $250 million at $5 billion valuation amid growing competition"

a16z Video: What is the S-curve?

In this animated short video, a16z Partner Benedict Evans describes “the s-curve” in the life cycle of technology innovation, and why it’s important. Technologies like the PC, internet, and mobile phone emerge, grow, and mature in waves — from “a …

a16z Video: What is the S-curve?

In this animated short video, a16z Partner Benedict Evans describes “the s-curve” in the life cycle of technology innovation, and why it’s important. Technologies like the PC, internet, and mobile phone emerge, grow, and mature in waves — from “a …

Token Launch

This is not the story of another cryptocurrency coin offering, but of a product that is using a tangible, age-old form factor to manage and secure our digital and analog identities. I am pleased to announce that Future\Perfect Ventures portfolio company Tokenize has launched its latest product: Token, a ring that allows users to make payments, use public transport, log into websites, and enter our homes, cars and offices without carrying around keys or credit cards. Using advanced biometric technology and sensor detection, the ring is disabled when the user takes it off and has a battery life of 14 days on one charge.

Over the past few years as I’ve invested in the thesis of rapid decentralization, I was on the lookout for a company that represented what I call the “post smartphone” world. In the future, we will be accessing services and products through more seamless means, rather Continue reading "Token Launch"

Your Mobile Strategy Can’t Just Be About Phones

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Steven Moore for HBR
Ten years ago, Apple released the first iPhone. This set into motion a cycle of innovation and transformation that has touched nearly every business in the world in some way or another. The size and scope of the opportunities the mobile revolution has created for businesses is hard to overstate. Perhaps the greatest impact of all is the way mobile has created — and continues to create — new opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers. Today, mobile is quickly becoming the remote control for our lives. For businesses, it’s the hub of interactions across digital channels and physical locations, and it paves the way for more and better customer experiences in both the real and virtual worlds. According to Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends Report, smartphones are now in the hands of 3.4 billion people across the globe and engagement is on the rise,
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